Odds and Ends

Charlie and I were supposed to take a “marriage enrichment seminar” this weekend but it turned out that the leaders dropped the ball and it was cancelled.

White chocolate mocha

White chocolate mocha

On Friday night instead we stopped into Starbucks  while its computers in North America were down had free drinks. I had a white chocolate mocha and Charlie had 2 caramel frappuccinos. We enjoyed them a lot.

We used the master suite porch covered with a drop cloth as our work surface.

We used the master suite porch covered with a drop cloth as our work surface.

On Saturday morning Charlie cut the edges off his grandfather’s cabinet.

Charlie worked on the cabinet his grandfather had worked on.

Charlie worked on the cabinet his grandfather had worked on.

It took 1 cut on the right and 3 separate cuts on the left until it fit just right into the niche at the end of the hall.

The white cabinet actually gets hung on the wall but we need someone stronger than I am to help.

The white cabinet actually gets hung on the wall but we need someone stronger than I am to help.

Then with my wimpy help he hoisted the white cabinet on top.

We've been storing the cabinet just inside our bedroom where it was in the way.

We’ve been storing the cabinet just inside our bedroom where it was in the way.

It had been blocking the way into our bedroom not to mention being covered with clothes.

A single-sink vanity goes between the two walls but not down to the floor.

A single-sink vanity goes between the two walls but not down to the floor.

Next week we’re planning to lay the bathroom sub-floors. Since we’re planning a sink vanity in the conservatory that does not touch the floor I wanted to remove the ductwork that was designed to be used in a toe-kick.

This toe-kick duct is used to redirect warm air.

This toe-kick duct is used to redirect warm air.

I pried up the duct work from the floor in the conservatory bathroom.  Charlie had to finish the project by figuring out that the circular flange was bent around to hold it onto the rectangle box.

I hope this round duct will slide back down the hole after the floor is laid.

I hope this round duct will slide back down the hole after the floor is laid.

I’m hoping we can tile around the hole and redirect the air from under the vanity.

Did you have a productive Saturday?

What a Bore

Charlie and I went out looking at new cars.

I've narrowed the search down to hatchbacks -- like my dear Mazda 3 named Betty.

I’ve narrowed the search down to hatchbacks — like my dear Mazda 3 named Betty.

What a bore.

Our first pick was a Ford Focus.

Our first pick was a Ford Focus.

The salesman (actually not much more than a boy) quoted us a ridiculously low price that was totally fictitious.

Charlie liked the blue car; my favorite was "Magnetic".

Charlie liked the blue car; my favorite was “Magnetic”.

This kid thought he could corner me (us) with typical car salesman tactics.  I’m older and wiser and I can always walk away from a shady deal.

Before I stopped shopping, I noted a preference for a light colored interior.

Before I stopped shopping, I noted a preference for a light colored interior.

I still haven’t decided whether to get my car fixed (new engine) or buy a new car or buy a used car.

What item do you hate purchasing?

The Dogwood are Having a Blooming Year

We have a lot of dogwood trees on our property.

Blooming Dogwood at The Glade

Blooming Dogwood at The Glade

This year, for some reason which I do not know, they are covered with blossoms.

The conservatory windows are filled with a dogwood blossom view.

The conservatory windows are filled with a dogwood blossom view.

They mostly grow at the end of our woods under the taller tree.

A view of the east woods from the porch.

A view of the north woods from the porch.

Not only can we see them clearly from the conservatory but they are serenely beautiful viewed from our second floor porch.

Our porch gets the morning sun and afternoon shade.

Our porch gets the morning sun and afternoon shade.

The sunrise was beautifully orange and warm.

The shed and compost bins are pleasantly far away.

The shed and compost bins are pleasantly far away.

In a short time all the blossoms will be gone and the trees will begin to leaf out.

Thousands of blossoms this year.

Thousands of blossoms this year.

Spring in Maryland is just so breathtaking.

What’s your favorite blossoming tree?

101 in 1001 — The Third Go-round Spring Update

On August 12th of last year I began my new list of 101 tasks that I would like to complete in 1001 days for the third time. (First list ended 11/13/2011, second list 8/11/2014) until May 9, 2017.  Completed items are markedComplete! with the date of completion.

