Monday, May 31, 2021

Memorial Day


Normally, I’d have titled this post “Happy Memorial Day”. However, from the backlash VP Harris is getting for saying “enjoy”, I thought better of using an adjective. LOL.

Isn’t much of a Memorial Day around here but, looking back, it never really has been.

Last Memorial Day, we were in quarantine. Year before that, it was business as usual — a workout in the Pain Cave. Same with this year — I'll be heading out shortly for a workout. It may be the only workout this week, depending on how I feel after tomorrow’s second Moderna shot.

Inasmuch as Handsome Man said he'd experienced dizziness with his second shot, and Assistant Maintenance Guy experienced dizziness with his first, I thought it not a good idea to drive the 15 miles to where I’d gotten the first shot.

Mike had indicated I didn’t have to return to where I’d got the first shot, that I could get the second anywhere. I’d checked with the corner drug store and it was “Yes. That’s correct. Walk right in. No appointment necessary”.

However, when I’d called a few days ago to verify it was Moderna, it was “Yes, Moderna but day after a Holiday is going to be crazy. Schedule an appointment”. Only their appointment schedule is booked for weeks — that is unless I want to schedule a night appointment, which I do not ... not in this area. So, off I go to the place of origin tomorrow — hoping there will be no dizzy spells preventing me from safely driving myself back home.

Last week, I was telling Trainer about the secret camera identifying the duo who’d been breaking into the mail center, as “Two skinny White guys”.

Just like I’d equated skinny with meth heads, Trainer also immediately went to, “meth heads” and added they were more than likely coming from the trailer park.

"What trailer park?" asked I.

"There’s a trailer park behind Auto Zone", said he.

How interesting, I never knew that.

I’ve often heard mention of a trailer park with “dangerous people”. In fact, when Shadow came to live with us, it was said his last residence was that very same trailer park. That he’d gotten into some kind of altercation with residents and had to move out for his own safety.

I just didn’t realize the trailer park, everyone was always talking about, was a hop, skip, jump from here — other side of the vacant field where Tent Guy used to live.

But now, just as I’m typing this, something Shadow said to me, when he first came on board, is now making sense.

Looking back through the blog, it was March of 2018, when Shadow hit the blog as “The New Guy”.

When he learned photos taken at events were posted to the Residents’ Facebook page, he approached and said, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I’d appreciate it if you didn’t put me on Facebook. I’ve got enemies and I’d rather they didn’t know I’m here.”

The likelihood of his "enemies" locating him via the Residents' Facebook page was nil but, of course, I removed photos in which he appeared, all the while thinking “Enemies??? … Don’t want them to know I’m here???” … Who talks like that? … Is this guy a fugitive from justice maybe or someone in witness protection?

It all makes sense now. He was afraid of the people he'd angered at the trailer park.

What didn’t make sense was, shortly after having me remove his photos, he began hanging out in front of the complex, smoking, in full view of anyone walking or driving down the street.

Hiding in plain sight?

I’m also remembering that, after he hooked up with The Seer — back when she and I were still friends, she’d complain about him being out front getting into conversations with people, of a rough looking persuasion, walking down the street. In fact, shortly after he moved in, he invited one of those rough looking types to hang out with him inside the complex.

He introduced her to me as his "niece" and, not knowing who Shadow really was, at the time, I took him at his word.

The "niece" looked to be stoned out of her mind.

Other residents, spotting "niece" on the grounds, looking and acting suspiciously, immediately began to warn others to be careful and, wouldn't you know it, before the day was over, there was some kind of incident between "niece" and her "uncle" Shadow. The police were called and Shadow almost got himself evicted — all this within his first two/three months of moving in.

At any rate, Shadow still hangs out front of the building, chatting it up with rough looking types — which obviously, from what The Seer has told me in the past and her recently hunting him down, she's warned him about doing. But, far as I know, he’s learned his lesson about bringing them onto the premises.

Is it possible the "two skinny White guys" got drawn to our mail room because of an association with Shadow?

Hmmmmmm?

In other news, I believe I made a $1500 mistake in purchasing a new laptop. 

When the only four-year old Envy began loading slow, and some pages and game apps not loading at all, I thought it was the laptop — especially since I’d received a message about parts no longer being available for that model. However, when the new Envy started off loading slow, and some pages and games not loading at all, something whispered “modem”.

The tech came bright and early yesterday morning (They work on Sunday? Apparently they do), replaced the modem, and voilà — loading problem solved.

Even though I would eventually had to switch out laptops, it appears I could have gotten more life than a mere four years out of the old Envy. 

But , Oh Well … live and learn.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Well, Well, Well

Heading out for this morning’s blood pressure check, I heard someone yelling, “SHIRLEY! SHIRLEY! SHIRLEY!”

Looking around I saw Shadow outside the gate, on the street side, motioning for me to come over.

Though I’m uncomfortable with his all of a sudden, since Apache left, paying attention to me — going out of his way to speak, waving, curiosity got the best of me, so over to the fence I go.

He’s all hyped up, excited, saying “Guess who’s coming back, moving back in?”

