Getting the Weeds Before They Get Us

Sug has been working on the heavily weedy area just below the Cottage.

The yard behind the Cottage could become a shade garden for strolling and sitting.

Sug has been clearing the vines under the tree just below the Cottage.

This stump is on its way out.

We had a beautiful weekend and Sug finished up the bulk of the work.

The dark dirt area is mostly shaded in summer so shade-loving plants are in order.

We need to make some progress on this area before the honeysuckle and poison ivy start to grow back.

Before
Some variegated hosta, impatiens, and painted ferns might be a nice start.

Before and during. Can’t wait to show you the “after”. Can’t wait to see it myself.

Are you planting grass this spring?

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Conservatory Bathroom Window

While Charlie and I were away for a week Sug’s carpenter came to the house to install window trim on the last 3 untrimmed windows.

We spend a lot of time in the conservatory.

The round windows in both the conservatory and master bathrooms now have extension jambs and trim.

The jamb was extended with a specially made piece before the trim was applied.

The round window in the conservatory bathroom took some extra maneuvering.

All bathrooms have a round window except the powder room which has no windows.

Sug plans to paint it tomorrow so the conservatory bathroom will be ready both functionally and cosmetically for the Irish Tea Party on Saturday.

The conservatory shower doesn’t get much use but the bathroom itself does.

As each detail is completed the house is becoming more and more comfortable.

Do you have plans for Saint Patrick’s Day?

Looming Over The Cottage

Glade Cottage is set in the woods.  There are large trees all around.

The large tree at the center of the picture leaning toward the Cottage was removed in 2016.

Almost 2 years ago we had one removed that was dead because it looked like it would take out both the Cottage and the house if it fell.

The bare-limbed tree directly behind the Cottage is coming down before it does damage.

Another large and threatening tree growing behind the Cottage on our neighbor’s property had succumbed to fungus.

The boom truck was parked in our driveway.(That’s a man dangling from the wire.)

Our neighbor emailed to tell us she planned to take it down to about 20 feet of stump so it would not damage any structures, including ours, if it fell.  In order to access the tree, the tree service’s boom truck needed to park in our driveway.

A lumberman is waving from the tree in the center of the picture.

The lumbermen carefully cut down and lowered the branches.

Large limbs were lowered to ground carefully by the crane on the truck.

In a few hours only the stub of a truck remained.

This enormous truck stayed in our driveway all night.

Unfortunately their bucket truck broke down in front of the Cottage and had to say put overnight until repair parts could be had.

The remaining tree truck may become a home for birds and small animals but it won’t fall on the Cottage.
When the other trees leaf out in spring we won’t notice this bare trunk (near the center of the picture).

We still have plenty of trees but the Cottage and its tenant are a little safer now.

Are you bothered by unsafe plants?

Trip to Cuba: $3 Haircut

When we travel Charlie and I like to do things like the locals. In Paris we both got haircuts.

Our casa particulare was a few steps from John Lennon Park. Charlie’s hair was not as long as John’s but longer than most Cuban men.

In Havana Charlie got another haircut.

Our taxi driver Valentine was happy to model a standard Cuban cut.

He was talking to our host in the Vedado section of Havana and discovered this mostly bald man got his hair cut for 45 cents directly across the street from our lodgings.

Our neighborhood in Havana.

We walked across the street to the “salon” and it was closed. A few hours later the young lady was shaving a man’s head totally bald.  Unfortunately she said she was all booked up but looked again at her schedule and told Charlie to come back at 5 p.m.

The shop is very basic.

Charlie asked how much the cut would cost.  When the barber said 5 CUC (equal to $5) he was taken aback since our host had estimated $1 to $1.50.  Charlie negotiated the price down to 3 CUC and sat in the barber chair.

In the beginning Charlie was a little worried about the clipper sending his locks to the floor.

She started with the clipper and lots of hair fell to the floor.  Charlie was a bit worried because he usually gets a scissor cut.

The barber was adept with a straight razor.

She cut the back and sides with a clipper, scissor-cut the top, and finished the back of his neck with a straight razor with a brand new blade.

Not sure how we got sidetracked from the haircut.

The fun part was that this lovely barber told us what to beware of in Havana, where her favorite restaurants were, and the story of her entire family.

A Cuban cut.

