Monday, May 31, 2010

Beautiful brilliantly sunshiny day, my very favorite. Talked to sister Betty in the morning, then spent an hour or so weeding the side flower bed. What a chore and I have the other two still to do, but it gave me a good feeling of satisfaction to know I've at least started.
Just as I was coming in, I got a phone call inviting me to to a barbecue. Jumped in the shower, drove up north, and had a wonderful time.
To make the weekend of Memorial Day (I remember when it was called "Decoration Day") complete, I was invited to meet grandson Joel and his gang at the lake today. I said I'd bring lunch, so I must run out to the store after our walk and buy ham and cheese and stuff.
WIDER: Chris Floyd's post today on his "Empire Burlesque" is one of great power and passionite intensity. It includes:
"...we live today in networks given over to death and domination -- rapacious, aggressive, degraded and degrading...We are now hurtling a thousand miles an hour in the wrong direction, deeper into death and degradation, which are no longer resisted, or lamented, or regretted, or even debated, but embraced and celebrated, in a sickening inversion of the 'civilized values' that our degraded, militarist-corporatist system purports to defend."
He goes on to say:
"Nowhere is this better exemplified than in America's current political state, where a warmongering, corporate-coddling political hack who claims the tyrannical power to assassinate anyone on earth or imprison them for life without charges or trial is somehow considered a "progressive," a "liberal," or, god help us, a "socialist" ... while his most vocal and powerful opponents rail against him for not being even more degraded, elitist and death-ridden."
But there's so much more and it must be read in its entirety:
http://www.chris-floyd.com/

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The start of the Memorial Day Weekend wasn't exactly a bell ringer for me, the high point being when I cleaned the bathroom. Actually, I cleaned both of them, but didn't do a lot else, aside from going to two produce stores, Got yams, sweet potatoes (yes, both), tomatoes, apricots, blueberries, and eggplant. I pared and cut up the enormous yam, added a splash of orange/mango juice and a bit of cinnamon, and cooked it in the small slow cooker. Made a casserole of the eggplant, onions, and tomatoes and had both for lunch.
Brother Jim called to tell me an amusing story. Years ago, when he first started working in D.C. right out of college, the personnel director saw he was from Ventnor. He said there was another person in the agency from tiny Ventnor; her last name was Hartman and Jim and I surmised she was my pal, Peggy's sister. I called Peg to tell her about the coincidence and we had a good chat.
Hey, what if Jim had looked the other Ventnorite up and they became friendly and had started dating and then married and--Peg and I would be sisters-in-law!
As noted, it was a slow day.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

It was such a delight to see Peg again last night. She and Walter are snowbirds (Florida) and were gone for the winter. As mentioned yesterday, we met at Spiaggia e Luna ("Moon Over The Beach," one of my favorite restaurant names) with great pleasure.
The place was packed--Memorial Day weekend at the shore, you know--but comfortably and festively so and it was such fun. We talked and talked and talked, of course, over a leisurely meal (seafood for her, chicken Marsala for me) and the bottle of Riesling I brought. After two hours or so, we continued our talk outside in the parking lot for another hour or so, ranging from long-ago days at St. James Grammar School to the maybe less compelling present.
Earlier, I went to the cemetery with the idea swinging around to Bob's and replacing the pansies with dianthus. However, I saw that the pansies look better, so deferred the decision and just watered at both the graves.
Talked to sister Betty; she has to go to UCLA today to see a hematologist who specializes in platelet counts. There is some concern about her bleeding problem, as she's been told she should have an angiogram. Betty called me back right after we hung up to remind me that yesterday was the birthday of the Dionne Quintuplets. Yes, yes, my little girls--only two still above ground, I'm afraid--and long-time major interest are seventy-six years old now.
Wider: From John Caruso, referring to Those Who Believe: "(Their belief) boil(s) down to a quasi-religious faith in Obama's good intentions, which too many people are clinging to despite an Everest-sized (and ever-growing) mountain of contrary evidence." John goes on to mention what seems to be the belief of the starry-eyed that Obama has some kind of future benign agenda, notwithstanding his enthusiastic embrace of death-dealing items like drones:
"Here's a thought: not only should we ask ourselves "What if Bush did it?"—we should also assume that if Obama did it, it was because it was a part of his real agenda."
Yeah, that's what I've been saying.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Had a terrific time at the Steel Magnolias cast party last night. True, it was a month after the performances, but this was the first time we could all get together. Unfortunately, Andrea, the assistant director, was unable to come, and so was hairdresser Billie, but the rest of us had a ball.
I brought guacamole and tortilla chips, and there were tiny chicken salad sandwiches, stuffed mushrooms, shrimp, and two desserts, including the huge cake with "Kill, Rhett, Kill!" (a line from the play) written on it. Of course, we also enjoyed the many kinds of wine available. I brought a Riesling and had plenty of the rest. Tara N. (to distinguish her from director Tara C.) brought sangria and boy, I managed to put away plenty of that, too. It was the best sangria I've ever tasted.
