Thursday, February 23, 2017

Idle Hands

Popping up on my facebook page Wednesday -- two days after the holiday, the following sign was just too hilarious not to share.

Having suffered no after effects from Pizza Tuesday, it’s been business as normal, except no needlepoint as I wait for the aida cloth to arrive.

Apart from when I’m sitting in meditation, I become restless when I’m not doing something with my hands, so I've been getting back into ancestry to while away the time.

I signed up late last year and quickly lost interest after learning:

1)      In addition to Nigerian, Mali, Senegal and Congo, my Native Indian heritage is much lower than I was led to believe (only 2%).
2)     Also, contrary to family belief of Irish blood, there is 0% chance of that, BUT
3)     There’s 9% Scandinavian.

Inasmuch as my body has no tolerance for cold weather, I found THAT hard to believe, questioned accuracy of the test, and was done – even though Apache informed me only one eighteenth is necessary to qualify for Native American benefits.

Records are required to verify that lineage and, other than a photo shown to me the one time I came in contact with anyone from my father's side, even him -- at his funeral, of their Black Great Grandfather standing besides their Choctaw Cherokee Great Grandmother, that’s all the info I have, and had no interest in delving further into it.

So, after the initial thrill of the results, I was done with the site until, with nothing else to do, I logged in the other afternoon and saw a match had reached out to ask how we’re connected -- it’s from the father’s side, but difficult to pinpoint precisely who.

From there, just to keep myself busy, I've been giving tree building a try, found a population schedule listing my mom at 12 years of age, but building a tree is complicated, frustrating, and has the potential of becoming expensive – with monthly charges for access to this, monthly charges for access to that. So I think I’m over this ancestry thing and will just quietly sit here, catching up on recorded television programs, occasionally looking out the patio window, watching grass grow.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Into the Wild

Car started up right away yesterday, no cranking sound.

According to the manual, the car is equipped with “Battery Rundown Protection”, which means that when lights are left on, the system will automatically turn the lamp off after 20 minutes. So knowing the car did not sit for two days, lights on, draining the battery, I stopped worrying about getting to the dealer and will take my chances on making it to the next regular service.

Yesterday did dry up outside and was off/on fairly nice, but a little chilly when I made it out. So, instead of walking around the University, I drove to the PokéStops I depended upon before discovering the University. One such stop displayed a hilarious sign.

After this morning’s rituals (BBB, except I skipped the biking because I was going to need that energy elsewhere), I headed down into the wilderness the Community Room becomes on Pizza Day, arriving early at 9:45 for the 10:00 delivery.

Expecting feeding time at the zoo -- crazed wild beasts ready to attack, grab as soon as pizzas came through the door, I was met by only two residents – one of which was the guy who’d had a pizza snatched from his hands.

After telling him I was happy he was giving it a second chance, I began wondering -- did I scare everyone off last week?

Turns out not. Taking a cue from last week's late delivery, residents began trickling in around 10:30 -- minutes after the Activity Director herself delivered the pizzas.

She’d rearranged her schedule to handle the pickup/delivery because she’d heard so much from management and residents about the chaos that she wanted to “see it for myself”; plus she wanted the delivery to be on time.

Of course, this would be the day residents weren't already seated, at the ready, so Activity Director saw none of the behaviors she’d been advised of happening last week, the week before that, the week before that.

At any rate, as soon as she’d made the delivery and took off, here they came. But it was nice this time.

Pizzas, bread sticks, chicken were already on the table, there wasn't a mass of residents converging on the tables at one time so, after signing in, folks leisurely picked out what they wanted.

I didn’t even have to use my 1 Per Person labels.

Those who wanted one or two or three, saying they were picking up for someone else who supposedly could not come down, I asked they sign in FOR that person (name and unit number).

No one had a problem with it.

This morning was easy peasy … fun even.

The idea of Pizza Day had me craving since last week. So yesterday, following an almond meal crust recipe found in a Wheat Belly Cookbook, I sauced the crust with tomato puree, added a topping of roasted mushrooms, onions, cherry tomatoes, jalapeno, turkey pepperoni, and cane up with a pizza my sensitive stomach wouldn’t rebel at.

Satisfying and delicious it was.

