Thursday, April 30, 2009


All of the sheetrock has been installed.

Once the mud and tape is completed, tile installation will begin.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Whenever we sit down for dinner, Cooper always lays under the table. It doesn't matter if it is the kitchen or dining room or if there are two or six people.

Even when we went to my Mom's house, Coop was sprawled out under her dining room table during dinner.

We don't feed Coop from the table, so I find this a little odd.

Coop has now started sleeping under the coffee table in the family room and curling up under the office desk when Jeff work's in the evening.

When there is a thunderstorm, I can understand Coop hiding under the table. Beyond that, I guess this is just another Cooperism.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


The new bathroom window has been installed.

Monday, April 27, 2009


The previously missing insulation is now in place.

The sheetrock is starting to be installed on the bathroom walls.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Every year I plant several container gardens for the deck. Every year they get eaten by the woodchuck (but that is another story).

While at Costco, I saw some interesting bulbs and decided to plant them in the deck pots.

On this warm and sunny day, Coop and I went out onto the deck. I had my new shiny shovel, bag of bulbs and fertilizer.

I started to dig in the first pot and Cooper went crazy trying to bite the shovel. After yelling, "no", I realized the sunlight was reflecting off the shovel, exciting Cooper.

With the hole dug, I put the shovel down. Cooper pounced on it.

You can imagine that this short task took much longer and was much messier than originally planned.

Yet another reason why he is called Crazy Coop

Saturday, April 25, 2009


The bathroom ceiling has been installed

Friday, April 24, 2009


When our contractor returned from vacation, he announced that his helper had quit. So, you can imagine that work is progressing slowly.

The new bathtub and subfloor has been installed.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

How's Cooper ?

Whenever we talk with anyone, their first question is always, "How's Cooper ?". It seems our big eyed pup has a lot of people who care about him.

Cooper is GREAT!

If it were not for the shaved spots on Coop's neck and leg, I would not know he has cancer. Cooper has a sparkle in his eye and is more determined than ever to hunt down the deer and woodchuck.

The warm weather seems to have energized Coop. He loves to be on the deck or looking out the back door.

This is Cooper's first spring in Wilton and we are hoping he will continue to blossom.

We know Cooper's life may be short, but while times are good we will not focus on his illness but instead celebrate his uniqueness.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Extreme Alaska

While channel surfing, I ran across a tv program called Extreme Alaska on Discovery (?). When I saw a picture of the Bettles Lodge, where we are staying to view the Northern Lights, I stopped.

It turns out that the town of Bettles has a population of 39 people. There were 2 rogue grizzly bears that did not hibernate over the winter and were terrorizing the town.

When the bears broke into empty cabins and bear tracks were found near the snowmobile trails, it was feared that someone could be attacked by the starving animals.

Jeff said nothing - just looked at me with eyes that screamed - We are PAYING to go here ?? Are you insane ?

The story ends with 1 grizzly being killed and 1 disappearing.

My only comment was, "This happened in Nov, surely by Christmas, the bears will be asleep!" (Or so I hope).

This trip is shaping up to be a true adventure.

Photo Source: Dave Hurteau of Field & Stream magazine

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


In the upstairs bath, we are using three types of tile.

There will be two different travertine tiles and one accent tile. The accent tile is composed of maroon glass and natural stone. This picture shows the accent and one travertine tile.

We ordered the tile from two different stores and it has finally arrived.

Now that our contractor is back from vacation, I am hoping that we will see some real progress on the bathroom.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Warm weather

We finally saw the sun this weekend and with temperatures warming up, it was a good time to do some yard work.

While Jeff was cutting the lawn for the first time, I was working on the spring cleanup - raking, picking up branches, etc.

During all this Cooper was out on the back deck. Cooper raced back and forth, checking to see where we were, barking at the neighbor's dog and chasing any and all shadows.

When we went inside a few hours later, I looked for Coop, but didn't see him. As I went up the stairs to check, I saw him curled in a ball by the kitchen door, sleeping. All of the fresh air and exercise had taken its toll.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Christoper Dodd Raises $1M Dollars

Christoper Dodd raised $1 Million Dollars in the first quarter of 2009 for his 2010 bid to return to the Senate. You would think that is a pretty significant advantage considering Republican challengers Rob Simmons and Sam Caligiuri are just starting to open up bank accounts.

Except out of that $1 Million Dollars, exactly five people from the state of Connecticut ponied up a total of $4,000. At least he knows he still has friends in the Nutmeg State.

Maybe it was the fact that Christoper Dodd turned his back on his constituents during the multitude of bailouts that are still ongoing.

Maybe it was his Clinton-esque "non-truth" telling during the AIG bonus debacle (which personally, I think those people deserved).

Maybe the people just had enough of his mortgage shenanigans with the now defunct Countrywide Mortgage.

Yes, even the polls are saying we should check Dodd with a meat thermometer, because he appears to be done.

Vote with your pocketbook, Connecticut.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

You Can't Do That, Part IV

There's nothing wrong with having an outlet in a bathroom, especially if it's a GFCI outlet.

And there's nothing wrong with connecting an outlet in the same box as a light fixture as long as you have a dedicated power source.

Except, the person that did this bathroom decided that it would be all right to connect the outlet to the light fixture that was controlled by a switch.

How cool is that, an outlet that operates on a switch?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Truffle Hunter

I have decided that Coop missed his calling as a truffle hunter.

Pigs were previously used to hunt the rare and expensive truffles and now dogs are used to locate truffles. I think Cooper would be great at this.

