February 26, 2012Posted by on
Sorry it took me forever to make this post, but I kept forgetting to take a picture of it in the daytime with all the great light. And now that I have a picture of the final product, it sucks. Oh well!
So we started by painting the huge wall in our living room. It was a nice shade of purple, but we both thought green would not only be amazing but also super beautiful. We chose Behr’s Hidden Meadow, which is a nice shade of bright green. Doesn’t that red cupcake lantern look amazing next to the green? (I ought to do a post on that lantern, shouldn’t I?)
It was at this point that I realized the project was going to be a lot easier than I anticipated. Time consuming, yes, but super easy. There’s no rhyme or reason for how you wind these around, which makes things a lot more fun.
I used nearly 600 of these for the full project. At $1.00 per 100, that’s still a steal.
I used paint tape to map out the general direction of where I wanted things to go and just kind of winged it (wang it?) from there. I should’ve sketched things out, though, because I think I would’ve been a little more satisfied with the final project if I’d done the branches differently.
My lovely assistant for most of the tree-building.
It was at this point when Marshall and I decided we wanted it to be more full and have another layer of pink in a lighter shade. I waffle between whether I should’ve stopped here or not.
I might still add some more of the light pink but not for at least a few weeks so I can decide for sure what I want.
This is my favorite part! It was kind of an impulse buy but it’s so cute I can’t stand it.
I also got tiny clothespins and I’m (we’re) considering using them to hang some pictures to the string. I like it but Marshall doesn’t seem sold. We’ll come to a decision soon, I’m sure!
If you want to do this yourself, I followed this tutorial, though it’s pretty self explanatory. I tried to go onto the ceiling in one place but gravity is a fickle monster and I couldn’t get it to cooperate very well. Maybe you’d have better luck with it and if you do, please let me know your secrets!
February 20, 2012Posted by on
We decided tonight, 1.5 weeks before we leave for a two week trip, during which we’re renting our home out to SXSW-ers, that we needed to completely overhaul the main wall in our living room before we go.
So tomorrow we’re painting the wall bright green and doing some giant, majestic string art instead of the scattered vintage portraits that, frankly, looked like an after thought.
Maybe not our brightest moment but it’s going to be epic! Truly the epitome of “bold bright colors that make you puke.”
January 26, 2012Posted by on
Our baby girl had her surgery on Tuesday afternoon and promptly spent all evening yesterday nuzzled into my side. The surgeon is confident that everything went perfectly, but we won’t know for sure until the cast/bandage comes off and they can see how she walks on it. The performed an osteotomy on the radius bone, twisted it about 45°, and put a metal plate on it to hold it all together.
She doesn’t seem to be in a lot of pain, but she is getting 5-6 Tramadol a day, so who knows how she’d feel without all those narcotics running through her. Baby hates the taste of the drugs but looooooves the way she feels once she takes one. She’s already putting weight on the leg and wants to play once the Tramadol starts to wear off, so we’re going to have a hell of a time keeping her mellow for 4-6 weeks while it heals.
We wanted to thank everyone once again for all the love, comforting words, encouragement, and financial help you’ve given us in the past month. Thanks to you all, we were able to cover half of the procedure, which is amazing. We’re all eternally grateful, and once she’s back to 100%, we’re having a backyard party to celebrate and everyone we know is invited!
The vet got a little carried away with hearts and decorations on her bandage, but this represents how we feel about absolutely everyone involved in the process.
January 11, 2012Posted by on
For someone who loves red meat as much as I do, it’s a little amazing to that I don’t really ever grill steaks. Until tonight! That’s not really too noteworthy, though, because it’s all eclipsed by the mind-blowing steak marinade I made for it.
So if you ever want to make your steak so good it might bring a tear to your eye, give this a shot. It’s extra easy to memorize because all the measurements are in fours.
- four sprigs of rosemary, with the leaves removed and minced
- four sprigs of thyme, with the leaves removed and minced
- four cloves of garlic
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar (Make it something good so it’s worth it. None of that store brand shit.)
- 1/4 cup of truffle oil
Pour all of that in a bag and shake it up. Pour some salt on the steaks and throw them in that bag full of delicious junk. Shake it all up and let it marinate for at least four hours. The vinegar will tenderize your meat just the right amount and the truffle oil will add the most incredible flavor.
