Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Let's go for it in 2016!

Hope y'all had Happy Holidays. Cowboy and I had a fabulous few days in Charlotte celebrating Christmas with our dear son, his sweet wife and our precious grandson!

Are you looking forward to 2016?  It promises to be a great year!

I've just received my 2016 "Passion Planner". I stumbled onto their website when I was researching calendars. Y'all, I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS PLANNER! The Passion Planner is a combo calendar, planner, journal, memory keeper and has goal accountability. It helps keep you inspired with success quotes and on tract with weekly and monthly evaluations. They also pay it forward to people that can't afford their calendar and give back to charity. Win/Win.  Gotta support good-deed-doers.

Any big plans for 2016?

Here are some (out of about 50--shoot for the moon, ya know) of my intentions for 2016:
  • Conduct a workshop for home sellers. Public speaking always scares the beJesus out of me. Following thru with this will be a biggie. #Year of Yes.
  • Post regularly. Really. I despair when "An Affection for Staging" (that I truly love) is pushed to the back burner. It happens when I get busy---or worst yet----uninspired.
  • Attend a True Color Workshop by Maria Killam. I have studied with Maria online. This year Maria is coming to Charlotte and I plan to attend in person!
  • Tour the UK with Linda, my new British Friend. Linda wants to take me across the pond to celebrate her 50th! (Y'all I don't even have a passport. LOL and Gulp.) I can do this! #FUN!
  • I'm going pastel this year! Dark, muted colors don't make me happy. Hello Happy Clothes!
  • Add a Fitness Class to my H20 Aerobics classes.  (Lost 10.5 lbs. and one clothes size in 2015. And, met my kindred spirit, Linda, at the gym this year.)
Raise a glass to 2016 bringing us health, happiness, good fortune, abundance and prosperity.

Let's go for it!

Happy New Year!


    Sunday, December 20, 2015

    Twas the Fight Before Christmas and all through the house....

    So what would the holidays be without family drama? (And, there was no alcohol involved!) I had a big cup of CRAZY served on a platter this weekend. After lunch on Saturday, I asked my SIL questions about her mom's health, a recent operation and doctor visits. Four hours after our conversation a raging lunatic emerged. It seems her hours of ruminating resulted in crisscrossed-wires. SIL misconstrued my concern as laying blame for her mother's failing condition.

    Follow, if you will, the sequence of events in BIZARRE-O land:
    I was making blueberry muffins for Sunday's breakfast and asked SIL if she had Tupperware or Ziploc to store them in. The coo-coo switch flipped during her container search. Suddenly, a bowl was hurled to the floor, F-bombs launched, a violent rage ensued with shrieking screams and spewing venom.(Think RHONJ Theresa Giudice's table toss.) Then she launched towards me with such force that Cowboy had to jump in front of her before she nailed me. (I've never been in a bitch fight but methinks that where she was headed!) In fact, I've never been on the receiving end of such smack-talk in my life. #takeaclassclass

    Sister storms outside. Cowboy follows. She reloads and aims at her brother. Direct hit. Cowboy (and the neighbors) then get an earful of Sissie's sequestered frustration, condemnation, resentment and anger. See Dr. Phil schedule airing 2016.

    I've. had. ENOUGH.
    Exit stage left. Time to relo to a hotel.

    I sling my cram-packed-in-a-jam Vera Bradley over my shoulder and bid the family adieu.

    As I am departing these are the last words spoken to me,
    "Why are you leaving?"


    And as I drove out of sight I wished, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

    Thursday, December 3, 2015

    Lamenting, Venting and Staging Your Home at Christmas


    I was lunching with a client the other day.  She remarked that she had recently dined at a well known area restaurant. "There was a large table of  'church people' celebrating something. They held hands and prayed--out loud. Nobody wants to listen to that!"  The server brought our meals and the subject was changed.

