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?

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?

A Small Gift

I wanted to get something personal for the Cottage tenant who has been steadily fixing up the Cottage, taking care of the yard, and other truly nice things.

I bought Charlie a greenhouse kit for Christmas.

I like to get people things they wouldn’t get for themselves.

Personalized postage stamps.

I saw that was  having a 30% off sale so I checked out if it applied to personalized postage stamps.

Custom postage template

It did. I went onto “Custom Postage” then “Photo Postage” where I chose “Small Custom Postage” in a 49 cent denomination.

I chose only to add a photo, no words.

I uploaded my favorite photo of Glade Cottage which I had to “zoom” twice to fill the frame.

Start with a great photograph.

The package arrived in about a week.  The final cost with a 30% coupon was just under $25 for 20 forty-nine cent stamps. As stamps go it’s not cost effective; as gifts go lots of bang for the buck.

What’s your favorite offbeat gift to give or get?

Neatening Up the Path

The Cottage tenant loves working in the yard.

Charlie started the path. View from the top.

I know.  It’s a blessing.

The dark mulch will lighten in the sun. View from the bottom.

The bottom of the chip path Charlie worked on last year when our big tree was taken down had never been finished.

The path is just past the greenhouse.

Now it has been neatened up. And the chip pile is being whittled down.

Are you harvesting any veg from your garden?

Getting Ahead of Myself

My plan for yesterday was to begin painting the exterior house shutters.

We have a lot of shutters. Ugh.

The actual plan was to paint them a year ago.

The shutters were not ready for painting.

I pulled all the shutters — about a dozen pairs — out of the shed.  I was going to lay them out on plastic in the backyard and spray paint them.

Some of the shutters have already been scraped.

Unfortunately only 3 pairs had been scraped and those needed to be washed down.

Clearing the shed is a subsidiary goal.

And I got sidetracked getting rid of some clutter in the shed.

Painting shutters is a labor-intensive job.

We washed down the 6 scraped shutters and paired the others together to get them ready to be painted next week (maybe).

We have a large pile of shutters.

The process is: prime rusty metal, prime fronts and backs, paint backs, paint fronts, hang shutters.

Are you easily sidetracked?

Rehabbing the Children’s Garden

Back in 2013 Charlie and I created a garden in the woods near the Wee Little House.

The Children’s Garden in 2013.

We called it the “Children’s Garden“.

In 2015 we neatened this area up a bit but it was very needy.

In 2015 it was starting to fill in.

The overgrown Children’s Garden in 2017.

This year it was a mess of wild raspberry brambles, weed trees, and grape vines. The stump that had been in the center of the space had disintegrated.


Since the lady from the Cottage enjoys working in the year, when she realized this had been a cultivated area she was all over it.

Now the shed is visible from the upper part of the yard.

In 3 days the weeds and vines were under control again.

I suggested the periwinkle groundcover under the trees could be mowed. It will come back.

Since this area is visible from the master suite deck I’m really happy with its manicured appearance.

Do you like pulling weeds or painting?

Another Small Paint Project

I have been waiting for over a year to paint the oil tank at the back of the house because I wanted to use my paint sprayer.

I brushed on a little house paint a while ago to see how it would look.

I had brushed on some color a while ago and decided a sprayed on finish would ultimately look and wear better.

A patch of shingles behind the tank also had been difficult to reach with a paintbrush so remained unpainted.

So last Saturday morning, bright and early, I started the project.  First I washed and scrubbed the tank itself with enzyme cleaner.

The first few passes of the paint sprayer left some bare splotches.

While it was drying I trudged upstairs and downstairs more than once for the supplies.  As with every project it took me 2 hours to assemble all the various parts of the paint sprayer, the paint, and other items necessary to paint the tank.

The shingles behind the tank were also spray painted.

Thankfully the paint sprayer worked on the first try.  I gave the metal oil tank lots of light coats including the unpainted, hard-to-reach shingles behind the tank.


While the tank is still visible it does blend in better with the back of the house.

Late afternoon in the back yard at The Glade.

What’s your camouflage challenge?