Tag Archives: Brookdale

Just Small Talk

I’ve said it before , I’ll say it again: It is great being retired and living in a senior community. Here there is plenty of time to do or accomplish whatever you want to do. All is done at your leisure which make retiring that much better. Traveling, reading, television watching, eating out, casino hopping, etc. is all part of enjoying the senior years. Many do not or have not the monetary or physical where with all to do it. Then there is Imperial Plaza.

Imperial Plaza took it’s usual Wednesday trip to Jamestown, Va. The first permanent colony in America. It was sad to see a great trip, that was cheap, not being taken advantage of by the great majority of people living here. Brookdale Imperial Plaza does not make a profit from these excursions yet seldom is there a full bus. Then, as you walk around the area, there are people saying there isn’t anything to do.

At Jamestown we viewed replicas of the Indian village, the English settlement and the museum. There was a bow and arrow demonstration, musket loading/firing demonstration and the showing of the interiors of the church and Indian huts replica. What was also for good exploration were the two ships. The size of the ships were small, by today’s standards, for having carried so many people to the new world. However, thinking of the size of the people in that era, mean there was plenty of room.

After getting back, I had just enough time to get myself clean, change clothes and get to a Mighty Pen Project class at the Virginia War Memorial (it was a humid day). I enjoyed my time with them, can hardly wait for our next time together. I always learn something new because I consider my writing as atrocious. I’ll keep trying to improve hoping I’ll get there one day. I have the two blogs to keep me in practice plus two stories I am still working on but constantly tearing apart for redoing. Each time I get fresh information at the Mighty Pen Project, I have to rewrite but I consider it worth the effort.

As I have written before, I am a member of the Howard Baugh Chapter of the Tuskegee Airman Incorporated who had a ceremony in Petersburg, Virginia. I could not be with them because I was out of town; they had a ceremony at a high school, I was out of town again. I hope to be in town for the next ceremony although I have been lucky enough to be available for the meetings.

It was a fine day for an outing. My wife and I went to the Wine & Hops Festival in Petersburg, Virginia on Saturday. It was okay, however, the lines for the wine and beer were long, there were a lot of vendors in a confined space, the place was very crowded in a small area. Lots of young people attended, being it was a confined area (Old Towne), standing around, made moving from vendor to vendor very complicated. But it was nice to get out, seeing things outside our usual areas of travel.

While in the area, we toured my old stomping grounds (I am originally from Petersburg), Hopewell and Colonial Heights, Virginia. We went to the new Puerto Rican Bakery/Cafe. It opened three months ago and we learned about it on television’s evening news. They are taking items of donation to the storm ravaged Puerto Rico. It’s the only Puerto Rican cafe I know in the area. There was one in Chesterfield but it closed a year ago.

I advise people, especially seniors, to get out and explore, revisit places of yore or new ones. Make time to go, enjoy before there is not enough time left to do it. I know my wife and I will go as much as we can because time is quickly catching up. Have fun and party as if there is not a tomorrow.

Advertisements

Parallel Thoughts

I am reading the book “Playing The Edge” authored by Michael V. Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency and CIA as well as a retired Air Force four star General. I’ve only read about an eighth of the book so far, I’m purposely being slow as to really digest the material, and it is an inside look at political wranglings. He writes about how politics hampered the efficiency of the NSA and, later, the CIA. How, when everything is going good, there is a demand to cut personnel, work and money. However, when things are bad the question becomes an accusation about why the job wasn’t done and why there wasn’t enough personnel to do the job. Also, from Congressmen, “it wasn’t me that hampered you. It was the person here before me.” Plus, it’s always to get the job done with less and less until the mess hits the proverbial fan.

In a way, so far, certain words in the book can be replaced with words meaning Brookdale Imperial Plaza. A lot of the same thing has happened and is happening here. There is always the undercurrent of activity that causes things to go awry in that psychotic way. There are always people that overtly try to control the system and there are those that attempt (and they have been pretty good at it lately) to covertly control the system to their way of thought and/or idiosyncrasy. Many, many things come into play in order to control the multitude of jobs to be performed at a large place such as Brookdale Imperial Plaza. Those that attempt to have it their own little way and/or think they see or know the entire picture have a lot to learn and, really, if they only knew. They don’t have any idea about how to run a place such as this and it can not/will not run the cut and dry traditional way.

