Posts Tagged ‘victorian home’

Change, Glorious Change

July 2, 2013

While many people balk at change, I love it. In fact, when there is not enough change in my life, I get complacent and feel like life is standing still.

Over the last couple days, I’ve totally moved out of one part of my huge house and into the other half. It’s given me a chance to shake things up a bit.

Look at all the great things that have happened just from that change.

  1. I’ve rediscovered many things that I’d completely forgotten that I had.
  2. In rediscovering my high school yearbook and looking at my 17 year old self on the pages, I noticed how much my physical appearance had changed.
  3. In that change I also became more grateful  for the fact that I’m much wiser and more contented. So what if there a wrinkles. I’ve come to love myself as I am.

Back to the move and the positive aspects of that change, I am invigorated by putting my life back together in a new way. I’ve cleaned out the old and started anew in a fresh office, looking out on a new balcony.

Shake your life up now and then. It’s a boost to your creativity.

Ah! The glory of change.

______________________________________________Dina Dove

As an author, inspirational speaker, and coach, I am dedicated to helping people remember who they really are at their deepest core and discover their unique path to career and personal fulfillment.

For further information, please contact me at Dina@BagladysGuide.com

www.dinadove.com

www.facebook.com/BagladysGuide.com

“No wonder I’m still single. I live in a convent.”

October 31, 2009

I was joking with a friend the other day and said that to her in conversation.

However, it is true. I’ve been divorced for 16 years and have no good prospects. Considering that, isn’t it interesting that my house used to be the home of the nuns who taught at the Catholic school here in town.

If you have been following my work, you know that I believe we play a huge part in our circumstances. Whether we are conscious of it or not, the universe is responding to us. So, that thought can lead to all kinds of fascinating introspection.

Recently it has been about my house; why I bought one this big and why I don’t seem to be able to sell it. See, I think God has an amazing sense of humor and I have a lot of fun watching him interact in my life. I think he is getting a big kick out of me and my house thoughts right now.

Of course, when I bought this house, I certainly wasn’t thinking about its past inhabitants. (In-habit –ants.)

 Ha Ha…. Even that is funny.

Of my own free will, I bought it about 5 years ago. It was my hide away as I wrote “The Baglady’s Guide to Elegant Living.” I could see the purpose in being alone then. I needed focus. Indeed, I have an ‘elegant life’ in this big old Victorian. And since I live in a very small town, I do have the solitude of a nun when I am home.

The parish priest lives next door and the church is next to the rectory. With Father Chris and I being the only people living on our block, it’s practically holy! I’m counting Father and the church as holy. I added the ‘practically’ to allow for me in the mix.

But, you know what?

I’m happy.

In fact, I’ve been single so long now that I almost can’t imagine sharing my space with another person full time. Oh there were years when I longed for a life partner. I had some long relationships that all ended with me spending months pining over the loss.

But that is all ancient history now. Now I am at peace and truly satisfied with the life I have. There is an upside to being alone. Most people are so busy fretting over ‘being alone’ that they don’t see it.

What it is… is an amazing sense of being able to be led, to listen to the quiet voice that can so easily remain unheard.

It gives one the freedom to, on a whim, call someone that just pops into mind or to stop everything and go to the aid of a friend in need without worrying if I’ll be upsetting the apple cart at home.

I find great joys in the closer relationship with my best friend and Lord. I’m not Catholic, but I think I more fully understand the devotion that nuns must feel. I used to see their lives as a sacrifice but this life I have is a joy.

 And like many nuns, I live in a beautiful home and love God with all my heart.

You never can tell.

Someday my home might sell.

A knight in shining armor might sweep me off my feet.

In the meantime, here I am, following my heart wherever it leads me.

 And… I know it leads me home.

Basement Safety in Tornado Alley

May 15, 2009

Being as I live in Kansas, a state well publicized for its tornados, I was thrilled when I moved into my latest house. It had a basement.

We’ve had lots of tornado activity in our area over the 3 years I’ve lived here, and I’ve retreated to the basement on several occasions. However, up until this week, none had ever come so close that I heard the banging of flying building materials smacking at the house.

A couple of days ago my town was in the path of what they call a ‘straight line wind’ of almost 100 miles per hour (Hurricane force winds).  I was roused from sleep by the ferocious storm at about 6am. Soon after, the electricity went out, so I grabbed my flashlight and retreated to the safety of my basement.

NOT!

As shingles and siding were thrown against the outside of the house, for the first time, there was a real danger. And, in the event of a tornado, a REAL basement might have saved me. However, as I sat in the dark, it suddenly dawned on me that my basement is only 2 feet underground. The entrance to my home is high above the ground. When you open the door from the first floor and step down, it certainly seems like you’re descending deep into the earth. But the first floor is about 6 feet above the ground.  So, 8 feet down is actually only 2 ft. below ground.

It turns out that my basement is the perfect depth to protect the inhabitants of Lilliput. A mouse or a squirrel might be safe, but this is no kind of shelter for a person.

A creepy feeling came over me at that moment as the town outside was ravaged. I took up a spot under the stairwell and prayed for the best. Then I marveled at how a person can be totally oblivious to the real truth about a situation even though it’s been right there in front of them for years.

Miss Goody-Two-Shoes Goes on a Rampage

March 15, 2009

Many of you know me as a person who is prone to looking on the bright side. Look out!

As you may know, I live in a 100 year old Victorian home. In a house, you can imagine, that occasionally may need work.

“To be expected,” you might say.

And I agree.

