Thursday, June 8, 2023

A Real Plumber

I think I ruined Head Maintenance Guy’s day. I haven’t actually seen him but, because I empath, I can feel he’s pissed off.

What’s worse …. every time I feel his upset, I smile.

What happened was, I put in a workorder yesterday for that leaky kitchen faucet and bathroom sink that HMG had quickly macgyvered up and pronounced "fixed".

What HMG is pissed over is the fact that, in the workorder, I asked for a "real plumber".

I submitted the work order at 1:30 yesterday and inasmuch as a resident recently complained to me there’d been no action on a workorder she’d submitted almost a month ago, I wasn’t holding my breath.

Color me surprised at a knock on the door around 2:00 today. It was Assistant Maintenance Guy.

I greeted him with, "So, you’re the real plumber I requested?"

"I’m A plumber", said he with a slight grin, which tells me the wording on that workorder was discussed and he'd gotten a kick out of it.

"Good, because I’ve had it with your boy", said I.

Keep in mind, the AMG is older than the HMG.

It makes no sense, but the inept HMG is AMG's boss, so my referring to HMG as AMG’s "boy" is a further insult.

Everyone in the office is super careful about what they say, because they want to keep their jobs, so he probably won’t tell HMG I referred to him as "boy", but I’m sure AMG gets that us residents don’t think too highly of his boss and probably enjoyed the dig.

So, anyway, he solved the issue with the bathroom sink and put in an order for a new faucet fixture, as the old one is falling apart said he.

That faucet is yet another, in a long line of cheapies that have since fallen apart and had to be replaced when management did that so-called $3.2 million in renovations.

The refrigerator has been replaced, the stove has been replaced, and may have to be replaced again as I can tell the timing thing is about to go out on the oven.

So, anyway, HMG and I have had issues in the past that had him cutting his eyes at me when we passed each other out and about.

Over the years, it’s been two steps forward as we’d gotten to the point where we speak to each other but my asking for a "real plumber" is sure to send us two steps back.

Fine by me.

BTW, Red Light never did ask me to forward photos from the Memorial Day BBQ or last week’s bingo, thereby robbing me of the opportunity to say "no" and ask why she needed them, but her no longer requesting tells me she didn’t do anything with those she previously bugged me for, didn’t need them, it was just a power play.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Not Even Close

Rough start to the day.

Waking up with the usual run through my head of what today’s plan was to be, I couldn’t figure out which day of the week this was.

I recalled yesterday was a workout day, so thought today might be Saturday. But then, I couldn’t remember viewing Friday Night Mystery last night.

Maybe I just forgot yesterday was Friday and missed viewing the show, thought I, ergo today must be Saturday, the night I watch Midsomer Murders.

But then I remembered the last thing I watched last night was a baking show, and the baking show doesn’t air on Friday.

Now thoroughly confused as to which day of the week this was, I got out of bed, turned on the TV, which the guide indicated today was Tuesday.

Good Grief!, I wasn’t even close. This week has barely started.

Oh well, onward and upwards.

Once I figured out this was a free day — no place I must go, nothing I had to do, I once again tackled the printer issues.

Took a little while but, after a few uninstall, reboot, install, reboot, uninstall, reboot, install, reboot the Smart app finally stop trying to connect to the old printer I’d deleted, began communicating with the new one, and the print, copy, scan functions finally began operating as they should.

Add tech support to my list of skills.

Checking on the patio plants, I see no signs of tomatoes or hot peppers, but decided to farm the bigger radishes to make room for the others in the pot to have room grow.

I’d planned for zucchini salad for lunch, would have included my two tiny radishes, but decided on a S’more and coffee for lunch instead.

S’mores are addictive.

While sitting on the couch, enjoying lunch, I saw a resident I early on called Loud Mouth in the blog, but then began referring to her by the name residents refer to her as — Big Linda.

She was being walked around by a caregiver.

So it’s come to that, thought I, a caregiver.

Long time readers may recall Big Linda as one of three bullies we had/have on the property. The other two being Little Linda (still here) and Ruthie (still here and almost made me lose it in bingo last week when she wouldn’t stop making rude and bullying comments).

Big Linda hasn’t been an issue around here since just before the Pandemic, when she fell, broke her back. Today was actually the first time I’ve seen her since her accident, learned she was still living here, still alive as no one ever speaks of her.

