Wednesday, June 30, 2010


After 7 gallons of primer and 14 hours of  labor, the entire downstairs has been primed. For anyone who is wondering if I help paint, the answer is YES.

The crown molding can now be installed.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


We went to Marley's restaurant in Wilton for the first time. I had heard a lot of good things about this restaurant and was excited to try it.

On the positive side, Marley's has a varied menu and the food (when finally served) was tasty.

On the negative side, the service was TERRIBLE. I had made a reservation and the restaurant was half empty, so we were seated promptly. We placed our drink and dinner order and the wait began. The drinks were delivered and the waiter disappeared. The waiter did not stop by to ask if we wanted additional drinks or to explain why after 45 minutes, our meals were not yet served. Diners who arrived after us ate and left, while the 4 of us waited for our dinner. We flagged down the waiter and were told that cooking chicken and steak took a LONG time and that is why we were waiting.

Note: How is that a plausible explanation, when another couple arrived after us, ordered the same things and were served in 15 minutes ?

I believe that our order was misplaced or forgotten. After an hour wait, dinner was served. We did not order coffee or dessert. I think we are all afraid that  it might take another hour for this to arrive.

The saving grace was that we were out with our Westport family and enjoyed lively conversation while we waited.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Surgery Update

Good news! Otis will NOT need chemo or radiation treatment.The biopsy showed clean margins (no cancer cells) at the tumor's edge. So, there will be no need for follow up treatment.

Dr Duffy said that we need to continue to check Otis for new lumps. If we find any new tumors, they would need to be biopsied.

Otis should have a long life ahead of him.


As mentioned before,there is a post and beam which divided our living/dining room. We decided to "hide" the post by building a half wall and wrapping the post in a column.

This is the result.

I think that the formal living room is now a more elegant area.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fresh Balls

Our Westport family came to see our construction project and brought a bag of tennis balls with them.

Cooper grabbed a ball and raced upstairs. I knew Coop would put the ball in his hiding spot, so that Otis could not destroy it.

Cooper came downstairs a few moments later, grabbed Oti's ball and raced upstairs. Oti was too interested in our visitors to object.

Surgery update: Still playing phone tag with the vet about the staging of the tumor. Oti is doing much better and acts like his old self. The only issue is trying to keep him calm - he wants to run outside, but can't due to his stitches.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Prime Time

The sheetrock has been taped and spackled. The walls can now be primed. This will be a task for us to do.

The columns will be installed next.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Wilton Bears

There has been some excitement in town lately about some bear sightings.  Apparently Wilton has had 8 bear sightings this year.  Even one of the local papers had an editorial about the bear activity.

Regular readers of Wilton Diaries will not be surprised as we've had a few suspected bear events over the last couple years.

(photo courtesy of Wilton Patch)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Our yard

Pictures from our yard....

I had planted yellow snap dragons in the middle of the purple petunias. However, the petunias seem to have taken over the pot.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Office Rowing

Some people just have too much time on their hands. And by the way, 4 seat has his hands way to close together.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Surgery - Update

Otis got home around 7:30 pm tonight. Otis is groggy, but keeps pacing back and forth. Oti cannot seem to relax, perhaps it is the drugs in his system or the stress of surgery.

Oti can only eat special Science Diet canned food for a few days. Otis got a very small dinner, which he gobbled up. I know Otis is hungry and thirsty, but the post surgery instructions limit his food and water intake.

The stitches in Oti's side will be removed in 10 days. I am hoping Oti will not try to chew them out.

We did not get to talk with Dr Duffy. I think that if the vet had found something terrible, he would have made sure to contact us.


Jeff took Otis to the vet this morning for surgery to remove the cancerous tumor on his side. Dr Duffy performs surgery in the afternoon, so we will not know until late today what the results are. I am hoping that Otis will be able to come home tonight.

Otis was not allowed food or water after midnight. Oti loves to eat and after his morning walk, races to his food bowl. Poor Otis could not understand why his bowl was empty, but Cooper was served breakfast.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mice in the attic ?

I was upstairs with Cooper and Otis. The electrician was working downstairs. All of a sudden Oti raced to the upstairs crawl space door and began to paw at the door. Oti then cocked his ears and began to paw at the carpet under the radiator.

My first thought was, are there mice in the crawl space ???

I listened closely and heard what Oti did - electrical wire was being threaded thru the wall. The scratching noise must have made Otis think that there was something living in this space.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

No Balls

I let the dogs out onto the back deck and they both ran in search of the tennis balls that are usually out there. Unfortunately, there were no balls to play with.  I reached into the ball bag and was surprised to find it was empty.

Otis and Cooper are hoping that their Westport supplier has some in stock.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Most of the sheetrock has been installed. The taping and the mud are next.

Friday, June 18, 2010

New Floors

The old hardwood floor in the foyer has been replaced.

Due to the walls which have been removed, new hardwood had to be weaved into the existing flooring.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Missing Locks

When we first adopted Cooper, he had very thin fur and little feathering on his legs. Over time, Coop grew beautiful curly golden locks on his ears.

Otis is always trying to get Coop to play with him. To get Coop's attention, Oti will nip at Coop's ears. Often Coop's ears are wet, from Oti mouthing them.

The other day I heard the dogs rough housing and Coop yelped. Oti raced by with a long golden strands hanging from his mouth. I  hope in time, Coop will regrow his beautiful hair.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


The insulation has been installed. The next step is installing sheetrock.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


The electric and structural inspection has been completed. We can now begin to put the walls back up.

