Two black dogs, a Sawzall and a pile of pavers…

It has been about two weeks since I last posted here – best laid plans, dontcha know?  What’s been keeping me away you say?

Two black dogs, a Sawzall and a pile of pavers.

Here’s the first black dog:


This is Brandon.  He’s out 11 year-old Curly Coated Retriever and just about the sweetest living thing on the face of the earth.  He’s sloppy, smells bad, eats cat poop and his tail is a certified nuisance, but he’s ours.  And about two weeks ago I took him to the vet to see what the little lumps under his neck were.   In about 30 seconds the doctor said classic lymphoma.  With aggressive treatment he could live another six months.  With pain control only maybe a week, maybe six at the most.

Not exactly what I planned to hear that day.  I was hoping for a minor infection.  Bad news.  Bad. Bad. Bad.

So that was the crying day.

Losing Brandon would be hard on us, but it would be much harder on Gibby, our beagle-doxie mix, who can’t live without Brandon’s presence for even a moment.  I kid you not – take Brandon outside for five minutes without Gibby and you’d swear someone was killing Gibby.  The HOWLing, the CRYing, the DOOR SCRATCHING – and then the reunion.  Its like Rose found out the Jack was OK after the Titanic sank.

So we knew that we had to find another dog for Gibby – someone he could bond to like he did to Brandon, and given Brandon’s prognosis we had to do it quick.

Enter Annie:


She’s a 5 month old lab/beagle mix that we rescued from the shelter.  Gibby hates her.  She loves Brandon.  Not exactly what we hoped for but its only been just over a week.  And there may be some hope – Gibby didn’t try to growl her into a corner this morning but rather just walked past her.  Progress!

So having one pup dying of cancer and adding another one to the family so that the little fat doxie is happy is sort of a time suck.

BUT WAIT – there’s MORE (read that line in your best TV infomercial voice…)

We’ve been renovating our house for a while now, and just launched into one of the very last phases of construction which involves tearing down a lot of walls, adding heat, electricity a wood stove to create a new kitchen entry, great room and dining room.  That started up again last Thursday.

Yay timing!

I’ve got another post in the cooker on details on that, but here, I’ll show you a bit of what we’ve got going on now.

Here’s a bit of the before – looking from the kitchen across the eat in area.  The door used to lead to garages that we reframed as a great room:

And here is a look across the dining table out to what used to be a screened porch.  Now framed as the dining room, but still separated from the rest of the house by sliders because there isn’t any heat out there yet:


And without giving too much away here is roughly the same view from the kitchen now:


So there’s the Sawzall part.

The end of my kitchen looks like this now – purty, no?


That plastic and temporary door is supposed to protect our living space from the mess beyond:


and boy what a mess it is.

But more on that later…

So where do the pavers fit in?

Outside of course.  We have a landscaper who doesn’t seem to think that coordinating schedules with the contractor is any big deal.  He was supposed to finish the stone wall and patio, um, like five weeks ago?  But hey – things happen! Like rain.  And sunshine.  And butterflies flying by or whatever other excuse came flitting by…

So the outside of the construction side of the house looks like this:


So with all of this going on I tend to hide at the other end of the house in my living room – so cozy, so comfy:


So try to forgive a new blogger for falling off the wagon.  There’s been a bit going on here on my end!

But just posting this makes me feel oh so much better.

Thanks for checking in.

Later this week we’ll look at barn beams, my crazy obsession with amateur artwork, and more on this nutty renovation!



4 thoughts on “Two black dogs, a Sawzall and a pile of pavers…

  1. Seriously??? All this and you haven’t taken to Demon Rum yet???? Seriously, so sorry for Brandon. I know it has to be difficult.

  2. Oh Brandon. Pathetic and smelly but solid LOVE. :-(. Annie’s got some big paw prints to fill. By the way, the house looks great!

  3. A boy and his dog… OR a family and their dog… ;(
    What a great story and only a few minor complications (renovating) while taking care of your family. Love you. The renovations look great and the finished project will be spectacular!

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