Sunday, October 30, 2011

What a great day! I was able to track my dear runner from the beginning of the marathon; even saw the start, live on web cam, via the web site. Early on, I was pleased to get same from Tokyo, and Patrick guided me into fixing my sound. Betty called to ask again how to track the runner(s)--nephew Jeremy, too--and I was able to put her on it. I put running updates for both on Facebook, not realizing that Noelle was, too, as well as Joan and Jim R., Jer's parents.
In between times, I wrote out postcards for a certain young man in Norfolk and assembled my costume for the Halloween Dine Around Dinner.
Was pleased again to get a Skype call from the London contingent, during which my favorite runner called. We were both so thrilled and excited--she had trained for months, run the race, done it well, and what a glorious day! I can't remembered how I celebrated my fiftieth birthday, but it sure as hell wasn't running a marathon.
Walter and Susan, freshly back from Canada, picked me up a bit after five, then we got Mary Ann and repaired to the party. Everybody got a kick out of the fact that, while Judy (and Roman, the hosts) had instructed everybody to wear all black, I pretended I misunderstood and wore all white. Mary Ann wore a spectacular witch hat and everybody else was in black except me. (What is it that makes me want to go against the "rules" or instructions or the norm?)
Anyway, Judy outdid herself this time with the over-the-top prizes, giveaways, and do-dads, which included a light-up, rubbery, sort of phosphorus bracelet that kept blinking on and off for all the women. The blinking light bothered me so much I put mine under a napkin, then in my purse, which was white, of course.
Anyway, the food was good (salmon for me) and so was the company. Got home about 8:30 and on the computer for my nice weekly visit with Ellen. It's a good day when I get to see and talk to all my children and cheer the beloved daughter on at a triumph.
I don't remember this often enough: Lucky me.
NOTE: Here are more great puns from my Cincinnati Cuz, Marifran:
6. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
7. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
8. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
9. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
11. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
12. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: "You stay here; I'll go on a head."
And my favorite of this batch:
13. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
I'm late with this as I just had a nice conversation and look-see with P. and N. P. walked me through fixing my Skype sound which, for some reason known only to the computer gods, had disallowed him to hear me.
Yesterday was very enjoyable. Mary Ann picked me up at 7:15 and we drove up to Westminster in Princeton for the opera lecture. This one was on Siefried, the third of Wagner's four-part trilogy (oh, I know a trilogy is three, but there are four--can't remember the explanation). This is an five and a half hour opera--good grief--but the lecture, with excerpts and a 38-page written guide. (Geesh, I can't imagine how Wagner had time for all those extra-marital affairs in which he indulged.) Anyway, it was absorbing for this newly-converted opera fan.
It was also absorbing--in an entirely different way--to look out the window and see the heavy snow that followed the rain we drove through to get there. By the time the session was over, it was pretty slushy and I was hoping we wouldn't have it at home.
We didn't; the farther south we drove, the lighter the snow and by the time we reached Cream Ridge, it was all rain. Stopped for a late lunch at La Cuchina--I had yummy angel hair with olive oil and garlic--and got home about 4:30. I invited Mary Ann in for coffee and she stayed about a half hour. I was glad after that to change into casual clothes and sit and relax for the rest of the day.
During the lecture, I got a call back from that visitor up north, on her way to run in the Washington, D.C. marathon. I'll be able to track her progress on-line and will get into the site as soon as I finish here.
I'm bursting with pride in this runner!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Starting with exercise at the clubhouse, I was pretty much on the go all day. Came home to breakfast, some computer work (or rather, "work"--I don't do no stinkin' work) and vacuuming. Sliced Kirby cucumbers and onions and made a nice batch of crystal pickles; I like to have them ready in the freezer for company. Stripped my bed, washed the sheets, and tidied up. Went to Acme for supplies, then B &B for sweet peppers. Made a big salad for lunch and cut up peppers and onions for dinner.
Got an e-mail from Desi inviting me (along with a lot of other people) to see Lend Me A Tenor at Ocean Community College on November 17. I asked Frank if he and Barbara wanted to go, as I don't want to drive an unfamiliar route at night. He's going, Barb isn't, and he invited me to accompany him, possibly with Desi, and I will.
Donated some things at the SOCH thrift store and saw some "bumper" panels, so bought them. Not sure if I'll use them, as they're for a crib, not a youth bed, but I may be able to if I double them up.
Went to Creative Touch at 2:00 for cut and color. As usual, Leanne did a superb job--I'm convinced she's the only hairdresser on the face of the earth who knows how to cut my hair. The cost is horrendous--with a generous tip for her and more for the girl who washes, close to a C-note, but hey, what price should I put on feeling like a million bucks, at least until I wash my head?
Called the northern dweller while I was being made beauti--okay, passable--and learned she did want the table I replaced in the living room. She came and got it, and said she'd call today. She runs on Sunday and am I bursting with pride? Oh, yes.
Dennis had promised to pick up the youth bed for me and I walked the three doors down to his house. Went with him and we got the bed without incident, which fits fine in the guest room.
Made my current favorite, stir-fired peppers, onions, garlic, and shrimp, for dinner, and slept like a log.
Mary Ann and I are going up to Westminster again today for a lecture on an opera. Can't remember which one, but I know I'll enjoy it.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Contining my clear out, clean up rampage, I did the guest bath medicine cabinet--a piece of cake compared to the linen closet. It rained all day, but later on, I drove to the cemetery. Later still, tooled up to Manahawkin to pick up a few things.
NOTE: Here are some puns my Cincinnati Cuz, Marifran K., sent me:
1. The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.
3. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.
