Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Hello again all! Another update full of photos is headed your way!

I am currently "alone" as Cody and Morgan are in Phoenix visiting and remodeling. I say alone in quotes because I am not really alone. I still have Brigs, Straton, Critter, Annie, Hazel, Rosie, Jedi, Geri, Fred, Autumn, the birds, mice, and fish. So you don't recognize a few of those names... that is because we have had a few changes in the snake clan.

After a family meeting we decided that as beautiful as BJ was he was just too hard to handle. We like the Sand Boas and Corn Snakes so much we sadly took in BJ to our reptile shop and traded him in for a Amelanistic corn snake female we have named Autumn, and a baby (teeeeeny tiny!) male sand boa I have named Fred. So that brings the snake count up to six. Cody and Morgan have a lot of fun with them swimming them once or twice a week and feeding them three times a week.

We have also had a temporary visitor. (See photo below) Cody found a beautiful brown snake at work a few weeks ago and let him visit for a few days. He was handsome and fairly calm and I wanted to keep him but Cody has better impulse control and once there was another warm spell he released him in the little creek in the park across the street.

The other snakes are growing like weeds. The Corn snakes gladly eat three times a week but Geri has Cody worried as she only eats about once a month now. I think that she is just slowing down since she is older and has a slower metabolism than the corn snakes but Cody is not convinced. She sure doesn't look poorly though! Fat and huge, she shows no signs of wasting or dehydration. And we got her fine sand for her cage now and she just LOVES it! Every day we check and she has new tracks all over the cage.

As for everything else, the weather is alternating between 40s during the day and 70s, but nights are consistently around freezing. I seem to always guess wrong when dressing so I am nearly always freezing or sweating. Hopefully I will figure out this layering thing soon.

Annie is doing well. She had a hoof abscess all last week and so I finally had the vet out on Friday. She of course was better Thursday night and managed to only show a very slight lameness in the front right leg but it was unspecified. The vet said it was likely an abscess and to give her bute for a few days. Today I came to visit and she was feeling much better. (To say the least!) She was hopping all over the place on the lead and when I turned her out in the front arena she took about six laps before she stopped running! She was even rearing and leaping through the air and really acting up a storm! I guess she is ready to get back to work! I will go visit her tomorrow afternoon.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


After almost two weeks of temps close to 80 Fall is here again. This time for good! The leaves are changing and the cold rains have moved in again. Annie is living in blankets and sheets 24-7 and soon we will be seeing snow. Tonight we did get a bit of sleet/freezing rain and likely I will be dealing with ice tomorrow for the first time since NY.

At least we know Brigs is ready for the snow. In August and September he and Cody were up in the mountains during the summer snow storms and Brigs just LOVES snow! We'll see if that relationship stays strong until next spring.

Straton is also fitting in great with the family. He still has some poor manners but has yet to do anything "wrong". He and Brigs are buddies, often choosing to sleep in the same kennel and playing together very well. Cody is really starting to bond with him, but he is still very much "my" dog.

Cody still plays hard with the tiny dog and Straton has had to get used to this being "OK" but slowly he is learning that he doesn't need to protect us from Brigs, and he can even play along.

There are more pictures and such but it is almost 2am and I have to get up early so I suppose I will go. Hopefully I can post again tomorrow. =)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cold and Colds

Fall is here in Colorado. The temps are low, the heater is on, the coats are out, and we are scraping ice in the morning. The house is coming together as far as unpacking and arranging furniture but along with fall comes the cold season and it has hit our household. Cody sounds like an asthmatic consumptive, and Morgan and I keep flip-flopping between feeling great and having the full blown sniffles. Due to this we have, yet again, not completed the stuff we had planned and we are still in the middle of chaos. I do hope you can look past the poor framing of the photos, I was trying to avoid the piles of... stuff... and boxes still strewn throughout the rooms.
Now on to the pictures!!
Cody's office is one of the few rooms that is fairly well done as far as unpacking and updating. Most of the animals in cages are situated in the office including the birds and snakes.

Cody built a lovely three tiered cage rack. It is made out of two by fours but he, being the artisan he is, made it heirloom quality with cut-outs, recessed and angled fasteners, and he sanded and rounded everything flush. He also took the time to decorate the cages for fall.

His office is in the closet cut-out and fits very well. His table that has been his office desk for years fits in with about 1/2" clearance. Sweet!

And we still like the living room arrangement. Cody has mounted a lot of our pictures throughout the house. It really makes it feel like home. Pardon the mess, we have been a bit under the weather, working like mad, and I've got a pretty full school schedule so the cleaning has unfortunately fallen back on the priority list.

The dog beds have respective places in the living room and fit in with the decor pretty well. Brigs and Stratton crack us up as they both argue over who's bed is who's. Stratton can wedge himself in that little cup of Brigs and Brigs will run Stratton off of the big pillow.

The hallway showcases my parapluie print and Annie's oil painting. The dogs like to skate up and down it while wrestling, and Morgan has mastered the art of running and sliding on her socks into her room. =)

Our bedroom got rearranged this week. It flows a little better but we are going to have to build a corner headboard to keep the pillows from falling off the bed. Stratton has been arguing with us about him not being on the bed. He is sneaky about getting up and then acting all surprised when we make him get down. He's sure a smart little bugger!

The bed faces the window and Cody's jungle of plants. It will be very nice when the backyard is in better shape giving us something to look at but at this point we are just glad that we get a lot of natural light.

The kitchen has been thoroughly cleaned and Cody got the dishwasher working. We are extremely happy about the dishwasher!

With the freezing temps the paint had to be brought inside. The unfinished shelf off of the stairs is now the paint storage area. Whatever works!

