Not Quite Spring

It’s not quite Spring in Maryland but we do have signs that its arrival is imminent.  I saw a robin, actually lots of them, out in the yard this morning.  The familiar name is the American robin (with the unfortunate ornithological name of  Turdus migratorius). When I walked out to take a picture they all flew off.

The daffodils are budding even through the brown leaves left from autumn’s deluge. It won’t be long until there is a host of golden daffodils.

Budding Daffodils

 

Daylight Savings comes tonight at 2 a.m. That means if you don’t set your clocks ahead one hour before you go to bed you’re likely to be late to church.

When I did a quick tour of the yard I can see the flowering quince have buds that will soon pop open in a their lovely pinkish color.  We moved the quince a couple of years ago and though it is still small, last summer it actually had 11 quinces on it.  We just let them ripen and fall.  I suppose some animal carried them off.

Dogwood Buds

 

The only other sign that Spring is right around the corner is the dogwood trees.  They are laden with lots of buds.  Some years we hardly get any flowers but this year might be a good one if the number of buds is any indication. Of course we could have a hard freeze and everything will be gone.

What’s your harbinger of Spring?  The robin, the crocus, pussy willow?

The Whole House Palette

I have always loved color.  I usually say my favorite color is the color of denim.  Really I like colors that you see at the beach: surf, sand, sky, storm, sunset.  And I love having a wad of swatches in hand to see if I can add some color to the scene.  Below are the colors that are either already in the main house at The Glade or ones I think I’ll add to the mix.  (A couple of the blues on the palette below are not as grey as the actual paint swatch.) 

And the last square is about the color of my red oak hardwood floor although not exactly.

As you can see I’m sticking to the blue/yellow theme but I’ll be throwing in some greens and even pink (since the upstairs bathroom has pink tile.)

What are your favorite colors?  Do you dress in them, decorate with them?  Are they daring or mild?  Pick a color: name it and claim it.

The Demise and Fall of the Microwave

Guest Post by Charlie

Yesterday morning I was plagued by an unfortunate series of mishaps while I was only meaning to straighten things up.
Jo had made the coffee in the French press and left a saucepan of oatmeal on the stove for me.

French Press

She had just left for the gym as she so dilligently does every day.

I began multi-tasking in the kitchen cleaning up, fixing my coffee, warming the oatmeal, washing the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, etc.

My left hand was busy stirring oatmeal on the stove while my right hand was putting my coffee cup in the microwave above the stove. I decided, however, that the microwave was sitting off center on the two make-shift 1″ square bars I had made on which the microwave rests.

Still stirring oatmeal, I began adjusting the microwave, it slipped off of one of the bars – which brought the first ‘bad response’ out of my mouth and before I knew it, the whole thing came crashing down denting the stove top, breaking the tea pot and oatmeal flying whichbrought out an even more intense verbal response.

With one ruined tea kettle, two dents on the top of the stove (including chipping the finish) and a big mess on the floor from the oatmeal, I realized that I was not having a good day.

Chipped Stove Top

My biggest concern from the whole series of events was that I had repeatedly cursed and that the cursing was instantaneous. Without even thinking, those two words just came out of my mouth as my response to what had just happened.

Since God has graciously been working on me in a big way lately, I realized that I had not yet prayed this morning. After having a longer than usual talk with God I realized how much better I felt. I was forgiven! Being a saved sinner and indwelled with the Holy Spirit, I know that the Holy Spirit intercedes on my behalf. But what I didn’t realize is that He doesn’t wait until I’m finished praying to offer my prayer up to God, He interprets and submits my requests AS I am speaking the words. In other words, I knew I was forgiven the second I asked for forgiveness. What an awesome God I serve!!

So anyway, I called JoJo and told her about the kitchen dilemma and that we needed a new tea pot and microwave (that’s right – I broke them both) and told her about my prayer experience and discovery of the immediate response from God and she reminded me of how Satan tries to mess up our lives all the time. She said that the earlier he can mess up our day the happier he is.

I called my Pastor just to say hi and to let him know how instantaneously I responded with foul words. He said he could relate to my situation and told me to remember that the devil is always looking for a way to deter us from God. Pastor also said that if Satan can get us starting our day off in frustration and confusion, he has a good ‘lead in’ to ruining the rest of the day for us. The rest of my day wasn’t perfect but it got alot better after I took time to talk with God.

Ahoy, Tyche (pronounced Tie – key)

I have a sailboat. Her name is Tyche.

Tyche on her Trailer

 

So what’s Tyche? I mean, who’s Tyche?

Goddess Tyche

 

Tyche was the Greek Goddess of Fortune, Chance and the non-predictable. We’d call her Lady Luck. She was the personification of Hope, Luck and Wealth, a capricious dispenser of good and ill fortune.  She was portrayed holding a double-sided rudder that could steer men to good luck or bad. In archaic Greece Tyche was considered to be the daughter of the god Oceanus and ruled the religious beliefs of sailors who often had to rely on her. Tyche was, therefore, also revered as the savior of sailors from the dangers of the sea, thus the association with chance and luck.

So I thought it really a terrific name for a boat.

