Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The House

I am getting overwhelmed right now so need to sit and blog. Our house is becoming a huge money pit and I am scared. Let me tell you about the latest foray into trying to fix the house up. Our neighbors had told us that we had hardwood floors under the carpet downstairs. We were very excited as I really had wanted a house with all hardwood. It is so much easier to deal with when you have pets because accidents always happen no matter how well trained your pets are. Our favorite house when we were looking to buy had gorgeous hardwood floors but the backyard was the size of a postage stamp and I knew tony would not help me walk dogs so we passed on it. Anyway, we had decided to pull up the carpet in the living room first and viola, the hardwood was there underneath it, looking good with minimal amount of repair needed. There is a patch that needs to be taken out and redone but overall, a little sanding, a little wood putty here and there, and a little protective stain and it would be looking fabulous. Tony also had decided to redo the baseboards as well, which is fine with me.

We were so excited that everything looked good but really wanted to see if there was hardwood under the dining room area floor as well. We were told that the dining room use to be the kitchen and that the current kitchen was an add on. This concerned us as in a kitchen, you will have all of your appliances which could damage the quality of the floor. For that very reason, we waited for a long time to do anything to the dining room floor. Also, they had built a platform over the floor to raise up the room. The dining room doesn't have doors so the kitchen, dining room, and living room are just joined as one big room so we thought that the step up was built to make it more like a separate room. Well, tony is laid off so he thought now would be a good time to get in there and rip up the platform and look at the floor so when we had the money, we could refinish it all at the same time. Unfortunately for us, there was no floor under the platform, only dirt. Currently, we just have the plywood platform down and will probably have to live with it that way for a while till we can afford to lay down a new floor. I don't want to just lay some thing down cheap and I sure as hell don't want anymore carpet. I think i would walk on dirt versus having anymore carpet laid down. Carpet is something I really hate, especially having pets. It seems as though our very obedient, good dogs were using the carpet in both rooms as a restroom and we didn't know. I have a very sensitive nose and I never smelled pee but they were peeing. Tony also had to rip up the baseboards to get the carpet tack strips up. I think at this point, since everything is so torn up, we might as well go ahead and paint the room if we are going to paint. I prefer white walls but Tony likes color and he has picked out a green color that I sort of like. I am sure it will look good when he gets it on the wall. He also has some great ideas about lighting but of course that will have to wait till we have more of a steady income.

I will try and post some pics of before and after so everyone can see our progress. I hope tony goes back to work next week so progress may be slow!

Monday, January 18, 2010


Today was one of those days in which i wanted to strangle my hubby and hug him at the same time. You see, my hubby is a very, very hard worker at work. He is an electrician and has been a foreman on several big jobs and he is a perfectionist. He takes his work very seriously and has had several apprentices that he has taught. Unfortunately, the hard work ends at work and none of that pride or sense of accomplishment seem to bleed over into his home life. My hubby is the laziest hard working person i have ever met and i have said this to his face many times. Let me explain what I mean.

Having grown up with a step-father who was a carpenter, I should have known things would be like this. Our house always looked like it was in some state of dilapidation yet everyone else's houses he worked on looked great! I remember the frustration of my mom, wanting him to finish projects and begging and pleading to no avail. I feel that frustration now for sure. You see, when we bought this house, I was so excited because the excuse for years had been that we rented so why should we invest any money in fixing up a rental house or the property. This saying for him also applied to yard work so consequently, I did all yard work and we had about 2 acres of land to tend to. I never minded it, was a great way to stay fit and in shape and get a great tan but then I took on our elderly landlord's yard which was another 2 or more acres and I was doing lots and lots of yard work every few days. I was always taught by my step dad to be very proud of your yard as his yard was his baby. He would lovingly get down on hands and knees and pluck weeds or multiple times a day spread chemicals or fertilizers. He (and mom and I and Al) would dutiful mow the yard so that it looked its best, even if that meant in the summer 2 or so times a week. We had about 9 acres but didn't mow all of that but a big portion of it. I brought those values to my own home and it didn't matter to me whether or not i rented or owned, the yard was a reflection of me and my values in a way. Not so for hubby. He didn't care at all what others thought of the yard. I think if there wasn't a city ordinance, he would let it get as tall as he was and not care. I had tried the whole spiel of I am not going to do this so that i would look bad and he would feel guilty and mow but that never worked. It would just look worse and worse and I would get madder and madder.

