Saturday, December 9, 2017

Cookie Swap and For the Troops

Online at 11:35 PM last night, I was startled out of my socks when it felt like a giant had picked up my building, then quickly dropped it back down.
EARTHQUAKE!!! I’d posted on facebook.
I must have been the only one up and online, because usually there’s a flurry of back-and-forth postings. Instead, there was nothing – not even today.
Measured at 2.8, it felt a lot stronger, but I guess coming off the fire alerts and looking at all the devastation in other areas, an earthquake is now considered no-big deal, not worth mention.
Barring any unforeseen Mother Nature circumstances, we’re slated to have a Cookie Swap here in the Community Room on Tuesday. Simultaneously, the Baker is hosting an ugly sweater cookie decorating event and collecting Cookies for the Troops.
Of course, the cookies for the troops have to be packaged, not personally baked.
Decorating ugly sweater cookies is my kinda thing, and would be fun, but what to do with the cookies after?
This time last year, I attended the Residents Christmas Party at the multi-family complex next door, as granddaughter was working in the leasing office and invited me. She's since working on her degree and has relocated to Newport. At any rate, that was my first introduction to decorating ugly sweater cookies, after which I devoured the cookies because they were shortbread -- my favorite. 
What a difference a year makes, because cookie decorating kits are now big business -- kits of every kind everywhere, and now cookies have been added to the list of what I cannot eat without a violent gut reaction so, not wanting to be tempted, I’ll probably not get involved with those cookies, but I do have a Pike’s Place Gingerbread Café kit I picked up in Long Beach to assemble.


I’ve never attempted a gingerbread house of any kind before, but it’s a kit – everything is pre-made and provided, so how difficult can it be for my inexperienced self?
Also, while out and about Friday, I ran across the Danish Butter Cookies I use to be so fond of at Christmas, only now, instead of the 12-ounce tins, which I had no problem polishing off in the past, I found they’re being offered in 4-ounce single serving tins.
Perfect for the troops and, priced at 2 tins for $2.00, or 1 tin at $1.39, it behooved me to gather up a couple sets of two.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

The New Normal

Waking up to fire trucks once again racing down the street this morning, it occurred to me I’d better stay prepared because, though the trucks are not now for my immediate area, that this is my new normal.
We’re always on the alert for fires on Little Mountain during the periods of heat waves, but this is the first time the Santa Ana’s have brought threat of fire with it, and this time it was way too close for comfort.


Red area is location of fire, and I’m just on the other side of the mountain in the black circled area.
My archeologist friend, living on one side of me, didn’t have to evacuate, but was getting phone alerts to stand by.
A former coworker friend, living on the other side of me, had officers driving down her street, with bullhorns, shouting for everyone to “get out now!”
It was just an insane day.
I stayed prepared by piling up what I thought I’d need to take to the car by the door, sleeping partially dressed so all I’d need to do was slip on pants, bra, shoes and not wanting to risk having to rush out the door with a bare face, folks seeing me without makeup, I slept with my makeup on.
It’s vain I know, but some things should never be seen.
At any rate, once the threat was declared over, I returned what I’d piled up to its proper place but later, watching a program on the Discovery Channel, wherein a fleeing criminal rushed by a location he'd prepared in advance to pick up a “Go Bag”, containing money, fake IDs, etc., the thought occurred that since this is my new normal a go-bag would be a great idea.
I’m in the process of putting one together containing clothes and toiletry for a few days in the car or at a hotel. My important papers are already located in one place, in something I can easily grab as I head out the door with my go-bag.
This additional step of preparedness will give me time to focus on saving the Creative Memory photo albums.
Winds seem to have died down for now so, with no fear of the wind huffing and puffing and blowing my little Saturn off the freeway, on tap for today is heading to the Amazon Locker to pick up a delivery of butter coffee and shirataki noodles, with a stop by the mall to pick up a delivery at one of the boutiques. I order so much and so often that I can’t keep track. What I’ll be picking up at the mall will come as a complete surprise.
I’m a good shopper, frugal even, so I’m sure whatever it is that I got a good deal and the item is necessary.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

All is Chaos

The Santa Ana winds kept me indoors all-day yesterday. 
Safely tucked indoors, it sounded like the end of the world was happening outside as the wind raced through the quad, sounding like a freight train, prompting me to periodically check to make sure patio Christmas decorations hadn’t gone with the wind.
Everything was still on the porch when I checked again this morning, only not in the neat configuration I’d positioned them.


