Saturday, April 12, 2014

My backyard, my nemesis

When I bought my house a few years ago in 2010, it was during the time when it seems like everyone was trying to buy.  If you weren't in the market to purchase a home at that time, consider yourself lucky.  I had decided the time was right for me because my rent was going to be $1,500 for a one bedroom apartment, which was absolutely ridiculous.  In California, we do pay through the nose for housing, a lovely sunshine "tax" many call it.  The government was offering $8,500 incentives for buyers so I decided to go for it.  By the way, my house payment is about half that.  Just sayin'.

Trying to buy the house was one of the most awful experiences I've ever had!  I was frequently in bidding wars with investors to a point where some places were going for thousands over the asking price.  I remember putting in an offer of $50,000 over the asking price for a house and I still didn't get it.  The sellers even had the audacity to ask me, since I had the fourth highest bid, how I would come up with the extra cash if the house appraised for under the amount they wanted.  I thought to myself, "If this house doesn't appraise, there's no way in hell I'm giving you cash to make up the difference."  People were greedy and poor little first-time homebuyers got a rude awakening to how awful the experience could be.  I looked at places that were in poor condition or the homeowners were home when we came to check out the home.  We even interrupted a birthday party going on at one home.  We had called ahead and the homeowners told my realtor it was okay to stop by.  Imagine our surprise when we walked in and the music stopped.  They just stared at us as my realtor and I found shoes in the oven, a dripping shower in the only bathroom and bed sheets in the windows.

Suffice it to say, I didn't buy that property!  I got my current place after putting in twenty-two offers.  That's right, twenty-two.  It was a good price, but it's pretty dated inside.  Both the kitchen and bathroom need to be gutted, but for now they're fine.  I've done a lot of work with painting the entire house, replacing all the windows, putting up blinds, changing out light fixtures, working on the electrical and so much more.  The backyard was pretty much dirt and a few sprigs of grass.  It's a small backyard so I was okay with that.  I learned from this experience that you can't get everything you want.  When I watch the little 25-year-old couples on HGTV looking for their first place, I roll my eyes when they want stainless steel and granite everything in their first place while wanting to pay $30,000 below the asking price.  Good luck to you sweethearts!

Today I decided that I really needed to tackle my backyard.  I have neglected it because of the tendinitis and carpel tunnel in my arms.  There are so many weeds that they actually look like plants I've put in.  In time, I'd like to put cement or bricks down over the whole area so that I won't have to deal with the upkeep.  It's not really huge and I've seen some cute ideas that would make it more than just a slab of cement.  The weeds like to come back a lot and I can only handle so much.  Here's what I faced when I went out there.

Yes, those are all weeds.  I went back into the house to arm myself with the right tools to get the job done.  I wasn't fool enough to think I'd do it all today, but at least to get a good dent going would be great.  I made sure to put suntan lotion on since it's easy to get a burn while doing this kind of work.  I did find some great music and so I was enjoying that while snipping away.  At one point, I was bent over quite a bit to get at the roots and really wasn't paying much attention to what I was looking like.  When I have a job to do, I get tunnel-visioned.  I did happen to look down at my chest when I was bent over and noticed my shirt was pretty much open and exposing the girls.  I didn't think anyone was around so it wasn't a big deal ... until I looked up.  Across the way are neighbors and there were a couple of guys looking down at me from the second floor.  That's just great!  Hope you enjoyed the show.

I always forget how much work gardening is.  I didn't even log it into MyFitnessPal today, but I definitely could have.  I don't eat my calories earned back, so it's not a big deal.  Combined with the other exercise I did, that would have brought me over a thousand calories burned.  Hell yeah Kickass Kathy!

For my food today, I had a few protein shakes and made a salad for dinner.  I tried the Premier Protein Strawberries & Cream flavor and it's definitely nowhere near as good as the chocolate.  They are still very tasty, though.  For my salad, I didn't want to do any cooking, so I decided to just use luncheon meat instead of grilling or baking chicken.  Finding a good luncheon meat that does not have an insane amount of sodium is pretty difficult.  Some of them have 600mg or more of sodium.  I've even seen some that top 1,000mg.  I love the one I found at Costco.

This stuff comes in a 2-pack.  It's a little pricey at $11.99, but they last forever and each slice is two ounces instead of the typical one ounce.  Besides, I believe in getting higher quality things that are good for my body.  The reason I titled my blog Now is Finally the Time in the first place is because I am always the last person I take care of.  Other people have always come before me, which is the case for a lot of people, especially in my profession or with family.  Yet, I know that if I don't take care of myself at some point, I won't be around any longer or I will have a poor quality of life.  So, of course I bought that $11.99 package and put it on my yummy salad and not looking back.

In so many ways, I'm learning about self-care as if I'm being introduced to the concept for the first time in my life.  It is perfectly fine to be well and live well.  In fact, it's the healthiest thing I can do for myself.

Water Challenge Day 79:  Drank 178 of 178 ounces


Beth Ann said...

I'm planning to be a first time home buyer this summer. I'm so not looking forward to it!

Connie O said...

If they were above you, they probably couldn't see down your shirt when you were bending over. They could probably only see your back. Someone has to be at the same level as you to really get a good look down a neckline!

Self-care is an excellent thing to focus on when you are trying to inculcate healthier habits in yourself.

Kathy said...

Thanks for making me feel better about those neighbors Connie! They just seemed pretty concentrated on me.

Beth Ann, I'm hoping the housing market is just a little bit better than when I was buying. Hope I didn't scare you with my tale ;-)

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