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Essentials

— Essentials —

Some of the Mayan artifacts Philip and I found in the Yucatan. Can you tell which ones are real and which ones I bought?
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I have a friend who changed jobs, moved to a new city on the other side of the country and put almost everything she owns in storage. I understand she doesn’t know whether her new job will work out, but I couldn’t leave my things behind. Almost, without exception, everything in my home is linked to family, friends and events in my life. Some remind me of tragedies while others represent happy times and great blessings.

They’re as much a part of who I am as my smile and my blue eyes.

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— Essentials —

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A few days ago as I stood looking out my front door, I watched our neighbor wielding a large spray-bottle and zealously squirting something on every stalk of his thriving red yucca plants. Continue Reading

— Essentials —

Francois-Xavier’s and Claude Lalanne’s Sheep Chairs
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Last week’s blog about the “invisible man” sitting in the Spanish chair in my living room got me thinking about “my thing” for chairs. Whether they’re French, Spanish, Bauhaus or the chairs Mary Steenburgen hung on the wall in the 1979 film, Goin’ South with Jack Nicholson, I love chairs. Every few years I fall in love with a different style, but the chairs I really want don’t look anything like chairs.

They look like sheep.

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So far, so good. Still loving our new home and cooking up a storm. Three large windows keep the kitchen well-lit and lots of counter space (something I haven’t had in years) makes it conducive to kitchen wizardry.   Continue Reading

— Essentials —

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Isn’t it funny how things like smells and music can jog our memory and remind us of places we’ve been or experiences we’ve long since forgotten? Like every time I open the dresser drawers in the guest room, I’m reminded of my grandmother. Even after all these years the rose pattern on her drawer liners still smell like her favorite perfume, Elsa Schiaparelli’s “Shocking.” And today an online photograph of a room I’d never seen before struck a familiar chord. 

I knew it was related to a fabric I’d been seeking for over 10 years.

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People laugh when I refer to my cardboard box money, but they always understand what I mean. They may call it a retirement fund or their 401(k), but we’ve all been saving so we won’t have to live in a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere. 

Most of the time I’m good at managing my money, but sometimes I’m not.

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— Essentials —

PHOTOS BY BRENDA COFFEE ©1010ParkPlace, 2018.
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Two years ago I bought a house that had been “flipped.” As the inspector told me, if he could “have them”… the flippers… “arrested for fraud,” he would. Whether it was sinks, toilets, shower heads, shower floors and doors, plumbing pipes, the dishwasher, doorknobs or light switches and sockets… NOTHING was hooked up or installed. They’d just pushed things into place, sometimes held with SCOTCH TAPE, but I bought the house anyway. I bought it because I loved the location and knew I would be happy here; I envisioned the changes I’d make, and I loved that it’s built in a u-shape around a central courtyard.

I have so much left to do outside, but I wanted to share what’s happening in my courtyard. 

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— Essentials —

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Most RV parks are their own little microcosms. Almost half of the “resort” where we are now is comprised of full-time residents, and we’re finding this to be the case in more and more parks. It has become a rare thing to stay at a park that doesn’t allow full-time residents, especially since they’re a steady source of income for park owners in off-season months when tourists and travelers don’t come around.

As for the full-timers, they aren’t necessarily what you’d expect. Well, some are, but the ones we’ve met on our evening walks, aren’t at all.

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Just like our motorhome, but different colorway.
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There are two things I find critical when you live in an RV that’s only 300 square feet: keeping everything shipshape and making sure your space smells clean.  Continue Reading

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