Neighborhood group participation project

The city decided to redo the sidewalks. We got notified by a sidewalk full of “no parking” signs. The signs were put on the odd side of the street with the next day’s date through that Friday, with a note that there is no parking on the even side of the street. On the even side of the street, there were some more signs telling us not to park within twenty feet an address on the even side.

I called the number on the signs, asking for clarification. The work was going to be done on the odd side of the street and they were going to send someone over to fix the signs. Great.

After they changed the signs, I went outside to see what was done. They changed the signs, but this time, it showed addresses two blocks over, and the signs in front of the house on the even side of the street had been spaced out all along the block, instead of just in front of the one house that needed attention.

I saw two of my neighbors outside looking at the signs. They gathered up the signs on the even side of the street and put them near the house where the address was noted.

The day that they were supposed to start the work, no one showed up. They came and changed the signs to reflect the correct addresses. The next day, they did the work on the house on the even side of the street, but nothing on the odd side.

Four days later, the signs were changed to tell us to not park on the odd side of the street for another week. Great. I called again to find out when they were planning on starting. “Whenever we get someone out there.”

It took another 3 weeks of not parking on the odd side of the street before they began the sidewalk work. The work itself took one afternoon and the next morning. Then a few of the parking spots were blocked off to allow for cement drying. The signs were not removed for another week, and only after my neighbors went and moved all of the signs in front of the original house on the even side of the street.

Now, if we could only get someone out to deal with the tree that is now falling over because they cut the roots when they redid the sidewalks. Three neighbors have already called about it, and all the city has done is put caution tape around it. It takes a village, but apparently not a city, to get things done.

Back at the Gym, Again

Soon after we started 2023, I reached out to a friend to see if she wanted to be a gym accountability partner. She did. We made plans to go three times a week. For the most part, we have kept to our schedule. We had a setback when she contracted Covid, and then my busy schedule has made it so that we are flexible about what day we go.

I have been proud of us. I have not lost any weight, but I can feel progress. Minor things such as not struggling to do tasks that shouldn’t be a struggle.

I now have to add a little bit of my own workouts in order to push myself a little harder. I can do it!

Failed as a Parent

A few weeks back, I got a phone call from my daughter, who is in her early twenties. She had a letter to mail, and she wanted to know how to do it. I asked for clarification. She knew that there was blue box or the post office available, but she didn’t know how to do it. I explained where the mailbox was, and that it opened and you can just drop it in and there’s a little sign on the blue mailbox to tell you what time it might be picked up. She had no clue and was amazed! I asked my other daughter if she knew how. “Well, I’ve seen you do it, so I think I can figure it out myself.” Ok. I’ll give you that one. I usually take stuff to work and drop it off in the outgoing mailbox in the mailroom.

Both of my children knew that they needed to put a stamp on it, so I guess I didn’t truly fail as a parent.

Attention Non-readers!

When I say I’m reading, it doesn’t mean I’m not doing anything. I am reading. Just like you watch TV or movies, I am entertaining myself with the work of an author or writer. The actors are in my imagination, just like the characters that the actors play are in the show’s writers’s heads. I am letting my brain take over the picture portion of the show.

Please don’t belittle your reading friends’s activities. We are not doing nothing. We are just doing something we enjoy.

Bathroom negotiations

A friend and I went out a few months ago. We had a great time! At the end of the evening, I stopped by the bathroom before we headed back to settle in for the night. There were three stalls in the bathroom, each filled with a woman gossiping with the other two women. There was a line for the bathroom. Hurry it up, ladies!

I was the first in line. I wasn’t seriously in need of the restroom, but I needed to go before I left. The lady behind me started listing everything she had to drink over the course of the evening. I’m guessing she was trying to convince me that all that liquid had traveled to her bladder. I let her go first. She seemed more desperate.

Adventures in Getting Organized

When we moved out of the home we had occupied for almost 20 years, we left in a hurry. 20 years of household items got shoved into three storage units. I managed to get the stuff down to two units right away, but then life got in the way and I got settled into ignoring the units until we needed something.

There was a break-in early last year. Some damage was done but mostly it motivated me to get in there and straighten up the units. We got to the point where it was obvious that we could consolidate, but we needed to find help and hands to do it. Then we got notification that the price of the units was going up $200 a month per unit. This motivated me.

