Friday, July 29, 2016

Cowboy Up

That’s a favorite term of mine – “Cowboy Up” meaning toughen-up, don't back down, don't give up, do the best you can with the hand you're dealt. So, beginning to feel my old energetic self again, I was easily tempted upon receiving notice of a Virtual Cowboy Up 5K, especially when I saw the finishing medal.

Official race day is not until Sunday, but that’s the beauty of a virtual – you can complete the mileage at a time convenient to you within a specific time period, . This morning felt like the right time so, too hot to walk outside, I drove 25 miles to the mall. The drive supposedly only took about 20 minutes but, in traffic, it felt like forever … not something I want to do every day.

At any rate, I had three goals when I walked through the mall doors.

1.       Finish in under an hour
2.      Get out without clothes shopping and/or 3. binge eating

The stores were just opening as I entered, so I didn’t have to worry about dodging crowds of people, and I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a few elderly singles and couples also walking the mall.

Mall floor walking felt a lot better on my feet than walking on asphalt/concrete and I thought I was clipping along at a pretty good pace. Yet and still, I did not meet the under-an-hour goal.

The cell phone buzzed a few times to let me know of Pokestops along the route, so I took a few seconds to pick up pokeballs, eggs and miscellaneous other game stuff at Gameworks and various others locations in the mall, and there was one capture, but those diversions took seconds and didn’t add much to my finishing time.

I also took a second to take a photo of a particular boutique, because it reminded me of something cute I’d just read on facebook.

(Just in case the print is too small for you to read, it says "My cousins daughter is turning 7 ... her mom asked her what she wanted for her bday and she said 'I want justice'. With all that's going on in our world today her mom agreed and said 'don't we all baby' ... her daughter replied 'no mom it's a clothing store in Del Amo'")

The generation gap is showing, because I never heard of Justice either ... a chain clothing store for kids.

As expected, there was a lot of temptation in the mall, but I got out without shopping for clothes or binge eating in the food court. I also passed up several candy stores, but only because none was Sees. No way am I yet strong enough to stay out of Sees. Fortunately, this mall had no Sees. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Something to Think About

Hmmmmmm …it’s an option.

Planning to move eventually anyway, I’m not chained to a house, so I wonder if Canada offers affordable senior units?

Off sugar and eating fewer carbs, my slow metabolism has yet to let go of much weight, but the inches are creeping down, and I’m beginning to feel my old energetic self again.

Now if the weather would just cooperate and cool down, I can get back into a daily walking routine.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Food Finds and Pokestops

My First Pokestop

Acting as granddaughter’s Uber driver Friday afternoon -- picking her up at her complex, I observed a mob of college aged guys hanging around the fountain of her building. (Most of the residents of her building are from the university down the street).

“Trying to capture a pokemon over there” says she.

Her out-of-town visit was just overnight so, I acted as her Uber driver again Saturday morning, picking her up at the bus terminal, dropping her back off at her complex. While there, I thought I’d see what creature was lurking around her fountain and take a go at capturing it myself.

No creatures there … even better … it was a pokestop, a location to load free game stuff.

How exciting – my first pokestop!

After loading three pokeballs, I got into conversation with a guy and his young son, who told me the location of two other stops in the area, where this morning I loaded eggs, which I do not yet know what to do with, more pokeballs, and captured a pokemon fox. 

Because it’s been too hot to get out and do much of anything other than act as Uber driver last few days, it’s been needlepoint, working on staying off sugar and planning healthy meals.

A bit of a perfectionist, I did pick up a new canvas and started over on the Michonne project, and I’ve not indulged in a chocolate muffin, Ben & Jerry ice cream or any sugary products for 2 weeks 4 days.

In an effort to drop some pounds, I’ve also taken a stab at monitoring my carbs.

While at Trader Joe’s earlier in the week, reaching for a head of cauliflower, I saw they now sell riced cauliflower, which turned out to be the greatest invention since sliced bread.

Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables. I know it can be substituted for potatoes and rice but I’m a lazy cook – too lazy to figure out how to rice it or mock potato it, so I eat it raw or oven baked.

Following a recipe for Super Easy Paella, I substituted rice for cauliflower and voila.

It was great!

I could eat it all day, every day ... and with chicken and andouille sausage as the protein ingredients, green beans instead of peas, the dish was low calorie, carb free.