Of course, I’m hopeful and say Apache, but no. Shadow tells me it’s Bourgeois, the woman who used to have a nail salon in the Community Room, the woman who moved out in February 2020 because we weren’t fancy enough for her.

Shadow went on to say, “She’s in the office right now. That’s her car over there (indicating a black car). She’s back because she has no husband. They split.”

WHAT?!

"I didn’t even know she had a husband”, said I …. and what kind of reason is that … back because she has no husband.

That reason may just be shadow’s take on how he sees it.

He went on to say we only have two openings — Sue’s old unit in my quad and one in his quad, left vacant by a woman lured away by an incentive at another complex.

Bourgeois is a very pretty lady, so I’m sure Shadow would love to have her in his quad. I wouldn’t mind having her in mine either. She and I got along because I didn’t judge her hoity toity ways, as some did. Not to mention, her talkative nature would give me some interesting blog fodder.

So, anyway, I thanked Shadow for the info, continued on to the car and, as I was exiting the gate, I saw Bourgeois on the lawn, chatting with Shadow, Big Friendly Guy, and two other residents.

Not one to pass up an opportunity, I rolled down the car window and said, “Hey girl hey”.

Bourgeois comes over to the open window and I say, “So you’re moving back?”

"Well, maybe. I’m just back from Arizona, had my check ready but now it’s kind of up in the air. They said I’m welcome to come back, but they want me to pay an additional $2500 over the move-in cost, for damage done from smoking.”

This is a no smoking complex, but many residents do violate the rule, smoke inside their units. Since it annoys, and is unhealthy for the non-smoking residents to have to deal with the smell wafting into their unit, it’s kinda great to know there are consequences other than getting a lease violation notice … money consequences if one wants to return.

Bourgeois went on to say the $2500 was to cover the cost management had to shell out in getting the smoke smell out of the unit, repainting. At that point, in her discussions with Assistant Manager, she said things got heated … “I got hot and said, there ain’t no paint that costs that much”.

LOL

She concluded, “It’s money they want for their self. Money that’s just gonna go in their pocket.”

I wouldn’t doubt that. They’re probably taking money under the table from the under 55’s getting units here.

Asking Bourgeois if she was going to pay it, she said, “I don’t know. I don’t want to pay it” and, with another car exiting, I had to end our conversation, drive off.

Even though $2500 seems excessive, she has no choice but to pay … if she wants to move back in, and she’d better do it quickly before someone else puts in an application for a unit and beats her out.

It was a wild ride at the medical center, but I ended up with a passing grade.

Upon arriving, I’d taken my pressure in the car. It was a respectable 132/49.

At the nurses’ station, doing Mike’s breathing thing, the nurse kept asking me questions — like how many times during the week I exercise, verifying what BP med I’m on, who my doctor is, telling me how young I look for my age, yada yada yada.

Though I look in the mirror and see every year of 77, it’s nice to hear others think I look young for that age but the time to hear it was not this time.

I was thinking Hey, lady, I’m trying to breathe here as she yacked on, asking me questions, complimenting me. I wonder though, how she could tell I looked younger than 77 when I was masked up and had sunglasses on.

No surprise that I registered up ... to 145, which the nurse grudgingly said was “okay”.

With her not interrupting the breathing thing during the second check, I registered 119.

So, with that monkey off my back, I headed back to the complex and there was Shadow, still outside the gate, but a little down the street to where the bus stop is.

I think he was hiding.

Hiding from the Seer because, two days in a row, I saw her walking towards him, coming across the parking lot from a direction nowhere near her unit, looking like the women I’d seen on television who went hunting for their man at his hangouts, telling him to come home. And just yesterday, heading to the Pain Cave, I saw that, as she reached him, he seemed agitated — turning his head, waiving her off.

Old people drama. More fun than watching television.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Square One

Having a post office box, to bypass the break ins, was working out so well …… until it wasn’t.

Details as to how it all went wrong are too extraneous to get into, so let’s just say I’ve closed the box and I’m back to square one — taking my chances with the mail thief.

There has been some little progress in identifying the culprit.

Turns out it’s culprits, two of them.

The Baker’s family is law enforcement and fire fighters. I'm aware that two of her daughters married cops, but I can’t say as to how the other relationships are tied in.

Suffice it to say that, inasmuch as law enforcement has been brought in on the break-ins, as well as someone with the postal service, the Baker’s family being riddled with law enforcement gives her an advantage in finding out what goes on here — things management won’t share with us.

It’s been determined the thieves are “two skinny white guys.”

"Skinny" … probably meth heads.

The Baker tells me, the last time the duo hit, they were successful in getting many of the residents’ social security checks — which I’d already deduced. However, along with the camera we all know is in the area, another “secret” camera had been installed — which is how the two were identified.

They evaded the obvious camera, and got picked up on the secret one.

The challenge now, according to the Baker, is for law enforcement to find the guys.

Good luck with that, especially since I’m not seeing their faces plastered on any wanted posters.

