Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Pizza and Mardi Gras Beads

Another orderly Pizza Tuesday.

Delivery was on time and no one bum rushed the guys.

Except for one remark, there were no problems getting folks to add their name and unit number to the event sign-in sheet.

The woman who always takes the most -- saying she’s taking for others, and was asked to therefore sign for the others, made a snarky remark about having to “sign for pizza”.

I told her what the Activity Director instructed I tell those who felt that way, until she can put out a bulletin explanation next month, that you’re not “signing for a pizza” … you’re signing to show the program that donations are going to residents, not employees.

Today, the woman who takes the most must have walked out with 8 pizzas and I don’t even know how many containers of chicken. Then … after saying she was taking those to others, she came back and bragged about freezing and eating pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner all week long.


I was so glad I held onto that almost container full of Mardi Gras beads I started to toss last time I was weeding out, getting rid of everything I’d not used in years and that which didn't seem to serve a purpose, because tossing the beads to seniors as they came into the Community Room turned into a hoot, holler and was a much better way to thin out the container.

Here’s a group of us flashing our beads.

I even got folks to Mardi Gras roll play -- ask for beads by using the iconic phrase, “Throw me some beads!”

Even Fancy got beads.

That turned out to not be a good idea, as Fancy later tried to eat them.

No sign of a party hat Pikachu in the area yesterday, no sign of one today.

Perhaps tomorrow will be my lucky day.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Happy Pokémon Day

Bet you didn’t know there is such a holiday.

Technically, it’s National Pokémon Day, associated with the day when the first Pokémon game launched in Japan back in 1996.

To celebrate, the game app is releasing a limited edition Pikachu wearing a party hat. The release began yesterday at 1:00 pm and lasts only until next Monday.

You'd think that with a week to catch one, it would be easy and time enough.

But noooooo.

So out of the area yesterday, getting my braids retightened in Rancho Cucamonga, I made sure to begin checking at 1:00 sharp.

No luck.

But, looking at the PokémonGo Inland Empire Facebook page, I see at least one person caught one yesterday ... and in the same Rancho Cucamonga area.

I guess it’s all about being in the precise right spot at the precise right time.

The right spot was not in my area because, once arriving back at the complex, I checked and still no luck.

Checked again when I woke up this morning.


But I was awake, checking the app at 3:23 a.m., so there’s still hope of finding one of the little guys by day’s end.

So that’s what’s on tap for today – party hat Pikachu and a 5 mile indoor bike ride to qualify for the “Mardi Gras 5 Miler”.

Tomorrow, in addition to being Pizza Tuesday is Fat Tuesday.

We’ve never celebrated Mardi Gras in the years I’ve lived here, but maybe I’ll lighten things up tomorrow by wearing beads and throwing some I collected while living in Long Beach, where Mardi Gras IS celebrated, out to the seniors.

We’ll see.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Happy Hands

Aida cloth having arrived in yesterday’s mail, my hands are once again happily involved with a project.

My eyes, on the other hand, are not pleased with me at all.

The eyes have been angry for a long time because, due to budget constraints, I’ve been wearing prescription eyeglasses that are years and years and years outdated. First thing on my todo list, when that windfall kicks in, is to reward the eyes for hanging in there so long with a visit to optometry.

I’m looking at three pairs – one for the computer, one for reading/needlepoint, and progressive lenses for when outside (driving, walking, pokémon hunting).

Being unproductive for a few days hasn’t been too difficult an adjustment. I whittled down recorded television programs, watched the grass grow and listened to myself try to figure out do I put myself first, or do I once again put others first.

One would think that after so many years of hurting myself emotionally and financially by being there for others, who I know without a doubt I cannot count on to be there for me, I’d have learned my lesson and there would be no question as to who’s first.

It’s just so difficult to not step in when I become aware a family member is struggling.

All this thinking, as to whether to provide for my future, or dig a family member out from the hole created by their well-meant decision, has pushed me to sugar in the form of Girl Scout cookies and ice cream.

If I had an idea of how long I’m going to live, it would make the decision-making process so much easier. If I’m looking at less than five more years of life, I could cover the both of us, and even leave something behind for others. If it’s to be, God forbid, 10, 15 or, even worse, 20 years, with no one to count on, I'm going to have made smart choices for myself.

I need a glimpse into the future.

For years, I had a Shaman who could do just that.

He passed away in 2014.

