Saturday, May 31, 2014

"A Night On Broadway"

Aline called early and I invited her to come along when I went to Shop-Rite.  She did and we stopped a few other places, as well.
Dropped her off and went home to lunch, shower, and dress before I picked her up again to go to the dinner and show at St. Theresa's. We were soon joined by Susan and Walter.
I knew the dinner was catered by Cuisine On The Green, so I guess I expected something a bit fancier for fifteen bucks.  The chicken was okay, but it was accompanied by a limp salad, obviously previously (how's that for a verbal combination?) frozen potato lumps, and an uninspired vegetable medley, the last refuge of the restaurateur who wants to get rid of leftovers.  Plates were some kind of treated cardboard, "glasses" and tableware were the cheapest white plastic kind, and the meal was served haphazardly by the ladies (and a few gentleman) of the church. What struck me most forcefully was the fact that all that "hot" (yes, those quote marks are intended) dishes weren't even the slightest bit warm.
Why?  Well, it could be because there were no candles or any other heat source under the aluminum pans, which were just plopped directly on the tables.  It seems likely the food was picked up by parishioners, stowed in their back seats, and taken over to the church, so they had plenty of time to lose any warmth they might have had.
Oh, well, I brought a bottle of wine, the desserts (homemade by parish members) were good, and it was a fundraiser, so I guess you can't expect too much.    
The show was performed by Kevin B.; the church organist, Kristan Somebody, an operatic soprano; and--remembering the priests of my girlhood, this blows my mind--the pastor, "Father Mick," plus a pianist.  It consisted of Broadway and movie tunes of the past and was enjoyable, but maybe too long, as it took more than three hours.
I assume it was a success financially, as the church was almost filled.  However, ominously for St. Theresa's and by extension, the Roman Catholic Church as a whole, I guess, I didn't see a single attendee under about sixty and most were much older than that.  I understand this demography holds true for most organized religions, which seem to be going the way of the printed newspaper.  Maybe more aptly, they could be equated to Shakerism, but not including the celibacy factor, of course.  I wonder what will take their places and I fear it could be the state religion of militarism, systemic through our society and others.                  

Friday, May 30, 2014

The AC Press and Honeybrook Farm

Aside from domestic chores and a bit of weed-pulling, not much went on early in the day.
Got an e-mail from Louise S., telling me I now have "celebrity status" because she saw something about my upcoming employment seminar in The Atlantic City Press.  I searched all through my paper and didn't see it, so e-mailed her  back with--?.  Wednesday's paper, she wrote, and I fished mine out of the recycle bin, but didn't find it there, either.  Finally called the reporter listed for the section in question and we came to the conclusion it had been in the "Hometown" section.  That's tailored for particular areas, so I probably didn't get the Atlantic County one.  I couldn't find it on-line, either, and she was kind enough to offer to send me a hard copy.
Drove up to my friend's, arriving at 4:30 and we went to Honeybrook Organic Farm to pick.  We have a joint membership: I paid for one-third and she two-thirds, so we split the bounty accordingly.
And what bounty!  We got beautifully ruffled green- and red-leaf lettuce, white turnips, bok choy, and spinach--all in crates in the barn, so we could just pick out what's listed for "individual" members. We then went out in the fields and picked ourselves delicate little snow peas and best of all, big, beautiful, luscious strawberries.  
I was invited to stay for dinner, but declined, as it was after six when we got back to my friend's house.  We divided up the produce and when I got home, I had myself a big plate of cooked spinach along with spaghetti and meatballs.
Dinner and "A Night On Broadway" at St. Theresa's tonight, with Aline, Susan, and Walter.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cherry Hill and Peace Action

Nice day, aside from the lousy weather; it rained on and off and the rest of the time, was gloomy.
Left about 10:15 and got to Cherry Hill by noon.  It was easy on the main roads, but I got a little mixed up within the development where my sister-in-law lives with her daughter and family.  No real prob, though, and she was happy to see me, as I was her.
Regina is 87 and has some vision issues ("issues!!"  Aagh!), but is generally okay and her mind is certainly as sharp as ever.  She showed me around the good-sized house and her own comfortable suite, then we left for lunch.
Regina had directions to a particular restaurant, but we didn't find it, so went to a neighborhood joint.  We both had grilled cheese and, much more satisfying, a good, long talk.
I drove her home, we said goodbye, then I made my way two miles farther to Margaret and Irene Fitzsimmons'es house. M. is about two years older than I am and I. is three years younger, but somehow, seems the older of the two.  She's very tall--at least six foot--and large-boned; plus, she uses a walker and cane.  This may be the result of some medical procedures--didn't quite follow--but seems to be largely idiopathic.  Irene talked the most as we chatted, although M. was comfortably "there."  Both the sisters have pure-white hair, and it's hard to see the five-year difference in age.
Tom, their surviving brother, is retired, and lives in Sea Isle.  I told the F.'s that he had been Regina's pastor at Lady On The Lake parish in--Folsom?  Buena Vista?  Don't recall.
I stayed a bit more than an hour and, of course, we reminisced about this one and that.  Margaret and I have more acquaintances in common, as she graduated from St. James and Holy Spirit with my brother, Frank, and Irene went to a different high school after the family moved north.
Before leaving, I proposed that when the two of them, Betty, and I meet for lunch, it be at my house, and they were happy with that. I'll call them when I arrange a date.
Called Betty to tell her all this and had a good talk with her, too.  I stir-fired the bok choy from the farm with onions and garlic and had it for dinner--yum.  My friend called and asked me to be at her place about 4:30, after which we'll go to the farm and pick.
WIDER:  My friend, Pat, has a friend named Steve, who is the subject of this article:
http://hamptonroads.com/2011/09/antiwar-protester-norfolk-gets-8-months-prison
He is also the subject of Pat's blog entry of yesterday, which includes a message from him:
http://wellington.typepad.com/blog/2014/05/wednesday-2.html#comments
It's lengthy, but every word is worth reading.  I commented and asked Pat to direct my comment to him. Here is a religious person who lives his faith, rather than attending mass on Sunday and blindly following the militarism embraced by church and state the rest of the week.  Jim, I think you, in particular, might be interested in this.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bad, Then Better And Best

