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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

She Flipped Me the Bird!

‘Twas a very busy day: contractors, laundry and the roofers showed up a day early.

The roofers came with a large flatbed truck, with a boom to load shingles up on the rooftop. This meant we had to scramble to have the tenants move all cars out of the lot, and luckily, most were at work, but just the same, who wants to be hustled to jockey cars around on your day off?

While Al and I were standing on the deck watching the foreman wave his truck in, women in a SUV drove up, asked to be let into the parking lot as, “They were only dropping off.” And the foreman obliged.

I knew the SUV; they are friends of a difficult tenant. The request to pull in was not an issue, however, the passenger glaring at me as they drove in, then twisting her head around to continue staring at me was bizarre.

As they backed out, the passenger was still staring as she passed me, her hands laying across her belly, I saw her repeatedly flick her middle finger. There was no mistaking the grin on her face and her hand gesture. I leaned over to Al and laughed, “She flipped me the bird!”

The driver stopped short, her passenger rolled down her window and began shouting, “I was talking to my friend! Aren’t I allowed to talk to my friend? You got a problem with that?!”


SUV pulled forward, yelling.

SUV backed up, more yelling.

Me: “You weren’t talking, you flipped me the bird!”

Obviously she wanted to pick a fight: with her window rolled up, she could not possibly have heard what I said to Al. Since her lips did not move until she began yelling and cursing at me, I must assume that she and her friend communicate telepathically, unless of course, repeatedly flicking a middle finger was a new kind of sign language for the driver to read.

As she threw her car back into reverse, I replied, “Birds of a feather flock together.” Translation, you are friends with the most complained about tenant; your behavior is no surprise.

While backing out of the lot, the driver almost plowed into a car driving down the street.

Shucks, I would have enjoyed being an eyewitness for the police and insurance adjusters.

A while later, a tenant who had witnessed the great bird flip off, asked if I ‘was okay?’ and ‘who were those people?’ I mentioned the name. I heard the eye roll through the phone.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

There’s a Teenager Back in the House!

My brother-in-laws’s great-grandson has come for a visit, and Wow! the similarities to my own son when he was a teenager makes me laugh, and groan.

The two young men have many things in common: both real smart, interests all over the globe and questions I don’t get (back then or now), my son was glued to the sports channel and the telephone, this one to the Internet and iPhone.

My son has completed 10 years of military service, this one is going in: Smart choices for both, but scary with the world in continuous turmoil.

Now to be clear, I do enjoy his company…but he is 18. The only cure for 18 is 25.

And the following is just a humorous list of what a teenager brings to any house.

They take up a lot of room!

Not kidding: shoes, jackets, towels, power cords (and the attached electronics) are strewn from the front door, all the way through to the bathroom.

We have a sofa and a big lounge chair: He extends the lounge chair all the way, foot rest extended, then lays on the sofa and uses the chair as his foot rest.


What is there to eat? My son could eat a box of Coco Puffs a day, this one devours bread.

I rarely buy snacks such as potato chips, cakes and only a few cookies. Snacks are a piece of fruit or crackers with cheese, or the best…peanut butter and jelly. He will adapt.


I am not a restaurant. If I give a choice of meals, rest assured, what was not chosen for tonight’s meal will be served tomorrow night.

Meals will not be held until one is finished playing a video game.


Ok, teens stay up all night, sleep all day, I remember that. However, it is amazing that the sound of the mouse clicking on a video game can actually wake me up. In the morning, I do kick him off the sofa and send him to his Grandpa’s bedroom. He needs to sleep and I need my living room.


Placing his laptop on top of my laptop on my desk is NOT multi-purposing! I found one of those tables with wheels that slide under a chair and set up his own station.

He borrowed my mouse. I found another just for him.

He appropriated my mouse pad: Since I couldn’t find a spare pad in my computer junk drawer, he was out of luck, I took mine back.

Power cords are a life-saver with multiple electronics added to the home.

But the Bonus: Chores

Yaaay, he takes out the trash! When my son moved out a dozen years ago, I had to do this myself. I HATE carrying out the trash!

He does carry the laundry basket down a flight of stairs to the laundry room, and back up again. (In all fairness, laundry has nearly doubled this week.)

He helped me clean out the dreaded Machine Room. It is the furnace and workroom, full of tools, spare parts, A/Cs, shovels, rakes, heck, the shebang is down there. Frankly, I have been putting off cleaning this room, but with a young man who can haul out old windows, scrap wood and general junk, the room was put back together in a very short while.

He hauled all the planters to the back of the building.

The bags of Ice Melt were dragged out, poured into buckets and tubs, and now we are ready for winter ice and snow.

He does say, ‘Thank you.’ He also gives hugs.

The Great Cat Litter Trail:
The Grinch Struck Again

At the base of the main, front stairwell was a large pool of cat litter;

  • It traveled down the last two stairs;
  • It continued down the sidewalk
  • The culprit paused in front of the rock garden, and left a plant food packet (the kind the florist gives to put in a vase);
  • The trail of cat litter continued down the sidewalk;
  • It meandered over the parking lot, to the side of the dumpster enclosure;
  • It ended inside the enclosure.
One has to wonder?

