Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Natural Fries

While we were out Christmas shopping, we stopped for lunch at Wendy's. As we opened the door into Wendy's I spotted a big sign stating that Wendy's now sold Natural Fries with sea salt.

It turns out that natural fries still have the skin on them. I did not like these new fries. I am not sure why Wendy's ruined a good thing. Jeff said perhaps these fries were cheaper to purchase.

In any case, my trips to Wendy's will be greatly reduced because of these fries.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Look What I've Got

With family visiting, Otis was in rare form. This paper bag which was folded on a table became his latest toy.

The words "Otis, No!" and "Otis, Drop it" rang throughout the house as Otis grabbed shoes & towels  and raced around. It seems that Otis forgot his manners.

Cooper on the other hand was well behaved and outgoing, going up to family to get petted.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Carnival Glass

We received this beautiful carnival glass vase as a Thanksgiving gift. However, we are not sure who manufactured this piece.

The antique shop marked the vase as  Imperial Jack in the Pulpit, but based upon an internet search it appears to be an Imperial Morning Glory vase.

If you know anything about carnival glass or specifically this vase, please email us!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Juicing an Onion

I wanted to make crab dip for Thanksgiving. I found a highly rated recipe on line and  purchased all the ingredients. When I started to make the dip, the recipe said, "collect the juice from an onion".

I admit I am not a chef, but had never heard of juicing an onion. Reading further, it said to grate an onion on the smallest grater hole and collect the juice. I followed the recipe and in 2 minutes, I was sobbing. If cutting an onion releases an odor, grating an onion is 100 times worse.I was crying so hard, that I could barely see to collect the onion juice.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the crab dip, so it seems my efforts were worthwhile.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Success

Hours of cleaning and cooking paid off with a successful Thanksgiving. I love how beautiful the dining room looked with the fire blazing and the china and crystal sparkling on the table.

Our guests brought side dishes, wine and dessert, which reduced the cooking I needed to do. The turkey took an hour longer than estimated to cook, but no one seemed to mind. Good wine and interesting conversation flowed throughout the house.

Everyone commented on how nice the house looked with all the changes.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing all our friends and family a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Christmas Carols

Driving to work on Monday morning, I heard the first Christmas carol on the radio. All I could think was, "I'm NOT ready for Christmas".  All of my energy is focused on preparing for Thanksgiving.

It seems that radio stations, just like stores,  are starting the Christmas season earlier each year.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sears Never Fails

We've needed a new TV ever since we moved our 14 year old 32" CRT TV to the bedroom.  It still works and has a decent picture, but it takes up a lot of room.

When we renovated the downstairs, we thought about furniture placement and where the TV would go.  We carefully measured so that our older buffet would fit between the two new windows and it ended up being the perfect size for a 46" Flat Panel TV.

We've been putting off buying the TV for about a month, but with company coming it just had to be done.  Valerie did her research with help of her sister who is in the business and we decided on either a Samsung or Sharp with Internet connectivity for downloading Netflix movies.  She found the best price on the Samsung at Sears and saw online that our local Sears had exactly one left.

We arrived at Sears at 10:25 and they opened at 10:30.  We were the first ones in the side door, but still managed to get to the electronics department with four people ahead of us.  I kind of felt sorry for the salesman because there was five people waiting and he was the only one in the department.  Of course, the first person on line had to do a return and then a purchase and he wanted his discount for opening a Sears credit card.  Awesome.  He needed a manager override for the new price, and helped the next person at a register at the front of the department.

After about 20 minutes, we tracked him down at the front of the Electronics department helping other customers.

"Oh, I'm helping people up front now", was his explanation when we finally got to him.

Our salesman's associate was explaining the "Extended Warranty" to his customer when the customer said "It's a scam, no thank you."  Our salesman stopped what he was doing (helping us) and explained the virtues of spending an additional $250 on a $800 TV.

The customer was a little smart alleck and asked the salesman, "Are you saying that my TV won't last three years?  Maybe I better go somewhere else to buy it..."

"No, no, no, it's a good brand, but it's just like insurance!"

The other customer politely declined again and our guy got back to us.

"I see we only have one of your model in stock, I have to go and verify the inventory", he told us.  I kind of appreciated this considering what happened last time.  He came back in about 20 minutes and sure enough, they didn't have the unit.  Didn't even try to sell me another brand, a bigger size, or a different model.

As we were walking out, I said to Valerie that Sears never fails to disappoint me.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Getting Ready

With Thanksgiving only a few days away, we are getting ready for guests. The turkey has been purchased. I wanted a 10 lb bird, but the smallest I could find is 13 lbs. Let's hope everyone is hungry.

Cooper and Otis are freshly washed . Otis whined excitedly in the car and raced into the dog wash. However, once Coop and Otis realized it was bath time, they both tried to head back outside.

The linen tablecloth and napkins are washed and the Lenox cornucopia  is on the dining table.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Time to Walk

When I work at home, I do not see much of the dogs in the morning. After breakfast, Cooper and Otis spend the morning napping on the bed.

When it gets to be around 11am, Coop will wander into the office and lay down. By 11:30, Cooper is thumping his tail. If I pet Coop, the wagging stops, but immediately starts again. Cooper is making it clear that it is time for a walk and a snack.

If I still don't take Coop out, he will paw at my arm and head to the door. Looks like the dogs have me well trained!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Taste of the Wild

When Cooper was first rescued, his foster Mom, Linda P fed him Taste of the Wild Salmon dog food. This high protein food was given to Cooper to help increase his weight and muscle mass.

