Sunday, January 25, 2015

How do you clean Blendo?

The local Goodwill confuses me. I will go in four times and leave empty handed but on the fifth visit need a basket:

Nesting heart bowls - 2.99
Blendo glasses - .99 each
Frog in jar - .49(!!!)

I've been regretting selling last summer's frog but this makes up for it! Its the exact same glass top but Goodwill had it stuck on top of a seasoning jar. I have a teeny Ball mason jar (about an inch tall) which I plan to fit it into when its empty.

How would you clean the marks off these glasses? I tried a magic eraser and it left one like new but the other two have these little grey scuffs. I'd normally break out the Barkeeper and his friend but I don't want to rub off the pretty coloring. Blendo stuff is so pretty I never sold last year's bowl either.

These are marked RHP - which I believe is Red Hot Pottery on etsy. They are super cute but may not flip for much profit.

I am still talking about it at the Thriftasaurus:

Saturday, January 24, 2015

My first day with a hearing aid

After my audiologist's visit I was ecstatic, grinning from ear to ear and not even flinching when I handed over the Discover for a $350 deposit. I would be able to hear again! It wouldn't be perfect and there would be external hardware but I've never been accused of vanity.

A cast was made by filling my ear with what felt like whipped cream dispensed from a caulking tube. They would ask for the aid to be rushed - it could be there by the next Friday!

Well it wasn't there the next Friday so we rescheduled for yesterday at 12:30. At 11:30 I was shopping when my cell rang. It was the receptionist, informing me Fed Ex had not arrived yet but my aid was due. They would call back when he arrived, regardless of how late it was so I could pick it up. I milled around and she called back twenty minutes later - it was in the office and our original 12:30 appointment was still on.

I'd overly milled, anticipating not having to be somewhere at 12:30 so I ended up being five minutes late. It was ok, he was just finishing up with another patient.

The audiologist was beaming when he greeted me. I walked in, my stomach suddenly feeling famished, as if I hadn't eaten in days rather than hours. I heard a small amount of static coming from the desk and assumed it was the computer setting up the new hearing aid.

That's when I realized - the sounds were coming from the aid itself and would always be there unless it was turned off or inside my ear.

My excitement vanished and I felt numb. He fit the aid in my ear and showed me how to insert and remove it myself. He held up a mirror and I smiled but all I could think was how could I live with something so LOUD inside my head?

We did various tests to see what channels I preferred and what levels I could tolerate.

I experimented with my voice, at first reciting the alphabet and when that took too long stating random facts, "My name is Anny and my birthday is November 14."

The audiologist beamed and smiled and was thrilled when I said I could, indeed hear from the left ear. I suppose my reaction was less than he expected because at some point he exclaimed "You're hearing!"

Then he showed me how to clean and care for the device and offered pointers based on his own experience. I hadn't noticed he wore a hearing aid the first time we met.

Almost an hour passed and he set me up for a follow-up appointment the next Friday. "If you feel completely comfortable you don't even need to come in," he gushed. I was slightly more skeptical.

At the receptionist desk we made small talk about the impending snowfall and her sons while my payment went through, she inserted paperwork on warranties and care into my manila folder carefully labelled "Hearing Aid." I'd been wearing the aid for about an hour with some brief stops while I experimented with its care and learned how to swap batteries. My ear already felt tired, as if I'd been to an action movie and not in a carpeted office with only two other people.

I left worried. My car door closing startled me. The turn signal's clicking made me wince. I was driving the same car I've driven for over eight years but suddenly it felt like I drove a garbage truck. I had errands to run so I spent the next hour at Office Depot and Staples. At Staples the loudspeaker and constantly ringing phones reverberated through my head.

Remembering the high statistics of people who left thousands of dollars in hearing aids lay around inside drawers I was determined to get through this. The audiologist had said it would take me about four days to get acclimated and for my brain to accept the new signals but at this point I couldn't believe him. My right ear was fine and the left had functioned spectacularly for 36 years and had  been out of commission for less than four months. How could my brain have forgotten to hear?

Not a good red

I came home and pulled out the hearing aid. My ear was red and the entire side of my face ached from the reverberations.

"Something is wrong," I thought "the volume is too high. Maybe my loss was too high for an aid."

