Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Partial Catch-Up

Just a quick overview:
Saturday, the day they came in, included a long walk, lots of laughter, and not a little jet lag, of course. Sunday was slightly less hectic, but great fun. We all went to the beach and Mr. K. dug in the sand and rushed around the slides, climber things, and so on, like a little whirlwind. He chatters constantly, laughs and smiles all the time, and is vastly interested in just about everything. He's such a bright little boy: He looked at El's digital clock and correctly said it was "two thirty eight, "although English isn't his first language. Remarkably, he can tell what day of the week some special occasion happened in his life, and knows all his colors, as well as grasping some math concepts Ellen tells us can be for hard for her third-graders. His Tokyo train and rail knowledge is just phenomenal--and this little boy is three and a half!
After the beach, we all went back to El's and had lunch,then walked up to the "ding-ding," that is, the railroad crossing to discuss that. After, I went to the supermarket, then they all came back to my place for dinner. I wish El didn't have to to back to work today, but she does...
Dot, dot, dot.... Here it is, Wednesday morning, and we've been so busy, I haven't had time to come back to this. I'm not even going to attempt to mention everything we've been doing, let alone put it in chronological order, but here are some highlights:
In turns, Ellen, Greg, and I hosted dinner for all seven. It was a fairly tight squeeze in my little place, but much fun. We went into town, to various stores, and took what seemed considerably long walks to me, but are routine to these less sedentary humans. Went to various playgrounds so Mr. K. could work off some of his prodigious energy. We went to the train station and waited until one of the few trains (I think we were told four to seven) trains came in; in Tokyo, there are several hundred a day. Ellen had to resume work on Monday, but we've been together in the evenings. Last night, we got Mexican at Cabo Beach, one of El's favorites. I asked her to order for me and we both had a delicious tostada; must remember that for when the widder group resumes at Yolanda's. By car, we went to town, to the mall, and to various places for lunch. Yesterday, the little prince suggested we eat at the picnic tables on my complex here. We did, bringing out various leftovers and it was a fine idea.
This is probably pretty incoherent, but I just have no time for more, except to say I'm having a wonderful time with my family near and far--how did I get so lucky?


Sunday, March 26, 2017

They're Here!

They're here, it's great, no time for more right now. K. is just adorable, such a ray of sunshine, so bright and happy and full of fun! More later, if I have a chance.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Getting Ready

Went to T.O.P.S. and found I lost another two pounds. We had the usual discussions and I was pleased to see Bobbi was there after a hiatus of about six weeks. She had been in the hospital with pneumonia and still seems tired and draggy. She got the "biggest loser" prize for five pounds, but as she remarked, nobody wants to lose it that way.
Spent the early part of the day cleaning and did the whole place in the time it would have taken me one room at my house. Leaving for my hair appointment, I met Suzanne coming in and sat down to chat with her for a bit. Her sister's coming to visit tomorrow.
Got to Penney's and Amanda. After thinking about it and going back and forth, I decided to just have the color done and wait for a cut. She did a nice job, as usual, but I still dislike sitting for so long--anybody who knows me knows I'm easily bored.
Got out about 3:15 and went directly to WinCo to pick up a few things for when my company's here. After that, I dropped off a book at the library, then went home to prepare some of the veggies and fruit I bought. Cut up about two pounds of Brussels sprouts, chopped some onions and celery, and added seasonings. I may just freeze that, as I'm not sure where we'll be eating in the coming week.
Ellen called and asked if I'd sweep her patio. Sure, no prob, and I bought strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries, so I put them together for a fruit salad I took over to her place. Swept the patio while she cleaned upstairs and was home just a bit after 6:00.
Now it's 5:13 am, I just got up, and before long, I'll see my boy, his girl, and the fabulous Mr. K.--YAY!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Caregivers And Other Stuff

