Sunday, January 31, 2016

Will Walk for Bling

I’ve only been motivated to walk twice since October’s Halloween 5K, and both times just short two-mile strolls.

Quite a few residents keep asking me, “When are you going out walking again?” Some because they say it motivates them to get out when they see me, some because they want to walk with me.

It’s nice to know I motivate others but, being the loner that I am, the idea of those others walking with me is a total turn off. Consequently, I’d already decided that, when I do get out walking again, I’d walk the neighborhood, rather than the complex where others could join in.

Lord knows I wake up every morning fully intending to head out, actually NEED to get out and into a routine again because my body is becoming stiff from inactivity, but haven’t been able to make myself just do it.

It occurred to me the other day I need motivation. You'd think the aches and pains were motivation enough, but noooo.

Heading to bed last night, I once again planned to head out today. Evidently, my subconscious wanted me to follow through with that plan because I dreamt of, not walking, but running -- miles and miles of city streets. Not because anyone was chasing me; just because it felt good to run.

Waking up at 5:30, this is what I saw.

Instead of being disappointed, my reaction was to smile and silently thank God for a good excuse.

On facebook, after breakfast, I saw where a friend had posted two race sites I was unfamiliar with. Browsing both sites, I found my motivation.

That's pretty shallow that I'm more motivated by pretty bling, rather than the elimination of aches and pains, but there it is. I am now registered and raring to go. For this finishing medal I’d even participate in the rain.

Even though I’ve walked over 400 miles last year and year before, having turned 72 back in January, I don’t want to pressure myself unduly so, on the challenge section of the second site, only signed up for 100.


On tap for today is making tamales for Apache’s February 2nd Candlemas party.

Not going to have to make many, because most of the seniors are off to the casino that day.

With fewer folks to please, I’ve decided to please myself with butter not lard. And though I don’t have access to organic masa, I do have Bob’s Red Mill -- a trustworthy and healthy brand in and of itself.

Filling is to be rotisserie chicken marinated in salsa verde.

Unfortunately, whereas I could have gone to the market for the chicken yesterday, not expecting this change in the weather, I held off until today. So looks like I’m going to have to brave the weather after all.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Candlemas Day

I couldn’t believe my eyes when, after driving granddaughter to a doctor’s appointment, sitting in the car waiting, I looked over to my right towards the area where, on the 14th Day of Christmas, I’d hung a random act of Cheer, and thought I saw a flash of red.

This being such a busy parking area, it can’t be thought I; but, getting out of the car, taking a closer look, it indeed was.


The bulb is right by physician parking, and I can see it from where I was parked (which was more than halfway across the lot). 

It's a Christmas miracle, as is the blub hung on the 5th day of Christmas at Omnitrans Route 2 bus stop a miracle because it too is still there.

Before acting as grandaughter’s Uber Driver, I stopped into the Community Room earlier to find out how the folks were coping with all that came out of them yesterday. I found no one except the writer of Christian literature.

I guess the others were all sleeping-in as venting had been exhausting.


The writer and I chatted for a bit about similar disappointments with family and having to protect ourselves from the inability of family members to cease laying blame and take responsibility for their own choices in life. After a while, Apache and The Baker dropped in.

Apache asked if any of us knew how to work, or knew of anyone in the complex that could work, the barbeque grill. He’d purchased a propane tank, but he has problems with his hands to where he can’t attach and turn what needs to be attached and turned.

I don’t know all the details, but I have on good authority that Apache’s problems with his hands and other health challenges, which are quite numerous, are due to having once attempted suicide over a woman.

That’s pretty sad when you think your life is so troubled that you try to end it, fail and are left with health problems that overshadow what you thought was a problem and plague the remainder of your life.

Apache’s request for someone to set up the grill relates back to January 9th, when I’d blogged that, after having dropped off two pattie pies on the counter in the Community Room, I later walked through and found the old folks, who I say will eat anything, had done so, leaving only two empty boxes. They were also hard at work disappearing one of those circular breads with a Baby Jesus inside.

Researching Wikipedia, I find those circular breads are actually cakes -- Kings’ Day Cakes, commemorating the arrival of the three Wise Men. The baby Jesus hidden in the bread represents the flight of the Holy Family, fleeing from King Herod's Massacre of the Innocents. “Whoever finds the baby Jesus figurine is blessed and must take the figurine to the nearest church on February 2 (Candlemas Day, Día de la Candelaria). In the Mexican culture, this person has the responsibility of hosting a dinner and providing tamales to the guests.”

