Give to James with Give WP

Tattoo Fundraiser

$85 of $2,500 raised

Yes, this is a little selfish, and yes there are way better things someone could do with their money, but if you want to get in on something that will be a part of me the rest of my life, do read on.

I don’t really spend money on myself. Any extra money goes right to bills or whatever fire comes up,  or whatever the Kids need, followed by the wife.

The idea here is if it’s a gift, I have to. No guilt, and no excuses.

Ideas based on Goals

Full lower left leg

This idea is something I have been thinking about a long time. Would turn my leg into a log with a bunch of toys ’80s left out.  Would get a couple more bugs, termites, ladybug and a cricket. Want to carve some initials of all my wives and more.

Lower back

Want to get a doozers driving a tiny truck dumping trash down my crack. Think about it.

Right Ankle

Traveling companions running around my ankle. All might not fit and open to ideas. Think Alice and Wonderland caucus race

  • Rush
  • Falkor
  • Trolly
  • R2-D2

Small pieces right leg

This would be a small 2×2 inch icons or logos from the past 20 years.

  • First logo sole,
  • Icon
  • A state symbol
  • Shield

Other Options

If you have a great idea or a super dad joke and willing gift its glory to me, I could be down.

Disclaimer: None of these ideas are new and have been thinking about them for years. Not really expecting to receive thousands or even hundreds of monies. Also, this was just for fun.

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Personal Info

Donation Total: $1,200.00

HOA and the Missing Palm tree

Good grass and all trees are alive. The Green circles show the other plants in the yard that we are not worried about for this post. The “Pink” circle show the tree that we are getting fined for.

Our Full sun grass has not made it, but that’s a different post. You can see the 2 trees/bush are still in larger side of my front years. They look find and well keep.

This is the other side of our front yard. As you can see, the tree is not even there. Here is the funny Part, the tree has been gone for more then 3 months. It died over the winter.

Then we started to get the letters.  This is only the last one but as you can see in the images above this is a none isseu(the palm tree).

Its like they did not even look. In fact we thought the first one was an oversight, the secenod one was dumb but the 3rd time and now “threatening” fees… Its sad that they messed up 3 months in a row.

I would like to file a forma complante agents the people incharge of this and really feel that the amout of times this has happened to more then just us, that the person be removed from this role.


Alafaya Woods HOA – Landscaping issues

This is a Work in Progress post, but wanted google to start to index some of this research for the other home owners in Alafay Woods, here in Oviedo, FL.


The following is everything I could find in all the addendums and in the blue book from the HOA since 1985….

4.8 General Landscaping

(Revised 10.03 11)
Exterior maintenance and landscape shall be the responsibility of the property Owner. Failure to maintain the dwelling or the landscaping in a proper manner shall result in the Association issuing a Notice of Violation.
(Refer to Section 5.11)

5.11 Landscaping

(Refer to Sections 4.8 and 8.0)
Landscaping in Florida plays an integral part in the overall appeal of a home and the adjoining neighborhood. Proper landscaping can increase the value of the home and the surrounding homes, just as poorly planned or maintained landscaping can decrease the value of these homes. Homeowners are requested to research available materials and plant growth or consult a professional landscaper. Answering the following questions about proposed landscape changes may be helpful.
(Revised 10.03 22)


1. How large will the planting be when mature?

Many Florida plant varieties can easily triple in size creating a cramped,
overgrown appearance, crowding out sidewalks and driveways. A tree with a dense canopy can create shade dark enough to prevent plant or grass growth underneath. Consult the specialists where plants are purchased to determine how large a specific plant will grow.

2. Will the plant material receive the proper amount of light to grow?

Many nursery plants come with tags that indicate the amount of sun or shade they will tolerate. This is particularly important in Florida because the intense summer sun will quickly kill plants that are not planted in an appropriate location.

3. Can enough supplementary water be provided to keep the plant in proper

Although traditionally Florida gets rainfall every afternoon in the spring and summer, drought conditions have existed. As a result, water has been rationed for landscape purposes. Even though extensive rationing may not currently be in effect, consider whether or not a sprinkler system is needed and the expense for water necessary to supplement rainfall.

4. What are the fertilizer requirements for the plant?

Due to the sandy composition of our soil, nutrients are readily leached from the base of the plant and must be regularly replaced to eliminate a nutritional deficiency in the plant. Healthy, growing plants are better able to withstand disease, drought, and cold temperatures.