I keep up with it, if I know something is amiss, I get ‘my fix-it guy’ (The one who fixes all things broken in the house).

Well, last month I was only home about 5 days.

While I was away the heat was turned down to just above freezing.  I was more than shocked to get a gas bill for $290.00.

My personal opinion was that the unit had epilepsy.

By that I mean that it goes along working just fine most of the time and then, Whammo!

All of a sudden there is a glitch and it stops. Then, when it corrects itself, it starts working again.

Since I wasn’t at home anyway, I could put up with the heater not working. But… when the gas bill was outrageous and the heat still was not working…

Now THAT’s a problem.

So, I called in my guy. And he called in another guy.

They decided that the lack of a cold air return for my first floor system was the problem. I’d known I needed this done for several years but had tried to get along without it.

However, since they believed it was the reason for the high utility bill, I finally acquiesced to the solution.

Even though the solution cost me almost $600 (more than my normal full year in gas bills), the prospect of an even higher bill this month while I am home made me bite the bullet.

“So,” you may ask, “what’s your beef?”

After two days of beautiful weather, last night it got cold again. I turned the thermostat up and later on went downstairs to find the first floor all nice and cozy.

(The reason I say the first floor is because my house has several different central air units. The one on the first floor is the one with the problem.)

I was happy and thought that the problem had been solved.  But, this morning I went down to find the temperature was only 55 degrees, the new thermostat (part of the fix) was set at 68.

The heater was not running. No hot air was coming out of the registers.

The epilepsy has returned. 

I’m $600 down, might have another gas bill close to $300 this month, nothing is working any better.

It is really cold down there… and…   

Oh, did I mention that the cold air return they put in required them to saw an 18” square hole into the 100 year old lath and plaster wall?

@#*^%$#@  

If you have never dealt with the dust raised by such an act then you have no conception of the kind of clean up required.  Don’t even think about comparing it to sheetrock dust.

Sheetrock dust can’t hold a candle to this. An 18” hole cut out of sheetrock would have taken about 15 minutes to clean up.

EVERYTHING on the entire first floor and the stairway to the second floor was covered with the finest particle dust known to man.  

Imbedded in every piece of furniture, clinging to the walls, enhancing every cob web in the corners of the ceiling, laying in the folds of all the cascading draperies, encrusting every silk flower arrangement, every piece of pottery, the table, the candles, grandma’s antique glassware, the area rugs, the hardwood floors, the fancy woodwork, and all the indoor trees and plants.

And that was only the dining room!

The living room, kitchen, bathroom and family room were covered too! The mess rivaled the damage of the great dust storms of history, completely held within the confines of one house.

I spent the entire last two days cleaning up this dust and I’m not done yet. 

The family room is still barricaded off as if it is a toxic dump site. Even walking thru the room with dust that fine would cause a flurry that could re-contaminate the rest of the house and undo the progress I’ve made thus far. I have paid my dues.

From now on, anyone who says I haven’t done my part to clean up the environment will be shot.

So, to finish this episode of the saga at hand…

It is Sunday, but I called ‘my fix-it guy’ anyway.  I just rambled off this entire litany of woes to him.  

Hearing the tears in my voice, he promised to call the other guy and come and look at the heating unit that has cost the national debt and still won’t keep the house warm. 

 I gotta go now. This guy does so much work for me that he has a key to the house. I have to go downstairs and make sure he doesn’t come in thru the family room and raise the dust.  

My Life in a Holding Pattern

August 17, 2008

Sometimes I think I need to go back and read my own book. You would think that, since I wrote it, I would have a good handle on “loving the life I have.” And yet, I still fall into the thought of wanting things to be different.

For years I ran, and later owned, a small hotel. It was a beautiful building and a good life. But I remembered and longed for the house of my dreams that I had left behind in Houston. I was satisfied…. but I still thought I would be happier with that house and that lifestyle.

Then one day I remember coming down the stairs and looking out at the hotel as if seeing it for the first time. Suddenly I realized all that it had given me; A beautiful place to live (I had a great loft on the top floor) and an easier lifestyle that allowed time for friends and reflection. Guests came and went. There had been great conversations. And… for the first time I realized that I loved the life I’d been given, even though I would have never chosen it in a million years.

I sold the hotel 2 years ago. By default, I moved into the only other property I owned. It’s a huge 100 year old Victorian home. I had purchased it as an investment property with the intent of flipping it and finding a house more in keeping wtih my personal style. I’ve had it on the market for over 2 years  while I’ve lived in a holding pattern…. waiting to land where I really belong. Certainly it is not here, I’ve been thinking.

This morning I woke up with the sun shining in my windows, a cool breeze lifting up the curtains. I jumped in the shower, got dressed and came down stairs as if for the first time. Walking thru the rooms, I felt at home for the first time since I’ve lived here. I felt at home! Happy, blessed and thrilled that I live here!

If you know me, when I am really trying to get something done and it doesn’t happen, I eventually start to consider the possiblity that God wants me there in that place, in that circumstance, for some reason. That definitely does not mean that I’m happy about it, but I do consider it.

But today the gift arrived!!!!! I walked downstairs and, for the first time, fell madly and deeply in love with my home. It’s been hours now and I still feel close to tears over the whole experience.  I know this feeling will remain beacause I’ve felt it before. ……a few times; In my business when I finally realized I was there to love the people who worked for me… In the hotel and now here, in this old Victorian home so unlike ‘the modern-art me.’  Once again, something I would have never thought could make me happy has given me a joy I would never have imagined.  Happy Sunday! Happy House! Happy ME!