Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Say What?

Spent the holiday weekend focusing on downsizing non-essentials … letting go of books and spiritual study materials I’ve outgrown and packing up glassware and knickknacks, so I’d be marginally ready for movers when the call comes on that wait list unit. I even de-cluttered the closet. Clothing I’m not ready to let go of, but which has not been worn in four/five years or more, went into storage containers. If an event comes up and I need an item, I can always pull it out, take it to the cleaners and be good to go.

As I look around, I still have so much stuff. Stuff that I don’t need, don’t use but, for one reason or another, can’t bring myself to part with.

This goal of living with less, moving with less isn’t easy.

I’m gonna need a lot more storage containers for now and make some tougher choices when it’s moving time.

The plan was to take the books, now in the trunk of the car, to the local Library today, let them have first pick and, what they had no interest in, take to Goodwill. Today’s plan was also to stop by UPS and ship spiritual study materials I’d outgrown, but held onto over the years, to an interested party in Washington.

Neither of those plans came to fruition, as I was so wiped out from all I’d accomplished over the weekend that I never left the unit. Instead, I rested and slept most of the day away.

I did have a short burst of energy around 9:30, when a call came in that another 2 bedroom 1-1/2 baths unit had become available. The call was from the leasing agent at the complex which originally had a 5-year wait list, had fulfilled the list, and was taking residents first-come-first serve. When I’d toured the property, they only had the one unit available and an old guy and his wife took it quick, fast, in a hurry. I did not request my name be added to the new wait list, did not leave a deposit cementing my name to the list, yet I got the call.

Interesting.

At any rate, even though I’d liked the complex, but not the drab unit, I would have gotten off the couch and headed over to see if the available unit was more cheery than the one I’d originally seen; however, after talking with the leasing agent I learned the complex had income restrictions and I’m over.

A little disappointed was I, because it's a nice complex, a nice area, but took it as a sign it wasn’t meant to be.

Along about 6:00 in the evening, I logged onto the computer, checked email and lo and behold there was a message, earlier in the day, from Nurse Ratched.

"Pest Control is scheduled for tomorrow morning to treat the walls where the termites were swarming so they do not come back. Please accept this as your '24 hour to enter'. After the treatment, for your safety, you would have to leave the apartment for 3 or 4 hours. When you come back to your apartment you can open the windows and sliding door to vent the area." 

Say What?!

After stringing me along for so long, I think she really means it this time, but why now?

What’s changed?

I think I know …

When I went to view that other property, the leasing agent asked, “Have you been here before?”

“No. I just learned this place was here.”

Talking with her as we toured, I learned she recognized me because she’d been an Assistant Manager at this complex … one of those who’d escaped Nurse Ratched.

It’s very possible that’s why she called me so quickly, even though I didn’t ask to be called, and it’s very possible word of my visit and intent filtered down to Nurse Ratched.

It can't be coincidence that, after nothing further from Nurse Ratched in weeks, on the day I get called re an availability, Nurse Ratched decides to do her job.

At any rate, having to be away three/four hours tomorrow will give me time to drop off the books and ship the study materials.




It's going to cost a small fortune to ship these packages but inasmuch as some of the material is out-of-print, and from as far back as the 60's 70's 80's 90's, it would have been criminal not to pass on to other seekers of truth.

Will the fact Nurse Ratched has finally gotten around to doing her job insofar as termite control make a difference to me?

Yes, no, maybe and probably not.

I'm less interested now in that short wait-list compound in the middle of nowhere, though I'll still tour the unit once called. However, I will continue to pack non-essentials and actively look into other senior communities.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Glass Beaded Mason Jars




This is what we created in today’s Arts and Crafts.

With my focus on downsizing non-essentials … wanting to learn to live with less … for sure relocate with less, I had no plans to attend this morning’s Community Room activity.

However, Apache was so pleased with the needlepoint I gifted him that he asked me to come down and sign it. So down I went and signed on the cardboard backing.






The class project looked so interesting, that I stuck around.

We started with a mason jar, bag of glass beads and crazy glue.




Turning the jar upside down and starting at the neck, we began gluing beads.




(Upside down because the downward weight of the beads helps to hold other beads in place as they dry).

That’s all there was to it; after which, we were given a little votive to use the jar as a candle holder.




Some of the ladies got really creative.






While we were creating, one of the ladies -- sitting facing the window, yelled out, “That car about knocked the tree down!”

