We plan to raise peaches and cardsharks

By Mir
June 5, 2007

Let’s review, shall we? Last week we made an offer on our first choice house and were turned down, and then made an offer on a second house. (Second Choice House is conveniently located next door to First Choice House.) And after a bit of kerfuffle—not to mention the entire weekend—we were also turned down for Second Choice House.

At this point, Otto and I hit the real estate listings and we hit them hard. We found ONE more house that we thought might meet our needs. Otto called his realtor and arranged to see it on Monday afternoon (that’s yesterday).

My phone rang yesterday afternoon. I saw Otto’s number on the caller ID and picked up, full of hope.

“It’s under contract,” he said.

Three strikes. First choice house, second choice house, and last ditch PLEASE GOD HAVE MERCY house, all gone. And the movers are coming to pick up my stuff in about three weeks.

I handled this turn of events with dignity and grace. I kept the sobbing to a dull roar, and apologized profusely to Otto for being such a basketcase. “It’s just—” I gulped between wails, “The kids… and school… and… I just thought—” I had to go get some paper towels to dry off the keyboard so that I could continue my frantic MLS search.

Otto doubtless got off the phone and spent some time pining for his bachelor days.

Then he called me back. To say that First Choice House’s realtor called his realtor to offer a lower price than what they’d claimed as their rock-bottom the previous week when we’d walked away.

It was still a little higher than we wanted to go. So we did the pro/con thing, and went back and forth a bit, and decided to go for it.

So, um, it looks like we’re buying First Choice House. The one with the pool! And the GAZEEEEEBOOOOOOO! And an office. And did I mention the pool?

As I said in an email to someone tonight, it was FATE! Fate, and a lot of tears, and a little bit of Ativan, but mostly fate!

The children and I have been dancing around “claiming” parts of the house. (They also fell in love with it, back when we looked at it on our trip down there.) “My poooooooool!” I declared.

“No, MY pool!” argued Chickadee.

“I want the pool!” chimed in Monkey.

“No, ME! MY POOL!” answered Chickadee.

“Forget you guys, it’s MY POOL,” I scoffed.

“My POND!” cried Monkey. (Oh, did I mention the pond? There’s a pond. Monkey dreams of many tadpole friends.)

“Yes, your pond,” I agreed. “But MY POOOOOOOOOL!”

“My CASINO!” crowed Chickadee.

Monkey cocked an eyebrow at me. I peered at Chickadee.

“Your what?” I asked.

“My…” she faltered, looking back and forth between us. “My casino? The round thing?”

I laughed as I have not been able to laugh for weeks, now. I laughed down to my toes and hugged her tight. “That’s a GAZEBO, honey. A casino is where people go to gamble.”

Her face was on the edge of crumpling; it’s not easy for her to be wrong. I gave her another squeeze and twirled her around in a circle. “But it’s OKAY! Because if you want to play poker in the gazebo, I WILL TEACH YOU!”

I’m such a good mom.

Fortunately, I no longer need to be a good mom. Cuz I’ve got a pool. And a pond. And a casino.

If you need me, I’ll be out shopping for floaties and poker chips. And possibly hiding from my new neighbor, the crazy lady whose house may or may not be for sale.


  1. ChristieNY

    Yipppppeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Prayers have been answered!!! :) :) :)

  2. chris

    I’m not coming to visit unless there will be gambling. That’s all I’m sayin’

  3. cheeky

    Wow! Yay! I envy you your gazebo/casino!

  4. Cele

    Woo whooooo, congrats you guys.

  5. Lucinda

    Big smiles here. That’s so cool. I’m very happy for all of you.

  6. Lisa

    I told you! Your Happy Ending Is right around the corner! No one deserves it more than you and your family. CONGRATULATIONS! WOO HOO! Now on to conquer the SOUTH! I can’t wait to read all the material you will have after moving to Georgia!:) The humidity here (SC) makes a pool more of a necessity than a luxury. ENJOY!

