Moving Forward

Please check out my new blog: Let’s Fake the Music.

Let’s fake it together.

I’ll be writing and posting there exclusively from now on.

Thanks,

Jo

PS  Let’s Face the Music will still be available for research.

Wildwood

Charlie and I have traveled about 3 hours from home to Wildwood, New Jersey.

Topping at the ice cream bar.

We’re staying at a hotel on the boardwalk a couple of blocks from the Convention Center where Charlie will be playing for a variety of events.  The first party was an ice cream social.

The beach from our 7th floor multiple-room suite.

In the meantime I am fulfilling #24 of my 101 tasks in 1001 days: Go to the beach for a long weekend.

Can’t wait to show Charlie the “painted ladies” in Cape May.

This afternoon and tomorrow all day we’ll be free to explore so we’re also planning to visit Cape May just 5 minutes down the road.

We saw lots of classic cars on our trip to Cuba in 2018.

Tomorrow is the Spring Boardwalk  Classic Car Show.  It should be fun.

What are you doing for Mother’s Day?

May Day! May Day!

The title sounds like a call for help because I’ve packed the month of May with enough tasks to fill a year.  Thankfully my team — Charlie and Sug — plus my son and his wife are committed to a long, desperate summer’s worth of to-do lists.  The fun will start in May.

More or less in order of what’s about to happen we’ll be doing the following:

Revival: 

Party on Saturday:  The Dedication of the Chapel at the Glade.

We’re hoping for good weather for our chapel dedication.

The program is set, the menu is set, the guest list is set — time for the party.

Ready:

We will need the guest room — my son’s old bedroom — for weekly visits from him due to his work schedule.  He plans to stay overnight once a week instead of driving back and forth to the Eastern shore of Maryland, 2.5 hours away.

We’ll be welcoming overnight guests very soon.

There are a few more items in the back room that need to be distributed or done away with.  We’re planning to finish up the guest room (#9 on the 101 in 1001).

Relax:

Charlie and I will be spending long weekend at beach (#24 on the 101 in 1001).  Charlie has to play the piano for some meetings but I am just going along for the ride.

We’ll be staying near Cape May, New Jersey.

We’ll be staying on the Boardwalk in Wildwood, New Jersey, but plan to do a little touring on this long weekend.

Recuperate:

Mother’s Day — I’m declaring this as my personal free day.

Mother’s Day would be a good time to invigorate the mantel.

I only plan to do stuff I enjoy.  I’m hoping to also have something special and delicious to eat.

Renovate:

I have spoken with our contractor who is getting ready to add a new surface and railing to our bedroom deck (#73 on the 101 in 1001).

Hoping to finally make some progress on the master deck.

We haven’t used the deck for a couple of years except for building projects due to the lack of railing.

Reposition:

Although Charlie and I are not planning to move to this property we’re going to purchase, we’ll be working on it almost every weekend until it is liveable.

Planning to make some improvements to this 1930s Cape Cod-style cottage including a new roof.

Our son and his wife are excited to live in a rural area that’s only 3 miles from the Nanticoke River.   They will do a little farming and .  .  . who knows what else.  Oystering and crabbing come to mind.

Rabies:

It’s time to have Dash’s rabies innoculation updated.

Dash is a very good dog except when he’s not.

Last year he could only get a year-long shot.  This year he can have a 3-year shot.  We generally get the shot at the county dog shelter.

Renaissance:

We’ll be attending a baptism for an adult friend.

We are so delighted to be asked to be present at this important event.

Renewal:

By the time Memorial Day rolls around I think I’ll need a break although I’m guessing we will have some fun at the new property.

Charlie helped fold the American flag at Fort McHenry.

We are so glad to be able to celebrate a patriotic holiday in one of the original states — Maryland.  Sometimes I can’t believe how beautiful it is here, especially in spring.

Read:

Finally I need to finish my first reading of The Screwtape Letters so I’ll be ready for our book club in June and July.  We have a good group of committed readers to study this satire about the devil.

The Screwtape Letters’ study is coming in June.

That sounds like a crazy full month of must-dos to me.

What do you like to put on the grill on Memorial Day?

The Laundry Door

I decided hanging a door — a door we already own — on our second floor  laundry room would be a good idea. (#5 on my 101 in 1001 is now complete.)

The view into our laundry room from the hall is not always pretty.

Apparently Charlie thought the task was beyond our skill level so we hired our carpenter to create a door frame and then hang the door.

The door had to be cut down in two directions in order to fit the space.

The carpenter hauled this heavy door outside to trim down the bottom and the hinge side.

We still need to trim the door frame but it is installed.

Then he hung it in the doorway, a task that is more difficult than it seems.

