People talk about return on investment when undertaking a remodel, I think “can I live with it?” When I painted my kitchen cabinets in my Phoenix house blueberry, the plumber (the plumber, really? Everybody has an opinion and very few, maybe two mean anything to me) said “that’s too bright”. Thanks now get to the clogged toilet as you need some topping off. What ever. Love, love my new bathrooms and just to prevent any plumber feedback my new toilets can handle 10 golf balls, ehww, gross. I wanted a low water use toilet but on a rental you have to be ready for those who eat way too much pizza and beef, so the 10 golf ball version it is. I know way too much about toilet usage, memory wipe please.
VIP Bath November 2012
VIP Bath November 2013 - I need better pictures of the accent tile, shiny and blue.
Hall Bath November 2012
Hall Bath November 2013
Master November 2012
Master November 2013
Best Tub Ever! 16 Jets!
It’s awfully hard to put away the catty when reviewing the ‘before’ pictures. I try to explain the before pictures with the phrase, ‘their color palette is different then mine.’ I must end it there or I’ll go on and on about the Roman stripper pole, the velvet drapes and can we talk about the tile? I hate the tile but the cost of removing all the truly ugly horrific tile was prohibitive, (fancy word for too f’ing expensive right now). Oh I could go on about that tile but I’ll stop now.
Salon and Dining Area Dec 2012
Salon and Dining Area Nov 2013
Please understand that (almost) all items were purchased via consignment stores. Had custom furniture once, paid a pile, then ended up giving it all away when I moved. Amazing luck with the consignment stores, $300 for Pottery Barn slipcover chair with ottoman – purchased two BUT they were red – Robb loves red (his color palette is different then mine as well). Slipcovers are coming, slowly, very slowly, but soon, very soon these chairs which I LOVE, will be covered. Take that into consideration.
Salon after the Rental People’s Interior Design team moved some things around for the pictures – like it! Nov 2013 but I’m still convinced that Interior Designers get paid by the pillow.
I don’t have children. People often offer a sad face when I respond with a swift NO! when they ask the relevant question. Sad face my ass! Me + Kids = Huge therapy bills and possible jail time for both parties. Can’t even imagine the horror stories my children would tell. Now I truly admire those who do choose to parent and parent well but me, “Yikes”
But that does not mean I do not enjoy other people’s children –not all of course and probably more in theory then in reality but I can look on long distance and say, ‘well isn’t that interesting’ or ‘what the F?’ this came up recently when I read a FB post on mum corsages for homecoming. Really? There are starving people in the world, we are threatening Syria, and our schools are failing - and we are ‘concerned’ about mum corsages? Really?
So you can see I am an opinionated bystander but I don’t usually mentioned it to the parent involved as who am I? Childless, bitter old crone! I can say that, as I know it’s farthest from the truth but that is how many Republican detractors would describe me. But sometimes, other people’s kids offer moments of why the Fx*k would anyone want to do that? Although that happens often, Diane Nyad’s recent ‘accomplishment’ would be one such instance but when it happens closer to home I can ponder these issues in situa.
* Rabbit Stick Idaho -
Pay $250 a day to live in a teepee and learn ancient living skills? Wow! Really? No Starbucks, no Wi-Fi, no bamboo sheets – Good on them. If the end of the world happens in my lifetime, I will understand the insanity but meanwhile I’ll be over here googling.
* Tough Mudder
Pay to run a muddy difficult obstacle course with a whole group of competitive others? Maybe not as bad as Rabbit Stick, shorter, quicker eject option But. I’ll be over here in yoga class.
* Teaching children to Hunt
Shoot things? Really? Killing animals and being so proud of it that you Instagram and FB the dead carcass? What can I say? Too much for anyone to listen.
I’ll be sitting over here pointing fingers….not naming names, nope your craziness is safe with me.
Loving the before and after’s of it all I wanted to post some examples of the transformation. I must add that the tile will eventually have to go – HATE IT – but had to succumb to the chorus of No, No, No. To include from my sister who is the barometer of all things! I’ll post a few here but the rental company will be coming in on Tuesday to take the marketing pictures but I always prefer to post mine.
