Saturday, July 31, 2010

Had a fabulous time at Betty's Santa Barbara Minute Film Fest East last night. Was picked up about 5:30 and we got to Resorts in plenty of time. There were well over a hundred people there and we were delighted to see niece Joan R., who had come in on a casino bus. Most of the films were great--very inventive and well done--and those that were less pleasing were, at least, very short.
After, a number of the attendees went to Tony's Baltimore Grill, and so did we, Betty riding with us. Had an evil, but scrumptious meatball sub and a 16- ounce Coors Light. Much fun talking, laughing, and eating until about 10:30. We then dropped Joan off to catch the casino bus back. After I got home, had my wine and some pretzels and watched some of Pride and Prejudice, a lovely movie. What a fun time!
Must get finished with preparations for California. I leave in less than 24 hours--yay!

Friday, July 30, 2010

With the precious little boys at the run in Wall last night. We took J., J., and T., and all three participated. Incredibly, T., not quite three years old, completed the half-mile. They all got medals and we had a grand time.
Earlier, there was a huge thunderstorm and I stayed in. I had gone to Wal-Mart for various items and got home just as it broke. Prepared a lot of veggies and ate cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and avocado for lunch. I'll do the rest today and freeze what I don't eat.
Tonight is Betty's Santa Barbara East One Minute Film Festival. Not sure if I'll be able to walk tomorrow--and I know I won't on Saturday--so I'll tell Susan not to expect me.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Went to the Mary Kay demonstration at Noelle's and had a lot of fun. There were seven of us, which is about as many as you'd want, considering the time it takes for the rep to make each attendee up. I ordered a lipstick ($13.50, for cryin' out loud!) and a kind of pre-eye shadow powder. Hmm...I don't wear eye shadow, but everybody thought this looked nice on me, so I bought it for ten bucks. (Sales resistance--what's that?)
Anyway, I would have paid that much to be with the adorable little boys; all four were being babysat by the teenage sons of neighbors. J. was zooming around on his bike with a huge black helmet on his head and, after the demonstration, little T. came in, cheerfully eating cherries, his clothes were covered with the juice and red dye from Popsicles.
Got home about 5:30 and shortly received a call from the dentist's office. My appointment for today had to be postponed, as the bridge isn't satisfactory. Fine by me, as it gives me more time to prepare for my--TRIP TO ELLEN'S! Speaking of the dear girl, she e-mailed me that she had made us reservations in Palm Springs--yahoo!--what a great excursion to look forward to.
Of course, I meant "to which to look forward" (damn this English language!)
Wider: From Mary Ann Cary in U.S.News:
"Despite the fact that President Obama has tripled our troop presence in Afghanistan and the Democratic Congress approved $33 billion more for what is now America's longest-running war, there's been an eerie silence from the left--no 'die-ins,' no beating drums, no anti-Obama protesters dressed in skeleton costumes. No one protesting the president's every appearance.Maybe the antiwar left only protests when Republican presidents are in office. Maybe it's not about Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress. Maybe it was only about George Bush. Maybe for the antiwar left, it's not about pacifism or soldiers' lives or even what's in our national interest. Maybe it's just about Republicans."
Truer words were never written.
(Cary was a speechwriter for the aforenamed Bush, so can be assumed Conservative with a capital "C.," but as Herman Wouk once wrote, "Two and two makes four, even if Hitler says so.")

