A Quick Fix

When we first brought Luna home, she took out her anxiety on my storage bench in the Master Closet.  Since my other chitlins had somehow stained the seat while we lived in the rental house I wasn’t too upset about it.


But now that we’ve passed the “settling in” phase and she is secure in her role of ruling the DB&DT household, it was time to fix this little blemish.


I dug through my fabric stash and decided a tan microsuede remnant was the perfect match for the master bedroom decor and was just the right size for the project.  Apparently, Luna felt a tad bit guilty about her role in creating the problem, so she wanted to help by taking her bath right next to the board as I worked on it.


A few staples and snips later, it looks better than new!


So good in fact, that the Princess herself came to give it a royal approval!


And then pause to appreciate how pretty she was after her bath!


Hopefully, she has no plans to tear up her new throne now that it’s been upgraded. 🙂


The Princess and the Pea?

It’s well known that our fur babies are spoiled, but our cat, Luna has recently been taking things to a new level at bed time. She’s the only fur baby allowed to sleep on the bed with us, due to her size, and the fact that she doesn’t take over the bed like the dogs do.


When she does sleep in the bed, she usually sleeps next to me.  Sometimes curled up in a ball behind my knees but often she’s stretched out down along side me.


But being ON the bed isn’t enough for her. Apparently she LOVES being under the covers.  At first it started out as a cute “tucked in” thing, where she’d snuggle herself up under the blanket.


Then I’d come in the bedroom to find a purring lump in the bed, or a nose protruding from the blankets when the hubs hadn’t made the bed.


But her newest antic is pestering us to be let under the covers, where she claims a spot next to me.  No doubt about it.  She’s a princess.  And I’m certain there is no pea under our mattress, but I’m sure she will continue to want to insist she sleep there to prove it!

Honoring Old Glory

The problem with short work weeks is that, well they’re short and therefore seem to go by that much faster! Dealing with our builder and having my truck in the shop or 3 days didn’t help either. I’ve had several items to write about this week and just haven’t had time to get them out of my head and on the screen! Now its Friday and I’m just getting around to sharing those ideas with you, so here we go.

Although we did a quick overnight visit to some friends in Seward, we spent the rest of our Memorial Day weekend working on things around the house, including installing a flag pole for the flag my Mother-In-Law got the hubs for his birthday… back in March.  Yeah, we’ve been a little busy…

We’d tried to by a bracket and pole at several retailers over the last few weeks only to find that you had to buy everything as a kit with the flag. Or you could buy just the bracket without the pole or flag. WTH?! So the hubs got creative and purchased a wooden broom handle, which he shaved down on one end to fit the bracket.


And Wa-La! We have a flag on our front porch, just in time to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.


Not respecting the flag is one of my top pet-peeves, so it’s no surprise that I grit my teeth every day when I drive past the flag that our neighbor put out and obviously forgot about some time ago. It’s faded, frayed and stuck around the pole it’s on. Plus there is no light on it at night. It disgusts me so much I couldn’t even bring myself to take a picture of it to show you how horrible it looks.

Unfortunately, there are people in our country who have never been taught how to respect the flag – like a previous co-worker who had no clue why it was would a bad thing to let the flag touch the ground when we were setting up for an event! Let’s just say I didn’t show extreme patience when correcting her. And now that we’ve entered the season of patriotic holidays I thought it would be helpful to share a few dos and don’ts on handling Old Glory.

Federal law stipulates many aspects of flag etiquette and the section of law that deals with the American Flag etiquette is referred to as the “Flag Code”. The basics of this code include the following guidelines:

  • The flag should be lighted at all times, either by sunlight or by an appropriate light source.
  • The flag should be flown in fair weather, unless the flag is designed for inclement weather use.
  • The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
  • The flag should not be used for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
  • The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard.
  • The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
  • The flag should never have any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind placed on it, or attached to it.
  • The flag should never be used for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything. (This is super hard to abide by as a photographer, but I do!)
  • When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.
  • The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.
  • When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.

For a more comprehensive set of flag etiquette rules, click here. Please make sure you honor the flag – and those who serve it – when using it in your decorations. And if you know someone who needs an introduction to the rules, or even a refresher, I hope you’ll share this post with them.

