Tuesday Trippin’ July 11

The Riding

The riding is getting better again, unusual for the hotter months. When Russ lost his job, I was riding with him more, and his riding had lapsed. At first I’d ride on without him when he’s had enough, and later we were sticking together, so his riding improved while mine decreased. Then I had that rough week that made me question my health. We’re both moving back into respectable territory for our meeting our goals. My leg muscles are now stronger than they have ever been. That feels pretty good.

The Wildlfe

I saw a gray fox while riding Big Creek. I’ve seen an otter there before, but never any kind of fox. He was only about 10 feet in front of the bike. He totally ignored me as he walked by me. I’d have loved to get that on camera, but otherwise I was happy for him to keep his plenty short distance. There are usually reports of rabies in the area during the warm months. The only suspicious thing he did was to let me see him pass close by, but still, I’m happy that I saw him, and happy that he kept right on going.

Our Various Projects

We’re one third of the way through our make it or break it month. We’ve made some progress, and we have a lot left to go. I’m gonna go with “cautiously optimistic” as my feeling for now.

Tuesday Trippin’ June 20

I can’t believe it’s solstice time again, the time of year when the the days start getting shorter again and riding shorts feel like a wet swimsuit 30 minutes after the ride starts and you definitely need to make sure you’re well hydrated, because if they don’t feel like that, you’re in trouble (Yes, I know, some people pay the big bucks for the lightweight quick dry stuff).

I looked at last weeks post and remembered the migraines. How could I have forgotten that pain so quickly? And the stiff body? My sleep issues are up and down. Things I’ve tried mostly include meditation, sleep teas and melatonin. Getting better at meditation is my best shot at getting better sleep, but nothing will likely work as well as finally resolving some unresolved issues. My newest frequent repeat meditation is on dealing with uncertainty. Meditation may be one thing that has helped me to forget the big hurts so quickly.

We had some good rides over the past week, got some important work done and expect rain all next week. July will be our make it or break it month when some obligations ease and we hope to shift into a better gear. We will soon figure out if we can launch a t-shirt, and shortly afterward if that will give us some freedom with which to continue to pursue the cycling project. Russ is working full time, supposed to be four 10 hour days, but it’s closer to four 12s when the weather is good. He’s back in the business of having longer hours through all the best riding days, but he’s getting at least a much project and T-shirt related stuff done as he was with the unemployment stress hanging overhead.

On Fitness, Training and Perspective

I’ve been thinking a bit lately about how the more into a thing a person goes, the less others “get” it. And, at the same time, there are enough people accomplishing superhuman feats that outsiders loose touch with realistic expectations. Talking to people about the project can be such a trip.

In a recent phone conversation I mentioned being on the way to a ride. The person on the other end said they were glad that I felt like doing that. They were sincere, but there was also an air of my life being idyllic, or at least worry free, to the comment. I didn’t share my actual woes, or that on that particular day, a ride was the last thing I felt like. I was doing it so that I would actually feel like it on some other day. The commitment to getting out there when I don’t feel like it is to keep from sliding into health problems that would change my life, and not for the better. Commitment is easier for things you believe in, but it is never easy.

In my 20s and 30s I was an active mom, but my ankles would swell If I was on my feet all day and my knees sounded like gravel when I walked up stairs. They don’t now. That’s because I ride my bike often, on days when I’m reveling in the glory, and on days when when I’m dragging myself through it. Fitness at 60+ that is better in some ways than I had in my 20s is a huge challenge. One I meet because aging without fitness is the bigger burden. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to pursue that fitness so far.

Some people don’t have many choices due to physical, financial, geographic or any number of other limitations. I hope this video project will eventually give them a few extra options, maybe they too can feel what it is to reach new fitness levels at whatever age they are, and from any starting point to improve their quality of life.

People who do have choices don’t always see them. I hope this project will help them too, even if it’s just for stress reduction from watching the videos while sitting still. Deciding how to spend time and resources is difficult. That’s why I think the project will be powerful. Baby steps. Watch a video, take a step, before you know it those steps may be longer, faster, outside… what ever is the most comfortable next step to take, the video project can motivate.

What are my Steps?

