Monday, April 7, 2014

When it Rains, It Pours

It's been raining really hard today, but my title isn't actually referring to the weather.  Life is overwhelming right now.  There are too many things demanding attention.  Anyone who knows me personally, knows that Rudy and I are completely nuts over our pets.  They are our children.  We have 6 cats and 5 dogs.  When something goes wrong with one of our children, our world stops.

Sadie gets her nails painted pre-surgery - to make sure they operate on the correct knee.

Our world has spun off it's axis.  Our largest dog, Sadie, had surgery last week.  We thought it was to be hip surgery, but it turned out to be a bad knee.  She was our first dog to go off to college.  :-) The surgery was at Auburn University.  She's home and doing well, but life is complicated.  She has to stay in a cage for a month.  She has to wear an e collar for 10 days.  She only comes out of her cage for brief walks outside to take care of business.  She is most unhappy about her situation.

Cocoa thinks having a bed in the floor of the living room is a grand idea.
When she loses sight of us she whines.  If we don't respond she panics.  Her cage is too big to be moved, so for now, there's a twin mattress set up for me (her designated sleep buddy) in the floor in our living room. The whole room had to be rearranged to make this work.  It looks  terrible and feels chaotic, but that's just how it has to be for now. And who cares, since the whole house feels messy right now.  I'm behind on everything.  Since Sadie is getting better day by day and we have figured out how to make this work, it's not a huge worry.

However, while our attention was focused on Sadie, one of our sweet kitties (Little Bit) got very, very sick.  It must have been coming on for a while, but she hid it well.  Her kidney's are failing.

We have notes like this all over from phone calls with vets.
She went to the emergency clinic for the weekend and is now with a specialist.  She's responding well to fluids and I'm waiting to hear from the specialist now.  I've been waiting all morning.

We've dealt with this before and it's not pretty.  Our other cat that had this (Spooky) lasted a year more than anyone thought he would and was quite happy for most of that time.  We had to inject him with fluids every day of his life.  I guess we'll be doing that again for Little Bit.  I hope we can get her back to feeling well.  Giving fluids can be a challenge.  I learned some tricks over time to make it easier and more comfortable for the kitty.  I hope I can remember all the tricks.  I know one had to do with getting the best needles possible.

Update:  We've talked to the vet a number of times since I posted yesterday.  Little Bit's numbers keep coming closer and closer to normal.  She's acting like she's feeling great.  We're picking her up tomorrow.  :-D  Not sure what we'll be dealing with after that, but things are not looking so bleak.

Our two sick babies are the most worrisome thing going on, but our lives are little over-complicated right now in general.  Rudy is absolutely overwhelmed with work. I do his bookkeeping, so when his work picks up, mine does, too.   I have to watch every little thing I eat or I get sick. Gluten and more are off limits.  Thinking so hard about every meal is exhausting.

I also recently started promoting another antique mall on Facebook.  Now I have two malls.  It's pretty time consuming, but I enjoy it.  The main challenge will be figuring out when to go take photos since Sadie can't be left alone.

Our problems are small.  I am well aware of that.  But it sure is hard to feel peace when everything around is in a state of chaos.

Bach's Rescue Remedy is good for stress in a nice subtle way,
but the way things are going,  I may need to pull out something with a bit more kick.

I wish that specialist would call.  :-(

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Vintage Mantel

I bought a new mantel this weekend to go around our new gas heater.  When we built this house, we decided we didn't need a fireplace.  That was one of our many mistakes.   Doing without a fireplace was not a big deal, actually, til our recent ice storm.  We were without power for several days - long enough for the house to get quite cold and long enough for hubby and I to decide that we would make a few changes asap.  

I wasn't all that keen on having a ventless gas stove, but it was our best option for electricity-free heat.  It turned out well.  We really like it, actually.  Once it was installed, it pretty much demanded a mantel.  One thing leads to another...

Mr. Dream secured the mantel in place.  He plans to make two sections for the bottom of the surround on each side.  We didn't want to cut the baseboard.

