What Is a Goth?

I was sitting in the recliner I think when I heard someone at the door. I had no idea who it was but if I had to guess I guessed it would probably be MM. When I opened Squirrel Gate Olga was standing there. I was surprised since it was lunch time and she seldom drops by anymore now that she has a new position. We greeted each other and she came in and sat in the green chair.

I wondered if she’d come to have lunch together so I told her I had plenty of snacks if she was hungry. Then I remembered Sam had left her veggie tray in the ‘fridge the night before. Olga got up and looked in the refrigerator and I heard her take out the tray but I think all she wanted was a piece of cheese. When she was back in the chair we started talking.

She asked what’s been happening so I told her about the new washer and dryer. She got up and went into the utility room to look at the new appliances. I saw her open the lid and then heard her comment on how big the tub was. I told her I think they were built for laundromats.

When I’d answered all her questions about the appliances she came out of the utility room and opened the munchies cabinet like I’ve seen her do since she was at least 13. I don’t think she was hungry because she passed over the pies and crackers and opened the bag of Cheese Puffs.

When she sat back down I asked her about her new job. She said she had been transferred to the morgue and it sounds like she’s involved in autopsies. She talked about how they have to open the bodies and punch holes in various parts like the intestines so they can inject embalming fluid. It sounded like she’s the one who does the puncturing. She told me they also harvest organs and bone marrow.

She laughed about a body they’d worked on the day before. She said they removed the leg bones then sewed the skin back up without putting plastic pipes in. When they lifted the body to put it in the coffin she said the legs and feet were just hanging loosely and flopping around.

She didn’t stay long she said she had to get back. We talked a little about getting together on Father’s day then she got up and made a move towards me that made me think she was asking for a hug. I got up but all I did was walk her back to Squirrel Gate. I opened the door and she took off down the stairs. I stepped out and waved as she backed away and headed towards the front entrance.


Taps

Binge TV

Wine Hook
’til I drink it new with you..

As I noted in my last episode, Sam talked about stopping by after work to drink wine and watch TV.
I looked at my text messages so I could copy what she wrote that day but all I see are the numbers 8765. I have no idea what happened but anyway, she arrived late afternoon.
She hurried into the kitchen with a couple of bags. I was sitting in the recliner and looked under the perch and saw her taking out not one not two but three bottles of wine.

I kind of guffawed but didn’t say anything except, “Did you bring a corkscrew?”

She said she didn’t because she remembered I have one.

She brought food too and I saw her take out her usual tray of veggies, cheese and crackers. She also brought what looked like sausage links. She held them up in the air and asked if I was hungry. I told her I’d already eaten but I did kind of want to warm one up. She cut one off for me so I heated up the hash brown skillet while she set the table. I set the timer for nine minutes and we talked while we waited. When the timer sounded I set the alarm for 5 minutes then set the link in the skillet. Sam asked where the corkscrew was at then dug around in the junk drawer for one she could use.

“I’m going to buy you a new one, one of the days.”, she promised after breaking the cork of the wine she was attempting to open.

She said that because she collects the corks and has probably hundreds of them in her kitchen. I assume that since she’s a science teacher she keeps them for experiments. When the link was ready we sat at the table and I dove in. Those veggie meats do not taste like real sausage I’m sorry to say.

After we ate we cleared the table then dug out something to pour wine into. I reached into the cabinet beside the sink and handed her the same old Coke glass I always make her drink from then chose a coffee cup for myself. While she poured the wine I came into the living room and attempted to set up the smart TV so we could watch Netflix. Even though I’d connected it to my hotspot earlier we weren’t able to get on the internet. I expect it’s because I haven’t used the internet on the TV since I had Spectrum and it needed to update. Sam told me to let her try her hotspot but we kept getting the “updating” buffer message. She said she wished she had brought her laptop like last time so I told her we could use mine.

When I handed her my Acer so she could sign into Netflix I warned her not to look at my browsing history.

It’s because earlier I’d googled “What do women wear under a miniskirt.”

I didn’t want her to think I look at a lot of porn. I learned they wear black and sometimes bikini bottoms, lol. That made me wonder if the female contestants on Family feud wear black when they go on the show but anyway, Sam got us into Netflix and asked what I wanted to watch.

I don’t binge watch so I asked her what she’s into lately. She’s excited about a series with Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda.

“Wow,” I said, “I didn’t even know those two were still alive.”
When I saw Martin Sheen I thought it was Kirk Douglas but by that time we’d already gone through a bottle of wine. Sam said he does look like Kirk Douglas but she must have been joking.

I didn’t think the episode was funny so we found a YouTube video with Jon Lovitz. He also wasn’t as funny as I remembered. The skit we watched showed him talking about politics and he just wasn’t convincing as a liberal in my opinion,
Sam brought up two “Dry Bar” comedians next and one of them was hilarious. I was laughing so hard during his “whiny” kid routine I had tears coming out my eyes.
After that video we were well into our third bottle. Sam brought up another dry bar comic but even drunk I didn’t think he was as funny as the first one. I suggested we go to Nevada sometime and see them in person. Sam was all for that and even found a site where we could make reservations. The only problem was conflict with her work schedule but we’re still interested.

Sometime during the night Sam asked if it was raining. I listened but thought it was static. She turned the sound off and I found out she was right. I began to worry about her getting home after that since there’s been a lot of flooding lately.

By the time we uncorked the third bottle it was well after midnight but we kept watching stuff on my laptop. I was also starting to get a headache and I worried I was going to have a bad night. Sam wasn’t worried though and kept drinking and having fun. I guess she didn’t want to say we finished three bottles so around 1:00AM she announced she was taking off. We finished what was in our cups then began planning our next visit.

While Sam was rinsing our dishes and putting the leftovers away she said that next time she visited, she would bring a cord to run from the laptop to the TV so we could watch more Grace and Frankie.

I was worried about the gigs I was using while we streamed so I just muttered, “Yeah, that’ll be fun.”

When I walked her to the door we noticed that it had stopped raining. I turned on the porch light and when she saw I didn’t want the moths to get in she hurried down the steps.

I stood on the top step and we said our final, “Night” and “love you.”

I waved goodbye as she backed out of the driveway. My head was hurting so I went straight to bed.

The next morning I saw I had a text from her. In the message she told me she had encountered some flooding but added that she’d had a ton of fun.

My headache was gone but I figured she was still in bed so I wrote, “Good morning, Sam. Slept very well thank you. Glad to hear you made it home safely.”

I chose the smiley face with glasses and put it at the end.

The next message said, “Had a great time.”

I told her I did too. She went on to say that she’d been awakened at 6:30 by someone at work but was able to go back to sleep. She said it was nice to be able to sleep in every hundred days or so. The text had a smiley face and the time stamp was 12:22PM.

Birthday Breakfast With the Kids

Mar14. It’s Sunday morning, the time is 8:25 and I’m waiting for Olga to arrive. She texted me the other day and asked if I would like for her and the girls to take me to Betos for breakfast.

Betos is where I use to take her just about every week when she was living here. I told her I don’t know if they’re still open or not but she said she also remembers another nearby restaurant in the town where my dad graduated from high school and said we could try there if the first place we go to looks like it’s closed.
After I answered, I realized that today is my birthday so I guess she’s treating me to breakfast somewhere that brings back a lot of memories. We’ve been going to those two restaurants for decades. I remember Mom and I taking Olga to Betos when she was still in her baby carrier and I remember one particular busboy who literally watched her grow up. He started hitting on her when she was in high school btw.
The second place is one of the restaurants my dad use to take us to after a night of drinking while my brothers and I were growing up.
It happens to be across the street from a popular teen hangout straight out of American Graffiti where my sister met the father of my nephew back in the sixties. I think she was barely 16 when that happened.
The time changed last night and I’m not sure Olga realized that was going to happen when she said she would be here at 9:00. I better go ahead and hop in the shower anyway. I’ll try to write using Google docs when I’m in the car with Ave and Aum.
I showered then saw I had received a new text. Aver
“Hey, Theres some sort of marathon going on here with street closures. Stuck in traffic. Be there as soon as I can.”
I see the temperature is supposed to be in the seventies so I decided to wear my Bernie ensemble. Olga showed up a few minutes later. When I heard her pull into the driveway, I stuck my head out and signaled for her to wait so I could comb my hair. When I walked out to the car, I looked in the back window and Ave rolled it down so she could give me a balloon. She said she’d bought me one for my birthday. I climbed in the front seat and handed it back to Aum to play with.
Olga informed us that there was a problem. She called my attention to the oil light and said she didn’t want to drive all the way to Betos.

pic to sis
Me with Aum’s sunglasses.

I suggested we try the Lubys where we took her grandpa when she got out of the hopipo but it was closed as well.

We ended up at the same Dennys we went to last time and I ordered my usual Grand Slam. While we were eating, my sister texted to wish me a happy birthday so I sent her a picture of me that we’d taken a few minutes earlier. It shows me wearing the glasses Aum gave me. While the girls were coloring I made Ave write the alphabet for me. She also sounded out some of the words and counted syllables. They asked what I wanted to do next so I suggested we go to the park.

Paragraphs in quotes were written on Google Docs in real time “We’re leaving right now as a matter of fact.”

“It’s getting chilly and has started sprinkling. Now I think we’re going to get ice cream. Earlier Olga thought about going to Walmart and getting her oil changed but there was a long line.”
We went to the Old Baskin Robbins we used to drive to when Olga and Sam were growing up.
The girls got cones and I tried the cheese cake. I didn’t finish it though. I think it had been sitting around too long because it did not taste very fresh.
When we got back to the driveway, we decided to do something inside the house. I let the kids mark on the middle bedroom door where a lot of the girls who’d grown up around here use to write things.

Ave in mask
Ave with her mask upside down

Next Ave wanted to play the piano.
“Aum sat down and I think she was trying to play jingle bells.”
I tried to teach them to sing and hit keys based on whether the notes rose or fell.
Olga said she wished Ave could learn to play so I took out my beginners book and we went through the first lesson. Ave seems to be a quick learner so I wouldn’t mind giving her lessons.
I noticed Olga tried to lay down after complaining that her neck hurt but she emerged from her old bedroom while Ave was still practicing and said she needed to take something for the pain.

The girls wanted to stay and “spend more time with Grampa” but Olga made them put their shoes on and get ready to leave. We all gathered at the door to hug and say goodbye then I stood on the steps and waved as they drove away. Both Ave and Aum waved back at me until the car was out of sight.

Pat’s Space

Hello. My name is Pat and I’ve been keeping my journal on WordPress since 2007. I am a retired teacher but I’ve been programming since the nineties. I became interested in computers during college in the late 1980’s and it has been my favorite hobby ever since.

During my teaching years I started in the second grade but my principal moved me to the CCC lab the year he came to our campus. I started writing code in Visual Basic but moved to HTML when I discovered the program had a window that enabled the lab manager to write their own program or add to any existing page.

I designed my own blog using a W3school template but now I want to maybe interact with other people who like to write whether it’s blogging or journaling which is what I call my thing.

This is a picture of me in the CCC lab that one of the students took of me holding a photo of her and her teacher.

I’m completing my blog lessons. Today WordPress had me write what my blog is about so I put down that I’d like to record the blessings that God bestows upon me in my everyday life.

At 12:46 when I do my upper body exercise I went out and got the shovel from the shed then after I put on my gloves I walked around to the northeast corner of my trailer to do some edging. I began hacking with the shovel in an attempt to loosen the weeds and grass when I heard a bird mimicking the sound of the shovel striking the ground.

That brightened my mood but I wanted to test to see if it was really doing what I thought he was doing. I struck the ground seven times but he didn’t mimic, he only made one sound. I’ve been doing this for years so I suspected he was playing with me. I kept making the same sound the same number of times (I heard the other birds laughing by the way) and after a bit he made the same number of sounds as me.

