Friday, August 12, 2022

Projects in the New House

Under-Cabinet Lights
Glen Burnie, MD
August 11, 2022
I was able to take a break from downsizing and packing yesterday to help Patrick install under-cabinet lights for his countertops.

It was a lot of fun to work with him again and he is very creative. The lights are multi-color LEDs and they are synchronized with his over-counter lights above the island. From his phome hae can change the colors with one command. 

We had a good plan for the installation, but as with any plan thery are designed to be changed and rarely survive first contact with the enemy. So we made a few modifications on-the-fly.

In the end, the project looked fantastic and the kitchen can adapt to whatever color scheme they desire.

New houses are so much fun because they are a blank canvass waiting for projects to personalize them.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Hanging Around


European Garden Spider
Elkridge, MD
August 10, 2022

Walking through the garden yesterday morning, I came across a brave spider dangling from a tree branch trying to build what might have been the biggest web ever constructed. 

I stood for a few minutes watching the industrious spider. I learned something, this spider was able to wind-up its silk for apparent reuse. I didn't know that was possible.

This morning, I returned to where the spider was working and it was still there. A large web has, in fact, been constructed. 

I guess hunting is good and the hunter is not being hunted. I actually like spiders and appreciate the work they do to reduce the insect population. I don't appreciate their herbs in my face or hair, but that is a relatively minor issue. 

I wish I could just hang around, but there are too many things to do.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

A Day, a Dinner, and Memories


Anniversary Dinner
Edgewater, MD
August 9, 2022
Yesterday we celebrated our wedding anniversary. For those of you counting, it marked 47 years of marriage--to the same person!

What did we do to mark the day? We loaded the PODS during the morning--well, we got started. There is still a lot more to load into the PODS and fortunately there remains a lot of room. I am not sure where it is all going to go in Florida--but I'm sure we will find places for most of it. 

Out the Window
Yellowfin Steak & Fish House
Edgewater, MD
August 9, 2022
To celebrate the day we went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants on the water, Yellowfin Steak & Fish House in Edgewater, Maryland. We like the restaurant because the sun sets over the water and the window seats provide an awesome view. It is one of those classic Maryland scenes of flat water, boats, and sky.

A quick review of the dinner at Yellowfin. Chris had  kabobs--the meat was overcooked and the veggies were inconsistent--but flavorful. I had the tuna which is supposed to be seared and raw in the middle--it apparently sat too long and became cooked throughout. So, the entrees, while delightful visually, were not as enjoyable to eat--although they were tasteful. I noted that the restaurant has a limited menu for people with shrimp allergies. I tried to order two different scallop dishes, but for some reason shrimp was somewhere in each of the offerings; hence, I went to my go to--tuna. 

Now dessert was a different story. The Key Lime Key Lime Pie was awesome! And they added a few blueberries on top which really complimented the tastes. The wine I picked, a Pinot Noir, also went very well with the Key Lime pie.

It was a beautiful evening to pause and reflect in the middle of a tumultuous period in our lives.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled lives until this time next year.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Downsizing Transition to Moving

PODS-zilla Placing the Pod
Elkridge, MD
August 8, 2022

 The PODS arrived yesterday. 

It was quite an event and I was really impressed with the driver and his ability to get the PODS into the spot that I wanted. 

The PODS is in place and ready to be loaded. Now the real fun begins! Loading. But we need to be careful not to leave too much stuff behind because I only have the pick-up to get the remaining belongings to Florida. I am sure I will be getting 10 pounds of treasures into a 5 pound bag at that time. 

Of course, the expected 105 degree feels like temperature for the afternoon means that we will take it easy and since I have the PODS for the next week, we can stay inside for the afternoon, or in the pool.

In other news, we terminated the contract for sale of our house due to non-performance and are putting it back on the market. Hopefully, we will get another contract soon--but, we are planning on heading to Florida before the end of the month as planned. 