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Melancholy day at Peggy's funeral. Stopped for Betty about 2:00 and we walked the half-block to George's on Ventnor Avenue. George, of course, is the funeral director (mortician? undertaker? What's the euphemism nowadays?) and graduated from St. James with Peggy and us. I was surprised that, aside from Elva B., whom I had called, there were no other St. James Class of -- grads there. Maybe members of our class are mostly where Peggy's going.
There were a moderate number of attendees, mostly family and neighbors from Mirage in Barnegat, where she lived. The Polish priest, Fr. Chris, read the prayers and gave a very nice talk. We were then invited to go across the street to Hannah G.'s restaurant for iced tea, sandwiches, and cookies. George came in and told us Peggy was going to be cremated--something I still can't get my mind around. It's idiocy, I know, but I don't like the idea of cremation. I want to go to the cemetery and plant things and water them.
...which I did when I left Betty's. It was pre-dusk by that time--an appropriately somber time of day for the dead, it seems to me--and I filled my water containers and refreshed both Pat's and Jay's grave.
On the way home, I got a call on my cell from nephew Steve. He told me we'd have to jettison the horror film idea, as he didn't have time to get a director or actor. I'm mildly disappointed, but am okay with it--we discussed doing it next summer when I'll probably be visiting California again.
Later, received a very welcome call from brother Frank (Alameda) to say his son, Patrick, the head and neck surgeon, will be renting a huge house in Avalon in September and they want me to come visit. Hey, great--I think he said they have eight bedrooms, so there'll be plenty of room.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Good day. Walked the two doors down to Barb's about 11:30 and with her, her sister, Pat, Lois V., and friend, Pam, drove to Ocean City. Barb had selected for lunch "Ma France Creperie," which specializes in--well, crepes. It's been years since I've had one and boy, was mine good. Besides white wheat crepes, they serve buckwheat ones, and we all got the latter. I ordered a creamed spinach filling, which was excellent, and Pomegranate iced tea, which wasn't (came in a bottle and was watery and bland). Degenerates that we are, we shared two dessert crepes, one a "pear Melba" with Nutella and whipped cream, the other fresh strawberries and something else.
Next, we went to the "Showhouse" on Wesley Avenue. This is a charity event: You pay your twenty-five bucks and walk through the rooms of a large house, each of which had been decorated by a different local designer. There were various things I liked about this one, but not many. As they all are (we've gone to these several years in a row), it was decorated in the modern style, not my favorite--seemed cluttered and brittle, as well as boringly precious. Besides, the decoration wasn't in keeping with the stately 1902 house. Still, it was fun to be out with friends on a brilliantly sunny (they're all brilliantly sunny) summer day.
We got home about 4:00. Checked my e-mail and freshened up a bit, then drove to Northfield to meet sister Betty and brother Jim at for dinner in Northfield at 5:30. Had a delectable rare, rare, very rare chopped sirloin (read "big hamburger") and a glass of Chardonnay to compensate for the fact that pokey Ocean City is dry.
Greatly enjoyed being with my sibs and we stayed chatting for a few hours. Jim is going back to Virginia early today--glad I got a chance to see him.
Now I'm contemplating a much less enjoyable excursion: Peg's funeral in Ventnor.

Monday, July 26, 2010

High-tailed it to Wal-Mart and bought myself a dryer rack. Frank-Next-Door helped me put it together and I promptly used it after doing a small wash. I still want my dryer fixed, though.
Was happy to meet J., his mum, N., and the kiddies at the lake about 2:30, and we had a fun time until the clouds gathered and it started to pour. Went with the younger crowd to Wendy's for an early dinner and enjoyed it, guilty pleasure though the cheeseburger, Sprite, and "Frosty" were.
Got home before 6:00 to hop in the shower, then enjoyed a cam call from Ellen. Will see her in just six days--yay!
Going to lunch and a "house tour" in Ocean City today with Barb H. and others.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

As happens often in the summer, it started out a drab day and turned into a bright one. Spent the morning and early afternoon on errands, then came home for lunch. Had a big bowl of broccoli, salad, and luscious cantaloupe. Did a wash and was annoyed to realize the dryer isn't drying. Took the wet clothes to the Laundromat and did them there. It could be the lint thing and I'll have to get somebody to clear it out.
Heard from Betty, who told me I had "an assignment" to write a little blurb for her in reaction to a film festival she attended last week. Will turn my attention to that when I have a chance.
Lay down on the couch and fell asleep--which proves it was a drab day, as the last thing I want to do on a summer day is take a nap--but was awakened by the phone about 3:30. Did I want to go to the lake? Damn right, I did! Jumped up, put on my suit, gathered my things, and was out of the house in ten minutes.
It takes me about 45 minutes to get there, but because I've been doing it so often, it seems shorter. Besides, I've been listening to an absorbing recorded books disc--a joint bio of the Lincolns--and that held my attention.
The lake was delightful and we stayed about two hours, I guess, then had dinner on the deck. The salad, salmon, and fresh-dug potatoes were delicious. Got home just as it turned full dark--what a nice day.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I'm happy to write that Betty's out of the hospital. The diagnoses was food poisoning. She had eaten out on Monday night--seafood--and took some home to eat for dinner on Tuesday. It seems odd to me it didn't smell or taste "off," but I guess if it did, she wouldn't have eaten it.
On my way down to pick her up, she called and asked me to get some clothes for her, either stopping at her house or buying new. I didn't want to go all the way to Ventnor first and there are no clothing stores in Little Egg, so I picked her up a pair of white shorts and a yellow top at the thrift store. They fit fine, they look good, and she likes them; what's more, they cost a total of four dollars. We got to her place about 1:00, had lunch on the porch, then I left, relieved that she's over this crises.
However--there was a black cloud over the day. Incredibly, my friend Peg (Hartman) N. has died. Betty and I were both stunned to discover this--I found out through Facebook, as Peg's daughter had posted something on Peg's page. I thought at first it was a tribute to her late mother by Peg herself, but read further and realized the truth. At Betty's we talked to George W., who graduated from St. James with us, and has the funeral. Obit will be in The Press on Sunday and the funeral--not at church, but at the funeral parlour--will be on Tuesday.
As noted in my entry of last Friday, I had talked to Peg just a week ago and although she told me she was ailing, I didn't realize the seriousness of it. George said she was in the hospital for two days; she died on Thursday, I assume of heart disease. I called Elva (Gruhler) B., who was as shocked and sorry as we were.
What a blow. Peg was a good, strong woman and an interesting companion; I had looked forward to our continuing friendship after "finding" her again more than fifty years after we were schoolmates. Life is full of such shocks and sorrows, but I've never been able to get used to them.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Betty's still in, but I'm confident she'll be discharged today. The great news is that all the tests--blood work, EKG, and nuclear stress test--came back normal or negative with no disease noted.
Betty called me as I was zooming down the Parkway to the hospital to ask me to stop at her house and pick up her laptop. I did, but she was feeling a little rocky and didn't use it much while I was there. Daughter Ellen called to express her concern and I'll give Betty that message.
While the patient napped, I walked to the boardwalk and pick her up an Italian ice, for which she had a hankering. She had some of it, but still had little appetite--not necessarily a bad thing for her--and felt nauseated again.
That last is what I think might be the bigger problem, although (understandably, I guess) the emphasis has been on her heart. I know I have no medical background, and may am way out in left field with this, but here's my current belief:
Considering the fact that no evidence has indicted a heart problem AND, very significantly, her out-of-control weight--ditto overeating and unhealthy eating--AND lack of exercise, AND the extreme heat we've been experiencing since she got to the east coast (she doesn't have central air), AND the pressure she's been under in planning the one-minute film festival for Atlantic City--I think all this combined to bring on the symptoms she suffered. I'm not suggesting for an instant that she was faking or that her health isn't a serious concern, but when you eliminate what a condition isn't, you have to start considering what it might be. To me, this seems most likely and I'm going to suggest she develop--right now, today--a healthier life style.
I hope I'm right.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