4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.
5. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.
I love puns! Funnily (heh, heh), of these I like number three best. There are more, but I'll save them for later.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy day, one of the big jobs is done. I spent several hours on the linen closet, which is s large one in the master bath. Emptied, sorted, threw away, donated, and then put everything back. It boggles the mind to contemplate what all I had in there--AND I had gone through it about six months after Pat died, though not in depth. Just as an indication of the magnitude of the task, I discovered five bottles of rubbing alcohol. Can't remember using the stuff for either Pat or me. Anyway, it was quite an accomplishment. I was so proud of myself, I actually sent two pictures to Betty when I had most of the stuff spread out in the kitchen.
Ran a lot of errands: dropped things off the the SOCH thrift store in Manahawkin, and went to B.J.'s, Staples, and Shop-Rite.
Came home to enjoy a call--this time by phone, not Skype--from Mike, who wants me to be on the lookout for something coming in the mail I must send him. Chatted with Leslie, who was pushing her grandson, Nicholas, down the street in his stroller.
Around 5:00, I drove to the cemetery, as I often do at that time. Was pleased to see the mums on Pat's grave look beautiful; they've opened up and are the big ones. Watered, then went to Jay's, where the mums look okay, but are not as spectacular, I guess because they're mostly in shade.
Made an appointment to get my hair done tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lots accomplished. In the morning, I cleared out the stand-alone bookcase (as opposed to the wall shelves)in the study. I came across books I hadn't even read yet, as well as others I don't even want to read. These include seven very heavy, large, and expensive ones given to Pat over the years, which concern aircraft carriers, WW II, and makes of cars. Think I'll try selling them, but I'm not sure how.
Called the Columbus Farmers' Market where I intend to sell a lot of Christmas stuff and was told you don't pay ahead; tables are on a first-come, first-served basis. That's okay and I'm going--assisted by my visitor from the north--on November 12.
Said visitor arrived about 12:30 yesterday and we had lunch together, then started on the list of items I had written up. We--mostly she--moved the bench and wicker plant holders to the curb, the porch furniture to the garage, various and sundry tables from one area to another, and completed similar fairly simple, but difficult for me to accomplish by myself, chores. We saw and chatted with several good neighbors under the warm and beautiful sun and for the millionth time, it occurred to me how lucky I am to live here. My visitor then went for a four-mile run, took a shower, and left to go back to school for conferences with parents.
Galvanized, I eyed the "sick table" next to what had been Pat's chair in the living room. This is one of these adjustable-for-height tables you see in hospitals (but this is lighter and more attractive) and was useful when Pat needed a large surface for various items. However, he's been gone for more than two years now and I wanted to replace it. What to do? Thought I'd check at the Living Word thrift store and found a somewhat rustic table that blends in pretty well with my mission-style furniture. Bought it for eight bucks, then found a youth bed I picked up for twenty. Only problem was I can't get the latter in my car. The people there even unscrewed the top from the bottom, but no luck. Called Dennis and he said he'd get it in his van, but couldn't then, as it was full. The store doesn't open again until Friday, so he'll get it then.
I had filled the two crock pots with my red cabbage, apple, and orange juice treat (which NOBODY in the universe likes except me) and had that along with raisin brand cereal (oh, don't even ask) for dinner. Chatted with Betty, sipped my wine later, and slept soundly.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

As it turned out, Susan isn't back yet, after all, so I walked alone. (Hey, wouldn't that make a great song? Let's see: "I'll Walk Alone...") Went to exercise, too.
Later, drove to Santori's and got cabbage, lettuce, feta; then to Shop-Rite for other stuff. Went to the cemetery and was pleased to see the mums and Mexican heather at Pat's grave are blooming nicely.
Home for lunch, then stopped into Frank and Barbara's next door to welcome them back from their long trip. Visited for twenty minutes or so and told Frank about my progess on publicity for Moon. Called the person from up north and she'll be here today to help me with a few chores.
Because I get a little down--well, lonely--late in the date, I drove to Target in Manahawkin about 5:30 and picked up paper towels and a few other things.
Hmm...I was actually pretty busy yesterday, but reading this over, it doesn't seem so.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Because I'm one of those obsessives who can't let it wait, I spent the early part of yesterday stripping beds, washing sheets, and re-making them all. Tidied up otherwise, too. Went to rehearsal at noon and finally, at long last, got rid of the signs and supports. I kept a few more and put them up in various places; still have two, but the rest can be apportioned out to other members.
Was delighted to get a Skype call from Mike and family. Darling Vivian read me all of her "Travel Journal" from Paris--illustrated with her original artwork--and adorable little Violet showed me the (read) pumpkin she had gotten at a festival.
Went to Manahawkin and bought Halloween cards for the kiddies. Took a short nap on the couch.
Both Susan and Walter and Frank and Barbara came from their travels yesterday, so I guess my usual life will resume, which is not a bad thing.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My guests just left (sob!) at 4:30 am. We had a ball yesterday. Got up north by 11:30, talked and laughed with the proprietors of the home, then were served a great lunch which included quiche, onion rolls, fruit salad with yogurt, and so all. Yummy. Our hostess suggested we see nearby Walnford Park and we followed them the few miles there.
Walnford Park is the former estate of a fairly prominent Monmouth County family, and was established in 1600 something. It includes the usual barn, ice house, corn crib, and so on, as well as an interesting large grist mill where the owners used to make grist (heh, heh, my little joke).
We toured the house, my favorite, a very large--5000 square feet--beautiful one, which was lived in by descendants until the 1950's or '79's, can't remember which.
