April 18th, 2007


The joys of owning a house

In this post I mentioned that the landscaping dude we had out to quote mentioned that what I wanted (a flagstone path 30' long and stairs on the side of our driveway (3-4' high)) was going to be very expensive. I was hoping that he had a lot of cheap customers, and that the quote would be reasonable. My hopes were crushed last night, they finally emailed the quote - ten thousand freaking dollars! Now, I understand flagstone costs money, but we aren't looking for a lot of prep work, I told the guy I was looking for a natural path, flagstone with moss or the grass between the stones. So no need for weed barriers, no need for hugely deep beds of gravel to set any cement on, just a pile of flagstone. I was hoping 7 grand would be on the high side. But no. So we will be Plan B'ing that one*. You see, we'll need that extra money for our next project.

We are finally looking to put a fence in this summer. We've been meaning to do it for years, and I would much prefer it if Chet didn't have to go out on a lead all the time. This too is going to be expensive. We need at least 6' high (I'm hoping for 8 - better fences, better neighbours) and we also have to dig chicken wire into the ground all around the fence so the beasts don't escape. Sounds easy enough until you really take a look at our back yard - we have a drainage sewer in the back corner - all of the spring runoff, as well as summer storms drain to this corner. In fact, I believe our lot is a bit lower than our neighbours to the right, and their lots drain through ours (notice the existing fence post is leaning into the erosion). So something creative will have to be done to allow water out, not get clogged by leaves and debris and keep beasts in.

The second problem with our backyard is a result of laziness. The very back of our lot has a 'stand' of 30-40' cedars that are growing in a mound of earth (indicated by the arrow) that either the previous owners or the builders left. We would really like to remove it, but we would lose the privacy the trees give us and because we have a pie-shaped lot, part of the mound is in each of 3 other neighbours' yards, and some of them have built fences in it. But wait, it gets better - it is directly on top of our hydro, phone, and cable easement. We have no over-head wires here, they all run 4' in our property line. I certainly don't want to be doing that digging!

Our final task for this summer is to paint the exterior of the house. We have siding on a lot of the front of house, but due to it being a high-ranch, we have 3' of brick on the front as well as the 2 sides to paint. Now I know you're thinking, 'these people are whacked, who the hell paints brick?!' Believe me it's not my first choice. But these bricks aren't clay/fired, they're some sort of porous material. To make matters even better, rather than having smooth grout (is it called grout on brickwork or only tiles?) it is all squished out. Gotta love the '60's! Anyways, because the bricks are porous, they are painted to weather-proof them. But this also means that you can't use a pressure washer to remove the old flaking paint, it all has to be done with a wire brush. Joy!

The things to look out for in our next house. Speaking on next houses, I've been on our MLS site, and found these:

The last two are on the water. How crazy are those prices??

"I'm movin' to the country, I'm gonna eat me a lot of peaches"

*Plan B involves sweet-talking hubby into lots of manual labour.

The dudes

We've had Sasha for about two weeks now and things are going fairly well. She and Chet still aren't best buds, due mainly to her habit of growling at him if he walks by while she is sleeping. Sasha is very cute. The previous fosters called her vocal, but she has nothing on Chet. Huskies and Mals generally don't bark, so Chet picked it up from his previous kennel-mates and is now passing it on to her. She lifts both her front paws off the ground when she barks *g*. She is also nosy and a huge mooch. Every time you move she's following you to see what is going on. She obviously begged for food before, we are working on discouraging that. Her hips are a bit upsetting, they are very stiff. We give her glucosamine to help, but on Saturday I took her for a bit longer walk, and they were giving out by the end. I'll have to be more careful in the future.

Here they were having a particularly cosy moment, I'm glad I caught it, they've been few and far between:

This Sasha dog is one huge bed hog! The first couple of nights we heard her up on the couches in the living room so we shooed her off. And she seemed to be okay sleeping on her bed. But now, our bed all the way. I find myself in the fetal position most mornings, making room for her at the foot of the bed. She is not a small dog, and she'll never be able to convince me she is.

Our bed is also her favorite spot during the day:

I had to sneak this one, if you walk in while she's on the bed she'll roll on her back and start flailing her legs around. Pretty damn cute although I could do without all the dog hair. Damn huskies.

And Ceebee still couldn't be arsed with the two of them. As long as they stay out of her way and she's got a sunny window, she's a happy cat:

Damn Good Whacking

Hypothetically speaking....

Let's say your husband was supposed to be home sometime after his class finished at 6pm. Let's also say that in anticipation of his arrival at 6:15-6:30 you cooked a couple of bacon-wrapped fillets, garlic-mashed some potatoes and served up some lovely veg. If it were now say, 7:0526, would you:

a)understand completely that he was administering final exams to his class and the practical portion might have gone a bit long and choke down your cold dinner.

b)eat your dinner and let his get cold(er) while cursing him softly between bites.

c)wait for his un-anticipatable (I'm making it a word!) arrival and eat with him.

d)I'm open to suggestions

Let's also say that you were expecting him at 6ish and were busy cooking dinner so the dogs haven't been walked yet. Who walks 'em?

If this is the type of man that freaks out if I don't call when I'm 15 minutes late, how many calls do you think I would receive about this?