Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fuzzy Bunnies and Monkeys

No, not this kind of bunny...

Nor this kind of bunny...

I'm talking about these fuzzy bunnies...

The temperatures plummeted last night, so I opened the stall doors to let the horses decide if they wanted to be in or out. It's going to be 48 degrees tonight and it's snowing up in the mountains, so I'm planning on locking the horses in their stalls tonight for sure. Snow in August. Can you believe it? What a freaky year this has been.

I haltered a horse to ride first thing this morning, but within a couple of minutes the wind started blowing in hard, sudden gusts. With each gust of wind, Bombay pumped himself up bigger and taller. Then the wind blew my neighbor's garbage over, causing a crash, which caused a stampede of my mares, which caused Bombay to flip out, so I promptly returned him to the paddock, knowing I'd be crazy to ride in those conditions.

This evening I went outside just to hang with the horses, and discovered how fuzzy they got after just 24-hours of cold winds. They feel like bunnies. I hugged them, ran my fingers through their fur, and blew raspberries on their noses. Bombay has two crescent-shaped hoof marks on his front legs, so I know that he's been pestering Gabbrielle. Gabbrielle had a couple of bloody cuts on her leg, so Bombay must have fought back. Either that or Lostine intervened to make the kids behave. At least if they are locked in their stalls that will keep them out of trouble during the night.

Both my husband and I took the day off from work. He drove our daughter to the airport for her sophomore year of college. She had to leave early to start her new job as a Community Assistant in the dorms at the university. She worked with me all summer at my place of employment, and is greatly relieved to be done with that job. It was giving her headaches. She thinks I have the worst, most boring, most stressful job on earth. I think she's right. Her help was greatly appreciated by me none-the-less.

Here are some pictures I took of the kids being silly last week. My son sculpted his hair into a funny style that reminds us of a video game character named Clyde in the Army of Two video game. He hung from a tree like a monkey...

Then he slapped a saddle on his sister and went for a horsey back ride...

Yeehaw!

Since the weather was too cruddy for me to do anything with the horses, I wanted to start working on sprucing up our house in an effort to take a few steps toward moving to a new home. I made a list of all the home improvements we need to make to get this house into sellable condition. Then I brainstormed with my husband, and we realized that we need to completely remodel our kitchen. He suggested that we go to The Home Depot to look at cabinets, counter tops and flooring, and drive by a few horse properties along the way.

Of course, our son drove to get more practice under his driver's permit. I was proud of him for driving the speed limit despite all the impatient people speeding past. One of the horse properties was across the street from a horse therapy center that I have always wanted to volunteer at, but have never had the time. If I lived right across the street, that would make it really easy to volunteer. The house was really nice and way out of our price range, but we can dream.

We looked at another house that was also way out of our price range, but it was right up against U.S. Forest Service land, so we wouldn't have to worry about anyone building on that side of us and obstructing the beautiful views. Unfortunately, it didn't have a horse setup, just a fish pond, a chicken coop, and a greenhouse. All in all, the housing opportunities were disappointing. It seems that most houses have the problem of having neighbors too close and having neighbors who don't take care of their property and leave garbage all over the place. It's so strange to see a string of rundown shacks and then an occasional million-dollar mansion interspersed.

We discussed cabinet, counter top, and flooring preferences, and set up an appointment for a couple of guys to come out to take measurements, give recommendations and estimates. Right now we have white cabinets with tile counter tops and a tile floor. Most of the tiles are broken and the paint on the cabinets is peeling off. We are thinking of splurging on maple cabinets with granite counter tops and hardwood floors. It seems everyone now-a-days wants that in a home. What are your preferences for kitchen counter tops and flooring, and why?

19 comments:

Mary Olson said...

I shouldn't even comment on this as my husband and I finished remodeling our kitchen in March and a month later he asked for a divorce. Anyway, we went with wood floors, granite countertops, and left the maple cabinets, although we redid the finish where it had gotten worn away and put all new hardware on. Also put in new lighting and repainted all the walls. It looks great! Wish I could afford to stay.

fernvalley01 said...

I am just starting a kitchen reno !
I am thinking Maple cabinets , ceramic flooring , but I have no clue about countertops ,guess I will have to wait and see.

Breathe said...

Think of resale value only. Will your neighborhood allow you to get the money back if you go granite and maple?

I have Plank flooring (really good fake) and a nice counter - not granite but some super material you can't burn or ruin. It looks fine, works great and doesn't have the price point of granite. It's in keeping with the price range of our home - under 200k.

If you're selling then definitely think of what a house in your price range should have. Definitely remodel, but don't scale it out of proportion with the rest of the house and the neighborhood.

Does that make sense?

Reddunappy said...

Sounds to me like you are on the right track with the kitchen remodle. It will be worth it in the return you will get when the house sells. I like your ideas, got pics?

Katharine Swan said...

I LOVE how quickly they get fuzzy and soft after a cool day or evening! It's like velvet!

photogchic said...

I love granite counter tops...I was recently at an IKEA and they had gorgeous wooden countertops, so now it is a toss up on what I prefer. Do you have an IKEA close?

Paint Girl said...

Snow? Yikes!! That is the last thing I'd like to see in August!
I think your idea for re-modeling the kitchen is a great idea. The kitchen is one of the biggest selling factors in a house. I love granite and the hardwood floors! I think Maple is good, but I get a little confused on the cabinet stuff! I need to remodel my kitchen one of these days, and I am putting granite counter tops in! Not sure on the floor, I go back and forth between hardwood and tile.

