Thursday, May 19, 2016

About this "Starting Over" stuff...

   It's harder than it looks! I think I planned on feeling like 'Tawanda' in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes; you know, all girl power and charging forward with new things in life? But instead, I have many more days of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid", lol.
   There are lots of decisions I'm not prepared to make, projects I don't know how to do, and funding that needs to come from who knows where..... But as my darling daughter tells me, "there's a YouTube video for everything". She's right, there is!
   As many of you know, I recently moved back to sunny California; Bakersfield, to be exact, (more on that later...)from Washington. 
Going from a rural, green and lush area to a cement covered, busy, bustling small city is quite an adjustment!

I'm also working on the remodel of a 
1967 Vintage 
(as I like to call it) 
                                  Mobile Home.
 This is something I've never attempted before, 
hence the YouTube videos, ha ha.

     Things in general grow pretty well here, but I'm learning about the watering schedules because of the drought,and that what's a perennial in Wa. is an annual here and vice-versa. I haven't killed off too many plants yet, but it could happen.


There's the new shop space to work on;
 with a whole new customer base and preference to get to know. 
It's amazing to me how much styles and tastes can change from one state to the next, even though they're not that far apart!

So all in all, I'm adjusting. It's so embarrassing to see that I haven't updated this poor blog in almost 2 years!!! I've promised myself that as I settle in to life here, I will do better.
We'll see. 
In the meantime, 
I am choosing to adopt this new (to me) state of mind.... 
Hoping you will all come along for the journey! 


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Growing Up....

     Growing up is a hard thing to do. Sometimes it takes quite awhile, sometimes it happens all at once. For me it was a very gradual process....with a big "AHA" moment at the end. So this post today is about my own personal moment, and what I've learned from it.
     I don't happen to have a zillion followers; so I'm pretty sure the few that I have will indulge me in sharing my journey. 
 When you have been part of a couple, and a mother for more than 35 years, you learn to put other's needs in front of your own. Mostly for the greater good of the family as a whole, and it just seems to be what we as women tend to do. But when that situation changes... the kids grow up and leave home, you get divorced, there's an illness; whatever it is that causes the change, you are then forced into that final stage of growing up. It's scary at first, but eventually you find it's not so bad...and you get to like it!

In my Sunset years I am finding a self that I have neglected for a very long time. She has a good attitude:

       She is not afraid to laugh at herself. Everything is not so serious that it overshadows the joy in life. She is finding her sense of style.... getting rid of the "Mom" clothes and the "around the house" outfits that seemed to take over her life. 
       She is enjoying friendships that have been left by the wayside because of busy schedules. Going out to lunch, writing a letter, visiting a neighbor; there's time for that now. Now, has become about what 
                                        SHE wants to do. Such an odd feeling still.


        This new self takes time 
to smell the roses! Ones that she herself planted simply because she loved the color...regardless of whether the deer will eat them or not. She is newly aware of the cycle of life- there is beauty in all things, both the beginnings and the endings.


  And best of all, I suppose, is the feeling of acceptance that comes with growing up. Accepting oneself, with all the flaws and imperfections that come from living a full life.
   Of course, there is always much work to do; but now I don't wait for others to do it. And there are are bills to pay; but now I am the one who pays them. There is a quiet peacefulness in relying only on yourself and God. Now, it is a blessing and not a necessity, when friends stop by to visit or help with a project. I am blessed with many, many good people in my life who love and support both me and my work.... 
   For all of those, please consider this my way of publicly thanking you for being in my life!

P.S. The next post you see will also have a new 'grown up' look...

Monday, March 10, 2014

Shop Small...

Shop Small... I like the idea of that. I like the promotions I see for Small Business Saturday in November. But it got me thinking; "Do I, as a small business owner, also shop small when I order things for my store?" For the most part, I'm afraid the answer has been "no", until now!

On a recent trip to Seattle I came across a wonderful soap company called Estrella. They make the most beautiful soaps, completely handmade in small batches, all natural, with the most delightful scents....right here in Seattle! NOT KIDDING that these scents will make your mouth water: Almond cocoa vanilla, Citrus lemongrass, Rose geranium, Vanilla orange lavender- and the list goes on! It helps that they are also the nicest people to deal with, and very helpful about what their customers like.We followed their advice and were Not disappointed when our order arrived!

And so began our quest to find other ways to  
          'shop small' for our little store! 


 Our next discovery were these beautiful handmade cards by Karen Fabiano. Another local gal who works in the greater Seattle area. All of her cards are printed on recycled paper that looks & feels like linen. I love the designs, and because I chose the blank ones, you can provide the sentiment! (we know how sentimental you all are...)

 I am also partial to the Market Bags that a good friend of mine makes! I'm trying to get Debbie P. to make a whole slew of these beauties and just pack the shelves with them.... These bags are fully lined, made with vintage fabrics, and embellished with some of Deb's handmade leather flowers, vintage jewelry, old belts and whatever else tickles her fancy. Each is one of a kind!
If you get a chance, stop by the store and check out these new lovelies! 
                     We are located at 719 Main St. in Buckley. 
                            ( Inside the Queen's Ransom bldg.)
Be sure to stop back next week as I share more on our 
                              quest to 'shop small' ! 


