Saturday, July 31, 2010


UPS delivered the curtains rods I ordered.

The curtains have been hung in the formal living room. I think they look great. I tend to prefer valances over drapes, but I think that these curtains give a more elegant feel to the room.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Several  weeks ago, Otis snapped Cooper's leash. Since then I have been searching for a new green leash to match Coop's collar. I looked at Pet Smart, PetCo and Walmart, but none of these stores sold green leashes.

Poor Cooper was embarrassed to be seen strolling in Wilton Center with mismatched accessories.A purple leash and green collar earned him the nickname, "The Joker". to the rescue. Overstock had a green 6 foot lead for sale. I quickly placed the order. Cooper's new leash arrived today.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


The other day on the news, I heard that had sold more Kindle (electronic) books than hardcover books. I was surprised to hear this and wondered if paper books would soon be a rarity.

I am a big fan of traditional books. I like the feel of a book in my hand. A book is always travel ready - no chargers or power needed.

I do understand in a green world, why the ability to download books is popular. Traveling with the light weight Kindle is easy. I wonder if I am becoming a dinosaur in this digital age.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm a chameleon, too

Cooper's golden coat may blend into the hardwood floors, but Oti's auburn coat mirrors the front door.

Up close, it looks like we color matched the door to Oti's coloring.

Monday, July 26, 2010


To finish our new fiberglass door, we needed to stain it. I knew we were in trouble when we opened the stain kit and there was a 20 minute video on how to properly stain the door. The video claims that if you follow all 12 steps, the door will not only look great, but require no maintenance for 5 years. The kit says the door can be finished in one day.

Staining is a messy job. We had hoped that in a few hours the entire process would be complete. Unfortunately, we had to apply multiple coats to get the color we desired. Wearing patches of cherry stain, Jeff said he will never again work on this door.

2 coats of sealer still have to be applied. Hopefully this can be done next weekend if the weather cooperates.

I really like how the door looks. From a distance, you would think it really is a wood door, not fiberglass.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Living Room

The formal living room has been painted! Jeff and I took 3 days off from work to get this done. I have to say it rates as one of the worst vacations ever.

There is still a lot of work to be done, before the furniture can be moved back inside. There is dust everywhere and a good cleaning is needed. I am not sure how many times I will have to swiffer the floors.

Drapes need to be hung, but the rods will not arrive until next week. Outlet covers need to be installed. The trim for the recessed lights also need to be installed.

I still have to select and order a center light, but have not had time to shop for one.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


The crown molding, window trim, columns and baseboard in the living room have all been painted.

I do not know how many hours we spent painting these areas. All I know is that my hand is sore from holding the paintbrush. However, I really like the way everything looks.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Spotted Goldens

Cooper and Otis like to be near us while we paint. As you can imagine, having two dogs underfoot with open paint cans, brushes and rollers can lead to some unexpected events.

Jeff was painting the ceiling and Cooper was laying under the area being painted. A blob of paint rolled off the brush and landed right on Coop's backside. During the terrible thunderstorms Coop curled into a newly painted corner.

The floor has been covered with plastic to protect the hardwood floors. Otis loves to run and slide on his side. This means that any wet paint ends up on Oti's coat.

The other morning we were walking the dogs and I realized that one of Oti's ears was white.

It seems like a bath will be needed for both dogs when we are finished.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


As the photo shows, it is time to pick a paint color for downstairs.

We went to Rings End and purchased some Benjamin Moore samples. We also painted swatches of the colors currently used in the house. Ironically, we decided to use the same color that is currently  in our upstairs hallway.

Due to the openness of the home, we needed a color that would work in multiple rooms.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


For the last two weeks, Jeff and I have been filling nail holes, caulking and sanding in preparation for painting. Our goal is to paint the formal living room first and then move the furniture back. After two months without, having a place to sit downstairs will be a novelty.

The ceiling has finally been painted. We will start on the crown molding and window trim next.

Monday, July 19, 2010


I was heading home on Route 7 (4 lane road) Saturday morning and stopped to let a family of geese and goslings cross the road. The geese had made it across 3 lanes when a man in a silver Range Rover came flying down the road  in the opposite direction.

The man saw the geese and rather than stopping, switched lanes to get into the 4th lane and stepped on the gas. The lead goose was nearly hit.

I was furious and could not believe that someone would be so thoughtless. What could be so important that he could not pause for 30 seconds? I have traveled the world and believe that CT drivers are the rudest, most thoughtless people I have ever met.

I often notice that the people who drive the most expensive cars display the worst behavior.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Otis!

Otis has been with us for 1 year! It seems like yesterday that Linda F sent an email asking if we wanted Cooper to have a brother. When we saw how adorable Otis was, we could not refuse.

Oti LOVES people. I don't think we have ever had such a people focused dog. Otis doesn't want to just get petted, he loves to lean into you,  as if he can become one with you.

