Home improvement projects, pets and nature

Home improvement projects, pets and nature

A couple of days ago we mutually decided this would be a good weekend to pull up the square of cat piss-smelling carpet in the living room and put down laminate that matched the other half of the living room. Seemed like an easy, weekend project, right? NOTHING IS EVER EASY IN THIS FAMILY. Hell, that’s our family motto. That, and “This is why we can’t have nice things“. The previous owners had stashed some leftover laminate in the garage, leaving about 40 square feet of untouched, still-in-the-box planks. We needed to cover 192 square feet, so we went to a couple of different stores Friday night and we informed that the laminate we needed had been discontinued. Naturally!

This didn’t deter us, however. I mean, that carpet had to GO. It didn’t smell like cat piss when we moved in (naturally), but pretty soon the smell started rising. And then when we turned the black light on it, we could see the cat piss splattered all over the carpet like a crime scene…GROSS.

Home renovation weekend: pulling up carpet smelling of cat piss from the previous owners and  replacing it with laminate. I feel very "grown up" ๐Ÿก

ย So yesterday we went ahead and removed the carpet and the pad underneath. Here’s a self-portrait of me sweeping up all the crap leftover from removal. Removal of the carpet was a cinch; removing the tack strip and all of the staples was more difficult. I stupidly didn’t wear gloves at the beginning and promptly got a big ol’ blister on my thumb, which immediately broke open. BOO.

The next step was doing a little bleach job on all the exposed wood, as suggested to us by my father. Since I’m the one in the family that is the “super sniffer” and annoyingly sensitive to chemical smells, Josh strapped on his expensive special mask and bleached the floor with a sponge mop. Although we had all the windows and doors open with three fans blowing, we sequestered ourselves in the basement with the dogs for a few hours last night. Bleach stinks.

While I worked on my latest Mandala painting Josh went back to Home Depot and found some laminate that is almost a perfect match–only issue is, it’s a different brand (they don’t carry the brand of laminate that was on the floor either, typical!). It fits together but doesn’t “snap”. My father said a little color putty and face nails could fix this problem. It will really only be an issue for one seam–the rest of the new laminate snaps together the way it should. So why couldn’t we finish this “easy” project in one weekend, you ask?

laminate out to breathe

Apparently the new laminate has to “acclimate” to our home for a couple of days before we can install it! Booooooooo.

the living room scene

So our living room is going to look like this for a little longer. Heigh ho. It will all be worth it in the end, because that room will no longer smell like cat piss, one of the worst smells ever. And who even wants carpet any more? Carpet is gross. When you have pets. Think of the pets!

Angus the "rescue" Betta fish is a lot healthier these days. โค๏ธ

Here’s a pet! Angus is much healthier these days. We went to a thrift store and bought him a massive glass cake pan to replace his tiny fish bowl, because I read that Betta fish like large but shallow pools of water. I also put a shot glass in there because I remembered my previous Betta Seymour liked to hide in a shot glass.

The top half of our delicate little magnolia tree snapped off in the wind ๐Ÿ‘Ž

The wind snapped off the entire top half of our Magnolia tree the other day. Lame.

Must have found something good...

Today’s goal, after coffee and breakfast and application of Pamprin (I have that stupid Mittelschmerz today) is to run with Josh and the girls at a new series of trails.

Beautiful hibiscus flower spotted on our walk ๐ŸŒบ

Gorgeous Rose of Sharon flowers spotted on our walk.

A co-worker said my Madonna card should be revoked because I've never seen "Vision Quest". HA! My obsession with "Confessions on a Dance Floor" oughta make up for that. So good, it still gives me tingles.

My co-workers were absolutely incredulous that I’ve never seen (or heard of) “Vision Quest”, a movie with Madonna from 1985. One of them even suggested that my Madonna card be revoked! I had to listen to “Confessions on a Dance Floor” during my run the other day and soothe myself with the knowledge that my Madonna card will NEVER be revoked. I mean, I suffered through “Dick Tracy” and “Who’s That Girl?”, gimme a break.

Roses from the front yard ๐ŸŒน

Roses from the front yard, mmmmmm. We just bought rose fertilizer–now we need to use it.

Anyone know what this berry is? It's not a blackberry, and the leaves don't look like raspberry leaves...

Once again Instagram helped me identify this berry plant, which looked different from all the other berry plants at the park. Turns out it’s an “Evergreen Blackberry”, which is rarer than the other blackberry bushes we have everywhere. Thanks Instagram!

