Wednesday, April 28, 2010

John's new baby

Towards the end of last year we decided that John needed a new vehicle, but that it needed to wait so we could save up a down payment.
His car was a bad purchase from the beginning but we were suffering from "one car syndrome" for almost 5 months that we put blinders on and ignored the bad.
His car has been nice to have and since he doesn't have to drive to far for work we made it last as long as possible (I also loved not having a car payment!) but we agreed that around May would be a good time to start looking for a new one. There was no way in hell that his car would pass safety and emissions in May, it needed a lot of love and we didn't want to spend the money to give it that love.

For the last couple of months we've been looking online seeing what we could expect to find with what we wanted to pay. Truthfully our pickings were slim. People love their trucks so they drive the crap out of them and even newer years had a ton of mileage on them or they just dont sell them at all. We were thinking that we'd be getting a 2006 with 65,000+ miles, not ideal but if that's what we could find it would be better than what we had. We did find a few trucks that John liked early on, but our down payment wasn't where I wanted it to be so we didn't go look at them.

On Monday John took the day off since he had one more vacation day and was in the use it or lose it stage. I went to work and browsed KSL on my down time since May was getting close. I think out of the qualifications that we wanted 29 trucks came up on my list. I browsed through the list not finding anything that caught my eye (John wanted an extended cab at least and preferred a longer bed) until a few pages in.
There was a 2008 Ford F150 crew cab with 13,000 miles at $13,999, of course I clicked but I wondered right off the bat that it had to be too good to be true, the price was too low. Yup, there is was, it was a reclaimed title, but sometimes that doesn't mean its a bad vehicle. I text John letting him know, asking him if he wanted to go take a look at it. He decided it was worth a shot and drove up to Woods Cross to check it out.

I emailed my dad the specs to get his opinion and told him why the title was reclaimed. The truck had been in an accident but not a massive one and the dealership let John look at the Carfax to see what had to be done. Nothing too serious and the dealership did a nice job fixing it up. John decided that it might be worth my dad coming out and looking at it, we weren't going to buy anything without my dad's approval.
I love having my dad look at cars with us. He looks at things I forget or dont think to look at and really knows his stuff. If my dad says no to one then its not a good buy and you move on to the next.

My dad met us at the dealership and did his stuff. Since it was in accident he checked the frame and all the other junk you check when you know your stuff on cars.
After a good long while on talking the pros and cons of getting a reclaimed he gave his Dad Seal of Approval and John was happy.

(yes these are the dealers pictures but I'm lazy and why should I take my own when they'll look just the same?)

I'm hoping this truck proves to be a good purchase and will live with us for many years to come. I'm also hoping that my car, Lil' Blue, will also live at least 5 more years because I'm really not ready for another car payment.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Enna is in season, also known as heat. What does this mean? She's a tad moody, gets grumpy easy (sorry Kumo for all the growls and face bites), cant go outside without super vision which also means no off leash for her, and finally she has to wear a diaper.

There is a purpose for the diaper besides making her look super adorable. For about 21 days she bleeds lightly and we dont want that on our furniture or flooring.

Lets hope these 21 days go quick since we're not breeding her this time. I feel bad that she has to stay home while Makoa and I go with Dana and Kumo to Tanner. Cross your fingers that all the ducks are in a row when she goes into heat around November so we can breed her then!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Front yard ideas

I've fallen in love with a bench

Of course I had to think where I could put this delightful little thing in my yard (after John builds it of course, he's ecstatic :)). With the very limited space and the lack of creativity that was put into designing my front yard I set my brain to work and came up with this. (click on picture to enlarge)
The grid in front on the sidewalk that leads to our porch is where I'd like the bench to go and then of course I dont have enough flower garden space as it is so I'd like to put in more. The circle behind the grid I'd like to set a little higher than the other beds (got the idea from here) I haven't decided what I'd like to live there yet, maybe a nice water feature or rotating annuals or maybe even a rosebush.
Also maybe the proposed front bed will connect to the left bed, not really sure about that yet. I bet there will be a lot of changes to my pre-plan if and when we get around to it.

I haven't fully convinced John of my brilliant plan yet, he just sees more dollar signs, but he does like the idea of less to mow. Of course this wont be happening any time soon since the basement is his baby right now, but I'll keep this in the will-cost-a-lot-of-money-and-time folder until my dreams come true.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


This is my battle wound from last nights tank moving adventure

This lovely abrasion is from Sophi who was helping us pack up the fish. John was scooping the fish out and I was the holder of the tupperware. He scooped two of the hatchet fish out of the tank and they protested by jumping out of the tupperware and onto the floor, one flopped right between my feet. Sophi was on top of the situation though, so dont be alarmed. She pounced, I shrieked and somewhere in the middle of it I got scratched.

