Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Super Blue Blood Moon

What was I thinking?
I nearly froze to death.
Sky watched from 3:30 to 6:00 this morning, wearing two pairs of leggings, two hoodies, gloves, boots in 40 something degree weather and, when it was all over, I was chilled to the bone and couldn’t feel my fingers. I don’t see how people who live in the degrees below areas manage. I’d die.
To top it off, none of the photos came out well enough to use because there’s not a night setting on my cellphone.
My cell phone being several generations behind, I do believe it’s time to look into an upgrade to something that works as well night/early mornings as it does during the day.
The first hour sky watching was just Apache and myself. Later, a resident out walking her dog was the first to join us, followed by The Baker, The Seer and a resident making a reappearance in this blog, after a long period of no mention -- The Lady that Wants Braids.
The Seer, having finally gotten over being angry at the Universe, is back to her old feisty self and, cold as it was, we had a good time.
Too good.
We’re sure other residents are going to complain to the office about a rowdy group at the pool disturbing their peace 4:30 to 6:00 in the morning, and decided in advance we’ll just apologize and promise not to do it again for another 35 years.
Trying to thaw out later, I used the new coffee machine for the first time and OMG, what a difference. Making coffee is now so much easier.
I wouldn’t say I’m cheap, more like fugal in that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and why buy a pour over brewer when, with a little ingenuity, I can make do with the stainless-steel percolator?
I’d first boil water, then put grounds in the percolator’s holder, and manually slowly pour the boiling water through. Now that I tired of the struggle and upgraded, I simply put coffee in the FlexBrew holder, pour water in the reservoir, push the little red button and go about my business, coming back seconds later to good hot fresh coffee.
So, it’s out with the old, in with the new, but I’ll hang onto the percolator for when new breaks down, as new always does. Old lasts forever, new … not so much.

Lastly, looks like I won’t have to return to the dealership at all because, driving back to purchase the coffee machine yesterday, I’d forgotten the driver side mirror needed replacing and couldn’t be adjusted to where I’d get maximum coverage to see what’s coming as I drove onto the freeway. Without thinking I pushed the adjustment control and the mirror moved to where I needed it.
I think what happened was, when whoever it was bumped it out of placement and the mechanic removed the mirror to put in the new part, saw the new part damaged/unusable, he put the old mirror back on and that resolved the problem, saving me $450 and another 3 hours in the waiting room.
Now how to tell the Service Analyst I don’t need the new part he’s rounding up.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Pizza Tuesday

Not having to return to the dealership this morning, because no word yet that the driver side mirror had been received, plan for today was to hang out with the folk in the Community Room, people watching this Pizza Tuesday.
First, however, I made a run, few cities over, to a market where I’d seen something the previous day that I should have bought but passed on.
It was just yesterday morning I had the thought, this is such a drag, while making morning coffee.
I’d gone from driving to Starbucks every morning for a cup, to purchasing a pound and making my own using the pour over method with my trusty little percolator.
Then, after running across an article about a coffee that was purported to be an aid in healing angry guts, PLUS detox toxins out of one’s system, enhance mental clarity AND lower blood pressure, I switched to making Bulletproof Coffee every morning, pour over method, with that same trusty little percolator.
I’ve not given up Starbucks completely, but now it’s more like an occasional treat, as Bulletproof is definitely living up to the hype. Along with clean eating, my previously dead metabolism is coming back to life, I’m losing weight without trying, feel better, have more energy and, best of all, haven’t had a gut episode since shortly after Thanksgiving when I survived the trifecta – ear infection, gut episode, influenza, all at the same time.
So anyway, yesterday morning I heard myself say to myself, “I am so tired of having to do this every morning. I think it’s time I looked at some of those machines that make coffee for you, preferable something with a timer”.
It just quickly flashed through my mind and, just as quickly, disappeared as I went on with my day, which included a run to the craft store for yet another needlepoint floss color I’d run out of, gassing up the car, and a stop by the only market with a 30-mile radius to carry tofu shirataki noodles, so I don’t have to always order online.
Leaving the checkout line, with tofu angel hair and fettuccini, I saw a wall of kitchen products, like crockpots, egg cookers, microwaves, coffee makers, and my eyes landed on a Hamilton Beach Flex Brew Single Serve Machine.
The box indicated:
·       Takes K-Cups or grounds
·       Lets you brew into a coffee cup or 8" tall travel mug
It didn’t have an automatic timer but, at only $48, that would have been too much to expect.
Thinking this was just the Universe suggesting which coffee maker to purchase, and that I could beat that price at Walmart, plus it would be easy to return if I didn’t like it, I passed on the deal but, once back at the unit had second thoughts and decided to drive back this morning to opt for the one, which pretty much had been an instant manifestation.

