Saturday, March 23, 2019

H.H. At Diane's

Walked Kimball, changed, then took off for T.O.P.S. I went down a big point one or something: from 131.9 to 131.8. That's not where I want to be, but considering my problems with walking, I'm okay with it.
The meeting itself was the usual meandering here and there until Cheryl suggested we all make some kind of vow, such as to eat less sugar or whatever, then report on how we did next week. Okay, I'll go along with that and I hope somebody else will. I again took the minutes, as Lora is still on her cruise (she's a travel agent and goes on a lot of them). I stayed to help Sharon out of her chair and into her car--she's very, very heavy and has a multitude of health problems, included bad knees.
Home, changed and had breakfast. I did chores around the house, made lunch, then changed once again and set off for Diane's Happy Hour at 1:30. Got the bus on Victoria to Telephone and the next to Petit. When I walked to Silvercrest, I was still very early, so waited in the lobby for a half hour until Nancy came. We went up to Diane's and had a good time. Along with the Chardonnay and Blue Moon, we had  yummy little whatevers (phyllo dough triangles around spinach, cheese, and other stuff--I think it's Greek), plus the burritos Diane made.  We three talked and talked and talked, Nancy regaling us with accounts of her three marriages.
Finally left at 6:00. Nancy dropped me at the bus, it came very quickly, and I was at Victoria by 6:30. However, I just missed the one to Telegraph, so walked home. I was glad to do it, as it added roughly two miles to my total.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Avocados And Alzheimer's

I didn't walk Kimball, but did the equivalent mile and a half (or more) because twice, I walked over to Von's to get my blood work done. It's so convenient to have Quest next to the pharmacy there, but  I went twice because I didn't know they've changed their opening from 7 to 8 am.
After breakfast, went to WinCo and got a few things, including a bottle of Chardonnay. Packed that up along with another half bottle I had, plus two bottles of Blue Moon, and drove over to Diane's to leave hem in her fridge for Happy Hour today.
Andrea, who lives here and takes care of her adorable little granddaughter during the day, rang and presented me with three beautiful avocados; not sure if she grows them or bought them.I actually took a nap after lunch then puttered around. Showered and dressed and took off for the Alzheimer program at the hospital.
This was pretty good, especially in explaining the difference between "dementia" and Alzheimer's. As I suspected, "dementia" is an umbrella term; I was surprised to hear that 57 causes of dementia have been identified, Alzheimer's being the most common. I remember being told that the dementia of my sister-in-law, Marybeth, was caused by Lewy Body disease. Anyway, it was worth attending and it was over promptly at 7:00.
I had toyed with the idea of going from there to the Poetry Club at the library, but decided against it. I've been wakeful the last few nights because of my bruised rib (I diagnosed it myself). Although it's a lot less painful than it was, it still bothers me to turn on my left side, which is my preference. Home, I stopped at Suzanne's and gave her one of the avocados from Andrea.
I had turned off my phone for the meeting and when I checked at home, I saw that Ellen and Stella had called. Called El back and--happy day--she asked if I'd like to meet tomorrow, as she'll be in Ventura to get her hair cut. Yes, indeed, and we'll have lunch at Mimi's at 1:00. Called Stella back, who just wanted to chat and talked to her for fifteen or so.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

A List And A Low Point

Walked Kimball.
After breakfast, I
  did a load of wash;
  prepared the big butternut squash I had bought the other day;
  wrote a note of condolence to Pat Kennedy H.;
  drove to WinCo for  blueberries and bread;
  went to town on the bus and to the P.O. there.
Okay, that's the end of the list configuration. In town, I walked to The Coalition and bought a beer glass. Tomorrow, Diane is having us over for Happy Hour and a movie and I'm bringing the booze--Chardonnay for Diane and Nancy, Blue Moon for me. I'll drive over and drop it off today, then take the bus tomorrow.
I had gotten a very pleasant surprise in the mail on Tuesday. It was a newspaper clipping from and about one of my children and I enjoyed it. Yesterday, I got something in the mail that's terribly upsetting. I don't want to say what it is (it's not a medical issue), but it's a real bummer and I'm struggling to get out of this low point mood. At least, my side feels a lot better. It doesn't hurt as much when I breathe and I was able to sleep on my left side. I assume it's healing.
I had the salmon and squash for dinner and they were excellent. Called Diane and left a message that I'll drop off my H.H. contribution this morning.
I'm toying with the idea of walking to Von's after Kimball this morning to get my (routine) blood work done. To that end, I didn't put anything in my coffee.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Twin Tuesday

