Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Another horrendous dental session. I got a crown and something else, just not sure exactly what. This time, it took only an hour and a half--it just seemed longer. Next time, I get "fitted" for a partial, I think.
Talked to daughter Ellen. After the removal of two wisdom teeth, her lip is still partially numb. Said she called the office and receptionist told her she had had the same problem, which lasted for six years! I found this very alarming and was sure the dentist was negligent or something. However, this morning E. sent me an e-mail to the effect that she researched it and found this sometimes happens to people over 35. Said she thinks she may feel some tingling, which should indicate the numbness is wearing off, thank heavens.
Lunch with Sue from Holy Spirit today and auditions tonight.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Got a welcome call from P. and N. It was P.'s birthday and--hardly an original or profound thought, but it's unavoidable--how incredibly fast the time has gone since my firstborn came to the world. And what a rare and wonderful person he turned out to be.
Ran a number of errands, packed and sent Violet's birthday package, then went to the pool late in the day on a hot, hot, hot, and sultry day.
Dentist today, for a crown--or crowns--and something else. I cringe at the thought, but am getting closer to completion. That's something to hang onto, I guess.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Was a kind of interim day--a lull between active ones--the only one all week. Got a call from Florida brother Larry. He and Helen were on their way to Pennsy to see her sister and we made plans for them to come here for a few days, starting this Friday. Betty's kids will be in, so we'll have a kind of mini-reunion, too.
Other than that, just errands. Got some small gifts for Violet; must wrap and send today, as her second birthday is July 10th. It was incredibly hot and humid and I went to to pool late in the day. The water felt great, of course.
Dentist tomorrow--ugh!
WIDER:
Here's a fabulous fifties film from my pal, Jon V.:
http://www.archive.org/details/RedMenace
It's just unbelievable that people actually swallowed that crap, isn't it? I mean, the idea that our enemies hate us for our freedoms and are lurking around waiting to take over the country! Nobody would fall for that nowadays, would they?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Another very fine day, this time at the lake to celebrate J.'s birthday. Had to detour all the way to Manahawkin, as there was a road block. When I got to Route 72, I found it extended all the way to there. I think it was a forest fire.
The lake was great. J.'s gang was already there and I jumped right in. N.'s parents came shortly after, but they left before the rest got there. They consisted of J.'s dad, brother, sister, and their assorted families, so I guess there was about twenty in all. The hot dogs and hamburgers tasted great--food always does outdoors--and they brought lots of other sides, plus a huge bowl of blueberries from when they all went pickin' on Friday.
J. got lots of good stuff, including a microscope. Every time he opened a present, he'd exclaim over it, then race to the people who gave it and wrap a big hug around them. He's such an affectionate kid. His little brother, T., and I spent a lot of the day together and what a sweet baby he is.
It was almost dark when I left and full dark by the time I was halfway home. Route 539 was still blocked off, so I had to again detour all the way to Manahawkin. Didn't want to get on the Parkway, so took Route 9, but no problem.
Talked to daughter Ellen when I got back. She endured horrible ordeal at the dentist, who only succeeded in extracting two of four wisdom teeth she's supposed to have out. I'm glad she decided to go to a different one and to be put to sleep.
I've been having such a full, enjoyable summer. Have nothing scheduled for today or tomorrow, which is actually fine by me; I've neglected doing much around the house, and need to take care of that. However, if something fun should come up, you can be sure I'll let the domestic chores hang.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

This is continuing to be one busy--in a good way--summer, full of activity and good times. Yesterday, I packed a lunch for the two of us and got down to sister Betty's about noon. We ate there (chicken salad sandwiches on pumpernickel, sliced apples and blueberries, sourdough pretzels, and pink lemonade), then went to the beach. Stayed at the Washington Avenue one for about a half hour, then walked down to Richards Ave. to sit with friend Mary H. and some of her family.
I get antsy with too much of inactivity and I don't like to sit on the sand, so walked back to get my beach chair. I also broke up the afternoon by taking a brisk walk to Ventnor pier and back. We left about 4:00 and when we got back to Betty's, found that the electricity on all three downbeach municipalities was off. This had been announced on the radio, Betty said--something to do with the lightning that had occurred on Thursday. I suggested we go off-shore for dinner and we did. Had broiled flounder at Shore Diner and greatly enjoyed it.
Back at Betty's, we sat on the porch and chatted for awhile, then I drove home. Got in a bit after eight after another fine summer day.
Today: the lake for Joelly's eighth birthday.
WIDER: The more things change department: Does the following seem familiar?
"People talk a little more of the war, but very little. As always hitherto, it is impossible to overhear any comments on it in the pubs, etc. Last night, E(ileen) and I went to the pub to hear the 9 o’c news. The barmaid was not going to have it on if we had not asked her, and to all appearances nobody listened."
And:
"Watching in public bars, I have noticed that working men only pay attention to the broadcasts when some bit of demotic speech creeps in. E(ileen), however claims, with some truth I think, that uneducated people are often moved by a speech in solemn language which they don’t actually understand but feel to be impressive. E.g. Mrs A. (cleaning woman) is impressed by Churchill’s speeches, though not understanding them word for word."
Those paragraphs were written by an Englishman in his journal (that's what blogs were called in past years, children) exactly seventy years ago in May and June, 1940. They concern, of course, the quickly approaching world war. He notes that there was little interest among the great lower class, but what there was appears as admiration for the lordly rulers. (Surely, because they use all the big words and are so--well, lordly--they must know better than lowly working stiffs like you and me.)
