If you believe in jinxing, I’m screwed

By Mir
February 10, 2008

I recently had a discussion via email with a friend who ever-so-gently pointed out that when I don’t either blog about things or communicate them to friends in another (more direct) manner, they don’t know what’s going on with me.

I scoffed, because I’ve long made it a habit to only befriend people who are PSYCHIC. It cuts down on the effort I have to make, you know.

Well, okay, not really. What I HAVE done, actually, is put my head down and stuffed my fingers in my ears and loudly “LA LA LA LA LA LA”ed my way through some things happening around here because there comes a times when my wee little brain simply cannot process some facets of my life in a way that is at all productive. That is, after all, why I married Otto—so that at least ONE of us would be sane. Most of the time.

Anyway. A friend dropped by yesterday ever-so-briefly, and I had seen her the day before when I’d brought her some cookies I’d baked. When she came by yesterday, I was busy baking bread. And she commented (for not the first time) on how I must be this sort of Ultimate Baking Woman, and she finds it so amazing because she NEVER bakes, and I must really love it to work it into my schedule.

“Oh, no,” I demurred, “it’s not that at all. You know that movie… um… the one with Keri Russell and the pies? I’m like that. Except not pregnant. And I don’t do pie.” She looked at me as if I wasn’t making any sense, which, I suppose, I wasn’t. “I MEAN,” I hurried on, “that I bake to cope with stress. I’m not even a particularly GOOD baker, I just find it therapeutic to knead bread or eat cookies. Now, if I could figure out how to get hooked on exercising, instead, THAT’d be something.”

She seemed unconvinced. But it’s true. And then when my bread doesn’t rise the way I want it to (yesterday’s buttermilk wheat bread mocked me with its staunch refusal to crest the loaf pans, no matter how long I left it atop a warm oven), I find myself offended. How DARE my delicious, carby coping mechanisms let me down this way??

And all of this is just a bit of background—a preface, if you will—to saying that some things I am probably never going to be able to talk about here, for various reasons, no matter how stressful they become. Other things, I’m probably holding back for reasons that don’t really matter.

So I thought I’d put down the bread for a minute and share something.

We’re coming up on a full year since my old house went on the market, and over seven months since we moved. The whys and the wherefores of what’s happened in that time period aren’t important (although I will say this to anyone who is mid-divorce: NEVER continue owning property jointly unless you are a masochist), but this is: A very nice family would like to buy the house. They would like to buy it for tens of thousands less than we’d planned on selling it for, because that’s the way the market is, right now, and they would also like to just rent it for a while, first, while they wait for the closing on their house to free up their down payment money.

There are a hundred things that could go wrong here before all is said and done, but I choose to believe that they won’t. I choose to believe that everything has played out exactly the way it was meant to—that our failure to sell had everything to do with this family being the right family for our old house. I choose to believe that this summer, this particular nightmare will FINALLY go away.

I just thought you might like to know.

(Also, the fact that the bread is a mite too dense is easily covered up with a little extra butter. That’s also important information.)


  1. Heather

    Everything happens for a reason, and all that, right? :) I hope the new family enjoys your house very, very much.

  2. Kristi

    Well, the rent could end up covering some of the loss, since it would only have sat vacant anyway (and who knows for how much longer)? That is one for the “pro” column!

    Have faith, yes, that this is what was meant to be. Wishing you the best in this stressful situation!

  3. hollygee

    Fingers and toes are crossed — which makes it so difficult to either work at the computer or walk, but I can make bread! I’ll happily carbo load with you and for you.

  4. StephLove

    Good luck with your renters/buyers. And with whatever problems have you down. I hope it resolves itself soon.

  5. Jamie AZ

    Best of luck with the house! This market sure has been a tough one.

  6. Lady M

    It truly might be the perfect family and the time had to be right for them to become the renters/new owners. Best wishes!

  7. Katie

    I say give it a try. We rented out house in Ohio for 2 years and the renters recently bought it. Which was a hell of a deal because not only did we not have to do $10,000 worth of repairs (new roof, painting, etc), we didn’t have realtor fees. Although I suppose technically we sold it for a bit less since it needed a new roof but in my mind, we made out ahead.

    The only thing I’d mention is that since you are out of state like we were, make sure you have someone local to handle any problems (leaky water heater, etc). Hire a lawyer to write up a nice little contract for the renters and you’ll be good to go.

