The Cottage Toilet Grows Up

After Charlie and I laid laminate floor in the Cottage bathroom we he put the same toilet that had been in there back in.

Charlie reinstalled the Cottage toilet after we laid the floor. This is the old toilet.

There was a crack in the toilet which we didn’t mind since the water to the Cottage was turned off for much of the year when no one lived there.

The new Toto toilet has no cracks.

Now however our tenant is getting some work done on the Cottage and has decided to replace the standard toilet with a new comfort height model.

The toilet alcove is behind the bathtub.

It was installed in the alcove behind the tub and across from the vanity.

The window blind has also been changed to a white mini-blind. (See above photo.)

I’m sure it will be appreciated.  I love the new taller toilets in the house.

Do you have white or colored fixtures in your bathroom?

A Picture Reveals . . .

I recently took a photo of the back of the house from the bottom of the yard.

The back of the house from a spot near the shed.

I thought it was a beautiful shot.

The blue metal table stays outside year-round.

Unfortunately as I looked more closely I saw all the clutter we store back there.  I don’t like the propane grill up by the steps.  It needs a cleaning and a new tank of propane.  Also a doable project which I would like to assign to Charlie, our Grillmaster.

Clean chairs are ready for use.

In some cases the clutter just needs to be rearranged.  For instance I can move the round table away from the house and surround it with the chairs we just cleaned.

The oil tank at the back of the house needs to be painted the house color.

Other items are more bothersome like the partially-painted oil tank.  Some day I hope to mask it but for now just painting it would be an improvement. Last night I pulled out my paint sprayer to get it ready to do just that tomorrow morning.

Our Honda mower had been a good purchase and now it is sold.

The red ride-on lawnmower has been sold on Craigslist.  Listed in the morning gone by evening. That’s really the easy way to declutter.

We have a trash can, a recycling bin, and 2 other cans that aren’t used. They must go.

One eyesore that I haven’t yet figured out is the trash and recycle cans.  I would like to build a structure for their storage that is both understated and utile.  My research has not yet revealed the perfect design nor am I convinced behind the house is optimum.

Some of these items are beings trashed and the garden tools will get organized.

Another bothersome area is under the steps.  Charlie keeps his garden tools there especially during summer.  It’s a jumble and I feel it encourages rodents and snakes to live near the house. YUK!  Perhaps I can resettle these items in Charlie’s greenhouse.  I guess he just needs me to work out a system of organization.  I’ll put it on my research project list.

The corner near the steps could have a some decorative plants.

Finally I’d like to plant something in the corner by the steps.

Do your little clean-ups take on enormous proportions?

A Sincere Invitation

I invited my friend up to the porch adjacent to the master suite for 4th of July morning coffee.

I pulled out the furniture cushions to give us a comfortable vantage point.

The deck is shaded in the morning and looks over the wooded yard.

The gutters on the edge of the roof of the conservatory and conservatory bathroom are fairly easy to reach from the porch.

After talking for a few minutes and enjoying our coffees she started cleaning out one of the many rain gutters reachable from the porch.

Oak trees hang over the house and fill the gutters with matted organic matter.

Since they had not been cleaned since before the oak tree flowers had fallen this spring some of the down spouts were clogged. Handily there was an A-frame ladder already on the porch.

A basketful of muck from the gutters.

We made a tool from a wire hanger to loosen up the muck.

This little frog is about the size of a silver dollar.

In the corner gutter by the French doors where there previously had been growing some green plants a little froggie actually had been living. She helped him out of the gutter and off the porch.

The downspout elbow was clogged until the specialty tool — bent hanger — was worked into the space.

My job was to turn the hose on and off as my friend moved from gutter to gutter. Honestly I did not mean for the invitation to turn into a chore but I’m happy the gutters are running freely.  I am VERY grateful for the help.

The master porch is an oasis with a spectacular view.

Later in the day we enjoyed snowballs on the same porch which also shades over in the late afternoon.

Do you have a determined friend?

Independence Day Clean-up

Five years ago Charlie and I cleared out the woodland garden by the shed.

The garden to the left of the Wee Little House looked great in 2012.

It was a lovely beginning.