It takes significant effort with multitasking to keep my body going. I didn’t win the genetic lottery in that respect, but the things I do are attainable for most people and useful whether you plan to do cardio workouts on the level I hope to or not. So, I’m going to write a bit about the habits I think help me keep me going and how I incorporate them into my life. There will be some outdoor video and there is rain coming, so it may take a little extra time.

Until then, have a glorious day, maybe there will be a ride and we’ll see you on the trail. And, for those of you who just want your electricity back on, I hope you get it sooner than you expect, and until then, during the day, there’s probably a trail or a sidewalk nearby.

Tuesday Trippin’ June 15

Last week I was pretty stiff and tired. This week I’ve gone full circle. I felt pretty good for rides on Friday and Monday, but on Tuesday the effects of poor sleep and a lot of bending from the yard sale, gardening, other work around the house and who knows what else had me back in misery and wondering if I’m sleeping badly because I have a back ache, or having a back ache because I’m sleeping badly. Certainly, the bending, and the absence of access to the strength training equipment are also at play. I’m “Driving with the seat heater on in the summer” years old. I bought the car that had the deal. I never would have paid for the seat warmer if it had been extra, but that handy heating pad on my lumbar is going to be so hard to give up next time I buy a car. I hope I don’t have to.

Friday’s ride was nice, in part because we watched the Friday night crowd at the Union Hill Skate park. We rest or snack there before turning around when we ride the Roswell/Alpharetta Greenway.

Tuesday’s ride was nice because there were baby ducks in the temporary pond at the center of the parking lot when I started and lightening bugs when I came back.

Tuesday Trippin June 6

The Sale

We had the sale, and it was a trip. I had been working on it with a migraine for 3 days running and Russ was working through a lot too. He is currently employed again, though at a lower level pay rate without any PTO. He worked shortened days during his Covid. He didn’t do that lightly. He did it because he was outdoors or in his truck and masked, and because someone at the company was having a family emergency. We are truly grateful for the employment, for the opportunity to help at a time of particular need, and to be of service. We also know that we have to keep seeking the better opportunity that will help us recover from the stretch of losses and the unemployment so that we can get back to, and pass, the position we were and meet family needs that weren’t being met at the old, higher pay rate.

While we were emotionally truly ready for the sale, just like I said in my last post, organizationally, we were far from ready. So many planned things didn’t get done and he shear number of things we had to offer was overwhelming. I really think it was too much for shoppers to take in, especially with the cluttered way it was stacked rather than displayed. I invited my son over to take anything he wanted after it was all over and he just took a couple of things. I almost pointed out a few things I was sure he’d have taken if he had noticed them, but I didn’t want to be pushy, especially since he was probably looking at it all and planning to never have so much stuff in his own house, even for a side hustle.

How’d we do?

It was ok. We brought in a significant amount of revenue and let some bulky things go in the process. There was a drum set I bought so I could turn the snare into an awesome tall floor lamp for my drummer nephew and his wife, but they sold their house. By the time they bought another home I didn’t think they were in that decor phase anymore. Exchanging that for $25 and getting the space back was an easy “yes”.

We made the money on sheer volume and a couple of big ticket items. It mostly went at prices that someone selling online or in a booth could still make a good profit, and some things escaped at prices I wouldn’t likely have agreed to if I’d been the one in the driveway when it went.

It was mostly the 25 cent crowd and dealers that showed up, along with some neighbors. A couple of things that neither of us sold were gone. These things were small enough to pocket, and while we left it all in the drive over night between sale days, I don’t think that’s when they were taken. My neighbors are good people and not into vintage for the most part. Plus, anyone in the drive overnight would have shown up on camera. I thought ahead that a cat might wander through and re-arranged a few things that could fall over and break 10 other things. At the time I wasn’t thinking “bear” but there was one rummaging trash cans a few doors down a few days later. I’m really glad it didn’t wander through all my breakables.

We decided there was too much left not to have a second sale and we’re going to step up the efforts to list more things on Marketplace, Etsy, Craigslist and explore ways to list them on this site.

Russ started a list of things we “learned” from this sale. It started with things that were already known, just not accomplished. Guys, you have no idea how calmly I responded. There was no violence, not even a raised voice. I promise.