So, for the time being, to combat further break-ins, management has deactivated key entry. The mail center is now left open. We only have to pull on the gate to enter. However, the center is only left open during hours when staff is in the office — Monday thru Friday, 9:00 to 4:00 p.m. Weekends, holidays and after hours, the mail center is bolted shut.

We’ll see how long it takes for the thieves to get around that hurtle … if not caught first.

I myself would like to see a hungry boa constructor placed in the mail center during closed hours, to swallow the thieves whole should they return.

Tomorrow is my return drive to the medical center for the annual blood pressure check, which didn’t turn out so well when I checked in on the 14th and opened Pandora’s Box.

I’ve been practicing Mike’s suggestion to take ten deep breaths.

A few days ago, when my at home reading registered 145/60, I took the ten breaths and immediately dropped down to 121/58  (Thanks, Mike for that great suggestion), so I’ve high hops of getting a passing grade this time around, not to be bothered again for another year.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Why? Just Why?

Today was a good day at the electronics store.

I picked up the new laptop, no problem, and the armed security guard did not profile me, did not follow me around, so today was a Win.


Would have been a Win Win if I’d not had to wait for Office to be loaded.

Evidently, the technician misread the password, left a note that the email address I’d given him “Didn’t work”, so I had to wait while the agent checking me out loaded Office.

Oh well.

News this morning is that it’s been a year since the cops murdered George Floyd and, from my perspective, there have been some few changes — mainly that though profiling continues and the beatdowns continue to occur, that it’s getting harder and harder for cops to get away with the usual lies. There are now consequences that did not previously exist.

One case I’ve been tracking is the one where a Minnesota police offer beat, and sent his dog to maul an innocent unarmed Black man, doing nothing but sitting in his own car in his own neighborhood.

Not only did the cop break seven ribs, causing the victim’s lungs to collapse but the injuries to his legs, both legs, where the dog mauled are horrendous — the pics I saw online looked like half eaten zombie bones.

“Injuries left him (the victim) in critical condition, the Justice Department statement said. He was treated in the hospital for two weeks.”

I just can’t understand why that kind of cruelty, from a cop no less.

Why so much hate?

Watching a TV show this morning — "I almost got away with it" to be exact, there was a scene when a cop pulled up alongside a fleeing suspect, pointed a gun at the suspect's open window and fired ... at the tire.

My first thought, and probably yours as well, was had that been a Black man, the cop would have taken him out, instead of the tire.

Why have we come to expect that?

Of course, the cop — in the case I've been following, tried to justify his actions by saying he “firmly believed” the person on the ground matched the description of a person who was seen with a weapon and that he had “acted under the assumption” that the person being bitten by the dog had a weapon on him.

But even if it had been the person matching the description, why would the cop employ this level of excessive force?

At any rate, the verdict came down yesterday.


I was hoping for more, but it’s more than would have been given had George Floyd not happened. In fact, but for George Floyd, the case would never have gone to court, because it would never have been reported as an officer’s malfeasance. Instead, a believable lie would have been manufactured, and his fellow officers — who broke the blue line, testified against him in court, would have held the line and lied for him.

When the sentence came down, news reported the cop cried and said how sorry he was.

I don’t buy it.

He’s crying and sorry only because, thanks to George Floyd, he didn’t get away with it …. this time.

Speaking of apologies, you may have noticed changes to the comments section.

I value the comments of you blog friends, and apologize for having to do so but, because of the bots and spam, I’m trying different comment settings.

Monday, May 24, 2021

I Wish I Could Quit You


This has been one expensive month.

First was the purchase of a new cellphone ─ this after less than three years of use.

Now it’s a new laptop, purchased last Tuesday, the 18th, but which the set up appointments were so tight, I won’t be picking up until tomorrow.

It’s the same HP Envy model as the one being replaced, which was purchased in March of 2017. Not holding my breath the new Envy will last any longer than the four years I got out of its predecessor.

Technology is one big scam, and getting scammier.

Had I not been so impatient, I probably could have eked a little more life out of the old laptop. However, after a warning popped up ─ three months ago, indicating parts were no longer available for that particular PC and, right on cue, loading certain things became excruciatingly slow, with some functions ceasing altogether, I caved.

I imagine it was the constant Microsoft upgrades that so quickly wore the laptop down, but what can one do. The odds are against me.

A captive user, I have to deal with what the tech companies are putting out with their short life expectancy, high costs of replacing cell phones, laptop, iPods.

Speaking of Microsoft, listening to Kfrog (my favorite country radio station), I got a laugh out of a bit performed by co-hosts David and Kelli.

David: “Bill Gates told his golf buddies his marriage had been loveless long before the divorce.”

Kelli: “She got tired of his floppy disk?”

David: “You mean his Microsoft?”

At any rate, I sometimes wish I was not so addicted to all forms of technology, could be one of those persons who could go off the grid, live without television, phone, laptop, iPod and, to some degree, family.

As touched on in previous posts, insofar as family is concerned, some wounds won’t heal, causing me to pay lip service to what family is supposed to be. I go through the motions, act as a mother should, a grandmother should, but I’m happiest all by myself, with my once-a-year Mother’s Day text and the occasional must attend family get-together.

