And…curtain! – ¡Y… cortina!

New curtains in the dining room

Since August, I have entered a state of inertia the minute I walk through the door to my house. At work, I have have been extremely productive, but as soon as I get home, I seem incapable of getting even the simplest of chores done. For the past six months, I have been spending a lot of time at home curled up with various animals watching television and crocheting. Can you spot the three beasts sharing the couch with me in this picture?

Desde agosto he sufrido de un estado de inercia que me prohíbe trabajar en la casa. En el trabajo, he estado sumamente productiva, pero en el momento que paso por la puerta de nuestra casa me invade una sensación de inmovilismo que no me deja hacer nada. En los últimos seis meses he pasado casi todo el tiempo en casa tejiendo y viendo la tele acurrucada en el sofá con varios animales. ¿Puedes ver los tres que comparten el asiento conmigo en esta foto?

Two cats, a dog and me

I hate this feeling of lethargy, and I have been trying to rectify it by focusing on tiny projects that do not require much work. My first attempt to draw the curtain on my laziness was to go out and purchase actual curtains. I combed through several sites, before narrowing down the choice to eight different curtains at Target. Douglas then picked the three that he felt he could live with, and I chose this one. By the way, I am not paid anything nor do I receive any benefits by sharing this with you. I wish I did!

Odio esta sensación de apatía y he estado intentando combatirla con enfocarme en proyectos pequeños que no requieren mucho esfuerzo. El primer intento de <<correr la cortina>> y terminar la época de inactividad fue comprar unas cortinas actuales. Busqué en varios sitios web antes de seleccionar ocho cortinas de Target. De esas Douglas escogió tres que le gustaban a él y de las tres yo elegí esta. Por cierto, no recibo ni dinero ni nada más por mencionarla aquí. Ojalá que sí recibiera alguna recompensa.

Not all of the curtains arrived at once, so I first washed and hung the panels for three of the windows in the living and dining rooms. I think that the new curtains tie in the colors in the dining room nicely.

No todos los telones llegaron a la vez, así que primero lavé y colgué los de tres de las ventanas del salón y del comedor. Creo que las nuevas cortinas combinan bien con los colores que ya estaban en el comedor.

New curtains in the dining room

Also, just so you don’t think my house is perfect, here is the mess that I was too lazy to clean up before taking pictures.

Y para que no pienses que mi casa está perfectamente arreglada todo el tiempo, aquí está el desorden que yo no organicé antes de sacar fotos porque estaba demasiada perezosa.

Messy dining room

It is hard to picture what the living room should look like because we still have to paint and rehang the hardware on the front window. I do like the drapes on that side window.

Es difícil imaginar cómo se debería ver el salón de estar porque nos hace falta pintar y colgar la ferretería para sujetar las cortinas de nuevo. Pero, las cortinas se ven bien en la otra ventana.

New curtains in living room

I think that I am going to pay someone to paint, as just thinking about it causes me to want to curl up and refuse to do anything for another six months. I am so serious about the need for help that I just took a break from writing this blog post to send an email to the man that painted the exterior of our house.  The email read something like this, “Help us, Pauly Wan Kenobi, you’re our only hope!” Hopefully, he can save us.

Pienso pagar a alguien que nos pinte el salón, porque sólo pensar en tener que hacerlo me hace querer esconderme y no salir por otros seis meses. Estoy tan segura de querer pagar a alguien por hacerlo que dejé de escribir este artículo para mandar un correo electrónico al señor que nos pintó el exterior de la casa. El email decía, <<Ayúdanos, Pauly Wan Kenobi, eres nuestra última esperanza.>> Espero que nos pueda salvar.

Living room window needs curtains

Unfortunately, I don’t think that Polar is going to be able to stay with us. We have been working with a trainer, but he is still really aggressive. If it were just the two of us, there would be no question that we would keep working with him. However, if could never take the risk of exposing him to foster children. My heart is breaking over this decision, but I believe it is the right one. At least, I will have the kitties to ease my aching heart. They are regularly sleeping snuggled up with each other for the first time in their lives, and they give us lots of love as well, despite the fact that we brought this crazy dog into their home.

Desafortunadamente, no creo que Polar va a poder quedarse. Hemos estado trabajando con un entrenador de perros, pero todavía es muy agresivo. Si sólo tuviéramos que pensar en nosotros dos, no habría problema, pero jamás podríamos ponerlo en contacto con niños y siempre existe la posibilidad de que lleguen algunos a nuestra casa en cualquier momento. Se me rompe el corazón hacer esta decisión, pero creo que es la correcta. Al menos tendré los gatitos para ayudarme a superar la pérdida. Ya duermen juntos casi siempre, algo que hacían muy poco antes de que llegó Polar, y nos dan mucho cariño también a pesar de que trajimos a ese perro loco a su casa.

Dog, cats and humans on couch

Happy Homemaking!

¡Espero que todos tus sueños caseros se cumplan!