Seems the Santa Ana’s get stronger each and every year, but looking at the wildfire devastation (Thomas Fire, Creek Fire), if all we have to worry about are decorations being upended, we’re very fortunate, I thought to myself.
My heart went out to one woman interviewed on the news who said, “It’s ironic. Four hours ago, I was sitting in my house, doing what I normally do. Now I don’t have that house anymore”.
A reminder how it is that life can change in an instant.
As I went on with my day, I noted what little damage the wind had done in this area.
The tree underneath my window is history.
Tree Before

Tree After

The maintenance men corralled a door flying down the street.


Head Maintenance Man, back from his bout with illness, saw it flying down the street, ran, managed to grab it before injury was done to person or property, and the wind was so hard that he had had to call Assistant Maintenance Man over to assist.
First time I’ve ever seen Head Maintenance Man rush/hurry/run and showing initiative.
The leasing sign at the multi-complex next door is destroyed.


We figure next door is also where that flying door came from.
Certain the heavy winds had brought down the side of the H Building, previously damaged by the U-Haul, I walked over and found, lo and behold, repair work has begun.


It’s a Christmas Miracle!
I also observed an unusual number of fire trucks travelling up and down the street.
Why? thought I. We’re nowhere near Ventura.
Then I saw on the news the trucks were for the fire practically at my back door – Little Mountain by the golf course, three miles away.
Did I say life can change in an instant?
Evacuations are in play, but not us, not yet. We’re told to “be ready”.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Rolling the Dice

Just call me The Bounce Back Kid, because I was up and about, fully recovered from the gut episode and hacking cough by this morning.
Even though I have no faith in the drug dealing medical profession, preferring holistic methods instead, I did contact the doctor’s office. After an over-the-phone evaluation, it was determined I was having an “Influenza Confrontation”, which sounded very much to me like a fancy name for the flu, even though I’d had the flu shot.
Advised that “because of your age”, I needed to be seen immediately, but unable to get an appointment in the doctor’s office until December 21, I was further advised to walk into Urgent Care.
That seemed an awful waste of time and energy. Like what could they do about the flu except suggest what I was already doing -- bed rest and plenty of liquids.
I decided to roll the dice, listen to my inner physician instead -- which was leading me to more pau d’arco healing tea, and take my chances I would bounce back.
With the gut episode now over and only an occasional cough, on Saturday I made my way to the scrapbook store for paper and ideas for the Thanksgiving photo layout.
Staff was dressed as cute little elves.


So fun! I love Christmas -- the decorations, mall Santas, random elves.
By Sunday, the cough had completely dissolved. However, inasmuch as I’m still fatigued, with no hopes of participating in any of the 5Ks coming my way, I’ll keep the appointment on the 21st, but I already know what the doctor’s going to say … “Lose weight, take these pills”.
I’ve been resisting taking the cholesterol medication she's been trying to push on me, but I might do so this time just to see if the tiredness and dizzy spells are high cholesterol related.
No word on how the funeral for deceased sister’s youngest son went on Friday, except his sister’s facebook page indicates he chose cremation. 
Looking at the cryptic messages she also posted, I’m not in trouble for not attending the funeral, but her remaining brother, my deceased sister’s eldest is.
He’s taken no interest in his sister, or his now deceased brother, since 1991 -- because both looked to him to care for them after my mom, their grandmother passed away. It was my mom who enabled my sister -- she'd have a baby, drop it off with my mom, mom would accept responsibility. Consequently, thus enabled, sister repeated the process twice more and rather than growing up and taking care of her kids after mom died, she went on with her party life style.
Not wanting to pick up the slack and live my mother's life, eldest son split and made quite a good life for himself – several gold records, his rap group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
I can’t fault him for not wanting to be stuck with doing what should have been his mom’s responsibility all along, and though he was not close to his brother or sister, he’s chose to be close to my girls (his cousins) – probably because they don’t weigh him down like his brother and sister would have. And oddly enough, he remained close to his mom until the day she died, seemingly unaware of her years of neglect.
True to form, after sister became old, sick, and her eldest became somewhat famous, she then showed up.
At any rate, my deceased sister’s daughter is now happily married and though she’ll miss the deceased brother, who practically raised her -- and him just a child himself, she's said she’s keeping the urn with his ashes, and hopefully she’ll soon move on and away from desiring a relationship with the elder brother, a relationship he doesn’t want.
Lastly, sick as I was, I made an effort and did attend last week’s Safety Meeting. In attendance were two police officers and a liaison. They were here to present Community Manager with a certificate and plaques designing this complex “Crime Free Program in Force”.
I seriously doubt those plaques are going to keep those with bad intent from jumping over the back fence and coming onto our property, which the officers suggested management raise the height of the fence.
Ha! If they haven’t yet repaired the damage done by the U-Haul to the H Building, I don’t imagine they’ll spend money protecting us by raising the height of the back fence.
Before leaving, the officers were observed in Community Manager’s Office looking at the video of Friday’s pervert. Hopefully, they printed out his photo, from the waist up, and the officer they said would be patrolling our area, as part of that program, will see him out and about and nab his nasty butt.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

