Saturday, January 31, 2009

Soccer Ball

The soccer ball that Linda sent is badly wounded.

Cooper chewed on the soccer ball until he put a hole in it. In order to get to the squeaker he began to pull out mouthfuls of stuffing. He did not try to eat the stuffing, Cooper just wanted the squeaker.

I wish I had the camera to take a picture. Cooper had a gleam in his eyes, as he held the ball in his front paws and repeatedly pulled out bits of stuffing.

It makes me smile to see Cooper so happy. Cooper has come a long way from the scared, nervous dog that arrived in our home almost 5 months ago.

Friday, January 30, 2009


The Lenox glasses that I purchased on eBay finally arrived.

I am glad to say that they arrived safely - not a scratch on them. The seller did a great job of wrapping each in bubble wrap and tissue paper.

Now I am ready for our next dinner party.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thank You Linda

When I got home from work today, there was a package waiting. I thought it might be my Lenox glasses, but it was addressed to Cooper!

Danny's Maine Mom Linda had sent Cooper a present. I told Cooper that the gift was for him and his tail started to wag. Cooper gave the box a sniff and his tail went into over-drive.

Cooper danced around the kitchen impatiently as I opened the box. I reached in and gave him one of the toys (a felt ball). Cooper raced out of the room, laid down in the family room and began to chew it.

I called Cooper back in and showed him a soft soccer ball with a squeaker. Cooper lives to tear out squeakers, so this toy may not survive for long.

There was the bag of treats that smelled so good (like molasses) I was tempted to try one. I gave Cooper a few of the cookies and he gave me a smile.

Thank you Linda!

PS - We are having problems with our camera, so there will not be any new pictures for a while

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


When we renovated the bathroom, we ordered a Toto toilet. Since all the bathroom fixtures were brushed nickel, we special ordered a brushed nickel toilet lever.

Unfortunately, when the plumber went to install the toilet handle, it broke. We thought that the handle may have been defective so I contacted Toto customer service.

I have to say that I was very impressed by Toto's service. They agreed to send me a new handle and immediately notified me when the part was on back order.

The new handle arrived this week and is now installed. I told Jeff it makes the bathroom look 100 times better.

His response - I guess I didn't have to renovate the entire bathroom. I could have just replaced the toilet handle ;)

I would definitely recommend Toto if you're shopping for a toilet.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Whenever possible I try to work at home on Friday.

When Danny was here, he would wander into the office every so often to get petted. Danny might even lay down for a few minutes, but would quickly leave and spend most of the day sleeping on the bed.

We know that someone once spent a lot of time training Danny and if he had no interest in spending a day in the office, I thought I would never see Cooper.

The odd thing is that lately Cooper will spend Friday curled up on the office carpet. If I wander into the bedroom, he will jump on the bed, but is soon back in the office.

If I am on an important call, I put Coop in the bedroom. When I go to let him out, Cooper is waiting by the door - ready to run into the office.

Is it possible that someday Cooper could be a "velcro" Golden ?

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I never know if men like to receive flowers or if it is seen as too feminine. However, these flowers were too pretty to resist on a birthday weekend.

A new stainless Weber grill brought some testosterone to the event.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


The needlepoint Santa that Jeff's Aunt Judy stitched for us has been framed.

I thought this green and gold mat nicely accented the colors in the piece.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


It has been snowing here every few days.

This means that there is a lot of salt and sand on the roads and sidewalks.

This also means that Cooper is filthy after a walk.

We went to Wilton Center the other night and Cooper came back as a big, wet, sandy mess. Thankfully we have an old blanket that covers the back seat of the car.

I know that Cooper must be growing more hair, because it now takes a lot longer to towel him dry and then brush out the sand.

None of this seems to bother Cooper. In fact, he seems to search out puddles to splash in. Could that be the Retriever in him ?

PS - Isn't Cooper looking gorgeous ?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


One of my Lenox wine glasses broke. Since I had bought these several years ago at a Lenox outlet, I knew it would not be easy to find a replacement.

