Category Archives: Mom’s house

Silver Spoons, Or, Saturday Morning at 10:35am


My mother is recovering from surgery. It’s important that she consumes no alcohol, so at 5pm one evening I made her a drink with Pellegrino, fresh squeezed Meyer lemon from her tree, sugar, and mint sprigs. What the French probably call citron pressé avec gaz, and the Vietnamese restaurants in San Francisco sell as fresh [...]

Reader’s Choice: “New England High WASP, Meets Swedish Empire, Meets Santa Barbara Semi-Tropics”


Susan wrote me to suggest this post from the archives. Thank you Susan. It’s my mother’s house, in Santa Barbara. You will read references to chaos. My stepfather had returned early from the hospital after emergency heart surgery and I had driven down to help out. As we do in my culture when faced with [...]

Happy Almost Birthday Mom!


On Thursday, Thanksgiving, my daughter, my son, my sister and brother-in-law and their daughter, my brother and sister-in-law, cooked all day. Then we ate. The 9-year old led us all in a round of Gangnam Style rug-cutting. The next morning, we got up and drove en mass to Santa Barbara for my mother’s 80th birthday [...]

Chualar Of The Spirit, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:35am


As I left work last night, released with the souls of Friday, I got a text that said, simply, “Chualarrrrrrr!” Why on earth? There’s good reason. Chualar is a little town located along Highway 101, between the San Francisco Bay Area and Santa Barbara. My sister ‘s family drove down to see my mother in [...]

A Review Of The Bacara Resort Near Santa Barbara


I spent last weekend in Santa Barbara, visiting my mother and meeting up with my sisters and their families. If all the nieces and nephews stay in separate bedrooms, my sisters get better nights’ sleep. So I checked into the nearby Bacara Resort for a few nights. And was quite pleasantly surprised. The Bacara website [...]

In Which We Learn The True Story About Softball With The Kennedys


Recently, I told a story about my mother playing softball with the Kennedy family in Hyannisport, Massachusetts. The other day she called me to set me straight. As my mother remembers, there were two groups of young people on that part of the Cape, in the early 50′s. My mother hung with the crowd that [...]

Ten Signs You May Have A High WASP Guest Room


Sign #1. You furnish your guest room in a patriotic color scheme. Especially when you live by the sea. Red, white, and blue are so nautical. Invest in matching bedding and some throw pillows as an inexpensive way to make everything look like it’s there on purpose. Sign #2. You purchase your guest room furniture [...]

9 Pillows That Add A High WASP Touch To Your Sofa, Or Chaise Longue


It has come to my attention that High WASPs believe throw pillows to be a critical component of house decor. That with a naked sofa, or chaise longue, you just haven’t finished decorating. Luckily, should you be inspired to try High WASP decor in your house (for reasons known only to yourself), nifty pillows these [...]

Decorating Your Beach House, Or Your Lake House, With Pillows


Recently I won a pillow. From Pink Oyster Designs, via Maya at Daily Vitamin Sea. Thank you Maya, thank you Pink Oyster. Isn’t winning wonderful? I entered because I found the initialed pillow she offered to be quite classic, and summer house-ish. I like initials. Probably all that early training in monograms. High WASPs do [...]

New England High WASP Meets Swedish Empire, Meets Santa Barbara Semi-Tropics


This is my mother’s house. The living room, one morning last week. Christmas wreath still hanging above the fireplace. Signs of High WASP eclecticism everywhere. My mother said to me, in the midst of the semi-chaos, “You should do something for yourself.” A mani-pedi wasn’t in the cards. But it was completely possible to take [...]