Monday, June 29, 2020

The Long Walk Home

Yesterday’s walk around the neighborhood turned into way more than I’d bargained for.
I’d intended just a short walk but, once outside, I got caught up in the nice weather, listening to music playing on the iPod and ended up a block short of entrance to the University before I decided to turn around and head back to the complex.
Having walked the sidewalk to the turning point, I was walking back in the bike lane and was just about to pass a guy on my left (pink shirt, flowered summer shorts, backpack) walking same direction as I, but on the sidewalk. Didn’t think anything of it, until I saw him make a movement to put something in his hand, glance over his shoulder ─ seemingly to gauge where I was, lower his arm to his side, then turn his wrist so that the object was pointing towards me. That’s when I saw the blade.
It was a knife.
To be fair, the guy was obviously a street person and, being so, had probably had experiences to make him leery of someone walking up on him, but inasmuch as I was clearly not a threat, his issue was probably one of questionable mental health. So I took evasive measures.
Playing it cool, not wanting to be directly next to him or have him directly behind me ─ even though I was in the adjacent bike lane, I slowed down so as not to pass him at all and began moving from the bike lane, towards the street and, when all the cars had passed, made it to the opposite sidewalk.
As I was now on the sidewalk, opposite side of the street, moving further and further away from him, I made sure to side eye keep sight of him.
In doing so, I saw him cross over to my side of the street ─ now walking behind me.
I took out my pepper spray, but thinking it no match for a knife, I was just about to cross back to the other side of the street again when I saw a man standing behind a gated yard.
I stopped as said, “I think I’m in trouble. That man has a knife and, when I crossed the street to get away from him, he crossed the street. Can you let me in?”
He didn’t. Instead, Gate Guy looked at me, looked at the approaching Knife Guy, smiled, nodded like he understood what I was saying, but otherwise said or did nothing except look where I was looking ─ which was at Knife Guy as he caught up and passed right behind me.
Knife Guy had both hands on the straps of the backpack, knife not in sight, and made no motion towards me ─ probably because of the man standing at the gate ─ though useless. But Knife Guy didn’t know Gate Guy was useless. All Knife Guy knew was big Black man looking at him.
Knife Guy was now ahead of me on the same side of the street.
I stayed there, outside the gate of Gate Guy, giving Knife Guy time to get well ahead of me, but he slowed his walk and kept glancing back at me. I told Gate Guy, who kept smiling/nodding like he understood, that I was going to cross the street again, and if anything else happened, I was calling the cops.
I don’t know what the heck was wrong with Gate Guy, but I’m now thinking it might have been a situation of jumping from the fire into the frying pan. His problem could have been high on drugs, a crack or meth head and inside the gate an even worse place to be.
So, anyway, I walked away from Gate Guy, crossed the street and was once again on the opposite side where I could keep eyes on Knife Guy ahead on the other side.
Well ahead by now, Knife Guy continued to glance back and over at me.
That’s when I decided it was time to call 911.
While on the line with 911, I observed Knife Guy once again cross to my side of the street. Then he turned out-of-sight into the driveway of an apartment complex.
My spidey sense told me he’d turned into that driveway to wait for me to pass so he could jump out at me or to position himself behind me again, so I again crossed the street and ducked out-of-sight, behind a tree and watched the area he’d turned into.
Sure enough, I spotted a patch of pink ─ his shirt, where he was lurking in a bushy area on the side of that apartment complex driveway.

Didn’t take long for him to reemerge, after having not seen me pass where he’d expected me to pass. He came back out onto the sidewalk, didn’t see me and continued down the street. I, still behind the tree, began taking pics of him for the blog because that’s what I do. LOL. I’m a chronic picture taker no matter what the circumstances.

Once he’d gotten far enough ahead of me on his side of the street, I came from behind the tree and continued trying to get home.
Knife Guy spotted me, opposite side of street AND, of course, he crossed to my side yet again and stopped at the stoplight.
I prepared to cross to the opposite side, when I saw the light change and Knife Guy head towards 711 at that corner.
Thinking here’s my chance, I can get ahead of him and make it to the complex before he comes out of 711, I began walking fast when 911 called me back to say patrol cars were in the area and didn’t see anyone to match Knife Guy’s description. “He’s in the 711”, said I. “I’m trying to hurry up and get home before he comes out”.
“He’s in the 711 now? I’ll let patrol know” says 911.
And just like that, before the call ended, two cop cars sped past me, pulled into 711’s parking lot and Knife Guy was hauled out of 711 so fast that I didn’t even see it, as I crossed at the light, until I saw Knife Guy, hands in cuffs behind his back, at the door of one of the patrol cars.

