Monday, January 28, 2008

Molly knows Love is Blind

Molly is not a chewer. Being a lab mix, this is truly a blessing. She leaves my shoes and my furniture alone-and always has. When she was little she had stuffed toys that she ripped to shreds-but that was OK by me-at least it was confined to her things and not mine.

About a year ago-when she was around 2 and half years old, I discovered that she had grown out of the stuffed toy killer stage-and so I re-introduced a variety of toys for her to play fetch with and just lick at her leisure (she is not a chewer-but she does lick allot.) For the past year she has had a dozen toys-but one has been her favorite, the blue and orange bug. If anyone has ever read the Velveteen Rabbit-the bug is Molly's rabbit. She loves it unconditionally. When I have to put it in the wash-she mopes. When she sees it tumbling in the dryer shes giddy with anticipation. When I take it out with the wash-she grabs it immediately and licks it until its soaking wet. Sometimes I find the bug outside...and I realize she must have taken her little pal out with her to survey her kingdom. I often find Molly asleep on the couch with the bug in her paws. She constantly wants to play fetch with the bug-and if it skids under the couch she whines until I get it opposed to simply getting another toy. As you can see-she loves the bug.

Two weeks ago I realized that one of the bugs protruding eyes, had disappeared. I figured Molly had chewed it off and most likely eaten it-but I could not confirm that theory until last night. We were gathered in the living room, Molly on her favorite chair, and I realized she had something in her mouth. I walked over and realized she had gotten the other bug eye off, rendering her toy blind. It doesn't matter to Molly-she kept playing with bug anyway, and eventually napped with it in her paws. I took pictures (which is a by-product of the blog, anything with a story must have an illustration.)

Have a wonderful Monday everyone:)

Friday, January 25, 2008

1985 was a VERY good year

Hello...Today I am featured on one of my favorite blogs. Check it out:

It's me, in all my glory-at age 9, in my pajamas-posing. I love the camera...and I was working it:)

While you are there-check out Lottie Sue from previous posts-she is cute baby to the nth degree!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Smoking Sawdust

Near the house they have been clearing 2 acres of trees to make room for a new office building. This will not be a commentary on how sad it is to lose that many trees for something as mundane as yet another office park-even though it is very discouraging and I would have prefered they left good enough alone.
They carted off trucks full of HUGE logs, which is to be expected. The limbs and such have been shredded to make GINORMOUS piles of sawdust. It looks like a woodchuck went CRAZY. These piles of sawdust fascinate me. They smoke-like huge piles of dinosaur dung. If dinosaur dung was something I had seen in real life, and not just on the first Jurassic Park movie. Everyday as I pass, I look for the piles to be gone or at least the smoke to stop. So far-they are still going. I have attahed some pictures, but it hardly does the site justice.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Act three: The Mantle Upgrade

I rested a little after finishing the kitchen and mudroom, but then moved into the living room and started a remodeling project there. The living rooms main wall was covered with....wait for it....BARN BOARD. Love it. I came up with a plan to take down the barn board and install custom built shelves, with a large mantle that would span from one wall to another. I started researching the idea..and I came up with a number of designs that I liked. That meant it was time to rip out more barn board and Sheetrock the main wall of the living room. We then built the shelves, complete with fancy trim work. It looks custom and it looks like it has always been there. I LOVE IT. It gives me a ton more storage and a great opportunity to accessorize to my hearts content.

PS-if it seems like we spend all of our time at Lowes and Home Depot, that would be correct. There was a span of about 5 months where we could not go a weekend without visiting a home improvement store.

This is the living room/fireplace when I moved in. Green brick?? Terra cotta tile hearth...who were the people who decorated this place???
I whitewashed the barn board and painted the brick white. I tried to accessorize the mantle with candles. I learned to live with the terra cotta hearth.
Here are the shelves in progress...and note we had taken down the bead board and replaced it with Sheetrock. Not an easy task. I also came up with the idea to paint the terra cotta tiles with heat resistant paint (like one would use on grills.) Brilliant idea. Here it is primed.
Here is a close up view of the finished details. Please note the trim work-we are pretty proud of that.
Here's the finished product:)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Bailey-Half the dog he used to be...

