Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

We hope that 2009 will be a wonderful year for all of you.

I do not have any grand resolutions for this year. I do hope that we will get to travel to at least one interesting place. Renovating the upstairs bathroom would be great. Losing weight would be nice, but I am not sure that I can commit to the gym at 5:00 am.

I hope that Cooper will continue to grow his Golden personality and find more moments of calm when he seems truly content.

One thing that I have learned is that you never know what will happen tomorrow, let alone in 12 months. My wish is that only good things find their way to your door !

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Our family arrived on Christmas Eve and left this morning.

When my niece walked in carrying a fish bowl in one hand and a bird cage in another, I knew it would be an interesting few days.

Cooper barely glanced at the fish but was fascinated by Morris, the love bird. I guess this is not surprising, since Cooper is a bird dog and chases birds any chance he gets.

For the first day Cooper just stared at the cage, creeping ever closer. Every time Morris sang, Cooper looked ready to pounce. Our niece kept saying. "Morris is not a toy".

To distract Cooper, our niece ran with him several times a day. As you can imagine, after all that exercise, Cooper is exhausted.

Santa brought Cooper several new toys for Xmas. The squeaky ball lasted exactly one minute before it was in pieces.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

While everyone is sleeping, I enjoy a few moments of quiet reflection. I know that we have been truly blessed. Not because of the bounty of gifts, but because of our family and friends, having two good jobs and most importantly good health.

The presents are wrapped and sitting under the tree. I have a feeling that with two kids in the house, we will be getting up early to see what Santa brought.

Cooper has been sniffing the brightly wrapped boxes. The Christmas lights reflecting off the foil paper drive him to distraction. After years of neglect, Cooper will finally have a happy Xmas.

May this Holy day, celebrated with those you love the most, be a reminder of how precious and wonderful life is.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Trim Complete

The window and floor trim has been completed.

After the New Year, we will order the glass shower enclosure.

The granite counter top should be installed in about two weeks.

Now that the bathroom is nearly complete, there will be fewer blog updates. I am sure that everyone will be glad to see this project end!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Almost Done

When the hard and fast deadline of Christmas Day was set back in November, I like to joke with Valerie that I'll be hammering in the last piece of trim as Janet & Mark walk through the door. Naturally, Valerie would look at me with those "don't even joke about it" eyes. Snag after snag kept pushing us back but I thought I had plenty of time.

Fast forward to December 23rd at 10:07 PM. Our company will be here tomorrow. I had one final piece of trim to put up on the window and it just didn't fit right. I could force it, but that would really bother me down the road. So I decided to trim off one of the ends and repaint the fresh cut. Oh, I'll make it all right. I'm getting up at "oh dawn thirty" as my Southern friend used to say. If everything works out just right (famous last words), it will be done by the time our company comes. Check back at noon on Wednesday for the reveal.

(The clamps on the window are holding two glued pieces together. I've got a story about the clamps too, if it ever gets posted.)


The mirror and light have been installed. I think that they look great together.

I tried hard to coordinate the trim on the cabinets, light and knobs, but I am not sure you can tell in the pictures.

Jeff said, "I will need a lot of beer before I will agree to renovate the hall bath". I laughed, but couldn't disagree.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Snow came to Wilton over the past few days. About 7-8" in total.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Cooper now weighs 61.5 pounds.

Dr. Duffy says his ideal weight is 62 lbs. That means we will have to be careful about what and how much we feed Cooper.

Everyone says that Cooper is looking bigger and better. I guess that is true.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


My good friend Wendy sent these beautiful flowers to brighten a sad day.

The flowers have a wonderful smell and remind me of spring.

This is in strong contrast to the heavy snow falling outside.

Friday, December 19, 2008


The toilet has been installed.

The shower fixtures and radiator have also been installed.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Aunt Judy

Jeff's Aunt Judy sent us this beautiful needlepoint for Christmas.

The stitching is meticulous. I know she spent many, many hours sewing this.

This is the third Santa that Judy has created for us. The other two (pictured below) have been framed and are displayed every Christmas.

Once the Christmas craziness has ended, I will take this to be framed.

Thank you, Judy!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Cooper has this little tuft of fur on his nose right between his eyes. It looks like he just pulled off his old-man spectacles and they left an indentation in his nose.

Valerie likes to say Cooper is 99% Golden Retriever and 1% Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Work on the door and floor trim has begun.

We cannot complete the floor molding, until the plumber comes on Thursday to install the radiator.