Have you hugged your dog today?

Still looking for that poison oak someone warned me about at the park. Still haven’t found it. Maggie dog got into something disgusting at the park on Friday and needed an entire shower, with soap, to get free of it. Sigh.ย 

Maggie wants in on this action

Here she is putting on her cutest begging face for my chocolate ice cream bar. Someone had told me these “Magnum” (snicker) ice cream bars were amazing, and they were right! I highly recommend the dark chocolate one.

Rain! The yellow grass around Seattle is so happy you're back โ˜”๏ธ

It’s raining this weekend! Hooray! Hooray for everyone’s yellow grass and wilted plants! In fact, it’s sprinkling right now, as I type this! You go, rain.

A painting finds a new home

A painting finds a new home

SOLD!

Sold! One last photo session with Mandala #2, the Rainbow Glitter Mandala, outside in the sunshine before bringing it to its new owners home yesterday. Quite possibly one of the quickest turn-arounds on a painting EVER. Am I sad?

The Rainbow Glitter Mandala has a new home. ๐ŸŒˆโœจ

No way man! I am stoked that #2 is now residing with my former boss in her amazing home with her husband and new baby. It matches her play room perfectly: from the rainbow-themed throw rugs to the red glitter marble on the countertops, to her fun colored glass touches, and especially this…

The Mandala coordinates so nicely with their gorgeous lamp ๐Ÿ’–

…rainbow lamp! I gasped when I saw it. Her and her husband fed us gourmet pizza and salad, the baby came out for me to coo and sniff over, and then they gave us a full, detailed tour of their house. It was intense…ly good!

Bathroom sink envy! ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™

I mean, look at this sink! LOOK AT IT. Talk about art. Don’t even get me started on her master shower…okay DO: we’re talking steam, music, waterfall shower heads…a bench…it goes on…and on…I started to feel a little light-headed near the end of the tour. Sensory overload.

Digging these colorful wooden placemats.

At least I’m now at the stage in my life where I’ve sufficiently “matured” enough to feel inspiration by someones amazing house, and not just sickening jealousy (the worst feeling). These wooden place mats from Israel were gorgeous. They had just scored the kitchen table on Craigslist earlier that day.ย 

Cool glass doorknob ๐ŸŒธ

Look at the doorknobs! Unghf! Remind me that I need to go to the Chihuly museum. It’s just sick and wrong that Josh and I haven’t been yet. I love colored glass!

Stained glass window in the bathroom? Yeah buddy! ๐Ÿ’™
Stained glass in the bathroom?! STOP IT.ย 

Not to mention they live within spitting distance of a hidden lake. Livin’ the hiiiiigh liiiiiife…

Well, instead of crying about the lack of colored glass doorknobs in our lives Josh and I have decided to skip camping this weekend (rain and thunderstorms predicted–YES PLEASE), and stay home and tear up the carpet in the living room that smells like cat piss. We’re planning on replacing it with laminate that (hopefully) matches the rest of the laminate in the house.

I’ve never torn up a carpet before or installed any sort of flooring. I’m sort of excited even though I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be fun. Nevertheless, it will be our first major home improvement project that we’re embarking on together, so that’s something’, huh? Pictures/whining to come.

We’re having a heatwaaaaave…

We’re having a heatwaaaaave…

Post-haircut this morning with stylist Erika. She's one of the few hairdressers who knows what to do with my bangs โœจPost-haircut this morning, thanks to stylist Erika. She always does such a good job with my bangzzzz. Why can’t my hair look this cute all the time, hmmm?

Oy, I heard this song on kexp right before I arrived home, and now it’s droning in my mind:

It’s from “Eraserhead”, a film that I am 100% comfortable with never seeing again. Just sayin’, David Lynch. Just sayin’.

I am the sort of dork who has a cloud identification chart on her wall, yup.

What kind of dork has a giant cloud identification chart on her wall? THIS DORK. It’s currently hanging over the computer in the er, “office”.

Fun with clouds. What do you see? โ˜๏ธ

Speaking of which. Look at that fun shape the cumulus cloud is making! Is it an airplane? A mermaid? A shark?

Happy little wildflower spray 🌸🍃🌼

Bright happy wildflower spray on the sidewalk outside my work.