Yes, it was The Prophet Orwell.

Friday, June 25, 2010

It was a surprise day that turned out pretty good. Early on, I got an e-mail from Sue, with whom I was supposed to lunch, asking if we could postpone, as she had a medical emergency. I know she's had some serious stuff going on, so of course, understood; we set a new date for next Wednesday.
I had received a notice from the NJ Pinelands Preservation Commission about a presentation called "Flying With Emilio," to be held at its location in Pemberton. With the afternoon open, I decided to go to that, and did.
Emilio Carranza was a Mexican pilot, sometimes called "The Mexican Lindbergh," who was on a good will tour of the U.S. in July, 1928. On his way to New York, he was killed when his light plane went down in a thunderstorm in the dense woods near Tabernacle, NJ. He was only twenty-two. There's a small monument of sandstone in a clearing near where he crashed; it was sent from Mexico in the thirties. I've been there several times, and have been intrigued by the story since I learned of it.
Every year since the accident--this will be the eighty-second--Mount Holly American Legion Post 11 holds a memorial at the site. I hope to go this year.
The video was interesting and included relatives of Carranza's, many of whom live in Texas, as well as the old men of the post who also spoke at the presentation.
As ever, I was torn between my admiration for these kindly people who honor one of a neighboring country's heroes, and abhorrence at the unthinking nationalism so evident in their talk and demeanor. Well, that's a dilemma I'm not going to solve very soon.
Got home about 4:00 and was going to go to the pool, but a terrific thunderstorm blew up (surely similar to the one that blew Emilio down), so I didn't. Made plans with sister Betty to go to the beach today, but I'm not sure if the weather's going to allow it.
WIDER: Of course, the big news of the day is McChrystal and his staff and his dirty mouth and his firing and so on, ho-hum. Every time I saw a picture of him, something kept buzzing around in my mind, but wouldn't stay still long enough for me to examine it. Then I saw one of him--I think at the White House--with a little, lopsided smile on his face and I realized: He looks like one of those crazed serial killers who dismember their victims and stow them behind the wainscoting.
Well, if the shoe fits...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

At my doctor appointment, I found I was supposed to be taking two tablets (5 mg.) of amlodipine (for BP) daily, but have been taking only one (2.5 mg.). Why? Because the instructions on the prescription say, "take one...," which I pointed out to the doctor. Somebody screwed up, we decided. My BP (130/80) isn't horrible, she said, but she'd still like it down lower. Will take the extra damn pill.
Got down to Betty's about 12:30, after stopping to get her a welcome back gift: a little clay turtle with a plant in it. Suzanne M., Helen C., and Betty were waiting on the porch and Mookie D. came soon after. We had tentatively planned to go to the Greenhouse in Margate and sit on the deck overlooking the ocean, but when we got there, it was so hot that plan was vetoed. I never like to sit inside there because it's very dark and so noisy you can't hear yourself talk, so we went to the Anchorage in Somers Point, I place I always liked.
I had a big, greasy, rare hamburger and a frosty cold beer--seems to me there just isn't any summer meal more delicious than that. Of course, we talked and talked and laughed a lot. Went back to Betty's after and spent another hour or two doing the same. I got home about 5:00 and immediately after, put on my bathing suit and went to the pool. There was nobody there and you're not supposed to swim alone, but I did anyway and it was heavenly. Stayed in about 45 minutes, then left for home.
Another great summer day. The only cloud over it was a message I got from my dear cousin, M., in Cincinnati, with ominous medical news. May she be all right--oh, please...
WIDER: After the millions of words spewed out hither and yon regarding the McC. affair, this from the blog "Who Is IOZ," says it all:
"...I am glad to live in a world where the ongoing slaughter of civilians is a resume-builder but badmouthing the boss is a firing offense."
Full stop. Period. The end.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Went to B.J.'s and got a lot of paper products. Stopped at Kohl's and Wal-Mart for various. Puttered around here and there, had lunch, then went to the cemetery. I was charmed to see three pine cones arranged at Pat's grave. I'm sure Sue put them there; she's the sister of Joe S., who died at 53 in March. I'm meeting her for lunch tomorrow, so will thank her.
Stopped at Santori's on the way back for cabbage, tomatoes, and cauliflower. Other than all that, when I was watching my 45 minutes of television last evening, Susan called to alert me to a rainbow in the east. I ran outside to see it--beautiful! Went back to get my umbrella (we finally got six drops of rain) and just stood looking at it.
Today, I have an 8:30 doctor's appointment, then will meet sister Betty and friends for lunch.
WIDER: Reading the McChrystal thing in Rolling Stone, one can only turn to cliches: It's life imitating art. McC. is the epitome of the boorish, animalistic monstrosity renowned in fiction for centuries. He's a veritable machine who eats only one meal a day, runs a daily seven miles, and hates and despises all things cultured, refined, civilized, gentle, and compassionate--all the best in human nature, that is. He'll meet with Obama--who surely, it seems to me, has a made-to-order scenario to prop up his macho image (it was drooping a bit there) and will fire him. The fact that McC. is such a frigging cartoon hides the larger truth: that the true monstrosity and that of all the other generals and politicians and war-lovers is that they practice or support killing people.
