Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Toastmasters And My Lungs

Busy day. Walked Kimball  and saw some of my park pals. After breakfast, niece Carolyn called. We had a good long talk and, among other topics, she said they'd be happy to take me to Salinas with them for the funeral on the 24th. We'll stay over at least two nights. She also invited me to a barbecue on the 17th, given by her neighbors, whom I've met.  I said I'd come on the train, so it wouldn't matter how many beers I had. She reminded me her neighbors are Mormons; in that case, I said, forget it, I ain't goin' (ha!).
Robyn texted me that Steve will bring Betty to Carolyn's today, so that lets out our possible date in Burbank on Friday. That's okay, as I have something scheduled on every day this week and a fair amount next week.
I was determined not to skip my afternoon walk, but had lunch and went early. Instead of my usual, with which I'm getting a bit bored, I parked at the museum, but deviated down to the promenade along the beach.
What a gorgeous day and what a beautiful panorama along the Pacific! I sat on a stone wall under shade and called brother Larry in Florida. Had a nice chat and I might go to see them during the Jersey trip--dunno if I can swing it yet.
Home to shower and prepare for Poinsettia Toastmasters at Dudley House. I put on the blouse and took the rest of the Caroline outfit. After all the back and forth with Fern, the education chair--would I be the third speaker, would I not, yes, no, and blah, blah, blah--it had been decided I'd simply greet and interact with members as Carrie. That lasted until Tony Toastmaster suddenly got up to the podium and announced that I would address the group.
Damn, I wasn't prepared, but luckily, I'm so into the character I was able  to give a fair talk, but cut it short to about four minutes.  It was well-received, but I chewed both Fern (oblivious) and CC (defensive) out about it. It seems Tony didn't get the message. That is typical of this chapter--sloppy preparation and nobody knows what somebody else is doing. Anyway, it went okay and maybe--but maybe not--I'll do a regular talk in a later meeting.
Stayed talking with Rachel in the parking lot for twenty or so, then home. El called to remind me I'd help in her classroom at 2:00 today.
Note: The doctor's office called to tell me my insurance company would not approve the CT scan. Why? Because I'm over 79. What in bloody hell? I'll call them and find out, but I suspect because they figure once you turn 80, you're on your last legs anyway, so why waste the money?  I hope you rot along with Bank of America in the toastiest part of Hades.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Ojai Afternoon

Walked Kimball and ran into Carolyn and Bob. C. expressed concern because "We didn't see you for two days." (Didn't walk Friday and was early Saturday.) "We were worried about you."
Now why does something like this annoy me? I suppose because it suggests helplessness and inability to take care of myself. I said, "Aha, you thought I was dead on the bathroom floor, didn't you?"  Bob at least made some kind of silly rejoinder, but Carolyn was actually shocked. She seems to have no sense of humor, but a much too fully developed kind of stodginess.
That's unlike my girl, Ellen, who's anything but stodgy. Got over to Ojai and her place at noon and just as I got out of the car, niece-in-law, Robyn, called to discuss plans for getting to Marybeth's funeral in Salinas. It's pending. I mentioned I'd like to meet Betty for lunch one day at Union Station in L.A., but that kind of evolved into possibly meeting her at the Burbank station and Robyn maybe coming along. This would be on Friday, the only day I now have open.
El asked if I'd be available on Tuesday to help her a bit preparing her classroom for Thursday and sure, I am. I'll do the scut work, such as counting pencils and straightening up.
We went to Sea Fresh for lunch. Sat outside and I had a po' boy fried oyster sandwich (so-so) and a Sapporo Japanese beer (excellent, as ever).  We then drove to the Kristimundi Center and gathered a few oranges, but it was so hot, we didn't stay long. Went back El's to chat for bit; left about 5:00, not stopping in town for my afternoon walk.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Saturday and Sheri

