Clearing Out The Cottage

I’m a lover of lists.  A good list can usually spur me into action so I can get something accomplished.

Glade Cottage
Glade Cottage

I need to clear out The Cottage. I thought making a list of what needs to go and where I can put it would be helpful.

The pressure washer (red handles) has been removed from the Cottage which clears the floor a little more.
The pressure washer (red handles) has been removed from the Cottage which clears the floor a little more.

Pressure washer – Our son has taken on some power washing jobs this summer and came to pick it up.  I will eventually need to find a place to store it.

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.

Doors – If I can’t use these original-to-the-house doors, I’ll donate them as salvage or offer them on Craigslist.

There are 3 full sheets and 2 half sheets of wallboard remaining from the house renovation. Use them or lose them!
There are 3 full sheets and 2 half sheets of wallboard remaining from the house renovation. Use them or lose them!

Wallboard – We gave away a lot of scrap drywall recently.  Either the remaining pieces will be used to fix the Cottage ceiling or also given away.

The baseboard trim is still being stored on the floor of the Cottage.
The baseboard trim is still being stored on the floor of the Cottage.

Trim – Once the trim is applied in the house we’ll likely discard the shorter, unnecessary pieces.

The power miter saw can be stored in the shed; the other tolls go back to their owner.
The power miter saw can be stored in the shed; the other tolls go back to their owner.

Tools – In addition to the miter power saw on the workbench, there is another chop saw and a drill press. I also have an overhead projector which can easily be stored in one of the attics.

Shelves of paint behind the temporary wall need to be cleared and moved.
Shelves of paint behind the temporary wall need to be cleared and moved.

Paint – I can move the paint into the basement of the house or throw some of the older ones out.  The shelving can either go into the shed or the basement unless it would be useful in the Cottage.

The mid-century dresser was inherited by our son from his grandmother.
The mid-century dresser was inherited by our son from his grandmother.

Dresser – The heavy teak dresser will have to find a new home. It’s not my favorite because the drawers are difficult to open.  Maybe we can list it on Craigslist.

The twin bed needs to be exchanged with a larger one.
The twin bed needs to be exchanged with a larger one.

Bed – The twin bed in the cottage can be exchanged with a double bed but I’ll have to store the mattress, box spring, and bed frame. Maybe I should use the mattress and box spring as a daybed in the conservatory.

My drafting table while bulky does fold to an almost flat disposition.
My drafting table while bulky does fold to an almost flat disposition.

Drafting table – The drafting table used to be in the attic but it might be better suited to the Treetops bedroom.

The vintage Singer sewing machine resides in a sturdy lift-top table.
The vintage Singer sewing machine resides in a sturdy lift-top table.

Sewing machine – The sewing machine could be stored in the laundry room in the house.

There's a heavy, 4-drawer file cabinet which is also a fire safe.
There’s a heavy, 4-drawer file cabinet which is also a fire safe.

Safe – I was planning to keep the safe in a closet in the house but it might take too much room.  I’d hate to have to get rid of it.

This metal folding table can fit almost anywhere and is useful.
This metal folding table can fit almost anywhere and is useful.

Of course that’s not everything but these items would be a good start.

That should keep me busy.

Are you debating whether to get rid of something you’ve been holding onto?

Our Antiquated Sound System

Someday when we get the house mostly finished — floors, closets, lighting — we might want to spring for a new sound system.

The closet has an electric outlet but the system wouldn't work in there.
The closet has an electric outlet but the system wouldn’t work in there.

Until then we have a big, clunky system that’s been stashed in the conservatory closet ever since the closet was built.

My closets are stuffed with essentials.
My closets are stuffed with essentials.

I had tried a couple of times to hook it up but failed to get any sound.

The speakers are especially heavy and difficult to disguise.
The speakers are especially heavy and difficult to disguise.

I took the whole heavy thing out of the closet and decided to make it play or get rid of it. One try and some advice from Charlie and all the components play: CD, cassette tape, turntable, and radio.

The components rest atop the speakers which foils any stereophonic effects.
The components rest atop the speakers which foils any stereophonic effects.

Charlie had been wanting something near the piano so that he could listen to music so we set it up between the living room and dining room.  It’s not pretty but it certainly is effective.  We can have music in the entire downstairs simply by focusing the direction of the speakers.

From the living room the stereo sits behind a chair and side table.
From the living room the stereo sits behind a chair and side table.

Am I fooling myself that it’s hidden behind the table and chair in the living room?

I still have more items to purge from the closet but the stereo is a start.
I still have more items to purge from the closet but the stereo is a start.

At least I have more closet space now.

What ugly essential are you keeping?

And So I Did

Last Saturday I made a short list of tasks to complete and I’m happy to say the list is complete.

I finished covering all four dining room chair seats.
I finished covering all four dining room chair seats.

The morning was filled with stapling until all the chair seats were reupholstered. Chairs 1, Chairs 2.

The chair seats are very plain and will show stains if not protected.
The chair seats are very plain and will show stains if not protected.
I had 2 cans of ScotchGuard on hand which should be protective.
I had 2 cans of ScotchGuard on hand which should be protective.

I laid the four cushions outside and sprayed them heavily with ScotchGuard.

Exterior trim paint.
Exterior trim paint.
I don't have enough paint to finish all the shutters but I can use it as a base coat.
I don’t have enough paint to finish all the shutters but I can use it as a base coat.

I found the paint for the exterior window trim and shutters.

My dermatologist suggested Cerave for morning and night creams and Neutrogena for cosmetics.
My dermatologist suggested Cerave for morning and night creams and Neutrogena for cosmetics.

I treated myself to some skin products recommended by my dermatologist. The above brand seems to be scent-free and doesn’t irritate.

