Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Prep For Lunch

Walked Kimball, then spent most of the day on chores, especially preparing for my luncheon guests. I did a load of wash, dusted and mopped the hard floors, and otherwise cleaned up the place. Went to Von's for cold cuts: turkey breast, roast beef, and pepper chicken. Also picked up some "pocket"  pita bread, but I'm not sure how that'll work. I tried one and it tore before it opened. I then read you're supposed to warm it first. Think I'll skip the pockets and get get some rolls.
Also bought lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, grapes, and feta for the salad. I had thought I'd make an apple crisp for dessert, but just didn't feel like it. Instead, I bought a box of chocolate pudding mix and the milk to go in it--the cooked  kind, of course, I'd never give a guest--or my worse enemy, for that matter--the horrible no-cook kind. Bought a carton of heavy cream, which I'll whip to put on the  the pudding.
Went to Wal-mart for shampoo and face scrub and ran into Diane--the park Diane, that is. She said Irene's down with a cold, which is why I didn't see her at Kimball. I didn't get my afternoon walk--just didn't have time--but will today after Carolyn and Nancy leave.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety-Jig...

We had a good time at Betty's!
Got to Santa Barbara at 11:00 and niece Carolyn picked me up at the Courthouse. We went directly to Betty's, then she and I walked down the street to the Natural Cafe for lunch. After, w played Scrabble, a game I greatly dislike,* which Betty won by a huge margin.
I persuaded my twin sissy to walk to State Street, then to the next block to the mall. She did, with some complaints at the distance (it couldn't have been more than a mile in total, if that). Browsed in a few of the stores and sat down twice for her to rest, but we made it.
Carolyn came back with her daughter, Claire, and we visited for a while. After that, Betty served a casual dinner of salad and sandwiches, which tasted great to me, as I rarely eat sandwiches. We then watched the Eagles/Cowboy football game, an exciting squeaker to fans--including Betty--and a snooze fest for me, but I like the bright colors.
Betty has a new couch which opens into a bed, but it's very hard and she insisted I take her bed, which I did. Slept like a log; in fact, I didn't get  up until 6:30. Betty made good coffee and we drank it while we talked. I told her I wanted to walk--I knew she wasn't anxious to and she said she stay in to tidy up. She did and I walked down State Street, the main drag, until it forked into State and de la Vina. Walked back, looked it up, and was pleased to find I had gone a bit more than two and a half miles.We then walked to State and had breakfast at a Chik-fil-lay. I greatly dislike anything at a fast food place, especially what they call breakfast, but the sausage, egg, cheese on a muffin was okay.  The coffee was truly horrible, however.
Back to Betty's and we went to the common room, a very pleasant, well-appointed place, and sat with three women for about 45 minutes. We talked about a variety of topics, of course, and they seemed like nice people. Carolyn then picked us up and took us to her house to see her Christmas tree and decorations.
After, she took us to town for a bit, then picked up her two children, who had to go to the orthodontist. We said an somewhat tearful goodbye (the older I get, the more emotional I've gotten) when we dropped Betty at her place. Once the two kids were finished, Carolyn dropped me at the Coastal Express bus stop, which came exactly on time. After the short ride on the city bus, I got home by 6:00 pm.
*Since I'm surely a word person, this seems odd even to me. I have an idea about why I avoid the game, but there's no point in mentioning it here.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Here And There By Car And Bus

