Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year



This, the last day of 2015, ended on a high note.

First of all, I had no worrisome dreams about relatives and thus was able to sleep until almost 9:00.

Then, I’ve been having decent results with brewing my own coffee, instead of running to Starbucks every morning, but it never seemed quite as tasty as what I get at Starbucks. Having just finished that pound of Christmas Blend, I’d purchased a pound of House Blend, which was this morning’s blend. It turned out PERFECT!

So I was two for two before I even got the day started.

The beads needed to finish that needlepoint project did not arrive in yesterday’s mail, as the seller had supposed, but they did arrive in today’s mail.



The seller sent me not just one packet, but three. More beads than I’ll ever need but, inasmuch as they’re so tiny and difficult to replace, I’ll be hanging onto these beads for like forever.

I stopped by the Community Room to see what the folks were up to, and to see if the flat screen had been stolen yet.

I say “yet” because the shady looking guy who lives with those dark aura strange women came into the Community Room yesterday, spotted the flat screen and commented, “Oh, they set up a television.”

After he left, we all looked at each other and, just as I was about to say “Well, the television will be gone by tomorrow”, The Baker took those precise words out of my mouth.

So far, the television is still there.

While in the Community Room, Apache surprised me with a Christmas gift.



I don’t think he has any designs behind it, as he also gave a gift to The Seer and one other resident that I know of. But I do believe there was thought behind what he gave us, as The Seer was given slippers, the other woman was given Polo Cologne – which I thought was for men and, his having overheard a conversation where I was telling the girls that this weather is drying out my skin, he gave me lotion with shea and cocoa butter.

I asked about his luminaries, and how he handled setting up with the heavy winds. His solution was battery-operated luminaries, weighted down with cat litter – stressing the cat litter was clean.

Lastly, I managed to get my hands on organic masa harina so, instead of the usual New Year’s Eve good luck meal of black eye peas, rice, cornbread, I tried something different. I made tamales but filled them with black eye peas and rice.




They turned out great!






So this last day of 2015 has been totally excellent.

My moon has evidently moved out of kaka and 2016 is looking good.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Shake Rattle Roll

This morning, I found myself researching earthquake kits on the website of that community of survivalist I came across over the summer.

What prompted me to do so was the earthquake we had last night.




It was the strongest I’ve felt in decades and sent seniors fleeing from their units in the cold, in the dark.

I’m not sure that was the correct action to take. I recall hearing “outside” puts you in the path of breaking glass, falling bricks, and that one should get in a door jam, under a table or an enclosed area, such as the bathroom.

It wasn’t funny, isn’t funny, but I can’t stop laughing at people’s reactions.

One neighbor said she was already in bed, just about to fall asleep and, when the shaking rattling rolling and thunderous sound as though a truck hit the building happened, she sat straight up and yelled, “Oh sh*t!”.

The Seer grabbed her purse, her keys and ran out the building. Her son’s flight had been cancelled due to weather, so he was still here last night and, when the quake hit, he was right behind her running out of the building yelling, “Mom, where are you going?”

She didn’t know. She was just running.

I myself was sitting in front of the laptop at a heavy solid wood table. Feeling as though I was going to be tossed onto the floor, I leaned forward and held onto the table for dear life.

Once it was over, I didn’t even bother to get up when I heard my depressed next door neighbor open her door and head downstairs to discuss what just happened with other residents I could hear outside talking.

I glanced around, didn’t see anything broken or on the edge of falling, except one can fell from the cabinet, went back to what I was doing.

THEN, a few minutes later comes the aftershock, which was as strong as the usual earthquakes we get. And then there was another quick quake this morning. So thinking I’d better start paying attention to predictions that “the big one is coming”, as though the one we'd just had wasn't big enough, my mind turned to an earthquake kit.

The kits at the survivalist store are sold out, but didn’t interest me anyway – a lot of freeze dried food. All I can think of that would work for me is peanut butter, energy bars, nuts, dried fruit, water.

I’m just in the thinking-about-it-stage right now but, if we have another quake this week, I’ll be taking it as a sign to get a kit together … NOW.

Checking in with the folks in the Community Room, to see if we’re doing anything for New Year’s Eve (we’re not), I found earthquake damage to the Community Room ceiling.



The crack runs all the way across, from one end of the ceiling to the other.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Moon in Kaka

According to postal service tracking – which I now pay attention to and watch like a hawk, that needlepoint pattern I reordered, just for the beads, was to be delivered yesterday.