I’m really missing him now.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Idle Hands

Popping up on my facebook page Wednesday -- two days after the holiday, the following sign was just too hilarious not to share.

Having suffered no after effects from Pizza Tuesday, it’s been business as normal, except no needlepoint as I wait for the aida cloth to arrive.

Apart from when I’m sitting in meditation, I become restless when I’m not doing something with my hands, so I've been getting back into ancestry to while away the time.

I signed up late last year and quickly lost interest after learning:

1)      In addition to Nigerian, Mali, Senegal and Congo, my Native Indian heritage is much lower than I was led to believe (only 2%).
2)     Also, contrary to family belief of Irish blood, there is 0% chance of that, BUT
3)     There’s 9% Scandinavian.

Inasmuch as my body has no tolerance for cold weather, I found THAT hard to believe, questioned accuracy of the test, and was done – even though Apache informed me only one eighteenth is necessary to qualify for Native American benefits.

Records are required to verify that lineage and, other than a photo shown to me the one time I came in contact with anyone from my father's side, even him -- at his funeral, of their Black Great Grandfather standing besides their Choctaw Cherokee Great Grandmother, that’s all the info I have, and had no interest in delving further into it.

So, after the initial thrill of the results, I was done with the site until, with nothing else to do, I logged in the other afternoon and saw a match had reached out to ask how we’re connected -- it’s from the father’s side, but difficult to pinpoint precisely who.

From there, just to keep myself busy, I've been giving tree building a try, found a population schedule listing my mom at 12 years of age, but building a tree is complicated, frustrating, and has the potential of becoming expensive – with monthly charges for access to this, monthly charges for access to that. So I think I’m over this ancestry thing and will just quietly sit here, catching up on recorded television programs, occasionally looking out the patio window, watching grass grow.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Into the Wild

Car started up right away yesterday, no cranking sound.

According to the manual, the car is equipped with “Battery Rundown Protection”, which means that when lights are left on, the system will automatically turn the lamp off after 20 minutes. So knowing the car did not sit for two days, lights on, draining the battery, I stopped worrying about getting to the dealer and will take my chances on making it to the next regular service.

Yesterday did dry up outside and was off/on fairly nice, but a little chilly when I made it out. So, instead of walking around the University, I drove to the PokéStops I depended upon before discovering the University. One such stop displayed a hilarious sign.

After this morning’s rituals (BBB, except I skipped the biking because I was going to need that energy elsewhere), I headed down into the wilderness the Community Room becomes on Pizza Day, arriving early at 9:45 for the 10:00 delivery.

Expecting feeding time at the zoo -- crazed wild beasts ready to attack, grab as soon as pizzas came through the door, I was met by only two residents – one of which was the guy who’d had a pizza snatched from his hands.

After telling him I was happy he was giving it a second chance, I began wondering -- did I scare everyone off last week?

Turns out not. Taking a cue from last week's late delivery, residents began trickling in around 10:30 -- minutes after the Activity Director herself delivered the pizzas.

She’d rearranged her schedule to handle the pickup/delivery because she’d heard so much from management and residents about the chaos that she wanted to “see it for myself”; plus she wanted the delivery to be on time.

Of course, this would be the day residents weren't already seated, at the ready, so Activity Director saw none of the behaviors she’d been advised of happening last week, the week before that, the week before that.

At any rate, as soon as she’d made the delivery and took off, here they came. But it was nice this time.

Pizzas, bread sticks, chicken were already on the table, there wasn't a mass of residents converging on the tables at one time so, after signing in, folks leisurely picked out what they wanted.

I didn’t even have to use my 1 Per Person labels.

Those who wanted one or two or three, saying they were picking up for someone else who supposedly could not come down, I asked they sign in FOR that person (name and unit number).

No one had a problem with it.

This morning was easy peasy … fun even.

The idea of Pizza Day had me craving since last week. So yesterday, following an almond meal crust recipe found in a Wheat Belly Cookbook, I sauced the crust with tomato puree, added a topping of roasted mushrooms, onions, cherry tomatoes, jalapeno, turkey pepperoni, and cane up with a pizza my sensitive stomach wouldn’t rebel at.

Satisfying and delicious it was.

Tasted even better when, at 12:15, I signed off wilderness duty, went back to my unit and reheated a slice for lunch.

On tap for remainder of the day?