(I didn’t make the steak in the picture but it’s equal in beauty to the one I made.)
January 10, 2012Posted by on
Haha, remember when this blog was all about crafts and home improvement projects? (Not just a bunch of jabbering about how wonderful our new puppy/failed foster is?) Those were the good old days when I had a job and expendable income and wasn’t driving across the (or to another) state every weekend of December. But I promise I’m getting back to those good times and great oldies. Especially since my landlord is replacing our bathroom floor and letting me do the tiling/linoleum to save some bucks!
But first, let’s make some Oreos on a stick. Even though these were made for Christmas gifts, they are/would be perfect for wedding showers, baby showers, or just for a really good shower after a long day.
Let’s be real – these are totally self explanatory. I just wanted to give you a few tips I learned from my experience.
- The best way to get the sticks to stay in the Oreo is to open up the cookie, stick the lollipop stick in the melted chocolate, jam the now-melty stick into the icing part, and close the cookie before the chocolate hardens.
- Mix in some extract of some sort to punch up the flavor. We put peppermint in ours since it was for Christmas, but I can vouch for vanilla and orange also being awesome. Plain white almond bark isn’t worth the calories without something extra.
- Don’t try to decorate the top with gel icing. Even if you freeze them before putting them in little bags, that gel will eventually get soft and oozy and it’ll look super weird smeared all over the inside of the treat bag.
- Edible glitter stars taste funny and like plastic.
January 9, 2012Posted by on
We thought we were done with the fundraising for Jenny business. Everyone already took care of us for physical therapy and we were on the road to recovery!
Then we went to her first therapy appointment.
Within just a few minutes, the PT told us it didn’t look like there was much, if anything, she could do for Jenny. She gave us a few exercises to do with her (including the wobble board from the last post) but wasn’t sure it would do much. In her opinion, it looked like a bone had either broken and refused in a twisted position or a bone had become twisted because of Jenny’s persistent misuse. Lucky for us, her husband (Dr. Hulse) is a veterinary orthopedic surgeon who gives mad discounts for rescue dogs!
So Jenny went to see Dr. Hulse today. She was on her best behavior (for a dog with no training, I’m amazed at how great she is) and sat calmly while he pinched, poked, prodded, and knocked on her joints. He said the bones between her elbow and wrist are out of alignment, which is causing her paw to flip to the side like it does. He also pointed out that because she’s favoring it so much, the other paw is starting to deform and will get worse over time. A tripod is doable. A bipod? Not so much.
He’s confident that he can repair her bones and get everything in order with just one surgery. What great news! However, that surgery is going to cost us $1900-2200, and that’s after the 20% discount from his office for rescue dogs.
Do you have a couple extra bucks to throw at this dog’s foot? I know we’re going to have to finance a lot of it, but anything we don’t have to finance would really help. Do it for Abby, who would love to have a sister who can keep up with her!
I tried to do the fancy flash box where you can donate without even leaving the page, but wordpress don’t like flash. So you’ll have to click RIGHT HERE, but it can all be done right on the page. I don’t have words for the gratitude we feel for everyone who’s helped us through all of this, either financially or just by listening while I try to talk my way through it. We’re so thankful for all the help we get.
January 8, 2012Posted by on
Never thought I’d have the chance to build my own physical therapy tools, but here I am! It only took 3.5(ish) hours (which included quite some time hunting for my corner braces) and the supplies would’ve only been about $15 if I didn’t already have most everything I needed at home.
What you’ll need:
- 22″ x 24″ piece of 1/2″ plywood
- two 8″ x 3″ pieces of 1/2″ plywood, cut into a half circle with a 16° angle (should be just less than the size of the board)
- 19″ x 4″ piece of 1/2″ plywood
- six 1-1/2″ to 2″ nails
- six 3/4″ screws
- eight 1/2″ screws
- four 1-1/2″ corner braces
- wood glue
- skateboard tape
- electric tape
To start, you need to screw the 19″ board directly in the middle of the board using six of the 3/4″ screws, halfway down the 22″ side with 2-1/2″ on either side of the ends. That’ll give you a brace for the curved pieces to hold against. I did two screws on the top and bottom of each side and two in the middle. Make sure the screws are going through both layers so the bracing board isn’t buckling away from the wobble platform.
