Friday, April 28, 2006

Had a delightful evening at Creevey's with Vivian. I had chicken marsala (very good) and V. eggplant parmesan. Saw Julie and Gary L., who happened to be eating there, too; they stopped to chat on their way out. We went to the primary doctor at Ft. Dix today. He didn't have too much to tell Pat, just to continue the meds he's been taking. We all hope this third antibiotic will get rid of the nasty infection.
Jack B. stopped in. He may get to Larry and Helen's anniversary party in Jacksonville--how I wish I could go!
Making chicken drumsticks, onions, carrots, and potatoes in gravy in the crockpot, and will eat shortly. I'm going with Barbara D. tonight to see "The Pirates of Little Egg Harbor," an original operetta by the guy I was in the acting class with.* Her Frank is one of the townspeople.
Am making plans to meet Lynne C. for lunch next week, probably at the Christiana Mall in Delaware.
*I was taught that you should never end a sentence with a preposition and, frankly, it does make me slightly uncomfortable. Winston Churchill, though, thought this was a silly rule. He said to conform to it, he could conceive of a sentence like this: "That's an insult up with which I will not put." Yes, I'm one of those nerds who enjoy these grammatical andecdotes.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Beautiful sunny day. After 8 am exercise with Susan and others, had breakfast, then went to Bed, Bath, & Beyond and got slip covers for the living room sofa and loveseat. I'm determined to make it look more summery with various strategies: slipcovers in a light cover, flowers, different accessories, and so on. When I was a kid, my mother had winter and summer window dressings and so on, and I like the idea. Stopped at Subway and brought home a sub, which I had with a glass of cold beer. There just isn't anything more delicious on a warm day!
Vivian will come here first, then we'll go to Creevey's for dinner (we'll save Makoto for next time). It's a good life, the only cloud being Pat's health, but we're both trying to be optimistic.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Was so pleased to get a call from my friend, Lynne, in Delaware--not so pleased that her recent e-mail messages haven't been reaching me. I blame McAfee for that; in fact, I blame McAfee for everything: my weight gain, the war in Iraq, the dandelions in the grass...
Before too long, Lynne and I are hoping to "meet in the middle""--or as close as possible between our two homes--for lunch. It's a long, long way from here to Rehobeth Beach and vice versa, of course.
Just got out of the shower and must now dress for Drama Club rehearsal. Dinner with Vivian tomorrow--happy day!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Caught yet ANOTHER "Honey, We're Killing the Kids" last night--it was even worse than the last one. Two boys, 8 and 12, grossly overweight mother, somewhat overweight father, both smoke, kids whining every time they're refused a Twinkie...just a repeat of the last one. From the ads, I learned that the television audience was treated to another version at 10 (past my bedtime). From what I could see, it's the same old, same old, just with an African-American slant: two boys, roughly 10 and 12, who eat like hogs under the loving direction of their parents.
Okay, this is a rant on the same general topic. WHY can't people walk a few feet from the parking lot to a store? It's unbelievable how many will stop in the no parking sign to drop somebody off--often kids--just to avoid even a hint of exercise. Even worse is when they wait there for the lazy bums to come out. When I see this, I always give the perps a dirty look and pointedly and disgustedly shake my head. Bet that really scares them, too.
As I write this, beef stew is simmering away in the crockpot--smells wonderful, too.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Pleasant chats with sister Betty and darling daughter Ellen yesterday evening--both are in California, I'm afraid.
Not much going on today. Went to exercise at 8, electroloysis at 11, then spent time on the phone with various medical establishments (may they all rot in hell). Later, to Boscov's, but bought nothing, then Acme. Otherwise, puttered around alot. Having leftover chicken, gravy, stuffing, etc. for dinner. Tomorrow, another day with nothing scheduled. I enjoy them, but am I beginning to get a tad bored? Maybe. Drama Club rehearsal on Wednesday, dinner with Vivian Thursday, Pat to doctor at Ft. Dix Friday.
When I was a teenager, keeping a diary was a big thing. On what I here call "unscheduled" days, I'd always write "Ho-hum, dull day." Well, I wouldn't call these days exactly dull, but they're far from exciting. That's okay, though, for now, and May has some dates filled in already--plus, June is coming right up and it'll be--LONDON!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Had a nice lunch with Marge yesterday, but with some now-funny snags. We went to Horizen Diner in Manahawkin and I ordered a hamburger, emphasizing to the waitress that I wanted it very rare. What she plopped down in front of me was a perfectly round, obviously frozen, quarter-inch high piece of old shoe leather, brownish-gray all through. I protested, she asked if I wanted something else, and I ordered a Reuben (hadn't had one in years). She asked if I wanted corned beef or pastrami on it. Pastrami!?! I never heard of a Reuben with pastrami, so of course ordered corned beef. The waitress comes back in ten minutes with some layers of corned beef between two pieces of dry rye bread! I pointed out that it wasn't a Reuben and finally, after Marge was almost finished eating, I got an actual Reuben--not the best I ever tasted either, but adequate and with the proper ingredients. I tell you, there's a vast conspiracy to keep me from being happy with wait staff anywhere!
Okay, today: Had a lovely little luncheon birthday party for Jen, with J., J., and J., Alison, Pat and me. We had a treasure hunt for Joely which he greatly enjoyed, darling little guy that he is. Served cold cuts, several salads (green, fruit, and two kinds of potato), plus shrimp and rolls. Alison brought a cake, we sang "Happy Birthday" and Jen blew out the candles and opened presents. J. and J. then headed to the movies while Joely has a play date with his cousin, Gabe's. Heavy rain, but who cares? It's sunshiny in my Little Egg Harbor home...