    Here's what I regret not saying. Christians are not particularly concerned with being politically correct. Christians share an inner-knowing about the comfort, support and joy our faith provides.  Most Christians don't intentionally try to publicly piss people off.  But when you get a group of like-minded Christians together sharing celebration, there will be words of gratitude and a simple blessing of our foodChristians pray in public and often out loud.

    I wish I was better at articulating my thoughts. Yesterday's San Bernadino tragedy has me incensed, outraged, horrified and terribly sad. I can't wrap my head around work colleagues, innocently  enjoying a Christmas celebration, then being senselessly gunned down. The brutal acts of the twisted Jihad terrorists inspire me speak out, pray harder and pray at full volume.

    In days of yore, I advised sellers to limit Christmas decorations. I was parroting staging protocol."Christmas decor could be offensive to non-Christians". Later, I followed my heart and changed my advice. Yes, Christians deck the halls, trim your tree and set up the Nativity!

    Friday, October 9, 2015

    No Fall Decor on Your Door When Selling

    Happy Fall, y'all!  I'm back.
    Sometimes the train goes around the bend; sometimes it gets stuck mid-track. Ever had one of those not-good "life has just shifted forever" episodes?  My choo-choo had a surprise ambush that has diverted my attention. No worries though. Luckily, the Big Engineer is getting things back on track for me.

    But as the dust settles, the saucer still spins...To appease myself I turned to an old childhood friend--peanut butter. What? Yeah. I don't get it either but it satisfies the primary criteria of emotional eating (NPN): No Prep Necessary.

    Twist. Lift. Knife (spoon or finger). 
    Lip-smackin' satisfaction!

    Can anyone relate? 
     Anyway...  Let's talk Staging in the Fall.


    Fall decorating is off the chain!

    Looks like fall decorating is becoming a close second to Christmas.  Hasn't it become a competition? Plump punkins in mind-boggling colors, bigger better wreaths, goofy gourds, multi-variety mums, stacked hays bales, corn husks tied on mailboxes, lamp posts--even gutters, purple cabbage and kale as large as a planets  -- oh my!

    But hey, you need to resist if you are selling your house.
    It is REALLY, REALLY important that you refrain from your autumn obsession if you are listing your house for sale.

    This time of year that home sales slow.  You do not want your house on MLS in December with a Jack-O-Lantern and mums on your front steps.  It screams 'this house has been on the market unsold for a long time'. 

    I love my Realtors.  They are my bread and butter (peanut butter?), but they tend to be lazy about returning to a house to retake pictures as the seasons change.  Their lives are busy come the holidays and they have already invested a significant amount of time and expense in marketing your house. 

    Sellers, pack your fall pretties and take them to your next abode.
    Happy Friday!

    Monday, August 31, 2015

    SUNDAY MUSINGS: Modern Granny Doesn't Look Like Wolf-Granny

    I'm typically all spiritual and such on Sunday.  But today, Granny-Wolf reared her ugly head and got me worked up.  You know what I am talking about -the Whooping Cough commercial?  Other than hating the concept of Granny's head exchange with the Big Bad Wolf, I have another bone to pick.

    Why do ad agencies continue to project the frumpy-granny stereotype?  I'm a grandmother, many of my friends are grandmothers, many of their friends are grandmothers.  In 2015, Grannies don't look like the commercial Granny.

    We don't have faded hair, pulled back in a dowdy bun.
    We don't wear windshield readers.
    We don't wear a two-toned grey cardigan sweater twin set.
    We don't wear long dismal grey straight skirts.
    We don't wear ugly, grey loafers.
    We don't sit in our woefully sad, dark, monochromatic house, on ugly furniture with heavy drapes with drawn sheers
    We don't have a knitting basket on the floor and needles in our hands.
     Listen up ad people!  Your ad is just wrong.  Wrong-y Dong-y Wrong...

