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 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.
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


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

Monday, November 6, 2017

Open Now

At least that’s what the sign said so, out and about Saturday, I popped in for a tour.
The tour consisted of being shown a video, set up to run on a computer, as to how the gym will look once construction is completed as “Open Now” consisted of one room, two desks and two guys pushing pre-sales.
And they pushed hard, offering all kinds of deals to sign up now.
No thanks. I’ll wait for the official opening in January, take a tour, decide then. I’m sure you’ll still be hungry enough for memberships to offer a deal. And no, I will not leave my contact info so you can bug me to join on a daily basis.
Sunday was an appointment with the locktician (braids beautician) to get my new growth braided in. While I was seated in the chair, the locktician shared she’d sent her friend to Lowe’s Black Friday Sale to purchase an artificial Christmas tree and they were sold out by the time the friend arrived.
Christmas selling out so soon?
This morning was the dentist. Coming back to the complex, I saw a guy wearing his Christmas Shirt and Hat already.
What’s going on? Why is everyone so eager when we’ve not yet had Thanksgiving?
This morning’s visit to the dentist was emotional. I’ve grown very close to my long-time hygienist, and this morning she announced this was our last visit together as she was retiring effective December 28. I told her how much I’d enjoyed our conversations over the years (actually she talked, I could only make sounds and get a word or two in when one tool was out of my mouth before another tool went in) and, as I was leaving, she gave me a hug, I wished her well in retirement and broke out in tears. Cried all the way back to the complex actually, and got emotional again as I typed out this paragraph.
Though she’s in a good financial position and is choosing to retire, rather than being forced out by age (She’s 68), I can’t help but think it does have something to do with another aspect of that Circle of Life, as I’ve watched the office staff morph from mature adult employees, to younger girls. The young pushing the old out.
Even the x-ray technician wasn’t the normal older woman I’m accustomed to. She was working the reception desk, while a younger girl did my x-rays. The former older x-ray technician, who is not in a good financial position and needs to continue at the dental office looked a bit frightened as she said, “I’m just happy to still be working”. THAT told me a lot.
My very handsome dentist, whom I’m nicknamed “Doctor Mc Dreamy” is probably the next to go. Fortunately, I’m not emotionally attached to his silver-haired handsome self.
The seniors had a Taco Dinner Fundraiser scheduled for 2:00 today. “Fundraiser” to finance other senior activities.
After I dried my eyes, pulled myself together, I headed down early (11:00) to take photos of members of the Residents Volunteer Activity Committee cooking and setting up for posting to the facebook page. Lo and behold, early birds were already seated and eating.
It looked and smelled so delicious but, after being ill last week from a little cheat, I wasn’t even tempted.
I just took a few photos, left and returned at 2:00 when the event was to have officially kicked off.
The room was full of happy eaters. Some who were eating at 11:00 were still eating, and had called relatives who came over purchase a $2.00 plate.

2 Tacos, Rice, Beans

That's a lot of food for $2.00, soda and dessert included.

Except the chocolate cake was part of the meal, the coconut cake $.50 a slice.
Tomorrow is Pizza Tuesday ...  more eating for the seniors.
I don’t have to cover that event for the facebook page, but I may head down for Arts & Crafts after.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Circle of Life

This morning’s visit by the cable company technician was deep.
Arriving at 8:00 sharp, he found the problem was the cable box, replaced it and switched old wires out with new.
Hearing that the cable box was the problem brought up the thought again that I’d made a mistake in blaming the old television for taking 15 to 30 minutes to boot up, and junking that previously reliable Sony for a new Samsung. However, when I voiced that regret, the technician said that kind of problem is a signal one needs a new television.
He recounted being called out for service, checking everything and pronouncing to the customer that the problem is their old television, saying “Televisions are made by man, everything made by man has an expiration date. Even we have an expiration date, we’re born, we die.”
“You mean the circle of life”, said I.
He lit up like a Christmas tree at my getting it.
What an interesting technician he was … deep. Not many people communicate on the level he was expressing.
As a firm believer in reincarnation -- that we keep coming back until we "wake up" and get it right, I sometimes look at people and see what they could have been in a past life bleeding through in who they now are. This guy looked and talked like he’d been a Tibetan monk.
I’d ceased attending Residents/Management meetings some months ago. However, after learning from the technician that the H Building – the building hit by the U-Haul truck, has been without Wi-Fi since that incident, that customers are calling – “screaming for service”, but are told there's nothing the cable company can do, because the technicians are not allowed to enter the boarded and roped off / deemed not safe area.

I had no idea.
This can go on forever because management is cheap.
The technician even waxed philosophical on that topic as well saying, “Landlords want their rent no matter what. If you don’t pay or pay on time, you’re out; but when it comes to repairs, they don’t want to spend the money.”
I thought three-days without service was a lot. Residents of the H Building have been on timeout since October 15, with no end in sight.
Me thinks this next Residents/Management meeting -- scheduled for the 16th, might be a barn burner. I’d better sit in.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Visual Timeout

That visual timeout, which mysteriously began Monday, with a black screen on the television, ended just as mysteriously yesterday morning when the picture and audio returned.
Shortly after that morning’s post, I was sitting on the couch, listening to the silence while gazing out at the world through the patio sliding window. Call it habit when, without thinking, I reached for the remote, clicked … lo and behold I had reception.
So now I know the new television is fine, it’s the cable company that sucks. But if they think I’m going to cancel Saturday’s appointment with the technician, they’re crazy. As much difficulty as I had getting an appointment, I’m keeping him/her, because I just don’t know when the next timeout will occur, and I want the company’s equipment checked to determine if they need to bring in a newer model receiver and whatnots.
On tap for today?
It’s nice out, so what I should do is go for a walk or drive out of the area to Trader Joe’s. Feeling lazy, I'll probably get no further than the couch, where I'll work on that needlepoint -- with the television off since I found I did enjoy the background noise free quiet those few days.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Me and My Big Mouth