The Riding

Russ was isolating with Covid. I stayed home and away from family anyway. Our bedroom wasn’t comfortable for computer work, so I wasn’t very productive. I had just started making the room where Russ isolated into a work space, so the exercise bike with the computer desk attached was up there with him. I was still testing negative after a few days of cabin fever, so I started to ride in more remote places at less busy times. I stayed more than 6 feet from people. It was likely over-killl, but I don’t want to make anyone sick. Just before I stopped riding and started prepping for the sale, I was riding everyday. I was limiting calories too, trying to loose the “Russ is unemployed” weight gain. Right now I’m pretty run down, achy, stiff, tired, prone to migraines and some other issues that are possibly caused by (and causing) stress.

Building back up through the beginning of the pandemic was grueling, but we wouldn’t have wanted to be doing anything else. Getting fitness back feels good, even when it feels bad. This is different. For the first time I wondered if I needed to downsize my mileage goal for the project. I’d go get a physical if I had healthcare coverage, but if it’s stress, I’m already trying to manage that as best I can, and if it’s not, I don’t need the stress of knowing I have an actual real problem that might be fixed if I lived in a different country or made more selfish choices at any number of junctions along my way. Hopefully this is just a reflection of how much we’re juggling and it will ease with time.

Until next time, have a glorious day, and we’ll see you on the trail.

Tuesday Trippin’ May 30

Russ went to a college graduation in Colorado for Mother’s Day. I’m mentioning it now because it happened since our last update also because it kept on giving, that part to follow. At the same time I went to visit my for her day. She’s in a nursing home in south Alabama in rehab because of a fall resulting in a fractured hip.

We planned to “hit the ground running” when we got back so we could get this long postponed yard sale finally behind us. It was the “Please don’t let us have to postpone the date yet AGAIN” date. But, we don’t have the ability to display our mass quantities of treasure in bad weather, so, alas, when Saturday afternoon of the sale weekend moved up above 60% chance of rain, we did indeed cancel.

The irony? The weather would have been manageable, but Russ got Covid AGAIN! His realizing he needed to test and the positive test result came just after we would have dragged everything out to the yard. So, we are actually truly thankful for the cancellation, and equally frustrated that it was needed.

Russ felt pretty bad about getting on multiple airplanes and ending up with Covid, but in truth, a nursing home in south Alabama is also a pretty good place to contract a highly communicable disease. We’re evenly matched for risky exposure levels I think.. I never tested positive, but I felt pretty icky for a bit just before he did. We’ll never know, but it’s possible my test was a false negative or that I ended up being some kind of carrier and he actually got it from me. The whole point being that there is no point in anyone feeling bad about having to isolate, cancel and avoid every one and everything AGAIN.

Russ moved into a room upstairs and onto an air mattress, one that sprung a leak and completely emptied in his sleep on his last night of isolation. I isolated from the rest of the family too because Russ and I had such close contact before his positive. We shared some meals outside together watching Ted Lasso or Endeavor. That was actually pretty pleasant, except for some wind that made the trees sway big time, and some rain that made us run to bring the tablet inside.

If we had to have yet another few things to cope with, It turned out as well as it could have. And now we are ready, truly ready, to have that sale this weekend.

Tuesday Trippin’ May 9

Sometimes I think about my grandfather when I write these updates. He was a farmer and cattleman, at least part time. He was also a wholesale grocer, a city councilman and a Baptist deacon. Visiting with his friends at City Cafe, talking about the weather was his daily networking mode.

I, on the other hand, wondered how the weather could be part of every single greeting. Just look at the sky and talk about something else I thought, right? For so many years, my attention to the weather came by way of opening the front door, and maybe coming back for a jacket if I needed one. You can get away with that maybe part more easily in South Alabama if you not going to be out in the weather for long.

But then with the ballooning, and now the distance cycling, complete accurate forecasts that are far better than my grandfather ever hoped for are pretty important to me too. I remember to check wind and potential downdrafts better when there’s a potential Lighter than Air flight because that’s so important to staying aloft.

