Monday, October 22, 2018


Walked, then did the usual Sunday crossword and so on.
Betty's son-in-law, Dana, and her grandson, Finn, dropped her off about 10:30 and we chatted for a bit, then left for the bus stop.
I was heartened by the fact that Betty seemed to have no trouble walking there (about a block and a half away) and we got on the bus with no problem. I had us get off at the Mission, then we went to several stores. Betty bought a blouse and purse, I a light robe to take on my trip.
After, I took her down to the Blue Agave, thinking we'd eat on the patio, but that was filled by a private party, so we sat down inside. However, in the bar area adjacent, there were lots of extremely noisy people and I wasn't about to try to enjoy lunch in such an atmosphere. I suggested we leave, Betty agreed, and I took her back to Main and the Paradise Pantry.
This was crowded, too, but we were seated immediately on a banquette and fell into conversation with two women at the adjacent table. In fact, we more or less had lunch with them. They had been best friends since childhood, but Gina lives now in Seattle and was visiting Becky, who lives here in Ventura. When I mentioned that my sons live in Tokyo and Singapore, I was surprised to hear that Becky has been there several times, on missionary work for her church.
We four talked and talked, and stayed for more than an hour. They insisted on paying for our lunch, no matter how much we protested, and they did. After, as Betty and I were at the bus stop, I got a phone call. It was our two new friends, calling from their car to say they wanted to drive us home. We accepted, they did, and I gave Becky my card, with thanks. 
Home about 3:30 and we visited. Dana and Finn came back about 5:30 and took Betty back to Santa Barbara.

Sunday, October 21, 2018


Nice day.  Suzanne called me at 6:00 am.  Anyone else might be outraged at that, but she knows my alarm goes off at 5:15 and in another fifteen, I'm having my coffee at this laptop. She asked if I wanted to go to the harbor where the fishermen bring their wares on weekends.  Naturally I did, and at 8:00, off we went.
It was an absolutely gorgeous morning. The Santa Ana winds, which had been blowing so strongly for several days, had cleared off all the mistiness and the sun shone so brightly on the mountains, they just stood out against the blue, blue sky.
We inspected the fish, shrimp, crabs, and clams, all of which had been pulled from the sea just a few hours before. I was taken aback to see that many were still moving--also, that buyers were expected to clean and gut them. We agreed we didn't want to do that, so went to another fish place, which had both fresh and frozen fish, all cleaned and filleted. I wanted swordfish, but they had none frozen and the other was $24 dollars a pound, which I wouldn't pay. Instead, Suzanne and I both got sea bass--just beautiful and plenty enough for three meals.
After, we took a long walk along the water, then stopped for coffee and a light breakfast. I was pleased they had "heavy" bread and cottage cheese, so I had what I eat every day at home sans the half orange. We sat on the patio overlooking the water and talked and talked, about what proposals are on Ventura's ballot and political and state-of-the-world topics.
I'm often with people who, although I like them a lot and they are certainly no dummies, don't seem to be interested in bigger questions. They're either convinced Trump is the devil incarnate and the democrats are morally superior to others, or the exact opposite. Suzanne has a good mind and is articulate; she's never dogmatic or insinuates that her opinion is the right one. She simply observes, comments, and doesn't necessarily pass judgement. I told her about Chris Hedges' new book,which I'm reading and she wants to borrow it after I return it to the library.* Anyway, we  had a good discussion; came to no conclusions, but both expressed our enjoyment of the morning.
After lunch, I went as usual to town; still a gorgeous day at the ocean. As I was on the bus going home, I was charmed to receive a private message from my darling great-grandson. He was writing an essay and asked an English usage question concerning semi-colons. Of course,  I responded and loved doing it.
I haven't heard back from Betty as to when she's coming this morning, but assume she'll get to it. If not, I'll just see her when I see her.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

T.O.P.S. And Town

Walked the morning mile, then changed and Cheryl picked me up for T.O.P.S.  She was sighing over  turning 70, which I said I'd love to be (and my friend, Marge, would love to be 81; she's ten years older than I am). I was satisfied with weighing in at 128.5, up a tad (.02) from last week, which I calculate to be about three ounces, so no prob.
Home, breakfast, and I cut up tomatoes and onions, added oil, vinegar, garlic, and basil, then popped it in the oven for 45 or so. I like to use this in my daily salads, instead of raw. Went to Von's for lettuce and a few other things and had lunch.
Betty called to see if it was all right for her son-in-law to drop her off in the morning tomorrow on his way to visit his mother, then pick her up in the evening. Sure, that would be fine and I hope Betty will be okay walking to the bus stops, so we can lunch in town.
Happy day, I got my AirBnB reservation. I'll be staying in Freehold, near to Jackson, and it seems  just right for me. All I have to do now is get my hotel room in L.A.
After lunch, I went to town. Stopped at the post office, then went down to The Promenade, and up to Main and the library. At that point, Stella  called, saying she was on The P., so I said I'd meet her at the Aloha. Did so and we had a drink (she, vodka and cranberry juice, I, my usual beer)  and appetizers. We actually had a good time, especially in view of the ocean and the festive Friday people here and there.
It was already dusk when we said goodbye and I didn't get home until after 7:00 and full dark, but that was okay.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Trip And Toastmasters

