Thrifting Friends, Finds and Staycations

As I was waiting for Goodwill to open this morning I was approached by another shopper. She was about my age and breathtakingly friendly. She opened with “How do you like my dress?” She was wearing a sweet pink tie-dye dress on her slender frame and it suited her. But her dyed hair, which had been somewhat combed on the sides, was a snarled mess of “bed hair” in the back. As we continued to speak I got the sense that she was a free spirit who had perhaps partied a bit hard back in the day. But I liked her. And she made me realize how much I’ve missed my old Sunday morning Goodwill gang of Patty, John Jerome and Mikey. I haven’t seen any of them for 18 months now but for years we saw each other almost every Sunday morning at Goodwill. We always chatted and admired each others’ finds.

Sadly the pandemic changed all that. I do run into my friend Lisa from time to time and that always fills me with joy. (She is the one who gifted me tickets to attend the “PBS Antiques Roadshow” and took me to the fabulous Alameda Flea Market.)

Alameda Flea Market

But today rather emphasized how this is a solitary business. I typically source on my own, list on my own, pack and ship on my own. And generally this is fine, perfect in fact…but sometimes not. Sometimes you just want to talk with other like-minded vintage hunters. I think that’s why I love writing this blog…to connect with some of you!

A Few Finds

I have been picking up a few small things here and there, like this little vintage porcelain dish from Austria titled “Blue Birds.” It is a sweet thing that would make a perfect ring dish on a nightstand. And I couldn’t resist this cool 1960s/70s ashtray with a Nemadji vibe. Though smoking is out of vogue, ashtrays still sell. Both of these are listed for $30.

And this small carved artisan vase with drippy glaze intrigued me.

It’s “signed” with a flower mark on the bottom, but so far haven’t been able to find out who the artist is. Was hoping it might be Frances Senska, a well-known (now deceased) ceramicist out of Montana, but it don’t think this is the flower mark she used in later years.

I’ve also bought a few things from one of my fabulous neighbors who is dealing with her father-in-law’s estate. This item was well out of my wheelhouse–a large, old, primitive carved dough bowl from India–but has a wonderful look and feel. I’ll likely list this on Chairish and see how it does!

Thinking About Staycations and Mini Vacays

I was talking with a dear friend recently who admitted that because of various circumstances she has not been able to go on vacation for years. In fact the last one may have been when she came out to visit me four years ago. And I realized that I haven’t had many vacations recently either. Most of my trips have been short ones to visit family and while they’ve been good, at times they have been stressful too.

NYC graffiti

I did have a mini New York City vacay in May when I tagged along on my husband’s biz trip. I tootled around by myself for two days while he was giving a workshop and then we had two days together to explore. I thoroughly enjoyed myself but it didn’t quite feel like a real vacation.

And we have nothing planned for this summer. Nothing on the horizon…whatsoever. I have friends who are currently in Machu Picchu, others who recently returned from England and Greece and a couple who heading off soon to cruise the Rhine River in France. I’ll admit I am heaving sighs of longing. (The goofy thing is my passport expired in January and I still haven’t renewed it. I couldn’t go to any of these places even if I wanted to!)

And I am also reminding myself that plane travel can be a big pain in the butt right now. Canceled flights and delays are common throughout the world. Even London’s Heathrow airport is having major problems and “limiting the number of passengers amid staff shortages.” Some folks finally make it home only to have their luggage indefinitely left behind in a sea of luggage. Yikes! How does this even happen?!

Photo courtesy of The UK Independent.

So while I’m not likely to go anywhere (at least international) this year, that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy things closer to home. I’ve been wanting to visit my friend Ann who lives a few hours south of here, for some time. (We had a trip planned right when Covid hit in 2020 and everything shut down.) Maybe we’ll reschedule that! And I wouldn’t say no to a night or two in San Francisco just 40 miles away or Pacific Grove 90 miles away. We could just head to a beach near Half Moon Bay. And much, much closer to home, how about another trip to the Cantor Museum just three miles down the road with a nice lunch afterwards? The Cantor is a gem of a museum and I always enjoy going and we are spoiled for choice around here for good restaurants.

From my last visit

I’m sure we’ll find a few special things to do to make summer feel like summer!! In the mean time I am working hard at my vintage business trying to keep a bit of an income stream flowing and taking breaks out on my stoop where I can enjoy our garden and all the birds that visit it.

Wishing you a fun summer, however you spend it!



  1. Our summer is being spent with my wife having surgeries. A week ago, she had a hysterectomy. In another week, she’ll have one cataract surgery, and two weeks after that, she have another one. A week after that, she’s expected back on campus, and a week after that, she’ll be teaching. So, no getting away this summer for us!


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