Red Flags (#226)

You know what I was excited about when Andy and I bought our house?

Putting up a flag pole. I couldn’t wait to fly seasonal house flags.

I envisioned a flag with flowers for summer, an autumn flag with falling leaves, a black cat for Halloween, and Christmas flag with a polar bear. Of course I would fly the Stars & Stripes for Independence Day. Continue reading Red Flags (#226)

Poker Face (#155)

If I had known that buying a new house would inspire inspired a visit from Andy’s parents, I’d have barricaded myself into our old townhouse for life. I knew that we wouldn’t be able to keep them away if we ever had a son (hence my ongoing lobbying to adopt a little girl from China), but I had no idea a new house would be such a draw. Given my father-in-law’s obsession with photos of the house, I should have known what would happen.

As soon as Andy and I finished our year-long, DIY remodel of our new house,  my Chinese-American in-laws decided they needed to make sure we’d done it right. Jay and Sunny informed Andy that they were coming to visit in April.

I was not consulted. Continue reading Poker Face (#155)

Autumn & the Schoolkids (#149)

When we bought a new house, the kids from the middle school across the street invaded. Every day at 3 PM, skateboarders, flower-pickers, and nose-pickers hung out on our steps. They played with the sprinklers and left trash.

My husband Andy declared war. He lost. He wanted me to continue the battle.

I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to do less than yell at a bunch of recalcitrant, hormonal tweens. Continue reading Autumn & the Schoolkids (#149)

Would You Like Some Dog With That Whine? (#135)

A few things dog owner's need. Not pictured: patience.
A few things a new dog owner needs. Not pictured: patience.

As soon as we knew we were getting a house with a yard, Andy and I got a dog. Yes, even though it would be a month before escrow closed, we got the dog. We thought he was a mellow half-Great Dane, half-Labrador Retriever. Woofie would let us pick him up, he knew how to sit, and he wasn’t nearly as crazy as some of my childhood dogs.

Woofie walked nicely on his leash and was housebroken. This was important, since our townhouse had no yard. Anytime Woofie had to pee, we had to take him out for a walk:

Woof (whining at the door): “…mmmm…”

Me (packing a box of dishes): “Dude, we went out twenty minutes ago.” Continue reading Would You Like Some Dog With That Whine? (#135)

Sellers from Hell (#125)

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After the sellers accept an offer on their house, the rest of the home-buying process is generally tedious. There are housing inspections, termite inspections, and thousands of reams of documents to sign. But at this point in the process, everyone wants the sale to go through. Everyone has incentive to play nice.

Or so you think. Continue reading Sellers from Hell (#125)

Housing Hostility (#124)

It took months, but I’d finally found a house that my picky Chinese-American spouse liked and I loved. Our realtor wrote up what’s known as a “contingency offer” – an offer contingent upon our current house selling. She submitted it to the sellers.

The sellers rejected our offer. Continue reading Housing Hostility (#124)

A Yard of His Own (#123)

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Redondo Beach sunset — South Bay Staple

We moved because Andy wanted a dog. I mean, we might have left our townhouse less than a year after we got married because avoiding the neighbors we’d seen naked was exhausting. Or possibly because the two small bungalows next to us were slated to be demolished and turned into apartment building that would block our view and light.

But really, I’m pretty sure it was the dog. Continue reading A Yard of His Own (#123)