Saturday, February 26, 2011

Crocheted Afghan

During the times I am sitting around the house doing nothing I thought I should be a little more productive. So I went to the Paton's yarn web site ( and looked up some patterns. The patterns are free to members and membership is free too.

I wanted to do something simple and chose this "Popcorn And Lace Afghan". I ended up using about twice the amount of yarn that's called for in the pattern, but then again I never check the tension and I just make it until it's as long as I want it to be.

You can see I made it big enough to cover the length of the sofa. Notice the lump on the top. That's Ollie. I wanted a picture of the afghan and spread it out over top of her. It didn't bother her at all.
Here you can see a little more of the detail.
Now that that's done I guess I'll have to find another pattern to do.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dirty Dogs = Dirty Tub

I haven't given the dogs a proper soapy sudsy bath since we've been here. We have hosed the mud off their legs and rubbed them with a towel but that's just not the same. I decided to give them a real bath after we got back from our walk at the BLM's North Bank Ranch.

I went with the hardest to wash first, which was Gus. It was really bad. I cleaned it out before I gave Clyde his bath. To be honest by the time I finished with Clyde my back was kind of sore and I decided to clean the tub later.

That's when I realized I could take a picture and at least I'd have a little bit of blog fodder for those in my family that start writing nasty emails when I haven't posted for more than two or three days! (Just kidding!)

So here is the tub after washing Clyde. I realize it's a little hard to see but in real life it's pretty bad.
Now imagine it about three times worse than this. That's what it looked like with Gus, the Golden Retriever.
I used my scrubbie on them and consequently it's become a "dogs only" scrubbie.

In the house search front we have a meeting tomorrow morning with our realtor. I'm beginning to reevaluate my wants list. I'm thinking maybe I won't get the property I want and I'll just have to make do with something smaller, acreage wise. We'll see what she has to say tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


A few weeks ago we took a little drive to the coast and saw this decidedly unique bus in the parking lot at the Winchester Bay docks. Somebody took a VW van and stuck it on top of an old school bus and turned it into a motor home.

Notice the smoke stack by the driver's side of the van.
Is it a vanbushome or maybe even The Magic Bus?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day After Valentine's

Hope you all had a nice Valentine's Day.

Not much is going on right now besides the fact that the dogs have cost us a lot of money this last month and a half.

First off was when Chester bloated on New Year's Eve and had to go to the emergency vet after hours. He spent the weekend there and came home on Monday. Then he bloated again a week ago, again on the weekend necessitating a visit to the emergency vet. As you probably know he didn't make it that time.

Then the next Monday we had to bring Gus in because his ears got dirty. I had noticed it the week earlier and was cleaning them every other day, but it was too much and they ended up getting infected. Plus while he was in we decided to go ahead and start him on a heart worm preventative. That requires a blood test so that was added on top of the other medications he had to take. His ears are good now but he still has to finish his antiobiotics.

Clyde went in on the 10th with the idea that we would have him take the blood test and get him started on the heart worm stuff too. As it turned out he was due for his shots the following week (this week). I figured we may as well go ahead and do it then so I wouldn't have to make yet another trip to the vet. I did tell the doctor that he reacted badly to his puppy shots so we always just did a titer test to make sure he was still covered for those (not including rabies). He said studies have shown that dogs that react to the DHLPP are actually reacting to the L portion. The L is for leptovirus which is not uncommon in more rural areas. He said he could give Clyde a steroid shot to help counter act any reaction. I decided to go ahead and try it.

We got home and about 20 minutes later he started shaking his head and rubbing his face on the floor. I could see his face was starting to swell up and he was developing hives in a few spots on his body. I called the office and said I was going to bring him back in (I didn't have any Benedryl at home). The doctor was waiting for us and gave Clyde an injectable Benedryl shot.

We'd been home for several hours when it became apparent that the Benedryl was wearing off. He started shaking his head again and was showing signs of the other symptoms too. I ran to the store to get some Benedryl liquid capsules and shoved a few down his throat. So of course two minutes later he threw up. By this time the office had been closed for about an hour so that meant another emergency call. Back to the office, another shot or two (my husband took him in this time) and back home. Around 9:30 pm the shots must have started wearing off again so I kept my fingers crossed as I shoved a couple more Benedryl down his throat. This time they stayed down and did the trick. The next morning all was well, even the facial/lip swelling was gone. I think we'll stick with the titer tests from now on.

In the house news my husband and I decided to let the Hogan Road house go. Much as we liked the house and the property it was a nightmare trying to work with that agent. I think much of the problem was that the owner is pretty much giving the agent carte blanche to do what he wants. I suspect they are partners in the logging aspect and the agent's focus is definately not on selling the house right now.