Good, back-to-normal day, after the bad, an infuriating phone call from Roman K.  First, he congratulated me on my flyer for Dine-Around (it really wasn't anything special), then on the fact I was able to get Romanelli's for the amount I did, then said he had printed out the invitation and taken it around to the others I had e-mailed.
WHAT?!  I e-mailed to neighbors who have e-mail and attached the flyer.  How dare he second-guess me, as if somehow I was derelict in duty by not hand-delivering the things?  I was furious and even more furious that he was genuinely amazed at that.  Geez, both of that couple are the most friggin' of control freaks in the universe and preserve me from them.
Better stuff: Susan invited me to go the a A Night On Broadway at St. Theresa's on Friday and darned if Aline didn't, also.  I checked and found we can all go together, so we will.  Kevin Berdini, my murderer in Night Must Fall and the doomed Lovborg in Hedda Gabler, a wonderful singer and dancer, is one of the performers, and that will be a special treat.  What's more, there's a dinner first we can attend and we all decided to do that.  I picked up Aline at 12:30 and we went to the church office for all four; I'll give Susan hers today. Hand-delivered two more flyers to Neanderthals who don't have computers, then zipped off to Olive Garden for lunch. This is one of our favorite places, and I don't care what the food snobs say.
After, we each got a few items at Wal-Mart.  By the time we left, it was after 4:00 and we went down to a pavilion on LBI to view the water.  Lovely as ever, but it got chilly, so we didn't stay long.
Was pleased to get a return call from the Fitzsimmons sisters, who said they'd be delighted if I drop in to say hello after I take my sister-in-law, Regina, to lunch today. Margaret and Ilene live only two miles away from her in Cherry Hill.
Best:  The realization that the annoyance with Roman is no big deal in the scheme of things.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Wellsboro And Our Brave Troops

Back from a three-day jaunt to Wellsboro, PA, that was great fun--of the strenuous variety.  We went in the 39-foot RV with jeep behind and what a strange sensation it was to travel while sitting at a nice little dinette.
It's a long trip to Wellsboro in upstate Pennsy--takes roughly seven hours from my place, if you start there, which we didn't.
We didn't eat at a restaurant once.  Having such a vehicle means you take all your food with you and cook it on board or on a fire at the campsite.
We went first to the Grand Canyon of the East Campground where my friend and her husband had to stabilize the RV, unhook the jeep, attach various lines and drains (electricity, gas, fresh water, as well as "black" and "grey" of the same--you don't want to know), and other chores that seem to go with camping.
Grandson and family came shortly, bringing hot dogs, hamburgers, and side dishes, which were cooked partly on the stove inside and partly out on the roaring fire.  We ate at the picnic table, all had our fill, then talked and played until J., N., and the boys took me to my motel--the Grand Canyon, where I've stayed many times before.
Hey, a whole bunch more went on, but I'm not going to enumerate activities day by day, except to write they included lots of forest, the pool, hiking, badminton, boys on bikes, three yapping dogs (or, as I call them, "ugly mutts"), walking the hilly three-quarter mile to J.'s house, and viewing the spectacular scenery all around, which, of course, residents take for granted.
A high point was our trip to the aforementioned Grand Canyon of the East, a place of breath-taking beauty.  In contrast to the other Grand Canyon, with its majestic mountains and rough terrain, this is all rolling hills covered with forest, rising up to the horizon, then dipping down, down, down with a wide stream below, and mountain laurel everywhere.  We were there on a perfect late spring day, the sky so blue and the few clouds so white, you wished you could paint it.  There are lots of wonderful vantage points--the area was outfitted with wooden walks, railings, and other conveniences by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the Great Depression--and couldn't be more visitor-friendly.
It took a long, l-o-o-ng time to get home, as everybody else on the eastern seaboard seems to have taken a trip, too, and we were sitting for an hour on Route 80, but as for me, hey, I had all the comforts of home--what a luxury.
Didn't get back to my place until after 7:00.  I immediately unpacked, jumped in the shower, checked email, and readjusted my mindset to routine.  Neat, neat holiday, the best part seeing the precious little boys.
WIDER:  At the motel on Sunday, I clicked on the television before bed and came across a rendition of "Our Father," sung in front of a huge American flag backdrop.  I was surprised when the shot changed to reveal it was a show at the U.S. Capital building, which was all bathed in light like heaven itself.  The mall in front was filled with an audience of what seemed to be several thousand. I realized that this was a Memorial Day commemoration, which later naturally included the sloppy and saccharine "tributes" to our hired killers--oops, I mean "brave troops"--and standard shots of pretty mother cuddling pretty child, picturesque old people, the obligatory middle-class African Americans (but not too many), and of course, young men and women in glorious uniform.  The stops were pulled out of all the old cliches to convince us that we do God's work when we slash and burn and kill little children in other countries.  Always and forever, God is on our side and anybody who disputes that should probably be jailed after a righteous drubbing to show them they need to heed the Prince of Peace.  Oh, wait...            