That’s par for the course so I got bored and stopped counting. Next though I heard him make the sound five times so I mimicked him. We did that for awhile until I lost count then my 1:15 mid-day snack alarm went off so I put the shovel and gloves away, came in and ate some crackers.

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” Romans 13:1

Against the Tall, Slender Stems of the Weeds

Sun 😃
Suggested title: Against the Tall, Slender Stems of the Weeds
Info-box: new_shed;
Jul12: Gal 5:16-18; Waiting for the girls to come eat with me
I didn’t hear from Sammie till later but I did start making plans. I was hoping that if she got here before Olga left work then she might be able to help me not only place the order but set a delivery time as well. I could also turn on the AC and shower if and when she messaged that she was on the road. She texted at 4:17 and informed me that she was about to hop in the shower and then she would be on her way.
I answered and said, “Come on in.”
She arrived carrying two bottles of wine. When she asked, I told her I didn’t want to drink but said she could open a bottle if she wanted. I also told her where I kept the corkscrew, but she said she’d brought her own.
At 5:30 I wrote that Sammi is “in the green chair” on her phone setting up some kind of church meeting.
While we were waiting for Olga, I decided to ask her the question I’d come up with to kick off the day’s activities. After she finished setting up her church meeting I told her to follow me into the middle bedroom. When we were inside I showed her the dead ants and asked if she knew what kind they were.
She moved in closer to examine the bodies then took pictures with her phone.
She googled a description and “Carpenter ants” came up.
Her guess as to why they were all dead was that they had died of thirst. She learned from the link too that they often live in electrical outlets.
“Aha!”, I exclaimed then told her about the electricians who had been in there recently replacing the plates.
About then we heard Olga come in. I opened the bedroom door and told her where we were. After we explained why we were in there, we talked about what we were going to eat. We ended up deciding to go to Subway and using the drive thru.
We got in the car and they began to think about which store we should go to. Olga mentioned a street one of the H-E-B’s is on so I asked if there were still long lines. They said they didn’t think so and agreed to stop if it looked like we could walk in.
The store we wanted to check was the one I use to go to when we lived at the old house.

Mon 😃
Jul13
Sam turned into the parking lot and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that there were no lines. There were a lot of people though and every one of them was wearing a mask. I told the girls I’d like to check to see if they had hamburger patties and bologna so we drove around to the side where I use to always park and believe it or not the old space was empty.
I really wanted to go in and get the stuff myself but the girls advised me not to. I asked them if they’d score me some patties, beef bologna and toilet paper. Olga said she could use her stamps to buy the food but she’d need my card for the TP. I told them I still had some cash but when I took out my wallet there was only $4.00 in it. I handed Olga the bills and told her to buy as much as she could.
They put on their masks and headed for the entrance. I thought it would take forever so I turned on the radio and waited.
It didn’t take near as long as I thought it would and soon I saw them returning to the car carrying a couple of bags.
They told me they’d scored three packages of hamburger patties, three packages of beef bologna and two rolls of toilet paper. I expressed surprise and wondered out loud why the store never has what I need when I order online.
Sammie said they don’t always tell you if something is available. The only reason I could think that they might do that is because they like to keep a certain amount on the shelves or maybe they don’t even check the shelves.
After that we headed for Subway. We needed to find a store with a drive thru so we ended up at the one next door to Bens old garage where Olga and I use to get our cars inspected.
When we circled around to get to the window, Sam stopped at the menu and got in a fight with the person who was supposed to be taking our order. She kept telling the server that she needed time to read the menu but the girl acted like she couldn’t understand. Sam became impatient so we decided to just put on our masks and go inside.
Olga warned Sam that the person she’d been arguing with might still be mad.
I made a joke and said, “She’s probably going to spit on your salad.”

Tue 😞
Jul13; (psa 119:111)
Sam didn’t agree. She said the girl wouldn’t recognize her voice.
Olga laughed and said, “Oh, yes she will.”
Inside, there was one customer ahead of us but soon Olga and Sam had their salads with everything on it. When it was my turn to order I told the girl behind the counter that I wanted the six inch roast beef.
“We don’t have roast beef.”, she informed me.
I ended up ordering turkey instead. While she prepared my sandwich, Sam and Olga picked up crackers and dressing. Olga also got a cookie. She asked me if I wanted one but I shook my head no. When we had everything, I paid the bill then we returned to the trailer.
At home we sat around the dining room table and chatted. They answered my questions about work and the grandkids. They both finished all their salad then fought over the solitary chocolate chip cookie they’d scored at Subway. Sam said Olga was supposed to split it with her but all she left was some crumbs. As far as what I got, I didn’t think the turkey sandwich was all that great. I’ve had better.
When I came back to the recliner they got up and followed. I opened the laptop, went to Youtube and fired up my Beer Drinking Music playlist.
edit: Dude, while I was adding that detail to the outline I got a text from Sam asking me the name of the playlist. I told her what it was and she said she liked it. I told her I’d made (populated?) it with the songs I liked that Olga use to listen to when she was growing up.
After Sam and Olga finished fighting over the green chair I asked them if they’d taken any pictures at the beach on Father’s day.
They said they had not so I asked Olga if I could have a copy of the “Here is where you’re going when you die” snapchat video.
Sam sent it to me along with several others they’d made. They’re mp4’s so I don’t know how I’m going to post them to ATITN.
We listened to the music and continued yakking. They told a lot of Covid-19 stories. Olga said they’re so busy at the funeral home that they were thinking about renting a morgue truck. After a while I glanced over at Olga and she didn’t look like she was feeling too well so they began to get ready to leave.
Sam went to the kitchen and grabbed one of the bottles of wine she brought and left the other one in the refrigerator.

Wed 😃
Jul14
Olga and I talked about not hugging but Sam said her and I could. Olga stopped her though so we fist bumped then I elbow bumped Olga. We talked about meeting up again and I suggested we use Grub Hub next time.
They nodded in agreement, then we all said, “Love you” and “Goodnight.”
Right after I wrote about them leaving, I noted that “Sammie just texted that she still has ‘Whatever You Like’ stuck in her head.”
Next the AC finished cycling through so I got up and turned it off at the thermostat then went to see if there was any trash left on the dining room table. The time was 8:16 so I didn’t get to do any editing that day.
new_shed
On Jul10 I was opening the window in the back bathroom and got creeped out when I noticed the yardman standing there. I stopped him as he was walking past the light meter and asked if he could find someone to haul the junk from the shed for $300. We agreed that whoever he found to do the job would unload the shed, put the stuff on the porch, tear down the shed, then haul the trash and the old shed away. He said he would try to find someone after he spoke to Marge.
Later, around noon I think it was, he knocked on the door and told me he had found someone who was interested. He said it’s the guy the park uses when he and his co-worker are too busy doing other trailer park assignments.
When he told me the contractor planned to start on it that very day I grimaced because it was Friday and the Sabbath was going to begin at sunset. I agreed though to let the contractor start clearing out the shed at 4:00. He said the guy would haul the junk away the next morning. Since I wouldn’t be able to help, I offered an extra hundred for taking everything out and setting it on the porch. I added that I would pay cash. The yardman said he would tell his guy.
I didn’t have the $400 so I needed to go to the ATM but since it was noon by then, I called Olga on the off chance that she might be at lunch. She answered and said she would be over in a few minutes.
She came and picked me up and on the way, I told her I’d give her twenty for helping me out.

Thu 😃
Jul15
Then I asked if she had anything in the shed and she told me that she did. I told her I was sorry but I needed it taken out because I was paying a guy to tear it down.
When we arrived at the Wells Fargo, the drive thrus and ATMs were very busy so it took awhile to get to a machine. When we had the cash, I offered Squiz the twenty but she wouldn’t take it. She told me I could buy her lunch some time.
When we were back at the trailer she hopped out and looked in the shed. She even started dragging some of the stuff out that was hers. After a few minutes though she said her boss was calling and she had to leave. She promised she would come back after work and pick up her stuff while I sorted through the boxes. I felt bad that she had to come back since it was Friday and she might have had other plans. She seemed to really want to get her belongings though.
Later in the afternoon, before any contractors showed up, I started thinking about hauling the junk out and stacking it on the porch in order to get an idea of what the job would entail. It was one of the hottest days of the year and it made me kind of feel sorry for the shed guy. I decided I would turn on the AC at 3:30 if I needed to cool down.
By 3:34 I came in and wrote in the outline that I’d hardly made a dent in all the junk that had been accumulating in the 25 years since my brother and I put up the shed. I turned on the AC and took a few minutes to rest.
At 3:57 I heard a knock on the door. It was the contractor and he introduced himself as “Gabriel”. He claimed that he was going to get everything done that day including hauling all the garbage away.
I wanted to make sure we had an agreed upon amount so I held up four fingers and he nodded.
At 4:38 I wrote that Gabriel was going very quickly. He was actually tearing the walls down and stacking stuff on the porch at the same time. I also noted that he seemed like a very friendly fellow. Although his English was limited, we managed to strike up a second deal for a new shed. He agreed on a price of $450 for the materials and $300 for labor.

Fri 😃
Jul16
I was feeling generous after seeing what a fine job he was doing, so I told him I’d throw in an additional hundred if he would put the old stuff in the new shed once it was sorted.
The revised contract looked like this: 400 + 450 + 300 + 100 = 1250. I still needed to get another$650 in cash though in order to pay the entire agreed upon amount. I was pretty sure I had enough in checking to cover everything. I also asked for his phone number in case I needed anything else done around the house like purchasing and placing new steps.
He was loading up the porch pretty fast so I started moving stuff to the front, getting it closer to his truck so he would know what needed to go. First thing I learned though was that Olga and Faron had mixed a lot of their stuff in with mine, so I had to wait.
I had a hard time talking to Gabriel so I started using the Google translator and I think we agreed that there would be two loads of trash. About that time one of his partners arrived. While I had the phone I turned on the camera and took a couple of pictures.

shed in pieces
The eyesore lies in pieces on the ground.
They show the shed in pieces because by that time, none of the walls were left standing.
I used the translator and told him most of the boxes belonged to Olga and I was waiting for her to go through them. He told me not to worry about it.
While I had the time I did a quick calculation and I think I might still have around $500 in checking after the shed project is completed and paid for. If true, then it meant I would be able to order groceries a day before payday like I usually do. I’d still like to walk to H-E-B one of these days, get my stuff, then take a Lyft back home but I don’t know when, if ever, I’ll be able to do that.
Olga texted around that time and said she was coming.
I told her she should back her car in and park on the north side of the porch so she could toss her stuff into the trunk. When she arrived I waved her in.

Sat 😃
Jul16
As she was going through the junk, I found a hat she wore when she worked the counter at Dairy Queen while she was a teenager. She was employed for only a short period of time before she was fired. I showed it to her and told her I was going to keep it. I asked her if she could remember when she worked there and she confirmed that it was while she was still in high school. I brought the hat in and set it on the window ledge in Headquarters.
She eventually loaded all the stuff she wanted to take but before she left I told her I needed more cash. She offered to drive me but I inferred that she probably did not want me in her car. I really smelled bad. She was nice enough to offer to get the money with my card and was aware that she would have to go to a different ATM because of the $300 daily limit on the amount of cash I’m allowed to withdraw.
She went to another bank but then had to text me to ask for my PIN again. While she was gone, I continued moving junk around and when I got everything into one area, Gabriel and his partner started going through it looking for things of value.
About then Olga came back and told me she’d been able to withdraw $300. While I was still counting my money to see how much I had and how much I would need, Olga promised to come back the next day if I required more. At that time I was $350 short which meant that even if I walked to Wells Fargo, I would still need fifty bucks. I thanked her and told her I’d let her know.
The next day, which was Jul11, I was putting stupid stuff on the internet when I heard a knock. It was Gabriel and his son. He’d brought him because he speaks English and would be able to translate for us. The first thing they said, while stuffing breakfast tortillas into their mouths, was that they were going to finish hauling the trash off. The son also told me they needed the $450 we’d agreed upon so they could score material for the new shed. I went ahead and gave him the rest of my cash which was $500.

