Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Week the A/C Died

The maintenance guys began working on the unit Monday, shortly after I phoned down to say the A/C was operating but not putting out cold air … that inside my apartment was fluctuating between 90 and 94 degrees.
After more back and forth Tuesday and this morning, while I tried to make do with a tower fan, the guys finally admitted defeat and called in an expert.
Expert was young, way cute, but married. Noticing the Michonne needlepoint hanging on the wall, opened up some good Walking Dead conversations as he checked this, checked that, saw the A/C was registering an output of 55 at the back end, but wasn’t putting that nice cold air out on the front end.
Bottom line is the entire A/C unit has to be replaced, only a four-hour operation, but the thing is … will it be replaced in days, weeks or months.
It will be replaced, I’ve no doubt about that. It wouldn’t look good for management to have a hot senior apartment death on their hands.
Timing depends on how quickly management gets authorization from Corporate, and then there’s the issue of the replacement coming from a warehouse in Texas, and Texas has more serious problems right now than trying to figure out how to ship A/C parts to California ... that is if the warehouse itself isn't underwater, thereby rendered inoperable.
I went online looking at portable A/C’s but then got the bright idea to ask management if they had one.
They did.
It’s not a cure to the current situation, not even a bandage, but better than nothing as temperatures continue to rise.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Too Much of a Good Thing

Hanging out with the folks three straight days in a row has left me feeling tired, exhausted, worn completely out, in need of a vacation.
Day 1 was Eclipse Monday, Day 2 was Pizza Tuesday and Day 3 was yesterday's surprise birthday party for The Seer’s – and how we managed to pull off a surprise I'll never know, but it was a surprise. I could tell she wasn’t faking it.
The Baker had taken The Seer out to breakfast, giving us time to prepare goodies – cake, cupcakes, Starbucks coffee. Upon returning to the complex, The Baker steered The Seer to the Community Room, whose body language, when she opened the door, indicated she was a bit let down all she’d gotten for her birthday was a few telephone calls when BAM, she was met with a wall of SURPRISE!
I should have photographed her face but, seated in a far corner, a bit away from others, I was already fading away, not feeling at all well, so I didn’t think of capturing the moment until too late.
At any rate, it was a fun three days but surrounded by so many different energies, so much noise for extended periods of time on days so close together was just too much.
It’s going to take some time for me to recoup, so it’s doubtful I’ll be attending Pizza Tuesday for a while and, invited to participate in a Labor Day BBQ, I’ll probably just go for a long walk and keep to myself instead.
Which is the plan for today, a long slow walk and perhaps a drive to the scrapbooking store for eclipse-themed paper and embellishments.
When I entered the Community Room yesterday, my almost new friend M’s face lit up, she smiled and greeted me with “Good morning, my sister”. So, I guess she’s decided I’m not a witch or Satan possessed after all, even though I enjoy fantasy and mystical movies. And when she uses the term "my sister" she doesn't mean because we share the same skin color. She means sisters in Christ, that we're both spiritually minded -- albeit she in an old testament sin, evil, devil belief kind of way, me seeing things as choices, karma, erroneous choices coming back to bite you in the butt, better choices coming back as blessings.
At any rate, I’d better not ever let it slip that I also enjoy books and movies with vampires, werewolves, that I participate in cosplay, do yoga and meditate.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

