Two weeks ago I had four blog posts in my scheduler which meant I could take a breather to wait for something interesting to happen in the wonderful world of---wait, let me rephrase that. I’m old and I shouldn’t be waiting around for things to happen. I should be making them happen, taking control of my time instead of waiting to see if Suzy down the hall got her mole removed or to see if enough people signed up to go to the Navy Band Concert downtown. In truth I couldn’t care less about either of these things but I mention them because someone out there probably does want to know the full range of activities that goes on in a continuum care complex like the one I’ve been living in for just over six months now. I care more about the watercolor set and paper I just ordered from Amazon. Don't ask me why but my acrylic paints and I are are not on speaking terms right now and I'm hoping a new media will inspire me.
I’ve been thinking about doing one of those betting pools like you can set up at Baby Bookie or BabyHunch to guess when a human baby will arrive only with my pool the residents here would be betting on when the swans will hatch their eggs. The only reason I don’t make that pool happen is because my apartment is not facing the lake so I couldn’t pinpoint the exact date and time the cygnets will emerge from the eggs. Did you know it can takes 2-3 weeks for all eggs to be laid and only then will the incubation period begin and that lasts for next six weeks? That way the hatching will be synchronized. How the pair of swans decides how many eggs they want is a mystery but experts believed it has something to do with the abundance (or lack there of) food the nesting pair thinks they'll be able to gather to feed their family once they are born. Birth control based on a couple's ability to support their babies; what a concept.
What I do know for sure is that no one is supposed to go near the nest until well after the eggs have hatched unless you want to risk the wrath of mean-spirited parents-to-be. They aren’t like humans who are nesting and they want to show off all the neat baby gear they’ve accumulated for the big event.
Have I mentioned I’m taking a class to learn how to play Mahjong? Today was my second lesson and we are learning to play by the National American Mahjong League Rules. From what little I’ve learned online the Chinese version looks simpler, and it doesn’t requirement players to buy new score cards every year to go with your set of tiles---sounds like a scam to make more money to me but I’m a total newbie so what do I know. Back when I was involved in the senior citizen hall in my old neighborhood they filled 8-9 tables of players once a week. But they weren’t friendly to newbies. They only offered to teach newbies once a year and then you had to sit and watch them play for x-number of games before you got a chance to be a sub unless they had enough newbies to form their own table.
With the first lesson here, we had a table of five of us (two people pairing up as one player) and the instructor walked around the table approving or suggesting tiles to discard. I didn’t understand the combination I was trying to build based on the score cards in front of me and I kept trying to build poker hands with my tiles which, of course, didn’t mean jack diddly squat in Mahjong. Today’s game was easier because I’d done some research and studying online but it was still confusing until about half way through and a light bulb went off in my head. I ended up winning the game with a lot of help from blind luck. Who draws five jokers early in the game? Me that’s who and there are only eight jokers total. None the less I was so excited. I think I’m going to love Mahjong so in the future if you want to rob my apartment do it on a Wednesday between three and five o’clock.
Remember the milk colored water issue I was having in my bathroom? The one where someone in the office closed my Maintenance Request without even sending anyone out to investigate. Last time I wrote about it I had gone to the CEO who sent a maintenance guy over who in turn wrote up another work order to get a certificate plumber to stop out.
One morning two plumbers and a maintenance man stopped on their way to doing a bigger job. I was still in my long, chenille bathrobe and let me just say it was a good thing I remembered to use my exhaust fan before they showed up unannounced. That could have been embarrassing with the four of us all crowed in my bathroom. Turns out my apartment is the first one in the whole complex to get water from the city line and the day I got drenched with water, and the milky colored water started, was the day they put a booster in the line to increase the water pressure.
They did some experiments and proved to me without a shadow of a doubt that the milky appearance is caused by microscope air bubbles and it's perfectly safe. If I don’t turn the faucets on full-force the water runs clear, if I turn them on all the way the water is milky colored. The milkiness in a glass does dissipate in two minutes but I think I’ll just get an opaque bathroom cup so I don’t have to remember not to turn the water on full force like I’ve been doing my entire life. Out of sight, out of mind. I've always had great water pressure, but the people on the third floor didn't thus the power booster worth a couple of grand was added which helped them but created the weirdness for me. Google University backs them up so I'm good now. ©
Goodness. I apparently don't know how to play Mahjong, though I've been playing it online for years. Isn't it about matching tiles??? Will have to read up on this... good to know your water is safe.ReplyDelete
I've played solitaire Mahjong on line, too, but what you do in that game doesn't have anything to do with playing with four other people.Delete
The last time our water district flushed out the lines after highway construction broke a main, we had cloudy water. We called the water district, and they dutifully flushed them out again. We still had cloudy water and were still brushing our teeth with bottled water. Then I noticed that if I let the water settle, it cleared. I figured it out. We're the last (first?) house before the flush-out area, which is just across the street from us. I think our problem equated to yours. I will understand it intellectually from now on if it happens, but I kind of think we humans are programmed not to want to drink water that color.ReplyDelete
Good for you, with the Mahjong!
