Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Killing Civilians

"Two years ago we would all have been aghast at the idea of killing civilians. I remember saying to someone during the blitz, when the RAF were hitting back as best they could, “In a year’s time you’ll see headlines in the Daily Express: ‘Successful raid on Berlin Orphanage. Babies Set on Fire’.” It hasn’t come to that yet, but that is the direction we are going in."
So apt for today's world!  But written almost exactly 70 years ago in George Orwell's diary:

Slow And Hubris

I almost--but not quite--"forgot" (that crafty inner self of mine!) exercise, so got to the clubhouse later than usual, about 8:20.  Was happy to be able to easily insert and run the disc and did my duty. 
Another slow day, darn it.  Did household chores and went to Shop-Rite, where I bought something I've been graving, rotisserie chicken.  Oh, that stuff is good.  Considering that I seldom eat flesh, it always tastes extra yummy. 
Was pleased to be e-mailed to the effect that John P., the leader of our Players & Playwrights group, has started a blog.  It's not personal like this one; he writes on writing for the theatre and related topics.  It's interesting and I've been enjoying it.
WIDER:  The previous entry is a "beyond belief" item which, what with various and sundry innovations to this benighted country (e.g. preemptive war,  drones, and American hubris in general), seems no longer incredible,  but just a natural progression to the world's demise. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Stars Earn Stripes



Determined to avoid sliding away from formal exercise altogether, called Amy C. and asked that she accompany me to the clubhouse for a tutorial on how to run the damn DVD.  She did, I wrote it down, and I fervently hope my problem in this area are over.
Went across to check on Susan--her foot is swollen, but improving--and stayed long enough to chat for a bit.  Betty called and I invited over to the pool, but it started raining and we had to postpone.
Did a bunch of household chores.  Skyped Ellen and we had a good virtual visit.  Can't wait to see her in just a few days.  Showered and dressed, then walked down (up?) the street to the R.'s to attend Dine-Around at Calloway's with Leslie and Dennis.
As it turned out, the evening was very enjoyable.  Judy conducted her usual tiresome "game" ("Name two vegetables that start with "J"), but I did win another pretty bracelet that I actually like.  Sat with Mary Ann Van O. and we reconnected.
Got home a bit after 8:00.  Skipped my popcorn and wine in favor of playing a bit more of my new game and went to bed.
WIDER:  I'm far, far from being a libertarian, but Bill Gregg enlarges on a theme similar to Silber's of yesterday and is thought-provoking:

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Happy Birthday, Vivian!

Just had a wonderful virtual visit with my precious granddaughter, Vivian, who turns eight years old today.  Saw darling Violet and the rest of the family in London, too, of course.  Skype is a boon to Nanas.
Yesterday?  A lotta nuthin'.  Spent most of it playing a "hidden object" game I actually bought from Big Fish Games.  I'm intrigued by it, but assume and hope my fascination will wear off soon.
Didn't walk today.  Susan had a fall yesterday morning and was up to our walk then, but called to say her foot is swollen, so she wants to rest it.  I'll bring her over some cherries later.
Dine-Around dinner tonight, to which I'll be going with the R.'s.
WIDER: Arthur Silber, with his customary clarity, cuts through the sanctimonious crap surrounding the recent horror in Aurora.  He always, without fail, speaks to those who are weird enough to deplore the slaughter of others--children, too, of course--for no damn reason.  Note his characterisation of the assassin-in-chief.  

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Veggie Day

Had another frustrating time trying to run the Leslie Sansone exercise DVD. Could NOT get it to simply start.  Why in hell there are three remotes you have to manipulate to run anything in beyond me.  Finally just put it back in the case and left.  Think I'll call Amy C. and ask her to give me a tutorial right at the clubhouse.
Drove to the cemetery to water.  Annoyingly, the leaves of what I planted most recently (can't remember the name) are thriving, but all the flowers have dropped off.  Oh, well, can't be helped.  Called Betty to see if she could meet for lunch, but she was having Mary H. over.  Invited me, too, but I wanted o go to the pool, so declined with thanks.  Picked up some wine at Canal's, then went to Produce Junction.  Found a pretty lily for a song.  It's a perennial, which means I'll have to plant it, but I think it rained last night, so hope the ground is soft.  Couldn't resist a delicate little bamboo plant, which I now have on my "Japan corner" in the living room.
Also got Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, lettuce, and broccoli.  Stopped at Santori's on the way home for fresh feta and a cantaloupe, then at Shop-Rite for peaches and a few other items. 
Home, I made my usual big salad (Romaine, tomatoes, peppers, kidney beans, and onions) and ate it while finishing up After Camelot, The Kennedy Family Since 1968, a gigantic tome.  Cut up the several pounds of broccoli, divided it into three large bowls, sprinkled them with Mrs. Dash, covered them, and put them in the fridge so they're ready for me to eat.  Did the same with a few other veggies, all to the strains of a medley of Mozart, which I always put on when I prepare vegetables.
Went to the library and did other stuff around the house.  Ordered a computer game, which I almost never do, but I got hooked on a "hidden object" with twists ones.
Made stir fry for dinner; very tasty.  Never did get to the pool, which I'm annoyed at myself about.  I know that once the weather changes--if it ever does and I think that's no certainty--I'll regret not taking advantage of it.  Well, maybe I'll go today.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sisterly Visit

