MARCH 2006

Affording Home Ownership
Sort of a funny sounding phrase isn’t it. One might immediately think, since I can afford the payments on a home, I can afford to own a home. But there’s far more than monthly payments that determine the ability to afford a home. What about home insurance, taxes and routine repairs? And when energy prices are as high as they have been this winter, what about utility costs? All of these are necessary elements of home ownership. And, since most of these extra expenses are requirements, they are prioritized accordingly. But home repairs…those are the things that are sometimes considered to be expenses that can be delayed. But can we really afford to put off the maintenance of our homes? For most of us our home is our single, largest investment. As such, it is certainly in our best interest to stay current on maintenance and even be proactive to prevent more expensive repair problems. Yet, we sometimes tend to wait. This tendency in all of us to delay some necessary expenses is why lenders require us to carry insurance on our homes and automobiles. It’s also why we do annual inspections in Johanna Woods. Replacing a broken window or torn screen is not terribly expensive. But, there are so many other things that can be done with those dollars. Staying current on home maintenance is one of the things that keeps us from looking like a “trailer park”. It’s also a big part of being able to “afford” home ownership!

Living Securely
Well, winter is almost over and increased daylight hours result in increased activity on our streets. Sadly, not all of that activity is legal. Each year we hear reports of stolen bicycles and other mischief. With that in mind, here is a tip that might keep you from “losing” a bicycle. Always put a secure lock on your bicycle, whether you will be gone for a few minutes or a few hours. The best kind is a U-lock that will secure a wheel and the frame to something stationary, such as a tree, fence post or porch rail. You can also mark your bicycle with an engraver to make it easier to identify. We have an engraver in the office. Just bring your bicycle by and we will do this for you. Most crimes are crimes of opportunity. If the opportunity can be reduced or removed, so is your risk of becoming a victim!

Chocolate Lover Cooks Corner
4 Layer Chocolate Delight
Ingredients: Serves: 10 to 12
1 cup flour

1 stick margarine, softened
1/2 cup chopped pecans

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar

1 large Cool Whip topping
1 large pkg, chocolate instant pudding
Milk, per pudding mix instructions for a pie

Directions:
Combine the flour, margarine and chopped pecans and spread in the bottom of a normal size cake pan. Bake at 375∫ for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. For the second layer, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1 Cup of cool whip. Spread over the completely cooled crust. For the third layer, prepare the chocolate pudding per the package directions and spread over the cool whip/cream cheese layer. Top with cool whip for the last layer and sprinkle a few chopped pecans on the top for an attractive garnish if desired. Chill for a couple of hours prior to serving and enjoy! Since the main ingredient is pudding, you can substitute any pudding flavor you want, which makes this a very versatile dessert. Sad to think of this wonderful dish in any flavor except chocolate though! Thanks to our Assistant Manager, Teresa, for this wonderful recipe. It’s a good one!

Is the Tax Deadline Closing in on You?
Don’t sweat it! One of our neighbors is here to help! Bette Lu Foster is a tax accountant. She can help. Give her a call at 286-8672.

Watching Out For Johanna Woods
The increased building going on all around us is generally a good thing for Johanna Woods. However, it can also bring an increase in problems. More houses and families means more pets that can roam the area. If the housing additions across the street are not yet part of the city limits they will not be subject to the same animal control ordinances we are under. Keep this in mind before you set trash out too early. New families mean more children roaming the area as well. As parents, we should all know who our kids are playing with. We have had several incidents over the last few years of vandalism and mischief that occurred as a result of young guests in our community. As residents of Johanna Woods, we must all look out for each other and our community. Let’s keep our eyes and ears open and work to keep our community a safe and friendly place for all residents to live.

A Note About Trash Days
We have always asked our residents not to set their trash out at the curb until the morning it is to be collected. There are several reasons for this, but the best one is that we are surrounded by woods; where raccoons, opossums and all kinds of critters live. Even coyotes! Additionally, there are stray dogs and cats that roam through our community regularly. If there is anything in your trash that would provide a midnight snack for one of these nocturnal animals, there’s a good chance your trash will be all over your yard and the street by morning. Please make sure that all small and loose trash is set out in bags that are secured at the top. And then set these bags out in the morning-not the night before. Thanks for your help with this!

Free Dump Day…but only for Johanna Woods!
Just in time for Spring cleaning! We will have a free dump day for our residents. Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 25th and you can bring all that “stuff” you don’t need down and get rid of it! The storage yard will be open from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm for your cleaning convenience. We can take almost anything, just not these items: liquids, tires, old fireworks, chemicals or any type of explosive!

Johanna Woods Neighbor Makes Jewelry
One of our neighbors, Ron Wendland, has begun making jewelry. If you are interested in checking out what he has to offer, you can reach him at 355-2243. He can make simple pieces at far more affordable prices than you will find in most jewelry stores. And he can get any gemstone you want. Call 355-2243 to see samples or get a quote.

Yard Sale Anyone?
If you would be interested in participating in one, please call the office. We will try to schedule one for April if there is enough resident interest!