Posts Tagged ‘new house’

Did you guys miss me?  It’s been a crazy week and a half, and I apologize for my absence.  Anyone who’s moved knows that no matter how well-prepared and organized you are (neither of which I felt I was for this move), it always takes twice as long to get everything done as you plan.  I don’t have time for a formal, well-organized post, but I did want to check in with some random thoughts:

  • I moved!  I am loving the new house, and once I get more boxes unpacked and some pictures and decorations hung up this weekend, I will post photos on here, on FB, and maybe even a few on Twitter for you to see.
  • There was some major drama with the management company of the old place, but I’m happy to say that I did not let them intimidate me, no matter how many harassing emails and phone calls they made.  While they weren’t the most responsive company in the world for the 4 years I lived there, I never expected them to be shady.  It saddened me that they were trying to take advantage of me, and I’m glad that I didn’t bow down to their scare tactics.
  • The new place is big!  Well, bigger than I’m used to, anyway.  It’s a little more than 1200 square feet, which is more than enough room for Lulu and me.  It’s really nice having all this space and not feeling so cramped in.  Plus the cabinet/storage space is ridiculous.  There is absolutely no reason for me to ever be disorganized, again.  Love that!
  • Lulu is slowly adjusting to the new house, and she loves having a yard to run around in.  The first few days have been bark-filled, which is annoying to my new neighbors, I’m sure.  She never, ever barked at the old place (unless something scared her), and she had so many reasons to bark, what with the wacky neighborhood and crazy neighbors.  Here, though, she’s barking all the time, which is weird.  I’m sure once she gets used to her new surroundings and all the noises that go with it, she’ll go back to her usual, happy-go-lucky self.  The nice thing is the neighbors seem very patient, and told me not to worry about her barking when I went over to apologize to them.
  • I cannot wait for the house to be completely organized and everything to be in it’s proper place so I can get back to my normal routine.  I haven’t worked out (big surprise), and I am missing it (that’s the surprise). Plus the fact that I know working out will get me to my goal of losing 24 lbs for the surgery that much sooner.
  • Thanks to Scale Warfare for introducing me to a new breakfast idea – Overnight Oats.  I highly recommend that you try them – they’re delicious, and the flavor combinations are endless.  I haven’t had any Greek yogurt in the house, but I did have light sour cream, so I’ve been making my overnight oats with 1/2 cup each of whole, rolled oats; light sour cream; and almond milk; plus a TBSP of molasses.  Yummy!  The combination of the sour cream and the molasses is really heart-warming and so delish.  This is going to be my daily breakfast from here on out.  Plus, it keeps me all morning.  I eat them at 6:30am and I’m not hungry again until lunchtime.  Definitely try it out if you haven’t yet.
  • I’ve been tracking for the last several days and without even meaning to I’ve been eating really low carb, which means that I’m staying fuller longer because of all the protein.  The oats and fruits I’m eating do have some carbs, but I haven’t had rice, pasta, or bread for a couple of days.  I think I may try to do this several times a week for the next few weeks.
  • My new neighborhood is so nice, and Lulu and I have already begun to explore it on our walks.  I love looking at all the beautiful houses in the area, and she loves the well-manicured front yards carpeted with grass.  Win win.
  • I have a garage in the new place, and I can’t tell you how nice it is to know that my car is protected from the elements.  No more scraping the windows in the winter for me.  (Now, for those living in the Midwest or in the East, I know that my version of scraping windows is nothing like yours.  I just have to clear them of a bit of ice sometimes – you guys have to literally dig yourselves out of snow banks.  Still, it is nice).  Plus, it’s going to be great not to have to brave the rain and wind first thing in the morning on the way to the car.  It’s the small things, folks.
  • Once again, Lulu and I have our beauty appointments in sync.  I’m going for my hair in a few minutes (just a regular color and trim) and she goes to the groomer’s tomorrow.  Boy, does she need it!  She’s looking a bit scraggly.  Still cute, but just “overgrown.”
  • The weather today has been a bit cooler and overcast, which makes me long for fall.  I can’t wait to start using my croc pot for chili, soups, and stews.  I’m looking forward to the clothing of fall, too – the sweaters, scarves, boots, and jackets.  What’s your favorite thing about fall?
  • I have tons of your blog posts to catch up on, so this weekend, I’m going to take “blog reading breaks” from unpacking. I need to know how everyone’s doing!

That’s about all I have time for.  I’m hoping to get back to my regular blogging on Monday, because I always feel more organized and “on track” when I’m checking in here regularly.  I hope everyone is well!


