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.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


When we had the tile installers in to provide cost estimates, we asked about the bathroom subfloor. Since travertine is heavy, we wanted to be sure that the subfloor would be stable enough to support the tile and not lead to cracking.

One installer said they would just put down backer board and the other recommended adding another half inch of plywood before adding the hardiback.

After carrying the travertine tiles around the tile store on Saturday, it emphasized just how much weight would be on the plywood. So, on Sunday, we put down additional plywood.

It is amazing how much firmer the floor is when you walk on it.

Monday, November 17, 2008


This weekend we went tile shopping. We had previously seen travertine that we liked, but we weren't sure we loved it.

On Saturday morning, we set out with one goal in mind - to find floor/shower tile and one accent tile. Luckily, Bruce's Marble and Granite (Norwalk, CT) was our second stop.

Bruce's has a lot of tile to choose from, but more importantly we really liked their employee's attitude. They were happy to help, but were not pushy and were content to let us browse by ourselves.

We found two floor tiles we liked - one travertine and one marble. We then started to look for accent tile. Trying to find an accent was tougher than choosing the tile, there are so many colors and options to choose from.

In the end we decided on the travertine and a glass accent in green and beige (the color in the picture is washed out). We really liked some of the metallic glass tile, but thought this was too trendy and would date itself in a few years.

Bruce's will check with the distributor for delivery estimates. If the wait is too long, we will switch to the marble.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Poor Cooper's ego was crushed today!

We went out for a walk and there were 3 deer on the front lawn. Copper barked and barked and the deer didn't move. Cooper was straining at the end of the leash (my arm was nearly ripped off), but the deer didn't flinch.

Only as we got very close did the deer walk into the woods.

I could tell Cooper was frustrated. His prey drive was on ultra-high and I was tempted to let him go and teach the deer a lesson.

However, I realized that Coop would chase the deer back to Maine and we might never see him again.

Since then, Cooper has been looking at me with his big eyes full of sadness.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

3 & 4

The third and fourth walls now have sheetrock!

The wood you see is where the shower wall will be - hardiback and tile to be installed by the tile company.

Next up, Jeff will begin taping and mudding the walls.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Another wall

The second bathroom wall now has sheetrock.

This was relatively easy, since only half the wall needs sheetrock.

The tile installer will install hardiback on the other half of the wall and then tile that area.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Today's Masthead

Today's Masthead courtesy of good old Cooper with a nod to Sarah Palin. For those email only subscribers, I have attached the picture. You can go to Wilton Diaries to see the full effect.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Now that Jeff has finished planning and participating in the inaugural Islanders vs. Mainlanders sporting clays shoot, his focus is back on the bathroom.

As you can see, the ceiling has been sheetrocked, as has the back wall.

This may seem like an easy task, but sheetrock is surprisingly heavy. Trying to hold it above your head while standing on a folding chair, does not help the situation.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


The vanity, linen cabinet, toilet and undermount sink have been delivered. One half of the garage is now full of construction supplies.

It turns out that the linen cabinet is taller than garage ceiling, so this means that the dining room has also become a temporary storage place.

With family visiting for Christmas, I am hoping that this project can be completed before their arrival. Putting on my project manager hat, I would say this is a HIGH RISK as there is still not a single piece of sheetrock installed. Also, the subfloor needs additional plywood before tile can be laid.

The last thing that needs to be ordered is the tile. We still want travertine, but after talking with the installers, we are reconsidering the floor and wall design.

One of the installers we interviewed was Italian and had the most interesting sayings. One that stuck with me was "You can't have a drunk wife and a full (wine) barrel", when talking about tradeoffs in life.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Two Months

Cooper has been with us for two months and we are learning a lot about each other.

1- Cooper loves popcorn. The rustle of a potato chip bag holds no appeal, but the pop-pop of microwave popcorn gets Cooper's tail wagging

2- After a morning walk, eggs are delicious. Cooper was skipping meals, until Jeff cooked an egg and mixed it with the dog food. Now a dozen eggs are part of the weekly grocery list. Can you say spoiled ?

