Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Sorting Pictures

Aagh, aagh, groan, gasp, o-o-oh-h-h...
I did an incredible amount of labor on Labor Day--no joke.  I went through and organized the many, many (there were actually only four) boxes of photos I mentioned before.
Now this isn't a matter of glancing at a few and tossing or not.  For one thing, they were in no order at all: I'd pick up a handful of pics from grandson Joel's wedding to Jen and find interspersed among them Baby Joel in his bath, teenager Joel pitching ball, Joel riding the merry-go-round, Joel going to the prom, and Joel, the present 32-year-old father.  Not such a big deal?  It is when the other pictures in the box are of family members, friends, enemies, people I don't know, dead people, live people, old and young people, grand doggy and grand kitties, Hong Kong next to Ventura, Ventnor following Singapore, Tokyo and Little Egg Harbor--gaaaaa!
Well, I tossed about two thirds of them, I'm afraid.  I filled three largish trash bags--could barely haul them to the trashcan--and had to force myself not to go back and retrieve any.  Darn, Joel's mother surely has as many pics as I do, and probably duplicates.
I did sort out a few to give sister Betty of her family, others for friends, which I'll send them, and a few older ones I'll deal with when I get to the--ugh!--bench that's full of family memorabilia.
I also dragged the rattan chest into the guest room and did a number of other getting-ready-for California tasks.  Roasted chicken, went to the store, and did a lot of computer stuff, including adding my lady desk to Craig's List.
Unfortunately, I thought I had a problem I don't even want to describe, but suffice it to say (oh, come off it, Mimi!), I took the Picasa icon off my screen and now can't get it back the way it was.  Appealed to sons and one wrote back with what to do, which worked, except it didn't get my pics back with the same configuration and listings. It's so damn frustrating!  I know I can do something simple to restore it, but I just don't know what.  Tokyo son said I should take a basic computer course and I would if I could, but I don't know where there are any.
Okay, okay, I'm going to simmer down and forget all this.  Aline and I are leaving shortly to go to the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Getting Rid and Our Barbarians

(Too bad the above doesn't read, "Getting Rid of Our Barbarians," but then, who would run the country?)
The beds are gone.  A very pleasant and friendly family--youngish couple and four gorgeous adopted children, ages 2, 3, 4, and 5 came, as promised, at 2:00.  Dawn, with whom I had dealt on the phone, had said she would take only the mattresses (the price was the same), but when she saw the bed clothes, decided she wanted them, too.
Good.  I didn't really want to have to store, then somehow dispose of two each of sheets, blankets (pure wool), bedspreads, pillows, shams, and skirts, not to mention two bed frames.
After they left, I vacuumed, then laboriously got the maple bench that had been in my room into the former guest room.  I plan to put the love seat in the study there, too, as it opens into a bed.
I forced myself to start going over the pictures in one--just one--of the ten or twelve shoebox-sized plastic containers that are filled with them.  It was grueling: they were all mixed together, covered a number of years, and there are just too many. I was so frustrated I began to simply save or throw them away sort of arbitrarily.  Once you start discarding, it gets easier, but it was still tough.  I actually had to force myself not to go back in the trash and reexamine what I had thrown out.  Luckily, I talked myself out of that insanity.
Got more "stuff" out of the drawers of the "lady desk," then photographed and added it to Facebook.  Will put it on Craig's List today.
Somebody called about 5:00 to say she was interested in the armoire.  She has a summer place in Tuckerton, but was leaving shortly for her year-round home.  Asked if she could get it in her car by herself until I explained that it's more than four feet high and wide, and very heavy.  Said she'd like to come see it last evening and would call beforehand, but she never did, so I assume she isn't interested.
In the meantime, though, I cleared out the drawers and bookcase that are part of the armoire.  I now have the stuff--an enormous amount of it--strewed over the dining room.
But that's okay. If I'm serious about moving--and I am--I have to get rid of most of my stuff, anyway.  Today, I'll face it with a groan, but I'll face it.
Finally steeled myself to watch me in Hedda Gabler and incredibly, was pleasantly surprised.  I opened Act I and also Act 1V and really, wasn't half bad.  Director Desi had me so demoralized and so convinced I stank on stage, I had to force myself look at it.  Well, I'm glad I did; Meryl Streep may not be quaking in her boots, but I can see some areas of improvement, I wasn't bad, not bad at all, sez I.
Watched Tony and the Heiress again, too, and reveled in the laughs I got.   
No need for anything but a dazed sigh, after reading the following from Anti-War.com, quoting from The New York Times, then commenting:
"The rebels who killed (the American) were fighting for the Free Syrian Army, a rival group backed by the United States, and they went on to behead six ISIS fighters...."
Yes, these are the "moderate" Syrian rebels, backed by your tax dollars and the prestige of the United States government. Oh, but don’t worry, kids: they’re our barbarians – so beheading is okay, even praiseworthy, since they’re doing it on behalf of spreading "freedom" and "democracy."
The rest: 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cemetery And Videos

