Tony Bennett and the Ramones, Incongruous in Concert

I saw Tony Bennett and the Ramones live in concert in the mid 1990s. Yes, in the same concert. It was the best show I ever saw. I know this because for the next 24 years I reduced the entire experience to an effective bit of small talk, a one-liner that came out in the car en route to music festivals or while chatting with seatmates before a … Continue reading Tony Bennett and the Ramones, Incongruous in Concert

Repeat After Me: Blogging is a Hobby

After my last post went viral on Christmas Eve, I heard lots of bad advice from lots of well-meaning people. The Jetsons Kitchen Renovation and Vintage Stove Appalachian Odyssey brought more attention to my little corner of the internet than it deserved when one of my favorite websites, RetroRenovation.com, picked up the post (thanks, Pam and Kate!), kicking off a wave of reposts and thousands … Continue reading Repeat After Me: Blogging is a Hobby

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How Our Contemporary Kitchen Renovation Went Jetsons Retro

We had planned the most beautiful, sophisticated kitchen renovation for our 1954 Florida ranch house. Quarter-sawn walnut cabinets would replace 1970s-era faux wood; sleek black Paperstone counters would supplant gold-whorled white laminate. All that remained was to sign the contract with Jason Straw, Woodworker. A maker of fine furniture and specialist in historic home renovations, Jason would ensure our new kitchen did not look like … Continue reading How Our Contemporary Kitchen Renovation Went Jetsons Retro

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How We Became the Kind of People Who Spend Their Disposable Income Restoring a Vintage Stove

See related post on how our contemporary kitchen renovation went Jetsons retro. The kitchen renovation began years before we had even moved into our current home, when we bought our first house, a charming 1948 brick bungalow. In the kitchen of that house, flames protruded from three of four burners on the old white stove: standing pilot lights. The 36-inch appliance looked like a larger … Continue reading How We Became the Kind of People Who Spend Their Disposable Income Restoring a Vintage Stove

Garden-Fresh Cocktails

The thought occurred to me while I spent yet another Saturday morning in Homeowner Land, pulling weeds from among my patio philodendrons. Sure, the ornamental plants lend a certain tropical aesthetic to my surroundings. I enjoy them. But wouldn’t I enjoy the fruits of my labor more if I could eat them? Like actual fruit? The thought had also occurred to millions more would-be hipsters … Continue reading Garden-Fresh Cocktails

How Journalism Ruins Dinner Parties

I have returned to blogging in order to stop ruining perfectly good dinner parties. The downward spiral starts this way, during the appetizers. Someone will ask how my husband and I met, and I’ll tell them we worked together at a newspaper. They’ll want to know more. A newspaper is something tangible and familiar, a path that leads to conversation in a way that “I … Continue reading How Journalism Ruins Dinner Parties