As should be self-explanatory based on the title of this post, my family moved recently. We went from a little cul-de-sac in a little suburb of town to the country. We are now 15 minutes from church instead of 30-35, which is huge. However, we are also no longer 3 minutes from all our grocery stores and gas stations. Also huge. Dad’s commute to work is the same though, so that’s pretty sweet.
Anyway, we moved from our little ranch that we moved to when I was 8 to this 1925 Craftsman. It’s technically bigger, but the rooms are smaller, if that makes sense. There are more rooms, and because it’s 2-story, the basement is smaller than the ranch’s basement. Also, not finished. And it has a dark room for photos that was never sealed properly and a dungeon. Not actually a dungeon, but it looks like one and we aren’t 100% sure what it was.
We also now have land! Not a ton, but hey, it’s a lot to us. And there are no yippy demon dogs next door. Our neighbors are quite a ways away, and they don’t spend 18 hours a week mowing their yard to avoid psycho wives. It’s beautifully quiet.
Someone who owned this house was brilliant. A courthouse was taken down at some point, and they brought all the detailed woodwork to this house and installed it in our dining room and on our banister. Grandma came into the house and saw nothing else. It’s gorgeous. Actually, all the woodwork is beautiful.
There’s a lot of adjustments to moving to the country. Bugs for instance. So. Many. Bugs. And, I’m not an outdoors person. (Cue that Olsen twin movie, The Challenge, where the one sister starts screaming “I HATE NATURE!”) Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy camping, going on an occasional hike, or even laying in our hammock outside with a book. But when my family asks me to just sit outside in the heat and humidity with the bugs for the “fresh air”… Well, I grew up to be Edmund Pevensie:
Anyway, we now have to make sure our gas tanks can get us further (ahem, Fay) and that we are stocked on all ingredients because running to the store 3 times isn’t really an option any more. The kitchen is smaller because we remodeled the old one to be huge. Well water is new. It smells like sulfur. We got a filtered shower head that helps tremendously. But we have little iron so that’s good news for my crazy, frizzy hair. It would have been orange really quickly.
Also new: bugs. Oh, we had them before. In fact, we had enough mosquitos to populate the whole township because we had a pool and the neighbors behind us had a pond and everyone else had pools. Lots of mosquitos. Here, no mosquitos ’cause fields. But there’s a ton of different kinds of beetles and creepy-crawlies that make my skin fe
el creepy-crawly. No likey bugs. I found a locust in the laundry pile and it vanished and we still haven’t seen it
(3 weeks!). At least most of the bugs are outside. Except that locust… We also have a small mouse problem, which is to be expected because the people we bought this place from were idiots.
Need an explanation on that idiot part? Ok. They filled the basement with particle board (chip board). Every. Wall. Just particle board. No drywall, that would have been easy. Seriously, they must have gotten like the mother load of this stuff for dirt ceap cuz it’s everywhere. And the wife pinned her wet jeans to the walls to dry. Anyone care to venture a guess what happens when you pin wet clothes to wood? That’s right! Mold!!
So, combine the nasty mold-covered cabinets and walls with the fact that they never cleaned and kept their dehumidifier by the litter box. The basement stunk. Removing the cabinets cleared 99% of the smell though. That was nasty. But the main floor bathroom still smells like cat, and we’ve scrubbed this whole house down.
Either this couple or the people before them also believed themselves to be carpenters and electricians. They weren’t. All of the outlets stick out from the wall about 1/4″ on one corner. Reason? There isn’t one. Seriously, our friend is an electrician and he was floored. Also, all the top sockets in the living room are connected to the same dimmer switch. Know what that does? Well, I can tell you what it doesn’t do. It doesn’t let you watch Star Trek. Boldly going where no one has gone before overloads the circuit and turns the TV off. So, we now use only the bottom outlets.
There’s more, but it would take a list that would take about 3973 hours to read to explain it all. The long and short is that despite my nerves about moving, we love the new house, quirks and all, and Dad is proud of his house for the first time….ever. It really is beautiful, though I realize that my description makes it sound less than fabulous, it’s actually kept up quite nicely. And after I went through with a paint brush, it’s much prettier. My brother has his own shed now for his projects and a room that’s not in the basement, so it’s great.
I’m going to be painting until I die.
One other major change has occurred…
So, as I may have mentioned before, I have a dog. A lab-spaniel mix we rescued from the local shelter about 5 years ago. Her name is Georgia (Appreciate this, it’s the only real name you’ll get from me). She’s neurotic. Or at least she was, but I’ll expand on that in a minute. First, let me describe her for you and our situation.
When we adopted Georgia, she was about 8 months old. we had wanted a puppy, and she still was, but we were told she was housebroken, so that would be nice to skip (she wasn’t). Her owner was a Scottish soccer player who played for the local school but had gotten deported, and his friends had found her in the house a couple days later. We went looking for a puppy that someone beat us to, but this ungodly crashing and banging sound made us investigate a different cage.
