Friday, January 22, 2016

Daily Grind Cafe

7am - I am sitting in the Daily Grind Cafe. It's a bit slow this morning. Only myself and Farida the owner/manager are here. Farida arrived in California from Iran, many years ago. Farida is a very nice lady who has a fantastic memory. I ate at Daily Grind Cafe for the first time about a week ago. This morning, Farida recalled where I sat and with whom I chatted!

Before going to the Daily Grind Cafe this morning, at 6:15am I drove Terry to her cleaning job. Terry lives at Guava Gardens. Although Terry has reached 70 years, she continues to work. As we drove to her job this morning, I asked Terry when she planned to retire, she told me, "Oh, I can't retire. I need the money."

Active senior living
Guava Gardens is an active seniors, over 62 years apartment house. Rent here is in the "low-average" range. I am paying $725/month for a studio size place. A one bedroom place at Guava Gardens is $800. Apartments in La Mesa that are in the ordinary rental market, go for $1,300 to $1,800 for a studio to 2-bedroom.

Many of my apartment mates living at Guava Gardens, have a tough time paying their rent. It's very close. Some of my mates constantly search for low rent subsidized apartments.

HUD apartments usually charge 30 percent of a renter's gross income. So, a person who has an $800 monthly gross income would pay $240/month. It's a pretty long wait for my apartment mates when applying for HUD housing. Often 3+ years!

Before I began living at Guava Gardens, I knew nothing of a senior's plight to make ends meet. Guava Gardens was the first place that I applied to live. When manager Rosie showed me apartment #309, I loved it! "How much?", I asked. Rosie told me, $725/month. I did not learn for a long time, that $725/month for a studio was very low rent in La Mesa CA.

Potluck party
Yesterday at noon there was a Potluck party at Guava Gardens. My contribution was 15 pieces of mixed [dark/light] fried chicken. I picked up my chicken from "Crispy Fried Chicken" in El Cajon. My fried chicken was a hit!

We have a Potluck about once each month at Guava Gardens. Although there are 81 apartments at Guava Gardens, from the tenants here, only about 25 attend our Potlucks.

Many Guava tenants have lost the ability to be social. Old age affects some by withdrawing into themselves. Some have experienced so many deaths in their family & friends, that they are now alone. The ability for many seniors to make new friendships has evaporated. Physical challenges, being confined to a wheelchair, walking very, very slowly with a cane, etc., makes some depressed.

Sometimes I meet some of these unsocial apartment mates in the hallway. Introducing myself, I begin a conversation. Usually I see surprise in a person's face. Because hardly anybody here begins to chat in the hallway when they do not already know somebody. Wow!

Wire transfer challenged
I wanted to buy stock in a company named, "Alliance Resource Partners" [ARLP]. This stock purchase would be classified as "wild speculation."

So yesterday, I opened an account online with Etrade Financial. This is a cash account, which means that I must have cash in my account before I am able to make a purchase of ARLP shares.

I went to my nearby branch of North Island Credit Union, to make a Wire Transfer. But the teller informed that the Wire Transfer would NOT go thru today. It would likely be stalled waiting for a Federal Reserve approval! What bull sh*t!

When something gets in my way like this, I take it as a sign from my Guardian Angel that I am on the wrong track. I stopped the Wire Transfer, and closed my Etrade Financial account.

I do not feel that it is a good idea to battle against the tide of destiny. Go with the flow, is my way.



  1. Your place sounds great :-) I covet your balcony! Yup...housing is a big issue. I am 60 and get $733/month disability. My rent is $525 of that. Every year the rent goes up even when my income doesn't. This is Section 236 HUD housing. Folks have to have a certain income range to live here. The building has a flat rent for everyone, not by percent of income. It takes about 7 years in this city to get into 30% housing. Low income affordable housing is a crisis in the US. Sad :-(

    1. Hi Wendy,

      Thank you sooooo much for educating us about 30% HUD housing. It seems to me, that stuff our government does is just heater-skelter. Shipping manufacturing off shore brought poverty to the door of the working person.

      Changing bankruptcy rules makes it so that many debts cannot be discharged anymore! Homeless in my neighborhood are ignored instead of responsibly dealt with.

      The rich upper class do not seem to grasp that without a successful and vibrant working class, our entire economy is doomed!



    2. Wow! I live in a rent controlled housing also, but you have to have an income of twice the rent to be able to live here and, of course, there is a ceiling on income too. My budget is tight but nothing like yours.

    3. Hi George:

      Unfortunately, I think the problem is us... The government is us and we are electing people that are acting against our interests. We aren't paying attention to the real issues but instead worrying about trumped up issues which are mostly irrelevant to the reality of our lives. The working class is the majority but we are acting on behalf of the minority.

      Thank you for reporting on your reality. I have always enjoyed that about your blog. I am glad you are choosing to write more lately.

  2. When sending money you might try an electronic funds transfer from your bank to theirs. There no cost to do this. Just make sure that the company is legit.

  3. I am so glad that we have blogs to make friends and contacts. Keep it up Tioga George!

  4. Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to engage the lonely at your complex. You are a good man.

  5. Hello George, I haven't rented since 1980's when we purchased a small bungalow when interest rates were at 16% or higher. Anyway, I got out of HUD subsidized 235 mortgage to refinance conventional in 1990's. I owe the government interest they paid but no one can tell me how much even though I have tried time and time again to find out so I can pay it off. It's frustrating. Anyway, I'm glad I bought a small house because it's just right for me are grown and husband gone. I retired from the government so I have a decent retirement income but I elected to continue to work part time to get out of bed and do something productive everyday. I work a seasonal job at an air conditioning shop as a bookkeeper. The money I make working part time allows me to travel and my boss is very receptive to my absence since I always 'catch up' the work piled up when I return from a trip. I love my job. I'm almost done with paying off the mortgage. Due to poor planning, I was weighted down with credit cards so I got a forgiveness of debt loan and paid them all off at 50 to 75% reduction. This loan will be paid off come fall....I am looking forward to that. It also helps that I have a huge extended family which keeps me in the loop. This year I have three weddings to go to and I've already attended two nephew's college graduation. My cup runneth over.

    1. Hi Rita,
      Thank you sooooo much for sharing!

      Sounds to me from reading your story, that you emerged from all of this really great!