Saturday, August 31, 2019

Energy Shamed

I don’t know what the energy company expects me to do, as the heat has been unrelenting this summer.

I wake up in the morning and it’s already 88˚ … inside. So, of course, I turn on the A/C and run it all day out of necessity.
I’d mentioned before that some of the seniors camp out in the Community Room all day, where it’s nice and cool, to save on their energy bill. But I’m not willing to spend my time like that. Besides, even when I’m not home, I run the A/C so as not to come back to a sauna inside, and because I’ve an idea the heat will have a negative effect on the electronics ─ television, laptops.
At any rate, the energy company is charging me plenty for this so-called overuse. No need to also energy shame me.
Having put off errands yesterday, I had no choice but to head out in the heat this morning to get the more “pressing” matters off my to-do list.
Running out of groceries ─ no problem. I’ll make do.
Needing to replenish makeup ─ also no problem. I’ll stretch what I have out until I can schedule a trip to Macy’s.
Running out of avocados and/or craft supplies ─ I'm immediately on it. So, this morning’s “pressing” situations that sent me out in the heat was just that ... Trader Joe’s for avocados and Stevia, Michael’s for aida cloth and floss.
We all have our priorities. LOL.
The price on avocados is holding firm at $2.50 each.
I’d passed a Farmer’s Market last weekend, pulled over to see if they had anything I wanted and found their avocados were going for $3.50 each.

And they don't look that great. So, no thanks.
Instead of a Michael’s Crafts nearer the complex, I’d driven all the way out to Redlands, because they have a Barnes and Nobel a few doors down.
I popped in to pick up the September Issue of Marie Claire because Twin 1 was to have been featured.

She was.
But at $6.99 for the magazine, and her “feature” being a mere blurb, measuring two square inches, I kinda sorta regret the purchase.
After all, what’s the point of continuing to add to the Creative Memories Scrapbook system, when anything future generations wish to know about any one of us can be found online.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Powering Through

After an estimated 400 plus hours, I’ve decided I do not like the needlepoint project I began in May.

Progress: May through August

I’ll power through to completion, but won’t be gifting to Twin 2 because I can now see it’s not her style.
Of course, she’d appreciate and be happy with the piece, because it’s something made by her mom ─ she’s sentimental like that. But I’d rather gift her something I’ll be happy with knowing she absolutely loves because it fits her stylish sophisticated elegant style to a tee.
Like this .....

A whopping 35-page pattern piece.

With such a huge undertaking, not the planned Christmas gift this year. Looking to be such a long-term commitment that not the next year or the year after that either, but Twin 2 didn’t know I was making a needlepoint for her. Plus, I’ve already gifted her my lottery winnings to pay off a rather large tax debt she’s been struggling to get off the books. So I consider myself covered for Christmas and Birthdays for many years in advance.
I will finish the piece I’m now working on, but then gift it elsewhere.
Back in 2016, Apache so liked a piece I was working on that he offered to purchase.

No way was I ever parting with that ─ one of my favorites, but I did knock out and gift him with a canvas I thought he’d like.

Apache was so happy with the piece that he had me sign it ─ like I’m a famous artist or something. ROFLMAO!
Then, in 2017, the Seer was admiring a piece I was powering through to finish, even though I’d decided halfway in that I did not like it. 
Seer was pointing out all the little details she liked in the piece, so I said to her, “I don’t like it, do you want it?”
The answer was an unequivocal yes.
And so that piece now resides in the Seer’s unit.

