Monday, February 29, 2016

Fake Day


Got a late start on what a facebook friend calls “Fake Day”. The late start was due to sleepus interruptus — I woke up at 2:00 a.m. and wasn’t able to get back to sleep until around 5:00.

It appears that can of worms I was afraid of did get opened and disturbing information crawled out the can and into my head, at that meet up with niece.

When niece originally found me on facebook, she’d said the times she’d spent with me were the happiest of her childhood. I didn’t know what that meant and, her being so young at the time, thought she was just being nice in saying so. After hearing what her life was like after her mom removed her from me until the time she grew up to where she became independent of her mom, I now know what she meant. Its dealing with what I now know, meditating, trying to understand/rationalize disturbing information from a spiritual angle, that’s waking me up at night.

Eventually, I’ll work myself through and return to a place of peace but, out of bed at 9:00 this morning, fake day didn’t really get started until 11:30, when I headed down to drop the rent check at the office, with a detour through the Community Room.

The place was abuzz.

Word is, there’d been police activity over the weekend involving Creepy Guy and a female resident.

Of course, the general consensus is that Creepy Guy once again said or did something inappropriate to a female resident. The female was so angered that she threatened to kill Creepy Guy.

Creepy Guy called the police and asked them to “Arrest this woman”.

They did – arrest her that is.

Why?

Especially since he has such a bad reputation?

Well, No. 1, the police don’t know about his reputation and No. 2, the female resident wasn’t smart. She was actually holding the box cutter she'd threatened to kill him with in her hand when the police arrived.

I suggested we take up a collection, pay her bail, take her out and buy her a drink, but learned she’s been released and is in her unit with the blinds drawn.

Will be interesting to see what, if anything, management does about yet another incident involving Creepy Guy.

Elsewhere on the complex, the Assistant Manager appears to be going the way everyone else goes who works with Nurse Ratched, which is one of two ways – 1) maintain your integrity and quit or 2) go against your own conscious, become spineless, afraid of displeasing Nurse Ratched, so wracked with guilt for succumbing and hating yourself for what you're doing that you make yourself sick. Assistant Manager chose the latter, has consequently been ill and out-of-office for over a month.

It amazes me that people don’t see what occurs in their daily living as the activity of Cause and Effect, when it appears so obvious.

What’s on tap for the remainder of fake day?

I recorded The Oscars last night, as there’s no way I could sit through three hours of all that yada yada yada. So this afternoon, I’ll be fast forwarding through to catch the highlights, make a batch of carrot-cashew soup for quick lunches during the week, and put in some work on my new needlepoint project.

Feeling stressed because of what’s in my head, from that overnight visit to LA, I’m craving Ben and Jerry Cherry Garcia ice cream today. This being a fake day, therefore not real, not actually happening, maybe I'll go off plan, indulge myself and consider it fake ice cream.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Home Again Home Again Jiggity Jig

·         Horrendous drive to Los Angeles in insane traffic — 3 hours
·         Gas to hotel — ¼ tank
·         Cab Fare to event, because LA traffic so heavy and so bizarre unwilling to chance further driving in area — $15.00 (No return fare, as caught a ride)
·         Return to hotel — 1:30 a.m.
·         Asleep by — 2:00 a.m.
·         Awake — 6:00 a.m. to shower and hit the road to beat the heavy bizarre LA traffic
·         Hotel Charge, including water, market packaged food product, overnight parking, room tax — $215.55
·         On the road headed home — 7:00 a.m.
·         Gas back to complex — ¼ tank
·         Spending time with favorite niece as an adult AND getting to know one of youngest brother’s daughters all grown up— PRICELESS

Favorite Niece all grown up




Niece by youngest brother



The hotel room was warm, comfortable with great chi -- feng shui speaking.



You’ll see a glimpse of the couch and bed in mirror over the sink. That’s because everything, except the bathroom, was designed to be part of the main room … including the sink, closet, chester drawer.

Interesting layout, and took me a minute to get use to because, when headed to wash my hands, I kept passing the sink and opening the bathroom door.

I messed up at arriving to the event in a timely manner, 8:00 pm. I'd forgotten to factor in bpt, i.e., Black People Time. Which meant 8:00 pm in reality, was actually 8:00 bpt, which translates to folks showing up around 9:00/9:30.