The picture shows my measurements for where you’ll be nailing in from the top. Before you go up there, though, glue the curved pieces with the center directly at 11″ from the top and bottom. Making the arch reduced the size just slightly, so the center of the curve is at 3.874″ from each side. While you’re waiting for the glue to dry, use the corner braces and screw them to either side of the curve with the 1/2″ screws.
They should both be slightly off center since the screw will go almost the entire way through the board. The black you see is electric tape that we put on the board to keep it from scuffing our wood floor. If you have carpet, I don’t think you should use the tape since that would decrease friction and make the board slide around. But our parquet floors look bad enough without a rough piece of plywood dragging ass all over it, so we gave ourselves a barrier.
Once the glue is dry and the corner braces are attached, you should be able to flip the board over and hammer in three nails on each side just for a little extra support. If all of your measurements have matched mine so far, your nails need to go 2-5/32″ in from the sides and 8-3/4″, 11″, and 13-7/16″ from the top. That should, in theory, put those nails right in the middle of the curved pieces. In theory.
If you need sandpaper to smooth the edges, I found that 100 grit paper did the trick. I wasted my time sanding, though, because I ended up covering all the edges in the end.
You’ll want something on the top to give some traction for the puppy (or human, I guess?) foot you’re trying to keep from being amputated. You could use enamel and sand if you really want to spend a few hours driving yourself crazy and making a mess. I opted instead for four pieces of hot pink skateboard tape from Academy, ringing up at a whopping $3 for the pack. Those have an adhesive already built in, so you don’t even have to glue them down to get them to stick, making it the obvious choice. Plus it comes in hot pink! The edge of ours is covered in duct tape so it doesn’t give anyone (else) a splinter. Now I just need to do something about the three splinters I got from it.
So there you go! A wobble board for $75 less than what you’d buy here, but still built to the same specs. I’m afraid to stand on it because the plywood is only 1/2″ thick, but if you wanted to use it for a human needing balance training, you could do all of that but with a thicker piece for the base.
By the way, in case you have no saw, Home Depot will cut all those pieces for you except for the curved part. A half plank of plywood will give you everything you need with a little leftover for firewood. Find a friend with a jigsaw for the curved part!
January 1, 2012Posted by on
A really bad month was capped off by our vet saying “we might need to start talking seriously about amputation” because Jenny still hasn’t learned to correctly use her foot. I, of course, freaked out. I’m sure she could bounce back just fine if she lost a leg, but so much work was put into fixing her arm that it seems almost silly for her to lose it now.
I panicked in APA’s direction, but they responded by offering to help us fundraise to pay for physical therapy. (Dr. Jefferson is confident that PT is all our baby needs to keep her leg, and I would trust anything she or Dr. Eick tell us.) They set a $500 goal, enough for 14 sessions with the therapist. They posted it on their blog, and I posted it on my twitter and facebook accounts. In less than 24 hours, not only was that goal met, but it was exceeded!
Just yesterday I was depressed over the ending of a close friendship and the bad news from the vet. Today I’m feeling so incredibly thankful for the friends we have in our lives. We are surrounded by an amazing group of people, both in real life and online, and the strength and support they give us is astounding. So thank you to everyone, regardless of whether or not you were able to donate right now, for being our friend. You’re a treasure.
If you’d still like to donate, any additional raised will go to recoup the time and money APA already spent on Jenny’s treatment, including way too much bandaging for her wound because the little bugger loves to eat vetrap and gauze. The link to do so is here, or you can give to another animal needing treatment, or you can even just stop in and give a couple of lonely dogs a belly rub when you have a few extra minutes.