As for the current project, it doesn’t fit Twin 2’s aesthetics, but it absolutely SCREAMS Twin 1’s urban Afrocentric style.
Not being the expressive type, Twin 1 will accept it, she’ll like it with a smile, but I’ll not be getting an over the top OH MOM! type thing her twin is known for.
I know my children .... even though they don’t think I do. LOL.
On tap for today is to stay in, out of the heat, and not run the errands I need to run. There’s always tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday, to catch up if need be.
According to the Activity Calendar, today is also “Employee Appreciation Day”.
The office is closed.
Staff has been given the day off.
So, of course, with no staff out and about that dang smoke detector began beeping a little while ago.
It hasn’t been long since the Sunday I had to call after-hours maintenance for battery replacement, so I can only assume maintenance is using lousy weak dollar store batteries.
Expecting the smoke detector to begin once again screwing with me, when no staff was available, I paid close attention to how the smoke detector was disconnected that time.
I am so not having it today that I pulled out my step stool, in preparation for disconnecting the unit my own darn self.
All of a sudden, the beeping stopped.
Did my resolve scare the smoke detector? Is there a devilish entity in the mechanism or what?
At any rate, I’m leaving the stool at the ready, just in case.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Cart Before the Horse

Not a lot going on since the last post indicating not a lot going on. LOL.
I experienced a few days of the mother of all gut episodes, after eating roasted brussel sprouts — which I’ve enjoyed sprouts before with no problem. As to why the sprouts tried to kill me this time is a mystery.
At any rate, the episode caused me to not only miss participating in a 5K this past Sunday, but also caused me to realize I was putting the cart before the horse in planning for a tummy tuck instead of first having a Gastroenterologist take a look inside and see if anything can be done to end these episodes.
Kinda reminds me of how stupid I thought it was when a company I was working for had me send out bids for street paving. Shortly after the street was paved, everything looked nice and smooth, the company then decided to send out bids to tear up the new paving to replace pipes under the road. The result being we were back where we started, with a bumpy road, not to mention an enormous waste of money.
So not wanting a bumpy abdomen, I cancelled the September 4th appointment at the plastic surgery clinic and am now waiting for an appointment with my primary for referral to an internal specialist.
I was actually rethinking plastic surgery before the gut episode made my mind up for me, because initial contact with the clinic was unpleasant, which I took as a sign.
Once I received notice the referral had been accepted, now I was to call for an appointment, I called.
I responded to all the questions the appointment secretary required to prove my identity, which were plenty, she then asked to verify my telephone number.
I did.
She then asked, “And the other telephone number is?”
“I don’t have another telephone number”.
“Yes, there’s another number listed here”.
“Well, I don’t have another number”.
At this point I’m thinking, as she continues to insist there's another number, what difference does it make inasmuch as I’ve already given her sufficient information to identify myself — name, birthday, address, member number and a telephone number which matches her records.
As she continues to insist there’s another number and begins to tell me what I need to do to correct the problem, I began to boil and was thinking of hanging up and forgetting the whole thing, when she finally stops talking to me like a child and says, “But I’ll go ahead a schedule you for a class”.
Like she’s doing me a favor.
I really wish now that I’d asked for her supervisor or had told her to take that class and shove it.
At any rate, the second sign I should forget the whole thing was that a three-hour group class presentation is involved.
I figured the class would show me horrible disgusting surgical procedures that would make me rethink the procedure, but I stilled planned to push forward — that is until this latest gut episode caused me to realize I should put the horse before the cart.
So that’s where I am with that.
Not seen much of the seniors except, as I was returning from Thursday’s workout, Apache comes running up to the car to tell me he’s gotten another one of the big wigs at corporate fired.
I think that’s two notches on his belt, maybe three. I can’t keep up. LOL.
Apache has this long running battle with Corporate and our office staff.
They’ve tried everything to castrate him, keep him in his place, but he always comes back stronger than before.
What happened this time is, late one night, Apache spotted someone on the premises trying to steal a car.
Corporate, and office staff, had ordered Apache, under threat of eviction, to stop patrolling the complex, stop calling the police. And further, to not confront unauthorized persons on the premises.
That do not approach I’d agreed with, having told Apache many times it was dangerous for him to do so.
He didn’t care about the danger, even though he’d once had his nose broken by someone he tried to chase off.
At any rate, Apache went to the office about what he’d seen.
The office told Apache to stay in his lane.
Apache then sent an email to corporate, indicating that the car thief was not able to get the car, but did damage in the attempt. He further pointed out that inasmuch as the property is Crime Free Certified, there are rules and regulations required to maintain that certification and corporate and office staff are in violation of those rules/regulation.
A big wig at Corporate emailed back for Apache to stay in his lane and further “We don’t want to hear anything else about what’s going on over there”.
Big mistake.
Huge mistake.
It’s the job of Corporate and Management to see that we’re protected … especially if they want to keep the crime free certification.
Apache got the proper organizations involved and that Corporate Big Wig was fired for his email response about not wanting to be bothered with what's going on over here.
Not sure where the new Community Manager, whom we all like, fits in all of this, but he’s still here.
As for Apache, that guy is covered in Teflon. Nothing they do can stop him.
Other news is ... the Baker is out of her unit. Well, kinda sorta.
She’s wearing a boot and gets around on her husband’s motorized wheel chair.
So that's all I've got for now. Life is slow .... and I quite like it like this.
BTW. Last week’s Your Opinion Counts survey, didn’t count for much. I received a “We’re sorry. Please take 10% off your next purchase”.
As if there will be another purchase.

