Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Little Stuart

True story... November 26, 2006

It’s 5:30 a.m. and we have finally captured little Stuart.  He happily rests atop a piece of whole grain bread in an antique pickle jar (which up until moments earlier contained dry cat food).

WE -- because this was a team effort led by Rocky (cat) with Pita (dog) and Shadow (dog) bringing up the rear.  The adventure began last night while we were enjoying the massive snowfall, from the inside looking out, of course.  On the telephone in her bedroom, Katie loudly announced, “Mooommm… Rocky has a mouse!” 

Despite Rocky’s attempts to catch and hold the fuzzy little rodent, he was so tiny that he quickly escaped the feline grasp.  After Katie tossed me a large plastic cup to hold the wild critter, the five of us ran in and out of rooms throughout the house in hot pursuit. 

So close so many times, but he eluded us!  Our evening was filled with watching the snow fall, checking the news to watch more snow fall, and keeping watch for our furry friend as he scurried across the hardwood floor. 

Finally drifting off to sleep around midnight, all was quiet…  The dogs were nestled asleep on their beds; not a creature was stirring, not even…  But WAIT!  The soft pattering of cat paws became louder and more deliberate, as Rocky once again encountered his new-found pal.  Rallying the troops, he soon chased through the dining room, into the family room, back through the hall and into the bedrooms, playing tag with Pita and Shadow and a not-so-willing little Stuart.  Despite my attempts to put this game off until the daylight hours, the race resumed several times during the wee hours. 

Shortly before 5, as one of the team members ran across my sleeping body, obviously taking a shorter route to catch up with his pal, I decided to join in.  Through the hall, into the kitchen, back around to the dining room, around the boxes (note to self: finish unpacking or throw this stuff into the garage…), under the coffee table, behind the couch and between the blanket chest, little Stuart was getting tired.  Not so for the team!  With Rocky at one end and my flashlight and cup at the other end, I attempted to carefully poke a broom handle between the couch and chest to prod our furry friend into the safety of the cup.  Without hesitation, little Stuart squeezed himself under the couch, turned around, and poked his twitching little nose out to see if we were still waiting for him. 

Another chase behind the buffet, under the dining table, back behind the couch, and under the fireplace hearth led our buddy to safety behind a stack of suitcases on the floor.  Again, with Rocky at one end and my flashlight and cup at the other end, I was able to slowly and safely move the stack away from the wall to expose a very tired, nearly sleeping, little Stuart.  Gently, I reached behind the suitcases and carefully cupped my hand around this little creature and placed him safely into the plastic cup.

Rocky is still waiting at his end of the suitcase stack for his friend to re-appear.  The other two members of the team, totally exhausted from the chase, are fast asleep on their blankets.  And hopefully, sometime this morning when Katie finally rolls over on the couch (where she fell asleep watching the snow) and is face-to-face with the pickle jar sitting on the coffee table, her screams won’t awaken a sleeping little Stuart.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


It’s not that I don’t have plenty to be thankful for, I guess it just becomes more apparent this time of year.  
I found myself complaining (hopefully to myself and not others) I never felt like I got my fill of summer.

Having grown up in Southern California, I always loved the heat.  Even though I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest for the past 22 years, it seems like there were always distinct seasons... until this year.  

Sure, there were a couple of days in the 80s, but my measurement of what kind of summer I’ve had comes in the form of how many times I’ve watered the lawn and my rose garden, and whether or not I’ve turned on the fan/air conditioning system we have.  

Sadly, not only have I not watered the lawn at all, nor have I turned on any fans, I just noticed today that the Styrofoam protector to keep the pipes from freezing is still on one of the faucets from last year!  And the only reason I watered my rose garden once or twice was to soften the soil so I could weed the beds.

I started thinking... how is it that I can feel so young and so vibrant, but I have outlived all of my relatives except for my children and a couple of nieces?  Does that make me the matriarch now?  Gulp!

Then I remembered that my oldest son and his wife will be having their first child in April.  My other son lives a few miles from me so we can visit often.  And my daughter is getting married next June.  I have a second daughter and will soon have a third son.  I will be a grandma for the very first time.  I already have a wonderful mother-in-law buddy because of my son’s wife, as well as her sister and a son and daughter.  And now I’ll be getting two more in-law buddies next June.

And I am blessed to have the most wonderful man in my life.  He is my best friend, my mentor, my sweetheart.  He shared his incredible mom with me soon after we started dating.  Add to that a brother and his wife and family, and a sister and her husband and family.  And the icing on the cake are his two wonderful daughters.  One has a great husband, two little boys and a baby boy.  The other has a very special man in her life.

