Monday, December 27, 2010

Wet Paint...

Give me a few days off of work and as long as Home Depot is open, I will tackle a home improvement project. My day after Christmas was not spent hanging with my family, or finding great steals and deals out shopping (although I heard Target had some cool ornaments on sale...thanks for the temptation Liz) but I spent it painting my entire basement! Thankfully I had my friend Mollie around to help with the entire project!

After a quick run to HD we began the never ending process of painting my full basement. For whatever reason when my basement was finished they broke it up into lots of little cubby areas. Which made for lots of corners and lots of trimming. The paint will definitely need a second coat, but I think it turned out great!

Before of the Main Basement Area


A Better Shot of the Color

Midway of the Half-Bath

After the Half-Bath

Here's a View With Both Colors

The dogs (with the help of a baby gate or two) surprisingly stayed out of the way...for the most part. That is until we left for a dinner break and put them in my spare bedroom. I didn't want Brutus using his tail for a paint brush so I made a bad decision. I knew this was a bad decision from the start, but after painting from noon to right around 6, I was ready for some food and to be holding a fork instead of a paintbrush! This is the mess I came back to...

Way to Go Dogs!!

All is well that ends well though, right? I have a freshly painted basement...if my biggest casualty is a shredded book, I'll take it!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

TD&AH First Renovation

Merry Early Christmas to Me! Recently my garage door (like everything else in my house) decided to break in some fashion or another. Which then resulted in my parents and I trying to fix it. Which in turn, resulted in a resolved problem...calling a repair man because we made an even bigger problem! Our knowledge of this 84 year old home and it's unique characteristics (as always, read problems) are slim to none. It's a shame my brother the engineer, who has basically flipped his house doesn't live closer.

A big thanks goes out to Mom and Dad for getting up on their day off to hangout with A&E door, while I'm still at work.

My Parents On Vacation...

Sure they are having just as much fun, watching the install!

I left my house this morning with a broken garage door and I will return with a brand new door, tracks and springs! Woo Hoo!!!

While I love and appreciate my parents...I don't have the same love and appreciation for my Mother's new ability to text. So far this morning I have received these two texts:

"Where is a lighter to lite 2ndle"...
And..."Thfy r here."

From this I gather that Mom is not satisfied with the smell of my house...that A&E door finally showed up and most importantly that she got into my cabinet hutch full of booze.

I'll post pictures of my new door soon!

Monday, December 20, 2010

TD&AH…Soon to be Zoo!!

I got some great news over the weekend. One of my best friends Mollie, is going to be relocating from Lexington, KY to share my home with myself and my furkids, in Ft. Mitchell! Along with her…dun, dun, dunnnnnnn…she’s bringing her two cats, fish, (one could hope, right?) DOGS!!! Yes that was plural! Two Dogs & A House, will now be Four Dogs & A House!

I know what you’re thinking… "Holy crap that’s a lot of dogs!” Well guess what? SO AM I! Ft. Mitchell’s Newest Attraction: Petting Zoo! The next few weeks I will be ridding out and dog-proofing my house for the Zoo’s arrival. Trying to figure out the logistics of where everyone’s animals will be staying as well as where all of Mollie’s stuff will be going, is going to be a bit of a headache.

My two bedroom one and a half bath, thankfully with a finished basement will now be home to myself, Brutus, Annie, Mollie, Dexter and Maddie! I’m counting my blessings that Dexter and Mattie combined, weigh less than my smallest furkid. Dexter is 13 or so pounds and Mattie is a whopping 5 pounds.

Meet Dexter - All Dressed Up For Christmas!

Meet Maddi & Mollie!

All together my home will have 136 pounds (give or take a few meaty bones) of furkids! I used to tell a friend that I wanted to live on a farm so I could have a barn full of dogs. If you forget the farm and barn part, I’m well on my way!

As big of a challenge as it will be to have 4 dogs in one home, I really am happy to have Mollie moving in. This girl has a love for painting and decorating and my new home could use both. Mollie has awesome taste and I can’t wait to get started on some home renovation projects with her! It will also be nice to have a built in dog sitter for both of our parts when we want to take a little vaca from our hectic Zoo home. Staying late for work or wanting to go to the gym right after work will no longer be an issue, with another hand to help care for my furkids.

So despite my jokes – I cannot wait to have all of my new residents! I’m sure 90lb Brutus can’t wait to get his hands on his 5lb girlfriend. WOW! That sounded creepy! He just likes to chase her around and sniff, I promise it’s PG. And one last blessing to be thankful for…all animals have been responsibly altered so there will be no Maltese/Great Pyrenees puppies running around anytime soon! Bob Barker would approve!! :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

WARNING! Chocolate Cravings Lead to Fire!

It’s 10:00 PM on a Thursday night, I’ve settled onto the couch while watching CSI when I get a horrible craving for chocolate. I weigh my option of going out and braving the avalanche (5 inches of snow) I would have to scrape off of my car to get a milkshake and decided I should probably find an alternative. I realized that explaining to someone that I wrecked my car in the icy conditions, venturing out only for a female chocolate craving, would sound a bit crazy to most people any male.

