When I last posted I said I was going to share about our landscaping project. Because, you know, that’s what you do when it’s the middle of winter and your freezing your tushy off, right?! I mean, what other winter time hobbies are there?
I’ll keep this short and sweet and then move on to a more interesting DIY that I think you’ll love. At the very least, you’ll probably enjoy the pictures more.
So let’s get this boring landscape stuff out of the way.
We had two major problem areas that really needed to be addressed. The first was our front porch area. While the previous home owners may have had it nicely manicured at one time, for us, it was a messa-snake-housin’-overgrown-pain-in-the-rear-problem. Here’s a before and after.
See what I mean…lots of low-lying landscaping that allowed snakes easy access to the front porch. And, by the way, that would be a copperhead sunbathing 6 feet from my front door. I’ve lost count of how many snakes we have had to dispatch and/or relocate from the front porch. Everything pictured on the left side of the walk, is mirrored on the right side. So there were two identical leaning towers of evergreen freak trees flanking the entrance. Why they were both leaning like that will forever remain a mystery.
We really needed to clean this area up, but in the summer, there was just too much growth to work around. We decided to wait until some of it died back. Hence the reason we were breaking our backs in 30 degrees. That monkey grass by the way, extremely well established root systems and it took a lot of muscle to pull those bad boys.
The second problem area is close to our chicken coop and fenced yard. At best, I can only assume the previous home owners were trying to make an attractive landscaped area to hide the green box. But by the time we acquired it, it was nothing more than a neglected circle of spindly azaleas. Toxic to chickens and goats, by the way. We knew when we first looked at the house, before chickens and goats were potentially going to live in the yard, that those azaleas would eventually need to come up.
This picture just does not show you how many there are. There are about THIRTY bushes in this mess of shrubbery.
By the way, we have a never-ending supply of leaves. Looking for a leaf mulcher. Anyone have one they want to donate to the 122-fund??? 😉
Well, that was boring, and a whole lotta not fun work. Let’s move on, shall we?
In anticipation of the recent bomb-cyclone winter storm, I picked up a sweatshirt for our dog.
Now, before I go any further, I want to say that we don’t normally dress our dog in clothes. We firmly believe in letting God clothe him properly, and as such, have let his natural winter coat fill in appropriately as the weather has changed through the seasons. His dog house is adequately supplied with about 10-inches of packed straw and we have a double insulated door that automatically closes on his house when he goes through it.
But, when the temps are dropping to 4 degrees but feels like -14, I just felt that a little extra covering wouldn’t hurt him. Especially since our normal January winter temps should be in the 40s.
A while back, I had picked up a dog sweater for him. He hated it. He’s a leggy thing, so bending his legs in order to push them through the sleeves was not only difficult, he was downright uncomfortable. Submissive as he is though, he let me put the sweater on him. He looked good in it. But it wasn’t the right thing for him.
I spent about 2 months pondering the best way to give him a little extra warmth on nights that would be exceptionally cold.
The problem with the dog sweater was the one piece, and having to bend his super long legs to push through the sleeves. If only the openings for his legs could be more adjustable or even snap on around him rather than him have to bend his legs to push through.
And then I had a brilliant idea. I picked up an XL boys zipped hoodie. You’d think with 3 boys I would have one already, but we didn’t. It was a $21 purchase, but still cheaper than buying a sweater from the pet store.
I put the jacket on the yard pony. He resisted at first. And it wasn’t a perfect fit. It hung a little too loose in all the wrong places.
I promise, despite his pouty face here, we did not abuse the poor pup.
The waist needed to be tucked in and I knew exactly how I wanted to fix it.
I had a small section of thick band elastic, and I cut it to about the size of his waist. I didn’t pull it tight, because I don’t want it ever to be restrictive on him. Luckily, the size of his waist was considerably less than the waist size of the jacket, so I knew it would tighten up just enough.
I cut a slit in the waist band on both the right and left sides and used a large safety pin to pull the elastic through.
Then I stitched up both ends, making sure to go all the way through the waist layers and the elastic to keep the band secured in place.
The finished waist band looks like this, with the stitching visible on the outside. If you have more skill and/or time, then by all means, hide the stitching. I spent all of 15 minutes on this project. And hello, function, not fashion, can I get a witness?
And the piece de resistance…
One more, because he’s so darn cute.
He hesitated at first, but he is loving it! He has been wearing it for about 48 hours now, the sleeves are staying dry, too. Though there is snow on the cuffs, we have a very dry snow this time around, so it is dusty and not sticky. We are checking it several times a day to make sure the jacket is not getting wet. So far, so good. He is nice and toasty underneath it.
Once our temperatures get back into the normal winter range, that jacket will be coming off. But for now, he’s just super cute and warm at the same time. I guess he is all that without the jacket, but I guess now he’s cute, warm, and trendy. Oh, and he looks just like one of the boys.
Thanks for stopping by tonight!