On this last Solo Saturday i've started the day at local coffee shop Kookaburra (after going to bed and waking up super early, I enjoyed a quite walk up town). Jonathan is still trying to head north, but the sailing weather has been less than cooperative. Archie and I are ready to have him home though and will take extra time to get everything ready for him at home.
This month has been full of puppy naps, cleaning & deep cleaning & organizing & reorganizing, big project getting somewhat wrapped up at work, and doing as much gym/walking time that I can put up with. Oh and a last minute quick trip to Key West, FL as well.
January started off with a quick visit from Jon's brother and sister in-law, and for my birthday we headed to the Tini Martini. The nights of lights was still going on, so this place was still in full ice-castle/frosted cake/christmas tree all over a building mode.
Jonathan had to work a bit while they were here, but that also left more time to relax & walk around downtown St. Augustine. One night we were meeting him for dinner after a trip (at one of our favorite and go-to places), so they had his Guinness ready for him when he got there. (message to right was him saying he was on the way... and that I was the best at had it at the table ready for him :) )
Jonathan Leaves for Key West (6 week trip) = Katherine Solo
Next up was getting Jonathan packed and out the door for his vacation on the Schooner Freedom. They sailed the boat south for a couple weeks, while the season was very slow here in Saint Augustine, and to get some fun in the sun after and before the summer season gets going again.
Leaving at 4:00am, we were bundled up in hats and polar fleece, but he worked on loosing layers (as you can see...) the further they went. Getting that payphone call was pretty funny as well, first it came through as collect but I rejected it and called him back. Goofy man but nice to talk after a week! (Although for the record he was at first, it seemed, more excited that he could make the phone work than talking to me :P )
I knew that when Jon departed that I had a lot of projects to get through, so after we had his 'final' meal (although a few days before he actuallllyyy left) I started formulating the list i'd been working on in my head for preparation of this day.
Archie and I got going right away with paint samples and doodling for the Floorcloth (still not done.. but getting there) and bar/buffet for the kitchen. I left the Christmas tree up as long as I could, before it ultimately ended up outside next to the truck on top of the palm fronds. ... although it turns out I just light a lot more candles now to get the feeling of having those strand lights being on!
In between major cleaning projects (no photos of those.. but think you get the idea (Dog hair and re-organizing) we got working on the more fun projects! First up to actually started with this create buffet/bar for the dining room.
Crate Bar for the Dining Room
There's been so many photos of these online lately, making coffee tables and end tables and bookshelves. I decided to use these because 1) we don't have power tools .. no saw.. or drill even...(and now Jon will come home and be too scared to get me one and leave again... who knows what projects i'd start tackling and creating for myself!) 2) they were on sale and reasonable compared to other lumber and 3) they will be easy enough to sand, paint, stain, etc. for any future projects. The part I don't have photos of is that I got a piece of plywood cut to use for the base, and then used a 2x6 (8ft long, cut in half) for boards on the top. Doing it this way was nice because Home Depot cut everything for me, and with some of the extra plywood I was able to get cut for a board on top of the dog crate! So now instead of piling laundry there and potentially having it cave in or bend the crate..even more..., it is safe and sound and can nicely use functional while taking up all the space that it does. But I digress. To paint these crates I used simple light blue matte paint (not the fancy chalk stuff though), then stained/varnished the top boards. Putting it together was a breeze, and hopefully it will stay together for a while, just little nails and wood glue. And some creative hammering.
Beach Break (don't worry, every time I go I think about how crazy it is to be in the water in January)
When not painting/crafting/building and cleaning I've tried to take advantage of some warm days of weather (after nights and some days in the 40s) by going for good long walks or to the beach. While the beach isn't quite as warm and glamorous as the summer it is good practice for Archie to be there in and staying on the leash for longer, and not running for an hour up an down the beach.
Archie's favorite part of the beach though? By far the bath afterword.
Granddogpa's/Granddogma's & Key West, FL
A couple of weeks ago I got a call from Jonathan saying I should take a day off and come to Key West. We had talked before him leaving about this probably not being a possibility with the dog, work projects, and just the timing of it all it. But, if not now, when? After thinking it through a bit I left work at the end of the day, went home, packed the dog and myself up and headed south. His parents live a couple hours south of us, so I drove there to drop the dog and sleep a few hours before rising at 4:00am to finish the drive.
Archie was such a good dog in the car, and did so great with Cooper & Chipper (his uncles). This was his first overnight stay without Jon and I and he got an 'A' from granddogpa and granddogma!
So, the drive to Key West is a long one. And by long I mean it's only about 5.5 hours for the second part but from Key Largo to Key West it's a two lane road. With roads over water. Wowwwweee.
but I made it, was reunited with my man (for way too short a time), rented a bike, had cuban coffee and enjoyed the bobbing of a boat at anchor. We did explore a lot, ate food, walked around, and hung out. We ran into a lot of people we worked with last summer, and some others that Jon knew or had gotten to know during his time there a couple of years ago. I decided to not have my phone out the whole time and just disconnect and take it all in. We did see the southernmost point, Hemmingway's House, chickens and roosters, many beaches, and so many darling homes. The mental photos are just for me though :)
and the sunsets...
Once my visit in Key West cam to a quick end, I joined Archie at Jon's parents house for some family time and work. The boys were best buddies at this point, and it was so nice to be able to see Archie doing well sharing attention, toys, beds, his crate, and even running around in the backyard.
After the fun and games and work were over there, Archie and I returned home. While more work projects awaited me.. all Archie wanted wanted was a big nap!
The latest project I'm working on is a floorcloth. Now, this sort of thing was not something I had ever heard of, but in looking up possible alternatives to buy a rug (for which I ruled out due to price, and that we went and don't want something that goes great here but might not work somewhere else as nicely or easily) I found this idea. It's a very large piece, about 9 feet in diameter, and will go in our 'middle' room. This room is office/hallway/bookshelf/art/play with the dog space. The high traffic area really needed something over the floors, and this might possibly help tie the space together a little more (although we hung a lot of miscellaneous artwork and such lately so it's actually a pretty wacky area and may just become more so with this addition). It'll be giant, but a fun statement piece and something that represents Jonathan and I both.
After many doodles and daydreaming about simple patterns, Archie and I sat down to draw out some initial compass designs (photo above with the Christmas tree and paint swatches). The canvas was then washed and put down on top of a couple layers of plastic. As I've known from working with these tools before, the first coat of paint really soaks in fast - which is good because this canvas should be pretty stiff when this whole process is completed. As you can see, Archie was nearby the whole time. He preferred to be in my lap, but had to settle for the bed right next to me.
Archie the Napping & Snuggling & Tired Pup
* Please note that Archie and I do in fact do more than nap, although these photosdon't realy proove it. But we do. Like go for 3 miles walks together downtown and such. :)
Extra Photo Round-up!
Well folks, looks like that's for now. It's sure been a busy month even being a household of 1 + a doggie. But visiting the southernmost point, going to Home Depot much more than a normal person would, checking out the farmers market on Saturdays, re-organizing and deep cleaning, hanging photos, and tackling other 'fun' things on the project list can sure keep someone busy. Jonathan is getting closer and closer to home (he's about 2 ays away right now we think), so don't worry - those goofy photos shall return with my next Life Lately post. So many more surprise things to get done, I must be going! Until next time...