Monday, August 19, 2019

“Your Opinion Counts”

We’ll just see about that because I just completed an online survey from the seller that charged me $27.99 for express delivery that was neither express nor delivery.
I let ‘em know mama wasn’t happy, so we’ll see just how much that opinion counts.
Other than that, nothing new from my side of the world.
It’s been quiet and uneventful here at the complex since the luau.
For weeks now, there have not even been noises coming from rulebreakers using the laundry room after 10:30 PM/before 7:00 AM.
Management either handled that situation by putting a timer lock on the door or, after Apache ─ our unofficial mayor got in trouble for rule breaking laundry at 3:30 in the morning, it put the fear in the other rulebreakers.
Another possibility is the rulebreakers are no longer here, as Apache tells me there have been five evictions.
I’ve no idea who or why, but obviously not anyone I’m familiar with. Otherwise, Apache would have let me know long ago.
From my perch on the couch, glancing out the patio window, there are few sightings of the usual suspects.
Baker is stuck in her unit recuperating from foot surgery. The nice old guy who drives a jeep like mine is stuck in his unit recuperating from breaking his pelvis in a slip/fall at McDonalds. Both the Seer and Shadow, having made an appearance at the luau, are once again back to wearing their cloak of invisibility, but I have noticed a lot of new faces on the grounds, in the pool, at the mailbox, going in/out the laundry room.
If five residents were indeed evicted, their units didn’t stay vacant for long.
I’m unsure if Pizza Tuesday is still a thing but, inasmuch as Activity Director turned picking up pizzas over to volunteers and the list of volunteers, posted to the board in the Community Room, indicate no takers, I’m assuming Pizza Tuesday is a thing of the past.
Weekly bingo continues, and the seniors had a potluck last Tuesday which, as I passed the door, returning from that Tuesday’s workout, heading to the mailbox, looked well-attended.
I did not pop in to take photos for the facebook page, as I was in my not wanting to be around people mode at the time.
So, it’s pretty much the same ole same ole around here, but with new faces.
The energy drain that plagued me last week/week before has dissipated. Energy now back to normal, I’m still not making exercise homework a priority. Reason being (and I don't mind letting Trainer know this when next I am questioned) …. because I’m a 75 year old retiree, entitled to take it easy, and don’t want to make a job of exercise ─ which is what it was becoming … a job. Something I had to do, rather than wanted to do. I'll still do the indoor bike and outdoor walks, but only when the spirit feels like doing so, rather than on set days.
After all, I’m not training for the Olympics.
Instead of exercise, I focused on making a new Bib/Medal Board.

After the paint dried, I spent remainder of the weekend adding hardware and images.

I took the easy way out and, instead of installing 10 individual hooks, I picked up and used two hook rails from Walmart. Not particularly fond of the curly cues on the rails, but whatever.

I do, however, especially like the "Like a Boss" sticker (over to the right), I ran across in my stash.

With 10 hooks on the rail, it’ll not need another board until 2021.
Over the weekend, I also finished Walter Mosley’s book.

Once beyond the philosophizing, the book was fast twists and turns I never saw coming that kept me reading sometimes up to 2:00 a.m. in the morning.
I’ve already pre-ordered Mosley’s next book, release date February 25, 2020.

A long dry spell ahead of me.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Holy Guacamole!

Plans for an uneventful Friday ─ stay in and do nothing, were scuttled by a power outage shortly after 8:30.
Online at the time, with the tv going, both suddenly went dead, as did the A/C. I checked the microwave, the lights. Everything was dead dead dead, plus the smoke detector began beeping like crazy.
The smoke detector runs on a battery, so not quite sure why the power outage affected it, but the result was pandemonium in my unit.
I decided to get dressed and flee.
Just before I headed out the door, A/C came back on, smoke detector stopped beeping ─ which signaled power had been restored, but I’d already taken the outage as a sign to get out and about, so out and about I went.
Car wash, gas, bank, Sprouts ─ where I paid $10.00!!!! for these four avocados.

