March Madness part 2

Looking back at my recent post [March Madness Already? 2/26] I believe my wish for the month of March was it to come in or out like a lion….leave like a lamb….make it peaceful….less muddy….

Honestly, it feels like we’ve been playing dodge ball with rain turn to snow turn to more rain to sleet [just enough to make school close] back to rain with temperatures teasing in the high sixties.    I don’t even want to talk about our backyard.   If there was any chance in the world my dogs would keep Wellies on they would have had their own spot by the back door for their durable rain boots.   I know they are in the market of dog apparel but I refuse to purchase something that my two water-loving-mud-adoring-outdoor adventurous dogs will never keep on their feet.   Would it save me from hosing down their paws or using our “paw bucket”….yes.   My wish and hope and desire for April is less mud – meaning less rain.  Allow the ground to dry and for me to get out there and design my dream courtyard.

College Daughter headed back to VT.    Our break time was more eating and organizing the garage for “guess what I have in my car to bring home”.    After helping College Daughter look for apartments and townhomes to rent for next year – I realized our oldest daughter will be ending her tenth year of college when our youngest begins her freshman year of college.  I ate some more.

This week is spring break for Apple.   We will take a road trip to visit family this week.   We will spend some time with our friends from NYC, as well as take the newest member of the family along on a short road trip.   Before we know it – Easter Sunday will be here and the month that promises sunshine and dry days…..April.    humor me…..April will be sunny & dry!     

Have a wonderful Easter ~  and if you are on spring break be safe and enjoy!

our newest addition, meet Sir Hamish the Handful [straw makes a wonderful mud guzzler – but not so wonderful when it blows around]


This sweet girl is no longer a puppy….our warrior is already two and such a joy! Murphy is dreaming about getting to the lake. And so is her momma!
two dog family again. joy*




Thanks to Urban Habitat I can plan our courtyard to be not only inviting but dog friendly too!   I just can’t wait to get started!    I already said that didn’t I?

Happy happy spring joy ~ happy happy joy!


namaste here with 3 fingers of wine

I don’t even know where to begin.   Summer.  (my love this season) Summer came and is walking jogging away from me [too] fast.    As we enjoyed our vacation, our mini road trips, my “girls-only” road trip and time poolside sipping sweet tea…..I’m also knee deep in boxes.  Boxes filled with donations.  Boxes filled with College Daughter’s donations.   Boxes that are currently waiting for our own household items to be packed and moved to yet – another location in the DC Metro area.

Rewind – two months.   Football Superstar has been gently asking me to make a decision where I would like to deeply “root” our family in NoVA.   He knows my passion for living near or on the water.   Olde Town Alexandria.   Rows of historic brick townhomes.   Admirals Row with its cobblestone roads.   Potomac.

Boston.  (London Calling post) Vonnie and her husband have been researching Boston.  On the water.   Historic section of single family homes and rows of townhomes.    Did I mention on the water.

Deep down inside my heart I knew we were not going to pack up yet-another moving truck  like a band of nomads and move out of this very busy, ever growing urban-suburban DC metro life.  After all.  We moved here for that very reason.  Real Estate.  Great schools and universities.    Growth.   And water?  Potomac.   Chesapeake.

Moving House.

College Daughter has one more year at VT.  Then she moves on to grad school.  Then four more years – but that location is to be determined.   Apple enters Middle School this year.  Time has passed in such a way I can’t even wrap my mind around it.  But in such great ways.  No regrets.  Nothing I would have done differently.    Well…. maybe… be on or next to the water.  (insert giggle)


Jump ahead – two months.   We’re having a family discussion on building a home.   Which type was hanging on thin thread.  Football Superstar wanted another single family home.  I adore and appreciate the simpleness of a townhouse.   And, yes, there are newer townhomes that have the unique design of my favs in Olde Town and downtown Manhattan.         Location?   Possibly the newest urban-suburban location at  One Loudoun.  My husband could walk to his office!      One of three  is crossed off my paper.  No more stacked condo living.   I never minded the condo/apartment lifestyle.     No grass to mow.  No snow to shovel.   Do we want another townhome?   There were so many questions, pros and cons but the biggest decision and most important….location, location, location!   A professional question at its best.

We decided to wait until after our last road trip to seriously begin looking at locations.      I wasn’t even home an hour and my  husband sent a text asking me to come look at a townhouse five minutes away from where we are located now.   Apple was thrilled!   I was confused.   Townhouse?   He’s leaning towards a townhouse?!     Another townhouse!  That meant – no large historic building in DC featuring a glorious four bedroom apartment with a knock-your-socks-off view. Who wouldn’t want that for a mere 1.7 million?!      (I was looking at that one)

I walked in the front door of this recently remodeled home and walked out.  Sold!  Well…I wanted it…so yes….please say it’s sold.   Unfortunately it’s not that easy – but my hubby made it pretty easy as easy goes for placing an offer on a home and working through home inspections, selling and HOA blah, blah, blah.

