Wednesday, June 24, 2015

it's Camp Vintage time

It's that time of year again - time for the Camp Vintage antique show!

Camp Vintage debuted in September of 2013. It was also the first time I ever attended a vintage show so I wasn't quite sure what to expect but what I found blew my socks off...if I had been wearing socks...which I probably wasn't.

Love is not too strong a word for the emotion I felt when I entered my first Camp Vintage. I felt like I had come home. All the booths had something I wanted - an old window here, a rusted wagon there, a bunch of shutters, old luggage, a door from an old truck - big freakin' sigh of pure ecstasy!

Mr. T, however, wasn't as enthralled. All the words you and I love about shabby chic - chippy, peely, vintage, rusted, distressed - are words that mean only one thing to him. O.L.D.

But now he's watched me take several old, broken down pieces of furniture and, with a little paint and love, turn them into something beautiful for our home so for this year's Camp Vintage, he was actually looking forward to finding something fun to take home and junkify it.

There was so much going on at this spring's Camp Vintage, I actually forgot to take pictures. I think that's a good thing. I mean, I was having a great time and had several things that were under consideration to buy but it kind of sucks now when I have to put together a blog post.

So enjoy a couple of pictures of pretty flowers...cuz that's about all I've got from this year's show.

until I found exactly what I wanted to buy

I bought a couple of old cabinet doors with a really unique wicker design at the top that would be perfect for hanging earrings. I miss my jewelry organizing shutter back in Florida so it's time to make another one. I don't even have to do much painting with this, I love the minty green color and the 1940s styling.

Of course, it's been a couple of weeks since Camp Vintage and they're still sitting, untouched, in the living room but let's not think about that right now. Let's just keep looking at the pretty pictures and count the days till the next Camp Vintage in September.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

travels with charlie - burlingame & san mateo

Charlie told me the other day that she was getting a severe case of cabin fever and needed a little adventure in her life. Ok, maybe it was me that needed a little adventure and a change of scenery but I'm pretty sure she felt the same way. We are best friends after all.

So we packed up the car and set off to explore a couple of Bay Area towns just south of San Francisco - Burlingame and San Mateo.

 Charlie was a little overwhelmed by the main street of Burlingame with all the shops and restaurants and people. Oh wait, maybe that was me again. Charlie was actually quite the trooper and had a blast leading us through the streets. She was a well behaved little lady with all the other dogs, such a change from Shifu who could turn into Cujo when encountering other dogs. 

 I had never been up to this cute town and really enjoyed walking along the main street with its newly widened sidewalks perfect for strolling shoppers. They've put in benches every few feet so it's easy to spend an entire day just visiting shops, stopping for snacks and sitting down to contemplate that next purchase.

 I ran into the Vans store to look at the new Pooh shoes but at $60 they are not going on my feet anytime soon. Sigh.

After a delicious lunch at a Middle Eastern place (I adore Middle Eastern food!) we drove over to the next town, San Mateo, to check out their revitalized downtown area. Our friend, who lives there, told us this place is hopping after dark but it was pretty deserted when we were there at 2 in the afternoon. 

A beautiful mural pays tribute to the building, now a restaurant, that used to house City Hall.

I can't resist a pretty street scene

And then I turned the corner and found Dragers, a local gourmet grocery store that is all kinds of awesome. To start with, you walk in the front door and run smack into the pastry section. Drool city, especially the macarons. I could have stayed there all day. 

They have a beautiful floral section

 But look at this - how many grocery stores have an escalator? It leads to the housewares department, aka heaven.

My favorite display was the Le Creuset, such great cookware. I like to mix my colors. Well, I only have one piece right now but I intend to get more and mix colors. I've even seen, on Pinterest, that they make pieces in an Antique Rose color but they appear to be hard to find.

Charlie and I (and Mr. T and our friend Ted) had a great time up in the "city" and there wasn't enough time to see everything so I see another roadtrip in our near future.

Until next time...

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

life with Charlie

A week and a half later and we're quite mad about our Charlie girl. She has fit into our lives so perfectly; it reminds me of our first days with Shifu. The rest of our life is kinda upside down but we know that we've been blessed by adding this little sweetheart to our family.

We've been busy over the past couple of weekends, taking her here and there.

 first visit to the beach

 first visit to my favorite park in Carmel

 now we know she's my dog, she is rockin' that hat!

 driving around with me during the week

 picnic in the park

super Charlie, able to leap tall stumps in a single bound

Sometimes I look at her and marvel about the perfect timing, perfect setup of events (good and bad) that brought us together. 

I love our little family


Monday, June 8, 2015

Charlie's Story

May 29, 2015 - continued

9pm – Charlie lives at our house!! Yes SHE does.

It’s been a whirlwhind of a day, let me tell you. At 2:30 we visited Penny in her foster home and promptly fell in love. Before we got there I told myself that I needed to see a couple of things from this dog if she really was going to be my Charlie. She had to be friendly to us right away and she needed to give us kisses like Shifu always used to.  If these things didn’t happen, she wasn’t our Charlie.

