Hanging Loose Ends

I received a small original watercolor as a gift.

I’m walking from the pool house toward the main house where my office is.

I was given a painting of the grounds of the house where I work featuring me walking into the picture.

The painting might look nice on the wallpaper above the piano.

We decided to hang the picture in the dining room over the piano.

Peel back the paper.

I eyeballed the middle of the wall and then cut a small v-shaped flap in the wallpaper.

The space is a little tricky due to the header notching the wall at the top.

Then I nailed in a picture hanging hook and hung the picture on it.

The dining room is bright in daylight.

The colors in the picture complement the denim wallpaper and brighten the space.

Do you have a compact system for listening to music?

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When the Clock Strikes Midnight . . .

I’m trying to rest in the afternoon so I can make it to midnight.

Candles and fire light.

Unfortunately that is a very unlikely scenario. However, Charlie has set up the fireplace so we can have a cozy fire all evening.

We’ll hear the fireworks going off at the harbor in nearby Baltimore.

Wherever you are, what ever you’re up to .  .  .

We’re cozy and happy at The Glade.

Bye, bye 2017.

We’re looking forward to a New and Better Year.

What one simplification are you hoping for?

Pine Cone Bird Snacks

When we put the bare Christmas tree out in the yard to attract birds we needed some edible ornaments.

Birdseed and a large jar of peanut butter are around $10.

I made a quick trip to Wal-Mart to purchase peanut butter and bird seed.

Dried pine cones are open so we dried some of the newly gathered ones in the oven.

I had some pine cones (left over from other projects) onto which we tied some wire for hanging. Sug spread peanut butter on the cones.

We put the birdseen on a tray on paper to keep it contained.

We simply rolled the cones in a plate of bird seed and voila — bird snacks.

Pine cones covered in peanutbutter and bird seed.

We made a dozen but have plenty of supplies to replenish the tree if it is popular with birds.

Charlie wired the ornaments onto the tree.

We hung the cones on the balsam fir and added a bird seed bell a the top.

Charlie is admiring the bird tree. We’re still waiting for the birds.

We dug a hole in the bottom of a pre-made birdseed bell and fitted it onto the top of the tree.  Hoping for some hungry visitors soon.

We can see the tree from all the rooms at the back of the house.

We added a laser light for a little night interest.

When do you take your holiday decorations down?

List, 2018: January Plans

January, 2018. Finally. December was a really long and trying month. I won’t write a separate post bout December’s progress because basically everything proposed in this post was accomplished.

Now I’m planning my first month of the new year. It promises to be different.

Exertion

The main exertion of January is to pull together all files and financials from the previous year.

I use a Net Worth template similar to this which I keep current monthly.

That’s my exertion at work and at home.  Everything must be accomplished by the end of the month — payroll forms, business tax reconciliations, general ledger spreadsheets.

Execution

I’m going to outline our thesis for studying Latin music. Charlie and I have the opportunity to research music for a week firsthand on an island in the Caribbean.

We also expect to learn how music fits into the life of the country.

We’re really excited to add salsa, mambo, and cha cha cha to our repertoire and to learn the origins and modern players.

We will also be brushing up on our Spanish this month.

Entertaining

Feast of the Epiphany party on January 6.

Invitations have been sent.

Entertainment

Listening to lots of musica latina (Latin music).

Hoping to have enough music under our belt to take some lessons — Charlie on keys. I plan to learn some vocals.

Exterior Outsourcing 

Medical tests for my doctor who is determined to keep my chart up-to-date.  That’s why I rarely visit him. He seems to think I’m getting older.

Exercize

I plan to return to the gym early in the month.  I am now pneumonia-free and have regained much of my energy. I need to be ready to do a lot of walking early in February.

I had advanced to level 12 before my December decline.

Resolutions?

I’ve Been So Busy . . .

I haven’t been able to get anything done to improve our home since we painted our bed.

The new finish is charcoal grey with a darker drybrush finish.

That was back in October.

The Christmas tree takes up a big space in the living room.

Charlie texted me at work to inquire if I’d like him to take the Christmas tree down.  Oh, yes!

Bare tree

He carefully removed all the ornaments and lights including da beahs.

The tree look nice in the garden which is barren in this season.

I suggested he stand the tree up in the yard to which he responded, “Are you serious?”

Hoping we will attract some birds which we can watch from the kitchen.

I am definitely serious because I thought we could make a bird feeder tree. When I sent him inspiration from here Charlie set up the tree in his garden.

I have some dried pine cones left over from the advent wreath project.

Hoping to have time this weekend to make a few edible ornaments.

Do you have bird feeders?

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

Kitchen

The kitchen
The kitchen
Coffee bar in the kitchen

Pantry

  • 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.

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
    ConservatoryBathroomTile
    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.

Stairs

Upstairs hall
Upstairs hall

Hallway

  • 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.

Garden

  • 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

Exterior

  • 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?

Easy and Economical Favor

We’re having a party on January 6th celebrating the arrival of 3 kings to the Christ child.

We’re planning to chalk our front door.

One tradition often observed on this day is the chalking of the door. The front door of the house is marked with chalk either on the door or over the door with the year and three initials in this format: 20+C+M+B+18.

A simple party favor.

The letters above the door stand for the initials of the Magi – Caspar, Melchior, Balthazar, and also stands for Christus Mansionem Benedicat, Latin for “May Christ bless this house.”

I printed 10 tags to a sheet on yellow card stock.

I made tags with the Publisher program — 10 to a sheet — printed back and front.  The tags tell the meaning of the initials on the door and have a blessing on the reverse to recite while marking the door.

The chalk can be any color — I chose white.

I purchased some simple white chalk — 16 pieces for 99 cents — and tied on the tags with black and white string.

A simple blessing covers both the structure and every person who lives within or visits.

I hope to have a few left over to give to some special friends who are unable to attend the party.

Do you have any special rituals that you follow at your home?