Saturday, June 30, 2007

Brother Larry called yesterday evening from Virginia, and he'll be here this afternoon, I'm happy to say. I'll be picking Joely up at noon, so guess we'll be here when he gets in; if not, Pat will be.
Talked to Betty. She had a stomach (or some kind of innards) upset on Thursday, and was feeling better, but still not up to par. Hope she's better soon. She sent pictures of little Dexter, Finn, and Claire, all of whom are just adorable, of course.
Other than that, it was a slow day. Went to Manahawkin to get a tomato cage, went to the bank and Acme, and putzed around home. Had salmon for dinner and gave Pat a pork chop; also served corn on the cob, which we both enjoyed.
'Twas my least favorite kind of weather: dull and overcast, with drizzling rain now and then. The weather affects my mood--I like best a bright, hot, blazing-sun kind of day, which somehow seems so full of promise--but I was pretty chipper, anyway.
Addition: About 6:45, after writing the above, I went to pick up the paper and saw a police car and EMT vehicle at neighbor, Anne Mary's. Concerned (nobody else was out), I followed an EMT in. Anne Mary was sitting in the living room, hooked up to various moniters. As far as I can tell, she may have suffered (or thought she suffered) some kind of heart episode; not sure, because she said she didn't have pain, but had been throwing up. She said she had an appointment with a world-renowned cardiologist on Monday in New Providence, NJ. (World-renowed? In New Providence, NJ?) Not sure if she actually has some kind of heart problem or if she just pressured her doctor into referring. In any event, an ambulance came and took her to SOCH (Southern Ocean Regional Hospital) in Manahawkin. Before she left, she asked me to bring her home and I agreed, completely forgetting I was picking Joely up at noon. Hmm...I'll have to figure something out here. Just called the emergency room and they told me she had just gotten in, and to give them at least 3 hours before calling back to see if she was being discharged. Think I'll call Jen and see if I can get Joely earlier; he can stay with Pat or come with me to pick up Anne Mary--OR I'll ask one of the other neighbors to do it.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Yesterday was good. Called Patrick in the morning (his late evening) to wish him a happy forty-eighth birthday. (Even more than being 70, even more than being a great-grandmother twice over, it's just incredible to realize I have a son that old.)
Picked up Leslie for Weight Watchers. She has her granddaughters, Sierra, 7, and Aspen, 5, visiting and they came with us. I was pleased to have lost another 1.8, bringing my weight to 181.8. Now I'm looking forward to the next milestone of getting into the 170's.
Getting used to the Chevvy (it's a Malibu), I drove to Santori's and stocked up on stuff to feed my addiction: cauliflower, broccoli, onions, asparagus, squash, lettuce, carrots, and strawberries. Yep, I'm a veggie freak.
Because of WW at 9:30, I didn't have breakfast until 11:00. Skipped lunch and picked Marge up at 4:00 for the early bird dinner at Poseidon. (Well, I like to pretend I'm not an old lady, but who am I kidding?) I had chicken Francoise (?), substituting a side of Brussel sprouts for the potatoes, and decaf for dessert. I was a little taken aback to see that what I ordered was a kind of breaded chicken cutlet in a cream sauce, but living dangerously, I ate every morsel and drop. Once in a blue moon won't kill me, and boy, was it good--laden with fat, I'm sure, which is why I so rarely order anything either breaded or in sauce.
At home, I eat virtually no processed foods, aside from WW bread. Processed and packaged foods are where you find the most fat, sugar, and additives to extend shelf life and contribute to "mouthfeel" (ugh!).
I called Pat during dinner and he suggested I get him takeout, so brought him home a hot roast beef sandwich. Marge and I then drove to the bay just to talk, which we did and do constantly. Dropped her off about 7:00, watered the flowers, jumped in the shower, topped off the day with my ritual wine and popcorn, and slept well.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I tell you, there are times when modern life isn't worth living. Pat dropped me off at Enterprise in Manahawkin, the ONLY car rental place less than 50 miles away (remember, we live in the sticks). It took us an age just to find it, as it's hidden away on Route 72 next to Goodyear Tires, but I was there at 11:00 when I said I would be.
My car wasn't. I cooled my heels for 45 minutes, waiting for a young woman "on her way from Barneget" to return the car. She finally got there and half the sales crew, including my rep, went out to clean the vehicle, all dressed in suits and ties as they were. (I can't believe this is how it works in Manhattan or, for that matter, Upper Jippip.) This would only take a minute except--oops!--the car was so filthy (it seems her two dogs had lived in it) that the entire inside would have to be gutted and they couldn't give it to me. I was steamed, of course, and said, "Well, just give me another car." They didn't have another car, but would get one (from Outer Mongolia, I guess) and deliver it to my house as soon as they could. "Rob" drove me home and I got over my mad, of course. The old employment manager dies hard and we had an interesting conversation about where he went to college, his major, and how he happened to work at Enterprise.
Got home, made Pat lunch before he went down the bay,then called Charlie's Auto Repair and asked them to send a tow truck.
I then had to wait--inside! the whole day!--for 1. the tow truck; 2. the rental car, and 3. the cleaning people.
What the hey do you do inside, all day, in weather that's blazingly hot, and just calls for you to go to the pool or to Kohl's for their Wednesday senior citizen discounts, or out to lunch--and you have to stay in???
It was brutal, I tell you. I sulked for while, but that's no fun when you're by yourself. Read a magazine and some of my current books. Played "Wordslinger" until even I got sick of it. Did some wash and puttered around. At one low point, I even turned on the television, but that was enough to make me think I was actually confined in the loony bin.
Finally, the cleaners got here at the same time my car did, then the guy from Charlie's showed up, and all was well. For the first time in ages, I got Pat take-out (fried flounder and spaghetti); I had Boca sausage and mixed veggies.
Alison called from New Mexico. They were on their way to the "white sands" and cave-dweller sites, passing an air force base and watching the Stealth (ugh) planes on maneuvers. I miss her a lot, but am so glad they're having such a great time.
I like the rental, which is a--I think, Chevvy--hatchback and is easy to drive. Not sure when my car will be finished, but now that I have this little beauty, I don't care.
Tonight, Marge and I will go to Poseidon at 4:00 for the early-bird dinner, so I'll be home in time to make Pat something. Hey, life's not so bad, after all.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Bought myself a tomato plant!
Yes, just one--after all, there are only two of us. Planted, fed, and watered it, and will get a cage for it today.*
My perm looks good, soft and natural-seeming. Must wait a few days to color it, then I'll be satisfied for another few months.
Spent some annoying time on the phone with Allstate. When I called in my claim, the idiot at their claim office (or outer space, who knows) erroneously put down that the accident was on May, not June, 23rd. That means there has to be a new claim number and although I can still get it fixed, I have to wait to send in the police report. Aagh!