Somedays on my bike it’s pretty windy and after one of those days feeling unsteady in the gusts and watching tall trees sway, I’ll remember to check wind speeds for riding for a while. Sometimes writing these posts and talking about the weather feels like a trip to the City Cafe with PaPa, except for all the ways it’s completely different.

So, What About That Weather?

The pollen hasn’t been so bad this year. I haven’t felt the need for a neck gaiter to pull up over my nose to keep the yellow out. Rain has been well timed for washing it away. The riding is constant, but with weather breaks. We’ve had another week with as much time on the trail as on the project. April enough warm weather that I was afraid the really warm temps would start in May, but we’re good.

See you on the trail, and have a glorious day!

Sale!

Come to our Vintage and Kitsch Sale at (address Edited out after the sale), June 2 & 3 from 9-4! We’ll also have some household items, power tools, plants, and general miscellaneous. I’ll have “free items” section and restock it periodically too.

Here are the 5 Ws about this sale, plus some!

Who ?

Karen and Russ have a vintage and more Etsy Shop called Six Degrees and the basement stock rooms have gotten out of control. We’re having a stock reduction sale for anyone who wants vintage, kitsch or antiques, most of it at about a 75% (or more) discount from what it would cost to order online.

What ?

Could be anything, really. Guys, sometimes I buy things because I don’t know what they are and I want to find out.

We have so much stuff we probably can’t sell it all in one weekend. But, as long as it’s moving, I’ll keep unpacking and setting more stuff out. If you want something that you don’t see, ask. It’s worth a shot. I may have it, I might even know where it is

My favorite source for vintage and antique items is the estate sale of an original owner of a 1950s brick ranch style home. That’s because those owners began housekeeping when world population was a quarter of what it is now. Resources were thought to be unlimited. Things were built to last. Materials were high quality and the post war boom was inspiring design and technology. So, I’ll have a significant number of things showing that preference. Russ tends toward 1960s and 1970s

We’re most interested in moving stock that is expensive to ship, things that are heavy like sewing machines dish sets, cookie jars, glass lighting shades, large vases and heavy pottery or large trays and Lazy Susans, or bulky things, like Baskets, Globes and Lamps. We have one Stiffle.

We bought a lot of wall art to sell in an antique mall with cast iron, but we signed up for a wall space this time, not a booth. Once we got the space, the store didn’t want us to hang cast iron on the walls. We couldn’t make the commitment to a high rent booth (where other sellers were hanging cast iron pans and heavy decor on walls supported with the same construction) so, there will be a variety of prints, paintings and stitchery or ephemera and other decor that we still have on hand.

We have a collectible pottery, studio pottery and glassware, plus all kinds of miscellaneous.

You can go to our Six Degrees Shop to see a very limited selection of some things. Right now, it’s mostly more expensive items that are listed. You can also search the shop name in Google to see previous listings for things that may or may not have sold.

We have hundreds, literally, of Wilton special shaped cake pans and as many ceramic shortbread or cookie molds.

We have a few big ticket items like a 1950s steel kitchen and furniture, a Table and Radial arm Saw. We also have a lot of stuff that would be great for set staging, like 50s card tables and poker sets.

There will also be some standard yard sale items like clothing for adults and children and toys, garden and pet items and live plants, indoor and outdoor, some native.

It’s hard to absorb the cost of shipping on really inexpensive things too, like small collectibles, housewares, small planters and floral, craft supplies, fabric and smalls. We need to ship priority for the tracking, but the lowest priority rate is $9.35. We’ll be selling a lot of the things that are $8 and less because few people want to pay $20 with tax for an $8 item. I wouldn’t want to, and I don’t like not being able to offer better options. On top of that, taking a loss on things that the buyer paid dearly to receive is particularly frustrating. Listing takes a lot of time and things that have a low price, well, customers think you’re making money on that, but if you’re not taking 20 low cost items to post at once (and I never am) the driving expense alone puts you in the red. It’s time to be out of the loose/loose program.

How day 2 goes may depend on day 1. It will also depend on weather. Saturday I may not bring out things that didn’t sell Friday. I’ve organized stock by different categories over time. Once I have all the Wedgwood or Frankoma, or what ever maker’s stuff that’s left at the end of day one, I may pack those things up by maker rather than function and bring out different things the next day. We’ll still sell Sunday, even if we were rained out Saturday. We’ve been planning this sale since before Russ lost his job in January, so it’s a go unless something really big happens.

