Great Fire of 2009

The Great Fire of 2009: Lessons I Learned

This is going to be an a-typical post. However, I feel so strongly about thus topic, that I think it's worth discussing. Exactly one year ago, N and I experienced something that most people never have to go through; we survived a fire.

It was 3.00am when we woke up to a massive BOOM! There was a gas leak in our neighbors apartment, and as she lit a cigarette, her apartment exploded, subsequently causing her wall to collapse into out yard and onto our wall. As N, Otto and I evacuated our apartment, we had to crawl under burning debris; it was surreal. Luckily, there was only one serious injury (she has since recovered) but no casualties, and in the end, everyone's lives rebounded and returned to normal. But here's the lessons i've learned.

1. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE INSURANCE! It's a pre-requisite if you're a homeowner, but for all my renting readers PLEASE get renters insurance. It's not a lot per year, and will be worth it should you ever have to suffer through a fire or robbery. You may be thinking "oh, my stuff isn't worth much", but trust me, every pair of jeans and shoes, every book, every piece of furniture adds up, and would be very difficult to replace all at once (unless you have a trust fund or have been VERY financially responsible). Besides, you are responsible for clearing the hazardous debris, so at the very least, your insurance will cover that.

2. Order of importance
(a)People
(b)Pets: make sure you have extra collars and leashes/carriers by all your exit doors.
(c)cellphone: sounds silly, but you WILL need it. A lot.
(d)your purse/wallet

This is going to sound callous, but beyond a and b, NOTHING is important. It's all stuff, sentimental or not. c and d are just practical and make your life easier in the immediate hours following the fire, but you can and will be ok without them.

3. Don't be afraid to ask for and accept help
This is not the time to be proud or shy. There are so many details to take care of that they can get almost overwhelming. Lean on your support system.

4. If people and pets are safe, long run, everything will be fine.

If you shop for anything this week, please let it be renters insurance if you don't have it already. I hope you never have to go through a fire, but if you do, insurance will help make sure all your "stuff" is replaced. This I know from experience.

We'll be back to more "normal" posts tomorrow!

If I was a Rich Girl (na na na na na na na)

In the ideal version of my life (where money is irrelevant) I would be a yoga instructor. This may lead you to believe I'm a regular yogini, but sadly, this is not the case. Until last summer, I was really good about going to Studio 11 a couple of times per week to get some yoga in. Then the Great Fire of 2009 burned my yoga mat into a sticky mess, we were busy getting reorganized, N left for his semester in Florence, and the excuses continue.

Anyway, right around New Year's Eve, I discovered yogadownload.com, the online yoga classes (and podcast, which come with pose guides). I really like the concept of a 20-minute yoga session (particularly since Dr. Oz says it's really good for you). So, as one is wont to do around New Year's, I made a two-part resolution:

(a) STOP hitting snooze every morning and
(b) Use the extra time every morning to fit in a 20 minute yoga routine


3 guesses at what's happened since then... I NEVER got around to doing (a), so (b) hasn't really happened either! Shame on me!! Still, its only April, and I have time to redeem myself. So, I've some up with a "Tax Time" resolution; from now until May 15th, I'm going to do yoga 4 times a week. And you're going to hold me accountable. As added incentive, should I complete this challenge successfully, I will reward myself with a super cute yoga outfit.

So I'm curious... what would you do if money were no object?

PS I got the Gwen Stefani Rich Girl stuck in your head, didn't I? ; )

(Nike+ sportband update: Otto and I went to Edgewater Park today, and supposedly we walked 2.1 miles. I have to figure out if that was right. I have a feeling that my sportband is overstating my speed, and therefore my mileage)

Couch! Chaise!

Last year, N and I inadvertently ended up having to buy a whole lot of furniture following the Great Fire of 2009. (I will tell you the story another time, but the short version is; our apartment burned down last year and we had to replace almost 90% of our stuff, good thing we had renter's insurance). It was not.fun.at.all. We spent a ridiculous number of weekends driving around Cleveland looking for furniture that we both liked and was within our budget!

In any case, our new home needs more stuff than we currently own. We decided to stop in at Design Union; wow, furniture shopping was a completely different experience from last year. I really wish I'd known about it then! If you're in the market for furniture, and your style tends towards Crate & Barrel -esq, you definitely need to check out Design Union. WARNING: It is going out of business, and will be closing its doors forever in June/July 2010, so you have limited time. The upside is, there are some ridiculous deals to be had! N and I picked out 5 pieces in under 45 minutes! I can't wait for delivery day!!!