Monday, July 31, 2017

Beach Numbers



Mark the happy days of summer with beach numbers. In fact, sing them out!

On the first day of holiday I was blessed to see 1 boy in a sand-filled hole.













double rainbows over Sunset Beach pier
                                                   
On the second day of holiday, I was blessed to see 2 arching rainbows and a sandy boy in a deep hole.













On the third day of holiday, I was blessed to be one of 3 hardy boaters, 2 arching rainbows and a sandy boy in a deep hole.
3 brave and unsuspecting boaters


                                              On the fourth day of holiday, I was blessed to see 4 castle towers, 3 wiser boaters, 2 arching rainbows and a sandy boy in a deep hole. 





                                   On the fifth day of holiday, I was blessed to see 5 tempting rockers, 4 castle towers, 3 wiser boaters, 2 arching rainbows and a boy in a sand-filled hole.



On the sixth day of vacation I was blessed to see--6 pair sandy sandals, 5 tempting rockers, 4 castle towers, 3 wiser boaters, 2 arching rainbows and a boy in a sand-filled hole.


                        On the 7th day of vacation I was blessed to see 7 glasses waiting, 6 pair sandy sandals, 5 tempting rockers, 4 castle towers, 3 wiser boaters, 2 arching rainbows and a boy in a sand-filled hole.








thanks to Janet Head, group's photographer
 On the 8th day of vacation I was blessed to be one of 8 happy readers,  7 glasses waiting, 6 pair sandy sandals, 5 tempting rockers, 4 castle towers, 3 wiser boaters, 2 arching rainbows and a boy in a sand-filled hole.



blanket flowers 
   On the ninth day of vacation I was blessed to see 9 flowers blooming, 8 happy readers,  7 glasses waiting, 6 pair sandy sandals, 5 tempting rockers, 4 castle towers, 3 wiser boaters, 2 arching rainbows and a boy in a sand-filled hole.



 On the last day of the holiday I was blessed to see ten pipers scuttling, 9  flowers blooming, 8 happy readers,  7 glasses waiting, 6 pair sandy sandals, 5 tempting rockers, 4 castle towers, 3 wiser boaters, 2 arching rainbows and a boy in a sand-filled hole.                              







Enjoy the rest of the summer. Until your next beach trip keep singing. 


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Busted: the HOA Commandments



That cute bike I mentioned last week got me in trouble with the Home Owner's Association. Their rules are like commandments, except they exceed God's basic ten, and judgement comes more swiftly.



To reach the community garden I must pass through a gate. A long gravel path leads to the raised beds. I rode on the completely empty path leading to the empty garden as one of the garden board members pulled up in her car.  I was 20' away when she yelled. "Pam, if you don't get off that path I'll have to call the Community Response Office. " (Think minor league law enforcement in small white cars without sirens or fire arms.)

It's not as if I were leader of a pack of serious cyclists descending on hoards of helpless old people who had to scatter to safety.

Surely she wasn't serious. But I got off the bike. I  hollered "Go ahead, it'll be their excitement for today."

"I mean it," she threatened. "I'll call them. You have to obey the rules. Do you think you're better than everybody else?"

"I think I'm pretty special." The unconciliatory tone fired her up. 

She must have had CRO (Community Response Office) on speed dial. 

I parked my bike, ignored her, and focused on watering my dehydrated tomatoes. While chatting with another plot holder the chubby community responder walked our direction. He hitched up his belt.  He planted his feet apart and put his fists on his hips. I really expected him to give me some body language, a wink maybe or tiny grin, to indicate how ridiculous this was. But he didn't. I guess he was serious too.

"Did you ride your bike on the path?"

"Yeah, for about 6 feet and I got off when Martha Sue told me to. It's better to use a bike than drive here." My concern for the environment didn't strike him as virtuous. 

"Well," he pulled out his little pad of forms "you can bring the bike into the garden, just don't ride it. What unit do you live in?" 

