Monday, December 5, 2011

New Floors!

One thing I really missed about our old house was the laminate wood floors we installed. Once we moved into the new house in July of 2010 we were back to carpet again. I despise carpet.  I even more despise carpet with all the dogs running in and out with muddy feet, coffee trails from the kitchen to the office and just regular nasty floors over a short time.  Plus these carpets were a light gray, the kitchen and landings were white linoleum, also not good for messy people and pets!

So, the last two weeks have been dedicated to replacing ALL of the floors on the main floor of the house (aside from the bathroom - it was the only decent floor in the whole house).  We put down laminate wood again in the main rooms and got lucky in finding a great match to the knotty pine wood walls.  For the three outer door landings and the kitchen we chose a beige marbled ceramic tile.  And I'm in love!

Here are some before and after photos - click for larger view.

Loft View

Living Room 

Front of Living Room After:

Kitchen After

Bedroom After

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Red River Gorge & Natural Bridge

Last weekend we joined C. and C. for a weekend get away to celebrate Mr. C's birthday.  We rented a small, cozy cabin in the Red River Gorge area called the Star Gap.

We relaxed and played cards on Friday and then on Saturday we decided to hike up to Natural Bridge.  What a hike!  We took the "easy" trail and after getting up it we all decided we'd hate to see what the other trails were like.  It was a difficult climb at times, but it was overall fantastic.  The view from on top of Natural Bridge was gorgeous, and a bit scary at the same time with the wind gusts up that high.  We stayed at the top for half an hour or so and then made the hike back down, which went much faster.

Once back at the cabin we took a much needed soak in the hot tub, had another fantastic dinner and vegged for the evening.  It was a great trip and a much needed get away.

All Trip Photos

Our fabulous chefs of the weekend:

Trail to Natural Bridge:

Standing on top of Natural Bridge

The view from Natural Bridge.  We walked over to that cliff as well.

A view down from the cliff. We could see the car from here!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Jason Aldean / Chris Young & Thompson Square Concert

Last night C. and I went to the Kentucky State Fair to see Jason Aldean and Chris Young in concert and it was fantastic!  We left the house 3 hours before the concert so we could walk around the fairgrounds for a while before the concert started.  Little did we know it would take us over 2 hours to get to the fairgrounds.  Trimarc signs nicely told us that the main gates were closed and routed us to a different gate.  We thought, WTF, who closes the main gates on the first Saturday of a state fair for a sold out concert?!  So for 2 hours we sat in backed up traffic, maneuvered around several vehicles that had over heated and finally made it to the gates - where we found that the main gates were actually open and probably would have saved us at least an hour.  Thanks a lot Trimarc!

Once we got there we headed to the exhibition hall to get C. a custom fitted toe ring.  It was then that we realized her wallet wasn't in her purse.  Uh oh.  We called the last place we stopped to see if it was there before making the long treck back to the truck.  Luckily, her wallet was in the truck, having slid down the seat and into the back floorboard.  Shoo, that was a close one!

So then, we make the long treck back to Freedom Hall where the concert had already started with the opening acts.  By the time we got back we decided we needed a good cold one, and I wanted to get a t-shirt.  After more line standing, and C. not being able to get a shirt due to the credit card machine crapping out, we snagged one more cold one and headed up to our seats.  From then on, the night was fantastic!  We got into the Chris Young concert just when he was playing his best songs.  Perfect timing!

During the break between Chris Young and Jason Aldean, we took a bathroom break and decided to get one more cold one.  After standing in line for 20 minutes and still 15 people back from the beer stand it was announced that all the beer was sold out.  Nice.  So we moved over to another line for another good 5 minutes when we heard them announcing Jason Aldean.  At that point we abandoned our nice, cold beer and high tailed it back to our seats (which we never actually sat in).

This was probably one of the best, if not the best, concert I have ever been to.  Our seats were perfect, especially for the price we got them for.  We were side-stage and close enough to get a good view of the band members, plus they always have the big screens for the close-ups.  It was a great night out, despite all of our hurdles, and well worth everything!