    Sunday, August 23, 2015

    A Budget Wedding that was Rich on Love

    Jennie and Ben
    Karen's son, Ben, recently married.  Karen is my oldest and dearest friend.  I was at Ben's birth and he has called me, "Aunt Linda", for 29 years.  Jennie is a sweetheart and definitely gets a thumbs up.
    The Wedding Party
    In this era of wedding extravaganzas, there was no showboating at this wedding. Ben and Jennie created a unique and personal wedding. Jennie's young cousins had their own ideas of how they would participate. They were superheros in capes and fairies with tiaras. For a beach wedding, Ben and Jennie figured khaki shorts and blue golf shirts were perfect for the Groomsmen. The Bridesmaids wore coordinating long blue gowns. There was no wedding planner, no rehearsal, no rehearsal dinner, no photographer, no wedding cake.  There was a minister, a gorgeous day, and 130 people that loved them.

    Budget? It was shoestring at best. These two resourceful kids relied on the help of friends and family to pull it off. Jennie got a floor sample gown on sale for $200 courtesy of  Karen. Karen also supplied the veil. It was a family heirloom worn by 6 past brides. Jennie's favorite movie is Safe Haven. She wanted to get married at the same romantic waterfront in the movie. Uncle Rob, retired Town Manager, provided the venue in Southport, NC. Friend Joe, brought a pig cooker and smoked pork butts for the reception. Ditto Uncle Neil with chicken.  Karen, her sisters and the brides' aunts, etc. made all the other fixins: mac & cheese, slaw, green & baked beans, etc.etc. There was a bounty of delicious food. Jennie and Karen made over 200 cupcakes. Uncle Bill installed a full sound system and provided all the music.
    Karen and Ben's Mother/Son Dance
    Cowboy and I helped too. We picked up and hauled soft drinks, wine and beer from a distant store freezer, up 3 flights of stairs. to the reception hall. Check out their ingenious idea for icing the drinks.
    "Pick Up" a drink

    I ironed the grooms' wedding outfits: long sleeve shirt and slacks for the ceremony, golf shirt and shorts for the reception.  I also cleaned a bunch of old pictures and mementos for a Memorial Table.  I'd never seen a Memorial Table at a wedding.  Jennie's mother died of cancer several years ago. The table was a lovely tribute to her mother and other relatives that had passed. 
    Cowboy, Groomsman Mike and Me Installing Runner
    The biggest challenge happened at 3:10PM.  The attendant for the venue mentioned to Jennie that Yes! she could have a runner.  Huh?  "The other lady said runners weren't allowed."  Dial 911 Runner. Cowboy and I jump in the car to get the runner. Success!  We then NasCar-ed to the hardware store for a hammer and tacks. Return, unroll, install. The wedding is scheduled to start at 4:30PM.  There is no time to tarry.

    We finish the runner at 4:10PM.  We run to our nearby B&B.  Somehow, we tag team quick showers, towel off, and dress. I attempt to apply makeup. It refuses adhere to my still-red-and-moist-from-the-heat face.  My hair is sopping from perspiration but there was no time for blow drying.  I throw on my dress, grab my pocketbook and say, "does this look OK?" Cowboy laughs, "I think the zipper goes in the back."  Crap. Backwards. Turn dress. Go.

    We hustled back to the venue. Whew! The wedding had not started yet.  I scamper to the restroom hoping to apply some waterproof mascara. (Waterworks at weddings, you know.)  In runs Jennie with a bridesmaid holding up her dress. Like any bride, her nerves caught up with her.  From the stall, she pleads, "Please, talk to me, Linda!"  I managed to talk the bride off a the ledge.  What a precious memory!  She's cool.  I'm mascaraed.  Let's get this party started.
    That is me jumping up to give applause. 

    This wedding is very, very special.  It is truly their wedding.  There is no pretentiousness-just happiness. There was so much love that it was palatable.  It took a village, but they pulled it off. How refreshing to witness and be part of something so wonderfully organic.  --Namaste.

