This last week was a double-whammy of a bad cold and my daughter having the week off for mid-winter break. So, I never quite felt right the whole week because I was trying to be mom to a kid who was deprived of the social aspect of school, but who was also missing all of her best friends because they were all on vacation. All the while my sinuses were killing me and I felt like I was half-drowning in phlegm. Normally, I like school vacations because the girl and I can sleep in and do fun projects together and it's a nice, relaxed time for us. This time though all I wanted to do was crawl into bed and nap so it was a long week.
Yesterday we all went out to visit my old friend AR who lives in Bremerton and ended up staying way later than we meant to, but it was a ton of fun. I haven't been to Bremerton in forever so I was watching everything trying to figure out what the town is like. AR says there has been a lot of violence in Kitsap County lately and she has no idea why. I think I've read a little of it in the news although wouldn't have noticed as much since I mostly notice the news close to home. In fact we passed one business that had on it's reader board "Pray for Kitsap County". I don't know enough about the area to have any theories on why violence is increasing.
Another interesting town-dynamic is an acquaintance of mine in Sultan said they're having a town meeting on whether or not to let someone open a tattoo parlor in the city limits because for as long as she's known Sultan has outlawed tattoo parlors. Which I find very odd. How is getting a tattoo going to be bad for the city. I made the un-P.C. statement that perhaps they should focus more on outlawing meth houses in the city limits. So, it's a good thing I don't live there and am not going to the town meeting.
Meanwhile, Spring is coming up really fast so we are gearing up to get ready for gardening. I've been researching fencing options for the community garden behind our house that is on the HOA owned land. It has to be fairly non-obtrusive, but still keep the bunnies out of our raised beds. I'm wondering when I'm going to start getting emails from that one irritating lady at the city telling me that the city has still not approved our garden (on OUR land!) and I need to sit down with public works and work out what I'm allowed to do (on OUR land!). (back last Spring I did follow up and leave a few messages with public works asking the manager to call me back so we could work out what we are allowed to do (on OUR land) and nobody ever called us back. The issue is that our land is right next to a storm pond and an environmentally protected wetlands and the annoying woman says Public Works needs access to the storm pond. Of course they have an enormous driveway access right off our driveway that has been left open (because that is the easement agreement on our property deed). But annoying lady at the city seems to think that Public Works would rather we just let the vacant lot area beyond that be completely overgrown and ugly as opposed to putting in raised beds with organic gardens for everyone in the HOA to enjoy. Grumble.
At least this year more people in the HOA are on board with being involved and are interested in having their own little plot for their own projects, which will be nice. But the big thing is keeping out the bunnies. Last year everything I planted except the cucumbers and the plant part of the strawberries got eaten by wild bunnies. See, we don't have these issues in the city so I didn't see that coming. I put copper around the raised beds to keep the slugs out, and marigolds to detract the squirrels but didn't even think of the bunnies. I read in a few places online that marigold also detracts bunnies and I felt like posting "Actually, they ate the tops off all my marigolds". Unless it was deer but I've heard that we are too close into town for deer and nobody has seen them around here in years. Maybe I should mount a web cam this year and see what is coming and eating my plants? That would be kind of cool.
So, I'm looking for attractive, cheap, unobtrusive fencing and so far not coming up with much (lots of attractive and unobtrusive - but not cheap). I may have to try and actually build something myself.
I still want to use part of the vacant land for community chickens but my husband is against it (he does not love the chickens the way I do after having chickens in the city) and I figure if annoying lady at the city is angry about raised beds, she'd really be angry about a chicken coop/run. I'm still plotting. I also want to raise bunnies after watching my friends experience with that. She's raising them for meat and pelt but once again my husband said there is something seriously wrong with butchering your own rabbits so I think I'll stay away from that too. And pet rodents because he thinks that is so wrong too to have rodents in your house. And then there's the "anyone who willing gets on the back of a 1,000 pound creature with a mind of its own has got to be insane." I know, huh? Could you get two more different people to be married to each other? But I love him. He's awesome!
Speaking of the Toad, there is a woman in Ohio who really wants her because she wants her for her bloodlines to breed race horses. Normally I would be extremely wary of race horse breeders, but she's a small farm and also trains horses and teaches lessons. We've been emailing a lot and hopefully today I'll get some references to call. She sounds perfect for Toadie. She seems to really love horses and right now she doesn't have a broodmare and has just been focusing on teaching and training. And her plans for Toad if she either doesn't breed runners or being a broodmare just isn't good for her, this woman will continue to train her and use her with her students for their eventing and such. She grew up with Thoroughbreds and race horses so she knows what she's getting into. Plus, the best part is I made it clear that I really love Toad and will be checking on her and her condition and this woman went a step further and said that if I want she will send me photos and videos of the birth and stats for the babies and I will be "the grandmother" and she will keep me in the loop for all Toadie's kids and how Toad is doing. And I'm welcome at the farm whenever I am in Ohio or Kentucky (she's 20 miles from the boarder of the two states) to visit Toad and spend time with her. I checked it out with Trainer K. and she said to follow up on the references because it sounds like a really perfect deal for Toad.
Meanwhile, Trainer V. (who I fired a few months ago and who was very spiteful and angry and then I guess realized she was going to get in trouble for that and stopped being so freaky rude) is now pissed off all over again that I am selling Toad. I'm not sure why since she had no stake in Toad and I am will never, ever work with her again because she's a bad trainer and crazy. But she passed me and my adopted teenager IH in the aisle at the stable the other day when no one else was around and snapped in the meanest tone, "I can't believe you're selling her!" Being the bastion of maturity that I am I muttered, "I can't believe you're such a bitch," which sent IH doubling over in giggles. But what would probably piss Trainer V. off even more is when she finds out that if all the references check out I have decided to give Toadie to the woman in Ohio for free. She already will have to pay so much for driving Toad all the way across country and she's not a rich woman and if it means Toad will have a great life that fits her better then I'm more than happy to give her to someone who can provide that for her.