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This November I will celebrate nine years here in my townhome.  Yes, it was Thanksgiving weekend 2002 and I won’t ever forget the adrenaline rushes, from waiting on offer respones to the inspection…and the hugeass cashiers checks in my hot little hands.  Sweating it a bit as a first-time home buyer…doing this on my own, with no husband or boyfriend.  And being in a dual residency position for a few weeks, as the last days of my apartment lease overlapped with when I closed on the place here. I remember thinking oh, this is perfect, I’ll have time to paint or whatever before the furniture gets moved in.

Yeah, right.  Turns out I had to go out of town on business for a week, very last minute, and I got home literally at midnight the day of the big move.  My pre-move time was focused on packing up endless boxes and making multiple trips to Goodwill. My Mom, bless her heart, offered to help me put shelf paper in all of the kitchen and bathroom cabinets and drawers because there was NONE.  Gross.  So, after some good scrubdowns and seemingly endless cuttings of shelf paper, we did it.  Between the kitchen cupboards and cabinets, plus 3 bathrooms (a powder room, full bath, plus a separate large master open vanity), there was a LOT of surface area to cover.

Trust me, even moving just 3 miles is a huge pain in the butt.  I had to get a new phone number (landline) because I’d moved out of whatever zone or grid they were using. [I was late to the cell phone party, just getting my first in 2001, so I was much more reliant on the landline in those years]. And I now also recall how the cell phone reception in my old apartment was pretty bad – we were perfectly poised in a dead spot.  Ugh.  Other than that, I adored that old apartment.  So much I stayed in it nearly 5 years, and it really didn’t motivate me to look for a place of my own.  The rent was very reasonable, and the amenities in turn were incredible.

I am probably the 5th or 6th owner in this home.  These units were built in 1980, and, as cliche as it sounds, they really don’t make ’em like this anymore.  These units are true townhome style, not cookie cutter square boxes.  Each home has an oversized, 2-car garage.  You really, truly don’t see large garages in newer condo/townhome construction around here.  Maybe a 1 car garage, or a 2 car, tandem style.  And STAIRS.  Three levels.  One of my earliest posts in here was how much I felt grown up when I got stairs of my own. My earliest childhood memories are of my folks’ large rambler – we moved to a home with stairs later.  To me, as silly as it seems, this meant GROWING UP.

I can only imagine all of the memories jammed in my house from the past 30 years.  Lordy, just my short block of nine is chock full.  Painting – doing it on my own and schlepping back and forth to the local Home Depot.  Countless trips to Bed, Bath and Beyond.  Holy crap, now I had THREE bathrooms to furnish, not just one!  Updated window treatments.  Workin’ on that curb appeal.  Not to mention the social memories – too countless to list here. 

I met the sellers of my place very briefly, and they mentioned that they had 6 ferrets as pets, but replaced all of the carpet and flooring once they moved out.  FERRETS?  SIX?  Faint.  Did I really need to know this?

They may have replaced the carpet and flooring, but took the fridge and washer dryer.  Not very appealing to a buyer necessarily, BUT it gave me good leverage in negotiating a price.  After all, I would need to fork out a few grand to purchase appliances. At least they would be new. 

How much updating have I done in here beyond that?  Well, not as much as I’d hoped after nearly a decade, but I have a tendency to be overly self-critical.  Between a large outside repair assessment (for our entire HOA), and later a large, individual project for me to rip out and redo my back deck, those were large chunks of spending for sure.  But so worth it.  I have a nearly 400 square foot back deck which is private.  I’ve had a ton of fun painting and playing around with bold colors, plus I just adore the custom wood blinds I’ve added in the living room and bedrooms.  Replaced the microwave and stove too.  The fridge now, ahem, twice. [See my ‘Refrigerator Drama’ post from last fall on that episode].  

And yet in this age of super-large kitchens, granite countertops and slate tile flooring, well, I have yet to make any of those updates.  Hell, I still have popcorn ceilings which need to be sprayed down and scraped.  For real.  No floor molding updates either, as I ripped out the yucky brown stuff when I painted.  And some old, scary dark brown doors on the upper floor need replacing.  I did the downstairs doors but was on the brink of a job change and held off doing the whole house, grr.  Now I wish I had.  Too funny how I have the doorknob hardware all ready to rock – but no new doors.  Yes, the list is long.

So what’s the deal with saging?  Well, several of my friends have done it and really recommend it.  It’s cleansing and gets rid of negative energy in a house – moving into a new home is a perfect time to sage.

The sage I purchased is about the size of very small bundle of asparagus.  You light it, blow out the flame, and let the rest of the ‘torch’ smolder.  Spring has yet to really, well, spring, around here but it wasn’t raining so I decided to do it today and open up all the doors and windows here in the house.

And no, the smoke alarm did not go off, whew.  

You’re supposed to go clockwise in each room with the sage smoke, saying a blessing meanwhile.  Clean, clean clean.  All of the bad memories for me in this house BE GONE, plus who knows what else happened prior to me moving in.  I know a woman died in here a couple decades ago but honestly that never has really freaked me out.  What else happened?  Doesn’t really matter now – the vibes if any are gone.

Call me cuckoo, but I DID feel better after doing this.  And the smell was not overwhelming at all – in fact it was gone after about 30 minutes – all I felt was fresh air after that.  Nice.   

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