Friday, August 01, 2014

Farm And Rehearsal

It was pickin' day and I drove up to the farm early.  Got potatoes, onions, tomatoes, blueberries, squash, beets, Swiss chard, and herbs.  Stopped at my friend's on the way back, divided the produce (two-thirds for her, one for me), and left hers on the porch.
Home, I worked on my additions to our parts in Tony and the Heiress, adding some funny bits.  All are subject to director Jim's approval, of course.
Aline called to ask that I pick her up for rehearsal at the library, as she would be coming from work. Fine by me, as it's closer, anyway. We had agreed to meet a bit early, so we could go over my changes and we did, then took off for the H.'s.  We rehearsed in their "barn," really a kind of out-building on their nicely-landscaped, several-acre estate, where Jim had constructed the set.
Just did the first act and Jim was very receptive when I said I had added to Aline's and my parts.  We did two of the new shticks, which I was pleased Jim and the others liked.  Mary asked that I send her them, as she's re-doing the script because of Kevin's departure.  Tonya--no actress, I'm afraid, but she has a good voice--has been written in and all-in-all, it's shaping up okay.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Luncheon Guests and YouTube

Spent the morning prepping in the kitchen, getting ready for my luncheon company.  I always like to do everything possible beforehand, so I set the table, assembled a big salad, laid out cheese, peppered ham, and turkey cold cuts, got baskets out for the bread, made iced tea, whipped cream (I don't use the canned stuff), and so on.  I had measured out the ingredients for blueberry buckle the day before; now I put it together, and popped it in the oven, so it would still be slightly warm when served.
Betty, Irene, and Margaret got here at the same time--a little early, but that was okay--and we talked and laughed happily in the living room. What fun it is to be with people who remember Monsignor Moran and know where Damask's was located, and don't have to be told who Scoop Farrell was.  Old friends are so close to family, and I cherish them.
We adjourned to the kitchen--my modest summer lunch offering went over big--and continued our chatter through dessert.  (If I say it myself, the blueberry buckle was to die for; I'll bring some over to Susan before our walk).  Didn't wrap it up until after 5:00, when we parted with vows to get together again.
Two more reasons yesterday was so good: 1.) I received a letter from Judy L.K., thanking me for the long-ago ones she had sent to my husband.  She was very appreciative and said she'd love to see me if I ever get up her way.  That seems doubtful, as it's 110 miles away, but I guess it's a possibility.  2.) His daddy put a video on YouTube of the Tokyo Tot on the balcony splashing in a basin of water.  I'll be looking at that often, I know.                      

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pat and Mike, the Two Irishmen

I finally called my sister-in-law, Lois.  Why I thought it would be an ordeal, I don't know, as she couldn't have been friendlier. I hadn't seen her since Pat's funeral and that was almost five years ago.
She was very excited when I told her about Mike's letter from 1953 and said she'd love to have it.  We had a good talk and caught up with each others' lives.  She has a son and daughter and two grandchildren, one of whom, Patrick, was born without eyes.
A bit of family lore: Lois had always called Mike "Joe," but his birth family and friends all called him "Mike."  My husband, three years older, was called "Pat," although neither brother had been given those names at birth: my husband was christened "Hugh" after a maternal uncle and Mike's given name was "Joseph Gavin."  (I believe there was a general by that name who may have been distantly related to my mother-in-law.) When the brothers were babies, some wag joked that they were "Pat and Mike, the two Irishmen" and ever after, even their own parents called them by those names.  Weird.
Interestingly--to me, anyway--Pat didn't call those parents "Mom and Dad" or a variation thereof--ever.  He referred to his mother, whose name was Jane, as "Big Jen" and his father as "Big John." Only recently did it occur to me that might be significant when it comes to sub-conscious rejection or distancing oneself from people or something.
But hell, all the principals are dead, so what does it matter?
Picked Aline up for lunch at noon, but instead of going to the Old Causeway--I didn't feel like driving to Manahawkin--we went to SeaOaks.  Nice lunch, then I took A. back to my house to see the latest pics of the Tokyo Tot, whom she loves.
Rehearsal had been called for last evening, but Mary wrote it was only the song part of it and, as I'm not singing, I decided not to go. Aline still wanted to and asked Tonya to pick her up.
After taking A. home, I spent time preparing for my guests, Betty and the Fitzsimmons girls, who are due in at 12:30 today.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Lunch And Stuff

Just household chores until I met Betty for lunch at Italian Gourmet. We both had a rather mediocre pasta/sausage/spinach dish from the cheap menu.  I like I.G. okay, but I'm getting a tad tired of it.
Went to Shop-Rite and Santori's after and picked up a few things for tomorrow when I have the F. girls and Betty for lunch.
Received several e-mails from Mary H. and Brittany M. (mother and daughter) having to do with Tony and the Heiress. They're mainly the lyrics for the songs we'll be singing, including "Master of the House" from Les Mis and "Season of Love" from somewhere or other. Also on the "Tony" front, I'm pulling together some bits for Aline and that I think are funnier than what Jim wrote.  Guess I'll wait until Thursday to demonstrate.
Aline called and I'll pick her up for lunch at noon.  We had planned on The Old Causeway, but that's way down on Bay Avenue in Manahawkin and I'm going to suggest we postpone it until I have more time.  I want to clean the house--well, go over it lightly--before tomorrow and also prepare what I can ahead of time. Then I have to pick A. up again for rehearsal this evening at 7:00.  I feel a little pressed for time.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Dine Around and High School