Remember, however, plans are made to be changed.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, August 8, 2022

Monday Musings - August 8, 2022


1. The second Monday of August has arrived. It is hard to believe that it has already arrived and that there are just 21 Mondays remaining in the year.

2. Moving became very real this past week. We watched many of our furniture departed on trailers and in trucks over the weekend. No amount of money can replace the sense of loss that we are feeling, despite the excitement of the future in Florida.

The Morning After the Storm
August 5, 2022
Elkridge, MD

3. Thursday and Friday evenings represented the worst two-day storm stretch of the summer. I had to spend quite a bit of time cleaning leaves and debris from the pool after the storms and ensuring the chemical mix was correct. I was glad that we got a break Saturday and Sunday. 

4. With most of the weekend consumed by the Estate Sale, we did not get out to so much. Friday night, however, during Happy Hour we experienced a thunder storm at a restaurant where there was one crack of thunder which was very close to our building. It was one of those see the flash, hear the crack lightning strikes.

5. I noticed this morning that sunrise is happening after 6 AM. Yesterday was the first day since May 5th that we has less than 14 hours of sunlight. The daily sunlight maxed out at 14 hours 56 minutes from June 18-24. 

6. For those of us in Maryland, it appears that Route 100 has become the Maryland State raceway. I amazed at how fast some drivers are speeding and weaving in and out of traffic.

7. Selling autos privately is fraught with danger. I have been contacted by no less than 20 scammers. The answer seems to be When I tell them that the financial transaction will be handled by, they leave me alone.

8. Today in History. In an evening televised address on August 8, 1974, President Richard M. Nixon announces his intention to become the first president in American history to resign. With impeachment proceedings underway against him for his involvement in the Watergate affair, Nixon was finally bowing to pressure from the public and Congress to leave the White House

“By taking this action,” he said in a solemn address from the Oval Office, “I hope that I will have hastened the start of the process of healing which is so desperately needed in America.”

Senate Passes Climate, Healthcare and Tax Bill - The Wall Street Journal

Russia Provokes High Anxiety in a Strategic Sliver of Europe - The Wall Street Journal

China’s Military Exercises Showcase Modern Fighting Force Preparing for Possible War - The Wall Street Journal

More than 6,300 US flights delayed on Sunday - CNN

More human remains discovered in Lake Mead's receding waters - CNN

The market read the Federal Reserve all wrong - CNN

China announces fresh military drills around Taiwan - Reuters

Oil bounces as China, U.S. data ease recession concerns - Reuters

Hong Kong eases COVID quarantine rules for incoming travellers - Reuters

The Webb telescope is astonishing. But the universe is even more so. - The Washington Post

Rocket attacks at Zaporizhzhia power plant raise fears of ‘nuclear catastrophe’ - The Washington Post

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Downsizing - The Estate Sale

 Estate Sale Day 1 is complete. 


Living Room without a Sofa
Elkridge, MD
August 6, 2022
Suddenly there is no place to sit in either our living room or our family room in the basement. Both couches and their associated chair or love seat were sold. I guess I didn't think that one out very well.

My leather recliner is also sold, but not picked up yet, as is the rug in the picture. The coffee table, which I made, is going to Florida as is the table on the right side. 

The house is getting that empty sound as our treasures are re-homed. It is kind of funny to be using fold-up chairs as the main seating in the living room. 

Uh, how many more weeks are we expecting to be living here? 

This is a lot different from previous moves where we packed our belongings and took them with us. This time the downsizing is very serious and most of the larger belongings are leaving before we do. 

Day 2 of the Estate Sale is today. It was supposed to be a single day sale, but our turn-pout was kind of light and so we decided to add a second day with advertisements going our on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. There is still a lot of stuff to sell, including both tables and their associated chairs, bedroom  furniture, and most all of our art prints.

So much to do and so little time.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, August 5, 2022

Downsizing - As the Dog Barks

Finnegan is a bundle of energy. 

