Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dresser before... and after!

We found this white dresser on craigslist. It was the right size and super cheap. But it was a bit mussed up, had a broken drawer, and needed three drawers put back on track.


Here she is, 3 coats of paint later, new rail alignment (yay home depot for $2), and new hardware!


She's going in our closet, so we were a-ok with the bright color. We don't own anything else this color, and so what!? It adds a bright splash to the closet and makes us both happy.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cat update and still sick

Paddington went to the vet, and he has inflamed gums. It may be from his two teeth, but right now, those aren't the main issue. He's on some strong meds (started off with an injection tonight) to cause the inflammation to go down (poor thing-- his gums are cherry red). The vet likened it to if a human had badly burnt his/her entire mouth.

So, his kibble causes irritation because it's hard and scratchy. But wet food could cause irritation too because of the high salt content (think lemon juice in a cut). I think I'm going to try wet food tonight, mostly because he thinks it's so special (it's true, he hardly ever gets it) and that may overwhelm any salty pain.

The other kitties will hate him though, as he gets "special" treatment and they get dry food.

I think Pads was already feeling better today. Strange how sometimes animals understand, isn't it? Or at least they act like they do? He was very sullen and quiet at the vet's. Let the vet do anything he want. Very scared cat. And then about three hours after we got home? He was noticeably happier than he has been. Very vocal and twittery. Maybe it's the drugs working their magic. I hope so.

On another note, I wish the vet could issue human medication. I'm still sick. It's like there's a semi in my head and it's honking. Ugh.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Paddington to the vet

My cuddlebug, Paddington, is off to the vet tomorrow. He's my delightful 24-toed, cream-colored polydactyl cat (7 toes on each front paw, 5 on each back-- as evidenced in the photo).
Seriously? The vet?

I'm worried and anxious about him. A year ago, he was overweight; almost 19 lbs. Now? I'm guessing he's around 12. Now, most of that weight loss was intentional. He was a BIIIIG boy. When we got him, he was so excited to have a supply of kibble that he ate himself nutty. We've been careful, and thus, the weightloss.

I was not happy about the limiting kibble nonsense.


Now he's become a bit too thin. In March or April, he went to the vet, where he was diagnosed with having two bad teeth. The vet pushed on them and Pads shivered. I melted. My poor boy! BUT, we were at a boutique vet, who wanted WAY too much to pull them out (grr), but she also told us that it wasn't really necessary to pull them out since he doesn't really use them (yay).

However, in the past month, I've become more worried. His breath, aside from normal cat breath, has become pretty rancid, and I'm concerned that the bad tooth has become bad. And even if he doesn't use the tooth, I'm worried that it is hurting him, as a toothache hurts a human even when they aren't chewing.

So, I made an appointment. I'm glad I did; just now he was sitting in my lap. B gave the other two kitties and the dog a treat, so he gave one to me to give to Pads too. It was so heartbreaking. Pads popped the treat into his mouth, and then spat it out into my palm. He did this about three times, and then let out a sharp, sad yelp. He just couldn't eat the treat. It was too hard for him to divide, and too big for him to swallow. I immediately found something and broke it into pieces, but it must have hurt him badly, because he wouldn't even sniff it.

Now, he is not walking around in pain. He is our older man, so he does sleep for a hefty portion of the day. He's not wincing when you pet him (just if you poke him on the side of the mouth). He's the cuddlebug of the three cats. He will jump up to be with you and then find a place (often awkward for us humans to continue doing what we're doing) to sit and purr. And he has a purr that sounds like he's swallowed both a hummingbird (shrill sighs) and an outboard motor (you can hear the rattle from across the room).

So, he's content, but I think he's not comfortable. Thus, to the vet he goes. My poor boy. Fingers crossed the news is within the spectrum we expect, not a disastrous unforeseen diagnosis from left field.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day

Christmas morning is a time of amazement. Especially for little puppies (look at her eyes).


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Kaisers!

(headin' to work with mom)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fun projects!

My delightful husband has kidnapped my camera at his work, so I still remain photoless. SOON!

Life has settled down, and projects have been accomplished. Now I'm enjoying things without the stress.

Today's list?
* Go to work and get some work done (it's been SLOOOOOW with the holidays)
* Bake cookies for B's work.

Those are the only two things that HAVE to get done. Honestly? I'd love to work on two more projects too:

1) Planter boxes on the deck railing for strawberries
2) COLD FRAME for the garden!!!

I am so excited about my cold frame. When we got the cottage, the big backyard came with a ton of remnants from the previous tenant, including this huge, 10'(L)x7' (W)x6' (H) white, PVC pipe frame. I think she had used it for vines. Anyway, it's out there all abandoned, and I thought: Why not turn it into a cold frame? Arugula, cabbage, kale, and carrots grow well right now, and then we could use it eventually for our seedlings.

I think the best place to put it is on our deck. It'd make the whole thing warmer and less exposed. The wind tends to enter the backyard at one location, and on the deck, the frame would be sheltered. Plus, we could better keep the moisture out from rain.