Monday, June 14, 2010


We traveled  to Boston for a few days and had a wonderful time. We stayed at the Harborside Inn which is located downtown, near the waterfront. This old spice warehouse is located near the North End (Little Italy) and Quincy Market.

Shops, sites, restaurants and incredibly delicious bakeries were all within walking distance. In the debate of which  bakery, Mike's or Modern is better, we both agree that Mike's takes the cake.

We took an Old Town trolley tour which was informative and fun. It was a great way to get an overview of Boston and learn about the city. Bring your sneakers if you are going to Boston, you will be walking for miles.

Some of the places we visited were the Old North Church, Paul Revere's home, the USS Constitution and the Old State House Museum. There are many places we did not get to visit, so we are hoping to go back to Boston in the future.

We learned the hard way, that GPS satellite reception is lost when traveling thru the Boston tunnels. This means that navigation must be done by reading an old fashion map.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Half Wall

Ever since purchasing our home, we have struggled with the post and  beam in the center of our formal living/dining room. We were told the only way to get rid of the post was to have a steel beam installed. The cost of this was just too great.

To divide the rooms and incorporate the  post, we built a half wall. The post will get wrapped by a column and another column will be added for balance. The goal is that the columns will be seen as architectural details and the ugly post will disappear.

This half wall is also creating a new hallway. When you enter the front door there will be a hallway on the left and one on the right, adding symmetry to the downstairs.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Super Dog

Carol, the dog walker, said that since construction started, the dogs have been very pully when she walks them. I think that the dogs are nervous from all the noise.

It seems that "pully" is an understatement. I came home the other night and grabbed Coop's green leash. I tried to hook it to his collar and realized the metal ring had snapped off.

I was amazed that little Coop could snap a thick piece of metal. It turns out, that Oti is really the "Super Dog". The metal hook from the green leash was still hanging on Oti's collar.

Dr Duffy said that Otis was a big muscular dog. I guess we now know just how strong he is!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Before & After

The outside work on the house is almost complete.

This is what our house used to look like:

This is the new look:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Always, Always

It has been 2 years since Danny passed away. The ache in my heart has not eased and I often think about what should have been.

When I step outside on warm sunny days, an image of Danny stretched out on the grass and soaking up the sun immediately comes to mind.

Jeff reminds me that we were lucky to have had such a special dog to share our lives, even if it was for a too brief moment.

When I think about Danny, I often smile, but sometimes I still cry. Today I will mourn a companion who was taken before a lifetime of memories could be made.

I miss you Danny....

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


When we bought our home in Wilton, we had hoped to increase its size thru an addition. Unfortunately, this was not in our budget.

While we are not increasing the square footage, we are trying to make the house feel bigger. To help accomplish this goal, we have opened the wall alongside the staircase. We wanted to remove  the post at the end of the staircase, but it is a structural support.

With the open staircase we can see from one end of the house to the other.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Box Bay II

The second box bay window has been installed.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Favorite Spot

The new front door has been installed. The sidelights have quickly become Otis and Cooper's favorite spots.
Coop loves all the light that comes in. Otis loves to bark at the birds and squirrels in the yard

Sunday, June 06, 2010

A Sense Of Humor

It's good to have a sense of humor when doing a major construction job.

I came downstairs one morning to find two big holes in the front of our house where a picture window and the front door used to live.

I mentioned to Steve, "Looks like we're doing the door and window today, right?"

"That's the plan", he replied.  Then he added, "I've only got one tarp and a half sheet of plywood left, so I hope it doesn't rain."

I just left for work hoping the rain holds off.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Me Help

Whenever I come home, Otis likes to pickup something and parade it around the house hoping that I will chase him.  Sometimes he grabs a shoe, a ball, or even a dish towel from the kitchen.

When I came through the front door the other day, Otis looked down where we usually leave our shoes and there was nothing there.  Then he ran towards the kitchen, but it was zipped up from the day's construction.  Otis rushed into the construction zone and picked up the first thing he could get his mouth on; a piece of scrap 2x4!  After he showed it to everybody, chasing ensued...

Friday, June 04, 2010

Goodbye Carpet

The carpet in the family room has been removed.

The hardwoods underneath are in fairly good shape. This floor and the foyer will need to be sanded and stained  to match the existing hardwoods. It has taken 4 years, but we will finally have the entire first floor in hardwood.

The master bedroom is now the only room in the entire house that does not have hardwood flooring. At some point, I hope to change that.

Thursday, June 03, 2010


We are all feeling the stress of renovating the house.

I stepped out of the shower the other day and nearly squashed Cooper. Poor Coop was squeezed between the tub and bathroom door shaking from the noise of the saws running downstairs.

When I arrive home at night I never know what parts of the house will have power. When we had to disconnect part of the basement lighting, I thought that was no big deal. Next we lost the outside lights. The final straw was coming home to no power in the office when I needed to work. Thankfully we have heavy duty extension cords.

Between the dumpster and the construction crews trucks, getting out of the driveway is no simple task. Even our garage is no longer accessible - it is full of construction supplies.

I miss having a couch to sit on and space to walk in. Dust is everywhere.

With 4 weeks left to go, I am starting to wonder what were we thinking when we began this project.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Box Bay

To add some visual interest to the house, the front windows are being replaced with box bay windows. Unlike a typical bay, these panes are all straight. There are no angled side windows.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

June 22

Oti's surgery to remove his cancerous tumor is scheduled for June 22.

Dr Duffy is a great vet. We are hoping that Oti's surgery will be as successful as Cooper's was.