Friday, April 21, 2006

Great fun yesterday: took Jen and Joely to lunch, then baby-sat while Jen went to work and until Joel came home. At five, we all converged at Alison's and Mike's to watch the "shed" going in. Boy, was it interesting. It's 12 x 25 and has pale blue siding, two windows, and a double door; looks like a small family could move right in. After an hour of positioning by the flat-bed truck, and the two installers moving and maneuvering, it went on the concrete footings (which Alison and Mike had put in) securely and looks great. A. and I took videos and still pics, of course. After, Pat and I treated the gang to dinner at the Plum Tree in New Egypt--$16.95 for TWO dinners--and I had liver and onions--yum! (Am I the only one of the planet who likes liver? I've never met another liver lover.) Incidentally, I had had sausage with peppers and onions for lunch, so consumed about a zillon calories for the day. However, with my new curly do, I'm sure nobody notices the pounds piling on--right?
Today, have a tentative date for lunch with Marge and tomorrow, will have a little birthday lunch for Jen. Lots to do and lots to enjoy...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Everybody seems to like my new permanent and I'm happy with it. Hope it looks as good after I wash and style it myself.
Had a delightful lunch at The Grapevine with Barb H. and Susan, Barb. and I treating Sue for her birthday. I had capapelli with broccoli, which was delicious. After, we discussed the scholarship the Women's Club is awarding a Pinelands Regional H.S. senior. Tonight, I'm just making Pat bacon and eggs and I'll have leftovers.
Darling daughter Ellen and I have a been back-and-forthing with e-mails since she got her new computer. I'll send her the link to this blog.
Tomorrow, I'll take Jen and Joely to lunch, then watch Joely until big Joel gets home, then we'll go to Alison and Mike's to watch the new shed being erected. (I keep wanting to say "the barn-raising.") Pat will go to the dermatologist, then meet us after at Alison's.
It was a beautiful day--we're on a roll--and I'm enjoying every minute of it.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A nice, low-key day. Had a long chat with Singapore son, Mike, this morning--precious Vivian is putting words together (19 months old!)--and they all just got back from vacation in Tokyo.
My only scheduled activity was getting a perm--it looks good--and that was in the morning. Pat went down to the bay and, being at loose ends after doing my chores, I drove down to Ventnor. The daffodils at Betty's house are just beautiful, although the grass needs work. I took a digital pic to send her, then just drove home, went to the store, made dinner (meatloaf, peas, banana bread, chedder potatoes), and played my new Arcade game, "Word Express." Well, I don't think that's the name, I'm just too lazy to find it.
The week will start gearing up tomorrow: lunch with Susan and Barb H. on Wednesday; Thursday, we go to Pat's dermatologist in Philly; Friday, the cleaning service will be here; and Saturday, Joel, Jen, and Joely will be down.
I'm in a nice, contended mood. As my niece Chrissy said, "It's all good."