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Welcome, Polar, bienvenido

Dog in the snow

Things were difficult after Kahlua passed away. One of the worst side effects was that the cats started fighting like crazy. While Kahlua was alive, she was the enforcer. The cats would fight from time to time, but she would not let it get too bad. There were also a lot of times that we were all cuddled in bed together. Once Kahlua was gone, Crème started attacking Ponche whenever he tried to get in the bed. It was bad.

Todo fue difícil después de la muerte de la pobre Kahlua. Uno de los efectos segundarios peores era que los gatos empezaron a pelear muchísimo. Mientras vivía Kahlua, ella mantenía la paz entre todos. Los gatos luchaban de vez en cuando, pero no constantemente como empezaron a hacerlo después de que se murió. Había muchas más veces que se acurrucaban en la cama juntos. Una vez que se murió Kahlua, Crème atacaba a Ponche cada vez que intentaba subir a la cama. Todo andaba mal.

Cats fighting in a box

Douglas was also very depressed. My family members and I were all concerned about him around Christmas. He was so sad it broke my heart. That is why I did not put up more of a fight when he told me that he wanted to adopt another dog, even when he picked one that was going to be a big challenge. Polar was born with a severe facial deformity, and a former owner convinced a vet to file off all of his teeth. Below is a picture of him before with the teeth and after without them. He was brought up from Georgia from a kill shelter and has been waiting for a forever home since last April. He was adopted once and brought back.

Además, Douglas estaba muy deprimido. Mis parientes y yo estábamos preocupados durante las vacaciones de Navidad. Él estaba tan triste que me ardía el corazón. Por eso no protesté más cuando decidió que quería adoptar otro perro, aun cuando escogió uno que sería un reto enorme. Polar nació con una deformidad facial severa y una de las personas a quien pertenecía antes le convenció a un veterinario limarle los dientes que le quedaban. Abajo lo puedes ver antes con los dientes y después sin ellos.

Before and after dog

Douglas went to pick him up while I was driving down to Maryland with my sister. My aunt and cousin from Venezuela and my cousin’s girlfriend from Montreal were the first to meet him. We decided to name him Polar after a Venezuelan beer.

Douglas fue a conocerle mientras yo estaba en camino al estado de Maryland para visitar a mi abuela con mi hermana. Mi tía y mi primo de Venezuela y la novia de mi primo de Montreal eran los primeros de conocerlo después de que Douglas lo adoptó. Decidimos darle el nombre de Polar por la cerveza venezolana.

Polar gets adopted with family from Venezuela

When I returned home three days later, things were not good. The cats were hunkered down in the basement, refusing to come up because Polar was scared to go down the basement stairs. The good news was that they had united against a common enemy and were no longer fighting like cats and… angrier cats.

Cuando volví a casa tres días después, las cosas no andaban bien. Los gatos se escondían en el sótano negando salir para nada porque a Polar le da miedo bajar al sótano. Lo bueno era que se habían unido contra un enemigo en común y ya no se peleaban.

Snuggling cats in basement

Polar hates to be told what to do. He gets very aggressive and attacks when you try to physically move him, grab his collar or simply tell him no. He was barking a lot and sleeping very little. We were afraid that he was going to have to go back to the shelter. At other times, he would be very loving, and we were sad that it would be hard for him to adopted if he were brought back to the shelter again.

A Polar le da rabia que uno de diga qué hacer. Es muy agresivo y ataca cuando uno intenta moverlo físicamente, le toma por el collar o simplemente si le dice <<no>>. Ladraba mucho y no dormía nada. Temíamos que tendríamos que devolverlo al refugio. Otras veces era muy cariñoso y nos entristecía que sería muy difícil que alguien lo adoptara si otra familia lo devolviera al refugio.

Douglas with Polar

When we were just about at the end of our rope, I had the genius idea to take him to the vet and ask for a medication to help with Polar’s anxiety. I actually wanted to give him one of my Xanex or invite my brother over to smoke marijuana with him, but Douglas convinced me to wait one more day to see if the vet could help us.

Cuando estábamos al punto de rendir, se me ocurrió que podríamos llevarlo al veterinario y pedir un medicamento para reducir su ansiedad. Actualmente, yo quería darle uno de mis pastillas de Xanex o invitar a mi hermano a fumar marihuana con Polar, pero Douglas me convenció de que podíamos esperar un día más para ver si el veterinario nos podría ayudar.

Polar on the couch

Thankfully, Polar exhibited all of the behaviors that I needed the vet to see, both positive and negative, and we were able to find a drug that has helped him. The vet agrees with us that he is a loving boy that just needs to be trained and helped with his anxiety. Things have been much better but not perfect. However, we are hopeful that someday he will be a model dog and the cats will be able to come out of the bedroom.

Gracias a dios, Polar exhibió toda la conducta que yo necesitaba que el veterinario viera, tanto la buena como la mala, y pudimos encontrar una droga que le ha ayudado. El veterinario está de acuerdo de que es un perro muy cariñoso y sólo le hace falta entrenamiento y algo para reducir su ansiedad. Su conducta ha mejorado mucho desde entonces, pero tiene que mejorar aún más. Sin embargo, estamos seguros de que un día será un perro modelo y que los gatos podrán salir del dormitorio.

