Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How to Sand Sharp Glass Edges Smooth

Hiya! Happy Wednesday! Today I'm here to share something in hopes that it helps others. I recently purchased a sheet of glass at Lowe's for a project that I'm working on. Lowe's also cut the glass to size for me but I was left with really sharp edges. To keep myself and others from getting cut, I wanted to have the edges smoothed. I contacted my local glass shop and they told me it would cost quite a bit to have it done. I kindly said, "no thanks" and started a Google search for DIY sharp glass smoothing. With little success I finally reached out to another glass shop and asked them how someone could smooth glass. The nice gentleman said that I could use emery cloth.

Emery cloth is very similar to sand paper and it comes in sheets. You can find it at Home Depot and Lowe's.  I purchased the multiple pack which comes with different grades of grit.

I used a small piece of wood that I had laying in the garage as my sanding box and started with the largest grit and worked down to the smallest grit. I also tried using it with my palm sander and that worked too. It was a lot faster but you have to be careful or the palm sander may chip the glass. Mine chipped a little but I just went over it with the emery cloth until it was smooth.

Have you ever sanded glass?


Friday, July 18, 2014

DIY Boot Shapers

How many of you have floppy boots hanging around your closet?! Or are you the person with creases in your expensive boots? I was guilty of both until I set aside ten minutes to DIY a solution with my favorite snake skinned duct tape and a swimming noodle. And guess what? The swimming noodles are on sale at Target right now so this project will cost waaaay less than these shapers.

Go stock up before Fall boot season. 

The project was really easy. I measured the noodle to the length that I wanted and cut it using a knife but scissors would work too. It's just foam. I chose a longer length so the snake print would show a little once the shaper was in the boot.

If you make these, send me a photo or tag me on IG.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Foster Pups Story

We interrupt your regular schedule blog post of San Diego Part II to bring you a healthy dose of super cuteness.

Serious apologies to those of you who have lost sleep over not seeing part two of our trip. If you missed part one, check it out HERE  I promise to continue blogging once I find more time to sit down. 

I have been a little busy, here is why.
No, I didn't have triplets. Nor do I wish that on ANYONE after this experience. 
Nor would I change a single part of this experience at all.

Meet My Foster Pups.

FYI: They need forever homes. If you seriously would like to adopt one, we can make it happen.

Rory Eloise
The sweet snuggler with a huge voice.

Edmond James
The bouncy, laid back boy.

Ruthie Grey
Feisty and always wanting to play.

Kate (Nilu before her ER visit)
Our New Daughter, Toby's Sister, My KittenPup.

The Story
Since dismissed from nursing school, I've been staying at home, working on crafts, resting and relaxing. As great as that may sound to some of you, I've had a hard time because I feel like I'm not contributing to society. Crazy right?! Yeah that's what my husband and family tell me. "Take time to recuperate after such a crazy last few months. You've earned it." I never listen.

At the end of last year I realized it was time to add to our family of fur nuggets. Toby needed a sister or brother (of the non-human variety). I started to follow all of the local shelter/pound/animal rescue groups on Facebook and day after day a had my heart broken because I couldn't save them all.

Then one day a few weeks ago,  I see a photo on Facebook of four cute puppies with a comment saying that they would die if no one rescued them because the pound didn't have the man power to feed them AND care for all of the other dogs. I quickly commented and said that I would foster them because I had several experiences with bottle feeding puppies back in Virginia. They told me I could pick them up the next morning at 10 am.

That night, I prepped our house, purchased food, formula, baby bottles, sterilized everything and made sure to research the breed. The pound told me that the puppies were Australian Shepherd mixed with Black Mouth Cur. I suspect they are a mixture of a lot more but anywho. That night I also made a list of pup names and decided that if I was going to get them adopted and into good homes they needed strong names to suite their personalities. I would wait until I learned them a little better before they had their names.

The next day I got up super early, gave Toby extra hugs and kisses (as I KNEW his world was about to be rocked), and went to Starbucks. I took with me a towel and a clothes hamper. I didn't have a small travel crate because Toby is large (plus that's what my mom has always used instead of a crate when the puppies were so small).

I went into the front office of the clinic and told them I was there to pick up the four Facebook pups.
They only brought me three and said that another foster was taking the forth one. More on that later.