No Kimball again. I just cleaned up a few things on the computer, had breakfast, then left for Santa Barbara at 9:15.  I called Nancy on my way, telling her my phone just automatically dials her number when I'm on the SB bus. We had a good chat, as ever; she's working on a new knitting project and I said she should open a business and call it "Nancy's Knits." We're looking forward to Happy Hour at Diane's on Friday (we're going to skip it today).
Called my brother Frank. He had had another scary BP drop on Saturday on his way to Carolyn's and had been taken to San Luis Obispo Hospital. He was transferred to near his home in Alameda and is doing much better. Sounds good, but is confused as ever.
Speaking of confused: I got to Betty's at the usual 11:30.  I tell her over and over that's the time I'll be at her door, but starting at 11:00, she both called and texted me , asking where I was. After chatting a bit, we went to Lure for lunch. I had wonderful Ahi in a sandwich, which would gross some people out, but I love it: Ahi seared on the outside and essentially raw inside--yum!
After, we walked back to Betty's and played cards, as I had no desire to go to the dreary clubroom and meet up with the dreary people there. (Oh, shut up, Rosemary; they think you're dreary, too). We went to pick up her mail, she gave me Pat Hayes's address, then we said goodbye.
I exchanged emails and phone calls on the bus with Diane and Carolyn (B., not my niece, who's G.). I've been worried about the former for some time, as I think she's losing her grip and is depressed.  Along with many other indications, she sent Nancy, Diane, and me a long email, saying she couldn't come either today or on Friday because of road work in Ojai. Her driving style--20 mph and clutching the wheel, along with not being able to remember routes and locations she's driven many times before--might be understandable at our ages (82, 89, and 76), but Carolyn is 57.
Home about 5:00 and I mixed a marinade for a big piece of salmon, then roasted it. However, I wasn't that hungry, so am saving it for tonight's dinner--just had spinach and cantaloupe.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Various and Ventura Star

Slept late yesterday and didn't walk Kimball. Jeanne (Dollard) Painter called, as she does every few months, ditzy as ever. She's now in Palm Beach (FLA) with John, her 89-year-old paramour and ditzy as ever. Spent what seemed that long on the phone with the Star, those black-hearted pirates (see below).
I called my brother, Frank, but there was no answer. Called niece, Maureen, and she filled me in: Frank is still in the hospital, but no longer in San Luis Obispo; he's improving and is in good spirits,  but is confused about why he's there. Maureen's voice was garbled, but I think she said he'd be released today.  Called Betty and Carolyn to fill them in. I'll call Frank again when I'm on the bus.
Drove to the podiatrist's office to drop off the paperwork they had sent, but annoying, it wasn't open. Not sure why.
Betty called. I'll take off for Santa Barbara in a few hours and we'll have lunch.  I called Nancy to see how she was doing after her great-grandson's suicide and we talked. Walked over to Von's, then drove to other stores for various, mostly veggies, bread, and blueberries. Did other this and then until I left about 5:15 for widder dinner.
It took quite a while for the bus (one of these days, I'll check the schedule, as I have a book), but it finally did and took me to Victoria. After that, I just walked the mile and a bit to Stone Fire Grille. There were about about twenty of us there and we had a congenial time. I didn't mention I hadn't driven there and slipped out to walk to Victoria, then caught the bus to Telegraph. I was glad to get at least that much walking in.
My rib is still bothering me and so is my bunion, but they're not too bad.
I'm adding this in order to keep track of it:
I've called the Ventura County Star now three times in the last two weeks to 1.) find out why my payment for the daily paper keeps changing month-to-month. Since August of 2018, it has ranged from $34.26 to 57.00; it's different every month, but usually $50 and change. I asked three times for an itemized list of what exactly I'm paying for and was assured each time it would be forthcoming via email.
Yesterday, I noticed that my account had been charged $22.76 on March 12 and another $22.76 on March 15. When I called, I was told my monthly charge now was $22.76 and that the first charge covered March and the second, April. I have no idea why they would cut the cost in half like that. Was it because I complained? There seems no rhyme or reason to it.
I then asked again for an itemized list of what I had been paying in the months of July '18 to February, '19, since it varied so much. I was put on hold and waited and waited. At some times, there was dead air, others there was music. I have the idea they know people get so frustrated they hang up, which is what I did.
I immediately called again, I guess about 10:40 and was told there was an 8-minute wait, but if I wanted a callback, I could do that. I did and continue to wait; it's now 10:47. 
It's now the next day and I've never been called back.