  8. Lisa

    I feel your real estate-related pain. Our house will be on the market for one full year as of March 1. Good luck with the rent/sale situation. I’m sure it will all work out fine.

  9. Brigitte

    I HAVE been rather afraid to bring it up! Good luck.

  10. D

    When I’m stressed I bake a lot too … a lot. Did I mention a lot? One of my baking outlets has been removed due to management changes [which is a problem I need to work on fixing – hey, remember me from last year minion? Yeah? Want some more cookies? Great, find out how I get them to you!]. So, I know where you’re coming from on that part! :-)

  11. Ladybug Crossing

    You know I lurk here and read every single day…
    You are absolutely right – things happen for a reason. BTW: I like cookies and homemade bread with extra butter. Yummmmm….

  12. la blogger gal

    I can completely relate to your desire to not want to share all the details of your life. Who could blame you. And I’m all about positive thinking and like you, I think that this family is the right way for you guys to go.

    As for baking…have you heard about the no-kneed Five Minute Bread

  13. Sheila

    Funny… I happened to be gnawing on a rather large hunk of Italian loaf as I opened this post. Crumbs were literally falling down onto my chin and lap as I read about carby coping mechanisms. “Is THAT what I’m doing?” I thought to myself. “Bread as Band-aid?”
    Sadly, I had to answer in the affirmative as I looked down at my thigh and butt spreadage (and listened to the kids fight in the background). Only I didn’t even bake this bread. So you’ve got one on me there. However, I would gladly bake you an “I Hate My (fill-in-the-blank) Pie” and send it your way whenever you need more therapeutic eating. Or when you want to celebrate the resolution of the House Problem. Name your flavor. You deserve it.

  14. Cele

    I bake out of a desire to be fatter. Do you have a recipe for luscious lemon bars. For some reason I’m in the mood to perfect this treat. And eat the rejects along the way.

    I hope you house sells for you, and as to the rest, it’s nobody else’s business. I’m just hooked on your writing.

  15. carolyn

    I truly believe things happen for a reason. In my life anyway, traunatic or unusual events always show the way to something more, better, etc. It is bizarre. Anyway, I hope for you that the renters are really the buyers.

    As for the bread…is it too dense for a lot of butter AND honey?

  16. Flea

    THANK you. I’ve been wondering a lot lately about your house, knowing you hadn’t yet sold it or you’d be on here doing the Macarena. I’d really like to see that. Does Otto do videography? I’m so glad something is happening. Enjoy your bread. :)

  17. tori

    I totally relate to baking as stress relief. I also tend to paint a lot (rooms, not pictures) to get a grip on things.

    Good luck with your house..I have been wondering, but didn’t want to bug you with asking in case the news wasn’t so good.

  18. Megan

    Kneading bread is the best therapy out there! Also you can figger that all that folding and shaping and stuff is VERY energy involving and probably raises the heart rate and does something very interesting and healthy to any number of important bodily systems. Yes, baking bread is GOOD for you and fully justifies the eating thereof. Speaking of which I think it’s time to make another batch of honey rolls…

  19. Daisy

    I do that too — bake to combat stress, that is, not buy and sell houses. I made lemon bars on Friday night and I keep pretending the lemon will provide enough vitamin C to ward off this nasty virus that’s moving through our family, and therefore eating too many.

  20. Kay T

    We put my mom’s house on the market a little before you did, and it is supposed to close this coming week. Fingers crossed. I never would have believed it would take this long. So good luck winging its way to you.

  21. All Adither

    Butter makes everything better.

  22. Alison

    Delurking to say I’d been wondering what was going on with your house. I’m so glad for you–it sounds like that particular source of stress will be alleviated!

  23. Nicole

    My guess is your co-owner is not a believer. So sorry. More butter, please…

  24. saucygrrl

    Your stress baking is freakishly in sync with my own. And my MF (sorry) bread wouldn’t rise EITHER… and I have a fancy pants bread proofing option on my fancy oven (what? a fancy oven doesn’t guarantee good bread??) (psst… my theory on all this is that the water that you bloom the yeast in was either not warm long enough or too hot so that the yeast never flourished). I don’t even want to TALK about the brownies I just had to throw out because I was too dense to fully follow the instructions even though I’m made them a hundred times before. (Just in case you’re wondering… YES there is such a thing as too much melted chocolate).

