Mid-April

I have some big plans for April but so far have not made any real forward motion.  I’m hoping this coming weekend with its 80 degree weather will change all that.

Frankie Moreno at the BSO.

Tomorrow night we’re going to take in Frankie Moreno at the Baltimore Symphony.  That’s Charlie’s and my entertainment for this month.

Charlie’s idea of not letting the dog on the furniture.

While we’re out Sug is watching little Dash and introducing him to one of our good friends.

This edging is a good model for what we’d like.

Earlier in the week the cedar lumber was delivered with which we’re planning to line the front walkway.  Charlie has promised to phone the Stone Store tomorrow to find out what kind of stone is available and when it can be delivered. He is planning on getting the set-up started.

Over time I’ll be using this app to help me get healthier.

Finally I just discovered my phone has a “Health” app that counts my steps, mileage, and stair-climbing. Apparently it has been doing this for quite some time but I never knew. I’m going to try to make sure my phone is with me at all times (lest some movement is missed) and I’ll endeavor to make at least one ten additional steps daily until I reach 10,000 per day.

What do you keep track of?

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List, 2018: April Plans

I’d like to start this post with a Happy Birthday message to our eldest son.

The first quarter of 2018 is over and we’ve made some progress (January, February, March).

Now it’s cold and rainy but soon spring will raise her lovely head and the dogwood trees will bloom so I offer our plans for April.

Exertion

In order to get the wallpaper up in the pink bathroom I still need to smooth the wall.  Smoothing the walls is the goal for this weekend.

Still working on smoothing out the wall above the tile.

Execution

After the bathroom is underway I’m heading to the back bedroom where we’ve been storing all sorts of papers and projects. Instead of straightening this out I’ve actually added more clutter.

The treetops Bedroom is sunny in the morning.

That room is our main guest room.  Since I did not even get started in February March, I’m hoping to make a dent in March April.

Entertaining

We have no plans to entertain this month except to introduce Dash to our friends.

Dash has met a lot of new people in the past week since he’s moved into The Glade.

Entertainment

We have tickets to the symphony to see Vegas Nights starring Frankie Moreno.

Frankie Moreno at the BSO.

It should be a rollicking piano good time.

Exterior Outsourcing 

Sug’s carpenter is planning to install a deck in front of the Cottage.

This mock-up gives the idea of what we’re going for.

We’re hoping to install a deck and railing on the conservatory roof.

Exercise

Since Dash showed up I’ve been walking much more trying to tire him out.  At this point in time Dash follows me wherever I go.  It won’t be long before I’ll start walking him on a lead just to get him accustomed a proper walk.  The walking doesn’t hurt me either.

Is there a bloom that heralds spring for you?  I’m torn between dogwood and lily of the valley.

List, 2018: March Progress

Instead of making progress on my plans for March I made progress on unplanned projects:

Even though March has another week, the planned projects will have to take a backseat to:

  • A friend’s birthday dinner on Monday,
  • A gift project on Tuesday,
  • My final choir rehearsal on Wednesday,
  • A Maundy service on Thursday,
  • A performance of John Stainer’s Crucifixion on Friday.

This is one of my favorite weeks of the year.

Exertion

We’re still working on the pink bathroom and thus far have replaced the broken tiles.  We made no progress here in an entire month.  None. Nada. Zilch.

Still working on smoothing out the wall above the tile.
The ceiling is painted white and the old wallpaper has been removed.

We still need to paper the walls, hang a new mirror, etc.

Execution

After the bathroom is underway I’m heading to the back bedroom where we’ve been storing all sorts of papers and projects. Instead of straightening this out I’ve actually added more clutter.

The treetops Bedroom is sunny in the morning.

That room is our main guest room.  Since I did not even get started in February March, I’m hoping to make a dent in March April.

Entertaining

On the 17th of the month Charlie, Sug, and I hosted a tea for my Thursday night Bible study.

The dessert table at our tea.

As usual Sug was my right-hand helper and Charlie played the piano while we had an Irish sing-along.