The To-Do’s

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of the summer DIY season, and what better time than that to review my current project list for the house? This list started about the time we wrote the contract to build the house. We’ve completed a few of the tasks on the first version of the list since moving in, but there’s still lots to do.

WHEW!  That aught to keep me busy for the rest of the year! LOL  Of course I’ll post about each as they happen, so stay tuned to see the progress!

2 Step Bench Update

Remember my $25 bench? This is what it looked like when we first got it. It was pretty enough, but it was definitely worn and in need of some TLC.


This weekend the sun was shining and I just couldn’t resist doing projects outside. Since my yard is still on hold while waiting for the builder to clean and grade our lot, I focused my energy on other outdoor tasks like updating the bench. While the fur babies played in the yard, I moved the bench out to the driveway and did a quick sanding by hand to even out a few rough spots.


Next, I applied a dark stain we had on hand and about 30 minutes later, this was the result! It looks a meeeelllion times better and I didn’t spend a dime! It just doesn’t get better than that!


Since it’s just a tad big for the corner of the porch, I plan to put it down by the rain garden so I have a spot to sit and appreciate the blooms. That means I’m now on the hunt for some outdoor chairs in need of a touch up to fill my empty porch! 🙂


The Wheel Thing

The other day the hubs texts me this picture and asks “You want? It’s free.”

Do I want a rusty metal wheel thing that I have no clue what I’ll do with for free? Ummm, OF COURSE! I love that he knows me so well. 🙂

Apparently, it had been sitting in a pile of scrap at his work and was about to be destroyed. He rescued it from the pile and set it aside to bring home. Only problem was that he’d forgotten his truck was in the shop for a blown water pump and he had a Jeep Cherokee for a rental.

Luckily, his 17 years of Loadmaster experience wasn’t going to let a little thing like that stop him from bringing this treasure home to his bride. And this is how I first saw it the following morning as I got in my truck to head to work!


I still haven’t decided exactly what I’m going to do with my amazing rusty wheel, but I’m thinking it will likely end up as a trellis of some sort in one of the gardens or become ‘yard art’ – possibly holding bird feeders and houses or those cute bucket planters that hang over fences. What would you use something like this for? Maybe your suggestion is better than my ideas, so I want to hear it!

Mad Hatchers

We purposely chose to live in the boonies because that was the lifestyle we wanted. Unfortunately the tradeoff is a lack of nearby places to enjoy a dinner out, so when the hubs and I spotted a new restaurant just a few minutes from our house a few weeks ago we were excited to give it a try.


We weren’t sure what to expect, but anticipated we’d likely find an ok burger and fries. The exterior was unassuming, but very Alaskan. The Alaskan feel continued inside with large wooden tables and benches.   Upon second glance though, I began spotting Alice in Wonderland décor, including a large mural of an anime version of Alice on a toadstool, intermixed with the Alaskan elements and quickly came to realize how the name Mad Hatchers had come about.

The menu included pizzas, burgers and appetizers – all with Wonderlandesque names. We ordered stuffed mushrooms and burgers, although the pizza selections were mighty tempting. When the stuffed mushrooms came out I knew we’d found a new favorite place. Filled with cheese, a delightful sauce, spinach and topped with olives. They disappeared down the “rabbit hole” so quickly I didn’t even get a picture of them!

The burgers came with thin sliced fries which were seasoned just right. And it was a generous portion too. So much so, that I couldn’t finish it, although I very much wanted to! Plus that heaping pile of pickles was just right for me.


Beyond great food they had decent prices and down-to-earth service, which means we will certainly be back. I’m thinking that we’ll try a pizza next time, so I can take home what I can’t eat – because I will certainly order those delectable stuffed mushrooms again!

Our New Favorite Meal

We recently found these fantastic flatbread at our grocery store and decided to give them a try.  One taste and we were fans.


In addition to these large flatbreads, they also make smaller individual sized ones.  These are perfect for when we each want something different on our pizza.  And the garlic flavoring is a nice addition as well!  They would also be the perfect size for a group appetizer, which would be easy thanks to the recipes included on the packaging.