Apache says he’d eaten some of the King’s Day Cake set out on the counter that day and found not one but two baby Jesus.

He’s since bought a lottery ticket, rubbed one of the baby Jesus on the ticket and won $20, whereupon his sister put in his mind that, unless he hosts a party on February 2nd, his being blessed will run out and reverse.

Apache is a Indian, full blood apache not hispanic but, not wanting to take any chances, is hosting a February 2nd Candlemas Day barbeque, putting everything on himself – bringing Pork Butt to barbeque, potatoes, salad.

It goes without saying, I won’t be eating any pork butt. However, inasmuch as Apache is such a nice caring person, us ladies are planning to kick in and contribute. Since the tradition is tamales, not pork butt, I volunteered to make a few.

Even though the ones I made around Christmas were an experiment -- non-traditional with gluten free masa and butter, and turned out well enough to share, I’m not 100% sure of my tamale making skills. So, taking no chances, I’m going to go with traditional masa, lard and all. I may not be able to eat any, but hopefully they’ll come out to everyone's liking.

I don't think Apache knows, according to what I read, he's to host a party AND take the baby Jesus to a church. I don't plan to tell him and mess him up any further, superstitiously speaking, than his sister already has. I just hope that what he doesn't know won't hurt him.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sandwich Social

Except for Subway Vegetarian on Flatbread with Avocado and Sweet Onion Sauce, I don’t eat sandwiches. Consequently, I’d not planned to attend today’s social.

Then, along about 11:00, I decided to take my coffee and needlepoint down to at least sit with the other residents, so as to listen in and catch up on the latest.

It’s a good thing I’m a meditative individual -- an individual who can walk into any situation and maintain a state of peace, harmony, because I opened the door to the Community Room and walked into hell.

Generally, when I walk in, I get a “Hey, Shirley” and give everyone a return greeting. This time, the room was so charged with hostility that no one addressed me, and I quickly deduced it best I not address anyone else, not interrupt the proceedings, just quietly take a seat as residents were literally yelling not necessarily at but towards the Activity Director.

Didn’t take me long to figure out all the yelling was about Nurse Ratched and her crimes against the residents.

1) She’d recently turned all the parking spots in front of the building to “Future Residents Only”. There is no longer a spot for visitors to park.

In fact, right after I entered the Community Room, a tow truck arrived to tow the lone car in the parking lot. The Assistant Manager had called them to show us residents they mean business but, fortunately, before the driver hooked up the tow, Assistant Manager barged into the room demanding to know “Whose car is that?!”

It was the meeting moderator's car – the Activity Director.

There’s no parking on the street, so where else?

At any rate, Assistant Manager gave Activity Director a pass and sent the tow truck away.

2) Older Sister recounted an incident of being so disrespected by Nurse Ratched that she, Older Sister, came close to throwing down with Nurse Ratched right there in the hallway where the disrespect happened. In recounting the incident, Older Sister was still so upset that she was yelling, bouncing in her chair, and looked to be on the verge of a heart attack.

3) Big Linda, who heretofore had tried to ingratiate herself with Nurse Ratched by acting as her informer, began yelling about how she’d gone to the Assistant Manager re something or other. Assistant Manager said, “I don’t know about those kinds of things, you’ll have to ask D (Nurse Ratched).” Big Linda goes to Nurse Ratched’s office and is told, “I’m too busy, don’t bother me with that. You’re supposed to go to M (Assistant Manager) with stuff like that”.

“There’s just no communication!” yells Big Linda. “They don’t communicate to each other, and they don’t communicate with us!”

It doesn’t surprise me in the least that ingratiating herself to Nurse Ratched didn’t work. I called it some time ago that the nature of the beast is that the devil eventually turns on its own minions.

There were about sixteen residents present including, surprisingly, my depressed neighbor who had quite a lot to say herself.

That also doesn’t surprise me because, even though depressed neighbor is not around much and not involved in much, she does appear to love to complain, enjoys the drama of conflict, and always has something to say about the way things should be done.


So long as it gives her a reason to get out of her depression and live.

I can’t remember all that was complained of but several residents brought up being yelled at by Nurse Ratched for communicating with the former maintenance man.