Laura said...

Your kids look like they are having fun... I'm sure you miss your daughter already. I'm happy to hear that she is working and going to college - alot of young kids have a hard time deciding what to do with themselves these days...

Too bad that you haven't found any nice properties yet. Getting your current house in order to sell is a good idea - we are working on that ourselves...

Our kitchen has tile and nice cabinets from IKEA of all places... We couldn't afford maple at the time, but I would definitely go for something like that now if I had the option.

Kristen said...

I love granite countertops, they sure do spruce up a kitchen! I just put hardwood floors in my kitchen and I LOVE it!

Anonymous said...

If you have an Ikea store near you they have some really good prices on kitchen cabinets. Also complete kitchens with appliances.

Lulu said...

I've found that if I spend enough time out in the barn, I actually forget what my kitchen is for! Ha ha!!!

KD said...

I will admit that I live in a mobile home that hasn't been mobile for 30 years. Most people don't realize it's a trailer until they come inside and the ceiling is low. The previous owners made lots of improvements, including a 50ft long front porch. We recently had all the carpet in the house pulled up and put down high end vinyl that looks like wood and is even textured to feel like wood. It is so much easier to keep clean and fresh with animals in the house!

We live on 2 acres in the city and they are building up all around us. Only about a 1/2 mile from us is a really rough neighborhood and there are shootings in this town all the time. It's getting ridiculous! Hubby and I would like to move out further, but I don't think we could sell our place for enough to get want we want. Our property is beautiful, but the home actually has no value even though it's in great shape.

HorseOfCourse said...

I am amazed at the temperature differences you have in the same season, very different from here! Still a lower temperature is more comfortable to ride in...
Good luck with the kitchen plans!

lytha said...

NM, I just have to comment on one of your comments recently. I feel exactly the same way about bicyclists in the road. Out here as well as back home, they block traffic, refusing to use the shoulder, and expect us to risk our lives in trying to pass into oncoming traffic. And I am mostly worried I will hit a bike, so worried, I cannot even drive the speed limit out here on the windy country roads, cuz if there is a biker in the road ahead, I will probably kill him. The speed limit is 100 out here. How can they even allow bikes on these roads? I hate that they make me worry so much. And when I used to drive a horse trailer, I would not risk passing on curvy roads, so I was subjected to bike speed for great lengths of time, along with everyone behind me.

My man and I were listening to Sean Hannity while we were in America (and incidentally we both decided he has become a little too bigheaded lately, *sigh*), and a biker called Sean on his show. Sean did not even let the biker get to his point. He just said, "Are you one of those bikers that block traffic and make us pass at great risk? Don't be surprised when you get killed!"

°lytha

Jan's Place USA and Mt Forest Pictures said...

boy.. you are right, you cant go wrong with new cabinets and granite. We did wood floors, as there were already some wood floors in the hallway and entry, so it blended nicely.

You know, you didn't see your horse property yet, because you are not ready to buy yet, when you are, it will be there!

Katharine Swan said...

Lytha, I live in Denver, where cycling is pretty popular. There was recently an article about cyclists and motorists fighting over the road in Boulder (which is even more cyclist-friendly than Denver). Unfortunately, it seems to me that it's a few on each side that ruin it for everyone: the cyclists that won't move over, but also the motorists that endanger cyclists by refusing to share the road.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

And you said my kids look like a lot of un, NM! Look at your silly kids. We'd probably have so much fun if we all got together.
Your son reminds me of a young Jon Cusack. What a handsome fella. And you must be so proud of your daughter. The world is her oyster. :)

Sounds like Nevada hasn't heard about the recesssion yet, in terms of housing costs. Why do you think houses are still so pricey in your area?

There are still many places in NM where you can buy land for under $70,000 and just build your own home. And not just an acre either. Usually 10 acres or more.

Because we live in the southwest, maple cabinets and granite don't seem to be the norm here. Knotty pine and tile seem to be more popular. And Talavera tiles or natural brick floors are more popular.

I don't like granite myself. It seems so cold. I do like solid surfaces, though. We have tiles in all our bathrooms and kitchen and I'd prefer one of those simulated granite style countertops...in a lighter color (black is so modern and makes the room seem so small, but many people use it and seem to like it).
I prefer tile floors in kitchens and bathrooms because of the way they get damaged from dropping cans and sharp objects as well as the moisture problems, too. I like hardwood in living areas with throw rugs instead (makes for easier clean up, too).

I hope your kitchen remodeling works out for you soon.
~Lisa

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Lisa - That's a lot of good information. New Mexico is so unique. I suspect housing prices are still high in Nevada, because we still have so many Californians moving here. They can get away from the State income tax and the even higher housing prices in California. Not to mention being able to escape crime, overcrowding, traffic, and pollution. Though, of course, as more and more people move here, they bring those problems with them.

If we got together, you know I would force your sons to ride the llamas to keep me entertained. ;)

Katharine Swan said...

I don't think the housing prices in NM's area have anything to do with the recession, actually -- some areas just always have more valuable real estate than others. The prices NM described -- million dollar homes, I mean -- makes me think her area is probably a lot like Denver. We've got more than our share of half-million and million dollar neighborhoods too. Real estate in Denver is expensive, but it's not because we're not in a recession -- real estate just tends to be more valuable here because of the location and the demand. Sounds like NM's area is the same way.