Sunday, December 31, 2023

Friday, December 29, 2023

Year-End Wrap-up

This morning was the last workout of the year.

This afternoon, the last bingo session of the year.

Trainer does not plan to take Monday — New Year’s Day off, so it’ll be the same old same old first of the year.

Next bingo game is not until January 12, so I have that time to prepare myself for interacting with the Usual Suspects for another year.

Bingo today was interesting.

First off was the seating arrangement. Complex Manager did rearrange tables and chairs back to separating us except, instead of two chairs per table, there are now four chairs.

Guess she thinks she’d being magnanimous, allow groups of four.

She also unlocked the refrigerator — just for today, so Red Light, the Baker and Homegirl could refrigerate ice cream for break time’s ice cream sundaes.

What I found that was so interesting was learning that, in addition to the three or four video cameras positioned in the room so management can keep an eye on us …… don’t ask me why because we don’t do anything but play bingo and have the occasional event, but that we’re also being voice recorded.

This I never knew.

When I was standing by the kitchen counter, asking if the refrigerator was locked. I was told Community Manager (CM) had acquiesced to allowing us to use it today, but management removed their sodas.

I made the comment "I guess so we won't steal their sodas and, excuse me, but I thought the refrigerator and Community Room were for the Community, not for management’s sodas and lunches". Whereupon Homegirl told me to whisper because they were listening to us.

The way she found out was that CM told Red Light she didn’t appreciate something Homegirl had said about her. Homegirl knew what she’d said, when and where she’d said it — in the kitchen while she and Red Light were preparing something for the seniors.

Homegirl is not one to take crap or back down. According to her, she strode right over to CM’s office, told her she didn’t have to eavesdrop, that’s she’d tell CM to her face how she feels about her; and further, that if she (CM) has a beef with her (Homegirl) to keep Red Light out of it, come directly to her.

Being called out thusly, she (CM) won’t have anything to say about what she’s overheard while eavesdropping on us again. In future, she’ll keep it to herself or complain to other staffers.

There’s really nothing she can do about the fact everyone hates her, except to work on being a better human — which doesn't seem likely.

I myself don’t have an issue with her — probably because she and I have limited contact; and I often tell others that as bad as they think she is, we’ve had worse. That this CM doesn’t even come close to the horror of the years we suffered under Nurse Ratched.

The other interesting thing to happen in bingo involved our Boebert character.

I’d seen her a few days ago, walking down the street, going in a direction that made me wonder to myself "Where’s she going?"

Heading to this morning’s workout, there she was again, crossing the street, heading in a direction where there’s nothing but a redneck bar and a hole in the wall food establishment.

Inasmuch as she seems to be on a schedule — seen walking that way, backpack on her back when I'm on my way to work out, I began to think perhaps she's working a part time job in one of the two places.

Maybe not, because she was seated at bingo when I arrived an hour or so later.

So, anyway, she has this thing that, when she wins a bingo game, she doesn’t allow me to take her photo for the resident’s website.

No problem I except, she posed for photos at the Christmas party.

So, when she won a bingo game today, I went to take her photo. She held up her hand and said "No!"

"So we’re back to that" said I. Whereupon, she whispered in my ear, "I have a workman’s comp lawsuit".

Okaaaay, but how does that compute when I see you walking down the street like a normal healthy person, headed who knows where, open to those you surmise might be observing you, hired to catch you faking whatever it is you’re alleging, can take all the photos they need, but you can’t be seen playing bingo.

I'm not buying it.

I may have to check the Most Wanted sites to see if something other than a "lawsuit" is at play.

I also learned a decision has been made on the county's approval of that $500 rent increase for those here living on the county roll.

Red Light tells me the county is paying the entire $500 for her, but others are not so fortunate.

For instance, Buttons — our 86-year-old, is required to come up with an additional $200 a month. The county will pay only $300 — something about being based on income.

