Friday, April 29, 2016

Arts and Crafts Part 3

It was a fun morning in the Community Room, with the new Activity Director showing us how to personalize coffee mugs.

The Activity Director informed us that she showed up last Friday with all her supplies, not knowing the office and Community Room were inaccessible that day because staff had taken the day off.

She’d better get accustomed to it, I thought to myself, because it wasn’t the first time and won’t be the last. Others said out loud, “We didn’t know either.” I then mentioned that we usually just set up in the outside patio area and go on with our planned activity.

Activity Director said she’d thought about that, but it was too hot that day for seniors to be out in the sun, and she was right … it would have been miserable; plus, we would have had no access to the Community Room kitchen, and the cups require baking. I suppose we could have baked the cups in our own ovens, and hoped to have done it correctly and not exploded them, but she made the right choice to pack up and call it a day.

The process for this morning’s Sharpie Mugs -- which is what they’re called, was quite easy and involved black or clear coffee cups, various colored sharpies, and stickers – mostly letters for initials, but other decorative embellishments.


After selecting and applying self-adhesive stickers to the mug, we were instructed to pick a sharpie color or colors, use that sharpies to tap dots around the sticker to create a stencil, then remove the sticker. From there, we could dot colors inside the stencil or outside and around the stencil.

I quickly snagged a clear, because it looked like that’s the direction everyone was going and there weren’t enough clear for all of us. I then decided to free-hand dots, rather than use stickers. Deciding on lips and hearts for my cup, I first drafted smiling lips on paper as a go-by for one side of the cup, open lips with teeth for the other side of the cup.





You can see the designs better with background paper in the cup, so here you go.




And here’s what some of the others came up with.









After we were done, the Activity Director placed our mugs on a cookie sheet, heated the oven to 350°F, and set the timer for 30 minutes bake, telling us to allow another 30 minutes to cool … come back at 1:00.





The Arts and Crafts portion of this morning’s program over, it was now noon and someone was setting up a lunch of sliders which, of course the price for a free lunch was sitting in on a presentation – this one on burial insurance.

One might think such a presentation as morbid, especially as a topic for lunch. We don’t see it that way but, nevertheless, these things bore me, so I opted instead to head back to my unit for a lunch of ramen noodles.

And, yes, I know ramen noodles are not clean eating, furthermore are bad for you, but they’re quick, easy, cheap and I like ‘em.

At any rate, I went back down at 1:00 sharp, to pick up my cup before some dishonest individual walked through the Community Room and disappeared it.



The only downside to Sharpie Mugs is they can’t be soaked in water without the color running or coming off completely.

I’ll be using my cup for decorative purposes only.

I’ve liked all the Activity Directors we’ve had in the past, but I really really really like this girl and hope Nurse Ratched doesn’t run her off.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Arts and Crafts Part 2

Checking into the Community Room this morning, I learned Arts and Crafts: Personalized Mug has been rescheduled for tomorrow morning.

This is the class scheduled for last Friday, by the new Activity Director -- the class that didn’t materialize because Nurse Ratched closed the office and locked up the Community Room.

I also learned this morning that Apache took a photo of the “closed” signs and forwarded them to Corporate, and other agencies involved in the welfare of seniors, reporting that residents were given no notice of the closure and had an event scheduled that day.

Nurse Ratched has been reported before – many times, with no consequences; so doubting there’d be anything different this time, I just chalked it up as par for the course and had pretty much decided to drop out when and if the class was rescheduled.

However, I do enjoy crafting and have decided to once again pull myself together first thing tomorrow, so I can make the 9:00 activity. Hopefully Nurse Ratched is satisfied with having proved her point to the new Activity Director– that she is in control, and won’t be shutting us out tomorrow morning as well.

Before leaving the Community Room to head back to my unit, I was asked if Termite Control had shown up on Wednesday, as Nurse Ratched stated in last week’s Resident’s/Management meeting they would, with the temporary fix of injecting whatever it is they inject into the walls.

That would be “no”, they did not show up. However, I went on to say, it’s no longer of concern to me as I’ve solved my own problem … discouraged the termites from dropping into my unit by saturating the entry areas with product.

I wondered out loud what the other residents being plagued by termites are doing. No one knows who those residents are but all said it can’t be good that termites are in the wood … gnawing and chewing away at the foundation, and they all pretty much said what was said in Dkzody's comment that tenting would be required, not injection.

Inasmuch as I’ve concluded this complex has morphed into a money making enterprise, the goal of which is to take in as much money as you can, put out as little as you can in expenditures, I’d be very surprised if the long-term solution of tenting comes into play.

