Monday, November 24, 2014


Oh, ho, I made up for lazy Monday by buzzing around on Tuesday. Went to Manahawkin, first picking up my sunglasses at the county office where I had left them; then got various and sundry at Shop-Rite; stopped at Wal-Mart for an item; went to the SOCH thrift story for something; finally, stopped at A.C. Moore to get small gifts for birthday people.  Home for lunch, I pared and sliced my carrots, added some orange pieces, and put them in the slow cooker.
Went over after to Acme for apples (I always make the pie for Thanksgiving), lemons, and oranges.  I like the big navel ones, although I suspect they're less sweet than Valencias.  I have half for breakfast, plus cottage cheese on pumpernickel.  Remembering when I used to buy them three for $1.99, I was annoyed to see they were a buck each.  Bought them anyway, but geez, prices seem to be climbing--and not by a penny here and there--all the time.
Family news: My granddaughter-in-law just posted on Facebook that she is now a wedding officiant--wow!  She has already performed two weddings for friends.  I commented that if I ever get married again, I want her to officiate.  Hey, if ship captains and pedophiles can do it, why not Noelle?
Now off I go for my stress test--gulp!


Incredibly--and I should be embarrassed, but I'm not--I did almost nothing yesterday after I got home from my friends'.  Certainly, I did nothing productive, just lazed around, did some computer stuff, read more of Johnny Got His Gun, and completed my ritual of the cryptogram and crossword puzzle in the Sunday Press of A.C. Even took a nap on the couch.  I was bored out of my skull, but didn't feel energetic enough to initiate some action.
Hmm...Wednesday, there'll be action enough: my stress test is scheduled for 8:30.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Great Weekend and an Anti-War Novel

What a neat, neat weekend!
I'm late with this because I got a surprise call from my friend yesterday morning.  She asked if I'd like to celebrate her birthday (which is actually today) by going out to dinner with hubby and her, then to a movie.
Oh, hell, no, I said, that sounds like no fun at all (yuk, yuk).  Of course, I hastened to accept, packed a bag, got a few errands out of the way, and arrived at their place at 3:30.
We first went to see the house they've rented, where they'll live for a time after their house sells (we're all fervently hoping the snags will be overcome soon).  This is in an historic district, a wonderful location--right on Main Street and easy walks to the library, restaurants, the lake, the park.  The house itself is--well, livable, but barely. The walls are all covered with paneling--the cheap kind--and the ceilings are very low; they also slant noticeably, as do the floors. We laughed over the oddities in the place, but hey, considering the scarcity of rentals in that area, they were lucky to get it.
We then went into Allentown for dinner Italiano.  I ordered two appetizers, which were plenty large enough for a meal; in fact, I took some of the broccoli with garlic and oil away and ate it later.
Then off we went, very early. to the movies.  We saw Interstellar, which was, incredibly, almost three hours long.  It was pretty absorbing, though, and I paid attention throughout.  Of course, the plot was about as far-fetched as you could get, involving time travel and narrow escapes, and so on.  Guess you could sum it up as: Crises after crises, and a cornfield.
An annoying factor was--were--the incredible number of ads--I'd say thirty, at least--followed by at least a half-hour of previews (which are actually ads, too, of course).  And for this, admission for the three of us totaled close to fifty bucks.  We didn't get back to my friends until well after 11:00, and it was midnight before we went to bed .
No matter, though, as I slept late--to 7:15--and got up to good coffee ready to be brewed.  Sat reading* until my friend got up. She proceeded to make us scrambled eggs, toast, and pancakes--yum. Then she opened her present and card and we enjoyed her enjoyment.
I kissed them goodbye and was home about ten.  What a wonderful weekend--they're always fine when I'm with my "friends."
* Am re-reading Johnny Got His Gun, the classic anti-war novel.  I'm absorbed in it--so topical, although written so many years ago.  When will we ever learn?  Never, I think.      

