The price we pay for beauty.

When I negotiated for my house three years ago, I fought (and lost) a battle with the homeowners about the hideous, unworkable, 1970s sliding glass doors that surround my sunroom and patio. And I do mean “unworkable.” Of the four sets of doors, one completely wouldn’t open and the other three required Sampson’s supernatural strength to pull the glass partitions along their rough, rusting tracks.

Alas, some things you just come to live with.

Earlier this year, my dad in his retirement got a part-time job at Lowe’s … which lasted all of three weeks due to his dissatisfaction with things like “schedules,” “no smoking rules” and “customers.” But, that time allowed me to browse the door and window aisles with him. I realized that replacing sliding doors wasn’t nearly as expensive as I’d expected.

So, orders were placed, and like any dutiful daughter, I trusted my father when he promised, “Oh, sure. You and I can do the installation ourselves.” Now, my father — whose woodshop rivals Tim “the Tool Man” Taylor — raised a girl who is decently handy at minor home repair. Like putting furniture and equipment together. Like replacing hardware. Even like installing window air conditioners. Not like demoing and putting up drywall. However, I’ve been taught to respect my elders.

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Magazines 2.0.

I’ve always had a soft spot for magazines. It’s the MTV generation in me — we have short attention spans and are easily distracted by big, glossy pictures. Oooh, look! Pretty pictures! I’m still loyal to a good, hardback book, but I also can’t resist a good magazine, on almost any topic.

Many times over the years I’ve had to cut back my weekly/monthly subscriptions because all of those magazines were just piling up at the door. I still oversubscribe, since I don’t have much time these days to read anything more than People. Which I read cover to cover. Every week. Since 1989. That means this (and last) year’s issues of O Magazine are making a nice door stop in my living room until I have a long airplane ride or pool day to get through them.

l have a hard time not picking up any new magazine in reach. When I’m at my mother’s house, I read her Southern Livings; if I’m at the beach, I read my aunt’s Good Housekeeping; if I’m in an airport, I pick up Vanity Fair or In Style. It’s a problem, so thank goodness for recycling. Keep reading »

Obsessions: One Kings Lane

When I bought my house two years ago, I was daunted by the prospect of filling 2,000 square feet with stuff. Well, not just “stuff,” but pretty and aesthetically-pleasing, matched, probably expensive, uh … furnishings.

One day I stumbled on a little website that has changed my life, and my home (and has seriously altered my bank and credit card balances).

The obsession is One Kings Lane. It’s a subscription-only website (like Gilt, the Foundary, etc.) for home stuff — prints, furniture, kitchen tools, bedding, etc., all at majorly reduced prices.

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