Thursday, June 30, 2011

Went shopping with Helen in the AM. We got gifts for her granddaughter, Alycia, whose birthday party was scheduled for last evening. In the afternoon, Larry and I went into town (Helen wanted to stay home to prepare for the party) and rode the people-mover, which I've been dying to do.
Hmm...I didn't realize it was so damn high! Or that there's no conductor! Or that I'd keep imagining it going off the tracks and plunging down...down...down! Even so, I enjoyed it--just didn't look out the windows a lot.
We got off and strolled along the waterfront, which I always like to do. As in practically every river, harbor, ocean, or other waterfront area, whether in Florida, Jersey, Singapore, and, for all I know, upper Japip, there are lots of stores, restaurants, and bars. I always find it so festive.
Got home in time to shower and dress for the birthday party, which was at my niece, Elaine's, Alycia's mother. As ever, it was fun to be with the lively Byrne crowd and the food was delish. Ate, talked, and thoroughly enjoyed the evening. I always feel so welcome when I'm with Larry's family. Lots of generations there, including my nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews, and great-GREATs. (Yoicks, that should make me feel old, but it doesn't.) Later, Elaine and I took the dog, Fritz, along with little Mia and Kayla, for a walk. Got back about 9:30, went to bed and slept like a log.
Received an e-mail from Leslie, inviting me to Scrabble on the 16th; was glad to respond in the affirmative. Got several voice mail messages--somehow, I miss a lot of calls on the cell. Will get back to darling daughter, Ellen, but wait until it's later on the left coast.
We just went out to the Stadium Diner for breakfast. With scrambled eggs, I had grits, which I can't get in Little Egg. Since they're entirely tasteless, I figure I just like the butter and salt and pepper I put on them.
Not sure what'll go on today, but there's always the pool out back and just chillin' out.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Yesterday was a fairly quiet, settling-in-after-the-cruise one. Slept until the unheard-of hour of eight, did lots of wash, went with Larry to the supermarket, read some, and even took a nap. E-mailed P. and called Joelley for their joint birthdays--43 years apart in age, though.
Helen made a delicious beef vegetable soup and with crusty garlic bread, we had that for dinner. She doesn't realize what a terrific cook she is!
After dinner, we went to Hollywood, a lovely seaside town, and first sat and listened to an Irish group singing and playing Irish songs at the outdoor stage--so enjoyable! Larry and I then strolled the "boardwalk" (actually a brick walk) next to the beach down a half mile or so--lots of stores, restaurants, and bars there. Got home about 9:30 to have our nightly ice cream...
Yes, I've gained, I know that; the only question is how much. Just am not attempting to limit calories until I get home when I'll assess the damage and get back on the straight and narrow. For now--Florida fun and damn the damage!
WIDER: Arthur Silber believes that our political leaders are monsters and that everything they say are lies, but Silber's a crackpot, isn't he? Here's a quote from the Dear Leader's recent speech:
"We’re a nation that brings our enemies to justice while adhering to the rule of law...." Then I think he added, "'Course we don't extend the rule of law to anybody we don't like, like Bin Laden, so we just assassinate as we please and hey, by the way, I can have anybody killed anywhere, anytime, any way."
Hmm, maybe he didn't actually say the last. Didn't have to.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Back from the cruise yesterday. Enjoyed a large percenage of it, and was bored by some. It took a long time to get on the ship, with "security" measures more stringent than airport ones. Was very crowded and noisy, but for me, that added to the sense of excitement. Our stateroom (or cabin or whatever it's called) was adequate, even comfortable, although there were three of us in there. Helen and Nancy are wonderfully compatible roommates and we had a good time together.
Of course, I spent most of my time out of the cabin. The food--as cruise veterans all emphasized--was everywhere all the time, and abundant. It was generally not bad, although far from gourmet. I was taken aback, though, having heard how "everything is included" by realizing I spent over a hundred dollars on drinks. They were not included in the fare and, for instance, one Bud cost me $7.57 cents. They add tax AND gratuity, so every time I ordered a drink, it ran at least that or more. The mixed drinks--at different times, I had a pina colada, a frozen daiquiri, and some kind of rum cocktail--were pretty bad. Didn't buy any of the myriad pictures they kept taking, as I took plenty of my own.
The first night, there was some kind of "comedy" show (yeah, those quote marks are warranted), at 10:15, much too late for me and very unfunny. Went in one of the pools once, but all were very crowded. I was surprised there wasn't a large one; instead, there were a number of small ones, some with salt water, which I enjoyed.