I made sure I could get a refund if the coffee maker doesn't work out.
Once back at the complex, I checked into the Community Room and found a few folks nuking their pizzas, sitting around chitchatting.
It’s a good thing I checked in because I learned folks were beginning to worry … “I hope she’s alright” because no one had seen hide nor hair of me for some time.
I also received confirmation of a rumor that I’d heard in the Laundry Room just this past Sunday – that Assistant Maintenance Guy (AMG) had gotten into an argument with Head Maintenance Guy (HMG) about HMG putting all the work on him. At the end of the argument, AMG had gotten in his truck and left -- walked off the job.
Totally true, I’m told. And AMG had not only walked off the job once, but twice, stayed gone a long time, ultimately came back, but consensus is “Third time’s the charm – he’s looking for a new job and won’t come back next time”.
My buddy Apache wasn't in the Community Room, but earlier had sent me an email about his quest to catch the guy who'd danced naked in front of a resident's patio window. I'm unclear as to whether there's been a second sighting, but Apache said -- “I’ve been out at night trying to catch him. Wish I knew height and length make sure got the right guy.”
ROFLMAO! -- Not height and weight, but height and length.
If anyone does catch the guy, it’ll be Apache because he’s relentless and very protective of us ladies.
In fact, Apache is wanting me to attend a Lunar Eclipse viewing by the pool, 6:15 PM, Wednesday night and offered to be my escort just in case Naked Guy is around.
I said yes, but the Baker tells me 6:15 PM tomorrow night will be waaay too late. That if I want to view and take photos I’ll have to be outside Wednesday morning, not night, between the hours of 3:30 and 6:00 A.M.
I’m game, but I don’t know about anyone else. It might just be me, Apache and Naked Guy.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Tough Talk

But can she back it up?
Two notices were posted to our doors yesterday.
One flyer is to remind residents this is a no-smoking community, that it’s written in the lease as such and residents agreed to comply with the no-smoking rule by signing the lease agreement. However, inasmuch as some continually break this rule, management is getting tough and those caught smoking from now on will be immediately evicted.
That’s some tough talk, and may sound harsh but this complex has been designated no-smoking for a reason. Many seniors have health issues, breathing issues and then there’s people like me who’d like to avoid the consequences of second hand smoke.
The Seer herself has so much cigarette smoke seeping into her unit, from multiple neighbors breaking the rule, that she’s taken to wearing one of those respirator masks. Also, it’s a safety issue as some of the residents have those little oxygen tanks on their wheelchairs and in their units.
Though I’ve never complained about the smoking, I was relieved when the complex received its “no smoking” designation, because I no longer had to hold my breath or cover my nose when walking past smokers.
At the time the complex was designated no smoking allowed, management offered smokers help with quitting.
To my knowledge, no one took management up on the offer. They just turned to smoking on the QT… covertly, which is why the tough talk.
The other flyer is about leaving pet food on the sidewalks for stray cats and dogs. Reason being it “also attracts coyotes and all kinds of unnecessary animals to the property”. If caught, a Lease Violation will be issued, which means not immediate eviction, like with smoking, but cease and desist or risk eviction.
Problem with enforcing these rules is “if you’re caught”.
Not if someone complains, which many have, but if caught by management personnel.
Not likely to happen, as management makes it easy for rule breakers to work around being caught.
Office hours are 9:00 to 5:00, closed on weekends.
Head Maintenance Guy and Assistant Manager live on the premises, but they get really upset when notified of something occurring while, as they put it, “I’m off the clock”.
They live here, for Pete’s sakes!
I imagine they were given free no-rent units for a reason -- to make themselves available.
Leaving her job as Leasing Agent at the multi-family complex next door, to finish her college education, but needing a place to live, plus food and life’s necessities, Granddaughter took a position as Leasing Agent in a beach community senior complex.
One of the seniors in that complex tried to commit suicide by setting fire to his unit. Granddaughter got involved, even to the point of entering a unit to save the dog of a resident.
Had Head Maintenance Guy and Assistant Manager been faced with a similar situation, they would have told us “I’m off the clock”, leave a message on the Emergency Line and someone will get back to us … eventually.
I tried to use that Emergency Line one evening when an unidentified car was parked in my spot. I first called the Tow Truck company we were instructed to call, but was told only office personnel could call. Office Personnel was “off the clock”, so I called the Emergency Line which had so many instructions that, ten minutes in, I still hadn’t gotten through what was and was not an emergency and the push this, if it’s that, push that if it’s this, until finally I just hung up.
So good luck with the catching and backing up of this tough talk, when there's no management eyes on the property before 9:00 weekdays, after 5:00 weekdays, and all weekend long.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Pimp My Tee

