Thursday, June 7, 2012

Lessons Learned

Ah, the joys of being novice renters...

Always, always, ALWAYS take pictures and do a thorough walk-through with careful documentation when you move in and out of a rental. More than 2 months after turning in our keys to our place in the Little Apple, we’re only just now done dealing with the headache that was our security deposit.

Despite leaving the place in mostly better condition than we found it and multiple walk throughs where we were told, minus some minor damage, things were great, our previous landlord never returned our money (or our calls… or responded to certified mail…) Once he got a call from a lawyer, we got an itemized receipt and check pretty quickly; however the check was for an insultingly low amount, and the itemized list was…. Wel, silly. Let me share some of the highlights…
$150 dollars for cost of dirt, to fill holes left by dog

True story, Erika digs. We did indeed leave some holes behind, but isn’t dirt supposed to be, uh, “dirt cheap”? Some price checking at the home store indicates that according to his claim, he had to purchase 6,000 pounds of dirt for those holes. Folks, that’s THREE TONS! I’m hiring our dog out for excavation!

$140 for hose, sprinkler and watering
Ok, I understand the need to grow some grass in all that new dirt, but since we weren’t provided lawn care supplies when we moved in, I don’t believe we’re responsible for leaving any behind for him upon move out. Also, forgive me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t the lawn need to be watered no matter what shape we left it in?

$505 for carpet replacement and labor
“Landlord absorbed cost since carpet was not new when tenant moved in” Well sir, obviously the cost was not absorbed, since we got charged…. And the thing is, the carpet sucked when we moved in! They were going to replace it before we got there but only left it because we asked them to (who wants new carpet when you’re potty training a puppy? Not me).

$65 for… Clorox!
Seriously? Dude, wherever you buy your bleach, you’re getting ripped off…

This story does have a happy ending (for us, anyway, I’m sure the landlord would have a different opinion!). Thanks to CPT Fromage’s buddy who happens to be a consumer rights lawyer, another check is on it's way and we're getting back every penny we deserve. Not only that, but he made all of the phone calls, handled all the documents and saved us a lot of hassle. A big shout out to CB for all the help! We know better for next time!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Old Boobs

Before I start, let me preface with this statement: I am fully aware that 27 isn’t that old. To some of you, I may still be a young whipper snapper. However, it’s hard not to feel a wee bit… seasoned…. when I’ve pulled 2 gray hairs in the last month and have been carded for liquor fewer times than that in the last year. My 10 year high school reunion is next spring and my firstborn son will graduate with the class for, gulp, 2030! Maybe CPT Fromage’s new nickname for me (“Old Boobs”… he means that lovingly... I hope!) isn’t that far off.

Nah, really, it’s not so bad. 27 is my favorite number for one thing, and besides, I feel like I’ve done a lot in the last little while…

I’ve spent the last 5 years building a relationship with my best friend and this year we’re starting our own family. I don’t have a 9-5 job or career that comes with a 401K, but I contribute to my IRA every month, we’re financially stable with some spending money in our pockets and I’m about to start my dream job: Stay at home mom. A far cry from the frozen dinners and take out in my “younger years”, I’m cooking homemade meals almost every night, even mastering dishes like duck and salmon and I finally own some cookware, dishes and small appliances I can be proud of; heck, I even have my own china and silver serving set! In the last few years, seeing as I finally feel more like a grown up, I’ve started treating myself to the finer things in life – better beauty products (No more 98 cent Suave shampoo), professional hair coloring now and then instead of a box of L’Oreal and even an expensive bottle of perfume. Part of me will never grow up; I still enjoy young adult fiction once in a while and I can’t sleep without my stuffed cow, Sir Loin (See, mom! I didn’t grow out of it!) and I will forever have a love of boxed macaroni and cheese. Some things never change.

Nope, 27 isn’t so bad (but I sure could do without those gray hairs! As soon as Baby Fromage makes his big appearance, I’m making a salon appointment!)

Happy birthday to me! CPT Fromage took me to a Motown musical dinner theater this weekend, where we had a BLAST! Baby Fromage even treated me when he finally rearranged himself so he’s not in the most uncomfortable position possible. Thanks, guys!
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