Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Fluff 'n Fold

The remodel house really feels like home now. I'm just down to some final touches to be truly done with decorating. This week I created and ordered a 16x20 canvas print for the laundry room above the area where I store dog food in pretty glass and stainless steel canisters. With teal colored scoops. And Ollie's own personal pet portrait painted by an artist living in Oregon that I found through a friend where I was teaching several years ago. I'm all about personalizing our living spaces these days.

I realize it's not super clear, but you get the idea. The quote I used was discovered from a series of books written by Yorkshire vet James Herriot with parts of this poem as the titles. If you haven't read them, at least the first one, then you must add it to your literature bucket list. I laughed and cried and thoroughly enjoyed them. The pictures in the collage are from our time spent living or traveling abroad in England, China, Turkey, Ghana and Greece. The iguana pic from Turks and Caicos was quite striking with its vivid green body and surrounding foliage, but the ugly guy got beat out by the British snail.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Feisty Britches

This pretty much sums it up around our house these days. Pepper, our 6 month old Cairn, is either chewing (and ingesting) something she shouldn't. Or rasslin' with big brother Ollie. In the bathroom. On the family room rug. While on walks along the side of the road. She's a little spitfire.


 And she's also a food gobbler. So twice a day I'm sitting on the floor in the laundry room next to her bowl, feeding her 3 pieces of food at a time that she hoovers up whole. She'll chew the rhinestones off my favorite pair of flip flops, but she won't chew up her dog food before swallowing. 

Then there's mother's pugs, Max and Ruby, like nothing she has ever seen before. Pugzillas from another planet, no doubt. They snuffle and snort and bark at her, particularly Ruby. So Pepper tucks her tail and tends to stay away from them. Until they can play nice with the baby, they aren't allowed in the main house. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dollar Tree Fountain

OK, so we aren't really getting a fountain from the Dollar Tree. But I did go with the lightest and cheapest fountain of the three in the running for our backyard remodel.

This was my absolute favorite. I looked high and low for it to no avail. I've about decided it's a custom job and so a no-go. Time to throw in the towel and move on to options I can actually purchase.

This millstone fountain below is pretty danged cool. But it's only 36" wide, and so a bit too small for the space.

The fountain below is bigger and absolutely beautiful, but it weighs 2400 lbs. And just like the millstone fountain, all of the housing for the bubbler and catchment system is located beneath it. So anytime it needs to be repaired or replaced, it would be a nuisance to move it for maintenance.

In addition, these two are at a custom fountain shop in Santa Fe, so the freight would be pricey. Which leads me to the third fountain, and winner for our updated backyard space. It only weighs 633 lbs and is completely self contained. No cool splashing water trickling down onto river rock, but also no worries with lifting it at some point in the future since we don't keep a bobcat loader handy at the house for fountain shifting. I piggy-backed onto an order with a local nursery that sells this line of fountains, so it will be here in 2-3 weeks with their truckload full of stuff. The only freight I have to pay is for their local delivery dude to haul it the 7ish miles from the nursery to our house on his flatbed trailer. Patio and pool tile selected and now fountain ordered. Hopefully we kick off this project in about a week's time. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Baby Dog

The husband is calling her El Diablo, if that gives you any indication as to how she's settling into the household. Actually, she's pretty sweet. But she's a jumper and a chewer. And after some initial kowtowing to Ollie boy, she's holding her own with him. She's pretty feisty with her elders, but maybe that's how it went down at the kennel where she was raised. They're all sweet dogs, but there's still a pecking order and she was low girl on the totem pole. So she starts out meek and mild and then you see some sass.

Here's she-devil on the hearth, because Lord have mercy our Pepper is a nosy critter. Everything MUST be inspected and investigated.

