Richmond Drive

CIMG2337This is the “high-rise” for which I’m on the waiting list. Peggy and I had a 5:00 appointment yesterday so she could see the interior and figure out if she’d like to apply too and I could see a now vacant apartment and measure before the resident moves in. Tra la la, here’s the rear entrance:

CIMG2338

The manager, with whom I’d reconfirmed our appointment earlier by voice mail, was nowhere to be found. Errrrrg! We don’t have a car so a friend of Peggy’s took us over. The manager’s absence made us both furious but, trying to make the best of it, I showed Peg the common rooms and asked a couple of residents about mail boxes [yes] and individual climate control in the apartments [yes].

Here’s the lovely sun room, which I imagine on a winter day with snow gently falling:

CIMG2339

And, what respectable over-62 income-based apartment building would be without a crafts and Bingo room?

CIMG2342

So much for the common areas …

Damn it, I want to measure an apartment! So …seeing residents about, I start to schmooze. “Oh gee, we had an appointment to see Janet at 5:00 … she was going to show us a vacant apartment so I could measure and Peggy can see if she likes them … we don’t have a car, so it’s difficult to get here … and Peggy works during the day …”

The first woman looked suspicious and wiggled out of showing us her apartment with, “Oh, I don’t think I should. I might get in trouble.”

Excuse me?

On to the next woman inside the laundry room and out of hearing range (I hope) from “I might get in trouble.”

Success!

Joanne cheerfully showed us her apartment which, because she’s on the fourth floor and her windows look out at trees, I immediately coveted. No, I didn’t take pictures because that seemed rude after I’d self-invited us up, but she is such a nice woman that she showed us every nook and cranny – which I measured. 

Doncha love that feeling of “mission accomplished”?

O.K., so this is not your dream home. I, on the other hand, think of it as an apartment building in Brooklyn.  My grandparents lived in a similar building way-back-when with all those lovely things like mailboxes on the wall, elevators, love seats on each floor opposite said elevators so you can rearrange your packages – everything except the bingo room – so I’m o.k. with it.

Besides, I need some time to ‘calm my ship’.

Painting by Horatio Ordoza

Painting by Horatio Ordoza

[Yes, the canoe would approximate the size of my ‘ship’ right now.]

The rent on Richmond Drive is right, and it’s location, location, location.

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Now I’m calling the manager-who-doesn’t-write-her-appointments-down so I can see a vacant apartment and measure properly!

Back in the U.S.S.A.

I know the Beatles did “Back in the USSR” as a nod to Chuck Berry’s “Back in the USA”, but it’s the Beatles’ song that’s playing in my head – with my own rearranged lyrics that repeat “Back in the, back in the, back in the U.S.S.A.” Why, you might ask, am I conflating these tunes? I’d answer that few things make sense, much like my home nation’s current jihad on Syria.

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Last week was Doctor Week!  A new GP and three new Specialists. New Rx. New strategies for chronic conditions. Thus the following phrase is to be sung to the tune of Joe Cocker’s “Many Rivers to Cross” – with new lyrics: “Many co-pays to pay …..”

doctor extracts money

That’s why I’m devoting time this week to finding a Medigap policy.  We’ll just see about that, won’t we?

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I got in touch with an acquaintance here in da Ville who told me he had an old 80s Honda Spree in his shed that he wants to sell.  Synchronicity.

I chose this picture with a person riding to show you how tiny this scoot is.

Honda spreeFrankly, I was shaky when I took it for a test drive. My balance isn’t what it used to be. The fact that it will make up to 30 mph with so little between you and the asphalt is scary. It’s hard to imagine putting this thing into a car lane where most people do NOT drive the speed limit.

street traffic

Eeeeeeeeeek!

Gawd, I’m old.

Well, the scoot’s in the shop for an estimate on making it road worthy (yes, I’d like the back brakes to work and mirrors in the front) and if the numbers play I’ll be buying a helmet, knee pads, cable lock, orange caution flag, and trunk of some sort to store same, ‘cuz there is zero space for anything on this baby.

Yesterday I was in a thrift store and found a pair of kid’s Hot Wheel knee pads for a dollar each.

Hot wheels knee padsThey make dandy elbow pads.

My final scooter related purchase will be a street map of Lou’vulle so I can stay off the main drag.

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Last week, for one miserable day, I was defeated by the heat and the public bus system.

humidity

It was more the bus system because I HAD TO TAKE TWO BUSES. Like any mediocre transit system, transfers aren’t synched. Many bus stops have zero shelter.  As the wait grinds on, one bakes or one freezes. I suppose it’s more or less the same to the intellects who design the schedules.

Surely, if I have to see that specialist again there is a back way upon which I can scoot.

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It looks like Mia may be going to live in Calgary, Canada in November. Her now-foster-mom Mary deserves a double-fudge chocolate sundae with her choice of toppings.  Yeah for Mia!

Mia at Mary's house. Picture by Mary. I miss this goofy girl!

Mia at Mary’s house. Picture by Mary. I miss this goofy girl!

On the other hand, Asher, who is married to Foosie here in Peggy’s house in da Ville, hasn’t left my side much since I returned.

