About the house thing. We made an offer on house #2. To help jog your memory, it’s this one:
This is the house that while I was walking around looking at it, I felt a lump in my throat and I almost started to cry. It’s perfect. It feels like home to me. And unlike every other house we’d seen up to that point, I couldn’t find a single thing that I didn’t like about this house.
Plus, there’s the kitchen. Oh man, let me tell y’all about the kitchen. This kitchen basically sold the house, as far as I’m concerned.
The photo is a little blurry and doesn’t really do it justice, but that kitchen is amazing. It’s freaking enormous. I can imagine us having huge dinner parties with our friends in this house. It’s so beautiful and open and inviting. I opened the (double!) doors to the pantry, and Dave said the look on my face was as though I was suddenly bathed in a warm soft light while a chorus of angels started to sing. It’s fantastic. I want to make sweet love to that kitchen. (And no, I don’t know how the mechanics of that would work. Shut up. Don’t crush my dream.)
And look! It even has a little built-in workstation.
Cute toddler (who apparently has a mouthful of animal crackers) sold separately. Weird shadow brought to you courtesy of Cindy’s Crap Photography Skills. Get your thumb away from the lens, moron. Jeez.
There’s also the backyard, which is perfect for us: it’s flat, it’s shady, and it’s big enough for a playset. And besides the deck, it’s also got a really nice little patio area underneath a cluster of trees in the yard.
Love it. It’s just so pretty.
So we made a pretty low-ball offer, and they gave us a fair counter-offer (they met us more than halfway). We agreed, signed the paperwork, and we’re now officially under contract.
The sad part is that the house is being sold because of a divorce. The first time we saw the house, it was obvious that there was only one guy living there, so we wondered if maybe he was gay. (For the stereotypical reasons: the place was immaculately decorated and absolutely spotless.) But then our realtor noticed some wedding china in the dining room, and when Dave opened a cabinet, he saw several “how to save your marriage” self-help books. Sure enough, when our realtor talked to the other agent, the house belongs to a (currently, but not for much longer) married couple. So it’s sad, but it doesn’t appear that they have any kids, which I guess makes it slightly less tragic. And they’re obviously working together on selling the house, because they got back to us REALLY fast when we made our offer.
My sister suggested that I need to burn some sage in the house when we move in, to get rid of all of the bad karma floating around in there due to the divorce. I have no idea how to burn sage or what you’re supposed to do to get rid of bad marriage juju in a house, but I’ll look into it. Isn’t there some religion where they’ll bless your home? I can’t remember if that’s a Catholic thing or if it’s Hindu. (Because, you know, the two religions are so very similar, it makes total sense that I’d get their customs confused. Er?)
I am completely scared, and I’m not exactly sure why. Maybe it’s because we’re voluntarily putting ourselves in debt – even though we got a really good deal on the house because of the economy. Maybe it’s because this is the first time I’ve ever been involved in a house-purchasing decision. (Dave already owned our house in Washington when he and I first met.) I think it’s also because this house is so beautiful, and so perfect, and I’m afraid this is all too good to be true, so I’m waiting for something to come along and blow up in our faces. But I really, really hope I’m wrong about that last one.
Stay tuned for my next series of posts, tentatively titled “OMFG are you kidding me I have to pack again, why didn’t we just leave our crap in boxes for the past year?!?!!”
(To be fair, quite a bit of our crap is, in fact, still in boxes. Laziness and procrastination FTW!)
Gorgeous kitchen and yard! How exciting! Congratulations!
I am in love with that house too!
Can I move in?
Thanks, y’all. And Maya, you probably could move in – the place is HUGE.
Absolutely gorgeous. I am seething with envy. I’d have taken it just for that beautiful yard! Don’t even get me STARTED on the kitchen!
Good for you!
Love the kitchen! So lucky, Cindy!
OMG! What a beautiful house, the kitchen ROCKS and the backyard, where do I begin with the backyard?
Congrats and good luck.
Dude, I call getting to move in first. I would totally rent the guest room from y’all till I found a good apartment that I could afford.
And I don’t know what religion it is, but to burn sage (which Tracy is right about helping to clear the air of “bad juju”) you just bundle fresh sage with twine and light the end of it on fire and carry it through the house.
I’m so excited for y’all and the house and I hope you get it because I can totally see myself coming over and baking more cheesecakes for y’all.
I am so excited for you! The house is beau-ti-ful! Congrats and sending you good closing vibes. 🙂
Love the house. It is so beautiful, I am in kitchen envy….
Enjoy and don’t let the process get to you.
YAY! Gorgeous. Can’t wait to visit. Can I come do a rotation and pay you rent to stay there? 🙂
Definitely burn some sage on the back deck or do a blessing. My ex and I sold our house when we split. Married couple bought the house and split in less than a year. Bad juju.
That is a beautiful house! We wish you all the best!
Episcopal priests bless houses. Just FYI.
One time our group of friends burned some sage in Angie’s parents’ house, and it smelled like…something other than sage. So, just telling you that so you’re prepared. I don’t know if all sage smells like that when burned, or if we just had a unique bunch.
House looks awesome, btw. Good luck!
We have a sage plant if you want some. It actually smells really nice when it burns.
I think a lot of religions have blessings for new homes, but my herbalism school (composed mostly of eclectic pagans and witches with a random buddhist here and there) used to do ritual house blessings/banishings for the community, so that’s my frame of reference. Here you go…
The basic premise is that you’re 1) acknowledging the current energy of the home (in this case, a sad divorce), 2) telling it to leave, and 3) inviting in new, happy energy for you and your family. Sage is both a purifying and protective herb, which is why it’s often used in these cases. You can also use cedar, sweetgrass, copal, or any number of others. (Whole Foods sells smudge bundles already tied up, or you can make your own smudge stick by drying some fresh herbs and tying them up with string.)
Anyway, here’s the basic outline of how our class would bless a new home:
1)Light the herbs, let them burn a minute or so, and then blow them out so they’re just smoldering and smoking a bit.
2) Then walk through the entire house, purifying the space and asking any negative energy to leave (you can say this in your head — it doesn’t have to be out loud if you feel weird about that). Spend extra time on places that feel stronger than others (for example, bedrooms are often problematic this way, since difficult conversations tend to happen there). If you want, you can also make noise along the way — clap your hands, bang a drum, shout, whatever — to send the energy away. Don’t forget the basement and/or attic.
3) After you’ve been through the whole house once, walk through it again, this time inviting in new, positive energy. Picture the happy memories you’re going to make in each room. Say a prayer or call on protective spirits (for example, a beloved relative who has passed away). Make the space your own. When you are done, extinguish the herbs and put them in a safe place.
4) For a little added protection, take a big handful of sea salt and walk the perimeter of your property (outside), going clockwise and sprinking salt as you go. Salt is one of the most protective and purifying elements out there. As you walk, imagine your home enclosed in a safe, bright light.
5) Close with a final prayer or blessing.
Welcome to your new home!
Catholics do house blessings, too. We’ll bless anything. We’re real big on incense. There’s a reason voodoo is based on Catholicism. 😉
I agree that a sage smudge is a good idea, using Lauren’s approach described above. You can put the burning herbs into a small can (like a tuna can that’s been through the dishwasher) that has holes poked in the sides to hang it from a string. That way you don’t risk smoldering bits getting on the carpeting.
Even if you don’t *really* believe in all that positive/negative energy stuff, it can’t hurt. And the sage from our yard smells very nice when it burns.