Somehow we got the cat and dogs away from the fish, but one of the little fellas flopped his way under the tank stand. After he was fished out (ha ha ha fished) he was plopped into the tupperware. As of right now he's still alive, maybe he's like a cat and has 9 lives? The tank is also safely placed in its new home, my in-laws living room.

P.S. this is also my 100th post, I dont know if that's a good thing or a bad thing....

Monday, April 19, 2010

the dogs

I have to say when I first got Enna it devastated me that she wouldn't go to strangers. I grew up with a lab and spaniel mix so I wasn't use to this peculiar situation.
We did do research before we got her so we knew that they weren't too keen on strangers, but I didn't think it would be this bad. We socialized up a storm when she was little, but it was to no avail, she just didn't want anything to do with people she didn't know. So hard when you have a rare dog that everyone wants to pet.

Before we got Makoa I asked the breeder how he was with people, her reply, "He's the friendliest klee kai I have ever met!" Lies. He is a little better than Enna though. If you start petting him than he's okay with you, Enna just wants you to stop and will crawl away.
Because of this shyness no one gets to see how the dogs really are. They are the sweetest, funniest little creatures. But everyone views them as mean, crabby, unfriendly and noisy.

It takes a while for my dogs to warm up to people they dont know. Enna took a few months to even like us when we first got her, we had to keep a leash attached to her so we could catch her when needed. Now she is my shadow and totally attached to me.
They love Dana but this is because Dana sees them OFTEN!!! We see Dana at least once a week if not twice and she has really worked with them hard to get them to like her. She knows their behaviors and what it took to win them over.(You have to sit on the ground at their level and wait for them to come to you, no calling, yelling or forcing. You cant just expect miracles right off the bat. They're just like shy children, the more you force the worse they get.) They come to her when she calls, Makoa especially, and they get really excited when they see her. So it can be done, it just requires work on your part.

Because they dont like strangers they dont like it when the stranger jump at them, chase them or makes loud noises at them. This will cause my normally quiet dogs to bark and jump back at said strangers.
They may nip if they get too scared, this has only happened once and I'm not putting the blame on my dogs at all. Think about it, you're approached by a mugger, the mugger jumps towards you and you think you're trapped, what would you do?

These dogs aren't like regular dogs. You shouldn't expect them to come running when they see you, lick your face, and want to be your best friend. They can also sense agitation and there is no way in Hell they'll come to you then. Please dont tell me that something is wrong with my dogs, that I didn't train them well or they're mean. They're not, they just dont see you enough and dont know who you are. So what does that mean? We need to see you more and if you want my dogs to like you, you have to make a conscious effort to get them to like you.
If you dont care if they like you or not then ignore them when you come over. Dont jump at them (even if you think you're playing, they think you're being a threat), dont make them bark (No one, the dogs, John and myself included, thinks you're being funny)and dont make really sudden movements towards them (this is what really causes the sudden nipping).
I'm sorry if this makes you like my dogs less, you dont have to like them. They're our dogs and what you dont get to see is what we love most about them.

One good thing about them not loving every single person that crosses their path? They wont follow any Tom, Dick or Harry home so I dont have to worry about any stolen pets.

You say hello and I say goodbye

The fish tank is getting a new home today. We promised John's brother, Ben, that he could have it when we got a new one because we knew we'd be upgrading to saltwater.

This fish tank has sure put up with a lot from us, two moves while it was full, Sophi jumping on top to walk to her cat tree (cause walking on the ground is for common folk), the dogs jumping on the glass chasing the fish and many deaths and new comers of fish.

The fish we've had the longest is a Pictus Catfish

John bought him when we were down at Snow and had a 10 gallon tank, so he's been with us for 4 years and he's about 8 inches long.
I wont be missing him too much though. He's a hider (which the pet store people tell us that he shouldn't be) and vibrates/hums when he gets really pissed off. It really freaks me out!
When we moved him from John's 10 gallon to our 55 gallon we tried catching him in a plastic bag (you cant catch them in nets because they're spiny fins get stuck in the nets) he was humming up a storm. He poked his fins through the bag, drained all his water and had me screaming, "JOHN! JOHN! JOHN!!!!!" (even though John was standing in the room holding the bag) and jumping up and down like I just won Miss USA. John shoved the bag into my hands and I had to hold the humming/vibrating pissed off little guy while John grabbed some tupperware.
Getting him out of the bag was a challenge since he thrashed around getting himself more tangled and stress. John worked for a good few minutes getting him untrapped and into the tupperware and I really thought he wasn't going to last through the night.
The next time we moved we were smart and caught him with a glass jar. Less stress, less humming and no screaming.

