Jolly June: 5 Little Things!

June 08, 2012   //  Posted in: Backyard, Being Thrifty, Dog-Related, Garage, Gardening   //  By: Emily   //  5 responses

It’s been a radically productive few weeks in Rochester with many outdoor projects made possible by super-unseasonably-hot temperatures and rain-free days at the lake. I love this time of year.

There were a bunch of things that I wanted to cross off the list before summertime hits full steam (how is it that our calendars are already so booked?), so we got down to cleaning things up, making home upgrades, and earning back a little dough. What’s been keeping you busy this past month?

1. Welcome to Furmination Nation

After much being-a-cheapo deliberation, I splurged on Cody’s own Furminator. If you’ve ever priced them out, you’ll have seen that the “long hair giant dog” variety (the big kahuna Furminator) will run you about $72.99+tax at your local pet store (gag!), and even a 15% off  + $7 promotional coupon wasn’t enough to beat the pricing on

For only $25 (+$0 in shipping thanks to being Amazon Prime members), our product arrived in the mail last week, and I promptly went to work grooming the beast (on a 95-degree day with sweat pouring down my face).

Furminator time!

We borrowed a cat-sized Furminator last summer, and while it worked, this wide 6″ model saved me a lot of time. It trims an insane amount of undercoat with each rake.

Furminator time!

I think the dog lost 10-pounds. This fur was from the first pass, although the second pass resulted in equal sized piles of fluff. Undercoat relief!

Cody, post-Furmination.

2. Buh-bye, cabinets.

We said goodbye (and good-buy) to our trio of IKEA cabinets, a set that I purchased from a friend when I bought my house. I had grown pretty attached to them, especially the one that I painted pink last summer for our office storage, but practically speaking, they weren’t really fitting our need anymore. In the office, it wasn’t quite enough space, and for kid’s toys in the guest room, they were a little wobbly and we decided that it’s more important that our next batch of furniture to be easy for Julia to store her toys within, without fear that the whole shelf would topple on her. And I thought they were a little too tall for the bedrooms, but that might just be me being crazy.

I can’t remember what I paid for the set three years ago, but I was able to sell them to a nice family via Craigslist for $100, which may or not be exactly what I paid originally. In my brain, I’m considering it a wash and doing a happy dance at the opportunity to find (or build) something new.

Sold my trio of IKEA cabinets!

3. I designed Tomato Gate 2012.

Year after year, I find that I have to take more and more precautions with the tomato plants that my parents seed and deliver to me so generously. Last year, my Dad planted 9 babies and while we had lots of good tomatoes, the plants were too big, over-crowded, overflowing, and the dog found his way into them and got sick (not too sick, but tomatoes and especially the plant leaves are highly poisonous to dogs, and if he had been a smaller breed it probably would have been severe). This year, I took precautions: I only planted 4 (not 10), I made a custom gardening bed that sits above the ground, and I installed secure chicken wire.

Installing tomato gate.

The chicken wire, wrapped securely around tall stakes just within the wooden frame, wraps in one full sheet all the way around. At the stake that holds both the beginning and end of the wire, I taped the sharp edge with Gorilla Tape to easily identify where I could unhook the wire and access the plants.

Taping the edge of the tomato cage chicken wire.

Grow little tomatoes, grow!

4. We cured the Harley!

A big ol’ emphatic THANK YOU to everyone who commented and emailed about ways we might want to try removing the oil-based stain splatters from Pete’s Harley (a gut-wrenching DIY project error that I confessed to here). The winning solution goes to Tim, who recommended paint thinner to loosen the stain without damaging the finish of the motorcycle. In addition to the paint thinner, Pete bought a pack of plastic razor blades to help pop the stain loose without cutting or scratching the finish on the bike.

Using paint thinner and a plastic razor to clean stain off the motorcycle.

It was one of those cleaning experiences where every time you moved your head to a new angle and saw the fender in a new light, you saw more bits of stain to pop loose, but still only took us about 15 minutes to remove all signs of the stain, and re-wax the bike.

Can we all breathe a big sigh of relief now?

Removed stain splatters from the Harley fender using paint thinner and plastic razor blades.

5. We got hosey.

After this happened to our last hose, we decided it was time for a new one:

Bombed out garden hose.

We actually did try and splice and correct the split in the damaged hose, but it was too weakened after 3 summers of use to be fully curable. What, hoses don’t last as long as people?

Our $28 replacement extends 100-ft, easily reaching both the front and back yard, and instead of rolling it up into the plastic hose container that the old one had been stored in for years, we bought a simple $8 metal hook and installed it directly to the side of the deck with 2″ lag bolts for easy hose-to-garden access. Is it wrong for me to say that we’re too easily irritated and old to be wanting to battle a garden hose anymore?

Upgraded hose!

What projects are rocking your weekends?

  • Heather
    6 years ago - Reply

    Wow, that furminator thing is insane. Have you noticed that Cody sheds less now?

    AND I didn’t know that tomato plants were poisonous to dogs. Yikes. Tessa hasn’t bothered with ours, but we’ll have to keep an eye out.

    Finally, did you find that the “hose house” was not helpful/easy to use? We have a 100 ft. hose in the front and a 50 ft. one in the back and we are battling with them. We thought if we got one of those “wind up” box things that it would make it a lot easier, but now I see you getting rid of yours!

    • Pete
      6 years ago -

      The shedding decreases a LOT after the thorough brushing; it’s a bit of a savior this time of the year even though his shedding is year-round.

      The hose reel kept things neat and tidy, but even with our previous 75-feet hose, it was totally at capacity. After extending the hose fully and using it, it becomes so heavy that it’s actually impossible to reel back in without also tugging hard at the hose to kind of feed it in. It was a pain, and our handle never broke but it felt like it could easily snap at any moment. Pete was interested in one of those garden pots that you can coil the hose into to keep it more hidden but we just landed on the wall mount option before finding a pot that we liked.

      And yeah, tomatoes are bad news for the dogs. Cody has a tendency to munch on any leaves in the yard and if he got into the tomatoes he was always really out of it; acted like he was hallucinating and out of sorts. Really sucks and I’m glad he came out of it OK (the vet said to be cautious but was the one to mention that it’s usually worse/lethal in small dogs who over-indulge.)

    • Pete
      6 years ago -

      (That was actually Emily commenting, I’m on Pete’s iPad! Oops!)

  • Sarah
    6 years ago - Reply

    Ahhhh! So, I was paging through your site and came across this post. I thought that Furminators were still extremely expensive. Remember when they were $80? Anyway, for my lab/vizsla mix, I needed the “Large – Short Hair” which, due to popularity, was still about $35-$40 on Amazon with Prime shipping.

    My mom had bought me a little Furminator-imitator when we first got Quinn, so I’ve only been using that. I found the version that I needed on eBay that was used for a demo, but fully-sterilized, for $25. It’s in pristine condition. So, if you’re looking for this version of it, try looking at the seller “sgrivera1” and their shop. They must work as a person who demos these, since all they sell are Furminator brushes for dogs and cats (under 100 sold). Hope that helps someone.

    The point of my post? I just took Quinn outside and used this on her. Gosh, I feel like a HORRIBLE mother! All the fur that came off her that I thought I was getting with my other brush. Wowwww!

    Thanks so much for prompting me to run out and get one of these! :) Quinn thanks you!

    • Emily
      6 years ago -

      Good tip, thank you Sarah! It’s still hard to believe how much fur comes off with each Furminating; I just went over Cody once more this week and had another whole garbage bag full. You got a great deal, thanks for sharing!

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