Puppy Supplies

I’ve had a little buying spree ordering supplies for Dash when he gets here on April 7.

Dash the Doxie.

He is a shaded red long-haired dachshund so I tried to keep his personal items in the green color family.

Green is a good color for a redhead.

I purchased 2 green bowls from Amazon which I think are being sent from China. Both bowls with shipping are under $10.

Paisley collar and leash from Country Brook Design.

Being a lover of paisley I purchased a collar and leash set in green paisley which he will surely grow into. This set is also available at Amazon.

This doorway into the dining room needs to be blocked.

While he’s little I plan to limit Dash’s access to the conservatory and the conservatory bathroom. (Notice his room is green, too.)

I hope a little barricade will not be too restrictive.

I bought a baby gate that should span our 63-inch opening into the dining room.

I’ll be looking for an appropriate cushion to soften the bottom of the basket.

I don’t think he’ll feel too confined because I bought him a wicker dog basket from Etsy much like the one my former dog had back in the 1980s.  The actual store is in Bosnia Herzegovina and will be shipping from there.

Perhaps we’ll put a dog run in the yard to protect Dash from other animals in the neighborhood.

I’m sure we’ll be getting a few more things as time goes on when he gets old enough to have some training.

What brand of dog food do you like?


Maps.me App

While Charlie and I were in Cuba I became familiar with an iPhone app called maps.me. It was invaluable.

After downloaded the maps.me app can be zoomed.

I downloaded the Cuba map.

Route from Havana airport to Casa Marta.

I opened it after we hired a cab at the Airport to take us to our first casa particulare.

The blue arrow head pinpoints where in the world I am.

The blue arrow pinpointed where we were and showed us that the route we were following was actually taking us to our expected destination.

I could mark destinations of interest.

The best part of maps.me is that it uses no data and does not need wi-fi; it works on GPS.

You can plan a route by car, walking, bus, or bike.

I could plan trips even if someone else was driving as was the case when riding from Havana to Viñales and back again in a taxi collectivo.

I have downloaded my local map and also our next trip: London.

Do you have a favorite app?

Naming My Puppy

I am set to bring my 8-week old mini long-haired dachshund puppy home on April 7th. Dachshunds were first bred in Germany to hunt badgers; dachshund means “badger dog”.

This little fellow is so cute.

We went to see him after he was a month old and fell in love.

Princess Victoria and Dash

I want to call him “Dash” like Queen Victoria’s beloved King Charles Spaniel.  And so his nickname will be “Dash” which seems appropriate for a dachshund.

Little Dash fell asleep on my lap at the breeder’s house.

Having had other pedigreed dogs, though, I knew I should come up with a longer, unique name.

He crossed his back paws while he was napping.

Charlie thinks I’m a little silly but I plan to name him: Jo’s Balderdash von der Lichtung.  “Balderdash” is a word used as early as the 17 century meaning “nonsense”.

Our house is “The Glade”

And “von der Lichtung” is the German for “of The Glade” which is where we live.

In what area of nonsense do you go overboard?

Piping Meringues

Meringues are so easy to make. (Recipe and directions here.)

Meringues are made with egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar (optional).

We almost always have all the ingredients on hand — all 3 ingredients.

I made a quick trip to Michael’s where I purchased the bags. (They were not in stock at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.)

I was ready to make them one morning when I discovered I was out of pastry bags.  Even though the actual meringue has only 3 ingredients I usually like to pipe the shapes — whether tart shells or kisses — with a pastry bag and decorative tip.

The decorative tip and white plastic coupler fit inside the tip of the bag. (The metal tip could also be placed outside of the bag if changing the tip is desired.)
The screw ring of the coupler holds the decorative tip in place.

I bought 2 sizes of bags — 12-inch and 16-inch — and decided the larger bag would work better for a batch of meringue made with 4 egg whites which has a lot of volume.

Fill the bag with meringue using a rubber spatula.

After the bag is fitted with a tip I turned back the wide edge and balanced the bag, tip side down, in a tall glass. The bag is filled with meringue.

The full bag makes about 2 dozen 2.5 inch tart shells.

Fold the edges down and squeeze the meringue down toward the tip.

The centers don’t have to be too neat.

On parchment paper that is marked with 2.5-inch circles, pipe a blob in the middle of each circle and smooth with an offset spatula.

The little shells are baked for 1.5 hours at 225 degrees then stay in the oven after it is turned off for another 30 minutes.

Then pipe a wider rim around each center and bake.

Like a toothpaste tube, roll the bag toward the tip as it empties.

The bag will be almost empty. Throw the bag away and wash the tip and coupler.

What’s your favorite pastry?

101 in 1001 #4 — First Quarter 2018

Here is my new 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. Completed items are in blue, black is the color for original post.

  1. Get a dog. Picking up my puppy 4/10/2018.

    My new puppy was born on February 6.  Here he is at 2 and a half weeks.
  2. Have ancestry confirmed through DNA.
  3. Write a personal mission statement.
  4. Stain the interior wood doors.

    3 sets finished – 2 sets 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 UK. Planned for Fall, 2018.
  7. Get rid of 50 books.

    No matter how many books I get rid of I still seem to have more.
  8. Evaluate and upgrade home electronics: CD player, speaker, turntable, tape deck, DVD player, TV.
  9. Make the guest room ready for guests.

    The treetops room needs to have all clutter removed before it is ready for guests including my shoes piled in the corner.
  10. Revisit my will, trust, and POA.
  11. Visit National Wildlife Visitor Center
  12. Visit Cryptographic Museum
  13. Make a stone patio with firepit.
  14. Host a swap meet.