In an effort to keep an eye on Mr. Infallible doesn’t make mistakes mailman, I went down around the time he usually gets to this complex and waited for his delivery, so I could catch a mistake right away, rather than ten days later.

Keeping an eye on him is not easy because he has walls, and I don’t mean walls in general. I really mean “walls” … literal concrete walls.

My read on him is that he’s a bit puffed up with his own self-importance -- unapproachable, takes himself too serious. Consequently, instead of approaching him directly last week, as one would with their friendly neighborhood mailman, his being not exactly mean, but seeming strict and unfriendly, sent me to the post office instead.

Receiving no feedback after that visit, I took a chance, approached him directly the next day and gently suggested he made a mistake and the recipient of that mistake was not honest enough to come forward. He dismissed that theory with “That doesn’t happen”, meaning he doesn’t make mistakes.

Okay, fine.

Expecting that needlepoint pattern, I knew enough not to push my luck, approach him yet again to alert him a package is expected so he’d be a little more alert. That positively would have resulted in his feeling insulted, interpreting it as harassment and going verbally postal on me.

So instead, I went down around delivery time and waited out-of-sight.

That’s a thing for him … residents waiting around for mail; thus, I waited out-of-sight.

Mr. Infallible also doesn’t like residents entering the building through the door by the mailbox when he’s doing his thing, and really doesn’t like residents being too friendly and chatting him up. To make sure that keep away message gets across, he blocks the door leading out of the building past the mail boxes with an orange cone, and he blocks entry to building through that door via the pathway in front of him with a sign.





This is one serious mail man.

Ensuring no one bothers him, doesn’t stop him from making mistakes however, so what’s the point. Also, when he takes time off and we get different mail personnel, none of them employ keep away cones and signs.

In the end, it worked out this time, as he got delivery right insofar as my package.

Once back in the unit, I opened the sealed brand new kit and removed the contents.

Everything was as it should be, except … there were no beads.

Can you believe it?

This is what I call my moon being in kaka (poop), when things don't go right, the universe appears to be working against me.

I’ve contacted the seller.

She will provide me with beads.

But really, can you believe the luck – a brand new kit with something omitted, and that being the one thing I need.

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Little Red Ornament that Could

Except to pick up granddaughter’s BFF from the Greyhound on Christmas Day, the frigid cold kept me indoors Friday.

Likewise on Saturday, the frigid cold, in addition to gusty winds, kept me in. The wind was scary strong as it howled through the quad, causing the windows to rattle, patio displays close to being blown away.

On Sunday, the sun came up a little. It was still cold out but not of the frigid variety, and the winds had died down (for a while), so off I went to the market to pick up a container of Melissa’s vegetarian black-eye peas -- for the traditional good-luck in the New Year meal, before all the health nuts in the area bought ‘em out, as they did Bob’s Red Mill organic masa harina.

While out, I saw the previous day’s gusty wind had littered the complex with leaves, tumble weeds and all manner of debris. The gardeners are going to have quite a lot of clean-up work.


As will the pool cleaner.



Further down the street, I saw limbs and branches had been taken down by the wind. Two of the palm trees in front of the church were peeled top down like a banana.




On tap for today was an early morning walk. Inasmuch as I’ve found myself once again addicted to sugar, I wanted to test how much Holiday damage has been done to my stamina by taking the walk up the hills of Shandlin Estate.

I made it all the way to the top, no problem.

Walking by the tree where I’d hung a Random Act of Christmas Cheer on Day 8 at Shandlin, I saw the ornament was gone. Having been by three other locations, I know them to be gone as well, and pretty quick I’m sure. The one with the horse, hung on the 12th, didn’t disappear until just a few days before Christmas.

Believe it or not, I saw this morning that the ornament hung on the 5th by the bus stop not only has not yet been removed but has also weathered the horrendous wind we just had.





An amazing achievement, considering the amount of foot traffic up and down that sidewalk, not to mention people congregating at the bus stop and heavy winds taking down leaves, branches, trees.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas Eve

Surprised I am to be posting. Expecting the next few days to be totally uneventful, I wasn’t planning on posting until sometime next week, but it’s been a rather interesting day.

The day started off with the urge for a slow stroll around the neighborhood.

Slow it was -- a sightseeing walking pace of 35.40, covering only 1.26 miles in 45 minutes, but it was pretty outside and the no pressure stroll felt good.

