Monday, May 2, 2016

When Your Horse is Lame

I spend most of my free time (time not taken up by work, sleep, cooking, shopping, etc) with Ashke, and with J when its the weekend. We ride at the barn during the week and J and I get out on the trails on the weekend. I have held to a four day a week schedule for a couple of years now and this has been the rule of thumb since I brought Ashke home. Except for the past six or seven months. There seems to be a conspiracy to keep me from Ashke, the barn and riding. There have always been times in the past four years when I've put riding on the back burner for other things: T's obligations at school, my mom visiting, Broncos games, but this year has been especially brutal.

The last time I rode was the weekend before Mom flew in for T's birthday. We did a short jaunt on the Teller trail with L, and then a ride at Barr Lake while J fished. I figured I might be able to fit a short ride in one of the weekend days my mom was visiting, but then Ashke wrecked his leg. I might, based on how the wound looks, be able to start riding him this weekend, but that is still up in the air. Until then, I am grounded. At that point, he will have had four weeks without being ridden and based on how he acted yesterday, he might be explosive.

So, how does one go about filling time when not able to ride? Well, part of my time was spent with Mom. And most of her time spent with us was taken up with sewing new curtains for our house. I guess she was tired of our window treatments. J and I have lived in the condo for 16 and a half years. In that time, we have replaced all of the carpet in the house with hardwood, except for the stairwell and hall going upstairs. Eleven or so years ago, we repainted the front room and redid the floor with bamboo (do not ever use bamboo if you have dogs - it is incredibly soft despite advertisement and the dogs can score the wood with their claws). We also repainted the kitchen and put up some backsplash in the kitchen. The original window treatments had failed in the kitchen and upstairs (honeycomb blinds that melted in the UV rays of the sun after about eight years) and was failing in the living room. Our upstairs windows are covered with blackout curtains and then cloth curtains over the top. In the kitchen we had blackout curtains covered with a fleece baby blanket covered with Teddy Bears over the top. (I did not get a before picture of that window. It was special though.) We used the fleece blanket because it was heavy and blocked the cold from coming in the window.

It was not pretty, however and we jumped at the offer of new curtains. J and I picked out material and Mom made the curtains.

The window faces east and it is bright and cheery now.
I don't even miss the Teddy Bears.

The living room was covered with faux wooden blinds (original install) that had seen better days. Lily, our boxer-malinois mix, has pummeled the edges, causing the brittle material to shatter into pieces, while trying to see out. This caused us to cover the outside of the blinds with white sheets, and the inside of the blinds with dog crate parts to try and keep her from shattering them completely to pieces. 

Yes, it was a white trash as it sounds.

Mom made it beautiful again.

We still need to address the floor in the living room and the fireplace (which has a loose front glass panel and needs to be serviced). When we painted the room the fireplace was entirely closed off (you can feel the air blow through the fireplace into the house) with insulation and a faux wall, completely hiding the fireplace. We need to have the fireplace serviced and either fixed or replaced, plus the framing outside the house that hold the insert needs to be insulated and sealed so the air doesn't flow through into the room. (This condo was not well constructed.) Hopefully, we can fix the mantle and the fireplace before next winter.

Due to the horse being laid up, I suggested to J that we paint the dining room, the stairwell and the upstairs wall. We also needed to pull up the old carpet and decide what we wanted to do with the stairs. The stairs are steep and already a menace, so putting hard wood was not really what we wanted to do, but carpeting just the stairs was going to be an issue, so we needed to come up with a working plan for those stairs. J and I aren't getting younger and my mom visits several times a year, so having non-slick stair was important. After much discussion at Lowes, a quick internet search of Amazon, and some consideration, we have a game plan. 

We started Saturday morning by tearing down the wallpaper in the dining room. 

I had completely forgotten we had painted the wall before we had hung the wallpaper.
This wall took four coats of paint to completely cover the green.

This was the bottom stairwell, that I started painting eleven years ago, hated the color and stopped.
We've just never found the time or energy to fix it. The hole in the wall was from an twin boxspring that careened down the stairs at some point.

You can't really tell, but this wall was an off white-greenish looking paint.
Lots of damage due to Lily scratching the walls with her claws. 
Don't ask.

 The wall in the dining room. The color is beige (called sweet sand).

Fresh paint in the hallway and the disgusting carpet that needs addressing this coming weekend.

I didn't get a pic of the stairwell, but it looks so good now. I can't believe we let it go as long as we did without addressing it. Next weekend we are pulling carpet and laying laminate in the hallway, the upper landing and the lower landing. The actual stairs are going to be painted with a patio/flooring paint prior to the landings being laid, then we wait for the stair treads to be delivered from Amazon. We chose stair treads with the bullnose finish in mocha and will match the carpet color to a light brown for the trim. The trim with also be the same color in the dining room, something that will match both the treads and the art work we have in the living room. There are eleven stairs in the stairwell to finish this way and the stairs between our living room and dining room to be finished the same way. 

Then maybe we will have company over again . . .


  1. I'm glad Ashke is getting better, but true, he might be a handful once recovered. I totally understand that "lost" feeling when you aren't going to the barn or spending hours with the horse, but you're making such good use of your "found" time! A fresh coat of paint always brightens things up. And really nice curtains (though I am sad there is no before picture of teddy bear fleece blanket). Those stair options sound interesting, will wait for photos.

    When Major is laid up (random times throughout the years) I've never been quite so productive. I get so antsy that I end up doing a lot of hiking and being outside on trails that I can't do with the horse. I clean tack, organize the trailer, and create craft messes in the kitchen. Now I feel some pressure to do some house projects...

    1. We paid for it in aches and pains yesterday. Peeling away wallpaper and painting is hard work. We are probably going to have to take a week off to do the basement, since we need to pull out all of the carpet, the subfloor and reinstall the subfloor before installing a radiant heat floor. I can't even begin to imagine how freaking sore I'm going to be after that. Luckily, that is some time in the future and not right now.


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