Tasks While I’m Away

Charlie and I are going away for a week.

Both new bathrooms have this round window which is inside the shower area and need special casings.

Our friend has offered to oversee her carpenter while he installs our round window trim.

I tried to fill holes in the trim but have never finished.

She is also planning to fill the holes in some of the already installed trim.

All the trim in the conservatory needs to be painted.

And then paint it. These are thankless jobs that we haven’t been able to get to yet.

The round window trim has been pre-painted.

All I have to do is get the paint out. Will do. Right away.

How do you get ready for a tedious job?


The Upper Deck

We have a deck outside our bedroom French doors.

The deck outside the master bedroom needs a railing.

It needs to have a railing around it since it is one story above the ground.

Although our house is not brick I love the look of the Chippendale railing on the second floor porch.

I have some plans for my carpenter who I hope can fashion me a beautiful Chippendale railing.

The French doors lead o the master bedroom.

I might also need to put a more durable roof surface on the deck like a silicon or acrylic coating.

Does anyone have experience with  a white roof?

House To-Do List – 2018

I used to organize the house to-do list in one long list that I added to as I thought of something new.  Here’s the updated room by room view at the end of 2015.  I’m cleaning up this list with hope of retiring it very soon. At the beginning of 2017 here’s what it looked like.

Living Room

New bench, new rug, same furniture.
Dining room

Dining Room

Dining room
  • Clean paneling
  • Paint paneling

    The paneling on the back and side walls still needs another coat of paint.
    The paneling on the back and side walls still needs another coat of paint.
  • Paper top of walls
  • Clean floors
  • Paint chairs
  • Get a rug
  • Finish cushions

    The cushions are in place on the window seat but still unfinished.
    The cushions are in place on the window seat but still unfinished.
  • Move piano
  • Paint trim
Caffe bar kitchen peninsula
Caffe bar kitchen peninsula


The kitchen
The kitchen
Coffee bar in the kitchen


  • Add shelves
  • Add counter

    Counter in the pantry
    Counter in the pantry
  • Add cabinets
  • Paint wall and ceiling
  • Hang lighting fixture
  • Organize pantry food and tools
A new floor was installed last year in the conservatory.


The floor has made a big difference.
  • Paint floor or lay flooring
  • Lay rug
  • Hang drywall
  • Mud walls
  • Paint walls
  • Move furniture
    • Love seats
    • Bistro set
    • Oak dresser
  • Get TV
  • Move file safe into closet
  • Drywall window
  • Mud closet
  • Paint closet
  • Get doors for closet and bathroom
    Conservatory bathroom
Conservatory bathroom is tiled.
Conservatory bathroom is tiled.
Shower glass in the conservatory bathroom.
  • Choose tile
    Conservatory floor tile — white on white basketweave.

    Bookshelves in the bathroom
  • Choose fixtures
  • Choose sink 
    Ikea sink and faucet in the conservatory bathroom.
    Ikea sink and faucet in the conservatory bathroom.

    Conservatory vanity
  • Get shower installed

    The shower is installed.
    The shower is installed.
Our powder room is currently styled the bibliotheque but is in for a continental change.
Our powder room is currently styled the bibliotheque but is in for a continental change.

Powder room

  • Remove wallpaper
  • Add paneling at bottom of wall
  • Paper top of wall

    Anthropologie wallpaper would lighten the space.
    Anthropologie wallpaper would lighten the space.
  • Paint lighting fixtures
  • Rehang towel bar
  • Fix hole in wall
The stairs and landing to the powder room.
The stairs and landing to the powder room.


Upstairs hall
Upstairs hall


  • Repair wall where door was removed
  • Paint wall
  • Hang gallery

    If these photos could only hang themselves up.
    If these photos could only hang themselves up.
After the renovation we should be able to free up some room in the laundry.
After the renovation we should be able to free up some room in the laundry.

Laundry Room

La buanderie means either laundry room or utility room in a house

  • Finish floor
  • Hang closet door
  • Add hanging pole to closet
  • Add baseboard trim
  • Add chair rail trim
  • Paint and install inside shutters
  • Paint and install old kitchen cabinet above dryer
Master bathroom.
Master bathroom.