“Don’t talk to him on my time” they were told. And, if told the conversation was relative to his duties as maintenance, they were told, “Don’t approach him directly, come to the office”.

Someone brought up the fact that Nurse Ratched needs to be investigated for discriminating against that former maintenance man and his wife in refusing them a unit; needs to be investigated as to whether she followed proper procedures in installing her mother in a unit; needs to be investigated as to the legality of declaring a $75 charge for work orders re unplugging toilets if toilet has been unplugged twice before, so on and so on and so on.

The $75 charge is news to me. I’ve not seen anything in writing yet, but sounds like the residents who’ve put in requests more than twice, are being old to pony up $75 and are mad as heck about it.

Inasmuch as concerns are not being heard, paid attention to, acted upon, the residents have asked for a meeting with corporate, and that a regular session be held with residents every three months.

The Activity Director appeared to want no parts of that. She was taking notes, saying she’d bring up resident concerns with her agency but as to setting up a meeting with corporate indicated the residents should arrange it. The residents, in turn, indicated the mission of the agency contracting Activity Director is to meet challenges of the elderly and, consequently, it’s her job to arrange the session.

I don’t know, but I do know Apache is spearheading a lot of what’s going on and he’s pretty relentless. It was he who got us the television and he contacted the right people to force Nurse Ratched to once again open the Community Room to us residents when staff is not on the premises. Management is being forced to actually build the second door required by the Fire Department. It’s going to be front of the building, where three windows now exist.

I’m a little worried about that inasmuch as it will make it easier for someone from outside to break in and abscond with the television.

While the residents were going on and on about Nurse Ratched, a young woman drove into the parking lot and parked where no one is allowed to now park unless they are a future resident. Lucky for her, management was at lunch or they’d have called for a tow yet again.

At any rate, inasmuch as the young woman couldn’t get through the locked gate, she took a running stance and did what I know to be a parkour move (the sport of jumping across, over, around obstacles) literally sailing over the fence.

The fence isn’t really that high, but high enough to impress me.

I was so impressed she'd made it so easily over that I said we should write “10” on a board, go outside and hold it up.

The other residents, however, were on a roll and took it as something else to complain about.

Depressed neighbor was so incensed that she even went out and took down the license number on the girl’s car, though I don’t know what she plans to do about it.

All in all, it was terribly interesting that the Sandwich Social not only turned into a beoch session, but that there were no sandwiches. Instead, residents were served bananas and yogurt. In anticipation of sandwiches being served at the "Sandwich Social", the resident who is a published author of Christian literature brought mustard and mayonnaise.


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Time Flies

Even though I’ve done nothing of note and gone nowhere worth mentioning this whole entire month, I was surprised to realize today was already the 23rd.

You wouldn't think it, but time flies when one is idle ... hibernating.

Haven’t seen nor heard anything from immediate neighbors lately, so they too must be in hibernation.

The unit set aside for the Maintenance Supervisor looks ready to me, so I expect to see his family begin moving in shortly.

My depressed next door neighbor seems to have stopped heading out, on a daily basis, to friends and places she prefers in Los Angeles. Except for the occasional bumping and banging around, she just stays quietly inside.

Thinking the bumping and banging around sounded like boxing up for a move, I glanced up on the way out to the market this morning but, from what I saw through the patio window, nothing seemed out-of-place. But then again, she may be planning to not stick around much longer because, whereas other residents promptly began complying with that bulletin we received last week re patio/balcony rules and regulations, by removing items no longer permitted, she’s not made a move towards removing her exercise bike.

It feels like she doesn’t care about anything anymore, least of all whether Nurse Ratched gives her a violation.

If I'm wrong and she does care, then she’d better get it taken care of before the Maintenance Supervisor moves in, because their patios are directly across from each other and inasmuch as Maintenance Supervisor appears to want to please Nurse Ratched, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he didn’t make a big deal out of her non compliance.

When I first learned Maintenance Supervisor would be the new tenant, it was alluded to that I should be worried about his "peeping" me from across the quad. I'm not worried because 1) I know when to open my blinds, when to keep them closed and 2) It's the depressed neighbor who is directly across from him. I'm a little off to the side diagonally and 3) Once his significant other realizes we're all single women on this side, that side as well, I'm sure she'll be on guard as he's friendly.

I can't imagine anyone in this quad being interested, but we do have women in other areas who come across as desperately seeking. 

