Monday, April 22, 2013

Going international ... sort of

Say what you will about Ella, once she gets an idea, she’s full steam ahead until it comes to fruition. In February, she saw an ad from CIEE USA on Craigslist looking for host families for international exchange students.  Last week, after Ella spent countless hours filling out the application, submitting us both for background checks, and cleaning, straightening, and rearranging the house for the in-home interview, we finally were approved. 

We then spent several days looking over potential students, and finally selected a 17-year old male from Vietnam to live with us for the upcoming school year.  If all goes as planned, Duc will join our family in August, and spend the next 10 months learning what it’s like to be a high school student in small town America.

We don’t have any children, so it will be a big change to have a hormonal teen-ager living under our roof.  There’s much to consider, from curfews to meals to chores, but Ella is excited, and undaunted.  I’m not quite as gung-ho, but do appreciate the prospect of having someone to help around the house.  Also, I plan to introduce Duc to the family business (thrifting, of course), and can envision teaching him to use a scanner, and having him help during our weekly scouting trips.

Speaking of scouting trips, books have been few and far between over the last two weeks, but, strangely enough, DVD boxed sets have been in abundance. We’ve picked up 10 seasons of the original Hawaii Five-O, all eight seasons of Charmed, as well as multiple seasons of Merlin, Sabrina the Teen-aged Witch, Monk, Young Justice, Merlin, Warehouse 13, and assorted others.  We’ve also found a good number of single DVDs and CDs.

As I grow in this business, I’m beginning to see value in items that I probably have overlooked in the past.  For example, I happened to see a box of metal lapel pins at a local thrift store on Saturday.  Most were for local events (real estate, open houses, etc.), but one jumped out at me:

It’s from a now-defunct Las Vegas casino, probably pressed in the early 1970s, and features a semi-famous character actor who also participated in the casino’s big poker tournament.   It’s certainly collectible, and, hopefully, just quirky enough to sell.  Best of all, it cost just $.49, and there were a few more that I could grab if it sells quickly.

Elsewhere on Saturday, I picked up a new in box Dymo LabelWriter Twin Turbo from a fellow Ebayer for a measly $8.  It seems that the seller, who deals in sterling silver, still labels everything by hand. While I wanted to espouse the benefits of using labels on packages, I squelched that impulse, and made off with my new gadget.

As usual, there is so little to do, and so much time to do it.   Wait, reverse that.  Have a great and productive week everyone.


  1. Yes, it's so hard to keep finding things to buy reasonably cheap when the darn thrifts keep upping their prices. Vintage patterns, which I sell on Etsy, used to be 25 cents, now my little podunk place has priced most of them at $1 and some at $2.

    Good buy on the pin and I bet it sells, too! and really good buy on the label/writer!!

  2. How exciting to have an international student living with you! We toyed with that idea in the past, but never followed through. I hope it turns out to be a great experience for all 3 of you. Good luck!