When the cut was finished Charlie looked a little more Cuban and ultimately paid 3 CUC plus a 2 CUC tip.

When you travel do you go native?

All Trimmed Up

While Charlie and I were away for a week Sug’s carpenter came to the house to install window trim on the last 3 untrimmed windows.

Before — the untrimmed window.
The trim still needs to be painted.

The round windows in both the conservatory and master bathrooms now have extension jambs and trim.

Before — the window is untrimmed in the master closet.
After — the trimmed window only needs paint.

He also trimmed up the window in our not-yet-completely finished walk-in closet.

I have yards of cotton voile that might work just fine.

My next step is to make curtains for the closet window.  This window faces the street so needs window coverings for privacy.

Do you prefer curtains, shades, blinds, or nothing at all at your windows?

 

Master List: Early 2018

You can read about the Master List we’ve been working on for the past couple of years and our progress here.  I’ve decluttered the list again and now I’ve removed anything that has been accomplished before 2017, retaining things that still need work, and adding projects that require finishing or are just plain FUN. (Our room by room to-do list is here.)

Projects to Do:

  • 1. Paint green vanity

    The dressing table is still green.
    The dressing table is still green.
  • √2.  Pump up curb appeal with landscaping upgrades
    This total lack of landscaping needs to be graded, seeded, and planted.
    Last year.

    We’ve added shutters and some immature foundation plants.
  • 3. Move former back door to laundry

    This solid wood door with 4 lights should fit in the laundry room doorway.
  • 4.  Clean closet in Treetops room

    The Treetops Room.
    The Treetops Room.
  • 5. Scrape, sand and paint back bedroom door. Repair jamb.
  • 6. Lighting for walk-in closet
  • 7. Paint trim in pink bedroom

    The trim and this closet door need a fresh coat of white.
    The trim and this closet door need a fresh coat of white.
  • 8. Refinish floor in laundry
  • 9. Replace trim in laundry
  • 10. Finish closet in laundry

    The laundry closet has been on the back burner since the renovation began.
    The laundry closet has been on the back burner since the renovation began.
  • 11. Refinish my tall dresser

    My chest of drawers which belonged to my grandmother needs a surface treatment.
    My chest of drawers which belonged to my grandmother needs a surface treatment.
  • 12. Check interior shutters for size
  • 13. Think about bedroom curtains
  • 14. Make living room curtains

    Working on it.
    Working on it.
  • 15. Finish cushions in DR

    One cushion remains to be sewn.
    One cushion remains to be sewn.
  • 16. Paint all the trim in the house

    Tons of trim needs to be painted.
    Tons of trim needs to be painted.
  • 17. Paint dining room table

    We’re using a smaller table.
  •  18. Consider terrace or deck
  • 19. Decide where art work goes

    We have a lot of original art in the living room.
  • 20. Get rid of art that does not suit
  • 21. Paint design on stair walls
  • 22. Hang photo gallery in upstairs hall
  • 23. Put shelves in pink room and paint stunning color at back of shelves
  • 24. Clean basement and add utility shelves under the steps.
  • 25. Design garden plan for back of yard behind the cottage.

    The yard behind the Cottage could become a shade garden for strolling and sitting.
  • 26. Open an Etsy shop.

What are you waiting for warm weather to accomplish?

Musical Gifts

My sister is a wonderful gift-giver.  She always seems to give the perfect thing.

The tacky little lamp was our only music light over the piano and the bench cushion was not very attractive.

We have a piano between the dining room and the living room that can be seen from almost every room on the first floor.

Charlie received this piano bench cushion in 2016 for Christmas.

In 2016 my sister gave Charlie a tapestry cushion for his piano bench. It was a huge improvement and he really appreciated it.

19-inch piano map illuminates at least two music sheets.

This year she sent a beautiful piano lamp. (We had been using a lamp from WalMart that I had spray painted.)

Sometimes the lamp might want to be dimmed.

Her research had led her to a dimmable model.  When the lamp arrived it worked but wouldn’t dim.

The lamp worked but wouldn’t dim.

Since the dimmer was an extra little box with a dial that fit between the power cord and the lamp base, we were hoping that replacing it would fix the issue.

The new piano lamp is sleek, functional, and dimmable.

The Cocoweb company replaced the dimmer for free and now it works. Tra la.

Do you have dimming lights?