  7. Jules

    I’m going to need waterproof cards and floating poker chips..
    ..and some ‘scum scream’ SPF 500 please :)

    Totally FATE! Congrats on the fab-tastic house!

  8. Melissa

    Thank goodness! Does the crazy lady know what you look like? Because I wouldn’t eat any “welcome to the neighborhood” brownies from her if she does. Maybe even if she doesn’t.

  9. Karin

    Yay! So happy for you! :D

  10. Patricia

    I claim the guest room!!! It is ALL mine!!!

  11. Karen

    CONGRATS!!! I am coming to your Casino!

  12. Christine

    YAY! Congrats. It’s about damn time fate started working for you. I was starting to get a little worried you’d be living in that moving truck. ;)

  13. Zee

    YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! And how cool is it there was all that foreshadowing in one of those previous posts? You’re a writing genius!

    Congrats, Mir!

  14. Lady M

    That is soooo cool. I want to come play in the Casino too. Congratulations!

  15. becky

    i was so hoping that first choice would come through. yippee! crossing my fingers that the rest of it goes smoothly.

  16. Amber

    Woohoo! Congrats on first choice house ownership, Mir!

  17. hollygee

    See, we told you. Sorry, I had to do that.
    This is wonderful. And although it doesn’t help you during the nail-biting moments, I’m sure that I’ve heard that 93.2% [in case you couldn’t guess, I pulled that one out of my, er, hat] of all real estate deals are hair raising, teeth pulling, rending of limbs, living on tenterhooks [what are those?] kinds of deals.
    Yours does appear to be a doozey.

  18. Bonnie

    See!! SEE?!?!? I KNEW something would work out !! (I just didn’t email you to say so since it would have sounded cliched and trite. But I KNEW it.


  19. Denise

    Please inform the ever wise Ms Chickadee that from this moment on all gazebos shall be called casinos by the Flamingo House family members.

    Ms Chickadee is brilliant.

    Congratulations to you and your entire family – and your new neighbors…

  20. jenn

    Whoo hoo!!!! I was so hoping that First Choice House would somehow work out for you. Now to sell your house… have you done the thing with the St. Joseph statue in the front yard? We did it when the first contract to sell our old house fell through (a week before closing-buyers were total nutjob assholes), and within like three days we had another contract with this great couple who had looked at the house right before we got the first contract, and they were just perfect for our house. Thing is, you have to really pray to St. Joe that you want the perfect people to come along and buy your house and all. Good luck!

  21. Rachel May

    YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!! So happy for you guys!

  22. alala.

    AAAhahahahaha I told you it would work out! See? The universe loves you! As do we all, because you’re so pretty.


  23. Judy.

    Yep, I’m going to join with the rest to say “TOLD YOU SO!” Seriously, I am so happy for you! I’ll email you about the pool :-)

    Can’t wait til you are down and in your wonderful new house. And… the kids will have the pool all summer… what great news.

  24. Katie

    Woot! I won’t tarnish this wonderful cheerful post by mentioning a certain house in New England…

  25. Dee Dee

    Awesome. Now, may the housing gods be with you in selling your current home!

  26. Brigitte

    Poker is frequently played in our gazebo!

    We all KNEW it, Mir, I am so happy for you right now, a tear is in my eye (of course, it’s that special emotion-laden week of the month, so take that as you will). Yay, yay, yay!

    If crazy lady still lives there when you move in, maybe Monkey and Chickadee can have temporary license to be as loud and obnoxious as they want on that side of the yard, to help nudge her along? Or let her know about a GREAT house in New England where she can make her escape to!

  27. el-e-e

    Oh, that is great news. You have a new home!! :)

    And the POOL, omg, I am so jealous. Just think, you can conduct interviews from your comfy raft!

  28. Dave

    Suh-weet! Congratulations.

    As for the casino, put me down for $20 on St. Joe to win. Maybe Chickadee got confused because the pool is actually a betting pool.