Prior to the accident slowing her down, she tried to drill sergeant everyone in and around the complex. Retired military, she was always yelling at folks as to what they could and could not do, attending events in the Community Room only to "hush" people because she must have thought the room should be run as a library and wanted quiet.

Sometimes, she’d just sit there and put her fingers in her ears to indicate how displeased she was with others talking.

In the process of trying to control everyone and everything, she’d made so many enemies in the complex that residents would spit on her car. The spitting got to be so bad that she found it necessary set up a camera facing the car, then posted a note to the car window … "Do not spit on this car. You are being watched".

It didn’t help her likeability when she ingratiated herself with that horrible terrible Nurse Ratched manager by acting as her Snitch.

When it became known Big Linda was a snitch, I recall saying it wouldn’t get her far because the devil eventually turns on its own minions. So it didn’t surprise me in the least when she went to her buddy Nurse Ratched for some issue she was having with Older Sister thinking that, because she was Ratched’s snitch, she’d have the upper hand. Instead, Ratched yelled "I’m too busy, don’t bother me with that!". Whereupon Big Linda came out of the office area whinning "There’s just no communication! They don’t communicate to each other, and they don’t communicate with us!"

Boo Hoo!

So, anyway, her little reign of terror is now a distant memory.

I feel for her caregiver. Working with Big Linda can’t be easy or fun. That is, unless the injury and so much time alone in her unit has given her time to reflect, changed her into a nicer human.

Talker has "postponed" her move to San Diego.

The two sisters — Big Sister and Little Sister have moved out under mysterious circumstances, saying each is going to live with a different relative.

I don’t see that working out, so maybe they’ll see it’s better with the two of them living together, helping each other, and move back.

Casino Lady, who was living with her sister, lost her sister a few weeks ago to a heart condition but, so far as I know, is showing no signs of leaving the complex.

The guy that moved into the bad energy unit hasn’t packed up and fled yet, so I guess everything is A-Okay inside or he’s just totally clueless to what others might recognize as strange.

That can happen. Some people are just immune, can't see what's happening right in front of their face, and he does appear to be kind of a geeky little fellow.

However, as I aways say .... time will tell.

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Ooey Gooey

Another weekend nearly gone and gone in a flash, most of the time eaten up in trying to resolve technical issues.

It took me all of Friday evening to set up the new printer, most of Saturday and Sunday trying to get the Smart App to recognize the new printer.

Evidently the app isn’t all that Smart because, though I did finally get it to print, I can’t get it to scan or copy.

I may have to call in the geek squad for a home visit.

In between technical issue, I did find time to make a run-down Route 66 to pick up fabric for what I hope is the last baby quilt, in this family, I will ever have to make, cause we don’t need to bring in any more people into this family or into this crazy world.

Walking out of the craft store, fabric in hand, I heard music and realized that, because it was Saturday, the Farmer’s Market was in progress, within walking distance.

Checking the event out, it was the same old same old — all kinds of cakes, cookies, drinks, scrumptious looking foods I can’t eat that I’d seen last time I visited, which I think was April of last year.

One new addition was a vendor offering free grow kits.

What a great idea, thought I, but I’ve got my hands full with the plants growing on the patio, don’t need any more, but it was fun watching the little kids learning all about plants, getting to dig in the dirt, plant seeds in a little pot.

I was wondering how the vendor made any money on this venture as, even if she wasn’t looking to make money, just educate the public, she still had to pay for the spot, but I didn’t take the time to ask or figure it out.

Today, Sunday, started off with giving scanning and copying one more try. After giving up on that happening without technical assistance, I gave up and finally got around to shampooing the carpet.

Hours later, deciding that, after the technical frustrations and the hard heavy-duty work of moving furniture around to shampoo the carpet, inasmuch as all the ingredients had arrived, I treated myself to my first ever S’more.

Ooey Gooey, a little messy, but delicious

First time I've ever used the broiler in all the years I've been living here.

While relaxing on the couch, drinking coffee, enjoying the two little S'mores, I saw someone off in the distance, quickly walking away down one of the walkways. As the person turned a corner, I got a good look at his profile, left side, and would swear it was my old buddy Apache.

Where could he have been coming from? Where could he have been walking to?

I'll have to ask around to see if it really was he I saw, rushing from and to, before management found out he was on the property.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Hump Day

Riding on a high, after the successful Memorial Day BBQ she spearheaded, Red Light is already planning for a 4th of July BBQ.