Just that.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

After our walk and the two-mile at the clubhouse, practically the whole day was dentist. It was gruelling, as usual: Dr. L. filled four cavities and did the root canal, then the hygienist, Danielle, formed a "temporary tooth" in the top, but don't ask me why. She said something about Dr. L. wanting to save the root canal--I think, but am not sure. A horrible ordeal, as they all are, but at least, I'm getting closer and closer to the end. Didn't get home until 6:30 and then, having had no lunch, ate a can of tuna and some blueberries. Have three more appointments lined up.
Got a welcome call from Ellen, who's out of school now. It ended last week for the kids, but she went in over the weekend and yesterday to clear up. She gets four wisdom teeth pulled on Friday--darn, I wish I could be with her.
Later: Forgot to mention this before: On Saturday, when J. and gang were here to crab, little T. came up to me and asked, "Mimi, where your poppy?" I was astounded that he remembered Pat and so touched and pleased that he asked about him. We told him Poppy had to go away.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day turned out to be a good one, although I no longer have a father or a husband who was a father. Took a dip in the pool early, then did this 'n that, then went up north for dinner. So nice to be with that great father, Joel, and his gang, especially two days in a row. When I got home, I found a message from sister Betty. Called her back and we had a good chat. She's coming in on Wednesday.
Today, the dentist--aagh and double aagh! I think she's going to fill the five cavities that were uncovered last time. Guess I'll just have to endure it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

"O, sacrament of summer days...." Emily Dickenson wrote that and it describes my yesterday's adventures perfectly. I decided, more or less at the last minute, to go on the Pine Barrens hike. Met at Elaine's restaurant at 9:00 to find Faye and Jay, two stalwarts of the Outdoor Club. Nobody else showed up, so we drove in Jay's car to the starting point.
As it was, that was deep into the woods and, hoo boy, we went a fer piece after. Trekked eight miles under a peerless blue sky with plenty of sun. A bit too much warmth came along with it, of course, but gentle breezes flowed around us often enough.
We walked about eight miles at a good clip, I with my backpack on. Stopped for a snack at a beautiful place Jay knew about: A lake about two miles in, absolutely deserted, which used to be the site of a large summer house. Property was sold to the Nature Conservatory, which tore down the house (state said it was a hazard), so nothing's left but Nature's secrets.
Lots of frogs and toads crossed our path, plus an attractive snake and some little chipmunks. We saw just the glimpse of what Jay thought was a fox streaking across an area ahead and, of course, there were plenty of damned deer flies and other creatures. J. and F. had an extra hat netting, though (I'm going to buy one)and I wore that over my head. We must have looked like berserk bee keepers--if anybody had been around to see us, but the place was pretty well deserted.
These hikes are always wonderfully enjoyable, especially when they're over. The terrain here was very strenuous: sand roads much of the time, some up and down repeated hills, plus a bunch of places where we were above-ankle deep in water, then the same in thick red mud. It was much more challenging than last week's nine-miler in Princeton, but great exercise.
As we drove out of the woods, my cell rang. It was grandson J., saying he and the gang were planning to go crabbin' down by me--did I want to go? Darn right! Got home, jumped in the shower (hey, talk about sacraments--that would qualify), dressed, gobbled a salad, and awaited their arrival.
This time, it was just J. and T., as the other two boys were with N.'s folks. They came, we all piled in the van, and we went crabbin'. (Don't gimme that prissy "crabbing." You have to say "crabbin'," otherwise you won't catch anything.)
And they did catch! They let the cages down and N. caught two "legal" crabs, little J. one! Enormous excitement ensued and we all marveled at the mystery of the sea giving up its bounty for us to eat. The bay was wild--full of waves and whitecaps smashing against the bulkhead and we all got soaked, but so what? Big J. put a fishing pole out in another area; didn't catch anything, but was philosophical about it as fisherpeople have to be. Little T. had a ball running back and forth, climbing on things, and expressing delight in using his sturdy little body.
We stayed until after 7:00, then Joel called to order pizza and wings from Brother's. We picked that up, zipped it home, and gobbled it down happily. J., N., J., and T. left soon after, and I contentedly drank my evening wine, then went to bed, knowing it had been a wonderful, magical sacrament of a day.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My computer is going haywire! It's making constant ticking noises and I can't seem to get on my homepage at all. I turned it off, then on again twice, but it's still ticking. Darn.
Well, yesterday: I went to Kohl's and got myself two tops and a dress. An actual dress, incredibly enough. It's what we used to call a "shirtwaist"--imagine a man's shirt that goes to the knee. It's maroon and very nice; also nice that it was on sale.
When I got home, I put it on and went with Susan to the viewing of one of our Sunrise Bay neighbors. It was jammed with SB people and another neighbor, Rose G., came up to me to tell me she had met Marianne H. at Littman Jewelers in Hamiliton Mall. This was a year ago, but she's still carrying around the card so she could mention it when she saw me. Marianne and she had gotten in a conversation, Rose found out she was from Ventnor and the upshot is she's Elva's sister.
Well, I'm nothing if not impulsive, so after the viewing, I drove over to the mall and Littman Jewelers. Talked to a woman, who told me Marianne had retired. Said if she heard from her, she's mention me. I looked around the mall and actually tried on some bathing suits, but didn't like any, so came home.
Got the proofs for the July issue of The Breeze and was happy to see there seem to be many fewer typos and other errors than there were in June. I can't go to the meeting on Monday, as I have a dentist appointment, but will give Mary my corrections ahead.