Met Betty at noon at her husband's grave in the cemetery.  Wes has been gone now for forty years--bewildering to contemplate--and they were married for only thirteen. We decided to go to Outback for lunch and I led the way.  We had no sooner turned onto the Black Horse Pike, though, than we were halted by a huge backup. I don't know how long we would have sat there, but I wasn't about to, so indicted to Betty we should turn around and go to the Dubliner, an Irish pub in the opposite direction.  We did so and had a nice lunch.
When I got home, I was pleased to find that Tonya N.'s husband, Bob, had come through and sent via e-mail a four-part video of Tony and the Heiress.  It was great fun seeing it and I started noting the elapsed time (not sure what it's called) up to when I appear. Will send to my children and Betty and tell them if they'd rather skip the full show, they can view my parts only.
In addition, just now I saw that Tonya had finally, at long last, sent same of Hedda Gabler, which we did almost seven months ago. Usually, I hate seeing myself in any kind of pictures, but am anxious to view this.  It was a meaty part and I think I can more objectively assess my performance than in more recent efforts. And, happy day, I open the first and fourth acts, so don't necessarily have to sit through the rest of it.
Started going through pictures and got so frustrated I had to stop.  I must, must, must follow some kind of system for discarding them, otherwise, I'll never get out from under.  

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Going Through

I continue to dig out, go through, and get rid of.  Opened a container of wedding memorabilia (not mine) and discarded the flowers carried and worn by participants, along with a lot of paper. Put the rest in two small boxes and stowed them in the garage.  I'm not sure why I didn't just toss them; guess I'm not ready to do that yet, as they are, after all, part of family history.
I had accidentally deleted a picture of the hall table I want to sell, so took another.  Measured that and some bookcases and went through a few other things.  Spent a good part of the rest of the day with the clearing out chores which, seemingly, will go on forever.
Called brother Larry, who said he was short of breath and seemed a bit "down," very unusual for him. Of course, he did recently have major medical procedures of a heart valve replacement and a bypass, but he was so unlike his usual cheery self, I was concerned. I called his daughter, Jeanne, who is an R.N. and whose husband is an internist, just to get the lowdown.  She reassured me that his pulse ox showed adequate oxygen in the blood, and that his slight melancholy (which she had seen, but only occasionally) was not a regular condition.
Aline called.  She's going back to New York today to help her sister-in-law, but we made a date to go to the Mutter Museum in Philly on Tuesday.
Went to Target for a card and present for my precious grandson, soon to have lived in the world for a full year. It's so hard to believe he even exists, let alone that he's come so far.  What a gift!    
Meeting Betty at the cemetery, then we'll go to lunch.  This is the fortieth anniversary of her husband's death.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Farm and Pool

We were treated to a farm bonanza yesterday: In the barn, we got squash, cucumber, shallots, onions, and three kinds of tomatoes (regular, heirloom, and sauce), then picked string beans, raspberries, and beautiful flowers (marigold, sunflowers, purple something, and white something).  Some of it was pretty far out in the fields, so we were at the farm longer than usual, but it was worth it.
Back at my friend's, we divided the spoils after I oohed and aahed over her newly renovated bathroom: fresh paint, deep tub, new mirrors--it looks great.  I borrowed her husband's slide projector so I can go through the hundreds of my husband's teeny-tiny slides you can barely see just holding up to the light.
Before hitting the road, I stopped at Dawn's, my friend's neighbor, and bought New Jersey peaches, for which I've had a hankering. Don't give me Georgia peaches or Florida peaches or California peaches--Jersey's are the best and so are our tomatoes.  
A young couple got in touch and will be here Sunday for my guest room beds.  Actually, they want only the mattresses, but will pay the price I had the included bed frames and bedclothes.  Wish they'd take them, too, but if not, will re-advertise. If they don't sell, I'll donate them, as I want to re-do the guest room.
Took pictures of the table and mirror in the foyer, plus four bookcases and put the two former on the FB Atlantic County Yard Sale page.  By that time, it had gotten so hot (I usually don't turn the air on until after dinner) that I jumped up, changed into my bathing suit, and went to the pool.
It was heavenly: just warmish/cool enough and so refreshing. There were only about eight people there; talked to Norma and Art M., plus the C.'s down the street while I splashed around.  Left when I was satiated, after about forty-five minutes.  (It seems a crashing bore to stay longer at any watering spot, although I know lots of people who spend all day.  They do that at the beach, too--I couldn't stand it.)
Went to the library after dinner to ask if donated books were still being accepted. Yes, indeed, and I'll start bringing in some of the dozens I have.  Ran into Mary Ann Van O. as I was leaving and we chatted. She has her house (a Bayliner, one of the smaller), up for sale.  Said she was furious at the people down the street who sold their much larger Mariner for the same amount she's asking, then this exchange ensued:
"Have you considered dropping the price?"
"No, because that's what I need to move north."
I kept my big mouth shut for a change, but that simple-minded answer reminded me of my employment manager days. Every so often, an interviewee would say I should hire him or her because "I need the job." If jobs were offered or houses sold on the basis of need, it would be a different world.
Got a call from Joe Bihlmier, Jack's son.  Said son is into genealogy and asked if I could put him in touch with my friend, Florence W., as there's some relationship there.  Called her and, as I've heard every time I have, the L.'s inbox is filled.  Called her cell, left a message, then called Joe back to give him her number.
Settled down to my popcorn and wine, in which I'm indulging again, at least for a time.  All in all, it was a good, productive, and interesting day.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Getting Things Done