Front Door Dec 2012
Front Door Nov 2013
Back Porch Dec 2012
Back Porch Nov 2013
It’s so lovely, inspiring, enriching to meet new people. Well, let me clarify that, new people who are curious, smart, clever, intelligent… notice a theme? Alright so we all meet new people and breeze past without a second look, it’s a crazy, busy, mixed up world and only rarely do you find someone that you can tolerate for more then 15 minutes of chit chat and who can even stand that much?
Yachting as a vocation also adds a bit of a twist. Yachties tend to be nomadic, believing that the next horizon will offer something new and cool and enriching so off we go sailing into the wild blue yonder – how cool is that? And it’s an intense industry as when you meet on a boat, you are often sleeping, eating and playing with these random nomads (working too I guess). And then one goes to this boat, another goes to that one and off we go to Italy, Palma, or wherever else a boat can sail. Keeping up with nomads can be challenging, not FB keeping up but really heart to heart keeping up but when it happens it’s a great occasion.
Shona and I met when I swung into my Safety Training Class (BST or STCW – depending on who you are speaking with) and plopped right next to this dark haired lovely. It was her first, my second (renewal required every five years) so of course, I had to share my wisdom – “the teacher will emphasize three times what will be on the test”, “only write down what I tell you” and “yes, we all have to don fire suits and fight fire in this 90 degree humid horror heat of July”. So we clicked. Chat, chat, chat we spent five days together learning how to care for one another in case of disaster and swimming in incredibly ugly saving suits. She was embarking on a grand new adventure after a wavy road of birth in Malawi (small African country – who knew?), Boarding school in India and a pharmacy degree from Cardiff in Wales – pharmacy degree? What the hell? Anyway, due to house obsession, even the very few friends I have permanently in FLL, (two at this count) I have trouble visiting. But my lovely Shona pal spent the whole day with me yesterday, making beds, counting pillow protectors and washing dishes. One day this house will be ready to rent, one day, not today, nope not today.
Its been almost a year since I purchased a wonderful home by the sea. A year of remodeled bathrooms, new paint and weeding, weeding, weeding. The purchase was made with the intention of rental as I love my world on the ocean and as long as I’m given the privilege I will continue. Now I’m ready for the house project to be finished and so I may again, write, think, and ponder. Recently listened to, “The Aviator’s Wife”, depressing but I appreciate a sentiment penned by the real Anne Morrow Lindberg…
My favorite of the 100s of shots I took while ‘working’!
The famous pink sand beach
Water so clear it’s the ocean pool
Underwater structures are like skyscrapers to swim through with a myriad of characters, to include two sharks that scared the crap out of me, as I was not really looking! The colors underwater are mesmerizing!
And my all time favorite – Paddling away from everything!
Water Sundays are scary. When out on the boat, Sundays offers up the full display of those we call the “OO” – owner operators. Add the usual slush of alcohol and loud music and a scary scenario may unfold. It pays to keep eyes peeled and senses on alert.
About four miles out from Nassau, Boris and I were standing watch, laughing and doing the scan. Scanning the areas just in front of the bow, just off the bow and a mile forward constantly scanning the water to know what’s ahead. That’s our job!
Commercial Break: Nothing is better then being on the water.
We had a full load of guests excited for the first stop on the summer 2013 Bahamas tour. About four miles outside of Nassau, as I scanned starboard and saw something, not sure what it was, too far out for buoy but it was red, kinda big, kinda something. I grabbed the binoculars to get a closer a look and what the heck, it’s a red jet ski hood lifted with a rider expressing his desperation with frantically waving arms. I said, “Boris look we gotta go get him.” Boris a good guy, hardworking, I call him the Slovenian, because he is from Slovenia and its fun to say. Boris likes to eat raw garlic, onions and is willing to dry dishes when asked nicely. I knew he would do what he could to rescue the stranded jet skier. Yikes! Four miles out, no other boats in sight and the current rushing toward Cuba – this guy was in trouble.
