Sunday, February 24, 2013
I actually, believe it or not, had a feud with some neighbors. It was an unspoken feud, though. The neighbors became aware of the feud through some actions of mine, over a period of time.
It started this way. In some towns in the Midwest, houses built between, say, 1900 and 1935 were fairly close together, although the lots could be fairly deep. In this one town, each of the lots were about 35 feet wide and 180 feet deep. Pretty good, so long as the house was not very wide! Well, we bought a house on one of those lots. The problem was that between our lot and the lot to the north, both houses being built at la 1925, was a “joint” driveway, covered in rock. There was, technically, just exactly enough space to park two cars side-by-side, if each was parked dangerously near its own house. The original layout was a single lane back along the lots to just behind each house, where the trail split, and each house had its own trail back to its own barn. The barn was also accessible from the alley.
Anyway, in our situation, the “driveway” was mostly on our side of the property line, and the neighbor parked smack dab in the middle of that driveway, 24 hours a day. They had two cars parked there, nose to end, most of the time. This, effectively, eliminated the possibility that we could use the driveway, even though it was mostly on our side of the property line. I did not like that. At all. I fumed about it.
Oh, and because the barn for our house had fallen/burned down long before we bought the land, the neighborhood kids, and sometimes adults, used our “driveway” as a thru way to the alley behind. There were no fences to ward off intruders. There was a common understanding, via years and years of our house having been a rental, that it was A-Okay to use that driveway that way.
Well, I would have none of that. But what to do? I set out to mark our property line, inch by inch. First, I planted some small plants on our side of the property line in the driveway. The plants did not live very long because of the decades of rock crushing that had occurred. So, I decided to build a garage on the back of the lot, just five feet from the property line (per the building code). So, we hired a company to come out and do that, AFTER we had a surveyor come out and mark the property line. You would have thought that we were stealing someone’s inheritance or something. We had the proper survey, proper permits, and had all the proper inspections lined up. The neighbors wanted to file a suit to stop the construction. They actually hired an attorney to deal with it. But the attorney, after coming out and speaking with the construction crew, and looking at the permits and survey, decided to counsel his clients to drop the issue. It did not stop there. The neighbors decided that they would park, after the garage was built, right on the back of the garage, clearly on our side of the property line, and well to the south of their own barn and driveway. Gadzooks! I did not have money for a fence of any kind at all, so I decided to plant . . . WHEAT! I tilled up the ground up rocks, amended the soil with clay soil from the rest of the lot, marked the 4 x 20 row with sticks and twine, and planted winter wheat. I even put little red flags on the sticks to make them more easily seen.
Well, the neighbors, for once, observed that I had done something to preserve our rights (actually the successive prior owners had allowed this nonsense to happen, and my actions occurred long after the law, effectively, gave everyone the right to do what they were doing). I did not care. We were paying taxes on that land, and I intended to use it. Period.
It took about two years, but eventually, the neighbor moved his fence over to the property line, and thus created a private driveway of his own (from the back of his house to the barn). If only he had done that before I had to get nasty! Our relationship was a bit chilly, and I knew it. Since we were not only newcomers to town, but we were from California, it was a little difficult living in this town. Not impossible. Actually, most everyone was very nice, helpful, and accommodating during the years we lived there.
My girls and husband though I had gone too far, and that is possibly true. But today, with the house now as a rental, our renters have full use of the entire property, most of it is fenced off, and their children and dogs (!) are safe from neighborhood folks just traipsing through the property on their way to the alley.
And no, this was NEVER a public easement. We see those in the Midwest, too. There are a lot of public easements between houses. Traditionally, the house owners on both sides of the easement pay the taxes on that land. In the case where the city abandons the easement (happens a lot these days), the owners are given notice and the first one who bids, or the one who bids the most, gets that land annexed to their existing property.
Anyway, since our land was never an easement, I took action. I was sort of mean. And we got the full use of our property back. Oh, my! I had no idea I could do that. I hope to never have to do it anywhere else.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
After a long and somewhat stressful week, I slept very well last night. I discovered, much to my amazement, that my exhaustion was essentially blown away by a good meal.
I have NEVER had deep-core exhaustion solved, literally within minutes, by eating a good meal. This is very interesting.