We turned, looked and sure enough the back end of a car was halfway into the flower garden and up against the tree in the center of the parking area -- a tree which is located so far away from parking spots that one would have to go to a lot of trouble to back into it.

The person got out of the car to check the damage. Lo and behold, it was the woman The Baker and I had assisted a few weeks ago who could not remember where she lived ... the woman who had a cell phone but did not know how to use it, did not know where her car was parked but knew it was green.

She was so befuddled during that episode that, upon hearing she had a car, The Baker had exclaimed, “They let this woman drive!”

Once out of the car, checking the damage to her bumper, she threw her hands up in the air and looked even more befuddled this time.

People went out to help but the woman was so frantic and confused as to be unreachable. I watched as she got back into the car, drove up to and behind a car entering the gate and followed that car in ... following behind so closely that I thought she was going to hit that car as well.

If she thinks that's the end of it, it's not.

Nurse Ratched was away at lunch, but the Gardner saw the happening, and soon thereafter the Cute Maintenance Supervisor appeared, looked at the tree, shook his head and started laughing. So Nurse Ratched will be told and, by checking the front entrance video tape, can track the resident down.

Inasmuch as the tree appears to lean now, there will be consequences ... possibly money damages for the flowers and charges if the tree has to be roped in place to heal.




From the resident's actions of hitting the tree, then following a car so closely into the gate, we deduced she did not know how to use her card to open the gate, had been driving around the parking area trying to figure out what to do, and managed to back over the red border, into the flower bed, all the way up against the tree.


I'm sorry, but that woman should not be driving. Her husband needs to take away her keys and her car before she wrecks someone else's car or harms a human.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Of All the Gin Joints

I thought my imagination was running away with me when, at 10:00 o’clock last night, after just watching a spooky episode of Wayward Pines, I heard noises like low rolling thunder. Then I heard what sounded like the door to the downstairs apartment opening, and later, more rolling thunder.

Turning off the lights so I could see yet not be seen, I peeked out the blinds and saw the rolling thunder was a cart full of boxes being rolled up the walkway by some guy and into the unit beneath me.

Someone was moving in.

That Bogart quote from Casablanca came to mine … “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine”.

Of all the vacancies, why the one beneath me – the unit vacant the shortest length of time? Especially since that particular unit had been rushed to ready.

I smelled paint day before yesterday, and it was just earlier in the day yesterday when the cleaning ladies showed up. I never saw new carpet come in, I didn’t see carpet cleaners come in, and the cleaning ladies had no carpet cleaning machine with them. So little was done and the rush on this particular unit why?

With no one beneath me, I’d barely become accustomed to being able to exercise indoors.
The compound I’m on the wait list for has three floors. Even though I wouldn’t be able to exercise indoors, I’m hoping for a unit on the top. On the other hand, inasmuch as there’s a fitness center, being able to exercise indoors isn’t really an issue.

At any rate, whoever is moving in downstairs, I wish them luck. I’m just hoping they don’t ask me the usual questions, “How long have you lived here? ...What’s it like?”

If one doesn’t mind termites crawling inside, or have other maintenance issues, and can thus avoid management, this isn’t a bad place to live. That was the tipping point for the former downstairs neighbor – some maintenance/management issues. She never did specify, just said, “They won’t do nothing”.

As for "What's it like?", I should just tell them to head to the computer room and read the online reviews which used to be fabulous, but now not so much and are pretty much what I just said in that depends on what you are willing to live with and stay clear of management.

Those reviews have been extremely helpful in my recent search.

In fact, I almost fell into a trap yesterday afternoon … Earlier in the week, I’d filled out an online inquiry about a special one of the better senior communities in the area was advertising, after which I’d read the reviews and promptly lost interest and forgotten I’d even inquired.

I began getting emails encouraging me to take the tour.

Now interested in the wait listed unit, yet still keeping an open mind, I wasn’t interested in taking the tour but couldn’t remember why.

THEN, yesterday afternoon, the leasing agent called ME, encouraging me to come in this morning to tour.

She did such a good job of bum rushing and selling me that I said okay. Then went online to read the reviews and was reminded of why I’d lost interest.

I called back and cancelled saying, “Because of the online reviews, I’m no longer interested in the property.”

Aside from reviews, the key to separating the good, the bad, the ugly seems to be if there’s a wait list, you’re in good hands. If not, be wary.

