Ready for a ride in the C-A-R

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Having a dog around is a lot like being around a little kid, you end up doing a lot of spelling. C-a-r.  B-o-n-e.  C-a-t.  W-a-l-k.  B-a-t-h.  Those are words that can only be said, instead of spelled, if you are trying to elicit some response from the dog. Almost all of those words are met with jubilant responses, apart from b-a-t-h and c-a-t. “Bath” makes him run to the farthest corner of our backyard and bark awkwardly. He never barks so it sounds very silly and unnatural.

Rides in the c-a-r are normally his favorite thing, so if you are wondering why he is making such a ridiculous face… There is a perfectly good explanation..

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If he only knew getting in the c-a-r is the last thing the c-a-t wants to do…

Take your dog to the Keys they said..

It will be fun they said…

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My parents have taken our dog, Keen, to the Keys several times and it really is a lot of fun having him there. So much fun in fact that I decided to go with them on their next trip. Instead of us all cramming in one room or spending a ton of money on an extra hotel room, we decided to look for a rental house or condo. It started off so well! We found plenty of houses that accepted pets and had really good prices. I e-mailed my favorites so that I could verify availability and book. Easy, right? Not. At. All. There are so many restrictions on dogs! I had no idea it would be so complicated!

Our first choice wouldn’t allow huskies because of the insurance. I work in insurance and I know how the insurance companies can be, so it was hard to argue that one. No problem because I had several back-ups! Then the next place wouldn’t accept dogs that were over 25 lbs, then another place had a 30lb limit. After that it was no fluffy dogs. UGH! I finally found one place that was all the way out on Cudjoe Key, which is about 23mi from Key West, that was available and didn’t hold grudges against 50lb, fluffy puppies.

That was just too far, so after spending a few days feeling like a hamster running in a wheel, we finally ended back at the original plan. They’re going to stay at the same hotel that they always use and I’m going to book a place for myself. All that effort for nothing! So for anyone out there that’s wondering, if you’re traveling with a dog that’s larger or hairier than a chihuahua, it might be hard to find a place to stay, apart from the large hotel chains. You should also be prepared to pay extra pet fees, regardless of your dog breed.

If anyone has any recommendations or alternative options, I would love to hear them!

Living History at Desoto National Park

I was taking the pup for a walk in the park this morning..

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When I saw this…

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It’s not everyday you see a horse in armor walking around Desoto. Turns out it’s the 4th annual American Military Festival.

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There’s a bunch of booths with different types of displays..

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People are all in costume..

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If you’re in the area, go check it out. There’s lovely weather today!

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32 Minutes or So…

I hope everyone had a fun and safe St. Patrick’s Day. The Shamrock Run and Pub Crawl was even better than I thought it would be! They haven’t posted the official results yet, but my time was around 32 minutes.

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My mom was about one tenth of a mile before the finish line taking pictures, but she didn’t see me until I passed her.. Then I ran past my dad at the finish line and he didn’t see me either! Ayiyi. Thanks, Family!

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There’s everyone, complete with the dogs, and boy were there a lot of dogs there!

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Of all shapes and sizes..

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This was one of the most fun races I have done. The costumes, the food, the music… All of it was wonderful

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There was dancing..

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I got some use out of two t-shirts I made 2 YEARS ago..

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One says, “I’m Irish.. but don’t kiss me.” The other says, “I’m not Irish… but you can kiss me.”

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The food was delicious. Fresh fruits, every kind of sandwich wrap imaginable, cookies, drinks, granola bars and sweet potato chips..

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I was also really impressed with the band! I have no idea what their name was and I can’t fin it online, but they were great!

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If anybody knows, please tell me!

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That’s about all for now!

Vintage Steamer Trunk Repair

I found this steamer trunk at an estate sale a few months ago. I really liked the dark green and brass colors, but it had this big glob of tape residue on the top and a water ring.