Monday, April 17, 2006

Second entry: I happened upon the new show "Honey, We're Killing the Kids" (about dumb parents over-feeding their fat children) last night and foodie that I am, thought I'd look in. Boy, it was stupid. First of all, the parents (he average-sized, she hefty) were incredible idiots, allowing their three boys, 8, 10, and 12, to eat crap, watch T.V.constantly, and be unbearable brats. Did they really think that was a good way to raise children? What was dopiest were the obvious set-ups. Copied from "The Nanny," a fairly interesting show (if only that it illustrates the absolute refusal of parents to take any responsibility for anything, especially their childrens' behavior), "Honey..." has a nutritionist come and set down rules and regulations: no more sugary, fatty snacks, limited T.V., added physical activity. Any moron who wouldn't already know what's healthier for kids--hmm...let see, ice cream or oatmeal for breakfast?--should have been sterilized at birth.
Anyway, after a clearing out of the snack crap from the cupboard, the idiot mother decides it's best to have them out in plain sight so the kids "learn how to handle temptation." Of course, there's a hidden camera and the youngest kid is caught on tape lifting an illicit bag of cookies, evidence is found, he denies it, cries, and so on. Just a stupid theatrical set-up that wouldn't fool Georg...uh, never mind.
Also incredibly dumb: After the kiddies have lived on fast food, processed food, and junk food, their first dinner under the new regime is bok choy and tofu! I happen to like tofu, but I know plenty of healthy eaters who don't (and being grossly overweight, I don't think I qualify as a healthy eater). Well, naturally, the kids gasp and gag and spit the stuff out and all but vomit. Who in his right mind make such a radical change on the first day? There are thousands of healthy foods that could make up a dinner the brats would probably like, such as grilled chicken, fruit salad, oven "fried" potatoes, and so on.
Maybe the worse thing was the omission on this show of any nod to the influence of genes on weight. The mother is standing there, a good 80 or 90 pounds too fat, and there isn't even a suggestion that the genetic heritage she passed on to her sons--two of them anyway--has anything to do with their tendency to be lazy and run to fat. That's not to say they can't combat it, but it's a hell of a lot easier if you're born tall and thin.
Final verdict: The family, the situations, and the whole premise are about as boring as T.V. can get. Geez, I'd punish those kids for not keeping to the diet by making them watch this show.

