Sunday, December 31, 2006

Alison e-mailed that she and Mike will be here about 10:30 to take back the crib to the rental place on LBI; they'll then run down there. I hope Mike will take a look at the kitchen faucet, which started to leak the day before yesterday. It'll be awkward to have that malfunctioning tomorrow when we host the first segment of the progressive dinner.
Now I have to get on the stick and clean up the house* for company, plus buy stuff like plates and cups. Also must see what I have that I'll contribute myself. Gotta put beer in the refrig and get more soda, and so on. I'll ask A. and M. to put the guest room back the way it was. Still not sure if I'll switch back the loveseat and chair in the living room.
*"Clean up the house" may sound quick and easy, but it includes scrubbing the bathroom, dusting, mopping the floor and scouring the Corian countertops in the kitchen (sticky from cookie icing, etc.), re-making the twin beds in the guestroom, and vacumning throughout--not quick and easy.
Whine, whine, I love to whine--oh, poor me...ha-ha, it's okay; we're having a party and that will be fun!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Pat and I were concerned about Mike and family after hearing of a second big snowstorm in Denver. However, he responded to my e-mail, saying they were caught in a snowdrift and he had to eat his own foot, so they're okay. He said Vivian went skiing and also "snow tubing" (I'm not exactly clear on what that is.)
Got a number of errands done yesterday and had a very good beef stew in the crockpot. There was only a dab left and I--well, I...I threw it away! I have a real problem with throwing things away that could be used later, whether food or not. Often, I have for lunch what's left over from dinner the night before. I was raised, after all, not to discard things if they have any purpose left in them--even a potential one--and I think that's a sound philosphy. As for food, I always remember my mother telling me not to waste it because of "the starving children in Europe." I think the children in Europe no longer suffer from starvation, but I still hate to waste food. My children seem to throw away half of what they buy and don't seem to understand why I wrap up and freeze it, if food, and store it away, if other stuff.
With that said, I want to add that it's wonderfully satisfying and
liberating to get rid of things. I think I'll go through the refrig, freezer, and pantry and see what I can throw away.
Later: just got back from the surprise party for Marge. Her daughter, Sharon, had it in her palatial house out in the woods in Manahawkin. Had a wonderful time and brought home sandwiches and cake for Pat for dinner. Tomorrow, I must get serious about cleaning up the house and preparing for our progressive dinner on Monday.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Well, I'm beginning to come out of my long decline. Went to Acme, put beef stew in the crockpot, did a few other errands. Still dragging, but looking forward to the party for Marge tomorrow. Pat's on his way to get a haircut, then go down the bay. Maybe I'll take a nap...

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I don't anticipate much going on today, just a continuation of getting back to normal. Ellen called--got home all right, but the airline lost her luggage. I want to get the presents put away finally and to tidy up.
Still have the lousy cold. As I whined in an earlier entry, mine seem to last for weeks, waxing and waning on and on...

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Took Pat to the dermatologist this morning to get his stitches in his neck out. All seems okay; he has an appointment in a month to check the wound.
Talked to dear twin sis Betty; she had a wonderful time with her family for B.Day and Christmas, too.
So-o-o sleepy. I woke up at 3:30 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep. Finally got up at 4:15. Have continued to wash, fold, and put away clothes and am almost finished.
Alison and Mike are coming down on Sunday to take the rented crib back. I can't decide whether to undecorate the tree beforehand or not. If I do, A. and M. can take it outside; if not, it'll be up for our progressive New Year's Day dinner the next day--we're hosting the appetizers. That would be nice and festive, although it cuts down on the space for the 12 people we're having. Also, I'll have to somehow get it to the curb. Guess I could ask a neighbor. Decisions, decisions...
On Saturday, I'm going to a surprise birthday party for dear friend Marge, who came to my party last week. It's at her daughter's in Manahawkin. Pat really isn't up to going, so I'll go with friends on the street.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Okay, working on getting back to normal. Mike and entourage left for Colorado about an hour ago, Pat went down the bay, and I just put in the third load of wash--several more to go--and emptied the trash for the second time today. It's incredible how much difference four extra people in the house--one of them a 2-year-old--make.
