IntrepidWoman's Journey

Letters from Home…

Posted on: July 1, 2011

Dear Friends,

Intrepid Woman has moved to ‘the home’. It has been 31 days now. Not sure why I am counting because it is not a life sentence. It is likely a two-year time of living the good life surrounded by middle to upper class silver-haired, retired, but not tired seniors.

This was a big move up. I am on the main floor now, but used to be in the basement. Is that how one gets to heaven? One floor at a time? I sure hope there is an elevator or at the very least, an escalator at some point in this trip as it is going to be a long one…

So, back to ‘the home’. It is awesome. After 40 years of living in “old, with character”, I am finally living in new, and I am the character. Nice.

After 26 months in the hole, not knowing what the weather was like, not being able to open a window, having a dark green carpet and always having the lights on, I have been promoted to three BIG windows that slide open with massive screens, brand new, light-colored carpet, a full glass door to a balcony… Bliss, baby, pure bliss! You take fresh air for granted until you live in a basement suite without windows that open. Granted, it was cozy and clean, and the landlords were the nicest people, which is partly why I stayed so long. The new landlord is another story.


Life in the Home –

is interesting and different. The complex has 3 buildings facing each other at angles so you do not see directly into anyone’s windows. Someone was thinking when they planned that. It was not the same guy who designed the kitchen however. The kitchen has tons of cupboards and is laid out in the classic U of convenience, but it is walled in with a little pass through to the main room. It should have been wide open to the rest with a breakfast bar so you would not have to turn on the light every time you enter, and there would be the illusion of a larger space.

Ah, but I am not complaining, just explaining. The condo is awesome and the only place it has that hospital smell is in the foyer by the elevator, could be the cleaning products that are used. I love that the hallway to my unit is hotel-typical and the number on my door is a shiny circle of imitation brass. Hotel living at its best, but much less expensive.

Other perks include: in-floor heat, underground parking, dishwasher, stacking washer/dryer hidden in kitchen, storage room in suite and another near parking space….

The landlord is another story – the male counterpart to the team of owners is the “Mr. Fixit” of the investment properties. He comes with a big tool bag and is a personable fellow, but his fix- it skills are nil. I am not sure if this is on purpose to scare me so I never call again or what.

Case in point: day one – no hot water at all in the tub. He tried several things, called a friend, and finally had it half fixed, saying he was out of tape and would return to fix now-loose faucet. Never returned.

I mentioned that a warped lid to the  dispenser in the dishwasher should be added to ‘damages in suite’ list. I also mentioned that it must have touched the heat element but it was still totally in working order. Instead of adding it to list, Mr. Fix-it took it with him. I have never seen it or a replacement since. Sigh!

Next: toilet handle stuck when flushed. I thought this was minor to fix. The F Man was here for several hours, ended up with water everywhere and left a toilet that ran non-stop and leaked from the tank to the floor as a bonus. And he never came back. After waiting two weeks, I emailed and asked if they could call a certified plumber. Have not heard back. But he IS a really personable fellow. I just wish his current choice of careers was manager. If he could manage to call a plumber, I would appreciate it.


A Moving Day….

Move-in day was… there are no words to describe it, at least not briefly. I hired a guy off Kijiji for the big move. He said ‘one price, no surprises’ and gave me a quote. I replied that it was too low and added 50%.

On the day of the move, he said he might not be able to move it all in one trip. I said two trips then. He said he only did one unless we re-negotiate the price. I said, right – negotiate back to the original amount! He said he was a family man. I said I was a senior….

Of course it all fit in his trailer with room for lots more and we headed to the condo complex. BTW – he was 26.

Kijiji Man said he was going to move everything over the balcony into the unit. Out comes Condo KOP (Keeper of Policies) to tell him, “Not! Against condo rules!”

K-Man yells some profanities and C-KOP says, “Not open for discussion. Against the rules!”  Intrepid Woman takes K-Man aside and says, “Sorry, must follow rules. I know they suck, but I have to live here”; then takes C-KOP aside and says, “Sorry! I found this crazy guy on Kijiji!”

K-Man moved my belongings in so fast, through the front door, that I was running behind him, picking up the things that were falling out of boxes. AND I had to deal with the meeters and  greeters who lined up to watch all my earthly possessions being moved in. It is ‘An Occasion’ for residents. They were dressed in their Sunday best, (it was Sunday,) and they watched each piece of furniture move through the doors. I was introduced and shook hands and will never remember who any of them were as I was hot and sweaty and attempting to keep K-Man away from C-KOP.

For the first time in my life, I questioned my lack of interest in material possessions. As my white princess dresser from when I was 15 and my metal bed frame that I took out of a friend’s garbage 30 years ago passed through the line of seniors, I was a bit embarrassed. Then came the flowered sofa from the Sears catalogue about 30 years ago. Everyone was quiet until K-Man walked through with my saddle.