I’d heard reports on the news about the price of avocados rising, about Oprah buying an avocado farm due to those high prices but, since avocados are a staple for me, I paid no mind to cost until the cashier said, “Wow. These avocados are expensive”.
“Really?” said I. “How much did I pay for them?”.
So now I am aware and will probably cut back because, currently, I’m going through one avocado per day. That mathematically translates into $17.50 a week, $50+ a month, $600+ a year, with prices sure to continue to rise thanks to No. 45’s shenanigans with Mexico. 
Put into further perspective ... it’s more than I pay for auto gas in a month, so cut back I will until the financial bleeding stops.
Next stop was Michael’s Craft Store.
In need of an additional medal/bib board, to better organize the 5k medals/make room for those newly acquired, I thought to take the easy way out and purchase something online. 
Not finding anything worth the price, I decided to make my own ─ as I did back in 2017.
Plans for the new board are much like the other ─ bibs on the right, medals on the left, but different wording.

I’ve got paint in my craft supplies, also a wooden board, but no mug hooks so, I popped into Michaels.
They didn’t have the hooks either, but I did mosey on over to glassware to pick up a few glass jars (for a hotel hack that allows one to heat up meals in the ice bucket) and promptly let one of the jars slip through the opening on the cart and smash to the floor with a loud sound heard throughout the entire store.
Though I was wearing open toe birkenstocks at the time, and though the jar smashed at the tip of my toes, sending shards over and around my feet, I was fortunately not injured.
“Clean up in glassware!”, I yelled out and a worker rushed over to clean up the mess.
The incident was picture worthy but, stunned and embarrassed, I forgot to pull out the cellphone and take a snapshot before moving on.
Having got out and about yesterday, plan for today is to try again for staying indoors, doing nothing ─ except needlepoint, paint that board, make another batch of almond meal hazelnut butter brownies.
We’ll see how today goes.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

An Eventful Week

On Monday, I lied to Trainer about completing exercise homework.
On Tuesday, I threw a hissy fit because an item I’d paid an additional $27.99 for express shipping (almost as much as the item itself) did not arrive on Monday. Instead it arrived on Tuesday and not to my door but, per email received, was “delivered to a local UPS Access Point ... pick up by August 20 or item will be returned”.
What did I paid $27.99 for ???
A seller I’ve never used before, but who lured me in with ads on TV about having just what I need with shipping being fast and free ... a game changer they say.
They did have just what I needed, but free shipping meant waiting almost two weeks.
Not wanting to wait that long, I added that ridiculous sum for express shipping, only to be told to pick it up.
An expensive lesson learned, I initially told myself. But it bothered me into a hissy fit that made me take the time to rate Fed Ex/UPS Customer Service low and a vow to let the order time-out/return to seller and never order from them again.
I now roll my eyes every time I see one of their ads.
On Wednesday, I was calm enough to reread the email and notice the “local UPS Access Point” was really local ... across the street from Trainer.
Felt foolish for throwing a hissy fit and the bad ratings inasmuch as I didn’t have to go far to pick up, but still ….. for $27.99, it should have been delivered to the door, opened and set up for me.
Now this morning, while scanning the day’s news, I see a photo of someone I’d know anywhere ... a family someone.
It's Twin 1

The work she and her group of volunteers have been doing, in servicing the Skid Row Homeless, is garnering a lot of attention.
In my moving through this parenthesis of eternity, if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s ..... no good deed goes unpunished.
Skid Row is dangerous. Twin 1 has financial problems of her own.
Consequently, I worry.
However, I understand that, as someone's who is waking up, it’s something she’s compelled to do to erase not so good choices made in the past clean up her Akashic Record.
At any rate, it's been an eventful week. And the week isn’t over yet.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Pants on Fire

Started off the week by lying to Trainer.
When asked this morning if I’d done my exercise homework over the weekend, I readily confessed to being a no show at the 5K, then lied and said I’d instead gone walking around the campus area when I’d not stepped outside the unit, hardly even gotten off the couch.
I just don’t have the energy right now for anything other than my normal training days so, though I don’t like lying, feel bad about it, I’ll probably lie to Trainer again. Probably when he next asks if I’m working out on the indoor bike.
Truth be told, the only one on the indoor bike lately has been Detective Pikachu.