Earlier in the day, I visited Billie to have my hair done. He cut and re-colored it, so it's no longer blonde, but medium brown. Everybody said they liked it (well, what are they going to say, "Gee, your hair looks like hell"?), but I'm not so sure. I'll wait to show daughter Ellen on the web cam on Sunday and get her verdict.
The social whirl continues: This evening, I'll be meeting friend, Peg N. for dinner at an Italian restaurant in Barnegat. Can't remember the name in Italian, but it means "Moon Over The Beach," which I find charming.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

As I do every Wednesday, I completed the three mile walk at the clubhouse, silently bitching about the distance all the while. The one redeeming grace of the three mile is that it makes the two mile, which we do on Mondays and Fridays, seem like a piece of cake. Of course, I also completed my regular mile and a half with Susan, as we do without fail every day at seven.
Interviewed the H.'s, whose backgrounds are ordinary, but who are involved in an extraordinary circumstance: Their daughter and son-in-law adopted a little girl from China--an eight-year-old--and their story is the subject of a documentary called "Wo Ai Ni Mommy" ("I Love You Mommy"). The film has been shown in dozens of cities and will be aired on PBS on August 31. Talked to them for an hour or so, then asked if I could contact the guy who does twice a week column, "Everybody Has A Story" for The Press of Atlantic City. I e-mailed him and he wrote back that he's "definitely interested."
In the afternoon, I went to the cemetery to plant the begonias on Jay's grave. They look gorgeous--they're doubles and brilliantly red--but I hope there's enough shade for them to survive. They're right under the huge pine trees that Pat's aunt planted in 1932--yes, that's so and she carried them there herself--but I'm not sure if they shadow it enough.
Got a web cam call from P. and N. about 7:00 pm, unusual at that time, but very welcome. Later, sister Betty called to tell me about her hematologist appointment in preparation for her angiogram.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Just got word that all corrections have been done on The Breeze and the paper was put to bed (not sure that expression is still used). Today, I'll interview the H.'s for the July issue; am toying with the idea of also contributing an essay on my Aunt Maggie--dunno.
I asked Frank-Next-Door (yes, that's his legal name) to help me send "files" of some pictures to the publishing company and while he was here, Mike called from London on the web cam. It was so nice to see and talk to him and he showed me his office building out the window from his hotel.
Got a lovely thank you note from Daniel McN., the kid who got the scholarship award I endowed. (Geez, that sounds so grandiose, as if it's on a par with the ka-billion dollar bequest that changed the name of Glassboro State to Rowan College.) Well, $500 isn't to be sneezed at, either and Daniel said he'll buy books with it. I don't care if he buys a night out on the town, it's his, he's a nice kid, and I'm glad I did it.
Talked to sister Betty. I'm a little concerned that she went for a stress test, then was told she needed an angiogram. She has a sporatic bleeding problem and has to go to a hemotologist first, which she'll do today.
Went to the cemetery to tidy up, then to Bob's. Bought two brilliantly red double begonias to put on Jay's grave. I'll do that later today, I guess, after I see the H.'s. Also got three tomato plants, one a patio one that I can keep right in the container it came in. Can't wait for homegrowns that actually have some flavor to them.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Breeze meeting was long and drawn out, but we got through it. After, I ran up to B.J.'s and a few other places for errands. Didn't get home until after 3:00 and found a message from son Mike on the machine. He was calling from London (does he ever stay home?) and said he'd try later, but didn't. Later, when I checked on the World Clock, it was midnight there, so I didn't call him. Hope he'll get back to me today. Had to take a Percoset (I don't know how to spell it, but neither does Spellcheck) in the evening, as my mouth was a little sore.
Will interview the H.'s tomorrow for the July issue of the newsletter.
WIDER: From Rep. Ron Paul's essay ("More Blank Checks For the Military Industrial Complex") in AntiWar.com deploring allowing the ruinous expense of our wars of aggression:
"We spend more on defense than the rest of the world combined, and far more than we spent during the Cold War. These expenditures in many cases foment resentment that does not make us safer, but instead makes us a target. We referee and arm conflicts the world over, and have troops in some 140 countries with over 700 military bases.
With this enormous amount of money and energy spent on efforts that have nothing to do with the security of the United States, when the time comes to defend American soil, we will be too involved in other adventures to do so.
There is nothing conservative about spending money we don’t have simply because that spending is for defense. No enemy can harm us in the way we are harming ourselves, namely, bankrupting the nation and destroying our own currency. The former Soviet Union did not implode because it was attacked; it imploded because it was broke. We cannot improve our economy if we refuse to examine all major outlays, including so-called defense spending."
