Tuesday, June 24, 2008

HUGE garage sale

Okay everyone, the BIG GARAGE SALE is here. This weekend. Saturday
7am to-? And Sunday if we have lots left.

At Dennert Garage Door Co.
4785 E. Los Angeles Ave.
Simi Valley, Ca. 93063

Two drive ways to enter. Right on MAIN street with lots of traffic.

If you want to bring stuff to sell let me know. All I ask is that you
1- help make/put up signs. 2- pitch in for the ad ($20 in the Acorn,
already paid for by me). There were at least 5 families interested
before so the ad would be 1/5th of $20 if 5 people came. If you can't
afford to pitch in, that is fine too. 3- take home what is left since
the business will be open again on Monday and can't have clutter

There will be LOTS of stuff here that is mine or that we are selling
that is inside the offices.

Aprox. 15 boxes of homeschool books.
Aprox. 20 boxes of college text books.
Lots of vintage stuff like steamer trunks and small figurines.
Children's clothing.
Office furniture, cabinets, chairs, file folders, file cabinets (2
lateral ones).
Whole phone system. Paid over $25,000 for it (yes, that is the right
amount of zeros).
Forklift propane tanks.
Stained glass for garage doors (ones that they do not sell anymore).
Children's toys.
Couches and tables and desks.
Baby jogger.
5 bags of VHS movies.
Tv, vcr, tv wall mount stand.
Dishes and misc. utensils.

PLUS what ever other people decided to bring to sell too!

Please email or call me if you want to bring your own stuff to sell!

colors that are good for you from Dr. Sears

Color it nutritious! Teach your children that a colorful plate means lots of "grow foods." What a beautiful array of colorful fruits and vegetables! You can use this eyeful of color to your advantage by teaching your child to choose naturally colorful foods. The brightest colors are found in produce that is in season, fresh, and eaten raw or lightly steamed.
  • Play a color-matching game. What's in the reds? Why is it good for you?
  • Send your children out on a color-finding mission. When you're in the supermarket produce section assign one child orange and green, and another child gets the job of choosing two yellows! This can also be an excellent way of introducing new foods and getting variety into the family diet.
  • The vitamin game. When you serve fruits and vegetables, ask your children what vitamins and minerals they are high in, and why these are good for them.
  • Have children color the fruits and vegetables. Then have them paste them on a sheet of paper in groups according to their colors.
  • Have children draw pictures of food on paper plates. Are all the food groups represented? Use colorful markers.
  • Ask your children what color foods they ate today. Talk about each food and its color. "Did you eat your yummy yellows and great greens today?"
  • Create a "rainbow lunch," a tray full of colorful foods cut into bite-sized servings.
  • Kids remember colors. To get your children to appreciate the nutrient value of foods, teach them that colors mean healthy foods, or, in kid-language, "grow foods." Remind them: "Did you get your reds today?"
Colors Food Sources Nutrients Health Benefits
Red tomatoes
tomato sauce
guava juice
red peppers
Beta carotene
Vitamin C
Lycopene is a potent antioxidant and is one of the top ten anticancer carotenoids. It has been linked to reductions in the risk of prostate cancer. Anthocyanins have anti- cancer properties. Red peppers contain much more beta carotene (and more vitamin C) than green peppers.
Pink pink grapefruit Lycopene
beta carotene
Like lycopene, beta carotene is an antioxidant that is good for the eyes. It also reduces the risk of cancers and cardiovascular disease.
Orange or deep yellow apricots and peaches
(especially dried)
sweet potato
Beta carotene
vitamin C
Some orange/yellow vegetables, such as pumpkin and summer squash, contain the phytonutrient, lutein, which helps protect against degeneration of eye structure with aging. Carotenoids, like beta carotene, are the phytos that protect plants from sun damage. Perhaps they do the same for humans.
Dark green kale, other "greens" asparagus
romaine lettuce
green peppers
Beta carotene Dark green foods are rich in antioxidants.
Blue or dark purple blueberries
red wine
purple cabbage
Anthocyanin The pigment anthocyanin has anti-cancer properties.
Black or dark red black beans kidney beans Calcium
Black beans are higher in fiber and calcium; red beans contain slightly more iron.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Crazy eBay auction- Diet Coke with Lime

Okay, I did it. I posted something in the Totally Bizarre category on eBay.

