Monday, July 31, 2017

Monday Musings

Some beautiful summer weather lately, some cool days followed by some hot days.  Summer always seems to go too fast.

The week was interesting. The man had taken off Wednesday through Friday as we originally were suppose to go to North Carolina to visit his aunt who was having a family reunion of sorts.  We thought originally Cooper could stay at her house but then found out he couldn't. So the man procrastinated and never bothered to make other arrangements to find a hotel.

My family is working too many hours and very busy right now to take on watching Cooper during a work week.  So he ended up still taking the days off, his official words were "we can do some fun things". But I know the man too well what he says and what he actually does can be very far apart at times. He doesn't balance work with play all that well.

Wednesday was an awesome day, one of those types you would like to freeze.  We went to a local historic park which has a nature reserve and amazing tower that you can see the whole area from.  Did some exploring and hiking, even had a picnic lunch.  The evening was filled with fun too. It's good to get out in nature.

Had hoped that we might actually do fun things on his mini vacation. (he took off the previous week two days but to watch golf)  Thursday rolled around though and could tell the man was already going into tv mode. Of course some senior golf was just starting which he had to watch. Fitting that it was a senior tournament as at 40 the man is turning into a senior!  Finally convinced him to at least run two errands with me to look at stuff we need to finish some house stuff.

Friday was much of the same. Had to meet up with my dad as took in my mountain bike to get tuned up and needed his suv to pick it up.  Still trying to figure out what kind of bike rack to get for my car. Want something sturdy but don't want to pay hundreds for it.  Yet the ones made to fit over spoilers seem to be higher priced.  The bike guys tuned it up, filled tires with air and put new brakes on. Test rode it and it seemed good to go though the one brake seems to squeak a little still.

Anyway back to the man, keep telling him that he is 40 going on 80. He wasn't always like that but the older he gets the worst it's becoming.  Think he needs a good multi vitamin and shot of enthusiasm.  I offer to play golf just about every weekend but he's always too tired or sore. That's the thing though the more one sits around the more sore and tired they can make them self. ;)

Actually we were set to go out to dinner until I stepped out in backyard and found these swarms of flying bugs all over lawn. Given rain was in forecast for that night thought we should treat lawn, so there I am trying to cut lawn ultra low so I could apply the bug stuff. The man went to buy the treatment. By the time it was all completed though it was already after 7 so we just showered and ordered take out.

Saturday had to get out of the house as I felt bored. So went shopping with my mother. Come evening actually got the man to go to my nieces basketball.  Since the game was a little far my mother hopped a ride with us as well. It's a summer league which plays outdoors, not only is it fun to watch her play but to spend time with family too. Basketball is one of my favorite sports to watch and play.

The weather was perfect for the game, a cool summer night.  Saw the most beautiful sunset on the way home too. Love the games that are out in the country with farms and open fields around. Wish our country could preserve more land.

Since they won the game they got to play in the championship game the next day.  So Sunday we were all back at the field for some more basketball.  My niece not only played great but so did her team and they won the championship game!  After the game I had some gardening and other things to do outside including playing with Cooper. Got the man to leave the couch to grill so we dined al fresco on the patio.

Today I've been busy cleaning.  Poor Mr Cooper's stomach is flaring up bad.  He has inflammatory bowel disease which requires a strict diet.  Well since he was doing so well we added some food and treats, which unfortunately have not agreed with him.  Unusually we have more signs leading up to an attack but this one came on rather quick.  He woke me up in the wee hours of the morning to go out and it was a blow out to point I needed to water down lawn. Honestly it's a mess, lesson learned we just cannot give him certain types of food.  Hopefully it calms down soon.

Anyway, I'm feeling tired and just rambling at this point.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Soul Sunday

There is a lot of beauty in the world but sometimes it requires getting off our couches, turning off the tv, putting down the phone, signing off the computer and exploring life to find it. 

We can let the stress and negatives of life wear us down and retreat from fully living or we can seek to find the peace and positives of life that bring our souls to life.  There is a magic to life that exists, a passion to the soul, a deeper kind of love, an unbridled enthusiasm of sorts....yet no one will ever truly find it by staring at a tv, phone or computer. It only comes with engaging in life, those around us and the force that created it all.

He said, "There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live."

scenery colorful cloud The last day of spring in the Rhodope Stoikite.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Perfect Moments

There are moments in life that you just want to capture, freeze or at the very least have more of.   For me one of those was yesterday.

Why you ask?

Well I was able to pull the man off the couch, away from the tv and  constantly checking social media to go for a hike at a local historic park.  The transformation is always amazing.

He became this fun, happy, energized guy the opposite of the quiet, don't bother me, tv zoning guy. The man doesn't always understand my desire to want to do fun things, to get out and about, to have adventures and explore the world together...yet what I described above is exactly why I desire such moments.

Once he gets doing anything he is like a whole other man, even he admits it.  And when you get him out somewhere he always says why don't we do this more often or comes up with other cool ideas of things to do. (if only he could keep up the same enthusiasm he feels in such fun moments to follow through with those same ideas)

Truth is getting out, especially in nature it changes all of us.  It's food for our body and souls.  There are have been a bunch of studies to show that doing stuff, physical activity and even just being outdoors brightens moods, lessens depression and anxiety, reduces stress, increases endorphin's and so on.  Not to mention I strongly believe that couples who play together stay together.

