Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Deed is Done

I do my best thinking when I’m not thinking, when a thought just pops into my head.
So it was when I was eating lunch today (popcorn and coffee ... don’t judge me) and all of a sudden a thought occurred as to how to get management 100% blamed for my removing the residents’ facebook page.
I texted the Baker ─ the most influential resident in the community, even more influential than Apache … "Hey ___. The office is giving ____ grief over his posting to our Facebook page. That page is none of their business, nothing to do with management but they just like to mess with ____. I'm thinking since we're not likely to have activities to post for like forever that I should eliminate the reason ___ is being harassed by removing the page. What do you think?"
Having already heard management was going after Apache again, she was all over it saying “I think that’s a good idea, we can put up a new one later, if there are any pictures we can save that would be nice. We can find another name later. They’ve no right to interfere with our activities.”
Fortunately, I’ve backed up every photo I’ve ever taken onto flash drives, even photos taken before setting up the page ─ three flash drives full, so saving photos is not a problem. But if they plan on setting up another facebook page later, that’s on them. I’m out.
At any rate, the site is down and it won’t be long until residents, and their families, begin to ask why and are told it’s because of management’s thinking it’s their page and harassing Apache over it.
That’ll fix the lawyers and management. It wasn’t management’s page, it wasn’t Apache’s page ─ it was mine. I put it up, I could take it down, which shows management how little control over it they mistakenly thought they had.
Elsewhere in my self-isolating world, I’m collecting masks like I use to collect leggings.
Twin 1’s friend, that gifted me the bling mask, designed a crystal mask in gold and a crystal mask in silver. They look very much like the crystal mask I already own, but have subtle differences, and I just had to add them to my collection.
Not wanting to take advantage of the designer, I ordered and paid through the regular channel but, good hearted human that he is, he reimbursed me for the shipping and threw in a leopard print he’d just come out with.

The leopard is my new favorite.

In addition to which, this morning’s feed carried a story about a 4th grader donating and selling masks.

I checked out her site and ended up ordering a Black Panther print.

Fauci predicts a second outbreak in the fall. I'm mask ready.

Monday, April 27, 2020

It Moved

Let’s start off with news about that little penny, now entering it 6th week, still on the ground at the entryway to the illusive unfriendly downstairs neighbor’s unit, withstanding wind, rain, people and not moving ........ it moved.
Originally, the penny was situated right smack dab in the middle of that entryway, as though purposely placed there. Then, one day during the week, I noticed it seemed to have been moved from center to left. I thought it was my imagination, but then yesterday, I poked my head out the door to see if the penny was still there and saw a little dinosaur playing around it.

