Thursday, October 16, 2014


fever, chills, vertigo and coughing
a plague of sorts
I sleep as if I will never wake, and rarely do....
phone messages heard faintly through a fog
a trash can piled with tissues

dragging myself to shower later...the dogs smell fresher than me,
and they are 2 months overdue for grooming.
the illness ooozes through one's pores

I was bragging last week that my annual winter crud
was tardy in arriving...
serves me right 

you do not poke the bear of fate
unless you are prepared to pay the price.
the price is 

F ever
C hills
  V ertigo
      C oughing

and just when beautiful fall arrived.....


Friday, October 10, 2014

Stay For The Credits

Stay for the credits and cheer 
as darling daughter Hannah's name scrolls up

St Vincent
Opens today

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


This whole middle died this summer

It all looks naked.
I misted up as each large branch
 crashed to the ground.

My painter/slash tree guy
posed for me to send to the kids.
He's a character.

I think the kids were both a little sad also.
That stump he is sitting on
will end up in the back yard as a side table.

Naked and sad

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Splurges and Purges

Try to keep up
I'll be all over the place.

Took me over three weeks to decide to splurge on these
flax linen sheets.
I have wanted them for about 15 years.
That seems about right.

Putting them on the bed today led to me purging 
the linen shelf and then I wandered into my
closet and purged about 50 plus pieces of clothing.

After 21 years I am repainting the house.
Not so much a splurge as an "overdue".
I have an HOA and have to use approved colors.
Out of 31 schemes there is only one I can stand

Body: Heather (DEC773)
Trim & Garage Door: Navajo White (DEC772)
Accent & Pop-Outs: Shaggy Barked (DEC771)
Front Door (option): Center Ridge (DE6230)
Front Door (option): Swiss 
Coffee (DEW341)

I'm doing the door and shutters dark- the Center Ridge one.
So much drama with assoc, and estimates etc.
 oy vey

Will also be purging entire back yard as I have
 to move all the vintage stuff before painting anyway, so
seems the right time to do that and haul it up to the booth.

The baby ash tree that came with the house
21 years ago, is sick..... is dying.
All the other ash in the town are also sick 
with some kind of bore.

Every first day of school
my kids stood in front of that tree
to have their pictures taken.

Tree is 2 years old

Couple more years of growth

1st day of Ben's senior year with buddy Jake -12 years ago
tree is now double that

Removing it is breaking my heart,
but Monday is the day.
That tree has shaded my home from
 the harsh sun of lala land and I feel
guilty that I could not save it, 
though for three years I tried.
Damn, those front rooms will be
 scorching next summer.

OK so watch this gopher

I discovered, at the very ripe old age of 61,
 that I still cannot let a hand or foot dangle
 off the side of the bed for fear of....
what? a hand, a monster?
I tried for around 3 minutes last 
night and could not do it.
While pondering that childhood trauma, 
I recalled that I had to line up 
all my dolls and animals in my bed so that
no one would feel favored in any way
and with their heads above the covers so
 that they could breathe.
anyone else out there a comrad?

Now watch this
thanks to Jill Ruth

I am not techno stupid I use it-
 My life does not Revolve around it.
Look up at the world occasionally folks,
it's in trouble.

and my final 1 1/2 cents

Would everyone please stop 
making stupid people famous?
oy vey

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

400' Of Cute Studio

Slightly over 400' sq feet studio
Borrowed treasures from home, some
film castoffs and craigs list 
and creativity = a charming space for DD.
I think she made a wonderful nest. 

Aunt Iva's old trunk (storage)
This IKEA couch has (storage) under the chaise area and there
is a pop up section, that turns it into a queen bed for guests.

DD remade the butterfly collection 
she found cheap in thrift store.
We found the shelves at Target
 for less than $21 total including brackets.
 Most of knick knacks are from her room at home,
and painted vases $4 ea at target clearance.
Boxes and tins hold desk supplies since she has no drawers.
Simple table used for desk

Divided cubby from Mom's hallway
 frees up limited cabinet space.