There are budgets, staff, headquarters, residents and unforeseen catastrophes that plays havoc with the little money and personnel available. Now all is done and up pops that individual or individuals with their own agenda(s) that slows everything to a crawl. Constructive criticism is welcomed everywhere but when there is always destructive criticism, the house starts swaying like an unsteady house of cards.

Yes, I have my own agenda and that is to stay retired, travel and live in peace. I’ll leave the administration of Imperial Plaza to those that get paid to run it. Of course, if something doesn’t seem right, I will voice my disapproval and opinion. Only if it is catastrophic and then I’ll have to think about it. However, I will not attempt to micromanage a place I am not paid to manage or work. When I was in control of my own thing (military and civilian) I never micromanaged anyway. Why should I now? I found that to be counterproductive early own and have lived by it. If there is a good person or people in place to do the job right and there is trust in them to do it without supervision, there is no problem. Most problems are handled without you intervening and you are free to do your thing.

I guess I am being cynical because things that are happening is not affecting me. However, am I my brother’s keeper? In this case, no. Myself nor my wife is adversely affected, therefore, why bother and get myself in a lather? What will it do for us? What will it do for anyone when I don’t have and will not have control over anything that is done at Imperial Plaza. Sure, there are committees but they can only advise, not dictate. And, these committees, well most of them anyway, try just that and have accomplished not a thing.

I say, sit back, relax and remain retired. Don’t stress yourself out and have a heart attack over something you can’t control. Leave politics alone, at Imperial Plaza anyway, and live a carefree life. Or, you can get back into the rat race, come out of retirement and offer your services to Brookdale. Maybe you may be hired to get the mess in order. Good Luck..

 Electrical Storm, Arizona

Busy, Busy, Busy

I have neglected putting out my blogs for good reasons. It is not because I am lazy (some may argue that is the case but I’ll never waver) but have been busy with my MPP (Mighty Pen Project) classes and with the board of the MPP. I am also getting together (finally) the website for the MPP that will give much more information than I could give to you here. As you know, it is geared to all active duty military, ex-military and the families and/or friends of each service. To go further, in case you have not read my other blogs, it is for writing. These papers can be for memoirs, books or just plain getting things off your mind. The course is a once a week, ten week class taught by an instructor from a college, university, etc. In other words, this is a free college level course Who can argue with FREE?

How can this be free? That is where the Virginia War Memorial come in. With their help and guidance, we have come a long way. Now we have our own board and is attempting to function (some day) on our own. I have the task of setting up the website and keeping it running. A daunting task, to say the least. I hope to premiate myself by accomplishing this in a very expeditious manner. Wish me luck and the fortitude to carry on.

As far as Brookdale’s Imperial Plaza is concerned, it is slowly but surely moving right along… making people angrier and angrier along the way. The director (I should say “ex”) is no more. She was fired (she say she left on her own) but the rumor mill is really humming. I strongly believe the rumor mill (I have my sources). I will not say what those rumors are because, if wrong, I could be charged with slander. There is enough going on that I don’t want to be in the middle and end up on the wrong end of the spectrum. I have not seen nor met the lady that’s holding down the fort until a new director is named but I hear she is nice. I don’t remember her name but I do know she is from another facility that is in the Brookdale family. And, I want to add, people are not happy with the changes at the Magnolia Room or any of the dinning rooms, to be exact. Like I said before. People are always against change, whether good or bad. It doesn’t matter.

I am also a member of the grounds committee and, just think, I am suppose to be retired. I am doing more now than when I wasn’t retired. I guess being busy does not give you time to think about your age. I think about it every now and then and cringe. Personally, I think the two guys that do all the grounds work does not need anymore supervision or oversight than they already have. They do a fantastic job. I’m one that believe in the saying “if it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it.” I am told that I am expected to attend the different building gatherings in order to get their input about what they want done on the grounds. NOT!!! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it plus I don’t have the desire or time to commit to such an endeavor.

Anyway, I’ll try to keep the blog going. I have so much coming up. A trip to Puerto Rico, a cruise, a trip to Colorado and, of course, the casinos. Add to that the MPP and I should finish my classes by the end of March. I forgot the Neighborhood Watch program, I am committed to that also. In order to be a good neighbor, commit your services to the neighborhood. If we all did a little, crime would be at an all time low.

Until next time…be kind to your neighbors because you’ll never know when you’ll need them. Also, insure your words are soft and sweet, you’ll never know when you’ll have to eat them. BYE!!!

