Monday, March 16, 2009


Its been one heck of a couple of weeks. I had to stop myself from posting here because in the mental state I was in I'd be doing nothing but rambling and whining, and goodness knows I read enough whiny blogs without adding to them myself.

Good news is I survived my garden talk on Sat. I ended up talking for 90 minutes before the librarian had me wrap up and barely made it thru half my powerpoint presentation of 46 slides, I had so much info and people had so many questions- but it was ok, alot of people had their questions answered so I'll consider my talk a success.

Of course theres bad news as well.

I finally got a medical diagnosis for some health issues I've been having, and basically was shocked to find out I have PCOS (polycyctic ovarian syndrome) so I might not be able to have more kids. Explains so much yet so heartbreaking. And the medications they gave me for it make me feel weak and nauseated constantly. But worse yet is finding out we're going to have to find a new place to live again within the next few months.

The long and the short of it is I have been thwarted in my garden plans- again. Unknown to us and without my husband's ( or 4 of his other siblings knowledge) the oldest brother who tentativly has a legal agreement with their father authorizing 3/7 siblings if in agreement could put the house on the market- did. Well 5 of the 7 didnt know until after the realtor had been hired. So on top of the stupidity its breaking their own legal agreement they dragged thru court for the last year to accomplish. *bangs head against the desk* So now this house is for sale for a rediculously low price, its insult to injury. There had been talk of splitting the proceeds of the sale amonst all 7 siblings, but the price is so low by the time the legal crap and realtor have been paid there isnt going to be anything left. Its not surprising to me, I never thought we'd see a dime from here, but my husband is bitterly dissapointed that he trusted his brothers and moved us here, away from our very nice apartment, my family, my friends, when I really didnt want to live here, all to be betrayed. Live and learn.

This is 3 weeks after moving here with the understanding that we were welcome to stay here for 1-2 years while the market picked up so they could sell this place at a decent price. I painted rooms. I fixed things, I was planning a garden, all because we were encouraged to stay here rent free and get back on our feet while we waited to see how Chris' job situation panned out.

I was beyond spitting angry and frustrated and wanting to kick some ass, but of course the brother in question has turned his cell off and only gave a vague email of " I've done my job now its up to you".

Um, ok. But theres a 3 month contract with a realtor, so to make things even more stressful theres this idiot of a realtor who shows up unannounced with liek 10 people to parade thru the house, including mine and the kids rooms. I hate the invasion of privacy, but we're powerless ot do anythign about ti since this realtor will only answer to the oldest brother who hired him and talked down to me like I was some sort of homeless squatter on the property when I politly refused to let a group of people to 'our' end of the house while my kids were asleep and had no notice of them, I just happened to see a group of people milling about outside on the pooldeck and put 2 + 2 together. Every other day or so we get these surprise visits from peopel coming to see the house and this place is just a mess with no one ever really picking up and of course 2 kids living here. Maybe I am just old fashoned but I feel really ashamed having strangers see the house like this- but no one else here seems to care. So I try to keep the place swept, mopped, and somewhat decluttered.

So we've decided to declare bankrupcy so we can get out of here, unload the house thats finally begining the process of foreclosure, and start over without credit card collectors breathing down our necks. Makes me feel dirty inside doing it, but we're rapidly running out of options. Wether or not this house sells in this shitty market isa coin toss, but we can't stand being here having our trust and our privacy discared like we have no rights, so even if we're in a tiny place somewhere at least its OUR place. It has to be cheap since if Chris gets laid off we have to survive off of less then 1800 a month. ugh.

SO ANYWAY, back to the gardening part...