And of course, some photos:

The equipment trucks - there were 4 of these plus the tour bus:

Our picture with Jason  ;)

Chris Young & Thompson Square

Jason Aldean

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Nature and Stuff

It's been a while since I've blogged.  What can I say, it's been a busy month!  But that doesn't mean I haven't been enjoying the wildlife around the house. I even actually dusted off the camera to snag a couple of photos.  I was trying to get the pair of chipmunks that have taken up residence in the rock bed around one of the trees, but the bunny and the birds were the only critters cooperating with me.

Bunny Foo Foo
Bunny Foo Foo

Ready for Take Off!
Ready for Lift Off

As for me, I'm doing fantastic.  I finished up my radiation treatment about a month ago and am finally feeling back to my old self again.  Once fall rolls around I plan to start back on my P90X workouts.  Unfortunately with my surgery and treatments, my first two months of hardwork has reverted back to ground zero due to not being able to work out and not sticking to a good diet.  But, I'll get it all straightened out in due time.  For now I'm busy working and spending at least one day a week lounging by the pool and enjoying summer.  The garden is growing, the critters are abundant and the weekends are full of good times with friends.  Life is good!  :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Stormy Summer Sunset

As three rounds of tornado producing storms were passing through, they sky was beautiful just at sunset!  This is typical for spring to early summer in Kentucky.  Luckily, we didn't have any damage.

Stormy Summer Sunset

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Waggin' Trail

This morning my friend Christina and I walked the Waggin' Trail for the Kentucky Humane Society at E.P. Tom Sawyer. Christina brought Molly, her blue heeler mix, and I brought Giant Dawg.  Both dogs (and humans) thoroughly enjoyed the walk!  There were lots of people and dogs attending, which is great because that means lots of money was raised for the cause.  It was a 3 mile walk, but Giant Dawg got hot and tired out about half-way through.  He is very hairy and it was in the mid-80's. I've never seen him drool so much.  My spare shirt became a slobber rag and was pretty much soaked by the time we were done. This is the first time I've had him out with a large group of people and dogs and he did fantastic.  I look forward to taking him to more of these!

Giant Dawg - all tuckered out:

Zonked Giant Dawg

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ducks and Stuff

I may have mentioned before that we had a wild mallard pair visiting the backyard pond on a daily basis.  Momma Mallard decided the floating duckhouse would be the perfect place to lay her eggs.  Last Wednesday Momma Mallard emerged with 14 ducklings in tow!  A week later they are starting to explore a little on their own, but still sticking really close to Momma.  We can expect them to be here for a couple of months before they grow their wings and fly off to do their own thing.  It's so awesome!  Here is Momma Mallard with 10 of the babies (the other 4 must have been on her other side):

Behbeh Duckies!

I am now 3 weeks out from surgery and feeling great.  I'm pretty much back to normal aside from some remaining sensitivity, but my oncologist says that should go away within the next couple of weeks.  The pathology report came back good and they think they got everything.  I start radiation treatments next week to zap anything they  may have missed.  It's every weekday for 5 1/2 weeks.  The kicker of it is I drive 45 minutes one way to get a 2 minute treatment - ha!  Luckily there aren't many side effects from radiation, so the only things that might happen is a sunburn like area at the treatment location and possibly some fatigue towards the end of the treatment rounds. I start on Tamoxifin next week as well, which I will be on for 5 years as a preventative to the breast cancer recurring.  All in all, I'm pretty good to go!

I did make a good accomplishment last month regarding my Flickr Photography Scavenger Hunt.  For the first time in the 2 years I've been playing I actually completed a round!  And my challenge photos got the most votes, to boot!  A silly feat, but a fun one.  You can see all of my photos and the scavenger hunt list if you want.  :)

And now that we have our first day of no rain in I don't know how long, I'll try to get some updated duckling photos to post.  :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Luna Moth

Another cool find this spring - a Luna Moth!  It appears to be a male and was hiding out in my umbrella that was drying out on the front porch.  Since they don't fly during the day I set him up in one of the hanging flower baskets until dusk, when he then moved to the porch light and then took his leave during the night.  I've never seen one so vibrant before!  Luna Moth

I'm so enjoying watching the new flowers bloom that we never got to see here last year due to moving in mid-July.  And to top it off we have a rabbit living under the back porch and a momma mallard duck sitting on eggs in the dog igloo that is on the floating duck dock on the pond.  So that means baby duckies soon!   It's been a little piece of heaven for both me and Jason. I'm just happy this year we get to enjoy the full summer here rather than moving and unpacking and cleaning up the old house to prep for rentals.  

