Sunday, September 10, 2017

Gorgeous Weather for Our Workday

We had a workday on Saturday and it was such a lovely day to be outdoors.  In the morning, a crew worked to clean up the area east of our front entry.  It looks so much better!  They also moved a lot of rocks (yes, we have a LOT of rocks) and several people worked on smaller tasks as well.  We had visitors from Boston - Jim and Peggy - who are long-time friends of our members Richard & Karolyn.  Jim and Peggy are starting an urban co-housing community in Boston, so we were comparing notes about development challenges and meeting process.  So much to learn from one another!

We had a good business meeting (ended 30 minutes early - that NEVER happens!) and a great potluck.  Hope this lovely fall weather continues!

Watch this space..... in a few short weeks we will be launching our new website!!  And a couple of other events for those interested....

  • We will be having an open house from 1-4 on Oct 15th
  • We will be having our annual Halloween Jamboree on Oct 28th from 4pm - midnight or so

Contact us if interested in either or both events!

Lunch together at our workday

Mike and Cheryl did a little babysitting for Mary's grandkids

A bit hard to see here, but this front lawn area used to be a MESS of erosion control pit and debris.

Richard and Jim - part of the rock-moving crew!

The final quad.  Two of these homes are now for sale.

Vonda heading to help the rock movers - the tractor is a lot easier that wheelbarrows for the biggest rocks!

At the potluck dinner following our monthly business meeting

Cheryl and Kelly enjoying a lovely day on Cheryl's porch

Friday, September 1, 2017

New Pedway, New Residents, and New Picnic Tables

Well, it's been almost 2 months since my last blog - not because there is nothing happening at Elderberry, but because I took a 5 week vacation!  It was so great to come home to see Elderberry becoming even more beautiful!  While I was away the new pedway was put in and the erosion control pits (huge pits that were required during construction) were filled in and smoothed over.  Wow - what a difference that makes!

We also got the occupancy permits on the final 4 homes this month.  Members have moved into two of those homes - Mike Moore moved into his tiny house (350ft2) and David and Diana DenBeste moved from Nebraska into their new home.  David and Mike have both jumped in by joining our new Work Coordinating Committee, and Diana is a massage therapist who LOVES to give massages at no cost as her contribution to the community.  Awesome on all counts! The last two homes are now for sale and we welcome visitors!

We also had some sad news while I was away.  One of our members, Leslie, was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.  This will be the first big challenge for us all in how we can love and support our members during the most difficult stage of life.  Right now, Leslie is doing great and was digging out a huge stone with a mattock at last Sunday's workday!

Over the past few weeks, Dick and David worked together to build three new picnic tables to put near the pond at Potluck Farm.  This is a great example of our two communities working together.  Potluck Farm is a 27-year-old community adjacent to Elderberry (5 members of Potluck Farm have moved or are planning to move to Elderberry to downsize).  The two communities share the common house (at Elderberry), and trails, pond and gazebo (at Potluck Farm).  For the last 20 years there have been three sturdy picnic tables at the pond.  But lately they haven't been so sturdy.  So Dick volunteered to make new tables, Potluck Farm put up the money, and Dick and David built them.  Today they moved the tables over the to the pond.  Time to plan some al fresco dining!

David, Dick (and Riley) working on one of the tables

Dick taking a break to give one of the donkeys a treat - they are very curious about the project!

David and Dick moving the tables to the pond

The picnic tables on the dam left of the gazebo - ready for use!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

65 Years Together

On July 1st we had a surprise anniversary party for Dick and Nancy, who are celebrating 65 years together.  It was truly a surprise - they thought they were coming over for the weekly pizza night dinner, and entered the common house to hear the Mendelssohn wedding recessional!  We had delicious food, festive decorations, and an excellent DJ, thanks to Kelly.  Kelly also sang one of the most popular songs of 1952 - You Belong to Me.  We had a photo board of their decades together, a 1952 trivia game, and a champagne toast.  And, somehow we ended up with NINE half-gallons of ice cream in the freezers, so we are thinking we should have an ice cream social on the 4th of July!