Tasted even better when, at 12:15, I signed off wilderness duty, went back to my unit and reheated a slice for lunch.

On tap for remainder of the day?

Well, since there will be no needlepoint until I receive the aida in the mail, I'll take a little indoor bike ride, then work on my Ancestry tree.

I have to always be doing something, and I was so excited last night when I found a population schedule listing my mom when she was 12 years old. I've also heard from someone who thinks she might be a niece on my father's side -- the side I know little about.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Happy President’s Day

Or … depending on which side of the fence you stand, Happy Not My President’s Day.

Today I choose just to be happy the fact today IS a holiday did not escape my attention -- as the last two holidays did, because “holiday” means the university is closed to classes and, depending on weather and car battery, the campus today becomes my PokéBall collecting grounds.

Of course, it rained again last night, so outside is not inviting; but it’s early still -- only 6:00 in the morning, so there’s a chance the sun will come up, dry everything out.

I’ve not been in the car since Saturday, so I don’t know status of the battery.

I can’t get to the dealer until Wednesday and, if I do need a new battery, I’m looking at $250 (which is what I paid last time I replaced the battery, on top of the recent $1300 for shocks) because, inasmuch as Saturns are no longer in production, parts are scarce and pricey.

Or so I am told.

Whatever the cost, I am not inclined to budget any of that windfall towards a new car because I like what I’m driving – it’s a practical nondescript car, and my preference in all areas of life is to not stand out too much, be invisible even.

In fact, when I bought this car, I was looking for something no one would want to jack or steal. I asked my daughter about the Saturn I was leaning towards and she said, “Ma, no one will want that dorky car”.



The downstairs neighbor moved out yesterday.

Total surprise, as she’s only been here since the latter part of May last year.

She seemed friendly, but I never got to know her well because she was never here. Even so, I’ll miss her … because she was never here, which left me not having to be careful about having my television on too early in the morning, too late at night, too loud or careful of any other activity that would disturb the neighbor underneath my unit.

And when I say never here, I mean never ever.

In the ten months she’s been occupant of that unit, she’s been in it not more than half a dozen times.

Made one wonder and caused me to recall that, back in the days, when I was dating the cop who later became my husband, father of my girls, I was basically living with him. However, in order for him not to get fired, for what the department deemed “moral turpitude”, we had to maintain separate addresses so no one would know we were living in "sin", which everyone knew, but the department would be hard pressed to prove. Consequently, I took a little apartment, kept some clothes in it, visited about once-a-month just to check on things or when I needed time away from him.

The world being so different now, as to what is proper, I’m thinking the neighbor’s reason for not being here has nothing to do with my reason but is travel related. She looked to be the tough strong capable adventurous type so, because of her appearance, I began thinking she might be a long haul trucker, not a flight attendant.

At any rate, she’s outta here and hopefully the quad’s good energy will attract another drama-free non-complainer. Some nice-looking testosterone would be appreciated, as we already have sufficient estrogen in the quad.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

After the Storm

That was some night we had yesterday.

Watching the Storm Watch Channel, I felt so lucky, so blessed, to be where I was – snug as a bug in a rug, because this area wasn’t hit anywhere near as hard as others.

The evacuations, hillsides collapsing -- taking homes with them and, if not taking the home, sending a river of mud inside, got me thinking again about why it’s not a good idea to lock myself into ownership … anywhere, even though rents have become outrageous … everywhere. People sink their life savings into ownership and poof, everything they have is gone in an instant through an Act of God.

It’s a little overcast right now, so we may be in for more of yesterday later on, but it was so nice outside earlier that, once again feeling my energetic, fast moving, easy breathing, indoor bike riding self, I decided to go for a long drive -- to Redlands for aida cloth to start my new cross stitch project, with lunch at Souplantation after.

The car gave me a weird cranking sound when I started her up. I noticed a big green headlight in the middle of the console and a tool and oil can symbol lit up.

It can’t need service already. I said to myself.

Hasn’t been that long since the last.

As for that green headlight, I pulled out the manual and it indicated the high beams were on.

Oh oh, thought I. That cranking sound is probably the battery getting ready to die on me because why? Did I leave the lights on? When did I even turn them on?

I don’t know. Maybe when I washed the car last week, I somehow hit the switch.