Jet skiers are scary, most do not have a clue what they are doing, just riding as fast as they can in any direction without a care (I enjoy a speedy jet ski ride myself) but the ocean is not your friend. The ocean is nature, the Teacher who is truly in control. Novice jet skiers, experienced jet skiers, love the jet skies but they break early and often so beware, make a plan about what you will do when they break because they will. So here sits a broken jet ski with a novice rider four miles out from Nassau - the only hope is my man Boris. The dude is lucky it was overcast and Boris is a great boat driver as in a panic the dude jumped in the water scrambling to get off the broken jet ski and into the tender. Boris handily brought the guy onboard, tied up the jet ski and headed off for Nassau.
Boris is a way lousy gossip but we did find out the dude was from South Carolina, his cruise ship was leaving at 5 p (we picked him up at 4 p) and his girlfriend had left him stranded an hour before to go seek ‘help’. What kinda of help we are still curious about as she could have used the working jet ski to to tow the broken jet ski home – see picture with rope. She could have called the Coast Guard to launch a rescue. So sometime in the future we might see a 48 hours program on some dude from South Carolina that ‘fell’ off a cruise ship, one never knows.
Next time, call the Coast Guard!
September - The Cove on Eleuthera with sister
February - Dolphin Pod swimming off Costa Rica
My motto: I don’t plan my life, I plan my vacations.
Location: Harbor Island, Bahamas
They happen, they actually happen fairly regularly in my world. But don’t they make great stories? Well sometimes, maybe I’m just lucky or can afford a good ticket clinic person – more on that later. But as we arrived yesterday in Harbor Island, I had to show the two sterling stews the Pink Sand Beach. Spectacular. As soon as we could escape, we did the very quick trip to the other side of the island. The marinas are on the lee side, away from the most incredible strip of strand, lovely. So we jumped in our gas golf cart, so loud and zipped over – ½ the guests were fishing so the golf cart was free – crew doesn’t get their own as they are $50 a day. But of course, I cannot stop at the top of the road, wherein we would have to walk and miss five minutes of our beach access moments, so down I drove, thinking, hm? This might not be such a great idea but what the hell, right? So again, my luck holds as a group of kind people were sauntering off the beach and noticed my perilous retreat and began to push, without even being asked, just zipped me up the little road and off we went. WOW!
This is actually the third time I’ve been rescued from motor vehicle disaster by others during my travels on this boat:
It is the hardest part of my job, what to serve others for dinner? Unrelenting as we are all hungry all the time.
And not only is it others but it is the people I want to please, unhappy = unemployment. Yikes!
And as with all things humanity, different people have different loves. When my “I wanna make everyone happy” codependency confronts my “I only have so much time” stress ensues. To give you an idea of what it takes to plan, I tell you about an upcoming trip. 34 days, 8 guests, what cha’ gonna serve for dinner and for lunch? You are in the Bahamas so produce is very limited and everything is incredibly expensive - $4 for a quart of milk/$15 for a case of water. So many things to consider:
Start with 34 Lunches and 34 Dinners, 8 guests, 5 crew, let’s begin.
Boss likes fresh green juice – 30 days of fresh green juice with no Whole Foods option? And the Bahamas is very limited with green produce. How to extend the life of celery without using all fridge space.
Everyone wants the freshest protein with a delectable sauce and I want fresh veg, how do you plan?
Remember storage is limited…
I’m just beginning to contemplate the options and already I feel overwhelmed.
Protein/Carb/Veg – that’s the list…Lunch, Dinner 34 days. Start planning….
I live in a world surrounded by varying degrees of material wealth, the wickedest cars and huge TVs are my lust objects but I can put it all in perspective by listing my personal wealth.
Incredible Wealth –
- 1. Multiple Friends that tell me I’m not crazy, when I call them to ask if I am. Priceless!
