Project bed frame

A much delayed project – I finally found a bedframe I really really like! Better, I ordered it on Amazon and received it in 3 days. Big box!

It’s the Zinus Adrian Wood Rustic Style Platform Bed with Headboard …beautiful hardwoods, exceptional hardware IMHO (with an included ratcheting allen wrench), and straightforward construction. Did it myself in less than 45 minutes 🙂

It has 12 wood slats, strung on velcro strips and anchored on dowels at the midpoint of the sides. Also some ‘sticky’ tape to help prevent mattress slippage. Actually I cannot imagine my mattress moving at all, as I’m small, and it is heavy. Note the metal bar and support legs down the center – it’s included on all size beds, even the twin.

I am so impressed by this bed and look forward to years of sleep. With my bear, of course. I’m assuming everyone sleeps with a bear…

Ciao! Coco

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

Almost there…the move

front porch

Ah – major painting and clearing out was finished last Saturday. Even my garage is beautiful 🙂

Getting ready to sell the house entailed quite a bit of de-personalization. Family photos, small treasures, lots of paintings and artwork, all put away for packing. I even took the funky piggy bank off the piano, and I put all my jewelry in the safe.

collage 5 and 6

Mar 14 - 1


I also managed to break a toe on a displaced bed frame (raise your hand if you’ve done this).

This photo led to my getting a pedicure, I’m back to red toenails! It’s easy to overlook the beauty stuff when the house is upside-down.

The sewing loft feels weird! Almost empty, white walls, so clean!


It’s a good thing I make my own clothes and have lots! I couldn’t get to my washer and dryer for over a week.

Day 1 and 2 - IMG_1907


  • Repainted 3 bedrooms and bathroom ceilings.
  • Installed new lithium battery smoke alarms, bathroom fan grilles, and 9 LED integrated high-hat lights.
  • Pressure cleaned and resurfaced the patio, walkway, and garage floor.
  • Pressure cleaned the hardscape in the yard: the back patio and walkways, and the front garden landscaping stones.
  • Installed a new microwave over the range.
  • Had the patio sliding glass doors and tracks tuned up with new rollers and weather stripping – now they glide open with a finger touch.
  • Resurfaced the driveway.
  • Big expense: replaced the electrical circuit breaker box, had all the electrical stuff checked out, and installed a couple new GFCI outlets.
  • Installed new planting along the front walkway (which meant removing 6 palms, it took chains and a winch to get them out).
  • Shampooed all the carpets!
  • Cleaned my mailbox. It’s almost new, and the birds love to sit on it, with predictable consequences.

It sounds like I was living in a run-down shed. But no. All of this is to add that extra zing and brightness that will appeal to a new owner.

Next? Listing the house. I’ve been working with realtors here and in Orlando. The three weeks from the netherworld are over and behind me, I can hardly believe I did it. For now, recuperation!


Bye for now – Coco