Now all I need is for Trader Joe’s to come up with cauliflower mock mashed potato and french-fries.

Today, substituting spaghetti squash for pasta, I’m taking a stab at Chicken Florentine.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Arts and Crafts

This Friday morning started out a repeat of last Friday’s morning – I rushed getting myself together in order to make the 10:00 Arts & Crafts class with the exception, when I walked into the Community Room this time, the Activity Director was all smiles because she had the supplies for showing us how to make patriotic wreaths.

First, however, we had to sit though a healthcare group’s presentation.

I’d have come down later had I known in advance, and actually started to leave and come back, but then learned bingo was involved.

It was a different kind of bingo -- educational, involving Medicare terms and fava beans instead of numbers and daublers.

Having previously never been lucky at bingo, I couldn’t believe it when I won a game.

Then I won a second game.

And a third!

I got to choose three different times from a table full of prizes.

My Loot -- dish cloths, magnifying glass, dust cloth -- chosen in that order

On a lucky streak, I wanted to give someone else a chance to win, so I decided not to call out if I won again. I needn’t have been concerned. The streak ceased and others were able to win, some as many as three times as well.


After bingo was making patriotic wreaths.

Starting with acrylic paint, we painted 12 clothes pens blue, 20 red, 18 white.

We then attached the pens to a wire wreath form, glued stars, and Voilà!

Though we had two fun activities today, please don’t mistake my being a realist as being negative when I say … I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. Nurse Ratched got her butt handed to her at yesterday's meeting and is not likely to overlook the Activity Director’s having spilled the beans to us as to the real reason for previous cancellations … sabotage … being denied “the budget”.

Something wicked this way comes.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

More Data/Less Caffeine

Except for when Pokemon Server went down this afternoon, I’ve been a Pokemon hunting fool.

At Trader Joe’s, I encountered and captured a CP10 Meowth on the parking lot, right outside the car door as I stepped out.

Inside of Trader Joe’s was filled with crablike characters. I encountered three and opted to capture two.

Exiting the car at Starbucks, I encountered and captured a fierce Venonat. Inside, two Rattata and a poisonous Ekans.

By the time the server went down, because the CP (Combat Power) was high on the fierce characters, I found I’d leveled-up from Ll 1 to L3 in the game.

Not bad for a 72 year old.

I am having so much fun with this! So much fun that I received a data warning and, though I’m on a tight budget, plus trying to squirrel away moving money, I capitulated and upped the data plan.

Looking at the budget, this upgrade translates into less trips to Starbucks and perhaps buying my makeup from the drug store rather than Macy’s.

A new friend I met at last year’s Halloween Spooktacular 5K, and now on my facebook, invited me to a 5K/Pokemon Hunt this Saturday.

Would have been fun but I declined because she’s young ... runs, I’m older ... walk, and I can’t take the heat.

However, her invitation got me to thinking about the idea of joining a team.

I don’t care for team activities, too much drama when working with others, BUT if there is a team called The Geezers, where everyone is over the age of 70, that might be worth taking a chance. Once I get really good at this, I may start Team Geezers.

At 3:00 this afternoon, we had a Residents/Management meeting … a whole lot of nothing, as usual, but contentious because those present weren’t buying what Nurse Ratched was putting down, and said so … loudly.

So contentious, so loud and so being bombarded that, at one point, Nurse Ratched stood up and said, “Okay! We’re done!”

She couldn’t take the heat but, instead of storming out, she composed herself, sat back down and continued to try to convince us residents the sky is green and grass is blue.

I just listened, had nothing to say since my termite issue had finally been taken care of and I still, in-the-back-of-my-mind, feel I’ll eventually move anyway -- just don't know when, don't know where.

But then ……

Nurse Ratched was put on the spot by several residents about events on the calendar being cancelled at the last minute.

“I don’t recall that happening more than once or twice”, said she.

I smirked, mumbled under my breath at the blatant lie, and heard myself say to myself "Don't say anything."

Residents began naming the cancellations, one of which was the last Residents/Management meeting.

“That was because I had a terrible headache”, said she.

If she was looking for sympathy with that excuse, she didn’t get it.

Then someone brought up the Arts & Crafts cancellations.

“I have nothing to do with that. That’s all the Activity Director. You need to work that out with her”, said she.