There were two main problems for us. One was that the owner was insisting on carrying the paper. Our realtor said that typically means the rate on owner carried loans are one percent over what a bank would charge. Plus we'd have to come up with a large down payment. In this case originally they wanted $100K, which I told our realtor we couldn't do. Then she asked if we could do $50K. We could, but we weren't happy about that. We only wanted to pay 10% down so we'd have more cash to do the remodeling, and possibly buy a tractor with any leftover.

The second issue was the agent refused to move the easement. He kept insisting that the place where the other gate was along the road was too steep and would cost too much. In my interpretation that means they would have to ask less for that part of the property to make it more attractive so a buyer could put a road in. I can't help wondering why someone would put a gate in if it were not usable? I know for a fact that a gate costs more than a fence. So for us the deal killer was the easement issue. Who knows what kind of neighbor we might have gotten? They would be using that easement that runs through the middle of our property. What if they had tons of kids riding quads up and down? Would we have any say about that? After all, it would be an "easement", they would be legally allowed to use that road. Sorry, but NO!

Our realtor was very understanding and she actually felt the same way. The owner's agent was difficult to work with and they were in the same realty office! She told me not to get discouraged because that means something better will come along.

So that's it for now.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

See You At The Rainbow Bridge

Chester, our Chesapeake Bay Retriever, passed away early Sunday. Without going into a lot of painful details, basically he bloated again and didn't make it through the night. The vet said she had left him at 12:30 Sunday morning and when she returned at around 8:30am he was gone. She assured me he had not been in any pain.

We'll see you later, buddy!

December 17, 1998 to February 6, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

Closer Look, Part Four

I'm starting to feel like a hawker on an infomercial. But wait...there's still more!!!

I think this will be the final post of this series. For now anyway.

Here is one more look at the garage section.
A toilet/sink bathroom inside the garage.
There's a basement! You get to it from the garage. The stairs are L shaped.
Here's from the bottom of the L.
And here's looking back at the bottom of the L. Obviously not a full size basement but still lots of space for extra storage, canned cellar!
For some reason I forgot to take pictures of the other room in the garage. It is also a storage and/or work room. It is the same size and sits directly above the basement. There were just a couple of shelves in there which leads me to believe it was more of a work room.

But wait...there's more!!!

Remember there's an upstairs over the garage? These stairs (again in the L shape) lead to that upstairs area.
This is a nice sized living area with that bar. There is a small sink back there.
Theee are two bedrooms off the wall next to the bar area.
Closer look at the bar area. That cupboard to the right is actually a giant storage area over the stairs. You can literally comfortably climb inside there.
Another look at the "living" room.
I can see a pool table, fussball game, pinball machine, or whatever up here! Or just a simple living room for a guest apartment, so long as they don't mind going to the bathroom in the garage and taking a cat bath out of the sink!

After the second look at the house my husband and I took a stroll on the property without either of the agents. This is the pond that will be going to the split off side. It's about a third of an acre. All the green trees you see here will be logged.
Heading back to "our" side.
These next two are from the top of a knoll looking towards the main road.

And that is it.

The house has a few issues that need addressing, but I'd just as soon leave everything as is so we can make the corrections as we prefer. Then there is a huge issue of an easement the owner's agent was telling us about. He wants to make a continuation of the logging road that runs along the top fence line, through the middle of the 85 acres towards the bottom 200 acres. This is for the logging that will be done on that property as well as to get into that property once the logging is done and that property is sold again.

I've asked our agent if it would be possible to make a contingency that the easement could be used for the logging and showing of the property while it is for sale. But then once that property sells it would be encumbent upon the new owner to build his own road from the street and the easement would be closed. I don't think that's unreasonable at all. That way the current owner doesn't have to make what they are calling an expensive road in, and the new owner would have to pay for it.

In one way I just don't get it because they are saying the area where the other gate is off the road is too steep for the logging trucks and it would cost much too much to build a road in for them. Yet they are going to build this long road all the way around to get in. Wouldn't it be just about the same to build a much shorter road even if they did have to build it up a bit more to fill in? Well, I'm not an engineer, so what do I know?

Another frustration for us is the other agent is so casual about the whole thing. The owner, who lives out of the area, has given the agent full rein to deal with the property as he wants. You can imagine we would like to get negotiations started yet the agent is being hard to get a hold of and he's very wishy washy on final plans. Hey, he's the one who told our realtor about his client's plan to split and sell that property in the first place.

We still drive around looking and waiting for anything new to come up on the market. And if our realtor hears about something not quite on the market yet she'll let us know so we can do a drive by to see if it's something we want to pursue.

Meanwhile we wait...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Closer Look, Part Three

Continuing from yesterday...