When I was in the office I asked as many questions as I could to find out the exact situation and they told me that the pups were born in the shelter, the mom was still alive and that her milk dried up. They couldn't give me an exact day that they were born but said they were about 3.5 weeks old. Experiences like this is why it's important to spay/neuter your dog. Overpopulation overwhelms pounds and it's hard to keep record of deaths, births, etc. Note: The shelter that they were pulled from has to euthanize 85% of the animals that arrive there due to overpopulation and poor adoption rates. So, if you are thinking of surrendering your pet to a pound, think again and try to work with a rescue. If you need help finding a rescue, PLEASE contact me. I will do my best to help you.

Okay, sidetracked but back to pups...
Yall, when I say the smelled terribly, that is putting it nicely. They smelled so bad and were covered in their own excrement. I knew they needed a bath because the fleas were jumping off of them and they kept licking each other (ingesting what they were covered in). I decided to wait until after they had eaten to bathe because that was our biggest priority but I knew they needed to be bathed before my husband got home--he has a weak stomach and I didn't want him to have to endure the smell. Good wife Award. Bathing them required some work because the fleas had to be picked off of them one by one. I used Dawn dish soap because that's what the wildlife rescue groups use to clean baby animals in the wild after oil spills, etc. In order to safely give them a bath at this age, they need to be held until they are completely dried because they were too young to regulate their body temperature.

Before they were fed I weighed them. This piece of paper is my most prized possession. It shows their weight progress throughout this entire experience. I weighed them daily until I was sure they were eating properly and now I just weigh them every so often.

 They wouldn't eat the powder puppy milk replacement mixed with water from Petco. Frantic, I called my mom and she recommended that I make my own. I didn't listen to her and continued to try to get them to eat. I swore it was the bottle that I was using so I tried different nipples and one took to the bottle but the others still were not thrilled. Little did I know, mother was correct. Aren't they always?! So I dashed out to get the ingredients and made a batch. I quickly learned that I needed to make triple batches to keep a supply for a few days. They were eating so much so often that I was constantly making formula. Here is the recipe. I swear by it and I KNOW that this is what saved their lives. Thanks Mom for the suggestion and Sissy for finding the recipe! It takes a village...

Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian. Please consult with a vet before feeding anything.

Amazing, Energy Dense Puppy Formula Recipe
Makes 1 batch
1 can evaporated milk (not normal cows milk--dogs CAN'T drink it!!)
3 oz. sterilized water (I boiled mine)
1 raw egg yolk
1 cup full fat Greek yogurt (has more protein than regular yogurt)
1/2 tbs corn syrup (don't use honey!!)

Use a blender and mix ingredients. Warm to puppy body temp (around 101 degrees) and check the temp on wrist before feeding them.

I stored the milk in a Bubba Keg Thermos with a lid in the fridge. This helped a lot because sometimes in the wee hours of the morning, I would add all of the ingredients and shake it up instead of whipping out the blender.

They LOVED it!! One still had issues latching but we tried a different bottle and eventually she took to it.

Another pup would lick instead of suck the bottle which took forever (Rory).

  I quickly realized that she could lap from a bowl so I started to feed her from a heavy spoon. This was perfect because it had rubber on the bottom and kept it from sliding around.

We had to burp them like regular babies because they were being bottle fed. The air can cause a lot of discomfort for them. THANKFULLY, they were  past the age where they need to be stimulated (warm wet paper towel rubbed on their bits to simulate the mother licking them) to go to the restroom! One day Ruthie was constipated so we gave her warm water to drink and my friend Denise and I had a celebratory poop dance once she went. I've never been so happy to see a pile of poo in my life. With the many health issues they endured, I was always paranoid it was another sickness.

Baby wearing while doing dishes. I really embraced this whole experience. I loved every minute of it. Even the sleepless nights and the constant worry.

Toby on the other hand wasn't having ANY of it. He was curious mostly but then he started to ignore me (more than usual), look at the pups with sad eyes then back at us, wouldn't let me pet him, stayed upstairs when we were downstairs, stopped acknowledging the UPS truck going by and STOPPED eating. The final straw was when he started to throw up one night. Later I learned that if a dog doesn't eat he will throw up yellow foam vomit because the bile irritates an empty stomach. Before I learned that, I felt so guilty. I was crying and was so upset that I had brought the puppies into the house. They had given him whatever they had. It was MY fault. That same night, I learned that pup #4 was still in the shelter because the foster never picked her up or either brought her back. I don't know which but it overwhelmed me. Toby was sick and I was bringing ANOTHER pup into this house. That night was super rough. I was tired and felt so guilty because I felt what I was doing was right because I was helping them but it felt so wrong too because I could have made my other dog sick. Despite being exhausted, It was so easy getting up every three hours to feed them. They were so cute and I could see it was making a difference. Plus, I was worried about Toby. He stayed on the couch that night and watched from a distance as I fed the pups. I could tell he didn't feel good/was upset.