It doesn't appear to any of us that Buttons can come up with an additional $200, and we’re guessing many others are in the same boat as Buttons — the same or similar amounts.

This is how seniors become homeless. It's a choice between food, medication or rent.

Seeing something like this is scary and depressive, as none of us can be assured of what might happen to us in the future.

Bingo today was good to me. I won twice.

First game, I chose an olive oil decanter from the prize table.

My second win was the Blackout Game, which meant I got to choose a prize from the big table. I chose a blender, as the top on my Ninja Blender has been giving me grief.

As for where such a prize came from, the Talker — being a big spender at the casino, is often given entertainment packages, which she keeps, attends the concerts; and big-ticket items, such as this 10-speed blender, immersion blenders, air fryers, etc., which she donates to the Blackout prize table.

Leaving bingo, heading back to my unit, I thought to check the callbox, see if Meat Man's name was still listed as a resident. Though I am 99.99 percent certain he no longer lives here, and that his leaving has something to do with the Laundry Room break-ins, he is still listed as a resident of that unit.

Lastly, there was a knock knock knock on the door this evening.

It wasn’t Red Light.

I actually don’t have to worry about her climbing stairs anytime soon, because her foot is acting up again. In fact, she was limping during bingo, saying she’d be heading for Urgent Care directly after.

This time it was my Little Stalker.

So there you have it — last workout of the year, last bingo game, probably last tale to be told of the complex for this year.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

The Day After

So that was a short respite.

I’d prepared and planned to stay in Long Beach through Christmas Day, return today Tuesday, with the caveat that, if I was having a good time, I’d extend the stay.

As it were, the great grandson opened his gifts 7:30 Christmas morning, after which I did an early checkout of the hotel and was back in my unit at the complex by noon.

Long Beach was a drag.

I did not get the Harbor View Room I’d requested ─ the side of the hotel with a view of the Queen Mary. Instead, I ended up with a view of a restaurant’s alley. Which might have been cool had anything interesting happened in the alley, but all I saw was restaurant linen being piled up and the occasional worker running through.

Energy in the area has shifted. The streets were relatively empty ─ nothing interesting to see, to do. No longer safe to walk around visiting old haunts due to an explosion of the unhoused.

Driving down the street, I spotted a house all decorated for Christmas. The house had a chain-link fence separating the property from the sidewalk and in a little area right next to where their fence ended, right up against it, was where an unhoused person had erected his living quarters.

Passing the Covenant Manor retirement complex, along the entire outside perimeter of the fence were the unhoused.

When checking out early at the hotel, I saw an unhoused individual walk in, stride right over to the coffee bar, help himself to a cup of coffee, go to exit the hotel, stop in the door to yell something I couldn’t make out, exit, walk across the street, disappear down an alley.

The hotel did have a security person stationed at the desk ─ first time I’ve seen that ─ which tells me they’ve had some problems, but he’d stepped away. Was returning just as the unhoused gent had yelled whatever it was he’d yelled and was walking away.

With extra time on my hands Christmas Eve, having decided it wasn’t safe to walk down to the Big Penny selfie site, get a photo I’d been wanting to take during previous visits but never got around to, I drove over to the site.

Seeing the old guy camped out front .... for why? I didn't dare get out of the car to try to take a selfie. Not to mention, capture an image of the penny's flipside because, if you look closely to the right, you'll see the legs of one of two guys I spied lurking suspiciously behind the penny.

Long Beach has changed ─ a drag and a downer.

Long Beach was not a complete drag and downer, as I did get to see the new baby girl.

Even got to hold her for a hot second.

However, a hot second was all that was allowed because, with so many people granddaughter and grandson-in-law know learning later rather than sooner ─ before they were around others, thereby jeopardizing the health of others, that they have covid, the two are being extra cautious of who comes into their atmosphere as the baby does not yet have immunities.

I was the only person allowed to visit since the new baby was born; the only person allowed to spend Christmas with them. Everyone else has to wait until March, when the new baby will be four months old, and her immunities have taken hold. That included White Grandma, White Grandpa, the Black uncles.