Friday, May 23, 2014

Funeral and So On

Pretty busy.  Got down to Longport for the 9:30 funeral of Kathleen Dumas Scotti.  There weren't a lot of people there, but the Christmas party regulars were: Joe and Flo League, who looked surprisingly well; Don McGahn, who didn't; Rita and Audrey, whose last names I always forget; and Barbara Jones, whom I sat next to (I guess it should be "next to whom I sat," but that looks weird).
Oblivious jerk that I am, I asked Barb where her husband, Frank was, and learned he had died six months ago.  I'm almost sure I had known that and had sent a note, but I'm not positive. Oh, well, she didn't mind.  
I was surprised to see Alice Wayland there, too, as well as her sisters, Betty and Ann (as kids, we always called her "Annie"). Alice is 81, but looks incredibly young--tall, thin, and she colors her hair. Annie is ten years younger, but you'd never know it.  Her mane is pure white and she and Betty are as wrinkly as--okay, as I would be if I ever looked in the mirror that closely.  They were there for the Kenny Wayland run and because Danny is their cousin.
The priest's sermon was mostly rah-rah, keep the faith (fabulously irrelevant though it is--well, he didn't say that).  He referred to Kathleen as "a good Irish Catholic woman"; in fact, I remember her pride at being--at least partly--of French heritage.  Her grandson spoke, very emotionally and with tears of his "Nan" and how loving and giving she was.  A daughter, ditto.  Another daughter, ditto, ditto.  I guess you just rid your mind of the actual history of a family--not all loving and giving--and go with your hopes.
As I was walking to my car, sister Betty drove up. I accompanied her back to the Margate apartment, where owners Eileen and Alex were cleaning up.  Betty stayed to help them after showing us a paper and checks from the insurance company.  I begged off staying around until lunch time, as I had errands.
Went to Produce Junction, as I had planned and bought a lovely hanging basket with blue and yellow flowers, and two large Gerber daisies.  Total cost, twelve bucks.
Stopped at Romanelli's Garden Cafe and was able to arrange for the June Dine-Around.  Had to leave a non-refundable deposit of a hundred smackers, so the thing better come off.
Rushed home, grabbed lunch, and set to work making up flyers for Dine Around.  Found e-mail addresses for some members and sent them; took the others around to their houses, and finally got them all sent out.  I hope there are no hitches with this things.
When I brought Mary-Jo F. her flyer, we had a heartfelt talk about our mutual widowhood.  Hers is very new--Dennis died in March--and I assured her it would get better.  She will have a different life, never, ever the same, of course, but it will be a good new life.  She was so grateful to hear me say that because Rae S. had told her differently. There's no way I would ever fault Rae for that: It seems she will be actively mourning Sid for the rest of her life and I guess that's what she needs to do.  But for me and for many others, I know, it will get better.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Kathleen And The World Trade Center

A "work" day.  That is, I finally tackled a bunch of stuff I've been neglecting for however long.  Changed the bed; did wash; returned several e-mail messages; finished paperwork and took it to the p.o. to get a tracking slip; got corn pads at one store, a timer (for the two classes I'm doing) at another, and groceries at a third.
By the time I got home, it was past 3:00 and I spent time pulling weeds out front.  Got a few calls, including from brother Frank.  I had notified him about the death of Kathleen Dumas, yet another old St. Jamesian gone.
Kathleen was such a pretty girl when she was young, but time and life's trials got the best of her.  As she aged, she got thinner and thinner; she wore lots of heavy makeup and lots of curly curls.  I'm afraid she looked something like Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.  She had an odd, flat voice with little inflection and she talked a lot, on and on in a kind of desperate way.  I felt so damn sorry for her.  She had lived in Ventnor, that small town at the shore, since she was born and from what I know, had a sad, disappointing life. Three daughters, but there were problems there. However, Danny was devoted to her and I have to believe they had some good times, too.
Happily, I'm looking forward to good times myself:  Am leaving tomorrow morning to go north to see the boys--yay!  Heard from my Wellspouse friend, Vivian, and we made a dinner date for next week. The day before that, I'm driving up to Cherry Hill for a visit with my sister-in-law.  My friend, Pat R. and I firmed up plans for a trip to the Noyes Art Garage in Atlantic City in June.
A not-so-welcome "date" is Dine Around for next month.  I forgot I was scheduled to arrange it and damn, June is already crammed with activities.  Judy called to remind me, then told me Claire Whatshername has August and has already "reserved" Cuisine on the Green and another restaurant nearby.  That doesn't mean it's arranged, only that she's thinking about contacting them.  What? Since when do you have to defer where you might have gone because somebody else might possibly want to schedule her month there?  So annoying.  Well, I'll stop at Romanelli's Garden Cafe to see if I could have mine there or possibly, Smithville, one of my favorites.  Yes, they're farther away, but so what?  If I can't get one of them, I'll call Claire to see if I can contact G on the G. after all. What a drag (grumble...grumble...grumble...).
But how idiotic to complain when I got four new videos of the Tokyo Tot cruisin' around, so full of curiosity, energy, life, and exuberant baby smiles, it makes me happy just to see him.  I'm a lucky woman and what's more, I know I am--a great boon during this span of existence.   
WIDER:  Speaking of this span of existence, some have theirs cut short.  Here's a quote from a riveting piece about the new World Trade Center museum: "vulgarity with the noblest intentions."  It was written by the brother of one of those killed that day.
http://www.buzzfeed.com/stevekandell/the-worst-day-of-my-life-is-now-new-yorks-hottest-tourist-at


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Philadelphia

Picked Aline up at 8:00 and got to the Absecon train station in plenty of time for the 9:02.  Arrived in Philly by 10:30 and I asked for directions to the University of Pennsylvania campus.  A few blocks this way and that, we were told, and we started off.
Penn isn't the kind of college located out in the sticks, with lots of grass, quads, dorms, and classroom buildings; it's more or less in the middle of this big, bustling city.  There is a newer campus in West Philadelphia, however, and I assume that's more like other U.S. universities.
The institution sprang from the brain of Benjamin Franklin, who modified it from an earlier charity school in 1749.  It has nine graduate schools and more than 31,000 students.  For more info, see this:  http://www.upenn.edu/about/facts.php.
Drexel U. is also an integral part of the city, and after we walked a few blocks, we sat down at a convenient shaded spot and consulted our city map.  Asked two men walking by--I'm willing to bet they were faculty--and they directed us further.  I impulsively asked about The White Dog Cafe, where we had gone with Frank and Marybeth and, remarkably, they knew where it was, only three blocks away.
We walked there, decided it was time for lunch, and ate a long, leisurely one there--delish!  After, we browsed for an extended time in a nearby book store, which seemed to be affiliated with Penn. Didn't buy, but each noted several books we want to request at the library.
On our way back to the station, we passed a kind of giveaway in a plaza and acquired free, bright green carryalls.  Stopped at a yogurt/gelato place and got cones.  Continued to stroll along and found we had missed the 3:19 train by one minute--darn!
I was worried that the next one, more than an hour later at 4:47, would be packed and we might not get a seat, but it turned out okay.
Actually, we were delayed by quite a bit and didn't get back to Absecon until well after 6:00 because of a bridge opening.  We also had to pause while another train went by--don't understand why.
Anyway, we greatly enjoyed being in my city.  Aline's is New York, but my roots are in Philadelphia, and on a gloriously sunny day, I was thrilled to be there.  We plan to go again, next time to historic sites, which we hope to reach by bus.
Pat, how convenient is it for you to catch a train?  Why don't we plan to meet up at 30th Street Station and have lunch?  Let me know!
       

