Sunday, February 06, 2011

Learning to Be a Homeowner

You will laugh at me for the things I'll write about, and I don't blame you one bit. Dad took care of most of the things around the house, though my sisters and I had a lot of daily and weekly chores. But setting the table and emptying the trashcans into the big trashcan in the garage is different.

One of the things I learned in my first week of home ownership is how to 'do' the trash. My pickup day is Monday. My city recycles, so I have a recycle bin and a garbage bin. They are both on wheels and are made of that heavy duty textured plastic. My bulk item pickup is the first Monday of every month. We cannot set the bins out until after 6pm the night before, which is not a problem. And we have to pull them back in by 6pm Monday evening. Three months ago, the bins were delivered, and I was preparing to set them out for the first time. I put all my recycling in one and all the trash in the other, and only then noticed that I put the wrong thing in each one. So I unpacked them and redid it. I laughed at myself. They are different sizes, and I assumed the larger one was for trash, and only noticed that it says "Fort Worth Recycles" on the side after I had filled it with garbage. No harm done, but I thought it was funny how I didn't know how to do the trash. So now, every Sunday evening, I roll my containers out to the curb, place them facing the correct direction, and forget about them until the next day.

I also had to learn how to water my lawn. Because my yard was sodded so late in the year, it didn't have a long time to get its roots down into the soil. Also, my lot is sloped, so I found that I was watering the street in addition to watering my back yard if I wasn't careful. I have a couple of sprinklers, several soaker hoses, and a couple of hand sprays, so I'm set, I think.

For the first time in my life, I have wood floors and ceramic tile. The great room is wood, the bathrooms, kitchen, and entryway are tile, and the bedrooms and office are carpet. I sealed all the tile before I moved in, and I vacuum frequently to keep the carpets looking new as long as possible. But the wood floors are crazy! Every little speck of paper or grass or dust is visible on it. So I swiffer sweep it several times a week so that it looks pretty. I don't mind, and it only takes a couple minutes. It's just shocking how much stuff is on the swiffer pad every time, and knowing that this is the same amount of stuff that would be in the carpet if I had carpet in that room. Crazy.

And this will sound really weird.....but I'm also having to learn how to be a neighbor. I never, in my 15 years of living in apartments, cared to know any of the people living there. Many of the people were loud, yelled at each other, and dinged my car doors in the parking lot. I still jump when my doorbell rings, because I would never ever answer a knock on my apartment door unless I knew someone was coming over, which rarely happened. Now, I live in a fabulous little neighborhood with sidewalks, new homes, and kids who can plan in the yards and in the street without fear of something horrible happening to them. So, when I'm driving, I wave to all the kids, all the people walking dogs, and all the people in their yards who look up at my orange Honda. The next door kids know they can help themselves to getting in my backyard if they accidentally kick the soccer ball over the fence, and they can ring my doorbell to ask to borrow my snow shovel to use to build their snowman.

I'm thinking of joining the Citizens Patrol for the neighborhood, if I can ever get to a meeting/training session. I figure the more people I help, the more who will help me keep an eye on my house when I'm not home. I have a security system, but nothing beats the watchful eyes of concerned neighbors.

Life is good. I hope it stays that way.


Gail said...

I have the same problem with my hardwood floors but I have them in all the rooms downstairs and want to rip out the carpet upstairs and will some day. I use the dry Swiffer too usually after sweeping. My daughter has wood floors also and she uses the wet Swiffer. I've found trash is a problem since I have to take mine to the county dump since I live so far off the beaten path. You'll figure it all out soon I know.

Jilly said...

i don't really know or trust most of my neighbors, beyond the ones that own the daycare that i take my daughter to. the people acorss the street could be on "my name is earl" and if my home were robbed, i'd point at them first. some people at the other end of the street wanted to host a block party, and they did, but the left our half of the block off b/c that end hates the people who live across the street from me. after that slight, i figured the other end wasn't really worth my effort to get to know. i don't mind the neighborhood kids coming into my yard, except if they get hurt, i could be sued. we have the biggest yard, as we own 2 lots, and it's all flat and all grass. the local playground is kinda far to talk and the sidewalks aren't always reliable on the way there, so they like to play soccer and football in our yard. the people across the street have about 4-6 little ones (they come and go) and they're always running around outside in socks and diapers all over the street. they often turn up at my back door when MissM and i've been out playing. They want me to feed them and give them juice. I always wish that the one girl "the breeder" will get her tubes tied. She has 1-2 kids a year every year, and i'm not kidding about that either! It's a set of elderly parents and all their adult kids (4 of them & the breeder is the only one with a job) and all the breeder's kids and her 2 male "friends" (who've father a few of the kids). I can't make this junk up, it's like watching fox!

UrbanStarGazer said...

Funny. I went through the same thing with figuring out all the stuff that you have to manually do in a house. Nice that you're enjoying your new home and neighborhood.

@Jilly -- LOL. Wow.

UrbanStarGazer said...

Just read about Border's filing Chapter 11. Are you impacted by that at all?