It's a 100-year-old Victorian with stunning woodwork, tall ceilings, pocket doors, fireplaces, and loads of character. With over 3000 square feet, it was much too large for us, but we spread out and settled in.
Over the 5 years that we lived here together, we tore out carpet, painted rooms, installed new lighting fixtures, remodeled a bathroom, reworked the backyard, and started finishing the attic. It was a labor of love.
In the summer of 2006, hubby decided he wanted to look at new houses. I was hesitant, for a variety of reasons...one of which is that the house needed some work on the front porch. I was worried about it not selling with a porch that was literally falling down. Nevertheless, I agreed to look at houses and we eventually made an offer on one, a much newer & more expensive one. I was still hesitant and nervous about buying a new house before selling the current one, but hubby convinced me it would all work out.
It didn't work out. A few months after we moved into the new house, I moved back into the old one...where I've been ever since. I am still trying to sell it, and I am to the point of utter frustration...not because it isn't selling, but because I am tired of the comments people are making about it.
I KNOW the porch needs to be fixed! I KNOW the outside needs painting! I KNOW the wood floors aren't refinished! I KNOW all this, yet people keep pointing it out to me...as if I can't see those things myself.
If I could afford the repairs, I would do them in a heartbeat and stay here. I love this house. It's my home...the only "real" home I've had as an adult. Why can't people see that? Why do they insist on attacking it so harshly? It's not unlivable...far from it...it just needs a bit of TLC.
But, I can't afford all that work on my own and that's why I'm selling it. It's such a personal thing to sell a house. I am taking all the comments too personally, I know, but I've tried my hardest to make this into a comfortable home...especially now that I am back here, in different circumstances, with half of the furniture I used to have and with all the memories of another life here. And hearing about all the stuff that's wrong with it only makes me feel worse.
Anyway...for the agent open house today I made raspberry-almond blondies, a Martha Stewart recipe I adapted slightly, and they made me feel a little bit better!
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (plus more for pan).
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour.
1 teaspoon baking powder.
3/4 teaspoon salt.
1 cup light brown sugar.
1 teaspoon vanilla.
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted.
1 small container of raspberries.
Powdered sugar, for dusting.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a buttered square baking pan with parchment paper (or foil), allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang) as well. Martha suggests an 8-inch pan, but I used a 9-inch stoneware baking pan.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, and set aside.
- Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; cream on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Add flour mixture, and beat on low speed, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated. Mix 1/4 cup almonds into batter.
- Pour batter into prepared pan; spread with buttered hands (or a rubber spatula). The batter is very thick, almost like cookie batter. Don't be alarmed.
- Scatter berries and remaining 1/4 cup nuts over batter in pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted into blondies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet. According to Martha, bake 55 to 60 minutes in an 8-inch pan, but I only needed 35-40 minutes for mine.
- Let cook a few minutes in pan before using parchment to remove the blondies to a wire rack. Cool completely, then dust with powdered sugar before cutting into squares.