Tiny hot air balloons in the sky this morning on my way to work. Don't worry Mom, I pulled over to get this shot ;)

Friday morning as I was driving to work I actually pulled over on the side of the road (safety first!) to take this picture of some hot air balloons. Too bad they are so tiny.

Neon purple hydrangea in the backyard. I love neon in nature! 💜💜

This is the real, TRUE LIFE color of the neon purple hydrangea in the backyard! So gorgeous.

Caught my eye at the Farmer's Market.

Friday after work my co-worker invited me to the local Farmer’s Market, where she was performing live music with her daughter. She played the guitar and sang, and her daughter harmonized and played the violin. I videotaped several of their songs for them and took pictures. Their booth was sandwiched between a shave ice stand (I bought an orange/strawberry shave ice–yum) and a flower stand. After their set I wandered over to the flower stand and couldn’t resist buying this bouquet.

🌸🌻🍃

Pretty pretty! I’m obsessed with the color of those gladiolas.

Locally handmade necklace from the Farmer's Market.

I also bought this pretty locally handmade necklace for only 15 clams. I have a hard time resisting handmade jewelry stands!

Amazing sunset tonight.

The sunset last Friday night was amazing. Josh and I left the house to get ice cream, and stood transfixed on the driveway looking at this stunning display. Then…we started snapping photos.

Wink.

A fun faux vintage sign at a pastrami shop in Issaquah we stopped at after our arduous hike on Tiger Mountain Saturday.

Speaking of arduous, after that hike Josh woke up at 5:30 in the morning on Sunday to hike another 6 miles up and down a mountain with his little friend, and then what happened? He got horribly sick with a respiratory infection! He had a fever, sweats, last night he had the chills. He had scheduled a physical months ago and when he showed up to the doctor’s office this morning, they told him he was too sick for his physical. Say what?! Now he has to go back next month for it. Lame.

Trying to dry a wet book using a fan and two sturdy books. Harrumph.

Somehow he dropped his Muncle’s book about K2 into a lake, and I’m trying to dry it out. It’s been several days, and it’s still wet. I’m oddly determined, though.

After the temp hit 90 yesterday and we suffered in our AC-less home, I decided to buy this for the backyard. Countdown until a dog claw punctures it...

On Sunday it was so disgustingly hot in our air conditioner-less home that I spent all day in my sports bra in the basement. Yesterday I tried to buy a box fan at the local drugstore (they were sold out), so I bought this little pool for me and the dogs to splash around in instead. How long before Maggie’s dogclaw punctures it, do you think?

'Bout time for my tri-annual haircut โœ‚๏ธ

Pre-haircut, on Sunday. I was really overdue.

Gladiola in the neighbor's yard--so bright! 💖

More neon in nature–neon pink gladiolas in my neighbor’s yard.

A choose-your-own-adventure, adorably illustrated and sassy book about gardening. Right up my alley! 💚 thanks Brenna.

Someone–I think it was Brenna–bought me this book for Christmas, and I’m finally getting around to reading it. It’s delightful! A choose-your-own-adventure book about gardening, with adorable quirky illustrations and plenty of sassy humor. It’s so me.

Currently: drinking coffee and considering walking the pets. It’s lovely and overcast outside, FINALLY. Please rain! Please rain! Can you believe I’m begging for the rain? Ohhhh heatwave!

Tiger Mountain hike

Tiger Mountain hike

Fancy bicycle rack in downtown Issaquah 🚲Yesterday afternoon Joshy and the dogs and I drove to Issaquah to go hike up Tiger Mountain and watch his Muncle paraglide down. This swirly bike rack in downtown Issaquah caught my eye as we were driving by.

Ready to embark on the 2 mile hike up Tiger Mountain to watch Josh's uncle paraglide off. The elevation gain was 1600 feet. It was my first time, and I loved it! Ask me how I'm feeling tomorrow though. :mount_fuji:

It was so hot yesterday that I couldn’t fathom wearing anything black on my body, so I wore Josh’s fun board shorts and my “I don’t do earth tones” tee-shirt. The shorts stayed nice and dry, but the tee-shirt was soaked with sweat by the time we reached the top of the mountain (two miles up, 1600-1900 feet elevation, depending on your source).

