Sunday, November 29, 2009

I haven't blown away!

You may think that I have given up writing in this blog or that I have blown away or something. Neither are true, especially the latter with all of the eating I have been doing in preparation for Thanksgiving and since T-day.

I have been eating way too much and way too often lately. I am guessing that might have something to do with the stress and time deadline I am under to get the 5th annual Stolen Horse International fundraising auction launched.

Stolen Horse International is truly run by family and friends and is truly a mom and pop (Harold and I are the mom and pop) organization that has grown into a small corporation that does huge things for horse people. None of which we could do without family, friends and the kindness of strangers around the world.
Angela and her daughter are up from Alabama to help get the “show on the road” and we have been working day and night since last Monday. Harold has pitched in the weights and measurements department. My son Casey has been doing some driving for Harold to go out and collect local items for the auction. Angela’s daughter has been sending out announcements on the Internet. But mostly, it had been me and Angela working from sometimes four in the morning until late at night.

What are we doing you wonder? Why does it take so long? Well, let me give you a very short run down because I really need to get back to work.

All of the items that are donated have to have descriptions recorded, and in some cases found again. Once that is done they have to be sorted by category, tagged so Harold and Casey can find them for shipping later, photographed and then put on a shelf to wait for their journey to the new owner.

After that the item has to have an ad on and then listed on eBay. I have a story about that but I will get to it later.

Angela and I work together like a two person assembly line on this task. She is writing the descriptions, looking up information on the items that we need but didn’t get from the donors, finding values, website addresses etc, and putting them into a Word doc and some on the website, before passing them off to me.

Once she completed all of the items she had been working on (except the new tack) she started helping me list them on eBay because of the problems we were having on my desk with putting the data in the computers. The items have to be individually boxed and carefully weighed and measured before we can input the data on eBay. Ebay calculates shipping from those measurements so if you have large postage fees, IT’S NOT US doing the calculations! It’s eBay!
In between all of the listing we still have still had to check emails, answer the phone and sadly on Thanksgiving Eve, send out a stolen pony alert.

This process alone has been a nightmare this auction season because of my slow Internet connection and slow computer combo. Many times I have pushed my chair away from the desk and said, “That’s it, I am not doing this anymore! This is driving me nuts!” Try looking at two white screens side by side from two computers and waiting for them to load a webpage for what seems like hours all day long. It does something to this person. It is driving me to the nuthouse for sure!

I don’t know what is wrong with the computers but I see a big bill ahead finding out why they are sometimes sick. You know those geek doctors don’t come cheap!

We spent hours with a sweet Time Warner guy on Friday. He even called in reinforcements and all the while valuable time is slipping by and items are not going up on eBay. While he was here I was working on the third computer, my trusty laptop trying to get a few things done in-between the intermittent Internet connection. After a while it too was inflicted with the same sickness as the two computers at my desk and its loading screens turned to white for a while.

Even with all the problems Angela, who has not had the problems as much on her computer, and I trudge onward. Our goal is to finish listing what we have submitted for the auction today. More will come later, thankfully it always does. Once people see the many great items we have in the auction they want to become a part of it too.

Auction donations, most of which I have collected by foot, phone and emails, have come from companies, trainers, strangers, NetPosse members and even an old school friend for whom I connected with recently on Facebook. I must thank of course Angela, but also Sonya who has kept us busy for hours listing her many donated items and Michelle who walked the floors at a tradeshow hunting items for us. She did it very well too!

There have been a few nonworking moments during the past six days. We went to see Blind Side Tuesday night. I recommend that movie to everyone! We did find some time to enjoy Thanksgiving Day and have a wonderful meal prepared at home by Angela, Harold, Casey and myself. Angela photographed my family for our upcoming Christmas picture. Getting my two grown children who still act like kids when together, in one place with the parents and three dogs, one a 12 month old huge chocolate Lab puppy was a trick in itself.

Last night we took the biggest and most needed break after working from four in the morning, we went out to eat seafood and came home to play Wii tennis.

I am very thankful for Harold who is not making me cheese toast and will soon lay it on my desk sitting on top of a paper towel. I hear the ice dropping into a glass from the refrigerator so I know my diet coke is on its way. Well there it is now, “Thanks honey.” He is the best isn’t he and no, you can’t have him!

I am thankful for Angela far more than she can ever know. She is my rock, the person who keeps me sane in this crazy stolen horse world, the organizer and much more. God gave me a gift when he dropped her into my life.

Angela would be a whole blog so I have to stop now because at this point we still have close to close to 100 items to list somewhere between the website and eBay. So, I guess you know what is coming next. It is time to get back to work!

I think my computers, like me are overworked and tired but they are hanging in there with me. Neither of us has crashed yet. Oh my gosh, let me find some wood quick! Knock, knock, knock on wood!

What is the name of the song that has those words in it? OH NO! I will be trying to figure that one out all day too!

I know I am late but here is my belated Happy Thanksgiving and my wish for a very happy holiday season to come.

Mine will be when I finish this darn auction!

PS: This blog entry was written fast and without editing because I need to get back to work!

PSS for Christi: I have not forgotten you. My heart is breaking for you over the loss of your mother on Wednesday. You and your family are in my heart, my thoughts and my prayers. I know that she will be happy with your father in heaven and will smile down upon you. God bless you all in this time of mourning for your tremendous loss.

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