One little fish I will be missing is our female Bristlenose Plecostomus

You may think she's ugly, but I think she's so ugly that she's cute.
My mom has always had a pleco in her fish tank and the common ones can get really big, some up to two feet! I think hers was always pushing 12 inches.
John thought they were hideous, but they're really good for the tank since they suck off the algae and are a good clean up crew.
I searched for this one special since I didn't want one that got too big so it meant going to a special fish store (petsmart only carries the common ones).
She's should only get up to 8 inches, but right now she's tiny, only about 3 inches. She must be a slow grower because we've had her for 2 1/2 years now. When I first got her I'd say she was less than an inch and I snuck her into the tank so John wouldn't know I bought one. :)

One guy I wont be missing at all is a new addition to the tank, a Banded Leporinus.

I bought two of them a few months ago on a whim, not knowing anything about them, just liking them for their adult size(12 inches) and coloring.
Supposedly they're peaceful and do well with community fish but one of them is a huge butthead. He's chewed up the two angels fins and chases the other tank mates. I told Ben he could keep him if he wants but I'd sell him back to the pet store ASAP!

Other tank mates that will be moving to their new home are:
Two angels (had 5 but 3 died from old age)
3 black skirt tetras
3 tiger barbs
5 hatchet fish

It'll be really weird having it gone and not hearing the quiet sound of running water and bubbles for the next few months. But John is eager to get it out so he can install the toe kick for the cabinets (he already has them all built, he's so excited :))and get the plumbing and electrical out of the way. I was way wrong when I thought this would be an over a year project!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

spring fever

Yesterday was too gorgeous of a day to stay inside and clean the Mouth of Hell aka my kitchen, so the pups and I went off the Tanner Park/Parley's trail. It was the first time I went alone with the dogs, not that they're hard to control alone because they're not, it's just that I forget that I can go by myself. :)

While in the car Makoa was SOOO excited! He kept talking to me and whining, when we turned onto the road that leads up to Tanner they went nuts!

Some in the car pictures, dont worry they were all taken at red lights.

Makoa found a beagle that he loved and they chased each other for the first part of our hike, then him and Enna explored all the bushes and trails.

If you look really closely in this picture you'll see Enna's head as she comes out of the bush.

I heart off leash areas and trails and you can tell that my pups do too!
Just look at the smile!

On a side note, Makoa is really worming his way into my heart. For a long time all of his behavioral issues were really putting a damper on our relationship and I just wasn't really fond of him. For the last few months I've been working with him and his personality and trying to understand why he does what he does.
When we first started doing off leash with him he was so easy to get back on leash but then out of the blue he changed and it was a nightmare getting him back on. The minute the leash came out he'd dart away and wouldn't come within arms reach no matter what. Nothing worked, treats, praise, nothing. We'd either have to wait until he forgot that we were trying to get him or just walk him back to the car without him on his leash and risk getting a ticket for not obeying leash laws. It was getting so bad that I always thought twice about bringing him with.

So the last few times I've been trying a new tactic. I learned that if he is pet throughout the hike he doesn't think that every time he is touched it's time to go home and I hang the leash around my neck so that he sees it the whole time we are out.
Now from start to finish with our walk I'll call him back to me and give him some scratches and a lot of praise and I haven't had one bit of trouble getting him back that I've said that I've jinxed myself and it will be a nightmare again. Cross your fingers that he'll stay good! I really am starting to love that little guy and enjoying his company.

Monday, April 12, 2010

spring hike

On Sunday Dana invited me and the dogs on a hike with her and her friend, Jamie and crazy, old me, I agreed!
I didn't think that it would be that strenuous since we were going above Memory Grove and I've been up Memory, piece of cake. I thought wrong, Jamie took us up a trail in City Creek Canyon that I've never been on and it sure wasn't the easiest hike ever. Truthfully it wasn't that bad, I'm just way out of shape and it's all up hill. Luckily one of us is smart, Dana brought us water bottles and fruit bars to eat.

When Dana and I met up with Jamie at Memory Jamie looked down at Enna and asked, "You sure she'll make it?" Looking down at Enna I said, "Oh yeah, no problem at all! Enna's an ox!"
So the 3 of us with our 5 dogs headed up the park letting the dogs off leash in the off leash area. Once we hit the actual trail above Memory Grove Jamie got farther and farther ahead of us :) Dana and I would yell to Jamie that we were stopping to rest and she'd turn around smiling at us. We hiked for about 1 1/2 hours and didn't make it to the end, we just couldn't go any further so we turned around to head home. Once we hit Memory Grove Makoa was getting tired, I can tell because that's when he hangs out by my legs instead of off in front with all the dogs. Little Nenners was still going strong though and keeping up with the big dogs.