It was freezing inside when I woke up at 4:00 this morning, ready to seize the day.
The thermostat inside the unit registered 73, but it felt more like the 43 the weather bureau indicated as registering outside.
I have no idea as to why I was up at 4:00 A.M., but getting back under the covers was not an option as the adrenaline was going and I felt the need to get stuff done, starting with weeding through a stack of paperwork on the table, shredding what needed to be shredded, organizing what needed to be organized.
Couldn’t do that because, at 4:00 in the morning, the complex is so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Running the shredder would wake everyone up, so after reading a few blogs, playing a few rounds of Candy Crush and AlpaBettySaga, I set about looking for a solution to a dilemma.
Granddaughter sent me an awesome t-shirt yesterday.
I forgot to take a photo of it as it came out of the box, but this is how it looked on the source website.

Made me smile. I loved it! Could see myself wearing it everywhere and also thought it would be a great top for the upcoming Donut Run.
Only problem was, when I tried it on, I felt like the crew-neck collar was strangling me, the shirt too big, boxy, long, stiff, heavy. But it’s a tee. That’s how they’re made, which is why I’ve a container full of tees that came with various 5K registrations, waiting to be turned into a quilt because, preferring my tops more form fitting, I can't wear and truthfully don't look good in boxy tops.
But this was a gift from Grandbaby. 
I didn’t have the heart to tell her the tee wasn’t working for me, that I wasn’t comfortable in it, so I thought about reordering for myself in a smaller size from her source, thinking Granddaughter would be none the wiser. However, looking at what was available, there wasn’t one in black that she’d not notice the difference; plus there was no guarantee reordering would give me the fit I needed.
With at least two/three more hours before I could begin making noise in the unit, without disturbing neighbors, I turned to YouTube and watched a few “pimp my tee shirt” videos and videos of how to turn a crew neck into a V-Neck, how to make a tee smaller.
Later, able to get started on this project, I was scared about all the cutting pimping required but, reminding myself of how many Starbuck Gingerbread Cafes I purchased before I had a successful build, I figured if I messed up too bad, I could reorder the exact same tee however many times it took, so off went the sides and the sleeves.

Sitting on the couch a little later, hand basting in smaller sleeves -- because I wanted to make sure they were in correct position before I stitched in place on the machine (they weren’t), Granddaughter called to make sure I’d received the package.
Talk about feeling guilty.
I almost blurted out “I’m pimping it. It’s in pieces”, but held my tongue.
A couple hours later, sleeves stitched, sides back together, I tried it on and …… success!

Fits like a glove. No longer boxy, without the extra fabric no longer heavy, the tighter fit also solved the problems of the tee being too long, the collar strangling and, best of all, Granddaughter is none the wiser.
Now that I know what I can do with a tee, I have a feeling that quilt will never get made as I go through the container and try out some of the other pimping styles I saw online.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A Day in the Life

