I have a major gripe (or several)… what’s yours?

Ants!!!  The lil bastages are invading my space!  I’m going to be purchasing some instant grits to cover the ant hills.  I don’t know why it works to get rid of them, but it does.

Uninvited solicitors are another major nuisance.  If I didn’t call them, why are they bothering me?  I know that my driveway needs gravel, but guess what?  It won’t stay there… every time it rains, my gravel ends up in the storm drain at the end of the street… after it has swam through my yard and my neighbors’ yards…

And vacant houses.  Need I say more?

Open Thread: The Out of Town Version

I’ll be out of town starting tomorrow afternoon for about 8 days so am opening this thread for you to talk about what you want to talk about. There will no moderation unless other admins jump in, so if your comment gets lost in la-la land, I apologize.

My open thread start is to thank the chaperones at LaVergne Middle School for keeping my daughter safe on the 8th grade field trip to Washington, DC this week.  It sounds like it was a fantastic time!

What’s on YOUR mind, LaVergne?

Housing Finally Picking Up

On a national level, sales of existing homes was up 5.1 percent in February.  Locally we’ve seen a surge in phone calls.

Buyers are finally starting to take advantage of the crazy low prices (I’ve seen some incredible deals in LaVergne hit the MLS in the last two weeks but no longer talk about other people’s listings ONLINE unless someone specifically asks) and low interest rates.  In addition, first time homebuyers (defined as not having owned a home in the past three years) are looking again so they can get the $8,000 tax credit on their 2009 taxes.

What does the tax credit mean?  If you buy a home for at least $80,000 (and haven’t owned one in the last three years), you will receive a 10 percent tax credit (up to the $8000) when you file next year.  If you owe – for example – $2000 in taxes you will get back a $6000 refund.  If you are set to receive $1000 refund, you’ll get $9000.  Pretty sweet, huh? If you want to know more, call your agent or lender. If you don’t have an agent, call or text you-know-who. :)

I’ll be heading out of town all next week so if anyone wants to volunteer to help write to keep This is LaVergne chugging, please let me know.  I welcome guest writers.  You just have to keep it clean and use good judgement.  Shoot me an email (lavergneblog at gmail dot com) or comment below.  (I hope that’s the right email…)

Who’s running around with a U-haul trailer??

Hi TiLaV! Long time no see! Sorry I’ve been absent for so long…you can catch up with what’s been going on with me over at my regular blog here.

What I’m kinda freaked out about today is that while I was scrubbing the baseboards and washing the walls…yes, I’ve lost my mind since being out of work…anyways, during this the Sunny dog suddenly started barking her “Danger Will Robinson! Danger! Danger!” bark and standing at attention at the living room window, so naturally I peeked out to see what was going on.

I saw a white pick up truck, tinted windows, pulling a U-Haul trailer, you know, this kind

sm_uhaul_trailer1

So the truck was pulling this thing, circling my cul-de-sac       s-l-o-w-l-y    then pulled into the driveway two doors down. That’s when I stepped out onto the front porch to make myself visible and as I did that, the truck backed out of my neighbor’s driveway and zipped out  of our cul-de-sac.

Now I suppose that they may very well have just been lost…but something in my gut tells me otherwise. It just seemed odd that the only driveway they pulled into is the one with no cars in the driveway or dogs in the window…

So I just wanted to make you guys aware so you can be on the lookout for your homes and your neighbors homes too. You never can be too safe these days.

Brainstorming for the City

You know how sometimes a passing suggestion can germinate into a full grown idea?  I’ve continued to consider what LaVergne can do to 1.) Improve its reputation, and 2.) Help itself out of the housing slump.  I’ve had another brainstorm which I wrote about over at Shak & Jill today.   UPDATE: Let me add I’m talking about offering these incentives to people buying foreclosures or other hard-to-sell homes. Here’s an excerpt,

Here are more suggestions that I’d offer to *owner occupied* homes (I wouldn’t do this for investors looking to rent back out because you want to build a sense of community):

  • Waive the water bill (up to $100 p/month) for a full year.
  • Waive the sewer bill for a full year.
  • If the city has a wellness center, offer free membership for the family for six months.
  • If a family moves with children, offer a $25 voucher toward the little league or soccer team for either sign-up fees or food during the events.

Can you imagine the fantastic publicity we could earn for these types of efforts?  A community garden (which my Girl Scout troop is thinking of as a project to earn their Silver Award)! Waiving fees for owner-occupied homes!  And I still think we can rezone allowing for part of our residential areas to house boutique-like pockets of commercial (art studios, dance, music, cafe, etc.).   City officials I ask you, what can we do to help move us in this direction?

A Garden Party

There’s a Friday trend in the online community of posting “Feel Good Friday” videos of songs, music that make you happy.  I just plucked a title of a song that makes me happy instead for this post.

A couple of weeks ago – and I think it was in the post about gang issues escalating – commenters tossed around ideas to keep kids busy.  I wrote that I’d love to see a community garden spot for residents.  I wanted to expand on that somewhat because I think it really could be a good thing.

Years ago we had a big garden spot at work.  There was about an acre that was plowed and someone went out and subdivided the acres with markers and string.  Each plot was then numbered and we signed up for a spot with the company receptionist.  There were all kinds of beautiful things that grew that summer – squash, green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, flowers.

gardenarkDuring this recession, I think this could be a huge way to generate some positive publicity for the city of LaVergne AND it could help people put food on their tables.  This could also be a way for us to actually have a mini farmers market… if people have too many veggies they could set up a table once a week to informally sell their excess.

What would be needed?  Someone to donate some land for temporary use.  Someone to till the land.  Someone to divide the plots.  And a place to sign up for and receive your plot number.  The rest of the work would be on the shoulders of the people who’ve taken advantage of such an opportunity.

I don’t know where it could be located, but there are others who’ve lived here much longer than me and have many more connections who could share some ideas.   What do you think?

Photo from when I lived in Arkansas as a child. That was my parents’ garden. That’s me in the back with my mouth open. Things don’t change much, do they?  :)

Did Someone Almost Rob You?

In what I thought was a completely bizarre story, the LaVergne police are looking for two people – victims of a robbery attempt.  After the attempt, they didn’t go to the police but witnesses reported the incident to the police after they pulled up at the ATM and scared the would-be robbers off.

So why wouldn’t someone report a crime?  In my brain, it seems like it would be the FIRST thing I did – call 911!   So why wouldn’t they report it?  Fear?  Hiding something? One commenter wrote that the almost-victims might be afraid of gang activity and retribution.  Really?  Pssshhh.