“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:

pic-holder-2 

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

small-pic-1

 

These are up for auction this week:

frames-2

 

Saved my favorite for last.  Check out these tulips:

tulips-1

 

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!

I’ve just added some really neat stuff and the good news is that I’ve only just scratched the surface of the items I have to list.

When I think of wigs, I think of being a little girl in the sixties and early 1970’s.  My mom had various wigs on styrofoam heads that she actually let me play with too.  I remember how neat they were and how pretty my mom and all of her friends looked when they were wearing these cool hairstyles.

Do women still wear these?  I don’t know of one.  That’s why I put in my auction “Drag queens, Halloween, and everything in between” because I’m sure there are a variety of uses for these gorgeous pieces.

Like this one:

Christian Dior Wig

Christian Dior Wig

And a partial wig (wiglet) like this one:

Wiglet

Wiglet

I’ve got some great vintage neckties up too:

Tie Lot Auction

Tie Lot Auction

I love this one:

Moonrocks Apollo 11 Tie

Moonrocks Apollo 11 Tie

Why did I start this auction at 99 cents?  I guess I felt like living on the edge today.  That’s how I roll…

This is more my style…  if I wore ties, that is:

Garfield the Cat Necktie

Garfield the Cat Necktie

 

I felt the need to tell a story in this auction.  No I didn’t make it up.  It’s true:

Ugly or Unique? You Be The Judge

Ugly or Unique? You Be The Judge

 Clicking on the above pictures will take you straight to the auctions if you’d like to see them. 

Not only did I have a blast putting these up for sale but I have so much more good stuff to put up.  Can’t wait to keep going!  I’m off…

 

My newest Bonanzle booth for camping signs, equipment, and all kinds of stuff to be added soon. 

Check it out!

http://www.bonanzle.com/booths/camparoundtheclock

Don’t slip to the dark side.  Not in front of your customers anyway.

Sellers, you know what I mean.  You read an email from a potential buyer that just doesn’t sit right.  Or, you just read a post in a discussion forum that raises your hackles.  Or maybe another seller just implied that you’re not doing things “the right way.”   You know, their way.

Your fingers are on the keyboard before you even exhale.   You fire off a blur of  emotional paragraphs  peppered with words and phrases that may not be as professional as you would normally write.   You might write with anger, sarcasm, or even profanity. 

Have I done this?  Yep.  “How’d that work out for you?”, you ask.  Not well.  Every time.  Did it give me inner satisfaction to make my point known to this awful person who dared to disagree with my opinions?  Temporarily, yes.  But it was very fleeting.  It fled quickly after it occurred to me that there was now a written record of my dark side.

You know about the dark side, don’t you?  That (hopefully) small, dark, gnarly and nasty place inside that is just looking for a reason to come out and play.  It’s that place where we cram all of our daily exasperations to which we can’t always react.  Life busts our chops every day.  Some days it just has a field day.  Many days we can’t afford to react to each thing that Life throws at us.  Where do those feelings go?  To the dark side. 

Ask my husband about my dark side.  Preferably when I’m not in the room.  He’ll tell you (if I’m not in the room) that I can be sarcastic and nasty when my dark place flairs up.  Does it happen often?  No, thank God for that!

Ask my former co-workers about my secret dark twin.  As my unhappiness with my life-sucking job increased, my demeanor slipped to an all-time sarcastic low.  Hint:  If you ever become the most negative person in the room, it’s time to leave the job behind and find out how you can again become the most positive person.  Something has changed and it may just be you.  Don’t rely on negativity to improve your work environment.  It really doesn’t work that way and you know it.  Just a little career advice that I feel qualified to give.  Trust me on that one. 

Anyhoo…  Sellers, now that you’ve ignited your dark side what are you going to do about it?  Should you fire off that email response to the buyer that criticized your listing?  Should you get into a pissing match with another seller over business practices about which you totally disagree?  Will you lambast that newbie on the chat board that just thinks she knows everything?  You might, but I’m thinking you’ll regret it later.

It’s hard to rise above it all but in every instance that I chose that route, I have not been sorry.  Conversely, every time I took the “blast-it-all-to-Hell-I’m-telling-you-exactly-how-I-feel-because-it-will-make-me-feel-better-and-really-important-too” route, I wind up feeling very unprofessional and lacking in self-control.  “Why did my emotions get the better of me?”  “How come I actually mailed that email?”  “Now every time I go to that chat board I (and everyone else) can pull up that thread and see what a bitch I am!”  yadda yadda – self-loathing, remorse, wanting a do-over that can never be done.  In other words, a complete waste of precious time.

What you write down on the internet and in emails can not be unwritten.  Simple, right?  We all know this.  Remember it.  Rise above the negativity.  There’s an awful lot of it out there.  You have the power to wade into it and become part of it or to take the bridge over troubled water away from the dark side and into the light.  There’s a troll down there that would love to deliver that angry post or email.  Tell him very professionally that his services are not needed and that you’ll be responding when you are in a better frame of mind.  Or that you won’t be responding at all, thank you very much.

Our online words, emails, and posts are the only “faces” that our customers (including other sellers) will probably ever see.  That one email, Tweet, or post may be the only thing they read from us.   Wouldn’t it be a shame if the only side they saw of us was our tiniest worst side?