    Thursday, August 20, 2015

    Jeff Lewis Says It Best

    "There are people with really, really horrible taste.  My job is to save them from themselves."
    Jeff Lewis
    "Flipping Out"/Jeff Lewis Design

    One of the benefits of being a Stager is that I don't have to please anyone.  My staging is based on the ideal approach for presenting a house to sell.  I am grateful that I have never heard, "We don't like it." (Of course, they only have to live with my staging the limited time their house is on the market.)

    Sometimes, staging clients hire me to decorate. "I love your style!"  I think, they think, that they love my style.  With staging, I can be bold. (Peacock feathers, anyone?)  It so perplexing that  when I use the same approach for decorating they seem to choke. Huh? But, I thought you, 'loved my style'?

    And ya know, since it is their home, they want to help.  Oh my goodness the bargains they find for me to incorporate in their decor!
    It is difficult to be diplomatic when something sooo not-kinda-wonderful flies out of that shopping bag.  Press mute NOW.  But, my mind is screaming, "IT IS SO WRONG!"  Like Wrongy-Dongy wrong.

    Then comes their scrunch-face plea, "Well, it kinda goes." 

    There's no "kinda" with style!

    While Jeff Lewis has a plethora of personality dysfunctions, I admire his design aesthetic and vision.  How wonderful it would be for a client to give me carte blanche on a decorating project.

    Monday, August 17, 2015

    Give A Warm Welcome for the Return of Wallpaper!

    Robert Redding's Hampton Court
    I've been working with a staging client that asked me to help her with paint colors for her new house.

    Jennifer loves color! Her previous house had neutral wall colors (of course, a plus for selling).  She intends to be in the new house for a very long time and wants it to reflect her style.

    I suggested 3 different shades of blue/grey for the common areas (BM's Night Mist, Grey Wisp, and Imperial Grey). Her office is a bright blue (BM's Tranquil Blue), the Master Bedroom, Guest Room and her Spiritual Study are a serene blue--BM's Wythe Blue. Her kitchen is kicking it with a bold coral/red/orange color: Valspar's Samari Fusion.

    We had difficulty finding 'the' color to use in the dining room.  I asked Jennifer if she had ever considered wallpaper.  She was in!  We made a decision for the Dining Room to make a statement.

    Look at the GORGEOUS wallpaper that we selected for the Dining Room!  The beautiful peacocks will be installed above the chair rail. I'm sure it is not every one's cup of tea but we were both wild for it.

    Thursday, July 23, 2015

    Staging & Spirilizing

    This was a fun house to stage.  Check out the architecture!  This is the view from the front door as the buyer enters.  It definitely has the 'wow' factor.

     Here is a picture of this grand family room before staging.

    I wanted something dramatic on the back wall.  The position of the electrical outlets limited the kind of artwork that could be displayed.  Aren't these metal and wood ornamental pieces perfect?

    Love me some big bright pillows on the sofa and chaise!  The red pillows really pop in real estate photography.  I added a small glass top coffee table for some visual interest. The glass top and open base  'disappear' instead of eating square footage.

    Those black and rattan chairs have been with me since my early days of staging.  They are the most versatile pieces that I use for staging. These chairs adapt to any decor!

    The  tall bookcases flanking the fireplace did not match in dimension. (Why Mr. Builder? Why?) They were a bit challenging to stage.  Too many items and the shelves would have appeared cluttered.  The casing surrounding them is heavy.  However, the height of the shelves is low.  Does that make sense?  The owner said she was at a loss as to what to display on them.


    The brown love seat and purple ottoman were removed.  A small upholstered chair and ottoman from the original decor was moved near the fireplace.  It made for a cute sitting area near the fireplace. Now on to my latest discovery!

    Have you Spiralized?