Though I’d been boosted and, knowing I'd be around little ones had taken the extra precaution of a home test before heading to Long Beach, I was yet and still limited to look, but don’t touch — other than the hot second I was allowed to hold the little princess. I wasn’t even allowed to kiss all on the great-grandson as I usually do.

So, after watching the great-grandson open his gifts, no place safe to go, nothing safe to do, no kissing, no holding, I headed back to the hotel, packed, checked out early and drove myself home.

Traffic was easy breezy going up and returning but, because of my gut issues, there's so much preparation involved in travel, and my being so stressed with worry about what could happen as I’m behind the wheel on a long drive since that tire blew out on the freeway, that I don’t think I can do this again.

It's just too much work and, with my being on edge during the drive up and back, going anywhere further than a few miles away is just too exhausting.

So, unless I win the lottery and can employ my own personal driver, this last trip may be my last trip.

First Look

First and Last hot second hold.

The great-grandson was gifted (spoiled) with way too many toys for an 18-month-old.

Included in the gifts from his parents was a pair of toy binoculars and a spy glass, which he instinctively seemed to know how to use.

Shades of having picked up his GG’s propensity for observing others perhaps, LOL.

I'm also told he likes to hide behind doors, jump out, try to scare his parents.

They don't know where he learned that, but believe it may be inherited, because that was something I did through my early years, well into adulthood, and still enjoy watching TikTok videos of people scaring other people.

For sure, the great-grandson doesn't seem to have inherited my adventurous nature, like when I jumped right on the Santa Train at the Breakfast with Santa Event and was ready to ice skate until I thought how an injury could end me, because great-grandson wasn't quick to accept the Mickey Mouse airplane, with all its unfamiliar bells and whistles, as being his forte.

His parents say, from how he was at first fearful of the exercise ball in the room, but has now embraced it, that he has to first observe certain items, get accustomed to before he trusts, and will send me vid when he does.

So, while he was somewhat alarmed by all the bells, whistles, spinning, I positioned myself to where I could take a spin around the room without putting my full weight on his toy (no vid to show you).

I also couldn't wait to try the spaceship he'd acquired since my last visit.

Ready for Take Off

He seemed none too pleased, like what the hell daddy.

So, though Long Beach was a drag and a downer, no kissing, no hugging, look but don't touch, I managed to have a fun time and got to play with the great-grandson's toys.

Saturday, December 23, 2023

On the 23rd Day of Christmas.

Yesterday was my last time to hunt for Sparkle the elf before she heads back to the North Pole on Christmas Day.

With plans to head out for Long Beach tomorrow — spend a relaxing night in a hotel, drive over to granddaughter’s place Christmas morning to watch the great grandson open his Christmas gift, meet his new weeks old sister, yesterday’s grocery run was built around what I could eat so as to not get sick ……… meals I could fit into the hotel’s little refrigerator, heat up in the microwave. Consequently, I needed a few food storage containers to replace those which had outlived their usefulness.

Last few times I checked the corner market, they only had those heavy glass containers in stock. So, after yesterday’s workout, I drove a few miles over to the next nearest store in the chain, hoping to kill two birds with one stone — do my regular grocery shopping and also find the needed lighter microwave safe containers at that location.

Not only did I find what I was looking for, I was able to elf hunt in unfamiliar territory.

Interesting name for an elf.

After two passes through the market, even checking what I could see of the check stands — which was the back, and not seeing anything, I got in line to pay for my purchases, telling myself that, before I left, I’d check the front of the check stands.

Sure enough, there he was.

Had Elfonzo not been so tucked in with all those decorations, I’d have spotted him when I first walked in, because I did initially scan that check stand.

I’m a little disappointed — not because of how Elfonzo was hidden, but because, with a name like Elfonzo, I’d expected more than the normal elf character. I was expecting something with a little more character, outfitted more rico suave befitting the name, like Snoop’s elf fits its name.