  29. Jodi

    It is going to be SO funny when Mrs. CrazyNeighbor sees you moving in next door. Durn, wish I was a fly on the moving truck.

    I’m sure she will turn out to be a very nice woman who is just going through a difficult time. Or a complete loon who slinks over and looks in your windows at night. And swims in your pool. Naked.

  30. Bob

    I have read many a story about the pool-boy……

    I am so happy for you. I had a feeling everything would fall into place, just not quite as fairy-tale-like.

    Now, if you could just use your powers for good on my wall.

  31. Randi

    And aren’t you excited to see the look on your new neighbors face when you move in?! MWA HA HA!

    You have a pool – and a Gazebo?! Nice! Congrats Mir!

  32. Amy

    Yay! That is so wonderful! And I love Chickadee’s “casino” – love when kids try so hard to get the right word. :) Anyway, congrats!

  33. Andrea

    Congrats on your new CASINO. That is priceless!
    Everything happens for a reason, although that’s hard to remember when you are on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

    I’m so happy for you, the kids and Otto!

    What a story…you really should start a blog or something to share this all! :)

  34. Melisa

    I don’t want to jinx anything, but…congratulations!

    BTW, our “casino” is the Spinning Mary (AKA Lazy Susan.)

  35. meritt

    *** I TOLD YOU!!!!!!! *** Girl, when are you going to learn to listen to me??? :)

  36. Amy-Go

    Nobody can tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor…congratulations!
    And tell the kids…MY pool! We’ll work out when I’ll be by to claim it later. ;)

  37. Ei.

    Mir I so totally love you. Yay for happy news! And of course for pools and casinos!

  38. Sara

    A pool, a pond and a gazebo, oh my!! So glad that things have worked for the good. Sending more mojo (oops, just typed that as “mofo”–need caffeine)for buyers for your house.

  39. Karen

    What all of them said…plus YAY from upstate NY! The northeast is losing a gem. The south is gaining a peach.

  40. Jean

    That is wonderful news…CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

  41. txhorns

    Yea! Maybe it can be their pool when it needs to be cleaned? (That’s what my parents always did) CONGRATS, many good thoughts coming your way for packing…it is a nightmare. Great Luck.

  42. Wendy

    Hooray!!! You were meant for the house. I am jealous, I want a pool and a gazebo, ur, casino.

  43. Kellie

    Congrats!! I have a pool–I just need a casino, now :)

  44. Beth

    Oh, wonderful!

    That’s one big held breath released… now for some others ;-)

    So, you gonna get Chickadee a dealer’s visor and armbands, too? I’d so come play poker if she was dealing!

  45. ishouldbeworking

    YAAAAAAYYY!!! I’m joining everyone else now wishing for the real estate gods to smile upon you in selling your house and packing up for the move. And they will ‘cuz you’re so pretty.

  46. MomCat

    Awesomeness of every kind!! And many giggles, too, from your great posting. I’m very happy for y’all! (Gotta start saying that now) So later on, we need pics of Chickie playing a mean hand of 21 in that there casino/gazebo.

  47. Jessica

    May this be the first domino and that the other two houses sell like hotcakes.
    And you know that you’ll never refer to it as a Gazebo ever again, right?
    I’m really thrilled for you!

  48. MomCat

    Oh, and I suggest Aquaskimmers as a great pool toy! They are water frisbees that can acrobatically skip across the surface. Hours of fun!

  49. Nichole

    Congratulations! Can we come hang out with you poolside? We’re only an 8-or-so-hour drive away :)

  50. bad penguin

    Yay for getting 1st choice house! And a pool! And a gazebo! And a pond!

  51. Sophie

    I’m so happy for all of you! It was love and first site with that house; it sounds really beautiful. Considering that it is warm down here for about six months out of the year, you’ll get a lot of time in the pool.

  52. Sophie

    oh my typos! Lord! I need more coffee.

