Friday, October 9, 2015

It never gets easier...

Today we said goodbye to this special little guy...

As you can see from my sidebar, we've been through this many times over the years.
It never gets easier.

For the past week, Jarrett has been sneezing a bit harder than normal. He's so low to the ground that when he sneezes, he bumps his snout on the floor (which for the past week has given him a tiny bloody nose - not a lot of blood - one swipe of a tissue and it was gone). We assumed it was maybe a seasonal allergy, but decided to have it checked this past Monday.

We were shocked to learn that he had an aggressive cancer on the roof of his mouth that had started traveling into his nasal passage. That was what was causing the more pronounced sneezing along with the bit of a bloody nose. The recommendation: euthanasia. Treatment was not an option. Especially for a 15 year old dog. I have no idea how long he'd had it. Other than the sneezing/bloody noses, he'd shown no symptoms whatsoever.

We brought him home so our two girls, who no longer live at home, could come and say their goodbyes. And the past few days while on the pain killers he was sent home with, he did really good. He stopped sneezing and getting bloody noses, a good thing .

We knew his days were numbered, and that his cancer was aggressive and not treatable, but while he was still wagging his tail and enjoying life (and food), I was not ready to say that final goodbye. 

But things changed suddenly, and Mr. J took a turn for the worse overnight. We rushed him to the vet's first thing this morning to face the inevitable.

"My little old dog: a heart-beat at my feet." (Edith Wharton)

Till we meet again, Mr. J, our sweet, sweet boy. You will always live on in our hearts.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Studio/Office Makeover continues...

 This is the biggest change to happen... 

... since this room became my studio/office.

Our plan had always been to eventually move the bookcases that we've had in the hallway of our small split entry for the past several years (where they blocked an air intake vent) into the office.

Well, "eventually" came sooner than we'd expected. This is now the view from my desk. It's beautiful, and I love it...

... but how I wish this sweet girl was still my view. Every time Tiger would go up and down the 'stairs' to get into her bed, she'd pause and look out the window.

It's two days shy of a month since we lost our Tiger girl. She was my office-mate and my muse. She loved watching me at my desk from her bed, the same one she'd slept on for 22 years.

It was her spot from the time she joined our family as a tiny little kitten until the day she left us.

It took several weeks before I was ready to disassemble the bed and move the bookcases in, but I finally felt it was time to do so.

Some of you might remember that we used to have a baby gate on the office door. (You can even see where the bookcases used to be, down the hallway.)  The gate kept Mr. J from having access to the office. When Tiger just didn't have the strength to go up and down the stairs to the basement where the litter box was kept, we put one in here for her. Well, apparently what is deposited in litter boxes is a big treat to all dogs (yuck!), including Mr. J, so we definitely needed to keep him out!

So the gate has now been removed...

... and Mr. J is having a grand old time visiting me in the studio/office whenever he wants.

This is the view looking toward the window.

I hope to get rid of the clutter on the floor and in its place put either a small reading chair or the mannequin from the bedroom.

Right now I have my paints stored under my desk. I'd like to find a better storage solution for them as well, but for now this will do. 

Some of the books on the shelves are mine, but most are (or will be) for sale in our Etsy shop. 

Some shelves have family photos.

And, of course, sweet Tiger's comb and urn are also on the bookcase shelves.

And then, some things never change. Baby is Baby. She looked deep in thought when I snapped her photo today.

She had been staring at the window and eventually went over and stretched out on the window sill. Today was GORGEOUS here in New England - low humidity and a lovely breeze. All the windows were open and Baby really enjoyed it. We were all sick of having the AC running constantly, and there is nothing more enchanting than billowing curtains!

And always the clown, she loves to make me laugh!

Wishing you all a beautiful weekend! The next time I post it will most likely be September!! Hard to believe!


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

National Dog Day

In honor of National Dog Day...

My post actually appears on my other blog. Click the dog print to visit my post about all the incredible shelter dogs we've had the honor of adopting!

My wish is that some day every shelter and pound will be empty, and every dog (and cat) who once lived in them will be living happily in their forever homes!

Until next time, 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Our sweet Tiger ... one heck of a cat...

Amanda came home last weekend ...

... and I took photos of she and Tiger napping on the sofa together...

... as well as a closeup of the mani Tiger got at the Vet's earlier in the week.

Little did I know when I took these photos, that they would be the last pictures I would ever take of our Tiger.

We lost our sweet little girl this past Wednesday.

(Photo taken Apr. 4, 2015)
She would have been 22 years old this month (August).

