Friday, October 16, 2009

Needed: A Pied Piper of Snakes

I don’t like snakes. 
All snakes terrify me.  Even if they are small and harmless, I am beyond phobic. 
I cannot even stand to look at them on television or in a book.  I absolutely must  look away or close my eyes.   If you don’t like snakes either, I can assure you,  you will NOT be seeing any pictures of snakes here on my blog.
Now that you know about my intense fear of snakes,  do you want to guess who  had the first snake encounter at the  Hooterville house?
Yep.   I saw it  slither right up and peer  in the bay window of the family room. 
I swear I heard it hiss, “Welcome to life in the country, city girl!”
As soon as I saw it  I screamed.
Then I ran to another room and cried, shook like a leaf and had heart palpitations.
My husband ran outside and pulled the “harmless black snake” off the window.  I’m sure he  must have been thinking to himself, “Damn!  Damn! Damn!  I’ll never get her to move here now!” 
Everybody says, “Oh, once you get everything mowed and the overgrowth cleared out, you won’t have  snakes anymore.
Can I get that in writing?
So put your snake-proof boots on because we’re going outside.   This might be your only chance to see the Hooterville property….since I don’t plan to spend  much time outdoors after my snake encounter.
The house in Hooterville sits on  a little over 30 acres.  The tax appraiser’s records indicate there are just over 28.5 acres and an additional 2 acres of “low lands.” 
This aerial photograph shows the property boundaries within the heavy black lines.Hooterville property (3)
There are a few neighbors to the north but the properties to the east, west and south are either wooded or used for agriculture.Hooterville property (E) 2
Here’s a zoomed in view that shows the house, barns and there’s even a pond.Hooterville property (E)
As I mentioned before, this is a foreclosure property and it has been vacant for almost a year.  As you can see in the above photo, only a little over  half  the property has been cleared but after being unattended for so long, it is all quite overgrown now.
Let’s jump in the truck and drive around the property.
This is the realtor’s photo of the main barn before the vegetation got so out of control.T2377535_201_77
It has a nice wide concrete center aisle and 8 stalls.T2377535_301_77 
This is how it is looking now.  The grass is so long, it is laying over on it’s side.  But this looks manicured compared to what you will see toward the end of this post!IMG_0618
There are 2 other small primitive barns that need sprucing up  before they will be usable.IMG_0606


These are the strawberry fields on the west side of the property.IMG_0610
Now we are heading south to the wooded area of the property.  My husband was able to track down the former owner and he said that in addition to the pond,  there is  a  little stream back in the woods.  He also told my husband  there is/was a road that had been cut through there too.  If it can be found and cleared again, it might make a nice trail for our borders to ride their horses.IMG_0612
As we got further south, the photo below is  what we had to drive through!  This  was taken sitting high up in the truck.  (You don’t really think this sissy city girl  would get out in this to take a picture, do you?) 
The vegetation was as tall as the truck and was kind of scary!  Quite honestly,  I have some serious concerns about my husband’s safety when he starts clearing out this mess.  Heaven only knows that dangers lurk in all of this overgrowth!  To me, this is far more scary than any of the dangers he might have come face to face with  in all  the  years he has worked  in law enforcement.  Thank goodness he knows how to use a gun.IMG_0616


This is the pond.  It looks like it is pretty big but again, until all the overgrowth is cleared, it’s hard to tell.   Rumor has it there are alligators in it. 


Now we are heading back toward the house and this is the orange grove on the east side of the property.  IMG_0617
This is the view out one of the back bedroom windows.  Can you see the grape arbor on the right side of the photo?  (Some of these photos might enlarge if you click on them.)IMG_0485
Well, that’s all of  the Hooterville House Tour for now.
The closing has been moved up to October 30th.   Yikes! That’s just two weeks away!   Shortly thereafter, all the hard work will begin so I hope you will check back periodically to see our progress.


Diane @ Four Paws and Co said...

Yikes! I have a snake phobia too! The Hooterville property is beautiful & so full of fantastic potential. I look forward to reading about your progress.

Gayle said...

YOU POOR POOR DEAR!!!! I can feel your pain. When we moved out to a rural area, and because our property bordered Salt Creek, we had water snakes that would make their way up to our backyard.
Pookie then built a snake proof fence, but still every once in a while......
I'll tell you though. I like you, am TERRIFIED of them, but it does get easier. After the first few years of dealing with them, and Pookie being out of town so much, I had to slay the beasts myself!

