Friday, November 8, 2019

Howie My Love

I lost Howie yesterday
I am heartbroken

My dear best friend was not even given
 the grace to go gently.

I won't be around for awhile I suppose.
My constant companion has left
me floundering out in this harsh world 
that I want no part of.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Howie Up Date

Howie turned south pretty quickly
 after I posted last night.
I decided to stay up and watch him all night and I
am so grateful I did. 

Vomiting and worse came on very fast and by 
2:30 am I was racing cross town to 
the emergency hospital.

By the time I arrived he was critical and they 
jumped into action. At 5:30am I had to
 drive home to get 
another 0/2 tank as mine had run out,

I was back at emergency by 7:00am
and then I transported him IV's and all
back to original vet hospital.

By now he was in serious condition but
even the short ride over spiked his fever and we
were dicey again. He has been admitted for 2-3
days and prognosis is still up in the air.

I'm a mess. Three hours sleep in 3 days
and I've cried rivers.

All I can think is he's in pain which 
he is and it's severe. They cannot give pain relief 
because of other issues.
He looks at me, when he can, to say
why Mom why?

I can't stay there with him,
even though they all notice his breathing calms
 when he can see me.

My heart is breaking.

He needs your prayers also, not just the hundreds
Hannah and I have been sending out, so
please if you would?

As soon as there is good news I'll write again.

thanks guys


Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Poor Baby Boy Howie

That is what Hannah said when 
she called to check on Howie

Here he is right after he came home
from his oral surgery.
His head so heavy he could not lift it up
from his water bowl.
He is one drugged up pooch.
It is now 9:00 pm and he has barely moved.

I was a wreck all day worrying
myself sick. He is nearly 15
so anesthesia is risky.

He has not been eating much
 at all these past weeks
so that has me worried also.
Perhaps it was his teeth.

We'll know in a week or so.
Meanwhile I have to get three HUGE 
pills a day into a dog who
 is too whacked out to eat and opening his 
sore mouth to push them down is an 
impossible feat on a good day.

Of course I'll be on the couch listening
all night to be sure he is OK.

My heart is breaking for my

Poor Baby Boy Howie


Sunday, November 3, 2019

The Studio

You would need to be very familiar
with my studio that made it into magazines and books
to notice the changes perhaps, but 
changes indeed have occurred.

Several cabinets that were either on the floor
 or hanging on the walls
are now gone.
Inside the cabinets studio materials
have been down sized and rearranged.

The curtains are gone from the loft opening,
bringing needed light. 
They were only there to hide the backs of cabinets
that could be seen from downstairs.

This small table sits where a triple doored cabinet
 and large easy chair used to be.
Now my Cricut and Gemini 
are always out and nagging me to use.
The table can be easily pulled to the end of my
work table for when friends come crafting.

The tablecloth is temporary.
I just found the mustard paint I want
 to re-paint the top which was 
severely in need after years outside.

I know folks who haven't changed
 a thing in their homes in decades.
This I find hard to imagine.
For me that would be like always eating
in the one same restaurant,
wearing the same clothes every day,
watching only the same few shows
eating the same meals,
sleeping in the same linens forever.

I am not the same person year after year
and my environment is crucial to my 
sense of comfort and peace.

I am not a fan of wastefulness
and it takes very little money to 
be creative. In fact I am making
money as I change over my home; 
selling off many items for what I paid and 
some even for a small profit.

The two carloads to donation 
and several hundred books to local library
make my heart happy.

go forth 

be bold

Make your corner of the universe
work for you
and please your soul.


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Tweak Not Twerk Nor Twitter

I looked at prior photo in post and thought
It's OK...

but this is better. 

I kept everything from before
and just added some shapes and color.
Tweaked it

 A couple days after my changes and I love the room
more every time I walk thru.

Change is good baby
Lighten your load

To help you decide
about your spaces I recommend
taking photos. 
What doesn't fit or is "off"
will be glaringly obvious.

And as for Twitter
I never did it
and after #45 I never will.

Monday, October 28, 2019

I Am Woman I Can Do Anything

From base cabinet
to cart

from cart

 to two totes

to one tote

one flip

second flip


Saturday, October 26, 2019

Mickey and Me

Halloween 1988

and now Mickey is getting married.

