Home sweet homes.

“The ides of March are come.”  ~ William Shakespeare, ‘ Julius Caesar.’

“A pinch and a punch” everyone, for the first of the month. Robert Lynd, the Irish author stirred up another superstition when in 1922, he wrote ‘Solomon In All His Glory’. The superstition goes like this:

“Why,” the man in the brown hat laughed at him, “I thought everybody knew ‘Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit.’ If you say ‘Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit’–three times,  just like that–first thing in the morning on the first of the month, even before you say your prayers, you’ll get a present before the end of the month.” I said it this morning instead of  “A pinch and a punch for the first of the month” and am now waiting to see what present I’m going to receive if I’m very good. 😀

So February has been and gone and we’re into the month of March, which is the month when I’ll fly off again into the wild blue yonder to new adventures. Only a few more sleeps, and then I’d better have my bags all packed and ready for the night flight over to England, and ten days later, yet another night flight back to our home in South Africa. I’m feeling very sad at the thought of leaving Florida, as I’ve come to really love our life here. Much of our stay this time, has been spent getting the kitchen and floors redone. An amazing effort on hubby’s part, who has done all the work himself, with just a little encouragement from me. 😉 A few of you have asked to see the new look, so here are some pics.

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My piano sounds so much sweeter on the new floor, than it did on ceramic tiles.

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That old saying, ‘There’s no place like home’, is so true, wherever it may be, but I’m not sure now which place I think of as home. We have family and friends in both countries, as well as in England where we were born, so it’s difficult to decide.

On the subject of homes, don’t you agree that our world is a very strange place, with such vast disparities of wealth? I was looking at an internet site showing some of the most expensive and arguably most beautiful homes in the world.

This one, Updown Court in Surrey in the UK, would probably sell for a mere $138 m. The 103 room mansion has a heated marble driveway, a 50 seat cinema and a ‘ Panic Room’, whatever one of those is. Maybe it’s a room where you sit and count your money, and then panic when you run out of zeros. 😀

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Tranquility, on 210 acres at Lake Tahoe Nevada,  is owned by Joel Horowitz, co-founder of Tommy Hilfiger. It’s been on the market for 4 years and the asking price is only $100 m, It has a replica of the Titanic staircase, an indoor swimming pool, an art studio, an NBA-regulations basketball court, flooring from a 17th century French chateau, a wine cellar for 3,500 bottles, a garage capable of housing 16 cars, a boathouse and a stable. The price even includes the 3,500 bottles of wine. What a bargain! Any takers out there? 🙂

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Then from the sublime to the ridiculous, this skinny little three storey, three-bedroomed house in Brazil, is called “Madre de Deus.” It’s less than a metre wide and about ten metres high. The kitchen is more spacious, as the house widens out to almost two metres at the back. Luxury! I guess only very thin people can live there, and their visitors would also have to be careful not to eat too much, or they may get stuck in the doorway on the way out.

On the downside, there are people who spend their whole lives living in shack dwellings, like these in Khayelitsha, near Cape Town in South Africa.

“Life is not fair; get used to it.” ~ Bill Gates

Back in the Sunshine State, and kitchen remodel pics.

Yesterday afternoon, we arrived back at our home here in Florida, after two weeks away in New Jersey. I was so happy to see my first “Florida” road sign along the way and to know that our three day journey was almost over.

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The drive was good, and we didn’t encounter much traffic, but when we got to Jacksonville, we saw that a truck had jack-knifed on the other side of the highway, blocking the entire road.

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The traffic was backed up for literally miles and miles., and I was so thankful that we were going in the opposite direction.

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On Wednesday we’d stopped for lunch at ‘South of the Border’, a very colourful rest stop on the border between North and South Carolina.

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Unfortunately we didn’t have time to go in and see the Great White Shark.

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The weather started getting much warmer, the closer we got to home, and it was great to be back in the land of palm trees, blue skies and sunshine, and as soon as we got in, it was off with the warm clothes, and on with the shorts and flip-flops.

This morning, we both headed for the gym, and did a great workout. We’d been away for almost two weeks, and really missed the exercise. Some of our friends were there too, so there were lots of ‘Happy New Year’ wishes flying around. One elderly lady came over to inform me that she had a new great grand…..wait for it…….DOG! I was in the midst of congratulating her on the new great grandchild, when I heard the word ‘dog’ instead of son or daughter.  Different 🙂

When we got home, hubby resolved, with a little gentle persuasion from me, to move the light fitting in the kitchen, to centre it over the island.

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After he did the remodel, it was totally in the wrong place. This entailed going up in the roof of course, but he did it, and whilst he was up there, I had two phone calls for him. “Sorry he’ll have to call you back, because he’s in the roof.” I’ve got quite used to saying this over the years, as he has spent quite a lot of time either in or on the roof at our various houses, whilst doing renovations. Finally it was done, and I took a couple of photos to show you the new kitchen. We still have to do some tiling on the walls, and crown moldings around the top of the cupboards, and also install the stainless steel kick plates along the bottom of the cupboards, but that can only be done after we’ve laid the wood flooring which is nicely stacked in the study at the moment. We will start this tomorrow, and there is about 1,200 sq ft of it to lay right through the living area.

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Anyway, I did promise to show you some pics when the kitchen was finished, so here are the before and after pics.

This was taken last year, shortly after we moved in, and before all our furniture had been delivered.

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This is what it now looks like. Hubby did it all by himself, with a little help now and again from me. 🙂

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We leave for a week in Belize next Thursday, so I don’t know if the floor will all be down by then, but we can resolve to try.

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