Saturday, November 22, 2014

At Betty's

Fun day.  I had planned to take a bus to Atlantic City and from there to Ventnor, but it was so cold, I didn't.  After I got gas, I actually saw the bus waiting on the street and darn, I wish I had boarded it.  Instead, I drove south.
Got there about noon and Betty and I greeted each other.  Her house looks beautiful.  All the floors, except for the bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry room, are a lovely hardwood, the color of oak, I think, and the walls are painted a kind of linen.  She had crown molding put up, too, and that adds a terrific touch of elegance. Anyway, it looks great and I loved seeing it.
We walked around the corner to a new little restaurant for lunch.   After, we went in Betty's car to the Longport breakwater, which sparkled in the sun on the several-million-dollar houses along the beach.  Place was deserted, of course, as these mansions, it seems, are occupied only in the summer.  It's hard to imagine what the owners' year-round homes are like, considering this little summer shacks.
We drove up to the Inlet after that.  Lots of changes in Atlantic City, many unfortunate with the closing of so many casinos.  How can that area help but become depressed with an estimated 8000 people soon to be out of work?
I stayed another half hour at Betty's, chatting with my Sis.  Betty will join us at my friend's for Thanksgiving, then stay over at my place.  Stopped, as I often do on the way home, to see our mutual HSHS grad, Mary Martin Hoffman.
Back in town, I went to the library and picked up the book I requested, the anti-war novel by Dalton Trumbo, Johnny Got His Gun.  Saw Aline, who called later, and we made a date for breakfast on Wednesday.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Root Vegetables and My Friend

It was the last farm day and I went early.  In the barn, got cabbage, turnips, beets, carrots, and sweet potatoes.  I could have picked (pulled out the ground, that is) other turnips from the field, but the deep furrows around them were either muddy or icy and I wasn't going to take a chance.
The car made it there and home, anyway.  I divided the bounty for my friend and me, then put my portion of the cabbage in the slow cooker with caraway seeds and a small bottle of sparking cider I found in the fridge.  Not sure where it came from, but I think from the welcome basket we got when we moved here.  I also scrubbed and trimmed the sweet potatoes and put them to roast in the oven with lemon slices.
Brother Larry called to say he's sending me another funny ad from the Miami paper.  I'm looking forward to it, of course.
Friend got here about 1:30 and started calling some of our masters, the odious "healthcare" rats who run the country.  Of course, just like the ones I had called, all carried either a huge premium or covered very little.  I'm just about reconciled to paying out a pretty hefty portion of my income for mediocre "care."
We took a nice walk, though, following the route Susan and I have every morning.  In fact, we ran into my walking partner, who was out getting the mail, and chatted with her for a bit.
Home, my friend went to Acme for salmon, while I set the table, then we had a tasty early dinner together.  She changed, then went back to work (student conferences) and I settled in for the evening.
My friend (who is much more than a friend to me) has a birthday on Sunday.  She was born on Thanksgiving and I've been thankful for her--more than anyone can know--ever since.       

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Breakfast and a Pedicure

Not a bad day--but cold, cold, cold.  Met Susan as usual at 7:00 for our walk, all bundled up against winter.
I had agreed to pick Aline up at 10, which I did, although I don't like to have breakfast that late.  I meant to go to exercise before that, but instead, decided to go to Sunset Nails for a pedicure. However, I found they don't open until 9:30.
We went to John and Sonia's, that popular neighborhood luncheonette and enjoyed it.  I was sorry to hear Aline can't go to my next acting session, as she has some function or other at the library.
Dropped her off there and went home, then spent several hours completing When Cooks Confer and tidying up the other plays I'll have my students perform next time.
Quit that long enough to finally get over to Sunset Nails and get my pedicure.  It felt great and my tootsies look purty.  I really should have a manicure, too, but I'll defer that or do it myself.
Decided which duo in my class will do which play and when; I'm scheduling two per session (December and January) and the last in February.
Talked to Betty and told her I'd go down to see her house tomorrow.  Said I'd take the bus, as I don't want to drive that far, but now I'm having second thoughts.
Going up to the farm today--I hope my car will make it--as it's the last for the season.  My friend is coming a bit after 12:00 to contact a few health insurance companies, the black-hearted bastards, to see if I can get a better deal.  I don't have much confidence I will, though.  I got e-mail info from Omaha and so on, then a phone call. Talked to the guy and they want close to $300 a month, so screw that.  I'm reconciled to the $180, plus not inconsiderable co-pays, and I just want to get past this whole thing.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Car, Insurance, and the Dark Night