Thursday, October 24, 2019


Updates on the personal front.
Ben and Helene
 have set a May wedding date 

Ben just finished working on
the first season of 
Chasing the Cure for TNT.

Hannah and crew are making preparations to 
go to Amsterdam with their 
winning short for that festival.
If they place in the top 10 there,
 they go on to Cannes.

Tom is playing Goldstein in
 George Orwell's 1984 
adapted by Michael Gene Sullivan 
with Tim Robbins and 
The Actors Gang

Busy enough?
The holidays are going to be crazy
 as the kids are making pit stops here,
both before and after they head 
to Detroit  (DD and TOM)
and AZ ( DS and DD2)
Not sure yet if we will all be in
the house at the same time.

I hope so, for
2019 is likely to be the last Christmas in
the house where they grew up.
It will also be the easiest Holiday as I 
sold off about 75% of decorations.
My trusty go-to picks are still out there,
so never fear.

Howie back at vet today
progress, but not there yet.
I have a new cardiologist as of this Saturday.
Cross your fingers eh?


I managed to slide the hutch top 
( see yesterday's post) off and down
onto this cart easily enough
but now can't get it off the cart.
I need 2 more step down pieces
 to get close enough to floor.

Stay tuned...


another update:

I received a comment from a good and trusted blog friend
who thought perhaps I was altering my personality
by paring down so drastically.
 I appreciate such honesty and agree that
I am changing.

It's not just about moving
It's not just about selling the house
It is about very positive changes
that I think we all need to address.

Another friend wanted a close up

Again stay tuned

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Shake It Up



Now before you think she's crazy, why 
would she do this?
 I'll tell you.

Because it is all too much:
too much to care for
too much for a house showing
too much for down sizing
too much for me to leave behind
for kids to deal with.

Those of you who have followed along
know the process has been ongoing.
Well, now we are in the final stretch.

See where those ( now clean) baskets were on top?
Constantly dusty, and the dishes
in the hutch with glass shelves?
A constant annoying issue.
A bonus:
When entertaining I now have a serving board.

More importantly for me
I now have a place of honor 
for my beloved painting by Nat Fast.
I loved him and miss him.

Nathaniel painted many subjects
but my favorites were always the pickers in the 
near by Santa Maria fields where he lived.
I requested one and he did this for me.

 I have kept it upstairs all these years
where most folks never saw it.
Now they can enjoy it as much as I love it.

Stay Tuned 
There is more


Sunday, October 20, 2019

Basket Washing Day

Anyone else give their baskets a good bath now and then?
I don't soak, I quickly, thoroughly spray, then wipe,
and set to dry where they will dry 
completely and quickly without heat.

I took a basket weaving class early 90's
from a wonderful instructor 
and like most things I take on,
I quickly became obsessed and the baskets
were rapidly breeding. 

Several moms from the same elementary school
my kids attended also took the classes
and we then went on to meet and weave once a week. 

I've kept a few I made like these, and 
another apple harvest one that I painted white
and several smaller ones. 
I also have two very old ones made a very long 
time ago by talented craftsmen that I treasure.

So why today did I begin washing baskets?
Because furniture is on the move 
around oldgreymare.
Yep, it is time for several minor, 
and a few major shakeups.

Stay tuned


Wednesday, October 16, 2019


I bet you remember these, or your kids do.

This is probably the last I'll see any like them
as a gal coming by today to purchase.
The other sets already sold the day of the sale.

I am amazed at how well my kids 
took care of their things and then I've
 had them safely boxed up for nearly 25 years.

These were great toys
where kids used their imaginations
and happily played for hours.
Not following the flashing lights
or shooting at things.

Don't get me started..

I had hoped to pass on to grandkids
someday but the kids say to let them go,
so I do.

It is difficult.

Monday, October 7, 2019

The Worst Is Over

...and we all survived.
It nearly took a village to get
through it all but it's now in the past and
I'm moving forward.

We shot these quickly for the ad before 
we had all the furniture out on the front yard. 
Obviously so much more as we nearly hit the $3,000 mark.
We may hit it as just now a gal 
wrote from the craigs list and may come
for FP toys.

We had a preview for invited guests Friday 
night as usual and then decided to put up a couple
signs by the entrance and we nabbed a few more shoppers.