I told him and he filled out the brief form. To his credit, he was polite, and he was making the nitpicker happy for sure. (Ooh, I wish I'd known her information to give him instead of mine.)

As he walked away the neighboring gardener looked at me in disbelief. "I can't believe that. It makes me wonder why I live here." Yeah, me too.

It's my opinion that the HOA is trying to recreate paradise by committee. 
Or perhaps they distend their limited control to compensate for the dwindling influence aging can cause. Although the HOA deals with some weighty issues, they deviate when control is about where a bike is ridden or a flower is planted.

I knew I'd run afoul of the HOA eventually. There are other written rules I am breaking.


ajuga I planted in an empty space
#86 Do not plant anything in the manicured, narrow line of shrubs planted in single file in front of your "lanai." Why would they name a small slab of concrete after a Hawaiian veranda? 














And #129 "Do not dead head the flowers." I held my breath when two staff gardeners stopped in front of the rose bush I've been trimming for two months.  A few fading flowers and hips remained on the bush so it wouldn't be obviously pruned. 


The elder gardener said to his trainee, "This is a lovely rose." Yep, I've taken good care of it. It is full of new growth and I'll have the only bush with a second flush of blooms later this summer. 






Runamuck HOAs are common complaints elsewhere too. Online testimonies include one man  who walked his dog in a "covenant" community although he didn't live in it. A control freak accosted him, called the police, and they ended up citing her and towing away her golf cart which wasn't licensed for the roads. Ah, justice. 

Not so for the senior citizen who planted unauthorized purple flowers and was fined $50.00.

Every month people in this complex rack up more than three thousand calls to the CRO (more than one per unit.) They call for emergency medical assistance (which isn't provided.) Garage door violations make up a fair number of calls, as do "suspicious" people. There are noise complaints, odor complaints, and family disturbances. Alleged burglaries must not bear up under investigation because they always number 0 in the final report. This month there were 41 warning tickets, including mine. 

And just to protect myself from the whistleblowers, Pam Glover is only my pen name.






Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Fun or Function

Do you choose wheels for fun or function?

      

Last summer blood clots hijacked my mobility. If someone had yelled “Fire!” I’d have hobbled as fast as I could, but the flames would have singed my fanny. I reluctantly decided to buy a folding wheelchair and walker gizmo.  I resented it as much as I relied on it. 

Sometimes we need props. We can tolerate them if we know they are short term, but chafe if we suspect they are the new normal. Nothin’ normal about scootin’ around when you used to have two healthy feet.

By fall I graduated from wheels back to my own locomotion.

This year I've traded the walker in for a nifty folding bike with 7 gears and a basket. It's how I  commute to my garden plot.

I'm thrilled I can ride a bike again. I love feeling my hair fan out, even if I look like a dog with its head out the window.   

I count it a blessing as I pass others who have to roll the paths, dependent on devices. Being able to get yourself from A to B is priceless when you haven’t been able to do it. 

May you stay fit, maintain your balance, and be able choose wheels for fun rather than because you're feeble. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Wonder 'Maters

My garden plot just produced its second harvest—chard. Everything else was set back by fickle Colorado weather. Today's survey revealed multiple wee green globes that will be tomatoes by Labor Day.



This is a NC friend’s barrel-grown tomato as of June 2nd! It grants container gardening new respect.  

His “recipe” (from the Winston Salem Journal) was 1/4 composted manure, 1/4 composted mushroom compost, and 1/2 potting soil. If I ever get a sunny enough spot, I’m going to try this. 

Look at the size of it!  And it’s only one plant. It was covered with fruit and blossoms. He updated me that he hoped to have some ready this week. He’ll have wonder ‘maters into October. 

He chose their retirement townhome wisely, good exposures to sun, and outside spaces that let him have raised beds and pots. No tellin’ what else he’s eating already. 

David, you’re an inspiration to us who have down sized. Small space does not mean small produce.