However, taking into consideration the temperament of Nurse Ratched -- and how it is she likes to punish, retaliate, there is a faint possibility she might think tenting would inconvenience us all and discourage future complaints.

There are twelve units in this building – four on my side, four on the front side, four on the back side. On my side there are 1-1/2 vacancies – the downstairs unit underneath my next door neighbor and the unit underneath me … the one with the neighbor boxed up and halfway out but still there. All four units on the front are occupied. There are some vacancies on the back side, but I don’t know how many.

At any rate, I don’t know what everyone else will do in the event of tenting, but I find myself already visualizing where I’d like to go for however long I’m locked out.

I’m leaning towards a hotel in downtown Long Beach, near the beach and Rainbow Lagoon area -- where there’s nice places to walk, sights to see and my favorite Mexican restaurant … SuperMex. On the other hand, it depends on how well I like the Venice Beach area, where I’m scheduled for meditation retreat May 13-15.

The best possible outcome, if tenting is utilized, would be tenting May 13-15 when I’m already out of town.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Bloom Where Planted

This morning was my scheduled visit to the locktician (braid stylist). She recently moved the location of her shop to an area where there must be a lot of old folks because, after getting off the freeway, I passed six senior complexes.

It’s a good area, big shopping center nearby, restaurants, shops, two walking trails.

In spite of the lack of activities and poor management, I like where I’m living. My unit is in a good location on the property, I feel safe and everything I need is nearby or a short drive. However, it pays to be aware so, on the drive back, I made note of the names of the complexes, so I could research them … just in case.

Two turned out to be Assisted Living.

The other four were Active Living and looked to be places I might consider in future if need be … that is, until I read the reviews.

Complex No. 1: “Thus far there have been 4 onsite managers and 2 mgmt companies and no consistency between any of them. Each complex is individually owned and under an association, but not all owners care about the upkeep of their properties the same way. Some just collect the rent and make no effort. All in all I'm happy with my apartment, but feel improvements should be made to ensure consistency and upkeep here.”

Sounds similar to my situation here, where I’m happy with my apartment but management is blah.

Complex No. 2: “I wouldn't live here for the amount of money they're charging. Whomever I spoke to about the property was very rude, and the establishment seemed very unprofessional. They tried to tell me they are the cheapest apartments in the area. That's because they don't have in home laundry and they have to have a sign on their pool that says to make sure you don't have diarrhea. No thanks.”

Complex No. 3: “You get what you pay for here. It may be cheaper than other places and if you move in you’ll see why. I’ve yet to hear a single resident say how great it is to live here. Staff is indifferent, maintenance is very slow at fixing things, and the atmosphere is very depressing. Much more I could say but I think you get the idea.”

Complex No. 4: “Place was horrible, staff didn’t care about anything but money. The residents were grouchy as hell. A black man threatened to kill my grandfather because the parking was compact and he claimed he parked too close. Lastly the staff called my grandparents’ Doctors trying to have their healthcare revoked cause they moved from there crappy shoe box apartments! Pathetic.”

It appears the various management companies are operating under the same playbook insofar as how seniors and senior complexes are to be handled … treat them like children, take away their toys, take their money, ignore their requests.

I even researched the senior complex I had to leave because a relative needed me to relocate to Long Beach. I was happy with neighbors at that complex, had a good relationship with management, and lived there seven years until I foolishly put the welfare of a relative before my own and relocated to Long Beach to provide a place for that relative to live so as to keep her from a shelter or the streets.

"No good deed goes unpunished", so that episode in life turned into a horrible nightmare … for me, which led me back to the Inland Empire area and this particular complex, which was like Paradise under property management in charge at the time.

At any rate, like I said, I researched the senior complex where I use to live and found a review indicating it too has turned to the dark side.

“Absolutely terrible place. My Mom used to live here, management has changed, and for the worse. They had a little sitting area where they would sit, they took it away. Some of the old folks would smoke, yes it's bad for you, but they are outside, and my goodness it was a social thing, and then they told all these little old people you can't even smoke outside anywhere, and you now have to go through the locked gate. The area isn't safe, and not to mention that you have young people housing in with the old folks who are not supposed to be there, being really rude to other tenants. They even took away their coffee and doughnut time. Not like these folks have a lot to look forward too. Sad, sad place.”

Looks like things could be worse, so I’m good where I am and will continue to bloom, stand in the light, despite the darkness around me.

Also on the way back, I stopped at Sprouts for supplies and saw something interesting.


Striped Bell Peppers

Could this be the result of genetic engineering … like what they’re doing with animals?