She’ll probably call on me for a flyer, hopefully not at the last minute but, just in case, I’ll be proactive — set up a template so all I’ll have to do is plug in the time.

Now embolden by residents thanking her for putting the BBQ together, thanking her for "all you do for the community", Red Light yesterday sent a group text urging residents to call Corporate, urge others to also call (she included the Corporate Office’s telephone number), put pressure on them to make the Community Room available to us on the 4th, so we won’t have to be in the sun.

Well good luck with that.

I don’t care, so I’ll have none of it.

I don’t think Corporate cares either, but we shall see.

Last Friday’s bingo game was rescheduled to today so, after this morning workout, I had to hightail it to the Community Room, grab my preferred seat before Hell on Wheels got to it first.

I won again. After which the room filled up quickly with the usual suspects and quite a few newbies so that, by the time HOW arrived, there was very little seating remaining. She managed to squeeze in at the kid table.

I say "kid table" because a regular, sitting at that table, brought her two cute little granddaughters.

HOW must not have been too pleased with where she had to sit because she left early.

Not only has bingo gotten so big that we were running out of space, we ran out of chips. Some had to use beans.

While digging through containers in the patio storage area last month (I forget what I was looking for), I ran across my old button jar.

Good thing I decided to not put the jar back into storage, because I can start using these buttons to cover my numbers in future, let everyone else hassle for chips, buy or bring their own.

After a long long long long dry spell and multiple times I only needed one number to win, I won the big one today — the Blackout Game where I got to pick from the table housing the more expensive items.

Not seeing anything I wanted, I chose something I needed from the regular table — dish washing clothes.

Not a bad end to the last day of the month.

By the way. Red Light did not text me a reminder to send her photos from the Memorial Day BBQ. I wasn't gonna anyway.

Now, I'm waiting to see if I get a reminder to send her today's bingo photos, which I will not. Instead, I'll ask why she needs them, what she does with them, why she can't pull from the website.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Memorial Day

I wasn’t ready, today came too soon, so the day was off to a slow start.

So slow that, by the time I stepped out of the tub, the clock was showing 10:32 AM already.

Holy Smokes! Where did the morning go?, thought I.

Needing to leave for the Pain Cave by 11:15, I had to rush painting my face and getting dressed in workout clothes.

Returning from the morning workout, I would have liked nothing better than to lay down on the couch, take a long nap but, detouring to pick up yesterday’s mail before I headed upstairs, I saw residents already setting up for the 3:00 barbeque.

No way, tired though I was, would I have missed a moment of the barbeque for multiple reasons.

One, I wanted to capture photos, start to finish, to post to the residents’ facebook page.

Two, I heard our Karen character had been invited and would be coming, bringing a dish.

Three and Four, I knew Karen’s Dream Lover — the guy she used to chase and send love notes to until he complained to the office about her stalking and harassing him, would be manning the grill so, I wanted to see how the two would interact. Would she chase after him again? Would he walk out when she walked in?

Five, I wanted to see how management would sabotage the event.

Today is management’s holiday off, which meant we had no access to the kitchen, would have to depend on the patio’s grill and what residents cooked up in their own kitchens, but I just had a feeling management would do something to make the grill unavailable to us — like once they didn’t clean the grill and another time the propane tank had been removed.

It was still early, so I went back/forth from my unit to check on progress of preparations, take photos as folks arrived.

Dream Lover didn’t appear to be having any problems with the grill, as the patio area began rapidly filling up and I snapped away capturing photos of attendees as they arrived.

I saw our former mean manager’s (Nurse Ratched) mom arrive.

That was a novelty as I’ve never seen her participate in any of our events before, not even when her horrible terrible daughter was managing the place. Seeing her up close, I was amazed at how much her daughter looks like her.

She probably didn’t feel it safe for her to join us back in the day, as so many hated her daughter. The two looking so much alike, she might have gotten caught up in a mistaken identity incident.

Even so, there was an incident I believe I blogged about.

She had to be moved from her downstairs unit to an upstairs after someone shattered her patio glass door by throwing a brick through it because, no doubt, it was revenge for something her daughter had done.

Once Corporate got rid of her daughter — not because she was terrible awful to us, but because they caught her embezzling, things cooled off, her mom moved back to that same downstairs unit and has been happily residing here ever since with no problems as no one has or had a beef with her, it was just her daughter.

Karen arrived. I thought I heard her say she’d brought a "stew". I wanted a photo of it, but didn’t see anything that looked like a stew when I took photos of the spread.