She Lost Me at Wicked

This morning’s Pizza Tuesday was an hour behind schedule.
Activity Director showed up at 11:00, instead of 10:00, drove to the pick-up point, and didn’t make it back until noon, but at least she showed up – first time in three weeks. She’s probably been on vacation, but I don’t know for sure, as she didn’t tell any of us she was going and none of us asked where she’d been.
At any rate, because so many residents were waiting, things so far behind, instead of the one or two residents who usually help her set up, four or five stepped up to the plate. As a reward for the help, Activity Director allowed them to sign in first, pick up their items first -- which I thought was fair, and instructed everyone else to line up.
Wouldn’t you know … Old Guy who touches the food, instead of lining up, tried to muscle in and join the rewarded helpful group. Activity Director said something to him I could not make out, he did his usual act of pretending to not understand what he was being told until Activity Director slightly raised her voice and said, “Well then, now you have to sit and wait!”
He understood THAT well enough, because he took a chair, sat and waited.
Having arrived at 10:00, I’d been engaged in conversation with one of the residents who’d joined us on Eclipse Day.
She’d been awestruck by the Eclipse. In fact, she had a religious experience over it. I’d photographer and taped her as she raised her hands up to heaven, danced and shouted praise to God that, “It’s a miracle! A miracle I tell you! A miracle from God!”
She tells me she’d been here for two years and, when I said I’d only noticed her 8/9 months ago, she said that’s because she hadn't come out to join the community until about then. I remember, upon seeing and observing her those times she was out and about, I’d commented to someone, “That’s a cute little lady. So full of life”.
Getting to know each other had come slowly. We’d just nod and say good morning to each other while passing in the Community Room, then she began coming over to where I was seated to say, “Good morning, how are you”. Then she evolved to “Good morning, my Sister”. This was the first time we sat side-by-side and actually talked to each other.
She recounted to me a horrible childhood, but seems to have come out the other side well, strong and what I thought of as spiritually minded. I was finding her interesting to talk to and somewhat of a kindred spirit (though I didn’t have a horrible childhood, just a horrible marriage).
When I arrived at the Community Room, Colin Ferrell and Eddie Redmayne were on the screen. I couldn’t name the movie, but knew it was something quite new and, from what I saw happening on the screen, something I’d like to see.
How strange, I thought, for it to be on TV so soon and glanced over now and then, but was not able to focus because of this new friend talking to me (let’s call her M) and all the activity in the room. Later on, while I was still chatting with M, I learned it wasn’t TV at all, it was a DVD – Fantastic Beasts.
I said, “I’m going to have to get that DVD for myself so I can focus.”
M said, “What is that?”
“Fantastic Beasts”.
“What’s it about?”
“Witches and wizards”.
“Oh No, Honey, No!”
“I like mystical and fantasy. I watched Harry Potter, but never could get into it that much.”
She turned up her nose, shook her head and said, “That stuff is wicked. I didn’t let my children watch stuff like that. It’s evil.”
“I don’t see it like that, I see everything as a part of the Universe”, said I and couldn’t tell you what else she said because she’d lost me at “wicked/evil”. Finding her no longer the kindred spirit I was beginning to think she was, whatever else she said went in one ear and out the other.
I don’t know how to explain it. It’s not so much that she sees fantasy and mystical as wicked/evil that turns me off, it’s that she’s at a level where she thinks in those general, closed minded terms -- that something is evil, wicked, a sin, the devil's work – especially something as simple as a movie or a book.
I think she eventually concluded that I wasn’t who she thought I was as well because, when The Seer showed up, she gave The Seer her seat next to me and moved into a chair on the other side of The Seer.
After all the pizzas were divvied up, I headed out to order a box of Starbucks coffee for 10:30 pick up tomorrow. We’ve throwing The Seer a surprise birthday party – though I doubt it’s much of a surprise, as we do it every year on her birth date.
Arriving at Starbucks, I learned the proper term is “A traveler”.
Who knew?
Speaking of who knew … Asking residents why they’d not come out and joined us yesterday to view the Eclipse, most said they’d watched on television. One resident said, “What eclipse? I didn’t know anything about it?”

Monday, August 21, 2017


Well, that was fun.
Setting the alarm for 7:00, so I could be up, fed, washed and ready, I started off looking for signs of the eclipse through the patio windows.
It was overcast, the sun had not yet risen high enough over the roof of the building blocking my view, so I saw nothing.
Having decided to skip the patio and view at the college, I headed out the door at 9:00 sharp in walking gear -- iPod strapped to my arm, list of Pokémon I needed to evolve while on campus, then happened to glance over and saw Apache already at the pool, eyes on the sky.

I walked over and that’s as far as I got towards heading for the college, as others began joining us and we all had so much fun watching the sky, discussing the phenomena, taking photos, posing for photos.
Even management came out of their offices and got in on the fun (I guess no one had reason to escape the pressures of work and be sick today).

