Miss Bee’s Bolivar Buzz

Shannon WilliamsBy Shannon Williams
Well, I was all ready last week to write about the Crab fest and had my thoughts in my head and my pictures ready, but that was not to be the case. Around midafternoon on Tuesday, our power went out, which is something we are used to and we have a full house generator, so it starts up and we are good to go, well not this time. It appears, we were the only house effected by the outage. A transformer on a pole in our yard blew something and thus we had no power. The husband called it in, and we waited. I was concerned that it would not be a priority for them, since it was only one house. It took about 2 hours for them to come out and they left and came back a few times. Power was restored just as the sun went down. The issue was that during that short period that the power goes off and the generator comes on, the spreadsheet I had been working on for two days went to never never land. In the work that I do, we always try to make sure our low-income seniors are hooked up to any programs that might help them in one way or another. One of those is a Utility stipend that they get each month to help them pay for the cost of electricity.

The on-site staff had not done the request from the power company in time, so we were going to have to do a utilities analysis by hand, which means we had to review each of their bills for a 12-month period and enter the data into a spreadsheet. I have done these before, but not one for one of the California properties that we own and manage. Well, California has several programs that senior can qualify for and gives them credit towards their electric bill. We have to back each of these out to come up with what they are really paying and not what they are being charged. Well, let me tell you, I had worked for days on reviewing all of the invoices. We have 50 residents in that project and the bills were all about 6-8 pages and I had 12 months’ worth. Some of the credits you really had to look for and were not easy to find. So, I reviewed about 5000 pieces of paper. I first tried to do it without printing them out, and that was just not working, I needed to be able to highlight the numbers (yes, I know you can do that with many different tools, but it was just too much for me!) Not to mention that about 40% of the bills were in Chinese! the numbers were in English but all everything else was not, I think I went through at least a bottle of aspirin!!

I was in tears when I could not find the spreadsheet. I had a deadline so had no time to cry, I had to start over. At least I had all of the bills reviewed and highlighted (in several different colors per credit program LOL). I got it all done and yes, I saved after every resident I entered, which I had failed to do in the first place! So needless to say, I did not get anything else done. I knew what I wanted to write about and how I hoped to word it all, it was really going to be cute, but after that, I barely knew my name. I kept hoping that it would all come back to me so I could tell you the stories of Crab Fest and how much fun it really is, and all the time I was there I was working, Ok, I did do some shopping Friday night. Now, it seems like a long time ago and some of it has already faded; well really what happened is that I have slept since then and all of my thoughts leave my head when I sleep, and I am lucky if they come back to me later.

Working the front gate is always an adventure, most people are really very happy to have something to come out to and take part in. I usually work Saturday am, so I get to see all of the Dachshunds come in and be ready to race. Some are dressed up so cute and most all of them bring a cheering squad along with them. While the dogs are super cute, there are never as cute as the little kids, they are excited to be with their families and know that there will be many fun things to do and great things to eat! Many are dressed up in some sort of crab gear, the little ones are so darling. You should see the wagons, strollers and other methods of keeping young children controlled in a crowd of people.

Watching people leaving is also great fun, they carry out all of there treasures that they have bought and often plates of food to eat later. If you have never been to Crab Fest, it is street eating at its finest! There is something for everyone and always the old favorites (the soft serve giant ice cream cone stand is always a hit). It is always cute to see the husband who has to keep making trips back to the car to put up items their sweet wife has brought!!

I love that so many of the vendors are true artist and you get to interact with them and talk about their work. This was the year of repeats for me. I had to buy another bag, from Betty. I just love them and they are great for all kinds of stuff. I give them as gifts and won’t tell you how many I have kept for myself!! I bought another piece of mixed media glass art and Paul hung it in my window and it is great, it catches the light and I am delighted with it. We have lived in the house for 10 years and most of the art work is by someone that I know or have least met. I had a piece in the living room, that had neither of those and I had been wanting to replace for several years. I spent my time and got the husband input and got another one of Patricia Hagstrom’s silk screens! Her work is just filled with color and I just love it and she is such a dear and always glad to talk about her work! I have included my pictures from my treasurers for your enjoyment.

PS- I was working on another big spreadsheet today and I set a timer and saved it every thirty mins!!

[SW: May-23-2023]

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