Monday, July 27, 2015

Summer 2015

Summer 2015 at Peaceful Forest Homestead

Summers at Peaceful Forest are always nice. Even if the weather is not cooperating with my idea of summer time weather. It has been pretty cool at night. With our temperatures going down to the forties. Not real good for the garden. I made a big mistake and didn't plant as many green and wax beans as usual. I figured I would plant other vegetables, since my shelves are packed with various winter squashes and beans. At least those plants would be producing, even if it is not as much as normal.

Georgie Girl is not crazy about bugs either.

What has been abundant is the bugs! It is hard to even take the laundry down from the clotheslines. My poor husband has chores to do outside most of the day. He is pretty strong to put up with them all day long. I start to do something outside and I chicken out and come back inside. I have found that putting some peppermint essential oil diluted down in a carrier oil, keeps them away from me. I use that when I must be out in the garden. It works every time.

Stairs from root cellar to the pantry.

Since I am not working outside too much, I am getting a lot of work done on my root cellar. It is finally ready to be used again! I have waited something like five years for the foundation to be repaired and back together. You know us, we do our projects little by little, so that we pay for them instead of taking out a loan. Now it is fixed. I worked down there cleaning it out real good last week.

Containers of canned foods, as well as others.

All of my canned foods and empty jars have been in Rubbermaid ™ containers upstairs. That keeps the mice and bugs from getting on them. It might not look as pretty as other homesteaders' pantries, but I like it better that way. I had read about soda cans that were stored, spreading diseases from mice urine being on the tops of the cans. Yuck! I don't want to take that kind of chance, after all the work I do growing and canning it.

Original bin for apple storage built in 1850 in root cellar.

I hope to get the root cellar, pantry, kitchen and upstairs organized before winter. It is a long hard job for me since my knees cause me so much pain. I am doing a Candida cleanse diet and hoping it will take care of some of the health issues I have been having. It does make you feel better, if you can stay off ice cream during the summer!

Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole

Friday, July 03, 2015

Selling On eBay IS A REAL Business Not A Yard Sale

I am happy as can be selling in an eBay store again! I really enjoy the whole process. From locating the products to sell, to listing, to seeing my items sell and shipping it out. I am sometimes as excited as I hope the buyer is to receive it. Over the years, I have seen so many whiners and complainers about eBay and Paypal. No matter what they do, it will never please the masses. That is just the way it is. Many times that is why a seller gives up.

I saw a comment on the eBay for Business Facebook page that said, it is lying if you say you have free shipping, and you include the shipping costs in the price of the item. What deserted island has she been living on for the last thirty years? Why do buyers expect a seller to not include the price of shipping in their price? What about shipping supplies? What about Paypal and eBay fees? What about your time???

If someone thinks the price they pay at Walmart or any store locally, does not include the freight or shipping cost of their products on their shelves..........then you are crazy! Anyone in business gets that shipping cost back through the sale of their products. A real business has to pay for other things besides buying that item at wholesale. She thought sellers should say the shipping isn't free, but included in the price. Okay, my shipping costs are pretty low as my items usually aren't very heavy.

So according to this person, I should say my price on this item includes:

1.   My time to locate this item.
2.   My cost of buying this item.
3.   My time to clean it up to sell.
4.   My time to research it for price and description.
5.   My time to take good photos of the item from every angle.
6.   My time to list the product.
7.   My time to keep my listings updated.
8.   My cost of storage of this item.
9.   My cost of relisting it if it didn't sell yet.
10. My cost of an eBay store.
11. My cost of ink and paper for printing out the packing slip after it sold.
12. My cost of printing the label to ship it.
13. My cost of bubble wrap to wrap it in.
14. My cost of the box or bubble mailer to send it in.
15. My cost of the postage I paid to ship or mail it with.
16. My transaction fee from Paypal.
17. My final value fee for selling it from eBay.
18. My time to package this item and get it sent quickly.
19. My time to give you positive feedback.
20. My cost of an accountant to do my business taxes on my eBay store.
21. The cost of my internet connection.
22. The cost of the electric to run my office equipment.
23. The cost of my camera, battery and storage data card.
24. The cost of my computer to keep it updated, virus free and working to run daily.

I am sure with more time, I could think of much more. What do you think? Do you think sellers should buy items and pay to ship them to you for free? How long do you think a seller would stay in business that way? One reason I like free shipping for the items I sell on eBay is because nobody complains that I could have shipped it a cheaper way. It is one way for me to control my feedback because they cannot say I didn't ship when I said I did. If you sell on eBay how do you manage the shipping options?

Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole

Thursday, June 04, 2015

The Concord Resort Hotel at Kiamesha Lake, NY

The Driveway at The Concord Resort Hotel

Yesterday I told you about some old photographs from 1942 that I was selling in my eBay store. I know most people would be saying, "I don't have any old photos like that to sell. Where would I get any of those?" Would you be surprised to know that I am also selling old photos I took of various vacations I went on, back in the seventies and eighties? I see some sellers that sell photos they take now, when they go on a trip and sell it many times over in digital formats only. Gives them an unlimited supply. I am not talking about those, but that is an option too. This is what I have been doing.