Residents who don’t particularly care for each other, some who had actually stopped speaking to each other, put aside their differences and joined in on the fun.
It was a real kumbaya moment.
I ended up with over 100 photos on my cellphone, some of which I’ve been asked to forward to various individuals, a few will go into my personal scrapbook, others I’ll provide prints for the Community’s Scrapbook, which someone has started.
As most others who’d joined us had failed to prepare, there weren’t enough glasses to go around. That is, except for the woman who brought a pin hole paper viewer and another who brought something called a welder’s shield (a little black square thingy) – neither of which appeared to work as well as the glasses.
Consequently, with not enough glasses, there was a lot of sharing – except for me.
I’m not exactly a full blown germaphobe but, when you factor in I’m always washing my hands, always cleaning the unit, won’t go to the movies because I can’t sit in a movie chair behind countless others for fear I’m going to catch something, carry disinfectant wipes wherever I go, I can admit to being somewhat a germaphobe.
Consequently, when asked for my glasses, I said, “Sorry. I’m funny about things like that”. I’m sure I’ll hear about it later, but ask me if I care. There was one time I left the glasses in the chair, but put the selfie stick and something else on top as a “Do not touch” signal while I snapped a photo and, when I returned, the glasses had gone missing yet and still.
Someone had loaned them to one of the maintenance men. Fortunately, the maintenance man didn’t seem too icky poo to me, so I didn’t spaz out. But, I didn’t put the glasses on my face again, just sort of held them up so I could see through. After that, I kept the glasses in my hand and when it looked like someone was going to ask to borrow, I held them in a protective way that signaled, “Don’t even ask”.
When the eclipse reached a crescent, which was the maximum we were to see in this area, we went inside to watch the full eclipse on television.
It was fascinating.
Hopefully the kumbaya after glow extends through tomorrow’s Pizza Day.
I doubt it though.

Sunday, August 20, 2017


Other than cycling 7 miles to qualify for the Game of Throne’s themed Run for 7/Winter is Coming medal, this past weekend was mostly housework, of which I can’t figure out why there’s always so much of it when the unit is small and I’m the only one living in it. Seems I’m always cleaning, washing, scouring, dusting, vacuuming, in addition to adding laundry to this weekend’s to-do list.
Having raised two little girls on my own, while working full time, attending night school, sewing, quilting, dating, partying and keeping a two-bedroom apartment spotlessly clean, I’m befuddled at how it is I’m so overwhelmed at times now that it’s just me, this little unit and no outside commitments.
I’m beginning to see why some of the seniors let things go to a disgusting level. I’m too finicky to let things go, but I can see the day coming when, like some of my neighbors, I have a cleaning service come in.
On the other hand, all the effort in doing it myself has its benefits. Today’s housework netted 64% towards my daily exercise goal.

This being the time of year when Elvis Presley passed (August 16, 1977), Friday’s movie was one of his – Speedway.
With Apache in charge of movie night and soon to have a cornea and two knee replacements, I began thinking his hospitalization might be the end of Movie Night. Consequently, I made time on Saturday to view A Cure for Wellness before passing the DVD on to Apache for Movie Night while there still is a Movie Night.
A Cure wasn’t at all what I was expecting. I can’t say it was a bad movie, but it isn’t a movie I’d view again or recommend to others, so no. Let’s just say I’m glad I viewed before I offered.
My other weekend accomplishment was finally getting around to putting up the new medal hanger I got over a month ago -- not the new medal/bib board I’m planning to make, but a hanger just for medals that I saw online.

One Mile At-A-Time

As for those pictures, lying around since 2012, to be hung in the bedroom, I’ll get around to it.
On tap for tomorrow is the Solar Eclipse.
Some of our residents plan to stay indoors for lack of proper eyewear. The Baker was one of those, until I told her I had glasses for her.
She picked them up this morning.
The Seer is to stop by after church for hers, and Apache said he bought extra for others, so should be fun and interesting; but I have three choices for viewing. I can sit on the patio and view leisurely, I can go down to the pool area and watch it with the folks or I can drive to the college and view it there, where the college is setting up solar telescopes and pinhole projectors on the Library Lawn.
That sounds quite exciting, plus I can hunt Pokémon at the same time.
I don’t know for sure but, inasmuch as the eclipse starts at 9:06, ends at 11:47, I may hit all three viewing locations.

