The homeless man living in our backyard

I’m pretty confident there was a homeless man living in our backyard this summer. I found a man’s winter coat tossed haphazardly in the weed forest a few weeks ago, and that was my initial suspicion. The thought hasn’t let up. What else could it possibly be? No one wears a winter coat in the middle of summer except homeless people — or someone with a serious case of the flu. Maybe.
homeless man's coat in my backyard
Brian, who’s been home most of the summer while I galavanted across the country, suggested that it was one of the neighbor’s coats, so I marched next door, knocked on the door, and when he answered asked if the coat belonged to him. It didn’t. He also looked at me like I was insane (probably because of the crazy eyes). Well, there goes the most plausible explanation. It was time for my imagination to run wild.
I walked back to the house where Brian was busy painting the deck and didn’t have an opinion…or even care that this giant coat was found in our backyard. It couldn’t possibly have been blown through the neighborhood because it was one of those super heavy work jackets, and there hasn’t been any gale-force wind up in the Chicago suburbs lately. 
Which left a couple of options.
1. It belonged to a homeless man sleeping in my backyard.
2. It’s discarded evidence from a crime.
I graciously placed the coat on my fence because a. I was not bringing that thing inside — it could have bugs. Or germs. Or be evidence for a murder or something and b. I thought if the homeless man came back, he would realize that I had left his coat in a place he could access without coming into my backyard, and perhaps he’d realize that I was on to him. And would possibly sick Louis the squirrel on him. Or maybe the cops. 
Brian apparently spoke with the other neighbor on the other side of our house, and they both think that it was left by a ComEd dude. But I just want to point out that IT IS SUMMER. No one wears a heavy coat in the summer.
Nearly a month later and the coat and I are at a standstill. I refuse to move it from the fence and it refuses to disappear. I realize that I could also throw it away, but it’s a pretty decent coat.
But I’m also left wondering, what happened to the homeless man who was living in my backyard? Maybe he moved to someone else’s backyard across town. Though heaven only knows why. I still have tomatoes and peppers galore in my garden if he were to get hungry. And my backyard is welcoming and cozy as fuck. It’s all Illinois Prairie gardeny and shit.
Illinois prairie backyard with milkweed
What would you do? How do you think it got in my backyard?
Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

How to Make House Hunting Less Like Dating

For the last couple of months, instead of estate sailing and garage sailing for vintage board games, Brian and I have been adventuring out with our realtor (who is hilarious and awesome), but you knew that already. Because we almost bought a house. And then we didn’t, and we were heartbroken. It was like a bad breakup. I even ate Sbarro pizza…in CHICAGO. Home to the best pizza known to man. But I ate Sbarro. And inadvertently paused my DietBet(I didn’t gain anything, but I didn’t lose much, either.) I’m not making excuses, just telling it like it is.

Much like dating, the best way to get over one house is to jump right into the next. But that never works out. We needed something fast and easy. We went and saw 5 houses just a few days later. We compared them all to The House. The one we had just broken up with.

Now, we’re much pickier…only seeing 1 to 2 houses at a time…and we go in ready to shoot down a perfectly good house for whatever reason…because we’re afraid of losing it…or it really doesn’t hold a flame to our first.

Is this starting to sound familiar?

House hunting is COMPLETELY like dating. And then I remember how long it took me to find Brian. And I don’t want to wait 27 years to find the right house!
image

So I’ve decided to make house hunting less like dating…and more like a game.

Step 1: Create a list of all the criteria that you’re looking for in a house.

Step 2: Assign point values to each feature, based on how important it is to your search.

Step 3: Create a list of the most ridiculous things you can think of and make every house visit a scavenger hunt. Note: This is a mini-game and doesn’t coubt toward win conditions.

Step 4: Visit the house. Check off items on the criteria list to find out if you have enough victory points to buy the house.

Step 5: Without snooping in places you shouldn’t be snooping (furniture pieces like dressers and desks are off limits. Would you want someone going through your things?), take note of items on your scavenger hunt list. Shelves, closets, and items that would stay if you moved in are fair game, but again, dont rifle through anything. Be considerate and think about if it was your house. Besides, people leave enough weird shit out in the open when they know someone is coming to look (remind me to tell you about that time they were showing my college apartment).

Step 6: Another mini-game. If there are pictures of the people currently living in said house, make up a story about them. Feel free to use items on the scavenger hunt as props.

Step 7: Tally up the victory points and determine if it’s your house. Do the pros out-weigh the cons? If so, it may be your house.

I hope this helps you avoid heartbreak while searching for your new home…but if it doesn’t, the mini-games will at least keep you spirits high and your sense of humor actively engaged.

Have you bought a house? Do you want to buy a house? Do you have tips for house hunting?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

It’s Gettin’ Hot in Here

No, seriously…It’s friggin’ hot.

Thanks to a faulty air conditioner…OK, maybe not faulty, but definitely not working…we’ve been sweltering for the last two weeks. Well, sort of.

Brian and I have a window unit in our room, so sleeping is A-OK…but you try confining two people into a small bedroom for two weeks and see what happens. So we’ve spent evenings sweating our brains out.  Our roommate, Anna, and I have both been taking cold showers. And ENJOYING them. We’ve ceased all cooking inside the house until further notice. We try to stay away from home as much as we can. It’s been a whole lot of not fun.

Of course, last night, my boyfriend has decided that there is no way in hell he could wait another day…and so he and I walked outside armed with a flashlight, a toolbox, and some random a/c parts…

He’s got a buddy who does A/C stuff, so he had some assistance in discovering the problem and acquiring the right parts, but I really wasn’t sure it wasn’t such a brilliant idea.

So Brian starts explaining what he’s doing, and one of the first things that he points out is that if you touch the A/C parts without it properly bring turned off, you would die. This was NOT what I wanted to hear. So then I started having an internal freakout, and told him, “Don’t die.” Not that I have a tendency to worry and over-think or anything…

So he went through the whole process (with a few phone calls to his pal in between) and voila. Working A/C. I didn’t once doubt his ability to complete the task, but I seriously questioned his sanity at attempting to do it in the dark.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I feel like King Roland when I loudly proclaim, “AIR!”

(Bonus points if you know who I’m talking about without looking it up.)

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!