Computer is still ticking away like a time bomb; hope it doesn't explode. I know the ticking probably means I haven't maintained properly, but I'm unsure what to do. Darn, darn, double darn...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Incredibly--for me--I sat and watched a movie in the afternoon. After running errands in Manahawkin, I stopped at the library and picked up Little Miss Sunshine. I knew it had been acclaimed a few years ago, but wasn't sure in what way (best picture?) and the title (kiddie beauty pageants?) didn't appeal to me.
Well, lemme tell ya, it was terrific.
The movie is structered the same way as Magnolias, that is, it's an "ensemble" movie. There are no main "stars," with supporting actors; instead, to a great extent, all the characters are of equal importance. They each have a "back story" (more theatre talk, folks) that's quickly revealed through dialogue and actions and each have their struggles and goals. This fleshes them out and makes them believable. I wasn't crazy about the ending--seemed contrived--but other than that, it was terrific.
Went to the pool about 4:00 for a quick dip, then showered, dressed, and drove over to the cemetery. I barely got home in time to change to attend an open LETCO meeting, but did. Enjoyed it and was home by 9:00. I was so stimulated by talking to Blithe Spirit director, my friend Ellen, that I sat right down and read out loud the part of "Madame Arcati," for which I'll audition at the end of the month.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Longwood Gardens was just beautiful. It was a long trip--more than two hours--but chatting away with Barb, Pat, and Kathy, it seemed shorter. The flowers, the trees, the greenhouses and conservatory, are breathtaking this time of year, and we reveled in the whole scene. Had lunch at the very pricey sit-down restaurant, named 1906 for the year Pierre DuPont bought the estate--and got back to Manahawkin about 6:00.
Nothing going on today; LETCO general meeting tonight.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Went to Scrabble. I proposed that we skip it for the summer, but it was decided to just meet once a month. I bowed out and said I'd resume in the fall. I dislike sitting in a house in beautiful weather, as it was yesterday, and in fact, I'm getting a little tired of it altogether. We meet at 1:00 and play three games, then have coffee and talk, so don't get home until 5:00 or so. As we play, we invariably munch on the salty and sugary snacks that we all put out; with coffee, it's cake or cookies. Oh, I could sit there for hours with that stuff at my elbow and not eat it, but I'm afraid I'm never that virtuous.
The political bent of my fellow Scrabblers, which they sometimes express, is wearisome, too, I'm afraid. It's the knee-jerk ultra-right kind, as it seems to be for the vast majority of my contemporaries: U.S. right, others wrong, the military are heroes, all Arabs are terrorists...and blah, blah, blah. Their leisure hours--and they have a lot of them--are spent watching television and their beliefs about the world are taken directly from "news" programs, without benefit of thought or challenge. Considering that the content of those programs is surely direct from Washington--well, I get tired of protesting the mindless acceptance of the philosophies of the scum of the earth, our "leaders."
Besides, Scrabble bores me.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Met Ellen V. for lunch at Applebee's and, as ever, had a good time. She's directing Blithe Spirit and I finally made the decision to audition for what's essentially the lead, the wacky psychic, Madame Arcati. It's going to be iffy whether I get it or not, considering I think Mary Ellen M. also has her eye on it. I'd settle for the much smaller, supporting role of Mrs. Bradman or even smaller, of the maid, Edith, but there may be a lot of competition for them, too.
After lunch, drove to the cemetery, but it seemed to be about to rain, so I didn't water. Turned out it didn't, just threatened annoyingly, with dark clouds and rumbles.
Scrabble today and Longwood Gardens on Wednesday.
WIDER: Before the recent primary election, I received a number of recorded phone calls from "my" (hell, no!) congressman, John Adler (d). Of course, I slammed the phone down immediately, but not before yelling, "F--- you." Did I vote? Certainly not. My walking companion and neighbor was shocked to the core when I told her I had no intention of voting. I don't believe in the two-party system and I sure as hell don't believe in John Adler. Here's what the slimy whore master has to say about our slaughter of other human beings:
"John is very proud of our servicemembers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Once our servicemembers have completed their missions, he believes it is time to safely bring our troops home. He appreciates the hard work and sacrifices our men and women in uniform have made to establish a foundation that we can diplomatically and politically build on to work towards peace in these unstable nations...."
Well, what is the mission John so soulfully encourages our "servicemembers" (since when is that one word?) to complete? Can anybody spell it out? What, exactly, does the completion of "the mission" look like? Any takers? Just let me know, because I've never been able to figure it out. And note the incredible arrogance of assuming it's up to us to "work toward peace"--hey, maybe for starters, we could quit killing people "in these unstable nations." And how come they're so unstable? Just because they have have an invading army tramping on them for years shouldn't lead to instability.
Here's another gem from John Boy's odious site:
"John strongly supports continuing to fight terrorist networks in the Middle East and around the world. In a post-9/11 world, it is important that the United States has the resources and tools necessary to combat terrorism through intelligence and military operations."
Omigod! Exceptionalism is alive and well in good ol' New Jersey! John is nothing if not an enthusiastic supporter of "military operations." Of course, "intelligence" is important, too--including, I'm willing to bet, a little torture there, a little rendition here; I've never noticed that John objects to either.
And here's the kicker: To my knowledge, all our elected "representatives" are more like Adler than not.
