Archive for ‘Happiness is’

January 14, 2016

A whole pile of cutie

by Janie Jones

Leif’s dog, Vera, had puppies yesterday/this morning:

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So far there are nine puppies.

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The proud mum at dinner time.

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Oy! Dog-grampy! That’s a bright light!

 

Vera appears to be doing well and the puppies so far seem to be hale and hearty, mewling loudly when hungry and all latching on to eat.

Hope that starts your day with an “Awwwww!”

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January 10, 2016

Ottoman Upholstery

by Janie Jones

I actually enjoy giving old stuff a face lift and making it beautiful again.  While I don’t like being called a dumpster diver, some of my favorite furniture pieces were things people were going to throw away just because they had a rip in the fabric or were outdated.

About eight years ago I inherited an ottoman that some people were going to throw away.  It was covered in a beige vinyl faux-leather and had been in a flood so it was discolored and moldy.  But it was sturdy so I peeled off the vinyl and underneath it looked like brand new wood with nary a hint of decay or warping.  I put on new batting, a pillow top and some new beige fabric with a pretty burgundy and gold braided trim.  I even hammered in some decorative upholstery tacks.  It was lovely.  For about two days.  Then the spud, aged 3 and a half, scribbled on it in black magic marker.  I got some of it out.  Then she pulled off the braided trim.  Then I cried, put it in the basement and figured some day I would try again.

When I moved to the Big City in the fall of 2014, I brought it with me to use in my room in town.  But it was ugly.  Last year after Christmas I splurged and bought some new blue velvet foot stools and the ugly ottoman was relegated to the living room with all the ugly, beat up, old furniture left by the owners for common use.  However, I have been meaning ever since I moved to town to fix it up.  First I thought I’d just buy a slip cover.  But they seemed ridiculously expensive, and none were appealing.  So this winter break I determined to reupholster it.  Yesterday, armed with a 40% off coupon I went to the fabric store and found a lovely caramel-color wide wale chenille corduroy fabric.  I got enough to cover the whole ottoman for less than $6 (slip covers tend to run for at least $30, by the way), paid about $3 for a box of staples, and reused the batting, pillow topper, and some of the decorative upholstery tacks from before.  In about an hour the ottoman was transformed.  A decorative throw from Ecuador (a gift from a friend) on top makes it look amazing.

Ottoman Before

The sad, pathetic ottoman destroyed by the Spud.

Ottman After 4

Pay no attention to the ugly sofas in the back ground. …

 

Ottman After 5

Ooohh. Aahhhh. What a lovely ottoman you have, Janie.

And, to think:  Someone was going to throw this ottoman away, when all it took was a little thrifty shopping, an hour or so of time and less than $10 total for supplies to make it beautiful.  Some people….

December 25, 2015

Dogs like Christmas, Dog-Mom.

by Janie Jones

Are those small brown packages dog presents?  Oooh, I bet they are!

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I smell dog bones….

November 1, 2015

I freakin’ killed it!

by Janie Jones

I’ve been feeling pretty shredded lately.  The whole school thing, as you all are aware, is really wearing on me.  Thursday though, was the designated day to take the graduate school entrance exam, the GRE.

I have not really been dreading the exam, but I have been so beaten down from the rigors of studying that I had started to contemplate if I was really cut out for graduate school, or if I should just declare myself unfit and give up.  It has been so overwhelming that, though I don’t doubt I’m smart enough, I doubt whether or not I have the physical ability to perform under these stressful conditions.

I paid a not inconsiderable amount of money to take this exam, and I had no time or energy to prepare.  I went in Thursday morning mostly worried I was wasting money I didn’t have because I’d be so strung out I’d bomb the test.  When I wasn’t worried about failing and wasting money, I was mostly numb and moving like I was some automaton.

Apparently cheating on these exams is a huge problem.  So security getting in to sit the exam was tighter than that for getting on an airplane or entering a government building.  You had to hand write an affidavit swearing you would follow a bunch of rules, you had to lock all your possessions in a locker the test facility provided.  You could not bring anything in except your clothes, which had to have all the pockets turned out, sleeves and pant legs were inspected and no watch or any other type of electronic device was permitted.  Then you were scanned with a metal detector and photographed.  Once you were “cleared” you could not leave the building without forfeiting your exam.  If you had to use the toilet, you had to go through the whole process again.

But, despite the drama of checking in, the first bits of the test, writing analysis and verbal reasoning, were almost fun.  It was like a logic puzzle, which I like.  The maths were hard, which scared me, and honestly I had to just guess on a whole lot of the questions.  And, near the end of the test (3 hours) I began to get tired and that began to erode my enjoyment and confidence in the process.