This is the masterbedroom. It is on the opposite end of the house on the front. The sliding door leads out to the front deck and you can probably see a part of a hot tub in the deck. We didn't look at it so I have no idea what kind of condition it is in.
Here's a look from inside the bedroom. Directly to my right and behind me is the sliding door (just so you can get a perspective of where the photo is taken from). The bedroom entrance door is to the left, there's a full length mirror on the wall, and the entry to the closets and bathroom are right next to that.
The rather large closet.
We've never had a closet this big before!
This is from the closet looking into the master bathroom.
The master bath toilet! There is only one sink, but I could live with that. For a while.
Now here's that crazy shower I previously mentioned! It looks like there are two shower heads, one built in and one hand held, as well as a spout. This would work really well for washing the dogs!
Notice the floor to ceiling windows!
Here's from outside looking in.
I guess you could put potted ferns and stuff all in the outer edge where the rocks are.
For some reason this shower just totally intrigues me!
This is the view from inside the master bedroom looking into the hall. There are a few dry rot issues we noticed in the hall (notice at the bottom of the corner).
So that's it for the back part of the house. More tomorrow!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Closer Look, Part Two

I finally figured out how to use the scanner with my laptop, and I was able to download the plat maps. Remember you can click on the image to enlarge.

This is the aerial showing the boundaries of the property (in red) and the proposed division through the top third of the property. The yellow line that goes from almost corner to corner is the road.
Here is the black and white map.
Now for more of the house. This is the living room from the door going into the garage. The big windows are the front of the house. Behind the fireplace is the front door.
A closer look at the fireplace. The wood burning stove is right next to it. Very odd. I think if we get this place we will resurface the fireplace (which wasn't done very well to begin with) and put in a nice Lopi insert. I hate that we left ours in the old house. Also this particular picture shows the truest color of the carpet. Lovely, eh?
The kitchen from the dining area.
Kitchen from next to the wood burning stove. I've been doing lots of remodeling in my head!
The front door entry. Notice that lamp I mentioned before. Those shelves are not built in and could be removed.
Looking down the hall from between the kitchen and entry, basically from next to the wood stove. The doors on the left are to a linen closet. The door straight ahead to the right is the master bedroom. See that weird little thing in the corner? I think it might just be for circulating air. The agent said the former owner was a heavy smoker. The door on the left is to the washer and dryer. There is a bedroom around the corner to the right. Around the corner to the left (basically make a u-turn there) is another bedroom and straight left is the main bathroom.
The main bathroom. I think the tile around the tub is just a plastic surround. The wall on the right separates the tub from the toilet.
The toilet.
Tomorrow you get to see the master bedroom and that crazy shower!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Closer Look, Part One

Yesterday we went to take a closer look at the property we are really interested in. This is the one that was originally listed at $595,000 and it had 285 acres, a house, feeder barn, pond, and according to the flyer "850 mbf".

I didn't know what that meant when I first saw the property on line. It didn't matter anyway since it was well over our price point.

I have since learned that it means 850 million board feet of timber. The person that bought it is the owner of a private timber company and he bought it specifically to log it. His plan is to clear cut the southern part, selective cut near the house. The property was going to be split so the house, on the northern part, would have 85 acres. After logging it was to be sold.

Our realtor found out about the planned split and that's how we got started with this place. When we first went out to see it the power was turned off and we did a quick tour of the house. We liked what we saw at that time.

So now that escrow has closed with the timber company owner we were able to go out to the house again with his agent (and ours) and take a closer look. I took about 60 pictures and picked out about 45 to post so this look will be spread out over four days. (Remember you can click on each picture to enlarge.)

The driveway entrance from the street.
Halfway into the driveway looking towards the house. This is a long open sided shed. It could be covered parking for extra vehicles or converted to a barn or big storage shed.
Another view of the car port. The house is in the background.
These are two small sheds. You can see them in the above photo on the right, below the car port. The one on the right is set up to possibly be a greenhouse of sorts.
This is the view looking back from the end of the carport to the street. The loggers were already in action and you can see the beginning of a road they are putting in. In starts right at the gate and goes up and around to the top fence.
The driveway comes in and makes a loop around the car port. This is the house from the bottom part of the loop. The front door is in the middle on the deck.
And here's the house from the top of the loop. This is actually the back of the house.
Here's a better look at this part of the back of the house. The slider goes into the dining area. The window next to it is where the main sink is. You can see here the garage door is open and the little door next to it also goes into the garage.
The house from the "back yard area".
And just panning a bit to the right is the car port.
The front door.
The view from the front door. The oaks will still be there, but the green trees in the far background will be gone. The former owner liked to target shoot as you can see his targets set up in the front.
More tomorrow.