If Only

If I weren’t going through a period where I’m feeling every year of my age, with no idea if and when I'll get a second wind and back out there on the 5K circuit, and if I weren’t still recovering from whatever this is I came down with a few days after returning from Long Beach that not only set off a gut reaction, but had me coughing so much and so hard that my throat was raw and my ribs sore, I’d be packing my bags right now to head to San Diego for the Santa Run 5K.


This looks so fun, especially since the race organizers provide the costume.
Funny thing is – well not funny ha ha, but funny interesting is, week before the trip, I’d been thinking how lucky I was that, other than IBS, I don’t get sick. I couldn’t remember the last time I had a cold or the flu, and I’m talking years back. Then WHAM, I was flat on my back, boosting my immune system with gallons of Pau d’Arco tea.
I’m struggling to figure out how I opened myself up for sick to come in, but the worst of it seems to be over.
I was really craving soup today.
In the old days, when I could eat like a normal human, I’d pick up a few cans of Progresso Soup and be done with it. Instead, I had to research what safe soups I could throw together and found a recipe for Shirataki Ramen Noodle soup.
I had shirataki on hand but, needing chicken broth, off I go to the market.
Waiting at the check out stand, I over heard a conversation between two gentlemen where one said, “I don’t carry dead presidents, only Benjamins”.
That slang so peeked my interest that, as soon as I returned to the unit, I googled both terms.
If you already knew this, you’re way ahead of me, but in case you didn’t know, and you’re a contestant on Jeopardy and need an answer:
Dead presidents -- $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 bills. Used because most American bills have deceased former U.S. Presidents on the front.
Benjamins -- $100-dollar bill.
Other than being under the weather and managing to expand my vocabulary, not much going on here at the complex since last Friday’s chaotic day … or at least as far as I know.
I did hear our Head Maintenance Man has been out “sick” all week. My response to that was “sick in more ways than one”, but hopefully my being sick the same time as Head Maintenance Guy isn’t me spiritually connecting with and empathing his illness.
Just in case you’re wondering, I do love shirataki noodles, but the soup recipe tasted nothing even remotely close to a ramen dish. It wasn’t totally awful, so I managed to down a few bites for lunch and I’m currently in the process of adding shrimp and turning the remainder into a stir-fry for dinner.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Santa Ready

My little senior unit is ready for Santa.


Front door looks very festive and, feeling unwell since returning from Long Beach, I could have left it at that, especially since I was expecting to find Christmas decorations all smelly and moldy from having stored damp last year after heavy rains and insufficient sun to dry out. Instead, I struggled, took frequent rest periods, found no water damage, except to the cardboard box containing the drum set, and managed to get the patio done.

Patio Left
Patio Middle
Patio Right
Levi denim boot stocking is up.


Horseshoe tree is up.


Instead of elf-on-a-shelf, I have Santa on-a-shelf and partnered him with a Starbuck Christmas Cup ornament.