  1. Paint upstairs hall. Complete! 9/28/2014 
  2. Hang photos in upstairs hall.

    I have family photos for as many as five generations.

    I have family photos for as many as five generations.

  3. Take dance lessons.
  4. Get video camera and upgrade blog.
  5. Install stair runner.

    While assembling this runner I found out the stairs are very uneven.

    While assembling this runner I found out the stairs are very uneven.

  6. Host five game nights.
  7. Host five other parties/get-togethers:  Thanksgiving Breakfast Get-together
  8. Host one New Year’s Eve Party. Complete! 12/31/2014

    Everything was bright and sparkly for New Year's Eve 2014.

    Everything was bright and sparkly for New Year’s Eve 2014.

  9. Host a dinner party for 8.
  10. Organize trip to the Dominican Republic.
  11. Work on family recipe book.

    Perhaps I could improve the organization and readability of my recipes.

    Perhaps I could improve the organization and readability of my recipes.

  12. Eat vegan for one week.
  13. Host a swap meet.
  14. Host a tea party for my Birthday.
  15. Host a book club.
  16. Find a waterfall.
  17. See the Southern Cross in person.

    The Southern Cross.

    The Southern Cross.

  18. Make bread.
  19. Make mayonnaise. Complete! 8/27/2014
  20. Make a local restaurant list of at least 10 items:
    Café de Paris
    Dougherty’s
    Bon Fresco
  21. Visit the Grand Canyon.
  22. Say “yes” to everything for a whole day.
  23. Do an anonymous favor.
  24. Go to the beach for a long weekend.
  25. Take 3 Bible studies: The Journey to Christmas, 24 Hours That Changed the World, Restless
  26. Host a scavenger hunt.
  27. Make a month’s worth of meals one weekend.
  28. Put a note somewhere (like in a book) for a stranger to find.
  29. Make a home maintenance calendar.
  30. Set blogging goals.
  31. Comment on 50 blogs.  Complete! 10/30/2014
  32. Get an iPod or mp3 player.
  33. Work on wardrobe, buy what I need, get rid of what I don’t, make a list of everything.

    Until our closet is complete my clothes are relegated to the bed in the pink bedroom.

    Until our closet is complete my clothes are relegated to the bed in the pink bedroom.

  34. Have a colonoscopy. Scheduled for 5/22/2015
  35. Sort out things in attic by attaching children’s names, give away, sell, etc.

    I know a beautiful young woman who would love this set of china.

    I know a beautiful young woman who would love this set of china.

  36. Learn to copyright (watermark) photos.
  37. Complete legacy file.
  38. Make a photo album of Mommie.
  39. Paint some canvasses.
  40. Chapel in the yard at The Glade.

    Great is Thy Faithfulness mirrored window would work in an outdoor chapel area.

    Great is Thy Faithfulness mirrored window would work in an outdoor chapel area.

  41. Ride on a Vespa.

    I might want to buy one.

    I might want to buy one.

  42. Treat a friend to lunch.
  43. Locate and catalog local thrift stores.
  44. Design master bedroom décor and coordinate master bath.

    Some of these things are already in place.

    Some of these things are already in place.

  45. Develop a cleaning schedule.
  46. Dermatologist for major renovation.
  47. Write a novel based on work.
  48. Increase net worth by 25%. Up 5% 4/22/2015
  49. Organize etiquette books. Complete! 4/15/2015
  50. Read Bible daily –Read Bible in 1 year.
  51. Have right knee problem corrected. Complete! 1/29/2015
  52. Establish a gym workout for 5 days a week.
  53. Theatre weekend in NYC.
  54. Visit Statue of Liberty.

    I've been to the Crown but I want to go again with Charlie.

    I’ve been to the Crown but I want to go again with Charlie.

  55. Paint landscapes/seascapes on canvas/wood.
  56. Take a cruise.
  57. Memorize a poem.
  58. Make a household inventory with photos.
  59. Finish laundry room.

