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Puppies + Invisible Fence

Monday, April 25, 2016


At the moment we are in the middle of a few projects and there just isn't much to share in the way of before and afters, so I couldn't resist taking a moment to show off my furry cuties.  (Most of these pics are from before we moved in.)

The puppies really enjoy the sunny spots that they find around the house.  The spots are, in order of preference, the “deck”, the floor just inside the back door, and any other sunny spot by any of the many sunny windows in the house.



I was originally concerned that the stairs might be difficult for Diamond, since her legs are so short and her body is so long, but she immediately bounced up and down them like nobody’s business.  Jewel, on the other hand, was incredibly stumped by these new-fangled things the first day we brought her over.  She is normally a very intelligent dog so to see her so confused by these stairs was extremely funny.  She looked so awkward going down them and upon reaching the basement landing she pretty much refused to go any further.  Then it took me a good 5 minutes to coax her back up to the main floor.  Amusing to say the least.  Luckily I caught it on video because naturally, when Hubby tried she went up and down like it was old news.



Diamond watched the installation of the Invisible Fence with what I imagine was a sense of dread....




I have to admit I am still completely shocked at how well the Invisible Fence worked.  Both of our dogs are rescues, but while Diamond would prefer to stand on my toes at all times, Jewel was always a runner.  Every chance she got at freedom (aka to sneak out the front door) she would take it with a flying leap, look back to make sure we were chasing, and then off she would go.  For the first couple years that we had her, she wouldn’t come back to us at all.  It was a very embarrassing time trying to explain to our neighbors.  Nowadays she does come to us, but who really wants to chase a loose dog around the neighborhood?  Anybody?  Well, not me.  It was very stressful at the old house trying to constantly put the dog away or guard the door anytime someone went in and out.  We were really afraid that when we moved she would get lost for good if she managed to escape.

Plus we really weren’t sure whether or not we wanted a privacy fence, if we could get away without one I’d really like to have a little picket fence with some hydrangeas growing up and around it.  Ah, I dream…. And the neighbors beside us already have a privacy fence up on their side, so we really didn’t want Jewel jumping all over since it doesn’t belong to us.  She’s a very strong jumper….

Andrew really argued for the Invisible Fence.  I was afraid that Jewel would be too stubborn for it, I imagined her just running right through it.  After the first training, though, it was clear that she did NOT like the feeling of that collar and she responded so strongly that I couldn't believe it.  The true test came at the end of the three training sessions, tho, when we let go of the leash.  The trainer brought her own dog and let them play together for a few minutes, then she called her dog out of the yard, and Jewel didn’t follow!  It was pretty incredible.  Doesn't she look proud of herself?  I think she deserves to be.




We left the long training leash on her for the first week or so, just in case she decided to run we figured it would help us catch up with her.  She never really tried, though.  After just a few beeps here and there, it’s pretty amazing that this simple little fix keeps them in the yard and seems to have completely broken Jewel’s tendency to run.  The added bonus here is that the Invisible Fence works in the front yard as well as the back, unlike our privacy fence at the old house.  No more door guarding!   




5 Ways to Prepare For Your Move (Before You Even Find a House!)

Monday, April 18, 2016

When we bought our first house, it was a super easy and quick process, but this time around house hunting felt like it took half of forever.  Mostly I was just impatient after having waited for about 5 years to talk Hubby into moving in the first place... At any rate, I began to find busy work for myself because sitting around staring at the same boring house listings was getting old and discouraging really quickly.  If you are having a hard time waiting, like I was, then this is a simple list of to-dos to keep you busy and get you a head start on the long process of moving.


1. Purge.  Declutter.  Prune.  Exfoliate.

Whatever you want to call it, just get rid of your crap....  By far the most common advice that I got when telling people that we were house hunting was this: Stuff accumulates, get rid of it now so you don't have to take it with you.


2. Pack the Closet.

Everybody has that one space that is being used as the dumping grounds, that one booby-trapped closet where everything gets stuffed to be dealt with "later".  Guess what time it is?!?  That's right, it's LATER!!!! Get in there and deal with it now.  If it's stuff that you are getting rid of then get rid of it.  If you are taking it with you then put it into a real box, label it, and stack it back in there nice and neat.  Oh, and then don't add any more to that space unless it is also in a neatly packed box!


3. Off Season Items.

This is a fairly easy thing to get packed, as long as your move is not going to span seasons.  We were moving in early spring so I packed up all the summer stuff like swimsuits and small yard toys.  We weren't using them anyway so packing it up was an easy way to check one more thing off the list for moving day.


4. Do Some Detailed Dreaming.

I'm assuming that you have a pinterest account.... but this step is a little more than pinning a hundred ideas for each room.  When you start searching for houses you start seeing all the things that you might have to deal with in each house.  One has terrible carpet, the other one has missing appliances, and another one has an outdated bathroom.  Start preparing now by "window shopping" for some of the basics like flooring, appliances, kitchen cabinets, bathroom fixtures, etc.  Make a mental or physical list of some median prices for each of these things (or maybe pick out exactly which one you like!).  The idea here is not that you are going to buy all of these things for the new house, but if you see a house that needs any of the items from your list you will know exactly what kind of cost is involved.  Then when it comes time to make decisions, the footwork will already be done.  The stressful, busy weekend of the move is not the time you want to be making serious life decision like which fridge you are going to have to buy.