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I am really excited to let you all know that yesterday I signed the lease on my new place!  I move on September 11th, and I cannot wait.

It really was as if everything was meant to be.  I can’t believe that one week after I contacted my former landlord the tenant in my old place gave notice. And from there the pieces just fell into place.

There is so much to do between now and then, but I’ve already started setting up service transfer for my electricity, cable & internet, etc.  I’ve also contacted the moving company that I’m planning on using (I’ve used them twice before, and they’re awesome), as well as let my current landlords know that I was officially giving notice.

Now there’s the hard part – packing!  I guess I know what I’ll be doing Labor Day Weekend.  🙂  I’m actually feeling really luck to have that 3-day weekend to get a lot of the major packing done.  One of my colleagues recently moved, and he said he’ll let me use his moving boxes, so that will be a big savings.  I will probably need to buy more because his living arrangements are pretty spartan, but still, I can get a good jumpstart on the costs, which is nice.

September isn’t going to be quite as tough financially as I originally thought because my new landlord is only making me pay for half the month of rent (even though I’m moving in on the 11th).  I’ve already started to make a list of some of the things I need to buy (eventually) for the new place:

  • Area rugs for the living and dining room (because of the bamboo floors)
  • A doggie door that fits into the sliding glass door so that Lulu can have easy access during the day to go outside
  • An Aero bed for when I have guests visit (now that I have the 2nd bedroom)
  • A flat-screen t.v. for the living room (down the road – I need to save for this big purchase)
  • New towels and rugs for the guest bathroom
  • Plants & flowers for the backyard
  • A new dining room table and chairs (possible – my parents gave their beautiful one to my friend when they bought a new one and my friend said that she wouldn’t feel right keeping it if I had to go out and buy one.  So, I’m hoping that I can get that from her, because I really do love their set.  I just didn’t have anyplace for it in this current house).

Since I have a second bedroom and I’m going to be living by myself, my plan is to turn that room into a study/exercise room of sorts.  I’m going to move my big bookcase in there so that I have more room in my bedroom, and then I was thinking I could put my old t.v. and entertainment center in there and do the Wii and workout DVDs in that room, since there’s carpet.  I will also move my balance ball and small dumbells in there. I want to get an Aero bed so that I can use it if I have guests over, but it doesn’t have to be out all the time.

I’m all set with the rest of the house, because I already love the decor I’ve selected for my bedroom, bathroom, and living room.

Even though I hate all the time, energy, and money it takes to move, I am really excited to move into this place.  The nice thing is that since I’ve lived there before, I already know where I’m going to put most things.  I grew up in the area, and already know and love the neighborhood.  Lulu and I are going to be able to go on some beautiful walks in the afternoon, because the area is so nice and there are tons of gorgeous houses to look at.  Plus, this place is a lot closer to the dog park we like going to.  I’ll miss going to the Rose Garden, but it’s not too far away (maybe 15 minutes more), so we can still go there from time to time.

Thank you to everyone who has shown such excitement for me.  You guys are so supportive, and I appreciate every one of you.

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Yesterday was a decent day that quickly dissolved into a nightmare of sorts.

The day started off normally enough – I brought Lulu to doggie daycare, went in to work, attended a meeting, got things organized for the start of school, caught up with teachers who I hadn’t seen since June, etc.  I definitely didn’t get as much done as I would’ve hoped, because of all the chatting, and I was running late for my fun Friday night plans (My high school alumnae food & wine club was going to a vineyard about 45 minutes away for an evening of live, outdoor music and wine tasting.  The nice thing is that the “regulars” who show up to these events have become or are my close friends, so the club is really more of a girls’ night out).

Anyway, as I said I was already running a bit late when the phone rang.  A blocked call.  Never a good sign.  It was my current landlord.  Here’s the convo:

Bella: Hello
LL: Bella?
Bella: Yes?
LL: This is J– calling from [name of management company].
Bella: Hi J —
LL: {in a raised, aggravated, somewhat angry voice} Are you moving?!!
Bella: {heart racing} What?
LL: Are you moving?!!!  Because I just got off the phone with someone wanting a reference for a new place that you’re moving into.

(At this point my heart is really racing and I’m thinking “shit!!  Why would the new landlord have done this?”)