The cold frame is not really a greenhouse. It protects plants to a point, but it's not like you can grow summertime things in there. Cold frames just give the hardy plants a boost. Upping it to being warmer during the day and keeping the cold from biting quite as much during the day.

I think the lower 3' of the frame, all around, will be dark and solid. Wood, plastic YOU NAME IT. Why? Because you don't really need it, and the more you can insulate, the better the frame will help your veggies. And hard surfaces insulate better than flimsy plastic.

The top 3' of the frame will be clear. It has to be for the plants to get any sunlight! We will see.... hmm hmmm.....

Anyway, photos to come, I promise. The cold frame project hasn't started yet, so hopefully, the camera will come home by the time it does. I also really need to take some "before" photos of the backyard. That way, if the garden does actually take off this summer, I will have the photos to prove it. :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Money Oddities.

I'm met with a few odd statements today from people I know... so I thought I'd post (they don't read the blog). Yes, the underlying issue is money, but I thought it was amusing.

I've determined everyone wants to complain about money.

Person #1:
"I don't have enough money! Why am I always waiting for my paycheck! Wah!"

Then person #1 goes and hires movers for their short move. And moves into a nice rental house, not apartment.

Is it just me? B and I have a decent income, but since we don't have a house (and thus, more heavy furniture) and we don't have any children (that would make moving yourself more difficult), we couldn't really justify the cost of not moving ourselves. And, I'm not talking about a move across the country. These people a) were not moving from a house, b) have no children, and c) were not moving far. It just strikes me as wrong... I dunno. Thoughts?

Person #2:
"I never buy anything for myself. Ever. There just isn't the money for it."

This person is going on a tropical vacation in a few weeks.

Maybe it's just me. We live well, a little stingily at times, but well. Not too stingily as to not enjoy ourselves. We tell ourselves that planning now will mean more things to enjoy later on. Is that the right method to live by? We do splurge, just not on tropical vacations or movers.

It just seems like right now, there are similar folks all around us that are not doing the things we are money-wise. I'm not tempted to "keep up with the joneses" or be a lemming, but still.

Maybe this all boils down to that I wanna go on vacation....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dear Santa...

I would like a wheelbarrow for Christmas. Not a 3" deep one. Like 8-12" deep one. Please?

Thank you!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Not enough time

So, we're in our house. And we've unpacked the essentials and squirreled everything else away so the house looks 100% unpacked. It's lovely. And we're tired.

I'm a bit sad though. Why did this all have to go down at Christmastime? I had grand plans, GRAND plans, I tell you. I knew what everyone was getting, and I knew what homemade presents I wanted to tackle.

I wanted to make cookies. I wanted to make soaps, lotions, bathsalts and slippers. I wanted handmade dough ornaments on our tree that B and I would treasure for years as reminders of our first Christmas together.

But DASH that all. The doggone move. A whirlwind of packing in 2.5 days, followed by what we thought would be 5 days of homelessness that turned out to be 8. A cold weather spell that chilled us to the bone and prompted the buying of ridiculous (but warm) puffy jackets. And now, rain that won't let up and a front walkway that was not raked this fall, so the leaves are decomposing and makes our feet leave muddy footprints on our beautiful wood floors. And my garlic needs to be planted. And all our coats are on our table because I don't have hooks for our coatrack.


So right now, I'm at work, quickly typing out this message. And also right now, my house is invaded with fixers and plumbers, fixing up various things that the landlord and we discovered were not right. We'll finally have a working kitchen sink, which means all the nasty dishes can get washed and I can actually USE the kitchen. The dog is in her kennel, probably looking all woeful that she cannot play with her workman friends. And the cats are in the car. Again.

I swear to you, my car may never be clean again. BOTH our cars look like they've been through a few rounds of teenagers. UGH! Stuff everywhere. Gum wrappers. B even has part of a spilled milkshake on his automatic shifter (I know... who spills something like that and doesn't clean it up? Ew, yuck, disgusting, but I still love him.). It's gross. Gross and nasty.

And, my car still smells like vinegar due to the horrible day I had last week when a HALF GALLON OF WHITE VINEGAR SPILLED in the backseat of my car. It's gross. HOW do you get that smell out?! You can't use baking powder, unless you want a gigantic foaming volcano in the backseat. I've already doused it with some other smells, but I'm at a bit of a loss on this one.

I JUST WANT CHRISTMAS, DARN IT! The Christmas I had been hoping for. The one where I make Martha Stewart-quality labels for gifts and delightfulness. The joyful one, NOT the stressed out one.

