Offspring of A.


This blog is posting on the 1 week anniversary of Caleb’s surprise visit. One week ago today, there was a knock on my door, and there stood Caleb with the cheesiest smile on his face.

Tip of the Day: Do not make the comment, “My door is always open to children of _________.”  unless you really mean it.

Who is Caleb? Ah, Caleb. Caleb is one of 5 children birthed by a dear college friend of mine. His mom and I were pregnant at the same time – she was carrying Caleb and I was carrying Colin.  NOTE: I have also featured one of Caleb’s sisters, Hannah, in an earlier blog.

One word sums up Caleb: Effervescent. (Alka-Seltzer on crack, if he knows & loves you)

In an attempt to get away from playing games on his computer, Caleb decided that a 2.5 hour drive to surprise me would be just the distraction! Can you imagine a 24 year old driving 2.5 hours one way just to get away from a gaming addiction?!

In all seriousness, I had a great time visiting with him. He brought his ARC (advanced reader copy) of his mom’s book, and had me autograph my chapter. #iamchapter31 In the reminiscing, we had to call his mom, and consult with her on some details. We were still on speaker phone with A when he got a Snap Chat message. It was his sister Kristina saying she had just gotten engaged.

Caleb reads it aloud to A and me.

A begins squealing.

Caleb and A simultaneously phone Kristina.

She picks up Caleb’s call.

Imagine if you will, A talking to Kristina, via my phone on speaker, and Kristina was talking to all three of us, via Caleb’s phone on speaker.

Quite an unforgettable evening all the way around.  (I didn’t even mention how I taught A to talk like we were using walkie-talkies. Where you have to speak and then say, “Over.” when you were finished speaking. This is an essential skill if you are overly excited and using a speaker phone.) It is always refreshing to talk to a young person who is making their way in the world without a sense of entitlement, and has a huge heart for others.

Caleb, thank you so much for coming to visit! Since you have managed the sneak attack, next time, you can give me a heads up. Remember my OCD thing about Monday – Thursday evenings.

And in case you were wondering, my door is always open to the offspring of A.  Monday – Thursdays even.

Maybe I should address some of my OCD particulars in a blog sometime…


The Upstairs Neighbor Part III


10:35 p.m. January 1, 2017

If you have read blog “Neighbor Part II” you are up to speed as to where this story is going to pick up. I don’t write like George Lucas and give you Part IV, V, VI, and then dovetail back around to I, II, and III. (don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Star Wars.)

Note the usage of the p.m. Yes, I am speaking of night time. Time when you are quiet. Time when I should not be listening to the sounds of anything coming from upstairs.

Monday, January 2 is a holiday for me, so I am taking advantage of the opportunity to stay up late. Sitting at my desktop surfing the internet, while watching/listening to a British documentary on Netflix about swingers, (another blog entirely) and I hear what sounds like drops of water falling.

I listen for a moment, and the sound continues.

My investigation leads me to my bathroom, where water is dripping from my ceiling, above my wall mounted cabinets. Yes, Deanna does have her water running in the tub, and come to think of it, it has been on for a while.

I grab a bowl and place it under the worst drip. Suddenly, water begins pouring from my ceiling vent. Off I go to get the largest, empty container a non-hoarder can have.

That container goes on the floor. As it collects the steady stream of water, I phone the After Hours office number. Is it an emergency? Hmm, water pouring into my bathroom from the upstairs apartment constitutes an emergency. Push 2. Leave message.

10:55 p.m. Water has been turned off upstairs and has stopped draining into my bathroom. My floor is wet, and the containers have water in them.

11:00 p.m. knocking at my door. It’s the maintenance man. I walk him to the bathroom and he immediately sees the problem. He informs me that he is going upstairs to find out what is going on.

Upstairs he goes.

Loud knocking. No response.

More knocking. No response.

Very LOUD knocking. No response.

Maintenance man comes back downstairs. Neighbors with large cardboard box are in parking lot looking around, and wondering what in the hell is going on. Looking up, they all see Deanna sitting on her patio, head down, and headphones on.

Maintenance man: Hello?

Maintenance man: Louder. Hello? Hello? Ma’am!

Neighbors literally begin throwing cardboard box up at her railing. Repeatedly. I can hear it hitting the railing.

Maintenance man: VERY LOUDLY. HELLO?! HELLO LADY! (I know, I hear Jerry Lewis in my head too)

I kid you not, the male neighbor has a flashlight on his person, and begins shining it up at her.