The Broad, Breadtree Leaves

Sun 😃
Suggested title: The Broad, Breadtree Leaves
Info-box: olga_grocery_text; w3schools_website; mysterious_bugs; thats_not_a_bug; thou_sluggard; olga_texts_about_lunch
Jul04; Spectrum App errors
Again though I’ve learned that if I click on it a second time it usually lets me in.
Most days I watch Judge Judy on the local channel and it’s been coming in pretty clearly. Yesterday I was able to watch Judge Judy, Mom, then the evening news without using the Spectrum app.
At 9:00 I like to watch Family Feud for half an hour then look through the cable channels for something I haven’t seen before. The other night I watched a new episode of House Hunters International. They featured a wonderful couple looking for an apartment in Spain and I was glad I got to see it. They happened to be showing a new episode of Cash Cab too but I’m going to have to wait for another night to see that old favorite. They haven’t been broadcasting any more and now I’m wondering if they only show new episodes once a week.
In addition to those cable shows I’ve been tuning in to The Five in the afternoon and Judge Jeanine on Saturday night. They always bring back a lot of memories as well. I’m going to try to keep cable for at least a year but it feels like I’m sort of indulging myself. If they raise the price I’m definitely going to turn the equipment in.
olga_grocery_text
Today is Jul04 but night before last I started getting texts from Olga. She asked if I needed her to pick up my groceries. I told her I already got them but I didn’t tell her I decided to order because of the new shelter in place rule.
She kind of fussed at me. Aver
“Why didn’t you let me go this time??” she demanded to know.
That surprised me so I reminded her that she had not set up an account.
“Of course I did.”, she replied.
She didn’t say anything specifically about her food stamps. She did let me know that she definitely would have picked up my groceries had I asked. I don’t like to bother her but I didn’t say that. I calmly told her that she can come at a later date and we’ll order from here, providing she uses her account.
She said she plans to come next week as a matter of fact and she’s going to bring food.
“Yay!”, I answered.
After that we told each other, “‘night.”
I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m so afraid she’s going to ask for money.

Mon 😞
Jul05; (Rev3:19)
I shouldn’t worry so much though, right? It’s been awhile since she’s asked for cash. Next time she comes we can look to see if they have hamburger patties and whatever else kind of food I might be running low on. If I need water then I can order that too and try to get the amount up to the minimum required to place a curbside order.
I’d even be willing to buy $35 worth of frozen, ready to eat patties if they have any by then.
Right now though I think I’ve got enough to last me until payday. When we were texting each other I asked her to let me know if she goes to H-E-B so she can pick me up some beef. In fact, by the time she comes I’ll probably be about out of lemon chicken too so we can maybe add that to the list as well.
If she tells me she doesn’t need money then I’m thinking I could order us some food from Grub Hub. It must be hard for her to leave work during lunch, wait in line at Chic Fil A then rush over here to eat with me. Plus I’m thinking that if I let her order what she wants then she’ll be more likely to finish everything on her plate.
Today’s the fourth and I’m supposed to already have an outline that will produce at least 215 words for me tomorrow during the six o’clock hour when I have to write. Nothing exciting has happened though. I guess if nothing of note takes place before then I’ll just blab about my routine or write about the new blog template I’m playing around with on the W3Schools website.
The only reason I’m writing right now is because I wanted to see if I could finish my quota without an actual outline and apparently I can’t. I only got 206 words and the 8:55 end of editing alarm just sounded. Okay make that 220.
w3schools_website
Today is Jul05. Lately I been going to the W3Schools website to learn how to program a blog. I found one that looked fairly simple and started playing around with it. First thing I did was paste some pictures from my WordPress media library into it because that’s a fairly easy thing to do. The rest of the code, I learned as I went through it, is pretty standard across all types of HTML programs.
Next I noticed that when I clicked on the template’s “Read More” button, nothing happened.

Tue 😃
Jul06
The blog template itself didn’t even include code for the button which would explain why it wasn’t functioning. I went back to the school homepage, used the search box and started looking for a similar program. I copied and pasted a procedure from another template then found a ‘try it’ exercise with program language I perceived might blend in with the button coding I required. I actually got one working, but it took awhile.
I thought once I had the code for the top button in the ‘style’ section, all the buttons would work but that’s not what happened. I had to go line by line to get the second one to do what it’s suppose to. When any little change was successful, I’d save a copy to my computer.
Eventually I got the two “Read More” buttons functioning. That happened this morning as a matter of fact. I worked on the program after posting last week’s journal to ATITN and it was a nice distraction from writing stupid stuff on R&S.
Now I’ve moved down the template to the footer. It shows a “number of comments” box but they don’t appear to be working either. When I typed in a comment it didn’t save it to an actual file. The program code does show a filename though and I was glad when I saw it had the familiar .php extension.
I studied that language a few years ago when I was doing my “HTML for Dummies” book and writing my bible quiz program. It’s probably going to take awhile to whittle it down to where I can save blogger comments and add a counter.
After I signed up for an email address on Freehostia I included a way to contact me on my new template. I added the address then tried it but as of now nothing has shown up in my ATITN domain mailbag. I could just use one of my gmail accounts though since I’ve never actually gotten any hits on my website. While I wait for the new address to start working there’s a couple more things I want to do with the template.
Besides making the “Submit” button in the comments section work, I need to do something about the formatting.
I want the page to be consistent and look as professional as possible. Don’t worry though, I’m not going to obsess over it and stay up all night trying to get it to run properly like I use to.
After that I can hopefully add links to the “previous” and “next” buttons.

Wed 😃
Jul06
That should keep me occupied and maybe I can take a break from writing stupid stuff on the internet 24/7.
The new ‘writing is a process’ modification I put into affect is working pretty well too. As of now I am not behind in my journal. During editing I’ve been reading all the way through the current week’s post then initiating the next day’s outline. I try not to rush, I’ve been making sure I leave myself plenty of time to read through the entire post twice. In fact, I finished this outline before the last editing alarm sounded and that was my goal.
Dude, the 8:55 ‘end of editing’ alarm just went off.
mysterious_bugs
Today is Jul06. This morning I got up a little later than usual. I remember having a lot of vivid dreams but I don’t remember any of them. By the time I got out of bed I was thinking I would just drink one cup of coffee then go ahead and walk at 8:30 but later I changed my mind.
I really wanted to drink both cups of coffee then walk back and forth inside the trailer again since I’m having to remain indoors.
I watched the news, then at 8:30 I turned on the stove and set the five minute skillet warming alarm. On my first pass I opened the windows in the hopes of getting some cool air flowing through here. When the alarm sounded, I put the rest of the rice, beans and diced potatoes I’d prepared last night into the hash brown skillet. After that, I reset the 5 minute alarm and did another walk through.
I turned around in the front bathroom then walked into the middle bedroom and noticed a lot of dead bugs lying on the floor. They were strewn across the tiles under the window that faces east. I wondered how they got into the house so I went to Headquarters to see if they’d left a trail. I checked the base board and closet but there were no bugs. I returned to the middle bedroom thinking I could use the whisk broom and sweep them up but then changed my mind. I’ll get to that when I do my bare floors chore in a couple of weeks.
I was kind of curious why they were all dead. Did they get in somehow and then weren’t able to build a nest? Did they get poisoned somewhere along the way?

Thu 😞
Jul07
I spray Raid every once in awhile but can’t remember the last time I sprayed in Olga’s old room. The only other source is my roach motels but they’re all in the kitchen and utility room.
By that time the last alarm sounded so I returned to the stove, stirred the rice and beans then put the lid back on. I didn’t plate them because I was hoping the steam would build up and add a little moisture. It’s because the night before, when I ate the first half of the batch I made, the beans were very dry.
Next, I set the five minute alarm to warm up the little skillet for my eggs. While I waited, I did some torso twisting. I haven’t been eating eggs on toast lately. I let the bread run out and have been substituting waffles. It’s because I need to finish those off. As a matter of fact, I’ve still got some from last month.
They’re kind of hard to work with. Most of the time when I put them in the toaster they don’t brown properly and I have to toast them twice. The second time, after I push them back down, I wait until they smell right then take them out. Let’s just say I’m getting mixed results. Sometimes they’re burned and sometimes they’re still just a soggy mess.
I finished the eggs, toasted the waffles best I could then checked on my rice and beans.
When I took the lid off there actually was some steamy moisture but it didn’t help very much. After I spooned them onto my plate, I could tell they were still very dry.
I’m thinking about adding something to them (Ro-Tel?) when I have to re-heat. I wonder what dill would taste like? I thought about using ketchup too but I only eat that on French fries. I’ll do a little research and see what I can come up with.
It’s still July sixth. Today is the first time this year (I believe) that I had to turn on the AC during the six o’clock hour. After calculating what time to turn it on and posting it to my AC_file, I had to jump up immediately and close the windows. It’s because my ‘turn on’ calculation time came only ten minutes after the last editing alarm sounded and it takes a little while to close all the windows.
Right after editing I had already started the 20 minute alarm that I like to set for sitting outside.

Fri 😃
Jul11
thats_not_a_bug
I knew it would get cool in here pretty quickly when the AC came on so I brewed my third cuppa cuppa and enjoyed it. I can’t even remember the last time I did that.
Well, today is Monday so I need to find an earlier post on ATITN that includes a Youtube video. Monday nights is when I open a text file and start working on the next Sunday’s post.
Today is Jul07. It’s editing time and after a little calculating I learned I only needed 85 more words to have all of Sunday through Thursday’s quotas. I was going to make an outline but I don’t think I’ll have to now because I might be good all the way up to tomorrow night.
I was going to talk about something that happened this morning while I was walking through the house but I only need 22 more words.
I’ll finish with, “Yay! I don’t have to write anything until Thursday night!”
On Jul07 I continued walking through the house instead of taking one of my routes. That morning when I walked into the middle bedroom I saw something unusual on the floor. I thought it was one of the dead ants but it appeared to be larger than the others so I assumed it was a different sort of insect. I bent down and picked it up to get a better look, and discovered it was a roach. Dude, I cannot believe I’m still finding weed in the house. I wonder how long it’s been there and how did it wind up in the middle of the floor? I chuckled a bit then tossed it in the trash.
Sometimes, as I’ve stated before, I get tired of reading questions on Yahoo! answers. Lots of days I’m on there from about 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM. It’s mostly fun, like on the seventh when I got to read and answer some very amusing questions. There were a lot of funny people that day and many seemed to be making real contributions to the debate. Still though, I started thinking about doing something else and I knew I had to work on my php comments project so I went to the W3Schools website.
I opened a new folder like I did when I started the Javascript course then jumped right into the exercises. I still copy the code to a text file then paste it into the the school’s ‘try it’ window in order to see if it runs.