And so it was, but music at the club was good, old school, and the crowd was friendly, just out for a good time, so I was fine on my own.

One young blood made my day by walking up to me saying, "Hey mama. You're a cutie, you are."

I smile every time I think about it.

On tap for today?

Sleep.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Road Trip

I received a facebook notification, this morning, inviting me to a birthday bash for my favorite niece’s 39th…. tomorrow night.

This is the niece I’ve not seen in person since she was three years old because, after her dad/my brother suddenly passed away (he was murdered), her mom felt threatened by my close relationship with niece and no longer allowed me to have her on weekends. In fact, that last weekend I had niece, her mom suddenly rushed into my apartment, snatched her up without a word, even leaving behind niece’s weekend clothes, and that was that until last year -- when niece reconnected with me on facebook, inviting me to her 38th.

Since then, my now deceased sister’s son has joined me on facebook, also two nieces by the youngest of my mother’s children -- another now deceased brother (not murdered, cancer).

Of my mother’s two daughters and four sons, I’m the oldest and the last one standing.

Family togetherness, insofar as I was concerned, was gone with the wind shortly after niece was made off-limits to me. There was too much drama, backbiting, all manner of behaviors I don’t involve myself with and expecting my role in the family to be that of an enabler. Family just became too much of a drain and, in order to focus on raising my own two daughters, I had to separate myself, go my own way, let others go their way. Of course I was vilified as stuck up and the Black Sheep for doing so, but hey … the proof is in the pudding, look who’s still here.

Judging from all the facebook postings, my brother’s and sister’s children look to be a tight-knit group with the goal to bring all family members back into the fold “for the sake of our children”.

Guess that means they want their children to know their relatives and where they come from.

Even though this is a different generation, I’m leery of history repeating itself with “drama, backbiting, behaviors I don’t involve myself with and saddling me with expectations”. So, I have no desire to be brought back into the fold, but still have a soft spot for that favorite niece, as the baby she was. So much so that I promised myself to meet up with her at least once before I leave this earth. Also, one of niece’s brothers had a heart attack not too long ago, so I’d better check-in before they start joining their ancestors.

I would have loved to have gone to last year’s bash, but declined because the drive was too long and the event at night.

The drive is still too long, the event is still at night but, curious to see everybody all grown up and, in turn, let them see how well-preserved I am, I decided to book a hotel near the event and drive up earlier in the day.

I’m sure there’s a good reason for the short notice, probably financial in that she wasn’t sure she could swing a bash this year but, at any rate, none of us knows what another year will bring, so I'm not chancing another year to check a meet-up off my bucket list. I’m outta here tomorrow on an overnight that doesn’t include a 5K.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Then There Were Six

In addition to the unit across-the-quad, vacated by our former maintenance man, another unit has become vacant.

A few days ago, I saw people going in and out of the unit occupied by the sweet little 93-year old now deaf retired school teacher, who has been here since the building was first built 20 years ago – that would be downstairs, underneath next door neighbor. Inasmuch as it looked like just plants and incidentals, I’d assumed they were here to bring her patio into compliance with the new rule of “no more than three plants” and to de-clutter.

Learned today they were relatives who, concerned for their mother’s safety, due to the thuggish looking people they’d observed hanging around outside the gate, and on the property when they’d visit, moved her out.

She’s now living with a sister.

Out of eight units in the quad, that leaves six of us – and the possibility of whittling down to five if the neighbor underneath my unit follows through with her plan to move to the new complex in Bloomington.

It’s not looking good for my friendly little drama-free quad. With two vacancies, and a possible third, that’s two/three chances for us to get saddled with neighbors that bring with them some of the problems going on in other areas of the complex.

Apache has reported items being stolen off his patio.

The Seer has reported drunken parties, to 3:00 in the morning, in the unit across from her, with a steady stream of young thugs coming in and out.

I saw two of those thugs one night when, returning from taking granddaughter to run a late errand, they were walking towards me through the quad as I approached my unit.

Immediately, I was on guard -- positioning the keys to protect myself should the need arise in one hand, jogger's stun gun at the ready in the other hand.