I usually hear the downstairs neighbor’s door when she slams it shut, but having heard no noise of any kind for quite some time, seen no lights, I was beginning to think she’d moved … until today that is when I ran into her at the market. Telling her I’d thought she moved, she said she did put in an application for the new complex going up but, saying she knows her neighbors here and feels safe, is unsure she wants to move until she checks out the area.

That’s smart and I feel the same. Even though The Seer’s detective son feels his mom’s safety is compromised by her neighbors and wants her to move, things in this quad, this side of the complex, have thus far been copacetic – knock on wood and praise the Lord.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sometimes I Wonder

I know I’m not headed down the road to dementia or alzheimer, but sometimes I wonder about myself. Like that time I drove up to Starbuck’s window, ordered, paid and -- when the barista returned my card, drove off hearing the barista yelling, “Ma’am, wait. You forgot your coffee!”

I chalked that one up to a senior moment.

Then there was the time I was in the market, looked down and found I’d worn mismatched sandals.

That I chalked up to simply not paying attention.

And I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve stood at the front door, key chain with house key in hand, clicking the car's remote, wondering why the front door wasn't opening.

I’m thinking my sometimes inability to focus in is because I’m a contemplative, so often out there, lost in universal thought.

At any rate, yesterday I outdid myself.

Watching John Carpenter’s “Vampires”, a movie I’d seen like a thousand times before, I decided my time would be better served getting grocery shopping taken care of instead. So, grabbing a pair of boots, I set them in front of me and, while still watching the television screen, began slipping them on.

I’ll admit, after slipping on that first boot, my foot felt a bit funny but, eyes focused on the television screen, I felt around, found the zipper and zipped it up without taking my eyes off the screen. I slipped the other boot on -- and yes, it also felt funny, then ready to stand up, cut the TV off and head out, I took eyes off the screen, looked down and ....

So what was on tap for today?

Well, the seniors were off to the casino.

I didn’t make it down to see how many because, with no reason to put myself together and get out of the unit, I put myself together and stayed indoors.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

If It Ain’t Pretty, Don’t Put It on the Front Porch

Another notice posted to the front door yesterday. This one detailing new rules and regulations re patios and balconies.

I can understand that if it ain’t pretty, don’t put it on windows, balconies or patios, but “muted colors … no larger than 7 ft … no more than three plants … no more than 5 gallons each”?

I vaguely recall a horror movie about a family having moved into a community where, unbeknownst to them, individuality was not permitted. Everyone was surreptitiously spied upon and, should the family be observed making changes or additions to the property, a committee appeared at their door for a “friendly chat” with threatening undertones. Failure to comply with the subject matter of said chat, so that everything in the community could maintain an exact precise sameness, resulted in a beast rising out of the ground, devouring the offending family.

When I look back at first the 90 plus healthy trees this management group slaughtered when they took over latter part of 2012; then the decimation of beautiful rose bushes and other well-maintained personal touches to the little patches of dirt in front of individual units, I see a correlation between what appears to be Nurse Ratched’s determination to turn this place into that same kind of exact precise sameness demanded by the beast's minions.

Not wanting to sit looking at bare and almost bare dirt, as the plants management put in after didn’t seem to live long, or look near as nice, the residents, who did not opt to move out, turned to potted plants on patios.

It was just a few months ago when management removed ALL the water spigots so residents could no longer attach hoses to water those patio plants.

Not to be outdone, some residents opted to go back to using watering cans. Other residents, like the woman beneath me, who says carrying the heavy cans of water, from sink to patio, was too hard on her back, decided to clear the patio of plants altogether and began making plans to relocate to one of the two new complexes being built, one in Fontana, another in Redlands.

So now, in order to further her insane plan of exact precise sameness, Nurse Ratched has come up with “no more than three plants … no more than 5 gallons each”.

Inasmuch as she only wants patio umbrellas in “muted colors … no larger than 7 ft”, I’m thinking her next move will be specifying what each of the three plants shall be.

We absolutely will be losing more of the nicer tenants to newer complexes, opening up the door for Nurse Ratched to fill vacancies with more of the shady bringers of trouble types.

I don’t even know what it means “caps of the patio or balcony” and what are these “common areas”? I’m guessing that means the residents no longer have control over the Community Garden, which the residents themselves created, maintained and had certified as a Wildlife Habitat.