- 2. My sister’s silence on the other end of the phone as I know she is laughing so hard she is trying to catch her breathe.
- 3. A car that works and one that I don’t mind ramming into things when I’m in a hurry.
- 4. MacBook Pro, IPhone, IPad, IPod.
- 5. A job that I enjoy which is also incredibly challenging.
- 6. A job that buys my groceries. WOW!
- 7. The genetic dice roll that left me with good hair, long legs and an insatiable curiosity.
- 8. Sufficient funds for food, shelter and the ability to dream about the next really cool vaca.
- 9. A relatively sane relationship.
- 10. And the conviction that the Maserati is really cool BUT if I owned it I would obsess about pings in the paint and I would immediately drive it at speeds that would kill myself and others.
Maybe it was the turned around time for the trip – we were returning, on bumpy seas, from an owner’s trip at Atlantis for Memorial Day when Robb decided that to reserve the hotel room – but I had to figure out the plane tickets?
Maybe it’s the bliss of living on the ocean – what can top that?
Maybe it was the lack of preplanning, which resulted in no tickets were available for the Theater shows I wanted to see? Well, no tickets less than $500…
New York City is the torrent of sights, sounds and information. It’s a very small place packed with some of the most creative and challenging people on earth. It’s a wonder in so many ways but if Johnny and Susan weren’t hanging out in the City, it would be the last place on earth I would want to go.
But it was Johnny and Susan and they are delightful.
So off we went to New York, for four days when the city was experiencing it’s first heat wave and the a/c was not catching up.
I’ll stop whining now….
And where else would I have been able to see the 2012 film version of Kon Tiki – now those guys had some cajones.
Obsessed. Absolutely obsessed or positive reframe – I’m rolling in the pleasure of choosing of just the right thing, for the ever-incredible cool as heck house. My priorities:
1. Reduce and Reuse – Hard to do with a 2500 sq. foot house but still, isn’t there already enough crap in our world?
2. Personalize and get the Crafty on – But TIME is the issue as always. Time, time, time.
3. Make it Simple and Cool – Less is best and cool as I define it, although how cool am I?
But I’m obsessed. Take the Master Bath – I’ve spent way too much time, pondering Tile, Tubs, Toilets, Sinks, Faucets, now it’s Wall Color. Blue but what blue and how dark, too dark. And it’s really hard to tell from the picture but the story behind the cabinet topping – what do you call that big slab of rock that is on top of the cabinets? Is fabulous.
Anyway, Blue, Blue, What is the blue?
And ignore the lamp it’s a recent purchase for the Salon. But needed the light, as lights don’t go up until the color is on. Lamp is a wicked cool consignment find – actually there are two. So proud of my consignment finds.
And can we talk about the mirror that I thought would fit but is two inches too big?
Entertainment is tricky. We are culture that insists on being amused, constant uninterrupted entertainment. Don’t bore me, I get angry. But what entertains one bores the next so a myriad of options is the norm. The more money, the more options, yes we are fiddling while Rome burns.
So when everyone goes home, I’m left with a multitude of entertainment options. Hard to choose. We have this one system that stores 350+ movies, which I regularly update with a broad range of the latest and greatest. Any movie, any TV (we have 11), any time. Given the emphasis on range, there are some movies that maybe don’t hit my fancy bone. The Hangover is one such movie, really? Four adult men acting like idiots in Vegas hm? How cliché. Not high on my watch list. Comedies, no way, elitist foreign language arty farty chick that I am.
BUT sometimes, even I must succumb to absolute stupidity and join the millions who laugh loud and long. Besides I’m working the accounts, in my robe, drinking coffee, on my widescreen 55 in HD TV, with the calm ocean at my back – it’s a living!
And Bradley Cooper is hot! Smokin’!
Traci & I at Conner’s Wedding December 2013
She’s been with me every step of the way – 49 years and three days to be exact.