I learned years ago to never let ‘em see you sweat. That criminals look for victim body language and that, even if you are fearful, you should walk with confidence, look them in the eyes and appear to be more trouble than they want to go through. So, at the ready, I looked the two in the eyes, walked confidently down the path, even said “good evening” as we met up. The big one actually looked afraid of me as he stepped off the path to let me pass, lol. I guess the little one thought he was cute (he wasn’t) because he smiled, returned my greeting with, “Hello beautiful” and stepped off the path to the other side to let me pass.

So though I feel confident I can take care of myself, I later thought about that downstairs neighbor and all the other elderly here who would have had a heart attack had they come across those two in the dark.

I’m sorry if I sound like I’m judging books by their covers (I am  ... judging that is) but people who look like those two guys did should not be walking around a senior complex – day or night.

I blame Nurse Ratched for running off all the long-time nice residents and, desperate to fill vacancies, bringing in sketchy people who qualify through various "programs".

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Back on Track

Took a few days off from life to get back on track clean eating/diet wise so, having not been out and about, no idea what, if anything, is up with the folks here at the senior complex.

Except, I could hear talk, laughter, rummaging about late Sunday night, which let me know the downstairs resident is back from Hawaii. She hasn’t knocked on my door since returning, so I think it’s safe to say she thankfully didn’t bring back chocolate covered macadamia nuts – at least not for me. I say “thankfully” because I’ve been off sugar for seven days, worked myself through cravings, withdrawal headaches, even lost the five pounds picked up over the holidays and feel like I’m back on track, but not so far along that I can resist chocolate covered macadamia nuts.

With no books I’m interested in reading, not much on TV during the day, and no activities here at the complex, that never ending needlepoint project finally came to an end. 



I’m so happy with the finished product that, instead of rolling it up and putting in storage, as with my other projects, I’ve affixed it to one of those self-adhesive mounting boards and covered with protective film to keep clean until I find a suitable frame for hanging in the hallway -- which, in feng shui speak, would be the fame wall, the far back middle corner of my space.

Though the project took a year, start to finish, I enjoyed the challenge – that is up until the very end when I locked beads onto the shawl. The beads were so fine, so tiny, that I had to use a needle which itself was so thin so fine so sharp that it became a deadly weapon at both ends.

I was extra special careful, yet and still there was pain, there was blood, there were bandages.



Talk about suffering for one's art.

On tap for today?

I’ve no idea.

The dreaded taxes were on my to-do list for some time in April, before the 15th, but I woke up at 4:00 this morning feeling like getting it out of the way so I didn’t have to dread it any longer so, by 7:00 it was off the list and I was on to breakfast.

With absolutely nothing else on the to-do list, I’ll be playing today by ear.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Cleaning Up My Act

Since I’d not been down to see the folks in the Community Room since Tuesday, I didn’t get any feedback on the Valentine’s Day Potluck until today.

Feedback was less than enthusiastic. Highest praise I could get out of anyone was “okay” and “alright”. So obviously somehow something had gone wrong -- the event wasn’t fun.

Glad I slept through it.

Word is, something is to be arranged for St Patrick’s Day. My participation will depend upon what exactly is being arranged and what time it’s to take place.

Nothing much going on with me, personally. I thought to be finished with that never ending needlepoint project, begun in February 2015, and onto the next project, but nooooo. The back stitching detail work is taking almost as long as it took to complete the art work.

I’m still working on my goal of 100 miles, but though yesterday and today were perfect weather for walking, I opted instead to clean up my clean-eating act – which eating plan had gotten considerably muddy with too many carbs, too much sugar.

I’d been trying on/off to get back on track for like forever, but the daily craving for a chocolate muffin or Ben and Jerry Cherry Garcia Ice Cream or Girl Scout Cookies would win out before the day was over – even though eating those things upset my stomach and made me feel not well in general.

Yesterday was the day I became determined to get my act together and not give into temptation.

Both the chocolate muffin AND Cherry Garcia called my name all day, and sent along a sugar withdrawal headache to encourage me to indulge. However, I made it through the day without sugar, without carbs, didn’t die, and haven't been bothered by cravings today, which prompted me to take the precaution of getting rid of what was left of the Girl Scout cookies.

That’s what brought me to the Community Room this morning – getting rid of the cookies, where I got that feedback and also ran into my Depressed Neighbor.