Larry and I went ashore at Key West and toured Hemingway's house, where I'd been when Pat and I were there about 12 years ago. Enjoyed that and took lots of pictures of the six-toed cats. Went to Truman's summer home, but didn't take the tour.
It got a little rocky the second day out, in the Gulf of Mexico, but I was pleased to realized I didn't get seasick. We docked at Cozumel, Mexico and Larry and I rented a taxi to take us around the island. We stopped at the end at Paradise Bay--very festive, with a lovely harbor and an open-air thatched restaurant and bar. I had a frozen daiquiri ($7.75 for a rather small plastic glass and a watery drink) and Larry a soda. Got back to the ship for a shower and dinner, then thought I'd go ashore to pick up souvenirs. Vic, Jeanne's husband, said he'd go with me (he had been doing computer/medical stuff all day in the library),but a huge downpour greeted us before we got off and we had to scratch the excursion.
Sailed all the next day back to Miami. There was a good variety review the last night and that was great fun. Got out fairly easily--it took only an hour or so--and back to Larry and Helen's comfortable home.
Would I go on a cruise again? Maybe, but not very soon and I doubt if I'd want choose a longer one--four days was okay. There seemed to be a lot of waiting around for things--meals, etc. and although cruises are always billed as having something to do all the time--a laff a minute!--I didn't find it so. There was a bit too much organized gaiety, which just isn't my cup of tea (I never joined a Red Hats group for that reason). If I had to make a choice between a cruise and going somewhere on land, then taking excursions here and there, I'd pick the latter.
On the other hand, a lot of it was great fun. The best part was being with my brother and his remarkably congenial family. There were 27 of us--I think--ranging in age from Larry, 79, to little Kayla, 3, and they're a wonderfully warm and welcoming gang.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Yesterday was prep day for our cruise. I did wash, packed (and re-packed), and at one point, we all took a nap. Later,went with Larry to two supermarkets for various items. Enjoyed Helen's great salad and other leftovers for lunch. Took my host and hostess to Red Lobster for dinner (partly thanks to Ellen's Mother's Day gift card) and we enjoyed the seafood.
Almost all set! Don't know when I'll get back to this, but to all readers: Just assume I'm having a ball.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Larry had a meeting downtown (he's on the board of a credit union), and he dropped me off to explore. Walked the half mile or so to the Biscayne Bay waterfront; loved being at the beautiful harbor, with boats plying the waters, kids on skateboards, and people strolling around. Went to the county courthouse, built in 1926, took some illicit photos (my policy is to do it first and ask questions later) and generally enjoyed myself until Larry finished up his meeting. He took me the long way home to see some sights, including Miami Beach, then we had lunch at home.
Went in the pool--heavenly--then had another terrific dinner, courtesy of Helen. After, we drove to Fort Lauderdale to stroll the river walk--scenic and interesting. Stopped to get ice cream--so good--which I enjoyed after my wine and chips. Am I gaining weight? Yep, and the cruise starts tomorrow. Do I care? A little, but not much.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bridesmaids was hilarious! Raunchy, yes,. but hilarious. When we got home, we sat at the kitchen table talking (me with my Chardonnay)and didn't go to bed until almost midnight. Just got up at 7:00--practically the middle of the afternoon for me--and haven't seen Larry and Helen.
Don't know what's on the agenda today; could be another active day or an interim quiet one, but I don't care. I know I'll enjoy it.
Note: Thinking of my husband today, our fifty-third anniversary.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Larry and I left early to go to Everglades National Park. What a terrific place: We took two hikes--one through park of the Everglades on a kind of boardwalk and saw several alligators, turtles, herons, and ibis; took lots of picture. Then went through the shady part, very different. Guess the first was about a mile, the second half that.
We then drove 36 miles to Flamingo where we had lunch and went on a flat-bottomed boat through the Everglade waterways. So interesting and great fun, notwithstanding the heat, humidity, and mosquitoes--but hey, it was worth all that, especially as a terrific thunderstorm came up--heavy rain, which cooled things off.
About to jump in the shower, then we'll have dinner (Helen made a delicious-looking meatloaf) and go to the movies to see Bridesmaids.