We’ve also started using this fantastic pesto sauce for our flatbread pizzas.  Although I debated trying it because of it’s $6/jar price tag, it’s worth it.  It’s so much better than the basic tomato sauce we used when we first started making flatbread pizzas.


We now usually have a flatbread pizza once a week since it’s a quick and easy meal to make, plus it’s super affordable – even with pricey sauce.  It’s also easy to make it different each time by using different toppings.  It’s really just a three step process.  Step 1: Add a light coat of olive oil to the bread and coat with the pesto sauce to desired thickness.


Step 2: Add cheese and toppings.  We like to mix a variety of cheeses, both sliced and shredded depending on what we have on hand.  As for toppings, we usually pull from whatever we find in the fridge – using up left overs like rotisserie chicken and veggies that are nearing their life expectancy. My pizza tends to be a bit more loaded than the hubs’, but that’s the beauty of making individual pizzas.


Step 3: Bake according to package instructions and enjoy.  As you can see our baking stone pan gets so much use that it’s now WELL seasoned and almost black!  I’m pretty sure this is one of the most used pieces in our kitchen!


I have yet to try making my veggie pizza on a flatbread, but with summer temps approaching I’m sure that will happen sooner rather than later.  And I also have plans to test out this Olive Garden flatbread appetizer recipe soon! 🙂

Luna, the Explorer

When we brought little Bacardi home, the hubs made the doggie door go all the way to the floor so it was easier for her to learn how to use it.  That change also provided Luna the opportunity to start using the exit as well now that she didn’t have to jump over a glass panel at the bottom.  This new-found freedom turned her into quite the explorer, much to my concern.



I’ve always had indoor/outdoor cats and hoped to eventually get Luna to that status one day as well (mostly so we can eliminate the litter box!), but I was nervous since she’d always been an indoor cat and had only been outside with supervision before this.  She had just recently started going out without her harness and leash, so she was probably feeling quite liberated.  Granted she does have her claws and is pretty good at defending herself with the dogs, but Alaskan wildlife might be a different story.  Also the cats I’d had in the past began life outside and migrated to becoming part-time indoor felines, so I never worried that they had the skills to find their way home safely.


At first she stayed pretty close to the house, scouting along the walls, but she soon grew bolder and started wandering out into the trees.  Then she would disappear for several hours at a time.  This included a couple overnight explorations on very chilly nights, which was worrisome for me.


But she kept coming back home to her food bowl and belly rubs while snuggling on the bed with Mom & Dad.  So my fears have subsided, although I still worry when I haven’t seen her for a while.  It’s just a Mommy thing.  But I’m  also proud to see her be independent.


Unfortunately, she also still seems pretty tied to her litter box.  In fact, we watched her come inside, eat a few kibbles, go potty and then go back outside. I’d get rid of the box and force her to go outside, but I feel think that might be a cue to go a little too independent. Plus I’m fairly certain that her outdoor adventures will subside come winter since she’s not a fan of the snow. So I guess scooping the box remains on my to-do list for the time being.


Down at the Riverbank

Sorry for being MIA last week, it was a tad bit busy around here between work and appointments.  Because of that I decided to make sure we had some fun with the kiddos this weekend which included a trip down the trails in our side-by-side to a nearby river.  This was the first time both Stoli and Bacardi had been to a river so I was excited to see what their reactions would be.

As soon as we arrived Tequila was ready to jump in, but Bacardi and Stoli weren’t as sure.  They stayed well on the bank checking out this new environment.


So while their big sister was bounding through the chilly water, they decided to cautiously approach the edge.  Stoli’s approach reminded me of Tarzan’s elephant friend, Tantor.




Although they never did go in the water, they did seem to enjoy exploring the riverbank while watching their big sister play in the deep end as she crossed the river again and again without hesitation.




Eventually, Bacardi decided to hang out with Daddy while Stoli, Tequila and I ventured down river a bit to a very picturesque spot!



Then I had the hubs call Tequila back so she would cross the river again, much to Bacardi’s delight.


And before we left I stopped to snap a few shots of Bacardi in the sprouting grass, since she’s growing so quickly and I don’t want to forget how little she started out.



But my favorite shot was of her showcasing her tiny attitude along the riverbank. 🙂  She’s definitely the perfect fit for our family!