I took Bailey to his favorite place yesterday-the GROOMER. He was becoming a woolly mammoth, so I knew it was time. Unfortunately, its fairly cold here so I was holding out so he wouldn't shiver all the time. The transformation is pretty funny.

We could hardly see his eyes...he looked a bit shifty-to say the least.....
This is him in his jacket-which I only force him to wear if its REALLY cold and his hair is REALLY short....both applied yesterday.
Another jacket shot-this one sums up how he feels about both the haircut and the jacket. If looks could kill....

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Drive-Thru Lines

I just got back from lunch-which has inspired me to post about the crazy people in drive-thru lines. I rarely eat fast food-calories, fried foods-etc, but every now and again I succumb to the lure of one of my favorites. Today I stopped by everyones favorite chicken place, which happens to encourage patrons with the use of talking cows-you all know what I mean. Alright...pulled up and the line for the drive thru was 20 cars long. This might not seem odd-its lunchtime after all. However, at the same time there was NO ONE parked in the parking lot. Surprising right? I thought maybe the place was closed except for the drive thru line. I looked around-and did indeed see people inside. I went in got my food and came out to see the cars had hardly moved. The question is-WHY WAIT IN THE LINE?? These were business professionals....all by themselves. I understand not wanting to take small kids out of their car seats. But not wanting to take oneself out of ones own seat belt to save 20 minutes? LAZY NATION:) I had to vent.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Act two: The Mudroom

Once the kitchen was complete it was obvious that the pantry/ mudroom/ laundry room needed an upgrade. The old mudroom was covered, and I mean COVERED in barn board. While barn board has its place-we didn't feel its place was right next to our newly modernized kitchen. We ripped down all the offending wood (way easier said then done.) We put up new Sheetrock, installed a new pantry, covered the walls in bead board, and carried the paint color from the kitchen to the adjoining mudroom. I also decided to add some hooks for our coats, which has been extremely useful.

A shot of the mudroom when I moved in. I think the previous owners must have gotten a good deal on barn board...the stuff was EVERYWHERE...

They even made a pantry out of barn board...

We like our pantry better.... We added a row of hooks to help us stay organized. Note-I know we love bead board like the old owners loved barn board.
A view into the mudroom from the kitchen...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Kitchen Remodel

I first tackled the kitchen. The old kitchen we a little when I first moved in I did a minor cosmetic update. I ripped down wallpaper and painted everything including the cabinets. In October of last year I gutted the kitchen. We replaced the cabinets, appliances, counter tops, backsplash, plumbing including a brand new sink and the light fixture. We shopped around-I love a deal and got great prices on everything. Two of my favorite deals were the light fixture ($5 in the Lowes sidewalk sale,) and the small tile we used in the accent row on the backsplash (a mere $1 a sq foot-also in the Lowes sidewalk sale-I bought all they had-about 6 sheets.) We did all the labor ourselves, with the help of my dad and brother. I will say my Dad knows plumbing and electrical and this was not his first kitchen upgrade. He was a huge help and I learned allot.

Things I learned:
1. Taking down wallpaper is a horrible, evil job. The older the wallpaper the worse it will be.

2. ALWAYS pay to have the appliances delivered-specifically the refrigerator. It's worth the $75 to have to delivered-take my word for it.

3. It takes weeks to get counter tops delivered and installed. We finished the entire remodel in 4 days and then waited two weeks for the counter tops. I made poor Kevin install our sink "temporarily" on a sheet of plywood so we could do our first Thanksgiving in our new kitchen. We got our counter tops a week or so later.

4. Measure, measure, measure. Kevin was in charge of layout. He did a great job-and we did not have to return any cabinets due to mis-measurements. I was impressed.

5. Whatever you budget-no matter how good of a job you do-add at least a few hundred dollars to the top. The incidentals included: toe kick pieces, filler pieces for the cabinets, caulk, new switch plates-etc. You can imagine how these things add up.

All that said-we were very close to budget. We finished the demo and installation (save the countertops and backsplash) in just over 5 days. We were sitting in a brand new kitchen in 6 weeks. Not bad for our first big project together. I LOVE IT!!!

