May 2009


“Waterboarding” may be too strong a word for “force-hydrating” my cat.  Is it torture to force a cat to drink and eat?  If this were my cat’s blog, the answer would be “yes”.  But it’s not her blog. That’s a totally separate website. 😉

To the beginning….  My original cat, my main squeeze, my only lapcat, the queen of the household, Zuzu, stopped eating and drinking sometime around Sunday.  Had some odd(er) behaviors, she vomited a little, got even lazier (which is hard to judge on a 15 year old cat), and would not come down for breakfast or want to do her usual lapping from any running faucet.  Gave this a few days thinking that she’d get over it.  Nope.  Off to the vet for a visit.  They hydrated her and force-fed her (this was not easy for them – In their defense, they did not realize that Zuzu is spoiled and too set in her ways to be told what to do.  They were warned but brushed it off.  Twenty minutes later the vet tech was hanging her head in near defeat.)  The vet said that Zuzu didn’t appear to be in any danger at this point and to give it some time.

It is now Friday and she’s still not eating so last night we started the force-feeding and hydrating.  Oh boy…  After I read on the internet that really stinky baby food might jump-start her appetite, I went out and got some Gerber Stage 1 puree of every kind of meat there is.  She didn’t appreciate being force-fed by my husband’s finger of all things – Heavens! – but she had a few droppers full of water and some spoonfuls of Turkey with Turkey Broth.  Yummo!  She actually licked her whiskers but didn’t go for more without some “help”.

She still purrs, walks around, and even jumped on our bed last night to reclaim her usual spot.  I’m hoping this is just a virus that has hopefully run it’s course.  I just had the equivalent of what I’ve been referring to as the “swine flu” and this just happens to be the cat that always drinks out of my water glass the minute she hears it hit the table.  I’ve resorted to using travel mugs in my own home….  Anyway, she may have picked up my virus.  It was particularly nasty. 

For now, we’ll continue with the “torturing”.  If she won’t resume eating on her own, we’ll be making the return visit to the vet for all sorts of labs, etc.   

What we do for the ones we love…   I’m crossing my fingers for a happy ending here.  It tortures me to have to “torture” her, but I’m not willing to give her up to her own stubbornness just yet.

Could anyone give me a clue as to how to make this process easier?  I’d love to hear from you.

***UPDATE***

Zuzu started eating and drinking on her own about 2 days after I wrote this.  She’s back to her “normal” “active” self and everything worked out just fine.  Whew…

Who exactly is eBay appealing to now?  I’m not so sure that they’ve figured out what sellers want nor do they seem to care.

The latest “big announcement” is that eBay will, as of June 16th, 2009, be allowing the first five auction insertion fees to be waived and the Final Value Fees on those auctions be lowered to either $20.00 or 8.75% whichever is lower.

Hardly a big deal for those of us who list many auctions per week.  For me this new procedure will save a measly $1.75 per month (.35 x 5) in listing fees plus a few percent of the FVF which has lately been a low selling price (assuming that those five auctions result in a sale.)  It’s a start and it’s heading in the right direction (down) but I can’t even begin to feel excitement about this change.  Also part of this new offering is that in order to get the five free insertion fees the seller must use the Sell Your Item or Simple listing tool.  I use a third party listing program (Inkfrog) as many store owners do, so I would have to go outside of my inventory management program to save a few dollars.  Probably not worth the trouble for a few dollars.

Why is eBay appealing to the very casual eBay seller?  What do they gain by targeting this customer?  Not much from the looks of it.  Anyone who sells just a few items a month on eBay may not be aware of this change or may not care enough to  increase their auction listings.  Isn’t that what the intended result of this change was?  To increase listings thereby making more money for eBay?  If so, why not serve casual and mega-listers and make that magic number 20 free auctions?  That way the casual listers can still list a few per month, possibly list a couple more things from the basement, and megalisters can actually get a bit of a break on a larger number of auctions and actually be happy to see their monthly bill go down a notch.  Here’s an even better scenario:  the first fifty auctions per month free.  Watch the auctions go up, up, up and eBay can collect all the FVF’s they want.  Ebay and the sellers are happy as clams.

I can still dream, can’t I.

Went to my favorite kind of auction last night. 

What makes it my favorite kind of auction you ask?

It’s rural.

It’s far enough away from home without being annoyingly far.  In other words, within an hour’s drive.

The Amish park their horses and carriage under a shade tree.  This always fascinates me.  I try not to stare at the people who are obviously Amish because of their dress.  I’m not a rude person just a people watcher.  The men do the bidding.  Their wives quietly browse and bring their husband’s attention to any hidden bargains like every good wife does (including this one.)  Their clothes are very clean and all handmade.  I have to stop myself from staring at their clothes.  The seams are always so well sewn and the ladie’s dresses and bonnets are usually made of such durable fabrics.  Nothing fancy but made to last.  I could go on and on about this.  Did I mention how people fascinate me? 

This auction takes place in cow country.  It’s always a beautifully scenic drive.  I’m a country girl at heart even though I’ve spent most of my life in suburbia.

I have to park on a winding country road with a ditch to my side that I have to remember is there when it gets pitch black.  OK, so this isn’t one of my favorite things about this auction.  My husband was not able to go with me this time so I had to do the “parking thing” alone.  If I fell into the ditch no one would hear the thump, the probable screams, and even if someone did they would think “Eh, one less bidder.”    So I had to be extra careful.  It’s out in the country but there’s still danger out there folks. 🙂

It takes place in a driveway.  The box lots are all pulled out to the driveway and choiced to the highest bidder.  You have to be fast on your feet and well prepared.  I learned this the hard way as I’ve learned mostly every else.  It’s lightning fast and there’s no time for slackers.  The auctioneer will usually taunt the unprepared, “What? Is this your first auction?” and everyone chuckles.  Been there.  On both sides.  It’s fun though.  Really.

The food is good but sometimes it distracts me.  One time I was munching away and didn’t realize that half of the crowd had gone out to start bidding.  I missed the lot that I wanted while I fed my face.  Boy that food was good but it could have waited.  Honestly, I was pissed at myself for doing something so stupid.  Now I eat when I’m done.  Period.  Between my purse, my bidder card, my lot list, and my pen, I don’t have any hands left for even a drink.  When my husband’s with me he might be the water boy (or should I say “man”?) but he wasn’t so I had to stay parched.  Oh yeah, and there’s only a porta-potty so there’s incentive to not drink a thing if you know what I’m saying…

Do you love to go to auctions too?  What makes them fun for you?  I’d love to hear from you.

Recently I bought a lot of inventory from a gift shop that had closed.   These neat easel picture holders were part of my loot.  They’re in great condition and if I didn’t have cats that liked to bat things off of my fireplace mantels they would have never made it to eBay!

This is a more ornate display holder with a thicker rack:

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This one is not as frilly looking and has prongs instead of a shelf-type display:

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These are up for auction this week:

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Saved my favorite for last.  Check out these tulips:

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Just click on any of the photos above and you’ll be taken to the store listings or the auctions. 

Display your favorite photos, books, certificates, family Bibles, or rotate your kids’ artwork in style!