So, that’s it for the 2023 Hometown Elf Hunt. Christmas and the elf hunt will be a distant memory when I return on Tuesday.

Happy Holiday Y'all.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

On the 20th Day of Christmas.

I do not yet feel safe. Sense it’s far too soon for me to break out the bottle of champagne I’ve been holding onto, waiting for the day when 45 lands in jail or is recalled by the Infinite Invisible.

So, I’ll just keep that champagne on ice until I feel safe.

Management held its "Christmas Celebration and Crafts" for the seniors yesterday.

Confused by the "crafts", thinking it might be something I did not want to miss, like decorating cookies, I headed on down to the Community Room for the celebration and found residents lined up, waiting for the doors to open, the event to begin.

It was an impressive showing for a Management event. I saw residents in line who had not come out in ages for events.

In addition to the Usual Suspects, there was Next Door Neighbor, the Nice Old Guy — upstairs unit across from me, Church Lady who hasn’t made an appearance on the complex grounds or in the blog for years, the resident who moved in and quickly got a reputation of being sex starved and aggressive with the males and pissed off Church Lady because this then new resident made a play for Nice Old Guy who, at that time, was Church Lady’s special friend.

Last time Over Sexed made the blog was 2019 when she came to the Cupcake Decorating event and proudly made/displayed a suggestive cupcake.

Seeing her around the complex since those early days, she seemed to mellow out, is now much more reserved and, when I spotted her in line for the Christmas event, she was very well dressed …… to the nines, but in a red suit, adorned by a red hat, red shoes, red handbag.

All that red may or may not be a substitute for / more subdued expression of her nature.

Dream Lover was in line.

I’d have thought he’d bring his little Lady Friend, but she wasn’t on his arm. Possibly because Management doesn’t usually allow visitors or caregivers to attend its functions.

I recall one year — I think it was a Thanksgiving celebration, when a caregiver brought the person she was caring for down to the event, could not leave her alone, and was told she can sit with her, but the food was only for residents.

Inasmuch as there was a ton of food, enough for seconds and then some, that seemed silly to me. So, I approached the Activity Director (AD) we had at that time, told her that, since I can’t eat, it leaves extra for the caregiver.

AD thought that was fair, and caregiver was able to feast along with everyone else.

Checking with Homegirl, in line at yesterday's event, I learned "crafts" was a mistake. Told the Christmas Celebration was solely an eating event, that "You know they'd mess it up" (meaning can't do anything right), I did not stick around, went back to my unit, worked on that never ending needlepoint.

Before leaving, however, I peered in to see if Complex Manager’s table and chair configuration had been returned to her previous config.

It had not.

In fact, it looked as though management itself had rearranged everything into one large group setting to accommodate its needs for the event.

So, what I’m getting is ……… although Complex Manager touted her reason for ordering us not to move tables and chairs, because it’s damaging the cheap wood furniture and scratching the cheap faux wood flooring, she can have things moved at will, but we can’t.

Won’t know until our next bingo — Friday 12/29, what the configuration will look like and whether the refrigerator is back on lock or not.

Lastly, along about 6:00 yesterday evening, there was a Knock Knock on the door.

SURPRISE! It wasn’t my Little Stalker, it was Red Light.

OMG! She managed to climb stairs!!! I’m in trouble now.

Amazed to see her standing there, I asked how she managed it.

She said something about her legs and foot being better.

Oh No! I am in trouble now.

As for why she climbed the stairs, it was to bring me a Christmas gift — Victoria Secret lotions.

Nice, but I hope she doesn’t now make a habit of dropping by.

Monday, December 18, 2023

On the 18th Day of Christmas

So few days remaining before the market’s Elf Hunt comes to an end.

Popping in, after this morning’s workout, I checked the immediate area, no Sparkle.

Looked high and low through the Bakery, Deli, Diary. Still no Sparkle.

