Saturday, December 29, 2012

The ominous black hole of nasty

It's been so long since we last spoke that for now I'm going to skip right over Christmas break and go into my latest accomplishment.

For Christmas I received a gift card for $50 to Lowe's. Now, before I became a homeowner the only section of the hardware store I frequented was the flower section. Mostly I'd just "ooh" and "ahh" over all the pretty flowers that I'd someday plant at my own house and leave having bought nothing.



















Now that I own a house, let me tell you, getting that gift card on Christmas morning was like inheriting a fortune (hey, everyone has a different definition of "fortune").

This morning I had planned on spending a relaxing, lazy day on the couch with Pippi....until I ended up in the bathroom faucet section on the Lowe's website. Before I knew it, I was watching the handy video on installing a bathroom faucet and posted this on Facebook.

Apparently I'm now a man with intermediate level home improvement skill.
And, yes, I remembered to turn off the water first.
















Some background: You know those little things in your house that annoy the heck out of you but, for one reason or another, you're unable to fix them right now? Ever since the day I moved into my house, the master bathroom was almost all those little things rolled into one. The dude who owned the house before me was a slob. And that's one thing I didn't find out about him from his mail. When I say he was a slob, I mean it to say that it's pretty obvious he didn't clean his master bathroom. EVER. The three areas where this is abundantly apparent?
  1. The toilet, which now has a ring around it from where the filth ate away at the porcelain (you only think I'm kidding)
  2. The bottom of the tub, which is permanently stained. I've scrubbed it A LOT, with just about every cleaning scrub and brush I own and it still looks like someone rubbed it with a black crayon.
  3. THE SINK FAUCET. The metal was being eaten away and the insides of the plastic knobs (heh...knobs) were green with mold. Also, the plunger in the sink was missing, so it was an ominous black hole of nasty.
I texted my brother to ask if this is actually something I could do on my own and he seemed confident and offered to help if I needed it when he got off work. Since he knows me pretty well, I took this as my cue to just go for it.

Are you ready for two of the most boring photos ever?

under the sink. <yawn>

pipes under the sink. <zzzz>







































Clearly I'm not meant for a career in plumbing—laying under a sink, showing no butt crack, and attempting to loosen very tight things in very tight places with large tools. Also, I almost dropped a wrench on my face. I did, however, rediscover my inner potty-mouth, which reminded me my next post will be about running.

Here's the disgusting "before" faucet and black hole.
And now, just like me, you can't un-see its penis-esque
quality. You're welcome.
























Here's me, posing victoriously with the old phallic-shaped faucet.
If you or anyone you know is in the market for a rusty,
moldy piece of history, let me know.
























And, after much colorful language and many brushes with a wrench-dented face, the beauteous finished product!






















And now I have a mostly full tub of plumber's putty which, unless someone wants to help me buy a new toilet, I may need to sculpt fun things out of, a la Play-Doh (yes, I had to stop myself a few times in the middle of the faucet replacement).

















I asked my friend after it was done if this ego boost I sensed is what men feel like every time they complete a home improvement project and she suspects that it is. What say ye?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Frosty is a diva

Here's something you may already know: Dogs are disgusting. They're also loving and funny and I enjoy them, but seriously, dogs are DISGUSTING.
Am not!























It's no secret they do stuff like eat gross things and lick themselves in public. I found out something new about my disgusting little four-legged friend yesterday.

Remember Frosty the Finger Puppet?
















That picture was taken around lunchtime on Saturday. Some time between then and about 3pm, Frosty disappeared. I looked EVERYWHERE for him. I moved furniture, I cleaned out the dog crate, I checked etsy packages that I had ready to send out...and nothing. He had disappeared off the face of the planet! I even made sure to notice there was no white fluff in Pippi's poop.






















And then, about five minutes into my workout yesterday, that dog throwing up sound started and I acted quickly and flipped her around so she wouldn't let loose onto the carpet. Guess who emerged ... entirely intact!
Nice rack, Frosty.


















I bet you didn't know a dog could swallow a finger-sized stuffed toy whole, contain it for 48 hours, and return it in the same condition as when it was swallowed. The only time I left the house on Saturday was to walk to the mailbox and get the mail. That's the only time it could have happened. It's like Pippi had been planning his demise for days.

