Summer’s End: 9/1 – 9/15/2015

Posted on October 20, 2015 by

Malachy’s last day treat – water ice – on our last day the first week of September. Malachy is a classic South Philly babe. He would show up in the morning eating a hot soft pretzel for breakfast sometimes from his walk over with his mom. I knew she had given him water ice before and that he loved it so I figured it was a fitting last day outing. Also – for any observers, I’m a pretty strict/healthy nanny! I’m not big on the treats and would never without asking permission first. 😉 In general, I like to do outings vs. presents, affection/excitement/cheering vs. gift/treat rewards, etc. But a good ol’ fashioned treat is healthy every now and then.

We went with our buddies Annabel and Mariela, of course.

Malachy and Leo exchanging last day presents. Leo gave Malachy a harmonica and a shirt that he has so they can have the matching ones. Malachy gave Leo a handsewn stuffed bunny, with overalls made out of an old pair of his jeans. They both loved their gifts.

Abysinnia with buddies

An outdoor movie at Clark Park – the only one I made it to this year.

Helping out at a Books Through Bars pack-a-thon

Seeing part of a Beyonce set for free at the Made in America Fest. Some buddies played earlier that day so they got a bunch of free passes to give away. This fest was a messss, so much garbage and vomit.

In July, a stray cat had kittens under our back porch. Only 3 of 7 survived and we took on the task of feeding them and finding them homes at the end of August. Luckily we have friends that do animal rescue who gave us lots of advice and eventually ended up fostering the babies and finding them permanent homes.

Mikey and our favorite kitten, Crunch.

Here he is again. Do you love him? He had a birth defect in his back knee that made him walk funny. The vet referred to his knee as ‘crunchy sounding.’


A Sunday trip to the Wissahickon

Rover is old (almost 11!) and can’t hear anymore so letting him off leash is a risk, but we let him run ahead here since we were so far from any roads or other people.





Some big clouds over West Philly

Out to dinner for Kelly’s birthday

and I didn’t manage to get a photo of Kelly

At the Clover Market in Chestnut Hill

I didn’t go with anything in mind to buy

But a few days earlier we heard back on our reply to inspection on a house we were trying to buy and came to terms with the seller. If everything continues to go well, a house we were trying to buy would be ours by the end of October, so we bought a rug and a number tag of our future new address! (since this photo, everything else went through. Our closing date is October 29th! Only a week and a half until we’re officially homeowners. I’m sure this photoblog will be pretty dedicated to new house stuff for a while once that comes.)

Allison playing at the Church

Thin Lips playing at PhilaMOCA

Mikey’s band, The Goodbye Party

The following weekend, in Mid September, we went down to DC for Chris and Sheena’s wedding.

Chris and his mom

Sheena and her dad


It was a really pretty late summer day and a lovely, low key potluck wedding.

Our roommie, Sam

Cutting the cake with Billie the Best Dog

So many people dressed in black

This guy looking dapper and sporting a pin that he makes/sells. What an entrepreneur.


Posted in Philly Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2 Responses to Summer’s End: 9/1 – 9/15/2015

  1. l. says:

    hi ramsey, i was wondering how you and mikey went about getting the money to buy your own house, if you don’t mind my asking? are houses cheap in philly? this is something i always wanted to do, but it seems so far out of reach. thank you.

    • ramsey says:

      Hi. We saved! And we don’t have student loans. That pretty much is the extent of it. I decided three years ago (when I was 27) that buying a house was a serious goal of mine. I committed that year to paying off my debt (which wasn’t huge, 1-2k), set up automatic savings, started a mutual fund, etc and got really serious about managing my own money. I didn’t know annnything about that stuff before just deciding to learn and figure it out. I use the Mint app and regularly keep tabs on what’s going on in my accounts, where I’m spending too much money (eating out, tattoos) and where I could be more efficient. Mikey and I are both planners, we don’t drink, we don’t travel a lot, we lived in a group house where rent was cheap, we don’t buy clothes almost ever, etc. We’re pretty frugal people overall. But we also both work full-time and have kept steady jobs working 40 hours a week the entire time, while living frugally. Once your debt is gone and you’re living well within your means, you’d be surprised how quickly it accumulates if you have a job that pays ok and you stay put (the biggest expense in my life was always moving from rental to rental or to new cities. I could never get ahead because moving is way more expensive than you ever plan on. During my savings period I stayed in the same rental house the whole time.) We both make an okay wage and haven’t had big gaps in our pay by taking time off or switching jobs.

      The other thing is that we had two incomes to work with, we had both of our savings. I wouldn’t have been able to afford it if I was just trying to buy a house myself. In the beginning when I started saving, that was my plan, and I wouldn’t have met that milestone already if that were the case. Once Mikey decided he was on board, suddenly saving was a lot faster – twice as fast.

      Lastly – you’d be surprised how little money you ACTually need up front. Conventional wisdom when you read about buying a house is to have 20% for a down payment, so that’s what we had been saving for, but once we actually started looking into buying a house for real and took a homebuyers class (free from Redfin!) and talked to a realtor, we realized you can do an FHA loan for first time home buyers and you only need as little as 3.5% of the cost of your house up front. For some houses, that’s as little as a couple grand.

      And of course, it all depends on the area you’re buying in. We bought outside of the city because real estate in our neighborhood in the city blew up in the few years we were saving and we were priced (way) out. There were still houses we could afford in our neighborhood but we weren’t comfortable with lines we would be crossing in terms of gentrification, so we opted out of going that route.

      Buying a house always felt so out of reach while I was saving, and then suddenly it just wasn’t and we had met our savings goal.

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