Saturday, April 18, 2015


Finally had a day off--without appointments, meetings, and so on scheduled, that is--and got plenty done.
I was annoyed that it was raining during our walk and for several hours after, but then realized it was better then than (I've always wanted to legitimately pair two "the(a)ns" in a sentence!) earlier in the week, so I just ignored it.
Got an e-mail from my HSHS pal, Jeanne Dollard P., whom I always name as the prettiest girl in our class.  She sent a current picture of herself in a bathing suit--hey, for within hailing distance of 80, she's still a knockout.  She was standing on a beach in front of an ocean (I figure Florida); great picture, but two little kiddies were playing in the water and seemed to be growing out of her hair. She asked if I could "fix" it.  What, are you nuts? I wanted to ask, but I gave it a shot and got rid of them. It was actually very easy with Picasa.
I had a letter my mother had kept from her nephew, my cousin, Bob Figenshu, who died several years ago.  I knew his daughter, Karen, lived near my brother, Frank, so I called him to get her address. Had a nice chat and exchanged a few words from his dear Marybeth, now in the grip of dementia.
Took the bedside table to the township recycle center to drop off, then went to Buy-Rite for wine.  I actually bought some for $3.99 a bottle--a new low for me--but really just for show in the wine rack.
Stopped at Shop-Rite for cottage cheese and came out with forty-seven dollars worth of--something.  Last, went to Staples for a chair mat for under the rolling chair in the study.
Glory be, by the time I got home, the sun was streaming down. I could never live in Seattle.
Happily, I got a Skype call in the evening from adorable little K., whom I witnessed peeling and eating a banana, putting cars on a transport, building with blocks, and throwing imaginary trash in the waste basket to help Mommy.  It was the best part of my day!

Friday, April 17, 2015

"A Little Taste of Theatre" and Stuff

The intense last few weeks were topped off yesterday with a bang.  I barely had time to prepare for the show ("A Little Taste of Theatre") at Shalom House when r.e. agent, Walter, came over to take pictures of the interior of my house.  He did, and it looks as good as it ever will, I guess.  Haven't yet seen it on MLS, but will check it out later.
Before I left, it occurred to me that Betty may want a bedside table, so I loaded it into my truck.  Changed, grabbed my scripts and left to pick up Aline at 12:30.
Got to Shalom House before 1:30 and I was pleased to have my players get there by then, also.  (I'm a bug on promptness and don't take late-coming lightly.)  We set up the "stage"--just two chairs together and three others flanking them for the players not on, plus one for me.  We joked over what we were sure would be the sparsity of the audience, but darned if they didn't file in shortly, making close to a full house.  Very gratifying.
Show went well.  I doubt if Meryl Streep is trembling in her boots, but my students--I told the audience they had all graduated with honors--showed a lot of spirit.  It was a tad uneven, but the audience loved it, which is all that matters.
I had planned to go for early dinner later with Aline and Betty and I invited the rest of the cast to go.  I was surprised and pleased when all of them took me up on it; we were also joined by a friend of Linda V.'s., so there were nine of us.
Speaking of whom: Linda has a friend in Little Egg, whose mother might be interested in renting my house.  I gave her a flyer and hope something might come of it.
We had a long and laugh-filled meal, finally breaking up about 4:30.  I had mentioned I wanted to go to the show Grey is in at Brigantine Community Church and I'll meet several of them there on Sunday, the 26th.
We said goodbye--in the main, they're wonderful people and I'll miss them--then Aline and I went to Betty's.  I tried to help her put pictures from her camera onto the Facebook "online flea market," but wasn't able.  I think they have to first be transferred onto her regular computer.
Betty decided she didn't want the table and I'll take it to the recycle center today.  She, Aline, and I chatted for a bit, then we left. Before I dropped Aline off, we sat in the car and talked for a good hour.  She's going to Manhattan again today for the weekend and I have plenty to do, also.  Didn't get home until close to 8:00 and boy, I was plenty tired, but happy.  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Carpet and Beer

