Wednesday, November 4, 2009

How to Keep the Dang Dogs Off the Couch

It all started one day when Maeby decided to make this couch her favorite place to keep warm.

Obviously we couldn't let her get away with it. We need to protect that couch! So we tried several things...

1) Scolding her only worked when she heard us coming to the room. That little turd knew she wasn't supposed to be on the couch! I guess the comfort just tempted her too much. If you think about it, she was a victim.

2) We tried covering the couch with towels... not so much to keep her off of the couch, but at least to keep her dog-ness funk off of the couch. (Oh, here's something I learned today that I never thought or hoped I would-- Gross alert, skip ahead if you are squeamish: Maeby has anal gland [gross alert on the link, too!!! EWWWW!]... issues. The vet said they were "very full" and then said that she had to poop. How gross is that? She actually SAW that our dog needed to poop. Kind of makes me want to throw up.)

Well, the towels didn't work because Maeby just treated them like blankets and scratched them out of the corners and plopped herself directly on the couch, bathing herself in towely-couchy luxury.

3) You can thank our friend Annie for this. She gave us the ultimate solution. Cheap. Easy. Non-destructive. I don't even have to harm the dogs. It's aluminum foil!

That's it! We just laid foil down over the cushions and the dogs hated it. I don't know if the sound or feeling just bothers them a lot or if they're scared or what, but it worked like a charm.

After a week or so of having foil all across the top of the couch, I was able to move to a more subtle approach-- just have the foil stick out from under the cushions as if it were about to attack them. It's really great. They won't even jump up on you to say hi anymore if you're sitting on the couch.

I'm hoping to scoot the foil under a little bit more every week until it's invisible and see if we can train them to stay off permanently.

Not only are the dog benefits great, but MAN it  is stylish. I'm thinking about entering some local interior design contests. Heck, fashion contests, too! I've already started work on my foil mankini. Pictures to follow.

Estate Sale Finds Part IV

Wow. This weekend was very kind to us. Natalie and I drove down to Waxahachie Saturday morning because Natalie saw that there was an estate sale just north of town. Unfortunately, it was just terrible.

So, a little bummed, we headed into downtown for lunch. We ate at the Chisholm Grill, which, as it turns out, was built in 1879.

Funny, because the whole time we were eating lunch I was trying to guess when exactly it was built-- the air conditioning was hanging just beneath the tin ceilings (late 1800s/early 1900s), the electrical wiring was all outside of the walls (which puts the building pre-1930's, by when most buildings came with electrical wiring).

Well, lunch was pretty delicious (we got the small portion cheeseburgers), so we wandered downtown for a few minutes and decided to head back home empty-handed.

Just before we got on the highway, Natalie decided she wanted to drive past her grandparent's old house in Ovilla, which is a few miles off of I35, about 30 minutes south of Dallas. So, we did, and I felt like a real creeper peering through the gate onto their old property.

A quick drive through downtown Ovilla (in which Walker, Texas Ranger has graced his presence for several episodes), and we were on our wait back home. BUT WAIT. I saw an estate sale sign on the side of the road. In the middle of nowhere. No, really. I mean it. The middle of nowhere. This was just meant to be.

Here we go.

Item: Rocking chair
Era: Manufactured in 1954 in Chicago. Natalie can't remember what company, but there was a label on it.
Favorite part: Grandma never, ever let anybody sit in it. It's in mint condition.
Price: $15

Item: Set of two bi-level (walnut?) end tables with inlaid wood design.
Era: Unknown. No markings. '60s?
Favorite part: They weigh about twice as much as I thought they would. Grandma also didn't let anybody put anything on these tables, so they are practically flawless.
Price: $50 for the set.

Item: Set of 2 table lamps. Wood with brass bands and tweed lamp shades.
Era: '60s
Favorite part: I don't know who decided lamps needed to be shaded by tweed, but I like them.
Price: $15 for the set

Item: Itsy-bitsy cutie lamp with glowing base
Era: '60s
Favorite part: It's itsy-bitsy and has a glowing base!
Price: $3. Yes, $3.

I'm going to have to split this into two different posts because we found so many awesome deals. I'll leave you with a full view of our "formal" living room. It looks pretty sweet so far, and our walls are still bare while we wait to paint before we hang anything up.


Monday, November 2, 2009

My Favorite Part of Halloween

For those of you who don't know, Jones Soda has limited edition flavors every Halloween, and they are generally delicious.

Natalie and I have started a yearly tradition of raiding the clearance bin at Target after Halloween. Natalie slipped into her I'm-at-a-boyband-concert-and-must-walk-faster-than-everybody-else mode after we walked in the store. I may have just a little bit, too.

Price: $9

Pictured above: 6560 calories and 1600 grams of sugar. Excellent.

Not only is our binge wildly unhealthy, but these little guys are just precious! A deadly combination.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Bedroom/Study Renovation Update

If you are interested in learning how to fix up your house (or anything, really), you can't be afraid of breaking anything. Here is the last few weeks of my life in pictorial form.

Step one: Destroy everything.

Step two: Get your tools ready.

My very first electrical work. I'm so proud.

My first piece of drywall to hang. It was a ceiling piece and I was all alone. I pre-drilled the screws so I could hold the piece to the ceiling with my head.

It worked!

This door is the reason I got myself into this big mess.

Door gone!

Note the broken closet next door to the left. I guess I can't blame the previous owner for installing it. He was cheap and it was 1994, so of course he would buy this door. It is literally being torn apart. I am not pleased.

Trim gone!

Door frame gone, new wall framed out. I'm also quite proud of this part.

Hint: If you ever find yourself hanging drywall by yourself (or with somebody else, for that matter), you want to keep the drywall off of the floor and have a clean, small gap with the drywall above. Just get your pry bar and push the drywall up and fasten the piece. Simple enough, right?

 It's like the door was never there. Cool, right?

Some more progress inside the room.I waited as long as I could to avoid the outlet holes. But I found a tip to help with those measurements.

Step one: Get your favorite lipstick and apply it around the outlet box.

Step two: Align your drywall, give it a good punch over the outlet. Cut along lipstick marks.

Next steps: sanding the ceiling, taping/bedding, texturing, tearing out carpet (this is Natalie's doing. I've been begging to remove the carpet from day one but nooooooooo).

So there you have it. I am learning a ton about how houses go together, how to use my awesome power tools, and how much fun you can have in a room with no electricity.

Craigslist Finds Part III

Item: 2 side tables marked "3712 LAMP TABLE"
Era: We think 1950's judging by the legs and markings.
Price: $65

I am really digging the bronze bars that hold up the drawers. These aren't the most amazing things we've ever found. They have a veneer surface and will need to be refinished, but otherwise they are in good shape and serve their purpose.

Expect more posts soon! Life has been crazy but we are finally starting to catch up.