Thursday, October 20, 2016

Lunch with Nancy

Walked, breakfasted, then vacumned, dusted, swept the patio, and generally got the place spiffy.
Showered, dressed, made up, and met Nancy at The Black Angus at 1:00 for lunch. I don't eat a lot of beef and ordered sirloin with teriyaki and other seasonings, plus roasted a lettuce wedge and roasted Brussels sprouts--delicious lunch and I took some of the sirloin home for dinner. lunch.
We had lots and lots to talk about, as ever, and she has some physical concerns, including her chronic low hemoglobin for which she gets infusions. After, we left her car there and I drove her to see my place. Nancy, who lives in a small, but beautifully reconfigured and decorated apartment at her son's house, likes my new digs a lot. She's the first of my friends I've actually shown it to after I put it together a bit (I have plenty more to do). Come to think of it, of my other friends, only Sailboat Sue has seen my last and current abodes and that was when I moved out and in.
Nance and I sat for more than an hour talking about our families and our husbands' deaths: Her Russ has been gone only since January of '15, my Pat for more than seven years. It's somehow comforting to share such things with a friend.
Drove her back to get her car, went home to change, and drove to Smart 'n' Final for my guilty pleasure: Moose Tracks ice cream. Came home and worked on my play--I have some knotty problems to figure out--then watched my hour of television. The "debates"? Of course not; if I want to see lousy theatre, I'll look it up on YouTube.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Lots Done

Walked Kimball, but first stopped at Quest at 7:30 to tell them I wouldn't keep my 8:30 appointment. I'll call for another shortly.
After breakfast, I put all my clothes that don't go on hangers on my bed. I'm delighted that I now have enough room--what with the antique dresser and the white highboy--to put like things neatly away. I was even able to separate long-sleeved tops from short, use a whole drawer for pool items, and put socks and underwear in two different drawers. Wonder of wonders, I have a drawer left over--empty! Straightened up the whole place and consolidated a lot of other stuff.
Spent several hours on my new play. Just before going to sleep, I thought of a good ending, and added it. Also revised some, and honed a bit--will continue that, but the essence is done. Think I'll submit it to the Santa Paula Playhouse when it's finished--and any place else I can think of--nothing ventured, nothing staged, after all.
Took my little blue gem to Five Points and got her washed, then stopped a few different places for supplies. Had a pulled-together dinner of mostly leftovers. Called Doris and she filled me in on various upcoming activities, prominently including several on medical insurance. I'm interested in lowering my premiums, as long as I can essentially keep the particulars I have now.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Full Day

When I went out to walk Kimball at 8:00, I was surprised to see the pavement was wet. Yes, it had rained overnight (I didn't hear it, as I sleep like a stone) for the first time in five months. An hour later, it was dry, but that was quite a thrill.
Called Betty and we talked. Called niece Carolyn and we did the same. Talked to my pal, Nancy. Said she couldn't decide whether to go to dinner with the widder group last night or not. She lives in Oak View, and has to drive quite a way and it will be dark by the time we finish. As it turned out, she didn't get there and I can understand why. We had a good talk and she suggested lunch tomorrow. Best idea I heard all day and we'll meet at the Black Angus, then I'll bring her over to see my new digs.
I changed the bed clothes and did two loads of wash; that took up the early part of the day. Left a message for Suzanne (I keep wanting to call her "Sister Suzanne," but she introduced herself with just her first name, so I won't) to thank her for watering my ficus. She knocked on my door shortly after and stopped in to chat for a bit. She had been at a conference (for Sisters of Mercy) in Arizona on Saturday and had stayed over on Sunday to visit with her brother and his family, who live in Phoenix.
Went to the doctor's office to get the paperwork for my blood test, for which I was to have this morning, but was told I shouldn't get it until after the 26th. I'm not even sure why, but went to Quest to cancel, but it was after 3:00 and they were closed. It's a pain getting in touch with them, so I think I'll stop in after my walk to tell them I have to change the date.
Went to dinner with the widder gang. Full house last night, with all the regulars and some new people, including a mother and daughter duo from Santa Paula. It was a very enjoyable evening with a group I especially like.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Settling In

A bit more of lovely NM:
Cloudcroft: Kind of a southwestern New Hope or any other artsy-craftsy locale, this had some fun things for sale and made for a nice, low-key afternoon.
Bear Country: I honestly can't remember to what this relates, but we have pics of this banner. It is bear--as well as elk, deer, and mountain lion--country, after all.
Smokey Bear Museum: Outlines the history of Smokey. Includes the fact that an injured cub, initially named "Hotfoot Teddy," was rescued from a forest fire, renamed, and became the living symbol of Smokey. Mildly interesting.
Besides the activities I'm mentioned, we did a lot of walking, climbing, and driving. There are long distances between towns; it's such a big state and isn't heavily populated in the mountains, which is where Ruidoso is located--at 6900 feet elevation. Not so incidentally, on my first morning there, I awoke with a headache, very unusual for me. I took something and it went away, but later while we were traveling the walking path around the nearby golf course, I became short of breathe. What? I walk every day at Kimball and fairly briskly; that doesn't happen. AHA! I'm not used to the thinner air, which presumably gave me the headache and made me short of breath. Sure enough, I walked Kimball yesterday morning and had no problem at all.
Besides that: We had hamburgers one night and when I opened the catsup container, it spewed out forcefully over my plate, the rest of my food and down the top I was wearing. Also, we had lunch at the RV the day we went to White Sands. I started pulling off the foil covering a container of yogurt and it gushed out onto the ground. Yep, the high elevation did it.
Back home yesterday, I took a stab at emptying my suitcase, but still have some to do. Talked to my dear brother, Jim, several times, to thank him for the treasures he sent me: my father's birth*, baptism, and death certificates; his army discharge papers; my mother's birth and baptism certificates; and their wedding certificate.
Talked to Sailboat Sue, who welcomed me back, and returned Doris' call. I haven't been able to thank Suzanne next door for watering my ficus, as she hasn't been home. I got her a little something at White Sands and will try to catch up with her today.
Went to WinCo to restock and got a few things done on the computer. It'll take several more days to get back to par, but that's okay. I told Ellen I was on vacation for a week and now I feel I'm still on vacation, just in a different state. Lucky me!
Walked Kimball with no problem--thicker air.
* It always startles me when I remember he was born in the nineteenth century--1899.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