After that, we separated from the host couple about 4:00, as they had a dinner date in Rancocos. Drove home, Betty went home, and Larry and I went out to get gas, order pizza, and pick up a few beers (for me, of course, not tee-totaler Larry), while Helen read the paper.
We devoured our pizza, then enjoyed a guilty pleasure: "ice cream sandwich" ice cream. Geez, I must have consumed more calories in the past few days than I have in a month, but oh, so good.
We all went to bed early. Got up to reluctantly say goodbye to my much-loved brother and sister, about the most enjoyable guests there could be. Helen has some health and mobility problems, but downplays them and never complains. She and Larry are always ready to participate in any new adventure and show their enjoyment with words and smiles. They're a rare couple, married 55 years, with a multitude of children, grandchildren, and great-grands, clearly very compatible. I can't even imagine one without the other.
Well, they and theirs are welcome in my houe anytime I'm privileged enough to have them.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

In a subdued way, yesterday was enjoyable. We arrived at the cemetery about 10:00 and after waiting a bit, it got underway. I understand that Dick wasn't religious, yet the ceremony was conducted by a priest (my SIL's cousin), who intoned the usual prayers and blessings. There were also two uniformed military people who folded the flag, played taps, and said a few words. The tombstone was in place and engraved with birth dates for Dick and Jean--no death dates, of course.
The luncheon wasn't scheduled until 12:30 and we went after to see Helen's sister in the Alzheimer Unit of Maris Grove, the huge and very expensive complex where they also had an apartment. Jean is sadly diminished,very frail, and seemed not to be perturbed by the loss of her husband of 52 years.
Went to the luncheon in another building. Before we ate--and by this time, I could have eaten the tablecloth--the same priest cousin length. I was taken aback at the militaristic tone of his talk. Being comfortably irreligious, I had forgotten how fervent so many of the clergy seem to be about those who were once in uniform. Dick was in combat in the Korean war and the priest alluded to this several times, including, of course, the obligatory reverent "thanks" for his "service." He also managed to work in a number of reference to Catholic piety, so one would never imagine that Dick wasn't a believer.
Anyway, the lunch was the usual buffet--bread, rolls, lunch meat, potato salad, and so on--uninspiring, but tasty enough and I was starved. After we ate, Dick's four children each reminisced about their Dad and tears and laughter prevailed.
We then went with the family to the B.'s apartment--bright, spacious, and very, very expensive--had an ale, stayed until about 4:00, then drove down to Betty's for dinner. She served subs and "Irish matzo." We stayed until about 8:30, then left.
We were all in bed by 9:30; I gave my two female guests some Ativan--I have a whole stockpile--to soothe them to sleep. Nancy's plane leaves at 7:03 and she and Larry are on their way to the airport now. I got up to say goodbye to her--it was so much fun to have her here--and am now awaiting Larry's return.
Today, we're invited up north for lunch, Betty included, so that will top off a nice interlude.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Good fun yesterday. Betty arrived first, at about 11:30, Larry, Helen, and Nancy about noon, Jack shortly after. Had a ball at lunch and after. I had found a dunning letter from 1956 to Larry from Family Publications, Inc., threatening legal action because he owed them $2.82; we went into hysterics over that.
Betty left about 5:00, as she had a commitment that evening, then Jack said his goodbyes and the remaining four of us drove over to Ventnor and Atlantic City to show Nancy the sights. Larry treated us to dinner at Smithville Inn (pricey, but it's usually very good); however, I was disappointed in my chicken pot pie.
We chatted a bit more at home, then all turned in early, yours truly in three different beds, sort of. In a nutshell: I couldn't open the pull-out in the study, lay down on the living room sofa, woke up and transferred to the other bed in the guest room. However, I feel pretty rested now at 6:25, so no harm done.
I'll accompany the others to the funeral in Pennsy today.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Was pleased to hear from Florida brother Larry that he, Helen, and their daughter, Nancy, will be here today. They're coming for Helen's BIL's funeral in Pennsylvania and will stay with me. (I'll probably go to the funeral with them.) Spent the day cleaning and buying groceries. Their plane gets in at 11:00 and they'll rent a car.
Invited sister Betty to come for lunch and she will. Also invited Jack B., Larry's lifelong best friend, but he has a commitment during the day and will stop in about 7:00 instead.
Went to Shop-Rite and got some stuff. Made my usual onion/pepper/garlic mix in the crock pot and will serve that along with cold roast beef, green salad, crystal pickles, and a variety of breads. A simple meal, but good.
The visitor from the north was here when I got home from shopping and helped me with some things. She invited us to her house for lunch on Saturday. I was glad to see an e-mail from her this morning, telling me how I can track her progress during the marathon in D.C. on the thirtieth.*
Still have some things to do to get ready for my company. Putting the married couple in my room, Nancy in the guest room, and I'll sleep on the pull-out in the study. This will be a good dry run for when the London contingent visit in December.
* WIDER: The marathon is sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps--so you can see, how torn a pacifist can be. I signed in to track the visitor's progress with e-mail alerts, and was taken aback to see the very prominent Nissan logo on the top of the site, with other companies represented on the botton. It's depressingly clear that there is NO way we can escape from corporatism. The companies own us and their increasing juxtaposition with government entities, even the military--or maybe especially the military--is profound, on-going, and inescapable. The post office is already a partner of Lowe's and others, and the schools (notably in Bucks County, PA**, but here in Little Egg, too) are now happy to corrupt children's minds with ads. As I recall, there was some trepidation from some parties years ago when "channel one" was introduced to schools. They were shouted down, though, by the administrators who saw nothing but educational benefits from the practice. Naturally, the companies would include some kind of commercial message, but what harm is there in that? Now it's just understood that we must indoctrinate ourselves from our earliest days with the acceptance--in fact, embrace--of consumerism, just as we do with militarism. They go hand-in-hand, as wiser minds than mine have known for years.