Friday, August 18, 2017

24 Minutes I Can’t Get Back

Expecting last month’s Residents/Management meeting to be the same old boring stuff, with old folks complaining about nothing, rehashing things that didn’t matter, I skipped the meeting and opted for a nap instead.
Learning later that members of the Residents Volunteer Activity Committee had taken over the meeting and staged a coup, I made a point not to miss this month’s meeting, which was yesterday.
Arriving at 2:45 for the 3:00 meeting, I waited as the room filled up, not at empty seat.
The atmosphere was loud and raucous with everyone chitchatting with each other, all at the same time, as we waited for management to show up.
At 3:10, I began looking at the clock.
Nothing irritates me more than having my time wasted – well that and family members having children they can’t or won’t support. Other than those two things, very little knocks me off center.
At 3:20, I began thinking how rude it was for the management group to leave us waiting. Though they probably think we have nothing else to do with our time, it’s our time and just as valuable as theirs.
At 3:22, I texted The Seer, seated on the opposite side of the Community Room, that I had better things to do and, if no one showed up in the next 60 seconds, I was leaving.
At 3:24, I walked out.
I can’t think of anything that could compel me to ever attend another Residents/Management meeting.
Checking with the folks this morning, no one could tell me exactly when the meeting started but, when it did start, the only management person to show up was one of the maintenance men.
“What happened to the Community Manager?”, asked I.
“She was in her office the whole time. She didn’t feel well.”
“Well, what happened to the Assistant Manager?”
“She was sick.”
The Assistant Manager has been plagued with some mysterious illness for quite some time, ever since she remarried her ex-husband.
Cause and Effect?
I can't help but think so.
At any rate, her being sick all the time is leaving Community Manager all alone to handle the load for -- weeks, months. 
The long periods of time left alone to shoulder the load seems to have worn Community Manager down. She’s a young woman, seriously overweight, has five kids, and high blood pressure.
It's obvious that it's all too much for her.
Gone is the smile I’m accustomed to seeing on her face, the wave I’m accustomed to getting when she sees me walking by. She now sits in her office, lights off, head down.
I keep thinking she’s gonna quit or get too ill to continue, neither of which any of us would like to see happen because we like her.
I’m sympathetic with what Community Manager and Assistant Manager are saddled with, but business is business. Personal problems should not be brought into the workplace.
I remember when I was in the work force, and there were times when the burden of life was so heavy on me that I'd be in tears on the way to work, in tears on the way home but, in-between I'd pull myself together and muster on. Even when I was in an abusive work situation, I didn't let it affect my output or professionalism.
So though I sympathize with the office girls, the fact that it's gotten to the point where a maintenance man is being sent to do their job is something I can't support.

Thursday, August 17, 2017


Got my glasses ready, just in case such a sign is given us next week.
I can remember, in 1991, standing with two coworkers at the 52nd Floor window of the law office skyscraper, looking at that year's eclipse ghetto style -- though pinholes we made in a piece of paper.
It worked, we didn’t go blind, but older and wiser I played it safe this time around.

NASA Approved

Having seen on the news that some glasses were being recalled as unsafe, I made certain the glasses I bought were the real deal. I would have liked to have bought glasses for safe viewing by all residents. However, the approved glasses were too pricey to be purchased in bulk, so I settled for a package of three.
One pair is strictly for me, not to be shared because to do otherwise, in my finicky world, would be gross. I’m thinking The Seer and The Baker for the other two and, if they wish to share and trade off, that’s on them.
I don’t imagine we'll see much from our vantage point but, what we do see should be interesting.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Sitting … The New Smoking

I’ve been really lax in moving my body last 16 days.
Last time I spent time on the indoor bike was towards end of July when I competed in the San Francisco Virtual Cycling Challenge (39.8 miles), and my last walking challenge was a 3.22 mall walk, on August 1st, to earn the first medal in the hashtag series.

My next challenge is this coming Saturday, the Games of Thrones (GOT) themed Run for 7 Virtual, and I’ve another in September with two lined up for October.
All well fine and good, but my body is telling me I need to move more than the occasional once-a-month because, just this short time of 16 days being lazy, sitting around, and I feel sluggish, unsteady on my feet rising from the couch.
There’s also the wake-up call -- saying it’s important to keep moving on a more consistent basis, I got yesterday in the Community Room when I saw how quickly some of the residents had gone down -- seemingly overnight.
A resident, whom I’ll call D was especially shocking.
She was vibrant, full of life, when I last saw her at the BBQ potluck in April -- dancing even.
When I saw her yesterday, she looked washed out, years older and now walks with a cane. She’s picked up weight and tells me she’s had two falls – one inside her unit, landing in the kitty litter box; the second just recently when she fell on the concrete pathway outside her unit.
Falling face forward, now sporting a bruised and cut chin, she's lucky not to have broken her nose or knocked out any teeth.
Apache, having had two surgeries on his stomach last year, tells me “I’m falling apart” as he's scheduled for knee replacements (both left and right knee), and a cornea replacement.
It's a scary thing to see what sitting around is doing to others, and visions of a gym in the vacant lot across the street have been playing in my head for some time.
Instead, we’re getting a car wash, gas station and Circle K.
However, driving back from Walmart the other day, I did see construction has begun on an L.A. Fitness facility. That's only 4 miles away and in an area I frequently visit -- across the boulevard from Starbucks, in the Ralph’s market center.

