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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


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….


I Am Not a Construction Social Worker

As most construction workers during good weather, they have too much work to handle. It takes a lot of juggling and coordinating to be at work on one job, but never have totally finished your last job, while someone at a third project becomes irritated at the delay on starting their job. And that’s when…


The Queen of Craftiness

Let’s just say that I’m not the most likely to succeed when it comes to crafts. You know how long it took me to stencil something a week or two ago. And here I am, planning decorative touches for a beach cottage. I got the great idea of utilizing beach shells in art. Simple. Classic….


Monday Mottoes – #193

Incremental steps, I remind myself. Baby steps, when I really need to be taking weightless, moon-walk leaps. But Rome was not built in a day. And neither will our lives. Have you ever been trying so hard to complete a project that each setback looms big on the horizon? There are so many interchangeable, interdependent…


Treasures at the Dump

I have become an official dump diver. No, not a dumpster diver— a dump diver. Mind you, it’s all online for now. But, I’m getting up my nerve. This is how it went down: I had some large mattresses and box springs that we needed to replace. It led me to do some research and…


Seven Best Ways to Wear a Work Bandanna

Ahh, the bandanna, that 100% cotton work scarf that anyone who works or plays outdoors knows and loves. We use them in gardening, in archaeology, in construction, in hiking. They cover the chest and neck, whether the front “v” of a shirt, or the back exposed neck above a t-shirt. Said to have been in…


The Shady Side of Stenciling

I recall doing some stenciling about 100 years ago when we moved into a home that benefited from a fleur de lis or two in a remote corner. How I ended up deciding to do a couple of signs recently is anyone’s guess since I might be termed Least Likely to Succeed in the category…


Trying to Schedule Wayward Workmen

I currently have groups of workmen at three properties that I’m keeping an eye on in my spare time. I’m very thankful that they’ve shown up because handymen and contractors are in short supply in our area. Workers are booked up and backed up until somewhere near Thanksgiving… and summer hasn’t even officially begun. My…


More Blue Home Accessories

It’s that time of the year in much of the world when thoughts turn to the beach. Accordingly, I’ve been sniffing around for an accessory or two to brighten the home and lend that air of breezy blue. While I normally reside in the Serious World, my forays into the Fun World have not been…