Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas, Gertie, and Our House

Okay, time to show you our house.  I have been very careful in the past three years not to show too much of it, because, you see, our kids think we're nuts for living here.  I'm not so sure Keith's parents don't, too... and I KNOW my sister did.

The thing is... Keith and I are satisfied and happy here, and that's all that matters.  It's someone else's problem when we are gone.

We have had various discussions about this house.  Keith built a gorgeous deck for the front of it... and began to build what we would have used as a three seasons room on the west side, the dusty, road-side of the house.  That stopped when we realized there was going to be a problem with the roof and it was dismantled, except for half of the decking.  We'll get to that next year, Keith will finish it off so that it looks nice, but it is doubtful we can use it because it's exposed to the dust of the road constantly.

We thought then that we would replace the whole house with a modular home, and we actually have looked at some.  The nicer ones, however, were equal in price to what we paid for this house and the acreage.  Then we talked to a remodeler about re-doing the kitchen, the drywall in the living room and hall and one bedroom, and replacing the ceilings and painting.  $20,000.00.  That sent us back to "modular home" again.

We adopted Gertie two years ago last week.  All we knew about her was that she was a full-bred pug, and that she had been re-homed several times and was approximately a year old.   We soon found out why she was re-homed... she is not potty-trained and really, really, is the only dog I have never been able to break.  After she came, Abby began also pottying in the house, though Hannah never did, even when almost completely blind.

This exacerbates things, because even though people have said "Get rid of Gertie"... we just cannot do it.  She is loyal, faithful, would defend us tooth and nail, and the most loving little girl.

Here she is, waiting for her Daddy to come home from work on Friday night.
We have 1000 square feet, and three bedrooms, with one bathroom One bedroom, the smallest, is our "office", and holds the desktop computer and my scrapbooking shelves.
Our own bedroom is large, but I can't show it to you... the back wall is not finished (you can see the insulation) and the ceiling has plywood attached to it because of a long-ago leak.  In eight years, I have never hung drapes, because the windows need replacing. 
Welcome, and come on in.  No, there's no storm door at present.  I left Lilly's paw prints on the glass, because that is how it usually is.
This is the whole living area, seen from the kitchen.  The bathroom is the first door on the right, then the furnace closet, and the light at the end of the hall is coming through the office window. That's our door at the end of the hallway, and there is another bedroom on the left.  I scored the plaid couch at an estate sale for 40.00.  The loveseat actually matched a fold-out couch we had at the beginning of our marriage that we gave to someone who needed a bed.
I put up a small tree this year, because it was the easiest to get to!
Turning around, we look into the kitchen, and yes, that's all there is of it!  Incredible, isn't it?  I have no counter space, and what's there is now occupied by my Christmas Baking Supplies, that I should be using instead of typing a blog post.
That's the heart of the home, the kitchen table.  Chicken buckets, mail, the morning paper, some devotional material... napkins... and right now, boxes of Christmas lights intended to go on the front deck. (Note Ranger under the table)
You can barely make out the Santas and nativity set on the sideboard.  I still have not found my parent's nativity set, and I'm beginning to really worry. 
So, that's it. 
Wanna know why I took today to show you?
The carpets were cleaned!!!!!
Yee ha!
In all seriousness, Keith and I are worried about the fungi growing where Gertie has soiled over and over... we know there has to be germ growth.  In mid-January, I am withdrawing some money and replacing all the carpeting.  We wanted to go with vinyl, but the cost was outrageous.  We'll leave the vinyl in the kitchen, and then re-carpet throughout the house.  I am attempting as of today to try to get Gertie trained (again)... if we put her out immediately on getting up, and immediately upon eating, she can run around outside for fifteen minutes, come back in, and soil the carpet!  That's what has to change, so the little squirt gun has come out to be used when she and Abby squat.
Stanley Steemer has a special for a three-time a year cleaning that averages out to paying only twice.  I may be signing us up for that service... but we can't have the first cleaning until the new carpet has been down for six months, so maybe July or August next year.
They did a great job for us again, and we appreciate the way the carpets look today.
I'm painting at the point we put down carpeting, too, so that Everything Matches for once in my life. 
So that's our little house at Calamity Acres.  It's warm and snug, and to us, that's what matters.  I love to look at shelter blogs... but I'm happiest where my heart is.


  1. Oh Mary Ann your house is charming!! I love your sideboard, and your home is one a friend would always feel comfortable relaxing in...isn't that what counts.....in my other life we bought a brand new modular and moved out of our old farm house, guess what its still the old farm house that the kids remember not the brand new home, now i live in a historical 160 year old home, (we rent) and our kitchen has no counters, and is extra tiny, and the floors are all scratched but we have the oldest curved staircase in town and its very pretty....it looks like a little gingerbread house...we have old furniture that the grandkids play on, and the pugs and now with a new puppy here we go again....thank you for sharing and inviting me in!
    stella rose and mom

  2. P.S. we never could get our rescue Trudie trained either...we think it was cos of the bad environment she came from.

  3. Thank you for sharing Mary Ann!
    What's important is you two are comfortable and you're happy with it!
    Hope though you're able to train Gertie!!

  4. As long as you're happy in your home, that's all that matters. I do confess, I tend to take macro shots because it hides the dust and other faults in the house.

  5. I like it!

    When we built, I told the hubby I was staining the concrete. And I don't mean the fancy stained and scored either. We bought the materials and I did it.

    I hate carpet because of my cats and Country.