Twin 2 lives in a fantasy world and wants more but, for me, that ship sailed many moons ago.

She texted the other night asking “Are you proud of me ... Like the way I’ve lived my life ... The person I am?”

What the hell kind of question is that?, thought I.

She’s 53 not 12, so it worried me that something was wrong. I replied “Why are you asking this? Are you dying?”

The answer was no, not dying, but that it was important for her to know. “Every kid wants validation from their parents. I often wonder if our dad is proud of me”.

Well, I don’t think that’s true. I can’t ever remember a time when I wondered if my mom, or anyone else, was proud of me. As for Twin 2’s dad, he was not a nice human. Why anyone would value his approval is beyond me. He’s probably burning in hell at this very moment, with no thought about anyone other than himself ─ just as when he was alive.

At any rate, I’m no longer wired for giving the sickly sweet emotional response Twin 2 was seeking. I used to be all love and sweetness and light ─ with not just family, but everyone ..... a martyr, actually, allowed myself to be victimized. Now I’m more like the Tyler Perry “Madea” character, straight talk, no nonsense ─ with everyone.

So suffice it to say, Twin 2 was not happy with my reply that what’s important is what she thinks of herself, but “If you really need to know, you’re an okay kid. You’re intelligent, kind, a bit too sensitive, controlling at times, more like your grandma than me, but yes, I am proud of the person you’ve turned out to be”.

Not caring for that response, she concluded that because my mom did not love me that I “can’t give what I did not have”.

That’s bull crap but ─ just like always with these kids, I'm gonna swallow it. If it makes her happy to think so, I’ll let her have it.

To tell you the truth, I am so tired of all the drama queen stuff I get from her, and granddaughter. Like what does Twin 2 want from me? It’s not like she’s cured cancer. She’s a normal person living a normal life. Who stops to ponder if a parent is proud of a normal person, living a normal life? I'm just happy she's happy.

Twin 2 is trippin in that one day, out of the blue, I’ll get a text from her saying what a great loving mom I was. That, looking back, she now realizes how difficult it was for me as a single parent. That she loves me, appreciates all I’ve taught her. That "We (she and her sister) are smart because of you, pretty because of you" yada yada yada. Now she’s concluded, I’m incapable of love, but she guesses I love her “in my own way”.

That’s true ─ in MY way not the TV perfect mom way she wishes me to be.

Which reminds me of when she was a kid and compared me to the neighbor lady, what a good mom neighbor lady was because “She’s home all the time, taking care of her kids ... bakes cookies.”

“I could do that too”, said I. “But we’d have no food, no money, probably no place to live if I didn’t go to work every day.”

I also pointed out to her how neighbor lady’s kids “Can’t go anywhere, do anything. You and your sister” get to do this, that, the other, “Even know how to ride the bus”.

Damn kids. Do they ever grow up?

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Out With the Old

Word is California’s social distancing and mask mandate ends June 15.

You can probably read my mind as to how I feel about that.

I will no longer be able to complain about people not wearing a mask but, for sure, I’ll still be asking people to back up off me.

And just like I took a wait and see stance on the vaccination, I’ll be wearing a mask well after June 15, as I wait to see how things go out in the world.

When I do decide to drop the mask, there’s still a use for them. Like when I empty the vacuum cleaner to keep dust from flying back into my nose.

Also for when I have to take the seeds out of Serrano Chili Peppers.

Serrano is my pepper of choice and, in the past, the hot spicy fumes that permeates the air during the deseeding process has sent me flying out the front door, choking and gasping for air. Not to mention the times, though I thoroughly wash my hands after, some remnant remains on a fingernail and, when I touch my eyes hours later, causes distress.

Tired of nearly choking to death, but not willing to give up serrano, I got the bright idea last week of using the pandemic mask.


Worked like a charm, so that’s what I’ll be using my masks for long after we no longer have to wear in public

It appears our senior complex has gone multi-family.

From my perch on the couch, I’ve been noticing more than a few faces I’ve never seen before, and none of the faces looked age-qualified for this complex ─ including a young child I’ve seen playing in the grassy knoll every day for weeks, accompanied by an adult male.

The adult male has an “I’m out of work, down on my luck” look about him, so I took him to be a ghost resident ─ off lease/sneak living here with a senior. Although making himself so highly visible every day is a poor job of sneaking.

Not necessarily so, says a resident a quad over, who’d stopped me as I was headed for the market, day before yesterday, asking for my assistance with a downed fledging.

Discussions as to how to catch the fledging, so she could drive it to the vet ─ and who could help her, because I told her my heart couldn’t take it if the fledging died, led to a long conversation about this that the other.

I learned some unpleasant things about her neighbor Shadow, whose unit faces hers. Not just unpleasant, but creepy scary things that not only validated what I’d sensed about him, that he’s not good people, but things that left me thinking he’s evil, Satan possessed.