5. Can the plant survive a sub-freezing winter night?

Consider the replacement costs of the plant in the event of a harsh winter.

6. Am I willing to work continually on the landscaping or do I want a yard which
requires less maintenance?

Annuals are certainly beautiful and provide much color, but they must be
replaced at least twice a year, and sometimes as often as four times a year.
Many plants require almost constant vigilance to keep pests away. Consider these and other maintenance issues when planning or planting.

5.11.1 Specifications

(a) Creation of a planting bed(s) in excess of 20% of the total front and side yards or 20% of the total unfenced rear yard must obtain prior approval.
(b) Plants must be kept alive and in a healthy condition. Dead or declining
plant material must be removed.
(c) In the front yard areas, a minimum of at least the original builder supplied
plant material must be maintained. Removal of plants to create a barren
view will not be allowed.
Revised 10.03 23
(d) Grass must be kept alive and as free of weeds as possible. It must be
kept mowed, trimmed and edged to create a neat appearance.
(e) Tree removal must receive prior approval from the Board of Directors as well as the City of Oviedo. A tree, which is removed, must be replaced
with another tree.

5.11.2 Applications must include:

  1. A plot plan showing the proposed and existing locations of the materials.
  2. The types and names of the new plant materials, and their anticipated
    sizes currently and at maturity.

8.0 Items Not Requiring Prior Approval

The following items listed do not require approval by the Board of Directors.  All other changes do require prior approval.


Downspouts and gutters, which are painted to match or compliment the color of the house.


Hanging baskets.


Hose reels and/or hangers.


House identification numbers or plaques bearing the occupant’s name providing the size is limited to twelve (12″) inches by eighteen (18″) inches. House identification numbers may be painted at the edge of the driveway near the street providing they are painted using a template no larger than three (3″) inches by eight (8″) inches per number; approved paint colors include white and yellow, and are not glaring in nature.


Landscaping, which occurs within five (5′) feet of the exterior of the house or which does not exceed 20% of the available permeable area and which does not change the grading and/or drainage pattern of the property. Landscaping which occurs totally within the confines of a rear yard with a six (6′) foot high fence and which does not change the grading and/or drainage pattern of the property.
(Refer to Section 5.11)


Edging installed in or around existing beds including aluminum, plastic,
yard timbers, bricks, or concrete edging, providing that the installation does not exceed eight (8″) inches in height and is not a permanent structure, such as a mortared wall.


Low voltage lighting for landscaping.


Curbside mailboxes which are approved for use by the United States
Postal Service.


General repairs made to roofs, driveways, exterior facades and fencing when using materials matching the existing.


Seasonal decorations, providing they are placed and removed within 45 days of the event, and do not create a nuisance for the neighborhood.
(Refer to Section 5.12)


Statuary and fountains not exceeding three (3′) foot in height or three (3′) foot in width, or those which occur totally within the confines of a rear yard with a six (6′) foot high fence and are not visible above the fence.


United States flags displayed from a removable stand on a temporary basis, such as national holidays or wartime. (Refer to Section 5.9)


Vegetable gardens which occur totally within the confines of a rear yard with a six (6′) foot high fence and which does not change the grading and/or drainage pattern of the property. (Refer to Section 5.21)

Download your copy of the Blue Book here!


A list of things we might plant

  • blueberries busses
  • cabbage
  • swish chard
  • kail
  • collard greens
  • rhubarb
  • artichoke
  • asparagus
  • spinach
  • currents
  • marigolds
  • herbs
  • alpine strawberries






The HOA and their harassment volume #1

In March of 2012 we bought a short sale that needed a tremendous amount of work. Our new house was sitting empty for 3 years before we bought it. Since then we have replaced the roof, all new electrical, new plumbing, closed in the loft to make a nursery, replaced half the privacy fence, removed 22 palm trees, replaced all the crushed shell and block with all new sod, but we know why the old owners had all the crushed shell in the front yard…

A note to my neighbors:

First off, this is nothing against anyone personally except the HOA who I feel have been bullying my family for years. I am technically calling people out by listing their house and images, but in the hopes to show the sheer size of the list of people breaking this same rule is enormous. I feel If I’m going to be getting a fee, so should everyone else – not just from my street or my little area, but the whole neighborhood. All or nothing. I’m not expecting anything from this. I just want all of us to be able to live our lives without the worry of a new letter ever other week or so about our lawns, fences, mailboxes, driveways, roofs, etc. There have been months where we have gotten several letters. The funny thing is we get letters that say second notice, but never saw the first. And based on the number of letters they send us, I know they know our address.