Monday, August 19, 2019

“Your Opinion Counts”

We’ll just see about that because I just completed an online survey from the seller that charged me $27.99 for express delivery that was neither express nor delivery.
I let ‘em know mama wasn’t happy, so we’ll see just how much that opinion counts.
Other than that, nothing new from my side of the world.
It’s been quiet and uneventful here at the complex since the luau.
For weeks now, there have not even been noises coming from rulebreakers using the laundry room after 10:30 PM/before 7:00 AM.
Management either handled that situation by putting a timer lock on the door or, after Apache ─ our unofficial mayor got in trouble for rule breaking laundry at 3:30 in the morning, it put the fear in the other rulebreakers.
Another possibility is the rulebreakers are no longer here, as Apache tells me there have been five evictions.
I’ve no idea who or why, but obviously not anyone I’m familiar with. Otherwise, Apache would have let me know long ago.
From my perch on the couch, glancing out the patio window, there are few sightings of the usual suspects.
Baker is stuck in her unit recuperating from foot surgery. The nice old guy who drives a jeep like mine is stuck in his unit recuperating from breaking his pelvis in a slip/fall at McDonalds. Both the Seer and Shadow, having made an appearance at the luau, are once again back to wearing their cloak of invisibility, but I have noticed a lot of new faces on the grounds, in the pool, at the mailbox, going in/out the laundry room.
If five residents were indeed evicted, their units didn’t stay vacant for long.
I’m unsure if Pizza Tuesday is still a thing but, inasmuch as Activity Director turned picking up pizzas over to volunteers and the list of volunteers, posted to the board in the Community Room, indicate no takers, I’m assuming Pizza Tuesday is a thing of the past.
Weekly bingo continues, and the seniors had a potluck last Tuesday which, as I passed the door, returning from that Tuesday’s workout, heading to the mailbox, looked well-attended.
I did not pop in to take photos for the facebook page, as I was in my not wanting to be around people mode at the time.
So, it’s pretty much the same ole same ole around here, but with new faces.
The energy drain that plagued me last week/week before has dissipated. Energy now back to normal, I’m still not making exercise homework a priority. Reason being (and I don't mind letting Trainer know this when next I am questioned) …. because I’m a 75 year old retiree, entitled to take it easy, and don’t want to make a job of exercise ─ which is what it was becoming … a job. Something I had to do, rather than wanted to do. I'll still do the indoor bike and outdoor walks, but only when the spirit feels like doing so, rather than on set days.
After all, I’m not training for the Olympics.
Instead of exercise, I focused on making a new Bib/Medal Board.

After the paint dried, I spent remainder of the weekend adding hardware and images.

I took the easy way out and, instead of installing 10 individual hooks, I picked up and used two hook rails from Walmart. Not particularly fond of the curly cues on the rails, but whatever.

I do, however, especially like the "Like a Boss" sticker (over to the right), I ran across in my stash.

With 10 hooks on the rail, it’ll not need another board until 2021.
Over the weekend, I also finished Walter Mosley’s book.

