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On FootOctober 7, 2004

So I’ve set up an “open house” for Saturday. Doesn’t that sound rather tacky? For some reason I’m almost apologetic about it, but my schedule just doesn’t allow inviting the 20 or so people who’ve responded to the ad over in different time slots. So I’m going to tuck myself up on the couch and knit and let people look around. Weird, weird, weird. And I have to work a fourteen hour shift on Friday night, from 7pm to 9am, come home, get a three hour nap, and up at 1pm to do the last bit of tidying. I’m tempted to pull a Mrs. Fields and bake something so the house smells homey and chocolately. All right, now THAT would be tacky. But I might stoop.

Sleepy. Completely uninteresting. My car is making brake-squealing noises (I love how my Petunia has never had one problem in her ten-year life, and only started asking me for money as soon as I started home-shopping) and I need to take it in on my way to work tonight. There’s something in me that actually likes to leave my car behind me while I take off on foot. Granted, it’s only leaving it at the shop and walking to work. But it makes me feel a tiny bit less reliant on my wheels. I am Californian. I have to have a car. I hate it, but it’s true. I asked Em, “Do you even KNOW anyone at home who has a car?” She thought about it and said, “I think I USED to. But not anymore.” Now that’s cool. And responsible. I’m really neither.

(I also really like the feeling I had once where I packed my suitcase, walked out my front door, down to BART, which took me to the airplane, which took me to Italy. It felt like I was walking out of the country. I can’t explain it more than that. But I like to start a trip on my own two feet, not speeding down a highway. Y’know?)


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Cinnamon is the most inviting smell for prospective owners and renters (I read that in one scientific study or another), and I can tell you from experience that it works! Everything smells inviting and fresh and like home cooking, without the fuss and mess of home cooking. Good luck!

I love that feeling -- the boy and I once walked out my door, to BART, to the airport, to the Caribbean. It made the leave-it-all-behind-ness of the vacation even more intense.

I didn't drive from age 17-21 and then from 22 to 30. I still walk to do the errands when I can. But me and Miss Scarlet, we get around.

I watch double agents a lot and what they'll do is just bake the pre-made chocolate chips cookies to get the smell. they'll also leave the cookies out for the people at the open house.

It may seem tacky, but it's definitely a proven tactic -- not much different than fixing something that's been broken. If you felt too weird making cookies, muffins would be good -- something with cinnamon and/or chocolate? Good luck!

good luck with the open house and i know what you mean about the walking.

All we did was slice and bake in our million dollar microwave in MA and we sold our house in record time. Go for it! And I hope Petunia is okay.


I don't even have a driver's license.

Hope the car is okay! And good luck with the open house!

I think having lots of yarn around will make it feel homey!

don't knock yourself out -- just put a piece of cinnamon toast in the oven. Between the cinnamon smell and you all curled up knitting, they will think they have stepped into a diorama!

heat up a pot of water with cinnamon sticks and cloves on your stove. mmmm it's like fall in new england.

although i love my mini, i kind of liked not being tied down to a car and walking everywhere.

good luck with the open house.

What great suggestions about what to scent your house with! I don't think it's tacky at all, for what it's worth. I think I would appreciate having a cookie at an open house. Everything is going to go swimmingly.

With the imminent Ikea in Red Hook (I know, "imminent" means "four years" or whatever), I *wish* I knew someone with a car.

I've had the same self-reliant feeling when I've had to be without my car, but actually when I do have my car I have a different kind of self-reliant feeling. On a rational level I know that it's a big hulking machine and kind of a crutch that allows me not to be as organized/fit for a brisk walk/etc. as I would be otherwise, but I can't help feeling like I just have a magic power to get myself and others quickly from one obscure end of town to another at will.

I love to drive, (not commute & run errands) I mean REALLY drive. Hug corners, zip past slow grammys,stuff like that. The idea of being able to walk somewhere is fascinating, but born, raised & residing in suburbia totally prevents that. I do take a nice brisk walk every night after work though.
If your looking for sneaky suggestions to make your place more "homey" I'd recommend baking up a frozen pumkin or apple pie - works wonders!
Good Luck On the Open House!

Yes, I know that feeling. Imagine walking through Central Park on a pristine November day. It's your first day in New York EVER. And you're all alone in this big city, the life you've known for nearly a decade left behind you on the other coast. Colored leaves drift down from the trees, the sun shines warm on your shoulders, the sounds of children laughing float on the breeze. As you crest a hill, breathing deeply of the autumn and high on independence, a bagpiper begins to play. You think that this must be the most perfect day that anyone anywhere will ever experience. Yeah... I know all about it.

Baking (and sharing) cookies -- even the break-n-bake variety! -- is a way of showing potential takers that you are willing to go the extra mile. Rather than being tacky, it proves you're committed to making this happen.

Sitting and knitting is a good idea, but be sure you give your visitors a place to talk without being overheard. Maybe you should knit outside near George, and they can come out when they want to ask a question.

Good luck!!!

Baking cookies for your open house is an excellent idea. The smell and the treat will make your guests feel more at home...and that's what you want. If you don't have time or don't want to actually bake, put a little cinnamon and a few cloves in a pan of water and let it simmer for awhile. The smell is DELICIOUS. Just don't forget to turn it off.

Hoping your open house goes well, and your house dreams are soon final.

Our realtor gave us a list of things to do while people were looking at our house - Number 1. was bake something with apples & cinnamon about an hour before and have it sitting out. (we kept frozen apple turnovers in the freezer - they bake quicker than an entire pie)
Number 2. was LOTS of candles.
Good luck!

I've had a vehicle since I was 15. Maine has almost no public transportation.

Screw the baking. Buy a candle. Its much easier. :) I hope it goes well for you.

Sounds like you are going to have NO problem renting the place out. Great! One step closer to your OWN place, yeah :)

If cinnamon works, maybe you should make snickerdoodles. I would SO bake cookies. I think that is a good move. The apartment is so cute, though, that it will sell itself.
When I lived in the Bay Area, I was carless. I remember walking to Bart once with a huge duffel bag packed full of stuff, and I ended up somersaulting off of a curb because it was so heavy. I picked myself up and walked across the street, and this old guy sitting on his stoop very casually asked, "You okay?"

I don't think baking something is tacky. Maybe I will just put some cinnamon sticks and cloves in water on the stove this weekend just for me...

I didn't drive from 1996 to 2001. It was a bit of a shock to get behind the wheel and onto the Interstate after that, but that's another story. When I lived in Chicago, I would walk to the corner, take a bus to the El station, and take the El to one of two airports to fly out of the city. It was such a neat feeling. (Interestingly, I almost always took a cab *back* from the airport after a trip.) Living in L.A., I miss those driving-free days.

Best of luck with your Open House!!

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