Saturday, January 22, 2011

When Life Gives You Lemons...

everything stops.

This past week has been a doozy.  Our smallest, snuggly pomeranian had a very rough week.  I wish I could say that I was able to "roll with the punches" and "rise to the occasion" and any other phrase that might seem appropriate.  But instead, I was overcome with the commitment of being a "mom" and needing to put my "kid" first.  I put the rest of my life on the back burner to make sure that AP was in the best possible spot.

I must say that I could not have done the above without my wonderful husband.  He was able to do what I wasn't and rose to the occasion and got Arnold to the vet, comfortable, and diagnosed so that he could be set up for his Friday not-so-fun day.

In order to know what happened to Arnold we have to go back to before the wedding.  Arnold had an incident at the dog park that landed him at the emergency vet in a lot of pain.  Unfortunately during that trip, and a subsequent trip, they weren't able to pinpoint what was wrong with our little guy.  There was talk of a pinched nerve, rare diseases, and a handful of other scary thoughts.  Luckily none of these seemed to be the case and we carried on. Until last week.

During a normal night, Arnold was begging for food in the kitchen and I bumped into him.  That sent him into the familiar leg up, screaming fit we had witnessed a few times before.  Knowing that he has recovered without a hitch twice previously, we gave him some pain meds and headed to sleep.  12 hours later, he was worse for wear and another vet visit showed that he officially had a dislocated hip.  

Come to find out, the two previous events were the same but the hip popped back in.  This week, it stayed out (of course, the time we don't go to the vet immediately!).  After the aforementioned vet visit by Scott and Arnold it was determined that immediate surgery was the way to go and we got him in for the next day. 

This story is long enough already so I will spare you the details of the surgery.  If you are interested, he had a Femoral Head Ostectomy.  This procedure sounds HORRIFYING but I can assure you, our little guy is much happier than he was two days ago and is resting comfortably and even walking on the leg 1 day post-op.  
Arnold snuggling in, chicken leg and all.

A few other notes:

  • This surgery was a blessing.  Come to find out, AP has a heart condition (congenital, very early stages, and common) that we now know about and can treat so it won't cause the little guy any problems for a long, long time.
  • Arnold is actually a giant ball of fluff, not actually a giant pomeranian.  Who knew there was a body under all that fur?
  • He looks like a pin cushion.  His leg, chest (for the heart ultrasound), front two legs (IVs), and other back leg (for a pain med patch) are all shaved.  I would be lying if I didn't say it was actually really endearing.  
  • He is doing great.  Everything was completed according to plan and he is in a happy (and cozy) little spot.

So, while my work, work out, and social calendar are a bit jumbled, my littlest pomeranian is on the mend.  I am continuing to remind myself that this is all temporary and all of our lives will be back to normal in a few short weeks.  Sometimes it's good to drop the "other" stuff and just spend some time at home.  Or at least that is what I believe as I type this curled up to my two poms on a Saturday night while watching chick flicks!  

Monday, January 17, 2011

Manly Monday

While many other people might have been out enjoying the gorgeous January weather in SF, I was holed up in the basement drinking beer and playing with power tools.

Let's have a quick discussion of how I ended up there.  Today was Day #1 of my DIY resolution.  I pulled the not-so-lovely end table out of the living room and into the backyard to enjoy said beautiful weather.  After a trip to Home Depot where I was educated on gloss vs. satin stain I was armed with all of the supplies needed to sand and stain my project.  


Ok, we are going to go another step back.  I first need to thank Katie over at Bower Power for the information and motivation necessary to take on this (and many) projects.  What she is able to accomplish in her home is so far beyond anything I will ever try, but I have realized that I am not incompetent and rather than spending $100s on new furniture I can work with what we have.  

Back to supplies...I spent $60 (including hardware) at Home Depot.  Not too shabby when I will end up with a "new" piece of furniture.  I could have spent considerably less but I am a newbie and was a bit unclear on how gritty my sand paper needed to be, and sadly didn't even own a paintbrush.  

The supplies.  Note the number of sandpaper packages!

My project began with me and a piece of sandpaper in the backyard.  In my head the sanding was going to be easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.  Oh how wrong I was.  Within 5 minutes I realized I could be there forever trying to get off that green paint and would likely have a crippled right hand from sanding.  I decided that I wasn't up for having forearms bigger than Lou Ferrigno and set out for trip #2 to the hardware store to get an electric sander.  It is GLORIOUS!  
My new best friend.

While I am not sure that an electric sander necessarily qualifies as a "power tool" it is the closest I have gotten and I am feeling quite proud.  In to the garage I went (where the power lives!) to take on my table.

I am pretty sure that whoever painted that table used the worlds thickest, most adhesive paint of all time.  I went through 6 sanding disks and I am still not finished.  I know I could have used a paint stripper but the idea of gloves, masks, and chemicals seemed a little ambitious for me at this point.  
The current state of the table.

Not wanting to make a third trip to the store, I called it a day and took to filling some gashes with wood filler and testing out two different stain colors on the bottom.  I am SO excited to get the whole thing stained.  I was feeling a bit defeated not finishing in one day but seeing how great it will be was reassuring.  

Hard to see (which is probably a good thing), wood filler on the right.

Monday, January 10, 2011


As I mentioned, one of my goals for 2011 is to take on a startling number of DIY projects.  I have yet to actually start one of these projects yet but I am thinking Sunday is my day :-).

This weekend, Scott and I did the exact opposite and went out and bought new items that required zero assembly (unless you count putting a duvet cover on a comforter).  

Lucky for us, we still had a nice stack of gift cards left over from the wedding that we hadn't determined exactly how we wanted to use.  Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel solved that problem for us a bit too quickly!  

