Re-Enacting Poltergeist
 

So the construction continues. Currently they are digging trenches around our house in order to seal our basement walls and foundations to keep water from leaking into the basement. They are also putting a drain in to help too. Unfortunately we ended up with torrential downpours this weekend, filling one of the trenches. They at least sealed this wall first!

I took the opportunity to re-enact some scenes from “Poltergeist.” I initially only did “You only moved the headstones!” until a friend requested I jump in there in a nightshirt and panties to re-enact the swimming pool scene. Hell no I wasn’t doing that! I did respond with a photo of “Oh my God Stephen, the swimming pool!”

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Spring . . . It
 

photo So we are experiencing lovely “Spring-Like” temps right now, but it won’t last. This coming Thursday . . . snow is possible. Then next Monday and Tuesday . . . more possible snow. I don’t think Spring is EVER coming! Now I love snow, but I’m at my limits. I want the yard done so I can start planting grass and working in my garden areas.

On an up note, the nice weather we have been having has allowed our contractor to get a lot of work done outside. The front porch is ALMOST done. We also have the final new window in the attic/crawl space, as well as the boards sanded down up there. It still needs some paint. Now all that will be left is final coats and of course all the window trims.

My old garden area by the garage is getting a facelift. They are tearing down the fence there, which really makes the yard look bigger. With a large tree gone out back, and more smaller ones to be taken down, we are now getting a lot more sun. I may be able to move my garden elsewhere this year. Oh and the best part yet, they filled in all the groundhog holes! I’m not sure that will last though.

Soon they will be working on a French drain on the side of the house to stop basement water issues. The back porch area is now being disputed. The built in grill is out, we couldn’t seem to agree on anything (we being John and myself, he was being ornery about what kind of grill . . . as if he would even use it), and I got fed up and just nixed it all. I have my small charcoal grill I like, and I may get a small gas grill I’ve had my eye on since last summer. I have now suggested a smaller porch area and a large fenced in area at the back door and side of the house for the dogs to be outside and safely unsupervised. Being able to let the dogs out and have them hang out outside as long as they want seems to be a better deal anyways.

 

Home Renovations Continue
 

So we are coping without Moo Kitty. I picked up his ashes this week, to be added to our collection. Our vet now makes a cute little plaster paw print like little kids do with their hands in pre-school. It’s so adorable! To be honest, none of the other animals miss him. He was a mean mofo and was a cat that really needed to be in a one pet home. He loved his humans, but he hated the other animals and was mean and bullied them. None of them seem to be morning him. That actually makes me sad to think about.

As I can’t dwell on Moo forever, I am typing this as I’m watching the Olympics and waiting for the latest Snowpocalypse to hit. Actually it’s moved in right now as I’m editing this post. So the point of this post was to finally share some photos of the work on our house. They’ve done as much on the inside as they can for now, and have moved back to working on the outside. Yeah, bad timing! They won’t be back till next week I’m sure.

Our new kitchen nook is “almost” done. We have walls, we have paint going down to the basement and we have lights. We are missing our new sky light, but that is pretty much because of weather at this point. We did get some much needed cabinets and more counter space . . . YES! That’s what I wanted more than anything. However these are all temporary. These cabinets, pictured below, will go into our brand newly refurbished and cleaned out basement area when we finally begin renovations on the rest of the kitchen. I’ll post some photos on the basement area soon enough, or you can visit my instagram link and see some early photos. The final cabinets that will go into the kitchen nook will match what we pick for the rest of the kitchen, when we redo it. We also only have a temporary floor in the nook, as we are waiting until the final renovations for it as well.

I will say that John picked the color. He was set on this lighter chartreuse color. Why I don’t know! I guess it will grow on me. I hope . . . Everyone on Facebook of course loves it.

 

RIP Moo Kitty - 2003-2014
 

So tonight we had to say goodbye to Moo Kitty. He would have been 11 this year. He’s the first cat that was really mine and John’s, as John already had three cats when we met. Two of them are gone as well, and I fear the last (now 16 . . . maybe 17?) probably won’t make it much longer as he has hyperthyroidism.