I really have to come up with a new name for her – maybe just “Neighbor” because, last few weeks, she hasn’t been reading as “depressed” to me. I’d assumed she’d adjusted to where she now finds herself in life but, in talking to her in the Community Room this morning, I find she’s excited because she found a “bid whisk” group in the area.

Whatever.

I didn’t even know what that was. Had to google it to learn what and how to spell it correctly, but if bid whisk floats her boat and makes her happy, I’m happy for her.

Heading back to the unit, I saw Creepy Guy sitting in the grassy knoll.

He hasn’t been a topic on here for a long time because, after getting in serious trouble for harassment of female residents, he’s been minding his p’s and q’s.

Of course, Creepy Guy doesn’t see it as harassment. He’s delusional and sees himself as a ladies’ man, even though the ladies don’t want him or his attention.

He even tried to hit on the Writer of Christian Literature when she first moved in – approaching and instructing her on the so-called ropes of senior living. Telling her to not get involved in cliques – which is what he calls all the women not interested in him, we're a clique, and snaking up to her saying, “If there’s anything I can do for you, let me know” and then suggestively added “Anything at all.”

Once the Writer got to know us, and shared this encounter, she said something to the effect that she knew what he was suggesting, was amused and thinking, “Look at this little old fool”.

At any rate, what got Creepy Guy in trouble was his making an inappropriate comment to one of the more feisty female residents, who promptly told him where to go and what he could do when he got there.

He was so incensed by her rejection and daring to put him in his place that he later went to her unit, stood outside and began yelling profanities.

The resident went to the office, filed a formal complaint and, it not being the only formal complaint filed by a female against Creepy Guy, he got himself called into Nurse Ratched’s office.

Inasmuch as another male resident had gotten himself evicted over similar behavior, I’m assuming Creepy Guy was put on notice and has thus been behaving himself since.

I made it clear to him a long time ago to “not even”, so he’s been mad at me to where he no longer looks my way, doesn’t even lift his head to look AT me, except for today. He looked dead at me and, as I walked back to my unit, kept eyes on me the whole entire time.

Tired of being ignored, trying to stare me down, looking for a Round 2 perhaps?

I could have challenged him by stopping, staring right back at him, but chose instead to ignore and continue to pretend he doesn’t exist.

If he does it again, I might take him on and we have us a good old-fashioned staring contest.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Snooze and Lose

Weather cooling off, I found myself feeling less too pooped to pop today. In fact, outside looked so inviting along about 3:00 that I felt good enough to suit up and put in 2.24 miles around the complex.

It’s now raining, but it was nice while it lasted.

I did not make it to yesterday’s Valentine’s Day Party.

Thinking the party was at noon, I headed down to the Community Room a little after 11:00, only to discover -- though the room was full of residents, I’d read the activity calendar incorrectly and the party wasn’t to start until 2:00.

After placing my contribution to the party in the Community Room fridge, I asked around as to who had Older Sister’s telephone number. That individual gave Older Sister a call to see if she was coming down, as I had time to show her how to read counted cross stitch patterns.

Older Sister planned to come down closer to 2:00, which wasn’t going to work for me because, already tired, I’d become hungry as well. So after hanging around, chit chatting with the folks for a bit, I excused myself to grab some lunch. Asked if I’d be back for the party, “I’m not sure” was my answer and I alerted The Seer, just in case I didn’t return, potato salad was in the fridge.

After a not s0 clean-eating but delicious chicken burger and fries, from the local fast food place, I lay down on the couch for a nap around 12:30 and didn’t wake up until 4:00 -- way too late for the party but just in time for Judge Judy.

If pot lucks are going to be moved, by the Activity Director, from the usual noon hour to 2:00 in the afternoon, there’ll probably be a lot more snoozing and losing from me as I’m a morning person and not all that interested in hanging out in the afternoon.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Too Pooped to Pop

Last few days have not been impossibly warm outside, 82° today, about the same yesterday -- with high wind gusts both days, yet no miles logged towards my goal of a doable one-hundred miles by year’s end.

It hasn’t been for lack of motivation, it’s because I’m exhausted.

The result of the weekend’s linoleum and carpet cleaning spurt?

Possibility.

