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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why Work?

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.  ~Thomas Edison

I grew up with a really strong work ethic.  My dad, a physcologist, was the type of man who worked a 60-hour work week, then came home and worked in the orchard or the garden.  He tinkered in the garage on the occasional car problem and volunteered at my church.  There was never a shortage of work and by watching him I learned at young age that he liked it.  Work made him happy.  He worked hard and when the time came, he played hard too.

I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.  ~Thomas Jefferson

Like my dad, I really like work.  I like the feeling of accomplishing something good.  I like yard work; trimming trees, mowing, edging, etc. My wedding reception was in my parent’s yard.  Their property is gorgeous, with large pines tracing the walkway to the house and citrus outlining the borders.  For Arizona, it’s lusch and green.  Several days before my wedding, I started working on the yard. I mowed, trimmed and beautified.  On one of my rounds cleaning up the property, an orange tree branch gashed against my arm.  It wasn’t a big deal, I thought, but during my wedding photos the photographer pointed out the large scrap on my arm.  It's funny to think how I stood with that part of my arm leaned into my handsome groom so the gash wouldn’t show up in all my wedding photos.  Hard working and ambitious,  I had also volunteered to paint the trim of my parent’s home before the wedding.  The trim went from a dark brown to forest green.  Let’s just it’s really difficult to get paint out from under your fingernails when you really want too. 

Nobody ever drowned in his own sweat.  ~Ann Landers

Physical labor reminds me I’m alive and healthy.  I breathe hard and feel the muscles in my body moving.  Hard work helps me stay happy and young.  It also helps me keep my life in perspective.  I do a lot of thinking when I’m hard at work.  I run numbers, evaluate relationships and talk with God.  Work is cheap therapy.  

Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.  ~Abraham Lincoln

I’ve written many opening pages to various novels while I’ve been hard at work doing dishes or laundry.  I hope to teach my children the joy of hard work.  I really think its one of the secrets to true happiness.  I’ve heard one of the keys to re-building our economy is the small business owner.  Because of eBay, I’m a small business owner and may start looking to contract out some of my work.   I’m happy to know I’m doing my part.

If the power to do hard work is not a skill, it's the best possible substitute for it. ~James A. Garland

When the kids quiet down and go to sleep, I don’t turn the T.V. on.  I don’t pick up the paper. Sometimes I do yoga while other times I mop the kitchen floor.  Once that’s done, I turn on the computer and get to work.  I work on my novel and/or I sell on eBay.  I guess I’m pretty predictable that way.  The counselor comes in and says “You still working?”
Sometimes he says I work too hard, but when work is so much fun how can I feel cheated? 
The difference between try and triumph is just a little umph! ~ Marvin Phillips

Monday, November 29, 2010

Entrance Way Before & After

Not too many garaging finds this holiday weekend, so I thought I'd share my entrance way redo that I finished Friday. It's a bit of a teaser, since I'm only going to show you one corner- You'll have to wait until Friday to get the BIG picture. Here's the before pic...I've been really into Americana for years and was ready for a change.
Birdhouses, bear and lots of red check fabric. Here's the after...
I'm loving the black and tan thing right now. Here's some close ups...
I repainted the bench in black and reupholstered the cushion using my friend, Sonja's, left over drapery fabric.
I stole the lamp from my laundry room, the table is one of my wins from the swap and the iron urn and glass ball are garaging finds (I'm not loving these in this location and will need to find a different treasure to display)
I made this huge piece of artwork last year, if you'd like the details go here. Thanks for stopping by, can't wait to show you the rest on Friday. Have a great week. Love, Kelly.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Not Only . . .

