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New Kitchen

New Kitchen

Old Kitchen

Old Kitchen

We did it.

We took the plunge.

After 30 years, we decided to update our out-of-date kitchen.

We started with the countertop which was a fake wood grained formica and slightly chipped.  We opted for a soft gray quartz which appealed because quartz is billed as non-porous, heat and scratch resistant, and “antimicrobial.”  And besides, one of my good friends has it and loves it.  I am also particularly drawn to antimicrobial.  In other words, I am a germ freak.

That kitchen counter update took weeks and weeks on order and then more weeks to installation.  And that was after they said my selection was not in stock after all and we had to choose another.  I am not a particularly patient person you know.

The kitchen counter was finally installed, was still a soft gray and antimicrobial – I am a happy germ free person now.  And Elsa-the-dog was delighted because the constant flow of workers in and out of the house had ceased.

But then we found a wonderful expert kitchen “restorer” who replaced all our fronts.  My own front could stand replacing about now too since it is even older than 30 years!  But the kitchen cabinet front overhaul looked like it would only take two days but wound up taking two weeks.  The problem was with the old lazy susans which would not balance.  I guess they did not like strangers handling them after 30 years!

Anyway, it has been an agonizing process but the new kitchen is installed and is operable and is actually a delight.  I sometimes just stand and admire it.

But am I inspired to cook more?

Ha!

Show me to the nearest restaurant!

 

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Elsa Desk 2.jpg

We are still trying to figure out how to make Elsa-the-Rescue-Dog happy.  Mostly she is tough, strong and independent.

Unless there is a mysterious noise.

Like thunder of course.

Or fire crackers.

A backfire from a distant Virginia highway.

Or just any unidentifiable noise that indicates the sky might fall.

Lately we are having regular afternoon thunder storms at the time she has her dinner and most especially when she needs to go out.  And of course Independence Day was yesterday so right after the storm there were far off cracks and pops in the neighborhood.  That was enough to start her shaking shivering and pacing in a mad search for safety almost all day yesterday.

Go out?  Wanna go out? Ha!

Eat her dinner?  Ha!

Well, she can afford to lose a few pounds.

Elsa has a “Thunder Shirt” which wraps snugly around the middle to combat anxiety. Trouble is, it doesn’t fit.  We feed her well and Elsa has outgrown her Thunder Shirt!  It will not wrap around her anymore.

Elsa has anxiety.  Me too.

We both worry about everything.

We both worry about the sky falling.

The Thunder Shirt will not fit me either.

Lately, Elsa’s safe place to hide out and shiver is in the foot well of my desk.  She is still worrying about the thunder storm from yesterday and is now under there.  What a sweet blogging companion, except when the shivers hit or when the thunder claps and we both want to run for our lives.

It is all quiet now, but the prediction is for thundder storms this afternoon.

Elsa has taught me one important thing.

There is no point in worrying about the weather.

But if I could get under my desk with her,

I would be there too.

 

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E l s a

Elsa Abed 2

 

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Mack Grad 2 w Cork

Corky and Mack

My son is here visiting after the great graduation celebration.  It is always wonderful to see him because he lives so far away in California.

This visit is extra special  though –  1) because of the graduation, and 2) because we saw all three grandgirls, 3) because Corky extended his stay and we can catch up on his life, and 4) because he is so darned helpful.

All in the space of a few days:

  • He moved umbrellas  and heavy pots to get us ready for summer.
  • He added a music app to our computers and phones.
  • He helped his Dad with technical things in the car.
  • He found us a highly recommended Handy Man.
  • He solved the problem of stink bugs in the tractor gas tank. (How did they get in there anyway?)
  • He installed dark blinds in the guest bedroom so guests can sleep longer now.
  • And more.

He is our pride and joy anyway, but this visit has to be marked down as special and this is our way of saying “Thank you son.  We love you.”

 

 

 

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Elsa-the-Dog on Dehydration

My humans seem to think I am a crazy critter, especially when it comes to water.

The first odd thing they did was put two water dishes down.  One is in the kitchen next to my food dish.  And the other is in the bedroom in case I get thirsty at night.

water dissh4

Water Dish Kitchen

I am afraid to drink from the kitchen water.  I will not touch it.  Never.  Ever.

As for the bedroom water, I only drink there when nobody is looking and I hold my thirst for a long time before I try to sneak back into the bedroom.

The Lady thinks I am getting dehydrated.

Water Dishes

Water Dish Bedroom

She also thinks there must have  been a  water trauma in my previous life. Maybe she is right.  What do you think?

One day I got something stuck in my throat and it made me cough and cough.  The Lady decided to put another water dish by the fireplace.  I like it there and it is my favorite place now.

She also put a water bowl out on the deck.  I like that too.