Who in the middle of the night, would waste a 1–2 bags of cat litter to painstakingly pour out a trail 3¬4” wide and 50’ long?

Since I had spent 2 days working in the rock garden, under the feature wall, the florist plant food packet left there, perhaps was a message for me?

Was this the work of the Infamous Garden Grinch who has been ripping plants out, and who has been seen planting cigarette butts in the gardens and flowerpots?

Later, several of us were standing at the end of the driveway, chatting and laughing, someone from the back of the parking lot, up on the third floor demanded that we stop talking about her.

Really, as your name was NOT mentioned and you were more than 50’ away, could not possible hear the conversation, one has to wonder about your guilt.

My reply: “I don’t take orders from you,” and we all walked away, still laughing.

Guilt confirmed. Someone needs to get over themselves, get a job, get a grip, and get a life.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Ya Can Take the Cat out of the Jungle,
But Can’t Take the Jungle Out of the Cat!

This is my mighty hunter perched on the windowsill, with her head through the cat door flap, surveying her territory. Five pounds of Queen of the Apartment Complex.

Yes, my kitty reverted to her jungle roots once again. She burst through her little cat door in the window with a bird in her mouth.

I yelled and threw my jacket at her.

It worked—she dropped the bird.

I chased the cat and actually caught her then walked out the front door and onto the deck still clutching her in my arms.

Now what do I do with her!?

My neighbors saw me, asked what I was doing, and when I told them about the bird, they laughed at me. I threatened to toss her over the railing, but no one believed me.

Still clutching the cat, I went back inside and spotted the bird now fluttering around the furniture. The cat went nuts trying to get out of my arms. I tossed the cat in the bathroom and firmly closed the door.

Al and I are now cheering for the non-dead bird flitting around the living room and laughing at the cat yowling from behind the bathroom door.

The poor bird finally found its way out through the open storm door. I watched it fly down into the parking lot. It was stunned, but it did fly away to safety.

We let the cat out of the bathroom and laughed as she hunted around the furniture, sniffing behind every piece of furniture and knick-knack that the bird had landed upon. It really was amazing to wonder just how the cat only checked the places that the bird had been. Just how much scent could that bird have left in just the few moments of flitting around the room and briefly landing on random furniture?

And the cat actually sulked for a few days. She would NOT come near either of us. Did not want us to pet her, would not answer when we called.

But don’t worry, a few days later she found a mouse.


Winter Storm Names 2014-15

The following is from the Weather Channel, They have again chosen 25 names to be used for storms in the 2014-2015. Their web site even has a challenge to vote on the name for “W”: Warren, Wilda, Willie, Woden or Wolf.

Ocean Effect Snow !?!?

Today was a Nor’easter called Damon, pretty easy on Central Jersey, but did wreak havoc everywhere else, including airlines. It had the usual: high winds, biting cold and torrential rain, and SNOW! It also gave us the new term Ocean Effect Snow!? I even Googled it and I think the weather people are just screwing with us.

Astro (as-tro) – In Greek, it means star.

Bozeman – In honor of the Miss Shupe’s Bozeman High School Latin class, which provided the 2013-2014 list of winter storm names.

Cato (cay-to) – The name of a Roman statesman and his great-grandson, who were both known for integrity.

Damon (day-mon) – From Greek mythology; known for his loyalty.

Eris (air-is) – From Greek mythology; the goddess of discord.

Frona (froh-na) – Greek, short for Sofronia; related to the word for wise.

Gorgon (gore-gon) – From Greek mythology, one of three monsters; serpentine humanoids.

Hektor (hek-tor) – From Greek mythology, the Trojan champion who was killed by Achilles.

Iola (eye-oh-la) – From Greek mythology, a variant spelling of IolĂ«, a beautiful woman who Hercules wanted to marry, but could not.

Juno (joo-no) – From Roman mythology, a goddess who looked after the women of Rome.

Kari (care-ey) – A Finnish name derived from the Greek name Makarios from old-Greek meaning blessed or happy.

Linus (ly-nus) – From Greek Mythology, a son of Apollo known as a great musician.

Marcus (mar-cuss) – An Ancient Roman name referring to Mars, the god of war.

Neptune (nep-toon) – From Roman mythology, the god of the sea.

Octavia (ok-tay-vee-a) – The sister of the first Roman Emperor, Augustus, who was also known as Octavian.

Pandora (pan-door-a) – From Greek mythology, the first human woman created by the gods.

Quantum (kwan-tom) – From the Latin word quantus, meaning how much.

Remus (ree-mus) – From Roman mythology, one of the founding brothers of Rome, along with Romulus.

Sparta (spar-ta) – Prominent Greek city that was the principal enemy of Athens during the Peloponnesian War.

Thor (thor) – From Scandinavian mythology, god of thunder and rain.

Ultima (uhl-tee-ma) – From Latin, feminine version of ultimus meaning last, furthest, final.

Venus – From Roman mythology, the goddess of love.

W ??? – Help us choose! Take the poll on this page.

Xander (zan-der) – Dutch form of Latin name, Alexandrus.

Yuli (you-lee) – Basque for the Latin name, Julius.

Zelus (zell-us) – From Greek mythology, personifies dedication, envy, jealousy, and zeal.