Well, since there will be no needlepoint until I receive the aida in the mail, I'll take a little indoor bike ride, then work on my Ancestry tree.

I have to always be doing something, and I was so excited last night when I found a population schedule listing my mom when she was 12 years old. I've also heard from someone who thinks she might be a niece on my father's side -- the side I know little about.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Happy President’s Day

Or … depending on which side of the fence you stand, Happy Not My President’s Day.

Today I choose just to be happy the fact today IS a holiday did not escape my attention -- as the last two holidays did, because “holiday” means the university is closed to classes and, depending on weather and car battery, the campus today becomes my PokéBall collecting grounds.

Of course, it rained again last night, so outside is not inviting; but it’s early still -- only 6:00 in the morning, so there’s a chance the sun will come up, dry everything out.

I’ve not been in the car since Saturday, so I don’t know status of the battery.

I can’t get to the dealer until Wednesday and, if I do need a new battery, I’m looking at $250 (which is what I paid last time I replaced the battery, on top of the recent $1300 for shocks) because, inasmuch as Saturns are no longer in production, parts are scarce and pricey.

Or so I am told.

Whatever the cost, I am not inclined to budget any of that windfall towards a new car because I like what I’m driving – it’s a practical nondescript car, and my preference in all areas of life is to not stand out too much, be invisible even.

In fact, when I bought this car, I was looking for something no one would want to jack or steal. I asked my daughter about the Saturn I was leaning towards and she said, “Ma, no one will want that dorky car”.



The downstairs neighbor moved out yesterday.

Total surprise, as she’s only been here since the latter part of May last year.

She seemed friendly, but I never got to know her well because she was never here. Even so, I’ll miss her … because she was never here, which left me not having to be careful about having my television on too early in the morning, too late at night, too loud or careful of any other activity that would disturb the neighbor underneath my unit.

And when I say never here, I mean never ever.

In the ten months she’s been occupant of that unit, she’s been in it not more than half a dozen times.

Made one wonder and caused me to recall that, back in the days, when I was dating the cop who later became my husband, father of my girls, I was basically living with him. However, in order for him not to get fired, for what the department deemed “moral turpitude”, we had to maintain separate addresses so no one would know we were living "in sin", which everyone knew, but the department would be hard pressed to prove. Consequently, I took a little apartment, kept some clothes in it, visited about once-a-month just to check on things or when I needed time away from him.

The world being so different now, as to what is proper, I’m thinking the neighbor’s reason for not being here has nothing to do with my reason but is travel related. She looked to be the tough strong capable adventurous type so, because of her appearance, I began thinking she might be a long haul trucker, not a flight attendant.

At any rate, she’s outta here and hopefully the quad’s good energy will attract another drama-free non-complainer. Some nice-looking testosterone would be appreciated, as we already have sufficient estrogen in the quad.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

After the Storm

That was some night we had yesterday.

Watching the Storm Watch Channel, I felt so lucky, so blessed, to be where I was – snug as a bug in a rug, because this area wasn’t hit anywhere near as hard as others.

The evacuations, hillsides collapsing -- taking homes with them and, if not taking the home, sending a river of mud inside, got me thinking again about why it’s not a good idea to lock myself into ownership … anywhere, even though rents have become outrageous … everywhere. People sink their life savings into ownership and poof, everything they have is gone in an instant through an Act of God.

It’s a little overcast right now, so we may be in for more of yesterday later on, but it was so nice outside earlier that, once again feeling my energetic, fast moving, easy breathing, indoor bike riding self, I decided to go for a long drive -- to Redlands for aida cloth to start my new cross stitch project, with lunch at Souplantation after.

The car gave me a weird cranking sound when I started her up. I noticed a big green headlight in the middle of the console and a tool and oil can symbol lit up.

It can’t need service already. I said to myself.

Hasn’t been that long since the last.

As for that green headlight, I pulled out the manual and it indicated the high beams were on.

Oh oh, thought I. That cranking sound is probably the battery getting ready to die on me because why? Did I leave the lights on? When did I even turn them on?

I don’t know. Maybe when I washed the car last week, I somehow hit the switch.

The lights were not on when I got IN the car.

That green thing didn’t show up until I turned on the ignition, so maybe, when the car was off, the battery wasn’t being drained.

At any rate, under the circumstances, I decided I’d better stay in the area until one of two things happens – the battery does die and I have to call for a jump to get to the dealer OR I get the time, and a nice sunny day, to drive out to the dealer and have them check the battery.