Changed the bed, did wash, and otherwise puttered around until time to shower and change for Dine-Around.
It was at Olive Garden and there were about twenty people there. We were in a semi-private back room, which was great, as the place was packed. That's always to be expected on a Sunday at the height of the season, as hordes come over the causeway from Long Beach Island.
Had a pleasant time. Sat next to Tony D., whose birthday was celebrated.  He was with his partner, Joe Somebody, with whom he's lived for thirty years.  I talked a lot to Claire E., also, another Mystic Shores resident, whom I know slightly, but like more and more.  Interestingly, she deals in antiques and is also a doll collector. I was thrilled when Carol B. came over to tell me she had seen my nephew, Tim W., on "House Hunters," as several of my other neighbors did.
We didn't leave until after 7:00.  I had planned to go to the Ice Cream Social at the clubhouse after, but we had had ice cream and cake for dessert and I was stuffed.  Decided to skip it and just go home.
Here's something I'm musing over:  My sixtieth high school reunion is planned for September and naturally I received an invitation: lunch at Smithville Inn.  The cost? Forty bucks!  Now I lunch at Smithville frequently and have never even come close to spending forty bucks, even when I order a beer. What's more, we've had Dine Around dinners there and they weren't even forty bucks. Highway robbery, it seems to me.
I e-mailed John and Theresa G., the chair and his cohort (they started dating in high school), to ask what one received for forty bucks, using a jocular tone.  Their response--damn, why would I ever think it would be otherwise?--was dead serious, beginning with the haughty remark that I must not had arranged any catered affairs lately.  Catered?  What are they talking about, "catered"?  This takes place on-site so I wouldn't call it "catered." Anyway, they really didn't answer my question, which annoyed the hell out of me.  I looked up Smithville's site and found that various buffets are offered for twenty and twenty-two bucks, tip and everything else included. Sent that to them with a comment that I may or may not attend, again in a light tone. I also asked if outsiders could come, as I may bring somebody.  They wrote back that they could, again in a ponderous and somewhat censorious manner. Geez, we'll all be dead in fifty years; why attach such importance to something like this?        
Actually, I'm not so sure I want to go.  Why should I commemorate the most miserable years of my life?  All right, there were some bright spots, but the constant judgmental crap, the back-biting, the striving to be like everybody else--. Hey, I'm well out of it and wouldn't go back on a bet.            

Sunday, July 27, 2014

J. and N.

It's rainin', it's pourin', the old man is snorin'...
And I was snorin' right up to 6:20; can't believe I slept that late. It's just as well that Susan's visiting her daughter in Connecticut and didn't walk today. Otherwise, we'd be sloshing through it.
Yesterday, I left for my friend's house (about 35 miles away) at 8:00 so I could see and say goodbye to my beloved older grandson and his wife, J. and N. They had come to collect the four boys, who had spent most of the month with various family in Jersey.
Arrived a bit after 9:00 to find J. and his hosts in the kitchen and it was such a joy to see him. N. got up and we all talked and laughed while my friend made pancakes with blueberries and bananas in them.  Of course, I'm not talking about pancake mix; these were homemade with flour, eggs, milk, and so on. With coffee and scrambled eggs, we all had a hearty breakfast.  I expressed one of my fondest wishes: that I could take a picture of my two grandsons, thirty-one years apart, together. All right, one's in upstate Pennsylvania, the other in Tokyo, but I can dream, can't I?
We chatted some more, then reluctantly said goodbye. I left shortly after they did and spent the rest of the day on household chores and other mundane pursuits.
Brittany sent the lyrics for one of the songs we all sing in Tony and the Heiress. I want to work up some dialogue for Aline and me to substitute for the lame jokes Jim put in.  If we do it right, I think he'll be okay with it.           

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Not a Whole Lot

Didn't do a whole lot yesterday except talk on the phone.  Brother Larry called, and brother Frank and sister Betty called three times each.  I called Betty once.
Now why all this urgent phone-calling back and forth?  Nothing much, just sibling chatter.
Other than that: the letter thing, household chores, and one excursion to Manahawkin filled the day.  The traffic on Rte. 72 going over to Long Beach Island was b. to b., of course.  Why I took it into my head to go there is beyond me.
Highlight of the day was a video call from little Sweetie Pie in Tokyo.  I watched him eating breakfast--oatmeal with things like seaweed in it--then busily crawling around to inspect the furniture, phone, and whatever else struck his fancy.  According to his father, he "knows" the balcony and the bathroom are out of bounds for him, unless Mum or Dad are with him.  Well, darned if he didn't stop at the thresholds of both those forbidden areas.  What a precious angel!