There it is, in stark terms. Okay, most of the public seems unmoved by the slaughter we're inflicting on people of other countries. Now, I wonder if consciousness of this ruinous expense--and that's exactly the term for it, "ruinous expense"--that goes with it and under which we're burdening ourselves (and our children, and their children, and theirs...) will penetrate their bleary-eyed somnolence.
Fat chance.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Brother Larry called early and I enjoyed hearing from him. He and Helen will be coming north at the end of June, so I'll see them then.
Had a good time at the opera presentation yesterday. It was "The Barber of Seville" and was so enjoyable. Of course, I had heard of it, but wasn't familiar with it--it's a comedy first staged in 1816 and was one of the first operas presented in this country (1825).
Soon after I go home, I was pleased to get a call from old--oops, "longtime"--friend, Peg N. and we had a good chat. She had had pretty extensive dental work as an adult, too, as it turns out, which made me realize I'm not the only one. We made a date for dinner on Friday in Barnegat.
Not long after, sister Betty called and we talked for some time. After dinner, daughter Ellen and I chatted over the web cam, so I had a good, catching-up-with-people day.
We have a meeting for The Breeze at 11:30 today to go over typos. I hope we can substitute some articles that didn't get sent for others that aren't as topical.
My teeth continue to improve, although my mouth is still just the slightest bit sore.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Nothing much at all going on yesterday. High point of the day came early when P. and N. called on Skype. Did a little editing of the proofs for The Breeze. Took a long drive north for no particular reason. Again napped on the sofa--this is getting scary.
Was pleased to receive an e-mail from St. James friend, Peggy N. She's back from her winter in Florida and we'll get together soon. I had a long talk with other grammar school friend, Elva B., on Tuesday. Hope the three of us can get together soon.
Was delighted to get an e-mail from darling g-grandson, Joel, who'll be eight years old next month. He has his own address now and we can correspond. Wrote back to him as soon as I found out it was legit.
Drove to the cemetery in the late afternoon to water and deadhead the pansies. Stopped at a supermarket and got the kind of processed stuff for dinner I don't usually eat. Had to take Tylenol because my mouth was sore. It feels better this morning and the stitches seem to have dissolved.
I plan to go to "Sunday at the Opera" at the clubhouse today.
I've generally been feeling groggy and a little depressed the last few days. I must snap out of this low period and I know I will.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Continue my recovery and now I'm home after staying elsewhere Thursday night. Stopped at the store to get soft foods, but found I can even eat pretzels if I chew--carefully--on one side.
Went to The Home Depot and bought the solar lights for which I've been hankering. Received the proofs of The Breeze and started going over them for errors. Other than that, I didn't do a lot. I actually took a short nap, unusual for me. Still feeling a little tired and groggy.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The dentist appointment yesterday wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be (but wasn't exactly a barrel of laughs, either). It took more than two hours and was separated into two distinct parts: the first, "debridement," clearing away the underbrush--I mean tartar--and the second, extractions. I will draw a vein over that part, but with the nitrous oxide, it was bearable. The aftermath was a bit uncomfortable, but with the Percoset and Valium, I slept like a log, and don't feel half bad this morning. My mouth is a bit sore, but the bleeding has stopped, a damn good thing, as in the middle of the pulling part, I realized I had forgotten to leave off the daily aspirin, after all. It didn't seem to matter, though, thank heavens.
My next appointment is in two weeks--no picnic, either, but the worst is over.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Forgot to mention the lousy weather on Tuesday: Rain came down in sheets and buckets almost all day. Actually, it cleared by the time we went to the Awards Ceremony and it was okay driving home. Also, it loosened the ground and I was able to get a (very slight) start on the enormous amount of weeding I have to do.
Went to the cemetery to tidy up the plantings. I'm not sure if it's allowed, but I have in mind edging the little plot with flagstone or something. Baring that, I'll put some mulch down.
Today, I'm starting a pretty extensive course of dental work, so probably won't be blogging tomorrow--or maybe for a few days. Incidentally, figuring I wouldn't be eating much solid food for a while, I foolishly went out and bought pint of ice cream yesterday. Ate the whole thing and it kept me awake half the night (it feels like). Well, that'll show me.
Wider: This is from an e-mail I sent to a "liberal" friend on January 22, 2009 after the inauguration. She was ecstatic at O.'s triumph, but I wasn't quite as starry-eyed. Referring to Iraq and Afghanistan, this is what I wrote:
"The question remains, of course, not 'can he,' but 'will he' end these horrors? His selection of Biden, Emmanuel, Clinton, and others don't strike me as indicating a desire to lessen the bloodshed. Of course, I'm an old cynic. Overwhelmingly great though it is to see an African-American man in the White House--and such a tremendous relief it is to see Bush's ass going out the door-- we must be strictly vigilant, now and for the next four years. It's absolutely imperative for us to apply the "WIBDI"--"what if Bush did it"--rule to Obama at every turn. Otherwise, he's going to be MORE deadly than Dubya, because harder to despise and fight."
