Home Ownership

Isn’t all it is cracked up to be. At. All. My boyfriend purchased his home back in November 2015 and I was very excited for him. He had always wanted a home of his own. We knew that the house would need a lot of work. And it did. We rid did the bathroom, painted all of the rooms, removed a weird mantel in the living room, laid down new floors, etc.

We finally moved into the house this past April after about a year and half of renovations. Excited for this next chapter but let me tell you this: Home Ownership is not for the weak.

I should mention that we have an older home, a century home – built in 1900.  I love the archways that can only be found in a home from that era.  However, older homes require more upkeep than even I expected especially as our own wasn’t well kept after the owner passed in 2011. Her home transferred to her son who didn’t manage the home or her gorgeous gardens very well. I don’t even think he lived there to be honest but there was a dog that stayed in the house. It’s all very confusing.

I’ve heard from neighbors that her garden was featured in magazines such as Better Homes & Gardens. She spent her time properly pruning and keeping her garden looking beautiful. Her garden was filled with roses, Japenese grass, lillies, you name it (see what I did there!!) but when my boyfriend purchased the home the backyard was a mishmash of weeds taller than him. He’s 6’0 ft, so you can imagine. He had to go back there with what he described as a machete to knock down weeds and clear up ivy that had taken over this once beautiful garden. I haven’t even started working on the back of the house. Honestly, I just want grass at this point. Grass would be nice.

Right now we have three main priorities in our home. We need to renovate our kitchen as the counters and cabinets are artificially low. As in a child’s play kitchen low. Washing dishes has been (back) pain inducing. I just found out that our roof needs work of some sort – we think it’ll survive another northeast Ohio winter but you can never play it too safe with the roof over your head (pun intended). And finally, we discovered that we have carpenter ants. Yay. Said no one ever.

The first priority for my boyfriend is to fix the kitchen because he know’s that I’ll nag him about the kitchen. Smart man. But seriously, I hate having a halfway done kitchen and I want the extra space to prep food for dinner. We’ve gotten quotes ranging from $5,500 – $10,000. I didn’t think it would cost that much for new cabinets and a sink basin. Truly, this week has been a (finance) lesson in home ownership responsibilities.

I’m not exactly sure what the issue is with the roof – I believe there might be damp wood or something of that nature. We recently had someone come out and provide a quote for fixing the roof in time for a Northeast Ohio winter. The dampness explains our next issue.

Last night, we discovered our ant problem. Actually, we’ve had an ant problem for a while but my boyfriend was very nonchalant about it and because of that so was I. He thought they were just coming in the house during the summer searching for food, so we cleaned our kitchen thoroughly and put food away properly. He would spray around the house and in crevices and we wouldn’t see ants for a few weeks. Until they eventually returned. About six weeks ago, I was making my way up our stairs when I heard a rustling sound in the wall. I didn’t know what it was. I lived in NYC for about seven years so I’m familiar with things living in walls but this sounded a bit different. I woke my boyfriend up in the middle of the night but he just said I was hearing things. I would continue to hear the rustling sound and hit the wall every time to get the nose to stop. It never did. Eventually he heard the noise too.

I was laying in bed last night when I rolled over and saw a ANT crawling up my pillow to get on the wall. When I tell you I DAMN NEAR LOST MY MIND. I’m sure the neighbors heard my scream. I’m positive that the firemen and EMTs (across the street) started making their way to our home because I screamed that loud. My boyfriend came upstairs and took care of the ant but I was officially freaked. We slept in our guest bedroom last night as we had never seen an ant in that bedroom before. Now, I’ve seen ants in our bedroom before but never on my PILLOW or the wall. A quick google search confirmed it was most likely a carpenter ant and Orkin was called promptly this morning.

A few people have suggested we take care of it ourselves but I’d prefer a professional because I want that nest gone and the rustling nose to cease.

I hope that next week brings a better kitchen remodel quote and an army nest evacuation. We’ll get someone to take start the roof project next week as well.

Ahh the joys of home ownership.

 

Wash. Day.

About eight months ago, I had to switch up my wash day routine. At that time, I had my routine down to a science, I could wash, condition and twist up my hair in about half a day, which for a natural is pretty good. But that was all about to change. I had noticed for the past year or so, that I had a lot of drandruff. No matter how often I washed or conditioned my hair and no matter the shampoo used – my scalp would be covered in flakes. It was embarrassing and made styling my hair complicated.

I had tried to go back to basics and thought it was working but a mere two months later, I found myself picking the flakes that would surface around my edges. I was also destroying my follicles in the process. My issue had also spread to my forehead as well. I had dry patches on my forehead that resembled acne. It got so bad my boyfriend even noticed. I decided that I would need to visit a dermatologist.

Dr. Angela Kyei, is my dermatologist and immediately knew what was causing my hair issue. She walked into the room and diagnosed me as well as complimented my hair (my twist out was popping!!). She explained that I basically have eczema of the scalp, which is funny as I eczema and will need to switch up my regime. Again. It had spread to my forehead.

First, she put me on a medicated shampoo that I am to use only on my scalp. She was very clear that the shampoo would in fact dry out my hair so I should only use the shampoo on my scalp. Interesting. How exactly, should I just shampoo my scalp – I had been taught to shampoo my hair not just my scalp. I was directed to place just the shampoo on my scalp and let it sit for 15 – 20 minutes OUTSIDE OF THE SHOWER. That’s right. I know shampoo my hair in 4 painfully parted sections in front of my vanity and then promptly sit on my couch for about an hour because there’s a different world marathon or girlfriends and I get sucked into the TV.

After my shampoo sets, I rinse it out and try my hardness not to get in on my hair which will dry out because medicated shampoo is dry AF. Once, I get it washed out, I use a conditioner given to me by my dermatologist. It’s Head and Shoulders Co-Wash. Yes, that’s right. I know it’s pure blasphemy but I use Head and Shoulders Co-Wash and my HAIR LOVES it.

I condition my hair (not my scalp – that’s important) and rinse it out. After I rinse it out, I come back to the couch because black TV excellence marathon (DUH) and grease my scalp with Kenalog. Yup. I start my twist out by placing Kenalog (which I also use for the eczema on my left leg) on my parted my hair. I’m supposed to do this 3x per week but I’m a lazy natural so I probably do it about once a month. Then I twist my hair up with my signature whipped shea butter.

New Routine:

  • Shampoo my scalp with medicated shampoo and let set for 15 – 20 minutes (sometimes longer)
  • Rinse the shampoo from my scalp
  • Deep condition with Head and Shoulders Co-Wash (sometimes I use Knot Today by Kinky Curly)
  • “Grease” scalp with kenalog when parting my hair for twist
  • Detangle & twist my hair with a combination of the LOC (Liquid, Oil and Cream) method using my homemade whipped shea butter.

So yeah….my new regime is very long and tedious but I don’t have to worry about showing my scalp because it’s clean and finally flake free.

Hello. Again.

It has been too long. And I have thoroughly missed writing and sharing my life and new experience living in Cleveland. I’ve been inspired by watching others writing and sharing their stories. I was thinking to myself, I should write more and put together a platform, when it hit me – that I already have a place to share my stories and thoughts. So Nappy Sweaty and Broke is back in action. I’ll mostly be covering natural hair topics, working out, and money problems – cause three years later and I’m still nappy sweaty and broke.