A Morning Stroll Through The Cloister

Many mornings I ride my scooter through The Cloister thanks to the speed bumps that were removed and the pathway, along the curbside, through the existing speed bumps.

I am sometimes passed by the speedy walkers that flash by during their morning walk. There are always several dog walkers carrying their plastic doggy bags like all good neighbors should do.

And the morning coolness brings out the wonderful gardeners who treat us all with their beautiful flower gardens and well tended shrubbery.

A neighborhood priest living in The Cloister can sometimes be spotted as he walks down his driveway to pick up his morning newspaper.

Several mornings ago I greeted four nuns from the St Cecelia Convent, located in North Nashville, as they exited a car to visit a Cloister neighbor and mother of one of the nuns.

Beautiful Dominican Motherhouse Tour

I hope everyone is as grateful as I am that we live in such a beautiful community.


The Nearly Invisible Man at The Cloister

Upon our return from a shopping trip yesterday I had an opportunity to say hello again to someone who has been a fixture at The Cloister for almost 10 years.Normantruck

Norman Sullivan is the person who goes from building to building repairing and replacing whatever is necessary prior to the painters following him to paint the outside of the buildings at The Cloister. Norman shows up in early Spring and disappears again in late fall when it’s too cold to work outside. You can recognize him by his little table saw and a pickup truck with boards sticking out of the back.

You might want to wave at Norman when you drive by. Let him know if you are concerned he might miss something that needs fixing on the outside of your unit.

I am very fond of this pleasant person and it’s good to see him back at work this year.Normanatwork

Why I Don’t Attend Cloister HOA Board Meetings

Cloister residents have asked why I don’t attend HOA Board meetings. There are three reasons….

  1. The Board does not tell us in advance what will be covered during the upcoming HOA board meeting.
  2. As the result  residents don’t have the opportunity to comment on the agenda items.
  3. Residents don’t have the opportunity to comment on an issue prior to a vote by the board.

What should be done

Board to Provide a Published Agenda Several Days Prior to HOA Board Meeting

Board to allow an Open Forum at Beginning of Each HOA Board Meeting

Although the law may not require the board to provide an open forum for the unit owners to speak about their concerns, it is the custom and practice of most associations.

Strict time limitations should be imposed by the board (subject to the requirements of applicable law) and these limitations must be enforced. Each unit owner should address the Chair and must speak courteously and to the point.

Board members may question the unit owner about the problem or concern. Other unit owners are not entitled to be recognized or to comment or question the speaker, except with the permission of the board..

Once the open forum period is closed, the unit owners are not allowed to participate and may not seek to be recognized unless the board specifically requests input or information from a particular unit owner. This restriction must be strictly enforced because the purpose of the board meeting is for the board members to conduct business and this cannot be done if there is interference from the unit owners. All disruptions by unit owners must be addressed by the Chair and repeated violators must be removed from the meeting.

Allow Opportunity for Resident Comment Immediately Prior to a Vote on an Issue

A unit owner or a guest may be recognized to speak only if a board member wishes to obtain input from a unit owner and the board agrees. When possible, allowing a unit owner to participate in the deliberations should be done by acquiescence of all board members. Formal voting on the question is only necessary where it appears to the Chair that there is a disagreement.

A Great Way to Meet My Cloister Neighbors

Almost every morning I roll out of the garage in my electric scooter

Me getting my electric scooter serviced....

Me getting my electric scooter serviced….

and ride down Cana. Sienna, Mt Carmel, Miles Court, Emma Neuhoff, and Marquette. Most mornings I wish a “Good Morning” to the regulars in the neighborhood. I can almost feel a wind as the gang of four speedy women rush by on their morning walk. Dogwalkers with one, two, and sometimes three dogs. Most times I will go up St Lukes and get a cup of coffee at West Meade Place on the hill, I have heard it called “Heavens Waiting Room. But my favorite place is the walkway through the small field between Cana and the Jewish Community Center…..

Walkway on Open Field Behind Cana

Walkway on Open Field Behind Cana

This walkway visits three bird sanctuaries, courtesy of the nearby neighbors, and a rickety wood bridgeIMG_0553IMG_0554IMG_0555

Visit there neighbors, you’ll enjoy it.

Pew Research underscores the tech isolation of real seniors


There have been people at The Cloister who told me that “They don’t do computers.”

