August 11, 2012


Crown moldings.  Above: The main picture wall now shares a quiet façade.  Bottom:  The wall with two doors offers a livelier view.

Home.  Though big and beautiful, my childhood house was an abusive place.  When I married PAH, I discovered I could create friendly places at little cost that would be welcoming. 

The first free sofa and chair were white and set the tone I use today. The first coffee table was a cut down dining room table that had seen better days.  The first bed was free as was almost everything else.  I remember joyously buying my first set of dishes from a factory in Virginia and the first stainless from some store in LA.  These were mine….they were belongings not tainted by anger, alcohol, or abuse.

I was a very young, new mother with a very simple mind.

Rental homes in LA, Chula Vista, and Imperial Beach devolved into drug addiction, alcoholism, then homelessness.  Only slowly over the years did life improved again.  From living in an old Victorian home as a caretaker, a studio apartment with two kids, I moved to the beach and lived in an infinite variety of places just blocks from the surf. 

There a sofa, a chair or two if they fit, and two kids on occasion.  Sometimes I slept on the sofa, sometimes the sofa was my bed.  I always made it as nice as I could with paintings from friends, furniture from the alley’s, and an old oriental rug on the floor.  By the time I met the Great G and got sober, I was living in rented, beyond tiny, Sear’s pre-fab beach cottage and owned the Datsun of Ten Colors.  The kids were grown and gone, and there wasn’t a lot of decorating to be done with a Harvest gold sofa and my grandfather’s old Morris Chair inside a tiny knotty pine box.  

Today I mix things from the two sides of my family, my mother, my stepfather Bob, Geezers mom and dad all stirred up like a pot of oatmeal.  The result is book heavy and hard to keep simple, but I try.  Today while G caulks and touches up the new crown moldings and touches up the paint in the bedroom, I continue my struggle to simplify the living room.  I’m boxing photo albums and banishing books to make more room.  I’ll move out the one too many pieces of furniture in the room.  All this like a balanced jig-saw.

Creating a home is an art form.  Creating a home is memory.  I can see my grandfather when I sit in his chair.  I use my grandma’s dressers and can see her again with great love.  Today most things in our home once belonged to family.  For me, this combining generations of things creates a home made in love.

Sometimes, love is all I can do.

  • Himself:  Brought the ladders up.  Worked while the carpenter hammered.  Had a good day then watched the Olympics.
  • Herself:  Pool, back room sorted and got some books out on the shelves.  Posted work shots to Facebook, hamburger, and a meeting by the bay before the Olympics.
  • Reading:  More like the skimming of Good Housekeeping.
  • Balance:  A Friday meeting by side of Mission Bay.
  • Olympics:  Started nodding off at ten as usual, but managed to stay awake through the women’s relay.


  1. From the photos I've seen here, I love your home. As for love, you are blessed to have an abundance inside you, and much more importantly, you're so generous with yourself. Lucky you. Lucky G. In spite of your rocky beginnings, perhaps because of it if you're able to look at it in that way.

  2. Love is all you need. The rest falls into place.

  3. You certainly have an art background and an intellectual exposure. Your home shows that. It is careful and peaceful. The blues are soothing. I think you finally have a true home and the fact that your 'things' all have memories makes me jealous as most of my stuff is new and only knows me.

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  5. I also enjoy the photos of your home. I wish I could be there in person to soak up all the beauty. Now that we are in the downsizer, we are surrounded by lots of our favorite things...It may look like a retail store to some; but so far we like it. I enjoyed those beautiful photos of the quilts you made too....oh my...they are lovely.
    And subrogation...I loved handling that part of the insurance claim process. So much fun when you won and got the insurance money back too.

  6. Love your selection of blues. You have such a great eye and how wonderful it is a sober eye. Dianne

  7. I always find your pictures of your home infinitely pleasing. I also need to have old fmiliar things around.

  8. I agree that you have a very artistic eye. I have a very hard time with decorating. Our home is more utilitarian that anything else. I wish we had more art work to put up.

  9. (Back again...all these days later to notice the ceiling is painted the shade of blue I've been looking for to repaint our office...something like robin's egg? Any info available? Everything I've come up with so far have been too greyed for my liking.


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Peter in front of a wall sculpture. We were invited up to Peter Knego’s home to see the latest installation.   Abstract flat ...