Come to think of it, I’ve not seen anyone working in the Community Garden for some time. Probably with the thievery of plants, gnomes, bird houses, etc., and the loss of a spigot for the water hose, they feel defeated and have finally given up.

So that’s the latest, here at everything the sameville. Inasmuch as some of the residents have patios with walls of plants UPTOHERE, I hope no monster rises from the ground.

“Valued resident” my arse.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Commitment Regret Part 2

Despite the forecast of good walking weather this morning, leaving me unable to get out of the commitment to walk with Younger Sister and another resident, I awoke to an ugly looking day. It was overcast and heavy fog during the night had left outdoors wet.

It wasn’t rain but close enough for me. So off I go at 10:00 to meet up with the women in the Community Room, so I could opt out of walking due to the “poor” weather.

Neither one showed up.

Inasmuch as I was the only person in the Community Room and it was nice and quiet, except for noise coming from the television, I decided to sit alone and meditate. It was an hour before other residents began to trickle in, another half hour before the other resident I was to walk with came rushing in, returning from a family emergency it turns out, and another half hour before Younger Sister showed up with no excuse for and not a word about not coming down at 10:00.

I wasn’t angry, of course, I was glad Younger Sister didn’t show up. But I did kick myself a little for not having known all along she wouldn’t, because that’s her thing – to talk about what she wants to do, needs to do, is going to do, but no follow through.

The family emergency for the other resident turned out to be her brother, who use to live here and was the boyfriend of my neighbor Debbie, who passed away. Brother’s health began to fail after Debbie passed, so his two sons moved him in with them. The resident -- whom I’ve not yet thought of a pseudonym for yet other than “the other resident I was to walk with”, didn’t show up this morning for the walk because brother was in hospital having a lung removed. She did say, however, “We are going to start walking. So if you want to join us, let me know.”

No thanks. I’m good on my own. And I’ll be very surprised if Younger Sister follows through with the plan to “start walking”.

On tap for today?

Making a big pot of African Chicken Soupand watching all the activity as workers rush to prepare the vacant unit across the quad for the new Maintenance Supervisor. Carpet and tile are going in today, and I earlier watched and worried I might witness a horrible accident as the person cleaning the window opted to hang precariously out the window from inside to clean the outside, rather than use a ladder outside.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Commitment Regret

So some lucky persons, too excited about winning a third of the Powerball, got no sleep last night.

I hope they’re able to keep their mouths shut, not tell a soul and take the winnings in a blind trust, which is what I would have done. Though I would have wanted to tell one daughter and the granddaughter, that would not have been wise because daughter would tell her significant other, which would have put both daughter and myself in jeopardy of kidnapping, robbery by her significant other’s useless manipulative son. Granddaughter would have told her BFF, who would have told someone else, and so on and so on, until granddaughter also would find herself in the position of being harmed or held for ransom by some thug.

I’d already worked it out in my head to take a blind trust, have funds surreptitiously funneled to both daughters, granddaughter, the grandsons, nieces, nephews and if any one of them couldn’t be wise enough to keep their mouths shut about a windfall coming from where they knew not and put themselves in jeopardy, then it would be on them as I would not be responding to ransom demands. They’d just be SOL.

So that was my slightly cold-hearted but practical plan had I won, which I didn’t, but I’m happy the pot was won, lottery fever has come to an end and I now have no reason to leave the unit headed to the 7 Eleven.

Even though I had that one day, yesterday, when I felt the impulse to get back out into society, I woke up this morning wanting to get back in my cocoon and regretting having committed to that walk Friday morning with younger sister and another resident.

There was some talk about rain on Friday, which would have given me an out, so I checked the forecast.

No such luck. It’s smooth walking weather next few days, so I guess I’m going to have to suck it up and listen to younger sister go on and on and on about wanting to move forward in life, asking for advice as to how to meet people, where to begin, how to begin, what’s the first step, then not taking that advice because her mind comes up with reasons why she can’t, shouldn’t, “What if I don’t like it? ... Nothing ever changes, it’s always the same".

It’s the same conversation over and over and over until I really don’t want to hear it any longer. I’ve already told her she thinks too much, needs to listen less to her head, more to her instincts and can begin with something as simple as walking to the church up the street as there might be programs and groups she could enjoy.

Her reply is, “I know, I know, but I keep thinking …”

Her latest is, “I’ve been invited to visit a relative in Alabama.”