I visited the Replacements, Ltd online store and they had a replacement glass for $20 + $9 shipping. I think I originally paid $25 for 4 glasses, so I refused to pay $29 for a single glass.

eBay to the rescue!

I looked at the auctions and saw that a set of 4 glasses were up for bid. With 1 day and 7 hours until the auction ended, I waited impatiently to place my bid. I REALLY wanted these glasses.

We have been sniped before and learned that you want to wait until the last minute to put in an offer.

With 60 seconds to go, I put in a bid. A previous bidder responded and the race was on. Luckily, my maximum offer was greater than theirs. In the end, I won the auction for $26.

I am now waiting for the glasses to ship. Hopefully, they will arrive intact.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sauce Thief

I had Chinese takeout in the downstairs refrigerator. I put the bag on the basement stairs while I went to put the laundry in the dryer.

It took about 2 minutes to throw the clothes in and start the dryer.

When I turned around, Cooper was laying on his bed with a plastic bag in his mouth.

It seems that Coop had stuck his head in the takeout bag and pulled out what was on top. Luckily, he grabbed sauce packets and he had not eaten any of them.

I guess Cooper has a hankering for Chinese.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Shower Enclosure

We received two estimates for the shower enclosure. One is from a local glass shop and the second is from a shower door specialty shop.

Both estimates were close. I was surprised at the cost, but it seems that if you want sleek and trendy you will pay a premium. As Jeff says, after all the money spent on the travertine and installation, you want the beautiful tile to be seen.

After discussing the estimates, we have decided to go with the shower door company. In talking with both companies, it seems that installation is critical or the shower will leak. Since there is no frame to join the glass pieces, you need an exact fit or you will have puddles on the floor.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cooper's Ornament

Our Westport family came to visit last night and brought us this beautiful ornament. I was thrilled that Cooper will now have an ornament on the Christmas tree.

All of our other dogs have an ornament, which are hung each year near the top of our tree. We bought Danny's ornament before we ever met him. We were in Maine waiting to pick him up and while shopping at LL Bean saw a retriever ornament and bought it.

Our first Golden Retriever ornament was bought several years before Jake arrived. Each year we hung the ornament as a promise for what would come, once we had a house.

Our Sheltie ornament, which looks like Brandy, was bought in Jeff's hometown and will be 20 years old this Xmas.

Hanging the ornaments is bittersweet. I smile as I think of all the happy memories and feel sad for what is lost.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


The bathroom faucet is now installed. I really like the look of the Jado fixtures.

Two frameless shower door companies will be coming to the house next weekend to provide estimates for the shower enclosure.

Monday, January 12, 2009


We have gotten a fair amount of "Comment Spam" lately. Comment Spam is where an anonymous person posts a link to their website as a comment on your blog where the comment has absolutely no relevance to the article. They do this to help their "Google Score". The number of times other people link to your website increases your Google Score and gives your site a greater likelihood that it will show up at the top of a search listing.

As such, we will be moderating all comments from now on. Keep commenting, but there may be a delay from when you post the comment to when it actually shows up.

Life dictates that a few bad apples spoil it for the rest of the tree.

Spring in Winter

On a snowy morning, I walked into the grocery store and saw these flowers.

I could not resist bringing some sunshine into the house on such a cold day.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Pretty Golden

When walking in Wilton Center the other night, we passed by a restaurant just as a couple was walking out. I heard the woman say, "What a pretty Golden!".

I was three steps away before I realized she was talking about Cooper.

This is the first time that a stranger has called Cooper a Golden. Usually people think he is a Lab and the word used to describe him is nice, not pretty.

I looked at Cooper, striding down the sidewalk in his thick coat, tail wagging to reveal his beautiful feathering and thought yes, he really is pretty.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bruce Marble & Tile

We've had a very good experience with Bruce Marble & Tile in South Norwalk, CT during our bathroom remodel. Not only do they have a tile and granite selection that is second to none, they are extremely fun people to work with.

