Saturday, February 28, 2009


The other day Cooper began to bark and bark and bark while staring out the back door in the kitchen.

I thought the deer were in the yard, but when I looked outside, there was an opossum crawling out from under the shed.

I was surprised to see the sleepy eyed creature walking around in the middle of the day.

I joked with Jeff that there must be a condo complex under the shed. We have seen a fox, woodchuck and now opossum all coming and going from below this structure.

If we could charge rent, I am sure we would have enough money to fund the house renovation.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Can you be quiet ?

This is what the master bathroom now looks like.

You can see that the vanity, mirror, and towel bars have been removed. When I began to eye the toilet with a look of disdain, Jeff said "Don't even think about it".

While Jeff was doing all this work, Cooper stretched out on the bed for a nap. When the hammer came out, Cooper sighed and buried his head under the pillows as if to say, "Can you be quiet, I'm trying to sleep".

Monday, February 23, 2009


We found a granite countertop at Lowes, that should compliment the vanity.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Master Vanity

To reduce the cost of the master bath renovation we decided to buy an off the shelf vanity at Lowes.

This is the vanity that we chose.

Of course, the vanity was on the top storage shelf and we needed to have a crew with a forklift come and get the item down for us.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Master Bath

When we bought our house, we hoped to renovate the postage stamp sized master bath. The goal was to tear off the back of the house and create a much larger space. Unfortunately, the cost of such a project is too great.

So, I have been suffering with this tiny bathroom. However, when the 20 year old Kohler sink began to rust, I knew that something needed to be done.

We decided that we would do a mini-renovation. Nothing drastic, as I still hope to one day demolish this bathroom.

We will repaint to match the master bedroom (which was painted this summer). We are also buying a new vanity, granite counter top and fixtures. The towel bars and window treatments will also be replaced.

We are leaving the toilet, tub, tile and sheetrock in place. The mirror was going to stay in place, but I have been thinking it should be removed.

Many thanks to Jeff for agreeing to take on ANOTHER bathroom.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Cooper loves to lay on the bed and stare at the sunlight coming in the window.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I wanted to buy a new couch before Christmas, but we were so busy working on the bathroom that there was no time to shop.

We started looking again and found a sofa and loveseat at Pilgrim Furniture that we liked.

I did not want the standard fabric, so we are having one custom made (swatches are on the couch). Both pieces should arrive in 8 weeks.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Spring ?

The warm weather has melted away all the snow and we can now see green grass again.

The spring bulbs are starting to poke up from the ground.

Even Cooper seems to have a "spring" in his step on these sunny days.

Monday, February 16, 2009


For a while now, I have wanted to go snow tubing. Unfortunately the weekends fly by and before you know it the snow has disappeared as has any chance of tubing.

This weekend we went to the Woodbury Ski Center. There are several tubing runs and since they make their own snow, the runs are open until late March.

We had A LOT of fun. I would highly recommend that anyone who wants to go tubing, go here. While you can get good speed solo tubing, when you tie two tubes together, you and your copilot literally fly down the hillside. Yes, you will be airborne for several seconds when you hit a bump.

I went down the black diamond course once. This course has several moguls in it. I don't think it would have been too bad, except my tube turned right at the start and I went down the slope feet first. Being blind to what is ahead is an interesting experience.

All I can say is that we will go again next year.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Our Northern Lights adventure is a GO!

Our Fairbanks and Bettles, Alaska hotel reservations have been made.

Wendy informed me that we will be in Alaska during the winter solstice and experience 2 complete days of darkness. I can't imagine what that will be like.

48 hours of darkness makes me question my sanity. However, I think this will be an adventure we will never forget.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

We used to say that Danny wore the Valentine's color due to his red collar and coat. Cooper is more of a strawberry blonde, but he too shares the spirit of Valentine's Day with his willingness to give kisses.

This is the most special Valentine's Day for us. 5 years ago was one of our darkest days, but today we celebrate life and the time that we have been given together.

The biggest lesson learned is that life can be incredibly short and time is gift that should not be wasted. Celebrate everyday, especially on Valentine's Day.

Thanks to W&J for the balloons. Cooper is fascinated by the light reflecting off their shiny surface.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Power Failure

Last night's strong wind storm brought down power lines in Wilton and we lost power for 4 hours, starting at 8:30 pm.

When the lights go out, you search for flashlights and candles. This is a fairly common scenario and not a big deal....unless you have Cooper living in your home.

Cooper goes crazy when he sees the light from a flashlight and the candles threw shadows all over the walls.

