Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pets Destroy... I mean... Make a House a Home

“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.”
Jean Cocteau

As my furry buddies are getting older, I find myself appreciating them more every day and valuing the limited time we have together.  They really are the soul of my home.  Anyone who has pets knows that there is a fair amount of extra cleaning and damage because of our furry friends.  I see it as the price I pay for their love and devotion.  I've had antique and new furniture scratched and pretty much ruined.  The little darling you see in the photo below once ruined the top of an antique sideboard.  Poor sideboard went over a hundred years in great condition until it ran into a tiny cat.  Can't forget the UTI's and the damage that can be done to your beautiful carpets!  At the end of the day, these are just things.  You can't stay too upset at the little ones when they look up at you with their sweet little faces.

Little Princess Pee-Pee - furniture and carpet wrecker. Always innocent when she's asleep.


I haven't had too much luck with the clear plastic strips that are supposed to attach to your furniture to prevent scratching.  Apparently, they do not stick to Scotchguard and have fallen right off.  The sprays haven't worked for me either.  Best bet is to train them to scratch a post or cardboard floor-type scratching pad.  Rub catnip on the post and sprinkle it into the floor scratching pad.  They love it!  I have both kinds for them to scratch and they use them both.  My sweet Clarence knows when he scratches his scratching pad that he gets lots of love and praise.  He will run to it and scratch if he thinks he's done something wrong.  It's like he's saying "See Mom, i'm a good boy!"

UTI's and soiling of carpets:

If your sweet little friend starts having accidents on your carpets, they may have a UTI.  Best to take them in to the Vet as soon as possible and get it treated.  The best treatment i've found for pet pee-pee on carpets is Nature's Miracle.  You want to make sure you keep the carpet wet after it is treated.  Put a damp clean white towel or white paper towels over the spot you are treating to make sure that the treatment stays wet enough to reach down into the mat or the stain will come back through again.  It can take several treatments so be patient.  If you are treating a throw carpet or an area rug, my experience to keep it from happening again has been to treat the stain and remove it from the room and put it away until your little friend's infection is gone.  Cats (and dogs from what I understand) have a tendency to return to the same spot once it is marked.  It is especially important to keep any other animals out of the area until it is thoroughly treated so they don't start marking as well!  What a mess that would be!

Oh... and make sure those kitty boxes are very clean.  Some picky cats, like the Princess I have, will become very annoyed if the box is not to their high standards and will punish you by peeing on something of yours!  They won't do it when you are around so be prepared to find a surprise and just hope it's not when your mother-in-law is coming for a visit (or maybe you want to unleash your little Princess on your Monster-in-law or unwelcomed guest's luggage.  It could keep them from visiting again for awhile).

Hair, hair everywhere

A good vacuum is a must with pets.  I've had several.  I've tried the Dyson, Oreck and many other higher and lower end vacuums.  My favorite is the Oreck.  It's lightweight and still manages to get up a lot of hair and brush up the pile on the carpet.  Only thing I don't like about it is that it doesn't have onboard tools.  I'm still trying to find a great hand-held vacuum with all the tools I need.  Right now I have a handheld that is just too heavy for me to carry for any length of time. 

I use the handheld vacuum and large rolls of sticky tape to get pet hair off of furniture.  The best tool I have found to get between the pillows and in the backs of chairs and sofas is the FlyLady.Net "Rubba Scrubba."  It is a very inexpensive little rubber tool with teeth that seems to grab the hair and won't damage the fabric on your furniture.

Please feel free to comment and share your experiences with your sweet furry friends and any tips you have for saving your carpets and furniture!  Lord knows I could use all the help I can get keeping up with these little guys.

My little loves napping together
"I simply can't resist a cat, particularly a purring one. They are the cleanest, cunningest, and most intelligent things I know, outside of the girl you love, of course."
- quoted in Abroad with Mark Twain and Eugene Field, Fisher
Mark Twain's cats "Wide Awake"
photo by Elmira photographer
Elisha M. VanAken, 1887

[Photos from the Dave Thomson collection]

Thankfully Clarence knows how to use his scratching post.  Yay Clarence!  Right now he's just taking a little break.

Taking a little cat nap!  I'm such a good boy!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New Walkway Project - a perfect way to ruin a long holiday weekend

This Memorial Day weekend the Hubby and I are going to start our walkway project.  We've already had the paving company that worked on our driveway, rip out the old asphalt walkways and prep the base.  We ordered Techo-Bloc in shale gray from our local stone dealer which is being delivered this week (just in time to ruin our long weekend).  This is not an inexpensive project but we are saving more than half by attempting the labor ourselves.  The cost for the Techo-Bloc was $4.51 a sq. ft. and we also had to order polymer sand, concrete dust, side caps and spikes.  Total in materials will run about $1,600 to do 255 sq ft of walkway = $6.28 per sq. ft. 

The photo above shows the pavers we ordered from Techo-Bloc and look we are hoping to achieve.  Fingers crossed!!

Before picture of our asphalt walkways.
After the asphalt was removed

The walks are prepped and ready to start our project. 
Wish us luck!  We'll be posting pictures of our progress, trials and tribulations!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Day one

Day one...  Looking forward to having lots of fun posting projects from my 1880's Victorian Home and various projects throughout New England.  Hoping for feedback and inspiration from others who love restoring and decorating old homes.  These are a couple of photos from my completed dining room.  I'll be getting into the details about this room later.