Thursday, September 29, 2016

National Coffee Day

After two nights of sleeping straight through, another day without borders – yesterday all to myself, and considerable progress having been made on that Red Team PokémonGo Trainer jacket for Halloween, I was ready to brave the weather and other people’s chi energy today, National Coffee Day.

Deciding to bypass Krispy Kreme’s free glazed doughnut and free 12-ounce cup of coffee, hoping to run across new and different Pokémon than are available in my area, I drove 12 miles to the Starbucks in Redland’s Citrus Plaza.

Nothing free there. Their offer was “for every cup of México Chiapas coffee you buy, Starbucks will donate a coffee tree to help a farmer's future”.

Having never heard of México Chiapas before, I gave it a try and couldn’t really tell the difference from the every-day blend.

As for new and different Pokémon, I did come across one new, earning 500 points versus the 100 points for recaptures, and a few “different” types I needed more of but could not find locally.

So, all in all, it was worth the drive.

Assemblying the jacket for Halloween went rather quickly after I finally got the proportions correct. All that’s left to do is to put in the zipper and add some top stitching.

Now that I see it up close and personal, the design reminds me of something from the past – a 1960/1970 car hop uniform perhaps or a jockey’s uniform? Looking at the picture on the pattern, I’m even reminded of 1960 Stewardess uniforms.

I dunno???

Maybe it’s just me because, reaching Level 894 of Candy Crush this morning, I thought it looked like Donald Trump.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Second Time’s the Charm

Even though I went to bed early last night (10 p.m.), and found myself wide awake at 12:45 a.m., the exhausted feeling of the day before was gone.

Sometimes being around other people, no matter whom they are, can drain a body. So, being successful in erasing the border yesterday, in that I had time alone to myself – did not go anywhere, see anyone, did me a world of good.

Though I wasn’t my usual high-energy self today, due to last night’s sleepus interruptus, which was the result of an angry gut, I’d managed to fall back asleep around 3:00, slept until 7:00, and had sufficient energy to get out, get gas, coffee, run by Home Depot for cleaning products, and Joanns for more fabric.

I’m finding that the older I get, the fewer foods I can eat without a resulting upset stomach. Anything with wheat or soy as an ingredient is off the list, and now it appears the gut doesn’t like turkey dogs, so they too are off the list.

The trip to Joanns for more fabric was necessitated by a huge mistake I made with the fabric previously purchased for the Halloween Costume.

When the pattern arrived in yesterday’s mail, I was so excited to get started that I immediately pinned the pattern to the fabric and cut without double checking  the pattern measurements at bustline.

Once I’d stitched the back to the right front/left front and tried on for fit, it became clear the pattern should have been expanded.

It’s just a costume, thought I, doesn’t have to be perfect. So thinking about how the designers on Project Runway solved similar problems with a “Make it work moment” of adding panels, I took the work apart and began adding fabric to the sides and shoulders.

Without a dress dummy, as they have on Project Runway, it was a tedious process; and being as how I’m a bit of a perfectionist and the tediousness was getting to me, I decided to head to the fabric store this morning to repurchase fabric and begin again.

The decision to make the costume, rather than purchase, was based on budget; but, at this rate, doesn’t look like there’s much savings involved. However, the second try is coming out nicely.

Expecting lots of interest in today’s 3:00 Residents/Management meeting – the first since Nurse Ratched was escorted off the premises, wanting to get a good seat for the show, I headed down to the Community Room at 2:30.

Met the new Complex Manager.

She’s young. Younger than the Assistant Manager, but seems nice, friendly, smiles, not all stuck up and full of herself as Nurse Ratched was, and said what she had to say without threats and lies, so it’s looking good.

Not much else new was discussed except, by year’s end, we will not have to pay for carport parking.

I declined to hoop and holler with others in the room at this announcement. Those approving the change are probably those who do not now have carport parking, opted for uncovered parking, because they didn’t want to pay for it and, in future, will be getting it free. Instead, when the Assistant Manager asked, “So everyone’s happy about that?” I replied, “No, I’d rather pay for parking, keep my current carport spot, rather than have to hassle for a spot.”

I was assured spots would be “assigned” but, after the meeting, I introduced myself to the New Manager, said “I like you already because you’re friendly, but I’d just better be “assigned” my same spot.”