The result of the body once again becoming sluggish by improper nutrition, i.e., too much sugar?

Another possibility – a strong one.

Plus and too, there was some furniture moving.

Depressed Neighbor was about to be cited by Nurse Ratched for having exercise equipment on her patio. Neighbor had mentioned to me she needed to give her Cardio Glide away, inasmuch as she had no place to put it.

No exaggeration  -- her garage is full of furniture and her unit is overly furnished, overly decorated, with no extra space.

Her unit is cute, cozy, expensive looking with something everywhere – on every wall, in every corner, on top of every surface. She's even managed to squeeze in an almost full length, wall to wall, dresser in the bedroom and has a china cabinet in the front room.

There's no walking around room, no yoga and stretch space, you maneuver around and squeeze through.

At any rate, Cardio Glide is something I can work upper body and midriff while watching television and, since she was giving it away, I was happy to take it.

Moving the sewing machine to storage, until I next need it, and pushing a heavy table closer to the wall and relocating the bedroom’s runner to under the Cardio Glide, I fit it into my unit with room to spare.


So now, yesterday and today, I’ve been so tired that I can barely move. Even breathing, while in motion today, felt difficult. Nevertheless, I drug myself out to run an errand to Joanns Craft Store and Trader Joe’s this morning, and deliberately chose to go to the ones in Redlands where it’s generally cooler with good walking areas.

Cooler it was not. In fact, it was the opposite and I just didn’t have the energy to walk around so, after completing specific missions in the area, I returned to the complex.

Though Valentine’s Day was Sunday, the Valentine Day Party here at the complex isn’t until tomorrow, Tuesday, because the Activity Director only comes on Tuesdays.

I’m feeling so pooped right now that I don’t want to go, but I signed up to bring potato salad and to teach Older Sister how to cross stitch.

Ever since passing on to her all the counted cross stitch patterns given me by Apache, she’s been saying, “I can’t figure it out … show me”. Why she can’t, I do not know, because instructions came with the kits and that’s how I learned. Not to mention, back-in-the-day, when I taught myself, there was no YouTube to turn to.

At any rate, I’d promised to get together with her before the party.

To make it easier for her, and on myself, I won’t be working with the materials she has. Instead, I picked up a cute little Kid Stitch Kit at Joanns.


This should simply the process.

And speaking of Valentine’s Day, I caught the tail end of a conversation at Trader Joe’s about “Black Sunday”. The speaker was saying that, inasmuch as he’s single, not in a relationship, his weekend was considered “Black Sunday”.

Never heard of it.

The speaker went on to say, “But doesn’t matter. I’ve got mom to take care of. I barbecued and made a cherry pie.”

I don’t know if he’s to be commended for being the good son, caring for his mom, or if he’s a moocher – more living off his mom than caring for ... I've seen both.

At any rate, as soon as I returned to the complex, I googled “Black Sunday” and learned it’s a tradition in South Korea. “In South Korea, women give chocolate to men on February 14, and men give non-chocolate candy to women on March 14 (White Day). On April 14 (Black Day), those who did not receive anything on February 14 or March go to a Chinese-Korean restaurant to eat black noodles and lament their single life.”

Interesting, but doesn’t seem to have anything to do with our Valentine's Day tradition.

Nothing new on the complex, same old same old -- people moving in, people moving out.

No one has yet moved into the vacant unit across the quad. Word still is the Maintenance Supervisor is to be the new tenant, but it’s been vacant so long that now I wonder.

Elsewhere on the complex, my downstairs neighbor – the woman who is still thinking about moving to the new complex in Bloomington, is off to Hawaii for a week.

Even though I should be detoxing sugar out, I’m hoping she brings back some chocolate covered macadamia nuts.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentine’s Day

Time to break out my annual anti-valentine gif.



I’ve been “loved” and “in love” but, at this stage of life, find being alone with no love interest is better … at least for me. So no thanks to cupid and his little arrows.

However, I do “love” the way the kitchen linoleum looks now. After all that scrubbing, the design is really popping. The linoleum looks brand new.

The bad news is that I finished the day with wrists so painful from the exertion of all that scrubbing to where I could not sleep until after massaging them with Deep Heating Rub. I awoke this morning with the wrists pain free, ready to seize the day.

