a night’s tale

One upon a time there was a beautiful dog. She lived in a house with a woman, three children and a bulldog. The bulldog’s name was Ug (I am pretty sure this is true, but I also could have made it up) and the beautiful dog was named Daisy. The woman decided that she didn’t have time for Daisy anymore (but apparently still had time for Ug), so she made plans to get rid of Daisy while she was on vacation. She passed off Daisy to a friend of her father, Terry, who Keith’s mom worked with. We got an email asking if we were interested in a 3 year old golden retriever. Of course we were! Then it got changed to a 5 year old. Of course! No, not a golden retriever, a lab. Sure! (We later were told by a vet that Daisy was closer to 8 than 5, but whatever.)

We went to Terry’s house to meet Daisy and fell in love immediately. We made plans to come back 2 days later to pick her up, giving us time to buy everything we needed. When we picked Daisy up, Terry’s wife cried and we lived happily ever after.

Aside from the first two weeks that we’ve had Daisy, she hasn’t been crated, but rather lives as a wild dog. She is a pretty perfect dog, she doesn’t chew or eat things and she didn’t have an accident for a good 2 years and I think up until this summer she had only had 2-3 total. She also was on an amazing schedule of going out around 9pm and then not again until morning.

All this changed last summer. For about a year now, she has woken me up almost every single night to go outside. Which yes, I would much rather her wake me than have an accident, but wake Keith! Instead, she comes to my side of the bed and either a) makes the most irritating groan/grunt/whine sound known to man b) licks my face if she can reach it c) if all else fails, jumps up on me.

The past few nights she has woken me up literally 45 minutes after I had fallen asleep and I was so annoyed I threatened to leave her outside. I didn’t mean it, Daisy, I swear.

The most irritating part is that I wake up, come downstairs, let her out, hook up her lead…and then she just stands there. Staring off into the night.

Girl, if you wake me up from a dead sleep to pee, you better RUN out into that yard and pee. Instead she’ll stare up into the sky, sniff around a little until I finally growl, “Daisy, go!” Then she’ll run out and pee. Or run out, pee, and then stop dead in her tracks and stare. Which freaks me the hell out. It’s pitch black back there*. Sometimes she will bark and that chills me to the bone. Is it a deer? A white walker? A serial killer?

Other times, she’ll come back and then stare out to the road and her hair will all bristle up, okay that is definitely a serial killer out there.

So then I have the fun game of grabbing her, unhooking her, running inside and locking the door before I get murdered.

And then I have to go upstairs and try to fall back asleep with my heart pounding out of my chest.

I told Keith I was going to train her to pee in the bathtub and he said that was disgusting, but hey, mama needs her beauty sleep.

i'm supposed to do what out here?

i’m supposed to do what out here?

*There is a man installing a motion sensing flood light as I type this. I might still get killed by a white walker, but at least I’ll see it coming!

the great outdoors

The house we ended up buying was the 5th house we looked at.  We started our search by looking at/falling in love with one house (OH), then decided we should look at a few others before we put an offer in. We had a marathon day in the fall when we looked at OH (again) and 3 others. OH did not work out becuase it was way overpriced and the sellers would not budge.

 (Sidenote: it has been on the market for 3+ years and is still for sale. The sellers live in a brand new house next door so they are obviously not hurting for money. It is a ~140 year old home and while I loved that about it, most people probably scoff at the price because they could buy a brand new home for that without all the annoyances a 140 year old home offered.)

OH was on a 3/4 acre completely flat lot and while I appreciated that, it wasn’t until we saw the other 3 that I realized how important a yard was to me. We looked at a beautiful house in Cranberry that had a gorgeous updated kitchen, a huge deck, 2 car garage, huge master bedroom with huge master bath…and a horrible yard. It was tiny, half of it was covered by a tiny patio, the other 1/3 was covered in small trees. It ran into a creek. It was in a beautiful little neighborhood with a park not too far away, but the lack of any useable yard space just made me really sad.

We also saw a house nearby that was on an acre. And then we got there and found that the half acre in the back was nearly vertical.

The reason that I jumped when I saw the listing for our house was because it was listed as 2.58 acres. After talking to the previous owners, we found out it is actually 2.76 acres thanks to some sort of re-zoning.


Everything in pink is ours. More or less. I don’t know how far exactly we go over to the right, just that it includes all/most of those woods. Now all 2.76 acres aren’t exactly useable. The purple lines/arrows indicate a hill. It’s a decently steep hill that goes down to a busy-ish road. But there are enough trees there that you can’t just roll down the hill.  

The best part of our land is that we don’t really have neighbors! From the front yard/windows you can see the house directly across from us and one house to the right. There are two houses to the right of our property but thanks to those trees, you can’t see them! The trees aren’t even currently as full as they are in that aerial view and you still can’t see them. No neighbors behind us or to the left of the property, just roads!

After living in apartments for the past 8 years and being able to hear people on the other side of the walls, I could not be more ecstatic about all of our privacy!

Our future children are going to have it made, and although Daisy isn’t too sure of it right now, she will (hopefully) eventually learn to love it.

 daisy's domain

Keith put up a 100ft run for her, with a 20ft lead. That is maybe 1/3 of the yard? This is standing at the laundry room door looking toward the big road.

I couldn’t be happier. (But I also don’t have to cut the grass.)

our home!

We began looking at houses in the fall, but after a while decided to hold off until the spring so we didn’t have to break the lease on our apartment. Luckily, I tend to obsess over things and since my current obsession is homes, I couldn’t stop looking. At the end of January, in my daily home-browsing, I saw a new listing and it was just a mile from our apartment! 3 bedrooms on 2.5 acres and the price was excellent. I was sort of hesitant in showing Keith because we had agreed we weren’t currently looking, but I knew it was just too good to pass up. Luckily Keith agreed. The house was up for just 6 days before we put in an offer and had it accepted.

We closed yesterday!

our new home!

Pardon the snow, the only picture I currently have is from the snowy home inspection.  But isn’t it just adorable?

The house was built in 1950 by the father of the man who sold it to us. He grew up in the house and then in ~1977 bought the home from his father and raised his family (5 kids!) in it. It’s pretty neat that it was essentially a one family home for the entire 62 years.

While the house is in great shape, there are some minor things we (I) want to do inside (painting painting painting), so I figured I could use this as a place to chronicle turning our house into our home.