Since his miraculous discovery, Frosty has been washed in hot water, bleach, and detergent. Twice. I let him soak overnight in a bath of vinegar and water (that was boiling when he was submerged), and then washed him several times with antibacterial soap.

This is like a day at the spa compared to where I've been.


















He pretty much looks good as new except that his scarf is now red and white instead of pink and white, he smells like a cross between a swimming pool and an easter egg, and I probably won't handle him without then washing my hands, but FROSTY LIVES!

I'm a survivor. I'm goin' make it. I will survive. Keep on survivin'.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Insanity update

Well, I'm halfway through my second week two of Insanity and, I must say, It actually is getting less "I'm going to die!"

You know how you can watch a movie several times and pick out something new each time you watch it? That's what these DVDs are like. It's part kick-ass workout and part comedy club. There are two girls in particular who probably shouldn't be on camera that make me laugh every time.

Meet Adriana. This is right around the time in the plyometric cardio interval DVD where Shaun T. asks her how she feels and she responds with a heartfelt, "I feel like shit." Earlier in this DVD when taking a water break, she hawks a loogie on the floor. The video editors must not have felt the need to edit that out. Classy. And disgusting.


















Next up we have Shanita. In my opinion, Shanita is even less qualified to be on camera on a "motivating" workout DVD than Adriana, if you can believe that. When asked how she feels, she tells Shaun T., "I wanna leave," to which he responds with a "go take a break." Burn, Shanita. BURN.

















To her credit, this DVD (Pure Cardio) is tough. It's also the video I'm doing again today. Yippee..

Also, I really enjoy the fact that, after the intense "warm-up", in each DVD there's a session of stretching before the craziness...ahem...Insanity begins. I don't know about you but a ton of stretching at the end of a workout is pretty much the last thing I want to do, so I really appreciate this approach.

Also, is this week going insanely slow for anyone else...and not in a good way?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The internets strike again

Thanks to the internet and a growing need in me to always be doing something, I taught myself to be a grandma this weekend!













Yes. Yes, I do feel cooler now. Thanks for asking. I've attempted a "scarf" twice and last night while I was in the shower, Pippi destroyed my latest attempt by chewing up my needles. It's a good thing I have more coupons for Michael's.

Wanna know what else makes me cooler? The most awesome hat ever.
On sale at Old Navy for $5? Yes, I needed it.























Happy early birthday to me.

The last couple of days have been unseasonably warm and, especially after the Summer we had, it really annoys me! It's freaking December and it's supposed to be 70 degrees out on Saturday. It's currently 63. I've got sweaters and scarves and boots just itching to be worn. Is anyone else annoyed by this? No? Just me? Penguin hat is so bored in the closet.

This has nothing to do with anything except that it's hilarious.

Also, this weekend I ordered myself a space heater. It's always at least three degrees warmer upstairs in my house than it is downstairs, which is just enough for my feet and hands to stay icy cold when it's cold outside.

Since I can't flick a switch and turn on a nice warm fire, I'll let this fancy little fella keep me warm instead. I just decided his name will be Peter. Peter the Heater!

I know a little puppy who is going to love it too.

Just don't deny me of my blankets and we're good.



Friday, November 30, 2012

Five things Friday

It's been so long since I've posted now that the only logical thing to do is to write a list post to catch up and what better day to return than Friday!?

1. 
Lions and tigers!
video

This is one of the coolest things I've ever seen. I took this video at The Conservator's Center. Yes, those are lions and tigers chillin out together after a big lunch on the top of that platform. We basically got to get as close to the animals as two chain-link fences about two feet apart. It was incredible.
Lions and tigers and wolves!























2. 
I have a new friend!
FrostyTheFingerPuppet






















HappyTriGirl posted a few hilarious pictures with her Frosty in them and I inquired about how I could procure one for myself and, just like that, she surprised me by sending me one! They've even got their own hashtag on Twitter—#Frostythefingerpuppet. Best package ever. It's the little things in life.

Also, is my dog the only one who thinks all stuffed animal-like things are hers? I don't even buy her plush dog toys because she destroys them in five seconds, so I'm not sure where she gets it from.


3. 
Pippi's left ear has gotten limp. I'm not sure why. It's floppy now when she walks. 
























Maybe it's just gotten lazy in her advanced age of two years old.
Wednesday was the big day.



















