Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lunch Report: KD's Old Fashion Burger in Lytle...

If there was any thought that we might not find a good place to grab a burger close by, we put that concern to rest at lunch today.  
Just west of Benton City Road on I-35 South is a place called KD's Old Fashion Burger and when we stopped in to check it out, we were pleased to see something called "The Ooooozing Volcano Burger" as one of the highlights. How can you not want to give that a try?

Inside, the place looks like a great place to play a game of pool and listen to a few tunes on the juke box (which only accepts quarters).  There is plenty of room to spread out and they even have a dining area designated as a meeting room so you could have a little gathering.
We were also pleased to see an old fashioned ice cream parlor in the place, but we did not partake of the triple thick shakes being offered up. I can easily see a return trip for dessert.  In addition to ice cream, KD's offers up some Philly Cheese Steaks, chilly fries, hot dogs, and as you would imagine, burgers.
 I asked the lady taking our order what the Oooozing Volcano was all about and she explained that they fill the burger patty with cheese.  When you bite into it, the burger oozes hot cheese.  Well sign me up!  

I will tell you this:  compared to the regular burger that my wife ordered, the Oozing Volcano is HUGE!  It also comes on what seems like a home made bun that is buttered up and toasted on the grill, a definite sign that someone knows what they are doing.
You select one of four cheeses; I had Swiss on mine and my son opted for the pepper Jack on his.  Our server warned us (twice) that the cheese would be oozing out like a volcano and she reminded us that it would be hot.  Okay, let me make it very clear.  The cheese is HOT and it oozes out of the burger when you bite into it.  I think I may have 2nd degree burns on my goatee where some lava like cheese oozed out of my mouth and burned a trail down my chin.  Listen to the lady when she says the oozing cheese is hot! 
 In spite of the fact that I may have required some assistance from the burn unit at BAMC, that volcano deal was one fine specimen of a burger.  You will have to wait a little longer for it to be prepared (it was 15 or 20 minutes) but I assure you, the wait was worth it.  The bread alone is reason enough to give KD's a shot, and I think you'll agree, it's a Tasty Treat.

Dead Wood and Spurs...

One of the first things we will need to do once we take possession of the new property is get Manuel and the guys from River City out to clear up a lot of trees and brush.  It isn't so bad that we couldn't try to tackle it ourselves non-stop for a month, but seriously, we are going to be too busy with all the other things you have to do when you move in to a house.
 The surveyors have been out to post those little pink streamers indicating the four corners of the lot and my son and I walked back to see just how far the land goes back.  Yikes, lots of dead trees and some old fences posts toward the back.  
 Of course, we were covered in those stickers (in Florida, we called them Sand Spurs, in Texas, I think they call them Sticker Burrs) and had to brush them all off before getting back in the truck.  The dog is going to hate this.  I suspect she will remain an inside dog with only occasional walks way out back until we really get the place under control.In the mean time, I suspect boots and jeans will be required wear.

Oh, we did see a couple of good sized deer walking out back but the minute they heard us, they took off into the brush.  I was actually holding my camera when my son pointed them out to me but I didn't even think to take a picture.  Next time

Friday, November 26, 2010

Natalia 78059...

We took a short drive into the small town of Natalia today.  The population is only about 1,600 or so but the place seems smaller than that.  I had called the post office ahead of time to ask what paperwork I would need in order to get a mailbox set-up.  The place we are moving to uses those mail box clusters so we will need to get a box assigned and some keys.
When we walked in, the older guy behind the counter reached for a card and started to hand it to me before we could even explain what we were there for.  He said, "You called about an hour ago, right?"  Holy crap!  This guy not only knows all 1,600 residents, but he can even tell what people look like over the phone. 
   

Thursday, November 25, 2010

More Packing...

My next door neighbor (from the old house) walked up as I was moving boxes into the portable container parked in our driveway.  "Don't you think your taking this charade a little too far?"  I smiled at him as a bead of sweat formed on my forehead.  "First the Sold sign and now this huge container; you guys really know how to pull a prank."
No prank.  We are moving.  And, as it turns out, we are taking all of our junk with us!  No wonder they call these things Pack Rats. 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sold!