That’ll be nice, I said, to get away for a while, get your head straight.

“I’ve been to Alabama, what’s the point of going back?”

“You don’t have to stay. But you never know, it’s a door to walk through, and one door leads to another and another. You might meet someone travelling to Alabama or come across something that will lead you to something else.”

As to her statement that nothing ever changes, it’s always the same. That’s life, I said. Nothing is ever new under the sun. You go around and around and around in circles but, as you evolve, you circle at a higher level and the same old thing becomes fresh and new.

All I got from her was, “I know, I now, but.”

She also said something about relying on the future, tomorrow, rather than taking steps to change today; to which I replied, “Tomorrow is not promised.”

I was brutal in saying, “Don’t you think the people killed in the terror attack at the social services building had plans for tomorrow, yet there they were on a regular day and tomorrow didn’t come.”

“I know, I now, but.”

So, I’m not looking forward to Friday’s walk. I’ll do it, because I committed and it will help to get me restarted on walking, but I’m seriously thinking to tell her not to bother me again with her drama. Take a step, any step, make a move, put up or shut up.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


Finally got out of myself this morning and made it to the Community Room to socialize.

I guess today was the day a lot of folks decided to resocialize, because there was quite a nice gathering. Surprisingly enough, the main topic of conversation was not the Powerball. Instead, it was the Superbowl.

What with management once again closing up the Community Room on weekends, I don’t imagine residents are going to be happy about not being able to host a Superbowl party, as they did last year.

I learned there was actually a valid reason for management to return to closed on weekends and open only during office hours on weekdays.

What management had done to appease resident complaints about not having access so often was to set up the patio doors for entry, but only the patio doors. All other doors to the building are locked when management is not on premise, to protect files and the computer room.

Some smart aleck resident, hoping to create problems for management, was aware of a Fire Department code that two unlocked doors are required and notified the Fire Department of the violation.

After the Fire Department made an inspection and issued a citation, management decided to revert back to the old hours, rather than leave unlocked the patio doors and door leading to the offices.

I can understand that logic.

So whoever filed the complaint only hurt us residents, not management. I believe the complaint came from Big Linda, because she likes to complain and cause trouble. The Seer thinks the complaint came from Little Linda, because she too likes to complain and cause trouble.

We’ll never know who the culprit is, but I’m a firm believer that you get what you give, so the universe will take care of ‘em.

I’ve been wondering why management was taking so long to prepare the vacancy across the quad for viewing by potential new residents. This is the vacancy created when our former maintenance man and his wife moved out ... I mean, were forced out.

It wasn’t until just yesterday that I saw a crew come in to clean, repaint. I’ve not yet seen the carpet people, but that’s a given, they’ll show up.

Based on the sketchy looking folks Nurse Ratched has been bringing in, I was a bit worried she might lease, if not to another one of her relatives, to someone who would cause us to feel unsafe and planned to keep an eye out to get a feel for the kinds of people coming to see the unit.

According to one of the ladies in the Community Room this morning, it’s already been leased.

Actually, given away free … to the new Maintenance Supervisor, who I thought would have quit already.

I guess he’s tougher than I figured and what with the title of “Supervisor” added and a free unit, is prepared to swallow whatever Nurse Ratched dishes out.

Doubtful, he and his family will bring the quad back to the cohesiveness we formerly enjoyed but, inasmuch as we’re all single women, it’s someone we all know and who seems safe.

Also, while in the Community Room, younger sister was trying to get someone to walk the route to the street leading into the college with her on Friday. Younger sister kinda gets on my nerves, but I do need to get back to walking, so I and another resident agreed to do the three miles with her on Friday, if it doesn’t rain, and maybe stop at the You Buy We Fry fish restaurant to bring back lunch.

I’ve had fried fish only once in the last forty years, and that once was about fifteen year ago. No reason, as I like fried fish. Only because I'm always either on some sort of diet or have not had an opportunity for fried, so I’m thinking fried fish, maybe shrimp, will be my last off program meal before I begin clean eating again.

I heard the depressed neighbor coming in late Monday night, and heard her again heading out early this morning, so I at least now know she’s still alive – just being quiet, keeping to herself.

Monday, January 11, 2016


Though the weather has been pretty nice last few days, life has been a continuation of doing nothing, going nowhere. I haven’t even wanted to leave the unit unless I absolutely must.

