Monday, June 15, 2009

Retirement, here I come

( Bandit Crabtree)
Yes, you read that title right. After nearly 30 years in the pet business, I'm retiring. It's time, in some ways, it's beyond time. My health and my back have gotten to the point that I feel I have to quit before it gets any worse, but I'm ready, I really am. I've thought about it long and hard and yes, I am indeed ready to retire.
(Rio Jackson)

I can't complain, I have been very successful in this business. It has provided for me and for my son, I've met some wonderful people and some wonderful little dogs, I've made life-long friends that, if it weren't for grooming, I would never have known. That's the upside. The downside.......

(Pepper Malcolm)
I am in constant pain, I have discs in my back that are nearly gone. I have scars from bites and scratches, I have carpal tunnel, and a couple of nerves in my hands that just plain don't work anymore from being bitten. Most days, I can hardly move by the time I finish working, much less think about doing anything beyond working when I finish my day. I go to bed in pain and I wake up in pain and it's taking it's toll on everything I do. Grooming is not "playing with little puppies all day" It's extremely hard work and trust me, after this many years in the business, I can tell what it's done to me, physically. I would wager, if you ask any groomer that has been in the business for 15 or more years, they will tell you the same thing. I KNOW they would, 75% of my friends are life long groomers and they DO tell me that.!

(Misty & Josie Jones)

My friend, Paul and I (who has been grooming for almost 35 years now) have always joked that someone will probably have to push our wheelchairs to the table and put the scissors in our hands before it's all said and done. We've been saying that for years, but I honestly don't want it to be true. :) From the looks of things, if I keep pushing myself like this, it WILL be true and how scary is that??

( Honey Harry)
So, after talking all this over with my DH, we have decided, the time has come. If I am going to have any quality of life at all, I HAVE to. I will be doing this slowly at first. I'm not going to just stop all at once, I will be phasing out so to speak. Letters will begin going out next week.

(Ginger Patrick)

I won't just leave everyone hanging without a groomer. I will be sending out a recommendation, along with an index card with the information their next groomer will need in order to give the dogs the same clip I have been giving them. All you have to do is take the card with you to your first appointment and they should know how I have been grooming your pet and what clip you are used to getting.

I am recommending my sister, Linda. I taught her to groom over 15 years ago and she is wonderful with the dogs. She won't mistreat them and since I taught her to groom, her technique is the closest to mine that you will be able to find in this area. She is good to the dogs and she knows what she is doing. She's located in Bristol, VA and her shop is called Family Pet Grooming. You can find her in the phone book. Or you can contact me for her information. (I'm reluctant to put her number and address in here for all the world to see) At any rate, she is the only one I would recommend AND she grooms cats too.

(Baby Evans)
I want to thank all of you who have trusted me with your babies. Thank you for letting me enjoy them and for sharing them with me. Thank you for your friendship over the years and for making my career a successful one. I will never forget the joy some of those little kids have brought me. Don't worry about me "missing it" remember, I have enough of my own kids that need grooming to keep my hands in it. :)
I am looking forward to the next phase in my life, spending quality time with DH, working with my show dogs, working on our new house, working on stained glass projects and just plain enjoying life surrounded my the loves of my life. I will continue to post in this blog, after all, I will still be alive and doing things, just not grooming. So be sure to keep my blog in your favorites and see what all we have been up to.

(All of the kids in this post have gone to the Rainbow Bridge. They are just a few of the ones I miss and will miss.)

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Workman Problems & Crazy Woman Update

I've had a few people ask me how the new house is coming and whatever happened with the crazy lady that used to live there, so I figured it was about time I gave everyone an update. Hope it doesn't turn out too long, but if it does, remember ya'll asked! :P Problem is, where to begin?

The remodel on the house is still not finished!! (*insert a vision of me screaming and pulling at my hair here*) Do you realize how hard it is to find someone that actually WANTS to do the work you ask them to do? And in a timely fashion?? Apparently, you get one or the other, but not both with most folks. Thankfully though, we have found someone that does just that, at last! This guy has done more in 2 weeks than the last guy did in 2 months! Hey, we don't know anything about remodeling a house, I'm a DOG GROOMER for crying out loud, I can "remodel" any dog you ask me to, but not a house. DH has owned his own food business for the last 34 years and now runs our automotive repair shop, WE. DON'T. DO. HOUSES! At any rate, we ended up telling the last guy to hit the road and found someone else to finish the job.
(*Living Room before and after floor is finished now*)
Carpenter #1 was nickel and diming us to death, needing this, needing that, finding this on sale and that on sale, things we did not need, but that he thought "would look good" in the house. It got to the point that I felt like he was working on HIS house, not ours and he was beginning to see it that way himself. After nearly 2.5 months there, the only room that was completely finished was the living room! None of the other rooms were ready to move anything into, the kitchen was still without the cabinets he was supposed to build and no sink. The Spare Room still didn't have the closet enlarged and a door put on, nor did it have the trim put back up or the tile put down. The Bathroom was/is still sheetrocked, no paint, no medicine cabinet, no trim. The Dog Room still needed trim, tile on the floor, another closet fixed and the door worked on. The Hallway still needed tile put down, panelling replaced and stairway worked on. My Stained Glass Studio still needed paint, trim and a door. The only rooms in the entire house that didn't need something done were the Living Room (which really only needed to be tiled and paint touched up) and the Master Bedroom (which we weren't doing anything with other than paint and that was done) 2 months and every room he was working on was still only half finished! Then to top it all off, the weekend we let him go, he called and asked if he and his wife could go camping out there!! For crying out loud, you sure that's not what you have BEEN doing? Needless to say, in the words of an old Roy Clark song that comes to mind Thank God and Greyhound He's Gone!!