Not taking the chance of getting stranded miles from home on a day when tow service might be slow because surrounding areas are still in chaos from last night's storm, and another might start, I drove only to Starbucks, returned to the complex and ordered the aida online.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Energy Vampires, The Aftermat

My Route 66 indoor biking medal arrived in the mail yesterday.

It’s a good thing I qualified for tomorrow’s Valentine 5K earlier in the month, because another rain storm is predicted for today and tomorrow. In addition to which, there is no way I currently have energy enough for a 3.12 mile walk.

Evidently, I wasn’t as fully recovered from the Energy Vampires as I originally thought when I awoke yesterday because, after that post, I quickly found myself still moving slower than usual, breathing hard still and it took me until 12:30 to pull myself together and get out to manage a trip to Starbucks, then Walmart to pick up a frame for Michonne and a just released Madea Boo Halloween DVD.

By 2:00, I was burned out and had to dispense with the next item on my todo list -- the market.

Instead of groceries, I headed home and, after checking mail, lay flat on the couch again.

In the morning, before heading out, I had a phone conversation with the Activity Director.

Refraining from reporting the seniors had sucked the life out of me, I filled her in on what worked, what did not work, who was offended, what they were offended by, etc.

She’s going to issue an attachment to the March Activity Calendar explaining what the sign-in sheet is for… that the program requires verification she’s doing her job and pizzas are going to residents not employees.

She’s going to work on getting three others to police the event on a rotating basis, but said it will “take some time”.

You bet it will take some time. I’ll be very surprised if she can round up even one other.

Activity Director is also going to pay a visit to the guy who had a pizza snatched from his hands, apologize for what happened to him and invite him to come back. If he knows who the woman is, she’s going to have a talk with her as well, telling her behavior like that will get her banned from the Community Room.

You go girl!

I like this Activity Director. She’s made some dumb mistakes – mainly because she didn’t know a thing about event planning, but she’s learning and I like her, otherwise I’d not be putting myself out there for her.

The storm hasn’t hit us yet so, on tap for today is another try at the market before this morning’s energy peters out. Hope I don't run into any Girl Scouts because I'm too weak now to say no -- when energy is low like this, I always turn to sugar.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Energy Vampires

Sitting for close to three hours in the Community Room on Pizza Tuesday caught up with me that evening. Feeling a little tired, not able to keep my eyes open, I was in bed asleep by 8:30.

Slept straight through, but woke up yesterday morning completely devoid of energy.

My body felt like it weighed a ton.

Having difficulty lifting my feet off the ground, I literally dragged myself through the morning ritual -- moving slow, frequently holding onto walls, counters, whatever was available to keep myself upright. Even getting sufficient breathe into my lungs was a struggle.

Not a single solitary productive thing was accomplished the whole entire of yesterday. I spent the day on the couch, mostly lying flat on my back.

Back in October, I’d blogged about Dick Stuphen’s book entitled “Unseen Influences”. The reader’s digest version of the book is that there are people, places and things that have good and bad influences on our physical, mental, emotional well being. Stuphen refers to those people, places, and things as Energy Vampires.

Relating to people, it’s generally immature folks who, thinking the world revolves around them or owes them, suck the life out of those so unwise as to spend time around them.

That was me on Tuesday … unwise. Not realizing -- with a few exceptions, I was in the presence of energy suckers, I’d stayed too long in the greedy grabby unappreciative resentful atmosphere and it sapped the life out of me.

Fully awake at 2:35 this morning, other than beginning my day way too early, I’d completely recovered.

Maybe it was recognizing where the energy drain came from that enabled me to reset so quickly -- maybe it was resting all day yesterday, whatever the cure I’m back and ready for Round 2.

Will be interesting to see if the experience is more positive next week or yet another drainer.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Pizza Tuesday

Policing the event was not too terrible awful, not totally fun either. Let’s just say Pizza Tuesday was a tolerable assignment … one that, because of ungrateful old people with bad attitudes, I can’t see continuing for much longer.

First off, having been told to be in the Community Room at 10:00 to accept delivery, I was in place around 9:45.

Pizza did not arrive until 11:20 and “delivery” was Maintenance Supervisor and his assistant driving over to Pizza Hut, picking up the pizzas, bringing the boxes back to the Community Room.

