My well is dry. I don't mean this as an expression! I have no water in my well. The fact that the well is dry will absolutely impact the potential sale of my house. Ya think? I have a cistern/tank that will be filled sometime in the next few days. Until then, we are on bottled water and "if it's yellow, let it mellow" mode. Gross, I know.

Here's the way I've been looking at my place for quite some time:

Plan A:
Keep it with all the worries and baggage that go with it.

Plan B:
Sell it and get out from under it ASAP

Plan C:
(Now, there's a Plan C)
With the well issue, I'm having to consider what Plan C might be. The house looks great now and I have started to show it the love it had ben lacking. I need to continue on the inside and move onto the outside, the barn, the wellhouse, the trails, the wildflowers and the trees.

It's funny how you fix up the place like you would like it to be just when you are trying to unload it. Well maybe that's not the case here now. I might have to embrace this place and hang with it for a significant period of time. Things I've envisioned at this place over time have included...

- Rainwater collection (really?)
- Outdoor kitchen/oven/pit/grill
- A huge vegetable garden
- Goats and chickens
- Bird and butterfly gardens
- Sculpted hiking trails
- Screened shelter with fans and hammocks and stone patio near the outdoor cooking area.
- Hot tub/no...COLD tub

I'd like water flowing from my pipes inside my house too. Is that too much to ask?


Colorado 2010

The kids and I are heading out to Santa Fe to visit Lis and then on to Mark's place. It occurred to me that I wrote some stories last year that I never posted. I think it will be fun to see last years memories up next to my fun this year. I've had a great year with all kinds of unexpected twists and turns...almost all good, but even when not so good, turned a light on for me and moved me onward and upward.

July 19, 2010
Guess one lone coyote might sound, to me, like an bugling elk, but Paul heard it too and says, no it was a coyote. Either way it is a lovely sound to hear out your window at night with the coolness creeping in through the screens.

Today, fishing was on the agenda, so Paul, Sherry, James, Daniel and I headed up the "the meadows". Daniel doesn't remember any of this but he did actually fish in Colorado as a 5 year old. This time Paul is going to introduce him to fly fishing. They get him a license at 3 Rivers in Almont and we head out. We stopped at what used to be Spring Creek Resort, and I can't even be sad or nostalgic because it's simply not there anymore. Even the Big Rock doesn't look the same. I'm relieved actually, because I feared that this trip might make me feel sad in some ways, but it hasn't and I only feel happpy and relaxed for the first time in quite some time. I have no cell phone reception and the only people I want to communicate with beside Lis are here with me. Peace at last...

So I watched Paul teach Daniel to fly fish and even though he didn't catch anything he said he likes it and wants to do it again. It's so beautiful out here and I love watching them walk up the river, casting. It's like watching a memory; a dream; a lovely memory and a dream come true.

As soon as Sherry stepped into the river, a couple of cows roamed down from a little valley across from her. One was mooing...bellowing, actually and looking directly at her like "Get the blank out of my stream!" It was so funny! Then 15 or 20 more cows/calves showed up behind the noisy one along with a cowboy hearding them to somewhere. From high on the nearest peak I could see across the stream, another bunch of cows emerged from the trees herded by another cowboy and 3 dogs. I live in Texas and I never see cowboys actually doing cowboy work. Marie would love this!

Ok, so I just heard the Elk Whistle/Coyote's definately a coyote...but it's a little disturbing and somewhat lonely sounding if you ask me.

July 21, 2010
So we have heard stories over the years about the crash of an airplane during WWI above the Taylor. Krissy downloaded the coordinates on the hand held GPS and we headed out to try and find it. It was said to be a short but steep hike up the mountain. Um...yea...steep. Gretch passed because of her existing foot injury. I huffed and puffed until my quivering legs threatened to leave me stranded on the mountain. Paul, Sherry and all the kids made it up. There is debris and some large chunks of the plane up there along with a plaque and 7 or 8 flagpoles with American flags flying.

Our old friends, the Woodleys, had a guest for dinner who's dad apparently went down over Colorado during the war. They hiked up there and found his dad's name on the plaque. In all the years that we spent up here none of us know of this crash site until fairly recently (maybe 20 or so years.) None of us could ever get the correct directions to it either. Paul was told where to look and spent hours wandering around up there some years back and never found it. Funny thing is that the plane was said to have broken apart before impacting the mountain. We found parts and pieces at the base and there is a rumor that the Cumbys have a propellor in their garage.

After the big vertical hike, big burgers at the gas station and a sweet ride home to Mark's, I go to "my room" and there is a beautiful wind blowing through all of my windows. I strip down and put on my fleece and have an uncontrollable urge to take a long, lovely nap, so I do.