    I am having a love affair with my new Spiralizer!  I am a self-professed pasta junkie.  Always looking for a healthy alternative, I thought I'd give the Spiralizer a spin.  Holy Curly-Que! Veggie pasta is da bomb! Zucchini noodles really are delicious with spicy tomato sauce on 'em.  Spiralized yellow squash are succulent cooked in a little EVOO with garlic and parmesan.  Tonight, I spiralized a Videlia onion and sauteed it.  A sweet potato was twirled into spiral noodles and added with a tad of chicken stock. Fresh spinach, goat cheese and a few pine nuts were thrown in for good measure . It was so YUMMY!

    Those spiralized savory sweet potato noodles were easy-peasy-quick-n-tasty comfort food to ME.

    Cowboy was very suspect and took a pass. 

    Thursday, July 9, 2015

    Get the Big Picture for Staging

    Oh my goodness, it is hot as a firecracker in Raleigh, NC.  Hope you are managing to stay cool.

    Wanted to share with you the importance of large art for staging.  Large, bold and colorful art pops in MLS pictures.  Of course, big art also makes rooms show better.  Below is an office after I added 3 large art prints. 
    Here's the office before.  The wall sconces look kind of puny in relation to the rest of the room.
    Over the piano, I placed a Geranium print for a splash of color.  It is displayed higher than I would have preferred.  The Kincaid picture it replaced had heavy screws anchoring it into the wall.  I had too many fish to fry on staging day to remove the screws, patch the sheetrock and repaint.
    My apologies to any Thomas Kincaid collectors.  I am well aware that his art cost is pricey.  I'm not a fan.  Just sayin'.... I always tell home sellers with Kincaid's (truthfully!) that landscapes don't photograph well.  Also, our target market for this house is a young family.  That buyer gravitates more towards contemporary pieces.

    Below is example of one of  my BIG accessories--a ceramic urn and lush peacock feathers.  Folks always seem to be baffled by those dang niches.  "I've never known what to put there."

    Ya think?
    I love my job!

    Wednesday, June 24, 2015

    "That's Not Centered!"

    Here is a dining room staging to show you.You know how I'm always saying staging is not decorating?

    My first step in staging is to stand at the front door and look at the space through "buyer's eyes".  I do a quick scan of the of everything in my immediate vision.  I concentrate on the area that would be around 10 o'clock, if you were looking at a clock face.  This quick look is what your potential buyer sees when they step into your house.

    What does the buyer see when they walk in?  In this case, it is the back wall of the dining room. dining room back wall. The wall was previously void of decor. 

    Also, it is important to remember we are selling the architecture. We are selling that fabulous chandelier, trey ceiling, inset lights, and transom door.  So, to play up the architecture I used tall, chunky red pillar candlesticks and candles.  This is to draw the eye up towards the features.

    Picture is only to illustrate my point.
    You will notice that the picture on the back wall facing the front door is not in the middle.  For staging, it was cheated a bit to the right to look best from the front door.  The ficus tree was pulled away from the wall. (Hard to tell from the picture but it is a bit left of center--for the same reason.)
    I moved the dining room table a wee bit to the right of center to create space between the chairs and the buffet. Here's the before picture.
    The buffet has mirrored shelves.  I selected accessories that wouldn't 'get lost'.  The majority of accessories are shiny gold or brass objects.  I did not put anything on the bottom shelf.  It gives a less cluttered look and can't be seen above the backs of the chairs.
    By the way, when the owner came in for the reveal, she unconsciously pushed the chairs as far under the table as possible as we chatted.  When she finished I laughed and said, "I guess you didn't know I had a reason for leaving the chairs out a bit?  It allows breathing space and makes the room look less crowded."

    Oooooooooh! replied the seller.
    It's those little things....

    Keep cool.  We are in a record heat wave.