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Another Table

Although the table mentioned yesterday is only four feet long, it's good and sturdy, and I decided I'd go to the Mays Landing Target and see if they'd sell me one for the 6.99 price.
They wouldn't.  Even pointed out a disclaimer on the brochure saying they aren't responsible, etc., etc.  Decided to buy it anyway, and did.
As long as I was there anyway, decided to call Betty to see if she was available for lunch, but she was going out for dinner, so declined.  Chatted later, anyway.
Went to the Dollar Tree and B.J.'s over there and picked up a few items.  Home, I made a big salad and had it for lunch.  After, I galvanized myself to actually weed the front--partially--so at least, it looks marginally better.
Aline called and we firmed up plans to go to Philly on the train today.  We'll take the 9:02, so we'll have plenty of time there.
Got an e-mail from nephew Rob that he'll take me up on my offer to have him and his Jan overnight the week before the wedding in upstate New York (or thereabouts).  I then realized Mike will be here, too, but no problem: I'll put them in my room, M. in the guest room, and I'll sleep on the pull-out in the study.
Got an evening call from that little scamp in Japan, one of the most energetic, curious, into-everything little sweetie pies I've ever seen. He couldn't be more active and alert and is so cheerful and smiley, I just want to pick him up and hug him.  When will I be able to do that?  

Monday, May 19, 2014

Tables

Betty called early.  When I mentioned I wanted an inexpensive folding table for possible future yard sales, she said Target had an ad for one on sale for $6.99, down from $9.99.
How could this possibly be?  The least expensive ones I had seen were $19.99.  However, I looked at my paper and yes, that's what it advertised.  I hotfooted it (an old expression; actually, I drove) up to Manahawkin to get one--even two--and that's when the fun began.
I don't want to go into the long, boring saga of misleading ad, diminished stock, ignorance and confusion (on my part)--it's enough to say I was there for about an hour.  It ended up that I was sold one of the heavy, more expensive (about thirty bucks) tables for $6.99 and a lighter one for the regular price of $25.  The salesclerks (oh, heaven forfend!  They're not salesclerks, they're team members!  Verily, euphemism is king in this land of the free and home of the brave--heh, heh) couldn't have been more pleasant or helpful.  I actually sent an e-mail to Target complimenting them.
From there, I went directly up to New Egypt to check out the flea market and--couldn't find it.  Stopped at my friend's house to call and ask her where it was.  She told me, then I helped myself to her leftover pasta, bread, and milk for lunch and was on my way.
Boy, it's not very impressive.  To get an inside space where you could leave your stuff is $175 a month and forget that.  I don't want to make this a career, just want to get rid of stuff and make a few bucks.  It's only 6 or 7 dollars for outside tables, but I wasn't impressed with the site or the setup.  Not sure it's worth driving a 70-mile round trip, with all the attendant packing, loading, unloading, and so on involved.  We'll see.
Think I'll go to the Target in Mays Landing to see if I can get another table for the lower price.
Got an e-mail from Mike, saying he'll be here June 14, plus the next weekend, when we're all going to Jeremy's wedding, which he might also attend.  Yay!
Had my weekly Skype visit with Ellen and she said she'd probably come in July--double yay!
Addendum: Happily, I just got a Google+ call from Mike and the two little girls in Singapore showing me their new kitties. They're so precious--I mean my granddaughters, not Snickerdoodle and Malibu, although they're very cute, too.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Players & Playwrights and Simon & Garfunkel

(Note: Occasionally, I write up a day's entry the evening it happens, as a draft, then modify it the next morning.  With this one, I accidentally clicked "publish," so it has the wrong date. It should be listed as the entry for Sunday, May 18.)
Susan's back from Canada and we walked at 7:00, natch. Showered, dressed, and was out the door by noon for the Players & Playwright's meeting in Ventnor.
It was kinda sparsely attended.  We discussed the stipend for the new dramateur, John P., then "read" Mary Whatsherface's "play." That's in quotes because it was her usual incomprehensible garbage. Just to illustrate, I played a bulldog, half of whose skull was torn off in an illegal fight.  It went downhill from there.
However, there was, of course, a solemn discussion and critique, as if it made sense.  Okay.
I was also picked to read one of Joe's plays.  I always enjoy his, maybe especially considering he's 93.  He actually writes better than a lot of us, although, sadly, he said he had to dictate this one--can't handle the keyboard anymore.
The new guy came in and we did the first act of Linda's play (I didn't read for this).  It was tedious, about a Jewish woman dying of cancer and how her husband wouldn't buy her a new vacuum cleaner even though they had white wall-to-wall carpeting.  Other characters were a nurse and a sister, who would, we learned later, pick up with the husband when the woman croaked.  This turkey was called Wall To Wall White.
There was a lo-o-o-ng discussion about this one, too, and Linda will go back and work or it or something.
We stayed a little late and I went after to The Christmas Tree Shoppe to try to get an inexpensive metal folding table, but they have them only on-line and you have to pay postage, which I don't want to do.
Didn't get home until almost 7:00.  Cooked up an acorn squash and had that and more of the pork roast for dinner.  Listened to a fair amount of Simon and Garfunkel; the latter will be at the Borgata in July and maybe I'll ask Aline if she wants to go.
Or maybe not.