We came home from along day of relaxing to find a sign in our yard.

Yea.  We know, but it is sort of shocking when you see it for the first time.  Today was the last option day for the buyers of our house to back out and they haven't, so as if it wasn't clear that we really are moving before, now it is.
 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Packing...

There is the obvious excitement that comes with starting a new adventure and in a way, you wish that we could just fast-forward and be there.  On the other hand, as it becomes obvious just how much needs to be done, I wonder if we need a few more months to get ready.  We close on our current house in less than 20 days and close on the new house a day after.

Saturday, we spent the entire day clearing out the garage so we could stage the boxes we have to load in the right order.  There is no perfect way, but we can try.  We also cleared out the shed.  That makes for one less thing to clean out for the new owners and it makes for fewer steps when we load up.  

We also took down the screened cabana that covers the jacuzzi.  What an ordeal.  By 6:30, we were both worn out and decided to jump in the jacuzzi for some relaxation.  The moon was particularly awesome peeking through the trees at our home.  It brings on a sense of loss over what we have here, but a great deal of pride in everything we did to the house we are selling.  Oh sure, I can't take credit for the oak trees or the moon, but as we look over our house, we did so much, invested money and labor to make it a home that we know the new owners will enjoy.

Of course, it motivates us to make the new home in the woods much better than it is when we move in.

Today, we take a break.  We are going to do our shopping early, then take a drive to Bussey's Flea Market followed by lunch at Clear Springs Cafe, one of my favorite places... 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Getting Ready...

We have resolved all the details related to the selling of our current home and it would appear the details of the new house are pretty much nailed down as well.  This isn't our first time through this process.  Stress is expected.  You plan but you remain flexible. 

We are on target to close on both homes within a few weeks and I have begun the important tasks of setting up Internet, phone service, and something new for us, the use of DirectTV.  When I called AT&T to see about getting U-Verse, they laughed.  In fact, they had to do some sort of fancy 9-1-1 research, just to verify that I could get phone service.  The lady promised to make a note on my account for them to contact me (in about 10 years) when U-Verse might be available in the area.

Do people really use landline phones anymore?  Eva wanted to drop the whole idea of a house phone but in order to get AT&T to come out and run an awesomely fast Internet connection to our new house, I had to order up the least expensive phone service.  So now we will have what they call a Metro number.  It is like calling an 800 (actually, 830) but it is a local call to the people in the 210 area code.  As long as my wife can still check Facebook on her Blackberry, I don't think she cares about the house phone.

We also need to contact a garbage company.  The builder told us that Waste Management offered service out here, but he knew of a small independent garbage company who would pick up trash for a lot less.  I don't know why I immediately thought of some guy in a Sanford and Son pick-up truck driving down the road and picking up my garbage cans.  I'm guessing recycling pick-up won't happen, but we'll figure something out.  I don't want to sound all tree-hugger, but now that we have trained ourselves to recycle, it feels like littering when we don't.

I wonder if we will get any sort of deposit back from CPS and SAWS (the San Antonio utilities for gas, electric, garbage and water)?  Or, I wonder if they will tell us that they incorporated our deposit in to our bill years ago.  Who knows?  Either way, we need to get with the water and electric companies in Medina County to get those things switched over.  Oh, and we'd better go register to become Medina County voters.  We wouldn't want to miss out on that action.

In addition to packing all of a junk up, I need to get some bids for immediate work to be done on the new house.  We have to get some field fencing up to keep our dog in, we need a huge patio poured so we can get the jacuzzi set-up and have a place to put our BBQ grills, and I must have a huge - I mean big honkin' shed built so we can transfer all of the crap we have in the old house to the new house.  I wonder if we were to have a garage sale in the middle of nowhere, if anyone would find us? I can just see a Craig's List ad.  It would simply say Garage Sale and then there would be three paragraphs explaining how to get there.

Much packing to do...

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Obligatory Introductory Post...