    Wednesday, June 17, 2015

    Hot Fun in the Summer Time

    Hi lovelies.  Yeah, I know I've been on hiatus for quite awhile.  We are taking month long beach vacation. Before vaa-k I was quite busy with work. The first three weeks at the beach were fun.  Friends and family came down and frolicked on the beach with us. Grandson Jack, 4, thought it was pretty funny to see incoming waves toss his Mimi like a rag doll! We've over eaten until all we could do was moan and put our feet up. Icy-cold adult beverages flowed abundantly.  I've coined my fav "Loose Goose" (Diet) Cran Pom and Grey Goose.  I have laughed so long my voice is hoarse. When Virginia visited, she made me howl so loudly a lady on the beach asked 'are you OK?' (I have a really annoying laugh complete with snorts and shrieks.) Oh! and, my poor feet! They are barking because I have walked at least 150 miles barefooted in the wet sand. It's "good-pain". The kind you only get from walking on the beach.

    Monday started Week 4 of Beach Month.  Cowboy has returned to work.  Everyone has cleared out.  Izzie and I are alone.  I have 5 days of glorious 'alone' time.  Just me, Iz, and the beach. This is my week for uninterrupted wishin' and hopin' and thinkin' and prayin'.

    Cowboy took the car when he left. Leaving me to hoof it for food. The Veggie Wagon is only a few blocks away. The Veggie Wagon is a petite-boutique grocery full of locally grown, organic good-for-you-food. As I stroll the aisles, I sip a freshly made Organic Strawberry Smoothie. I even had the guy add a shot of Whey Protein hoping to make up for past indiscretions. For dinner, I bought crab cakes from just-down-the-road-captured crab and a big fat, ugly Heritage tomato to go on my neighborhood-grown lettuce. 

    Oddly, I didn't sleep last night. Insomnia is an acquaintance but rarely an all night guest. At 2:30 AM I decided to play my 'Spiritual Stuff'. As I lay awake in the dark, rubbing Izzie's belly, I listened to some great teachings.  Many of the lessons that are so easy to forget.  .

    These mentors were vital in teaching me that what you believe is what you can have.  Thoughts become reality. If you believe something isn't possible, then it won't be.  Years ago, I thought I couldn't afford an oceanfront beach house--much less a place that allowed pets and was big enough to entertain friends and family.  I believed if I took an entire month off my clients would drop me and my business would be over.  My spiritual teachers taught me to think that everything is possible. If you want it, and believe it, it can happen. So happy I stumbled onto 'Spiritual Stuff' 25 years ago...

    At first light, as the sun peaked over the horizon, I decided to take Izzie out for a walk. I took her off-leash since we were the only ones stirring. She was in heaven.  So much to sniff.  So many places to mark.  So much fun to run, and run, and run.

    I am one grateful girl for my coffer overflowing with beachy happiness!

    Friday, April 17, 2015

    The #1 Organizational Tip for Sorting Mail!

    Happy Friday y'all.

    Home sellers are always asking me about solutions to their clutter.  I'll share a tip with you that I started when I worked in a busy office.

    Create a Friday File.  

    Go through all of your mail the day it arrives. 

    Open the first class mail and deal with it.

    You are DONE until Friday!

    Place magazines, periodicals, catalogs, junk mail-ANYTHING that is not first class mail, into a basket or box--a Friday File.

    Every Friday specify a time to sort through your Friday File.  Have a trash can, recycle bin and shredder close by.

    Recycle junk mail and throw away anything that can't be recycled.

    Place items you want to keep: charitable contributions, coupons, special offers, etc. in a separate pile or folder.  Take care of these items at the end.

    It's Friday, so you can retrieve those magazines and catalogs!  I think you will find it is fun looking forward to devouring their pages.  It really is more efficient and rewarding than thumbing through mags and cats quickly when they arrive.

    Hope you find the Friday File tip helpful!

    Monday, April 13, 2015

    What Waz They Thinkin' Staging

    Hey folks.  Look at this lovely Tudor home in Houston, Texas.  It is currently on the market. The address is 18119 Wildcombe Drive.
    I had a LOL moment when I saw this picture of the breakfast room.
    If you don't have a breakfast table, build one with assorted sizes and heights of cardboard boxes.  Finish it off with a floral table cloth.  Top with fake flowers in a glass vase. (You know uneven, wanky bed treatments and table linens make me cra-cra.  Couldn't the tablecloth be cheated down to the floor?  Even if it was shorter on the side facing the windows, it might have look somewhat better.--at least in MLS pictures.)