Nothing to do now but pat myself on the back, lay back and enjoy.
Heading to the market this morning, I ran into neighbor around the corner whose sister and brother-in-law were in that accident outside our gate. Inquiring about their health, I’m told they are home now. Nothing was broken, just banged up.
I hope they know how fortunate they are. The same thing happened two months ago at the multi-family complex next door, where a car turning into the complex driveway failed to yield to cross traffic. Everyone in both cars died.
Friday’s encounter with the pervert showed up on tape. Evidently, there’s a camera overlooking the mailbox area. When staff returned from the Thanksgiving holiday, and learned of the encounter, Complex Manager reviewed the tape and, according to Assistant Maintenance Man, was shaken when she saw what happened and could have happened had I not been so quick to get out of the tight space and out into the open.
Assistant Maintenance Man took it personal when he saw the tape. He actually came to my unit to make sure I was okay. Of course, his buddy, the Head Maintenance Man wasn’t with him. ROFLMAO! That guy’s going to be upset for like forever that I outwitted and outplayed him.
At any rate, Assistant Maintenance Man really wants to catch this pervert. 
Problem is, no one knows who the guy is and where he’s coming from. Assistant Maintenance Man said, the guy is not the person the police said they’d been called out on several times before. That family had been forced to move because of their mentally challenged son's behavior some time ago. The pervert is a new crazy, has been observed on the property previously by others, and Assistant Maintenance Man suspects he’s been jumping the fence onto our property from the multi-family complex next door.
The encounter has made me paranoid. Heading out the door and down the stairs, I find myself cautiously looking around. Once outside, I’m looking right, left, behind me and always have my hand in my pocket, fingers on the taser. I was going to start carrying a can of wasp spray, but just read that, as a self-defense device is a myth, that pepper spray is better.
I’m really not liking this feeling paranoid, but suffer it to be so for now.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Reentry

Reentry back into the Community has been chaotic.
Waking up this morning, I wasn’t even sure where I was – am I still in Long Beach or am I home? thought I as I lie awake, not yet ready to open my eyes. It wasn’t until I finally opened my eyes and didn't see the Queen Mary that reality hit … Oh yes, no longer in the hotel.
The chaos began yesterday, shortly after I pulled into the complex around 8:45 a.m.
Going up and down the stairs, removing luggage, shoes, clothes, new purchases (I went shopping) from the car, getting things upstairs, I took a break and went to the mailbox where I became the unlucky recipient of a perverted young man’s display of his manhood. 
Of course, the stun gun was still in the car and, caught off guard, I didn’t think to use the pepper spray. I just hurried out of the mailbox area, waved my arms and called out to Apache as though I’d seen him and was calling him over, and the pervert took off. 
That was quick smart thinking on my part, especially since Apache isn’t even here. He’s in the hospital having knee surgery, but the pervert didn’t know that.
The police got involved – I called, as did two or three other residents who’d spotted him elsewhere still on the property “looking out-of-place and acting suspiciously”, so that was a big to do and ate up a huge chunk of my day.
Turns out the guy has mental problems, is here from time-to-time because his parents live on the premises, and the police said this isn’t the first, second, third or fourth time they’ve been called out on him. I don’t think it was for the same reason I called, but they wouldn’t say.
At any rate, inasmuch as it’s in the lease agreement that residents are responsible for actions of their visitors, it doesn’t look good for the parents remaining tenants here. Especially since management just completed training and received certification designating this a crime-free community. They’ll lose their certification if residents have to keep calling the police on this guy, so I expect management will have no mercy on the parents after this last escapade of his.
Then, when I was still carting things out of the car (stun gun in hand this time), the Baker caught up with me and invited me down to the Community Room for a birthday party for two of our residents.
I took photos of that event, hung out for a while, posted photos to the Residents Volunteer Activity Committee’s facebook page, headed back upstairs to settle in, unpack, but never got around to settling in or unpacking because I heard a loud crash that seemed to be coming from the parking area.
Concerned we’d had another U-Haul incident and that my parking area might be involved, I headed out and found it was a traffic accident just outside the gate.


The sister and brother-in-law of a resident in my building, coming to visit him, had failed to yield to cross traffic before turning into our driveway. Young driver of the other car was uninjured, but brother and sister-in-law were unable to move. People tried to lift them out, but they were in too much pain and had to wait for the EMTs to safely extract them.
By the time everything was cleared, it was the end of the day and I’d accomplished nothing, except I did finally get everything out of the car and back upstairs. Bags remained unpacked until late this afternoon.
Tomorrow, I hope to get started on decorating for Christmas.
While chitchatting with folks at yesterday’s birthday party, I asked “How did the Thanksgiving Potluck go”.
What I got was raised eyebrows and folks laughing.
Evidently, there was high drama at the potluck, so high that staff had to come in, referee a squabble and give a speech about how there will be no bullying.
I didn’t recognize the name of the bullying individual, did not recognize the name of the victim, and couldn’t get a straight story about what happened and why it happened, other than it had something to do with "water". Guess I’ll have to go to the next RVA meeting and the Residents/Management meeting, as I’m sure the bullying episode will be addressed at one or both events. I’d also better attend this Tuesday’s Safety Meeting, where I’m sure management will be queried as to what’s being done about yesterday’s pervert.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Home Sweet Home

