togbean's place

Monday, September 04, 2006

A place to lay my head

I found these two pics over at Moopy and Me

I thought, with a slight color change to each, that they would make great pillows to go with the new couch. I still need to pillow-tize the embroidered piece that I did on our anniversary trip. We're getting this couch in this fabric. Well, that's NOT the fabric but its the closest I could find online. If you are furniture shopping and you choose your fabric online - be wary. It all looks SO different in the shop and they may have more, or less, choices for you in the physical shops. I'm happy with what we went with and I can't wait for it to be delivered! We have a relatively small house, just shy of 800sq feet, something I'm sure our great-grandparents would have reveled in. It does feel a bit cramped at times but its ours. Someday we hope to renovate the attic and give the munchikins their own space up stairs, giving up a spare/guest room down here, but for now we live with a sleeper sofa - thanks Mom!

The Hubby is once again at work on setting up a second computer, from bits and pieces scavenged over the years, so we can run our own website from home - thanks for the leg-up Blogger. It probably won't happen till sometime in the new year but he's working with a friend over at Left-Click to figure out the software end of things. oooooo, we've got a title and I have some format ideas and maybe if we get this thing up and running my Hubby will start to write again. He still sorta writes - geocaching logs - but his stories are awesome. This is something he wrote two years ago, before he discovered geocaching, when he was a contributor to Eric's old site:

This Land is My Land
A large chunk of what I thought was my side yard isn’t actually my side yard. It’s not my front or back yard either. It’s still a yard. Apparently, it’s just not mine, and as I have yet to discover any poles flying the colors of strange nations, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t belong to another country. Besides, the occurrence of foreign colonial expeditionary forces in the area has been pretty low since we passed Prop. 38. My wife’s position on the matter is that if I’ve lost something, she hasn’t seen it, but I might want to try looking under the pile of clothes in the bedroom. (Not the You-Still-Haven’t-Washed-Me pile, but the You-Will-Never-Fold-Me pile.) My yard hasn’t been stolen, exactly. Misplaced, perhaps. It all has to do with my property line, and where I believe it is this week.

This story goes back to the day we closed on the house. We left the lawyer’s office that morning with two cans of soda and a complementary sheaf of legal paperwork, and the last page in that sheaf was a plot plan for the property. On that very important semi-official document was a very important supposedly official signature (That signature had been made into a rubber stamp by its owner to save time, until he discovered that he could save even more time by using said stamp just once on one blank very important semi-official document, and then photocopying the hell out of it.) Above that signature was a sketch clearly showing our house and the three property lines containing it. We had purchased Triangle Land. If I had had a choice, I would have preferred Rhombus Land. Besides having the benefit of the one extra side, rhombus also sounds better. Say it. Rhombus. Rolls off the tongue. But we had Triangle Land, and Triangle Land hates Rhombus Land. They have a fight, Triangle wins. Triangle Land.

After much discussion we decided that we could live with Triangle Land, and as the weeks passed and I ran over one of our property markers with the lawn mower (when a giant metal pipe in the ground meets a spinning metal blade coming through the ryegrass) I decided that I should try to figure out exactly where my property lines were, and buy a new lawn mower. A bit of searching turned up another likely marker, or the fruits of someone’s labor to only partially bury their prized collection of rusty pipe. I assumed the former, but now I had a problem. In order for me to form a triangle with these two markers whose lines wouldn’t bisect my house, the third marker would have to be almost out on the highway. Even if this was possible, the resulting triangle would look nothing like the one sketched on my very important semi-official plot plan. So at this point, instead of accepting that I had not yet found the correct property markers, I decided instead to believe that the plot plan was wrong, and hence buy a first class one way ticket to that place where a) I was right the first time and b) I get a bigger yard. Backing me up in this decision was the very important semi-official plot plan, which contained a very important surely official disclaimer which read, in effect, “Not To Scale. Largely Inaccurate.” Plus, I have a history of believing in things created out of my imagination, that have later turned out to be real. When I was a kid, television shows like Silver Spoons and Webster got me to believing that my house contained secret passages and nay, entire hidden rooms that I had yet to discover. It took years of searching but I was finally proven right when I came home from my first year in college to find a previously non-existent room where I thought my old bedroom used to be, devoid of beds and dressers and instead decked out with things like a sewing machine, an ironing board, a recliner, a 13 inch color TV, and my mother.

