Ants, Appliances, and Anxiety

not these ants either

Have you ever heard the phrase “ants in your pants”? Usually, it means you can't sit still and look like you have ants crawling up and down your legs.

For me, it's not just a phrase.

I literally have ants in my pants. And in the cat's food bowl. And water bowl. And crawling over my bed. And anything else touching the floor.

It's been raining heavily the past 8 days straight. Gray skies, puddles and mud everywhere…. not fun. All this rain is soaking the Earth and making it waterlogged. The ants have been driven out of the ground and out anywhere they can find…… which just so happens to be my nice, cozy, dry, warm apartment.

So off I went to get some ant hotels. They are busily eating the bait and ferrying it back home, so hopefully that will be solved soon. Laying on your bed reading a book is supposed to be relaxing. Not so much when you find ants crawling over the book.

Speaking of things that I hope will be over soon…..

I got a new oven!

The previous oven was from about 1978 and had more than one mouse dropping fall out when I opened it. Not being a fan of pizza with mouse poop overtures, I got a new one. A new, new one. From a store. Free delivery, set up, and they haul the old one away. For $700, I hope I will not have to deal with any issues from this guy again until at least 10 years from now.

Of course, it's caused me enough issues already that I think I'm storing them up for the next decade. After we got it installed, they tried to test it and turns out, there was no gas in sight. I've had to call the utility company to come out and look at it. Hopefully it's nothing more than the gas was turned off and needs to be turned on again. At least it looks pretty until then.

As soon as I finished getting the oven, another appliance issue reared its head. My tenant across the hall from me let me know his fridge was on its last legs when he gave me the rent check. Great.

This time, instead of paying through the nose for it, I went searching on Craigslist. I found one nearby for $425. It's a few years old but seems to be in good shape and it's ready to go immediately. A big plus when my tenant has a fridge and freezer full of food he doesn't want to replace if he doesn't have to. This includes delivery! It's a bit pricey as it includes delivery, but hey, I didn't have to haul a fridge up 2 flights of slippery stairs in the rain. Next time I'll find a cheaper guy but for now this will work.

I found another guy that came over to take away the old one for free! The first set wanted to charge me for it. I don't think so. Double win in my book. The labor section of Craigslist might just be my new favorite section! The guy moving the old fridge didn't look anything like below though hah!


In and around all of this, I lost my wallet. This has caused me a fair amount of anxiety on top of all the other issues. I have one credit card with me, but I'm in the process of cancelling all the other cards and getting new ones. It's a pain, and means I have to go through the agony of sitting and waiting at the DMV for a new driver's license. I want them to take a new picture – my old one was terrible. Maybe there is a silver lining to that after all. Update: I found my wallet!! Turns out I dropped it on my date last week. Yikes! So happy to have it back!

Frankly, I've been too exhausted to let all these worries keep me up at night. I'm not going to sugar coat it though – this process has been one of the hardest things I've ever done. Fortunately I know a lot of people who've done this before and let me lean on their shoulders when I just need someone to vent to. They also let me know it's perfectly ok to crawl into your closet, hang out in the dark for awhile while petting the cat, and have a nice cleansing cry.

I suspect I will look back on all these piddly little problems and laugh, but right now I'm still way too close to all this and incredibly new. As my friend B reminded me, I was warm, safe, dry, and well-fed. Everything not impacting one of those qualities can be considered minor. To put things in an even more respective light, at least I have both working knees…. unlike one of my tenants who got into a motorcycle accident and turned his leg into mincemeat. That's not say my problems aren't bad to me, because I certainly have a lot of things going on right now, but that I am grateful they aren't worse.

Shout out to J, B, and M for letting me borrow your shoulder!

How's life going for you? Any wins to celebrate or losses to commiserate?

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18 thoughts on “Ants, Appliances, and Anxiety

  1. I’d imagine it would be difficult to relax with ants all around. Growing up, my house used to be overrun with ladybugs in late spring. I would be sitting in my room reading and then I would suddenly hear the buzzing of wings or see one crawling onto my leg. Bugs while reading indoors can be so unsettling.
    Matt @ Optimize Your Life recently posted…Make a Plan! (Or Don’t)My Profile

  2. Hello Gwen,

    Great post. Yeah, anxiety creeps up on all of us. For me, exercise really helps calm the stress. Glad you got your ant problem solved (better than a rat probably eh)? You are an inspiration for being so young yet focused. Thx.

