An Insane Ride in the Tesla P85D

Tesla Insane Button
March 23, 2015

by Roberta Murphy A couple of evenings ago I had the surprising privilege of experiencing the INSANE BUTTON on the Tesla P85D. Friends and dinner guests  arrived for dinner and somehow the conversation turned to cars, with me lamenting how youngest son had totaled my hybrid and how I would be eternally grateful that no one was injured. A hybrid is only pale green for these greenest of friends. She drives an…


The Luxury of Morphing into a Tree

A forest fed with cremated bodies.
March 27, 2014

Instead of a cemetery with headstones, imagine a forest full of lush and beautiful trees with birds twittering above…and all fed by the ashes of our relatives. Imagine the power of just one tree. I am personally not offended and have often suggested to sons and family that my eventual remains be fed to the tomato or kale plants in a garden somewhere. This cremation idea from Urbanios has really caught…


The Luxury of Breathing

Dust mites on mattress
March 7, 2014

My Dad Bob Michelson struggled with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder). He, more than almost anyone I know, understood the luxury of breathing. But so do others. Especially those with allergies to dust mites. Long ago, I was holding an open house for a lovely pool home in a gated San Marcos, CA neighborhood. Mid-afternoon, a tall German man walked in and placed a small hygrometer on the dining room…


Wine Barrel Flooring: The Luxury of Recycling

by Roberta Murphy Most of us appreciate the earthy luxury of a true wine cellar and also see the value of repurposed materials emerging as elements in our homes. But how about a slice from the best of both worlds and have rich wood flooring crafted from old California wine barrels? I’ve seen serving trays and other novelties emerge from wine barrel tops, but hardwood flooring from the actual wine…

September 7, 2010

10 Money Saving Tips–for even the Gucci Wallet

March 30, 2009

by Roberta Murphy Magic must be in the air. Even our middle son Eric — who has never, ever cottoned to bagged lunches — packed one the other day and probably saved at least $5. This college student works part time, but last week discovered the agony of having to pay $1,800 or so for a new bumper and rear quarter panel that met a brick wall when he was…


The Luxury of Frugality

by Roberta Murphy Luxury real estate gossip the last few months has fluttered around topics like the sale of Donald Trump’s Palm Beach mansion at $100 million (when it had been listed for $125 million), the pending foreclosure of Ed McMahon’s Beverly Hills home, and the F-word in luxury real estate (foreclosures). These days, recession is the hot topic as brokerage accounts have been bloodied, home equities have declined, and…

July 3, 2008

A Radical Proposition for Real Estate

by Roberta Murphy I really want to talk about the effect petroleum costs will have on real estate, but first wish to tell a little story: My grandgather, Adolph Michelson emigrated at the age of 7 with his family from Norway to Deadwood, South Dakota. It required a long, hard journey by steamship. train and wagon to arrive at their eventual home in the steep hills above Deadwood. It was…

June 8, 2008

Solar Shades for the Green Luxury Home

by Roberta Murphy Upon first seeing these beautifully-designed solar panels, I couldn’t help but imagine other applications and modifications for the green lifestyle–whether it be in the luxury home, a school yard, a country club or off-the-grid project. Imagine these cobra-shaped shades as swiveling solar panels that take the place of outdoor umbrellas around the pool. Or as bus stop shelters or airport curbside check-in. The possibilities are endless and…

May 14, 2008

The WalMart Effect

by Roberta Murphy Once upon a time, the neighborhoods off Houstons northwest FM1960 were a luxury homebuilders dream. Large wooded and level lots surrounded upscale country clubs such as Champions Golf Course, Raveneaux, and North Gate Country Club. Affluent families were attracted to these homes because of great neighborhood schools, beautiful parks, challenging golf courses, and nearby fine dining and shopping areas. It was an area where I once lived,…

March 15, 2008

A Novel Green Mansion

by Roberta Murphy Any verbiage I add to this photo would probably be superfluous, since this chatty picture already exceeds the expected thousand words. Hats off to someones clever recycling of mobile homes. Not sure if the intent was green construction, but the designer certainly managed to minimize the footprint of this little mobile home park. I also wonder about the relation of people who live here. And what about…

March 14, 2008