When I asked her who’d moved into Cat Lady’s unit, she’d said it was a couple, and that I wasn’t the only one to have noticed how young some of the new residents appear to be.

According to her, there has been much speculation as to whether this is still a senior complex or a multi-family.

Did they run out of old people to lease to or it a simple case of out with the old, in with the young?

It may be the former, because this resident told me of other residents who’d been lured away by other senior communities and/or are planning to move/follow friends because of incentives being offered.

I guess it’s sorta like the fast food employee shortage, only it’s a shortage of old people, so it’s an incentive war.

No surprise this money hungry corporation isn’t about offering anything to stay or to come. Instead, they just open up to a younger audience.

Upstairs across the quad Sue’s unit is about ready for a new tenant. Will be interesting to see if it’s 55 and over or a young family who moves in.

I did learn from following up on the story of the 19-year old on Tik Tok, who chronicles how she “mistakenly” moved into a senior living facility that, technically speaking, though a complex can be designated for older adults that it’s “equal opportunity housing” status means it cannot legally discriminate against younger renters.

Going to be interesting to see who shows up when activities ─ such as community breakfast, potluck lunches, BBQ’s begin again. Is it going to be the young, the old, the in between?

On the other hand, those activities may never return because it was Apache and the Baker who spearheaded them. Apache is gone, the Baker will no longer put herself out to help Activity Director, and I’ll no longer liven things up with photos and a resident facebook page.

Nothing will ever go back to the fun way it was.

It was a happy ending for the downed fledging. It’s mom flew down from the trees, pecked at the fledgling’s wings and, shortly after, it flew up to join it’s mom in the trees.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Life is Too Short for Inconsistent Friends

In chatting with the Baker yesterday, as to whether or not either of us trusts this management group enough to get involved with management’s latest foray into so called “improving our current living situation” ─ installing backup batteries to offset upcoming power outages, conversation turned to Apache.

He and the Baker talk on the phone every single day.

I don’t even talk to family members every single day so, though I miss my buddy Apache, I’m glad he can’t call me every day and I’m afraid to call and check on him.

He has one of those government-issued phones, which he has misplaced on at least three/four occasions, i.e., lost and one time stolen from the Community Room, whereupon strange things began happening with my phone.

I’m assuming that whoever had Apache’s phone(s) was selling off his address book, resulting in my getting telephone calls and messages from all over the country, plus my number being used to spoof others.

I once had a woman return a call from me. When I said I didn’t know her, had not called her, she argued me down that the only way my number would be on her call log is that I did indeed call her.

At any rate, it ended up with my having to block Apache’s number, along with blocking calls/messages from those not on my contact list. If I wanted to talk to Apache, or he to me, we’d knock on each other’s door.

Now that we can no longer do that, I suggested to the Baker that we get together with Apache and do something.

She said she’d been thinking the same thing and had been discussing it with the Seer.

THE SEER!? Since when did she begin giving a tinker’s damn about Apache?

After hooking up with Shadow, the Seer went to the dark side ─ became negative, always upset, always complaining about someone, always in a mood, what my mother termed as “sometimey” ─ sometimes she’d speak, sometimes she’d turn up her nose and ignore you, sometimes she’d cut her eyes and give you the mad dog treatment. Apache got the worst of it, because the Seer began badmouthing him, making trouble between he and Shadow.

The Baker and Apache rolled with it. I did too ... for a while because I didn’t know where this not talking to me, not returning my friendly waves was coming from. We’d all been such good friends for such a long time that we, though puzzled, ignored the behavior and let her get away with her sometimey ways.

The Baker and Apache are the too nice too forgiving types. The Baker kept up the friendship as best she could, Apache did the same. When the Seer called him one night to remove a homeless man sleeping on her doorstep ─ in spite of all the hurt she'd brought upon him, he'd actually responded.

I on the other hand have a limit line. After giving the Seer multiple opportunities to straighten up and fly right, when she yet again ignored a greeting of mine (June of last year) was when I moved her to the deleted file.

If and when I see her on the property, I don’t wave unless she waves, I don’t speak unless she speaks.

Thus far she hasn't, so I don't ... and at this point, probably won't even if she does, because once deleted you're gone.

Consequently, I'll have no problem declining a group get-together with Apache that includes the Seer ─ and probably Shadow, and no problem expressing as to why.

The three of them can do something with Apache as a group, then the Baker and I can do something with him, or I’ll get together with him by myself. If the Seer or Shadow have a problem that I don't want to hang with them, for me that will be icing on the cake that the Seer is made aware not everyone is going to cater to her moods and kiss her arse.

Life is just too short to deal with inconsistent people, and this includes family.

Learning Twin 1 was in the area of a new senior building I'd heard was going up, I asked her to do a simple drive-by, get the name of the building so I could check out their website.

Of course, she said she would, but didn't follow through. She never ever EVER follows through where I, her mom, is concerned, but she goes all out, puts herself in danger for the homeless community she serves because she gets noticed. There's accolades from her many followers and press and television.

I'm done with asking her to do anything ever again, but you can bet that, upon my death, she'll milk it for all it's worth with her followers, in press, on television.

