Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

The Good, Crazy, & Adorable Life of One Havachon Puppy

The OTHER Big Event

While we’re waiting for something new to report on Daisy (she did finally have a poop after 3 days without one, so we’re happy about that – something only family can appreciate though, I think! 😉 ), I thought I’d tell you why I wasn’t able to blog for the entire month of October. And why we had no Halloween decorations up this year. And no Halloween costume for Daisy (which I’m sure made her happy). Or fall trips. Poo.

Last year's humiliating Halloween skirt. Daisy was mortified!

Last year’s humiliating Halloween skirt. Daisy was mortified!

Well, I was totally consumed by THE MOVE – moving my 90-year-old aunt from her house an hour away from us into an assisted living home in the town next to us. (We’ve been trying to get her to move closer to us for 20-30 years!) She has no one besides us, so the distance was really bad; we couldn’t get up there often. Plus she needs more help with mobility, her house was falling apart (literally), and unscrupulous people were taking advantage of her. It was all so upsetting, especially when I knew she could be living a much better life. And now she is. 🙂

I love antiques, old architecture, and history. So her house, built in 1915 and only having one minor update in the early 1920s to convert gas lighting to electrical, was an endless source of fascination for me. She’s lived there for over 60 years!

It still has the original light fixtures, doorknobs, locks, etc., plus the original wide, beautiful molding strips are still around doorways and along the floors and ceilings.

Look at this old two-stage glass ceiling fixture! Such beautiful craftsmanship.

Look at this old two-stage glass ceiling fixture! Such beautiful craftsmanship.

Metal ceiling fixture with exposed bulbs. No one today would want those bulbs exposed, but still, there's a charm about that old-world styled metal fixture.

Metal ceiling fixture with exposed bulbs. No one today would want those bulbs exposed, but still, there’s a charm about the style of that old-world metal fixture.

Decorative brass doorknobs with backplates....

Decorative brass doorknobs with backplates.

All the floors on the first and second floors are inlaid parquet, which would cost a fortune today and were a major selling point.

Wish I could have transported these to my house!

Wish I could have transported these to my house!

Small bumps protrude from the walls, which are caps over the original gaslight pipes.

One per room, one in the long upstairs hallway - must have been quite dim and hard on the eyes during the gaslight days.

One per room, one in the long upstairs hallway – it must have been quite dim and hard on the eyes during the gaslight years.

The bathroom has the original cast iron claw-foot bathtub and pedestal sink. Closet doors have working locks with keys (!) and heavy glass doorknobs.

Heavy glass doorknobs.

Heavy glass doorknobs.

For heaven’s sake, there were still the original filled fire bombs in the basement surrounding the furnace! You never see those – they’re blown glass globes filled with liquid chemicals and mounted on the ceiling that explode when there’s a fire and help to put the fire out. Still there, still intact!!

The Realtor we hired (who was FANTASTIC and worked a not-so-minor miracle in selling this place) was fascinated when he walked around the house – it was like stepping back in time.

If I could have salvaged the architecture in this house, I would have done it in a second. I know the new owner will just strip everything out and junk it all. What a shame.

It’s rare to see those things still intact, and if the house had been well maintained, it could have been a showplace – a wonderful fusion of yesterday and today.

That’s the positive side. Here’s the flip side of the coin, the side that kept us working there 8-10 hours a day every Saturday and Sunday from the end of September through October – she has never bothered to maintain the house one bit over the past 30 years. Unfortunately she’s just that kind of person – if no one pushes her hard to keep herself or the things around her up, she just lets everything go. My grandmother (her mother) was meticulous and used to constantly push my aunt to maintain herself and help with the house, but she’s been gone for a long time. So as a result, time froze after she passed – carpeting and drapes in this 4-bedroom house were all from the 1960s, I kid you not. It’s not that she couldn’t do anything in all those decades, it’s that she just didn’t want to be bothered. She’s the extreme opposite of my grandmother.

