Sunday, September 20, 2009

We're Back!

Thank you Matt and Cat (Catherine) for being such an incredible bright spot for 2009! Your wedding was fantastic – everything a mom could ever dream of and you planned the entire event by yourselves! Who needs a wedding planner? I am so very proud of you both. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Proud moms, Beth (Cat's) and Patty (Matt's)

What a tumultuous year – and we’re not quite three-quarters of the way through it yet. I really don’t like to whine… but things can only get better! We started the New Year with a terrible flood. It devastated all seven of the businesses in our little complex. Sure, it had been raining and there was snow melt, but really no warning that we would flood. A fallen tree obstructed the flow of Issaquah Creek into Lake Sammamish. This created a surge of water back up the creek which, in turn, flooded our center around 2:00 a.m. January 8th.

We arrived at 8:00 in the morning to find the parking lot several feet under water. It took almost five hours for the water to recede enough for us to “wade” in to assess the damages. Once we could get closer to our doors, we found 12 inches of standing water throughout the shop.

Six months later, after dealing with soggy carpets we had to remove ourselves, a cracked and chipped concrete floor underneath, black mold growing inside the walls, faulty electrical outlets, a broken heating system, no running water or operational toilets, a v-e-r-y slow insurance company, no help from FEMA or the SBA, and thousands of dollars in lost and damaged inventory, SISTERS moved a few doors down – right next to the antique mall.

We took over a space that used to be a hair/nail salon. We just about completely gutted the inside, removing all of the walls that once formed several “rooms”. The next step was painting the walls and beams, and then glazing the walls. We had to scrub the floor several times (on our hands and knees!) to get them clean and we’ve added several area rugs to soften the look. The hardest part was deciding where all the shop fixtures were to be placed. After 14 years in one location, we had to start all over… layer upon layer upon layer. But this was the fun part and we couldn’t wait! At least that’s what we kept telling ourselves.

I did this all by myself!

One month later, during a routine physical and mammogram, I learned that somehow I had the big “C”. Me? Impossible! I eat well, work hard, have a great attitude, and I’m as healthy as can be. Another mammogram, a few ultrasounds, and an MRI confirmed it. I kept the news from my family until after my son’s wedding. Two weeks before my scheduled surgery, I told family and friends and assured them that all would be fine.

On September 15th, I had a lumpectomy (partial mastectomy). Part of the procedure also involved removal of three lymph nodes under my right arm. Thanks to a great surgeon and wonderful team at Virginia Mason Seattle, I came through with flying colors! In less than an hour after my surgery, I was out of the hospital and on my way home. I am thrilled that other than being a little more tired than usual, I have not had any pain or any problems whatsoever. I haven’t even taken a Tylenol! Doctor’s orders are to take it easy for a week… I’m trying, but still need to take care of things. It’s hard to sit on the couch looking at laundry that needs folding and wondering when the last time was that I dusted the furniture and washed the windows. (I returned to the shop Saturday afternoon and it was wonderful to be back!)

And now back to SISTERS… It’s a wonderful location! The shop is bright and cheery with lots of windows and a huge covered area outside. We’ve had great fun filling the patio with plants and birdhouses, vintage iron tables and chairs, bird baths and Adirondack chairs, lawn furniture and ladders, benches and old swings.

We have lots of new (old) things and as usual… we never stop buying! The inside of the shop is filled with sunshine and we often don’t even turn on the lights! We’ve “divided” SISTERS into sections reminiscent of the old shop. The cottage area is on the east side – again, lots of windows and all the things that make a cottage a home (or is it, make a home a cottage?). We have lots of things that are “lodgey” or camp style, as well as the more refined treasures including sterling and crystal, books, china and ironstone, American pottery, art and mirrors, vintage clothing and linens, and tons of jewelry! We are still passionate about chandeliers and lamps as well as vintage iron furniture.

Remember… We have everything you never knew you always wanted!

One of the sweetest vintage iron sets we've had!

Just being silly...

How many of you remember these things?

WOW! One of the prettiest Italian tole chandeliers;
professionally rewired and ready to hang!