My Fantasy: Livin' In The Hill Country of Texas

My Dream Place

We once lived out in the Texas Hill Country and it has been my dream to own land there ever since. The place we lived on had 300 acres and only 3 houses. It was GREAT! Lots of room for the dogs to run, quiet most of the time, beautiful in all seasons, what's not to love??

I would like to have 300 acres with ONE house on it...MINE! The entrance would have a beautiful stone gate, barred and with an electronic key pad and remotes for our own cars. I also would need enough money to completely fence in the whole 300 acres with 8 foot goat fence topped by 3 outward tilted runs of barbed wire (bob wahr to us Texans) at the top. Electrifying it would be fun, but in today's litigious world, it's probably not practical.

There would be an inner compound of 3 acres with a 5 ft stone fence around it and two beautiful garden-type gates. There would be a garden and grass around the house with Buffalo Grass and native Texas species such as sunflowers, both white and red yucca and all colors of lantana. Daylilies are pretty hardy, so we would have some beds of those and scattered around, some Yellow Bells. There would be plenty of open grassy areas for the dogs to run and play and some large limestone boulders scattered around for the cats to enjoy. There would be areas for the humans to enjoy also, with a couple of fire pits and/or chimineas.

I would have at least one elevated, screened deck area, maybe a gazebo, for outdoor enjoyment. There would be stone benches scattered around, including in the outside area which would have walking paths around the whole compound.

About the first thing I would do is have in a crew of cedar choppers to get rid of every last darn cedar tree on the place. Contrary to what many believe, they are NOT a native species, having been brought in from the Far East in the 1800s, much like China Berry trees (except I LIKE China Berry trees.) Male cedar trees produce orange "berries" that rupture at first freeze and scatter the allergenic pollen into the air, stuffing up about three quarters of the noses in the entire central Texas area. Cedar trees are also a fire hazard. Their sap is so flammable that they go up like roman candles when they catch fire, causing acceleration of the fire and jumping of fire lanes. Fire crews hate them.

To keep down the underbrush, I'd have a herd of goats, some long horns and 3 or 4 burros. Hmmm! Miniature horses are nice, too; maybe I'd better have 500 acres.

The house would be open and airy, with a 5 foot wide porch all around, some of it screened for insect-less enjoyment. There would be several porch swings and lots of Adirondack chairs and some wrought iron tables scattered here and there. There would be 5 or 6 bedroom suites, a huge dining area and also a smaller kitchen dining area. The house would also have several media areas, sound-proofed to keep from bothering anyone else enjoying the peace and quiet with the entertainment. Oh, and a tin roof, maybe green or if Lou has his way, red.

The house would be powered by solar panels on the roof and a couple of wind turbines. Cooking would be gas. Removable solar screens would keep down the hot sun of summer. There would be a huge room with a center fire place to enjoy in winter. since the floors would be sautillo tile, we would have a heated water system running underneath to have warm floors in winter. The water would be heated by solar power. The restrooms and kitchen would have on-demand hot water heaters, eliminating the need for hot water heaters. No fear of running out of hot water, either.

My friend, Bob, tells me I need 12 foot porches so that traffic can move around the people enjoying the porch swings and tables.

What a dream place! I hope I get to have it someday.





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