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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

House Renovation


What Creature is in the Attic?

It’s that time of year when temps at the dacha fall below 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the attic and wild life comes to nest there. It’s a modern home, but for some reason, raccoons, opossums, and some squirrels feel that they run the roost, the raccoons leading the way and prying off soffits with abandon…


Monday Mottoes – #207

Natural disasters happen, but humanity’s kindness and God’s help happen greater. I do not believe that natural disasters are God’s automatic judgment on a nation— if that were the case, I’m not sure any of us would be here. I wouldn’t rule it out in extreme cases, such as Sodom and Gomorrah, but as the…


Slow and Steady Wins the Race

We live in an instant-food, instant-communication society. With a zap of the microwave or the click of a mouse, all happens at a very rapid pace which can skew our thinking when it comes to other matters of life. The bottom line that nobody wants to admit anymore: some things just take time. And in…


Who Controls Your Future?

If you asked me who controls my future, I would say, bottom line: God. But no so fast. We have a part to play, as well. Which is both the terrifying, as well as the exhilarating, aspect of the equation. When we miss it occasionally and then suffer the consequences, that’s not God. That’s us!…


All Vacation Rentals are Not Created Equal-!

And so, I am living vicariously through my friend with the beach rental. “What’s happening now?” I ask her on a daily basis. In just over a week of renting the gem of a beach home, they have had enough experiences to last a lifetime-! I feel like I should pull up a chair and…


The House is on Fire!

Yes, I know, these kind of things never happen to you. But in our house…. Long story short, yesterday we had a kitchen fire. Benedetto had started heating some oil in a frying pan after a very busy day when he was preparing some things for dinner. (All I can say is that I am…


A Myrtle Beach Vacay-!

Just about the time I’m going through my own way-of-sorrows renovation stories (and believe me, I have enough work to be done in my places that could keep me busy another 20 years…), we have friends who have accomplished an amazing feat with a 1950s beach house in lovely Myrtle Beach, SC. This is one…


Early Eclectic Home Furnishings

I have always believed that my hodgepodge of a house or two stems from the fact that taste changes over time. What you accumulated yesterday may not suit you today. And rather than get rid of all of the furnishings, you keep them and they pile up. Not smart. Now, however, I have the chance…


How to Play the Handyman Game

The saga continues. As I said, I will chase you down because I need workers and I need them now. It’s really not okay if you eventually show up… three weeks from now. But does anyone want a handyman… who doesn’t want to work? Or, more accurately, who is balancing 20 other jobs? So, our…


Lies & Deception: Not My Game

I don’t like lies, evasiveness or deception. Not from anybody, anytime, for any reason. It’s a deal breaker, plain and simple. The workman had said 4:30, and that he would text me about 20 minutes prior to that. I knew that every skilled tradesman was juggling two and three jobs. I knew that emergencies happened….