Master List: The End of 2016

You can read about the Master List we’ve been working on for the past couple of years and our progress here. Last year I decluttered the list itself.  And now I’ve removed anything that has been accomplished before 2015, retaining things that still need work, and adding projects that require finishing or are just plain FUN. (Our room by room to-do list is here.) Unfortunately we haven’t made much progress on this list.

Projects to Do:

  • I 1. Paint green vanity

    The dressing table is still green.
    The dressing table is still green.
  • 2.  Pump up curb appeal with landscaping upgrades

    This total lack of landscaping needs to be graded, seeded, and planted.
    This total lack of landscaping needs to be graded, seeded, and planted.
  • 3. Make a cushion for the piano bench.

    Charlie has positioned his childhood pad on the piano bench. Something better is needed.
    Charlie has positioned his childhood pad on the piano bench. Something better is needed.
  • 4. Move former back door to laundry

    Former back door now in storage.
    Former back door now in storage.
  • 5.  Clean closet in Treetops room

    The Treetops Room.
    The Treetops Room.
  • √6. Clean and paint side porch door.

    The side porch is painted with the new house color, new door color, and bright white trim.
    The side porch is painted with the new house color, new door color, and bright white trim.
  • 7. Paint master bedroom door.

    One of the master bedroom doors.
    One of the master bedroom doors.
  • √8. Strip and repaint front door.

    Front porch door
    Front porch door
  • 9. Scrape, sand and paint back bedroom door. Repair jamb.
  • 10. Lighting for walk-in closet
  • √11. Clean floor in cottage
  • 12. Paint trim in pink bedroom

    The trim and this closet door need a fresh coat of white.
    The trim and this closet door need a fresh coat of white.
  • 13. Refinish floor in laundry and cottage
  • 14. Replace trim in laundry
  • 15. Finish closet in laundry

    The laundry closet has been on the back burner since the renovation began.
    The laundry closet has been on the back burner since the renovation began.
  • √16. Lighting for master bath
    Master bathroom vanity pendants.
    Master bathroom vanity pendants.

    The shower glass provides a lot of reflection which brightens the bathroom even more than the fixtures alone.
    The shower glass provides a lot of reflection which brightens the bathroom even more than the fixtures alone.
  • √17. Vanity and sink for master bath (choose style).

    The vanity is in place and in use.
    The vanity is in place and in use.
  • 18. Refinish my tall dresser

    My chest of drawers which belonged to my grandmother needs a surface treatment.
    My chest of drawers which belonged to my grandmother needs a surface treatment.
  • 19. Check interior shutters for size
  • 20. Think about bedroom curtains
  • 21. Make living room curtains

    Working on it.
    Working on it.
  • √22. Paint bedroom

    The bedroom walls are blue: Virtuoso.
    The bedroom walls are blue: Virtuoso.
  • √23. Paint new closet

    With the ceilings finished, walls are next.
    With the ceilings finished, walls are next.
  • √24. Think about dining room décor

    The dining room proper is finished. A few sewing projects remain.
    The dining room proper is finished. A few sewing projects remain.
  • 25. Finish cushions in DR

    One cushion remains to be sewn.
    One cushion remains to be sewn.
  • 26. Paint all the trim in the house

    Tons of trim needs to be painted.
    Tons of trim needs to be painted.
  • 27. Paint wood trim on exterior of house

    Charlie started painting on the rear eaves. Upper left.
    Charlie started painting on the rear eaves. Upper left.
  • 28. Paint dining room table and chairs to use in the kitchen or Craigslist current set and buy something more size appropriate (Go to Red Hen’s blog for great inspiration)

    Sold.
    Sold.
  • √29. Check out overstock.com, Lumber Liquidator, and wood place for flooring
    All the floors are installed.
    All the floors are installed.

     

     

  • √30. Pick tile for bathroom

    Conservatory bathroom tall is installed.
    Conservatory bathroom tall is installed.
  • √31. Get rid of rubble pile

    The rubble pile is diminishing but I want it gone.
    The rubble pile is diminishing but I want it gone.
  • √32. Decide where every lamp goes

    Limoges lamps - for the bedroom?
    Limoges lamps – for the bedroom?
  • 33. Consider terrace or deck
  • √34. Decide where mirrors go

    This antique mirror would look great over Charlie's sink.
    This antique mirror would look great over Charlie’s sink.
  • 35. Decide where art work goes

    Lots of original art in the living room.
    Lots of original art in the living room.
  • 36. Get rid of art that does not suit
  • √37. Paint hallway

    The upstairs hall is painted "Moonshine".
    The upstairs hall is painted “Moonshine”.
  • √38. Paint stair risers

    A small job that makes a big difference -- painted stair risers.
    A small job that makes a big difference — painted stair risers.
  • 39. Paint design on stair walls
  • 40. Hang photo gallery in upstairs hall
  • 41. Put shelves in pink room and paint stunning color at back of shelves
  • 42. Clean basement and add utility shelves under the steps.
  • 43. Design garden plan for back of yard behind the cottage.
  • 44. Open an Etsy shop.
  • √45. Paint house exterior

    Sandy Hook Gray
    Sandy Hook Gray
  • 46. Paint exterior shutters

    Shutters on the house are Duron's "Thunder Grey"
    Shutters on the house are Duron’s “Thunder Grey”

I’m going to clean up the list for 2017.

