A New Blog

Unfortunately I have used 90% of my upload limit furnished by WordPress for this blog: Let’s Face the Music.

Before and after the shutter installation in 2017.

I can continue by paying for a premium plan or I can start a new blog.

Glade Cottage in 2011
The Cottage has come a long way in the past 3 years since Sug moved in.

In the next few months I plan to start a new blog called: Let’s Fake the Music.

We’ll be working on this 1930s Cape Cod Cottage to make it liveable and charming.

Since we’ll be starting a new major renovation project in the next couple of weeks it’s a good time for a new beginning.

Are you beginning a new chapter?

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?

May Day! May Day!

The title sounds like a call for help because I’ve packed the month of May with enough tasks to fill a year.  Thankfully my team — Charlie and Sug — plus my son and his wife are committed to a long, desperate summer’s worth of to-do lists.  The fun will start in May.

More or less in order of what’s about to happen we’ll be doing the following:

Revival: 

Party on Saturday:  The Dedication of the Chapel at the Glade.

We’re hoping for good weather for our chapel dedication.

The program is set, the menu is set, the guest list is set — time for the party.

Ready:

We will need the guest room — my son’s old bedroom — for weekly visits from him due to his work schedule.  He plans to stay overnight once a week instead of driving back and forth to the Eastern shore of Maryland, 2.5 hours away.

We’ll be welcoming overnight guests very soon.

There are a few more items in the back room that need to be distributed or done away with.  We’re planning to finish up the guest room (#9 on the 101 in 1001).

Relax:

Charlie and I will be spending long weekend at beach (#24 on the 101 in 1001).  Charlie has to play the piano for some meetings but I am just going along for the ride.

We’ll be staying near Cape May, New Jersey.

We’ll be staying on the Boardwalk in Wildwood, New Jersey, but plan to do a little touring on this long weekend.

Recuperate:

Mother’s Day — I’m declaring this as my personal free day.

Mother’s Day would be a good time to invigorate the mantel.

I only plan to do stuff I enjoy.  I’m hoping to also have something special and delicious to eat.

Renovate:

I have spoken with our contractor who is getting ready to add a new surface and railing to our bedroom deck (#73 on the 101 in 1001).

Hoping to finally make some progress on the master deck.

We haven’t used the deck for a couple of years except for building projects due to the lack of railing.

Reposition:

Although Charlie and I are not planning to move to this property we’re going to purchase, we’ll be working on it almost every weekend until it is liveable.

Planning to make some improvements to this 1930s Cape Cod-style cottage including a new roof.

Our son and his wife are excited to live in a rural area that’s only 3 miles from the Nanticoke River.   They will do a little farming and .  .  . who knows what else.  Oystering and crabbing come to mind.

Rabies:

It’s time to have Dash’s rabies innoculation updated.

Dash is a very good dog except when he’s not.

Last year he could only get a year-long shot.  This year he can have a 3-year shot.  We generally get the shot at the county dog shelter.

Renaissance:

We’ll be attending a baptism for an adult friend.

We are so delighted to be asked to be present at this important event.

Renewal:

By the time Memorial Day rolls around I think I’ll need a break although I’m guessing we will have some fun at the new property.

Charlie helped fold the American flag at Fort McHenry.

We are so glad to be able to celebrate a patriotic holiday in one of the original states — Maryland.  Sometimes I can’t believe how beautiful it is here, especially in spring.

Read:

Finally I need to finish my first reading of The Screwtape Letters so I’ll be ready for our book club in June and July.  We have a good group of committed readers to study this satire about the devil.

The Screwtape Letters’ study is coming in June.

That sounds like a crazy full month of must-dos to me.

What do you like to put on the grill on Memorial Day?

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?

International Driving Permit

As I was researching driving a car from Italy to Serbia I was reminded it would be a good idea to get an International Driving Permit which is required in some of the countries we’ll be visiting.

My local AAA is about 4 miles from my office.

It’s easy to get and inexpensive and therefore worth the effort to get one just to have peace of mind in case we’re stopped by the police for a traffic violation.

The AAA agent was very efficient and knowledgeable about travel issues and the license.

I visited the AAA website where I filled out the on-line application.

I was told to help myself to coffee, tea, or hot chocolate while I was waiting for the short verification process.

Then I took my driver’s license, the application, 2 passport photos, and $20 plus tax to my local AAA office where the agent verified my information.

International Driving Permit issued by AAA

My permit was issued immediately and is good for a year from the start date which I chose as September 1st.  Actually I am hoping to be the navigator on our trip to Europe so Charlie and Sug are getting IDPs too.

Does $20 seem like reasonable insurance for a document that may never be needed?

I was neither payed nor perked to give the above information.

The Laundry Door

I decided hanging a door — a door we already own — on our second floor  laundry room would be a good idea. (#5 on my 101 in 1001 is now complete.)

The view into our laundry room from the hall is not always pretty.

Apparently Charlie thought the task was beyond our skill level so we hired our carpenter to create a door frame and then hang the door.

The door had to be cut down in two directions in order to fit the space.

The carpenter hauled this heavy door outside to trim down the bottom and the hinge side.

We still need to trim the door frame but it is installed.

Then he hung it in the doorway, a task that is more difficult than it seems.

I can’t wait to see if keeping the closed door makes a difference in the heat of summer.

What’s easy for you that might be difficult for someone else?

Across the Bridge

We’re working on a new project across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge from The Glade.

The ground floor has a compact and convenient layout.

All the details are not yet ironed out but I thought you might appreciate a basic floor plan.

The second floor is only over the center section of the house.

Tomorrow we tour the property with an inspector.  Let’s hope the problems are merely blemishes and not chronic diseases.

What makes life interesting for you?

Lots Going On

Actually we have too much happening.

Online applications with no chance to print the final information is not ideal.

1.   We opened a new electric account in our son’s name and the power company left his last name off.  I don’t know how they’ll check his credit with no last name. I also don’t know if they’ve turned the power on or not which was supposed to happen today.

Charlie’s passport is misplaced.

2.   Charlie can’t find his passport.

What to do with an old trailer.

3.  My son is trying to figure out how to get rid of an old mobile home.  Any suggestions?

International driving permits are good for one year.

4.  We need to get International Driving Permits from AAA before our fall trip.

The house will definitely need a new roof.

5.  Friday we’ll meet a plumber and an inspector at a property we want to purchase.  I don’t look forward to the bad news.

What’s up with you?

My Aching Feet

Last September Charlie and I were in London and Bath in the UK for almost 2 weeks.

The killer shoes I took to Great Britain.

During that time we did a lot of walking.  I took 3 pairs of shoes but my right foot, especially one toe, was so damaged that it still hurts on a daily basis no matter what shoes I wear.

The 4th toe has been hurting for over 6 months.

I went to a podiatrist for x-rays and consultation which did not help.  Charlie’s hand specialist also took a look (at my foot) but could make no suggestion.

I like these shoes because they are slip-ons.

Since we’re heading back to Europe again this fall I decided I’d better do some research on the best walking shoes that are not too clunky looking.

The ribbon detailing disguises that fact that I have very large feet.

I finally decided to give Skechers a try.

These lacy denim-colored shoes are very comfortable.

I bought 2 pairs and will wear them around for the next couple of months to determine which pair to take with me.

What is your go-to travel shoe?

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?