It turned out to be a very enjoyable Easter yesterday. Alison and Mike got back from their 23-mile run, took showers, then we hung out until I served an early dinner of shrimp, etc., as I mentioned yesterday. I made a delicious rice dish (Alison can't eat potatoes) I found on the internet. It's essentially long-grain (slow-cooking) rice cooked in chicken broth, with Italian parsley and butter added--really good.
After dinner, we all hopped in Mike's car to go back over their route and collect the water and Gatorade they had left in several places. It seems incredible that they actually ran that far! Just saying, "They ran 23 miles" simply doesn't register wheras when you follow the same route--down Radio Road to the end, back up, then down Great Bay Boulevard all the way to the end there, too, then back to our house--it's hard to grasp that they actually ran that far--whew!
Pat doing okay, although he seems still to have some congestion. We hope the new antibiotic he started Saturday will clear up the lingering problem; otherwise, he feels pretty well, but his stamina isn't great .
Will go to exercise today with Susan. Not sure what to serve for dinner, but will probably finish leftovers from yesterday for lunch. Would like to freeze the ham, but not sure it can be done; will look that up on the internet.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Second entry on Easter Sunday: We were disappointed to get a phone call from grandson Joel to say Jen is sick, so they're not able to come today. They promised to come next Satuday for week-after-Easter, so we can have the treasure hunt for Joely then.
Alison and Mike are here--or rather, are running near here. They got to our house about 12:00, then left for a 23-mile run--still training for the marathons they want to enter. I would have gone with them for a usual 20-mile run, but 23--nah. (Hmm...I can't run 23 feet, let alone miles.)
Decided to skip the ham I had been planning on and will just have shrimp, lunchmeat, potato salad, rolls, devilled eggs, and a few other things. Have cake thawing, so it will be casual--and now only four of us, I'm sorry to say. I told Pat I'm pretending we were just having Alison and Mike for lunch to begin with, so I feel better.
Here it is, Easter morning, and I woke up to find a lovely gift of white hyacinths from Pat. He never forgets to get me flowers for most occasions. We're expecting daughter Alison, SIL Mike, and Joel, Jen, and Joely for late lunch. Pat remarked yesterday how he's looking forward to seeing Joely, as it's been about two months for him. We had a lovely time at Bill and Regina's on Thursday and yesterday, the weather was wonderful--probably 80 degrees. I just had hot dogs and beans for dinner, but will have a proper Easter luncheon today.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

A great clap of thunder woke me up, so here I am at 3 am writing in this silly blog. Yesterday was stressful, as we left for Philly a 7:30 and didn't get back until about 3, but it was necessary, of course. Pat's regular pulmonologist was on vacation and another, very pleasant doctor filled in. He didn't say much, but changed Pat's antibiotic, as the earlier one doesn't seem to be doing the job. I asked the doctor if there's a difference between regular and pulmonary rehab and he said, "yes," and Pat should go to pul. He wrote him out a prescription for the rehab, but said to wait a few weeks until he's over this completely. We waited there for the new medication, which he'll start today, and that takes forever at the V.A., but we got home without incident. We were both wiped out though, and I just gave Pat a T.V. dinner (as they used to be called) and ate odds and ends myself. Think I'll make something in the crockpot tonight, as we'll have ham and so on tomorrow.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

This lousy disease causes a never-ending loop: Up-and-down, good-and-bad, one day great, the next lousy. After a pleasant and improving two days, Pat had a problem sleeping last night. It's hard for him to get the gunk out of his lungs, which is key to progress for him. He said he hardly slept (I woke up to realizing he wasn't in our bed; he went into the guest room) and feels pretty low today. Scott, the p.t. was supposed to come today, but I asked him to wait until Monday. Maybe Pat can get some sleep with a nap.
We're supposed to go to Bill and Regina's today--guess it depends on how Pat feels. Luckily, we see the pulmonolgist tomorrow (at 10 am in Philly--ugh!) and we can ask if he should take Muscinex (?) or something.
Things are good, they're bad, they're up, they're down--talk about roller-coaster living.
Oh, yeah, this is supposed to be a weight-loss blog--ha! I'm paying no attention to Weight Watchers or my pounds piling on. I am, however, continuing exercise. Last night, I served spaghetti and meatballs for dinner--a quick dinner, as I had Drama Club rehearsal until about 4:00. Tonight, I'll just have turkey sausage and eggs--which Pat likes for dinner occasionally.
Hope the curve starts up soon...