Again, I heard myself say to myself, "Don't say anything" ... but that was too much of a lie. Something inside would not let me stay silent.

“I may be wrong, but it is my understanding that YOU control the budget and, if YOU withhold the budget, the activity director cannot do her job”, said I.


It was a direct hit. She had no idea we knew about "the budget". Having been caught off guard, she was rendered momentarily speechless. She looked away, around, grasping for a way out, regrouped and came up with a song and dance about the check from corporate coming late, that it’s a “management” problem, but she’ll be requesting the check in advance henceforth.

Fine but, either way, her reply contradicted the lie about it having nothing to do with her.

After residents ran out of challenging her and things calmed down, Nurse Ratched advised of a change coming in the wording of the lease agreements.

“You told us we’ve all been month-to-month since your took over the property?” a resident offered. (A transition I didn’t know about until recently, when I inquired as to when my lease was up).

She couldn’t say what the wording change would be, got us all confused by saying yes and no to whether what she told us before about month-to-month was true or whether we’re on leases but, the bottom line is we’re being asked to sign newly worded lease agreements in the coming months.

Probably because there are so many vacancies they don’t want anyone else to leave.

At any rate, I'm fairly certain what she told us before about being month-to-month is what's up and, as I do not want to get trapped in a lease here, I’d better plan for a few days checking out senior complexes I found in Lakewood, Long Beach, Newport Beach, Irvine, Fullerton … in that order of preference.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Never Too Old to Learn

Yesterday’s post, the one for which I look backed at my senior year in high school, caused a disturbance in the force which left me unable to fall asleep that night. My mind was racing racing racing thinking about the past to where I couldn’t slow it down, shut it down and get sleepy.

Not that the past was some terrible trauma, which it wasn’t. I just couldn’t stop thinking – mostly about what I know to have happened to this person, that person, about how I so easily grew away from and discarded people I now wish I’d maintained contact with, yada yada yada.

Unable to get back on center, to my usual calm, quiet, meditative state of being, and unable to turn on the television for fear of disturbing the neighbors, it was several games of Candy Crush, needlepointing in insufficient light until my eyes could barely see and, still wide awake at 3:00 a.m., I downloaded the Pokemon Go app.

Not knowing the first thing about how to work it, I did manage to tweak the avatar to try to make it look like me.

It doesn't look at all like me, because there was no option for braids and a much heavier body, but it's pretty cool.

After that, I logged onto the computer, read an online tutorial, turned the app on and, around 3:45, quickly found a CP14 Bulbasaur hovering over the couch.

I’ve been seeing a lot in the news about the app not being safe but, using common sense caution, being aware of one's surroundings, where one goes to hunt, it’s fun and promotes exercise -- a lot of walking.

I didn’t make it to bed until around 4:30, still not sleepy, my mind still going – but at least my thoughts had slowed because I was no longer dealing with the past swirling around but had shifted the focus to one thing – how to play Pokemon.

Waking up at 8:45, I think I must have finally fallen asleep around 5:00.

It was too hot to walk during the day but, around 7:00 this evening, I headed out and found a surprising number of Pokemon at the back side of the complex. First time I walked the complex, a raptor type bird showed up. It was too fast for me and I couldn’t catch it. Later, I ran into three other characters but, for some reason, my finger wasn’t registering on the screen and I couldn’t catch them either.

There’s a learning curve for sure, but who says “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”? It’s just going to take me a little more time, reading tutorials, trial and error to learn the nuances and probably more data on my plan.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Senior Year

With no desire to go anywhere or do anything, not even a necessary trip to one of my favorite places – the mall at Victoria Gardens to replenish perfume and makeup I’m running desperately low on, there’s nothing new to blog about.

Oddly enough, despite the lack of anything to do, any where to go or, more appropriately, the desire to do/to go, time has been flying by.

I’ve two books to read: Charcoal Joe, a new one by my favorite author Walter Mosley, and Determined, Dedicated, Disciplined To Be Fit by 80 year old body builder Ernestine Shepherd.

I’m so involved with the Michonne needlepoint project, I never seem able to squeeze in the time to read. Not to mention I reached a point on the tapestry where something doesn’t look right and I’m thinking of restarting the entire project.