The Concord Resort Hotel at Kiamesha Lake, NY

I have a big supply of pictures I took in the seventies and early eighties of The Concord Resort Hotel at Kiamesha Lake in the Catskills in New York state. Every year, my son and I spent about four weeks there and his dad would come up on the week-ends. It is about an hour and half from us, half way to New York City. Staying there was just like the movie, Dirty Dancing. The Concord was gorgeous and filled with people from the forth of July to Labor Day. Name acts performed on their stage. Many of the comedians such as Joan Rivers, Allan King, Rodney Dangerfield, and many more, got their start there.

Our suite had 2 bathrooms!

The suites that we stayed in were huge. Two bathrooms, which I must admit, back then, I needed. Every evening you dressed for dinner. The dining room was bigger than a football field. The waiters bringing you trays of food all through your meal. You didn't just order. After you placed your order, the waiter would bring food out, putting it in front of you, saying, "Just try this." The food was kosher and very good. The dessert trays would be piled high with such desserts, you just couldn't imagine how good they were.

The pool at the Concord

My son spent time in the pool form early morning till late afternoon. His skin was always all wrinkled up from being in the water so long. I laid out in the sun, going in the water to get cooled off. The cabana boys would come around and spray you with their little bottle of water if you looked hot. Waitresses brought you all types of drinks, pina coladas being one of my favorites. The pool, which was Olympic size, had a diving tank, as well as a kiddie pool area. There was an outside cabana where they prepared barbecued food and cold sandwiches if you did not want to go into the dining room at lunch.

Dining Room at The Concord

This area in the Catskills was known as the "Borscht Belt," since the clientele in the hotels were mostly Jewish people from New York City, and the surrounding boroughs, as well as Long Island. People escaping the heat of the city for a few days. Many families stayed all summer with the fathers showing up on Friday evenings, after they got out of work. It had two PGA golf courses, one being called The Monster. There was indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts the lake, horseback riding, a children's activity camp (which kept them busy all day), a miniature golf course, the dinner theater, a couple of nightclubs, an all night restaurant for late night meals and snacks, stores to shop in. Many people would go to Monticello Raceway to the track in the evenings, which was just a few minutes away.

Kiamesha Lake

It is an era that is gone now. Gone, since The Concord and all the other hotels are gone too. It is a memory my son and I will always hold dear. I will be listing many of these photos and more in my eBay store in the next few weeks. There is a market for these, since these are the memories of all the people who stayed there. 

Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Pontchartrain Beach, A Story in Old Photographs

My eBay store, katlupe's Shop

As many of my readers know, over the years I have sold on and off on eBay. Presently, I have a store, katlupe's Shop and am selling a variety of items. Mostly used items and many are my own things that I need to downsize. As you get older, you start thinking about what will happen to all that stuff. Not having a daughter means my stuff isn't the type of a stuff a son would want to inherit from me. Speaking of inheritance, when my father passed away in 2012, my husband and I were the ones cleaning his home out. He had a lot of stuff! My niece stole most of his good possessions before he was even in his grave. As not only his daughter, but his executor, I got left getting rid of mostly what I would call clutter. Some of that was old photographs.......ah, my niece overlooked the value in those!

I am selling most of them on eBay and they are selling good. What this blog post is really about is the knowledge I gain by researching the various photographs. These photos are mostly from my parents' early years together. In 1942, my father was stationed in New Orleans. There wasn't a lot of photos from New Orleans, but there are a few. The ones I found and listed on eBay (and already sold one!) was taken at Pontchartrain Beach. My parents talked often about their time in New Orleans, but I never heard them mention Pontchartrain Beach. So I had to research to list my photos. This is what I found out.

According to Wikipedia:
  "Pontchartrain Beach was an amusement park located in New Orleans, Louisiana, on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain. It was founded by Harry J. Batt Sr. and later managed and owned by his sons, Harry J. Batt Jr. and John A. Batt. It opened in 1928, across Bayou St. John from an existing amusement resort at Old Spanish Fort. Pontchartrain Beach's original location is the present-day lakefront neighborhood of Lake Terrace. In the early 1930s, subsequent to the construction of a seawall extending from West End to the Industrial Canal that created a new shoreline for Lake Pontchartrain, Pontchartrain Beach was moved to a new location at the lake end of Elysian Fields Avenue, a location formerly offshore of Milneburg.

Milneburg Lighthouse, dating from the 1850s, predated Pontchartrain Beach, was a landmark in the park for decades, and still stands within the boundaries of the University of New Orleans Research & Technology Park. The lighthouse once rested offshore and was reached by a wooden pier. Land reclamation in the 1920s stranded it several hundred feet inland from the current lake shore.

Pontchartrain Beach included a beach with a large art deco style bathhouse and swimming pools, amusement rides (including a wooden roller coaster called the Zephyr), and concession stands. The park featured live music concerts, including many local musicians and touring national acts such as Elvis Presley."