I called my friend Vonnie.  She literally just landed in Dulles International Airport after spending four weeks back home in UK.    That evening I was sitting in her beautiful townhouse kitchen sipping three fingers of wine with Water Crackers and smoked Gouda.  Three fingers of wine is what Vonnie poured as she tells me they are not moving to Boston – this year.   She’s giving it another year or two!   (phew)

Vonnie is happy to keep us here.  At least until they move up north.   I’m happy we are staying here too.   We moved from the kitchen to her inviting deck.   Still nursing my three fingers of wine.   I’m not going far.  Our neighborhoods will basically make us bookends.  I’ll be on the north end and she will be on the south.  It’s what holds our connecting communities together.   The awesome walking trails lined with magnolia bushes and tall decorative sea grass.   If you veer left off one trail it takes you directly to our favorite coffee cafe.    If you follow the trail it takes you to the Nature Center where Apple volunteers.   And if you meet in the middle…’re at one of our three community pools.    I’ve met so many wonderful people friends during my time walking these trails.  Why would I want to leave now?

Sarah&JT.   Lipi’s family&Lucky.  Beth& her crew.   The owner of Pugsly.   Chris&Bailey.     Desiree.   Amy.   Dana& Claire.  Lisa.  Amelia& her Murphy.   And not to forget the  nice tennis coaches who supplied pup with 62 tennis balls.

Football Superstar asked me if I was sure.   “Are you sure you want to stay here or would you want to keep searching – perhaps in your favorite Olde Town?”

Nah..I’m gonna stay here.


I’ve already started packing.










when Comedy isn’t Funny anymore

This is not a political post rant.     But perhaps it very well could be due to the nature of my rant post.

During my monthly mom’s group – attendance was low.   End of school events as well as picture perfect weather led some of the women to more exciting things on Thursday afternoon.   Topics varied from school calendar changes (still wish King’s Dominion rule -ruled) to teachers permitting phones in classrooms (insert frown) to the Kathy Griffin disaster.

I’m not a Kathy Griffin fan, never was.  Maybe it’s because she is so loud.  Like some of the other women comedians that have that raw gruff mannerism and voices.  I love humor.  I’ve always found silliness to be the best comic.  (can you say Seinfeld)  I enjoy a good comedy – movie or TV show.  But lately for me I’ve found comic relief has lost it’s silly.  The “fun humor” has disappeared.    Comedy has lost its funny.

When I watched the news clip of Ms. Griffin, at first I wasn’t sure what she was holding in her hand…..what was it suppose to be.   Until I hit the rewind button on my remote.  What. Just. Happened?     This is not a Democratic or Republican response to what I witnessed.   It’s not a Independent or Libertarian response.   My response to what I watched – then read – then listened again via radio felt almost as if someone got it wrong.  Ms. Griffin was hacked.   She wouldn’t have gone there.    Holding a “decapitated” head of any President is wrong.  WRONG.    And please don’t remind me of what happened to Mr. Obama while he was in office…I remember quite well the nasty images.

As my group discussed this image that Mr. Trump’s young son apparently saw either on the news, social media…..   does it even matter how he saw it……     my question was/is to those who are throwing this out like a wet napkin…..    how and when did comedy become so angry and hateful.   Tearing people down has become the new comedy.  Yes, poking fun at people has been stand up comedy dating back to the 1900’s if not earlier.   But raw unfiltered anger and disgrace.   Violence.  Isn’t this the same lesson we are trying to teach our young children of tomorrow to not place upon others?     Does the word Bully ring a bell?     And let us not forget the gruesome images of the men having swords at their heads – the orange jump suits – the images.

Is this what is truly in their hearts?

But allow me to back up to [us] adults.   We have invited this style into our homes.  We applaud the humor that pokes and jabs and stabs.  The kind that may hurt.  Does hurt.   We forget that poking and jabbing a person as an adult may just be one too many pokes and jabs.   Words.   Vicious painful words.   Why have we invited this sense of humor into our lives?   When did we give permission to attack an innocent kid?  I may not agree with Mr. Trump.  I may not even care for the man.   But do I wish him dead?   Am I filling the same cup of ignorance and hatred that he may have filled, and served to those he hurt?   What about Ms. Griffin?   Am I drinking from her Kool-Aid dispenser.   God, I hope not.

No.  I’m not.

I was surrounded by Asian-Indian, Black, Caucasian, and a very proud Bostonian.   As we sat in silence thinking about what [we] adults permitted to brew in our bubbles…..our safe havens…..our lives… by one…..we began to cry silently.     I love my bubble.   My community.  My friends who support one another.   I have a pretty wonderful life.  I’m blessed.   And I’m happy.