One of the officers spotted me, asked if I was the one who’d called in, took my complaint, took my information and asked if Knife Guy had pointed the knife AT me.
I said, no, he’d not actually menaced me with it. Just pointed the blade towards me in a preemptive way and, when I’d tried evasive measures, he kept taking counter actions ─ looking back at me, slowing down, crossed the street to my side every time I crossed, lurked in the grassy area of an apartment complex.
I didn’t expected an arrest, said I just wanted them to detain him long enough for me to make it home.
The cop said I’d made all the right moves, it was good I’d been observant as many people are not and become victims. "I’ve learned to be not only observant but paranoid", replied I.
Cop said the guy’s behavior was suspicious and that because he didn’t try to attack me with the knife, they couldn’t arrest him (I knew that) but they’d be checking him for weapons, wants and warrants.
I'm assuming they confiscated his knife and, if he did have wants/warrants, Knife Guy probably did end up in jail, but that's on him. Had he gone about his business, let me go about mine, he’d not have been in that position.
At any rate, I didn’t stick around for the outcome. I rushed to get home, just in case they had to let him go and he was on the streets again.
The pandemic slogan “Safer at Home” is for real, and in more ways than one. Not sure I’ll feel comfortable walking the neighborhood again. Now, I’m not even sure walking the deserted area of the University is a good idea. The outside world is dangerous. People are losing their damn minds.
Once safely back inside my unit, I checked my stats.

I’m counting this walk as having more than qualified in the DC Wonder Woman 5K. I’ve not yet received my bid number, so I can’t log it in, but 4:3 miles is way more than the required 3:12, so I’m considering that 5K done.
I’m very tempted to register for the Orange County Fair’s virtual 5K, because they’re offering a hair buff in the swag bag, instead of tee, but where to walk since the streets are no longer safe?
On another note, there’s been all this Black Lives Matter talk about defunding the police and/or getting rid of them altogether.  I was onboard with either. They do more harm than good. They’re not doing anything for me. I can take care of myself, so why not, thought I,
Yesterday’s incident was the Universe showing me they do come in handy, upon occasion, best to keep ‘em around, so I’ve changed my position on defunding or abolishing.
It’s been a challenging few days. First was the drama of Twin 1’s statement in a news article, now this. Hopefully, I catch a break and things go back to every day same old same old boring ... nothing to blog about.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Well DUH!

On Friday, there was yet another notice posted to our doors from management.
This one letting us know the Game Room (pool table) is now open, with reserved time slots, distance and masks required.
Also, the Computer Lab is open ─ masks and social distancing there as well.
The Library, however, is closed “until further notice”.
That’s interesting. Guess it’s a contamination issue, but it does bring up a conundrum ─ what to do with future book donations since we can’t add them to our library and I’m assuming the public library won’t be accepting them from now on.
Past, current and future fallout from this pandemic seems endless.
Included in the notice was a one-page insert with big bold letters indicating MAILBOX ATTEMPTED BREAK INS.
Well, DUH!
Management left one side of the gate unrepaired ─ wide open for over a week. Did they not think some someone was going to seize the opportunity to walk right in and commit a crime? We’re lucky that trying to get into the mailboxes was all that happened.
Now management is advising we pick up mail every day (leave nothing to be stolen) because of “attempted break ins past couple days” ... those “past couple days” undoubtedly being since the gate has been open. DUH!
We’ve not had any problems with breaking into the mail boxes since 2018.
It couldn’t be proved, but those of us in the know knew it was Carol’s drug addicted problem son. (For you long-time readers, Carol being the resident whose little grandson wanted to play PokemonGo with me).
Carol’s problem son so hassled her, so caused disturbances when he visited ─ blaming Carol for his being homeless and addicted, not helping him, not taking care of his grown ass (Evidently, it’s not just daughters that don’t accept consequences of their own actions, it’s sons as well) that he was banned from the property, but kept sneaking back and poor Carol didn’t have the heart to turn him away.
The stress and worry of it all caused Carol’s health to decline. There was not a specific health problem, it was just that Carol’s energy and joy of life went down, she began keeping to herself and, first thing we knew, she passed away seemingly overnight ... during a time her son was found to be present in her unit, when he should not have been as he'd been banned.
You bet.
After Carol passed away, her problem son set up camp in the hills behind the complex, would continue to be caught roaming the property, chased off ─ usually by Apache, and then one day disappeared from the area altogether ... right after the mailboxes were broken into.

2018 Mailbox Damage

Guess, he’d finally gotten what he was after.
At any rate, we’ve had no problems since ... that is until the gate was left open. DUH!
Heading out on Saturday, I saw management finally did something about it.

Both sides of the gate are functioning properly ... for now, but we’re not taking any bets on how long before it malfunctions again, because it’s been one thing after another with that gate, and elsewhere on the property, ever since this management group took over the property, did that “complete renovation” with cheap labor and cheap materials.
You get what you pay for.
So now I’m off for a little walk around the neighborhood, after which I’ll be watching granddaughter’s wedding, streaming online.
Just what I need ... more relatives. Plus, the couple are already talking about having children.
I may have to leave the country.