I know! I'm still putting a bottle of water in the bathroom for when I want a sip in the middle of the night for my dry mouth.Delete
It's wonderful that your home is located in an environment where you can see wildlife. I love swans, but you are right about the fact that they aren't very friendly, especially when they're nesting. When we lived on our farm, I'd walk by the pond most days, and during the spring, Canadian geese would build nests. More than once, I was literally chased home by a protective goose. When they start honking and spreading their wings, it can get pretty scary.ReplyDelete
Sure glad the milky water problem has been explained. A person needs to feel safe about your water.
We have tons of Canadian Geese here and two pairs of nesting swans. Some people hate the geese and others like me love them. They have a couple of tin dogs that spin in the wind that is supposed to keep the geese away. Since they put them out we only get maybe 10-15 that land at a time instead of 100. I'm kind of shocked at the few people who want them all killed. Like the maintenance man said at our last dialogue meeting, 'the geese were here on this lake long before our CCC was built. We have to co-exist. I don't get up early enough to see them but there is a herd of deer in the green space right in front of my windows.Delete
Crazy water situation...who would have thought that was the case? I've had faucets that add bubbles to the water and it dissipates over time, but I would be paranoid to drink milky water without someone checking it out. Glad it all makes sense now. And I'm sure the people on the third floor are happier.ReplyDelete
Two games I've never tried that appear in TV show: Mahjong and backgammon. Maybe someday.
We had swans in the river at our last house, and one day while driving back to work after lunch, one was flying low and hit the windshield of my car. Yikes. It didn't crack but I had some big white feather marks. They're not friendly in general from what I've seen. Pretty but can be vicious.
I've never done backgammon either. I think I'm going to like Mahjong but already two of the players are complaining that we're all talking too and is trying to get support to switch and play the other kind of Mahjong. Too me, we need to stick with the game the person who volunteered her time and help wants to teach us. It's not a democracy.Delete
Careful of those swans. I had a good friend with a breeding pair and they almost put him in the hospital.ReplyDelete
I just did the plumber thing and while I hate their price, they did the job. I always say don't send your son to college, hook him up as a plumber's apprentice. It takes 7 to 10 years to become a Master Plumber so you can see why they charge so much.
You are so right about what they get per hour. They don't call the plumber in for any work order until after one of the maintenance men checks the job and okays the work order to be sure it's not something they can fix.Delete
Congratulations on catching on to Mahjong so quickly and wholeheartedly. Several years ago a friend tried to reach several of us how to play. No thank you. I soon realized that my latest version of hell was playing Mahjong.ReplyDelete
It would take a long time to get really good at it and I'm not sure any of us could play without the instructor there tell us the rules for passing, etc., in the beginning. I had such lucky draws that I'll probably never win again.Delete
Sounds like the opaque cup is a good idea! But that's a little odd. I will say I will get cloudy water when I use all hot -- not so much you can see it from the faucet but when you fill a glass. It's gone in less than a minute but a little disconcerting.ReplyDelete
I plan a mah jong solitaire from a Jacquie Lawson thing and I'm sure it's probably nothing like the real deal but I've wondered what it would be like. I'll have to look it up. Hope you take pix of the cygnets!
There is an explanation online for why there are more microscopic bubbles in the hot water than in the cold. My hot water is more milky colored than the cold too. It has to do with the cold releasing the trapped air quicker than the hot does if I'm remembering right, and I might not be but it made sense when I read it. LOLDelete
I would never have thought of the bubbles making the water cloudy but it makes sense. We're taught not to trust anything but clear water so it goes against our impulses to drink/use it. Mah jong sounds complicated but it's good for the brain to learn new things. Frustrating, but healthy.ReplyDelete
I'm the only one who has the milk colored water and by slowing it down I can produce the clear running water, so I'm confident of what they and Google is telling me.Delete
I figured I'd give Mahjong six lessons before deciding if I could learn it. So I was excited that it clicked in two. It's very complex and gets more so the more you get into it.