I had sent Susan G., my longtime neighbor and friend in Sunrise Bay, a happy birthday e-mail and got back a nice chatty letter. She said eccentric neighbor, Anne Mary H., had lost her little miniature poodle. A.M. never married and has no living relatives at all; her dogs meant the world to her and, even in the 13 years she lived on our street, she lost three. Since she doesn't use a computer, I sent her a note via regular mail.* Hearing all the news of our street made me nostalgic. I want to go back and visit; hope to do so in the summer.
Took the bath rugs to the laundry house to wash and dry. Today, I'll vacumn and mop the hard floors to complete getting ready for my company, clean the kitchen, then go for my 1:30 cut and color with Amanda.
Considering it didn't owe me anything (one of my mother's favorite sayings), I decided to put my small wooden table on Craigslist under "free." Did so and about ten minutes later, I got a call from "Jesse," who said he wanted the table. However, I was about to leave for Caregivers' monthly coffee, and said I'd call him back. Unfortunately for him, I must have written the number down incorrectly because when I called, it wasn't his. I decided to let the next person in line--"Rose"--have the table.
It was a good group at Caregivers. It happened to be an employee's birthday and there was a lunch spread. I didn't want to refuse, but didn't want to eat the pasta and cookies and so on, either, so I just had a very small amount of kale salad and coffee.
At the meeting, I met two young people: Ruth and Jonathan. Interestingly, my phone friend, Karen, had mentioned that Jonathan, who used to weigh 500 pounds, was going to help her with her "stuff." Clearly, he has some condition or other--neurological? I'm not sure how old he is, but he looks to be in his twenties. He said he's never had a job and he "stayed in" when he was heavy (he's surely lost 300 pounds, judging his appearance now), for two years. My other new acquaintance is Ruth, who is Jonathan's best friend. She said they met in middle school. Ruth signs and said she's hard of hearing, but that wasn't evident at all. Neither of them drive and you usually call Urber; I'm not sure why Ruth doesn't, but she seems perfectly normal except for a few little things. (You can say that about me, too, I guess.)
Anyhow, I asked if they might help me get the table to the entrance, this being a gated community, which is the only thing I dislike about it. I wasn't crazy about the idea of having strangers come to my actual apartment, but I couldn't carry by myself. Ruth and Jonathan readily agreed to help and I took them back to my place. Jonathan, who must be six foot five, at least, easily carried the table to the guest entrance and Ruth and I took the legs. Rose and her boyfriend came for the table and it's finally out of my dining area.
*Funny: I just put "Anne Mary Hayes" in the search engine for this blog and found a remarkably large number of entries elaborating on her and her foibles. Actually, they're pretty entertaining. She was a pain in the rear at times, but I was fond of her--at times.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Mismash

Stripped the bed and took the sheets to the laundry place, along with a few other items. Put clean bedding on for me; I plan to put the better stuff on when my company gets here.
I thought I'd better call my three "phone friends," as I may not get a chance next week. I picked up the phone and--no dial tone! AAGH! This is just what happened before! I called the damn "help" number on the cell, heard the recording, then suddenly the home phone rang. It's been operational since then, but who knows for how long. I hate, hate, hate AT & T with a passion.
Talked to phone friends Karen, Mary, and Coreen and it was pleasant. After, I went to the library and picked up a few things. Got an e-mail from Carole apologizing for why she left the movie; wrote back and said there was no need and that I understood.
I went down the beach and was startled to see there was heavy machinery and a huge pipe on the ground. I knew they were dredging downbeach (as we used to say), but didn't realize they'd come to where I usually sit; hope it's back to normal soon. However, it was very windy anyway--I almost lost my hat, so I found a sheltered spot behind some beach grasses and sat there reading my paper for 45 minutes or so.
Went from there to Ralphs, then the 99-Cent store for a few items. As I try to do, I stayed out until 4:30 and didn't eat until my scheduled 6:00. Took a drive after that, showered, played my game, watched my hour of T.V., and that was it.