Pontchartrain Beach opened in 1939, a little time later, our country prepared for war. The area around the park became a tent city military base for the young enlisted men. Of which, my father was one. Camp Leroy Johnson and Camp Polk were within walking distance and the Navy used the parking lot at the beach as a drill station. Harry Batt Sr. gave the men in uniform half price tickets for rides and games as well as inexpensive entertainment for young soldiers needing some relaxation and entertainment who had war on their minds.

Cockeyed Circus

The photo, I sold? It was this one, which on the back my father had written, "Pontchartrain Beach, Cockeyed Circus" and it sold in a matter of hours after listing it. I wondered about that name, "Cockeyed Circus" and was that just my father joking around? Nope, that is what the name of it was. I researched it and found elsewhere on the internet: "The clown was part of a ride called the Cockeyed Circus, a fun house of distorting mirrors, slanted floors, and gusts of air that blew up ladies’ skirts." (quote from Denise Trowbrdge)

New Orleans 1942

If you have a lot of old photographs and don't know what to do with them or wonder what will happen to them after you are gone. Maybe selling them on eBay will help you to bring in some extra money, as well as, putting them in a collector's hands instead of ending up in a landfill somewhere. I am pleased to see mine go to a good home.

Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Growing Rabbit Food Is Good For People Too!

Mmmmm! Dandelions!

After fourteen weeks of having a pet rabbit in the house, known now, as a house rabbit, I can honestly say, that I love having him in the house. He entertains us constantly and keeps us both laughing. A house rabbit, or rather, our house rabbit is so easy to take care of. I belong to the House Rabbit Society Facebook page and I read about other rabbits who aren't so easy. Of course, most of those bunnies are rescues who come from abuse or neglect in their first homes. Our little guy, "Rabbit" probably wasn't in that type of situation. I believe he was being raised as a meat rabbit somewhere. Probably outside in a hutch or fenced area and hutch with other bunnies.

Rabbit food is all over!

Since spring is now definitely here, we have an abundance of fresh greens for our little guy. He loves it when I come in the house and say to him, "Look what I just got for you." He knows what that means, as he eagerly waits for me to put it down in front of him. One thing I do for him is to cut a young a blackberry cane that has the little buds on it. Then I remove every thorn off it. I read that it is okay to let him eat the thorns, but not my bunny! I don't want him to stick himself with a sharp thorn.

An edible flower, violets, are good for people too!

Rabbit loves oats. I have been feeding him old fashioned oats like you would use for oatmeal. He loves these. I tried the quick oats by mistake and he didn't like those. He also doesn't like it if they are too dusty. So far, the ones I am feeding him are the Quaker Oats as they are really the best quality. Along with whatever we have for salad and some kale keeps him happy. I am starting my garden and already have some lettuce coming. I planted a large bed of kale and hope to have it coming in soon.

Parisienne Carrots

Last year was the first year we ever had carrots come in. I believe it was due to the fact that when I placed my order at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, they sent me a free package of an heirloom carrot called Parisienne. It grows short and blocky. In NY, our ground is packed with rocks. I don't mean small rocks either. BIG! It is hard for root crops to grow properly unless you clean it out good. Carrots like room to move and plenty of space. These carrots didn't need any more space than what was in the raised bed. I am going to fill one of my beds with carrots, I hope. Rabbit of course, loved these carrots. So did I. Carrots is one of my favorite vegetables and having a harvest of them would be great. Rabbits aren't so hard to feed since they basically eat what is good for us too...........rabbit food!

Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Funds For Amy

Kevin & Amy Foster

I want to thank everyone for their prayers, good thoughts and comments about Amy, my niece, who was in an accident on April 3rd. If you don't know about it, please read my previous posts, Praying For My Niece, Amy, Please Join Me and Amy Foster In Surgery Today. I am sure you all know the horrific expenses an accident such as this incurs. Amy's husband, Kevin is a hardworking man and provides well for Amy and their six children. Amy is a stay at home mom, who is happiest being a homemaker and raising her children. She also home schools them. Kevin has his own business which he started when he was very young. When other teenagers were out having fun, he was working. He built up a successful lawn mowing and tree removal business, and snowplowing during the snowy months (which is many in NY state).

Amy & Angie Noyes

Today I am asking for any size donation you can give. Even if it is only ten dollars. If you are unable to give a donation yourself, can I ask you to please share this post with others, that may be able to join us in raising funds for Amy?  Many churches across the country and maybe some around the world, have taken up collections to assist Amy and Kevin, in paying these medical expenses. Kevin will need help in other expenses that will come in the future, such as transporting Amy back to their home in NY, making their home handicap accessible, a handicap vehicle, just to name a few.

Jill, Lisa, Amy & Angie Noyes with cousins, Hollie & Jeffrey Lupole

Please visit the gofundme page that has been set up for funds for Amy and donate what you can today! Please share my post with others and feel free to post this blog post on your blog, social media pages or websites. Thank you so much! Let's keep Amy focused on recuperating and not worrying about how Kevin is going to pay for this. Above all, please keep praying for Amy's recovery!

Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole