House Hunting

I'm sorry for the shortage of posts this week. I spent the last half of the week out of town house hunting. While walking through each house, I took furious notes. I had made a large checklist before heading out of town. The checklist was broken down by the types of rooms I needed. Each room was rated by size, storage, layout, current decor and overall functionality. Some rooms had extra criteria such as the kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms.

My checklist worked wonderfully for each house. I walked through and was able to objectively measure how each home would fit my lifestyle. But then I went to the last house, and I realized my checklist had one huge flaw. I forgot to rate the homes on how they felt - how they made me feel when I walked in.

Buying a new home is more than just a functional purchase. In many ways, it's like falling in love. You just know when you've found the right one.

But don't let those feelings get in the way when negotiating a price. Then you'll get screwed.

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Posted by Meghan Carter on Saturday, May 3, 2008 in MusingsDecorating Tips.

Where Our Mothers and Design Sense Intersect

The May issue of Domino Magazine had a wonderful letter from the editor about how our mothers influence our decorating decisions. It shocks me seeing how decor styles were passed from my granny to my mom and then to me. No, they're not exactly the same, but we all like golds and greens, have a flair for bringing nature indoors and somehow can't live without flowers. And I'm guessing you can see the same trends in your family.

Maybe we bring pieces of our mothers' styles into our homes because it brings a sense of comfort and familiarity to wherever we are. Maybe it's just genetic. Either way, more than likely we decorate somewhat like our mothers. And while it's fine to decorate like her, just don't fall into the trap of trying to impress her. That pretty much never ends well. Decorate for you ... After all, it's finally your house and your rules.

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Posted by Meghan Carter on Wednesday, Apr 30, 2008 in Musings.

Season Two is Here!

After a long wait, season two is finally here! Hooray! We're starting off with the wonderful videos from my visit to Advanced Concrete Enhancement: Decorative Concrete and Concrete Countertops.

You could say the owner, Blayde Penza, is tougher than his product. On the day we filmed, Blayde was worried he had caught his son's strep throat. But despite his sore throat and pounding headache, he stuck in there and was a wonderful interview. You would never guess he felt sick when watching the videos.

Of course, everyone else was worried they would catch Blayde's illness. So every time Blayde walked out of the room, one of his all-too-nice employees would pull out the hand sanitizer and pass it around. And it worked. Neither Brent, my videographer, or I got sick. But we did have a wonderful time.

And no, I'm not joking in the Concrete Countertop video. Concrete countertops really are that soft and smooth. I couldn't believe it. They were the best feeling countertops I've ever touched. Absolutely amazing!

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Posted by Meghan Carter on Monday, Apr 28, 2008 in Travel Stories.

Shopping the Antique Stores

I just recently fell in love again with antique stores. After a worthless, all-too-long search online for a Chinese vase with a delicate pattern and beautiful, vibrant colors, I was left with only one option: visit an antique store. Fearful that I would just be wasting my time sorting through mostly junk, I was thrilled when the first place I stopped had the beautiful gem pictured to the left.

That's when I realized antique stores are one of the best hotspots for decorating finds. We're so used to jumping online and searching for home decor items. But sometimes the best items aren't sold online. They're in your local antique shop.

Now that's not to say that everything in an antique shop is beautiful. I had to sort through tons of junk before I found the perfect vase - but it was well worth it because I got exactly what I wanted and didn't need to settle.

But be warned. Before shopping for antiques there are a few things you should know.

Antique Store Shopping Tips

  1. Take a picture, fabric samples, paint samples and measurements of the empty spot you'd like to fill in your home. In some antique stores all sales are final. So if you buy it, you keep it - even if it ends up clashing with the sofa.
  2. Don't touch anything. Not only might you break it and then have to buy it, but also because you could get hurt. I rubbed my hand across a Chinese porcelain pot and ended up getting a piece of it stuck in my finger. The pot had a hairline fracture that I didn't see. So you've been warned.
  3. Take your time. Unlike chain stores that take hours perfecting their displays, most antique stores have items thrown together in a chaotic mess, which makes it easy to miss the good stuff. So take plenty of time to look everything over. If you're having a really hard time taking everything in, ask the owner if they have what you're looking for. They just might lead you right to it.
  4. Sometimes the lighting in antique stores is pretty bad. If you think you like the color of something, but aren't sure, ask the owner if you can step outside with the object to see how it looks in the sunlight.
  5. There's no late night shopping. Unlike many stores that are open until 9pm, some antique stores close around 5pm and aren't open every day of the week. Check the stores hours before heading out.
  6. If you think you're getting ripped off, take a picture of the item and then head home to look it up online. See how much antique stores online are asking for the item to verify if the price the store you were at is reasonable. Also, check to see if there are any ways to verify that the item you're looking at is not a fake.
  7. It's not all about paying top dollar. Sometimes the best finds at an antique store are in the $5 range. Then again sometimes they're $300 or way, way more. It just depends.

