Saturday, May 9, 2009

New Babies!

New colt enjoying spring grass

This is just the best time of the year! We have two new babies on the ground, a filly and a colt, both healthy and beautiful, the grass is growing so fast that you need a speedometer to clock it and today the sun is out! We have had so much rain this spring that I've felt a bit like I was living in the Northwest again but today it is going to be 80 degrees and sunny. It's a walking day for Ransom and me for sure!

Later I plan to hit Lowe's and pick up some pretty flowers to put in pots on the patio. Yesterday I was looking at the area by the front door and thinking that I would like to work on it, move some little shrubs and thin out some wild hostas that are now taking up the entire area but I thought I'd better check with the Gestapo's rules on what I can do with it. So I dragged out one of the two three ring binders of information on our home and it's rules and started looking at the planting layout. I have three little reddish shrubs that are sitting behind a low hedge of green shrubs. I'm not sure who put them in there or why but they are out of place there. I thought I'd move them over in front of the dining room window. So I looked up what is allowed by the dining room window. When you open the binder that has all of the rule and regulations the first page on the top says, "WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD!" Under that is a list of now outdated phone numbers and names for the home owners association, information about paying our HOA fees and the website address. So I dug into the table of contents and found the landscaping section. They are in Rules Policy # 4 after PARKING rules, Pet ownership rules, and architecture rules. There are eight more Rules Policies with various exhibits, charts and diagrams following the landscaping rules including Rules Policy #9, Rules Enforcement Procedure. Apparently those are the rules about the rules. Sheesh.

If you have never lived in a community with an HOA I'm probably cementing the fact that you never will. I'll get to the upside of this situation a little later.

Breezy and Ransom enjoying some free time

So I finally found the diagrams for the landscaping rules. When they did the original landscaping here they did a basic job of trees and shrubs but left big empty spots that scream for something nice like hydrangea or azalea bushes, maybe some bulbs for daffodils and tulips in the spring months. I know that they don't want the landscapers to have to spend a lot of time doing the maintenance so that's why it is so basic and to be fair the uniformity makes it look really...tidy but it is missing color. Some of our neighbors have dressed their units up with annuals and perennials and they look really nice. Those are allowed in certain areas under certain circumstances. So I looked at Rule #1 (under Rule# 4). It goes like this:

No fences, bird feeders, or trellises

No hanging pots/baskets attached to the building (the patio is PERFECT for some hanging baskets)...shepherd's hooks are allowed in mulched areas

No window boxes

No landscape lighting

No water ponds, fountains or other water features

Nothing to sit on retaining walls or plants near the retaining walls

But they allow statuary so you could end up looking at some fat naked cherub in your neighbor's yard but you can't hang a flowering plant. Or a bird feeder.

Miss Rio Rita and her new filly

Oh, and no vines.

So I got into the landscaping plans and starting looking to see if I could move my three little red shrubs in front of the dining room window.


Okay. So can I put them in front of the living room window?


Okay. So can I put them in front of the office window?

That seems debatable according to how you interpret the rules. I'm familiar with rule interpretation after spending four plus years at the United States Equestrian Federation. What I learned is that a rule can be interpreted many ways. The English language is an interesting one when you start writing and interpreting law.

I interpret this rule to allow the shrubs to be planted in front of the window as long as they don't exceed three feet. There. That was easy. Wasn't it?

Two days old and her first day outside

Tomorrow I'm on my way out to the farm with my camera again to get more photos of the new babies and watch them work the show horses. In the next couple of weeks we should have two more new babies to brag about!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

On A Rainy Sunday

The Bark Pile

I feel like I'm living in Oregon again! Rain, rain, rain and more rain. It looks like The Land of Oz out there with the intensity of green grass and trees and colorful flowers. The difference is the color of the sky. I believe it was blue in Oz. Not here. The only sun I see on the forecast between now and the tenth of May is on Tuesday. Ransom and I are going to have to start walking in rain gear because we have been confined for way too long! I'm all pumped about planting flowers and an herb garden this year. Being as I'm actually going to be here all summer I can tend to my containers on the patio. The bark project is done with the exception of a pile of park in our guest parking. I think they abandoned it. If you drive around the complex there is some kind of construction debris, equipment, a dumpster or landscaping junk in nearly every guest parking space. I don't know who chooses the contractors for this place but I think that person needs to be replaced. They have been trying to fix a roof on the other side of the complex since the first part of April. Thankfully we don't have to bring Mary back here until June. If it the parking is still an issue then they can call John. He's ready for them. Heh, heh, heh...

Miss Breezy Jones

There is a new Picassa photo album of more recent photos and I'm going to get all techy here and see if I can embed it in this blog post. They are making it so much easier for us neophytes to do this stuff now. It makes me feel all computer savvy...which I'm not! Here it goes: It didn't work. Back to the drawing board. Here is the link:

It has some photos that I've published on this blog and some new ones as well. Next I'll try to add a little footage from the Flip camera. I haven't taken any footage worthy of this but I need to learn how to upload it. So here it goes...


It worked! I think...

We are going to a pot luck dinner tonight. I made three chocolate cream pies for this event. I haven't eaten any. Yet. This weekend blew the cleansing all to hell but we only had two days left. John lost 14 pounds doubling what I lost but he has been working 20 plus horses a day, six days a week so that would probably account for some of the extra weight loss. Even without all of the exercise it is easier for him to drop pounds than it is for me. The best part of cleansing is how great you feel and how clear headed you are. If you don't believe that we are what we eat try a cleansing. You will be a believer. Now the trick is to stay on healthy food with an occasional splurge. Tonight we splurge. Tomorrow we pay...and start back on healthy food again.

The PIES. Probably only a kazillion calories in those three little babies

Ransom huddled up on the couch

I'm off to start work on the scrapbook project. I have a million photos and articles and things that need to be organized into something besides the drawer and the miscellaneous manilla envelopes that they have been living in. First a lot of them need to be scanned into my computer.

I hope this Sunday has been a pleasant one for you!