It didn’t look like the guys minded handling the delivery, but I don’t think they appreciated being bum rushed by the old people, who couldn’t control themselves until the guys brought everything in ... about 40/50 pizzas, hot wings, garlic breads spread out over three tables.

If I’d not been so busy trying to slap “1 Per Person” labels onto boxes, as the seniors attacked one or the other of the three tables like wild beasts, I’d have recorded the happening.

Apache was in the Community Room when I arrived to, as he put it, “protect you if things got ugly”, had taken a set of labels and helped me, otherwise I couldn’t have kept up with slapping labels on with the rate of grabbers.

I was expecting residents to balk at signing-in as having attended, but fortunately I’d passed the sign-in sheet around BEFORE the pizza arrived and Apache and The Baker helped me by speaking up to folks as they entered the Community Room, telling them to “sign in” before I could say it, which took some of the dirty looks off me.

No one said anything directly to my face about having to sign in, but I did get feedback from a male resident who’d not attended, didn’t know I was involved, that residents are complaining about having to “sign for the pizzas”.

I explained, hoping he'd pass it along, they were not "signing for pizzas", they were signing as attending the event -- just as we do with ALL events, so Activity Director can justify her position AND, in this case, can keep the donation program going.

He looked skeptical.

I asked why he himself hadn’t attended.

He said he’d attended last week and it was a mad house -- much like what I observed this morning, only worse because he said he’d looked through a lot of boxes before he found what he wanted – pepperoni, and a female resident snatched it right out of his hands.


He went on to say, what the woman did was so rude that he went to the office about the incident, and was told “You’re a man, she’s a woman” whatever that meant. So now he’s upset, angry, did not attend this morning and will not attend Pizza Tuesday ever again.

I expect some are so offended about signing-in and the 1 Per Person labels that they too won’t attend again either.

If the program gets dropped due to lack of attendance because folks are offended, fine by me -- I’m not interested in the pizza and my time will be my own again.

Thankfully, the Community Room television was back on. Plus, just yesterday, I’d finished the needlepoint project begun in May of last year, and used this morning’s down time to set up for my new project.

Completed: Walking Dead Chic with a Sword .. Michonne

Next: Native American Still Life

So anyway, as bad as this morning looked to me, insofar as behaviors, I gather it was better than last week.

Most honored the 1 Per Person labels.

There were three however who could have cared less.

One insisted she ALWAYS bring back a pizza for her neighbor, because neighbor was in school.

She kept following me around rationalizing … “She’s in school”.

I said it wasn’t my saying 1 Per Person, it was the Activity Director, so take it up with her.

When all was said and done, the woman walked out with 2 of everything and the friend she brought with her, a woman I’d never seen before, walked out with 3 of everything.


There was another older woman, on a walker, trying to rush out the door so we’d not see her dangerously balancing two or three.

Everyone saw.

Everyone was worried she’d not make it. So worried that several volunteered assistance.

She declined.

I think she was embarrassed to be seen absconding with so much loot.

One woman who did not put up a fuss was a woman I am told brought one of those rolling shopping carts to last week’s Pizza Tuesday and filled the cart up.

She brought the cart with her this time as well, saw the labels and stopped at one of everything.

Will I police Pizza Tuesday next week?

That’s up to the Activity Director.

I’ll report back to her that chatter is residents are insulted they had to “sign for pizza”, that delivery was late and that, of the 40/50 pizzas delivered, there were a few remaining when I left at 12:15.

Inasmuch as there are leftovers, she might as well just let people take however many they want.

I’ll also mention she might check with the maintenance men to see how they feel about being bum rushed.

I personally don't think the event, and these ungrateful fussy old folks, are worth the energy, but if Activity Director wants me to police next week, then sure, I'll do it for her.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Late Night Rumblings

Yesterday’s breakfast, consisting of items my stomach doesn’t like – wheat, flour, high fructose corn syrup, didn’t hit me as hard as in the past. Other than some queasiness and late night stomach rumblings, I survived.

After two days of good weather, the heavens opened up again and the angels began crying buckets late last night.

I had plans to hit the University this morning for more PokéBalls but, according to the weatherman, this was going to last through the weekend, so I made indoor plans -- biking, crafting.

The weatherman was wrong.

Along about noon, the sun came out, everything dried up and it was perfect PokémonGo hunting weather, only it was too late to switch my indoor plans, except I did get out and about to pick up groceries and make a run by Starbucks for another pound, just in case.