    Yeah, there’s a hundred things that can go wrong there… but, you could go sale-less for another year. I’m sure they’re good people and you can recoup some of the $$ by them renting for a few months and then just think of how you’ll master bread making if something does go wrong. I guess what I’m trying to say is… it’ll be alright, even if there are bumps in the road.

  25. Amy-Go

    GAH, you’re scaring me…fingers and toes and knees crossed in Kansas for you!

  26. The Over-Thinker

    Butter fixes everything. And bacon. For real, I just zoned out there thinking of Buttery Bacon Bread. I should be able to come up with a recipe for this. Wha..where was I? Uh. Uh?

    I’ll cross my buttery fingers for you and wish on a stack of bacon that this all goes well.

  27. getsheila

    Did you know you can deduct up to $25,000 of rental losses against regular income on your personal income tax return?

    So, there are a couple of ways you can go for 2007. You can deduct mortgage interest and real estate taxes on Sch A like you normally would for a second home…OR…you can call it a rental and take those deductions on Sch E (rental) PLUS any other costs you have been paying since you moved out, like water, garbage, utilities, repairs, etc.

    Though you have no rental income for 2007, you can still claim it as a rental for 2007 and deduct the losses (including depreciation) if you advertised it as such and just did not happen to obtain a renter until 2008. Or pretend you advertised it for rent in 2007 and delete this comment so the IRS does not find it. Whatever.

    Since you WILL have rental income in 2008, it really should not be a problem.

    Did I mention I am a CPA? Get yourself a local one if you have not done so already. You probably have done so, between batches of bread. I love bread. The thought of trying to make it myself intimidates me, however.

    Do not stress, lovely Mir. Having investment property can be a good thing!

  28. carson

    I take baths to deal with stress. I am so clean, I squeak. Thanks for the heads-up on the jointly owning property thing–I am muchly looking forward to getting my name off of the deed and mortgage and getting out of the House of Doom with a fistful of equity.

    I hope that the house goes to this family, and that their kids are the rightful heirs of the playspots your children broke in. That they laugh as much as you did, and that your old home cares for their tears just as much as it did yours.

    Yes, I firmly believe houses are ensouled. At least the lucky ones. (Mine? Was modeled after a lovely one in Amityville, I believe.)

  29. carson

    Meant to say that my dream partner will clean and do laundry when stressed. Honestly, if I find that person, I’m not to concerned about much else.

  30. Leandra

    I hope this works out — I KNOW how stressful real estate woes can be. But I would definitely do like several people suggested and A) get a lawyer and B) find someone local who will be your go-to person — but I’m sure you’ve already taken care of those things. :)

  31. jp


    Ever heard of planting a statue of St Joseph in the front yard of the house to be sold??? Go ahead Google it up if you don’t believe me! Buried one in front of our house and we have an offer……….OK it’s a very low, insulting offer, but none the less an offer! I think we’re gonna give old St Joe a few more months to wk his magic!

    I can’t bake a lick, too much measuring or something. When My world is falling down around me, I read, Blogs, books anything that isn’t related to my world. Total escapism, but it makes it easier to deal w/ the other shit.

    Enjoy your bread and your day!

  32. Aimee

    K, everything that’s crossable is crossed for you. Now, pass the bread-n-butter.

  33. Burgh Baby's Mom

    THANK GOODNESS! While it would be better to have someone throw way more than your asking price at you in the form of ten dollar bills, having someone at least residing in the place is a fantastic step forward. Congratulations!

  34. Bob

    sooooo – progress on the house front. Supah! (now you won’t have to have that strategic fire… ooops, did I say that out loud. sorr)

  35. Chuck

    I feel guilty. When I sold my old house I had an offer very fast. But that was when the market was still hot. I admire you for not giving in and finally getting an offer on yours, even if less than you wanted…some people I know at work recently went through the same thing with their old house, and everything worked out in the end.

  36. elizabeth

    been there, done that, had to sell the tee shirt to make ANY money. but a sold house, even for less, is better than a not sold house. it will all work out, even the bread eventually. good luck and keep baking. =)

  37. Vane

    Renting your old house for a while doesn’t sound too bad, at least it won’t be just sitting there, just make sure to have a good contract and good luck with that!

    As for anything else that’s causing you stressed, hang in there! Hope it all works out real soon.

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