The hardest part will be finishing the window.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Cooper is finding his voice. I am not sure if this is a good thing.

Previously, when someone rang the door bell, Cooper would bark once and then go back to watching shadows.

Now when someone pulls in the driveway, Cooper barks LONG and LOUD.

Yesterday afternoon, I heard a fierce growl and found Cooper staring out the back door. Deer were eating the plants at the edge of the deck. I let Cooper out, since the gates on the deck were closed, and he raced out barking.

The deer ran into the woods and stopped. Cooper just stood there barking - making it clear that intruders were not welcome.

The other day at 4:00 am Cooper began to bark. All I could think was he must have heard some animal outside.

I wonder if he is beginning to feel more protective of his home ?

Sunday, December 14, 2008


The vanity is installed.

The granite installer will be here on Friday to create the template.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Linen Cabinet

The linen cabinet is installed.

It will be nice to have some storage space in this bathroom.

Friday, December 12, 2008


The bathroom has been painted.

The color is driftwood.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


The floor and shower have been grouted.

I think they look great!

I would definitely use Ciro ago for tile installation.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Let It Snow

When we woke up on Sunday, there was an inch of snow on the ground. I wondered what Cooper would think of this white fluffy covering.

Cooper stepped into the snow and immediately took a lick. For the rest of the walk, he stopped continuously to take a bite of the snow.

Cooper did not seem to mind that his feet were wet and cold.

I told Cooper that it was a good thing he started to grow his belly hair or it would be a very cold winter!

Monday, December 08, 2008


Installation of the bathroom floor has started.

The bathroom is slowly starting to look like a bathroom again.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Shower Complete

The shower tile is installed!

The floor tile will be installed next. Once the floor is installed, both the shower and floor will be grouted.

Finally, the tile should be sealed before we continue with painting and plumbing.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

3 months

Cooper has been with us 3 months!

I have not had him on the scale lately, so do not know his exact weight. However, he has filled out nicely. Now when you give Cooper a hug, he is not all bones.

In fact, we are watching Cooper's diet more closely, as we do not want him to get too heavy. Cooper seems to have bad hips, so we do not want to aggravate this condition.

Overall, Cooper is getting better on the leash. However, if he spots something of interest, you better hang on tight.

All chew toys have been ripped apart - good thing Xmas is coming.

Cooper is still high energy, but there are moments of calm. That is when I know he is accepting us as his pack.

Friday, December 05, 2008


The installation of the tile shower has started!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Searching for Esmeralda

A few weeks ago, when we went to purchase the bathroom tile, we saw a piece of green granite (Esmeralda) that we really liked.

We looked at other stores, but did not find anything we liked as much as Esmeralda. So, we went back to Bruce's Marble to order the granite.

Unfortunately, the slab that I loved was already sold. However, the shop had two other slabs of Esmeralda. The one that we selected has a bolder pattern, which Jeff really liked.

The picture shows the granite, cherry wood cabinet and travertine.

Once the tile and cabinetry is installed, the granite installer will come to make the template.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Evil Sunlight

Cooper has this thing about shadows and light. Valerie thinks in a previous life he was kenneled in a dark place and the light was his only connection to the outside world. I like to think he's just fascinated by the contrast of dark and light.

The early morning sun gets him in a frenzy. He'll walk around the sunlight and find the best viewing angle. If a leaf falls outside and casts a shadow, he jumps up and starts pawing at the carpet as if it just moved. If the leaves are really falling, he might even growl at the carpet.

Once the sun is gone, he's just as happy to lay down and take a nap from his hard day at work.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


The shower pan is now installed.

Unfortunately, the tile installer had a family emergency and could not start on Monday.

We are still searching for the granite counter top. We looked this weekend, but did not find anything that we really loved.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree is decorated! Now all we need are the gifts underneath it.

Two years ago Jeff bought this artificial tree as an Xmas gift for me and this is the first year that we put it up.

I love Christopher Radko ornaments and we have many on our tree. However, I think the Pooh & Friends Polonaise ornaments are my favorites.

The teddy bear on the rocking horse is by Radko, but it is too big to hang on the tree.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mr. December

I flipped the calendar to December and there was Danny, our beautiful Golden boy. For a second my heart stopped.

I remember how excited we were when Danny was selected as the December dog for Sunshine Golden Retriever Rescue's 2008 calendar. I laugh when I think of how many pictures Jeff took, before he got the perfect one.

I never expected that by the time Dec 2008 arrived, Danny would be dead for almost 6 months.

