Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Live the dream, man...live the dream.

Dawn Of The Dead!

Got the kid all zombified for Halloween at school, which meant getting up 45 minutes early in order to get the makeup done in time.

I didn't realize it when I posed her for pictures, but with the sun coming up behind her I got an inadvertent 'Dawn of the Dead' thing, there.

Also, I used an old box to make some quick & dirty coffins for the yard!

I was able to get two from the one box, I want them to look like they are half-buried in the front yard and kinda heaved up out of the ground.

In place:

The paint job isn't the best, but it'll do for Halloween night. The lawn being all dead and weedy is actually coming in handy for Halloween.

Halloween And Little Green Men

Got some Little Green Men folded, I found some new & different eyes for them.

The eyes are damned creepy, which I expect is just right for Halloween.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Bath Day!

Dusty was looking and smelling...well, dusty. So today she got a bath.

She was not impressed.

But later, after she was dry, she did the typical over-the-top happy dog thing and rolled on the carpet with the kid.

We're letting her fur grow out a bit, probably not much longer than this, but her little eyebrows are sure cute and she has quite the 'Benji' look going.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dog Days Of Fall...

So yesterday we whisked Dusty off to the vet for her shots, and also because the night before we'd caught her scooting her bottom across the carpet, much to our delight.

When I was a kid, catching your dog doing the boot scoot boogie across the floor usually meant one thing--worms.

It turns out that these days there is a more likely culprit, at least in smaller dogs. It's blocked anal glands, of all the charming notions. So our vet said to bring in a fecal sample along with us in order to rule out parasites. Under Dusty's disbelieving eye we collected our treasure and went along to the vet, where Dusty ignored the little dogs and growled at the big ones--in particular a very large, beautiful Smooth Coat Collie who entered the office like a rock star, exuding an 'I'm HERE, everyone, yay me!' air.

Eventually we got taken back to an exam room, where Dusty has to be held by us while the vet tech takes her temperature, in the only region you CAN on a dog. We make the requisite jokes about 'she didn't even buy you dinner' while all this is going on, Dusty just looks confused and embarassed. Like most vets they like to take the dogs in the back, leaving you in the room to wait, while they do anything stressfull (mostly to the owners) out of sight.

So now off Dusty goes to the nether regions of the office for shots while we cool our heels. They brought her back a few minutes later and we waited a bit...the sample turned up no parasites, so anal glands it was!

Back Dusty went to the inner office for anal gland squeezin's, casting us a decidedly pained look as she went.

...and back she came a few minutes later, all cleaned out. After chatting with the vet for a minute, we asked her to note on the paperwork that Dusty had been spayed, since it's cheaper to license a spayed/neutered pet.

Oops, they'd forgotten to check for surgery scars to prove that, and it turns out that Dusty will have to be shaved a bit in order for them to see the scars. You guessed it, time for a third trip to the back room where all the magic happens.

So here comes the vet tech for her again. By now Dusty is firmly hiding her head in my daughter's lap, with an 'If I can't see them they can't see me' attitude.

Nonetheless she is once again led to the door, at which point she looks back over her shoulder at us as if to say, 'First you allow someone I don't KNOW to stick things up there, then they stick me with needles, THEN they...oh God, you don't want to know--! Now I'm getting SHAVED?! What is this, Hell Week? Am I pledging some dumb fraternity? What's next, you gonna hang Christmas lights back there?!'

Dog's faces can be very expressive.

But Dusty went along with the program and returned. She was much happier after getting some treats from the vet and lots of pets and praise.

But on the way out she fairly bolted for the door.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Time to guess, 'What The Hell Am I Doing NOW?!'

It appears I'm cleaning out kitchen cabinets.

But wait--no!

It's jerky making time in the dehydrator! All of the items pictured above are what goes into making the marinade, including coffee.

It was yummy!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Call Your Mummy!

Another new Halloween fold, this time it's a mummy's head.