Trainer had trouble with his truck this morning and, after stopping by the auto place before this morning’s session, he learned someone had tried to steal his catalytic converter.

The mechanic showed him where things had been cut, but something about the way his converter is situated allowed the thieves to cut what needed to be cut, but unable to remove it.

Trainer was lucky. Hopefully they won’t come back and try again.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Moving Right Along

Looks like I’m good with taking the 2d Moderna shot, as the injection site is back to normal — and without following doctor’s orders.

Having spent my adult years swapping out — wherever possible, natural cures for all the pills and other medicines prescribed by doctors, popping a Benadryl wasn’t in my plans.

Instead, I iced the area, applied an itch stopping crème and Voilà… red raised welt be gone three days later.

Spent the weekend decluttering and preparing for fire season.

Several things motivated me to get prepared … yet again.

First was a notice from the utility company notifying, that because we’re in the fire zone, we’d soon be getting Planned Public Safety Power Outages (PSPS) ... yet again. Second reminder was news of a fire burning in Pacific Palisades, and third was the fire we had, same day as I opened Pandora’s Box, behind the university.


It’s funny, but things I thought were important enough to put on the Grab and Go list last year, I’m dropping from this year’s list.

It’s not that it wouldn’t hurt to lose those things that felt so important last year, year before, year before that. It would hurt, but thinking along the lines of what’s possible to save in a short period of time and what might not be possible to save, I’ve streamlined down to getting out with two things, after grabbing cellphone and car keys — 1) Go Bag that holds important papers, a change of clothing, a few travel sized hygiene products; 2) the Creative Memory Photo Albums.

The 16 albums are thick and heavy, so I’ve worked out there’s no way I can go up and down the stairs multiple times to get them into the car. Instead, I’d toss them over the balcony to the ground and pathway below. Retrieve from there.

Of course, the books would be damaged by doing so, but damaged can be fixed.

In actuality, it would save a lot of time, effort and worry if I had room for a huge water proof/fire proof safe in which to store important books and the photo albums.

I’ve looked off/on at various such safes last two years but, living in an upstairs unit, pounds of heavy metal is probably not feasible. Not to mention, neighbors seeing a safe coming in would automatically think I’m rich, storing money, word would get around. I’ve seen enough movies to know that might not be good for me insofar as tempting the criminal element.

Remainder of the weekend was trying to figure out why the Drive Cam App doesn’t sync with the new cellphone and why the process of photos from phone to email wasn’t going through.

The Drive App is a lost cause. I give up. As for email, I hunted, pecked, researched, I tried this that the other, with no success. Returning from the Pain Cave this morning, I gave it another go. Lo and Behold, I did something right because email began accepting photos.

Not only that, but deleted emails from as far back as 2013 showed up — literally thousands of them, which I had to delete all over again.

How did that happen? Where did they come from? Not a comforting feeling that deleted emails can retrieve themselves.

Also over the weekend, I began thinking of pizza and wondered if there was such a thing as Kale Pizza.

Found a recipe for Garlicky Kale Pizza.

Instead of garlic, which is on the list of things I cannot eat, I massaged the kale with garlic infused olive oil and Voila! — another successful kale creation.


The slice I ate this morning for breakfast was especially tasty with an egg on top.

Also, over the weekend, I leveled up in PokemonGo.


Friday, May 14, 2021

Pandora’s Box

Yesterday’s visit to the medical center was tantamount to opening Pandora’s Box.

That simple blood pressure check, turned into a photo session, calls to the office of my primary doctor, allergy medication, discussions as to whether or not I’d be allowed to take a 2nd dose of Moderna, a new telephone, a 5:30 call from a doctor who is not my primary, and an appointment to return in two weeks for a second blood pressure check.

Whew!

Just before leaving the house, I took my pressure, to make sure there’d be no hiccups.

Color me pleased with myself, stroking myself on the back for a job well done, when I registered 124/49.

The drive to the medical center was easy peasy, and I was called in to see Nurse 1 right away.

Color me shocked when I registered a 155/64.

“That can’t be right”, said I.

She took a second read, which came out as 156.

A third read, went all the way up to 166.

“There must be something wrong with your equipment, because it was 124 when I took it just before I headed this way.”

“Let’s try having you come back in two weeks for a recheck”, says she.

I agree and, as she begins to uncuff me, then notices a big red raised welt forming halfway around the circumference of my arm.

“Oh, that’s from my first shot of Moderna.”, says I.

“When was your shot?” asks she.

“Star Wars Day”.

“When did it start looking like that?”

“Three days ago”, said I.

Next thing I know she’s on the phone calling her Charge Nurse, who comes in and begins taking pictures of my injection site.

Charge Nurse gets on the phone and tries to schedule for me to drive over, see my primary, at another location.

When Charge Nurse is unable to get me scheduled in, I say “It’s interesting to see that even you guys have the same difficulty I have scheduling with my primary. I’m constantly telling myself to not get sick, because she’s usually booked up three months in advance.”