    Display platters on stands to accentuate the view of the pool.

    I know, it bad form (or as we say in the South "bad manners") to criticize the work of someone else.
    "Devil made me do it."

    I vote no on the box table.  What say you?  Does it help you imagine your family sitting around 'it' enjoying the view.

    Sunday, March 22, 2015


    I'm super grateful that my friend Karen is doing great!  She's been battling breast cancer this year.  Her reconstructive surgery was Thursday and she is looking forward to her son's wedding this summer. Hooray!

    I'm still under the weather.  It seems Mr. Infection hitch hiked from my sinuses to my middle ear. (I spend a lot of time saying, 'huh?') A is for Azithromycin--round two.  Sooo hoping The Super Bug doesn't hit anytime soon.  My immune system will be up the creek with no paddle.

    Between naps and Nyquil , I've been binge watching "Parenthood"on Netflix. Anybody remember Craig T. Nelson from his days on "Coach"? Still love him. I've also been reading a ton of blogs.

    Enjoying blogs is so much fun since, hey, I've got the time. I zig and zag getting deeper and deeper into recommended must read lists.  Here's a couple of observations:

    1.There is a Universal Theme: All bloggers experience those awkward,awful don't-know-what-to-post-writer's-block times. It happens to everyone--not just me! 'Filler' posts are creative.

     "Upcycle Used Shoelaces As Decorative Bows!"  
    "Fill Pillows Using Dryer Lint!"  
    "Twist Twigs Into Place Mats!"  
    "Lean Cuisine Boxes As Colorful Art!"

    2.There are blogs on EVERY subject.  Cowboy has a retirement fantasy of us exploring America in an RV.  My worst fears were confirmed after reading -wait for it- a blog by: The Pop Up Princess. There is a whole world of folks updating and posting about their pop-ups. Who knew? The Princess, Larissa, is adorable.  There are lots of camper makeovers and great advice.

    However, cramped quarters and damp bath towels hold no appeal--to this princess.

    Have a great week y'all!

    Sunday, March 15, 2015

    Sunday Musings: Invite Spring into Your Home

    Mama's Little Treasures
    Spring officially arrives Friday!
    This has been an especially rough winter for many of us. (My heart goes out to Bostonians.)  We look forward to and beckon Spring--especially this year.

    When I was in Junior High School (middle school for you youngin's), I had a friend, David. I called David to 'hang out' one day and he said he couldn't; his mother needed him. "It's the first day of Spring."  I'm thinking 'ya, so what.' He made it sound like Thanksgiving or Christmas--like I should know the significance of the day.

    It seems that every Spring, David's mother had a tradition.  Mrs. Holt did the regular cleaning and organizing. The house would be spit-cleaned and polished. Then, on the first day of Spring, she would open every drawer, every cabinet, every closet, every window and every door.

    Mrs. Holt was letting all of the old and stagnate air out of the house. She was inviting the transforming energy of Spring inside. Looking back on it now, I think that she was showing great reverence and respect for her house. She was paying homage to her home, her family and their belongings.
    What a lovely tradition.

    Thursday, March 12, 2015

    Am I Confused?

    Here's a little somethin'-somethin' for you to consider. (I felt the need to blow the pictures up.)

    What I see when I approach a house

                                                                            isn't necessarily what I see when I step inside.
    Do you see any similarities?
                                               Charles Manson            photo by


    Sunday, March 8, 2015

    Sunday Musings: Burnin' Through the Bucks

    I'm typically a healthy gal.  It's not often that I get 'gotta-go-to-the-doctor-sick'.  But when my head was thumping, breathing became a chore and my coughing sounded like the soundtrack to a horror movie, I made the call. 