Tyche in her slip

 

This Tyche is a twenty-foot 1973 Ensenada sailboat. The Ensenada 20 is a great sailboat for day sailing and extended cruising in protected and larger waters.  She sleeps four.

Tyche Cabin Interior

 

This boat has sailed the Chesapeake Bay and her tributaries.  The beauty of the Ensenada is that although she has a 4-foot draft when the centerboard is down; pull it up and the draft is only 12 inches which allows cruising back river areas and places other boats can’t go.

Tyche ready for hauling

 

She’s a great gal, more like a goddess.  Tyche even comes with her own trailer.  It won’t be long until she’s ready to be turned over to a new owner.

Stacking Tables

If you are very observant you will have noticed in the dining room, under the table is another table!

Dining Room

The table is a 1956 vintage marble top coffee table which I inherited from my grandmother by way of my mother. It was the coffee table in my childhood home and I have used it in my house for the past thirty years or so. Charlie loves it. I wanted a change.

In addition to the coffee table are a pair of matching Weiman marble top end tables. (Imprint on the drawer bottom says “Weiman Tables, Heirloom Quality”, the number “845-A428” and indicates a set of “2”.)

I would characterize them as Federal Style, but they have been described to me as having an Italian influenced design. Carved Greek key design on foot of table. Tables measure 26” (back to front) X 20″ (side to side) x 26″ tall. Bronze color drawer pulls are original hardware. Shades of tan, brown and crème marble tops marked “Made in Italy.”

Marble Tops

 

The wood is a rich warm wood tone. These I’m selling.

The coffee table is under the dining room table for storage until I can find another place for it. I’ll probably keep it.

Tour the Ground Floor

Thought you might enjoy a hasty tour of the ground floor.  First off, The Glade is not very large.  There is a living room with a small fireplace, dining room, kitchen and powder room.

The kitchen is the empty room in the plan above which I wrote about here.  From the living room to the powder room are 2 steps up, a landing, and 2 steps down. The long steps go up to the second floor.

Kitchen viewed from Back Door

We enter the house through the back door which goes directly into the kitchen.  We don’t use the front door (into the living room) or the side door (into the dining room) except on very rare occasions. The kitchen – ah, the kitchen – could I hate a room as much as I do this little scullery? Here is the main reason for the renovation.

The dining room is directly off the living room and was an addition to the original house long before I lived here.  The dining room (music room) has an exterior door to a back porch, a double window at the rear and a single window centered on the wall opposite the door.  This room has a built in window seat details of which I’ll explain at a later date.

Dining Room

The front door opens into our living room which has a fireplace (called a “Heatolator” which, I think, means it has vents on the side which pour heat into the room) and 3 windows.The living room is difficult to arrange because there is minimal wall space so sofas are placed in front of windows and chairs try to stay out of the main traffic pattern.  In order to get upstairs we walk through the living room as it is the only way to get to the stairs.  (That is an item that the renovation will address.)

Living Room viewed from stairs
Fireplace

Finally the tiny powder room that we fondly call “Le Bibliotheque” is tucked back in the front corner of the house. Some people have actually passed this room thinking it truly is a library.  Quel drôle!  It has no window but does sport an exhaust fan.  The fixtures are original, however the sink has been refinished and a new fixture added.  The original fixture had two spigots, not very handy.

Door Sign
Bibliotheque

Thus ends the ground floor of The Glade.  Later in the week I’ll let you in on the upstairs but my son and his friend just showed up out of the blue, dead tired after a long drive from Florida so for now the bedrooms are occupied.

What I Need Part 1: The Kitchen

As you know, I moved to this house in 1997 at which time I stated I would not cook in the kitchen until it was remodeled. Well, you know that was just a load of hot air and I have cooked many meals and created many parties from my kitchen BUT . . .

Let’s take a short tour through my kitchen. When I moved in it looked like this except all the appliances (stove, dishwasher and fridge) were yellow. That thing above the stove is some kind of electric oven which I never used even once.

Original Kitchen

The design on the Formica countertop was stained, faded and worn.  The vinyl flooring was nailed down in places.

Then two years ago I needed the faucet replaced and my buddy who replaced it said, “You need a new countertop.” I told him I was eventually going to remodel and it would have to keep until then. He said, “If you’re not remodeling in the next six months you better get a new countertop because this one is falling apart and the sink will drop out of it.” Argh!

New Faucet

So, I got a new countertop. My boyfriend (now husband, let’s just call him Charlie) and I refinished the entirely wood cabinets. But the whole kitchen project never really got finished.

Cabinets Before
Cabinets After

 

Base Cabinets Refinished

 

I papered the room with kitcheny wallpaper.

Wallpaper

 

Next, my former boyfriend, now husband  Charlie pulled up the old floor which was held down with millions thousands hundreds of screws. That’s right, SCREWS! In most cases the head broke off so now the shafts remain sticking out of the floor. Oh why, oh why can’t anything be easy??!!

Floor
Floor

So folks, I need a NEW KITCHEN. I earned it, I need it, I want it. And I’m pretty sure I’m gonna get it. (If you know what I mean.)