Wednesday, May 22, 2013

We're still here...

Well. Not HERE here. But still kicking around... :)

Finally started that dog blog I've been talking about all these years.

The digestive tract belonging to our most recent addition is an enigma wrapped in a mystery, so I decided to start journaling everything we are doing for him. I've also had a lot of people asking me lately for more information about raw feeding, so I just thought I'd put it all in one place that I can point to.

Without further ado:

Materially Raw. 

Friday, January 18, 2013


The Foursquare Funny Farm.

We closed today.

It was quite a fiasco, but it's done, and it's ours. And I love it already. :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Moving on

That's hard to type. It really is.

It looks like we will be moving sometime soon. We're buying a 1901 neo-Colonial foursquare in the same neighborhood-- a few blocks down. My mother will be moving in with us. It needs a few updating/cosmetic-type things... at least as we see it now. It's certainly not the fixer-upper that this house was, but there are definitely things I want to change. Hopefully nothing that HAS to be changed.

Once we get into that house, we'll turn our attention back to the bungalow. We'll need to finish up some of the projects we started and never completed, and we'll need to freshen up some of the things we did when we first moved in.

My mother will be leaving the house we lived in from the time I was 11 years old. It's the only permanent home my sister has known. It's where my mother lived when my father passed away. It's nearly 23 years of memories. No one ever loved that house really, but that's not the point. My mother and I both loved the house we were in before that one, a turn-of-the-century folk Victorian. So in a way, it will be a homecoming for us.

Then we'll sell or rent the houses once they're up to speed.

I have started working on a blog for the new house. I'll link to it when I'm ready; I'm waiting until we've closed before I start talking too publicly and specifically about it. At a certain point, there will be a flurry of updates here for this house and probably for my mother's mid-century cottage, as well.

The new house is on a lot 3 times the size of this one; the house is 2 1/2 times the size of this one, and has a gallery/studio/guest house the same size as the bungalow. The "kiddo" is a fully-fledged teenager now, and 1 bathroom isn't really cutting it for us. We're up to 4 dogs larger than 45lbs. And cats. We've finally outgrown this house, perhaps a bit quicker than we expected.

I love the bungalow. It's become another member of the family and I am a bit heartbroken to leave it. But we're excited, too.

And at least we won't be immediately parting ways; just taking a break.

I promise, Bungalow. It's not you; it's me.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Running in place

Just the other day I said to Adam, "This year, on my winter break, I should be able to get a lot done on the house. Last year I was so focused on training and keeping Luna from freaking out over the other dogs getting too close to HER things and HER food and HER people that I didn't have time for anything else. She's so much better now. I'll be able to do things."

You may have already guessed: famous last words. 

Adam sent me a picture a couple of weeks ago of a cute, cute, cute puppy in the liquor store. Customers bring their dogs in sometimes. "Who does that cutie belong to?" I asked. 

"Don't know." Don't know. Uh oh. 

"What are you doing with him?" I asked. 

"Playing, mostly."

Not good. Not good, not good, not good. 

I have looked for an owner, I have tried to find a new home. I don't know if we'll find that home for him, but for now, he is here. After coming to us, he threw up 2 corn cobs and had to have surgery to remove a third that was lodged in his small intestines. On Christmas Eve. So now that we have spent some serious time worrying over him, it'll have to be a pretty damned perfect home. He's a good boy, but I am spending yet another winter break wrangling dogs. :\

That said, hopefully you will be seeing us tackle some of the list. 

  • Refinish the floors. Again. (One, then two, then three, then two, then three, then four dogs will wreak havoc on pine floors)
  • Put down new flooring in the kitchen
  • New kitchen cabinet doors
  • Wrap up the painting, in and out
  • Seed the yard
  • Patch a hole in the ceiling
Here's hoping. There may be some other somewhat unrelated projects in the works. Just have to see how everything goes...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Updates and a garden gnome

It has been a long time. A very, very long time. There is a reason for this...