Sat 😃
Jul11
I’ve gotten pretty good at not making any typing errors and that day they all ran with no problem.
As of now I am up to the ‘functions’ exercises.
thou_sluggard
Later I went out to sit on the steps where sometimes I observe ants. I’ve written about the lines of cutter ants I’ve seen but that day I watched as one came across the concrete floor and approached Emily’s old steps. All of a sudden I saw something circling it and at first I thought it might be a dust devil. I looked closer though and saw that a very tiny spider was running round and round the much larger ant. I wondered what it was doing and it appeared to be trying to trap it.
I began to see the web it was spinning cover the abdomen. I couldn’t really see that clearly but it looked like the ant was trying to sting it in order to defend itself. If that was true, I surmised, then it might explain why the spider started at the rear.
I really don’t know how the ant fought off the attacker but eventually I did see it getting away. Its back legs were still entangled though. I guess the itsy-bitsy spider had bitten off more than it could chew. I never really got a good look at it and I still don’t know where it went.
I searched Youtube and found a video of a cutter ant and a spider and learned that the ant doesn’t have a stinger in its tail but it does have a disproportionately large set of very sharp mandibles attached to its head.
olga_texts_about_lunch
On Jul09 I was putting stupid stuff on the internet when I got a text from Olga. I’d been kind of expecting it since she’d already indicated that she was planning to bring food. Indeed, the message was sent to inform me that she might be available to eat with me that day.
I didn’t bring up the curbside thing, I told her to text me early so I could order from Grub Hub. I asked her what she wanted and she told me salad would be fine.
A little later she texted again and said she wouldn’t be able to come during lunch after all and asked if Sam could maybe join us later. I told her that would be nice.
“Sam can help me order.”, I thought to myself.
She told me she would have her call at least an hour before she comes.

Hold On

Sun 😃
Suggested title: Hold on
Info-box: mal_4_2; mmm_water_bill; HEB_July; process_modification
June 24: Sammie, Olga and I are riding around the beach drunk on Fathers Day
I’m not sure but somewhere along the way, Sam must have said she needed something to wear in the water because I kind of remember her talking about a bikini bottom. I also remember them mentioning a nude beach. I’ve lived here all my life and I still don’t know where the one they keep talking about is at. I did comment that I wouldn’t get in the water by myself though.
Again I have no recollection, but Sam must have had Olga stop at one of the shops along the way to pick up something she could wear in the water. It could have been the one I bought the Jolly Roger beach towel from when Olga and Chelz were still in high school.
Olga found the access road and turned in. As we approached the surf, we could see people running around outside their vehicles. There was a pick-up truck parked about 25 yards from the ocean and it had it’s headlights on. Olga parked a couple of vehicles down from it and we jumped out. I walked to the water but was having trouble standing up so I made my way back to the car and sat down. That must have been around the time I heard them talking about Sam trying on her new swimsuit.
The next text I wrote was at 12:29 AM and it said, “Olivia and Sam are in the water.”
Sam came back after changing and opened one of the bottles of wine. I remember us passing it back and forth.
Next I noted; “Sam says her pants are on inside out.” and, “Olga just took a swig off the bottle of wine Sammie bought me.”
A minute later I wrote that “Sam is doing cartwheels.” and I do remember watching her spinning around upside down in her bathing suit.
Actually I should say she “attempted” to do cartwheels because she was trying to do them from a stand still.
I kept saying, “You need to get kinetic.”
I remember saying the word over and over but what I meant to say was, “You can’t do them while you’re standing still. You need to use momentum.”
At 1:07 I texted that, “The bottle of wine sits in the sand. Olga is lying down.”
I remember seeing her stretched out and I thought that was so odd. Why would anyone want to lay in the sand with all their clothes on?

Mon 😃
Jun28 ; Hephzibah said to open it (Job 6:14).
Eventually we decided to leave. Olga drove back to the hotel where I kept the Feast but because it was so crowded I didn’t want to try to get two rooms. We turned around and headed for the causeway. Before we got to the bridge though I told them I needed to make one more stop. Olga found a Stripes and I remember staggering through the door and asking the clerk where the bathroom was.
I don’t remember Olga or Sam following me so I must have been the only one who needed to go.
I do remember Sammie and I falling asleep on the way back. Well, I should say Sam fell asleep but I was pretty much passed out in the front seat drunk.
Next thing I remember was waking up in the driveway. We all got out and hugged, then I lurched towards the steps and somehow managed to make it to the front door without falling. Olga didn’t back out right away, she left the car running with the lights on so I could see. I also don’t remember if I waved as they were leaving.
Inside, the first thing I noticed was that the trailer was very warm. I didn’t even consider turning the AC on, I just wanted to get out of my clothes and crash. When I woke up, I felt a horrible hangover. I made myself get up though just to see what the thermostat said. It was 6:30 in the morning and it was already 89 degrees in here.
I went ahead and set the coffee alarm but when I went back to the restroom I experienced a couple of dry heaves. I got up, returned to the coffee table and turned the alarm off. I was still feeling unsteady so I went back to bed.
The second time I awoke, I got up because I knew I had to start an outline plus I needed to drink water. It was 12:47 but I still did not feel hungry.
I composed an outline then texted Olga a link to the song, “Closing Time.”
Later I got a message from Sam saying she had a lot of fun. I texted back that I did too.
I watched TV and right after I drank my five o’clock cup of water I started throwing up. I ended the day going to bed at 10:00 without eating anything.
mal_4_2
Today is June 28. I had to do three loads of laundry this week so I started washing after I posted last week’s journal online.

Tue 😃
Jun28
I had become engrossed in listening to this week’s post on the text to speech app and almost forgot I was supposed to be doing the wash.
During my regular editing time I put the last load in the dryer then sat back down in the recliner and opened the laptop. I don’t recall why I did it but I remember lowering my chin and becoming light headed. Idk, maybe I was trying to see something (a roach perhaps?) over the top of my glasses.
It’s happened before but the dizziness usually passes very quickly.
I closed my eyes and tilted my head all the way back but the room was still spinning. After awhile I got up and walked around the house a couple of times. I started feeling a little better but then I felt a wave of nausea come over me.
I closed the laptop, sat back down in the recliner and went to sleep. When I woke up I didn’t feel dizzy or light-headed so I stood to see if I was actually okay. I noticed I was still a little nauseated but remembered I needed to finish the laundry so I went to the utility room and took the last load out of the dryer.
When I carried the basket to my bed to finish folding I looked at the clock and it was 3:47 which meant my editing time was over for the day. I folded the clothes, put them away then came into the kitchen to drink my 4:00 water.
While I was rinsing the cup I heard a bird through the kitchen window. I pulled back the blinds and looked out onto the porch and saw Woody on the concrete floor. He appeared to be checking out the Deacon Tree. I watched as he twisted his neck and peered up into the boughs. I guess he didn’t see anything so he hopped around the bottom of the tree trunk, scratching and pecking the ground. I was fascinated so I continued observing until he climbed the tree and disappeared out of sight.
I let the blinds fall back onto the window sill then became aware of a cool breeze blowing through the living room window. It felt good so I set the timer and sat on the steps for 14 minutes.
I felt fine by the time I came back in. It was already well past my ‘turn on the TV’ time so I watched an episode of The Goldbergs. I didn’t feel like eating the lemon pie I’d bought to snack on though.

Wed 😞
Jun30
mmm_water_bill
It’s 8:47 right now but a little while ago while I was watching Press Your Luck (the host is so beautiful and funny) someone knocked at the door. I got up and opened it and was very surprised to see MMM standing there. The first thing she did was signal that she wanted to keep her mask on and maintain social distancing. She didn’t seem to want to come in though so I stepped outside to find out what was up.
First, she thanked me for the donation then told me that her mother had been cremated. She said she’d come by to ask if my rent had increased.
I told her mine had not. She however said she’d received a huge water bill. She wanted to know if I’d been charged $60 this month. I told her I hadn’t but related how one of the yardmen had misread my meter a few months ago. I had her wait while I came in and fetched my rent statement thinking we could maybe compare readings.
After I’d found it, she followed me around the back of the trailer and I showed her what I meant by “comparing readings.”
She studied the previous amount on her mother’s statement then asked about my back steps. I’m glad she did because it reminded me that I was supposed to buy the ones her mother wasn’t using anymore. She told me she would check to see if they were still there, read the meter, then call me.
I thought she was going to leave but she turned around and said she didn’t have my number. I had to come back inside and get my phone. I couldn’t find her in my contacts so she gave me her number then made me call. After she answered, we hung up and she asked if I needed a bag.
I told her, “No” and, “I’ve quit”.
She asked why so I explained, like I did to her brother, that it was getting too expensive. She told me how much an ounce costs but I repeated that I have no intention of ever smoking again. I was kind of curious about how much a pound costs though. She told me she has no idea then took off back across the street to check on the steps and the meter. The 8:55 ‘end of editing’ alarm just sounded and I still haven’t heard from her.
edit: she texted some time later and told me that the steps were no longer there.

Thu 😃
Jun30
HEB_July
Today is June 30. I needed to order groceries since everybody’s been getting Covid-19 alerts and being told to remain indoors. I’m afraid there are going to be food shortages so I opened July’s grocery file then went online. I used my H-E-B account this time because I wanted to see if they had any fully cooked frozen beef patties and macaroni and cheese in stock. I used the search box and both items came up. In fact they had everything that day except TP and scrubbing bubbles.
I checked out, signed up for food delivery then winced when they froze my checking account for $243.06. The one thing I didn’t like about the order was that the earliest I could get delivery that day was between 10 and 11 PM.
I wrote in my outline in real time that the emails they were sending did not contain any substitutions.
I watched my usual Monday night TV shows at 9:00 then heard the AC click off at 10:01. I left it on because I knew I would be running in and out a lot as I lugged my groceries inside, and I wanted the house to be nice and cool when I crashed.
After Family Feud, I turned to the Food Network and watched Chopped for old times’ sake. I noted at 10:42 that the AC had been clicking on and off quite frequently. Finally I got a text from the delivery person saying he was on his way. I didn’t want to forget to social distance this time so I grabbed my mask from atop the cabinets then crammed it into one of my pockets.
A few minutes later the driver called on the phone and said he was at the mailboxes and needed to know where to turn. I told him that if he makes a left at the office, he should be able to see my porch light.
I put on my mask and went to the edge of the concrete and waited. When he drove up I waved him into the driveway. After he parked, he emerged wearing a mask and asked where to set the bags. I told him he could put them along the skirting and on top of the old steps if he wanted.
This guy seemed a little careless. He kept grabbing bags out of his vehicle and I noticed they were ripped. I watched horrified as some of my items literally fell to the floor.

Fri 😃
Jul02
I stood and waited until he set the bag with the eggs on the steps then began hauling the stuff into the house.
A few minutes later he told me he’d unloaded everything so I said, “Thank you.” and he took off.
While I was putting the stuff away I noticed some of the items I’d ordered were missing. There was no bologna or mac and cheese and no frozen patties. There was nothing I could do about it that late at night so I opened the laptop and as soon as I did I saw that I’d just received an email from the store showing my receipt.
I looked it over and the items that were missing were all labeled “not available.”
The new total was $199.21.
To top it all off I heard the AC click on again and right after that, I went to my checking account and saw that it was still frozen at $243.
This morning I looked and it still has not been corrected. I’ve been checking periodically but it hasn’t changed. Good news though, I did get paid.
process_modification
Dude it’s two minutes until the ‘end of editing’ alarm sounds and I got Wednesday’s and Thursday’s quotas already in the can.
Today is Jul02 and it looks like I’m going to need two outlines. I need one for today at 6:15 which is what I’m working on right now and another for tomorrow at 6:15 which I will do later. I should have done the one for today yesterday but I ended up having to do it this morning after I came back from walking.
I fired up the hash brown skillet, set the five minute warm up alarm then jumped right in.
Since I’m supposed to be sheltering in place again this month I kind of wanted to go back to walking up and down inside the trailer for 27 minutes. I decided to get out and walk to Las Tres Palmas though.
When the 8:30 alarm sounded I grabbed my hat, mask and phone and took off. I know I’m supposed to wear my mask in public but I took a chance. I was pretty sure no one else would be wearing one.
I didn’t really look but the people I did see were not wearing a mask. When I got to the berry trees I found some lying on the sidewalk and they looked tempting but I only crunched two. The third one I left in the middle of the sidewalk for my return trip.