We have now switched the dogs back to this food. I stopped at the pet store and picked up a 30 lb bag. When I paid the bill, I said, "Wow!".  The clerk said, 30 lbs should last a month. I told him I had 2 Goldens. His response was, "See you in 2 weeks!".

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Last Christmas I grew an amaryllis in water. After weeks of watching the leaves grow, the bulb eventually flowered.

Earlier this week, I received a  catalog from White Flower Farm, which showed beautiful paperwhite arrangements in glass vases with pebbles. Not wanting to spend $50 to purchase their kit, I spent $5 for bulbs at Walmart.

I have grown paperwhites before and am hoping that in 6 weeks these bulbs will be in full bloom.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Let's Play

Saturday was a beautiful warm and sunny day. Jeff went out onto the deck and both dogs raced outside. I heard Jeff laughing and looked out the window.

There was Otis, racing around the deck with my slipper in his mouth.  I often find my slippers in different rooms, but never imagined they could end up outside. Jeff reclaimed my slipper and said you will need new ones by Christmas.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Putting It Back Together

The sheetrock repairs have left dust everywhere, on the floors, walls and furniture. Sheetrock dust is very fine and does not vacuum up well. To remove the dust the floors have to be mopped and dried several times.  The dust travels throughout the house so it is not just the downstairs which is impacted.

There is nothing more frustrating than having to once again put the house together.  I keep thinking, didn't we just do all this work a few weeks ago ? At this point we have no curtains, no ceiling lights and no art on the walls. Most of the furniture is in the guest bedrooms.

I am no longer enthusiastic about the renovation. After 6 months of turmoil,  all I want is a clean house and a couch to sit on.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sheetrock Repaired

The sheetrock has been repaired.  Steve sanded off the mesh tape and installed paper tape in the damaged areas. I am hoping that this permanently fixes the problem and no new issues arise.

The sheetrock problems have left me extremely jaded. I don’t know that I would ever want to renovate again.   Jeff is more philosophical and says this negative experience should not dictate what we do in the future.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fresh Air

Cooper is happiest when he is outside in the sunshine. While Jeff and I raked the lawn on Sunday, Cooper was out on the deck, barking and chasing the falling leaves.

On Sunday night, Jeff went out on the deck to barbecue and Cooper raced outside. It was dark, cold and windy. I thought Cooper would immediately want to come back in. Jeff cooked dinner and we ate, all the time Cooper was curled up on the deck, staring out into the yard.

After dinner, Cooper reluctantly came inside. His ears were a little cold, but his eyes were shining. I guess Cooper really loves the fresh air and the many interesting smells carried on the wind.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Sears Open on Thanksgiving

I saw a news article that stated Sears would be open on Thanksgiving. I thought this was rather sad.

Thanksgiving is one of the few days where businesses are closed and people can spend time at home with their families. I realize that some people may prefer to shop on Thanksgiving or do not have anyone to share the day with. However, it still seems that something is being lost with our endless consumerism.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Fall Back

With the end of Daylight Savings Time on  Sunday, the clocks get set back and we all get an extra hour of sleep. That is unless you live with Cooper and Otis.

The dogs woke up at 6:45 am, which is the new 5:45 am! Coop and Otis were raring to go and would not consider laying down for even a few more minutes. The only positive was that the sun was up and we were not walking in the dark.

One hour later, after being walked and eating breakfast, both dogs were stretched out asleep on the bed.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Sheetrock Update

Steve has started to repair the sheetrock.

The light fixtures are uninstalled and the curtains are down. Some furniture has been moved upstairs and the rest is under tarps. The dining, family, and living room are all unusable.

We are hosting Thanksgiving, so this work needs to be completed in 2 weeks time and the house put back together.

Friday, November 05, 2010

$115 for dog food!

We switched the dogs to Hill's Science Diet d/d, which can only be purchased at the vet's office. We purchased an 18 lb bag and I gave the tech a $6 coupon. The tech was not sure how to process the coupon and said, take the food and we will bill you.

I received a bill in the mail for $60. I was shocked that the cost had gone up $20/bag in 2 weeks and there was no discount for the coupon. I called the vet and was told the bookkeeper had just adjusted the prices and was now on vacation. They could not be sure, but thought the price was accurate. Wow! I didn't argue, but thought this will be the last time the dogs get this food.

I put the check in the mail. Two days later, I received another bill. This time my coupon was deducted, but the bill said I owed $115! I called the vet's office again and they said the bill was for 2 bags of d/d. I explained that I only had one bag of food. The tech said one bag would be removed from our bill.

Jeff comment on all this, "You and your damn coupons!"

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Danny Remembered

The other day Danny's dog walker, Diane, posted a comment on our blog. I visited her website and there was a photo of our beautiful boy.

Click on the link: Danny

It is nice to know that we are not the only ones who miss this special dog.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Stairwell Complete

The stairwell has been painted. This is the last item that needed to be painted due to the renovation.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Frozen Carrots

I was putting a frozen dinner into the oven and it slipped out of my hand. The dinner landed face down and the plastic covering the frozen vegetable broke. I picked the dinner up and a few carrots fell out.

Before I could clean up the carrots, Coop and Otis raced in and ate them all. Danny loved fresh carrots, but Cooper and Otis refuse to eat them. I don't know if the dogs liked the fact that the carrots were cold and crunchy like ice cubes, or if they thought they were getting something forbidden (my lunch).