Roast Pork And Rob

On my way out in the morning, I stopped at the clubhouse to exchange the b/w poster on my employment workshop for one in color.  Ran into Barb H.; she and Ray are leaving today for France--lucky ducks.
We chatted and I mentioned my brother was on safari in South Africa.  She said she'd be afraid to go to Africa, so much violence there.  I said people in other countries are afraid to come here, citing the gun deaths and so on, and that led up to "this is the best country on earth."  Now, which of us do you suppose said that?
Yes, but in no context, compared to nothing at all, she just feels it in her heart, she said.  You can't have an adult conversation after hearing this, so I just demurred a bit and we parted.  Sigh... Barb is a former nun, maybe that explains it.
Continued on to pursue a lot of stuff and had a productive day. Stopped at two thrift stores, The Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and K-Mart looking for an inexpensive, lightweight folding table, 6 or so feet long, to use for subsequent sales.  All the stores had folding tables, and all were forty bucks or above; what's more, I could barely lift, let alone carry them.  Looked on-line later, and found a light one for twenty bucks at the Christmas Tree Shop.  Great, I'll stop there today after the Players & Playwrights meeting.
Also got hand towels, tomatoes, and other stuff.  I was proud of myself for seeing snazzy "lounging pajamas" I would have liked to buy, but uh-uh, I don't need them and they stayed on the rack.  
Got home just in time to miss the heavy downpours, which started about 1:00 and went on throughout the day.
I roasted a Smithfield Garlic & Herb pork sirloin, vacuum packed, I guess you'd call it, for dinner, and boy, is it good.  (The only reason I'm recording it here is because I want to serve it the next time I have dinner company.)  Had a baked apple with it--not too shabby, Mimi.
I was pleased to get a message from nephew Rob W., way out in--Arizona?--saying he and his lady friend would be coming east in June, and are going to Jeremy's wedding.  Wrote back saying I'd love to meet Jan and hope they can stay with me for a time.

Friday, May 16, 2014

FELS Luncheon

Got to the FELS (Friends of Encore Learning At Stockton) luncheon just on time at 11:30 and walked in with Louise.  She, Bernice, Lynn, Rachel, and I--the gang from Players & Playwrights--sat together, along with Rachel's husband, Abe. Got a Blue Moon to accompany the salmon and the rest of the okay-but nothing special-had-it-much-too-often-at-these-kinds-of-gatherings food.
Don Guardian, the recently elected mayor of Atlantic City, was the speaker.  I thought I'd be bored, but I wasn't.  I appreciated that he didn't stay at the podium, but roamed a bit with the hand-held microphone in the middle of the room.  He had lots of cheery and optimistic things to say, of course--he's a politician, after all--about that aging wreck, A.C., and if they all come true, it'll be a miracle. However, he's a good speaker, comes across as honest, sincere, and a guy you'd like to have a beer with (uh-oh!), so wasn't too hard to take.
He's also openly gay--even mentioned his partner--and I have a strong affinity for underdogs and those who are "different," feeling so "different" and outside the accepted norm myself.  (That may or may not be accurate.  I think we all try to be exceptional in one way or another and if it doesn't wash that we excel in something, we can non-excel--or something.)
I was pleased that Bev R., prez of FELS, not to be confused with SCOSA (Stockton Center On Successful Aging), mentioned some of the upcoming workshops, including mine on acting.  
It was over about 2:30 and I drove home via Ventnor.  Stopped to say hello to Dee at the old homestead on Rosborough Avenue (she has the upstairs rented and will put the house on the market--again--before long) and Betty on Coffin Alley, just for fifteen or so.
Puttered around at home and am looking forward to today, as for once, I have nothing planned.  Want to get a few hanging chores and errands done.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Dentist, Lunch, And Mabel

Started the day off with the dentist--ugh!--but it wasn't too bad. Had my my semi-annual cleaning, but I was also told I need a filling in a front bottom tooth.  There's no cavity, but according to the hygienist, the opening is a "food trap," which could lead to one. Frugal as ever (I'm saving for California, after all), I checked to see how much it would cost.  $177.  Ouch, but I guess I'll get it done before long.
Met The Sparklers, the group with which I'm tiring, at noon, then we lunched at Mystic Island Casino.  This sounds so exotic, but is really just a neighborhood tavern.  I was pleasantly surprised by the tab, though: only two bucks for the Yuengling*.
Otherwise, I mostly listened to interminable accounts of making pizza from scratch, the cute antics of Josephine's pet bird, and of course, always and forever, an extended discussion of what was on television last night. It was tedious.
Gawd, I'm getting to be a horrible snob!
Directly from there, I drove to the Manahawkin flea market to see about rental for a space.  Couldn't find anyone, so I'll call.
Went over to the tax office to get info, plus an official stamp on the NJ property tax rebate form.  We have the highest property taxes in the entire country and I never could figure out why--aside, naturally, from the chicanery of the politicians.
Got a call from Aline.  We chatted and made a tentative date to go to Philly on the train on Tuesday.  Spent time working on my F.O.C.U.S. ("How To Get Hired In Today's Job Market") workshop and other stuff on the computer.
*The ditty that immediately came to mind:
Mabel, Mabel, sweet and able,
Get your big ass off the table,
Doncha kno-o-o-w
The two bucks is for the beer?
This was the epitome of naughty and sophisticated risque-ness when I was a kid and I incorporated it into my part as the drunken actress in You Can't Take It With You last year.  