Heading downstairs for that walk, I ran into The Seer.

“Where were you the other night?”

She’s talking about the Holiday Party, on Tuesday, the day it rained all day and all night.

“I’d planned on not going because I didn’t think I could take any more of Nurse Ratched putting on a performance, and by the time I changed my mind, it was too late. I’d missed the cutoff, which was Spirit’s way of telling me I wasn’t meant to go.”

“Well, you were missed.”

I doubt that.

“And she did put on a performance.”

The Seer filled me in.

Only twenty braved the weather and attended, that number includes staff. Nurse Ratched’s husband was present and he is “Old and God awful ugly”.

ROFLMAO!

“Please tell me you took a picture”, says I.

“No … I didn’t.”

Darn it.

The food was good, but Nurse Ratched, her assistant, her husband, the Activity Director, the new Maintenance Supervisor did not mingle with the residents. Instead, they ate in the kitchen.

My depressed neighbor showed up.

Good for her. I saw her leaving early this morning, loaded down with Christmas gifts, headed to her friends in Los Angeles I surmised. I’m glad she stuck around on Tuesday and attended an event.

There was a drawing for gifts at the event, and most everyone won a little something.

There was NOT the drawing for $200 some folks in attendance were expecting.

It was announced, at the beginning of the year, that a drawing for $200 would be held at the Annual Christmas Party. The names of all residents having paid their rent on time would be entered, and the resident drawn would receive $200.

At the time, that sounded like corporate desperation to me. Evidently, not everyone was paying their rent on time, and the $200 was motivation. Seeing who won the $200 is also what motivated some to attend the holiday party.

Not the gullible type, I never gave credence to the carrot of $200 in the first place, but figured it would motivate those it was intended to motivate to pony up on time. Those at the party who’d either ponied up or were just interested in seeing who won, were disappointed when that drawing did not happen.

One resident was really upset, Little Linda – not the bully resident who retired from the Navy and is Nurse Ratched’s snitch, that’s Big Linda; but Little Linda, who is also a bully, the dumpster diver and also a snitch. She was so upset that she questioned Nurse Ratched face-to-face about the drawing. It is unknown at this time, what Nurse Ratched’s response or should I say excuse was.

If the residents complain enough to Corporate, the drawing might miraculously happen before the end of the year, but for sure I expect it will be “fixed … rigged” anyway, so I’ve no interest in the outcome.

The Seer reminded me of Apache’s 2:00 tamale soiree. Still not interested in lard filled tamales, but with nothing else to do besides needlepoint, I decided to go down with a cup of fresh brewed coffee to socialize and keep an eye out for any resident wearing my shade of lipstick.

Hope springs eternal, so though I should give up on those missing packages, I’ve not yet been able to do so. I fully expect Spirit will somehow lead me to the culprit who appropriated my items in that I’ll see someone wearing my shade of red or hear of someone offering a 12x12 photo album for sale.

The Seer’s detective son is still staying with her. I joked telling her I should put her son on the case. That brought up that she asked her son to attend the tamale soiree and meet some of the folks. Her son, with his cop eyes, says he doesn’t want to meet any of us. He doesn’t like how the complex has changed since his last visit, doesn’t like the kind of people he sees are now residents, doesn’t like suspicious looking activities he’s seen going on, and is encouraging her to move. So this may be her last year here.

Having clerked for a police department, having been married to a cop, I can understand his concern. But we’re not ALL like what makes him fear for his mother’s safety, and moving is no guarantee of safety in today’s world.

At any rate, the tamale soiree was a small intimate group of about eight of us. I did not see anyone with my special brand of lipstick, but I did see management has installed a television.




Wonder how long before someone breaks in and steals this, the third wall-mounted screen. I also wonder how it is Nurse Ratched can view the tape and determine who ate that strawberry pie from the refrigerator, but can’t determine who keeps stealing the televisions.

The Baker made cranberry and banana bread mini muffins which were to die for, and which were the only thing I ate.



This picture is deceiving inasmuch as the muffins were smaller than they look, and so delicious that I ate four more.

The Baker's take on the Holiday Party was, “It was okay. Not many people showed up.”

She also advised it was not catered by the same group that catered in the past. Nurse Ratched had waited until Saturday -- three days before the event to contact a caterer and consequently, ended up with some little caterer which came from Palm Desert, I think she said.

My take is so few residents had signed up that management was thinking about cancelling but decided, at the last minute, to go ahead with it.