Vintage yellow cabinet from my
 family room acts as a pantry;
they secured it to cabinets behind. 
It also helps visually separate the kitchen.
Chalkboard back of cabinets backs up to couch,
and provides "leaning" area.

These were the two unpainted cabinets 
we bought from Lowe's and then we added a laminate top. 
This added two cupboards and two drawers to kitchen
as well as much needed counter space.
I found orange top canisters for $4 each.

Vintage cabinet on right from DD's room at home,
dining table from Mom's living room.
Chairs - We got deal from Target for $17 each due to 
metal caps missing from legs. Pays to "Ask for discount"
Linens from home
Stacked end tables $24 make another bedside table
and two bins inside act as drawers and hide clutter.
Rusty wire circle memo holder was
 found in desert dump in lala.
The trunk moves to the base of bed 
when couch is in pull up mode.
Bed on risers with end to end bins (storage) underneath.

Metal calendar purchased at BIG NSS sale,
 painting is one of DD's.
I just bought her the above sink drainer from IKEA,
since there is no other space to air dry dishes.
I thought it was so clever.
Except for fridge you see the
 entire kitchen provided by apt.

Believe it or not they could entertain 10 for dinner
with the seating inside and on porch. 
Folding table, two chairs from Mom's yard
sit on wee patio.

Atrium on bottom floor sends all this green up to her,
along with lots of hummingbirds.

The whole studio is rich with color- hard to tell here..
Blue tiled fireplace and wall mounted tv area
are the last space being tweaked (show when complete)
Two closets and a small bath complete the space.

I could live here so easy peasy.
Yes there is more purging, downsizing,
simplifying headed my way.
I am obsessed with the tiny house movement.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

I'm Falling

As the birds fly,
so do I, 
into FALL

A few touches here and there

Burlap pumpkins from last year

Simple displays
No kitchy stuff
Lots of nature

Cozy reading in corners

Bowls of Nature

Birds and nests, more naturals

Family of wool sheep from the huge sale this summer

Thick, chunky, creamy wool pumpkins
also made last year

...and now I can cook once more
stews, soups, casseroles
FALL glorious FALL
I love you!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

CA Targets are just WRONG

Went to CA last week to visit with the kids.
now I am back in lala.

Gas expensive
Food expensive
Homeless folks everywhere we drove,
and heard on the radio they had just
 knocked down and "cleared" an entire 
community of homeless the day I arrived.
Robin William's work is still needed.

Traffic is horrid
Ocean beautiful
Urban Home store WAY COOL!
CA cuisine fresh, delish and lovely
Lots and lots of Starbucks thanks to many gift cards
from my B-day brunch

CA Targets confuse me
(backwards, reversed, and just WRONG)

Kids cooking for me is wonderful
Kids laughter enthralls me
Hannah's barely 400 sq feet is adorable
I could so live in that space!
(you'll just have to believe me for now)
Tears shed at the leaving part,
so hard to drive away

Extra 2 1/2 hours on drive home,
thanks to idiots who left the same time I chose to :D

Pooches happy to see me for about 5 minutes and then 
they plopped down for naps...

Tired mama
Very happy mama

Monday, August 4, 2014

My Troop Of Four

Hannah Anam Ben Blake

Kudos must be given to my Troop
who pulled off a fabulous Birthday Brunch
on Saturday.

Ben printed out custom omelet menus
and the guests checked off their requests
 and he got to work!
14 custom omelets came out 
of my wee kitchen and we fed them 
lots of other sweets and savories.
See the tip jar?
That was my friend Annie's idea..hilarious
and he got some tips hehe

We had some peach and Proseco 
mimosas ( polished off 7 bottles actually)
We drank the eighth bottle at breakfast this morning.
Trader Joes
Dixie Peach Juice and Proseco
Try it!

Ben and Anam left this afternoon 
and had a horrible drive home, but arrived safely.
An LA to Vegas  trip, and the reverse can go south quickly...
today was one of those days..
Hannah and Blake leave tomorrow.