Funny ... our complex has a Mahjong group that is also NON inclusive of newbies. They've been playing together for 25+ years. Not sure I could pay attention long enough! I tried Bridge while in Maui but only 1 person wanted to take the time to teach ... they just wanted me to watch.ReplyDelete
Clear, clean water! Something we usually just take for granted. Thanks for telling us the "rest of the story".
Learning Mahjong as group makes the most sense or playing with a partner who already knows the game. A newbie at a table of long-time players probably slows the game down too much. We shall see how our group progresses.Delete
I had to chuckle at being glad you'd used the exhaust fan in your bathroom before the plumbers showed up. Back in the 1980's we lived out in the country in California and our neighbors down the road had a kiwi fruit ranch. He and his wife were older and he took great pride in giving us "the grand tour" of the place, including his house, when we went to visit them one day. His wife came out to greet us in the livingroom and I noticed she was wearing her blouse untucked but you could see the wrinkles in it where it had recently been tucked into her pants. The "tour" continued upstairs to their bedroom and then on to their bathroom which had an expansive view of their property. There was an open magazine lying on the floor in front of the toilet and the air had the odor, shall we say, of someone who had been unsuccessful in their endeavor. The couple continued to smile graciously, as did we, but if I had been the wife in that situation, I would have taken my husband aside at the get go and warned him under penalty of death "Don't show them the bathroom!!"ReplyDelete
LOL That's a funny story. I've been here long enough to know that if a service person comes to the door unannounced you'd better grab him because when you schedule an appointment you have to wait a few weeks. It would have been SO embarrassing.Delete
I can only play computer mahjong which is different I think, hard enough to find a plumber at timesReplyDelete
It's a good profession to go into if you don't mind getting a little dirty.Delete
I'm glad your water is safe, at least. 😊ReplyDelete
Me too but I don't like looking at it in a glass.Delete
How do Mahjong players dress? I'm picturing Hawaiian shirts and lucky hats..? :)ReplyDelete
That would be fun. I don't know about other places but here we dressed like the old ladies we are.Delete
Are you by chance the Cinder I knew years ago from a stroke support group?
Old ladies? How old are you, now? And yes, I'm absolutely the same Cinder.Delete
I just turned 80 so it's official, I got my membership card to the Old Ladies' Club and everything. I tried to find you several times online and through the old site that shall not be named. Hope all is well with you. Asha comments here once in a while and she is happy. Her son is in meds school. He was just a young boy back when she had her stroke. Pam passed away.Delete
I'm not sure that I knew your age all those years ago. I just remember how much I liked you, and the laughter. Plus all the times you helped me deal with everything that was going on.Delete
I'm so sorry to hear about Pam, I know you 2 were close. I was on the site last night, looking around. Decided to write on the blog section. Sue commented that she remembered me.
There doesn't appear to be much traffic on it any longer. I was sad to see that.
I'm happy to see that you're still writing and still an adventurous soul. I'm 55 now and still a homebody. lol
The site really did go down hill over the past 10 years. Not really surprised by that. When I left I started selling humorous caregiver related articles elsewhere and the owner of the website where you and I met tried to stop me, said he taught me everything I knew and I couldn't use that knowledge anywhere else. He didn't have a leg to stand on since I was writing all personal antidotal stuff about being Don's caregiver.Delete
He did teach me a lot about how to be an administrator on a website and how use all the bells and whistles on the back side of a message board and chat room, but my writing abilities and caregiver instincts were all mine.
I knew you were just a baby compared to me. I'd kill to go be 55 again.
I don't think Sue ever left after her husband died like 99% of caregivers did/do.
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No, I don't have a private message feature. If you want to put your Facebook name (or email if you don't have one) in a reply/comment box, I promise not to publish the reply so we can connect that way.Delete
Too bad you're not on the lake side. I hope you get a chance to see the swans when they hatch. They're such beautiful creatures.ReplyDelete
My mother-in-law used to play mahjong. My husband didn't approve. Maybe she lost too much money. Chinese women like my mother-in-law always seem to gamble when they play mahjong.
I can walk around the building or invite myself over to a friend's apartment when they hatch. Now that it's nicer out I'm going to try to walk by the lake every day...as far as the swans will let me.Delete
There's a space on our Mahjong racks that someone asked what it was for and the instructor said "money." I thought she was kidding and I laughed. Aren't I the naïve one.
