Security Lighting

Ever since we painted the exterior of the house in the fall of 2015 one set of security flood lights has been misaligned.

The light in question is at the bottom of the eave on the right.
The light in question is at the bottom of the eave on the right.

Charlie “adjusted” them so he could get the paintbrush up into the corner.

The motion detector is supposed to be in front of the lights. It had been turned around and upside-down.
The motion detector is supposed to be in front of the lights. It had been turned around and upside-down.

The lights were in front of the motion sensor and the motion sensor was upside-down.

From underneath the sensor controls including the test-mode switch are on the bottom.
From underneath the sensor controls including the test-mode switch are on the bottom.

We couldn’t figure out how to actually set it up (even though we had the instruction manual) without looking at similar lights at the back of the house.

In test-mode the lights stay on for 5 seconds in daylight or in the dark.
In test-mode the lights stay on for 5 seconds in daylight or in the dark.

After patiently following the directions the sensor ended up being forward and detects a car, person, or animal that moves in the driveway.

The driveway is almost as bright as day when the lights are on.
The driveway is almost as bright as day when the lights are on.

The lights brighten up the west side of the property from dusk until dawn.

Do you use security measures to keep yourself safe?

The Garage Apartment: Change Takes Time

Back in August I helped to freshen up a garage apartment with two bedrooms and a living room/kitchen which was improved with paint and new appliances . The best part for me is that I made the design decisions but we used a contractor to make the improvements.

Apartment kitchen -- Before
Apartment kitchen — Before
The mini-kitchen -- After
The mini-kitchen — After

And a mini-kitchen (much like the one in the Cottage) was replaced.

This vanity set-up will be replaced.
This vanity set-up needed to be replaced.

The bathroom was a dungeon which needed a new vanity, sink, and lighting fixture.  We discovered that the exhaust fan in the bathroom which turns on with the light doesn’t actually draw so it will also be replaced.

The tiles walls were in very good condition.
The tiles walls were in very good condition.

When the vanity was removed we were happy to find that the walls had been tiled all the way to the floor. A GFI outlet was installed on the right-hand wall (so the dangerous extension cord from the medicine cabinet would be unnecessary in the future).

The stairwell on protrudes partly into the bathroom.
The stairwell on protrudes partly into the bathroom.

However the left part of the wall had been cutout where the stairwell ceiling had to be accommodated.

The new vanity is clean and streamlined.
The new vanity is clean and streamlined.

The contractor told me that the vanity he ordered wouldn’t fit. Since the vanity and sink were destined to be in a three-sided niche I suggested he take it apart and use only the facing piece. Ultimately the new vanity was partially dismantled to allow it to squeeze into the space and the sink-top was trimmed.

A new lighting fixture above the medicine cabinet.
A new lighting fixture above the medicine cabinet.

New lights were put above the fluorescent tubes on the medicine cabinet.

Effectiveness of exhaust fans are easy to check with a sheet of paper. If it isn't sucked toward the fan the fan doesn't draw.
Effectiveness of exhaust fans are easy to check with a sheet of paper. If it isn’t sucked toward the fan the fan doesn’t draw.

And a new exhaust fan was vented to the outside. (The old fan vented into the very shallow attic.)

Now the bathroom is not only more functional but also safer.

Have you taken recent safety precautions?

Today I Will . . .

Get papers in order (#96 on my 101 in 1001) and

I started the stair runner back in 2014.
I started the stair runner back in 2014.

work on the stair runner (#5 on my 101 in 101).

I tried hand-powered staples and carpet tacks.
I tried hand-powered staples and carpet tacks.

The runner would look great but I never finished it and over the last 2 years it has not worn well.

I'll try to sew these together then pneumatically tack them to the stairs.
I’ll try to sew these together then pneumatically tack them to the stairs.

My first plan to use individual rugs was not successful.

It will take all my concentration to keep the stripes lined up.
It will take all my concentration to keep the stripes lined up.

Instead I’ve decided to sew the rugs together end on end using a flat-felled seam.

This machine is very precise and will accommodate a thick wad of material or a very fine gauze.
This machine is very precise and will accommodate a thick wad of material or a very fine gauze.

This is just the kind of project for which I’ve been saving my grandmother’s sewing machine circa 1953. It sews bulky fabric together with no problem.

I'm going to start all over again.
I’m going to start all over again.

Sewing together a long enough runner for the steps is my project for today.

This year I'm going to get rid of decades old tax returns.
This year I’m going to get rid of decades old tax returns.

I have also begun separating papers for our tax accountant.

I also have decades of old back statements. Bye-bye.
I also have decades of old back statements. Bye-bye.

But I have piles from previous years that either need a permanent home or need to be shredded.

Three years of bank statements ready to be filed.
Three years of bank statements ready to be filed.

I’m on that, too.

How is your paper clutter contained?

Shhhhh! Can You Keep a Secret?

I need a menu and a theme for a special birthday party.

The Glade is perfectly suited to having large parties with great food.
The Glade is perfectly suited to having large parties with great food.

This person might be expecting something but I hope it’s not what I have in mind.