I can’t tell you how the striped bell peppers taste because, when I went to pick one out for purchase, they all felt soft. I like my peppers firm.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Arts and Crafts

Today started off with my pulling myself together first thing, so I could make the new Activity Director’s first session with us -- a 9:00 a.m. Arts and Crafts: Personalized Mug.

Though I’m generally up early – anywhere between 3:30 and 6:00, I actually don’t seize the day and get going until 10:00 or 11:00. So for me, 9:00 is rather early for anything other than a special occasion … like a 5K.

However, this is the first time Arts and Crafts has been made available to us since this management group took over in 2013, and since I’m a crafty person, I focused on getting my act together in time for the 9:00 class.

I didn’t expect many residents to attend because 1) not showing up for the few activities we do have is how residents protest against Nurse Ratched and 2) the monthly calendar listed the event as happening on Friday, April 29th.

Today is Friday, April 22nd.

Fortunately, the new Activity Director saw the calendar, observed the “typo”, made a run through the Community Room a few days ago, telling those present the 29th was not the date she’d turned into the office for inclusion in the monthly calendar and gave those persons flyers with the correct date. The Seer was one of those present. She knew I’d signed up for the class on the 29th and passed word down to me.

If you’ve been a reader of this blog for a while, you’ll know the history of how it is we can’t keep an Activity Director, because Nurse Ratched sabotages their events with locked doors, calendar distributed after-the-fact, dictating what the Activity Director can and cannot do. So this wrong date will come as no surprise to you. It’s what us residents call Nurse Ratched giving the Activity Director “the business”. Showing her from the start who’s boss, in order to demonstrate her butt must be kissed and make them pliable to being dominated and controlled.

The various Activity Directors we’ve had coming through the complex generally do try to do their job, while pleasing Nurse Ratched at the same time, but eventually get discouraged, mentally exhausted and leave.

And so it was, I headed down to the Community Room at 8:55 only to find the office building locked up tight as a drum, with a note on the door that the office is closed all day today. Thinking they’d at least leave the back door to the Community Room open for our class, I walked around to that side where, again, I saw a note of office closure posted; plus an additional note that arts and crafts would be rescheduled.

I’m done! And I’m pretty sure the new Activity Director will be done before she even gets off the ground.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

False Alarm



What looked like a nail, sending me 20 miles to the tire place, turned out to be a rock; which, by the time I got to the tire place, had dislodged itself. Of course, it took an hour and a half out of my life before the technicians got to my car, jacked it, removed the tire, looked and found nothing.

“Did you try to pull it out?” they asked?

“I gave it a fingernail test and, when it didn’t fall off, I assumed it was a nail.”

Oh, well, it was a good day for a drive. Plus, they washed my windows and spruced up all the tires to make them look all shinny and new.




Waking up this morning, determined to get back into a walking routine, I made it as far as the Community Room. Topic of conversation, of course was, as always, Nurse Ratched … the out and out lies she told in Tuesday’s meeting, the double talk, talking in circles, misinformation.


My issue is somewhat resolved as the termite specialist is supposedly scheduled to treat my unit on Wednesday of next week. In the meantime, after having made such a big deal of management’s incompetent handling of the situation, rightfully so, I’ve not seen termites since.

I think it’s probably because I’ve so saturated the areas above the windows -- which is where they entered, with product, they decided to move on and find another resident to harass.

I’ll still have the areas treated professionally, just in case they decide to come back.

I don’t know much about termites, but from what little I do know, I would think management would be anxious to get them taken care of, rather than allow them to eat away at the building’s internal structure. However, Nurse Ratched seemed more concerned with the outward appearance of the complex, coming up with asinine rules, such as no more than three plants on the patio and now no curtains and no decorative vases on window frames … “When I walk the grounds, I want to see nothing but blinds from the outside. No curtains, no nothing in the windows.”

She’s reneged on a door which would allow residents entry to the Community Room when management is out-of-office, saying it’s “Too expensive”. The plan now is to go back to leaving the doors unlocked, Monday through Sunday, until 9:00 p.m.

She did not specify who’s going to open, who is going to close, but this is a solution she’s given us before, which solution did not last long. I don’t expect it to last long this time either.
She also mentioned a rumor that had been going around about an elderly resident being beaten and robbed in her unit.

I didn’t hear it, probably because I’ve not been out much.

She went on to say it didn’t happen … it was a rumor. The resident had actually passed out. When she roused herself, she had no idea what had happened, called a neighbor, said she’d been beaten and robbed. Once composed, she looked around and everything she said had been taken was still there.

I don’t know who that resident was, but I have a feeling it was the discombobulated senior I found on the ground in the field by the market last year.