Moo was in advanced kidney failure, and try as we might with meds, we couldn’t bring his values up (or down) enough so that he was in the good zone. He’d been on an IV drip for 4 days, but wasn’t improving fast enough. The vet worried because he was no where near the good zone in terms of his values, that taking him off the medicine would make him relapse, and keeping him on it probably wouldn’t do much good either as he was getting better so slowly that he’d back slide once off the IV. When we took him into the vet he was pretty much a slug and barely moving from his bed. Tonight when we went to say goodbye he was more of his old self, which made it even harder. I wanted to scream “he clearly looks and is acting better!” However I knew he was on borrowed time, and I guess I should be thankful he was feeling better when he went to sleep forever and not in the pain he was a few days ago.

I do wish I snuck him a last meal of sinful cat food though.

Now the challenge will to be keeping John away from the shelters and adopting another cat! Every time one dies, we seem to end up with a new one.

 

Vacation 2014 . . . That
 

So we have been home for almost week from our vacation. I have to say with this most recent “Polar Vortex” and the snow, and more snow coming, I’m ready to get back on a cruise ship! Now don’t get me wrong, I love snow, love it! However I don’t love it that much when it’s -15 with windchill and I have three dogs to walk several times a day. At these temps, I want to just admire the snow from inside. More is on the way though, and the temperatures aren’t rising until next week.

Back to the vacation… Before the cruise we were in San Juan, Puerto Rico for two days. It had been awhile since we were there for an extended stay (2005?), but we were delighted to find our favorite little restaurant was still working. If you ever hit Old San Juan, check out Cafe Berlin. So yummy! We also found my future business, a store devoted to nativities! Well not entirely, it was a folk art/craft store. I guess as it was still so close to Christmas, they were still overflowing with them. We bought some goodies there. Check out my Tumblr for the images of our two awesome purchases.

This year we took Royal’s Adventure of the Seas. It is an older and smaller ship than our recent cruises, but not a dwarf by any stretch of the means. It was a nice change, and for once I don’t have any complaints about the rude guests on board. We visited Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Johns, St. Marteen and St. Croix. It was a lot of stops! Honestly I can’t remember what we did on each. I tried to label photos below with each stop as best as possible. We only walked around St. Johns and St. Marteen. Both are mainly just shopping ports with some beaches. We also walked around St. Croix, there was just more to see there and take photos of. At St. Croix we also went to beach. Yes, I got into the ocean. Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Croix were all new to me. We went to Harrison’s cave in Barbados, and La Soufrier, the only drive in active volcano in the world at St. Lucia. I am hoping to finally post all my current and past photos to Flickr, especially given the snowed in days I may have coming up. I had them all on Webshots, which folded last year.

So enjoy a smidgen of the photos I took below (over 1000!). A lot were just multiple shots of the same thing though. I’ll have some more posts up soon with updates on the house renovations, snow and the animals.



 

For The Birds!
 

Our 2014 vacation has begun! The best shot to get updates is either through my Instagram or my Tumblr pages. I can post photos instantly from my phone there. Otherwise I have to transfer them off my camera, onto my very slow netbook, and then upload them through free wifi. The phone is just much easier until I get home!

We’ve been in sunny San Juan, Puerto Rico for two days and will be getting on a cruise ship tomorrow. It’s a ship we’ve never done, and even though it’s an older ship, it’s new to us! We also are going to some places I don’t think we’ve ever been before. It’s a Southern Caribbean cruise, which I think we’ve only done once before. We normally do Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises. Next year we are eyeing a 12 day Southern cruise. Someday we want to do the South American cruise so we can go see Inca ruins. Anyway, as we are getting on the ship tomorrow, and it’s an older ship, I don’t know what my internet connectivity will be to post photos. I lucked out last year as it was the first year they were testing unlimited internet for a fixed price. It was only offered on their newest ship as a test run, which we were on. I’m hoping they have implemented it to others! Below is how we have spent our last night here in Old San Juan… I have MANY more photos of the birds and the forts in San Juan as well to eventually post.

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Something New Every Day!
 

So the work on the house continues, as does our cleaning house and getting stuff thrown out that needs to go. We are making great progress with the cleaning, the housework is coming along too . . . just not as fast as I would like. It seems like everyday the plans get bigger and more things torn up. Apparently I am being told on an as need basis at this point so I don’t get too stressed and flip out :)

Case in point, I found out that in order to put the new back door in, the whole landing had to come out, and suddenly we were getting all new steps and some closets built in the basement where the laundry room is. This was apparently going to happen perhaps when we were on vacation, so as not to inconvenience us. I thought it might be better to do it while we were here, so we could watch over the cats, who normally go into the basement to eat, pee and poop. Well apparently it all got ripped out today!