Soup has been on the party menu before.
Soup has been on the party menu before.

The menu needs to be heart-healthy.  Soup and salad seem like reasonable options.

  • Beef stew
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Homemade croutons
  • Vegetable plate with hummus
  • Chopped salad fixings:  lettuce, eggs, avocado, craisins, slivered almonds, cherry tomatoes, chicken breast, shredded cheese.
French market theme?
French market theme?

I told the first rush of secret-keepers about the party and reminded them that an off-hand comment would be a giveaway to this very astute person.  In the group was one of my favorite cooks who offered to make one of her signature desserts.  We’re on our way.

Have any theme ideas for early March?

List 2017: February Plans

February is my favorite month probably because it’s my birth month and it’s short and it bridges the gap between winter and spring.

The Lion King and Wicked are definitely on our list.
The Lion King and Wicked are definitely on our list.

This February we already have plans for a long weekend in NYC with the express intention of seeing maximum Broadway and off-Broadway shows and possible a cabaret. (This is item #53 from my 101 in 1001.)

The light in question is at the bottom of the eave on the right.
The light in question is at the bottom of the eave on the right.

I also want to align our outdoor flood light so it comes on when someone pulls into the driveway.  It became misaligned while we were painting the house in 2015. Unfortunately we have to pull out the big extension ladder to reach it. Time to be seen again without having to walk in the mud and wave my hands like an idiot.

We have pulled the tile we want to utilize for backsplashes.
We have pulled the tile we want to utilize for backsplashes.

I’m still waiting for a proposal from our tile guy. He said he was a month out when we spoke in January so I hope his crew will start and finish in February.

Trim in the hall ready to be measured, cut, and applied.
Trim in the hall ready to be measured, cut, and applied.

Charlie is trying to install the baseboard trim that has been filling our upstairs hallway for months now.  He complains that he can’t access the other upstairs rooms yet has been dragging his feet on this project. Hoping this will get top priority while I’m at my day job.

The stair runner to the second floor has never been finished.
The stair runner to the second floor has never been finished.

I have 2 personal projects set to start this weekend that only I can do.  More details later.

What’s your favorite month?

Rehanging the Clock

I was trying to think of what to hang in the master bathroom over the toilet and under a new piece of artwork.

Paris map clock
Paris map clock

A loooong time ago I refinished this round clock.

The "clock" I've been using is the grey item next to the blue thing on this shelf.
The “clock” I’ve been using is the grey item next to the blue thing on this shelf.

I had been wanting a clock in the bathroom that I could read the time without my glasses. (I have a small digital timer/clock in there but I can’t see it.)

The chock of wood on the back was not working with a small hook.
The chock of wood on the back was not working with a small hook.

The back of this clock has a block of wood that projects it out from the wall so the first small hook I chose was too small.

The smaller hook would hold the weight of the clock but it wouldn't lie flat against the wall.
The smaller hook would hold the weight of the clock but it wouldn’t lie flat against the wall.

I had to bend the bracket on the back of the clock and use a larger hook in order for it to lie flat on the wall.

Difficult to tell from the photo but the colors actually tie into one another.
Difficult to tell from the photo but the colors actually tie into one another.

So now I have a print of Paris featuring Notre Dame Cathedral and under it is a clock with a map of France, Paris in the center.

I must use the dressing table drawers more efficiently.
I must use the dressing table drawers more efficiently.

I hope the ticking doesn’t drive Charlie crazy.

What household noise bothers you?

January’s the Time to . . .

.  .  .  do things that need getting done.

Taking down the Christmas decorations is a priority early in January.
Taking down the Christmas decorations is a priority early in January.

This year I had no real plan for January — no to-do list yet we accomplished quite a bit.

Charlie's 6' by 6' greenhouse.
Charlie’s 6′ by 6′ greenhouse.

Charlie received a greenhouse kit for Christmas which took us about the entire month to put together. (Greenhouse 1, Greenhouse 2, Greenhouse 3, Greenhouse Final.)

Before: Offsite Project
Before: Offsite Project
After: Offsite Project
After: Offsite Project

In our defense we took two weeks out to brighten a friend’s pad. (Offsite 2, Offsite 3, 4, 5, Offsite 6 and Finale.)

New curtains in the living room.
New curtains in the living room.

I found some items I’ve been searching for including a new mirror, new curtains, and a new duvet cover.

I'm still looking for a vanity stool for my dressing table.
I’m still looking for a vanity stool for my dressing table.

In addition to hanging the mirror I also put up some art in the master suite.

We had the meeting now we need a contract.
Marble 2″ by 4″ tile in the master bathroom.

I contacted our tile setter to get a price and time for installing backsplashes.  Charlie lugged out leftover tile up from the basement to make sure we would have enough for the project.

The Glade consists of a house and a cottage.
The Glade consists of a house and a cottage (left).

So even without a formal, blog-driven task list we, the merry threesome who live at The Glade, got a fair bit accomplished.

Last February we were having 2 tea parties.
Last February we were having 2 tea parties.

As for February we already have some ideas in the works. Big ideas!

What’s on your list?