Another long day at the dealership, getting the driver side mirror and tie rod ends taken care of. 
To be specific … five hours!
And a soon to be return visit because, when the mechanic opened the box containing the new driver side mirror, he found it had suffered shipping damage.
Service Advisor said, “I’ll order another, make sure it’s not damaged, then call you to come back in.”
“And how long will that take?”, asked I.
“I’ll try to get you out in an hour and a half”.
Translation: Another three hours.
Oh well. Stuff’s gotta get done.
Just in case we went into overtime today, I’d taken the precaution of bringing something to snack on – cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, olives in a marinade of olive oil and apple cider vinegar. I also took a thermos of that bulletproof coffee I’ve become so fond of.
Next time, I’ll take the added precaution of throwing in some protein – like a boiled egg or cashews.
What did I do for five hours?
The wait, though long, wasn’t terrible, except for the first hour. The waiting room is a nice place to waste one’s life away. There was that needlepoint project to work on, plus this week’s Woman’s Day magazine and crossword puzzle.
The first hour was rough only because there was a husband/wife senior-looking couple engaged in conversation with another senior-looking husband/wife couple. The husbands hardly spoke a word, but one of the wives talked rather loudly and wouldn’t shut up. She talked at length about all the places they’d travelled to, about being stuck in traffic jams, while needing to go potty. She talked about one such traffic jam, when she was on a bus trip with a nice clean bathroom, but could see “white butts” as other drivers got out of their cars and went potty by the roadside. 
I was thinking to myself, stuck on a bus with this woman’s yaking yaking yaking? I would have lost my mind and started screaming.
She talked about how she doesn’t like Vegas, but loves casinos. That casinos have nice bathrooms and lots of real-life Indians. About how so many of her neighbors have moved or are moving out of California to Texas, Arizona, Arkansas, etc., because housing is cheap, but found utilities are high and weather is bad. One family found themselves in 30 below. How some relocated, found they didn’t like it, wanted to move back to Ontario, but couldn’t afford it, and how some of the areas friends moved out-of-state to, those areas are catching up -- getting expensive. She herself would love to live in Sedona, but is priced out.
I think the wife in the other couple was tired of her talking as well because, when the yaking wife took a break to go to the lady’s room, she and her husband escaped, went outside, and didn’t come back. That couple weren’t the only ones. There are two sides to the waiting room – one side has the television, which is where I was but couldn’t hear it for her yaking, the other side is the cashiers and car stuff to purchase. I noticed, during the hour the wife wouldn’t shut up, others in the area had gotten up and moved over to the quiet side.
At any rate, once the yaking wife returned from the lady’s room and found the other couple no longer there, she evidently didn’t see anyone else she wanted to chat up and became quiet. Didn't even talk at her husband.
I’m expecting to hear from the Service Advisor in another day or two to come back in, but needing to rest from this long day, I’ll be putting it off to next Tuesday, which means not catching up with the seniors here at the complex for yet another week or two.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Happy 1st Community Pokémon GO Day

Lured by the promise of catching a special Pokémon and extra points per capture, between the hours of 11:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M., I was off to join the hunt at the University campus this morning.
As soon as I stepped out of the car, I was surrounded by dozens and dozens of Pikachu’s and, as I began walking the campus collecting Pokéballs, I ran into dozens and dozens and dozens more. Also saw a great many individual players, such as myself, and teams taking advantage of the event. I eventually followed a Lure to a location where I found music, vendors, artists, snow on the ground.

Fascinated with what I was seeing, I said to the kids in the middle photo, "This is as close to snow as I've ever come".
They found that hilarious.
“Where’d the snow come from?”, I asked.
“They said it just appeared because it got so cold”.
Yeah, right.
I can be gullible, but not THAT gullible.
Later, as I hunted and hunted and hunted, not seeing anything that looked "special", getting frustrated because there were so many Pikachu’s in my way, I commented to a young lady working with a group, “So many Pikachu’s”.
“It’s an event”, said she.
“Yes, I know. But I don’t need more Pikachu’s”.
“You have to tap on them to find the Special Ones. Here, let me show you”.
And she showed me what the special ones looked like – metallic in color.
“Ohhhhhhhhhh! That’s why so many”.
Bless her heart, she even pointed me to a tree where there was supposedly “a lot of special ones”.
Of course, by then it was getting to the cut-off time, I had passed up so many opportunities to capture a special before other players emptied the pool, because I didn’t know I was to tap on/weed through the dozens and dozens and dozens I’d run into earlier, so I only manage to find and capture two.
But I got ‘em. Don’t yet know what to do with them, but I got ‘em and logged in 2.05 walking miles, 4904 steps.
Since Pokémon GO Community Day is scheduled to be a monthly event, I’ll be giving it another go in February.