After my walk with Susan, Betty and I had our coffee and read the A.C. Press at a leisurely pace.  For breakfast, we zipped over to Dockside and enjoyed the boats skimming by on the canal next to the restaurant.  Had the same thought after:  Let's go to the pool!  Quickly changed and did just that.
Got there just as the water aerobics class was finishing up. (I tried this once when we first moved here, but it's so mild and old-ladyish compared to my usual vigorous exercise session, I didn't repeat.)
Weather was warm, but overcast, although we didn't let that stop us. We plunged right in and stayed there for an hour or so.  Remarkably, there were very few others at the pool--at one point, only the two of us and a man I don't know.  Maybe people  thought it was too hot to go out (weird, if you ask me)--but it was anything but crowded.  After a bit, we lay on the lounges to chat, then went back in. 
At home, I found a message from Susan to the effect that she had just baked blueberry muffins and could she bring them over?  Damn right.  After Betty got out of the shower (I skipped), Susan came over and brought us six delectable muffins, then stayed to chat awhile.
After she left, we each had a muffin--very yummy--then Betty packed up to leave after a thoroughly enjoyable day and a half.
Had the bit of leftover salmon, potato, and Brussels sprouts for dinner and yummy, yum, yum. 
NOTE:  The northern dweller belongs to a contra group in Princeton and here's an article on it, including pics of her (red top, red and white skirt):

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dinner Guests

Early on, drove to Shop-Rite for salmon, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, and baking potatoes.  Prepared them as far as possible and decided to add crystal pickles, pumpernickel, and iced tea, plus, of course, a green salad.  Set the table and so on.
During my (light--very light, I'm afraid) cleaning, got a call from the northern dweller to the effect that she'd drop in later, as she was due back at school to help at a carnival at 4:30.  A second call, from Betty, informed me that she was almost finished work, so would come early, which she did.  Had a pleasant hour or so visiting with both until it was time to pick up Aline.
We were early, my usual mode, and Aline's sister, Susan, with whom she lives, invited us in to see her antiques and other artifacts, some of which are very impressive. 
Home, we sat on the porch for a time, then I served dinner which, if I say it myself, was delish.  Enjoyed it, as well as much lively talk.  Aline had brought some chocolates and we had them as we chatted, then I took both guests to Jeffreeze for ice cream.  We sat outside to enjoy our dripping treats and again, I simply couldn't finish my "medium" soft serve--next time, I'll order a small.
Home again, Aline came in for a time, then Betty and I drove her home.  I poured my wine, we talked a bit more, then we two went to bed and I, for one, slept like a log after a lovely summer day.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Puppet Show

This 'n' that in the morning, then picked up Aline at quarter of two and we went to the "East Meets West" presentation at the library.  I'm not a fan of puppet shows ordinarily, but this was just superb.  The puppeteer, a Chinese woman who now lives in the U.S., skillfully manipulated a variety of puppets of different sizes and configurations, including a medieval princess, a Picasso-inspired person, two dogs, and a funny, pot-bellied creature.  There was no stage or puppet box; just a rectangle marked off with tape.  The puppeteer was clearly seen moving the puppets, but that didn't matter, as the movements were so true to life.  Children sat on the floor in front, adults on chairs behind, which worked out fine. 
The show finished with the puppeteer selecting children from the audience, having them hold up a big "dragon," then leading them in an exuberant prance as other children banged on drums and cymbals.  A wonderful way to spend the afternoon!
Aline had planned to take a bus to Dynasty Diner for dinner, which is near the Seaport where we rehearse, then go to rehearsal.  I had looked up a book which the Stafford Library had, so suggested she ride with me there, then I'd go to dinner with her.  She agreed enthusiastically, and that's what we did. 
Over a hamburger and a Heineken, A. pointed out something I hadn't even realized: that I appear very briefly (my whole part is brief, only nine lines) late in the second act, which was being rehearsed last night.  However, I was hot and sweaty, so decided to skip it.  We were about an hour early, so I did sit with Aline on the porch overlooking the Seaport just to chat.  When others started arriving, she went in and I went home after a pleasantly different day.
Having Aline and Betty for dinner and B. will stay overnight.  Guess I'd better figure out and buy something to serve.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


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Back in the groove, I walked with Susan, then took myself to the clubhouse to exercise with Leslie (Sansone, and her CD, "Walk Away The Pounds").  Tidied up the guestroom in preparation for Betty's stay.  Got a call from Aline to fill me in on her trip to NYC and invited her to dinner tomorrow, also.  She accepted with pleasure.
The bulk of the day?  Wel-l-l, after my announcement on Saturday that I wouldn't be submitting any more plays at Players & Playwrights, I spent several hours working on a play.  I'm doing a short comedic skit in rhyming couplets concerning three women in Hell.  (Well, it seems a funny premise.)
While occupied thus, the doorbell rang.  It was the mailman, and he gave me a large, heavy package from Tokyo.  I was stunned to find a beautiful Kabuki actor figure, about 17 inches high, in full costume and wild orange wig, and holding a fan and a plate.  I immediately took a picture of it, which I took to rehearsal to show the other actors.  Of course, it's from my P. and N. and I cherish it already.  What a prize!
Picked up Aline and we went to rehearsal at the Seaport.  Did just part of Act II, which I'm in, and it went well.  There's rehearsal again tonight, but of another act, so I don't have to go. 
Asked Aline if she'd like to go with me to a Chinese puppet program at the library this afternoon and she does.  Will pick her up.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Not Much

