In search of a unicorn

After roughly a week of renting our house back from the investors who bought it, Hubs and I were donezo. We thought we didn’t want the hassle of homeownership, but the hassle of home rentership felt waaaay worse in spite of our unusual and best possible situation:

Our landlords were easy going and good about giving us notice when they needed something.
We didn’t have to pay a deposit for our month and half of renting.
We didn’t have to pay pet rent or a pet deposit.
There was no limit on the number or size of pets we could have.
We didn’t have to sign a lease.
The house was in good repair and so we didn’t have to ask the landlords to do any maintenance.

Any rental situation we enter into will most likely be one that includes: a for real lease, a deposit and maybe a pet deposit, relying on someone else for maintenance, and restrictions on number/size of animals. (Obviously we aren’t going to sign a lease that doesn’t allow two cats and a big ole pup, BUT I would like to have the option to foster other big dogs or maybe get Tonks a brother). Combine that with the things that weren’t awesome about renting:

Our landlord showed the house at least 10 times to find another tenant for when we moved out (not as bad as having the house on the market, but still not our favorite. We worried about cats escaping and still had to figure out what to do with Tonks those days).
We will never see a single stitch of that six weeks of rent ever again.
Not being in control.

And we are now on the market to buy again. I know, I know! I am a flipflopper. But I think that this actually is the right step for us because once we had our house ready to sell, I loved living there. Hubs and his dad fixed the windows and they all worked and looked amazing. We paid painters and our bedroom went from overly sunny yellow to calming light green in a day. We did a deep clean right before we listed the house and it had never been cleaner. I loved entertaining there and being able to walk to work and to restaurants and parks. I loved not having to worry about moving for the five years we lived there, and even though it was expensive, in the end I am so thankful that we didn’t pay all the money we paid in mortgage principle and interest to a landlord.

Some lessons from this first round of homeownership:

No more HOAs please.
Paint before you move in (or pay someone else to do it).
Keep the house clean by hiring a cleaning person (this one I learned earlier on, and would apply to a rental, too, but it makes such a difference).
Don’t let things linger, like windows that need fixing to stay open. Get ‘er done and you’ll feel so.much.better.
We like to commit to a place for longer than a 12 month lease.

There’s not much on the market right now where we’d like to live in NC. In exchanging emails with our realtor, we’ve been pretty specific about our [high] standards. His latest response was to tell us that the type of house we’re looking for will be “hard to come by and might even be like hunting down a unicorn these days.” We’re not worried because we know the right house (unicorn) is out there.


In Nashville, I had the best yoga teacher. I loved her and she loved me, and with my soul sister, Dro, I enjoyed her class every Sunday morning. We shared her class with people we loved, including Hubs and a manfriend of Dro’s that sometime later on became an ex.

People have different ideas about territory after a break up. I tend to be more on the conservative side. For instance, if you initiate a break up with my soul sister (and why the hell you’d do THAT is a whole ‘nother issue), then you lose the privilege of going to the yoga class she introduced you to. Even if it’s the best yoga class you’ve ever been to, it’s respectful to not go there anymore.

But this fella just kept showing up to the yoga class. And I got SO mad about it, mad that he hurt my soul sister and mad that he had the gall to keep showing up to my sacred place (though probably it wasn’t gall, probably it was just non-awareness, which was really his main problem). I was more mad than Dro ever was because she is brave and strong and forgiving. Plus, she didn’t need to be that mad because I was pissed enough for everyone involved (and even some not involved people).

I was so mad that I wished to never see him again, actually thought it determinedly on multiple occasions. Then one day in December our teacher said that she was going to stop teaching the class after the new year. And I had wished SO HARD never to see this guy again that I felt as though the class ending was something that I made happen with all my angry wishing. I was gutted.

I finished up my class series in other teachers’ classes, but I didn’t feel connected to my yoga practice the way I had. After I ran out of classes March 1, I just stopped going. Did some exercise videos here and there, but basically wasn’t active.

Fast forward to now. I’m alone in Chicago for a science writing internship (!) and craving the familiar, I find a yoga studio and pick out a Sunday morning class. It starts at the same time as my old class. I walk into the studio and immediately feel connected to the exposed brick wall on one side of the studio – my Nashville studio has one of those, too. The class is challenging, but it feels so good to hear familiar words and my muscles haven’t forgotten everything.

As we settle into savasana, the teacher puts on this song. Tears well up and spill over; my Nashville teacher played this song for us in savasana all the time. I let go of my lingering anger at that silly man, and of my even bigger anger at myself, that I let my anger at him drive me away from my yoga practice.

It’s MY yoga practice to grow and nurture, and it’s back.

Meet Melinda

To go from being surrounded by animals and Hubs, with dear friends and family a 15 minute walk or a 2 minute drive away, to being mostly solitary has been challenging. Luckily, I found a friend to keep me company. Meet Melinda:

Melinda the jade plant |

Melinda is a jade plant. She was born in a greenhouse and brought to Whole Foods for adoption by me!