About Me

How to sell your home and make a faster, more profitable sale

Matanuska River with Pioneer Peak in the background.Matanuska River with Pioneer Peak in the Background

Greetings! My name is Marcy. Because I don't particularly enjoy talking about myself, I'm going to talk more about this beautiful state I live in.

I am a transplant from the lush, temperate rain forests of Southeast Alaska to the stunning and fertile Matanuska-Susitna Valley in South Central Alaska.

Giant kohlrabi from my garden.Giant kohlrabi from my garden.

I live in a beautiful city encircled by stunning mountains, from the imposing Pioneer Peak along the Knik River, the Talkeetna Mountains to the north and the Chugach Mountains to the south and east.

Even after seven years living here,  I am still taken aback by the breathtaking beauty of the Mat-Su Valley.

The Matanuska River divides my city, and though it looks deceptively calm, it is really quite dangerous. Many have perished in this silty and frigid glacier water.

At times, incredible winds originating from surrounding glaciers will sweep silt up from the Matanuska or Knik Rivers and blow it through town with a terrible force! These silt-laden winds funnel through town, affecting air quality, sandblasting cars, canceling baseball games...you get the picture.

The Mat-Su Valley is best known as the agricultural center of Alaska because of its fertile soil and long days, creating ideal growing conditions which result in some of the largest and sweetest vegetables in the world.

The long hours of daylight in the summer impart a sweet deliciousness to carrots, kohlrabi and many other types of vegetables. 

Every summer, gardeners partake in "giant vegetable" contests, where the winners are revealed at the Alaska State Fair. This fair takes place in Palmer and goes from mid-August to September.

Cow Moose visiting my yard mid-winter.Moose are common visitors on my property.

The Matanuska-Susitna Valley holds the world records for giant kohlrabi, kale, rutabaga, turnips, broccoli and cabbage. The largest recorded cabbage was 138.24 pounds at the 2012 Palmer Fair.

We are blessed with an abundance of wildlife here in Alaska. I especially enjoy the moose coming by my yard to dine on birch, willow and cottonwood leaves, or just to nap in the sun.

In the spring, moose cows often birth and rest close to my house for days, until the calves are strong enough to run. I think they know that predators, (bears!) typically stay away from people. 

I was charged by a moose once while walking around my property with my dogs. It was a Jurassic Park-like moment!

I heard a deep-belly roar, trees parted and bushes shook as thundering hooves stomped toward me, and the biggest cow moose I had ever seen came straight at me!

Who knew that moose could roar?!! Ears plastered back and hair standing up indicated the degree of her rage. I thought it was all over, but luckily I was surrounded by huge cottonwood trees, so I ducked behind one.

The cow followed me around the tree until she caught sight of my dogs and took off after them. Then something unexpected occurred. The moose cow backed away about 20 feet and watched us. I sensed immediately that she was giving us a chance to retreat. And we did!

The reason she charged me became clear days later when she emerged with twin calves. She had given birth on a corner of my property and thought I was a predator. 

So the moral of that story is, stay out of the woods, from the middle of May to the 2nd week in June. Once moose calves reach a certain age, the cows are more relaxed.

Cold winter mountain view along the Knik River behind my property.The view from my backyard in winter is spectacular! But cold...

My family and I enjoy the many hiking and biking trails in this area. Our favorite place is Hatcher Pass, a scenic mountain pass about 22 miles from Palmer.

My husband and son are more energetic hikers than me, enjoying mountain trails in the Chugach Range like, Matanuska Peak and Lazy Mountain, (don't let the name fool you-- it's not a lazy hike!) They have yet to climb Pioneer Peak, which rises over 6,000 feet.

I enjoy picking a variety of local berries to make jam and jelly; high-bush and low-bush blueberries, wild raspberries and cranberries.

Me standing under the famous burled arch in Nome, Alaska.Me standing under the famous burled arch finish line of the last great race, the Iditarod in Nome, Alaska. Wrapped in many layers, I was waiting for mushers to come in.

How I became interested in home staging

Pouring concrete footings for my Alaska cabin.Me helping pour concrete footings for our cabin foundation. As you can see, I am properly dressed for the occasion.

I first became aware of home staging years ago when I was in the process of selling my own house. I was just hours away from expecting my first potential buyer when my sister, (who was visiting at the time) suggested that we "stage the house." "What's that?" I asked.

She explained that it was getting rid of clutter and hiding personal stuff to make the home more appealing to buyers. My sister rushed around the house, washing windows, clearing off kitchen counters, stashing appliances, even hiding things in the oven. My house sold that afternoon to the first person who viewed it!