I told the guy I was afraid the bumper would fall off--it's actually just tied on with shoe laces--so he said he'd put it down as "undrivable" and I'll have to have it towed to the shop. He told me they'd pay for a rental for 30 days and I'm picking that up this morning. I found that, damn, we do have a $500 deductible for collision; it's $100 for other stuff, like the windshield. I have to pay the $500 up front, then Allstate will "try" to collect it from the the kid's New Jersey Manufacturers. He said it could take up to six months!
When did insurance companies take over the country? Dealing with the medical, auto, house, and every other kind of insurance is so frustrating, it drives me crazy. I'm no longer polite and conciliatory to their reps--I try not to be rude unless they're rude first, but believe me, I'm as cold and businesslike as I can be. I hate them all, especially the sweet, chirpy, babykin ones who talk like Betty Boop.
Tomorrow is Joely's fifth birthday, but with Alison in New Mexico, Jen said they won't have his party until next weekend. This Saturday, I'll pick him up to go with Leslie and her granddaughters to "Peter Pan" at the Surflight Theatre.
Cleaners will come today, at my request. After, they'll resume their twice- a-month-on-Fridays visits, so that, at least, is back to normal.
*Goes to show what a blah day it was when the featured news is that I bought a tomato plant.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Got an estimate on the car: $1179.09. When I called the kid's mother to tell her, she asked if I'd also go to a place in West Creek (pop. about 42) down Route 9 her husband knows. I grumpily agreed, but later her husband called and said he thought we should just go through our insurance companies. Fine by me; I called Allstate and gave them the info and an agent will get back to me today. I was told they'd give me $30 a day for a rental car, too.
Made an appointment to get a perm at 9 today. Gotta get some color on, too, and you're supposed to wait a week or so after a perm.
Will call the cleaning service and ask if they can come tomorrow, or even today. I had asked them to discontinue while Pat was so sick, but he's much improved (probably as good as he's going to get), so I'd like to get the place done before Larry comes sometime this week.
Ran into Leslie at the scene of the crime, Acme, and she reminded me we're taking her granddaughters and Joely to Surflight Theatre on Saturday to see Peter Pan.
Got an interesting e-mail from Brother Frank to his sibs, asking for memories of our father (that always sounds funny) on behalf of his son, Jim. I told him what I remember and reminded him of the blog "Domino Lane" (listed on my profile page), which contains the reminiscences of my uncles and aunt, with mentions of Daddy (we always called him that). Our older brother, Jim, is a better source for the early married years, and he contributed, too. (Yes, all were named "Jim," my brother and nephew after my father.)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sunday was not a red-letter day. While Pat was at the bay after lunch, I ran over to Acme to pick up a few things. I was just about to check out when the loud speaker paged "the owner of a Buick, license plate number...." Gee, that sounded like my car.
It was. A kid in a pickup truck parked next to me had pulled out, cut it too close, and ripped off my entire front bumper. He wasn't a bad kid, and was very apologetic, as he, his friend, and I waited for the police. In the meantime, kid called his mother, who then said she wanted to talk to me. She asked if I would let her pay for the repair, rather than reporting to the insurance company. I was noncommittal on this, said I'd have to talk to my husband, but want to get general info from Allstate before I agree. (I don't care who pays as long as it gets fixed, but I want to know what ramifications there might be if I go along with not reporting.) The cop was cordial as he wrote out an incident report, then he and the kids actually picked my bumper off the ground and tied it back on. It should be okay until I can get to an auto body shop this morning.
Well, damn, I needed this like a hole in the head, but I guess in the scheme of things, it's just a minor setback and I'm not terribly upset. I'm glad that Pat isn't, either. Just another problem to deal with and think about--(sigh...).
Called from the parking lot to tell Alison; she and Mike were almost finished packing. At home, I called again and asked Mike's advice on the reporting/no reporting question. He discussed some possible considerations and outcomes, and mentioned that my insurance could go up. What?! Yes, the lawmaker politicians allow this, just to keep the insurance billionaires happy. A pox on both their houses.
Ellen called and also commiserated, of course. She's starting on the (teaching) art class that will increase her salary eventually. Well, she's starting to the extent she cleared off her desk (a daughter after my own heart).
Made chicken drumsticks in the crockpot and they were delicious. Decided not to go out after dinner, even though the car is drivable--the motor seems not to be affected at all. Went to bed at my usual time, didn't even think about the car, and slept well.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Boy, I'm getting up in the world: dinner out two nights in a row. Alison and I went to Joseph's at Renault Winery, a very nice place and--surprisingly--not terribly expensive. We managed to spend $70, but Alison had a salad, we both had a glass of wine, and I had coffee. They have a varied menu with a lot of interesting dishes. I had mahi-mahi cooked in lime on a banana risotto, Alison a pasta/seafood dish. The wine was their own, of course, a white Merlot, and boy, was it good. It wasn't as dry as most Merlot and actually had a slightly sweet taste, which we both liked.
After, it was still light and we drove down the bay to see the sunset. Got out of the car, but the gnats were so bad, we left. Alison came back to the house just to say goodbye and went home about 8:30.
It would have been a very enjoyable evening if it had ended there. Unfortunately, it didn't. I skipped my regular glass of red wine, got FF Popsicles for Pat and me, looked at "The Lost Weekend" for a half hour, then went to bed.
I had barely settled down with my book when I noticed an oddly queasy feeling. I took antacids, but it got worse and I was really sick to my stomach. I don't think it was the food itself; what I think is that my body is so used to eating a virtually fat-free, rather bland diet, heavy on the vegetable side, that it found it hard to process my dinner. Anyway, after some unpleasant events which the reader can imagine, it passed and I was able to sleep. I feel okay now, but not quite up to par.
Earlier in the day, Susan and I planted the annuals (and the miniature rose) in the front. They look good, but I want to add a few to fill in more. Will also get mulch.
Aside from the above, had a quiet day. Washed and did other household chores while Pat was at the bay. I had just left him sandwiches for dinner, but tonight, will have a proper meal, probably featuring seasoned baked chicken.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Enjoyed dinner last night with Marge. As I suppose happens everywhere, people flock to a newly-opened restaurant and we saw four of our Sunrise Bay neighbors. I wasn't terribly hungry and had what I usually order out for lunch: Caesar salad with grilled chicken. Now I'm annoyed with myself that I didn't have a regular dinner with chicken or fish, but for some reason, didn't feel like it.
Earlier in the day, I went to the nursery and bought the annuals Susan so graciously offered to plant. For the front, I chose dianthus and tall, spiky flowers (don't remember what they're called), and will add the zinnias Pat got me. Couldn't resist a sunflower, too--I love their big, splashy color and shape--to put in next to the garage. Must also get in the ground the yellow miniature roses Mike sent for Mother's Day and the lavender eccentric neighbor Anne Mary gave me. Spent some time preparing, by pulling weeds and trimming plants. Now, after the early-blooming lilies are fading, the later-blooming ones are just about to open--I tell you, growing things still seem like a friggin' miracle to me.