At any rate, Nurse Ratched was very irate that the rumor of a beating and robbery had been so wide spread and said spreading rumors will no longer be tolerated. It’s a lease violation and anyone found spreading a rumor will be evicted.

ROFLMAO!

The woman is delusional.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Signs, Stuff and Nonsense

For the first time in years -- since I was a kid even, I had an egg with double yokes.



Being as how I see signs in everything, I took it as foretelling a day of good luck and, naturally, headed to the 7 Eleven for Powerball and Mega Million tickets, followed by a run to the market and Starbucks for another pound to brew at home and a fresh cup of java for the road.

And still it has been, since the last post, that’s pretty much been the extent of my adventures outside the unit – mostly market, occasional run by Starbucks and, today, 7 Eleven -- a 3 mile radius.

The third Resident’s/Management Meeting was scheduled for 3:00 today. Actually, it’s the second, because management did not show up for the second. On that occasion, Nurse Ratched entered the room five or ten minutes after we’d all assembled and said the meeting was cancelled.

Today’s meeting actually happened, and the room was packed.

Of course, I attended as it was my intention to put management on blast about a maintenance issue – termites.

I first reported seeing them creeping inside a few weeks ago. Maintenance Supervisor came up and pronounced them baby wasps (because he’d removed a wasp nest from the patio the day before). His remedy was to use my own wasp spray in the area they were dropping down into the unit.

Next day, same issue.

Thinking to myself that he’s the Maintenance Supervisor, ergo smarter than I, more knowledgeable than I about such things, I figured more “baby wasps”, sprayed them myself, thinking eventually there’d be an end t0 them.

There wasn’t.

Every day since May 18, same issue.

Calls to the office went unreturned.

Finally, I made a video, emailed it to the office saying, “Why is it so hard to get a return call? Send someone. I want whatever they are permanently gone.”

Still no return call; however, a week later, Pest Control arrived, pronounced them termites … that he couldn’t do anything because they’re in the walls, said he’d tell the office to send a termite specialist, then nothing.

So more days of my spraying to keep them at bay until yesterday, when I went over Nurse Ratched's head by taking another video and emailing it to Corporate.

THAT got a rise out of her.

Today, just before the meeting, Nurse Ratched responded to my email that “The problem had been addressed last week, pest control had treated the area.”

A blatant lie, for the benefit of Corporate I suppose.

I replied, “You are mistaken, pest control came, said nothing they can do as you need to arrange for a termite specialist.”

In addition to which, I put it on blast at the 3:00 meeting that we have a termite problem. Of course Nurse Ratched repeated her lie that the unit had been treated last week.

I wasn't going to let her get away with that. I corrected her that yes, pest control came, did nothing because he could do nothing, said he'd let you know a termite specialist is required.

She backed off with, "Sorry. I was misinformed".

I did learn, at the meeting, I'm not alone. There are five units in the complex with this problem, supposedly termite control will be onsite next Wednesday. I also learned the Maintenance Supervisor is no longer with us.

WHAT?!

That’s right.

The guy who was brought in and given the title of Maintenance Supervisor, in a plot to force out our long-time maintenance man back in December, is gone.

Wonder what he did to displease Nurse Ratched?

The new Maintenance Supervisor is younger, and looks quite the eye candy.

I just hope he’s not as dumb as the one who just left us -- the Maintenance Supervisor who didn’t know the difference between baby wasps and termites, but I’m not hopeful.

This business with calls not be returned, the ever present mix-up of dates on the calendar (more on that later), I’ve come to the conclusion the entire management structure here is just plain incompetent.



The remainder of the meeting was just so many out-and-out lies, double-talk, misinformation, bull crap that, I couldn’t take hearing anymore of it. I got up and walked out.

A day of good luck? I dunno. Wasn’t exactly a bad day. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Times Up, Get Out!

I can’t believe that, other than runs to the market, I’ve not been out of the unit in almost two weeks.

My body must have been fighting something off because, for three days, I woke up late, ate breakfast, fell asleep on the couch, woke up around 1:00 in the afternoon, ate lunch, fell back asleep, woke up in time for Judge Judy, managed to stay awake through dinner and a couple evening shows, then to bed asleep early.

I seem to have an internal clock which gets me up in time for Judge Judy – sometimes 4:00 sharp, sometimes a little late at 4:13, but always I become alert when Judy is on.

