Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Rough Week

It's been a rough week. Last Sunday night, our dog Solly fell down the stairs to our lower level at about 11pm. He ended up spending the night at the emergency vet, and the next day the doggy eye doctor confirmed what we had feared, that the fall damaged his remaining eye. We decided that it would be too hard for him to try to recover from surgery at his advanced age (14 or 15), so we brought him home and spent the next day with him, making him as comfortable as we could, saying our goodbyes, then took him to the vet on Tuesday afternoon to have him released from his pain.

I can't begin to describe how sad this was for us. And still is.

He was a happy dog, and we had a lot of good times together. Lately he was wanting to snuggle more, spend more time close to us, and it made us so happy. He was an easy dog to please; we're lucky to have the beach, park and lake at the end of our block, and lately, we had been making an effort to take him down there a bit more often. I'm glad we did. The picture above is from just a couple of weeks ago when we went and sat on the grass together at the park, the three of us.

Kate adopted Solly from a corgi rescue over ten years ago. Also pictured there is Lucy, who left us almost two years ago. Dealing with that loss was also sad, but a bit easier, as the timing was more obvious and we knew it was coming. She had dementia for a while and really didn't have a clue where she was any more. But with Solly, he was still our little friend, and he still knew it.

Miss you, Solly.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Dumpster Diving for Furniture

One of my many hobbies is irritating my wife. One of the ways I do this is by finding furniture in the alley and bringing it home. The pieces are invariably dirty and beat up, which makes it hard for her to visualize what we could actually end up with. But, with a little bit of sanding and painting, most of these end up working out very well for us. We've gotten quite a bit of stuff this way -- to date: a cabinet for my home office (which holds my printer very nicely), a bookcase for our spare room, a large dresser (which I now love), a wrought iron end table (which might have been a plant stand), and now this:




Our lower level has these weird ledges along the floor. We believe that the basement floor was lowered, but that they weren't able to go all the way out to the foundation walls. The result is a 10"-12" deep ledge along outside walls. We've been on the look out for stuff that might fit on the ledges and help us better use space. Here's what we came up with, in our main downstairs room. Everything under the bookcase (wall, footing) is part of our wall.

Here's what that bookshelf looked like when we found it in the alley.Very dark wood, rough finish, but very sturdy.


It took days to pull this off. Lots and lots of sanding and filling. This is real wood, but it was probably something some guy hand built and hung on his garage wall 40 years ago. Lots of nicks and dings, and I ended up adding a few of my own, including accidentally ripping a chunk of wood off when trying to remove the cross-beam. Oops. But yesterday, I finally got it bolted to the wall, and applied the last bit of touch up paint and sanding, and today we've got a nice looking bookshelf that almost looks like a built-in.

This was almost too big of a project -- I'm not sure I have the patience to go through this again, but for sure, I'll keep an eye out for something else good in the alley, just in case.