Thursday, July 31, 2008

Must get to Santori's to get supplies for my company--daughter Ellen tomorrow, son and wife on Monday. I promised to bring a big green salad for great-grandson's first birthday party on Saturday, so must get plenty.
I've been evolving a new eating pattern lately--not new types of food; I still eat mainly whole, fresh, and vegetable--but I eat somewhat differently. For instance, I went to lunch at Dockside yesterday with Susan and her visiting cousin. Had my usual C. with c., ate half, and took the rest home. Got in about 2:00, did a lot of housework, then from about 4:00 to 6:00 ate the rest of the salad, followed by half a butternut squash, and a bowl of yogurt with blueberries. Gave Pat scrapple and eggs for dinner and I ate tuna fish, a small salad I had in the refrig, plus a slice of cantaloupe. At 8:00, of course, I enjoyed my usual.
This may not be an entirely "balanced" diet, but it works for me. I continue to maintain my weight loss and continue to have plenty of energy and general feelings of well-being. I am concerned with getting enough protein, but guess I do: I often add hard-boiled eggs to my salads, and almost alway kidney beans, too.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Still delighting in my new microwave. It's actually much quieter than the old one and I can see the food better through the glass door. Guess there were some improvements in almost five years.
Went to a "designer showhouse" in Margate with friends yesterday. We toured the house (on Rumson Avenue, and it was elegant), then to lunch at the Greenhouse next to Lucy the Elephant. We sat on the deck and I had Caesar Salad with chicken (what else?) and a Miller Lite beer. My three friends all had "hamburger melts." They looked and smelled wonderful, but are loaded with fat and calories, so I was content--and just the slightest bit smug--with my salad.
Got home about 2:00 and went out for veggies and fruit. About 4:00, I enjoyed a big bowl of broccoli and half an avocado, so by dinnertime, I was full. I gave Pat a pork chop and just had cantaloupe and blueberries myself. In addition, I was finally able to harvest the first two of my tomatoes. Great satisfaction to pick your own, of course, but I was a little disappointed in them: good, home-grown taste, but the texture was a little too firm. Maybe I should have left them a few more days?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Yay, I now have a microwave! Had my good ol' popcorn with my wine last night. However, I not going to use the "popcorn" button, as it left too many kernels unpopped. Will go back to putting it in for 2 minutes, 45 seconds. Was able to cook my butternut squash, too. I actually don't know how without the microwave. I just pierce it (very important; otherwise it can burst) and put it in for five minutes to soften, then split it in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, turn upside down on a plate, and microwave for another five minutes or so. I do acorn squash the same way.
It's trite to mention, I know, but it's amazing how quickly and thoroughly we get to rely on conveniences. After all, when I was married, microwaves for everyday use didn't exist. For that matter, I didn't have a plug-in coffee maker at the time. I used an old-fashioned coffeepot with a strainer. After the water came to a boil, I had to lower the heat as much as possible so it would "perk," but wouldn't boil over. I could never get it low enough, so I'd balance the damn thing halfway off the grate over the fire ring. Wasn't very efficient and frankly, coffee with my Krupps coffeemaker tastes a lot better.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Having given up on expecting Mike, the gardener, to get back to me for an estimate, I pulled up my own weeds yesterday. Geesh, had I neglected them. Took me several hours and I'm not quite finished yet. I did the front flower beds and most of the back veggie garden. I know it was good exercise because my upper legs are stiff and a little sore.
Stopped at Tucker Tom's to get more blueberries, tomatoes (soon I'll harvest my own!), and broccoli, then at Acme for lettuce and cauliflower. I had gotten perfectly ripe and delicious avocados at BJ's; enjoyed half of one with fresh lime juice sprinkled on it, plus salt and pepper. I just eat it out of the shell with a spoon. Yum!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

It's raining for the first time in what seems like months. Wouldn't you know, I just put down my drip hose yesterday to water the veggies out back. Oh, well, guess they can use all the water they can get.
Stopped for Susan at 7:00 (naturally, carrying my umbrella), but her visiting daughter and granddaughter were up and she decided not to go. After chatting for a few minutes, I set off alone. By the time I had walked up the next street, the rain was coming down more heavily and the wind was blowing. My capris and blouse were getting wet, so I cut it short. Got only about half a mile in, but no matter. My attitude toward daily exercise is the same as toward daily eating: As long as I'm consistent for the most part--say, 90 percent of the time--in following a mostly vegetarian diet and walking our usual mile and a half, I'm not concerned with the occasional dietary indulgence or truncated exercise.
