Between a New Rock and a Hard Space

Charlie took apart (understatement) our flag stone patio to make way for coming additions to the house.

The stone terrace was outside the kitchen door before the renovation.
The stone terrace was outside the kitchen door before the renovation.

I asked him to save the stone of the approximately 96 square foot terrace so I could use it for another project.

We've been storing the stone to the right of the propane tanks behind the Cottage.
We’ve been storing the stone to the right of the propane tanks behind the Cottage.

Due to brick trim, planters and other allowances I knew we had a good 80 square feet of randomly shaped stone to use for a round patio in the back of the yard.  I just wanted a place for a couple of chairs and maybe a small table which might inspire a dejeuner sur l’herbe.

Do you remember your geometric formulas?
Do you remember your geometric formulas?

I wanted to figure out how big a round patio might be.  Recalling my geometry I know the area of a circle is calculated from the equation  πr2 or 3.14 times the radius of the circle squared.

We're inspired by this stone patio with fire pit.
We’re inspired by this stone patio with fire pit.

The equation: 80 square feet = 3.14 X r X r can be solved by dividing both sides by 3.14.

Which produces: 25.477 = r X r.

More simply: 25 = r X r, so r = 5.

Now I know I should have enough stone for a 5 foot radius (10 foot diameter) circle.

I'd like to locate the patio in the present location of part of the vegetable garden. I think Charlie will veto.
I’d like to locate the patio in the present location of part of the vegetable garden. I think Charlie will veto.

Now I need to find the perfect place to lay out my 10 foot (or less) diameter circle.

Do you remember anything about geometry? Or algebra? Or did you tell you teacher, “I’ll never use this!”

Cottaging Right Along

This week we had a handyman at Glade Cottage making some upgrades and repairs. The Cottage is one big room except for the bathroom and a floating wall which can partition off part of the space.

The kitchen could span the white wall and the blue wall perpendicular to the open window.
The kitchen could span the white wall and the blue wall perpendicular to the open window.

First on the list was adding a kitchen of sorts. Behind the chair in the corner above is a plumbing drain line which is where the sink would be positioned.

These are our choices from an Ikea ad.
These are our choices from an Ikea ad.

We had purchased from Ikea a birch counter, a Fyndig sink, and a Ringskar faucet.

The valves on the left have been pulled through the wall from the bathroom sink.
The valves on the left have been pulled through the wall from the bathroom sink.

The drain was already in place but the water lines had to be pulled through the wall from the bathroom.

The countertop was cut to the length of the wall and installed on a narrow cabinet.
The countertop was cut to the length of the wall and installed on a narrow cabinet.

The carpenter installed them right next to the window allowing some space on the right of the sink so a right-handed user wouldn’t be shoved up against the window.

Before
Before
After-ish.
After-ish.

We need to decide what to do about cabinetry under the sink.

The switch near the wall had been loose and wobbly and now it is tight and neat.
The switch near the wall had been loose and wobbly and now it is tight and neat.

While he was here the carpenter/plumber/electrician also installed a new switch at the entrance to the Cottage.

The screen door has been squared up.
The screen door has been squared up.

And he trimmed the screen door so it would shut better and not scrape the floor every time it was opened.

Do you work with what you have or start from scratch?

Painting in The Cottage

My future tenant has been working on getting the ceiling and walls in shape in The Cottage since most of the floor is still covered with building materials.

The back wall of the Cottage has been freshly painted white like the ceiling.
The back wall of the Cottage has been freshly painted white like the ceiling.

The back wall where the washer and dryer will be placed is white for maximum light reflection.

The aqua blue wall is "Siamese Eyes".
The aqua blue wall is “Siamese Eyes”.

The other walls have been painted and touched up with the original “Siamese Eyes” by Martha Stewart.

"Templeton Grey" by Benjamin Moore on the floating wall behind the bed.
“Templeton Grey” by Benjamin Moore on the floating wall behind the bed.

The floating wall was fixed and painted here.

Behind the floating wall.
Behind the floating wall.

Finally, enough of the painting was finished so we could skid the floating wall into approximate position.

The floor will buff up nicely.
The floor will buff up nicely.

That allowed for mopping and waxing the front part of the Cottage floor.

Installation has begun.
Installation has begun.

Tomorrow some mini-kitchen renovation.

Are you relishing the last days of summer?