Going up. :heart:๏ธ

Awwww what a cute little trail sign. This was my first time at Tiger Mountain, Josh has been four or five times previously. Mike has gone paragliding there three times a week…for the last 20 years! He knew everyone.

waiting for Mike

We arrived a little earlier than Mike did, so we watched the other paragliders land. Bear Cub did NOT enjoy this part. She was shaking and quivering and panting (note how she’s out of this shot–trying to strain towards the car). Maggie was relaxed.

coming in for a landingSome landings were very smooth; the tandem landings generally were not.

the landing strip

There were a lot of paragliders in the air yesterday.

arrival

It’s a wonder they don’t run into each other!

Josh and his uncle, who was carrying a 37 lb pack. Bear Cub was nervous around the paragliders, but Maggie took it all in stride.

Mike’s paragliding pack weighed 37 pounds, so with that weight on him he was about as slow going up the mountain as I was. It took us about an hour going up, and an hour going back down (although the hike back down FLEW BY!). Mike found another paragliding “pal” to chat with on the way up. Mike talked the entire time.

Mount Rainier

Hallo, Mount Rainier!

Ah ha! A good omen. 💗

I found a heart-shaped rock on the journey up, always a good omen.

Flushed and sweaty, hiking in 85-degree July heat. And Josh's uncle says hiking isn't a "sport". Ha! (tell that to my calves today)

Mike was telling us that hiking isn’t a “sport” because it doesn’t require a helmet. Uh huh. I was pouring sweat and my heart was pounding…that’s sporty enough for me! My lower body is KILLING today.

on the trail up

We didn’t bring enough water, we used up the Camelbak on our way up. Luckily Josh had filled an additional water bottle with ice and water for us and the dogs to drink on the way down.

Josh and the girls

Nearing the top. You can see Bear Cub is still poised to run back to the car at this point. Josh had to keep them on the leash the entire time!

the summit

Finally we made it!

beautiful view of Issaquah

What a beautiful view.

Mike is pumped

Mike and I both changed shirts. I wish I had brought a bandanna for mopping sweat off my face. Next time!

view from the top

There was a small crowd of people when we arrived, around 5 pm. Mellow, though. Maggie and Bear Cub were the only dogs up top, and there were few children.

Mike and Josh survey

Mike and Josh taking in the scene.

take off

A tandem pair taking off…

paragliding team overhead

…and then overhead.

This dude took off right in front of me, and shot down the mountain really fast.

While Josh was helping his uncle get ready, I sat on some astroturf with the pets and took pictures. This dude took off right in front of me, and shot down the mountain incredibly fast!

Mike flies. He's been paragliding at Tiger Mountain three times a week for the past 20 years!

Solo flier. Josh has been paragliding twice, both times tandem with someone else, once with Mike. I have, um, very little interest in paragliding myself. But it’s fun to watch!

a good day for flying

Just thinking about paragliding makes my feet tingle. They call the take-off point “Poo Poo Point”–so named for the last-second shitting you do in fear before you fly off the mountain? Just my guess.

Mike gets ready to fly

It’s Mike’s turn!

At this point I quit taking pictures, but I did make a signature Liz video (shaky) of Mike taking off. Check it out:

Excuse the panting and wind blowing. You understand.

What’s going on today? I was planning on a run, but my lower body aches in a myriad of ways thanks to yesterday’s hike, so….maybe a little yoga? A little painting? Yyyyyyeah.

Thursday Instagram Triple Slam

Thursday Instagram Triple Slam

Bear Cub had a trim today 💚

Last Saturday at 12:30 I dropped off little Bear Schnubs at the groomer, with half of a doggy “Xanax” in her system. I picked her up an hour and a half later and she looked like this! The shortest her fur has ever been…

corinne and molly on the couch

…since she was a puppy, that is! MAWWWWWWW. This picture kills me. The other night I watched a bunch of old Bear Cub puppy videos on Youtube and laughed so hard I cried (PMS).

This one from 2008 made tears run down my face (PMS).

Had someone new do my eyelash extensions today. She slopped glue on my face, the glue fumes made my eyes water and after all that? They don't even look that great. I suppose the plus side was we spent 50 minutes talking about #DragRace and RuPaul. I do a

I timed my appointments rather poorly so I ended up making 3 separate trips to Lynnwood Saturday. At 5:30 pm I went to my salon for an eyelash extensions refill, but the woman who normally does my lashes was finished with appointments for the day, so I had booked with someone else. The someone else who did them wasn’t very experienced. She told me that when she took the job she had been hired as a receptionist, and later on started doing lashes and eyebrows and tans. Uh huh. She used way too much glue, so my eyes were watering like crazy, and managed to get an entire CLUMP of glue on my face (that I couldn’t get off until the next day). I was her last appointment of the day, and every single person before me was getting eyelash extensions for the first time, good grief, if that had been my first time I would never want to get extensions again!