Those little dinosaurs have spindly little fingers, capable of picking up items, so that’s probably who moved it.
So at least we now know it’s not glued to the ground.
And speaking of moving, the idea of relocating has once again been on my mind. Having no reason to move, I don’t yet know if it’s a thought that just popped up to tempt me or a prompting from the universe that it wants me elsewhere but, either way, I’ve been looking at the pros and cons.
Though I do love my little unit, enjoy the view it gives me of watching the world go by ─ the comings/goings of others without having to interact with those others, the price is right and gives me a lot of wiggle room financially speaking, this shutdown has shown me there’s really nothing to keep me here.
Twin 2 had previously suggested I move closer to her, but I’d declined because I felt attached to this community.
The shutdown will eventually end, the Community Room will reopen, there may even be some level of activities established, but I no longer feel the need for that social interaction and won’t be rejoining the community.
The only downsides to relocating would be higher rental rate, loss of Trainer and what to do with the residents facebook page.
I won’t like paying the higher rent but, with a ban on entertainment in the near and far future, due to the pandemic ─  no travelling, no hotels, I can put that wiggle room monies towards higher rent and manage. And even if I decide not to move, stay here but not participate, still there’s the question of what to do with the residents’ facebook page.
So those were my thoughts last few days and, all of a sudden, a sign from the universe that the issue of the residents’ facebook page may no longer be an issue.
Inasmuch as management’s instructions to mail in our rent check did not confuse the mail carrier, i.e., the envelope did not end up returned to my inbox and quickly cleared the bank, I headed to the mailbox yesterday to drop off next month’s check and ran into Apache.
“How’s everything going around here?” asked I. “Is everyone okay?”
“No”, said Apache. “I’m not. I got a letter from the lawyer. They’re trying to evict me again”.
“How in the world did you get in trouble again when everything is shut down”, asked I.
“They’re saying I’ve no right to represent myself as management by posting to the facebook page”.
It’s important here to say that, the way the facebook page came about was as a result of my taking photos at events, residents asking for prints for themselves and to send to their family. I’d provide prints. It wasn’t expensive, but it did get tiresome so I suggested a facebook page so their families could check in.
Apache ran it by the then Community Manager, who thought it a great idea and approved my doing so.
Anyone can post to the page, but I get notification and, if I think not appropriate, I delete, which only happened once or twice.
Once, when Big Linda tried to start shit by posting a comment complaining about Activity Director. I deleted it.
When my buddy Apache posted photos of his knee operation ─ which btw was disturbing to look at, I deleted and pointed out that kind of stuff should not go on the residents’ page, was better suited for his personal facebook page.
Of course he balked ... “I’m a resident”.
“Yes, but it’s not an event”.
He came back with some other bla bla bla that I don’t recall, so I had to go for the jugular ... “Listen, no one is interested in seeing your operation”.
Apache didn’t like it, but he likes me, so he took it and stopped posting ... until recently, when he posted about gathering food donations for residents in need during the shutdown.
I was down with that and actually donated food goods.
Apparently, management so hates Apache, so wants him out of here, that they took issue with his food drive posts, saying his posting to the site is representing himself as management. They sent him a cease and desist from the lawyers, ordered him to remove his posts under threat of eviction.
Apache’s position is the facebook page doesn’t belong to management, us residents set it up for us residents. It’s resident owned/resident managed.
Apache is right, of course, but Corporate and management are so thirsty to get rid of him that they might decide to send ME a cease and desist, remove the page altogether.
This is not the first time Corporate and management have tried to evict Apache, because he’s such a thorn in their side. It’s not even the second time or the third or the fourth, and Apache is still here.
He’s not taken down his posts, I’ve not removed them, so if this ends up being the end of the page, fine by me. I’ll take it as a sign that the universe is giving me an out and go with the flow, leaving the only thing to really hold me here being my training sessions.
I gotta tell you though, but for the fact I’m viewing this happening from a deeper level, taking it as a sign the universe is giving me an out, I’d refuse to cease/desist/remove and dare management to fu*k with me.
I did say the only downsides to relocating would be higher rent rate, Trainer and what to do with the residents facebook page, so swallowing the higher rent rate, no longer managing the facebook page, the only thing left holding me here would be Trainer.
I’m not going to actively look for a new domicile. I’ll just keep paying attention to what the universe has to say about it, and go with that flow.
Ideally, I’d rather remain where I am ─ cheap rent, great view, easy access to Pain Cave, without responsibility of the facebook page.

Monday, April 20, 2020

No Mask No Service

Ventured out today for a run to the drug store. While checking out, I saw two rough looking women walk in.
I didn’t even notice they weren’t wearing masks, which is a requirement when out and about in this county. But evidently somebody did, and quickly did, because they were barely inside when two big mask wearing security type guys came out of nowhere and one said, “You can’t come in here without a mask”.
The women didn’t look happy.
The older one started rummaging around in her jacket pocket, as though she had one in her pocket and was going to put it on. Then, not finding it, turned around and walked out.
I thought to get her mask from the car.
The younger one had to be told twice to leave. It took one of the big guys walking towards her, holding up his hand in a halt position, before she turned round, said something under her breath and stormed out.
“It’s so hard to get people to follow the rules”, said I to the cashier. “They’re not even supposed to be outside without a mask”, I went on to say. The young cashier just nodded.
Once I was outside, heading to the car, I saw the women get in a truck and drive away.
So no mask in the car? That rummaging around was a pretense?
At any rate, I don’t know where they think they’re going around here that they can get in without a mask. Any old thing will do. I’ve seen people with a simple bandana tied around their nose/mouth area, so rule following is just not that difficult.
Elsewhere, we’re coming up on another Pizza Tuesday, so I imagine Activity Director will be set up outside with pizzas, etc., for the seniors tomorrow. In addition to which, arrangements have been made for the lower income residents to receive weekly boxes of food.
I have to give it to them, whoever “they” are, because they really take good care of old people in this county. And not just during this pandemic, but all year round.
I’m fortunate in that I don’t need assistance, but it’s nice to know that, if something goes sideways, the assistance is there.
I’ve lost track of what week this is of the shutdown … fifth or sixth or seventh, but a text from Trainer indicates he might be back in business soon.
First notification was by mid April, then it got extended to an unknown date. Now, if there’s not another extension, he can do one-on-one personal training May 4th, while group sessions remain up in the air.
I seriously doubt 5Ks will be allowed until maybe next year, but Virtual Races are popping up all over. So, it looks like that’s the future of 5Ks, 10Ks, and Marathons ... Virtual.
Oh, and btw, if you were wondering ... that penny is going into Week 5, still in place. LOL.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Neighborhood Howl

