Saturday, March 31, 2012

Gruene Texas

Mr. Hunt and I met up with his Aunt Susan, Uncle David, Cousin Andrew, and his girlfriend for the day in Gruene Texas this past Sunday. Pronounced Green!
Gruene Texas was originally home to some German Farmers and it really hasn't grown much from that. They have kept it old fashion and quaint since then which I love. You can park and walk around to the different shops, restaurants, and listen to free live music which is there most of the time. There is also a river that runs through the town that you can rent a tube and float down. Mr. Hunt and I will definitely being going back to do that.
We ate lunch at one of the restaurants with Mr. Hunt's family when we first got there.  Then we walked around a bit.


When there is a wait at the restaurant, they write the names up on this large chalkboard and call your name from the stage.


This is the side of the dance hall where we walked through and saw the band that was playing for a half or a song before they went on a break.



So we headed over to the General Store for some ice cream. Not only did they have ice cream, but they also had chocolate covered bacon, jalapenos, and beef jerky. No, I didn't try any of them. I'm not that adventurous, and Mr. Hunt was already wandering around the store (or he would have tried one of them).


Then we browsed around the store while I finished my ice cream.


There were a few strange things in that General Store including these "brief" cases. WOW!


Then we headed back to the dance hall to hear the band a little more before heading home. He played the guitar or banjo, sang, and played the bass guitar with his feet. You see the sign that says Boot Bass? He explained that he played the bass with his boot like a piano kind of. There was one other musician in the band....the drummer. I guess the one man couldn't possibly play the drums too.


All in all, it was a nice day. It was beautiful weather and its always fun to explore new places. We will definitely go back to see everything else we missed and also to float down the river.

Love,
JRH

Friday, March 30, 2012

Very Sad Post

My poor little fur baby son had a pretty bad day yesterday, but lets back up two days. On Wednesday, I took River into the vet for his yearly checkup and shots. He is three years old this year, so this is the third time we've gone through this. If you don't know River that well you might not know that he isn't the healthiest dog. Well, he is healthy, he's just had a lot more "problems" in his three years than other "normal" dogs. Like, compared to Hannah....he's had a lot!
Now that we are in Texas, we obviously had to find a new vet and I did my best to find the BEST one in Cedar Park. When the vet was doing his checkup, the only good thing he really said about River was that his teeth were perfect and very clean. Besides that, he had an ear infection in one ear, his eyes looked red like he may have allergies, and his skin wasn't looking too good. So this triggered my 20 minute explanation of all of River's past problems, the main one being his skin irritations. Mr. Hunt and I changed his food awhile ago and his skin has gotten 90% better, but we just assumed he was allergic to more than one thing. That's when the doctor asked if he had ever been tested for an under active thyroid, which he hadn't. So, in order to continue to rule other things out to finally get down to the bottom of this, I agreed for him to be tested for that. Sure enough, he has an under active thyroid. Poor baby. His is very under active which triggers various skin infections, ear infections, hair loss, and gaining a lot of weight, which sounds like him. Oh, because River weighs in at 100.6lbs now and his ideal weight is 95 so with both fur babies a little overweight, we will be exercising more!
OK, long story short, River will now have to be on medication for his thyroid for the remainder of his life and we started it that night. Then in 30 days we will go back and make sure the dosage is correct and is helping his thyroid work. Then yesterday morning around 9:30am right after his breakfast, I gave him his medicine again (its a twice a day thing), and at 10:30am, I found myself running around the house crying, screaming, and calling Mr. Hunt.
Let me remind you what my River looks like normally.


At 10:30am, I was writing a blog post when River started to roll around on the floor funny and scratching his face with his front paws. I looked over at him and thought is face looked weird so I called his name. He looked at me and that's when I screamed. His face was so swollen, he almost couldn't open his eyes. I didn't know what do to. These next few photos were taken with my phone. I couldn't even think of trying to find the camera.


