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Friday, April 30, 2021

Zipper Von Zalez wraps up the AtoZ challenge


Zipper, our German wire-haired pointer, loves to play Frisbee. After I throw it, she will "Hollywood," standing for a second holding that pose. 

Greenhouse update reveals the plant growth during the past month. Here are the end of March images:

And the end of April image:

The war with the deer continues. I have wrapped the grape vines in chicken and other wire to keep them away. I rescued a few clumps of grapes from last year's crop. 

Thank you for visiting my blog during this challenge. My regular programming includes a focus on thrifting, quilting, and reselling, and I post regularly and often. 

For those of you who have been following along, I have included recipes from the 1954 edition of The Escoffier Cook Book. Ending with a recipe from my recipe file:

Zucchini Pizza
1-1/2 lbs. zucchini
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup each shredded Mozzarella and shredded sharp Cheddar cheeses
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 tsp. basic
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic salt

1 medium onion, chopped
1 (8 oz.) canned tomato sauce
2 tsp. oregano
1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/4 lbs. sliced mushrooms
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Shred zucchini (about 4 cups)l squeeze out any moisture. Mix with 1/2 cup each of Mozzarella and Cheddar cheeses, and eggs. Press into greased jelly roll pan, 10x15.

Bake at 350 degrees, 20-25 minutes until crust is dry and firn. 

Sprinkle salts in frying pan over medium heat; add ground beef, cook until crumbly. Add onion, cook until limp, discard fat. Stir in tomato sauce and oregano; spoon over zucchini crust. Arrange mushrooms and pepper strips on top; sprinkle with remaining cheeses. 

Bake at 350 degrees, 30 minutes until cheeses are bubbly.  Serves 6.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

You Get One Free Pass and One Time Around

My "Y" letter day has typically ending up being You Get One Free Pass. 

I have been wondering if my blog and these posts will be analyzed by someone in the future. Maybe in 2121 a retrospective on bloggers, a mere 100 years away. 

Will our social media footprint survive into the future? Or will there be so. much. information. that our blip in time will be forgotten? 

Here, I have given you all of the reseller, eBay tips and yet I have to reveal that my sales overall are down. I don't find it surprising. We are all sort of like chickens being let out of the coop. Will you be doing lots of indoor activities now? My mindset is I want to Go, Go, Go. I realized I have always enjoyed driving and I make excuses to travel to nearby cities on some of California's most scenic routes (Highway 49) and other highways in Amador County. 

I believe there is an overall change in attitude of those of us who have survived intact the last year+. We want to be outside and going places, and seeing things, and being with our people. 

You only get one time around. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Xena Saves the X letter Day

Xena, cat number three, holds a star position for this letter day. As the oldest and most regal, she gets a haircut each spring to remove most of her winter coat!


It is long process as she will only allow a few minutes a day, when I can catch her, to trim her fur with barber's scissors. 

Small for a Maine coon, she has held her own for many years in this tough rural environment.
There she is next to the henhouse in need of repair. 

On a totally different topic, page views are up, up, up! Not sure if I was discovered by another AtoZ participant or someone has linked back to my blog. Hiddee ho to all of you new and returning visitors!

Sales are down, down, down. Mainly all of my listed items on eBay are centered around staying at home. I think people have had their fill of home and want to go, go, go. I know that I do. Next month, I will finally be able to visit my 93 year old mother who resides in an assisted living center. She is allowed the leave the center during the day but is not allowed to stay anywhere overnight. We will make the best of day road trips. 

As an aside, I am a Yuge Xavier Cugat fan. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Wall/cubicle quilted coverings and the Weird Ones

April's quilted wall covering
Motif - kitty cat print fabric

In my former life (aka pre-remote working), I occupied a cubicle in a state building in Sacramento and decorated my cubicle space with quilted wall coverings. Now, I pin the coverings to hanging tapestry that covers my mirrored closet doors in my remote office/bedroom. 

My last on-site cubicle cover.
This one was done in upholstery fabric.

This mini quilt was given to a friend.

A Valentine's One

Last month's motif
Pre-printed quilt block fabric

Pieces of the Past mini quilt
Included lots of retro fabric

In past challenges, my "W" posts served as the Weird and Wacky in the World of Thrift. There simply wasn't enough to populate this post 'cept for this piece de resistance.

