Monday, June 7, 2010

This is not a black and white photo...

...just a photo of a grey tree frog in a black rain barrel on a very sunny summer day.

You would never know that outside that rain barrel, the sky was crazy blue and the coreopsis was crazy much color it kind of hurt your eyes. I can see why the little guy needed to take a break.

Yesterday Meg and I went to study the water situation on my land in Kansas. I've been trying to get the utility lines marked but I'm finding the country way of doing things is very different than what goes on in the city. Who knew there were even more things to complain about? First of all, the water department is run by volunteers. If that volunteer goes on vacation, you have to wait until she gets back to ask your question because it's not like her phone is set up to take messages. :-/ The gas company guy did manage to mark the electric lines but seemed confused as to why I needed anything else marked. Errrgh. I'm a little nervous about even trying to get a water spigot set up on the property because of the wildly erratic water bills I will eventually get. I've heard that the volunteer's kids jump out of her car to read the meters and maybe they get the numbers remembered in the right order when they return to the car, more likely they make up something on the way back. Anyway, I've been told to get prepared to be billed for crazy amounts that will fluctuate wildly and will make no sense, especially in winter.

While Meg and I were studying the garage (the only building on the property) to find a good spot for a spigot, I heard a peacock in the distance. I've been in sort of a slump for a few weeks but hearing that peacock in the neighborhood just made me feel lighter. That has been a dream of mine for....a heck of long time, possibly before I even lived with birds (that could be close to twenty years)! If people in the area are already suffering with the sound of one peacock, what difference could a few more make when I start living there full-time? >:-)

A couple weeks ago my sister sent me this photo of what she calls her pet of the day. The "dude" just appeared and stuck around for a couple days to check out her land...although most of his time was spent checking out his reflection in her windows to confirm just how pretty he was. He only stayed two days and then left to go hang out in another neighbor's yard who lived down the hill.

Colorful. That's what I'd call the day...and there is potential for even more local color...whether it's peacocks or the odd ways (to me, at least) of how things are done in the country. One thing I've learned in my brief experience out there, I know how to roll my eyes when I hear the stories of someone trying to get anything done.


Leenie said...

Kinda reminds me of the adventures of Frances Mayes in her book, "Under the Tuscan Sun"--(not the movie, I don't know how they could even give that movie the same name). Hope you're taking notes. The book you write could make you rich.

Dealing with utility workers and contractors is always an experience in frustration--made worse when your idea of NOW and theirs is quite different.

Cool peacock but I would think they would be worse alarm clocks than roosters.

Maureen said...

When I was in the Ozarks, I had a well and a bucket, with a spigot on the outdoor shower that only worked in the summer. Hippies. Whatever. I also had an outhouse.

Maria said...

Leenie-I'll try to remember there is a possible book idea when I start building. Not sure how much I'll get written if my eyes will be rolling 24/7 though. :-/

Maureen-Bragger. Oh to have an outhouse. :-)

Rural Rambler said...

We didn't build our house, it was 16 years old when we bought. We did do some extensive reno. Took the roof off the family room and changed the roofline and added a four seasons room. Redo on two bathrooms and a tiny redo on the kitchen and pulled up linoleum and put down creamic tile here and there. Put in a new heat pump and electric furnace and got rid of the propane tank. Painted and put commercial carpet down in the finished basement. Put rock columns on the front porch. Suppose to take 3 months, took a little over a year. Bleh. It was very interesting and I can confirm that country folk are on a whole other time schedule and that would be their schedule not yours. Thank the powers that be the well and lagoon were already here. My neighbor has been waiting on excavating work to be done for a year. Patience is the word for every dang day Maria, but it is worth it. Your land is beautiful and you will be so happy. And yeah I read "Under the Tuscan Sun" about a year after we moved in. I loved it. I mean lived it ;) I can't believe you are getting started!! Woot! We have the foundation of an old outhouse that used to be here from when a school was on the property. We have the prettiest flowers growing there :)

Maureen said...

Outhouses are a DRAG in the winter, but sitting by a potbelly stove as the soup cooks makes it worth while.

Maria said...

Pix-Well, I have to say. if country workers are big dawdlers for getting things started or done, they have met their match with me. Oh....I am such a slowpoke. I'm not even close to figuring out what kind of house to build. My big summer project is just trying to get a spigot so I can start planting. That spigot project will probably take me the whole summer because there's me, there are the country workers and then of course, Murphy's Law. One step forward, two steps back, all the way.

Okay, that's two recommendations for that book. I'm going to the library this weekend! :-)

When I looked at the old schoolhouse almost two years ago, it had an outhouse, a double seater. Gawd. I cannot imagine.

And yes, that land is so darn pretty. Every time I visit Meg, she always makes a comment about what lucky girls we are because we get to live in such prettiness. :-)

Maureen-Never, ever thought of outhouses in winter. Yeezus (as my Norwegian relatives would say).