Oh, what silly talk! We know, sixteen months later, that O. is doing all humanly possible to end the carnage; wasn't he awarded the Nobel Peace Prize? And doesn't he keep telling us how grieved he is when we slaughter children in their beds? And doesn't he intend to make every effort to rein in the Pentagon and stop their rampages around the world? Well, all right, not yet, but give him time--lots and lots of time, because remember, he's surrounded by evil people who are leading him astray. If he only could, he would guide us out of these horrors and wash the blood off our hands, but you see, it isn't his fault, he's blameless, he's a nice family man, he isn't like the others...
Now go back to sleep.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Awards Ceremony last night was wonderful. Officially called "Senior Academic/Activities Awards Program," it was held in the Holy Spirit High School auditorium at 7 pm. I met Pat's dear niece, Donna, at her house at 5:00 and she took me to Smithville Inn for dinner. Got to the ceremony in plenty of time and was told to sit up front in the reserved section.
There were lots of scholarship monies from colleges awarded, some in the thousands and thousands of dollars. I assume that means the seniors must attend and tuition will be covered. I hadn't expected to be asked to speak, but I was. Up on stage at the microphoned podium, I was a little nervous, but okay. I mentioned that Pat was a star football player and had probably graduated before most of the people in the room were born. I choked up a little, but got through. I then named the student who had won. There was a kind of happy gasp, then applause--I guess it hadn't been known before that. The kid, Daniel McNair, came up on stage and I gave him the certificate, then a hug. Donna took pictures and later, found Daniel and took others.
I'm so glad I did it and I want to continue for at least next year. The evening was so good--bittersweet, but I was glad my husband's name was out there. It's been more than half a century since he played, but nobody who saw it will ever forget that 74-yard run back against Atlantic High.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Yes, yes, I bought and planted the additional flowers, plus pounded the tree spikes around my poor sick tree. This morning, it's raining, which means I'll probably have to follow through on my promise to weed the sides and back soon--ugh!
While I was digging away yesterday, my neighbor, Anne Mary H., came down to give me several nice candles. People give them to her and she won't light them--thinks they'll suck up the oxygen she needs to breathe or something. She won't use her stove, either, and won't own a microwave. Is she nuts? Yeah, a little, but we in the neighborhood are used to her brand of nuttiness and just take it for granted.
Got a call-back from my old grammar school friend, Elva B. and greatly enjoyed our chat. I had hoped to go up to Lambertville with my old high school friend, Jeanne P., for dinner and to drop in on Elva's gallery, but circumstances interfered. We'll try again later.
The cast party for "Steel Magnolias" is set for next Thursday and should be great fun. I'll bring the guacamole that made such a hit at the last party I attended.
Tonight, I'll attend the Holy Spirit Awards Ceremony and will present the scholarship I endowed (sounds grandiose!) in Pat's name. Will meet his niece, Donna, first for dinner at Smithville Inn.
A problem has developed with The Breeze e-mail. All the copy had been sent to the publisher and the idea was that, after they re-type it, we get the proofs to check and correct. Now there's some snafu or other and we can't get into the e-mail. Trustee Mary S. is working on it and I hope it's resolved before deadline.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I wonder if I'm developing some kind of flower obsession. Went back to Bob's yet again and bought four more red salvias and three more "crystal white" geraniums to fill in the front. On a neighbor's advice, I also picked up some tree spikes, so I can feed my poor sick tree. And now I've decided I need to put in more "gold million" (yes, that's what they're called) to add around the stone Asian shrine. Okay, I'll go get them, but that will be the absolute last until I finish weeding the sides and back (ugh!) and nurse the tree back to health.
Funny--that neighbor, Joe, admired my flowers and remarked that I'd have a patriotic flower display if I added some blue. (Huh? Red, white, yellow, and blue?) When I told him I'm not patriotic, he seemed not to hear. His eyes glazed over and he kept repeating robotically, "patriotic...patriotic...patriotic...." Okay, he didn't say that, but he also didn't respond to my statement; he actually didn't seem to hear it. If he had, I would have told him I consider "patriotism" to be nationalism lite, and what else but nationalism (read "exceptionalism") leads us to murder and plunder around the world?
Do I love my country? No. As somebody said, "Don't love anything that can't love you back." I love my family and many of the other people here and I cherish my home and the flowers out front and I enjoy and appreciate a plethora of other aspects of my life. But "love" my country? Not the way I understand love.
Okay, end of sermonette or diatribe or whatever. Enjoyed a long talk/see last night with daughter Ellen, but was sorry to hear Sebastian and Tillie are sick. S. isn't eating as much, a worrisome symptom, as he'll usually eat his, Tillie's, Ellen's, and anybody else's food he can find, as well as stray bugs and, for all I know, the flowers in her garden.