Please view it, click 'watch this item' or even bid on it. There are a few outside websites that have the top bizarre things selling on eBay and I'd love to be listed on it so that others view me too!




Free Summer Fun

There are TONS of free things to do in the summer! You just have to keep an eye out! Here are a few;

Summer Reading Program with your local library. For around here it is the Ventura County Library System, www.vencolibrary.org There are magic shows, reptile shows, petting zoos, science shows and more. Last year we went to some at the Simi library and some at the Moorpark Library and between the two we went to about one a week or more.

Tomorrow we will be seeing Greg & Steve in concert for free. It is put on by the Moorpark Family First Five, Neighborhood for Learning. http://www.gregandsteve.com/ We saw Greg & Steve about 3 years ago at the Thousand Oaks Civic Art Center and the kids LOVED them! They are fun and have lots of energy!!!

Free moves at the Regal. Older movies but still fun to get out of the heat (it was 110 degrees F here today).

Carpool and go to the beach! YEAH!!!!

I'll post more things as time goes on too!!!


Ventura County Fair (and cheaper)

The BOOKS for the Ventura County Fair are out. I got one at the Simi library today. We are all excited. They have a category for kids for Legos and Bionics and Little D made something for it last year and I slacked and didn’t turn it in on time. LOTS of categories to enter. I was thinking of entering dried rosemary and lavender and fresh peaches and plums and maybe peach jam (all from my yard). Besides the Legos the kids want to enter some of the art ones. Most are just ribbions for winning things. Some are money but amounts are about $1-5 for kids stuff.

We are going with Somis Homestudy we have a FREE day (but we have to pay for parking). There is a second day we can attend that is only $1 too.

If you get the Ventura County Fair book or look on their website they have a thing for kids to do for free ride tickets too. Depending on the grade they have to read a certain amount of books and write or draw about it and can get a few ride tickets!

Last year United Blood Services (UBS) also were giving away wrist bands for unlimited rides for people that donated blood. I donated and got two friends to as well and Little D, Baby K and I all three got to go on all the rides we wanted for free! UBS called and asked me to donate blood last week (I’m on their Ready Team) and I asked about the wrist bands. They said they are doing them this year but it hasn’t started yet and they’d call me and let me know when!

We also brought lunch with us in a backpack with extra water bottles.

Parking is by car so if you can carpool with someone else that will save money too. OR the train tracks are right next to the fairgrounds and that is what we might do this year. It will save the gas driving and the kids will love it!

I still spent about $60-80 for the day on junk food and stuff like wax molds of our hands. Over all, we had a blast and spent the whole day there!


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

wierd crazy and bizarre on eBay

I have recently discovered that eBay has an 'everything else' category. This is for items that the seller could not find a category to fit the item they are selling. I have NO CLUE why these things sell. My brother thinks some are really people selling illegal substances. I can't say for sure. Some are just people bidding on crazy things for no reason at all.

Weird Stuff
Slightly Unusual
Really Weird
Totally Bizarre

Some things that I have seen lately;

an empty can of soda or energy drink. Selling anywhere from 99 cents to over $400. They say there is something 'extra' in the auction too since eBay ended the 'mystery gift' category.

A potato that looks like Mickey Mouse's head.

A bugger on a nose hair with a napkin (sold for about $6).

Someone shaving their kids and husband's head to raise money for the kids' wrestling team.

A piece of gum that is 33 years old and is the shape of a heart.

A jar of marbles that sold for $355.

Lots of silly, weird and strange stuff. BUT, do not look at with your kids around. There are some bondage/sex items and some photos with women in bikinis showing off LOTS of skin selling something completely different.

So, I'm going to try to list some soda cans! I will probably do it tomorrow! It can't hurt, right? We will see what happens!!!