The majority of real seniors are not online.   The Pew technology survey is up to date – and it is a reflection that tech, training, and perception of benefit have a ways to go with real seniors – aged 75+. Fewer than half (47%) of the 75-79 age group and 37% of the 80+ are online.  And if they were, most do not have broadband access at home. And among the 65+, the song and dance about ease of use of smart phones and tablets is not resonating – 40% of seniors say that physical challenges make some activities difficult – and for those, even fewer go online. And for all the social pressure and media assumptions about online use, non-users do not believe they are at a real disadvantage.

The device divide is striking.  The needle has barely moved since the last Pew survey when it comes to tablets and smart phones. Smart phone device developers and retailers are not smart about selling them to seniors, even those with money and a college education.  Overall adoption among the 65+ for each is still only 18%, and even for those with $75,000 or more in income, only 42% have smart phones. Compare that to the general population with that income level – it is 76%. Ditto with tablets – the needle has not budged – 18% overall of the 65+ own a tablet – and of those with higher incomes, only 39% thought it was worth it.
Training matters – even for Facebook. Seniors worry about the difficulty of emulating what they see – and watching ads does not encourage them. See young people staring down at their phones, swiping to sign in, finding each other near restaurants, listening to smarmy machine-generated voices offering turn-by-turn directions. Arghh – 77% of the Pew senior responders — inclusive of those who already have smartphones and tablets, inclusive of the younger, that is 65-75, age group — believe they will need to assistance to become comfortable with their devices. And that includes (justifiable) worry about Facebook and minimal use of that non-sensical Twitter – even among Internet users – only 24% of those users feel comfortable about using these’‘social media’ tools without assistance.
What’s it mean that the needle hasn’t moved? The 2010 census reported that there are more people age 65+ than at any time in history – 40 million. Yet their technology usage of the latest and greatest is not growing year over year – why?  Seniors can certainly recognize themselves in advertising that targets them – see AARP publications for examples. But the cool devices and social media mavens do not show seniors, do not talk about them, or show any signs of interest in this population.  Is this ageist on the part of tech companies?  Certainly.  Are products still difficult to use in comparison to a mouse and computer? Apparently. Even with training offered by AARP and others, however, we need a better case for why using tablets, smart phones and social media really matters.  Useful to find information when away from the house, unbeatable for connecting in real time and staying current with families, tablets represent the most significant improvement in ease of use in the past 30 years.  Yet seniors aren’t buying into that theory – and according to this survey, they are not buying the devices. What’s your theory?

Using the Official Cloister Website

Part of the official Cloister Website is available to the general public and potential purchasers of a Cloister home. Another part is password protected and available only to residents holding a personal password. The public website looks like this….(Click on the image below)


Once a resident obtains a password the private website looks like this…..
The above page announces yet another $1000 increase in the cost of purchasing a Fee Simple interest in a Cloister Condo home to $16,000, otherwise the menu bar on the left is identical for both public and owner access to the website. Unfortunately if a Cloister owner clicks on the “Financial” section in Documents there is an absence of useful Financial information in that section. A list of available documents is indicated below….

The only report posted in 2014 is a report called the February Summary Report looking like this…….

The above is incomplete and useless. Below is the listing of everything in the Financial section. Please notice that it does not include a 2014 Annual Budget or a useable monthly financial statement for any month in 2014.
Cloister residents deserve better treatment and communication than they are now receiving.
Visit the website and make your own decision….. http://www.cloisteratsthenry.com/

Official Cloister Website Needs Help

Take a look at the following websites….



Compare these to the official Cloister Website….


I understand that one purpose of The Cloister website is to post confidential, password protected information available only to residents…but…. there are several problems.

  1. The website looks identical before or after a resident logs-on.
  2. The front page does more to sell David Floyd and Assoc. than it does to indicate that The Cloister is an attractive place to live.
  3. The front page is completely cluttered
  4. There is a difference in the content we want the public to see and that which is useful to the homeowner

Frankly, I am embarrassed. It doesn’t cost any more to put up an attractive, positive website than it cost to put up the sad thing that represents our Cloister at Saint Henry Condominiums. Today’s websites make a statement about the residents and owners of the condominiums they represent. The total appraised value of The Cloister Condominiums is nearly $40 million. That is not a second class operation. If a potential buyer visits our website he may have second thoughts about buying a property at The Cloister at Saint Henry. I would not be surprised if the shabby website does not lower the value of my home after looking at  http://www.cloisteratsthenry.com/

What do you think?