Flowers? Oh, no!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I'm getting to be a real farmerette. Planted twelve stately red salvia and twelve cute little "Million Gold" plants in front, then decided more were needed to fill in. Went back to Bob's and got eight white geraniums and planted them in back. My planning instincts were off for sure, as I put the geraniums in back and it was hard working around the other plants without crushing them. I also bought four pots of "steppables"--tiny little green ground cover that will drape over the flagstones that front the garden. Besides that, I bought two Rigel begonias and a "copaca"--a low-growing with little white flowers. Planted them in the container and decided to put that on the porch, as begonias like shade. I also again watered the tree, then the flowers.
Barb next door came over to ask if I wanted half of her ficus tree, which Frank is going to divide. I do and I dedicated a big pot to it.
I'm still not satisfied that I have enough planted. I know I want to go back to Bob's and get two more white geraniums, as they stopped a little short behind the salvia. Went to The Home Depot late in the day, to see what they have, but left empty handed. Soon, I'll have to tackle the clearing and weeding in the back, as I want to plant tomatoes. What a chore, but I'll get to it. I don't even want to contemplate the rest of the weeding around the sides that needs to be done. Hard work, but good exercise and, once I get into it, absorbing.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Guess I'm just going to hell in a handbasket (from whence did I dredge up that expression? Dunno)--I slept until quarter of seven! However, virtuous Mimi dressed quickly, grabbed her portable record player (it hasn't been called that for the past fifty years? Oh.), and hit the sidewalk, even though Susan's away for the weekend. Tomorrow I'll make a point of getting up at a decent hour--my usual, 5:30.
Bob, the guy who blows out my sprinkler system (wow, that sounds provocative) noticed that my tree out front is looking sickly, decided at a glance it's infested with parasites, and advised me to get rid of it and plant a new one. Aghast, I finally looked and noticed the leaves are all droopy. Now this is a mature tree which has been here seven years and has been well heretofor. I called Meticulous, our landscaper, and their guy, Jerry, came over, took one look and said it probably needs water. Told me to leave the hose at a trickle for twenty minutes or so every other day and see if that does the trick. Nice going, Jerry! (You're battin' zero, Bob.)
Earlier, I had gone to the cemetery to water there, then went to Bob's and bought some lovely red salvia and little gold flowers, which I had intended to plant around the sick tree. Now I'll put them in the front flower bed until I see if I can nurse poor thirsty tree back to health.
Earlier still, I finally sent off (electronically, of course) the last of the articles for The Breeze. We'll get the proofs back shortly (also via computer), go over them, then meet on the 24th to compare notes. Geez, this project took an enormous amount of time and effort. Of course, it's the first one, so there were snafus here and there, but it's finally done and I hope done properly. We have a short deadline for the July issue, so I made a date for the 26th to interview my next "profile" couple, Marty and Norma H.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Busy, busy, lots going on. Right after our walk, I zipped over to Manahawkin to leave off some prescriptions, then sped back to jump in the shower and dress for our Woman's Club Luncheon.
The fact is, the only reason I continue to join the Woman's Club is for the luncheons. The meetings tend to be boring--next time, a chiropractor has been scheduled (Zzzz)--and they're held on Sunday afternoons, when I'd often rather do something else.
The luncheon was at Renault Winery, a lovely place, and was good fun. Pat H. picked me up, along with Lois V. and Barb H. (Pat's granddaughter goes to Rider, my alma mater and long-time place of employment.) Pat is a nice person, but drives like an little old lady--I had to restrain myself from telling her to get the lead out--so it took us about twice as long to get there as it would have with speedy Mimi at the wheel. We did, though, and joined the crowd. I was gratified at the number of women who came up to me to praise my performance in "Magnolias." Some of them had greeted me after the shows, but I hadn't realized others were there; I felt like a celebrity. What's more, I won twenty-five bucks in the fifty-fifty--yahoo! As I often say, there's nothing like money to make people happy.
Got home about 3:30 with just time to change and assemble my stuff for our Breeze meeting. We're down to the wire with submissions and there are still a few things I have to clean up, but we're pretty well set.
I went right from the meeting to Manahawkin, where I picked up my four prescriptions. The cost was only a hair over twenty bucks, all told, which is why I take my prescriptions to Wal-Mart. Considered looking in on the Zumba exercises--I have a free pass for one session--but I was hungry and it was after six, so I went home.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

For the first time in a long time, I didn't write this blog in the morning. It's now 7:20 pm and all I'm going to say about yesterday is that I went somewhere with someone and then we went to dinner and it was an important day in my life.