On tap for today is packing some stuff up and weeding out with the goal towards moving light, starting with books, cds, dvds. I want to get them to the Goodwill, but don’t want to over-lift and injure myself in the process so, over a period of days, I’ll little by little take a few in.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Ducks in a Row Part 2

Last two days touring senior complexes, finding full up … no vacancies … wait listed, reminded me of when a job relocation sent me to a beach city where rents were incredibly high. In order to reduce expenses, I applied at my first 55 and over community the second I turned 55 years of age. Even back then, before all the baby boomers aged into senior housing, there was a wait list.

I asked the leasing agent, “Can you give me an idea of how long the wait until a unit opens up?”

“Oh honey, they die” was her response.

Two weeks later, I got the call a unit had become available.

Everyone looked healthy at the complex I viewed yesterday – the complex 35 miles east of here that had just exhausted a 5 year wait list, so I didn’t bother or think on it any longer – especially after not being too thrilled with the unit I was shown.

The place I visited today, 35 miles west of here, wasn’t exactly what I expected. It looked like the senior community my sister lived in until she passed away – more a compound than a complex … gated, elevators, rows of enclosed units like a hotel, private balconies, fitness center.

The building had great reviews from current residents online, the crime stats came up clean for the area, so I’d gone to take a look at the building itself and get on the “short wait list” if I liked what I saw, so I did not get to view an actual unit as there were none vacant.

It’s located in the middle of nowhere, nice clean streets, okay for walking in the daytime, but I’d not be outside of the compound at night.

Not a biggie, because I don't go outside of this place at night either.

Marketing would be a challenge if I were ever without a car, because of nothing within walking distance by way of a market or shopping center, but there’s a bus line and, push come to shove, there’s always uber and cabs.

I did see a Christian Center across the street, a nice park around the corner, and a Starbucks across the street from that, all of which tells me it’s an okay area even without a market.

Though the compound wasn’t my preference of open spaces, I could see myself living there, so I got on the short wait list.

How short, I asked.

“Very short”.

So now, it’s a waiting game.

I will, however, keep my eyes and ears open to other senior communities and it will come down to which comes through first.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Ducks in a Row

Termites gone (though Termite Control never did get called in to treat the unit), birds gone, and I've been busy getting my ducks in a row so I too will be gone … soon.

A woman, management had allowed onto the property to give a presentation last Tuesday, and I got into a conversation.

“How long have you lived here?”

Everyone asks that question. I wonder why. Do they sense something? Do they know something?

“Four years, but I’m looking to move. I like it here, but there are problems in my unit.”

From there, the conversation went to where I’m looking to relocate -- which is out of the Inland area in a beach community. This was when she spoke about how nice it was at a senior complex that went up in 2011 … only 25 miles from here, 225 units, washer/dryer hook-ups, fitness center, activities, near shopping center.

Actually, she got behind me, pretended to look at her cell phone as though she was making a call, and whispered the information to me, so no one would catch her breaking what was probably a rule for being allowed on the property.

Sounded good so, after a week of exploring my options and gathering information as to buy out of lease or stick around until end of lease (I don’t have to buy out, I don’t have to stick around, learned I can leave on 30 days’ notice), I headed out to see for myself after this morning’s walk.

Learned the building is so in demand that they had a 5 year waiting list. Having just cleared the wait list, it was first come first serve and all they had left, by the time I arrived, was ONE two bedrooms two baths.

I actually looked at that sole unit. It was going for $200 more than paying here but, with an extra bedroom for crafts, an extra bathroom for what I don’t know, and with utilities included, that seemed more than fair. However, I wasn’t impressed with the dreary grey carpet, cheap looking kitchen cabinetry or the view. Yet and still, I decided to fill out an application and leave a deposit because, though the unit itself seemed drab and dreary, everything else – the area, the amenities, was a trade off.

While filling out the application, an old guy, who had been there before and had already left a deposit, came in with his wife and they took the unit.

It appears all the old people are moving out this way and taking up all the units in the senior complexes – everywhere except here. Plenty of vacancies here, as I observed on this morning’s walk … and plenty more coming.

I don’t get why management doesn’t care except there’s been a rumor flying around for quite some time this building is up for sale.

I researched the internet, but found nothing to verify that rumor, and dismissed it.

Besides … who’d buy it?

Yet and still, something must be amiss for management not to care about keeping tenants.

Maybe Nurse Ratched is mob connected and this complex is a money laundering operation.

Lol.

I’m to look at another unit in the Inland area tomorrow -- which has, what was described to me as, a “short wait list”.  If it looks good, I’ll add my name to the short wait list and give it a little time before I turn my attention back to the beach community.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Tail Feathers

Waking from a nap yesterday afternoon, I spotted tail feathers sticking out from that corner of the decorative roof tile I’d chased the previous day’s nest builders away from.