Backpack drones; horror piled on horrors:
** I lived across the Delaware River from Bucks County for years and know residents of the area are notably affluent and well-educated. Can't understand why they allow this corruption of their children--but maybe they own the companies being advertised.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Ocean County van trip yesterday was one of the best ever. Poor Susan, though: When I stopped for her for our walk, she said she had awakened with a bad toothache. She and Walter are leaving on Friday for their annual trip to Canada to see his sibs and she had to get to her dentist, who's up north. Upshot was she wasn't able to go.
The trip was great. It was a beautiful sunny day and, as these jaunts always do, it started at Wells Mills Park. Van was filled, of course, and it was a congenial group. We went first to Lee's Cranberry Farm and were met with the owner, Steve Lee. He's in a cooperative that makes up Ocean Spray. Boy oh brother, I never knew there was so much to know about cranberries. For openers, there's wet and dry harvesting; Lee does wet and we saw the machine that agitates the plants under water so they float to the surface. Learned that cranberries grow on vines close to the ground--two kinds, the ones that grow along the ground and the fruitful ones that grow up--and how they got their name (because a baby berry hangs from a tread and resembles the neck and head of a crane).
We spent more than an hour there, then went to the county's Cloverdale Farm in Barnagat. Had the lunches we brought at picnic tables, then got some informal, but interesting, spontaneous talks by our driver/guide, who's a naturalist.
After that, we picked cranberries. Hey, there's no way in the world you can appreciate farm workers without actually experiencing the hot, back-breaking work they do. We picked and picked, bent over because most of us were--uh, of a certain age, and probably couldn't have gotten back up if we sat. I tried out a metal--they used to be wood--cranberry scoop, but it kept getting snagged on the vines. However, Jeff, who works on the farm, was an expert and shared with us what he scooped. Home about 4:30 after a fascinating--and highly New Jersyan day.
Note: When I was a kid, Jersey was the largest producers of cranberries in the country. Now it's the third largest. (The first two? Who cares about those interlopers!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Finally finished the publicity for Moon, after spending the first half of the day on it. Was then delighted to get a Skype call from Mike and family, in Paris until tomorrow. The little girls are so precious, Vivian reading to me from her "Travel Journal," and Violet excitedly telling me she got "two Eiffel Towers."
Got a text call--or whatever the mysterious entity is--on the regular phone from Casey to the effect that the signs for Moon were at his house. Went over there and he got them into the car--one in the truck, one in the back seat. Geez, they're huge and so heavy I can't even turn them, let alone lift. Called Desi to see if they had rehearsal last night, but didn't hear back from him; he may be in Ireland.
Luckily, I'm going on a van tour to the cranberry bogs today, so won't need the car, but I MUST get the damn boxes out before I need it on Thursday. E-mailed Mary H., who's in the play to ask if they have rehearsal tonight. I hope so, so I can unload the damn things.
Got a call from Rosalie P. We had been friends for a long time, then we were no longer friends. I had sent her some old pictures of her I came across from when we were both on Atkins and I had had her over for a surprise "birthday cake" I made with Jello and heavy cream. We talked for a half hour or so--same old Rosalie, which is to say I'm not sure I should have reopened that chapter in my life.
Also talked to Betty and suggested I stay over at her place on Friday, instead of Thursday, as I'm going to the "Thespians" gathering in Ventnor on Saturday.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Spent the morning revising the resume of a friend of a friend who lives in NYC, then e-mailed it to her. I then got inspired again to "clear out." Came across a box from my mother with the condolence cards, letters, and notes she received when my father was killed on June 2, 1950. They were so touching and I read all of them with a combination of smiles and tears. One was from Sister (Somebody), my second grade teacher, who wrote that it was hard to believe "the twins had left St. James," meaning that we had graduated from grammar school. (My father was killed within a week of our graduation from eighth grade, our brother, Larry's, from high school, and brother, Jim's, from college.)
Went down to the clubhouse at 1:30 and saw Mamon, a French opera. Boy, what a contrast to the classic Anna Bolena! This incorporated a fair amount of ballet--which I liked--plus some spoken, rather than sung, lines. It was also surprisingly racy in parts. In the scene of a wild party, there's actually a female dancer nude from the waist up and when the two main characters are frolicking around, he does a good imitation of fondling her in--uh, certain areas.
Anyway, it was interesting to see.
Didn't get home until 5:00 and, having overindulged at the clubhouse, had only pickins' for dinner.
Was hoping son Mike would Skype me from Paris, where they're vacationing, but it didn't happen. I think something's wrong with his cam, as I enjoyed a "visit" from daughter Ellen last evening.
Now I must turn my attention to publicity for Moon--aagh!
WIDER: And elsewhere, far, far from the benign world of opera, the drones hover, controlled by savages:
How in the HELL did we ever come to this?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mary Ann picked me up at 11:45 and we went to the HD Anna Bolena, Donizetti's opera at the Reigal Theatre in Mays Landing. Oh, boy, was it a treat! The doomed queen, one of Henry VIII's wives, was sung by Russian-born Anna Netrebko who, I'm beginning to realize is the reigning--well, queen of the genre. Her voice is incredible and she's a good actress, as well. She's full-figured and has a sublimely beautiful face.