Not only is it Eileen Fisher, 
not only is it a sweater,
not only is it a plus size,
not only was it $1.00,
but it's 100% cashmere.
This sweater will sell for a small fortune.
Not only were these 9.5 Men's Nike shoes $3.00 from a garage sale,
not only does my 10-year old son wear a size 9.5 men's shoes,
not only did Chandler decide he didn't want to keep these shoes,
not only did he list them (his very first item) on eBay,
but these Nike shoe's sold for $30.00.  
Not only is it leather,
not only is it a sectional, 
not only is is in like-new mint condition,
not only was it $200.00 on black Friday at the thrift store,
not only does it have a recliner,
not only is the hide-a-bed still in its factory plastic,
but it's a slide for Reef.
Not only is it Antique China,
not only is it from M. Redon Limoges France,
not only was the entire box $10.00 at a garage sale,
not only did Chandler and Payson unpack it for me,
but Mayer enjoyed his first experience drinking hot chocolate from a fancy cup with a saucer.  
Not only did I find this amazing from for $3.99,
not only did I find this Van gogh art book for $1.00,
not only did I have a great time cutting and pasting with Mayer,
but we made a beautiful background 
for our family picture.
Not only did I find a solid white dresser for $30.00,
not only is it vintage,
not only do all the drawers work,
but the same day I brought it home is sold for $90.00 on Craig's List.
Not only is it danish retro,
not only was it $1.00 at the thrift store,
not only is it a record/track 8 shelf holder,
but it sold for $10.00 on Craig's list.
Not only did I find a ton of great furniture this weekend,
not only did I desperately need a truck,
not only was my sweet brother Matt in town visiting from Utah,
(yeah, Matt's the hunky bachelor in front.  My handsome brother behind him is named Tadd and he's married.)
not only did he let me borrow his truck to haul all my trash home, 
but he let all his nephews play in the back of his parked truck.
Not only is it midnight,
not only am I blissfully alone on my computer writing sweet nothings about trash,
not only am I listening to
but the Wallflowers just came on.
Give this a listen.  It's golden.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

So Thankful . . .

I'm so thankful for . . . 
Arizona Sunsets
a dancing Mother I love 
and a singing Father I adore
For beautiful little Sisters 
I'm so thankful for . . . 
stair-step Boys
My Writer
My Singer
My Artist
My Gentle One
and a brand-new Princess
I'm so thankful for . . .
a husband
who loves this wonderful life as much as I do.

We wish you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving. 
If you've written a Thanksgiving post on your blog, we'd love to share it with our readers.  Link it up below:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Trash To Cash Wednesday!

Did anyone else have a slow week on Ebay? Part of me is not surprised since Thanksgiving is tomorrow and many people are on the road or just really busy. Let's take a look at the top sellers.This women's Ralph Lauren size 3X career top sold for $10.00These J.Crew size 8 tall (talls always do well!) sold for 11.05.These Chico's travelers size 1 brown crop pants didn't sell the first week they were listed- this week they sold for $17.51. This reminds me that all items should be listed at least 2 weeks at full price. So, what was this weeks top seller?

Women's size S black Under Armour tights... Sold for $21.50! If you ever find Under Armour, snatch it up. It's very expensive to buy new and is a great resale item. Here's this week's summary...

Ebay Profits:$313.05
Craigslist Profits:0
Costs: 50.00(clothes), 53.04(ebay fees), 26.42 (paypal fees)
Total Profit: $183.23

When I have a slower week I have to remind myself of what it was like when I first started Week 1 total ebay sales (60.02) Week 2 (156.91) Week 3 (162.58) week 4 (80.86) and week 5 (166.25) It always makes me feel better to go back and read those first "Big Challenge" posts. The other good news is that usually when you have a slow week, it's followed by a BIG week! I'm planning on it. Let us know how your ebay sales are coming- that way we can celebrate and commiserate together. Love, Kelly

Monday, November 22, 2010

Small Town Shopping vs.The Big City

I recently received this email from a reader of My Dear Trash.