He doesn't even look like himself! All I could think of was his throat swelling up so much that he wouldn't be able to breathe and he would die. I know this is extreme, but you never know. I sent this picture to Mr. Hunt and asked him to call the vet and let them know we were on the way. I was too hysterical to try to call anyone but Mr. Hunt.
I took this video on the way to the vet which was about 10 minutes away. His poor face was getting worse by the minute. By the time we got to the vet, I had to walk/guide him into the building because he couldn't open his eyes! I'm not kidding!

video

Once we got inside the whisked him away to the back and put me into one of the rooms. Once they gave him a few shots and an IV, they brought him back into the room with me and the vet came in. I automatically assumed that the thyroid medicine caused this reaction since it was a new medicine, but not according to the vet. He thinks it was one of the yearly shots that he got or he thinks he ate a bug or got stung by a bug, but he has never had a reaction to his yearly shots before, so I'm not sure what to think. He sent us home and said his face will slowly go back to normal and be 100% better by the next morning, which is this morning.
River wasn't a happy camper on the way home from the vet.



Poor guy sat like this the whole way home, tail between his legs and all. 
Once we got home though, he was acting normal. He ran to Hannah's crate and waited for me to let her out and then they played around with each other, Hannah was licking away at his face the whole time. River even tried to play with his favorite toy, the ball, but his big swollen lips were getting in the way. It was nice to see him acting normal. 
Mr. Hunt was just as worried as I was, so he came home for lunch and by the time he came home, River's face was already looking a lot better. I finally remembered to get the real camera out to take some pictures.


See his eyes are still a little swollen and his lips are HUGE, like an Angelina River or something. He looks more like himself now, just maybe a heavier River.





His left lip (right in the picture) drooped down the rest of the day like this. I was keeping my fingers crossed that it wouldn't stay like this forever. I could tell it was bothering him.



I'm happy to report that this morning when we woke up he looks like his normal, happy self! No droopy lip either. I have my boy back!


We haven't given him his thyroid medicine and probably won't for a few days and definitely on a day where we know one of us will be home all day just in case he has the allergic reaction again. I know it sounds horrible to try it again if I think that's what it is, but we have to find out. I really want to be able to treat his under active thyroid so that he feels better. 
Wow, this post was a lot longer than I planned but I wanted to tell the whole story, just in case I need to come back to the story one day! 
One thing is for sure, yesterday wasn't a good day for him or I. I don't think Ive ever freaked out that much before. Honestly thinking you may lose your three year old puppy to an allergic reaction is not an ideal situation. Thankfully, we are all back to normal for now. 


Love,
River's mommy

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Im Giddy

When I stepped out into the backyard yesterday to play with the fur babies for a little while, I suddenly turned into a shrieking, jumping up and down, clapping my hands, and talking to myself kind of person. It would have been embarrassing if anyone saw me, but once I got back to my normal self, I looked around and didn't see anyone so I think I'm in the clear.
Why was I so excited? Well, the rose bushes had bloomed almost overnight and they were all beautiful! Actually, let me back up. I think they are rose bushes. They look like rose bushes and they have thorns, but the actual flower doesn't look like the roses Ive seen, but I call them roses. When we moved into this house, I was happy to see the 10 rose bushes in the backyard, but I didn't get my hopes up about them. Ive had rose bushes before and not too much happened with them, plus with my luck with plants, I wasn't expecting much. Well, I was way wrong about these guys (or girls I guess) and now I wish I had ten more back there. I'm sure if I had planted them though, they wouldn't be so successful.
Lets get to the pictures shall we? I had one or two little flowers pop up these past few weeks, but yesterday was different. I didn't even realize how many there were until I grabbed the scissors and started cutting. My mom told me to cut the flowers off so more can grow, and while I was doing that, I also noticed that this was never done before because there were a lot of old dead flowers that had wilted away, so I cut those too. I'm pretty sure I saw my thumb get a little greener while I was doing this, and I probably had a permanent smile on my face the whole time. You may think I'm crazy while reading this, but usually every plant I touch, I kill. Sad, yeah I know.

As I walked from bush to bush, I noticed all the different stages of the flower. There were lots of theses buds about to bloom.


Then there were some that were in mid-bloom (that's what I call it)


If you look close to this one, you can see three new buds! I'm so excited for them to bloom.


Then I was so surprised to see what was next. A YELLOW rose! Ive only seen the pink ones so far and I had no idea there were yellow ones back there. This is what set me over the edge for the jumping up and down and clapping while yelling a little bit and getting strange looks from the dogs.


Look how pretty the pink ones are too! They have yellow in the middle. These really don't look like roses, so if you are reading this and you know this isn't a rose, please tell me what it is so I can call them by their appropriate name, I don't want to offend anyone, especially them because I want them to keep growing!