Horsehead made of unknown material
offered at an online auction

I do have a story about a recent weird one. I chalk it up to competitors not liking how I price my sewing patterns. This person complained about shipping so I changed it from parcel post to first class (cheaper) and said they could make an offer if the cost was still too high. 

I get an email back that the shipping cost is $1 too expensive. REALLY? Total cost is maybe $15 tops. I used that little feature called "blocking the buyer." I have had the most pushback on the shipping price for my sewing patterns. 

I am just a gal that wants to retire someday. 

Since it is "W" day round the AtoZ Challenge, I am sharing a recipe from The Escoffier's Cook Book

Waldorf Salad

Take equal quantities of russet apples and celeriac (knob celery), both cut into dice, and halved and peeled walnuts, soaked in fresh water for one-quarter hour, and well drained. 

Season with clear mayonnaise sauce. 

Monday, April 26, 2021

Very Important Items for the Victorious Reseller

The following are Very Important Items, at least for the ones I list on eBay. 

Scotch tape. I spend a lot of time taping up dust jackets for books and repairing sewing pattern packets. 

Glue. Mainly used to repair the spines on books. Certainly not a sanctioned book rehabilitator, but it works. 

Goo Gone. Removes sticky, gummy, gooey problems (not a paid promotion). Sometimes labels will not become unstuck and there is yuck all over otherwise good CD cases. 

Vogue sewing patterns are my best selling and I delight when I find them in the thrift shop wild. Here is a recent listing.

I will be out of town next month so I put my eBay store on Vacation Mode. We will see how that plays out. 

Sharing a recipe from The Escoffier Cook Book (pub. 1954).


Finely mince the white part of four medium-sized leeks. Put this into a pot with one oz. of butter, and stew gently for a quarter of an hour. Then add three medium-sized quartered potatoes, cut into slices the thickness of a quarter. Moisten with one pint of white consomme; add the necessary quantity of salt, and set to cook gently. When about to serve, finish the soup with one pint of boiled milk and one and one-half oz. of butter; pour into soup-tureen, and add twelve slices of French dinner rolls, cut as thinly as possible. Add cream and chill. 

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Unlisted and U

All the Unlisted items are just waiting to be offered for sale. 

This U post had me stumped. There is always one or two letters in the challenge that give me trouble. 

U would be surprised at how much maintenance your body requires as you age. Hands and feet are easy to ignore, but you shouldn't. Diet and exactly what you eat moves to the forefront. U wake up some mornings and discover you have injured yourself while sleeping! Aging is fraught with many perils. 

Ursulines de Nancy

Prepare some barquette crusts.

Mould some chicken forcemeat into large, round, regular quenelles, and poach them in some white consomme, in time for them to be ready when the Ursulines are finished. 

A few moments before serving, garnish the barquette crusts with foie-gras puree, thinned with a little good half-glaze, flavored with port or sherry wine. In the middle of each garnished barquette, set a well-drained mousseline quenelle; decorate each quenelle with a thin and wide slide of truffle; set a small heap of asparagus tis, mixed with butter, at either end of the barquettes, that is to say, on either side of the quenelle; and slightly coat the latter with chicken glaze finished with butter. 

Serve, separately, a sauceboat containing some of the same chicken glaze with butter. 

The Escoffier Cook Book

Friday, April 23, 2021

Thrifting and Terapeak Research

I haven't shared recently my thrifting scores. There are sewing patterns, quilting books, a needlework kit, and material - all of my favorite things. I look through the quilting books now, pure eye candy, then list them for sale. 

Terapeak Research is a tool offered to eBay store subscribers. One can search "solds" in any category. As an example, I entered "crocheted blankets" and found recent sales in the past 30 days ranged from $15 to $60. The black outlined colorful granny square ones are the most popular. 

I try to pick unusual recipes from The Escoffier Cook Book, this one qualifies. 

Tongue Toast

Prepare some slices of bread, equal in thickness, and toast them. Now garnish with a coating, half as thick as the slices themselves, of mustard butter. Cover the butter with thin slices of very red, cured and smoked tongue, and let the butter harden. 

Stamp out the pieces of toast with a star-shaped fancy cutter. Finally, make a rosette of mustard butter in the middle of each piece of toast. 