Brother Frank called with breath-taking news about another, much more precious, growing thing: His older daughter, Maureen, is pregnant at 41. She's vice principal at a high school, a very intelligent, strong person, staunchly pro-peace, and like Alison, a marathon runner. Great excitement in the family. Frank let me call Betty with the news and she immediately called him with congratulations.
Betty said she had tried to total the number of our parents' descendants and got to 100. That seems high to me, although she included those who married in; think I'll try to calculate it myself and we'll compare notes.
Miami Larry also called, to say he wants to come visit sometime next week. We haven't had overnight company since Christmas, so this was very welcome news. Larry is just a travelin' fool; after his cross country sojourn such a short time ago, you'd think he'd be ready to settle in for a while, but no sucha thing. Imagine having that freedom--well, someday, watch for me at your door, blog readers...

Friday, June 22, 2007

I was so touched and pleased when Pat came back from the bay with a big pot of zinnias for me for our anniversary. He said he had driven to a local nursery we often use, looked over the flowers, called an employee to bring over his selection, and paid her, all without getting out of the car. The flowers are beautiful, very large, and all in fiery colors: gold, red, and orange.
In return, I bought veal ($14.99 a pound!) and breaded and fried it (I usually "bake/fry" meat, but this was special). Also made his favorite scalloped potatoes. I surprised him, he was appreciative, and we were content.
I didn't, of course, have the cutlet. I had a big salad and Boca sausage, which was very good. Surprisingly, the WW scale yesterday morning showed that I had gained 1.2 pounds this week. I'm not sure why, but am not concerned. I know it will balance out next time and remember, I'm in this for the long haul.
Alison called and we decided we'd go to Joseph's (at Renault Winery) for dinner on Saturday. She and Mike leave for New Mexico on Monday. I'm hoping Pat feels up to going, too, but that's iffy.
Spoke to friend Marge, whose husband is up in Blue Mountain, NY, near the Canadian border (long story I won't go into) and we made a date to go to dinner tonight. We want to try a new restaurant with the unfortunate name of "Poseidon." I know that was a sea god, but what you think of first is the big wave, glub-glub, and goodbye Shelley Winters.
Betty called and we had a good chat. As I guess everybody on the eastern seaboard knows, it was not only our anniversary yesterday, but little Claire's first birthday. Betty had sent me that "year of your birth" 1936 (yoicks!) DVD and we watched it after dinner. It's a montage of news films from 70 years ago (double yoicks!) and was so entertaining, covering politics, entertainment, and just plain silliness. The more things change...
Woke up late today: 6:20, so now must meet Susan for our walk.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Welcome back, Pat; looking forward to your return to the Land of Blog!
Dennis and Bill came over in the morning to put the drawer pulls on the new built-ins in the study. It's now complete and looks great.
E-mailed Mike after I found the card for the azalea plant--as I suspected, it was from him, and was to Pat for Father's Day. I wrote that we could regard it as a joint Father's Day and anniversary gift, and he responded that was fine by him. He said he was writing (on his Blackberry) "from the back of a moto-rickshaw in Pune, India."
Went to Hamilton Mall to pick up various. I look forward to the longish car trip (26 miles) because I'm still listening to Sophie's Choice--it's very long (24 CDs). I had read it years ago and find the story as absorbing--and harrowing--now as I did then.
As for books in print, I'm back in my murder mode. Love reading about real-life murders and picked up Laci Peterson's mother's book For Laci (I often re-read books and have read this before), as well as another about a famous murder case involving the well-to-do in--I think--Texas. (I'm too lazy to go in the bedroom and check.)
Got e-cards from Ellen and friend Lynne, plus a congratulatory message from Patrick. Already heard from Mike and I'm sure Alison will check in. I plan to make Pat's favorite, veal cutlet, for dinner, and we'll just spend a quiet day. All I really want for my anniversary is for him to feel better.
Okay, forty-nine years of marriage. We're still together and still getting along. I feel about Pat something like I do about my arm or my leg. There's not always an active "aw, shucks" kind of Warner Brothers love, anymore than there is for my limbs. He's there, he's constant, he may be a pain from time to time (like my arthritic knee), but I can no more imagine life without him than without--well, my arm or leg.
Here's a definition of love from that old cynic, James Thurber: "Love is something you go through together."
Yep.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Good news: Pat got back to the bay yesterday. I know he's also trying to get back to "normal" (yes, Betty, "normal" for us) and I was happy for him.
While he was gone, I went to Santori's to stock up on squash (butternut), tomatoes, red-leaf lettuce, avocado, plums, mushrooms, sweet peppers, and broccoli. Love those fresh veggies. After, I stopped down the bay. John was the only one of Pat's bay buddies there, but there were lots of people fishing and crabbing.
Susan had knocked on the door about 6:45 am to say she had a cold and didn't feel up to walking. When she's not available, I often give myself permission to skip it, too--evidence of my basic lazy and craven nature--but not this time. I got my CD portable, adjusted the Mozart disc, and walked the usual mile and a half. (Remember, I saw my arteries.)
For us, it was a slow day: Got Pat to the podiatrist without incident, and Pat's brother, Bill, called in the morning and Betty in the evening. B. sent me a DVD on 1936, the year we were born--am anxious to see it.
In the afternoon, a beautiful white azalea plant was delivered. It's in a ceramic container with a nautical theme, but will eventually be planted outside. I assume it's from Mike because he often sends from this company, but there's no card; also assume it's for our anniversary, which is tomorrow.
Yes, tomorrow we'll be married 49 years. It's just impossible to wrap my mind around that, considering I feel little different than I did all those years ago. (Do I look different? Why, no, not at all.) Not sure what, if anything, we'll do to celebrate. We just had the family down on Sunday and Alison and Mike are leaving for New Mexico shortly. Maybe we'll just acknowledge the milestone--we talked about it at dinner last night--and move on. There's actually something nice about being comfortable enough to skip a celebration.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The stitches in Pat's arm are finally out. After dealing with two "visiting physicians" (Alison discovered the outfit) and finding that they don't actually do single jobs, but want to be the primary doctor, I called Accredited Dermatology and persuaded them to let us come in right away. (Would that qualify as a run-on sentence, Sister Gabriel?)
I took the walker for Pat and we got there okay. It's on the second floor, but no sweat, there's an elevator. Oh, but guess what? The elevator is broken.