Monday, March 18, 2019

The Party And Some Unfortunate News

Drove to Kimball at 7:00, but there wasn't a car there and I just didn't want to walk when it was completely deserted, so drove home.
After breakfast, a shower, re-affixing some of my nails, and wrapping Carolyn's and Finn's gifts, I dressed and awaited Ellen. She got here at noon and off we went to Santa Barbara.
It was a terrific party, much fun and great food and drink. The adults circulated in the living and dining rooms and kitchen, but mostly on the patio overlooking a quintessential California scene: a dramatic drop with palm trees and mountains in the distance. The teenagers and younger (Claire is 12) pretty much holed up in the den, which is a pretty good size.
The food, all prepared and cooked by Dana, Carolyn's husband, was delicious. It included one hot dish (pasta with red sauce), baked asparagus, and several cold rice, pasta, and green salads, as well as sides and extras. Instead of cake, he had made two large pans of brownies, with "Happy Birthday" spelled out in wax letters on top.
Anyway, it was great fun, except for the fact that I drank too much wine. I should have heeded my decision to stick to beer, but foolishly, I didn't. As I often repeat, I like the other stuff too much. Anyway, as I was getting up to leave, I fell against the coffee table and hurt what I guess is my rib. cage. It's still sore, but feels better this morning, so I guess I'll live.
Speaking of falls, my brother, Frank, who lives in Alameda, was going to come to the party with his daughter, Francine. Unfortunately, as they were getting in the car, he fell and was actually admitted to the hospital overnight. I understand he's been released and will call him in an hour or so.
More bad news: Betty's close friend, Pat Kennedy Hayes, called her to say her son had been found dead in his apartment last Friday; he was only 54.  I believe he died of some kind of cerebral hemorrhage.  Betty, Carolyn, and Wes will attend the funeral.
Sadly, Pat called Betty again yesterday to say her younger brother, Mike, has also died. I understand he had been ill for some time. 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Various And Sundry

Walked Kimball. After breakfast, I finally finished up the rest of the bookkeep-y stuff that's so tedious. Got an e-mail from Michelle to say I'm getting a nice piece of change back from both the feds and the state--YAY!
I did a lot of food prep, including baking four large chicken quarters with oil and seasonings and using the mandolin to thinly slice zucchini and onions. Combined some of it for dinner and divided the rest for the freezer. I then finally planted the lavender--hope it lives.
Went out to Wal-Mart for face scrub and the 99 cent store for this and that; got gas, then went to Ralph's for cottage cheese. Didn't have lunch until almost 2:00 or leave for town until an hour later.
It was jammed with--I guess, St. Pat's Day revelers, but that was fine by me. Stopped into the library and read for forty-five or so, then walked about a mile down Main and got the bus.
Home and had the chicken and parsley--yummy--then drove to Target and picked up press-on nails for Carolyn. I'm giving her money, too, and I'll give Finn the same, but the nails are a fun thing. I'm wearing them now and am a devotee.
El called while I was at Target and said she'd come here and pick me up at noon for the party today. It's a 1:00 lunchtime one.
It was sunny and warm--75 degrees in the afternoon and wonderful to feel the warmth.  However, now I'll have to revise what to wear today. Think I'll still go with the white jacket, but wear something lighter underneath.