(Who said, "Consistancey, thou are a jewel."? But then there's "Consistancy is the hobgoblin of little minds." Can't remember who said that either, but as with many adages, they contradict. For health and fitness, though, you gotta go with the first.)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I've been without a working microwave for days now, and it's annoying as hell. The fact that I have to use pots and pans and cook on the stove is disconcerting. Even worse is that I have to wash them.
Bought acorn and butternut squashes, then realized I don't know how to cook them without the microwave! Woe is me!
Howsomever...I guess it's not quite as bad as hanging by my thumbs for 24 hours. Anyway, went to Home Depot today and I bought a new microwave. It should be installed on Sunday. Can't wait to get back to zapping my veggies and other stuff in the same dish I serve it in!
Just read Half-Assed, the bio/journal of a young woman who lost 272 pounds. Love to read these books. She has a blog, too, called "pasta queen" or something, which I looked into; even left a comment.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cooked up some vegetable goodies yesterday. For one, my zucchini casserole: slice four zucchini (scrubbed, but not pared) and a medium onion (mine happened to be red), and add chunks of two good-sized tomatoes. Mix with some Italian seasoning and bake in microwave until tender. My microwave's on the blink, so I baked in the oven for about 45 minutes. As long as the oven was on, I added five or six yams that I had pared and cut into large pieces; covered both pans with foil. Now I have some good lunch material in the refrig.
Also made a big salad. Ate half for lunch and have the other for today.
One of the few negatives about eating so many plant foods is that I have to replenish my supply often. I do have the above, plus a nice amount of broccoli in the refrig. Also keep for emergencies several bags of spinach in the freezer. I use canned kidney beans and beets (unless I roast fresh ones--see earlier entry).

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The other half of my weight loss/fitness saga: exercise. I joined an outdoor club and participate in hikes, mostly through the pine barrens that cover a lot of southern Jersey. I've gone on 5, 6, 7, and 10 miles hikes, all of which have been wonderfully invigorating and interesting. Our hikes tend to vary according to the terrain--sometimes on blacktop, mostly on trails, often over bridges and through swampy areas. Flora is sometimes pointed out and identified by the leaders, as they're often very knowledgeable about the forest.
Mind you, I don't recommend hiking or other outdoor activities as the be-all and end-all of exercise. It's essential to follow a consistant, daily routine. Every morning at 7:00, I stop for my friend and neighbor, Susan, and we follow a mile and a half loop around our community. We don't stroll--we walk briskly enough to make some effort--but we're able to continue chatting as we do. Mind you, we expect to go every day. Once in a while, one of us will be unable to go or to complete the whole circuit because we have an early appointment or are out of town. That's okay, as long as it's only an occasional gap, and it always is. Otherwise, it's just an ordinary part of our day--winter, summer, rain, or shine, we walk.
Aside from that, I never, never watch television during the day. I'm much more tempted by the computer and try to sit here only in the morning and maybe, before dinner's ready.
Gotta go; it's 7 am and time to walk.
Later: Got weighed (at Weight Watchers) and was surprised to find I've lost another 1.8. That means I weigh 127.8 and am down 71.8 pounds. I was sick (I'm being treated for Lyme Disease and am still on antibiotics) last week and couldn't eat for 2 1/2 days. That could be it, but now I'm going to decide if I want to lose more, if so, how much, and/or how to maintain without gaining.
Still Later: Drove to Egg Harbor to participate in a two-mile "Peace Pilgrim" walk. Enjoyed it greatly and was pleased that about 100 people walked.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I'm 71 years old, five foot three, and recently lost 70 pounds. When people hear this, they almost invariably react with amazement. They ask, "How did you do it?" as if there's some secret or trick to losing weight.
There isn't. It's very, very simple: If you expend more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. If the reverse, you'll gain. If one equals the other, you'll stay the same.
Most people "know" this, yet they twist and turn and tiptoe around those simple facts. They want to believe there's some easier way to lose.
There isn't.
Now, you can certainly lose weight on unhealthy diets that will eventually kill you, such as ingesting only lettuce and cucumbers. Or Twinkies and Pepsi. Or rice and hard-boiled eggs. But for the long haul, you need vegetables and protein with vitamins and minerals and stuff.