We didn’t have to worry about that strange group of women at today’s tamale soiree because, whereas they were new to the complex, folks were hospitable, reached out and let them know when an event was taking place. Now that everyone has learned what they’re about, no one tells them anything.

Nothing on tap for tomorrow, except driving granddaughter to the Greyhound Bus station to pick up her BFF coming down to visit for the holiday. It being Christmas Day, the streets should be clear and driving a breeze.

So once again, I say Happy Merry and talk to you in a few days.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Low Hanging Cheer

So does it count when the Random Act of Christmas Cheer is hung on a bush rather than a tree?



Judges?

Stuck indoors yesterday due to the all day rain, plans to get errands out of the way before the crazies were on the road driving erratically in a frantic last minute Christmas crunch, and scout a place to hang a bulb, were put on hold until today.

Sure enough, folks were driving too fast, too close, cutting in and out of traffic, backing out of parking spaces without looking for pedestrians, but I made it back to my area safe and sound.

Stopping first at the Thai Place, to treat myself to Pad Kee Mau for lunch (and dinner as portions are large), I stopped by the market.

Stepping out of the car, I saw I was parked right by a bush and could hang the bulb without being seen, which I did as I was leaving.

The bulb being so low, I was sure it would be spotted and removed right away.




No sooner had I backed out of the parking space, snap a long-view photo, than another car pulled in. I positioned the car to where I could see if he/she would remove it.

A store employee exited the vehicle and, so focused on getting to work, did not even notice it. So there’s a good chance the bulb will remain until she gets off work, heads to her car door, spots and removes. If she gets off work after dark, there's a possibility it will last until tomorrow morning.

So errands run, pantry and freezer stocked up through the next few days, hopefully I won’t be called upon to get up and out until the madness is over.

Not expecting I’ll have anything to post next few days, I'll take this opportunity to wish you all Happy Merry.



Monday, December 21, 2015

Here’s the Rub

Today was one of those days I wanted to lounge around all day in my sleeping clothes.

However, there was a note on the door that I and others were scheduled to sign required paperwork between 11:00 and 12:00 in the office. So dressed I was by 11:00 and second in line downstairs signing.

Remembering what happened to maintenance man and his wife with the “We never told you that” and recalling how many times I’ve heard residents advise, “Get a copy … Get it in writing ... Tape record the conversation”, though the paperwork didn’t seem that important, I played it safe by setting the cell phone to record.

It’s a dirty shame we have to be so paranoid, but there it is.

With nothing going on this week, I’ve been able to devote a lot of time to finishing touches on that needlepoint project. The swarovski crystals I purchased for the shawl -- to replace the beads I tossed, are not working out. Small as they are, the beads are too large. Being as how I’m a bit of a perfectionist, I decided to repurchase the pattern just for the beads.

Cost of that particular pattern, new in package, runs as high as $25. Placing a bid on eBay, I won at $10.25 plus 3.54 shipping.

“Shipping”?

Now here’s the rub.

“Shipping” puts me at the mercy of the Mr. Infallible “that doesn’t happen” mailman.

There was a knock on the door along about 5:00 this evening. It was a neighbor from the opposite side of the complex delivering mail that ended up in his box. Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t my two packages. Instead, it was mail for my depressed neighbor.

Consequently, though Mr. Infallible believes he doesn’t make mistakes, obviously he’s delusional.

So this is me, crossing my fingers, praying, hoping the package gets in the right box or, if it does go wrong, it lands in the hands of someone like the honest gentleman from the opposite side of the complex.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Butterfly Effect

There’s a chaos theory, known as the Butterfly Effect, which says small changes result in large differences.

The small change of looking across the quad, seeing an empty unit where maintenance man and wife use to live, has made a difference in that the quad feels less joyous, less the cohesive unit it’s been.

Maintenance man, his wife, and Nosey Neighbor were best friends. I can tell Nosey Neighbor is lonely without them because she’s always on her patio now, annoying … I mean chatting up anyone and everyone who passes by.

There’s a new senior complex going up a few miles away. My downstairs neighbor -- here only two years, is already planning to move in upon completion; so I’m wondering if maintenance man and his wife have plans to move from their son’s home into that complex and, if so, will Nosey Neighbor follow.

That’s a thing in the senior community, you know. Neighbors follow neighbors to new buildings.

I don’t see much of my depressed next door neighbor. I hear her coming in occasionally, but she hates it here and, thus, stays away as much as possible.

