Now the fun part – new home

Now that I’m all moved in, here are some random pics of the neighborhood, and my house now and future. I’m in College Park, a small (pop. 12,000) mainstreet neighborhood in northwest Orlando. Most of the homes here were built in the early 1900’s, mine in 1947, and the majority are bungalows, with a smattering of newer homes and lots of renovations. It’s a dense neighborhood with narrow streets, a heavy tree canopy, and an abundance of tropical botanicals. It’s also very happy, with kids on bikes, courteous and friendly neighbors, and a warm feeling of community. It has 6 churches and 3 public schools (elementary, middle, and high school), 2 pharmacies, and a mid-century Publix market built in Publix’ signature deco style. The main street is 2 lanes, lined with pubs, restaurants, boutiques, a post office, a barbershop, and a couple bicycle shops. People walk here and sit outside with coffee and their pups.

Brugmansia spp., aka Angel’s Trumpet. Not for children or pets…

I saw my house the second and third day I was in Orlando, and I made an offer one day later. Property moves very quickly here, so I was fortunate with the timing and availability of the house. I admit I gulped at first – awful colors and no landscaping except a ton of grass. But I’m so glad I looked beyond the surface. It has been fully renovated inside, has new fencing, a 5-zone irrigation system, new double-pane e-vinyl windows, and, thankfully, no sliding glass doors!

Yesterday I met with a painter, recommended by a neighbor. He’ll be painting everything on the outside and pressure cleaning the hardscape. Here’s my working version (the main color is Sherwin Williams Revel Blue):

Moving day in the rain
Red letter day – all the packing materials on the curb for a bulk pickup (that wore me out)
Roof garden in the gutter of the screen porch! Soon to be gone
Ok, I do have two trees 🙂

Bye for now! Coco

Two weeks to go till the move…

One of the most time-consuming efforts, pending my house move, has been going through my library and donating books that I simply will not re-read.

I love books, I love owning them, I love seeing them on my shelves. Just holding a book and turning the pages is so peaceful and fulfilling.

But – my space as I downsize will be limited. I’ve kept nine of these shelves full. Time for big decisions.

What I kept: my collections, Churchill, Annie Proulx, Graham Greene, Paul Theroux, John le Carre, Patrick O’Brian, McCullough, miscellaneous travelogues and exploration writings from the 1800’s, all my math and science books, gardening including the priceless Exotica, 2 volumes, hard to acquire now. Family cookbooks and travelogues, chronicles of the 20th century, history of the great wars, books on the US experience in China and Japan, Atlas – the world, the human anatomy, dictionaries and grammars – English, French, Spanish, Portuguese. And of course my huge international stamp collection, catalogues, albums, and work in progress. I collect up to 1958, after which the beautiful printing techniques ceased.

My library is still large and will keep me company for all the years to come. Plus I have another 70 books on my Nook – never without a good book!

Read on, Coco

Donating is not always easy!

I’ve just had a strange experience. Since I’m moving, I’ve decided to donate some furniture, duplicate bakeware and kitchenware, appliances, clothes, shoes, handbags, linens, a sewing machine, and an LCD TV.

Easy, right? No. Here are the organizations that turned me down. They don’t pickup due to costs, they don’t take TV’s more than 4 years old, they don’t taking clothing, on and on…

  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Goodwill (a disappointment, my husband was on the Goodwill Roundtable in Miami)
  • Veterans of America

And my first choice, the Breast Cancer Foundation. They cannot schedule a pickup until mid-September. Busy people…

The Rescue Mission of Miami was happy and willing, as was the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army is coming on Wednesday, and I’m happy with this as my family has always supported them with food and $ donations at Christmas and Thanksgiving.

An interesting quest with unexpected results. Coco

The not-so-timid mover…

Yes, I took my house off the market in May, but after a few weeks of reflection, I listed it again 6 weeks ago. And it’s sold!

I’ll be moving to Orlando the end of August, and my predominant feelings are great calm and grateful peace. I really do want to be nearer to my family.

I thought I’d share a few pics of my favorite places in this lovely house in which I’ve lived for twenty years.

Of course, all this quiet space will be upside down in the next few weeks. I have wonderful movers, All My Sons, who also move the Miami Dolphins, Univ. Florida Gators, and the Univ. Miami Hurricanes. My kids are Gators (law school and undergrad), and given my investment, so am I. And a little aside, I have my paralegal certification from the University of Miami School of Continuing Education and International Studies. In the financial downturn of 2008, I just thought I needed a backup 🙂

Feeling blessed – Coco

About that decision to move house…



Small post. I thought to move to be closer to family. But nothing in the last 20 years prepared me for the stress, anxiety, and angst of making the move.

I’ve been sleepless, missing my home even while still being here, missing my ‘objets d’art’, concerned about the transition to new healthcare environment (I am so happy with Cleveland Clinic here in Weston), and generally not totally happy with the decision to make a change.

Well – It’s in my hands after all, and I’ve decided to stay where I am. Yes, it has cost me a bit, but much of that has been toward updates I needed and have tended to delay. It certainly gave me pause – I’m just not the spontaneous woman of years gone by.  A lesson here.

End of story – I need to get some of my beloved artwork back up on the walls, and I totally plan to get a new sofa!!!



Bye for now – Coco