Even though Oti is now 4 or 5, he is still a big puppy at heart. I think that Otis will never grow up. Otis sees shoes, towels, hats, gloves and anything that is not nailed down as a potential toy.

Every morning, before the alarm goes off, Otis jumps on the bed and wiggles his way up until his head is almost on my pillow. The instant the alarm goes off, Oti jumps on top of me wanting to be petted. From Oti's level of excitement, you would think Otis had not seen me in weeks. I find it odd that Otis never jumps on Jeff. I guess we know who the Alpha is in our pack.

Otis has been good for Cooper. Coop certainly likes to boss Oti around and Oti seems happy to have a companion when we are at work.

Friday, July 16, 2010


I mentioned before that Stargazer lilies are one of my favorite flowers. I found a bag of Stargazer bulbs this year at Walmart and planted them. I am thrilled with the beautiful flowers.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bobbi & Linda

Hi Maine Moms -

It's me, Otis. My birthday is coming up. I've been thinking about the last year  and  wanted you to know I have not forgotten you.

Bobbi, you rescued me from the animal shelter. I don't want to think about what  might have happened if you hadn't come along. Too bad I don't like cats. Living in a home filled with home baked dog treats would have been a dream come true.

Linda, when I could no longer live with Bobbi, you graciously took me in. Considering that you already had 3 of your own Goldens, that is a tremendous kindness. Even better, you found me my forever home in CT!

Every time I chew another baseball cap (Otis 3, Caps 0) Mom threatens to send me back to Maine. I just smile and wag my tail because I know she doesn't really mean it. Even if she did, I know you'd keep me safe.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Our yard IV

Our hydrangea has  a lot more flowers than usual, but our rhodies had very few flowers this summer. I was disappointed since I fertilized the rhododendrons last fall with holly tone and thought this would increase the blooms.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Let There Be Light

New electric wiring was run throughout the downstairs for the renovation. Several new circuits were added to the house but they had not been connected to the electrical panel.

The electrician has now installed the new circuit breakers and we finally have outdoor and indoor lights!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Where's Steve ?

After 7 weeks of having a construction crew at the house, Otis became accustomed to hearing trucks arrive at 7:20 am.

Poor Otis, spent the morning staring out the window, waiting for Steve to arrive. I know Otis will miss having additional  people  to pet him in the morning.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


The renovation is COMPLETE!

Now Jeff and I need to paint the entire downstairs. With 3 rooms, 2 hallways, 200 ft of crown molding, 200 ft of baseboard, 7 columns and  14 windows to paint,  it will be weeks if not months until we are finished.

Blog postings will be limited since all free time will be spent with wood filler and a paintbrush.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Distinguished Gentleman

In 2 more months, Cooper will be turning 9 years old. The other day I noticed that Cooper is getting white hair on his face and throughout his coat.

When I spoke with Dr. Duffy, I mentioned that Coop was getting old. Dr Duffy laughed and said that 9 was not old, when Cooper turns 12 we'll talk about old.

The longer Cooper is with us, the more his Golden personality shines. I often wonder what Coop would be like if someone had cherished him in Alabama.

Friday, July 09, 2010


This is our old wrought iron railing along the staircase. It screams, welcome to 1960.

The iron railing has been replaced  with oak and the staircase opened.

Thursday, July 08, 2010


The baseboard molding and baseboard heat has been installed.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

8 paws, 140 lbs

I went to walk Cooper and Otis. Both leashes were in my left hand as I opened the garage door.

The door opened. Coop began to bark and both dogs charged outside. I looked over and saw the coyote in the front yard.

Imagine 8 paws and 140 lbs of muscle tearing down the driveway with me acting as an anchor.
The coyote took off running. I hoped Otis would not snap another leash. Coop is not terribly strong, but Otis is built like a linebacker.

Once the coyote was out of sight, the dogs lost some of their enthusiasm in the chase. All I can say is it is a good thing I had my running shoes on.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


The new closet doors have been installed.

Adding the additional closet has doubled our storage space.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Hooded Merganser

Jeff said, "We have a Merganser on our pond." I said, "A what ?"

It turns out that the contractor Steve, who is a hunter, had noticed the Merganser swimming on the pond. We have not been able to get a photo of this shy creature.

The white markings around the duck's eye show it to be a Hooded Merganser.

Photo by ODNR:

Sunday, July 04, 2010


The window trim has been installed for all the windows.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Our yard III

The Easter Lily was planted in the garden after it flowered last year .The sunflower sprouted from a seed that the birds and squirrels missed.

Friday, July 02, 2010


The crown molding has been installed.

Previously, the crown was only in the formal living room and dining room and did not have much detail. The new crown is taller and more intricate. The crown will now run thru all rooms and the hallways, except the kitchen.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Our yard II

Some more photos from our home. The construction crew and dumpsters have kept the deer and woodchuck away and allowed my lilies to thrive.