How to be frugal and cut auction fees on eBay

It wasn't written by me but a great article on how to save money on the little 'pennies add up' things on eBay.


Friday, June 13, 2008

fun things for kids tomorrow- Touch-A-Truck

Tomorrow we are heading out to Thousand Oaks. The city is hosting its annual Touch-A-Truck. Aprox. a hundred different vehicles will be there for kids to touch, climb in, pretend to drive and pose in. Rescue helicopters, quads, garbage trucks, police cars, etc. Plus lots of other fun, related, stuff.

Whole Foods is hosting an author of a new book about having children that are high-needs on a glutton free, dye free and wheat free diet to help their behavior and they are doing tours of the store and taste testings.

and, Little D wants to bring his Build-A-Bear stuffed animals to the mall to get a special code for his two bears to use on their website (they have a website kind of like webkinz that Little D likes and if he gets this code he can have his own bear online too).

We have also been slacking on a project that I wanted to give to my mom for Mother's Day and my dad for Father's Day. So, since Father's Day is on Sunday I need to see if I can get my dad's done tomorrow.

It is a neat tissue box decorated with photos. I found the idea in Family Fun magazine. Here is the link to see it online. http://jas.familyfun.go.com/arts-and-crafts?page=CraftDisplay&craftid=11430

Hopefully we can get it done on time!


Fishing, to make me feel humble...

Inspirational video about a guy missing his legs, one arm and his hand...but he can still fish...

Need I say more? I feel very humble after watching this. I am thankful every day for my family, our health and the luxuries that we take for granted.

Neat website for helping others

I saw this really cool link in the Green Home & Family magazine.(June 08).

www.princessproject.org and www.rubyroomseattle.org and www.corsageproject.ca

These groups collects old prom and party dresses and donates them to girls that can not afford a prom dress. They help people that would otherwise skip the prom due to the fact that most prom dresses are $200 + plus accessories.

These groups collect dresses, shoes and the accessories throughout the year and make them available each spring. They have personal assistant shoppers that will help them pick out everything. One group, The The Corsage Project, even includes a make-up and hair consultation, a professional portrait, refreshments and goodie bags.


This makes me smile!

Tips for a successful garage sale

My cousin, Leslie, asked me for some tips on having a garage sale. I emailed her back and decided to post it here too, to share with others.

Okay. This probably won’t be brief but I’ll try to answer the best I can without being too long!

First, you MUST advertise. Around here there are a few places. The Pennysaver or the local newspapers are the best. We have the Ventura County Star, Daily Times and L.A. Times newspapers. The Ventura County Star is the best since it is more local for Simi Valley. Also, we have a small, once-a-week, newspaper called the Acorn that is great.

Choose one, the cheapest even, do not waste the money doing it in all of them.

Second, advertise for free. Here, again, the Pennysaver will let people put ads in for free if they are online only and not publicized in their weekly mailer. That link is www.pennysaverUSA.com. Second, Craig’s List, in your local area, is free. www.craigslist.com Things in both of these are viewed by order they are put in so put them in the day or night before the garage sale.

Third, SIGNS! Bright, visible, neat ones. They do not have to glow. Even brown cardboard with dark, thick, black print is good. Try to have the same format for all the signs so if someone is following them they will know that they are in the right direction for the same garage sale. Using arrows to point -> -> -> -> at the bottom is good too. You do not have to put your address # on all of them. Be brief. People ARE trying to read them from a moving vehicle!!!

Garage Sale (or some people prefer to say Yard Sale).
Saturday & Sunday
June 14 & 15

Something like that. If you are doing it one day only you can put Sat too. Around here some people do them Fri & Sat but barely anyone does them on Sunday since most people are at church and they get less traffic.

Put the signs up around 5:30-6am AND be prepared for people to stop by this early! Do not get set up first unless you are up at 4am. Do not put them up the night before. You’ll loose some due to moisture in the night and some might fall down or be pulled down. And, don’t forget to check with your city to see if you are allowed to put signs up.

Some people even park their cars on busy corners with garage sale signs in the back window of the car to get more traffic.

