That Time of year: Autumn & Life's Biggest Transitions

Grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine & get comfy - This is a long picture-filled (and a bit emotional) post. The past few weeks have been wicked for me personally - in more ways than one. I guess October and November must be my mile markers for transition in my life. Usually in October & November, I reflect back - and with the recent super storm Sandy, I guess it stirred-up even stronger emotions of years gone by. Back in October of '78 (I was 10) we packed & loaded our New Jersey home into a North American Van-Lines moving truck. As the truck drove away, eventually we did too. As we pulled out of the driveway we   waved goodbye to not only Redstone Lane in Lodi, NJ, but also our very best friends down the street on Branca court: For my mom and dad, it was Barbara and Lou, for me it was my friend Gregg -- whose sister (Luann) now has a house in Spring Lake, NJ along the Jersey Shore. Little did we know: Gregg had wrote a note and tucked it inside one of the drawers of our furniture - my mom found it in FL when unpacking, and still has it to this day. My dad drove us down the east coast to Florida, making a few stops along the way like in Washington DC and someplace called South Of The Border...


After a bad snow storm (in the late 70's) at our Jersey home....

Shoveling snow off my ice rink in the back yard...

My mom made the scarf. My dad made the well from a barrel he found. He also made the skating rink for me and the kids on the block...

A Cuban made snowman... 
This was one of two (my dad made a snow-woman too!)

Mr. Softy (ice cream truck) came to our neighborhood in the summer, but in the winter: It was the local Lodi Fire Department bringing SANTA... and the kids got a ride on the truck!

Me, Gregg, Maria, David, Billy and Billy.

First day of school - On the stoop!

Down the shore...

Down Jersey Shore in Wildwood...

This was "Blue Magic" and how we drove from New Jersey to Florida... 


Getting ready for one of our first hurricanes in Florida: I think it was Hurricane David...

I think I was 12... helping my dad paint the house (again - I think we were there 10 years and the outside was painted at least 3 or 4 times in different combos - See? The apple didn't fall far from the tree!)

  Jeff and I having a holiday get-together in our (then) new home in December 2006 - We had also moved into here in October 2006.

Fast forward thrifty-three years later, after living in 2 FL places with my parents and a few on my own, I watched my Florida home Jeff and I bought in 2006 get packed into a Untied moving truck (on 11.07.2011), to have hauled across the United States to Arizona. Why did we leave Florida? Because my husband got a promotion (ironically from the same company that laid me off, also 3 years ago now this past October 30th. The funny thing is, all those people who lead that change are also no longer at the company). We didn't drive though; we stayed overnight in a Ft. Lauderdale hotel (with our cat Sephora) and flew out of Ft. Lauderdale airport to Phoenix, a year today on 11.08.2011. When we arrived in Phoenix, we stayed in a temporary apartment down in Casa Grande (for about 1 month) until we painted & prepped our new place, the moving truck arrived (a week later) and I had unpacked us and got us settled in... All just before Thanksgiving and the holidays...


(vacant after packing)

THIS really hurt to do: put the key in the front door for the last time to lock it.... Jeff and I stood outside and wept for a bit before pulling away in my car...
Jeff's truck was picked up earlier and sent out to him in Arizona. I was at the house most of September and all October solo, getting the house ready: for showings, donating, organizing, cleaning, repairs, and saying farewells to friends and family. Someone recently asked me if I "made new friends here"... but you don't make true friends in a year, especially not like the good & family like friends (I could count on and count on one hand) after living someplace for 33 years... 

In October of 2009 in Florida, I was focused on re-inventing myself: I had started the blog (which also just past its 3rd Year Anniversary on October 30th), I had started to teach myself about social media and how to use it, and I started to  build my online presence from LinkedIn to Houzz to Twitter. It was slow to start in the first year, but things were picking up in the second year: I had picked up clients for houses, online design, an office consult and I even was referred to make holiday centerpieces. I was also teaming up with a long time friend of mine to do projects together. Then we moved out to Arizona...


Touchdown in PHX, just before dusk

And the past year... a LOT of adjusting and getting to KNOW my new surroundings. Someone asked if "all I do is thrift?", - NO, but that became a strong means of coping and dealing with this place. Why? Because it was something familiar. I used it though to learn my way around here and learning about new 9to me) local shops around here (like Found, Design Lab, and Sweet Salvage). I wanted to know where they were and what they had to offer so I knew what I could and could not do if someone asked me to do a project.  

I've met a few new people, been to a few events & exhibits, and have been on two road trips with Jeff: One to San Diego and one to Sedona. I saw a counselor for six months (and learn I am an HSP: Highly Sensitive Person), and I overcame my fear of "getting lost" by learning to drive around all these new areas. 

But this past year wasn't just about driving around to see what's around. I had also applied at jobs postings - but I was told the company wasn't hiring 'at this time' (than why was it posted??), I've met in our home with a TV producer to hopefully be a part of a new show (but the show never happened), I was told: "You live too far away from anything: we should move." (we just did and yeah - NOW I know of better areas!) I was asked if I'd 'like to be apart of a  new website launching in Fall' - but again, another fall thru (NOT from lack of follow-thru: I tried to contact the person 3 times saying yes and never got a response back). I also contacted (on my own) the VP of a major thrift store chain here and inquired about me helping them better merchandise their stores - AGAIN: no response. I was also asked to be on a local show, but I wasn't available (b/c we were out of town) - although I suggested coming to the house to film projects I've done for a DIY segment and they said yes, again - no response after 2 or 3 contacts back. I also had pitched my style expertise/services to the TV station, even if only PT to be a production assistant, but they couldn't fit it into their budget. I've tried hosting some get-togethers, but people haven't always been able to make the time. I had a minor heat-stroke while out bike riding in May (scared the shit outta me!) And most recently, I had the pleasure of enduring not one, but two teeth pulled. Am I thrilled with this place? Ah - HELL NO. This move has been one disappointment after another.

