Holiday at The Houmas House

On my desk today we take a blast to the past to The Houmas House Plantation and Gardens near New Orleans. Fun fact: One of the most unique original items in the home is a solid silver statue of Abraham Lincoln. If melted, the statue would yield in dollars…

$76,000 today. It was also made by the same sculpture who created Mount Rushmore.

The home is now the home of a wealthy businessman named Kevin Kelly but open to the public. He purchased the estate with everything inside. In addition, he has spent many years on extensive renovations to return and maintain the home to its original historical beauty.

While on the tour listening to the history of the place, I started to think about my own history and what would be of it.

There are things that I have outgrown, left, lost, trashed, or moved on from and have no idea if I would ever care to dig it up. I almost have a detachment from material things, especially since my parents’ house fire. I don’t know if I will ever own anything that could tell stories the way the pieces in this home do. I heard “the first of its kind”, “specially commissioned”, I don’t know if I could ever commission or care to have such wonderful things in my home. Am I jaded? Or maybe I am wondering if there is anything left in this world that feels super unique and special anymore.

Oh wait. I own one super special piece in my home that’s a one of a kind original- it’s art. So possibly that may be the only everlasting item with a story to it. Now that I’m thinking about it, when I received the painting, more than the painting, the reason why my husband gave it to me meant the most. It’s how I felt when I opened it. It would be shitty to lose that art piece, but if it survives, I guess that would be something cool that would tell the history of time and me for having it (it’s titled “Tiger Mom”). If it doesn’t that’s fine too. The memory of my husband gifting it to me and the things he said to me will always live on in my memory. That’s how I feel about my jewelry too. I put limited attachment to things.

Is that a result of the digital age where everything is online, in the cloud, or shared then deleted? What do we have that means something? Do we even care for the tangible stuff? Fashion has become fast. There’s something that’s just like it or better around the corner. People have lost their want to be original. I could go on.

There’s also this increasing (and sad) practice of photoshopping our lives. What is real? If photos are to be historical memories, that wouldn’t be true to its history if all these photos are photoshopped to a person’s fantasy size and shape or location? Disclaimer: I do not Photoshop any photos and I don’t even own Photoshop on my laptop. I sometimes wished I knew how to use it more, only for graphic design purposes. I do use Picasa to edit my photos’ brightness.  Are we living anymore or do we just care to pretend to live? I’ve also witnessed Instagram accounts that are total shams to me. People who invest so much of their time to make their Instagram look like a formula so that they can just get “likes” and followers versus just being their genuine self. Blah. I’ve even seen people spend their time researching for their own personal accounts, not business accounts on how to become more popular on Instagram. I used to think the hashtag game was fun and funny, but then now when I see how people are using it, not so much for categorizing and organizing but for formula purposes, it turns me off.

Ok I’m totally going on a crazy tangent.

Things just feel fleeting now. I think we’re spoiled. We have too much in this world that nothing is truly special anymore. To me, the only things I cherish are people and experiences. Things that can’t be duplicated or taken from me. Maybe that’s why I also have a hard time spending too much on an item when I shop. Money is relative so I’m not knocking anyone who’s spending power is beyond my wildest dreams. For me, to spend “too much” on something, I (and my husband) would know what that threshold is lol.  I’d rather live and document living versus be in the business of buying, collecting, and throwing away unnecessary and unoriginal items. I mean I am guilty to an extent because I too buy things, but what I am saying is, I don’t put any special value to the things I buy anymore and it’s definitely not to show off. It’s something that as I’ve gotten older, I care less about.  Maybe I wouldn’t feel this way if we treated gifting and shopping in a more meaningful way or every purchase as a better intention? How do we do that? As I am about to bring my baby daughter into the world, I wonder what I want to teach her about this world.

Back to history. So the history that I would love to carry on won’t be in the things that I buy. Will it be a tangible product invention that’s going to create a legacy because it helps to better many people’s lives? Baby leggings? No, probably not even if for the moment they make babies and moms super happy, that’s not really something that will be 10x to the social consciousness of this world. I need something more. I need to do something that is beyond myself. I used to say this was the #1 reason why I started Pencils of Promise back then.  It’s been some time now since I’ve moved on from Pencils of Promise. To be clear, I moved on from the organization, not mission. The next company that I start, I need to remind myself of this. Service and education means most to me: service I provide to others and my children. Hmm… just things that I’ve been thinking about this past year. Finding my passion again.

Without sounding too emo in a post that was originally just to show you pics of this place that was beautiful and inspirational, I’ll stop there.

Let’s tour!

{3 deep breaths!}

One of my favorite things about this home are the oak trees! Don’t forget to check out the rest of our New Orleans trip in the next post!



The Gardens





Inside the home



Inside the kitchen

Wishing everyone a nice recovery from the holidays. Maybe we can circle back around to my rant some day. Feel free to leave any thoughts on that subject if you were able to make any sense of it!


Photos taken with Nikon D40

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