Our yearly vacation is coming up soon, and the workers will continue to work while we are gone. I’m just choosing to believe we will come home to so much having been finished. I know that’s a fairytale :)

 

Christmas Gone, New Year Almost Here!
 

So this wasn’t the happiest of holiday seasons. I had just put up the tree, spent HOURS rethreading new lights into The Pink Nightmare’s pre-light madness to get dark sections to work, dragged all the boxes up from the basement when . . . . the houseworkers who went on hiatus returned! They tore out every window to put the new ones in, which meant gaining access outside and inside to the windows, which mean major moving of things including the Christmas tree. I just had it and put the tree away and took everything back downstairs. Things were getting broken left and right, I was not gunna let Christmas get ruined anymore than it had been by them breaking ornaments or the Baby Jesus!

Then they decided to take out the giant kitchen window, tear the walls down (which meant packing up the entire kitchen and moving things elsewhere) and that’s where we are now. Yes they were gone for weeks and decided that two weeks before Christmas was the opportune time to do all this. Hey I had nothing to do! Sure I can just take time out to pack up half the house, forget decorating. No trouble at all, not like you couldn’t have done this all say . . . when it was still warm out!

Anyways, below is some of the progress on the kitchen nook which is being redone . . . Oh a skylight is going in where there is no dry-wall in the one photo.

So there was some issues as to where we would even be for Christmas, but we did manage to drive down to my mom’s Christmas Eve night. My mom had to have a new water heater installed that day, and apparently the workers there did not bother to close her back gate. We arrived at 10pm, it was dark, I didn’t think the gate would be open and couldn’t see it either. So at about 10:30 Christmas Eve . . . Nikko and Ebbie go missing from the backyard! After walking up and down the street calling them, Ebbie came back. She ended up at the back door barking to be let in, or at least responding to our calls. Nikko was another story. We walked for an hour with Princess and Ebbie on leashes, hoping they’d draw him out. Then we drove in the car even further. NOTHING. I was about to just burt into tears. I had given up, he was not going to be found tonight, so we were on our way back home when my mom called. At about midnight, she found him . . . . directly across the street. He knew he did bad and had been hiding out the whole time. The little shit! I was just so relieved to have him back safe and sound at that point. He knew he did bad though, as his ears were down the whole night without me even having to say anything. He also insisted on sleeping with me/us, when normally he and Princess always sleep with my mom. He stayed by my feet the whole night.

While I was going back and forth between Virginia and NJ before Xmas, John did decorate our tree. We put it back up eventually, and he did it while I was gone. On the 23rd I put out some minimal decorations, pictured below. It’s no where near what I normally do, but with the amount of banging and disruption I didn’t need stuff getting broken. I was already in a foul mood, if they broke the Baby Jesus I would have flipped shit!

We are now in the process of cleaning up the house. This FINALLY includes throwing away crap that needs to be thrown out, the basement and the two rooms on the first floor that will be my study and a new guest room.

Happy New Year! 2013 SUCKED . . .

 

Just A Light Coating!
 

So we were supposed to get some snow this weekend . . . .

 

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However the weathermen didn’t think it would amount to much.

I didn’t finish the Christmas lights cause John even said we’d probably see very little and it would all melt anyways . . .

 

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Ebbie got to see her first snow! She wasn’t sure about this coating stuff.

 

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Yeah things were starting to look really bad out there, and for the weathermen.

 

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Oh dear, and now we have an accident!

 

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Even the weatherman got PWND by his viewers.

 

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Good news! The revised forecast only called for 3-6 inches by Midnight when it should all end. Oops.

 

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Ebbie was no longer amused, though her brother and sister were having a ball.

 

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We ended up with about 7 inches by time it started slowing down, and we still have the freezing rain and sleet coming in at 10pm.

 

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Hey . . . at least I managed to get most of the lights up in all of it!

 

Some For Uncle Joe!
 

Now . . . . .



Then . . . . .