On Sunday, the weather was once again dark gloomy and it rained yet again.
Weather being better come Monday, I headed out for the market to replenish my stock of potatoes — which high carb product the specialist said was better for my stomach condition than the no carbs no calories cauliflower I had been eating. Go figure.
Once the shutdown is lifted and the office reopens, I’ll be rushing to the scale in the Game Room to see how much weight this not working out and eating potatoes is going to put on me.
At any rate, walking to the car I captured a shot of a tie dye rainbow in a wet spot in the asphalt parking area.
How unusual and how perfectly shaped

At the market, as the grocery worker was sterilizing my cart, I said “You guys were probably closed yesterday (Easter)”.
“No, we were open”, she bitterly said. “And they didn’t even give us holiday pay. It’s crazy”.
She’s right … that is crazy, and enormously unfair under the current circumstances — as I’m sure the market is doing better than ever, financially speaking, and can easily afford to give workers either a holiday off or holiday pay.
Don’t these grocery workers have a Union? And, if they do, why isn’t the Union weighing in on this. Wish I’d thought to ask her.
I can’t express how grateful I am to be out of the workforce, retired, no longer at the mercy of corporate america.
Later that night, I received an invitation, from my friend Q, to participate in an 8 p.m. Neighborhood Howl.
Have you heard about the Howls?
Neighbors step out of their homes, onto lawns or balconies, scream and howl at a specific time as a way of coping with coronavirus-induced isolation.
Accustomed to being indoors, I’m not particularly stressed and don’t need to howl. Besides, Q lives in Los Angeles. No one around here has gotten into Howling so, had I stepped outside, screamed, howled in solidarity, neighbors would have thought me in distress, rush to my aid or called the police.
It would have been a spectacle.
Waking up to sunshine today, I decided to work off some of those potatoes with a walk around the complex.
Didn’t get very far, because the wind gust (14 mph per the weather site I later checked) was so strong that I could barely keep my footing.
Wind so strong that it chased me back inside because I couldn’t keep my footing, but that penny didn’t move an inch.
I’m just so fascinated by the resilience of that penny. I won’t pick it up. It’s just too much fun to see how long it’ll last — let’s set the clock at 4 weeks and counting starting now.
In the short distance around the complex I did make, I saw Activity Director has brought back Pizza Tuesday.
Bless her heart. She’s sitting outside, making sure the seniors are serviced.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Signs of Life

After a week of dreary weather ─ cold, wet, the rain stopped, the sun came out for a bit yesterday and, from my needlepointing perch on the couch, I could see signs of life ─ residents once again walking up/down the pathway.
Compared to other cities, other parts of the county, things still appear to be fairly normal around here, except everyone is now wearing masks/gloves ─ possibly because it’s been so mandated by the County’s Acting Health Officer.
I’ve been inside so long ─ and like having to do so, that it takes a monumental effort to put on mask, gloves, take out the trash, pick up mail but, taking advantage of Saturday’s break in the rain, I forced myself to suit up in my glamour mask and headed out to take care of those chores.

On the way down the stairs, I looked over the railing to check on a shiny new penny I'd first spotted three weeks ago.
I kid you not, a penny has been there for at least three weeks. This even after the downstairs neighbor, left side, underneath next-door neighbor’s unit, had a visit from her two vociferous grandkids ─ a little boy and girl, whose playtime outside that neighbor’s door is running up/down the entryway screaming and yelling.
Have they not heard of “find a penny pick it up, all the day you’ll have good luck”?
A penny was a lot of money when I was a kid. I could walk to the candy store, ask for a penny’s worth, and walk out with a small bag. Is a penny not worth the effort to the newest generation?
Since the kids didn’t pick it up and inasmuch as the adults going in/out of either downstairs unit also hadn't picked it up, I'd been watching to see just how long it would be before someone or some thing carried it away. Thinking surely the last two days of all-day all night storms would have washed it away, I looked over the railing ....