Oh and? It's my birthday on Thursday, not that any of my friends are going to remember because the last month? Too crazy to plan or do anything. Ok, that was a bit of self-serving mopiness. Sorry. I'm just grumpy. And really tired of running around like a headless, homeless, cold chicken covered in cat fur.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Thankful Thursday

One of my blogger friends does a Thankful Thursday post every week. I don't always comment, but I love that she does that. This week, I'm stealing her idea. We're ending a bunch of chaos (hopefully) today, so there's a lot for which to be thankful. SO here they are, in no particular order:

1) As of 11am this morning: NO MORE HOTEL STAY!
2) No double rent.
3) A lovely new place of our own with a huge backyard for a massive garden.
4) A patient husband who loves me.
5) Finally having our human and critter family back together in one place.
6) Two jobs (and mine is picking up speed).
7) B's recent grant to help pay off a portion of his student loans.
8) HEAT-- it was 10 degrees at 8am this morning.
9) Helpful friends. We love them dearly and they have been so supportive. We are so happy to be back in a town with many of them in it.
10) Perspective. It's better to work a job you love and be happy than work a job that pays a little more and makes you miserable. Things really do happen for a reason.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


It was 13 degrees today when I got up and 19 when I left the hotel.

I know... there are probably those of you out there who are saying "big deal. Those temps hit our area in September. You are a wimp."

Well, yes, I am a wimp. Generally speaking? I love the cold. This unusual cold snap (it gets down to those temps, but usually a) warms up in the day and b) is only for a day or two at most) would generally thrill me.


We're in a freakin' hotel! There's a constant in and out that has to occur. Our things? They're on a moving truck, and I woke up this morning scared that all my canning jars and vinegars and and and... had frozen and thus exploded.

Oh gosh. Oh gosh. Oh gosh.

There's nothing I can do about it right now. I mean, what are my options? Unpack the whole truck and then keep the canned goods in our hotel room? Not worth the time, effort, or the resulting lack of space.

And all of our clothing? On the truck as well. I'm pretty sure a human can weather anything with the right gear. We loaded ourselves up with a coat or two, but it was, you know, about 30-35 degree weather gear. So far, I have bought 2 sweaters (yay second hand store for $5), mittens and a head wrap ($3, yay Walmart), and a big puffy jacket (on sale at Walmart for $7). I know that's not too bad, but I still hate that I've had to buy things when I have things ON A TRUCK!

Both B and I did not sleep well last night. I think we're both restless and exhausted. We just want to have our things, be moved in and be DONE with everything.

The cats are sneezy. We hope it's just the dryness in the air (it's super cold and dry. If it was rainy it'd be snowing big time). Regardless, now we have to be extra careful in moving them due to them possibly having colds. We are generally careful, but you know what I mean.

BIG SIGH. And with that, I'll finish whining and get to work ....

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

No Move....

Well doggone it!

Long story short, there was a misunderstanding between me and the new landlords, resulting in us not being able to move into our new place yesterday. DRAT!

Initially, we were going to move in this upcoming weekend, so we wanted to actually start paying rent around 12/10 or 11. The landlords said "well, it will be available come the 7th, so why don't we do a walk-through and give you the keys at that time?" They interpreted it as us still wanting to move in around the 10th or 11th, and we interpreted that as we could get the house on the 7th.

Well, we arrived yesterday to find the house not cleaned and not painted. ARG! The landlords thought they had more time, so they took more time. In retrospect, yea, I should have called them to absolutely positively confirm the unit's availability of the 7th, but I didn't. We had to pack and move in basically two days' time, so there were other concerns.

So, we called off the moving crew (a group of friends and coworkers to help us unload the truck), and hopefully, we can reconvene later this week. The painting is happening today, so hopefully they'll FINISH today and we can move in tomorrow. If not, Thursday it is.

Our dog is still at our friends' house, as is our moving truck. The cats are with us in the hotel room. We have a few baskets of clothing (which we are beginning to quickly run out of clean ones...) and our bathroom-type supplies.

My hand is healing nicely; the cat jumped off my hand and sliced open one of my fingers. It swelled up pretty badly and the doctor even thought it was a few days old (in reality: 9 hours old). They decided no stitches, but they put me on antibiotics to reduce the swelling. Right now? I can bend it and everything, but it does itch. I can live through that though. I guess another few days without moving is an ok thing... it gives me more of a chance to heal and then be able to help move more.

After seeing the cottage yesterday, we still love it. The closet is much smaller than we remember, but we found out there's an additional storage area on the side of the house. Woo! We'll figure out something. We really pared down our clothing, so we'll see what happens. Maybe we'll just use the closet for clothing that needs to be hung up? We'll see...

And yes yes, photos soon, I promise. We kind of have to get into the house first, you know.... :)

Monday, December 7, 2009


We unload and move into our new home TODAY, but that didn't stop me from ordering my first garden supplies: GARLIC!

They need to be planted ASAP. The ground doesn't REALLY freeze here (doesn't stay super cold for super long), but they need to get planted before it stays cold for really long. If all works out, I'll have Red German Garlic around next September! If not, then, well, shoulda planted a few weeks earlier.

I think I'm going to put the batch in a bed near the deck. Luckily, I had a bag of organic mulch, and we actually moved with it, so I'm quasi-set. I will need to get some more mulch though, to protect my little "clovelings" from the cold. Nine months! Long time to grow. But at least they don't require much work other than planting, protecting, and then wedding in the spring.