Amanda and Tiger go way back. In September of 1993 when we were looking to adopt a kitten, we somehow came home with two, a brother and a sister from the same litter. Amanda chose Tiger while Courtney chose her brother Spotty.

From that very first night until many years later when Amanda left for college, Tiger slept with Amanda on her bed... every single night.

In Tiger's younger days, she was quite a wild child, even managing to get up onto - and walk across - the beams in the family room.

When Amanda made her home in the city after graduating from college, she thought Tiger would be happiest in the house she had always known. Amanda's old bedroom became my studio/office... 

... and Tiger became my roommate. Amanda and Tiger's bed stayed in place as that was Tiger's comfort zone and the place she continued to sleep every night. This was the view I had from my painting desk. Little Tiger. I could not have asked for a more perfect view.

In recent years, Tiger preferred to spend most of her time in the bedroom/studio/office...

... with just occasional jaunts down the hallway to see what snacks were being served in the kitchen. She and Mr. J had a lot in common, nothing more so than their love of treats.

When we first became roommates, I jokingly referred to Tiger as my muse. Sometimes she'd sit under my desk, just looking up at me while I painted. One time I put her on my lap and she kept studying the 'work in progress.' She'd then turn and look up at me. That went on for quite a bit. I found her 'advice' very helpful while I worked on that piece, all the more fitting now considering the quotation I used.

I will miss you my sweet roomie. We all will. The room seems so empty without you.

(Tiger in her new bed, Apr. 2, 2015)
This was a bed on top of Tiger's big bed. She was able to get into it and stay warm.

We were so blessed to have had you in our lives for so many years.
Love you, Tiger.


Mary, you don't have a blog so I wasn't able t visit you, but thank you for your sweet comment. We're also in New England. And to answer your question, when Tiger was young she was an amazing climber/jumper. She would jump from the back of our sofa to the top of a hutch. From the hutch she would jump onto the top of one of the built-in closets in the Family Room that had a flat top rather than extending all the way up to the cathedral ceiling. From the top of the closet she'd jump up to one of the two beams that run across the entire span of the family room. She was an incredible kitty. And I know what you mean. My whole life I've said, "never again" when we lose one of our fur babies because the pain is just too intense. But, like you, we then think of how many more fur babies are out there who desperately need a loving home... 


Laura, thank you so much for your kind comment. I wasn't able to figure out how to visit you (or even if you had a blog) as I've never updated my Google. I believe some day we will be together again, too!!! Thank you.


Jeannine, thank you so much for visiting and commenting on our sweet Tiger. I love how you described her, "a fine lady." That she was. Thank you.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Before and After... still a work in progress!

Well look who's trying to figure out why everything looks so different!

Things are still being changed around on a daily basis. In this AFTER photo, the hamper is over by the window.

In this AFTER photo the new headboard has been attached to the bed and the mannequin is temporarily taking the place of the hamper until my office gets organized!

I really like this headboard. It has an old fashioned feel to it, just what I was looking for.

This is where the mannequin was before being moved over by the window. Hopefully before week's end it will be back in my studio office.

The boudoir chair is a great place to read.

There's light from the window... 

... and from the floor lamp that I moved in from the living room.

The white kitty from the living room also found his way down to the bedroom. And the same day I found this $4.00 hamper at Savers...

... I found these lace curtain panels for $4.99. They have a rose pattern that's very similar to the pattern in the boudoir chair.

Speaking of the boudoir chair...

.... it's become a favorite place for Baby to hang out...

... and entertain us with her antics.

While doing this post, I came across a post from 2008 (my first year of blogging). In that post I talked about this very chair and how anxious I was to give the bedroom a makeover! Well, SEVEN years after writing that we have finally gotten around to it! Here's a link to the BOUDOIR CHAIR post if you want to travel back to 2008!

So that's what's been done so far. I still have to paint the two small tables that we use as end tables. I also want to put a couple of bookcases beside the headboard and maybe even one on each of the side walls up toward the head of the bed. Once I have all the furniture in it's "forever" place, then I'll decide what to hang and where to hang it! I have several favorite pieces in mind, but I don't want to start banging a bunch of holes in the wall until I know for sure where I want to place things.

Oh, and I also want to replace the curtain (sheet) on the closet with mirrored closet doors (this photo is from before the makeover - old wall-to-wall carpeting, wallpaper border, and pencil post bed). Our bedroom has only one window facing east and I'd love to reflect more light coming in from the window as the sun moves during the course of  the day. But all in good time!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!