Jan and Ann - both neighbors of Elderberry.  Photo board in the background
 Miles (Dick and Nancy's great grandson) enjoying the balloons with Richard, Dale, Leslie and Phil
 Dancing to 50's music - Marjorie nabbed Dick and Michael nabbed Nancy!
 Dick and his daughter-in-law Mary

Richard and Nancy (she said she is too short to hug Richard, but it seems to work!)
 Chuck and Phil chatting by the food feast
 Dick and Nancy blowing out the candles on their cake (Elderberry's favorite cake - Bobby Boyle's Mother's Carrot Cake, compliments of Karolyn!)
 Dick and Nancy enjoying their favorite desserts
 Kelly singing You Belong To Me - thank you Kelly!!
 Dick and Nancy's son Chris making a champagne toast

Kelly and Mary dancing to something!
 Teams working at the 1952 trivia quiz - Kelly, Meg, Anna, Jan, Phil and Maggie
 Another team working the trivia quiz - David, Rosemarie, Leslie and Marj
 And the team that did the best (maybe because Mary accidentally gave Chuck the answer key!) - Karolyn, Chuck and Ann

Sunday, June 11, 2017

June 10th Workday

It was a beautiful June weekend and we got a lot done around Elderberry!  It will be getting hot soon, so we made the most of the lovely weather today.  We had with us our newest Associate Member, Monica Ferrari, who wishes to buy the 900ft2 home that is currently under construction.  If she moves ahead with this, that will leave just one home for sale - a 1200ft2 house with a lot of storage and a beautiful upstairs room overlooking the pasture next door.

On the workday, we stained and put up a new swing that Dick made, mowed, weeded, and spent a good bit of time working on the landscaping near our parking area.  After our workday and business meeting, we shared a fantastic dinner made for us by Vonda and Meg, including a birthday cake for Cheryl's 60th birthday.  The cake is getting to be a legend around Elderberry.  It is Bobby Boyle's Mother's Carrot Cake, and comes from the mother of a childhood neighbor of Karolyn's.  That is one delicious carrot cake!!!

Leslie and Rosemaire - They were joking that I should not put up this photo because we look like
back stabbers!  

Rosemarie, Cheryl, Leslie, Dick and Mary worked on the swing
 Monica and Karolyn did a LOT of work in the landscaped terrace near our parking area.  Those working on the swing were in the shade, but these ladies, and also Barb and Richard, were doing landscaping and mowing in the sun.  Toasty!

Cheryl and Jeff pose for an American Gothic photo

Taking a break over lunch.  We were relaxing outdoors while Vonda, Meg, Joan and others were
indoors making our dinner!

Mike spent much of the day working on his house.  He is building a tiny house (350ft2).
The builder has done the structure, but Mike is doing a lot of his own finish work.
 Putting up the swing - didn't really take this many people, but it was great to have
a hand from Dave and Mike it putting up the beam.  We didn't get it finished today
because Dick needed another piece of hardware.  Watch this blog for a photo of
the finished swing!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Our newest homes... 2 for sale

It has been so lovely this spring at Elderberry, even in light of ongoing construction!  Rosemarie, Anne, Karolyn and others have worked hard to create a place of beauty for us.  Our final 4 homes will be finished in July.  Two of the homes are sold, and the last two are currently available.
The final 4 homes

The house on this end is a tiny house (350ft2!).  
The two homes available in this quad are 900ft2 and 1200ft.

We are planting elderberries where we can.  This one (right foreground) is in bloom.
Anna and Joan/Joyce's houses are in the background.

Karolyn loves lillies!  She has planted many varieties along one of our paths, and everyone at Elderberry has a lilly named for them along this path.

Circle Party!

OK, so have you noticed I'm doing all these May and June posts on the same day??  Well, my computer was so slow I couldn't load photos but I'm hoping that is fixed now!!

This past weekend we had a Circle Party.  It started at 3pm with a lawn party, which we try to have once or twice a year.  We play lawn games (croquet, corn hole, badminton, bocce, frisbee golf, table suffleboard, and whatever other games people bring).  This year we set things up in the usual place - west side of the common house in the big lawn.... but it was HOT!  So we migrated to the central circle on the east side in the shade of our 100-year-old oak tree. Perfect!  After the lawn games, we had a visioning session for how to make this central circle beautiful and inviting.  We had LOTS of creative ideas.  After the visioning session we had more circles..... in the form of a pizza party!
Mary and Mike playing corn hole

Vonda and Mike - great form!

Leslie and Nancy taking a rest in the shade

Karolyn and Joyce looking beautiful!

Joe and Gus (Elderberry neighbors) visit with Cheryl, Karolyn and Joyce

Jeff and Leslie try their hand at corn hole

The central circle (with frisbee golf hole at center!)

Dave (wearing someone's lovely hat) and Vonda (wearing her own lovely hat!)

Joan - and HER lovely hat!

Anne, Rosemarie and Joan at the pizza party

Pizza for all!!

Mary making notes of ideas for the central circle (and Miles helping)

All gathered around to think through ideas for the central circle

Joan, Karolyn and Joyce hanging in the shade

Rosemarie found some books in the library to read to Mary's grandkids - Evey and Miles

Kate, Vonda and Mary played croquet