And I'm all for equality, so I made some silly girlie mummies as well.

This fold is more 'paper wadding' than true origami, but it's simple and fun!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Living Room DONE!

Dear God, it feels GREAT to have even one room in this house DONE--cleaned, painted and decorated. There is so much to do here that a lot of the time it feels like a 'fish or cut bait' dilemma, we don't know what to do first.

Boring, ugly living room before:

And after!  New wall paint and trim paint, plus the whole 'scrub the fireplace top to bottom and refinish the wood mantle' thing. Also, curtains up and pictures on the walls! The ugly metal blinds are staying for now, since they are mostly covered while raised and will do their job come winter. You can see where I stopped painting, I have to paint one side of the room, then shift all the furniture to the other side before I can paint the opposite walls.

Of course, because of the way this house is constructed, you can't just hang a curtain rod. Oh, no. It is a roaring pain in the ass to hang anything heavier than a very small picture on the walls, you have to find studs, buy special types of hangers, plan for weight distribution...bleah.

But hey, one down!

Except...except for the 'siliconed-shut window' thing courtesy of the previous tenants, may they rot stinking in Hell for all of eternity. Here's why:

By dint of doing some investigating of the realtor's pictures of the house when it was for sale, we realized the reason for the weird silicone thing--the previous owners had a window air conditioner mounted there and had thought it a GREAT idea to silicone the damned thing into place. A closer look at the 1/2 inch-thick layer of silicone they cheerfully filled the window and it's channels with:

It goes around all three sides of the window and is on the window and the channel. It won't peel off but instead most be laboriously picked at, coming loose in tiny bits & pieces. I worked on it for a few minutes before realizing that it was going to take at least one whole day to get this gunk out of there.

I tell you, I laughed and sang the entire time I worked on it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mantlepiece Refinishing!

As I was going around the living room, scraping, patching and cussing the previous foks who did the same, I realized that the fireplace mantlepiece, a long hunk of wood, was in dire need of refinishing. It was just lying in place anyway and had to be reattached, and since I'm painting and whatnot all around it, now was the time to get it done. I also went ahead and did warm-season fireplace maintenance while I was at it, cleaning the glass in the door, cleaning the stove & reblacking it and scrubbing the old soot off the fireplace brick. Funny how one job can blossom like a freakin' flower into many more...

So I carted the thing on out to the back yard. Here it is before I started, note the huge burned/waterstained (I don't know how they managed THAT in the same spot) spot, and the glopped-on wall paint along with the overall worn and tired look.

I didn't want to replace it right now, and refinishing is fairly quick and easy for me since I've done many projects like this with wood. So I stripped it down to the wood, filled a few spots and sanded it all smooth.

A better look at the scorched spot, I ended up having to remove some lifted & peeling wood and filled the hole with wood putty.

Next was stain: Minwax Red Oak color, since I wanted to go a bit darker to help hide the burned spot.

After that I put the thing in the garage for two coats of poly varnish...varnishing outdoors would have been a recipe for insanity the way the wind blows around here. Finally, my husband removed three, yes, THREE superfluous 2x4's from inside the mantle (who knows what the Hell these people were thinking, I've given up trying to guess), redesigning the thing so it fits properly in it's spot and actually caps the fireplace brick rather than balancing retardedly on top.

So here it is, all done and back in place!

Not the greatest picture, granted, but I got all excited about getting it back into place and forgot to take pics before it was reinstalled, so I had to stand on tiptoe and hold the camera up at a weird angle.

Best of all, it is no longer a hazard to walk near for fear of it leaping off the wall and beaning you on the head, which I'm all for.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Two New Folds...

First off, crabs!

With a few changes, the crab model would transform nicely to a monster's head.

Then, just in time for Halloween, some goofy little ghosts.

The ghosts only have a few steps, but are surprisingly fussy to fold and I need more practice with them.

Next will be some bats if I can get the folds down...both models are giving me trouble--and a jack-o-lantern.