I can't tell one pigeon from another but, inasmuch as there was only one, I assumed it was a different pigeon checking out the real estate for a possible nest.

Not knowing if Nosey Neighbor’s suggestion of wasp spray would harm the pigeon, I first chased it away THEN, thinking the odor of wasp spray would cause the area to be unappealing, sprayed inside and around the spot.

Appears to have worked. No pigeons remainder of yesterday and none today.

Nurse Ratched phoned yesterday, Wednesday, saying, “We’re ready to proceed (with termite treatment). When would you like it done?”

I would have like it done 67 days ago but, now that swarm season is over and I’ve not seen signs of termites in over a week, I no longer care, so I said, “Whenever”.

“Okay … as soon as possible. I’ll let you know.”

She heard what she wanted to hear I guess.

Tuesday’s Resident’s/Management meeting was a dismal dull affair. No one showed up from other agencies -- as they sometimes do in response to complaints by residents to check up on Nurse Ratched, and only 12/13 residents were in attendance. Consequently, there wasn’t much posturing from Nurse Ratched, no new information, no new rules/regulations, and nothing of interest.

I know she was expecting me to bring up Termite Control again in the meeting, so she could put on a performance as to what was being done – which was nothing, but she was sure to put a spin on it and make herself look good, so I purposely didn’t bring it up.

Neither did she … because she wanted ME to keep asking.

Inasmuch as I no longer care and have no intention of giving her the satisfaction of bringing the subject up again, I had to laugh when she broke first – calling me the very next day with that “We’re ready to proceed. When would you like it done” line.

You will notice, she no longer leaves a paper trail by emailing … she calls.

She thinks she’s slick, but I have faith that her delay in getting this taken care of will one day be of concern to Corporate and/or an outside agency, and that all her other machinations will eventually come back around and bite her in the butt, so I’ll just let Nurse Ratched keep playing her little game all by herself.

This morning, I returned to my pre-termite watch schedule – getting up early, heading out to log in some miles, stopping by Starbucks. While out, I ran into our cute young Maintenance Supervisor, who stopped me to say Termite Control would be here tomorrow, Friday.

Interesting.

Nurse Ratched didn’t let me know, as she said she would.

Not sure what that’s about, don’t care what that’s about, but I appreciate cute young Maintenance Supervisor putting his job on the line by giving me a heads up so I’ll be sure to be available, but I felt compelled to let him also know I no longer cared ... “Swarm season is over, so I doubt it will be necessary or effective.”

He just smiled a knowing smile.

I think he’s beginning to wise up to her game play.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Plaques of Egypt

This Spring has been like the Plagues of Egypt up-in-here.

First it was the wasps hanging around my door until the nest was located on the patio and removed. Second, the termites – still ongoing because, though the swarm has ceased, Termite Control is yet to show up and treat the walls. NOW, it’s birds – pigeons to be precise.

Looking out the patio window, I spied two pigeons on the roof. One had a twig in its mouth, which he waddled over and dropped inside an opening in the decorative roof tile, while the other pigeon just stood and observed.

Suddenly it hit me, That's a male and a female. They’re building a nest!

That’s all I need … bird mess on the patio and a bunch of baby pigeons peep peep peeping me awake.

So, of course, I went out on the patio and tried to scare them away with my presence.

They didn’t budge.

Brave little creatures.

I went back in to get the broom, at which time they flew to the building across the quad and watched me for a while as I sat on the couch watching them.

Few minutes later, they were back.

Stubborn too.

Out I went to encourage them to build elsewhere.

And this is how my morning went, chasing pigeons. Figuring if I undid the work they'd done on the nest they'd go elsewhere, I even picked up my grabber, reached up and emptied leaves and twigs they’d managed to bring into the area circled in red.



At one point, my downstairs across-the-quad neighbor – the one I refer to in the blog as my Nosey Neighbor, because she just sits and watches all the comings and goings, had probably been watching me and curiosity getting the best of her finally came out and asked, “What’s going on?”

“Pigeons … trying to build a nest.”

“Get an owl and wire it to the railing.”

"Great idea, but Nurse Ratched would have a cow if I affixed anything to the railing."

“Try Wasps spray”.

Really?

After a few hours, the pigeons tired of our test of wills and moved on but, if they try again tomorrow, I might try the wasp spray.