My Trip to Bountiful -- Long Beach to reconnect with relatives, went well, but I’m glad to be back in my little unit.
I came back with 198 photos in my cellphone, which is going to be a bear to sort through and prepare for scrapbooking.
I also captured two new Pokémon not found in my area, filled my Pokéball backpack to overflowing, attended granddaughter’s soccer game, and walked so much that I completed both of the two Turkey Trots I’d regretted committing to.
Inasmuch as the view from my window, waking up in the mornings in the hotel room, was the Queen, I had no complaints about accommodations and will request that room from now on.

Queen Mary

That is, if I ever make that drive again because the drive was horrible – three different freeways, an accident on each, drive time extended by two hours.
The drive to the church the following morning, in Los Angeles traffic, was just as bad. I did not follow the procession to the place of burial, but the drive out of Los Angeles back to the hotel took me three hours longer than it should have and an incident on the freeway, with a speeding car crossing lanes heading towards me as it entered the freeway, nearly made me No. 3 in the family to die this month as I swerved out of his way and my car almost rolled over.
THAT was when I heard myself say to myself, “I can’t do this anymore … this is my last time driving to the Long Beach/Los Angeles area”, which means I won’t be driving down next weekend for the funeral of deceased sister’s youngest son.
My name will probably be mud with his sister, and a certain family troublemaker (deceased brother’s evil widow) will be sure to interject herself and make a big deal of it, because that’s how she is, that’s the kind of mess she’s always done, the thing that kept me away from that side of the family for so long but oh well. I got to see my brother’s remaining sons all grown up, which was the main thing I’d wanted to do. I have no interest in their children and children’s children, many of whom I learned despise their grandmother, which pretty much says how awful a human being she is, so that chapter in my book of life is done and closed.
The funeral for evil window’s son -- deceased brother’s eldest, was both sad and joyous.
Sad because his mom (the evil one), his sister, two brothers and twelve children were, of course, emotional and inconsolable. Worried I’d empath their emotions, I’d steeled myself before heading down to Long Beach that “I will not empath” and, at the funeral, I kept focusing on not picking up other people’s emotions and, when I felt myself slipping, I’d think of something outside the situation so I could gain control and not also fall apart.
Joyous because he’d done well with the latter part of his 49 years. Turned his life completely around and had helped many others to do the same. His father, would have been proud of the man he’d become, and that is what I wrote in his memorial book.
Thanksgiving with estranged daughter went so well that I can no longer refer to her as “estranged”. She’s evolved, gotten herself together, is large and in charge at her job in the medical profession, is involved in several programs that feed the homeless, has lots of friends, and her children LOVE her. She and her twin are once again close. The girls talk all the time, visit each other and plan on spending their 50th birthday together out-of-town next month.
Granddaughter has mostly always been in my life, but I’d not seen the grandsons in ages. They’re all so tall now, and have gentlemanly ways -- don’t wear their pants sagging the awful way I see young men dress, are polite, loving, intelligent.
Daughter cooked enough food to feed an army, and with her big sons, plus girlfriends, neighbors, people visiting the neighbors and friends of granddaughter popping in, she pretty much did feed an army -- had not only her oven going, but one of her neighbors left his door unlocked so she could also use his. 
Her menu consisted of:
·       Two Turkeys
·       Fried Chicken
·       Mac and Cheese
·       Dressing
·       Mashed Potatoes and Dressing
·       Potato Salad
·       Candied Yams
·       Greens with Smoked Turkey
·       Green Beans with Potato and Smoked Turkey
·       Cranberry Sauce
·       Cornbread
·       Rolls
·       Sweet Potato Pie
·       Banana Pudding
·       Peach Dump Cake

I kid you not.
I seem to have crossed a threshold on this clean eating thing so as not to set off a gut episode. I wasn’t even tempted. I ate a little turkey, had her bake a potato for me, put some olive oil on it and was satisfied.
Inasmuch as I can’t do that drive again, I don’t expect to see us all together again until one of the boys or granddaughter gets married.

