Posted in Adulting, Condo, Pictures of things that make me happy, Plants, Writing Challenges

Condo Update: March 2021 edition

Earlier this month my Dad alerted me to a desk that he had seen on the side of the road with a “FREE” sign on it. Curtis still works in the area that my parents live in, so he went and checked it out during a break in his work day. He decided it was in good enough condition, though the desktop was in rough shape, and it fit in our SUV so he brought it home.

There was some question once he got it through the door as to whether it would fit in the space we were hoping to turn into an office, but once we moved some things around, it did end up fitting. So we purchased some desk mats to cover the desktop and an office chair, and that weird little room now has a purpose.

We also got outside and did some spring cleanup for our garden area out in front of our condo on the first day of Spring. There are stones on the steps leading up to our door that get shoveled into the garden and grass area during the winter, so we gathered those up and put them back where they belong. We also moved a couple of butterfly decorations left behind by the previous owners out of hiding and moved our flower pinwheel to a more prominent location.

And that is my #PepperDay­čî update for this month.

Posted in Adulting, Blogging, Condo, Food, Marriage, Pictures of things that make me happy, Random, Writing Challenges

NanoPoblano2020: Day 25

Above is a photo of the door to one of our kitchen cabinets. What’s behind this door is pure storage magic.

But the magic doesn’t end there! We had actually been living in our condo for about a couple of weeks before we discovered the most magical part about this cabinet…

There are 2 drawers in the back corner! Absolutely no space was wasted when the previous owners designed this kitchen and for that we are extremely grateful.

Posted in Blogging, Condo, Pictures of things that make me happy, Random, Writing Challenges

NanoPoblano2020: Day 16

While my husband and I were living with my parents after having to unexpectedly move across the country due to sudden job loss, I found these tiny cat shaped sticky notes that live in tiny boxes somewhere online.

They came in a set of 4, so I assembled 2 of them for my Mom and set aside my 2 for when I had my own place again.

I then promptly forgot that they existed.

A little more than 2 months ago Curtis and I moved into the condo we bought. I rediscovered these unassembled cats in boxes after we had been here for well over a month.

I assembled them the best I could using the diagrams (the written directions were in a language I cannot read) and they now live on our built-in bookcase in out Bliving Room.

I love it when past me sends me unexpected presents!

Posted in Blogging, Condo, Pictures of things that make me happy, Random, Writing Challenges

NanoPoblano2020: Day 5

Meet Murphy. He’s our new bed. When we aren’t using him, he lives nestled up near the wall, waiting to be pulled back down again.

You see, according to the town hall records, the 624 sqft condo that we live in is a one bedroom. But those records lie. The “bedroom” might fit a full/double bed, but that’s all it would fit.

It would be a room with a bed in it and nothing else.

We are currently using the “bedroom” as closet and semi-office space with some plants and decorations thrown in. The very first picture I posted for this year’s NanoPoblano was of a decoration hanging off the barn doors that can close off that room.

So, instead of sleeping in the “bedroom”, we use Murphy who lives out in our main living space. (We call it the Bliving Room… Bedroom+Living Room= Bliving Room) Murphy has been a good bed so far. I’m especially grateful that he hasn’t tried to eat us even once…

Posted in Blogging, Condo, Random

Team Tiny Wormhole

A few days ago (or possibly a few weeks ago? Time is slippery…) my husband randomly found a fork in our murphy bed while tucking the sheets and blanket in.

This reminded me of the time that we found a random spoon in the freezer of an apartment we were moving into, but at least that was in the kitchen, where cutlery is usually kept, and there was a reasonable explanation for it.

(Yes, we still have it after all these years. It’s a perfectly good spoon.)

This morning, while I was making the bed I felt something along the bed frame. It took some effort, but eventually I fished out this:

Yes, that’s a paintbrush. And it isn’t a small one either. It’s about a foot long. And I randomly found it in our murphy bed.

Now, I’m not saying that there is a tiny wormhole in our murphy bed…

But, there might a tiny wormhole in our murphy bed…

Dear Tiny Wormhole,
Please send cash through next time.
Sincerely,
A couple of first time homeowners
Posted in Adulting, Blogging, Marriage, Stay at Home Wife, Writing Challenges

We bought the condo!!!