We walked in and she was brought out. Right away she ran over to us and rolled over on her back to let us pet her. She stayed with us during our entire visit, alternating between T and me and she gave us so many kisses. She would come when we called her and eventually just curled up in my lap giving me the occasional kiss on the chin. 

We looked at each other and we just knew. She looks like a cross between Bear, Jasper and Shifu. She’s about Shifu’s size, just a little longer like maybe she has some dachshund in her in addition to Chihuahua. She’s adorable and mellow and friendly and sweet and playful. When we got ready to leave she ran to the front door, all excited, as if she expected to go with us.

We drove straight from her house to the animal rescue office, about 30 minutes away. Once there we filled out the contract and adopted our little sweetheart. Normally you have to wait a few days so that they can do a house check but since we had previously adopted from another rescue group in the area they waived that step and we were told that we could go get her whenever we wanted.

Of course we wanted to get her right away so I called the foster family and made arrangements to come out at 7 tonight. I think they were a little stunned that it all happened so quickly but they were kind enough to understand that we were anxious to take her home.

Because it was only 4 at that time, we celebrated our new addition with dinner at a new Mexican place we’d discovered 2 days ago when we parked in front of it. 16 years living in this area and we’d somehow missed this great place. While having dinner we talked about Charlie and also about Shifu. Getting a new dog after losing a beloved one is always a little bittersweet. There’s a part of you that feels like you’re betraying the former dog in some way. We had to remind ourselves that we weren’t replacing Shifu in any way and that it was really a tribute to how much we loved him that we wanted to experience that again.

While at dinner I texted Marley’s foster mom to let her know that we wouldn’t be keeping our appointment for the next day because we just completed an adoption.  I’ll always be grateful that Marley’s picture prompted me to fill out the online application to ask to meet him and Penny.

And so at 7pm we went to the foster house and were greeted by a very happy little doggie who seemed genuinely happy to see us again. She was sitting on the couch with the daughter (who she slept with every night) and she jumped down off the couch as soon as we walked into the room and ran over to us with her tail wagging a mile a minute. When she saw the leash in our hands she ran to the door just like she had earlier this afternoon. Of course saying goodbye to her family was a little hard on her and she was rather subdued when we carried her out to the car but she perked up on the drive home and seemed curious about what was happening to her.

And now, a couple of hours later she’s sleeping next to me on the couch and seems quite comfortable in her new home. Charlie has explored the back yard, jumped on both of our couches, eaten a few human snacks (from her daddy, he’s going to spoil her) and enjoyed many cuddle sessions and back scratches.

She really does look a lot like Shifu so in many ways it seems like life has come back to normal but I will keep reminding myself that she’s Charlie and not Shifu. She deserves the chance to be her own little person rather than just a substitute. Right now we’re noticing all sorts of behaviors that remind us of Shifu but in time I’m sure we will discover her own unique personality.

We’ve got a whole lovely weekend ahead of us to get used to each other and have adventures. Tomorrow I imagine we’ll end up at the beach at some point. Shifu and Jasper never liked the ocean much although Jasper enjoyed playing fetch on the sand. I wonder if Charlie will be different and love the water. I can’t wait to find out. 

I’m so happy that we found our Charlie!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Charlie's story - day 2

May 28, 2015

When we landed in San Francisco yesterday we decided to visit the animal rescue’s storefront site in a neighboring town. I’d been visiting their web page and had noticed 2 or 3 dogs I wouldn’t mind taking a look at. Of course none of those dogs were at the site and T and I both looked at each other and said “Charlie isn’t here.” Although I hadn’t planned on getting a dog yesterday, I found myself down and disappointed and lonely and missing Shifu more than ever.

So today, on the 2 month anniversary of his death, I’m wondering if maybe Shifu has sent Charlie to us. I found a new dog on the website – a 4 year old Chihuahua mix named Marley. He has bright eyes and Shifu-like ears that stick straight up. He’s a dark brown and looks like he’s a lot of fun. I filled out the on-line application and within 2 hours I had a phone call from the woman that’s fostering him and we arranged to meet up tomorrow at 11am. 

Isn’t he adorable? We’ll see if he actually turns out to be Charlie. I can’t wait to meet him!

May 29, 2015
I couldn’t wait to meet him but I guess I’m going to have to. I got a text from Marley’s foster mom that she had slept late and decided not to bring Marley into work with her today so she wanted to reschedule our appointment until Saturday. Heart thud. Sigh. Ok.

But, in other news, I had gotten an email from Penny’s foster mom (another dog I had asked to see) this morning and so I emailed her back, let her know that our appointment to see Marley had been canceled and asked if she might be available today for us to meet Penny…and she is! We’re going to her house at 2:30, in a little over 2 hours. 

Isn’t she sweet? She looks like our other dogs – a cross between Jasper, Bear and Shifu but she’s a girl and I’ve always wanted a girl. She’s a 2 year old, 9 pound longhair Chihuahua mix.

Isn’t it funny, I feel like I’m being unfaithful to Marley by even considering Penny but she just looks like a dog that would belong in our family. As excited as I was to meet Marley, I’m even more excited to meet Penny! Doesn’t she look like a Charlie?