Archive

Archive for the ‘Neighborhood’ Category

Neighbors

July 4th, 2020 Comments off

I’m happy that both of our immediate neighbors are quiet and considerate. It wasn’t always this way but it’s been really good the last two years. The neighbors around the corner and down the block, though? Not so much. The more I see them, the more I dislike them.

It started when they moved in and let their fire alarm beep for days on end with their windows open before I had to ask them to change the battery because I could hear it across the courtyard and no doubt everyone else could as well. They didn’t care because at the time they weren’t moved in yet. Why leave the windows open the entire night if you’re not even home? That’s insane to me.

Then last week they were walking around the neighborhood while their kids rode their bikes … all over everyone’s grass. The sidewalk is plenty wide enough.

The other day their kids were bouncing a basketball off their neighbor’s garage door. Talk about rude!

This morning we saw Jolly Ranger wrappers all over the grass around their unit, plus their garbage cans are sitting outside when the deadline to put them away was 7 am yesterday.

I’m just happy that for the most part I only have to deal with them when I take Wookie on walks. If they lived next to me we’d have issues. That being said, I am tempted to create a new email address so I can report them to the association anonymously. Can’t let on who I am since they will probably find something else to take issue with at our place. Ugh!

I don’t know why I even bother, though. There are some small trees near the pool that some kids broke the branches on. The landscapers removed the broken branch that was hanging from one of the trees but didn’t cut off the extremely sharp tip that a kid could easily impale themselves on. I reported it a week and a half ago. Do you think when the landscapers came back they fixed it? That would be a big no.

Categories: Neighborhood Tags:

Landscaping & Associations

July 3rd, 2020 Comments off

We ventured out to Home Depot and Menards a few weeks ago in an attempt to spruce up our patio. We bought Salvia for the patio planter at Home Depot in hopes that it will attract hummingbirds and butterflies. I also picked up this cute succulent at Menards for only $2.50.

Succulent

It’s a Echeveria pulidonis. I named him Mr. Cuddles.

Approximately a week later we also bought a bunch of mulch from Menards and river rock from Lowes since the landscapers have not been doing a great job of keeping the area nice. Hopefully we won’t get in trouble for adding the rock to the areas near where the gutters drain and where there was previously just dirt by the air conditioner.

River Rock

It’s bad enough we had to buy our own gutter extensions to keep rain water away from the building.

I bought some sunflowers from Meijer too but in less than a week the squirrels ate them all so I never got a good photo of them. Lesson learned – don’t buy sunflowers and don’t feed the squirrels so they aren’t encouraged to visit.

Luckily the petunias in the hanging baskets we got 2/$10 at Lowes are thriving. Now I understand why my grandmother always planted them – they are hardy and animals seem to leave them alone.

Multicolored Petunias

Purple Petunias

The seeds from Dollar Tree are sprouting too, so we have a pretty nice looking patio.

Flower Seeds

Planter

The small box ones went into pots in the front of our unit but there’s not a bunch of growth on those yet.

Now, if only we could find a decent table and chair set that won’t break the bank. No one seems to have what we’re looking for and it’s frustrating. I’m not spending $500 on our small patio. I found a really cute 5×7 outdoor rug at Walmart for only $35 but it’s sold out everywhere, including the store where they claimed there were two left, so that was disappointing. Not that we can sit outside very often lately with how hot it’s been. Maybe by the time it cools off we’ll have found something suitable.

A few weeks ago before we did anything with the mulch and rock I emailed the association to ask about the landscaping rules because I’m not very fond of the rose bush out back. They said we needed to fill out some request form which includes descriptions of work, the company hired to do said work, etc. I was merely asking about removing a bush, not asking to build a gazebo! Suspiciously enough, 10 days later we got a violation for having a security sign in front of our home. Never mind the fact that it’s been there ten years (no exaggeration). From talking to another neighbor, people seem to be issued violations after requesting things of the association. Real nice, huh? I mentioned this to another neighbor who also had a security sign out front and he took his down even though he wasn’t sent a violation. There’s one a block away, though, so clearly we were targeted or they would have asked everyone with signs to take them down. I removed ours but requested a discussion at the next board meeting because I think an exception should be made for security signs (the rules state no signs at all are permitted).