Still there. Still shiny.
Is it glued to the ground?
I won’t pick it up because, though that entryway leads to a friendly neighbor (the one with the visiting grandkids), across from her is the illusive unfriendly strange neighbor (mentally challenged?) ─ the one who’d forcefully said “I don’t like people!” when I attempted to welcome her to the quad  and later incessantly complained to the office that I was disturbing her peace, waking her up at 3:00 in the morning, when I could not possibly have done so because I was asleep.
Unfriendly Illusive hasn’t been a problem since, but it struck me odd when she had her parking spot moved from the front, near me, bright side of the building to far away from her unit ─ the back, dark side of the complex.
At the time, my head said it was because the darkness always runs from the light. Fine by me. She can’t handle the bright cheerful energy I generate, but whatever ─ so long as she doesn’t cross my path.
But then, she crossed my path.
I was on the patio, putting Christmas back in storage a day or so after the new year. She came up the pathway, from the rear, looked up, saw me, said “Happy New Year” and I went “Oh!” ─ so shocked and amazed was I that she’d spoke to me, with a smile even. I was able to regain my composure enough to say “You too” before she headed into the walkway leading to her unit.
I wasn't trusting that friendly gesture though, because the signs were still there. Plus, it kinda chapped my buns that, after rejecting my friendly gesture with “I don’t like people”, I observed her sitting outside, in friendly conversation with Big Friendly Guy.
Seeing that made me think by “people” she meant “me, a female”. In fact, I had next door neighbor rolling when I recounted the observation and said, “Oh, I get it. She doesn’t like me because I’m old and pretty, while she’s young and ugly”.
I also find it strange that, when Unfriendly Illusive thought it was me keeping her up at night, there were numerous complaints to the office. However, when she learned it was the laundry room, the complaints stopped ─ even though late night/early morning usage of the laundry room continued and, lately, has started up again.
So, I'm not trusting that one friendly gesture and I’m not trusting there's luck in a bright shiny penny at the entry to her walkway, especially one in which the force is so strong that it hasn’t moved in three weeks of being pounded by wind, rain, walked on and over by children and adults. 

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Not As Easy As It Looks

After several days of researching mask tutorials and gathering supplies — now at inflated prices, I finally decided on the Olson  pattern which, ironically, required only materials I already had on hand. With the new cross-contamination shopping rules, nothing of what I’d purchased can be returned — even if the package is unopened. 
Oh well.
Why I went with that pattern is because it looped behind the ear — which looked to be a lot more comfortable than the N95 respirator I’ve been wearing and the patterns requiring ties. Plus, there was a pocket to insert a filter, to make the make the mouth/nose area dust/pollution proof — a filter I’d read could be made from vacuum cleaner bags.
So on Wednesday, I began what was to be a 15 minute project. Five hours later …..

I'm happy with the results, but assembly was not near as easy as it was touted to be.
I decided to go for a second 15-minute mask. One hour later …


Assembly time much improved and I imagine, if I keep at it, I might get down to 15 minutes.
I was thinking of making a bunch and giving them away to anyone who wanted one, BUT then I ran across an online warning that filters made from vacuum cleaner bags are not safe. I forget what material made them not safe for humans to breath in, but didn’t matter. There is a lot of conflicting information out there, and I wasn’t going to risk it. Those bags are in the patio storage area, along with all the additional overpriced supplies that are not going to be used and can’t be returned
All was not lost, however, because I had the bright idea of inserting the N95 respirator I’d been wearing into the pocket.

Doesn’t get any more N95 compliant than that and, as you can see from the first photo, it holds up and covers very well.
However, I won’t be making a bunch for others because 1) I don’t have a bunch of N95 respirators to spare and 2) I didn’t find mask making fun. It’s back to my needlepoint project.
While we’re on the subject of masks, remember Twin 1’s especially made for her mask — the one I’d coveted?
I tracked down the maker and ordered a black one. What came in the mail was not the same as Twin 1's especially made mask, so I was a bit disappointed. Plus, I should have ordered a brighter color. I can't complain though because, though it was expensive and I was fully prepared to pay, when the maker learned I’m Twin 1’s mother, he gifted it to me.


THEN, Twin 1 gets featured in Vogue, wearing the especially made for her mask and suddenly everyone wants one. The maker is producing more just like hers and I got word from Twin 1 that one for me is in the mail.  
I’m surprised Twin 1 ─ so focused on doing for others, actually came through for her dear old mom.
My supply of protective masks runneth over.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