And you think I should vote? Don't be funny.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Went to the cemetery on a hot and humid Sunday. Watered the flowers on both graves thoroughly--I'm going to have to replace the pansies, as they're getting peaked--then stopped at Santori's for lots o' veggie goodies. Thought I might go to the pool, but decided against it. Enjoyed long phone chats with sister Betty and friend, Peg.
After lunch, I drove to Manahawkin to pick up a few things, then to Acme. It started to rain as I arrived home, which was okay by me, as I didn't have to water the tomatoes. Pared and cut up sweet potatoes, which I put in the slow cooker with orange juice and cinnamon. Had that for dinner, along with leftovers from the Saturday dinner out.
All these many weeks, I had had the DVD of Steel Magnolias, but never watched it. I was afraid to, thinking I'd be revealed as a terrible actress. Impulsively, I put it in, half hoping it wouldn't work.
But it did, and hoo-boy...it's pretty good! I looked absolutely terrible, something like the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz because of my wattle and other loose skin; also seemed to have a hunchback , but came across not badly at all. What's most important is that I fit the part--a woman of a certain age who is a leading light in the town and who can be acerbic, but has a heart of gold. I viewed the show pretty objectively, I think, almost as a director. I know I delivered my lines effectively (and got a gratifying number of laughs), reacted to the other players naturally, and put in a fair amount of stage business (moving around, filing my nails, sipping my coffee) that fit well into the situations.
Topped off the day with a welcome phone call from daughter Ellen. She has just one more week of school, then freedom for the summer--happy day!
Am meeting fellow LETCO member, Ellen V., for lunch today. She played Ouiser in Magnolias and will direct Blithe Spirit.
WIDER: Want proof that we'll never leave Afghanistan? Headline from NYT:
U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan
Thnk we'll allow any country weaker than the U.S. to keep their own minerals? Repeat: We will never leave Afghanistan.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

These beautiful days continue to be golden. Went on a nine-and-a-half mile hike with the Outdoor Club in Princeton yesterday. This was a "brisk pace" one and boy, it was brisk. Very invigorating. I'm glad I'm accustomed to not strolling when I walk; Susan and I cover our daily mile-and-a-half in about 20 minutes and the Walk Away The Pounds exercise I do three days a week is more intense.
First half of the hike was from the D & R Canal into the Princeton U. campus. It's been several years since I've been there, and what a gem it is. It's almost impossible not to believe that the people connected to the school--students, faculty, employees--are somehow better humans in some way: smarter, more beautiful, more morally upstanding. I know that's an idiotic notion, but they're surrounded by such incredible natural beauty and such thrilling architecture and the place is so steeped in history--how could they be other than perfect? Okay, okay, easily, I know. I suppose its exclusivity adds to the "best there is" impression.
Anyhoo, we stopped for about 15 minutes for "lunch." Actually, most of us had only a snack; I ate a small cup of applesauce, and some pretzels and raisins. Of course, we all had our water with us. We then started the second half--a five-mile walk on the canal path.
It was a wonderful day--sunny and warm, but not hot, and with gentle breezes. Nevertheless, walking rapidly with a pack on my back was a good workout. There were about ten of us and I was delighted to see again Sharon C., a librarian at Rider, whom I had known slightly when I was there.
Princeton is a good two hours from where I live now and I didn't get home until about 3:30. Jumped in the shower--and boy, did that feel good--then dressed for the monthly dinner with the "Friends, Food, and Fun" group. Five couples and three singles went--a nice-sized gang--and we had a ball. I ordered herb and garlic encrusted chicken, which came with pasta with oil and garlic (yes, I love garlic, non-Italian though I am) and it was superb. Also had a nice glass of Riesling and a frosty Coors Light.
Got home in the daylight (for some reason, these dinners always start very early; last night, we met at 5:00), got into my p.j.'s, poured my Country Red, and sighed with contentment after a day filled with good times.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I thought it would be pokey, but I managed to craft another full day on a warn Friday. Had to drive up to my dentist to pick up more gel for whitening (long, boring story I won't go into--into which I won't go--but I may have mentioned this torture in an earlier post). Drove the 55 miles to Bordentown, then decided to see if friend Karen C. was available for lunch. Called her and she was, but not until 1:00 and this was 11:30. Didn't want to just hang out 'till then, so drove to Lambertville and stopped in on friend Elva B. at her art gallery. She was pleased to see me and we had an enjoyable half hour, then I had to rush a bit to get back to Ewing for Karen.
Took her to lunch at the big, refurbished, and very crowded Ewing Diner (it had been a tiny Toddle House years ago) and we both had big, greasy hamburgers, mine so rare, as I had requested, that you could practically see it breathing--yum! Great time with Karen, as ever. I like her so much to begin with, and I like keeping in touch with the world of people of color, with whom I no longer have much contact, living where I live, and I'm the poorer for it.
After I dropped K. off, drove to the old neighborhood, then to the cemetery. Both were pretty dead and I was glad to leave.
Stopped in on Joel and Noelle on the way home. Met her parents and enjoyed interaction with the little boys. Home about 5:00 and found a message from Barb and Ray H. I'll go with them to the "Friends, Fun, and Food" monthly dinner today--after I go nine-mile hike in Princeton. Another good day for Mimi.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Busy, busy, full, and enjoyable day. The Breeze meeting at 10:00 went well and it looks as if the July issue will be very good. Home from there, I jumped in the shower, then grabbed a bite (Brussels sprouts, half a can of tuna, and blueberries), dressed and was picked up by Joan O. for my sub stint at the Food Pantry.