  53. Tal

    That’s karma working for you. Congratulations Mir! Enjoy the pool, and enjoy not seeing more than the noses and mouths of your children all summer long. By the time they de-prune, it’ll be morning, and time to jump back in. Awesome!

  54. YetAnotherKaren

    Hold on here! Are casinos LEGAL in Georgia??!

  55. Busy Mom

    Woo hooooooo!!!!!

    What time should we drive down? I love poker.

  56. Laura

    YAY! You must be so relieved- what a stressful thing to have had everything so up in the air. Congratulations!

  57. Aimee

    Yay! Yay! Yay! Yay! *faints with glee*

  58. Summer

    Happy dance! Now, which shoes would be the most appropriate to wear to Mir’s first pool party?

  59. Stephanie C

    I am so happy, happy, happy for you!

    And I say, let the kids have the pool. Then they would be responsible for the maintenance and cleaning.

  60. Chewie

    oooohhhh….you are gonna have SO MUCH SEX with your HUSBAND in that HOUSE!

    New life…here you coooooooome.

    Now on to the small matter of selling a few homes as well…*grin*


  61. Sheila

    I agree. Fate. It was what I was waiting to say until AFTER everything worked out, because when we were on a house hunt five years ago and things were going about as crappily (although not as funnily) as your house hunt, everyone kept telling me not to worry, things were “meant to be” etc. etc until I wanted to punch the next person who uttered anything like that in the teeth. And yet, it seemed to be true. We are in the perfect house for us in the perfect location for us and have perfect neighbors, and it was all Meant To Be. And so unto you. Fate, I tell you (now).

    So glad for you all and I will happily send Chickadee a starter set of poker chips for her casino.

  62. Stephanie C

    YetAnotherKaren, I think casinos are legal in Georgia if they are on water, hence the pool and the pond.

    So when is the house-warming pool party? :)

  63. Heather

    Woo! Casino in a gazebo! Most excellent.

  64. Melanie Marie

    YEAH!!!! You are a good mom!

  65. ScottsdaleGirl

    *doin a leetle jig*

    And remember “Cabana Boys are the New Black”.

    I’m jes sayin.

  66. Brandi

    FINALLY! Congrats!! :D

  67. Daily Tragedies


    Now if you could just convince FATE to come through for me…my supply of tears and Ativan is running low.

  68. Amy

    woo! that is so exciting…I recently went through a similar rigmarole with my house buying (except for the part where we were first-time home-buyers, so the selling wasn’t an issue)…and I know how exciting it is to finally get the house (and your 1st choice! yay!) I hope that it sinks in more quickly for you than it did for me…I am not sure if I believe in my homeownership even now – and I’ve actually lived in the house for almost 2 months.

    Best of luck with the selling!

  69. the Narcissist

    What a great twist!!! So happy for you. May all you future dreams come true too, though maybe not in the same dramatic fashion. Happy moving!

  70. Parrot Wrangler

    When my husband and I were being traumatized by the whole house buying process we decided that we should wear buttons that said “BE NICE TO ME-I’M IN ESCROW!!”

    Also, my then 5 yr. old daughter once referred to her favorite Disney movie as “The Princess Diarrhea”(!!!gasping for air).

  71. Heidi


    Perhaps your neighbor-to-be could use a hit of Ativan, maybe mixed in with some sweet tea…

  72. Susan


    I am totally coming to visit you.

  73. mama speak

    DAMN! We just got rid of our casino to make room for a play structure. How come NO ONE TOLD ME??? If I’d know I could be playing poker in the hot tub we might’ve kept it.

    I LOVE Chickadee!

    So now the real question, what’s the POOL BOY’s NAME? And can he mix a mean maragita?

  74. Dana

    Congratulations! I’m soooooooo very excited and happy for you and Otto and the the kids!

  75. Mama Bear

    Hooray! On to the happy ending! Congratulations and I am a bit jealous, a pool AND a pond… sheesh. I have a fountain. ;)Heh.

  76. Erin

    WOO and also HOO!!! YAY! I know there are lots of WCS fans who were rooting for you guys!

