Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Come Back Later... I'm Whining

Seriously, I could crawl under a table, stare at the underside and feel sorry for myself all afternoon. Feh. Blech. Blah.

I still haven't signed the new lease deal with the landlord. It's not such a terrible contract, it's just that it is debilitating thinking of being here indefinitely, and worse: I have to disclose a proposal for approval of any new pets. You know, pets? Like, as in, chickens?

It's all my fault. After 5 years of yearning and false starts, after waiting and hoping to find our destiny, I finally took matters into my own hands and defied common sense and reason. I hate renting. I hate not knowing where we are going next. I hate having to answer to another adult for my paint choices, and for permission to have this or do that. I am tired of living half in and half out, apologizing for our messes and regular wear and tear.

Oh, yeah, it's a pitiful situation... not our circumstances, me telling it.

Yup. I should have known better than to walk in to that feed store and walk out with chicks. My plan was based on hope and optimism and it is swiftly falling apart before my very eyes. The chicks aren't cute little peepers, that can hide in the shower stall and fit in a lunch bag. They are days away from cackling from a nest box. They fly and run around. They make a mess, and they make a scene. And they are going to make my landlord mad.

They make me happy. They amuse us all... how can I have regrets?

If we are here to tell our story, then there are still blessings to thank God for, but in all honesty... this has been a really hard year, following challenging years, on the tail of some disappointing times. And I do not feel like I am managing very well.

I've spent too much of the day doing house searches on Redfin, an amazing search tool, if you happen to be looking in one of their service areas. Redfin is amazing, but the market is lousy. Yes, there are deals and more options than last year, but too many sellers are still smokin' some wacky stuff. Now, I am just sad and defeated. Southern California is full of crummy, small, crowded, fixer-upper million dollar houses. Want to see something insane?
This place is obviously a bit out of our reach, but do you think any place can appreciate by $51,000,000 in 8 years?! Yes, I counted the zeroes. I've seen countless others, that are in middle class neighborhoods, that ought to be reasonable, and yet they are asking for 1 and 2 million dollars more than they paid 1 year ago! I ain't buyin'. Which just plain sucks.

We've been calling this bubble and economic "down turn" for a long time, and if anybody isn't aware: It's going to get worse. Whether you turn to the White House or the Onion, for your economic forecasts, it's all laughable.

So, buy now? Over pay or settle for something too small, too remote? We could go far east in the county, but we would be out of our comfort zone, and deep in to heat, fire, drought and long commute country. We could go very far east and make a go of it in Wisconsin, but the job market makes that a risky proposition. I think of moving north; after what happened to my mom, I am very interested in closing the gap between our homes. We've thought about renting some place else, some place fun and cheap, or fun and cheap and different, while we wait for the market to correct itself. Theoretically, this is an interesting idea, but practically it makes me go in to a fetal position, humming West Side Story tunes...
There's a place for us,
Somewhere a place for us.
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us
Some day!

If you made it this far, you are a caring friend, or a glutton for punishment... I'll throw you a lifeline, I'll open the same window of joy and hope that Aunt Carol sent me. Make yourself smile and watch these world dance videos and maybe, like us, you'll feel like dancing, too!


Andylynne said...

I can so hear your sadness and frustration as you write. But I can also hear humor ,joy and love for the life that you have. No one can tell you what you need to do. Only you, your hubby ,along with your children can decide. I can only say it is never foolish to follow a dream. If we don't ever set out, we will never achive our ultimate destination. Such easy platitude but I truly believe it. Your family is richer for the things you do, for the chances you take on happiness. I'm sure you will be guided, taken care of, and blessed during your continued search.
Mean while you could tell the landlord your boarding the chickens for a friend :)

judy in ky said...

Oh, it's too bad that you are not looking in Kentucky. There are lots of nice houses here under a million bucks. And chickens (and other livestock of all kinds) are "de rigueur" here. Nothing overlooking the Pacific of course, but we do have a "yacht club" on the Ohio River with fake palm trees that light up at night!

Anna Banana said...

How about the same strategy as for your cats? Say you have 1 chicken and hide the others when he comes over. Sorry you're having a sad day. This recession truly sucks!

d.a. said...

May a wonderful solution to your housing situation appear, quickly and easily. Thinking good thoughts for you.

Em said...

Did you notice girlie's shoes are on the wrong feet? Sorry about your housing issues!!!

Laura Jane said...

I read this far.

I send a hug, and a philosphical cup of tea shared with a friend, with a wish that this too will pass, and that you will soon be enjoying eggy goodness!!!!!

Send some to the landlord....(well you see I was minding these hens for a friend and they laid these Eggs! Who'd have thought?)

YayaOrchid said...

I am thinking California and New York are two of the MOST expensive states to live in. I don't know what your family career circumstances are, but can you consider another state to live in? I know in some areas of Texas you can buy a mansion with ACREAGE for much, much less than a million. We'd love to have you'll in our state :)

I'm sorry you're feeling pressured about having your chicas. I know you don't want to have to explain anything to the landlord, but perhaps he can be 'educated' about the wholesome goodness of having chickens, ie., they add wonderful compost ingredients to the landscape, free range eggs are healthy- you don't want to have health issues down the road, they are just wonderful creatures and make great pets, etc. I know, I know, I'm being too optimistic that he would understand.

Well, you do homeschool....soooo.. they're a science project for your kids.

I will certainly be keeping your family in my prayers, that the Lord touch the landlord's heart to understand that the chickens are harmless, and that soon you will find the place of your dreams.

judy in ky said...

If I may comment again, I think the "science project" idea has promise.
Seriously, I wish you well in finding a happy home for you and your chicks. I know I don't know what I would do without my pets... they are necessary for my well-being.

amy smith said...

yes natalie,
you have to know by now, iowa is a beautiful state, and cheap. :) we all make it on only one income.... and you can have chickens in iowa.
AND it is really close to WI.

Tarie said...

I'm slowly resurfacing, Natalie. Your friendship has helped! I even had time to blog today so that I could answer a meme - which I tagged you for! :o)

nikkipolani said...

Surely, surely, SURELY, there is a home for you and your chicas and the cats. And, BTW, if you can't whine to your friends, who can you whine to?!

Chris said...

Natalie, I certainly wish you a successful negotiation. You are in an uncomfortable spot to be sure, but I have to believe there is a solution. Whether it's a new place or an "understanding" with landlord, you deserve some peace about this!

I also wanted to mention that you are a wonderful writer! I enjoy every post!