Friday, June 21, 2013

Doggy Days of Summer

With the Mothers Day Historic Home Tour (see previous post) behind me as well as the local fire station open house on June 1 that I helped coordinate, I’m feeling much more relaxed and ready to enjoy some down time.  I’ve also closed a chapter and am preparing to start a new one.  I moved out of my space at the Rustic Sparrow a week ago.  Sales were slowing down there and it just wasn’t fun anymore.  Now I have a storage space and half of my garage full of merchandise like this last item I painted but I will find homes for all of it in another way and then I’ll move on to something else.

It feels a little strange; I still see a piece of furniture and begin thinking about what I would do with it but there’s no longer a reason to do that.  I guess it’s a habit that I’ll be able to end after a few conversations with myself. 

Ending that chapter doesn’t mean I’ll stop being creative – that much I know.  I’ll be working on my home more and possible doing some custom work or creating smaller items that can be sold on etsy – when I’m ready.

I do have other news.  I’m fostering an adorable little two-year-old corgi/dachshund/Chihuahua mix and odds are I’ll be officially adopting her in a couple of weeks. 

Maisie Grace tugged at my heart when I saw her at an adoption event 2 weeks ago.  She has a delicate little face I loved at first sight.  Unfortunately, she had recently given birth to a litter of 4 very cute puppies and she was somewhat emaciated.  You could see the vertebrae in her back, her ribs, and her hips.  She practically inhaled the first serving of kibble provided by the rescue group so I stepped up the amount they’d recommended and increased the number of feedings, switching to puppy food.  Within a week she looked less gaunt and had more energy.  Two weeks later, she’s VERY full of energy and has filled out beautifully and the hair she lost as a result of her pregnancy is coming in and looking much more Corgi-like.

When I first picked her up at the adoption event, Maisie practically hugged me back, laid her head against my neck and we were  bonded.  For the next 2-3 days, she was usually in my arms or lap and part of me wondered if I was creating a monster that would insist on being carried everywhere.  Fortunately, not so – and my gut instinct was right - as her strength returned, she was at first willing to get down and stay nearby but it wasn’t long before she began to head off and explore on her own.  Now she’s a feisty little thing who lets pedestrians on her sidewalk know just whose house this is.

On the ride home, I was thrilled Maisie was to become part of my life but I wondered how she would do with my lab-mix, Flame.  Flame is 12 years old and medium sized but I’ve seen what he can do to a young possum and it isn’t pretty.  It didn’t turn out to be a problem. When they met, I could see that he was a little anxious, but very tolerant and they quietly approved of each other.  Two days later, Maisie decided to play and Flame rose to the occasion.  I have never seen him play with another dog and at his age, I didn’t expect him to learn how, but he did and, oh my!  They have a blast!  Maisie climbs up on him and bops him in the face with her paw and they’re off!  I keep waiting for Flame, who looks huge next to her, to step on Maise while they play but he hasn’t yet – he’s gentle but I see they’re both having a great time.  I’ve noticed that Maisie even snuggles into him sometimes and they have mutual face-licking moments.  It does my heart good to see that.  They like to walk side-by-side when I take them out.

So now I play catch up with details in my life I’d set aside during my typically hectic spring and hang out with my 4-legged kids.   

Sounds like a great way to spend the summer.  After that, who knows!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Oh no, nearly a year has passed by since my last posting.  Plenty has happened since then; after only 6 months my (elderly) first renter needed to move back in with his daughter so my little guesthouse became available again in January.  I was taking time to improve it more, including badly needed paint in every room and a better arrangement for the kitchen cabinets and counter across from the sink when someone interested in renting suddenly contacted me and the time frame was suddenly bumped up A LOT.  I was able to have nearly everything ready for her in early March and I’m very pleased with the new tenant, who is also retired and has written professionally.  She’s truly enjoying the little cottage and has decorated it nicely.  

In April I learned that my house would be on our Historic District’s Mothers Day Home Tour.  I already do quite a bit for that event, including running it, designing the tickets and 28-page program, along with doing the publicity and handling pre-event ticket sales, so adding all the odds and ends around my house and yard were a wee bit stressful!  Thanks to the help of friends, I was able to pull it off, though.  My new tenant was gracious enough to help with the garden and also allowed the approximately 800 visitors through her house, too.  I’m impressed that after only a couple of months, she has decorated her little place both attractively and efficiently. 

Among the things on my to-do list was re-painting my dining room set.  The photo shows a chair back before distressed and antiqued it.  

The set looks perfect next to my latest acquisition, a magnificent wooden soda cooler with marvelous patina.    The painting above is one I did years ago, based on Van Gogh’s dreary “Potato Eaters.”  I livened it up just a bit and named it “The Cookie Eaters.”

I also worked on my backyard.  Those photos will come in a future post - and I look forward to writing it before another 10 months go by!