Sometimes It Feels Good To Let Go

For those of you who thought this blog had officially fallen off the face of the earth (and I’ll include myself in that group), good news, I’m back. I have to admit, it seems weird sitting down and trying to write again after this much time has passed, trying to pick up where I left off.

I don’t even know if that’s possible. So much has changed.

Honestly, I didn’t know when I would be able to get back to my daily blogging. After all, one of my biggest fans, my mother-in-law Diane, is suddenly very absent from my audience. Seems strange, writing when there is such a gaping hole. When I used to miss a day writing, she would always call or email, just to make sure everything was okay, or to make sure that her computer was working, or that the internet hadn’t swallowed up my blog overnight.

If you want to know the truth, I really haven’t felt much like writing lately. Yes, I’m busy, between settling my daughter into a new schedule that includes preschool, and Sunday School, and a return to potty training. And then there’s all the photos, thousands of photos, that I shot for clients over the summer that need to be culled and processed and uploaded. And after that, there’s time to spend with my hubby and time to keep trying to settle in and get this house in order. Sure, I still have a lot of ideas swimming around in this brain of mine–I don’t think I could turn those off if I tried. But I just haven’t been able to motivate my hands to translate the thoughts onto a blank page or screen.

My heart just wasn’t in it.

I don’t know what it was about today, but I finally started to feel the itch again, like I just needed to get some things down, gets some thoughts out and onto a page in front of me. Get this darn blog started back up again since things are still moving along here.

Today, for instance, we finally took care of something that we’ve been talking about since we moved into this house 10 months ago…we sold our couch.

Sounds lame to you, I know. But believe me, we haven’t been this excited since our daughter was born  2 1/2 years ago.

See, we’re not lazy people by nature, but we have a tendency to get distracted, especially when life throws us as many curveballs as it has this year. When we moved into this house last December, we realized immediately that the big sectional couch we’d bought just after Cadence was born was not going to fit in our new living room. In fact, we moved the corner piece out into the garage and wrapped in a tarp almost immediately because we simply didn’t have room for it. The other two pieces we arranged the best we could, and the semi-worked right up until the day we decided to buy Cadence a giant beanbag (which was well over 4 months ago by now). Still, even though we suddenly had absolutely no room, we procrastinated. We kept talking about what a great idea it would be to move the couch out to the garage and list it on Craigslist, but still it just didn’t get done.

Until Sunday, when we finally decided enough was enough, and we got up early to carry the sofa bed and theater seat sections out to the garage to join the lonely corner piece.

Now, I’ll fully admit, I’ve always been semi-skeeved out buying used furniture, especially from total strangers. See, I know what happens on furniture, intentionally and accidentally. And I don’t care how clean or fresh-smelling someone’s house is, any couch, loveseat, recliner, or other upholstered piece of furniture designed for long periods of sitting eventually starts smelling vaguely of stale farts.

And their ain’t no Febreze formula that’s gonna get that smell out. Cat puke? Yes. Rotten milk? They’ve got that one covered. Stale farts? They’re still working on that one.

Since we bought the couch, we’ve taken really good care of it. After all, it was the first piece of real furniture either one of us had ever bought…well, except our king size bed, but that was just a mattress, box springs, and run of the mill frame. No headboard or dresser or matching end tables. Just the basics. The couch though, we wanted something nice, something that would last, something that we didn’t inherit as a hand-me-down or buy used or pick up by the side of the road on a whim. So yeah, we wanted to take care of it, and I’d like to say we’ve done a pretty good job.

Sure, we’ve had the occasional mishap. After all, we have hosted several Superbowl parties, adopted a dog, and added a child to the mix. Short of Saran Wrapping every surface in our house, there was really no way to avoid ever spilling anything on our prized piece of furniture. But lucky for us, we chose microfiber and managed to catch every spill quick enough to avoid any permanent damage. It was a damn fine-looking piece of furniture, and we were both pleased that we were getting hits almost as soon as we placed the ad on Craigslist.

Now, given my track record (and increasingly short fuse) with Craigslist scammers, I scanned through the emails and replied to the people who seemed to be the most legitimately interested. I politely turned down trade offers for riding lawnmowers and mini-bikes, and sent texts and messages to people containing the dimensions of the pieces, more detailed descriptions of their condition, and even snapped a few more photos. After getting a good offer, exchanging several emails, and setting up a meeting with one nice young couple (who happened to know several old family and high school friends, how’s that for a small world?), we were confident that we’d finally found our couch a new home.