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Posted by Meghan Carter on Friday, Apr 25, 2008 in Decorating Tips.

Cincinnati Flower Show

After my Earth Day post, I was inspired to spend the day at the Cincinnati Flower Show, which happens to be endorsed by Royal Horticultural Show. But I'll be honest, I don't have a clue what that means. It does sound important though.

While there, I got tons of garden ideas and took some pictures to share my favorites with you. Although, bad planning caused my camera to run out of battery right at the beginning. So most of the pictures were taken with my cell phone. Sorry about that.

My favorite garden of the day was one inspired by beach shacks. It was so beautiful because it was absolutely bursting with color.

I thought this was a great example of how to make an outdoor fireplace look beautiful. Instead of having a picture or mirror outside, use plants to adorn the mantle. So smart and pretty.

You could say I'm a bit obsessed with window boxes. I think they're one of the best accessories for a bland home exterior. So I was thrilled to see tons of window box examples at the flower show. Here were my favorite three.

To my surprise, Dick Wells, the orchid expert I interviewed last year for two videos: Orchid and Orchid Care, had a giant display at the garden show. He showed off tons of beautiful orchids in a pretty, white greenhouse. Unfortunately, Dick wasn't at the show yesterday.

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Posted by Meghan Carter on Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 in Decorating Inspiration.

We Got Some Ink: International Herald Tribune & New York Times

Ask the Decorator and I were written about in an article yesterday that appeared in the International Herald Tribune. The article, How-to video: From Jane Fonda to the Net, was about the rise of How-to videos online. Thanks so much Miguel and the International Herald Tribune!

UPDATE: The article also appeared in the New York Times today: Making Money, the How-To Way

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Posted by Meghan Carter on Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 in Ask the Decorator News.

Garden Inspiration

The big thing on Earth Day used to be planting a tree. Every year as a kid, I would be reminded to plant a tree, and on few years I actually did ... or thought about it.

While the idea is a good one, not everyone has a place to plant a tree. But almost everyone has a place for a garden - even if it is small. So this Earth Day consider planting a garden, whether it's a window box, container or traditional garden.

And to give you some inspiration, here is a list of the Most Beautiful Gardens in America and a list of the Most Beautiful Gardens in the World.

Happy planting. Now I've got to decide what I should plant ...

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Posted by Meghan Carter on Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 in Decorating Inspiration.

Are Home Ratings Helpful?

I had a viewer write in the other day and tell me his story about having his home rated. He uploaded a picture of his family room to a Web site to see if the room would get the coveted five stars or thumbs up or whatever the standard was. Instead of getting constructive criticism, he was blasted for being plain and told to change what was in his room.

So he did. And then he wrote to me a little later because he wasn't sure if he liked the changes.

This happens quite often with decorating. We make decisions about color and fabric that we like. Then we ask our friends and family what they think, and trouble ensues. It's not their style. The fabric is too bright. Did you really buy that sofa? And now that home rating Web sites, such as Rate My Space on, have sprung up, the problem has gotten even bigger because there are more people we can easily reach who will hopefully give us approval.

But is approval really what we need? As far as I know, that person from Chicago and the other from Sacramento don't live in your home. So why does their opinion matter. It's you that you have to please. It's those who actually use the room that should like it - not the millions of people using a ratings Web site. And sure, the chance at a perfect 5 star review might be a tempting reward after the hard work of decorating. But in the end, the best reward is you liking the room. You walking in and loving what you see. And you seeing the people in your home love it as much as you do.

So go and pick what you like, and forget about everyone else. For all you know, you might hate their homes if you had the chance to peak in.

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Posted by Meghan Carter on Monday, Apr 21, 2008 in Musings.