Entertainment

This year, to celebrate Charlie’s and Sug’s birthday, we drove two hours to see our little puppy Dash which we will go to pick up in 2 weeks from today.

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

To prepare for his arrival I ordered some supplies and installed a baby puppy gate.

Exterior Outsourcing 

Sug’s carpenter returned to the house to finish repairing the hole in the upstairs  hall and finished installing the round window trim in the conservatory bathroom.

The window trim is in place and painted.

We’re hoping to install a deck and railing on the conservatory roof.

Exercise

Instead of getting back to the gym I actually canceled my membership. I have decided to try to walk more. Since I will have a little puppy to train I think I’ll have incentive.

Do you have a favorite Easter tradition?

List, 2018: March Plans

I received a notice from WordPress today congratulating me on 7 years of blogging. I’m going to try to keep it going until our projects are finished. March is  an unpredictable month — sometimes it’s cold and dreary and other times it’s warm and sunny. This March has come in like a lion with gale force winds.

Exertion

We’re still working on the pink bathroom and thus far have replaced the broken tiles.

Many steps took us to this finished wall.
The ceiling is painted white and the old wallpaper has been removed.

We still need to paper the walls, hang a new mirror, etc.

Execution

After the bathroom is underway I’m heading to the back bedroom where we’ve been storing all sorts of papers and projects.

The treetops Bedroom is sunny in the morning.

That room is our main guest room.  Since I did not even get started in February, I’m hoping to make a dent in March.

Entertaining

On the 17th of the month I’m hosting a tea for my Thursday night Bible study.

These corned beef tea sandwiches look like something we should try.

As usual Sug will be my right-hand helper and Charlie will serve and entertain us with an Irish sing-along.

Entertainment

Both Charlie and Sug have birthdays in March one day apart. I have to think of something special for us to do besides cleaning up and working on the house.

Wait until I tell you the name I have planned.

On the 10th we’re supposed to go on a short road trip to see my new puppy who will be one month old. I can’t actually take him home until he is two months old but I’m excited to take a look at him in person.

Exterior Outsourcing 

Last month Sug’s carpenter came to the house to do some work for us.  He repaired a wall and started to install the round window trim. He did not finish either job so he must return.

One of two round windows was trimmed last month. The job is ongoing.

We have a really big job for him to do out on our upper deck. Sug also has a deck job for him. Hope he’s not too busy to help us.

Exercise

I wish I could make some progress in this area.

Can you believe it’s already March?

List, 2018: February Progress

February is my favorite month probably because my birthday happens near the end of the month.

My son made me a 5-layer cake.

I had a great birthday whereby people made me some of my favorite cakes: Tres Leches and yellow cake with buttercream icing.

Exertion

We worked on the pink bathroom and thus far have repaired the broken tiles.

Many steps took us to this finished wall.
The ceiling is painted white and the old wallpaper has been removed.

While we were away Sug painted the ceiling and removed the old wall paper.

The shower curtain rod needs a good cleaning and maybe some spray paint before being reinstalled.

Charlie took down the shower curtain rod to facilitate the wallpapering.

Anthropologie wallpaper for our pink bathroom.

We still need to paper the walls, hang a new mirror, etc.

Execution

After the bathroom is underway I’m heading to the back bedroom where we’ve been storing all sorts of papers and projects.

The treetops Bedroom is sunny in the morning.

That room is our main guest room.  Unfortunately I did not even get started back there in February.  Maybe March.

Entertaining

Charlie told me he is finishing the baseboard trim — “No matter what I say.”

This section of baseboard in the bedroom needs shoe molding.

The only thing I told Charlie about the trim is that the wood is being stored outside and will need some time inside to acclimate before being cut and installed as baseboard.  Unfortunately no progress was made on this project except that Sug painted all the formerly installed baseboard on the first floor.

Entertainment

We traveled to Cuba at the beginning of February.  Both the weather and the people were warm and lovely.

We adventured to Havana, Cuba and a side trip to Viñales for 6 days early in February.