After about 30 minutes of this, we decided "enough" and headed to bed. Even after the flashlights were off, Cooper seemed to know that something was not right and paced in the bedroom. However, once the power came back on, Cooper hopped up on the bed and immediately went to sleep.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Another Accident

When I got into the office this morning, my phone was ringing. It was Jeff, announcing that he had been in a car accident on the way to work.

Jeff was in the 4Runner and was stopped in traffic when he was hit from behind. The good news is that no one was hurt and the car seems to be fine. The VW that hit him was damaged from eating the 4Runner's trailer hitch.

The 4Runner goes into the shop for basic maintenance on Friday, so we will ask the mechanic to check the back end.

It seems that there are a lot of accidents being caused by people not paying attention while driving.

Monday, February 09, 2009


Cooper's coat is becoming extremely thick. While Danny grew a long mane, Cooper seems to have shorter but thicker hair.

When Cooper lays down, his hair clumps. I think the Lab in Cooper is keeping the hair short and the Golden is making it dense.

Lately people have been commenting on how soft Coop's coat is. I guess salmon really is good for a dog's skin and coat.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Adventurers

The spirit of adventure still lives in America, at least in the hearts of four people.

Jeff, Wendy,Meghan, and I have agreed to visit Alaska to see the Northern Lights. Many thanks to Wendy for doing all the research and coordination of schedules.

We will be spending a week in Alaska in Dec 2009.

In the spirit of, "this is a once in a lifetime trip, lets do it right", we are not just going to Fairbanks. Why stay in Fairbanks, when you can go to an even colder location further north ?

Our plan is:
We will all meet in Anchorage and spend one night recovering from an all day flight
Travel by scenic train to Fairbanks and spend one night
Fly to Bettles, Alaska where we will be spending 3 nights at a rustic lodge. Yes, they have indoor plumbing and heat.
Fly back to Fairbanks. After this our group heads in separate directions.

I am hoping that the Northern Lights will appear on at least one of the 3 days we are in Bettles. There are no guarantees and I have read online that sometimes the Lights refuse to appear.

In any case, it will be an adventure and a chance to spend time with old and new friends. As Wendy says, "One item off our bucket list".

Friday, February 06, 2009


The shower door is now installed.

The bathroom is finally complete.

The renovation was A LOT of work (mostly done by Jeff) and I am very happy with the results.

One down, two more to go ;)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

How do you like me now ?

Cooper has been with us for 5 months!

I love this picture - it shows Coop and his sassy attitude.

I like to think he is sticking out his tongue at his old owner's in Alabama. I can read in his eyes the message "See what you missed".

Cooper is a never ending surprise, always keeping us on our toes. Light and shadow are still Cooper's favorite things and that is a battle we may never win. However, I think that Cooper is happy and for all his craziness, we would not give him up.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Other Cooper

We recently bought a new PC.

Our standard naming convention is that each PC is named after one of our dogs. We have Brandy, Danny and Cooper. Jake was renamed when he was given to Jeff's parents.

This is Cooper (PC). Not nearly as cute as Cooper (dog).

Monday, February 02, 2009

Aurora Borealis

For several years now, I have been saying that I wanted to see the Aurora Borealis. I think that anyone who sees this picture from NASA would want to view the Northern Lights in person.

While this sounds like a great idea to me, there are a few obstacles that make viewing the Lights difficult. First, the lights are best seen in winter. Second, one of the best places to view the Aurora is in Alaska - Northern Alaska - Fairbanks or farther north. Temperature's in Fairbanks are SUBARCTIC - the average high in Dec is 2 °F and the low is -15 °F. In the winter, Fairbanks has 5 hours of daylight.

Even in a heated house, I am always cold. Why would I ever willingly vacation in an icebox ? Even Jeff who likes the cold has said that he has no great desire to freeze, but would go if I TRULY wanted this.

There are also smaller obstacles, like getting time off from work, finding someone to watch Cooper and purchasing arctic gear.

Luckily, I am not alone in my quest to see the Northern Lights. My friend Wendy is also interested. Every so often we say we should go, but no serious planning ever occurs. That is all starting to change.....

I believe that is called a teaser ending :)

Sunday, February 01, 2009


The new Weber grill has been assembled and actually works! We did not cook on it yet, but did make sure that it lit.

The entire project took a few hours and we had to go back and redo some steps, but in all, it was not too difficult.

I am hoping that this grill lasts as long as our previous one - 13 years!