Jump to content

All Things EARTH... part 2

Recommended Posts

We stayed at the zoo until about 1pm when we wanted some lunch. Thanks to Google we found a Panera Bread nearby that had umbrella tables. It is in an area-in-transition called Bakery Square. There was quite a bit of construction going on, and we saw lots of yoga pants and little dogs. It appears to be a young professionals kind of neighborhood. All the new stores etc. were geared that way. No Marshall's in sight. 😄



There was a place I knew my brother wanted to go... but he was being polite because he knew I would be a bit bored. But I knew he would LOVE it --  LOOOOVE it! -- so after lunch we hit Jerry's. It is one of the most famous record stores in the country, and DB is a huge audiophile with an encyclopedia of music in his head. He can talk about the different pressings of an album, and when there were changes in materials, and what different cartridges can to do the sound. He's a regular guest writer on a music blog (not as a job, just for fun).



After a while I got tired of standing while he browsed, so I went to the car and checked texts and voicemails until he was done. He was extremely happy with his few purchases and I know the first thing he was going to do at home was head to the turntable.


At this point we were hot and tired, and went back to the hotel for a nap before dinner. We were both tired from our drives on Wednesday.


The outdoor dining scene was a bit different than NYC because they can't use the streets. So except for places like Market Square, or ones with balconies or patios, restaurants with added outdoor seating are limited. A few of the places I called did not take reservations, and there were significant wait times, like 1.5 hours at a seafood place on the water. Our solution was to call early and dine at 6. Tonight we chose Hidden Harbor, which had paired up with their neighbor The Independent Brewing Company that had a backyard space with a few tents. In PGH, bars could only open if they also served food, hence the partnership. We had amazing burgers and I ordered a fine Belgian dark beer. So good after a hot day.




It was fun just to drive through Pittsburgh and see the city. We got to see some beautiful old homes and a couple of pretty parks. We were always crossing bridges and you really feel the connection to the water there.


Back at the hotel, we had our wine and chat and went to bed. What a lovely day.


P.S. there was indoor dining in PGH, limited to 25% capacity, but we did not choose to do so.

Edited by MJC
Link to post
Share on other sites

Loving the Pittsburg trip Margaret! I love a good zoo. When DS was in his second year, around 18 months old, we were members of the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita...which is a wonderful zoo. We went 3-4 times a week. So nice if the landscaping is good and the animal habitats are happy.


I wouldn't be eating inside either. I've made exception at Waffle House but in general, I prefer to eat outside anyway and would always eat outside if given a choice. And would generally choose to eat at places because I like their outside dining areas LOL.


👍 Melody



Edited by Host Kat
Per author's request.
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Anita Latte said:

Loving the Pittsburg trip Margaret! I love a good zoo. When DS was in his second year, around 18 months old, we were members of the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita...which is a wonderful zoo. We went 3-4 times a week. So nice if the landscaping is good and the animal habitats are happy.


I wouldn't be eating inside either. I've made exception at Waffle House but in general, I prefer to eat outside anyway and would always eat outside if given a choice. And would generally choose to eat at places because I like their outside dining areas LOL.


👍 Melody

You gotta make an exception for Waffle House!!!!   Pecan waffle, side of grits, cup of coffee.  Every time.  Every place. 



Edited by Host Kat
Per previous edit.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Natural pools are a topic DS brought up. IDK how he came across the idea. You can adjust the design to make it as close to swimming in a lake as you'd like OR you can even convert an already installed pool to natural with a totally separate regeneration zone...but you have to have the land to do it. I think that may be one of the greatest draw backs to the natural pool...the fact that you basically need to use twice as much land for pool needs as you would with a more traditional pool.


I'm not a big fan of lawns in yards. They are pretty and all...and I can appreciate them in other people's yards...at parks...etc. But I personally think they are a waste of yard unless you have pets. Some kids. Or some such need that requires lawn space. Mostly though...all I see is people working their lawn but otherwise not using their yard much because what do you with lawn space really?