Bella: Well, I’m looking around a bit.  Seeing what’s out there.  I haven’t made any decisions yet.
LL: Well, you have to give us notice, and when are you planing to move?
Bella: {firmly} Listen J–, I just said that I am still thinking about things, and I haven’t made any decisions yet.  Today is August 20 and my lease doesn’t expire until Oct. 1, so I have at least two weeks before I need to let you know what my plans are.
LL: {easing up a bit} Well we really don’t want to lose you as a tenant (of course they don’t, I’m an awesome tenant).  Would it help if I told you that your neighbors have been told that we’re not renewing their lease?
Bella: Not really.  I mean, that’s great and everything, but I dealt with a lot this past year with them.  Plus, I still live next door to that Ethiopian restaurant that is loud and has partying going on at all hours of the night.  And the neighborhood is going downhill.  I’m still figuring it all out.
LL: So, wow, I guess this means I might have to rent out both sides of the duplex at once?
Bella: Ya, I guess so.  Ok, well I have to go.  Bye

I played it off pretty well, and definitely didn’t let him try to intimidate or guilt me into staying (not that he could).  I was so surprised that Peter, my future landlord, had called them.  I didn’t give him their phone number on my application, only their name.  He must’ve looked it up himself.

So, I made a call straight to Peter:

Peter: Hello?
Bella: Hi Peter, it’s Bella. How are you?
Peter: Hi Bella, I was just thinking about you.
Bella: Ya, I was just thinking about you, too.  Two things.  What time should I come by the duplex tomorrow for the paperwork and two, did you call my current landlords?
Peter: Well, around 3pm tomorrow, and ya, I called them to just double-check that you’ve  been a good tenant, but I knew that you were.  Just doing due diligence.
Bella: Peter, J– just called me and he was very upset to learn that I might be moving out.  I kind of put him off about whether or not it was a for sure thing, but I had no idea that you were planning on calling him.  He was pissed off, and sort of yelling at me.  I hope this doesn’t put me in a bad position in the case that I might have to stay there.
Peter: Bella, listen, this duplex is yours.  We just have to have you sign the agreement and do the background check.  Don’t worry about that.  He said that you were an ideal tenant, always paid your rent on time, didn’t cause problems, and really took care of the place.  I told him I knew what a great tenant you were because you had previously rented from me and that I was anxious to get you back

(Ok, so these two had a “swordfight” about which one of them was going to keep me as a tenant.  If only two men would fight over me in my love life.  🙂

Peter: BTW, that Kid [he used his real name]  is a piece of work, huh?
Bella: He told you about The Kid  (the violent, raging white trash neighbor)?
Peter: Oh ya.  He told me how he never pays his rent on time, about the fighting, the complaints from tenants (not just you), etc.

(How professional of J–)

Bella: Ya, he’s bad news, and I can’t wait to get out of there.  Apparently they were just told that they have to move out, so I’m sort of worried about what it’s going to be like when I get home tonight.  He’s going to be pissed, I’m sure.
Peter: You shouldn’t have to deal with anything like that. You should never feel unsafe or worried about that kind of thing in your own home.  Listen, if you’d like, I can let you move in on Sept. 1, before the work here is done, as long as you’re ok with workmen coming in while you’re moved in.
Bella: Peter, I’m a tough cookie and I can handle it.  I’ve been dealing with it for a year, so a few more weeks isn’t going to kill me.  I’d rather wait to move in until all the work is done.  It’ll be easier that way.
Peter: Ok ….

And then we talked about some other moving stuff.

So, I am super-excited to go and sign all the lease papers today, but wow, what stress from the current landlord, right?  And I was worried about what it would be like when I got home, if The Kid found out about having to move out.  Would he be a raging lunatic?  Would he start destroying property – his and mine?  Shit.

At this point I was running even later, so I texted all the girls and told them I’d just be meeting them there.  I got to the car with the plans of driving faster than I should to pick up Lulu.  The car had a different plan.

As I tried to turn the key, it wouldn’t turn over, and just clicked.  Shit!  The battery was dead!!  I texted the girls and said I was going to be even later, if I was going at all.  I filled them in on all of the stuff that had just happened.

Can this day turn out any worse?

So I called AAA and waited for them to get there.  He jumpstarted the battery and said it was safe to drive for now but that I needed to go to the service department of the dealership and have them either fully charge this battery or just replace it.  (I made the appointment and I’m going in on Monday).

I got Lulu and drove home, and on the way I decided that even though the evening’s plans were so much fun, I shouldn’t go. First of all, I didn’t want to get stranded late at night 45 minutes from home. Secondly, if The Kid was going to turn into a maniac, I really didn’t want to leave Lulu here by herself. So I poured myself a glass of Syrah and we stayed in.

Later in the evening, as I was taking out for a potty break, The Kid’s father was outside and came over to talk. (Up to this point it had been very quiet next door).