It was better than having to worry about seeing the same snake again.
So, I would scream HIIII YAAAAHHH!!!....chop it with a square point shovel and then yell...

I'm sure the neighbors thought I was absolutely crazy.

It did help though!!!

Then, I would take a digital
picture of it dead and
email it to Pookie when he was away. Asking him why was he doing this to me???????
And to please please take me back to the city.
Of course, it didn't

You hang in there honeybunch, and you'll go around the "snake bend" just like I did.
Your property is just BEAUTIFUL!!!
Enjoy every inch of it.
I've missed ya!!!

Anonymous said...

I will so be following your blog and how you transform your new property. I've left my home be bland for years while I worked and raised kids. I just recently got on the band wagon of decorating and I didn't know it was so much work! I love it! But I sure don't know what I'm doing, so I'll be watching you because you're current home is just gorgeous.

GATORS?? Oh, you poor thing.

Anita said...

Snakes...Yikes!! When you get the property cleared and populated, I don't think you will have to worry much at all...but until careful and invest in some of those hip boots. LOL

ceekay said...

Ok...I am a city girl, but I did live in a rural area for about 5 years. You will love it. Number 1 - get some cats! Outside cats.
Number 2 - the clearing of the land will eventually (remember that word) help with the critters by the house. Number 3 - I hope your husband is hiring someone to help him. That is a LOT of outside work! Ooooh, have you thought about getting chickens. I would love to try that someday! Well, I won't cuz I am in the city...but I like the thought. I am going to leave now...I need a nap just thinking about all that work...

Pauline said...

I don't share your snake phobia, but I wouldn't care to meet one. Your husband can use a you really think it will come to that? Lovely view from that bedroom window though :o)

Cindy said...

That is a beautiful piece of property! So sorry about the snake, I really feel for you. I hate them, too, not as much as you do, perhaps, but just the same I really do hate them! I love the horse barn, it is really great! Your daughter will be so happy there! I believe in you and your creative powers, Shari, you can do this and do it beutifully! Hugs, Cindy S.

Rue said...

Hooterville?? That's hysterical Shari! Congratulations on your new home :)

You'll be just fine. Country life is much better than you might imagine. Trust me, since I'm a Cali girl living out of her element ;)


mah said...

Hm? Let's see...snakes, alligators, strawberry fields on one side, orange grove on the other side? Wow! I am in tears just thinking about it!!! I know I should be encouraging but I can't stop crying! All I can say is GOOD LUCK!! My prayers are with you.

Wendy said...

I actually like snakes! I had one when I was little. Its my DH that hates them. My fear is spiders. We've had a snake in our screen porch a couple times, and once in the house! Thankfully I was there to get it out.

The property is gorgeous though! I LOVE that barn, what a good excuse to fill it with horses! And the pond is great. We have one, but its dry and doesnt ever hold any water.

Gary and Elizabeth~ said...

Wow, a fabulous piece of property! and the barn is wonderful. I love that you and your family have taken on a new adventure in your life.
I have always wanted to have land and to feel the peace all around us. I must say though I would be a bit concern also about what might be in the pond. LOL.
I enjoy reading your posts very much.
Take care,

Mary said...

How did I miss this post? I was watching for updates, but I guess I didn't have my glasses on!LOL!

The property looks absolutely gorgeous to me! To have land around you, that's all yours, what a dream come true. Sure, it might be a lot of work to create your masterpiece out of a blank canvas, but as you move slowly, your creative juices will flow like never before. I can't tell you how jealous I am...I really am. Looking forward to many more photos of the property and house...when do you close escrow?


Idaho Quilter said...

You would have to drag me there,kicking and screaming. I get so tired of hearing "snakes are harmless" "they are more afraid of you" No I am more afraid and always act like an idiot when I see one, yes even on TV. I will pray for you.

cindy@cottage instincts said...

Wow...that's quite a piece of property! You'll certainly have your work cut out for you, but I'm sure you'll have it looking lovely sooner than you think :o)
Thanks for stopping by my neck of the woods!

Cindy-Stitches-N-Stuff said...

WOW, you guys must be alot younger then me and alot more fit. What a beautiful progect. I'd want a little bedroom, reading room, built by the river back there. That's where I would go to get away. You could take your cute husband too.