Despite many issues and people not communicating and doing their jobs, we managed to buy our condo the beginning of this month only one day later than originally planned.

We are still living amongst lots and lots of boxes.

Most of those boxes have been in storage for over 2 and half years, so we don’t even know what’s in them.

We had to give our full size washer and dryer that we’d been storing to someone else and buy new tiny ones to fit in our laundry closet. There has been a bit of an adjustment period.

Speaking of laundry, there is a large pile waiting to be dealt with right now because we had to wash everything is that came from storage. So this will probably be the extent of my post for Pepper Day this month. Hopefully we’ll be more settled in by next month!

Posted in Adulting, Family, Marriage

So we might be buying a condo…

My husband and I have been living with family for over 2 1/2 years. We were planning on trying to find somewhere to rent, but there is nothing affordable in the state I live in. We started doing some research and realized that it might actually be cheaper on a month to month basis to buy.

A month or so ago we started looking. We saw some things we liked, but when we ran the numbers we realized that they were unaffordable.

So we lowered our budget even more and saw some single family homes that needed way more work than we wanted to deal with and some condos that were okay, but not quite what we wanted.

Then we saw a condo that was supposed to be a 1 bed 1 bath, but it turns out that the bedroom was about the size of a smaller walk-in closet. The owner claims that he fit a queen sized bed in there, but it seems to us that if you put a bed in there, it would be the only thing that would fit. You’d be crawling into bed as you walked through the door.

That’s okay though, because the living room area has an honest to goodness queen sized Murphy bed.

It’s basically a studio with a walk-in closet.

But, despite it’s size, I fell in love with it. It’s been beautifully redone and seems like just the right amount of size for my husband and I to restart our lives again.

And we can afford it.

So, a couple of days ago, late at night when we should have already been asleep we put in our very first ever offer on that condo. And just a few minutes later our realtor called us back and told us that she had good news. The sellers had already responded, and all they wanted was $500.00 more. We quickly accepted this counter offer and the paperwork has been signed.

Now we need to deal with the bank assessment and getting it inspected. So it’s not a done deal yet, but so far things are moving in the right direction.

Posted in Apartment Living, Cat Mom, Random

A few of the issues we’ve run into since moving into our new place…

We moved into our current apartment about a month and half ago. During that time we’ve run into a few issues. Here’s a list of the hiccups and annoyances that we’ve encountered.
Great Idea until packing