So I am quite happy to let go of lawn space for water feature space. Between the water feature and the surrounding decks...including an outdoor kitchen and fire pit area...add in the veggie garden...well...that'll take up quite a bit of the back. I'm also thinking about creating a front courtyard area...I'll call it that but I don't think it will have walls. But I'd like an outdoor living area in the front. Sunset views are from my front yard. I also think it could be a nice social space.


One of Mom's bestsies since forever moved into her neighborhood...oh years ago...and she wanted to meet the neighbors and so she went around and invited everyone to sunset cocktails. Bring your own libation and lawn chair and literally just hang out in the street/sidewalk/driveway to socialize a bit and watch the sunset. The casual nature of it...I think the low pressure...and the easy ending to the socializing made it a popular activity. Hang out for some fun cocktail hour stuff and then go about your evening.


I can imagine doing something like that. It's been a long time since I have met so many neighbors. Our first house outside Wichita was new construction with just a few houses. DS was newly born and we would stroll the neighborhood. Everyone was installing their landscaping. People were eager to meet each other because everyone was new. We sold that house in 2004...and it's been since then since I have known as many neighbors and had such friendly neighbors. It feels good. 


My only concern at this point is figuring out where the septic tank is in the front yard. And where the drain field is. One thing that I read several times in different listings was that the drain field had been redone or some such thing. I wonder why that would need to be done? And with the age of my home, I think that maybe it could be getting close to time to do it? And I would want to do it before changing all the landscaping rather than after.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Loving the Pittsburg review . We intend to go there next year to meet up with my daughter and grandsons . Was the green area a convenient place to stay ? By the way I have the same JJill dress but in red . It is so comfortable .

Edited by Sailor_Sally
Link to post
Share on other sites

Anita, your home inspection should tell you where the leach field is for the septic & how old it is. If you have big trees it’ll need to be looked at sooner rather than later because of roots

Link to post
Share on other sites

Margaret, I'm loving your trip report.  When we stayed in Skaneateles, it was only a one day trip so I didn't have much to report.  It was a lot of fun though, so I can imagine you had a lot of fun visiting your brother.  


We often talk about traveling to different cities and lining it up with seeing the Red Sox.  So you have the fun of seeing your favorite team, and you can spend a few days exploring the city.  Baltimore comes to mind, because Camden Yards is a beautiful stadium.  


Anita, we have a septic system also.  We are overdue to get it pumped.  My husband very much seems to be avoiding it, I think because he has always been sporadic about having it pumped, and his parents did the same.  I have had a few companies tell me that it should always be done every year, but when I researched it, I found out it depends on the size of the tank and the size of the household.  I do not know what size tank it is, but my husband said it's big.  


The plan right now is to get it pumped in the fall, and have it inspected at the same time.  We want to see how it is functioning, how often we should pump it based on the size, and how much it will cost to replace.  My husband seems to think it is very old, so I think replacing it may occur sooner than we want.


The hope was that we could pump it but not have to replace it for about 5 years.  We could get the deck and other small projects done first, and then this would be the big project prior to retirement. Our concern is that it will be very expensive.


Melody, I hope you feel the benefits of having your incision drained very soon!  


So I am thinking that I may do the top of that table in a metallic paint.  Something like a rubbed bronze color.  I also thought about combining it with a crackle finish. 


I am very excited that I found replacement drawer pieces for my dresser.  We have a beautiful bedroom set with sturdy dovetail joints, but the glides on the side of one of the drawers broke.  As a result, I've had a drawer sitting half in and half out of the dresser for quite some time now.  I will work on this Sunday, and it will be so exciting to open and close the drawer like it is supposed to.  It's the little things that are exciting, lol.  I couldn't find them for the longest time, and then when I did, they weren't the right size.  I happened to check Amazon, and I got a set for just $5.00.  I order a few extra so that if it happens to another drawer, I am ready for it.