Cryptic? Well, certainly, and that's how it will remain.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Yesterday was almost all Breeze, almost all the time. I did manage to get in touch with the woman at Holy Spirit who sent me on the wild goose chase on Monday. As I suspected, she had had a lapse and just got mixed up. She apologized profusely and I accepted her apology. Okay, it's done, it's over, and I'll move on.
Spent roughly six hours in front of the computer forwarding completed articles to Senior Publishing, and what a chore. It sounds so straightforward, but all kinds of questions and problems come up. Some of the stuff has to be retyped, some recast in standard English, and there are considerations of other kinds, too. Natalie, my contact at SP, couldn't receive (or it wasn't clear enough) one of my pictures, so asked me to send "the file." Wasn't sure what this meant and, after fooling around, couldn't do it. Finally, I asked Frank next door to help, and he sent it. In return, I gave him a piece of the cake left over from Sunday (ha!). It's very typical of Frank that he called me later to say how much he enjoyed it, and also to ask if the picture made it to Natalie all right. I hope and assume so, but it probably arrived after she left work, so I haven't heard back; will check now. I still don't know how to send picture files, though, and there are bound to be more.
Talked several times to Mary S., who I like more and more as I get to know her. She's done more on the paper than anybody and she's a silent partner. Being a trustee, she isn't listed on the editorial staff, so she doesn't get credit, either. I told her I was glad to do this for this issue, but am sure not going to continue until the others take their turns. Okay, we're on the same page.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What a day. After an ordinary start, it sped way up. Walked with Susan, as usual, then went to exercise at the clubhouse, had breakfast, and drove to B.J.'s to pick up supplies. Got home about 12:00 and Mary S. called, saying she'd be going to our Breeze newspaper meeting early and asked if I could, too. I barely had time to change, but got there okay. The owner, Bill, was very cordial and forthcoming about info on the venture, but I've been there, done that. That's okay, though. After he left, we had a regular meeting and I was asked to be the liaison in touch with our rep at the publishing company, Natalie. When I got home, I called her to introduce myself, so all that was okay.
After changing, I intended to go the the cemetery to water the flowers, but before I left, I idly looked at my e-mail. What was this? A message from the woman at Holy Spirit, with the write-up on Pat--word for word, from the obit I wrote, but that's okay--but also a mention of the "Sports Awards Ceremony" tonight at 7:00, at which he'll be a part.
What!? What ceremony? Isn't the scholarship award ceremony on the 18th? I tried to call the woman, then anybody at the school, but of course, by this time, everybody was gone. I jumped in the car, drove the 25 miles to Holy Spirit and tried to find somebody--anybody--to tell me if I had the date wrong for the scholarship award or what. Nobody knew, of course, and after questioning the baseball coach--there was a game going on--and cleaning people, I was stumped. Finally drove all the way home, changed, slapped on some makeup, and drove back.
Got there and went in the auditorium to see trophies lined up on the stage and people arranging them. Appealed to several, showed them the e-mail I had printed out, and they consulted others, made phone calls, and were very accommodating. The upshot was, my husband had no "part" in the awards ceremony last night, the scholarship ceremony was still on, and I drove a total of a hundred miles to no purpose.
Oh, well. Got home and settled in with my popcorn and wine. Received a phone call from sister Betty--she rarely calls in the evening--then one from friend, Mary H., then from a high school friend, Jeanne P. After a long talk, we decided to meet for dinner in Lambertville next week. Stumbled to bed and woke up late--at 6:00--this morning.
Today has gotta be better than yesterday.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Had a lovely Mother's Day. P. and N. called in the morning and we had a good chat. The family got here right at 4:00 and I greatly enjoyed seeing all of them, especially the little boys. We ate about 5:30 and I was glad to see most of the food was gone when we finished. Put the boys in the kitchen and we were in the dining room, which worked out well (as long as Joel could keep an eye on them). I set up a buffet in the kitchen and all helped themselves.
After dessert (vanilla cake), I opened my presents. Besides the orchid garden from Mike, I got a beautiful bracelet from P. and N. (I'm sure she made it herself) and a wonderful Beethoven disc from Ellen. She called just as the rest were leaving about 7:30 (most have to go to work today) and, as ever, we had a good talk.
I finished cleaning up, then had my wine--sans popcorn, as I was stuffed, I'm afraid--and went happily to bed.
Wonderful day, wonderful family, and what a lucky mother I am.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

At almost the last minute, I decided to go to the Gene London show at Boscov's. It was crowded, but I got a good seat. This guy had a children's T.V. show--"Cartoon Corners"--from Philly years ago, then became a fashion designer. He's very tall and slim, a nice-looking man and has obviously had some work done on his face. Late in the program, he revealed that he's 79! Yoicks--and he still can't keep from hamming it up! The show was mildly enjoyable, though I found his talk tedious. He told yarns about the big stars; many of his stories were surely invented. The fun part was when he introduced models wearing reproductions of sumptuous gowns from movies: Gone With The Wind, Gilda, Masquerade, and others.