Friday, February 22, 2013
The trial was continued. None of the parents (3) appeared. All six attorneys appeared. Oh, well. Another sleepless night will be on my personal docket about 30 days from now. No new date yet from the court. The court has to clear that new date with all attorneys other than me.
I am SO TIRED.
But, I am now off to Curves, anyway.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Another question from the Chat Pack: My vision of a luxurious bathroom:
This bath would have a glassed-in walk in shower, with a multitude of wonderful shower heads, including a waterfall. This bath would have a large Jacuzzi tub, with a window over the tub. I would like a lot of natural light in this bathroom, no matter its size.
The toilet will have its own enclosure, with its own window. This bathroom will have a see-through fireplace between the bathroom and the bedroom OR a fireplace just above the bathtub!
This bathroom would have a lot of rock/stone instead of plain wallboard. Kind of like a Tudor design. The bathroom cabinets would be free-standing furniture.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
I grabbed a card from a "chat pack" and decided to answer the question of what would be a luxurious kitchen in my view.
This is an interesting question. Probably because I think I do not deserve either one. That question is for another day, I suppose.
First: A luxurious Kitchen. Boy, do I want one of those. It would have double ovens, a large gas stove with an oven below. Double sink, deep, very deep. Probably stone of some kind. Storage would be in floor to ceiling cabinets or, better, yet, a walk-in pantry. I saw a photo of a walk in pantry. The door looked like all the other cabinet doors. It just opened into a large (about 100 square feet) panty.
I would have a deep cabinet around the refrigerator such that the refrigerator front surface would be flush with the cabinetry. Said cabinets would hold all the “open” foodstuffs and condiments, fresh veggies, and, if there is still room, some of the large flat pans that we use nearly every day (and have no handy storage spot). I think I would give up a dining room for this sort of layout. Although we do use our dining room for entertainment, as well as family parties, I think that the property could have a large enough live-in kitchen that the “kitchen table” could seat, say, 12 people. And all would be well.
My luxurious kitchen would also have a small (and I do mean small) eating table for just one or two people, for midnight snacks, and quick meals.
I would also have ample natural light. I saw an idea years ago where there were windows between the top of the counter-top and the bottom of the cabinets. I REALLY liked that! I could see it even in the northern climates. Very good light. WOW. It was probably in Sunset Magazine.
I hate soffits. I know they serve a purpose, sometimes, but I hate them nonethesless. They cost money to construct and they take up otherwise valuable space. So, my luxurious kitchen would NOT have any soffits.
I would have a huge hanging pan hangar. I like to see my beautiful pans. I want light around that, too, so perhaps a combination chandelier and pan hangar. Hmmmm.
Freezer. We currently have a wonderful upright freezer. I love it. I would, however, like to have it INSIDE my luxurious kitchen, instead of out in the garage. I mean, it really would be helpful to have it inside. It may even reduce the annual costs of running the freezer. Who knows?
All the lower cabinets would have sliding drawers in them, to assist in the ready access to the contenct of the cabinets.
I would also like to have a butler’s pantry. The kind where extra dishes, linens, serving dishes, and appliances are kept. That pantry would have a small sink in it for some reason. I cannot think of one right now, but I know it would be good to have a sink in there.
Two sinks. We have two of them right now. That is good, but they are shallow single sinks. I want DEEP sinks. I also would like one of the sinks to serve as the “wash your hands” before coming into the kitchen sink. I saw one of those in a kosher kitchen. Wonderful idea.
Books: The books could be in the butler’s pantry. I really do not need to see them all the time. Actually, I am growing to prefer not seeing anything except the clean and dry flat surfaces. Well, with a vase of flowers or a bowl of fruit on the counters. I have always wanted to “see” those things that I own, but that is changing. With the exception of my desk, I don’t want much “clutter” at all, and thus my luxurious kitchen would hold everything behind doors.
This kitchen would have a minimum of 24 running feet of countertop (matches that in Bucyrus home). It would, of course, have all the lower cabinets associated with that much counter top.
There would be a see-though fireplace in this kitchen if it adjoins a room that is not largely open to the kitchen.
All windows would be l they are not under the cabinet), and would reach the top of the nine-foot walls. This kitchen would have an eight foot long island. It would have either granite or concrete counters.
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