What a friggin' day.  As planned, got up to my friend's area to meet her husband, Mike, at 8:00.  Left the car at J & L Automotive and went back to his place.  Mike busied himself with various chores while I read the paper and so on.
In a few hours, the guy called and confirmed what I knew in my heart: The car isn't worth fixing.  I thanked Mike and drove home; had my carrot/orange mix for lunch, then left to pick up a new referral at the doctor's.
Went from there to meet my friend at the Ocean County Aging Office, or some damn thing.  We were with "Claudia," the Medicare and supplemental health insurance interpreter for more than an hour.  All I know is, I'm pretty sure going to take a big hit--more than two thou more than I pay now.  This on top of the fact that I have to buy a car.
However, I'm not going to stew over it; I'm more or less numb and, boy, when I was outside, that was literally true.  I'll survive the financial news and will slog on.
The bright side is that I got a darling Thanksgiving card--original, of course--made by my sweet daughter-in-law in Tokyo.  It's from her, my son, and adorable, fourteen-months-and-ten-days-old Mr. K.  Talk about being thankful--!
WIDER:  I just got a tiresome blanket e-mail from Dayle F., urging recipients to buy at Sears because that store--hardly known for its benign treatment of employees--is maintaining the salary and benefits of employees "serving" in "our military."  Good grief, is there any idiocy which the populace won't swallow?  Or any smarmy, "patriotic" nonsense that won't make them gag? The message even mentions that it's "amazing how long the war has lasted," seemingly without a single urge to examine more closely the reasons for its longevity.  What garbage and when I get something like this, I truly despair.  We are well into the dark night and it's getting darker all the time.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Rain and Stuff

I hate rain.  Yeah, yeah, you have to have rain to make the flowers grow and the rivers go and the fireflies glow--or something.  I don't like it, though, it's so cold and wet, and it rained hard all day yesterday.
I did get my blood test, had breakfast, then went to exercise. Unfortunately, nobody could run the DVD machine, although five women tried.  I left at twenty after nine, just decided I had given it a go, and I can't be faulted for not remaining.
Went to Acme and got a rose for Susan, Aline's sister.  Why?  As an apology for my abominable behavior yesterday.  Say what? (Ugh! Why would I use that illiterate military jargon?)
The story:  Susan came into our enclosure before the performance yesterday and that just isn't done.  Seemingly, she didn't realize it, but I didn't care, I was steamed.  She greeted Aline, then smiled at me.  I brushed past her, scowling and muttering about "why a member of the audience would be backstage...."
After, Aline said Susan was terribly upset at my snub; mostly hurt. I felt like a worm, the lowest of the low.  In fact, it made the cast party less fun and, in retrospect (how do I get out of this retrospect?) cast a shadow over the whole weekend.  I was sick at my own mean reaction to what was, after all, probably an innocent move of Susan's.
Anyway, I got her the rose, put it in a vase, and wrote an apologetic note.  But when I got to her house, Susan came out in her robe in the pouring rain, hugged me, and said not to think anymore about it.  Wow, what a relief and I hope that will be a lesson to me to keep my big, sarcastic mouth shut.  Gave her the rose and the note, anyway, of course, then took Aline to work at the library.
I went in with her to request Dalton Rambo's classic anti-war novel, Johnny Got His Gun, which I read years ago, but want to again.
Called Betty and was going to go down to see her house--she moved back in--but thought it best to change my mind, considering the state of my car.  We chatted for quite a while, though, and caught up with each other.
Other than that, I cut up carrots and put them in the slow cooker with orange slices and cinnamon; also made a big pot of angel hair spaghetti and meatballs.  Revised and completed most the of plays I'm going to assign for my class, and did lots of wash.
Today, I'm leaving at 7:00 to take the damn car up to my son-in-law's, so his mechanic can look at it.  May stay over, may not.
Greatly enjoyed another Breakfast with Baby, adorable Mr. K.  He said "Nana" several times and I'm sure he knows that's me.  What a little doll.