It has cooled down for a few days, so I might just paint a few doors this weekend.   🙂  I'm almost done!  3 coats each side has taken much longer than I thought, and I stopped when it got super hot here.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Laurie, I totally understand about the little things. We have casement windows, and we had some of the cranks fixed last week, and it makes all the difference in the world to have those windows working again.



Link to post
Share on other sites

I was able to paint the baseboards (cause they were on sawhorses & bending wasn’t an issue). Les will install day & we can move back into our bedroom!!!  I’m working on breaking up the scar tissue that was under the seroma...it won’t be a short process, but I do feel better & that’s what counts!  Melody

Link to post
Share on other sites

Melody, so glad you are starting to feel better.


Sally, my feelings about recommending Green Tree and the hotel we stayed at are mixed. In terms of the location, here are the pluses: it was very convenient to a bridge that led to downtown; there were a few restaurants close by in the area (with takeout) like Olive Garden (though we didn't use them); and it was kind of like areas in eastern Queens that we are familiar with, an older established neighborhood of little houses with tiny lawns. City but not urban, KWIM? A minus was that it was not walk-able to anything, really. Imagine a compressed surburban type atmosphere with a corporate park in the middle. It was a five or ten minute drive to gas, grocery, etc. Not a Starbucks in sight. Quite hilly.


As for the hotel, I have very mixed feelings about it, so I will just describe what I saw and you can make up your own mind. The hotel itself is nice and clean. The staff were great. There is a small snack shop/fast food counter in addition to a restaurant (which was closed). They sold hot breakfast sandwiches and bagels in the morning, and a few hot food items starting at lunch time... mini pizzas, panini sandwiches. Fruit cups. There was a cooler for juices and sodas. Rooms were as expected and had a minifridge, which was a plus. Pool area was regularly cleaned and had loungers. I don't know how old it was but it looked fairly recently renovated. In terms of service and amenities I was very happy with it.


The guests were a mixed bag. It is hard to pin down what exactly their target clientele is, where they are coming from. Since I live in NY the closest thing I could think of was that it was like riding the subway. Very diverse ethnically, socially, and economically. I don't have a problem with that at all. But, I was not happy with unsupervised children in the pool, people hanging out with their dogs in the hallways, people hanging out in the parking lot by their cars drinking at night. One night when my brother and I were outside on the benches visiting, a 20 something guy came out to smoke (again, no problem with that) and even though he saw we were chatting he pulled out a small speaker and started playing music really loud. Just rude and clueless. DB thought he was high on something.


So, a mixed bag, even though there were families there. We mostly just slept there, and for that it was fine, but I wouldn't have that hotel be a destination. I think you will find more appropriate places on the northside near the stadiums. It will just cost a bit more.






Link to post
Share on other sites

Margaret , Thank you . I am not worried about the cost since I have spent zero on travel this year the next time I travel will be a splurge . I  like to be near enough to walk to a few places . Hopefully by the time we go the virus will be history. It is receding a little in Florida .

Link to post
Share on other sites

For our second day in Pittsburgh, we did a self-guided walking tour of downtown, or the Central Business District that I found here:



We chose the Pittsburgh Introduction walk. Rather than worry about the car and street parking, I used an app called ParkPGH to search for garage parking near our starting point. It plots garages on a map and you can shop by price. I paid $20/day to park inside a parking garage. Very reasonable by NYC standards.


We loved the mix of architectural styles.













None of the churches were open, which is a shame because this one I posted had windows by Tiffany.



Edited by MJC
add info
Link to post
Share on other sites

I really enjoy wandering around in cities. Each one is so different. The people-watching is so interesting. The mix of new and historic is always enjoyable. We wound our way down to the tip of the CBD where the three rivers meet, to Point State Park. The bridge in the distance is where the Ohio River begins. It is the largest tributary of the Mississippi. The Allegheny River is on the right and comes originally from NY, and the Monongahela River is on the left and comes originally from WV.