Perhaps those who find their comic relief  to humiliate are finding their happiness in the dark depths.   And I feel very sad for them.     This isn’t a jab or poke at Ms. Griffin and Mr. Trump.    This is for all of us who find dark humor to be the new normal comic relief.

A very kind and wise Assistant Principal told a group of third graders;   “sticks and stones may break bones, but words do hurt…..they hurt inside your heart.”

And I’ll end here.


  RE-DECOR-ATE         re [synonym]  décor [furnishing;decoration of a room]  ate [what I did while scavenger hunting]

After two weeks of being on-the-move, I’ve decided to try and focus on my home.  Laundry piled up after a trip to visit family, swim meets, a birthday party, lake fun, puppy get-togethers and saying goodbye to our college daughter – again.  [she headed back to NC for the remainder of summer]

Another trip is staring at me as I sit here typing.  My McKenzie*Childs desk calendar indicates we have another lake trip and late summer beach trip waiting.  And then there is Labor Day!  I can’t bear to see summer slip out of my hands.  With all the unpacking and laundry that needs my attention… does my cozy townhome.   LeeAnn and I have been discussing [since her move to VA Beach] that our décor has taken a huge leap back in time.  Her mother was a collector of seashells.  Some were as large as my hand while others were as tiny as a speck of salt.   Beautiful shiny shells.  LeeAnn and I have always enjoyed beachy stuff – and we both have always gone in sync with decorating.  Country > Shabby > Beach Cottage.

As much as I still love my French Market design in the kitchen and dining room, my plan is to revamp our family room and the girls bathroom with a touch of beach cottage.  I love the idea of taking all the natural soft colors from the sand, shells, sun and water and blending them together to create a comfortable and inviting living space.   Football Superstar has braced himself for another “construction zone”.  After all these years, he’s become accustom to changes with décor and my hair.  [wink]

Apple and I ran a few errands…but we had plenty of time to go on a scavenger hunt.  Todays hunt….baskets.  And not just baskets…but huge, boxy-shaped, oversized baskets.  We lucked out and found one [$5] at a  vintage shop downtown Leesburg.  The Cottage had a huge sale on nautical décor, beach items and very cool shabby beach signs.  [note to self – must return before the end of the week]

During our search, I found a whitewashed vintage [sturdy and perfect] wicker book shelf for Apple’s room.

0721151653~2 < cute right?!   Nothing needed but a little dusting off.  It was perfect and what a bonus purchase!  [$40]  Original price was $75!

0721151347~2~2 < couldn’t help myself.  Going in the girls bathroom!  And yes, it was on sale for $5!   Original price $12.00   [dancing the Pennsylvania Polka]

Medium-SeaGrass-Hamper-Closed_large < $5  Sea Grass basket re-sale site!

img53l < in love with this one….so I finally found one on a re-sale site!   Happy girl! [$4] yes, I’m a happy girl!

Apple and I jumped on Pinterest so we could find my latest pins.  I forgot how many shabby-beachy-vintage décor items I found and pinned.  With the gazillion sea shells Apple has collected over the years – she was inspired to create a sea shell bunting for her room.  I love that my youngest enjoys creating as much as I do!   Between the three of us….her room should be pretty amazing!   Thanks Auntie LeeAnn!  xoxox

il_570xN_456123268_3rhs <sea shell inspired bunting – Pinterest

thE23326V5 < Coastal Living online $35   I’ll wait for the sale.   Or LeeAnn.  🙂

9e14f0b40e97ca233eb335a2db52347c  < LOVE LOVE French Market baskets….so versatile!!

thEOA6KXEW < beach wreath – easy peasy instructions via Pinterest

coastal-entry-way < The Cottage had these adorable Sea Horse’s ….. I just love the entrance!

shabby-beachy-Chic-from-Beachcomber-10-525x641 < Stop. Me. In. My. Tracks.  Gorgeous!

f5765e24a0200502005689f907d98880 < Even Football Superstar can’t say this isn’t inviting…..

beach-cottage-by-Tracey-Rapisardi < These are the pins I have that make my mind race ….. overtime!

pottery-barn-beach-furniture  < via Pottery Barn.  I do like Sea Grass …. I really do.

il_fullxfull_439149245_5kkj < cute.  via Pinterest

As I plan my re-décor-ate, I promise to post a follow up on what other bargains we find.  I so enjoy a scavenger hunt!  Makes me want to dance!   But not the Pennsylvania Polka….I haven’t a clue what it is.

Oh, and as for the “ate” part….Shoes Cup and Cork had an amazing Dirty Chai “ice cream”!  nom,nom,nom!

Shoes Cup and Cork

17 N. King Street – Leesburg VA