Thanks to all who serve to maintain our freedom.  I salute you.

What are you trying to finish in this calendar year?

The Autumn Leaves

We have a wealth of colored leaves at The Glade.

The west side yard blazes in the morning.
The west side yard blazes in the morning.

Red dogwood leaves, yellow tulip poplar, yellow, orange and red, maples.

The Cottage is framed with colorful trees.
The Cottage is framed with colorful trees.

It won’t be long before a big wind comes and throws them in waves down onto the grass in the yard.

The trees through the master bathroom window over the vanity.
The trees through the master bathroom window over the vanity.

We can see these colored trees from almost every room in the house.

The kitchen bump-out window overlooks the vegetable garden and the backyard.
The kitchen bump-out window overlooks the vegetable garden and the backyard.

The kitchen with its picture window was set up to view the trees.

Red maples and dogwood trees are on the east side of the house viewed from the conservatory.
Red maples and dogwood trees are on the east side of the house viewed from the conservatory.

The conservatory has an especially good view.

We still have not finished trimming the master bathroom window, the stickers are still on the window pane.
We still have not finished trimming the master bathroom window, the stickers are still on the window pane.

Even the master bathroom gets a stunning display.

How do your leaves get picked up?

Something on My Hands

Charlie and I arrived in Phoenix, Arizona, last night but our trip was not without delays.

WalkingBoot
A walking boot should make me eligible for a wheelchair at the airport.

Since I had broken my ankle the day before we  decided to get to the Baltimore airport really early. I got in a wheelchair and a skycap came over to help us.

He took us to get our boarding passes and then on to security where we had TSAprecheck tickets. Charlie went through without a hitch.

Talk about things going wrong. I was passed thru the pre check line then they tested the palms of my hands with a piece of paper which they put into a computer.

The test revealed a dangerous substance which meant I had to be patted down.

I had to take my boots off including the medical one. Go in a special room and get patted down.

All my belongings were tested for the special residue but I guess I passed because I was allowed to priority board due to my injury.

Have you ever had trouble at the airport?

More Chippiness

The next area that needs to be cleared is the area around the big dead tree.

Vines are tangled all over the big tree.
Vines are tangled all over the big tree.

Hopefully the tree cutters will come to saw it down in the next week or so.

Before I can encroach further Charlie need to move the rain barrel and panes of glass.
Before I can encroach further Charlie needs to move the rain barrel and panes of glass.

I made a 5-foot advance at the base of the tree with the mower.

Wild grape vines get tangled in the branches of trees.
Wild grape vines get tangled in the branches of trees.

Then Charlie pulled down grape vines that had invaded the nearby maple tree.

The path next to the potager (on the right) had become overgrown.
The path next to the potager (on the right) had become overgrown.
We found some iris under the weeds. Charlie transplanted the iris.
We found some iris under the weeds. Charlie transplanted the iris.

He whacked down tall grass and weeds.

We have to ask the neighbors to save newspaper for us.
We have to ask the neighbors to save newspaper for us.

The process is to cover the ground with newspapers or cardboard.

This path leads from the driveway to the back of the yard at the side of the potager.
This path leads from the driveway to the back of the yard at the side of the potager.

Then cover the paper with chips.

The yard is becoming more manicured day by day.
The yard is becoming more manicured day by day.

This hasn’t been done since 2011.

What garden weed is your nemesis?

Surprise Arrival and Removal

We have 2 oak trees in our front yard which are dead.

Arrows mark the 2 dead trees in front of the house.
Arrows mark the 2 dead trees in front of the house.

They’re not only dead but they’re hanging over the roof of the house.

The tree on the left is dead.
The tree on the left is dead.

Charlie called our local electric company who indeed agreed to take down these dead trees for fear they would fall in a storm and knock down power lines.

The tree crew showed up with a bucket truck and a giant chipper.
The tree crew showed up with a bucket truck and a giant chipper.

On the first day of July, without warning, the tree removal crew with two bucket trucks and chipper arrived at The Glade to take down the trees that had died along the street .

Charlie's has been keeping me posted on the progress of the tree removal via texts and emails.
Charlie’s has been keeping me posted on the progress of the tree removal via texts and emails.

This is a very tricky take-down due to the trees’ proximity to our house and electric/telephone lines.