Walked Kimball, had breakfast, then addressed several Christmas cards and wrapped the little ornament for Baby Samantha. Took them to the P.O. and mailed. Went to the Bargain Box for a succulent for Betty, but it was only 10:00 and I saw it didn't open until noon.
I knew I wouldn't get an afternoon walk in because of my 3:00 hair appointment, so I drove to town, parked at the museum as I used to do in the pre-bus days, and walked to The Promenade. After, I stopped into a store I've passed so many times--"B On Main"--and discovered they have the cutest things. Picked up gifts for Mike and the girls--must add something for Paula.
Home for lunch, after which I called niece Carolyn and we had a nice chat; she'll pick me up this morning in Santa Barbara. Took the bus to the mall and walked to Penney's. Picked up some extra little things for V. and V., then went to the salon for my color and cut.
Mary took me slightly early, but even so, I hate getting my hair done. It seems to me a horrible ordeal and this was no better than usual, but at least my hair looks good. I love the cut she gave me, although how long it will last is anybody's guess.
It was dark by the time I got out and boarded the bus, but no prob, I'm used to that. Betty called while I was riding to tell me she thinks Muckie is having a gall bladder attack. Hmm...well, I assume she has a doctor, so why call me?  Dunno.
Note: I'm not taking my laptop with me to SB, so won't blog here until Monday.

Friday, December 07, 2018

Lunch at Diane's

Back in my routine, I walked Kimball in somewhat chilly weather which became beautifully sunny later. Went to T.O.P.S. to get weighed in, but begged off staying for the meeting. For one thing, I wanted to get ready for my lunch at Diane's and for another, I knew the program was going to consist of chair exercises, which bores the hell out of me. I was up a bit from last week, to 128.3, but I'm perfectly okay with that.
Had breakfast, showered, and dressed, then went out to wait for the van. It came within the time frame I had been told, and I got to Diane's a few minutes before noon. She greeted me at the door, then we took the elevator to her second floor flat.
There's no question this is a very small apartment. I'm not sure of the actual dimensions, but it's noticeable smaller even than Betty's in Santa Barbara, which is  pretty small itself. However, it has a nice balcony with a lovely view of the green lawn, trees, and hills in the distance. This is a low-income, senior citizen residence, run by the Salvation Army, and is one of the nicest I've seen. For Diane, it's an enormous improvement on her last digs, a studio at the Ventura Inn. 
At this point, she has little furniture aside from a futon sofa, a small table, and folding chairs, but all that is inconsequential when your eyes move to the living room wall. She has two, very large (maybe  3 by 5 feet) gold-framed pictures, one of the Archangel Michael, the other another angel. They look to be from the 16th century or so and they are just spectacular; Diane said she bought them for $500 each in Mexico, where she lived for 15 years. Gorgeous.
We had a nice lunch of Asian salad, something like blintzes with cheese in them, and  what you might call eggplant fritters, baked, with a white spread on them. It was all very good, especially as we shared a  bottle of Chardonnay.
After lunch, we went to a gathering room down the hall to see Crazy Rich Asians.  I had seen it before, but liked it and enjoyed it again. It was over about 4:30, we went back to her place, then I gathered my things and went outside to wait for the van. It came in a few minutes and off I went after a very enjoyable day.

Rainy Again

It was a somewhat disjointed day, but not bad. The rain was still coming down--or coming down again--when I got up and I didn't walk. I just didn't feel like putting on boots and sloshing around a deserted park for a mile and a half, so shoot me.
 Instead, I got a fair amount of seasonal chores done, such as retrieving my large Christmas angel from the closet, looking over gifts and wrapping, and addressing the descendants' cards, as well as selecting some clothes I'll bring to Betty's to see if she can use them.
Went to the post office to mail off Greg's birthday card and something for my DIL, but came back shortly. I got so engrossed in the Christmas stuff, I didn't stop until lunch. After that, I walked over to Von's for dishwasher detergent. By the time I finished my preliminary stuff, it was 3:00 o'clock and I jettisoned the afternoon town walk, too.
Instead, I took a dry (bus) run to Diane's neighborhood. While I waited for what seemed hours for the second bus, I called the Access van and arranged to be picked up by them today for lunch at Diane's.  However, I still boarded and rode close to her place. Stopped at a shop and bought some cute little napkin holders--gingerbread men and they're so cunning!--gawd, I must be nuts.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Happy Hour