Manchester By The Sea

It rained the entire day, annoyingly enough, but I went to the movies with Doris and Carole (for a time; see later). It was "Tuesday dollar day" at the Regency and even though we can afford to pay the usual, there's a kind of satisfaction in getting such a bargain.
We saw Manchester By The Sea and, boy, it blew me away. I hadn't realized the star, Casey Affleck, had won Best Actor and wasn't even aware of the movie. In fact, I was hardly aware of Casey Affleck. Because I never watch what passes for news--that's "news"--on T.V. and because I don't go to many movies, I often remain ignorant of things about which most people are savvy.
Anyway, this is just a terrific movie; I laughed and cried--mostly cried--along with Doris, although she had seen it before. As for Carole, after one of the tears-invoking scenes early on, she got up, excused herself, and left. I thought she was going to the restroom, but Doris explained that Carole can't stand sad movies. Interesting and too bad that she missed truly good acting, but knowing Carole's background, I understood.
After, we sat in Doris' car and I showed her disks with the interviews Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. conducted with Jackie Kennedy in 1964. I explained why I wouldn't want to see Jackie, the movie and I think she understood without having her feelings hurt. I hope so, as I like Doris, who has had some hard things to deal with, including her husband's suicide at 42.
Didn't get home until after 4:00 and went out immediately to get ground turkey, so I could vary my chicken/seafood regime a bit. I cut up onions and peppers, added garlic and mushrooms, then stir-fried and had that for dinner. Tasted great.
I hope, hope, hope the rain doesn't continue today, as I think it's the day of Ellen's class field trip. We'll see.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Jackie and Marie

Various errands completed. Finished my applications for the three different city commissions and dropped them off at city hall. The library's only a few blocks away and I went there next. Got Jackie Kennedy's extensive interviews with Arthur Schlesinger, which are enthralling. They're on CDs and I've listened to them before. When I see Doris today, I want to--gently, gently--mention that to her, as she was sure I'd be anxious to see Jackie, the movie. Why, no, I wasn't and I'm not.
Such truly living history is readily available on both disks and in print, along with innumerable books, videos, and so on, so why anybody would want to see some actress mouthing the words and ideas of a script writer and director is beyond me. These interviews were conducted in 1964, only a year after the assassination and are rightly called "oral history." What fascinates me are not only what she says--and some of it, especially JFK's attitude toward contemporary politicians, is startling--but the immediacy of it. The interviews were conducted in her home and you can hear her light a cigarette, then take a first deep drag (you can't mistake that sound if you were ever a smoker). You get the rattle of a tea cup, a child's voice, and traffic in the background. Once in a while, you hear birds sing, so maybe they were outside or near an open window during sometimes of the sessions.
Compare that to what is called "docudrama," a bastard word and a bastard idea. I love documentaries and I love drama, but smushed together? They stink. What's frightening is that so many take what they see and hear as gospel.
Okay, tirade over. Suzanne is back from Arizona; she went to a Sisters of Mercy planning meeting and also visited her brother and his family there. It was a long trip and she was going to take a nap, but first came over to see my coffee table. I'm so pleased to have her for a next-door neighbor.
I decided to post a notice about my small wooden table in the laundry room, which has bulletin boards. I had it for sale for $10 on Craigslist and Nextdoor Regatta, but no takers, so I advertised it as free.W
Walked over to Vons and got a cantaloupe. Went to dinner with the widder group at 6:00 and had just a glass of wine and some tangerines I had taken. I enjoyed chatting with my friends and was pleased I hadn't succumbed to ordering Marie Callender's food--mediocre, but tempting.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sunday

The Sunday thing was enjoyable as ever, especially as I completed the large Newsweek crossword with no omissions. After, it became a chopping, paring, preparing day. I made applesauce--with its attendant culinary chores--plus a large salad with tomato, pepper, and cucumber. Also, I hard-boiled four eggs and chopped two onions and a green pepper and put them in the refrig to stir-fry today.
I didn't have lunch until 2:00, as Betty called and we had a long chat. Had only the salad with a hard-boiled egg then and I was hungry later, but distracted myself by driving to Valentine Road to see if I can find CHIP, so I can get the car seat installed. I know it's there somewhere, but I allowed myself to be diverted by the cemetery, as I've always liked them. However, this one is a little too new and fancy for me--I keep forgetting how much older the east coast is. Dropped into Goodwill and just bought a wine holder made with a kind of woven straw. Looks good and next time I give somebody a bottle, I'll use it.
I had almost forgotten I was going to apply for some advisory positions (unpaid) on the City Commission; spent several hours filling out the applications, which ae individual, which seems nutty to me. I decided on Parks and Recreation, the library system, and the harbor port. Suz urged me to go for the last, but I'm not sure if that makes sense, as I know nothing about boats, docks, or for that matter, harbors. Well, I'll submit them we'll see what happens.