101 in 1001 — The Third Go-round at Summer’s End

On August 12th of 2014 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.  Christmas Day 2015 was the halfway point of the list time wise.  Completed items are markedComplete! with the date of completion.

Here’s the entire list:

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

    If these photos could only hang themselves up.
    If these photos could only hang themselves up.
  3. Take dance lessons.
  4. Get video camera and upgrade blog. 3/30/2016
  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. Trivia Night 4/16/2016
  7. Host five other parties/get-togethers:  Thanksgiving Breakfast Get-together, Christmas Dinner 2014, Boxing Day Party, New Year’s Morning Popover Party, Movie Screening. Complete! 6/10/2016
  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. Complete! 6/20/2016
  13. Host a swap meet. Book Swap Complete! 5/7/2016
  14. Host a tea party for my Birthday. Complete! 2/27/2016
  15. Host a book club. Complete! 7/19/2016
  16. Find a waterfall.
  17. See the Southern Cross in person.

    The Southern Cross.
    The Southern Cross.
  18. Make bread. Complete! 4/2/2016
  19. Make mayonnaise. Complete! 8/27/2014
  20. Make a local restaurant list of at least 10 items: Bon Fresco, Coal Fire, Hunan Express, Maria’s Bajas Taqueria, Mission Barbecue, Petit Louis, Soup’s On
  21. Visit the Grand Canyon. Planned for Fall, 2016.
  22. Say “yes” to everything for a whole day. Complete! 3/28/2016
  23. Do an anonymous favor. Complete! 4/20/2016
  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, Momentum, Jeremiah, What Love Is, Follow Complete! 2/17/2016
  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. Complete! 4/20/2016
  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. Complete! 3/24/2016
  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. Complete! 5/22/2015
  35. Sort out things in attic by attaching children’s names, give away, sell, etc.

    The xylophone stands about the right height for our soon-to-be 4 grandson.
    The xylophone has been given to our 3-year-old grandson.
  36. Learn to copyright (watermark) photos.
  37. Complete legacy file.
  38. Make a photo album of Mommie.

    Three generations -- I'm the short one.
    Three generations — I’m the short one.
  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. Complete! 4/30/2016
  43. Locate and catalog local thrift stores.
  44. Design master bedroom décor and coordinate master bath. Complete! 11/1/2015

    The coordination is finished -- the implementation is imminent.
    The coordination is finished — the implementation is imminent.
  45. Develop a cleaning schedule.
  46. Dermatologist for major renovation. Complete! 6/30/2016
  47. Write a novel based on work.
  48. Increase net worth by 25%. Up 15.5% 8/5/2016
  49. Organize etiquette books. Complete! 4/15/2015
  50. Read Bible daily –Read Bible in 1 year. Started May 1, 2016
  51. Have right knee problem corrected. Complete! 1/29/2015
  52. Establish a gym workout for 5 days a week. Complete! 11/23/2015 
  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. Grandmother’s china, hope chest, sleds, desk and chair
  61. Finish painting trim in pink bedroom.

    The pink bedroom called the Diva Room.
    The pink bedroom called the Diva Room.
  62. Make a master menu for 14 days of meals.
  63. Wash all the windows in the house.
  64. Paint dining room table or sell it – 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 in 2015. Complete! 1/10/2015
  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.

    The bedroom shelves.
    The bedroom shelves.
  72. Paint the master bedroom. Complete! 9/7/2014
  73. Get a smartphone. Complete! 3/23/2016
  74. Tile the conservatory bathroom Complete! 12/10/2015
  75. Tile the master bathroom Complete! 12/10/2015

    What a change the tile makes covering the Hardiebacker board!
    What a change the tile makes covering the Hardiebacker board!
  76. Get a new car Complete! 4/28/2015
  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: To Kill a Mockingbird
  80. See 3 concerts: Beatlemania, Four Seasons (Vivaldi), John Williams,   The Music of Led Zeppelin, 3 Army concerts including 1812 Overture, Sutton Foster, Broadway Divas Complete! 5/29/2015
  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.

