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Friday, November 6, 2015

The Apartment War

I would like to think I am an easy-going person most of the time.  Yes, I get stressed out and sometimes have mild panic attacks, but I feel comfortable saying I can work with pretty much anything.  That being said, this apartment is testing my limits...

When I was looking at places 2 and a half months ago, I was overwhelmed by the cost and condition of what I was seeing.  I knew what I wanted, but couldn't seem to find anything in a good location with my wants/needs that fit my budget.  Until I saw this one.  It had everything: the views, the location, the 2 bedrooms, the swimming pool in the clubhouse, 2 parking spaces, lots of natural light, and a washer and dryer in the unit!  It met every criteria.  Granted I saw it when it was full of someone else's things (and I do mean full) but I could see the potential and loved it.  Plus it was below my target rent!  So I signed the lease.

That simple action that brought relief to my anxiety 10 weeks ago has caused me to second guess myself for the last 6.  It started with some repairs when I moved in.  Things didn't work, but they were soon fixed and everything was ok.  Or at least I thought so. 

I began to fill up my schedule with work and lessons.  And I unpacked.  Everything.  I broke down the boxes and recycled them, because my plan was to stay for at least 2 years and those boxes were old and dusty.  They needed to go, right? I even got as far as putting things up on the walls.  And not with tape, with hooks and nails people.  Like an adult and not a college student.

Then I got sick.  I'm lying on my couch feeling sorry for myself while a guy is fixing the sink that isn't draining and all of a sudden, out of the air vents comes piles of dust, debris, and cat dander!!!  Now, remember my easy going nature?  I'm trying to hold on to it because I am severely allergic to cats.  This is not helped when the plumber comes out of the bathroom with a 4.5 inch plug from the sink drain comprised of cat hair.  EEWW!  So I packed a bag and went to hide out at my parents house.  Yes, I was hiding from my apartment at my parent's place.  Very adult of me.

After starting to recover I begin to realize that probably most of the "seasonal" allergies I was having the previous few weeks were probably due to a contaminated apartment and not pollen from outside.  So I decided to officially declare war on my apartment.  I borrowed my parent's vacuum and carpet shampooer and went on a cleaning supply buying frenzy (I literally had nothing after my move).

My arsenal of supplies.

I then proceeded to deep clean.  This included shampooing the carpets twice (3 bottles of shampoo were required), scrubbing the walls, baseboards, doors and trim in every room and hallway with hot water and baking soda, washing the hard floors, scrubbing the interior and exterior of every cabinet and drawer, and cleaning the ceiling fans, light fixtures and windows.  No surface (except the popcorn ceiling which is uncleanable, I swear) was left untouched.  This is the cleanest this apartment has been in years, I'm sure.  The amount of dirt and cat hair/dander was staggering.  I went through 12 pounds(!) of baking soda...

This is what it looked like after the first round of shampoo.  The water came up black.  Gross.

Now, as you read that, you may not think that sounds riduculous.  A touch over zealous maybe, but nothing totally crazy (yeah, right).  Understand that between each carpet shampoo I had to let it dry and then vacuum again.  I almost killed my mom's vacuum.  It's a good thing the repair man is amazing.  And I moved every piece of furniture out of a room before I did the carpet so I could be sure to get everything.  Remember how I mentioned that I had unpacked everything??? Yeah.  I took everything back off the walls and emptied out a couple of rooms at a time to make this happen.  I was tired, and sore, and cranky for a week and a half.  I missed days of work, and felt like a dork wearing a mask over my face in my own apartment for hours at a time trying not to breath in the dust, dirt, and cat dander I was stirring up while cleaning.

This is my living room full of the furniture from my studio and bedroom.  The dining room has everything else in it.
It was disgusting work.  I don't mind cleaning in general, but usually it's my own dirt and I am not a dirty person so it's not really a big deal.  This was someone else's (and their cat's) dirt which is a whole other story.  I don't ever want to do that again...ever.

Now, everything is back where it goes and I feel like I have won that major battle.

Unfortunately, the war isn't over yet...

Sunday, November 1, 2015

I'm just trying to figure it all out...

3 months ago I was totally lost.  Like wandering through the Arctic in a white-out blizzard lost.  I had no idea what direction I wanted or needed to go in, or really any idea on how to figure that out. 

Now I'm working (I even made enough money to pay my rent!!!) and starting to figure it all out.  I am not sure I'll ever have it completely figured out, but hey, that's what life is all about right???

In the mean time, I have started several exciting new endeavors and continued with several others.  The most fun has been cross stitching, the longest standing have been a couple of multiple-year-old quilting/sewing projects, the most disruptive of my daily life has been the war with my apartment, and the most drawn out/frustrating is trying to figure out (8 months of trying) what is wrong with my wrist.  The most exciting is creating my own business!  I promise to explain these, but I can't do everything right now, so I'll just leave you with a couple of quilty pictures :)

This is my Halloween quilt.  I started it with fat quarters from JoAnn's several years ago and finished the top before I left for grad school.  I finished the backing over winter break, then two weeks ago finally got it basted and quilted it up last night.  Now I just need to find the binding...

There are 2 bathrooms in my apartment and I only own one shower curtain.  So, since I don't have any extra money right now but I do have lots of pretty fabric, I decided to make a second shower curtain!  I have had a maple leaf quilt on my list for a while and this seemed like the perfect project for them.  I need a total of 36 12" blocks and I have completed 17.  I have 14 more cut and ready to finish and I am waiting to get those done before I decide what fabrics to use for the final three (my theory is I can balance out any colors this way...)