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Answer

Except for the time I put the former Complex Manager, Nurse Ratched, on the hot seat for not handling the termite situation a few years back and, more recently, Head Maintenance Guy on blast about the slow A/C repair and portable pickups, I haven’t spoken up in the Residents/Management meeting. I just listen, observe, report back on this blog.
Yesterday, I raised my hand and spoke about something observed Wednesday afternoon.
Sitting on the couch, I looked over and, through the patio widow, spied a feeble old guy trying to walk a pit bull.
A pit bull, on this property where we have so many small dogs? thought I.
Feeble old guy was tripping and stumbling obviously unable to control the pit.
Who’s walking who, thought I.
Because of the breed, and inasmuch as the dog couldn’t be controlled, it seemed to me a foregone conclusion it would eventually attack other dogs, so I planned to bring that up in the meeting.
Apologies if you’re a lover of pit bulls, but I know what I know, so don’t try to sway my opinion -- the breed is dangerous.
Wouldn’t you know, just before the meeting began, a resident I’d never seen before, rushed in, sat next to me. Shaking, trembling, out of breath, almost in tears, she said a pit-bull had just tried to attack her. She’d had to run to escape.
I brought it up -- both what I’d observed and what the resident had just told me.
Complex Manager said something is already being done about the pit, but can’t divulge what that something is.
Casino Lady did indeed inform Community Manager that the police department said management could, with consent, post photos of the pervert encountered day after Thanksgiving. Community Manager looked really uncomfortable. She hemmed, hawed, squirmed, obviously trying to think of how to respond without saying too much.
I know that look because I once worked for a politician, which is where I learned to dislike/distrust politics/politicians. He’d hold press conferences, go on the news, make himself look good for votes by telling the public to contact him for this that the other, but then it was the job of us girls in the office to not let any of those calls through, and we had to be careful not to say too much, to blow off the public in a way that would not say our refusing to put them through was on his orders.
Ultimately, Complex Manager found a way to say it without saying too much -- “No. I can’t do that. It might cause a problem”.
Which meant she’d been ordered to take the heat for Corporate’s decision that to do so would make them liable -- the pervert would have cause to sue.
Casino Lady countered with the obvious, that it will cause an even bigger problem if someone eventually gets hurt.
True that!
I guess Corporate will have to learn the hard way.
In the interim, we’ve been advised to be watchful, on guard.
No sh*t, because you know how it is that when one little ant finds a way to creep into your space, it leaves a trail and, before you know it, more ants follow? Well, it seems perverts leave a trail as well, because another resident I’d not seen before -- we have a lot of new people, reported sitting in her unit one night and seeing a naked man outside her patio window. 
A completely naked man on a cold night.
She said he waved at her and, once assured he had her attention, began dancing around, arms in the air, his stuff dangling away.
I’m upstairs, rarely go out at night and inasmuch as I close my blinds as soon as the sun goes down, not likely to be the recipient of such a show.
The resident reporting the incident lives in a ground floor unit.
The description she gave, of the guy being skinny, didn’t match description of the other, so it looks like we’ve two creeping off/on around our complex.
Living here since 2012, I’ve seen and experienced plenty, but these perverts ants are a first.
I'm fairly certain owners of the pit bull will be forced to relocate if they don't rehome the dog, but don’t think anyone will be inclined to move over these other incidents, because no place is completely incident free. Precautions have to be taken everywhere one goes nowadays so, true it is, we’ll all have to be watchful, on guard and, in my case, remain paranoidly prepared.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

No Escape

I over estimated in thinking I’d have no contact with the folks for another two weeks.
Ran into The Baker and another resident at the market.
Baker said, “I just noticed they have gluten-free cupcakes in the Bakery section. If I bought you some, could you eat them?”
The Baker is just the nicest, sweetest, most thoughtful person you’d ever meet, always wanting to do something for someone, but I had to let her down.
“No, because it’s not just the gluten. It’s the high fructose corn syrup, baking powder, which has corn starch in it, regular butter and regular sugar”.
These things I know because I’ve learned the hard way – trial, error, cooking something with everything I think wouldn’t set off a gut reaction, only to get sick, go back and read what was in every ingredient until I pin-pointed the problem, which generally is some version of soy, corn, wheat and put the product on my never again list.
The Baker then said, “Well, what if you gave me some recipes?”
I can do that, but I probably won’t because she has no idea how many ingredients she’ll have to stockpile that she normally doesn’t use.
Next on The Baker’s mind was, “Everyone’s talking about seeing police on the complex this morning, wondering what it was about.”
Believe it or not, I knew the answer.
“That was a welfare check on my elusive downstairs neighbor”.
Shortly after 10:00 this morning, I heard voices underneath my patio. Looked out and observed Complex Manager and both maintenance guys.
Few seconds later, they were joined by two police officers.
The group then walked to the door of the unit beneath me, where the weird resident lives. The resident who is never seen because she comes in late, leaves early for work, doesn’t talk to us the few times we’ve seen her taking out trash or heading to her car, except to tell me, when I welcomed her to the quad, “I don’t like people!” (with considerable emphasis added). She evidently also doesn’t like sunlight either, because she never opens her patio doors to let in fresh air, and keeps all her blinds shut tight.
At any rate, Community Manager knocked on the resident’s door.
No one answering, she opened and let the officers in to take a look.
The officers came out smiling.
Complex Manager looked relieved.
I really think they thought she might be dead in there.
She’s not old, probably barely over the required 55 years of age, so I don’t know what prompted the Welfare Check, but she's fine. I hear her coming in most nights, lately with male company.
Returning to the complex from the market, more contact with residents was made when I walked through the corridor, heading to the mailbox, and noticed something new had been added.