Having SUCH a great time!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Got to the airport early, after Frank D. dropped me off at Toms River Bus Terminal to get the van to Newark. Returned Elva B.'s call while I was there, then called Betty. Got on the plane after only a half (1 mg.) an Ativan--no problem? I wish! I was actually pretty scared, but at least it was only a bit more than two hours long.
Now here I am at Larry and Helen's in sunny Miami. We had a nice, casual dinner of salad, chicken, and sides last night, then I slept like a log. Today, daughter Nancy came over to whip up a Father's Day breakfast. Then in came Alycia, husband Brian, son Nicholas, 12 or so, two little girls, Bella, 3 and Zoe, 7 months. After that, Karen came in with husband Rudy and son, Rudy. Then Elaine, husband Alex and sons Alex, Anthony, and Andres. The rest of them called.
Had a terrific breakfast, then we all went in the pool. Most left, then Karen guided us into getting our boarding passes for the cruise ship.
Great fun to be here!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Well, I did call Betty back and we did meet for breakfast. She was seeing clients (for hospice) at Seashore Gardens on Jimmie Leeds Road, so we met near there. Had an enjoyable morning meal and chat, then went home to complete packing.
Spent the first part of the day on trip things. I have list after list to remind myself what to take, who to call, things to arrange. Got my hair cut at 2:30 and it looks good. I then dressed for dinner, as Susan had invited me to go with her and Walter, their house guest, Avis, and Judy and Roman.
We went to Michael's On The Bay in Barnegat and had a great time. The food was good, but the service inexpert. However, with two help of bottles of wine and a convivial group, we had a great time. Judy and Roman go here often and the guy who owns it bantered back and forth with them, then came outside while we took pictures. He told us he used to be backup singer for Elvis Presley, and he even crooned a few lines, sounding exactly like Elvis. (But who doesn't? Elvis impersonators are a dime a dozen; I'm going to look up his story as soon as I finish this.)
Went back to Susan's after dinner to have ice cream and cake in celebration of Walter's birthday. After that and good talk, I said goodbye and walked home across the street. Didn't turn out the light until after 11:00, but I guess I can sleep on the plane.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Thought I'd better start hustling to get ready for my trip, so did wash, packed some, got my passport, and so on. Dave came at 2:30 to rehearse; Frank couldn't, so I read his part.
Dave and I talked about LETCO and the murder mystery thing; he's been in several and so have I. I was interested to hear him tell me about a woman in Northfield who does murder mysteries. Her name is Dodie Peronce and her company is called "Inhouse Players." Dave called her while he was here, told her I'll contact her and I'll do that today. Might be another acting venue to explore; anyway, I want to find out more.
Betty called to see if we could meet on Jimmie Leeds Road for lunch, as she's working at the Seashore Home. I reluctantly declined, as I still have a lot to do and am getting my hair cut at 2:30, but darn--maybe I'll call her back (luckily, we both get up early) and meet her for breakfast.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Was pleased to get a Skype call from P. and N. P. said he had attended a reception for foreign exchange students, mostly from China and Malaysia, at the college where he teaches.
Skipped the three-mile exercise; just couldn't face it. Ran errands in Manahawkin in the morning. Got a call from Fred asking where to take the wheelchair I had picked up for Marge when she broke her cocyxx. Told him I'd pick up and return and I did.
Dave and Frank came at 2:30 and we rehearsed. At the first run-through, I was worried: Dave was simply reading his lines, with no emphasis. However, we did it several times and he got much better. I think he'll be fine in the part. While the guys were here, a visitor from up north came to bring suitcases for me to borrow--I selected the medeum large--and also brought me salad, as they're going up to Wellsboro this weekend. Dave will come over this afternoon again to rehearse--Frank is unavailable, but I'll read his lines.
Finally started assembling stuff for my trip. As usual, I'll probably over-pack; don't know how people can "travel light." I travel crushingly heavy.
Got a call from brother Larry. He and Helen are coming to Pennsylvania a few days after my visit. Helen's brother-in-law has to get a hip replaced (for the second time) and her sister has dementia, so can't be alone. They'll come down after and stay part of the time with me and part with sister Betty. I called her and we had a nice chat.