When the test was over I got a preliminary score on the verbal reasoning and math sections.  But there was no explanation of what the numbers meant, so I walked off feeling unsure and worried.  In about two weeks I should have the grade back from my writing analysis so I hoped that when they would forward my score for that there would be some formal announcement of my final score and what it means.

Of course couldn’t stop thinking about it.  And, while I sat here eating my breakfast and contemplating the mountain of homework before me, I thought perhaps I might dig about a bit on the ol’ web and see if there’s some explanation somewhere on the GRE website about how the tests are scored to give me some insight on my preliminary results.

So, if memory serves, I got a 167 on the verbal reasoning and a 142 on the math portion.  According to the GRE websites these numbers are based on a maximum possible value of 170 points.

Which means I scored a 98% on the verbal skills and 83% on the math!!!

Apparently when the final report is sent to me I will be ranked with the mass of other people taking the exam over the last couple years and told what percentile I fall into.  So, I still don’t entirely know how smart, or dumb, I might be in comparison with the rest of the graduate school bound masses, but I will be doing a happy dance just to know that despite all the self-doubt and worry I have at least answered 98% of the verbal reasoning questions correctly.  And, considering my math disabilities, 83% on that portion makes me very happy too.

I just might feel like I can finish this semester on a high note.

October 9, 2015

I’ve been negligent

by Janie Jones

It suddenly occurs to me that I never shared the big news with ya’ll.  At first I waited to get some good photos, then school got crazy, as it always does, and apparently it slipped my mind.

Anyway.  Drum roll please:

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No, you aren’t seeing double.

Leif adopted a new dog a few weeks ago.  Now he has a brace of white German shepherds.

Say hello to Vince:

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He’s about 18 months and a total sweetheart.  Who doesn’t love a new dog?

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Vera is in black, Vince in orange.  His previous owner had to move out of state and couldn’t bring him with.  Sad for them, but happy for Vince, ’cause now he gets to live the farm life.  And, he has a live in girlfriend.

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“Um, Dog-dad.  There is a boy lying on my living room rug.  What is he doing here?  Surely you’re not going to let him stay?”

All joking aside, they seem to make a happy pack.  Apparently they play all day.  They run, frolic, wrestle, and constantly try to one up each other for prime sofa and bed acreage and monopolize the petting.  Poor old Rupert, he’d never get a single pet if Leif didn’t toss the two young whippersnappers out by themselves once and a while so Rupert can get some love in peace.

So Vince is settling in pretty well at the farm.  He has decided that Rupert means business when he doesn’t want to play.  He’s learning to respect the chickens as pack members and not chew toys and has a morning chat with the rabbits every day where they stand nose to nose at the bars of the rabbit hutches.  It also seems he has made friends with Duncan the cat, they even share dinner:

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So, all’s well at the farm.  Now if only bones would rain from the sky.

 

October 5, 2015

118 Days and Counting

by Janie Jones

I had a lovely weekend.

Leif “kidnapped” me on Friday night.  We went to the farm, where I could sleep in my real bed, albeit one covered in dog hair.  I woke up Saturday to a pack of slobbery dog kisses.  We had fried potatoes, farm fresh eggs and sausages for breakfast.  We packed a picnic and drove up the shore of Big Lake so we could admire the fall colors and the clear blue waves.  The afternoon was spent sitting on the beach.  It was around 50 F, and the day started sunny, but by the time we made the 2+ hour drive to our favorite spot some clouds had rolled in.  Between the lower temp, the clouds and a very, very brisk wind we saw few other beachcombers.  But we didn’t mind, we’d bundled up appropriately.

The dogs frolicked.  We cooked soup on the camp stove and watched the dogs dodge six foot waves.  We made hot cocoa and snuggled under a wool blanket until the dogs started shivering, because, really dog mom, why should we sit still under a warm blanket when there is so much glorious beach romping fun to be had?

At last we decided to pack up before it got dark and made our way home.  We were all tired, but it had been a wonderful day.  Somehow, I managed not to take a single photo, but you all can imagine how lovely it was, can’t you?

*Sigh*  Unfortunately, not every day can be a day at the beach.  It’s back to class.

Only 118 more days of class and I’m done spending my weekends studying.  Then perhaps I can enjoy more beach time….

September 22, 2015

Tuesday Titters: Dog jokes meet science jokes

by Janie Jones

It’s always a good day for a dog joke.  And, this morning it was really hard to get motivated to face the day, so more than one was in order.

This site had a lot of funny dog stuff.  But I *had* to steal this one.  I mean, dogs and science.

dogs barium

And, then there’s the old reliable of jokes which provided:

How is a dog and a marine biologist alike?
One wags a tail and the other tags a whale.
There.  Now I feel better.  Doesn’t anything dog related make you feel better?