Tidied up a bit, closed the door and tried to sleep
and raised the garage door at 6:30 to waiting folks.
Hauled out everything stacked in 
the back yard and living room
and fired the starter pistol.

By 3 we were winding down
 and kids convinced me to
 do 8-10 Sunday morning, something I never do. 
Slashed prices and Hannah bless her heart went back out
and modified signs.

Glad I did as we were able to give some children
2 train sets that had them beaming.

Meanwhile, through it all Howie 
was vomiting his medicine off and on for three days 
and also the stress of all the people and cousin dog Tubs.

AND Hannah had her HS reunion squeezed in there,
along with renting a truck to 
take some furniture back to CA. 

My daughter to be, and daughter were doing dishes
 non stop and cleaning up. Ben was feeding us
 and doing some home repair for me.
It really was a 3 day frenzy.

Many friends stopped by to say hello
and shop and ask "where are you going?"

My love and gratitude to my three blessings
DD and DS and DD2 for 
always being there for me.

To Annie, Sue and Pam :
Could not have managed without you.
Thank you so very much.

I have some vintage toys left including both 
American Girl Dolls and one overstuffed chair.
Two carloads full to the roof to donation.
One carload to the roof to library.
(took them three trips to get into library with huge cart).

DD2 cooked some lean burger and rice for Howie
and he has not vomited since, and this will
be a lifesaver if it helps him recover
from this infection.

Whew! right?

Now phase two. 
Is there any way I can stay in house? 
Move to Ca? When to sell? How to sell?
Where to rent? What can I afford?
and what the hell is wrong with my health?

Today is more sleep and slowly putting
garage back together and then I am going
 to sew and craft for days and days.

Ben will now have time to get 
my beautiful new website tweaked so that I can sell
again and it's a brave new world..
If we survive the election.

I love the folks who populate my world
including all of you.
Those I've emailed with for a decade and those
who just follow along unknown to me.

Blogging has been a gift.
Thank you for sharing your lives with me.
 I wish I could have you all over for lunch.

With much love


Sunday, October 6, 2019

The Sale

Ben's Ad for "The Sale" yesterday:

Come with me, all of you, down memory lane,
For a story of antiques and vintage toy trains.

This woman is moving and cannot be late,
So she’s hosting a SALE and marked it “estate.”

It’s stacked floor to ceiling with one-of-a-kinds
Rows of beautiful pieces and incredible finds

Like linens and fabrics and new skeins of yarn,
Farm tables and dressers brought straight from the barn!

There’s chairs and cabinets and baskets and racks
And plenty of crafting piled in stacks

Over all of these wares you surely will geek
They’re reasonably priced (and so shabby chic!)

Cookbooks and look books and book books galore,
Pitchers, pots, plates, platters, pegboards, and more!

See vintage toys making hobbyists drool,
From Fisher Price, Little Tikes, and Playskool,

It’s stuffed to the gills with grills, drills, and mills,
Old costumes and clothing—denim, lacy, or frilled.

Cookware and keurigs and flatware? You bet!
Plus Rudolph toysand it’s a full set!

Wooden shoes, stars, and mirrors, plus more vintage smalls,
Come check it outwe’re getting rid of it all!

Her kids moved the heavy furniture all day,
So they sure would be grateful if you came by her way.

We’ll start wheeling and dealing 7:30 on the dot
You’re all beautiful people and we like you a lot!

Sold so much, but some big pieces are left so we marked down
 even more and we're trying two more hours this morning,
then donating all the rest.
Kids headed back to CA
Mama headed to bed.

Exhaustion is the name of the game 


Sunday, September 29, 2019

My Favorite People

Today my son Ben gave a vintage typewriter to 
his sister Hannah.
 In the typewriter, a request

These are my favorite people.
DS and DD
Dearest Son and Darling Daughter

there are no words other than 


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

I Am Going To Miss

My garden
My porch
Rain on my tin roof
Especially rain on my roof....
26 years of them

Stepping forward into the unknown 
My daughter thinks it is exciting; 
a new adventure.
She's 28

At 66
 I'm finding it unsettling, nerve wracking,
and damn hard.

Maybe I'll find the adventure later on.
The way my life goes, 
I'll be Alice sliding down the rabbit hole,
butt upended with petticoats a flappin'.

Keep smiling