Friday, June 26, 2020

The Day After

Initially, I was so dumbfounded by what Twin 1 had said that I thought it was going to take me a long time to get over the hurt but ... not so.
I’ve had my heart broken so many times, my feelings hurt so often, that I generally don’t feel at all. However, Twin 1’s statement came so out-of-nowhere, that it found a crack in my armor and I felt it. Surprisingly, waking up this morning, I’d forgotten all about it. And, when it did come to mind, it no longer hurt, it was like oh well and that was that. I’m over it.
Of course I ate an entire pint of Ben & Jerry Chunky Monkey ice cream last night ─ AN ENTIRE PINT, which usually takes me three days to consume. AND, I’ve got a pineapple upside down cake baking in the oven. But other than binging on sugar, I’m just honky dory fine ... over it.
Earlier this morning, scouring the web for wipes, as I regularly do ─ wanting to be one of the first to nab when they reappear, I ran across an online auction site that had a new 3-pack for $89.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I sprung for the purchase.
I also scored a can of Lysol Disinfectant Spray, yesterday, from the liquor store. LOL.
Just finishing up yesterday’s training session in the Pave Cave, the guy that owns the liquor store in that shopping center came to the door and informed trainer he’d just gotten a shipment of disinfectant spray and asked Trainer if he needed any.
Trainer and the guy at the liquor store became fast friends when there was a purse snatching incident at the store, at a time only the wife was covering the counter. Hearing screaming, Trainer ran from the studio and chased after the guys. Didn’t catch ‘em, but the liquor store owner (LSO) appreciated the effort, knows Trainer continues to keep an eye on the store when wife is alone, and LSO has, in return, stepped up for Trainer when items (such as bread, milk, etc.) became unavailable at the onset of the pandemic, and now wipes and sprays.
Trainer had replied in the affirmative ─ yes he needed spray, and indicated he’d be down in a bit.
I don’t know how LSO is able to obtain items not in stores ─ not sure I want to know, but hearing the words “disinfectant spray” I asked Trainer if LSO was selling to the public or just giving to friends.
Trainer said “selling”, so I headed on over and scored a can.
I’m not so sure about selling to the public however, because LSO ducked down behind the counter, slipped a can of spray into a black plastic bag ─ so no one could see what I was buying, then stood up, placed the bag on the counter, took my $17 and I headed out of the liquor store feeling like I’d just purchased something illegal. LOL.
I got the feeling that if LSO had not seen me in the studio, known I was Trainer’s client and knew I'd heard the conversation about his having in stock, he probably would not have sold to me ─ would have said didn't have any.
At any rate, with spray and wipes, I’m feeling a little less worried about running out before items once again become available in stores.
There is now the wonderful smell of cake wafting through the unit. Pretty soon, I’ll be having cake and coffee for lunch because ... over it. LOL.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

News to Me

Received a text message from an old boyfriend. A young fireman in the 1970’s, we'd met when I was working a different part of city services and became a thing for a while. Though I don’t recall how long our relationship lasted or why it ended ─ probably because he was young and young men didn’t hold my interest for long back in the day as I was looking for growth, people I could learn from, people that could move me forward in life, I do remember our relationship ended on friendly terms. I’d run into him from time-to-time.
Once it was his squad ─ he was a Captain in the department by then, that showed up when I had food poisoning and had to be rushed by ambulance to the hospital.
Then there was the time he somehow learned where I was then living, dropped by the apartment to tell me he’d left the department and was entering theology school.
Now a minister, with his own church ─ oddly enough, about a 15 minute drive from the complex, with 5 grandchildren, 4 great grands, he was prompted to look me up on facebook and message that he’d seen an article published about Twin 1 on and commented “You must be proud”.
I get that a lot from friends who happen to see Twin 1 on television or read about her in print ─ “You must be proud ... Aren’t you proud?”. My answer always is “I’m just happy she’s happy. That she finally woke up to life being not all about her” as, for many years, things looked to be ending up a very different way.
So anyway, I looked up the article my old boyfriend spoke of, and read a version of Twin 1’s life that vastly differentiated from what I recall, what I experienced, especially the part that read “I had a difficult relationship with my mother”.
WHAT!? That’s news to me, thought I.
And “difficult” HOW? inasmuch as I was the one planting the seeds of there being a different path than the hard road she was opting to take during the years she was lost.
“Difficult” HOW? when, in response to my trying to save her from the hard life to come if she made such and such a choice, she’d reply “You can’t tell me what to do” and made the choices that ultimately kicked her behind.
“Difficult” HOW? inasmuch as I was the one always there for her, lifted her up when those choices kicked her butt, took her to her knees and she couldn’t get up on her own.
And “difficult” HOW? when I was the one there for her children when she put herself first and checked out of parenting.
Consequently ... if it were “difficult”, whose f_ _king fault was that?
Life is about choices.
My being a parent has mostly been a thankless choice on my part. But I signed up for it, did the best I could to prepare them for a good life under, at times, overwhelming resistance, put my children first, made myself last. Now that everyone is grown and I can focus on me, I don’t involve myself too much with family ─ because family made the journey tougher than it had to be, and I now just want to be left alone. I thought I was immune. That the days of family hurting me, causing pain was over. Evidently not, but at least I’m not in tears this time.
Adding salt to this fresh wound is Twin 1 not just saying she did not have a good relationship with me, but that she’s giving credit for the person she’s become to her grandmother ... my mom ─ the woman who tried so hard to ruin my life.
In a way, I guess mom somewhat succeeded. Mom enabled Twin 1, encouraged Twin 1's choices with her "Go ahead baby, I'll help you" which she never did help. Instead, mom sat back laughing at my having to step in and live with the results of Twin 1’s choices ─ and I did, for like forever, until I couldn’t take it any longer, decided to save myself by moving here, away from all of ‘em ... detaching, healing my wounds.
Now, history in Twin 1’s head is grandma was the angel, I the difficult one.
Am I going to say or do anything about this?
Though the label “difficult” is hard to swallow, I’m accustomed to being misunderstood in this family, not appreciated. That’s why I am so not family oriented. Prefer to keep to myself.
I’ll just be keeping even more to myself than usual. I’ll reply to text messages, but won’t be initiating texts to them. Also, I’ll no longer attend the once-a-year Thanksgiving get together.
Fortunately, I can use the pandemic as an excuse for not showing up, instead of hurt feelings.
And the way the pandemic is going, I can use this pandemic excuse for years to come, or at least until this latest wound heals itself.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Covid Coaster