And thank goodness I gave the sectional one last once over, otherwise it may not have made such a good first impression.

See, when you have a dog and a kid, there are a few things you have to come to terms with…

1. Every surface of your house, car, and clothing will eventually come into contact with some sort of liquid or semi-liquid being expelled from someone else’s body.

2. Even when you have hidden something so well that even you can barely remember where you put it, you can be assured that it will in fact be found, played with, slobbered on, and eventually squirreled away in a place where even a certified psychic, a pack of bloodhounds, and a real-life Sherlock Holmes couldn’t find it.

And let me tell you folks, if you own a couch, you can pretty much count on it being at the very eye of the aforementioned hurricane.

Upon close last-minute inspection of our sectional, I opened up the two back panels of the theater seats that we had completely forgotten about. Not only did I find every strand of hair our dog has apparently shed for the last 31 months, I also discovered the super secret hiding place for used crayons, uneaten Cheerios, bouncy balls, various pieces of plastic food, and the remains of Jimmy Hoffa. I’ve already called in Mulder, Scully, and the members of the Fringe Division, and the working theory at the moment involves an intricate web of time travel, alternate dimensions, and something resembling the Bermuda Triangle.

After a thorough vacuuming and removal of all things kid or dog-related and edible, the couch was finally ready to head off to its new home, and its new owners were grinning from ear to ear when they drove away.

I gotta say, it felt good letting go.

365 Project – Day 208 – All I Want For My Anniversary is an Email Blast

If you are a follower of my blog, you probably already know how I feel about scammers. If not, I invite you to go back and read my posts from Day 122 and Day 123 before you proceed.

When Steven and I joined the YMCA a few months ago, we decided it was probably time to get rid of our treadmill. Since we moved, it has been banished to a dark corner of the garage. And really, what do we need it for when we have the YMCA and all of its fancy machines and gigantic lap pool to help us get in shape.

So, I snapped a few photos of the treadmill and placed an ad on Craigslist. We were pleased to immediately begin receiving some inquiries. After answering a few emails with “Yes, the treadmill is still available”, I received the following request from a gentleman named Larry…

Here’s how this thing works. Larry gets some poor, unsuspecting, overly trusting souls to believe that he is actually interested in buying what they have for sale. Then, he sends along a fraudulent check, which the sellers promptly deposit in their bank account. The check appears to clear, and they go ahead and either ship out the item, Larry’s “assistant” comes to pick it up, or no one arrives at all, leaving the sellers scratching their heads and wondering what happened. Wondering what happened right until their bank account is suddenly overdrawn because the bank has finally figured out that the check is fraudulent. Or, Larry might also request other personal information (including address, and phone numbers) to use for other illegal purposes.

Now, my first reaction (other than fighting back the urge to vomit from the atrocious grammar) was mild annoyance. I had my my cursor poised on the delete button, and almost let Ol’ Larry off the hook by simply ignoring his asinine attempt at scamming me.

Oh, but where is the fun in that?

Instead, I am writing a little email back to Larry, just to let him know that no, I am not interested in giving him any of my information or receiving a fraudulent check, and perhaps to give him a few free grammar tips. My guess is, once he knows I’m onto him, he will crawl back into whatever cyber hole he crawled out of, lying in wait for his next victim.

But, in the meantime, I would like to invite all of you to play along and give Larry a fitting send off in the way of an overloaded email account. Feel free to send emails to Larry at Sign him up on mailing lists, or maybe just forward all of the emails in your spam folder to him. Hell, why not just write him a note to let him know what a nice guy you think he is.

Oh, and while you’re at it, go ahead and pass this blog post and Larry’s email address along to your friends and family so they can join in the fun, and tell them to pass it along to their friends and family too.

Tonight’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to stopping the dumbass Craigslist scammers like Larry, or at least annoying the hell out of him with a few thousand emails. Happy Anniversary to my hubby and I…all I want for my Anniversary this year is an email blast for my new friend Larry. Help a girl out, will you?

And if you’re interested in learning more about guys like Larry and some of the other Craigslist scams going on out there, check out this great Blogger site dedicated to Exposing Craigslist Scammers.

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