Thursday, August 17, 2017

An Old "Pal"

Walked Kimball, had breakfast, then spent a considerable amount of time selecting, folding, and packing clothes to take on my trip. I probably have too much--I always pack heavy--and can't decide whether to bring my bathing suit or not. Maybe I will, although I doubt if we'll be swimming.
While I was at this computer, my phone rang. When I answered, a male voice said what I thought was "Hello, slob." I was taken aback; had no idea who it was, but it was my old pal, Jimmy D. He had actually greeted me with"hello, snob," in reference to my correcting the English on one of those moronic "inspirational" quotes he had posted on Facebook (It was from taken from a page pretty obviously written by subnormal third-graders.)
Anyhoo, he wanted Betty's phone number; they had been an item sixty years ago. I gave it to him and he said he was in Jersey, along with "Mollie." His girlfriend? No, his dog, which used to be his wife's, who died six months ago. I had met them for breakfast almost three years ago and here's an overview from my blog of October 22, 2014:

--Jim hasn't changed one iota--not even a smidgen--since he was the teenaged boaster and braggart I knew as a girl. He and wify got to Romanelli's just as I did and we sat down to catch up. She, by the way, is very nice; a little country girl from Minnesota, she's small and thin with a warm manner and sweet smile. We both endured Jim's non-stop yakking: "I play a lot of golf, I was on a golf tour, that's how good I am; my daughter's a multi-millionaire, she adopted a girl from a white trash family, but they have good genes*; other daughter was with Facebook for two years, she's married to a cervical specialist**; we've been to fifty countries, we go on a lot of cruises, we have two coming up soon..." and so on and on. He also whipped out an android so he could show me the inside of his "villa" in Texas. It's decorated in the boring kind of pseudo-southwestern that features too much oak and wrought iron, but I dutifully expressed admiration. My tooth was still sore, so I ordered very soft scrambled eggs. We spent only an hour or so together (they had driven from Texas and were heading back), but before we parted, I handed Jim the fifteen or twenty letters he had written me in 1955 and '56. He seemed a bit aggrieved I didn't want them, but I'm sure Lou will be interested. I assured her we were never a couple; he and my twin were. We hugged goodbye and drove off. It was a pleasant enough interlude, but I barely know the twenty-year-old girl involved and I was anxious to get back to my real life.--
*I can't figure that out, either.
** Have no idea what that is--gynecologist?

Went to town after lunch, where Betty called to say Jim had called her and was taking her to dinner tonight. Ho, ho, I can't wait to get a report. Walked and stopped to buy a small wallet-type purse; my other is too big and bulky and I don't want to take it on the trip.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wal-Mart and Salinger

At the start of my Kimball walk, I ran into Irene (not literally) and we stopped to chat for a bit. Got my BP done after and it was 98/60, still pretty low, but I feel fine.
Went to Wal-Mart for a few things and happened to see some nice leggings and tops, very inexpensive. Bought several for my trip to NM. Didn't try them on until I got home and found I needed a medium, not a large, so took one back and exchanged it. Took a wash to the wash place; ran the dishwasher; prepared a spaghetti squash; and started pulling together the clothes I'll take on my trip.
Took off for town after that for my second daily walk. At the library, I was delighted that the bio of J.D. Salinger I had requested had come in. After a decades-long hiatus, I'm reading him again. Have finished Raise High the Roofbeams, Carpenter and Seymour, An Introduction. I'm now in the Zooey portion of Franny and Zooey and if there's a more absorbing long short story (or novella), I've never read it. It's so good I never want it to end.
Rang Suzanne's bell at 5:00 when I got home. I wanted to get Don's number and ask if he might take a twenty to drive me to the Sheraton for the shuttle. However, Suzanne offered to do it herself, which was so good of her.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Kimballed first thing, of course. After breakfast, I checked out my ticket to NM, for which I paid already. Drove to the Sheraton Four points on the waterfront to find out about the shuttle. Yes, the Airporter goes from there, but if I left my car, it would cost me another seventy bucks. Called some cab companies to find getting to the Sheraton and back would cost me forty-two dollars! Hell, no, I'll find another way.It's only six miles away, but a bit far to walk.
Called the paper to suspend for a week, stopped at the post office to fill out a "hold" card, and got a call from brother Jim, asking why our cousin, John, kept sending him e-mails about distant cousin, Tony. Well, you got me, but I guess he thought we'd be interested.
Betty called. She's still having pain, plus other unpleasant internal symptoms--things aren't working properly. I hope she calls the doctor back and they try something else. Anyway, she asked for brother Frank's phone number, which is something else that's worrisome. Why? Because she's asked me for it at least three times in the last ten days or so; of course, I gave it to her, but this forgetfulness seems to be increasing.
Did the usual walk in town and when I passed The Coalition Thrift Store, I noticed three women discussing the plate displayed in the window, which is marked $25.00. This is the pattern of which I have six shallow bowls and I had wondered about them before, On a hunch, I asked if they knew something about it. Why, yes, one of them did; she told me the design was called "Indian Tree," and that it was used by several china makers. Looked it up when I got home and found my exact make; it seems they sell for twenty bucks each and I have six, but I'd rather keep the bowls.
Stopped at SCAN on the way home to drop off some reading material our new T.O.P.S. director, Lenny, gave me to read. I skipped over a lot of it--very boring and I have no interest in the conduct of the meetings. I did ask the office assistant, Elissa, if I could come in Thursday morning and weigh myself; she said sure. I just want to use the same scale I have every week since March, and keep track, even though it won't be an "official" recording.