Now she's queen of Ollie's toy basket. I had forgotten how a puppy is like having a toddler in the house. She races around with her toys in her mouth and then just drops them when she's tired or distracted. I find dog toy carcasses everywhere. And like little kids, everything gets put into her mouth to test it. And then swallow it if you're not fast enough to get it away from her before she takes a gulp. A teeny tiny zip tie got ingested on Saturday. So I've been watching for signs of stomach distress since I was NOT digging through her poop to look for it. She seems fine. Lots of energy for playing tug of war with Ollie and taking walks with us. Aspen didn't suit and so now her name is Pepper thanks to the 16 yr old daughter. Her coat of base black with some brindle and gray thrown in looks just like a container full of peppercorns with all that variation.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Falling into October

Statistically, it was bound to happen. I'd stay relatively healthy, somewhat sane, avoid getting hit by a bus and see my 50th birthday this month. The run from October to Christmas every year just makes me giddy. I love pretty much everything about this time of year. Football season, cooler temps (eventually?!), my birthday, halloween candy, Aunt Mary's pumpkin pie recipe and decorating the house before Turkey Day for Christmas. Santa Claus will be coming to town the week of Nov. 13. Because when you've been collecting Jolly Old St. Nick for 25+ years, you gotta put out the bins worth of decor and get maximum mileage out of my investment which the husband swears our girls will donate to Goodwill before my dead body turns cold. But whatever... I'm gonna enjoy it from now until I depart to the great beyond.

Over the weekend I was listening to Christmas songs to put me in the right frame of mind while I was browsing holiday decor at some of my favorite online stores. With my Santa obsession collection, I'm always looking to add new and interesting pieces. I think this Christmas tree base is super cute. 

But I'm not sure if it will work with that spinny thing that makes the tree slowly rotate. Because this year I really think I need one of those since we're going with a 7.5' skinny tree for the front living area. Growing up you could always see our tree from the street, so I really want that again here in my old age. I think that's another reason I enjoy the holidays, strolling down memory lane. 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Meet our new baby!

We can hardly wait to add a new member to the family. This is Aspen!

Our girl is the smaller black one on the ground. The gorgeous silver and black Cairn standing up is her momma, Trudy. It's our very own female Toto!

I've been talking to a Cairn terrier breeder recently with a momma dog that had some puppies. However, she also has a sweet girl she kept for showing and breeding from a litter born earlier this year on April 11. The breeder has decided she doesn't have time to really devote to her show training any more and so she's looking for a forever home for her. 

As much as the teenager wants a puppy to cuddle and coo over (and dress up in a halloween costume), I love the fact that this sweet girl is already housebroken, as well as crate and leash trained. Because seriously, the teen wouldn't be involved in accomplishing any of those things since she stays busy with school and cheer. Plus Aspen has already been taught sit, stay and leave it commands. That's the hard part right there, all of the grunt work of puppy rearing. Now we just have to wait and see how she gets along with the Cairn prince of our house.

We keep telling Ollie he's getting a new little sister, that he better enjoy his final days as an only doggie before we bring her home on Thursday. I'm sure he'll be teaching her all of his insider tricks, like how to use your lovely brown eyes to beg for food. That the morning walk is sufficient reason to go bonkers and act like a maniac while momma is trying to get you on the leash. And that squirrels are the sworn enemy, so it's necessary to bark at this shrill pitch that threatens to shatter windows. I'm sure we'll all be highly entertained as she gets settled into our routine and starts to feel at home, taking Ollie's toys he seldom plays with anymore out of his doggie toy basket. Stay tuned for more doggie details!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Outdoor Eyesore No More

Last night I received the initial design from the landscape architects for our soon-to-be revamped outdoor living space between the house and cabana. It's not a bad first stab. We'll be making a few changes, but it's nice to begin envisioning this area as something presentable where we can entertain family and friends. A freshly tiled swimming pool, hanging out by the new fireplace, tossing horse shoes or bags for corn hole in the remodeled play area - we're looking forward to all of it later this fall. 

*copyright Sarah Smith @ Cypress Landscaping