Thinking they’d hid her pretty well this time, I began walking through the isles, picking up needed groceries as I thread my way in a manner where I could also see the walls and counter near the Meat Department and the check stands.

No Sparkle.

Finally, I’d thread my way over to Produce.

No Sparkle, and by now I was somewhat in disbelief that I’d been stumped, could not find her.

Determined not to give up, I walked the perimeters of the market twice more, taking care to recheck the isles, high and low on the walls, with no success.

Stopping to regroup at the end of Produce, I said to myself that the only place I’d not checked was Liquor and rationalized that, because of children searching, they would surely not lure them to the Liquor Department, but I nevertheless mosied on over to Liquor.

Still no Sparkle.

Dang it!

At this point, standing at the edge of the Liquor Department, having pretty much given up, I saw the Security Guard coming towards me.

Not the hugging guard, but the cute little lesbian guard who so enjoys my statement t-shirts … the Lock Him Up one, the Alabama Slammer folding chair shirt, and the one that says It’s a Great Day to Respect Other People’s Pronouns that now, when she sees me, her eyes light up, she either smiles or gives me a knowing nod.

I sometimes wonder if her knowing nod is her connecting with me as a kindred spirit or her gaydar misreading me as also Gay, rather than an Ally, but I'm not bothered by whichever it is.

So, anyway, when she approached, I said, "I give up. I’ve searched the entire market three times and can’t find the elf. Where is she?"

"I have no idea, but let me check".

Just as she picked up her walkie talkie, went to make a call, I said "Never mind. I just found her".

Talk about being in the right place ..... had I not been standing where I was standing — not IN the Liquor Department, but on the edge, and turned just so, I’d have not seen her as I’d passed that area several times, looked at that tree, but she was hidden on the far side.


They did a really good job of hiding her this time. Made me work for it.

"Did you get your treat?", the little security guard asked as I exited the market.

"Not this time. I just like to find her".

Talk about being in the right place at the right time, just as I stepped out of the market doors, who did I see but Dream Lover walking towards the market with a cute tiny little old Black lady.

We greeted each other, and he engaged me in conversation — asked me a question that, for the life of me I can’t remember, because my mind was so focused on the elephant on the lot.

Sizing up the elephant, she seemed a proper little church grannie, but I doubted he’d met her in church. Far more likely that he met her at the senior center where he works as a volunteer.

She stood pleasantly by his side as we talked. Finally, I interrupted the conversation to ask about the elephant.

"Is this your lady friend?"

He said yes and introduced us.

I lied in saying to her "You have yourself a really nice man".

"Thank you", she replied, and we all went our separate ways.

How interesting, especially since it hasn’t been that long since Dream Lover and Boebert exchanged telephone numbers, and now Boebert sticks her nose in the air and won’t even look his way.

This fortuitous sighting begs the question …… how long has this little lady been Dream Lover’s lady friend?

He must have had her all along, even while he was trying to hook up with Boebert.

Was he trying to trade up or two time?

I try not to judge, but I've almost been fooled by, and actually fooled by too many married men, especially that one guy who chased me for over a entire year, got the office involved, my boss involved, all wanting to know why I would not date him with he being "such a nice guy".

Only to discover, a year into the relationship that developed — with him ultimately falling in love with me, me falling in love with him, that he was the whole time a married man.

Consequently, it really chaps my hide that men feel it's okay to have a bird in the hand and one in the bush .... if that's what he's doing.

Too bad Dream Lover didn’t transfer from the opposite side of the complex to the Smoker's old unit across the quad, where I can’t keep an eye on what he’s about.

He’d be a much more interesting neighbor than the new tenant who, by the way, continues to demonstrate the same behavior as the Smoker — doesn’t come outside, windows shuttered, blinds closed, breathing in bad air.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

On the 17th Day of Christmas

Having taken some 222 photos at the senior’s Christmas Party, knowing everyone was anxious to see the photos posted, so they could share with friends and family, I worked on editing late into the night Friday, started again early Saturday morning and, by late that night, during Midsommer Murders, I finally got everything edited and posted — 157 memories (149 photos, 8 videos).