“Nice saddle!” one woman said. “Yes, nice saddle!”, said another. Then C-KOP asked, “Do you have a horse?”  “Uh, no…”  Later, I decided it is time to donate my saddle to a ranch where they have kids’ camps, near Longview. Freckles would like that.

K-Man finished in record time and headed into the condo. I side-tracked him out to the front sidewalk. We stood there. He said, “You know it’s cash, eh?”

“Yes,” I said as I pulled out a pile of neatly folded twenties from my pocket. He left and I walked very briskly into my new domain and locked the door.

Later that day, a sheaf of papers was slipped under my door – ”Rules from the Condo Board.”  Condo KOP stopped me a day later to mention the two stained glass pieces I had propped in my windows. “Not allowed” she said. “Did you read the rules I left under your door?”   “No”, I replied. “I have been busy moving.”

Did I mention – I LOVE my new place. Really.


I thank my ex-husband for . . .

4 things. No, Jim, David and Dean do not have a sister I never mention. (It is MY sister I never mention.)

On my list of fave things from my ex is #4 – the egg in the hole.

This culinary delight was explained to me by a 20-year-old, red-haired and freckled boy scout leader who had cooked many of these over open fires at numerous scout camps. If you have not had one, you are missing a great wonder of the world. I have been a fan since 1968.

Since moving into ‘the home’, I have been craving an ‘egg in the hole’.  Because it is very light and bright at 5 am and I do not have room darkening curtains, I am up prowling around for a few hours before work every day. Today is a holiday, so I made some Tim Horton’s coffee, added a little chocolate and started thinking about an egg in the hole.

With great excitement and giddy anticipation, I realized that I could actually cook one, have it for breakfast and not run out the door to work. So I did it. In my wonderful U-shaped kitchen of convenience, I got out the teflon fry pan, a small glass, margarine (made from olive oil), one slice of bread, a knife and an egg. Life is good when you live in ‘the home’! I added Adam Lambert as a garnish.

Recipe for those who’ve never been a boy scout: butter the bread lightly on both sides. Use glass to cut a circle out of the middle of the bread. Lay slice in heated pan with cut out right next to it. Break egg gently into the hole in the slice. Cook for a few minutes and then flip both slice and cut out. It is up to you whether you want it over-easy, sunny-runny or cooked firm. Remove to plate and cut into bite size pieces. If you feel really adventurous, add jam to all or just to the round cutout for a sweet treat.

Add juice or coffee to the place mat, “Jeramiah was a Bullfrog” for ambiance and enjoy! I forgot to mention that the knife is useful to pull the cutout of bread out of the glass after you have forced it in there….


2 Responses to "Letters from Home…"

Omigosh Jan.. what a great writer you are!!
I LOVE your musings with the Move-In Day story.. the details complete with K-Man and C-Kop… to say nothing of the grey-haireds who watched the flowered couch come in!! LOVE it! Such visual imaging is great for those of us with Visually focussed minds!

And.. BTW.. congrats on the new place.. complete with fresh air and windows that open.. even if you cannot lean your stained glass in them!!! (wow.. what a stupid rule that is!!) I can imagine you sniffing the fresh-after-rain-air early in the morning! and.. your Light Sleeper you… ( or should I say NON-sleeper in daylight?) get some darkening curtains for your bedroom so you will sleep beyond birdsongs! Here in |Costa Rica, non darkened curtains work, as there is darkness generally from 6 pm to 5/30 am!! but there.. with the sun still shining at this time of the year till well past 9.30 pm.. and getting up again at 4 or so.. you need to take care of your sleep beyond the melatonine tablets at night!!

Meanwhile.. some 40 days later.. are you still loving home in the condo? Did Mr.-Promise-To-Fixit get the toilet and the dishwasher fixed??
And…. are you still happy doing work where you are doing work? What??? now also at a Casino??? What the heck??? But I think I can guess that may be a good way to keep the wolf from the door while the ‘Pass Real Estate company sells your sweet little memorable Church in the Wildwood! I am sad that it seems necessary for you to have two jobs!! At our age we need to think about working half time. not double time!!

Anyway. my friend.. I wanted to let you know your musings are really wonderful and funny and creative and informative as well as just great to read.. thanks!

Many blessings, ( includiing a working toilet and dishwasher! and a well managed Mr Fixit in this new phase of your Life.. I love you…

hugs from cool but nice Costa Rica…

Thank you Dear Inger! Ten minutes with a certified plumber and functions we take for granted can again be taken for granted! I don’t think the cap for the dishwasher liguid is ever coming back, but at least it is usable.

Working at the Casino is volunteer time. Our cultural & heritage department in Okotoks is supported by the Ok. Arts Council and the Heritage Society. Both volunteer groups rely on volunteers when they get to do casinos to raise funds. It is only for 2 nights at a time and not annually, and the amount they receive is huge compared to doing bingos or bake sales. Both groups support my programs in many ways so I am only too happy to give of my time. Besides, it is fun counting dirty money until the wee hours, ha! ha!

I hope my current job is my last full time gig. I can see Freedom City just 25.5 months down this dirt road….

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