We went in and took almost everything out of the unit that we were planning on keeping. Then we started moving the big stuff we’d be keeping into the unit we knew we’d need to keep. We put the stuff that we were getting rid of into the unit we’d be letting go. We worked for hours and lost track of time. We ended up throwing everything back into the units to address on another day.

I contacted a friend of the family who does dump runs and he suggested that I rent a U-Haul since he was too expensive for the trip to the dump that I needed. So, it took me a few weeks and then I finally found a spot on my schedule and I reserved a U-Haul truck online. I gathered the troops and planned the trip.

Pickup at U-Haul was awful. Nowhere to park and they double booked the truck. I managed to get the keys before the second person arrived. She almost started a fight, but I told her that her issue wasn’t with me, it was with management. We were not off to a good start.

We went and threw out so much stuff that we hadn’t needed in all of the years that it had been in storage. I rented a smaller unit and put the stuff that we were keeping but wouldn’t fit into the single larger unit into it. The U-Haul was full and I felt accomplished after we made it to the dump.

I had to go back a few more times to finish emptying the large storage unit we weren’t going to continue to use. On the last day, I went to the kiosk to cancel out the account. The person that I spoke to told me to just leave the unit open and she’d take care of the rest. I got calls for a few days from other people, letting me know that the unit was empty and they wanted to know if I knew it. Yes. I emptied it and reported it closed. I was worried that they would continue to bill me. They did not, thankfully.

I do hope that one day I can find a place and put all of the stuff from storage into a home. Until then, I’ll be storing it for safe-keeping.

Happy New Year, 2023

I knew that I was looking at a lazy long weekend, and I’m having trouble getting it out of my mind. It’s been raining hard, and it’s been cold. I just felt like hunkering down with a blanket, a dog, and books. I thought maybe I would go to a movie this weekend, but that requires me to get dressed and leave the house. I have managed to shower and change into clean pjs. I just can’t get motivated to do much more.

I cleaned a bunch of stuff until I filled the recycling bin. There were boxes and wrapping paper from Christmas gifts, so that took up a lot of room and stalled my cleaning. I’m still working on it, but not as fast.

I met my reading goal and then exceeded it. I stopped reading and decided I wouldn’t finish any books until after midnight. I managed to fall asleep long before midnight, but ended up rested for today. I slept through the time that I would have had to get up and dressed to go to a movie. Nothing caught my attention enough to motivate myself to go.

Because of the rain and cold, we’ve had trouble getting Molly, the dog to go out. She’s been uncomfortable and sluggish, but we know why. At 2am, she decided that she finally had to go out for real. She slept well after that and finally finished her dinner. She went out fine this morning, but hasn’t touched her breakfast.

I’ve worked on goals for 2023. I enlisted a friend to be a gym accountability partner. I have my checklists started. I plan on reading at least 130 books. I plan on posting on the blog daily. I will get into my smaller clothing again this year. I plan on swimming several times a week. I can do this!

I have mostly been reading digitally, but I have a lot of paper books. I plan to tackle the paper books this year. And passing them on, either to friends and family or to the little free libraries.

I have a lot lined up for 2023. I hope that I can manage a lot of it.

2-liter Bottles at the Library

A few weeks ago, I wandered over to Sunnyvale to meet with friends. I had a gap in my schedule, so I camped out at the library there, to be productive while I was killing time. There was a man using the library computer. He was watching autopsy videos and laughing his head off. Already a questionable fellow because of that. I look over and he is about 3/4 of the way through a 2-liter bottle of Mountain Dew with a second one ready to go when he finishes. I decided that I was not going to interact with this guy at all. Nope.

Later that week, I went to the library near the college campus, since I needed to finish homework before class started. I sit at a table with two other people. One person is making work phone calls at the top of his lungs, so I put in my noise cancelling earbuds and drown out almost everything he is saying. At one point, he is trying to get my attention to watch his stuff while he goes off to use the restroom. I couldn’t hear a thing. Those things are great!

Across the table from the work phone call guy is a woman who has her whole setup going. I don’t know if she’s working or doing school work or just hanging out with books and a laptop. I wasn’t paying much attention until she got up to step onto the patio to eat lunch. She had a bunch of food containers but left behind a 2-liter bottle of Pepsi with her laptop. It was a lot to carry, I understand. I didn’t think a lot of it, but it was interesting because of the 2-liter bottle guy at the Sunnyvale library earlier in the week.