The lights were not on when I got IN the car.

That green thing didn’t show up until I turned on the ignition, so maybe, when the car was off, the battery wasn’t being drained.

At any rate, under the circumstances, I decided I’d better stay in the area until one of two things happens – the battery does die and I have to call for a jump to get to the dealer OR I get the time, and a nice sunny day, to drive out to the dealer and have them check the battery.

Not taking the chance of getting stranded miles from home on a day when tow service might be slow because surrounding areas are still in chaos from last night's storm, and another might start, I drove only to Starbucks, returned to the complex and ordered the aida online.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Energy Vampires, The Aftermat

My Route 66 indoor biking medal arrived in the mail yesterday.

It’s a good thing I qualified for tomorrow’s Valentine 5K earlier in the month, because another rain storm is predicted for today and tomorrow. In addition to which, there is no way I currently have energy enough for a 3.12 mile walk.

Evidently, I wasn’t as fully recovered from the Energy Vampires as I originally thought when I awoke yesterday because, after that post, I quickly found myself still moving slower than usual, breathing hard still and it took me until 12:30 to pull myself together and get out to manage a trip to Starbucks, then Walmart to pick up a frame for Michonne and a just released Madea Boo Halloween DVD.

By 2:00, I was burned out and had to dispense with the next item on my todo list -- the market.

Instead of groceries, I headed home and, after checking mail, lay flat on the couch again.

In the morning, before heading out, I had a phone conversation with the Activity Director.

Refraining from reporting the seniors had sucked the life out of me, I filled her in on what worked, what did not work, who was offended, what they were offended by, etc.

She’s going to issue an attachment to the March Activity Calendar explaining what the sign-in sheet is for… that the program requires verification she’s doing her job and pizzas are going to residents not employees.

She’s going to work on getting three others to police the event on a rotating basis, but said it will “take some time”.

You bet it will take some time. I’ll be very surprised if she can round up even one other.

Activity Director is also going to pay a visit to the guy who had a pizza snatched from his hands, apologize for what happened to him and invite him to come back. If he knows who the woman is, she’s going to have a talk with her as well, telling her behavior like that will get her banned from the Community Room.

You go girl!

I like this Activity Director. She’s made some dumb mistakes – mainly because she didn’t know a thing about event planning, but she’s learning and I like her, otherwise I’d not be putting myself out there for her.

The storm hasn’t hit us yet so, on tap for today is another try at the market before this morning’s energy peters out. Hope I don't run into any Girl Scouts because I'm too weak now to say no -- when energy is low like this, I always turn to sugar.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Energy Vampires

Sitting for close to three hours in the Community Room on Pizza Tuesday caught up with me that evening. Feeling a little tired, not able to keep my eyes open, I was in bed asleep by 8:30.

Slept straight through, but woke up yesterday morning completely devoid of energy.

My body felt like it weighed a ton.

Having difficulty lifting my feet off the ground, I literally dragged myself through the morning ritual -- moving slow, frequently holding onto walls, counters, whatever was available to keep myself upright. Even getting sufficient breathe into my lungs was a struggle.

Not a single solitary productive thing was accomplished the whole entire of yesterday. I spent the day on the couch, mostly lying flat on my back.

Back in October, I’d blogged about Dick Stuphen’s book entitled “Unseen Influences”. The reader’s digest version of the book is that there are people, places and things that have good and bad influences on our physical, mental, emotional well being. Stuphen refers to those people, places, and things as Energy Vampires.

Relating to people, it’s generally immature folks who, thinking the world revolves around them or owes them, suck the life out of those so unwise as to spend time around them.

That was me on Tuesday … unwise. Not realizing -- with a few exceptions, I was in the presence of energy suckers, I’d stayed too long in the greedy grabby unappreciative resentful atmosphere and it sapped the life out of me.

Fully awake at 2:35 this morning, other than beginning my day way too early, I’d completely recovered.

Maybe it was recognizing where the energy drain came from that enabled me to reset so quickly -- maybe it was resting all day yesterday, whatever the cure I’m back and ready for Round 2.

