Monday, April 29, 2013

Handy Dandy Homeowner

Most adults pay for their own housing expenses. Some people rent, some people own. I decided a long time ago that I wanted to buy a house without ever wasting money on an apartment. Because I lived at home with my parents through college to help take care of my dad and grandmother, I was able to save my money. Then I got a real job. A job that more than tripled what I was making part time in college and that offered benefits! I decided I would continue to live at home with my mom and save almost every dollar I earned so that I could buy a house! And not only that, I knew I wanted to have a certain kind of lifestyle once I had said house, and that lifestyle included never having to worry about money or question how much I had in my bank account before I made a purchase.

So there I was, 11 months out of college, 23, and signing the next 15 years of my life away on a house. And it. was. awesome! I've almost had it for 6 months now and I love every aspect of it. (And in the last few weeks, I'm glad I planned ahead on that lifestyle I was talking about because man almighty, I've been shopping like crazy!)

My house was "flipped" by the people I bought it from. It is gorgeous, has beautiful granite counters, stainless steel appliances,  travertine tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms, fresh paint, and brand new carpet throughout! It sits on 0.22 green grassy weeded acres with several shade trees. The best part? I'm paying about the same as I'd pay for an equally nice apartment, but it's bigger and mine to do whatever I want with for as long as I want! What's not to love?!

Yardwork. And housework.

You would think using a self-propelled mower would be a breeze! Well, it is. Until it tries to self propel itself down the hill in the backyard and through the fence every time you make a pass that direction. "Turn around and go uphill" you say. Well, I would, if doing so didn't mean I had to keep the mower from going down the other side of said hill into the side of my house. There's no winning here! I never knew I had some of the muscles that burn after mowing.

Then there's the housework. And I don't just mean dusting and picking up after yourself. My house generally stays pretty clean and I could have guests over without notice and never be ashamed to welcome them in. It's just me..I don't make that much of a mess and I'm not lazy enough to leave the mess that I do make.

Vacuuming normally isn't bad. Normally. Tonight? Tonight I vacuumed all the normal parts of the house you would expect to vacuum on a regular basis. I went a step ahead and got the hose attachment and vacuumed all the window sills and below all the cabinets. It didn't stop there. You see, I have dark hair, and I have a heck ton of it. Really, any time I go to a new hair dresser, they can't believe just how much of it there is! It's pretty fine, but there's just so much! Pair this with my white carpet, and I vacuum somewhat regularly. But today I was in a cleaning frenzy after mowing the yard and I vacuumed the shower. Why? Because of all the dang hair! Ladies, you may be laughing but don't think you won't consider it next time you have the vacuum out. I know I'm not the only one whose hair gets stuck to the walls! It's just one of the gross but true facts of life. I'm pretty sure it would be easier to just vacuum my head every day than deal with all of my shedding. Have you seen the YouTube video of the dad doing his daughter's hair with a vacuum? I'm pretty sure that would do the trick.

Being a homeowner has also made me quite the handy woman.

My dad was a master carpenter and knew how to do just about anything to or for a house. He was so good at what he did and when I look back through his work portfolio, I'm so amazed at all of the carpentry projects he was able to so masterfully create! I definitely didn't get that gene!

Not having my dad around anymore has forced me to become handy and tackle all of the projects I would otherwise call him to come take care of.

I hung the curtain rods in my bedroom all by myself. It took me about an hour and a half and someone that knew what they were doing could have done it in 10, but I did it!

Remember that shower I vacuumed earlier? It had some stop valve in the wall that kept the lever from going too far and scalding you with the freakishly hot water. Problem was, it was set at "luke-warm" and made for a comparatively frigid first shower. After about a month, I took the shower hardware apart and figured out how to fix remove the dang thing. I tried to adjust it, but I couldn't figure it out, so the whole thing is now in a cabinet next to the shower. I'm just smart enough to not turn the lever all the way. Problem solved. In the month before I fixed it, I showered in the guest bathroom. It had a nicer shower head anyway, so no big deal.

During that too-cold-shower time, I noticed my toilet was constantly running. And it was annoying. And I hated thinking about how much I was paying in my water bill for that stupid running water. So I shut the water off, ignored the fact that I had a toilet or a shower in my beautiful master bathroom, and I used the guest bathroom for both.

After a little Googling, I decided I knew what the problem was with my toilet and that it wouldn't be hard to fix so I ventured off to Home Depot and bought the necessary parts. And I sat it on top of my toilet and never touched the thing again.

Until tonight. In my cleaning frenzy. My bathroom was clean, I had just replaced my boring shower head with an awesome shower head that makes me feel like I'm showering in a clean, fishless waterfall, and gosh darnit, I wanted to pee in my own bathroom in the middle of the night. (Which happens a lot. Smallest bladder ever!) So I conquered yet another task of home-ownership and I caught my running toilet. (Don't worry, it didn't get far!)

I may not be very efficient, but I am learning to be handy!

Laughing at my trials and loving home-ownership,
Nurse Christine

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