I think the ups and downs of this pandemic (Covid Coaster) ─ the civil unrest (and her wanting to be involved in protests but none in the area), the not being able to get out of this complex, the not being able to entertain, not being able to visit the people, places, things that kept her on the go pre-pandemic are pushing Next Door Neighbor (NDN) over the edge.
On a rant this morning, I said something NDN didn’t find amusing. Her reaction was to puff up, give me a hard look, turn and stomp away without another word. LOL.
Actually, I said a few things she didn’t find amusing, because I didn’t react to her rants the way she wanted me to. She wanted me to get on the soap box with her, rant, rave, when instead I deflected.
Heading out to run an errand, I ran into The Baker and, while we were chatting, here comes NDN down the quad in a huff.
“How long do you think it’s going to take for them to fix the gate? Are they waiting until one of the cars is stolen?” she angrily said.
What she’s talking about is that one side of the gate has been open for over a week, leaving us exposed to people entering the complex all hours of the day/night AND, like NDN said, it is just a matter of time before cars are stolen or vandalized by some walking down the street opportunist.

“I dunno”, said I laughing. “I’m still waiting for my smoke detector to get fixed”.
Getting the impression she didn’t care for my laughing and deflecting from the subject of the gate, I focused in on her mask said “Nice mask. Let me take a photo to show my daughter”, which of course was a guise to take a photo of the mask for the blog. LOL.

Still communicating in angry serious tones, she said “You know what it’s about don’t you?” (meaning the "I can't breath logo on the mask")
DUH! I thought it was a stupid question, so I gave her a stupid answer, “No. I just got off the boat”.
She cut her eyes at me.
Switching from ranting about management to No. 45, she ranted about 45 not wearing a mask, holding rallies, putting his own supporters at risk of infection and death, taking advantage of his supporters being “too stupid” (her words) to understand he’s killing them off.
“I know”, said I. “It makes me laugh when I see what’s likely to happen to them because I have no sympathy for stupid people”.
I got the eyes again.
THEN, she made a political statement, a popular political statement which I won’t repeat because it is the prevailing belief. When I made the mistake of saying, “I don’t believe that” was when she’d had enough of me. Sucking in her breath at my not believing that prevailing concept to be a fact, she turned on her heels and stomped off without a word.
Color me amused.
The Baker, not wanting to deal with NDN’s soap box, had long walked away, but what we were talking about before NDN interjected herself was what The Baker had done with a financial windfall she’d told me about a few weeks ago.
Some of you will remember Jeep Guy ─ the resident who purchased a jeep just like mine, had a fall in McDonald’s, broken his pelvic bones, went into rehabilitation but had such a bad attitude, was such a difficult patient that they allowed him to recuperate in his unit, with help. At home, he continued to whine cry and be such a difficult patient that he had a hard time keeping help. Then, not able to handle the pain and how his active life had suddenly come to what it was, he committed suicide.
His mother lived here as well ─ not with him, she had her own unit and was in poor health for as long as I can remember. The Baker befriended her, would check in on her, take care of her, run errands for her, was more a help to Jeep Guy’s mom, than Jeep Guy was.
At any rate, the mom passed away shortly after the son’s suicide and that was that .... until The Baker was recently notified the mom had left her a bundle of money.
There would probably be hell to pay if Jeep Guy were still alive, but he’s not. He has a sister, and I’m assuming sister is okay with mom leaving The Baker a nice thank you for all you did for me.
Baker was worried, a few weeks back when she told me of her good fortune, that her windfall would push her over income, at which time, she’d be asked to move out. So, I’d shared with her how management handled my windfall ─ that there is some leeway if the windfall comes AFTER you’re a resident, not hidden and discovered later by management that you'd hidden it BEFORE you became a resident, and that so long as your annual income doesn’t exceed a certain amount, you can be over income but in a percentage gray area that allows you to remain so long as you don’t also exceed that gray area.
It’s complicated  something to do with the Area's Median Income which, with no travel spending and not much purchasing going on, I myself am close to exceeding that percentage gray area. If it happens, it happens. I'll move away from the hanging smoke detector and life will go on. LOL.
Baker had discussed what I'd said with her daughter, and wanted me to know what she'd worked out and that she'd bought her daughter a new refrigerator.
While she was filling me in, before NDN walked up, I didn’t want to ask Baker if her husband was okay. Instead, I worked around it asking “Is everyone around HERE okay?”
She said yes, so hopefully her husband running through my head is a false read.
And that’s all the latest here in my world, except Head Maintenance Guy was walking around posting yet another notice to our doors today about requiring us to comply with the statewide order to wear a mask, and he was walking around NOT wearing a mask as he did the postings.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Déjà Vu