During one of those “naps”, I recall being slightly awakened by the sound of a helicopter circling. Unable to rouse myself awake enough to care, I went back into a deep sleep and, when I awakened for Judge Judy, found a text message that there’d been a robbery of one of the businesses down the street. The fool that robbed the place took the cash register, dropped it in the middle of the street when chased, ran home to his dwelling – which happened to be only a quarter mile away on the other side of that empty field. There was a police chopper following him, the corner across from the market was roped off, and then swat came, surrounded the house he'd run to, hauled him out and away.

I slept through swat!

Again, this kind of activity makes the area sound unsafe. It isn’t. It’s just that there are some bad areas scattered throughout, one needs to know where to go, where not to go, and sometimes the folks from those bad spots bleed into our area.

At any rate, I woke up this morning feeling more my old self, with plans to head out for a walk but, once again, found myself reluctant to open the front door and go out into the world of other people.

I made it all the way to suiting up in walking gear, but then turned on the computer, began today's post ... still dressed in full walking gear.

I’m really anxious for my downstairs neighbor to get outta here so I can do the indoor walking tape. Her two weeks are up, she’s given away all her furniture and is living in chaos – everything packed up, surrounded by boxes. The only piece of furniture is the couch, which is where she sleeps. She’s given that away as well, but told the recipient she needs it to sleep on for now, she’d call the day she moves for her to take away.

Even the recipient is anxious, calling me, asking me to check, “She said she’d be gone by now … when is she moving … can I get a firm date”.

I checked, neighbor doesn’t have a firm date.

That being the case, why’d she pack up and give away so soon?

She’s a nice woman, a nice neighbor, I’m sad to see her go, but leave already!

The morning is still young so, after posting, I'm heading to the couch for more cross stitching, but I’m staying dressed in walking gear hoping, at some point, it will push me to make it out for that walk.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Happy Trails Mr. Postman

He’s gone!

Retired!

As of almost two weeks ago. In fact, his last day on the job looks to have been the day I almost got busted at the UPS Store checking on a way to work around him for deliveries. Since then, I'd caught a glimpse of mail being distributed by a young female, which I thought was his vacation replacement and, since I've not been out much, didn't realize he'd not returned.

Funny thing about his retiring is, when he all-of-a-sudden began falling down on the job, performing so poorly and adopting a pompous arrogant attitude about it, the thought did occur to me it might be time for him to hang up his mailbag and retire.

Now that’s come to fruition, I’m thinking it may account for WHY he’d all of a sudden begun falling down on the job, performing so poorly. It must have been because, having already decided to retire, he either no longer cared about the job or his mind was elsewhere – preoccupied with planning his next move, counting down the months, then days.

He wasn’t the kind of guy on friendly terms with his customers – at least not at this location. Not the kind of mailman you’ve give a birthday card, a gift card at Christmas, a retirement hug, so I don’t think he’ll be remembered or missed.

I once again feel comfortable that online orders will reach me. However, I’ve since learned of something called “toffee”.



It's a service provided by Amazon where, at no extra cost, I can have deliveries sent to a  locker. There just happens to be one near my dentist and the Souplantation I frequent.

Good to know and WHY didn’t I know about this before?

Oddly enough, nothing ordered through Amazon was ever misdirected but, now that I know of this option, I will take the extra added precaution in future of only ordering through Amazon.

Didn’t make it to the craft store yesterday, but did make it to the market – which is where I learned from someone about the mailman’s retirement. Just before leaving for the market, I checked my make-up in the mirror and noticed I wasn’t wearing my hoop earrings.

I'm one of those prissy females who feels naked without perfume, earrings and have been known to turnaround, go back home, rectify the situation when suddenly realizing I’d forgotten either of the two while already out and about. At any rate, seeing in the mirror I was without the earrings, I looked for them on the earring tree.

Not there.

Sometimes I remove them late at night -- while sitting on the couch, and end up leaving them on the counter or table in the living room.

Checked both locations … not there.

So after running around the unit, wondering where I’d left the earrings, I put my hands to my ears … and there they were.

Whaaaaat?!

I swear they weren’t there when I looked in the mirror, so they either mysteriously reappeared or it’s time for new glasses.

I'm going with a need for new glasses.

Monday, April 11, 2016

A Place for Everything, Everything in its Place

It felt good to walk into the closet this morning, look towards the rack of clothing to decide what color leggings to wear today, glance to my left and see what had been an empty space ever since my favorite belt was pilfered, empty no longer.



Yep, the mailman is now two for two lately on getting deliveries right.

The buckle arrived on the 1st and, when I opened the mailbox late Saturday and found a key to the lock box, I knew the recently ordered belt had also been delivered correctly.

I’m satisfied with the buckle/belt combo, but not completely happy.