You see, sometimes we take for granted those things that should be so obvious.  I don’t care if it isn’t hot and sunny all the time; I really don’t care if it rains most of the time.  Well, I try not to care about the rain... but living here and enjoying the lush greenery year-round and the wildlife certainly makes it all worthwhile.

What a perfect day to think remember how blessed I am and truly be thankful for what I have.
I hope you take the time today to count your blessings as well.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Please realize this blog isn’t “anti” anything.  Quite the opposite, it’s “pro”.


This was shared on Facebook by Heart Vintage Design, a store in Mount Dora, Florida (a self-proclaimed purveyor of quality vintage items).   I think it’s very worthy of being shared again and again.



As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods – merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor.  This year should be different.  This year Americans need to give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans.  There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands.  Yes there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people.  Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese-produced wrapping paper?

Everyone – yes, EVERYONE – gets their hair cut.  How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?

Gym membership?  It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.  And for those special furry critters – what about pet groomers?

Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed?  Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down the Benjamins on a Chinese made flat-screen?  Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants – all offering gift certificates.  And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint?  Remember folks, this isn't about big National chains – this is about supporting your hometown Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom?  Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

Okay, you were looking for something more personal...  Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves.  They make jewelry and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.  

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner-operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip.  And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre?  Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.  

Honestly people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese made lights for the house?  When you buy a five dollar string of lights, about fifty cents stays in the community.  If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city.  Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams.  And when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.

THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.

May it be your tradition as well.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Brother’s Baby Girl

(Written September 6, 2011)

Today I met my brother’s baby... another girl, ten years younger than her sister.  Combined with two stepdaughters from his wife’s first marriage, this makes four.  Four girls...  Four girls in one house!

Can you imagine?

Yikes!  The dresses, the hair bows, jewelry, perfume, hats, scarves, tights, leggings, socks, shoes, slips and unmentionables, jeans, coats, purses, gloves...

The ballet lessons, modern dance classes, soccer, piano, singing, T-ball, modeling, glamour shots...

And then they start Kindergarten!

Something is missing.  This exclamation is long overdue.  I started writing this last night about yesterday’s revelation.

But this should have been written nearly four decades ago.  Yes, my niece is 39 and will turn 40 in a few months.

Thanks to Facebook, Andrea (she said, “Call me ‘Andy’”) and Aunt Patty have been reunited... or should I say... united?  There’s no “re” about it.  None.

For whatever reason, although my folks and I were made aware of the birth of this precious angel from heaven in January 1972, we were never allowed to meet her. 

Born near San Diego, a mere 140 miles from my home at the time, my little niece never knew her aunt existed.  Worse yet, she never knew she had doting grandparents. 

So sad... so tragic... I found out yesterday that she was told her grandparents (my parents) and her aunt had no use for her or her family (including her father) after they were able to bear their own child.

You see, my brother was adopted.  My parents “picked” my brother when he was in-vitro.  They heard of this poor young couple who were expecting their fifth or sixth child, and the mother was a mere 19 years old.  This was about the beginning of World War II.  Times were tough, but they were thrilled at the thought of becoming parents.

And one day, after going to the doctor with continual stomach pains and nausea, my mother announced to my father that it wasn’t the flu – she was pregnant! My brother was thrilled!  He was going to be a big brother.

My brother married at a very young age and he and his wife had a baby girl.  Sadly, the marriage didn’t last long.  Another marriage, another failure.  A third marriage... and my second niece!  And shortly thereafter, another baby... again, a girl!

Sadly, my brother died in an accident just three days before my second child was born.  With little to no communication with his widow, we were left wondering about these two little girls.  Would we ever see them?  Did they even know we existed?

Somehow... and I don’t recall how... my brother’s first daughter had contact with him and his family.  She had met her two older half-sisters when she was about ten.  And one day she was contacted by one of these girls and found where her younger half-sisters lived. 

Although I’ve kept in close contact with my oldest niece over the years, Andy chose not to be found.  She finally did make contact with her step-sister some time ago, but refused to acknowledge that she had grandparents or an aunt.  Unfortunately, her grandparents died sixteen years ago and they never had the chance to meet her.  It was because she had questions that she contacted me. 

(Written October 25, 2011)

Andy, who lives in Texas, told me a couple of weeks ago that she was going to be visiting her friend in Portland this week.  This was my chance.  I’ve waited nearly 40 years for this day.  I left at 8:00 this morning and arrived in Portland shortly after 11:00. 

Today I met my brother’s baby...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Monticello Antique Marketplace in Portland, Oregon

This blog isn’t about SISTERS ANTIQUES.  Aren’t we supposed to blog about ourselves and promote our businesses???  Sometimes.  But this blog is all about a wonderful antique mall in Portland.  I love it.  My friends love it.  And I don’t get there nearly as often as I’d like to...