I like using liquid soap especially in the shower.
I like using liquid soap especially in the shower.

I had already been using Dove in the shower which is also recommended.

I cleared up a box and Charlie got rid of the pile in front of the dresser in the conservatory.
I cleared up a box and Charlie got rid of the pile in front of the dresser in the conservatory.
I added a standing lamp to the television side of the room so the book club could see to read.
I added a standing lamp to the television side of the room so the book club could see to read.

Finally I got rid of two boxes of clutter with Charlie’s help.

What have you been meaning to do?

Makes Me Tired

I just plain got tired of seeing the piles of books from the Book Swap leaning up against the dining room wall.

I boxed up all the books.
I boxed up all the books.

My plan was to donate them to The Book Thing in Baltimore but, due to a fire, it’s closed until late Fall, 2016.

Charlie divided up some of the boxes and bagged them so they'd be manageable for me.
Charlie divided up some of the boxes and bagged them so they’d be manageable for me.

I did a little more research and found that I could also donate books to The Maryland Book Bank which is housed in the Baltimore Sun building downtown.

I estimate about 120 books.
I estimate about 120 books.

Charlie put the books on the porch and I slid them into my car when I got home.

Instructions said to leave the books on the loading dock and fill out a donation receipt.
Instructions said to leave the books on the loading dock and fill out a donation receipt.

I drove them down to the Book Bank and left them on the loading dock as was described on their website.

This entire space was filled with boxes of books.
This entire space was filled with boxes of books.

Now the dining room is clear of more stuff.

Baltimore boasts two free book organizations dedicated to literacy.
Baltimore boasts two free book organizations dedicated to literacy: The Book Bank and The Book Thing.

And don’t worry, I have more books in the attic to donate to The Book Thing when it’s up and running.

Are you killing two birds with one stone?

Marble Backsplash for the Master

I’ve been putting off looking at tile for the master vanity backsplash.

The vanity top is white marble with grey veining.
The vanity top is white marble with grey veining.

The top of the vanity itself is grey and white marble with a lot of movement in the veining.

Marble basketweave tile with warm grey grout is on the floor..
Marble basketweave tile with warm grey grout is on the floor..

While we have enough floor tile remaining to complete the backsplash I thought it was too busy.

Ice white matte tile is in the shower.
Ice white matte tile is in the shower.

I also thought using the white subway tile from the shower walls too plain.

The various products used in Tile Shop displays are listed on the wall.
The various products used in Tile Shop displays are listed on the wall.

I stopped into the Tile Shop and found a couple of types of marble tile that might be appropriate. I’ve pretty much settled on a 2″ by 4″ subway tile which is smaller than the 3″ by 6″ shower tile.

Carrara
Polished Hampton Carrara Amalfi

One of the finished displays was covered with Hampton Carrera Polished Amalfi 2″ by 4″ subway tiles.  These would probably go well with the vanity top.

The tile on the left
The tile on the right, Ashford Carrara Amalfi,  seems compatible to the vanity.

Another choice might be Ashford Carrara Polished Amalfi.  I not sure what the difference between the two is since I couldn’t view them side by side.

Bianco Carrara
Bianco Carrara Marble Tile

The Bianco Carrara seems too white.

Venatino
Carrara Venetino

The tile store where I had purchased the flooring, Best Tile, had something with a bit less character called Polished Carrara Venetino also in a small 2″ by 4″ subway.

Tile that looks like bubbles.
Tile that looks like bubbles.

Finally I saw the above whimsical tile mosaic which looks like bubbles. I like it but not for the master bathroom.

Do you have a backsplash in your bathroom? What’s it made from?

Cleaning the Espresso Machine

Four years ago we bought an espresso machine.

Rancilio Silva espresso machine.

We use it everyday and, of course, we clean it after we use it.

A morning cappuccino is a perfect start to the day for me.
A morning cappuccino is a perfect start to the day for me.

Charlie noticed that it wasn’t running as well as it had been and it was making a different sound when it was brewing coffee.

A package of Cleancaf came with the espresso machine.
A package of Cleancaf came with the espresso machine.

He decided to use Cleancaf to clean the inside of the machine.

The Cleancaf is mixed in warm water.
The Cleancaf is mixed in warm water.

One packet of Cleancaf was added to a quart of warm water.

It was strange to see sudsy water in the water reservoir.
It was strange to see sudsy water in the water reservoir.

Then he poured the mixture into the water reservoir.

Surprisingly the water ran brown.
Surprisingly the water ran brown.

He ran the mixture through the machine by turning on the power button and the brew button. The first round was brown.

Two quarts of water ran dark.
Two quarts of water ran dark.

The second round was lighter.

We ran one more quart of water through the mcahine after the water ran clean.
We ran one more quart of water through the mcahine after the water ran clean.

And finally the third round was clear.

Our clean Rancilio.
Our clean Rancilio.

The machine should run better and the coffee might even taste better.

Do you have coffee in the morning?

Today I Will:

I have some lots of unfinished projects. In the past I’ve planned for the week or month. Now I’m planning for just today.

One down, 3 to go.
One down, 3 to go.

Today I will finish covering the dining room chairs.

Ultra Pure White Satin Enamel Exterior Paint is necessary for the exterior window trim.
Ultra Pure White Satin Enamel Exterior Paint is necessary for the exterior window trim.

Today I will find the paint for the exterior window trim and shutters.

Skin care moisturizers recommended by my dermatologist.
Skin care moisturizers recommended by my dermatologist.

Today I will treat myself to some skin products recommended by my dermatologist.

Box by box we're clearing the attic.
Box by box we’re clearing the attic.

Finally I will get rid of two boxes of clutter.

What’re ya doin?