Happy Blogiversary!

Today marks two years of blogging from the doodle house!

Documenting our lives and sharing the things that have entertained and inspired us has been tremendously rewarding. The blog has been a place where I can be creative and goofy and honest, and I’m so happy to have found such joy in this little hobby.

Some highlights of what we’ve done and seen in the last two years…

We added chickens to our family….

And we took some chickens away…

We got married!

And honeymooned…

We got our feet wet with gardening…

We bought a new house!

We traveled…

And traveled…

And traveled a little more…

It’s been a thoroughly eventful two years. There’s no telling what the next two will hold.

Weekend Getaway to Garner State Park

Photos from a weekend camping trip to Garner State Park.

Scoob Sitting

Today I shall tell you the tale of Scooby, the newly adopted dog of our friends Zack and Caitlin, who spent a recent weekend at the doodle house playing the role of awkward stepchild.

Scooby is a 3-year-old mutt that might be part German Shepherd, might be part Shiba Inu. We don’t really know. Such is the fun of adopting a mystery dog.

We dog sit all the time for other mutts, but what made Scooby’s case special is that he was a fairly new dog to us and his “forever family.” Scooby had been bounced around through a few other foster families over his life so you never quite know what to expect. So allow me to let you know how some of the weekend played out.

Chapter One: The Chase. In addition to being part dog, Scooby might also be part bunny or antelope because your boy can jump. We learned this when, within 5 minutes of being in the backyard, he promptly cleared the fence to chase after a neighbor cat. (Clearly Scoobs has some long-running hatred toward felines because there was no convincing him that this cat was not worth the effort. Come on buddy, there are 4 chickens and 2 dogs to play with, why are you wasting your efforts on this dopey cat?)

The escape sent Heath into panic mode…panic along the lines of misplacing someone’s child or wrecking someone else’s car, but 10 times worse. Is there any feeling more gut-wrenching than losing your friend’s new dog in less than 24 hours? Nope. Definitely not.

The cat took off toward a busy intersection, followed closely by Scooby, and Heath trailing not too far behind. The cat made a right cut toward some houses and led Scooby to a corner. (Hallelujah!)  Scooby tried to break free and continue the chase, but Heath made an epic lunge at the Scoobster and the event was over as quickly as it has begun. Scooby was back in custody and Heath had the road burn to prove it. CRISIS AVERTED. Note to self: maybe don’t let Scooby in the backyard without a leash.

Chapter Two: The Affair. Stella gets along with most dog folk, in fact she’s kind of a flirt. She’s never met a dog she didn’t like and Scooby was no exception. This is not a problem except that it drove Wyatt crazy. He’s not one to “show affection” if you catch my drift, but when Scooby was in town, Wyatt was all about letting him know that Stella was his gal. Though that didn’t keep Stella from falling into bed with this mysterious stranger. Wyatt didn’t take it so well.Luckily, they have worked things out since then.

Chapter Three: The Good Dog.
I love dogs and I love to be helpful, so volunteering to take on Scooby for the weekend while his parents were gone was a no-brainer for me. It wasn’t until his family had left that I realized this was a big deal…for us and for Scooby.

Until Zack and Caitlin came along, Scooby never really had a stable home environment. And now, the only people who ever really gave him the proper attention he needed, were taking off for four days. Who could really know what effect that would have on a little pup with abandonment issues? Plus, as we saw with the cat incident, we didn’t know all of Scooby’s quirks yet. We didn’t know how he would act in tense situations, or around loud noises, or in the rain. (The list goes on…) Anyone with a pet knows that there are dozens of factors that can sends animals into a tizzy, and there was so much we didn’t know about Scooby, his personality, and his past.

So let me clarify my “awkward stepchild” comment, by saying that Scoobs is a really good dog. There were a few rough patches (or should I say “RUFF” patches? Yes I should.) which is to be expected, but all-in-all he was a welcomed guest. He is amazingly friendly and playful (sometimes too much so) and was a very fast learner. He never chewed anything or had any house accidents and that’s more than I can say about Stella and Wyatt.

I applaude Z&C for taking on the challenge of adopting an older, larger dog, rather than shelling out $$$ for designer dog puppies like  we did (yes, I am aware that we are going to Hell). It takes a tremendous amount of courage and patience and love to be able to take on the title of adoptive parents. And in the end, I think Zack, Caitlin and Scooby will all be better for it. Way to be.

What do you mean “dog” bed?

Every once in a while, as I’m perusing the interwebs for pictures of cute things, I inevitably come across some form of this same image…

A brilliantly eclectic living room accented with a cute beanbag-looking thing covered in some vibrant retro pattern and topped with an irresistibly cute puppy.

