Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bad dog and the messy house

I admit it, I am lame at this blog business. I love blogging but lately there seems to be more important things to do. Like clean the house for showings and punishing a VERY bad dog. I simply hope that things will go back to normal (if there really is a normal) as soon as we move.

So first, we had two more showings on Monday. I was a little P.O. with the comments that the agents left with my agent. I really shouldn't be upset but it hit just the right nerve and it bothered me.

They said, "Shows really nice, very neat and tidy. Best on the block. They did not like the area that much though. They decided on a newer town home to the West. If that doesn't work out this home would be on their "long list". They commented on the price saying "monitor it"
(Just a note here, by heading directly west a ways of where I am located puts these people in a VERY undesirable area. To each his/her own.)

Second said,"Awesome sellers. They went the extra mile needed in this market to really show their home. It was a joy to show. The agent does not have a feel from the buyer yet because she works odd hours. They will be out looking again on Friday and MAY ad this on the list for a second look. She commented that we were the highest per square foot in the area. She thought $180k."
(My thoughts here....180k you have to be joking! 180k get you a house that needs to be gutted inside! I couldn't believe that. My house is beautiful and completely remodeled! Very frustrating!)

The comments aren't bad but the whole price reference bothers me. Especially when they talk about a price that is significantly lower then our asking price. We were advised to start high, feel out the market the first week (it has only been up for one week today) and lower in small increments if needed. We will get to that later.

So house selling is frustrating. Between the comments and trying to keep the house perfect, I am tired!

We did put an offer on the house that we love and it was accepted. The house includes landscaping in the front and side yards. The sprinklers went in a Monday and today they are laying my special request drought tolerant grass. What can I say! We live in a desert and it takes too much water to keep the traditional Kentucky Blue Grass green. We have drought tolerant grass in our back yard in our current home and I LOVE it. I water it once a week and it is super green.

With all the stress that I am feeling (plus seasonal allergies on top of it) it is effecting my dog. He has turned into a complete brat! We have always had to lock him up before we leave the house because he gets nervous and will pee. Lately when we call him he heads to different rooms, will stand and stare at you as if he is deaf (he's not) or simply not come. It is getting frustrating. On top of it last night at dinner we locked him up (we didn't want him begging for food) and during the entire meal he was whining and scratching on the door. Now the back of the door needs to be re-painted (again!) and he snagged the carpet and tore some of it up. I am at the end of my rope. Does anyone know what I should do with him?

I have lots of projects that I want to work on and things to try but afraid of making any messes in my house. So it will all wait until we move. And if I can figure out how to get pictures from the cell phone on to the computer, I have some CUTE decorating ideas from a model house.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Home Tour Part 7--Yard and Bones

This is the final part of my home tour. I hope that you've enjoyed it. You can check out the rest by heading here.

Here is our house. It is a 1909 Cottage/Bungalow. Not bad for being 99 years old!

Front Flower bed. This has come a long way from the one GIANT bush that used to fill this space. Small bushes are okay, but I personally need flowers. I have spent hundreds of dollars and many hours of my time of this flower bed. There are some really expensive plants in there that I plan on taking with me. I have it written into the contract so there will be no surprises with the next owners.

Long and very narrow driveway. In fact, I refuse to park at the end of it because I'm afraid of hitting the house when I back out. It would be fine for a small sedan, but for a mini-van it will not do. The entire yard is fenced in a COVERED with Ivy. We trimmed it back our first year here because it had grown over about a fourth of the driveway.

Now to the back yard. Head straight back to the garage and turn right.....

Next to the garage is a covered patio area. You could probably use it as a car port, but I personally find it more attractive to hang a hammock. Notice the GIANT near 100 year old Horse Chestnut Tree. I have a love/hate relationship with this tree. It is enormous and provides constant shade all summer (all day) on this the south side of the house. There is never any direct sunlight into my bedroom, which is okay. What I hate about it is that it constantly sheds. Yes, the typical fall foliage but also in the spring the sticky (super glue sticky) blossoms that get tracked into my house, summer un-ripe chestnuts, leaves and dead branches and in the fall the leaves, rip chestnut with their pokey outter shells. The only time it does not shed is in the dead of winter. Also, because of the amount of shade it provides, I can not grow anything under it. I have tried shade loving plants like Lily-of-the-Valley, Hosta, and Ferns.

I didn't do too much to this area of the back yard. A little paint of the garage and I tore out, what seemed like, acres of Ivy. It was growing up the tree, all over the ground, on the side of the garage and was every where. You might remember from the beginning of the tour that when we pulled the panelling off the walls we found the ivy growing inside the house.