As Pat can't walk up two stairs, let alone a full flight, I rushed up and asked if the stitches could be taken out in the lobby. Of course not, but Chuck the P.A. ("physician's assistant"), who seems to do everything except brain surgery, suggested we drive to the facility in Toms (no apostrophe to those who give a damn) River and they would take us right away. Well, that's what we did and a woman--somewhere between a nurse and an aide, or she may have been the cleaning lady--took out the stitches in 5 minutes with no problem. She mentioned getting an ointment to prevent a scar, which made us silently sneer. Fer cryin' out loud, Pat has all kinds of bumps and holes and craters on his head and torso and is missing most of one ear because of skin cancer--does she think we're concerned about a scar on his upper arm? It is to laugh.
Anyway, big relief. Rest of day was quiet. I changed the bedclothes, did a lot of wash and was even able to get to Hamilton Mall to return something. Ray came over while I was gone and Pat said they "shot the shit" (unlovely expression) for an hour or so. His bay cronies, George and John, both called, too.
Pat said he wanted to keep his podiatrist appointment today, so we'll go there at 11:00. (I had cancelled, but called back to reschedule.) There's no question he's feeling better, although the breathing is still problematic. Speaking of breathing, I'm breathing sighs of relief that we've come through (I think, anyway--there are no guarantees!) the latest crises.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Better, better, much better than before. I'm back on an even keel, thanks mostly to Alison coming en famille yesterday--we had a great time. Served the quick and easy, but satisfying, lunch of "slymphie stew," a big salad, and Italian bread, and everybody gobbled it up. Alison brought dessert (a delectable chocolate coffee cake) and I used plastic plates and tableware we just tossed out.
After lunch, Pat opened his presents. Alison and Mike gave him a nice set of Jockey brand light pants and shirts, Joel and Jen a box of candy, and Ellen a DVD of the movie "Flag of Our Fathers," all of which he liked a lot. He also liked the birdhouse and feeder I gave him; Alison and I hung it outside with Joely's assistance.
Joely brought his yearbook (pre-school, for heaven's sake!), report card, and number book, and we all oohed and aahed over them. Jen looks good, but thinks she'll probably go earlier than the end of July. I agree, but who am I? All my children were "late"--Alison by almost 3 weeks. (When I mentioned that, naturally Mike and Joel said, "Oh-h-h, so that's what happened.")
Alison and Joel tied up for recycle all the newspapers that had been accumulating in the garage. Then, with Mike, they tackled the big job: taking apart and cleaning of bugs (not sure what they were) the huge, heavy photo of Steel Pier (that I saw for sale in AC for $325) over the couch in the living room. What a job! It wasn't just slipped in the frame, but had been taped over big staples. Mike laid it on the dining room table (padded with a blanket) and carefully disassembled it. Alison and he then cleaned it and he reassembled. Mike and Joel put it back up--and that sucker is heavy. I couldn't bear to look, sure I'd hear a loud crash, then apologies, but all went well, it looks good, and I'm so happy it's done.
We then all watched the Anderson Cooper DVD that Alison ordered from CNN. It features my nephew, Patrick (brother Frank's son). Patrick is a head and neck surgeon at Johns Hopkins, and reconstructed a young soldier's nose, as mentioned in an earlier entry. It was great to see and Alison gave me the DVD.
The gang left about 5:30. Later, Ellen called: School is now out, although she has quite a bit to do to finish up and will go in on Monday. Love discussing various educational things with her.
Mike called from a plane on the runway about to take off for India. He said a gift is coming and should arrive today. So good to talk to him, and I checked Vivian's web site and found he had added some pictures--they're adorable!
I ran out to get milk and while I was gone, Patrick called. I was astounded when Pat told me he had called to thank me for taking care of his Dad. Patrick is a cool, rather remote, cerebal type, and it touched me to the heart to have him do that. How did we get so lucky with our children?
Brother Larry called early in the day. He had a great time with Betty in Santa Barbara and is now in Arizona--saw a thermometer that read 115 degrees! He'll drop the car off, then fly home to Miami.
Talked to Betty twice. She called early in the day and I called her back after our company had gone. She was glad to hear things had improved--well, I guess I mean just my outlook and isn't that all there is by which we judge our lives?
My friend, Lynne had left a comment recently about the roller coaster of emotions I seem to be riding. She was so right. My attitude is now riding high, and I'll take that compared to the depths any day.
Last note: Dee commented yesterday that, although I was so upset by Pat's mean remark, I should forgive him. She was right and I have.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

This whole caregiver business is getting to be a drag--especially when there isn't the slightest hint from the care receiver that he notices, let alone appreciates, the care.
Yeah, it was a bad day. Pat asked me to ask Barb H., who's an R.N., to remove his stitches. Long story I won't go into, but she said she would, and she and Ray came over, Ray just to visit. It turned out the stitches have become embedded and she couldn't get them out. I called the doctor's office but, of course, they're only open in the morning on Saturdays. I left a message asking what we should do now and haven't heard back from them.
When the H.'s were here, I mentioned that I could have gotten the stitches out myself if they weren't embedded, and Pat made a cutting remark about that in front of our friends. I stormed out after they left, went to the supermarket, and we've barely spoken since.
Today, Alison and family are coming for Father's Day. I was looking forward to that, but this really puts a damper on it.
What a shitty life.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Pat about the same. I often think there's a marginal improvement late in the day, but that could be an example of magical thinking. (If you haven't yet read Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, make a note to do so. It's a harrowing, but enthralling, account of her husband's death--and other absorbing topics.)
We got calls yesterday from these people we're privileged to know: Pat's niece, Donna, and brother and SIL, Bill and Regina; Alison and Mike; sibs Betty, Jim, and Frank; friends Marge and Barb H., and the nurse at the dermatology office. Okay, scratch the last as one as "we're privileged...."
When Mike called, he talked to Pat and me, then put Vivacious Vivian on. She said she was eating "a cupcake for breakfast." A cupcake for breakfast doesn't sound too healthy to me, but Mommy explained it was a muffin. Vivian informed me that she plays with her friends Maya and Alexander and she again slept in the big bed. I mentioned that she'll be three years old the end of next month and this elicited nothing but silence. Mike came back on and said she was now absorbed with a roll of duct tape and was finished with talking on the phone.
Also got e-mails of concern from Ellen (she'll call tomorrow); friends from HSHS, Joe and Flo; Pat's cousin Joe D. and Dot; and several others.
Because Pat couldn't get to the dermatologist office to get his stitches out, I'm going to remove them. Barb H., who's an R.N., said she'd come over for the procedure--and will do it herself if I want her to. I might ask her, although I have no trepidation in doing it myself. I also consulted Nurse Betty.
Was able to get to the supermarket yesterday for a half hour, and to take my evening "clear my head, divert my stomach" drive after dinner. I just don't want to go very far, so I regretfully skipped the baseball game I was supposed to go to last night with Leslie and Dennis, and Ray and Barb. I know I would have been uneasy being 40 minutes away at the Atlantic City Surf stadium, but I missed being with my friends and felt left out for a time. Then I just shrugged--remembering it goes with the territory--and put the popcorn in.