It added so much to my enjoyment to have been at the lecture last week on the same opera. Yesterday's was was from the MET, and had English sub-titles, of course, and Mary Ann and I thought it was far superior to the French production we saw in parts last week.
The theatre was almost filled--that slayed me--the patrons were almost universally pretty long in the tooth. I assume there are some young people who are devotees of opera, but I'd be willing to bet Lady Gaga takes precedence.
Anyway, it was simply superb. I just cannot understand how people can sing so majestically in such a sustained manner and still have breath to move.
Home about 5:30.
More opera today, this time Manon at the clubhouse.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Before our walk, Susan presented me with a loaf of pumpernickel and two avocados. She signed up for a six-month membership in B.J.'s and was giving me the "partner" designation so I can shop there. I went there later and was told she hadn't actually named me, but I was given the membership anyway.
Much as I appreciate Susan's gesture, in truth, I'm not impressed with B.J.'s. I don't think the prices are any better than many other places and, at $48 a year, it's not really worth joining--for me, anyway. Nevertheless, I managed to buy fifty-one dollars worth of nothing much yesterday.
I mentioned to Susan that I want to get rid of the T.V. in the guest room and Susan suggested I ask the church thrift store on Route 9 if they take them. She also offered to have her and Walter take it there in their SUV. I went to the thrift store and, yes, they do take them, but don't pick up, so I'll take Susan up on her offer.
Mary Ann and I had planned to go to a CD of the opera "Anna Bolena" today. I assume we still are, but I haven't heard from her. Will check.
WIDER: From "War Breeds War, Peace Breeds Prosperity" by R. Lee Wrights on
"War breeds war. That is all it can do. War does nothing but devour valuable resources and destroy precious lives for the sole purpose of perpetuating itself. As Randolph Bourne wrote, "War is the health of the State." War is a mechanism used by the ruling elites of the State to coerce and control the people, so it becomes essential that whenever one war is complete, another is instigated elsewhere so that the mechanism keeps running."

Friday, October 14, 2011

Finished up yet more stuff for The Breeze and Moon. Gleaned more stuff from around the house, including two small wine racks I really liked--but I already have a large wooden one that holds all the wine I usually have. Want to get rid of the t.v. in the guest room, but Habitat For Humanity, which picks up, can't use more.
Did a number of chores and errands, nothing in the least bit interesting. Sister Betty called and we talked about this 'n' that.
Ho-hum day.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Can't wait for the week to be over.
But I repeat myself.
Got to Naomi's at 10:00 and explained my idea about featuring one of her "Postcards From The Heart" every month in The Breeze. She agreed and also agreed to submit them herself--I don't want to take that on, too. Stayed chatting with her an hour, then went next door to Mike and Mariettta C.'s to interview them.
Mike is the customer service rep for the solar panels that half the people in Sunrise Bay seem to be getting installed (including yours truly). While I was there, I gave him my survey. It was a good session and I took their picture to add.
Home for lunch, then went to the library where "Ocean County Day" was being held. It was jammed and I ran into a few people I know. Picked up some info, but mostly went to put up Moon Over Buffalo flyers. Stopped at the post office and bank to do the same. I'm glad I had them enlarged at Staples--they're much more noticeable among the many others.
Soon after, I settled down to actually write the article. Finished it in two hours or so--it's not bad, I guess--and e-mailed it to the C.'s, so they could check for errors. I was frustrated, though, because I wanted to change a word ("enhance" to "brighten") and the change just wouldn't stick. Yes, I clicked it closed and it asked if I wanted to save changes--"yes"--closed and when I went to send, the original word was still still. So annoying, but I let it go and if worse comes to worst, will have Natalie at the publishing company do it.
Also am having a problem sending Naomi's "postcard"; must call and ask her to do it.
And I still have to work on the rest of publicity for Moon!
Just to clear my head and get away, I drove to Manahawkin and picked up a rotisserie chicken for dinner. Boy, I love those things dripping with grease and calories--it was delish.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

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My Halloween decoration out front.
Lots going on. Spent the morning making up Moon flyers and on clarifying the "Classified" section for The Breeze. Took the fifty-mile round trip to Produce Junction for veggies and stopped at the cemetery to water. Back home for lunch, then went ten miles in the opposite direction to Manahawkin to duplicate the flyers and have some enlarged. Went to Shop-Rite and the dollar store, then to A.C. Moore to pick up a darling little lighted pumpkin that I need like a hole in the head. (But it looks so cute in the foyer.)
Back home, I e-mailed the person at the Atlantic City Press who does the "Everyone Has a Story" column to see if she'd be interested featuring Jim and Mary H., and their daughter, Brittany, all of whom are in Moon. She replied that it sounded great and asked for their contact info.
Checking over my e-mail again, I saw one from my friend, Marilyn, reminding me I had said I'd look over her friend, Clorida's resume. Ouch! She had sent it to me a few weeks ago, I meant to go over it, then completely forgot about it. I wrote back with apologies and will try to do it tomorrow.
Today, I'm going to Naomi P.'s at 10:00 to go over her "postcards"--original verses and graphics--that I suggested we include as a monthly addition to The Breeze. At 11:00, I interview the C.'s, who happen to live next door to Naomi. Must write up their profile, send it to check for accuracy, then get it to Senior Publishing on Friday.
Whew! Can't wait 'til the week is over.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Susan had an early doctor's appointment and I slept until 7:45, for heaven's sake! I was delighted to get a Skype call from P. and N. shortly after that. Didn't walk and didn't go to exercise--I'm getting to be a slug-abed, I'm afraid.