Running into The Baker later in the afternoon, I inquired about the new residents who could not remember where her unit was.

After leaving me, The Baker asked her the same question I’d ask, “Do you have a car?”

Yes, but she didn’t know where it was. All she knew was it’s green.

At this point in recounting the tale, The Baker said she’d thought to herself, “They let this woman drive!”

The resident had keys in her possession, so The Baker took the keys, continued walking the premises until she spotted a green car the resident recognized. Inside the car was a cell phone, which the resident said she did not know how to use.

The Baker had previously asked if the woman was married.

Yes.

What’s your husband’s name?

THAT she knew.

So resident's cell phone in hand, The Baker looked through the contacts until she found the husband. He was not at home, but led The Baker to the correct Unit Number, which was very near to where the car was parked.

New resident safely deposited, mystery solved, but what a day The Baker had.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Locking the Barn Door After

It was a weekend free of termites. Not a single showing on Saturday, not a single showing on Sunday and none today. This was the weekend I was scheduled to be on meditation retreat, but had to cancel because I couldn’t leave the unit and let the termites take over, THEN the termites didn’t show.

Go figure.

No firm date on when the Control Company will come in and do its termite treatment but, inasmuch as the termites appear to have ceased swarming, treatment will be sort of locking the barn door after the horse has been stolen.

I still look forward to having the walls treated, however, as it will ensure I won’t be pestered for a while ... hopefully.

Wouldn’t you know, starting on the new needlepoint project late Friday night, the color needed to begin at the center point of the canvas was that one color, out of 40, I’d failed to locate in all my many searches.

Thinking I’d have to work around the color, or use a substitute, I managed to locate that hard-to-find floss at the last place I expected it would be – the local Walmart, when I went in on Saturday to purchase a frame for the canvas just completed.

Wind at His Back

I’m going to gift this to the resident I refer to in the blog as Apache.

He’s been so generous with me and others in the complex – always giving, expecting nothing in return, and so wanted my last tapestry that he even offered to buy it from me.

No amount of money could have plied Dream Dancer from my hands, not just because it took me over a year to complete, but because it’s my favorite to date.


Dream Dancer

It only took me three months to complete Wind at His Back. I like it … it’s okay, but I’ve no plans to display it. Apache will appreciate it more than I, so it’s his.

Sunday was a productive day. Not only did I clean, mount and frame that canvas, get started on the new needlepoint project, but I cooked and froze lunches and dinners for days -- turkey loaf, crock-pot turkey chili, ginger carrot soup.

While out today, I noticed the for-sale sign on the lot across the street has been removed.
I’m assuming that means the property has been sold and we should see some development in the near future.

It’s probably going to be a mini shopping mall.

Some of the old folks are hoping for a fast food restaurant in it. Younger Sister is hoping for a Dollar Tree. I’m hoping for a Starbucks, so I can just walk across the street, instead of drive three miles.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Long Lines

On target to complete the Wind at His Back needlepoint project this afternoon, I thought I’d head out to the craft store, before the termite swarm began to swarm, for a Mounting Board and four floss colors the store had been out of when last there, so I could start my new project right away.

Before heading out at 10:00, I first checked the patio widow area for signs of termites. Seeing none, I figured I’d be good on termite watch long enough to run other errands while out as well, like Sprouts, gas, Starbucks.

Everywhere I went, there were lines -- prompting me to think to myself “There are just too many people in the world”. Also prompting me to skip the gas line, because the craft store only had two of my colors, which meant it was on to the next craft store, miles away, for the other two.

By the time I ran everything down, which included a futile trip to yet a third craft store, for a last missing color, it was getting late and I had begun to panic I’d been away from termite watch too long.

Borderline speeding down the freeway, fearful of what I’d find back at the unit, I was relieved to arrive and find nothing.

Halleluiah!

There have been so few swarming last few days that I’m beginning to think this thing has dragged on so long that swarm season is at an end.

As I went back down and began to unload the car, I was thinking to myself, “What would you say if someone asked for a recommendation as to whether this is a good place to live?”

I often do that – run whole scenarios in my head … just in case.

The answer I thought to give, when and if asked, was “Depends on what you’re willing to live with.”

Interesting I had that thought because, once settled inside, I researched a senior apartment I’d seen while I was out. It’s a fairly new complex – I saw it go up a little over two years ago, near a huge shopping mall. It’s a bit upscale, leases for more than I pay now because of location and amenities, but is doable if I tighten up the budget.