Last week, I was lucky enough to tag along on my boyfriend’s business trip to Oregon.  The first stop was a business meeting in Portland.  Even better, he prearranged his meeting at Monti’s CafĂ©, right next door to MONTICELLO ANTIQUE MARKETPLACE just for me!  That gave me an hour and a half to stroll and drool...  Oh my gosh.  Seriously.  Incredible.  I’ve been a dealer in malls for twenty years and I’ve NEVER seen anything like Monticello. 

When I came into Monticello’s, I went to the desk and showed them my camera bag and announced, “I’m going to take some photos!”

And the cute gal at the counter looked at the other cute gal at the counter and said, “Ummm... o-k-a-y...”  And I proudly marched toward the back where they were hosting their 8th Annual Fall Event – The Fall Premier Show.  Camera on and ready to shoot!

Over a hundred photos later, I’ve pared these down to about a dozen.  Nothing more to say.  And really... the photos speak for themselves.  Make sure you visit next time you are in the area:

Friday, September 23, 2011

This Little Light of Mine...

Perhaps it will end up on the cutting room floor... and that’s okay.  It was the thrill of the moment... a little shot at stardom.

And seriously... It really doesn’t matter one way or the other.  Really...

We recently took in a truckload of new old treasures to Pacific Galleries in Seattle.  Although I promised I would just unload stuff and wouldn’t start decorating and displaying... I lied.  “Just a couple more minutes... honestly!” I protested.  “I’ll be done soon... seriously... it won’t take long at all!”  And I added, “Look!  I’m almost done!”

... and then there's the stuff on the roof rack!

And it didn’t... take long that is, depending on how you define “a couple more minutes” and “I’m almost done.”

Then this nice man and this nice woman came into my space and started oohing and ahhing.  Isn’t that just the best thing to hear when you have a shop or a mall space or a booth in a show?  I think so.  The nice man was discussing a really cool hanging light fixture with the nice woman and turns to me and said, “Is this your booth?”

I nodded my head “yes” and he asked me to tell them about the lamp.  I explained that I bought two strainers, perhaps originally part of a cream separator from a farm, with the intention of transforming them into a pair of farm chandeliers, of sorts.  I told him the toughest part was convincing Al, my lamp genius, that I wanted heavy duty chain, not chandelier chain.  “You know... the kind you’d tow a car with!”

Lots of heavy duty chain (weighs a ton!)

One of a pair

At this point the nice man identified himself and the nice lady... he’s Roger Hazard, the Designer from SELL THIS HOUSE on A&E Television and she’s Lee Christofferson, Executive Producer for Screaming Flea Productions.  They explained that they are working on a new show, EXTREME SELL THIS HOUSE, which will air on October 29th.  This industrial fixture will be the perfect addition to their renovation of a house boat on a certain lake in Seattle.

To my amazement, they asked if I would be willing to return to the mall the following week when they returned with their film crew to film a short segment for the show... and to be included in that clip.  Duh...  And when I came in Tuesday, I brought my own camera and admitted that, although it was tacky, I sure would like a photo of all of them... with me (that’s the tacky part).

Celeste Glende, Lee Christofferson, Christina Kindwall, Patty Green, Roger Hazard
and taking the photograph, thank you to Kevin Johnson

So that’s my little claim to fame.  Not exactly Schwab’s Soda Fountain in Hollywood... but it still made my day!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

SISTERS ANTIQUES at Pacific Galleries

I just returned from re-stocking our huge mall space for the second time in three days! Isn’t it funny how the bed of my pickup truck is totally full as is the entire back seat and most of the front seat… and once I put everything in its place, the space seems to absorb everything! How does that happen? Now I need another load!

Here are a few photos:

This is on the right side of our corner, looking up to the “second floor”. This is the biggest space in the mall. I hired one of the very talented dealers to build a four-foot deep ledge on the back walls with a staircase coming down the side.

Talk about a lot of white walls to cover! This was quite the challenge, but I bought a couple of huge drama school backdrops from an auction and hung them on one wall. They aren’t for sale just yet… what else can I put there?

Hmmm… didn’t look so cluttered when I was looking at it but the photo tells another story!

The other second story wall… still need more to cover all that white!

Coolest-ever vintage hair dryer with its original beautician’s chair.

These iron gates are sooo heavy! They say “Pine Acres” and were attached to an enormous rock wall surrounding a house on Pine Lake (Sammamish) from the 1930s.

Love the old iron chair with burlap seat and back (there are three!). Note the 50s RC Cola thermometer on the post behind!