Our friends, Leslie and Dennis R., came over on Christmas Eve. Their DIL, Pia, is from the Phillipines, and they wanted Vicky (Vivian's nanny), also Filipino, to meet her. They also brought son Joe and other DIL Kristie and her two girls. We greatly enjoyed having them over and Vicky and Pia chattered away in Tagalong.
Christmas was fun. Vivian had left cookies and milk for Santa (they were good!) and got up to find presents under the tree. She opened some of them, then we had breakfast. I had made the crust for a pie the day before, as well as stuffing, so I just made the pie itself (pumpkin) and stuffed the bird in the morning. I decided not to make an apple, as we had dozens and dozens of cookies Mike, Paula and Vivian had made, plus chocolate candies, the remains of one of my two large birthday cakes, and eggnog. Alison, Mike, Joel, Jen, and Joely came in the afternoon and we all opened out presents--most for the children, of course. Alison gave Joely a beautiful two-piece desk that he loves, made by one of the inmates--well, patients where she works.
I asked everybody to vote on whether we should use the beautiful Christmas dishes, supplemented by my heirloom china from Mom, and the silver tableware, all of which has to be washed by hand OR the everyday stuff that could go in the dishwasher. Not a soul voted for the former!! Just as well, as Alison and Ellen cleaned up and it took them an hour even using the dishwasher.
After dinner, we sat for a family portrait, courtesty of son-in-law Mike, who put the camera on a timer. Just as we were frozen in place, waiting for the light to stop blinking, the phone rang. I knew it would go on the machine, so didn't answer it--it was Patrick. He was the only one of our entire extended family--4 generations--not in the picture, but Alison said he really was since he called at that moment.
Haven't mentioned the last few days and now I can't even remember the sequence, but we went to Chuckie Cheese (Vivian didn't like it as much as the place at Lahaska) and here and there. I had hoped to take them down to Margate to Lucy the elephant, but there just wasn't time. I gave V. a book on Lucy signed by the author, plus a little tee-shirt with Lucy on it.
We had twelve for dinner, ten adults and two kids, and everything turned out good. I wasn't very hungry, as I had had some of the appetizers and snacks I put out--old-fashioned ones: Chex ("Nana") mix, potato chips and onion dip, and chedder and crackers.
Had to say goodbye to Ellen last night (she and Mike were playing gin rummy, but I could hardly see straight, I was so tired). Her plane left about 11:00 and she was staying at Alison's. Alison and Mike have to work today, and so does Joel, so they left fairly early. Not sure when Ellen left, as I was dead to the world, as my mother used to say.
That's enough--this entry may be in messy order, but I'll get more systematic about it in a few days when I recover from the onslaught...

Monday, December 25, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Well, this is going to be a quick skim-over of the last 5 days because the joint is still jumpin' and we have lots to do. The Singapore gang blew in about 7:30 on Monday; Tuesday, we went out and got the most beautiful tree, the fullest and most symmetrical I've ever seen. Mike had to cut some off to fit under our 9-foot ceilings. California girl Ellen got in Tuesday night, but very late to Alison's as her first plane was delayed and she missed the second flight, then had to rent a car. Wednesday, Mike, Paula, and Vickie went to the mall and Ellen and I took care of adorable Vivian and fabulous great-grand, Joel--no chore, as they loved playing together; they're first cousins once-removed. Thursday, had a fabulous day: a great 70th birthday party with family and friends in the afternoon, with even more fun that evening when Alison and her Mike joined the rest of the family. Lots of gifts, including a birthstone pendant; all our kids arranged to have my twin sister receive the same gift! Even better is a "Mimi Memories" book with pieces by almost everybody I care for. Yesterday, we met Alison, Ellen, and Joely at "The Giggleberry Factory" in Lahaska, Pa (in the driving rain), and the kids had a ball. Ate dinner at The Cock 'n' Bull, and went home in a driving rain. Paula wants to vacuum in here, so more later.
