Posts Tagged 'house'

Absenteeism, Dog Rehab and Small Projects

I should apologize for my absenteeism but I haven’t been in a real good place and as I would try to write – my words were so negative. So, I have kept silent and just been a voyeur at other blogs where life is happier. I guess I needed some time to sort some stuff out. Not that all is so depressing because a couple of things have been done at the house and well, Stella has been in rehab and by proxy – so have I.

Here is a catch up of what has gone on in the rust belt.

Life is energy….this is our philosophy about life. This works on many different levels from where we live, all the way to a dog named Stella and everything in between.

Stella as a baby….damn cute and was Satan’s spawn.

I made the decision to take Stella to the next step in her rehab, when you’re stuck you’re stuck (I was so stuck) and she was showing interest in some dogs (calm ones only) anxiety with others, and she still wasn’t digging men however. I felt it was finally time and made the call. Scott doesn’t know that when I left our first meeting I cried – I do not recommend when driving. I finally found what I have been looking for, I have hope, I have relief that this dog would finally just be “a dog” over time.

The last 5 weeks have been a journey, for her and for us. For this dog to meet her first dog and to have a positive experience is like watching a child take its first steps. My heart could of burst, but the fact that there were used condoms on our sidewalk rained on our moment. Thank You ghetto people for showing us you know how to use birth control – now how about a trash can?

Stella has been to a pet store which is something we could have never done in the past with her. She was in a room with 8 other dogs off leash and not freaking out. We learned to how to manage her fearful behavior, how to set limits and boundaries with her, claim our home, how to catch her at the start of fixating on men, new commands and was on a treadmill. There is one thing that for the husband and I that stood out the most was participating in a pack walk after only 2 weeks. This is the most spiritual thing I have ever done. There is nothing like 13 dogs and 10 owners hiking and not one single peep out of the dogs – it was heaven!

Stella will continue with socialization with Versatile K9 once a month and we will continue to do the pack walks with them. I would love to get some folks together to do pack walks in our neck of the woods on the offset weeks. Our goal with her is to walk downtown of our city with many people and for her not to have anxiety about it. I should also note that yes you can teach an 11 year old dog new things. Lena has gone along for the ride and has learned a new command or two along the way. We had suspect that she might even be a part of some of the issues that Stella was showing. Needless to say our home is much calmer as a whole. A friend remarked last night that you can really tell that the dogs are being worked with because Stella has so much more confidence. If you are looking for a dog trainer/behaviorist Scott and Kaethe from Versatile K9 I highly recommend.

About the house and small improvements.

We had this old non-closet (the kind where a coat hanger doesn’t fit correctly) in need of some love. After I took out a stud or two and well all the framing stuff we did some drywall and just left it.

We always had other plans for the space but just never got around to it. Rain gardens to build, cold frames to build, fence staining the endless list of stuff. It is only part done for we need to go and do a fabric run but it’s much better than it was. A place for coats, the dogs stuff, hats, shoes and boots.

The other small project we did was to utilize a 50 plus year old shipping crate that is just too cool it sit in the basement. We have no storage in our bathroom. No closet. No place to put a closet. Taking out walls to utilize the room between the studs…not even going to go there.

The closet cost like $40.00 in materials and the bathroom cost pennies for the screws. Not bad!

The holiday's have come and gone and well…. I am glad it is over. The neighborhood sounded like a war zone on New Years and I find it quite an accomplishment when one can tell the difference between fireworks and gunshots. In this hood it was more gunshots accompanied by a couple very nice, colorful firework displays.

The neighborhood is semi silent this week. We had huge hopes of the neighbors across the street had moved but as I have said once before when the bills come in people stay with friends and family and return when they have money. I wonder if Mr. Landlord is still collecting his section 8 monies?

The reality is that our neighborhood is going down the drain faster than you can say home for sale. There are more rentals than owner occupied and due to the city's lack of everything it is a matter of time before it looks like the other really bad sections of the city. You see this is part of my funk, my frustration. I have to be honest I am so close to outing where I live I can almost taste it. When you read in a city official report that no matter how much money you throw at the people problem it will never be solved until you solve the economic problem it begs to wonder why?