The Constitution and BIP

We are Americans who live by The Constitution, Bill of Rights and Common Laws. As a resident of Brookdale Imperial Plaza I have an apartment like any other place that have an apartment. At any place that a person reside, they are afforded the right to have guests at anytime that they may choose, as long as it is peaceful. I say this because it have come to my attention that a former employee of Brookdale Imperial Plaza have received a certified letter saying they can not come onto the property, even if requested or with a resident. I will have to look real hard at the law books on this one. Personally, I don’t think this is right unless a person have broken the law or something to that effect. If the letter is not legal, then it’s another case of a person trying to input their own policies.

Do not be afraid of people’s scorn, nor fear their insults. Sorrow and mourning will disappear,and they will be filled with joy and gladness. I, yes I, am the one who comforts you. So why are you afraid of mere humans, who wither like the grass and disappear? (Isaiah 51:7, 11-12)

Like the information about the ex-employee, I received another e-mail with the above Bible passage. It is from a blog I follow and it says what I feel. Why be afraid of people’s scorn… Like it have many times before, it will all come together in the end. That’s twice in a row I have received a Bible verse that directly reflects on what I am thinking at the moment.

This blog is much shorter than my others because I want my point to be clear. These are not the sixties and before that. People can go where they want and say what they want without fear of retribution. LEGALLY!!!!!

It’s Coming

First let me say, a week in advance, “Happy Father’s Day”, to all the fathers out there. May your day be wonderful and full of family activities or just plain restful. I prefer restful over anything. Like mothers, fathers need a day of plain rest and recuperation. It’s coming.

Another event that is coming is the Brookdale Imperial Plaza fishing trip this coming Thursday. We are supposed to fish out of Virginia Beach and, I hope it’s like when I have previously fished out of Virginia Beach aboard Miss Virginia, we go to the old ship wrecks. There I have caught plenty of one of my favorite fish, Black Bass. But, there may be a problem on our doorstep. Rains should be coming from the west and arrive here tonight and tomorrow. I am hoping it will be far enough out to sea that it will not cause rough seas. I can take it but I don’t know about the older people that want to go. Can you say sea sickness? Either way it may be, it should be a good day for fishing. The most fish I have ever caught was during a rain storm and during a roller coaster boat ride. I have always said, “the fish are already wet”.

Richmond is still going full speed getting ready for the bike races in September when bike racers, from all over the world, will be here in force. I can hardly wait and I hope the weather will be good. I will be on the sidelines as well as watch on TV. I wish this had happened in my younger years so that I may tryout the route like during the Grand Prix. For those of you that don’t know, before and after the European portions of a Grand Prix, for a small fee you may take your vehicle onto the track and drive the course. I’ve done it and, although you aren’t going at a breakneck pace, you get to see what the drivers see and you let your mind take you into Fantasy Land.

And, while everything depends on the weather, let me throw this into the pot. Let’s not forget that we are now into Hurricane Season and we, here in Virginia, are long overdue for a strong one to hit. I have always kept my eye on the weather and have tried to do an amateur prediction. I have done quite well but I can’t predict the far future weather. Plus, the one thing to keep in mind, is that weather have a habit to do what is unexpected. Can you say it’s not an exact science? So far, here in Virginia, we have had very good weather and good weather is expected for the future. Of course, there must be occasional bad weather (rain, wind, lightning, etc.) but we all should expect this. Everyday can’t be warm and sunny because severe drought will follow. I feel for California as well as the wet weather in Texas, Colorado, and other states that have flooded with too much rain. Virginians have nothing to gripe about nor make undue wishes for. The weather have been perfect.

Keep in mind, this is only the tiniest of tiny of the things that are coming. There is more to do at Imperial Plaza as well as the surrounding areas. I advise everyone to take advantage of it. That Is why I retired, gave up my house and moved to Imperial Plaza. Now I don’t have enough time for everything to do. Let me add one more thing that I am contemplating. I got a message from one of my writers site that the novelist James Patterson will give a course on writing, for a small fee of course. I am seriously thinking about taking the course. I have had a couple of classroom courses but I think James Patterson will be out of this world.

Now, take care and be true to yourself and remember this…..”Be kind to your neighbors because you’ll never know when you may need them”….also, “Insure your words are soft and sweet because you’ll never know when you’ll have to eat them”.Electrical Storm, Arizona

Time For Everything

Finally started riding my bike and I found out, quickly, that I am a little out of shape. It won’t take long to get my body back into shape which will mean I can then explore further out and be out a much longer time, like I used to. It feels so good to be out early in the morning, before a lot of traffic and when it is cooler. I also love to ride until I sweat because I believe it releases a lot of toxins that is in the body. Sweat is good but I must have time to wash the funk away. LOL It also provides a peaceful solitude for thinking.