  1. During the move while attempting to pack the truck my husband, Curtis, “barely touched” the plastic piece that surrounds where the bulb goes on one of our rather old lamps with another piece of furniture that he was trying to shove in the truck and it basically shattered. We knew that we needed to get new lamps soon anyway, but we weren’t planning on doing it immediately after moving in.
    We spent a good amount of time after the truck was empty making sure that all the broken plastic bits were all swept out of the truck.
  2. Speaking of lamps, the night that we moved in we realized that there was no overhead light in the bedroom and that we would also be needing to buy a lamp for in there.
  3. When we were attempting to put our bed back together we originally were planning on having the headboard up against a certain wall. We quickly realized that there was only one wall that it and our nightstands would fit along though, and it was not that wall. We had to shift everything over to underneath the window. Luckily, our bed is fairly low to the ground and the headboard ends just below the window sill and doesn’t block the window at all. Opening and closing the curtains is a bit more of a hassle now though.
    Fairstone Bedroom 1-26-2016 1
  4. Once the bed was moved beneath the window, our futon would most definitely no longer be finding a home in the bedroom. I had my doubts about it fitting in the living room, but it turned out to fit much better than we expected.
  5. We have a cat. And with a cat comes a litter box. The one spot in the entire apartment that would fit his litter box was one side of the pantry in the dining room. The pantry is behind a couple of sliding doors, so we could leave one side open just enough for him to slip in and out. Only I kept finding the door leading to his litter box closed all the way. We ended up having to stick a binder clip on the door track to prevent anyone from closing the door all the way and therefore shutting the cat out of his litter box.
  6. When we went to hook up our dryer we realized that our new apartment had a 4 prong electrical outlet. Our dryer had a 3 prong plug. We made yet another trek down the street to Lowes (this store became our second home during the first couple weeks after our move we were in there so often) in the hopes of finding an adapter. Only they don’t make those sort of adapters, you have to buy a whole new dryer cord instead and switch them out. Dryer cords are expensive.
    Money can't buy happiness
  7. We realized last laundry day that we should have checked the dryer vent before we hooked up the dryer as well. I came into the laundry room to find a puddle of water on the floor by my dryer and that my clothes were taking forever to dry. So we cleaned as much lint as we could out of the dryer itself and then unhooked the dryer to clean out the vent.
    I swear that the previous tenants had to have been running their dryer without any sort of lint screen at all. Not only was the dryer vent completely blocked up with lint, but there was also inexplicably what seemed to be a wad of paper towels in there as well as other various bits of paper and what might have been a large bandage. I don’t know how they managed it and I’d hate to see the state of their dryer…
  8. And while we’re on the subject of the previous tenants, I have no idea what they could have been storing in the linen closet in the bathroom, but every time we opened it after first moving in this god awful smell would waft out. Now, I suppose it’s possible that it was the smell of the chemicals used in painting and putting down new linoleum, but after seeing the state of the dryer vent I wouldn’t be surprised if the previous tenants were at least partially responsible for that smell.
  9. The first time that we attempted to turn on the light in the laundry room we discovered that there is a vent fan in that room. A rather loud vent fan. I am still not completely sure why it’s there, though I do use it while running the dryer now, but it took me a long time to stop flipping that switch when trying to turn on the light. Especially since the switches are opposite to the way that they are set up in the bathroom. I’m convinced that at least one of the reasons it’s there is to annoy the hell out of me.
    LemurThanksYouButNo1-vi
  10. Our kitchen is nice, but it’s small. There was only one counter that our microwave would fit on, which also happened to be the only real prep space in the kitchen. This clearly wasn’t going to work out so we ended up having to build a shelf in our dining room area for our microwave. We already had to take up some space in the dining room for our chest freezer so we just built the shelf over it. We would have made a smaller shelf, but the wall brackets only come so small and the good people at Lowes were not able to cut them down to size for us. They did helpfully offer to sell us the tools to do it ourselves though. We declined.
    Fairstone Dining Room 1-26-2016 2
  11. When we first moved in we checked out the dishwasher and discovered that it wouldn’t close. Maintenance came out and said that the countertop installers never actually reattached the dishwasher to the brackets under the counter. He screwed it back in and demonstrated how the door now properly opened and closed. Once he left and we went to go and load our dishwasher for the first time however we discovered that the top rack was missing at least half of the prongs to hold the dished in place, and the ones that were still there were all rusted out. Maintenance had to come back out and replace it for us. And then Curtis had to reinstall it so that the rack would actually pull out and give us access to load the dishes.
  12. A few days ago we noticed a leak underneath the kitchen sink. It seemed small at first, until we realized that there was a layer of water under everything in there. covered the breakfast bar counter with paper towels and pulled everything out to take a look. I have no idea how long it had been like this, but the drain pipe for our second sink had come detached from the rest of the drainage pipes. Curtis made several attempts at fixing it, bumped his head and gave up. I really didn’t want to have to deal with maintenance the next day so I sat down to give it a try. I managed to to get the seal back on the pipe correctly and get everything hooked up tight again. I’m willing to bet that the countertop installers were to blame for this as well. Being able to fix the pipes myself and not having to call out maintenance was a huge victory though. Who knows when they would have come out.
  13. It’s been a really long time since we’ve had upstairs neighbors. We expected some annoyances, but we didn’t count on moving into an apartment below a child that doesn’t seem to know how to move without running and jumping and falling most of the time. Or just a child I guess…
    The adults aren’t much better some of the time either, they seem to forget that they can get from place to place without stomping. We’ve mostly gotten used to the sound of a herd of elephants above us, but there are times when I’m convinced that that child is trying to jump through our ceiling and into our apartment.
  14. We also live in a non-smoking building… but at least one of our upstairs neighbors is a smoker. We know because of all of the cigarette butts that end up on our balcony. I’m not sure if smoking is allowed on the balconies in this building or not. It wouldn’t really bother me if they would just throw away their own cigarette butts instead of dumping them on us.
  15. The first time that we used our collapsible shopping cart to walk groceries home from Costco after moving we were barely across the street from the store when we hit a curb wrong and shattered one of the front wheels. Curtis had to treat it like a reverse wheelbarrow and keep it tipped back on its back wheels for the rest of the 3 miles back home. Needless to say, we then had to order ourselves a new shopping cart.
Posted in Apartment Living, Cat Mom, Marriage, Weather

Some thoughts on our recent move…

About a month and a half ago my husband and I moved out of the 1 bedroom townhouse that we had only been living in for two years and into a 1 bedroom apartment down the road.