    I know they are a friendly lot at my medical center.  But, I was feeling crummy not chummy.  So why do they each ask, "how are you today?"  I wanted to hiss, 'If I was good, I wouldn't be here'!(I can be a grouchy bee-atch when I don't feel well.)  I nodded and replied, "OK." as any well-brought up, Southern Girl would.

    In the exam room, I sit on the end of a metal gurney and swing my legs to and fro making the paper crinkle under my butt. Then the monkey that lives in my mind starts to swing from vine to vine:
    I like Dr. T.  I wish he would come in already. Can I throw my dirty tissue into the Medical Waste Bin? They need to paint this office. What an awful color.  What is that box of chopsticks on the counter labeled "Flu"? Wonder if they would miss one if I take it? I'm soooo tired. Yawn .Can I lean back?  I decide to lean back and doze. My legs look broken at the knees. I look so stupid. SIT UP LINDA! I pop up just as Dr. T opens the door.

    Dr. T comes in and (after asking me the rote how you doing?), takes a peek inside my ears, up my nose, and into my eyes.  When he asks me to stick my tongue out he shines his penlight down my palate and makes a scrunch face.  "What?!" "What?!" I plead! Dr. T. ignores me like I am petulant child. 

    Out comes the stethoscope. "Breath deep." I  in-in-inhale, then let the air out in a woosh followed by my unexpected braying cough. Eeyore.

    Dr. T's scrunch-face reappears.

    "You have bronchitis and sinusitis.'' announces Dr. T.

    Two shots, and two breathing treatments,two blood oxygen tests later, I am escorted back to the front desk. I clutch my a prescription for my Hydrocodone (silly bureaucrats-think-it's-a-street-drug and should be regulated like heroin) cough syrup. Speaking of drugs, I could pass for someone going through withdrawal.  My hands are shaky and I'm amped up on the steroids.  Sweet Receptionist tells me my other prescriptions have been called in to my pharmacy.

    "Today's office visit comes to a total of $427.00".

    "Whaaaaaaaa the .....REALLY?" I think. Perhaps my shaking has affected my hearing?
     "4-27" .  Four Hundred and Twenty Seven Dollars.

    I dig out my MasterCard and blow the cobwebs off it.  ""You do take credit? With still shaky fingers I hand over my credit card, smile and say, "I guess I can't afford to get sick anymore."

    "We'll call you tomorrow to see how you are doing."

    I hope the call is included in the $427.

    Lucky for me the prescriptions were only $148!  I'm just blown away by a simple infection costing so much.  Maybe I'll call Dr. Phil's "Doctor's On Call" and get a cheaper diagnosis.  Anybody tried the Doc on Call yet?
    Happy Daylight Savings Time.  May this week be warm, sunny and delightful!

    If you were gifted $500 instead of having to spend it.  What would your guilty pleasure be or your responsible payment be?

    Lots of love,

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

    Thow in the Towel, Towels

    No Lovelies, I haven't thrown the towel in--even though I haven't posted in a long while.  But other folks should throw in their towels. Consider giving them an extended life as rags. New towels are not expensive!

    Look at these fluffy new towels. Even draped on hooks they look lovely.  New towels rule.
    The Yellow Cape Cod
    If there is one thing that is a common denominator in most of the houses I consult on, regardless of price, it is crappy towels. 

    Here's a little peek into a few of the Towel Offenses that I've witnessed.  And, yes, the owner's know I am coming and that the house is to be 'show ready'.

    Dirty towel.
    Don't matched towels.

    Old, use ta be black towels.

     Sad towels.

    Faded towel.
     Slung towels.
    Used-too-long-wet-nasty towel.   
    Snakin' towels!
     Rolls gone wrong towels.
    Don't match-don't care towel.
    Flippin' initials on old embroidered towels.
    Patriotic towels.
    Stop and Go towels.
    Geriatric blue towels.
    Just all wrong towels.