Georgia’s spaniel blood means her tail doesn’t wag; her butt wags. I’m seriously concerned we need to register her tail as a lethal weapon. So she was all excited, beating her cage into submission with her tail, and we took this scrawny pup home. She had worms, was malnourished (due partially to the worms), bitten up, skin problems, the works. We got her fixed up, brushed out all the dead fur from being sick, and she finally gained weight.
Did I mention the soccer player owner? Yeah? She’s a soccer player. She saw our basketball in the grass, and started nosing it around the yard. She wove it around objects, pushing it with her nose and playing soccer with Aiden. It got to the point where she ran around the yard so much (and knocked us down so many times) that we actually had to take them away from her. She had dug a trench around the perimeter of our backyard by playing ball. I wish I was joking. So, we introduced her to frisbees and discovered she has an obsession problem.
Everything was fine for a while, and we ignored some things we shouldn’t have until hunting season. Aiden and Dad were cleaning their rifles for hunting and Georgia crept in, low to the ground, moving slowly to sniff his hands. And she’s been scared of him ever since. Loves Aiden, thinks he’s been put on this earth to entertain and love her, but was terrified of my dad. Unless he wore his robe, then he was a woman so it didn’t matter.
This confirmed what we had been suspecting for a while. She wasn’t just neglected after the owner was deported; she was abused.
Our dog trainer was stunned that she held a grudge with my dad so long. Labs just aren’t like that naturally. But she was, and piddled if she was cornered for quite some time (darn spaniels).
Hates carrots and ice cubes. Our previous dog could have happily eaten 39 of each a day. Likes to try lemons then freak out when she tastes them.
Plays catch with herself… Seriously, she’ll bounce the ball and catch it. She uses this technique to wake Aiden and his friends when she thinks they need to play after a sleepover. It’s hysterical.
Plays frisbee with herself.
Skateboards across the old deck (not our current one) on the frisbee. You read that right.
Has to put her paw on you while you pet her. Seriously, she flips out if you keep putting it down.
She can jump about 5 feet straight up with no running start. Our picket fence never stood a chance.
Bedtime is 11 at the latest, and she will let you know if you keep her up past it.
If you are outside with her, she will not leave the yard. If you don’t pay attention to Princess Drool (as Aiden calls her) while she plays, she’s gone and you’re chasing her barefoot across the neighborhood. Needs attention.
LOVES Pizza crusts and popcorn. If we don’t give her at least a couple piece of popcorn, our carpet pays the price in drool. And the price is really really wet.
Doesn’t normally snoop for food or trash, but by golly if you have a Peanut Butter Twix, she will find it, and she will eat it.
Hates cameras. If you even point your phone at her, she knows. And runs. It’s like photographing a teenager.
Adores long grass and tall weeds. Overgrown gardens are her favorite thing.
Runs faster than any dog outside a greyhound. Like for real, this dog has got wheels.
Treats puppies at the park like an old lady treats pesky kids on her grass. She will tolerate other dogs, but will not play with them. Georgie no share toys.
So, now you have some background on the neurotic wonder. Here’s the mystery.
She doesn’t leave the yard now. We didn’t even show her the boundaries. She just won’t leave them. Doesn’t care.
She loves Dad. He took 2 weeks off work, and his stress levels must have just plummeted because she adores him now. When he first comes home from work, she’s wary, but I think she smells something from the shop she doesn’t like. Otherwise, he’s marvelous now.
She prefers not to sleep with Aiden anymore. Instead, she sleeps on the stair landing, or in the hallway upstairs. If she is with Aiden, anytime we get up, she barks.
She’s also thin now. I mean, she was getting some serious pudge before, but exercise does wonders for dogs, haha.
She doesn’t try to run herself into the ground anymore. She’ll take breaks without being forced. This is new, people. Before, we had to force her inside, crying and whining and scratching at the door because she was so focused on playing in the snow that it had built up in her paws and frozen there and ripped out, making bloody paw prints. Now, she’ll stop playing ball and just sit in the shade so we can’t throw it anymore.
We got a ball flinger for that gross tennis ball. Get one.
So, apparently, the move was good for all of us. Georgia now has room to run, burning that extra energy instead of allowing it to build up into fear. We don’t have crappy neighbors. Aiden gets to live above ground. And we are now 3 minutes from the Morryces and 15 minutes from church (we’re there like 5 times a week with all the events we do, it needed to happen.)
Moral of the story? If your dog is neurotic, move.
(The featured image is from a couple years ago when she hurt herself. Again. She made a nest on my bed and sulked there, bandages and all. Normally, I’d pick a happier one, but as I said, she hates cameras so rarely lets us photograph her. Also, my computer would only bring up about 4 of my photos of her, so this is what you get.)