5. Fix the Little Things.

You know that honey-do list you keep adding to that never seems to get done?  What time did we say it was, again?  Right, it's later, and it's time to deal.  Break out the tools, buy a few supplies, and fix all those little details that need fixing.  Oil the squeaky doors, replace the missing piece of trim, caulk around the sink, replace the front light fixture..... whatever is on your list, now is the time to check those things off.  It will make you feel better for whatever amount of time you are still living there, it will mean less things on your todo list when you prepare the place for the next owner/tenant, and it will make them happy to see less things that they have to add to their todo list (It might even get your house to sell for a better price or help you to get more of your deposit back!)




Remember that everything you do now will be one less thing to deal with when you are organizing boxes, and moving schedules, and worrying about what you are going to eat for dinner when your dishes are packed in a box (and nobody seems to remember where it is!).

Grand Entrance

Monday, April 11, 2016



The entryway tile was not on our original list of todos.  On the contrary, all of the linoleum except that in the kids' bathroom was supposed to stay for a while (like the kitchen *cough*).  Anyways, the linoleum here was in decent shape and was supposed to wait until after all the immediate jobs were finished.  But then Kristen didn’t get to help lay down the laminate floors like Daddy promised, so he let her help tear up the entryway linoleum instead….




It’s going to look a whole lot better, and since this is the first thing that guests will see when we open the door, I’m excited to have it done. 

2 cases of tile $90
1 qt of grout $10
+ extra supplies (spacers & tools) from our bathroom tile job - add $40 for these if you don't already have them!
Total cost of entry flooring = $100


Before:




We used the same vinyl tile and grout here as we did previously in the kid’s bathroom and on the same 45degree angle.  Hubby got all the tiles laid very quickly, but with one significant issue - the original angle of this floor was not on a 45degree angle.  He had cut the laminate floor boards to fit the original angle at the linoleum and neither of us had forseen the fact that the angles were not going to match. 




Luckily I have a couple of friends who are as OCD as I am, who quickly sided with me that it had to be fixed.  The point that actually made Hubby do it, though I think, is that even our non-OCD friends were on my side :P  It was something that literally would have drove me crazy for Years (just like those ceramic tiles at the old house where they joined up two different colors and didn’t match the grout lines! AH!).  However, I did feel bad for him, because cutting those floor boards After installation had to be nerve racking.  A single mistake and half the laminate would have to be pulled up so he could replace these boards.  Thankfully, he is pretty good at his carpentry skills these days, and the cut went smoothly enough so that you can’t even tell it was fixed after the fact.  And it looks sooo much better than the mismatched angles! 





Now this entryway is actually going to make a statement…. A good one ;)


After



I think I'm going to have to keep my eye out for a chandelier.....





Carpet

Monday, April 4, 2016

The house was dirty when we bought it.  Really, really dirty.  I'm not really sure how bad the carpet was, but due to the amount of ick and yuck on the walls, I was not taking any chances.  Plus it had tons of stains that may or may not have come out.  And after reading some other blogs about Ryan homes, I am not confident that the carpet was all that nice to begin with.

Luckily, we have a good friend who used to do carpet work so he was willing to help us tear it out and do the heavy lifting.  We also brought some pretty cute help of our own...



It turned out that under all that disgusting carpet was a boat-load of staples.  Hubby got a good work out pulling them all.  No idea if we actually needed to do that or not, but we definitely did not want them poking from under our brand new carpet.

Originally we had intended to cut the carpet into "small" pieces and sit them out for the trash, because when we set up our trash service they told us they would take carpet.  But when we called back to find out exactly what size it needed to be cut to, we were informed that they would only take the amount of carpet from a single small room.  Don't you just love it when everyone you talk to gives you a completely different answer?!?  And we had quite a pile...



So we ended up having to bribe a friend who owns a trailer to haul it to the county dump for us because that stuff sure was not going into my minivan.... ok we didn't HAVE to bribe him, but we did feed him dinner ;)


Before we closed on the house we researched the new carpet installation process and were told that it would take about two weeks from the time we got started to the installation of the carpet.  This number is what we based all of our renovation and moving plans around, I guess that was my mistake.  Every step of the process took considerably longer than it was supposed to.  After they measured, we were supposed to hear back from the store within 24 hours, but it took two days Plus a weekend for them to call us.  Then we ordered the carpet and were told it would take 7-10 days for the carpet to come in.  Ten days later I went to ask about the status and was told it was expected to arrive within the next 6 days.... It was a mess.

It pushed back our moving day by an entire week.  I was not a happy customer.  Everytime I talked to the poor guy in flooring he gave me bad news and I got less and less pleasant to work with as this process wore on.

BUT, all inconveniences aside, I am happy to say that it finally did get installed, it looks great, and I could not be happier with the finished product!  It's so Fluffy!












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