My surgery is schedule for Thursday morning so I'll likely not have many photos for a while.  But will try to do a recovery update here, if nothing else out of sheer boredom.  ;)  I'm taking a few days totally off work to recover where I intend to do some reading and movie watching so I can get back at it early next week.  Hoping it's just a small dent in the road and I can be back to normal soon and start my P90X back, at least by early fall.  I've been off of the program since my exercise restrictions after my biopsy and didn't see the point in picking it back up until I can do it right, but I do miss it.  So far, so good though, I'm still fitting in my smaller clothes!  :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring is in the Air!

Ahh spring is in the air!  In the last week I've actually been enticed enough to pick up the camera and snap some shots (see below). We had our first good thunderstorm of the year today and the grass is more green than brown again. Jason has been prepping the mower for his 6 acre mowing sprees and the garden is partially tilled.  This is, by far, my favorite time of the year.  New life, fresh smells and porch dwelling becomes the norm over tv watching - bliss!  I even sat on the back porch swing for a couple of hours yesterday reading and got quite a nice sunburn on my arms and face.  And finished a book too - on a windy day in broad day light - have I mentioned how much the Kindle rules?!

To regress a bit, at the end of February, one month after my 35th birthday, I had a routine mammogram.  The results landed me back in the Women's Diagnostic Center to do maginifactions due to microcalcifications that were found.  The next day led me to a breast biopsy.  And then the next day led me to a diagnosis of breast cancer. What?!  Yeah, that was exactly my reaction.  Fast forward two weeks later after an MRI and meeting with my surgeon and it was confirmed. Though I'm very lucky.  Diagnosis of DCIS grade 3 at a size of 3.1cm, which basically means non-invasive and caught at one of the earliest stages possible, much to my relief.  So I'm scheduled for a lumpectomy and sentinal node biopsy on April 14th, out-patient sugery, with 33 days of radiation and 5 years on Tamoxifin as a preventative.  All in all, not bad for what it is.  At this point I'm just waiting for the surgery to be done and recovery to begin.

In the meantime, I'm embracing spring!  We're making our summer plans, deciding what we are going to do with the yard, expanding the back deck and looking forward to our first spring and full summer at the new homestead, which we so love!  We see so much wildlife here it's awesome. And the peace and quite, compared to neighborhood living, is rockin'!

Speaking of wildlife and our awesome new homestead, here are a few photos to get a peak into our world.  :)

Snaggle Tooth

Some Bunny is Watching You!

Maluma Takete

Where Did Spring Go?

On Goose Lake

Puffy Cloudage

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tis a 'Possum, I Tell You!

Yesterday we were sitting on the back porch having some beverages with friends and enjoying the warm weather when we saw an opossum walking down to the pond to have a drink. I have never seen an opossum during broad daylight (aside from those squished in the road) so it was quite a treat!  He eventually made his way around the pond closer to us.  Since the ducks have been laying eggs daily (and not bothering to sit on them), Jason got a few and tossed them in his direction. He managed to find one (they don't see so well) and snatched it up and ate it.  Then he made his way around the rest of the pond. As he did this I grabbed my 80 - 400mm wildlife lens and got as close as I could to him.  Him, being mostly blind, didn't see me, but he did hear me and smell me, however he didn't seem bothered by my presence. I got within about 20 feet of him and whistled at him, causing him to look up and allowing me to get a great shot! Usually the adults I don't find very appealing, but he was a handsome little devil!