We never got to Inception. Why? Because Betty's in the hospital. She called me about 7:45 am to say she had been taken to AtlantiCare about 4:00, with vomiting and other gastrointestinal upset*, plus chest pains and shortness of breath. Of course, I was highly alarmed; quickly changed and drove there.
She was still in the emergency room when I arrived and had already gotten blood work and a CRT. Being a veteran of such environs, I was pretty sure she wouldn't be admitted--assuming she'd be admitted--until hours had gone by, and of course, she wasn't. Her back started to hurt and she got something in her IV for that; chest pain subsided. Niece-in-law Dorothy G. stopped to visit her. Dorothy's the manager of IMAX at one of the casinos and invited us to see Inception there. Hope we can fit it in before I go to California.
My diagnoses for Betty was pebbles in the gall bladder--I had had an attack years ago--but I accompanied her to the darkroom where the tech did an ultra-sound and that seemed off the mark. She finally got up to a room about 1:30 and got lunch about 2:00. I got mine at the cafeteria--vegetable lasagna and broccoli--brought it up to her, and we ate together. The hospital, brand new, is great; all the rooms are private ones and the place seems like a luxury hotel.
Betty needed a few things from home, so I drove down to get them. While there, I cleaned up a bit and changed the sheets on her bed. It happened that Dorothy's husband, Mike, was there putting up new blinds. Boy, it was surely over 100, as Betty doesn't have central air and her window ACs barely function.
Sis was comfortable when I left about 5:15. Still no diagnoses, but I'm relieved to say the blood work and tests for heart attack came back negative. She thinks she'll be released today and I'm hoping she will. I'll pick her up and take her home, but I also want to go to the race in Wall this evening--little J. is running.
* I'm so genteel I can hardly stand myself! That old lady type euphemism means she suffered from--ahem--other emissions, too. Luckily, that's all behind her (heh, heh)...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Went to the doctor to have my BP taken. It was 117/80, with which the doc was pleased. Rest of the day, I just ran errands from a long list. Got a flash drive (can't quite remember why), printer ink, and a loaf of pumpernickel. Also bought an Oral B rechargeable electric toothbrush--to the tune of sixty bucks--that promises to remove 97 % of plaque. Geesh, who would ever believe I'd get this serious about my teeth?
Today, am going down to Betty's for lunch and to see the new movie, Inception.
Looks as if DiCaprio is continuing his supernatural-ly bent, considering his last, Shutter Island. (I may be the only one in the world who liked it.)
Note: I was offered those little icons at the bottom and thought I'd add them--why, I'm not quite sure...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Another dreadful ordeal at the dentist's. I was in the chair from 2:00 to 5:00, first for deep cleaning, then for impressions. Gawd, I was exhausted when it was over. I quickly recovered, though, by the time I got home (a 55-mile trip).
On the way, I was delighted to get a phone call from nephew Steve J., who is writing a movie for me. All the big stars get screen vehicles written for us (yeah, me and Angelina Jolie). It's a horror film, Steve's specialty, and we may film it at daughter Ellen's place, specifically, in her garden. Called her and she's fine with that. Should be a lot of fun.

