Category Archives: Pets

{Friday Favorites} Crowdsourcing Design

Between a blogger milestone and a doggy confiscation, this has been a doozy of a week.

1. Isn’t That Grand? on Our Fifth House!


I was so excited to see Tuesday that Carmel had featured our Design Dilemma as part her new series! I’d submitted our kitchen lighting challenge more than a month ago and while I knew she was going to mention our pendant lights, I didn’t know when and I didn’t know she’d dedicate a whole post to it! The first thought that went through my mind when I saw her post was, “Oh crap. The most recent thing I published was about mayonnaise. None of her readers will ever come back.” I mean, I stand by my love of mayonnaise, but when an influential home design blogger links to you, it’s good to have something a little more topical on your homepage. Oh well, welcome to Isn’t That Grand? I’m Katie and I make mayonnaise. In addition to bringing new visitors, Carmel and her readers gave me some AMAZING ideas for our kitchen: where to put the lights, a chandelier over the table, a subway tile backsplash (which I’d been kicking around), and painting the soffit above the cabinets – brilliant! I love this design crowdsourcing and can’t wait to make some progress on the kitchen! A huge thanks to Carmel!

2. Otis is Home


We had a wild, insane, scary, heartbreaking incident with Otis this week. I’m still processing what happened and will do on a post on it soon. I’m not trying to be weird, I just don’t want to post about it until I’ve digested the whole thing. Otis is back with us now and is OUR forever dog. I’m putting this in my favorites because I’m grateful for people who do the right thing, for things working out the way they should, for my FIL being in the right place at the right time, and for an awesome dog who loves our family (even if he chewed up my ski sock).

3. Putting All our Eggs in One Basket


We’ve got eggs! As I mentioned Monday, we’ve been through a serious egg drought. While our chickens have been making themselves at home since we moved in, they haven’t been earning their keep. It is SO great to see our egg basket finally filling back up and I’ll be selling eggs at work again before long!

4. Vitamin D to the Rescue


I go back and forth about how much of my journey with chronic disease to share. For right now, I’ll say Vitamin D rocks. I’ve long been told to supplement with Vitamin D (often a deficiency for those with fibromyalgia), but I never knew when or how much. My current nutritionist required me to get blood panels (amazing that she’s the first person in 15 years to ask for them) and I wasn’t just deficient (most pasty-white Americans are a little, due to working indoors and sunscreen), I was massively deficient – like less than 50% of the acceptable baseline. I’ve been supplementing for about a month and trying to get a bit of non-sunscreen outdoor time each day, which is hard in the winter. And, it’s amazing how different I feel. I have lived with severe fatigue since I was 18. I power through it and people don’t usually see it. Lately, I’m not as exhausted all the time now and I don’t completely crash in the afternoons anymore. Yippee! I’ve still got a long way to go, but I’ll take any small win I can get.

5. Vintage Mason Jars


I picked up these mason jars at a garage sale this summer and have been trying to find the perfect use for them…I may have found it. I can’t wait to share this whole project with you next week!

I’m looking forward to some crossfit, orchard work, and downtime this weekend. Have a fabulous weekend friends!

This and That

No, I didn’t fall in. I know you were wondering.

To provide some context to this, my parents are a little sassy, and apparently when I was little, if someone was gone a long time, they’d say “I wonder if they fell in.” (referring to the commode, of course). Apparently I picked up on the phrase—when I was 3 or 4—and more than once, asked if an adult had fallen in, in front of a bunch of people, which was simultaneously hilarious and embarrassing for all involved, particularly if said adult had been in the lavatory.

Aaaaannnyway, no I didn’t fall in, but I’ve missed you! I had a fantastic trip home to Colorado and then came down with the cold that my sister and her kiddos had and have been running on fumes the last week. So, I thought I’d do a quick and easy reentry to the blog today to let you know I haven’t forgotten about you.

First, not sure if you heard, but the Broncos won the Super Bowl!! It was fun to be in Colorado in the lead up to the game, except for the nasty guy in the grocery store who mocked me for looking at Broncos t-shirts. Apparently he didn’t think we stood a chance, along with the rest of the country…ha! People who talk smack to strangers always baffle me. I’m simultaneously highly offended and slightly impressed with their chutzpa, but mostly offended. It was hilarious (and noisy) watching the game with my nephews because they mostly were trying to get us to do anything other than watch the game, but Benjamin had an amazing moment of loyalty:


Nobody can stop our team. #gobroncos

A video posted by Katie@Isn’tThatGrand? (@kt_co) on

His hand gestures are AWESOME. #thatkid #wheredoeshegetthisstuff

Eighteenth, in the middle of all that, we found out Otis had a couple infections (roundworms and giardia (I know, dogs get giardia?? I thought that was a backpacking parasite for silly people who drink unfiltered water??)) that we’ve treated. I guess they’re super common in kennel dogs, but I’m posting here as an FYI. They can spread to your other pets, so when you adopt (because I know you won’t shop) your next pet, make sure to get them to your vet right away to be tested. Seems like we’re all healthy around here now (except for me), but this is today’s PSA. You’re welcome.


