November 27, 2012

Back Again ~ City Hall Chapter II

It was a lovely day, that was until City Hall made a return call to our tranquil little farm. A year had gone by since they had last visited us. 

That was an annoyingly memorable time. City Hall had caused a sizable commotion about our keeping wild, exotic animals on our little farm. If you missed that drama scene, please give City Hall a click.

Before launching into their next escapade, I'd like to say that we really do live in a peaceful area. If I were to write an advertisement it would be something like this:  a picturesque equestrian community with over twenty-two miles of horse trails surrounded by beautiful trees and farms.

Katie checks horse trail

Just the word "farm" is unusual for this part of Southern California. This is the land of housing developments, California glitz mini-mansions and the ever present freeways, which equals traffic.

However, we are all lucky our unique horse-y community even exists. It was designed for equestrians nearly fifty years ago when cows and sheep were wandering the fields and tucked away in the distance were horse farms.  That was us ... then.

However, times have a-changed.  

City Hall had recently hired this young lady, given her a badge and put her in charge of "those farms" She threw herself into the job and set about to find out just what we do on a farm and what about all those animals!

Now, I knew who had caused all our problems with City Hall the year before and why they didn't know anything about animals. 

And here "she" was, again.  This time I was expecting her. The word had traveled far and wide as many farm friends locked their gates and posted signs to keep her at bay.

As for our not green acres, we were in the middle of house demolition on the property we had recently bought. We didn't have gates to lock.  We didn't have a doorbell and the front door was a piece of plywood. Now that was to be a problem. 

We were in the middle of our destruction work when I heard a knock on the "wall" and saw this young official walking through the house. She had a clip board in hand.

Her purpose was to go from farm to farm taking inventory of the animals, what kind they were, how many we had and why. She also needed a tour of all facilities.

We didn't even have facilities, yet, except for the horse barn which, of course, was repaired/restored/rebuilt before our house.  It's a matter of priority ... horses first.

From the top of my ladder, I told little Missy to please leave and make an appointment sometime next year. 

After her third try for a tour of our farm and to count our animals, I requested that she give me her official list of rules and inventory sheet. I would have it ready for her to pick up... later. Surprisingly she obliged. (I think she remembered our meeting the year before.)

Now, with the mysterious list of rules in hand, we called a "meeting of the farms". We learned that we would be allowed to have up to 3 horses, 6 chickens and 2 unclassified. If a farm had 2 goats, that counted as 1 horse. In that case, you only were allowed 2 horses. Tell that to my friends who had two goats and loved their 4 horses for over a decade and had ridden the trails as a family.

City Hall found out ... you don't want to upset horse owners. Adjustments were made and residents were allowed to "grandfather in" all their current animals for life. Upon the demise of said horses, the owners would be subject to the limitation rules.

Now, get this: we were all allowed to fill in the inventory list of our animals and mail it to city hall. A farm inspection remained a possibility.

Since we were not required to take photographs of our animals, it was obvious that all "grandfathered" horses would now live to be 65 years old. With the loss of a horse, a new one could arrive on the weekends when offices were closed.

Also, thinking ahead, more animals were listed than actually lived on our farms. One never knew what creatures we might like to have in the future, so they were added to the current animal list, just in case.

We are an honest bunch around here, no really we are. But if my friend wants another pony she should have it.  And if I want 2 Canada geese and 8 chickens I should have them.  We are reasonable and responsible. We don't want to feed more than ... we can feed.

We were all a team and it worked. The City finally gave up on controlling and inspecting our farms, our animals ... and us. The girl and her clipboard are gone and the animal inventory list has ceased to exist. 

As Harry Truman said: If you can't convince them, confuse them.

We are all  back to living happily with our animals, enjoying our farms and the peaceful life.

With a little effort ... life really can be great! Of course, I'm trusting City Hall won't be calling, again, soon.

November 25, 2012

Sunday Stills ~ Animals In Black and White

The big boy in our barn.

Always gentle, always kind …

Be sure
to visit Sunday Stills for inspiring photographs.

November 20, 2012

Wishing You All ...

To all my wonderful friends in Blogville
wishing you and your critters
a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!