It seems to me the top of the arm holding the sword should be brown -- I may have picked up the wrong color. However, it may be the pattern calls for light bouncing off. I just don't know, and it’s proving so difficult to visually see where one color starts and another ends in order to count back and find the spot on four pages of pattern to figure it out that it may be easier to restart the project.

Other than that, I’m focusing on eating right, staying away from chocolate muffins and Ben and Jerry Cherry Garcia, both of which constantly call my name and are always on my mind.

Mage, over at Postcards, did a fun post about her Senior Year, which got me to thinking back on mine.

1. Did you know your spouse/partner? Shy, unattractive, a late bloomer, never dated or had a boyfriend until well after graduation and in the working world.
2. Did you car pool to school?  We didn’t have a car in the family. I rode the school bus and sometimes opted to walk, because I enjoyed walking even back then.
3. What kind of car did you have? It was all buses, walking, riding the red line.
4. What kind of car do you have now?  Saturn.
5. It's Friday night...where are you? Sitting on the couch, watching television, needlepoint, fighting the craving for ice cream and a chocolate muffin.
6. What kind of job did you have in high school?  Receptionist in a music studio where I also got free piano lessons. I also took in sewing for my mom’s friends.
7. What kind of job do you have now?  Happy retired.
8. Were you a party animal?  Not until the 70’s. Before that I was under my mom’s thumb and she kept me in church -- all day every Sunday, bible studies during the week.
9. Were you a cheerleader?  I wanted to be. Tried out for it, but the color of my skin was prohibitive.
10. Were you considered a jock? I wish. ROFLMAO!
11. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir?  Orchestra. I played violin.
12. Were you a nerd? Absolutely!
13. Did you get suspended or expelled?  No.
14. Can you sing the fight song?  Say what?
17. What was your schools full name?  Compton High.
18. What was your school mascot? Can’t remember that far back.
19. If you could go back and do it again, would you?  Hell no!
20. Did you have fun at Prom?  Did not go to senior prom, but went to junior prom – escorted by best friend’s cousin. Don't remember anything that happened at prom, but remember after, when we went to dinner. I ordered pasta. My escort told me, "No. You're having a steak". I suppose he meant well, but I didn't like steak, still don't.
21. Do you still talk to the person you went to Prom with?  Being as how he was my best friend’s cousin, we crossed paths for years. He expressed interest. I wasn’t ready until years later, after marriage and divorce. He waited, we hooked up, he proposed, I said yes. It was a mistake because I still wasn’t that into him and, fortunately, he blew it by dictating to me how many children I would have. (I should have known he was controlling from when he made me eat steak). I broke off the engagement, he finally gave up and I never saw or spoke to him again. He died some 15 years later. Now you're not gonna believe this, but I felt it the day he died. Though he wasn't someone I thought about, something came over me out of the blue that day and I just knew he was gone. One of his relatives saw me some days later, said, "I have some bad news for you." But, before she could say anything, I said, "I already know." She probably figured someone else had let me know.
22. Are you planning on going to your next reunion? I get notices, but no one knew me, I was invisible, so no point going to show off I finally bloomed and look great for my age.
23. Are you still in contact with people from school? Not a one, but I often think about my then best friend and have looked for her on facebook.
24. What are/were your school's colors? Haven’t a clue.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Fooled Again

Rushed getting myself together this morning, so I’d have time to make a Starbucks Run and get back to the complex for the 10:00 Arts and Crafts session.

Walking into the Community Room at 10:00 on the dot, I saw the Activity Director sitting in front of her computer, no supplies in sight for the Patriotic Wreath we were to learn how to make.

Putting 2 and 2 together, I immediately began laughing and said, “I assume no arts and crafts again?”

She was so upset she couldn’t open her mouth to reply. She just nodded her head to indicate I was correct.

“Why?” asked I even though I pretty much already knew the reason.

“She didn’t give me the budget again.”

Having become accustomed to Nurse Ratched’s shenanigans with the various Activity Directors who’d come and gone, I couldn’t do anything but commiserate with the Activity Director saying, “You poor thing” and continue to laugh.

Laughing is better than crying or getting upset.

So that’s no Arts and Crafts since the Ombre Letters session was cancelled on the 17th of June for the same reason – failure to turn over what the Activity Director refers to as “the budget”.

The day was not a total wash, as the Activity Director had made arrangements for a health care specialist to come in at 12:30 to give a short spiel followed by Bingo.