There are still a few historic buildings that date from the 1700's when Fort Pitt was here.




Here is my outfit for the day... it is the same dress that Laurie has.




Pittsburgh could write the book on how to have an enjoyable urban waterfront. The park had an open grassy area in the middle, surrounded on the sides by wooded walkways. The perimeter on both sides leading to the fountain had levels leading to the point, parallel to the water: first paths with benches shaded by trees, then stepped concrete seating, and finally at the bottom a walkway/jogging path right by the water. You could literally dip your toes in if you were careful.


We found a shaded bench and rested our feet for awhile, enjoying the river and all the boats, just chatting and relaxing. So lovely. So calming.




I must add that we were both happy to discover a very clean public bathroom in the area of the fountain. I cannot underestimate how anxiety-producing the whole bathroom issue is when traveling. Pre-covid the nearest department store was always a default for me in the City. Along the Interstates, the rest areas were very well set up for as much non-touch as possible. But you can't just pop into DD for a latte and a pit stop these days.


For lunch we headed back to Market Square, which had a lot of outdoor seating and several classes of restaurant to choose from, from Chipotle to quite expensive.



We chose to have subs (hoagies? heroes?) at DiBella's, where they make their own bread. I ordered a small, and it was NOT small!! Very delicious though.



Edited by MJC
Link to post
Share on other sites

Continue to love the TR Margaret!! I love seeing the old and new architecture of a city. I tell you what...your little TR is really inspiring me. I'm sitting here thinking about different places I could go. DH has a bunch of Marriott points built up...I need to sit down with a map and figure out what my driving distances are. With the whole "work from home" we could seriously go anywhere...the only limitation would be time away from Grace kitty.


As I said on the other thread...all done with moving. All done with the apt. I think I figured out that it hit me hard in the sad department first for the end of the era. I know where I'll be living for the foreseeable future and while that is comforting and it's nice to know that I'm not just waiting for the end of another lease to see if we're moving or not...at the same time...it's kind of a bummer. Moving is a PITA...don't get me wrong...but there's something fun about it too.


Also...there were some expectations associated with that apt. The pool. The fitness center. The lake. The garage we rented and this possibility that I would finally work on my furniture. Etc etc. And a lot of that never quite got off the ground and right when I was finally getting motivated COVID happened. And that just kind of took the wind out of my sails I guess. And having DS home again changed the dynamics of my day...and DH too. So...anyway...it was a bit like ANOTHER 15 months went by and AGAIN I didn't accomplish some things that I had hoped to accomplish. So. Woe is me. Poor me.


Ah well.


DH says don't beat myself up about it but take on some lessons learned. I think a major struggle was to get life organized. Over the years I have given up some furniture that had great storage...and now I don't have much storage. So I need to remedy that so all this stuff that just exploded and landed in my happy home can find a home of its own...and get out of my way...and my sight. LOL.


I am so happy that my days can begin to be a new normal. DS is off to school. We are settling in. I should be able to get undressed at the end of a working day and not have to hang my clothes up to dry before putting them in a hamper. Is that TMI? LOL. I have sweated this much since I taught Zumba OMG.


Think I'll get back on the ceiling fan this weekend!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, awhfy said:

I was able to paint the baseboards (cause they were on sawhorses & bending wasn’t an issue). Les will install day & we can move back into our bedroom!!!  I’m working on breaking up the scar tissue that was under the seroma...it won’t be a short process, but I do feel better & that’s what counts!  Melody


So off topic, but would you please share what you’re doing to break up the scar tissue? Just adding my voice to the others wishing you well. I’ve been following along with everyone these past months just, strange for me, haven’t had much to share. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, to break up the scar tissue I’m doing several things. Twists, (turn your body ever so slowly side to side For 30 minutes, easy crunches & massage. Basically, anytime I sit down (always with legs elevated) rub the incision or use a heating pad (yeah, it’s 95 degrees, I’m not using a heating pad!!)  It’ll come, not quickly


 Margaret, I’m loving your TR. 


our girls came over today to help Les move the furniture Back into the bedroom (I’m limited to 10lb max for next 6 months). Hysterical listening to our PE teacher talk about how she’s teaching PE  on line (she normally teaches swimming & lifeguarding). Best afternoon we’ve had in awhile!  Melody 


Link to post
Share on other sites

Melody...so you are back in your bedroom? New floors and walls! Pictures? I'd love to see it!