The carpet guy came and did a good job--looks great.  While he was here, I vacated the place for several hours by visiting the Stafford Library. Sat and read, along with the rest of the lonely old people.
When I got home, guy was just finishing up.  He's the nephew of the owner and rents a room from his stepfather.  We started talking and I wondered--not aloud--what could possibly be in his future. He's just a kid, really--he said he was twenty-five--short, and about eighty pounds overweight.  He gets paid only when he works--no health care, no sick time, no vacation or other paid days off.  He blames the immigrants, welfare cheats, and "the terrorists" for what's wrong with our world.  He seemed not to understand the vast desert in which he's wandering, constructed by the wealthiest of the wealthy, assisted by their whores, the politicians. Eventually, he'll die there of thirst and vultures will pick his bones.  I gave him a rather nice-sized (for me) tip and thanked him for his work.
Saw Frank-Next-Door sprucing up his flower beds and he invited me over after for a beer. As I've mused for some time, if somebody like Frank were available--he isn't--on these dating sites, I'd sign up so fast it would make your head spin.
So as soon as carpet guy left, I went next door for an hour of good talk--and some good Irish beer--with Frank and Barbara.  I've said it before and I repeat: They're the ones I'll miss when I leave.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Rain and Stuff

We started blithely out on our walk sans umbrellas and halfway through, the rain started.  Got wet.
Captain Carpet was due at 8:00, but the boss man called shortly after to say he had only one guy.  After discussing it a bit--the rain continued, as it would all day--we decided it would be better for them to come today when it's supposed to be sunny.
Walter sent an e-mail that he'd photograph the front of the house, but wanted to wait until it wasn't raining to do inside.  In the meantime, I came across a nice outside pic of my house from a few years ago, sent him that, and he'll use it in multiple listing for now.
Met "the sparklers" at Dynasty for lunch.  There were only seven of us.  Told they about my plan to rent and got a lot of negative comments, too tiresome to go into now.  I think I showed great restraint in not saying, "Did I ask for your opinion?" or even "Screw you" and blowing up from there.  But these are mostly acquaintances, not close friends and I just brushed it off.  It probably was good for me, in fact, as it made me reflect on the high level of nay-saying in senior situations and that, in turn, made me glad to be leaving.
My friend had a faculty meeting, so came after, about 4:00, to re-hang my bathroom valences and do a few other things I can't handle.
Aside from a jaunt to the library and some minor errands and chores, I didn't do a lot.  Spent a lot of idle time on the computer, not very productively.  Took a drive about 6:00, just to get out of the house and it was still raining.
But now, this morning, in the present, which is the only time that counts, we have glorious sunshine.  Happy day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Marifer and Hillary Clinker

After our walk, I decided to call Chris,the horticulturist, and ask him to come back and clear off the walk.  He and his helper had left a lot of ground-in dirt on it--and right after it had been power washed.  They came and simply used a hose and brush--and not terribly effectively, either. I called Bill to see if he'll power wash it and he's in North Carolina.  Said he'd look at it when he gets back on Thursday. Think I'll go out and scrub it with a brush or something in the meantime--damn!
Cleaner Merifer came equipped with an impressive array of gear--vacuum, mops, cloths, buckets, detergents, bleach, and more--and started right in.  I vacated immediately and stayed out for three hours; ran errands in Manahawkin, went to the post office, stopped at the library, and so on.
Got back and she wasn't quite finished, so I called my dear friend, Marge, to see if she was up to a visit.  She was and we had a nice half-hour chat.  I was saddened, though, to see how very frail she is.  She has dreadful allergies, terrible insomnia, and painful knees, among other things.  We had a good visit, though.
Went back and Marifer was almost finished.  I had emphasized the most important thing was the kitchen floor; I actually told her I didn't care about the other stuff, but that's been a thorn in my side since we moved here.  She left after I paid her; I gave her extra, in fact.  I was itching to view the kitchen and I rushed in to inspect. Well, wonders will never cease in Little Egg Harbor!  The floor looks great!  I know she used bleach, as it left a very strong odor, but I don't care. If I succumb to it, I'll die happy.
Was so pleased to get a Skype visit from Mike in the evening and talk to precious little Violet and pre-pre-teen Vivian.  They're in Bali and were about to leave for an elephant ride.
The carpet cleaners are due at 8, in just a few hours.  I hope they can perform miracles as Marifer did.
WIDER:  After the fat-headed ad from the lunatic warrior-goddess, Hillary Clinker, I came across the following comment on one of the pacifist blogs I read.  Love it!
There is nothing in this world more vapid and irrelevant than the blatherings of a major party presidential candidate. As serious news, it ranks equal with Justin Bieber's hair, and the for next year and a half we will hear it in an endless drone.  A year and a half of the media screaming at us to ignore the man behind the curtain and hang on every meaningless word of the puppet theater. I can hardly wait.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Not Much