Finnegan at Halloween
Elkridge, MD
October 31, 2021
He is an excellent watch dog and is always aware of what is happening around the house. 

And that, is the problem--he alerts on everything. He has a shrill, ear-piercing bark that does not stop even when people arrive at the house. It is, at the very least, annoying. I have noticed it more lately as we have had many people coming and going as we downsize. 

But Finn has a soft and gentle side. He loves to curl up in a lap and sleep or to lay in a sunbeam during the morning hours when the sun comes through the window before we lower the shades to keep the house cool.

Finnegan is a gamer and allows himself to be thoroughly humiliated at Halloween. Somehow the costume was too cute. 

When visitors arrive, however, his energy overflows and he runs circles around them, non-stop. It is amazing that he has escaped being stepped-on and hurt.

The joys of downsizing and moving. Finnegan is ever and extra vigilant. And loud.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Houses and Homes

Houses are meant to become homes.

Truck Loaded with Belongings
Glen Burnie, MD
August 3, 2022
Yesterday, I spent the afternoon and evening helping Jen and Patrick transition from their old house to their new home. It was hot and the work was hard, but they were well organized and we were able to get the final items, including the most massive bed that I have ever seen, out and reinstalled.

Mind you, this was only the stuff they had been living with for the past 80-some days. Most of their furniture and belongings are in storage waiting for the real move-in day next week when the movers will relocate everything in their storage units, yes plural, to the home.

Empty Porches and Yard
Glen Burnie, MD
August 3, 2022
But, back to my original thought. Houses are meant to become homes. Yes, there is a difference. I can see it in my own house as we begin the process of changing it from a home to a house. Homes have character and are a reflection of the occupants. Houses are a blank slate providing the raw materials and space to become a home. 

I have been watching the construction of Jen and Patrick's new house for the past months and have been lucky to see the hole in the ground become a house. And last evening the transition from house to home began.

Conversely, at the old house it was clear that transition from home to house was complete. It was sad, but I know that house will soon undergo the transition back to being a home.

My house is preparing for a similar transition with a lot of work yet ahead.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

A Good Omen

Gaggle of Geese
Glen Burnie, MD
August 1, 2022

 Monday afternoon, Chris and I attended the final walkthrough at Jen and Patrick's new house in Tanyard Shores. 

It was a lot of fun to check out the house and help them identify the little things that still need to be corrected before settlement--which is scheduled for today at high noon. It was a much needed break from downsizing--which is ramping up as more and more stuff heads out to door to new homes. We are conducting an estate sale on Saturday--things should begin to be real empty around here.

Today, however, the fun begins at Jen and Patrick's as my truck provides the muscle to move belongings from one place to another. There is so much to do while concurrently Chris and I are still struggling to reduce the furnishings in our own home. 

While I was at the new house, I spied a gaggle of geese in the wild area. The area is visible from the house I take that as a good omen that there will be joy and happiness into the future. 

And so, the fun continues!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Orioles Dog

 Sadly, the Orioles managed to trade one of my favorite players yesterday, Trey Mancini. 

Makayla, Orioles Fan
Elkridge, MD
August 1, 2022
Baseball is a business, I need to remember that. The Orioles are building for next year and the future beyond that and Trey is 30 years old and that means he is coming to the twilight years of his baseball career. I am happy that he was traded to a contender--although the Astros are a bit of a pariah in baseball because of the sign stealing scandal of a few years ago in which they might have stolen a World Series away from the Dodgers. But, in good news, this may be a late-season "rental" as Trey is a Free Agent and the Orioles may resign him for next year! It would be really cool if the Astros manage to win the Series and Trey gets a ring, returns to the Orioles, and then leads the team to the playoffs or even more! Oops, I'm dreaming again. 

Nonetheless, Makayla and I remain Orioles fans. Makayla even rocked her hat yesterday! I thin she was smiling as I took the picture of her. She likes the straw hat because it protects her ears from the sun and now that she has been shaved, she needs a bit more protection. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

My Zimbio
Top Stories