Fast forward to a few years ago when we bought this house. I really thought things would be so different. The house came with a small garage that was a great space for making a workshop. It needed work and needed power but he was an electrician so I thought this would be no problem. Well, of course that hasn't happened at all. Hubby does nothing around the house that resembles work. Even if it is the simplest of tasks, I do everything around the house. There are only three things that i leave in his hands and I mostly end up doing them anyway as I hate putting off stuff or seeing things look bad. Hubby's tasks are take out the garbage, mow the tiny yard we now have, and weed eat. I do all of these except weed eat as the weed eater is a monster of a thing and I have no clue how to use it. Our garbage is collected in the alleyway out by our garage so one must walk through the backyard or walk around the fence, a five minute task at the most. I use to even try and make him actually take the garbage out of the cans but i can't even depend on him to do that either. He will let the garbage pile up the point it is falling out. I now just empty all garbage cans and sack it up for him. Then what happens is it goes out to the deck and he is suppose to take it to the back. Well, what usually happens is it sits out there for several days, sometimes even for a week. Then the dogs either get into it or I get tired of looking at it and I trudge around to the back and put it out.

I am so envious of people who have marriages in which the husbands do stuff around the house. Several of my friends split up the work load so that no one person is doing everything. Tony had told me several times that he does not intend on helping with any of the house work. If I ask him to help, I usually get attitude so I have learned not to ask, it isn't worth it. He has gotten better about the yard work but it isn't important to him. I place a lot of importance in the way the yard looks, including the flower bed in front of our house, and especially if there is a festival in town. I can remember one fourth of July and our yard looked like a jungle. It didn't bother him in the least that it looked bad and that we are only a block away from the park where they have the fair and set off the fireworks. I had been gone to a dog show or I would have mowed it myself but instead did so when I got back. I guess in a way it is good that he doesn't care what others think about us but pride in our house and our yard is important to me.

Cleaning this house is quite a task for me. We have four inside long haired dogs so I commonly have to at least vacuum and sweep the floor twice a week. He helps with none if this and we have almost 2000 square feet to maintain. I do all the laundry including washing, folding, and putting up all of his and my clothes. I am sure that if I left things out for him to put up or fold, it would never get done. I can't stand piles or clutter. This is a personal reason that I wish to not discuss on this blog. He already has a pile on top of his dresser that I continually clean off and he goes back to piling stuff on. I really can't win for losing. To his defense, he does take the laundry baskets up the stairs and down the stairs but that is it. I so wish he would help me more, especially now that we don't have a dishwasher. I am spending a lot of time washing dishes since he is a fabulous cook and will commonly use every pot and pan in our house to make a meal. That is one thing that he does, although not every night, but he does cook and it always taste wonderful. I am not a cook and would probably have to live off of hamburger helper, scrambled eggs, and fast food if left up to my own devices. When we moved in, we had a dishwasher but it has been out of commission for several weeks now. I have asked and asked for him to look at it and he did look at it once but that has been it. We thought it had a small piece of metal blocking the middle spinning device but that ended up not being what was wrong with it. He hasn't looked at it since so I am spending lots of time washing dishes when I could be doing other things. I guess I am just a spoiled rotten brat but I am getting a very bad attitude about dishes to the point that I would rather him not cook. In our old house, we didn't have a dishwasher so I washed and dried the dishes but the sinks were set up for this. In this house, we aren't set up for that because of the dishwasher being there so I need to either reconfigure the whole counter space or he needs to fix the dishwasher.

This is also a huge bone for me to pick. Again I am a hater of clutter and try to avoid it at all expense. This is hubbys corner in the kitchen. It is always a mess. It is a huge embarrassment to me because it always looks so horrible. Anyone who comes into our back door sees this huge clutter. It actually did extend all the way to where the yellow canister is sitting but I had to push things down so I could dry out dishes. It is filled with various things out of his pocket, papers, keys, change (notice there is a change jar that is present but change never makes it into the jar unless i put it in there), tools, pencils, and other things. Don't ask him to clean this as this corner has started huge fights. I don't even try but have tried to organize piles on occasion to no avail.

