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Imitation the sincerest form of flattery?

11 Nov

Hey, New York Times, maybe you should hire me to write for you since I came up with “Townhouse Turnaround” five years ago — to mean the same thing!

Photo of Townhouse Turnaround article in NYTimes Nov 10 2013

Hey, where are my royalties?

PS — to anyone thinking that $10 – $40 million is kind of steep for a house, please note that you can purchase quite lovely Victorian homes in various stages of historic renovation for $100,000 – $300,000 in lovely Springfield, Massachusetts. 2 hour drive to Brooklyn, 2.5 hour drive to Manhattan, 1.5 hour drive to Boston, 45 minutes to the Berkshires. And lots of great people right here in good old Springfield.

Mish Mash

13 Jan

No projects planned in the house in the immediate future (though I do think the plumb-a-thon will happen in 2013…), but a few things to share:

First off is the anti-salt measures adopted in the downstairs hallway:photo 4

I got 20 feet of this 2.5 ft wide runner at Home Depot and a 3×5 foot door mat. They seem to be very effective in keeping salt and general winter filth from the floors. We recently lived through the Great Kitty Litter Disaster of 2013 (I broke a full bag of used kitty litter in the back courtyard en route to the trash can and every time Taggy went out in the back to take care of his bizness, he would track in hundreds of clay-based mucky pawprints. It was horrible, but today it was warm enough to get out there and hose off the steps — thanks, Global Warming! — and I just finished mopping like a madwoman, so I believe that is a chapter of life that we can all put behind us).

Nextly, I have been turning my home improvement energies towards shopping. Oops. I know I should be saving for the plumbing, but who could resist this charming table with fingernails (invisible in this horrible photo) on its paw feet? Not I. Trust me, the table’s gorgeous. I’ll take a photo in the daylight sometime.

photo 2 photo 1

Also got these two little treasures, which represent two of my favorite things — (a) Ceramic stuff/boxes/men smoking pipes and holding canes and (b) desk stuff with gold embossed leather/writing/fleur de lys:

photo 5 photo 3

A wonderful weekend spent with friends, in the shops, meeting new people, and walking the dogs — oh, and the Symphony. Yay!

Buy Nothing Day (alternative to Black Friday)

19 Nov

Rather than being churned through the mill of the vast Consumerist Industrial Complex on Friday, you could also buy….. nothing. Celebrate Buy Nothing Day and Buy Nothing Christmas — put the Christ back in Christmas by not shopping, not consuming, not giving the people you love more stuff they don’t need– give more love instead — it’s free!

Dear CVS, I’m not who you think I am…

17 Feb

I got a mailer from CVS the other day that promised “Over $100 in valuable coupons just for you.” Great, I thought. Well, it turns out CVS has seriously misunderstood me — either that or someone else is using my ExtraValue card. The coupons were all for diabetes and incontinence products. I am very happy to report that I am neither diabetic nor incontinent.

I have bought the following items at CVS in the past few months: cashews (they have really good cashews), vitamin D-3 pills, hair dye, lipstick, toilet paper, and eggs (when they were on sale for 99cents). I don’t know how that adds up to someone who needs Depends and Glycerna, but apparently it does.

The folks at CVS really need to tweak their algorithm. I would have loved “over $100 in coupons” on any or all of the things that I really buy there (especially those cashews!). What’s the point of giving up all that personal shopping data if they don’t know how to interpret it? You’re falling down on the job, Big Brother.