Considering I’m sitting here in unmatched socks and a bathrobe I’m really wondering if I’m one to be offering tips of any kind… but it’s one of those blog ideas I had while blow drying my hair that I wrote about on the last post and so I’m hoping whatever I was thinking about rises back up to the surface as I type… it’ll be a surprise for both of us to see where this list goes!
First up: Ebay
Cross reference any book (especially if its older) on Ebay before you purchase on Amazon. Goodwill has a book division that sells books on Ebay for steep discounts… like just a few bucks for a hardback. And a lot of libraries sell their older books as well. I can’t tell you how many books I’ve bought off Ebay this year, but damned if I’m not gonna try:
- Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky (recommend) Bought 2 copies actually, one as gift.
- Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky. Less thrilling… should have figured that out ahead of time, but still good.
- All four of my books on Alebrijes… bought some of those last year though
- A box of 20 toddler books (I donated the 3 Jesus-y ones) for $20.
- All three of the Last Lion books- biographies on Winston Churchill by William Manchester… who up and died before the last book and now I’m slogging through Reid, who finished the series but just didn’t have the same gift for language, unfortunately. First 2 were great.
- Gift of the Crow- about…crows and befriending/attracting them because I really like them. Not the best read. Really cementing my witch status with liking crows, spiders, graveyards, full moons… hell I even had a newt once (Oregon newt with the orange belly) so literally have owned two “eye of newt” in my time. (With help from my Aunt I’ve come to realize attracting crows is not the best idea for my yard… I’ll write more about it at some point.)
- Dustland by Moira King – Trilogy- my 12 year old loved this one, but the author takes a hard left in the last book and ruins the whole thing. Young Adult series, I wouldn’t recommend but damn the first one was good.
- Anna of Green Gables and White Fang– neither of the progeny have read yet- they are the books in the back of my seat back pockets in the car in case they get bored on long trips. So far they’d rather stare out windows, which is okay too.
- Malcolm X biography as a replacement for the copy my husband accidentally left in the Denver Airport.
- Long Walk to Freedom: the Autobiography of Nelson Mandela– only $3.74! Haven’t read yet though.
- Painting as a Pastime by Winston Churchill- Oh my GOD how annoying is he talking about painting!
- A Wrinkle in Time– not as beloved by the twelve year old as it was when I read it.
- Last Defender of Camelot and A Night in the Lonesome October– both by Zelazny. First has my favorite short story/novella (“For a Breath I Tarry”) and the second was out of print for a long time and I pick up copies of both whenever I see them. I probably have 4 of each.
- A bunch of cookbooks
Grand total is neighborhood of $60 on books for the year. Anyway, the tip is check there first.
Second up: Ebay
I also bought this rug on Ebay for $28 and free shipping
Look, Ebay is great for books and rugs… I’ve bought some earrings on there too… but steer clear of anything name brand or anything glass (learned not to buy wine glasses on there this year…) etc.
Now this rug? It definitely is old, which is what I wanted, and a third the price or less than it would be in a shop. If it really is or isn’t a 1930s Afghan rug I really don’t know. Also, it’s what’s called over-dyed, where they know Americans almost always just want red rugs and so old rugs are dyed that color in a little too vivid of a red to ever seem authentic. But for me, I don’t stand on my art and so am not a rug purist.
I also have count ’em 4 cats- so between the slight risk of cat pee (they mostly stick to bathmats and only when I miss their cranberry pills) and sharpened claws I wouldn’t drop any substantial money on a rug. But whatever- I like it and that’s what matters! Even the larger rug sizes are cheap and generally have free shipping… it’s an untapped rug resource, I tell ya what.
Finally- I have NO patience for online bidding- all these purchases have been Buy Now options, except the rug actually, but no one else bid on it so I got it at asking price.
Third Up: Cranberry Pills for Cats!
So the second oldest of our cats has always had some urinary tract issues, peeing places she shouldn’t when she’s uncomfortable, multiple trips to the vet due to it and crazy crystals in her urine. I think it’s because she had a litter of kittens much to young, which I take the blame for, so am more forgiving about all the bathmat cat pee than I would be otherwise. I actually got a call from the vet’s office when my husband was dropping her off to be spayed- he said they could still do the spay but it’d be more expensive because she was already pregnant and what did I want to do? I was horrified! I said of course we’ll keep the kittens and to bring her back. As my husband was hanging up the phone I heard him tell the vet one of the funniest lines I’ve ever heard in my life: “I guess we’re only pro-choice when it’s people…” It, to this day, still cracks me up.
They were cute kittens. My brother kept one. But boy did it jack with that cat to have kittens so young, so like, don’t do that. Anyway- these pills work WONDERS. I shake the jar and the cat comes running and jumps on the counter to eat two of them a night and no bathmat peeing ensues. I used to break the pills in half, but they’re chewable so now I just let her have at them whole. I buy these on Amazon. They make a hairball one too, which has been successful with the long haired white cat in the past. That one (our oldest) now ALSO gets one of the cranberry pills, just in case he needs it because he occasionally likes peeing in laundry baskets of clean clothes right in front of you and how we haven’t murdered him for it yet is a mystery. He’s aggravated about the new black and white male cat- and so his peeing is just him being a jerk and trying to tell us to drop the new cat off a bridge in a sack, I think. Still though… cranberry pills just in case.
The full list of our cats, for clarity:
- White long haired male, 14 years old: Wally (short for Wallace) My cat, though the 3 year old calls him hers and walks around with him.
- Short haired tri-colored calico, 9 years old: Alley (she’s the main one who gets cranberry pills) The 12 year olds’s cat, not much of a cuddler, bit thin on personality honestly.
- Brown long haired female, 3 years old: Lacey. She is the 8 year old’s cat, super cuddley and likes sitting on my lap or desk while I work during the day.
- Short haired black and white male, 1 year old: Alabama. Technically the family cat, but the 12 year old is mostly claiming that one too and the husband will staunchly deny he has any stake in the ownership of that cat. The rest of us completely love him though. He also has enough patience to let the 3 year old walk around with him.
I promise my house doesn’t reek of cat pee- regardless of how I have made this all sound.
That’s it. It’s a weird and short list- but it’s pretty outside and I should really go garden. High of 70, low of 60- god bless winter in Texas!