Flushed with success and now a confirmed believer in the power of home staging, I wanted to learn more about it. With a background in art and a strong interest in interior design, it was a natural fit for me. I pursued the subject and enrolled in a home staging and redesign course.

My home staging interest led me to work as a Real Estate Agent for a period of time, where I was able put my home staging knowledge to work. It was a valuable experience and an interesting anthropological study of human nature.

Working as a Realtor certainly provided me with plenty of useful information for this do-it-yourself home staging website, plus I saw first-hand, the power of home staging!

My husband was a home builder for many years and eventually moved on to running larger construction projects. I like to think that I absorbed a bit of construction knowledge over the years simply by association.

Together we remodeled and sold three houses, two of them 100 years old, so I learned quite a bit about the problems you can run into when remodeling an old home.

It was fun to see the different home decor styles of past eras as we peeled away wallpaper layers, lath and plaster and flooring during the demolition process.

We even found treasures hidden inside walls, window sills and attic crawl spaces. We found old coins, ancient newspapers, shopping lists and old pictures from the 30's. We even came across a stash of empty whiskey bottles hidden behind a wall in one home!

Pictures of my English Springer Spaniel litter.Here are a few pups from Lucy, my English springer spaniel's one and only litter, 2015. What does this have to do with home staging? Nothing! But simply too cute not to share. We kept the one on the far right.

I've always been a do-it-yourself kind of person, so when I thought about the kind of website I wanted to create, a "one stop" home staging web site seemed like the perfect fit. And it's really fun!

Perhaps you live in an area without access to a home staging professional? Or maybe you have a question about choosing paint colors, arranging furniture or how to make a small kitchen look larger.

Whatever your question, I hope you find the answer here. If not, just ask me and I’ll be glad to answer.

Pictures of Alaska

Picking berries at Hatcher Pass.Picking Berries at Hatcher Pass near Palmer, Alaska
Bess the Corgi at Hatcher's PassBess, my beloved Corgi at Hatcher Pass near Palmer. Dec. 2008-July 6, 2021.
Wildflowers along the Knik RiverWildflowers along the Knik River.
Nunatak Mountains in southeast AlaskaNunatak Mountains in Juneau, Alaska.
Snowy Mountain on Admiralty Island, AlaskaSnowy Mountain in Southeast Alaska.

Above is a summertime photo of Snowy Mountain located on Admiralty Island. Admiralty Island is also known as, "Fortress of the Bears," home of the highest density of brown bears in North America!

Bull moose in Anchorage, AlaskaBull moose in Anchorage, Alaska.
"Forget-me-nots"-- The Alaska state flower.
Sitka black-tailed deerSitka Black Tailed Deer in Petersburg, Alaska.
Mountain view in Southeast AlaskaMountain and water view near Juneau.
Devil's Club in southeast AlaskaDevil's Club in S.E. Alaska.
Mendenhall River in the winter in Juneau, AlaskaWinter scene along the Mendenhall River in Juneau.
Snowy meadow in AlaskaA snowy field behind my house in Juneau.
Indian Paintbrush, an Alaskan wildflowerIndian Paintbrush, a delightful Alaskan wildflower.
Winter mountain scene in AlaskaWindswept mountains near Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau.
Petersburg Creek near Petersburg, AlaskaWalking along Petersburg Creek in SE Alaska. My grandpa used to have a dairy and he kept his cows here during the summer months. In the fall, he loaded them onto a barge to spend the winter in his barn in town.
Son and Corgi in the SnowSon and corgi romping in the snow.
Hoarfrost on winter grasses in AlaskaHoarfrost on dry winter grasses.
Pink alpine flowers in AlaskaDainty alpine wildflowers on top of Mt. Juneau.

Tall Devil's Club plants in southeast AlaskaMe standing among some giant Devil's Club in S.E. Alaska.

The devil's club plant in the photo on the right is about 10 feet tall. 

Devil's club is a beautiful, but treacherous plant that grows throughout Alaska. It's also known as the "devil's walking stick" for good reason!

The branches are covered with very sharp thorns that are quite painful and difficult to remove once imbedded in the skin. In late August, it has berries that turn a beautiful bright red. 

Devil's club are highly prized by Native Alaskans for their medicinal value, and I find a cup of devil's club tea very energizing.

The devil's club that grow in S.E. Alaska are much taller than the ones in the Matanuska Valley, which are easily stepped over when tromping through the woods.

South Central Alaska, where I now live, has it's own deceitful shrubbery; the beautiful, yet thorny Alaska wild rose.

Hiking through South Central Alaska is much easier than S.E. Alaska, sort of like walking through a park, but watch out for those wild rose thorns.

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