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I thought I could get the white stuff of with some Goo Be Gone, but apparently the tape residue was as vintage as the trunk and it would not come off. It didn’t even think about coming off. It was pretty discouraging, actually. I didn’t originally want to sand it, because I was worried about messing up the finish that was still good. At this point though, the rest of the finish didn’t matter if there was a huge white chunk of ugly on the top. I had pretty much given up on restoring it, so the whole thing turned into more of an experiment. After a lot of sanding and scraping most of it was gone and the top was still really smooth. Unfortunately I slacked on taking a picture of this step. I found a paint color at Home Depot that was almost an exact match to the green, so painting was the next step. I wanted to paint the bottom side of the trunk first, so I could see how close of a match it actually was and if I would still like it.

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The bottom had some wear too, so I sanded it a bit and then painted. I thought the color was great, so I set about doing the most annoying part of this whole project, taping off EVERYTHING. UGH! So tedious.

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This is the bottom again. I used a little bit of filler to get rid of a few scratches and dents. Again, it’s always best to experiment on the side where no one will see it if you’re displaying it in your house. I did this same thing on my dresser though, so I figured it would turn out fine.

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Much better right? I intentionally didn’t want the paint to be 100% perfect, because I like the worn look. After I repeated this whole process 5 MORE TIMES, to finish all the other sides, It was a huge improvement. Something was still missing for me though. I decided to try something I’ve seen on Domestic Imperfection, she calls it the “Dirty Cowboy Treatment.” Basically, you just add some stain or glaze to it, to give it the nice worn look. I put it across all of the painted surfaces, with extra in the edges and corners. I think it’s perfect now!

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Somehow I wrote this whole post without noticing the cat in the picture below… it’s so nice to have company when I’m working outside! You can also see Keen ears poking up on the right side of the box… silly animals…

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Right now it’s just stacked in my room as a make shift end table. I’m not sure where it will end up, or if I’ll even keep it, but it was a good learning experience!

Cross-Eyed Monster

What is it about cats that makes it necessary for them to crawl into every open door, cabinet, crevice or in this case, carpet roll?

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We also have a Husky who sheds on EVERYTHING. We were in the process of de-hairing our floors when we threw all the rugs outside. When we went back to get them all, this is what we found.

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Pretty cute, huh? I was able to get a few quick pictures before the dog came over and sniffed his butt, which caused a minor heart attack on the cat’s part. They actually get along pretty well. By “pretty well” I mean they try to each pretend the other doesn’t exist. That’s good enough for me!

Kitten is the cats name (I’m not good with the whole naming thing, obviously. Hopefully, I improve before I have kids. I have a feeling naming all of my children “Baby Human” would be frowned upon) and the dogs name is Keen. It’s a good thing he was already named when we got him. If not, I’m afraid he would have been “Puppy” or “Little Husky Puppy” if I were feeling fancy. I guess it’s only fair to put a picture of “Little Husky Puppy” on here too…

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Driving in Costa Rica… like a boss.

There is only one thing that I can recommend to bring to Costa Rica if you plan on driving. This was key to my survival of the notoriously challenging and at times perilous Costa Rican Roads. Drum Roll, please… My Mother.

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She can drive a stick shift like nobody’s business. The hazards of Costa Rican roads include many steep inclines that result in frequent accidents..

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People driving with unnecessary distractions, like dogs…

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Cows… not a cow, but multiple cows..

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But don’t worry, they are accompanied by a nice herding gentlemen..

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Plus there’s lots of traffic…

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Not to mention when it’s rainy season and the roads are washing out all the time. There’s also the occasional avalanche, rickety bridges and crazy aggressive drivers… So if you aren’t blessed enough to be escorted by my mother, my advice would be lots of prayer and have someone with you that drives better than me.

I wasn’t a total chicken though, I did try to drive a few times. I even got the pleasure of getting stuck in traffic while going up a mountain. There were policemen directing traffic and I actually got pulled over apparently for looking like an idiot. I guess you cause them to wonder if you actually have a drivers license after you stall three times in a row… front and center of the line.. while they yell at you to go forward (no pressure, right?). My glorious, Spanish speaking mother had a good laugh with the policemen (at my expense) and then he sent us on our stalling and sputtering way. Thanks, Mom.

Tell me your driving stories below!