Categories: House & Home, Neighborhood Tags:

Parks & Memorial Day Weekend

May 27th, 2020 Comments off

Saturday (05/23) morning we headed to Northside Park in Wheaton. We arrived early enough (7 am) that there were hardly any people there at all (it can get really crowded on nice days). I brought an actual camera (my Canon P&S) but I have to say, I think my iPhone 11 took better photos.

We spent about an hour walking around the park and made two full loops around. I would have liked to stay a little longer but one section of the loop had a crazy Red-winged Blackbird who kept trying to attack me. When I first spotted the bird, it was just hanging out on some tall grass a few feet away from the trail, but once it spotted us it started hovering above us, much like seagulls do when they’re looking to be fed. In fact, that’s what Joe assumed the bird was doing until it stated squawking and dive-bombing us. It only did it once to Joe but came at me multiple times. I could literally feel its wings on the top of my head which made me scream. I can only assume it was trying to protect a nearby nest.

We didn’t see it at first on our second loop around, and even though we made a point to veer to the far side of the trail away from where it was hanging out, it still tried to attack me. Not Joe, just me! I took that as a sign we should leave. Other than that, however, it was a really nice visit. The air was still cool out, there were plenty of beautiful birds, including barn swallows, out and about, and it was refreshing to get out of the house for something other than grocery pickup.

Saturday evening I was chatting online with my friend K and was showing her how pathetic my town’s parks page is. It doesn’t even render properly on a mobile device, and the only information it provides is the name of the park, address, and a link for directions which goes to Bing. Bing! Are you kidding me?

In contrast, Carol Stream’s parks page lists each park name, and when you click on it you get the address, a map, the park’s history, and a list of amenities. It irks me we pay so much in taxes and our town can’t put together a decent website. I said Carol Stream’s page looks like something Leslie Knope created and my town’s was done by Larry Gingrich. And if you don’t get that reference, you’re dead to me.

I commented on one of my town’s Facebook posts asking if there was somewhere I can go to see more information about their parks and no one bothered to answer. I mean, why would they? It’s no wonder there’s very little engagement from the public on anything they post to social media.

Also, also, a few weeks ago they posted a list of local restaurants in town they encouraged people to visit to help stimulate the local economy. This list was in NO type of order, alphabetical or otherwise, only listed an address but no phone numbers, and couldn’t be searched because it was a jpeg. For the love of god, someone hire me so I can save them from themselves. There’s no doubt there’s some overpaid lazy person responsible for doing the bare minimum. I only say this because I have to deal with the least friendly, slowest worker, every year when I go into the village hall to buy my parking stickers and pet registration. I dread it every time and was pretty excited to learn I could renew them online this year without a few. Too bad they didn’t send me the pet registration notice! On the plus side I was able to correct the errors in their database that I’ve only pointed out in past years for them to ignore. My last name was wrong and they had my car listed as a Cross Truck (its a Crosstrek). SMH

Sunday (05/24) we headed out early (7 am) once again, but this time to Armstrong Park in Carol Stream. This park isn’t quite as picturesque as Northside Park, but it does have a few ponds where different birds congregate, including a special island where a colony of purple martins live. The park was relatively empty so we could walk around the loop (only once, as it’s quite large) without worrying about getting too close to other people.

Monday (05/25) we woke up to rain so there weren’t any outings in store for us. Later in the day we grilled some ribs we grabbed at Costco the week prior and were thoroughly disappointed.