A fairly new resident has opened a nail salon.
Moving on up.
THEN, the resident I’ve only once or twice mentioned in this blog as Casino Lady, because she used to work at one, approached me about that pervert who jumped the fence, tried to corner me at the mailbox area and exposed himself.
She thought what I’d originally thought, that inasmuch as management had him on video, they should post a photo of him, from waist up of course, so residents will know who to be on the lookout for, and tells me she's taken it upon herself to request management do just that.
Management told her it's not legal for them to do so.
Not satisfied with that, she went to the police department with the issue and was told the police department could not release a photo from the video either, but management can do so with the victim’s consent.
She said, “I plan to bring this up at tomorrow’s Residents/Management meeting” and wanted to know if I, as the victim, would consent to the pervert’s photo being posted.
I don’t like that word, victim, but “Hell yeah! Post him everywhere.”
That guy so rattled me that I’m still overly nervous and jumpy. I want him caught. Besides, knowing they are being taped, and photos will be posted, might deter others from the multi-family complex next door from jumping the fence, for whatever purpose.
I wasn’t planning to attend tomorrow’s meeting, but now I'm there.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


Monday’s walking of the University Campus netted 1.52 miles, 3638 steps, 113 Pokéballs, plus I added a new capture.
I was so excited to see a Plusle that I failed to snap a photo in Augmented Reality Mode (real-world environment), so I’ll have to show you what he looks like from my Pokédex.

Kinda looks like Pikachu with big ears.
This morning's estimated 2 hours, $250 at the dealership’s service department, for transmission service, wound up 3-1/2 hours $190.
Not my favorite thing to do, downtime at the dealership, but had to be done. Want the old girl to keep going, if not for me then for Granddaughter, who is likely to inherit the Saturn when I let go for a new car.
That might be happening sooner rather than later, because she needs a better car than the PT Cruiser she purchased from a relative, and No. 3 Grandson needs a car, period. If I give her the Saturn, she can give her brother the cruiser who, along with his dad, can better handle mechanical issues.
Lot of good walking areas around the dealership, but to step outside the waiting room is to be accosted by hungry sales personnel trying to sell you a car.
I’ve already researched the dealer’s inventory, and find no makes/models I’m interested in, for when ready to purchase, so I stayed inside – read a Woman's World magazine, worked the cross-word puzzle, put time in on my needlepoint project.
And would you believe, I have to waste more of my life away at the dealership again next week, because I asked them to look at a problem I was having with my driver side window slipping, not giving me the range of view I usually have.
Inasmuch as the problem happened overnight – and I do mean overnight, like one day it was fine, next day it wasn’t, I’m fairly certain someone exiting the truck which parks next to me in the complex car port, Head Maintenance Guy’s truck, managed to hit it, knocking it out of position. Maybe even the gardener backed into it when clearing the area of leaves and tumblweeds.
Either way, I'm sure it was an accident, but the bottom line is a new side mirror has to be ordered -- Estimated cost $450.
Parts are also being ordered, for next week, to repair steering wheel’s tie rod ends – Estimated cost $450.
Going to be an expensive month.
To his credit, the service advisor did not try to talk me into next week’s costly work, saying wasn’t necessary right away, just something that eventually was going to need handling.
Better I get ‘em done now than stick Granddaughter with another problem vehicle.
With my having not made contact with residents since last week’s Pizza Tuesday, missing today’s Pizza Tuesday, and scheduled to miss next week’s Pizza Tuesday, I’m looking at 21-28 days away from and out of the Community Room loop.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Happy MLK Day

I had hoped to spend this past Saturday walking the University Campus, collecting Pokéballs, as the nearly 200 balls collected, when in Long Beach during the Thanksgiving week, have been depleted.
Because a Poké Gym has been established less than a quarter mile away from my unit in one direction, and because there’s a Pokéstop in the other direction, at the multi-family unit next door, I’m the recipient of cross activity and have been lucky enough to catch Pokémon without getting off the couch.
Pikachu himself is particularly fond of popping up on or near my needlepoint station.