So far, the musts have been that walk to the 7 Eleven on Friday to purchase a Powerball ticket, driving granddaughter to complete an errand Friday night and another Sunday noon.

Inasmuch as there was not a winner for Saturday’s Powerball, today’s must will be another walk to the 7 Eleven.

I'm feeling especially inert today, so perhaps I'll drive.

I for one will be happy when someone wins the jackpot, so all hope and a must reason to leave the unit is gone.

Since I’ve spent little time outside the unit, never going any further than the couch and the kitchen, what have I been doing with my time you ask?

Well, finishing touches on that needlepoint project is taking almost as much time to complete as it took to do the art work. And what with PBS running Series I, II and III of Sherlock Holmes  -- the one with Benedict Cumberbatch who, not to mention is drop dead handsome, fascinates me as an actor, the DVR is once again full of other programs I generally watch but can’t get to, and then there’s my favorite author’s new book.

So though my overall body is trapped in inertia, my eyes, mind, fingers are getting a workout.

The fact that I’ve started off the year as a shut-in has caused me to wonder what residents who appear to be shut-ins all year long do with their time.

The elderly lady in the unit downstairs, underneath the depressed neighbor, rarely comes out. I see her maybe four times a year being either picked up by a relative and going somewhere or heading to the office to sign paperwork.

She's a cute little thing, walks slowly with a cane and obviously doesn't cook, as a meals on wheels program delivers to her, so I assume it's all reading and maybe television with captions.

It occurred to me yesterday that I’ve not heard the depressed neighbor coming or going since shortly after the new year when I saw her taking down her Christmas wreath. I probably should check on her, but I’m bogged down with concern for family members right now and unwilling. This concern with family members may be why the inertia has set in and return of the addiction to sugar.

I did very well through the holidays until the peanut butter cookies at the cookie swap and The Baker’s banana muffins at the Tamale Party. Those two indulges awoke the sugar beast and, since then, it’s been Nestle freezer to oven peanut butter cookies and/or Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream almost every night.

I’m about done with this and ready to get back to clean eating, so as soon as I finish this last Ben and Jerry’s, I’ll put myself on a sugar detox program and maybe set my sights on training for another 5K.

For sure, I’ll do the former, that latter is just a maybe at this point.

An event calendar was finally posted to the door on Sunday. There’s the monthly casino trip on the 19th, and a Sandwich Social on the 26th.

I’ll pass on both.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Lottery Bucket List

I know the region needs the rain we’ve been getting, but I was beyond excited when the sun came up yesterday.

I think I’m one of those people that only come alive in the sunshine. I’m not exactly moody or depressed, get sick or sad in cold dark rainy weather, as are people with what is called Seasonal Affective Disorder. I just become quiet, reflective, keep to myself.

Yesterday was so nice out that I suited up and headed out for a walk around the neighborhood.

I routed that walk to pass the 7 Eleven, about a mile away, in order to stop in and purchase a Powerball ticket.

You never know what life has in store for you, so with a pot as large as this one, I had to at least buy a ticket.

It only takes one.

Unfortunately, it takes the RIGHT one. But, like I said, one never knows.

I don’t often walk in that direction, on that side of the street, so don’t know if this is new or has always been there and I just never noticed.

I can’t remember the last time I saw a phone booth. Actually, it’s a public phone without a booth, and looks to have been defaced by taggers, but still a rare sight.

Once back at the complex, I checked in on the folks in the Community Room.

The television hasn’t been stolen yet and since its installation has drawn a lot more folks in to socialize. Some of the residents appear to spend the whole day in the Community Room now, where there always seems to be treats on the counter.

The pattie pie boxes were still on the counter, but the pies long gone.

I told you … those old people will eat anything.

Yesterday, there was one of those circular breads with a Baby Jesus inside.

There was also a note on the door indicating management was, for like the 999th time, changing Community Room hours. For whatever reason, they’ve gone back to open only during staff hours – 9:00 to 5:00 during the week, closed on weekends.

This being closed, once again, on weekends and staff nowhere around so often during what is supposed to be regular work hours, is going to put quite a damper on the renewed enjoyment of the Community Room.

Someone once asked me what I’d do if I won the lottery. My response was that I’d not change much in my life because I don’t need anything. My bucket list is to set up trust funds for my girls, the grand kids, spread a little between the niece and nephews.