Stopped at the supermarket for last-minute stuff, then went home and started cooking. I made slymphie stew, chili, and baked and iced a vanilla cake. If it had fallen apart, I would have made a trifle, but it didn't; made vanilla icing, then decorated it with ceramic flowers. (I always have to remind people they're not edible.) Will make the green salad and chicken salad today. I'll put the five adults in the dining room and the four little boys in the kitchen.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Went to the cemetery early to water the plants. I suddenly began to grieve and called sister Betty; we cried together and I felt better.
Meant to stop at Santori's on the way home, but completely forgot. I had spoken earlier to fellow editorial staffer, Julie L., and we had some differences about our new community newsletter, The Breeze. Decided to call and ask if I could come over and talk about it. I did, and we ironed it out, I'm glad to say.
We'll have five adults tomorrow, and all four of the little boys, so thought I'd serve a salad, hot pasta and chili in the crock pots, cold cuts, rolls, and a trifle for dessert. Went to Shop-Rite to pick up most of the ingredients.
Looking forward to Mother's Day.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Bought two tops at Kohl's. Did some Breeze editing. Left for LBI about 5:30, but when I got there, realized I didn't know which municipality Mary Ellen lived in ("...in which Mary Ellen lived." Oh, the hell with it.) Found her in Surf City, where she's staying at the summer home of her ex'es cousin. She asked if I wanted to see her house that was burnt and we drove down to Barnegat Light.
I was amazed and aghast at the damage. I had been told "the back of he house" was burned, but wasn't prepared for the almost total destruction of the whole place. It's a very large house on three floors overlooking the bay--a beautiful property--and every room is done for, if not by the fire itself, by water and smoke. The place reeked. Mary Ellen told me she hadn't yet decided whether to have it torn down and rebuild completely or to try to reconstruct. I can't imagine how that could be done, as there's so little to salvage. Luckily, at least the place was heavily insured, so she has no problem with that.
We ate at The Plantation and boy, was that good (not to mention pricey--oh, I guess I just did). I had duck breast, Mary Ellen lamb, and we both enjoyed a few glasses of wine. Had a good, long talk, ranging in topic from the acting company to religion to politics to family. I didn't get home until 11:00 and to bed until 12:00. but have nothing scheduled until Sunday, so may be able to take a nap.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Had a terrific day. Got up to Mercer (County) about 1:30 and tooled around Ewing a bit, going past our old house on Lower Ferry (looks rundown, grass overgrown, etc.), the cemetery (was grieved to see Sean's grave bare), and a few other places.
Arrived at Rider and stopped first at my old stompin' grounds, Human Resources. It was so gratifying to be greeted with such warmth and welcome. Even more pleasurable was when I got to Mona's office. Mona is manager of benefits and my former colleague. At the three or four times I had visited Rider last, she happened to be on vacation or at meetings, so I hadn't seen her for about five years. She didn't know me and what fun when she did a perfect double-take. I've about fifty pounds lighter than I was then and now have blonde streaked hair after years of mousy brown. We had a great time talking and the experience was duplicated with my former secretary, Terry, now assistant to the dean, and my old friend, Vickie, chief of security.
The Awards Reception was great, too, with lots of former co-workers, both retired and active, present. It was held in the backyard of the president's residence in gorgeous sunny weather. I was happen to chat with Shirley K.T., my old boss, who was honored for forty years at Rider. Talked to many others--a number of whom I had hired myself--had some yummy food and even yummier Coronas, and enjoyed the whole thing immensely.
Stopped at grandson Joel's on the way home. They'll be coming for Mother's Day on Sunday, I'm happy to say. Got in about 7:00 after a wonderful day.
Am taking Mary Ellen to dinner tonight, so my wild goings on will continue--yippee!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Got a cam call from P. and N., always an enjoyable event. Saw N.'s stunning portraits; one is of a tiger--and it's burning bright, the other simply the eye of an animal. She's entering both into the Japan Nature Painting exhibition of the Ueno Royal Museum. They're wonderful.
Went over to the V.'s at 11:00 to clarify a few items on their "profile" which I'm writing for The Breeze. They promptly invited me to lunch and I promptly accepted. Had Italian wedding soup and a grilled sandwich, along with a little drop (or "leetle drap," as the Irish say) of Chardonney. Very nice.
Went from there to Wal-Mart to pick up medications and other stuff. Called Billie's salon to see if he could wash and style my hair for the Award Ceremony at Rider today; however, he's off, so I went to the nearby salon that Susan uses and will have it done there. I noticed it's a lot less expensive, too--hmm, maybe I'll switch yet again.
