Monday, January 23, 2017

Rain

Rain, rain all day. And wind. And it was chilly. Ugh, ugh, ugh! But I was amused at my friend, Pat's, comment yesterday when I mentioned the "big storm." Yes, it rained all day and in parts of the southwest, there may have been problems, but here, it was just--rain. In Jersey, it would have rated hardly a nod, but rain is an oddity here and I don't think people trust the sky when it turns wet.
However, intrepid Mimi put on her boots, opened her umbrella and braved it. Went to WinCo for this and that, including some nice cooked roast beef, which I put in a sandwich with the last of the stewed onions. Yummy.
Home I spent a lot of time being frustrated: Took pictures of the shoji screen and mirror I want to sell on Craigslist, went into my account and wrote them up, then tried to transfer the pictures. I CANNOT do it! They simply don't seem to be anywhere in the damn computer. The world of electronics has just turned against me, that's all: My landline is still out, my t.v. remote doesn't work, so the Travel channel is all I get, and now my pictures have gone into cyber-space.
To forget all that, I put my boots on again and drove to the Goodwill, mostly just to get out. Betty called as I was parking to ask about the comment I put on the Holy Spirit Reunion web site (an ad and I wondered why that was tolerated). She's had a bad respiratory infection, but is recovering.
I often browse in thrift stores, but buy only occasionally. This time, I found four wonderful plates, blue and yellow, with the sun, moon, and stars on them; I just had to have them. Bought them and two sort of flowered wallpaper-covered containers with wooden knobs on the lids. So pretty, but how will I use them? Well, I'll think of something.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Hoedown

I bestirred myself early on and vacuumed the carpets, then swiffered the hard floors; changed the sheets. All that took about a half hour. Showered and washed my hair and set off for The Bonaventure and its 12:30 lunch and "hoedown."
Doris got there shortly after I did, then Sherry came, bringing her husband, Pat. She had told me he has Asberger's, but I'm not sure this was actually diagnosed or she simply decided it. I think he probably is within the spectrum--taciturn, seemingly a little spacey, and converses only when somebody asks him a question; he shows little interest in others. However, we talked and I got to know him a bit while Sherry chatted with Doris. After a fairly good lunch, Pat left, and Sherry, Doris, and I went to the separate building on the grounds for the entertainment: country music played by band of five men, close to my age, obviously.
Now I'd rather listen to a toilet flush than country music, except for Hank Williams, of whom, seemingly, the musicians were unaware. However, I suffered through it and even clapped hands in time to the music.
It was difficult, but I restrained myself from strangling Sherry, who talked throughout every single number, just as she and Doris had done during The Townhouse music programs. These are live performers, dammit, and it's not only rude, it's bush league, classless behavior to gab while they're playing. In fact, I now resolve either to avoid such outings with Sherry or to sit elsewhere.
Anyway, it was over in an hour and, although line dancing was being taught in the main building, I split. Went to Michael's to buy two small easels for ancestor pictures, then to Smart 'n' Final for provisions. When I sat down at 8:00 for my daily hour of television, I found it would show only the travel channel. Neither the clicker nor the controls at the screen would change anything--so annoying. Instead, I went to YouTube and watched two Biography shows, one on Jack Nicholson, the other on Gloria Grahame. It then occurred to me that maybe the remote needs a battery--will check shortly.
A big storm was predicted to start last night and continue today and yes, it is raining, but I'm not sure how "big" it is. Hope it doesn't last all day .