We are not allowed to play for money but, in addition to bringing treats and providing us with a few games of Bingo, the various health care folks that come in bring usable items as prizes. Today it was coffee mugs, can of cashews, can of mixed nuts, tooth brush/tooth paste set, shampoo/conditioner set.

I won not one game, but learned how to play four corners and blackout.

Today’s treat was to have been an ice cream social. Having already dropped four pounds in seven days, just from knocking off Ben and Jerry Cherry Garcia ice cream and chocolate muffins from the local bakery, I had no intention of indulging. Fortunately, I didn’t have to worry as ice cream turned into potato chips, which I also passed on.

So anyway, Activity Director said Nurse Ratched was turning the budget over to her today, so we'll do the Patriotic Wreaths next Friday.

I'll believe it when I see it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Not This Time

It was a challenge -- because I do so love icy cold slurpees … and sugar in general but, after breaking my clean eating regimen on Bring Your Own Cup Day back in March, which resulted in being sick as a dog for days after, I passed this time around.

Even though I knew sick after would be a consequence, it wasn’t easy not to indulge because, for Slurpee’s 50th Birthday, a birthday flavor had been developed which, had I been less resolved, I’d have actually been willing to purchase a Slurpee to try.

What has me so resolved to resist are the white peasant shorts ordered online last month.

Clean eating has been pretty much hit and miss last few months, as witnessed by allowing myself not one, but two days of Bring Your Own Cup, and other food misdemeanors.

BYO Cup March 2016

Because of hitting and missing, having begun clean eating in July of 2015, aiming for a 30/40 pound weight loss by this time – July 2016, I’d plateau at only 10 pounds down and picked up an inch or two overall in the last few months. Unsure of what size shorts to order, I’d requested my before size and down one size. Fortunately, the down one size fit BUT because of those inches gained and because peasant shorts carry a lot of loose flowing fabric and because the fabric was white – which adds the appearance of pounds and inches, I looked bulbous.

So bulbous that, on Thursday of last week, I got serious and began a clean-eating restart.

Day 5 and I feel thinner already, so no way am I deviating this time around.

As for those white shorts … I should drop them off at a donation center and eventually will do so. However, for now, I’ve situated them as practically the first thing I see when opening the closet as a reminder and motivation.

On tap for today?

Other than needlepoint, haven’t a clue. Depends on what pops up in Facebook or in email or the mailbox, sending me off in a different direction or whether I get a call from The Baker that her husband has built us a new puzzle board, which will send me down to the Community Room.

Monday, July 11, 2016

There Goes the Neighborhood

To say the last week or so has been slow here at the senior complex would be a gross understatement. It’s been lifeless. Not that lifeless is a bad thing because, what with all the family drama I see unfolding on Facebook, and all the turmoil unfolding in the world, slow and lifeless gives me the opportunity to keep to myself -- away from the group in the Community Room who get all hyped up and negative over world affairs, an opportunity to look at all the happenings objectively and know that the world around me is in the tunnel right now, and when one is in the tunnel there is darkness and all manner of slime on the wall but, at the end, there is light.

At 5:00 this afternoon, Nurse Ratched is presenting “An Afternoon of Safety” which, I assume is her response to her mother and the dumpster lady having been accosted by the mentally challenged guy.

The program flyer reads “Afternoon of safety. Equip women with products that can protect them. Empower women to protect themselves. Educate women by encouraging then to back up their purchases with self-defense training. We all need to be more aware of our surroundings and be ready with a plan of action. Awareness is key, along with being prepared.”

Sounds like a good idea, except the program was originally the brain child of Christian Writer, who I could tell judged me in a self-righteous manner when there was a question about an upcoming event and she told me to ask Nurse Ratched. “NO!” said I, “I never ever talk to her directly. I talk to the Assistant or send an email.”

At any rate, it was Christian Writer’s idea to host a Damsel in Defense party here at the complex. Approaching Nurse Ratched for permission to host the event, she was told, “I don’t have anything to do with that. You’ll have to talk to the activity director about it.” Then, before Christian Writer could do so, Nurse Ratched got together with one of her gal pals and set the event up as a money-maker for themselves.

Shady business that but, when Christian Writer complained to me that she’d been lied to and duped, I presented, “You needed that to happen so you could see.”