However, you don't need a lot of processed foods. Whole foods are better for you in a variety of ways. A vegetarian diet, properly structured, is probably the healthiest for humans, although not for dogs.
A number of people have asked me what I eat. Here it is, very simply:
For breakfast, I have two pieces of whole wheat toast, heaped with (about) a cup of cottage cheese; three cups of coffee; a small glass of orange/mango juice.
For lunch, I have vegetables. I might have cauliflower (and I usually eat the whole head, not a prissy little piece of it); and/or broccoli (lots of it); and/or Brussels sprouts; and/or a sweet potato and/or some kind of squash (butternut, acorn, zucchini). Instead of some of the cooked vegetables, I might have a big salad. I use green- or red-leaf lettuce (never iceberg), tomatoes, beets, kidney beans (for protein), onions, and feta cheese. Lunch varies a lot and could also include spinach (the only veggie I buy frozen) or, depending on the season, some other vegetable. Occasionally, I put a hard-boiled egg in the salad, too. I use a no-calorie dressing that you get in the produce section.
Dinner varies a lot. I often have vegetables alone, or I might have a Boca burger or a piece of salmon or some shrimp. I rarely eat meat, but if I do, I'll have a very small amount of whatever I give my husband. If say, he has beef tips in gravy, I'll give myself maybe a scant ounce. Beef and other red meat really aren't good for people unless they perform very strenuous exercise throughout the day; I'm not even convinced chicken and turkey are, in particular. I realize I need protein and try to get it through the veggie route, e.g. from beans.)
At 8:00 pm, I have my daily treat: a glass of red wine and a big bowl of popcorn. I put buttery spray on the popcorn, and often follow that with fat-free, sugar-free Popsicles. Incidentally, I don't watch television until 8:00. After I clean up from dinner, I play on the computer, put in a load of wash, take a drive, and/or take my shower. Television not only rots the mind, it contributes mightily to obesity.
Do I ever deviate from the above? Of course. In fact, today, I went with my friend to The Lizzie Rose, a beautiful, over-priced restaurant in Tuckerton. Had a tomato and mozzarella salad on a bed of baby greens, dressed with some kind of oil-based vinaigrette, and I ate every morsel. I have no concern at all that I had more calories than usual--I know it will balance out, because I'm now right back on my modest regime. Usually, when I go out for lunch, I order a Caesar salad with chicken or shrimp and invariably take half home to eat for dinner. No problem.
Now I'm tired of writing. Don't want to get back into the daily blog routine. More in a few days, probably.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee--
One clover and a bee,
And revery,
The revery alone will do
If bees are few.

Yes, I've decided to make this a recipe/food/nutrition/fitness blog, the first recipe being Emily's exquisite one above.
Here's another, for cooking fresh beets:
Wash thoroughly and trim, cutting off roots, but leaving about one inch of "stalk" on. Make pouch of foil and drizzle with a little oil (optional). Roast at 400 deg. for about an hour, or until to desired softness. Cool slightly, then slip off skin and remove rest of stalk. Slice or cut into chunks.
When still warm, these have a wonderful, very subtle difference from canned beets, not as much after cooling, but they're still good. I use few sauces, but for a variation, a little vinegar splashed over them is good.
(Note: When you next perform your bodily functions, don't be misled into believing you have a kidney problem. Remember the beets.)

Monday, July 14, 2008

I've been thinking about this blog and have decided to end it in its present form.
I started it almost three years ago as a general "diary," then switched to a weight loss/food blog, changing the name to "My Weight And Welcome To It." After a time, I reverted back. I might resume it to concentrate on health, fitness, and nutrition; not sure.
Since my few horribly bad days with Lyme Disease (only last week), it occurred to me that I want to slightly re-shape my daily schedule. I want to stay up somewhat later and get up later. I've been springing up around 5:00 everyday (then conking out before 9:00) and that gave me two hours before my walk with Susan. I had plenty of time to check my e-mail, make an entry in the blog (and they got longer and longer, and more and more detailed), and read a lot of the NYTimes on-line.
