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

    • Try not to con­fuse the urgent with the impor­tant” – This needs to be my new life mot­to.

  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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