Home Sweet Home

A pineapple lamp emerges from its New Jersey cardboard darkness to light up in welcome to a Florida home.

The day after the movers packed up the truck in NJ, I had to go to Denver for a business meeting but alas! the movers were so fast they packed my suitcases including the one which had my 2 best business outfits, all of my $$$ makeup and the good hairdo stuff in it. So I had to buy a new suitcase, wear rags on a business trip and paint myself with the leavings of old makeup things that I had already put into a trash bag. [Update:  my makeup and I are reunited.]

I had everything timed to precision when the meeting ended. I had the earliest possible afternoon flight booked from Denver to Jacksonville with a brief layover in Houston. Alas! The outbound plane in Denver had a mechanical problem that delayed takeoff for near an hour so naturally, I missed the connecting flight. By this time, it was almost 8 pm and nothing on any airline was headed to Jacksonville until the morning. United did a great job of getting me on the first flight out even though that was on American. I was steeling myself for a night spent upright at the gate when, unasked, the customer service person handed me vouchers for dinner and breakfast and set me up at what turned out to be a fairly swanky Sheraton for the night. So even though I had mentally prepared to spend 10 hours without laying down or touching anything more than necessary, in reality I enjoyed room service and a nice steamy shower. My checked luggage even ended up on the American carousel and was waiting for me when I got there.

The only loser in this whole episode was the movers (alas!) who showed up as arranged at 7 am on Thursday. They didn’t get the message that I would be delayed even though their office got it on Wednesday evening and even said they understood and would send the van come at 2 pm. They did come at about 3:30 pm and worked like whirling dervishes to get the truck unloaded and furniture placed. They were done by 9:30 pm. I was unpacking the kitchen as they were bringing boxes in. Even though I was making good headway and got about 14 boxes empty, there was no discernible difference in the amount of visible floor space because the full boxes had only transformed into empty boxes of the same size. In the most serendipitous happening of all, at around 4 pm a message came in on our homeowners website from a person looking for moving boxes. We connected and the person picked up a dozen boxes today and will be back tomorrow for more. All I need is the stamina to keep steadily unpacking.

“Tropical Cove” by Enrique Bolo

So it’s a mess here but it already feels like home. The decorating plans that I had only imagined in NJ are looking really good as I set them up one by one. And I do mean one. So far, it’s only one pineapple lamp and a single 11″ x 11″ piece of wall art. But they look great!

Also, lanai is the new deck.

Deck / Lanai

101 Views Of My Deck

Things are starting to get back into shape on my personal slice of heaven.

tranquil morning coffe spot. just me, birdsong and a manically barking corgi

My trim little semi circle of yellow Knock Out Roses has been wildly successful so of course that means Sami wants to teach them a lesson with his chain saw. This is what he hates about exuberant abundance:

the encroachment

And that of course is exactly what I love about it. He sees it as untamed nature encroaching on human territory and I see it as a sign of my gardening mastery – plants so successful they cannot be held back. RAWR! 

I offer these pictures as documentation of how lovely they once were just in case they should go missing by reason of “I thought they were weeds.”

I think I’ll take that little birdbath to Florida with me. maybe that corgi butt as well.

He may have a point about exuberant abundance encroaching on the sidewalk.

101 Views Of My Deck

My deck. What sweet sweet words to be able to say again. This deck is my favorite place on earth and it’s been dismantled since early October.


Frankly, I wasn’t too optimistic about expecting this to be back together before winter set in, especially considering how the rest of the basement project is going. But yesterday the workers showed up and started to reassemble the decking, replacing some boards and making it sturdier than it was before. If they go at the same pace today, I might be able to sit in a chair and have one more cocktail out there – an activity that will tide me over through the winter. Granted, I will have to do it before the sun sets at around 4:30 and I’ll be wearing a coat and maybe a small blanket around my legs, but you can trust that I am going to be out there one more time.

Also, notice those black bags of mulch behind Stedman? Look closer:


With its last gasp, a terminally ill Meyer lemon tree gave birth to 7 little lemons. There were 11 when the tree was moved down there so this is more of a survival story than a success story. We are rapidly approaching the last chapter of this saga.

Reunited And It Feels So Good

Hey you guys look at this- I can go out on my deck again.

As much as I love my deck I must say at the moment I love the steamy soapy shower I just took after 4 days without a water heater.

So, checklist:

  • Broken power lines
  • Severed underground cables
  • Re-flooded basement
  • Jose yelling AIYYYEEE! really loud every time the power went off or on, making me think he got torched
  • Broken water heater
  • Short dog belly deep in stinky black mud
  • Occupy Powder Room, muddy boots version

At this point the way things are going around here I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the shingles stood themselves up and walked off the roof.