Why Do You Decorate?

It's a question we rarely ask, but should.

Knowing why we decorate will make us better at it. Decorating is like anything else in life. Understanding your motivation - your goals - will give you direction.

Instead of having to guess - why you like that color, which chair is best for your situation or how you should arrange your furniture - you will have a concrete reason serving as a guide for every decision you must make.

So here are some common reasons why we decorate. Have fun understanding your motivation, and I hope it helps you become a better decorator.

I decorate to create an environment that stimulates learning/ sharing/ love/ happiness.
I decorate to impress others.
I decorate to show off my accomplishments/ talents.
I decorate to prove to myself that I can accomplish something.
I decorate to express myself - my likes and dislikes, my emotional state, my loves.
I decorate to make my home more functional and easy to use.
I decorate to stimulate conversation.
I decorate to challenge myself.
I decorate to increase the value of my home.
I decorate because I think I'm supposed to.
I decorate because I like things that are pretty.
I decorate because it makes me happy.
I decorate because I want my children to grow up in a beautiful environment.

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Posted by Meghan Carter on Friday, Apr 18, 2008 in Musings.

A Little Spring Inspiration

I went on a walk yesterday and was amazed by the vibrant, little flowers in bloom. It's so easy for the long winters to make you forget about the beauty of spring, and after being cold and gray for so long, I want to bottle up that color and life and bring it indoors.

And in case you feel the same way, here's a snapshot from my walk. The bright yellow, green and white would make for a beautiful, cheerful color scheme.

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Posted by Meghan Carter on Thursday, Apr 17, 2008 in Decorating Inspiration.

Spend Now or Save Later

Now that the bad state of the economy has been confirmed, be prepared for a large inflow of "budget-friendly" suggestions. Everywhere you turn you'll find articles and TV shows telling you ways to decorate without breaking the bank. Those "dime store designs" will offer clever ideas that seem good at the time, but from what I've learned you get what you pay for.

So what should you do? Your budget is tight, and you want to decorate.

The side that's touted most says, "Spend your money now. Get things on the cheap. Sure they may not be what you really want, but your home will look much better than before."

The other side you rarely hear says, "Save your money to get the things you really want. In the meantime, make fixes that cost next to nothing."

I'm a fan of the rarely heard side because it's the side that is truly budget-friendly. The first side appeals to impulse buyers who typically end up regretting their purchases and want something new a month or two later because after all it wasn't what they really wanted. They compromised, and no one likes to compromise.

So save your money. Start looking for things you truly love - things you'll love years from now. Make a decorating funds jar where you insert all of your extra change. If you want a way to freshen up your home's current look, try:

  • Rearranging your furniture
  • Swapping furniture from one room to another
  • Going through your attic to find treasures once forgotten

We'll all get through this economy slump, and when we do you're decorating funds will probably be close to full - if not ready to spend. And your decorating ideas will have been perfected after months of careful - and thoughtful - planning.

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Posted by Meghan Carter on Wednesday, Apr 16, 2008 in Decorating Tips.

Where are All the Pretty Ice Tea Makers?

Is there no love for ice tea fans? I've been searching and searching for a beautiful ice tea maker. And each year I run into the same problem: there aren't any. The only ones available are the standard plastic models that break and stain way too fast. Trust me, I know. On more than one occasion I've had to duct tape my plastic pitcher together in order to get my ice tea fix. And I don't see an end in sight.

At least not this year. But I'm hoping that the current influx of electric tea kettles (That by the way have been used in the UK for years. Yes, they are laughing at us.) will bring a few high-end ice tea makers in with it.

In the meantime, I've decided to help the cause on my own by increasing the number of ice tea addicts (and thus, the demand for beautiful ice tea makers). Given that it's spring, converting coffee lovers to ice tea shouldn't be too hard - especially, once they know the secret to the perfect ice tea. Yes, that's right I'm giving you the secret to making the best ice tea ever.

Use multiple types of tea. It may sound crazy, but mixing multiple types of tea together creates a deep, rich tea. The current blend at my abode is 7 orange and sweet spice tea bags, 4 green tea bags and 3 English breakfast tea bags. Try it. You'll love it.

And then, please send Krups a letter asking for an ice tea model...

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Posted by Meghan Carter on Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008 in Musings.