Once our Karen walked in, my head was on swivel from her to Dream Lover to capture the when Sally met Harry moment.

To add more drama, Dream Lover’s former girlfriend, now just a friend, was in attendance, sitting next to me and I’m sure she had her eyes on Karen as well.

Karen has been out and about lately, getting to know other residents so, she worked the patio, greeting those she knew and eventually made her way close to Dream Lover.

With his back to everyone, facing the grill, I don’t believe he noticed she’d entered the patio area until she positioned herself to stand at a table next to where he was.

She looked at him. He looked over, saw her, the grill spatula froze in midair.

If some bozo hadn’t stepped into the frame, I could have captured the moment, but I did see her smile at him give him a little wave, he waved back at her whereupon she took her hand and coyly flipped back some of her hair before turning away.

Is that a flirt movement? I’m not sure.

I later saw she had worked her way over to behind him at the grill. Then I caught them face to face.

Does Dream Lover look awkward to you, as though he’s puzzled or not much interested in what Karen has to say?

Dream Lover’s former girlfriend, now just a friend, must have seen the face-to-face interaction as well because, shortly after Karen walked away, the two of them (former girlfriend and Dream Lover) had their heads together.

My guess is former girlfriend was asking what Karen said. I couldn’t really read Dream Lover’s body language as to whether Karen had aggravated him or not, but former girlfriend was grinning the kind of grin I’ve seen when someone is being discussed and laughed at behind their back.

So, all the side dishes were on the table, people were just waiting for the burgers and hotdogs, THEN it happened.

The grill went out.

After Dream Lover and another guy inspected the grill, they declared it no longer functioning.

I read Dream Lover’s body language just fine that time … he was exasperated, fed up.

I don’t know if Karen started his exasperation and the grill going out was the last straw, but he sat down next to me and said "People are awful! People are just awful".

Story is, he'd asked management to fill up the tank in preparation for the event. Management said they would, but evidently lied, because the tank went dry.

"SABOTAGE! Just like when they tell us they’ve fixed a problem in our units, but then it’s still not fixed" said I.

That made him smile. He nodded affirmative on my take of SABOTAGE and high-fived me. His former girlfriend nodded and said, "Yes. I think so too".

No grill to finish the cook didn’t stop anything. A resident went to her unit, brought down the grill from her patio.

By then it was close to 4:00, my Judge Judy time, so I didn’t stay to see when hamburgers and hot dogs were served, but folks were already eating side dishes, so it was all good.

Long time reader Dkzody will remember these leggings I stitched up back in 2014, to wear at a 5K. Sadly/obviously, you can tell from today's photo that none of the inches I’ve lost has had a much-needed lessening of what I'm carrying north of the equator.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

That Four Letter Word

I wish I could say this is a 3-day weekend for me. However, inasmuch as Trainer never takes a day off for holidays but instead keeps his AM appointments, then takes the afternoon off, looks like Monday 11:30 will be business as usual for me.

Feeling energetic after Friday’s workout, I had plans for this weekend, starting with steam cleaning the kitchen tile yesterday, as soon as I returned from the Pain Cave, shampooing the carpet today.

After the kitchen tiles were done, I headed out to use the little hand vacuum on the car in hopes of finding a eyebrow pencil I’d lost in the car, and the rubber tip to that walking cane which somehow had fallen off while in the car.

I found neither object but, as I stepped away from the car to head back upstairs, I saw one of the residents in another building had been watching me. Let’s call her "Lu".

Lu approached with a worried look on her face and asked if I was okay.

After saying "Yes, I was just cleaning out the car" she called me a four letter word I’ve not had spoken to me in more years than I can recall.

She said I was looking "thin", seemingly had lost weight overnight since she last saw me at bingo a few weeks ago.

I understood her concern because, when we see others around here suddenly losing weight, it’s generally a sign of illness.

So that’s why Painted Rock Lady was staring at me so strangely last time I saw her, thought I. PRL had stared intently at me without giving me her usual greeting, and I’d wondered what was up with her.

I didn’t know my recent weight loss was that noticeable, and it’s not like I was even trying to lose weight.

What happened was, my last blood test didn’t look good. My cholesterol and other numbers were so alarmingly high that I was shocked to still be alive. I’d been a dead woman walking, on the verge of a stroke or dropping dead.

