Never Forget

Sixteen years ago today, I woke to the sound of my phone ringing early in the morning.  I was exhausted and groggy from a late night flight coming home from an emotional trip.  My daughter was on the line when I answered, in an unusually hysterical sounding voice she blurted out “Mom, are you home, are you alright?” My response was confused but clear, “Yes, I’m home, what’s wrong?” She asked where I was knowing that I spent most nights with my then boyfriend. Then said, turn on the TV.

I had just returned from a trip to Washington D.C. I was on one the last flights out on September 10th 2001. In fact our flight was so late, we had to get special permission to land beyond the standard curfew for the small regional airport.

The devastation that I saw when I turned on the TV was frightening. The effects of that morning will stay with our collective conscience for generations to come.  And while we all remember watching the twin towers being hit, we must remember there were four planes in total. A third plane which crashed into the Pentagon and a fourth heading for Washington D.C. but bravely diverted by passengers into a field in Pennsylvania.

All four planes began their journey bound for California in the Northeast United States. Three of them American Airlines flights and one United Airlines flight. I was on a United Airlines flight. And I was headed home to Los Angeles.

The gravity of what happened that morning will never be lost on me.  But even more personal for me is the knowledge that I could have very easily been on one of those flights. Having left Washington D.C. shortly before the terrorists boarded the planes they used to destroy so many lives reminds just how lucky I am.

Please take a moment to think about those who were lost as well as the many brave souls who responded to these disasters and helped in myriad ways. With all the turmoil going on in the world right now, let’s be thankful for what we have and take care of each other.

Estate Sale season is here!

For most of the country, spring is in the air and the weather is warming up. For any vintage shopper that means it’s estate sale season.  For those of us who live in more temperate states, estate sale season never ends. But, it certainly picks up steam this time of year. Even though us Southern Californians are blessed with great weather most of the year, we still see more sales come Spring and Summer.  People tend to move more when its warmer and the kids are out of school. Spring cleaning is still a very real annual event for many families as well. 

With all of this going on I have been busy with some interesting sales this season. Everything from sketchy warehouses to homes worth several millions and anything in between.  It’s been a ton of work, but so much fun as well.  In the last few months, I have sold everything from rusted yard tools to priceless paintings.  We had one sale where a pair of lovely ladies came all three days and spent hours trying on clothing. They bought piles of goodies each day too, and we had a blast acting like a bunch of teenage girls at the mall.

Remember when shopping estate sales, look everywhere, ask questions, and keep an open mind.  We sell everything from cars and tractors to diamonds and gold. You never know what you will find.

Meet Moonshine

Meet Moonshine and I at age 17
Meet Moonshine and I at age 17

Moonshine and I grew up together. That’s not to say she was the dog I had as a child, but she was the dog I had when I became an adult and a parent.  We had a seventeen year run, and almost twenty years later I still miss her. 

She wasn’t a rescue in the typical sense. We didn’t get her from the pound or humane society.  We got her because my Ex ran out of gas coming home from a camping trip.  Her mother was a coyote who was living near a gas station off the highway. She had mated with a local coyote,Australian Shepherd mix and had a litter of pups.  They were living in a den close to the gas station. The next thing I knew, my then boyfriend presented me with this tiny pup.  How could I turn down that face? So Moonshine grew up with me and my kids. She went camping with us and would patrol the campground on an hourly basis. She never had a leash except when we went to the vet. This was of course before leash laws. She even learned how to cross the street on a green light while looking both ways for traffic first. She could open doors, and never ceased to play tricks on my daughter. 

She went everywhere I went for years. People would always ask what kind of dog she was. When they found out I had a coyote, they were shocked. She was smart, pretty and well behaved. But never learned to like my daughter, who displaced her as the queen of the household.  Although shortly before she passed away, she finally gave in and would spend time with my daughter.  She was not my first or my last dog, but she was favorite.

On National Dog Day, please remember the dogs without homes. Go visit your local shelter and spend some time with them. Even if you can’t take a dog home, you can still give them some love.

Moonshine at 17
Moonshine at 17


Taking a step back in time

Last week I was asked to help a friend with an estate sale. The home was quite a way’s up into the hills. There were deer crossing signs on the way there, and yes there were deer as well. When I stepped into the house it was like taking a step back in time.  The home was built in 1951 and the only upgrades that had been made were a washer and dryer, refrigerator, and carpeting.  

The home retained not only it’s original tile, but the original wallpaper as well as light fixtures, paint, real wood paneling and plumbing fixtures. It was beautiful to see an older home that has not been stripped of it’s original charm.  Stained wood doors and door jambs, original porcelain sinks, early american style light fixtures, and even a cast iron grate on the mail slot. Oh, and the door knocker, fabulous art deco style at it’s finest.

But the best part of all were the bears.  Yes, real live bears. Wandering through the neighborhood, running through the yards, and generally having a good time.  A few of the neighbors even showed us videos of the bears playing in fountains, digging through trash, and climbing trees. Apparently there is a family of brown bears living in the area since it backs up to a large nature reserve and park. 

Sadly, this wonderful time capsule will be bought up, gutted, and re-imagined by some young family who wants to make it their own.  The loving care with which it was maintained for so many years will be lost and in it’s place will be stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops. Estate sale

In honor of Thrift Shop Day

In honor of Thrift Shop Day today, I decided to go to one of my very favorite thrift shops. Zach runs a funky thrift shop that his mom started many years ago.  He caters to resellers and the local studios and carries literally anything and everything.  He knows his customers and what each one is looking for. There is a method to the madness but you will find something new at every turn.  The place is loaded both inside and out and stacked to the rafters.  Did I mention the outside is at least twice the size of the shop itself.  Everyone who walks through the door knows him by name and he encourages his customers to get to know one another by introducing everyone.  I love visiting Zach’s shop as you never know what you will find.  He will always give you a fair price, a smile, and a kind word.  What more can you ask for? IMG_4514