Happy belated Father’s Day to all you dads out there, and single parent moms who are doing double duty ─ parenting as both mom AND dad.
Father’s Day was never big when I was growing up, at least not in our household. Never knew my father, as mom and he separated when I was months old and she relocated out-of-state and that was that until, in my late 20’s, I got tricked into travelling to his funeral. Seeing him in his casket was the first, only and last time I lay eyes on my father.
Mom, a pretty lady, remarried of course ... twice.
Didn’t like my first stepdad ─ father to my sister and brothers and can’t recall a single Father’s Day celebration happening. For sure, if there had been, I’d have not been involved as I’ve never been one to pretend to like who I didn’t.
My second stepdad came into the family when I was grown, on my own, and I liked him. So, I do remember gifting him with tools for Father’s Day until he passed away.
Mom did not remarry after my second stepdad and, having escaped my husband when my girls were only six months old, there was never a Father’s Day celebration with him. So, like I said, Father’s Day was never big in my family.
Elsewhere in my world, I’ve been glued to the news, watching on tv and reading online everything on Bolton and his Book, The Room Where It Happened.
I’ve purchased and read every book that’s come out about No. 45, but I’m done with that and won’t purchase this one, because I don’t want Bolton to prosper as he could have come out with all this information when it mattered ─ during impeachment proceedings. Also, because there’s really nothing new. We all know who 45 is, what he’s done, what he’s likely to do, and none of that knowing has changed anything, so ffs.
When not glued to the news, I’ve been keeping an eye on Nosey’s vacant unit to see if management was going to paint and re-carpet.
They did, but management saved a few bucks by not bringing in professional painters. Instead, Head Maintenance Guy and his assistant did the painting, but management did spring for proper carpet installers.

I’ve not yet seen a cleaning crew, but management may be counting on the maintenance guys to do the cleaning as well, so as to save a few more bucks.
Management is notoriously cheap.
At any rate, we should have a new tenant in the quad soon. Inasmuch as it’s a downstairs unit, the new tenant is not likely to be a handsome active senior.
It occurred to me the other day that I’m the OG in this quad. Not just because I’m the oldest in the quad, but because everyone who lived in the units surrounding me and across from me, when I moved in, has died. Everyone here now came after me.
I’d be spooked about so many deaths around me ─ ghosts and all, except for the fact only one died in her unit. The others were transferred to care facilities, or to live with relatives, and passed away there.
I've noticed seniors tend to give up and let go, rather quickly, when moved away from living independently in their own space.
And, believe it or not, the one who did pass away in her unit ─ Debbie who lived right next door, did visit me a day or so after she passed away. I didn’t see her, thank goodness because I couldn’t handle that, but I could feel her presence and did briefly smell her cigarette scent throughout every room as she passed through here, then moved on to wherever and whomever was next on her visit list.
I’m just back from this morning’s training session, wherein trainer announced he’d no longer be training at that studio after July 31.
Déjà Vu, though actually it’s Precognition.
Remember back in early May when I’d posted about finding myself continuously glancing out the window, looking at the patio, gauging as to whether the space was suitable for working out, because of getting one of those feelings again of knowing something was going to happen before it happens?
I rationalized the feeling I was getting was that Trainer’s studio might not survive, due to Trainer and his partner not being able to hold group sessions upon reopening.
Not having group sessions didn’t impact Trainer at all, as he just switched over to one-on-one personal training, and his partner is independently wealthy, with lots of businesses, so not having group sessions didn't hurt either one of them. However, he and his partner had a disagreement over the weekend, which disagreement Trainer said ended up with his partner disrespecting him in a way he’s not willing to forget or forgive, so he announced to partner that he’s outta there end of next month.
Of course partner realized he’d gone too far, apologized, even called Trainer’s wife and asked her to mediate for him. But Trainer is a lot like me in that there comes a time, and Trainer said there have been other incidents, when we’re done with an individual and there’s no turning back.
I didn’t feel it coming for THIS reason, but I did feel it coming.
At any rate, Trainer is looking for a house with a garage, where he can set up his equipment. If he’s not gotten set up by the end of next month, he says he’ll continue with my training at Planet Fitness.
I’m down with whatever Trainer wants to do, wherever he wants to set up ─ even if we do end up on my tiny balcony.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Got Grits?

