Monday, December 10, 2018

Winter Storm!

Our area was hit with a big storm this weekend.  We got 12-14" of snow here at Elderberry - the most snow in 18 years!  We lost power on and off (and on and off and on and off) Saturday afternoon, and then lost it completely in the evening until 1am.  The good news is that we just got a new generator, so all homes had water, and the common house had electricity.  We cranked up the common house wood stove, played games in the afternoon, and had a potluck for dinner. 

It's so beautiful here!  The woods and streams are lovely to see, and we had some fun this morning sledding.  It's melting now, but we are planning one more sledding day tomorrow when the temps are again closer to freezing, and a few of us might make a snowsomething this afternoon or tomorrow if the snow is not too slushy.  Watch this space!

Trees bending in the snow on Elderberry Lane (and Riley, trying to walk in foot-deep snow).  People with smaller dogs had to carry them around!

The streams are beautiful on snowy days

Jim, Mary and Jack (Cathy took the photo!)
Sledders on the hill

Rosie and Riley greet Mary at the bottom of the hill

Jim managed to do 360s on his way down!

Mary on a speed run (why is that photo not blurry?)

Monday, November 5, 2018

Job Fair, Game Day and Kebobs!

We had a fun-filled afternoon at Elderberry today!  We hosted a "Job Fair" - which was a actually a big party where each of our committees put together "booths" to show what the committee does, and, where needed, to recruit for new members.  For the first hour of the fair, we all walked around to the booths (many of which had fun things to do like quizes, games and tours) and for each booth we visited, we earned a raffle ticket.  At the end of the fair we raffled off a gift card to a favorite local restaurant, and Lucy won!

After everyone had a chance to visit the booths, the fair turned into a game day.  Stewart and Karen were the game masters.  They supplied popcorn and caramel apples, and they set up croquet, table shuffleboard, outdoor Yahtzee and Jenga, and corn hole.  It was a little too windy to put up the badminton net, but the day was perfect otherwise - sunny and cool with the backdrop of fall colors.

After a couple hours of games, Richard started up the grills and we cooked kebobs for dinner.  The event was a great success!

Mike created a display for the Art Committee in our central circle

Joan, who always brings beautiful food, is chairperson of the Hive committee.  
We call our common house the Hive, because it is a beehive of activity.  And she definitely played up the beehive theme!!

Joyce and Karen checking out the Gardening Committee's "booth"
Marj, Joyce and Mary made a new version of our trail map.  We blew it up to put on the wall, and surrounded it with photos of the wildflowers that grow in our woods (along with a label for each that has the common name, scientific name, where to find it in our woods, and when it blooms.

The Infrastructure Committee did a little experiement.... they gathered a sheet of the toilet paper that various homes use and put them in baggies in water to show which brands break down best.  They also provided good info on the Do's and Don't of septic systems, and gave an extra raffle ticket to those who took the septic tour (to learn more about our septic system and drainfield)

We need are recruiting for a chairperson for our Grounds Committee!  For the job fair, Richard and Richard set up a little display and gave an extra raffle ticket to two people who worked together to figure out what the mystery part was.  I still don't know what it is - a mower part maybe?  

Lucy leading Mike, Meg, Barb, Chuck, Diana and Marj on a septic tour

Marj, Barb and Chuck playing table shuffleboard

Joan and Vonda playing Jenga - it's toppling!

The booth for the Work Coordinating Committee shows how all our committees are grouped, and how we organize work.  We do most of the work of the community ourselves, but we hire out mowing, and we may find, depending on how successful our recruiting efforts were at the fair, that we have to hire out a few more things!

Diana is visiting Dave's Internal Website booth, where he gave people a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes work to keep our website and our contact database updated. 

Barb and Chuck enjoying popcorn at the fair - beautiful day to sit on a swing and relax!

Joyce concentrating on getting one more block out of the Jenga tower!

There were lots of corn hole matches!  Richard and Vonda were competing in this one.

Stewart lost the Jenga game when the top of the tower toppled, so he used a little hip action to topple the rest!

Dick, Marj and Nancy enjoying the day
Barb and Chuck try their hand at croquet

Joyce had great form in tossing the Yahtzee dice!

Meg and Rosemarie enjoying the swing

Miles, one of the Elderberry grandkids, checks out the croquet game

Evey, Miles' little sister, learns about corn hole

Time for grilling!  Richard, Chuck and Stewart getting things smokin'

Saturday, October 13, 2018

SOOOOO Much Happening!!

I really should do about 4 blogs this week, but I'm going to cram it all into one!  There has been so much going here at Elderberry!

First of all, we LOVE our new cabin porch and we are now having coffee at the cabin on Tuesday mornings.  Way fun!

AND we have hired a really cool company called Tributary to do a landscaping, erosion control and drainage plan for us.  They started work last week and it's amazing to watch.  Future blogs will show the progress of this site-wide project over the coming months.

And THEN hurricane Michael came through on Thursday and we lost power, so we all had an adventure for a couple of days until the power came back on Saturday afternoon (and probably everyone at Elderberry was in the shower at exactly the same time!).

Following the hurricane we have had a couple of absolutely beautiful fall days, including our workday today.  So here's a sampling from a very crazy week......

Spooky!  Actually, it's just our common house kitchen lit by candles and flashlights during the power outage!  We had a generator running for the fridge.  We had just bought a new whole-house generator to completely run the common house during outages, but it has not been hooked up yet!

Tuesday morning coffee on the new porch of our very old log cabin (we will be removing old siding this year to expose the hand-hewn logs).  We maybe should have made the porch a little bigger!

In addition to coffee at the cabin, there is a group that does tai chi on Tuesday mornings (right after coffee!).  We have a few old but usable barns  - a nice backdrop for tai chi.
The folks from Tributary getting started at the South Quad

Tearing things up with some serious equipment!

They brought in some enormous granite boulders - we couldn't resist playing on them.  Can you tell what Stewart and Karen are doing??

Mary loved the boulders too!

We couldn't believe all the work they did in just two days
Areas being prepared for boulders and for lots of new topsoil

This is as far as they got before the hurricane.  They will be back at it tomorrow!

Jon - painting doors at the common house at today's workday

Karen, Lucy and Ross also finishing up some of the common house painting project

We have a few black walnut trees - and more than a few black walnuts!  Rosemarie, Meg and Anne did a lot of walnut gathering, with Stewart carting them off to the woods.

The ground was littered with walnuts.  
Mary's grandson Miles and granddaughter Evey help gather the walnuts with encouragement from Meg
Pretty cute little walnut picker!

Mary came by to take a photo just as Joyce managed to spill paint.  She was putting a second coat on the common house doors (and on some of her clothes as well)

Mike and Karolyn staining the little bridge over the common house swale.  It look so much better! 

Rosemarie taught Miles and Evey how to pull weeds by the roots.  We always need weeders!