During that long talk I had with her, I learned her depression and hatred of being here, has less to do with us and more to do with the circumstances she finds herself in. To use her words, “I’m a very cultured woman”. The long and the short of it is, she can’t relate to us every day common folks.

Possessing a Master’s Degree in Education, she formerly held a powerful position as a State Commissioner, which put her in the position of being on the go, hanging out at fancy places, attending fancy events, hobnobbing with the rich and powerful.

I don’t know what circumstances have positioned her at this simple level of living, but she can’t adjust to simple, travels most days to Los Angeles to “be with my friends … hang out at The Grove … network”.

Not interested in putting her Master’s Degree to use as a volunteer, the networking she’s involved in has to do with trying to get back into paid employment at the high important level she previously enjoyed but says,  no one will hire her because of her age.

I don’t know about age being her limitation. I’m thinking its less age and more attitude; and just maybe “snobby attitude” is the lesson in life she’s here to learn.

Adding to my sense of “attitude” is the fact she did not come to us directly from North Carolina, as previously thought. Before she moved in here, she was living locally with her son and his wife. Respecting it was her daughter-in-law’s house, she kept out-of-the-way in her room, and was surprised one day when daughter-in-law announced, “You are the laziest woman I’ve ever seen” and, again to use her words, “threw me out”.

The son, who I’ve seen here twice, is “happy with his wife” so mom had to go. It was he who found this complex -- where she could afford to live, rather than send her to an upscale area she prefers but can’t afford.

Oh well.

I’m still content, but there’s no telling what further changes this butterfly effect will bring. I don’t like change, but I’m open to it, so we’ll see.

The vacant unit is a two bedroom, so I doubt it will remain empty for long. I fully expect Nurse Ratched will move another relative into the unit, perhaps even move in herself.

Christmas Day fast approaching, with so many people out and about making last minute preparations, I’ve been unable to find a quiet unoccupied spot to plant Random Acts of Christmas Cheer. So it looks like that adventure has come to an end.

I’ve no special plans for the coming week and/or Christmas Day. Apache is having a Christmas Eve soiree. His sister is making tamales and he’s issued a blanket invitation to all. I’m not interested in attending, but only because I can make my own tamales and I can make them healthy – no lard, no cheese, organic Bob’s Red Mill masa.

Speaking of which, I thought I might make tamales for New Years, freeze them and have days and weeks of handy frozen meals, but it looks like everyone in this and surrounding areas is on a health kick because Bob’s is all sold out. There are plenty other brands available, but I’m only interested in the organic brand. If I order Bob’s online, the cost of a one pound bag is just $4.00, but shipping is $11.00 and I can’t trust the post office to get delivery right.

I happened to be leaving the complex when the mailman arrived day before yesterday, so I asked him about checking all the lockboxes. He said he did.

So I concluded the key must have been placed in the wrong mailbox, and that person wasn’t honest enough to turn the two packages in.

He accepted he was the one on duty that day, that he made the deliveries, but as to putting the lockbox key in the wrong mailbox, “That doesn’t happen”. Meaning, he doesn’t make mistakes.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the 8th Wonder of the World, an infallible human being, a man who is incapable of making a mistake.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Into Each Life Some Frustration Must Fall

Stick a fork in me, because I’m done … done with ordering online. Not because of problems with sellers, but because of problems with post office personnel.

A few months ago, I had someone call from a religious organization in Hawaii, that’s been sending me monthly missives for years, inquiring if I’d moved because mail was being returned “No longer at this address”.

Since last week, I’ve been going back and forth with a seller about having not yet received an order of very expensive special lipstick, only to learn she'd shipped and tracking indicated “Delivered Mailbox, December 7”.

Wasn’t delivered to MY mailbox, I never got it, and there have been no break-ins.

You’d think that the individual who’s mailbox was the recipient of my packages would walk it over to me or turn it back in to the mailman, but that didn’t happen. We use to have neighbors like that, but Nurse Ratched has slowly chased off the majority of “nice” residents and replaced them with some pretty questionable characters.

At any rate today, after being unable to resolve the issue of that missing shipment of lipstick -- online with USPS or by phone, I made a trip to the post office about it and also the parcel I’d been so anxious to receive -- as I found tracking also indicated “Delivered Parcel Locker, December 7”.

WHICH mail person delivered mail on December 7th, I’d like to know, because they appear to be doing a very poor job.