Polar in the crate

It’s good that Polar sleeps in a crate, so the cats are able to come up and snuggle at night. We also keep the bedroom door shut, and since they have their cat door in the wall, they are able to go into the bedroom during the day as well. We try to spend time down in the basement with them as well.

Es bueno que Polar duerme en una jaula así que los gatos pueden salir del sótano durante la noche y dormir en la cama con nosotros. También mantenemos la puerta del dormitorio cerrada durante el día para que pueden entrar cuando quieren por la puerta de gatos que pusimos en la pared. También, intentamos pasar tiempo con ellos en el sótano.

Cats cuddling on bed

Here is a video from our walk in the snow two weekends ago. I tested him off leash. He was a good boy and came back to me immediately when I called him. At least in the beginning, after a while he started to get braver and wander farther and I had to stop letting him roam. That is another thing we will have to work on, but at least now we are planning to keep him. There were times earlier this week when we were certain that he would have to go back, and it was really depressing.

Aquí tienes un video de una caminata este fin de semana. Le deje correr para ver si volvería cuando lo llamaba y lo hizo las primeras tres veces, pero después tardaba más en volver y tuve que mantenerle en la correa. Es otra cosa que tenemos que enseñarle, pero tenemos tiempo ahora que hemos decidido que se quedará con nosotros.

I had planned to publish this post last week, but then Polar started acting up again, and we were debating whether or not we should take him back to the shelter. On Saturday, we decided that we would keep him for better or worse. Then, he developed a urinary tract infection and started peeing all over the house. Or rather he had been peeing all over the house, and we figured out why. My goodness, the problems never seem to end with this beast, but we are committed to him now. God help us!

Había planeado publicar este artículo la semana pasado, pero habíamos decidido cien por ciento si iba a quedarse con nosotros. Él tiene muchísimos problemas y no estábamos seguros de tener el tiempo suficiente para trabajar con él para entrenarle. El sábado decidimos que si por bien o por mal se queda. Después nos dimos cuenta de que tenía una infección urinaria y estaba haciendo pipi por toda la casa. ¡Dios mío! Esta fiera tiene un sinfín de dificultades, pero ya estamos cometidos que dios nos ayude.

On a walk in the snow with my dog

Happy Homemaking!

¡Espero que todos tus sueños caseros se cumplan!

 

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2018!?

Oslo, Norway

Happy New Year! How is it possible that it is already 2018?

2017 was a very busy year. There were highlights and low points, but overall it was a good year. I have missed writing here for the past several months, and I hope to make my posts more frequent this year. It is hard to summarize everything that we did this year, but I wrote a poem that we included in our Christmas card this year, so I will share that.

Ode to 2017Spiderman and Ironman visit the Riverhead Aquarium

How to record all our adventures this year;

not sure I can get them all down on here.

2016 ended in poorly as M & M returned to their family,

January to March – we missed them terribly.

Then, back into our lives they returned with a bang,Mutter Museum, Philadelphia

now once a month we hang out as a gang.

 

Jess went to Philly, and in Washington we marched,

Douglas drank lots to keep from feeling parched.

In Vermont we skied with Gav and her lover;

the Thessins helped Jess find the oldest manhole cover.Women's March Washington D.C.

In Norway we experienced Northern Lights and dogsledding,

the theater, museums and Taylor; our return we were dreading.

Not satisfied with one pole Jessica went to the other,

before taking a trip to Peru with her brother.

Thus from the streets of Buenos Aires to glaciers of El Calafate,Aurora Borealis Norway - Leander - Aurora Safari - Tromso Safari

she found time to visit friends and drink lots of mate.

In June in Peru, Machu Picchu they did see,

the time of their lives for Jessi and Justy.

Douglas refrained from that trip because,

he was doing another trip for a cause.Machu Picchu, Peru

From Oregon to Battery Park on a bike;

you might think that is quite a hike.

But he and Junior did it in four weeks,

down all the valleys and up all the peeks.

With only one stop for a half marathon,Trans America Bike Ride for TBI

which he finished in hours with nary a yawn.

Much awareness and money did he raise;

they gave him an award and beaucoup praise.

Grandma turned ninety and parties were had.

Into the Wrestling Hall of Fame they inducted my dad.Family Reunion

Vivie was born, and we love her a bunch.

But she still isn’t big enough to take out to lunch.

In November to Michigan we did roam,

to visit the Sawyers all gathered at home.

Visitors from Rwanda, Argentina did come.Croton Dam with Fred

Our garden tested Jessica’s green thumb.

The year will end with a last special group.

From Montreal and Venezuela they will troop.

To Celebrate Christmas with the crazy Spates clan,

and for 2018 we will start to plan.In bed with the animals

Lest you think that our animals we are forgetting,

they are all doing well and demand lots of petting.

And so this terrible poem has come to an end.

We hope you are doing well, our friend.

Sincerely,

Jessica and Douglas

P.S. Shortly after this poem was published, Kahlua died unexpectedly in our bed on a Saturday night. We are glad that she was able to go from the place that she loved best and that she suffered minimally in the end.

So, I hope that your holidays were all that you hoped they would be and that we will be in contact in 2018.

Happy Homemaking!

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