Saturday, January 21, 2017

AT & T and Chairs

Couldn't go to T.O.P.S. (not that I was dying to) because I had to wait in for the AT & T person, who was scheduled to come between 9 and 11. Well, naturally, he got here at about two minutes after 11.
It was raining hard--what is it with this sunny California propaganda?--but the guy was very nice: courteous and well-spoken. He didn't have to come in, but tested from my patio and unfortunately, discovered that I can't get Direct TV because the ray from the apparatus doesn't extend here--or something. It turns out I'll have to keep that poor excuse for a company, Communications Services, for the Internet, then get an Apple TV box or something, then I can get Direct TV. Also, I waited until he came to tell him I haven't had a dial tone for two days, but guess what? He doesn't handle phones, I had to call AT & T and was told they can't get somebody out there until Tuesday! Why? Well, they're very busy because of the weather.
The weather?! Fer cryin' out loud, it's not a blizzard, it's rain! Oh, but so what, I still have the cell and that'll have to suffice.
Was antsy to get out, so drove to Michael's. Looked at frames, but then decided I'd wait. Left my umbrella and had to go back after Office Max, where I got a new password book.
Home, I decided to take the plunge and ordered a kitchen table and a coffee table from Wayfair. I've had good luck with Wayfair and I'm counting on these two things being just what I want. I already have four kitchen chairs from The Work Bench in Princeton. We had bought our kitchen table--wood, with tile--and seven, not six, chairs in Swedish modern about forty years ago. I still liked them years later, as they looked good in the Sunrise Bay kitchen. However, I donated the table and three chairs--too bad I didn't keep them--so only the four remained.
I remembered seeing some wooden kitchen chairs at the Goodwill near Ellen's, so drove down there. They were only eight bucks each and are in excellent shape. Almost bought them, but then realized the color may be off. I drove all the way home, carried one of my chairs to the car, drove back, and brought it in the store.
I'm glad I did because unfortunately, my chairs are a lighter pine. I didn't buy the two at Goodwill, but may look on-line for better matching ones.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Lunch at the Cave

Completed some mundane domestic chores, then met Nancy for lunch at The Cave. We both had splits of champagne, which I'm starting to like, and enjoyed a long, long chat fest (where did that idiotic phrase come from?). In fact, we were there for more than two hours. I like The Cave, which is made to look like one on the inside, but it's pretty pricey. We finally parted and I went directly home to actually nap on the sofa for an hour or so. Must have been the champagne.
As for the rest of the day, I spent a lot of time on line. I'm looking for a kitchen/dining area table in wood, preferably pine. I don't want chairs with it, though--invariably, they turn out to be the spindle kind, often with high backs. Seems to me anything that sticks up--that the eye trips on, so to speak--makes a space look smaller, and this is small enough, although bigger than my last. I went into Mayfair, where I've bought before, and bookmarked one. It's a bit more than I wanted to spend, but I've bought from this outfit before my screen (which I now don't need and want to sell), and my bureau and bookcase. Shipping is free, also.
This morning, the AT & T person is scheduled to come; hope I have a working phone by the time I go to bed.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Daily Round

Damn, I discovered I can't get a dial tone on my landline, although all three sets are lit up. Think I'll just wait for the AT & T guy to come tomorrow; still can use the cell.
Got to the Council for Seniors meeting early and chatted with receptionist Beverly and Usually-There-Steve. Sherry and Doris came in soon after and we sat down. The agenda included a vote on whether to elect me vice president and--after a hard-fought campaign--I'm in. Okay, there were no other candidates and I was kind of hand-picked, but hey, I get to sit at the table with the chair, Suz,* and secretary, Lori.
Lots of business went on and I got my first assignment: to get in touch with John Moore, editor of the daily Ventura County Star, and Sheldon Brown, editor of The Breeze , a weekly, and get them to address the Council on getting more local stuff in the papers. Will do. I also volunteered for a few other things--can't quite remember what they are. It was an interesting meeting that finished in an hour, as they all do. One of the many things I like about Suze is that she runs a fairly tight ship; she welcomes all kinds of opinions and comments, but if people go on too long, she skillfully ushers them off stage, so to speak.
Home for lunch, I made myself a grilled cheese sandwich with the Swiss cheese Suzanne had given me and was it good. I had defrosted half of a pot roast (uncooked) and put that in the slow cooker along with vegetable "juice" I had also frozen.
Called Vistaprint on the off-chance they would make good my dissatisfaction with the business cards I ordered, even though the problem was my fault. To my surprise, they will and I should be received new ones shortly, free of charge. Classy company.
Went to the P.O. to mail off the family photos to my cousin's widow in Doylestown, then went go to the mall and tried on a few tops, but I didn't see anything I liked and really don't need clothes, so didn't buy. As I was coming out, my brother Larry from Miami called. He asked if I'd send to Jack B.'s son, Joe, some of the pics with Jack in them as a kid. Sure will. Stopped at The Alliance thrift store and ran into Carolyn, whom I know from T.O.P.S. and we talked for a time. The pot roast turned out tender and tasty; had it for dinner with salad.
* Rhymes with "ooze."

