Well, that was much ado about almost nothing. The sellers came up with their money, less $18 that disappeared somewhere along the wire transfer lines, so their agent kicked in the missing funds and voila! We have a house. It turns out that my dad knows how to install lighting fixtures, so we now only have one left to replace. The cabinets look much better after having my mom and I spend two days ridding them of at least 10 years of grease build-up (I think the previous tenants were really into frying their foods - the level of grease in this kitchen is disconcerting) and I predict they'll get even better with a little polishing. But really, I hope you never have to take a small knife to all the grooves on your cabinet doors to scrape out unnamed filth.
There have been some surprises - a strange blob of something orangey-red that turned bright yellow upon getting wet, then just got yellower and brighter as the scrubbing continued; the fact that there is no light box in the kitchen, just some wires pulled through a hole in the ceiling; the outdoor lights that got "fixed" so we could close really just involved the listing agent removing the bulbs from our hall bath; two random hot pads, five bowls of Asian descent, three Spode plates, two corningware bowls, a nylon spoon and a plastic ice cream scoop - but mostly the house is starting to morph into something I'll be glad to call home. Pleasant discoveries include hyacinths, daffodils and azaleas in the yard, the moulding in the dining room looks better with a little love from the painters and the decision to paint the remaining brown woodwork was a good one.
I've added Portia at Home Depot and Debbie at Costco to my network of friends and am hoping to meet a nice kitchen guy later today or tomorrow. Things are definitely looking up. Besides, all your stories of Star Trek fixtures (that one made me laugh at how very accurate that description was!), brass abounding (my ceramic toilet paper holders and towel bars grouted into the walls still win) and the fact that every new homeowner has gone through similar panic attacks was very comforting. Thanks!
No pictures until we get home - my blogs are courtesy of either stolen bandwidth (password protect, people!) or the free Wi-fi at Panera, so I'm not ready to start downloading and uploading all over the place. Plus, if I wait long enough, you'll never see how bad it really was!