See my little yellow one? I had to take a picture from further away before cutting him.


Here is a close up of my one yellow flower once I cut him. Its so bright and beautiful!


As much as it brings such joy to walk outside and see the flowers there, I had to cut them if I wanted more (and I do). So I brought the happiness inside. I had enough flowers to fill three bud vases (three or four flowers in each vase). Here they are on the kitchen counter right next to Mr. Hunt's bronchitis meds....the irony!


I also put some on the side table in the family room.


Then the last one I put by the TV so I can see them every time I look at the TV. I might have to move them because I can't really concentrate on whats going on on the TV, because I keep daydreaming about the flowers. Please excuse the dusty shelves


I realize that I may be a little more excited about these flowers than most, but it probably won't last long. Once I clip them three or four times, Ill probably be over it, so I thought I should share my joy before it dwindles away.

The bad thing about all theses flowers and trees blooming is that we also have to deal with this.....



I park right under this tree


So every time I need to go somewhere, I have to clean off the pollen on the windshield or I can't see anything but yellow stuff!

This is the first year that I have actually complained about the pollen because this is the first year it has affected my family. It has made Mr. Hunt sick and also covered my car (which I'm surprised this is the first time this has happened). But as much as I complain about it, it also reminds me of the season. The flowers and trees all blooming mean something. Spring means to rise up, and it reminds us of new life. Just like Jesus rises from the dead on Easter which promises us all new life. How can spring not make you smile? The Lord really does remind us of the most important things in the smallest ways.

Now I need to get going and start spring cleaning right? Those dusty shelves need some attention. Or, just plain ole' cleaning for us since we just moved here. We are almost done unpacking and cleaning everything around here and the spring air is helping to motivate me....and this verse....


Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)


Happy Spring and Flower Cutting to All,
Jennifer

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring Time

Springtime means we can keep the back door open and let the fur babies in and out as they please (only if Mr. Hunt takes his allergy medicine that is).

First, let me share this funny picture of them. I had a treat hanging over the camera and for once River was the one not listening and he tried to grab it as soon as I took the picture. Good girl Hannah.
w

Anyway. This is what goes at our house most afternoons. Hannah sits on the porch while the door is open to sunbathe and look at the birds.



River is always inside with me, but if I go out there with them, so will River.


Its nice to have the door open and let the warm air come in. Once it gets too hot or too cold, we can't leave it open, so for now, we keep it open as much as we can.



Love,
Jennifer

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Collage Wall

When we moved into our house in Charlotte back in April 2010, one of the first things I did after painting the walls, was hang pictures. After a few months, I ended up moving them all at least once.
This time, I didn't hang anything on the walls for the whole first month (or almost). The main reason was because I originally thought I wanted to paint the walls a different color, but Ive changed my mind. I actually like the yellow color. Its not as bright or overbearing now that all the furniture is in the house.

**FUN FACT: The owners of this house actually painted with more than one shade of yellow. I think there are about 3 shades per wall. Its obviously very subtle, but they are different**

So after deciding that I will only be painting the three rooms and two bathrooms, and after living in the house for three or four weeks constantly thinking about where I wanted to hang things, it was time to hang em'!
I had all of the frames, pictures, and paintings all in a pile. While unpacking, I just put them all here.


There were so many! I knew from the time I put that shoe cabinet in the entryway that I wanted to do a collage on the big wall above it. Ive learned a few tricks from reading other blogs on how to create a great collage of frames. The main one being to make sure all the frames are the same distance from one another and only about 2 or 3 inches. You don't want them to be too far from each other, it will just look like they are misplaced on the wall.
The hardest part for me was deciding which frames I wanted to use on that wall, and what frames to keep for other walls, so I just started to lay out some until I got the design and look that I liked.

I originally thought I wanted this big map or Hilton Head and Beaufort right in the middle. Mr. Hunt and I love this map, but it just took too much space. As you can see, I laid the frames right in front of the wall that I was using so that I knew how wide I could go, and then measured how high I could go too and made sure not to make it too tall.


After two or three tries, I came up with a collage that I loved!