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Sourcing is what it is called nowdays, and second cat Susie

What used to known as thrifting is now known as Sourcing. I think I am Over Sourced right now. If you can't keep up with listing your product, you've got to Stop Buying. *grins*

On to my middle cat is Susie. She was an adoptee from the local shelter. That is what they named her and I decided not to change that. 

She proved her worth within the first two weeks. She caught a baby rattlesnake and was playing with it when I took it away from her and dispatched it. She is not fond of the other 2 cats and spends her days hunting. 

The world just wouldn't be right if I didn't include sewing patterns. I keep the older the better ones - even if just for the graphics on the pattern packets. Here is my recent slew to join my collection. All of them are undated but I place them as late 1950s, early 1960s.

Recipe of the day from The Escoffier Cook Book (1954).

Springtime Breezes (Brise du Printemps)

Take some violet-flavored, slightly iced whipped cream, and set in small dessert dishes, by means of a spoon. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Returns and Rhubarb Crisp

"Returns," the dreaded word for any reseller. I sell such unique specialty items and offer 60 day returns. I had 2 returns in 2020, so far 0 in 2021. 

Sharing a recipe I tore from a Parade magazine. 

Rhubarb Crisp

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Quilting and all that

Sneaking in Quilting on this Q letter day for the AtoZ Challenge. One of my passions even though I leave the heavy-lifting of block creation to others. I buy blocks and fabric at thrift. This one is Dresden Plate block Meets Batik Bali Pop. I bought the Dresden Plate ones, along with 11 applique flower blocks and some other orphan blocks from a mystery quilter. If I remember right, I sold some of the blocks to cover my original $40 investment. 

All I had to do was square up the blocks, and add the borders and sashing. The Batik Bali Pop fabric collection was cut into 2-1/2" strips. The Dresden plate blocks were hand appliqued by original quilter. All look to be vintage fabrics used in the Dresdens. 

Lucky photobombed this shot, as cats are want to do. 

Now that the weather has warmed, I can complete more sewing projects. Spring and summer allow me to spend time in the sewing studio where it is cool and comfortable.
The kitty in a Princess teacup print will be my backing. 

The 11 flower applique blocks will require some work. Some of the flowers are just basted on and need some hand sewing. 

My quilt books have been going up for sale. My tastes have changed since I began quilting a few years ago. Specialty quilt books are particularly popular on resell. 

Quince Jelly

Select very ripe fruit; cut it into slices; peel and seed these, and throw them into a basin of fresh water. 

Then put them into a preserving kettle with three and half pints of water per lb. of quinces, and cook them without stirring. This done, transfer them to a sieve, and let them drain. Return the juice to the pot, together with twelve oz. of sugar per lb.; dissolve the sugar; and set the whole to cook on a hot fire, meanwhile skimming with care, until the nappe stage is almost reached. 

As soon as the jelly is cooked, strain it through a piece of muslin stretched over a basin; and by this means, a perfectly clear jelly will be obtained. 

The Escoffier Cook Book

Monday, April 19, 2021

Photographing the Product and eBay Promotions

Photographing the Product, or putting your stuff up for sale. This is where the work comes in. Photographing, editing and creating the listings takes time. I will not lie. My sewing patterns are easy peasy because I scan them in and they require very little editing. 

Here is one book I have listed for sale and how I photographed the side binding.

One feature I utilize monthly in my eBay marketing are Promotions or Markdown sales. When stock goes stagnant, I deeply discount from 30 to 50 percent off.  

Pidgeon Pie

Line the bottom and sides of a pie dish with very thin, flattened slices of lean beef, seasoned with salt and pepper, and sprinkled with chopped shallots. 

Set the quartered pidgeons inside the dish, and separate them with a halved hard-boiled egg-yolk for each pidgeon. Moisten half-way up with good gravy; cover with a layer of puff pastry; brush with egg; press down the rim; make a slit in the top, and bake for about one and one-half hours in a good, moderate oven. 

The Escoffier Cook Book

Saturday, April 17, 2021

One Percent, Offers and Organization

Less than one percent of what I source/buy to sell goes back to thrift. When I look critically at what I have to list for sale, sometimes the item gets the heave ho. 