You Can't Fix Stupid

I’d posted last week, after that to do with a longtime friend, because I purchased Guerrero tortillas instead of Romero — which company her husband delivers for, that the stress of this pandemic is causing normally nice people to lose their mind. And my reacting to their reacting, is making me mean.
When faced with stupid earlier in the day, I told myself not to think negatively about the individual, not post about what happened, let it go. But when stupid came for me a second time, a little while ago, I started typing.
Stupid No. 1 occurred while checking the mail box, dressed in mask and gloves (because the Governor said it's what we should do whenever outside). I observed another resident, also in mask and gloves — which indicated to me she knew enough of what’s going on to wear protection. She was standing at the door to the office, trying to get in.
Not only are the office doors locked, but those doors are plastered with all kinds of notices as to why and we all should know this by now.
She read the notices, turned to me and said, "They say the office is locked. How do we pay our rent?" 
"How to pay was in a notice posted to our doors", said I.
"They posted something to my door, but I didn’t read it", says she.
I can’t be bothered.
Reminded me of my irritations with Handsome Guy. More than a few times, when he heard we’d had a good time at an event, he’d say to me, "I didn’t know about it".
"It was listed on the Activity Calendar, which was posted to your door", I’d say and suggest he start reading the calendars.
I really can’t deal with other people’s nonsense right now, so instead of getting into a conversation instructing the resident to mail it in, I suggested it might be a good idea for her to go back to her unit, read that notice, then turned around and headed back to my unit
THEN, I get a notification someone had commented on the Residents Facebook page. It was a comment from the neighbor, across the quad, upstairs corner unit. She liked the photos of January’s winter crafts event — where we made flower pot snowmen, but added "I wasn’t invited. Would have been fun".
How friggin dare you, thought I. Then replied to her comment … "Everyone was invited. The event was listed on the Activity Calendar".
I realize you can’t fix stupid, but seriously, stupid people should have the decency to keep their stupidity to themselves.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020


Thought I was imagining it when I heard what sounded like a lawnmower on the property as I was dressing for the day, but it was real.

Pain Cave is still closed, while the construction workers or the corner lot were only out for about four/five days, maybe only three/four, and the landscapers out only about a week and a half.
I’m surprised management has allowed them back on the property so soon.
Interesting what’s being allowed to continue on as usual, and what is ordered closed until who knows when. But whatever it takes for however long it takes.
Heard on the news last night that a healthy Black woman in this county, with no health issues, who worked out, died of Covid. Hey, thought I. I’m a healthy Black woman, I don’t have any serious health issues, and I work out. It gave me pause.
Following that was some big high mucky muck area politician stating the time has come when we should ALL in this area be wearing masks.
Those two newscasts in my head this morning, as I realized this morning’s breakfast used up the last of the frozen organic hash brown potatoes my sensitive stomach tolerates, made me reluctant to get out and replenish. Especially since the only place that sells them is Sprouts in Rancho Cucamonga, and that posh area is higher-risk than this area ─ for reasons I won’t elaborate upon because I’d sound like a racist.
But the sun was shining, I really needed to stock up on that item, plus I figured I could stop by the ATM for some extra cash. So, I decided to leave my safe/comfortable refuge and head outside, but I heeded the politician’s warning and suited up appropriately.

Inasmuch as this will probably be my outside look for the remainder of the year .. maybe forever, I’d like something a little more ME and, when I saw what Twin 1 was wearing, said to myself That’s It!

Twin 1 said she’d try to get the folks that made that one special for her to make one for me, but I seriously doubt it. She never does what she says she’s going to do when it relates to me, her mom. Only insofar as others are concerned does she follow through.
I know why this is, and it’s not personal against me. It’s a trait I saw in my sister, where sister was different/more giving, more fulfilling with promises, with people outside the family, while ignoring her own because, to her, how she was perceived by others was more important.
So anyway, I’ll manifest a more attractive functional mask in time.
Fortunately, Sprouts had what I needed, but the vibe in there was way different than the vibe at my area market.
The floor was marked for safe distancing at the checkout, which was a good thing because I’ve had to give people in line behind me the evil eye, or use my cart as a distancing barricade at the corner market, because some folks aren’t taking the distancing thing serious enough.
Sprouts is taking it VERY serious.

Also, Sprouts does not want your reusable bags on their counters. You can purchase new bags, or you can re-cart your groceries after payment and place into your reusable bags ─ but not inside the store. You do this back at your car, which is what I opted to do.
I ain’t mad at ‘em because ... whatever it takes.
Things must really be bad in that area because, not only is Sprouts taking extra extra extra precautions, but everyone I saw was wearing protection (masks/gloves for customers; just gloves for workers). Also, the bank was on shutdown ─ that included the ATM portion.
Notices were posted directing customers to ATMs in other areas.
Fortunately, I wasn’t desperate for cash (because I’d foreseen this might happen and had taken out enough cash to get me through well in advance). I just wanted to pick up additional just-in-case extra, since I was in the area; but not desperately needing it, and not wanting to spend further time in that weirdly vibing area driving to other locations, I high tailed it back to my safe comfortable refuge.