INTRODUCING....drum roll please...

The New Retchless Couch:
First couch we sat on and were sold on the spot.  Seriously, we may never leave our living room ever again (well, once it is delivered)
I was hoping to give you an idea of just how deep this couch is with this picture.  Without the back cushions it is probably as wide (if not wider) than a twin bed.  Perfect for house guests!

and the New Retchless Bedding:
1.  It immediately reminded me of a wedding dress which, as a woman, of course I love, 2.  All white with 2 dogs...thank God for bleach, 3. We stuffed two down comforters in this puppy so it is a fluffy paradise!

Of course now I have a very serious problem on my hands because now there are two home decorating monsters living under one roof and both are terribly impatient!  Scott and I have a laundry list of items we want to change, swap, redo, and buy new.  Not really sure what happened with the turning of a new year but we are out to make our house pretty spectacular if I do say so myself.  

I'll work on putting together a list, complete with pictures, of all that we hope to accomplish to make our house just the way we want (well, as much as we can as renters).  

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Resolution #2

I should have made this resolution shortly after totaling my first car (or better yet, BEFORE that!) more fiddling with my phone while driving.  

I admit, I have texted, emailed, googled, etc. all while driving far too may times.  There is no excuse and no reason.  I rarely drive for more than 30 minutes at a time and I can't really imagine a text being so pressing it can't wait that long.  I have bluetooth, I can always make a phone call if it needs my immediate attention.

I know some people are even against talking while driving but with my handsfree set up I feel comfortable with this action while driving.  

So from now on, no more distracted driving.  It isn't worth my life or anyone else's.  It can wait.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Resolution #1

My first resolution for 2011 might seem a bit strange.   No, it isn't to commit to a work out plan, lose 5 pounds, eat healthier, run, stop biting my nails, do a half ironman or anything even remotely similar to some of my past commitments...

I decided it was time to memorize my credit card number!

Yep.  Pretty ground breaking, right?  It was purely an act of laziness.  You see, the whole act of having to dig out my credit card to purchase the random photography book, TV adaptor, new shirt or anything else exciting I might run across online takes some serious effort.  So why not simplify the process and just memorize?

Well, I did.  And tonight it paid off.  I am not sure if any of you ever click through to the little links that live over to the right ---------->  But, one of my favorites is Enjoying the Small Things and tonight Kelle put out a call for readers to Pay It Forward.  What better use of my new 2011 skill?

I decided that I enjoy that she chooses to share her photos, family, and story with me and her readers daily and this is my way of saying thanks.  It's funny, bloggers have a knack for wiggling their way into your life in a way that makes you feel like you know them.  Who knows, maybe this small little blog will be that to someone else some day and maybe some day I will need something.  Karma my friends.  That, and it just plain feels good! Who could say no to this little face?
photo credit: Kelle Hampton

So tonight, I ask you to Pay It Forward as well.  If not to NDSS, to something that is close to you or makes you stop and think.  That is my January challenge to you.  Give back.

Resolution #2 coming tomorrow...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

For the record...

I have absolutely no idea why the new picture is enormous.  I am working on a solution because that is a whole-lotta-stephanie front and center!!! 

arrivederci 2010!

I have some new goals for 2011 for my house, the blog, and a little bit of everything else.  This includes a ridiculous number of Do It Yourself (DIY) projects.  Well, ridiculous in that my current tally is zero and there are at least 4 staring me in the face!  I have been inspired by what people are able to accomplish without buying new, expensive furniture or accessories and have realized that I can take on that challenge.  This is in addition to eliminating the clutter in the house and giving this blog a fresh start.  Obviously, the first thing was the face life earlier this week.  Now, I am going to wrap up 2010 and ring in 2011!!

The idea that I last left off at Thanksgiving is overwhelming to say the least.  December was pretty much out of control with commitments and I failed miserably by not updating as they passed.  That is probably how I ended up sick for the past two weeks as well.  All worth it!  

So, in a very weak attempt at catching up I give you December in pictures.

49ers Game!  "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco"...and my husband shows up in short sleeves.  I loaned him my puffy vest like a nice wife!

Michelle and Ray eating birthday ribs!

To Bernie!

I did a boat load of baking over the holidays.  We rarely go through a stick of butter yet I am pretty sure I went through about 8 in a two week time frame this December. 

Rice Krispy Treat Wreaths

Of course there was a celebration with the Strand Fam!


Arnold was mad he didn't get a present so he pouted on the couch.

And then off to St. Louis!  Two of my most favorite people in the whole world!

Reading Good Night Train

Annual Shatto/Koon family dinner

These hats officially do nothing for us!

Jordan, Lauren and the Retchlesses

Oh boy...Smith family Christmas.  I don't think much else needs to be said other than this was before the drinking began.

Merry Christmas!

Scott and I started and ornament tradition to signify the year.  His was commemorating the Giants World Series win.

Oh, socks!

Aren't we just a matchy little Christmas couple?

Home sweet home.

Santa?  No, just the necessary action to be taken when the satellite goes out!

Koon family Christmas...Grandma and her four kids.

Sorry, Al, Eli has officially taken over as my new best friend!


We missed having Derry around this season but at least she was there in iPhone!

A toast to Bernie to wrap up a magical 9 days in St. Louis.

Happy New Year!

It probably isn't a good thing that we have a party store a block away from our house!  I am pretty sure the entire restaurant thought we were crazy.

Crick and Kyle ringing in 2011.

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year, New Look

I am working on my first "official" 2011 post but in the meantime I decided to give my blog a face lift.  After trying to read a few other blogs that are white type on a black background and nearly going blind I decided to make the ol' blog a little easier on the eyes.

Still a few more minor changes to come and a full post in the nearish future.

Happy New Year!