I had picked up some shrimp at Pathmark in the morning and for dinner I sauted them with mushrooms, onions, and sweet peppers in a little oil. Delish!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Fun excursion to the lavender farm. Barb H., Susan, Kathy D., and I went and we stopped first at Delicious Orchards, a truly breathtaking market in Colts Neck. Susan has mentioned this, as she often goes there when she's heading north. The place has an incredible abundance of produce, meats and cheeses, and flowers, as well as practically everything else under the sun. Also offers lots of samples; I had various salad dressings, scooped up with either small hunks of bread or--something I liked--slices of zucchini. Sampled several of their cheeses, salsa, and the coffee of the day, "Bavarian Cream," too. All were yummy and I bought two avocados.
The lavender farm was nice, although not extensive. There's a huge house on the property (it's a private "farm") and the woman who owns it was very nice. She had a few things for sale--bath oil, sachets, and so on--all made with lavender. She also offered lavender lemonade and lavender cookies. They were good and I was pleased when she gave each of us a little packet of edible lavender, along with the recipe for the cookies. We all bought lavender plants, too, and I'll plant mine on the side in the front.
We went into Freehold for lunch and that was so good. Ate outside at a bistro, just crowded enough to be festive, and I had a truffle cheese and apple-smoked bacon sandwich, that came with a tomato lobster bisque "for dipping," along with a frosty Blue Moon. Oh, so-o-o damn good and no more than ten thousand calories, I bet.
Frank and George came over to rehearse at 6:30. They'll meet while I'm gone, too. I gave Frank one of the lavender cookie packets for Barbara. This afternoon, Dave is coming to rehearse for the first time with Frank. Hope it goes well and that Dave is okay in the part.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The mulch is in!
Or on. I had to weed a fair amount first, but we finished up by 4:30 or so, I'm happy to say. My visitor also dug up two Black-Eyed Susan plants from Barb H., who said I could have some. They tend to spread a lot, as the Montauk Daisies do; my visitor planted them in the back.
Frank came over at 7:00 and we read lines; I took George's part. It's funny how, try as I did, I couldn't really say them the way a man would. Spent time talking over the acting company, too. I've pretty much decided I'm NOT going to take over the murder mystery thing. Just too much to do, plus I want to audition for Moon Over Buffalo, which will run in late September and early October, plus--just in case it comes up, I want to be available for travel. There are other reasons, too, but I don't want to elaborate on them now.
Going to the lavender farm today with Barb H., Susan, and Kathy D.
WIDER: Here's a wonderful essay called "The Midas Touch: Stomachs Too Big To Fail" by Lewis Lapham. It's about food and the idiotic extremes we've been going to in order to promote it in the consumer society.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A melancholy day. Met Betty at the cemetery, as it was Jay's birthday; he would have been 37. After we talked about him and shed a few tears, we walked over to Pat's grave. I was pleased to see the hens and chickens are doing well, but must get over there to weed. I used to go to the cemetery two or three times a week, although it's a fifty-mile round trip. I don't go nearly as often now--maybe that's a kind of "moving away" from the event--not sure.
We then went to Shore Diner and met Muckie there for lunch. I had a delectable rare hamburger and a Blue Moon. So damn good, and it lifted my spirits considerably.
Said goodbye to Betty and Muckie and went down the road to Bob's for mulch. Bought only three bags--I have the idea more would weigh the car down--and finally found out the name of the bush I want to put in front (to replace the hideous round one that's there now). It's called "dappled willow" and I want one.
Got wrapping paper for P. and N.'s gift (joint, as their birthdays are only six days apart) and will mail today.
Enjoyed my Sunday night call from darling daughter, Ellen, who's finishing up school this week. Also got a call from George, saying he's unable to come to rehearsal tonight. I hope he and Frank get serious about learning their lines, but hey--I won't be here to direct, so they're on their own.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Got V. and V.'s birthday presents wrapped and sent. Will wrap P. and N.'s today and mail tomorrow. Went to Manahawkin get a few items. Can't decide whether or not to take back the bathing suit I bought. It's not bad--black and white, which I wanted--and looks good from the front, but the side view isn't great. Hmm...maybe MY side view isn't great--ha!
Got an e-mail from Frank suggesting I contact the people I have as members of the theatre company to see if they want to participate in the murder mystery show. However, I've just about arrived at the decision that I don't want to take this on. It's a huge task, I have no experience with it, and I'm sure I'd be responsible for everything, although others would "help." Also, I want to be free to travel this summer, if that's feasible, and I know the huge commitment this would take. Wish somebody would do it, but it ain't gonna be me.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Nothing exciting, interesting, or challenging going on. Got a slew of errands and chores done and sent off two Breeze articles yesterday. High point was in the evening with a Skype call from Mike and the two precious angels in Singapore. They're counting down to their big London move; They go on July 1.