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Varied

Spent most of the morning 1. doing two loads of wash and all that entails and 2. on the phone with A T & T arranging to switch over from Communications Services (in truth, "Non-Communicating Non-Service"). I was happy to be interrupted by a call from my favorite artist, Nancy P., who's in Soaring Spirits, also. In fact, that's where I met her, but she wasn't able to go to Monday dinner, as she lives all the way in Oak View and would have been nervous driving home in the dark. I told her all about Gay Gary and other goings-on in the group. She suggested we meet for lunch tomorrow at The Cave, and I agreed with pleasure.
A T & T told me I had to get permission from the complex to install something or other, so I went over to see Jim and got some kind of slip. I mentioned that fellow-resident Linda had told me Ventura Del Sol was owned by "middle easterners" and he said, no, it's owned by two brothers, one of whom lives in Ventura, the other in Santa Barbara. Well, that's nice to know; I like the idea of just private people being the owners, rather than some big conglomerate in Upper Japip.
Came across some pictures of the Renz family (my aunt married Ed Renz). I'm in touch with my Renz cousin's widow, so e-mailed her to see if she's at the address I had. She wrote back she is and I'll send them to her. Her children and grandchildren might enjoy seeing them.
When I finally finished with "business," I went to Michael's to buy the last two frames for my kiddies' caricatures. Drove from there to the library; I had picked up a bio of James Dean the other day, but started it and found it boring--I don't care if he was gay or not--so took it back and got three others I may or may not enjoy.
Picked up the mail and was glad to see the book Suzanne had given me, sent by Betty's daughter-in-law, Robyn, from L.A. Was also glad to see my new business cards ("Acting for Amateurs," instead of "...Everyone,") until I checked at them and saw the print on the back (listing some of my stage and play writing credits) is so tiny it's almost unreadable. I know this is my fault, but I was able to proof it only on-line and it didn't appear like that. I'll call Vista Print today to see if they'll spring for printing me new ones--might as well try.
I had bought some nice fresh tuna at Smart 'n' Final and for dinner, just seared the outside and lightly cooked the inside. Squeezed one of those wonderful limes that grow a few feet away, and it was scrumptious.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Michael's And A Newcomer

Started out to go to Michael's about 10:30, just as Suzanne was coming out. I told her about Sharon R., who's in my T.O.P.S. group and also in the diabetes support group Suzanne facilitates at St. John's. We commiserated about Sharon's problems: she's grossly overweight (probably is over 300 pounds) and needs a knee operation, but they won't operate until she loses a hundred pounds. Her bad knee makes it very difficult for her to exercise, so it's a vicious cycle.
Got two of the four frames I need from Michael's; these are for my children's caricatures, now incredibly, 46 years old. I have 40 percent off coupons, but the snotty cashier said I could only use one a day. He finally let me use two, but I'll have to go back for the others. What a drag.
Went from there into town and hit a few thrift stores. Got another decorative leaf--this in metal--that I envision will look good on my new coffee table. Of course, I don't have it yet--stopped at Sofas, Etc., but I don't know how I'll be able to get it home.
I had bought chicken thighs and drumsticks and prepared as usual with coconut oil and lemon pepper, then popped them in the oven. I had already had Caesar salad for lunch, so reserved two pieces for today and froze the rest.
Spent a lot of time finally, at long last, finishing up the attendance sheet for Soaring Spirits. Made copies and took them to widder dinner at 6:00. Twelve people were there (it always varies), including a newcomer named Gary, who proved to be a great addition. He's a big, burly guy about sixty, is--I think--some kind of social worker, has an MSW, and lost his husband of 43 years six months ago.
As far as I know, this is the first gay person we've had and he wowed us all. He's about the most open, jovial, fun guy imaginable, the polar opposite of some of our mousy, ready for the grave types (although in truth, we don't have many of those). I had ordered an "appetizer combo," a large pile of string beans, onion rings, chicken "fingers" (I didn't realize chickens had hands, let alone fingers), and mozzarella sticks, all breaded, deep-fried, and--as everything at Marie Callender's is--barely edible. For some mysterious reason, I was served long before everybody else, although I had made it clear I considered this my entree and I invited my companions to help themselves, which many did. Gary reached over Vera and grabbed some onion rings while complaining loudly that he was the new guy, Vera should be concentrating on him exclusively, for that matter, so should the rest of us, and so on. Vera retorted she would have been more attentive, but was afraid his sexual orientation would rub off. Funny! This kind of back and forth went on through the meal and we greatly enjoyed it.
I was curious about how Chuck and Pam would respond. They are fundamentalist Christians with a capital J for Judgmental (last night, Chuck even held forth on the evils of liberalism), but as far as I could see, they seemed unfazed and even joined in the banter now and again.
Anyway, it was a fun night, notwithstanding the lousy food, abysmal service, and mix-up with several orders, and I greatly enjoyed it.