  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

SCOSA Gathering

Picked Aline up at 10:00 and we went to the "senior expo" event at Stockton State.  It was pretty standard, but okay. Most of the exhibitors were touting home health care, nursing homes, or variations thereof, and that seems both ominous and boring to me. However, there was a nice lunch, and--high point of the day--one of the workshops was about "the Peace Pilgrim," Mildred Ryder, with whom I'm familiar.  I met her sister, Helene Young, eight or so years ago, have participated in several peace marches, and went to a potluck supper at her modest Egg Harbor home last summer.
The main speaker was Merry Brennan, who wrote a middle-school- level book about the Peace Pilgrim.  I bought one and have already read others about her.  There's a Facebook page for her and a web site:  http://www.peacepilgrim.com/.
However, I despair of the "peace movement," as it would be called if there happened to be one. Since Obama was elected, the false friends of peace are all occupied with excusing him from accountability because after all, it's the nasty republicans who are forcing him to slash and burn the universe.  I chatted a bit with a perfect example, an attendee who said she was "for peace." However, the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and wherever else we happen to be killing--it's hard to know from day to day--don't count because those people are trying to kill us, and similar garbage.  Ho-hum, what else is new?
We stayed until after 4:00, then Aline came home with me and we talked over iced tea and crackers.  I showed her a reply to an e-mail I had sent LETCO treasurer Tonya.  I had requested reimbursement for mileage re my (or our, because Aline was going to do it, too) "reviewer" status for LETCO.  Wrote Treasurer Tonya twice, she finally answered in a rather curt and dismissive manner, refusing it, and assuming I was withdrawing.
Well, yeah, now I am.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Perfect Storm and Pacifism

Pleasant spring day--finally warm and sunny, so nice.  Betty and I got up about the same time, had coffee, then I left for my 6:45 mammogram appointment.  She was to meet me there--at Atlantic Imaging on Jimmie Leeds Road--then we'd go for breakfast.
Turned out to be one of those perfect storm situations:  I hadn't left quite on time, ran into traffic on the parkway, got behind a school bus that stopped every five feet (and, considering how sl-o-o-w-ly the student pickups schlepped in, they must all have been the kind who shoot up in the lavatory).  The upshot was, I was late and they took somebody else in before me.
Damn! I'm notorious for being early for everything and I get agitated when I'm not at least on time.  Whipped out my phone to call Betty and tell her to come later and--it was dead.  It's a TracPhone, the least expensive, nothing fancy about it (it doesn't take pictures), and suits me fine.  However, I had forgotten to buy minutes and it ran out.
Double damn!  I'm afraid that, to some extent, I took my frustration out on the very pleasant receptionist, a white-haired old lady (ha! probably ten years my junior)--but I completed the paperwork, was finally taken in, got the procedure, and was outta there by 7:20.
Hey, okay.  Decided to drive down to Shop-Rite on the corner and buy a phone card; did so, after being misdirected by somebody to its location--more gnashing of teeth.  When I got back to the facility, poor Betty was standing outside, bewildered as to why I wasn't there, but I drove up, she followed me to the restaurant, we had a good breakfast, parted, I went home, that was that, and I don't know why in the hell I had to write all this down.
Moving right along:  Did lots of wash, washed, chopped, and otherwise prepared a big salad, sliced up zucchini for the crock pot, changed the guest room bed, and otherwise busied myself on a glorious spring day.  
Drove to the Manahawkin Shop-Rite for various items (including mango water ice--I have no character), enjoyed new pictures of precious Tokyo Tot on Google +, and finished up a few things.     Called Leslie and invited her down to chat.  She came, she stayed for several hours, we sat on the porch with iced tea, and we talked and talked and talked.
It's so refreshing--more than the cold drink, more than the relaxation, even more than the benign weather--to exchange thoughts and ideas with a kindred spirit.  Leslie refuses to submit to the idea that military "service" is somehow noble, that those who enlist are "fighting for our freedoms" (odious phrase!), or that the ones who engineer the worldwide slaughter are worthy of even a modicum of respect.  Les isn't militant about it, not nearly as much as I am and I'm no Joan of Arc, but in her quiet way, she personifies pacifism.
Les stayed until after 4:00, we said goodbye, and I put two chicken legs in the oven, had them for din-din, and that was my good, active, varied day.
Gee, this is a long post.  Of course, my glamorous life is so fascinating, I'm sure I constantly leave my readers hungry for more, and I don't want to disappoint, so...  ZZZ--hey, wake up!  

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day and Eugene Fitzsimmons

A very lovely Mother's Day.  Betty got here about noon and shortly thereafter, we took off for northern climes.  Ellen called to wish me Happy Mum's Day halfway there; poor thing, she was sick in bed.  I thanked her for the beautiful flowers and we had a good chat.
Got up there fine and Betty was wowed when we were shown around the RV.  So was I, although I had seen it before.
I was given a beautiful card and a very imaginative gift: season-long membership in Henry Wright Lake.
Now that's what I call a gift!  Much more agreeable than flowers I'd have to plant.  I love getting cut flowers (although I don't want my children to be held up by the highway robbery they cost), but I haven't gotten outside to weed, let alone plant.  We stayed a few minutes chatting with The Couple, then the four of us took off for Rancocas, to Lisa's house.    
We had an exceptionally nice, low-key time.  Aside from us, Dale and Betz were the only other guests and we enjoyed a tasty summer meal--separate salads of chicken, fruit, broccoli, and cole slaw, along with iced tea/lemonade, rolls and homemade cookies--much better, it seems to me, than some elaborate meat-centered spread. We talked convivially until after 6:00, then took off.  As soon as we got back to my friend's house, Betty and I drove home.
Got home and heard a message from Irene Fitzsimmons.  I had called the family after seeing the obit of Eugene.  He was a St. James classmate of brother Larry and Jack B., then went into the priesthood and became a monsignor.  I had called to tell Larry and Jack the news.  Now I returned Irene's call; she and Margaret Mary live together and their younger brother, Tom, is a priest in Sea Isle City.  We went on speaker and all five of us chatted.  The Fitzsimmons parents had been friends of my parents--one of those Ventnor connections that are never broken.  We hope to meet up with them sometime soon.
Must rush off to a mammogram appointment.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Money