And I had better start planning what to take on my trip--just a week away--yoicks!

Friday, June 10, 2011

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Fabulous day. I drove, picking up Barb H., her sister, Pat, and their friend, Pam. As usual, we left from Wells Mills Park outside Manahawkin and went by van, courtesy of Ocean County. Got to the American Swedish Historical Museum in Philadelphia about 10:00 and took a private tour.
What a place! I had never thought much about Swedes in America, but there were a lot of them, notably in Minnesota and--well, Swedesboro, NJ. The museum chronicles their journey from the early seventeenth century onward and is in a beautiful building, mostly marble, built in 1926. There are permanent exhibits, as well as temporary ones, all very interesting and enlightening. I bought some wooden Christmas tree ornaments in the gift shop and took pictures, three of which can be seen above.
We went to IKEA for lunch--the one in Philly is huge--then to another fascinating place: The oldest house, a log cabin, in New Jersey and, it's believed, in the western hemisphere. Fittingly, it's on Swedesboro Road in Gibbstown. We got a tour there, too, by the owner who lives next door, 82-year-old Harry Rink. He has actually taken up floor boards to painstakingly excavate underneath and came up with "buckets" of artifacts.
Got back to the park shortly after 4:00 and home a half hour later. Had a quick bite, then welcomed George and Frank for another rehearsal of If Guys Were Gals. Neither are natural performers, but they're not bad and they get better each time. Hot, hot, hot day, but great excursion.
Must finish an article for The Breeze and send; today is the deadline, very early this month.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Had a great visit and lunch with Pat L. She arrived bearing a nice fruit salad (ate it later, as I had already prepared one for our meal) and we settled down to chat for a bit. I had mentioned vodka and bitter lemon as a terrific summertime drink, asked if she'd like one--"Why, yes"--and we both enjoyed it. Great in the hot, hot summer, which yesterday certainly was.
Besides the fruit, I served chicken salad made with the rest of the breasts I had cooked in the crock pot the other day, a green salad, whole wheat bread, and two relishes: my famous crystal pickles from the freezer and the onion/garlic combo I put together recently. Simple, but good. We talked and talked; Pat stayed until after 5:00 and we really got to know each other. I was sorry Betty couldn't have joined us, but hope she can next time.
George called to ask to postpone rehearsal until this evening, and Frank was okay with that. It actually worked out better for me; I had some of Pat's fruit salad for dinner, then jumped in the shower, and relaxed the rest of the day.
Betty called and we made plans for Sunday, Jay's birthday. Will meet her at the cemetery, then go to lunch.
Today, Barb H., her sister, Pat, and a friend, are going to the New Swedish Colony, another van tour by Ocean County. I'm driving this time to get the van at Wells Mills Park; will pick them up at 7:40. Should be fun--and hot.
WIDER: There is a truly horrifying organization called Mission: Readiness that is bent on preparing children for an Orwellian future:
"Mission: Maintaining the strength of our military and our nation will depend on new generations of young Americans who are willing and able to serve our country with courage, compassion, and sacrifice."
High-sounding words that translate into: "We're going to need more and more cannon fodder from the lower ranks of society, so must brainwash children into believing military servitude is a high calling."
Beyond belief. It isn't enough that children are indoctrinated from their earliest days to worship "our boys in uniform" (oh, I forgot, it's "our boys and girls in uniform"), now there has to be a conscious effort to mold them to serve the imperialist agenda. This is not, you understand, an effort to encourage future generations to be intelligent citizens. The danger is that then they might begin to probe and question their corporate masters. No, the aim is "maintaining the strength of our military" to ensure that our wars go on and on and on....
Wonders never cease in this brave new world.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

What with one thing and another, it was a kind of frustrating day. Drove over to Hamilton Mall to get the multitude of presents and cards I need before I leave for Florida. Occasions include P. and N.'s birthdays (Tokyo) on June 28 and 20 respectively, V. and V.'s birthdays (Singapore) on July 10 and 29, J.'s on June 28 (Wellsboro), and T.'s on August 2. I also wanted to get three Father's Day cards for son, grandson, and son-in-law. Got most of the presents and all but one card, but started to feel harassed and irritated, which happens if I delay lunch, which I did. Stopped at Santori's to get lunch meat, feta, and veggies, as I was expecting Pat L. and Betty for lunch today, but Betty had to bow out, as she has a meeting for work.