First in a long line when the post office opened at 9:00 this morning, the clerk was able to catch the mailman before he left on his route. After they spoke, the clerk returned with the best they can do for me is, “When he gets to your location, which should be in about three hours, he’ll check all the boxes. Other than that, it’s been ten days so …” and here he shrugged his shoulders, which to me was like saying, “You’re SOL lady.”

So feeling I would probably have to live with the losses, I returned to the complex to sit quietly with my needlepoint project to let the frustration go. Before settling in, however, I took a plate of cookies to the Community Room; cookies given to me last night by carol singers.

Along about 8:00, I heard what sounded like a herd of people coming up the stairs. Assuming it was the neighbor’s company, I was surprised to get a knock on MY door. No response to, “Who is it?”, so I looked through the kitchen window and there was a family of carolers.




With cookies.



Sooo nice.

That’s only happened to me once before in my life. Last time was about ten years ago, when I was living in a senior complex in Upland, and carolers from a local church caught me in a state of undress to where I had to hide my upper body behind the door. Of course, last night also caught me in an embarrassing state of undress.

I had an instant to think of grabbing a bra or grabbing the cell phone to take video. I opted for the phone and stood in the door, enjoying the concert, while looking like a baggy saggy old woman.

I’d not heard any singing before they came to my door, so I’m assuming they were selecting doors at random in different buildings, rather than door-to-door. “We love your Christmas display” one of the ladies said as they departed, which may be a clue as to why I got so lucky in this building, except karma. I’ve been planting Random Acts of Christmas Cheer around the city, and here a random comes back to me.

It now being afternoon, the mailman has come and gone with no word as to my packages. I doubt he even did a thorough search, so SOL it is.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Small World

Since the October 31st Halloween 5K, I’ve only suited up once to head out for a walk.

No reason. Just that every time I thought about suiting up, which includes all the extras utilized to support my weak areas -- knee braces, ankle braces, special walking socks, I became exhausted just thinking of having to put all that stuff on.

I came up with a strategy this morning that, when dressing for the day, I would henceforth automatically add support gear, thinking it would encourage me to get out and walk since I already had the gear on.

It worked.

Along around 10 a.m., I went down to check the mailbox, looking for a package which should have arrived last week. It wasn’t there, so instead of heading back upstairs to work on that needlepoint project, I drove to a local park, where I put in some miles.

I was all alone in the park, but it’s in the middle of a neighborhood surrounded by homes, so I felt safe. UNTIL, a black car, with windows so tinted that I could not see who was driving, pulled up to the curb, parked and the occupant did not get out.

I’d originally assumed it was someone coming to walk or run in the park, but when the driver did not get out, I became suspicious it might be one of those pervert who expose themselves when a female walks by the car.

Taking a route through the park, away from where the black car was parked, I returned to my car and ended the walk at 2 miles.

Once back at the complex, I saw the mailman making deliveries. Anxious for that package, I waited in the Community Room for him to finish.

While waiting, one of the residents told a funny story about how her now deceased husband was elected to be a pallbearer, ended up at the wrong funeral, acted as pallbearer for a man associated with a bunch of young bikers … all the while thinking, “I didn’t know James knew these kinds of people.”

One can only image the attendees were thinking … “I didn’t know James knew any old black men.”

The Seer then mentioned her son -- a police detective in another state, flew in for a visit last night and was out exercising at the park.

There are just two parks in the area, so a light bulb went off and I asked, “Is your son driving a black car?”

“Yes”.

I told The Seer about the car, and how I’d gotten nervous because the driver never got out.

“Oh, that wasn’t him. He wouldn’t do that. He’d have gotten right out and started running around, unless he was on his phone”.

A little while later, The Seer stood up because she saw her son’s car reentering the complex.

I looked and ... “That’s the same car I saw at the park”, says I.

A few minutes later, The Seer answers her cell phone. It was her son.

Now keep in mind, she was on her phone, so I was only privy to her side of the conversation.

“Son, when you were at the park, did you see a lady walking with braids.”

……….

“You scared her”

……….

“She thought you were a pervert.”

……….

“Because you didn’t get out of the car.”

……….

“Why were you sitting there so long?”

……….

Once she ended the call, I never did get a clear answer as to what he was doing sitting so long in the car, other than “My son is deep. He’s into a lot of things.”

Meditating perhaps?

At any rate, his being a detective and all, I’m sure he’ll understand my caution, but what are the odds ... The Seer’s son.