Leslie's and my plans to go to lunch and the thrift store in Manahawkin fell through when Leslie stopped in to tell me she had hurt her back. Just as well, maybe, as I was able to finish up some work for The Breeze and start on some for Moon.
Cleared out more in the guest room, removed the old table and put the new in its place. I want to get a new lamp for that room, too. Had weeded out some books the other day and took a back seat full to donate to SOCH.
Scrubbed two pounds of carrots and put them, with a little oil and parsley, in the crock pot. Made a salad for lunch.
Was in touch by e-mail with others on The Breeze staff and suggested we feature Naomi P.'s "postcards"--with interesting graphics and spiritual--not to say, mystic--verses. Not my cup of tea, but I think they'll appeal to many of our residents.
WIDER: Again, words fail me. They've been failing me regularly as of late, but this--!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Spent practically the N-tire day writing up stuff for The Breeze and assembling info for Moon Over Buffalo publicity.
Had to get out of the house, so drove up to Manahawkin about 6:00 to pick up a few things.
Did enjoy my Sunday-night Skype call from Ellen and, this morning, from P. and N.
Nothing else happenin' around here...
WIDER: An interesting comment on about the right-wing infilitrator at the Air and Space Museum:
Posted by since1492
Oct 9 2011 - 10:05am.Howley is a media whore with a clear agenda. He is there to serve his paymasters. Jack London wrote about the media in IRON HEEL: "You have forgotten the editors. They draw their salaries for the policy that they maintain. Their policy is to print nothing that is a vital menace to the established. The press in the United States? It is a parasitic growth that battens on the capitalist class. Its function is to serve the established by moulding public opinion, and right well it serves it.”
I had never read that quote from London. Guess it was true at the beginning of the twentieth century and you'd better believe it, still true today.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Very, very enjoyable day. I picked up Mary Ann at 7:30 and drove to the opera lecture at Westminster Choir College in Princeton. It took two full hours because there was a detour at Allentown and I got somewhat lost negotiating it. No matter; we got there just in time.
I was pleased to be greeted with a hug from Scott H., whom I had known and liked when I was at Rider's main campus and had an office at Westminster. Went upstairs to get the same warm welcome from Nancy F., Scott's wife, who runs the lecture series. It had been too early for me to eat breakfast before we left, so the coffee, bagels, and grapes offered hit the spot.
The program itself was superb. On the overhead, we actually saw the major parts of the opera Anne Bolena* (Gaetano Donizetti), interrupted at appropriate spots by the lecturer. It was so informative and added greatly to my understanding and enjoyment of opera--what to look for and so on. He interspersed that with a short history of Edward VIII, his various wives, and the "tone" of the period. Interestingly, the titles were in French; the lecturer mentioned he couldn't get an English version.
It occurred to me that appreciating opera or anything in the arts, I guess--rather than just pretending to--is similar to learning to appreciate prose and poetry. When you understand the elements of it and can automatically apply them (but not be pedantic about it), you can more fully enjoy a poem or a painting or an opera.
Anyway, it was damn good.
There were about fifteen people there and we were comfortably seated at tables set up in a "U." Chatted with the lecturer's wife, a lovely young woman from Taiwan. The session took two hours. I showed Mary Ann a bit of the campus before we left, then we drove down to Rider and I showed her a bit of that by car.
We stopped and ate at the Plumstead Grille, just down 639 from those who live up north; had a chicken panini and a Heineken and they were darn good.
Home about 4:30 after a lovely, wonderful day.
*Italian spelling of Anne Boleyn.
WIDER: This is a comment from my friend, Rob Payne, on our blog "Dead Horse", concerning why we're in Afghanistan:
--To sum it up the plan was permanent military bases all along while all the crap about nation building was a ruse for the rubes at home. Us. The only two rivals we have in the world, though they are distant rivals, are Russia and China. And that is why we will never, ever, leave Afghanistan or Iraq because control of the oil flow gives the U.S. some leverage over them. So from this perspective the U.S. wars in those two nations are a great success because we did what we set out to do, create permanent military bases. We are there and there we shall stay at least for as long as we are able to.--(emphasis added)
Finally! For me, the light dawns...
For Rob's full comment, go here:

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Arrived in Trenton about 45 minutes early. There's a large parking lot, with a section for visitors and I figured that was for me. Pulled up to the kiosk where a young, chubby, sloppily dressed (button undone over his large tummy) state trooper asked me where I was going. I said a rally at the state house. He said I couldn't park there; "visitors" means if visiting somebody in a state office. Said I should park on State Street or at the Marriott a few blocks down. He was polite and friendly enough, but geez, you can't even park conveniently in Jersey, where I've lived all my life.
Parked in front of the NJ State Library and, to kill time, thought I'd browse the stacks a bit. Just past the entrance, I was astounded to have a uniformed police officer seated at a desk ask for I.D. Wh-a-at?! Showed my drivers' license and asked if I needed my birth certificate and proof of citizenship. I asked what he did if he saw a suspicious I.D. "Nothing," he said, "but since 9/11, we ask for I.D."
Ah, 9/11, what crimes are committed in your name.
Browsed a bit, then went to the noon rally about quarter of twelve. Nobody was there yet, but across the street was a group of occupiers and I joined them. There were two tents set up; some had stayed overnight. Chatted with them, then the Tenth Anniversary rally started and they came to join us. Rev. Moore spoke, as did a woman from Maryland who has been to Afghanistan on a peace mission, the president of the Muslim Student Society at the College of New Jersey, and a few others. A folk-singer sang. Two state police officers came out to tell the three people who had signs on stick that they had to lose the sticks--I guess because they could be used as weapons. The three people were a man about 60, a young mother, and her no-more-than-three-year-old daughter. Rev. Moore said he counted 75 people there, which he thought a good crowd, considering it was a work day.