The Kid’s Father: Hi Bella, how are you? I just wanted to tell you it’s been great being your neighbor, but my son was told that we have to move out when the lease is up.
Bella: Ya, I heard.
Father: You did?
Bella: Well, J– called me today. You see, I’m also moving out, and he was upset with me when he found out that I might be moving. My new landlord called him for a reference. I hadn’t said anything to him yet because it wasn’t a done deal. As he was trying to get me to stay, he mentioned that you guys were leaving.
Father: Ya, my son was really upset and hurt about it when they told him last week, but I told him that I wasn’t sure what he really expected. He paid the rent late every month, he was always fighting with his girlfriend, and I’m sure they had had enough. I told him he should be glad that he didn’t get evicted.
Bella: Oh, it was a week ago that they asked him to leave?
Father: Ya.

That must explain all the yelling I’ve been hearing this past week. The good news is that he wasn’t going to fly into a rage, at least not for this.

Bella: Well, I guess they’re going to have to find people to move into both sides of the duplex.
Father: Ya. I just want to thank you for how patient you’ve been. I mean, my son is always using that saw late at night, the dogs are always barking, he fights with the girlfriend all the time, and you could’ve called the cops and he could be in jail right now. So thanks.
Bella: Well, to be honest with you your son is one of the main reasons I decided to move. I just can’t take all the violence and the fighting. It makes my blood pressure go up too much; it makes me too nervous.
Father: Ya, you shouldn’t have to deal with that in your own house.
Bella: Ya. Between that and the Ethiopians who party all night on the other side, plus the neighborhood, I just had to go.
Father: Well, good for you. Take care.

So, they’ll soon know that I’m moving too. I’m glad that the landlord is kicking them out, but I am so angry that I had to put up with living like this for a year. I really want to tell the landlord exactly what I think about the whole thing (that he should have taken care of it sooner, that he should have done a background check on them and never rented it to them to begin with, that having 3 people and 2 dogs in a 1 bedroom is too much. And that he needs to do something about the “restaurant” next door otherwise the next tenant is going to be upset, too), but I’m going to hold off on saying anything until I get my deposit back. I know that technically and legally they shouldn’t dock my deposit because they’re upset with me, but I also know how the real world works. They’ll be a lot pickier if they’re upset with me than if I just leave quietly. But don’t worry, I’ll make sure to let my feelings be known in either a very well-worded letter or a phone call, after this is all over.

I have no idea what it’s going to be like around here now that The Kid knows he’s not coming back.  I have a bad feeling that he’s going to be even worse because he’ll think he has nothing to lose.  But believe me, I won’t hesitate to call the cops if it comes down to it.  I’ve had enough.

I’m so excited to go today and get the lease all signed and get a move-in date and start getting this show on the road.  Peter asked me to bring Lulu by so that he could see her.  So we’re heading there in a little while, and I can’t wait.

Because yesterday turned into a debacle, I’m bound and determined that today is going to be terrific.  So far, it’s starting out that way.

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One of the things I’ve been really slacking on with this new meal plan set out for me by Kaiser is the vitamins.  They want me to take oodles of vitamins every day – 11 or 12, to be exact.

1 Centrum multivitamin
1 B1
1 sublingual (under the tongue) B12 every other day
6 Calcium Citrate
2 D3
1 Ferrous Gluconate (Iron)

That’s a lot of pills!  As you can see from the photo, I’ve taken half of them already today, but I still have 5 more to take.

This past week I was really bad about taking them; I was only diligent about it on Sunday and Monday.  I completely forgot to take any on Tuesday – Thursday, and Friday and Saturday, I only took 5 in the morning.  Not a great start to this new healthy habit for life.  Because once I have the Lap Band surgery, it will be extremely important that I take all of these vitamins to make sure I’m getting the proper nutrients everyday.  In fact, I may need to take some additional vitamin supplements to prevent hair loss.  Because even though my hair is super-thick, I definitely don’t want to lose ANY hair, and will take whatever is necessary to prevent it.

I think that once school starts and I pack this vitamin carrier with the rest of my food in my lunchbag, I’ll be a lot better.  If they’re right there, staring me the face, I know I’ll take them.

So for this week, my challenge to myself is to take these vitamins each day.  I’m going to carry them in my purse so that they’re with me no matter where I go. When I do my Wednesday weigh-in post, I’ll update you on how I’m doing this week.

Do you take YOUR vitamins?  What do you do to remember to take them?


Housing Update: Yesterday I got a call from Peter (my old landlord who owns the duplex that I used to live in that I’m trying to move into again) asking me to swing by the duplex to see it.  It was absolutely beautiful inside.  The bamboo flooring in the dining room, living, room, and down the hall way is absolutely gorgeous.