I can’t wait to see if keeping the closed door makes a difference in the heat of summer.

What’s easy for you that might be difficult for someone else?

Finally Finished #4

Today I finally finished #4 of my 101 in 1001 list which was to stain all of the unfinished natural wood closet doors.

Before
After

First I stained two sets of doors in the conservatory.

Before
After

Then I stained the set of doors on the walk-in closet in the master bedroom.

Before
After

More recently I stained the narrow set of doors to the pantry.

Before
After

Last week I finally worked on the final set of doors which is in the mudroom.

One small stain project to go above the closet doors.

And I almost finished last week except for the door to the special compartment above the main closet — the compartment I insisted on when the house was being renovated.

Before
After

Today I finally finished this last door  — woo hoo — which means I can check off #4 on my 101 list.  All the interior doors are either painted (#87) or stained (#4).

What is your current tah-dah project?

Developing a Cleaning Schedule

I’ve never been a good housekeeper so I have help in my home.

My friend is a huge help to me.

It won’t come as much of surprise that my help is Sug.

Sometimes Charlie helps with cleaning.

She has set up a cleaning schedule (#38 on my 101 in 1001) to keep things under control.

  • Monday:  Conservatory and bathroom

    We spend a lot of time in the conservatory.
  •  Wednesday:  Living room, dining room, powder room

    The living room and dining room are open to each other.
  •  Friday: Master bedroom and bathroom, guest bathroom

    The master bedroom gets very dusty.
  •  Saturday: Kitchen

    My side of the kitchen.

Other seldom used rooms are cleaned as needed.

Sug’s true domain is caring for the yard.

For this schedule I am very grateful.

Is your schedule successful?

101 in 1001 #4 — Less Than a Year Remains

Here is my 4th list beginning May 10, 2017 (first list ended 11/13/2011, second list 8/11/2014, third list 5/9/2017) until February 5, 2020. The first quarter of 2019 is past so I’m trying to focus my energy on items on the list.  Completed items are in blue, black is the color for original post. Pink is the color for concrete plans. 

  1. Get a dog. Complete! 3/31/2018 

    My Dashie always looks so intense.
  2. Have ancestry confirmed through DNAComplete! 5/19/2018 

    My great grandmother at about the age of 18 circa 1902.
  3. Write a personal mission statement. Complete! 6/28/2018  
  4. Stain the interior wood doorsConservatory, master bedroom, kitchen finished; mudroom doors remain. Spring, 2019

    4 sets finished – 1 set to go.
  5. Hang a door at the entrance to the laundry.

    This solid wood door with 4 lights might fit the opening in the laundry room perfectly.
  6. Take a trip to the UKComplete! 9/21/2018 

    Tower Bridge over the Thames River.
  7. Get rid of 50 books. Complete! 11/30/2018 

    Why is it so difficult to let go of books?
  8. Evaluate and upgrade home electronics: CD player, speaker, turntable, tape deck, DVD player, TV.
  9. Make the guest room ready for guests.

    Much progress has been made in the Treetops room.
  10. Revisit my will, trust, and POA.  Planned for June, 2019
  11. Visit National Wildlife Visitor Center. Complete! 3/16/2019

    Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge.
  12. Visit Cryptologic MuseumComplete! 3/22/2019 

    Enigma machines from WWII have come out of hiding since time has passed.
  13. Make a stone patio with firepitComplete! 11/15/2018 

    The new fire pit is in ready for use.
  14. Host a swap meet. Planned for early November, 2019

    In the fall we’ll have a Christmas decoration swap meet.
  15. Get rid of 101 items. I am sixty-eight items lighter.
  16. Hang photos in upstairs hall
  17. Take dance lessons  Complete! 3/27/2019 

    Tango
  18. Host a Casablanca party/movie night.  Planned for August, 2019.

    The Glade will become Rick’s Cafe American in Morocco.
  19. Host a dinner party for 8
  20. Organize trip to a Caribbean island – Cuba. Complete! 8/1/2017   

    Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro in Havana Bay
  21. Work on family recipe book
  22. Visit a waterfall Cunningham Falls, Thurmont MD Complete! 8/1/2017 

    Cunningham Falls in Maryland
  23. See the Southern Cross in person  Complete! 2/7/2019 

    San Juan skies were cloudy bu we spotted the Southern Cross for the first time.
  24. Go to the beach for a long weekend    Planned for Mother’s Day weekend 

    I’m always happy near the ocean.
  25. Host a scavenger hunt. Planned for Summer, 2019.
  26. Make a month’s worth of meals one weekend. Planned for May, 2019.
  27. Make a home maintenance calendar.
  28. Set blogging goals.
  29. Work on wardrobe: buy what I need, get rid of what I don’t, make a list of everything. Complete! 12/25/2018
  30. Sort out things in attic by attaching children’s names, give away, sell, etc.

