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.

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.