Master Bathroom

Master Bathroom

Master bedroom

Master Bedroom

Master bedroom
  • Tear out closets
  • Erect bookshelves

    Shelves to be finished.
  • Patch holes
  • Paint ceiling
  • Paint walls

    Blue master bedroom
    Blue master bedroom
  • Paint trim
  • Lay rug
  • Make bed rustic

    A recent project was refinishing the bedframe of the sleigh bed.
  • Refinish tall dresser
French doors open from a private second-floor terrace into the master bedroom.
French doors open from a private second-floor terrace into the master bedroom.
The master bedroom French doors lead to a private deck.
The master bedroom French doors lead to a private deck.

Master Deck

  • Rug
  • Paint vintage garden furniture

    The furniture is painted and in place on the master deck.
    The furniture is painted and in place on the master deck.
  • Have railing built
  • Have deck surface finished
A tiny but useful room: The Diva Room
A tiny but useful room: The Diva Room

Diva Room

  • Paint trim
  • Add shutters or curtains
  • Clear out boxes
  • Refit closet after ductwork
The Treetops Room viewed from the doorway.
The Treetops Room viewed from the doorway.

Treetops Room

  • Clear out boxes
  • Wash windows
  • Move large painting to living room
  • Reorient bed
  • Paint lamp and refinish shade
  • Paint door
Front painted Sandy Hook Gray.
Front painted Sandy Hook Gray.

Front entrance

  • Choose outdoor lights/sconces
  • Choose blue stone or paving
  • Make planters
  • Add landscaping 

    New and old shrubs planted together.
  • Paint door
  • Door mat
The westside porch.
The westside porch.

Side entrance

  • Choose outdoor lights/sconces
  • Choose bluestone or paving
  • Make planter for front edge
  • Make wood box
  • Bench or chair
  • Door mat
The back stairs to the conservatory.
The back stairs to the conservatory.

Back entrance

The planters are at the entrance to the potager on either side of the iron gate.
The planters are at the entrance to the potager on either side of the iron gate.


  • Make a plan for foundation plants
  • Plant grass
The shed is both charming and useful.
The shed is both charming and useful.

Wee Little House

  • Organize tools
  • Paint shutters 

    Shutters are out of the shed, painted, and on the house.
  • Clear work bench
  • Organize garden items
The Cottage has come in handy for guests and as a temporary home for our son's friends.
The Cottage has a permanent tenant.

Glade Cottage

Glade Cottage in Spring
  • Clear up unfinished projects
  • Move paint to house
  • New water heater
  • Install kitchen sink 

    Cottage kitchen
  • Move tools to shed
  • Move and repair drafting table
  • Clean up old lumber and flooring
  • Vacuum well
  • Dust and wipe clean
  • Rent


  • Paint shingles
  • Paint and install shutters

    The before and after of the shutter installation.
  • Paint trim
  • Hang gutters and downspouts
    New downspouts accentuate the corners of the house.
    New downspouts accentuate the corners of the house.

    We’ll be adding and crossing off as time progresses.

Do you have plans for next year?

One Task Ticked Off the List

The task I’m referring to is putting in some more baseboard. The plan last Saturday was to get something finished.

This pile has been dispersed.

Of course we didn’t finish it and totally whittle down the pile of trim but the hallway in the master suite is completed.

Baseboard really finishes the look in the hallway.

The first area Sug and I worked on intersected with the lower cabinet of the linen closet.

The base of the linen cabinet.
This is the shape we tried to cut out with a coping saw.












Our baseboard is formed by a piece of 1 by 4 topped with ogee molding and finished with a piece of shoe molding in the front.  We tried to cope the 1 by 4 so it would fit into the bottom trim on the cabinet but we really couldn’t make it work that way.

We started with 1 by 4s cut to fit which slid behind the cabinet’s trim.

So instead of coping we just trimmed the cabinet trim and ran the baseboard all the way back to the cabinet.

It looked very complicated when all the pieces were fit together.