We worked quite a bit with Alan. When we first started looking he showed us lots of tile samples and made lots of suggestions. He was great in both sharing knowledge and suggesting more budget friendly options. When we finally picked a tile, Alan exclaimed "That one is FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS a square foot!" At first, Valerie and I looked at each other with a blank stare and Alan laughed and gave us the real price much closer to our budget.

A few weeks later, we went to pick out the vanity top. Valerie spied a piece of Esmeralda from across the yard and had to see it. When we inquired about the price, Alan exclaimed "Your wife has very good taste, that slab is FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS!" By now we were used to it, and laughed along.

We then went inside and picked an edge for the vanity top. Valerie picked the fancy Ogee edge and Bruce (Alan's Brother) let us in on a secret.

"You know why that call that an Ogee edge? When we tell you the price you say 'Oh Gee...'".

At that point, I interrupted him and said, "Let me guess, FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS!"

Bruce Marble & Tile did and excellent job installing the vanity top and they always did what they said they would do. We would not hesitate to use them again.

Checkout their work.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Esmeralda Arrives

The Esmeralda granite counter top and Toto undermount sink have been installed.

Jeff has to work this weekend, so I am not sure when the faucet will be installed.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Gray Belly

Today we celebrate Cooper's gray belly!

Now, I know that for most dogs a gray belly would not be a good thing. A dog's belly should be cotton candy pink.

When we first got Cooper, his belly was BLACK and the skin was very rough. When brushing him tonight, I saw that his belly is now gray with little flecks of pink.

I don't know if Cooper will ever have pure pink skin. However, I know that his high quality food, vitamins, brushings and baths all seem to be working.

Those little flecks of pink give me hope that perhaps we can erase some of Cooper's sad past.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Sittin' in the morning sun

Here's Cooper chilling out with his shadow friends.

Monday, January 05, 2009

North Country

We spent a few days at Jeff's parents house in upstate NY. This is the first time that Cooper met this set of "grandparents".

I was nervous, as Cooper has a lot of energy. After a 4 hour car ride, he raced into the house and sniffed every corner of every room. Eventually, Cooper calmed down and stretched out in front of the wood stove.

Did I mention that there was SNOW - LOTS AND LOTS OF SNOW! The snow easily came up to Cooper's belly. He would come back from his walks with snow balls caked between his pads.

When Cooper walked in the road, he couldn't see over the 3 ft snow bank, so would try to climb on top of them for a better view.

Jeff's parents were very understanding about Cooper's quirkiness (barking when light is reflected onto the ceiling). Jeff's Dad said give him a little more time - Cooper doesn't have to focus on just surviving anymore and can concentrate on being a dog. I like that thought.

I did hear Cooper looks different in person - more like a Lab!

Cooper also go to meet the rest of Jeff's family. I was proud of how well he acted with the kids. In fact, he would go from person to person, asking to be petted.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Window Treatment

The new window treatment in the bathroom has been installed.

Jeff laughed as I packed up my glass tile, cabinet and paint samples and headed to my favorite curtain shop. I have learned that you never exactly remember the colors you are trying to match, so the samples really help.

I am thinking that some green and purple towels would coordinate nicely with the purple stripe in the valance. Now, I just need to time to shop for them.

Friday, January 02, 2009

I don't like carrots

While making a salad, I dropped a carrot on the floor. I know that Danny loved these orange vegetables, so offered it to Cooper.

Cooper took it and wandered off. I assumed that he would eat the carrot, but I later found a pile of carrot chunks on the carpet. It seems that Cooper enjoys chewing the crunchy carrot, but not eating it.

Needless to say, this will be the last carrot that Cooper gets.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Waiting for Esmeralda

The granite installer called and said that the Esmeralda counter top has been cut and polished.

They could install immediately, if we were home to let them in.

Unfortunately, due to our schedule, I had to delay the install until next Friday.

I can't wait to see what the vanity will look like. One step closer to complete.