Walked Kimball so early I was actually finished and back in my car before 7:00. At that early hour, a huge sun blazed orange in the sky.  Took a picture. Got gas before I went home.
I went into my bank autopay to have my rent deducted at eighty dollars higher, starting in September. For some reason, I had all kinds of problems I don't even want to enumerate. Went to that entity from Hell, B of A,  to see if it could be straightened out.  The guy told me what to do, but it didn't work when I got home. To make a l. s. s., after more frustration and two phone calls, I think it finally is on correctly. Damn, what a drag.
Went to the credit union which, it seems, has the only coin counter in southern California and that had been nonoperational for a week. They do take ten percent of the total, but it beats rolling them myself. I walked out of there with a tidy twenty-three bucks and change.
I was delighted when Ellen called to see if I wanted to go to lunch today. Yes, indeed, and I'll go to her place at noon. She was at school preparing for the onslaught, which will start on the sixteenth. Wow, really early, but they are getting a week off in October for the first time.
Went for the town walk and found a crocheted, lacy kind of shawl that will go perfectly with my Caroline Dudley outfit. Bought it for a song, as it was at The Coalition thrift store. Stopped for blueberries and grapes on the way home.
At 9:00, I was in bed reading and was just about to turn off the light when the phone rang. Who...?  What...? It was Sheri O., asking if I'd like to go to the fair today (last day) to see a Dudley shadow box she had assembled. Told her I already had an engagement (lunch with Ellen). Should have told her please not to call me at that ungodly hour unless she had word of a meteor aimed at my place. I will if it happens again.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Dr. J. And Spinach

For the second time in a week (the county fair Tuesday), I skipped the park walk; had a doctor's appointment at 8:00. I was happy to have the weigh-in come to 127.5--that's fine and I didn't have to go to T.O.P.S.  I was told my height is 5' 2"; in my heyday, it was two inches taller.
Dr. J. was pleased overall--she kept referring to the fact that I'm 81; am I supposed to sit and eat bon -bons all day, or what?--and was delighted with my exercise regimen. She does want me to have a lung CT, not because there's any particular new problem, but my last ones showed some kind of thickening or something. It's been stable for three years (actually, I think longer because I believe it was present in the Jersey tests, also), but nevertheless--.
Now the two things I fear most in the world are blindness and lung cancer, so this didn't go over very big with me, but I guess I'll make the appointment and get it over with.  Blood pressure was good, as it was up to 120 over something or other. Anyway, I was home before 9:00 and since I hate going to the doctor's, felt relieved I don't have to go back until February.
Breakfast late, then to Von's for Romaine and "bistro bowls" (prepared salads, fearfully overpriced and not as good as mine, but they were on sale), and some nice fresh rockfish. Home, I did a wash and prepared spaghetti squash for dinner.
CC texted me, asking if we could meet at McDonald's at 5:15, so she could return the Dudley House keys; wrote back okay. Drove to town, did the library to museum thing, then back to read for a bit. As I parked at home, I was delighted to see Suzanne. She's finally back from her several-weeks-long trip and came in to tell me about it. It included both a religious retreat and a personal trip to Muir Woods with a sister sister, and she greatly enjoyed it.  Showed me pictures on her phone.
As soon she left, it was time to walk over to the next block and meet CC. Did so, she gave me the keys to Dudley House (when I was away, I gave them to Sue), and we had a good talk, not about Toastmasters, but about family members with dementia.
Dinner was cod, spaghetti squash, and my favorite: fresh spinach, cooked and with an olive oil, lime juice, and garlic dressing.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Lunch With Nancy, Etc.