I'll stick with computer mah jongg, thank you. The real deal is very complex, and there are some New York clubs that have been in existence for ages. It's a game with a lot of tradition.ReplyDelete
I've always wished I could take a class in computer coding...just to understand the basics at least. Learning all those stupid traditions of Mahjong seem to me to be as complicated. It's brain exercise, though, so I'm hoping I learn to love the game. I need some weekly group activity that uses my brain. There are cards of some kind almost every day, sometimes twice. Taking up Bridge, Canasta or Dominoes would make me feel OLD.Delete
I waste too much time playing Solitaire on the computer. At least you get to socialize a bit while you are playing with a group.ReplyDelete
Play one game each of Solitaire and Spider every day. I call it my brain exercises so I don't have to feel guilty about it.Delete
I was shown once how to play and I was so confused she gave up on the two of us. She wasn't patient either with me. So needless to say I can't play Majhong 🙂ReplyDelete
While I believe the plumbers and Google University, it would still be off putting to see milky white out of my tap.
It's such a confusing game I honestly don't know why people who play together don't just throw out half the rules. Someone suggested it at our second lesson but I think we have to learn any game the right way before inventing your own version.Delete
I feel the same way about the water. I'm still not drinking water from the bathroom.
Yep, the water pressure does cause water to not be clear. We have that sometimes, it comes and goes. I have a friend who plays Majhong with a circle of friends and they've been doing it for years. They put money in pot weekly and once a year go on a cruise together. The only thing about it I know is doing the puzzles on line where you match the tiles against the clock, which I've not done in eons. Good luck with your lessons.ReplyDelete
The milky water thing must be more common than I ever imagined. There is a LOT of information online about it.Delete
I guess a lot of the Mahjong clubs play for money. The set we use even has a slot on the tiles rack for putting your money. Love what your friends do with their pots.
Milky water would put me off, too. I've seen the phenomenon, and watched a glass full of water clear up after a few minutes, but still...ReplyDelete
Your tale of the Mahjong hierarchy reminds me of the division between regular bridge players and duplicate bridge players. I'm not sure at all of how those two versions of the game differ, but I know duplicate players are SERIOUS as heck, and they certainly didn't use their games as an excuse for salted nuts and bourbon while they played, as my parents and their friends did. I loved bridge when I still was playing; I learned in the back of a freshman college general math class that had 500 students sitting in front of a bunch of tv monitors. The choice -- pay attention or play bridge -- was easy.
I'm kind of impressed and shocked at the same time that college kids played bridge. I loved math in college and did well in it but I really had to pay attention.Delete
I'm new to your blog. I was my husband's caregiver for 9 months - and then he died of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. I miss him terribly. Since we didn't have children, I am starting to look at CCRCs in the Dallas area.ReplyDelete
I learned how to play American Mahjong League mahjong in the early 1970s, and I still have a few cards from that time period. When I retired 10 years ago, I found a group and picked up playing again. I happily taught the game to Newbies! Do not play it online or Chinese style. The version you are learning takes more effort to learn, but it gives our brains a workout.
Any CCRC I move to will have to let me play. I hate "high school" cliques. Would you like me to email you the guidelines I wrote to help beginners? It's a word document that you can print & share with the other beginners.
Welcome! CCC's really make a lot of sense for we childless seniors. We have a lot of them here as well a people whose families are too spread out to be of help.Delete
I figured it wouldn't be smart to try to learn two versions of Mahjong when I'm a complete newbie. I don't know about all CCCs but this one the Life Enrichment Director helps anyone who wants to start a group activity. That's how our Mahjong group got started. Same with your line dancing and bridge.
I don't put my email address out the public here so the only way you could send me the word document about Mahjong would be for you to put your email in a reply box that I promise not to publish. It's such a complicated game newbies can use all the help we can get.
A lot of my older posts are about my search for a CCC. I'd advice looking at as many as you can and keep notes. If you're like me, you'll know the minute you find the right fit for you.
Blogger comments is acting up today. If you have trouble its them not you.Delete
I am absolutely terrible at table games -- cards, board games, etc. I get embarrassed and nervous, especially if I'm on a team or have a partner who I always let down. I guess I have no head for that kind of strategy -- it all feels like a math test to me. LOLDelete
A math test? I guess I understand that. I've never even wanted to learn how to play most card games.Delete
I play Mahjong online and I love it. I know that is probably nothing like the real thing but I would love to learn. Black Swans. After seeing some black swans at a restaurant while I was still living in the country in Louisiana, I really got a craving to have black swans. I already had ducks and chickens - yes, this city girl went full-tilt country, so I thought I might be successful with swans. I never did get to try. Shame. Funny, though I was remembering that just the other day before reading this post. Hummm.ReplyDelete
I have played Mahjong online and it's nothing like the real game. It's more like gin rummy only with tiles instead of cards.Delete
Swans are truly beautiful creatures, aren't they, but very mean and territorial.