I took him to the vet early the next morning before picking up pup #4. The vet said he could have something or it could be his emotions with the new puppies and how he didn't get all of the attention now. To confirm it they would need to take his temp. and he wasn't allowing that to happen so instead of putting him through more emotional distress we decided to give him anti-nausea medicine and keep an eye on him. The vet said if he started to develop any signs of an infection we would start medication ASAP!

After that, I went home and prepped to pick up pup #4. I put the bath supplies near the sink, pulled the heating pad out, prepped a bottle and fed the others before leaving the house with that same hamper and towel (which had been washed three times since that day).

Feeding the Pups

At the beginning they were exclusively on warmed homemade formula. As their teeth started to come in I started to mix Purina One Smartblend Puppy Food in with the liquid formula. The pieces were still to large so I food processed large batches at a time to a sand consistency and mixed that into the formula. It created a mush texture and they were able to eat it.

As they've grown, I've slowly put less and less formula into the bowl and replaced it with warm water and food processed less. They are now on full sized puppy kibble mixed with warm water to soften it. They eat like little piglets.

I've always had fresh water for them to drink and thankfully one no longer poops in the bowl. After the bowl pooping incident, I started to use the water bottles on the side and that worked but this particular one started to leak so I stopped using it. Now i just use a bowl from our kitchen. One that's heavy enough that they can't chew or tip over (less learned).

Each pup came off the bottle at different times. Kate was the last one off because she was more malnourished than the others.
This is a video of Kate's first time drinking from the spoon rest! Victory!!! No more bottle washing!!!!!!!!!!  Now we use the bottles as play toys. I put a little kibble in them and it sounds like a rattle. They really like the sound.

Their Illnesses aka My anxiety
When we adopted Toby (read about that here), he had a slight cold. That was it. One trip to the vet and he was better. I never thought that these pups would have to go through so much. I have also never been so worried in my life. The first round of illness was quite minor. The pups all had green nasal discharge. Thankfully it was NOT distemper (I cringe to even write this because I fear it will jinx us) and it was just an upper respiratory infection. Quite common for pound pups living in close quarters. An easy antibiotic twice a day. It took nearly two weeks to go away because the pups were growing so fast that they outgrew their dosages. After strengthening the dose, it went away. ((Knock on wood please)).

Once Kate came along, we had one great day with her and then she started to fall. And fall FAST! At first I thought she was really tired (most puppies are) so instead of having her brother and sister play and pounce all over her, I pulled her out of the clothes hamper to lay with us so she could sleep without being disturbed. From the beginning she was the less playful of the bunch but it was because she was ill.

These photos are minutes within each other. She sort of became lifeless and her eyes started to glazed over.

Because we didn't know exactly what was up, I tried rubbing Karo syrup on her gums in case she had low blood sugar (something quite common in pups apparently) and then we headed to the emergency vet in our area. "We have an unresponsive pup at the desk. Come stat." They took her away from us and started to run tests. We had to fill out paperwork. They asked me her name and I said Kate. I decided right then that Nilu was a bad luck name and should not be used ever again). Kate it is. 

The vet told us she was full of parasites and they were causing her to be anemic (low iron) and draining her of all of her nutrients. Under the microscope they found giardia, flea eggs (she likely ingested a flea), coccidia, several different types of worms. All evidence of the terrible living condition they were born into. Since the other pups were eating well and had energy, the ER vet and I decided it would be okay to follow up with the family vet on Monday. Thankfully, that saved us heaps of $$$. We would start Kate on five different medications and she would come back the next day and they would check her levels again. The next day they had improved already! She still wasn't in the clear but things were looking up. 

That night I didn't sleep and every hour I was checking on her and making her drink fluids. She wouldn't take from a bottle so I had to give her water in a syringe.

I used washi tape to label all of the syringes to prevent cross contamination.

Monday we started Toby and the rest of the pups on the same medication as Kate. The vet also put them on flea prevention. I continued to weigh them and then continued to grow! Things were starting to look up until three days ago. The pups were finished with their medications and were doing well.  I started to itch so bad! I thought it was related to acupuncture and the release of toxins. Nope. Then Rory started to itch nonstop. Yall I swear she itched for 48 hours straight. She didn't sleep at all. And she whined so much from the itching that she lost her voice. Then the other pups started to itch. Their skin started flaking and crusty. Google said they had scabies and the vet confirmed it the next morning.

It took everything I had not to name this blog post
"Hi, I'm Lura and my foster pups gave me scabies"
But this post is about so much more than the pups giving us all scabies.

