Getting Ready the Garden

15 Square Garden

 Charlie has already started getting the garden ready for planting.  He follows the principals of  Square Foot Gardening set forth by Mel Bartholomew. This year Charlie finally has a full area of fifteen 4 foot by 4 foot squares.  He built these squares from old fencing that we snagged for free one day while driving down the road.  A former neighbor was having a new fence installed and the installer was happy for someone to take the old fence off his hands. So we took it apart and hauled it home. This is the last of it.

Newly Made Compost Bin in 1998


Compost bin in use

Charlie tops off the squares each year with the rich compost he nurtures in the compost heap. 

Garden as seen from the Driveway

 The garden is really Charlie’s baby but he tries to grow the things to please his family and friends.  I know on the list this year are Sun Gold (cherry) tomatoes, haricots verts and cukes.  The green plants in the foreground of the above shot are leeks still growing from last summer.  In the black pots are seedlings of Japanese red maple trees. Can’t wait until the garden starts yielding.  We’ ll have an update on planting and tending the garden later in the season.  Here is a look at a past garden (much smaller back then) just to get you excited.

2006 Garden with Bamboo Trellises

Tour the 2nd Floor

Early in the genesis of this blog I showed you the ground floor seen here. Now we’ll go into a part of the house few visitors ever see, the second floor. The second floor in its present rendition has three bedrooms, one full bathroom, a laundry room and a hall.

2nd Floor Plan

As you go up the steps from the living room you’re standing at one end of the hallway (currently painted yellow) which links all the rooms together as opposed to the open floor plan of the downstairs.

The first room on the left is the laundry room which we began to remodel last year. It’s in a holding pattern now still needing the new closet to be enclosed and the trim installed. The new blue wall color is a keeper. Maybe one day I’ll write the story of the old laundry but I’m not sure I have any photos because it truly was horrible: plaster peeling off the walls, the 50-year old vinyl flooring peeling up from the floor, generally a dirty, crumby room.

Next heading clockwise is the only full bathroom in the house, a retro pink tile model with a sink, tub and toilet. It’s ironic that it’s a full bathroom since it’s actually very tiny. The wallpaper is Laura Ashley and the sink/vanity was installed circa 2000.

Pink Bathroom

Continuing our clockwise tour we come to the master bedroom. Here is a poorly laid out room that houses our king-size bed and little else. Two built-in closets make rearranging furniture difficult. I have taken down the curtains and most of the art in anticipation of the change that is going to take place soon, I hope. The present color is yellow but will change to blue after the renovation.

Master Bedroom

Farther down the hall is my favorite room in the house: the back bedroom also known as the Treetops Room. This is the only room that has enough space on an interior wall to place a bed. When you use that bed you peer right out the window at the trees and sky, lovely. The wall color is a soft green (approximately the color of the swatch in the 2nd row, 3rd color over here).

Treetops Bedroom

The final room on this floor is a very small bedroom (also yellow) which can hold only a single bed. It, too, has a built-in closet and houses our computer and peripherals. This room should not need to be disturbed during the renovation so it may be one of the first to get a new paint job. I think pink.

Little Bedroom

And that, my friends, is the second floor.

Just Get Rid of It

Terrace and Porch


When we enlarge The Glade we have specific ideas about what we want and what we NEED. As everyone knows the kitchen is small and nasty so just updating it will not do. We’re planning to add a new two-story addition where the current terrace is on the driveway side.

Some of the demolition work we’re planning to do ourselves. We don’t want to remove anything yet that determines the present footprint of the house. The planter on the terrace which has always been an eyesore will be one of the first things to go.

Charlie built a raised bed near the shed (also known as “The Wee Little House) and  we transplanted the herbs and bushes.

Terrace Planter

Next we disassembled the bricks and moved them to a storage area for the time being in case we want to use them for another project until we get rid of them. Here’s the finished product which doesn’t look great because the  planter wasn’t built on top of the terrace but actually went through it and into the dirt below.  Yuk!  Our plan is to partially cover it with the gas grill. 