One old lady was not that nice about it, “I’ve been here 11 years. If you change my carport spot, I’ll be calling my lawyer”.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Weekend Update

Fortunately, though it was hot and humid, the projected weekend triple digit heat never arrived.

Unfortunately, the Santa Anas showed up instead.

That drive out of the area – to my Sunday appointment with the locktician, through dust storms and winds so gusty that the car rocked back and forth, had me gripping the steering wheel like my life depended on it, and dodging trucks being rocked back/forth for fear one would topple onto me.

The moment I wished I’d invested in a dash cam was when, over to the side of the freeway, I observed three cars parked, people outside those cars, some pushing, some pulling a mattress up from an embankment just off the freeway, where it appears to have been blown from the top of one of those cars.

It wasn’t a funny sight (well maybe a little), just interesting; and thank the powers that be the mattress blew OFF the freeway rather than onto other cars, but the sight was a Kodak moment.

Needless to say, there wasn’t any Pokémon Go hunting … except for the Pidgeotto captured inside the salon.

Exhausted from the drive AND from having awakened at 3:00 Sunday morning, after my braids were retightened (new growth locked into the braids), I headed home through the same rocking back and forth, gripping the wheel.

Happy to be back in my little unit, I immediately got comfortable, i.e., disrobed, put a turkey dog in the broiler roasting for a late lunch, nuked the coffee, and planned on doing nothing more than resting on the couch, while watching the Poldark on Masterpiece episodes the DVR recorded while I was away, when all-of-a-sudden my phone went “ding”.

It was a text message from granddaughter asking for a ride to Walmart after she got off work.

So at least I got to relax two hours before getting back to, what my blog friend Dkzody so aptly describes as Living Along the Borders.

Awake once again at 3:00 this morning, goal for today is to erase the border – go nowhere, do nothing.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Right on Cue

Knowing I was to be out-of-the-area tomorrow morning, and plan to combine that errand with locating new and different Pokémon, I headed to the University bright and early this morning to load up on PokéBalls before triple digit heat set in.

We are creatures of habit because, driving out of the parking lot at my usual little after 9:00, right on cue I spotted the Archeologists’ car parked in her husband’s faculty spot and, leaving campus, saw her walking with her cute little daughter and snotty son.

At some point, I’m going to stop avoiding her because I sense a sadness about her.

On the surface, she seems to have it all – education, husband, children, home, friends, money but, and I don’t know if this will make sense, but I sometimes sense what is going on with people at a deeper level, and she comes across as nervous, sad, insecure ... a little frightened even.

Because her daughter is so sweet and her son pompous, arrogant, I’m thinking he’s emulating his dad. That his dad may be transmitting women are lesser beings in the home -- which may account for the son looking down his nose at me when we were introduced, and may also account for the nervous, sad, insecureness I sense in the Archeologist, and maybe even dad is mean, controlling -- which would account for her seeming frightened.

So at some point, I’m going to avoid avoiding her and transmit some of my positive uplifting energy, but it will have to wait until I’m feeling patient and emotionally strong enough to give it.

I’d only managed 40 minutes of walking this morning, but logged in 1.59 miles at quite a nice pace of 26.02.

I’m getting faster.

This back to every day walking is loosening up my joints, and though I’m not losing any weight or inches, instead of previously feeling heavy and slow, I now feel leaner, lighter, which may account for the faster pace.

Perhaps weight loss and inches down are on their way.

Remainder of today is back to that needlepoint project and catching up on recorded TV programs.

I finally got through MasterChef, saw Shaun crowned winner. Caught up on BBC America’s Luther, saw DCI John Luther exonerated as his two nemeses got what they deserved from a crazed gunman; and, by end of today, I should find out if police detective Karl Roebuck gets his son back from yet another crazed criminal, then it’s on to the Great British Baking Show.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Summer BBQ Potluck

After an easy morning of having nothing to take care of, other than picking granddaughter up from the bus terminal, dropping her off at the market for groceries, meditating in the car while waiting, then dropping her off at her apartment, it was Starbucks for coffee and home to prepare for the 1:00 potluck.

Having signed up for coleslaw, I’d switched to the old standby deli potato salad when, at the store yesterday, I found slaw doesn’t come in 3 pound tubs like potato salad, and the cost of having the deli put together an equivalent amount of slaw was too costly.

