My New Texan Home

The semester starts tomorrow! I may not have a university username yet (and all that entails), but I do have a place to live. My parents ferried up most of my furniture yesterday and I have been moving in. It’s still a bit spare, but that will change with time (and paychecks).

IMG_1126 IMG_1125When looking for an apartment, I looked up all of the properties I could online, called or emailed them to check availability, and then made appointments with properties that had any rooms available. Of course, I had a few criteria to help limit my search:

  • My budget. This started at max $500/mo, but eventually had to be raised to max $650/mo due to availability and suitability (safety, etc.) of the apartments.
  • 1 bedroom or studio, preferably the former.
  • Ground floor. My RA has been flaring up and I’ve had enough of stairs.
  • Be within cycling distance from campus.
  • Has to have a dishwasher. Washing dishes is my least favourite chore and thus costs more mental spoons than I’d like to admit.

I lucked out during my search that on my first day of viewing properties I found what I was looking for, and more: a ground-floor, 1-bedroom apartment, rent below my maximum, with rent including water and gas. Not only does the flat have a dishwasher, it also has its own washer and dryer (the actual units, not just connections). The only thing it doesn’t have is a gas stove and the property doesn’t allow pets, but I can live without either of those for the time being. (Though I do really miss Jewely Cat!)

My kitchen has almost too much storage (though most of it is very high and I cannot access it without a ladder) and the bathroom has no storage at all beyond the cupboard under the sink.

IMG_1131 IMG_1128I have pored over dozens of various websites for “tiny bathroom tips” and “small bathroom storage”, and many of them are difficult to do in a rental. I have been brainstorming for ways to increase storage and functionality in the bathroom without 1) breaking the bank, 2) putting lots of holes in the walls, and 3) making it feel cramped.

Any suggestions?

On Ferguson, MO


Photo by Trymaine Lee for MSNBC

From All Things Considered on NPR:

Ferguson Pastor: ‘This Is Not A Race Issue … This Is A Human Issue’

This interview with Revd. Willis Johnson of Wellspring Church provides the most insightful, humble, and sincerely human description of the situation in Ferguson, MO, and about racial tensions in the American South, that I have ever heard. You can spare 8 minutes to listen to this. Revd. Johnson speaks with the grace I wish all Christians, myself included, could speak to the world. When listening to him I heard Christ in his words.

Belated newsflash

I have a job.

I was called up to North Texas last week for an interview at a state university, and must have done something right, as I was offered teaching on the spot. Not quite the long, drawn-out job-search full of rejection that I was expecting. Orientation is next week, the first day of class is 25th August, and I have two different courses to prep for. I also have to find a flat. In addition to employment, North Texas offers fine society: game nights with the Ledbetters, et al. beckon, as do weekend hiking adventures with the Spiveys.

Ros was visiting the last few days (calloo, callay!) and she helped me sort out my teaching wardrobe — since most of my “smart” clothes and outfits were compiled in a much colder climate. We also did quite a bit of exploring, but now I must turn my mind to packing — again.

Thank goodness for the A-train, DART, and Megabus,* as I’ll be going to and fro from North to South Texas quite a bit these days!


* Yes, Virginia, Texas DOES have public transportation.