I rolled over to look at the clock on the nightstand to see it was just a few minutes after 4AM.  Before I could dose off for another hour of sleep, my wife asked me if I thought we would be safe.  She tends to start conversations without determining whether or not I’m awake or paying attention.  I was, but I tend to respond by saying nothing at all.  At 4 in the morning, she just needed to say it out loud and didn’t really need a response from me.  Too many conversations about guns and snakes and gophers and deer can make city-slickers a little anxious, I suppose.

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If you have reached this page from the old blog, welcome to our new digs.  If you just happened upon this page by accident, I suppose an introduction is in order. Hi, I'm Dave.

In about 2007, I started writing about my neighborhood, the places my wife, Eva and I ate and pretty much the interesting things we saw.  The blog was called Silver Creek 78250, a play on the name of the TV show, Beverly Hills 90210, and an acknowledgment that I am not clever enough to come up with something more interesting.
We have two adult kids, both of whom are serving proudly in the US Air Force, and we have a dog named Gracie.  We moved to Silver Creek in 1999 to have our kids in a better school environment for middle and high school, but now that they are out of the house, schools are not an issue.

During our time in Silver Creek, we met wonderful friends and neighbors, got involved in community activities and honestly, we loved our home and neighborhood.  But with our kids gone, we knew it was time to move forward with a long term goal of moving out of the suburban sprawl into a home away from the traffic and onto a small piece of land with room to stretch out.
When we first started to put the plan into motion, we almost scrapped it altogether.  We had new siding installed and a much needed paint job on the house just to get ready to put it on the market, but the new appearance suddenly gave us a reason to reconsider the move.  In no time, we were coming up with ideas on how to add to our house including a whole new kitchen, relocated master bedroom and bath and a wide open floor plan like we had dreamed of for years.  It would be an ambitious undertaking but we loved the home and the neighbors.

Unfortunately, the economic reality of home ownership dictates that the house has to appraise for the amount of the loan (and then some) and what we had plans for would never allow us to recover our costs.  I know it sounds odd at first; if we loved where we were so much, why not live with the floor plan we had?  The main issue involved being in a two story house and wanting to live on a single level.  It also had to do with seeing what was possible - an open living area that incorporates the kitchen into the living room and having the space to entertain family and friends and having those hopes dashed.  Our floor plan worked while we were younger, but without the changes, suddenly, it was back to Plan A

We spent several months driving all over the small towns south of San Antonio looking for potential places to buy.  We scoured the Internet searching for land and homes that caught our eyes.  We didn’t need a huge parcel of land; just an acre or two.  But the house had to be right.  We were focused on the area around Floresville but had looked as far west as Castroville and Quihi.  A few houses that did speak to us were sold before we could get an offer on our house.  As the stars and moon seemed to align, we had changed our focus south west to the small town of Lytle.  After several road trips and even more Internet time, we happened upon a new home between Lytle and Natalia.  On the same weekend that we negotiated an offer to sell our home in Silver Creek, the offer we made to purchase our new home was accepted.

I have to admit, I was not immediately sold the first time we saw the house.  I liked the property and I liked the area, but I didn't have the same initial reaction to the home itself that my wife did.  For one, this home while beautiful was not in the same price range of others we had seen.  The lower cost showed in some of the immediate things we would have to do to make it work for us. We would need fencing, a huge shed and most importantly, we would need a large patio to house our jacuzzi!

After looking at a handful of more uppity homes with all the amenities one would need, we both wanted to go back to the new house that needed work.  It would be a project.  A brand new fixer-upper.    

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By the time I got up and had the coffee going, my wife was bouncing downstairs reporting that everything was good.  She would deal with the snakes and the deer and the gophers and sand spurs; we would plant apple trees, peach trees, oranges and pecans.  We could build raised gardens and grow our own vegetables.  Not half an hour earlier, she was afraid a coyote would snatch our dog from right beneath our noses and we would have to engage in a shooting match with wild boars.  Now, with my calming lack of discussion, we would become farmers, living out here.