Think if you sit on the couch always watching tv day, night and weekends, or always staring at the phone you are living vicariously through others instead of truly living life. Zoning to tv constantly is like being high on drugs you waste time being zoned out to the magic of life around you. Same goes for working all the time, though many don't have a choice when it comes to that. Yet those things hinder us from truly living and connecting. But back to our day....

We started out with a nice picnic lunch, followed by a walk around a nature preserve, followed by a rather treacherous hike up a mountain to reach a tower that sits at the top.  We took lots of photos and enjoyed the time in nature.  And the fun spurred an even funner evening....we took a nice shower, worked in the kitchen together as the man cooked us a homemade cheesesteak dinner, an evening walk in the park with Cooper, water ice for desert, the man was affectionate, talkative and full of life. Perfect moments that created dare I say a perfect day.  :)

Reminds me of perfect moments we had last year at a wedding in Cape May, NJ. That weekend felt so amazing too. Gosh how I savor such moments with him.  Maybe he will never understand how happy such moments make me or how deeply they resonant, oh but they do.

It's amazing the moments we can create when we step away from our tvs, computers, phones and other distractions. When we are fully present with those we care about or love and embark on adventures together.  Now if only I could convince the man that such moments are way better than any sport or show on tv!

How are such meaningful moments created well I think it's a combination of small things such as... being present, appreciating the little things, doing not sitting, focusing on what and who really matters in life, expressing gratitude and love, freely showing affection, exploring new places, trying new things and being open to adventure are a few good ways to start.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Woof Wednesday

Welcome to Woof Wednesday. Please meet some great dogs from CA, NY, PA and TX all in need of good, loving homes! 

Brantley is a Terrier mix who is around 3 years old. This guy is a cutie underneath all that fur, he just needs a good bath and groom.  What he needs even more is just a chance at a good life.  Please lets find him a loving home!

Brantley A5082809   - Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles County Animal Control - Carson
216 West Victoria Street
Gardena, CA 90248
(310) 523-9566

Donnie is a Chihuahua mix who is around 3 years old.  This cute guy wants out of the overcrowded shelter. He wants a family to love, a bed to snuggle into and yummy treats. Is that too much to ask for? Please lets find this guy a great home!

Donnie A5082952  - Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles County Animal Control - Carson
216 West Victoria Street
Gardena, CA 90248
(310) 523-9566

Mrs. Abrea and Bacon are American Staffordshire Terrier mixes. They have lost it all and now , they are about to lose each other and their lives if they are forced to go to a high kill shelter. These sweet seniors are beyond perfect! They are dog, cat and kid friendly.  They are a wonderful paid. They are bonded and cannot afford to be broken up. They're family tried hiding them from the landlord and sadly, that didn't go over too well. They were forced to put them into boarding and now the boarding facility is kicking them out bc they have other dogs coming in. The dogs will be sent to the acc slaughterhouse if nobody steps up they need a miracle. Please lets find this sweet pair a good home!

Mrs Abrea and Bacon - New York, NY

NY Pet-I-Care inc.
301 East 22nd Street
NYC, NY 10010
(212) 614-7194

Paisley is a Beagle mix who is two years old and 30 lbs. She is looking for a new home as she used to live in a big house on a 3 acre property and loved playing outside. The family moved into an apartment and Paisley doesn't get the exercise she needs. Her family loves her very much and wants her to be happy so is looking to rehome her to a family with a fenced yard where she can play outside again. Paisley is obsessed with humans, she'll love and lick you. She used to have tons of energy and run it all out with fetch and games and sleep under blankets by the end of day, but that hasn't happened since we moved. Paisley just has this happiness about her, no matter the day, or time, or weather outside. Although she hates rain. She loves all dog toys and is crazy over chasing balls and even waterbottles. Shes such a fun, lively dog. Living here has noticeably took a toll on Paisley already, its honestly no way of life for her. There isn't a single thing wrong with her, besides i feed her in her cage and separate from my pug because my pug will try to steal all the food and they'll go back and fourth. Shes spayed, shes current on all wellness and vaccines, This girl needs a blessing, a fenced yard or enough time outside in the grass and play time in a home. Please lets find her a loving home!

Paisley - Doylestown, PA

Almost Home Dog Rescue
PO Box 132
Doylestown, pa 18901

 Daisy Mae is Schnauzer mix who is around 5 years old and weigh about 12 lbs. She lost her family due to some human issues…but at least they brought her to SRT, where she'll be safe. She is a little skittish, so think she would do best in an all adult home (or at least a home with older children). She is fine around other dogs, but really don’t need a pal to hang around with. She is submissive around four legged friends. Please lets find her a great home!

Daisy May - Houston, TX

Daisy May
Schnauzer & Friends Rescue, Inc. dba Schnauzer Rescue of Texas
P. O Box 8583
Spring, TX 77387

No paw left behind our mission!