One good thing about all the failed cleaning products I tried, before solving the problem with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, is that I now have so much product -- usable in regular household cleaning, that I won’t have to purchase not another thing in this lifetime.

Back when I ordered the Spic and Span, I was a little miffed that it came in a diaper box.



First off, I thought the delivery guy had left the box at the wrong door, because I'm not a senior that requires diapers. Then, when I saw my name on the label, confusedly opened the box and found Spic and Span, I was embarrassed and unappreciative of the packaging, because the diaper box gave neighbors the impression I am a senior that requires diapers.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

If At First You Don’t Succeed

Haven’t gotten in as much walking as I’d like -- only 12.66 miles since February 1, due to errands and household projects.

I did manage to squeeze in a mile while getting that smog check, as I opted to explore the area rather than sit in the waiting room. While exploring, I spotted a Home Depot, so I popped in and crossed another of that day’s tasks off the list – wasps spray and Formula 409 for the kitchen linoleum floor.

We have a wasps situation.

I’ve occasionally seen the one or two or three resting on the overhang top of the stairs, but thing is … I didn’t know they were wasps. Just another outdoor creature that, so long as they were resting, not bothering me, I’d not bother them.

That is until the other day, when I was heading out to take granddaughter to run her errands.

I walked out the door, she ahead of me, turned to lock the door and heard her say, “Be careful grandma. There’s a wasp flying over your head.”

So, of course, I panicked.

Resting motionless on the overhang is one thing; flying over my head another and then there was that word “wasp”.

I keep a little jogger’s mace on the key chain (for dogs and perverts) and began to spray at the little bugger.

“Don’t make him angry, grandma”.

That only panicked me more. I emptied the can on that one wasp and, in the process, sent granddaughter flying down the stairs and darn near killed myself, because we were downwind, swallowing fumes. She, of course, being farther away, halfway down the stairs to begin with, didn’t get much of a mouthful. I, on the other hand, being mere inches from the wasp, began to gag and choke before the wasp flew off … seemingly unaffected by the pepper spray, which is what brought about adding Home Depot to my task list for wasp spray.

I had an opportunity to use that spray yesterday, as there were two on the porch when I carefully opened the door and looked out first before heading out to the market.

That’s about all I did outside yesterday – kill two wasps and grocery shopping, as the remainder of the day, into the evening, was devoted to trying Formula 409 and other methods found online for cleaning linoleum.

Getting that linoleum clean has been an ongoing saga.

It already has the look of marble, but sometimes I’d look at the floor and wasn’t sure if I was seeing design or dirt. After getting on my hands and knees, trying various scrubbing tools, various products over time, I’ve never been able to get the linoleum to look spic and span.

I even tried “Spic and Span”.

Did you know stores no longer sell that product, not even Home Depot or Lowes?

Wonder what that’s about.

I had to order from Amazon.

No matter, it didn’t work. Neither did Formula 409 or Dawn Dish Soap with baking soda or other wacky methods others suggested on the internet -- including scrubbing cleaning product into the linoleum with bounce fabric sheets or cleaning product with Kirkland wipes.

After all day trial and error, I was down to the wackiest suggestion of all -- Hydrogen Peroxide poured directly onto linoleum, sprinkle baking soda, scrub like your life depends on it. I gave it a shot and what do you know … the marbled linoleum finally began to look spic and span.

Can you see the difference in the bottom squares I’d cleaned using that method, and upper areas yet to be gotten to?



Finishing up was first on my list this morning. Once done with the linoleum, remainder of the day will be devoted to shampooing the carpet.

Times like this, I can see why it is so many seniors fail to keep their units as spotless as others. It's a lot of hard work.

Fortunately for me, I'm a bit of a neat freak and see all the hard work as not exactly fun, but necessary and exercise.

Tomorrow I should be back to actual fun things, like walking and needlepoint.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Little Foxes

Not much was accomplished yesterday, yet it was an exhausting day.

By the time I’d helped Granddaughter take care of her Costco grocery shopping, I had no energy left to do my banking or Home Depot errands and returned to the complex with body aches.

I think the drastic change in weather got to me … the heat.

With today mapped out to take care of what I had to skip yesterday, I got online last night to take care of that pesky Vehicle Registration the DMV sends every year, only to find Smog Certification is required.