Now I'm cookin'!  I've received a fair amount of interest in some of my listings on Facebook's Atlantic County Yard Sale, notably my rattan chest, twin beds (with matching bedclothes), and armoire. However, the person interested in the last needed it delivered and I can't accommodate, haven't heard back about the chest, and now I'm having second thoughts about the beds.  I think it might be better to keep them for "staging" when I sell the house.  As for the wine stuff, that's small enough for me to take with me to the flea market in a few weeks.
I spent a lot of time emptying the chest.  There were mostly pictures in it, along with some of the mountain of memorabilia I've accumulated over the years.  Tossed some and was able to get the rest in a smallish container, which I labelled and put in the guest room.  My goal is to sell a lot of the Christmas items at the sale and put the boxed "to go" stuff in the garage so it will be ready for the movers.
Realizing I had a $4.00 "Staples rewards" coupon that expired at the end of August (I'd turn blue and collapse if I wasted it), I drove to Manahawkin and got ink for the printer.  Bought a "see through" container--very convenient, but I have a labeler, and some empty opaque ones, so maybe won't need many more.
After dinner,  I was at the computer when the phone rang.  "Hello, this is Carol," a woman said.  Because I know roughly a dozen Carols, I was silent, then realized where I had heard the voice before:  more than a month ago, when I tracked down and called my late husband's friend, Carole Liberty, after finding several letters she had sent him sixty years ago.
Carole had received the letters I sent and had read the first one, she said. Unfortunately, she had suffered a stroke--not sure when--and then was in an accident, so said her memory wasn't what it used to be.
We talked for a few minutes, with info coming mostly from her.  I had included a short synopsis of Pat's and my history in with the letters, and she remarked on "what a wonderful life" I had had. ("Yes, indeed," I wanted to say, "and it's not over yet!")
Carole told me she had married, divorced, and remarried, but is now separated; has four children, ten grandchildren, and five great-grands.  She said she'd call me again after she reads the rest of the letters.
That was an interesting interlude, but it reminded me that I have still more old letters to Pat that I want to send to relatives of the writers--must get on with that.
In the same vein, I have several hundred slides that I need to look at and keep or discard.  This is farm day and I'm going to borrow a projector from my friend's husband, so I can go through them.    

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Books and Stuff

I continue to enjoy these waning days of summer, although they don't include many firm plans--maybe that's why I'm enjoying them.
Made a big salad--geez, I seem to do that every day--and had it for lunch, adding the last of the pork roast, cut up.  Drove to the Shop-Rite in Waretown to pick up various items, then to the post office and library.  Took back two books on Johnny Carson--I'm over him now--and got a new bio of John Wayne. Dipped into it last night and it looks absorbing.
Earlier in the day, I had started a book by the mother of a Downs Syndrome child, but will probably put it aside.  I'm not sure why this kind of thing appeals to me. anyway--other people's woes.  I'm afraid it isn't for any benign reasons. but most likely because they make me so grateful I'm not the author or the subject.
Further "booking": Using the last of Mike's generous Mothers' Day gift, I ordered Roz Chast's Can't we Talk About Something More Pleasant: A Memoir,* from Amazon.  Am also awaiting from Amazon, Jesse James, Last Rebel of the Civil War. That may seem a peculiar topic for me, but I became interested after reading a rave review.  The author, a distinguished historian, outlines what he sees as the sociological reasons for James' criminal activity. Guess it would be included under "Why People Do What They Do," and that's a topic I find endlessly fascinating.  
Put my sale items on Facebook, then the twin beds and the maple table on Craig's List.  Actually got some interest--one woman left me a private message on FB, I called her and she said she was interested in the armoire.  Unfortunately, she needed me to deliver it (to Mays Landing) and I'm not able to.  We agreed cordially it wasn't to be.
Somebody else does want to buy the rattan chest.  Darn, I asked only ten bucks for it and I bet I could get twenty...
...aagh--what an idiotic reaction!  I've had the damn thing for twenty years or more and the only function it serves is to contain things--pictures, mostly--that I never even look at.  Good grief, I should pay her to take it away.
Called my cousin, Marifran, in Ohio--to me, she's my "Cincinnati Sis"--and we had a good long talk.  She's had cancer for five years and is treating it with alternative medicines--oh, please, let them work.
Betty called. We'll meet at the cemetery on Saturday, the fortieth anniversary of her husband's death--how could that possibly be?--then go to lunch.
*I've been a Roz Chast fan for years.  Her cartoons, instantly recognizable, appear regularly in The New Yorker.  They're invariably comments on modern life and are subtle, but not obscure (as some New Yorker cartoons are), and always more gentle than nasty.  The book is concerned with the drama surrounding the aging of her parents and, I understand, includes her art, as well as photographs, and writings.  Can't wait for Roz and Jesse to get here!