Wednesday, October 5, 2011

2011 - Still No Progress

Yes, folks, I'm still here.

It's been an interesting year so far. My Dell laptop crashed and burned earlier this year. This lead to going to the library to do any computer work, and browsing the web on my Android phone (which I got at the end of January).

Then, in June, my health issues began. I thought I was dealing with colitis, so I went to my Dr. who put me on an antibiotic, which seemed to clear everything up. Then the pain came back - worse then before, which lead to another trip the the Dr. He ordered an MRI to see what we were dealing with. Turns out it wasn't colitis, but a whole bunch of other problems which lead to me having a Total Abdominal Hysterectomy with a Bi-Lateral Salpingoophorectomy and an appendectomy as well in early August. We thought we were dealing with ovarian cancer, but thankfully that was not the case.

I was finally able to get a new laptop yesterday, so that's been the highlight of my year. LOL I never did get around to setting any goals. I have to say, though, that even after major surgery, I haven't felt this great in quite a while, probably at least a year. I have sooo much more energy now, it's amazing. So even though the majority of 2011 so far has been bleah, I have much greater plans in store for the rest of 2011 into 2012.

Anyway, just wanted to update anyone who still may be following the blog. I will post more as I get settled into setting some goals (for real this time) for 2012.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

2010 - The Year of No Progress :/

This will probably be my final blog post for the year, unless something earth shattering happens in the interim.

This year really was, by all accounts, a lousy year. Absolutely nothing got accomplished this year (hence the title of the blog post). We started with debt and accumulated even MORE debt (medical bills) and there was no increase in income (besides Harry's monthly store bonuses which helped us keep our head above water).

I think the biggest factor that contributed to this was a complete lack of goal setting. Let me rephrase that - it was a complete lack of working on goals and also setting the wrong goals. So I have challenged myself to set goals and develop a road map to really reach those goals. (The road map was completely non-existent in 2010.)

One of the keys to having a successful year in 2011 is to set the right goals, or what I like to term "honest goals". Looking back at my 2010 list of goals, it was immediately apparent that I was setting goals that I thought were the "right" goals based on what other people around me were doing. I was not being honest with myself as to what I really wanted to do. That is going to change for 2011 for sure.

For those of you who are Christians and read my blog, I'd really recommend an article about Christian goal setting here. I absolutely loved it!

Blessings to all, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I'll see you in 2011! :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Treading water and fading fast....

Well, after my initial success with the box of 20 books I shipped (a total of 8 orders placed from that shipment), I was feeling pretty good. Now, not so much.

I came across a company that seemed pretty reputable in the online bookselling business. They are heavy in the book remainder business (I'll explain what a remainder is in a bit) and have a program where they will ship the books directly to Amazon for your account from their warehouse. They offer what they term a sample lot of 100 books so you can check out the program. The other part of this is that this company runs on a membership basis (a la Costco, Sams) so in order to purchase their sample lot you had to be a member. Membership is $100, but they were having a sale, so the membership fee was then $77.35. It all sounded pretty reasonable to me, so I placed an order.

To give them credit they were very quick in shipping out the books and had great instructions on how to go through the process of listing the books on Amazon, etc. But it has been 2 weeks now, and I have had no of the books are selling so low price wise that I would either break even, have a $.25 profit, or lose money. When I emailed them about my disappointment with the lot, I was told that I would have to reprice in order to generate sales, an that they have sold many of the sample lots and I was their first complaint. They said that they were there to help and to answer questions and even offered to ship out an additional books for free. I was tempted to take them up on that offer, and a friend of mine said I should since they are offering it for free, but I'm reluctant to do it. Amazon charges storage fees on inventory and I'm not thrilled with the idea of paying storage on 100 books, much less 200 books. Although the actual amount would probably be very low (I read that one seller has over 8,000 books in inventory and his fees are $75 a month), just the idea of putting out more money, no matter how little just makes me sad.

Hindsight being 20/20, if I had it to do over again, I would have saved the $177.35 that I paid and not have bothered.

I had another job opportunity that was part time with extremely flexible hours that would have fit my schedule perfectly, but that is still in limbo, as the rep who currently holds the position is on medical leave, and they are not sure if she will be coming back (retiring) or whether she will be asking for an extension. I hope to hear something next week.

The only other possibility is to make the rounds at the mall and look for something seasonal part-time. I would need to have some flexibility in picking up the kids from school, but other than that, with my mother being close by, I can work around my husband's work schedule without too much difficulty.