This little gem was found when Cody dug everything out of the garage. We are going to use it to decorate downstairs...

Speaking of downstairs... Cody and Kieth got the trim in!

And Cody replaced the thousand different shades and fixtures with one fixture that matches the one in the hall. There is another mount that is still open but as we are out of money and have no idea what we would do with it anyway, it will stay open for a while.

Cody was surprised with how well the paint turned out in the basement. We couldn't afford to strip the cheesy paneling so we Kilzed it and then I suggested using a flat roller to bring out the texture. Now Cody has dubbed the basement the "Nickelodeon Room". The brick wall turned out great and we have plans for dressing it up quite a bit.

The boys did a great job and took a little rest before starting to bring in the furniture and toys.

The laundry room has come along a little also. This is our "super sixties" hutch that is temporary home to Critter's food and water. He has been in the basement since Stratton moved in. Stratton has been a perfect gentleman but Critter has stated that one dog was bad enough. Two is just too much.

Next to the hutch is a tiny closet under the stairs. It had to be Kilzed thoroughly as there was a lot of previous animal damage under the stairs. It is now a storage closet for many of the little planes.

One of my major accomplishments was getting the laundry completely done this week. We were left an 8' long old library table by the previous owners. We liked it, it was beautiful, but we had nowhere to put it, or so Cody thought. I had him and Kieth drag it downstairs and put it against the back wall so it could be my folding table. As you can see the laundry had backed up a little when this was the storage room.

The rest of the furniture and toys are being moved in and we assembled the dollhouse. We have since learned that if you ask a 7 year old to unpack her toys that a ginormous mess will soon take over a room. One would think that we could have known this before hand... I am claiming insanity from exhaustion!

As you can see the basement is a bit of a cluster right now... the colds have slowed down the cleaning and arranging. Hopefully by this weekend. Or next week.

This room was going to be a living area but we decided to let it just be a toy room and put the guest bed in for sleepovers and company. Well, maybe someday!

Cody and Kieth came home with pumpkins and Morgan has been aggravating us ever since about carving. She did manage to find the witch hats and dress them up, and has been satisfied with that for the last week.
The last detail was a coat rack. Cody slapped one together after being tired of having the coats and dog leashes either being "lost" or hanging on chairs/piled on floors.

And here is a detail shot of the coat rack. It makes us all laugh. Definitely not a high dollar item, but very functional! The blue rolls are the dog bags for cleaning up after them on walks. It is a convenient place to keep them. As you can see this rack is packed full so a second, larger rack is being planned.

Well, this is the end of this update. We are all surviving the cold weather well, but the cold viruses not so well. We will be very happy once our budget returns to normal parameters and also once the stupid election is over. We all agree that election years suck. Just another month... =)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Basement Story

So this week we have been working on the basement. I also started my second quarter at Bel-Rea. Yippee. First I want to refresh your memory as to what we were working with:

There was the five different lights... from swags to track lighting.

Funny story about these lamps: Cody asked if I wanted to get rid of them, and then asked if I wanted to keep them right after. I answered "yes" meaning yes I wanted them all gone. He looked at me funny and said "Really?" I looked at him equally funny. He then sighed and asked where I wanted them. "In the dumpster preferably." I replied. He realized the confusion, smiled and laughed. He said later that he had almost re-evaluated the relationship thinking I wanted to keep them!

Remember the paneling, and teal carpet?

And of course, the faux brick paneling...

The stairwell was just lovely also with brown carpet and a topper of the green shag from the rest of the house.

I don't believe I showed you all the laundry/storage/mechanical room in earlier posts.
As we are focusing on the basement in this episode and as it is in the basement I figured I'd show it off. Caution: this area is our current catch-all for all things that don't fit anywhere else. It is SCARY messy!
The entry from the basement main room:

The laundry area and Cody and my current closet.

I mentioned the storage, right?

The view from the laundry room into the main basement before the demo:

First the carpet came up. Hmmm... that is really gross under there!

ALL the carpet! (Um, EEEEWWWWW!!!)

As you can see above, the stairs and basement had some issues we weren't expecting. Previous owners had pets. And these pets peed. All over the basement and stairwell.

So we Kilzed the basement stairs.

And then the floors. And then the walls.

The new dog, Straton, and Brigs were helping yesterday!

There have been a few other developments besides the remodel in the last weeks. Cody found a Corn Snake breeder in Colorado that had a Ghost Morph that he wanted. So now we have 5 snakes. Jedidiah, "Jedi", is our newest snake. A male ghost Corn Snake. He's about a month old and the size of a pencil! Cute, cute, cute!!!

Here is Rosie hanging out in the bathroom...

and Hazel hanging out with Cody on her favorite perch.
(The white on Cody's face is Kilz paint)

Straton is blending into the family very well. Everyone is quite happy with the arrangement, especially Straton!

And here are the Corn Kids hanging out in the bath. Cody swims them two to three times a week. Great exercise for them and helps them shed their skins when they are shedding. They have all learned to suction their heads to the sides of the tub when they want to rest. Aren't they cute?

Back to the basement! Kieth came over yet again today to help Cody with the colored paint and the floors. As we are broke and can't afford to replace the paneling right now we decided to go with a faux painting scheme and we are quite happy with it. It will be a great little play room and TV room for us.

The brick paneling has some sort of humor value with Cody so we decided to go with brick red as we couldn't really think of another way to deal with it. We really like the look and Cody is thinking of replacing the paneling with real faux brick walls when we have some cash again.

And so this is where we stand right now. I will get photos after the trim is in and once we start moving the furniture and toys in.