The Pups, They Keep A-Growing

At five weeks old, we are marveling every day at the pup’s development. They are now running, mock fighting, dragging toys around the pen and chomping on each other. Most of them have razor sharp teeth, so I am really looking forward to being able to feed straight kibble. Kibble mush requires a lot of preparation and even more clean-up.

Speaking of clean-up, poop patrol has become quite a task. Most of them can manage to get to the potty box, most of the time. Training puppies to a potty box gives them a head-start on later housebreaking. You need to be sure to only use a kitty litter named Yesterday’s News, as they will ingest it.  They ingest other things, but I sincerely hope this phase passes soon.

Previously, we had tried wood pellets but they made quite a mess. They turned to sawdust when wet, and ended up everywhere.  This kitty litter more or less turns to mush in the under layer and packs down rather neatly, with a top layer of the pellets. Seems to me this could be an excellent solution for a small dog in an apartment without access to an outside area.

Enough about potty matters, let’s have some pictures of cute furballs – which is what this is all about, right?


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These are Goldendoodle puppies from Souls’ Ease Goldendoodles in Upstate SC and they are for sale as of mid October 2017. They will be going home the week of November 15th.

Our website is still in development, but our Facebook page is up, and contains videos of the pups playing.








Walls Are Framed

We got hit with a lot of rain from tropical storm Nate. Although the weather channel officially said Seneca got 1.54 inches, Sharon’s rain gauge showed 5 inches in our yard. There are still spots to work on leaks, but it takes a really heavy rain to show them, hose was not sufficient.

French drain between driveway and new dome – white pipe is for a yard drain

The French drain was dug for the side of the dome which has the land sloping down to it. This should catch runoff and divert it around the house (also runoff from the dome, as there is no roof and gutters). The other side has so many utilities coming in, it would just confuse things to add a French drain, and the ground slopes away anyway. We do have a large drain that runs under the foundation, to take water from the driveway to the back yard.

yard drain to empty into back yard, downhill from house. L-shaped trench beside it is for electrical conduit.

I am now on the waiting list for a gas line to be run to my house – should be in 3 to 5 weeks. They will give a courtesy call a few days ahead, so I can arrange things. Like having Sharon present to supervise so her plants can be moved instead of plowed through. I also plan to have someone put in a new water line (swapping meters with Sharon’s house). The extension of the electrical line from the meter to a new breaker box for the addition (the original is fully used) is in a buried conduit, and the space between my back patio and back door has already been dug for that. The only remaining excavation will be to extend the septic drainage beds and connect the new drains to the septic tank.

Shape of future powder room – will have a pocket door and enough room to turn a wheel chair, if needed

Wall framing is done. This really shows me how much space I’ll have. Some of the electrical outlet work is under way. The lines for radiators are installed under the floor.

living room with sub-flooring and red plastic pipes for radiators along the edge

I like being able to see what the new place will look like with walls framed in place. They are also starting the ceiling over the master bath.

master bath will walls and start of ceiling

I have someone lined up to work on the bathroom tile and shower, plus odds and ends of finishing. Our goal is for him to start tile November 1. I need to make a decision on tile, floor I know, but shower walls are still in question.

master bedroom, prior to closet and living room walls (too much equipment to get a decent picture now). Giant window is for emergency egress, and is 5×5 feet.

Sub-Flooring and Stuff

October, the temperatures are supposed to get to decent levels now, and the work is being done inside. I am getting so anxious to have this finished and have some space for myself.

beginning of sub-flooring, living room

The sub-flooring is the first part of the work. They have put down the joists, and left a chase for the radiator pipes along the edge. Since I want 2 outlets in the floor near the couch, there has been an electrical line run under the floor. It has to have an inspector approve it prior to covering it. (And as I was writing this, I got an email from the inspector with approval). Now working on the plywood for the rest of the floor. Once that is down, I can safely walk out there again.

sub-flooring with all joists done

sub-flooring with some plywood

The crew has worked really hard to make sure there are no leaky seams between panels and especially in the connections between the hallway and each dome. I purchased a concrete waterproofing product that I hope will hold up for a long time. Kryton is used commercially for a lot of projects world-wide. I picked mine up in Charlotte at the nearest distributor, Carolina Specialties. It’s not inexpensive, but it will pay for itself in less frustration and less frequent repainting of the house. I may not have to worry about replacing a roof, but I do need to paint from the top down with some frequency. We plan to let the concrete cure for a few months before applying paint. We don’t want moisture trapped in the concrete.

The crew started framing the walls. That’s good, because electrical work can start. The HVAC and plumbing have been started, nice red plastic lines for the radiators. That’s better than the lead pipes they used to use, what I had in my Roanoke house.

puppies, Puppies, PUPPIES!!!

We delivered our first litter of Goldendoodle puppies 3 weeks ago, on September 11th. It has been an adventure.

Daenerys – and yes, I am a big fan of Game of Thrones – delivered 7 healthy puppies. Four are boys and 3 are girls, ranging from blonde to a reddish tint and a few in between.

The obligatory “milk bar” picture:

milk bar

the milk bar, fully patronized.

The first two weeks, the pups are considered neonates. They are blind, and deaf. if you pick one up, they scream bloody murder. This is not my favorite time period. They nurse, sleep and eliminate.

The good news for this stage is that mom has to lick them to stimulate elimination and she cleans up as part of the process. The bad news is that Dani has no sense of personal space. A 10 ounce puppy under a 42 pound mama could be in big trouble. Around the clock vigilance is necessary for the first 10 days. Along with screaming puppies because they were hungry – after hurriedly checking to ensure no one was under Dani – this made for a lot of sleep deprivation. I was seriously rethinking my plan to supplement my pension by breeding and selling dogs.