{Please keep in mind a dog is lifetime commitment. They need attention, love and time just like we do. In addition, adding a pet to the family does cost money in the way of food, health care, training,etc. So before adopting make sure you are willing to make that kind of commitment and have the resources to do so.}

If you want to be a part of Woof Wednesdays email Ann Michele, Lauren or leave a comment. Or simply start posting about dogs in need of a home on your blog or facebook page

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Monday Musings

The steamy heat wave seems to be winding down, storms this evening are officially suppose to bring in cooler temperatures.  Though I got impatient, turned off the ac and realized the humidity was still rather high.  Might have to turn it back on to sleep. ;)

So the man went back to work after his four day golf vacation. And when I say golf vacation I'm talking four straight days of watching golf on tv.  Pretty sure that over the decade plus I've know him he's taken more days to watch tv/rest than go on a real vacation/do something fun.  Everyone always seems surprised but hey each to their own. Everyone has to do what makes them happy!  (I once dated a guy who all he ever wanted to do was watch movies every night so think it's also important that people try to variety things up as well)

I'm always amazed at some of the friends on my social media, some of them always seem to be doing something whether it's weekday or weekend.  Don't they ever get exhausted from always being on the go?  And second how do they hold jobs yet take so many vacations, better yet how do they pay for all these vacations?  Also wonder how some seem to drink as much as they do? (it feels like so many people can't have fun unless they have a drink in their hand)

There are a few couples on my facebook page who literally I feel tired even trying to keep up with their adventures.  Not that it doesn't look fun, sometimes even have envy for all the adventures and trips they take at this age yet do think it's hard to stay that motivated to constantly be out doing and also even find that many fun things to do. Not to mention the cost of everything.  Plus we wouldn't want to leave our doggie home alone that much, it's hard enough being away a few days or finding someone we trust to watch him. (that is the hardest part of traveling now compared to when we were in our twenties)  Anyway.....

Given the man was in golf watching mode the weekend wasn't crazy busy.  Friday we decided to order out through eat24 online, literally the food took a hour and half to get here. When you are hungry patience is hard to muster. Guess we should have got off our lazy butts and picked it up instead. But hey isn't that why offer delivery and charge extra for it. ;) 

Saturday I was busy working on stuff around the house. Convinced the man to run an errand to Walmart with me as we needed a cheap trash can for outdoor stuff but of course it was out of stock, even though their online site it said they had plenty at the store. Word of advice never trust those online stock numbers, check with the store first.  Walmart is good though in that their lower prices on many items cannot be beat.

I refuse to pay a lot for a trash can that's just going to get beat up being used for outside stuff.  Those brown refuse bags always seem to collapse under the weight of all the grass, weeds and branches we put in them. Had to laugh as think I went through four as they kept breaking before I could get them to the curb. It looked like something out of candid camera.  And one even broke on the garbage men as well.  So time to change it up and use something more sustainable and cost effective.

Meanwhile, I've been trying to decide whether to get a new bike or fix mine. Well after talking to a local bike shop made the decision to fix my 20 year old trek. Actually bought the bike when I lived in San Diego and it's pretty much moved around the country with me. Had to borrow my mothers suv to get it over to the shop. The bike guys said they felt it just needed a tune up and new brakes. And it still would cost less then a new bike.  When I told them my choices they laughed, saying they felt a 20 year old Trek was still better than a Schwinn at Walmart.

When I got back from doing all the bike stuff we decided to head out for dinner. Tried a new place which we thought was a nice steak house but it turned out to be more of a family style restaurant. Not that it's bad but we were expecting say more of a romantic ambiance. Thought it was a nice atmosphere and the food was okay.  Still trying to figure out why I went with a sandwich instead of an entree as the man's dish looked good. The skies opened up while we were dining, and the night turned rather stormy fast.  There were drenching rains on and off the rest of the evening. 

Sunday the man was back to watching golf. I had a nice mid morning nap, woke up with a headache and just feeling blah so the nap was much needed. It gave me the energy to tackle the garage. Cleaned it a few times now and have made real progress. Sold some items, got rid of others and organized the rest into plastic storage boxes. It's looking much better! Might even be able to make it into a home gym eventually.

 After golf was over the man suddenly was energized...hitting golf balls, cleaning our cars, did some errands, cutting lawn, pulling weeds and think he did too much at once because by night he wasn't feeling all that well.  He doesn't always eat well so think it has tendency to catch up with him too.  I'm trying to get him to eat more frequent, healthy meals a day instead of the skipping meals or sweets he tends to reach for. Since summer is here we are back to watching Big Brother as well. Not sure how anyone agrees to go on that show for fun, being stuck in a house with strangers with no access to the outside world for three months just seems like torture. ha  At least on Survivor it's only a month and they usually are on some cool island.

Today is all about catching up on a long list of things I need to get done, so enough musings for now!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Soul Sunday

Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to accomplish something big, that we fail to notice the little things that give life it's magic. 

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Banister and Railing Renovation

So the stairs tie into the living room renovation I wrote about last week.

Since we have what is considered a bi level the steps connect both levels. When we took up the carpet in the living room the carpet on the steps basically had to come up as well.  It was a mess, not only dirty but covered in the previous owners cat fur.  

In addition the banister and railings were painted this unattractive brown color.  From the moment we walked through the house I knew they would need to be changed.  Could not believe they had painted over a nicely stained banister and railing with this flat color brown.  