There went the bulk of my weekend, but I was able to keep today, Sunday, solely to myself — watch recorded Holiday Baking shows, work on this year's gingerbread build.

When I went shopping for what to build this year, I was torn between these two.

Donut Shop

Santa Delivery Truck

That is until I saw this Tree House.

A little ambitious but different, so I had to try.

Setting out the pieces, I found an integral piece was broken.

I melted down some sugar, glued it together and though the crack was still visible, the piece held.

I really like the idea of first decorating the pieces, then putting the pieces together — because it’s easier to decorate that way but, afraid I’d end up with an Ikea project I couldn’t assemble, I did the build first, decorated after.

Would you believe I screwed up yet and still, by mistakenly using the two roof pieces for side of the house.

Being left to turn the side pieces into the roof, I made it work; and once decorated, the crack in the glued piece also worked out — it disappeared under the frosting.

Behold! A tree house in the middle of a field of jellybeans, with a sassy looking occupant.

Front, leans a little

Right Side

Christmas Tree in window of right side


Left side

Back to Front

Not perfect, but good enough for me, as I don't have the patience to make anything perfect other than needlepoint.

I was told the cutest story at Friday’s Christmas party.

Looking in the mirror on my shirt, one of the residents said it reminded her of a story she’d read about a teacher who brought a box to her class. When asked by the students what was in the box, she said it was a photo of her favorite student.

She then invited students to, one by one, peer into the box, see who that favorite student was. What they saw was a mirror which reflected their own image as the teacher’s favorite.

How cute is that?

Friday, December 15, 2023

On the 15th Day of Christmas

Cancelling this morning’s workout turned out to be a smart move as, not having to rush around, I was rested and in a good frame of mind when I went down to the Community Room for the Ugly Sweater Christmas Party, prepared to once again be robbed, as I was at our Halloween Costume Party when I didn’t win Most Creative.

Walking into the room, first thing I noticed was the seating configuration.

As previously mentioned, Community Manager rearranged the tables and chairs to where we were separated into pairs — gone were the big tables pushed together to allow for group seating.


No really good reason. Just because she could, and wanted to flex her power and control.

In addition to her new configuration, the Community Manager ordered us to not unarranged her configuration, rearrange to make it more copacetic for our use.

Walking in, I was surprised to see the tables had been rearranged to suit our needs after all.

Asking the Baker how the organizers (herself, Red Light, Homegirl) were able to get this by Community Manager, she said "I got into trouble".

She would not elaborate but, from the flash of fire in her eyes and the way her mouth tightened, it’s a fair guess that she’d had enough and went toe to toe with Community Manager (CM) — said what she’d needed to say, threatened what she needed to threaten to get CM to cut the crap.

At any rate, the room was how we needed it to be, and the refrigerator had been unlocked.

Whatever the Baker said or did, it probably shocked CM, because the Baker is not one to get fed up, lose her temper. She's all meek and mild, let's people walk all over her, but everyone has a limit and the Baker evidently reached hers.

I'll bet it ended in a compromise — CM backed down, allowed the refrigerator to be unlocked just for this occasion, with the tables and chairs to be rearranged back to her configuration at the end of the party.

The party was a hoot and a holler. We had so much fun.

Residents were feted with Tacos (a choice of beef or chicken), rice, beans and tamales (tamales provided by the Baker’s daughter).

Dessert was German Chocolate cake and jello shots, minus the liquor.

After the meal was The Saran Wrap Christmas Game, where prizes were enclosed in layers of saran wrap, forming a big ball.

The ball was given to the first player to unwrap, try to get at the prizes, while the person seated next to him/her/they/them tried to throw doubles with a pair of dice. Once doubles were thrown, the person with the ball was considered timed out, the person that threw doubles got at the ball while the next person tried for doubles to time that person out, take a turn at unwrapping, getting to a prize.

