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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

For the Love of Old Houses

One day, you will thank me. I am going to talk you down off the ledge. Right now, you may have starry eyes and imagine a dream-come-true country manor home with horses and dogs, or an in-town, historic townhouse ready for your renovation. With just a few finishing touches and the right decor, all will…

The Blank Slate of an Historic Home

The 18th century plantation house rose in the mist of early morning. A group of archaeologists had convened upon this endangered site where the homeowner proved amenable to all of us poking around, laying out squares and basically, getting to the bottom of the history behind his property. It most likely had featured prominently in…

Great Homes You Need to Experience One Day

So many properties could call your name one day: might be a beach cabin or an expansive family home with all the bells and whistles. I tend to imagine great homes in terms of geographical stereotypes summoning me…. A Parisian pied-a-terre, full of swirly, curly antique furniture or even modern, geometric pieces against a backdrop…

Building a Bottle Tree

Let me say for the record, Benedetto does not like these. A southern tradition, bottle trees— which are bottles of all sorts stuck on the end of dead tree branches, or tied to a living tree like Christmas ornaments— are often found out in the country on crepe myrtle tree branches near a home or…

Change Your Life… Today!

It has come to my attention that many are the multitudes languishing out there, hoping to change their lives, but stuck in the realm of ennui and low energy. Today, yours truly will give you a good kick in the pants and inform: Yes, you can change your life… and you can do it today!…

The Kosher Beach Cottage

Passover is coming, people. It’s only about a month away and I’ve told you about the friends with the beach cottage. Well, in the Jewish community, Passover break is similar to spring break, only longer. People take about two weeks off to head here or there for a fun and meaningful holiday. Needed: a nearby…

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!…