After 3 hours of hiking Dana and I were starving so we grabbed some lasagna from Pizza Hut and headed to her place to watch Hachi. The dogs crashed once we got to Dana's place and slept peacefully through the movie. After a tearful couple of hours I was headed home for the night.

Now my whole body hurts this morning and my feet have a few blisters but it was a great hike! I'm going to make my dad come with me next time I go (hear that Pop Pop?) and anyone else that wants to tag along is more than welcome to come, but this time we're going to the end!
Sorry there are no pictures, I was trying not to die while I kept up with Jamie!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

It can rain now

We put new rain gutters on the front of our house today. It really wasn't that hard of a job.
John stood on the roof pulling off the old ones, I stood on the ladder holding the old ones so they wouldn't come crashing to the ground and then I walked them down the ladder and set them on the ground (I also searched the garden beds for all the nails that were dropped).
Then I clipped on the brackets on the new white vinyl gutters, carried them up the ladder and held them while John screwed the brackets into the house.
In a few hours we were done and proudly looking at our hard work.
The before with the old, brown, leaky gutters

The after with the new white gutters

This summer we'll paint the trim on the house white so it will all match.
Not too shabby for a few hours of work.

Friday, April 9, 2010


One thing I'll miss with the weather trying to warm up is my fireplace. In the winter we use it almost daily, I love the smell of burning wood and the cozy feeling it brings.

Only a few more uses until its time to call a chimney sweep and have it cleaned out for the summer.
Doesn't mean I want winter to stay though...

Gone to the birds

I'm told these ducks are frequent visitors to where I work. I watched them waddle around all morning, jumping on the picnic tables, pecking at the windows and laying in the grass.
I cant wait until their little babies start following them around!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It's my party

and I'll cry it I want to!!
I've been a good girl and haven't whined about this spring snow we've been having lately but I'm whining today!!!
It's April, it's suppose to be in the 60's, sunny and gorgeous, preparing us for the heat wave of summer. Instead we get crazy, December like storms.

A few weeks ago Van Bourgondien sent me my replacement flowers that didn't make it last year (shhh...dont tell them that cat pee killed them) and I was thinking, "What the crap!! dont they know it's March?!?" They're live plants and have to be planted right away so I was in a pickle with it still being a wee bit nippy outside.
I called them to complain and they said, "We ship to our zone 6 customers in March" and I said, "That would be all fine and dandy if it wasn't suppose to SNOW TOMORROW!!!!"
What to do, what to do? Nothing else to do but plant them inside and wait for warmer weather.
They're all doing really well for now, but they cant stay in their tiny pots for long, I need the weather to warm up and STOP SNOWING so they can move outdoors.

So this morning as I sit shivering and glaring out at the snow I curse living in Utah. I dont care if it's only 8:42 in the morning, I'm going to eat my Symphony bar because the toffeey goodness will make me feel better for a few minutes.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

update to wet bar

The minute I showed John the pictures I drew up he wanted to start right away. So it looks like John would rather put most of the money to this project instead of the outside. I'm not too distraught over it though since this will be a nice addition to our home, we just wont be pouring concrete this year. He's the one that will have to park on gravel or the road for another year so really I dont care either way.

Funny story though, last night we went to lowes to measure mini fridges and look into small water heaters. I really didn't want John to run piping from the water heater to where the small sink will be because his "this wont be that much work" projects turn into a nightmare and I wanted to go the easy way out even if it meant spending more money. So we stood in the water heater section of Lowes arguing about it, but I must say it was a very civilized argument.

Me - let me tell you why I dont want you to run piping through the whole basement. I see this not going as smoothly as you think it will and I'll end up with more holes in my ceiling that will never get patched. Also I see a lot of swearing involved.

John - okay let me tell you why I want to run piping. Instead of paying $200+ for a water heater we'll spend $30. We really wont be using hot water in the faucet that often so getting a little water heater for just that sink is a waste of money.

Me - I dont care how much it will cost, I care about the repercussions this will ensue.

John - It wont I promise! (then he went on explaining how easy it would be, for the 20th time, and how there should be no problems)

Finally I agreed to his wishes but I told him that if this doesn't go as smoothly as he promises than I get to say "I told you so", I get a sweet prize and the minute he says we have to cut into the new ceiling of the hallway we're going to my plan. I haven't decided what this prize will be but it will be totally wicked awesome, I assure you of that! I hope I'm wrong and this will be a piece of cake but past projects are telling me otherwise.