A better view of the hammock brought back from Mexico, BBQ grill and places to hang out and socialize. Then on to the back of the back yard.

Here I have a nice grassy area for the dog and kids, on the right is the chicken coop aka storage shed and behind that my veggie garden. (You might remember that from previous posts). This is also where the "Bones" took place that I will share in a moment. This area was covered with Ivy, filled with rose bushes (no grass here), HUGE clothes lines (that is what the cement path in the middle of the lawn leads to) and more Ivy!

Another view of the grassy area. I have a small island flower bed here. It may look out of place but it was a great way to hide the well. Under the flower pot is the access to my water rights. I would have loved to have used it, free water and all. But it would have required us to dig up the entire yard and spend a lot of money to replace the rusted pipes. Maybe I'll leave a note for the next owners and they can do something with it.

Another view of grassy area, looking back to the patio.

Veggie garden. Didn't I say that the gourds would take over the side of the shed by the end of summer?! When we purchased the house, this was nothing but an Ivy garden.

And tons of baby gourds! I am so excited about this. I hope they ripen quickly so I can take them with me before we move. I have a project in mind, and the reason for growing a non-edible plant, that requires months of drying them out.

Now for the Bones.

While we were tearing out the rose bushes and Ivy in the back yard, we came across several bones. Here Eduardo is trying to dig up a 30 some-odd year old rose bush.

Not just little chicken bones, but big bones. We could identify some of them. "Hey, look this one is a rib. This one looks like a femur." It actually got kind of freaky. Fortunately we never found a skull. It could still be under the cement pathways.

By the end of the day, we actually called the police who came to collect the bones. A call back later in the week revealed that the bones were not human but animal.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dunlap Broadside

On Saturday evening we had the opportunity to see an original Dunlap Broadside. I had never seen a capital building as crowded as it was, not including our Nations Capital. There was a two hour wait just to get up and see it.

This was our first time we had been in Utah's Capitol building since they renovated it over the past several years. It was too crowded to really see any of the features that the building has to offer.

We decided that Livy would not last two hours to see a piece of paper that she most likely will not find interesting until later in life. The line wrapped around the rotunda and ended at the center where the document was at. Eduardo and I both agreed that it was odd and mostly likely why it took SO long to see the document because instead of simply walking past it, they let one person or family in the center circle at a time to see, read, and photograph it. We were able to walk right up to the outside circle and see the document. This was a good option for us and I can now say that I saw an original Dunlap Broadside.

After wandering back through the Capitol building, we stopped to watch the introduction video that explained the Dunlaps. Very interesting! Here's a piece of trivia for you...the Dunlaps are actually older then the written manuscript that is housed in Washington DC.

Livy outside the capital, looking out over the city.

Our state's capital building.

Livy was super excited to see the Lions and insisted on seeing them up close.

The Dunlap Broadside is on tour and if it comes to your capital, I highly recommend that you see it!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Home Tour Part 6--Playroom & Scary Basement

Welcome to Part 6 of the tour. If you have missed anything from my home tour, please see Living room, Kitchen, Livy's Room, Master bedroom, and bathroom.

Today I'm going to show you the playroom for the daycare kids. This room had very little done to it at first. I tried to live in it with the popcorn ceilings and pasty white walls. Finally one room that didn't have 100 year old wall paper or paneling to tear down. It did have horrible heavy drapes that I tore down very quick!

Remember during the several months of remodeling, we lived in this small room and the master bedroom while we tore apart the rest of the house.

A look into the very crowded tiny room.

You can see the funky half wall (which I hated). Behind it is a trap door (yes, we have a trap door) that leads to the basement.

Another view of the squished room. Naturally, this was all before I reopened the daycare. There would be no place for kids. (It was also 3 years before Livy was born.)

Here we painted the walls but still have the original carpet. That is a trap door.

Carpets came out and we had very, um lovely, green linoleum floor. I really didn't know what to expect so it was a pleasant surprise. It could have been far worse. Eduardo is tearing down the stupid half wall that I felt made the room even smaller.

And now the current daycare playroom....

Nice carpets, paint, and space for the kids to play!

Livy being a kid. In the corner are nap mats and pillows that I sewed for the kids. I really wanted a room that could be bright and open.

The child size tables for lunch, snacks and art time.

The Pottery Barn inspired cable art system. This is a wire curtain rod from Ikea for about $3! You can't beat that!

Here is the trap door. I really dislike having a trap door, but it makes no sense in having regular access to the basement.

A long look down the steep stairs. Can you believe that the previous owner would go down those stairs and do laundry!? And there was no dryer so she would take the wet clothes up and outside to line dry. What did she do in the winter?!