    This room needs to be finished.

    This room needs to be finished.

  60. Give heirlooms to children.
  61. Finish painting trim in pink bedroom.
  62. Make a master menu for 14 days of meals.
  63. Wash all the windows in the house.
  64. Paint dining room table – finish sanding, prime and paint.
  65. Paint kitchen table or build new one.

    Kitchen table

    Kitchen table

  66. Totally organize pink bathroom. Complete! 10/15/2014
  67. Renew passport 2015. Complete! 1/10/2015

    My old passport has been renewed.

    My old passport has been renewed.

  68. Do the weekly challenges at UnF your Habitat.
  69. Use my God box.
  70. Build bench for mudroom.

    I'd love to build this bench.

    I’d love to build this bench.

  71. Build shelves in master bedroom.

    I would love to have a wall of shelves in the bedroom.

    I would love to have a wall of shelves in the bedroom.

  72. Paint the master bedroom. Complete! 9/7/2014
  73. Get a smartphone.
  74. Tile the conservatory bathroom
  75. Tile the master bathroom
  76. Get a new car
  77. Landscape the front yard

    The front yard needs some foundation plantings to soften up the edges of the house.

    The front yard needs some foundation plantings to soften up the edges of the house.

  78. Read 5 biographies
  79. Read 5 classics
  80. See 3 concerts: Beatlemania
  81. Design Etsy signature packaging.
  82. Fund my Revocable Trust.
  83. Spend an afternoon at a botanical garden.
  84. Get rid of rubble pile and grade driveway.

    The rubble pile is diminishing but I want it gone.

    The rubble pile is diminishing but I want it gone.

  85. Have dinner by candlelight.
  86. Achieve my personal weight goal.
  87. Send anonymous flowers to someone.
  88. Give a 100% tip.
  89. Get rid of 5 big items from the house.
    Old sewing machine
    Kitchen cabinets
    Old books
    Foosball table
    Doll house
  90. Build a beautiful master closet.
  91. Rent Cottage.

    Glade Cottage would be perfect rented to a grad student from the nearby university.

    Glade Cottage would be perfect rented to a grad student from the nearby university.

  92. Design and print business cards.
  93. Celebrate our 5th anniversary. Complete! 9/12/2014
  94. Organize cookbooks.

    All my cookbooks take up a small portion of a shelf in the pantry.

    All my cookbooks take up a small portion of a shelf in the pantry.

  95. Hang gallery wall in kitchen hall. Complete! 10/29/2014

    The gallery wall from the kitchen to the mudroom looking toward the front of the house.

    The gallery wall from the kitchen to the mudroom looking toward the front of the house.

  96. Organize papers, bills, and contracts from renovation.
  97. Apply to county for tax abatement due to renovation. Complete! 11/7/2014
  98. Take car for a tune up. Complete! 9/17/2014
  99. Detail my car.

    My car has been used to haul a lot of things and could use a good detailing.

    My car has been used to haul a lot of things and could use a good detailing.

  100. Drink a glass of water every morning. 9/1/2014 working on developing this good habit.
  101. Private

I have about 2 years left on this list.  I hope I make some headway soon.

Would you make a “101 in 1001″ list?

Here’s What $1300 Looks Like

Saturday we placed a lumber order at the preferred lumber yard in our region: Wilson’s.

I hope this is enough lumber for all the interior door, window, and baseboard trim plus a wall of bookshelves.

I hope this is enough lumber to trim all the interior doors, windows, and baseboards plus a wall of bookshelves.

First of all their delivery charge is $7. We placed the order in person on Saturday and received it the following Tuesday.

Charlie has a pile of old pallets just in case we need them.

Charlie has a pile of old pallets just in case we need them.

Charlie laid pallets down at the back of the driveway.

The long-bed truck backed down our dead-end street.

The long-bed truck backed down our dead-end street.

The driver offloaded his forklift then picked up our order in one load.

The loaded forklift rolled down the road and into our driveway.

The loaded forklift rolled down the road and into our driveway.

He rode down the driveway with a 16-foot wide load of plywood and primed trim.