Sat 😃
Jul03
As I approached the intersection I saw an injured bird lying in the grass near the curb. It appeared to be a very young grackle. It didn’t look afraid but I tiptoed past anyway and made a mental note to check and see how it was faring after I turned around.
On the way back I saw that it was still lying in the grass and hadn’t moved. I commenced doing the woodpecker clucking sound I like to make whenever I’m entering another bird population’s environment. I do that in order to alert the inhabitants that I pose no threat. All the poor grackle did as I passed was kind of glance up at me.
When I got to the sidewalk I stepped on the third berry and even though there was a vehicle driving into a parking space just on the other side of the trees I still got a nice crunch when I pressed down on it with my foot. To put it more scientifically, I was able to distinguish not only the sound of the gravel but the response from the berry as well.
The next thing I recorded in my outline was that the skillet warming alarm just sounded. I got up and opened a package of Ore Ida hash brown patties, threw two in the skillet then changed the alarm to nine minutes.
I did get another bag of diced potatoes from H-E-B the other day. I’ve grown fond of those but I’m going to save them for Sunday night when I make rice and beans.
Okay, all I need is one more topic to make this a 1a to 1z outline so I’ll end by saying “one down and one to go.”
tv_viewing_wise
Yesterday, Jul02 I only needed 197 words to complete two week’s worth of posts. I decided to try to finish up with things I’ve been doing “tv-viewing-wise” since installing the cable.
Actually, most of the time I don’t even use the Spectrum app. The reason is because I’ve been getting a lot of network errors. Today, for instance I clicked on the app and it asked for my password. I exited the program, then when I was back to regular air TV I brought the app up again and was able to get in.
A lot of times I’ll go to the listings, click on a program and get a “channel unavailable” error.

The Spirit of Grace

Sun 😃
Suggested title: The Spirit of Grace
Info-box: maskless_haircut; staring_squirrel; happy_fathers_day;
June 18; Olga and I are enjoying the lunch she brought us.
I told her how good it was and she seemed to be glad that I liked it.
We started talking so I began the conversation with a question about Ave. I asked her how she’s doing. She assured me that the baby is fine. I asked her about work too and she said everything is going well. She told me her goal right now is to become totally independent. Hearing her say that made me smile and I told her I was glad.
She brought up Father’s Day next and asked if I wanted to join her and Sammie on Sunday to maybe have drinks. I asked her if the bars are open and she said they are. They don’t want to take me to a bar though, she said they intend to drink at the hotel where we usually go.
I told her I’m glad she invited me because that will force me to get a haircut which I will try to do tomorrow. While I was poking potatoes in my mouth I asked her if she wanted to try one with the mustard powder I got yesterday from H-E-B. She agreed saying she likes to try all kinds of spices so I got the shaker from the cabinet and we sprinkled some on our fries.
After that she talked about her life. One of the things she mentioned was that she’s going to put off marrying until she’s in her thirties. I’m glad to hear her talk like that so I said a lot of women these days are doing the same thing. I advised her not to pick up a guy from a bar and not to date anyone from work.
By then it was getting towards one o’clock so she said she had to go. She stood and started gathering the trash. I told her to leave it and we said our goodbyes. Before she disappeared through the door though I reminded her to text me Sunday and let me know what time they were coming.
maskless_haircut
Today is June eighteen. I needed to set up an appointment with my barber so when the 8:30 walking alarm sounded I took off for Cedar Hut. When I arrived, the door was locked so I went ahead and took the turnaround tree route then tried the door again on my way back. It was still locked.
After breakfast I called and the lady answered.

Mon 😃
Jun22
The way she spoke, I got the impression she remembers me.
She told me Eddy already has a 1:15 appointment but I could get in at 2:15. That means I won’t be able to start editing at 2:05 but that’s okay. I set my one o’clock alarm so I can shower and wash my hair then I’ll follow my normal routine until two when I’ll head over to the strip mall.
I put stupid stuff on the internet until one o’clock, then had my first snack. After that, I sat outside until one fifteen. When I came back inside, I set the alarm, then listened to the radio until one forty. I took a shower, washed my hair, then changed into some clean clothes.
I didn’t walk to the Cedar Hut right away, I sat back down to see if my hair would dry a little. After I set the 2:05 editing alarm, I leaned back in the recliner, but I almost fell asleep. I didn’t want to chance missing the alarm, so I sat up and forced myself to stay awake.
When the alarm sounded, I jumped up and walked to the barbershop. I cautiously opened the door, didn’t see anybody, so I slipped in and took a seat in the waiting area.
When someone did appear, I was relieved to see she wasn’t wearing a mask. She turned and went to the back then I heard her talking to the lady who cuts my hair. When she popped out, I was glad to see she wasn’t wearing a mask either. I got up from the chair and made a motion towards my back pocket where I was carrying the mask Olga gave me, but she shook her head.
We talked as she worked on my hair. I learned she would like to take a cruise, but I told her I’d rather go on a scenic railroad ride. We also talked about life in a trailer park.
She seemed to be in a bit of a hurry, so I got up as soon as I thought she was done, and headed for the cash register. I pulled out one of the twenties Olga brought me, paid her, and after she told me to have a nice Father’s Day, I came back to the house and started editing.
I was looking forward, since today is Thursday, to having Word Counter proofread this week’s Post and let’s just say, I’m going to need more practice. It sounds okay, but I’d like to learn how to make it come alive.

Tue 😃
Jun22
staring_squirrel
Today is June twenty. This morning I went to sit outside for fourteen minutes, and after I was comfortable, I began hearing a mockingbird squawk. I figured it was one of those two young birds I see quite frequently chasing each other around the backyard.
Staring Squirrel
Then I noticed the noise seemed to be getting closer. I looked up into the tree and that squirrel I’d named Sandy was right there looking straight down at me. Even though I could see one of the birds diving at it and making a lot of noise, the squirrel just laid in the fork of the Deacon tree ignoring them and watching me. I reached for my phone, clicked on the camera, and snapped a pic. It didn’t move so I tweaked the angle a bit, then got an even better shot.
After sharing it with Word Press, I peered through the lattice and it was looking at me kind of funny. I pointed up at it, and laughed.
“Oh Crap!”, I suddenly realized, “that thing looks like it’s going to jump on my head.”
Just in time though, the mockingbird persuaded it to move somewhere else. I could still hear the birds fussing but they had moved out of sight.
When the alarm sounded, I came in and ate my bowl of fruit cocktail and right now I’m about to log onto R&S.
happy_fathers_day
Today is June 22. Yesterday morning I got a “Happy Father’s Day” text from Sam.
I replied, “Thank You.” then didn’t hear anything else from her until later. They called me on the phone and asked what time I wanted to be picked up.
I asked them what time the bar would open and after they told me, “Five o’clock”, I recommended they come get me at 3:30.
When they asked where I wanted to eat I thought of the Lubys we use to take grandpa to after Olga was born. They agreed and said they would be here at three thirty. The question I wanted to ask this time wasn’t about the Bible, I wanted to get their opinion on the text to speech apps I’ve been experimenting with.
I also wanted to go through and edit this week’s post at least once before they got here so I set the alarm for 1:20. I started editing after it sounded and didn’t stop until I’d read through the entire post twice.

Wed 😃
Jun23
It was about 2:35 by then so I turned on the radio and waited for 3:00 to arrive. I took a shower, put on the shoes and shirt they’d given me, then around 3:45 I heard them knocking.
When they were inside we chatted a little while, then during a pause, I explained about my journal and told them that I would like their opinion on something.
I’d already pasted the episodes showing MM crying and the squirrel staring so all I had to do was fire them up and motion the girls over to see what I was talking about. After playing both clips I asked which one sounded better. Sam and I agreed that the proof reader on Word Counter sounded more professional.
They both said they liked the stories I’d written. Olga said she liked how I’d noted that my work tee shirt was still wet after MM left. She also lamented that I’d not named the staring Squirrel after her. I told her I don’t like to use people’s real names on the internet.
As they headed for the door, trying to decide whether or not they should put on their masks, I asked if they knew anybody with Covid-19. Sam said she knew several people who had tested positive.
After that we jumped in Sam’s car and took off for Lubys. On the way over I told Sam that I’d come across something I wrote in 2001 about her high school prom. I explained that I had written that I didn’t want her to attend and I kind of wanted to apologize for that. She informed me that Mom had bought her a dress and even though I’d grounded her she’d gone anyway. I was glad to hear that and told her I was happy she got to attend.
Sam forgot where she was going and we ended up passing the H-E-B I walk to. I was looking for long lines but didn’t see any. I did however observe a bunch of kids standing under the portico. I asked Sam if it’s legal to stash your brats outside while you go shopping. She said yes but it’s nothing compared to the eighties when parents would just leave their kids wherever.
She told us about one father who use to make his daughter stay in the car while he was working. She said he would leave her food and water then disappear for the rest of the day. The father came out one afternoon and the baby had rubbed poop from her diaper all over the inside of the car.

Thu 😞
Jun23
When we reached Lubys we saw a sign informing customers that they were temporarily closed due to the pandemic.
I started trying to think of someplace else we could go and began looking around. I happened to spot a Dennys just up the street and it was one Olga and I use to eat at while I was teaching.
The girls made me put on my mask before we got down. As soon as I was inside I scanned the area and saw we were the only patrons wearing one. Sam explained that once you’re seated you are allowed to remove the mask.
We all wanted water and when our waitress brought our glasses to the table she asked if we were ready to order. I built a hamburger, the girls got eggs and salad.
I asked them what was going on and Sam told me a little bit about what she’s been doing with the kids. In addition to her home schooling she says she’s been having to write lesson plans for her grade level at middle-school.
When they were scrolling through their texts she noticed the picture of the frog I’d sent her. She became excited and said she wanted to see if she could find it. At first she couldn’t, so we zoomed in.
“Yay!”, she exclaimed, “There it is!”
I explained it’s kind of hard to see because people don’t expect it to be so small.
Olga cleaned her plate and I had to comment on it because I’ve never seen her eat so much. We joked about licking all the crumbs off then asking the waitress where our food was at. When we were finishing, I told them I had some cash and asked if I could leave the tip, but after taking out my five dollar bill they said they would not hear of it. While Olga was at the register Sam and I donned our masks once again then we all took off for the bar. I looked at the time and I believe it said 5:04.
When Sam found a place to park we all put on our masks and headed for a side entrance. That day though, the door was locked so we had to walk around to the front. The first thing we did when we got inside was look for a bathroom. Sam was acting like she didn’t remember where it was but her and Olga finally found the ladies room and I went to the men’s.

Fri 😃
Jun23
I came out and kind of waited for the girls but they took a long time. I stood around in the lobby then after awhile I went and sat at the bar.
The bartender asked what I wanted so I smiled then informed her that two more people would be joining me.
The girls finally came out and we went to a booth. While we waited for our first drink we talked about Olga’s dog. Sam asked why I couldn’t take ownership so I explained once again that I don’t like pets. Sam took out her phone and showed me pictures of her cats, then Olga took hers out too and showed me more pics of Pup-Pup.
We started drinking heavily almost immediately. I used the opportunity to find out what was going on in their lives and I learned a lot that day. We talked about things we’d never discussed before like why Sam doesn’t have any kids. First she told us she wanted to have children but when Olga challenged her on it she changed her story admitting that she really doesn’t. I still think she does though.
Sam talked about watching Ave and Aum and showed me videos she’d made. One showed Aum wearing high heels and playing teacher. Another showed Ave working on a laptop but actually all I saw was her pounding on the keys.
They of course took lots of pictures of the three of us and added captions to some of them like “Happy Father’s Day”.
I kept telling them how much they look alike.
We also talked about Mom. Both girls admitted there were problems with their mother growing up. I told them I was pretty much unaware of most of the issues they were throwing out at me. They didn’t believe it though, they said Mom told them I knew. I also heard Olga admit that she lived with Faron after she left my trailer.
I always suspected they’d moved in together especially after seeing them on the porch of the trailer I named “Three doors down” one time when I was “learning to walk again.”
I did ask her why she and her boyfriend stopped taking college classes. She said by then they wanted to start focusing on becoming good parents.
I have no plans to get drunk with them again but if I do I wish we could talk about the time I took Olga to the ER.