  77. julie

    On HGTV they say yellow houses sell faster. Have you painted your house yellow?:)
    Congrats on the First Choice House!!!

  78. carolyn

    Miracles indeed. Did you ever, in your deepest moments, think this would happen? Unbelieveable! And so fabulously wonderful. I am happy for you all, and I feel sure the other two houses will sell any minute now. You just had to get over that first hurdle…

  79. Thumper

    [ delurk ]


    [ relurk ]

  80. Allanna

    Yay!! That’s great news! I’m so glad that your happy new-house-that-you-love dreams are becoming a reality!

    I’m still wishing good house-selling mojo your way.

    Maybe for one of Chickadee’s parties, you could have a mock-casino in the gazebo? And mocktails. Mocktails are nice. :)

  81. Carol

    Congratulations!!! See, things are coming together…

    Now, where are the pictures of this fantabulous house with a pool, pond and casino?!

  82. Daisy

    Sing it with me:
    You say casino, and I say gazebo
    You say gazebo, and I say casino

  83. Single Ma

    Congrats! I’m very happy for you.

    You and Otto should think of a super funny way to greet your new neighbor. Careful though, she might think you moved in next door to force her out of her home. LOL

  84. JayMonster

    OK, before I say anything else, I need to come to Ms. Chickadee’s defense here and point out that technically she is correct.

    A “Casino” is a building or large room used for meetings, entertainment, dancing, etc. So while we here in the U.S. automatically these days think of Gambling, that is not entirely correct.

    That being said, congrats on the Casino, and the whole house that goes with it. If crazy neighbor lady brings you a welcome casserole however, I would suggest passing.

  85. Gaby

    Yeah!!! Many happy thoughts and prayers, oh wait it’s fate, that escrow and move go very smoothly. Forget I don’t know if my house if for sale lady, actually it’s her gain to have someone like you living next door to her. Not even going to mention current house(s) because those will be right behind to new owners.

  86. JamieLee

    Can this be true? Really, really true?
    So happy for you. Wonderful. Glad things are finally falling into place. One piece at a time, right?
    I’m sure it was fate. A similar thing happened when my husband and I looked at our current house nine years ago. We made an offer and we turned down. The house went under contract with another couple and we went morosely on our way to continue our draining search. A couple days later, the realtor called us back to ask if we were still interested (were we?!?!?). Seems that the sellers and buyers got into a tiff over who was going to get the split rail fencing from the property. The sellers got mad enough to tell the buyers to go to hell and accepted our lower offer just to twist the knife.
    Again, fate. For sure.

  87. Tina

    De-lurking to say:
    Ohmigosh, congratulations! I am soooo happy for you – I actually teared up when I read your post! I can’t think of another person prettier or more deserving of her happily ever after.

  88. Mike

    ‘grats, Mir…I’ve been following the struggles from afar–a bit too afar! Sorry ’bout that. But what a relief, I’m real happy for you guys. What a stress relief!

  89. Suebob

    First choice house?? First choice house? That is fabulous.

    At my sister’s house, the gazebo, thanks to the charming children, is the “gazoo.” Works for everyone.

  90. Kristen

    how did I miss the pond???

  91. GetSheila

    HOORAY! I am a tad behind in my blog reading but this is excellent news. Congratulations!

  92. Krisco

    Congratulations! That is great! I agree; it must have been fate.

  93. Chuck

    I’m just beginning to test the waters but not really seriously looking yet…the first townhome I looked at was nice, and had been remodeled quite a bit, but they hadn’t bothered to remodel the master bathroom at all. I was like, HELLO? Put tile in the downstairs half bath but leave linoleum upstairs? Come on. Anyhow they had raised their original price 20K after the remodel, but it’s already dropped back 10K since I saw it. I can’t afford even the original price when added to the outrageous homeowner’s association fee, though, so I’ll just keep looking for now. Glad everything is working out for you, and hang in there, you WILL sell your house!

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