With some economic news to fuel our hopes, we have been venturing out across the county, looking for that ideal place, at an ideal price. And we have found ourselves in some remote spots, and in places with beautiful and unexpected views. We've even seen some of the "ugly climb" in the form of beautifully priced houses.
We have not found our house. Not yet. Yesterday, after 3 hours of looking and driving in one area, I decided on something I never thought I would choose: Gated... Ugh. I am so ashamed. I think gated communities are pretentious and isolating. Maybe they work for some, but I have never seen myself feeling comfortable in a gated neighborhood. Never say never?
Geoff and I have stumbled upon a development with astonishing views and huge lots, pretty homes that are large and inviting... sigh, and the best part is that some are in foreclosure and some are priced to sell and the rest are lovingly maintained, so the neighborhood feels welcoming and nice. Even the name suggest everything I would like: "____Ranch." Ranch, as in freedom and wide open spaces, and barns, stables, chicken coops, tractors and windmills. Not.
I spent 3 days daydreaming about one particular house, but could not get over that gate, until I realized that I can't let a gate stop me from something that is really nice in every other respect. So, I convinced myself of the benefits of living there, like slower traffic and peace of mind when the children ride their bikes. Naturally by this point I was deeply attached and excited and full of big hopes. It was more than enough to get me to the next step and I called the association to ask about a few things. That's when the red flags started dropping from the big blue sky. In their Ranch no one can make home changes without committee approval. In their Ranch no one can have livestock! No horses, cows, goats, donkeys, sheep or chickens! A monthly fee is paid for the privilege of letting other people to tell you how to live in your own home. Feh
I never should have stopped at that feed store yesterday. Yes, I needed rabbit food and some parakeet seeds, but I should have just picked those up from the market. I should not have gone into the back corner of the store where Maria and I could hear the distinct peeping and chirping. I shouldn't have peeked into the cages where it said "Banty Chicks." And Maria and I should not have pet the tiny, tiny chicks with the loveliest plumage I have ever seen, the tiniest chicks that would sit in Maria's hand like a cotton ball of downy fluff. No pictures. I had to drag myself away. On Friday they are expecting a shipment of Araucanas. My favorite. Geoff should take my keys on Friday.
William took this picture of his brother sketching. The boys are taking their state tests this week. Standardized, fill in the bubble tests. I guess I sympathize, because when we got home I didn't ask them to do any more school work. Max begged for 30 minutes of PS3 time and I gave in. Alex was happy to play for 30 minutes too, and then he immersed himself in sketching dragons and making electro-magnets. Coming soon: A post featuring the things Alex has made and revived from thrift shop junk. You can probably understand why we are looking for a home with room for a workshop!
Thank you everyone that took the time to vote. Time is up and the votes are being counted.
* OKay. Here comes the shameless self-promotion and begging!