Next, there are two types of garage sales. 1- where you just want to clean and declutter and make a few bucks. And 2- where you want to make LOTS and are set on it. And, there are different types of customers. 1- people that go garage sale-ing every single weekend, at 5:30am and know all the ins and outs of it. Some of these do it for themselves. Some to sell stuff. Some will steal from you. Some will lie and tell you something of yours is broken and ask for a cheaper price since they will have to fix it first. 2- people that just happen to see the signs so decided to stop by. 3- people that like to go to garage sales but end up going around 10 or 11am. 5- people that show up at 2 or 3pm when you are DONE for the day and exhausted and you are ready to give it all away rather then to pack up what you still have! LOL! I’m usually the last two!

So, be prepared. Keep your cash in something like a fanny pack. Have loose change. Put large bills (when you are paid them) in your house. Keep your doors closed. I have had people walk into my house to check and see if things are for sale inside too! Things that are small and have lots of value keep close to you, on a table (not down by the mailbox where if you have lots of customers you will be distracted and not notice someone stealing it).

Call a local non-profit thrift store NOW to see if they can come on Sunday or Monday to pick up the things you have left and do not want. If you call Monday they might tell you to wait until Wednesday.

Prepare now. Decultter and put stuff in boxes now for the garage sale. Do not eyeball the house at 6am to see if there is anything left you want to put out there!

If you have other friends that want to participate, invite them. For people driving by, the most stuff the see out, the better. Ask if they’ll share the expense of the ads but if not, it is okay too. And, ask for them to make up 5 signs to put in the neighborhood too. You want them on both sides of the neighborhood, at all entrances to it, on the streets on the way to your house, and at the major intersections to your house. I’d say about 15-20 signs for a normal neighborhood. Do these ahead of time.

Books- sell for 50 cents-$1.00 each at beginning of day. Drop to a quarter to get rid of them by noon.

Videos that are VHS or DVD are usually about $1 each.

Studded animals 25 cents to 50 cents each for normal sized one.

Clothes, if name brand, like Gap or Old Navy- $1-2 each at the most. But most people sell for about 50 cents to $1.00. designer clothes, like Narajii, April Carnelli… shoot, there are lots others but I’m drawing a blank, haven’t sold clothes in a while, they are piling up in my living room! LOL! Anyways, these one sell for $1-2 or if something like a NICE, like-new, expensive winter snow ski jacket, you can ask $5-10 for it. But, things like this would probably sell better on eBay or on Craig’s List.

Try to not put a personal, sentimental value on an item since it is special to you and make the price higher! Some things are harder to sell then others.

Be prepared for almost EVERYONE to talk you down in price and so set your prices accordingly ahead of time. BUT, if your prices are too high, people might just leave instead of asking you to bargain.

Don’t forget to have lots of cold water to drink for you all, sunblock on and chairs to sit in too!

AND.. enjoy yourself. You will meet lots of nice, fun people. See neighbors that you've never met, nice old ladies, etc! Chat it up and have fun!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

eBay, save money at the end

Often I sell things on eBay that due to size and/or weight are pick-up only. This is up to you if you want to do this. Some people do not like to meet buyers face-to-face and do not want them knowing where they live or work (depending on where the item is you are selling). So, this is at your description. I figure that if someone did a Google search they'd find my name, dob, address, blood type and a million other things that should be private so my address isn't the end of the world but since it do not think it is safe to invite strangers into my home with me and the kids home I either bring the item to them, have it outside or in my garage already, or meet them in a parking lot or at my dad's work. The garage thing works if it is too big to move or have in my van and transport.

When you do have an item like this do NOT use Paypal! Think frugal! Paypal takes 3.9% plus 20 cents per transaction (right now, rates do change sometimes). So, on a item that you sell for $100 you are already paying eBay and now pay Paypal $4.10. I ask them to pay me cash and all but one was fine with that (he preferred Paypal or a cashier's check for his own buyer's protection).