Monday, July 19, 2010

I'll call this the best weekend all summer. Yesterday, all nine of us went to the Philadelphia Zoo and what a great time we had. We spent all day there and the four little boys were so interested and engaged. There were five adults--none too many for that gang--and we all had a good time, too. Although I find looking at animals boring, I enjoyed it immensely because of the excitement of the kiddies. They loved the petting zoo, too--especially little T., who brushed several goats so nicely. We rented a double stroller and the kiddies traded off riding in that, along with the smaller one we brought. It was above 90 degrees all day--sizzling--and when we got there at noon, the main parking lot was full and we had to park a block down and across a street.
It's a good thing I have a lot of stamina--and the rest of the party a lot more than I do, of course--because, boy, it was hot and hey, we were on our feet almost the whole time. We did stop for lunch--I brought a roast beef (left over from my company lunch on Thursday) and avocado sandwich on pumpernickel, plus a delicious, just-ripe peach. Some in our party bought their lunches, but the kiddies were served with peanut butter on multi-grain.
Did I mention it was hot? It was hot.
Got home at 7:30 and jumped in the shower--that felt heavenly--then enjoyed a call from daughter Ellen. Will see her in two weeks--yay!--and we had a good chat. Wonderful, wonderful day.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lake was in, after all, as J. has recovered. Had a lovely time with the whole gang, including at dinner later. Before that, we went to Laurita Winery, a lovely place just a bit off Rte. 539, but you'd swear you were in the Napa Valley. It includes a beautiful stone building with wine tasting (but we didn't indulge) and acres of carefully tended grape vines.
While there, I was pleased to get a call from the dentist's office saying Dr. Lyons could fit me in tomorrow after my cleaning appointment for an impression. I had had to postpone the first appointment from last Monday and had another on Thursday--an additional 110 mile trip a few days apart. Now I'll have to travel there only once, a big help.
Dinner on the deck was great. Corn, tomatoes, freshly-dug potatoes, zucchini, shrimp and chicken and all nine of us ate our fill. I didn't stay for dessert, as it was after 8:00 when I left and I don't like to drive in full dark.
Today, the Philadelphia Zoo!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Nicely varied day. Betty had a lot of business (rental) stuff to do, which she did while I followed my usual routine: 7 am walk and 9 am exercise group. After breakfast, I drove her to Manahawkin to a TD Bank (annoyingly, I didn't realize there's a branch a mile from home), then the post office. We then donned our bathing suits and went to the pool, which was heavenly.
While there I called Peg N. to see if she wanted to come over and see the CD of Steel Magnolias. I was sorry to hear she has some health issues and wouldn't be able to come. Will call her next week or so.
After the pool, showers, and lunch, Betty and I settled down to watch the first scene of Magnolia, which is about an hour long. She enjoyed it, but I suggested to see the rest after a hiatus. She wanted to pick some things up at a dollar store, so I drove her back to Manahawkin and we both bought stuff. Once back, we watched the rest of the show, then I took her back to Ventnor. Neither of us were hungry for dinner and I wanted to get home before dark, so I stayed for just a few minutes, then left; home by 8:30. Betty asked me to come down tomorrow, as our niece, her husband, and his son are coming, but I think I'll try to schedule something else.
An excursion to the Philiadelphia Zoo had been planned for today, but it may have to be postponed: It's raining and the little somebody (J.) whose birthday it had been for, was sick yesterday. I may go up north for the day anyway--but, I'm afraid, the lake is out--it's raining.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Early on, I tried to get the picture of Mildred G. to Senior Publishing, but it would open only as a thumbnail and they couldn't use that. Called Mary S., then dropped off the chip to her so she could use a "flash" something-or-other to transfer.
Lunch with the G.'s, Julie, and Sophia went very well. Julie is a prominent caterer in Bridgeport, CT, so I felt a little trepidation about it, but she clearly enjoyed the meal and the company and so did I.
They left about 3:30 and I impulsively decided to do what I had done last week and called Betty, suggested dinner, packed up the remains, and hightailed it down to Ventnor. We ate al fresco on her porch, which was delightful with a light breeze. Walked over after to an ice cream place and got cones, then I took her back to my house for a visit.
We got home about 8:30 and Mary S. stopped in with the chip. Her husband, Don, had successfully sent it off in the proper size to Senior Publishing, I was glad to know. Mary stayed to chat for a half hour or so, then Betty and I retired to our boudoirs.
WIDER: A truly profound observation by Rob Payne at the blog "Dark Horse":
"When liberals are confronted with the facts surrounding Obama’s continuing culpability in mass murder they respond with a few sympathetic noises and quickly move on to another topic putting it all down to the harsh realities of reality. '
'Besides,” they say, 'Obama would be shot if he did the right thing.' This tells me two things. First, liberals are actually aware that Obama is a murderer but it doesn’t matter because he is a Democrat and the first Black man to be a president of the United States. Secondly, it tells me they don’t know who Obama is but then neither do the conservatives who see Obama as a Socialist and a Commie."
I've actually heard "liberals" express notions similar to this, along with "he's just waiting for the right time to end the wars" and "he would if he could, but the people around him won't let him" and so on and stupidly on.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