Drove to Ewing after and one of the caregivers let me go into our old house. There are a lot of changes--there needed to be--but the kitchen cabinets Pat installed are still there and so are the tiles from Moravian Tile Factory that I chose with such loving care.
Stopped at the cemetery where old friend, Elaine, is buried, along with her beloved grandson, Sean, and her not-so-beloved husband, Len. Got home about 4:00, returned several phone calls, puttered around, and retired for the night.
Somewhat of a downer day because I can't believe this demonstration--any of these demonstrations--will make an iota of difference in our determined rush to world domination and ultimate obliteration. Those in power have the money and the military and we citizens count for nothing.
NOTE: Just for fun, take a look at this:

Friday, October 07, 2011

Busy, busy, even for me. I decided to see for myself the "no physician" thing at Little Egg's Atlanticare Family Medicine, where I've gone since I moved here. It seems the nurse practitioner is there solo, which is a bit disconcerting. I asked who handles this and was given the name of somebody on English Creek Road in Northfield. As I was going to the hospital to pick up my records, I extended my trip and stopped to see the person. She assured me they are interviewing and that the NP reports and works closely with a doctor, and that her credentials are "as good as a physician's." (Yeah? Then why isn't she a doctor?) Anyway, I'm just going to wait and see. Haven't looked at my records yet.
Stopped at S & M Produce (love the name) to get a few things. then zipped home for lunch and to prepare for The Breeze meeting. The big news is that Virginia H. has accepted the editor-in-chief job--yay! There has to be one person who can make decisions on her own as to what goes into the paper, who does what,and so on, and Virgina is a good person to handle it. Meeting took a lot longer than I thought it would, and I didn't get out of there until almost 4:00 Had told Marge I'd go over to tell her and Fred about the Lucille Ball Show they so kindly treated me to ("to which they so kindly treated me") about 3:00. Went over after, but Fred had had to go to Lowe's. I apologized, chatted with Marge, then went to Mastercraft because my A.C. isn't working in the car, went back and he still wasn't home.
Left and sat on Leslie's porch for a time while we made plans to go to the rally at the State House in Trenton to make the tenth anniversary of the Afghanistan war. Unfortunately, got an e-mail from Leslie this morning to say she can't go, as a friend is in crisis and asked to see her early. Well, I'll go by myself; no prob.
After dinner, went back to Marge's and Fred's on my way to the library. I was glad I did because Fred's face lit up when I described what a fabulous time I had at the show.
Last stop was the library and Acme for cottage cheese.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Mike C. came over at 10:00 to explain about solar panels and I signed on the dotted line. Bob S. came at 11:00 to flush out my sprinklers (sounds pretty erotic, doesn't it?). Had to go to the bank to get cash to pay him and also for lunch. Stopped at Produce Junction on my way to that occasion and got a third basket for my closet shelves. Picked up a pretty orchid to welcome Betty home.
Met the aforementioned, Suzanne, Muckie, and Helen at Northfield Diner and had a good time. Helen had an appointment, but the rest of us went back to Betty's and chatted for an hour or so.
Stopped at the hospital on the way home to get my records, but I had missed them by 15 minutes. Will go today.
Was surprised to get a call from Julie L., who asked if I knew that the Atlanticare branch where I go no longer has a doctor there. Darn, I didn't know. I'm going to try to find the person who is in charge of this stuff and ask what gives.
Have a meeting for The Breeze this afternoon and am going to see Marge and Fred after to tell them about the Lucille Ball show. Glad I don't have to fudge about enjoying it, because I really did.
WIDER: On, Philip Giraldi takes us on a truly horrifying trip five years into the future:
It's horrifying mainly because it's so utterly believable.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Had a fabulous time at Surflight. Thanks to Fred D., who insisted on giving me the ticket, I was practically IN Lucy--front row center. After a few minutes, a youngish (45 or so) sat next to me. He was alone, also, and we struck up a conversation. I learned he lives in North Brunswick and is in administration at Hamilton High, near where I lived. He's a big Lucy fan and also has acted in little theatre groups, so we hit it off immediately and I enjoyed being with him through the show. As for me, I was never a fan and I thought the show would be a re-hash of old I love Lucy bits, but it wasn't. It was about Lucille Ball herself, not only in her character of Lucy. It lasted about two hours, with only one person in the cast. However, she conducted a faux question and answer period and the "questioners" were heard on recordings.
The dialogue--monologue--was funny, but also poignant at times. After, an enjoyable addition was the surprise presence of Lucie Arnaz, who was a co-writer and director of the show. She sat on stage with Suzanne LaRusch and field real questions from the audience. She's over sixty, but is in great shape and was answered questions with warm and casual grace. The whole experience was wonderful.
Called Marge and Fred when I got home and will go over to tell them about it tomorrow.
WIDER: Here's retired general Wesley Clark, while expressing his enthusiasm for murder in an article in the UK Guardian:
"'For the United States, the journey continues: Awlaki’s death … moves us closer to the time when we must transition, psychologically and practically, from being a nation under threat to a nation that once again champions its openness and welcome to the whole world.'”
"Openness and welcome?" Wha? Who in the HELL would want to be "welcomed" to a place whose citizens celebrate the just plain murder of, not only those pesky foreigners, but their fellow citizens?