I certainly do … have grits that is.
Using the last of my box of grits weeks ago, and unable to find the boxed grits I generally buy since the pandemic hit, I tried what was available — the instant grits that come in packets.
Didn’t like ‘em, too salty. So, I looked around and found my boxed brand online.
Wanting to make sure I had enough to last a while, I ordered two boxes.
Color me overwhelmed when the order arrived and I learned I’d ordered not two boxes, but two four packs — a total of 8 boxes of grits.

I could go into business. LOL. But I won’t.
The sell by date on half the boxes is 11/20, the other half are good until 11/21. So, the reasonable thing to do, just in case the boxed grits become as illusive in future as wipes are now, is to hang onto the four 11/21 boxes, start using one of the 11/20 boxes now, give the other three to Apache to share with residents who like grits.
At least I got my money’s worth. I thought I was buying two boxes at the inflated price of $25 per box when it turned out to be four @ $25.
Elsewhere in my world, I was happy to see everyone in the market this morning wearing masks. The governor had asked nicely for folks to do so, they didn’t, so now it’s a state law.
Signs were posted all over the outside of the market, and I was just waiting to see what would happen if someone tried to enter without a mask — wanting to know if management would enforce the order.
Didn’t see it, but I did see this one idiot wearing a mask incorrectly. It was tiny, only covered her mouth.
Standing in line, watching her nose fully exposed, I pondered what in God’s name was she thinking. Was it that she wasn’t worried about breathing in the virus, only breathing it out?
While I was pondering that, she made it up to the cashier and lowered her mask to her chin — exposing noise and mouth. Shaking my head at her stupidity, I began calling her all kinds of names in my head … like idiot, dumb beoch, test tube baby.

Though technically she was complying with the state law in that she was WEARING a mask (the law doesn't actually say to cover nose and mouth, LOL), the store really needs to invest in some sort of security, a monitor, someone to walk up to people like this and tell them to comply fully or get out.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Locked Up

No, I didn’t go to jail over the weekend. I’m referring to having kept my Sunday appointment with the Locktician to have new growth locked up.

Once again all tidy looking, I won’t have to risk that outing again for another 8/9 weeks.
Actually, though, the risk factor was nil, as the Locktician took her safety and the safety of her clients seriously.
Arriving a few minutes early for my appointment, I wasn’t allowed to enter the salon. Instead, I was asked to wait outside until she finished up the client ahead of me and then wait until that client had exited the salon. Whereupon, watching from the window, I saw the Locktician sanitize wipe the chair, her locking tool and then she motioned me to enter.
That was just the first hurtle, as I wasn’t allowed but a step or two inside before she whipped out a thingy, held it close to my forehead (not touching) and took my temperature. A sign at the desk said at a temperature of 99, you’d not be allowed to enter. I don’t know what mine was, I usually run hot, but it must have been okay because she then wrote my name down in a book and my temperature as “normal”.
Then I was ushered to her chair and offered a plastic wrap to cover my body, which I declined because I’d have sweated like crazy and been uncomfortable. I already had a mask on, as did she and the other Locktician and that Locktician’s customer, as the sign also said no mask no service, and covering my body in plastic with a mask on … I’d have had heat stroke and passed out.
All in all, the Locktician had it going on, covered all the right bases, and I didn’t mind any of it at all. Felt safe.
On Friday, management posted a notice to our doors that they were pleased to announce the pool area is now open (okay) … no guests, limited to residents (okay) … a maximum of four people (okay) … by reservation only (huh?) … new hours of 10AM to 3:30PM Monday through Friday with time slots of 1-1/2 hours, Closed Saturday, Closed Sunday (Well Damn! Why bother reopening at all).
Truth be told, management probably should NOT be reopening the pool, as even limiting to four at a time, seems to me it's still a petri dish.
Additionally, the notice repeated management's mantra — “Our office and maintenance teams will be wearing face coverings. In an effort to follow CDC recommendations, we ask that all residents and guests do the same”.
I’m calling bull sh_t on that one, as I’ve seen Head Maintenance Guy (HMG) walking around here with no mask on since I last posted having caught him doing so. On duty and off duty, the guy is following neither complex rules nor CDC recommendation.
In fact, Sunday afternoon, I saw him, his wife, his little girl walk through my quad — all mask less.
I went to grab my phone, take a picture for leverage — should I need to justify the reason why I’ll not be allowing HMG into my unit for future repairs or inspections.
HMG and his family moved too fast, I wasn’t able to get that photo, but next time, and the next and the next, so forth and so on.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Just Do It