I went back the following week, and the woman was there again. This time, with a 2-liter bottle of orange soda. I wonder if it’s just part of what she packs for the library or if it was coincidental. Also, I wondered if she goes there every day. I meant to go back to check, but I haven’t done it yet.

Some Time Away – First Full Day

This is another continuation of Some Time Away – The Days Before Departure and Some Time Away – Day of Departure.

I got up early, because that is what I do. I gathered up the books I want to read today. I made a pile and brought everything out to where my laptop was sitting. I went back into the bedroom and started to put on my contacts. Something distracted me and I found myself in the kitchen making coffee. I realized that I had only put one contact in. I wandered back into the bedroom and fixed that.

I did my laundry and realized that the washer was washing everything on hot. Great. Maintenance came by to find that when the washer was installed, they switched the hoses. The next loads should be better, I hope.

I started reading several books. One was for my bookclub meeting for Monday. Others had other due dates. Because I read multiple books, this wasn’t a big deal. Every little bit helps get me to my goal.

The weather was cold, so I put off my trip to the pool until it warmed up at 4pm. I sat in the hot tub for about twenty minutes and then headed back for dinner.

I didn’t really get much accomplished, but it’s vacation, right?

Some Time Away – Day of Departure

Here’s the continuation from Some Time Away – The Days Before Departure.

As I sat in traffic, I was making phone calls. A friend was checking on me to see what I would be doing while I was away. I made a list. He laughed because I had a list for my quiet time, and it was supposed to be relaxing time. The things on the list were relaxing, but there were a lot of things planned. I had three bins of books packed because I couldn’t decide what to read since nothing was technically assigned. I plan on swimming daily. I want to watch season two of Only Murderers in the Building. Most importantly, I needed to finish that last paper and submit it by midnight.

As I am driving, I note that the deadline for submitting the 2500-word paper had come and gone. Thankfully, I had stopped to get it in. The GPS said I would be arriving at the condo at around 7:15 pm. Plenty of time to get the 1600-word paper written and submitted, since it was almost done. I was just crawling along in traffic, but I felt ok about it. I ended up pulling over to get some caffeine, since I didn’t know how long traffic would last. It ended up being a good decision since I ended up on a frontage road and bypassed a lot of the traffic. The GPS still said the same arrival time, but at least I was moving!

I got to the condo and unpacked the car with help from my mom. I threw everything into my room and pulled out the laptop. I started writing and then realized that I didn’t change the font type on the 2500-word paper, even thought I was supposed to! Oh, no! At this point, it would be considered late if I resubmitted. I decided that I would have points taken off, either way, and that there might be fewer points off for the font than for tardiness? 50/50. Done is better than perfect, I suppose.

I finished the paper right around 8pm and submitted with plenty of time to spare. I settled down to eat and relax. I unpacked and got ready to go to bed. I was running around a bit, so I didn’t hear my phone ring. My older daughter called around 11pm. I tried to call her back, but she had already called my mom. Her car broke down on the way to pick up my younger daughter from the concert. She had Molly, the dog, with her, so she was trying to figure out what to do.

I ended up talking to her, and it looks like she had something crack or come loose in the cooling system of the car. I told her to have it towed, but the mechanic wouldn’t open until morning. She was working on getting my younger daughter to her, so at least she wouldn’t be alone, with the dog. She couldn’t take the dog in the tow truck, so we were trying to figure out how to do this. I suggested that my youngest go home in Uber and get her car and go back and get the dog. $60 and over an hour wait for the Uber. Suddenly, my mom suggested a cousin who has dogs and lived nearby. Yes, the cousin would come! The tow truck would be at least 2 hours, though. How would we do this? Someone pulled out of a parking spot right in front of the girls. They put the car into the spot and decided to wait until morning for the tow. The cousin arrived and took the girls and the dog home. She and Molly fell in love with each other, according to my daughter.

Everyone was safe, so now I have to figure out how to pay for repairs once the kids get to a place where we know what’s wrong with the car. It has to be towed still, then diagnosed, then I have time to figure out how to get money to the mechanic. We also have to figure out how to get the turtle fed with no car. She can walk or get a ride from her sister, but she’s solo after Monday morning. We’ll see. Hopefully the car is a quick fix.

Not really a great start to a relaxing time away.