After scouring my pantry, I realized I had the majority of the ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies. Mind you, I normally go to bed at 11:00 PM or so, I’m thinking to myself, “I’ve got to do this quick or I’m going to be exhausted in the morning” So I take my self-rising flour (I was out of baking powder and salt) and I begin to make my cookies.

Now let me first mention that my goal has already been reached. I wasn’t really looking for the baked portion of the cookies, only the cookie dough that came out of the equation. However, after eating 3-4 spoonfuls of raw cookie dough, (I can hear my mother now, “Don’t eat that, you’re going to make yourself sick!”) I thought it would be wasteful to throw it all away. So I decided to go ahead and bake the cookies.

My batter was a little stickier than normal, because I didn’t have enough butter for the recipe so I omitted a little flour. Yes I realize that I was doomed to the start of baking these cookies. And yes I realize that baking is an exact science, but when you only want the middle result…it doesn’t really matter. So I grease up my cookie sheets extremely well so they wouldn’t stick to the pan after baking.

I look at the clock as I start to pre-heat the oven. “Holy crap, it’s late, I’ve got to speed this up!” I think to myself, I’ll pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees and it will get to 375 quicker. I understand that this doesn’t logically workout. Although at 10:45 PM when all I wanted to do was go to bed, it worked seamlessly in my head.

I proceed to throw the cookies in the oven, without even letting it pre-heat, not remembering that I had turned the oven up to 500 degrees to magically heat up faster. I went to sit on the couch, not setting a timer (I never do) and expecting to start smelling fresh baked cookies.

Smell was not the first sense I noticed…I look up from my couch and I have smoke billowing out of my kitchen! “WHAT THE HECK!! WHY ISN’T MY SMOKE ALARM GOING OFF!!!” I run into the kitchen open up the door to flaming trays of cookies! My gas stove at 500 degrees had somehow managed to completely blacken and catch one of my trays on fire. I immediately threw each pan in the sink and hosed them off. With smoke still billowing out of my kitchen I’m secretly thankful, yet scared that my smoke alarms aren’t screaming at 11:00 PM for all of my neighbors to hear.

After I managed to cool down the trays, and fan away some of the smoke, I started looking for my smoke alarms. Oh wait, I have a total of one (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) in my 84 year old house. Thank you previous owner…let me also mention that its location is in my bedroom on the second floor! Well awesome. If there’s a fire, I’ll know it’s there, right before it traps and kills me! What a night!

My ruined cookie sheets

Moral of the story, if you’re going to give into you’re cravings, take the easy way out and go after that milkshake in the avalanche of snow and icy roads. If not you may end up with a kitchen fire and nightmares of dying in your own bedroom.

P.S. Smoke Alarm Installation happening ASAP!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Two Dogs & A House Dialogue

While instant messaging my friend Max at work, talking back and forth about the 5 inches (plus) of snow we received over night. Check out those snowy steps and covered sidewalk...

Annie scoping out the neighborhood...

Bru playing in the Snow!

Me: I really need to get a snow shovel!

Max: Good Luck with that! Why don't you get a shovel and a man, then stick them both outside together and see what happens?!

Me: Hahaha. Oh Max...if only it was that simple!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Cornmeal Expands with Water

Warning! This post isn't for those with weak stomachs!

Over the previous weekend, I traveled back to my college stomping grounds, to Lexington (GO CATS) in order to celebrate my Best Friend Hannah's Birthday! Several of my college friends and I met up for a Corey Smith Concert and had a mini-reunion. I took the dogs down with me on my road trip, so they could play with Hannah's dog Lola and neither Bru nor Annie do well healthwise after a visit to the kennel so I try to take them with me whenever I can. Here's a picture of Abby, myself and Hannah. This is a horrible picture - thanks iPhone...but you get the idea.

Myself with the Blocher Sisters

Anyway, the point of my random weekend roundup, is that Brutus and Annie's crate is still sitting in my car from the weekend trip. The crate literally weighs 51.5 lbs, and while I can lift does take some serious effort. So instead of working up a sweat myself, I figured I'd wait till my hot boyfriend, or guy I'm casually dating okay, okay, I'll admit it, my parents to come by my house to help unload the 51.5 lb crate. This unfortunately hadn't happened yet so I decided to keep both of my dogs in a small room in my basement that was previously used for coal storage. My house is 84 years old, I have all kinds of unique features (once again, read problems)!

However, Brutus has been giving me heck, for whatever reason, every single time I put him in this coal room. Maybe it's because the room echos and he actually has to listen to himself bark at all of the neighbors, leaves, air that moves, etc. So being the pushover I am, I put him in a more comfortable room that is drywalled, has carpet padding under the carpet and is a bit warmer than the previously mentioned coal room. I guess I can't blame him for wanting to change locations. The only issue is that this room's door doesn't latch correctly, and my dogs being the smart puppies they are, have figured out that if they gently slam themselves up against the door they are free to roam the house while Mom is away.

I know this fact in advance so I shut the basement door. Only to remember that oh wait, the lovely previous owners of my house felt the need to cut a doggie door for their cat and mini dog.