Ever since then I have lived comfortably with self-tailored knowledge that I am Mower of all I survey. And then I found another marker. Dried up and unusable after being kicked under the couch by one of the girls, its highlighting days were over. Poor thing. The next day I found the third property marker while forging my way, Amazon Jungle Style, through the blackberry patch. I believe it qualified because this one was a pipe encased in cement, and then buried in the ground, and absolutely stubbing my sandaled toe. Someone was getting very serious about his or her pipes-in-the-ground hobby. I made a note not to mow in here. Remembering my Boy Scout training on how to stop bleeding in the field, I went inside and got a Band-Aid, then returned to contemplate my new discovery. I leapt catlike up onto the marker in a manner that would make Cirque du Soleil regret having tossed out my application, put a level hand against my brow in the traditional I Am Looking for Something pose and scanned down one side of the yard, searching for one of the other markers. Aaaaaannnd A HA! There! Just behind the sunflowers! I swiveled to the left and scrutinized the length of the other side of the yard, looking for marker number two. There! Some… where behind, uh, the um, garage. there. Awww crap. Who the hell surveyed this yard anyway, M.C. Escher? Then a break opened in the slightly overcast sky and the glint of a reflected shaft of light caught my eye. I narrowed my eyes. The glint glinted its glint again, as if to say “Over here, Indy! Over here!” I dismounted my perch and marched with a purpose toward the beacon. Could this be it? My march became a jog. Had I found it? I broke into a run. Was it? Yes? YES! Finally! An old, broken, half buried nip bottle of Jagermeister!!! And I almost missed it hidden behind that stupid aluminum pipe stuck in the ground!

Now I had three fairly obvious property markers that I could connect with three straight lines, none of which would result in part of my garage or my refrigerator and range becoming the property of my immediate neighbors. I had my Triangle Land, and in a shape that matched the sketch on my very important semi-official plot plan. This means that a large chunk of what I thought was my side yard is apparently not mine because it lies on the wrong side of what is very probably my property line. I’m right back where I started except that now I know there is a large chunk of town road in front of my garage that apparently IS mine, if that’s even possible. I still feel cheated. I’ve just lost 7 of the 9 maple trees I’ve been tapping to make maple syrup, and I’m gonna look pretty stupid mowing the road, especially on the lawn tractor. I’ve been treating that part of yard as if it were mine since the day we moved in. I even gave my neighbor permission to plow the snow from his driveway into that part of the yard. Now I find that I may have given him permission to plow into his own yard. It’s a lot like buying a new car only to find out that the passenger side belongs to someone else, and you start to wonder when your friend calls shotgun. I don’t even know who actually owns that part of the yard now. More importantly, do I now have someone else’s maple syrup in my freezer?

My options, as I see them, are limited. First, I could just put all my uncertainty to rest by going down to the Town Hall and obtaining a truly official plot plan. This is probably not going to happen. I went down there once when we moved in to get a dump permit and came out 2 hours later with the permit and no idea how I’d obtained it. That place has at least three floors and an elevator that opens on TWO sides. Very confusing. I’m thinking about squatting on the land, but winter’s coming, and I’d really rather spend it in a dwelling that has baseboard heating. Then again, the image of a crazy man living in a heap of pine branches would go a long way toward scaring away would-be claimants to my yard. I could also start driving my car through that part of the yard so I can eventually claim it as a Right of Way. This would be a great idea if my final destination on weekday mornings was to be lodged in the drainage culvert at the side of the highway. Unfortunately, employment opportunities there aren’t that great, and consequently I’m forced to work elsewhere, and to drive a different way to get there. So for now, I’m going to settle with what I know is mine. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for my shift in the tollbooth in front of my garage. (I’ll be accepting EZ-Pass and Fast Lane soon!)


Anonymous gagum said...

wow!!! so that's where all the words are... in your stories. i truly enjoyed this glimpse into your head. you are very clever sil
love ya,

8:34 AM  

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