Yes! we’d be happy to make a single price for everything, pack it all up for transport and deliver it if you want it all.

There will be some free items, but not a lot for the 25 cent crowd. I get it. There are things that are interesting, but you don’t have enough time and space in your life unless they are virtually free. We have a designated future home for things like that. If I have items that didn’t sell on the last day, and I can’t bear to pack them back up and drag them back in the house again, they’ll go to friends, relatives or gifting groups like Buy Nothing, Trash Nothing, or FreeCycle. These groups are about community, keeping things out of landfills and sharing. Some things could go to charities that help people out of homelessness like Simple Needs.

Where ?

Our place, 460 Laurian View Court 30075. it’s near where Cherokee, Cobb and North Fulton meet, or if your thing is cities, it’s where Marietta, Roswell and Woodstock meet.

When ?

June 2 and 3 from 9-4. We won’t run you off if you get there at 4:15 and we haven’t put it all away. Rain Date 2 weeks later. But, the long range forecast looks good and our first date was in January, so we’re really hoping this goes on the 19th.

Why ?

This sale has been planned since it was just intended trade my basement full of vintage for advertising money to promote our Kickstarter. Now? Well, now we’ll be dancing a jig if it just covers some of the unexpected big ticket expenses and losses we’ve dealt with recently.

The goal is to make life organizable and ready to move on to better things while offsetting unexpected recent costs like a large Car Repair, unexpected Unemployment, the New Phone (‘Cause He Doesn’t Have the Company Number Anymore), the Broken Computer,the other broken computer, Karen’s New Tooth, Russ’ New Tooth (stress shows up as clenching and grinding sometimes), Video Project Advertising Money, some smaller medical costs and random other things like bike repair.

The plus, we hope, is that we will be able to Take Back Our Basement and our Sanity while Getting Rid of the Storage Unit fees.

What a list! What a few months we’ve had!

You know, some people have a lot more to deal with. We’re grateful for all of the things that aren’t falling apart and hoping the sale will be a good all around fix for some things that did fall apart.

Pricing

With some exceptions, stuff is going to be basically 75% off of market prices. It will be easier to let the stuff we never spent 2 hours or more cleaning, researching and listing go for bottom prices, but we’re here to sell this stuff, not keep it.

People have all kinds of thoughts and strategies about pricing stuff. It can be motivated by good intentions, bad intentions or sheer desperation. Extremes can clash, the seller who wants full retail or better for a regretted purchase after they broke it or lost parts isn’t going to get on well with the buyer who wants to pay a quarter for something “worth” hundreds, or thousands for bragging rights in social media groups.

Pricing guidelines can bring the extremes closer and increase the chances of an exchange. The linked article says the most unpopular pricing method is “make an offer”. I hate that too, and for the same reason quoted in the article, you don’t know where to start or if a meeting of the minds is even possible. My sale is going to be exactly that though. “Make me an offer”, but I’m going to tell you exactly how to offer me something I’m very likely to accept.

Two Ways to Make an Offer

The Easy Way

Is it worth a box of ‘Nilla wafers? How many boxes of ‘Nilla wafers is it worth to you?

The Market Way: The Discounted Market Based Approach

Search Ebay (or other) sold prices. Average the last 3 sold prices. Show us your search and offer half without the shipping. For most things, that will be 75% off of what it would cost you to order online. For some, it may only be half price, but for others, it will be more like 90% off.

Show us your search if you want help. In most cases we’ve searched the items, but we may not have done it recently.

Tuesday Trippin’ April 25

I have edited old posts and I have bits in the works, but it’s been 6 weeks since I posted anything. There are a combination of things responsible, none of which dampen our commitment to the project.

Some of our other commitments and breaks were: We visited Mom while my sister took a trip. We visited Russ’s Dad too. We made the most of those trips with some side hikes, both coming and going. We did a native plant activity with a native plant group using iNaturalist because there is a plant identification component to the project. We took a small break too, took an apple grafting class similar to this one with the Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture. This is a related article. We Russ injured his hand, ripped it open with a screwdriver, but at least that happened after the grafting and he’s fine now. We were pretty frustrated that that had to postpone the giant vintage yard sale.