I’m not a person accustomed to lying, not good at lying but, until I get back into the swing of things, practice will make perfect as I don't want to insult trainer by saying I have no energy, when his training is supposed to be giving me energy. It's an emotional drain having an impact on my physicality, and I don't feel like getting into explaining what's bothering me to Trainer. So pants on fire lying it is.
On my way to the Pain Cave this morning, I spied what looks to be signage structures going up on the lot where Starbucks is being built.

“I don’t care about any bleeping signage” said Trainer. “Get Starbucks built already”.
That seems to be the prevailing sentiment around here, as the excitement of Starbucks steps away builds.
It’s not like there’s not a Starbucks to the East of us, about a mile away AND another to the West of us, also about a mile away. It’s the convenience of having one within walking distance that has everyone so anxious to see it done.
I myself am up to 1-1/2 cups of butter coffee a day. With a 1-cup coffee maker, that has me making coffee twice a day, and I’m pretty well sick of having to do so. But I’m trying my best to hold off purchasing a 2-cup coffee maker in the hopes the new Starbucks will hurry up ─ 1 cup butter coffee in the morning, and a walk to Starbucks in the afternoon.
We’ll see if I can hold out.
Also tempting me are the Panda Inn Szechuan Hot Chicken Strips.

Do you recognize the dance moves and song?
It’s the old 90’s Billy Ray Cyrus’ song/dance ─ Achy Breaky Heart.
Loved the song back in the day, still love it, but the dance was so complicated that I never took the time, in my Line Dancing Days, to learn it.
At any rate, after this morning’s workout, I stopped at the market, picked up some organic chicken tenders and my foray into the kitchen this afternoon is to switch ingredients around to turn a Paleo Bang Bang Chicken recipe into the equivalent of Panda Inn’s Szechuan Hot Chicken.
Where there’s a will, there’s always a way.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

No Show

I was a no show at this morning’s run/walk.
Having registered some time ago, I was primed and ready to go ... that is until the alarm went off at 4:30 this morning so I could get dressed, fed and drive the mere 27 minutes 15 miles into the mountain community of Crestline.
Having felt an energy drain during the entire week to where it’s become an effort to move from one room to another, even thoughts of wasting the money spent on registration fees, missing out on another medal could not get me out of bed. I turned off the alarm, rolled over and slept until 6:00 ─ too late to get it together and arrive by the check-in cutoff time of 6:45.
I think I’ll stick to slow walks, no hustle, until whatever this is lifts itself and I catch a second wind.
After going over and over in my head as to where the energy drain is coming from, I think causation can be summed up as appearances ─ that which seems to be, both in the world and in family affairs.
To be more specific, it’s been 932 days since No. 45 took the oath of office and it’s been an all-day every day bombardment of us with one form of ugliness or another.
As a result, people are nutting up left and right.
We, humanity, need a break.
I need a break and find myself withdrawing into myself once again, not wanting to be around people.
So what have I been doing this week as I retreat into myself you ask.
I made it to the Pain Cave for Monday, Tuesday and Thursday’s workouts and, though my heart wasn’t in it and I wasn’t my usual chatty self, I got it done.
There’s been, of course, the latest needlepoint project, catching up on television programs and getting into the other Mosley book I'd missed.

This book isn’t Mosley’s usual can’t stop reading fare. He’s a bit wordy and philosophical in this one, which makes for a slow read with my sometimes scanning, rather than reading, pages where he waxed philosophically on and on and on about the universe and our role in it.
Not that I disagreed with what Mosley is saying. It’s just that he’s so wordy about it, and I’m more interested in what’s happening with regards to the body hidden in the old movie theater. It also feels he’s pandering to the public with one too many obligatory sex scenes.
Other than working out, needlepoint, television and Walter Mosley, there’s been testing out new recipes and giving last week’s brownie failure another try.
Cassava Flour tortillas, filled with roasted cauliflower, avocado, drizzled with sriracha sauce turned out GREAT!

All those expensive ingredients, purchased last week for the failed Avocado Brownies, did not go to waste after all. I adjusted the recipe adding a little more this, a little more that, less this, less that and, though they came out a little flat, because I need a smaller pan, the smell of a brownie cooking was there, as was the flavor, moistness and chewiness.
I resolved the flatness by stacking. Instead of one brownie in a bowl, I stacked one on top of the other, and it was pretty good with my afternoon coffee.
And yesterday ... taking two brownies from the refrigerator, stacking, warming in the microwave, topping with Chobani yogurt, sweetened with stevia and vanilla extract, it was slap yo momma delicious ─ reminding me of the molten chocolate cake with whipped topping I use to be able to eat in restaurants.