Sat 😃
Jun24
She made me go in with her and I heard the doctor ask when was the last time she had sex. First of all, I was totally shocked anyone would ask her that and, secondly, up until then I had not connected her tract infection with sex.
Now I’m wondering if she made me go in with her because she wanted me to know she was sexually active.
I forget what else I learned but I do remember getting very inebriated. One time I got up to use the restroom and could barely walk.
Time flew while we were drinking and before any of us realized it, the bar was starting to empty out. We kept the liquor coming as long as we could though. Finally, the girl bringing our drinks warned us that it was closing time.
Olga wanted to rent a room but Sam talked her into leaving the hotel and looking for a bar that was still open. They named a few they like to drink at but then decided not to go to any of those because there would probably be a lot of people. I staggered out of the hotel bar and we ended up driving to the beach.
I took out my phone a little after ten and started sending myself texts to remind me what was going on.
The first one says, “I’m messed up, thank You Jesus. Olga is driving and she’s sober enough to get us to the beach.”
The second one said, “Waiting for my daughter at 10:18. Thank you jesus. We just need to get to the island!”
I’m not sure where we were when I typed that but now I wonder if it was when they’d stopped at a liquor store. On the way, Sam said she wanted to check into the hotel I use to stay at when I was observing the Feast.
I also remember Sam asking if I knew where we were at. I looked around and told her where I thought we were but they laughed and informed me that my guess was several miles off. When Olga got us to the island we saw that the hotel was crowded and the parking lot was full. I told them that in all the years I’ve stayed there I never saw so many cars.
Sam wanted to go see the ocean next so Olga drove around looking for a beach access sign. They wanted to find the one we went to last time we were there.

Kissed by the Rain and Warmed by the Sun

Sun 😃
Suggested title: Kissed by the Rain,Warmed by the Sun
Info-box: sign_up_for_cable; sqrl_takes_green_card; mm_shows_up
Jun10; Back on the Pedestrian Symbol Route
I walked at a steady pace like I always do but I don’t think I made it to the motel, I think the alarm went off just as I was passing the ATM sign. I never use that bank by the way, it always looks empty and kind of creepy.
I reset the timer as I was turning around then headed back to the house. You aren’t going to believe this but it sounded again just as I’d stepped through Squirrel Gate. I hadn’t even taken my hat off yet.
Dude, I’m getting way too far ahead in my journal. I’ve already got all of next week’s done and I really don’t even have to write anything until Saturday the 13th.
I got two new episodes I need to document though, so I’ll try to keep it short. In fact, I’m thinking I’ll do 215 words right now and then try to write the other 215 tonight after the 6:15 editing alarm goes off, which is what I’m supposed to do. I shouldn’t be writing right now, it’s two oh five, so I ought to be editing but I’m afraid I might leave something out which, unfortunately, I’m quite famous for.
sign_up_for_cable
Anyhow, I got another letter from Spectrum begging me to sign up for cable. They’re starting to wear me down, especially since I constantly have to keep changing channels. I have to change stations a lot when I’m attempting to find one that doesn’t go wonky on me at exactly the wrong time.
The latest offer was to bundle internet, and TV, for 45.99 each per month. Since I can’t find anybody to install an air antenna, I decided to take them up on it.
I called the number on the card but they told me there was a long line and I should speak to a representative from my account page.
I got in and opened the chat box, and the first thing I asked was, “If I take the 45.99 bundle guarantee for one year can I pre-pay?”
The lady never did answer my question, and I ended up with the $145 per month plan.
She did promise to send me a card and told me to keep it in a safe place for when I need to return the equipment. What does that tell me?

Mon 😃
Jun10
sqrl_takes_green_card
It suggests that they’re going to go all “Frog in a frying pan” on me again.
Well, I ended up writing 334 words which means I’ll have to try to keep the second episode down to approximately 100 words.
Olga texted me while I was putting stupid stuff on the internet and said she was on her way. I had not showered, so I asked her to take the green card and just get the cash herself. Before she got here, I straightened the mattress cover on the green chair, and set the Winnie the Pooh bear, a candle MM left here, my green card, and a sticky note with my PIN number on it, in the seat cushion.
She knocked then came in and we greeted each other. She walked over towards the chair and asked about the ceiling fan lights. I told her I keep banging my head on them then started to explain why I’d chosen the toy and the candle.
She informed me MM had to go to another funeral home due to the fact that the place she works at raised the price for cremation. She said she’s still going to try and raise funds for the family though.
She asked me if I was interested in attending the viewing but I declined. I’m afraid they’ll try to get more money from me which is all right but I happen to know that MM’s grandmother had a boyfriend. When I told Olga, she commented that he’s probably an alcoholic and broke.
“Yep.”, I said, although, I really have no idea.
She was in a hurry to get back to her job and asked about returning the card. I told her to withdraw a hundred and try to get tens so I could give MM’s family fifty and Olga ten then maybe get a haircut with what’s left over. I also remembered to ask for a mask and she promised she would bring me one after work when she returns the card and the change.
The last editing alarm is about to sound and I can hear the rain starting again.
Now it’s the six o’clock hour. I came on to update the latest Squirrel episode.
Well first of all let me tell you what happened after I wrote earlier about hearing rain hitting the roof. A terrible lightning storm passed overhead and blew the lights out.

Tue 😃
Jun11
Believe it or not I sensed it was going to happen so I jumped up and started microwaving my hamburger patty while I still had electricity but it didn’t even get halfway done.
I tried sitting on the porch to catch the cool wind but the rain was blowing sideways so I had to come back in. When it subsided, the wind died down too so I went back outside. Dude, the humidity is really, really bad plus I got attacked by swarms and swarms of mosquitos.
I remained in my directors chair until about 5:45. When I looked through the living room window and noticed that the party lamp was lit, I came back in and watched the last of the news. I also stuffed the hamburger meat on waffle sandwich down my throat.
While I was resetting my Dad’s digital clock, Olga called. She said she was going to stay at work late and asked if it would be all right to drop the card off tomorrow.
I told her, “Sure, whenever you want.”
She informed me that she’d given the fifty to MM through Facebook but that’s all she said. Maybe she’ll tell me more tomorrow. She also said she’s going to try to drop the card off before she goes to work.
Right now I better check my bank account. brb. Well that little episode cost me $103.
When I turned the TV off I went back out to feed the mosquitos.
I saw two Yellow-Breasted Chats flying around above me in the telephone wires but they weren’t making any noise. Next I heard the mockingbirds fussing so I started looking for something to throw. Usually when I hear them squawking like that I know they’re signaling the presence of a cat. When I stood up however, I didn’t see any.
I heard something on the roof of the porch though and when I looked up I saw a squirrel’s tail hanging over the edge of one of the sheets of tin. The two mockingbirds kept diving towards it and I watched as the squirrel climbed down the post holding up the north end of the porch. He didn’t come all the way to the concrete floor though he stopped about midway then turned around and scurried back up onto the roof.
Today is Jun11. I was throwing my usual three fistfuls of diced potatoes into the skillet when I heard a knock.
I knew it would be Olga and I’d already opened the window over the sink so I yelled, “Come on in.”

Wed 😃
Jun12
I didn’t hear the door open so I hastily covered the potatoes then hurried through the living room. When I opened Squirrel Gate, Olga was standing there with a handful of bills. She also had the green card and a couple of masks.
She gave me two twenties and the card then held up the masks.
“Which one do you want?”, she inquired.
She was offering me a plain grey and a very flowery one. The colored mask looked kind of like hers so I pointed at the plain one.
“I knew you’d choose that one.”, she said handing it to me.
“I just need it to get a haircut.”, I explained.
She told me she needed to get to work so I thanked her but after she turned to go to her car I remembered I still hadn’t spoken to her about the groceries. I don’t like using her food stamps so I’m thinking maybe I’ll start walking to HEB again and bringing my stuff back home in a Lyft.
“I’ll let you know about the groceries.”, I blurted out.
She smiled and said she got a $900 credit on her EBT account this month.
“Wow!” I exclaimed, “How come they keep giving you food stamps?”
She said she didn’t know but it’s probably because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Aha!”, I exclaimed.
She said I can use $300 if I want so I told her again that I’d consider it. I’ll probably let her pick up my order but if I have to give her that much cash then I hope she’s willing to make two trips every month like I’ve been doing.
It’s because right now I only got one more dispenser of water plus I’m about to run out of Land O’ Lakes margarine and blueberry waffles. Anyway, I’ll talk to her about it.
mm_shows_up
I was snoozing, waiting for the 2:05 editing alarm to sound when another knock woke me. I opened the door to see MM standing there. She looked really upset, and told me she wanted a hug, so I put my arms around her and she started bawling. She’s gone now, but the front of my school tee shirt is still wet from her tears.
She told me she had just come from the funeral service. She sobbed as she talked about holding her grandma’s hand while she drew her last breath. She showed me a picture and said she saw a tear fall from her eye. She also mentioned that the grandmother had always planned to be cremated.

Thu 😃
Jun16
Apparently her family was about to get together at don Pepe’s. She didn’t invite me but before she left she thanked me for the donation. She remembered something else too so she stopped, turned back around, and said she was going to be visiting me more often. She says she really misses her grandmother.
I answered, “I understand.”
Later, I started getting equipment from Spectrum. First, Fedex delivered an envelope containing a cable card. I called the Samsung help line to find out where I was supposed to plug it in at and was informed by the representative that these days the cable provider usually puts the plug right on the modem.
Later when I was going to check the mail I found a box on the step. I set it inside on the foyer then after editing, I tore it open and started reading up on how to do the self installation. After I unpacked everything I discovered that the new modem they sent and the old one I been using are identical. I hooked the old one back up then flipped the TV on to make sure my Spectrum app still worked and when Andy Griffeth appeared, I called the help line.
The person I spoke to said he doesn’t know why they sent a new one. He did a cursory check, then informed me that the old one’s completely up to date. He told me I could return the equipment I’d just received so I assured him that I would. Before I let him go, I asked that he email me the location of the nearest store.
I guess I’ll ask someone to drive me there one of these days.
He also told me that the reason my monthly bill increased to $145 was because I’d signed up for the streaming ‘Silver Package.’
I’ll look online when I get a chance to see what extra stations I’m supposed to be getting.
I just located the TV guide on the laptop. The agent I spoke to earlier had mentioned HBO and I did see a lot of those. They were about the only thing different from the old Time Warner listings though. I did notice that they’ll be showing new episodes of House Hunters so I know what I’m going to be watching when I turn the TV on at nine.
Today is June sixteen. Last night Olga sent a strange text. She asked if I wanted their dog. That was totally out of the blue but I answered that there’s no way I can keep it here.

Fri 😃
Jun16
I did ask what had happened.
She said they found out that it isn’t “Kid friendly.”
I asked her what her plans are and she says she hopes she can find a good home for it. I was sympathetic and told her I hope it works out.
Later I texted and asked her if she wanted to use her EBT card to buy me some water thinking she’d order it then we could go get the cash to pay her back when she delivered it.
“I don’t really like using your card to buy my groceries…”, I hinted.
She understood and this morning I got a text saying she wasn’t going to be able to come at noon to set up the account like I’d asked her to. She said she doesn’t need the money but added that I could go ahead and order the water if I wanted. I was of course surprised that she turned down cash but didn’t argue about it.
I went to my HEB account and ordered the 9 dispensers of badly needed water, some butter sticks, a shaker of mustard powder (for my diced potatoes) and cranberry juice.
When HEB texted that they had received the order I forwarded it to Olga so she would know which numbers to use. I also screen shot the map of the pick-up location which included instructions on what to do upon her arrival. I shared that with her in an email.
Around five o’clock I got a phone call from a strange number. I answered thinking it might be Olga, and it was. She said her phone had died but assured me that she’d received the information she would need to pick up the order.
I turned the lights on in the kitchen, opened the cabinet doors under the counter then waited for her outside.
This time it took longer than usual. I don’t know if that was due to heavy traffic or what. We lugged the stuff in then chatted as I put the groceries away. While I muscled the dispensers onto the shelves under the counter, I thought about how surprised I was that they’d sent all nine this time.
She told me more about the incident with the dog. She said the trouble began when it had nipped Ave’s face. I was very concerned and warned her that she should get rid of it. She mentioned that she’d told Faron and the first thing he said was that it needs to be put down.