This is the scary picture of the basement. I really don't like to go down there. I feel it is Eduardo's job to change the filters and retrieve food storage items. Behind the cement walls is sand. I have joked with Eduardo that this is the kind of basement that the previous owners could easily bury someone in and you would never know.

On the next tour I will take you out into the yard for a chicken coop, a story about bones and killer ivy.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Home Tour Part 5--Bathroom and Laundry

I'm sure you are sick of seeing how horrible the house was. Today we are in the bathroom with a visit to the laundry nook.

This is one room that I really wish that I had a before picture of. In the bathroom imagine a door that opened into the hall (stupid!), inside was carpet (yuck!), a small sink, toilet and tub. And the world's worse wallpaper that we will see in a moment. Now in this bathroom, the tub was next to the door and the toilet and sink by the back wall. There was no shower in the house and I refused to use the tub. Didn't really have to since it all came out on day two.

I did have to use the toilet and sink for a few days and that was crazy. When you sat on the toilet your knees hit the cabinet of the sink. So in other words....this room is TINY!

This is the best "before" picture that I have. You can see a bit of the tub on the right and the toilet in the back and the plumbing to the sink. There was horrible linoleum on the walls which completely damaged them. We had to come up with an option that didn't involve tearing down the walls and replacing them. So we tiled the walls. There was also a pipe in the bathroom (I'm sure there is a technical name for it) that leads to the roof. You know to vent the stink. It was cracked so the bathroom had the smell of raw sewage.

Here you can see the lovely, bright wallpaper after I tore it down. This wallpaper wasn't only the walls but also on the ceiling. You can also see the glue (the black stuff--not mold) from the linoleum that was impossible to remove.

Yeah! The new tub is in, toilet installed and most likely the sink.

Tile work up and you might be able to see the curtain hanging in the doorway on the right. It took a while to get the doors installed. I was grateful to be able to shower in my own home instead of driving to my mom's.

And here it is today.

You can see the tile work completely finished and the lovely shampoo bottles in the old "window" of the bathroom before the previous owners did the addition. Does anyone know of a better way to "display" the shampoo and such. I want to have it in there, but with people soon to come tour the house I really want it looking pretty.

Cabinet to keep towels, makeup, toothbrushes in because the space is too small for a vanity. Couldn't even get a custom one to fit the space.

I like having this mirror in here, which was supposed to be a temporary fix until we found something else. It is too high and I must stand on a step stool to put on my make-up. I will need to find something else before we list the house.

This is the only piece of original molding in the house. It is beautiful and I can only imagine what the rest of the molding looked like.

Now on to the laundry nook.

This was the previous owners linen closet/coat closet. The laundry was originally down in the basement which we will see later on our tour. I needed to have main floor laundry and this was the perfect nook to have it.

This is how it looks now. Doors to close it off, although I keep it open a crack because the litter box is in there. That is one thing I really look forward to in a new house, someplace far away from everyday life for the litter box to be. That is Missi coming to see what I'm doing.

Open the doors and this is what you pretty much see. This is an old picture. I went through and took pictures later to realize that I forgot to put in a memory card. So you get this. We put in wire shelves to store cleaning supplies, pet food, etc. The top of the stacking washer/dryer houses extra toilet paper and dog food. This is one part of my house I wish was more organized, but haven't found what works for me.

Just a few more places to explore on my home tour.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I love the mountains!

I love the fact that I have a part of the Rocky Mountains in my "backyard". I can get to several canyons in only 15 minutes (driving side streets). With this wonderful playground so close, it is a shame that we only get out of the city once,maybe twice a year.

Sunday we heading up Millcreek Canyon for a drive. Once up there I wondered why I didn't go up more often. The air was fresh and it was cool, only 71 degrees.

Not too far up the canyon is an area with a small boardwalk following Millcreek. We got out and took a stroll.

Livy pointing to Millcreek, very excited to find the water and rocks.
Livy and I watching the water. She continuously watched the water and would say "down, down". Yes, Livy the water is going down. She was fascinated by it.

We headed further up the road to a less crowded area and more trees. Livy was excited to get down to explore and I was happy to see her playing in the dirt. Should I not be? I want Livy to explore everything around her. Naturally I won't let her touch things that could hurt her, but why not let her swift her figures through the dry dirt or touch the smooth wet surface of a rock in the creek?

In the last area there was a bridge over the creek. Livy was ecstatic about dropping rocks over the edge into the water below.

After a fun family outing, I am considered giving in to Eduardo and getting a tent-trailer and taking Livy camping.