The blog began to seem more and more like an obligation. It's true that I sometimes re-read earlier entries and enjoy--but also find creepy--the sensation that I'm reading about somebody else's life, but it takes a lot of time and some effort. Also, being more introverted than might be evident here, I've had a life-long tendency to "hide" in books and the land of the mind. I want to live more and contemplate less.
Now here's a weird--but major--blog-dropping reason: I've gotten to the point of, in a way, "watching" myself do things and in my head, laying things out in prose for entry in the blog. This has become automatic and it's disconcerting. It's something like being an avid photographer, which I am. The problem with that is, when you're "recording" something in either form, you become oddly removed from the experience--at least, that's true in my case. When lines to describe it are forming into my brain, I'm not participating fully in an activity. Only later, when I look at the pictures (in photos or prose), do I seem to fully "be there." That's a sloppy explanation, but the best I can do.
Anyway, I'm stopping now. I may resume--tomorrow, next week, in 2012--with some other configuration, probably on the topics mentioned above.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

We're coming out of the lousy land of the ill, thank heavens. Pat has recovered from his episode and I feel much, much better. I actually intend to stop for Susan in 20 minutes and try for our walk. I'm not supposed to expose myself to "prolonged or excessive sunlight," but I'm sure that doesn't mean any sunlight at all, so will do it.
Talked to Ellen again, enjoying her continuing saga as she redoes her kitchen. The appliances look great--stainless steel with black trim--and she has partly finished cleaning and sanding the cabinets (which she removed and will paint in the garage).
Continued to pamper myself yesterday. Was able to wash and fold four big loads of wash (thank heavens or we would have been running around naked), changed our bed, and cleaned the bathroom floor, but not much else. Took a short nap while Pat was at the bay, but now I'm sick of being sick and want to get back to normal.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

No end to excitement, and we could do without some of it. Alison stopped before work, then after, at 12:30. I felt quite a bit better and even took a shower while A. changed my bed. Leslie stopped in and we had a nice chat. Alison was planning to leave about 6:00 to meet Mike an hour later at the park for their Friday night hike. She watered my veggies, pulled some weeds, swept the hall, and cleaned up the kitchen. She then went to the store, got a rotisserie chicken and other supplies, made dinner, and we called Pat in.
He kept stalling and we finally went in to get him. Found him sweating profusely, confused, and unable to get up. We immediately gave him orange juice and other sweets, but Alison also wanted to test his sugar. She's done it before, but because she couldn't get the infernal machine to register--it seems all these damn things are different--decided to ask Barb H., an R.N. to come over and try. Barb couldn't get it to work either. She took his blood pressure (Alison has a cuff in her car), which was okay, but none of us liked his continuing confusion, pallor, and sweating. We saw that his sugar had been 44 when he took it last--dangerously low. Later, he said he couldn't remember if he actually took the insulin then or not.
We finally reluctantly decided he should go to the hospital. Alison thought we should call the rescue squad, rather than try to transport him ourselves, so we did. When they came, Pat seemed a lot better--answered their questions, was coherent and had stopped sweating, although he was already drenched. They asked if we thought he should go and we just weren't sure. Finally decided he should, especially as he had an irregular pulse, as both Barb and the EMT noted.
They took him, then Alison and I ran around getting things--completely forgetting about his portable oxygen units until we were halfway there. We decided they'd probably keep him overnight, so didn't turn back.
Well, they didn't him, as he had recovered from the immediate crises. We asked if we could borrow the oxygen apparatus, they said no, but that they could have an ambulance drive him home. However, as this wasn't medically necessary, we discovered Medicare wouldn't pay. That meant that AARP almost surely wouldn't, either, and I was damned if I take on another fight with an insurance company, especially one doomed to fail--or pay the thousands they would surely charge. Had to leave Pat there while Alison took me home, as I was exhausted. Got there about quarter of 11:00 and, after loading up her car with the tanks and Pat's sweater, she drove back to get him. I had a bite to eat--I've been eating very little--then went to bed, but woke up when they got home 12:30. A. decided it was too late for her to get home, so slept over and I'll wake her in ten minutes, at 7:00. Hope she gets more sleep when she gets home.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I have Lyme Disease. Got to the doctor in the morning and she put me on antibiotics. Felt absolutely terrible yesterday, sleeping most of time. Dear Alison came over right after work and stayed until 7:00. She said she'd run home to get a change of clothes, then come back, but I insisted that wasn't necessary. She came over before work this morning to set up Pat's breakfast things, etc., and will be back after she gets off, by 12:30. I feel better today, but far from good.