You can bet I’ll be joining -- participating in Zumba, Boxing and whatever else they offer in classes, maybe even spring for a trainer.
In the interim, the weather seems to be cooling somewhat so, after this Saturday’s Run for 7 Challenge, I’ll be setting the alarm to get up at daybreak to head out walking.
Having never seen GOT, I don’t know if Run for 7 (that’s 7 miles) is symbolic for 7 Kingdoms or the fact that GOT is in its 7th season, but running is out of my league. The furthest I've walked is 4 1/2 miles, and I was out of commission for days after, so  no way can I push myself to  7 miles, so instead of Running for 7, I'll be Cycling for 7.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Finger in Tack

It’s been one thing after another since the orange guy (the antichrist predicted by Nostradamus) came into power.

I’m working hard to stay on Center -- trust the Universe come what may, meditate (my form of prayer) for all concerned, maintain my spiritual integrity, but I wish the orange guy would stop speaking. Keep his ignorance and incompetence to himself. Stop with the twitter fingers, zip his lips and just SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP!
So, that out of my system … waking up this morning, seeing the area around a cut on the finger I’d been treating a few days with alcohol and hydrogen peroxide had turned dark, I immediately figured I’d contracted gangrene and needed to head to the Emergency Room.
Booting up the computer, to email the doctor, I got a better look at the “infected” area and thought I saw a light film over it.

I touched it and found the dark area was sticky residual from the bandage I’d peeled off the night before.
So, since it looked like I wasn’t going to die or lose a finger this morning, I gathered my things and, fingers in tack, headed down to see what Pizza Tuesday was going to be like today.
Once again, Activity Director was a no show and, once again, she’d made no arrangements for a replacement.
The usual helpful residents (Apache, V, N, M, The Seer) pitched in and tried to corral the seniors, to no avail. No one listened, no one followed directions, it was Wild Kingdom all over again.
At one point, V and N got into an ugly argument – over which of them took what and when.
N was the aggressor and took her outrage to other residents, to garner support for her position.
It was an unnecessary argument, as there was plenty for all but hopefully the argument will ring the death knoll for Pizza Tuesday.
The chaos needs to stop.
The Baker was in attendance, she’s looking better. Still has to take it easy, but her family, giving her permission to drive, has returned her car.
She’s still not to get involved in activities, but next Wednesday is The Seer’s birthday. We’re planning a party – that is if The Baker’s family allows her to exert herself by making cupcakes and if the orange guy hasn’t killed us all before then with his nuclear war and his homegrown terrorists.
The folks saw it as quite a treat when that company came in a few weeks ago with Starbucks coffee, so my contribution will be a box of Starbuck coffee.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Life Imitating Art

Tonight’s movie -- here in the Community Room, is The Manchurian Candidate. Not a bad movie but, again, I’ve seen it … both the 2004 Denzel Washington version and the 1962 Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury, Laurence Harvey version, which is the one I like best and have watched countless times over the years.
Interesting fact … of the three stars (Sinatra, Lansbury, Harvey), Angela is the only one still living and, oddly enough, now in her 90’s, I just read online where she’s considering a reboot of Murder She Wrote.
I’d watch it.
However, I’ll pass on tonight’s movie, and not just because it’s once again a movie to be found on television and my least favorite version, but because it’s so terrifyingly real, in today’s political climate, that the movie would depress me -- life imitating art with a brain washed Manchurian candidate in the White House.
So, thank you Electoral College for that.
Next Door Neighbor seems to be doing much better.
Could it be the chi emanating from my unit, and the feng shui doormat, had an impact?
I choose to think so, because it is the nature of light to dispel darkness.
At any rate, she came out of seclusion yesterday. A few hours after that last post, she knocked on my door to return the DVD I’d loaned her, and was looking uncommonly bright, cheerful, cute, dressed in walking gear rather than her usual matronly wear.
She said she’d gotten up early and gone walking.
That’s new.
She’s never ever gone walking in the years since moving here, but kudos for doing so.
Another interesting fact … I recently heard sitting described as the new smoking.
I believe it.
Neighbor had a bit to say about how wrong those involved in the coup had been about her performance as President of the Association, which sounded a lot like that missing Stage 1 (Denial). She went on to say who she blamed for the coup (some correctly blamed, some incorrectly), she finished the conversation with “Oh well” -- Stage 5 (Acceptance).
So, though I don’t believe Neighbor will forgive and forget, she appears to be over it.
Now if the good chi would just flow downstairs to encourage the downstairs neighbor to lighten up -- get over her dislike of people, we'd be totally clear on this side of the quad.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Vortex

