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. Β I love the archways that can only be found in a home from that era. Β 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.

 

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.

Blessed in O-HI-O

Greetings! I’ve made it back to Ohio…it’s so crazy to think I went all the way around the world to just come home. If you want to know if god has a sense of humor just make plans – someone famous wrote that and it couldn’t be more true.

When I first had the idea that I would be quitting my job, traveling the world, and teaching yoga I never in my mind thought that I would end up right where I started in Warren, Ohio. I remember having a conversation with a dear friend in her apartment about my upcoming travels and she said “this is the perfect time…your parents are healthy, you have no real commitments.” How untrue her words would be a seldom seven months later.

My mother was first diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2000 – I’ll never forget the moment I found out about her cancer. There is nothing that can prepare you for realizing that at 15 1/2 your mother isn’t invincible. I was a brat that day – I believe I had said “i wish you would die” and my mother simply replied “you might get your wish – I have breast cancer.” Yup. That was a turning point in our relationship…I stopped being a brat. I can’t even remember why I was upset but no matter what the issue whatever I was feeling didn’t warrant wishing death on my mother. I remember sitting on our steps and just crying – not understanding, how does this happen and why but my mother (even though she must have been scared, frustrated and pissed since I just told her I wish she died) told me that she would be just fine and she would beat this. She did. And we’ve lived a very happy existence since them. Our relationship has improved tenfold, not just because of the cancer but because I grew up and stopped being a bratty 16 year old. You get perspective quickly when the most important person in your world gets sick.

About six weeks ago, I was speaking with my mother and she sounded a bit off. She just didn’t sound like herself and I was immediately alerted that something was wrong. I asked what was up and she said she’s tired her neck has been hurting her and they were doing a test on her lymph nodes the next day. That would be a terrifying conversation to have if I had just lived in NYC a short 50 minute flight or an 8 hour drive away…but being on the other side of the world (literally – used correctly!) it was earth shattering. Once again, my mom reassured me that things would be fine but this time she was wrong. Things weren’t fine and we quickly found out that her cancer had not only returned but it had metasized and found her bones as the perfect place to take up residence. As the daughter of a cancer survivor, I’ve had the remission dream time and time again but I was always able to wake up – call my mom and know that it hadn’t returned. I didn’t get to wake up this time.

I spoke with her doctor on Saturday March 21st and a week later I was back in the states. That last week in Melbourne was unreal. I didn’t do much besides practice, teach and start packing my clothes. I had friends coming to visit in July and we had talked just earlier that week about booking rooms and flights but something in my gut had told me to hold off. I made calls to my studio owners on Saturday letting them know that I wouldn’t be able to teach after the 28th and I’ll be sending my final invoices. I wanted to give myself a week because I wasn’t sure about flights back to the states that quickly and I needed time to find someone to take over my apartment, buy my furniture, close my bank account, etc. Looking back, it’s funny to see how quickly I was able to do everything – within 24 hours my roommates had found someone to take over my part of the lease and buy my furniture and the studio owners were more than gracious about my leaving so abruptly. It reminded me of when I left NYC – everything just fell into place which made me feel like I was doing what I should be doing. By Tuesday, I was ready to go but my flight wasn’t until Saturday…again I thought there is something more than just my mom’s cancer sending me home. I’m meant to be here at this point in my life.

During this time, my very good friend Brian created a gofundme page to pay for my ticket back to the states and other travel expenses. I am beyond grateful for the 44 folks that graciously donated so that I could get a flight back to the states and not have that financial burden. As I saw the donations coming in and the sweet messages from college friends, sorority sisters, friends of friends, co-workers, and the anonymous I felt incredibly loved. If you know me, you know that I’ve been looking for love for a long time and finding it in my friends and family that have rallied around me in this time of need is unbelievable. For the first time in a very long time I realized that I am loved. And I will be forever grateful to each and every one of you. Thank you so very much.

I started reaching out to yoga studio’s in the area because I would need a job…I had previously reached out to the studio in Cleveland about teaching in December 2015 but they were full up on teachers so I figured nothing would have changed since my last email in February. Boy was I pleasantly surprised – one of the teachers wanted to cut back on classes and that had availability for me. I couldn’t believe it- again it was so clear that I was supposed to be home.

Spending this time with my mother and grandmother has been wonderful and terrifying. My mother cancer is at stage four and that won’t change but luckily she has a great oncologist who has put together a wonderful treatment plan for her. At first we were so worried that we were looking at months, maybe a year at best but we’ve got YEARS on YEARS on YEARS! I know that my mother (and myself as well) is very lucky. Stage four cancer doesn’t always have such a happy diagnosis and for that I feel very blessed.

I do believe that blessed is the new humble. πŸ˜‰

3 Weeks!

Hello! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Hope everyone has had a fantastic holiday season – I have been in Melbourne for three weeks and it has been great so far. I’ve been teaching lots, exploring St. Kilda and South Yarra but mostly I’ve just been sleeping and eatings lots of avocados.

After 9 crazy weeks in Thailand for teacher training and two weeks trekking through Vietnam with 40 kilos of luggage I am tired. Just absolutely tired – luckily, I now have a job that allows for afternoon naps on a regular basis. I generally take a nap between 1 – 4 sorta like a toddler, daily. Sometimes if I’m teaching both classes (9:30a & 4p) I’ll take a mat into the hot room and pass out on the mat on the floor or if the studio has a couch I’ll sleep there. I need my daily nap! It really helps! Teaching is very tiring πŸ™‚

So it’s been three weeks since I landed in Oz and I haven’t actually seen much of the touristy stuff that Melbourne has to offer. What I have seen is the tram! a lot. I’m teaching at a fabulous studio that is about an hour and half outside of the city by tram (by car it’s a measly 30 minutes but i don’t drive stick! so I’m on a tram!) The tram isn’t too bad – it’s convenient. The places where I’ve stayed thus far have been decently close to connecting trams and I feel like I’ve mastered them. The other day I helped someone figure out how to get to Luna Park (take the 96 or 16 or 3 (if it’s a weekend!) to the Luna Park stop!

The other great thing about riding the tram is that I’ve been able to find restaurants or alleys that I would like to try or venture down. Don’t be scared about the alleys (apparently the best treasures in Melbs are found down random alleys, unlike NYC!) and I also have a better understanding of where things are (kinda). I’m still trying to navigate the various neighbourhoods and inner suburbs.

Now that I feel like I’ve caught up on sleep after being self deprived for nine weeks in Thailand and Vietnam I’ve decided to become a tourist. I’m going on a walking tour on New Year’s Day! I think it’ll be fun and everyone I’ve talked to has recommended it as the best way (besides the trams) to get a feel for the city, the CBD and each distinct neighbourhood! Looks like I’ll need to invest in a good pair of walking shoes πŸ™‚