That verse in Song of Solomon about the little foxes that spoil the vine came to mind.

My little foxes are that very same annual vehicle registration, especially when smog certification is factored in, having to renew my driver’s license – no matter it is years between being required to do so, having to take care of taxes – though TurboTax makes it a breeze and I always get a return, and when I get called for jury duty.

In the grand scheme, there are far worse things to spoil the flow in people’s lives, but those are the little foxes that kink up my flow.

Looking online, I found the facility I go to for smog checks doesn’t take appointments and, of course, it’s a few cities over in the opposite direction to where I’d planned to be today; but everything happens for a reason. So annoyed as I am, I’m up early this morning, putting my personal flow aside, going with the universal flow, hoping to get in line before a crowd forms.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Gated Community Part 2

After having survived the heat, wind, rain, a couple earthquakes, the little red Random Act of Christmas bulb hung on the 5th day of Christmas, at Omnitrans Route 2 bus stop, finally disappeared some time yesterday.

Hopefully, whoever took it sees it as good luck, keeps and hangs on their tree next year.

On tap for today is serving as uber driver to granddaughter’s running of errands but, before I take off, thought I’d fill you folks in on yesterday’s “Resident’s Meeting”, which Nurse Ratched opened by calling it “The First Manager/Residents Meeting” and, more accurately, should have been titled “The Nurse Ratched Show”.

Corporate copped out and made no appearance. So it was she, her Assistant Manager, the Maintenance Supervisor and his newly just yesterday hired Assistant Maintenance Man in attendance, but none of the others spoke. It was all her all the time, and she had a list from which she did not care to deviate.

First on her list was to let us know that, because “It’s the law … I’m only doing what my bosses tell me to do … It’s in the lease … Repairs are most certainly negligence on the part of residents” maintenance costs would now be billed to residents. For instance:

1.       If the garbage disposal goes out, it’s because residents use the disposal as a trash can when it’s meant for small leftovers.
2.      Blinds broken and in need of replacement, outside the three year normal wear and tear, is because residents don’t open or close properly.
3.      Toilets clog because residents try to flush too much matter.
4.      Cleaning/repair of carpet, under 5 year life expectancy, is to be billed to residents AND if a resident moves prior to the 5 years, cleaning carpet for new resident is prorated on that 5 year life expectancy minus normal wear and tear.

News to me. I’d assumed new carpet always went in when a resident moved out.

There was much more residents were faulted with and, of course, Nurse Ratched was incorrect a lot of the time in using “It’s in the lease” excuse. However, when corrected by residents who actually were well versed in contents of the lease agreement, she’d respond with “Well …” then kept going like her error was never pointed out. Also, audience questions about topics of interest to residents were rebuffed with, “It’s on the list. I’ll get to it.”

Although one could see exasperation rising up here and there at how answers to resident questions were handled illogically, incorrect, with double talk, none of the residents became loud or obnoxious. Except my depressed neighbor was very vocal throughout and at one point, after having made a suggestion as to how maintenance requests should be handled, pointed a finger squarely at Nurse Ratched and threatened, “If Maintenance shows up one more time to my door without notice, you can believe you’ll hear from me!”

Depressed Neighbor sat up front and made it difficult for myself and others to ask questions because she wouldn’t shut up with the questions, complaints, suggestions.

I guess it all goes back to her background as a large-and-in charge State Commissioner.

Listening to my neighbor over and over and over gave me quite the headache, but I did manage to squeeze in and ask about the gate.

That prison look is because someone took the time, using wire cutters, to cut a hole in the original gate so they could just reach in and open from the outside. Consequently, slabs of metal sheeting were welded in.

Nurse Ratched managed to make this also the fault of residents, saying it had to be someone living here with a resident who wanted easy access and, "This isn't an assisted living facility" so when we observe people jumping the brick walls and fences, we should call the police.

Really?

What's assisted living have to do with it, and like the police have time to respond to people jumping the fence because they live here with others. Also, should the police actually do respond, if the fence/wall jumper is living with a resident, isn’t it management’s responsibility to issue a lease violation since management brought that resident into the building AND the resident is required to verify and abide by how many and who inhabit the premise.