Got the wonderful news of our new granddaughter, sweet Violet, while I was in the doctor's office; later, pictures. Love the name and she looks just like big sissy, Vivian, did. She's robust at 8.6 ounces and 22 inches. Betty laughed when she heard that; her little granddaugher, Claire, was 18 inches long at birth!
Must go; still tired, but marginally less so. Want to order violets to be sent to Paula in the hospital.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Still horribly sick. Will call doctor; hope to get in today.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

It was fun at the Blueberry and Cranberry Culture outing yesterday--but no fun at all later. Barb drove and we got to Wells Mills Park early. The van was filled, which is the usual during these events. Went to the Rutgers extension facility in Brendan Byrne State Forest and saw a slide show/lecture by a botany geneticist. I never knew there were so many different kinds of blueberries. We were then taken out to the field where we could sample the berries right off the bush; I must have eaten a pint. After, we went to Pakim Pond for lunch (we all brought our own), then to Whitesbog, where we were able to pick lots of berries to take home.
It was great fun and we enjoyed it all. However, when we were going home about 3:30, I started to feel less and less well. Unusual for me, I had a headache; even more unusual, I was very tired. I fell asleep on the couch before dinner; after, I did the same. When Alison called, she suggested it may have been the heat and sun, which were very intense, and we were outside a lot of the time. Not sure about that, but I woke up in the middle of the night shivering violently. I was so cold, I put on flannel pajamas, socks, and a sweater, then laid a blanket over the bedclothes. Fell asleep again, but woke a few house later, sweating heavily.
I slept until 9:00 o'clock--must go over to explain to Susan why I didn't make our walk this morning--took some Tylenol and feel marginally better, but far from perfect. Good thing I don't have anything scheduled for today; I'm going to lay low and try to recover.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Enjoyed a full, fun day in Ventnor and elsewhere. Stopped at Charley and Mary P.'s to express condolences for the loss of their daughter before arriving at 15 South at Noon. Dee insisted on having lunch there instead of going out. Okay, sure, said I, and she served up a salad and fried chicken cutlets--.
FRIED! I haven't had anything fried for about a year! Did I eat it? Sure did. Just barely choke it down? Ho, ho, I had to be restrained from dumping the whole platter on my plate. It tasted wonderful. A friend of Dee's from her other home was there, too, as well as Scarlett from upstairs, and her 9-year-old, Dillon, a very handsome, bright, and nice kid.
It still seems eerie to be chatting in the place I grew up in, all those many moons ago, but it was a good visit. I had brought copies for Dee of 10 or 12 pictures taken at the house from the forties and she and Scarlett exclaimed over them, comparing notes on what was the same and what different. The highlight for me, though, was when Dee presented me with the note she had found behind a cabinet when the downstairs kitchen was renovated. It's dated January 13, 1946, and was written by my father. What a treasure! More about that in a later entry.
I stayed until about 2:30, then went off after assuring Dee and Scarlett we'd meet again--I'll invite them to our place for lunch shortly. On impulse, I stopped at St. James to see if the pictures I had archived had been found. I was pleased to see several (in the frames I had selected and bought) leaning against a wall near Sister Joan's office; found the file box with the rest of them on a shelf. Nobody was around, so I left a note for Ann, the secretary, and will call her today or tomorrow.
The H.'s house is across the street from the church on Newport Avenue and I decided to stop in and say hello. I heard voices on the porch and, to my amazement, found Betty's daughter, Carolyn, and family! Long story as to why they were there (the H's are traveling), but of course, was delighted to see them. Stayed a half hour or so, then went on my way. (C., D., and kids fly home to California today.)
Naturally, I called Betty as soon as I got home to tell her about seeing her D.D. and family. Made a quick dinner for Pat of soup and sandwiches--considering my billion-calorie lunch, I simply had a pint of blueberries for dinner. Then drove to Manahawkin to duplicate Dad's letter for my sibs; also exchanged the black Capris for navy Bermudas.
Was pleased to hear from Alison that her first day in the Little Egg school district went very well.