Now that I am a Deacon, I must have my mind in the right place and think about what is coming up. I must pray and prepare. I believe and have witnessed going from not having any idea about what direction I was going in or what to say to having a revelation that is clear as a bell. Sometimes it is well in advance and at times it is at the last minute. I just let God and God has never let me down yet and never will. That is where bike riding come into the picture. Solitude, peacefulness, exercise and release of toxins gives me insight into what I must do. It also gives me energy to do the multitude of things that is on my plate. I have to take things slower than when I was younger because at my age I must remember that my body tire easier.

Lately the weather have been mostly good and I even had the opportunity to have my car washed. I needed an interior cleaning more than anything else because I am lazy. The exterior is getting more pollen than dirt but the frequent showers we are getting help wash off the car occasionally. Now those little green worms are dangling from their web cords everywhere. It’s just starting and, in a few days, they will be everywhere. I will then have a use for them.

The other day I received in the mail order I made the other night. I now have a Venus Fly Trap. I sat it up and will have to wait a few days for the plants to take hold of it surroundings. When the rest of the pods (I think that is what the little mouths are called) open I will feed it a worm or two. The instructions say it only eats one bug once a week per plant. I have two therefore I won’t hurt the worm population at all. The instruction paper say the plant doesn’t have to eat, it will just be smaller. There are a lot of plants in the apartment and that takes a bit of caring also. Then I have my fish tank.

I must mention that my wife and I went on the Imperial Plaza bus trip to tour the White House and then ate at a fine restaurant across the street from the White House. The President’s motorcade turned the corner, heading back to the White House, while we were waiting for our bus. We didn’t see the helicopter but heard the one man helicopter that landed on the Capitol lawn. What a trip we had and a trip to the Pentagon is being planned. Imperial Plaza always have good trips like ROMEO (check previous blogs to see what that stand for) trips once a month.

Next week the blog will have more things that I hope is interesting for all to read. I should have some stuff concerning what is going on with Imperial Plaza (oh, I forget, Brookdale’s Imperial Plaza). So until the next time take care, be good, stay safe and God bless you all.

Surprised

I’m back so soon because yesterday I was shocked by the going on here at Imperial Plaza, aahhh, I should say Brookdale formally known as Imperial Plaza (as the sign out front say).  I’ll get into that later because I want to mention my surprise first.

I was on my way to my birthday party, thrown for January babies by Imperial Plaza, and saw all of the employees going to the auditorium.  Nosy me had to ask why.  There was an impromptu employee meeting called and it was mandatory for all employees to attend.  I saw the “queen” leading the pack into the auditorium.  Later, I went to the wine tasting and, after a while, here come the “queen”.  I have never seen her at any of our functions and, for that matter, be at Imperial Plaza after three o’clock.  Believe me, I was in shock and everyone was murmuring, especially when she walked by tables asking how they were doing.  By the way, she never approached my table and I cannot honestly say it was on purpose.

I don’t know what took place at the meeting but I am sure I will be told next week.  I am hoping she has not threatened anyone because good jobs are hard to come by and I don’t want to be the cause of someone losing it.  Maybe things are beginning to change.  I’ll know within the next two to three weeks.  I see a lot of good improvements and, as I have discovered, these things were implemented last year, before the “queen” got here.

Now to the Brookdale sign.  Last year, during a Townhall Meeting, it was announced that the name was changing from Imperial Plaza and that caused an uproar.  After a lot of debate it was decided that the name would remain Imperial Plaza but under the owner (Brookdale).  Brookdale own facilities all over the USA with Imperial Plaza being the largest.  There is even one other small facility on the west end of Henrico.

Some people would wonder why we were against the name change.  Welllll, there are several reasons with the main one being, seniors do not like change, no matter if it’s good or bad.  When musicians come here to perform, they play music from the twenties, thirties, forties and fifties.  Nothing modern, ever.    Then there is the fact that everyone knows Imperial Plaza.  I have tried to explain where I live by giving street names, etc. and no one could figure out what I was talking about.  As soon as I say Imperial Plaza, then everyone know exactly where I am.

All of this go back to communicate and, if you are not from the immediate area, negotiate and ask questions.  All of this is before implementation of a policy or change.  Why get residents riled up when you can have them on your side by simply listening and calmly communicating.  Communication is a two way street and should be used as such.