After our usual 7 am walk, I was going to skip exercise at the clubhouse, but then realized giving myself a pass is the first step to dropping it as a habit. Walked over and completed the three-mile--strenuous, but I'm glad I did.
Once home, I started preparing for my company. Am having Susan and Walter and visiting daughter and granddaughter, Julie and Sophia, for lunch today. First, I packed and wrapped Vivian's birthday present (second shipment), then cleaned up a bit. Took present to p.o. and ran a few other chores. At about noon, I impulsively put on my suit and went to the pool for a dip--very refreshing. Showered, then went over to Mildred G.'s, the subject of my "profile" article for August, to take her picture.
Left at 2:00 for Ventnor. Stopped at Santori's to pick up lunch stuff for today, and got to Betty's about 3:00. She had to stay out of the house for three hours because the pest control person was fumigating. (Her tenants' dog left behind fleas.) We went off-shore, first to the bank, then to an early dinner at the Tilton Inn. Had my delish rare hamburger and beer.
Dropped Betty off about 7:00 and went home. Had a nice day, although the weather was acting up with grey skies and showers.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Got early web cam calls from P. and N., then Mike, who also called in the evening. He and family are in Bali and he "showed me around" via Skype--what an incredibly beautiful place! They had a private villa with its own pool--two of them, actually, one with fish and water lilies--and personal "butler." Would love to go there one day. Mike sent me a lovely picture of the four of them; I want to print it out and frame it.
Went to the library, then to Sears in Mays Landing to get new tires, only to be told I don't need them. (How come Mastercraft said I did?) It was recommended that I get them aligned and rotated and I did, to the tune of ninety bucks. Sister Betty called and, after some missed signals and slip ups, I met her and friend Mary H. at her bank in Northfield, then we all went to Shop-Rite. By that time it was past 3:00 and I decided to go home. Stopped at the cemetery on the way back.
WIDER: There's a neo-con entity called "Project For The New American Century" and its "Statement Of Principles" is enough to curl your hair. Here's just a tidbit:
“[What we require is] a military that is strong and ready to meet
both present and future challenges; a foreign policy that boldly and
purposefully promotes American principles abroad; and national
leadership that accepts the United States’ global responsibilities."
The author goes on:
"Of course, the United States must be prudent in how it exercises its
power. But we cannot safely avoid the responsibilities of global
leadership of the costs that are associated with its exercise. America
has a vital role in maintaining peace and security in Europe, Asia,
and the Middle East. If we shirk our responsibilities, we invite
challenges to our fundamental interests...."
The document continues in this vein, but there's no need to go on here; the few excerpts above convey the drift. It's all about us and screw them--that is, every other country on the planet and, more important, the people who live in them. These are the "principles" our godforsaken "leaders" have been following, and continue to follow, for years.
All right, I can't, simply can't, resist connecting these nightmarish dots to a pivotal sentence in 1984:
"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face--forever."


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

After our walk, Susan followed me to Mastercraft where I left off the car. The receptionist had told me not to expect it to be finished that day, so I called the dentist's office and told them I couldn't get to my 2:00 appointment. However, the car was done by 11:30 to my mixed annoyance (when I called back, the appointment had been filled) and satisfaction (I'm getting my car back!). Postponed it to next Monday.
In the meantime, I walked around the corner (an old expression; it was actually "around the curve") to interview Mildred G. for the August "Blowin' In The Wind" profile. Mildred is a nice person and fun to talk to. A notable item in her background is that her father died before she was born. (So did Ray H.'s.) Thanks to not having to keep my appointment, I was able to write the piece already and it's not bad.
Went to Manahawkin to run a few errands and later to the cemetery. Talked to sister Betty and daughter Ellen. We decided I'd stay at Ellen's for just a week. Rather reluctantly decided to put off taking Joelly until next summer.