Sat 😞
Jun17
She took out a picture of Ave’s cheek and says she didn’t think it was all that bad. She didn’t take her to the doctor, she said she treated it herself. I examined the cheek for bite marks but all I saw were scratches.
I came to the recliner and went online next thinking she might want to set up her own HEB account but she didn’t really seem interested in doing that. She said she’d like to come tomorrow at lunch and bring us McDonalds. Right afterwards though she admitted she may not actually have the time. I told her to bring me a big Mac if she could and after she promised she would try, she headed for Squirrel Gate.
“I have to get back.”, she said, “Sam has the kids.”
I thanked her and said, “Goodbye.”
When she answered, I wished her “Goodnight”, as well.
Today is June seventeenth. I wrote yesterday how Olga promised to bring something to eat from McDonalds but this morning while I was putting stupid stuff on the internet I started getting texts. I thought it was to tell me she couldn’t get away from work but she wanted to know if I like Chick-fil-A. I answered that I do like it and said it would be nice if I could have one of their chicken sandwiches. I told her to please not bring anything too spicy though.
She said, “OK” then promised to be here sometime after twelve.
I didn’t turn on the AC or shower because I know a lot of times she’ll say she’s going to come but isn’t always able to get away.
I think it was half past noon when I heard her knock. I had to get up and unlock Squirrel Gate because I had not gone walking or sat outside that morning. She came in carrying a bag of food and headed for the dining room. I stopped her however and invited her to sit in the green chair under the fan. She kind of hesitated so I busily began clearing everything off the small glass table I’ve been using lately. I had to move the coffee table to make room under the fan for the recliner.
She was carrying her salad in one hand and my bag in the other. She passed it over to me as she took her seat. When I opened it I saw that she had indeed scored me a chicken sandwich along with some fries. I dug right in and the chicken tasted delicious.

Ghosts, Lots of Ghosts

Sun 😃
Suggested title: Ghosts, Lots of Ghosts
Info-box: stuffing_diced_potatoes; cheese_puffs; mm_grandmother_passes_away
Jun04; Electrician is installing the new ceiling fan
He told me I was going to get a lot of air from now on when I’m in the recliner. I sat down and tried it and he’s right. I told him it would be great if I didn’t have to carry the oscillating fan around with me any more.
The time is 4:14.
I came out to charge the laptop and right now someone is working on the back door but I don’t know why.
Ummm….maybe they’re spraying WD-40 on the lock, Oaf?
I noticed the TV had been plugged into the wall behind the table I set it on so I unplugged it then got the multi socket plug from behind Aunt Tom’s desk. That thing has been back there for maybe twenty years. Mom installed it while we were still married.
I came back into the living room and disconnected everything from the extension cord. One of the workers came over and helped me plug the electronics in and now the modem, TV, and antenna are all connected into one outlet. The extension cord that ran across the carpet from the surge protector is gone now too and for the first time in years I don’t have to worry about tripping over it.
I checked all the switches and discovered that the hall light and the light in the middle bedroom still weren’t working. The lead electrician came in so I mentioned it to him. He flipped the switches and he couldn’t get them to come on either so he and his helper are trying to fix it right now. The time is 4:47.
They still haven’t been able to get the hall light to come on. The boss just told me he’s going to have to stop by tomorrow. I told him I’m sorry he has to come back out but he said we’ll do the paperwork before he leaves then promised he would pop in real quick in the morning and replace the fixture.
He also said he’d sprayed the back door lock and it’s working now. I tried the key in the top lock but it doesn’t work, it still only unlocks the front.
He brought his iPad over to Monsieur Frogs table, knelt down next to the recliner and we talked about how much they’re going to charge me. I think I’ll still have about a thousand left when they take everything out.
I asked him for a card and he says he will bring me one in the morning when he comes to fix the hall light. Oh crap the AC snapped on again. The time is 5:41.
Dude, I just checked the Word Counter and I’m already 300 words into the week of May14!
I checked my account again too and I got $1018. 03 left. The company charged me 90 + 780 + 877.08 = 1747.08.
I hope my SS check covers my last three bills again this month. If it does, I can look into getting a TV antenna from one of the local businesses that advertises good reception, even in poor weather.
I kept hitting my head on the new ceiling fan while I was rooling up the sidewalk so I had to remove the globes and bulbs. I’ll try to get use to ducking so I can put them back in-I hope. Also one of the switches in my bathroom that was working when the electricians left doesn’t work anymore.
stuffing_diced_potatoes
Today is Jun04. I was watching Crime Watch Daily when I got a call from one of the secretaries at the electric company.

Mon 😃😞😁
Jun04
She informed me that a tech was on his way.
I told her, “Thank you…” and, “I’ve been expecting him.”
I was of course stuffing hash browns in my mouth when I heard the knock. I was a little annoyed but I got up and opened Squirrel Gate. I’m kind of upset because of the new switch in the bathroom that’s already broken. Anyway, the electrician was his usual optimistic self and I tried to be nice but I wasn’t feeling any enthusiasm.
I told him and his helper, “Good morning” when they greeted me but turned right back around and finished my potatoes.
The lead guy asked what was up with the ceiling fan. I told him how I’d started bumping my head on it last night after they left. I let him know that it’s my fault and not his.
I was halfway through my egg on toast sandwich when he notified me that the hall light was working. I looked and smiled when I saw it burning again. He set the business card I’d asked him to bring last night on the coffee table then we told each other to have a nice day.
I checked my bank account to see if he’d charged me for coming out but it’s still showing $1018. When I sat down to put stupid stuff on the internet I checked my gmail and he’d sent an invoice showing a zero balance.
I also found a service plan brochure next to the card. Last night while he was on his knee next to the recliner he said he was going to sign me up for the plan but I been thinking about it and I’m not interested.
The reason I say that is because well for one thing they hadn’t even finished wiring yesterday when the light switch in the middle bedroom stopped working and I already wrote about the switch in the back bathroom.
If I email him I’ll tell him I’m not going to sign up for the plan because it looks like I’m going to be right back where I started. The lights have alreday begun going out again.
very_nostalgic
I gotta admit though, when I saw everything working I got very nostalgic.

Tue 😃😞😁
Jun05
I remember when I use to smoke on Friday at 9:00. I’d leave a different light on every night then on Thursday I’d turn on the one in the utility room. On Friday and Saturday I’d fire up the party lamp. Then Sunday, before I cashed, I’d turn on the light over the sink in my bathroom and on subsequent nights I’d work my way out until Thursday when I’d leave the light on in the utility room again. Those days are long gone but it was nice to see all the lights in the house come on, even if it was only for one day.
Later while I was still looking back I remembered writing about ‘the end of an era’ the night Olga’s Christmas lights didn’t come on. I probably started leaving her ceiling light on every other Tuesday after that.
Dude, I think that string of lights is still in the middle bedroom closet. I wonder what would happen if I plugged them in right now?
Okay, I tried them and none of them came on but I looked up the price on my Walmart account and they’re very cheap. I’m not going to order any though I just wondered why they didn’t last very long.
Today is Jun05. I’m way ahead in my journal but since it’s Friday and last week’s post is in the can I will probably have plenty of time to edit whatever I get done towards the next two weeks’ quotas. I’ll try to keep it short though.
cheese_puffs
Because today is Friday, I had to give my milk the sniff test and the jug I got last Thursday from Walmart did not pass. I been kind of wanting to go to Stripes to see if they have Cheese Puffs so when the 8:30 walking alarm sounded I grabbed my hat and my mask and took off.
I walked up the back alley and it felt like half of March, all of April and May, and the first 4 days in June never even happened. I haven’t been practicing any coping strategies but when confronted with hostility, I didn’t feel my face turn red. Yay!
I got to the store and saw that some of the patrons were wearing masks but not everybody. There was a UPS driver coming out when I reached the door so he held it open for me but before I went in, I asked him if we had to wear a mask. He wasn’t wearing one so all he did was shrug. I thanked him and once inside I saw that the cashiers were wearing masks but not all the customers had theirs on.
I walked around the aisles to the chips and they had lots of bags of Cheese Puffs so I grabbed two thinking that would give me enough to last hopefully, until at least Jun20. It’s because I like to alternate between potato chips and Cheese Puffs when I have my second snack at 7:40.
I continued on to the back coolers and saw they were stocked up on milk, too so I grabbed another bottle of Bordens. When I had everything I walked towards the registers, stood on the social distance mat, and started scoping out the displays.

Wed 😃😞😁
Jun08
They’ve put pies out in front of the register again so when the friendly cashier motioned me over I grabbed a lemon and a cherry. After exiting I didn’t walk to the turnaround tree. I think I’ll go back to my regular routes next week.
Monday I’ll walk to the ATM and get some cash then try to make an appointment at Cedar Hut. If they tell me I have to wear a mask though I may have to wait until I can score one. Olga offered me three surgical masks the last time she was here but I didn’t take her up on it. I’m hoping my barber won’t make me wear one next time I have to go in for a haircut but we shall see.
this_years_injured_bird
Today is Jun08. I’ve been hearing a bird all day. It sounds like it’s in the bread tree but I’ve been sitting outside waiting for the alarms to sound and have yet to locate it. It sounds very close so I’ve been trying to identify what kind it is. Sometimes I think it’s a nightingale but it doesn’t make the three repetitive chirps like a nightingale does.
I went to check the mail during the six o’clock hour and thought about looking around the yard and Olga’s swing tree on my way back up the driveway but when I returned I didn’t hear anything. I didn’t get any mail either so I came back inside to grab my glasses and that’s when I started hearing it again.
When I stepped back onto the porch I found out why I couldn’t spot it. It’s on the ground and it looks injured. Wow, I say that every year don’t I?
This one has yellow feathers but I can’t identify it because I don’t recall seeing one before. I turned on the camera and tried to get close enough to take a picture but it hopped off the edge of the porch and hobbled along the bottom of the skirting. I left it alone hoping it would come back and hide again and after I sat down it actually did turn around.
When the 6:15 editing alarm sounded I could see it’s head when I looked over the Director’s chair but I’m still going to leave it alone. I think it’s best to let nature take it’s course when an injured bird takes refuge in and around the porch. I just hope I don’t find it’s body or see it get eaten by the grey cat.
This one is very noisy and I’ve never seen any like that. Usually they’ll remain quiet and try to stay out of sight like the baby mockingbird did last year.
Dude, I only need 13 more words and I’ll have Wednesday’s quota. Yay!