New Mexico

What a fabulous trip to a fabulous state! I won't go into great detail, but will mention some highlights.
White Sands: Not sand, but 325 square miles of blindingly white gypsum dunes, dotted in some places with desert foliage, but mostly bare. We brought sandwiches and had lunch there, then walked a bit into the interior. Very, very hot, but quite beautiful--and dangerous. A French couple died there last year; their 9-year-old boy survived.
Petroglyphs: Fascinating carvings on rocks left by ancient native residents of the area. Some are decipherable as goats or deer and some may be crude maps. Many haven't been interpreted yet.
The Valley of Fire: In prehistoric times, a volcano erupted over hundreds of acres in central New Mexico and the landscape is still mostly black. You can see the ripple effect often where the lava flowed down.
Fort Stanton: A fort erected to house soldiers who came to protect the white settlers from the Indians. Later, it was used as a barracks in the Civil War, then a T.B. sanitorium, a reformatory, and so on. Sounds boring, but it was actually quite interesting.
Lincoln: Where Billy the Kid was shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett. Now, it seems, Billy has been dug up, dusted off, and reincarnated as a local hero. The fact that he was an enthusiastic murderer is being soft-pedalled, as ole Billy Boy is acting as a draw to get tourists in the dusty little town of Lincoln. Well, we fell for it.
Hubbard Museum: My favorite kind of museum because it wasn't overwhelmingly huge, nor did it throw at you every single bit of information or preserved item imaginable. It included the life of the museum's sponsor, Anne Spradling, along with guns, carriages, furniture of the time. Absorbing.
Space Museum: The "museum" part consists of entering a working telescope base and viewing the various phases of the sun projected high up on the circular wall. Interesting, but even better were the spectacular views from outside it. I found amusing the fact that a dozen or so cows (and maybe a bull) were wandering the grounds.
Mexican Canyon Railroad: High up (as everything in the area is; Ruidoso is 6900 feet above sea level) in the mountains, a trestle is preserved and there's information on the train. How workers and early residents ever got the nerve to board it is beyond me.
I'd add more about my trip tomorrow.
Got back to L.A. at one something, Ellen picked me up. and we had lunch in El Segundo, then headed home.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Day Before

I forced myself to go to T.O.P.S. and was rewarded for my virtue by losing a bit--not a lot, but more than a pound. Besides, Carole was there and I was glad to see her. She said she and I need to go to the Chumash Casino and she, Doris, Sue, Sherry, and I need to go to lunch when I get back from my trip. Yes, indeedy. It was a good meeting and it's good for me to be out and about.
I didn't have breakfast until 10:00, but even so, I impulsively drove to the Center for lunch. Sat with Noah (whom I called "Neil" for months after I met him), Carolyn, and the two J.'s--Jenny and Jinny (come to think of it, that's probably "Ginny").
The meal was pretty good, but more sparse ("sparser?") than usual. Besides the usual salad and iced tea, there was vegetable soup with a muffin, and fruit and cheese for dessert. I didn't hang around after, but came home to run the dishwasher and start packing.
Worked more on my play, which I hope to finish in rough form before I leave.
Had a sketchy dinner of leftover spaghetti and meatballs, then went out to pick up a few more things for my trip. Drove to the library, which I knew was closed, but just left a return in the book drop.
When I got home, I rang Suzanne's doorbell because I want to ask her to water my ficus while I'm gone, but she wasn't in. Will try again before I leave this afternoon.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Not A Lot

I waited in for the Communications Services guy to come about my phone and Wi-Fi. I was told he would be here between 9 and 12 am and J.C. (no, he's hardly Christ-like) got here about four minutes before noon. I asked about the password for the Wi-Fi and he said he had told me it's on the bottom of the router. He probably did tell me, but he mumbles so much, I almost surely didn't understand him. When I asked about the phone, which goes blank every fourth or fifth word, he said the same thing happens when he talks to his brother, because he has it on speaker phone. At that point, I just decided the hell with it. When I get back from my trip, I'll just switch the phone to AT & T or wherever.
Took clothes to wash at the laundry place. Waiting there was a woman named Lou Ann. I had seen her around, but we hadn't met. We introduced ourselves and chatted a bit. Lou Ann has very severe arthritis and uses a walker and cane. Even with them, she has difficulty, poor thing. She probably my age; was born in L.A. and has lived in Ventura Del Sol for six years.
Hauled out my large suitcase and will be filling it little by little until tomorrow, when I leave.
Aside from driving to Goodwill and picking up the mate of the lawn chair I had bought the other day, I didn't go out much before dinner. I did spend a lot of time on my new play, which is shaping up pretty well. As almost all mine are, it's a one-acter.
Drove into town about 6:00 intending to go to the library, but didn't. Just drove out a bit, then home. Betty called and we talked. So--not a whole heck of a lot going on.