Must stop at the Seaport today to discuss the murder mystery thing. I'm going to tell her I need more time to see if I can line people up to work on it (and be in it); otherwise I'm not going to take it on.
Talked to Barbara H.--we're going on a van tour tomorrow--and arranged to pick her and her sister up, then stop for a friend in Manahawkin. Finished up an article for the July issue of The Breeze, the only one I contributed for that issue. It's one of my "Notes From A Vanished World" series and is called "Pets Of The Past, Part I." It's pretty good, I think, and very short.
A high point: Dave S., with whom I performed in Our Town, has agreed to sub for George in the July 9 If Guys Were Gals. He'll come over to rehearse next week, along with Frank. Whew! We're getting down to the wire here, so I'm relieved that Dave accepted.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Got to Kohl's and finally, bought myself a new pair of sneakers. Oh, I forgot, they're called "walking shoes" or something now. Also picked up a drip hose for the back--now I just need something for it to drip on--MUST get tomatoes soon.
Put two big chicken parts in the crock pot and added lemon juice, parsley, Italian seasoning, and garlic. They came out deliciously tender; had some for dinner.
Led Betty to the Parkway for her orientation in Toms River. She called later to tell me about it, then later still to convey some terrible news. A woman, first unidentified, had jumped from the Tropicana parking garage to take her own life. Betty told me it was the daughter of a mutual friend of ours. What a hard, hard thing for her mother to bear.
Frank and George came over at 7:00 and we rehearsed the skit. They get better every time they go over it, although I wouldn't call either "naturals." Bruce B. decided against taking George's part on the ninth, so I'm back to square one on that.
Must concentrate today on getting the seven gifts I need for summer birthdays, etc. Guess I'll go over to Hamilton Mall today. Pat L. and Betty coming for lunch tomorrow, so must get some stuff for that.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Great party yesterday. Walter was well surprised, the buffet was delicious, the D.J. funny, and the company congenial. The booze flowed freely, too. I went with Judy K., danced with her husband, Roman, chatted with old friends, and met some new people. I even won the table prize, a quartet of colorful balloons. All in all, a fun day.
It was fun when I got home, too, as Betty had arrived. We talked and talked, then drove down to Manahawkin, then stopped for ice cream--well, the day was a calorie stampede, anyway--then went home to talk and talk. Got a Skype call from west coast daughter, Ellen, and talked and talked with her, too.
Am meeting with Frank and George this evening to rehearse If Guys Were Gals. I'm hoping Bruce B. will sub for George on July 9; e-mailed him the script and should hear today. Also, today is when I told Brooke at the Seaport whether we'd do the October 29 mystery dinner theatre or not. Will stall for time.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Was pleased to get Skype calls from both my boys: the Tokyo Twosome in the morning and Mike, Vivian, and Violet in the evening.
Was not pleased to hear from Jeff G. that he can't substitute for George L. after all in my skit If Guys Were Gays on July 9. He forgot he has a wedding to go to that day. Thought of Bruce B. and will ask him.
Susan came over and finished up the picture board she's displaying for Walter's surprise birthday party today. I drove her to the restaurant and we left it with the waiter.
Talked to Betty, who will stay over tonight; she has an orientation in Toms River tomorrow.
Got my hair colored and was pleasantly surprised at how good it looks. My regular stylist (oh, that sounds so grandiose!), Leann, is on vacation and I wanted it done for the party, so reluctantly agreed to have Ashley do it. It really looks good, a lot darker than it was, which I wanted. I am waiting for Leann to come back to cut it.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Worked at the Food Pantry with Frank and Barbara and we had a number of customers. Another woman, Angie, was there. She is a fellow parishioner with F. and B. at St. Theresa's, which would be my parish if I was still a Catholic. Angie told us an interesting story.
It seems that my friend, Lily M., a native of Ventnor, had requested that a mass be said at St. T.'s for the soul of Osama Bin Laden. The priest agreed, but when the request become known (I don't know how), there was such a protest that he reneged and refused to dedicate the mass to OBL. I e-mailed Lily and asked if this account was true. She wrote back promptly and confirmed it.