We’ve had and loved them in the past, and from my quick research they are exactly the same ones they’ve always sold, so I can’t understand why they sucked so much. They weren’t nearly as flavorful, or as tender, as they were before. Needless to say we won’t be getting them again. What sucks is they were only sold in 2-slab packs so there’s more in the freezer that I have no desire to make now. Maybe they’d come out better in the crockpot? I honestly don’t know.

Categories: Animals, Holidays, Neighborhood Tags:

Good Deeds

May 18th, 2020 Comments off

After spending way too much time feeling like I wanted to die, just feeling a little better has made me so grateful and wanting to give back. These are the things I’ve done recently to try and be a good citizen. And yes, it does feel good, which makes the good deed not completely altruistic, but who cares?

Awhile ago I signed up with Be My Eyes which is an app blind people use to request help. Volunteers are sent a message when someone needs assistance and the first one to respond is connected to the blind person’s phone so they can be their eyes. I finally got a chance to help out a few weeks ago when I answered a call from a woman wanting to check whether her rice cooker was on.

While walking Wookie one day I spotted a pair of purple glasses in the grass near a bank of mailboxes in our neighborhood. They blended in quite well, and if not for keeping an eye on the ground like I do now, I wouldn’t have even noticed them. I didn’t touch them, assuming the person who dropped them would come back to that location looking for them. However, the next day they were still there, so I put them on top of the mailboxes and posted a message on Nextdoor in the hopes it would be seen by the right person. Luckily it was, because I received a reply not too long after thanking me. Apparently the glasses belonged to a neighbor’s daughter and were lost on a walk a week prior. Since they don’t live on the block where they were found they had no idea where to even look. I know from personal experience how expensive glasses are, so I’m glad they were able to get them back (luckily no one stepped on them). I wonder if the girl had to go without seeing clearly that entire week or if they bought a new pair. I guess at the very least they have a backup pair now.

We made a monetary donation to Feeding America after the Parks & Recreation special aired (which was really good all things considering).

We dropped off a full bag of unopened dog food at a local rescue’s donation area. Long story short, it was expiring in July which is before Wookie would be able to eat it all, but instead of shipping it back to Chewy they said to keep it. We bought a new bag with a better expiration date for Wookie so we donated the other bag.

I shipped a care package to my friend K weeks ago which included a toy for her dog and Idiocracy on DVD. (Side note: doesn’t it seem like it’s a prediction of our future?) Yesterday, Joe and I took a drive and dropped off a box of stuff for her by her door. Inside I had gift-wrapped our old copy of The Wedding Singer on DVD (since we now have it on Bluray) and some copied movies (shhh don’t tell on me) she had been talking about wanting to watch. I also gave her a container of Clorox wipes since she was running out, some homemade dog treats, some homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I made on Saturday, and some dog toys Wookie no longer plays with. (Not everything is pictured below since I thought of the dog treats and toys right before packing up the box).

She was over the moon happy with the surprise and said it made her day, and that in turn made MY day. I know it shouldn’t matter, but I really love it when someone shows appreciation for something thoughtful I’ve done. Plus, it definitely makes it more likely I will do it again. My family (Joe excluded) doesn’t seem to get this and doesn’t really show enthusiasm for stuff so I feel let down. I love that my friend was so excited. If someone did that for me I know *I* would be thrilled too.

Categories: Friends, Life, Neighborhood Tags:

Weekend Recap

April 19th, 2020 Comments off

Couldn’t sleep past 5 am today so the day has seemed endless, but in a good way since the weather was so nice. I made breakfast tacos, and then baked a yellow cake with chocolate frosting. We took Wookie with us on drive around the neighborhood and accidentally made her excited driving through the parking lot of Northside Park. Apparently she recognized it and thought we were going for a walk but there were too many people out so we left. We grabbed Culvers (our second take home meal since this whole lockdown started; the first being Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza last night). After lunch we took Wookie for a walk and then I cleaned the windows while Joe put out the Malibu lights.

Categories: Food, Neighborhood, Pets Tags: