10 February 2018

Laser therapy

Oliver visited the vet today for his monthly laser therapy. We’ve been doing the hips and shoulders. It seems to really help him, so we’ve added it to his routine, along with his daily anti-inflammatory.
This picture is from a few years ago, treatments for his shoulders. He loves to leap off things, like furniture or the 4 stone stairs in the back yard... But anyway, this picture cracks me up, such a cool dog in the safety doggles!

08 February 2018

Bead obsession

Okay, so I’m sure by now we all know of my ocd tendencies... Currently I’m all about these beaded aromatherapy diffuser bracelets. It started with Christmas gifts. And when I couldn’t find exactly the right bracelet, I started thinking about maybe making it myself. 
Now, I'm sure all you fellow crafters out there know this is the slippery slope. Both beading and scrapbooking have been really popular hobbies for many years now, and I've been good at ignoring their siren song. Until recently. The scrapbooking is a story for another day. Anyway, I let my ocd get carried away... 
And now, 110 bracelets later... But its okay! Because as you may have noticed from a previous post, I've finally done something my mom wanted me to do years ago: I've opened an etsy store!  https://www.etsy.com/shop/GreenBungalowCrafts And I've even gotten a few sales already. I even survived the shipping process, which I was quite nervous about. So, for all my blog friends, I invite you to check out my etsy store, and if you’d like to order a bracelet, I’ve created a special coupon code for you. Please enter BLOGPEEPS20 at checkout to receive 20% off any bracelets you order!

06 February 2018

Silly pretzel doggie

Even at 12-1/2 years old, Oliver still manages to do something new and funny. He makes me laugh, even though I’m keenly aware of his age and how precious each day is. Truly, I love him more every day. 

21 January 2018


Today would have been my mom’s 67th birthday.


We lost mom to a glioblastoma, an extremely aggressive type of brain tumor, on 2 November 2016.


She was first diagnosed on 1 July 2015, and with a whirlwind of small and amazing miracles, she had surgery just 6 days later and her surgeon felt he was able to remove the entire tumor. This almost never happens with the glioblastoma, as it grows very quickly and typically winds in and around the brain. Mom’s was caught. And caught early. And was operable. She made a quick recovery, coming home to stay with us just 5 days after her surgery.


Follow up care with the best oncologist, Dr Roy Williams, oral chemo and radiation. She lost very little hair through the process and physically recovered about 80-90% of her normal self.


She passed the six-month mark, still all clear. Typically, if a glioblastoma recurs, it’s within the first six months. Sadly, mom is anything but typical. In May of 2016, during a routine MRI, they discovered the glioblastoma came back. And it was bigger this time.


Since it was in the same area, surgery and radiation were out. Briefly, it looked like mom may have been eligible to join a glioblastoma clinical trial at Duke University, but getting the tumor reduced in size and her mobility didn’t overlap. She put up a damned good fight.


We had the most amazing home care for her final weeks. Preferred Health Staff. They were probably one of the best decisions I have ever made. I will forever be grateful to all the caregivers, especially Alissa. Not only were they there for mom, but they were a tremendous support for me in mom’s final days. And of course Oliver did his best to keep everyone’s spirits up.


The caregivers, Marc, Kelly, Oliver, and I were all with mom when she passed. 


I will always miss her.



20 January 2018

Relocating the blog

Thanks to our good friend Sean, Oliver’s Bungalow Blog will be relocating soon. Sadly, Blogger is nearly impossible for me to use to create posts with multiple photos, hence the change.

15 January 2018

Ipe wood porch floor

EEEEE-pay!   We opted for tongue and groove flooring for the porch, just in case we would ever decide to enclose the porch with screen or make it into a sunroom.
Its such a beautiful, dark, rich, red color. I just love it!
The red of the ipe is an excellent contrast to the green siding.
And of course, the ipe looks good with Oliver too!
Now, a few serious points:  
  • First, the recommendations are to use a diamond saw blade. Take that seriously. If you try to cheap out, you’ll just chew through the ipe, mangling it, and you’ll run through regular saw blades like crazy.
  • Secondly, the sawdust it creates is fine, like talcum powder. Oliver and I discovered the hard way that it can cause a super itchy allergic reaction on the skin. I walk around barefoot a lot and of course Oliver is always barefoot. I didn't find any info inline about this, and the allergy specialist i saw treated me like i was crazy. But once we made the correlation and took measures to keep the sawdust cleaned up, we both stopped feeling itchy skin.
  • Third, the precautionary measures i did find while searching for allergies to ipe are to use a respirator. Breathing that powder fine ipe sawdust would be all too easy, but it can easily cause serious and permanent lung damage.
  • And fourth, the ipe grain is so tight it doesn't absorb much. No stain. Just oil it. With the weather we get here in Pennsylvania, we should oil it in the spring and fall. But we rarely get to that. And when they say wipe on, wipe off the oil within 30 minutes, do that. We learned the hard way. My handyman didn't read the directions, assuming he knew what to do... Marc and i spent all summer trying to undo the horrible sticky residue. I tried a bunch of things before calling the company. They had two suggestions. Denatured alcohol or sanding. Im not fooling around with sanding it, so we bought a stiff bristle scrubbing brush mop head and a couple gallons of denatured alcohol. It still hasn't all worn away, but it’s much better now. We no longer stick to the floor when we walk!

14 January 2018

Bear with...

Between changing technology and my lyme brain, I had a spot of difficulty with the previous post. We are researching alternatives to Blogger. I appreciate your patience while we sort this out. In the meantime, here’s a picture of Oliver as a reindeer!

12 January 2018


Let’s see... where did we leave off... ah yes! The siding!


Nearly five years since the siding was installed, and I can say with conviction that I’d absolutely go with the James Hardie cement fiberboard all over again.



Now, I was very sick during this project. So sick that I remember briefly waking one morning to the sound of siding being installed just behind my headboard. KaTHUNK! KaTHUNK! KaTHUNK! goes the nail gun. I thought, oh, Bill’s here, and immediately fell back asleep.


Although Marc and I had been friends for many years, we had only recently begun dating, so (perhaps unfortunately) he didn’t interfere with the construction projects. That was mom’s domain. 


Looking back, there are a few things I wish we would have done differently.


The faux bead board porch ceilings could have been done using a James Hardie product instead of the vinyl composite. I was told that was the only option aside from wood and I was too sick to research it myself. Some things you just have to let go.


We clad the back porch pillars in Hardie’s faux stucco texture panels. Then they were framed out with slim trimming. If I had to do it again, I’d say no trim, and go smooth instead of stucco texture.




And the biggest... I’d rework the placement of the back porch stairs and pillars. In the winter, the landing and bottom three stairs are exposed for snow and ice. And the location of that pillar is awkward for the symmetry of the house. I’m sure some future owner will be cursing me...



Those points aside, I love it. We often get complements from people walking by when we are working outside.