Since retiring, I keep it simple with a basic two looks. The first is daily wear: leggings, long sleeve, short sleeve, no sleeve athletic top (depending on the weather), sandals or athletic shoes. The second look is for special occasions -- a rare party or dinner out and for when I go to hoity toity areas and have to look like I am somebody so as not to appear out-of-place, suspicious, or a hooker because I’m Black.

And yes, such places still do exist; and, yes, even at my advantaged age, I still do run into situations of being obviously and deliberately followed by security in malls, at craft shows, and viewed suspiciously as a hooker, propositioned by some perv, or mistaken as the help at the fancy hotels the meditation group selects for its weekend retreats.

I had to laugh, on one occasion at a fancy hotel in San Diego, when I was dressed appropriately as a guest, not as a maid, yet and still an elderly woman approached asking, “Honey, do you work here?”

At any rate, the second look is pretty much the same as the first: leggings, athletic top, except I add a blazer, boots and, with my favorite flag belt, it all comes together as upscale looking ... expensive, though it’s not.

This new belt is Justin, soft leather -- and that’s not Justin as in Bieber, the singer, but as in the family of H.J. Justin, the boots craftsmen. I prefer the hard leather of the original belt, but this will do for now until I run across harder leather on my travels.

On tap for today?

I’m trying to work myself up to heading out to Redlands for last week’s doctor-ordered blood pressure check. The doctor’s office called saying she’d not seen me in a while, wanted me to set up an appointment and, in the interim, stop in at any facility for a blood pressure check.

The reason she’d not seen me for a while is because I’ve been blessed with not suffering any serious injury/illness, so I don’t see the problem with not checking in because I don’t need to check in, so I'll pass on the appointment.

I do "try" to comply with the occasional blood pressure check and fasting blood thingie she requires. The blood pressure check didn’t happen last week, and I feel in my bones it’s not gonna happen today either -- maybe not even this week. She may have to resort to holding my blood pressure medication hostage, as she did last time. Lol.

I'm still feeling quiet, reflective, not wanting to be around people, but perhaps I’ll work myself up to getting out for groceries today, Starbucks and a trip to the craft store for a smaller loom, to facilitate corner work on that cross stitch project.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Starts with S, Ends with R

There was a fun quiz posted to my facebook page last night.



Most came up with … Star.

I got it within two seconds with, of course … Sugar.

It’s been about 19 days since I last had sugar, which may account for how I’ve been feeling lately … tired, sluggish, unmotivated, not wanting to leave the unit unless I absolutely must, sitting on the couch watching television and cross stitching all day and half the night; not to mention experiencing a sense of hard-heartedness and impatience with what I see going on in the world insofar as what people think, say, do, expect.

Not wanting to be around people, I’ve passed on several 5Ks and have even been dreading Mothers’ Day coming up, because daughter usually takes me out for manicure/pedicure/lunch. I’ve been so dreading it that I’ve even considered lying, saying I’d be out of town while hiding out in my unit. But then I figured daughter would just choose another day to “honor” me, plus lying doesn’t come easily for me. After torturing myself over the possibility of telling a lie, I decided to just speak the truth … that I appreciate the thought, the gesture, but would really rather not. No further explanation required or given.

I did receive notice of a weekend Meditation Session coming up in May, in Venice – that’s Venice California, not Venice Italy, so I signed up. I think that’s just what I need right now.

Instead of sitting in front of the television, ingesting its negativity, man’s stupidity and inhumanity to his brother man/woman/animals, just like I detoxed sugar from my system, I’ll be detoxing from the world -- sitting quietly in a room full of enlightened beings, soaking up an atmosphere of gentleness, kindness, understanding, peace.

The session schedule looks tight and, for the first time, includes lunch with the group because the teacher wants us to maintain the atmosphere created by the class.

Lunch is going to be a challenge for me because, even when I’m in weekend sessions with like-minded individuals, I prefer aloneness. Lunch is usually walking around the area, listening to myself think, so I dunno. Especially since the Venice Boardwalk is a hop, skip, jump from the meeting location. Having been living in the Southern California area for as long as I’ve been alive -- 72 years, I’ve never been to the world famous Venice Boardwalk. Not wanting to miss this opportunity to walk around and explore, unless the lunch menu is spectacular, I’ll take my chances that I can maintain the atmosphere, think only good thoughts, as I sight-see and people watch along the beach front.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Subject to Change

When the Assistant Manager puts together the monthly Event Calendar, she should add the disclaimer that events listed are subject to change without prior notice because, once again, an event on the calendar did not materialize.

Cancelled?

Rescheduled?