“That’s probably because, now that everything is opening up, people are scheduling again”, said Nurse 1

“Oh no. Getting an appointment with her was like that long before the pandemic”.

“She must be a good doctor”.

“She is. Plus, she’s female and, if her other patients are anything like me, they don’t want a male doctor. I myself won’t have a male doctor, because I’ve got PTSD from things male doctors have said and done”.

Unable to get me in to see my primary, Charge nurse tells me to head to the pharmacy, pick up ice packs and Neosporin to treat the area, Benadryl to handle what she calls “an allergic reaction”, and make myself available at 5:30 to take a call from a doctor who will sub for my primary … a male doctor, but I guess a phone visit is safe.

After she leaves, I suddenly remember the answer button my phone doesn’t work, so I say to Nurse 1 “Oh no. I have no means by which to take the doctor’s 5:30 call”.

“Do you have another number?”

“No. I’ll have to give in and buy another phone”.

“There’s a Verizon Store down the street in the Walmart shopping center”, she says.

So next item to come out of Pandora’s Box was a visit to the cellphone store where I end up with a costly new phone, after telling the guy my phone should not be breaking down so soon — it’s barely three years old.

“Verizon recommends a new phone every year”, says he.

“LOL. I bet they do, at $700 a pop”, says I.

“And the price is only going to go up”, says he.

Later that afternoon …. right on cue, the doctor calls. He’s looking at the photos Charge Nurse sent him, asking me questions.

His advice is yes on ice packs, no on Benadryl, take Loratadine instead.

He asks me to take my pressure while he’s on the phone.

I’d checked it when I got back from the medical center. It registered at 144/61, which elevation I attributed to dealing with a morning of stuff coming out of Pandora’s Box.

With doc on the phone, it jumps to 159/57.

I’m beginning to think the problem is White Coat Syndrome — I get around, or hear from medical professionals, and my blood pressure elevates.

The day ended with the lid on Pandora’s Box remaining open because, doc’s advice was to wait and see if the area is better a week before my 2nd dose. If it’s not, a telephone visit with the primary is to determine yea or nay on the second dose.

I don’t really care because, if you will recall, I was hesitant about getting vaccinated in the first place.

Needing a little libation after a day of a simple blood pressure check becoming a cause celebre, I walked to the drugstore.


A price hike from $4.99 to $6.39 over night.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

What’s Happening Now

It’s been quiet as a tomb around here, at the senior complex.

Now that I no longer have to check the mail box daily — because it wasn’t safe to leave mail overnight with the mail thief on the loose, I have no reason to go outside except on workout days when I head to the Pain Cave. Consequently, I’m not constantly running into this person, that person, getting fed the latest 411.

I did one day run into a resident I was accustomed to seeing at events but only once since the pandemic put an end to events ─ Diane, who was mentioned way back in the blog as having come to a Halloween Costume event as a nun.

It’s been so long that I forget her backstory but, insofar as I can recall, she’d been a brilliant woman, employed in a high-functioning job, until an automobile accident left her prone to seizures and unable to hold down a job.

She came to us after allowing her grown children to create so much havoc at where she was living that she’d been evicted; and once she moved in here, her children continued to be a pain in that, at one point, they drained so much of what little resources she had (I’m assuming disability) that she couldn’t pay her utility bills.

I remember telling her that I’d been there done that and, as difficult as it is sometimes, one has to cut the cord and put oneself first.

I don’t know how that ended, but she’s still here these seven years later, seems happy and content.

Evidently she, like many others, had gotten a pet to help her through quarantine because, last time I ran into her, she was out walking a puppy.

Not seeing her with a pup this time, I inquired and learned she had to put her puppy to sleep because it needed a costly medical procedure ($6,000) and, as she put it, “I have no money”.

Heartbreaking decision to have made, but so it goes when one is on a limited income. On the other hand, I kinda think she should have known better than to bring a pet into her life knowing that just the shots and vet visits alone would hammer what little she had.

My great grandson Patches, a Jack Russell Terrier, came to be family when he was a pup.

Granddaughter was working in the leasing office of an apartment complex and, while checking an apartment vacated over the weekend, found the residents had left the puppy behind ─ no water, no food.

She rescued the puppy, became his mom ... making me a GG and, believe it or not to this day, some 7 years later, Patches shows indication of having abandonment issues from being left in that apartment alone.

At any rate, about three years ago, Patches was in need of a $5,000 operation.

Granddaughter couldn’t afford it, so Twin 2 stepped in ─ even though she herself was not financially in a good place at that time. Nevertheless Twin 2 stepped out on faith, made arrangements with the vet and trusted the Universe that she’d be able to come up with the money on a payment plan.

A gofundme page netted a couple hundred dollars. Then, lo and behold, I was blessed with that windfall which not only put me in a good place, financially speaking, but allowed me to take that burden off Twin 2 by paying the vet off.

Patches .. protecting his new toy


Diane didn’t have that kind of family support and, actually, I got the feeling, now that quarantine is over, she was glad to be rid of the puppy, because she said, “I tried sooooo hard, I really tried, but he was peeing on everything”.

