Thursday, June 26, 2008

Training Your Labrador To Be A REmodeler And A REtriever

Well, it's summer and I am unemployed, so of course I must be put to work.
If you search back through this blog, you'll find that every summer has meant some home improvement/remodeling project.

It's not a big house, you'd think we would have run out of rooms by now ...

This year, it's a redo of the living room.
Some background ...
  1. Our house is small by modern standards and tres cabinesque.
  2. We still think of it as our new house ... it is 19 years old.
  3. Our children are old enough now that we think it is safe to patch up all the damage they caused when they were young wild things.
  4. The living room used to be bigger ... longer actually. Once it opened into a dining room through a T-shaped semi wall, but we closed that off to create a bedroom for Junior.
  5. While I do okay for a nimrod in most construction areas, my drywall skills stink, so we have lived with an ugly T-shaped patch in the living room for 2 years. I'm showing it to you in these before pics so you can ooohhhh and aaahhhhh when I make it beautiful.

The standard operating procedure is that everyone leaves to go to work or fun summer stuff and I come up here to the second story bedroom where I write and blog before beginning the remodeling job du jour.

Last night, I put the first coat of fresh paint on the ceiling at around 10:30 pm. Before that, it was the boring prepwork that must be done before paint can be applied.

They never show you that on those "quick as a flash" home improvement shows, but you have to do it and it's no fun ... UNLESS YOU HAVE LABRADOR REMODELER PUPS TO HELP YOU!

My helpers and I started by cleaning the pine floors.

After mopping the floors to take care of dust bunnies that might fly up into my paint, it was necessary to clean and patch the walls.

(I'm using Formula 409 because the world isn't ready for Formula 410.)

If you look behind my egret-like skinny legs, you'll see the long wall ding caused by small children running and jumping into the couch. That is all patched now and I'll be sanding and priming that wall today. When I'm done, the living room walls will be wainscoted and chair railed like the entry hall in the background.

I'll be framing that doorway also.

Above, you can see the pine floors which I really want to refinish, but with 2 new pups in the house, I may have shot myself in the foot on that one.

You can also see the ugly T-shaped drywall patch (Laura and Rick, where were you when I needed you?) that will soon disappear through the magic of tongue and groove pine paneling.

This picture answers that age old question, "What DO science teachers do with 200 science fair display boards left behind in their classroom at the end of the year?"

Those science fair display boards not only do great duty as floor drop cloths, but they make a very effective PED ... (Pup Exclusion Device) when you DON'T need the help of your Labrador Remodelers. (Note the vertical one in the doorway)

Painting the ceiling while your ankles are being gnawed on may sound like fun, but really, it's not.

I've pulled off the baseboards, patched the wall damage, taped and covered the ceiling fan, lights, etc, so I guess I don't get to delay any longer. It's time for me to go downstairs and put a second coat on the ceiling and then prime those walls for what ever color Mrs. FC has picked out.

She's keeping me in the dark on that.

I'm pretty used to that.

Before I go, here's one more dog training video. Any job like this creates a mess and it's important to clean yourself, your tools, and your area when you are done for the day.

Training your Labrador Remodeler pup to assist will make this job go alot faster.

See, nothing to it!


Jen said...

Oh I love the doggie posts. It's so hard to believe that they were born at the same time--little G is so much smaller. Will he catch up his growth do you suppose? I'm not commenting on the remodeling projects, because they're my domain in our house and I'm in total denial. I cannot see them, lalalala...

lej619 said...

My husband is in total denial. Could get you to do mine? LOL
Glad to see the lab remodeling pups are doing a good job.Glad to see gumbo doing so good and also bear.
have fun on the summer job.

Freste said...

Well FC this is all fine and nice, except you have hired some help who aren't union members. Ohhhhhhhhh there will be consequences.

Susan said...

Great puppy videos! Please keep them coming!

Miz S said...

I feel a painting urge growing inside, FESTERING inside me.

Damn you, FC, DAMN YOU.

Dani said...

Like your canes in the background. Or maybe they're walking sticks?

