Wednesday, September 30, 2015

House (Part 4) - One Year In

Now that we've been in the house for almost a year, we've gone through all four seasons in it and have learned a lot.  Some things we really appreciate, and other things are super annoying.  This post covers just a few of the seasonal things we've noticed.  
I know that trees are considered a plus on property but I kinda hate my two maple trees.  They make for amazing foliage in the fall and look beautiful!
But you know what happens to all those beautifully colored leaves?  They fall.   And so do a lot of their branches.
The pugs love it though.  Nothing like speeding through crunchy leaves!
Look at cute romping Rosy!
But then look at this.  Look at how many leaves!!!
I just can't.  Just stop with the leaves.
After trying my best to rake up the leaves the first half of fall, I gave up when my lawns were once again coated in a thick layer of leaves and called in my gardeners once the last leaf had fallen.  Totally worth it.

 And then after way too many times of finding huge dead branches in my yard, like this one, I paid a buttload of money to have my two trees trimmed.
My front maple tree is starting to pop up its roots throughout my lawn.  I know that covering them up is no good and that they'll just return, so I'm not feeling the tree love lately.

Speaking of the yard, can we just pause to talk about how much work maintaining a yard is?  After my terrible attempts at mowing, weeding, and mulching, I also gave up on those and called in my gardeners.  Again, so worth it.  I don't have any pictures of when it was really bad, because it was just so bad I didn't want to take any pictures of it.  Some of the weeds were almost as tall as me!  Having grown up in hot and dry southern California, this level of weeds just astounded me.  So the only pics I have to share are of the dead leaves from the fall and winter.  I did eventually clean those up myself.
And then once winter rolls around, we have the joy of snow.  Now I love snow and especially loved getting snow days from work, but I never shoveled a driveway and sidewalks until this past winter.  Man, it sucks.  The only upside is that I use the excuse of having burned up some calories to spend the rest of the day snuggled on the couch with the pugs and eating something yummy.

Oh, and I now have the joy of shoveling a loop in my backyard so that the girls have a walking and pooping path.
You know how it takes time living in a place to fully know it and discover the inconveniences?  Well, one of the things that drives me crazy is the lack of an entryway.  Since I don't have a covered porch or even an awning, that means that when we come in from the rain or snow, we're entering the heart of the house on hardwood floors with wet/muddy shoes/paws.  I laid a lot of towels on the floor during particularly rainy or snowy days.  I am on the lookout for a bigger doormat, but even that won't be enough to cover the trouble spots.
I also miss having my washer and dryer on the main level.  Now to do laundry I have to go up and down two levels of stairs.  While I appreciate the storage space of the basement, I kind of hate/fear my basement.  The girls hate the basement and will cry the entire time I'm down there, which doesn't make me feel any more comfortable in it.
My old house is very drafty in the winter.  I have newish windows but maybe they're not properly sealed/caulked (something I'm hoping to do this year).  This means that we spend most of the winter bundled up
And I never used to be a indoor socks person (I hate having anything on my feet usually), but now I wear socks and house slippers when it's colder.  This means that I've expanded on my pug sock collection, so it's not all bad.
My living room is the worst so I ended up getting a small space heater with a fake fire effect.  Sunny loves it.
Sunny no longer has her old snuggie bed (I wish they still made them!) because she went through a rough adjustment period and at one point was repeatedly peeing on all the dog beds.  I ended up just junking the beds since no amount of washing (even with vinegar and oxy) was stopping her from marking on them.  Sunny had the hardest time adjusting to the new house,  I noticed that in the past few months she's really taken to the house and goes up and down the stairs on her own (I carry her up and down most of the time, but if I go up for a quick errand she often follows after me) and loving all the corners of the house.  So no accidents recently (knock on wood) since she fully embraced the house.

Having a house is a lot of work.  Having an old house is a lot of work.

But enough of the complaining.  Let's focus on the good!

By far, the best part of having the house is having a yard for the pugs.  Even though the yard takes a lot of work (or in my case money thrown at my gardeners), it's so awesome having the open outdoor space for them.  They fully appreciate it.  In fact, my dog walker says that lately when she comes to take them for their walk, Sunny will look at her and then make a beeline for the back door.  She'd rather go to the backyard than her walk!
It was especially awesome experiencing spring for the first time with a yard.  I loved seeing the perennials pop up!  Since we moved in during the fall, I had no clue what to expect when spring rolled around.

Sunny and Rosy loved seeing the new plants and flowers (and then peeing on them).
I especially loved the lilac bushes!  I was able to fill up a vase for a few weeks with my blooms.
Rosy took her "gardening" very seriously.
Spring was definitely amazing in the new house.
Then came summer, which we didn't love as much.  That's when the weeds went bananas and we discovered another perk to old houses - bugs.  We have an ongoing battle with silverfish and spiders.  It could be worse, of course, but I'm majorly bug phobic.  Oh and our neighborhood has terrible, terrible mosquitoes and they all LOVE me and my blood.  My legs are covered in scars from the summer bites.

The girls appreciated having a yard that they could go out in on the particularly hot and humid days instead of going on long walks.  I mean, look at how happy they look!
Seeing these photos reminds me I need to restock on their flea/tick medication.
Sunny and Rosy also have many furry neighbors that they love/hate.  They have lots of frenemies in the neighborhood.
Ooh and let's not forget the short-lived and not very successful pool adventures from the summer. 
You can see me pretending to hold a treat at the top of the above photo.  It worked on Rosy, but Sunny was too distracted by her miserableness at having wet paws.

And while I'm sure Sunny and Rosy miss our old apartment's floor-to-ceiling windows and highrise view, they love having a storm door that they can gaze out of, whether it's to watch me doing yard/house work or to bark at cars.
I also love seeing them peeking at me.
So all in all we've been happy.  There have definitely been lots of ups and downs, but hopefully each year we'll learn and do more.

Sunny and Rosy run this neighborhood.