WOW!  I made $157.30 at the flea market!  That's pure profit, with the money I took with me subtracted.
It was a terrific day, but gruelling.  I had to lift and carry big, heavy containers back and forth about twenty times to get the stuff from the car into the room.  A lot of what I sold was made of glass or other heavy material, so puff, puff, it was strenuous.  I had only the small table I borrowed from Roman, but luckily, they had long ones you could rent for five bucks (in addition to the five for the space) and I got one to display my wares.
Vendors were to get there at 7:00; I was a little early and there were already plenty of others there.  I'm so glad I decided to switch to an inside space because after some sprinkles early, it got very hot and humid. Felt good, though, after we've had so much cold.
Of course, people started swarming in about 7:15 before we were completely set up, but hey, they bought right out of the containers, which was fine by me.
I'm always amazed at what people will buy (but I must have wanted it once myself), and I unloaded a mountain of stuff, including my Aunt Betty's duffel bag from WWII, a slew of candles, large and small, my lovely set of fruit dishes, a 1923 West Point yearbook, various and sundry videos, DVDs, CDs, and even cassette tapes, dolls (although they didn't sell as well as I had expected), picture frames, baskets, and even the Blue Man batteried musical instrument, for which I got ten bucks, hard though it is to believe.
I took the opportunity--flea markets attract some younger people, but the majority seem to be pretty long in the tooth--to hand out flyers about my upcoming course at Stockton, and a number of attendees expressed interest. I was flattered when several of the organizers (this is an annual event by the Little Egg Democratic Club) and bargain hunters mentioned they had seen me in Hedda; two even mentioned other shows, including Our Town.
Some of the keys to a successful sale, it seems to me, are: have merchandise on tables at least waist-high (nobody want to squat down to examine stuff on the floor); price it right (the fact that you paid a certain amount for something or that it's "worth" this or that is meaningless); make your display attractive (I always use table cloths and am sure to put taller items in the back, etc.); and, as it sells, keep rearranging the remaining merchandise to its best advantage; talk up your customers with greetings and jokes, rather than just sitting there staring into space.  Puts them in the mood to buy.
I left about 2:00, although the market was supposed to last until an hour later, as by that time, customers had dwindled.  It wasn't nearly as difficult to get things back in the car, as I didn't have as much as when I came, but I was parked a distance away and even so, it wasn't easy.  By then, it was very warm and humid, but I didn't care. Unloaded the leftovers into the garage, jumped in the shower, and happily counted my dough.  
Boy, was I stiff and sore when I got up today--seldom-used muscles and all that, you know--but it was worth it!
Got a lovely flower arrangement, with vase, from Ellen for Mother's Day, and received Google calls from both my boys--and my precious grandchildren--in the evening.  We'll join the other daughter at Lisa's for dinner, Betty included.


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Flea Market Prep

Spent most of the day packing up flea market stuff and hauling it into the car.  I have so much stuff the trunk and all seats except driver's are covered almost to the roof.  Roman-down-the-street lent me his folding table--unfortunately not very large, and I got that in, too.
Called the New Egypt Flea Market to see if I could possibly rent a place there and will see the manager on Monday.
Went back and forth via e-mail with the people organizing the Stockton Center For Successful Aging (they couldn't think of a longer name and fer cryin' out loud, what is "successful" aging? And what would "unsuccessful" aging be?) program on Tuesday. It's annoying that I responded and left messages twice (to the Arthritis Foundation; not sure why they were taking the calls), to register for both Aline and me.  I was called back and told them again, even spelling Aline's name--yet the guy from SCOSA didn't have her name. Oh, well, I gave it to him via e-mail.
Other than that, did a lot of stuff on the computer, mailed some things at the p.o., talked to a few people on the phone, and went to the library.  Several neighbors were outside diligently weeding and planting on that first nice spring day, and I guess I should have been, too, but I wasn't.
Let's hope I make lotsa money today or--more to the point--get rid of some of my stuff.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Philadelphia and Morocco

We had a wonderful time yesterday with brother Frank and his Marybeth.
Met Betty at the Absecon train station and we boarded the 9:02, arriving at Penn Station 90 minutes or so later.  Happily reunited with bro and sis shortly thereafter and set off for lunch.
Their son, Patrick,* a head and neck surgeon at Johns Hopkins, had recommended that we take a cab to a certain restaurant, and we did.  It was The White Dog, not far from U. of Penn, and in one of the trendy row house brownstones.
These nineteenth century former dwellings are all gutted and renovated, but retain, if all goes well, their Victorian charm.  This one was decorated in what might be called "whimsical," if you were a small-town interior decorator or a writer for Vanity Fair.  It featured portraits of dogs (not only white and of various breeds), in addition to dog heads, mounted and sticking out of the walls--well, not real ones, for Pete's sake!
I had an excellent hamburger and a flavorful beer from India, Betty pasta, and F. and MB. mushroom omelets.  We all had coffee and dessert, too, and Frank insisted on treating (okay, he didn't have to twist our arms).
After, we walked to the corner and discovered that the Penn campus is only a short distance away.  Went there and sat on one of the convenient benches, talking nonstop as we had since we met, of course.  We enjoyed being among all the students walking purposely here and there; Marybeth said she wouldn't want to be young again and I said I'd give an arm and a leg to be....
All too soon, it got to be time to go back to the station.  We hailed a cab, got there with a half hour to spare, said our goodbyes, and boarded our respective trains.
What a great day.  What a great family.
*Patrick is also in the MBA program at Penn, traveling there four times a week for classes.  Also, also, he's physician for a princess from Morocco.  I'm not sure what kind of medical problem she has, but her father has rented one entire floor of the Four Seasons Hotel in Baltimore and insists that Patrick visit her there five days a week. Patrick is extremely busy, being a much-in-demand surgeon, an MBA candidate, and the Dad of a family of five. He does it, though, regularly.  Hmm...why would that be?  I guess just because he's a good guy; it couldn't have anything to do with the fact her father recently donated 80 million smackers to erect a new building on the Hopkins campus.
Speaking of: the princess's factotum has asked that Patrick accompany the entourage back to Morocco on her private plane. Assured him it was an experience he'd never forget.  Patrick might or might not, but boy, oh brother, I wish they'd ask me!                  