Guess there had been a nice wood door with character on the house but the previous owners replaced that with a fiberglass door that was painted this brown color as well. (the door will eventually be painted a brighter color)  It appears they matched banister color with the door.  Anyway, back to the banister and steps.

Painters came to give me estimates, they all ranged from $1200 and above. They all warned how much effort and work was involved in stripping wood that had been stained then not properly painted over.  It seems the previous owners never primed or sanded before painting over the stained wood so the paint was peeling.  Most of the painters didn't think it was worth the effort to strip the wood or pay that kind of money to do so, they said it would be cheaper to buy a new banister and railing.  Also suggested coating it with a primer and then painting over it but eventually they thought it would peel again.  The man didn't seem to want to get involved with replacing the banister as with new flooring being installed in few weeks we had limited time.

So of course what do I do?  Well I decided to take on the project of stripping, sanding, priming and painting it all myself.  Never imagining just how much work would be required and how crazy it would drive me.  Maybe breaking it down by steps will be easier to explain and helpful for anyone interested in actually tackling such a project.

1. Sanding.  Luckily my brother in law has amazing tools and let me borrow his sander.  I set out to sand the banister but quickly found out how challenging it is.  The shape, detail and curves of each spoke make it almost impossible to get a sander properly into.  The sander is powerful, it leaves your whole body vibrating afterwards, and can easily take off too much as well.  I had to make sure to take breaks, it's something I kind of wish the man might have jumped in to help with but it was football season and he was too busy watching football on tv. 

Sanding makes a mess, I mean everything is covered in find wood sand.  Curtains, walls, furniture,etc., now I understand why professionals cover everything in plastic.  Though that might seem like an annoying extra step it's well worth it.  Wearing a mask is very important as well. Because not enough old paint was coming off on some spots I realized a stripper would be required. (hey get your mind out of the gutter...lets clarify that a paint stripper) lol

2. Stripping.  Something I wanted to avoid at all costs as they can be messy and the odor extremely overwhelming.  My body does not handle such strong chemicals and knew I had to find some kind of safer alternative than the standard strong chemical stripper that can not only leave one feeling awful but overwhelm a house as well..  While researching paint strippers came across Citristrip which was supposed to be a safer stripping alternative which came with no harsh fumes, biodegradable and could strip multi layer of latex or oil paint.  
Citristrip was interesting definitely better than the harsh chemical paint strippers. Though it still has a citrus odor that can eventually be overwhelming so wore a mask while using it. And kept all windows open for days. The smell was odd and lingered as well.  They say the gel stays wet for 24 hours and had read the longer it sits the better it works but that was not the case with the banister.  Found that the longer it sat it dried up and was impossible to removed. The paint did not always peel up as the label suggested it would. 

So I would suggest applying a thick layer, letting it set for maybe 30 minutes to a hour at most most then using a metal scraper to remove it and paint.  It did an okay job but still left a lot of paint in some places. And in the places it dried it was hard to remove especially the odor.  Had to buy another product that is made to clean off the paint stripped.

Honestly stripping was just a tedious, unpleasant job. Understand why so many of the painting estimates we got suggested replacing the banister instead.  It seems no one, including professional painters like to tackle such a project.  Not even sure my husband realized what a project I took on as he sometimes can be oblivious to the amount of work I do on home projects. ha  It's one of those things where if you aren't doing it yourself it may look easy but when you are the one doing it, it's far from being as easy as it looks on those HGTV shows. 

3. Cleaning.  After the sanding and stripping was complete next came the cleaning.  As the wood has to be clean and dry before painting.  So I bought a special paint stripping cleaner wiped everything down with that.  After it dried I then wiped the banister and railings down with a mix of warm water and dawn dish soap.  In fact because of the lingering odor of the citristrip I did this more than once. Overall think I let it dry at about a week before painting.

4. Priming.  Once the wood was dry the next step was to prime. Priming was important because not all spect of the paint was removed. So to make sure those remnants didn't come through or eventually cause peeling I used a water based primer. Water base primers have a much lower odor and are more easily cleaned up than oil based ones. Since the wood has been sanded and stripped felt a water based primer would be fine.  So applied two coats to the banister and railings.  Let the primer dry for at least seven days to make sure it soaked into the wood. 

5. Painting. Before painting went over any areas of the primer that might be imperfect with fine sand paper to make the surface as smooth as possible. Applied two coats of semi gloss white paint to the banisters and railings. Semi gloss tends to be a thicker paint and can be a little harder to apply then say a flat or satin wall paint. But it holds up better and has the ability to be wiped down without taking off any paint. 

So would I do it again?  Honestly probably because just can't see spending $1200 to pay someone else to do it. Though when I was actually working on it I'd probably have said no way. All I know is I'm glad the project is finished.  Changing the brown to white was definitely worth it and goes great with all the other renovations.


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In middle of renovation.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Woof Wednesday

Welcome to Woof Wednesday. Please meet some great dogs from CA, NY, PA and TX all in need of good, loving homes! 

Charlie is a West Highland Terrier mix who is around 10 years old.  This guy needs to spend his senior years being spoiled and loved, not in a over crowded shelter.  Please lets find him a loving home!

