Faucet Snobbery

I prefer a high-arc faucet.

The tall spigot in our Paris apartment.

Charlie and I learned to appreciate them on our trip to Paris in 2011.

Even the Cottage has an Ikea high-arc faucet in the kitchen area.

We have installed them in the house on every sink.

This bathroom will get a new faucet.

Now that we are planning to upgrade a new old house I have decided to change out all of the faucets while we have a plumber on the premises.

The kitchen could use a new sink as well as a new faucet but for now we’re just switching out the faucet.

The 3 sinks all have old-style faucets.

Delta Foundations high-arc bathroom faucet — $30.

I placed an order with Home Depot for 2 identical and inexpensive bathroom faucets by Delta.

Kitchen faucet

I went a little more upmarket with a Moen Noell kitchen faucet because I also like a lever control in place of two handles in the kitchen.

What details are you partial to?

Replacement Dogwood

A couple of weeks ago Charlie had to take down a dogwood tree in the front yard.

The same dogwood today has no leaves like the others in the yard.

While it flowered this spring it has not leafed out as the others have done so we decided it must be replaced.

This dogwood tree is so young it has never flowered yet which should make it a good replacement.

I asked Charlie to move a young dogwood from a spot near the street into the now empty spot.

Charlie carefully dug up the tree and loaded it into our yard cart..

The hole was a couple feet deeper into the yard so it wouldn’t interfere with overhead electric wires as it grows taller.

This area of the yard used to be shaded until all the tall oaks died and were removed.

Charlie planted it and watered it very well but it became droopy.

Since the tree was not growing straight Charlie used stakes and strings to make it plumb-ish.
Between heavy rains and the hose, we’re trying to keep the leaves from drooping further.

Dogwoods are a little finicky but can be transplanted if well cared for.

Do you rearrange plants in your yard?

Party Dinner Menu for Early May

We’re having a get-together on Saturday for which I’ve promised dinner.

Tags for the party favors — small plants for each guest.

I wanted a menu that doesn’t take much last minute prep because Charlie, Sug, and I each have a role in the preliminary part of the celebration.

The first part of the party will take place in the lower yard — a little risky.

I’ve updated my preliminary menu which was actually slated for last autumn.  Most items are the same except for the nod to spring in the dessert.

The oven will be in use for hours.

Menu:

  • Salad with baby greens, grapes, roasted beets, toasted walnuts, goat cheese, and raspberry vinaigrette
  • Beef brisket 
  • Baked penne and cheese
  • Rolls
  • Strawberry Tiramisu

    Strawberries have been very good this spring.
  • Coffee, tea, iced tea

With Sug’s help I plan to cook on Friday afternoon and evening including preparing the dessert.  I think we’re expecting about 25 people and not everyone is staying for dinner so some recipes will need to be doubled and others tripled.

Do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo?

April D-tails Done

When April began I had plans which included celebrating birthdays, going to the opera, and celebrating Easter — dates which could not be changed. We succeeded in accomplishing most of the things we set out to do and at least put a dent in the others.

Dedication

My son celebrated his birthday in April.

Our son has helped us with a few projects and is now getting ready to start a major project of his own in conjunction with the team at The Glade.

Not only was he born in April but his actual birth-day was on a Palm Sunday so I always think of Palm Sunday as a day to also remember his special day.

Distraction

I helped to plan a retirement party for the matron of honor at my wedding.  Her boss left the details to me.

The central hall of the house where I work was transformed into a dining area.

The party was well-attended and everyone enjoyed their party favors of tiny Turkish coffee cups.

Diversion

Porgy and Bess at the Baltimore Symphony was fantastic.

Porgy and Bess was a wonderful evening of music and drama.

Naturally the music is great and the story is poignant, but we were also treated to magnificent singers and actors.

Doing

I had high hopes at the beginning of April to finally get back to working on the laundry room.

On the left laundry with new door open, on the right door closed.

Three items that needed doing in the laundry room were:

  • doors for the closet–still  undone,

    The closet on the right needs doors.
  • door for the entrance–installed,

    The door still needs trim.
  • baseboard and chair rail trim–still undone.

    Profile of the laundry chair rail which needs to continue around the room.
Devotion

We had a full and blessed Easter week.

Charlie started to play the organ for Sunday Mass at a small convent.

We have been enjoying attending services of different denominations where Charlie has been asked to play their services.  It’s interesting to experience the similarities and differences of various places of worship.

Dance

Charlie and I have finished five weeks of Argentine tango lessons. We have learned to walk tango-style — I walk backwards — in both parallel and cross pattern.

Our dance floor before our first lesson.

I can perform ochos and a thing called the “code”. One last class and we’ll try to decide if we should continue.  Tango has been a weekly challenge in concentration and performance which I can highly recommend.

All in all April was a busy and productive month.  We made some decisions for new projects which will be revealed in May.

Would you like to learn to do something new?

Managing the Dogwoods

We have many beautiful dogwood trees in the yard.

Glade Cottage is framed by dogwood blossoms.

At this time of year they are stunning.

The red tree in the foreground is the dogwood in Fall of 2017.

Unfortunately the dogwood tree in the front of the yard at the entrance to the driveway has died an untimely death.

The same dogwood today has no leaves like the others in the yard.