I posted late in the day yesterday, so won't add much.  High point was a Skype call from d.d. (darling daughter) Ellen in California.  We had a good talk--can't wait to see her in just a few weeks!
Only other thing I had going on was clearing the small bookcase in the guest room of toys (stored them in the closet bureau).  Will replace them with the stein collection.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Dinner, A Sleepover, And Breakfast

Bouncing back day! 
My legion of readers (ha!) may have noticed I didn't post this morning.  That's because I accepted Betty's invitation to come to dinner yesterday and also to stay over.  She was very contrite about the mix-up in days and we're putting that behind us.
Had a good dinner of "Southern Boil"--sausage, shrimp, potatoes, corn on the cob all cooked together with seafood seasoning.  I had had it in December when Mike & Co. and I stopped in Savannah and, boy, is it good.
We then walked on the boardwalk for a bit, ending the day by sitting on the porch.  George W. happened by and we chatted with him.
Had a good sleep, then got up at my usual time of 5:15.  Drove to Wawa to get coffee for both of us, which we drank as we read the A.C. Press together.  Betty called Muckie to ask if she wanted to meet up for breakfast.  She did, but not until after 9:30 mass.  I didn't want to wait until after that to eat, so we went over and ordered breakfast first.
As we were served, Muckie and Mary O. , formerly S. joined us.  Mary  graduated with Muckie the year before us, but I didn't remember her at all.  She's a pleasant, attractive woman and the four of us enjoyed a  congenial meal, lingering almost two hours.  Mary asked me to send her Pat R.'s blog address, which I'll do shortly.
I had invited Betty to dinner and "a sleepover," as the kids say, on Wednesday, as I want her to meet Aline. Hope A. is available for dinner then too.
Stopped at Shore Mall just to use the facility (a genteel way of saying "the can"), then went to the cemetery to water at the graves.  Back on the parkway, I was confronted with a huge slow-down--stop, actually--so it took me more than an hour to get home. 
No prob, I'm here now and will resume my life, more buoyant and chipper than ever.0

Saturday, July 21, 2012


A topsy-turvey day.  Had a big hassle with Atlanticare, then Horizon about a bill I got for $45--why?  Called both and found it Horizon thought I should pay a $30 co-pay for the last two visits to my primary because it was "out of network."  Turned out when Dr. K. left and Dr. W. took over at Atlanticare, I was supposed to notify Horizon.  What?  They work for Atlanticare, which is the same provider I've had for years.  Didn't seem to penetrate, but I finally got it straightened out, but only just in time to quickly change and start down to Ventnor.
Weather was dark and rainy and had been very windy earlier. I had been at the point of called Betty to tell her I may not go to my Players & Playwrights meeting, but it cleared to an extent and I didn't call.
The P & P meeting was very enjoyable, as ever.  I was asked to read the part of Heka, a Greek goddess (that's me, all right) in an absolutely incomprehensible play that involved lots of pretty words, no action, and no sense, either. The woman who wrote it was new, and here's an historic note:  She had designed new seats in Yankee stadium in the eighties, she said.  Okay....
We stayed a bit late, due to Ernie doing what he called "improv," which duplicated his phone call to his parents from France when he was 19 in 1967.  Oh, don't ask.
Got to Betty's about 4:30, knocked on the door, and waited for it to open.  It didn't.  Called her home phone.  No answer.  Called her cell and found she was on her way to dinner with Muckie in Tuckahoe, having thought I was coming today.  Drove home and had a solitary dinner of leftovers. 

Friday, July 20, 2012


Aline called as I was having breakfast to tell me about her trip to Cape May.  Invited her to the Plays and Playwrights meeting today, then dinner at Betty's, but she regretfully declined.  She's already booked to travel to Manhattan today for a wedding tomorrow. 
Took my last remaining container of crystal pickles out of the freezer to take to Betty's. I had bought Kirby cucumbers the other day, so whipped up a new batch. 
Got notice on-line of some Big Fish games that include hidden objects.  Played some in the free version and may order.
Drove to Manahawkin and looked in Kohl's for a bathing suit.  Saw none and lost interest, anyway, so drove home.
Finally removed the dead clematis from the trellis next to the porch.  It's a perennial with pretty white blooms on it in the spring, but then ugly dead brown ones.  I'm thinking about planting another vining plant there, instead of--or in addition to.
Well, I'm now pretty sure I'm being afflicted by horn worms, after all.  Had seen a just-barely-on-the-point-of-being-ripe-enough-to-pick tomato on Wednesday, but thought I'd give it another day.  Went to get it yesterday and--aagh!  There was only half left, the whole top had been eaten away!  Will see about getting something to repel the damn things; still haven't seen them, but I understand they imitate a curled leaf, so are hard to spot.  Boy, Mother Nature has it in for me, doesn't she?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Summer Day

