What we have been doing, other than yard work and necessary, yet boring, updates, is getting to know our neighborhood a little. I love this area of Kansas City. We're on the Kansas side (FYI: Kansas City really is a Missouri city, although there is a KCK, too), nestled in the little town of Roeland Park. It's very diverse--hell, we have an Hispanic mayor, which says a lot in white-washed Johnson County--and it's close to everything. Hilariously, the Kansas suburbs of the city are all tiny towns with their own governments, trash removal, town halls, police forces, etc. Roeland Park has a population of about 5,000, and is surrounded by similar places like Mission, Fairway, and Westwood.
Much of the architecture is the same, especially in the more modest areas like ours. Our house is a good example of what you'll see:
Looks smaller than it is because of the extra half story in the back, with a onesie garage tacked on the side. That could describe 90% of the homes in many Kansas neighborhoods. Surprisingly, our home, because of its age (built 1940) has more character than those in other parts of KS, and when we're through with it, ours will be a true gem. For now, our empty yard, waiting on the grass seed to come soon, is kind of embarrassing. At least it's temporary.
We're surrounded by a diverse group of domains. And today you get to see them. Lucky you.
Cute house down the street. It was for sale for about 6 months. Unfortunately, their asking price was high for how small it was. I have a feeling they bought when prices were higher just a few years ago.
Strange structure that the city has listed as a single family dwelling. Yeah, right. But there aren't any weirdos living there, so it's okay by me.
Very typical of this area. This house has had several additions. Real estate is surprisingly expensive over here, and houses with more than three bedrooms are very rare. So folks just tack on another room or two when they need the space.
Very nice. (You really should've seen me taking this pictures. I was worried about looking creepy, so I took Drew in the stroller with me and took pictures really fast.)
Yes, They've got the virgin Mary and a deer, guarding the house.
Or should I say, three deer. And a ladder.
You see, we do not have an HOA keeping neighbors from tacky yard decor. We are free to put up our pink flamingos. While some might love their cozy HOA policies to protect property values and exert control over paint colors and the controversial basketball goal, I love that our neighborhood is full of charm, character, and even the odd. When it comes to most economic policies, I'm full-on tree huggin' regulatin' liberal, but for my neighborhood? I'm practically an anarchist. Bring on the yard art. The wild paint colors. The permanent yard sale down the street (on a side note, what's with neighborhood yard sales? If I wanna have a sale tomorrow, I should be able to! Mrs. Grundy, get over it!).
A little tacky. A lot wonderful.
A clay-pot knight. I'm grateful he's keeping watch.
EEEEEEEK! Laundry hanging in the backyard! And I can see it from the street!
I see weeds!
And a really cute house on the corner.
I'll leave you with the best house on the block, which is right next door to us. The white picket fence, well-manicured lawn, matching yippy dog. And very nice neighbors, too. We aspire to their greatness.
But I am very tempted to put a mooning garden gnome on our front porch. Can't be *too* perfect, can we?