Tuesday, August 6, 2013


This is not usually a feeling that I experience... 
but this morning I discovered  something that just shattered my false sense of relative 'security' in my home.
 Now, I do realize that I live in a rural area, surrounded by 300 acres of pasture land with several creeks nearby; 
but things here have always had an order about them.

We do hear and see coyotes out in the field...but they leave us alone and we don't bother them. After all, they were here first.

And I have learned to deal with the garter snakes we come across quite frequently. They stay in the yard and help keep the field mouse population under control. 

I have even learned to deal with the litter of stray kittens that were born under our porch recently. (They ARE kind of cute- but NO, we're not keeping them!)

But I absolutely, positively,
 CANNOT handle a BAT in my bathroom!  
And yet there it was! I had to look twice! Then again! Then I had to close the bathroom door and frantically text my husband at work to let him know how unacceptable this was....
(ok...brace yourselves... I have pictures!)

 Can you see it? Right there at the top of the shower wall, upside down, near the ceiling!!!

What nerve!

Do you know what my charming, darling husband said?  "Don't hurt the bat...they're protected in this state. We'll deal with it when I get home."
Really??? Don't hurt the bat???
Seems to me the bat broke the unwritten agreement that came with the house; that everything should stay in it's proper dwelling place! 
I say all bets are off!
(Guess that bathroom remodel won't be happening anytime soon....)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Love / Hate...

 I have a love/hate relationship 
with the blackberries in and around my yard...
  Mostly though, it's love! I think I really wanted this house because the blackberries reminded me of growing up in Pa. and picking berries 
all summer long, down by the creek. 
A very happy time for me!
 Now we have our own creek.... 
and more berries than you could shake a stick at!
However, I do think that something more
 may be needed under these circumstances...

Sooooo, if anyone has seen any stray goats,
 just wandering around  lookin' for somethin' to do-  by all means, send 'em on over!
 (we'll save ya some berries!)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

What ever happened to Main Street?

  I recently visited 
Main Street 
in the small town of Buckley, Wa. 


  As I stood inside my friend Katie's shop- The Queen's Ransom- looking out the window at the numerous vacant buildings on this street, I couldn't help but wonder....

       What happened to this charming little town?

It has beautiful flowers....
ample parking.....some pretty good 
places to eat 
(and drink!)....
charming historical architecture.....mostly friendly people.......


Having recently moved to another small town (South Prairie), which is practically non-existent, (another story for another day...), I can't imagine that this once thriving little town of Buckley has been allowed to dry up and almost disappear.

Main St. has easy access off  Hwy. 410, so it's not hard to find. In fact, it's easier than both Sumner and Enumclaw- which seem to be teeming with cute little shops and places to lunch. 
I just don't get it!

I picked up this flyer today for one of the vacant store fronts. It's 1200 sq. ft., nice windows, newly painted, air conditioned, new flooring, AND INCLUDES UTILITIES! For 1050.00 a month! Where can you find a deal like that nowadays?

       I'm not saying it's perfect for any 'retail giants', but it sure would be perfect for a talented entrepreneur with a determined spirit! Buckley could sure use a cute little clothing shop,(maybe consignment clothing?), an art gallery, or something fun, something charming,..... 
something exciting enough to wake up a sleepy Main Street that's been resting way too long !

       In this climate of  
"go green, recycle and reuse", wouldn't it just be inspiring to apply those ideas to this charming little town? Rejuvenation is a wonderful thing.......
Just sayin'.....

(p.s. I do not personally know any of the owners of these buildings,
          nor am I being compensated to promote any vacancy they may have.)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Whew! What a Weekend....

 Just to be clear - I am not a person who likes change. I like to know what to expect, and yes, I REALLY DO hate surprises! So, when Dixie & Linda (the Funky Junk Sisters) announced that they were moving their Junk Salvation show to the Puyallup Fairgrounds this year, my heart skipped just a little beat. I knew in my head it would be a much better venue...easier to find, more ambiance, room for more vendors, etc; but in my heart, I still had a nagging 'fear' of the unknown.

I should have known better than to worry!
This turned out to be our best show ever.....
 Usually we have our favorite 'French Country/Paris' style that we like to do, but this show had BARNS! So we decided to add a bit of Country and just a dash of Western to the mix.

This Vanity and bench sold... 
one of my best display pieces!

Along with almost all of  my 'Farm Fresh Eggs' signs, and a few barbed wire wreaths.

 Debbie's custom 'Bohemian Style' loveseat
            was snatched up right away 
by a very lovely lady who wasn't even in the market for a sofa!

We also had a small area where we just LET LOOSE with the wildest greens we could find! 
They went perfect with the vintage fabric on a restored old wicker rocking chair.

All in all...we had the BEST TIME EVER! 
A big THANK YOU to Dixie & Linda for all of their hard was fabulous as usual; and to all of our customers- both old and new. 
We really appreciate your support!
Check out our Facebook page for a few more photos, and an exciting 'news flash'!

(and Norm, Debbie, Vern and company)