When the sun was shining on Thursday, I’d made it to the Dollar Tree and found a cute potholder motif at 2 for $1.

I meant to replenish coffee supplies that day but, stopping at a Starbucks near the Tree, went through the drive-thru for a quick cup, and didn’t want to hold up the line asking to have a pound ground.

A little after mid-day today, after picking up coffee and supplies, I finished the Route 66 Challenge. Then set up the sewing machine and knocked out those hot handle holders.

This was a quick project, taking less time to complete than it took to set up the machine, and look how cute.

And how handy.

Wouldn’t you know, I’m already stressing over that commitment to police Pizza Tuesday. Not because I think folks will get mad at me, as I’m sure they will; and not because pizza is another food temptation, because it isn’t. I don’t eat cheese -- even the smell of it isn’t going to be fun. What’s stressing me is having locked myself into being out of my unit, two/three hours, doing nothing.

I can’t needlepoint, because lighting in the Community Room isn’t good enough, and the television in that room has been disconnected.

Something the residents are itching to bring up at the next meeting.

That has something to do with further fallout at Corporate from whatever it was that got Nurse Ratched fired and escorted off the premises by her boss and met by the police outside.

First fallout was Corporate no longer providing free cable to residents. Residents are okay with that.

What residents are not okay with is Corporate not continuing to keep the Community Room television going under Corporate’s provider.

So the next meeting is likely to be a bit contentious. I just hope someone from Corporate is in attendance to take the heat, because it’s not the new Community Manager’s doing, it’s Corporate.

So, anyway, back to Pizza Tuesday … though Apache had declined policing duties, because he didn’t want residents mad at him, he did say he’d posted a sign last time asking folks to be respectful of others, but the sign didn’t work.

Thinking about his sign that didn’t work, I scrapped the idea of yet another sign nicely asking greedy grabby residents to be civilized, and instead printed a note onto peel and paste shipping labels, to be attached directly onto the pizza boxes and side dish containers.

Some will respect the note, others will not, but at least big red lettering will make visible who the problem residents are, and the seniors will know who to blame if the lack of civility causes Activity Director to lose the donated pizza through non-compliance with the program. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Sweetheart Brunch Potluck

There’s not a lot of sweet hearting going on around here amongst us seniors, so why the Activity Director could not have billed the event simply as Valentine’s Day Potluck is beyond me. Nevertheless, I was up at 6:00 boiling eggs for deviling.

It’s been a while since I’ve made deviled eggs. Partly because I was punishing the folks for not wearing costumes at the Halloween event, partly because deviling eggs has been for me an exhausting messy process because I never could get the hang of the pastry bag or Ziploc bag method of swirling mixture into the whites.

When I signed up to bring eggs this morning, I’d forgotten about the punishment – which was satisfying only to me because the folks didn’t know they were being punished with deli potato salad instead of deviled eggs at events since Halloween, and I was halfway through the process before I myself remembered.

Oh well, too late now, I thought as I finished peeling.

The deviled egg machine, anticipated to be no mess no fuss, turned out to be less mess less fuss because the container couldn’t hold 12 yokes AND ingredients, not even 6 yokes AND ingredients. Plus, I don’t have much upper body strength and it took too much brute force to press the yokes into the container through the pusher.

I ended up mixing the yokes and ingredients in a bowl, as usual, but then I put the mixture into the machine, which turned out perfect for swirling into the whites.

Heading down to the Community Room at 9:40 with my creation for the 10:00 event, I’d expected to find folks already seated, waiting. Instead, I found only two seated, The Baker in the kitchen making biscuits and gravy, and Activity Director making pancakes.

Activity Director was worried, saying she’d expected folks to be seated, waiting, as well. I said maybe it was the “sweetheart” that turned them off because most don’t have one, which she found funny, but then I assured her it wasn’t quite 10:00 yet so they’d come.

Come they did.

We do have a few sweetheart couples on the premises. It makes me smile when I see long married couples walking around hand-in-hand but, except for The Baker and one other couple (in the background) we didn’t even know lived in the same unit, let alone were married – because they’ve never been seen together until this morning, there wasn’t much of a showing of sweethearts.

For some odd reason, couples tend to keep to themselves, not socialize with the rest of us.

At any rate, we ended up with 17 residents, one of which was new, having arrived less than a month ago from Missouri.

Activity Director seated herself at my table and discussion turned to Tuesday Pizza Day.