Looking for a way to get the numbers down without medication, 37 days ago, I’d signed onto an app (MyFitnessPal) that made it easy for me to track not calories, but Carbs, Sodium, Sugar (CSS), and I began building meals around low glycemic foods and tracking my intake in the app so that I did not exceed my daily intake level.

Losing weight seems to be a byproduct of watching my numbers because, in those 37 days, I’ve lost 21 pounds and, as Lu said I was looking "thin", on the verge of being "too thin" she said, evidently I’m losing inches as well.

Though the carpet cleaner is out of storage, sitting across the room staring me in the face, the energy I felt yesterday is alluding me today, so maybe I’ll get around to that project tomorrow.

Today, I was off on a tangent due to having seen an episode of Food Network’s Summer Baking Challenge a few days ago that stayed with me.

The bakers were challenged with making smores and, as they baked, they spoke to the camera of how they grew up camping, making smores in the great outdoors and making smores while camping in the back yard or on the beach.

It occurred to me that I’ve never done either of those — camping or having eaten a smore, never even saw a smore up close and personal.

When I was dating the cop that I eventually married, I do recall his coming over one day to say "We’re going camping".

He’d spent something like $600 on camping equipment — tent, sleeping bags, clothing for me, and miscellaneous other stuff but, when I realized "camping" meant sleeping outdoors where there are bugs, insects, I wasn't down with it.

The only way he could have gotten me out camping was to rent one of those vans with a toilet and shower. I would have been willing to bend on the van being equipped with a television and kitchen, as I could have lived without a TV and a kitchen if HE did all the cooking over the fire pit.

Needless to say, we never went camping ………… ever.

As for smores — seeing the ingredients are all things I’ve eaten separately (graham cracker, chocolate, marshmallow) but not together, I became interesting in experiencing what the big deal was all about.

Before I’d gotten started on yesterday’s kitchen tile project, I first popped into the market for ingredients, but ran into a roadblock when I realized graham crackers and marshmallows had ingredients that would send my gut issues spiralizing out of control (whole wheat, modified food starch, high fructose corn syrup, soybean, et al.), so I began looking for gluten free ingredients, of which the market had none.

But at least the market was quiet.

For the last two weeks the market had been hosting two different charities. Nice gesture but did you have to shout WOO HOO!!!! every single time someone made a donation?

Being subjected to this every single time I popped into the market for two weeks straight was incredibly annoying, had me hearing WOO HOO!!!! in my head even when I wasn't in the market. Even caught myself yelling WOO HOO!!! out loud to myself, like a crazy woman, for no reason.

Just typing this out is bringing back the memory and I'm hearing WOO HOO!! right now.

It was a traumatizing two weeks.

So, anyway, not in the mood to run the carpet cleaner today, I instead checked two more markets for smore ingredients I could work with, and even drove to Wally World but, not able to find any gluten free graham crackers or marshmallows, looks like I’ll have to order everything online, fit smores into my CSS intake next weekend.

Friday, May 26, 2023

Like a Boss

It occurred to me yesterday that Red Light is rather bossy.

This epiphany is a delayed reaction to when, late Tuesday afternoon, she called to say she, Painted Rock Lady, Talker and a newer resident I’ve not yet assigned a name, are planning a Memorial Day Barbeque.


"Can you make a flyer for us?"


"How long do you think it will take you?"

Cue quite a lengthy pause as my mind processed what I knew she meant by "How long?"

Many years of working under unreasonable bosses has taught me what those words mean. Plus, based on instances with Red Light in the past, incidents I’ve overlooked, let slide, I knew she was expecting me to stop whatever I was doing and make the flyer NOW, putting pressure on me, giving me a deadline, get it done lickety split, speaking like a boss.

The first instance of showing herself to be impatient/pushy, was in the Community Room when they were serving hot dogs at the bingo break. I mentioned I don’t eat hot dogs, that I instead make carrot dogs.

She asked for the recipe.


No sooner than I got back to my unit I get a text, "Did you forget to send me the recipe?"

Jesus F Christ!, thought I, but knocked the receipe out, sent it to her and, since she seemed to be in such a hurry, I asked a few days later how she liked the carrot dogs. She said she’d not made the them because she didn’t have all the ingredients.

Well, if you didn’t have all the ingredients — which I’d told you when you initially asked what a carrot dog was what the ingredients are, then why the rush for the recipe?

To date, I don’t believe she ever made them.

Then there was the time when the Baker and I restarted the residents facebook page and I began adding photos taken at bingo.

Red Light asked that I also send her the photos.