During this house do over, helping me with blue tiles, faucet decisions even those boring, ‘do I really want to think about this item’ = toilets. She wrestled with all these issues on her forced remodel a year or so ago, so she helps with the gentle question, ‘have you thought of...’ Invariably no. I’m the younger so it helps that I have someone who leads the way.
As things have very, very slowly come together I send pictures - excited to share each triumph but so frustratingly often my joy escalates, a project with only one step left, then disaster. Disasters primarily caused by moi. Take the front porch, it’s gone from success to success to disaster – how could I know all the paint would pull off with the hideous house numbers? And of course, I hear, “Tami” can’t do the sound Robb makes when he says my name but anyone can imagine.
And why is it that paint gives me such headaches when all the books say grab a can and get started? Paint hates me!
I am really talented, extremely talented, right? Sister? Right?
Home on Day of Purchase
Tami Strikes! Grrrr!!!!
Haven’t posted in ages due to workload and overwhelming decision-making processes. Sweet pal Jodi spent a sum to paint her 15-year-old car as friends from high school kept saying, ‘look you are still driving…’ I have no experience with a 15-year-old car as I tend to run into things on a fairly regular basis and given the high level of speed I prefer cars don’t last long in my ‘care’. Four wheels and a great engine, that’s all I require, I’ll scrape the paint anyway. Got a speeding ticket the other day and laughed with the police officer, “Now Robb will never let me drive”. He says I scare him, I think he is being Captain Control.
But a recent agonized decision did force me to ponder the ‘Now am I a grown up? Issue’, my first washer / dryer acquisition. In all my soon to be 48 or 49 years, I never can remember, I’ve never purchased / chosen a washer or dryer. Heretofore they have simply manifested in my living spaces. And the level of crap one must consider when buying these things, no wonder I unknowingly avoided it like the plague. What an absolute pain in the ass! And to top is all off my sister (later confirmed by several others) tells me Consumer Reports is not to be trusted? And if you can’t trust CR who can you trust? Truth in advertising is unavailable. The man at Sears, says they are all basically the same, the massage therapist says the low water use ones don’t really clean, the lady at the consignment store says the control panels routinely break down and all I can remember about this issue is the lonely Maytag repair man ad from my childhood – not an accurate barometer as Maytag was bought by Whirlpool and Amazon says, Maytags suck! Needless to say, the impatient shopper I am, I was ready to purchase the Samsung simply because they made cool TVs.
Blessings that Robb is the obsessive shopper that he is, drives me absolutely bat crazy but he goes to a hundred different stores (well, 10 but it feels like a 100 when you have so many other things to do besides shopping for a washer / dryer – can you say BORING!) Anyway, he insisted on one last store, then promised I could just order something off the Internet and be done with it. Walking into this fancy store with Wolf Ranges and Miele options we both went hmmm? ‘This might be past our budget constraints’. It was a fancy store with all the lust objects, that say, “Ha, Ha, you can’t have me.” Well, actually I could but then I couldn’t have anything else and that would be a sad, empty house with really clean old clothes. But I spied a back door that said, “outlet” and Ta Da, a floor model that was a top of the line LG. CR says it’s a great brand but since we’ve established that CR is crap, I bought the extended warranty. Not only was it within our budget but the dryer was gas which we’d been told we must special order and pay extra for. I hovered over the find, fending off a very nice French lady who kept eyeing me suspiciously, she was in washer / dryer decision hell but she was not getting mine! Sweet sigh of relief, bliss, washer / dryer list check off.
Experience confirming my belief that shopping is bad for morale! More beach time please.
So if it’s a high-end rental, it can’t be too color crazy. Pink and Purples don’t come across well in those tiny pictures people preview on websites BUT please just one color crazy – I am the Queen of the Periwinkle Palace!
Ahhhhh!! Laundry Room, they never show that on the website….
And your new tub is waiting…
And a fine dust covers everything.
Hurry up guys!
My thoroughly exasperated kindergarten teachers wished I had that capacity too. But do I want to be a successful blogger? Or do I just write to ease my mind and to record a life. Just one place to record all the random bits that zip in and out of my consciousness.
