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


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Estate Sale Lots of Happy

This is my friend Ronda.
She is a happy shopper sitting here.
She just finished checking out from an Estate Sale 
I have been organizing for a client.
These are her treasures she is packing up.
She is also one of my
 two wonderful female bosses.

Lots of girls found lots of treasures.
Lots and lots of work involved for me and 
the client and we've only just begun.
This day a group was shopping
 by special invitation only.
Be not dismayed however,
 for there are still many rooms filled with 
glorious decor items, collectibles and furniture,
yet to be displayed and priced.
Another gal is stacking on the porch
 to load into her car.

This is the bed of a very large pickup truck.
One solid layer.

The BIG event is coming up later this month.
If you are local and on my "Gatherings"
 email list you will hear the details soon.
Email me quickly if you wish to attend, 
because you must be invited
 and placed on a master list.
I've told you gals of big sales in my past
at local events, and at my home.
This one will beat them ALL.
really - truly - no Sh** Sherlock.
It is NOT to be missed.

Darling daughter landed a job on a feature film,
 and is leaving earlier than we had planned.
Scrambling is the word of the day/week.
I'll come back up for air,
 sometime around mid - July.

See you at the NO **** Sherlock SALE!!


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

IKEA Ektorp In A Box

The hardest part is wrangling the box.
It recommends two people.
I recommend two people.
Of course I did it alone 
because I could not wait, 
and I'm stubborn like that.

Six bolts and four legs.
Air compressed cushions that 
spring into shape and fill up the porch.

One box of tightly packed slipcovers

..and $399.00 and 30 minutes later 
I have a sofa.

Everyone has had a nap on it so far,
so we're good.
Damn, I wish IKEA would come
 to la la land.

It is only going to 80 today.
We're in heaven.
Hannah working on free lance job
 at dining table, with windows open 
and outdoor fountains sounding pretty.

I'm getting ready for carpet cleaners,
who are DESPERATELY needed.

Kitchen cupboards are painted,
just in time for 
party here Saturday.
Garage stacked full of Hannah's
 belongings for move.
I'm going to need air compressed
everything to fit in 2 cars!

Mattress ordered, fridge ordered,
base cabinets and counter top ordered
as this is the ENTIRE kitchen.

Can you believe - no fridge?
New 4' counter topping 2 cabinets will sit along the 
kitchen floor/carpet line.
Now they have 2 drawers also.
I found them unfinished at Lowes
for 97 each and counter top for 57.

IKEA had some more expensive and half the size.
They can resell these or take with them
when they move from here.
Couch will butt up against back of cabinets
Roughly 460 sq feet total
to work with.

(couch may have to wait- we'll see)
And yet they feel like it's huge coming from
NYC apartment.

I am going to try and photograph
our transformation if I have time.
We have great plans
and it should be charming.
Stay tuned.


Friday, May 9, 2014


Yes, I am alive and well.
Kids are fine. 
Hannah has a pit stop here for a bit before
the big move to LA..
Any of you folks know of some AD or PD or PA 
jobs in film available let me know OK?
to non film folks that's
assistant director
production designer
production assistant

Cannot hurt to ask right,
you just never know,
though I am sure DD will cringe reading that,
roll her eyes and think "MOTHER!"

Ben starts filming his independent film next week.
I don't think that boy sleeps.

I've been "playing" at two of my jobs.
That's what it feels like. 
Am I lucky or what?
Today I taught the boss my secret recipe for 
painting, and she learned what a horribly messy 
painter I can be.
I removed my gloves, and my hands
 were still totally blue.
Black feet and blue hands.
It's delightful!

I've been gathering supplies for darling daughter's
new abode and they are piled in the garage.
She sold off everything in NYC via
Craig's list and a stoop sale.
A caravan of two cars will get her down, over?
there sometime next month.
Culver City is her new hometown.

They have a rather small space,
 and nearly no funds. 
Funny thing it is nearly 3 times the space she
occupied in  NYC!!!
...and two full size closets WhOo HoO
 I hope to show before and after
on here after she and I create magic.

Thank you for all your kind words 
and wishes for Annie.
She and Grandma Ruth are well, and 
thanks to the garage sale they have already demo'd
the floor (Thursday)and tile will be on there,
 before you know it.
She chose a beautiful faux wood look tile,
 that is AMAZING!
Their home is darling and tiny and all white.
I plan to do a post on it as soon as floors 
are done and kitchen cupboards are painted.
She is waiting to see how mine come out..
yeah, yeah I know ..
I've still not started..

OK it's Thursday night,
I'm headed to bed.
I've scheduled this for tomorrow morning.
So Happy Friday girlfriends!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

2 a.m. Sunday

I woke up about an hour ago, Sunday morning.
I went to bed limp as a rag doll 
5 p.m. Saturday evening.
I had been up since 5 a.m.  Saturday morning.

Saturday 6 a.m., headed over to help my friend Ann
with a garage sale.

She had been preparing for over a week.
She needs new flooring in her home,
and she also wanted to get some "order" to
her garage and storage shed.

Nothing special about that, but there is a special
back story I want to share.
This is the same Annie I asked
 you to pray for a while back.
Her husband Ron was ill and they were fighting 
a horrible battle with cancer.
They lost the battle a few weeks back,
Annie lost her husband,
and her life has changed forever.

I have watched my friend 
face these new challenges
with such bravery and grace 
and I am in awe of her strength.

She and her Mom Ruth,
forever more "Grandma Ruth" now,
worked themselves silly the past few days.
Annie made enough to make a huge dent in the project.
But there is more to the story.

I always send out alerts 
to local gals that a garage sale is
happening and the girls
turned up for the cause.
They came for the preview night Friday,
 bringing cupcakes and hugs,
opened their wallets and bought treasures.
They picked up unfinished quilts of the family,
and promised to finish them and send them photos.
They bought treasures from Annie
and will make them special in their own homes.
They tried on vintage glasses and hats 
and posed to make Annie laugh.

These other women have faced illness,
loss and tragedy in their own lives.
They've struggled and fought their own battles
and recognize a woman who needs
love and support.

I adore these women in my life.
Both my female "bosses" were there
and they are getting to know one another,
and lo and behold
the guy who owns the emporium
where our booth is, showed up by accident
and more hugs all around.

All these separate folks all intertwining
in work and friendship and love.

I looked up mid way through 
yesterday, I was fading fast,
and saw Annie bundled up in layers of 
her husband's clothes
borrowed from the racks, fighting the cold
and rain that lala land dumped on us yesterday,
and she was "merchandising" the tables, 
and shuffling in her fuzzy clogs and smiling.
Tired but always smiling.

I wake up this morning at 1 a.m.
and there is an email from Ann at midnight,
still up, still working I'm sure,
 thanking me for sharing my friends.
Annie, they are now your friends also.

Women brought together 
with shared experiences, friendship,
 and understanding of what it means to be 
a woman today, well, what it has always 
meant to be a woman.
The strengths we all have within us
to raise our families well, work hard,
love hard, be creative, nurturing.
We are by no means the weaker sex.
We "get it"

Oh yes, there are silly, selfish, even nasty
 gals out there,
always were, always will be,
but by and large I believe
in women.

I believe in these women for sure.
My friends.
Annie's friends.
Get some sleep Annie.