4. 
I had a date night last week. I divulge no other information than that at this time. We decided, after a bottle of wine between the two of us, to drive to Harris Teeter and buy another large bottle. 

















We then finished that one, too. And I went to work in the morning. Best idea ever.

5.
Insanity update: starting over. My friend, Mike, decided he wanted to start Insanity and we decided we'd work out together a couple days a week, which involved me starting the program over this week so we'd be on the same schedule. So far I haven't noticed any real changes other than the soreness. Oh the soreness!
That chic on the left shows me up on a daily basis. Bitch.

  





















Do you celebrate your pets' birthdays? Growing up we always did and I'm following tradition. I even sang to Pippi while tossing her treats. She seemed impressed...with the treats.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

On going insane

In my many years on this earth, I've tackled lots of types of workouts: running, swimming, yoga, kickboxing, workout DVDs, spinning...and now I'm venturing into the world of Insanity. I've only tackled two days so far, so I've got 58 more heart-pounding days to go.

At least my birthday lands in the "recovery week".


























Don't let the "fit test" fool you. I was all "Oh, day 1 is just the fit test. I'm sure it won't be that hard." And then I learned a lesson that I will be cursing Shaun T. for for the next 58 days. Adding "power" to the beginning of a well-meaning exercise makes it 500 times more evil. Adding "suicide"? Well, you can imagine.
































I've mentioned this before, but I really hate the "quick feet" exercise because, well, any part of me that can jiggle, does jiggle. And that just ain't fun. And now, I have new exercises to hate even more. The Heisman and 123-123.
Basically  jumping side-to-side doing this. Over and over.















Yesterday's workout was Plyometric Cardio Circuit, meaning I got to do these things over and over, each time faster than the time before (in theory). Truth be told, I only got through 20 minutes of the 40-minute workout because I'm now dealing with balance issues due to the junk in my head not going away. I haven't been able to hear out of my right ear since Sunday. Mucinex to the rescue!

I like to call this "doing it right."




















By the way, it really bums me out that the Mucinex boxes don't feature the phlegm monster from the commercials.














But I digress.

I remember the first time after I did my favorite workout DVD, I struggled to walk up stairs for three days but then doing it a year later it now seems easy. With any luck, by day 60 these workouts will seem easy. Right, guys? Right?


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My take on "Adopt. Don't Shop"

I've sunk to a new low. A quote from "Ghandi"? I demand references!
















I read an article/blog post this morning that I'm feeling the need to share...because I respectfully disagree! The title of the article is Adopt Don't Shop-the most dangerous advice. Here's a little gem from the article.
Whenever I see [adopt don't shop] it makes my blood boil. It is one of the most irresponsible and incredibly stupid “emotional demands” I have seen. It bothers me, not because I breed (which I do), but as a person who helps people deal with animal behavior concerns.

The goal of finding homes for shelter or rescue animals should be based on the concept of finding the right MATCH, not the right home. The right home, will be the right home for any dog, the right match of dog-owner is the key.
Funnily enough, I agree with the second paragraph. And this is why any good shelter or adoption agency allows you to essentially "test out" your relationship with the dog first. They don't want you to end up with a dog that isn't a good match for you, and if you have any issues, they want you to bring the dog back to them! In fact, I had to sign a contract to that affect. If, at any time, I need to give Pippi up, I am contractually obligated to bring her back to the adoption agency.

And, just like that, this person's entire argument is blown to pieces. I'm sure there are agencies and shelters that don't have this agreement, but I doubt any of them would want you to keep an adopted animal if it just isn't the one for you. There are MILLIONS of dogs and cats in shelters. Why wouldn't they allow you to look around until you find the right fit? And also, why is this person so sure bred dogs are a better fit for everyone?

SuuuuperMuuuutt. Duh nuh nuh NUUUUH!


Petfinder.com is the website where I found Pippi. Look at those numbers. It's sad.
















I'm a huge proponent of adopting dogs (or cats) instead of buying them from breeders or pet shops...in most cases. There are so many dogs and cats put down daily because there aren't enough homes for them all, and there are people out there breeding more dogs, many of which are likely to suffer the same fate. Also...puppy mills. Don't get me started on puppy mills. I once read an article on "the truth of euthanasia," which I can't find at the moment, but you can imagine.

