Renovating an old house by a musical couple who want to live there the rest of their lives.
Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights.
We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house.
Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.
The front yard needs a specimen plant that will eventually become a tree to hide the electric box that is mounted on the front of the house.
I saw a picture of a “Cream Puff” deodar cedar which I thought would be perfect.
When I went to order one it was out of stock everywhere so I ordered a “Snow Sprite” cedar instead. It has been very slow arriving which turns out to be a benefit.
My computer informed me that a “Cream Puff” is now available from Japanese Maples and Evergreens on Amazon. So I ordered it and canceled the first order with no problem.
The “Cream Puff” is a dwarf deodar cedar with white tips on the ends of the branches. It is both humidity tolerant and deer resistant. I’m hoping the habit of this tree will eventually look like this one.
In the renovation the windows in the new areas of the house are Anderson 400s.
They are installed with protective plastic film on the window panes which I was quick to remove from the conservatory windows because the scenery is great.
So all the downstairs windows were unfilmed a few years ago.
Unfortunately I didn’t remove the film, which is on the outside of the window, on the master bathroom casement window and the master closet sash window.
Over time the film became stuck to the windows and difficult to remove.
While the ladder was up against the house for this project Charlie moved it to the back of the house so I could reach the casement window. Before I could climb the ladder Sug brought her window cleaner and a razor blade scraper up the ladder and removed the film and the adhesive left by the film.
While she had her supplies together she moved to the inside of the master closet where we both learned how to flip the windows to the inside so they, too, could be defilmed and cleaned.
These two three windows were the final ones to be cleaned. Check, double check, and triple check. Thanks to Sug.
Charlie told me that the vent on the side porch had a hive in it.
It didn’t surprise me because wasps are continually starting new nests hanging from the porch ceiling. We knock them down as soon as they are started.
I was more surprised to look up into the master bathroom vent on the second floor of the house. It was almost filled with a wasp nest so much so that the exhaust flap could barely open.
Charlie climbed our tallest extension ladder with a can of wasp spray and sprayed the nest very well. After waiting about half an hour for the spray to work he knocked the nest down much to the dismay of wasps who hadn’t been home at the time of destruction.
He also painted the plastic vent cover with the house color: Sandy Hook Gray.
While Charlie was working on the vent Sug cut a piece of screen to fit the grated cover.
Charlie painted the grating and returned it to its place on the vent hoping to block entry of returning wasps.
A couple of weeks ago I discovered (after almost everybody else in the United States) that a total solar eclipse was going to cross the continent on August 21, 9 days from now.
After clearing our calendars and hemming and hawing for awhile we finally decided to try and make it to a region where we could be in the path of totality — a place where day literally turns to night.
At first I thought we would head to Smoky Mountain National Park but they were selling tickets to the best viewing area which have been sold out for ages. Instead I mapped the 6-and-a-half-hour route and made an AirBnB reservation for the night before within a additional two hour drive to the eclipse area.
Next on the to-do list was to get some solar eclipse glasses so we would be able to view the sun as it is covered by the moon.
Unfortunately all local brick-and-mortar stores, Lowes, REI, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, were sold out as were their on-line counterparts. The only option left to me was to buy children’s models which I ordered from Amazon.
I’m hoping the glasses will arrive in time for our trip. I’m also going to try to get a pair from our local library which will begin to distribute a limited amount on August 14th.