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?

No More Moss

The Cottage roof is growing moss.

The Cottage roof is situated under lots of trees causing moss.

I thought we would have to clean it but more research gave a different idea.

The pale line just under the top row of shingles is a zinc strip.

Instead of making application of a moss remover Sug’s contractor added a zinc strip on both sides of the roof.

This side has a zinc strip also which is barely visible.

As rainwater washes over the zinc it both deters new growth and removes old moss.

Some of the moss on our property is rare and interesting but we don’t want it on the roof.

Chemistry. Hmm.

Do you have a favorite chemical reaction?

Meet the Cottage Tenant

As most people know last Halloween my friend moved into Glade Cottage as a permanent tenant.


During the 10 months prior to her taking up permanent residence in the Cottage she cleaned and painted the inside.


After moving in she has made many improvements on the exterior as well. She loves working outside especially yardwork.

My friend has been a huge help to me.

D’Arcy at Our Bungalow’s 2nd Century suggested my readers may like to know the cottage dweller’s name or at least an alias so I don’t have to continue calling her “the tenant”.

She painted the outside of the Cottage almost single-handedly.

After talking it over we decided she should be known as the nickname her family in North Carolina call her: “Sug”. Sug is short for sugar and is pronounced shoog where the double-o is like the “oo” in book.  (In NC people say shoogah for the sweet stuff we put in our coffee.)

Welcome home, Sug.

Sug no longer calls this place “The Cottage”; she calls it home.

Do you have a nickname?

Not Moving the Tree

The oak tree (on the left in the spotlight) near the Cottage can be easily seen in this photo taken last fall.

Just to the left of the Cottage (facing it) is a large oak tree.

The oak tree near the Cottage.

We’ve had trouble with other oaks in the yard but this one seems to be growing straight and healthy.

Each autumn the entire area is covered with fallen leaves.
We’ll get rid of the rotten wood that was holding the dirt back.

The area underneath had been stabilized with railroad ties which over the decades have rotted out.

Putting sides at right angles helps stabilize the wall as does inserting rebar.

Instead of removing the tree and leveling the dirt, my Cottage friend decided to have the small retaining wall rebuilt with new pressure-treated lumber.

The area in front of the new wall had been built up with bricks which might be a future project.

The contractor cleared up the area on the side of the Cottage to reveal a paved walkway and indications that water is directed around the Cottage via this sloping passage.

The view from the back of the Cottage. The wall tapers toward the back.

The new wall looks neat and practical.

Plants will help maintain the unrestrained dirt.

I’m wondering if there are any planting plans for this heavily-shaded area.

The wall is tall at the front.

We have azaleas, box, hostas, iris, and ferns available on the property to plant.

Do you have a go-to shade plant?

The Cottage Has a Shutter

I’m working on painting the many shutters for my house.

The rear window on the side of the Cottage is shorter than the front window.

The Cottage has just one shutter which was removed when the replacement windows were installed.

This shutter decorates the side of the Cottage.

The barn-style shutter’s paint was freshened while it was off the house.  Now that the Cottage has been totally painted we had in put back in place by our contractor.

Next task: move pile of concrete blocks.

It’s mostly decorative but I think it could close over the window if we wanted it to.

Do you keep a pile of somethings in case you need them? Charlie keeps plastic plant pots.


Neither the original house nor Cottage has any detail on the exterior corners.

All corners in the new part of the house have corner boards.

When the additions to the house were added the architect had designed exterior corner boards to the new building.

The corner shingles have chips and gaps.

I suggested the Cottage might like to have the same detail to disguise some of the chipped shingles on the front façade corners.

The corner board really neatens up the Cottage appearance.

Our carpenter added them yesterday.

Corner boards were added to both front corners.

Every detail has added to the quaintness of the Cottage.

Glade Cottage — Before

The tenant liked the corner boards so much she has decided to finish the look with corner boards on the 2 rear (mostly unseen) corners as well.

Do you have a favorite detail that says “house” to you?

The Cottage Toilet Grows Up

After Charlie and I laid laminate floor in the Cottage bathroom we he put the same toilet that had been in there back in.

Charlie reinstalled the Cottage toilet after we laid the floor. This is the old toilet.

There was a crack in the toilet which we didn’t mind since the water to the Cottage was turned off for much of the year when no one lived there.

The new Toto toilet has no cracks.

Now however our tenant is getting some work done on the Cottage and has decided to replace the standard toilet with a new comfort height model.

The toilet alcove is behind the bathtub.

It was installed in the alcove behind the tub and across from the vanity.

The window blind has also been changed to a white mini-blind. (See above photo.)

I’m sure it will be appreciated.  I love the new taller toilets in the house.

Do you have white or colored fixtures in your bathroom?