Certainly is quiet on my side of the quad.
Of the four units, we have the downstairs left corner apartment, which is occupied by a woman who still works -- she’s a security guard, and her 20- something son lives with her.
Inasmuch as she’s able-bodied, how her son is allowed to live with her, in a 55 and over complex, is a complete mystery to me, but no matter because he’s quiet and respectful. In fact, both are busy quiet people, rarely seen, but pleasant, friendly.
The bottom apartment on the right corner is underneath my unit. There we have the woman who came to us back in April. She surreptitiously moved into the unit in the middle of the night and managed to be in and out for a month before I actually saw her. When I did happen to see her, I made a point to stop, introduced myself, welcome her to the complex. In return, she made a point to say, “I don’t like people. I’ll speak but that’s it!”
So okay.
Bad energy there.
In addition to not liking people, I guess she doesn’t like sunlight and fresh air either, as she keeps her windows shut, her blinds closed, and though I can sometimes hear her late at night, I’ve not seen her since that one encounter.
Now I have Next Door Neighbor, not happy again because she was impeached from her position as President of the Residents Volunteer Association (RVA) -- or resigned, depending on whether you hear it from Neighbor herself or an association member. Except for this past Monday, Neighbor has been keeping to herself and is eerily quiet.
My spidey sense tells me she’s in Stage 4 (depression) in the process of coming to terms with things not working out as she’d expected.
She skipped Stage 1 (denial) and went straight to Stage 2 (anger). First with looking angry, walking angry and then, this past Monday, she turned Stage 3 (bargaining) into confrontation by cornering Apache and blasting him with, “I understand you were part of the coup”.
Meaning coup d'éta … part of the takeover that dethroned her.
He was.
Apache, having just returned from having a tooth pulled, mumbled yes, but said he’d just had a tooth pulled, couldn’t really talk, but would be willing to discuss it with her later if she liked.
I’m told Next Door Neighbor also had a few unkind words to say about The Seer, who at one time was secretary of the RVA, but long ago quit saying, “I can’t work with the woman.” Neighbor seems to think The Seer instigated the coup.
She didn’t.
Thank the Lord I missed the last Residents/Management meeting – the meeting where association members vented their displeasure with Neighbor’s performance as President, or she’d be including me as having been a part of the coup that deposed her as well.
At any rate, with neighbors being busy and neighbors locked into their own private self-created hells, it’s a quiet and strange energy mix on my side of the quad going on right now.
It’s like living in a vortex, but only as an observer, with nothing actually touching me, because The Force is Strong with me, not to mention I've now got that new feng shui mat in place.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Better Safe Than Sorry

Yesterday was out and about in the heat -- driving to one end of town to sever a 45-year relationship with a financial institution and driving to the other end of town to start a new relationship.
When questioned as to why I was breaking up with the 45-year relationship, I tried to be gentle – “I’m just moving things around.”
They suspected there was more to it and prodded and pushed until finally I had to say it … “I didn’t want to say this, but one too many scandals (a third having just come to light having to do with auto loans/insurance)”.
They tried to change my mind … “We’ve been in business for a long time and nothing has happened”.
“Yes, but now we’re finding out about all this stuff that’s been going on”.
“Well, the last was about auto insurance and your account wasn’t involved in that”.
“Yes, but it’s one too many scandals. Shows a pattern. I don't know what's coming next”.
“We’re solid. My parents have been with this institution for a long time”.
“I been here a long time as well, but I’ve lost money before -- the Enron thing and, at my age, I can’t afford to take chances.”
It was an awkward conversation, like breaking up with a boyfriend or hairdresser. But inasmuch as there have been consequences in my life for staying loyal to others rather than following my gut, I stayed strong in my resolve and severed the relationship -- but only partially, and not because of their plea to not go. The plan I had all along was to play it safe -- move what’s important, let stay that which is convenient, with the option to move that as well when it becomes no longer convenient.
Returning to the complex after the breakup, I popped into the Community Room to check on status of The Baker.
“She’s back”, said Apache. “You just missed her”.
“Oh, she’s walking?”
“No, she’s on her husband’s electric scooter. She on doctor’s orders to rest, stay inside, but she snuck out”.
LOL, that's The Baker. She can't sit still.
“Did they find out what was wrong with her?”
“Her potassium was low, and they’re running more tests”.
Today being Pizza Tuesday, I popped in to watch the escapades.
Activity Director didn’t show up, did not send a substitute, so The Seer, Apache, and two other residents took charge -- sending the maintenance guys out to pick up, then the four organized pizzas, had residents sign the sheet, made an announcement that “If you touch it with your hands, you have to take it” and it was game on.
Of course, Old Guy took advantage of Activity Director’s absence and took more than his share, but he didn’t open the boxes and handle the pizzas this time, so progress is being made in teaching that old dog new tricks.
All of a sudden, I look up and here’s The Baker on her walker.
She escaped again which, in a way is hilarious because her children took her car so she’d stay indoors and not drive, but she still gets out – whether by scooter or walker, she gets out.
At any rate, gave her a happy-to-see-you hug, as did most everyone in the room.
As to her medical issue … she’d had a blood test the week prior to being taken to the hospital by ambulance and everything came out fine on that test. Somehow, between then and the date of her collapse, her potassium level had dropped to 2 percent.
She thought, at the time, she was having either a heart attack or a stroke.
Now released from the hospital, she still has to go back and forth for more tests and has been cautioned to stay indoors, not get involved in any activities.
Seems nothing and no one can keep her from getting out, but none of us will let her get involved in doing activities, so no worries.
Right away, I start thinking I should play it safe, head to the market and load myself up on potassium rich bananas. However, I myself had a blood test on the 27th of last month. Back in my unit, looking at the results, my potassium seems okay at 4.4. Sodium is a whole other story. I need to cut back.
At any rate, we’re all happy to see our favorite resident back.
A couple residents went to visit Jose the dog’s mom in rehab. She recognized them, asked, “Where am I? Whose apartment is this?” and then was in and out of lucidness.
Consensus is H is definitely not coming back. Now there is concern her troubled daughter will take her checkbook and rob her blind.
L, the resident that was caring for Jose, had a key to H's unit. She went so far as to actually go inside, take the checkbook, and gave it to the girls in the office asking they not let the daughter get ahold of it.
The office is trying to help but say they have no authority and can't withhold the checkbook from H's daughter forever.
It's just a bad situation and not much can be done to prevent her only relative of record from taking advantage.