Okay, later: Talked to my twin briefly on our birthday and just now, Ellen came in. Mike and Paula are on their way to the mall to get an engraved gift for their nanny, Vickie, who will leave them in October (will elaborate in a later entry). They'll also stop and get a turkey, as Acme was all out of Butterballs and that's the only one I want. Vivian is in for a nap; Pat, Ellen, and Vickie are having lunch; and I'm about to stroll three doors down to Anne Mary's and drop off her birthday present (yes, she was a Christmas baby even more than Betty and I were.) Ellen and I are going to the movies at Shore Mall, 4:25 showing of "The Departed," so that brings everybody up to date, more or less. Not sure when I'll get around to writing later.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Alison and Mike came down yesterday about 11:00 and I met them on LBI (Long Beach Island for the uninitiated) to pick up the crib. They didn't bring the pickup, but put it on the car rack, so it worked out well. All went without a hitch, aside from a minor one: After we got the crib, I told A. and M. I'd stop and get a crib sheet, then meet them back at the house. Went to 3 different jam-packed, noisy stores beore I finally found one. When I got home, A., M., and Pat were having lunch. They then dressed in running gear and ran roughly 24 miles to the end of Seven Bridges Road and back. After that, they moved the beds in the guest room, transported the stone table from the porch back to the garage, and got the extra kitchen chairs down--all this briskly and cheerfully, never giving the impression it was an imposition. What a dynamic duo! We're so lucky to have them!
Lucky to have the rest of the Fab Four, too: The Singapore contingent will be here about 8:00 pm and California girl tomorrow night at Alison's, Wednesday down to our place. Yay!
Alison and Mike came down yesterday about 11:00 and I met them on LBI (Long Beach Island for the uninitiated) to pick up the crib. They didn't bring the pickup, but put it on the car rack, so it worked out well. All went without a hitch, aside from a minor one: After we got the crib, I told A. and M. I'd stop and get a crib sheet, then meet them back at the house. Went to 3 different jam-packed, noisy stores beore I finally found one. When I got home, A., M., and Pat were having lunch. They then dressed in running gear and ran roughly 24 miles to the end of Seven Bridges Road and back. After that, they moved the beds in the guest room, transported the stone table from the porch back to the garage, and got the extra kitchen chairs down--all this briskly and cheerfully, never giving the impression it was an imposition. What a dynamic duo! We're so lucky to have them!
Lucky to have the rest of the Fab Four, too: The Singapore contingent will be here about 8:00 pm and California girl tomorrow night at Alison's, Wednesday down to our place. Yay!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

This'll be a quickie, as I slept late (late for me: 6:20) because I stayed up until almost 10 to watch "The Roloffs: Little People, Big World" last night. I want to walk with Susan as we do most days, because I probably won't while my company is here. Yesterday was a phone day: Lots of calls in and out, including to daughters Alison and Ellen, sister Betty, friends Leslie, Barbara D., and others. Alison and maybe Mike B. will be down today and we'll go to Long Beach Island to rent a crib, then they'll move a few things for me.
Spent several hours wrapping presents; not quite finished but pretty close. Think I'll call out for dinner, so I can clear the decks to color my hair tonight. Discovered we had already eaten the pot roast, so had hot dogs and beans last night. They were actually pretty good.
The cleaners are coming at 8:00 am tomorrow, then I'll do last minute things; Mike's plane gets in about 8 pm, so they should be here by 10 or so. Hmm...maybe I can work in a nap today.
I hope nothing comes up to mess up all these elaborate plans for Christmas, birthday, having the kids here, grand- and great-grandchildren, etc.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The session with the dermatologist yesterday wasn't bad, after all. The area on Pat's neck was numbed and he didn't feel a thing. He even talked to the nurse and doctor throughout the removal. We then went over to the Boscov mall--the receptionist said they'd call after the biopsy to tell us if he needed to come back to have more taken out--and ate the lunch I had packed in the parking lot. (Ha, ha, did I actually pack lunch in the parking lot? Goes to show how a misplaced clause can confuse.)
When the cell phone rang, I assumed it was the doctor's office, but it was my darling niece, Joan, just calling to say hello. We had a lovely chat and I caught up on all their news. Later, we were told the biopsy was fine, so Pat won't go back until December 27. We were given prescriptions for an antibiotic and pain-killer, but Pat said not to bother with the pain-killer.
