Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The rack, the dog, and the dieting cat

So as excited as I was to re-organize my one food cupboard in the kitchen, I did not get to it until last night (a whole week later!). was as wonderful as I had hoped - and I even was able to uncover some things buried at the back of my cupboard that we can now use since we will be able to easily find them!

Now that one major project is done, it was on to another. We finally broke down and bought an invisible fence for our dog. Of course, it didn't come until after the temps finally dropped down below 40 degrees and it started snowing, so installing it was even more of a challenge!'s now up and semi-properly functioning - thanks in part to my little brother, who willingly came to help us in the cold and snow in exchange for supper! Now it's time to train Jonas on it. The instruction manual says this should be a very slow, long process involving keeping your dog on a leash and plying him with treats while you walk him around the boundary. We, however, aren't that patient, so we're trying to speed up the process. We were slightly concerned that the shock was going to be too much for him - even at the lowest level - so we started out there and carefully walked him around outside. Well...our puppy didn't even seem to notice the shocks. So now we're cranking it up in the hopes that he'll start to realize that the shock happens when he gets close to the fence - but I think that's still a hard concept for him to grasp! If anyone has any good tips for invisible fence training - let us know!! At this point, I'm guessing that he's just going to ignore the shock and jump over the fence anyways! Ugh.

If that wasn't enough our cat, Sydney, is now on a diet and he is CRANKY! Our vet told us that he was a couple of pounds overweight, so we should reduce his food intake by 80%! That seemed a bit drastic, so right now we're at about a 35% reduction. The thing is, Syd is an absolute TERROR now! Sure, he looks all cute and innocent in this picture, but he is truly a little devil! Everytime I head down to the basement now, he flies down after me - expecting me to feed him more. Then, this morning I found him licking at the solidified bacon grease that was in a pan on our stove - silly me to think that he would leave it alone! His nightly craziness seems to be increasing as well - I have to be careful if I get up in the middle of the night because he tries to dart in between my legs and jumps at my hands as I use the railing to go up and down the steps - maybe it's all an evil plot to take me out so that my hubby will be responsible for feeding him. (They seem to have some sort of guy-bond happening, so maybe Syd thinks my hubby would take better care of him!) So if you don't hear from me...the cat did it.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My new pantry

I've never been so excited about organizing as I was this past weekend when I completely reorganized my pantry. I've been waiting a long time to have a break long enough to encompass the total clean sweep that was required to first empty the pantry and then add in the new shelves and containers that were needed to neatly fit everything into place. First, I started looking for shelves that would fit in the closet - before we had two plywood shelves full of things and the rest was piled onto the floor of the closet. I measured the closet and made a run to the closest Home Depot. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any shelves that were shorter than 36" (3ft). Our home, being built in the late 1940s, of course has unconventional measurements and thus, our closet was only 34" wide. I scrounged around on the internet for awhile, finding nothing, until I took a look at Target and was able to find some wire cube shelving that was only 29" wide. The only problem with this shelving system was that it's not very sturdy, so I had to secure the top cubes to the walls of the closet and place all of my heavy stuff in the bottom cubes. I'm still slightly skeptical, but I'm hoping that it holds. After I had pulled everything out of the closet, I realized just how much junk had been smushed into such a small area. I was able to find a few things that had been missing - black shoe polish, which I promptly used to fix up my favorite pair of shoes, and floor cleaners that the previous owners had left behind for us (along with a note on where we could get more). Now, however, I should have no more problems finding things because everything is precisely placed and accurately labeled. The final touch to my new pantry was to purchase an over-the-door rack that would hold extra canned goods and food supplies (this was especially needed since I have only one cupboard in my kitchen dedicated to food!). I got home last night to find a HUGE box on my front steps - seriously, it was large enough to hold a body - but thankfully it was only holding my rack (and a lot of brown paper to fill up the extra space). Now, I have the rack assembled and hanging on the pantry door and tonight I plan to reorganize my single food cupboard in my kitchen and move things onto my new rack. I'm so excited I wish I could leave work early to go home and get started!