Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Adventures of Duke and Jake

Exploring the construction site, Duke and Jake stumble across a magical portal... 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


The Sandman Delivers
So, what's going on here again?
The Outer Me
The me my friends are most familiar with...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hermit Crab

I have to admit there is a lot more traffic on my road than there was 13 years ago when I moved out here.  There might be as many as six or seven cars driving by on a Saturday, (including the same vehicles coming back the other way).  Despite the likelihood that someone was going to see me and wonder what in the hell I was doing now, I hauled my canvas lawn chair up to the foundation of the new house and spent some time doing nothing.  I sat in the chair with my eyes closed and soaked up the warm sunlight.  From the road, it had to look silly because it looked silly up close.  Wally and Ginger stared at me from the fence.  

There is a great energy around the new house.  It already feels like home.  I might be a little bit like a human hermit crab.  I outgrow places, easily tire of their energy, and during all the years I rented, I tired of the landlords.  Five years was the limit before, often much less.  The longest I have ever lived anywhere in my entire life is the 13 years I have lived in Tornado Fodder Cabin (aptly named by Cyberkit).  I think my focus has been toward the new house for so long that the purposeful energy which sustains a person's home has left my current shack er, ah house, and already infuses the new home.  The new house already exists, I just haven't yet caught up to it in time. 

I am greatly looking forward to moving into a house where no one else has ever lived before.  No other's bad energy, smells, grease, or catastrophic decorating choices.  No great disappointments or tragedy permeating the structure, and certainly no ghosts left to bedevil me.  A fresh start in life.  I think I know exactly how a hermit crab feels when she finds the perfect new shell. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Men and Their Machines and Buyer's Remorse

Only two days later: the footing and the foundation walls are poured!
Looking north across the future master bedroom, kitchen and mudroom.

After decades of dreaming, the day finally arrived last Friday.  When I left for work, the new house was but a dream of mere stakes and flags.  When I arrived home, it was a big hole in the ground.  Progress!

Tuesday morning, before the dogs had been fed, men began arriving.  That evening I met an old friend for dinner so I did not get home until late that night.  I was tired so decided to wait until morning to take pictures.  When I woke up at 3 am, I could not wait any longer to at least see what had been done.  Taking the lantern, I ventured out into the cold.  I was shocked to discover all of the footings had been formed and poured!  In one day.  I considered getting the camera but decided to wait until dawn. 

Waiting was a mistake.  Wednesday morning, men began arriving before I had fed the horses!  Thank God I was dressed already.  (Sometimes I go to the barn in my nightgown.)  I was too shy to take any pictures with so many men arriving. Besides, I needed to get my car out of the way to make room for the big trucks and equipment trailers. 

I admit that I left work about 20 minutes early so I could speed homeward.  I was amazed to find that all of the foundation walls had been formed and poured.  In one day!  I was stunned.  I think I have been programmed by the big industrial construction sites I have watched go up.  They take a lot longer than a small house.

I am highly prone to buyers remorse, so when the outline of the house seemed tiny to me, my heart sank a bit.  I think (hope) it is an optical illusion.  My sister-in-law who built several very nice and much larger homes over the years always had a moment of regret when the house looked so much smaller than she imagined, usually as we were standing in the middle of a framed-in room larger than any house I had ever lived in.  I hope this is my only moment of doubt.  How will I fit my furniture in there?!  Maybe I should forget about the garage and have Dan build that space into a living room.  It is not too late!  But actually, it is too late.  Any changes now will cost a lot of extra money, so I am staying the course.  There will be many times in the future when it is pouring rain but I will gratefully step out of my car into a dry garage, or when the world is covered in thick frost but none that has to be scraped from the windows of my Ford.  When energy rates cause the utility bills to double and triple what they are now, I will be quite satisfied living in a hobbit house.

All that psychosis aside, I am thrilled.  And once again the miracles men and their machines accomplish astonishes me.  All that cooperative hunting and gathering produced a marvelous evolutionary product.  Men who build things are just soooooo sexy!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Kansas State Politics 2012 - In Pictograms

A Couple of Horse's Asses

A Whole Lotta BULL!

A Significant Pain in the Butt

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Amazingly, Construction Begins

Some of the stakes and flags that held the seeds of the new house for over a year.

Looking east toward "Mount Home" where the ground is to be excavated today 11-9-12

Though I drove like a  maniac to get home in time to see the progress, this is what I could see in the car lights...

November 10, 2012, Duke looking south over the excavation.

Beautiful sky this morning, full of southern winds ahead of the big Northwester' coming in tomorrow.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pumpkins - Next Left

To visit Peter Peter, Pumpkin Eater Extraordinaire, you would take this exit.  It is the way to the Great Pumpkin Patch and the very same garden that produced Cinderella's carriage.  Jack-o-laterns, pumpkin pies, and October magic are born here, too.  Do not miss that turn!

I discovered the sign on an overcast day.  Despite the drought, the prairie was exceedingly colorful and it is a shame that I failed to get many photos of an extraordinary autumn.

October in Wabaunsee County, Kansas
Beautiful Prairie

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Ink Is Dry

Today I signed a ton of papers at the bank.  The sheets and copies and explanations and warnings stacked up.  Eventually they were gathered up and thoughtfully placed into a legal-sized manila envelop.  It was a service the bank provided so I could easily carry everything while my stomach twisted with anxiety. 

Next week I start choosing the siding and shingles and a host of other decisions for the new home that is to be built at Spirit Creek.  Soon the big machinery will be here bulldozing dirt - well, at least moving dust around.   

It was a long haul.  I started talking with Dan the Builder about five years ago.  Each time I would get close to this point, something expensive would happen, or the government would throw a wrench into the works.  FEMA insisted on surveys and flags and elevations and photos and maps to exempt the building site from the newly designated flood plain, which included almost all of the six acres parcel, whether it was 30 feet above the 100 year flood elevation or 2 feet.  I would have been forced to pay the government expensive flood insurance for the rest of my life - in addition to all the taxes, fees, inspections, and blood letting I already pay.  So kudos to me for winning one against the bureaucrats! 

The flags and stakes are still in the ground, well over a year later, waiting for the new home.  I sacrificed my Harley in order to build, but that is a fair trade.  When the winter wind is howling but I am snug and warm in my wonderful new little house, I will not miss the sacred machinery a bit.

Today, my nephew generously offered to help paint, but that is all included in the price of the home.  We talked about interior colors, but that is an easy answer:  blindingly white.  I am going to live in the white light for a couple of years until I am healed of living in a 1970's era double-wide with fake leather beams and, I swear to God, an orange carpet - in the very room where I am sitting now.  At least it is not orange shag.

Oh, congratulations to me, a hundred times over.  I never thought this would come to pass.  But it is at hand.

The building site - taken a year ago this month, looking southwest from the barn.  I look out the window every time I am working at the computer and imagine my new house on this little hilltop.