I left the hearing aid off for about an hour and everything returned to normal. I couldn't hear but I was safely home, with its predictable steady routine. My face stopped hurting. I googled hearing aids and pain. A few sites suggested new users only keep their aid in for 4-5 hours at a time in order to become acclimated. I left a voicemail for the chatty secretary who's recorded voice told me offices were closed on weekends. "Something is wrong, "I said into the void "I'm in pain and taking the hearing aid out until Monday when I can see the audiologist again."

I set my new aid inside its shiny black case and contemplated for a while. That small box cost more than my first few cars combined.

I had my meeting at 7 so at 6:30 I braced myself and turned my aid back on. It immediately started sending out tinny sounds of feedback. I steeled myself and put it in my ear. I zipped my coat, prepared to be overwhelmed by the sound but this time it didn't happen. I closed my car door and marvelled at how "door-like" it sounded. I sat in the driveway and tinkered. My turn signal sounded normal!

HUZZAH! I thought, regretting my voicemail, everything is normal!

Except it wasn't and honestly still isn't. I left the aid in for another 4-5 hours last night and put it back in this afternoon. My ear canal feels very tired and the letter "I" makes my ear shake. The "S" sound feels like a gentle massage. I made it for about a minute while driving earlier, massaging my ear as I would rub a sore muscle after exercise.

I'm worried the ache in my ear from the aid won't go away. I'm worried such loud vibrations will damage something else in my head. I'm worried because after all the uncertainty this is what's left - me alone sitting at a computer listening to my hearing aid and waiting for this to become normal.

Friday, January 23, 2015

I look great in these glasses!

Just when I thought the Salvation Army had nothing for me:

Coffee pot: 2.99
Sugar bowl: .99
Creamer: .99
Silver rimmed glasses: .49 each

Pair of new grey curtains: 5.99

There were about 16 glasses but these eight were in perfect condition. The others all had various degrees of damage on the silver. These are FANCY!

The coffee pot had its original sticker, which sold me on the sale. Unmarked breakables sell but it takes much longer.

We probably don't need grey curtains but I never see grommets on thrift store curtains.

Did you see the new promotion? Up to 1000 free listings INCLUDING 30 day listings! I love these glasses but they take a lot of space and I need stuff to ship out!

I shared with and

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Guess who works at a thrift store now?

I didn't think I had this much stuff until I gathered it to tally! Surprisingly nothing is for the Bay but a disturbingly large amount for my nieces. I need more nieces to distribute this stuff amongst or to start donating some back. Donating would probably be easier.

While my nieces still love My Little Pony, they tell me they are now "into" the Powerpuff Girls. Well the first grader speaks for both of them.

Speaking of first graders, under the PF Girls are some vintage Goosebumps books for my cousin's son down in Fl. I read these in 4th and 5th grade so I'm impressed they don't scare him into a wet bed!

This set is killing me! Is this a treehouse, a school, a playground? Little People stuff is normally so easy to identify but I can't figure this one out. Plus it turns out vintage Little People aren't that pricey. I may take this back to redonate.

Finding this guy took less than a second, thanks to high speed internet. Good thing he was only a quarter, since eBay doesn't want him.

We already lost pieces to the original Pretty Pretty Princess. Don't judge!

This attaches to the train which I bought the other day. Going to look for this led to the Great Toy Downfall of Today.

I didn't want to say anything until it was official but you guys know how I've been volunteering at the little thrift store? Well as of last week I am now an assistant manager :O Its my same three hours a week so I won't be maxxing any Roths but I have a lot of fun and that's sometimes worth more than money :)

I am telling Sir Thrift all about it:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Well that was anti-climactic

So it turns out buying storage containers willy-nilly is not a good idea. Case in point:

Large cabinet drawer - $13.99
Medium cabinet drawer - $11.99
Cosmetic organizer - $4.99
Plastic bins - $1 each

Stuff I needed? None of that.

I keep my hair stuff on a ledge inside the sink cabinet:

My original idea was to put it all in the bin with a handle so I could pull it out and set it on the sink when I'm messing with my hair. On the other side of the cabinet I could put one of those nifty silver sliding drawers like so:

Three problems right off the bat:

1. The large sliding drawer was too tall and hit the pipe
2. Dollar store bins are too flimsy to hold the amount of gel curly folks use
3. A sliding drawer is superfluous since its easier just to reach down and pick something up

End result:

The empty space is for my husband's razor, which he has out right now due to ...shaving. We decant the q-tips into a container kept behind the mirror.

