Find Your Spot

I have a love hate relationship with Southern California. There are many good things about where we live. The weather for much of the year is fantastic. Our neighborhood is pretty great too. Disneyland, the beach, the mountains… The main problem I have with SoCal is the cost of living. It’s darned expensive to live here. I just don’t see how we’ll ever be able to afford buying a home here. Unless a long lost extremely rich family member passes and we get a large inheritance, it just doesn’t seem feasible.

I’m also not enamored with SoCal weather. It’s the reason a lot of people live here. We have mild temps much of the year. Well, mild to the rest of the country anyway. And then there are the summers with the scorching heat. Hot like AZ? Yes and no. Kind of, because during the peak of summer, it’s 100+ often. No because it’s not scorching for as long here as it is there. And then there’s “fire season.” That has to be one of the most horrible things about SoCal. Where I’m specifically located, there isn’t much threat of a wildfire wiping us out. But we’re not too far from locations that regularly burn. That means ash and smoke. Lots of it.

Anyhow, I found the website Find Your Spot. Just answer questions about the weather you like, what activities you enjoy, how much you want to pay for rent, how much you’d be willing to spend on buying a home and so on. It return 25 locations you might be interested in. I really wasn’t all the surprised by the results. And none of the results were in SoCal, or California at all. However, I can see myself in San Francisco. I think the dollar figure I used was too low for SF though. The site also gives you a ton of information about each location.

My top 25 locations:

  • Eugene, Oregon
  • Corvallis, Oregon
  • Olympia, Washington
  • Tacoma, Washington
  • Providence, Rhode Island
  • Anchorage, Alaska (which surprised me a little)
  • Salem, Oregon
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Kent, Washington
  • Bellingham, Washington
  • Norfolk, Virginia
  • Chesapeake – Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Medford, Oregon
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Bend, Oregon
  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • New Haven Connecticut
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Hampton, Virginia
  • Spokane, Washington
  • Greenville, South Carolina
  • Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Some of those places have more snow than I’d be willing to deal with (I’m looking at you Spokane) and several are way too humid. But I can see myself living in the majority of those locations. It would be really interesting to see Jason’s results.

By the way, I’m in no way affiliated with Find Your Spot. I just ran across the site and thought it was interesting. Give it a try!

Caution: Big Decisions Ahead


Times are tough. We all know that. In fact, we live in California where the unemployment rate is 10.1%, whereas the national unemployment rate sits at 8.1% the last I’d heard.

South Carolina, Rhode Island, California and Oregon joined Michigan as the states with the five highest unemployment rates. North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Utah joined Wyoming as the states with the lowest.

We’re doing ok so far though. However, this week (or possibly next) we’ll have to make a very big decision about our future. Luckily, we’re renters and that means we can bail when we need to. I’m really thankful we don’t have a mortgage locking us down.

Jason has a third interview tomorrow, Monday, which will be the deciding factor in whether or not we’ll be staying put, or packing it all up and moving into my grandmother’s house. We’ve been through that once before, and I can assure you this decision isn’t one made lightly. My grandma isn’t living in the house, however my mom and my uncle are. The last thing we want to do is uproot and move into that house, even if it is fairly temporary. But after discussing our options, we’ve come to the conclusion that if he doesn’t get this job, we’re going to have to go. We could stay here, but it seems like we’d likely be delaying the inevitable. This job opportunity is the *only* one he’s had in the 8 weeks he’s been out of work. There’s no “maybe that job will come through” in sight. That means we’re spending the unemployment money month after month on staying here when we could actually be saving it up and using it for other important bills and, you know, a decent stock pile of food. Each time his unemployment check comes, they include how much is left until it runs out. We’ve got a while left to collect, but what if we go through it and there’s still no job? Then we have nothing to pay the car payments, insurance, phone bills etc… What then?

So, we’re there. We’re at the point that if he doesn’t get this job, the only real opportunity we can see, we’re going to have to leave and set up camp where we don’t have to take 95% of the unemployment money and pay the rent. If he had several “maybe’s” out there, we could stick it out, we WOULD stick it out. But when there’s nothing, no nibbles at all, it just doesn’t seem wise to sit on our hands and hope something comes through before the money runs out and we’re completely in trouble.

And so, this week he will go to that job interview, battle against 4 other people who desperately need this job as badly as my husband does, and he’ll fight. He’ll fight for our future. Hopefully he’ll be the victorious one and we can carry on like normal. If he doesn’t come out the other side victorious. we’ll pack our family up, and get the assistance we need to carry on. As long as we have eachother, that’s what really matters to me. The only thing I expect out of my husband when he goes in for this job interview, is to do his best. That’s all he can do, and the rest is up to the company. If he doesn’t make it, that’s ok, we will.