Scrap the plans of an inground garden. I have enough containers to make 4 or 5 SWCs, alot of random pots, buckets, and windowboxes, and I have enough coconut coir, peat moss, vermiculite and compost in the back to probably fill all of them. I just need ot pick up a few more containers and I should be set. Now I am trying to brainstorm a priority list of what I really wanted fresh, and came up with a shorter list:

1. Green Beans ( tie 5 6 ft bamboo poles and place in a SWC with some pole bean vines)
2. Summer Squash ( 1 'Ronde de Nice' round zuccini is a compact plant thats very productive)
3. Cucumbers (Spacemaster cucumber should do the trick)
4. Carmelo tomatoes ( 2 per SWC with some basil)
5. Amish Gold tomatoes
6. Cherokee Purple Tomatoes
7. Yolo Wonder Peppers ( I'm trying to see if I can squeeze 6 plants in a SWC, probably just 4)

I have some random flower pots lying about I could probably put a few chili pepper and eggplants in, and just have to hand water them more. I may try to grow some melons in a SWC with a trelis, but not sure yet. Winter squash probaby wont happen this year, but at least I still have a dozen quart jars of canned squash from last year.

I have swiss chard and lettuce growing in windowboxes already, I'll probably need 1 more windowbox to have a better successtion planting of lettuce going.

Its likely we will probably be here for 3-4 months, at least till the bankrupcy crap is done and filed, and thats long enough for 1 crop of veggies if I transplat them out in the next week or so.

I already have a friend who is building some new raised beds who needed plants, so I told her I'd give her all my 'homeless' baby plants, so all my other tomato variety plants will go to a good garden. That makes me happy.

But I admit I still want to cry at having my little dream of a garden that can support my family being crushed again. I want to cry because my 4 year old daughter keeps begging me to move back to our apartment where she was really, really happy. I just want to be someplace thats safe for my children where we can mind our own business and live happy peaceful lives. Somehow I must have gotten some screwed up karma to have so much keep happening to us.

Its bittersweet, to see the resurgence of victory gardens ( also known as Recession Gardens) growing in popularity, and working so hard to help other people get started gardening, training as a master gardener and having to tour different school and community gardens and for all I know in a couple of months I may end up in a 1 bedroom apartment somewhere without space for even 1 container plant. Its a very bitter pill to swallow, but I keep telling myself that I'm still doing something worthwhile by helping other people, and it feels good to be doing something thats not just for myself.


ChristyACB said...

I'm so sorry to hear of this. The hits just keep on coming for you this past year!

I'm really surprised that a sibling would do something like that. Even if it were selfish when there doesn't even seem to be anything to gain from it!

What a knucklehead, that sibling is.

You live in a pretty hard hit area. Any thoughts to leaving that whole area and going to a totally new place?

Cindy said...

if we can find a decent job out of state, we'll take it. I love CA but my husband and I hate how you almost NEED both parents working to make ends meet, and if being out of state means we can spend more time as a family and less time stressing over the costs of living I'm totally for it.

ChristyACB said...

A suggestion: Both of you get on the internet and look at the government jobs registry. I know we have 138 of them right now for our local area that are "career" level jobs. Both Federal and State. Navy area usually has a lot of listings since there is always ship related work to do.

What about Monster for a whole new area? I know you've been looking but try a whole new state or broaden the search to be for the job and not the location.

I just get the feeling from all that has happened that you are being sort of "set free" from that area. Nothing to tie you there and there may be a much better life elsewhere.

Sinfonian said...

I am SO sorry Cindy. That is so horrible what your brother-in-law did. Fortunately with the market how it is, and a messy house, there is no way that house will sell. But if it does, you can move those SWCs, they weigh about 50 pounds full of water.

I don't want to discourage you, but bankruptcy doesn't erase credit card debt. It hasn't for a few years now. Sorry. I don't want to bear bad news.

I must say, it's hard to have one parent at home everywhere. We struggle daily to do it.

I'm also so sorry to hear you're medical challenges are bad. At least you have two lovely kids and a great husband.

I'm so glad you're continuing to take classes and teach. You are doing great work and it will reward you eventually!

Deep breathes and love on your kids. Spend time in the garden to recharge.

Best of luck!

Not Hannah said...

Oh, Cindy, that just sucks. I haven't been checking up on folks the way I should and I missed all this.

Even though you're a "lazy pagan" :), I can't help but agree with another poster that perhaps this is the way it's supposed to be and that the Universe has been trying to point it out to you (the insane iceplant springs to mind.) I don't know. Maybe that sounds crazy, but I just have a feeling that there's a little bit of land waiting for you somewhere.

I'll be lighting a candle and saying a little wish for you today, babe. Good things will come.