I am new to this whole motherhood gig, even if vicariously.  We went to the vet to get Dani an oxytocin shot to stimulate milk production the day after birthing, but her  milk still did not really “come in” until the pups were a week old. Skinny puppies scare me half to death.; they have no reserves to fight off anything. I was preparing to supplement when they finally started nursing well.  I slept much better when there were rotund little bellies.

The pups don’t really start coming into their own until the 3rd week.  Tiny little eyes start myopically peering back at you and  58/ tiny, tiny barks are heard. As their ears open, the pups begin to vocalize.

There are pint sized growls, yips, screams, and a trilling sound that is very catlike now issuing from the whelping box.

week 3 teething

Our Facebook page,  Souls’ Ease Goldendoodles has lots more pictures and videos of this litter.

full tummy



Looking Out

Today I’m posting a slightly different point of view. The supporting boards in the hallway are now down and I was able to walk out my front door into the addition. It is still a step down, because the subflooring has not been installed yet, but I was able to wander out past equipment. I took pictures showing what my views would be once I’m living in the new part.

from old front door – orange scaffolding is approximately where the powder room will be

I really like the bedroom view, toward a really pretty stand of trees. The only downside to this is the orientation is to the east, so I’ll need curtains to sleep late.

bedroom window

The living room door will face the old shed and Sharon’s flowerbed around it, and a large bed across the driveway. This will be a great and changing view as flowers vary by season.

front door and window view

The view out my hallway door and window will be toward my parking space, as this is going to be the door I use most, near to kitchen for hauling in groceries, and just convenient to the parking spot. I hope to have this as kind of a mudroom, as there is also a door across to the back yard.

from hallway, door and window toward parking spot

The view of the living room gives a nice feel for how long a stretch I’m adding – about 45 feet from old front door to new front door. (The cats will love racing that long distance.) This picture also gives some sense of height. I will not have any ceiling to block this view to the top.The crew is still filling any gaps in the foam with spray foam and trimming back. It will look so good once the plaster is covering all of it.

standing at new front door, view tall ceilings and down hallway to old front door

OMG! What a vacation house.

My siblings, their spouses, and I spent the last week in Madison WI area after my brother’s Ironman race. He finished, but had to walk too much of the marathon portion, from leg cramps. He was not satisfied with his time, but he completed the course. Wow.

Dale at approx mile 75 of 112 mile bike leg.

We rented a house in Cambridge, right on a tree farm / bird sanctuary. Joe Arrington (owner) took us for a tour on his atv, showing what they do for growing oak and walnut for lumber. They also have ponds and meadows for attracting birds and animals. His family and employees all have homes on the land, and a couple of empty places they rent. This is the nicest one we’ve been in.

fireplace in living room – very high ceilings!

We have found for a family like ours, four bedrooms (and five when our mother was with us), with sufficient bathrooms and a living space where we can all gather is so much better than hotel rooms. We’ve had a large place with screened pool and hot tub in Orlando: a house in a traditional summer community on Lake Erie with beach and great yard for lounging; a pretty house in the mountains outside of Asheville in autumn; a smaller group of us rented a renovation in-progress B&B (so the owner let us have the whole place) in our home town; a condo in Key West. The Oak House is one we want to find an excuse to go back to visit.

kitchen, sink and dishwasher behind to left. The double doors across are for a walk-in pantry.

Dining room, gorgeous table, screened porch beyond.

The kitchen was huge and inviting. We actually cooked in more than going out to eat. The dining table was beautiful, made in their workshop. I would love to have one like it. We had great weather and spent quite a bit of time on the screened porch.

Checking out the screened porch.

We all enjoyed our visit to the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo. There were a number of shoppers for the Duluth Trading Co in Horeb, city with a troll theme. Madison is a very attractive city. We also took a day to visit a recently widowed cousin just north of there. Mostly we just talked a lot and caught up with each other’s lives, as usual. Of the seven of us, I’m the only one indifferent to cheese curds, and we tried appetizers in a few places.

Sarus crane, largest flying bird, at 6 feet tall. Could not get a decent picture in sunlight of this impressive creature.

Getting Ready for Weather

Irma is coming, and we expect some rain and maybe strong winds, no matter which direction the hurricane turns. The crew is midway through getting the connector between the old and new domes completed. They are scurrying to get enough concrete over the steel mesh and rebar, then plan to put plywood over the window and door openings. That section gets water backed up while it is still open to rain. On my back patio I’ve been storing large items that I ordered ahead for the plumbing. They will move those into the dome shell, to keep them safe. I am really glad they took down a large dead tree while they still had the extended forklift, it could have hit either Sharon’s house or mine if it fell in those directions.

more work on connector hallway

Since the connector between domes is very custom designed, it is taking the crew a while to make sure it is properly fitted. It is a series of 5 panels, bottom 2 vertical, next 2 leaning toward the center, and top is a flat piece, but they are giving it a bit of an angle from front to back. This is also uphill to downhill, so any water runoff will go away from the house. I’m finally getting the feel for how the hallway will be between the domes.

working on hallway

I’m actually leaving this weekend, not because of the storm, but for a family get-together. My siblings and their spouses and I try to have a reunion every couple of years. A week is just right, and we pick different places each time. This year is Madison WI because my brother is in an Ironman race this weekend. That still awes me. We have rented an amazing looking house through VRBO. I’ll post pictures after I get back. It is so nice to have all under one roof and be able to be up at odd hours talking and let other go to their rooms. I think the only unhappy family members are my cats, and they don’t suspect I’m leaving them until I get out the suitcase.

Sharon will be here to feed my cats, and she will be whelping the first litter for her Goldendoodle, Dani. I’ll encourage her to post about the puppies, including pictures. They are so cute and entertaining after a month of age.