After reading the reviews, upscale doesn’t sound like such a good draw.

Review No. 1: “This place is a joke. They make tenants feel like they are children (not all over 55 are senile) it's actually quite insulting! Management is fake they present professionalism but lack it. #1 The "Assistant Manager" Ugly is what I'll call her! She thinks she's something. She's nothing typical lousy management that wishes she was something more. Not on top of her paperwork or numbers putting notices on doors for HER/OFFICE mistakes. I recall her saying she can't discuss my father's rental anything, but also called ME when there was an issue regarding it? Strange but when she doesn't want to discuss she can't?? Ridiculous. If I owned this building I'd definitely get rid of her. She's a definite liability. They harass their tenants. I can only imagine how they treat the elderly that are actually senile. I won't allow my father to be disrupted over lousy management that thinks he's just some old guy that lives there . REMEMBER YOU WORK FOR HIM. HE CAN LIVE ANYWHERE HE WANTS. HIS RENT MONEY PAYS FOR YOUR PAYCHECK! DON'T GET IT TWISTED. START TREATING YOUR TENANTS WITH CONSIDERATION. WITHOUT THEM YOU DON'T HAVE A JOB!”

Review No. 2: “Had to move out within a month after moving into due to a BED BUG infestation without any help from the worthless management, deposit money, moving cost twice, dry cleaning and my own washing everything I owned. They put on a great show when you’re a possible new tenant but once move in they treat you like you’re a child. This place needs new management and to inform its new tenants of this infestation and what they’re doing to control it. I spoke with other tenants prior to moving and they had no idea what was going on even after seeing Hugh heaters being rolled in and out of various units. DON'T MOVE THERE YOU WILL BE SORRY.”

Termites don’t sound so hideous now, and bad management in senior communities seems to be an epidemic ... something that should be looked at and regulated.

One other item of note … as I was bringing up bottled water from the car, I was approached by The Baker and asked if I recognized the woman with her.

I did not.

The Baker then asked if the upstairs unit across from me had been recently rented.

It had not – been vacant since December.

Did I see anyone moving into ANY upstairs unit in the last week.

I did not.

She was asking because the woman with her had just moved in a week ago, and was wandering around because she couldn’t remember where her unit was – only that it was upstairs. The Baker was taking her around building-by-building trying to help her find where she lives.

Can you imagine?

The woman didn’t look that old, but she did look confused.

"Do you have anyone we can call?"

No.

"Do you have a car?"

Yes.

“Do you have anything in the car we can use to identify your unit?”

No.

“Where is it parked, because it would be parked in the area where you live?”

Never got a straight answer to that …. She just seemed more confused.

No point calling the emergency management line for information so The Baker said she'd just continue taking her around until she recognized her unit or someone recognized her.

We look out for and take care of each other here -- whether we know you or not. Poor management is what we’re willing to live with.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday the 13th

I feel fat and bloated from two days of Eat What You Want, plus this morning’s Potluck Brunch.

As usual, there was a ton of food and, as usual, I only ate what I brought (bacon wrapped tater tots) and what The Baker Cooked (Biscuits and Gravy). So, in addition to two boiled eggs I brought for myself, I didn’t eat very much. It’s just that feeling slow, sluggish, fat, bloated is a by-product of eating off the clean-eating plan.

At any rate, tomorrow is a new day and I’ll be back to my normal regimen.

Today turned out to be my lucky day. I don’t know what’s happened but, all of a sudden, there’s a rush to get my unit free of termites.

Could it be that timeline I'd sent to the woman from Housing/Mediation Board had an effect? Could it be that, because this coming Tuesday is the next Residents/Management Meeting and someone important will be in attendance and Nurse Ratched doesn't want me to bring up the issue of termites again?

I don't know but, first, it was the appearance of Termite Control yesterday, followed by Nurse Ratched cornering me this morning at the potluck saying, “Stop by my office when you get a chance. There are a few options I’d like to go over with you in resolving the termites.”

No way was I going to sit in her office and let her play large-and-in-charge with me or, as she’s famous for doing, tell me one thing, later say, “I didn’t say that.” So, in order to keep our communications on the up-and-up, I said, “Why don’t you just email me the options.”

“Okay. I can do that.”

She didn’t.

Instead, she called me three hours later, “I just want you to know they’ve (Corporate) approved the treatment. Someone will be coming next week. I’ll let you know which day.”

Then, at 4:30, there was a knock on the door. It was our cute Maintenance Supervisor and yet another guy from the Termite Control Company, who wanted to have a look at the areas to be treated.