Monday, July 12, 2010

It was so much fun to have my dear niece, her Jim, their Jeremy, and his Catherine for lunch and beyond! They got here a little late, about 2:30, but no matter. I served up a nice summer meal and they just ate it up--literally and figuratively, of course. Jeremy wanted to watch the final of the World Cup, so I encouraged him to take his platter into the living room; Catherine kind of went back and forth. After a time, the rest of us adjourned there and watched the finish. They stayed until about 5:30, then set off for Suffern, where they live.
Not content with an end to the socializing, I called Betty to see what she was doing for dinner. Not a thing, so I packed up the remains of the day (loved that movie) and zipped down there to share. Enjoyed dinner with her, Steve, Robyn, and Dexter, and didn't get home until after 9:00.
Only snag in the day was that my brakes started making a grinding noise while I was there. Robyn--who, incredibly, knows about these things--said I needed to get the brake pads changed. Darn, I have an interview with Mildred G. scheduled for 10:00 and a dentist appointment at 2:00. I'll take it to Mastercraft, but need somebody to pick me up. Susan's company is coming today, so I hate to ask her, but I'll see if she can make it.
WIDER: There's a great piece on so-called "health care reform" by Chris Hedges at Truthdig.Com which includes this:
“'They named this legislation the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and as the tradition of this nation goes, any words they put into the name of a piece of legislation means the opposite,' said single-payer activist Dr. Margaret Flowers...'"
Hoo-boy, does that say it all--and not only about this particular obscenity of a bill. Here's the link to the article:

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Thought it would be a slow-pokey weekend, so was delighted to get a call from New York niece Joan to the effect that she, husband Jim, and son Jeremy and girlfriend are in Ocean City and could they stop in today? Sure! I invited them for lunch and they'll come about 1:30 or 2:00--it's loose--and Jeremy wants to watch the World Cup final, so can do that here.
Drove to B.J.'s for rolls and other stuff, then to B & B for veggies.
After lunch, went to Bob's to get more hens and chickens, as I want to replace the tubular begonias I have on the porch. Stopped at the cemetery, then at Shop-Rite for cold cuts--got ham, cheese, and liverwurst. I'll serve them, plus my usual chicken salad, a green salad, and a fruit salad--yeah, I'm a salad nut--along with rolls, pumpernickel, the crystal pickles I had in the freezer. For drinks, we'll have various flavors of "Nantucket Nectar," orange mango juice, and beer. I was happy to see I still have plenty of the pretty tulip disposable dishes left over from our anniversary party two years ago, so I'll use them, too.
Was amazed all day to see water dripping out of the sky--what do they call that stuff, anyway?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fabulous fun day with family, food, and--well, fun. Got down to Ventnor about 11:00 and shortly after, we all went to the beach. Had a ball with Betty, her daughter and two sons, one with wife, and six kiddies under nine, including Joelly and Jason. Ocean was very rough, but nice and warm and I actually got completely wet--at one point, I was knocked over by a wave. Betty and I walked back to the house after an hour or so to wait for the delicious Sacco subs* to be delivered, and I got a six-pack of beer. We ate early, about 3:30, and I left around 5:00. I didn't feel like going home right away, so went back to the cemetery and took pictures of the two graves with the hens and chickens I had planted. Stopped for a few things, and didn't get home until almost 8:00, thoroughly exhausted. Called Noelle to see if they're going to the lake today, in which case I'd like to join them.
*Niece Carolyn and Amy Sacco were roommates in college and Amy stopped over when we got back from the beach. Her father, 80, still runs the store.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Attended a Breeze meeting in the morning and we discussed the August issue. It's shaping up well, I think. I'll profile Barbara B. this time and will also contribute a short piece called "Man On The Beach." This concerns the suicide I remember--guy was arrested for child molestation and had stuck a knife in his heart. I was about seven, I guess, and was one of the crowd that gathered. I never forgot it, naturally.
Finally got to the cemetery to find that the pansies on Pat's grave and the begonias on Jay's were deader than--well, then those whose domain it is. Went to Bob's and got Hens and Chickens for both, as a worker there assured me they like sun and don't need a lot of water. Went back to plant them and noted that on Jay's, "We Love You" is spelled out with pine cones and there's a heart shaped out of stones there. My niece and nephews had been there on Thursday.