So you see where we live is sucking the energy right out of us. I would say more me than the husband. I live, I work within a 1 mile radius. The husband and I will go to different parts of the city and walk the dogs looking for something good about where we live. Every single time we see some major screw up of where bad planning has graced us once again. A nice neighborhood, a developer who ran out of cash and not so nice housing is what is left because it becomes rentals and not the good rentals but the ones with the sheets as curtains. The best sign I read on a persons home was "Smile you’re on camera".


And The Winner Is…

It appears that people are thinking about fall, winter and dreadful heating bills already. I determined this by my stats and peoples top searches. The top search is – “Interior Storm Windows.” With that being said, even though its like 83 degrees with a heat index of 85 I guess you can’t plan early enough for when the temperatures take a dive into the 40’s.

So here are the links that I used when The Husband and I made our interior storms and my in-laws.

Fancy ones:

These ones:

These ones:

The only thing I would suggest is to use a good strong wood when making storms for larger windows For my in-laws we used MDF in their sun room which was a huge mistake, we had to double up and reinforce it because it actually sagged. This took extra time and for us it is just much easier using real wood from a structural standpoint. This was a fun project and it really works – NO more drafts.

Hope this helps those out there looking to build their very own interior storms. This is the easiest project, least amount of time, huge bang for the buck, a project that keeps on giving.

Happy building.

Kitchen Walls

I have decided to take a 2 day break from the kitchen madness. I thought is might be wise to rest up for the weekend marathon that is going to occur when I get home tomorrow from work.

This kitchen has looked like this for about 4 years since the husband and I were burned by a cabinet maker.

My tools: 60 grit sand paper, Craftsman hand orbital sander, scrapers, 5&1’s, drywall sander, various sandpaper grits for dry wall sander, shop vac, many filters, Visqueen, soap and water.

So for your viewing pleasure this is what we are dealing with.

Texture: Once upon a time I thought this was a good idea. Actually I love the warmth that textured wall brings to a home. Taking it off – I don’t love! I told the husband that if I get some hair-brained idea like this again to remind me what it took to undo it.

Texture: Old remaining tiles that I just removed on Wednesday night.

I started with this and moved to a hand sander with 60 grit. I have become very up, close and personal with our walls, possibly a little too personal.

A walk down memory lane – past colors.

Pumpkin Spice with Buttermilk: Two color, 3 Part paint processes. I like to call it “paper toweling” off.

Seafoam Green: In the beginning the whole entire house was this color. Every single room – must have been on sale that week. Blue: This was discovered under the seafoam green. I actually like this.

Beige/ Yellow-Gold: There was a cabinet that was destroyed in the first flood that was the same color beige.

Red/cranberry: I like this color – Grandma “S” had shelving on these walls prior to the cabinets.

I started with this:

Ended up with this:

More photos in flicker.

Off to bed.

Making Decisions and Traditions

Yesterday was election day.

The husband and I have a tradition. We vote, then we go to breakfast. I told him that I would make homemade pancakes but he insisted that we stick to the tradition.

Here in the dying city it’s all about politics and money (people, renewals and increases). Same stuff different year. A renewal passed for the port and the people sent a message – again – of we are not giving one more dime to the rest of you with your hands out. As I was checking other near by cities I saw the same results. Renewals were not an issue but increases were a not happening for many.

I wonder why? I don’t know, the thought of financial responsibility and all that it entails comes to mind. The fact that many people have had to make adjustments in their own personal lives and feel that government should be doing the same. I find it all rather interesting that so many had their hands out. Amazing, just amazing.

There has been many decisions made over the last week dealing with woodwork for the house as well as kitchen hardware. The husband and I kept going back to this one very simple style over and over. I have a rule if you keep going back to it, go with it.

Base Molding aka Base Moulding (English spelling)

To balance the new door trim and new base moldings we are using Plinth Blocks.
Plinth Blocks:

Door Trim:

We will be staining fools in order to have this stuff up by Thanksgiving.