Friday, June 15, 2007

It's up, it's down, it's better, it's worse, he's good, he's bad. Pat seemed to have some slight improvement yesterday morning and was able to wash and shave. However, he ate very little dinner (flounder) and his extreme difficulty in breathing means it was an ordeal to move around much, let along easily walk. He did, however, enjoy our shared popcorn and FF Popsicles* in the evening. We again discussed whether he should go to the hospital, but he doesn't want to yet, and I'm not going to press him.
George called again and Pat enjoyed his phone visit. Patrick, dear number one son, called from Tokyo, and after they talked, Pat said, "He never forgets." Of course, Alison called and Ellen sent an e-mail. She's winding up the school year today and will call Sunday, too. We also got e-mails from friends and relatives, the last few of whom I informed yesterday about Pat's latest setback.
Betty called and we had a good sisterly talk. We can discuss freely things that others might not understand and that's so comforting. She was Wes' caregiver so many years ago, and she finally lost him, but you don't forget either the circumstances or the emotions involved.
I plan to meet Susan for our walk in another hour. Assuming Pat's asleep, there's no reason not to, and it's important to me to keep up my exercise. I've been using the weights (5 pounds) in the evening, which I understand contributes considerably to stamina and boy, do I need that.
*This is interesting: I alway assumed "popsicle" was a generic word, but it must be a brand name because the Spellcheck moniter tells me I should capitalize it. (Well, I thought it was interesting.)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Depressing news: What seemed to be Pat's improvement didn't last. He had asked me to help him get a shower--an imperative, maybe for obvious reasons--when Alison called in the morning and he spoke to her. Darn, while I was saying goodbye to her, he went to his chair in the living room and fell asleep. He wouldn't get up all day and actually stayed there until about 5:30, skipping lunch and dozing most of the time. He did take his sugar, inject his insulin, and take his six late afternoon pills. I gave him dinner (baked chicken and sides) there (he ate only half of it) and finally persuaded him to let me change his clothes.
I should have remembered that this has happened before: He gets sick, improves, then relapses, then slowly recovers to a certain point. I know there'll be a time when he won't recover.
Alison, Mike, J., J., and J. (and Whosis) are coming for Father's Day this Sunday and we're both looking forward to that. For most occasions, Pat is given a choice of going to Alison's or having them here and lately, he has invariably chosen not to go out--no wonder. We'll have the gang for lunch, not dinner, which fits better into everyone's schedules. Unspoken, but in our minds, I think, is the fact that this may be his last Father's Day.
Pat was pleased that his bay cronies, 82-year-old George and sixtyish John, both called to see why he hadn't been down to the docks lately. Betty called again and we had a good talk and several neighbors called, the word having gotten around. Niece Joan sent an e-mail telling me she and Jim had sold their house in Leesburg, Va.--great news, as it's been on the market for some time.
I'm hoping to walk this morning as Pat should be sleeping until I get home. If at all possible, I also want to go to Weight Watchers just to get weighed. I told Leslie I wouldn't stay for the lecture, as I don't want to be gone that long. That was fine with her and I'll pick her up as usual--unless.... Well, unless I can't.
Added Note: I did get in my walk with Susan a little earlier than usual. At Pat's urging, I also got to WW, but didn't stay for the lecture. Lost another 2 pounds, for a total of 17.2; am now at 182.4. Good friend Leslie lost, too, so we were both pleased. Pat fine when I got home; he said Alison had called.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Pat has improved. Remember, that's a relative term; it doesn't mean he's okay or even back to the not-so-okay that's usual for him, but he's better than he had been. Also, he ate his regular breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus our usual popcorn at night, so his appetite is still there.
The doctor finally called back in the afternoon. She prescribed an antibiotic and a steroid, plus told me to to increase the diuretic (based on his slight ankle swelling). We decided together to skip the last, as he already had the diuretic increased to three, and his ankles are only slightly swollen. I was aghast at the price of the antibiotic: $99 for ten pills! Even I can figure out that's $10 a pill, but I know from last time it's a new med and it worked before. Luckily, he already had a fair amount of the steroid, Prednisone, so I didn't get that. That has to be taken in diminishing doses, as I knew. (Yes, we've gone through this identical situation before; it's the nature of the beast called emphysema.)
Pat was unable to dress himself yesterday very easily, so I did. I'm going to draw a veil (as the old novelists used to write) over the more earthy aspects of his illness, but I did a lot of cleaning up. No biggie, it just goes with the territory. (I can't seem to resist quoting published works! The last, which should be in quotes, comes from Death of a Salesman.)
Alison called for updates three times from work and after I heard from the doctor, I called her. She's in a supervisory training program, mandatory because she now supervises six people. A. just forwarded me a letter from the New York Marathon officials; unfortunately, she wasn't chosen in the lottery y0u have to enter for a chance to run. Not sure if Mike got in or not. (Geez, after the Boston, you'd think they'd just rest on their laurels, but no-o-0, not these crazies.)
Aside from picking up the meds, stayed in most of the day, of course. However, because Pat had improved, I went over to a (nearby) funeral home in the early evening to pay my respects at a wake for the husband of an acquaintance. Met Dennis and Leslie going in; the guy was in the Sunrise Bay Fishing Club with him.
Because I wasn't out running errands, I had time to print out my cousin, Marifran's, entire book Up From Chaos, an account of her life starting with her childhood with a deranged and abusive mother. She had shared most of it with me some time ago. It's a harrowing, but absolutely enthralling story.
I skipped our walk yesterday and today, and think I should wait 'til tomorrow to resume. Friend and walking partner Susan was very concerned and asked how she could help.
Betty called twice to see how Pat's doing. I talked to brother Larry, too, who's visiting her. It's wonderful to have such caring sibs even in addition to the children. Of course, friends are great, too--thanks to everybody who checked in.
Betty and I both said we'd like to do what Larry's doing: travel the country wherever our interest takes us. B. said Larry had contracted to deliver a car from Florida, where he lives, to Arizona. He's heading to Vegas today, then to the last leg of his journey, then will fly home to Miami.
June is a crowded month for all of us, I guess. Larry and Helen's anniversary was on the 9th, ours the 21st (49 years!), Jay's birthday was yesterday, and Patrick and Joely's birthdays are the 28th. Father's Day is tucked in there, too--Alison and Mike will come here, and naturally, we'll invite J., J., J., and Baby Boop, too.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Pat isn't feeling well, and hasn't been himself the last few days. I have no way of knowing if he'll rally--he has before--or not. I asked if he thought we should go to the hospital and he said, "Not yet." If I call the doctor, I'm pretty sure she'll tell us to go.