So, putting together my personal care package …

… consisting of a container of oil/vinegar dressing, organic relish, jalapeno mustard, and chopped onions, I headed to the Community Room at 12:45 with that tub of potato salad and two packages of Jennie O Turkey Franks, because I don’t eat beef hot dogs and others seem to enjoy the turkey as well, so whoever was grilling could add them to the mix.

I’m what you might call a careful healthy (for all the good it does since I never lose weight) finicky eater, bringing my own condiments, but that’s only because I know what I like, want to make sure it’s available, and don’t want to hassle in a crowd to get it.

So walking into the room, I found the grill off and a room full of residents eating, some already on dessert, some (I was told) had been and gone.

Looking dumbfound I said, “You started early? I thought it wasn’t until 1:00”.

“No, we started at noon”, replied the Activity Director.

I later rechecked the Activity Calendar and 12:00 was the posted time.

Where I got 1:00 from is a mystery. I can only surmise I was not wearing my glasses when I looked at the calendar and didn’t see the 2.

But oh well, I didn’t want and couldn’t eat the prepared beef hot dogs, so I switched to chicken.

Lunch and Dinner Tonight

With two packages of turkey dogs to use up, I won’t have to wonder about what to fix for lunch/dinner for the next two weeks. There was already a tub of potato salad on the table when I arrived but, as folks made plates for later, the second tub came in handy and what wasn’t used up will go into the Community Room refrigerator for whoever wants it.

As late as I was, residents did come in even later, one of which was my next door neighbor.

She brought a Pineapple Upside Down Cake, she'd just made.

My favorite.

I couldn’t resist.

Before she arrived, we were having good conversations about this, that, the other, a lot of speculation about what Nurse Ratched could have done to have her items boxed up and herself escorted off the property, but neighbor is a politico/activist/news junkie type, likes to get on a soapbox about anything/everything, and kept bringing up Trump and the killing of unarmed Black men.

Because of my spiritual belief that everything happens for a reason, the “They meant it for evil, but the Universe meant it for good” theory, that we just hold to that no matter what we see with our eyes, hear with our ears, and wait for the larger plan to unfold, I didn't want her negativity in my head and kept trying to steer the conversation away from discords going on the world.

She wasn’t having it.

Unable to get neighbor off so adamantly expressing the need to do this, do that, I decided it was time to go.

Her cake was delicious, but not perfectly so, because she burnt the edges. Perhaps if she’d paid more attention to baking, and less time on the soap box, the edges would not have been crusty black.

All in all, I’d say the event was successful and we’re now looking forward to the Halloween Costume potluck.

Apache says he already has his costume but, like last year, is keeping it a surprise.

My plan is to reuse the Minion costume I put together for last year’s Halloween 5K in La Mirada, though I doubt many here will even know what a Minion is.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Kids and Cars

With every intention of taking the bus to the University this morning, that plan went awry when I awoke at a very late 9:30.

Quite a surprise, since I never sleep that late and wasn’t ill; but oh well, time for a new plan.

I drove and ran into a sea of kids and cars. The campus was packed, the parking lot was full to overflowing.

Fortunately, when I’d tried to find side street parking last week, I ran across an area off campus, by a field, with no parking restriction signs. Unsure if it was okay to park there I’d passed on it but, checking back today, cars were lined up and none had been ticketed, so I took a spot, set my Lucky Egg for extra points and began the next stage of Pokémon Go -- Evolving.

What evolving does, besides earning me points, is it transforms a creature into a new being.

The egg was only good for 30 minutes of extra points, 15 of which was taken up by the evolving process because I had quite a few I could evolve, the remaining minutes of which was me walking across the field to get to the University’s PokéStops, capturing Pokémon and PokéStop items before extra points time ran out.

By the time all was said and done, I must have collected points in the thousands because I leveled up from 13 to 15.

Campus was so alive with activity that I hung around, logging in 1.44 slow miles as I took it all in remembering that the plan after retirement was to go back to school. For what specifically, I didn’t know. It was just that I had a thirst for knowledge. Looking around, I was glad that didn’t happen because I woke up, spiritually speaking, realized that road was not for me and, looking around heard myself say to myself, “What was I thinking. Why would I have wanted to put myself through this? To what end?”