What she does with them I have no idea, don’t care but, not only did she ask me to send her what photos I’d taken, but followed through with "Don’t forget to send me the photos" as soon as I got back to my unit and continued to do so thereafter if she didn’t immediately get the photos until I began getting photos to her a priority — sometimes sending while still in the bingo room taking photos, just to get her off my back.

So there I was on Tuesday being asked how long it would take me to bang out a flyer and, looking out the patio window as Red Light was on the phone with me making the request, I saw she and the other ladies were standing around downstairs, looking up at my unit.

Thank the Lord I’m upstairs and most of them can’t climb stairs, thought I. Otherwise, I’d have had this HOA looking group of white ladies knocking at my door, barging in, hovering over me until the flyer was done.

At any rate, I thought fast, threw a decent looking flyer together, got dressed and walked it down to them.

It took me about half an hour to compose, design, print, with their mulling around downstairs the whole entire time.

In their hands, hot off the press, they scattered to post the flyers in strategic places, and walk around handing out.

In a way it’s nice that the group thought of me as capable of getting the job done and I don’t mind helping the ladies out but Damn! — short notice AND pressure.

Red Light can grate on one’s nerves, which is probably why she and Talker are no longer BFF’s, and I don’t have near as much contact with her as Talker did and I’m beginning to feel annoyed.

At any rate, I’ve put up long enough with how impatient and pushy and bossy Red Light has been. I’ll be putting the brakes on playing by her rules, starting with taking my own sweet time in getting bingo photos to her.

Red Light is not the boss of me.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023


Woke up to the sound of jack hammers yesterday morning. A few hours later, as I headed out for the morning’s workout, I looked around for the source and saw the sound was coming from the pool area.

There were workers there but, with no time to check out the goings on, I thought I’d see what gives when I returned and would be heading towards that area to check on the Zumba for Seniors Class.

Red Light had called last week to tell me of the class, which I would have loved to participate but inasmuch as my session with Trainer was scheduled to begin at 11:30 and the session was to begin at 11:30, I had to say I’d check in after my workout to see how it went.

I usually pop into the market directly after working out, but changed my schedule and headed straight back to catch what I could of the class.

Returning to the complex, I parked the car and just as I stepped out of the carport to cross the driveway, a car came speeding by in violation of signs indicating a 10-mph zone, didn't even seem to be aware of me about to step into its path until it had already passed.

It was Meat Man.

"You’re driving too fast, you trying to kill me?!!!!" yelled I.

"If I knew it was you, I would have slowed down?" said he.

Gotta give it to him ....... He’s smooth, thinks fast. I can’t be mad at him for how he behaved towards Homegirl because I’m beginning to see my (long deceased) favorite brother in him. That brother was also a handsome scoundrel, a bad boy in almost every sense of the word, but he was so smooth, so fun that you couldn’t help but like and not judge him.

So, anyway, making it to the Community Room with all my limbs intact, to catch the tail end of the Zumba Class, what I caught was air.

No music, no activity, just four residents sitting around fuming because, as they said to me, "She didn’t come".

The instructor was a no show.

Will be interesting to see if Zumba even gets off the ground and, if the instructor does appear next Monday, if the residents will say "screw it" and not show up.

As for the jackhammering, management is having the bottom of the jacuzzi removed and repaved.

I hope this crew does a better job than the crew that repaved the parking lot.

When Corporate bought this property back in 2012, they received $3.2 million from the government for renovations.

Said renovations consisted of replacing perfectly working appliances with cheapies (that have since fallen apart and had to be replaced), changing doorknobs, updating the gate and garage doors (also having to be "fixed" multiple times over the years), exterior paint, then pronouncing the $3.2 million well-spent.

It wasn't hard to deduce that the bulk of the $3.2 million, that which was saved by going cheap, went to Corporate Administration.

I think what I'm seeing now is a repeat. Grant money coming in to keep this property up (at least on the outside), build and open more communities (which I've researched and found they are), spend as little of that grant money as possible, with what remains going to Corporate Administration/the Investors.

Monday, May 22, 2023

And Just Like That

It’s Monday again.

Except for a delivery that went wrong, I pretty much was able to lock myself away — not have to go anywhere, not have to do anything outside.

For some unknown reason, UPS failed to deliver a tank top and head buff I’d ordered to be shipped to my home address. Instead, UPS dropped it off at a drop off point for me to pick up.