Another low percent regarding reselling is my returns, less than one percent. I offer 60-day returns. As one reseller put it, "Who is going to return on day 59?" 

I also list nearly all of the listing on eBay with Best Offer. The buyer can make a Best Offer and I can choose to accept or not. There is also a feature to Send Offers to buyers. When a buyer shows interest, the seller is notified and can send eligible offers. I try to discount at least $5 or more on a send offer. 

Let's talk organization. I have a She Shed Trailer where nearly all of my sourced product resides. I buy lined baskets at thrift. Some use a bin method, where product is organized into bins. I believe some also use a UPC system, where items are scanned in and out. Mine are alphabetical by product. 

Ending this day's post with a recipe from The Escoffier Cook Book for:

Ox Tail a L'Avergnate

Section the tail and braise it in white wine. Prepare a garnish of rectangles of lean bacon, large chestnuts cooked in consomme and glazed, and small onions cooked in butter. Put the section of the tail in an earthenware cocotte with the garnish. 

Friday, April 16, 2021

Numbers and Why They Add Up to Becoming a Reseller

By now, you may have read a few of my reseller-related posts. If you are a thrifter, or if you want to reduce the number of collectibles you've gathered over the years [I fell into both of those categories], then you should consider listing those items on eBay. 

I still shop for myself when I thrift. Since I began reselling, more and more of the items that I buy secondhand are for listing. The numbers just can't be ignored. I buy items ranging in price from 49 cents to $2 on average. I list the items ranging from $5 to whatever the market will bear. I have made $5,000 in the past 12 months. Another way to represent it - my net sales average $300 a month. That is money on the ground $300 a month. Granted, there is work involved and I hope I have conveyed that concept. 

There is also the fun side of having the eBay app on your phone. Every time you make a sale, if you have notifications turned on, you will hear "Cha-Ching!" I also like to see what trends in sales. Vintage cookbooks are selling like hot cakes. Sewing patterns are slow and steady. CD sales surprise me too. It all boils down to having something for sale that is either rare, trending, or in short supply.

My goal is net $500 a month. I want to build that Big Red Barn and/or buy that property by the ocean. 

Nesselrode Pudding

To an English custard, add eight oz. of a smooth, chestnut puree, and four oz. of currants and sultana raisins plumped in tepid water, and candied orange peel and cherries, cut into dice; these four products should be in almost equal quantities, and should have been previously steeped in sweetened Madeira. 

The Escoffier Cook Book

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Managed Payments and the Multimedia Challenge

What are Managed payments on eBay? My version? Frankly, it is an easier system for me. Prior to Managed Payments on eBay, I would have to log in to PayPal and request monies I had earned. I also had not one but two PayPal accounts. I think something hinky happened there. I avoid PayPal now, their customer service being the worst in the business. 

At the eBay store level, there are special marketing tools, such as Markdown Manager. You can offer discounts on certain categories of items, or single items. 

One of the challenges within the challenge is the "Multimedia Challenge," to add a video short (5-30 seconds) to your post. Linking to my "J" post with my little snippet. 


Marquis Potatoes

Take one lb. of croquette paste and add six oz. of very red, thick tomato puree. Pour this mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large, grooved tube, and squeeze it out upon a baking tray in shapes resembling large meringue shells. 

Slightly brush their surfaces with beaten egg and put them into the oven for a few minutes before using them to decorate the dish. 

The Escoffier Cook Book

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Little Lucky update and eBay Listing Templates

Little Lucky is highlighted today. She is one of 3 cats that own us (cat owners know what I mean). At 8 months old, she is the youngest and most persnickety of the three. Here are links to posts about her Lucky update 1 Lucky update 2 Lucky update 3.

She was recently spayed, you can just see the shaved portion on her lower belly. 

When one upgrades to a Basic Store, there is the ability to create Listing Templates. I use these all the time. If I have a unique item, I just create a single listing without using a template. 

Leaving you with a recipe for Lark Pate

For this hors-d'oeuvre use the ready-made pate, which is obtained either in earthenware pots or in crusts. Thorough congeal it by means of ice; turn it out of its receptacle, cut it into very small and thin slices, and arrange them on an hors-d'oeuvre dish with a little chopped aspic-jelly in the middle.  

The Escoffier Cook Book