On the plus side, he did eat dinner, then we shared popcorn last night (we do every night, and I add a glass of wine).
Pat slept or dozed most of the day yesterday. I had some errands to run, but decided to postpone them and stayed in. I e-mailed our children to let them know, and Alison and Mike called last night; Patrick e-mailed and I had spoken to Ellen on Sunday.
I told Susan I wouldn't go on our walk today, as I don't want to leave Pat alone. Will try to update later.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The shower was such fun! I got to Ewing early, of course, and stopped at the cemetery first. Somebody is caring for Elaine's* and Sean's (her grandson) graves--maybe her son, Greg--and they looked very nice.
The shower was in a separate greenhouse-like area at the front of the restaurant (Parkway Pizza; Jen waitresses part-time at Fontana, another section of the same place). Alison and her other DIL, Lisa, had come early to decorate and it looked darling with blue and white balloons, "strings" of teddy bears and bottles, and other baby-oriented things. The cake was beautiful, the cups, plates, and napkins had toys and teddies on them, and whole place looked so festive.
As seems to be the usual these days, it was a woman, man, and child shower, so was happily diverse, with kids running around and general hubbub going on. Joely was happy to see his cousins, and--oh, I must repeat one of his remarks, indelicate though it is. He said he and his Daddy were going to change the baby's diapers "when it's pee, but when it's poop, Mommy will do it." Typical male! Pat and practically every other man I know follow exactly the same dictate!
The round tables were set up for 4 or 5 people and then large pizzas were set on each--all different kinds, but of course, people would eat a slice then get a different kind at another table. Along with that, there was soda--no alcohol, I was happy to see--and it was enough. In fact, it was delicious--see the food report below.
Baby Boop (still not named, but they're getting closer) got lots of wonderful gifts, including dozens of "onesies" of all different kinds, a stroller, a car seat, and so on. The female half of their friends, Mary and Scott (who brought their month-old baby girl) made a "tower" composed of baby blankets and towels, diapers, and all kinds of necessaries, such as powder, oil, brush, comb, rattles, and so on, covered with clear plastic. It was really spectacular; Mary said she had gotten the directions on the Internet.
After the gift-opening, we had the cake--oh, joy!--chatted and laughed a while, then it was over. Got home about 5:30. Pat still wasn't up to par, and said he hadn't eaten lunch. Since he had skipped breakfast, too, this alarmed me. However, I made him a platter of leftover pork roast, potatoes, and peas, and he did eat all of it. He said he felt better later in the evening.
Even after all the excitement (and work) of the shower, Alison drove the 35 miles down here in order to dig out that dead bush that's been bothering me so long. Boy, for a little size 8, is she strong. She brought three shovels, dug and hacked away, and got the thing out fairly quickly. Y0u have to sever the tap roots, she said, a piece of information I hope never to have to use. After visiting with her Dad for a half hour, and talking with Ellen during her usual Sunday call to us, she left to make dinner for her own hubby.
Oh, forgot to mention: Brother Larry called in the morning. He was driving through El Paso, for heaven's sake, and said he will probably go visit Betty in Santa Barbara next! Some day, I would LOVE to do what he's doing: Explore the country at my leisure and with no deadlines or schedules. Larry said he had suddenly remembered on Saturday that it was his 51st wedding anniversary, so he called Helen and they congratulated each other. (Last year was the big party, of course.) They have a strong marriage, maybe buttressed by the fact that he loves to travel and she doesn't, so they often have a chance to miss each other.
Okay, the food: I had two slices of greasy, cheesy, delectable pizza, loaded with sausage and calories, plus diet soda, then a piece of cake. It was just sublime, that's all there is to it, as I hadn't had anything so decadent for months. But am I okay with it? I am, since that substituted for both lunch and dinner.
* Elaine was my dear friend and neighbor for 41 years when we lived in Ewing. She died of kidney cancer four years ago.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Busy day. Spent part of it continuing to move books from the guest room to the new shelves in the study. Showed Susan after our walk and she oohed and ahed over the change. Said she likes it a well as her own. She and Walter have the same model house--the Voyager--we do and a year or so ago, they had their study done over. However, they paid more than two and a half times what we did. Of course, they're both in real estate and they had all kinds of (expensive) renovations done, including moving the closet, a roll-top section, and lots of individual, time-consuming changes, so that adds up.
Went to Home Depot and got the rest of the door pulls; must call Dennis to attach them. At Staples, I got a device to cover the multitude of wires under the desk (about the only thing I don't like about the change) and looked at thin-line computer monitors. When I get one, Walter said he'd install it for me, nice guy that he is.
Was able to see Alison's article on-line on the Australian Journal of Occupational Therapy. It's called "A Field Test of the Cougar Home Safety Assessment in the Homes of Older Persons Living Alone" and I remember when she and three fellow grad students presented it at school. I'll see A. today at the shower.
Pat brought his crony, John, over after the bay to see the study. Must remember to invite him and his wife over soon.
Right before dinner, old friend Jack B. (St. James, HSHS '50, brother Larry's best friend, practically a member of the family) dropped in with his son, Joe, a very nice guy. They wouldn't stay to eat, but we had a nice visit. Jack and two of his children went to Larry and Helen's 50th anniversary last summer, the only ones "in the family" able to go. Nothing would have kept me away except for what did: I already had my ticket for London and met son Mike and his family in London at the same time as the anniversary party.
Gave Pat spaghetti and meatballs, which we haven't had lately because I won't eat it (incredibly high in calories) and I just had a Lean Cuisine. However, Pat ate only a few forkfuls, then said he didn't feel well. Wasn't sure what was wrong, but I gave him Tylenol and it seemed to help.
Patrick called after dinner and we had a good talk. He's still working very hard, both teaching and on the doctorate. I miss him and wish he could get here one of these days, but it doesn't seem to be in the cards for the foreseeable future.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Happy day--I'm back! The study is almost completely finished and looks great, but for three days, I suffered withdrawal pangs from the Internet and it was EXCRUCIATING! Really, I got up at my usual time and didn't know what to do with myself. Being electronically deprived, I was reduced to turning on the television and that was enough to make me go back to bed and suck my thumb.
Well, no matter, the agony is over. During the last few days, I hung around home a lot, spending time making minor decisions about the work on the study. It's so great that Dennis and Bill are neighbors and friends--we trust them completely and Pat enjoyed having them here. They did a wonderful job, no surprise there. They stayed for lunch on Wednesday, but the other days divided their time between here and another commitment.
Picked up friend Leslie--who happens to be Dennis' wife--on Thursday for Weight Watchers. I was pleased to have a 2.5 loss, making my total to date fifteen pounds off. I now weigh 184.4, so I have a way to go, but that's perfectly okay.