Words fail me.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Got yay-many errands and chores done yesterday. After exercise and breakfast, went to Manahawkin and dropped off the movie; rented The Game. Went to Kohl's to again try to find the Nike sneaks I like and found they're discontinued. (Story of my life? No, not really.) Stopped at Shop-Rite for a few things.
Home for lunch, then drove the opposite direction to Produce Junction and exchanged the baskets I had bought the other day. I want them for my closet shelves and the other ones were too high. Stopped at Santori's in the rain for fresh feta only to find they're again out. Picked up green leaf lettuce and tomatoes, though.
Made several calls that had been hanging and am at least starting to make a dent in my obligations--which really aren't that onerous, in fact.
All day, dark clouds were hanging heavily in the air and it rained part of time. Often, this makes me mildly depressed, but not yesterday.
Today, I'll see Lucy at Surflight Theatre. Hope Long Beach Island isn't flooded as it often is in parts and was on Sunday.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Interesting day. Pat L., her brother and sister-in-law, and her friend picked me up at 1:00 and we went to the Chowderfest on Long Beach Island. Good grief, what an enormous number of people and what a disorganized affair. The idea is to drink from tiny samples of chowder (New England and Manhattan) obtained from a variety of area restaurants, then vote on which was best. The winners, of course, gets to use its standing in ads, etc.
Are they frigging kidding? It was so mobbed you could barely get to one venue, let alone ten or twelve. I simply picked up five one-swallow-sized samples from a single place and fought my way out of the crowd that packed the big tents. Ate and drank them in five minutes, accompanied by a beer. Members of the rest of our party happen to be considerably overweight and they had difficulty with the event, but were game. The weather threatened all day to rain, and it alternated between being too hot and too cool. It cost $22 dollars to get in--outrageous, I thought, considering the scarcity of the food. However, it was actually pretty much fun--like my first and only cruise a few months ago, I wouldn't want to do it again for a long time, but was glad to have had the experience.
Back at Pat's, we chatted and got to know each other while she cooked a clam and spaghetti dinner. Her in-laws are so interesting--which goes to show about pre-judging people. They have a 140-acre farm in upstate New York; nearest neighbor is seven miles away. In earlier days, they had had horses, pigs, chickens, ducks, and had raised most of their own produce. Jean, the wife, still has a large garden. I greatly enjoyed hearing about such a life, so different from mine.
Didn't get home until after 9:00. Skyped Ellen and we had our usual Sunday evening chat. Very nice day altogether.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Yesterday's picture: That's my great-grandmother, Mary Ann McIlkenney, mother of my paternal grandmother and my Aunt Maggie on my father's side. Picture taken in Dublin.
Spent time yet again arranging the guest room. Now I'm befuddled by the fact that I still have a lot of stuff in the closet. And the pictures! It's just incredible how many I have that I can't begin to display. Not sure what to do about them.
Went to Blockbuster and rented V For Vendetta, which niece Joan had recommended. It was interesting, even gripping at times, but uneven, I thought.
Called cousin Marifran in Cincinnati and we had a good talk. Her cancer is at bay, it seems, as the tumor hasn't grown. She's treating it nutritionally at this point, but realizes she may have to go under the knife, as the charming phrase goes, sometime.
Speaking of disease, I just got the book The Life You Save, which I already find absorbing. Written by an attorney who specializes in malpractice suits, it's a guide to taking charge of your own health, in the sense of knowing your history, understanding what's wrong and what's available, asking the right questions, and not being intimidated by doctors. First step is getting your medical records; I intend to request them tomorrow. Scarily, the book starts off with the story of one of the author's clients who went to dermatologist to check a mole on his back. Doc wrote it should be excised, but next doc, for some reason, failed to note this and it wasn't. Patient himself just assumed it was okay. Eight years late, the melanoma, which would almost surely have caused no further problem if removed, killed him.
Going to the Chowderfest on Long Beach Island today.
WIDER: From "The Casey Report," which I get on-line. Richard Maybury pointed that when it comes to war, "the fundamental problem is political power and its corrupting influence on moral judgment." (Couldn't agree more, Richard.) He went on: "...the historical facts (show) a disturbing picture of today’s reality: a clear and present danger is no longer needed for acts of aggression. The state just needs to think that the other side is up to no good. Logic and ethics are dead and we are entering a dog-eat-dog era of aggression."
This site--The Casey Report--is actually written for free-market enthusiasts, with whom I don't often agree, but a lot of it make sense.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

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Susan's back and we walked together. Of course, they had a fabulous time in Europe and she brought me an interesting little container shaped like Italy, containing "Lemonella," some kind of liqueur.
Set up my onion and pepper mix in the small crock pot, then went to Boscov's to look for valences for my room. Found some that matched the bench seat cover (pale gold), but will wait to see if I want to get them. Stopped at Produce Junction and got two baskets and some cute Halloween lights I'll send to the kids in Wellsboro.
Called sister Betty, who will be back Wednesday--I think.
A visitor from the north stopped in to see if she wanted any of the priceless objects--read "junk"--I cleared out, and she took two bird books.
Went to Manahawkin and rented Wall Street--the 20th anniversary edition--which niece Joan had recommended and I always intended to see. Watched part, but for some reason, lost interest and went to bed. Maybe I'll try one of the others she mentioned (V For Vendetta and The Game) when we talked the other day.
WIDER: I'm old enough to remember the horror and shock of U.S. politicians and their constituents at the Soviet Union's tendency to execute their own people without due process. Now, as Glenn Greenwald points out, we've embraced that exciting concept with the murder of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen:
But ho-hum, what else is new?