Duct tape in the bedroom is keeping the termites in that room at bay, but a few were dropping in from the patio window.

This afternoon's Termite Control Guy appears to be the one coming in to do the treatment and tells me, because there are so many units in this building, it would displace too many seniors so, instead of tenting, it will be injection.

That sounded more like what he’d been told by management, as the reason not to go to the expense of tenting, but I'm good with not inconveniencing others in this building.

Injection treatment is odorless – so I won’t have to leave, will stop the swarms for two/three/four years but, according to this Termite Control Guy, “Eventually, the building will have to be tented.”

I’m happy to have this temporary fix, but it’s a temporary fix I myself brought to the attention of management when Nurse Ratched first sent cute Maintenance Supervisor up.

Had she not been so pompous, so arrogant, so dense, this could have all been resolved weeks ago.

At any rate, it looks like the end is near, insofar as the current termite situation. A lot can happen in two/three/four years before they reappear … maybe even one year, because I am keeping myself open to looking into other senior communities.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Everything Goes Towards the Light

I’m still working on yesterday’s Eat What You Want Day meal.

I did say one order of Chicken Pad Kee Mau would get me though lunch, dinner, lunch the next day but, though I didn’t find much chicken in the order (Thai Place is under new management) the noodles and veggies were generous. So generous that, when I went to finish the leftovers off as today’s lunch, there was enough for lunch AND yet another dinner.

Since yesterday was an off clean-eating day, I stopped by the market and picked up a pint of a new ice cream I’d seen in a magazine. An ice cream that had me at the word “shortbread” as an ingredient.

I do love shortbread cookies, but haven’t allowed myself that indulgence for over two years, so ice cream with shortbread went on my bucket list.

When not following the clean eating program, and indulging in sugar, I’m a Ben and Jerry Cherry Garcia girl, but I gave this Haagen-Dazs Vanilla, Tangerine and Shortbread ice cream a try and wasn’t disappointed. There’s still a half pint to be finished off, so looks like my Eat What You Want Day has been extended to two days.

It was bright sunny yesterday so, of course, the termites showed up in the afternoon. There weren’t very many, about a half dozen or so and, believe it or not, an actual termite control professional showed up this morning, along about 11:00, accompanied by our cute new Maintenance Supervisor, just as the termites were beginning to swarm.

Termite guy pronounced them dry-wood termites, and found a tiny hole in a corner of the bedroom windowsill to be the entry point. No luck finding patio window entry point, but did find signs they’re living in the wall along that side.

One of the things I enjoy about this unit is its location. I’m upstairs, in a fairly safe location, facing the sunlight, don’t feel all closed in by other units, and the view can’t be beat.


View from Patio Window

View from Bedroom Window

It sounded rather metaphysical when Termite Control Guy said, “Everything goes towards the light”. What he was telling me is, inasmuch as termites are attracted to light, my unit being on the sunny side, I am the lucky recipient of swarming season.


As to what’s going to be done, didn’t sound like tenting when he said, “Our product takes 45 days after treatment.”

“Holy crap!” says I. “It’s already been 59 days.”

“Soon as I get a report written up and they (management) approve it, we’ll come out and get started clearing it out. In the meantime, here’s what you can do …”

This you won’t believe.




That’s duct tape you see.

Termite Control Guy instructed Cute Maintenance Supervisor to duct tape the windowsill.

I thought it ridiculous, but lo and behold, the swarm ceased. They couldn't get through. However, I'm the world's worst skeptic and think they’ll just look for another way in, so I remain on termite watch.

Before leaving, Termite Control Guy asked, “Are you spraying them?”

“Yes”.

“It’s making it difficult for me to see where to do the treatment. So will you not spray them?”

“No. If I see ‘em, I’m killing ‘em”.

“I know you’re afraid of them. Some people are so afraid, they throw their furniture away.”

“I’m not afraid of them. I’m annoyed by them and don’t want them crawling around in my unit.”

End of that conversation.

Now that termite control has finally been here, will be interesting to see how long Nurse Ratched drags out getting this taken care of.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Eat What You Want Day


Never heard of this day before, but sounds like a good idea to me so, I’m in.

I’ll be indulging in Chicken Pad Kee Mau (pan fried wide noodles with chili, sweet basil leaves, broccoli and bean sprouts) from Thai Place. One order gets me though lunch, dinner, lunch the next day, so I won’t have to cook again until Friday.