Luckily, the woman who normally does my lashes was leaving right as I came in, and it turns out she’s leaving that particular business to work out of her home. I set up an appointment to start seeing her out of her home, instead of the salon. Well worth it–once you find a good stylist, whether it be hair, nails, or even lashes, you hang onto that person for dear life!

Thinking of you @djmagicelf 💖🎶

Sunday morning I woke up WAY TOO EARLY (6:30-ish) and did my couch-to-10K run on the treadmill downstairs while watching “High Fidelity” and thinking of Joshy, who was off doing a Gonzo abusive hike with his Muncle all weekend. Our 7 year anniversary is coming up in a couple of weeks, and wait ’til you hear what we have planned! It’s downright obnoxious. I mean, adorable.

Shellac Broad Date! She's the neon green, I'm the teal glitter. I wanted neon yellow but they didn't have it 😿

Since I woke up so early on Sunday morning I had gobs and gobs of time to do house chores (blerp), run and walk the dogs outside and maybe even a little painting before meeting up with the Broad for our Broad Nail Date. I desperately wanted neon yellow, but the salon didn’t have neon yellow shellac! Tragic! Every other neon color, of course. Corinne got neon green and I picked aqua with some added glitter over the top.

These pink lilies outside the nail salon caught our eye 💖

Outside the nail salon, these amazing pink lilies caught our eye.

Corinne's cat/my boyfriend Edward. He's very regal. Someday  I will paint his portrait, with a tiny crown.

We went out for lunch and then I hung out at her house for a while and got completely covered with cat hair and played with three out of her five cats, all the male cats. Don’t forget, two of them are gay. Here’s my boyfriend Edward looking regal as always.

Corinne's cat Seymour. So fluffy! And those eyes! Too bad he won't let me touch him 😡

Here’s one of the gay cats, Seymour, who is adorable as all get out but will NOT LET ME NEAR HIM. He started batting at me and I said screw this, no cat scratch fever for me. Already the other gay cat Novocaine scratched my hand, but then he immediately licked my arm as an apology so I forgave him. Maw. I mean, Maggie just headbutted me this afternoon and where’s my apology? Hmmm, Mags?

A lone Black-Eyed Susan popped up in the front yard 💛

A lone Black-Eyed Susan popped up in the front yard.

Endless summer hydrangea + surprise flowers growing in ski boots (Josh's idea of course).

In the back, the Endless Summer hydrangea is thriving, next to whatever Josh planted in the ski boots.

Indigo + goldenrod 💙💛

The filter I used on this picture changed my purple jeans to indigo and my neon orange polish to goldenrod.

Any of you #gardeners out there recognize this flowering green plant?

Instagram has been very helpful for plant identification. Every time I post a picture of something growing at our house that I don’t recognize and ask, “What is this?”, some helpful gardener will pipe up. I learned that this mystery plant is in fact Salvia! Ha ha! I think I smoked that once a million billion years ago. This variety is called “Hot Lips”. Thanks, IG friends!

Untitled

Yesterday after work, in our backyard.ย That rotten Bear Cub woke me up at 5:30 in the morning, and this past week I’ve been helping out at another facility, so I was VERY tired when this picture was taken.

Yesterday I lucked out at work–we had an impressive Hawaiian Luau free lunch and I feasted on spare ribs, jerk chicken, coconut rice, crab pasta salad, fresh corn with cilantro lime butter, a chocolate-covered banana, AND a pina colada to drink. I also wore one of my favorite dresses and a koa nut necklace from Maui and felt pretty cute, in spite of the sleep deprivation. Yesterday was great!

We all know food wins you over every time” Christopher texted me when I told him this. So true!

Bear Cub's fur has never been this short before! She looks like a totally different dog.

Bear Schnubs outside yesterday. The short haircut is finally growing on me…the first couple of days though I kept laughing at her and then apologizing.

Progress on the metallic Mandala 🌟

Current Mandala, all metallics. It has a lot of tiny details and is taking foreverrrrrr, but that’s okay because while I paint I catch up on Netflix. Shows I have been enjoying lately: “Key & Peele”, “Amy Schumer” (I want to go see her movie), and I decided to re-watch “Orange is the New Black” from the beginning because it’s so damn good.