Former Planter

Throwing a Regular Get Together

About once a month I like to invite folks over for a social time at The Glade. I’ve been slacking the last year or so but I’m ready to begin the fun again. So I thought I’d make a post of how it happens and  what goes on.

Generally I come up with a theme: Game Night, St. Patrick’s Day, Italian Night, Ice Cream Social, Book Swap, Soup Swap. Basically, any reason will do. This first get together after such an extended hiatus will be just to get together, chat, eat, and bring each other up-to-date on our lives. I will probably have an ice breaker which I’ll detail later (after the party) along with the menu.

I always invite a variety of friends: young and old, male and female. Everyone and their friends are welcome. The invitation may come by email, Facebook, phone, or face-to-face. There is seldom a formal written invitation. No RSVP necessary. If you can make it, come on over. I really love how people have such a willingness to contribute to a social atmosphere: some bring food, some bring friends, some just have a spark and wit that make the party special. We’ve often found hidden talents in the most unlikely people. (You know who you are!)

Charlie always worries that we won’t have enough food and so tries to get people to commit to whether they’re coming or not. I let God take care of both the attendees and the abundance. So far we’ve never run out of food, drink, chairs . . .

Having food is a great part of the night. I have had many different menus. The food can be simple or complex or a little of each. It can have a theme or be totally haphazard. But truly the food is nothing to fret about, just let it happen.

Social times in people’s homes used to happen on a regular basis in times gone by. Really, you’re missing something terrific if you don’t at least give it a try.

The Wee Little House Herb Garden

About ten years ago after a tree fell on the shed and demolished it, I replaced it with what we lovingly call “The Wee Little House.”

I have thought for a long time that this building needs some planting around it other than the haphazard weeds and brush that surround it on three sides so I asked Charlie to make me a space for an herb garden.  He built a 5′ by 5′ raised bed. 

Then today we moved the rosemary, chives, sage, lemon thyme and oregano into the newly positioned bed. Don’t know yet what will thrive and what will survive. But here’s what it looks like for now.


The Refreshening of Glade Cottage


Glade Cottage

While The Glade itself in is hankering for renovation, the scale of Glade Cottage makes for something I can actually do myself without the help of an architect or designer.

Recently we swapped out the sink for a vanity with a built in sink. The only snag was that we had to move a wall to get the new sink into the old bathroom but it was definitely worth it. And I haven’t mentioned yet that the new sink, vanity and all cost $30 on Craigslist.  Don’t you love it?  I also replaced the faucet with a (almost) new brushed nickel one also from Craigslist for $15.

Next I was getting ready to paint the interior but I inherited a lot of furniture and other items when my mother passed away last year so with no place to store them I am TEMPORARILY using the Cottage.

Outside Glade Cottage needs a new door, the trim painted, the screen door rescreened and painted.

Really, the whole exterior should be painted but I’m not sure I’m up for that this year. A couple of years ago I had a new roof installed and I myself put in a programmable thermostat.

Now in the winter I keep it set at 50 degrees so the pipes don’t freeze and burst like they’ve done in the past. Talk about a total mess and then after the clean up the repair is still on the list.

Anyway, hoping to have Glade Cottage ready for habitation by the middle of Summer, 2011. Do you know someone who would like to live out in the country but be close to town, then send ‘em our way.

The Little House

Today I really felt like the yard was calling me to come and look. What it was really saying was, “CLEAN ME UP!” So I got out the rake and started clearing the leaves in front of the Little House (really a one-time garage that has been made over into a guest apartment).

I have been hoping for years that someone with a love of nature and an innate sense of design would move into the Little House and just take over.

Anyway, when I moved some of the leaves left from last fall I noticed the liriope had formed a large tight clump which needed to be divided. So I took one clump apart and edged the front of the Little House foundation bed. Now, of course, the other side also must be done but I’m too exhausted to tackle it today so that’s it for now.

Oh, and I just decided since the Little House has now been blogged, I’m changing its formal name to “Glade Cottage.” We’ll probably keep calling it the Little House but strictly as a nickname.

Does your house have a name? If not, why not give it a name.