Went to Babies 'R' Us and got presents for Jen's shower tomorrow. They have such adorable things--and such humongous prices (but who's counting?). After some hints from Alison, I got for Baby Boop (they still haven't agreed on a name) a bedding set (sheet, quilt, bumper pad, valance, dust ruffle, and diaper holder) all in a "Sea Life" motif, with stylized fish, crabs, and so on. Couldn't resist adding a matching mobile and picture frame. I then saw little "onesies" with "I'm the little brother" on them and got one in 0-3 months and one in 3-6 months. Got a book called "I'm A Big Brother" for Joely and will give him that along with the shirt I got from the Museum of Natural History in Washington.
Rushed out last night to Michael's and got large woven boxes with covers for the deep shelving in the new study. They look good and I can store a lot of paperwork in them.
Pat's brother, SIL, and niece were going to come for lunch on Monday, but unfortunately, Bill is under the weather, and they had to cancel. Bill has had a heart condition for years and he's had some respiratory involvement recently. They don't go out much and were very disappointed, but I said we'd plan for another day. Will call niece Donna and see if she wants to come herself. (Donna is the daughter of Pat and Bill's late sister, Peg.)
Susan was in Connecticut for two days, but I didn't excuse myself from walking this time. With Mozart on my new portable CD player, I walked to the shopping center and back on Wednesday evening, a total of two miles. Thursday, I took the master on a mile or so walk around the development and yesterday, Susan was back, so we resumed our usual mile and a half. The weather's wonderful--it got up to 90 yesterday (sorry to all you heat-haters, but I like it that way).
So-o-o good to be back on line. After Dennis hooked up the computer yesterday, I immediately read all the entries I had missed by Betty, Pat, and Dee--it was great to be back in the groove!
Breaking news: An article that Alison and two fellow grad students researched and wrote appeared recently in an Australian journal of occupational therapy. More on this later.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

As I assumed, there wasn't much new at the pulmonologist's. I mentioned the research information Fred sent and the doctor said it wouldn't hurt to contact University of Penn to ask about it. As we left the parking lot, I ran over a curb, Pat made a snide remark, we had words, and I've been in a black mood ever since.
It wasn't helped by arriving home at 11:30 to find that the Home Depot people, who had said they'd deliver the study components between 1 and 6, had already come and dumped the parts in the driveway. Luckily, Leslie was home, saw them, and called Dennis. In an hour or so, Dennis and Bill came and moved the stuff into the house and garage.
Susan is visiting her daughter in Connecticut until Friday, so we won't walk together for 3 days. However, since I bought the portable CD player, I'll walk by myself later--don't want to stop doing that.
Alison called on her way home and we had a long talk. I shared a little of my frustrating day with her and--sweet girl--she invited me up for dinner. However, I had already put the chicken in, so declined, but I'll see her Sunday at Jen's shower. I got some ideas from Alison about what they need for the new baby and plan to go to Hamilton Mall today to Babies 'R' Us. Think I'll treat myself to lunch out, too.
Dennis said they'll be here to start the work about 10:00, so it's quite possible my computer will be out of commission for awhile. Hope I can hook it up somewhere else, but if not, sayanora for now.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I enjoyed the awards ceremony at Pinelands Regional (H.S.) last night, but it was a l-o-o-n-n-g evening. About two hundred organizations and individuals donated scholarships; the vice principal (or somebody) announced the donating entities, the name of the presenter, and the winners' names, then the students came up to receive their awards to great applause. I was presenter for the Sunrise Bay Women's Club and the sweet girl who won the $500 scholarship gave me a big hug and "thank you." Barb wrote down her name and I'm going to call the school today to see if I can get her e-mail address. I'd like to contact her to find out where she plans to go to college (or some other form of higher education), her course of study, and so on, so we can inform the members. Unfortunately, neither Barb nor I can attend the meeting this Sunday (B. and Ray are going to NYC and I'm going to Jen's shower), so I'll give the info to co-president Susan to announce. It was after 8:00 when the ceremony was over, and we decided not to stay for refreshments. Got home in time to catch the last part of "The Roloffs," but missed Zach's operation. That's okay, as I know they'll re-run it several times, so will see it later.
On a nutritional note: I skipped dinner, thinking we'd eat something after the awards ceremony, but neither Barb nor I were anxious to stay, so just had my usual wine, popcorn, and two FF Popsicles when I got home. I had had half an acorn squash and some broccoli about four o'clock. It's not the Weight Watchers way, but it sure ain't the worse kind of cheating, either.
Earlier, I finished clearing out the side of the study where the built-ins are going, except for the furniture (two high bookcases, the desk, and a small table), and the computer, fax, and printer.
It continued to rain like a bitch for several hours, but stopped in the afternoon. Went to Home Depot and got several gardening items, including rose food for the beautiful miniature roses Ellen sent for last Mothers' Day. Unfortunately, although they're in bloom, the roses have "black spot," and I got a spray for that. After the torrential rains, I thought that dead Scotch Broom bush would be easy to get out, so tried, and couldn't budge it. I'm going to have to hire somebody or ask Alison and Mike.
This morning, I take Pat to the pulmonologist. I don't expect anything to change in treatment. Depressingly, his disease is described as "end stage," meaning there's nothing else to try. Marge's husband, Fred, send me an article on experimental treatments for emphysema which I'll show the doctor. However, it seems unlikely that first, she doesn't already know about them and second, that Pat would be a candidate, considering he already had Lung Volume Reduction Surgery 8 years ago. Having had a third of his lungs removed, he probably doesn't have enough lung tissue left to allow for further invasive or semi-invasive procedures.
Tomorrow, I'm going to AGA, the gastrointestinal group where I had my colonoscopy last year. I saw an ad in the paper for people who take minimal doses of aspirin and are over 65 to be research subjects for a new combined aspirin/acid reflux pill. I thought it looked interesting and might participate after I find out more about it--notably, what's in it for me. More about this tomorrow.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The high point of the day was hearing fellow blogger and HSHS grad, Pat McH. R. on Virginia public radio. She said hello to Dee, Betty, and me, and even mentioned Betty's new grandbaby. Pat has what used to be called a "melodious" voice--very smooth, well-modulated, and enjoyable to hear. She volunteers for this "readers' radio." She and her partner (no, not that kind of partner) read newspaper articles and chat, performing a valuable service for the vision-impaired.
Other than that, I did little yesterday except transfer all the books in the two bookcases to the guest room and catch up on household chores. We had heavy rain in the afternoon, a perfect excuse to loaf, and I did, actually watching television for several hours. The TLC channel was having a "Brookhaven Marathon," meaning past episodes running all day. Brookhaven is a facility in Brooklyn that includes a section for the morbidly obese. They have 75 beds, which are usually filled and the show follows the progress--or lack thereof--of several of them in their sad journey to lose enormous amounts of weight. I was fascinated by the people portrayed and their seeming inability to keep from committing slow suicide by mouth. There but for the grace...yeah.
