"First, several years ago there was a giant ice storm in Dallas overnight. A large tree fell in my backyard around 3 a.m. under the weight of the ice and knocked my fence down leading into the alley.

At 6 a.m., I had a notice on my door:

'Dear homeowner,

HOA rule 102.4 requires all owners to have a fence in their backyards between the yard and the alley. You are in violation of the rule and are required to attend a violation hearing at the next HOA meeting to discuss penalties and potential resolutions.'

Me: 'What the heck?! It fell over last night!'

I called the HOA to figure out what was going on. Evidently there was no leeway. No fence was no fence. So I sued the HOA, the president of the HOA individually, and the chief enforcement officer individually for violating several state laws. They tried to back down. I refused until the entire HOA board agreed to resign and sign a permanent injunction against ever being on our HOA again.

Second, our HOA requires us to keep our lawns trimmed. Most HOAs do. Mine takes it to a new level, or used to anyway.

There was a little old lady with a golf cart the HOA had provided. EVERY SINGLE MORNING she drove around the neighborhood, stopping at every house to measure the grass. She wrote the heights in a little notebook. We weren't allowed to have more than a 200 percent variance from low to high or we got an automatic citation. Everyone hated this woman.

Then she died from old age, about two years ago. To date, no one has agreed to become the next grass enforcement officer."