Horrible 50-year-old kelly green wall-to-wall carpeting on the first floor and stairs was torn and tattered as were draperies with orange and green designs. She didn’t care; in fact, she didn’t even seem to notice. Hardwood floors underneath a large area rug in the dining room was many, many shades lighter and brighter than the exposed flooring surrounding the rug. The kitchen still has old metal cabinets and an old sticky linoleum floor. It’s all this and so much more unimaginable filth, broken down furnishings, and accumulations in areas of the house where we never went that shocked us so much and took all month for us to clean up and clear out. We spent every weekend up there working 8-10 hours – I had to wear a surgical mask and use surgical gloves to keep from repeating our first “day of discovery” there, when all that uncleanliness actually affected my lungs and sinuses for 24 hours afterwards.

Still though, the most important thing is that the house has miraculously sold and my aunt is happy in her new surroundings. Not only is the assisted living home she’s in bright and clean, but she gets three beautiful meals a day plus there’s a Happy Hour with hors d’oeuvres, wine, and cocktails. (I think maybe I’ll stop by around then….) She’s no longer isolated and has lots of other people to socialize with, as well as activities, trips, and beautiful scenery around the place. No comparison to the dark, dingy, dirty house in an economically depressed town she was in. It’s like she was reborn. She rarely used to leave her old house except when we drove her down here, so she’s amazed by the huge supermarkets like Wegman’s, the strip malls, and everything else that’s happened in the real world over the past 40 years! Every time I take her out, it’s like watching a child on Christmas. 🙂

I’m still struggling with her paperwork and financial issues and I suspect I will be for a while (nothing was maintained – bills and financials were scattered about in their original envelopes!), but it was definitely all worth it.  🙂

24 Comments »

Daisy’s New Outlook On The World

I’m in the throes of arranging to move my 90-year-old aunt into an assisted living home, and the process is daunting in every way. We’ve been trying to get her to at least move into a smaller place closer to us (she’s AN HOUR AWAY) for the past 30 years – she’s living on her own in a 3-level home with steep stairs AND she has mobility problems – with no luck until now. Finally, after a second-floor pipe ruptured in her 1915 house resulting in costly repairs, she became convinced that the high cost of maintaining an old house isn’t worth the headaches – or the cost at this point in her life. She’s got very little to live on as it is.

That was the turning point that convinced her to move, and it was a blessing in disguise, because she’s become unstable walking and I really wanted her near me as well as in a nice place where there would be people around who could help her. Plus her neighborhood has changed a lot, and she no longer knows anyone there, so she’s become isolated. All together, these and other issues are recipes for disaster and unhappiness.

FINALLY, she agreed to let us bring her down to look at some nice assisted living homes. Her eyes opened WIDE and she fell in love with the places, the people, the friendly aides, the food – it was wonderful! She’ll be catered to for the rest of her life, she’ll have friends aplenty, and she’ll have a sense of purpose. I’m so happy!

The one catch is —– we need to move her by the end of the month. There’s only one apartment open, which is perfect for her, and they’ll only hold it until the end of September, and that’s doing us a favor – normally they only hold them for 1-2 weeks.  SOOOO, I’m arranging everything to make this happen in triple-time: selling her house (which won’t be easy, it’s incredibly rundown), moving her bank accounts, getting her medical assessments done, filling out a TON of forms (seriously, together they look like a book!), moving the things she’ll be taking with her, packing 81 years of stuff and selling what she’s not taking, getting financial Power of Attorney because she no longer wants to handle her own finances, so I’ll be doing that for her…that’s just the beginning. The list is endless and the timing has to be just right. But it’ll be SO worth it in the long run!

All this has created a mess in our house AGAIN – this seems to be a theme for us this year – The Year Of Messes. I’ve been moving boxes of things from her house to mine until we can move them into her new place or sell them at auction in October and November. The boxes have taken over my computer room and part of my living room (I swear they multiply at night!), so I’ve been working in the dining room.