I'm getting a little panicky about clearing out the rest of the study. Dennis had asked if I need help with it and I'll certainly ask him to move the bookshelves and desk, but I think I can do the rest.
Talked to other darling daughter, Ellen. She has two more weeks of teaching school, but will take two courses herself this summer. El said she went to an outdoor graduation party (from Cal State Northridge) for one of the aides at school. It was an authentic Latino celebration, which included Mexican music, food, and "strawberry water." This sounds divine; it's a drink made of crushed strawberries with just enough water to make it liquid. Ellen said you could smell the strawberries as soon as you got near the area.
This evening, Barb H. and I will go to Pinelands Regional High to the awards reception to present the Women's Club scholarship to a student. It'll be fun to meet the young woman (we specified a female) whose education we'll be helping to further.
Note: I'm not sure when--or if--I'll have to disconnect the computer, so be aware, all you multitude of avid readers, this blog may be out of commission for some period until the study is finished. I'm just not sure at this point when or for how long.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

I thought I'd spend the day moving the books, pictures, artifacts, and so on out of the study in preparation for the built-in components, so got started early on that. However, Alison called about 10:00 to ask if I'd like to go to Lake Absegami with her and her other "grandchildren,"* Lindsay, 4, and Lucas, almost 3. (Lucas is 2 weeks younger than Vivian).
Alison and Mike were baby-sitting for the weekend while the parents went to a wedding out of town. Mike attends a botany course at Stockton College on Saturdays, so couldn't be there. I was sorry to hear that Joely wouldn't be, either, as he was spending the day with his cousin, Gabe, but I was happy to be invited. Naturally, I agreed in a heartbeat and A. told me to pack a lunch and they'd be down to get me. I would have met them there (it's about 5 miles from me), but I have a senior citizen pass (for a car), so she picked me up. That was good, as it saved her the $10 parking fee.
The lake was wonderful. It's beautiful to begin with--clear cedar water surrounded by big pine and cedar trees, in the middle of Bass River State Forest. It was a hot day, but we sat under the shade of a tree and the kids--and Alison and I--had a ball. It wasn't as crowded as it sometimes gets and the life guards don't have the annoying habit--as they seem to on Absecon Island--of blasting their whistles every three minutes. We had packed lunches--chicken breast on WW bread and a salad for me, with diet lemonade in the thermos--and ate first, then headed for the water. It was so refreshing and such fun to splash around with the two little tow-heads. I left Alison in the shallows with them long enough to go out deeper to swim and go completely under water.
We stayed until almost 4:00, then A. drove me home. Darned if I hadn't forgotten to bring my key, and Pat was still at the bay. I stopped at Leslie's, thinking I had given her a key years ago, but she couldn't find it and I may not have. Drove to the bay, but Pat must have gone home the other way, because we missed him! Home again, he was there, so we said goodbye, the kids both sound asleep in car seats. I jumped in the shower, made dinner (pork chop for Pat, salmon for me), then relaxed for the rest of the evening.
As an old Ventnorite, I probably shouldn't confess it, but I like lakes and pools better than the ocean--to go into, anyway (you can't beat the Atlantic for looking at, especially after a storm). There are no waves, crabs, or shells, and you can actually swim in the placid water. I'm a wimp, I guess.
*Lindsay and Lucas are Alison's husband, Mike's, biological grandchildren; he has two sons by his first marriage. Alison regards them, and treats them, exactly the same as she does Joely, her bio grandchild and they fell easily into calling me "Mimi," as Joely does.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

I had no sooner typed my note on yesterday's entry when Marge called to see if I was interested in lunch. Oh, yes, indeedy--am I not always interested in lunch? We went to Calloway's and I had--well, I'll spell it out and let you guess: C-a-e-s-a-r S-a-l-a-d. (Talk about being in a rut.) I got the lowdown on the Drama Club performances and, of course, enjoyed it muchly. Marge hadn't been feeling well lately and I was glad to see she's perked up.
After we parted, I went to Radio Shack and bought myself a "walking" CD player with ear phones. Want to add some walk sessions to my regular morning one with Susan. Later, stopped at the bay to say hello to Pat and his friends.
Dennis called to say the components for the new built-ins in the study were confirmed as coming in on the fifth. Yoicks! Now I have to get everything out of that side of the room, not a simple task.
Was delighted to get a call from precious Vivian in the evening. She sounded so adorable when she said, "Thank you for the shirt, Nana" and sang "On Top of Spaghetti." She also excitedly told me "I swept (slept) in the big bed!" Not sure if that meant her parents' bed or what. They were at the Hyatt and today, they move into the service apartment for a month; after that, they'll finally be able to settle down into the other permanent place.
All in all, a very nice day.
Note: This is the 57th anniversary of my father's death.
Further Note: This is my 500th post. (Geez, do I ever shut up?)

Friday, June 01, 2007

Lunch with Lynne was such fun! We hadn't seen each other for several years, but keep in touch via the Internet. The drive to Newark, Delaware, took about two hours (maybe slightly less, as I stopped for gas) and was pretty easy--little traffic and straightforward. I was pleased we met at Applebee's because I was able to get a WW meal; had teriyaki shrimp, which was scrumptious.
Lynne and I talked and talked about our families, our recent doings, her part-time job (she does accounting for a medical practice), my non-job and happy I don't have one, and the state of the universe in general. We resolved to "meet in the middle" (it took her about the same amount of time to get there) more often as we don't see enough of each other. We parted about 2:30 and I drove home, this time following Mapquest's suggestion of Route 40 East which admittedly takes longer, but is a pleasant drive through farmland and small towns.
Arrived home in time to make dinner. Pat had gone down the bay, of course, and said the weather was perfect there. Got an e-mail from Mike telling about their new digs. They won't move in until the end of the month because of the extensive renovations they're having done, including having the master bath completely gutted and expanded to twice its size, the other bathrooms done over, new ceilings, paint throughout, additional electrical wiring, and the relocation of some AC units. They're also having screens made for the windows and sliding doors. Mike said screens are rare in Singapore--("they prefer to just let the Dengue Fever mosquitoes fly in...")--but they insisted.
In the meantime, after four days in a family suite at the Grand Hyatt, they'll be in a "service apartment." Mike said the movers were at their old place for three days and packed 369 boxes! They're also hand-carrying another 20. Mike will be in India the week after next and Paula will be "somewhere" as well.
Skipped Weight Watchers yesterday, so will go this morning at 9:00. I really don't feel I've lost any, but that's all right. I've been prudent and I'm in this for the long haul. Will come back to the blog and post my loss, gain, or the status quo.
Later: Lost .2--that's point two, not two pounds--and am perfectly okay with that. It brings me to 187, with 12.6 off. Now I'm going to go eat breakfast.