Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Some of you may remember my post from last year about meeting my childhood friend and driving her to Vermont to place her mother in a Respite House. Sadly her mother passed away last month and I received word that the house was on the market. How I wish there were interior photos to show you, but there were none on Realtor.com when I looked. The asking price is in the $220s.

Background: I grew up in very plain ranch style home in South Burlington Vermont. It was on a street of other very plain, built in the mid-late 50s homes. My mother has absolutely no interest in decorating and never did. The first time I met my friend Judy I was in Junior High and she lived in a house in a new subdivision. I could not believe that she had furniture that matched...really, none of it appeared to be hand me downs!! Shocking, I know. It was, at least in my memory, all painted white with some designs stenciled or painted by hand. Such class was hard for me to comprehend, but I knew at that time that decorating would become important to me.

Fast forward a few years and she and her Mom were living in this house in Mayfair Park. Mayfair Park had a lot of homes built in the 1940s and they all had character. My best friend Betsy lived in one that had two, count them...two, corner china cabinets filled with blue and white dishes. So, to me Mayfair Park was the greatest and classiest of neighborhoods. I spent a lot of time in the house above, particularly when I was in college and we watched The Carol Burnett Show and Medical Center in the basement Family Room. Even though it was a ranch style, it bore absolutely no resemblance to my home.

Here is what I remember about this house, but please remember that these are memories from almost 40 years ago. Enter in the front door and the kitchen is on the left. I remember it as small and u-shaped, open to a cozy eating area. I believe that it is called a Dining Room in Realtor.com. To the right of the entry way is a largish Living Room with built in bookcases, possibly a fireplace ( although I can't picture it) and a large floor to ceiling Bow window overlooking the back yard. Judy's bedroom was tiny, but had blue and white printed ( maybe similar to Delft tiles) wallpaper and now she had a black Boston Rocker, an antique bed and a bookcase and nightstand that were antiqued blue. I can picture it like it was yesterday. Next there was a bathroom and then her mother's room. I don't think I ever even peeked in there. There was a family room with a fireplace in the basement and an office where her mother graded papers.

The house needs work now and updating, but I remember it having great "bones". Mayfair Park is a little run down in areas, but oh how I wish I could just go there and fix up the houses one at a time and return it to its glory. I have such wonderful memories of both my friends and their houses and playing "Statues" and "One, Two, Three Red Light" in the yards when I was younger. The neighborhood is close to all major routes, the airport and great shopping within a couple of miles in either direction, including a really great Home Goods. Know anyone in Vermont looking for a starter home??


Friday, January 23, 2009


Can it be true? I don't feel "almost sixty" and I have a lot of friends that are, let's just say, "sixty plus". The Gaggle of Giggling Gals ( we are all Realtors, so this party has become rather exclusive to just Realtors over the years) sponsored this party at my house last Thursday. At one time we all worked together, but over the years changes have taken place and we have changed brokerages, but we all gather to giggle and talk Real Estate. The truth is if they sponsor and I host then I can drink all the wine I want, which is sometimes as much as 2 glasses, lol. We had Ina Gartens Seafood Stew ( which is even better than my old version..could it be the whole bottle of wine and the Sambucca??) and Banana Cream Pie from a bakery in Providence. We also had a delicious salad that I dreamt up. Hearts of Romaine with mango and thinly sliced red onion and a balsamic honey vinagrette. My friends always laugh because I am not a big "salad person" but I make up the best combinations. I have to say it was delicious and I have become a big Mango fan...thanks to my friend Jano and her daughter Zid ( Elizabeth).

I thought I had destroyed all the photographic evidence, but in the interest of honest journalism I am posting the picture; let's hope it doesn't break anyones' computer. My friend Diane is behind the camera and my friend Lynn... where is Lynn hiding, what about Anita? In real life I am much thinner and cuter, at least I hope I am.

