Category Archives: Interior Decorating

I Need Wonderbutt Insurance

I am one of the first people to decry the commercialism of Christmas and its ridiculous encroachment into the fall holidays that precede it.  Seeing an aisle of Christmas ornaments right next to the bloody Halloween masks with machetes sticking out of them is just disturbing.  But I guess this is going to be a fight I can’t win.

Dimples keeps playing Christmas music…as she decorates the house with her homemade Halloween decorations. It’s a little disconcerting to listen to “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” as your whistling daughter attempts to tape black bat garland around the mantle.

One of Dimples’ favorite decorations is a plastic spider web that you can suction cup to the window.  The problem is, even when new, the suction cups never seemed to hold for very long.

I pointed out to Dimples that all of the windows to which she wanted to adhere it happen to be within the borders of Wonderbutt’s domain.  And once that web fell to the floor, even a giant mutant arachnid would be no match for the jaws and iron stomach of Wonderbutt.

As I warned Dimples about this, and prompted her to adjust her decorating accordingly, something began to nag in the back of my mind.  Something about decorating and Wonderbutt.  Something that started hurtling toward the front of my mind as “Jingle Bell Rock” began to play.

The Christmas tree.


I think we can all agree that there is no way that a Christmas tree would last ten minutes  around Wonderbutt, much less the decorations adorning it or the presents underneath.  And Cap’n Firepants’ Annual Lighting Extravaganza would send us all to Kingdom Come once Wonderbutt sinks his teeth into it.

If you need some proof of Wonderbutt’s intolerance for decorating, take a look at our attempts to outfit Wonderbutt and Mrs. P.I.B. for a Halloween photo shoot.

Mrs. P.I.B. Sportingly Models a Halloween Boa

Wonderbutt Draws the Line at Mrs. P.I.B.'s Halloween Headband

I Mean It - No More Stinkin' Halloween Pictures!

So-o-o, back to the tree problem –

Possible solutions: no tree, tree in bedroom, bathroom, or garage, tree suspended from the ceiling, or gated-off tree.

My mother used to tie our tree to a hook on the ceiling to keep the cats from knocking it down.  She didn’t hang the tree, just used the hook as a kind of safeguard.

Trying to safeguard the tree against Wonderbutt would be like chaining your house to a telephone pole to keep a tornado from carrying it off.

Since I’ve learned that gates are just a temporary obstacle to Wonderbutt when he makes up his mind to get some place, I’m thinking we should not tie the tree so it will fall if Wonderbutt touches it, scaring the bejeezus out of him.

And then we have to pay the vet $1000 when he gets poked in the eye by a pine branch.

Or, maybe we should just torch the house now and get all of the destruction over with once and for all.

So, once again, it is the middle of October, and the most suitable costume for me seems to be the Grinch.

The Continuing Adventures of Wonderbutt

So Wonderbutt has had a little difficulty adjusting to my new, old work schedule.  As a teacher, I am back on the job.  And the separation anxiety has motivated Wonderbutt to continue his renovations of our palatial abode.

He has a renewed dislike for our carpeting, as evidenced by the picture.  Or, maybe it’s the padding that disturbs him. I can’t tell if he is just redistributing it or actually devouring it piece by piece.  As he makes alterations in this giant jigsaw puzzle, I have given up trying to put it back into place.   i just roll the carpet back over it and try not to trip over the lumps.

The Second Day unveiled a slightly less frenzied approach.  Same spot, a little less carpet overturned.  No bone.

On the Third Day, Dimples and I entered an apparently undisturbed landscape.  I sighed with relief that Wonderbutt seemed to be adjusting to our longer absences.  Then I smelled a rat.

I really thought it was a rat.  The rodents apparently think that they are going to find something other than blistering heat in our attic and keep crawling up there to die.  We are made aware of their corpses when they begin to smell horribly.  Apparently our pricey contract with the pest control company that promises “full exclusion” is interpreted differently by the rats.

Dimples wrinkled her nose.  And I headed to the phone to call the rodent wranglers.  Dimples stopped me.

“I knew it, ” she said.  “I knew it was too good to be true,” (referring to the untouched carpet).

Ah yes.  No rat.  Just another gift from Wonderbutt.  In our dining room.  No pink bow on it. Or in it.  (F.Y.I. – the pink bow has never made a visible reappearance.)

Fourth Day.  As has been the custom every morning this week, we presented Wonderbutt with a new gift.  Previously, it had been different versions of the Nylabone in the hopes that he would find them a better alternative than our carpet.  On the Fourth Day, we tried a recent purchase called the Starmark Everlasting Treat Ball.  Though it sounded like something you would find in a Harry Potter book, I doubted it would be quite as magical.

Well, the treat is not everlasting.  But the brown stain in the carpet from the treat will be.  Between the lumps and the stain (in a completely different region) our carpet is beginning to look like some crazed cartography experiment gone wrong.

However, Wonderbutt was quite pleased with the toy.  He paraded the plastic treat holder around the house when we came home, and showed off the hilly area of carpet that had remained untouched for one whole day.

One more work day for him to adjust.  Then comes the weekend and his days will return to his favorite kind of normal.  Except for the time we will spend hunting the pet stores for refills for the Everlasting Treat Ball, he will be able to bask in the glow of his adoring family as he dreams about new ways to improve his imperfect world.

Advice on Interior Design

My interior decorator and I are not exactly having a meeting of the minds.  I’m definitely beginning to have second thoughts about his qualifications.  And his personality is a little difficult to swallow.  He’s moody and pushy, and somewhat unpredictable.

It’s not that I don’t like his ideas.  Sure, I’ve been wanting to make some changes for awhile.  And, he’s absolutely right that we need to get rid of the couches in the living room, and replace them with something less freshman-year-of-college.  It’s just his timeline does not quite mesh with mine.  And he keeps changing things without consulting me first.  He seems to think we have a bottomless decorating budget.

You might be thinking that we are made of money, too, since we have an interior decorator.  But you would probably change your mind if I mentioned that it is our bulldog who is doing the redecorating.

He shredded the bottom of our sofa, which we were planning to replace anyway.  He tore apart our carpet and ate the padding, but we also had plans to get rid of that.  Not anytime soon, but it was on the list.  Now, though, he’s starting to go off the reservation by destroying things we had no intention of replacing.  He decided to give the bottom of our ottoman the “distressed look”.  That was the one piece of furniture that my husband and I had taken months to find and agree upon.  I do not appreciate what our canine designer considers to be forward thinking.

His very silent partner, the mature golden retriever, does not seem to approve of his impulsive renovations, but she hasn’t done a whole lot to stop them.  All she does is greet us at the door, tail nervously wagging, obviously trying to distance herself from the most recent abstract redesign.  She is a traditionalist at heart.

Stevie’s* latest work resulted in lovely spots of black and green marker on the one section of carpet that we hadn’t planned to replace (ironically in the room I always insist on calling our “studio”, but to the other members of the household it is “our office”).  In case we had any doubts about the identity of the artist of this new canvas, Stevie thoughtfully dyed his own paws green during the creative process.

Apparently, we watched Nate Berkus too many times this summer, causing the poor dog to go into an accessorizing frenzy.  It was not enough to have one potted plant in the bedroom.  We needed green leaves and dirt strewn all over the floor to bring more nature into that part of the house.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you have the misfortune to visit our home anytime soon, please don’t judge our lack of flooring, furniture, or window coverings.  Let it be a lesson to you.  Do not let your dog watch T.V.

*Some names have been changed in order to protect the guilty.

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