Who knows, because management long ago dispensed with notifying residents of changes. We’re sort of on a word-of-mouth system around here, and if you don’t get out and happen to catch the word, then you’re out of the loop.

I haven’t been out of the unit much lately, so I guess I missed whatever was going around about the Meet and Greet with the new Activity Director because, when I walked by the Community Room at the scheduled time yesterday, the place was empty and eerily quiet–no management personnel, no residents. Even the giant plasma, which is on 24/7 was off. “No signal” on the screen.

And no kidding about 24/7.

Management in its infinite wisdom has seen fit to control the Community Room television from Nurse Ratched’s office. It’s stuck on one channel, the Get TV Station, that runs old musicals -- unless someone convinces her to change and, when the office is closed, when the Community Room is locked up tight, when we’re all in our beds fast asleep, the television is still on.

Since everything is controlled from Nurse Ratched’s office, perhaps running 24/7 is some sort of anti-theft mechanism.

The fact that the television was off yesterday may account for why no residents were in the Community Room. The fact that management personnel made no appearance for a scheduled event is par for the course.

The calendar also shows Arts and Crafts on the 29th, "Design Your Own Coffee Mug".

Being crafty, I’m kinda looking forward to the event. However, being a realist, I won’t be surprised or disappointed if it too does not materialize.

After weeks of sleeping late, waking just before 8:00 -- which is highly unusual for me, it was back to my normal wide awake at 3:30 this morning. While waiting for the neighbors to wake up, so I could start making noise, it occurred to me there’s an advantage to the downstairs neighbor moving out. With her leaving, the entire bottom floor will be vacant. Noise doesn’t travel across to my next door neighbor, so I’ll be able to turn on the television at ungodly hours. It even means unless and until new tenants move in, I’ll be free to pull out my zumba and Leslie Sansone walking tapes, get in some exercise in the comfort of my own domicile.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Comings, Goings

There appears to be a whole lot more goings, than comings -- downstairs neighbor will be gone in two weeks and, just this morning, Casino Lady told me she’s planning a move to Desert Hot Springs. The only coming I'm aware of is … according to the monthly event calendar, we’ve got a new Activity Director.

That was a quick hire. Probably because a recently retired Event Coordinator moved into the complex a few months ago and, when our Activity Director left a few weeks ago, this resident went to Corporate and applied for the job. Inasmuch as she is more than qualified and has our support, I guess Corporate felt they’d better rush and put someone of their own choosing in the position.

No matter, our resident will get another opportunity to apply soon, as Activity Directors don’t last long around here. This is like the third, maybe the fourth, since this management group took over. The ladies usually burn out in under a year, and not because of us -- the residents. Unless they’ve been pulling our legs, which I don’t think they were, the feedback we’ve been given during their tenure was they liked us, found us to be the nicest, most appreciative, most helpful out of all the other senior communities they rotate through, but that “there are just so many restrictions” as to what they can and cannot do for seniors at this location. “Restrictions” that do not exist at the other communities.

I recall blogging that the clock was ticking when the last Activity Director came on board end of August. So now, we’re resetting the clock on this latest hire.

Tick tick tick.

There’s a Meet and Greet scheduled for her this coming Thursday. Residents appear to be so depressed, demoralized, so into not caring, that I’ll be surprised if more than a handful shows up. I don’t want to witness her first introduction being such a dismal affair, so I’ll just walk by, peek in and, if it looks empty, I’ll keep walking. 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Good Deed, Good Deed, Bad Deed, Close Shave

When downstairs neighbor stopped me yesterday, as I was on the way to purchase that belt, asking if I knew anyone who’d be interested in her couch, sofa, nightstands, bed, table, hutch … all for free, no cost, as the new complex is completely furnished. I asked around and ended up putting neighbor and older sister together.

Ordinarily, I would have referred downstairs neighbor to Salvation Army, but she’s a very clean person and has quality furnishings one would rather see not go that route.  Older sister just relocated from a one bedroom on the property to a two bedroom, so she was happy to take the items and appreciative of the hookup.

It's interesting that the new complex is furnished, prompting those moving in to get rid of what they own. If I were neighbor, I would have put my things in storage just in case the new complex doesn't work out, so I wouldn't have to start all over again accumulating.

Also, yesterday, I was thinking that when I got back to the complex from shopping, though I didn’t want to, I’d better crack those colored eggs and turn them into deviled eggs before they go bad. But, when I was walking around checking to see if anyone wanted or knew anyone who’d want the furniture, I ran into a resident babysitting her granddaughter.

“Can I give your granddaughter something I have from Easter?” asked I.

“Sure, says she.”