Must get ready to meet Barb H. Today, we're going to the "Blueberry and Cranberry Culture Van Tour" sponsored by the Ocean County Parks Commission.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Finally got to Kohl's and picked up the dark-colored pants I've been wanting: denim Capris and black Bermudas. Now I'm not so sure I like the Bermudas. My everyday arguments with the clothing manufacturers include the idiotic "hip-hugger" style. I want my waist defined, not passed over! And wouldn't you know, the Bermudas hug the hip--grr!
Saw and spoke to Ellen briefly on the web cam. She was on the phone with the appliance company, asking them to install an ice-maker in her new refrigerator. She showed me her kitchen cabinets, which she painted with primer after taking the doors off; she'll do those separately. As for me, I'm meeting Dee, the owner of our ancestral home on Rosborough Avenue, today for lunch.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Just got up at 6:15. That's practically sleeping 'til noon for me; must have needed it.
Nothing much went on yesterday. Got a lot of paperwork cleared up and did laundry. Chatted with Frank next door and visiting daughter, Margaret. Toyed with the idea of going to the pool, but didn't feel like putting on my suit. Sat and read while Pat was at the bay. He said quite a few people were down there, including Charlie, Old George, and others who were at our party. Gave him ham and leftovers for dinner.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

It started to rain as soon as the parade got under way, but just a drizzle. There were about fifteen in our group, and I was pleased that two were children. We carried banners reading "Peace Is Patriotic"* and "Peace Pilgrim" (for info on this, go to to The Unitarians were with us, too, carrying their own banner.
The route was about a mile and a half long and there were thousands of spectators. We handed out little flags and were received courteously. It was gratifying that, every once in a while, on-lookers would burst into applause; one man gave us the raised fist salute. I was particularly struck by two middle-aged women in beach chairs who clapped, waved, and shouted to show their support.
I had been told there was a van to get back to our starting point, but I had skipped Susan's and my walk, so wanted to get that in. (Actually, I overshot a turning point and probably walked two miles back to my car.) Stopped in to see Pat's niece, dear Donna, who lives in Smithville. She gave me a cup of tea and we had a nice chat.
Rest of day was ordinary. We didn't have Fourth of July plans, so I decided to give Pat an old-fashioned Fourth dinner. Went to Acme for supplies and served up hamburgers, baked beans, corn on the cob, devilled eggs, and fruit salad, all of which he enjoyed. I had a new-fashioned Fourth meal: asparagus, avocado, and chicken burger.
Talked to Betty. She said she had called "your daughter" to ask if she could go there if she's evacuated (forest fires above Santa Barbara). I thought it was odd she'd think of traveling back to Jersey, but then realized she meant other D.D., Ellen, in Ventura.
I plan to go to Weight Watchers this morning, as I haven't been for three weeks. I believe I've gained a bit, but am okay with it if I did; will record the new weight here.
Later: Holy smokes! Lost another .8 for a total of SEVENTY pounds off. Am in the twenties, too--just barely, at 129.6, but that's okay. Considering the partying and so on I've been enjoying lately, I'm surprised and pleased.
* I was, and am, conflicted about the wording on the banner. I question whether peace is "patriotic," and especially that "patriotism" is assumed to be a positive force. Maybe so if it remains a simple appreciation for what's dear and familiar, but too often, it seems to me, "patriotism" balloons into nationalism. And that, of course, has been the source of all wars from the beginning of time.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Splash! Had great fun at the pool with Joely and Tristan. They got here (with Mommy Jen and Aunt Christine) before noon, I packed the lunch I had made, and we walked to the clubhouse. We all plunged in immediately, Joely with his boogie board, and enjoyed the sparkling water. When we got hungry, I distributed the ham and cheese sandwiches, veggie chips, fruit salad, and soda (I had brought a big salad and broccoli for myself). Spent about two hours there, then walked home.
Our friends and next-door neighbors, the D.'s, were outside with their daughter and grand, 2-year-old Harper, who are here until Saturday from North Carolina. Of course, I exclaimed over Harper and they over the boys.
Pat had decided to skip the bay, so we got out the toys (I keep a big stash in the guest room closet), chatted, and watched Tristan as he tore through everything he could get his hands (and mouth) on.
As Alison had told me, Christine is pregnant. Whether her boyfriend will see her through is questionable, but she seems pretty casual about it. She's having morning sickness now, but I assured her that would pass.
