web analytics

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

house1

International House Hunting

I love TV shows like “House Hunters International”. It never ceases to give me a good laugh when Americans don’t realize that, what we imagine to be normal, is rarely the case in the rest of the world. Living abroad, you might not have a car… and a place to park. You probably won’t have…

chalk1

Chalkboard Challenge

Working night and day for months on end, I had hoped to take a mini-break in January or February. Before jumping right back on the merry-go-round, of course. But it never happened. I should be cleaning, organizing, getting all of my systems and storage in place for the next major push forward on other fronts….

clutter1

Cleaning Up My Act… and Office

Coming up for air after months and months of deadlines, my mini-project of the day (which will take much longer than a day… or two… or three…) is a spare office. It’s a place where I camp-out when I require laser-like focus, not anywhere I need to greet nor meet anyone.  Unfortunately, the papers there…

raccoon1

Ridding Our Home of Raccoons & Opossums

Folks, it’s war. This raccoon, opossum, grisly bear or whatever has got to go. I haven’t slept for days on end and while the family was at the other house in the other city, I took matters into my own paws. The mothball-laden attic was clearly not enough. For awhile, it seemed like they were…

sleep1

Monday Mottoes – #114

I am very tired. Very, very tired. It stems from a number of realities, in my mind. A quick get-away that took many more hours of planning on my part to coordinate clothes, schedules, travel than the hours of the trip itself. We arrive home exhausted and rush immediately to a funeral of a dear,…

house1

A Whole Bunch of Housewares

Tchochkes. Knickknacks. Small trivial articles intended for decoration. I guess we have enough of these to stock ten houses. They amuse me. Yet, over the years, our homes have become a bit too eclectic, lacking definition. So I’ve put a hold on buying anything for quite some time. The old “less is more”.  Or probably,…

paint1

A Do-It-Yourself Painting Project

Today I am painting the back steps. Oh yes, I am. Oh no, I’m not loony. Oh no, there’s not anyone else to do it. Husband? Children? All TOO BUSY. Very important people. No time for the mundane things in life, of which there are plenty. Workmen, you say? I’m all for it. But every…

clutter1

Organizationally Challenged

Eh-hem, um, yes, that would be me.  Never used to be.  Long before my life multiplied in a million directions, I used to “take care of business”, you know, everything in its place, and a place for everything. Not so much, anymore.  I hurtle from place to place, finding it easier to simply never unpack,…

renovation1

House Renovation Mystery

Here’s a who-dunnit for you, except that ain’t nobody “done it”, and that’s part of the problem.  We need our houses renovated after several years of kids, dogs, termites, and general rot.  The question is:  who, what, when, where, why, and how? 1.  Who?  How to find a contractor, or even better, a handyman, who…

flat1

The Romance of Residing Abroad

A vacation, or business trip to another country can conjure up visions of residing there for good—the scenery, the food, the quaintness.  Whether a Swiss chalet, or a stone village home, or an island cottage, the allure is great for a picturesque getaway. Until you move there.  Ask me, I know all about it. I…