So that’s off my hands. The decision to crack or keep now rests with the little girl.

Those are my two good deeds, though I wasn’t counting and didn’t even see them as anything other than par for the course until I did something bad today and needed to show it's not my normal.

After returning yesterday’s purchase, I first stopped at Starbucks this morning where I saw a family sitting on the curb.



The father smiled at me, waved, held up a sign ... “I have 4 Kids. No job. No food”.

I looked at him, he looked at me, my heart hardened and I heard myself think to myself, “You shouldn’t have had all those damn kids.”

I feel guilty I feel that way, but I own the guilt, can live with the guilt, because that is and has always been a pet peeve of mine -- people having a passel of kids, especially children they can’t care for. It’s not fair to the children and is one of the reasons I'm no longer close to various relatives.

After being heartless, giving no money, refusing to even look in his direction again, I stopped at the UPS store on the corner next to the market to see about obtaining a post office box with an address for deliveries -- what they termed Delivery of Mail through Agent, after which I popped into the market deli to pick up something for lunch.

On the way back to the car from the deli, what did I see parked in front of the UPS Store?



That was close.

Another few minutes in the UPS Store and I’d have been busted by the mail carrier himself.

I’ve no doubt he’ll hear about the customer looking to be serviced because she’d lost confidence in him because, it being a slow day, with no one else in the establishment, the guy in the back moseyed over to the counter where I was asking questions of the female clerk about size of the box, and we got into a conversation as to where I lived and why I needed a box.

When I said, “Right over there, at the senior complex”, the guy looked surprised and said, “That’s Paul. He’s pretty good. He takes a lot of vacation, so it’s probably his replacements messing up.”

“No”, says I. “He was tracked as the courier on the deliveries I didn’t receive. He’s fast, appears to be professional, but I think sometimes he’s too fast and makes an honest mistake -- though he says he doesn’t make mistakes, and the recipient of his mistakes isn’t an honest person.”

At any rate, when I saw the price list and realized a year’s service would run $204, I told them to let me think about this and decided to weight out how much it’s costing me in misdirected packages against the cost of a box.

Thus far it’s been a loss of $101.94. However, the vendors have been understanding in that all but one have replaced the items at no further cost to me. That one vendor offered to sell me another 12x12 album, but not replace. I declined, saying I didn’t want to take the chance on a second misdelivery. So, out of $101.94, I’m out only $23.24, to date.

The risks outweigh cost of box, so I’ll just continue with the mail carrier and try to cut back ordering online. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

No Fooling

Today is April Fools’ Day, but felt more like Friday the 13th ... a comedy of errors.

I was holding my breath that the belt buckle I’d ordered would make it to my mailbox. It arrived yesterday. Whew!

Even though the mail carrier got it right this time, I still have plans to open a post office box for deliveries because I went shopping for a belt today, exhausted myself driving in heavy traffic and arrived home with a headache.

This is why I prefer online shopping.

The belt I previously had was western style, so I did my due diligence last night, looking up the nearest Boot Barn. What came up was an address only 6 miles away, a 20 minute drive.

That 20 minute drive turned into a couple hours of chaos and confusion. First with the heavy traffic in that direction, only to finally arrive at the destination to find no such establishment at that location.

Businesses really need to keep their locations current on the internet, because this happens more times than not with in-store shopping. I’ll look up an address, arrive and find whatever was there before to be long gone.

Next was to set the GPS to ignore the address -- just take me to the nearest Boot Barn, which turned into more heavy traffic for another 6 miles and no establishment where the GPS announced “You have reached your destination.”

However, I knew the business was somewhere in the area, because I’d seen the sign from the freeway. So for a time, Mr. GPS played me the April Fool -- continuing to give me instructions to turn around and go in the direction where there was no such place, effectively sending me in circles. After a bit, I ignored the prompts, chose to drive in the opposite direction, look for the sign and finally located the building.

I don’t shop well when I’m tired and frustrated and, by then, I was tired, frustrated and hungry.

Once inside, I found they had the belt I was looking for but, of course, not in my size, so I settled -- which is never a good thing.

As soon as I drove away, I felt buyer's remorse, and knew I’d probably bring the belt back tomorrow.

Sure enough. After arriving back at the complex, pulling myself together, I went online, found and ordered an exact replica of the belt I had before. Tomorrow, I’ll be returning today's purchase; but at least now I know where the place is.

So here I am once again holding my breath the mail carrier gets it right.

To top it off, I saw a notation during checkout that the place I ordered the belt from does not ship to post office boxes. Assuming other businesses also protect themselves by shipping to addresses only, a box isn't going to be worth the expense.