    The attic is overdue for a major tidying.
  31. Learn to copyright (watermark) photos
  32. Complete legacy file
  33. Make a photo album of Mommie
  34. Paint some canvases
  35. Chapel in the yard at The Glade Complete! 12/30/2018 

    The Chapel area has 2 new benches.
  36. Ride on a Vespa  Planned for May, 2020

    This looks like a reasonably tame goal.
  37. Locate and catalog local thrift stores
  38. Develop a cleaning schedule
  39. Write a novel based on work
  40. Increase net worth by 25% Complete! 9/27/2018
  41. Visit Statue of LibertyComplete! 10/27/2017 

    How beautiful is Lady Liberty!
  42. Paint landscapes/seascapes on canvas/wood
  43. Take a cruise. Planned for May, 2020.
  44. Memorize a poem.
  45. Make a household inventory with photos
  46. Finish laundry room
  47. Give heirlooms to children – hope chest, china, desk/chair, Christmas china, sleds – 1 for each

    3 sleds
  48. Finish painting trim in pink bedroom
  49. Make a master menu for 14 days of meals
  50. Wash all the windows in the house

    We have a lot of windows.
  51. Paint dining room table – finish sanding, prime and paint

    We’ve changed the rug in the dining room but the table still needs to be refinished.
  52. Use my God box.
  53. Build bench for mudroom.

    I’m planning to build this bench.
  54. Build shelves in master bedroom.

    We must finish the bedroom shelves.
  55. Landscape the front yard  Complete! 6/11/2018 

    Now we’re just waiting for everything to grow.
  56. Read 2 biographies
  57. Read 2 classics
  58. Design Etsy boutique packaging
  59. Fund my Revocable Trust
  60. Achieve my personal weight goal. Complete! 11/30/2018
  61. Get rid of 5 big items from the house:  Complete! 10/30/2017
    This dinosaur is history.

    Lawn mower 

    Sold!

    Lawn mower

    Sold!!

    High chair

    Sold!

    Yard cart

    Sold!
  62. Design and print business cards.
  63. Celebrate our 10th anniversary. 9/12/2019
  64. Organize papers, bills, and contracts from renovation.
  65. Trip to Venice/Serbia/Greece. Planned for September, 2019
  66. Attend 5 concerts — Rheinberger’s Organ Concerto No. 1, SaintSaëns Organ Symphony, Glenmar Dance Music, 50th Anniversary Organ Concert, BSO Gala 2017 Complete! 9/9/2017 
  67. Visit Smith Island, Maryland Complete! 7/31/2018  

    Most workers on Smith Island are watermen — catchers of crabs and oysters.
  68. Start a new blog: “Let’s Fake the Music”
  69. Lead a Bible study at home Planned for June and July, 2019.
  70. Plan my funeral Working on it now.
  71. Hang exterior shutters Complete! 9/23/2017 

    The before and after of the shutter installation.
  72. Build a structure for trash cans and recycle bins

    A simple structure for holding refuse containers found on a porch in Chelsea, London.
  73. Upgrade deck off master bedroom with new surface and railings

    The master deck.
  74. Make curtains for master bedroom Complete! 3/24/2019
  75. Install all trim
  76. Paint all trim
  77. Finish painting exterior details (oil tank, vents, etc.)

    I want to paint the air vents on the exterior of the house the same color as the shingles.
  78. Clean out car Complete! 7/7/2018
  79. Clean up all paint cans
  80. Clear out the basement
  81. Remove 10 boxes from the attic
  82. Set up a better home office

    Perhaps we can set up the office area in the pink bedroom better.
  83. Refinish sleigh bed Complete! 9/23/2017 

    A recent project was refinishing the bedframe of the sleigh bed.
  84. Build frame for full length mirror

    This mirror needs a frame.
  85. Renovate pink bathroom  Complete! 6/27/2018  

    The guest bathroom is ready for guests.
  86. Renovate powder room Complete! 9/11/2018  

    Ready for use.
  87. Paint all interior doors grey Complete! 9/11/2018  

    All doors finished.
  88. Have 5 parties. Complete! 3/17/2018
  89. Coffee table for conservatory
  90. Paint secretary

    I think painting will improve this secretary.
  91. Finish living bedroom curtains   Complete! 3/24/2019
  92. Dye hall rug  Summer, 2019

    This rug is a little bland.
  93. Fix hall water wall Complete! 3/28/2018
  94. Paint green vanity

    The dressing table in the master bathroom might not want to be green anymore.
  95. Refinish tall dresser

    My chest of drawers which belonged to my grandmother needs a surface treatment.
  96. Finish cushions in dining room

    The center cushion of the window seat in the dining room needs a cover to match the two side cushions.
  97. Clear out mudroom closet

    The closet has become a storage spot for lots of stuff that doesn’t belong.
  98. Whiten my teeth Complete! 6/28/2018
  99. Plant sunflowers Complete! 7/14/2017 

    A wall of sunflowers attracts bees and gold finches.
  100. Fast for 24 hours Complete! 6/29/2018
  101. Private

What are you under the gun to finish? Or start?