We cut 1 by 4 for all areas then topped it with ogee.

The shoe molding is coped and the corners will come together better when the trim is fastened to the wall.

We tried again to cope the joints of the shoe molding and were successful.  Using a coping saw we cut out the shape of the shoe molding in the adjoining piece.

We drilled a hole then screwed in a brass door stop.

The hallway is trimmed. And we put a door stop behind the bedroom door so the door knob doesn’t make a hole in the wall.

This section of baseboard in the bedroom needs shoe molding.

Next task: finish trimming the bedroom.

What carpentry skill can you brag about?

Divide and Conquer

The weather forecast for Saturday has changed from rain to sun to rain to clouds so Sug and I are planning to work on some indoor/outdoor projects.

Much, but not all, of the dirt was removed when we cleaned the rug in spring.

She is going to clean my outdoor master deck rug. I did a poor job of it in the spring.

This section of baseboard needs shoe molding.

Also with her help I’m planning to install baseboard trim in the master suite.

We set up the miter saw on the deck outside the master bedroom.

That will mean dragging the miter saw out to the master deck.

We need to hand the trim boards out this inconvenient window, then on to the roof, then to the second-floor deck.

It also means fishing 16-foot-long pieces of trim out the back bedroom window and onto the deck.

I’d like to whittle this pile of trim down to nothing.

The plan is to get SOMETHING finished!

What’s hanging over your head?

101 in 1001 #4 — First Update

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.

    My favorite breed: long-haired dachshund.
  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 Planned for February, 2018.
  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  Planned for February, 2018.
  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 November, 2017
  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.
  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 (or other Maryland island)
  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
  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.
  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

The Master Suite: Not Quite Finished

When we renovated the house we added a master bathroom and walk-in closet addition to the master bedroom.  We changed the entrance to the bedroom and added a second-floor deck directly off the bedroom accessed by French doors.

The architect’s plan of our master suite. (We reconfigured the bathroom.)

I love this space!

A plan of the second floor of The Glade, Master Suite at the top of the picture.

I posted a list of unfinished tasks in April of this year.  We have made some serious progress but we still have a number of tasks to finish before it becomes the serene, restful, uncluttered place I have always envisioned.

1. Finish the inside of the master closet. Earlier this year we built the empty room into a fitted out closet space which still needs finishing touches like face frames, shoe storage, and trim work.

The closet is functional but not pretty. YET!

2.  Refinish the king-sized sleigh bed.

Our most recent project was refinishing the bedframe of the sleigh bed.

3.  Stain the closet doors and add interior pulls. The pulls have been added.

This coming weekend looks like a reasonable day to stain these doors.  I think I can set them up on the master suite deck and finish the job. (They were on my October list.)

The master closet doors as well as all the new closet doors in the house will be stained.

4.  Finish the bookshelves.

The bedroom shelves need finishing: face frames, baseboard, and cornice.

5. Have membrane roof material put on the deck and a railing built around it.

The master deck needs a stronger walking surface and a railing.
The back of the house on the left from the architect’s concept sketch. Note the railing on the upper porch.

6.  Hang curtains or shades.

Our master closet has a full size window which requires a covering for privacy.

7.  Get rugs for hall, closet, and bathroom.

The master hallway could use a rug.

8.  Attach and paint all trim.

Trim in the hall ready to be measured, cut, and applied.

9. Refinish tall chest or get rid of it if it is no longer necessary.

I’d like to refinish or paint my dresser one day but maybe I won’t need it anymore when the closet is finished.

10.  Paint and refinish reading chair or get a different one.

This little chair should be painted and the upholstery completed.

11. Get a stool for dressing table and refinish the dressing table.

My mother’s dressing table is in the master bathroom.

12. Sort through clothes and linens and get rid of anything no longer useful.

Until our closet is complete my clothes are relegated to the bed in the pink bedroom.

I thought when I started this update that we had finished more than we actually did. Hoping we can finish these dozen major tasks in the next 2.5 years.  Keeping it real.

How do you keep your bedroom from becoming the dumping place?