Talked to sister Betty, who invited me down today and I'll go--it continues to be very hot, but nicely sunny. Got the wash done; ran some errands; took a dip in the pool; ran more errands and that was about it.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Took the drink container back--it leaked--and got my five bucks back from Five Below. Found a similar one at the Dollar Tree and saved four--ha, ha! Ran a coupla other chores, then called sister Betty to see if she was free for dinner. She was and we planned to have me pick her up at 5:00, as she had Scrabble at 6:30. Went to the pool about 2:00 and was amazed to see only one other person there,, although the temperature was well over 90. Guess these old people don't want to leave the house in this weather. Two other women came in and I chatted with them, then left to get a shower and dress for dinner.
When I got down to Betty's, she asked if I would take her to a Staples in Pleasantville so she could buy a computer. Sure, I would, but we didn't find the place, so I went to Mays Landing where I knew there was a store. She bought a laptop and the things that seem to have to go with it. We then ate at Carraba's and had wonderful chicken with some kind of sauce and seasoning, along with their luscious garlic mashed potatoes. Betty grabbed the check; I tried to protest, but she generously insisted. The plan was to drop Betty at her Scrabble group in Northfield, but she decided to skip it. I took her home instead and got in myself before full dark.
Called darling daughter Ellen when I got home and, since I didn't get a role in Blithe Spirit (sob!), we made tentative plans for me to go to California to see her in August. I'm toying with the idea of continuing on to Tokyo after--P. and N. had called earlier and we discussed it--but am not sure yet what my itinerary will be.
Now today, I've got to catch up on domestic items, such as paying bills and washing clothes. (Of course, if I should get an agreeable invitation for anything fun, I'll jettison the chores and rev up my steppin' out shoes again....)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Enjoyed an afternoon at the lake with the darling little boys. Earlier, I ran a whole bunch of errands in Manahawkin; bought a drink container with a spigot and filled it with lemonade. By the time I got to the lake, it had spilled and the whole bottom of the container was wet. I'll take it back and demand my money back. Also bought a big, but light, shovel for the kiddies and a ball that skips on water. J. got a kick out of that.
Got back about 5:30 and took a dip in the pool before I went home. There was nobody there, and you're not supposed to swim alone, but I did. Showered, ate, and relaxed for the night.
The rest of the day went downhill from then. I got a call from Ellen V., who's directing Blithe Spirit and she told me I wasn't cast. That's a big disappointment, but I'm going to be philosophical about it. There'll be other plays and I'll look forward to seeing if there are parts for me in them. Also, I'll can now turn to Plan B--travel.
Got an e-mail from Mike with a link to the camp Vivian attends. There's a wonderful picture of her on stilts, with her Daddy helping. I set it as background on this computer.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Said goodbye to Larry and Helen after a scrumptious breakfast at ScoJo's. We were determined to find the elusive scrapple*, so I actually went in and asked if they had it before we parked. They did! And not only Larry, but Helen and I all had the stuff. Loaded with fat and on an unhealthy scale from 1 to 10, probably about a 25, it was oh, so delicious. We again sat outside and that was great.
They left shortly thereafter, and after putting a load of wash in, I hightailed it down to Ventnor and spent most of the afternoon there. Got a chance to see Steve, Robyn, and Dexter before they left for her mother's in Connecticut, had lunch, then joined Wes, Carolyn, and their families on the beach.
I've never seen it so crowded and it was very hot, but we had an umbrella and it was heavenly. Water was cold, so I just put my feet in. We went back to the house about 4:00, when I left for home. I'll go back on Friday, if not earlier, to celebrate Steve and Robyn's fifth anniversary.
Before even going home, I stopped at the pool and had a lovely swim. After showering, I had a bite to eat, then promptly lay down on the couch and fell asleep until almost 9:00. Staggered in to bed and was out like a light until my usual time of 5:30.
Today, I'm meeting the little guys at the lake and am so looking forward to it.
* Huh! Spellcheck doesn't recognize "scrapple"! What are they, illiterates?