Folks took the game seriously, unwrapping as though their life depended on it before being timed out.

Others got a bit upset when they'd barely touched the ball before being timed out, because the next person got lucky and quickly threw doubles.

It took some doing to get to the levels where candies, lottery tickets, money and small bags of chips began falling out.

At the end of the ball, last prize to fall out was a gift card.

Next was the White Elephant gift exchange.

Having run into the next-door neighbor of my old buddy Apache at Walmart last week, I’d asked if she was coming to the party.

"I’m broke", said she.

I said for her to come anyway, that she didn’t have to participate in the gift exchange.

Later, I thought to come up with an extra gift for the exchange, with the intent that she’d be able to participate.

Great minds think alike, because a couple of us brought extra gifts so those not able to bring a gift would not be left out.

Most everyone seemed happy with the gifts they’d unwrapped, but there were a few less than thrilled faces and steals where folks liked what someone else had chosen, opted to steal it from them, rather than choose a gift from the table.

This stealing forced the person stolen from to select a different gift from the table.

With sufficient extra gifts to choose from, Apache’s neighbor did not end up with the extra gift I brought. Instead, she unwrapped a gift, and found inside a set of four Rubbermaid food storage containers.

She didn't look all that thrilled.

The Bite Me coffee mug I’d wrapped and placed in a Christmas stocking went fast — was the third gift to be chosen — chosen by Homegirl who seemed happy with it and though others thought it cute, no one pulled a steal.

The extra gift I’d donated was kind of a social experiment for me — a money roll.

I’d strung 18 one-dollar bills together, added a two-dollar bill at the end, placed them in a box with a pull tab at the beginning of the roll.

Where the social experiment comes in is ... you know how we sometimes in life make choices based on how pretty the outside package is, only to later find out that what's inside is not all that great?

Well, I had a sense that, with so many struggling for cash around here, $20 would come in handy, but I wanted to see how long it would take and who would select a package that was plain ..... in terms of life again, the package that looked basic and humble on the outside, not so prettily wrapped.

So, though I had pretty Christmas wrapping paper, I wrapped the gift in plain butcher paper, but added a colorful ribbon to make it Christmasy.

Sure enough, it was almost end of the game before someone selected the gift that was not all glitz and glamour.

It was stolen twice — once by the guy's wife, which forced him to select another gift.

Then, someone stole the money from the wife.

However, she was smart. Instead of selecting another gift, she stole the money back.

I don't know if that was a legal maneuver in the game rules, but it was hilarious!

Inasmuch as a gift can only be stolen twice, the wife — no longer in danger of having the money stolen a third time, ended up with the loot.

That was so much fun that I'll do a money box from now on.

Maybe next time, folks will think twice about being lured by colorfully wrapped packages — end up with four Rubbermaid food storage containers instead of needed cash.

I myself didn't have to pick a gift because, early in the game, I saw my friend Jenne open a gift that was a cozy little blanket and santa mug.

I told myself then and there that, I was going to steal it from whoever had it when my turn came and did.

Try as we did, I came away with not a single elf photo to show you.

Folks did look in the mirror, some screamed, but even with someone standing behind the person looking in, the camera could not capture the image.

So stinky poo on that, but you could have knocked me over with a feather when I won Most Creative.

Prize was $10 Walmart Gift Card, which I’ll use to purchase candies for the gingerbread house I plan to build.

I also walked away with a bag of goodies from Homegirl — earring's she'd made, a blinged out coffee cup filled with candies that I'll pass on (the candies not the cup), and a painting kit, including brush and an easel, to paint a drawing she herself sketched.

She's so creative.

Bless her heart. It was nice of her to think of me, but I don't know what gives her the idea I can paint. LOL.

I will however, give it a try ..... that is if and when I can find the time.