Joan lives a few streets away and is a very nice, kind person. She's from north Jersey and it's hard--oh, so hard--for me to accept that dreadful accent, which she has in spades. I do, though, because she's a nice lady and has had her share of grief.
We had lots of "customers," so the day went quickly. It was fun to receive the people and give them food. Mostly, older women came in alone, many of them caring for grandchildren, but there were some families. One was a complete couple: a young man, woman, and little girl. We were told the man "just got back from Iraq," and boy, did that set up some emotional questioning in me. He just got back from slaughter patrol and now he can't support his family? He toiled in the service of corporate America, yet he can't find a job? Won't they hire him after they used him up and tossed his aside? I wonder if he and his young wife realize he was sold a bill of goods. Okay, I'll stop.
Got home about 4:15 to find a lovely note from Holy Spirit's Sue W. She wrote about how she felt such a closeness to me, considering our loved ones buried so near to each other. I must write her back and would like to see more of her. Drove over to the cemetery--just felt like it. Got home in time to have a bite, then freshen up for the reading at 7:00.
This was great fun. I was assigned two roles--at the maid and "Baby Girl"--and we went through Who Shot The Sheriff?, an original comedy by Casey B. (to my knowledge, the only African-American member of our theatre company). We critiqued it after and oh, how great it was to go outside my usual range of things and discuss how to construct and improve a play. We finished about 9:30, but not before Ellen V. and I made a date to meet for lunch on Monday.
Overall, a very satisfying and enjoyable day.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Just nothing coming down yesterday except rain from the sky. High point was when I went to the Stafford Library. Otherwise, just puttered around. Sat and read for awhile. Ve-r-r-y slow, my least favorite type of day.
Today, though, will make up for it. Susan's going up north, so we walked early--6:45--and now I have to jump in the shower, then have breakfast, because I have a Breeze meeting at 10:00. I'm subbing at the Food Pantry from 2 to 4 and tonight, will go to the reading (of a new script by fellow LETCO member Casey B.) at 7:00. Yeah--that's more like it!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

An interesting day. I called Holy Spirit (h.s.) to ask if I could pick up more copies of the HSHS quarterly magazine with the piece on Pat so I could send to my children. Spoke to Sue, the director of Educational Advancement (that means fund-raising, folks). She was very nice and I went in to pick them up. What a warm, pleasant, and interesting person she is. She walked me out and as we chatted, she told me she knew where Pat was buried. Startled, I asked how. She said her brother is buried two plots down. I asked his name and now remembered...
...A few months ago, I noticed a fresh grave nearby and went over to look at it (I'm nothing if not nosey). Saw a temporary marker and read the name on it--an unusual one, starting with "Z." A few days later, I was intrigued to notice that on that grave, a large "Z" was traced out in pine cones. Well, that's her brother's grave. He was only 53, an undercover cop, and he died in March of lymphoma "in nine days," Sue said. I took that to mean nine days after diagnoses. Sue said she goes to the cemetery often--and I sure do, so we'll probably meet there. I liked her so much, so that's nice to know.
Went to the supermarket and planted the white begonias. Late in the day, around what used to be dinnertime, I often get lonely, so I drive somewhere. Got in the car about 5:30 and went over to Atlantic County, with no real destination in mind. Got to Galloway, where there's a several-mile long stretch of mostly woods before you reach Smithville. I saw a woman walking slowly on the side of the road. She looked about fifty, small and thin, very pale, but nicely dressed, and was carrying two cloth bags with things in them. I could tell she wasn't just out for a stroll, as she was walking very slowly and looked distressed. I passed her, but decided to turn back. I parked on the shoulder and asked if she needed help. "Ah don't know where mah apartment is," she began. It turned out she had moved here three days before from Alabama, had gone out to the drugstore and now didn't know how to get back. She said the name of the complex was "Fox Trace," but I'm not familiar with the area and didn't know where that was. I told her I'd get her there and she got in the car.
It turned out that after she left the store, she had headed in the wrong direction, so was miles away from where she lived and steadily going in the wrong direction. She told me her name was "Jane" and directed me to turn left at CVS into Smithville. I did and we drove around. She kept saying some things look familiar--"Wah, yes, ah've seen that before"--but then decided her place was on the other side of the highway. We went back and she told me to go straight, but that wasn't getting us anywhere, either. I finally decided to see if niece Donna, who lives nearby, was home; maybe she could help. When I pulled into her driveway,though, it occurred to me to ask Jane if we could use my cell phone to call somebody at home. I was afraid she didn't know the number, but she did and I called. A male voice--"Frank," Jane said, and confided that he's her "companion," answered and when I told him the circumstances, said "Thet woman will be the death a' me!" Apparently, Jane has gotten into scrapes before. However, he directed me to drive past CVS to the complex, which is "Fox Chase," not "Trace." I did, dropped her at her door, and drove home. Jane thanked me over and over, but the fact is, I enjoyed the excursion and the little mystery involved. Does that go to show I have a lively and inquisitive persona or that I'm a poor soul with little in my life to engage me?
AND--how incredibly verbose am I that I filled this entry so hugely? I must learn to pare down what I write! But not yet. Not now. Not.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

After exercise, I hightailed it home for breakfast, then went to the Food Bank. I'm a "sub" volunteer and somebody wasn't able to be there, so I filled in from 10:30 to 12. As it turned out, Leslie and two other women were there, and we had only three clients so we mostly chatted. I did help put away some of the donated food that came in.