Got a welcome call from Mary Ellen. Her house, which burnt during the run of "Magnolias," is uninhabitable and she's staying at her ex-husband's relative's summer place on LBI. I said I want to take her to dinner, so we'll do that tomorrow.
Did a lot of work on The Breeze, trying to get it into some kind of shape when it comes to organization. Created a "final" folder and put completed articles into it. I think it's shaping up okay.
Later, I did something downright evil: When my niece was here for the play, she left me a big square of chocolate from somewhere and I sat down and ate most of it. To top off the crime, I then went out and got a soft ice cream cone! With chocolate coating! Ugh, I felt queasy after, but it was good going down. Hope I have that out of my system now.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

After getting my oil changed, I unpacked and puttered around. Got my passport picture taken at Walgreens's Went to a Breeze meeting at 1:00, which was attended by two women from Cranberry Creek. They co-edit their paper and have had problems similar to the ones we may face. One of them said she had been at the Sunday performance of Magnolias and loved my portrayal of Clairee. Of course, I was abashed and embarrassed and asked her never to dare mention anything about such a subject again--NOT!*
I was intrigued by some things one of the visitors, Barbara W., said, so called her after dinner. She is, in effect, editor of their paper, although she's simply listed as part of the editorial board; she's also a trustee. We had a good chat and agreed that people--troublesome, cantankerous, or saintly--are probably the same everywhere.
Was happy to get darling daughter, Ellen, by web cam call late in the day and we caught up on various things.
*One of our very sophisticated verbal devices when I was in high school; signifies a negation of a preceding statement. Weren't we suave?

Monday, May 03, 2010

Talked to sister Betty and was thrilled to hear her film festival went well. Late in the day, went to a great party up north and stayed over. Was home early enough to keep my 8 am oil change appointment. Have a meeting for The Breeze today, and want to get my passport picture taken after.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Busy and productive day. It was incredibly warm--hot, even--and the day was flooded with sunshine. Talked to sister Betty, whose Santa Barbara Minute film festival was last night. I hope it went well.
Finally got around to putting away stuff from Magnolias--items from the library display window, flyers, and so on--that were strewed all over the study.
Went to Manahawkin for this and that. After lunch, I took the two azaleas over to the cemetery and planted them. The pansies badly needed water, but perked right up after I gave them a big drink. Met a couple and her father there.
After dinner, went to Kohl's to look for a few things. Found a top and a blouse, but am not sure I'll keep them.
Was pleased to get a cam call from Mike about eight in the evening (8 a.m. in Singapore) and could reconnect with the adorable little girls after Mike had been in Sydney for two weeks. Violet wasn't talking yesterday, but seemed interested in seeing her Nana; Vivian was her usual excited self. She was going to her tennis lessons (it was morning there), then to a birthday party for a boy in her class.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

What a terrifically nice day we had! The D.'s and I left at 10:00, Frank driving, on a perfect day--brilliantly sunshiny, warm, but not hot, and with only mild breezes. Luckily, the Dorset Avenue bridge is now open. I took them over that and straight down to Atlantic Avenue, pointing out Betty's old house, which looks like a million bucks. I had prepared a little album with pictures of my old haunts taken when I was a child. A lot has changed, of course, and as I shared it with the D.'s, we enjoyed comparing the old and new sites.
We stopped first at City Hall, a beautiful old building, erected in 1928. Admired the architecture and original tiles and other fittings, then stopped in the mayor's office. She wasn't there, but I asked the secretary about the pictures of the old days that used to line the hall and she took us into another room to show them. One depicted St. James before the convent was built--how great to see that!
We then drove a few blocks away to the Historical Society. Madeline D., an old friend from my childhood, was there and we chatted with her, then examined the artifacts and pictures. We strolled to the boardwalk and admired the views, then walked over to St. James. Went into the church, and then the school. It happened to be lunchtime and Ann, the secretary, said we probably shouldn't go upstairs at that time, as it would be swarming with kids. No problem, as that wasn't necessary anyway, and I suggested lunch.
We parked across from Betty's--and Mother's old house--on Washington Avenue, and ate at Hannah G.'s. Of course, it's a neighborhood place, crowded and noisy, but great fun and the food is good. After a leisurely meal, we went to Rosborough Avenue. I knew Dee was in Pennsy, but we climbed up the steps to the porch, then to the backyard and I pointed out the changes since I was a kid.
The next stop was Lucy The Elephant, which they greatly enjoyed. We saw the video on its history, and Frank took pictures when we went up to the howdah on top.
To top off the tour, I suggested the breakwater at Longport. The ocean was tranquil yesterday, but I mentioned how wild it is during a storm, especially in the winter.
That was our day and it was such fun. I know the D.'s enjoyed it, and I sure did. It was a bit before 4:00 when we got home and I stopped over at the V.'s, then at Marge's just to visit and chat.
It's so much fun to go back to where I came from--and so satisfying to know where I am now.