Monday, April 10, 2006

Well, wonders never cease in Little Egg Harbor! Today, Pat got the hearing aid that's been on his bedside table for eighteen months--and put it in. He's hearing fine, no problem. It's is unbelievably frustrating to me that he's had the T.V. up to blast level and I've had to say, "What...what?" everytime he opens his mouth all this time. However, I'm glad he's finally using the damn thing.
Jack B. came over after golf, but wouldn't stay for dinner. We're just having corned beef hash tonight.
SIL Regina called today and we had a nice chat. I suggested we go over on Thursday to visit them. Pat will have to call them and p.t. Scott--hope he remembers. Tomorrow, am meeting cousin John and Ray will take Pat to Creevey's for lunch. Should be fun for both of us.
Pat much better, I'm happy to say. He showered and dressed himself yesterday and said he felt good. I went to a Woman's Club meeting in the afternoon (accepted the chairpersonship for our new scholarship award) and when I got back, he had gone out. Went down to Green St. to meet him, but he wasn't there. When I got back, he was home and said he had gone to various of his haunts. Still not doing the exercise (he did it for about 20 minutes two days ago) and Scott is coming today, but I'm keeping out of it. Can't make him do it, and we see the pulmonologist on Friday. Will go to exercise with Susan myself in an hour (8 am).
Gave Pat a pork chop (breaded and baked) for dinner last night (I had a turkey burger) and it was another good day. Daughter Ellen called--her usual Sunday call--and we talked for a good hour. I had intended to go out there for her Spring Break next week--had to cancel because of Pat's illness and how I wish I could have done it. Okay, it can't be helped, so I'll look ahead to seeing her in the summer and to London in June.
Tomorrow, I'm to meet cousin John in Ambler, PA and we'll go see my 96-year-old Aunt Claire, so I'll be gone all day. Friend Ray said he'd like to take Pat out to lunch. Pat wants to go--this will be his first excursion of the kind and Ray is the perfect person for him to be with. He's a big talker and kids Pat a lot. Most important, he's no crepe-hanger--the last thing either one of us needs is to have people provide worse-case scenarios for us to contemplate. We need encouragment, not the opposite, so gloom-masters, keep away from our door!
Life is good, we're on a roll,let tomorrow take care of itself.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Good days lately. Although Pat had a gastrointestinal problem last night, it's cleared up today, and he's fine. Yesterday, the cleaning service came and he and I went out for time--just running errands. Had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.
Today, Saturday, Pat made his own breakfast (oatmeal and o.j.) while I went with Susan for our 1 1/2 mile morning walk. I made our lunches of hard-boiled egg sandwich, then put Pat's foot cream on, did 4 loads of wash, colored my hair and took a shower. It's been raining on and off all day, so the rest of the day, Pat and I just lazed around and watched the Discovery channel. Dinner--homemade beef stew--is in the crockpot. All in all, a pleasant, lazy day.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Second entry of the day: Should have put in that I had dinner with WS friend Vivian on Wednesday night. What a remarkable person--all the more remarkable because she doesn't know she's remarkable.
We ate at IHOP where the food was worse than mediocre, the service was really lousy, the bill was inaccurate (in their favor, of course), and management--I guess it was--was annoyed and defensive that we dare to mention the preceding. She kept saying it was only the server's third day on the job. So what!?! Does that mean we're supposed to accept any inept and uninterested service? Geez, there was hardly another soul in there.
Nevertheless, it was a delightful evening because Viv is such a delight--she's one of those people you instantly connect with--rather, which whom you instantly connect (well, I can't help it, I was an English major). She has a damned difficult life, but she's beautiful inside and out.
The food? We both had truly horrible "fried flounder." It was certainly frozen in 1966, flat, dry, tasteless crap, the edges of which were so hard you couldn't eat them. Maybe that was because the goofy waiter brought the entree before the soup, then had to take it away and, presumably put it under the heat lamp, which dried and hardened it beautifully. The "oriental vegetables" were--was--actually succotash, and I had to ask for both lemon for the fish (or "fish") and sour cream for the baked potato.
We also had to call the kid over to get the dessert (dull rice pudding) and coffee we had ordered earlier. The idiot then comes over and asks, "Do you guys want the check?" He called us "you guys" throughout the evening. Even when I was younger than my present age of 104, I didn't want to be called "you guys."
If there were any justice in the world, there wouldn't have been a check, but of course, after waiting 20 minutes to have the erroneous charges taken off, we paid it.
By the way, that's the IHOP in Manahawkin, New Jersey, on Route 72, in front of Home Depot.
Things are pretty good, aside from the chore that dare not speak its name: exercise. I've given up speaking its name, in fact; he's supposed to exercise, he won't, and clearly, I can't do a thing about it, so he'll have to suffer the consequences. The visiting nurse was here this morning and discussed his diabetic diet--what a laugh.
The veal cutlet turned out good last night. I did fry, rather than bake it--not so good, but I'll bake next time. Not sure what to cook tonight, but we have plenty in the house and I'll think of something.
Right now, am waiting for the cleaning people to come. Pat is making his own lunch, I'm happy to say. I don't mind at all making it for him, but I know it's better for him to move at least around the kitchen, rather than sit and let me get it. He made his own breakfast, too, as I was out getting my oil changed. I do continue to make him dinner, of course.
I'm hungry and will make myself lunch now.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

