Pas de Quois

My three-year-old has a tendency to overreact. One day last week I flew down the stairs to a pulse-quickening screaming (that should only mean a head wound or boa constrictor) to find that one of the child's purple plastic high-heels (curse the aunt who gave her these) had come off of her foot. (I wish I were making this up.)

We talked (again) about appropriate reactions but I could tell she didn't get it.

Then we read Eloise in Paris. Now my daughter claims she has adopted Eloise's philosophy (she has phoned [I dial] most of her long distance relatives to say, "Wanna hear my new philosophy?"). Eloise's favorite phase is "pas de quoi" which is French for "No Big Whoop."

She left a message on my sister's answering machine screaming "Pas de quoi, Pas de quoi, Andrea, Answer me! Pas de quoi!" sounding, as always, as though it was in fact a very big quoi, leaving me to wonder if I am ever going to teach this kid to take it easy.

Andrea and I discussed the phone message later and I mentioned No Big Whoop. "You should see if you can get that to come back," she said. "Get what to come back?" I asked. "No Big Whoop," she said, "I'm working on getting 'No Duh' back." She is taking this job very seriously; she has enlisted the help of one of the editors of the ultra-hip magazine, Blackbox. I am going to see if she will put in a good word for No Big Whoop because she got me all hyper with the idea of the influence we could have on American slang.

"Just think," she crooned to me, "When everyone is saying 'No Duh' and 'No Big Whoop' we'll know we started it." I felt giddy with the power.

I changed the subject. I have a collection of miniature paintings. All new additions must be both small and copies of masterpieces. I purchased a tiny Mona Lisa recently. I said to Andrea, "This is the most beautiful painting. I love having the Mona Lisa hanging in my house."

"No Duh," she said. And I knew no words could have said it better and that she would indeed do her best to bring back "No Duh."

120 Old Cassidy is a No Big Whoop house. Everything seems easy here.

Owner Sheila Kenny is writing a children's book titled, The House Where Everything is OK. Fiancé Tom Martin says he thinks that is what Sheila has created in her home, a place where everything is OK.

The small scale and colors Sheila chose to accent the spaces allows a feeling of cozy comfort. The adults of the house decompress from the day's work by listening to music in the sophisticated pale green living room in front of the wood-burning fireplace while the children can watch television or work on the computer in the adjacent sunroom with its warm Mexican tile floors.

The sunroom opens onto the backyard, which was once voted "most beautiful back yard in Lexington." Like the house, the backyard has a space for everyone - perennial beds surround a dining area while a basketball goal peaks above hedges. Mrs. White, the rabbit, resides in a doghouse with its own screened porch.

Friends suggested to Sheila that she remodel the kitchen when she bought the house. Fortunately, she chose to keep the existing cabinets and install new countertops which were made from the floor of an old distillery. The warm effect created by these honey-colored scared floors combined with minimal built-in cabinetry and freestanding furniture recalls an authentic European country kitchen. The glazed yellow walls of the dining room echo that European feel.

While the rooms are not large, everything seems to have a place, which inspires both serenity and calmness. I suspect that Sheila created such a serene environment for herself and her two children because they all need a place "where everything is OK," when they come home from their busy lives outside the house (Sheila is the marketing director for the Lexington Center). If all goes as planned, when you ask her if that is the case six months from now she will respond, "No Duh, but it was No Big Whoop."


120 Old Cassidy


1800 Square feet

3 bedrooms, one & one half baths

Contact: Vicky Walker 266-6085


If you have a unique or interesting house for sale contact Lissa Sims at lsims@aceweekly.com.