Friday, June 4, 2010

a year later (and a few mysteries)

One year ago yesterday, Matt and I closed on our first home and became official homeowners and residents of The Boonies. I would like to report that June 3, 2010 was MUCH less stressful and overwhelming than June 3, 2009. Oh man. When I think back to how stressful June and July of last year were...whew. I am so glad to not be a brand-new homeowner/home renovator anymore. I remember how long the days were when all we did was work all day, then drive out here and work on the house until 9 or 10pm, then drive home, crash, and repeat...repeat...repeat. I thought the work would NEVER be done. In case you were not aware-- buying foreclosures is NOT for the weak of heart (or body...unless you're going to be hiring someone to do all the work for you)!

Anyway, it's hard to believe we've owned this house for a year (although we didn't actually LIVE here until mid-July). I absolutely love it and am so thankful the to-do list is much shorter and more manageable these days. And also that nothing on the to-do list is actually NECESSARY or's stuff like "dig weeds out of the lawn so that the grass will grow better" (could definitely survive even if this never gets done) and less "fix the hot water heater" and "lay floors" (pretty much need those things).

So that's my tribute to one year of home ownership. One down, a zillion to go...I never plan on moving again because a) I hate moving, and b) I hate buying houses, and c) I am never ever moving my piano again-- FOR REALZ.

Today was the first week of my extended-year summer program at school and it was great to see all my kids again. It was also the first week of our district-wide "summer schedule" of 4 10-hour days (versus 5 case that wasn't clear...) which means I have today (and every other Friday this summer) off!! I'm not going to lie-- 7 to 5 was pretty brutal all week, especially since I have to drive 30 minutes to get there, but I think it will be worth it in the end!

Tomorrow we leave to go on VACAAAAATION!!! Matt and I are going with my parents to the beach and I can't WAIT! So today I am using my day off to grocery/drugstore shop, do laundry, start packing, and clean the house. We have a friend staying here for the week to watch Lola, water the plants, and what not, so that means I am on a cleaning FRENZY. I mean, it's one thing if you have some friends coming over for dinner or a don't have to clean everything because, you know, what are the odds they'll really be checking the closet in the guest room or looking inside all the bathroom and kitchen cabinets. But for a week-long housesitter? I can't be disgracing myself with disorganized cabinets or dustbunnies in the guest room (where she'll be staying)! I've BEEN a housesitter before. Even if you're not nosey (which, let's face it, I am) still end up digging through every cabinet because you can't find a can opener or something.

True life story: I used to housesit at this house where they had 5 dogs and they live in this SUPER ritzy neighborhood in Athens...anyway, it was loads of fun because there were like 12 bedrooms (so all my friends could "help" me housesit too!) and they left tons of awesome food for was basically the life. I probably housesat for them 3 or 4 different times, for usually a week at a time. Anyway, they have 5 dogs, right? So inevitably the floors would be covered in leaves/grass/random stuff dogs walk in after about 2 days or so. For the LIFE of me I couldn't find a vacuum in this place. I searched EVERYWHERE, even the attic. I mean, their house was very nice and clean (except for what the dogs dragged in). CLEARLY they owned a vacuum...what, were they taking it with them on vacation? One time I found something that looked like a vacuum head/handle, but the hose wasn't attached to it was useless.(Note: I don't remember why I never thought to ask them about it after or before their next trip...I guess I forgot about it until I needed it again) So I'd end up picking up bits of leaves off the rugs with my fingers and/or lint rollers (awesome trick, but very un-green).

So a couple months ago, some of my friends were talking about... some thing that I can't remember the name of, hang on let me Google it....okay, thanks for waiting. So my friends were discussing something called Central Vacuum which is some amazing rich-people thing wherein your whole HOUSE is on this vacuum system...and there's no WAY I'm going to be able to explain it, you just need to go click on that link. Anyway, while the friends were discussing this amazing phenomenon, Alyssa mentioned that the family I used to housesit for had Central Vacuum and it all came rushing back-- so THAT is why I could never find a stupid vacuum!! They're way too space-age for a regular old Dyson or something! Anyway, it felt good to get some reassurance that I wasn't just blind...even if it was a few years too late.

So, that was a long story with no real point other than to say: If you have a housesitter coming and you like to keep your stuff hidden and/or you have freaky space-age technology that the average citizen will have no IDEA about...please let them know in advance.

Also, if anyone would like to purchase a Central Vacuum for MY house, that would be great.

Before I leave, I wanted to post a Mystery of the Day (or actually yesterday). Last evening we went out into the backyard to show Jessica (housesitter) the plants/garden/hose/etc and we noticed that the back half of our backyard had been mowed. Just the back half. I didn't do it. Matt didn't do it. And there's not a chance that either of us is lying/playing dumb about it because I can completely account for every minute of each of our days and none of those minutes involved cutting the back half of our backyard.

The front yard is still 6 inches high. The front half of the backyard is still 6 inches high. The back half of the backyard is very nicely cut, even around all the trees.

I don't know whether to be freaked out or thankful. Our yard isn't fenced, so it's not like someone was sneaking around to do this...but still, it's kind of weird, right?? The two neighbors who I would immediately suspect would do something like this (as a random act of kindness thing)...well, neither of their lawns appear to have been recently I mean, I could see dropping by to help us with ours if they'd already had their tractors out cutting their own grass...but to just randomly get the mower out to JUST come cut 1/4 of OUR lawn?? Seems weird. Now one OTHER neighbor DOES appear to have freshly cut grass-- but we don't really know those neighbors!

Anyway...if you have any ideas, let me know. And if you want to buy me a Central Vacuum, let me know. And if you are super jealous that I'm going to the beach tomorrow and you want me to bring you back a souvenir and take lots of pictures that I'll post on the blog all week long to remind you that you're stuck in an office/at home...let me know. :) Farewell!


  1. Mystery grass-cutter = spoooky. That's crazy. Perhaps Lola has mastered a new trick!

    Now that you have 3-day weekends, you must come visit us. We promise to leave a vacuum out for you in case you want to clean our house.

  2. I so wish I was going to the beach! Unfortunately, my parents beach vacay week falls conveniently during the week of my due it's too close now for me to travel now anyways. sigh.

    This is why I just need to live at the beach.

    This post helps me confident in our decision to NOT currently buy a house. Too much work/stress unless we plan on sticking around Charlotte longer! Forever or a really long time seems totally worth it though. Love your house!

  3. I'm pretty sure that the house that I'm house-sitting at currently is one and the same. I used the vacuum last night at 8 p.m.; I LOVE it!

  4. Crop circles. Very boring crop circles.

  5. why only the back half? I mean, if i was going to be nice and cut your grass for you, i would cut the front. Maybe someone buried treasure back there and forgot where, so they had to cut the grass to figure it out. i would get out there immediately and start digging so that you can get it before they get back.

  6. You should just stop by and see me. I am minutes from I-95... Call me, call me, mwah!

  7. I think that a lawn service came by and started working on the wrong house...

  8. Hmmm no idea on the mysterious grass cutting.

    And I'm with Kristina, I have to know we are staying here to buy a house again. Home ownership was nice in theory but wow.. it is nice calling maint. and having a work order put in without worrying about the bill. One day we'll own again.. we hope! (Real estate is INSANE in Richmond though, so it could be awhile.)


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