    We’ve had book swaps and soup swaps. Maybe we’ll try something new.
  15. Get rid of 101 items. I am forty items lighter.
  16. Hang photos in upstairs hall
  17. Take dance lessons
  18. Host a Casablanca party/movie night.

    Someday I’m going to have a Casablanca themed party.
  19. Host a dinner party for 8
  20. Organize trip to a Caribbean island – Cuba. Complete! 8/1/2017 
  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
  24. Go to the beach for a long weekend

    The last time we were at the beach (in California).
  25. Host a scavenger hunt.
  26. Make a month’s worth of meals one weekend. Planned for April, 2018.
  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.
  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 canvasses
  35. Chapel in the yard at The Glade

    There must be an appropriate spot for a small chapel in our yard.
  36. Ride on a Vespa
  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% Currently up 6%
  41. Visit Statue of Liberty.  Complete! 10/27/2017 

    How beautiful is Lady Liberty!
  42. Paint landscapes/seascapes on canvas/wood
  43. Take a cruise. Leave from the Port of Baltimore.
  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
  52. Use my God box.
  53. Build bench for mudroom.
  54. Build shelves in master bedroom.

    We must finish the bedroom shelves.
  55. Landscape the front yard

    We’re working on the foundations plantings.
  56. Read 2 biographies
  57. Read 2 classics
  58. Design Etsy boutique packaging
  59. Fund my Revocable Trust
  60. Achieve my personal weight goal
  61. Get rid of 5 big items from the house:  4 down, 1 to go                                       Lawn mower 

    Lawn mower


    High chair


    Yard cart


    Cedar chest, Skittle game, Rocking horse, Chandelier, Easel,  Dollhouse, Saddle/horse gear

  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.
  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 Planned for the end of July, 2018 
  68. Start a new blog: “Let’s Fake the Music”
  69. Lead a Bible study at home
  70. Plan my funeral
  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
  73. Upgrade deck off master bedroom with new surface and railings

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

    The tank is painted.
  78. Clean out car
  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

    We’re making progress.
  86. Renovate powder room

    Let’s update the bibliotheque.
  87. Paint all interior doors grey

    First floor doors finished; 3 doors on second floor still need painting.
  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 room curtains 
  92. Dye hall rug

    This rug is a little bland.
  93. Fix hall water wall
  94. Paint green vanity

    The dressing table in the master bathroom might not want to be green anymore.
  95. Refinish tall dresser
  96. Finish cushions in dining room
  97. Clear out mud room closet

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

    A wall of sunflowers attracts bees and gold finches.
  100. Fast for 24 hours
  101. Private

Finally Fixing the Dent

Back in December, just before Christmas, whilst I was trying to turn right at a stop sign another car pulled into me.

The other car backed up to let me out my door after scraping the side of my blue car.

My insurance suggested I go straight to the other driver’s insurance company because it certainly wasn’t my fault.

Damage to the black car was limited to a spot under his passenger-side headlight.

He was stopped at the stop sign in the center lane preparing to go straight through the intersection.

My car has a scrape that runs the length of the driver’s door.

Instead he turned his wheel to the right and scraped the side of my car. His insurance declined to pay so I have finally called my company who estimates the damage around $1500.

I think this is proof the other driver was using his phone.

The other driver had a Lyft sign in his window and when he showed me his insurance card on his cell phone the phone also had a message which said “LYFT CANCELED — 1 minute ago”.  I think he looked down at his phone and decided to turn without looking where he was going.

the red sled is usually parked in front of the Cottage.

I decided to  have the repairs made next week because Sug is heading out of the country and is leaving her “red sled” in my possession with the request that I drive it.  And so I’ll be using the red car in place of my blue one while it’s in the shop.

Do you use your phone while driving?

Trip to Cuba: Perfume Shop in Old Havana

As Charlie and I were walking along the Prado in Havana, I spied a Guerlain perfume store similar to the one we had visited in Paris on the Champs Elysee.

The dark facade is the Guerlain store.

When we went in and looked around we discovered it was nothing like the one in Paris, really just a glorified perfume shop of all fragrance brands.

The store was truly elegant.

As our walk took us to Habana Vieja (old Havana) we found a very special perfume store called Habana 1791, there is only one store in the world.

A beautiful courtyard inside the store.

I strolled through the beautiful store which has fountains and stained glass transoms.

At the left of the of the display were masculine fragrances.

We took time to smell all the different fragrances.

I prefer citrus and spice to a floral scent.

After a few minutes Charlie chose Romantica, a masculine scent, and I chose Princesa, a citrus and spice scent.

The perfume was first put into a graduated cylinder.
From the graduated cylinder perfume was poured into a bottle.

Our perfumes were decanted into bottles.

A name and description was tied to the bottle.

Tags with the name of each perfume were tied to the bottles.

Charlie’s perfume came in a spray bottle which we didn’t want leaking in the luggage.

Our sales lady Alexandra (whose husband’s name is also Carlito, more about that later) wrapped each bottle tightly in plastic and tape so the perfume would not leak in the airplane on the trip home.

A distinctive bottle and a distinctive fragrance.

Because I enjoy fragrance in a spray bottle, when I got home I put Princesa in an old Shalimar atomizer.

The perfume is clear and fragrant.

I can have a whiff of Cuba with just a touch of spray any time I want.

Do you have a favorite fragrance?