Friday, March 27, 2015

Breakfast and OGP

We walked in a drizzle, then a downpour, but had umbrellas, so no prob.  Picked Aline up at our usual 9:15 and we went to Dynasty for breakfast.  Dropped her at work after, then spent several hours at the usual.
It occurred to me that the guest room closet still had costumes and props in it, so I called Bruce B. to see if Our Gang Players would take them.  Yes, and we met at their gigantic warehouse in Parkertown.
Good grief, the place is jammed!  Bruce does a lot of the sets for OGP and told me he had also organized the warehouse.  Well, I don't know what kind of "organization" he was talking about, because the place--thirty feet high, I'd say, and surely as big as a football field--is just as chaotic as it was when I was there getting costumes for Arsenic. There are three or four rather haphazardly knocked together wooden tiers throughout, with clothes hanging rack-on-rack, hats, shoes, gloves, accessories, suitcases, containers, furniture, and it seemed, any other object imaginable, all jammed together.  I'm no judge of space, but this was definitely warehouse-size and through a door was another the same size where Bruce makes scenery.
Bruce is a big guy--maybe six three--paunchy, and a big talker. He's about right-wing as it's possible to be, but I don't care, as I find him amusing in small doses.  He told me he's 61 and can no longer remember dialog, but still sings and plays the guitar.  I was shown around the cavernous place and we chatted for fifteen or so, then I left, having unburdened myself of yet more stuff.  
Home, I took a number of personal pictures off the walls and substituted generic ones, including paintings my Uncle Frank did of his farm.  Moved some things around to stage the place better and emptied the big "hope chest,"* that used to be my Aunt Maggie's. I had kept extra blankets and decorative pillows in there, but out they went into the donation realm.
* I wonder if anyone under the age of sixty knows what a hope chest is.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Lots Packed and Donated

Got lots packed, some to go and some destined for the thrift store. That included six pretty vases, a crystal decanter with a "ball" stopper, two fancy porcelain containers, two oil lamps, a clothes rack for drying clothes, four books, two tablecloths, and several smaller items.  Got it all in the car and took it to my pals at Lighthouse Alliance.
The reason I mention them is because I hope I can be more systematic about taking my donations off my income tax next year.
Betty called and I asked if she wanted two chairs and a small table I want to get rid of.  She might, and I said I'd take pictures of them to see if she can use them.
Continuing my forever job, I packed up two more large boxes to go.  Called Julie S. to see if she wanted four old kids' books (she collects them); yes and I stopped to give them to her on my way to Wal-Mart. She and George just bought the house--they still haven't sold their other one--and Julie told me she resigned from teaching middle school.  She can't stand the regimented way she's told she has to teach and has had several run-ins with administration.
Got more boxes at Wal-mart--they're cheaper than at Home Depot-- plus pumpernickel at B.J.'s.  
I was glad to enjoy breakfast with baby, who can now--ta dah!--eat with a spoon all by himself.  He polished off a bowl of yogurt very nicely, with only a bit landing on his face.  What a sweetie he is.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Done Deal

Okay, my house is available for rent, and can be shown as of April 15.  R.E. agent Walter and my friend came a little after 3:00 and the deed was done by 4:30.  Lots of things to talk over, find out, and sign, but it was surprisingly simple to understand it all.  It will be in multiple listing by the fifteenth, Walter will take pictures before that, and boy, I have a slew of things to do.
Earlier, I had galvanized myself to spruce up the kitchen. I removed the baker's rack and took away the plants, doodads, and cute little figures I used to like so much.  Moved the very small corner unit to the other side and boy, it's incredible how much more spacious it looks.  It's a nice-sized kitchen to begin with and this opened it up enormously.
Now I'm really under the gun to get this place ready to be shown. My friend agreed to come on April 3 (yes, I know it's good Friday, but that has no significance for me) and April 10.  By then I hope to have as many superfluous things as possible out of here, either donated or sold.
Saw part of International Day at my granddaughters' school in Singapore, Stamford American School.  There were lots of kids from lots of countries, included one child from Iran, and a surprising many from Korea.  The U.S. had by far the most ex-pats, presumably because it's called....  Well, yeah.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Taxes and Playlets

Happy day, my taxes are filed.  Arrived at St. Mary's well before 9:00, but there were already ten or twelve people before me.  It went pretty quickly, though, and a nice, former finance officer named Dolores, did my return.  I'll get a refund and wanted it put directly into my bank account.  However, for the second year in a row, I forgot to include a check with the routing number.  Went to the Ocean First nearby and requested a copy of a paid check; they acquiesced and that was that.
I had a list of errands I wanted to complete in Manahawkin and I got all of them done.  Didn't get home until 2:00 for lunch. After, I cleaned up a bit, put together some boxes, and made a list of (minor) repairs that need to be done around the house.
Spent a good portion of the rest of the day going over some of the playlets I want to do at the Shalom House show on April 16.  Sent a message to my acting group about the date, asking them to let me know if they'll be there.  I already know two of my performers will be away and I got messages back from two more who can't participate.
This is a dilemma.  I hate to try to get another day, as the Shalom House activity room is heavily booked.  Instead, I'm toying with the idea of adding my adaptation of The Pukey, possibly with a discussion after of its meaning.  The more I think of it, the more interesting that sounds.  Hmm...
Today, Walter and my friend will be here and I'll sign the rental papers.  I'm nervous about it; hope I'm doing the right thing.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Another Goodie