Goldie A5087143   - Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles County Animal Control - Carson
216 West Victoria Street
Gardena, CA 90248
(310) 523-9566

Millie Brady is a Havanese mix who is around 3 years old and 20 lbs. She is full of love and cute as a button. Please lets find her a great home!

Millie Brady - Brooklyn, NY

Millie Brady
Badass Animal Rescue
Brooklyn, NY 11249

Tara is a Terrier mix who is 11 weeks old. This sweet little terrier mix, who joined her mom, Tessie, and brother, Tinker, in coming to Almost Home in search of homes of their own. She is good with dogs, cat and kids. Because of her size they would like to place her with a family with kids older than 10.  Please lets find her a good home!

Tara - Dolyestown, PA

Almost Home Dog Rescue
PO Box 132
Doylestown, pa 18901

Hayden is a Great Great Pyrenees / Australian Shepherd mix who is 6 months old. He is a fluffy handsome fellow who is very sweet and submissive, but not very sure of people right now. He was an owner surrender with his siblings, after being in the fields with livestock in north Texas. He will learn that people can be fun and nice.  Please lets find him a loving home!

Hayden - Spring, TX

Great Pyrenees Rescue Society
Spring, TX 77388

No paw left behind our mission!

{Please keep in mind a dog is lifetime commitment. They need attention, love and time just like we do. In addition, adding a pet to the family does cost money in the way of food, health care, training,etc. So before adopting make sure you are willing to make that kind of commitment and have the resources to do so.}

If you want to be a part of Woof Wednesdays email Ann Michele, Lauren or leave a comment. Or simply start posting about dogs in need of a home on your blog or facebook page

Monday, July 17, 2017

Monday Musings

The weather is back to be steamy, kind of like my dreams lately.

Seriously what is the deal with dreams?  For instance last night my dream was filled with lots of flirting and love. Always seem to be falling in love in my dreams. Occasionally they may involve someone I know but for the most part it's strangers. Could it be I need more affection in my daily life? (maybe the man needs to step his game up) ha  It's odd how some dreams can feel so real. And that's exactly how today started!

The week was rather busy.  We did manage to get someone out to fix the ac even though it was quite the process. By Tuesday afternoon it was fixed, and boy did it feel good.  Think people take for granted having ac but when it's 95 and your sweating your ass off you quickly realize how luxurious central air is. The guy who fixed the ac actually grew up in Siberia. It's amazing the people you meet, and the stories they have to share.

Also went a little nuts on cleaning house but it felt and smelled so good. A clean floor really does feel so different on bare feet then a dirty one.  And dusting makes such a big difference as well, it's scary how much dust accumulates around a house.

The weekend was a little busy, wanted to go golfing but the man wasn't interested.  I could probably go golfing every weekend in the summer, especially chip n putt.  Might even like it more than the man.  While he loves to watch golf on tv I would much prefer to play it. Why sit and watch when you could be out playing? Though the cost is somewhat of a deterrence at times.

Friday was the best day as got to watch the nephew.  My sister and niece had a girls day so they dropped him off on their way.  We had lots of fun playing, walking and even got some snuggles. Come evening we got some takeout and watched Live PD.  After a week of work the man usually just wants to chill out.

Saturday I did some food shopping. Then the man and I went to this animal rescue festival at a local pet store near my sisters house.  He saw a puppy listed at a rescue which he really wanted to see in person.  Of course we arrive only to find out the rescue he was interested in wasn't going to be there until Sunday, he got the wrong day.  The rescue that was there had some cute Lab puppies who were really cute and hard to resist but little too big for what we are looking for.  Think he was bummed. We stopped on way home to pick up some grass seed and a new bird feeder. As a squirrel decided to eat the top off our plastic bird feeder.  (it's amazing what some animals can eat through)

We came home had some lunch and embarked on some lawn work.  He cut lawn while I pulled crab grass and replaced the bare parts of lawn with seed.  The lawn hasn't really ever been cared for by previous owners so it needs some work.  There is a mix of all types of grasses, combined with a lot of various weeds as well.  It's going to take a little while to get it back in shape and looking lush.  After all the work we just hung out on the patio for awhile chatting and relaxing.

 Some how I also found time to make a banana cream pie.  It's a first and it came out pretty good.  Of course being the party people we are think we dozed off after dessert. ha  Funny as I see some of my married friends constantly bar hopping or at parties every weekend and sometimes wonder how they do it.  Not that I don't think it might be fun occasionally but couldn't drink like they do. Just wonder how they manage to work and keep such busy social schedules as well.  The man is done after a week of working he just doesn't want to do much. Anyway....

Sunday the man chilled out watching golf while I did some work.  We grilled out again. We bought a small charcoal grill when our gas was giving us issues. And what we found is charcoal actually grills food better.  There is way less charring of food without the intense flame of the gas grill. Burgers and chicken that we grilled both stayed more moist and shrunk way less cooking over charcoal.

Downside to charcoal is you have to clean and change out the charcoal each time you grill which costs more than a gas tank.  A tank for the gas grill can last all season. Overall there is less cleaning with gas grills too as you don't have to empty charcoal every time you grill, you simple wipe the grill grate.  But the good way it cooks up food and overall taste may be worth the extra effort.