No television service Tuesday, Wednesday, and there will be no service today or tomorrow, because the cable company technicians are so busy that one can’t make it here until 8:00 a.m. Saturday; but at least I finally cracked the customer service code for getting service, which was complaining through facebook messenger rather than calling in to customer service.
However, my spidey sense is telling me this is going to be like the Big Box store delivery fiasco. The tech will come up with some excuse not to show.
If that turns out to be the case, I may follow my instincts, assume the problem is in the television itself, and return it.
Maybe I’ll purchase another, maybe not because I’m finding I’m quite getting use to this quiet. Reminds me of when I was a child and we had no television, just radio and books. Of course, now I have a laptop, sewing projects and needlepoint to whittle away the hours.
Besides, I can view my favorites -- Kevin Saves the World, Survivor and Project Runway online. It all just depends on what the television portion of the monthly bill is, and if cancelling TV service altogether will net substantial savings.
For sure, living without a television will save substantial aggravation, because it’s been one thing after another since the cable companies merged, after which my old television began experiencing difficulties resulting in purchase of a new TV – which now I’m thinking maybe the problem I began having wasn’t that old TV at all, but the cable company’s equipment.
At any rate, we’ll know which way to go shortly after 8:00 Saturday.
In the meantime, having a load of photos to be developed (October Dinner/Dance, October Halloween Potluck, October Candy Giveaway), some for my personal scrapbook, some for residents who’d requested a print, some for the Community Room scrapbook, the thought occurred – and stupidly, I voiced the thought out loud in the presence of two members of the Residents Volunteer Activity Committee, “You know …. What we need is a facebook page”.
Heads began nodding in assent and, before I knew it -- because I don’t know jack about setting up televisions, but I’m knowledgeable about facebook, I found myself setting up a Residents Facebook Page, with me listed as Administrator.
I don’t mind so much, as the new President of the RVA isn’t the everyone is my servant autocrat the former President was, but I’ll probably have to attend events I normally would not attend because they’re food related – like the Taco Dinner coming up on the 6th and Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner on the 21st. I can't rely on others to take photos and send to me instead, or post themselves, because a lot of the seniors have simple cellphones with not the capacity to post to facebook, few would know how to post; and, believe it or not, some are uncomfortable taking photos, afraid even. Why? I don't know, but the few who give it a try, the photos are blurry and unusable. That’s why everyone asks me to take their photo but, when I need a photo of me, I have to ask a young visitor or office staff or take a selfie, which I’m terrible at.
At any rate, the existence of the facebook page means, when asked for a print “For my family”, I can direct the resident to tell family to visit the facebook page, download the photo even. Residents themselves can head to the Computer Room to view.
On tap for today?
More quiet time.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Halloween Candy Giveaway

I had no television service all day yesterday, and I didn’t die.
It was so quiet without the television to keep me company that I thought I might die, but I survived by heading down to the Community Room to observe Pizza Tuesday.
We had a cute little costumed visitor spending time with her grannie.

I didn’t stay long in the Community Room because others indicated they too had technical issues with their television sets, but that service had been restored with a simple unplugging and reconnecting.
Of course, I’d already gone through that process several times, with no results, but I thought to head back and give it another go.
No amount of disconnecting/reconnecting, running of online troubleshooting tools, factory resetting brought the television back to life and it looks like I’ll have no service today either.
Putting in a call for a technician yesterday only resulted in being told “There’s an outage in your area. We’ll call you”. 
I did get a call that everything was A-Okay around 4:00, but everything wasn’t A-Okay.
I call again and get “I am showing that there was an issue with the node that cable services are connected for some customers where the cable boxes are getting error messages. We’ll call you”.
Though I do enjoy quiet meditation, can actually sit for hours in group settings, I wasn’t prepared for the all-day silence of no television in the background, so I went down to see how the seniors were doing with the candy giveaway.
The seniors had a nice little table set up outside the complex, with quite a few resident volunteers and music.

Didn’t see signs of any children but, a few minutes later, a family walking past our building, with two little trick-or-treaters, undoubtedly heading for the posh community behind us, stopped by.

That was it with children walking in this direction, but a dad drove into the complex, bringing his kids for grandma to see their costumes.

After that, one of the residents -- dressed as a butterfly, decided to do some creative street advertising.

I couldn’t believe that it worked.
Parents driving by, headed to parts unknown with their costumed children, pulled in.

We never got a lot of little trick or treaters, but what we did get seemed gratifying for the seniors.
As for the saga of the non-functioning television, in the back of my mind I’m thinking the outage may have caused the television to no longer function properly, but I can’t be sure of that and make arrangements to return it until a cable technician comes out and verifies it’s not their equipment.
And since customer service keeps telling me it’s an outage, won’t send a technician, I posted a complaint through the cable provider’s facebook page messenger that I find it difficult to believe that out of 178 units I’m the only one without service and asked why is it so difficult to make an appointment for a technician.
Believe it or not, that got instant results with a reply, “I do not see any area issues being reported at this time. Have you tried the troubleshooting steps”.
So, the continuing outage was a big fat customer servicing with a lie and, as for the standard company line of annoying me with, yet again, instructions to troubleshoot, my reply was, “OH NO, NOT AGAIN! JUST PLEASE SEND A TECHNICIAN!”
The saga continues.