Friday, May 30, 2008

Dug Up and Buried Again....

Sounds like a title to an episode of a soap opera, doesn't it. Well, I am talking about St. Joseph. we buried him in December in our basement and obviously he didn't like our prayers or we didn't bury him good enough. In MN you can't dig outside, it's just impossible. So, we though we would try the small unfinished area of our basement where there was dirt. We couldn't dig too far because it was rocky (this whole town was built on a gravel pit basically), but he was buried. Well, it's 5 months later and we still have not sold this house and we are way below our assessed value and fair market value on the house. We keep dropping the price and we're pretty much at the point where if someone does finally buy it we will not be able to buy another one and are going to have to rent.

It makes me sad that we are giving up this 5400 sq. feet beautiful Victorian Queen Anne home to have to rent something. But I need to be positive and see everything we will be gaining. Isabel & I love everything we have available to do all the time around us. We love being members of the Y and having zoos very close to us. We have this wonderful support network of friends that we just don't want to give up. Andy loves his job.

At church last weekend, our minister said something about that sometimes God wants us to prove how much we want something and often that means making sacrifices. The topic that week was on marriage, but why should that not apply to everything. I asked Andy what he thought about that statement and whether or not he thought God's plan was for us to stay in WI.
His response was comforting, but still doesn't bring us a buyer. He said that he doesn't believe that God would bring us to this new & wonderful church that we really like and give us all the opportunities that Isabel & I want, and bless us with this fabulous support network and give Andy this job he really wants if he didn't want us to have these things. I gotta wonder though, how long are we meant to have them. Is it only for a year?

I know we didn't just wait around for God to hand us these things. We made them happen. Andy really wanted that job and we waited & sacrificed for it to become a reality. We went searching for a church for us. We forged these relationships. We went searching for opportunities. But God gave me the strength and curiousity and determination.

So, anyways, I had never read anyone burying him in the house and apparently it didn't work for us. So, I dug him up and tried to figure out just what worked most often. So, now he is buried 12 inches in the ground facing our house while being upside down and underneath one of the realtor signs. Will it happen now? I don't hold my breath anymore, but we'll see. I said my prayers to st. Joseph. There is an open house this weekend and a realtor tour next week.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Stephanie!

It's my middle sister's birthday today!

You Could Have Sung the Phone Book.....

If any of you are watching American Idol this season, then you are aware that this is Randy's catch phrase this yes, "You could have sung the phone book, Dawg!"

So, I watched the top two contestants and I am a big fan of DC. He's hot and I love his sound. DA is still such a baby and I don't honestly think his voice is all that special. I don't see him as the "prodigy" that someone coined him earlier in the season. And it kind of drives me nuts how exasperated he acts when the judges give him his feedback.

I know that Simon basically predicted that DA would win with a knockout. They both are going to end up with contracts whether or not they end up as the winner of American Idol. And honestly, I think some years the person who comes in 2nd place ends up being bigger than the 1st place person.

It will be interesting to see which performers go on to do what. It seems like with each year there are more & more performers who do not stop with American Idol, which great. I like to see that they don't just fade away.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I'm Fine. Is That What You Want Me To Say?

When someone asks you "How are you?" in some form or another. They want you to say something along the lines of "I'm good" or I'm fine". But what happens when you don't say that and you say something else.

It kinda cracks me up (& actually makes me feel a little bit better inside) to be honest and tell them everything is not fine and to watch their reaction. All of a sudden this quick greeting or small talk has been changed into this uncomfortable conversation that must occur (otherwise they would be thought to be insensitive.)

Sometimes I indulge people (or myself because I don't want to talk about it) and say everything is fine or good. I did that today when we met our playgroup at the park. They asked how things were and I smiled and said "good", even though they know we are soon to be homeless and be living out of suitcases. They know things aren't "good" and one will be brave and ask if our house sold yet and I will say "No" and try not to think about it or cry. That's why I indulge myself in saying everything is good, because I don't want to think about it or cry again. Thankfully, to stop further inquiry, someone else stepped in and said "I am sure she will tell us when it sells." And you better believe that I will!

But then we had this conference call with our Realtors and one of them asked me how I was doing. I didn't feel like indulging him, as I feel they have repeatedly let us down over & over again. So, I told him I was stressed. SILENCE. I wish I had the luxury of actually seeing their faces, but the silence told me it wasn't what he expected to hear. But I hoped it added a layer of guilt.

The conference call overall was good and Andy & I were way prepared. He made up an agenda outline and we followed that straight through. They probably thought we would talk for 10 minutes, but we had 30 minutes worth of talking to do and things to discuss. I took notes and was a "commitment" Nazi. I kept asking if they would commit to doing different things and got time frame or dates for commitment. If I didn't we would never get anywhere because it seems that our realtors do nothing but talk in circles and riddles without ever committing to anything. And that doesn't fly with me. So, I typed up all the notes and a plan of action sent everyone copies.