One would think that only Annie could make it through this cat door. Well folks you would be wrong! Brutus has figured out a way to army crawl through the opening all while managing to keep the door on the hinges! It's a pretty amazing feat! I myself was astonished the first time I saw it. Thinking I would outsmart him I put a filled cooler, tub full of dog food and barstool wedged in between my kitchen counter and the hole in the door, knowing that there was no way this combined weight of 120 lbs or so would be able to be forced out of the way by my army-crawling animals.

Fast forward to 5:30 pm or so...I walk up to my front porch put the key in the slot and hear "RUFF RUFF RUFF!" Which in my mind translates to, we got out and have been tearing up your entire house for 9 whole your face!! To my surprise, there were only a few Christmas sale ads torn up on my floor. I looked all over my house, top to bottom. I couldn't find anything that even remotely looked like Brutus and Annie had ripped to shreds.

I walked back into the kitchen to give the dogs water and their evening bowl of food. Brutus however, was only interested in water. 3 bowls in and I'm starting to realize there may be a problem. I start to look around my house a little closer as the camel is still intaking his massive amount of water and I notice a yellow powder underneath my couch. I move the couch and find 4 shreaded boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix! My mind immediately went to the scene in Marley & Me, where the Dad finds the dog out in the rain waiting to die because his stomach had flipped and he was going through bloat.

For those of you who aren't familiar, bloat is a condition that can be onset by deep chested large dogs, who are stressed, anxious, etc. but the main cause is elevated food levels consumed at a rapid rate. Well I wonder how fast Brutus was eating the cornmeal, when he barely left any of the cardboard box. "HOLY EXPLETIVE!!!!" My dog ate 4 boxes of cornmeal and he has drank 3 massive bowls full of water. I knew I had a long night ahead of me.

I felt his stomach and it was as tight as a drum head. I had put his dinner down in front of him before I knew he had eaten enough cornmeal to feed 16 people. Thankfully he barely touched the extra food. The poor guy looked miserable. I immediately scoured google for: my dog ate 4 boxes of Jiffy WTH do I do now?! Unfortunately, no results found was the only thing that came up. As I'm searching for other dog related emergencies, Brutus decides he's ready to start the expelling process of all of the cornmeal.

I have never seen such a large amount of vomit and horrible smelling at that! Now let me preface that with the fact that my dogs have eaten and puked up some awful things in their short lives. This was by far the worst. As I'm trying to drag him outside he stops and lets out the biggest, human sounding fart. I reach down to feel his stomach, still as tight as before. I walk him around the yard where he takes turns having the cornmeal mixture exit his body.

Back inside, I finish cleaning up the carpet and go back to googling. "Should I take him to the vet? Does he have bloat? What the heck and I supposed to do?" Then I came across a forum where the It's Me or The Dog host suggested rubbing your dogs chest and stomach and burping them like a baby, only on the front part of their stomach vs. their back. I called my dog to my bed and started to rub and pat his stomach. He immediately let out, once again, a human sized burp. A few minutes later and the gas is making another exit. For 4 hours I spooned my 90 lb dog and rubbed and burped his stomach until most of the pressure was relieved.

Going to bed at midnight or so I was exhausted. However, my dog seemed to feel better and an ER trip to the vet had been avoided. I thought my night was over. Man was I wrong! Up at 12:30, 1:00, 1:30, etc. cleaning puke or running outside so he could go to the bathroom. I fell asleep around 5:00 AM and somehow slept through my alarm. At 8 AM I was woken up by Brutus puking all over me! I have to say that was the happiest I will probably ever be to experience being woken up by puke. I was able to get up, shower and make it to work before my boss made it in to know or care. All is well that ends well, right?

Lesson learned - don't give your dog massive amounts of water after he ingests over a 1lb of cornmeal! Lesson #2 start working out or find a boyfriend to move my heavy crate around!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dogs Can Be Burped

It was about 4 in the morning when I thought to myself, "No one will believe me when I tell them I spent my night like this. I've got to start a blog!" And that's how this all starts. While burping my 90 lb Great Pyrenees/Lab mix (more on that later) I decided I had to share my ridiculous, yet ordinary life.

So Hi! I'm, Alana, a 25 year old, young professional hmm...let's just call me young. I have two fur kids, Brutus and Annie who will more than likely be the stars of this blog. They were both pound puppy specials, adopted from high-kill shelters.

Aren't They Cute?

I recently purchased my first home in April, on my own, where Bru, Annie and I live the good life. Well, as much as we can on my one person budget. Against the advice of my Brother, (a DIYer/Engineer) I chose an 84 year old home that is full of character (read problems). Since moving in, my water heater burst, washer broke and my upstairs bathroom sink decided to backup as well as let a pipe or two corrode. It's definitely been an adventure in home ownership. Congratulations to me, I own a Money Pit$!

Hopefully this blog will help me document the random DIY projects as well as anything else that I may stumble into. Whether it be looking for a Mr. to add to my happily ever after or any other random happenings going on in my day to day life, I'll be sure to update here.

But for now, I'm going on lunch so I can take a nap in my car...burping a 90 lb dog all night takes work! Stay tuned for my next update...unless you have a weak stomach, then I'd skip this one.