Went to the SOCH thrift store early and found a terrific outfit to wear as actress Gay Wellington.  It's what used to be called--I think--"lounging pajamas," three piece, and very thirtyish (or sixtyish) looking, with big, splashy flowers in green and yellow on a black background.  Very appropriate for the era and the character.
Called Betty to see if she could have Aline and me for dinner tomorrow, as I plan to ask A. to come to the Plays & Playwrights meeting with me.  I said we could buy sandwiches at the corner store, but she said no, no, I'll make southern boil.  Well, okay, yum, so we have a date.  Hope Aline can come.
Stopped at Acme and got tuna with oil to make my elbow macaroni, tuna, and peas concoction,  Did so when I got home and divided it into three bowls.  Ate my usual salad for lunch, then--ta dah!--changed into my bathing suit and went to the pool.
There were only six people there besides me, but a few more came later.  I got directly into the water and stayed there for two hours.  Dennis R. was there, along with others I didn't know, but we all chatted easily, of course.  Cold water was actually being pumped into the pool, as it had gotten too warm (never thought I'd say--write--that) and it was wonderful. 
Shriveled, but refreshed, I finally got out.  Showered and dressed, had one of the macaroni bowls for dinner, then took a drive to New Gretna and beyond.
Note:  I'll be interested to know what my upcoming electric bill will be, considering I've had the air on continuously for more than a week, usually set to 73.  Last month, the bill had climbed to an outrageous $2.91, all the fault of the solar panels, I'm sure.
WIDER:  My friend, Hoosier Jim, looks a bit more closely at "defense"
"cuts" and the great danger if we incline that way:
Food for thought?  Yes, but don't let anybody in government know you're thinking--it's dangerous.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Okay, things are looking up.  Determined not to endure another lazing- around day, I did stuff.  To wit:  pared and cut up a crock pot full of yams, added a bit a orange juice and cinnamon, and left them to get slowly delicious.  Put in a load of whites and lights.  Watered plants outside and in and re-potted the spider plant, now maybe nearing its end.  (I had it in my office at Rider for at least five years and I retired twice that long ago.)  Thought I'd get a big fern to replace it, so drove to Produce Junction, first stopping at Canal's for wine.  However, P.J. had no ferns and, in fact, their plant/flower section was pretty well depleted (the place is so popular and the prices so low you have to get there when the stuff first comes in or you miss out).  However, I bought lettuce, tomatoes (mine are coming, but they're still green), Brussels sprouts, and broccoli.  Stopped at the cemetery to water--I'm afraid the plants at Jay's just never took--and also at Santori's to get fresh feta and a few other veggies.
Got home a bit before 2:00, the time designated for son Mike to Skype me.  He did and I had a wonderfully enjoyable virtual visit with my adorable granddaughters.  They had just gotten back from Barcelona.
Stayed on the computer after they said goodbye and a box came up telling me that darling daughter, Ellen, was on-line.  I impulsively Skyped her and had a nice chat with her, too.
Had the last of the chicken drumsticks for dinner, along with blueberries and Greek yogurt.  Showered and changed, then got to our first read-through at 7:00.  Desi is having surgery in September; I don't know why) and has been replaced by a guy named Fred, playing the boyfriend of the maid (Aline's role).  Met him and he's so nice and a good actor, too.
We did the whole thing and yes, it's going to be very funny.  Most of the players are excellent with the usual exception of one who plays all his parts  exactly the same way, as a kind of droll, folksy, Midwestern yokel, no matter how inappropriate for the role.  And the guy who plays an ethnic character is so completely and utterly over the top with the booming voice, the crude accent, the gigantic gestures--too much!  The part is very comic, but that doesn't mean it should be cartoonish and  just a modicum of subtlety would make it so much better.  On the other hand, he writes for one of the local papers and has done pieces on all our productions in the past, so is a great asset in the publicity department.
Erin, the girl who plays the love interest, is just superb.  So is Kathy D., who has the part I wanted.  Much as it pains me to admit it, she's very, very good as Grand Duchess Olga Katrina.  (I had acted with her in Steel Magnolias.)  However, her boyfriend is going to be played by Neil, who is certainly old enough to be her father--can't understand that.  For that matter, Ron, who plays Neil's father, may actually be younger than he is.  Oh, well, I hope they can put it over.
My own part is so extremely tiny, I've already memorized it.  However, it's a pretty meaty one and, as I've mentioned before, I'm just happy to be in the show. 
We rehearse the first act on Thursday, but since I'm only in the second, I don't have to go.  I may stop in for a bit, anyway, just because I want to be there.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Didn't Do Anything

Years and decades and eons ago, when I was a kid, I used to sneak peeks at my big sister's diary.  Entries weren't exactly eye-popping, but the world of teenagehood seemed so remote and glamorous and exciting to me, I read with great attention.  If nothing much was going on--no new boy to moon over, that is--my sister would write, "Ho-hum, dull day."
Could have used that line for yesterday.  (Then what's with the five lines you did use, Mimi?  Overwriting, anyone?  Shut up, Rosemary, it's my blog and I can do what I want.)
Anyhoo--after our walk, went to exercise where I again had to endure a silent Walk Away The Pounds because I didn't know how to turn the sound on (Kathy Somebody came in when I was finished, though, and showed me how).
Breakfast, then to B.J.'s to get fruit and veggies.  Stopped at the Stafford Library, thinking Aline might be volunteering there, then remembered she's in Cape May.
Lunch, then put some chicken drumsticks in the slow cooker, washed, dried, and folded, then...nuthin'.  Really lazed around, considered the pool, but just didn't want to bother.  Did some computer stuff, mostly just roaming the net.  Read some of my entries here from five years ago and was actually interested in the activities, as if it were somebody else's life.  It was odd to realize there are so many no longer in the land of the living, prominently my husband, of course.
Went over my lines and read (I'm into After Camelot, A Personal History Of The Kennedy Family, 1968 To The Present, don't ask me why), took a short nap, and was generally inert most of the afternoon.
After dinner (three drumsticks, cantaloupe and blueberries), I finally bestirred myself long enough to get in the car and drive the twenty or so miles to Santori's.  Thought they were open until 8:00, then saw they opened at 8:00 and closed at 6:00.  Went the further six or so miles to the cemetery, watered and pulled a few weeds, then left.
See, the idea is to stay out until close to the time--8:00--when I can change into my nightie, pop my corn, pour my wine, and relax for the day.  (Geez, Mimi, you relaxed ALL DAY, didn't you?).
Took me an age and a page to say I didn't do anything yesterday, right?  Should have just noted "ho-hum, dull day."
Heh, heh.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Not A Lot

