2014 Accomplishments: The House

I have completely neglected blogging about the house this year, even though there have been lots of big changes.

My only house detailed post this year includes the following projects:

  • Glass in the fireplace (the now functional fireplace has been very helpful when the heat goes out!)
  • Hardwood floors in kitchen
  • New laminate floor in sunroom

Outside, we started with the patio, and the sunroom, since that’s the outdoor area we use the most. As you can see in the Before picture, it was looking a little unloved to begin with, but a bit of paint, lattice, and mulch, and voila! An outdoor space we can enjoy even more.

Patio_Before_AfterOne of the things I missed most about our former home was my giant rose bush, so that was definitely on my list for landscaping success. I also added my potted herbs- mint, a citronella plant (now sadly deceased), and the third pot now contains a rosemary bush. As you can see, the mulch is currently not defined, but next spring I intend to put down a landscaping border to keep it all contained.

Patio2_Before_AfterWhen fall finally rolled around, we pulled out the big guns. I’m extremely fortunate to have a father who not only owns a Bobcat, but is also proficient in grading and finds ‘small’ projects like ours to be fun. So as soon as it became cool enough to plant grass, my parents came up for the weekend and we reduced the backyard to mud dirt.

Husband stomping down dirt in his new truck

Husband stomping down dirt in his new truck

The husband’s brand new (to us) truck came in pretty handy that day, and we took 2,100 pounds of debri (rocks, weeds, unusable nature stuff) to the dump. Then I came in the next day to seed. Of course, the house is on a hill, and of course it was pouring so hard that a seed spreader couldn’t make it through the mud- so I donned a rain coat and spread seed by hand, swearing and sliding all over the place. I’m sure our neighbors found that a sight to see!


Since these photos were all taken from different positions, a star marks a couple trees that are consistent throughout.

Another view of before and after

Another view of before and after

So now Drake has lots of space to run around!

After: Drake has grass to run around on!

In the front yard, a similar process took place. It’s so nice not to have the most embarrassing front yard in the neighborhood anymore!


The front yard- before: landscaping gone wild; after: bare but manicured!

Then inside, only a couple more projects have been taken care of since getting the hardwoods put in.

The first was the bathroom, which always reminded me of Mary Poppin’s carpet bag. I had a vision for a navy bathroom, so we essentially gutted it and began anew. For a 6′ x 6′ room, the bathroom reno took forever. Someone even walked out on us after giving up on the wallpaper removal. What a nightmare.

New paint, toilet, chrome fixtures, and black vanity

New paint, toilet, chrome fixtures, and black vanity

And then most recently, all those white appliances in the kitchen have been updated to shiny new stainless steel- thanks Black Friday for the good deals!

Hooray new appliances!

Hooray new appliances!

Whoo! That’s a lot done in 2014! Definitely a resolution for next year – be better about house blogging!!

Resolution Check-In

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Since we’re about to end the first quarter of 2014, it seems a good time to see how we’re doing (or not doing) on our resolutions for the year. Let’s take a look 🙂

The Horse

Resolution 1: Move up to Novice with final score below 35 (or >67% in dressage)
We have gotten so close to this… or rather, the dressage score. Our score at the only Horse Trials this year is not worth noting, since I goofed so badly at the end of the XC course. If I hadn’t, we would have finished on that 35. At the Combined Training a couple weeks ago, we got a 66% in dressage… So this one is definitely doable, but not accomplished yet!

Resolution 2: Nail canter transitions
Well, this one we haven’t worked on pretty much at all. I’ve been babying him because of his fitness/condition and so avoided anything tough, like making him use his hind end to transition rather than his neck. With that said, he has actually gotten 7’s on them at the two shows this year! Sure surprised me!

Resolution 3: Not be embarrassed by lack of trot lengthenings
Nope, haven’t even touched this. Soon, hopefully!

I should have added 'not do shit braids' to my resolution list...

I should have added ‘not do shit braids’ to my resolution list…

The House

Resolution 1: Landscape front and backyard
We’ve made lots of progress in the backyard, taking out the big mamajama pine tree and lots and lots of scruffy small stuff. Now what we’re looking at is 6″+ of leaf mold/debris in most areas, that will have to be hauled away before we can seed. We’re trying to get this done soon before the summer hits and nothing grows, else we’ll be waiting till fall!

Resolution 2: Kitchen Transformation
Oh, this one I am *so* excited about! Right now we are collecting quotes for all the different projects, and hopefully we will have either wood floors or granite countertops by the summer! Squee!!

Resolution 3: Replace grody couch
Done!! The cats kind of pushed this one along, as *somebody* (cough, Elliot), decided to let us know he had a UTI by peeing on the couch, thus grodying said grody couch to the point that we didn’t want to even sit on it. We have now replaced it with a pretty new leather couch! Yay!

Hardwoods in the kitchen? Yes please!

Hardwoods in the kitchen? Yes please!


The Rest

Resolution 1: Take calcium supplements
So far so good! I found these caramel flavored ones that are like a little treat for me! Easy peezy!

Resolution 2: Not be a Red Bull zombie
Hahahahaha. Nope!

Resolution 3: Be more positive
Making some progress! Headed in the right direction, at the very least 🙂

A surprise outing for the husband's birthday, in which I proved I cannot bowl worth a crap, but did not embarrass myself otherwise!

A surprise outing for the husband’s birthday, in which I proved I cannot bowl worth a crap, but did not embarrass myself otherwise!