Are we there yet?
Yesterday on the couch, in a sports bra, after running. I suppose this is a “healthy glow”. Ha ha ha, yeah right, it’s a spray tan! I am orange and loving it.

Now, it’s time for me to go exercise these crazy pets. Later, taters.

A little rainbow glitter never hurt nobody

A little rainbow glitter never hurt nobody

rainbow mandala 1It’s my latest painting, woo hoo! Mandala #2, or the Rainbow Glitter Mandala, oooooh and ahhhh.

rainbow mandala 4
Acrylic paint + glitter + love on a 20 inch round canvas. As much as I love Mandala #1, the blue and green Mandala, I like #2 BETTUH. It’s a good sign of things to come.

rainbow mandala 2It is currently for sale in my Etsy shop at the low low low price of only 275 clams. I might have a potential buyer, but I have learned over the years not to get too excited about potential buyers. At any rate I figure, if it doesn’t sell, it’s gonna look great on my wall.

rainbow mandala 3
Currently I am working on an all-metallic Mandala with shades of silver, gold, and bronze. I bought some metallic Sharpies that I was ridiculously excited about using, but it turns out they have a strong odor so I won’t be using them very much. Dumb super-sniffing-nose.

Work is a little cray right now, so I’m decreasing my coffee intake and increasing my fish oil intake and making sure to get exercise every day. Today at work I asked the Magic 8 ball if things would improve by the end of the month, and it said: IT IS CERTAIN. Well thank goodness. Ta ta for now.

Instagram Overload

Instagram Overload

Alright blog, I have about 45 minutes to burn before I leave to take Bear Schnubs to get groomed, so hows about we catch up on all my Instagram photos, hmmmm? Let’s do this thing!

I rescued this sad Betta fish from work. I've rescued a Betta before, and Seymour lived a long time, so I think of myself as the "Betta Whisperer". I named this guy Angus. I just ordered him a "hammock" shaped like a leaf and I'm excited about it!Betta fish deja vu? I rescued another Betta from another job. My boss “donated” him from her personal stash of Betta fish at home. I dubbed him “Angus” and slowly over the course of a couple of weeks he turned from dark red to sort of a mottled grey, so I asked my boss if I could take him home. She said sure, and immediately brought in another Betta fish the following day.ย 

You might recall in October 2006 (thanks Flickr I never would have remembered that date!) I rescued “Seymour” from a previous job. He looked like this when I rescued him:

seymourseymour now

Here he is a year later, still alive and kickin’ and colorful and happy. I’m hoping the same thing will happen with poor little Angus.

Current shellac: neon coral
Last shellac: neon coral. After two weekends in a row of camping my nails were wrecked. I had some trouble removing the shellac and now my nails are sad little nubs. That aside I still have a Broad Date tomorrow to get them re-shellacked. Ahem.

Fiery sunset colors tonight.The beauty room has the best view of sunsets at night. I really enjoyed tracking Venus and Jupiter around last month…I’m only sorry I missed the Northern Lights.

Prettiest gum balls ever, from the wedding on Saturday.
Prettiest gum balls ever–opalescent green. Wedding favors from Chris and Hayley’s wedding.

🎵I always feel like some dogs are watching meeee... 🎵ย 

I always feel like

Some dogs are watching meeeeee!

Dog leashes as accessories are the latest Craze!
Josh informed me that this picture “wasn’t worth posting on Instagram”, but since when do I listen to him?

Speaking of Joshy, he had a bright red nose for about 5 days in a row, including all through our camping trip last weekend. I consulted Dr. Google and Dr. Google said it was most likely cellulitis, and would require a doctor visit and some antibiotics to clear up. Josh sniffed at Dr. Google and asked an assortment of co-workers for their opinions instead, with ranging diagnoses. FINALLY on Tuesday I wore him down with enough nagging and he went to a walk-in clinic and what do you think it was? Cellulitis. Most of the time Dr. Google is full of shit but occasionally…

New paint markers woot!New paint markers, finally. My goal was to list the rainbow mandala on Etsy this weekend but so far today it’s been too overcast to take proper photos of it outside. Not complaining! I took the dogs for a walk and the mid-60’s temperature felt like heavennnnnnnn.