Pat went down the bay after I got home and I spent two hours finally getting the Christmas cards finished; even went to the post office to mail them. For dinner, I served pork chops (I breaded them first), potatoes au gratin, baked apple, and peas, popping all but the peas in the oven--and it was darn good, if I say it myself.
Got a call from Mike last night, just checking up, I guess, to be sure all was in readiness for their arrival. It is--or will be--so I reassured him. Also had the pleasure of hearing Vivian sing "Jingle Bells"--I think.
Later, received a call from neighbor Barbara D., inviting us to a pizza party on the 19th. I said we'd go and--not sure, but maybe--our company will, too. Asked Barb if I could use her refrig for the turkey to thaw, as I know we won't have room here and they'll be in NC for Christmas.
Today, I want to put something in the crockpot for dinner--maybe the pot roast in the freezer--then wrap presents, and finish up any last-minute items.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Had a wonderful time at Flo and Joe's party last night, although driving was hairy because it was very foggy. Jack didn't go--no surprise there--but the regulars were all there: Frank and Barbara J., Danny and Kate S., Don and Noreen McG., and the singles, Rita and Audrey. Of course, all kinds of stories of Holy Spirit, various Absecon Island grammar schools, and Joe's uncle, Officer Irv League, were trotted out and laughed over. We did the Christmas exchange and I "stole" a nice dip server--very large, in white porcelain--perfect for the shrimp at my party. Anyway, it was great fun.
Earlier, I was asleep on the couch when Pat brought home George, his crony from the bay, who is 82 and has lived in the trailer park on Green Street for 50 years. He lost his wife of 61 years a few months ago, poor guy, and misses her terribly. I'll have him over for dinner sometime in the new year.
Hope the dermatology procedure doesn't last the full day. I'll take the Christmas cards to write out, so I can do something useful while we wait for the biopsy results.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Bought a bunch of stuff yesterday at various places: food at Shop-Rite, batteries for the phones at Radio Shack, Christmas placemats from the dollar store, and a small stool and pot-pourri at the thrift store. I'm pretty well caught up on most things and today, have nothing scheduled except for Joe and Flo's Christmas party in the evening. Will color my hair and try to get some presents wrapped.
Tomorrow, we have to be at the dermatologist's at 10 am for Pat to get the growth on his neck under his ear removed. We have to wait as they biopsy, so it will probably take a good part of the day.
At the Drama Club directors' meeting yesterday, I indicated that I might drop out, although I wasn't definite about it. I'm pretty sure now I will, as it's just too much work and I no longer want to honor such a heavy commitment in time and effort. The meeting for all members is on January 3 and I'll announce my resignation then, but will tell Marge first.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The perm turned out great and April (my hairdresser) gave me permission to wash and color it tomorrow. I ain't no shrinkin' violet, but hairdressers always intimidate me because I know nothing about hair--especially my hair--and I never knew how to style it myself. It was always fine, but thick--typical Byrne hair--and now it's fine and thin (sigh).
Got packages for California wrapped and will send today. Just in case a certain someone reads this, the one in the package for her is her birthday present--the Christmas one is coming, I hope before December 25th.
Alison called last night to say she and Mike will be down with the pickup on Sunday to help with any last-minute things. I've decided after all to rent a crib; the portable one is probably okay, but I'm afraid it's small, plus the mattress is very thin. A. and M. will pick up the crib in the--well, the pickup.
After 3 evenings of being out for dinner, I made Pat chicken drumsticks, stuffing, potatoes, and creamed corn last night. 'Twas good and 'twas topped off by homemade pumpkin pie, which I had frozen at Thanksgiving.
Today, I have a Drama Club meeting for we four directors. I really want to drop this, much as I hate to do it to Marge. It's so damn much work and, although I love the fun and excitement of the actual show, it may not be worth it in terms of the months of preparation. I've thought of saying I just want to step down as a director, but I'm afraid I'd find it hard to relinguish the directing, and that would still mean I'd have to be there for rehearsals. One of the things I really dislike is that we meet at 1:30, which just kills the whole day. I've been active in the group for the 3 years we've lived here and think I've just gone dry on it. Well, we'll see.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I overslept! Didn't get the morning walk in because I didn't wake up until a few minutes after 7:00, which is when I usually stop for Susan. Oh, well, once in a while won't hurt and now I feel up, alive, and invigorated. Last night, met Viv and her daughter, Vanessa, for dinner at Sweet Jenny's in Barneget. Had liver and onions, which I never cook at home. We joked that I'm the only one in the world who likes liver. Got home a little after 7:00 and went to bed at my usual time, but boy, I must have needed the sleep.