Elsewhere on the complex, when the now out-of-a-job maintenance man and his wife went down to the office on Monday to find out about a unit they’d been told was being made available for them, they encountered Nurse Ratched, who insisted, “I never told you that”. He said the Assistant Manager was present when Nurse Ratched had told him about the unit but, being as how she's spineless and afraid, backed up Nurse Ratched ... "We never told you that".

Residents, who’ve experienced similar instances of, “We didn’t tell you that … You never gave us that” have warned us all, more than once, “in dealing with the office, get a copy, get it in writing, record the conversation”.

I’ve never ever seen out-of-a-job maintenance man as angry as he was today, when telling me, “I’m getting the hell outta here!”

He and his wife have plans to move out tomorrow and in with their son until they find an apartment.



So sad. Christmas decorations gone, items in boxes.

I just don’t get how people who lie, and are cruel to others, can justify their actions and live with themselves.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

When in Doubt, Throw it Out

That adage may work with refrigerated items, but it doesn’t work with de-cluttering projects.

Usually, when I start tossing stuff out, there comes a future time when I have regrets about getting rid of this that the other. Not this time. I feel very comfortable with everything I tossed and gave away except a tiny little package of blue beads I came across.

Looking at the beads, I couldn’t think of a reason to keep them … Why do I even have these? … where did they come from? … what can I possibly use them for?

I tossed them out.

So it was just yesterday when I put the final stitches in the framework of that never ending needlepoint project.



All that’s left to do are embellishments.

Looking at the diagram, I see I have to backstitch and french knot feathers into a headband, do some outlining, hang fringes on the shawl, attach beads to the ends of the fringes …. Wait!

What?

Beads?

Oh, oh.

Can you believe I’ve held onto those beads for ten months, since February, and ended up tossing them not two weeks before they were needed? Actually, I've held onto those beads for longer, almost two years, because I originally started the project in 2013, put the project aside, picked it up again in 2015, could not figure out what was what because I'd been away from it too long, purchased a fresh canvas and restarted in February 2015.

Fortunately, I did a little research and found I can purchase similar beads, Swarovski Crystals, at Joann’s Fabrics. So all is not loss, but lesson learned … when in doubt, don’t throw it out.

On this, the 15th Day of Kathy’s Christmas Cheer Project, I found myself  in Fontana, parked in front of a tree which cried out for an ornament.




Sierra Lakes Village

Monday, December 14, 2015

Joke’s on Me

Headed down to the office around 10:30 this morning, to sign up for the Christmas Party – which I learned yesterday might be worth going because it’s catered, I got a text message from granddaughter. She needed a ride to a doctor’s appointment. 

I turned away from the office, headed to the carport, picked her up, got her to the appointment, waited in the parking lot AND spotted a nice tree, next to physician parking, where I performed my fifth Random Act of Christmas Cheer.



On the way back to the complex, we stopped at a Walmart near her doctor’s office because 1) She needed a few things and 2) Though I keep saying “I’m done” looking for pattie pies, I thought, “Why not check”.

The manager at this location was a very friendly woman. She tells me, “We had a shipment of 500. They sold out justlikethat”.

She did say, however, pattie pies are still in production, so there’s a possibility another shipment will come in and, “I can’t promise you, but if you give me your number, I’ll let you know … but I can’t promise.”

This being the closest I could get to a hookup, I gave her my name and telephone number, which she entered into her cell phone.

So now, instead of searching for, it’s become a waiting game.

It’s either meant to be or not. I’m fine with either way.

Returning to the complex around 1:00, I headed to the office to take care of signing up for the Christmas Party, only to find I’d missed the cut off by one hour. The food order, based on however many signed up, which she wouldn’t tell me how many, was phoned into the caterer at noon; no more residents can sign up.

Even though it looks like the joke’s on me, I can’t but take this as a sign, a sign that the first plan to not attend was the correct choice. I mean look at how it played out …. I was headed down to sign up around 10:30, granddaughter ran interference, divine interference or otherwise, who knows, but I didn’t get back until after the cutoff.

Too odd not to be a sign.

Since I was in the area, I took a look at the Christmas Trees.

They’re looking pretty good.

The one in the Community Room went from looking like a bunch of old people threw it together, to a little better, to someone turning it pretty fabulous.



The one in the entryway went from the old people doing pretty good, to someone also turning this one to pretty fabulous as well.