Ah, finally, she notices the crowd of 3 trying to get her attention. (I will note here that I am observing all this from my front window)

Maintenance man: I need to come up and look in your apartment. There is a water leak and I need to check it out.

Again, he goes upstairs.

A few minutes pass.  I hear him coming back down the stairs.

Knocking on my door.

Maintenance man: “Well, she said she didn’t overflow the toilet, and she didn’t fill the tub. There is a counter full of empty beer bottles, and she seemed more than a bit incoherent. Her bathroom floor is wet, and towels draped over the side of the tub are soaking wet. I think she overfilled her tub. She is a mess, so I didn’t feel comfortable staying up there. Leave your containers out tonight to catch any drainage, and I will talk to the apartment manager tomorrow about this situation.”

Lovely. This could explain her multiple declarations of love for me…

About an hour later, it sounded as if Bigfoot, and 8, overweight & drunk toddlers, collapsed above my living room. I haven’t heard much from her since then, but the little bit I have heard, leads me to believe she didn’t kill herself in the fall. Ironically, the former neighbor across from me did indeed die after a fall in his kitchen, so my thought process isn’t as far fetched as you might think.

This tenant is proving to be fodder for much blogging. And anger. Frustration. Annoyance. Etc., etc.

I am considering putting 1-800-CHOKE-DAT-HOE on speed dial.

Praying for tolerance –


The Upstairs Neighbor Part II


If you did not know, I have a Facebook page. Don’t say “Doesn’t everyone?” because no, not everyone does. This was the Status Update that I posted on December 28, 2016:

“It is very anti-climactic when you leave your upstairs neighbor a “gift”, and she didn’t come home last night. (The “gift” is a Dollar Tree trash can, container for cig butts, and 2 pkgs of bubble gum. I included the following note: Hello Neighbor. I am gifting you with a trash can & cig butt receptacle. Based on the amount of cig pack wrappers on my patio when I swept today, I don’t think you have one. Enjoy.)”

A bit of history. I have lived in my apartment for a little over 2 years.  For the first 2 years, I didn’t even realize I had anyone living above me. Recently, a single woman moved in. Within about 72 hours, I knew she existed. It was like having a group of drunk toddlers living above me. *See blog post “Neighbors” to get up to speed*

Today, January 1, 2017. As of 10 a.m. today, I had yet to meet my upstairs neighbor. She had been oddly quiet since I left the trash can for her. The note I left was so passive aggressive, that I assumed she might very well be plotting my demise.

10:30 a.m.  I take Sophie out for her morning urinary duties. I notice that my neighbor is sitting cross legged on her patio floor, cigarette in one hand, head down looking at her phone, and some huge earphones on her head. I am NOT going back inside until I have a few polite words with her to break the ice! Sophie roams at the end of her leash while I look like an idiot just standing there casually staring at her.

Finally, she looks up. I wave. She waves. I act like I am speaking with a deaf person, and make pointing motions to my ears. She obviously understands sign language, and pulls her headphones off.

Me: Hi. I just wanted to meet you, and say that I hope you didn’t take the gift of the trash can as a bad thing.

Her: Laughing. I loved it! See, (reaching down beside her and holding it up in the air) I am using it! I love it! I have mean meaning to say Thank You!

Me: I am so glad! I put gum in there, because who doesn’t like gum, so you would know that it wasn’t meant to be mean.

Her: No, I love it! I love you! You are wonderful!

Me: Well, umm, I just gave you a trash can…

Her: Laughing. I know, but I love it! I needed it! Thank you! I love you!

Me: My name is AGS.

Her: I’m Deanna.

Me: I just wanted to touch base. Oh, and one other little thing, when you are giving directions to your booty call from your patio, I can hear every word.

Her: Oh no! Embarrassed laughter. I am single…

Me: I’m single to, no worries. You might also want to pull your bed from against the wall, because I hear all that as well.

Her: Shrieks. Oh no! I am so embarrassed!

Me: Don’t be. I am just letting you know. You might be a government agent who works undercover or something and don’t realize I hear everything.

Her: Laughing.

Me: If you ever need anything, I am down stairs. I just wanted to meet you and say hello.

Her: Nice meeting you. I love you! Thank you again!

I would say that it went very well. I was curious as to how she could possibly love me since she just met me. I AM that lovable, but even this early declaration of love seemed strange.

At this point, you are probably thinking that we lived happily ever after, but you would be wrong.  10:45 p.m. Same day. That is another blog post.

Leaving you with palatable anticipation –