Monday, August 27, 2012

While others were sleeping......

Sunday afternoons, a great time for preparing for the upcoming week, a lazy nap or a leisurely walk around the block's also a great time to make stuff. You know, break out the drills, the spray paint, the glue gun all the tools of the craft savvy to create a masterpiece. My Sunday afternoon was just that, creation time. I've had an old sewing machine cabinet that belonged to my aunt for a long time. It even still had the old White brand turquoise-y color sewing machine in it.

The cabinet itself was an old Singer brand, with the heavy, ornate iron legs and pretty carvings in the drawers and sides.

It has long since the day lost it's treadle and had been painted a harvest gold color and "antiqued" a color and process of the times back in the 70's. But for all it's problems it has always held a spot near and dear to me. My grandmother sewed and although this was not hers, it is exactly like hers (sans the paint). I remember her sitting at that machine and making the most beautiful clothes for Barbie or a baby doll or even when she sewed a tent for my brother and I. I remember her making matching Christmas outfits for all 10+ grandchildren (and our baby dolls). So this sewing machine cabinet, although not of great monetary value, tugs on the heart strings every time I look at it. The problem was that it was shoved in the back of the storage room because it had no purpose, it really is quite useless as anything other than a old-time sewing machine cabinet......until this past weekend.

 I had been trying to figure out what on earth I was going to do with this cabinet, when I finally decided to start by taking the machine out. After that was accomplished, I decided a wine rack. I know it's probably not the first thing that comes to mind but I had been wanting one and it seemed doable. First I described my idea to my handyman on call and made a list of materials needed. I wasn't sure what to make the wine holder "tubes" out of, but I knew I wanted it to look kind of industrial-ish. So at Lowes' (which by the way can be a very evil place, it looks friendly enough but it makes you have thoughts of craft gluttony and I have think if Lowe's and Pinterest had a love child it could be a twin to Satan) - anyway - I found the perfect material- 1x1 garden fencing. I also got a bull-nosed stair tread board, dowel rod and spray paint.

The friendly folks at Lowes (or Home Depot, I forget which) cut the board to the right size and the dowel in half and I was ready to roll. My strong and patient helper cut the tiny, tomato cage wanna be's and fastened them together for me while I sprayed the board and dowel rods. I used a brushed metal spray paint which I thought would look much better than a glossy black. Then after the wire wrangler got all the tubes put together they got a quick spray of black and we were in business.

I really like the way it turned out, I had visions of putting something in the belly part of the cabinet that would hold ice but re-thought that idea when it dawned on me, wine doesn't need ice (unless you are my mother......that's a whole other blog post) so I decided a shelf was what it needed inside. I can store all kinds of wine stuff in the drawers, the corkscrew, the fancy stoppers that kind of thing.

I also have this fancy little do-dad.....not sure what it's supposed to be but I found it at a junk shop and decided it is a wine holder. So it got a coat of paint and some chain to make it just that.

I love this little cabinet and the cool thing is that we didn't change the integrity of the piece at all, nothing is permanent. So while some people got a Sunday afternoon nap, I got a new piece of furniture with all the memories still attached.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Dog Food? - 8 Things Your Pet Shouldn't Eat

I subscribe to a daily web magazine called Real Simple. I love the variety of things they cover from 10 fancy pants gravy boats (really? gravy boats? anyway...) to some awesome and sometimes scary recipes to articles like the one today, 8 Things Your Pet Shouldn't Eat. I have two dogs, no small demure little yappy dogs and not the testosterone filled "manly" dogs but REAL dogs.......greyhounds.

Yes, the ones that people think are hyperactive because they can run really fast. The funny thing is they aren't hyperactive, it's true, they are fast but for short spurts......once or twice around the yard and they are done, they need a cold beverage and a nap. I will admit one of them is a mixed breed and I'm sure there is some sort of inbreeding going on in the DNA tree because she definitely is not right. Although she is happy, so I guess she doesn't realize she is mentally......slow, arrested, retarded, backward however you want to say it, I just know if there was a short bus for dogs, she'd be riding shotgun.

I'm not one of those fanatical pet owners but I do try to do right by them, so when I saw the article about what not to feed them I was interested. Some of the things mentioned surprised me.
1. Chocolate  Why: Stimulates the nervous system and the heart.
 [I've always heard this and as a general rule they don't get chocolate, I mean not on purpose anyway. And I've always wondered how much is too much. I would suspect that the average size dog can eat an entire easter basket full of different candies - through the wrappers and suffer no adverse side effects, other than wanting to sleep the rest of the day.......not that that happened at our house.]

2. Grapes, Raisins Why: Damage to the kidneys
[Just like my kids I'm pretty sure the only way I could even get my dogs to eat a raisin would be to disguise it in an oatmeal cookie.]

3. Garlic, Onions Why: Damage red blood cells, causing anemia
[So I guess our friday night chips and salsa night with Margaritas is out]

4. Xylitol (found in sugarless gum) Why: Causes increased insulin secretion
[My only question is - So sugar-filled gum is ok?]

5. Alcoholic Drinks Why: Depresses the nervous system
[Pffft, refer to #3]

6. Raw Yeast, Bread Dough Why: Forms gas in the digestive track; fermentation of yeast causes alcohol poisoning
[Oh lawdy lawdy please no more gas needed]

7. Macadamia Nuts Why: Causes muscle and nervous-system problems 
[Oops, I guess the next time I go to Hawaii they will just have to get a key chain like everyone else.]

8. Avocados Why: Contains persin, which damages the heart muscle.
[What? no guacamole either.....our mexican fiesta night is totally hosed.]

I guess the bottom line is that although we like to treat our pets as family members we need to remember our constitutions are very different. Which I suppose is good because I really don't wanna eat rawhides, bugs and drink out of the toilet. I will respect our differences and not judge and next time they bring the little doggy wine glass to me and beg for me to share, I will show tough love and drink it all myself.

If you think your dog, cat, or bird has consumed one of these items and you are concerned, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435)