Working Out Final Details

Charlie and I both own multiple grave lots.

My family cemetery uses headstones augmented by footstones.

The issue is where do we ultimately want to be buried (#70 of 101 in 1001).

Charlie’s graveyard uses only foot marker bronzes. Some people have added a bench.

In the next month we’re going to decide who goes where and amend the deeds of the various sites to reflect ownership.

Charlie’s sites were under a tree until recently when it was cut down.

We’re also trying to decide what information and designs to put on the grave markers.  There are so many options.

Our bronze plaque will definitely have dogwood blossoms — the Maryland state tree.

At least we can both agree on a dogwood motif.  After that we’ll have to compromise.

Bronze companion marker with an integrated vase.

For example he wants an integral vase and I do not.

Have you made these decisions? What conversations were helpful?

101 in 1001 #12

I’m trying to whittle down my 101 tasks in 1001 days list.

The way to the museum is well-marked through the parking lot of the NSA.

So I took some time last afternoon to visit the National Cryptologic Museum (#12 on my 101 in 1001) on the Campus of the National Security Agency (NSA).

Floor plan of the museum.

I knew it was located approximately at the crossroads of Routes 32 and 295 near Fort Meade, Maryland.

A replica of the Rosetta Stone from ancient Egypt.

After passing by the front desk one finds a lifesize replica of the Rosetta Stone one of the first code breaking machines in the history. (We saw and were amazed by the true original in the British Museum in London.)

Enima machines have come out of hiding since time has passed from WWII.

The museum exhibits explain coding and code-breaking of all types.

An “Enigma” tag marks the coding machine, this one in German.

There are a number of Enigma machines.

All sides in war use codes to pass messages. The real trick is to decode the enemies messages.

Visitors (including children) to the museum are able to manipulate the machine themselves.

Code Talkers have a very special and uniquely American skill.

My primary interest in visiting the museum was to learn more about the Native American Code Talkers, American soldiers from various tribes who used their native languages to pass radio messages during World Wars I and II.

Military term on the left, transliteration of the Navajo word in the middle, Navajo meaning in English on the right.

Not every word that was used in military talk was actually a word in the tribal languages so necessary terms were equated to known words like using  “chicken hawk” to mean “dive bomber”.

All ages are welcome in the museum.

I just spent a short time in the museum but could easily visit again when I  have more time to do more reading and manipulation of the exhibits. And the museum store has items marked with “NSA”.

Do you have an unusual local museum?

Maryland, My Maryland

Both Charlie and I are native Marylanders for many generations.

Maryland is one of the original United States on the eastern seaboard.

For that reason I thought we should explore our home state with the same interest as our other travels. With that in mind, last year we traveled to Smith Island.

Our meeting place for the hike was in front of the National Wildlife Refuge Center.

Today we visited the National Wildlife Refuge Center (#11 on my 101 in 1001 list) in Laurel, Maryland.

Lake Cash is rich with water fowl.

We were signed up for a two-mile hike around Cash Lake to listen for and observe birds.  Our expert volunteer guide led us around the lake pointing out over 25 different species of birds.

We all carried binoculars to view the birds close-up.

Some of the first birds we saw were ducks which included ring neck, hooded mergansers, and mallards.

Beavers gnaw around the base of trees to retrieve wood to build their lodge.

As we walked around the lake we noticed an area where all the small trees had been removed.  The remaining stumps had a very distinctive cutting pattern that was caused by beavers.

Beavers enter the lodge from underwater.

The beaver lodge was hidden behind a tree hanging over the water.

A small yellow bird is inside the green circle.

As we walked on further I noticed a yellow bird high in a tree which I thought was a goldfinch.

Male Pine Warbler.

The bird was not a finch, but instead a Pine Warbler with a trilling call.

The Visitor Center is a large space with a gift shop, classrooms, restroom, and movie theatre.

The hike took approximately 2 hours.  We finished at the visitor center and recounted the birds we had seen which another hiker was planning to enter into the eBird.org website.

Are you a birder?