This was essentially the gist.



















The more dogs that are bred and sold in pet shops, the more perfectly good dogs in a shelter or up for adoption will be put down needlessly. My mom's dog is a purebred dog that the previous owner purchased from a breeder. My mom adopted her at under a year of age because the previous owner gave her up because she didn't know she was going to get that big. She's a frickin LABRADOR RETRIEVER! In that vein, I also think having some brain cells to rub together should be a prerequisite for getting a pet. It makes you wonder whether the breeder told the lady "this dog will grow to be between 70 and 90 pounds" or if the buyer did no research and then chose not to hear that part.















A while ago, someone tried to convince me that any dog over the age of six weeks (the age at which some agree a dog is ready to be weaned from its mother) is "ruined," meaning all hopes of training that dog are dashed because whoever owned the dog for those six weeks essentially brainwashed it into not being able to learn from anyone else. They then sent their dog away for six months to be trained by someone else. Oh the irony.

"You told me to get on my bed, so I got on my bed. Now where's my treat?"


















I adopted Pippi when she was six months old and at 1.5 years old, we went to training classes for 12 weeks and now I can get her to do things I never could have imagined she'd ever know how to do and knows commands she definitely didn't know when I first got her. We've learned all these things together. In other words? Six weeks, my ass.

How could you pass up this mutt-tastic face?


















Now, I'm not saying buying a dog from a breeder is always bad. Maybe someone needs a non-mix breed due to allergies or some other concern that I'm not familiar with. I just know that there are so many cats and dogs (and birds and fish and hedgehogs...yes, you can adopt a hedgehog on Petfinder) out there who needs homes that breeding more in order to make money just seems inhumane. Your life gets richer (pardon the pun) and maybe two or three more dogs suffer as a result? That just doesn't sound like something someone who really loves animals would do.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Contractor-grade is my four-letter word

Spin class on Friday was a success! ... Well, aside from the fact that Bree, thee worst spin instructor eeveer was teeaching and her idea of get-you-pumped music is Taylor Swift and Ke$ha. I remember now why I avoid her classes. I had to take it a little slower than normal because I was struggling to breathe, but a made it the full hour! 

As for the running on Saturday, I had a change of plans. I received a check I wasn't expecting late last week for $32, which, as it turns out, is exactly how much a gallon of paint costs. The luck! Since the nastiness left by the previous owner of my house on the master bathroom walls was seriously grossing me out, I decided to start there. I'd decided a while ago I wanted to paint it dark purple.

My inspiration:
No, I'm not kidding.













My final choice:
I've never seen grapes this dark.

I spent the better part of Saturday painting (with ELF on in the background, of course). I've decided my least favorite color in the world is the contractor-grade off-white color they paint walls that sucks up everything, including the previous owner's nastiness and the first coat of paint you try to cover it up with. Also? The big, contractor-grade sheet mirrors in bathrooms are my NEMESIS! I can't seem to find online how much the mirror the size of the one that was in my master bathroom weighs, but the fact that I didn't break it or cut off my toes removing it from the wall, is a miracle. Holy mother of HEAVY! In hindsight, I probably should have asked a big, strong man to help me but patience isn't exactly my strong suit.













Without further ado, my new bathroom:


















Doesn't look quite impressive enough? How about now?


I decided a room of this color needed some big, gaudy gold accents. I'm pretty much in love with the mirror and the picture frame, both of which I got on ridiculous sales, thanks to Michael's and HomeGoods. I always find myself walking around HomeGoods thinking, "I have no idea what this is, but I think I need it." And, in case you missed my previous post about that dog print, you can find it here.

Pippi was extremely unimpressed with my renovation, but, as usual, found herself at home protecting the living room from intruders.


















I also did something that will, hopefully, make our lives a little less crazy and bark-y.
And, like that, I've become the old lady of the neighborhood.


















One more thing I need to share, because it's kind of a big deal in my world—after 30 years, I may have finally figured out a way to make my hair stay wavy. Accidentally go to bed with wet hair up in a messy bun.
We'll see how long it lasts.























I spent the rest of my weekend cleaning the house. Pippi still tries to attack the vacuum. Any advice on how to get this to stop, FOR THE LOVE??