A to Z: Selling Our House (Letter S)

Today’s S sign features the words SLOW, SPEED and SENIORS. I’m feeling all three in different ways…

S for Staging

I have looked at a lot of houses for sale. To my knowledge, not one was ever staged. I always felt that it was up to me to imagine my own things in the spaces, ignore other people’s furnishings, and make the appropriate decisions. I don’t think I ever turned away from a place because it wasn’t cleaned. I know how to clean. Nevertheless, staging has become a “thing” in selling real estate, thank you HGTV.

A staged house is decorated tastefully, with interesting furniture (which you might like better than your own), cute throw pillows (dented “just so”), a smell like your mother just baked cookies in the kitchen and, of course, you will want to move right in. The psychology of selling has gone into high gear, for sure.

Lindsay the designer (back on letter D) made an initial visit to my house, which was full of our things and made suggestions as to what we should remove, what we should leave. Since then I have realized that I’m moving. I have tried to get rid of things that I don’t want to keep and store. I have packed our belongings to the point of making life uncomfortable. My house is now staged with cardboard boxes and no furniture that would appeal to anyone. Ooops.

Lindsay did not get to see the rental house because it was full of renters and a big dog. But now it is empty except for a glass top table and four chairs with no seat cushions. I wouldn’t exactly call that staged either.

So, I’m wondering. Do I really have to rent nearly two houses worth of furniture here? Staging is getting a little scary. You see, I don’t have a warehouse full of couches, tables and decorations that I can choose and have a crew transport to my location and put in place. Don’t forget the fresh flowers and the bowl of fruit, please. I’m wondering where I’m going to hide all these boxes.  I could put them in the container from Pack Rat, except that container can’t appear in the outside pictures, so it has to go away.  But it also has to come back for whatever furniture I do have in my house. Logistically, I’m a little confused.

There you have it. Staging is wonderful but will someone please appear and buy my houses before I have to do it? Please?

The perfectly staged living room in which no one has lived ever (probably). 

#atozchallenge: Starfruit

20160107_093601.jpgStarfruit or Carambola – you might not have heard of this one if you live in a northern climate. Florida is one of the states where it is grown in the U.S. and it is interesting that one man was responsible for the particular cultivar that is grown commercially and bears his name, Adkin.  He was a backyard horticulturist and his work produced this really, tasty and lovely fruit.

Although this fruit is still relatively rare in many parts of the U.S., I read that it is common in other countries (the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Guam, Phillipines, China, Taiwan) and has been for hundreds of years.  It has many names.  The Starfruit name is descriptive of the sliced fruit, as you can see.

delicious, juicy little stars are very decorative

Starfruit is a little like grapefruit, in that is has substances, caramboxin and oxalic acid, that greatly affect the utilisation of certain medications. Caramboxin is actually a neurotoxin and should not be consumed by people who have kidney disease.  For everyone else the low levels of caramboxin are not dangerous and the health benefits are considerable.  Starfruit is rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and potassium. It is low in sugar, sodium and acid and has significant antimicrobial activity.

this one might be a bit tart since the ridges still have some green

They are ripe when all traces of green have gone and the ridges have turned slightly brown. Further ripening tends to make the fruit soggy and bland.  The taste and texture have been described as having elements of grape, pear, citrus and apple.  They are very juicy and somewhat tart, and even kind of crunchy. I know, it’s hard to imagine all that if you’ve never had them.  My brother has some trees in south Florida and brought us a whole bag of starfruit last winter.  I like them a lot. If you happen across them in your grocery, give them a try.