Moving. Forward.

Mercifully, my Florida house escaped the wrath of Hurricane Michael. The real estate agent emailed to say she drove past the house and there’s no damage from wind or flooding. I suspect the panel fence in the back got knocked over, but that is so minor compared to what we were bracing for.  And so it looks like I am going to have to continue purging and packing. I was kind of hoping for a hurricane-related reprieve  of a few weeks but that is not the case.

Who wants to spend their time working on that when I can devote myself to minor but life enhancing projects ? I call this a project but it only took 30 minutes total. And that included cutting open the plastic bags that I used for drop cloths.

The guest bathroom is a color that I’m calling “Clay Flower Pot” and it’s going to stay that way for a while. The ceilings in this place are 9 or 10 feet high and I am no longer willing to climb ladders and stretch away from the center of gravity to do my own painting.  It’s my least favorite wall color in the house but my plan is to overwhelm the senses with a riot of color and design so that the wall color is the last thing you would notice.

Just kidding! My plan is to create tranquility and subtly downplay the wall color. I’m doing this by using a plain white shower curtain*, fancy bathroom accouterments and complimentary colors for the towels.

I’m only getting the tissue box and the soap pump. With dark teal towels hanging up,   I think that will be quite enough .

But what to do about wall art? Let me tell you something: it’s almost impossible to avoid the lure of a seashell/starfish/coastal theme when decorating a bathroom. Bed Bath and Beyond (or Bed Bath and Behind , as Sami calls it) currently has 14 different kinds of seashell/starfish/coastal bath ensemble themes. And they all look good to me! But I know myself and I know that I would get sick of that pretty quickly so I am going paisley/goldfish as the decor theme here.


But first , let’s pause for a moment while I say goodbye to the first thing that I wanted to buy for the new house – even before I had a new house – the Sandpiper area rug:

spr.PNG – Sandpiper Beach Non-skid Kitchen Accent, Rug 3′ x 4′

I loved the idea of this thing as a bath mat. Loved it, I tell you. You could imagine yourself standing on the sand while you dried off, with weird skittery  birds eyeing up your toes.

Anyway, I had a picture that I really love hanging in my office that would be ideal for this bathroom. It’s The Goldfish, which I think qualifies as a watery theme suitable for a bathroom. It just needed a little jazzing up. So I used some paper McDonald’s napkins to dab  bright copper acrylic paint onto the dreary black matte frame and ici voila! we have a coordinate. The detail on those accouterments  are tiny little coppery bumps outlining the enamel decorations. I am ignoring the fact that the orange fish kind of clash with the Clay Flower Pot wall color and the coppery frame looks a bit pink in full daylight. I’m very pleased with this whole thing.

I’m sure you’ll agree that dabbing paint onto a picture frame for a guest bathroom when we don’t even expect to have any guests (sad face) is a much better use of my time than purging and packing and actually getting ready for the move.

*I would have greatly preferred the matching shower curtain from BB&B with it’s big colorful paisleys, but instead I got a Hampton Inn shower curtain with the clear panel to see outside.  Thanks, Alfred Hitchcock. The paisley shower curtain would look better from the outside but the Hampton Inn curtain is more comfortable/less claustrophobic from the inside. What is happening to me? I just chose function over form. How dreary.


Number 9 Number 9 Number 9

ddThis is not the main reason that I’m moving to Florida, but I have to tell you that one of the heretofore unrealized benefits of doing so means that I no longer have to scroll through the drop down when selecting my state on the internet.

Maybe that’s not a big deal to you. If you live in Arizona or California, you’ve probably never even thought about it. But I’m telling you – this is big for me. Mostly because of the trauma I had to suffer in childhood because my last name started with a Y. Let me tell you something – elementary school would collapse in upon itself if it had to give up doing things in alphabetical order.  I cannot and will not recite the indignities heaped upon those poor little lambs of us that had to line up in alphabetical order. Let me just give you two fragments of dialogue from unsympathetic teachers:

  • “Sorry! No chocolate milk left! You can have the white if you want it. “
  • “So, they’re broken. so what? They’re still the same colors and when you’re done with your picture, no one will ever know that you had to use broken crayons.”

(Isn’t what an awful message? FYI – the chocolate milk costs 1c more than the white. Do you think I ever got those pennies back? It was a bad bad day when both of those things happened  – swindled out of my pre-paid chocolate milk PLUS living through the anxiety of eyeing up the condition of the crayon boxes as the line moved forward and realizing that the new boxes were going to go to kids that couldn’t even draw. THEN the utter lack of teacher interest in my plight. No wonder I’m so screwed up.)

And then, to spend the whole of my internet life in New Jersey, where you must scroll though a 1990s style list to find the state name to select. And that brings me to my real gripe here: why has there been no advancement in technology since the state selection drop down was invented? I’ll tell you why – because it’s available and it works well enough. Never mind that people who live in states that come after Iowa would like a little break once in a while. It’s 2016! Move along. Program something that will show a list of state abbreviations as you start to type the first letter into a text box.

But noooooooo. That apparently is too much trouble. You would think that the Microsoft people who are headquartered in WASHINGTON for heavens sake would have thought this up by themselves.

So anyway, Florida – in the top 5th of the state list by alphabetization. I deserve this. Envy me if you must – I understand.

