Saturday, March 30, 2013

Stuff that might happen to you if you buy a house and how to be prepared!

So, in February my husband and I bought our first house. Now, if you had known us before, you'd probably be like 'WTF how did you pull that off??' because our financial situation has been less-than-steller for...well...ever. All I can say is that the universe is a weird place and I'm still having a hard time convincing myself it's okay to take the helmet off and emerge from the bunker...I am having a blast though, despite all the crazy stuff we're discovering (like the melted electrical outlets) and is generally awesome to finally have a real home.

But...weird stuff happens when you buy a house. Like, SURPRISEGoatPregnancy! We added a beautiful doe to our herd who was suspected to be in very early (accidental) pregnancy by her previous owners. Two weeks after we brought her home we got SURPRISEPrematureBabies! And it was actually pretty terrible because one of them was born with a fatal defect and didn't make it. But the other one is amazing! And we love her!

That very same day that we brought this SURPRISEPregnantGoat home we discovered our other doe had become pregnant during a planned liason with an unproven buck. Yadda yadda, goat jargon. ANYWAY, She is pregnant too, and in fact has been in early-stage labor since last night.

So, if you buy a house, just be aware: Goats. With babies inside them.

And also, asbestos flooring tile. Because, that probably lives under your carpet. At least it did under mine. If anyone ever wants to talk about DIY asbestos abatement I am now kind of an expert.

Lately, I have been thinking about stuff that normal girls and guys and non-gender-defined humans might want or need in order to make their initial house buying experience more...house-like. Here are some things you might want to consider having in your life. I have found all of the following to be fibromyalgia friendly and generally improved my quality of life while we were sleeping on a matress on bare sub floor and hoping our roof doesn't leak:

It might sound sort of cliche but you're going to want a Multi-Tool. A few years back my hubby was gaga over  a three peice multi-tool set for sale at Costco that we ended up buying for our anniversary. He later bequethed the medium sized tool to me and kept the large tool and the mini one with the flashlight for himself. In becoming a home owner I have started to develop my very own set of tools. People: Be prepared to buy yourself a tool box! And since I don't have one, I can't recommend one. If you can recommend a good, uber cheap tool box for a female-bodied person who cannot lift lots of heavy stuff all at once, I would be much obliged! Anyway, here is a link to a review of the multi-tool set we purchased. I am not sure if this particular set is even for sale anymore but it has been immeasurably handy. You should consider a multi-tool with both a phillips and a flat-head screw driver option, a knife and needle nose pliers. Especially if you have to remove bajillions of staples from your scary asbestos flooring (with appopriate safety equipment please and thank you). I have used this little tool to replace outlets and outlet covers, pick up dropped screws while wearing gloves and pulling out little bits of shrapnel from weird little places in my house.

You should also consider a valved respirator. This is the exact version I bought (several times over). It's an N-95 respirator, so it's considered medical quality. I did NOT use this for asbestos abatement and you shouldn't either. But, it did come in exceptionally handy for cleaning the scary amounts of mouse-poop that had accumulated in our home during the 9 months it was "unoccupied" (abandoned). It lasted forever because the valve wicks the moisture from your breath out of the mask, preventing the filtering media from getting bogged down by that moisture. It's cheap, infinitely reusable (unless you crawl under your house and the valve gets clogged with dirt, my husband can tell you about his personal experience with this) and comes in a  pack from Home Depot at a pretty decent discount. Our home was/is a fixer upper and was probably also the filthiest living space I have ever set foot in. Some sort of airway protection was obligatory for cleaning, not only because of the dust and god-knows-what but because of the chemicals I had to use to clean everything. I normally swear by home-made cleaning solutions like baking soda, vinegar and peroxide, but this time around I filled my cart up with oven-cleaner that made scary smokey fumes and soap for my kitchen cabinets. It's also great for wearing while doing your nails if fumes bother you! Here is the respirator in action:



Hey, do you own a shop-vac? If not, your life will get so much easier if you get one. I bought this one, though I think I paid quite a bit less for it. Seriously. It vacuums huge chunks of caved-in-ceiling-detritus (which has since been repaired, fear not) and nails and staples and mouse poop and stuff. If you want to vacuum dangerous stuff, including paint dust which almost certainly contains lead particles if your house was built before sometime in the 70's (I think?) then you will want to buy a special HEPA rated filter for your shop vac. You can also vacuum liquid. I haven't tried the liquid thing yet but seriously, this vacuum changed my life. Can you tell I really like vacuums?

I also got a really nifty super respirator that is rated for radioative air particles but I haven't really used it enough to review it. I did use it when dealing with asbestos but the jury is still out. Stay tuned for another product review on this shortly.

On a not-house related note, I bought a Hair Bean. If you are a long-hair, you should know that it is generally thought that brushes with the little balls on the end of the bristles cause damage by creating snags that break hair, at least this is the consensus among my long-haired brethren. I had been eyeing some Hair Beans at my local Grocery Outlet (I think it's a West Coast thing, it's a discount grocery store like Aldi or Canned Foods) for $5.99 and, after dealing with constant new breakage forming in my hair despite my best efforts and rigorous oiling and dusting, I decided to invest in one. Until now I have always used paddle brushes with the little balls on the bristles and never considered whether or not this was detrimental to my hair - In fact, I was even a little skeptical about it right up until I used the Hair Bean. It does NOT snag your hair, and in using it I realized just how many snags I felt with each stroke of my old paddle brush. The Hair Bean physically cannot break your hair strands. The bristles, which do not have balls on the ends, are so soft and flexible that they cannot cause snags. That said, my hair is fairly thick and so it was not easy to brush my hair in my usual fashion using the Hair Bean. While this brush's bristles are too short and too soft to "penetrate" into a thick lock of hair, it works marvelously if you seperate your hair into two locks and brush that way. You can even flip your hair over upside down and brush from the nape of the neck with no snagging whatsoever. As you can see from the link above, this is geared toward kids with sensitive scalps, but as an adult who wants to baby their hair, it'll work just as well unless your hair is very very thick AND coarse. It works really well for long hair and actually works well for styling bangs and creating side-parts.

And, just for your amusement, here is a photo of me in my haz-mat getup preparing to attempt to remove asbestos tiles (using appropriate safety procedures):


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