I recently sold something and the buyer was in Chatsworth. The item was to heavy for me to really lift so I had a friend come over (thank you, Joe) and put it in my van for me and I brought it to the guy. I was already meeting my dad for lunch in the valley so it was only 15 minutes out of my way. Well, the buyer was so happy that I brought it to him that he paid me $91, the amount of the auction, PLUS he gave me $ 15 more for the gas! This was great to me!

I got paid to bring it to him. Didn't tell him my address. and avoided the Paypal fees. All for 15 more minutes of my time!


Name That Thing # 1 & 2

Okay, I often see things and I have no clue what they are or mean or are for! So, I have a new catagory- Name that thing! LOL!

I have two photos here. 1- on the way into the dairy farm, on our cheese tour field trip.

Looks like long pipes connected with big wheels (like size of wagon wheels) and I assume they roll forward and back in the fields. Not sure if it is a weird sprinkler system. To put pesticide on the crops, to help pick them....? No clue. I've seen them before in other places too!

2- Mud flap on Semi-Truck! Not sure if there is some code language here for other truck drivers that is funny!


Homeschooling field trip- How Cheese is Made

We went on a cool field trip on Friday, June 6th to see how cheese is made! We went to the Winchester Cheese Company and Dairy. All the cheese is Gouda cheese and was very yummy!

It was not close, took over 2 hours each way but we did have fun. We spent about 4 hours there so that with driving home took up almost the whole day.

We had a video to watch of the cheese being made. A tour of the building that makes the cheese (they were not making cheese that day), a tour of where the cheese is left to age, we visited all the cows and the place they are taken to be milked. AND we even got to see a barn owl very high up on the top of the hay building. I took some photos but it owl was so far away and in a dark spot so it was hard to see.

The kids loved the cheese tasting the best. They got to try 4 different kinds with some cinnamon pretzel sticks and apple slices.

Little D did not like the fact that all the cows had their horns surgecially removed. According to our tour guide 'they had a little surgery when they were very young'. Little D thought that the bulls shouldn't have to go through pain like that. I explained the pros and cons to it and he thinks the people should have had to watch being gourged rather then the cattle suffer from the surgery.

Another down side is the price of $6 per person. Seeing how much money they made in sales when the tour was done (guessing about $1000 or more) I think the tours should have been free or cheaper or credited back when someone made a min. purchase. BUT I bought 4 different types of cheese, garden, mild, sharp aged and smoked. I also bought a cheese making kit to make ricotta or mozzarella cheese. The kit was $22 but it makes 30 batches of cheese and looks easy and like lots of fun.


I had other things that I had wanted to do this day. There was a storage unit auction in Simi that I wanted to go to to see if there was any good things for eBay but I decided that sometimes I have to skip the things I need to do and let the kids have a day too!

Yikes! Gas prices

Okay, everyone has been complaining about the gas prices. I too know that they are high. Right now it takes over $100.00 to fill up my van (Chevy Astro). I bought my van in July of 2000 and back then it cost about $47-49 to fill up. I know my van does not get the same fuel economy as it used to but this is still aprox. double the price of gas in 8 years!

BUT, is it REALLY that expensive? My friend, Janine, was telling me about canceling her travel plans when visiting her family due to high gas prices. Well, I saw this great article and it put it into perspective in a different way. This is from Carschooling Ezine June 2008, Vol. 2, Issue 4. It is a free email list with YahooGroups and also she has her own book and website. Anyways, read below. Please post and tell me what you think!

Don't Be "Fuelish" By Letting Gas Prices
Spoil Your Family Fun!
Yes, gas prices are high, but don't let them cancel your family's summer vacation plans.

According to the California Energy Commission retail gasoline prices have increased an average of $0.87 a gallon since this time last year. Here's a word problem for your carschooler:

Question: If your summer road trip is 800 miles long and your car gets an average of 22 miles per gallon, and the cost of gas is $4.24 per gallon, how much will the gas for your road trip cost?

Answer: $154.18.

You'll pay $31.64 more for this year's summer road trip than last year's. Are you going to tell me you'd cancel a family vacation for thirty-two bucks? Feast on Ramen for one family meal instead of KFC and you'll have the extra cash you need.