Lisa (without a blog) could you send me your email address so we can talk about Vermont? I am feeling homesick.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I woke up in the middle of the night.... (I am sure I am not alone in the "can't sleep through the night" time of my life) and thought to myself...Who would want their first day on a new job to be after a night of celebratory revelry? Particularly a job *this* important. Just a thought, the brain may be older and older but it is never inactive, lol!

Lisa wanted to know the particulars of the sunshine house in my last post. It is located in East Walpole MA close to highways and commuter rail to Boston. Quite a busy street but a very pretty "strolling" neighborhood and is priced at $485K. I know that will make you gals in the Midwest cringe and you West Coast gals weep. I think the house will go for about $430-450K range. It is just so darn cheery it makes me want to go somewhere warm and sunny and free of all .this. darned. snow.


Saturday, January 17, 2009


I showed the cutest house today. Yes, you read that right... *I* showed not just one house, but several houses to two sets of buyers today. This house was so adorable, updated just right in my mind. The buyers are just starting to look and have a condo to sell in Rhode Island before they can buy, but what fun to have a chance to look at Antique houses. This one was just so sunny and bright with a pantry to die for.

Impeccably done kitchen with high end appliances
Heart be still, the pantry of my dreams with built in dispaly shelves on the entire right side
I can live with wallpaper if it is this tasteful
Large dining room with built in
Love the furniture, the yellow chair is a lovely gold toile.. I want it all...coveting again!

Much brighter than the picture and don't you love the little..er...petite chandelier?

The second buyers were my stepson and his girlfriend and the houses were really in a way different price point and not too cute. They are contemplating buying my in-laws house and just want to see what they could get for the same money. Makes the "Family Estate" look like the bargain that it is. Cunning Realtor, but think how much easier it would be to sell to them and have the pressure off trying to get everything done to list it the first of March. Plus it would make Bob very happy to know that after all the tens of thousands of dollars of stuff we have given away we could help one of the kids get a good start.



Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Have any of you tried this "game" ? I usually like a game that uses my way above average intelligence (go ahead and laugh..I am) in some form, but this is a game that is totally random. It reminds me of putting on some Procol Harem and watching a Lava Lamp or maybe watching yeast procreate. Does anyone else like to watch yeast grow? Anyway, google Boomshine and give it a try...just don't try to make it about strategy.


Monday, January 5, 2009


In the spirit of a dialogue I have decided to comment on your comments regarding my last post. Seems like a lazy way to respond to you, but I have a severe case of tendonitis in my right hand and I am eating copious amounts of Motrin and typing with one finger...Dr. tomorrow. I have already had Carpal Tunnel surgery on both hands 16 years ago, so I know where this intense pain, can't even close my hand is headed, but enough of my pains.

Penny commented about the Property Shop show on HGTV and my response is that I have seen Tatiana on "Buy Me" on occassion and I really do.not. like. her. She seems way too overbearing and egotistical. Not the image of Realtors that I wish to see portrayed.

Red Shoes is worried about my cancer post. Thanks for the concern Bridgette but I am fine ( well except the finger/hand thing), but a friend, who is a cancer survivor multiple times, asked me to pass it along. Also my MIL died of Metastatic Renal Cancer so it seemed like a tribute to pass the wish for a prayer along.

Anonymous vented and I think venting is great. Come back anytime and vent all you want. Perhaps HGTV needs to read and hear some of our vents. Seems most of you feel the same way.

Habbala, I went to your blog to read and it wouldn't let me comment, perhaps your comments have been "diabled". I would have just e-mailed you privately to let you know, but I didn't see an e-mail listed. You have a cute blog and I love that someone your age has domestic ideas and talents. Don't worry about Beef Burgundy...you can't ruin something with good wine in it..the wine will hide a multitude of sins!!

Susie Q is missing the older shows and I agree that Kitty B was the best; I think I have seen every one of her shows multiple times. I think many of us "Old Broads", and I use the term very kindly, lol, miss the older shows with more mature hosts and ideas that were not always the same old look.

