Oops, I Made A Smudge

January 13th, 2012

Ever since we moved into our new house, I’ve been dying to smudge it. Not “smudge” in the way my boys have already smudged every single wall with their grimy Cheetos covered fingers, rather “smudge” in the Native American purification sense of the word. A little ceremony to rid the house of negative energy in case the previous owners were serial killers. Or racists. Or, good God, smooth jazz fans. But honestly, has “Poltergeist” taught us nothing about the dangers of real estate? Buyer beware, my friends. Buyer beware.

Now, the first thing you need to do for your Smudge Ceremony is buy a Smudge Stick. And where else would you buy this important element of ancient Native American ritual than— And, since they sell them in both the “Home Improvement” department and the “Personal Care Products” department, you’re set whether it’s your house or your face that has the dangerously bad vibes attached to it. Win!

Here’s my white sage smudge stick—-only $3.29 plus shipping:

I think it looks great, although previous customer “Suzy” only gave it three stars out of five and this sparkling Amazon review: “Meh. I still have ghosts.”

Poor Suzy. Maybe she needs Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd and The Proton Pack to help her out instead? (YO, SUZY, I AIN’T FRAIDA NO GHOSS.)

Once the sage arrived, my husband Chris immediately made it clear that he wasn’t interested in participating in the smudging (“This is because you went to college in Eugene, Oregon, isn’t it? Take a bath, hippie, I have a conference call”), so I had to rely on three of my friends who are always up for anything. Well, up for anything if given a pastry/wine bribe. I love how we have that in common.

So this morning they showed up and, after a house tour and an hour of gossip about the passive-aggressive women who live to torture innocent Room Moms like myself, we lit the smudge stick on fire. Question: have you ever gone to a Willie Nelson concert? Ridden in the back of a VW van with a bunch of tie-dyed Deadheads? Stood in the middle of the Nevada desert while lightning struck 2,000 sagebrush and set the entire state on fire? Because that’s pretty much what the smudge stick smelled like as it billowed white, pungent smoke all over my house, my friends, my furniture and myself. Luckily we had a Pyrex measuring bowl with us to catch all of the ash it spewed or my house would now look like a suburban Burning Man. (Sans the naked acid trippers and centaur trombone players, of course.)

Then, while I held the burning, smelly sage in my hand, the four of us walked from room to room letting the smoke flow freely. Not being Native American, we weren’t quite sure what to say or chant (“Hakuna Matata” and “My body, my choice!” were immediately shot down), so we decided to just think happy, positive thoughts. We tried our best to bring our uplifting, lasting energy to the Aarons’ new home. Which I admit was helped in great part by the pot of coffee and chocolate croissants we’d just inhaled. Not quite how the Cherokees do it, but then again, they have a lot more willpower than we do.

But now the question is: will this whole thing even work? Will our little party ensure my family’s happiness in the new house? I don’t know. But what I do know is that I had a lovely, joyful time with my friends and that having my home filled with their love and laughter today made my house feel even more like my home.

Plus, and even more important, I was able to get a picture of each of them holding the smudge stick like a big ass doobie, so now I can blackmail them for the next 30 years. And if that doesn’t give me super positive energy, I don’t know what the hell will.

And just to prove I’m not a jerk, here’s the one they took of me smudging my face—-as well as what’s left of my reputation. Oooh, I hope it ends up on Facebook! Or a Taiwanese XXX website!

(And I know, I look just like Bob Marley here. No woman, no cry, baby.)

Entry Filed under: Uncategorized


Add your own

  • 1. Sarah P. / Julia's Child  |  January 13th, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    You just had me looking all over Amazon for Suzi’s “Meh” review. I sure hope that’s actually true.

  • 2. Wendi  |  January 13th, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Here it is:

  • 3. Christine @ Quasi Agitato  |  January 13th, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    and therein lies the true power of the smudge stick. Suzy doesn’t know shit.

  • 4. Nancy Davis Kho  |  January 13th, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Oh, shizzle, girl, you funny but Suzi on Amazon just denied you the mic.

    Yes, I’ve been watching Beastie Boys videos all afternoon. Sue me.

  • 5. Hope  |  January 13th, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Wish I’d thought of that when we moved into our house 2.5 years ago…..

  • 6. muffintopmommy  |  January 13th, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Why am I thinking you needed to get Billy Riggins in on this shizz???

    And what if the ghosts of Fanilows past dwell in your abode? Be careful who you running outta town!

  • 7. Lisa Rae @ smacksy  |  January 13th, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    I used to work with a deadhead who changed her name from Stephanie to Sharon, because it sounds like “sharing.” Just an idea, Windy.

  • 8. Kathie  |  January 13th, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    Dang, I thought “smudge” was a euphemism, until I got to the second paragraph. Isn’t a thing that you’re supposed to “smudge” in every room of a new house?

  • 9. Lidia  |  January 13th, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    Ever watched Flipping Out with Jeff Lewis? He likes to do that to all of the houses he moves into, but I didn’t know it was called “smudging”. Thanks for enlightening me; you learn something new every day.

  • 10. shanan  |  January 14th, 2012 at 2:15 am

    Ok, well, sounds like I need this! I am part cherokee ( 1/24?) so I am sure that I can call on the ancestors to help! Backstory is that I just happened to watch a creepy ghost story before going to bed. Then my 7/o wakes up with hiccups and says she hears ” breathing” around her bed and scratching sounds on the walls. My house was built sometime in the 1700′s and I don’t really believe in ghosts but a sage stick may not be such a bad thing!!

  • 11. Becky Rice  |  January 14th, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Hypothetically….does it work at exercising in-laws?