Lord knows I did not want to do anything today, not go anywhere, not even get off the couch, but my mind kept going back to having a Virtual 5K to get off the bucket list. When something said “Just Do It”, I suited up and headed out.

The swag bag included a hair buff, which was the reason I signed up for this particular virtual event. Actually the ONLY reason I signed up because I’m nowhere near over Covid — especially when Covid is the reason I can’t attend my granddaughter’s wedding.
You’ve probably notice varying hair buffs in photos of myself I’ve posted. I wear them all the time, and not just because I like them — which I do, it’s also because they hide my thinning hairline — the result of a previous Locktician locking my braids too tight, and blood pressure medication with a hair loss side effect — a side effect I didn’t noticeto request of the doctor a different medication, until it was too late/damage was done.
At any rate, the Over It buff is my new favorite and I wore it on the walk.

One hour sixteen minutes is well over the time it generally takes me to complete a 5K, but I got distracted multiple times.
First was when I saw a squirrel, stopped to observe for a bit and video it.

Then I watched a few grads celebrating as best they could under the current conditions, by wearing their cap and gown, posing for photos with family/friends on campus.

Now that they’ve put all that time, energy, work into getting degrees, graduating, are now ready to begin careers, I hope they can find employment in this now disasterous job market.
Not quite hitting 3.12 miles, and walking off campus to get to that goal, I spotted this.

I also noticed the drug store in that area was taking no chances. They’d boarded up the front entrance altogether, boarded up the side, but left a small opening as the new entrance.

Overkill? I dunno. None of the other stores are boarded up, but none of the other stores had drugs to entice looters.
So though I had no intentions to get out walking today, it was interesting.
All that’s left on the bucket list is the latest Wonder Woman 5K. I’ve not yet received the race packet for that one and, when I do and complete, I’m going to try to lay off somewhat exhausting 5Ks for a while and do like the old folks around here do — a short mile walk around the complex.
I say “try” to lay off because signing up for 5Ks is addictive.

The hard part is — once I've registered and committed, the actual getting out and doing it, when staying inside on the couch is so appealing.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Plot Twist

Just when I’d gotten my post-quarantine procedures in place — decided where I’d go, what I’d do, where I’d not go, what I’d not do, granddaughter threw in a monkey wrench.
She’s getting married … in two weeks.
A road trip, for any reason, was something I wasn’t planning on for a long time coming.
Pre-pandemic road trips were already a stressful thing, in that I can’t handle a long drive, an activity that day, turn around and drive back. I have to drive up the day before an event, rest up in a hotel room, attend the activity the next day, return to the hotel and rest up for the drive back the following morning. Not to mention all the hassle involved in feeding myself in a hotel room, because my gut issues won’t allow eating out.
All that was pre-pandemic and now, in order to attend the wedding, I have the normal travel stress with the added threat of infection — travelers around me in the lobby, in elevators, guests at the wedding, the hotel room itself.
The couple had planned to marry … eventually and, if the world hadn’t changed the normal travel stress for their wedding would have been manageable, but plot twist — the world did change. Granddaughter was in the process of having expensive dental surgeries when the quarantine hit, subsequently lost her health insurance, so a decision was made to fast track the wedding to get on his insurance.
Their initial fast track plan was to do a courthouse wedding now, a larger wedding in the fall, but courts only allow one guest and they wanted their families to be present; thus a backyard wedding — limited to 15 guests, and a larger reception party next year.
Understandable reasoning, smart and necessary on their part but, all things considered, too risky on my part.
Though I was sure granddaughter would be disappointed if I didn’t attend, I personally didn’t feel my attendance was all that important. Family rarely gets to see me in person as it is, and granddaughter’s mom (Twin 1) would surely attend, her aunt (Twin 2) would probably drive up for the wedding, and granddaughter’s three brothers most likely would be there for her.
So after a sleepless night of considering the pros, cons, granddaughter’s hurt feelings, my feelings, what’s best and right for me won out. Solidified by my waking up to some official on the news saying that because people are stupid ─ my interpretation of her announcement, and because we’re reopening too soon ─ again my interpretation, we are now reaching “Critical Mass” ─ her words.
At any rate, granddaughter took my declining to attend well, when I called her a little while ago, saying she understood and would try to work something out where I can at least view the ceremony on Instagram.
Works for me.
Having received my race packet for the Over It 5K, plan for today was to head to the college for a 3.12 mile qualifying walk. But now too tired from last night's tossing, turning, lack of sleep, that will have to wait until the mood hits.
Getting low on tamales, and having purchased a proper tamale pot, I may spend the day whipping up another batch.
I shared some of the tamales I made last week with Trainer. I walked into last Monday's session saying, “I brought you this month’s payment and lunch”.
He later told me, he’d taken them home to share with his wife.
“OH NO!”, said I. “She probably judged me”.
Trainer got a puzzled look on his face and asked, “Judge you how?” 
Being as how they are a Hispanic couple, I was afraid her expertise in tamales would make her judge their taste, so I told him she’d probably said something to the effect, “These aren’t good. They’re not even close to authentic”.
“HA!” said Trainer. “She wouldn’t know. She’s never made a tamale in her life”.
ROFLMAO. But he said he enjoyed them, they were good and he’d been impressed that I’d made the tamales myself.
Yet and still, I’ll be keeping this second batch to myself.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Am I Wrong?

