Sunday, January 24, 2021

Busing Around And David

 In the morning, I took my little cart and walked to Telephone Road, meaning to go to The Market. But when I got there, I saw the number 11 bus coming, so changed my mine, jumped on, and went to Winco. I bought a bonanza of produce: spinach, mushrooms, potatoes, lettuce, and the "California blend" frozen veggies I like. 

After lunch, I bused to town and stopped in a few places. It did rain a bit and I didn't have my umbrella, it was, as I call it, "California rain," a kind of pokey, half-hearted drip, drip, then it's over.

Betty called twice. It's getting harder and harder even to understand what she tells me. She asked if I had seen "Ellen's picture with two men," but I couldn't even figure out if she meant on the television or her iPad. Depressing.   

I was so pleased to get a Christmas card from Dave Perry, my colleague in Rider's Human Resources. We were one of the three managers, of benefits, computer systems, and employment. He and I headed up the last two departments and I'll let the reader guess who was which. Anyway, I got the card yesterday, January 23. It was postmarked December 17, mailed in Philadelphia (Dave and his wife live in Point Pleasant, PA), so it took less than a month to get here--speedy.

Anyway, David has a masters degree from Westminster Choir College, which, as the world knows, was acquired by Rider some years ago. He is an accomplished organist and also, one of those kindred spirits I meet once in a while. We're both infidels (he was brought up a strict Methodist) and we tend to be dogmatic at times; we're cynical, but needy. Anyway, I'm going to write to him and reopen our friendship.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

T.O.P.S. And The Smoke Alarm

After being awake half the night, I dragged myself groggily to the middle for T.O.P.S. Told my diehard fellow TOPS-ers about my fire alarm problem and said I wouldn't stay to chat. Now here's the annoying thing: weighed myself at home at 127 even, a tiny gain of .04. I forgot to record the official T.O.P.S. scale weigh and called keeper-of-the-weight-book, Cheryl later, I turns out she had 127.5 for me, which made for a loss of .04. We laughed over that and agreed that I'm compulsive.  (Well, so what, I have nothing else to do.)

Had breakfast, then lay down, but couldn't sleep. I got up and honestly don't remember what else I did, aside from playing some games on this diabolical machine. After lunch, though, I napped for about an hour. I felt better when I got up.

I thought I'd bus to town or somewhere, but when I went out, it was downright chilly and I changed my mind; just took a short walk. Rain is predicted for today, but I'll believe it when I see it. 

I had tilapia for dinner and cooked it in a frying pan with a bit of oil. Shortly after, the damn smoke alarm starting beeping again. I called maintenance--this was about 6:30--and Troy came over and replaced it. Got to bed a little late (10 pm) and happily, slept through to 6:00 this morning.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Friday In The AM And Thursday

What a night! My smoke alarm starting beeping at 9 am, just for a few seconds. I thought little of it and continued getting ready for bed. I was awakened at 1:44 by more loud, loud, piercing beeps and they've been going on sporadically ever since. Got up at 6:30 and I called the office, leaving a message on the  emergency number. It's now quarter of seven and I hope they come soon.* 

As for yesterday, the electricity went out at 7:03 am, a situation that fills me with dismay. I decided to go over to Von's to see if theirs was on--it was and so  was mine when I got back home. After breakfast, I looked into the Ventura web site, thinking I'd register to get the vaccine, since they're now allowing it for 75+. How naïve of me! All slots are filled, it seems, in all locations, for all eternity. I guess it will open up again when they get more.

Other than the above, it wasn't a bad day. The ferocious winds have gone to Alaska or something and there was barely a breeze yesterday, plus it was very pleasant and sunny. I walked to Ralph's Supermarket down Victoria Avenue for a few little things. Walked partway home and bused the rest.

Made my sandwich and packed my lunch, meeting Jim outside at 1:00. We had our usual far-ranging talk and it was enjoyable. I brought the Enlightenment and we discussed the Enlightenment, plus the influence on modern thought Kant and Hegel had. Those two major philosophers seem to have influenced modern thought profoundly.  We discussed some of the opera singers he likes most.

Of course, we don't talk only about those lofty subjects. Jim has always been thin and so were his parents and I tried to explain what's it like to have a weight problem. We laughed--ruefully--over the fact that he, as an only child, always wanted siblings and that I, one of six and a twin to boot, daydreamed about being the one and only. He stayed until 4:00, we said goodbye, I took my stuff home and immediately set out for the bus to the mall. 

I went to Target to look at an air fryer--I want to check Koh's, too. I'm not absolutely sure I'll buy one and there's the problem of where I'd put it. I have sparse counters and the cabinets are pretty full, too.  Dunno.

*Update: Tory, the maintenance guy, came at 7:00 and replaced the battery in the alarm (of course, it's hooked up to the electric, too). He said that could have been the problem, but if it happens again, he'd come back and replace the alarm.

Thursday, January 21, 2021


Sharon called in the morning and we talked for some time. She and her entire extended family all had COVID--there are seven or eight in the household--but all recovered. She herself has serious health issues--severe diabetes, kidney and vision problems--exacerbated, certainly by her excess poundage of 150 or so. She hasn't been back to T.O.P.S. for eight or nine months now; doesn't go out.

Jim also called in the morning, in response to my email about COVID registration and lets-have-lunch. We chatted for fifteen or so and yes, he'll be here at 1:00. Naturally, we'll sit in the middle a distance away from each other. 