This issue floats to the surface when I read those lists of the best…..fill in your topic of choice…blogs - travel, food, photography whatever, these lists often reveal undiscovered gems that I could never find via personal webcrawls. One recommended blogger has two sites on travel and one dedicated solely to beaches, wow! And all are lovely. What focus! What resolve! What self control! – None of these qualities inhabit my DNA – so what defines success anyway?
I aspire to….
The Soon to be Master Bath
You never how much you need something until it disappears.
Well most who know me know I can never move far from a toilet. My sister jokes that through my influence she can find a bathroom anywhere we have visited.
But my new home is in the midst of it, three bathrooms torn up with hopeful indications of new revelations but now it’s simply a huge stinky dirty mess.
And I only add to the mess. Robb vetoed my hope to have another to paint the interior so it’s up to me and my OCD traits. Every mark, bump and shade eats at me. The laundry room (the only room my sister allows to be pink) is an absolute mess. We should have torn down the walls and started fresh but it’s giving me the opportunity to learn rudimentary construction skills. Oh joy! Really it’s me making a mess, Robb ‘guiding’ me and me working on redo. Remind me again why I bought this place?
I’m going back to my 7 million dollar boat to relax.
Frightening how my life and thought processes have altered in the last six years. Really, I think like that now? Get all excited about Vacuum bumpers and knowing what keeps whisper wall ceilings clean. Arrogant on my wisdom on orchids, unruly pride in crafting my personal luscious mayo and slicing an onion into perfect little cubes, well not if you don’t look too closely but still. I used to read books, do yoga and discuss theology. Now it’s all about the cleaning products. If it’s wrong how come it feels so good….
The Before of the Master
Popcorn ceilings are gross, who was the person who invented this ‘texture’?
Ease of use, functionality, I can hear the marketing ploy now. So I’m up at six a. to work my boat magic and then move onto house magic. Scrap, scarp, scarp now I know what I will look like when the hair is white.
And after you have detailed enough luxury liners, no detail or decorating horror escapes your notice, it makes me (& others) a bit nuts. And the my genetic code forces me to work and work until the detail is right but I do feel a strange sort of pride in the job well done.
Yacht owners are often retired or never even begin the work thing, try explaining that to the Cuban customs peeps.
No es necesario para mí trabaja
Had to repeat it several times before it sunk in.
Odd this idea of not working. I’ve preached the essential nature of meaningful, productive activity but would I do so if I was a Wal-Mart heiress? Or the daughter of a billionaire? Or a Saudi Princess.
Just read, (yes, actually read – Robb won’t let me drive so I end up working the books, trying to discuss decor with Robb or reading on the commute from Coconut Grove to Pompano – 35 min sans traffic and it’s never sans traffic.) “Driving the Saudis” by Jayne Amelia Larson. Thought it would be a lark but a more profound subtext on freedom, despite having to work, on sacrifice and again freedom. I may work but I am free. Never should I waste that, never.
Now back to those damn popcorn ceilings.
Yeah, yeah! New house, new house, happy day. What a treat. May the work begin. So it took forever to close, people seem to think this is a matter of course, this 30 and more day waiting period. Someone with poor impulse control and a bit of OCD tendencies do not like to wait. Want! Want! Want!
Once we get all documents signed, then we have to head to Fisher Island for New Year’s Eve, more waiting. And all I want to do is garden. Fisher Island, google it, supposedly the most expensive real estate in the US, so many places make that claim. This little - 9 miles long/ 1 mile wide - place posts a speed limit of 19. 19? Who’s decision was that? And did anyone tell the 12 year old that is driving behind me in Daddy’s ½ million dollar Porsche who is hooting at me. Get a job, A—hole. Notice how I can spell that Porsche word with no errors, complete and utter lust car. Down girl.
P.S. they do have peacocks there, absolutely gorgeous creatures, mesmerizing, took a number of pictures before I realized that is Mrs.’ car they are standing on. Opps!