The clutter on the down side of the shed has created an ugly mess.

Unfortunately it has become a jungle once again over the years while we concentrated on the house renovation.

We save some used plastic sheeting and got rid of an equal amount.

On the 4th of July my friend from the Cottage and I started to pull out some of the clutter and debris that had taken over the space.

Old plastic plant pots are taking over the area.

We hung up the 24-foot ladder on the back of the shed and threw out some old, unused plastic pots.

A small portion of this area has been cleared out.

Hopefully we can consistently continue to clear this area and reclaim the yard.

What are you saving that has become a clutter problem?

Linen Curtains in Glade Cottage


The Cottage has now been painted both inside and out.

The front curtains are old and ordinary.

We’ve been waiting for all this to happen so my friend and I can hang some new curtains.

Side window before.

The first task was to paint both curtain rods white.  The natural wood rod was transformed even before the curtains were hung.

The side window curtains are temporarily pulled back to accommodate an air conditioner.

One set of Ikea Aina all-linen curatins was hung over the side window which in summer also houses an air-conditioner.

Simple pin basting and sewing down the side hems to connect 2 panels together.

The front 3-panel window took 2 full sets to give it an elegant, non-skimpy appearance. I sewed together 2 panels with a straight seam from bottom to top to make the double wide curtains.

Final size of a front window panel: 114″ by 98″

After sewing the panels together my friend pressed them on her iron’s highest setting using steam.

We used the marks on the header to space the rings.

Each Ikea curtain panel requires 10 curtain rings which come 10 per pack and include both clips and hooks.  We bought 6 packs of rings to use for 3 pairs of curtains.

The rings are from Ikea the silver hooks from Home Depot.

In order to lift the curtains closer to the rod we inserted drapery pins in the lowest slot in the curtains’ buckram header.  The wire hooks that attached to the rings were slipped onto the drapery pins.

The top of the curtain in the open position.

All the rings, 20 on each side of the large window curtains, were slid onto the curtain rod.  The end ring was left outside the bracket so the curtain would always stay closed at the sides of the window.

These linen curtains are both casual and elegant.

These curtains are opened and closed daily and are easy to maneuver.

The curtains are usually only closed at night.

They give a fresh look to the windows in the Cottage.

Do you close and open your curtains every day?

Newly Painted

When the tenant moved in the walls of the Cottage were “Siamese Eyes”, a pretty aqua blue Martha Stewart paint.

“Siamese Eyes” is the wall color in the Cottage.

The color and the brand are no longer made.

A new kitchen, new windows, etc., etc.

But everything else has been spruced up in the Cottage and so a new coat of paint was in order.

Paint chip of “Siamese Eyes”.

The tenant took a paint chip from the wall and had it color-matched.

The new color is on the top half of the photo.

The new color is a close match and actually better than the original.  It’s just a little greyer.

What room do you want to repaint?

Step 2: #15 on the New 101 in 1001

On my 4th 101 tasks to accomplish in 1001 days, number 15 states:  Get rid of 101 items.

Here are the second 10.

  1. Old computer printer

    The old clunking printer which no longer prints.
  2. Plastic shoe holders.

    These held dozens of shoes for decades.
  3. Old boom box — No photo due to stealth action.

    Similar to this only larger.
  4. Purple suitcase that goes with son’s luggage set.  He will be taking it home.

    A little dusty but still usable.
  5. Two T-squares went in the trash.

    I’ve been holding on to my broken T-squares for decades.
  6. Old wire baskets sticky with grime also trash worthy.

    These basket have been in the attic unused for decades. Chances are I don’t need them.
  7. Propane grill belonging to the Cottage dweller was picked up by my son as a permanent giveaway.

    Propane gas grill not headed to the dumpster.
  8. Charlie’s grandmother’s flowered china has been given to her great-granddaughter.  This set has every imaginable piece.

    Afton by Heuschenreuther
  9. Five bags of shredded documents.
  10. Pile of old newspaper and packing from the greenhouse.

    The greenhouse arrived in 2 green plasticized boxes which have ben dumpsterized.

Ten more down, 81 to go.

What can you toss this weekend?