The entire time we have lived here it has felt like the Alafaya Woods HOA have been harassing us. I know we not the only one that feels like our HOA has been over-stepping, and I’m willing to say bullying us home owners .

So to my fellow neighbors, I’m not looking to cause problems with you. I do feel our HOA is a bit overreaching, and they should treat everyone the same, and/or they need to chill out and worry about other things than the density of my grass or the angle of my mailbox.

Replace Sod

I would like to stick to one point with this post, but it might be hard.

“This time” the HOA is harassing us on dead spots in our lawn. I went out with a full phone battery and started taking pictures. My investigation consisted mainly of 1 side of one main street “Shafer Trail” and 2 cul-de-sac. One being Leinhart Ct. (Mine) and the other is Teague Ct.(Because it was on the same site as the one sides walking plan.) I did not want to walk back and forth across the street at this time, but if needed am willing to walk every street the HOA manages in the Alfaya Woods subdivision.(Images below of areas walked and full area of HOA)

Around my first pass, there were 64 houses that had worse dead spots than ours. In fact, it would have been easier to count the house that hand perfect laws(6-8 max).

Screenshot 2016-07-19 15.44.05
The Area that I know Our HOA manages.

Screenshot 2016-07-19 15.46.38
The only area I checked for dead spots so far.

I was going to upload all the photos here, but the amount of photos was well over 400, so I’m leaving them in Dropbox, and anyone can take a look. Will be adding some of my favorites to a gallery bellow.

Dropbox Link:

What have I done to help improve their issues:

I have been watering my lawn way more then we are technically allowed. I have added bags grass seed down on 2 separate occasions. I have added a bag of fertilizer to my front lawn. In fact, I have not cut my lawn in almost 2 months to allow the new grass to take. I let the the 2nd round of seed take and then let the grass cycle one seeding on its own to help fill the dead spots.

In fact, my grass seems to be growing so well that the city of Oviedo stopped by to let me know I needed to cut it. I let them know what was going on with the HOA, that the hearing was on the 19, and that I will be happy to trim it on the 20th.

It’s funny how we can get into trouble, told we need to re-sod, and then get told a conflicting instruction by the city that our yard is overgrown. You can’t really have it both ways, or maybe it’s all the new grass seed, fertilizer, and watering we have been doing.

I have receipts for some of the grass seed to show proof of attempting to fix the issue, and you can also ask our direct neighbors Chris, or Jim, who witnessed us doing the yard work.


The Cards are Stacked:

So what’s the main problem with resoding the lawn?

  • To start, our lawn was resoded about 2 years ago.
  • It’s been the hottest it’s been in years and the worst possible time of year to resod your yard based on the experts at Lowes, and Home Depot.
  • My house is facing west at the back of the cul-de-sac. This means it gets full Florida sun all day long.
  • Huge waste of water. Sure I can keep my grass green, but like the above bullet point states, full sun all the time. If I water my lawn every day, it stays nice and full and green. If I water when allowed, it looks brown and maybe a little patchy.
  • The added cost to our water bill. Just like any fees we might get from the HOA, this is flushing money down the drain to uphold some image of perfection.
  • Also, Trying to replace my whole fence. All home improvement money should go there first.
  • My yard is pie-shaped. This means that some of the dead spots are not really mine. (Sorry Chris and Jim…)

Our Lawn

Inside the two pink lines is our property. Dead spots on either side do make my lawn look worse. Sorry, Chris and Jim…

Lawns from around the block

As you can see from the gallery above, our lawn is not nearly as bad as most the houses that I investigated. Personally, I do not have a need to make sure my yard looks perfect. It serves no purpose, and is a waste of resources and a huge waste of water.

Now if the HOA allows me to fill my front yard with raised garden beds, I would replace my whole sod in a hart beat.

Let’s see what they say, meeting is at 7:30 pm July 19th, 2016.

Large Baby Gate for Botton of Stairs

Total cost: Under $50
Time: about a hour

Note: This post is a work in progress. If you have any questions, Let me know in the comments below ;c )

Long Baby gate for bottom of Stairs




more trash
more trash







Long Baby gate for bottom of Stairs

Make sure to attach your eye screws to studs.

This is a working prototype. The softness of the wood the baby gate is made out of has me a little worried. In the future I might add small bolts all the way through the gate.

I’m also going to cut off the lock bar on the back of the 2nd gate. If you leave yours, It make it more adjustable.