The New Egypt entourage left about 3:30 and the rest of the day was quiet. Called Susan to tell her I won't walk this morning, as I'm going to march in the Galloway 4th of July parade. The Coalition for Peace and Justice will have a banner reading "Peace Is Patriotic" and that's where I'll be.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Took Pat to the dermatologist, then home for lunch, then to Lab Corps. Finally, at long last, we got that done. BTW, the skin cancer thing is on-going and "Chuck," the physician's assistant (we like him better than many of the doctors we know), took biopsies from three spots.
Nothin' much else went on. Got the good news from Ellen that she bought her plane tickets and will come in on August 1 and stay until the 7th. Wish it were longer, but won't dwell on that. Can't wait to see her in the flesh!
Heard from Alison, always a bright spot in the day. She starts at Little Egg school district on Monday--has been working with Bayada Visiting Nurses (?) for several days.
Looking forward to the precious little boys coming today. Will pack lunch for all of us when I come back from walking.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Took some donations to the thrift store, including four of Aunt Claire's elegant suits, then stopped at Tucker Tom's for tomatoes (love that alliteration!). Old George was invited to come at 5:30, but showed up at 4:45 while I was on the phone with Betty.
This guy, who turned 83 on Monday, is such an satisfying guest. As I think single men often do, he usually eats the most basic--and blah--foods: frozen dinners, cheese sandwiches, things out of a box or a bag, all processed to a fare-thee-well. Well, he fell on the barbecued ribs, baked potatoes, zucchini casserole, string beans, and fresh fruit salad, the ingredients for all of which I had in the house. George enjoyed several servings of each, then a big wedge of cake (our anniversary cake, refrigerated since the party), and expressed great appreciation. He left about 7:15 with warm thanks and a container I made up for him of the fruit salad (cantaloupe, grapes, and blueberries).
Was finally able to reach Ellen and see her new furniture. It's beautiful--a huge armoire, and a love seat and sofa in a striking red, along with a new chair. Her colleague, Joanne (same last name!) was there and had gone to the pool with her. Ellen has also seen quite a bit of her neighbor, Linda, who's a prosecutor, for heaven's sake. El will get her plane tickets today--she wants to arrive about July 31 and leave August 6. Would love to have her stay longer, but she has to prepare for the new school year and has a lot to do at her new place.
Made a date for lunch on Monday with Dee (Rosborough Avenue) and will bring her dups of the pictures I found from when we lived there. Will take Pat to the dermatologist today, then for his "renal inefficiency" test, for which he doesn't have to fast.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Being a virtuous little housewife, I performed a multitude of domestic chores yesterday, too mundane to list. Visited Lab Corps to finally straighten out the prescription confusion (V.A. faxxed it twice, illegibly both times, which generated four calls by me, plus two visits to Lab Corp, plus much gnashing of teeth, screams, and cries etc., etc., etc.).
Called Betty about noon and was surprised to hear she was at LAX waiting for a shuttle home. I had thought she was leaving today; I miss her already. We re-hashed the party and various sisterly topics, then said goodbye.
Was pleased to get a call from Jen to ask if she, her sister, and the two little boys could come down on Thursday to go to the pool. Great, I replied, and I'll pack a lunch to eat there.
After leaving Pat dinner, I drove to Brendan Byrne Park to go on an evening hike. Got there by the start time of 5:30 and found only the leader, Faye. Nobody else showed up, so we set off and geesh, was it hot! Also, there were whole battalions of black flies trying to make us their evening meal--unsuccessfully, as we were awash in bug spray. Oddly, these little discomforts made me feel good--as if I had braved enormous adversity to triumph over nature. (Talk about pathetic!)
Anyway, Faye and I completed 6 miles at a much brisker pace than is usual with larger groups. I was proud I was able to keep up with her.
During the hike, Ellen called. She had showed Pat her new furniture on the web cam and I'll see it today--can't wait! She said she'd buy her ticket for August, when she'll come during Patrick and Natsue's visit--doubly can't wait!
After my shower and before w. and p., I talked to Alison, who complained that the editor at Advance, the OT magazine where her article will appear, practically eviscerated it. I sympathized, but secretly smiled. I've read dozens of biographies of writers, and this was a constant gripe with all of them!
Old George called Pat to say the doctors think he's doing very well after his heart surgery. I told Pat to invite him for dinner, so we'll have him over tonight. Think I'll make barbecued ribs in the crock pot.