Browsing Category

Essentials

— Essentials —

'Before'
pin it

I don’t want to sound like some wacko who says, “God talks to me,” but over a year ago, I heard… let’s call it an “idea”… that I should sell the ranch. It was as clear as if someone were standing in the room, talking to me. Although this had never happened before, it wasn’t scary or alarming, and in my heart, I knew it was what I needed to do. A few days later, I put the ranch up for sale; the place James and I so loved and the place where he died.

The same day I went online, looking for an old buffet to hold mother’s crystal and china; things in storage I hadn’t seen for 10 years. Of all the things to search for… That was the weird part.

Continue Reading

— Essentials —

pin it

In August of this year, 2016, I purchased one of what would become 2.8 million recalled Samsung, top-loading washing machines (involving 34 different models) that may EXPLODE FROM WITHIN. Samsung has known of almost 750, documented, serious consumer injuries and damages to consumer homes since 2011, but didn’t notify purchasers of a problem with their washing machines until November, 2016. They mailed us “warning labels” with instructions on how to apply them to their machines.

I love this line in their instructions: “You have successfully applied the under-the-lid warning label to your washer.” Gee… Am I supposed to feel better now?

Continue Reading

— Essentials —

pin it

I’m excited about Plum Johnson’s They Left Us Everything, our next 1010 Park Place Book Club choice. I hope you loved it as much as I did.

In this award-winning book (that would make an amazing film à la The Family Stone), Johnson chronicles the process of caring for elderly parents, and emptying and selling the family home. As she sorts through her parents’ belongings, she explores the idea of family legacy, validity of memory and how much influence our family has on who we are as adults. She focuses particularly on her often contentious relationship with her mother, who was a larger-than-life Southern belle.

I asked Plum some questions about her book. If you have questions, she’ll be hanging out with us in the comments field and is happy to answer your questions.  Continue Reading

— Essentials —

Heritage Auction and longtime Antique's Roadshow's appraiser, Nick Dawes, is perhaps the world's foremost authority on Lalique. Rene Lalique 'Oiseau de Feu' Luminaire.
pin it

Some years ago I had a most interesting and provocative dinner conversation at the Philadelphia Antiques show with table mate luminaries that included two museum curators, two collectors, two dealers and the editor of The Magazine Antiques. What a delight when everyone at the table is stimulating and joins in. A good eight can manage this in a quiet setting… Ten is too many.

“I just want to buy something every day!”

Continue Reading

— Essentials —

Love the little bronze decorative liners for my shower.
pin it

I’ve discovered why people don’t live in their house while it’s being remodeled. As soon as the tarps are down and the plastic sheets cover the furniture, construction grit makes its way into places you didn’t know you had. My bedroom looks like ground zero of a war zone and contains enough tools to rebuild a small city. I fear the black velvet suit in my closet—the door to which has been taped shut—is now a ghostly grey. There is some good news to all of this: In an attempt to keep the contents grit free, I have yet to unpack the boxes marked “kitchen.”

Now for the bad news: I seem to have lost all standards of cleanliness, and while I should find that alarming, I don’t.

Continue Reading

— Essentials —

pin it

I just read there are four times more storage units in the United States than there are Starbucks. Since 1987, Starbucks has added an average of two stores daily and now has almost 7,600 company owned stores and 4,000 licensed stores. Multiply that by four, and you have close to the 58,000 listed storage units in America. Frankly, there are days when it seems my tiny state, alone, has 58,000 Starbucks – except when I really need a cup of coffee…

Continue Reading

— Essentials —

New Orleans' designer Tara Shaw's home
pin it

I love the interiors of New Orleans’ designer Tara Shaw. Tara has an effortless way of blending Old World pieces and classical furnishings along with the right amount of edginess. She ties them all together with a neutral palette that’s the definition of modern chic. It’s the look I’d like for my new home, but alas, I don’t have a Tara Shaw budget to buy all new pieces.

Since my biggest fear is winding up in a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere, I will use the furnishings I already have.

Continue Reading

— Essentials —

pin it

I love Jen Lawrence’s new 010ParkPlace Book Club. The first book she’s chosen is Folly Cove by Holly Robinson, which explores the relationship between three very different sisters and their formidable mother. In the comments on Jen’s blog, some of us were talking about drinking Folly Rum as we read. It reminded me of my friend Charles and his legendary Hot Buttered Rum.

“Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!”

Continue Reading

— Essentials —

Sam's checking everything out. Poor baby. He's not comfortable here yet. So different from the ranch.
pin it

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. No one’s more aware of this than those who’ve already been diagnosed with breast cancer or know someone who has. It’s been 12 years since my diagnoses and treatment, but a sore place on my left breast made me think about recurrence.

Since I’m not one to look the other way and do nothing, I had my oncologist schedule a mammogram and an ultrasound of both breasts.

Continue Reading