Time for Rehab

Since moving to Virginia from Maryland in October, our little house in West Virginia has been a bit neglected.

Hubby's Dereliction Pics from Last Weekend

When Hubby popped out there last weekend to check for storm damage (we had none), he was not happy with what he saw. I mean, he was thrilled there was no storm damage, but not-so-thrilled at the general state of affairs.

Cobwebs. A bird’s nest. More cobwebs. A moss- and lichen-covered back patio. Still more cobwebs. Weeds.

And that was just the outside. The inside was dusty. The floor still had muddy dog footprints from our last visit (whenever that was).

After seeing the pictures, I knew what he meant. It was sad. Our little house in the woods, the one we’d lovingly built with the help of family and friends, looking so, so, unloved.

We both agreed something had to be done, we just didn’t know when. After all, this is summertime. We’ve got home projects, travel plans, motorcycles just itching to be ridden…

Of course, we’ve also got heat. To the extreme.

So, rather than putz around the VA house all weekend, or sweat buckets riding the bikes, we decided to don our old laborer hats. The girls were beyond excited. We had the blue bag packed and ready. They all know what that means.

The WV Place is Meg’s favorite place in the whole world. K really, really likes it, too. Belle likes it, but her top priority is always hanging with her people. When I’m willing to go outside, she’s in “I love this place” mode.

Bright and early on Saturday morning, we loaded the truck and off to West Virginia we went.

It felt good to be going back there. I’ve missed the place.

We got there around 8:30, I think. And already temperatures — in the shade! — were approaching 90 degrees. Ugh.

There weren’t nearly as many spiders and/or spider webs on the inside as one would have feared. When we built the place, Hubby sealed it up pretty tight. They do still get in on occasion, and there are quite a few in the garage, but after all of that inactivity I was thinking there would be more.

It’s hard to see with the lighting in that last picture, but there were spider webs all over the outside of the kitchen window. There were bits of mud still stuck to the frame from the bird’s nest Hubby knocked down last week. It even looked depressing from the inside.

Leaf-strewn Front Porch


Let the Clean-up Begin

While Hubby got right to work, I had to poke around a bit. I wanted to see what had changed since our last visit. See what, if any, critters had moved in. Plus, I love watching the girls in their glory.

That snakeskin shed was the first evidence of critters that had been around in our absence. I didn’t venture far into the woods at all. This was only about 20 feet from the house. Judging by the looks of that skin, it was a pretty big snake.

It’s sort of funny, the thought of encountering snakes doesn’t keep me out of the woods. It’s worrying about ticks. I HATE ticks. Snakes I can handle. I am always, ALWAYS very careful to watch where I walk. And I would never put my hand on a tree, grab a downed limb, turn over a rock, etc., without looking closely first.

The porch columns needed painting. They didn’t look as bad as they do in that picture , which is after Hubby power-washed the dirt and loose paint away. But they were in need of a fresh coat of paint.

We had a plan. Hubby was going to power wash the front porch area and then I’d do the back while he painted. We forgot to factor in time needed for the wood to dry. So he cleaned the back wall and miscellaneous areas around the patio while waiting. And I got to work cleaning the inside of the house.


Meg LOVES the West Virginia Place


I have no clue what you call that green stuff that gets all over patios and sidewalks. Moss? Algae? Lichen? Green scum?

Whatever you call it, there was lots of it. And Hubby had cleaned the patio last year. The way it looks in the next image, you’d think we never cleaned the thing. That’s what lots of shade will do…


In the next shot, you can very clearly see the difference.

One of the things I did was wash the covers for all of the dog beds (three in the house, and two in the truck) which get rather stinky. Since I was cleaning the floors, too, I piled the beds in an out-of-the-way corner.

It didn’t take Belle long at all to discover the stack. She’d rather be inside with Mama where it was cool than outside stirring up trouble with K.

See that smile on K’s face? She was quite proud of her trophy. Which,┬álet me tell you, stunk to high Heaven. Really.

I think that shot was taken after lunch. Hubby had resumed working and the girls were just milling about. Shortly after that, Meg went off to make her rounds of the neighborhood. When she came back, she was exhausted.

Even though I was ready to put the cover back on her bed, I didn’t have the heart to make her move. She just looked so comfortable. And pooped out.

Later, I walked down the hill (driveway) with K and Belle.

K had been outside ALL DAY. She’d pop in every now and then to make sure were still there, then off she’d go again. She was in our yard, most of the time within sight, but she was hunting. For K, that’s the equivalent of doggie heaven.

Hunter #1

Belle likes to hunt, too, but not nearly as much as K.

Hunter #2

Late afternoon and K still had tons of hunting energy left.

The Two Amigos


Much-improved Back Patio

I took the next picture around 5:00 PM. That thermometer is in the shade. It’s just over 100 degrees F (about 38 degrees C).

See the Difference?


Captive Audience

By the next day, you could really tell how much better the place looked. Inside and out. Although I didn’t take many indoor pics for some reason…

K, Still Hunting, But Now with a Partner


Looking MUCH Better


Almost Like a New House Again



Cute Little Cottage Once Again


Yes, we spent the weekend working. But it was a labor of love.

Now we just have to make time to visit again. For fun.

7 Replies to “Time for Rehab”

  1. Hey! Maybe since it’s all cleaned up TJ and I can make it out there with the kids before summer is over!

  2. loved today’s post especially the pictures of all the girls. Mike is a real trooper working in the heat bet he got some brownie points

  3. It’s pretty cool how you really can see the “smiles” on the dogs’ faces when they’re in WV.

    Also: I do NOT miss that heat at all. What’s this about the whole country experiencing a heat wave? Not in San Diego. It hasn’t gotten above, oh, I’d say about 73 or so.

  4. Amazing what a little paint and elbow grease will do. Okay, probably a lot of elbow grease in that heat.

    Ever want to hear me squeal like a school girl, put a snake in my path. They freak me out.

    Loved all the pictures of the pooches. They look so happy, and tired, lol.

  5. Brandy, it’s amazing how few snakes we actually see there. Lots of people are scared of them. The only ones that really freak me out are the poisonous ones. I’ve never seen a rattlesnake in WV (they are there), but have seen a copperhead. Maybe that’s because we don’t have any rocks on our land? Not sure, but I’m glad. The dogs really do LOVE visiting the WV Place.

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