Once beyond the philosophizing, the book was fast twists and turns I never saw coming that kept me reading sometimes up to 2:00 a.m. in the morning.
I’ve already pre-ordered Mosley’s next book, release date February 25, 2020.

A long dry spell ahead of me.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Holy Guacamole!

Plans for an uneventful Friday ─ stay in and do nothing, were scuttled by a power outage shortly after 8:30.
Online at the time, with the tv going, both suddenly went dead, as did the A/C. I checked the microwave, the lights. Everything was dead dead dead, plus the smoke detector began beeping like crazy.
The smoke detector runs on a battery, so not quite sure why the power outage affected it, but the result was pandemonium in my unit.
I decided to get dressed and flee.
Just before I headed out the door, A/C came back on, smoke detector stopped beeping ─ which signaled power had been restored, but I’d already taken the outage as a sign to get out and about, so out and about I went.
Car wash, gas, bank, Sprouts ─ where I paid $10.00!!!! for these four avocados.

I’d heard reports on the news about the price of avocados rising, about Oprah buying an avocado farm due to those high prices but, since avocados are a staple for me, I paid no mind to cost until the cashier said, “Wow. These avocados are expensive”.
“Really?” said I. “How much did I pay for them?”.
So now I am aware and will probably cut back because, currently, I’m going through one avocado per day. That mathematically translates into $17.50 a week, $50+ a month, $600+ a year, with prices sure to continue to rise thanks to No. 45’s shenanigans with Mexico. 
Put into further perspective ... it’s more than I pay for auto gas in a month, so cut back I will until the financial bleeding stops.
Next stop was Michael’s Craft Store.
In need of an additional medal/bib board, to better organize the 5k medals/make room for those newly acquired, I thought to take the easy way out and purchase something online. 
Not finding anything worth the price, I decided to make my own ─ as I did back in 2017.
Plans for the new board are much like the other ─ bibs on the right, medals on the left, but different wording.

I’ve got paint in my craft supplies, also a wooden board, but no mug hooks so, I popped into Michaels.
They didn’t have the hooks either, but I did mosey on over to glassware to pick up a few glass jars (for a hotel hack that allows one to heat up meals in the ice bucket) and promptly let one of the jars slip through the opening on the cart and smash to the floor with a loud sound heard throughout the entire store.
Though I was wearing open toe birkenstocks at the time, and though the jar smashed at the tip of my toes, sending shards over and around my feet, I was fortunately not injured.
“Clean up in glassware!”, I yelled out and a worker rushed over to clean up the mess.
The incident was picture worthy but, stunned and embarrassed, I forgot to pull out the cellphone and take a snapshot before moving on.
Having got out and about yesterday, plan for today is to try again for staying indoors, doing nothing ─ except needlepoint, paint that board, make another batch of almond meal hazelnut butter brownies.
We’ll see how today goes.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

An Eventful Week

On Monday, I lied to Trainer about completing exercise homework.
On Tuesday, I threw a hissy fit because an item I’d paid an additional $27.99 for express shipping (almost as much as the item itself) did not arrive on Monday. Instead it arrived on Tuesday and not to my door but, per email received, was “delivered to a local UPS Access Point ... pick up by August 20 or item will be returned”.
What did I paid $27.99 for ???
A seller I’ve never used before, but who lured me in with ads on TV about having just what I need with shipping being fast and free ... a game changer they say.
They did have just what I needed, but free shipping meant waiting almost two weeks.
Not wanting to wait that long, I added that ridiculous sum for express shipping, only to be told to pick it up.
An expensive lesson learned, I initially told myself. But it bothered me into a hissy fit that made me take the time to rate Fed Ex/UPS Customer Service low and a vow to let the order time-out/return to seller and never order from them again.
I now roll my eyes every time I see one of their ads.
On Wednesday, I was calm enough to reread the email and notice the “local UPS Access Point” was really local ... across the street from Trainer.
Felt foolish for throwing a hissy fit and the bad ratings inasmuch as I didn’t have to go far to pick up, but still ….. for $27.99, it should have been delivered to the door, opened and set up for me.
Now this morning, while scanning the day’s news, I see a photo of someone I’d know anywhere ... a family someone.
It's Twin 1

