Well yes indeed, it's been quite some time since my last writing. To say I've been busier'n a one-armed paper hanger would be an understatement. But it's been a good busy. I love my new home, and I love the neighborhood. I'm quite far from settled in, as I still have boxes galore; unfortunately, the majority of those unpacked boxes are stacked in my bedroom. It may have to stay this way for awhile, yet, as the next task on my list is buying and setting up a christmas tree, decorating for christmas, and baking cookies - lots of cookies!
Yesterday was the first day I took Gracie for a walk around the lake since the Invisble Fence was installed on 11/17. The invisible fence folks advise to develop a routine of placing a small rug, towel, or some other symbolic "path" to exit the property, so that the dog isn't confused about why it's OK to leave the yard sometimes and not others. So I took a small area rug, placed it along the driveway by the mailbox, put her harness on (and cleverly removed the "correction" collar) and walked her toward the rug. NO WAY she said with her very strong body language. She wanted nothing to do with going off the yard - rug or not! So I had to pick her up and place her on the rug to exit. Once out of the yard, she was fine - had a ball sniffing all the new scents. This really is a very beautiful community, with lots of mature trees. All the lawns are meticulously landscaped, many very beautiful holiday decorations. When we returned, again Gracie wanted nothing to do with coming back over the "fence", even though her collar was not on. Once again I had to pick her up and carry her into the yard. Perhaps we need to go for more walks, so she gets used to the idea. As an aside, if you or anyone you know is considering getting the Invisible Fence, I say go for it. It's marvelous! I am quite an advocate!
Just as I returned from my walk, a car pulled up with an elderly woman at the wheel. I had seen her out in her driveway as I walked past. She came by to introduce herself and welcome me to the neighborhood. I have to add, here, that this community was built in the early 1980's - my house was one of the first built in 1981. It's deed restricted, but it's not gated. There is very little turn over here; the homes are very upscale (mine is one of the few exceptions!) and there is very little, to no crime. Everyone knows everyone. Earlier this week, I was out in the front yard trying to figure out what kind of trees are growing there, when a white cadillac SUV pulled up, and a nice gentleman introduced himself and welcomed me to the neighborhood. The woman I met yesterday caused me to have a song in my head ever since: Eleanor Rigby. She told me that her husband passed away 2 years ago, that she's from Buffalo NY, goes there from May to October, and wanted to know was I "by myself." She even told me that she'd asked other neighbors whether "the woman that moved into Jack's house, was she by herself? Find out if she's by herself!" She told me of a holiday gathering at the community center this Friday evening. Everyone brings a dish to share, and if you want a drink, bring your beverage. Her face seemed to drop when I mentioned that I work full time (was it during the day?), as I think she is looking for someone to spend time with (since her husband passed away two years ago). All the lonely people - where do they all belong?
After my walk, I decided I needed to do something with the front yard landscaping (geeze - all the Joneses have great yards!) so I went and took a picture of the front of the house.
There's Gracie, standing in the driveway. Those white flags are the "fence" - it gives Gracie a visual of her boundaries, and will be coming down this week. Here's from another angle:
The backyard is full of all the potted plants I moved here from the beach; you can see the areca palm in the terra cotta pot. I am considering putting that in the ground just about where it is. The soil is rock and clay, quite a surprise to me from the sandy beach I'm used to. So every day off I toss up whether to do stuff inside or outside. There's just so much.....
but I love it!