Check out some of our Cuban posts by searching “Trip to Cuba”.

Exterior Outsourcing 

Top priority on our return from Cuba was to finalize our tax paperwork and send it to the accountant.  I did not finish by February 14th as I had hoped but I did get it to the accountant by the 20th and our return is almost finished.

Exercize

I was planning to return to the gym in the morning starting sometime in February. Didn’t happen.  Then I was planning to start March 1st but I have caught a cold and feel I shouldn’t try to exercise while I’m under the weather. I’m keeping my gym membership as an inducement to get back to it.

If you could cut back on one responsibility what would it be?

Trip to Cuba: La Lección del Piano Cubano

Don’t worry, my 54% fluent (that is to say not at all fluent) Spanish does not allow me to write anything except titles in Spanish.

The practice room held many rhythm instruments which are used for group lessons at The Havana School. Music

Charlie took a piano lesson at the Havana Music School on the first full day of our trip to Cuba.

Our classic taxi in Havana.

We asked our host at the casa particulare where we were staying to arrange a taxi to the music school which we had researched on the internet before traveling to Cuba.  Valentine picked us up in a blue ’52 Chevy and took us to the school for 10 CUC ($10).  He offered to wait for us for $10 per hour (Charlie had a 2-hour lesson planned), instead we asked him to pick us up at 1 p.m.

Coffee was served at the piano.

We were greeted at a very unassuming building by Adalberto, a non-musician who spoke great English and was teaching at the local university.  First on the agenda was 2 cups of coffee for Charlie.

Adalberto and Charlie exchanged personal details in English.

Then we were shown to the rehearsal room where Charlie warmed up on the piano with a some classics from the Great American Songbook.  Adalberto sang a few lines of Summertime from Porgy and Bess.

MiguelAngel was experienced in Cuban music and music theory in general.

The young musician who was to be Charlie’s instructor, MiguelAngel, showed up and asked Charlie to play something. MiguelAngel immediately recognized Charlie’s “stride” style.  We explained that he was here to add the Cuban beat to his repertoire.

MiguelAngel wrote out the melody to Quizas, Quizas, Quizas for Charlie to work on. They played together.

For the next two hours MiguelAngel pounded out latin beats — timba and chachacha.

Music is the universal language with a changing accent.

I filmed videos so Charlie could remember the rhythms when we get back home. For an experienced player like Charlie this lesson was a challenge but he is encouraged to incorporate Cuban rhythms into his repertoire.

Do you play an instrument? Or sing?

List, 2018: El Plan de Febrero

February is my favorite month probably because my birthday happens near the end of the month.  My mother always used to say that I celebrated the entire month. I can’t really find a problemo with that idea.

Exertion

When we return from our study trip early in the month I’m turning my focus to the little pink bathroom.  It definitely needs to be updated before we can have overnight guests.

Our tiny original bathroom has pink and white wallpaper above the pink tile.

We need to paint the ceiling, fix the tile, paper the walls, hang a new mirror, etc.

Execution

After the bathroom is underway I’m heading to the back bedroom where we’ve been storing all sorts of papers and projects.

The treetops Bedroom is sunny in the morning.

That room is our main guest room.  It must be readied for guests.  It will be so exciting to have the guest suite available.

Entertaining

No parties planned for February but Charlie has told me he is finishing the baseboard trim — “No matter what I say.”  I’ll try not to say anything. It won’t be easy.

This section of baseboard in the bedroom needs shoe molding.

Entertainment

A trip to Cuba early in the month and a birthday celebration for me at the end of the month. ¡Olé!

Exterior Outsourcing 

First item on my ever-lengthening agenda is to get our tax paperwork finalized and sent to the accountant.  Hope to have everything finished by February 14th.

Love thinking about Valentine’s Day as a financial deadline.

Exercize

Our accommodations in Cuba have some stair climbs which we had to agree to before hand.   My office is up a long flight of stairs as is our bedroom at The Glade. I can now return to the gym in the morning since I don’t have to get to work quite as early as I have been doing.

Where would you like to travel?