Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tweaking home and garden

2006 Post-renovation
I was never happier than the year I spent managing the renovation of our home while living in the basement and going off each weekday to my day job. So it's no surprise that I love late summer each year, when I oversee the touch ups on both home and garden.  It's been six years since the renovation, so we're doing a bit more this year than usual.

Sandrine Fitzgerald does the deep cleaning on the inside of the house twice a month.

I have a team of regulars that I depend upon for the rest, who have been with us almost as long as Sandrine.  Thinking back on it, I realize that Agyana at Heartshine Cleaning has been our windows and glass person since the mid-80s -- I say glass because she carefully cleans glass on all artworks while washing the windows and wood blinds.  Carl Hazadakis has worked on all manner of fixes at either our home or various of my offices since the mid-90s.  

Outside, Rene Benevides at Green Life Landscaping installed a redesigned back garden and  some new plantings in 2005, and his brother Antonio Silva has helped me with big bushes and trees since then.  Collin Wheeler at Ravenna Arborists handles our big trees when they need work. 

Keeping the house and gardens beautiful is such satisfactory work.  Unless I'm on the road, there is no place that I would rather be than spending time at home, doing flowers and regular garden stuff.

I'll be posting photos as we get farther along in the next couple of weeks.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

I'm off this morning.  Leroy will drop me downtown at the Westlake light rail connection to the airport.  I'll be in the air by noon, and fly through Dallas to Palm Beach.  I'm speaking tomorrow at a conference hosted by the Institute of Internal Auditors.  They are actually a more cheerful lot than their name might make it sound, and they have very good taste.  I confess that one of the reasons I accepted the offer to speak was because of the conference location.  The Breakers is one of the most beautiful hotels in the United States.  Here's a couple of external views.

And here's a few from the interior of the hotel:

It will be my home away from home the next several days.  And I plan to read a whole chapter.