Mark golfs, Paul fishes, the kids and Gretchen play a loud marathon of Scrabble and I doze and have odd but not unpleasant dream. I officially have a room here. I like the sound of "Nancy's Room". Sweet.


Work: It Can Be Fun!

About an hour after I got to the office the other day a city utility worker came in to tell us there was a water main break nearby and that they were shutting off the water. He said we would likely be without water for the rest of the day. That reminded me about the drought in the summer of 2009 when pipes were breaking all over the city because of the dry contracting soil. I find it strange that people weren't allowed to water their yards and because they didn't, their pipes broke and flooded everything.

I'm sitting on the beautiful front porch of the Littlefield office because we are locked out of the building. In addition to being without water, the electricity went off at about 2:30. For unknown reasons, 4000 people were without power. Jeff said "Four more degrees and everybody gets to go home". We waited around for an hour or so as the temperature crept up. Finally we all gave up and checked out at around 3:30. No lights, no phones, no computers, no water, and no AIR CONDITIONING = no work! No electricity also means no alarm system, so the accountants manually locked the doors. They are the only ones with keys, and they aren't here, so here I sit.

I arrived at the office at my usual 7:30 and when I realized that it could be awhile until we could get in, I ran up to Taco Shack for coffee and breakfast tacos. As usual there was a line of cars fifteen deep wrapped around the building making their way through the drive thru. I decided to park and eat in. There weren't many people eating inside but there were several that obviously use this place as their morning office. They spread out their work and pull out their lapto and their smart phone, eat a nice breakfast taco or some migas and refill their coffee cups over and over. I like the idea of working like that. Casual and relaxed and I bet, pretty productive. Nobody distracts them. They are in their own little world, removed from it all and yet in the midst of a cool Austin vibe.

As I sat on the porch of Littlefield, the six 3' by 5' American flags displayed on the columns and the giant 9' by 18' one hanging vertically down the middle blew softly in the light breeze. It was amazingly pleasant out there. The rain the other day washed the dust off of the trees and I had the illusion that things are lush and green. I could see water flowing in Shoal Creek that I could not see before the storm. The huge expanse of St. Augustine on the front lawn and the enormous landmark oaks were no doubt, grateful for the rainfall. Since we are in extreme drought conditions, there has been talk of the possibility for no measurable rainfall here until September.

I must have scared off the squirrels or at least confused them by sitting out here. Normally as I sit in my office looking out the french doors onto the porch, the squirrels scurry back and forth in little packs. Seriously, one day a line of six little guys ran across the porch and did that little circling thing they do around and around up into the oak trees.

I like to open the door in my office and let in some fresh air early in the morning. I keep thinking a squirrel might come inside. I did not expect a big ol' grackle to fly in though. That was pretty funny except for the part when it crapped on the wood floor then landed on the back of my chair. I was glad that Jeff was in South Carolina and that I had closed the door to his office. After the grackle flew back out the open door, I began to wonder what I would have done if he hadn't! I can picture everyone in the office trying to shoo the bird out while looking at me and shaking their heads.

For the past few days I've been thinking about the Independence Day cookout that we're going to have at the office. Kimble wheeled the big gas grill out to the front porch under the flags to be the chef for the day. He had suggested that I order everything that we'll need since there is is so little prep space in the little kitchen. It never really occurred to me that I could order everything from Central Market and pick it up or have it delivered. That is awesome! I ordered market hamburer patties, gourmet hot dogs, a tray of lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles. We had a cheese tray for the burgers, shredded cheese and chopped onions for the hot dogs and fresh bakery buns for all. Of course we had potato salad, coleslaw, beans, pineapple upside down cake and cherry and apple pie with ice cream.

Jeff got to the office just in time for lunch and, coincidently, just as the postman was delivering the mail. Jeff insisted that he join us for lunch and kept calling him "post office man". Wonder how many time in his career has Steve the postman been invited to an office cookout.

Jeff is always the life of the party and can talk about any subject. He had us all in stitches talking about guarding America's cheese stockpile when he was in the army and how a lot of the world's problems could be fought with cheese. "Bomb them with cheese!" More stories I'll capture in another installment of this blog will be Jeff's "Karma and The Fish Pen" and Kimble's story about "The Lady Boys" of Bonham, Texas (he corrected me...they were the "Lehde Brothers") a family of butchers with a perpetual and ongoing backyard barbecue with an open door policy.

Jeff handed me a list the other day detailing what he wanted me working on. It contained about fourteen items, some ongoing, some new ones. The last item on the list said "Play Bingo X 5".