We’re reassessing and will have more to say on that soon. There are no huge changes in our priorities. The project is on.

Until next time, have a glorious day, and we’ll see you on the trail!

Tuesday Trippin’ March 7

The Training

We’ve had some beautiful breezy spring weather and we’ve been out in it a lot. We’ve been better about doing some walking for the recovery and cross training. It’s pretty easy while wanting to build mileage to just ride for the recovery exercise, but we’re getting more disciplined about variety of movement and it makes a difference.

The pollen is coming on strong. Russ has been writing messages on my car with his finger. Soon it will be raining less frequently and car wash season will be in full swing.

One day Russ was dragging and I went on for extra miles alone. I was afraid I’d be drained the next day, but wasn’t. Russ is finding more days when he thinks he’s dragging and it turns out he was riding faster than he thought. As we approach top performance goals I’m going to appreciate that he cares about the metrics more that I do.

The Project

This morning there were beautiful Mallard ducks flying in to the retention pond just as we cycled by and a deer right on the trail. Before I dreamed up this project, those would have simply been nice experiences. Now, they also feel like missed opportunities to catch the beauty on film. It’s but one example of how the project has turned a stress reduction event into a stressor instead. Most people can give an example of how turning “hobbies” into business can take some of the joy away. And it will get “stressier” once we are tasked with deliverables.

When cameras are rolling, there will be significant heartburn when we fail to capture moments that come along, but once we do capture those moments, they will bring the dream of sharing these moments alive. I’m eagerly excited about the project and know that it will be primarily positive experience. I also fully expect to go back to my carefree “just ride” ways as soon as the project finishes.

Until next time, have glorious days and we’ll see you on the trail.

Tuesday Trippin’ February 28

The Training

Training is going well, but, living so far from the trail and riding more often is time consuming. There are so many things we feel pressured to complete. After our last three rides Russ has winced when he noticed the time. I don’t like that he feels that pressure, but It feels a little bit confirming for all the times I’ve ridden alone and been shocked that the day got away from me. By the time we load bikes, drinks and gear, dress, drive, ride and reverse the process, then shower, clean bikes gear and kit, it’s a 6-8 hour bite from our day and it isn’t always conveniently placed to better meet other obligations efficiently. Some days it feels like that is all we can accomplish in a day.

The reward for all the time it takes is that Russ is getting happier and happier with his riding. There’s a lot of tough work ahead for both of us, but we’re on target for the project.

Other than really feeling the time it takes on a big level, the most remarkable thing I can think of about this week’s training is the weather.

We’ve been hearing frogs since mid January and last week we saw a snake on the path at Big Creek. Apparently the first snake bite of the year is often reported in January in Georgia, So, they do move around a bit when it’s cold. But, we live in the north end of the state and actually seeing one out on the paved trail in February was a first for me. (This one was non-venomous.) Spring just feels like it came on in a rush.

Two weeks ago I was in severe physical distress when I failed to protect my hands well enough from low temperatures on an early morning ride, and this week I’m so happy about digging out the fingerless gloves, or riding without any, so I can take photos without having to take off the gloves.

You can’t really prioritize riding at the same time that you prioritize getting pics for the website, but some things are worth stopping for. If the electronic sensitive gloves don’t work (and they never do), the time it takes to whip out the phone and take off the gloves usually costs you the shot.

The Project

We’ve been busy, but aren’t ready to share results. You know that day when consistent work comes together in what seems like, but isn’t, a sudden moment? Yeah, we’re not there, but it may be just around the corner. I know we’re accomplishing things and doing good work, but that big rush of satisfaction in getting someplace isn’t here yet.

Our primary non-training foci have been to get 1. The t-shirt researched (which brand to offer, which company to use for screen printing, how to promote it) and out there. 2. Prep for our big stock reduction sale. 3. Do the million little things that that finish off websites, campaigns and projects. It’s those things that show planning, preparation and readiness for the success that we’re working on.

Until next week, have a Glorious Day, and we’ll see you on the trail!