Boy, I didn't do a heck of a lot yesterday.  Washed the master and guest bath rugs in preparation for Marifer, the cleaner, today. Took a box to the thrift store (they have a drop-off spot).  Got a few more things out of the study closet.
Otherwise, just this and that.  Sent an e-mail to my players, telling them when to get there on Thursday.  Talked to Betty.  Got a private message on Facebook from Betty's daughter-in-law, Robyn, who suggested a living arrangement when I move.  However, it's in Laguna Woods and an hour and a half from Ventura, plus it's an over-55 community and at this point, I don't want to live in one. However, it was nice of her to mention it.
Got a call from Teresa in the Sparkler group inviting me to a meeting and lunch tomorrow.  Geez, I had almost forgotten about that group, but sure, I'll go if the carpet cleaners are finished by then.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Shower*

We had a lovely time.  Betty got to my place about noon and I drove us up to my friend's in Allentown.  Joel, Jr., and Tristan were there, all decked out in new plaid shirts (Gregg!) and sneakers. Tristan and I conducted the house tour for Aunt Betty and we laughed over it.
We then hopped into the SUV and friend drove to Freehold, about 20 minutes away.  Shower was in a side room at Perkins Restaurant; about forty people there, the guys skulking in a booth way in the back.
We ordered off a special menu of six entrees--I had steak--and had a fine time with Jessie (that's Joel, Sr.'s Dad's wife); her daughter, Rachel; Joel, Sr.'s ex, Jen; her fiancee, Justin; and the mixed bag of kids, some Joel's, some Noelle's, and some other people's.  Of course, Noelle's friends, and her parents' friends were there, along with others I didn't meet.
Yes, there are a lot of mixed parents and partners, former spouses and new ones, those related and those who once were, and what could be merrier? Everybody was happy and friendly and we had a fine time.
Several hours later, after luncheon and the opening of the gifts, we all kissed goodbye.  How I hate to leave my darling grandson and his dear little boys, but I'll look forward to seeing them in June at the wedding.  We drove back to Allentown and stopped in my friend's for just a few minutes. Then I drove Betty and me back to my place and that was our fun day.
* The date on this is wrong; it should be Sunday, April 12.  I'm not sure how I screwed it up, but I think I accidentally pressed "publish" last night when I wrote part of it.  Don't know how to change it.

Day Before the Shower

Fun day.  I got up to my friend's about noon and we had lunch. Since we weren't meeting Joel, Noelle, and the four boys until 2:00, we walked "downtown" (about half a city block away) to a gift shop.  I got a lovely little bauble for Noelle's shower today and I'll add a lovely little check to make it--well, lovelier.
Drove to the Freehold Mall and met N. and the guys at Penney's. After the adults selected clothes and shoes for the wedding and the boys tried them all on, we finally got out of there three hours later. Whew!
My friend, Joel, Jr., Tristan, and I piled into friend's SUV (they were staying over at her house), then found they didn't have clothes for the next day.  Followed Joel to Noelle's parent's, where J., N., and the other two boys were staying, picked up the missing items, and went on our way.
Friend served a hearty dinner of chili (which had been simmering in the slow cooker all day), broccoli, and strawberries.  It was delicious and so were the cupcakes she had made with garbanzo beans and frosted with chocolate avocado icing.
I enjoyed dinner, but rushed off after to get home before dark. Spending time with my friend and the darling boys was such a joy--and I get to be with them today, too!