Taste – is it Acquired, Overblown or just a Budget Buster?


“Americana” 16×20 mixed media on canvas

I hate how things go in and out of fashion so quickly. Something is both “in” and chic or it’s out of style and passé. We scramble to be the first to show just how up-to-date we are — how with it!

Some stand in long lines streaming into Apple or Tiger Direct for the latest technology. We scour magazines and the internet soaking up current trends in clothing and home goods. We entertain our friends to show off our latest finds. We attend parties not just to socialize, but “to see what everybody’s got.”

Our Possessions possess us! We hunger for the newest and greatest. We save our hard earned cash in order to get what we want. Some of us even go into debt to compete with our friends and neighbors. But is it worth it?

KeyWest-fuchsia 033

My pink ceramic pig smiles at me from the kitchen counter. I knew I wanted her the moment I saw her a decade ago, or was it two? How time flies! A black and white cow is not far away, along with a silly mooing cow pitcher I fell in love with “when cows were in.”

I have some collectable Lennox plates painted by Warren Kimball that adorn the wall over my cupboards. Outdated country charmers that depict barnyard animals in a flourish of fantasy and color; a polka dotted pony, and a square cow painted in a primitive flair. Not a cheap purchase, these.

Now geometrics are in and “country” has gone the way of Mediterranean, Country French, and Eclectic. These angular designs and contemporary shapes were “in” when I was a newlywed. Now they don’t appeal to me in the least. They look ancient and outdated from my vantage point.

Most of us can’t indulge the whims of designers and trend setters. We simply don’t have the money. What to do? I’ve discovered if you wait long enough, the trends are recycled like yesterday’s leftovers, but in a new package.

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If you can’t join them, you can at least add a few trendy pieces to liven things up: the latest colors may add a dash of pizzazz on a new pillow or throw, or on a tired uninteresting wall. Used furniture in the latest craze can spark an entry or conversation area. Consignment stores are great places to find these pieces at reduced prices.

Over time, your traditional style will fit right in and you’ll have saved bundles of money. It doesn’t pay to get bent out of shape trying to “keep up with the Jones’s” or anybody else. Are they really that important in your life? Do they offer to pay your credit card bill? If they don’t, you need a new role model. One who inspires you to be a better person rather than a stylish pauper.


“Skudeneshavn Norway” oil on canvas (SOLD), prints and giclee’s available

Many wealthy people end up in poverty when they can no longer support their lavish lifestyles. Once their looks or their ability to work fails them, they are so set in their ways and too impoverished of spirit to change their mode of living.

Since “you can’t take it with you,” you may as well enjoy what you have and save your money for a comfortable retirement, your children’s education or a rainy day. Focus on the things that matter most like faith, family and country. Then if someone pulls the plug on your income you can weather the storms of adversity because you’ve learned how to manage your time and your money.

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