Took a short morning walk--maybe a mile--then spent several hours finishing up the pictures to illustrate my Halloween verse.  I used a combination of getting pics off the Internet and my own (truly dismal) art work. Actually, they wouldn't look too bad if I was presenting to a Kindergarten class. In between, I did a load of wash, so now I'm caught up.
Finally got my plane ticket east--happily, non-stop--but it leaves L.A. at 7:15 am, so I'll have to stay over. I don't mind that--in fact, I think it will be fun to stay in a hotel, so will contact Expedia again today. I just have to figure out how to get to L.A., then to the hotel. Possibly, I can take the shuttle from here; if not, I can take the train, but then have to figure how to get from there to the hotel. Maybe I'll call nephew Steve--we'll see. I have somebody looking at an AirBnB for my stay; I hope it pans out.
Had lunch, took a bus to Walmart, then walked to the 99-Cent Store for a few items.  Home, I jumped in the shower and changed to prepare for Toastmasters. John picked me up and we got there a little early That didn't really matter, because, incredibly, besides us, there were only three others there! This is a small group, with maybe fifteen members, but even so, that was unusual.  (And wouldn't you know, the area director, Danielle, was there for her annual visit.) Noreen had refreshments and as ever, she went all out: She brought plates, napkins, glasses and a tablecloth, all with Halloween motifs; a vegetable and dip tray; pumpkin eggnog; apple cider; and two dozen heavily decorated doughnuts. Geez, it would have been over the top for thirty people, let alone seven.  I had the veggies and a small glass of eggnog, sans rum, I'm sorry to say.
My little Halloween illustrated verse went over big. It turned out to be the only talk, as Cherie, who was to do the other one listed, came in to say her bridge had broken, and she couldn't articulate well, then left. John was Toastmaster and showed his usual persona: absolutely convinced that every word out of his mouth was golden and that he was a great speaker and that we were all interested in everything he had to say. Danielle and I participated in Table Topics (she, the owner of a wild west show, I, an applicant for the position of lion tamer), which was fun.
Home about 8:30. 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Cole Porter And Grapes & Hops

Walked, worked on the illustrations for "A Halloween Story," and generally occupied myself until after lunch, when I left for town.
It was a gorgeous day on The Promenade--sunny, hardly a cloud in the sky, and with the beautiful Pacific rolling in. I thought of that great Cole Porter song:
It's the wrong time, and the wrong place
Though your face is charming, it's the wrong face
It's not his face, but such a charming face
That it's all right with me.It's not my ocean, but it's a lovely ocean, and it's all right with me.
Got to Grapes & Hops early and sat on the patio waiting for my pals. They came shortly and we adjourned to a table and ordered our individual drinks and caprese paninis. They were good, if nothing special, but we had our usual fun time. Carolyn's birthday was on Tuesday and we laughed over the fact she had turned 57--younger than two of my children.   
Nancy suggested we meet at Rumfish next time and we all agreed. However, when I got home, I realized I have the Dudley House covered dish at 6:30 that day, and I'm not sure I can make both. I'll mull it over.
Didn't get home until almost 7:00, when it was almost full dark. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Nice Enough

A nice enough day.  Walked, then felt sleepy after breakfast and lay down for about an hour. I actually fell asleep and dreamed of my old friend, Elaine. She's been gone now for 14 years. and I can barely remember the young mother who met her when we moved into the house in Ewing--can it really have been 62 years ago?
Dr. J.'s office called to say they could "fit me in" on Thursday, the 25th, which is, of course, three days after my DMV appointment when I need to bring the doctor's input. Called to switch and they'll get back to me. I'm seriously considering asking for my records and switching to another doctor/medical practice.
Caught the bus--two of them, actually--for WinCo, taking along my handy little cart. Got the things I need, got home, lunched, then took off for town. On the way, Betty called. She had had a visit with a neurologist on Monday and will have a CAT test of her brain today.
It got up to 85 by the time I got to town and I skipped The Promenade and just walked Main (one side of the street is shady). Got Chris Hedges' new book, America, The Farewell Tour, out. Started reading it and it's depressing as hell, because it's too damn true. The empire is collapsing rapidly, I'm afraid, and I fear the future.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Crazy and Cauliflower

Walked early, then stripped the bed and did a white wash. Walked to the post office for stamps to send Eileen, my tenant, the water bill. I always tell the p.o. people I don't want military ones and wouldn't you know, that's all they had. Decided to go to the main office in town, since I'd be nearby.
Had lunch and did my other usuals on an ordinary day...
Except for my encounter with one of the crazy people who roam the streets here--and I guess, in southern California as a whole or maybe the entire globe, I don't know.  I walked the two blocks to where I get the bus and saw this guy on a bench, cussing out somebody--or somebodies--who weren't there. He caught sight of me and started yelling at me to give him back his money. At this point, the bus came around the corner and I tried to flag it down, but the driver thought I was motioning him away, and sped up. A very nice guy stopped, seeing my distress (I didn't want to be left on the street with the nut) and said he'd take me to the next stop, which he did and that's where I got on the bus. As soon as I did, I called 911 and told the dispatcher about the guy; she said some officers would come out. I know what will happen. The man will be brought to the station, kept overnight, and then released unless, maybe, he shows he'll harm others or himself. This is supposed to be a civilized country, but this is what happens to the mentally ill. What a travesty.
Went to the library, then the p.o., then The Promanade, but I walked only a mile or so because I wanted to get home, shower, and dress for the monthly Soaring Spirits dinner. Did so, and left for the Stone Fire Grille. I took a bus for the first segment, walked the rest.
There were eleven of us, including Ray, who teaches at Buena High School and one of whose students is Vera's son. Nancy and Carolyn B. came in later and I was pleased that they were happy to have our Happy Hour at Grapes and Hops tomorrow. Pam was there for the first time in months; this is the one I tried to fix up with my nephew, Wes, except he hasn't gotten to California yet, and we shared laughs over that. I still think they'd make a good match. I got roasted cauliflower (delicious), one of their signature appetizers and an ice cold Chef Peak beer (even more so).
Gayle took me home after a very enjoyable evening.