What Happens When...

Your grandmother's precious vase breaks
The cabinets that took four years of saving get scratched
Ink splatters on the discontinued wallpaper in your hall
You find a slight tear on the arm of your week-old leather sofa
A water stain appears on your stunning white marble countertops

Do you cry? Get mad? Don't care? Have a back-up plan?

The first sofa I could call "mine' was a cute, beige and white sofa. I was so afraid it would stain I kept it covered with a sheet - and never saw it. My fear kept me from enjoying it. After two years of living like that, I realized it was ridiculous.

Accidents happen, and if you're lucky, add character to your room. In fact, we pay to have it look as if lots of accidents happened every time we choose a distressed finish. Having imperfections is charming.

Sure, not every imperfection is a good one. But those can be fixed, covered up, patched over or turned to face the wall. And the rest - the ones that are cute - can be left to tell the story of your room, your life. Their the ones that prove your house isn't a magazine photo, but a well-lived in, enjoyed home.

So go ahead, live a little and take those sheets off your sofas. It's okay if one of the horrible things happen. You'll get through it, and maybe this time you'll laugh instead of crying.

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Posted by Meghan Carter on Monday, Apr 14, 2008 in Musings.

Home Stereos are on the Phased Out List, Should we Rejoice?

When I was 15, I got a job as a waitress. The very first thing I bought was a stereo system. It was big and bold and allowed me to listen to any music I wanted, which was the closest thing I had to freedom until I got my first car.

But as proud as I was to own that stereo, it's now in storage, and I'm guessing yours is too.

The total sales of home stereos is expected to be roughly $1.7 billion this year; whereas, the sales for MP3 speaker docks should be $1 billion and MP3 players $5.6 billion, according to the article "An Audio Legend Adapts" in the April 21, 2008 edition of Forbes.

One look at those numbers, and it's easy to see that the home stereo is being phased out. But if you decide to bring that up, beware. Music enthusiasts immediately start to discuss whether or not sound quality has been compromised. But I'm more worried about the impact on home design.

Has the introduction of MP3 players made it easier or harder to decorate? I believe it's easier. No longer do we have to look at huge, clunky stereo systems. Now we have sleek, small players that fit in our hand and speakers that can easily be hidden behind cabinet doors or brazenly shown off as if it were a fine piece of art.

And as much as I would like to say I prefer my old stereo for sentimental reasons, I don't. These days I find myself dreaming of a home with hidden speakers and an iPod dock in every room. It's a new type of freedom - one I never dreamed existed when I bought my stereo. It's the freedom of hearing music as if it were coming from thin air and meant specifically for that room, no longer associated with a box or radio, but free to be heard with no strings - or cords - attached. Now that sounds beautiful.

P.S. If you're interested in the iPod stereo pictured above, it's the Bowers & Wilkins system that was featured in the Forbes article. And it doesn't come cheap.  

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Posted by Meghan Carter on Thursday, Apr 10, 2008 in Musings.

Decorating for the Four Senses

One of my very favorite places to be is the beach. Everything about it I love. The beauty of the ocean. The sound of the waves crashing. The smell of the salt water. The feeling of the sand beneath my toes and the wind on my face. I could sit in that atmosphere for hours.

But as much as I love the beach, I normally don't love beach themed rooms. And it's not because they don't look pretty. It's because they don't feel like the beach.

When we decorate, we normally have only one sense in mind: sight. We want our room to look as good as possible. But what about the other senses?

When we experience a new - or familiar place - we don't just see it. We smell it, touch it and hear it. We use four of our five senses to determine whether or not we like the atmosphere.

If a room looks good but lacks anything else that's spectacular, it will feel flat. We like rooms that arouse all of our senses - sight, sound, smell and touch. So when we decorate we should plan to please all of them.

There are so many ways to incorporate the other three senses into our rooms. Here are some suggestions.

Sound: Put speakers in all of your rooms so you can play music that fits your mood. Get an indoor fountain. Open your windows to hear the birds.

Smell: Use air fresheners or scents. Try scented oil. Light scented candles. Open the windows in the spring and summer. Make a fire. Set out dishes of potpourri. Display a fragrant plant.

Touch: Choose fabrics and blankets that feel good to the touch. Pick flooring you like to walk across barefoot. Install a ceiling fan and let the gentle breeze caress you on warm days. Select furniture pieces that are as nice to sit on as they are to look at.

