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Yard Sale

17 Sep

September Is Too Late For Any Yard Sale Success

Ed, my neighbor next door, has been getting cranked up for harvesting and bubbling over with impatience about anything and everything. “You should know better than to hold a yard sale in September,” he told me last week. According to my neighbor, September yard sales are a bust, and not only will no one come out but people won’t even take stuff away if it is free. All I could say was that Ed could be right, and he, of course, assured me that he was, and I would learn the hard way. Weather dictates the willingness of yard sale shoppers to come out. I told Ed that those holding September yard sales need to pray and hope.

“Prayer and hope are just as valuable as spit against a tornado,” my neighbor informed me. “Common sense needs to replace prayer, and good planning is better than hope. People cannot expect prayer and hope to make up for poor planning and dumb decisions,” Ed said.


9 Sep

The Smallest Detail Can Derail the Greatest Home Project

Ed, my neighbor next door, saw that both my wife and I were stressed last week. We were white and grim with resolve to complete three, long-overdue, basement projects. Measure twice cut once should guarantee success but is never foolproof for me. We had a small wall to frame and cover with drywall. There was also an opened-mouth, large closet that needed filling with doors, and a considerable amount of quarter-round trim that needed to be added to finish the floors in a couple of rooms. Ed knows I love to garden, cut lawn and trim hedges, but that I approach home renovations with all the enthusiasm of a prisoner on death row. Hand eye co-ordination has always been pretty poor for me and cutting things straightly, a failing grade.

A regular handyman would have had all our three jobs done in a day or two. I had a feeling it could takes us a couple of years, but I didn’t say so, as my wife was already taking Tylenol after the first hour. My neighbor believes some of us folks are pretty useless at carpentry, and I think he is right in my case. It is hard for Ed to have patience towards those who lack building skills when he finds it easy to construct things. What is a labor of love for one person is a labor of distress for another person. Some folks seem to be good at everything while, others are relieved to be average at anything. Ed could tell when we finished our projects last week because we went from white in stress to normal again. I happily dug a row of potatoes with no stress at all. Overdue projects humble a person because a small detail like measuring exactly correct can derail hopes of ever getting the work done.


3 Sep

Some Folks Have More Wisdom to Share Than Solomon


Ed, my neighbor next door, was telling me that some of his relatives have always called him ‘Cousin Solomon,’ even though, his name has always been Ed. His uncle Harry in Edmonton once said that Ed had more wisdom to share than Solomon. Ever after that event, more than a few of his relatives have called him, Cousin Solomon. Ed is still sharing his wisdom on everything to this present day.        I met Ed last week at city hall, along with lots of other folks, present there to pay our property taxes. Ed shared with me that he believed the real reason for Robin William’s death was due to taxes. When I asked Ed, if Robin Williams had to pay a lot of personal and property taxes, his answer was probably! He explained that since taxes are so high here in Melville SK, they must be exorbitant in California. He ended by saying that since Melville’s taxes keep going up like a never ending addiction, we will all soon be suffering severe depression like Robin Williams suffered.

I mentioned to Ed when I was talking to him that I had an abundance of plums and apples this year, and he was welcome to some. He had been watching the apples on my tree getting ripening from his yard, and it seemed that I had enough apples for all of Melville. I said that I was thrilled with the abundance of apples and plums we have this summer. Cousin Solomon said that he has seen me picking up apples from the ground, and he does not want any apples that have fallen off the tree. I was quick to say that I was inviting him to pick his apples and plums from our trees. I wasn’t surprised when Ed said that picking fruit was women’s work, and he would ask Ruby if she wanted to pick any fruit. My neighbor then added it was men’s work to eat an apple pie, or apple sauce, or plum jam when the fruit was perfected. Like Ed, we all have our thoughts and opinions on what is wise and what is foolish.   


