Planning — Some Fun Stuff

August 25, 2010

Budget! How much of what I want to do can I do before the townhouse is sold?  My sons swear that I have a DNA strand (that I passed on) which forces me to make over a house — any house.  So, the new house is now squarely in my sights.  The fencing must be completed before we move in, and the drywall re-do and flooring must be accomplished before we move in.  I’m replacing the sliding glass door to the patio with a French door (that’s a lark — not necessary, but I love the look).  All the window coverings must go.  They are original and in really bad shape.  I don’t know what I’ll replace them with and probably won’t decide until the drywall and flooring are done.  I need to get back down there and take room by room photos before any construction/make-over begins.

The back 2/3 of the acre must be scraped — it’s just weeds and discarded “stuff”.  There is one decent tree near the house that will stay, but everything else goes into a dump truck and away.  (This must occur before the fencing is completed so we don’t damage the fencing).  New Mexico is famous for its sand storms, so I can’t leave the land bare.  I turned to my search engine (I use Dogpile) and found native wildflower and grass seed.  In October, I’ll have a tractor come through and till the back-40, then blanket it with about $600 worth of seeds.  The dogs and I will then demonstrate the Welsh version of a rain dance so the seeds take hold.  Hopefully, from next spring into the late fall — and forever after, the back part of the property will be blanketed with native wildflowers and grasses.

Once the townhouse closes, I will build a 2+ car garage.  It will be extra long so that in the back 12′ I can have a walk way and four small 6′ x 6′ indoor homes for the dogs, each extending into a 6′ x 10′ covered outdoor run.  I’m going to use the rock base, gravel layer, sand layer, paver top method.  Although the baddogs are house dogs, there are times (like last week when I was moving the office) that having runs in which they could spend a day would have saved us all a great deal of grief and money.  The garage/runs will be on the side of the house next to the vacant acre.  I’m going to take an option on that acre.  Perhaps I can prevent anyone from ever living on that side.  Behind the house is ranchland — so no one will be living there, and on the north side, the neighbor has placed his home nearer the main road than my property (that gives me shivers — “my property”).  We should not be annoying or disturbing anyone when the plan comes together.

The other project I’m hoping to fit into the budget is to cover the back patio and surround the patio and some of the yard with a privacy fence.  That will have landscaping, a fountain, and be the place to spend evenings watching spectacular New Mexico sunsets.  I’m hoping some of you will come enjoy them with me from time to time.


  1. Amy says:

    This all sounds awesome Penni! Congrats on your new home and I’m hoping the timing on everything works out as you are hoping it does! The dogs will have a ball in their new digs too I’m sure. The decorating will be lots of fun too, I’m sure it will be a fabulous job!

  2. C-Myste says:

    RV parking?

    Just in case you were to have visitors with a larger vehicle in tow . . .

  3. Sharrie Brockhaus says:

    Your plans sound very ambitious and awesome. It should be a great place to live. I understand the “shivers”. Our home now is the first place I have ever lived where I feel like that about the land. I think the dogs feel the same way since they love to walk on the trail off leash and explore. Enjoy this time!!

  4. Cheryl Kienast says:

    OOOOOH, SOOO EXCITING! It will be heavenly for you AFTER it’s all done, of course!

  5. sandy says:

    Easy answer…dog stuff first because they won’t understand the waiting and will possibly trash things easier. People stuff second because most of it sounds like optional, fun stuff and not necessary stuff. Make sense? And double check any ordinances about barking dogs. You moved the office too? Are you going to be a local attorney in your new town now? Hmmm…lots of fun!

  6. Susan Shields says:

    The fun is in the fixing Have a blast with the planning and the actual work. I love watching them come together.

    Best of good luck with it. The dogs will really enjoy that huge yard.

  7. Kathy M. says:

    The interior designer/architect in me wishes I lived closer! I love seeing the makeover process happen! Be sure to take before & after pictures. Even though you see it, you don’t really “get” the difference until you see the new and old photos side by side!

    Side note: You said – “I turned to my search engine (I use Dogpile) and found native wildflower and grass seed.” I’m not sure about the native grasses there, but here in California there are many types of native grasses used in landscaping. Unfortunately many of them can’t be used safely in dog environments because when they sprout the create a blossom that is much like a foxtail and just as dangerous for a dog.

    I inadvertently planted a beautiful ornamental grass plant in the backyard, not realizing what it would look like in bloom. When it flowered I had to keep chopping all of the blooms off right away. This just caused the plant to redouble its efforts. Ultimately, the plant had to go.

  8. Traci says:

    Penni – this is all SO exciting!!! 🙂 I hope to do the same thing (buy property) in the coming years 🙂 Can’t wait to see the project in process! 🙂

  9. Alden says:

    Penni, it sounds like it going to be beautiful!

    I hope you’ll be able to keep those wonderful stained glass windows in your office. I think one had Kokopelli on it. I loved those. I hope they find a way to move with you.

    • myeye says:

      I’ll just have to do some new ones — the size is unique. I had the glass cut to fit the openings I created when I designed the wall. I’ll be looking in the new home for places that need some homemade art glass. I guess I better take photos before I move.

  10. Le'o says:

    Wow! Sounds awesome!!