Will I attend this afternoon’s event?

I’m tempted, just to see if anyone at all attends, but no.

Only other thing of note has been a new tenant in the unit across the quad. This would be the upstairs unit, previously occupied by our former much revered maintenance man. After Nurse Ratched saw fit to terminate him -- because he was too competent and too popular, the unit lay vacant for 9 months.

That’s a lot of loss revenue, but Nurse Ratched doesn’t seem to care as much about revenue as she does about power and control.

At any rate, the new tenant is the cute young Maintenance Supervisor, which would be honky dory with us residents because he’s pleasant and seems to be doing a good job, except that he’s young, just starting out in life with a wife, 7 month old baby and 2 year old boy – all of whom moved in with him.

I thought I was dreaming when, at 11:30 Friday night, I heard voices and a child’s laughter. Looking out the patio window, I observed the 3 year old playing on their patio. Fascinated by the sliding patio window, he would slam it open to one side, slam it back close, and giggle his little head off. Over and over he repeated the process until I figured he’d break the mechanism.

It took quite some time before his dad, young maintenance man, took him by the hand, brought him inside, closed the patio door and pushed the locking mechanism down. Problem with that is the little boy watched how his dad pushed the mechanism down and, as soon as dad walked away, flipped it back up and returned to slamming the patio door back and forth.

Tired of watching, I went back to bed feeling pain for the neighbor beneath them and my next door neighbor, whose bedroom is directly across from the ruckus.

I actually ran into their downstairs neighbor at the market yesterday. She says she’s losing her mind because the noise is intolerable. The 2 year old stays up late, likes to bounce on the bed and couch, jump off onto the floor, causing photos on her wall to shake and there’s that business of slamming the patio sliding door open and close. "They never discipline him. Tell him to stop." she says.

There goes the quiet neighborhood.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Just Because

Apache called me to come down to the Community Room this afternoon because, “I have something for you.”

I’m one of those people who, unless I’m meditating, I can’t just sit and do nothing. So, when I first started hanging out in the Community Room with the folks, I’d work on a puzzle. It quickly became a group effort -- I’d leave it in the Community Room, come back next day and find others had put pieces in place.

At Friday’s potluck, The Baker asked about my choosing another puzzle from the hoard of puzzles in the game room and setting it up.

“There’s nothing in there that interests me … a bunch of cats and houses, and I only enjoy Indians. Besides, the puzzle board has disappeared.”

So that was a “no”.

What Apache had for me this afternoon was a brand new 1,000 piece puzzle saying, “I heard you say you only like Indians”.

I’m pretty sure he’s over his crush and got it for me just because.

As soon as The Baker can get her husband to make us another puzzle tray (turns out Nurse Ratched tossed the other), I’ll be spending less time in my unit and a lot more time in the Community Room because, once I get started on a puzzle, it becomes an all day obsession.

That’s not to say I’ll be giving up on my latest needlepoint project – AMC’s Walking Dead character Michonne. Needlepoint too is an obsession, so I’ll just split my time.

Also while in the Community Room, I overheard someone say, “I’m sick and tired of all this Road to Rio stuff on television. When is this Olympics thing over?”

Someone replied, “It hasn’t even started yet.”

LOL. The resident who’s sick and tired of it has a long way to go.

I feel her pain, however. I feel the same about all the political stuff on television.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

While I Was Sleeping

Lying on the couch yesterday, unapologetically sleeping my life away, I became aware of more voices outside than usual and an unusual number of sirens coming down the street, sounding to stop in front of the complex or very close by.

Too lazy to get off the couch, go to the patio window or outside to check out the commotion, I attributed the voices to the resident I refer to as Nosey Neighbor -- coming out on her patio to see what the sirens were all about, chatting up whomever happened to be walking through the quad.

“Nosey” because she jumps up, comes out onto her patio, pretends to be tending her plants and eavesdrops whenever she sees any of us outside talking, queries me whenever she sees me bringing anything in/taking something out. For instance, when the hauler walked through the quad and headed for my unit to remove the cardio glider, there she appeared, watching his every move. I think she even said something to him; for sure, she later asked me what he was doing and, “Did you pay him to take that?” Then, when I was bringing in the new microwave, there she appeared again, commenting “Bringing in new stuff?”