Myself sandwich in-between twin daughters, surrounded by granddaughter and grandsons

Daughter I expect to hear from fairly soon as she so loved that gluttee wrap I made her that she wanted to order more from the gluttee wrap website. Since I do a better job, I told her to send me fabric and I’ll make for her. All her friends at the gym want as well -- I figured they would, so I told her to refer them to the gluttee wrap website. They won’t be happy with the quality, but oh well.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Sixty-Three Days Later

Ever since the lazy Maintenance Supervisor got off his butt and had the AC repaired, after nineteen days of being out-of-service in triple digit heat, the two portable AC’s I’d requested to get me through have been sitting in my unit – one in the living room, one in the bedroom.
I believed, and still do, the Maintenance Supervisor was punishing me for when I’d asked the office for his Corporate boss lady's number, so I could alert her to his not doing his job. At any rate, the veiled threat got the A/C repaired the very next day, so it worked.
But then there's his walking around giving me side-eye, not speaking, not picking up the portables.
Fine by me because I began using them for end tables with the plan, in the back of my mind, to embarrass him, for not picking up, when Corporate lady boss did her annual inspection. That is, if he didn’t run up and remove them before her arrival.
I didn’t have to wait that long.
An opportunity presented itself this afternoon at the Residents/Management meeting.
I didn't think I'd make it to this afternoon's meeting, which I expected to be a barn burner because of the building with no Wi-Fi, because I’ve been busy, getting ready to head out-of-town tomorrow, including shopping for shoes to wear to the funeral.
I don’t know what happened with the three pair of dress shoes I was sure I’d held onto. Couldn’t find them anywhere, and athletic shoes were not an option, so off I went to find shoes. While at it, I decided I didn’t want to be hot and uncomfortable in that wool Nordstrom’s suit in a packed church, so I ran all over town looking for a pant suit.
That turned out to be an impossible task.
I guess folks don’t wear two-piece pant suits any longer, so I settled for tailored slacks to match my old black blazer, and I'm happy with the look -- it's appropriate, comfortable, stylish.
I also researched restaurants in the area and worked out a plan where I can live on eggs for breakfast, I generally don’t eat lunch anyway -- just snack on raw veggies, cashews, coffee, so I can stop at a local market for those veggies. For dinner, I figure I can order chicken burgers, turkey burgers, toss the bread, add veggies or pick up a salmon dish from one of the seafood restaurants.
With everything done except packing and washing the car -- which takes place tomorrow morning on my way out, I went down to the Residents/Management meeting.
For the first time ever, Corporate boss lady was in attendance (so glad I went), as was all staff personnel.
Of course, with her on the premises, the entire staff was present front and center.
When the questions/comments period opened up, I raised my hand.
“I appreciate that when I almost died during the heat wave, because my A/C was out for 19 days that, when I requested Portable A/C’s that they were provided. However, it has now been sixty-three days and the portables are still in my unit growing roots."
I couldn't see Corporate boss lady's reaction, but the room went “Whaaaat” and “Whoaoooo”.
Lazy Maintenance Supervisor looked shat faced, but played it off saying, “And I see you every day and say good morning”, like he’d forgotten about the A/C’s and I didn’t remind him during those morning interactions.
In the first place, it’s not my job to remind him.
In the second place, he knew the portables were still in my unit, the other maintenance man even reminded him, but his plan was for me to beg.
And, third, those morning greetings never happened. He sees me, gives me side eye, I ignore it.
After the meeting, I added more coal to the fire by approaching Corporate boss lady saying, “It’s important for you to know the only reason the A/C finally got repaired was because I’d asked the office for your number so I could get you involved.”
“That never should have happened. Just call the Corporate Office and ask for me by name if something like that occurs again”, said she.
Head Maintenance Man is PISSED! I could feel and still feel his anger and that inside he’s calling me all kinds of beoches. 
How do I feel about it?
I’m tickled.
At any rate, it wasn’t ten minutes after the meeting when he’d indicated he and the other maintenance guy were ready to pick up the A/C’s. He literally yanked them down the stairs, with so much force that pieces began falling off. He snatched those pieces up at he stormed down the walkway.
It’s so easy to do the right thing, so the fact that his trying to get all macho with me and do what he wanted when he wanted backfired and ended up with embarrassment in front of a room full of residents and his Corporate boss is no one’s fault but his own.
So that's all the news from this part of the world until after Thanksgiving. Haven’t decided yet if going to take a laptop with me and blog from Long Beach, but probably not, so have a happy feast day one and all.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Two Funerals and a Holiday