It’s probably wrong to feel this way but, add to the list, I’d purchase the complex as an investment and fire Nurse Ratched.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Day Out of Life

Yesterday -- Day 6 of the new year, was once again a go nowhere do nothing day; and grateful I was for it. Outside was dark, cold, raining cats and dogs the whole entire day. It was one of those days when one feels thankful to be retired rather than having to head out to a job.

On top of that, we’d had another earthquake at 6:42 am. Centered in Banning, this one was a whopping 4.8, but just a little jiggle by the time it got to us.

I don’t know what if anything, by way of activities, is scheduled this month because, once again, we’ve not yet received a calendar of events.

I wonder what excuse the office will come up with this time.

Though the rain had ceased and the sun actually showed itself for a short while this morning, I was looking forward to another day of not having to go anywhere not having to do anything, except to wait for the mailman as I was expecting a book.

When I went down about the time mail should be arriving, I detoured to drop trash at the dumpster, happened to look over to where the car was parked and noticed one of the tires looked odd.

Not wanting to accept reality, I told myself it was an optical illusion that the tire looked a little deflated but thought I’d better drive to the tire place to have it checked.

I headed back upstairs to grab an umbrella and redress for heading out in the rapidly changing weather. By the time I got back down to the car, the tire looked even more deflated to where reality slapped me in the face – it was flat.

Not wanting to chance it was too flat to drive the eight miles to the tire place, I called for roadside assistance.

“Do you have a spare”, they asked?

“I have a spare, but it’s been in the back a long time. I don’t know what kind of shape it’s in, whether it has air.”

Given a two hour window before the calvary arrived, I waited in the Community Room so I could let him in the gate.

When the call came, I looked and saw a truck and one of those little funny looking one-door cars at the gate.

Rushing out to the guy with the truck I gave him my code to ring my phone, from where I could dial 9 to open the gate.

He seemed overly thankful.

As the gate opened, I told him, “It’s four cars down”, entered behind him and wondered where he was going when he kept driving past my car and around to the other side of the complex.

Then my phone rang again. As I answered, I looked over and realized I was connected with the guy in the funny looking one-door car.

Was my face red.

The black truck had nothing to do with me. I’d let the wrong person into the complex and even was directing him to my car.


Both he and the roadside service technician must have thought I wasn’t quite right in the head, but oh well. Chalk it up as a senior moment.

My day got better thereafter, as the technician found my spare, having been protected from the weather and all, to look brand new and in excellent shape.

The problem tire was found to have a nail but, more luck for me, the nail was in the top and repairable, rather than on the side.

After roadside service took care of business, it was off to the tire place and another hour and a half out of my day.

What’s on tap for remainder of the day?

Oh … wait … there is no remainder of the day. What with the wait for roadside service, the time it took for him to switch the tires out, the wait for tire place to get to my car, there is no day left. I barely made it back home in time to catch Judge Judy.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Buyer’s Remorse

Five days into the new year and nothing.

Haven’t done anything.

Haven’t gone anywhere.

Except yesterday, when I got out of the shower and noticed a blinking light on the cell phone to indicate I’d missed a call.

It was that nice Walmart manager who, on December 14th, said “I can’t promise, but if another shipment of pattie pies comes in, I’ll let you know.”

A shipment had come in overnight, been set up that morning, and was down to ten by the time of her call.

Having just gotten out of the shower, I got dressed as fast as I could and headed out the door, wet hair and all to find out what’s the big deal with these pies.

In the car, driving to the location of the manager’s out-of-my-area store, I noticed in the mirror that, while rushing to slap makeup on my face, I’d failed to correctly pencil in my eyebrows to match. The left one was ridiculously lower than the right.

That prohibited me from running any errands while I was out, other than picking up two pattie pies, which I managed to do – one for me, one for the Community Room.

So later settling down to a lunch of delicious pie and coffee, I was surprised to find I’d bitten into something that didn’t taste anything like I’d expected. This being the internet and all, not wanting to get sued, I can’t say too much. Suffice it to say I took both pies down to the Community Room and left out on the counter for the old folks to have at it. They’ll eat anything.

So much for allowing myself be taken in by the hype, but at least now I don’t feel like I missed out on anything. It’s better to know than to wonder.

It’s raining cats and dogs today, so chalk up another day of going nowhere doing nothing in the new year.