Monday, August 14, 2017


Walking Kimball started a so-so day. Did the usual Sunday thing--breakfast, newspaper, crossword puzzle--then cleaned the coffee maker, but after, it was still only 9:15. Went early into town, although I knew the library dosen't open until 1:00.
Did my second walk, home for lunch, then completed a few household things. Later in the day, I drove to Grant Park, way up in the hills. I had forgotten about this place, although Ellen had taken me there several years ago. It was a little hairy driving up there, but the views on all sides are just unbelievably magnificent. You can see a sweeping views of the whole town, plus the beach, pier, and ocean on one side. On the other, huge mountains, one after another, loom up, all of them wreathed with pure white clouds. It was spectacular and now that I know I can, I'll drive up there again.
Stopped at the library and read Morris Berman for a bit. Based on ominous indications, he believes the empire is crumbling and so do I. Stopped at Wal-Mart on the way home to take my BP. It was 126/70, which is considerably higher than it has been. Not sure why, but oh, well...

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Nothing New

Kimball-walked first, as ever (I'm trying to avoid the "walked Kimball" mantra). After breakfast, the doorbell rang; it was Assistant Manager Jim to tell me I had again parked in my neighbor's space! I was so embarrassed--how could I have done this a second time? Anyway, I immediately moved the damn car, then took off for Wal-Mart.
I was looking for the sleep aids I've been taking for ten years. They had none of that kind. Talked to the pharmacist, who said the idea is, they can make you ga-ga, as they contain benedrill (I know that's not how to spell it), disguised under the name of diph-something . Well, I'm ga-ga enough, but usually, I sleep well. After discussion, he suggested I take allergy meds, which have the same ingredient. I bought some and we'll see how they work.
Lunched, then drove to town via Foothill Road. On my way, a car behind me kept flashing his lights. I pulled over and the guy said my left taillight was out--told me I could get a ticket for that. Nice of him and I went directly to Auto Zone. I bought a light and the manager put it in for me, so I could continue on my way. Parked at the library, walked the usual and back, read for a bit, and came home.
Nothing much else going on and I'm now going to turn my attention to preparing for my trip.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

T.O.P.S And So On

Walked Kimball, changed, then went to T.O.P.S. I was delighted to find I've reached the thirty pounds off mark--happy day! Now I'm looking forward to another milestone: getting into the one forties (I'm at 152.2 now.)
Didn't get breakfast until after 10:00, then drove over to Ojai to get my senior pass for national parks. It was ten dollars, as I had been told. Lenny (Lenore), our new T.O.P.S.leader had said her husband--a retired minister, incidentally--was distributing the passes for the forestry service and they cost twenty dollars apiece. I'm puzzled over this; surely, he isn't surreptitiously charging double to make himself a little something on the side, is he? Or maybe he just got mixed up, I dunno. Left a message for Lenny with the news.
By the time I got back to town, it was almost 1:00. I was hungry, but decided to do my second walk before going home. Did so, and didn't get lunch until 2:00. Just as I was finishing my salad, Suzanne came over.
She said she had a good time in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Indianan--all places that seem as exotic to me as Addis Ababa--and showed me pictures of the retreat house and her aunt's ninetieth birthday. Happily, I didn't kill the African violets and orchid she had entrusted to my care and she brought me a nice bag of cherries as a thank you. We talked for about an hour; what a wonderful neighbor she is and I'm glad to see her back.
As soon as she left, I went out to get lettuce, sweet peppers, and a few other staples. Made ground turkey stir fry for dinner.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Back to School

Walked Kimball,* had breakfast, then went back to school.
Yes, I entered third grade at Olivelands School and assisted the teacher in getting her classroom ready for incoming students (they start next week). I sharpened about sixty pencils--luckily with an electric sharpener--then wrote numbers from one to twenty-six on them with a marker. I opened packets of individual sharpeners, scissors, and erasers and numbered them, too. I helped the teacher with a number of other high-level jobs, such as handing her things to put on the walls.
We brought our lunches and ate there and, actually, I enjoyed it immensely. Left about 2:00 and drove directly to town. Was able to squeeze into a spot at the museum and did my usual walk to the library. Stayed there reading for a bit and got home by 5:00. Rang Suzanne's bell, but she didn't answer. I'll probably see her today and will give back her African violets, which seem to have survived my care.
* BP is still low: after walking, it was 96/60, but with a pulse of 76 (98%), which I understand isn't bad.