While it flowered this spring it has not leafed out as the others have done so we decided it must be replaced.

Our electric chain saw cut easily through the branches.

Charlie cut the branches off.  Then he cut down the trunk close to the ground and finished trimming the branches.

This was a small dogwood so not difficult to take down.

I was sad to see the space in the yard where the dogwood had been growing.

This dogwood tree is so young it has never flowered yet which should make it a good replacement.

Happily I have identified another young tree in our yard near the street that can replace the dead one.

The plan is to put another tree in its place.

Charlie has already dug the hole.

Do you have a favorite tree?

My Favorite Week of the Year

I love Holy week.

We were loaded down with palm fronds today.

Although my grown son’s birthday is early in April, he was born on Palm Sunday.  Today is Palm Sunday.

Simple but lovely convent chapel.

In addition to our regular services Charlie had the opportunity to play the organ at the small chapel of a local convent.

Charlie prepares the music for Palm Sunday.

Sug and I accompanied him and were truly blessed by the simplicity and sincerity of this community.

The pitcher, bowl, and towel are a reminder of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples.

This week my regular Bible study classes have been canceled but I’ll be attending special services planned for the end of the week.  My favorite is Maundy Thursday.  It is in Maundy services I have heard very profound and memorable messages.  The Pope washes the feet of prisoners emulating the actions of Christ at the Last supper.  That would be a truly humbling experience — having anyone wash my feet.

We’ll be creating a flower-adorned on Saturday night for a Sunrise service on Easter morning.

So we enjoyed our 5 services this weekend and look forward to a peaceful week concluding in a celebratory and joyful Easter when Charlie will be playing again at the convent before our regular service.

Do you have a favorite special celebration?

Going in Different Directions

Our local nursery has bedding plants ready for sale.

The only colorful plants at this stage are coleus.

I will need to purchase at least a couple dozen plants for our chapel dedication at the beginning of May.

The greenhouse will keep things from freezing during April when our last frost date is around April 20.

I don’t think it’s too early since we can store them in the green house.

Hoping this is a future project.

I’m also looking at some odd real estate. If I can get more details I’ll do an extensive post.

The center cushion of the windowseat has never been upholstered like the other two but I have the fabric.
We need to trim the linen closet.

Finally, I’m working on tying up loose ends of projects that have been hanging around too long.

What are you dabbling in?

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?

April D-tails

April first is Monday so I wanted to start making plans lest  the month get away from me.  I try to set goals every month which allows me to make progress on the myriad projects and repairs we face.

Dedication
Portrait of my son as a yong child — he’s a man now.

I dedicate April to my loving son who celebrates his birthday early in the month.

Distraction

I’m helping to plan a retirement party for the matron of honor at my wedding.  Charlie and I will be providing the musical entertainment. We along with Sug will be visiting her in Serbia this coming fall.

The front of the tag for tiny Turkish coffee cups.

Her employer is providing party favors of tiny, colorful Turkish (Serbian) coffee cups and saucers. I am making tags for each one tied on with a ribbon extolling her extravagant hospitality and grace.

Diversion

We have tickets to see (hear?) Porgy and Bess at the Baltimore symphony.  We have done this same thing years ago at which time Charlie was alarmed to find out it is an actual opera. Since the music was written by George Gershwin he was expecting something in a more jazz style.

A great American opera.

When the soprano let out with Summertime in a coloratura range I thought he was going to head out to the lobby. Fortunately, our children were with us and they loved it.

Doing

I have high hopes for my April “To-do List”.  I want to focus on the laundry room which was NOT part of our 2013-2014 renovation but on which I have been working for the past decade.

I’d like to make the laundry room a priority that is completed by the end of 2019.

Three items that immediately pop into my mind when considering the laundry room are:

  • doors for the closet,

    The closet on the right needs doors.
  • door for the entrance,

    This solid wood door with 4 lights should fit in the laundry room doorway.
  • baseboard and chair rail trim.

    Profile of the laundry chair rail which needs to continue around the room.
Devotion

Charlie will be playing the piano and organ for a variety of services and has enlisted Sug and me to sing with the choir.

A project from a few years ago.

Easter week:

  • Palm Sunday
  • Maundy Thursday

    This small Irish bowl and pitcher are reminders of the humble service
    of Christ.
  • Good Friday
  • Easter

    One year we made cabbage dyed eggs. Maybe this year we’ll try paprika.
Dance

Charlie and I started six weeks’ worth of tango lessons last Wednesday.

My Capezio dancing shoes have been repaired and are just perfect for tangoing.

He’s doing great and my foot hurts from injuring it while we were in England last September. But I’m a trooper and will “keep calm and tango on”.

What is your Aprilization plan?

No More Distractions

I’ve been creating diversions every Saturday this month so I had no chance of working on and finishing the bedroom curtains  and shades.

Last week we went birding.

Last Saturday we went to the Wildlife Refuge.

A new bed in the Cottage.

The week before I wanted to be in on the delivery and set up of Sug’s new bed in the Cottage.

My sewing machine is still set up in the master bedroom.

Tomorrow I will NOT be distracted. It’s curtains.

Bedroom curtains need finishing.

And curtains alone.

Cafe?

Unless somebody has a better idea.

What are your plans? Or diversions?