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Purge

If my weekend was named after a movie, that would be its title – The Purge.
But unlike The Purge horror movie, the weekend did not consist of mayhem and murder – not that kind of purge.
Saturday was a complete bust. Because I woke up at 3:30 a.m., I didn’t feel rested. In fact, I felt drugged, kept falling asleep on the couch and didn’t really get up and start my day until 4:00 in the afternoon.
Sunday was the complete opposite. Waking just before 7:00, I was bursting with energy, and used that energy to purge the unit of stuff.
I just did an extensive declutter back in May. I haven’t brought in much of anything new, so I think what was still feeling like too much stuff is what I couldn’t let go of before.
At any rate, this time I purged and reorganized the hall utility closet, put up a new shower curtain liner, then set about tackling the bedroom closet.
As simply as I dress – tank tops, leggings, waist hoodie, Birkenstocks and athletic shoes in hot weather; long sleeve tops, leggings, waist hoodie, athletic shoes and boots in cold weather, it didn’t make sense to continue to clutter the closet with tops I’ve not worn in ages, blazers in every color, two animal print skirts, and a suit.
It makes sense to keep the skirts, the suit, the blazers in case I have to dress up for a special occasion. However, inasmuch as those special occasions only come around once every two or three or more years, the items don’t need to be hanging in the closet. In fact, the suit was purchased in 2009 and was worn just one time -- to the event for which it was purchased.
Would you believe the event was a Republican event … a Christmas Republican breakfast event with my Republican daughter?
I don’t like politics. Doesn’t matter what affiliation, I just have never liked politics. But I went because daughter needed my support so as to not be the only Black person in the room – which at that time was a frequent occurrence in the circles she travelled as Administrative Aide representing a well-known local Republican politician. She’d indicated that, at times, the other attendees not knowing who she was, why she was there, she was made to feel uncomfortable – sometimes unsafe.
Daughter made the right call inviting me to this Christmas event because, but for myself and daughter’s BFF, she would have once again been the only person of color.
I don’t remember any of the speeches … maybe because breakfast was an open bar with platters of crispy bacon. I didn’t have a serious gut problem back then, so I distracted myself from the speeches by stuffing my face with bacon and bagels, had a good time, and felt not out-of-place because, as they say, “Bacon makes everything better”.
At any rate, I so loved the suit upon first sight at Nordstrom’s that I didn’t think twice about paying what amounted to a small fortune for it. Of course, I expected to get my money’s worth in wear. It never ever occurred to me I’d not have another occasion that called for its wearing. Still, I’m not ready to give it up.