Ascher 004

Did I tell you Asher was a stud-boy for Tree Top Kennels before he retired and came to me? He has ONE HUNDRED SIX children. [That’s in caps because even with thirteen females, that’s a lotta kids.] Yes, he’s marvelous with puppies. In fact, Ash is marvelous with just about anybody he meets. Though he’s older and … ahem … broader than he once was, kind of like a middle-aged guy in Miami with a beer belly – he has the most generous spirit of any schnauzer I’ve met.

When I move I won’t separate him from Foozie or Peggy. But I hope I find a place near by so I can come visit often.

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yada, yada, ya … and the beat goes on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back in da’ Ville

 

 

My first impression upon being back in Loo’vulle is how green it is. Of course, I’m staying with Peggy, who lives in a nice part of the city called the Highlands.

Lou house

This puts me back in the land of lawns, spreading oaks, flower gardens, and – flat sidewalks! [Readers in San Miguel will appreciate my happiness at being able to walk and look at the sky.] Peggy and I can walk to Cherokee Park, designed by Frederick Olmsted of New York city Central Park fame, with Asher the miniature schnauzer and the love of his life, Foosie, a black cocker spaniel, if we choose.

Cherokee ParkMr. Olmsted designed a necklace of parks for Louisville back in the day. Because Cherokee Park is in the Highlands, so named because it is on high ground and less likely to flood, Cherokee is the park best maintained and probably most used.  It is a sprawling, winding wondrous place.

May I introduce Asher,

Ascher 001

 

And his lady love, Foosie:

In her Christmas Snow Princess outfit

In her Christmas Snow Princess outfit

The back story:

When I moved to San Miguel 14.5 months ago I left Asher, my male mini-schnauzer, with Peggy and Foosie – from whom he shall never be parted.

Asher began his life as an AKC stud dog.  He has 106 progeny.  That, and his winning personality, are probably all you need to know. Foosie, who is also an AKC cocker, is Peggy’s rescue girl. Asher and Foosie became an old married couple as soon as they met.  It’s really sweet.

And sweet to be with them again.

Flying.  I remember when it used to be fun. This is my third day back in the U.S.A. and I still ache from lugging suitcases around airports.  I miss the Sky Caps!

 

 

 

Good night, San Miguel de Allende

Photo by Tracy Gallagher

Photo by Tracy Gallagher

It’s less than a week before I’ll lift off from Mexico and, within 12 hours [no creeks rising and all of that], be back in Loo’vulle, Kentucky, USA.

Louisville skyline.  Affectionately known as "da Ville."

Louisville sky line. Affectionately known as “da Ville.”

Right now I’m staying with friends Bill & Jane in SMA’s Guadiana neighborhood who, I’m sure, won’t be broken hearted when I go. [Three days for fish and guests, as we say.] Still, for these few days it feels like I’m traveling again, which means it feels like a tiny vacation, which means it feels great!  Thank you Bill & Jane.  You’re welcome to lay your heads in whatever small hovel I can afford in the U.S.

Why Loo’vulle? you might wonder.

There IS the Kentucky Derby.

But the primary reason is that’s where my healthcare paperwork is set up. You see, each state has different Medicare managed plans and you can only change during a window of time starting October 1st  … and all that rot.

It will just be simpler to see physicians, of which da Ville, being a regional health-snare, oops -care powerhouse has plenty.

The GINORMOUS plus is that I have three truly good friends there who make me laugh and spit wine out of my nose whenever I see them. I’m sure I’ll have need for that sort of thing as I attempt to live in a car-culture American city with a crap public transportation system.

If there is some way I can swing it, I dream of, ta da!

LOVE this color!

LOVE this color!

Only, because I’m 67, I think I’d like fatter wheels, a windshield, and a rack on the back for groceries.  That should be another $500.  Of course a car would be more convenient, but I’d actually have to get a job to afford a car and you know how I feel about that.

With a scooter there will be challenges …..

Ah, no. Probably not a good idea to scoot today ...

Ah, no. Probably not a good idea to scoot today … taxi!

but, I am Woman.  Hear me roar.

Between you and me, getting a scooter is probably going to mean getting financed which, if someone is stupid enough to do it with my credit score, means descending back into the Credit Maw. Something I’ve avoided for five long and satisfying years.

Well, that would be the future, and right now there’s good news.  The beautiful Mia, my Manchurian Princessa, is being fostered with her and my friend, Mary, who will be extremely picky about a permanent home.

Mia loooves Mary and actually doesn't look terribly upset that she doesn't have me any longer. Gee, you raise 'em and then they fly away.

Mia LOVES Mary and actually doesn’t look terribly upset that she doesn’t have me any more. Gee, you raise ’em and then they fly away, huh?

And, tomorrow I’m having a Bon Voyage party with 10 friends at “Hecho en Mexico” which has a very nice courtyard where I’m sure we’ll all be using hand fans if it’s as hot as it was today.  Hot but dry, I hasten to add.

…. Ya know, there really is no way to describe the deliciously cool mornings in San Miguel, the difference between being in the blazing sun or under a big tree in the afternoon, or the slow return to mountain night air after twilight. Without a doubt San Miguel de Allende has one of the finest climates on the face of the earth.  I hope I get to return for a visit!