It took some time for my deceased brothers side of the family to get the body of his oldest son to California from Chicago for burial, but it’s done and the funeral scheduled for this coming Saturday.
I don’t generally do funerals because I don’t want some discarnate spirit following me home. However, it has been on my bucket list to see my brothers’ sons before I leave this earth -- nephews I’ve not seen for at least 30 years; and the funeral will give me that opportunity as everyone will be together in one place at one time.
It’s unfortunate it’s taken the death of one to bring this opportunity about.
I had the opportunity to see that eldest early last year, when he was in town for a book signing (he’s a published author), but I didn’t feel comfortable driving the car out-of-town because it needed shocks at that time.
Now that he’s gone, it bothers me that I didn’t get to see him, but I have to accept there’s a reason for everything.
At any rate, I’d already made hotel reservations to get into Long Beach next Tuesday, so as to get ahead of the holiday traffic and be in town for reconnecting with estranged daughter and her brood Thanksgiving Day. Knowing there was just no way I could handle the drive Saturday for the funeral, drive back and head up again Tuesday, I decided the best course was to drive up this Friday, come back the following Friday, so that's the plan.
Lots to do in preparation for that – manicure/pedicure, car washed, tires checked, clothes for a week, including that Nordstrom suit for the funeral, and figure out how to handle the food situation so I don’t end up with a gut episode.
No word yet, on the second funeral – the one for my sister’s youngest son. If word comes down while I’m still in Long Beach, I’ll probably attend out of respect for him. However, if word comes down once I’m back home, I definitely won’t go because I will have touched base with everyone I need to touch base with at this first funeral and the fact nephew and I had that link, which alerted me to his crisis, indicates he’ll understand if he visits his funeral and finds me not there.
It’s a scary thought, and I don’t want to think it, but it keeps coming up that there’s this theory that things like this “happens in threes”.
We’ve had two.
An entire week at a hotel, especially in the over-priced Long Beach area, is going to cost. But, staying that long will confuse a discarnate spirit as to where I reside, if one does decide to follow me.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Dirty Laundry

There is nothing kept secret that will not come to light” Mark 4:22
I think of that verse every morning as I wake up to another day of revelations about some actor’s or political figure’s unlawful behavior. That which had heretofore been swept under a rug now coming to light.
Karma?
Careers are going down the toilet right and left.
Karmic justice?
Movie projects are being dropped.
I’m expecting Wisdom of the Crowd to be taken off air because of allegations against its producer/actor and I’m hoping no one involved in Survivor, Big Brother, Amazing Race and the Walking Dead franchises have done anything that will come to light and result in cancellation of those shows.
I finally broke out of staying indoors, in my unit, to myself, but only for a few minutes yesterday afternoon when I heard a commotion in the parking area.
Tow trucks, two of ‘em, were hauling away cars parked not in their assigned space.
It’s a good thing neighbors look out for each other here, because telephone calls went out to owners of the cars, the owners ran out to the trucks and managed to talk their cars down for $95.
Considering how many hundreds of dollars it would have cost to get the cars released from a lot, $95 is a bargain; but is that even legal that drivers take money to let your car down from their truck?
Word is, it was management itself who called for the tow trucks. Us neighbors just leave a note on the car alerting the owner they’re in our spot – or at least that’s what I’ve done. But evidently, management was walking around checking stickers and found cars with stickers not matching the spot they were parked in.
THAT, plus the H Building with no Wi-Fi since October 15, when the U-Haul hit the area where the equipment boxes are located, is going to make for quite an interesting Residents/Management meeting on the 15th.
That is … if there is one. I’m expecting management to get scared and cancel the meet.
And speaking of the H Building, since I was outdoors, I walked over to see if there’d been any progress in repairing the building.
No progress, but somebody better do something soon because, to my untrained eye, it looks as though the damage is getting worse -- that side of the building appears to be crumbling and leaning. One little earthquake, and we’re on the fault line and get many tremors, might bring the upstairs and downstairs units on that corner all the way down.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Flabbergasted