When UPS can’t get through the gate, for one reason or another, the alternative drop off point is on the corner, within walking distance, a few doors down from the market, but I guess that would have been too easy.

UPS chose to drop the package off at the CVS Pharmacy three miles up the road.

I didn’t even know that pharmacy was a drop off point, but okay, not a biggie to pick it up.

I could have walked the three miles, and should have, but I’m still leery of walking those three miles ever since that guy with a knife scared me off the route, so I drove. Which was probably best because I was feeling loopy and dizzy again. It was like I was sleepwalking as I kept stumbling, tripping over my own two feet when crossing the pharmacy parking lot.

Last time I gave this pharmacy any mind was shortly after the unaliving of George Floyd in 2020. People were angry hurt disgusted venting and the low life's took advantage of that time of upheaval to pillage shops and stores in the area, including this pharmacy.

While out walking a few days after the pillaging, I’d spotted some of the aftermath of two nights of looting. As a precaution to possibly another night of looting, the pharmacy’s front glass entrance had been boarded up, the side entrance glass doors were also boarded, with only a narrow opening to enter/exit.



But for the group of unhoused guys I saw who's set up camp behind the pharmacy, it looks like everything is back to normal, and probably has been for a long while without my noticing as I drove by multiple times since 2020, except there was something weird about the signage .......... I don’t recall ever seeing the "yMas" before, which I read as Christmas without the x.


However, looking at the old photos, I see "yMas" was branded even before the looting. Research indicates it means "and More" in Spanish — "The stores are designed to cater to Hispanic clientele offering an extended product selection, and bilingual staff".

Big Woop thought I, inasmuch as this is California and I didn't see the need to specify, but the signage has given me another Spanish word to add to my repertoire.

After that short foray into the outside world, the remainder of the weekend was indoors.

I came thisclose to getting caught up on the great grandbaby's scrapbook, with only the photos of his first swimming lesson and his 1st Birthday Party to be added which, after those photos are added, is a good place to set aside scrapbooking for a while so I don't end up with a bazillion books great grandbaby may or may not value later in life.

Besides scrapbooking is looking to get a lot more overwhelming, inasmuch as granddaughter and hubby planned for another baby to be born close in age to the baby, initiated that plan and are now expecting a little girl.

Just what we need — more kids in this dysfunctional family.

Moving forward, my plan is to, rather than trying to keep up with every photo, producing multiple books during the year, collect photos and, at the end of the year, put together a book for that time period.

That should significantly reduce the number of memory books, as I turn my attention to stitching up a quilt to welcome a great granddaughter to the menagerie.

After squeezing in a few hours over the weekend, to work on that needlepoint project, I began gleaning the patio plant that looked to be in trouble, as Pam and other commenters suggested, AND whatdoyaknow …………

Color me stupid but, even though radish purchased from the supermarket have long stems and leaves on them, I did not know they grew in the ground. I was waiting to see fruitage from the plant to appear up top, hanging from the vine — same thing I’m expecting to see with the other two plants (tomato and hot pepper).

Live and learn.

So, anyway, now that I know there are radishes growing in the pot, my next question is ……………… when do I harvest them?

Friday, May 19, 2023


I live for Friday, what some would say is "Wishing my life away".

Not that the week was bad. It’s just that my favorite thing to do is to stay inside, not leave the unit unless I want to and Friday signifies my having two whole days in a row — rather than a day here, a day there to indulge myself in doing my favorite thing.

Yesterday was one of those rare days when I was able to stay indoors and, while sitting in my perch on the couch, it occurred to me that, but for the fact I must leave the unit on Monday, Wednesday, Friday to work out, I could easily turn into a complete recluse. Be perfectly content opening the windows to the sun, spotting neighbors out and about during the day while I myself meditated, watched television, worked on that needlepoint project (now in its third year with it looking like another three to completion) and, when the sun goes down, leaving insufficient lighting to continue needlepointing, switching to work on the scrapbook of the most photographed child in America, my great grandbaby.

Having been too sleepy Monday to watch this season’s Summer Baking Championship, on Food Network, I’d recorded it and while catching up yesterday, seeing the new crop of bakers, how they’d fared, I couldn’t help but wonder how embarrassing it must have been for a baker who introduced herself as "Executive Pastry Chef ……… previously nominated for a James Beard award as Best Pastry Chef", to be the first to go home — before a home baker even, and before a guy who didn’t finish decorating or get the mandatory twist on his cake.