Monday, July 05, 2010

Another great day with Larry and Helen. Walked with Susan at 7:00, then L., H., and I went to Dockside for breakfast. We sat outside, right next to the waterway on a beautiful, sunny but breezy morning. After that, we drove the twenty miles to Emery's and picked blueberries under a broiling sun. The berries are not as big as they were a few weeks ago, but they were adequate and we got plenty. Got home to pick them over (I froze mine), then jumped in the shower and dressed to go to the H.'s 3:00 party.
L. and H. made a hit with my friends, and they enjoyed themselves immensely. I brought my marinated olives and Helen had bought a "Trifecta"--blueberry, peach, and cherry--pie she got at Emery's. We all had a wonderful time, talking, laughing, and eating. I had plenty of delicious Sangria, made by Bill V., plus a beer or two and lots of luscious food. The menu included a large array of appetizers, plus barbecued ribs and chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, and all kinds of sides.
We stayed about five hours, then walked home, three-doors-down. Stayed up talking until about 10:00, then turned in.
L. and H. are leaving this morning (sob!), but not before we go out to breakfast again. What a fun few days this has been and how sorry I am that it's ending. Hope to duplicate it another time and/or drive down to their place in Miami before too long.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Just having a ball with Larry and Helen. We went down early to Betty's to greet with pleasure her, niece Carolyn and her family, and nephew Wes and his older girl, Miranda. With the exception of Carolyn's husband, Dana, who went running, we all repaired to Hannah's luncheonette on Ventnor Avenue, for breakfast. Our party of nine enjoyed the luscious morning meal that's better to avoid most of the time: scrambled eggs, omelets, bacon, sausage, pancakes, buttered toast and lots of strong coffee. We then went back to the house, talked and talked and laughed, before setting off to walk to old homestead on Rosborough Avenue. There were people on the porch--renters?--who told us Dee was in Pennsy, so we just looked at the outside, then walked to the boardwalk. By this time, the others had turned back, but Carolyn and I took a long stroll to the end, catching up on each other's lives. Larry and Helen walked behind, but later we all met up.
Got back and continued our gab fest, along with Moochie,who had arrived to join the party. George W. also stopped to chat; after another hour or so, Larry, Helen, and I left. We might go back on Monday, as Steve, Robyn, and Dexter were coming in later yesterday.
Larry drove us up to the Inlet--which we would never have recognized--then home. Had a little lunch of the chicken salad and rolls I had made earlier, then hung out until dinnertime. Ate at the Dynasty Diner in Tuckerton, which was hopping with people gathering for the fireworks. That didn't interest any of us, so we left to go home, then stayed up over ice cream until after 10:00 when H. and I turned in and L. watched T.V. for a bit.
Today, we have the Haggerstone's party at 3:00, and will suggest another excursion before. Good times, good events, and great people!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Bro and Sis-In-Law Larry and his Helen arrived about 2:30 and we've been having a great time. Sat and talked a blue streak (where did that expression ever come from--I mean, from whence did that expression...?) for a good two hours, then heard from long-time friend Jack B. He and his son, Joe, came over and after a bit of chat, we all repaired to Calloway's for dinner--Larry's treat.
Had a good time--me with linguine and shrimp and a cold one on draft--with good company. Home by a bit after 8:00; Helen went to bed an hour or so later, but Larry and I stayed up to talk until about 10:00 when I turned in after my good ol' semi-sweet Taylor Country Red.
We're going down to Ventnor this morning for breakfast with Betty and her family, who have flown in from the left coast and Chicago.
How I love summer.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Delightful afternoon at Georgian Count in Lakewood, where we enjoyed high tea and three actors impersonating Judy Garland, Mrs. Edith Gould, and a butler. The setting was the magnificent mansion built by the Goulds in 1902 and purchased by the Sisters of Mercy and the Catholic Church in 1924. I've been at one of their presentations before on Cole Porter, but this surpassed that one, in my estimation.
The girl playing Judy was just superb, with an incredible singing voice, and a perfect "Judy Garland" speaking voice, too. "Mrs. Gould" and the butler were also great. All three actors sang a lot of standards, including several songs identified with Judy and several from The Wizard of Oz. After, while we had tea, finger sandwiches, and pastries, the actors went from table to table, still in character, to chat with "guests." This event is so well done and so enjoyable, it's a pleasure to be there.
Barbara H. drove and two others went in the car with us. This was a Red Hats event, but they had extra places to fill, so non-members were invited. I've been asked to join several different "chapters" of Red Hats in my community, and so has Barbara, but I find the whole idea repugnant--and idiotic--in the extreme, and I was smugly pleased to hear that Barbara does, too. Setting yourself apart because you're a woman of a certain age (as the old novelists used to write) and dressing up in commercially-inspired costumes (the idea is to wear purple and red) seems to me to legitimize the belief that older women are "cute" and never to be taken seriously. It's a bore and I don't want to be part of it.
I had planned to go to auditions again, but called director Ellen V. and she assured me being there twice wouldn't influence her decision. I hope that's the case; now am a little sorry I didn't go and ask to read again.
Oh, well. I was told recently that I don't handle disappointment well, so maybe if I don't get a part, I can regard it as a test and learn from it...
Ha! I don't believe that for a minute!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Lunched with Sue from Holy Spirit and had an terrific time. She's a warm and dynamic person, and we had plenty to talk about--which we did enthusiastically for more than two hours. I intended to pay, but she insisted and when I found out she was charging it to good ol' HSHS, I was fine with that. Toyed with the idea of going to the cemetery after, but didn't.
Auditioned last night. I'm pretty sure I didn't get the part of Madame Arcati--there was a lot of competition--and I'm not so sure of the Mrs. Bradman role, either. Decided to attend tonight, too, partly to see who else is trying for what role. Well, I'll try to be philosophical if I don't get either. After all, it would cut into my travel plans; if I had to concentrate on rehearsals, I would have to work around that. So maybe it would be for the best if I don't get in the play. It means a lot of time and effort and putting other things on hold and after all, I have a fair amount of stuff to do for The Breeze--
But dammit, I want to be in it!