Unfinished projects are everywhere at this house and include the gate, the non-functioning dishwasher, the hole in our ceiling in the master bedroom, the hot water issue and the floor in the living room. I really wish I was handy with tools and I would just fix things myself and be done. Some of these projects have been on-going for years. I just don't want to be one of those people who does nothing till they sell their house and then they fix everything and wonder why they didn't do that in the first place. I want to enjoy this house while I live here, not when i leave it. We have slowly filled our house with wonderful furniture and need a few more pieces to have the house full but I do wish we could fix the cosmetic issues as well. I want to be proud of our house, to have people over and show them how we have fixed the house up. Instead I end up making apologies for the floor, for the hole in the ceiling, for the clutter. I want to stop doing this but need him to help me!

I know that no one is perfect and I don't expect him to be. Believe me, I love him dearly, he has been very supportive of me and my "addictions" but I wish he would help me more around the house and the yard. I wish he would have pride in the house and the yard. I wish he would love me enough to want to help me, not have to be made to feel guilty to helping (which usually doesn't work). I want him to get off of the couch on Saturday mornings when I am in my cleaning mood and volunteer for some of the cleaning jobs to ease my workload. I want him to be proactive in mowing the yard in the summer when it needs to be done a few times a week. I wish he would finish some of these projects that have been hanging around for so long. He has great ideas of what he wants to do with the house and I would like to see them implemented, but not until the current projects are done. I want to be able to talk to him about the issues i have with his lack of help without him getting mad. I will be reading this to him and I hope that he can understand I want things to change and be better.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

What a year it has been! Miller got his MACH and we added yet another aussie to our pack. Berry turned 12, Miller turned 10 and Harley 6. We had a couple of foster dogs, both with their own unique set of issues (chopper was a poop eater and bella had the energy level of the sun) but both great dogs that went to great homes. We had ups and downs competition wise and we had two sets of nationals on other sides of the coast. We met new friends and said good bye to old ones. I started teaching along with my friends at All Star agility and have met some great friends that have been awesome to teach. I also started teaching basic obedience and agility lessons privately. I have learned alot about teaching and alot about teaching the dog owner and not just the dog.

I have been to several very awesome concerts of some of my child hood and adult hood favorites including the mighty METALLICA, AC/DC, Down, The Sword, The Answer, local favorites VSC, Decimation, Sorrow by Truth, Fleetwood Mac, Nine Inch Nails, Megadeath, Warbringer, Suicide Silence, Jane's Addiction, and Poison to name just a few. Tony and I have met some great friends as well going to these concerts and hope to rock out with them in the future. We already have tickets to AIC and would go back and see Metallica again if they come close. Of course we will always be at our local dive bar, supporting live local music such as VSC, Decimation, SBT, Black Gasoline, Hellanova and many others. We even go see our local Red State Blues Band sometimes as well.

Tony has been working constantly the whole year which is a huge blessing for the field he works in. Electricians are out of work, some most of the year, due to the lack of work because of the poor economy. While part of the year he worked in Salina which meant getting up at 4:30 am and driving an hour both ways, the other part he worked in either Topeka or Manhattan. I have also have been blessed with a great job and a great boss who is very understanding of my passion of dog showing. I have lost two of my favorite people at work, one due to having a baby and moving and one due to having a baby and deciding to be a full time mom. I miss them alot but they are having a great time being moms for sure!

Got to see my mom a few times this year, once at AKC nationals in North Carolina and once for USDAA nationals in AZ and then in St. Louis at USASA nationals. While I am qualified for AKC nationals, who knows what the future brings for USDAA nationals since I haven't shown since USDAA nationals this year due to Miller's injury. I have met a ton of new folks this year going to agility shows and am super excited that Tony is back showing harley. Agility friends are awesome and I sure have missed seeing them at the shows we have missed due to miller not showing. I haven't been back to TN in a few years so haven't seen most of my family or tony's family so hoping to get to see them this year for sure.

Goals or hopes for this year is to have miller stay injury free, continue to train Deuce and get him ready to show, and for tony to work on Harley's MACH. I would like to take a vacation with just tony and I with no dogs and also get back to TN and see family. I hope tony can continue working and that I get to continue teaching as I love it. I hope everyone has good health and stays safe and I hope you all have a great 2010!