The plywood (which we'll need first) is on the bottom of the pile.

The plywood (which we’ll need first) is on the bottom of the pile.

The lumber was gingerly placed onto the pallets.

Does that look like $1300 to you?

Does that look like $1300 to you?

We plan cover this lumber with plastic to keep it dry until we use it since sixteen-foot long boards are difficult to store in the house.

Gratuitous picture of our driveway and west side yard on recycle day.

Gratuitous picture of our driveway and west side yard on recycle day.

We also ordered 5 doors which are not on this delivery list since they come from an independent supplier and must be priced before payment and delivery. We’ve been told the doors will come boxed. Actually I hope we’re ready for them when they get here.

What are you ready to do?

I Wired a $10 Light

A while ago (years maybe) I bought a $10 light at The Loading Dock in Baltimore.

The master closet now has a bare light bulb hanging rakishly from the ceiling.

The master closet now has a bare light bulb hanging rakishly from the ceiling.

I had the bright idea that it would look nice in our newly-built master closet.

$10 from the salvage yard.

$10 from the salvage yard.

The finish on it was vintage brass but it had become pitted over the years.

The spray painted pieces don't look like much.

The spray painted pieces don’t look like much.

I decided to give it my favorite metal finish: metallic charcoal.

Just returning the now-clean glass to the newly-painted frame is an improvement.

Just returning the now-clean glass to the newly-painted frame is an improvement.

After removing all the glass and spraying the metal parts, I rewired it. The original wiring fabric-covered and ragged.

The hardware store had a large selection of wire wherein we found exactly the right thing.

The hardware store had a large selection of wire wherein we found exactly the right thing.

Earlier in the day we had stopped at Clark’s Hardware for replacement candelabra parts. I had tried 3 other stores earlier in the week and was finally successful in finding the parts and wires for less than $8.

The wire was not difficult to guide through the metal tube.

The wire was not difficult to guide through the metal tube.

I threaded the wires up through the stem along with the copper grounding wire that came with the fixture.

The new sockets are repositioned on the fixture.

The new sockets are repositioned on the fixture.

I positioned the new sockets on the base and connected white wires to white and black wires to black with wire nuts.

Black to black, white to white, wire nuts and tape.

Black to black, white to white, wire nuts and tape.

The expert at the hardware store said to also use electrical tape which I did.  I thought it was overkill but then I’m no expert.

Before

Before

After

After

I put all the pieces pack together and, voila, a hanging fixture for our closet which, by the way, Charlie also likes.

What your latest “rewiring”?

High Hopes and the Real Truth

We had hoped to get in a real road trip on Saturday but, unfortunately, my car has been (ahem) hesitating.

The spark plugs are covered by the black plastic engine cover.

The spark plugs are covered by the black plastic engine cover.

Charlie insisted that the spark plugs needed cleaning de-carbonizing.

This 8-inch gadget is a spark plug clean which hooks up to an air compressor.

This 8-inch gadget is a spark plug clean which hooks up to an air compressor.

We bought an air spark plug cleaner, put it together, and mounted it on some heavy shelving.

Spark plugs are hiding under the 4 rectangles (3 white, one black) lined up in  the center of the engine.

Spark plugs are hiding under the 4 rectangles (3 white, one black) lined up in the center of the engine.

Charlie researched YouTube on how to remove the spark plugs from my car.

Spark plug in the top, push the button on the bottom.

Spark plug in the top, push the button on the bottom.

Then he proceeded to clean the spark plugs.

My car has four spark plugs, one for each cylinder (I think).

My car has four spark plugs, one for each cylinder (I think).

After using the machine, a wire brush, and a pointy scraper, Charlie removed as much carbon deposit as he could

We also bought some deep-well socket wrenches to remove the spark plugs.

We also bought some deep-well socket wrenches to remove the spark plugs.

and returned the spark plugs to their proper positions.

She still looks pretty but is not running very well.

She still looks pretty but is not running very well.

We headed toward the lumber yard but the car was still bucking so Saturday’s extended road trip has been postponed until a later date.

How do you vent your frustrations? Turn to another project? Have a cup of tea?