The work she and her group of volunteers have been doing, in servicing the Skid Row Homeless, is garnering a lot of attention.
In my moving through this parenthesis of eternity, if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s ..... no good deed goes unpunished.
Skid Row is dangerous. Twin 1 has financial problems of her own.
Consequently, I worry.
However, I understand that, as someone's who is waking up, it’s something she’s compelled to do to erase not so good choices made in the past clean up her Akashic Record.
At any rate, it's been an eventful week. And the week isn’t over yet.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Pants on Fire

Started off the week by lying to Trainer.
When asked this morning if I’d done my exercise homework over the weekend, I readily confessed to being a no show at the 5K, then lied and said I’d instead gone walking around the campus area when I’d not stepped outside the unit, hardly even gotten off the couch.
I just don’t have the energy right now for anything other than my normal training days so, though I don’t like lying, feel bad about it, I’ll probably lie to Trainer again. Probably when he next asks if I’m working out on the indoor bike.
Truth be told, the only one on the indoor bike lately has been Detective Pikachu.

I’m not a person accustomed to lying, not good at lying but, until I get back into the swing of things, practice will make perfect as I don't want to insult trainer by saying I have no energy, when his training is supposed to be giving me energy. It's an emotional drain having an impact on my physicality, and I don't feel like getting into explaining what's bothering me to Trainer. So pants on fire lying it is.
On my way to the Pain Cave this morning, I spied what looks to be signage structures going up on the lot where Starbucks is being built.

“I don’t care about any bleeping signage” said Trainer. “Get Starbucks built already”.
That seems to be the prevailing sentiment around here, as the excitement of Starbucks steps away builds.
It’s not like there’s not a Starbucks to the East of us, about a mile away AND another to the West of us, also about a mile away. It’s the convenience of having one within walking distance that has everyone so anxious to see it done.
I myself am up to 1-1/2 cups of butter coffee a day. With a 1-cup coffee maker, that has me making coffee twice a day, and I’m pretty well sick of having to do so. But I’m trying my best to hold off purchasing a 2-cup coffee maker in the hopes the new Starbucks will hurry up ─ 1 cup butter coffee in the morning, and a walk to Starbucks in the afternoon.
We’ll see if I can hold out.
Also tempting me are the Panda Inn Szechuan Hot Chicken Strips.

Do you recognize the dance moves and song?
It’s the old 90’s Billy Ray Cyrus’ song/dance ─ Achy Breaky Heart.
Loved the song back in the day, still love it, but the dance was so complicated that I never took the time, in my Line Dancing Days, to learn it.
At any rate, after this morning’s workout, I stopped at the market, picked up some organic chicken tenders and my foray into the kitchen this afternoon is to switch ingredients around to turn a Paleo Bang Bang Chicken recipe into the equivalent of Panda Inn’s Szechuan Hot Chicken.
Where there’s a will, there’s always a way.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

No Show

I was a no show at this morning’s run/walk.
Having registered some time ago, I was primed and ready to go ... that is until the alarm went off at 4:30 this morning so I could get dressed, fed and drive the mere 27 minutes 15 miles into the mountain community of Crestline.
Having felt an energy drain during the entire week to where it’s become an effort to move from one room to another, even thoughts of wasting the money spent on registration fees, missing out on another medal could not get me out of bed. I turned off the alarm, rolled over and slept until 6:00 ─ too late to get it together and arrive by the check-in cutoff time of 6:45.
I think I’ll stick to slow walks, no hustle, until whatever this is lifts itself and I catch a second wind.
After going over and over in my head as to where the energy drain is coming from, I think causation can be summed up as appearances ─ that which seems to be, both in the world and in family affairs.
To be more specific, it’s been 932 days since No. 45 took the oath of office and it’s been an all-day every day bombardment of us with one form of ugliness or another.
As a result, people are nutting up left and right.
We, humanity, need a break.
I need a break and find myself withdrawing into myself once again, not wanting to be around people.
So what have I been doing this week as I retreat into myself you ask.
I made it to the Pain Cave for Monday, Tuesday and Thursday’s workouts and, though my heart wasn’t in it and I wasn’t my usual chatty self, I got it done.
There’s been, of course, the latest needlepoint project, catching up on television programs and getting into the other Mosley book I'd missed.