Yellow grass, panting dogs and underboob sweat? Yep, summer IS here! 🌞
Sweating and smiling at the dog park near our house. We walked over there this morning and there were several black charred spots on the yellow grass. We haven’t been to this park in a while as it has been WAY TOO HOT and there is no shade, so this was the first time I had seen the burns. I ran into my ex-fireman neighbor on the way home and told him about the damage, and he shrugged and said it was probably dumb kids and their fireworks. Fireworks, duh! I had forgotten about last weekend, as we were up in the mountains in blissful firework-free silence.

Trashy summer reading at its finest! 💕💖โœจ💋Requisite trashy summer read, although not NEARLY as dishy as I expected, unfortunately.

Here's one for Throwback Thursday: me and my little brother.
Awwwww, it’s me and little Stew.

Maggie and Bear Cub are keeping cool 💦Maggie and Bear Cub cooling off at a new park.

I got this book from the library simply because I liked the cover art, but it ended up being such a good read I bought it!
I have been occasionally known to judge library books by their covers, but it this case “Area X” turned out to be a fascinating gamble. I read it, loved it, recommended it to everyone, and then bought it so I can re-read it a few more times and loan it to my mother. Check it out if you’re into mildly sci-fi-ish thrillers.

Looking forward to getting it on with these bad boys!Current mandala plus some new metallic Sharpies that I am really excited about. Most of what I plan on doing this weekend revolves around working on this mandala.

Balloon flowers in the front yard, named for the nifty little "balloons" the petals make before they open.
Gorgeous “balloon” flowers in our front yard, named for the way the petals are shaped before they bloom open. I didn’t even saturate this photo, the colors are really that bright!

Today I lost Bear Cub at the park for a good 15-20 minutes. I was running all over, calling her name, whistling, telling everyone. Then finally I just started walking towards the entrance of the park, and there she was, waiting happily at the gate like "wOh Lord. This was the day I lost Bear Cub at the park for a good 15 or 20 minutes (felt like an eternity), searched all over the park for her, was worried sick…and then found her waiting at the entrance of the park like a good little girl. Sigh. Mommy stress.

Oh how sweet it is: my first Big Stick of summer.
Me and Big Sticks have a Thing goin’ on, you dig?

Our potted "Endless Summer" hydrangea. Two years ago it only had one measly bloom, then @corinne_spoja told me about fertilizing with crushed eggshells and bam! It came back! 💙The Endless Summer Hydrangea is back and better than ever! It seems to be thriving at the new house.

Gnome spotting.
Garden gnome spotting at Grandma Shirley’s house. Recently on Instagram I saw a little Jim Morrison statue in someone’s garden…I need that!

Yum 🍉 Happy 4th of July! Stay cool.“Dinner” on the 3rd of July. It was too friggin’ hot to eat anything else. Turns out Maggie and Bear Cub both love watermelon.

Sleepy.
Shhh, she’s sleeping now.

Bold lilies in the front yard โค๏ธ💛Loving these bright daylilies in the front yard.

Kind of obsessed with this variegated lavender hydrangea in our yard 💜
This amazing variegated hydrangea is getting a lot of attention from me too.

Trying to get my trail "run" (jog) on today and a huge excited black dog followed us all around the park. I guess Maggie and Bear Cub have irresistible butts, huh?At the dog park on Wednesday I was trying to get my Couch to 10K on and a giant, excitable black Lab mix followed me and Maggie and Bear Cub ALL over the park. He would not stop slamming his dogbody into me and the girls and smearing mud all over my shins. Finally I ran into his owner, who was plodding along in jeans and a cowboy hat with an ipod on, seeming unconcerned about his dog missing for over 15 minutes (unlike frantic Lizzy last week). “I don’t mind your dog following us,” I told him, “But he’s literally running into me.” I gestured to my muddy clothes and legs. The Good Ol’ Boy merely shrugged and led his dog away, and I was able to resume my slow slow slow slow jogging. For over a whole hour! Progress, not perfection.

I have ingested a lot of red food coloring during my lifetime. 🍒
I have ingested a lot of Red Dye #40 over the years.

Furry family members on the deck.Back off ladies, he’s alllllll miiiiiiine (heh).

Tree graffiti 🌲
Graffiti in nature at the dog park.

Whoops that took up a lot of time! Time to drop Bear Cub off at the groomer. I drugged her with half a doggie “Xanax” almost an hour ago, so I’m hoping she’ll be nice and relaxed. Catch yer later!