Of course you all know 
I am in heaven when my four 
are here at home, or I am there with them.
I am so blessed that they were able to 
share the day with all my gal pals.
My friends were able to see first hand these 
wonderfully funny, polite, kind, accomplished young adults.
Mama so proud of this troop.

and oh my, the wonderful gifts 
I was showered with!
I was very spoiled by all.


Many of you already know
because we email privately,
but sadly I have news about my friends
 who moved to MN.
Mr. arrived by private plane from CA hospital
to MN hospital on Sunday morning.
Moving van to their newly purchased home
arrived Monday.....

and because the universe is a mystery
and often cruel and we cannot ever understand 
the whys....
Mr. died quietly two days later on Wednesday.

Mrs. is devastated and now has to rebuild a new life
far away from her friends.
The move was solely done to help Mr with his 
advancing health issues..and now....
the future is turned inside out for her.

We love her, we miss her.
We send her our thoughts and prayers constantly.
Please add her to your prayers.

May everyone have a week of grace.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Whack It Off!

I may do
the no-no thing again here
and not include any photos,
we'll see how it goes at the end...


On a whim
Or a bee in my bonnet
Or a bug up my butt

I walked by a low cost hair salon
in the miserable 108 degree heat and
yanked open the door and said
quietly to the girl who sweetly said
"Can I help You?"...
I said 
"Whack it off"
She did

This attitude is a repeat of one last week
where I was standing next to my client's beautiful pool,
on the final day of the move and while
my ex SIL was talking to me..
I jumped into the pool fully clothed..
Fully clothed in long jeans mind you
and happily swam around the next half hour
with my SIL in stitches snapping pics.
I drove home sopping wet sitting on a towel
I grabbed from the charity pile.

so has the old mare finally lost it?
worked herself into a whack a doodle state of mine?

follow this story..

The client, the one I've nearly lived with
 the last three months,
had a major set back
2 weeks ago.
Her husband with Alzheimers, 
managed to find the hidden car keys, 
took the car so fast
 she never heard him and took off. 
He has no license
He has not driven in a couple years,
and not at night for many more years
 He would quickly be lost and confused
  He disappeared at 8 p.m. on a Tuesday

He was missing for 18 agonizing hours.
My friend lived through this horrible night
in absolute terror.
He was found in southern CA! 5 hours away
 the next afternoon,
on the side of the highway after running out of gas.
Now I could rant about the fact that the HP did 
not put out an alert for many many hours
(shame on those rules with AZ patients)
BUT they did finally do an APB
 which is how he was found.
We'll never know where or how he did
it as he cannot tell us.

He was dehydrated and incoherent 
so they took him by ambulance
 to a hospital near Temecula,
where they proceeded
to nearly kill him by
misdiagnosis, ignorance and a DR 
who was an ASS!
My friend and two of his kids rushed to his side
and went through a week of hell.

Finally this past weekend
after much legal wrangling,
 they had to rent a LEAR
jet $$$$$$ to get him to MN 
to a good hospital and good care.

Meanwhile I was left to finish the move
 and deal with all the remaining details.
My SIL was engaged to aid the process
as it was now impossible to complete alone 
without the homeowner. 
Things went pretty well for us here while things
were insane for my client and her husband.

Imagine dealing with such a medical crisis while
folks were packing up your whole house and moving you
at the same time..and now folks are on the receiving end
 unpacking her as she hospital sits in MN with him.
God Bless Them All

Which brings me to whack it off

I am a mite distressed by the world at the moment.
Sunday was my B-day and although I received
some lunch invites etc, I chose to hole up 
in my pj's and just veg, listening to music, and reading.
The plane disappearance, plane shot down, conflicts and wars
killing of innocent civilians, kidnapping, burning of children,
political idiocy, and looming environmental 
issues have me feeling so upset that I am 
frozen in time and space.
I have worked non stop for months to ease
the burden of a family only for that
family to be put through another kind of turmoil
that has not lessened, and there is nothing
 now that I can do to help.

I feel lost without purpose or joy

The kids are coming in August
for belated B-day
and I will be happy again 
but for now

I want to whack it off
All the pain and sadness and fear
that humans are causing.