From there, I went to Tara's shop and bought myself a gorgeous new summer pocketbook--Vera Bradley, so pretty pricey, but it's a beauty. Next stop was The Home Depot, where I returned the solar outdoor lights I had bought a few weeks ago. It was an impulsive buy and I really don't need them.
Spent some time on revising and sending material for The Breeze. It seems as if we just finished the June issue, but the deadline for July is fast approaching.
Went to the cemetery late in the day to water, then to Boscov's where I got birthday presents for P. and N., and a small purse for my new Vera Bradley.
Was delighted to get an evening call from brother Frank, who's much improved from his heart valve operation. He's still not completely recovered, but is doing very well; sees his cardiologist next week.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Ran a lot of errands, including a produce excursion. Bought spaghetti and butternut squash, broccoli, cauliflower, and a few other things. After lunch, I finally weeded the strawberry bed. It's been yielding some good berries, but too many lie on the ground and get ruined in the mud or the rabbits eat them. Decided to go to Bob's and see what I could find to maybe train them to vine up or something. Picked up some low plastic fencing-type material and put that in, but I don't think it will work. However, when daughter Ellen called last night, she said what the strawberry farm near her does is put plastic on the ground and the berries lie on that. Think I'll try it.
While at Bob's I picked up two more Riegal begonias. Will plant them with the pink ones next to the garage. Went to the cemetery to water; the flowers look pretty good at both graves.
After weeding and so on, I was soaked with sweat, so pulled on my suit and went to the pool. Chatted with Julie and Gary while there. The water was great, and I stayed a full hour. Actually went in the water twice. Lots of people park themselves by the pool and sit there all day, reading or visiting with neighbors, but I get bored and restless.
We finally got some rain late in the day, but only for a few minutes. I had already watered out back--put the drip hose on--but I guess more didn't hurt.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Darned if I can remember what I did most of yesterday--not exactly an exciting one. I did meet with my neighbor, Walter G., who just published a book called The Epic Roles of Consciousness, Emergent Patterns of Individual Consciousness. He got interested in psychology after a career as an electrical engineer and, a few weeks ago, asked me to participate in a study. This entailed completing a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, as well as a questionnaire of his own design. I did, gave it back to him, and he did his calculations to reveal my personality type--or something. Yesterday, he went over it with me for an hour or so.
Sounds rather interesting, doesn't it? Actually, it was boring as hell. It isn't as straightforward as "you're an extrovert" or "you like to eat ice cream out of the carton" or anything like that. Much more subtle, often to the point of being difficult to understand, it really didn't give me much insight into myself. Hey, maybe there isn't a whole lot to know about me.
Decided to plant the three Rigal begonias I had had in a basket on the porch. I put them next to the garage door because it gets some shade there and I think they prefer that. Turned on the drip hose to water the tomatoes and went to the supermarket. Toyed with the idea of going to the pool, but didn't.
Aside from that, my teeth hurt. The whitening procedure causes sensitivity in some of them, I was told, and I have it in spades. Took two Percosets (? I don't know how to spell it and neither does SpellCheck) in the afternoon and that made me groggy and slightly dizzy. Had about a two-hour nap on the couch, watched my daily 45 minutes of T.V. (an interesting story on the disappearance of Madlyn Murray O'Hair and family), then went to bed and slept soundly.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Decided to add a separate post for this: I follow a site that posts George Orwell's journal, entry by entry, as he wrote them exactly seventy years ago. Here's the one for June 3, 1940, while the U.K. was undergoing bombardment:
"From a letter from Lady Oxford[1] to the Daily Telegraph, on the subject of war economies: 'Since most London houses are deserted there is little entertaining…in any case, most people have to part with their cooks and live in hotels.'"
Orwell comments: "Apparently, nothing will ever teach these people that the other 99% of the population exist."
[1] Margot Asquith (1864-1945) was the widow of Herbert Henry Asquith, Earl of Oxford and Asquith, who was Prime Minister, 1906-16. Peter Davison
Hey, George, is anything different in 2010? Are the wealthy and privileged any more attuned to those not so wealthy and privileged?
To ask is to answer...
(Okay, back to the humdrum with the following, second post of the day.)
Busy all day. Went to exercise, then immediately to a Breeze meeting. The July issue is shaping up well, but the meeting--because we all talk too much and off-topic half the time--lasted until after twelve noon. Didn't have breakfast until after that. After, I weeded in the back and planted the two smallish tomato plants I bought last week. Also have a "patio tomato," which I watered.
Drove up to Manahawkin and finally, at long last, found a "beach cover-up" at Kohl's. I had wanted a white one in terry cloth that zips up the front, but what I got was a black one with a tie belt. Also got a white blouse. Stopped at Wal-Mart for sugarless candy and happened to see, try on, and buy two inexpensive, but nice, blouses, plus some other stuff.
It was past four when I got home and very, very hot. Suddenly, very faintly, I heard my name being called--"Rosemary, Rosemary," it said, "Come jump in the beautiful, sparkling pool...." I didn't need more urging, so I pulled on my suit, added my new cover-up, and went.