Am I wrong to be worried about this?

Getting low on the latex gloves and disinfectant wipes I had in my stash before the pandemic hit, I began looking around to replenish around the middle of May.
Wipes were nowhere to be found, and still are. I did, however, find a source for gloves which arrived late last week …. from OUT OF THE COUNTRY!
I did not realize. There was no indication the gloves were coming from out-of-the-country and I don’t know if I’m overreacting, being overly cautious or just plain paranoid but I’m worried about using them.
In fact, when I opened the box, realized its source, I ran and got the Lysol, sprayed the box, then ran and washed my hands.
Am I wrong … Overacting in thinking the gloves may be contaminated?
Not sure what to do, I consulted the knower of all things. No, not God, I consulted Googled … “Is it safe to buy products from out of the country amid the coronavirus?”
The answer was “Yes” but, given no explanation as to why it’s safe, I’m not feeling reassured.
Better safe than sorry, I’ll probably store them in the patio storage area and take my chances and go glove free if I use up the last of what I have on hand before finding a local source.
I was out and about today. First, I ran the car through the self-car wash, then stopped by the bank to cash a check.
While in line, my ears perked up when I overheard a gentleman tell the teller he wanted $3500 from his checking account, because I wanted to see if he had to go through the same hoops I did when I last took out cash — which was to go back to the old withdrawal slip method, plus show picture ID … when I thought my pin should have sufficed.
He did have to fill out a withdrawal slip, but I didn’t see him pull out ID, so I guess the pin is now being accepted in lieu of ID, as it should be.

Next I went to Sprouts, restocked a few items and made an impulse buy.

No idea what I’ll use this little satchel for, but so cute and so me I couldn’t resist.
Back at the complex, walking towards my unit, I saw The Seer walking towards me. My instinct was to wave, but I reminded myself that I was done with her nasty attitude — my smiling waving, her dead eye mad dogging me, not waving back.
Last time I saw her was just before the pandemic. She was sitting across the grassy knoll, on the bench outside that laundry room. Looking straight at me, she didn’t smile or wave and though my instinct was to smile and wave at her anyway, I reminded myself that I was done with that, done with extending myself only to have her dis me by not smiling/waving in return.
Seeing her walking towards me today, looking all dead eye/mad dogging me, I had no problem not smiling/waving.
We didn’t pass each other. She turned off towards the mailbox, I turned off towards my stairs.
On my second trip to unload the car, walking back towards my unit, it was Apache and the resident that made the X-rated cupcake walking towards me.
We all stopped to chat about Apache’s ongoing issues with management, their lawyers, the Yelp comments and speculating how long before the current Community Manager quits or gets fired and, while doing so, I saw The Seer returning from the mailbox, walking directly towards us and she looked so cute in brown summer shorts, a brown top, her gray hair in a bun that I blurted out, “You look so cute”.
She didn’t stop walking — walked her non-smiling self straight through us, but did respond with, “I don’t feel cute. I feel upset” and still walking away, back to us, went on to say how sick and tired she was of her neighbors.
“Are they smoking again?” I asked.
She stopped walking, turned towards us and answered “They’re doing some of everything, and I’m sick of what they’re doing affecting me”.
Same ole, same ole. Always in a mood. Always upset. Always complaining about someone, not getting along with the world, so Apache, the X-rated resident and I didn’t bite. Instead of responding, we went back to our conversation, which intrigued her enough to walk back to where we were, listen in and say she was going to read the Yelp reviews.
I don’t imagine today’s interaction means The Seer will go back to smiling and waving, rather than mad dogging me, but whatever. I’ll not be initiating a wave, she’ll have to wave first — which she won’t and I’ll bite my tongue if I feel any future compliments coming on.