Inasmuch as I’d had that thought earlier in the day, I had to laugh when I logged on this evening and saw Mage had commented on the last post, “You could take a class”.

In addition to kids and cars, there were sorority tents, vendors, free ice cream (I declined), and bus loads of elementary school children on what I surmised was a field trip.

Leaving campus an hour or so later, walking slowly back to the car on an out-of-the-way narrow path between what looked to be maintenance buildings, I heard rustling behind me.

Looking left, right, I didn’t see anything and decided the rustling sound were leaves hitting the ground, as it was quite windy.

The rustling continued and something told me to turn around.

I did, and there was a woman driving a cart.

I think she thought she’d scared me (she didn’t), that I thought she was going to run over me (I had no such thought) because she said, “You’re alright. I make it a point never to drive faster than the person in front of me is walking.”

She pulled up beside me, held out her hand and introduced herself as J from Risk Management.

Knowing I was walking someplace I shouldn’t have been anyway, I felt awful that I’d been walking so slow, holding her back and said, “You should have honked. I’m just here hitting up your PokéStops”.

“Oh do you play? I play too.”

We chatted game for a bit, I said “It was nice meeting you”, she went back to whatever it is Risk Management people do, and I headed to the market to pick up turkey dogs and potato salad for tomorrow's "Summer BBQ Potluck", here at the complex.

We had all summer to do this but the powers that be decided to do it the day after the official start of Fall.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

All Over Town

Today was a good day out-of-the area at the fabric store, for not only did I have a 40% off coupon, but knit fabrics were on sale.

Looking for white rib knit and red 2-way stretch wool/lycra knit, I found neither in a sea of lycra/spandex and cotton/spandex blends. I was beginning to think I’d have to drive to the fabric store on the other side of town, or order online.

Finally, after going down the row, pulling down all the reds, reading the blend labels, I came across a red that had no label but, fortunately, someone had written “Jersey Knit” which I knew to be wool/lycra.

I scored on that $18.88 a yard fabric at the sale price of $9.09.

The only rib knit on the shelf was gray. I needed white, so back to thinking about a store across town or online. However, when the young clerk measuring out the yardage asked if I’d found everything, the answer was “No. You only have the one color rib knit.”

“What color are you looking for?”


“Let me check. Sometimes they put it in the wrong place.”

She came back with two types of white rib knit – one smooth, one ribbed, both at $10.49 a yard. I chose the ribbed and got it for the sale price of $6.99.

It was a good thing I piddled away yesterday morning and didn’t make it to the fabric store, because I’d have been one day shy of the sale prices.

The young clerk also asked, “What are you making?”.

I pulled up a photo of the Trainer costume on my phone and, inasmuch as the pattern is so new they didn’t have it in the store yet for me to get precise yardage needed, we had to guess on how much.

“Who are you making it for?” she asked.

“For myself”.

She looked surprised.

It was the same look I’d gotten when making myself tutus for a several Tutu 5Ks year before last.

Why is it so surprising that an old lady like to wear tutus and costumes when it’s obviously for Halloween, a time when folks are in costumes everywhere?

Then she asked, “Do you play?”

“I’m addicted”.

She lit up at this, thought it was “great” and turned into a total geek, telling me where to find PokéStops in the area.

In the area turned out to be a city 6 miles away, where I found myself in a shopping center with a winery (Wine tasting in progress) and a Souplantation. I don’t drink, often wish I could and, had my system been able to handle the alcohol, would have gone in for the tasting. Instead, I hit a few PokéStops and picked up a salad for lunch despite the fact there was a snake at the salad bar.

Making my way to the freeway, to head home, I saw a sign for “Red Hill Park”.

I’d heard there’s been some interesting Pokémon found at that location, so I turned in.

Right the rumors were. I captured three Psyducks in a row before I even got out of the car.

After getting out of the car, there was nothing. Would have been if I’d walked around the park but, by now, it was 3:30, I was starving for that salad picked up for lunch, and headed home.

Going to have to schedule a walk around that park some time in future on a nice cool day.

For now, I’m going to once again try for a bus ride to the University tomorrow morning.

New classes start tomorrow, the sororities will be out campaigning, so the campus should be full of energy, which in turn will generate new Pokémon.

We’ll see.