Before and after Pat's podiatrist appointment this morning, talked to sister Betty. She's probably going to be ending her job shortly and I think she can get unemployment, as she was told the job was "eliminated."
Today, I'm getting a perm. Hope my hair looks better than it has.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Christmas party last night was nice, but I felt a little mopey, being there as a single at a table with 4 couples. However, I enjoyed dancing and chatting with friends. Got home about 10:00, called Ellen, then went to bed.
I'm starting to feel nervous about getting everything done before our company comes, especially considering that this is a busy week. Not only is the guest room not set up yet, but I haven't even begun to think about wrapping presents and so on. Must take those two wreaths back and want to get others for the study and finally finish decorating.
Now I'm not sure if I should get my scheduled perm tomorrow, as my hair has actually fluffed up and looks pretty good. Of course, it may not stay that way--decisions, decisions...
What horrifies me is the thought that I may develop a cold before Christmas. This seems to happen all too often and it would really be a problem this year.
Looking forward to meeting WS friend, Viv, for dinner, although this will be the third day in a row I've left Pat to his own devices at dinnertime. Saturday, I gave him the Brother's take-out menu and he called and had it delivered; last night I left a can of Dinty Moore beef stew--not sure what I'll arrange for him tonight. Well, except for the Joe and Flo party on Thursday (not sure if he'll go or not), I'll be here the rest of the week.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The tree-lighting ceremony last night was nice and we went inside to eat shortly after. Everybody was supposed to bring an appetizer (and just about everybody made a full meal of them), which I didn't because there's always an obscene amount of food at these things. Last night was no exception: There was enough food for--literally--150 people and there were only about 25 there.
Earlier, after lunch with Mary, I went to K-Mart and bought two new wreaths for the study windows. Now I don't know why I did and think I'll take them back to get ones that match the other on the front door.
The "big" Sunrise Bay Christmas party is tonight. I'll go with Ray and Barb H.; wish Pat could be there, too.
Tomorrow, I meet Viv and another woman for dinner at Sweet Jenny's in Manahawkin, getting a perm on Tuesday, Drama Club Wednesday--and so on.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Mary Ann Van O. and I went to lunch at Creevey's and had a good time. Her husband also has end-stage emphysema, so we have that in common. Earlier in the day, I continued to put things away and in order--at a snail's pace--to get ready for the holiday. Have a few more things to buy, including sheets for the pull-out bed/loveseat for the nanny, Vicky, and Pediasure, which Paula asked me to get. Must remember eggnog, too, when the day gets closer.
Today, I'm meeting Mary H. for lunch in Ventnor, then will receive the portable crib she's lending me. At 5:30, I'll attend the tree-lighting ceremony at Judy's, then watch the ABC Christmas special for which niece by marriage, Robyn, made the costumes.
Later: I wrote the above before my 7:00 am walk with Susan. She has now told me that she and some other couples were planning a surprise party for me--until they got the invitation from me! Gee, I'm disappointed--I would have loved a surprise party, but of course, I didn't know about it. Talked to Alison and she said they (my children) were also talking about a surprise party until they learned about mine. Well, it'll be nice to see everybody on the 21st, my actual birthday--friends for lunch and family for dinner.
Met Mary and we went to Downbeach Deli for lunch; had a good time, as ever, with such a good old friend. (Well, make that "long-time" friend.) She lent me a portable crib that I hope will be all right for Vivian.