Not a lot going on.  Went to Manahawkin for errands in a blistering hot day.  Toyed with the idea of going to the pool, but gave it up.  Weeded some before the heat drove me indoors.  Thought I might attend the Ice Cream Social at the clubhouse, but decided I didn't need any more calories in my day.
Studied my lies which, considering there are only nine of them and that I have three months to learn them, isn't going to throw me.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Dinner With Betty

Saturday started off slow, but improved later.  Putzed around in the morning, then drove to Manahawkin to pick up a few things.  While on Route 9, got a call from Betty just to chat.  Pulled into a parking lot and we did just that.  She was at loose ends and so was I, so we make a date to meet at The Olive Garden for dinner at 6:00.  Got there a bit early and saw a big group outside and in.  Was told the wait was 35 minutes.
Now, I'll wait 35 minutes to have a baby, board a plane, or chat with Julian Assange, but not for dinner.  Betty came shortly and we decided to go elsewhere.  Picked a small Chinese restaurant in a nearby shopping center and ate a mediocre meal with plastic forks on foam plates, but so what?  It was fun to be with Sis and we had a good time.
Strolled a few stores over the The Christmas Tree Shop--one of my favorites because it has some different items and it's yay cheap.  We each bought a few things, then parted.
Stopped at the cemetery to water on the way home (it's right on the way) and topped off a pleasant day with a Skype call to darling daughter number two, in Ventura.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Not Much

Finally got back to exercise; I had been slacking off for several weeks, what with this, that, and the other thing.  Went to Shop-Rite for stuff, stopping here and there for errands.  Got an e-mail from a former co-worker at Rider I've known for years, telling me her husband has died.  He had been very sick for years and also had lost his job.  No children or other close relatives.  Called Kathy to express my condolences.  Funeral will be private.
Finished up the Ollie article, plus "Neighborly News" and another piece and sent them off.
Other than that, not a hell of a lot going on.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Plays, Lighthouses, And Ice Cream

Early on, went into Facebook and saw that Tonya had listed the cast for You Can't Take It With You.  I got the part of drunken actress Gay Wellington, a very small one in the second act: I have nine lines, then fall asleep on the couch.  I confess I was disappointed, as I wanted the part of the grand duchess, which Kathy D. got.  Then I reflected that I would have been crushed not to have been picked at all (neither Ellen V. nor Jeanne Sutton, also mature women got a part), so was okay with it.  I'm just thrilled to contemplate being on stage again.
At 10, went a few streets over to Reef Lane to interview Ollie C. about his lighthouses (and other woodworking items).  He's a remarkably young-looking (and trim and handsome) 74 and very soft-spoken and pleasant.  Chatted with his wife, Amy, whom I've known for some time.
After, I drove to the cemetery to water, then to Produce Junction.  Couldn't resist a big pot of white mums and a lovely earthen bowl of various succulents, not to mention a hanging bunch of inpatients, which I actually have cascading down the front door.  Got veggies, too, of course.
Wrote up the piece on Ollie and did some household chores.  Picked up Aline after dinner and went down to Jeffreeze (get it: "Jeff-Freeze--Jeffries?) and treated her to ice cream; had a big cone myself.  After, we took a drive and talked and talked.  She asked if I wanted to attend a Buddy Holly concert at the library, but I begged off.  Not crazy about that kind of music and it was almost 8:00 so I was ready to wind down.
Nothing scheduled for today, but I'll

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Car Back

Got my lil'l darlin' back!  Jessica, from Mastercraft, knocked on my door about 11:00, having brought my car.  I drove her back (it's only about 2 miles), and happily drove away. 
Went home and made a salad for lunch, then drove--drove!--to pick up various and sundry at Shop-Rite.  Stopped at Lowe's and found "bird netting."  Figuring there's no reason it wouldn't work for other critters, I bought some, along with metal stakes to anchor it.  Home, I put the two patio pots with the planted tomatoes and covered all with the netting.  That'll show 'em!
Got a call from Lee S.  She and Mary S. are taking photos of lighthouses on lawns for the August Breeze cover.  She said they were at Amy and Ollie C.'s and were invited in.  There, in Ollie's "man cave" (odious expression), they saw more lighthouses--he makes them.  Lee thought he'd be an interesting topic for one of my profile article.  I agreed, called him, and we made a date for me to stop over this morning.
Betty called and we had a nice chat.  Her company is gone--she had one or the other of her children, with families, there for a month.
Called Aline for her birthday.  She was going out for dinner with her sister and friends, but we made a date for tonight, when I'll treat her to an ice cream for her birthday.
WIDER:  "It has often been claimed that the Vietnam War finally ended when the reaction to the sight of thousands of coffins containing dead American soldiers reached a politically unsustainable level. The Pentagon learned a lesson and subsequently used massive firepower and high-tech weapons in Iraq and Afghanistan to reduce the number of U.S. dead even if it meant significantly increasing the collateral damage inflicted on civilians. Pursuing that logic led to the drone."
From: http://original.antiwar.com/giraldi/2012/07/11/drones-overseas-lead-to-drones-at-home/ at AntiWar.com.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Atlantic City