Incorporating the four senses when you design is one of the easiest ways to take a room from good to great.

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Posted by Meghan Carter on Thursday, Apr 10, 2008 in Decorating Tips.

An Extension, Retreat or Enhancement

There are two main themes often used when decorating. The first is to view your home as an extension of the environment around you. So if you lived in the mountains, your home would reflect that landscape in the decor. But not everyone lives in the mountains, at the beach or on a beautiful vineyard in Italy, which is why the second way of decorating emerged: to decorate your home as a beautiful retreat. When you do that, your home becomes an escape from your environment. So if you live in a busy city, your apartment might be decorated to feel as if you live in a quaint farmhouse in Nebraska.

Both of those methods of decorating are wonderful. They allow those with a perfect view to exploit it and those with a horrible view to escape it. But what about the people with an okay view?

I believe there is a third option, which I've deemed enhancement. Your home can be an enhancement of your natural surroundings. Think of the décor in your room as makeup, and your view as your eyes. Your eyes may be beautiful on their own. But every woman (and man -- we know you like how it looks) knows the magic of an eyelash curler, a coat of mascara and a hint of eye shadow. When applied, the mascara and eye shadow don't cover your eyes - they enhance your eyes' natural beauty.  

Your home decor can do the same thing. Rather than covering or hiding your view, if you choose wisely, the decor in your room can enhance your view. All you need to do is employ a bit of imagination.

Pretend your window is not a window, but a famous painting on your wall. It's not much of a stretch. I've seen gates, rows of houses, suburban scenes, even skulls painted and considered beautiful. So the view in your window must have some potential. The trick is knowing what to look for and how to make it shine.

For starters, look at your view and make a list of the textures you see. Maybe a house across the street has a cast iron railing your tree has wonderful bark. Whatever those textures are write them down. Next write down the colors you see.

Once you have those two lists, you're halfway there. You'll want to incorporate some of the textures you see outside your window into your view - but rather than choosing something similar, choose something more beautiful. So lets use the cast iron railing as an example. Rather than getting a boring piece of cast iron, choose something gorgeous. Maybe a beautiful cast iron table, a striking cast iron mirror. Use the cast iron in an unexpected way. The same goes for the colors. Don't use the exact colors from your view. Use similar colors that are more beautiful. In some cases that might mean more vibrant colors, in others that may mean duller colors.

When you're finished, the painting on your wall, your window, will look like a glimpse at an exotic retreat - an enhancement of your reality.

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Posted by Meghan Carter on Wednesday, Apr 9, 2008 in Decorating Ideas.

Seasonal Decor, Not Just for Homes

As the start of Season Two gets closer, we've been updating the decor around the Web site. We wanted a fresh look for the new season.

So the video, article and checklist pages underwent a massive makeover to make viewing the videos and reading the articles a much more pleasant experience. I hope you like the changes.

But I'll be honest, I'm way more excited for the new videos. Luckily the wait won't be too much longer...

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Posted by Meghan Carter on Tuesday, Apr 8, 2008 in Ask the Decorator News.

Armoires or Closets -- for Your Boxers or Briefs?

I've found that people are either armoire people or closet people. Occasionally you'll find the odd few that are both. I fall into that category.

I like closets for my clothes and armoires for my linens. It's a strange combination, but it works for me. I like the fantasy of walking into a large closet for my clothes, and the romantic notion of pulling fine linens from antique armoires.

But more than the feelings each one brings, I like the combination for the way it adds variety and character to a room. Having an armoire in a hallway or a bedroom provides a wonderful focal point. But too many makes a room look cluttered. So by combining the two types of storage you can give your rooms character and provide extra space for essential - and not so essential - items.  

Before purchasing a new home or remodeling a room, think about which type of storage you prefer. Selecting the best type of storage for you -- the type you actually like using -- makes it much easier to stay organized and keep rooms nice and clean.

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Posted by Meghan Carter on Monday, Apr 7, 2008 in Decorating Tips.

Stagnant Suitcase Syndrome

We've all suffered from it. There was even an Everybody Loves Raymond episode about it. We enjoy a wonderful trip, we come home and then we leave our suitcases out for weeks until we finally have to unpack. It's a common side effect of traveling. But why?