I didn't sleep last night because I was itching like crazy and stayed up pounding iced coffee and pop-tarts until the entire house was sanitized. Us humans have a cream we have to use and in a few days the itching should subside.
Toby and the pups have a gel that goes on their backs and we will repeat that again in two weeks just to ensure it's all gone.

Gotta love the not so clean facilities of the pound.
Note: After each diagnosis was confirmed, I contacted the pound to let them know what was going around in their pound. With an 85% kill rate, you can imagine how that story ends. From my knowledge, they don't see a vet in this pound. Please correct me if I am wrong.

So How Has Toby Been ??

Well it's no hiding the fact that Handsome is VERY spoiled.

When we brought the puppies home at first he was really curious. Then he ignored us. Did the whole not eating thing. To fix the issue we over exaggerated his attention and when we were holding the puppies we pet him at the same time. It seems to have worked.

Now I think he just wants peace and quiet. He still doesn't like the pups walking near his feet. He jumps really high when they do. He likes to be the one that approaches them.  When the puppies play/growl he goes over to their pen and whines and barks until they stop.

He also likes to supervise bath time.

He plays with all of the puppies which is great because it tires them all out.

What's Next?
If you follow us on IG, you know that we are keeping Kate. After she almost died, I couldn't imagine someone else looking after her.

Here is our first family picture the moment we decided to keep her. Toby looks thrilled. 

The other three babies will be adopted. The rescue that pulled the babies is based out of NJ (the power of social media yall!) so they will be flown there and adopted out to good owners.

What Can You Do to Help?

You can spay/neuter your pets!!
Prevention is key!

Adopt, don't shop!

You can donate money to the rescue of these babies. All money donated will cover medical bills, their first shot and spay/neutering costs (if we raise enough). The rescue runs soley on donations and I want to make sure they are all set for their furever owners.

Share with your friends. Tweet about it and lastly,
Pray for the health of these babies and pray they find good homes.


This is exactly how I felt night two at 2:30 am.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

San Diego Trip Part 1

Finally! I'm sharing my trip photos on le blog. I didn't edit all of them because it was taking forever and it's been a few weeks since the trip and I really want to share them. Apparently there is a way to edit batches of photos in Lightroom but I'm still learning how to do that. One day at a time. So here we go.

Climb aboard this jet, we are going to California kids!!! Please play this song as you read. If you like Tupac click HERE 

We stayed in Solana Beach, California. Absolutely gorgeous! Not to mention, they are one of the few towns  in California that are plastic bag free.

Our lovely neighbors let us use their timeshare for the week and we couldn't thank them enough. John and Fran, thank you both! We stayed in the Winner's Circle Resort and I would totally recommend it. We had a condo with a kitchen, living room and TWO bathrooms... his and hers. On the nights we didn't want to go out, we cooked at the place. It was perfect and so quiet because we were the youngest people there. There are a lot of retired people staying there enjoying their timeshares and working on their tan. No joke. I saw a Lamborghini with a handicap sign. One day. One day. 

We arrived Friday afternoon by plane after a layover in Phoenix. I hadn't slept in 52 hours (probably due to the whole nursing school thing and anxiety) so I was in a not so fabulous mood. We arrived to the suite at the resort and I took a nap. Hubs perched himself on the balcony and had himself a few cold beverages. A few hours later we went to dinner. I'd wanted seafood so we attempted to go to Pacific Coast Grill but they were completely booked. We ended up eating at the Fish Market. We both had fish and chips and it was delicious. 

For the rest of the evening we took it easy and watched the sunset at the dog park beach.  I've never seen a sunset like a California sunset. I will do an entire post on those and share some tips on sunset photography later on.

We didn't make any plans for the entire trip. It suits us both just fine because it's always an adventure. Literally. Saturday we got in the car, hit up Starbucks and just drove north. We had no idea where we were going but we ended up in Oceanside, California. We stopped off to watch a surfing competition and to count "gnarly dudes." We heard it only once but when it happened, both of us looked at each other like "wow did that really just happen!?!?"

The sand at this beach was really cool because it was a mixture of black and white. Each time the wave went back into the ocean, a new design appeared. The little things I tell ya. I was fascinated and took WAY too many photos. Instead of boring you with them, I will share just one. :) You're welcome.

We didn't stay there too long because we didn't really understand the scoring (and I've seen my share of surf movies) and after our gnarly moment nothing was very exciting.

