avanta7: (Sisyphus)
Gottschalk's is closing.

So why does this concern me?

Besides the fact that I like the store and have shopped there for years, it's also one of the four anchor stores in the mall where spouse works. Mall traffic is significantly down anyway: several niche or boutique stores have come and gone in the past few years, and there are at least a dozen vacant storefronts and kiosks available. Spouse's video game store is one of the few retailers that steadily turns a profit. When Gottschalk's closes, traffic will decrease even further, perhaps enough to create a domino effect throughout the rest of the mall.

A mall failed recently in a nearby community, and when spouse's company closed its store there, the employees, including the manager, were simply let go instead of relocated or transferred to other stores. I don't want that to happen to us. It's taken spouse so long to find his niche....

But, as my mother would say, I'm borrowing trouble again. "Sufficient unto the day..."*, etc., has always been difficult for me. This is what I need to tell myself: The other three anchor stores (JC Penney, Sears, and Ross) are doing just fine, and the mall is not going to fail just because one major department store closes. Right? Right? Okay, right. *sigh*

*Matt 6:34 -- Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (KJV)
avanta7: (Default)
I've spent a good portion of last night and today watching the web feed from the UC Davis Botanical Conservatory. The corpse flower is about to bloom. All day long, people have been coming and going and talking to the grad students about the plant. (Yes, I guess I'm a bit of a voyeur, because I'm sure no one but the grad students realizes they are on camera.)

As soon as it opens (probably tonight), spouse and I are going down there to smell it for ourselves.

Wanna see for yourself?
avanta7: (Wicked Witch Feet)
One thing I really like about the Yuba City/Marysville area is the frequency and variety of the parties the cities throw for themselves. From the Farmer's Market to the Peach Festival to the "Little Mexico Food Fair" to the Cultural Celebration to just about anything else you can think of, we can find a large event of one kind or another to attend almost every month.

Yesterday was the Summer Festival. )
avanta7: (Default)
What in blazes is going on in this neighborhood?

The other day I noticed our photinia hedge had been spray painted with a blue squiggly stripe. And some odd symbols in the same blue paint also appeared on the large elm (?) in front of the house next door.

Late last night (well, late to me -- it was right at nine o'clock) someone threw something against the front of the house. THWACK! Spouse hopped off the couch and looked outside, but whoever did it was nowhere in sight. He grabbed the flashlight to check things out. On the siding near the front window was an orange syrupy substance. We decided someone had thrown a popsicle. (?) Judging from the angle and the force with which it hit, whoever threw it must have have been on or at the bottom of the porch steps.

I called the landlord and told him what was going on. Oh, says he, sounds like gangs might be expanding their territory. He suggested I call the neighborhood alert center in the morning.

Joy. That it might be gangs had never even entered my mind. And they're armed with popsicles, apparently.

I went to the neighborhood alert center in person this afternoon. I wanted to talk to the officers face to face. I didn't want to get blown off like when I reported the Barbie dolls. (BTW, I reported the Barbie doll thing again while I was there.) Officer Friendly takes my name and address and number and says he'll refer it to the gang unit. If their budget hasn't been cut (!), they'll be out sometime this week to look at the symbols.

Back home, I grabbed the camera and took a few shots of the tree. I'll take the photos to Officer Friendly tomorrow. Budget cuts, my Aunt Fanny. Budget cuts be damned. I don't want gangs on my block. I don't want to move!
avanta7: (Phoebe)
Multiple journal entries today for a variety of different topics. This entry concerns my walk with Phoebe late yesterday afternoon.

Phoebe and I have a number of different routes we take on our afternoon jaunts when I come home from work. Yesterday we decided to visit the vacant lot around the corner. It's kind of trashy, so it's a good spot for her to do her business -- very little chance of someone casually stepping in a mess, knowhutimean? As we started across the lot, I saw something unusual out of the corner of my eye.

It was a small satin pillow, about 4 inches square, sitting at the base of a dead tree. I picked it up, thinking "maybe I can clean this up and use it somehow." (Yes, and I've gone dumpster-diving, too, so sue me.) It was a cute little pillow, all frilly and lacy. It had a design on one side that said "No Boys." Just the sort of thing that would appeal to a pre-adolescent girl. I glanced down again and that's when I saw the naked Barbie dolls and a pair of crumpled little girl's panties.

Oh dear God, I thought. I put the pillow back the way I found it, and immediately returned home to call the police. As I told the dispatcher what I found, I got upset and teary, just imagining all sorts of scenarios that could have led to those particular objects being left under that tree. She questioned me, took my name, address and phone number, and said they'd send a car out.

I waited until I couldn't wait any longer; we were singing for Ash Wednesday service and I had to be at the church at 5:30. No officer ever came to my door, and I had no messages when I returned home after the service.