Or Pikachu herself -- I can never tell the difference, and there is a difference, having to do with shape of the tail.
At any rate, Saturday walking the campus was preempted by my having to drive out of the area to the rescheduled appointment with the locktician (beautician for braids).
Sunday, had me scheduled for the nail salon.
I can actually purchase Pokéballs: 100 balls at $0.99, 500 at $4.00
But why pay for what I can obtain free with just a little leg work and fortunately, today is a holiday, campus closed to classes, and me with no commitments in my way.
There will be no people watching for me tomorrow, Pizza Tuesday, as I’ll be at the dealership having the transmission serviced.
It’s just as well I won’t be connecting with the folks for a few days, because so many seem bored, discontent, and I don't want to buy into that.
Even The Seer has been depressed of late, but her issue is that of being resentful -- resentful of where she is in life, more critical of others than she normally is, projecting her frustration that prayers are not being answered, that she’s not getting what she wants. My philosophy of don’t ask, trust the Universe, listen to what it’s telling you and go with the flow because “Your Father within knoweth what things you have need of” is wasted, falling on deaf ears, so I won't be expending any more energy on trying to lift a person who doesn't want to be lifted right now. And I can’t anymore with Apache -- his love affair with, admiration and defense of the Orange Idiot in Chief, even in the face of “sh*thole” is more than I’m willing to handle.
This thing with The Seer is temporary, she'll get over being upset with the Universe. But you can't cure stupid, so there's little hope my pal Apache will ever wake up and smell the covfefe.
So suffice it to say, I’ll be spending less time with the folks for a while, more time hunting Pokémon and training for The Great Donut Run, which I’m hoping is a flat trail, no hills.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Second Wind

I’d been hoping for but not really thinking I’d get it -- a second wind, so I could get back to a daily walking routine and participating in 5Ks.
After a foot injury put me out of commission for a few months, I’d put together that Schwinn and turned to virtual biking events. Once the foot healed, I was feeling slow and sluggish and not able to keep up, so I turned to Virtual 5Ks until my strength, energy and balance began to fail me, from probably that ear infection I didn't know I had.
At any rate, I’ve actually not participated in activity of any kind since November, just sat on the couch watching TV and needlepointing.
Of course, I did notice, while on hiatus, that my back and hips began to hurt from all day sitting.
I remembered reading somewhere about inactivity leading to joints stiffening, locking actually, which is probably why so many here depend on canes and walkers.
I felt that beginning to happen to me, but still couldn’t get off the couch until that second wind hit me this past Sunday, when I found myself putting in a mile on the indoor bike. The following day, I put in a mile and a half. This morning I woke up, felt like my old self, put in 3 miles on the bike, then headed out and completed 1.5 miles around the neighborhood.
I’m back!!
This year, instead of being medal motivated, I’m just going to walk and bike to stay active.
That’s not to say that, if I see a medal I absolutely must add to my collection, I won’t register for the virtual. But the plan is to get back to fun outdoor events – hundreds of participants, no pressure races. And right now, that looks to be the Great Donut Run, which I participated in last year as a virtual.
I’m not planning to cosplay this event, but if I just happen to run into donut fabric, I might make a pair of leggings.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


I had to practically swim through the downpour, but I did make it to the Community Room for this afternoon’s celebration for residents born in the month of January.

It wasn’t too uncomfortable for me. Mainly because, when I walked in, The Baker and The Seer didn’t make a big to-do to single me out. They kept it on the down low that the event was because they wanted to celebrate me by whispering “Happy Belated Birthday” in my ear.
Two other January residents arrived for a cupcake, one came in quietly and replied “yes” when asked if this was her birthday month. The other danced through the door singing “Happy Birthday to me”. Not surprisingly, it was the woman I've described in this blog as projecting an attitude of entitlement.
Surprised I was to see Activity Director in attendance. Her schedule had her at this location last Tuesday, but she didn’t show. Her schedule showed her not at this location this Tuesday, and there she was.
Her schedule also indicated a crochet class last week, when she didn’t show, to make afghans (activity calendar spelled it “aphgan”) for the dialysis center – a good and worthy endeavor; but moving that class (unannounced) to today, what she was teaching the ladies was how to make cute little caps to be distributed to premature babies in the local rehab center – equally a good and worthy endeavor.