After learning Friday’s Potluck is Brunch, if the coast looks clear insofar as termites, it's decided I will be attending with my contribution of bacon wrapped tater tots.

There have been no termites last few days … that’s a good thing. Not trusting it, however, I remain on termite watch – never leaving the unit for long periods of time, constantly checking the patio and bedroom to make sure they’re not swarming.

Had I known I was going to be on termite watch this long, I’d have invested in a Wi-Fi video camera and downloaded the app that lets you see your home on your phone. They're on-sale right now, so I may do so anyway.

After Nurse Ratched three times advised of appointments with termite control, and no one showing up, I get an email stating she’s set up an appointment for tomorrow to “inspect and create a plan of attack”.

I’ll believe termite control actually showing up when I see them, and the appointment “to inspect” sounds like more stalling and futzing around.

Tomorrow, Thursday, will be Day 59 of this nonsense. Are we ever going to get around to actually doing something, other than trade emails, talk about it, inspect it?

Up until now, I personally have had no direct contact with Nurse Ratched. I saw early on what she was about when she came to the complex all gangbusters – pompous, arrogant, rude, unfriendly, pushing residents and staff around, causing what was once a waiting list of seniors clamoring to get in to become vacancies up the wazoo. Consequently, I made a point not to give her an opportunity to treat me with as much disdain as she treated others. If I had a maintenance request, I’d go through one of the other girls in the office and our excellent long-time maintenance man got it done.

Nurse Ratched just didn’t exist in my world.

When she and I passed each other in the office pathways and on the property, she’d look down her nose at me. I’d pretend she wasn’t there.

In fact, other than that one time, in November of 2015, when she was being fake in front of her kleptomaniac boss from Corporate, she’d never even spoken to me in the four years she’d been managing the property.

Another good thing

Now that there’s just Nurse Ratched and the latest Assistant Manager, there’s no way around direct contact; plus, she’s set up a system which gives her complete control, requires everything filter through her.

So, this adventure with termites is actually the first time I’ve dealt with her first-hand, and it’s given me an opportunity to focus on, study and observe close up how she operates.

I find it’s not that she “won’t do anything about anything”, as residents constantly complain. It’s that she doesn’t know HOW.

She can and does put on a great game face, and is a master at fast talking, back tracking, talking in circles, to where, if you're gullible, she sounds knowledgeable, but behind that smoke screen is a dense and completely clueless woman.

A lot of what I’ve seen in the past now makes sense. For instance, the way she’d made the previous office staff do her job for her.

She didn’t know HOW, so she’d bully the rotating others – the girls assigned to leasing duties only, into doing her job as well. Sometimes we’d overhear complaints, yelling even, that "I have my own job to do, I'm overloaded" and they needed her to do her own job; “rotating others” because one-by-one the girls became fed up and quit.

The only reason Nurse Ratched is not dumping everything on this latest Assistant Manager is because this one comes across as useless for anything other than leasing. She always has a frightened deer-in-the-headlights look about her, and is so afraid of displeasing Nurse Ratched that all anyone can get out of her is that she'll ask Nurse Ratched about it.

In a quest for complete domination and control, Nurse Ratched forced out our long-time knowledgeable maintenance man – who could have told her Day 1 how to handle this termite problem. In his place, she brought in -- promoted to Maintenance Supervisor even, the fool who didn’t know the difference between termites and wasps. He was so bad at the job that he actually frustrated her incompetent behind to where she one day exclaimed to a complaining resident, “Where do I get these maintenance men!” and promptly got rid of him. Now we have a young cutie, who is pretty to look at, but seems totally lost and dependent on Nurse Ratched to tell him when to jump and how high.

Now that the termite situation has brought Nurse Ratched from being invisible and outside, to visible and inside my world, I can see the lies, the threats, the control tactics she’s visited on staff and residents is because she’s scared of being found out. Living a lie, she’s trying to hide the fact she doesn’t know HOW to deal with day-to-day management of this complex.

That doesn't excuse the lies, incompetence, abuse of authority but having spent my career in Corporate America, it's not like I've not seen it before. Sometimes these miscreants are found out and shipped off, mostly they're not and go on destroying lives and careers.

Nurse Ratched herself is well-aware she's a fraud, actually seems proud of being able to get away with it, telling one resident who'd challenged her, "I always win."

She's been careful to be polite with me, maybe because her instincts tell her I'm not some feeble old person she can push around or stall forever. However, if and when this termite thing is resolved, I fully plan to go back to her being invisible, not existing in my world.