GRATITUDES + BREAKTHROUGHS 05.26.20
I’m sharing a few snaps from the inside of my house today! I would say I’m 90% settled in. I have yet to make some splurge purchases like a headboard for my bedroom, a bed frame for the guestroom, a round dining table, fresh bed linens and a new leather couch. COVID-19 really put a hold on any non-essential home purchases, so I’m keeping everything as is until things get back to normal.
You’ll see my space filled with plants, two dogs and a few antique dressers. I am waiting to really hang anything on the walls, I want to make sure the pieces fit in the room. I have so much art that I’ve purchased from my trips that I can’t wait to display.
So take a peek and below I’ll share the lawnmower story.
My Grandpa Ron had given my Dad an old 1990s push lawn mower years ago and it sat in my parents garage. When I bought this house my Dad tinkered with it and got it running so I wouldn’t have to purchase one. It was economical and thoughtful considering my Dad was able to get a 25 year old push mower working again and it came from my Grandpa.
I moved in on a Friday with said lawn mower. My dad wheeled it through the backyard, to the back of the house, set it there and closed the gate. With Ava + Mosby I’m hyper aware of making sure the gates are closed so they can’t get out, especially in the city. The lawn mower sat there for a few days as I settled in. Settling in meant making sure I unpacked and got the boxes broken down and stacked for the trash as well as the Rubbermaid moving containers I had. (When I said I, what I actually meant was Francesco happily went outside and broke down boxes and organized my trash, while I unpacked boxes inside with Ayla. Big thank you Francesco!)
On Monday morning I decided to take Mosby out on the leash to continue to get used to the new yard, new fence and his boundaries. I walked to the side of the house and saw that the gate was open. Immediately, I felt weird about it. I talked myself out of feeling weird quickly by shutting the gate and guessing that someone from my family had left it open when I moved. I walked to the back of the yard where it meets the alley and I saw one of my blue Rubbermaid containers sitting there. Maybe the storm had blown it 15 yards across my yard, and over a 4 foot chain link fence? But when I looked at the boxes stacked up everything was neat and in order… but not this one box. Weird.
I couldn’t leave it in the alley, so I walked back and picked it up. There was a huge cut mark through the plastic with like a serrated knife. It was creepy, and I felt uneasy again. Did someone come into my backyard while I was asleep with the dogs to steal one single Rubbermaid container to cut with a knife and then throw it over the fence. What psycho does that? <insert all murder and true crimes shows I’ve ever watched or listened too, I feel scared.>
The rest of the day I feel uneasy and I’m talking with Ayla and my family about how weird this situation is and I think I need to get a security camera. I do some research and land on Ring. I order the cameras to be delivered in a couple of days and I hunker down. I am ritualistically making sure the doors and window are locked. (Also I should note I don’t have blinds and my curtains haven’t been properly hung so I feel exposed.)
A few days pass and a guy knocks on my door and offers to mow my lawn for cash. I’m thinking, “the grass is long, you have a mower, but do you actually want to mow the grass?” I do have a slight problem, I don’t have cash and he doesn’t have Venmo. He suggests a bag of groceries for payment, which I’m happy to do. We agree, he cuts the grass and I pack a grocery bag. Cool. That was easy, and I low-key love how quirky that exchange was.
That afternoon, I go to let the dogs out again on the leash and I see my next door neighbor also cutting their grass. It must have been a good day to do it. I walk the dogs, I come inside and I think to myself… “wait, where is MY lawn mower?” It should be right up against the back of the house. Where I walk past every day with the dogs, multiple times.
I go back outside, and sure enough it’s missing. It took me 5 days to notice that my lawn mower was gone! In fairness, I have never owned a lawn mower, so it wasn’t on my top 10 things to notice or watch when moving into a city. Then I call my Dad to ask if he had moved it when he visited last. He said, “No, but you should see it right there, I put a blue Rubbermaid container over it and cut the side so the wire could fit through to protect the motor from the weather.”
OH MY GOODNESS. Yup, remember that psycho that I thought came into my backyard just to steal one blue Rubbermaid container to cut it and toss it in the alley… well he actually stole my lawn mower. It took me days to realize it was missing. So, while I did lose my lawnmower I felt better knowing there wasn’t some creepy guy in my backyard cutting boxes trying to look into my poorly covered windows while I slept. I also felt like Ring was necessary at this point.
So fast forward two weeks and I have curtains, blinds, 3 Ring cameras set up, 3 solar powered motion detector spotlights and chain/locks on the gates. My Dad was nice enough to gift me another push mower. But this time, he decided he was going to protect it by building a bracket to connect the lawn mower to the foundation of the house. I felt overly prepared and safe, more safety measures that I had taken in my 35 years at any place I had lived before.
Ring turned out to be kinda cool and also kind of an anxiety machine – I’ll talk about that more below. But, my routine was to wake up in the morning and check the footage caught from the night before to see if anyone had been snooping around. And 5 days after the new lawn mower was securely bolted to the foundation, I had my first unwelcome visitor. Ring caught him on camera at 2:35am, jumping my retaining wall in the front yard, following the neighbors fence line, straight back to the gate that was open the first time. Only this time he walked away about 5-7 seconds later. I can only assume that the motion detector lights and the chain/lock stopped him from moving further. He quickly walked back to the sidewalk and walked away.
So in 3 weeks I’ve had one lawn mower stolen and one attempt. It is funny to think that I didn’t actually know the first one was missing. This second attempt though, made me feel uneasy and vulnerable. I haven’t ever felt that at home or any place I’ve called home. I decided to get another camera, so I’m up to 4 now and drag this heavy ass lawn mower down to the basement. It barely fit down the steps and made the 90 degree turn. So it’s safe down there, I just don’t know if I’ll actually be able to get it upstairs to cut my grass again. (Seriously, the are deceivingly heavy.) I might need to find grocery guy again.
I’m also looking into adding a 6ft privacy fence, which would be ideal. But is also not ideal with COVID-19 shutting down the wedding industry and such.
So we will see what happens, I wanted to share with you the realness of moving especially outside of the “everything here is perfect, also look at my new lamp.” It’s important to share that I do still love my house, and I do feel safe in my neighborhood, I would just really like this person to stop attacking my lawn mowers.
I mentioned Ring above, and it is cool. I really appreciate the live feed and being able to know what is going on at my house especially when I’m gone for weddings (in the future) or traveling. I’ve never had a security system before, so I went down this rabbit hole fast. I love how their app is set up, I can easily see all of the cameras, find alerts and I was fascinated by the ability to connect with my neighbors. You can post and share comments or videos of things that happened for example, someone trying to sneak into my backyard. So, I feel aware and connect to the happenings around here.
Being aware and connected also lead me to feel fear and anxiety. The cameras sensors are so good at detecting motion that for the first few days I was getting close to 200 alerts a day. “Motion at Front Door.” “Motion at Backyard.” Over and over and over again. I would then hop up to look outside or check my phone for the live stream or wait for the video to record and render. Instead of having peace of mind, I felt highly nervous almost all day and at night I would wake up to check the app.
I started to do some interwebs research to see if other people felt the same when they first installed, but I didn’t find much. Instead, I found out how to finetune the motion detectors, alerts and timers. The alerts have cut down majorly, but I do still feel jumpy and I’m hoping that goes away with time and the more I am able to understand the app. I don’t want to live feeling like my tiny castle is being stormed every 5 minutes.
Those were my big shares for today, I’d love to know if you have Ring and what your experience as felt like.
As always, thanks for reading. xo.