The Painted Cross

An iron cross has hung on the Cottage for many years.

An iron cross hung on the Cottage near the front door.

Sug spruced up the paint when she painted the side panels on either side of her front door.

The cross didn’t look right on the shutters.

When we hung shutters on the door panels the cross needed to be moved.

The cross is easy to spray paint.

Sug hung it above the door but the white cross on pale grey was hardly visible so she asked me to repaint it.

Navy blue spray paint needs a few coats to bring out the true color.

I used navy spray paint misted with hammered charcoal metallic to give it a little interest.

The Cross at the Cottage.

Now it hangs more visibly above the door.

Are you changing the color of something?



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 daschund.
  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 Last of the Security Barricade

Back in November of 2014 the part of the renovation done by our contractor was complete.

We were not meant to use the master deck until it has a railing.

When everything was inspected I removed the security barricade from the French doors leading out onto the master deck.

A superfluous piece of wood is attached to both sides of the French doorframe.

However I missed one piece of wood on each side of the doors because I was afraid I’d mess up the permanent casing.

A piece of wood behind the prybar protected the surface of the door trim.

While I was on the deck staining the closet doors, Charlie carefully removed these last pieces of wood.

He also used a shim to aid in pulling out pneumatic staples which had held the wood on the frame.

Charlie used a wood shim to protect the door trim while he pried off the extra pieces with Sug’s set of crowbars.

Caulk used to fill nail holes on the Azek door trim has become dirty and needs to be removed with a Magic Eraser or sandpaper.

Next step: clean up the hole caulk with a Magic Eraser.

Have you got one small job that needs some concentration and care but would take less than half an hour to accomplish?

Visiting Tips for the Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is a National Monument and as such is part of the National Park Service.

The Crown is open to visitors.

The ultimate attraction is visiting the Crown and looking out over New York Harbor.

Crown ticket has the name of the holder on it.

First, each household/credit card is only allowed to purchase no more than 4 tickets every six months.  And tickets are sold out months in advance so if you have a specific time you’d like to visit make reservations early. (We bought ours in the middle of July when the first available date was the end of October.) I suggest that August in the Crown of Liberty might be extremely hot.

The sign pointing to the ticket booth at Liberty State Park in New Jersey.

Driving in from South of the Statue we caught the ferry from Liberty State Park in New Jersey which is much less crowded than catching it from the Battery in New York City. Don’t mix up parking at the Science Center with parking at Liberty Park. It’s NOT the same.

New York City skyline is in clear view.

After parking it’s a good walk to pick up Crown tickets at “will call”.  Each person whose name is on the receipt must be present with a photo ID. Each person will be given a ticket and a wristband which is cut from the wrist at the beginning of the assent into the body of the Statue of Liberty.

Lots of walking on bricks and cobbles.

Another walk down a cobblestone path leads to the first security screening before catching the ferry.  Much like airport security pockets must be emptied, jackets removed, belts removed, and steel-toed boots put through an x-ray scanner. Save time by carrying on your person only your tickets, money, ID, credit card, cell phone/camera.  Purses and backpacks are a real hindrance especially later.

The bow of the ferry heading toward the Statue.

The ferry carries over 500 people but is boarded quickly and often.  First stop is Ellis Island which we did not visit but does come as part of the cost of the ticket which actually pays for the ferry ride as there is no admission cost to Ellis Island or the Statue of Liberty.

Entrance to security station o Liberty Island.

Upon arrival at Liberty Island walk toward the American flag then turn right for the entrance to the Statue. There is another security screening here. Same procedure as before. The process is quick.  However all purses, bags, strollers, backpacks, etc. MUST be stashed in a locker. There was a slow line to get to the lockers which are $2 for 2 hours.  We bypassed this holdup because we had no extra baggage.

Spiral staircase

We took an elevator to the to the top of the pedestal (the foot of the statue). From there we walked 162 very tight steps to the crown. On the way up there are small platforms which allow stepping off the stairs momentarily to catch a breath and inspect the inside of the Statue’s structure.  In the Crown area we three (and two Park Rangers) took photos of the scenery and were assisted with photos by the rangers who also answered questions and generally gave us interesting information.

The original torch is displayed inside the pedestal.

Coming down the steps was uneventful but still a walk in a very restricted space.  After that we zoomed through the museum which is in the pedestal and only available to people with pedestal or crown tickets.

This shot would make a good postcard.

We ate at the café and bought a few postcards at the gift shop.  The postcard selection was not very good but we had brought stamps with us and wanted to post them from the island.

A view from the ferry.

Then we boarded the ferry for our return trip to the car. If you have any questions about our trip I’m happy to answer them.

Have you visited any National Monuments recently?

List, 2017: November Plans

November is a cold month here in Maryland so I’m planning indoor projects.


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

Clean and store for the winter the rug from the master suite deck.

WE should have enough trim on hand to finish the laundry room.

Install interior trim and clear up pile in hallway.


The center cushion of the windowseat has never been upholstered like the other two but I have the fabric.

Work on sewing projects.


I have a cabinet full of party games.

Let’s have a game night in November.


No tickets or events on the schedule for November.

Exterior Outsourcing

Someone might just need this chandelier over their Thanksgiving table.

Relist some large items on Craigslist like saddle, chandelier, Christmas items.


I’ve been back at the gym for a month riding the recumbent bike.

The gym has all sorts of equipment including weights.

Now it’s time to up the game to include some weight lifting.

When do you put up holiday decorations?

List, 2017: October Progress

At the beginning of the month I had made rigorous but reasonable plans for projects I wanted to accomplish.  I’ve been posting updates regularly but here is the summary.


We refinished our king-sized bed frame for the master bedroom.

We started by cutting down the footboard.
The new finish is charcoal grey with a darker drybrush finish.

We cut off the sleigh end on the footboard then painted it.

We’re still working on baseboard trim.

While the bed was pulled away from the wall we installed baseboard trim.


While we were concentrating on projects in the master suite I stained the doors to the closet much like the ones in the conservatory.


Charlie and I have both started working with our Christmas choir.  There are only 8 Sundays left until Christmas eve. Yee ha.


We had no guests at the house. We stayed totally focused on DIY projects.


Charlie, Sug, and I took a day trip to the Statue of Liberty.  It’s as grand as I remember.  My traveling companions were very excited to see this welcoming icon up close.

Lady Liberty

Our tickets were for the crown. We climbed the 146-step spiral staircase. Miss Liberty is fantastic.

Exterior Outsourcing

I listed some old Halloween costumes on Craigslist but was not successful off-loading them.  Maybe next time.

Hoods and leggings are crucial for cool Halloween nights.

It was fun to revisit old photos of our son when he was a little boy.

I cleaned up the old computer.

Time to get rid of this old computer.

It’s been plugged in for years without being used or hardly used.  We have a new set-up now so it is time for this relic to go.

We’re scheduled with Sug’s contractor to install window trim on 3 interior windows in the house.

The master closet window needs a sill and casing then I can hang a curtain.

Two round windows and the window in the master closet are trickier than we think we can manage ourselves.


I’m back at the gym on a regular basis riding the recumbent bike.

I have advanced to level 9.

Maybe next month I’ll add weights.

What’s your plan for November?