“Oh man,” I think. “That is just too adorable! Would you look at how that dog bed matches the room AND creates a perfect perch for that pooch! I MUST HAVE ONE!”

Next thing you know, I’m signed on to Etsy and coming dangerously close to spending too much money on an oversized pillow covered in funky fabric.

From Etsy Artist, Puppy Pillows Plus

From bradybunchremodel.com

From Sew Darn Cute

From Lilly and Abbie Dog Beds

From Apartment Therapy

Wait. Wait. Tap the Breaks. Kelsey, what are you doing? The dogs already have a bed. It’s called Every Piece of Furniture In The House.

Oh yeah. That’s right. I’m a terrible (or awesome?) dog owner and let the dogs lie wherever the heck they want….which is usually on the exact part of the couch, chair, or bed that I was hoping to chillax on. So what am I about to shell out $50 bucks for? Much as I might like to think it true, I’m not so sure the doggies would prefer a posh pillow over their existing spot—the couch.

Yeah, for some reason, I think I might wind up spending more time on the dog pillow than they would.

One day, I’ll demonstrate the will of a warrior. When they look at me with those puppy eyes and tilt their head in a way that reads, “Come on, there is room up there on the bed for us, too,” I will put my fist down and say, “NOT TODAY YOU MUTTS!” But until then, I will just scoot over and make room for my little beasts… because sometimes you’ve just got to give in to the cuddling.

Phase One = Complete

Fancifying the kitchen is a three-step process. When we moved in, the kitchen looked like this.

Please note:

  • the dated knotty pine
  • the old fashioned black hinges
  • the bland countertops/backsplash
  • the aged cabinets
Not ideal for the modern, color loving family we are. A plan must be developed. Why not exchange the drab countertops from this…
to this…
Beautiful, bright, white quarts countertops….muah. It’s so crisp, so clean, so shiny and pretty and happy. I lust for them. Durable, practical, life changing. It’s not exactly normal to have a crush on a countertop but never you mind. The counter tops will be changed. As will the backsplash, from “landlord neutral” to fantastic blue subway tile.
Imagine it. The shiny white surface surrounded by iridescent blues and rich wooden cabinetry. It looks good, feels good, heck…it smells good. It is a far cry from the original. Despite at first HATING the knotty pine (and blogging about it here) I ultimately decided to keep it.  One reason for keeping the O.G. cabinets is to salvage something that is perfectly functional. No “out with the old and in the new” for this little lady. I wanted to keep something in that kitchen legit—in true 50s era style. The other reason for keeping the color was rooted in me wanting to prove the internet wrong. Search after search would furnish results which would have me believe that no one in their right mind would keep the knotty pine look in a modernish kitchen setting. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. So phase one does not include demolishing the worn but still in-good-condition original cabinets.
Instead, it consists of doing some stripping, sanding, staining and hinge replacing. Switching out hardware like this…
For this…
Resulting in something like this…
It’s a look that’s a little old school and a little modern; a little eclectic and a little chic. So we spent the winter break refinishing the wood and bringing the fixtures up to the 21st century.
It wasn’t easy and we are still cleaning up saw dust, but what a difference a hinge can make! We are thrilled with the glossy new stain and shiny metallic hardware that now adorn our kitchen. Only two steps to go until the kitchen transforms into my cooking fantasy.

A Christmas Miracle

For years I have heard the following sentence…

“Stella is a Muppet.”

Yeah, yeah. I know. But WHICH Muppet? She’s not Rowlf, the go-to Muppet dog character. So why is it that we all (me included) think she looks like a Muppet?

After a recent viewing of The Muppet Christmas Carol  last week, it hit me. A background character, a Muppet extra if you will, sounded an alarm in my head. Stella is Sprocket, the occasional doggy guest star from Fraggle Rock.

Exhibit A: Sprocket, looking delightfully loveable.

Exhibit B: Stella. Very happy about the Christmas tree behind her (and the awesome new camera lens used to take this photo).




The similarities are undeniable.

It’s a Christmas miracle. The Muppet mystery has finally been solved. God bless us, everyone.

New home, new garden

Moving furniture is easy. Figuring out how to develop a new landscaping plan from scratch, not so much. Establishing a visually appealing space that can accommodate doodle romping, veggie growing and human entertaining is easier said than done (and it’s not even easily said). The yard has a long, long way to go, but some semblances of life and greenery are beginning to take form. Behold the early stages of the new back yard.

And because they’re so pretty, a few of the fleurs we have going on INSIDE the house.