I am a reader of your blog from Flagstaff. First, I love your blog and I am totally envious of all your great finds. Flagstaff does not have NEARLY as many options for good deals or even garage sales. Your blog has made me want to go to Phoenix for the weekend to shop the sales! I am curious as to how often you find/see globes when you are thrifting. I am expecting Baby # 2 at the end of March and have decided to go vintage explorer for the theme of the nursery with the intent of hanging different sized globes above the crib. I have rarely seen globes at our thrift stores here, and I try to make the rounds as often as I can. Do you think I would have more luck in Phoenix



Thanks for writing in, Meagan.  
I love the idea of the vintage globes for your baby’s room.  The explorer theme should be darling and you have lots of options for decorating.  I do not have a globe for sale on Craig’s List, but your email brings up an interesting point.  
Reading through different posts, I can imagine it appears Kelly and I get the luck of the draw at garage sales and thrift stores all the time.  No doubt, we find some great trash and we’re able to accomplish many things with the trash we find, but is there ever a time when we don’t get what we want and do we ever miss out on something we really want?
The Phoenix valley is a huge metropolis, with over 6 million people.  Mesa has over 500,000 residents, many of which are large growing families.  This creates a very jungle-like environment for garage sales.  
The sales are diverse and plentiful for the excited hunter/shopper.  
Just this weekend, Little Sis and I were out garaging.  
Because she occasionally takes a bottle, Reef has reverted back to the bottle and he loses them all the time.  
My stash of bottles has dwindled and I was just about to go into Target or Wal-mart to restock.  I was at a high school fund-raiser garage sale and I found this box of like-new bottles.  
I could tell they were superior quality
and the price was right.
I purchased $250.00 worth of bottles for $2.50.
 I wasn’t really looking for bottles that day at garage sales, but it appeared they found me.  I purchased the entire box.  I looked on-line and Born Free bottles sale for about $10.00/bottle.
I guess my point is I design my life around the trash I find, not the trash I'm looking for.  Like this amazing bookcase.
I didn't need a bookcase until I found this one for $2.00 (yes, that's $2.00).
I didn't realize how much Mayer wanted a skateboard until I found one at Goodwill for $5.99.
Now the $1.00 yoga ball I knew was a must-have. :)
On the other hand, a few weeks ago I followed the arrows of garage sale signs into an amazing gated neighborhood with million dollar homes.  I felt my heart beat go faster and faster.  Every lawn was manicured just right and every home could be the poster home for luxurious living.
“This is going to be good,” I said to Little Sis in her car seat.
The sale was crowded, with people shuffling through clothing and home d├ęcor.  The homeowner was just closing the deal on the most amazing hutch I’ve ever seen. It was a large solid wood piece painted the brightest turquoise blue, antiqued in all the right places. It sold for $70.00. 
Yeah, I was a little bummed, but I was able to find some amazing clothes, like this Banana Republic dress I purchased for $2.00 and later sold for $19.99.
I had Little Sis and Reef at another garage sale and there was a huge bin of jeans.  I knew there was some great stuff inside, but Reef was getting tired.  
I had Sis in my baby Bjorn and she didn’t like it when I squatted and leaned over to pick inside the bins.  After a few minutes, I decided it was time to leave because really, as much as I love it, I also want it to be a good experience with my kids.  I passed on some great merchandise and that was alright.
 Last week at Goodwill, I spent most of my time in the bathroom with a potty-training two-year old sidekick who thinks he has to be completely naked before he goes potty.  
Now, to answer your next question: should you come to Phoenix for a weekend to shop?
I think that’s a great idea.  If you could come Thursday morning for $1.00 day at Goodwill, I think you’d be thrilled.  Also, try to come for Goodwill’s ½ off Saturday which would be next weekend.  You will have a blast at the garage sales too.  If you come, we have to meet up.
Many of you may live in small communities where the thrifting atmosphere leaves little to be desired.  I think it would be worth driving into the nearby city and checking out some thrift stores and garage sales.  Kelly and I have even talked about doing a few road trips to see what your town may offer and meet some of you.  I travel frequently to Flagstaff and when I do, I always hit Goodwill.  I’ve had some great finds, but if it was my only option, my eBay sales would be limited too.
Stay tuned because My Dear Trash is working on a spectacular give-away that just might help many of you in this predicament. 
Shop frequently, shop sale days and look on-line or in the newspaper to see if garage sales are advertised.  Do you have a question?  Feel free to email us at
Good luck.