The branches of the second dead tree were just visible above the roof.
The branches of the second dead tree were just visible above the roof.
Now only live trees remain.
Now only live trees remain.

The process took about 6 hours.

From the master deck the easternmost tree is visible.
From the master deck the easternmost tree is visible.
The tree for the top photo is also gone.
The tree from the photo above is also gone.

I’m glad this happened before we put in new foundation plantings which will undoubtedly get more sun than if the two large trees had remained.

Do you have a yard or garden issue that has perplexed you?

The Big Dead Tree

In case no one has figured this out Charlie is the talker, the wheeler dealer, the make it happen guy. He loves talking on the telephone.

The large tree at the center of the picture is dead.
The large tree at the center of the picture is dead. (Photo from 2013.)

Two years ago we had a big dead tree that needed to be taken down.  It still needs to come down but now I’m ready to proceed so Charlie is once again calling for estimates.  Two years ago I was looking for a price under $1,000.  It seems we’ll be lucky to come in under $2,000.

The large tree in the left of the photo is the dead oak tree.
The large tree in the left of the photo is the dead oak tree.

The tree is way too big for us to even consider doing ourselves. If it would fall wrong or one of us get injured that would be devastating.  The one thing I insist upon is that the tree removal team be insured.

The oak tree that needs to be removed is behind the garden in the center of the photo. Much of the weedy greenery around it will have to come down.
The oak tree that needs to be removed is behind the garden in the center of the photo. Much of the weedy greenery around it will have to come down.

Since we have more or less been ignoring the area under the tree Charlie has a bit of work to do before the tree fellers get to work.

This large dead oak tree came down in 2013.
This large dead oak tree came down in 2013.

We lost an oak tree in the front yard in the front yard in 2012 which was taken down in a joint effort by the local electric company and the county.  Now we have 2 more oak trees which seem to have the same fate.

Arrows mark the 2 dead trees in front of the house.
Arrows mark the 2 dead trees in front of the house.

Apparently in Maryland there is a serious disease killing the oak trees: Oak Wilt. Unfortunately the dead trees are dangerously close to our house and hang over power lines so they will have to come down in the near future.

Do you have a potentially dangerous situation?

Whilst the Plumber was at The Glade

I was determined not to call a plumber until I had a whole laundry list of items.

The Moen Icon faucets are set in place in the master vanity.
The Moen Icon faucets are set in place in the master vanity.

While the plumber and his helper were at The Glade to install the sink fittings in the master bathroom we also had them reinstall the toilets in the master bathroom and the conservatory bathroom which had not been properly installed in the first place due to the floor being raised to meet the level of the curbless showers.

A new flange and wax ring has been installed in the bathrooms.
A new flange and wax ring has been installed in the bathrooms.

In the original installation, spacers had been used to raise the level of the toilet when, in fact, the entire flange need to be raised.  The toilets teetered. The flange has now been set at the right height and neither the conservatory toilet nor the one in the master bathroom teeter.

High-arch faucets in the master bathroom.
High-arch faucets in the master bathroom.

Three other repairs in The Cottage were also on the list:

  • Fix the broken water pipe,
  • Replace the hot water heater,
  • Repair the propane furnace.

To start with these plumbers only work on propane if the object has water running through it. Therefore, fixing the propane furnace was out.  I guess I’ll have to rely on the propane company for that repair.

A new piece of cpvc had to be inserted into the copper pipe which carries water to the cottage.
A new piece of cpvc had to be inserted into the copper pipe which carries water to the cottage.

The plumber’s helper replaced the cracked water pipe that comes in at the front of The Cottage and runs across the attic to the bathroom and water heater in the rear of the building.

Charlie did need to "enlarge" the closet to fit the heater.
Charlie did need to “enlarge” the closet to fit the 30-gallon heater.

The master plumber found a special water heater for us that will fit in the closet at the back of The Cottage where the original broken, smaller, no-longer-manufactured water heater was.

The new water heater is too large to fit in the closet without some adjustment.
The new water heater is too large to fit in the closet without some adjustment.

The hot-and-cold running water has been restored to The Cottage but the plumbers found some other leaks coming from broken valves behind the shower so they’ll be coming back to get everything fixed.

Here is the price break down for those who would like to compare:

$366 deposit on water heater (which at first they thought would take 2 weeks to deliver but one was found in the warehouse and delivered the same day).

$634 ($704 less 10%) to reset 2 toilets, install 2 faucets, fix water line. (We had all the supplies except the toilet flanges.)

So the first check was for $1000 even.

The balance was due was $733 for the remaining 2/3 of the cost of the water heater. (Total water heater cost $999 plus $100 for propane.) Making the total plumbing bill $1,733.

That the bill came in under $2000 (my pre-estimate) allows a couple hundred for repair to the propane heater.

Do you have a persistent drip or leak that needs fixing?