Gee, it was great. The lifeguard's only there on weekends until June 12 and you're not supposed to go alone, but I figure rules are made to be broken, so I did. As it turned out, there were two couples there, one of which I know, so no problem if I suddenly started to go under. Swam, splashed around, and had a great time for 45 minutes or so, then got out, drove home, took a shower, and had dinner.
A good summer day, my favorite kind: It was filled with activity and included creativity and new clothes--what could be better?
WIDER: From a comment by Sean O'Neil on "Empire Burlesque":
"The absolute worst way to assess American policy is to pay attention to pundits and politicians. They are conducting theater. The real motives are found in the actions, not in the rhetoric."
That's it! That's all that needs to be said! Don't give me all the excuses for Obama--he's just biding his time, he's being manipulated by underlings, he has a grand plan he'll put into action soon--pay attention to what he DOES!
And what he does is murder and mayhem.

Friday, June 04, 2010

What an ordeal! I was at the dentist's office from 10 am 'till quarter to two and, lemme tell ya, it was no picnic. I underwent the "Zoom" procedure first--a teeth-whitening thing--and that took an excruciating hour and a half. It entailed a device that stretches your lips and holds your mouth open, which is also packed with six tons of gauze. (That's because if the stuff painted on your teeth touches your gums, it burns.) A special concentrated light is then shone on the teeth for fifteen minutes. This ritual is repeated THREE times, all the while you're immobile flat on your back. How did I remain sane? By reciting poetry to myself--prominently William Butler Yeats and Emily Dickinson.
The second procedure was a continuation of "debridement," which simply means getting the tartar off. Meg, the hygienist who does this, is an older woman, very pleasant and talkative. She explained that at my last visit, she had done the easier, bigger stuff--this was "fine tuning." Believe me, when you're in her chair, it doesn't seem the least bit "fine" in either sense of the word. It seems more like having a jack hammer and pick axe working away in your mouth. This took another hour and ten or so, but at least I had the nitrous oxide to make me "floaty" (or maybe I was more like "loopy"). I also had enough Novocaine to numb me up to the eyebrows--welcome when I was undergoing the procedure, but uncomfortable for the rest of the day.
Both procedures revealed some less-than-pleasant surprises: The whitening because I now have to carry out a tiresome procedure that entails putting a plastic form on my teeth, after I fill the depression with a gel I was given. Have to keep this on--or in--for an hour a day. What's more, Zoom causes sensitivity in some teeth and I had it in spades yesterday. (Luckily, it seems to have stopped today.)
Besides all that, "fine tuning" the debridement showed that I have no fewer than FIVE cavities that had been hidden by the cement-like stuff on the teeth. Next visit, I'll have those filled and also, I think, get the root canal. What fun--can't wait!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

After the three-miler at the clubhouse, spent the morning finishing the profile article on the H.'s for the July issue of The Breeze. Still have to send the one I did on Aunt Maggie and actually write the next installment of my poetry column. Got the June issue and it looks pretty good, although some of the corrections we noted didn't get made.
Went to SOCH thrift store and bought two tee shirts I can wear for exercise. They had a store-wide half-price sale, so they were only fifty cents apiece. WHY anyone would buy these things for ten to twenty dollars (and I've seen some higher), I can't imagine.
Jumped in the shower, then met Vivian at 5:00 at Sea Oaks and we had a delightful evening. Home by 7:30 and relaxed. Will spend the day up north--well, in the middle--as I have a dentist appointment. (It still seems weird to realize that, considering my years long refusal to go.)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Busy day. I went to Star of The Sea (church) for the viewing of old classmate Alfred Durney. Saw other high school friends there, including Mary, Charles and Janie H., and Alfred's sister and BIL, Mary and Charlie (yes, they all have the same names) P. Didn't stay for the mass, but decided to drop in on Dee G., at 15 S. Rosborough. Visited for a half hour or so with her and her friend, Rose. Rose urged me to get on eHarmony.com and regaled me with the story of how she met her present (third) husband that way. Guess I'd rather do that than hang by my thumbs for three days, but it's not high up on my priority list.
Got home just barely in time to make it to Barb H.'s for Scrabble at 1:00. That took, as it always does, until 5:00 and it's getting to be somewhat of a bore. However, it's only twice a month and I don't know how to bow out of it gracefully, as the other three women are friends and neighbors of mine.
Impulsively got in the car and went to the cemetery. Watered flowers at both graves, as it's been so hot lately. The pansies have revived and the begonias look great, so I was glad I went.
Today, I must finish the article on the H.'s for the July issue of The Breeze, as deadline is only a few days away. Got the June issue and it looks good, although at least one article was left out.
Postscript: Through another blog, I just discovered a fascinating site called "Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving Of A Wider Audience." Here's the address:
http://www.lettersofnote.com/2010/06/negro-bucks-and-white-hoodlums.html

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Great day at the lake. I had never been to that one before and, as most are in south Jersey, it's a cedar lake--very picturesque with swimming areas on both sides. There are no food places or bathrooms--that may be an asset--but it's roped off for swimming and there are lifeguards.
I brought chicken salad and ham and cheese sandwiches, cole slaw and potato salad, pink lemonade and orange juice, with fruit salad for dessert.
The little boys had a ball and so did I. It was very hot, probably up to 90 degrees--so we went in the water a lot. The kids had water toys and the little ones "swimmies," and they all swam and splashed happily. Big Joel
made a spectacular sand castle and the boys helped.
We left about 4:00 and I was home by 5:00 after a lovely day.