I haven't made up my mind what I want to in the area behind the stove.  It doesn't get hot there at all (all the heat goes forward) so I only have to consider looks.

Even though the mantel is quite large, it needs something more above it. Our ceiling are 10 feet, so there's plenty of room to work with.  I'm hoping to find an interesting vintage sign to go there.   I would prefer to have a metal one that's truly vintage.   If I don't find any I like soon, maybe I'll  make a wood one.


As for mantel decor, that's going to take a bit of playing.  If this were a standard mantel with a wide open areas above, I'd be full of ideas.  I could do those all day long.  Decorating a mantel with two shelves is requiring me to think a little harder.

I have some ideas.  For instance, I'd really love to hang a small wreath over the mirror.  A wreath would be easy to change out, too.


I may include some branches as well.  Lots of things are bursting into bloom around here.  And I have several great pitchers that are just begging to be used.
I'll likely try to include a bit of color.  As pretty as neutral mantel vignettes are, they just wouldn't look right in my near bohemian home.  Give me some color, please.  (But don't let me cross over into the tacky zone!)
I don't know how much color I'll actually need.  I might need to play around with that.  I really love the look below with the assortment of bottles with greenery.  There's not a  lot of color there, but it might still work.  And those bottles sure would look great in front of the mirror.


This travel themed mantel is very different from the other inspiration photos I saw today.  It's super casual and colorful.  It doesn't use common mantel decor rules at all. There's no rhyme or reason to the height of objects.  It totally took me by surprise in a good way!  It's refreshing and fun.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Pure Escape Book Project

A few weeks ago, I went to the bookstore and overhead two ladies talking about a book in such a way that I interrupted their conversation to find out more.  I ended up buying the book.  If I had read the description, I would have passed it by, but on their recommendation alone, I went for it.  I'm glad I did.  I spent a great deal of two snow days lost in it and was sorry to see it end.  The book?  Where We Belong by Emily Giffin.

I wish I had good friends with me whenever I went to a bookstore or whenever I browsed through a list of Kindle titles to download.  Sure, I can read the reviews, but I'd rather have someone closer at hand.  Someone who'd say, "Seriously?  You haven't read this book?  OMG!  You have to read it!"

It occurred to me that it might be fun to create a list on my Facebook page - in the photo albums section - where books could be uploaded and anyone with an opinion could comment.  I started the album off with some books that came to mind.  I'll add more as time goes on - books I've read and books that others recommend. If YOU have a suggestion for other books to add,  just let me know!  Leave a comment here on on my Facebook page.

Here's the link to the Facebook album -

What kind of books I hope to see in this album?  

  • I prefer light fiction, but it won't be limited to that.  I started the list with everything from fluff to classics.  
  • Books on this list would be the kind that you'd take to the beach or read on a plane - books you can really escape into.  Not the ones you push yourself to finish because you know you SHOULD.  Let's make this list books that you read til your eyes are strained.  You know you should quit, but you don't want to.
  • The books may be ones you'd proudly show off to strangers or they might be guilty pleasures that are so light and fluffy that you are embarrassed to admit you loved them.  No judgement here!
  • The books here are the ones you'd insist your friends read if you found out they hadn't.
  • Sex? Blood and guts?  Hmmm.  I say I don't like those kind of books, but looking thru the list of books I started with, there's some of each.  If there's a lot of either in a book you suggest, just give a little warning.

Hopefully, it will one day be honed to around 100 titles.  I just pulled that number out of the air with no idea how many will end up being here.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Snow Day in Georgia

I just uploaded snow day photos onto the First A Dream Facebook page.  You can see all of them there.  Here are a few of my favs -

It's after 5 and the snow is still coming down hard.  I'll bet it will be even prettier tomorrow.  Hard to imagine because it looks beautiful now.  However, back in 2010, I took my favorite snow photo ever on the day after the snow.  The sun came out.  The sky was an amazing blue and the view over the pond was postcard perfect.  I'd love to take more photos like that!


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