So now there are four water dishes in my home!

water dish3

Water Dish Deck

Water Dish2

I think the humans here are strange, don’t you?

But I have stopped coughing.

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night caps

It has been an unusual winter here in rural Virginia.  Everybody says that around the globe, but it may actually be true here.  One day it feels and looks like Spring with balmy breezes and sunshine.  And the next there may be snow or freezing rain or rain or flooding or wind.

With each ensuing event our family and friends (in warmer climes) would call and ask if we were o.k.  “No problem.  They simply exaggerate the weather here.  All is well,” we said.

But then for the last two days we got seriously punishing winds.  Gusts were up to 60 miles per hour which caused limbs and toppling trees to fall onto power lines and then massive outages.

Even so,

for a time we were spared any inconvenience and we smugly carried on.

But then there were the inevitable lights out.

It was our turn.

Ah well, no problem.  There is a trusty wood stove in our living room and a little generator only Bill knows how to operate.  And soon we were once again smugly carrying on.

And in a mere two hours our lights returned and we let the fire in the woodstove slowly burn itself out. 

I retired around 11PM and went into a warm cozy dreamy kind of sleep

when around midnight the lights went out again.

The house slowly turned stone cold.

So did the top of my head

and then my nose which woke me up at 3:15 A.M.

Have you ever tried to warm your nose and keep breathing?

I did manage to create a sort of blanket tent

around head and face but

the cold kept seeping in.

I got up to put on a wool cap

(not particularly becoming).

It kept slipping down over my eyes.

The forehead got warmer

but the nose re-froze.

This went on until 5 AM…. a rough night.

Bill finally got the wood stove going again at 6AM and the power returned about 10 AM this morning.

My nose is warm again.  So is the forehead.  But I had a lot of time to think about coping with a cold nose and other bodily parts and kept remembering “mama in her ‘kerchief” in the Twas The Night Before Christmas poem.  Surely she and my ancestors had the same problems with the fires going out and the cold creeping in.

Today my side of the bed is at the ready with

  • a wool cap nearby (forget romance forever),
  • an extra blanket for swaddling semi-exposed areas of face and body,
  • tightly closed windows (never mind allowing in fresh air for health),
  • and warm socks to avoid frostbite.

I wonder if “mama in her ‘kerchief” had a canopied curtained bed.

Not a bad idea.

Now if only Elsa-the-fuzzy-wuzzy-dog would recognize the value of cuddling, winter’s woes will disappear.

 

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elsa tri-color

It has been almost four months since we adopted Elsa the Great, the little rescue dog who shivered and shook en route home and who is still frightened of strangers and strange noises or quick movements.

In spite of being a cowardly little girl dog, she exhibits signs of mighty-ness, especially when she succeeds in training her new caretakers.

Elsa has learned many things.

BEGGING WITH BIG EYES REAPS REWARDS

We vowed we would never feed her from the table.  Like most New Year’s resolutions, there are now infractions.  But Elsa’s on the chubby side so it’s mini dog treats (only 5 calories each) for her.  And we even break those in half.  But she’s still getting noticeably rounder.  Could it be the little extra bits we give her for being good, for being cute, for just being Elsa?

ELSA IS COOPERATIVE AND WILL COME WHEN CALLED  (IF THERE IS NO OTHER DISTRACTION)

It snowed one night and she loves to eat snow.

Else loves to eat period.

And if she is released into our little fenced yard (for business purposes), she will stroll around devouring snow and ignore all calls to “Hurry Up!”  “Do your business!”  “O.K.  COME!”

WHOOPIE!  LOOK AT MEEEEE!!!!

The sweetest moments are when she gets the “Zoomies.”  Evidently that is when a pup is extremely happy, excited and feeling just – well, WONDERFUL!

It happens when she comes in from a walk and is suddenly thrilled to know we are both on site, and again when we return from the outside world and she has been alone for even an hour, or even when she has had a long drink of water.

She literally tears around the house aiming for a collision with first Bill, then me then back and around the house again and again.  It is a grand show of enormous energy and leaves us laughing at each display of unbridled joy.

KEEP ‘EM WORKING!

elsa sheds

I am thinking of starting a new business selling pillow stuffing!

I never thought about it but Elsa has turned out to be a SHEDDER!  And I mean a MEGA-SHEDDER.

In a day or two I can see hairs floating before my eyes.  And she sheds multi colors since she is a tri-colored dog to begin with.  She’s a combination of black, white and beige/brown.  Take your pick!

Life with a mega shedder takes on a whole new meaning.  It means more exercise for me (good for Big Foot?) with more vacuuming and dusting and cleaning and brushing.

Elsa is now family.

We love her but

we are all still “in training.”

 

 

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