December 20, 2011Posted by on
We had our hearts set on making fudge for Marshall’s dad for Christmas, but all the recipes I was looking at online kept going on about how hard it is to make perfect fudge with the right consistency and no grit or crumble to it. I was kind of panicking about potentially really screwing up our gift, which means I kept procrastinating on the actual making of it. We were at my Granny’s this weekend, a woman who makes some killer, if not crumbly, fudge. I wanted to make her recipe, so I took at a stab at what ingredients I might need to make her recipe. Turns out I didn’t get the right ones (powdered sugar? really?). Granny called her twin sister to see if she had any recipes that used Eagle Brand milk and she gave us a microwave one that I ended up modifying to make this, the best fudge of all the fudges.
I took no pictures of this fudge-making process because I didn’t expect it to turn out so well, but this is easily the best fudge I’ve ever had in my life. I’m not even kidding. Please make this for people you love and/or want to impress because it will work.
(It’s like pornography, right?)
- 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1.5 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1.5 cups of milk chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli for both of these because the fudge was a gift and that was the most expensive kind I could find at the store, so I can only vouch for those as being perfect for this.)
- 3/4 cup marshmallow creme (estimate – I just used what was left in the jar tbh)
- peppermint extract to taste, about 1 tsp for a mild but delicious peppermint taste
- nuts if you want them
Heat the sweetened condensed milk on medium heat until it starts bubbling a little in the middle and a lot around the edges. Pour half of the chocolate chips (which, I forgot to mention, should be mixed together before you start) and stir until they melt. Then pour the other half in and do the same. Shit’s getting pretty thick at this point, so make sure you have a strong spoon or ladle that won’t bend under pressure. Stir in the marshmallow creme, peppermint extract, and nuts if you want them until the creme is fully mixed in. Plop this in a lightly buttered pan, tray, etc and tap it on the counter to work out any bubbles that might be in it.
It takes about half a day to fully set, so just cover it and leave it on the counter until you can eat it all in about five minutes and revel at this delicious thing you just created. You can refrigerate it if you want, but you run the risk of the fudge drying out if you do. So don’t do it.
This whole process, minus the cooling and setting, takes about 15 minutes, so you really have no excuse to not make some fudge this week before Sunday. Go do it.
December 7, 2011Posted by on
This is how we were introduced to Jenny. She was found by the animal shelter with a pretty gnarly wound in her arm. I was told they needed a foster until the vet figured out if the leg needed to be amputated or not, but it was fairly certain she would be losing the leg. Marshall and I were sure that, with some TLC and a lot of special care from the vets/medical techs at APA, we’d be able to save it but we weren’t aware how much we’d come to love her in the process.
What you can’t see in this picture is that the hole extends another 1.5″ or so around to her chest, making the wound not only gnarly, but huge and impossible to wrap with gauze. And if you think this looks bad, you should’ve seen it before the techs cleaned her up. They all told me they came close to puking when they saw what they were dealing with. (And this was the same day that a terrier suspected to be the victim of animal cruelty came in, along with a little beagle/doxie puppy that had tire treads on his back and a big hole in his face. I can’t even imagine what they all went through that day.)
After a week or so of trying everything we could to soak that part of her arm in epsom salts (that pitcher didn’t work, and neither did the bathtub, a bucket, or a kitty litter container), they decided to try closing up the hole. I was a nervous wreck the whole day she was in surgery, but Dr. Matt Hamby did an incredible job with what he was given. He had to make some splices in her skin to allow it to stretch far enough to close the gap, and, judging by the scarring, there was some creative piecing together of skin, but he did it and he did it well enough to keep the hole closed.
We had to take her to the clinic every other day to have them change her bandage, check the drain helping to clear out the wound, and keep an eye on the stitches. She absolutely loved the attention and still gets SUPER excited whenever we walk into that building.
After just a few weeks, they took out her stitches. Can you even believe how different this looks?! Doctor’s orders were that she had to wear a shirt with sleeves to keep her from scratching at it, and I totally jumped on the chance to dress her up. She also had to wear a donut around her head, and was more than obliging. In fact, she loved it because it was a permanent pillow, making every spot the perfect nap spot.
Look at it now! She met Abby this week and the two were instant best friends, completely inseparable. We’d been flirting with the idea of keeping her ourselves, but were hesitant because of The Abby Situation, but after seeing them together these past few days, I can’t imagine the two of them apart. So we’re adopting Jenny next week!
Welcome to the family, little dog!