  3. when life comes at me hard and fast like this, I just say to myself (or to my wife), “It’s just a thing.” and then I deal with the thing. Each thing makes its way through life like the grains of sand in the narrow part of the hourglass. Oh, and try to remember not to confuse the urgent with the important

  4. I just did the same thing, bought a fridge and a stove for our rental. The stove looked just as old as yours, and the fridge is an old energy suck. I got the new ones from a big box retailer for the free delivery, although take-away costs $15 extra. But here’s a hint if you didn’t know: You can usually buy 10% off coupons for Lowes and HD on EBay. I bought one for $2, and that took $100 off the total!
    Norm recently posted…Ridinkulous Quarterly Expenses – Q1 2017My Profile

    • Nice! That’s a screaming good deal. I’ll have to remember that in the future when I need to replace the other two fridges, stove, and w/d. I will use the guy from Craigslist to take away the old appliances though – he fixes them and resells them for a lower price.

    • The last person in this unit wasn’t particularly clean, so I imagine they’ll be finding crumbs for a while longer. Ugh.

  5. You got this… It’s a learning curve and just keep your eye on the prize!

    I’m sure it will work out. Just think you have new pets 😉 Or are some kind of Marvel Superhero! Regardless, you’re resilient enough to pull through and come out the other side. Anything that’s worth doing is hard, that’s why not everyone does it.

    Keep your head up!

    Ummm… so I googled it … and I feel like this is oddly appropriate… Enjoy:


    • Ahahahahahaha that’s amazing! I thought for a moment you were going to link to yakkity sax lol. That’s been the soundtrack running through my head this week!!

  6. So a recent rental applicant told me he was a Terminix inspector. As a piece of friendly advice he mentioned that when bringing used appliances in the house to make sure it’s cleaned! He said the majority of his roach problems arise from used appliances. Washers/driers/fridge – he said he’s seen it from all of them.

    He seemed like a genuinely good guy, I was a little upset he had already signed a lease the same day I called him.

    Just an FYI!

  7. This is all part of the adventure and will make for good stories when you look back on it years later. I think, whether good or bad, you grow accustomed to the stress over time and the problems seem smaller and smaller. Either that or you overcome a few intense situations, and that builds confidence that anything is possible to overcome.

    I would much rather deal with an ant problem than a roach problem. Those little bastards are hard to get rid of when you aren’t able to keep the tenant’s area clean for them.

    Keep pushing forward!

  8. Long-time reader, first-time commenter. Just want to say I feel your pain! I left my purse on the subway and haven’t gotten it back. I’ve been replacing everything bit by bit, but realized I’m lucky enough in life that everything is replaceable! I’ve read every post and listened to every guest podcast you’ve been on. Thank you so much for sharing your story — I’ve been following along with such interest. We’re on very similar tracks, but I won’t be brave enough to buy a house for quite some time! Thanks for literally taking one for the team so I know what to expect when the time comes. I know it seems like your whole life is colliding with change right now, but if the way you’ve approached challenge in the past is any indication, you’ll be so much stronger in the end. Enjoy your fancy new (temporarily non-functioning) oven & have a wonderful rest of the weekend.

    P.S. I thought your Harry Potter stained glass key idea was brilliant by the way! Such a great tribute to an incredible series!

    • You can do it! Growth happens outside your comfort zone. Let me tell you, I’m doing a bunch of growing lately! Thank you so much for all the kind words! I’m glad you’re along for the ride 🙂

  9. Egads, new houses are stressful. All I can say is it gets better – eventually. Until you get a new tenant, then they get excited about telling you about every little thing that needs to be fixed, and painted and replaced and and….

    But hey, they pay your mortgage! Bring on the FIRE (not the real flamey kind..)
    LadyFIRE recently posted…DTF: dollars to fun ratioMy Profile

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