First round, the James Beard baker produced a cake donut, which Duff pronounced as "really chewy, tasting like a pretzel that’s not done".

Elimination round, she produced a cake Damaris evaluated as "Leany"; Carla said her water feature gelatin was "Rubbery, looked like a piece of salami". So, the James Beard baker was eliminated, the first to go home from the competition.

Calling 'em as I see 'em, when she first introduced herself, there was something about her that caused me to think I’d not choose her to bake a cake for me. She seemed stern, dry, humorless.

Further judging her book by its cover, I guessed she, as Executive Chef, might be difficult to work alongside of, that she was probably a pill, pompous, arrogant, lording over those she was in charge of, throwing her James Beard nomination in their face.

Going home first had to be the absolute worst humbling experience ever for her.

Thinking about her returning to work, after having failed so miserably, opened the vault and made me think of a guy I worked for at the law firm.

Some kind of personal friend of the General Counsel, who was head attorney over all attorneys in the firm, this guy had just finished law school, not yet taken the bar exam but, because of whatever relationship he had with the GC, was hired on with the expectation he would pass the bar.

This guy came in like gangbusters. He wasn’t mean or cruel to me, it was just that he was pompous, arrogant, pushy, creepy, always had a blank look in his eyes as though the lights were on but no one was home.

My skin crawled when he’d call me into his office to give instructions, because he never looked in my face, never talked to ME. He talked to my pelvic area. With a creepy smirk on his lips and a faraway look in his blank eyes, it was like he had x-ray vision and was undressing me as he gave instructions to my pelvis.

I didn’t like him — no one really did, but being assigned as his secretary, working so closely with him, I saw what others did not see, was witness to the weird things he did.

Like the time, we received a very big bill for the rental car I’d ordered for a business trip he'd taken.

I couldn’t figure out how it was he’d returned from that business trip weeks and weeks and weeks already, but the rental place was still charging us.

Getting to the bottom of it, he said he didn’t understand it either because, upon his return, he’d parked the car on the back lot of the airport rental place, left the keys in it.

He didn’t seem to know or understand that just parking the car somewhere on the lot, without notifying one of the agents, did not serve as having checked the car back in.

Also, any part of his job that he could push off on me, he did. Up to and including, when it was time for him to take the bar exam, he gave me his paperwork, told me to fill it out and submit.

It was an odd request but, of course, I did as I was told ..... except, there was a check yes or no question on the paperwork that I couldn’t just assume, so I asked. He didn’t answer my inquiry. Instead, he just smiled his creepy smirky smile at my pelvic until standing in his office became so uncomfortable for me, as I waited for his reply, that I just exited the office and left the yes/no question blank.

The yes/no question was "Have you ever been in a mental institution" or something to that effect.

I remember thinking it very telling that he would not give me an answer.

At any rate, the paperwork was accepted, he took the exam and failed it miserably.

I can still see the look on his face, and his frantic body language, when he returned to the office the morning after being notified of failing to pass the bar.

He was frantic, running back/forth to the GC's office, here/there like a chicken with its head cut off, and I didn't know why.

Word quickly spread, and it was a secretary in another section that called me to say, "God does not like ugly".

"What do you mean?", asked I.

"He didn’t pass the bar", said she.

The guy never said a word to me about failing, and the General Counsel removed him immediately from being assigned to my Environmental section, into an obscure office closer to his own (the GC’s) office, which was great that I didn’t have to deal with him any longer.

The secretary that got stuck with him called me one day but, for the life of me, I can't remember what it was he'd done that she needed to talk out with me; but she didn't have to suffer long because, from what I recall, the fiasco was such an embarrassment for the GC that the guy just disappeared one day, without a word as to whether he was let go or quit.

I doubt he ever retook the bar exam or, if he did, passed because had he done so, the GC would have wanted to save face, found a way to bring him back.

I know another who failed the bar. It was early in my career, and I didn't work for this second guy per se.

I was working for a small municipality, where he was a member of the City Counsel.

Very nice man, he became a legend for having failed the bar exam 47 times before passing, but his job wasn’t incumbent upon his passing. Passing was a personal goal he was determined to accomplish and, after 25 years, he passed on his 48th try.

Sometimes bad things happen to sketchy people, even when they have a GC carving a path for them, and good happens for good people who persist on their own.

So, anyway, if my assumptions of the James Beard baker are correct and she's not a sweetheart who is highly favored by those she's in charge of, I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when she returned to the workplace.