"Spring is here/the grass is riz/I wonder where/the flowers is..."
Pat has recited that silly little ditty for years. I always thought it was stupid, but now, for some reason, I find it sweet and appealing.
Things are better--much better. Pat's breathing has improved significantly, and he's moving around more. Talked to the p.t. yesterday and he'll be in today; hope he can galvanize Pat to start with regular exercises.
Yesterday, I met Marge for an enjoyable lunch at Calloway's; when I got home, Jack B. was here, having stopped to see Pat on his way to golf. Later, Pat sat out in the sun in the garage, and neighbors Ray and Frank came over to chat. I decided on just bacon and eggs for dinner--Pat likes that occasionally and he actually said it was good--and there was a Flyers game on later so, all in all, it was a good day.
I bought veal cutlets at the supermarket and tomorrow, will attempt to make them--Pat's favorite dish, but I'm not quite sure how to cook them. Looked on the Internet, and I guess I'll bread them, brown them, bake them and hope for the best.
Tonight--tah dah!--I'm meeting Vivian for dinner at IHOP. What a treat, outings two days in a row.
Tomorrow, we go up to Fort Dix for Pat to have his blood sugar checked (he records the readings) and we may be able to stop for Jen and precious Joely for lunch. If not, we'll get there another time.
You can have your winter--I'll take spring anyday!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Things may be--mind you, just may be--looking up a bit. Pat had a marginally better day yesterday, I think, and I came out of my suicidal (no, I'm not serious about that, but I was pretty low) slump. I read an interesting web site by a shrink who said most couples are comprised of a passive and a controlling partner--they seek each other out. Well, guess who's who in this 47-year-long trial marriage?
I hadn't even been aware that Pat has ointment for his incredibly dry and scaly lower legs and feet until he mentioned it to the nurse. With all his other problems, this may be minor, but it's very uncomfortable for him, so I apply the ointment, massage it in, then put on his socks, which I cut down. They were too tight at the top--his legs are so swollen with edema that they cut into his legs.
I also--and this could cause a war--bought a weekly pill container, the kind divided into little squares. This has four compartments for each day, labeled morn, noon, eve, and bed, so all the pills (his medication list includes 12 items, most pills, some inhalers) are organized and he can just take them at the appropriate times. He will not be happy I did this I know, and I'm trying to think of a way to approach this. Maybe I should just let him continue to spend about twenty minutes three times a day laboriously going through his pile of pill bottles and other containers to figure out what he takes now.
As for food, dinner last night was lemon pepper chicken drumsticks baked in the oven (very good); mashed potatoes (fair), and string beans without salt (ugh, but that's the only "vegetable" Pat will eat).
I'm hoping Pat will get serious about adding exercise to his routine, as he's supposed to. He barely moves now and it's been more than a month since he's done much but sit.
Had flounder and salmon the other night--very good. Not sure what for tonight, but I'd like chicken again.