Must now get warmly dressed for the tree-lighting ceremony. You can be sure that as soon as the damn tree is lit, I'm going to get lit (lit up--but just a little) with Susan's egg nog and the appetizers. Will then go home and enjoy seeing niece-in-law Robyn's handiwork on that Christmas animation show on ABC.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Christmas house tour yesterday was terrific; I think better than last year. The homes included a tiny, but lovely "stilt" house on the water, two stunners in Sea Oaks, and a charming house in the woods on Nugentown Road. They were all different, but all beautiful. Each room in the latter had been decorated by a different person--not professionals, but friends of the owner--with their own collections, supplemented with things from Habitat for Humanity. What a neat idea! I told the decorators I had just donated loads of Christmas stuff to H for H, so maybe I'd see some of it--I didn't, though.
I had planned to get some shopping done today, but Mary Ann Van O. called to see if I could go to lunch next week and every day is booked, so I suggested today. (I'll always accept an invitation and put off chores.) If she gets back from Bart's doctor appointment in time, we'll go.
Tomorrow is the tree-lighting ceremony at Judy's and Sunday is the "big" SB holiday party. Got a message from Viv asking if I could meet her for dinner on Monday, and I'm looking forward to that, too, so, yes, things heat up this time of year--yay!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Good fun at the Women's Club luncheon yesterday. We all got favors of the makings for "bread in a coffee pot" and I was charmed by the fact that, although they were different kinds, I got "parmasean with rosemary" bread. Went with and sat with Barb H., Susan, Pat H., and Lois V. Today, we're all going to the Tuckerton Seaport Christmas House Tour, so that'll be enjoyable, too.
Pat did indeed go with the guys to Dynasty Diner last night. He had a good time and while he was gone, I did something unusual for me: Went to Manahawkin to get in some Christmas shopping--at night! Can't see well to drive in the dark, but was okay, as I went on Route 9.
Finally got the stuff to complete the Santa Claus bathroom i.e., new rugs (amber), and a toothpaste and cup holder in a kind of snowball shape. That's better than Christmas theme ones, as I can use them all through the winter. (Yes, if you dare keep Christmas stuff out after Christmas, the holiday police will raid your bathroom.)
Will send out invites to my birthday lunch shortly; have 3 for snail mail, as these unenlightened souls don't use computers. I figured 26 adults plus 2 kids, but it's unlikely all will come, so I think it will be more like 20 and 1.
Dennis is coming in about 40 minutes (7:30 am) to discuss the office plans (or non-plans), so must dress.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Pat's car still at mechanic's, but they called and said it isn't the alternator, which is good news. Made the pot pie last night and it was great, as usual. Didn't get around to the baked apples.
Today is the Women's Club luncheon; I'll go with Barb H. and Susan. I was pleased when Ray called to invite Pat to go with Walter, Gary, and him to dinner at Dynasty Diner, and Pat accepted. I know he'll enjoy it and hope he'll be able to manage okay. If so, maybe we can occasionally resume going with the three couples out for dinner on Wednesday nights. Wish Leslie and Dennis, and Frank and Barbara still wanted to go.
Nothing much else new aside from the usual of getting the house ready for Christmas, shopping, and so on. I'm content.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Nice, but relatively uneventful day yesterday. Drove to both Mays Landing malls and Manahawkin shopping centers and got various things, including my long-sought apple corer.
Big news is today is my baby's birthday. He turned 40 and now I no longer have any children in their 30's--(sigh). Called him at home in Singapore only to have his Paula say he was in Hong Kong. Called him there and found him at the Mandarin Oriental and we talked for a long time. Unfortunately, he told me he has conjunctivitis; went to the doctor who prescribed several medications he must use. Worse news is it's highly contagious. Because he has to be back in Hong Kong next week, he may just stay there rather than risk infecting Vivian. I was pleased to hear that his brother, Patrick, e-mailed him birthday wishes.
Just interrupted this to go with Pat to the mechanic's, also named Pat. His car's alternater seems to be malfunctioning--we'll see after if's evaluated.
Planning chicken pot pie for dinner, along with baked apples. Have still more errands to run--par for the course this time of year, but nothing urgent. Women's Club holiday party tomorrow; will go with Barb H. and Susan.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I called twin sister Betty yesterday morning and we had a nice long chat. Wish we could be together for our mutual birthday--2 1/2 weeks, aagh!--but with 3000 miles between us, that can't be.