This is what our balcony looked like the morning of the move…

Hunters Woods Balcony 12-15-2015

Mother Nature decided to dump about six inches of snow on us the day before our move. The forecast said that it was supposed to continue to snow throughout the day of our move as well. Luckily, that didn’t happen, but it did stay well below freezing the entire day. The snow and the cold meant that we had to wear our winter boots all day while moving.

Our moving day started with a 2 mile trek through the snow and ice to the U-Haul store to pick up our truck for the day, while carrying a bundle of about 25 or so extra boxes to sell back to U-Haul. A good amount of the sidewalks had not been cleared yet, so this was far from a fun walk.

Once we had the truck, moving out of our townhouse went surprisingly quickly. We had everything out of the garage where we had staged it and into the truck in about 2 hours. Next step was getting out traumatized cat into his carrier and into the truck, and then doing a final walk-through of the townhouse to make sure we weren’t leaving anything behind.

Then it was off to our new apartment complex to wait around in the office (with our cat in his carrier. No way was I leaving him in the freezing truck.) to sign our lease and find out if all the work was done in our apartment and it was ready to be moved into. We were relieved to hear that they were actually just finishing up in our apartment and that it would be ready for us to start moving into by the time we had completed all of the paperwork.

Approximately 50,000 signatures later we were finally able to start unloading the truck. We were hoping that a couple of my husband’s coworkers were going to come over from his office across the street and help us move, but nobody showed. So we unloaded the truck by ourselves.

Unloading the truck proved to be much more time consuming than loading it had been since we had to walk farther to get things into the apartment, but considering the fact that it was just the two of us doing this move it went pretty quickly. I believe it only took us 4-5 hours to unload the truck.

Once the final box was moved out of the truck and into the apartment we drove the truck back to the U-Haul store and almost weren’t able to drive it up the hill of a driveway to park it behind the building due to all the black ice. ┬áWe somehow got it in and parked and after dropping the keys in the night drop off box it was time for us to walk the 3 miles back home.

In subfreezing temperatures.

In the dark.

That was one miserable walk.

At 11:19 pm we found ourselves sitting in a Denny’s right down the street from our new place waiting for our dinner. That was the best pot roast I have ever had.

At about 4:30 am we finally had our bed put back together and the essentials unpacked and were able to crawl into bed… to be awoken by an alarm at 9 am. The keys to our old place had to be returned that day, and spaces needed to be cleared for the Comcast home security installer that was coming that afternoon.

Moving is exhausting, and I really hope that we won’t have to do it again for many, many years, but this move did turn out to be well worth it.

First of all, the temperature in the apartment in consistent from room to room. I don’t think it’s ever gotten below 65┬░ in this apartment. No more waking up to a bedroom and bathroom that are 50 something degrees while the rest of the apartment is at least 10 degrees warmer. Or the opposite in the summer. Not freezing in our apartment has been amazing.

Second, my husbands office is literally right across the street. A five minute walk. So much better than the 30-40 minutes that it used to take him to walk to work and back at our old place.

Third, brand new carpet and linoleum. Not to mention the fact that this bathroom actually has a door.

Fairstone Bathroom 1-26-2016 2

Fourth, brand new countertops.

Fairstone Kitchen Sink 1-26-2016

Fifth, open concept floorplan and a breakfast bar.

Fairstone Living Room 1-26-2016 6

Sixth, a walk-in closet.

Fairstone Walk-in Closet 1-26-2016 2

And seventh, a rather large patio with lots of birds that live in the bushes around it.

Brids on Fairstone patio 12-25-2015

Our cat says this is the best thing about our new place.

Teddy Bear looking out at Fairstone Patio 1-26-2016

That and the larger birds that also come to visit sometimes.

Teddy Bear and the ducks 1-26-2016