Sunday, May 24, 2009

My Bedroom

I started redoing my bedroom back around Easter. I decided to scrape the texture off of the ceiling and then paint it blue. The scraping, and resulting patching, turned into a huge job. Then, the scope grew. I decided to remove the hated cardboard-fake-stainless-steel ceiling fan. I also decided to replace the hated mirrored closet doors. No surprize that it's taking so long to finish.

Those closet doors are what's holding me up now. I managed to find solid pine doors to match the existing ones; but the wood and lacquer on the old doors have darkened and ambered over the years. It took me a while to look into options on how to match the old and new doors; and then I eventually decided to coat them in an oil-based clear coat and hope they'll darken over time to match. Now, I need to get that done, let them cure and then hire somebody to install them on the new tracks.

I suspect the closet doors are going to become my favorite part of the room. They'll result in almost an entire wall of solid wood. So, I decided to counteract the masculinity of the wood with a sparklie chandelier.

It may be a month or more before the room is finished, so I figured I'd post pictures of it as it is today.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Liquid Gold

There's a Tim Horton's across the street from where I work. Beside that is a hotel. In exchange for a monthly contribution on my part, the hotel lets me park in their parking lot without getting towed.

I used to park on the streets, but you have to move your car at least a block every two hours when you park on the streets, or else you get a ticket. Believe me. The parking Nazis take great joy in leaving those tickets tucked into your windshield wipers. I sweated my way through many a meeting, where I couldn't concentrate on the topic at hand because my two hours were up and I knew the parking Nazi was out there writing me out a ticket. And, as much as I hate to have to pay for parking, I hate paying for parking tickets even more.

So, long story short, I park at the hotel beside Tim Horton's while I'm at work. It works out pretty well, except access can be a bit tricky in the mornings. Folks around here love them some Timmies, and the lineups outside of the place can back up well past the parking lot.

This morning, the lineup for Tim's was blocking my access to the hotel parking lot, so I drove around the block and took a back entrance. Walking to the office after I parked, I recognized the cars that I had been following, not even into the Tim's parking lot yet. At the intersection, I saw people turning onto the road, crossing three lanes over and then pulling into the lineup without even blinking. Seriously, there must have been at least 30 cars in that line, but people thought nothing of waiting their turn for their morning Timmies fix.

I think there are six Tim Horton's in this not-so-large city, and they're all backed up as much or more than the one near where I work. Personally, I don't drink coffee, so I don't get it. I will say, though, that I wish I'd have bought their stock before they became so popular.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Getting Dirty

Technically, gardening season should be here now, but Mother Nature decided otherwise. We got a dump of snow on Victoria Day, which hasn't quite melted yet and set me back by a few weeks. I've got big hopes for this weekend, though.

Lately, I've been making an attempt at being frugal, so I wasn't going to add any new gardens this year. The only problem is, I've got a stray cat who likes to use the side of my house as a litter box and is forcing me into defensive gardening. Ground cover, egg shells and chicken wire, here we come. Of course, before that ground cover goes in, I need to dig in and edge the garden; so that's what I'll be doing this weekend.

Other than the new garden, I need to do something about my lawn (or lack thereof). The soil in my area has a lot of clay, and the grass has really struggled with it. Last year, it pretty much gave up the ghost. I only had to mow the back yard once, which in and of itself, I didn't mind. The only problem is, a dead lawn kind of detracts from the gardens.

I've been looking into how to fix the lawn, and the ecological consensus is: aerate, organic compost, and better soil. If I was rich, I'd have a load of good, loamy soil brought in, and lay sod over top of that. Unfortunately, I'm not so rich; and as a single person household, I don't produce a whole lot of organic compost. So, I think I'm going to get the yard aerated, spread some better soil over it, and reseed. I might even break down and have some manure delivered.

About that soil... Home depot had a one-day sale on loamy soil over the weekend. A 25L bag was only $1.45; which is a steal of a deal. So, I loaded up the car with as many bags as I could fit. Poor car, it felt like I was popping a wheely all the way home; but we made it.

(I'm aware that all those plastic bags holding that dirt aren't ideal, but I promised myself that I'd use them as garbage bags once I took the dirt out.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

To the vet

Winter had to go to the vet today. He was diagnosed with a bladder infection about three weeks ago, after I'd brought him in to be checked over due to his (pardon the pun) pissy behaviour. When all isn't right in his world, Winter tends to take it out on Cotton. Pour Cotton was being hissed at and swatted so much that I was worried about leaving them home alone.

My vet is amazing. She's totally on-board with my desire for the least invasive treatments possible without over-medicating them. So, three weeks ago, after the tests for a bladder infection came back, she gave him a shot of antibiotics and sent us home. Ever since, Winter's behaviour has been much improved, but he was still periodically hissing at or swatting Cotton. Back we went today.

Normally he purrs his way through exams, but today he cursed her out any time that she touched near his butt. It turns out that poor Winter had blocked up anal glands. (So I guess his behaviour was shitty, not pissy. Hardyharhar.) The vet figures that this is a result of the bladder infection, and shouldn't be a recurring issue. Cotton hopes she's right.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Beasts

Winter, the cat

Winter's an SPCA special.

He's beautiful, and he knows it. Winter is 9 years old now and darned near perfect. (We won't talk about the three years, during which he bellered at the top of his lungs all night, every night.... he doesn't do that anymore.... I should tell that story some time.)

If you wonder how much I love him, I'll tell you that I've been allergic to him for about 6 years. I get hives regularly as a result of living with him, but couldn't/can't bring myself to finding him a new home. So, I take a multitude of allergy pills every day. Benedryl is my friend.

Cotton, the maltese (AKA, the Dude)

Cotton's my eight pound poultice. He's on my lap as I type, and believes with all his heart that it's his job to make me feel loved. He does a good job.

I never thought I'd have a dog as small as Cotton, but he has worked out well. Except... maybe not so much this afternoon when I had to go out in my bare feet and t-shirt to shovel him a path to the dog pen. The snow on the stairs was higher than the dude's head.

Tallulah/Tula the standard poodle

This dog has personality. She's my heart dog.

Tallulah is her registered name. My sister talked me into the name, and I thought that it was so over the top that I started calling her Tallulah Belle Poodle. It started off tongue in cheek, but for some reason it stuck. Her call name is officially Tula. That's what her dog tag says, and that's how I usually introduce her; but she answers to all of the above.

Tula was a struggle for the first few years. Standard poodles are very high energy dogs, and it wasn't easy for her to stay at home alone all day while I was at work. As a result, life was a search and destroy mission for her. She wasn't bad; she just couldn't control herself. Luckily, she has grown into herself and is now an amazing dog to live with.

Where to start

I've actually been blogging for a few years now; but I think it's time for a change. My previous blog was a place where I grumbled and groaned about things that weren't going my way. I think that I'll use this blog to talk about the things I love.

Anybody who knows me know that I love my pets more than anything. So, if you read this blog, you'll read a lot about them. I've got a cat (Winter), and two dogs (Tallulah and Cotton). More about them later.... lots more.

Home decor is more than just a hobby to me, it's an obsession. I have an uncontrolable urge to paint just about anything that doesn't move. I won't even claim that I'm particularly good at it. I just know what I like, and go with it.

My love of home decor has spread outside, and turned me into a gardener. This can be challenging, since I live in central Alberta (It's May 18th and I'm looking outside at lots of snow.) Around here, it seems like we get 3, maybe 4 months of gardening season; butI try to take advantage of the good weather while we've got it. This year, I am stepping up my efforts to go chemical free. I think that ecological gardening is the way to go.