This book isn’t Mosley’s usual can’t stop reading fare. He’s a bit wordy and philosophical in this one, which makes for a slow read with my sometimes scanning, rather than reading, pages where he waxed philosophically on and on and on about the universe and our role in it.
Not that I disagreed with what Mosley is saying. It’s just that he’s so wordy about it, and I’m more interested in what’s happening with regards to the body hidden in the old movie theater. It also feels he’s pandering to the public with one too many obligatory sex scenes.
Other than working out, needlepoint, television and Walter Mosley, there’s been testing out new recipes and giving last week’s brownie failure another try.
Cassava Flour tortillas, filled with roasted cauliflower, avocado, drizzled with sriracha sauce turned out GREAT!

All those expensive ingredients, purchased last week for the failed Avocado Brownies, did not go to waste after all. I adjusted the recipe adding a little more this, a little more that, less this, less that and, though they came out a little flat, because I need a smaller pan, the smell of a brownie cooking was there, as was the flavor, moistness and chewiness.
I resolved the flatness by stacking. Instead of one brownie in a bowl, I stacked one on top of the other, and it was pretty good with my afternoon coffee.
And yesterday ... taking two brownies from the refrigerator, stacking, warming in the microwave, topping with Chobani yogurt, sweetened with stevia and vanilla extract, it was slap yo momma delicious ─ reminding me of the molten chocolate cake with whipped topping I use to be able to eat in restaurants.

This morning, watching Trisha Yearwood’s cooking show on Food Network, I saw where she topped brownies with potato chips and bacon.

Did that look delish or what?
Can’t have potato chips but, next time I make a batch of brownies, I’ll try adding uncured bacon.
I also want to give Trish’s Marinated Veggie Salad a try.
All in all, I’m making good use of my time away from the world.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Took a Lickin, Still Ticking

Amazed am I that, after yesterday’s logging in of a total of 13,838 steps, 6.4 miles, I was able to get my poor tired body out of bed this morning. Everything hurts ─ back, knees, hips, head.
Today is a session with the Trainer. I’ll be showing up smelling like pain patches/pain lotions, and asking him to go easy on me.
I really pushed myself at yesterday's OC Fair 5, crossing the finish line in 00:58:49.

And yes … that is the one and only BATMAN starting us off.

Race Stats indicate I was the 1,770th participant to cross the finish line out of 2,613, the 988th female of 1,539 and, of the 9 females in my age group (75 through 99), I finished 4th.
Needless to say, with a 00:58:49 finish, I did not detour to any of the so-called fun events ─ Basketball Toss, Break the Plates, Jammin’ at the Pacific Amphitheatre. The detours reminded me of the simplistic games from childhood visits to the Pike at the Beach, which were fun then because those games were all we knew, all we had. None of it looked like much fun to me now, so I kept going.
I did, however, manage to take a few pics along the way. Surprisingly, not many wore themed costumes.

Body Suit

Home Crafted

Also Home Crafted

Not a costume, but photo worthy

Cat Lady

Also not a costume, but ..... Cowboy Fries/Piggy Fries???


Not sure if this is a butterfly or fairy, but wrong theme.

Also not in theme, but decided to photograph so I could copy this style if/when I go to another luau.

Found it interesting that the calico theme was pretty much consistent throughout the areas the course took us through. Like the outside of some of the buildings were painted white with black spots, same with the trash cans, and even the table areas were calico themed.

The many cows along the course were themed.

Oops! This one's real.

Not themed, but Piggy Backed.

Also real were the horses, and man did that area of the course stink. I had to hold my nose.

The Old West section of the course was picture worthy.


Who's that photobombing the cowboy?

After all was said and done, I got another bib and medal for the wall, another tee for the quilt I keep telling myself I’ll get around to making and, though I'm struggling to move today, had a great time.