To transfer it to the wall, I used the measuring tape and tried my hardest to copy what I had laid out on the floor. I originally tried the newspaper trick where you cut newspaper to the exact size of the frames and tape the newspaper collage to the wall first so you get the exact look you are going for, but it was a lot harder than it sounds and I lost patience. I think it would definitely work with smaller frames, but I was having to tape more than one sheet of newspaper together for one frame and it was getting annoying. Luckily, I went slow and really tried to copy what I had and I think I did a pretty good job.


Welcome to the entrance of our home! (Promise Ill be back with pictures and videos of each room VERY soon)

I loved it, but just one thing looked a little off. I really liked the white "H", but there was too much white in that area, with the white frame and white mats for the two pictures right near the "H". So I took the "H" down and took matters into my own hands, but it would take a little while to be finished so I kept it up there white while I took pictures. As you can see, I made sure there was only a few inched in between each frame. It makes it look more like a collage than just a mess of frames. I originally wanted to have all white frames because I thought the mix and match of colored frames would make it look too busy and definitely not like a collage, but I actually love the way it looks now. The frames will stay their original color....for now!


If you are wondering what is in each frame, here you go! This first one is one that I ordered from Etsy. The frame and mat is from Ikea. Its a picture of the state of South Carolina with a red heart where Columbia is located since that is where Mr. Hunt and I fell in love! Awwwww! On the bottom left corner, it says Christopher and Jennifer. Columbia South Carolina. I love it.


This next one, I just threw together and I'm not sure if it will stay like this, but Ill let you know. I had this frame and mat from Ikea, and this beautiful painting of a palm tree and moon from Mr. Hunt's Grandmama. The painting was in another mat, but I took it out, threw it in there, and liked it, so it stayed for the time being. Every time I pass it now though, it catches my eye. It bothers me that the picture wasn't big enough for the opening of the mat, so I'm thinking I might make my own mat with some colorful craft paper and make it fit. What do you think?


I really like this next one. We got it from our family friends the Butler's when they threw us a bridal shower. It says Hunt. Each letter is a picture.


Next up is a painting from my Aunt Laura and Uncle Dean. They gave it to me when I graduated college all the way back in 2008. It was in our bedroom in our house in Charlotte, and I love it. I love the gold frame, and the painting just makes me smile. Its just a little town with a church, some rolling hills, some flowers, and some homes. I look at it and wish I was there. I also smile because I remember when they gave it to me, they said "This is your first REAL painting", and they were right. This was my first painting, and Ill always remember that.


Next up is a painting from my grandpa. When we moved into our home in Charlotte, my mom brought a bunch of paintings from my Grandpa so that we could have things hanging on the wall. I love this one, it reminds me of the beach. I especially love the colors, they go with my house color scheme too. My favorite part is that it looks like it was drawn with chalk. Not sure if it really was or not though.


The next two were given to me from my sister in law Rachel right before we moved here to Texas as a goodbye gift. They are backwards on here, but you can get the point. She cut out a map of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Texas, and put a heart around the cities that mean the most to us in each state. One is around Columbia and it says "We Met" another is around Hilton Head and it says "We Married" another is around Charlotte and it says "We Loved" and the last is around Austin and it says "We Lived."
PS: Texas lost its leg in the move so I have to wait for Rachel to come back and visit to fix it. Oops!



Above those two is a painting that my cousin Melissa painted for Mr. Hunt and I for our wedding. We both love is and I'm glad I finally found somewhere to put it. It was in our master bedroom before, but now we can share it with everyone.


In the middle is another picture that came from my Grandpa. I'm not sure exactly what it is supposed to be, but I like it because everyone can use their imagination and decide for themselves what they think it is. Its also bright colors which go with my color scheme. I think its a yellow barn door on a bright blue barn that's open letting the warm farm air into the barn so the chickens and horses inside can have a breeze.


Lastly is another picture I ordered from Etsy in an Ikea frame and mat. This one is of River and Hannah. I told the lady who makes the pictures about River and Hannah and she did the rest. It makes me smile.


That's it! I just realized while typing all of this that 8 out of the 11 things on this wall were a gift. I'm going to call this the gift wall. Now every time I pass this, I smile because I love the way it looks, but I also smile because it reminds me how much Mr. Hunt and I are loved by friends and family. We are so lucky.
After my "H" was finished, I put it back up on the wall, and it looks ten times better now. Now I really love this wall.


What do y'all think?


Love,
Jennifer
 

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