It turns out the problem with this area was just the amount of stuff which did not need to be here - sunburn gel (hello winter!), 80% empty air fresheners, multiple half empty boxes of the same stuff, etc. I was very happy to find several "missing" hair clips and even my manicure set buried in there!

I used the Dollar Tree containers in the upstairs bathroom sink. The red one is holding my flat iron and the assorted nonsense a curly haired person needs when their hair is straightened. I threw away some makeup and put the rest in the purple container. The brown mini pot holds safety pins and I put my spare bottles of nail polish remover at the front so I will stop thinking I am out.

Even though this sink looks much more organized all I did was take the cotton balls downstairs and empty these two glass containers I used in my old house to hold flossers and cotton. Easy peasy.

I could have organized this all yesterday without needing to go shopping. I just didn't want to tackle it and really see what was going on.

The Dollar Tree really has an insane amount of plastic storage. Unfortunately I only found one of the bins from yesterday and the manager at one store said he hasn't seen them in a long time. It makes sense since most of the stories about these stack able containers are about a year old.

I bought one of the boxes of impatiens mix. The ones in our yard were so beautiful last year and I am looking forward to saving money AND growing more flowers this year.

I also went into Big Lots looking for storage containers but all I bought were 90% off Christmas stuff - .20, .40 stockings and .30 wire ribbon for our porch steps ... the next time its winter!

How did your undersink adventures go?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Don't look under the sink!

Today's assignment is to clean out under the sinks. Uh oh. When we moved in a year and a bit ago my husband and I shoved stuff under the sinks and kinda forgot about it. I was trying to remember what we keep under there and asides from my hair products and retainer cleaner I couldn't!

Here's a scary picture:

I didn't even know those cleaning supplies were on the top left shelf! I see a Scrubbing Bubbles shower cleaner we can't use in our shower without changing the showerhead AND a refill for it! I see my old Clearasil dispenser, which would be great except the refills aren't being made any longer.

Most of this stuff should be kept in the bathroom but the way we're going about doing it is chaotic. The last time I used the hair dryer I couldn't figure out where to put it back so I consciously decided to just throw it in and hope nothing spilled or broke!

Remember we have a second floor bathroom? The undersink is not any better up there:

Most of this came from the bathroom in my old house and I just didn't know what to do with it. There are a few things I could throw away but its mostly serving as storage for stuff I don't use as often and/or until what's in the sink downstairs runs out.

I turned to Pinterest and at first organizing ideas all fell into the "shove in into covered bins" school of thought. Storage containers with lids are my kryptonite. Many a leftover has gone to a trashcan because I can't forget those things open and contain stuff.

Then I came across:

AWESOME! As I was debating how much this set-up costs I came across someone who did the same with Dollar Tree containers:

There isn't as much vertical clearance between containers but I can live with it.

Even though some of the January Cure assignments are tough (I still haven't cleaned every floor in the house) I really appreciate how they ask us to deal with overlooked spots in our homes. These small little black holes create stress and avoidance. Consider me - I've decorated the house for at least six separate holidays and change curtains seasonally. Until today I haven't looked at the undersinks and really thought about how to increase their functionality and practicality.

A trip to Ye Olde Dollar Tree is in order and an update later on.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Everything is falling apart these days

Remember how I said I needed physical therapy for my neck and shoulders? The oral surgeon thought it stemmed from clenching whenever I experience ear pain or tinnitus. Spoiler alert: I do it a lot.

So I started and its a lot of the same exercises the Wii puts me through when I decide to work out with it. There are plenty of stretches involving exercise bands and supporting myself and a bike with hand pedals:

I used it for ten minutes, which was slightly over a mile and burned less than 30 calories. Less than THIRTY! I had to stop at least three times too. It turns out eBaying is a passive verb, not a calorie burning verb ;)

So I am supposed to go three times a week for four weeks. The physical therapist says it will probably be closer to two months because my scoliosis is exacerbating the problem. I forgot I had scoliosis because its so slight and doesn't affect me normally.

Honestly, I've been to more doctors since the hearing loss started than I went all through my twenties together!