Seeing Danny's photo is bittersweet. It reminds me of how lucky we were to have this special dog share in our lives. At the same time, his Christmas pose breaks my heart because it reminds me of just how much I miss him.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Getting ready for Christmas

Cooper was concerned that Santa may not be able to find him, since it is his first Christmas in Wilton.

Having bounced from Alabama to Maine to Connecticut, Cooper wasn't sure if his presents would end up under the correct tree.

So, to make sure Santa knows the correct house, Jeff set out the blow ups. We figure Santa can use them as a marker on Christmas Eve.

Friday, November 28, 2008


The bathroom ceiling has been painted!

Yes, it is purple.

It will eventually dry white.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We wish all our family and friends a Happy Thanksgiving!

The dinner menu has been decided - King Crab Legs (for me) and Rib Eye steak (for Jeff). When I bought the crab legs, I ordered six. The clerk asked, "Is that all ???". It turns out that the crab is 2.5 lbs, more than enough for just one person.

Dessert will be a beautiful chocolate mousse cheesecake that our LI family had shipped to us.

This is Cooper's first Thanksgiving with us! In the spirit of sharing, I am sure that something extra will end up in his bowl.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Vanity Light

The bathroom light has been ordered. Unfortunately, we just found out the light is on back order, so it will be a few weeks until it arrives.

Both the fixtures and light are made from brushed nickel. I think that the design around the edge of the light, will compliment the design on the Jado faucets.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Messy job

Sanding spackle is a very messy job!

Good thing we have a shop vac to suck up all the dust.

Monday, November 24, 2008

On Frozen Pond

We went out to walk Cooper and found that the pound has frozen over.

Winter is on its way!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Good news, bad news

Good news - the tile arrived on Saturday and is now sitting in our basement!

Bad news - the installer can't begin until Dec 1.

That would be bad enough, but we thought it would be a 3 day job and then the plumber could come to install the radiator and finish the other plumbing tasks.

When I spoke to the installer to schedule his start date, he said that it would be 5-6 days before he was finished! I was surprised, but as we talked about the time to prep the walls and floor, layout, cut, install, and seal the tile, it made sense.

So, it seems that the flooring and plumbing will be done, but the vanity top will probably not be ready in time for Christmas. The template cannot be made, until the vanity is installed and then the yet to be chosen stone has to be cut and installed.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

6:11 AM

Every morning Cooper wakes up at 6:11. The alarm clock goes off at 6:15, but he just can't wait to start the day.

I really don't mind on Mon - Fri. We have to get up for work anyway, so 5 minutes of sleep does not make much difference.

However, he does not understand that Sat and Sun are different and 6:11 is just TOO EARLY to get up. I try to call Cooper up on the bed, but he will only lay down for about 15 minutes and then he wants to go out.

With Danny it was easy - just let him out the front door, wait inside and he would be back in 2 minutes. However, Cooper needs to be walked and that means getting dressed, getting shoes on, and a coat and gloves.

Once you have done all this and walked for 20 minutes in the cold, there is no hope of Jeff or I getting additional sleep.

Cooper, on the other hand, has an egg with breakfast and then curls up for a nap!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Obama, Obama

I don't even know what to say about this.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tile Update

Bruce's called on Monday to say that there was good news - the tile is available and could be delivered in a week!

The bad news was that they pulled a slab of the travertine from the warehouse and the color was different than the original tile sample. Their suggestion was to come and look at the slab, so we would have a better understanding of the color variation.

One characteristic of natural stone, is that no two pieces are alike. This is different than ceramic tile in which all tiles are mirror images of each other. I think the uniqueness of each piece adds to the beauty.

We agreed to look at the slab. As the salesman said - Once you order it, you own it. There is no concept of returns or restocking the tiles!

We went down to see the travertine slab and while the overall color was a little darker, we still liked it. So, the tile has been ordered. Hopefully, it will be in Wilton next week.

While we were there, I saw a beautiful piece of granite, "Esmeralda". I asked the salesman for an estimate for the vanity countertop. He laughed and said "You have great taste, extremely expensive taste." It turns out that I selected one of the most expensive pieces on the lot.

The salesman provided the estimate and my jaw dropped in surprise. I must have looked shocked, because he said the piece is extremely rare and that is why it is costly. He said it came from somewhere in Iran and difficult to access.

Needless to say, we will continue to look elsewhere, but it really was gorgeous.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Waning Fall

Fall is waning around Wilton.

Just a little over a month ago, color was popping all around us on our morning walks. Now we struggle to find some remaining color.