Anyway, that's where I stand at the moment. Prayers are always appreciated! :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Shipped a box of 20 books to Amazon which were already received and checked in today....already have one order pending from that shipment!

These were books I had around the house as well as some books that my Mom donated to the cause, plus a couple of books that I had bought at a book sale at a thrift store.

I am soooooo excited! :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Quick update

Just a quick update to say that my daughter's surgery went well and we were able to come home on Wednesday. It was a very long day - she went into the OR at about 12noon and didn't get out of recovery and up to her hospital room until 9pm. But she's doing great and that's the main thing!

I am super excited about my Amazon selling adventure! I went to one book sale and picked up a few books, but my goal now is to qualify for selling in the Toys & Games section for Christmas, then use the proceeds from that to get my PDA scanner and go full swing into selling books.

That's about it - will update again as I get more into the holiday toy selling season!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Heading in a new direction

Well, it's been quite a long time since I've posted to the blog, but I figure I would trying and catch things up and let everyone know what's been going on.

My daughter was unexpectedly hospitalized at the end of July, and that really kind of threw us completely off kilter. I was staying with her, and we were there for about 7 days. She is going to have surgery again on September 20th, but we only hope to be in the hospital for 2 days this time, so that's good.

I've been rethinking my goals for real estate investing, and have come to the conclusion that I am not going to pursue real estate investing until we are on Baby Step 3 (we are big Dave Ramsey fans). This was a tough decision, but I feel that it is the right one for us as a family, especially because of the medical bills that have cropped up due to my daughter's hospitalization. Although we have pretty decent health insurance through my husband's employer, we still have a maximum out of pocket per individual of $3500 per year, and we did not have that much in our flexible spending account to cover the difference.

So, having put real estate investing on hold for now, I then had to figure out how to boost our income on a regular basis. Applying for jobs has not panned out, and now my time is going to be even more limited, as I will be helping my husband's grandfather with taking him to the doctor, dentist, grocery shopping, etc, which I am also currently doing for my mother. So I've decided that I'm going to work on selling books on Amazon using their Fulfillment by Amazon program. The start-up cost is low, and the opportunity to make a consistent monthly income is very good. I hope to get a start on getting ramped up for business before my daughter and I head to the hospital on the 20th.

So that's it for now. I will still update the blog so you can see how I'm doing with my Amazon business. :)

Oh, I almost forgot. Funny story - I received a phone call from someone to whom I sent a probate letter back in January. He said that he's getting ready to put the house in question on the market, but wanted to give me a chance to put in an offer before he does it. I've got to call him back this weekend - should be interesting!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Good news, bad news, good news, bad news...

This was going to be a long post, but I'll spare you the details so you won't get bored. So let's play a game of Good News, Bad News!

Bad News - we didn't have enough money for all of us to go down to Charleston for Ruth's cardiac catheterization procedure on June 16th, so Ruth decided that Dad should be the one to take her.

Good News - Ruth didn't need the cardiac catheterization after all, so she didn't have to spend the night in the hospital!

Bad News - My husband took my mother's car for the Charleston trip, because it had the lowest mileage...on the way back the tread on the front driver's side tire came off and ripped on the wiring Mom's car is out of commission until everyone has enough money to finish up the repairs.

Good News - at least no one was hurt! And they were about a mile away from their exit on the interstate, so they didn't have to drive too far to get to the gas station.

Bad News - one of our older dogs passed away on the back porch (the day that Ruth and my husband were in Charleston).

Good News - My neighbor has a farm tractor which made burying the dog in the backyard a much easier task.

That pretty much sums it up. Also the recurring theme of not having enough money is getting really, REALLY old. Trying to still work on getting part time employment.

I'm restarting my probate leads mailings this week, so that's good, too.

Oh, and the one lead I had back in February with the gentleman who had his sister's house and his brother's house that he was working on apparently decided to go with a realtor...the sister's house is under contract and the buyer is looking to assign it. He posted the lead on my local REIA's Yahoo group (that's how I found it)...I referred him to a property management company in town, so he called them and they might be interested in buying. He was very appreciative of the lead, so that made me feel good. I'm not upset about losing the lead (I was going to get it under contract for $35k, the buyer has it under contract through the realtor for $25k), but I'm annoyed at myself for not following up and seeing if it was up on (since I don't have MLS access)'s a learning experience.

Later folks!