Another decision that we decided upon was the pulls for the new kitchen cabinets and latches. We have this tendency to mix old and new. The husband leans towards modern and I lean towards the old but a cool look. We both like clean lines and not a lot of frills. Lets face it if we lived in a Queen Ann it would be a whole different ball game.



I cannot wait to actually have a kitchen that functions.

It is very hard to type with a cat in your lap – I just thought I would share that with everyone.

Feeling the Pressure.

I’ve been away because I have been hiking again at places like this every chance I get. I love this time of the year in Ohio.

We have been working hard to put some balance back in our life because all work and no play make the people in this house and their pets grumpy.

The husband and I have been working very hard with Stella and her behavioral issues. These issues would be people, other dogs, well you name it. So Stella has been in doggy boot camp so to speak.

When I get home from work I’ve been going to a couple special places I know that are safe for walking dogs and we do at least a good 2 mile walk. When the husband and I are off together we do 3-4 mile hikes with the dogs. This routine has taken the edge off Stella’s behavior and actually for the most part she is doing very well with the occasional slip up. The best tool we use is a dog backpack along with some other knowledge that we used with our other dogs in the past.

I don’t know about you but we have been feeling the pressure to “Getter Done” of late.

Mother Nature has not been on board with us for the last month. All it has done is rain and when it’s not raining its been cold. As I checked the week forecast – part of my morning routine – I saw a temperature of 65 – 70 degrees. Shoot, its been a good month since I’ve seen temps like this. Since I’m on vacation this week – this is a busting ass, gotta a list of shit to get done in the next 7 days – vacation – If one wants to call it that.

When the weather turned to shit we worked on these, interior storm windows.

It was a victory over the English Ivy that had taken over 25′ x 10′ of area in the back forty. We also chipped and shredded an area of the yard we have not seen in 3 years.



The English Ivy ran from the Burning Bush all the way over to the other side and to the fence. We took care of that last week during one of our light rainy days.

A nice cleaned out canvas for next year. The husband and I will be redoing this whole space. It will no longer be the plant holding pen. Bye the way does anyone want any fountain grass?

We sealed the side door entry on Wednesday, photo’s to come yet.

I did these Thursday. Thank You, Mother Nature!

I forgot to mention that after 4 long years we finally found a cabinet maker who is not going to rip us off. With fingers crossed we will actually have functioning kitchen by Christmas. It has been meetings and phone calls. I have a strange feeling that it will actually take time for us to adjust to having – lets say – a counter top by the sink – a place to actually store kitchen goods. Is it possible for one to forget how a kitchen actually functions?

However, and you knew there would be a however – there are two things that must happen. Here’s a clue, our kitchen is textured, B is loaning us a shop vac and a special sander. Need I say more?

The other one is a kitchen floor that is going to look very familiar to some of you out there. All I have to say about the floor is what the hell were these people thinking.

So now its back in the 50’s as I write this and its starting to rain again, I’m glad I need a rest.

Friday running around list of places to go:
Vets- both dogs need nail trimmed
Lumber Store – find new base moulding
Fabric Store – fabric for couches
Hardware Store – quality latches for new cabinets and knobs for drawers
Take dogs to the park

I am forgetting something I know I am.

Fast Forward – Inside the House

The kitchen is still 3 years later in shambles, why? That would be due to the fact that custom cabinet maker never delivered the goods. The goods were very simple: 1 bottom cabinet to be custom fitted for apron front sink (still sitting in the box), 1 custom full cabinet to go over refrigerator, 3 shelves and a piece to pull it all together all made of white oak. We are still waiting; actually we are looking for new cabinet guy – for some strange reason we just don’t trust the bastards.

During our adventures with the “crap trap” issues in 2007 there is nothing like releasing all that anger on a couple of walls. It has always been the intent to open the 1st floor of this house up. The space needed to be reinvented.

Husband’s kin folk squished 5 rooms into 624 sq. ft. it was like living in a cave with many caves in it. This house had no cross ventilation, it was dark and the floor plan made no sense.

Continue reading ‘Fast Forward – Inside the House’

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