After lunch, I actually bestirred myself to clean the sink and stove, plus do a few other household chores. I had enough of that shortly, though, and since I was kept in by the wind on Tuesday, I was anxious to get out. Decided to go out to the park and little library and:

This is the path I often walk to the park and the little lending library (notice the footbridge over Route 126; I cross that first). I was confronted with this obstacle and several others on my way. Took the street on the way home rather than negotiate it again. I was glad to get about three miles in, as I hadn't gotten out at all on Tuesday. Happily, I just got my paper outside the door and it's very calm now.

Got home and swept Suzanne's and my joint walkway, which the wind had strewn with leaves and soil. This really is no big job--took about five minutes--but Suzanne texted her thanks.

Got the water bill for the house on Sweetwater, which I send to Eileen, my tenant (they won't put her name or the Little Egg address on it, for some reason; neither will the solar panel people). I've been debating whether to raise her rent in response to the new utilities bill I now get, but won't for now.


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The Whirling Wind

Changed sheets, remade bed, did white wash and planned to stroll to the little lending library in the park after I was finished. I didn't because I was afraid--literally--to go because the wind was so strong. Also, there are large trees on the property here, some a few feet from my patio. I was uneasy on that score, too, speculating that they could be uprooted and crash into my place. 

So I did another wash, took an afternoon shower, and fooled around on the laptop. For a half-hour or so, I transferred information from my old address book to the new, a tedious chore I've been putting off.

After lunch, I decided I'd at least walk over to the next block to Von's. Started out and I hadn't gone more than halfway down the path when I turned around and went home. The wind was just unbelievably fierce and, considering there are palm trees on the campus, I was afraid I'd be hit with a bough or something. Geez, I never thought I'd be worried about weather once I moved to California; it's not as if I'd be caught in a blizzard or something, but this was wind like nothing I've ever experienced before. Luckily, it's supposed to be somewhat calmer today.

Nancy, Carolyn, and I settled into our Zoom Happy Hour at 5:00, as I'd scheduled. (I set up a recurring meeting for every Tuesday.) I don't know why I was such a grouch about it last week--just in a mood, I guess, but yesterday, we had a great time. Nancy had her champagne, Carolyn her bloody Mary, and I the Blue Moon Suzanne had given me. I had intended to have only one, but damn, we chatted for almost two hours, until ten of 7:00, and I popped the second one--why not? Anyway, we had a fine time together and I'm looking forward to next week, also. 

I fervently hope the wind dies down today; for my physical and mental health, I need to get out. I have a lot I want to do, including looking for an air fryer--more on that tomorrow. 


Tuesday, January 19, 2021


I'm feeling better. For one thing, I slept better and for another, it wasn't Sunday. After breakfast, I got my cart from the patio, preparing to walk to Smart 'n' Final, when Suzanne opened her door. She asked if I was in a hurry, or might want to sit and talk for a bit. Sure, and we did.

I'm still puzzled as to what seems Suzanne's extreme apprehension about COVID. Since she works at St. John's, she has gotten the vaccine, but she still keeps her mask on while sitting ten feet away from me outside. She repeated "I don't want to give the virus to anyone." What?  First, she doesn't have the virus and second, she got the vaccine. I'm sure she doesn't mean it to be, but this seems an example of that useful new phrase, "virtue-signaling." 

Anyway, she insisted on giving me two bottles of my favorite Blue Moon (Belgian White beer). She said someone had given them to her. I'm not sure why they would, as she doesn't drink, but hey, that was nice of her and I'll crack one open during virtual Happy Hour today.

After we chatted, I walked to S 'n' N for eggs and produce, including a tuber. The cashier asked what is was we laughed when I said I really wasn't sure! I think it's a rutabaga and I know I like them. Also bought several pieces of tilapia, which I separated, seasoned, and wrapped for the freezer.  

After lunch, I bused downtown;  Main Street might be renamed "Ghost Town," I'm afraid--many shops closed, some for good, and few shoppers. Didn't get home until almost 6:00. Called Ellen and we had an enjoyable talk. She and Greg were both off, for a change, which was nice for them. 

Monday, January 18, 2021

Down In The Dumps Day

After the Sunday crossword, to which I look forward all week, which just goes to show how bereft of enjoyment my life is, and to add i. to i., I had a bone to pick, as my Aunt Maggie used to say, with one of the clues, the only one I didn't solve because, if you ask me, it's entirely incorrect...*

Okay, I'll stop. 

After breakfast, I trimmed and staked the daisies, very carefully. I mean I was careful of myself, as I have somewhat of a balance problem and, while bending, clipping, and tying up the plants, could fall. Didn't though and finished up by sweeping the patio a bit. I didn't do a completely thorough job, which will wait until spring. After all, it occurred to me that I'm the only one who'll see it, so why should I bother? Also did a few other household chores, I emailed my friend, Pat, a section of this blog from 14 years ago, with her comment. I had made the mistake of reading old entries and getting nostalgic for that old life.   

I set out for Smart 'n' Final after lunch, but it was very hot--well over eighty. I would have had to walk more than a mile on the section of Telegraph Road that has no shade, so turned back after a few minutes. That was the sum total of getting out yesterday. 

Niece Carolyn and Betty video-messaged at 5:00 and we visited for almost an hour.  After, Ellen called and we talked for twenty or so. I'm missing her a lot, but I understand the problems--of both work and COVID. I was just feeling depressed and lonely all day. I'm a lot better this morning and will continue to snap out of it, I'm sure. I even slept better, I'm glad to report.

*The incorrect clue and word? A four-letter one, meaning "scoundrel." I finished the rest, then looked at the answer: it was "roué." WHAT?!  In my literary wanderings, I've come across this word often, but in context, it always seemed to mean a kind of loveable guy whose main characteristic was an eye for the ladies. No? I could look it up, but I don't really care, anyway. Sigh...