Our room is so very different feeling now with our furniture in it. I still have to put up the shades in the windows. The thing is that I have to cut the shades to the width of the windows, including the tube thing that is the roller so it isn't a straight forward thing. I should make time to do that now though with the moving being all done.


Then we could have some natural light in our room! OMG...the black trash bags are a bit rough during the day LOL.


Meanwhile...we have picked out our main color for the house. It's called Silent Storm: "Silent Storm is a soft, gray, mint green with a yellow undertone. It is a perfect paint color for an elegant dining room or current kitchen. Pair it with deep toned wood.".




We just went to Home Depot to grab all the appealing gray looking colors. Brought them home and narrowed it down to about 5. Then narrowed it down to 2. The test of those two made it clear. So here's the deal. The PPG Paint stores (around here anyway) are only open until 12 noon on Saturday...and only the workday during the week 7-5...so they really are geared more toward the contractors. I was able to buy 2 quarts of sample paint for $12. The guy also gave me four 8.5x11 pieces of chip board for me to paint. I taped them together to make a bigger swatch. Painted them. Then taped them around the room...and then we had a clear winner.


It's the kind of color though...it can make other colors around it look very muddy. So I will definitely have to pay attention to the pairing. But it's nice to have the main basic color sorted.


And I like it. A lot. The fireplace rock looks amazing with this color. It's really going to pop.


And what I really appreciate...reading that Designology Book...really helps me to understand why I get drawn to certain colors in general and how my preferences could lead me down a road where all I have are accent colors all over...without a clear base...and that's not something that I want or would enjoy. But I live for the accents! And the textures! And the layers! So yay!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Realized you can’t see the trim in any of these pictures. It’s Devonshire cream (think clotted cream without the scones or jam). Our furniture is heavy mahogany & the floor is rustic oak, blends well. I really like the wall color (Watery). Melody




Link to post
Share on other sites

Your bedroom turned out great .We really need ours done . I have been so unmotivated with this covid but I finally got motivated . I am getting a new kitchen facet next week and bids for redoing the deck .I have also been replacing odds and ends .Bought a large art print for the kitchen,new towels , new sheets,and new patio umbrella .Last week the air conditioner needed a part and the elevator needed a expensive part . Money is just pouring out .Luckily I have it since zero travel this year so far .

Edited by Sailor_Sally
Link to post
Share on other sites

Watery is a pretty color! Definitely an aqua color looking more blue side or green side depending on the light. 


I was getting frustrated with our color choice until I did a bit more research. I call the middle of the house the gathering room...it's a huge open space with vaulted ceilings and so this color will cover a big space and then the rooms immediately near it...one is technically the dining room but we call it the yoga room, because that is what it is going to be. I want that room in the blue family. DH want his office...which will eventually open up more to the gathering room when we replace the single door with double french...green. I was really struggling...but my research was fruitful and we have nailed down the yoga room and DH had 4 greens to pick from for his office. All sorted!!


The yoga room is the next room we're tackling. Going to refresh the walls with the new texture and then the new paint.


And then the projects begin for that yoga room...OMG. There are several different projects planned for in there that will aid with organization and also working out. It's very fun to basically be creating our space...having it serve our needs and be that kind of sanctuary haven from all the **** happening in the world.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a pretty color, Melody.  I really love to paint rooms.  I read one time that painting a room has the biggest impact for the least amount of money, and I think that is really true.