I can, at long last however, take it out of the closet, store in a container -- along with the skirts and blazers, to be brought out, sent to the cleaners, if ever needed again. Tops are heading to the Salvation Army.
Funny it is how one can form an emotional attachment to an article of clothing.
Safely tucked away in one of the containers is a pair of Jordache Jeans I wore back in the late 60's / early 70’s. Knowing I’d never be that thin again I at one time gave to my skinny granddaughter. However, feeling their absence, knowing she could never appreciate the significance a pair of  Jordache's had at that time in history when I'd worn them, I took them back.
It’s a process. Letting go is not only hard to do; sometimes, impossible to do.
Busy with sleeping on Saturday, purging on Sunday, I came in contact with no residents over the weekend, so no word on how The Baker is doing. I'm sure she's on the mend, however. Otherwise, I'd have gotten a call.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Movie Day

And yet again, tonight’s movie is an oldie – Skyfall, with Daniel Craig as James Bond.
I’ve seen it twice. Cried both times. The first time because I didn’t see the death of M coming; second time because the death of M was still emotional.
So no, I’ll wait for a movie I’ve not seen – one with a happy ending.
I can’t offer up my latest acquisition -- The Cure to Wellness, because I’ve not yet had an opportunity to view it to determine if suitable for old people.
Wonder Woman should be coming out December 31st. I’ve already pre-ordered the DVD, will offer it up for Movie Night and watch it along with the folks – wearing my Wonder Woman leggings.
Other than Movie Night, Pizza Tuesday, and the occasional Bingo, there’s not much on the Activity Calendar this month – Adult Coloring on the 22nd, Ice Cream Social on the 29th.
Counted cross stitch is my coloring book, and I can’t eat ice cream, so I’m out.
Unsure am I if fewer activities is because Next Door Neighbor/President of the Residents Volunteer Activity Committee was impeached (she says she quit) and no one is really running the show now.
I suddenly had a thought … though I seriously doubt impeachment, IF the orange guy in the White House does get himself impeached, he’ll spin it like Next Door Neighbor, saying he quit.
Next Door Neighbor is angry though. She walks angry and, as an empath, I can feel her anger coming through the walls of her unit into mine.
Hopefully the new doormat arrives soon, as I need that strong chi to block her mad-at-the-world energy.
Another reason for fewer activities may be because it’s so darn hot that we’re dropping like flies.
Jose the dog’s mom H has been moved from the hospital to a rehab facility.
That doesn’t sound like she’s coming back.
Her daughter has taken Jose to live at her home.
That REALLY doesn’t sound like H is coming back.
Also, we received word that F, one of our Community Room regulars -- who’d been taken to rehab four months ago, passed away.
And shocker of all shockers, not just to us regulars in the Community Room, but to the entire complex is that The Baker has been hospitalized.
She began feeling woozy on Pizza Tuesday at Bingo. I wasn’t present, but am told she asked The Seer to help her back to her unit. Once there, she told The Seer, “You’d better call an ambulance”.
No word yet, as to what happened and how she’s doing.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

I Found It!

Noticed some time ago that I needed to replace the doormat.
At one time, the mat was in keeping with the tenants of feng shui (vibrant earth colors, emphasis on red), but exposure to sun, wind, rain, over a five-year period, turned vibrant into bland.

Thinking I might not be living here much longer, I’d tabled the purchase as something to be done for the new location. However, now that I’ve been assured relocation is not in my future, I set about getting a replacement.
I knew I wanted the exact same doormat, but could not remember where I’d purchased it. Further, the design having faded away, and my memory of what the design had looked like having also faded away, I wasn’t 100% sure what I was looking for but, knowing I’d recognize it when I saw it, I resorted to researching doormats on google image.
Who knew looking at doormats would cause so much laughing out loud.

There were a Breaking Bad doormat, Game of Thrones “Winter is Coming” mat, even a doormat based on AMC’s The Walking Dead’s slogan -- “Do Not Open; Dead Inside”. Huge fan that I am of that show, being as how this is a senior complex and there is so much real dying going on, I didn’t think it appropriate, not to mention it wasn’t colorful enough to provide the level of chi needed for the front door.
At any rate, it took some doing, over a period of days, but BAM! there it was. I don't think this one is an exact match for what I had before, but close enough.

On Sale @ $20 Off
So that’s ordered, on its way and done.
The purchaser only has seven remaining. I won’t need a replacement for another five years so, when the time comes, I may have to settle on a different design.
Unlike some of my neighbors, I don’t switch doormats to fit the season or holiday. However, after seeing this one, I’m thinking I may do so.