I myself suffer from it. I've been back from California for over a week, and just finally unpacked. And I can't even blame it on my luggage being lost, because it wasn't.

I think we don't like unpacking because it's unrewarding. There's nothing to look forward to. We're not heading anywhere exotic. We're home. We can finally relax and rest after an exhausting trip, and unpacking is the last thing on our minds. That is until we need something out of our suitcases. And if you're like me, you just dig around for it and leave your suitcases sitting there for another two to three days.

But while unpacking my suitcases yesterday, I kept thinking about how nice it would be to stop living out of my suitcases the minute I got home. Of course, I'm not very disciplined so my method of unpacking would have to be very easy - which is when it hit me. The reason we have trouble unpacking is because we put our suitcases in the wrong spot.

When we come home, we normally put our suitcases in our entrance halls, on our stairs or even worse, in our bedrooms. That means we have to lug our luggage full of dirty clothes all the way back to our laundry rooms, which is normally far from our rooms. So we don't do it. But if we took our luggage straight to our laundry rooms first, and dumped out all of the dirty clothes - even if that's on the floor, then we wouldn't waste a trip and unpacking would be much easier.

So my new travel ritual is the minute I get home to head straight to my laundry room and dump out all of the dirty clothes. It will be therapeutic to get them out after being gone for so long. Then I'll take my suitcase up to my bedroom, dump out the rest of the items on the floor, put the suitcase out in the hall and get in bed. The next morning I'll deal with the piles. After all, half the battle is just getting everything out of the suitcase, and I'll have that part done all before falling asleep.

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Posted by Meghan Carter on Friday, Apr 4, 2008 in Travel Stories.

The Break-In Blues

On our last day in California, my viodeographer, Brent, and I decided to go to the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco for a little exercise. We drove our rental car to the park (Yes, I know. If we really wanted exercise, we should have run. But I would have only lasted two blocks from our hotel and turned around. So we drove...) and parked in a very public spot. After a lovely 2 hour walk, we returned to our car only to find this:

Yes, our car was broken into. It was the middle of the day, and dozens of people were around. Yet someone was able to break the driver side window, steal our Garmin GPS and walk away with the car alarm going off without anyone stopping them. You could say we were in shock.

But what I really was, was panicked. Being an idiot, I had left my cell phone and wallet in the middle console thinking they were safe because the door was locked. So immediately, I checked to see if they were still there. With a sigh of relief, I realized they were - how lucky, and we proceeded to call the police.

This is where the story turns south. The police told us we had to drive the car to the closest police station. When we told them there was glass on the seat and we were from out of town so naturally we don't know where any police stations are, let alone the closet one, they said be careful and they thought there was one on 6th or 5th street. Very helpful.

So Brent sat on the broken glass and cut his hands making every turn while I used the Internet on my cell phone to find the closest police station. From that point on, we received resistance at every point. The police were uncompassionate. The rental car company was hard-to-work with. And that was when I realized that if you're in trouble you can't count on others for help.

Most of us go through life assuming that if something bad happens others, especially the police, will come to your rescue. But that doesn't always happen. Sometimes there are bigger problems happening to other people. Sometimes people just don't care. Either way, you end up having to pick up the pieces and figure out how to rescue yourself.

I for one now know that I should always have a pair of glass-proof gloves and a glass proof mat in the car in case of a break-in. I also should never leave important items in a car, and most importantly never leave things of value visible in a car. After all, locks don't keep someone from getting in your car. They just keep them from opening the door.

But what about your home? When we finally returned to our hotel, I kept wondering,  "What if it had been my house? What if I had lost the things I value most? What if the police didn't care? How could I have stopped it?"

Breaking into a car is violating enough, but the home - that's sacrilege, and it's up to each of us to keep it from happening to our home. The common ways are to install high-quality door locks (You can watch a video about how to find them here.) and turn lights on at night. If you're really worried, you can install an alarm system and turn it on religiously. To top it off you can remove any big bushes that block your door.

But as I learned, even a car that is locked, with an alarm, that is out in the open can be broken into. So if you really want to keep things safe, hide them in a place where the burglar won't have time to look. Not where they won't think to look, but simply where they won't have enough time to find it before getting caught.

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Posted by Meghan Carter on Thursday, Apr 3, 2008 in Travel Stories.




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