As for other neighbors ... from my perch on the couch, I see The Baker has graduated from a walker to a motorized scooter. The Seer's Shadow is no longer walking on his own, he now uses a walker.

I've been summoned to appear at the medical center tomorrow for a blood pressure check.

I don't think it's necessary, and I'm not wanting to take drives out-of-the-area while we're under the threat of a gas shortage. I still remember what life was like in the 70's when I had to get up early, get in a gas line BEFORE the station was even open, so I could get gas before the lines got too long and the station ran out.

Consequently, I'm wanting not to go anywhere that requires using gas. I'm even thinking of walking to the Pain Cave, but I'll hold off on that until the shortage actually reaches California and our area. Walking to the Pain Cave is easy peasy. Walking back, after a workout, is a different animal.

So, though I don't want to go for that pressure check tomorrow, it's necessary if I want to continue receiving medication, as I've actually been threatened with medication being withheld when I've not complied.

Would the medical center actually have done so?

Put me in danger of a stroke?

I dunno, but I wasn't chancing it.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Mother’s Day 2021


Ordinarily, I’d be spending the day competing in a 5K with Twin 2, followed by being treated to a mani pedi.

The pandemic put an end to that tradition.

Having not made a trip to the spa in over a year, Lord knows I desperately need a spa mani pedi; but even though the spa is back in business, I’m not ready to risk that yet.

Made my first trip to the post office box yesterday, Mother’s Day Eve (Mother’s Day Eve should be a thing).

Worked out so well ─ even with an oversized package of scrapbooking paper being placed in a vault box, that I wondered why I’d never thought of a po box before.

Color me simple, but actually I find the entire process quite fascinating and would like to know how it works that, with so much mail coming to just this complex alone, the system knows to forward my mail to the po box.

Also fascinating me today is my Mother’s Day gift to myself.


I can’t say a salad spinner is any more effective than the paper towel method, to wash/dry kale, and other leafy greens, that I’m accustomed to. It’s just fancier, more elegant … bougie.

Friday, May 7, 2021

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Returning to the complex, from this morning’s workout, I spied a lone survivor.


Time will tell if there are others who managed to fly over the cat traps, stay free.

Today is my Day 3 of Moderna, and the few side effects I experienced were minor and have dissipated.

The injection site is no longer sore.

I only had the one episode of feeling really really hot, which I’ve since learned is known as “flushing”.

I was tired yesterday. So tired that I literally slept the day away and had an experience I’d not heard or read about as being a side effect of the vaccine ─ my pee burned.

Logically thinking I couldn’t possibly be the only one to have experienced such, I did some online sleuthing and found “burning urination is a rare side effect of both Pfizer and Moderna” — .4% of the Pfizer, 0.12% of those having the first shot of Moderna.

Too bad one of the side effects isn’t removing excess body fat/weight loss.

The news this morning was a teacher in Alaska who instructed her online class that, though she did not agree with Chauvin's action, it was Floyd’s failure to "comply" with officers' orders to get in the back of a squad car that resulted in his death.

That’s nothing new. I’ve read similar sentiments, and it saddens me there is an element that just cannot see that years of experiencing the dark side of law enforcement has instilled a fear of compliance with law enforcement in the Black community. Actually, no matter what the topic, there will always be a segment that falls under the category of “There are none so blind as those who will not see”. In other words, understanding cannot be forced upon someone who chooses to be clueless.

This teacher carried it a step forward with "If any of you find yourself in a situation where you are - justly or unjustly - being addressed by the police and ordered to do something, please comply. Do not fight the cops. Don't try to run away”.

I would — run, resist that is, because I'm aware of what can go wrong when one complies.

There are several documentaries about officers in jail now for having stopped women, ordered them to exit their vehicles. Compliance got these women sexually assaulted by those officers.

When I lived in San Diego, there was a young lady who was pulled over, rolled down her window, drove to a secluded spot as instructed, exited her vehicle when told to do so — in other words complied. She ended up raped and murdered.

Terrance Williams was stopped in Florida for a traffic violation. Complied by getting in the back of the squad car when told to do so. No one has seen him since 2003/2004.

Same with Felipe Santos. He disappeared off the face of the earth after getting in the back of a squad car, in compliance with orders given by that same officer.

So many old and new instances clearly demonstrating how compliance can get you harmed, disappeared, murdered — like Philando Castile.

Philando shouldn’t even have been asked for his license and registration, because he was just a passenger and, when he moved to comply, reached for the requested license and registration, compliance got him shot seven times.

If stopped by the police, asked for my license and registration, I would hand over such through a window rolled down just barely enough to be able to slide the documents through.

If instructed "Ma'am, roll down your window", it would be "No. I'm not comfortable doing that".

That one failure to comply alone could get me dragged out by my hair, like the 68 year old librarian in North Carolina, but I would be dragged out kicking, screaming, resisting. I'd try to run/drive away, because I'd rather risk being broken in body, tased, shot than roll down the window, step out of the car or comply with getting myself trapped in the back of a squad car.

Oh ... and by the way: