I found a little house overlooking a lake a comfortable distance from Dallas. It's not ON the water, so I wouldn't have to pay for waterfront maintenance, but from the porch swing you can see the light on the water as the sun sets. It needs considerable work, but it's got a huge rock fireplace, and NO popcorn ceilings. YAYS! Anyway, I'd be putting a lot of sweat-equity into it, but I think I need a big project, right about now. I offered a contract on it Tuesday night and we'll see if they take me up on it. Sadly, I have a competitor for the house, but I'm still keeping my fingers crossed. It has 3 sheds and a big garage, so I'd definitely have studio space out there. No word on the fishing prospects on the lake, but I'll bet a person could manage to enjoy it, in any case.
Anyway, it has a huge porch as wide as the house, and a double lot that would be great for a dog. Or two. Or a whole pack... If I don't get it, I'll continue to look for something similar outside of town. I'll be philosophical - the sellers seem like lovely people, and they need to do what makes best economic sense for themselves. Still, I hope my offer is more attractive, because I can already see the landscaping I'd do there, and it'd be grand, on a smallish-sort of scale. Plans to remove to remote environs continue apace... If this doesn't work out, something else will come along.
Wish me luck.