Got up late, so walked late, but still got home by 7:05.
I had been feeling stressed because I had a lot of minutia to attend to, especially answering a number of congratulatory e-mails and other messages. Finally got it done and called Connie to tell her I'd return her hat and hatbox after my lunch with Nancy.
I arranged with Fern to greet Toastmaster members on Monday as Caroline Dudley and said I'd do my Caroline thing for Humor & Drama Toastmasters on Thursday. Went to WinCo and several other stores to get supplies before I met Nancy at The Cave at 1:00 to treat her for her birthday.
We both got the cheese platter, plus Chardonnay, and I gave her the paint pallet necklace I had had made for her--she liked it a lot. Stayed until 2:30, then I drove to Oxnard to Connie's.
I was pleased that Connie asked if she could contact me in October for a project to try to get Ventura to back more heritage projects. I also told her of the suggestions two of my friends made about skipping the contest idea and just having it as an informational presentation and she thought that was an excellent idea. She'll suggest it to the V. family, who heads it up.
Went from there to town, parked at the library (which I'd do until the fair is over, then go back to the museum).  Stopped in some shops on my way and bought two tops and a pair of socks.* Read at the library for a bit.
When Betty was here and I took her to Grocery Outlet, I noticed a small, inexpensive cart and suggested she get one. She did and now I decided to do the same. Bought it and was able to fit all my grocery and clothes purchases in.  I find it very convenient and will keep it in the car.
Must leave now for my doctor's appointment at 8:00. It's a physical--ugh, ugh, ugh!
*You could sing this sentence!

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Various And Sundry

Walked Kimball and saw my park pals.  Diane and Sue had come to the fair thing; others congratulated me.  Carolyn and Bob were unable to go, but Carolyn asked if I'd like to be in a book club. I told her I'd rather do that than hang by my thumbs for three days, but--. I consider reading an intimate experience and why would I would be interested in others' ideas about a book, except for the author? She seemed surprised at that, but I'm beginning not to care if I surprise, shock, or annoy people when I express an opinion.
Wrote out my "I'm raising the rent" letter to Eileen, my tenant, and called Walter to be sure I was doing the thing right, with corrected copies of the lease, and so on. He said he was no longer in real estate (he's a year older than I am), but assured me what I did was legal. Talked to Susan, too, which was so good. They were my across-the-street neighbors during our years in Sunrise Bay, and very agreeable ones.
I had seen that David Mirsch, a former publicist, was speaking at the museum at 11:00 about his experiences with the various actors and sports figures he represented.  I decided to go, but it was only mildly interesting, as he's now 83 and most of the "stars" he worked with are up in the starry firmament now. Went from there to Sprouts for blueberries and grapes.  Betty called to congratulate me on my second-place at the fair, and we chatted. We will both go to Marybeth's funeral on the 24th; she with Steve and Robyn, although I'm not sure how I will--maybe by train.
Parked at the library, then met Diane at 3:00 for Happy Hour at the Crown Plaza and we were taken aback to learn they no longer have it on the side patio. We had to sit on the back patio and, although the setting in lovely with an ocean view, we were not happy with the service.  We're going to look at other places. Walked back to the library and read for a bit, then drove home.
Called Nancy and I'll finally take her out to lunch today for her birthday.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018


I won second place at the county fair contest. I would have been more satisfied with that if there was twenty-five entries, but there weren't; there were three. Connie won first and rightly so, really.
I was just a bit miffed that the microphone was so defective, plus the venue wasn't the best. It was in an open pavilion, next to--actually part of--the baby animal section. Goats and adult turkeys were loudly squawking, and so was the rock band in the next area, and the trains roaring down the track just a few yards away. The truth is, though, Connie was very good. She's done this five times now, so she had a lot of experience.
I was pleased to see that Lolly and Bobbi from T.O.P.S.; Diane and Sue from the park and Diane from Happy Hour and her friend; Fred and Loretta from here, and Lynn, Jan, Sheri, Ken, and others in the Dudley House docent set, all came to see me.
For the first time in about two years, I didn't do either the park or the town walk. However, after the contest, Ellen and I had lunch at the fair, then walked a goodly portion of it, so that may have been the equivalent.  I was determined to eat things I never do anymore, so I greatly enjoyed a corn dog, a glass of 805 beer, and a soft serve ice cream. Later, I even had a sno cone. Those should keep me for another year.
It was 5:30 by the time El dropped me off at my car and left for Ojai. I brought my things in and immediately drove to town, but just to the library--I didn't walk.  From there, I drove to the thrift store in the east end. I had my eye on a kind a bench I'm considering for my bedroom, but can't decide if I want it or not.