Friday, February 11, 2011

New Duck Hut, P90X and Photo Project Fails

Back in December I had posted how our 5 Muscovy Ducks were one by one flying the coop and not returning very often.  As of Christmas, we haven't seen any of the original five ducks back at the pond, though we have seen some suspiciously familiar looking ducks flying about the surrounding areas of our house. So they either disappeared or found them a winter time-share somewhere.  It will be interesting to see if they return this spring.

In the meantime, a friend that works at Metro Animal Services in Louisville asked if we were interested in taking in 6 ducks that they had confiscated.  Two of them are Muscovy ducks and we're not yet sure what the other four are.  We decided we'd go ahead and take them and kept them in a small, make-shift dog pen in the garage for a few weeks. Last weekend we built them a larger temporary shelter on the side of the shed within the fenced area of the yard where they will stay until the spring thaw and until we can get them a more permanent duck house built out by the pond.  Once moved to their permanent house they will be let out to wonder free during the day and put up in the pen at night to eat and keep them safe from predators (mainly foxes, coyotes and raccoons out in this area).  This is their temporary home for now:

Duck Hut

The dogs have adjusted well since Hardy's passing and Poe the Betta fish also left us after a three year life-span, which is surprising for a fish. So we're left right now with just 3 dogs and the 6 ducks.

Last month I began my P90X exercise program and I'm loving it!  I'm on day 28 and have already dropped at least one pants size.  I'm doing it right and took photos and measurements the first day, to be repeated every 30 days, so Sunday is the first measurement day since I started.   I'm excited to see what the measurement results are this quickly and look forward to the next 60 days.  Hopefully by the time I'm ready for round 2 Jason will be able to join me (he's currently still in physical therapy and healing from an ankle break and tendon surgery).  If I'm brave enough I'll post the increment photos and measurements at the end of my first 90 days.  We'll see.  ;)

And with Jason's injury taking up a lot of my time of doing extra things around the house (though it's much better now!) and my hour and a half work-outs 6 days a week, I've once again flunked my photography project of 52 Weeks of Animals.  I made it to week 23 before two weeks went by and I realized I didn't get any animal photos in those two weeks.  Ooops!  But just for fun, you can see the 23 Weeks of Animals I managed to tackle.  Better luck next time, I guess!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Fur Kids - 22/52

Our friend Jenn of The Artist's Eyes is a fantastic artist. We asked her to paint portraits of all of our pups, past and present, and she did a fantastic job!  She perfectly captured each dog's personality! She had painted Rudy's portrait for us last year and completed the rest of the crew for us recently. Jenn makes all of her art ECO friendly (environmentally friendly), which is always a plus!  Check out her site and portfolios - she does more than just painting!

I framed all of the portraits in matching frames and hung them on the large wall so that they are the focal point when entering the house (or sitting anywhere in the living room, dining room and kitchen for that matter).

Here is a picture of the portraits after they were hung.  They are hung in order of when we got each dog.  Hardy and Rudy, the first two, are no longer with us.  I am hanging their tags on the corner of those portraits with ribbon in honor of them. I have Hardy's tag up there now, but have not yet located Rudy's tag since we moved, but I will!  Blue, Lois Lane and Buddy (aka Giant Dawg) are the others three pups.

My Fur Kids - 22/52

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Goodbye My Hardy Dog

December 25, 1995 - January 3, 2011


On Monday we had to say goodbye to our Old Man.  On Christmas Day 2010 he celebrated (as far as we know) his 17th birthday.  Hardy is the first dog Jason and I had together and has been with us since the first apartment we had.  You can read the story of how Hardy found us if you haven't heard his story before.  (All of our dog's stories are on there, except Rudy's, which I intend to add).

Hardy was such a good, sweet, loving dog.  He was spry right up until last week when his vestibular disease and potential brain tumor finally took over his old life.  As he became more disoriented we decided his quality of life was not what it once was and that it was probably time to let him go peacefully.  Our wonderful vet, Dr. Laurelee Rubsch, is a mobile vet who comes to our house to treat the dogs.  This made the process so much easier for both of us and especially for Hardy.  He is now buried next to Big Worm where we can visit him anytime we want to. 

I miss you, Old Man.  You'll live on in our hearts forever.  :*(

Hardy - 12/25/1994 - 01/03/2011