Now, on to Carpenter #2~He's been there for 2 full weeks and we have tile on all the floors, the Bathroom only needs painting now, the Spare Room is trimmed, the closet is finished and he will be adding a box type thing to the ceiling to cover that awful, tacky looking air return hose from the heat pump that the previous owner didn't bother to do anything with. The tile in the Dog Room and the Spare Room is called "Sunset" I love it! Wish I had found that for the Living Room, but that's ok.
(*ugly return hose in spare room being covered*)

The Dog Room now has a fixed door, new tile, trim and is ready to go. The Hallway looks great and just has a couple of minor things to finish up. The staircase still needs doing, but I haven't figured out what I want to do with it. Any ideas? Hardwood? Tile? Anything but carpet.
(*hallway before panelling was put up*)

I found this cute border tile to put in each doorway, I love it! It breaks the tile up nicely I think.

The Kitchen is the last thing he is doing and he's due to start on that this week, so keep your fingers crossed that we will be in there by the end of the month! I hope so, the kids are out of school now and apparently we've had about 10 more move in the neighborhood over the winter! The dogs HATE it! And the noise is even worse than last year! It's driving me crazy! Those of you that have been around for a while know what kind of problems I have here with the neighbors and this neighborhood, so I won't go into that in this post.

We've also had the driveway widened so the motorhome can get up in there and had a french drain put in to stop the water from coming into the house. That guy was finished in 2 weeks as well, so we have managed to find at least 2 people that do thier job!
(*shot of our driveway before and after the widening*)
Ok, update on crazy woman that used to live in our house. I posted here about her husband committing suicide in the out building on the property and the fact that she had his urn buried on the property? And how she was constantly coming to the house to "visit" him, nose around, then write notes complaining about things? Well, we got her to come remove his ashes and take them with her. I know that sounds harsh to some of you, but this woman was/is just a little on the crazy side, she really is!

(*the hole the urn was in*)

She had left her number on a couple of the notes and after one such trip of hers and the neighbors calling us to tell us there were people coming and going at all hours up there, we called her and asked her to remove him. She threw a FIT! Telling us how that "house was MINE before you all bought it!!" And that she had every right to come up there to "visit" him. We informed her that we have talked to the Sheriff's Office and we have No Trespassing signs up and that she was breaking the law coming and going as she pleased. We set a date to meet her there and had a Deputy on hand to make sure things stayed calm. Let me tell you, she did NOT want the Sheriff's dept there AT ALL! The woman is a bonafide NUT! She had the Deputy looking at us as if we had horns and pointed tails, convinced she suffered from Lupus and was unable to do anything (she could traipse around through the woods nosing around the house just fine until he arrived)

(*below you can see the nut and the Deputy coming out of the woods*)

She spent alot of her time trying to talk us out of making her remove him. But we were adament, move him! See, I would have considered letting her leave him there and come visit if she called first and let us know she was coming, but as time went on, she was getting more and more weird. Almost like she blamed us for buying HER house. She questioned and complained about work being done, she saw the old carpet laying outside and wanted to know why we removed it. She had looked through the windows and wanted to know why we painted and why we put tile down, what was wrong with how she had it? Then she started in on "Well you know how my husband died don't you?" We told her yes and she said "You don't have a problem with the fact that he did it right here on the property?" Started about how she and the kids missed the place and how much her husband had loved it and he wouldn't have liked what we were doing. DH had told her we had signs up and a chain across the driveway now and that we didn't want her there. Her answer? "The chain doesn't matter, I park at the curve and walk through the woods anyway" It was getting so I was really beginning to worry about what this woman would be capable of, especially if she decided that WE were the reason for all her troubles because we bought the house. Having her remove her husband was the simpliest thing to do in order to stop her from coming and going as she pleased. So far, there haven't been any signs of her coming back. We have cameras set up all around the house now with the security system and can watch from anywhere we have an internet connection. So far, so good, I think we are shed of the crazy lady. Keep your fingers crossed that it stays this way.

Now, this post is long enough, but I leave you with a shot of me & Peggy Sue napping on the couch, never mind the circles under my eyes, I have been having the worst time sleeping lately and it's beginning to take it's toll.

Until next time, be blessed friends,