 But like the Jersey Girl I am - I DEAL WITH IT...

 Back in August at Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West ion Scottsdale

 Prepping house to move in last November...

Painting before the furniture arrived...

Tons of packing created tons of boxes a year ago...

 Fall ReStyle a year later...

Hopefully going forward to the next October and November season, things will have a different outcome and improved around here. It's not that I haven't gotten inquiries, but people here in my area want something for nothing and also others aren't too keen on teaming up for any projects. Recognizing that and now after Hurricane Sandy, I've turned my direction and efforts to NOT focusing on what I can't do (from here), but focusing on what I CAN do: sharing information & communications, plus collecting donations and sending over to a contact in New Jersey. Eventually, I'd like to make it over there to help: Help organize donation drop offs, help salvage furniture, help clean-up, help people rebuild their life and make a home for them again. Sandy may have stopped trending on Twitter, and there are fewer posts happening on Facebook, but this isn't going away anytime soon.

Thanks for stopping by...


  1. Thank you for sharing so much! I lived in NJ for years (Avon, Brick, and spent many childhood summers in Wildwood and Cape May) so your childhood was relatable :) So saddened by the current situation. The interior design of your townhome was absolutely amazing and award worthy. Girl, you are so talented! I lived in Arizona (Phoenix) for a short time so I feel you with the heat (although the Texas humidity here is probably worse...haha). I had similar issues on the job front and found it unbelievably frustrating how unreliable people are! I just started a new architectural job 2 weeks ago after a year of unstable work in interior design for myself. Have a great weekend and stay strong!

  2. Am so sorry you are having a hard time in the Phoenix area. Just keep trying and somewhere, somehow, things will click for you. I'm a native and while I would probably have a hard time in New Jersey....especially this time of year, sometimes AZ doesn't suit me either. Hang in there.

  3. Dear Lynda:

    I hear you regarding how hard it is to transition to a new place that is far away from what you know and all the friends you had there. That is a very difficult place to be.

    Having moved, myself, from Houston (after 20 years) to Florida (right after my dad died suddenly of cancer and I felt a little lost and wanted to be closer to my mother who was there at the time and had just lost her husband of 51 years that she dearly loved )and then two years after that from Florida to Minnesota for 3 years -due to a work opportunity for my business ...and then, now, back again to Houston (since we moved my Mom here from FL to live in a home my brother owns and I can live anywhere to do what I do ), I can understand those feelings quite perfectly of dislocation, needing to start over, not having close friends close by, etc.

    Don't GIVE UP! You have so much to offer the world and the world (and the world of business) is recognizing that and I bet, at the end of 2013, you will feel SO MUCH differently than you do right now.

    At the time when we're most down, rays of light are being sent by our angels into the darkest corners of our lives to illuminate a path forward if we just listen, in silence, to the murmurings of our heart ~ (these are my own words, not a quote, Lynda).

    Know that you have friends, like me, out there in cyberspace, who do care about you and, even if it's not possible to talk, comment, FB post or tweet together due to real life time and work constraints, we see what you're doing and appreciate the heart and soul you put into everything you touch and do.



  4. I'm rooting for you Lynda. You are very talented and know something will come your way. For now, enjoy your season by continuing your passion to help those affected by Sandy. Your efforts count.

    I have enjoyed following you on social media avenues and this particular post wher you reveal your journey so far. Look forward to what is yet to come.

    You go girl!

    Terri Davis

  5. Lynda,
    What a heartfelt post. Thanks for sharing what's on your mind and in your soul.
    I can relate after moving to Atlanta 12 years ago from the Seattle area where I grew up and lived most of my life. I knew no one, had never lived in the south and was definitely scared about finding my way around such a robust and large city. Looking back on that move and the past 12 years, I can say that both good and challenging have come from the this move. I have discovered a level of strength and personal fortitude I didn't know I had; I have had to step outside my box and try new things and make new friends and I have had to believe in myself and my talents more than ever.

    My words of encouragement to you are this...
    Never stop believing in your talents and what you have to offer. When the time is right the right situation and people will come to you and all your dreams will come true.
    Look for the silver lining in all things because there always is one, whether it's a lesson learned, a new experience checked off the list (even if the end result was not what you hoped)or just personal growth and becoming more of who you are meant to be.

    Stay strong, keep smiling and know that you have a cyber friend in Atlanta.

  6. You are very brave for writing this. Thank you for sharing :)
    Best of Luck.

  7. You are adorable!! I LOVE your style and thanks for sharing your journey! It's not easy re-locating and I find it especially hard as an adult - friendships are harder to forge, people are busy with their own lives, etc. I enjoyed the pics from the past and feel a sort of kinship (I have a car coming from Jersey that went to the shore, etc - the stories it could tell!!). I LOVE all your decor posts and look forward to seeing more!!



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