I know residents who have complained directly to Nurse Ratched about residents allowing whole families to live with them, babies crying, all manner of noises as a result of the unauthorized persons. Nurse Ratched’s response to the complainers has been, “You can’t prove it”.

I blogged a while back about one of the ladies in the pool group getting a kick out of lying to and outwitting Nurse Ratched while sneaking her son and granddaughter in every night, hiding his car, getting him out early every morning and passing the granddaughter’s presence as simply babysitting during the day.

Three years later, that resident is still at it.

I also squeezed in between my neighbor’s yada yada yada and inquired if we could get the monthly calendar in a timely manner.

First of the month IS considered timely per Nurse Ratched AND she advised that if the first of the month falls on a weekend, the calendar will not be distributed until Monday.

So that’s a NO.

Older Sister brought up use of the pool and jacuzzi, because she’d heard both were not usable due to a chlorine problem.

Not true, said Nurse Ratched. The County regularly inspects levels. In fact – and this was something I already knew but didn’t mention in the blog when I was made aware at the time, the County Inspector who’d inspected and signed off on our pool and jacuzzi was the male shooter in the Inland Regional Center Terror attack.

How’s that for coincidence.

Bingo is supposedly coming back. This time it’s real bingo … for money, using the big bingo board that’s been going unused in the Community Room since this management group took over.



I’ll believe it when I see it.

Zumba in the afternoon is supposedly being considered as an activity for us seniors, which announcement prompted quite a few of the very elderly, and some not that elderly who should know to ask, “What’s zumba?”

Again, I’ll believe it when I see it.

After Nurse Ratched indicated which requests were now to be handled through calling her directly, rather than by previously used Requests for Service or approaching the maintenance men, someone shouted out, “But you’re never here and, when you are here, you have a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on your door”.

Nurse Ratched's reply was to say something about how hard she works, how busy she is.

The room erupted with eye rolling, knowing looks, I heard someone actually laughed out loud then realized it was me.

Though I was glad the meeting was calm and civil, to the point of boring, it was just another Nurse Ratched show -- misinformation, passing-the-buck, illogical responses and a waste of my time.

At any rate, I came, I saw, I ended up with a headache, no need for me to attend the next.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Gated Community?

Even though my walks have been late morning rather than early, it’s been so cold and windy that I ordered a couple long sleeve high collar athletic tops to protect myself against the weather.



Since the incident with the mailman leaving the lockbox key in the wrong box, and the person receiving my makeup and scrapbook album by mistake deciding to keep rather than turn over, I’ve been reluctant to receive orders via mail. Preferring the ship to store for pickup but, in this case, that option wasn’t available, so trusting the mailman it was.

Fortunately, the order arrived today without incident, the fit is perfect but guess what … the weather has taken a dramatic turn. It’s still windy, but now too hot for long sleeves high collar.

Nevertheless, I’ve been out there to the tune of 11.77 towards the Aim High 2016 – 100 Mile Challenge and, in the process, qualified as having completed two other virtual 5Ks.






Looks like I’m not only back in the swing of things, but making up for lost time.

While out walking the other day, I noticed a change in entrance to the complex.

From this …




To This …



Not only does the gate change make the entrance look hideously ugly, but it gives a whole new meaning to the term “Gated Community” because the complex has taken on look and feel of a prison.



If adding heavy sheets of metal to the gate is intended to keep bad people out, it’s a total fail as people jump the walls and fence areas; not to mention bad people are already living here, allowing other bad people to live with them.

After thinking about it, the change may be to add weight to the gate, thereby preventing it from the usual slamming shut, which slamming irritates residents living near the entrance.

However, there’s got to be a more pleasingly aesthetic way of solving that issue.

Perhaps I’ll find out what’s up with the gate at this afternoon’s Resident Meeting.

Yep, it appears the screaming match I walked into a few weeks ago where residents were complaining about Nurse Ratched and demanding to meet with corporate is happening.

I stopped into the Community Room after picking up mail and was informed by Younger Sister the meeting is 3:00 today.

On the one hand, I don’t want to sit in what is sure to be a hostile environment – people angry, people frustrated, people venting. Especially, since I feel it’s all for naught because “You can’t change a problem at the level of the problem”.

On the other hand, I’m curious, so we’ll see.