I humor her, answer any and all queries, because I figure, with her vigilance, if anything ever happens to me, she’d be the one to notice and make a call.

At any rate, insofar as hearing an inordinate number of sirens on my lazy day, I chalked it up to this being a senior complex.

Having experienced the death of my immediate neighbor, and so many others I’ve come to know and others heard about, in the 4 and 3/4 years I’ve lived here, I’ve become so accustomed to the almost daily Fire and Rescue being here that I’ve become somewhat desensitized.

Color me surprised when I finally came to life about 6 o’clock in the evening, logged onto facebook, saw the above photo posted with a blurb about the area being "ablaze" and realized it’s the little mountain behind the complex, on fire for a second time in a two-week period.

THAT explains the all day sirens, sounding to stop in front or close by.

The June 14 fire on little mountain was high up and involved no structures, yet the smell of smoke filled the entire area -- inside the market even.

This time, the fire was lower -- in the residential area and though it took out homes, I smelled nothing.

About two years before I moved into the complex, a fire on little mountain resulted in evacuation of the complex AND the adult building next door.

It occurs to me that, inasmuch as Nurse Ratched cut off all the spigots so residents could not attach hoses and water their plants, that we’d be sitting ducks – unable to break out the hoses and attempt to save ourselves in a fire situation. So, heading to bed last night, I began planning in-my-head what to throw in the car and take with me as I headed out to a safe zone.

1.       Cell phone and charger.
2.      Purse, with driver’s license, credit cards.
3.      Important papers, such as social security card, title to car.
4.      Creative Memory photo albums
5.      Laptop

I have about 13 albums, in order of oldest ... to newer ... to newest.

The albums are heavy so, depending on how much time and energy I have, I’d work from oldest to newest in getting them down to the car, just in case I had to let newer, newest and laptop go.

Fireworks are illegal in this area, yet I've been hearing fireworks every night for weeks. That's probably how yesterday's fire started.

Desperate for coffee, because I didn't even get off the couch yesterday for coffee, I'm headed to Starbucks, driving past the site of yesterday's fire, saying a prayer for those affected.

Friday, July 1, 2016

4th of July Potluck

The resident I refer to in this blog as “The Baker” contacted me earlier in the week saying inasmuch as there’s no sign of a 4th of July celebration forthcoming from management or the Activity Director, why don’t I join her, the residents I refer to as Apache, The Seer, and Christian Writer in a little potluck today 4:00 to celebrate … and pass the word on to other residents.

“Sure”, says I. “Sign me up for potato salad”.

So after completing that second race yesterday morning – Stars and Stripes 5K, posting a time of 3.26 miles, 1:20:02 minutes, before the aches and pains took my body completely over, I crashed and needed to soak in Epsom Salt once again, I headed to the market deli for that potato salad.

At Age 69, I did my first 5K. Immediately hooked since then, I’ve been averaging one 5K per month. Having never been the athletic type, at my now age and weight, it’s getting tough. My finishing time is getting slower and slower, and it’s taking longer and longer for my body to recover.

Still a little stiff and sore this morning, I’m feeling physically over 5Ks, but I’ve been here before. I distinctly recall posting last year/year before that I was DONE. So though feeling this time I’m REALLY done, don’t hold me to it because the mind forgets the struggle, a notification pops up in email or facebook and it’s like …

Today’s potluck menu was hamburgers and hot dogs. I don’t eat either so, while in the market, I had also picked up a package of turkey dogs for myself, and others who won’t eat what’s been provided.

Arriving in the Community Room, color me pleasantly surprised to find a little over 20 or so residents had joined in.

“Pleasantly surprised” because the last activity -- Father’s Day Potluck, had been an epic failure.

I myself did not attend and had expected only the usual suspects would -- The Baker, her husband, possibly Apache, Christian Writer, The Seer. The menu was planned around spaghetti and meatballs, which Christian Writer signed up to provide. She also tried to change my mind about not attending, luring me in that she was also making a lemon crème pie.

She’s a good cook, so I thought about it, decided not and it was a good decision because she failed to show. With no spaghetti, no meatballs, no crème pie, the Activity Director was forced to rush to Subway for sandwiches.

That's why the fact so many residents showed up and brought a dish was such a nice surprise.

I was glad I dressed for the occasion having, at the very last minute, changed from regular black leggings to the patriotic leggings I made two years ago.