Clearing Up

The new retaining wall on the side of the Cottage made it clear that we still have some work to do.

The pile of wood can be stored in the woodshed.

Charlie had been storing his cut firewood there because we were using the woodshed for the John Deere mower.

Mice had a nest among this wood.

The mower has been moved to the Wee Little House  at the  rear of the yard.  Charlie got busy moving this pile of wood.

A little surprise was hiding under the last two pieces of wood.

When he got near the bottom he said get ready to take a picture.

This snake was about 2 feet long and very beautiful with a bright red tongue.

A picture of a garter snake.

The woodshed has plenty of room for more firewood.

We He encouraged the snake back into the woods with a garden rake.

2 types of variegated caladium.

I had stopped by Home Depot earlier in the day and purchased 6 pots of white-leaf caladium.

Caladium are non-hardy bulbs that can grow is the shade.

I placed them under the tree.

We’re considering azaleas to line the area where the metal posts are positioned.

Sug planted them in the shade under the tall oak tree to give some life and light until we get a better plan for the area.

For the most part this area is hidden from view due to low-hanging foliage.

The caladium should leaf out and cover the space until it freezes here.

What are you sentiments toward snakes?

Step 3: #15 on the New 101 in 1001

On my 4th 101 tasks to accomplish in 1001 days, number 15 states:  Get rid of 101 items.

Here are the third 10.

  1. Ride-on lawn mower.  Sold for $200.

    The mower was sold on Craigslist.
  2. Self-propelled lawn mower with faulty electronic start, must use pull cord. Sold for $50.

    Sold on Craigslist.
  3. Cottage door and brass hardware.

    Glade Cottage door has been replaced so I listed the old one on Craigslist.
  4. Old windows from the house renovation and Cottage. Free.

    We had 3 times this many windows to get rid of.
  5. The rain barrel didn’t work well for us so we gave it to a neighbor. Free.

    We tried to use the rain barrel but found the pressure insufficient.
  6. A pile of old shelves. Free.

    More Craigslisting.
  7. Brass chandelier (20 inches tall) from my former residence.  I moved into The Glade 20 years ago and have not found a spot for it.  Listed on Craigslist for $80.

    Removed in 2 large boxes from the Cottage attic.
  8. Another hanging lamp with 14-inch diameter frosted glass shade.  This was hanging in the dining room at The Glade by a long chain when I moved in 20 years ago. Given to son.

    A hanging lamp with lots of potential.
  9. Wooden high chair. It either goes to a grandchild or is listed on Craigslist.

    35-year-old high chair.
  10. Pile of old lumber. It took 3 Craigslist searchers to dwindle this pile.

    Hauled away by frugal people.

Ten more down, 71 to go.

What can you toss?

No More Moss

The Cottage roof is growing moss.

The Cottage roof is situated under lots of trees causing moss.

I thought we would have to clean it but more research gave a different idea.

The pale line just under the top row of shingles is a zinc strip.

Instead of making application of a moss remover Sug’s contractor added a zinc strip on both sides of the roof.

This side has a zinc strip also which is barely visible.

As rainwater washes over the zinc it both deters new growth and removes old moss.

Some of the moss on our property is rare and interesting but we don’t want it on the roof.

Chemistry. Hmm.

Do you have a favorite chemical reaction?

Meet the Cottage Tenant

As most people know last Halloween my friend moved into Glade Cottage as a permanent tenant.


During the 10 months prior to her taking up permanent residence in the Cottage she cleaned and painted the inside.


After moving in she has made many improvements on the exterior as well. She loves working outside especially yardwork.

My friend has been a huge help to me.

D’Arcy at Our Bungalow’s 2nd Century suggested my readers may like to know the cottage dweller’s name or at least an alias so I don’t have to continue calling her “the tenant”.

She painted the outside of the Cottage almost single-handedly.

After talking it over we decided she should be known as the nickname her family in North Carolina call her: “Sug”. Sug is short for sugar and is pronounced shoog where the double-o is like the “oo” in book.  (In NC people say shoogah for the sweet stuff we put in our coffee.)

Welcome home, Sug.

Sug no longer calls this place “The Cottage”; she calls it home.

Do you have a nickname?

Uncooperative Weather

Yesterday I was planning to paint outside but the weather was hot and sultry. Too hot.

We have a pile of windows.

Instead I put a couple of quick ads on Craigslist for “Free Stuff”.

The kind of stuff Charlie saves.

One collective item was a pile of old lumber that Charlie was “saving”.

How long must we endure piles of “valuable junk”?

He pleaded with me that he had already sifted through the pile and might really need this old, rotting wood.

The second customer had this pile to choose from.

The first customers were a father and son looking for a stack of wood they could use to make a treehouse.

We’re keeping the ramp in the background for wheelchair access to the house.

The next guy uses wood in his garage to work on old cars.

The screen door is now at someone else’s house.

I also listed the old screen door from the Cottage which went very early in the day along with 4 old window sashes from the Cottage.

The diminished pile waiting for one more taker.

The clutter is dwindling.

Have you ever had a treehouse?

Primer Day

I’m hoping to get at least 3 pairs of shutters primed today.

3 pairs of shutters have been cleaned and are ready for paint.

If the weather is perfect I may also be able to get some color on them, too.

Indoor/Outdoor primer.

I’ll use Zinsser primer thinned down to be used in the paint sprayer.

I took my 10-year-old can of paint to match the color.

The final paint color is a store match to my old color “Storm Gray”.

I’ll start with front-of-house shutters.

Can’t wait to show you some shutters hanging on the house.

What have you been putting off?

Not Moving the Tree

The oak tree (on the left in the spotlight) near the Cottage can be easily seen in this photo taken last fall.

Just to the left of the Cottage (facing it) is a large oak tree.

The oak tree near the Cottage.

We’ve had trouble with other oaks in the yard but this one seems to be growing straight and healthy.

Each autumn the entire area is covered with fallen leaves.
We’ll get rid of the rotten wood that was holding the dirt back.

The area underneath had been stabilized with railroad ties which over the decades have rotted out.

Putting sides at right angles helps stabilize the wall as does inserting rebar.

Instead of removing the tree and leveling the dirt, my Cottage friend decided to have the small retaining wall rebuilt with new pressure-treated lumber.

The area in front of the new wall had been built up with bricks which might be a future project.

The contractor cleared up the area on the side of the Cottage to reveal a paved walkway and indications that water is directed around the Cottage via this sloping passage.

The view from the back of the Cottage. The wall tapers toward the back.

The new wall looks neat and practical.

Plants will help maintain the unrestrained dirt.

I’m wondering if there are any planting plans for this heavily-shaded area.

The wall is tall at the front.

We have azaleas, box, hostas, iris, and ferns available on the property to plant.

Do you have a go-to shade plant?