Today I removed more crabgrass from the front lawn and replaced it with grass seed.  It was definitely more work than I anticipated think the hot, humid weather made it feel worse. Pretty much felt exhausted the rest of the day. In fact sat down to make some calls and  even dozed off. Have a list of things I need to get to.

We are back to watching Big Brother as well.  The man loves that show while I like it don't understand the man's obsession with wanting to be on the show. He even auditioned for it once and wants to again. Who would want to be on a show where you can't have any contact with the outside world for three months? Who would want to go that long without talking to loved ones?  Besides he can't even go a few minutes without looking at this phone or watching tv and he thinks he is going to be able to go three months. ha

On that note realized I've been on this computer way too long, that is not good for the brain or dizziness.  Better go make some dinner anyway!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Soul Sunday

Trust the wait. 
Embrace the uncertainty. 
Enjoy the beauty of becoming.
When nothing is certain, anything is possible.

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Living Room Renovation

Upon moving in we realized the previous owners cats had taken their liberties all over the carpet upstairs and downstairs.  The smell was pungent and overwhelming, how we didn't smell that when looking at the house still amazes us.  There was little choice but to pull the carpet.  We already knew we wanted to change the paint colors on the wall too.

First I wiped the walls down, patched up holes and painted the living room, kitchen and hallway first. Changing the colors to a more serene cottage scheme.  The living room and kitchen walls were painted sea salt and the hallway irish cream. Painting open space rooms can be challenging. Usually I prefer a satin find them easy to clean if need be but our painter friend suggested a flat to better hide imperfections of the wall.  Thought maybe Sherwin Williams flat paint might be of better quality but it's very hard to remove the dirt and stains that sometimes get on the walls.  Think it seems to actually attract more dirt, I basically have to touch them up with more paint. So would not go with a flat again.  

Next I started removing the carpet and padding which was rather hard work.   Cutting strips of carpet and padding then rolling them up and dragging them outside was no joke.  The carpet knives are sharp and even ended up having to go to urgent care after slicing through a finger with one.  Next involved removing the carpet strips which are tacked or nailed down.  That requires going under the tack strips with a special small crow bar type of tool, tipping the edge of it with a hammer and then pulling the wood strip up.  Our padding was also stapled down in some areas so it meant trying to remove all those as well.  Those two things took the most patience and time. 

Next I swept, vacuumed and cleaned the wood floors thoroughly.  Since the wood floors weren't in as good of shape as we hoped we realized we would need to put down new flooring.  So I coated the wood flooring with a special enzymatic cleaner which is suppose to remove animal odors such a urine. 

Choices for flooring were refinish the wood floor, laminate, wood looking tile or luxury vinyl something we didn't even know existed. The man and I both love the new hardwood looking tiles but after much research we realized it might not be ideal for what we needed.  Tile can be slippery when wet, it has a cold feel and if things drop they will most likely break. The man doesn't like hardwood floors so refinishing them was out. Laminate was okay but worried about it standing up to a dog and getting wet.  The flooring company suggested luxury vinyl planking something we had never heard of.   It looks just like wood or laminate flooring but has the advantage of being water proof, slip proof, doesn't get cold like tile and is softer to walk on.

So we got a deal on flooring as it was not only on sale but we got a discount on the install.  After some research we chose a brand called Coretec, which also comes in the rustic look we prefer. Since we decided on a brown for the family room we went with something completely different upstairs. As you will notice the floor is grey with blue tones.  I loved the downstairs wood floor and would have put that upstairs too but the man really loved this grey look so we compromised. The floor has very tranquil feel to it. 

The toughest part was finding a sofa to compliment the floors and walls.  We didn't exactly agree on what we were finding in some of the furniture stores.  It was hard to find something with the look I had in mind, that was comfortable and affordable.  Finally we found this couch, it was actually in mint green  when we first saw it.  But they had a sample chair in grey, the sectional was actually on sale as it was considered their summer line.  

We already had the armoire which we used for storage in our previous home, thought it would make a good tv holder for the living room that way we could close the doors when not in use.  The white shelf was a great find at Target, it fits our coastal look and gives great storage options.  The end tables I ordered from amazon for a phenomenal price. Target is also where I bought the rustic wood lamps which go nicely with the wood finish of the armoire, the white curtains and rod. The curtains are a nice thick material which actually does a good job keeping light out when needed. The rods I'm less than thrilled with as they don't stay in place and they scratch very easily, in hindsight would have gone with a darker rustic brown or black. 

We plan on adding a few pieces as well, an area rug and some pillows to the sectional.   In another post I will go into detail about the banister renovation which can be seen in the photos as well.



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Woof Wednesday

Welcome to Woof Wednesday. Please meet some great dogs from CA, NY, PA and TX all in need of good, loving homes! 

Jolene is Chihuahua Terrier mix who is around 2 years old. She is sitting in a very overcrowded shelter hoping to be adopted by a good family. Please lets find her a loving home! 

Jolene # A5084755 - Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles County Animal Control - Carson
216 West Victoria Street
Gardena, CA 90248
(310) 523-9566

Romy is Terrier mix who is 10 years old.  This sweet senior girl would like nothing better than to find a family to be able to play, snuggle and call her own.  Please lets find her a great home!