Anita, I am interested in your selection of gray paint.  Normally, gray isn't a color I am drawn to, but it is the color we have decided on for our upstairs bath.  I haven't picked the exact color yet.  My plan was to go with a fairly light shade, and then choose darker gray towels.  


The lower half of the bathroom has white wainscoting.  The bathtub/shower is white subway tile.  A short distance from the top, there is a border row that includes black, white, a beige travertine and a white/gray carera marble.  Currently, the room is mid tone aqua color, and we would like to change it.  It seems to make sense to pull a color from the accent tile.  There is no natural light and this is the only full bath.  I think a shade of gray that isn't dark will be serene and won't make us feel closed in.  


The towels will be hanging in the wainscoting area, so I thought having them a darker gray will work out nice.  I haven't set a time to paint the room yet, but it is small so it won't be a long project.  I was thinking about how there are all the undertones to a color, and gray can be warm or cool, with these various undertones.  So I would like the towels to pick up on that.  


Bathrooms are kind of nice, because they are a room by themselves where the rest of the house doesn't have to be matching.  If it were connected to the master bedroom, then I would want those rooms to coordinate.  We are still discussing the laundry room and den/office.  Since there is more than just pain involved, I want to make sure we are ready to move on it before we do anything.  


We have gone to places like Home Depot and Lowes, but haven't really priced anything out.  The laundry room will get new cabinets and a counter top, and the den will have batten boards added.


I fixed my dresser drawer yesterday.  Yay!  It was the bottom drawer, and I had to leave it hanging out because the track broke so it is nice to have it done.  I can't believe how good it made me feel to get that done.  It was pretty funny when I had to replace the tracks that were on the dresser itself, because it was dark.  in retrospect, removing a few drawers up above would have let some light in, but I didn't think of that at the time!


I took a better look at that little demi lune table that was my mom's.  I needed some repairing before I can do anything else.  I think I mentioned my grandfather made it.  Seeing the underside of the table was interesting.  He clearly wasn't a woodworker, lol.  But all is good.  It is glued and the clamps are in place, so I can see how we did in a few days.  If it looks good, I will take it outside and sand the top.  Then I'll grab the metallic paint.  I'm looking at something like this:




I haven't looked at it yet, and I need to see if anyone has used it through Pinterest.  I'd like to see how it looks on a piece of furniture.  The color above isn't quite right, and the gold colors I have seen are really yellow.


I found this picture, it seems to be more in line with what I was thinking.


Twice Lovely: Metallic Secretary Desk | Metallic painted furniture ...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Anita, I need to look up that book you've been talking about.  Remember when we were all using that one book....I am trying to remember the name...it was about figuring out our style?  I came up with harmony and elegance.  I like things to go together, and I get really bent out of shape when things don't seem to "get along" in a room.  


I find that learning this about myself has really helped my perspective, but it has also allowed me to acknowledge things I systematically try to deny.  I like having things, but I want those things to go together a certain way, and I don't want so much stuff that I can't each thing my attention when I look around.  


Every day, I stare at the built ins that are in my family room, and I can readily tell you what I like and what I don't.  I am still struggling with the guilt of getting rid of things I don't want, but were given to me as a gift, or belonged to a family member.  So it makes me unhappy.  I spent an hour in my pajamas this morning, sitting on the floor, trying to figure out what to do with it.  I moved a few things, but I was unsuccessful.  This room is harder than most, because I believe a family room should encompass what you love, and that may be an eclectic group.  I will have to post some pictures at some point, so that you can see what I mean.  


You also mentioned the feeling of having less things around you is more peaceful, and I definitely feel that. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Thank You for 25 Years - Click for Fun Stuff!
      • Forum Assistance
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: Crystal Cruises - New! Luxury Bahamas Escapes
      • ICYM Our Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Explore the Remote World with Hurtigruten!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
  • Create New...