Even though I didn’t expect O.J. Simpson to stay out of trouble long, I didn’t expect him to mess up this soon.
Unless it’s fake news, which I don’t believe it is, he got himself booted from the Clique bar, located inside the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas, for reportedly being drunk and disruptive to other customers.
If I’m not mistaken, a condition of his parole was no more drinking?
So much for having lived such a “conflict free life” (his words, not mine).
I’m on the edge of my seat to see what comes next.
Looks like I’ll be spending Thanksgiving week in Long Beach, touching base with estranged daughter and her brood.
We’ve had a series of losses in the family recently. First, my deceased brother’s oldest son suddenly passed away three weeks ago (heart attack). And earlier today, my deceased sister’s youngest son – the nephew I had felt his medical emergency last week when I became so tired and weak, passed away earlier today (also heart attack, but he lingered for a week before giving up the ghost).
His passing I’d expected from the experience I’d had last week, so news came as no surprise. But with so many losses in such a short period of time, I began thinking I should come out of seclusion and touch base, at least once, with those I’ve had no contact with in years because one never knows who and when.
I followed my instincts last year, when instincts told me to attend nephew’s 40th Birthday because one of us might not be here much longer, and today I was glad we'd had that time together.

Most Happiest Time of the Year ???

After heading down to the Community Room on Tuesday to participate in the Arts and Crafts session, only to find no class because the Activity Director was a no show, I stayed indoors, in my unit, to myself last few days. We were scheduled to make table decorations for the Thanksgiving Dinner on the 24th, instead I found an individual, who is always otherwise bright, chipper, full of energy, vociferous, a hugger, sitting in a corner, back to everyone else in the room, looking sad sick sorry.
Oh here we go, thought I. The Holiday Blues.
The fact that she’d come down to the Community Room to mope in public, I saw as a ridiculous ploy for attention but yet and still went over and asked if she was okay.
“I’m just tired, but feeling better now that you came over and asked”.
That pretty much verified my thought she was vying for attention and, not wanting to go down that road with her, I just touched her shoulder in a buck up soldier gesture and headed back to my unit.
I can understand depression, we all go through it at one time or another, but to deliberately parade it around so everyone will feel sorry for you is a little much. And I can pretty much guess her depression is stemming from her children not living life in a way she approves of. I can’t offer anything others have not already offered but still she enjoys getting involved and clinging to being miserable about it.
Sorry, but I can’t respect that, especially since her children not being all she wants them to be is all she has to complain about when I know people with far worse worries that don’t go moping around for attention.
Another aspect of the Holiday Blues is this is the time of year when the unattached males look for someone to spend the holidays with.
It was October of last year when a well-built, reasonably handsome man engaged me in conversation as I was returning from picking up mail.
Our conversation was his informing me he’d only been here two months, and was relocating to a quad nearer mine because an older woman in his current quad objected to having a Black male. When she first saw him, she'd loudly proclaimed "The Blacks are moving in!" and when he ignored further taunts, because he lived in the unit beneath her, she’d stomp, purposely drop things, make noise designed to disturb his peace. Then he’d gone on to say how shocked he was that Nurse Ratched (the former community manager) had been fired because she was always nice to him, would hug him whenever they crossed paths.
“She was not nice … And the only reason she’s hugging you is because you’re not a bad looking man”, said I.
He laughed, responded, “And you’re not a bad looking woman”, at which point I began thinking Oh, No. I hope he doesn’t think I’m flirting.
I wasn’t. Handsome he may be but not my type, because I see beyond the surface and was reading him as not interesting enough for me. So, flirting I was not. It’s just that I'm an awake individual, knew right away why Nurse Ratched was all the time hugging him, and blurted it out.
At any rate, I’ve seen him out and about since, paid him no mind, he paid me none, until last week when I saw him sitting in the grassy knoll, looking down in the dumps, as I headed to the Game Room to weigh myself.
As I went to step on the scale, all of a sudden, he was behind me.
Surprised he’d move so quickly from the knoll to behind me in the Game Room, but not uncomfortable, I said, “Do you want to weigh yourself as well?”
He looks at me with sad puppy dog eyes, lets out a heavy sigh and says, “No, play pool. There’s nothing else to do here”.
Oh no, here we go again, the Holiday Blues.
Wanting no part of it, I weighed myself and, as he looked at me, waiting for me to respond to his woeful statement, I said “Well, have it (the pool table)” and quickly skedaddled.
With all the women here who would be interested in him, including my next-door neighbor who’d invited him in some time ago and bragged about exchanging telephone numbers, he won’t have a problem finding someone to bright up his holidays. It just won’t be me.
So, what have I been doing with my time this week?
Working on that never-ending needlepoint project and, today, I tried my hand at posting to Pinterest.
Daughter loved the kente cloth gluttee wrap, I loved the kente cloth throw pillow covers, so I tried my hand at pining both.

Daughter in her Wrap