    Rubble pile is gone.
    Rubble pile is gone.
  85. Have dinner by candlelight.
  86. Achieve my personal weight goal.
  87. Send anonymous flowers to someone. Complete! 5/1/2016 
  88. Give a 100% tip.
  89. Get rid of 5 big items from the house. Complete! 5/7/2016
    Ironing Board
    Kitchen cabinets
    Old books
    Foosball table
    Washer/Dryer
  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 is being renovated by my friend who will become the new tenant.
  92. Design and print business cards.
  93. Celebrate our 5th anniversary. Complete! 9/12/2014
  94. Organize cookbooks. Complete! 4/26/2016 

    Neater and easier to access.
    Neater and easier to access.
  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. Complete! 4/17/2016

    A friend detailed my car inside and out.
    A friend detailed my car inside and out.
  100. Drink a glass of water every morning. Now that I’m back at the gym 5 days a week I always drink at least 16 ounces before work.
  101. Private

I have about 257 days left on this list.  I hope I make some headway soon.

Would you go on a sea cruise? Where?

A New Job Perk

I’ve had the same great job for twenty-five years.

The front entrance to the 100+-year-old house where I work. The second floor terrace gave me the idea for a usable terrace outside our master suite.
The front entrance to the 100+-year-old house where I work. The second floor terrace gave me the idea for a usable terrace outside our master suite.

I work in a mansion as an executive assistant to a lovely family.

First course -- Caprese appetizer
First course — Caprese appetizer
Main course -- usually a salad for lunch.
Main course — usually a salad for lunch.
Dessert -- Hot upside down apple pie.
Dessert — Hot upside down apple pie.

Recently they let go the couple that cooks and cleans and hired a new couple.  The new cook has been serving us 3-course lunches.

The butler's pantry at work.
The butler’s pantry at work.

The newest perk, however, is that he juices in the morning.

Peach, apricot, grape, fennel.
Peach, apricot, grape, fennel.

Yesterday upon my arrival at work I was greeted with a glass of juice made from apricots, peaches, grapes, and fennel. FENNEL!

I love my job.

Do you have a perk that makes your job special?

Evaluating the Old Doors

As I am moving my stuff out of the Cottage some things are easier to get rid of.

The Cottage was a clutter magnet.
The Cottage was a clutter magnet.

That implies that some things are more difficult.

During the renovation some of the doors were taken off and we stored them.
During the renovation some of the doors were taken off and we stored them.

The doors we removed from the house during the renovation have been stacked in the corner for a few years now.

We're keeping the white traditional screen door on the Cottage but getting rid of the blue door that was on the house.
We’re keeping the white traditional screen door on the Cottage but getting rid of the blue door that was on the house.

The screen door that used to be on the front of the house is no longer needed by us so I listed it on Craigslist.  It’s vintage.

The door is ordinary but would match the other doors on the upstairs hall.
The door is ordinary but would match the other doors on the upstairs hall.

Our 3-panel bedroom door has been replaced by a new door.  I was going to try to reuse it but I like the way the new door works.

I love a lever style door handle.
I love a lever style door handle.

Especially the lever door knob.

Six-panel door basement door.
Six-panel door basement door.

But we also have our old basement door.

The old door has a vintage brass knob and escutcheon.
The old door has a vintage brass knob and escutcheon.

This is a super-solid 6-panel door for which I would like to find a project.

Our exterior dining room door has been removed when the wall was opened up.
Our exterior dining room door has been removed when the wall was opened up.

The one door for which I have the perfect spot is our old four-light back door.

A door on the laundry room would obscure this view.
A door on the laundry room would obscure this view, especially the bottom.

It should fit and would work well on the opening to the laundry room. Our laundry room is on the second floor with the bedrooms so it would be great to be able to close it off to block the view and keep the heat of the dryer contained especially in summer.

#clearthecorner
#clearthecorner

Hoping to have the doors redistributed by the weekend.

Do you have an unconventional project for an old door?

2000

This is my 2000th post.

The dining room in 2011.
The dining room in 2011.
The dining room in 2016 opens up to new rooms on both sides
The dining room in 2016 opens up to new rooms on both sides

I wrote my very first post on March 4, 2011 about cluttering.  I guess things haven’t changed much except that they actually have.

The original downstairs floor plan.
The original downstairs floor plan.
The new floor plan includes an enlarged kitchen and a conservatory with a full bathroom.
The new floor plan includes an enlarged kitchen and a conservatory with a full bathroom.

Since then we’ve had 2 additions designed and built which have increased the size of the house by about 50%.

Here I am on the 12-foot ladder painting the back of the house.
Here I am on the 12-foot ladder painting the back of the house.

We still have projects to complete but no longer have an architect or contractor.  We’re on our own.

The Glade
The Glade

Now you know us a lot better than you did when we started. Thanks for hanging in there with us.

What significant change has happened in the last 5 years in your life?