I continue carless--woe is me...
But I had a nice full day.  Walked to the clubhouse for the 11:00  Red Hats meeting, which was short.  Eight of us then drove to Gardener's Basin in Atlantic City.  Had lunch at Scales (used to be The Flying Cloud) before dropping in at the aquarium.  I've been there before (when P. and N. were here) and am not a fish fan, but it was mildly enjoyable.
Got home by 3:30 to find Mike had Skyped me with darling little Violet, whose fourth birthday it was.  Tried to get them back, but they were no longer online--darn.  He wrote he'd try to get me on the weekend.
Heard from Mastercraft to the effect that he'd get me a loaner, as he still wasn't finished with the car.  Told him he might as well wait for today, as I was going out later.  Called Susan, who was going to line-dancing, but Walter drove me over to the library for the second night of auditions.
Lots of people there, including some who weren't on Monday.  I read for Duchess Olga, the part I really want, and think I did pretty well.  However, so did several others and I'm not at all sure I'll be selected.
Lily McB. drove Aline and me home.
Note: I called my bank, Ocean First, asking why my debit card was rejected when I know I could cover the $933 for the car.  Was told they don't let people use the debit card for more than $900.  Incomprehensible.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Car Still A Hostage

Moped around in the morning.  Called Mastercraft at noon; no, he's still working on it.  Mopey, mope, mope.  Got a number of calls and thought each one was it, but it wasn't.  Passed the time reading, doing computer stuff, and not much else. 
Finally, at 4:15, I got the call--yay!  Walter dropped me off, and I settled up to the tune of $933.  Gave Jessica, the office person, my debit card and was annoyed when it was rejected; now I have to go to Ocean First to find out why.  Paid with another credit card and waited; my little darlin' was being taken for a test drive. 
When the guy driving returned, he pulled into the back and Jessica went out to investigate; he said he wouldn't let me drive it before putting oil in.  I waited some more, then got the news that the car had developed a knock and he wanted to keep it longer.
DAMN! Jessica drove me home, but I still don't have a car!  Aagh!  I'm at their mercy, so what can I do?  Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Well, guess I'll live through it.  Had a bite, then prepared for the audition.  Aline's sister, Susan, picked me up and we went to the Tuckerton Seaport; we were to meet in the fishing shanty.  We then found that the quilt group of the other Susan, the one I walk with every morning, was meeting there.  Mix up in scheduling--story of our lives--so we sat outside to "read."  (Actually, it was very pleasant, with a nice breeze.)  I have no idea how well--or not well--I did and plan to go again to tonight's rehearsal.
As I walked in the door, the phone was ringing with a call from my dear cousin, my "Cincinnati Sis," Marifran K.  Now this was the high point of the day and we had a wonderful time catching up with each other.  What a pleasure to hear her voice!
I have RedHats today and we're going to the Atlantic City Aquarium.  Well, I ain't gonna drive, that's a cinch.
WIDER:  Confused about the LIBOR thing?  So was I until I read this by Robert Reich:
Too big to fail.  Too big to jail.  Too big to do anything but screw the common people--but that, they do with enthusiasm.

Monday, July 09, 2012


The rain held off, thank heavens, and Betty, Carolyn, Dana, Finn, and Claire got here before 1:00.  Because I had no car, I had to improvise a lunch: put together Harvestland chicken pieces from the freezer with still-crisp celery and mayo for chicken salad; added sliced tomatoes on a bed of Romaine, plus crystal pickles that I keep for just such occasions (must make another batch).  Along with cranberry bread, whole wheat, and multi-grain that I borrowed from Susan, that was the meal,  With the addition of dessert in the form of Italian ice I had just happened to pick up a few days ago, everybody seemed to enjoy it.
We walked to the pool and had a fine time there.  Hot, hot, hot, and overcast, but no rain.  Stayed in until the kids had to get out at 3:00, then Betty, Carolyn, Claire and I sat for a bit and talked while Dana and Finn went back to the house.  (They didn't realize that children are not supposed to be in the pool area after 3:00 and since the lifeguard didn't say anything, neither did I.)
Got home to find Dana had fixed my long-ailing garbage disposal--yay!--and we continued visiting while the kids played.  They left about 5:00 after an enjoyable day.  Ellen called and we had a good chat--can't wait to see her!
Audition tonight for You Can't Take It With You.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Car Gone

A day that will live in...if not infamy, certainly annoyance.  Car had been overheating, so took my Chevy to the levy--to Mastercraft--and was told it has a hole in the manifold or something and will cost me roughly $900 to fix.  Had no choice, so agreed to the highway robbery.  Mechanic said it wasn't a good idea to continue to drive it, so I called Barbara D. and she picked me up and took me home.
...where I stayed all day, bored out of my mind.  Read a lot, went on the computer, made a salad for today, cooked the kale and string beans I had gotten from the northern dweller, and took a nap.  Sounds pleasant and peaceful, doesn't it?  Hated it.  Thought I'd walk to the pool, but even for me, it was a bit warm--99 degrees--so I decided against it.  Of course, Mastercraft isn't open today, so can't ransom my little darlin' until tomorrow.
Talked to Betty and Carolyn, who are coming for lunch, then the pool, if thunderstorms don't change our plans.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Fruit and Veggies