    Too bad their is not a Surplus Warehouse near you, sometimes they have fantastic prices on tile and wood flooring.

  6. It looks warm, comfy and inviting, Mary Ann!

    I wouldn't be able to get rid of Gertie, either, but I would probably confine her to a papered X-pen on the vinyl when she's in the house....

  7. I think your home is cozy and inviting.......I would never get rid of Gerttie either, she is a sweetie........thanks for the tour, Blessings Francine.

  8. We gave up on our Pomeranians. They do pretty good in the house but, like all small dogs, they are never really 100% potty-trained. We ended up putting in laminate so that it's easy to clean. Do the work yourself and it's not too bad.

    I believe a house gets its energy from being lived in rather than looked at, but I suppose thats old fashioned. Your house looks very warm and comfy and inviting, Mary Ann, and it's beautiful. (Don't tell anyone, but I am secretly coveting your antique sideboard...I've always wanted one, but don't have room for one in my kitchen!)

  9. Old, or new
    Big, or small..
    a house becomes a home,
    when that is where your heart resides,
    and that is the most important thing of all :)
    Your home looks cozy and inviting.

    I love your Christmas tree too!!

    Hope that the potty training goes well.

  10. I enjoyed the tour. It looks like a real home. You have paw prints on the glass, and we have nose prints!

  11. i bet i can match you tit for tat on needed home repairs...

    have you looked into carpet squares? they fit together to cover a room and you can take up a single section to clean when needed...they sound expensive but it might be worth a google!

  12. The carpets do look great, I actually mentally said that as soon as I was looking at pictures! LOL. Our house isn't finished either - I have no closet doors in the bedroom, not enough storage, I know how it goes and everything home related (renovations etc) are not cheap. I think your house looks great, it looks quite tidy and very cozy. Our Prairie dogs create musk, they throw poo out of their cage (thank heavens they are dried pellets like rabbits) and the birds well, you know you can't keep birdseed cleaned up with birds. It's just the way of life so if Gerties messes, it's just the way it goes. Obviously I'm sure it's hard on you but I completely understand that you are not going to get rid of her, so you take your challenges as you get em - I think a lot of people who love their animals so much do. I hope she'll figure it out - but I'm assuming after so much time, there must be a reason why it's so difficult to train her. Who knows, something that happened prior to her coming to live with you? But you never know miracles do happen all the time! :)

  13. Hi Mary Ann, Gertie over clean carpets anytime. Penelope has always held it and we said she had the biggest bladder. Now I carry her out into the leaves where she likes to go and I'm prepared that there will be times she won't be able to hold it. I'll take every day I have with her. I have said to my husband several times since finding Calamity Acres that if I were ever in your neighborhood I'd want to visit and I hope if you and your husband are ever in Nashville that you'll come visit us, dirty carpets or not. And projects? Always ongoing, or often not so ongoing.

  14. There really is no place like home. And a home that is filled with kind and loving hearts is extra special. :-) We all have issues of one sort or another with our homes. I have a long list of things I would like to change or fix, and maybe someday I will get to most of them. But I still have a kid in college, so ... priorities. Paying for tuition is more important right now.

  15. We love your home. Its beautiful and homey and looks like lots of love is in that house.
    Our home is an old farm house over 100. It leans to one side.
    I think your home is perfect.
    And to tell the truth (this little puggy took a long time to get house trained too.)

  16. oh, i hate to think of you getting new carpets and gertie still messing things up for you! i hope you can get her trained before that. and home is comfy and cozy. :)

  17. Please don't use spray bottles, you'll only be creating another problem. And making sure they learn to go pottie in area's that are harder to reach to clean.

    The way to train her is to attach her to one of end a leash, and you to another end of the leash. Since you'll be doing both dogs, you'll need to be extra careful so you don't trip. But you want them with you ALL THE TIME they are up. If you need a break, or have to go out, crate them, or section them off in a safe area.

    Then, take them out first thing in the morning, you can take them off the leash, but you want them close by so you can see when they go, and reward them immediately after they do. You do not go inside until they have gone. Then it is back inside. Then two hours later, you take them back outside again, and repeat the process. If they try to go in the house while they are attached to you, you give them a firm no, and take them immediately outside. Once they finish going there, you treat them again. Take note of the time, and if it has only been an hour and twenty minutes till they tried to pee, then an hour and fifteen minutes later, you take them out again.

    They do not get free reign in the house until they get the idea. The crate will be your best friend during this time. You want the treats to be something special to them. Not normal every day treats. Boiled chicken, dehydrated liver, something they LOVE and get at no other time than when they go pottie outside. You also need to develop a schedule. Of when they eat, and one for when they pottie. Keep it the same every day. Be sure to take them out after they eat or drink.

    Pugs are little stinkers. I have 3 of them. One of which was a rescue, given up because she could not be pottie trained. I used this method on her, and within about a week she got it. Now she is my best pottie goer. :) It nearly drove me crazy going through all this, but it worked. Crate training alone does not work for pugs, and is hard on them, because they love to be with their people. That is why I advise using the leash technique.

    Hope this helps! :)

  18. MA, the house looks beautiful, warm and cozy!! And for what it's worth to everyone on here, I can attest to the fact that it is as homey and welcoming as it looks.
    MA,it's been forever and I miss you something terrible! I agree with what anonymous says about potty training. If you need pug sized crates, I have a couple you can borrow and it would give me an excuse to see you.
    I'll catch up more with you later!




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