Reunion Tower and Misc

Getting caught up again with blogging.  We have had a busy couple of months.  In October, Mitch’s sister Carol visited us for a few days.  We picked her up from DFW on Saturday mid day and headed out to a local brewery, Bankhead Brewery, for wood fire pizza and some local brew. Then on Saturday evening, we went out to another favorite local brewery, Intrinsic, for some live Texas music, BBQ and local brew.  On Sunday, we spent some time in Downtown Rockwall exploring the local shops.  We happened upon a great local donut shop, fresh made daily.  Yum!!  In the evening we had dinner with our good friends Ernie and Deb.

On Monday we went to see part of downtown Dallas.  One of the great things about this huge Metroplex is public transit.  It is well utilized and makes going downtown a breeze.  We have both bus and rail transit (DART – Dallas Area Rapid Transit).  We took the rail and got off at Union Station.  This put a short walk from Reunion Tower.  We went up 470 feet to the sky deck in Reunion Tower so that we could have amazing views of our beautiful city and view 20 historical landmarks via telescopes and interactive maps.  Very cool.  They do have a restaurant at the top of the tower just beneath the sky deck, but they are only open on Saturday and Sunday.  On her last day with us, Mitch took her out shopping for her own pair of Cowboy boots.  No better place then Texas to shop for authentic Cowboy boots.

After our sight seeing at the sky deck, we had a nice lunch at The Hyatt Hotel and then took a stroll to the Dallas Aquarium.

The monkeys, penguins and the sloth were my favorite.  I did not take a picture of the sloth, he was sleeping, but he was adorable.

It was a really good visit; always nice to spend time with family.  The pups enjoyed having their auntie here to give them extra love and attention.

We have completed a few projects around the house in 2016.  A bathroom renovation and a an update to our built in cabinet in the office.  Our goal is to have all of the home projects done within the first three years of living in our home.  Our most exciting project yet, screened in patio, is starting in February!!  I can’t wait till it is completed!  We will be able to spend so much more time outside, even in the hot summer, as we will finally have some shade from the hot Texas sun.

This was our office before and that “Cowboys” blue paint color was on the walls too.  I painted the walls first and then tackled painting the built in cabinetry.  This was my first experience painting cabinets.  I love the final results but will admit it was a lot more work than I thought it would be.  I used Rust-oleums cabinet kit, a four step process, cleaner, primer, paint and glaze.

The after.  The dark top of the desk looked so good contrasting with the creme colored cabinetry we decided to keep it. We put a textured wallpaper between the top and bottom of the cabinet.  We are not done with this room. We still have trim work to do, crown molding and tile flooring to install (TBD summer of 2017).

We completed a bathroom remodel also.  We have three full baths in our home.  Two that needed an overhaul and one that is already updated. The hallway bathroom was a tight space due to a wall that was dividing the toilet from the vanity and also having an oversized vanity that did not fit the space.  Mitch removed the wall.  We painted the breadboard, crown molding and trim and then Mitch installed everything.  I painted the walls and Mitch painted the ceiling.  We found a local furniture “flipper” and had a hutch she had in her storage unit updated to a vanity.  Mitch installed the sink and faucet.  We found the copper colored glass sink on Wayfair.  I love the way the sink looks but will admit it is not practical for daily use.  It needs to be cleaned constantly.  This would not work for our master bathroom.  We could have done this ourselves, we have plenty of times in our previous homes, but we subcontracted out the instillation of the tile floor – we found such a good deal on Angie’s list that we could not pass it up.  We bought the tile and they had it installed in a day.  I painted the cabinets (I do not have a before pic but they were the same color stained oak as the original vanity).  We just need to  put hardware on the cabinet, which will be done this week.

The before….

Interesting find when we removed the large mirror on the wall.  On the back of the mirror it had this…..

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The hutch turned to vanity before and after…

The bathroom after…

We are both very happy with the final results.  I am very lucky to have Mitch as my husband for many, many reasons, but am especially fortunate that he is a jack of all trades!  I come up with the design and vision and he makes it a reality.

I have also painted one of the guest bedrooms, the dining room, the foyer, the nook in the living room and the guest bathroom. Our remaining projects are: 1. Screened in patio and landscaping backyard (complete Spring 2017) 2: remodel master bathroom (begin Winter of 2017) 3: remodel kitchen (fall 2018) 4: Remove windows in master bedroom and install french doors, build deck outside of master bedroom (winter 2018). And Mitch surprised me with the my plant shelves recently.  I found some old iron brackets in October of 2015 in a local antique shop in McKinney Texas and had a vision to make some shelving in our living room nook where our skylight is.  He picked out the perfect piece of cedar board from Lowes and put these shelves together.  The skylight nook area is the perfect place for plants.  They will get the light they need and the pups cannot get to them.  img_2472

In October we found Cueball’s memory box.  We ordered it and a few weeks later it arrived. We knew we wanted another of Sarah Snavely’s pieces of art for his remains.  We will probably do this for all the hounds.  Each piece is unique and we have been fortunate so far to find the perfect box for each hound.  We moved his ashes over from the wooden box to this memory box.  On the 20th of this month marked one year since we had to make the decision to let him go.  It still hurts a lot, but I am at the point now where I can look at pictures of him and smile thinking of all the happy memories we shared.  He was loved by so many.

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The pups are all doing very well.  Pippi has her 12th Birthday coming up in February.  We are excited to celebrate!  She still has spunk in her step.  She still runs with Ziva.  They now play very well together.  In the beginning this wasn’t the case but we trust them together now.  We of course still monitor them when they are playing outside together.  Every now and again she has some stiffness in her front legs.  May be some arthritis so we treat with supplements.  We recently learned about Curcumin and I have begun my research on this.  From what I read so far and have heard through testimonials I think we will be giving all the hounds this supplement in a few weeks.  We would love to know your opinions if you currently use Curcumin for your fur kids.img_5888

We all had an awesome Christmas and New Years.  The weather here was mild (in the 70’s) Christmas weekend.  We took advantage of the temps and got a family photo outside with the pups.  And the next day attempted to get one inside too by the fireplace. When you have a two year old wiggly Greyhound photos can be challenging.  I like the way this one turned out though.  I love my little family, we are very fortunate to have each other.

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Trooper continues to do very well.  He is completely settled in now to home life with us.  He enjoys his daily walk  in the morning before I go to work.  He has become a momma’s boy.  He waits for me to get home every day and knows when I am running late.  He is an elated happy bouncy talkative boy when I walk in the door every day after work.  He does not realize how big he is.  All 83lbs of him jumping around and pushing the girls out of the way to get to me first.  The girls are patient and wait for their turn for loves, pets and kisses.  Then they all get their evening CET chew and settle right down.

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And lastly for this very long post, for those of you who made it to the end… 😉  While our family and friends on the east coast were prepping for snowmageddon (on Jan 6th), we too had some snowfall in Dallas.  It was just a dusting but it was pretty to look at.  The pups did not seem to be too impressed.

Sorry that was so long.  Thanks for hanging in till the end!  I had lots to catch up on.  I am hoping 2017 will allow me more time to focus on taking more photos and updating this blog!!

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