I was determined to resume walking Kimball, and I did. Saw the regulars, who welcomed me back. After breakfast, I put a few pounds of chicken thighs in the oven, with oil and seasonings; I'll freeze these, and have them for later.
After, I dug out all my bought gifts and the ones I've ordered, recorded them, and determined what more I need to get. Drove to various stores for Christmas cards (special ones for the grand- and great-grandchildren), plus a few other things. By that time, it was after my usual 1:00 lunchtime; in fact, I didn't eat until 2:00.
As had been predicted, it had started to rain by then and was actually a little chilly. I dug out my boots, umbrella, and gloves, donned my raincoat, and set off for the bus. Got to Lure before 4:00 to find Diane already there on the enclosed patio. I was sorry to hear she can't come to lunch next Wednesday with the other two, but she has a prior commitment. However, she invited me to her new place for lunch tomorrow and I accepted with pleasure. After chatting for a bit, we looked around and discovered that Carolyn and Nancy were already inside in a booth, so we went in to join them.
We had our usual congenial good time. At one point, I pulled out the gift Ellen had given me, made a gesture of using it, and we had a ball laughing over it. I promised Diane I would take her to Ojai Greens, and we'll do that maybe next week.
We left about 5:30, and I boarded the bus, as usual. The rain had almost stopped--it was just a piddling little  California spritzing, anyway--and I got home with no problem. Betty called to say she had forgotten when I was going there (Sunday, and will stay overnight) and El called just to chat.
I want to stop at The Bargain Box today to see if I can pick up a succulent as a new-home gift for Diane.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Out And Around

Boy, did I feel lousy when I got up. All those cookies with all that sugar I ate at the widder dinner, made me feel sickish. I even skipped Kimball again--I don't want to do that too often--and ate breakfast late because I wasn't even hungry.
Happily, I bounced back before too long. Got gas for the first time since I bought the car, found a shade for the new lamp at Wal-Mart (it was not only less expensive, it actually goes better with the style of the lamp) and went to Vons and WinCo for fruit and stuff. I drove to all those places, but after lunch, took the bus to town.
I seem to be following a pattern: Drive in the morning, take the bus in the afternoon, and that works out well for me. I got off at the library and walked to The Promanade--the beautiful Pacific now tranquil as its name--then to Main. Stopped into Arc and bought four DVDs: Perry Como, Nat King Cole, his daughter, Natalie, and a medley of the oldies which features Fred Astaire and others. I happened to see a very pretty top--white, with a kind of lacy trim--and picked it up for a song.
Made a appointment for a color and cut and ordered a few Christmas presents on line. This year, I want to really get a jump on Christmas--which I say every year, but never do. However, I'm a lot further along than I ever was before.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Soaring Spirits And Christmas Cookies

Walked Kimball, but still with the sore throat and cough. Oddly, though, I felt better and better as the day wore on, although all I took was aspirin. Maybe that was because I just decided to ignore the damn thing and go about my business.
Changed the bed and did a large load of wash, and decided I'd attend the widder group dinner. However, I didn't have an ornament to exchange. Also, I needed to get a shade for the lamp I had bought at The Coalition. Drove to Target at the mall and saw some, but for ten bucks? The lamp only cost $4,99, so before I pay that, I'll look elsewhere. Left the car at the mall and boarded a bus to town. Bought a pretty angel ornament, but found no shade. I'll look at a few more places, but if I don't find one, I'll get the Target one. Showered and dressed for the dinner and took two buses to the Stone Fie Grille.
There were fifteen of us there, which included two men (I think that's a pretty fair representation of widows and widowers overall) and we had a great time. I got my favorite roasted cauliflower and Chief  Peak beer and even added a bottle of prosecco* after. Susan brought dozens of homemade cookies, little men and stars and Christmas trees--with icing!--and I went hog wild; I must have had six of them. My tummy still feels a little uncomfortable, but hey, it was worth it. Now I feel we're in the holiday season.
Vera took me home and as I walked to my place, I met up with Patrick and we chatted. I told him I wanted to invite him, Gordon, and Suzanne over for dinner, got his number, and will call him soon.
*That's a type of champagne which Nancy likes and the idiots at SpellCheck, isolated as they are in their little cubicles, aren't civilized enough to know how to spell. (Oh, okay, neither did I until I looked it up.)