And next time someone asks, "How are you doing?" just test it out and see what happens.

Does it make me a little sick that when I am honest and tell them I am stressed or sad or upset or whatever and I like seeing them squirm a little bit because it wasn't what they expected/wanted to hear? It probably does. And I'm ok with that.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What do I Want/Need

I am not sure if these thoughts were spurred by the sermon at church last night or just the constant re-evaluating that is going on in our lives right now. And getting up at 5:30am to go to the bathroom not being able to fall back asleep with all these thought spinning around in my head has not been helpful.

We have lived 9 months without 95% of our possessions and "renting" someone elses. There have been some things we have brought back with us when we have made trips to our mortgage payment, but some stuff we just couldn't. Now, we do miss our bed and comfy couch, but it doesn't necessarily need to be those particular items, just something that isn't 20 years old and needs to be comfortable.

Now, don't get me wrong, there are lots of things that I miss and which I had to use or enjoy and I don't feel the need to give away all my worldly possessions.

We've been talking about the need to rent a house for a while rather than buy so that we can allow the market to stabalize. Even though it is a buyer's housing market, is it really if you are worried about the job market.

I feel like I am rambling all over the place......well, my first dilemma is to rent or not for an extended period of time. After you own a home with your own yard & garden & space and ability to paint walls and change light fixtures as you wish, it's hard to think of not being able to do this long-term. Now, I've not been able to do this for 9 months and I don't particularly care for it.

I enjoy decorating my home the way I want and that includes painting walls and changing light fixtures. And even though I hate the expense of it, I want to be able to install new energy-efficient windows if I so choose. I hate these drafty single pane windows here that cost us a small fortune in oil bills this winter.

I was ok with no yard work until recently. I want a garden, even if it is a small garden or containers. I like plants and growing things, and I need that space to do that. I feel good about growing food to provide for my family and I enjoy the canning I do with all that produce I have grown. I feel like that is missing right now. I have no garden to plant or care for or enjoy.

Now if we could find a suitable house to rent that allowed me to paint the walls and plant a garden, I would be pretty happy. I need to be able to enjoy my interests and hobbies.

But then there is this feeling os stability that I get from owning a home. There is no guarantee that person you are renting from wants to be a landlord long-term and might decide to sell the place, leaving you trying to find new housing. I did not enjoy how often I moved throughout college, both undergrad and graduate school. I did enjoy living in one house for 6 years.

I also want space to play outside with Isabel. I know we can always go to a park and since joining our playgroup we have really learned to utilize parks. But I want our own outdoor play space.

I also want safety. I have no plans to move into Mke. It's just too dangerous. It's pretty scary watching the news. Mke is pretty violent and has a lot of shooting deaths. I seriously don't remember the news in the Twin Cities mentioning as many shooting deaths. My friends from the Chicago area say the same thing, that the news here reports much more shooting deaths. I am too much of a country girl to ever be happy living in the city for long-term.

Even though we can't afford to have multiple mortgages/rents, we did decide that the most important thing is that we are all together.

Ok - I am rambling here because I don't know what conclusion I am trying to get to. But that's the point. What do I really need versus what I want?

Well, Andy & Isabel have gotten up and it's time to be with them. But aren't you glad you aren't in my head spinning around with all my thoughts.

Friday, May 09, 2008


I feel bad....I went to a home party my friend had, it was CAbi party....they have cute clothes and some of them look so great on, not to mention that the sizes run big, so you wear a size 2 sizes smaller than normal. Anyways, I had to leave w/o buying anything. She just bought stuff from my home party and I was planning on buying as much as she did, but this CAbi stuff is quite expensive, at least more than I am willing to pay. I don't pay $89 for a pair jeans. I tried on a few of the cheaper (not cheap by any means - we are talking $30 for the cheapest item which was a thin, kinda see-thru tank top). I couldn't do it. I tried on things that cost more, but again, I couldn't justify paying that much for something. I apologized to my friend and told her I couldn't afford anything. I was talking about it with some other friends before I said anything to her and I was doing all I could to not crying...bless their hearts they were trying to justify for me why I couldn't afford it, but I didn't want to be reminded that we will in essence be homeless in a few weeks and in a few weeks more Andy could be out of a job.

The clothes have very flattering cuts and I can see how people can get swept away in purchasing items when all their friends are telling them how great they are. I almost bought this skirt for $79, but that is a lot of groceries. And it was too dressy to wear to often.