I will jump in pools
 and sit on the bottom 
like I did as a child
no harsh sounds, 
enveloped in a water womb
making it all go away 
if only for a moment...

When I resurface
I am angry
and frustrated

I am searching to 


We are so much better than this
start fresh
start again
find the hope

I haven't even looked in the mirror to see 
the new "Whack Job"
not sure I care either way

No pics and not funny
but an honest tale from
old grey


Sunday, June 22, 2014


There are no photos.
It would have been impossible for me
to stop for even one.
We hit the ground running,
and after the first 2 hours of shopping,
 we had them lined up,
around the first floor for checkout.
Now and then I would catch
a couple gals perched on the winding stairs,
catching their breath and visiting.
The treasures flew out the door,
and some very creative stuffing of cars
was witnessed.

Phase one is over,
the decision of what to keep and move, 
what to sell..

Phase two, I packed up most 
of what is going to the new house, and 
staged the rest for sale.
The sale is over.

Phase three is the prep for items to be
sold in other venues, and finish the 
packing for the move.

Phase four is overseeing the moving day,
and then it is over here in lala land.

The final goal is to safely 
and efficiently get this couple
to their new home

There are special circumstances
surrounding this move, and 
family and friends await them
 to help and support
them on the rest of the journey.

Once again I have to praise the 
unyielding strength of another woman
I am privileged to know.
A very private person 
who without fail has shown humor and 
love in the face of very difficult
times, and daily amazes me with her patience
in dealing with an insidious
disease that has slowly taken her 
husband to a place she cannot go.

(donate here)

Not sure what is next
here at oldgreymare.
I'll let you know as soon as I know.
Have a great week my friends.


Friday, June 20, 2014


Thousands of them....

and in two days 
they will be finding new homes
with our special shoppers...

so this is the last
post about the sale...
bet you're glad
unless I manage to get 
some frenzied shopper pics
and yes I got some bargains for myself...
In fact I traded several DAYS of work
for so many beautiful things for me and the kids...

Here are just a few:

A bouquet for DD'S patio

Vintage Dansk Cookware
I've wanted some since the 70's!
I can't put it away yet - I like seeing it 

and today I snagged these three MEGA baskets
(for size reference- that's a very large wing back)

and Howie
checking them out

See you on the other side
oh, how I wish all of you could come.....


Sunday, June 15, 2014

And Yesterday....

We began setting out the Serve Ware,
Crystal, China

There is another room full
in addition to what you see here.
Oh yeah, the giant mirror?
For Sale

A few gals from Ca asked if
they perhaps should make the trip up for the sale.
If I collected Fitz and Floyd, I would 
travel here from CA.
(It took me four hours last week from Culver City.
To get to sale location, north of me,
 would add another 45 minutes?)
We have nearly 100 pieces.
Many NIB
Once in A Lifetime Prices
It's Vegas Baby
SO much else to do....

For you local gals?

 If you haven't added your name to the list
time is running out.
Please also remember your friends
who may wish to attend this special event.
If you come home with all these 
wonderful things and they find out you did
not get them invited...
well, you're gonna be in 

See you on the other side

Saturday, June 14, 2014

You Gotta Peek At This

Short version
Estate Sale
Very busy
Went to CA Tuesday
to take furniture and stuff to DD
Returned Thursday
No time for pics or stories
She has promised to get pics of their wee abode
It's adorable

Back to Client today
Countdown to Sale
Here is just a wee fraction of what is for sale
Peek away

Yeah Yeah fuzzy pics taken with no light and FAST

Red Bins here and about 6 more
filled to brim with glass ornaments

Tables filled with serve ware
Hundreds of pieces - just a few here

1 entire garage bay filled with silks

Hutch already sold

So, local gals....
If you are not on list you will not be able to attend
so email me to be added.
Deadline approaches.

Far away sorry you cannot join us.
and no we cannot take orders and ship.
We're feverishly setting up- 
we have much still to do...

This is one very tired