This is absolutely the coolest antique mall! It’s in Seattle, near the stadiums where the Mariners and the Seahawks play. It’s always full and there’s a waiting list for new dealers. There’s a little (or a lot) of everything here and it takes forever to wander around and see it all. Definitely worth the visit!

Monday, April 11, 2011

2nd Saturdayz

WHAT A BLAST!  SISTERS hasn’t done a show for nearly five years and I was privileged to be invited to be a vendor at 2nd Saturdayz this past Saturday.

This is a local show held in Seattle at Magnuson Park (Sand Point) on the second Saturday of every month. What a group of wonderful vendors!  The camaraderie is unbelievable… everyone is positive and upbeat!  And the customers make it so much fun as well.

May will mark 2nd Saturdayz one-year anniversary.  To celebrate, there will be a ROAD TRIP!  The show will be held in Snohomish to allow for the 30 regular dealers as well as several who are on the waiting list to do the show in Seattle.

Amazing what great photos you can take when you show up on show day by 6:00 in the morning!  Sorry I didn’t include everyone… but this will give you an idea of what you can look forward to in the upcoming months.

Vintage cream strainer and colander transformed into hanging lamps / SISTERS ANTIQUES

And the piece de resistance...
I am now the proud owner of this fabulous vintage bird cage!!!

Further information on 2nd Saturdayz:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I dreamed about Tommy Ennis last night.  He was just another boy in my Kindergarten class many years ago; he moved away the summer before we started first grade.

I saw him as an adult, just starting to sprint down stairs on a huge campus.  He was the same Tommy I remember more than half a century ago.  His boy face had grown into a man face, but I knew it was him.  I shouted out, “TOMMY ENNIS!” and he spun around with a questioning look on his face.

Smiling, I said, “It is you… Tommy… isn’t it?”  He started to grin, obviously not sure who I was and how I knew him.  

“I was in Kindergarten with you.  At Plainview.  I’m Patty.  Patty Bakey, then.”  I told him.  He smiled slightly and nodded his head.  I don’t know if he really remembered me or not, but I was convinced he did.

We talked about Kindergarten and I told him I live in Washington now.  He and his family live in upstate New York where he has a medical practice.  Judging by a call he got while we were talking, he also has a new granddaughter.  What seemed like such a long conversation barely lasted two minutes.  He was off to a meeting.   

When my daughter was young we were looking through old school photos, many of which were taken outside of the entire classroom, with all the children organized on bleachers by height, the teacher and principal standing alongside.  She asked me to identify my friends.  Amazingly, I was able to name most of them and tell her a little about each one.

My recollection was that Tommy Ennis was a little boy that I liked and despite my shyness at that age, I chased him around the playground with every intention of kissing him.  She always thought that was funny and to this day, still will tease me about Tommy Ennis.

Whether or not I would have kissed Tommy even if I could have caught him (gosh, could he ever run fast!), it’s a fond memory of days gone by…  Simple times without fear of disease and financial ruin and the atrocities of war.  Every day was a sunny day; I couldn’t wait to get up in the morning so I could get outside and play.  I would go in when called for lunch, but be back outside with the last piece of my sandwich in hand.  I didn’t want to miss one minute of playing time!  Life was wonderful.

Thanks Tommy for bringing me back.  It’s a very tough world out there now and I needed that.


Friday, March 11, 2011

One of my FAVORITE things to do?

Attending Palmer Wirf’s Antique & Collectible Show in Portland with an empty pickup truck!

The first show of 2011 was last weekend (March 5th and 6th). I had high hopes of spending a good share of my time taking photos of all the wonderful booths… but I got caught up in shopping instead!

Unfortunately, we didn’t take my pickup truck! But we managed to totally fill every available cubic inch inside an Explorer as well as strapping a huge wooden locker to the top. And even though I insisted I’d be more than happy to hold things on my lap and rest my feet on boxes full of treasures… I kept hearing this faint voice saying, “No more! You don’t need any more!” Harrumph… That’s YOUR opinion, not mine! Oh well, the drive home was 3½ hours so maybe a little comfort was in order.

Two of my favorite vendors include Debi Burton (Ormolulu)...

Incredible clock!

I want it all!

John getting a big hug from Debi after he ran and got the caffeine-deprived girl a cup of coffee.

Make sure you check Ormolulu at Pacific Galleries in Seattle, 2nd Saturdayz, Retreat...  She's incredible!

and Randy (Madison Park Antiques)...

Seriously, I have the perfect spot for that gate!

Randy's space at Monticello.  He also has a shop in Sellwood.

Very camera shy, I told Randy I'd take a photo of him in front of someone else's booth if he didn't cooperate!

It's going to be a very l-o-n-g wait until the July show!