Romy - Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles County Animal Control - Carson
216 West Victoria Street
Gardena, CA 90248
(310) 523-9566

Peach (the Puggle) is 5 years old, and Baby (the Doxie) is 4 years oldThese two cuties are a bonded pair and must be adopted together..  They came to the shelter as owner surrenders, by the sister of the owner, after their owner was no longer able to properly care for them. Peach and Baby are the sweetest, softest, most loving, amazing babies you'll ever meet. They love to cuddle with each other, and they love getting love and attention from just about anyone. If you are looking to add two beauties to your family, please consider this bonded pair. Please lets find them a good home!

Peaches and Baby - New York, NY

NY Pet-I-Care inc.
301 East 22nd Street
NYC, NY 10010
(212) 614-7194

Bella, Beth, Bobby and Benny are Wheaten Terrier mixes two are 4 years old and two are 2 years old.  These 4 dolls, 2 boys and 2 girls are the sweetest. They love people and other dogs and children. We think no cats however, after all they are Terriers.  They are mom, dad, daughter and son. They are a wonderful family. Please lets find him the loving home! 

Bella, Beth, Bobby and Benny - New York, NY

NY Pet-I-Care inc.
301 East 22nd Street
NYC, NY 10010
(212) 614-7194

Dennis is a Chihuahua mix who is 9 years old.  He is a sweet dog who just wants to find someone to love. Please lets find him a great home!

Dennis 35833675  - Philadelphia, PA

Saved Me
860-862 N. 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123

 Natasha is a Labrador Retriever mix. She is  a beautiful girl who is affectionate, loyal, family & dog friendly, potty trained and such a Momma's girl. She enjoys long walks, playing with other dogs, with people and with her toys. She is cautious when meeting new people, especially men, but soon warms up to  them especially if they smell like doggy people. When AARF Houston took her
 in,she  had just had puppies; the rescue and fosters have been great to her and  helped find terrific homes for her precious babies; now it's her turn. Please lets find her a good home!

Natasha Bella - Houston, TX

Natasha Bella
Adopt A Rescued Friend, Inc
P. O. Box 62736
Houston, TX 77205
(832) 539-4004

No paw left behind our mission!

{Please keep in mind a dog is lifetime commitment. They need attention, love and time just like we do. In addition, adding a pet to the family does cost money in the way of food, health care, training,etc. So before adopting make sure you are willing to make that kind of commitment and have the resources to do so.}

If you want to be a part of Woof Wednesdays email Ann Michele, Lauren or leave a comment. Or simply start posting about dogs in need of a home on your blog or facebook page

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Monday Musings

After a weekend filled with rather perfect summer weather a heat wave is on it's way.

Normally it would not bother me as I like the heat but our a/c has malfunctioned instead of cold air coming out the vents it's warm.  Oddly enough last week during the middle of the night the power went down three times.  At the time thought for sure it had something to do with the ac but then it seemed to work okay until we tried to run it this weekend. Looks like the motors fan aren't moving in the outside unit.

Put in a claim to the home warranty on saturday, they issued us a repair company only when I followed up with the company today they said they cancelled the claim due to being too busy.  Go figure. So had to recontact the home warranty company who was impossible to get on the phone so had to resort to their online chat.  And they had trouble finding a company, finally got one but they can't come out until late tomorrow.  Not good with a heat wave on the way!

Honestly think when it comes to home warranties that the companies contracted by them don't seem all too excited to handle the calls when they come in.  It's as if they know they won't make as much? For instance it took over two weeks for our garage disposal to be fixed when it should have took half a day at most. Moving on....

The weekend was rather mellow. Though I didn't feel all that great so it felt good to stay in, think it had a lot to do with hormones and mine seem to be all over the places sometimes. Friday we ordered take out and watched Live PD. ha  If you haven't checked out the show you should. Really gives an interesting perspective of what cops have to deal with everyday.  After watching the show it makes you realize just how many crazy people there are in our world.  Think everyone they pull over seems to have a warrant or drugs in their car.

Saturday we did some lawn work, spent some time relaxing on the patio and making a new dish for dinner which was delicious.  Even though it wasn't a scorcher Saturday I ended up not feeling well because of heat.  Some how during cooking in the kitchen became very overheated and felt awful. Since the ac wasn't working it's not like we could turn it on to cool off.  So I rubbed my body down with ice and got a water ice too!

Sunday was just a total lounge day though by evening think we both felt bored.  We were going to go to a local college basketball game tournament but the man thought the game started too late for his tastes.  It's good to relax but eventually it can lead to feeling bored unless of course one is relaxing at the beach. ;)

Today have a list of people to call.  It amazes me sometimes how much effort it takes to get others to do things whether it be doctors offices, insurance companies, repair companies, you name just doesn't seem like people want to work or have efficient systems for getting things done. After buying our house we had to order quite a few things and it was amazing just how many things would arrive damaged too. Quality control seems like at an all time low. ha

We have my niece's outdoor basketball game as well, love the fact that they play outside in the summer.  She seems to be enjoying it more which makes me happy. It's always been one of my favorite sports to play and watch.  The game is north of us so it will be nice to take a drive in the countryside as well. Wish they would keep more of the farm land and stop building all the homes.  Open land, farm fields are so nice and important to the environment. We don't need more big homes or town homes when there are plenty of older homes for sale.