Deb said...

It's great to see the pups in action!

We have a load of drywall being delivered this afternoon, so I'm staying home to help unload it. Then comes the fun part...I really screwed up on the taping and mudding the drywall in our bedroom in the cabin, but I was in a hurry then. Now I want to take the time to do it right.

threecollie said...

Pups are really looking good there...and so nice and clean too.

pablo said...

It will be a shame to paint over that beautiful blue color of the walls. It's so vibrant!

Also, I like the clean shaven look on you FC. Makes you look 10 years younger.

Floridacracker said...

Gumbo's huge feet say he will catch up with Bear. He's so doing so well now that we don't care either way!
Those projects will be waiting when you open your eyes.

He sounds brilliant to me.
Yes, the pups are going very well and are so helpful.

This is the south ... we are not big on unions here.
Besides, these scabs work cheap.

I plant to do just that!

Miz S,
At least there won't be spiders and you can wear that cool gardening hat to keep the paint off.

Both. I carve a little.
Or ... I used to before blogging!!!

Good luck Deb,
As Jimmy Buffett said, "It was so simple, like the Jitterbug, it plumb evaded me."
I just don't have the drywall gene.

A few minutes later they were in the sandy driveway ...

Well, thanks partner.
Don't be blue over the change in color ... she's known for picking "vibrant" hues ... remember last summer's kitchen project?

pablo said...

FC, are you standing on something in that photo or are you really that tall?

vicki said...

I love the chuckle in the first video. Puppies are so cute- if I had your space I'd probably have them, too. Here in the city everybody is always always on a tight lease- doesn't seem like much fun.

So. Paint colors. At the risk of insulting someone in advance, I'm hoping that cheerful turquoise becomes, ah, passe in the FC household. But, hey! It's cheery!

The previous post just left me feeling sad and frustrated- such a waste of all that good energy and innocence. It's a relief when you know your children have the 'don't drink and drive' thing down pat.
It seems to me that Alex's father, being in one of our service professions, will struggle all the more, if that's possible.

Anonymous said...

Ohhhh, let me answer Pablo, please? I know you're not that tall and I'm sure you are standing on an OSHA approved ladder, right? Don't be looking for too many post from Thunder he told me this morning that he's headed to Malaysia (SP) on Monday for two weeks! He's so busy! Going to to go see him towards the end of July if he can fit me into his schedule!

Floridacracker said...

Afraid I do not have to duck through doorways. I'm standing on the excellent work platform you see in the next picture down.
A great little piece of equipment by the way.

That was my thought to regarding Alex's Dad.
I was trying to be quiet on that video, but these dogs are just so damn funny.
The color is STILL a mystery to me at this point in time.

Danger is our middle name.
Malaysia? God only knows what he'll find to eat there.

Anonymous said...

I was laughing at those videos so much that my bird almost flew off my shoulder!
My old airedale Radar hated baths but did he love to play in the hose!

Floridacracker said...

MASH fan?
Radar is a waaaay cool doggie name.Glad you got a tickle out of the videos!

caroline said...

Jack Sparrow, the miniature schnauzer kid at our house, is a specialist in vacuum cleaner, mop and broom. Same kind of help that the Lab crew is, much barking and stealing of tools. He is excluded from remodel projects because his nose is right in the middle of everything, usually between the hammer head and the nail you are trying to hit.
Kind of like having a 3 year old around again.
Caroline in SD

Hurricane Teen said...

Agh, I have some catching up to do (been gone two weeks.)
I love the new videos. I wouldn't mind at all seeing this become a video blog as well as a photo blog!

wayne said...

Did I miss something along the way? Where are the two older dogs?

Floridacracker said...

Too funny and I have no problem visualizing that because Bear and Gumbo's best puppy friend is a miniature Shnz. named Captain. He is just as you say!

If I weren't doing all this on dialup there would be a major increase in video.
I have some pretty cool stuff in "movin' pictures".
Glad you're back.

Thanks for asking. They are fine and were probably asleep around the corner of the porch when this commotion was going on.