This morning, watching Trisha Yearwood’s cooking show on Food Network, I saw where she topped brownies with potato chips and bacon.

Did that look delish or what?
Can’t have potato chips but, next time I make a batch of brownies, I’ll try adding uncured bacon.
I also want to give Trish’s Marinated Veggie Salad a try.
All in all, I’m making good use of my time away from the world.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Took a Lickin, Still Ticking

Amazed am I that, after yesterday’s logging in of a total of 13,838 steps, 6.4 miles, I was able to get my poor tired body out of bed this morning. Everything hurts ─ back, knees, hips, head.
Today is a session with the Trainer. I’ll be showing up smelling like pain patches/pain lotions, and asking him to go easy on me.
I really pushed myself at yesterday's OC Fair 5, crossing the finish line in 00:58:49.

And yes … that is the one and only BATMAN starting us off.

Race Stats indicate I was the 1,770th participant to cross the finish line out of 2,613, the 988th female of 1,539 and, of the 9 females in my age group (75 through 99), I finished 4th.
Needless to say, with a 00:58:49 finish, I did not detour to any of the so-called fun events ─ Basketball Toss, Break the Plates, Jammin’ at the Pacific Amphitheatre. The detours reminded me of the simplistic games from childhood visits to the Pike at the Beach, which were fun then because those games were all we knew, all we had. None of it looked like much fun to me now, so I kept going.
I did, however, manage to take a few pics along the way. Surprisingly, not many wore themed costumes.

Body Suit

Home Crafted

Also Home Crafted

Not a costume, but photo worthy

Cat Lady

Also not a costume, but ..... Cowboy Fries/Piggy Fries???


Not sure if this is a butterfly or fairy, but wrong theme.

Also not in theme, but decided to photograph so I could copy this style if/when I go to another luau.

Found it interesting that the calico theme was pretty much consistent throughout the areas the course took us through. Like the outside of some of the buildings were painted white with black spots, same with the trash cans, and even the table areas were calico themed.

The many cows along the course were themed.

Oops! This one's real.

Not themed, but Piggy Backed.

Also real were the horses, and man did that area of the course stink. I had to hold my nose.

The Old West section of the course was picture worthy.


Who's that photobombing the cowboy?

After all was said and done, I got another bib and medal for the wall, another tee for the quilt I keep telling myself I’ll get around to making and, though I'm struggling to move today, had a great time.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Verdict is In

Message on Facebook yesterday from the new walking group, was “Meet at 7:00. We will be running around Badger Hill on the fire roads, so wear your trail shoes so you won't get your pretty road shoes dirty!”
Fat chance thought I and, just like that, it became clear as a bell the new walking group has seen the last of me. The verdict is in. Those folks are waaaay too adventurous.
So, while the walking group is traipsing around Badger Hill in 90˚ weather this morning, no doubt dodging snakes, I’m washing my hair, preparing snacks, packing up to head out to a nice air-conditioned hotel in Orange County, so I can participate in tomorrow morning’s OC Fair 5K.

Looking at the participant information, it appears the course takes us completely around the fair grounds, giving us a minimum of 1 hour 30 minutes to complete (8:00 am to 9:30).
I can probably push myself to finish in just under an hour, EXCEPT ….. I see there are “Detours to Fun” to tempt me to slow down ─ look, see, get in on, take photos. Plus, though I decided not to sew up a pair of cow leggings, this is a costumed event. I expect there will be cute costumes I’ll be wanting pics of.
As for those who dawdle too long and fail to cross the finish line before cutoff time (definitely not me), the word is ─ “If any runners are delayed because of all the detours to fun, starting late, or are just enjoying the view, we will need to divert you to a shorter route to the finish line.”
Dayumn! That’s harsh!
But "Don't worry - we will still give you a finisher's medal! "
Still seems harsh.
The fair grounds are all ours from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., after which the public is allowed to enter and the place gets overbearingly crowded. This being my first time to the fair, that gives me about an hour to explore ahead of the crush, before I head back to check out of the hotel.