The tile flooring in the entry and kitchen is also very nice.  This photo is a little dark because the lights weren’t on, but I love the color of the floor because it will mean I won’t be a slave to the floor, like I am now.  (My current place has really light linoleum that shows every spec that Lulu brings in and I’m constantly hand-cleaning it  besides the bi-weekly mopping).

The granite in the main/guest bath is a nice, neutral palette.  The carpet in the bedrooms is a year old, and looks new.  The only room that hasn’t really been redone is the master bath, but that doesn’t bother me, since very few people will see that anyway.  He has put in all new fixtures (towel racks and lighting) that match the guest bath.  The kitchen also has a year-old refrigerator and dishwasher.  He installed an automatic garage door opener, which will be so much nicer than having to manually lift the garage door like I used to have to do.  The bedrooms, dining room, and living room all have nice-looking wood-and-brushed-silver ceiling fans, which will really cut down on the AC usage.  But the place does have central AC, which is nice on those days that get into the 90s (although we haven’t had ANY this summer).

The backyard is nice, although the grass could use a bit of fertilizer, but I know that once I’m in there, I’ll make sure to put the sprinklers on regularly so that it gets greener.  There are a few spots in the fence that Lulu might be able to slip out of, but Peter assured me that he’d repair those for me so that there would be no chance of her escaping.  He said he plans to put in a completely new fence in 2011.

Basically, the place is perfect, and all signs seem like I’ll be able to move into it!  He said he wants to give the other guy one more chance to respond, but if he doesn’t, and things go well with my info, I’ll have it.  He also said that he and his wife hope to be able to rent it to me, because they know what a great renter I am and that I take care of the place as if it was my own.  He said, “when you lived here before, I always wanted to take pictures of the way you decorated it, because it would show off so nicely if I ever had to rent it to someone else.”  That made me feel really good, especially since I think the way I have my current place decorated is 100 times nicer than the way we had that place decorated before.

The rent is cheaper than I expected, although still $600 more than I pay now, but I can’t even begin to compare how much nicer the new place is to this one.  Especially in terms of the area and the neighbors.  There’s a ton more room in the new place, and many more modern conveniences, like having more than 1 electrical outlet in a room.  The 40s-style charm of my current place can’t be replicated, but I can live without that, especially for all the other upgrades that the new place will bring.

So, the next step is to fill out the rental agreement, submit a credit report, and send it all in to him.  He said that he’ll be able to tell me for sure by Wednesday, which is exciting!  Please keep your fingers crossed for me!


Doggie Birthday Party: One of my old friends who used to work with me at Yahoo long ago is having a birthday party for his dog today, and Lulu and I are excited to go.  I haven’t seen this friend in a few years, because he moved to Santa Monica for a while when he was working at Google (yes, he cashed in on the stock!)  I’ve never seen his house here, and it’s NICE.  It’s in a very exclusive area, and he paid over 2 million dollars for it 10 years ago.  Now, in Northern California, 2 million doesn’t go that far, but this house is really nice, from the photos, and my friend has a great sense of decorating style.  He also has a huge backyard, so it will be fun for Lulu to play with some of the other pooches who will be there.  I bought Roxy (the birthday girl) a fun doggie treat that looks like a mini cake and a t-shirt that says “Happiness is Having a Furry Friend.”  I’m also bringing a Caprese salad with me (mozzarella, tomatoes from my dad’s garden, and basil).  It should be a fun afternoon, and I’m looking forward to it.


Smoke Free, Day 5: Today is day 5 of my quest to be smoke free.  I’m doing a lot better than I thought I’d be, and although the evenings after dinner are still really difficult for me, I’m making it.  I’m proving to myself that I’m stronger than I thought in terms of my need to smoke, and that’s been such a nice revelation.  I don’t necessarily feel any better…yet.  I’m sure that will come in the weeks to follow.  I am also happy to report that I haven’t gotten bitchy or short-tempered, which is nice.  I did have my bout with some depression earlier in the week, but I think I’m over that.

Tina suggested that I look at this as stopping for a while, rather than quitting.  I had the exact same thought the day she wrote that comment.  Rather than thinking about the daunting task in front of me (quitting forever), I’m just thinking about stopping for now.  It may seem like semantics to those who have never smoked, but it’s made a world of difference to my mindset.  It’s the same concept that we use with weight loss.  Rather than thinking of the reality of losing 150 pounds, I focus on these first 20 that I need to lose.  It makes it much more manageable.  The same thing is true of quitting smoking.

I hope you’re all enjoying your Sunday.

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