Now, I am no longer religious, but I remember plenty from my years at St. James Parochial School. To have those who purport to be the followers of Christ, the Prince of Peace, display such vindictiveness would be laughable if it wasn't so repelling. Naturally, the vast majority of Americans--at least the ones who have been vocal about it--are thrilled and overjoyed at the assassination of Bin Laden. Extra-legal? Immoral? Oh, so what, he was a killer and everybody knows it. Others, not necessarily involved in 9/11, were killed with him? Well, they shouldn't have been hanging with him, anyway. A fair trial, in a court of law? That doesn't apply to people like him.
And come to think of it, maybe it shouldn't apply either to those weird peaceniks always jeopardizing our brave men and women in uniform who are defending our way of life and fighting for our freedom and freedom isn't free and buzz, buzz, buzz...klakklakklak...mmmmmmmmmmm...

Friday, June 03, 2011

(In a comment, I was asked about the picture of my father: I cropped it from the wedding picture of my Uncle Edmond, when he married Aunt Frances in June, 1941. See complete picture below.)
Oh, I can't believe this! I wrote a full entry about yesterday, pressed "publish post" and all but the sentence above has disappeared! Damn!
Well, I'll try to duplicate:
Got to Suzanne M.'s in Mt. Laurel about 12:30 to find Betty, Muckie, Helen C., and Alice E. just arrived. We sat on the warm and sunny patio and I was immediately served with a vodka and tonic. Hadn't had one in years and I hardly ever drink hard liquor, but boy, was that yummy.
Suzanne served a simple, but elegant, lunch of salad nicoise (yes, that's the way you spell it; I looked it up) and crusty peasant bread. She surprised Helen with a birthday pie--we had brought cards--and we all sang happy birthday. A very pleasant day.
Got home about 5:00 and was delighted to hear back from Jeff G. that he'd take George's part in the skit on July 9; sent him the script. Still mulling over whether to accept heading up the murder mystery thing in October. Drafted a message to the executive committee to the effect that I will, but will relinquish my publicity chair duties--will not do both.
Found more pictures to duplicate for the project I'm doing. I must stop this, otherwise, I'll never finish. Will try to get to Staples this morning.
Substituting for Leslie at the Food Pantry this afternoon; will work with Frank and Barbara.
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Thursday, June 02, 2011

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Got to the Tuckerton Seaport about 10:00 to meet with Director of Operations Regina P., who introduced me to Brooke S., development director. She filled me in on the murder mystery show they want the theatre company to do at the Engleside Inn in Beach Haven. It's a fund-raiser for the seaport and probably a good idea for us. Problem's a hell of a lot of work and Desi wants me to head it up. I sent e-mails to the executive committee to see if they wanted to do it and apparently, they do. Desi said Frank will help me. What bothers me is that this is scheduled for October 29 and I wanted to audition for Moon Over Buffalo, which we're doing in September...
But here's another twist, about which I'm not too happy: I met Ellen V. for dinner at Applebee's last night and during the course of our conversation, she mentioned that she'll be away when auditions are scheduled for Buffalo. But, she said, "Desi said he's not too hung up on auditions, anyway." Now this leads me to think she's going to be handed the part of the grandmother. She performed it before in her other theatre group, but so what? Desi shouldn't just decide to give her the part over anybody else, especially before a reading.
Well, the sorrows of show biz...
Susan was over for an hour or so to work on the picture board for Walter's surprise birthday party. I galvanized myself to select pictures for my own project and before I met Ellen, got them duplicated at Staple's. It's shaping up nicely.
Lunch in Haddonfield with Betty and others today.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Nothing much went on yesterday. Checked my e-mail and found a message from nephew Dave asking if he and Polly could stay over here in a few weeks. No prob with that, but I won't be here--darn. Wrote back to say they could come anyway and got a response that they probably will. Did some wash and cleaning up, and went to the store.
Susan asked if she could bring over some of Walter's albums and yearbooks and work on a picture wall here for the surprise birthday party she's having Sunday. Of course, I said yes and it actually galvanized me to continue a project I have going (won't mention what).
Sister Betty called and invited me to a lunch by her friend, Suzanne M., of Haddonfield, on Thursday. Short notice, but I rearranged another item and will go. Called Pat L. and invited her for lunch on Monday. Have a plan to serve vodka and bitter lemon, which we had discussed--ho, ho!
Stopped at the Seaport, but Director of Operations Regina wasn't in. Desi has asked me to head up the murder mystery thing, and I want to get some info on it. Not sure I want to take on something that extensive. Will go there today to find out what Regina has in mind.
Dinner with Ellen V. tonight.