Nurse Ratched told the old people she was picking up a live tree for the Game Room -- for them to also decorate I imagine. However, she never followed through, that third tree never materialized, and the old folks said they're done decorating anyway.

I think they might be a little miffed at someone (Nurse Ratched?) redoing their work.

Along about 3:30, the guy from the Fire Department showed up to do his inspection of smoke detectors.

“Feels very good in here. Makes me want to kick off my shoes and take a nap” says he.

Hmmmm. Not sure what to make of that but, had he been taller and better looking, I would have told him to stop by when off duty.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

What a Geek!

Today started off crappy.

I’d heard the Pattie LaBelle pies were being reissued by Walmart and, since the in-store product portion of Walmart's website and facebook page are crap, and since no one ever answers the phone when I call to see if the pies are in, I’d made a trip to Walmart during the week to see for myself – Thursday I think, found nothing, and decided to make another trip this morning.

So getting dressed after breakfast and coffee, I all of a sudden heard that tell-tale “beep” from the microwave which tells me the power is going out. Sure enough, the TV went down and lights were out.

No worries, though I, as I was mostly ready to head out the door anyway. I just hoped power would be restored by the time I returned.

On the way out the door, I found management had posted yet another Notice to Enter Dwelling.

G*&D^%$I#!!!!

This one is for Monday and is under the category of “Other: Fire department inspection”.

G*&D^%$I#!!!!

All these inspections are soooooo tiresome.

On the way down to the car, neighbors stopped me to complain about the power outage.

“No coffee”

“No breakfast”

“I didn’t realize everything here is electric. This is cause for moving.”

Seriously? That’s a silly reason. It's not like you're on life-saving equipment, the power goes out and you're dead.

I was just grateful I didn’t dilly dally around this morning and had everything out of the way before the power went out.

At Walmart, I learned “There are no pattie pies in the warehouse. A hundred came in early this week, but sold out immediately.”

I’m done.

It’s not that important. I just wanted to see what the hubbub was about, but it appears you have to have a hookup at Walmart to get a pattie pie.

I wasn’t annoyed though, because the trip allowed me the opportunity for a fourth Random Act of Christmas Cheer, with an interesting background.

Driving into Walmart’s parking lot, I spied two police department trailers, police officers and horses.

When I thought about it later, in light of the recent terror attack, the sight of law enforcement should have been of concern. At the time, however, all I remember thinking was Ooooh horses.

There were no shortage of trees around where the horses were located, so I parked and pulled out an ornament for my Random Act, with the idea of getting one of the horses in the background.

Not wanting to get myself shot, I told the closest officer what I was doing, and she went to the trouble of bringing her horse over so I could get a closer shot.








After snapping a few photos, I thanked the officer, turned to the horse and said, “Thank you too horsie.”

Horsie?

What a geek thing to come out of my mouth. What am I … age 2?

Power restored by the time I got back to the complex, and in a much better mood because of the horse encounter, I worked a little on that never-ending needlepoint project until time to head down to the Cookie Swap.



Was a nice way to spend a few hours.

Only five residents signed up -- no surprise, because we have a lot of diabetics here, but eleven showed up, each bringing cookies to swap.



Please note someone has tweaked that first tree the residents decorated. Word is, the tweeker was Nurse Ratched herself … perhaps so she can find a reason to take credit.

Creepy Guy was hanging around outside in the patio area, waiting for someone to invite him in or take a plate to him (his usual modus operandi) but, when one of the ladies said, “We should invite him in for cookies”, I quickly interjected, “Swap. This is a swap.”

Other than that, we only had one other moocher show up, but that was way later when we were ready to give cookies away, so I was fine with it and, at conclusion of the event, one of the ladies took a variety bag of cookies out to Creepy Guy – who had left, but was back hanging around.

The Baker made three types of cookies. Actually, four, but she said the power had gone out while the fourth was in the oven, causing the cookies to become soggy; so she tossed those. Other than that, and mine, most of the cookies were store bought.

We also had Mexican Hot Chocolate.

I had coffee and stayed away from the cookies, even those made by the Baker. THEN, Older Sister brought in peanut butter cookies her daughter made for us.

I rationalized, “Peanut butter is protein”, ate two, brought three back for later.

The event was lively, with Christmas music playing, sugar in everyone’s system, and talk turning to the upcoming Christmas Party. As I imagined, not many have signed up. I did learn, however, the event is being catered ... and catered by the same people that catered last year’s Christmas Party, so I’m in.