Geoff’s Anniversary Gift

Here’s the awesome marimba my Nancy got me. Working hard on learning it, and loving it!

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Attic library is under construction

Nancy has been harvesting and recycling materials and prepping them for installation, and today we got going on it.

The white uprights are shutters we’ve been saving for just the right project, and this is it.

By noon, it looked like this:
And by quitting time, this is what we had:
Next, we knock it apart and take it all downstairs, paint it white, and reassemble in place. We’ll be able to put our books back up where they should be. Success!

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When you spend too much time on Craigslist . . .

First, there was Nancy’s visit to Gypsy Moon, where she found these amazing urns. They spoke to her! And then came home with her.


Nice, but not working with the funky vintage steel furniture.

Then, we find a neighbor who is getting rid of a set of furniture that seems just the right size for this space. Two blocks away! Sold.


Add dramatic lighting, and – the grotto is Pinterest-perfect!


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Our trees are at their peak!

Nice clear day, check it out. They smell great, too!

And – here’s the robin egg update. No change:

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We put up some more stained glass

My front door has always had one small panel that was glass, and we obscured it in various ways. For the last few years it was painted white to match the rest of the panels.

As we have been unpacking stored materials, we found this little flower panel. And it fit just fine!

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A Home for a Cubicle Collection, continued

This is what things looked like every morning when I came to work:

Decades of toys and collections of goodies.

As my new position no longer requires office space, we needed to find a display area for these treasures. The third floor beckoned.

All that was needed was caulking the walls, paint, and the creation of 10 shelves and presto! Instant display area! [nearly all the work was done by Nancy on a tall ladder – can’t do it without her]

Plus, room to hang my favorite creation that’s been in storage so long.

Further work on the 3rd floor is up next, along with improving conditions in the basement.

I’m really not missing going into work!

Easter Sunday, 2017

Nancy woke me to go up to watch sunrise. This is how far we’ve gotten on this project.

Brainstorming ensued, and we started moving things around, adding, etc. to see what would fit where. Below, see a panorama of the result. Still a work in progress, but we’re moving forward!

(click on the photo to enlarge, and you should be able to scan around the room)

Updated, 5/1/17

There was a calendar of Walt Disney World attraction posters that I’d held on to, and after digging through our lumber in the basement there was nearly enough stuff to make frames for all 12. This is how they ended up.

With Nancy’s help, we installed them up on the third floor.

Lots of color!

I think I’m done with the west end of the area. Next up, the east end: plaster, paint, shelving. Stay tuned!

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Disney Cruise 2017

The original goal, a post-birthday sail with our favorite (only!) cruise line. Found a passage that would simply include a day at Castaway Cay and a day at Key West. Perfect! We haven’t been on the Disney Magic, so it’s a new ship for us. 1000 fewer people than the Dream and Fantasy that we’ve been on, older, but recently renovated. The entertainment on board includes shows we haven’t seen and the date looks great, 2 days after Nancy’s Birthday. Booked it in July 2016 and started counting the days.key-west-map

The day comes, we leave the house at 3:30 am for a 5:10 flight. We get to Miami airport around 10:30 and find the friendly Disney Cruise escorts who guide us to our transport to the dock.


Welcome to the Disney Magic

Here is the “Navigator” of the day, telling us what to expect today, and a good overall description of what to get excited about. You can click on them to get a larger image.

navigators2017_2_08 navigators2017_2_8-2 navigators2017_2_8-3


Lots of things to do!

We’ve done this drill before, the bustling crowds of eager cruising families being processed to get on board, but it’s always exciting to pass through and onto the ship.


There’s a big buffet, we find our cabin #1051, first deck inside:


We hit the pools, take a nap (been up since 3 am) and head off to dinner to meet our dining companions.

They turn out to be pretty fun people (photo to follow). That evening we go to the first big show in the main theater, Twice Charmed:


Kind of a wacky retelling of Cinderella, songs, dancing, costumes, lighting, music. Fun! See it here.

And, amazingly, we run into Oksana, who we met on the last cruise on the Fantasy!


What a joy to see someone we know, and she pretends to remember us! We return often to chat with her.

Back at the cabin, there’s the first towel art, with chocolates and a guide to what’s happening tomorrow.towel-art-before-cast-cay

Day 2, Castaway Cay

We watch the sunrise and head over to the private island.




Stroll in the warm water, enjoy a Conk Cooler, have some BBQ. Perfect weather.

Then it’s Pirate night! Costumes and fireworks!


Pirate night towel art


First time we dressed up


Cindy, our table captain


Ahoy! it’s Diane, Geoff, Nancy, Michelle, George and Mike

That night, we see an act with these two:viktoria-nancy-dubois

He’s a juggler/unicylist, a good act, kind of a Penn Jillette style, but she is an acrobat/contortionist/juggler/silk performer who was amazing. And, Ukrainian! Here’s a link to show what she does.

Day 3, at sea


We’re making daily visits to the Cove Cafe (they’re on all the Disney ships, right by the pool) for the only good coffee on the ship and great croissants.


I tried the AquaDunk water drop ride.


Climb up, get in a little plastic coffin . . .


the floor drops out, and you swirl around for 3 seconds! I imagine it’s like being inside a fire hose at full power.


Someone dropped off a fruit and cheese plate, is it because this is our 4th time on Disney Cruise? We enjoy it our on deck, especially the fresh and gooey honeycomb.

We’re looking forward to “Tangled” show tonight, and the pub on board is converted to the Snuggly Duckling for the evening. There’s singing and entertainment, with a game of THUGO (aka bingo) Whatever, we won! The prize was a bunch of rub on decals. And the respect of our fellow barmates, of course.


5 across – we win!


Our server Gilbert, who got us the light-up mug I was needing for my collection.


The Tangled show was terrific.


Here are a few clips from the show to enjoy. Maximus is the best!

Day 4, Key West





Beautiful colors and plants


Nancy making friends


Running into Oksana and ship staff


Breakfast at Pepe’s! We’re too early for oysters, so . . .


we walk around and come back for these little beauties.


Dinner at the Animator’s Palate, Hey – it’s Mickey!


Deconstructed dessert

The night’s show, Disney Dreams, pulls out all the stops. This is the whole show!


Farewell from the entertainers. “Now it’s time to say goodbye” etc.

Great fun! Wish you could be there. Next time, perhaps?

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Garden fun, May 22, and Nancy is driving.

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Mother’s Day, we’re in the yard, of course.

Learn all about splashless bleach – and more!

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May 1! Garden prep

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