A Catch Up…end of January Style

You wouldn’t THINK I hate being busy on weekends by looking at our last few months, now would you? But I do. Lazing around in bed and leisurely blogging on a Sunday late morning is my preferred weekend mode, but sometimes life gets in the way. That’s my way of saying: It’s been a while, and my apologies there!

So… let’s see. Christmas was awesome, though we intentionally tried to go a little smaller than last year.

I got many amazing gifts, but being able to throw out our old oven mit and potholder was a special moment.

And then… husband’s birthday was two days after Christmas! Then… covid! So my husband got Covid over the break… and then our oldest got symptomatic… but tested negative so they couldn’t isolate together. We made it through that… and then a few weeks later our middle daughter tested positive! All were symptomatic for only a day or two, and then better quickly.

We were able to test for these not through any drive through testing facilities (all are a week out on schedules, or an over 7 hour wait in lines) by using some tests my coworker sent to us from Vancouver, WA as there have not been any to be found here in forever.

Then we got turned down for the consolidation and repayment plan for my husband’s student loans (still don’t know why) so the currently assigned plan has the payments at over $1,000 per month; so I was very glad when that can got kicked down the road to May on when payments start back up so we have more time to sort things out. It still did result in a bit of hyperventilating on our part, so all of our expenses tightened right up immediately. I stopped going to my personal trainer (nuts, but okay- it was $400 per month), refinanced my car, and we’re refinancing the house.

Here’s the thing, we were already going to refinance the house? We can do that, drop our interest rate, and add on a den to the back of the house and still lower our monthly payments a bit… but without the addition we could drop it more… sigh. Decisions, decisions.

We also are staring down the barrel of buying a vehicle for the oldest who turns 16 in August… which didn’t have to be new but at the same time the used car market is crazy. It’s all just a lot to figure out, you know? These are normal adult concerns! We’ll be fine and figure it out but blarg, you know?

But! Luckily the chickens are bountiful- maybe we’ll just eat eggs for every meal like the nuns in the movie Lilies of the Field, you know?

It’s four a day out of these ladies, bless their stupid little hearts!

Speaking of- when Sidney Poitier died we watched Lilies of the Field, a super cute family movie, quite funny. I usually put old movies in the bowl to draw from to pick the movie we all watch on Fridays. (we all add a movie title each week to pick from.) You know what other old black and white movie went over well with all the children? Even the 6 year old? Twelve Angry Men. Isn’t that crazy and unexpected? Who woulda thunk it?! But they all loved it!

Let’s see… what else.

Oh! Quasi related to the whole- AGH STUDENT LOAN PAYMENT thing- I’ve started a side gig reselling some stuff I find at thrift stores or estate sales. Mostly this means we’re buying stuff for our own house though, if I’m honest. But not always because look at this thing!

$5.99 ain’t bad…
Considering there are other ones listed online for $115!

So that up there is a Dolbi Cashier floor vase (floor flowers?) made between 1979 and 1983. Super cool if I can actually sell it… which is the rub to the whole thing. Oh well.

The hard part is I actually prefer buying art- but mailing out framed pictures seems like a bit of a disaster… so how that will work out I’m not sure. I am selling a framed San Antonio Fiesta poster from 1984 right now in fact- I am waiting for the person to stop by to pick up and am sweating because I didn’t notice a little water damage on the bottom so failed to mention in the ad! Will I get chewed out? Will they notice? Will I get a bad review? Agh! The pressure! (Edited to add: the dude picked up and he was totally cool and loved it- so my anxiety was all for nothing- AGAIN.)

So that’s where the husband and I have been for the last few weekends- knocking around estate sales and stuff. Perusing dead people’s things is a weird side gig, but considering my other hobby has me strolling through graveyards it seems very on brand, and we have been enjoying our time doing it together.

As side hustles go we’re not in the black on the whole thing yet, but we’re keeping an eye on it! ($107 in, and then $75 earned from the Fiesta poster- to put actual numbers to it.)

Said Fiesta poster. This particular poster inspired the name for the Order of Cascorones (confetti eggs)- which nominates outstanding Fiesta volunteers. I enjoy going down research wormholes on all these things. Bought for $10 (or $15, I can’t remember) and sold for $75 with them picking it up.

Here is some of the other art we’ve picked up:

Original painting by Ken Harbaugh from the early to mid 80s, modern impressionist painter from the southwest. Paid $100.

So that painting there was listed for $295 at the estate sale and my husband talked them down to $100 because they could neither read the signature nor confirm if it was a painting or a print. (Sneakily I could confirm it was an original but did not share that with them.) Once home we researched and discovered who it was by and that it’s worth around $900! We went screaming back to the estate sale and missed buying the other one they had for sale by minutes. I guess it wasn’t meant to be. This one I love though and it’s my early Valentine’s Day gift from my husband, so no resale for this one!

Unsigned screenprint from an Estate resale shop- they didn’t know who the artist was either. Paid $15.

The above print we also got for our own collection (as we call it. We simply must get some monocles.). Wish we knew who the artist was! We went back this week and got another as a gift for my brother who has been having a bit of a rough go of it lately. He’s fine, but we wanted to give him a bit of a pick me up.

This one cost $20, and the frame was from Goodwill and cost $4.99. (Maybe if we ignore those floors in our closed in front porch for long enough we won’t have to sand the paint off at all!)

So this next one is also from Goodwill:

Paid $19.99 and that frame was good quality but also ugly.

So this next one I took a chance on because it was a little difficult to determine if it was original or not- and lucky me- once I opened it up back at home I was able to determine it is in fact an original pastel! It’s also 31″ wide- so that is massive for a pastel work too! Signature is SUPER hard to track down though as it’s just initials- AJ? AR? JB? It’s from 1999… I’m still trying to research. And it is lovely and beautifully done but I’m not sure I like the idea of ever getting comfortable with a picture of people picking cotton in my own house, you know? Just me? I’ll totally resell it but I have to learn more.

And then there are the ones I’m iffy about:

That is the most 80s thing ever. I paid $9.99

Okay so this next one is a is a signed and numbered Mary Ann Ginter lithograph that the print alone is going for $99 online. Turns out it’s a part of a pair of paintings- and if sold together the prints go for $1,200. (This one is called Mulberry Moon). I SERIOUSLY would like a word with the framer who looked at the mauvest painting ever and decided on a double mauve mat that was then framed in mauve metal and thought it was a good idea. (I’ve now said it too many times and the word mauve holds no meaning anymore) I KNOW if this is rematted in white it would look much more modern- it’s actually quite a nice work, though not in a color scheme that calls to me. (The moon is pretty on the nose for an 80s style though) But it already had broken glass! Should I even have gotten this one at all? Sure it sells for more than I paid for it, but how long will it take to actually sell? Time will tell.

And lastly we have the one I truly regret getting:

That is a signed and numbered print called Raggedy Ann by Carolyn Blish that is selling for $50-$99 online. Paid $6.99 and that mat and frame are crazy good quality.

I keep expecting to get up at 3am to pee and that little girl to be looking straight at me. Get this outta my house!

So there you go- that’s my new project and what I’ve been up to lately- will keep you posted as to how it goes!

5 thoughts on “A Catch Up…end of January Style

  1. I love this journey for you!!!! And for me, as a reader! Looks like you have such a good eye for this. My MIL has a friend who does something similar for a living now — it began as a side gig, with her lightly refurbishing furniture she found at estate sales and the like. Now she has her own shop and makes a pretty penny!

    That child with clown painting is SO creepy. Hoping you get all the excess art out of your house soon, in exchange for $$$.

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