Back in the car and north we went. On our way through Orange County, we hit up In-N-Out Burger. Yall, I do NOT see what the big deal is about this place. I've heard people rave about it. OH EM GEE we are getting one in Texas. SOMEONE ALERT THE MEDIA. It's a burger and fries. The burger was good but life changing? Negative. 

Obligatory meal pic.

After implanting a nice food baby, we set out again.  I was so excited to rock that baby on a beach full of skinny beach babes that I had to get to a beach STAT! I'd stalked Instagram a few weeks prior to the trip and learned about a local spot called Thousand Step Beach. Although it literally isn't down a thousand steps (290ish steps if you are curious...I've seen 280 and 300 and I didn't count so we shall say 290ish), you are sure to get a workout getting to this gem. Parking is quite limited so might I suggest parking on 9th ave and walking down the largest hill ever (Note: Travel light because you WILL have to carry your stuff back up said hill).

After you've made your way down the bazillion stairs, you are instantly greeted by white sand and blue water. And BEAUTIFUL tide pools.  We loved this beach so much that we went twice while we were on vacation.

And see that black hole in the rocks there? That's a cave that leads you to a secret private beach. When the tide is high, it secludes you from the rest of the world. Plan accordingly to arrive when the tide is low.

We had our photographs taken in La Jolla (you can see those here). And then we ate at Naked Cafe. After eating, we walked on the beach and mingled with the local pooches. We met a really nice lady from Ireland that DID NOT invite us for tea but that's okay. We kicked it by the pool and relished in the moment of being the youngest people around. Pure bliss.

Stay tuned for the rest of our trip.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Lura's List

Happy Friday the 13th. I'm sharing a few things today and since they don't relate to one another, what better way to share than in a list?

1. My baby cousin Sarah graduates high school today. Congrats. I'm so proud of you and everything that you've become. I wish I could be there tonight but know that I am thinking of you. Love you! 

2. I'm finally going to see The Fault in Our Stars tonight. When a book is made into a movie, I get worried that it won't live up to the book or that the ending will change. Not a fan of change. 

3. Today I hit a turtle while driving and I killed it. The person in front of me swerved and missed it but the thing walked right under my tire. I'm usually the one to stop for turtles and helps them across the road so right now I'm feeling sort of crummy. 

4. I went to visit my classmates this week. I took the remaining 33 badasses chocolate banana bread during their lunch break. I've had a lot of time on my hands so I've been trying to be productive and perfect my baking skills. Anywho, it was awkward. REALLY awkward. Some people acted like they didn't know who I was and others acted like nothing had changed. I'm not sure how I acted. I'll admit, I almost cried. Walking back into that classroom was very hard but I'm getting used to doing things that aren't easy and I'm growing stronger because of it. 

5. Two of my friends appealed and were able to get back into the program after being dismissed. I am SO HAPPY THEY GOT BACK IN! They are meant to be nurses and will be amazing! They shouldn't have been let go in the first place. Their test was cut off on them early during the Pharm exam and didn't allow them to finish. I was upset when I first found out that others were allowed back in and I immediately started the appeal process. Five minutes into it, I stopped because I realized I no longer wanted to go to UHV. I had my closure. 

6. My office and car still look like I'm in nursing school. I haven't spent any time in either because the physical reminder of what happened is still very real in there. Medical supplies, notebooks and textbooks are all over the place. I've tried to slowly move it all into my closet but the truth is, I don't like the way I feel when I hold the stuff. I feel like a failure and a loser. I also get this feeling when I wash my hands. Any nurse knows what I mean. They teach you how to wash your hands a certain way and I haven't been able to switch off the thoughts or return to my general population hand washing skills.

7. Still editing photos and learning a lot. I will share with you one photograph. This little guy was laying on the rock and kept waking each time a wave hit the rock. So cute. 

8. This happened today (from my personal FB page).
Workout complete. Chased Shit head around the neighborhood because he bailed out the car when we got home. Went into our awkward neighbors yard (which is surprisingly larger than I thought). Peed on their door and refused to listen. Carried him home from around the block having him walking on two legs because every time I let go of him he ran off again. Yelled at him and when we got in the house he sat at his treat jar begging for a treat. Where did that message get mixed??? He is currently laying upstairs w hurt feelings and I'm okay w that.

9. I received an email Tuesday night asking if I could make sequins hangers because I'm so crafty. I'd never made them before but it turns out yes, I can make them. Today I received a FB message asking if I could make eight. Right after that I asked if I could make three. Why not?! I've got nothing but time.  If you are interested, please email me and I will happily provide you a price.

10. I signed us up for a show on HGTV today. How fun would it be if they contacted us.

Have a great weekend.

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