Thu 😃😞😁
Jun09
I can still hear the bird so I went and looked out the kitchen window. Now I’m wondering if it’s a whippoorwill. It kind of sounds like one and it has a mask. Hold on. It’s not a whippoorwill I looked it up and it’s called a Yellow-breasted Chat.
I also found a video and it must get it’s name from the way it chatters. That’s exactly what the bird on my porch has been doing all day.
Yellow-breasted Chat
Chatter
Today is Jun09. I didn’t get up and walk after all. I stayed in bed until 8:00. I slept real good last night though.
a_vivid_dream
I had a vivid dream but all I remember about it was getting startled by my dead brother Billy. He poked his head into the doorway and scared the crap out of me. I thought I was going to have a heart attack.
The oscilating fan makes weird noises at night. Last night wasn’t the first time I’d been awakened by strange voices. The last time it happened I laid awake and listened and it was creepy. I could almost make out what they were saying.
Later I dreamed Bill gave me some kind of box that I could watch TV on.
Dude, I just got hit by another wave of nostalgia.
We use to live in the same seedy hotel in Fort Worth back in the seventies. He had a steady job so he put a television in his room. While he was out getting drunk at night and seeing women he let me go in his room and watch TV. That’s when I got hooked on Battlestar Galactica and I think I first started watching it when the name changed to Battlestar Galactica 78.
The TV box he gave me in the dream was about the size of a jack in the box and I’m remembering that it might have had more than four sides like Tetrahedral Dice. Bill signed me up and then when I wanted to watch something I had to tell whoever was listening to put it on for me.
The voice asked what I wanted so I said, “Battlestar Galactica” and the last thing I remember is hearing the person telling someone to crank it up for me.
I didn’t drink my two cups of coffee this morning. As soon as I brushed my teeth and put on clothes I started breakfast. As a result, I’ve been falling asleep a lot.

Fri 😃😞😁
Jun10
I didn’t want to go looking for the injured bird I wrote about. I was afraid I’d find him laying on his back with ants all over him. I didn’t even look out the kitchen window but when I did go to sit outside I’m pretty sure I heard a Chat.
mm_grandmother_passes_away
Today is Jun10. When I checked my phone this morning I was surprised to see a text message. I opened it and it was from Sqrl. She said MM’s grandmother passed away last night then went on to say she’s in charge of the funeral (you go, Girl!) and they’re taking cash donations.
It made me feel sad so I told her I would contribute fifty but right now I don’t have any cash. She texted again a few minutes later and asked if I need her to stop by later.
I took her up on it and said “Please stop by if you can.”

Sat 😃😞😁
Jun10 Hephzibah said to open it (2Tim 3:12)
I haven’t heard from her since.
I’m glad she’s going to stop by because she can pick up my card and withdraw a hunnert. That way I can donate the $50 and get $20 for a hair cut. I have to try to remember to ask her for the surgical mask she offered as well.
While I was watching the News on CBS about Newark I kind of wondered if anybody was going to start a memorial in the grandmother’s yard. I wanted to set the Winnie the Pooh bear La La left here when MM and her were staying with me under one of her trees. Now that I think about it the grandmother might have brought it over because I remember her bringing a toy once. I wanted to set it under the rubber tree plant next to her porch when I passed by on my way to the pedestrian symbol intersection but I was afraid I’d run into Tio.
At 8:30 I grabbed the hat they gave me and my phone. This morning I kind of wanted to know how far towards HEB I can get in fifteen minutes so I set the timer and took off. I didn’t even look over as I passed the Grandmother’s trailer but I did notice the same two cars under her carport.
When I got to the drainage ditch I remembered I’d forgotten to put my robber’s mask in my back pocket. I’m pretty sure we’re no longer required to wear one in public but I still think it’s a good idea to carry it. You never know what the cops are going to do.
As I neared the tracks I looked over towards the motel I use to stay at during the Feast to see what kind of railroad cars were parked there. This time I saw both hopper and tank cars. I remember there’s always some kind of cars lined up but I don’t recall ever seeing a combination of both.
I walked up to the pole and hit the south crossing button with my elbow then when the pedestrian symbol lit up I crossed and hit the one pointing west.

Sun 😃😞😁
Suggested title: Kissed by the Rain and Warmed by the Sun; Hold On
the Rain
Info-box:
Jun10
I walked at a steady pace like I always do but I don’t think I made it to the motel, I think the alarm went off just as I was passing the ATM sign. I don’t use that bank by the way, it always looks empty and kind of creepy.
I reset the timer as I was turning around then headed back to the house. You aren’t going to believe this but it sounded again just as I’d stepped through Squirrel Gate. I hadn’t even taken my hat off.
Dude, I’m getting way too far ahead in my journal again. I’ve already got all of next week’s done and I really don’t even have to write anything until Saturday the 13th.
I got two new episodes I need to write about though, so I’ll try to keep it short. In fact, I’m thinking I’ll do 215 words right now and then try to write the other 215 tonight after the 6:15 editing alarm goes off like I’m supposed to. I shouldn’t be writing right now as a matter fact. It’s 2:05 and I should be editing. It’s just that I’m afraid I might leave something out which, unfortunately I’m quite famous for doing.
sign_up_for_cable
Anywho, I got another letter from Spectrum begging me to sign up for cable. They’re starting to wear me down, especially since I keep having to change channels a lot in an attempt to find one that doesn’t turn all fuzzy at exactly the wrong time.
The latest offer was to bundle internet and TV for 45.99 each per month. Since I can’t find anybody to put in an air antenna, I decided to take them up on it.
I called the number on the card but they told me there was a long line and I should speak to a representative through my account. I got in and opened the chat box and the first thing I asked was if I take the 45.99 bundle guarantee for one year can I pre-pay. The lady never did answer my question and I ended up with a $145 per month plan.
She did promise to send me a card and told me to keep it in a safe place for when I need to return the equipment. What does that tell me?
It suggests that they’re going to go all “Frog in a frying pan” on me again.
Well, I ended up writing 334 words which means I’ll have to try to keep the second episode down to approximately 100 words.
sqrl_takes_green_card
Olga texted me while I was putting stupid stuff on the internet and said she was on her way. I had not showered so I asked her to take the green card and get the cash herself. Before she got here I straightened the mattress cover on the green chair and set the Winnie the Pooh bear, a candle MM left here, my green card and a sticky note with my PIN number on the seat cushion.

Mon 😃😞😁
Jun10
She knocked then came in and we greeted each other. She walked over towards the chair and asked about the ceiling fan lights. I told her I keep banging my head on them then started to explain why I’d chosen the toy and the candle.
She informed me MM had to go to another funeral home due to the fact that the place she works at raised the price for cremation. She said she’s still going to try and raise funds for the family though.
She asked me if I was interested in attending the viewing but I declined. I’m afraid they’ll try to get more money from me which is all right but I happen to know that MM’s grandmother had a boyfriend. When I told Olga, she commented that he’s probably an alcoholic and broke.
“Yep.”, I said although I really have no idea.
She was in a hurry to get back to her job and asked about returning the card. I told her to withdraw a hundred and try to get tens so I could give MM’s family fifty and Olga ten then maybe get a haircut with what’s left over.
I also remembered to ask for a mask and she promised she would bring me one after work when she returns the card and the change.
The last editing alarm is about to sound and I can hear the rain starting again.
Now it’s the six o’clock hour. I came on to update the latest Sqrl episode.
Well first of all let me tell you what happened after I wrote earlier about hearing rain hitting the roof. A terrible lightning storm passed overhead and blew the lights out. Believe it or not I sensed that it was going to happen so I jumped up and started microwaving my hamburger patty while I still had electricity but it didn’t even get halfway done.
I tried sitting on the porch to catch the cool wind but the rain was blowing sideways so I had to come back in. When it subsided, the wind died down too so I went back outside. Dude, the humidity is really really bad plus I got attacked by swarms and swarms of mosquitos.
I remained in my directors chair until about 5:45 when I noticed that the party lamp was lit. I came back in and watched the last of the news while I stuffed the hamburger meat on waffle sandwich in my mouth.
While I was resetting my Dad’s digital clock Olga called. She said she was going to stay at work late and asked if it would be all right to drop the card off tomorrow.
I told her, “Sure, whenever you want.”
She informed me that she’d given the fifty to MM through Facebook but that’s all she said. Maybe she’ll tell me more tomorrow. She said she’s going to try to drop the card off before she goes to work. Right now I better check my bank account. brb. Well that little episode cost me $103.
When I turned the TV off I went back out to feed the mosquitos.

Tue 😃😞😁
Jun11
I saw two Yellow-Breasted Chats flying around above me in the telephone wires but they weren’t making any noise. Next I heard the mockingbirds fussing so I started looking for something to throw. Usually when I hear them squawking like that I know they’re signalling the presence of a cat. When I stood up however, I didn’t see any.
I heard something on the roof of the porch though and when I looked up I saw a squirrel’s tail hanging over the edge of one of the sheets of tin. The two mockingbirds kept flying towards it and I watched the squirrel climb down the post that holds up the north end of the porch. He didn’t come all the way to the concrete floor though he stopped about midway then turned around and scurried back up onto the roof.
Today’s Jun11. I was throwing my usual three fistfuls of diced potatoes into the skillet when I heard a knock.
I knew it would be Olga and I’d already opened the window over the sink so I yelled, “Come on in.”
I didn’t hear the door open so I covered the potatoes and hurried through the living room. When I opened Squirrel Gate, Olga was standing there with a handful of bills. She also had the green card and a couple of masks.
She gave me two twenties and the card then held up the masks.
“Which one do you want?”, she inquired.
She was offering a grey and a rather flowery one. The colored mask looked kind of like the one she wears so I pointed to the plain one.
“I knew you’d choose that one.”, she said handing it to me.
“I just need it to get a haircut.”, I replied.
She told me she needed to get to work so I thanked her but after she turned to go to her car I remembered to talk to her about the groceries. I still don’t like using her food stamps so I’m thinking maybe I start walking to HEB again and bringing my stuff back home in a Lyft.
“I’ll let you know about the groceries.”, I quickly told her.
She smiled and said she got a $900 credit on her EBT this month.
“Wow!” I exclaimed, “How come they keep giving you food stamps?”

Wed 😃😞😁
Jun12
She said she didn’t know but it’s probably because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Ah!”, I exclaimed.
She said I can use $300 if I want so I told her again that I’d let her know. I’ll probably let her pick up my order but if I have to give her that much cash then I hope she’s willing to make two trips like I have to do every month.
It’s because right now I only got one more dispenser of water plus I’m about to run out of Land O’ lakes margarine and blueberry waffles. Anyway, I’ll talk to her about it.
mm_shows_up

I was snoozing waiting for the 2:05 editing alarm to sound when another knock woke me. I opened the door to see MM standing there. She looked really upset and told me she wanted a hug so I put my arms around her and she started bawling. My school tee shirt is still wet from her tears.
She told me she had just come from the funeral service. She sobbed as she talked about holding her grandma’s hand while she was taking her last breath. She showed me a picture and said she saw a tear fall from her eye.
She also mentioned that the grandmother had always planned to be cremated.
Apparently her family was about to get together at don Pepe’s. She didn’t invite me she thanked me for the donation then turned to leave. She remembered something so she stopped, turned back around, and said she was going to be visiting more often because she really misses her grandmother.
“I understand.”, I answered.
I started getting equipment from Spectrum later. Fedex delivered an envelope first and inside was a cable card. I called the Samsung help line to find out where I was supposed to plug it in at and was informed that nowadays the cable provider puts a plug on the modem.
Later when I was going to check the mail I found a box on the step. I set it inside then after editing I tore it open and started reading up on how to do the self installation. After I unpacked everything I discovered the new modem they sent and the old one I been using are exactly the same. I hooked the old one back up then turned on the TV to make sure the Spectrum app still works. When Andy Griffeth came on I called the help line.
The person I spoke to said he doesn’t know why they sent me a new one. He did a check and said the old one is completely up to date. He told me to just return the new equipment so I had him email me the address to the nearest store.

Thu 😃😞😁
Jun
I guess I’ll have someone drive me there one of these days.
He also told me that the reason my monthly bill went up to $145 is because I signed up for the streaming ‘Silver Package.’ I’ll look online when I get a chance to see what extra stations I’m supposed to be getting.
I found the TV guide on the laptop. The agent mentioned HBO and I saw a lot of their channels but I haven’t seen anything else different from the old schedule.
I did see that they’ll be showing new episodes of House Hunters and now I know what I’ll be watching when I turn the TV on at 9:00.