The Kitchen when I moved in to the house. As you will see...the previous owners loved them some country decorating.... I made minor cosmetic changes with paint...
My dad, brother and Kevin installing the first new cabinet....
The finished prodcut-we are really proud of the tile backsplash....
Another view of the finished kitchen...

Monday, January 7, 2008

It's a Dogs Life

I tried, in vain, to take Molly and Baileys picture for my holiday cards. I tried everything from plying them with treats to physically holding Bailey still on the chair Molly likes. I should note here-they don't cuddle with one another of their own volition. The picture attempts did not go well, I accepted that this was not their year for holiday posterity. While on break over the holidays, I came into the bedroom to find the two nuts in close range to one another, and near a holiday colored blanket. EUREKA-a perfect picture opportunity. I sneaked from the bedroom to the office to get the camera, quietly turned it on and started clicking. Instead of a picture of pure holiday cheer, I have pictures of two dogs who look more or less drugged. How can they be so tired? They SLEEP ALL DAY LONG. I swear I took all of these shots in less then a minute. Still cute, and worth sharing.

Hey mom, what do you have there? Is that the camera-you know we hate the camera.
Baileys internal dialogue-"God love her for trying." Molly's internal dialogue "Bright light-look away, look away." Bailey's response to Molly "You are a peasant...I will not look away."
Bailey " and yet you continue..." Molly " I am taking a nap-I am SOOO tired from all the naps I have taken previously today."
Bailey "Fine-I shall nap as well..." Molly-"SNNNNOOOORRRREEEE"

What I didn't learn in college

The other day the radio was discussing the Iowa Caucus-and why it was so important. The DJ’s did not know why. Honestly, I was not sure either. How did Iowa get selected to be first? Why not my home state of Ohio? I majored in political science AND history in college. I spent four years studying the political process and the history that supports the creation of modern politics. I don’t think I know any more then the average Joe. But I did take some historical knowledge away from my years in school…see example below.

I went to see National Treasure this past weekend. Good movie, if you are interested. There is a past of the movie where they reference the saying “Your name is Mud…” Nicholas Cage’s character poses the question that not many know the origin of that saying; I was fairly bouncing out of my movie seat-because I DO KNOW. Long story short- John Wilkes Booth, who shot President Lincoln, hurt his leg jumping from the theatre balcony after the incident. He sought out a doctor and found Dr. Mudd, who cared for him knowing nothing about the assignation. Mudd and his family were implicated in the assignation, and though to be co-conspirators. They were later cleared of all charges. Yet-we still say “Your name is Mud” as a negative against a person. This is a shining example of what I did and DID NOT learn in school.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy Friday!!!

Hello. I want to introduce everyone to Baileyand Molly. Bailey is a nine year old shih tzu whom I have had since he was only a year old. He loves to cuddle, nap on the back of the couch or sleep at the foot of the bed. He is a huge fan of people food-but has a really weak stomach so doesn't get as much as he would like. I am sure he would speak in a European accent if he could talk.

Molly is a four year old rescue from the local pound. She has all the energy Bailey lacks. She LOVES tennis balls, chew toys, Frisbee's, treats and WATER. They are my furry children, and I am sure they will be featured here often.

Bailey looking very dapper...
Molly in her baby pool...smiling for the camera

Hi-me again. I wanted to explain why I called this blog Pandoras Box. About 6 years ago I bought a house on Pandora Road. The house needed "work." Since I have lived there I have made it my mission to fix it up-and that runs the gamut from ripping out monkey grass in the front beds to repainting all the walls and refinishing all the floors. Its been a labor of love. . So my facelift on the house quickly became a full fledged remodel involving nearly every room. I will post pictures of all this later-because its sort of intriguing if you are in to that sort of thing. When you work on a house in becomes an obsession of sorts. You fix one thing-and it qucikly leads you to another. Once the kitchen looks superb you relaize how bad it makes the living room look, etc. Its like a Pandora's Box. Hence the name of this blog:)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy 2008!

Hi-it seems that most everyone I know now has a blog, some of which I enjoy very much. I thought it might be fun to join in the fun. Since my life seems to often be a montage of meaningless trivia and the like-this seemed like a good outlet. I plan to post pictures as they become relevant. Please comment at will:)