Oh, I am so-o-o good.  I spent most of the day dealing with the laundry room.  That may sound simple enough, but it was a huge  job.  To wit:
I had had a old and decrepit wood bookcase (painted and with intricate side panel designs) next to the washer.  The top shelf held detergent, bleach, softener sheets, and Oxy-Clean and the other three were crowded with cleaning products.  I had dozens more on the two long shelves above the washer and dryer.  It's unbelievable how much I've accumulated: several cans of bug spray (I haven't had an insect in the house since it was treated for termites two years ago); no fewer than five silver polishes (my silver is at the consignment shop); floor-cleaning products for carpets and wood floors; and an array of other bottles, cans, and sprays for every conceivable use.  Plus--I had duplicates of lots of them. Why? Because, as daughter Ellen suggested, I couldn't find the originals.
Cleared them all out and put the bookcase in the garage; I'll drag it to the curb tomorrow.
I put a taller, deeper, and more utilitarian plastic shelving piece in its place and neatly arranged the items I use most often on it.  The other cleaning supplies, I separated roughly into categories and grouped together in see-through boxes.  Placed those on the longer shelf.
Swept, then dusted, then washed the floor; replaced the small step stool on which I keep the laundry basket; and cleaned the adjoining closet with the water heater.  Finally finished up about 3:30 and happily went to Acme with a real sense of acccomplishment.
Ellen called while I was gone.  Got back to her--she and Greg were at the Botanical Gardens in Santa Barbara--then made myself stir-fry for dinner and basked in my accomplishment.    

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Good Day

Picked Aline up for the P & P meeting at the Northfield Library. There were about twenty-five members present and, under Denise's guidance (which consisted of cajoling, bullying, and throwing up her hands in exasperation, the only way to ride herd on this outspoken gang), we immediately started on readings to decide which plays will be included in our June show.
Denise had us vote on each of the ten or so submissions right after it was performed.  In the absence of a selection committee, this is effective, I guess, but it's a bit uncomfortable in the presence of the author.  However, there were some bombs and, uncomfortable or not, we scratched them.
I had brought copies of a few of the short plays I had written for the acting class, but decided to submit only Imposter at first.  Luckily, both Meryl and Bobbi, who had performed it in the class, were there and I asked them to do the same yesterday.  I was pleased at how much they had improved, especially Bobbi.
The play itself went over big and was voted in.  Later, after we had gone through the others--including several dogs, I'm afraid--we didn't have quite enough material for a show.  I then submitted The Truth, the Embellished Truth, and Nothing Like the Truth and it was put on the program, also. 
Meryl submitted a play about a couple visiting a nursing home and asked me to play the old lady inmate.  However, it was not voted in; I didn't even vote for it, as it kind of meandered along and didn't go anywhere.  Later, Meryl asked if I would act as play doctor if she sent it to me and I agreed.  I'll see if I can help her sharpen it up a bit.
Sondra M. asked me to play the mother in her A Peaceful Reunion, an autobiographical play, which is the only kind she writes. That was fun and I'm looking forward to doing it in June.
After, Aline and I met Betty at the Shore Diner, as planned, and Louise and Denise came with us.  Had a good time, although we had barely sat down when Denise started on a harangue about a woman's right to abortion.  Betty follows Catholic dictates on this (as well as everything else in the religion realm), but didn't immediately react.  I didn't want this social gathering to degenerate into an argument--which in this case, can't possibly be resolved--so I simply mentioned that those who oppose abortion regard pregnancy as involving two people; the group then moved on to another topic.
Anyway, it was an enjoyable outing.  After a leisurely meal and good talk, we left, I drove Aline home, and got in to hear a message from Harry Woosley, Pat's old buddy in the Air Force.  Called him back and talked to his wife (who confided she had turned 84 last week), then he called me back and thanked me for the packet of letters I had sent him.
Good, active day and now I'm ready for some down time or, at least, some continued-packing time.                

Friday, March 20, 2015

Of Snow, Scripts, and Ava Gardner

Luckily, Susan and I got our walk in before the snow.  I put a ham bone in the slow cooker along with onions and seasonings; threw in a handful of corkscrew pasta, and had it for lunch--pretty good.
I'm reading Bowling Alone on the Kindle.  It's about the falling-off in recent years of membership in all kinds of organisations.  From the religious to the political to the social to the work-related, there are fewer and fewer members, particularly young members, in virtually all groups. It's a fascinating study.
Prepared some material to bring to the Players & Playwrights meeting today.  If I think it'll go over--depends on who's there--I'll have my adaptation of The Pukey read; otherwise, will submit Imposter or A Conversation in Summer.
Took the car out just around the neighborhood to judge how slippery it was.  It seemed okay, just slushy, so I hope we can get to the meeting today.
Yo, snow.
Faux snow?
No, Roe, snow.
Oh, no!
Oh, snow,
Blow, snow...
Aline called after dinner and we had a cozy chat while the snow fell.  I enjoy hearing the ins and outs of library lore--yeah, I'm a real geek--and she mentioned that the biography section had been very tight.  She told Arlene, one of the librarians, who checked how many times various books had been borrowed in the last several years. If fewer than three times, a book could be banished to a kind of holding area in the back.  She gave Aline the list, which included a bio of Ava Gardner.  It had been taken out only once in five years and guess who borrowed it that one time?    


Nothing Much

Darn, after our walk and breakfast, I gathered up my tax info and drove to St. Mary's.  Arrived about 10:00 to find it jammed.  Filled out the preliminary form and saw my neighbor, Jo B.  We sat and chatted...and chatted...and...
By the time 11:15 rolled around, I decided to go back Monday.  I'll plan to get there a few minutes before 9:00 when they open.  Since I was partway there, I drove the Bayville to use the rest of the gift certificate my friend had given me.  Bought a blouse and purse.
Had sausage and salad for lunch.  Did wash, cleaned up a bit, puttered around with this and that.  Not a terribly productive day.