Rue comments about the re-sell shows and how they all look alike and I couldn't agree more, but from a Realtor point of view I understand how staging for a target audience is important. Like Rue, I like Property Virgins, but again as a Realtor I have a problem with Sandra Rinomato. At first the show was in Canada and I don't know how Real Estate licensing works in Canada, but now she is all over the US. Does she have a license in each state to practice Real Estate? I am such a stickler for details..yada yada. Also on the new shows it looks like someone dipped her in the paint box as my Grandmother used to say. She is really made up! I am more of a subtle girl(I use the term really loosely) myself. It is amusing to watch the "virgins" B*tch and moan about the price and condition of homes in their price range.

Liz, I noticed there was a new episode of Decorating Sense on this morning at 11:00. I was excited and then horrified that Joan Steffen has been replaced by a young blond host and the show has taken on the same "vibe" as all the other shows. D.C. was kinda the last holdout from the shows I loved. My favorite designers over the years were Barbara Sculati and Krista Crawford, but I imagine they have gone the way of Kitty B and Joan Steffen.

On the homefront, the cleanout of the House from Hell continues. We are making progress, but it is slow. We have to make trips to the Salvation Army and St Vincent dePaul when they are open and we have donated anything that we feel can be used. We are on our second dumpster of trash..I have never seen so much make-up, shampoo etc. Most is old or opened and I will not attempt to find a home for that stuff. This weekend I gave away 15 trash bags full of various yarns to Nursing Homes, Senior Centers and anyone who would take it. I still have another closet with 14 more boxes of yarn to sort. It is absolutely overwhelming! I think of all my "imaginary friends", ie: blog friends and wish I could send you the vintage Santas or the small amount of milk glass etc, but quite honestly I just can't even take the time or energy to sort it out, bring it home and then ship it off. It is *that* overwhelming! Bob is back to work today after almost two weeks off and I intended to go over there and work on the rest of the yarn, but the hand is far worse than it was and I can't close my hand enough to hold onto the steering wheel. Maybe I will just nake a nice strong cup of "Pleasant Morning Buzz" and try to find something amusing on TV..it probably won't be HGTV.


Friday, January 2, 2009

New Shows

New Years Day has become a day when the only thing I look forward to is the new HGTV shows. We have a new ( to us) 32" TV with DVR so I was able to work at what is quickly becoming the House From Hell while taping the new shows and then watching them last night. What did you think? Or did you watch them? Let's get some interactive blogging going on here. Is anyone else disenchanted with HGTV?

First I watched "Dear Genevieve". I liked Genevieve on Trading Spaces and she was the only one I liked consistently. She could always be relied upon for some honest design that looked as if someone could actually live with it and actually like it. I really liked the kitchen she did on this new show although I found it a bit trendy and I didn't catch the "Owner Contribution" I can assume that this was not a budget makeover. Go Genevieve...I will probably watch the new show.

Next I watched Paint Over with Jennifer Bertrand, this years winner of Design Satr ( which I didn't watch). I really liked her perky personality and although the projects she did were not my style I would watch the show for helpful hints for some of my future projects. Alas I discovered that this was a "Special", not a show that will be on weekly. Is she getting her own show like past stars? Anyone know?

Next it was "The Unsellables" which was just a Canadian retake on "Designed to Sell" or so it seemed. The host(ess) Sofie Allsop, was fun to listen to and very cute, but both houses seemed to come out the same. Seems that every buyer in Toronto is a hip, professional single . If you watched, please tell me what you thought of the curb appeal of the home with the master futon in the basement. Was it just my imagination or were the fake flowers still blooming in the planters in the snow in the "after" shots? Okay, just me being snotty, but really!

That's it for tonight. I am really hoping to get back into the swing of blogging things very soon; I miss you all and thanks for hanging around.