I thought perhaps I was overreacting, but when I told spouse about it last night, he said we had a convicted sex offender living on the next block (where the vacant lot is).

Phoebe and I didn't go back to that vacant lot this evening.

I watch too much Law And Order: SVU, I guess.
avanta7: (Default)
I've been trying to sort out my post-election feelings.

And here they are... )
avanta7: (Default)
Tomorrow morning, bright and early, my mother and I will be participating in the Race For The Cure. Mom will be here at 5:30 am, we're meeting some friends for breakfast, and then we're heading for the starting line. We're not planning on running ourselves, but we'll walk the Family Fun 2K over the river and back. Should be fun! And it's for a great cause.

So, Nancy Williams, my long-time friend, this race is for YOU! Thanks be to God you survived. So many other women aren't as lucky.
avanta7: (Default)
Talk about a way to develop gratitude!

I'm finally home. Exhausted, grimy, headachy, but extraordinarily grateful for the blessings God's given me.

After my last post, I got a run of business. More of the same stuff. Some people just needed information. The one of the event coordinators came by as the VA guys and I were packing up, and wanted to know how many people we had served. I had only partially kept track and guesstimated I had talked to about 30 people. He said around 600 had signed in and gotten their wristbands. (They weren't supposed to receive services if they didn't have a wristband. I served them anyway, and so did a lot of other people.)

It rained off and on throughout the day. Every now and then our canopy would reach critical mass and dump a load of water off the edges.

I spotted at least one of the local working girls in the crowd. She wasn't working, she was there getting services. I hope a few of her sisters took advantage of this event as well.

47 books were taken out of the 66 I brought.

Spouse just brought me a root beer float. I'm going to take a couple of aspirin and have a hot bath. Early bedtime for me this evening. I sing at church tomorrow morning and have that audition tomorrow afternoon.
avanta7: (Default)
I've done several replacement card applications for transients, and made a few appointments for people to come to the office and file for disability. I had originally planned on taking the disability applications here, but network access is spotty and prone to unexpected shutdown (I keep getting an application error 128, whatever that may be). Since a disability interview can take upwards of an hour, I decided not to risk losing work and simply set up in-office appointments for those who wanted to file.

About half of the books are gone.

We've got a fellow about 10 feet in front of our canopy who decided to unpack his trash bag and go through his stuff. He's been fiddling with some ancient car stereo speakers and a couple of dashboard radios. I don't know if he expects them to work. Among the various pieces of raggedy clothing and decrepit electronic gear is a teddy bear. And a hard hat.

This fellow breaks my heart.
avanta7: (Angela)
Typing on a government issue laptop today, so every key stroke is recorded. Such is life.

Today is the "Homeless Standdown," a one-day event to provide services to the homeless and other in-need persons. We're under the Main Street Bridge in Riverfront Park, on the north side of the Arkansas River. I'm here representing the Social Security Administration, and am sharing a canopy with a couple of representatives from the Veterans Administration and several employees from the State Department Of Human Services. (A possibly snarky comment about DHS may be provided later.)

To my left is a canopy where several hairdressers are giving haircuts and other barbering services. To the front and a little to the right are booths for voter registration, vocational rehab and spiritual needs. The National Coalition for the Homeless has a table right next to them. To the right is a display about breast self-examination. The volunteer is using the models on the display to teach women how to perform the exam.

Elsewhere are booths for medical treatment, dental, eye exams, food, clothing, and heaven know what else. I haven't had an opportunity to wander around yet. We volunteers (ha! I'm actually getting paid overtime today) have been given several bottle of water, which is sorely needed. It's a little dusty out here.

When I got here at 7:00 AM, we had no chairs. I called my husband and asked him to bring a couple of chairs from the house, and the box fan. We may be under a canopy and it's overcast today, but it's still muggy.

Only a couple of people have stopped by to see me so far today, which doesn't surprise me, to tell the truth. I need to see ID to replace someone's Social Security card. Most homeless people have no ID. So I have books to read and a portable radio to keep myself entertained. But my VA buddies are doing a booming business.

I brought a bunch of books with me to give away. They're spread out on the table next to me, and several people have taken advantage of the opportunity. I hope to give away everything I brought.

I'll be here all day.
avanta7: (Default)
Today I went to the Union Rescue Mission, my favorite thrift store, for the purpose of stocking up on potential release-ables. I had collected a sizeable stack of paperbacks of all sorts, and was still hunting through the shelves when the clerk at the counter loudly announced, "We have an emergency. We are closing now! Bring your purchases to the register." So, I gathered up my books (had to make two trips to the register counter) and I was the last person she checked out. She took one look at my pile, and said "$5.00, I'm not counting them." It turns out she had just got word her husband's plane had landed at Little Rock AFB. He'd been in Iraq and she hadn't seen him in over a year. She was going home to see her husband, and I got 54 books for $5.00. A good day all around. :-)

August 2013

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