Then my bad habit of mentally comparing sizes came back to me. And I should have been hapy putting on something that was 2 sizes smaller than normal, but I just felt blah! because several others were another size smaller. How petty, can't I get over that stupid high school and college mentality of the "size"?

So, I left the party feeling like crap, like I am poor & fat. I want to cry.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Knock It Off

I have to try to be positive because all this worrying is not good for me. I mentioned how the stress has manifested itself physically in the previous post, but I never mentioned that I tend to talk in my sleep when I am stressed, but the reallys scary stuff is when I get really stressed I start walking in my sleep.

The other night Andy caught me opening the bedroom window and asked what I was doing and I told him "I had to go meet someone," but then I woke up just enough to see that it was 1:45am and said, "well, I guess that doesn't make sense that I need to meet someone at quarter to two I the morning" and then crawled back into bed.

I went to the Y yesteday for my spin class and then lifted weight afterwards for 15 minutes. And then in the evening we went to the park to play with some friends and then for a walk. Currently, I don't have anything physical planned for this afternoon (this morning is a combine birthday playgroup for Isabel & another friend who has a 2nd birthday this month), so I think I better figure something out. Andy thought I seemed less stressed and happier after he came home (which was after the exercising).

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Count Down from 27

Yikes! That's it! 27 days left in the lake house rental and then we are kinda homeless. Sure, we still have a place in MN, but Andy still has to work in WI (nearly 5.5 hours from the MN place.)

We decided that what was most important is that we are together, even if we are basically living out of our cars. At this point we can't afford to stay in a hotel or rent another place & continue paying mortgage because there are those impending layoffs at his company and we will have no clue how they will affect us until mid-summer (when he has been here for a year, which he signed a contract to work.) So, it's not like we can all leave and figure out things in MN and we can't really figure out things in WI either.

And with gas at near $4/gallon, we certainly can't afford to drive back & forth to see each other on weekends, so we all must stay in WI. Both our families have offered to lebd us money, which is kind of them, but doesn't help because we still have to pay that back and how does that help us if things get worse (or even if they don't) and we have payments to our family to make as well as all our other bills. So, what does that mean?

Hell if I know!!!

Because we have not sold our house we have the
Homeless Plan:
* Rent a U-Haul & bring our stuff back to MN
* Deliver our pets to their 2008 summer homes (cats: Andy's parents, dog: My parents)
* Stay at MN home for a couple of days & breathe & try not to cry that our lives are a mess
* Return to WI and live at a variety of locations that include a couple of stints of house/pet sitting for 10 days at a shot, as well as living in our friends' furnished basements.

If our house (by some miracle) happens to sell we have the
Rental Plan:
* Rent a U-haul & move our stuff into that place
* Keep our pets with us (hopefully)
* Have our possessions from MN stored in a warehouse until we know Andy still has a job
* Find temporary furnishings (some have already been offered up by friends here)
* Breathe and try not to cry that our lives are a mess

Now, July could come along and Andy could find out he is indeed going to be laid off. We hope this isn't the case, but we can't trust that it won't be. So, we must rent so that we are not stuck trying to sell another house while Andy finds another job. And at this point, I think we have decided that we will just continue to rent. We really didn't want to. We wanted to buy a house, but we just can't trust this market (both housing & job) and the last year (yes, the house has been on the market for almost a yeat already) has not been good on our stress levels.

And to make matters worse, Andy had that accident which leaves him with a fractured radial head and more money to pay to the hospital & out of our pockets. We have decent insurance and after this episode we will have met his portion of the deductible, so everything beyond that is coverd 90%, but that means we still have to pay the rest of the deductible & 10% of the rest. As well, as he will have several visits (I am sure to a bone doctor) which we'll have 10% to pay. So much for getting a stimulus check. I guess we are supporting our local medical system with that.

How am I handling it? People say I am handling it well because I don't seem stressed to them, but inside I am bawling my head off and screaming. In the last couple of years I deveoped this eye twitch when I am stressed...just today that sucker has been twitching all over the place. I can't sleep for shit. I fall asleep for a few hours and them I get up every hour starting at 2:30am. I try to nap when Isabel does, but that doesn't help and is never long enough. And when I am trying to sleep, my body is so damn tight that I wake up with cramps all over the place and a stiff neck. I think that maybe I need to start drinking or using the pain meds Andy was prescribed but isn't really using.

I've been going to the Y & exercising or meeting up with friends and walking and just trying to stay busy & active, otherwise I fear I will go completly downhill.

And to make matters worse, our relator continues to be a POS and he told us our open house times would be 11-1 today, and we made out paid & free ads say that, but their website says that it is 1-4 today! What the hell!!!! I hate him.