Nothing's been happening on the house front. And there's also a reason for THAT...


Yep. Animals. Pets. Dogs 'n' cats.

Last time I left off, we had adopted a stray pit bull-- Robin-- who has some fear issues. In March last year, we had to let our sweet Simon go. His arthritis and dementia had got the best of him, but he was happy until the end. We had him cremated, and he still watches over us from the mantle.

Our porch kitty contracted histoplasmosis and had to be put on a feeding tube for 4 months.

Adam also bought a liquor store, and so we've been pretty involved in getting that moved to its new location and off the ground.

I started working on the fear issues (clicker training) with Robin, which took up a lot of time.

Then I started competing with River in rally obedience. She has her novice title and we're one leg away from Advanced.

Then around July, we found another dumped pup-- only a few months old. We took her in, too, under a full moon, and named her Luna.

I really did not want another dog. At all. Certainly not a puppy. But she stayed. And to help me develop a better bond with her and to work on her resource guarding tendencies, I started training pretty vigilantly with her, as well as competing. She now has her rally novice title. And she and Robin have mastered the art of tandem snuggling.

We feed raw now, so I spend a good chunk of time prepping and portioning raw chicken, beef, pork, and organs for the pups.

Somewhere in all this, the trainer we work with asked me to start assisting in her classes, which was super exciting for me! So I've been assisting in puppy classes, going to conferences and workshops, training my own dogs, and learning as much as I possibly can about what I'm doing. I love it so much. Even on the days that I'm tired and would rather stay home, I'm always glad I went, always come away feeling good about what I do. I just love it.

However, this weekend, I learned something. I've been in a rut (that is *not* what I learned), and part of that is the fact that I'd become so singularly focused. I needed to focus on something not dog related. And I had no motivation-- so I had to just DO it. Just get up, put on my big girl pants and DO IT. The motivation came once I got started.

And boy did it ever.

While I was driving by Home Depot Sunday morning, I got a wild hair to plant things. By the end of the day, I had planted 3 planters or coleus, caladiums, and Persian Shield; a hanging basket of petunias and one of pink mandevilla; red and orange bell peppers; basil; and bought a mature tomato plant (hey-- I'm lazy and impatient, what can I say). The heat of the last 2 summers has wreaked havoc on the gold dust plants that aren't heavily shaded, so they are mostly dead. I pulled out and cut away all of the dead parts (and was reminded that I still had paint to touch up behind the bushes, not to mention all the trim). I mulched under the bushes and weeded and mulched around my hostas. And I cleaned the porch. Luna tangled herself in her line; River supervised.

Monday I tackled my back patio and did some deep-cleaning type things in our kitchen. All in all, it was a good weekend. I feel more motivated to get some housework done. We still have a lot of work to do, but I feel refreshed, if a bit achy. And happy, despite the straggly bushes and the long list of crap left to do.

Our Garden Gnome is happy, too. he'd been hidden under leaves and ivy for far too long.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

And we trudge forward.

Well, the last couple of days were long and I'm sore all over. Adam had more shop business yesterday, so it was me and pups again...and as usual, they were no help at all. They spent most of the day basking in the sun and trading places on the bed.

Stinkers. Meanwhile, I was able to get started even earlier with the nice weather, but then I immediately lost my keys in this mess while I was tromping down the flowers.

I was a little afraid I'd be stuck sifting through lilies all day, but I found them without too much trouble.

Considering it was just me, I think I did ok. I was able to get all the brick rollered by about 2 or 3 in the afternoon; I started using the sprayer again to get into the mortar, but I was just chasing drips and not getting great coverage, so I went back to my trusting 3" Wooster and a trim cup. It'll be slow-going, but we'll get there eventually. The biggest hurdle has been crossed. I think. At least my arms will be a fully painted, lovely shade of gray before it's over.

All I know is that I don't think I could have worked on it one more day. I've never been so happy to go back to work in my life.