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.

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.