Also, I am going to be one of those people who sends out v annoying Florida-themed Christmas cards  this year. I was thinking  this:


but Sami will never go for that. He can’t even tolerate cards that don’t reference the religious meaning of Christmas even if they have decorated trees, snowmen , cardinals, stockings etc. on them. I’ll never get him on board with this. The pre-made selections that I’ve been able to locate so far are pretty boring , let me tell you.  Santa in shorts, trees decorated with shells and starfish – that kind of thing. (Unless once I get down there and the stores are filled with a plentiful selection of interesting Florida-themed Christmas cards?).  Otherwise I am going to have to photoshop up an anthropomorphic orange in a Santa hat to use as our card this year.


One Month And One Day

That’s how long until we close on our Florida house. And guess what? I’M NOT READY.  Although I’ve been steadily working on getting rid of stuff, there’s approximately one metric butt tonne of stuff left to get through.

Although we won’t be out the door of our NJ house on the same day as we close, there are issues that are giving me sleepless night now:

  • We don’t want to leave either place uninhabited, so one of us will stay in NJ and one of us will go to FL. that is not as bad as it sounds. This is how we started our relationship way back when*. We’ll do the long-distance romance thing again and meet on the weekends.
  • What to do with the dog is problematic while we’re in this temporary situation. It makes sense that he goes with me in the car on the long drive down. He’s my dog more than he is Sami’s, but as luck would have it I’ll be traveling more than usual during the last quarter of this year. Which means he’d have to be kenneled for a good part of the time. He’s not a fan of being kenneled to say the least. Which would be more expensive – to drive back and forth from Fl to NJ 2 times or to pay for a kennel for ~ 40 days out of 90?

There’s more but those are the big things. In related news, I have restrained myself from buying anything more for the new house. Well, restrained myself from buying much for the new house. I confess that I did pick up a tray okay 2 trays and another pineapple lamp.



I tried not to buy the pineapple lamp for fear of going over-pineapples tried hard I really did! but I believe i am still within the safety zone. Now I’m looking to upgrade that plain finial. It’s not like I don’t have anything else to do. In fact, i have too much to do. Like learn how to operate an elastic drill so that I can put my new office chair together when I first arrive . By the way, have I showed you the home office?


Take a good look because I’m not showing you a picture of my current office, but i’ll describe it for you: piles of folded laundry on the day bed behind me, a laundry basket repurposed as an annex of things that don’t have a home (jewelry box, FedEx box full of tablets, reams of paper still in their wrappers, etc.) , a brown plastic  tall kitchen can pressed into service as a wrapping paper roll holder, a desk covered in post it notes, nail polish bottles and empty water glasses. Now you know why I wont be showing a picture of that. Take a good look at the new office because it might not be too long until I’m describing this one the same way.

Anyway, I’m thinking a gray and white faux zebra area rug on that floor. Yes or no? I think yes.

*I was living in Manhattan and Sami was living in Brooklyn but was working on a long-term project in Virginia. After our first date, we talked every night on the phone for 2 hours, and then every weekend, either he would come back to NY, I would go down to VA or we would meet someplace in between. It was very romantic then – I wonder how it will be now?




Whoa There, Suzette

I didn’t memorialize it here but I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t buy anything for the new house until I got there. That promise went out the window with the purchase of the perfect pineapple lamp from Pier One last week

And then, today. Today I bought the perfect side table. I HAD to buy it today because I have been watching this for a few days and it was selling out at various locations day by day. Don’t you agree that any self respecting British Colonial-phile worth their salt would not have waited? I know you do. It has a compelling aesthetic. That alone is worth the price to me.

Decorator’s Theater is proud to present an all-new production of

Pretentious People With Very Good Taste


Act I 

Suzette: (answers a knock at the door) “Darling, do come in and sit down. I’ve set out some cocktail nuts in a monogrammed silver porringer on a side table next to your seat”.

Visitor: “On my! What a charming little bamboo-inspired table!”

Suzette: “Oh, yes isn’t it? I do believe that it has quite a compelling aesthetic.”


A shimmering bronze tray is set on a bamboo-inspired base to complete this side table’s compelling aesthetic. Size: 23″W x 13.25″ D x 22.75″ H


Okay. That’s it now. No more shopping until I move in to the new house. I swear. My Jacksonville brother-in-law is a master of the estate sale strategy. While we were down there, we went to see his new house. He had been in it less than a week and it was already 75% furnished with high-end stuff. The 8 silk-covered dinner chairs were less than I paid for this little table. Not that I was extravagant – that’s just how good he is at holding out for a bargain. So I think I can learn some lessons from him when it comes to buying cane wing chairs and an honest-to-gawd credenza. Perhaps a potted palm wouldn’t be amiss either.

Apparently, estate sales in Florida are laden with potted palms. I hope I come across a moody painting of a heron, too. That is an essential element of my decor planning. Unless I’m thinking of an egret?

Also get this: the brother-in-law’s new girlfriend is from south America so maybe she knows how to make Papas de la Huancaina.

Question: How many pineapple lamps can a person own before crossing over the line into self-parody?  3? 4?  Surely not 1.Because I know where I can get a small Waterford pineapple lamp that would be ideal for near the new front door.