Generally practiced the domestic arts yesterday (I need a lot of practice), doing wash, tidying up, and cooking. I made pea soup in the crockpot, "dump" soup on the stove, and herbed chicken in the oven. Served Pat a bowl of pea (UGH! this blog gets more and more risque), had the dump myself (all these scatological references--disgusting) and froze the rest. It now occurred to me that I want to have more soup with a sandwich with lunch, so why did I freeze it? Ran down to Manahawkin to put up a few things at the dollar store, but mostly stayed close to home.
Had a nice chat with California daughter, Ellen, during our usual Sunday call. She'll be in on the 19th, the day after the Singapore contingent.
Decided I do want to have a few people in for my birthday on the 21st for lunch, then have family only for dinner. Either we'll go out or order in and I really want it very informal. (Yeah, like I usually wear a ball gown on my birthday.)
Got a fun Atlantic City web site from friend Pat McH. R. and spent a pleasant half hour exploring it. Will continue to enjoy it and will send to my sibs. The Hotel Morton, where Pat and I had our wedding reception 48 long years ago, was pictured, among many other landmarks.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Yesterday, Alison came down and did a tremendous amount of work for us in a few hours. She dug holes and planted seven mums; carried a number of heavy items (boxes from the guest room, the front porch furniture, and an iron and stone table) from the house to the garage or vice versa; filled the bird feeders; hung wreaths on the garage lights; and performed various other chores quickly, expertly, and--most important--happily and cheerfully. She stayed long enough to have lunch, and left about 3:00, as she and Mike were going to their running club Christmas party in Cherry Hill last night and she had to make a dish to bring.
Earlier, Susan, Barb H., and I went to the craft fair. They had such beautiful Christmas things--all handmade and exquisite--but, having been clearing out and getting rid, I resisted the impulse to buy things you can't eat. Bought some jalopeno* salsa (spicy, so it sure isn't for Pat or me) and two small loaves of onion cheese bread for when M. and P. are here.
Last night, went with Leslie, Dennis, and Barbara D. to "Journey of the Kings" at St. Theresa's and enjoyed it. It's more an operetta than anything else, I think, and included some wonderfully sung songs.
Didn't get home until NINE THIRTY, which means I didn't get to bed until ten--yes, I know I'm leading a wild life sure to set me on the road to ruin, but I can't help myself, can't stop, can't get off this crazy merry-go-round that's called "Life in Little Egg Harbor--Embrace It If You Dare."
*Those computer geeks on this blog all failed tenth-grade English. They know "jalopeno" is misspelled, but suggest "xylophone"--idiots!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Lots going on today: After my walk with Susan at 7:00, she and I and Barb H. are going to the First Presbyterian Christmas Craft sale at 9:30. Alison will be down between 11 and 12 (the crack of dawn for her, late afternoon for me) to help me with outside decoration, planting some mums, and so on. At 7 pm, I'll attend the Christmas pageant at St. Teresa's with Leslie and Dennis; neighbor Frank is involved in the project.
Yesterday, I almost finished decorating, and started to finish up the guest room. More to be done, but I'm closer to finishing than not.
Adorable Preshy called last night to say "I cook...in kitchen!" I asked her what she cooked and she said, "Bananas!" She also said she went to a farm and saw a cow! Vivian tends to be very enthusiastic when she talks and has a hysterically funny way of adding exclamation points--you can almost see them--when she says anything at all. Mike said she wanted to call Mommy, but Paula was winging her way back from Hong Kong at the time, so she couldn't.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Got a lot done yesterday, but I'm paying for it in aches and stiffness. Besides finishing up the (indoor) Christmas decoration, I packed up boxes and bags of discards and took them to the thrift store. Luckily, they accepted them all. I then went to Wal-Mart and got a lot of odds and ends, including the new shower curtain to transform the guest bath from spring (pastel colors, birds on the wall, etc.) to Christmas (guess). I'm still far from finished, but at least it's shaping up.
Made pot roast in the crockpot for dinner and it turned out delicious--very tender and tasty.
Pat doing all right. Before he went to the bay yesterday, I asked him to replace the old shower curtain with the new one and he did, but it took him 4 times as long as it would have when he was well and he had to sit down most of the time. Sigh...