Because of my frustration at Activity Director’s habit of not showing up, as scheduled, for arts and craft sessions, I’m disengaging and won’t be looking to do any projects with her in future.
In chitchatting with residents, I learned the status of my smoking neighbor. She’s actually back in her unit, having been released a day or two after the EMTs took her away. It wasn’t a fall, or an accident of any kind. She just suddenly felt seriously ill.
Maybe that influenza confrontation that’s bringing so many to their knees.
At any rate, the hospital pumped her with antibiotics and, though I've not seen her, I’m told she’s fine now.
As for the gentleman thought to have liver damage. He’s back in his unit as well, and that’s all that was said – just that he’s been released and is back in his unit.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Low Profile

Been keeping to myself, maintaining a low profile this last week, to give the seniors time to get Happy New Year’s hugs and thoughts of my birthday out of their system. 
Even the fact I was running out of food supplies didn’t get me up and out. I just got creative with what was available. Nor did the fact the Mega and Powerball were up there, over $400 million, calling my name, saying I needed to take a chance I might be the one because Granddaughter needs a better car and No. 3 Grandson needs a car period, also didn’t motivate me to get up and out.
What finally did motivate me to get out and make a run on Saturday was running out of a needlepoint floss color. So off I went to the craft store, with a stop by the market for groceries, and a stop to pick up a Powerball ticket, as the Mega was no longer up for grabs, then it was back to hibernating.
Having not made contact with anyone in the complex for days, I’m not sure what the status is of the resident rushed to the hospital with what is thought to be liver damage. Nor do I know what happened to one of the neighbors in my quad.
While watching Project Runway Thursday night, I head sirens and the sound of a truck engine stopping just at the end of my walkway.
Looking out the patio window, I watched as EMTs headed for the upstairs unit, across the quad, to the left, where lives the smoker.
This is a no-smoking community, folks are required to exit the gate and smoke somewhere outside, but folks don’t always follow the rules.
If it was impacting my life, I’d complain; but it’s not. She’s a nice lady, her unit is across the quad, the smoke doesn’t reach my windows, so not my problem.
At any rate, the EMT’s went into her unit and, after a time, neighbor was gently escorted down the stairs with an EMT assisting behind her, an EMT in front of her, and an EMT behind the guy in front of her as a safety precaution should anyone stumble he could block the fall. Every step Neighbor took looked painful for her, but they got her down to the gurney and took her away, at which time I said a prayer for her and went back to Project Runway.
No idea what could have happened, though falling in the unit seems to be the No. 1 cause of injury around here, but won’t know for sure until I come out of hibernation and get with the folks again, which looks like it will be tomorrow – Pizza Tuesday.
I actually wasn’t planning to go, but The Baker posted to our Facebook page that, after pizza delivery, there’s to be a cupcake party for January birthdays.
She’s not fooling me, I’m not stupid, I’m not a Republican. I know her baking cupcakes and arranging for this event is for me. The Seer -- the Baker’s BFF, was unable to ascertain my birthday, so the two of them came up with this workaround.
Last time anyone arranged a celebration for me against my wishes was when I retired from that job where the racist group had tried to run me out of the company because the CEO didn’t want a Black woman in a secretarial position. 
I worked myself through the situation by standing firm in my understanding that the Universe put me there because, as a spiritual student, I was strong enough in my faith to not react as they expected me to react, as the many others they had targeted had reacted (fled, quit), just stand firm and let the Universe fight the battle for me.
Though it was a painful episode, I saw the Universe at work in many things that happened to individuals in the racist group until eventually the worst of the worst retired or moved on to other companies, after which the remaining racists crawled back under their rock and ceased their openly racist behaviors. 
After my work was done, spiritually speaking, the Universe gave me an opportunity to retire. I took it.
Those in authority, including the remaining racists, wanted to arrange a retirement party for me.
I can’t be fake. Can’t eat or socialize with people I don't respect or who've been unkind to me.
Besides, the party was not for me, more like a show they were putting on to make themselves look good.
I did attend a luncheon with a group of work pals, but told the others that I wasn’t going to play that game with them, don’t arrange a party.
They did anyway, arranged for a party at the office -- three days before my retirement date so, staying true to myself, I called in sick that morning.
Of course, they ended up embarrassed, a laughing stock.
Did I care?
Not even when the guy I referred to in posts during those difficult years as "The Weasly Klansman" had the nerves to say to me, when I recovered from my illness and returned to work the day after the party, "You shouldn't have done that".
Seriously? You treat me like crap all these many years and you expect me to help you save face, look like good guys and girls, by playing along with a retirement party organized by you?
This situation with The Baker and The Seer is a different scenario. Their wanting to do something for my birthday is a love offering.
I’m the person who is always there for others, doing for others, accustomed to receiving nothing in return. So unaccustomed to people wanting to do for me that it’s hard to accept when someone does something nice for me.
To repeat myself -- I can’t be fake, I’m a terrible liar, it’s hard for me to pretend but, in this case, I’m going to try my best to  play along -- go down to the Community Room and pretend I'm clueless, didn't know I'd been duped, act like a Republican.