This chaos has been a dream for Daisy, though. She’s got all this new stuff to sniff and investigate, plus she now gets to sit at the dining room table with me while I’m working (yeah, I know, I’m weak; her sweetness and cuteness win me over every time). There’s a double window near the table, and some days have been so cool and beautiful out that I was able to open windows in the house (finally, after that brutal summer! Though two days ago it was 100 degrees and humid again….) and I noticed Daisy trying to sniff the air. So I covered the chair seats with blankets and rearranged things a bit for her. This is now her new favorite spot – on sunny days, the sunlight streams in, so she gets to sit on a chair, sniff the air coming in the window, AND bask in a puddle of sunshine all at the same time – a Havachon dream come true!

Daisy window peek 2

Hey this is great! I may be small, but now I’ve got a higher perspective on the world!

Oh yeah, this is sweet!

Oh yeah, this is sweet!

If we’ve been a bit scarce lately, all this extra work is the reason why. I can’t wait until it’s all done and settled and I can have a normal weekend again!

16 Comments »

Waiting……

Daisy is a true family dog. And she wants the whole family to be together at all times.

We noticed this at first when she was very young and would wait by the door for whoever left to return. She looked pretty sad with her back all hunched, until she finally realized they would eventually come back!

Daisy waiting

A very young Daisy waiting by the garage door. Yes, DD will be back soon, little one!

If one of us takes a nap or sleeps later than the others, this still really bugs Daisy.

If you, as the sleeping beauty, want to keep on sleeping, you better make sure your door is closed – tightly. Because Daisy will push her way in and grumble and whine until you get up just to silence her.

Last December, DD had a really nasty cold and stayed home from work. She slept nice and late, much to Daisy’s dismay:

Daisy at 7 AM.... "Where are you, DD?"

Daisy at 7 AM…. “Where are you, DD?”

Daisy at 8 AM - Seriously, this photo was taken an HOUR later! She hadn't moved a muscle.

Daisy at 8 AM – Seriously, this photo was taken an HOUR later! She hadn’t moved a muscle.

And this is what happened when DH took a rare nap one Sunday afternoon:

Daddy? Why are you napping? When are you coming out to play with me?

Daddy? Why are you napping? When are you coming out to play with me?

Notice a pattern here? 🙂

36 Comments »

Talkin’ Turkey – Oh, The Drama!!

Wow oh wow – this is a real turkey of a summer! LOL

Remember those three little wild turkeys who quickly turned into medium-sized turkeys? They come to our bird feeder every morning now and peck at whatever has landed on the ground.

The original trio that's now The Twosome.

WELL….. last week a family of TWELVE wild turkeys showed up – two parents and TEN little fuzzers!

A few members of the Clan of Twelve with Poppa.

They usually come for dinner and spend at least 20-30 minutes dining on whatever has fallen from the feeder.

Today, both Turkey Clans showed up at the same time. Not good.
I couldn’t get any photos because I was riveted to the action and didn’t want to walk away to get my camera.

The medium-sized turkeys (now only two instead of three; I don’t even want to think about that) approached the food area at the same time as the Clan of Twelve. The Twosome were more than happy to share – not so with the Clan of Twelve. Momma and Poppa ran the Twosome off, flapping their huge wings and making never-before-heard (by me) turkey warning sounds.

Poppa was content to push them ten yards away – but not Momma. She went after them, driving them hither and yon, until there was half an acre between those two usurpers and her brood (now down to only 9 babies, but I don’t want to think about that either. They’ll always be the Clan of Twelve to me.).

Momma (light colored), Poppa, and a few kiddies.

One of the babies actually tried to step in and chase off the Twosome as well! Ah, like mother, like daughter. 🙂

By the time Momma came back to her Clan, Poppa had rounded up his group in a tight little bunch, and they all headed out of the yard. I don’t get it – they’d earned Exclusive Feeding Rights, yet they passed up the food and left.

Apparently the Twosome was hiding behind the huge evergreen in the back corner of the yard, because once the Clan had gone, they came back and reaped the rewards of their patience.

This is like a combination of an Aesop’s Fable and a daytime soap opera: The Days of Our Turkeys? The Turkeys of Our Lives? The Young and The Turkeys? 😀

Needless to say, I had to keep Daisy AWAY from the window during this whole fiasco. But she’s back on guard now. 😉

Poppa and a few Poppettes 😉

16 Comments »

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