Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Saint Joseph sells homes

Don't believe that burying a St. Joseph statue will help you sell your home? Some do, and it's becoming a service that one realtor offers with her listings.

During times when homes don't resell quickly some sellers will try the practice that others might call a superstition. "The practice of burying St. Joseph borders on superstition today", said Stephen Lewandowski, the deacon of St. Joseph's Catholic Church on Poole Road in Raleigh. "And superstitions, such as believing in good-luck charms or that black cats bring bad luck, are no-nos", he said. "It's not really sanctioned by the church," Lewandowski said.

In 2005, we were trying to sell a small home left to my wife and her brother in a market where there were lots of houses for sale and not many were moving. We heard of the practice of burying a St. Joseph statue upside down in the yard and thought that it couldn't hurt since the house was not moving anyway. After digging around for a suitable spot in an area in front of the porch (and looking over my shoulder to see if anyone was looking) I buried the little statue we had bought just to see if it would help a couple of feet from the house, upside down and facing backwards. Just like we were told it had to be done.

Interestingly enough, in the next few weeks we actually got more visits and got a couple of offers. All when houses in the area still were not selling. One of the potential buyers became interested in the house and we negotiated until arriving at an agreeable selling price and the house was sold in a few days!

Call it superstition, coincidence, blind luck or whatever you wish... the house was not drawing buyers until we decided to bury the St. Joseph statue. Then with a little added help the house sold!

Read more about this fascinating possibility...
News & Observer
September 29, 2007
Jack Hagel, Staff Writer

Sellers seek Saint's help
Can't sell your home? Some bury St. Joseph and pray

When Meredith and Will Vaughn put their home on the market a year ago, they were certain it would sell quickly.

The townhouse is in the popular Five Points neighborhood near downtown Raleigh, where buyers were getting into bidding wars over nearby houses.

Days went by. Then weeks. Then months. The Vaughns, carrying two mortgages, needed a miracle.

"We were already praying," said Meredith Vaughn, 29, who has since moved to Martinsville, Va., where she and her husband will be closer to family when their first baby is born in March. "But we thought: If we do something tangible, maybe that would help, too."

They turned to St. Joseph, who is considered by many desperate home sellers and real estate agents to be the patron saint of house hunters and sellers.

The Vaughns bought a 4-inch St. Joseph statue and followed the instructions: Dig a hole, bury the statue upside down, say a special prayer and wait for an offer.

Several months later, they're still waiting for an offer. "But we've had a lot of people look at it," Meredith Vaughn said.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. And as home sales have slowed locally and across the country, more sellers are taking similar leaps of faith.

Rows of St. Joseph packages that proclaim "Faith can move mountains ... and homes!" hang on a wall at the Raleigh Regional Association of Realtors store in Cary, where real estate agents stock up on "for sale" signs, key boxes and the like. Read more...

Friday, February 16, 2007

If you like daylilies...

If you like daylilies you will love visiting the Lakeview Daylily Farm operated by the Noel Weston family. Visit in late spring when the flowers begin to open (from mid June through late July) and you will be simply amazed at the huge expanse covered by thousands of blossoms in a spectacular array of color. You will meet the owner and can buy all the colors you would like at very reasonable prices and have them dug up for you right on the spot. Take them home and start your own special display of these beautiful plants and enjoy them every year as they multiply and expand your garden.

The following introduction is from the home page of the Weston Farms website...

Noel Weston hasn't been growing daylilies all his life, but sometimes it seems that way! After 30 years with the City of Raleigh, NC, he retired as its horticulturist. During his tenure with the City, he found that of all the parks and highways he planted, daylilies were the most rewarding landscape plant.

Lakeview Daylily Farm was begun with large quantities of cultivars that Noel liked best for large plantings and with a few hand-selected cultivars from the garden of Ray and Wanda Quinn. After several years of multiplication, they opened the garden commercially in 1989. After five years of working all week and digging flowers on weekends, Ray and Wanda have retired from the garden to concentrate on hybridizing (and their day jobs!). Now Lakeview Daylily Farm is a family operation with approximately 1000 cultivars.

Noel, Molly, and Erin Weston invite you to visit us at our garden. If you can't come in person, perhaps you'd like to order online. At the garden, we sell by best available clump; however, our online orders will be bare root double fans.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


In case you haven't been by the KrispyKreme bakery lately here's a snapshot of hot glazed KrispyKreme doughnuts rolling down the assembly line. This might even make you want to jump in the car and drive by to get a box of hot ones!

This has always been one of the "things to do" around the Wake County area for as long as KrispyKreme has been in business. Back in the "60's", when some of us were teenagers, a must do activity while out driving around was to swing by the KK bakery on Peace Street when the red light was on to get a box of "hot ones" and eat them right out of the box.

The bakery is a block from it's original location and is waiting for you to visit. It's a little larger than the old bakery and now has a small area with tables for dining and socializing. Just as it was back in the "old days" there's always a line at the counter to pick out a sample of doughnuts for a tasty snack!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Spring in the winter?

Blooms have been popping out all over recently even though the temperature is around thirty degrees on this 29th day of January, 2007. Plants seem to be confused and have been producing blossoms months ahead of time this year. No doubt because the weather has not been what it normally is this time of year. The reality of a warmer than usual winter as predicted by the weather service has brought a change and confusion to the usual process that plants go through as they begin the spring wakeup process.

Better enjoy these while they are around because blooms may not be as prolific this spring since many have arrived during the cold well ahead of time!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Downtown Apex as you've never seen it...

On Saturday morning after the great chemical fire explosion of October 5, 2005 in Apex, NC, the town was literally completely deserted. My photo on the right shows downtown at high noon on Saturday morning after the fire started as downtown has never been seen.

I grew up in this small town many years ago and moved away following college and after 36 years moved back four years ago and found a town completely different from the one I moved away from in 1966. When I left the town had approximately 2,500 residents. Now it has over 33,000 and is growing fast. New subdivisions are all around this former small country town and most of the residents are now families of commuters making the daily trek to jobs with corporations located in Research Triangle Park.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Once upon a puddle

After a long walk taking in the sights and sounds of the 2006 North Carolina State Fair I came upon this little pool filled with rubber ducks. On a very hot day they looked as if they had been playing in the shade all day and didn't mind the intrusion of a visitor in their world.

This is the largest state fair on the east coast and always brings lots of excitement and events for everyone in the fall - food, rides, exhibits, contests.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

"The Riddle of The Winds"

One of my favorite book references...

From the book "The Riddle of The Winds"

When the leaves are motionless, there is no wind. When the leaves begin to stir, you'll notice a breeze. When small branches move, you'll feel a moderate breeze. Whole trees in motion gives you a gale.
W. S. Kals, 1977