  • 12. The mama bird diaries  |  January 14th, 2012 at 7:24 am

    I know I am reading this on my iPhone but that smudge thing looks like a delicious candy bar.

  • 13. Bejewell  |  January 14th, 2012 at 8:21 am

    I would have paid good money to see this all in action. At least $3.29, plus shipping.

  • 14. Kara  |  January 14th, 2012 at 8:26 am

    You really can buy everything on Amazon these days. Loved your description of the smell…deadheads and 2000 sagebrush bushes on fire. Certainly a smell I want permeating through my house. Heading to amazon now!

  • 15. Peajaye  |  January 14th, 2012 at 8:41 am

    You left out the third Ghostbuster – Harold Remis, and he actually co-wrote it with Dan Aykroyd. *Sigh* Oh, Wendi, leaving a writer out of the credits. I thought you’d left your Hollywood ways behind you.

  • 16. Karen  |  January 14th, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Excellent sage cleanse. It’s already working.


  • 17. Brassydel  |  January 14th, 2012 at 9:54 am

    I actually did a similar pagan blessing with incense when we bought our house. My priestess friend did the ritual, and the menfolk sat in the basement talking about guns.

  • 18. Ann  |  January 14th, 2012 at 10:01 am

    centaur trombone players


  • 19. Samina  |  January 14th, 2012 at 10:11 am

    It’s not eligible for Prime? Scratch my order. My ghosts just got a reprieve.

  • 20. dusty earth mother  |  January 14th, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Does this work to exorcise your husband’s present love of “Winter Solstice” music? If so, please send Amazon link.

  • 21. Alexandra  |  January 14th, 2012 at 11:57 am

    I love this about you.

    My BIL, gone now (bow head,please) was part American Indian.

    Yes, I’ve seen houses get smudged.

    First, you make me laugh.

    Second, that you have friends that are game for this.

    And third, that you want to do this.

    The world is too full of normal.

    Love that you wanted to smudge your house.

    I really do.

  • 22. ellen  |  January 14th, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    my dear friend, not from this country, told me all about this as she prepared her New Year’s smudge day a few weeks ago. for a second there i was going to send her your page then checked myself with the reminder that … she’s not from this country. some things may transcend boundaries (e.g., smudging) but many things we gotta keep inside these four walls, ya know?
    thanks for many good laughs

  • 23. Former Austinite  |  January 14th, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Aww. Wendi. Don’t you know that you could of bought this in Austin and skipped the shipping charge! Then again you could of run into a bunch of hippies or someone you know. There’s some Apache somewhere in my blood but I have no idea what you are supposed to say when smudging your house. Just really glad that you have a couple of friends that were game even if they had to be bribed.

  • 24. julie gardner  |  January 14th, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I once went to a similar ceremony at the new home of my college roommate. We used to eat Top Ramen together and each had only one pair of shoes. Then she married a quadrillionaire (that’s a word, right?)and bought a giant house on the beach in Malibu.

    I didn’t know what to wear to such a shindig (a common occurance) so I chose a white blouse and black pants not realizing the caterers (!!) would be clothed similarly.

    In the middle of the chanting, her father came up to me and was all “Is there any more shrimp?” and I said something like, “I was a bridesmaid in your daughter’s wedding,” and then commenced a lot of awkward silence.

    What I’m getting at is this:

    There are worse things in life than smooth jazz.

  • 25. Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]  |  January 14th, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Oh thank GOD you got the pics of your friends holding a giant doob. There’s nothing better to have in your arsenal than a good blackmail photo.

  • 26. Ninja Mom  |  January 14th, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    I am 65% certain my husband would leave me if I smudge the house. That’s why I’m saving mine for when I’m good and done with him (there are light bulbs I can’t change by myself, he’s safe for ow).

    Hippie rituals and croissants. What could go wrong?

  • 27. Orin  |  January 15th, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    We just smudges our house last week.

    It was to get rid of whatever the hell kept poking my daughter in the back while she tried to sleep and was giggling in the closet. It worked! She’s back in her room.

    The downside was that we had all the windows open to let out the “spirits” and the smoke and our neighbors were staring at us.

    That’s ok though, maybe they will think before they go to the strata to complain about the “witch” family.

  • 28. Tara  |  January 15th, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Lovers of smooth jazz and serial killers have a lot in common. Good work on the smudge!

  • 29. The Flying Chalupa  |  January 15th, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    I’m pretty sure that IS how the Cherokees do smudging these days, Wendi: high on Dunkin Donut’s coffee and bear claws (the pastries – the real bear claws are on the necklace), chanting something about Ty Pennington and saltillo tiles.

    I bet your new home looks fab! Congrats!

  • 30. kathykate  |  January 15th, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    i saged our house once or twice after skeevy high school friend visited with her equally skeevy husband and slothed around like it was Hedonism instead of my house w 4 kids, 2 dogs and a minivan. I was hoping to rid the house of slimebag cooties. Did Not Work. My kids had asthma attacks, my dog smelled like weed, and the sexpot swingers returned the next year. Had to burn the sheets. ew.

  • 31. Rikki  |  January 15th, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Look at it this way–whatever kind of spirits you have in your house are in a great mood after watching your ceremony. Did you consider that they will never leave while you are so entertaining?

  • 32. marathonmom  |  January 16th, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    So have you reserved the rights to in case it takes awhile for your book to come out? That is like a big ass smudger too. I hope your HOA and insurance agent don’t read your blog cuz that might violate some of the tiny print. But you are gonna make a shitload of money off the book and the website so it will all be perfect. Best wishes & smugness in the new house!

  • 33. Invader_Stu  |  January 18th, 2012 at 3:48 am

    What if they were Smooth Jazz racist killers? The combination could be too strong.

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