I said, “That was quite a coup getting Pizza Hut to deliver pizza once a week. How’d that come about?”

“A what?” says Activity Director.

“A coup” says I.

“What’s a coup?” says she.

Holy crap, thought I but responded politely, hiding how amazed I was the word wasn’t in this college educated millennium’s vocabulary … “A success, accomplishment”, said I.

 (I pronounced it koo. Was I wrong?)

She told me how pizza came to be, some sort of program, but I can’t remember what she said because I was still in shock. What she was saying went in one ear out the other until she asked for a volunteer to accept delivery of the pizzas and oversee distribution because folks were taking advantage, putting continuation in jeopardy.

Evidently, the pizzas are whole, not in slices, and they come with sides – chicken wings, etc.

Residents are hauling out two/three/four pizzas at a time and loading up on sides and, for deliveries to continue, Activity Director needs to show the donations are going to senior residents of the complex only. Management is too busy to oversee; the Activity Director is not here on delivery days, so she asked for a resident volunteer.

Apache said he was reluctant to do it because he didn’t want people to get mad at him for not allowing them to take what they wanted.

I said I had no problem with caring what donation abusers think of me, so I could police the event; except, since retiring, I have a problem with commitments.

Having said that, I made the commitment anyway, but said I’d try it out this coming Tuesday -- just to see if I can overcome my commitment phobia to where I’d be able to continue with the job.

I’m to be provided with a sign-in sheet, so Activity Director can show donations are going to residents per program's guidelines. Plus, I’m thinking of putting together a sign saying to “Please be mindful of others. Take only a single serving portion”.

I wasn’t thinking it at the time I volunteered, but it hit me later that maybe, if I make myself useful, management will give me a break end of year when they learn I’m too far over the cap to remain a resident.

I doubt it, regulations are regulations, but it’s worth a try.

The event was fun. We had a door prize drawing for cute valentine-themed items.

I won nothing.

Menu was sausage, pancakes, eggs, a couple puff pastry stuffed items, biscuits and gravy.

As usual, I limited myself to eating only that which I brought and what The Baker made.

Knowing my stomach rebels to anything with wheat, I don’t care what the stomach likes/dislikes when it comes to The Baker’s cooking, especially when she makes her famous biscuits and gravy, so I indulged AND I further danced with danger by indulging in one pancakes and a little syrup.

Three hours later and so far so good, insofar as stomach pains.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

For My Next Trick

It’s been wet and dreary here in the I.E. every day since Saturday. As a barometer as to how often and how long this wet weather has plagued the area … that pound of coffee is almost depleted.

I need the sun to come out, because I’ve got things to do – first of which is head to Starbucks for another pound just in case this kind of weather is our new normal.

Stuck inside, television has been boring. Fortunately, I had a few PBS and KCET shows recorded (Sherlock Holmes, Victoria, Wives of Henry, Doc Martin), so I managed. I’m within inches of completing that needlepoint project begun in May of last year, and I’ve indoor biked myself 57.2 miles along the Route 66 Challenge (66 miles), with only 7.4 miles to go.

I also need the sun to come up so I can head to the Dollar Tree in Rancho Cucamonga for supplies to knock out a project I initially thought to be a million dollar idea.

In dealing with my cast iron skillet, I always leave a kitchen towel over the handle to remind myself the handle is hot from the oven. With so much on my mind lately, I momentarily lost focus the other day, removed the reminder and almost sent myself to the emergency room reaching for the hot handle. Just-in-time, I remembered and tossed a kitchen towel over it.

That’s when it occurred to me I should stitch up a cover to slip onto the handle.

“Oh wait!” thought I. “That’s a million dollar idea”.

Thinking I’d copyright the idea and open an Etsy store, I googled “heat resistant cast iron skillet handle covers” to make sure my idea was an original one, and whatdoyouknow … handle covers are already out there.

Who knew?

Still as budget minded as ever, judging the item not pretty enough to be worth the price, I rationalized I could make a few of my own from quilted fabric but then ran across a five-minute DIY idea … fold a potholder in half, align the edges, sew along the bottom and side seam, leaving one end open.

Doesn’t get any easier than that, but did you know the price of potholders can run as low as $3.99 per item in a plain solid design, to as high as $34 for a set of two in pretty designs?

Dollar Tree is exactly that – one dollar, sometimes two for a dollar.

Works for me.