When we walk Coop he is constantly sniffing the ground. If he smells something interesting, he begins to dig. Coop then sniffs the hole and decides is he wants to dig deeper or to the right or left.

I have no idea what he is smelling, but there must be some scent that excites him.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

You Can't Do That, Part III

If you know a little bit about plumbing, you will recognize the drain coming out of the wall (white part). The sink was located directly above that.

The only problem is that the sink was atop a vanity. And the vanity was placed OVER the baseboard heater.

Monday, April 13, 2009

You Can't Do That, Part II

You would think I was all done after the insulation. Nope.

When adding a fan to your bathroom, you invariably have to add a power source. You could tap an existing power source and run a wire for a new switch. If you have the sheetrock off anyway, you'd have the whole wall open and you'd drill a hole in the stud cavity and fish the wire to the new fan.

The wrong way to do it is put the wire on the outside of the framing and then put sheetrock OVER it. Yes, we had that in two places.

Have no fear, I have at least one more coming.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Easter is a time for reflection, rebirth and new beginnings.

I hope we each take a moment to reflect upon the many blessings that have been bestowed upon us.

We wish all our family and friends a very Happy Easter! Your support, especially during these last few weeks, means more than you can imagine. We are sending you all hugs and kisses.

Cooper hopes all his 4 legged friends receive Easter baskets filled with popcorn, tennis balls and chocolate dipped milkbones.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Gaggle of Goldens

I have always wanted a gaggle of Goldens. I can't imagine anything better than a house full of these beautiful dogs. However, I'm not sure that Coop would like having to share our attention.

When Danny's foster Mom, Linda, sent this picture it made me smile and I knew it should be shared.

Linda owns the 3 adult Goldens(Callie, Madison and Frankie). Frankie (recently adopted from Sunshine Golden Retriever Rescue) is wearing the radio collar and reminds me of Danny. They both have the same shaped head and such beautiful eyes.

The pup is a SGRR dog that Linda was fostering and was recently adopted.

Friday, April 10, 2009

You Can't Do That, Part I

There's something to be said for building a house from scratch.

The upstairs bath had been remodeled sometime in the 80's. I'm not sure of the extent of the renovations, but obviously a medicine cabinet had been abandoned and a mirror plastered over the open spot. No problem, what do you do with an exposed area, you fill it with insulation.

Once the room was gutted during this renovation, we see what the real problem was. The only insulation in the exterior wall was the little bit where the medicine cabinet had been abandoned.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Upstairs Bath

On Monday, our upstairs bathroom looked like the top photo.

Today it looks like the bottom photo.

We are not renovating this bathroom ourselves and have hired a contractor.

When the sheetrock was removed, we found out that there was no insulation in the outside wall! How is that possible ?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Congratulations UNC

The UNC Tar Heels won the 2009 NCAA Men's Basketball tournament. UNC completely dominated Michigan State and won 89-72.

I can't say the game was very exciting, because after the first 2 minutes, the score was never close.

Several UNC players did not join the NBA draft last year so they could stay in college and try to win a National Championship. Isn't it nice to know that with hard work some dreams do come true ?

Monday, April 06, 2009


Good news! The oncologist called and the biopsy of Cooper's lymph nodes came back normal.

I am not really sure what this means, since it is always prefaced by "this does not mean the cancer has not spread somewhere....".

We seem to be riding a roller coaster of emotions these days.

I am going to try hard to be optimistic and just believe that Coop will be with us for a while. The best we can do is to try and enjoy each day that our pack is given together.

Sunday, April 05, 2009


We do not yet know if the cancer is in Cooper's lymph nodes. Yet even without this information we have decided that we will not be pursuing radiation or chemo.

This was not an easy decision. Many tears have been shed since we learned of Cooper's illness and sleepless nights are now routine.

Some people will agree with us and some will disagree.

We will not send Coop away to live in a kennel while he undergoes radiation treatment. I think Coop would feel scared, abandoned and unloved. The months of work to establish trust would be broken.

As for chemo, we don't want Coop's life to revolve around Dr. visits.

I wonder if we are letting Coop down? Should we fight harder to extend his time with us?

In the end, we felt that what is important is that Coop be happy for whatever time remains. Keeping Coop with us and showing him lots of love is the best way we know to make him happy.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

New Furniture

The new furniture finally arrived!

Thursday, April 02, 2009


When I see Coop running around the house, always wagging his tail, it is easy to forget he just had surgery.

But then there are days like today, when we can't escape the fact that Cooper has cancer.

We went to the oncologist and he said that the pathology of the tumor leads him to believe there may have been some spreading into the capillaries. The oncologist recommended radiation and chemotherapy.

There are no local vet hospitals with radiation equipment, so Cooper would have to spend three weeks away from us. Chemo would be an ongoing treatment as long as Coop lived.

Some additional tests are being performed to see if the cancer has already invaded the lymph nodes.

Without treatment statistics say that Coop could survive up to 12 months. Treatment could extend this to two years.

We will think about all the medical advice we have been given and then make a decision.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


We had a severe thunderstorm the other evening. I did not think anything about it until Jeff said, "What's wrong with Coop?"

I looked over and Cooper's ears were flat against his head, his eyes were wide and every inch of him was shaking. I never knew Cooper was so afraid of thunder.

I petted him but nothing stopped the shaking.

After the storm passed, I went to bed. Coop refused to jump up on the bed. He tried to crawl under the bed, but is now too big to fit.

Coop spent the night with his head and front paws under the bed. I felt bad, but he seemed to feel safe like this, so we just let him be.