Sixth, it got REALLY cold this weekend. Then it got REALLY warm this week. We had windchill temps in the -20º range over the weekend, a snowstorm turned icestorm turned rainstorm over the last 48 hours, and temperatures in the 50s yesterday. Moral of this random story, weather is weird everywhere. Everywhere I’ve lived (and on all the blogs I read), people always say how they have wild weather there, which is a unique feature of their region. Nope, we’ve all got wacky weather folks. Except maybe if you live in the tropics, things are a bit less wild there, until hurricane season comes.


Finally, it turns out the kiddo is a big HGTV fan. All the sudden he started watching The Property Brothers and Flip or Flop. I’m stoked! A) there is now TV on that I approve of and don’t mind listening to, B) he’s picking up info on remodeling houses and real estate which is interesting to see him apply to our home (he might start reading this blog yet), and C) we are totally spending our weekend nights binge watching home improvement shows, which is really cute and fun (don’t tell him I said he was cute…he is 13). I introduced him to my favorite, Fixer Upper, and he loved all of Chip’s antics. He’ll rock a “I can’t believe that house would go for $350K in that market.” or a “I would really move that wall and add some recessed lights.” Oh, and a hot tub and pool; to him, every house needs a hot tub and pool…which I guess he’s not wrong about. Also, can we talk about how old (or how much like my mother) I sound when I talk about approving of TV shows??


Happy hump day friends!

6 Weeks In: A Love-Hate (but mostly love) Relationship

It’s hard to believe it’s only been six weeks since we adopted Otis! Since day one, it felt like he was where he was supposed to be — even when he ate the glass ornament. One part we really love is that Taz now has a play buddy. Taz, however, seems to have mixed feelings about it. Let’s start by revisiting the doggie glamour shot from day 2.


Otis is around 1 year old, full of puppy energy and curiosity. Taz is a distinguished older gentleman enjoying all the wisdom that comes with middle-age. Clearly.

T1If Otis had it his way, he and Taz would play ALL THE TIME. Taz, on the otherhand, has his limits. He will give it that good ol’ college try and Otis will get about an hour of wrestling out of him. They love to chew on each other’s faces and ears and scruff. Despite being three times Taz’ size, Otis will often let Taz pin him in recognition of Taz’ senior role in the household. 


When Taz’ tires of playing, though, Otis usually doesn’t get it and starts to act like the annoying younger sibling. He’ll follow Taz around the house “chicken winging” him (our term for grabbing one of Taz’s back legs and trying to get him to play). When Taz really doesn’t engage, Otis will exercise his size advantage and pick Taz up my his scruff and carry him around – an experience from which we’re often rescuing Taz.

Eventually Taz is over it. Like, “I’m done. Leave me alone. I’m old and have reached my playtime limit.” Otis doesn’t usually get it, so first Taz comes to me and in that distinguished middle-aged voice he has my head (which may have a slight British accent), says, “Can you please tell him to calm down and leave me alone?”  He seriously will just sit there and start at me forever, as if he can transfer his thoughts to my head. And yes, in my head my dogs talk. Concerning? Probably.


Then, when my protective abilities prove ineffective, he goes into hiding. It’s usually under my chair:


Or under the side table (yes, I still haven’t put the drawer in since we moved in … I hope that if I leave it out, I’ll organize it … which is clearly going well):


Taz has really perfected the art of looking pitiful. Finally Otis gets it and when Taz is in a place where he can get to him, he goes and wraps his arm around him in hopes of making amends. At this point, Taz is still deciding if amends will be granted. 

TO2Then, it’s granted. And, they snuggle.


There is about equal amounts of doggie snuggling and doggie wrestling … which is good: Otis brings out Taz’ youthful side and Taz teaches Otis the value of a nap.


And, when they’re not snuggling, Taz again exerts his seniority and relegates Otis to the small bed. #bigdoginalittlebed After writing that hashtag, I think that comment and hashtag and this photo is a blog repeat – oops.


We love having Otis with is – because he’s awesome and because he keeps Taz young. Taz might act like he’s over it some days, but we know he loves Otis too. Yay for doggie adoption! #adoptdontshop