Suffered a tragedy early on:  As I often do, I made a salad in the morning to have ready in the refrig for lunch later and it occurred to me to add the two nice plump  peppers I had seen on my plant out back.  Went to get them and was horrified to discover they were no longer there.  Neither was an almost-ripe tomato I had noted before.  At first, I actually thought somebody had taken them, but then I saw the stems had been eaten clean off.
The little varmints!  After all the digging, feeding, and nurturing routine I had followed over the spring--!  (Well, I watered them, anyway.)  There seem to still be some flowers on the pepper plant and some green tomatoes clinging on, so I immediately sprayed all with deer and rabbit repellent; hope that will keep them away.  Must remember to wash before eating.
Drove to the cemetery and watered heavily the new plants on both graves.  Then went to Produce Junction and got veggies--plus, I couldn't resist another patio tomato plant, which I hope won't be enjoyed only by the critters.  Went to Santori's for veggies and fruit, then to Canal's for wine.  On the way home, stopped again to water at the cemetery.
After lunch--sans pepper, damn it--drove up to Manahawkin for supplies at Shop-Rite and Wal-Mart.  Had an almost-exclusively fruit dinner of blueberries and strawberries topped with plain Greek yogurt, plus the rest of the watermelon from Susan, and delicious cherries.
Must take my car to Mastercraft, as the "hot" light keeps coming on. 

Friday, July 06, 2012

Fun On The Beach

Another fun summer day.  Called sister Betty early on and was enthusiastically invited down--promptly accepted.  We decided I'd call wen I was on my way and meet either at her place or the beach. 
Did a wash and other this 'n' that, packed up what I needed (including beer in my new cooler), and left home about 11:00.  Went to the cemetery first--the flowers on Pat's grave look good, the ones on Jay's not so much.  Watered both heavily, then called to say I was on my way.
Trudged down to the Newport Avenue beach, as niece Carolyn and nephew Stephen and their families were renting Connie and Tom H.'s house while they were there.  Muckie and Matthew D. and his girlfriend joined us shortly. 
It was great fun with adults and children, ranging in age from 11-year-old Finn to three-month-old Amelia.  We stayed until about 4:00, then Betty,  For lunch, some of them went and got subs--I had a regular--and we ate on the beach, my beer shared around.*   I actually went in the water, which was heavenly even to me, although I'm not a beach person.  A bit before the others, Betty, Muckie, and I went back to the H.'s and sat on the porch and talked until we were joined by the rest of the gang.
For dinner, Katie had made a "southern boil"--I had forgotten she was from Texas--for the cookout they had all gone to on the fourth, and we had what was leftover of that, plus jambalaya and salad--delicious.
Said goodbye about 7:40; so sorry Wes and Stephen and their families are leaving tomorrow, but invited Carolyn, Dana, Finn, and Claire to come to my place for lunch and the pool on Sunday.  Will invite the northern couple, also.
* I know you're not allowed to have beer on the beach, but did it anyway. If Ventnor City wants to prosecute, they know where to find me.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Goodbyes And A Party

Good day.  Got up north at 10:00 and enjoyed interacting with the two boys and the couple.  Far north contingent arrived a few hours later, with the other boys, J. and R., as did J. and T.'s mother, Jen (is all that straight?).  We had a good time chatting and overseeing what seemed remarkably like four dozen kids, not just four, they're such a thundering horde.  I'm over my hurt and disappointment about my no-show guests and understand how they needed to get home--for one thing, to take care of the chickens.
Jen had brought big bags of bagels and some of us had that for lunch, others grilled cheese sandwiches, Joel his leftover ziti, and so on.  Grandson J., senior, had acquired a big, open trailer from somewhere, and that was packed up with the mountains of suitcases, boxes, bags, and other paraphernalia generated by four boys visiting two different households for a month.
Got a cell phone call from brother, Jim, in Falls Church.  Their electricity was out from the time of the storm on Friday to Sunday morning.  Geez, I would have gotten in the car and gone elsewhere--well, maybe not. 
Reluctantly said goodbye to all, then drove home.  Changed, cleaned up, and strolled three doors down to Ray and Barbara H.'s for their fourth of July party. They usually have many more people--yesterday, only thirteen  attended, probably because others were away or had company--but it was fun and the food was, of course, superb.  I managed not to speak at all to Julie and Gary L., the former the author of the scurrilous letter maligning our trustee, Joan C. 
Stayed a few hours, then said my goodbyes.  No plans for the rest of the week, but will call sister Betty and make a date to go down south (Ventnor) to see my niece and nephews.
Just read my friend, Pat R.'s blog, in which she expresses her sadness and loneliness after the recent death of her beloved husband.  I recognize her grief--what's that song, "heartbreak, my old friend"? or something--and surprised myself by weeping.  There's a kinship in sorrow, but no healthy person wants to join that club. 
WIDER:  A thoughtful essay on a "civil" president:

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Looking Up

Well, things are looking up.  I had expressed my disappointment over the missing guests to Susan during our walk and--maybe it's not related--she came over later in the morning.  Gave me a slice of watermelon and invited me to dinner, to join her daughter, Julie, and granddaughter, Sophia.  I accepted with pleasure (natch!) and felt somewhat better. 
A bit after that, I got a call from the northern dweller, who invited me up to at least say hello to the missing guests.  Accepted that, too, of course.
Stopped over at Jo G.'s to drop off a check for the dinner and show (Gypsy)
a lot of us are going to in August.
Was able to get a hairdressing appointment for 3:00, but not with my regular, Ashly; another stylist, Shirley, had had a cancellation, and took me. I like the way she did my hair and, in fact, would like to switch. Will see how that turns out later.
Went across the street to Susan's at 6:00 and had a delicious dinner--baked ziti, salad, and olive bread--preceded by a gin and tonic and accompanied by a very tasty Chianti.  Enjoyed seeing Julie again; she's a caterer, lives in Bridgewater, Ct., and is very busy.  In October, she'll cater a gathering for the democratic party at Mia Farrow's house.  It was fun hearing about the preparations for that.
Got home about 8:00, in a much elevated mood.  I'll go north about 9:00, and later, I guess, put in an appearance at the H.'s annual Fourth of July party.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012


A good day that crashed later.  Should have added yesterday that during the  Skype call from London, the big news was that V the elder is carrying on a family tradition: progressive myopia.  She looks so cute in her pink and yellow glasses.
Got up north, had lunch, then the gentleman of the house, the boys, and I went to the lake.  Very enjoyable splashing with the kids and chatting with the gentleman.  He had things to do, so left after a time, and the lady of the house came to pick us up after a few hours. 
We all dressed, then went to a local Italian restaurant for dinner. Had angel hair pasta with broccoli, oil, and garlic, which I haven't in an age, and it was good.
Said goodbye, thinking I'd see the boys soon again, and got home about 8:30.  Phone rang as I was having my p. and w.; it was the far north couple, saying they weren't coming down, after all. 
I was prepared to be flexible about how long they would stay--was told it could be anywhere from a week to overnight--but it didn't occur to me they wouldn't come at all.  I'm so disappointed.  Also, I feel like a jerk for making such preparations: cleaning, planning things to do, getting toys, books, puzzles, videos, and so on for the boys.
I feel like crying, but guess I'll just have to get over it.  Do I always set myself up for things like this?  Don't know, but feel as if I should never count on anything; I'll just be let down.       

Monday, July 02, 2012

Cape May County Zoo

I often think that those who reject spontinuity--so prevelent in my own generation--lack imagination and creativity.  My mantra, "Never turn down an invitation" leads me to the opposite:  Yesterday, I was in the middle of cleaning the master bath for my guests when I got a phone call: Did I want to accompany the trio from up north to the Cape May County Zoo?  Why yes, sure thing, don't have to ask me twice.  I figure I can fit in the cleaning another time. 
We agreed to meet at the "commuter space" next to the parkway.  I had time to plant two dalaias (this damn SpellCheck still doesn't work!) and three vinca vines, plus water the tomatoes before I packed a lunch and started off.
Had another lovely time with the two boys.  In truth, the big attraction was to be with those two little mammals, not the ones we saw at the zoo.
We stayed just long enough, then drove back to pick up my car and I was home by 5:00 or so.
(Was just interrupted by a Skype call from London--greatly enjoyed seeing Mike, Paula, and precious Vivian and Violet.)
After a shower, drove to Manahawkin (just interrupted by Skype again--to see Vivian's new glasses.  She's carrying on the family tradition with progressive myopia, I assume, and she looks adorable in the specs) and picked up a few things.  I finally found a small cooler with carrying handle and so on and will replace my big, awkward foam one with that.
Today, I go back up north to be with the boyos while their granny keeps an appointment.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Lake Again

Had lots of errors (HA! That was a typo, but wonder what the shrinks would say about it)--that is, errands to run.  Got printers ink, garden stakes, cottage cheese, and pumpernickel (a poem!) and was in Lowe's parking lot contemplating whether to go to the pool when my cell rang.  It was adorable little T., asking if I wanted to meet them at the lake.  Did I?  Does a bear...sure, I did.
I was finished anyway, so drove home, made a nice salad, packed it with iced tea, Greek yogurt, blueberries, and plums, and took off for Whiting.  Halfway there, I realized I had forgotten my visor.  Love the sun, but can't stand it in my face, so stopped at a dollar store near the lake.  They had only one visor and it was a foam one with soccer forms on it!  Well, so what, I bought it anyway.
The other three were there already and I didn't waste any time joining the boys in the water--they almost never come out.  Found out that the wolf reserve trip was dropped because people were allowed in only twice a day and it would have been too early for one showing and too late for the other.
We stayed several hours and it was so delightful--my favorite hot (very, very hot, close to 100), not-a-cloud-in-the-sky day and the lake was just cool enough.  Came out only long enough to eat lunch. 
Declined an invitation to dinner and arrived back to Little Egg about 4:30.   I already had my bathing gear on, so impulsively stopped at the pool.  Slipped into the water, which was lovely, and had a short dip.  Only five people were there; I chatted with somebody and somebody--I know I know them, but can't remember the names--then left to shower and change.
It was still early, so I drove back to Manahawkin (yes, two trips there in one day, so shoot me) and got "chicken sausage" and some other stuff at Shop-Rite; made stir-fry and had a late (for me) dinner--very tasty.
Got a Skype call from Ellen and had a good chat with her.  She painted her office (an area off the dining room) an attractive yellow and will soon do the walls in her living room. 
No plans for today, and I want to get the house ready for my visitors--hope they stay longer than just overnight.