Will be interesting to see if the experience is more positive next week or yet another drainer.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Pizza Tuesday

Policing the event was not too terrible awful, not totally fun either. Let’s just say Pizza Tuesday was a tolerable assignment … one that, because of ungrateful old people with bad attitudes, I can’t see continuing for much longer.

First off, having been told to be in the Community Room at 10:00 to accept delivery, I was in place around 9:45.

Pizza did not arrive until 11:20 and “delivery” was Maintenance Supervisor and his assistant driving over to Pizza Hut, picking up the pizzas, bringing the boxes back to the Community Room.

It didn’t look like the guys minded handling the delivery, but I don’t think they appreciated being bum rushed by the old people, who couldn’t control themselves until the guys brought everything in ... about 40/50 pizzas, hot wings, garlic breads spread out over three tables.

If I’d not been so busy trying to slap “1 Per Person” labels onto boxes, as the seniors attacked one or the other of the three tables like wild beasts, I’d have recorded the happening.

Apache was in the Community Room when I arrived to, as he put it, “protect you if things got ugly”, had taken a set of labels and helped me, otherwise I couldn’t have kept up with slapping labels on with the rate of grabbers.

I was expecting residents to balk at signing-in as having attended, but fortunately I’d passed the sign-in sheet around BEFORE the pizza arrived and Apache and The Baker helped me by speaking up to folks as they entered the Community Room, telling them to “sign in” before I could say it, which took some of the dirty looks off me.

No one said anything directly to my face about having to sign in, but I did get feedback from a male resident who’d not attended, didn’t know I was involved, that residents are complaining about having to “sign for the pizzas”.

I explained, hoping he'd pass it along, they were not "signing for pizzas", they were signing as attending the event -- just as we do with ALL events, so Activity Director can justify her position AND, in this case, can keep the donation program going.

He looked skeptical.

I asked why he himself hadn’t attended.

He said he’d attended last week and it was a mad house -- much like what I observed this morning, only worse because he said he’d looked through a lot of boxes before he found what he wanted – pepperoni, and a female resident snatched it right out of his hands.


He went on to say, what the woman did was so rude that he went to the office about the incident, and was told “You’re a man, she’s a woman” whatever that meant. So now he’s upset, angry, did not attend this morning and will not attend Pizza Tuesday ever again.

I expect some are so offended about signing-in and the 1 Per Person labels that they too won’t attend again either.

If the program gets dropped due to lack of attendance because folks are offended, fine by me -- I’m not interested in the pizza and my time will be my own again.

Thankfully, the Community Room television was back on. Plus, just yesterday, I’d finished the needlepoint project begun in May of last year, and used this morning’s down time to set up for my new project.

Completed: Walking Dead Chic with a Sword .. Michonne

Next: Native American Still Life

So anyway, as bad as this morning looked to me, insofar as behaviors, I gather it was better than last week.

Most honored the 1 Per Person labels.

There were three however who could have cared less.

One insisted she ALWAYS bring back a pizza for her neighbor, because neighbor was in school.

She kept following me around rationalizing … “She’s in school”.

I said it wasn’t my saying 1 Per Person, it was the Activity Director, so take it up with her.

When all was said and done, the woman walked out with 2 of everything and the friend she brought with her, a woman I’d never seen before, walked out with 3 of everything.


There was another older woman, on a walker, trying to rush out the door so we’d not see her dangerously balancing two or three.

Everyone saw.

Everyone was worried she’d not make it. So worried that several volunteered assistance.

She declined.

I think she was embarrassed to be seen absconding with so much loot.

One woman who did not put up a fuss was a woman I am told brought one of those rolling shopping carts to last week’s Pizza Tuesday and filled the cart up.

She brought the cart with her this time as well, saw the labels and stopped at one of everything.

Will I police Pizza Tuesday next week?

That’s up to the Activity Director.

I’ll report back to her that chatter is residents are insulted they had to “sign for pizza”, that delivery was late and that, of the 40/50 pizzas delivered, there were a few remaining when I left at 12:15.

Inasmuch as there are leftovers, she might as well just let people take however many they want.

I’ll also mention she might check with the maintenance men to see how they feel about being bum rushed.

I personally don't think the event, and these ungrateful fussy old folks, are worth the energy, but if Activity Director wants me to police next week, then sure, I'll do it for her.