Is The Universe Trying To Tell Me Something?

I can’t decide which is better – not posting at all or posting about our current house drama. Trust me, nothing would make me happier than to post photos of Wito’s first birthday party (soon, I promise), but I can’t. Almost a week later, I haven’t even downloaded the photos from the camera. This house situation has us pulling our hair out in clumps. And to think of all of the blogs I’ve read recently about wanting to sell a house, wanting to buy a house, etc. We just want to STAY in our house.

When we received word that our place had sold as an investment property, we were thrilled. It was the best case scenario, actually – no moving, no more showings, and a 1-year lease from our new landlord ensuring this wouldn’t happen again in the near future. Music to my ears. In fact, if you saw me forcefully swatting the air this past week, I was probably high-fiving the universe.

We’ve had a slighty bumpy road with this property in the past year. The first time our landlord tried selling our house was when Wito was only 4 weeks old. When the Realtor called me about setting up a “schedule” of house showings, I nearly died laughing. A SCHEDULE? For a breast-feeding mother of a 4-week infant? Yeah, right.

We take exceptional care of this property. Our landlord continually tells us we are the best tenants he has ever dealt with. We spend our own money making improvements to this house because it’s our home. We really thought karma was on our side.

Until the call from the Realtor last night. It seems the house has some structural problems, which isn’t any surprise to us, given its age. Plumbing issues, large leaks, broken pipes – no biggie. I don’t mind the inconvenience of living in the property while the repairs are completed. Hell, we’ve already dealt with plenty. Painters + Plumbers + Realtors = Complete Nap Annihilation.

Then the kicker. The house has termites and needs to be fumigated.

Like this kind of fumigated.


We are an environmentally-friendly family. We eat organic. We use chlorine-free diapers and wipes. Wito plays with non-toxic toys on a non-toxic playmat. We use a green dry cleaning service. We do NOT use any toxic household cleaners (basically, all of the big-name brands).

Yet next week, our belongings will be enveloped in a mushroom cloud of lethal bromide gas. (Termite man – “Don’t worry! No residue!”, Whoorl – “That’s not what the EPA says…”)

This is rather disturbing.

When I explained our stance to the Realtor about toxic chemicals in our house, I asked for 30 days to allow us time to move out before the fumigation commenced. She briskly told me that wasn’t possible, the fumigation was proceeding next week and if we were to move out before then, we would be breaking our lease agreement and forfeiting thousands of dollars of our deposit.

Now, this just doesn’t seem right. We are currently attempting to educate ourselves on our rights as renters and working to stop this process from happening so quickly. If anyone out there knows anything about renter’s rights, I would love to hear from you.

  1. Susan

    August 10, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    You just tell them to ZIP IT. I’ve seen how that works.

    Fingers crossed for a toxic-free outcome. Also, you could move to Oklahoma! The house down the street from me is STILL for sale . . .

  2. Sarcomical

    August 11, 2007 at 11:39 am

    dear god.

    i would be PISSED.

    i hope something turns your way soon with this situation, it really sounds unfair for your health concerns to be taken into consideration. people are asses.

    good luck.

  3. 180/360

    August 12, 2007 at 3:40 am

    Ummm… that is like my worst nightmare ever! I too am equally ‘green’ and can’t imagine if that happened to me. I would want to move out, too. What if you said you have horrible allergies to that toxic substance which could send you to the hospital if you or your infant son inhaled or came in contact with it?

    That is terrible. Good luck with whatever happens…I will definitely send best wishes from here to you.

  4. Lady S

    August 12, 2007 at 4:49 am

    Best of luck.

  5. PandaWriter

    August 13, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    We live in Southern California, and use a service called “Gr33nL3af”. They use things like rosemary oil, etc. in their spray, all organic and safe. We have them spray once every three months outside the house, and once a year inside the house if needed (haven’t needed it inside in the last 2 years) and have had no more problems with black widow spiders, wasps, and ants. I’ll bet they do termite sprays too, if you do end up needing bug-removal.

  6. comfortablycrazy

    August 29, 2007 at 2:35 pm


    They use an orange extract to treat for termites, it’s supposed to kill the termites and eggs, with no tenting. just a lingering scent of oranges. (Which in all honesty is probably a lot stronger than “slight” but it’s better than a chemical smell any day.)

    I’m going to give this site referral to our landlord who insists that there aren’t any live termites in our apartment. Tell that to the egg sacks, yes plural, and winged ones who fall out of my kitchen counter daily.

    Anyways, I know they said they were going to spot treat so her is a possibility that may be a little more eco-friendly.

  7. comfortablycrazy

    August 29, 2007 at 2:36 pm


    oops, linked to wrong site. :)