Ahhhh Saturday. Thank you. 

I declined the offer to go to the farmers' market this morning so Ernie and Owen headed off on their own. I'm now jealous because they ran into my beloved Michael and Renee but was happy to hear that they saw them and they seemed good. And as Owen shouted in the background with excitement while Ernie was telling me that he'd seen Michael, "and he has a FIRM handshake too Mom!" Gotta love a boy who appreciates a firm handshake.

I'm thinking of making a batch of ratatouille or something ratatouille like so they arrived home with eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes to supplement our CSA share. They also got some lovely miniature cucumbers….I thought I might make tabbouli and I like cucumber with that.

P1110752 _Snapseed

Ernie and Bob moved the two trees and the tree peony yesterday. It just made me feel so much better to have Bob do it with Ernie. I really can't explain it. There are just certain people, like Bob, or my neighbor Jeff, that just make me feel better. It's not just knowing that I can count on them…it's more than that.  Can't explain…gotta think on it. I'm VERY relieved to have the trees moved…now we will water madly and wait anxiously for the fence to be moved. Well, that will be me that will be anxious, not Ernie….I just want it DONE and over. 

Jean had asked on facebook if I could show where the area in question is. So forgive my rudimentary skills but here is a diagram. And let me say clearly that I do not question the survey or that we were using the land incorrectly. This field has a long and fuzzy history. It was originally owned by the owner of our house (several owners back) but they held on to it after they sold our house and then let it go for back taxes. We had just been going by the end of a fence that went across the field and the fact that there were plantings up to that fence. If I ever buy another house I will of course fork out the money for a survey! Of course now our neighbor and former neighbor remember it all differently. Whatever. The lot of the neighbor that bought the field is marked with the yellow star. The blue is the existing fence, the red is where the new fence will go once they remove the part on his land…the yellow line is just marking where we had assumed the line was.

It's a funny old neighborhood with zigzag lots…and our house is set back from the rest of the block and actually faces the side of a lot instead of the street. In the end I think this will be nice…the yard will be smaller but a bit more private and it will inspire us to move our raised beds to the patio area (between the house and the alley) which we've been talking about. We don't use that area at all these days and it's the sunniest so it will work much better for the beds.


So we may move some plants today or we may wait til tomorrow when it's supposed to be cooler. Ernie seems to have a bit of a cold (damn it) and is feeling kinda tired. I have been asked by Owen to take him to a fabric store to get him something for constructing some kind of Batman thing……wish me luck….

This songs seems right the day and the guitars sound so damn pretty. Thanks guys.


5 thoughts on “Ahhhh…Saturday…..

  1. The star in your diagram is on what I think is 406 N Edwin (apparently a rental property owned by people who live in a $367,000 home in SW Champaign), but the vacant lot was purchased in May by the owner of 404, according to the wonderfully informative Champaign County GIS Webmap (http://www.maps.ccgisc.org/public/ ). If it was purchased by resident neighbors (as opposed to an off-site landlord), at least they might have a reason to be concerned about the use of the property. If it was actually purchased by the off-site landlords, I’d be worried about their plans for the site. Empire building? high-density rentals? Urgh.
    One thing you can do with the GIS site is look at aerial photographs of the property for 2002, 2005, and 2008, which doesn’t show much (if any) encroachment into the property, though with the trees and their shadows, it’s hard to tell. If you wanted to pursue arguments with drunks (not recommended–you’ll never win), there’s at least a bit of evidence.
    Also, the map shows you’re at 401, but the empty lot is listed as 408. In Champaign, even-numbered properties are on the east side of their street and odd ones are on the west. It’s an extremely strange block, but putting an even number (408) *west* of an odd (403) makes no sense–unless it’s a mistake for 405. It seems to me there’s more to the history of this piece of land if one wanted to bother with the research.

  2. It is a confusing block….it may be hard to tell but the star is actually on the 404 property and yes, the field, which used to be called 401 as well, is now 408 which makes NO sense whatsoever for just the reasons you gave. For a short while when someone else was trying to sell it they gave it an address in the 1200 block of Washington which made at least a little more sense… Reportedly the new owner of the field just plans to keep it as is except for building a garage on it…which is much better than what some of the previous owners had in mind (duplexes anyone?) and who knows what Bernard Ramos had in mind! It also adjoins property on Washington that one of their family members owns–to the best of my understanding….

  3. Thank you, Cynthia! That is very helpful to me in understanding this whole thing. I’m sorry to see that it’s a more significant swath than I imagined. I’ve been thinking of your family and how you’ll surely make this a learning experience for those lovely boys, a chance to share plants with friends, and a story for the rest of us to follow and empathize with, along with a reminder that you can’t know what is going on in the minds of the people just outside your door. Perhaps they’re wretched in some unfathomable way and when the fallout lands on you it’s a reminder of how rich you are in the things that matter. BTW,Did you know that we lived on Edwin when we were little, just a couple of blocks from the train tracks?