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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


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…


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,…


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,…


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…


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,…


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…


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…



Our houses need renovations.  This is a function of getting old (the houses, the houses).  One is more of an historic home in the city, the other (“the dacha”) is newer. I’m coming to the conclusion that they’re both old.  And maybe they think the same of me.  So there. Where do I start?  We…


Good Fences, Good Neighbors

The Robert Frost quote, “Good fences make good neighbors” resonates with those who live in any proximity to others.  Not that physical fences always help. At one property, we have a fairly stable and tall wooden fence, matched by similar ones erected by neighbors on their property lines only a centimeter away.  At our other…


My Latest Luxe Need

So many women have luxury items that they claim they “must have”:  be it a certain high-end brand of face cream, or weekly manicures, or bumping around town in the Bentley.  Not me.  My needs are modest, yet I have located one luxury item that would help make my life easier in so many ways….