There is actually a lot of activity in our area as those four missing boys that are making national news is only a few neighbors north of here.  Not sure what happened but it sure seems like a crazy world we live in anymore!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Soul Sunday

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.

The secret of a good life is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.

Life is available only in the present moment. If you abandon the present moment you cannot live the moments of your daily life deeply.

Life is too deep for words, so don't try to describe it, just live it.  Be happy in the moment, that's enough. Each moment is all we need, not more. 

Beautiful sea.°° nature love

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Monday Musings

The weather is hot, sometimes humid but after what felt like a grey, cold long winter anything above 80 feels great.  It's so nice to sit on the patio surrounded by flowers, nature and Cooper snuggled up against me.

Overall the week was rather busy as I tackled finishing the steps.  Two coats of white, then grey it felt felt tedious at times, just wanted to complete them so was starting to feel impatient while painting.  I'm going to start sharing the home renovation photos this week. My dad says I should start my own home renovations business not sure about that but I do enjoy doing such work.  It kind of puts the mind in a meditative state.

I'm definitely missing my nephew, we had so much fun spending our days together that now it seems too quiet and rather lonely without him.  So I'm trying to keep as busy as possible.  We need a family day soon!

On Friday the man sends me a text saying it's going to be a fun four day weekend though usually when he says something like that the opposite happens, and he ends up zoning to tv. At times he's not exactly great with what he says and actually does. lol

Friday night we went out to a nice dinner, even dined al fresco something the man isn't fond of but if we ate outside we could get seated right away as opposed to waiting 40 minutes.  The atmosphere was perfect, there was even a nice breeze.  The food on the other hand not all that impressive for the money spent.  Though they did make a delicious shirley temple.

Going out to eat costs a lot these days so you expect good food and service, but often times we find home cooking to be better. Only downsize to home cooking is the clean up. Plus it's nice to get out on the town we just wish we could find more restaurants we actually love.

Of course the man wanted to rest upon arriving home, while I'm like lets be romantic. That's just how I think, but instead took the dog for a walked. He is my little love bug, takes after mommy as he loves to give kisses!

Saturday he seemed to be in one of this brooding moods where he just wants to zone to tv, my least favorite. I get bored after a hour of tv and sitting around. So I did some gardening, actually a lot of gardening and a little indoor stuff as well.

Sunday the new bed arrived, it's amazing how quickly furniture stores can put together such items.  It probably would have take us hours.  Moving mattresses is a project in itself, king beds might be nice but they can be difficult to move. Also spent the day washing all the bedding, giving Cooper a bath and then we had to grocery shop. Sometimes it amazes me how expensive food has become and how quickly we seem to go through it.

Bought some nice steaks and prepared some yummy potato recipe for the grill...only when it came time to cook the gas grill wouldn't fire up.  After some fiddling around with it we could still not get it to light. So a quick run to Walmart and a $20 charcoal grill solved the problem.  Though dinner was about two hours after originally planned, and the potatoes had to be cooked indoors. As the grill had to be put together, plus charcoal takes much longer to heat up than gas.  But at least we got to enjoy eating outside, and the grill did a nice job!

Monday did some meal prep in the morning making a few things, followed by golf in the afternoon with the man.  The humidity had gone down it was still bright and sunny, so it was a little hot on the course. Gatorade was much needed. I played well, only took one mulligan as opposed to the man who took two.  Golf is one sport I really enjoy, love being outdoors and find it relaxing.  Honestly don't care about the score though I do get excited when to birdie a hole. Overall it's more about the relaxing nature of the sport. If only courses weren't so crowded and people didn't have to rush through holes sometimes. It seems like our world is always in a rush, no wonder people feel stressed out.

Followed the fun afternoon with a nice dinner and some Ninja Warrior on tv later.  Really enjoy watching that show as it's so inspiring to see people be able to compete in such physical challenges. Would love to be able to try a Ninja course but not sure I could even train that hard to get the strength needed and quite frankly would be scared to try some of the actual obstacles.  They are no joke!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Soul Sunday

Keeping promises is extremely important in order to keep friends, family and even co workers close to you. Sometimes, nothing else in the world will hurt as much as a broken promise or turning back from your word. 

Not surprisingly then, the Bible speaks about keeping promises quite a lot. God, after all, is one who  keeps his promises and is incapable of lying or deceiving anyone. He is always true to His word and always delivers on it. As such, we are to emulate Him and strive to maintain that kind of candor and strength in keeping promises. 

 Can we say the same thing in our own lives? Will other people say it of us?

Keeping your word is the essence of integrity. Honesty is making your words conform to reality. Integrity is making reality conform to your words. It is essential if you want to be successful in life, work and relationships. Integrity is required for trust. When you say something, or that you will do something, and don't you teach others you cannot be trusted. If people can’t trust your word, they won’t trust you.

Truth is some people don't understand the promises they're making when they make them. 
But you keep the promise anyway. That's what love is. Love is keeping the promise anyway.

Keep your promises, make good on your word and open your soul to being one who lives in integrity and truth.  Like an oak tree be the strength that others can depend on.

Image result for sturdy tree nature images

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