3- Cooper has learned to love the bed. While we get ready for work, he naps on our bed and some nights, he will spend all night on the bed (thankfully he is small).

4 - With good nutrition and lots of brushing, hair will grow back. Cooper is finally getting some belly hair.

5 - Cooper is afraid of the dark. When we walk Cooper at night and it is very dark (no street lights), he is very hesitant. I don't know if he has poor night vision or if this is due to his past life. He is fascinated by light and shadows and I wonder if he was kept in a dark scary place.

6 - Kisses are meant to be shared. Cooper is happy to give kisses to show his appreciation.

7 - Rawhide is a favorite toy, but anything that can be chewed is fun to play with. Thankfully, we have a never ending supply of tennis balls!

Friday, November 07, 2008


How's about you give me a piece of that popcorn?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Pie Found

I received a pie alert on Wednesday - our Westport family had spotted Trader Joe's piled high apple pie!

We made sure to stop by Trader Joe's this evening and picked up a pie and vanilla ice cream. The checkout clerk asked "dessert ?". I explained that I had been waiting a year for these pies to reappear. He laughed and said "they are good!"

I have to say that this pie was worth the wait!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Turducken ?

We will be spending Thanksgiving in Wilton this year. Usually we travel to visit family or host dinner, but this year we are staying home alone.

Since it is only two of us, I am wondering what to make for dinner. A turkey is too big, a turkey breast would be ok, but it is not very exciting.

I have seen boneless turducken (turkey/duck/chicken) for sale at Stew Leonard's. I think this would be interesting, but am not sure if Jeff is up for a new culinary adventure. I am also not sure of how many people a turducken feeds, but probably more than 2.

We could go non-traditional and have steak and lobster or perhaps go out to dinner. The possibilities are endless. I am sure in the next 23 days, I will change my mind 23 times.

Monday, November 03, 2008


The old insulation in the bathroom has been removed and the new insulation installed.

A tile installer came to give an estimate on installing the floor and shower tile. Of course, this can't occur until the sheetrock/wonderboard is installed.

We like travertine (limestone) tile, but I was concerned about using it, since the hall bath gets a lot of wear and Cooper's water bowl is in there.

The sales person had two suggestions - choose a stone with a grain/pattern and a low sheen that will not show scratches as easily and seal the stone several times to protect it.

We really like the look of natural stone and had installed marble in Oxford, so we will try the travertine.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Reba & Kelly

We went to see Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson in concert at Harbor Yard (Bridgeport, CT) last night.

I had heard that they put on a good concert, but it was FANTASTIC. I had never heard of Reba until we lived in NC. With all the country radio stations down south, you can't miss hearing one of her songs several times a day. Kelly is best know as the first American Idol winner.

I was really impressed by Kelly's voice - very strong, powerful,and beautiful. Reba sounded and performed like the superstar she is. The women sang together, separately and swapped songs. It was amazing that age did not seem to matter (20+ vs 50+), and you could tell that each appreciated the others music and talent.

The other interesting thing was the crowd. The age of people in attendance ranged from 8-60+. I saw a young girl (8), her Mom and her Grandmother all sitting together. Everyone seemed to have a great time.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

In search of pie

It is apple season - when you go into the grocery store the first thing you see are mounds of apples.

Therefore, it is reasonable that thoughts turn to apple pie. Jeff loves apple pie, I prefer blueberry, but do enjoy apple.

I have been searching for a great apple pie. Yesterday we bought a Stew Leonard's high top pie. I was disappointed - it was ok, but not great.

Last year Trader Joe's had a fantastic mile high pie, but we only found it one time.

Jeff's Mom makes a great pie as does our Westport family.

I guess that implies I should bake one, but it is more likely that I will be stopping by the new pie shop in Norwalk to try theirs.