20 Aug

Buying and Selling Take Tool Long On The Internet

                 Ed, my neighbor next door, is always looking for a bargain. He is an auction addict and sometimes even has some appetite for yard sales if he is not busy at the farm. Once again, my neighbor shared with me how disappointed he was with the way we recently had our van up for sale. “Do you really think you’ll ever sell your van with that sign in the window of it?” was his first question. Second he asked, “How much do you want for it?” Third question he quizzed, “How much are willing to take for it?” Before Ed could ask me ten more questions, I asked him, “Do you want to buy my van?” I was ready for his answer which was that he would never buy a van because he only drives trucks. While I had him on a two second pause, I told him that he should buy our van for his wife Ruby. “She wouldn’t be interested in it,” Ed insisted. I told Ed that it was fine because it was advertised on four internet websites. “When they don’t work take it to the Yorkton Auction Center,” Ed instructed as left me alone with my van.

                After a week and no sale of the van, Ed said that in the summer, the weather is too nice and no one is on the internet. He was truly skeptical that we were receiving calls and emails concerning the van. By the end of the second week, my neighbor said, “I haven’t seen anyone test driving your van so I guess those calls and emails are worthless when it comes to selling your van!” When our van had not sold in two weeks, my neighbor said the internet ads were useless but he was impressed to hear they were free. According to Ed, eighteen days to sell our van was way too long. We were really pleased with how the selling our van went even if our neighbor was not impressed. 


20 Aug

Downsize! It is Easy to Donate, Sell, or Garbage Your Stuff!

                Ed, my neighbor next door, actually entered my office last week. My office is tucked away in the basement of our house, and it is also the furnace room and the water heater room. No one usually gets into my office except me and our two cats. Occasionally, my wife yells from the office doorway but seldom enters as she says that you need a guide to get in and out my office. Ed was a bit speechless at the sight of my office. He wasn’t at a loss for words long. He said, “It looks like your office is a dumping ground for a lot of junk you could do without.” All I could say was that I had heard that observation before.                                                

I informed my neighbor that I had started a six-month project to de-clutter my office. “If you see any book that you would like there is a good chance it can be yours for the taking,” I said to him. Ed was not impressed as he said that his school days put him right off books just like church puts folks off God. I offered him a music stand as I have two, and even offered him one of my paintings as I have an office full of them. He said he had no need for a music stand and my paintings were either too religious or too abstract. He had come to the office with a paper he needed witnessing, and as soon as we did that he had to leave. It was the first time Ed experienced feelings of claustrophobia. My office is windowless and pretty much standing room only. He thought that his visit could give him nightmares. His worst nightmare would entail being locked in my office, with endless books that he had to read before he could get out of the room.                            

Picking Raspberries

13 Aug

Work After Supper in the Cool of the Evening to Beat the Summer Heat

Ed, my neighbor next door, has been relaxing in the shade of his yard watching me pick raspberries. He has been scoffing because I have been harvesting my raspberries after supper when the heat of the day is a bit less intense. I have been named an old flower child of the sixties who is afraid of the full sun of the day now by my neighbor. This year, my raspberries are both plentiful and a challenge to pick. All the rains in early summer encouraged relentless new growth so my raspberry patch is a real jungle. I’m not complaining, but pickings have been time-consuming as I poke around hunting the raspberries who love to hide. Ed refused any offer of raspberries as he claimed that their seeds got stuck in his teeth. I inquired if Ruby his wife would like some raspberries. Ed said, “Don’t give her any or they will be on the table and I won’t get a dessert that I would like better.”

I tried telling Ed how raspberries are healthy fruit to eat. I said they were rich in Vitamin C and K, and manganese. Tests have shown raspberries can be beneficial in lowering blood sugars and may act to prevent cancer. When I said they might also have the potential to help manage obesity, my neighbor said that I was living proof that raspberries don’t combat obesity. I asked Ed if he had ever seen or eaten black or purple raspberries. He said raspberries only come in red and that black and purple raspberries are a myth. Ed did not want to hear, either that Canada produced 12,285 tons of raspberries in 2011 which was 2% of the world’s production.  My faithful critic next door accused me of giving him more useless facts than an encyclopedia and went into his house.