I quit(Confidential to my sister: don't read this!)
I think I am going to throw in the towel on home ownership (I know, great timing, huh?) In the past year I have spent more than 30K on "deferred maintenance" for the rental house (and given the general financial scene, thinking of it as "capital relocation" is no longer funny...to me). In the past three years, I've put 20K or so into my house, and had signed on to teach summer school to get the wood floors (currently buried under carpet...yecch) redone--money that will now go to defray the consumer debt I racked up replacing the furnace in the rental. My trees/shrubs need professional pruning (haven't been done in 3.5 years), and today I discovered water damage on the wall with my fireplace (the masonry was part of what had been repaired).
I'm seriously thinking of selling both houses, if possible, and raising my daughter in a condo. I'm feeling pent up by the requirements of suburban idealism (house, yard, upkeep, pets), and also disappointed with how dull my life is (see next post; or previous post, or whatever).
Today, in a fit of displaced malcontentment, I had a very satisfying plant massacre. I have ugly plants for which I have cared ceaselessly and unenthusiastically. Some were abandoned by other people, foisted on me, or arrived upon my husband's death. But they were ugly, overgrown, straggly, yellowed, surrounded by dead foliage, in need of repotting, root-bound.
So I threw them away (I did put them in the city yard waste). I put the pots in the garage. I have one half as many plants now, a small amount of guilt, and a tremendous sense of FREEDOM.