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Smithville Two

The Women's Club luncheon was at Smithville Inn, not where Aline and I had eaten on Tuesday.  I sat with Bessie, Barb H., Iris, Doris (who's on oxygen; I well remember what that's like) and her daughter, and a few others with whom I'm friendly.  It was the usual women's club-type lunch: not bad, the food edible if not unforgettable (I had salmon), the company pleasant enough, but so very, very--well, usual.
I've been to dozens, if not hundreds, of these gatherings.  Not only does the Woman's Club have luncheons twice a year, but all the other organized luncheons I attend are so much the same.  They comprise a group of older women, all dressed, coiffed, and jewelryed up, nodding and smiling and talking and laughing and I do the same, but on a certain shadowy level, I'm bored, bored, bored to tears.
I want to go places more interesting--even exciting--than southern New Jersey and its provincialism, and be with people under the age of 80.  No, that part doesn't matter, it isn't the age thing exactly, but with people who won't gasp in horror if you express a thought that isn't precisely a reflection of what everyone else they know has said and believed.  I want to converse with people who don't watch Fox News.  Who don't watch The View. Who don't watch.
Got home about 3:00 and found that my friend had left two containers and and I big bag of "peanut" foam, so I could pack up the breakables I'm taking to the flea market tomorrow--good!
Betty and I are meeting Frank and Marybeth in Philly today; can't wait to see them.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Smithville One

Picked up my pal at 11:00 and we went off to Smithville.  Toured the shops for a half or so, then went to Lighted Lantern or Lantern Lights or Lighty Looney or whatever the hell it's called--the formerly-named Fred and Ethel's,* for lunch.
Had a Dogfish beer--outrageously overpriced at six bucks--with my chicken sandwich, but both were good.  We ate in a leisurely fashion, then walked over the "boardwalk" across the lake and Aline said she'd like to treat me to an ice cream cone--double dip. Of course, I was shocked and chastised her for even suggesting...
Yeah, sure, let's go.
Talk about outrageously overpriced: These were $4.75!  Whatever happened to the ten-cent cone?  (Guess it went the same way as 20K signifying you made a comfortable life on which to raise a family.)  However, we ate our cones sitting in the warm sun--and coolish breeze--and it was good.
My friend was coming to install my new hair dryer (on the wall), so we left about 3:00.  Stopped at the library where we dropped off our checks for the upcoming fund-raiser by "Friends" of same. Aline stayed to go on the computer and we said goodbye.
Friend came about 4:00, put in the dryer, then we chatted happily over a cup of tea, plotting and planning our joint move west.  She offered to drop off some containers and foam "peanuts" so I can pack up more things to sell at the flea market on Saturday.
Funny:  I'll be back at Smithville today--this time for the Women's Club luncheon at the inn.
*For the uninitiated: The name did not stand for the fictitious Mertzes, of I love Lucy fame, but for Fred and Ethel Noyes, who founded Smithville--quite recently, too, less than fifty years ago. (See my post of March 24 about our visit to the Noyes Museum, which they also founded.)

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Performance In Singapore

Started the day with great anticipation.  Son Mike had sent me the link to Livestream so I could see darling Vivian in her school play--live.
It just boggles the mind that I could see as clear as day a performance that was taking place as I was watching it 9,500 miles away.  Guess Marconi felt the same way.
I had some difficulty in getting on the site--my usual electronic ineptitude--but did a few minutes into the first act.  Vivian had a small part (the "stars" were all in high or junior high schools), but she did a very credible job, delivering her lines with great clarity and animation.  How I love to see her on stage!
A side note: I was impressed by the perfection of the English accents by two of the leads--absolutely spot on, as the Brits say.  It then dawned on me that they are British (this is an international school)--duh!
Later, I got a call from sister-in-law Regina and we caught up on this and that.  We made a date to go to lunch in a few weeks. Regina is 83 or so, and no longer drives, so I'll go up to Cherry Hill where she lives with daughter, Amy.  She asked for my older son's contact information, as her granddaughter is going to be living in Japan for three years.
The granddaughter is a helicopter pilot in the Navy, standing ready to rain death and destruction on innocent people, but of course, I didn't go there.  Cleared the request first with my son and will send.
Aside from all that, went to Shop-Rite, talked to sister Betty, got train schedule for Philly, and wrote articles on the Maritime Museum and "F.O.C.U.S.: How To Get Hired In Today's Job Market," the course for seniors (citizens, that is, not students) I'll be conducting at Stockton State next month.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Chores And The Wind In The Willows

Did lots of household chores, including chopping and cooking veggies and cleaning the master bath. Later, I drove down Radio Road to the bay to be refreshed.
We, that is, the editorial staff of The Breeze, received a long, long, barely literate, utterly pointless submission from one of our neighbors about her husband's medical procedure (never identified; could have been splinter removal, for all I know) and the various bureaucratic snags leading up to it.  Forms had to be completed and phone calls received, and so on and so forth--yeah, so?  Doesn't everybody, especially in our age bracket, experience that kind of thing and who in the universe would be interested in reading about it?  It wasn't as if they hung off a cliff in Addis Ababa, fer cryin' out loud.
The writer sometimes refers to herself as just that--"the writer," characteristic of a ponderous style that went out with granny's corset. To avoid being intelligible, she alternates that with the first person.  Person?  What's that?  She switches back and forth, alternating "I" and "we" with "you" and does the same with past and present tense. Tense--what's that?  Aagh!
To make a long story--well, still pretty long--I looked into the mess and without making it much more interesting, I'm afraid, edited and corrected as best I could. It would still hog much too much space, but maybe we can run it in sections.
I'm now anxiously awaiting being able to see granddaughter Vivian in Wind In The Willows--live from her school in Singapore.  Talk about the marvels of technology.  I just hope I'll be able to get it, as I keep clicking on various on the site, but it doesn't come up.
LATER:  Finally was able to pull up the livestream site and, bursting with pride, saw and heard Vivian, as the ferret (well, W in the W. is all animals).  She's so vivacious and so full of life!  She's creative, too, and beautiful as well.  She's everything I never was. Okay, she had only a few lines, but she delivered them like a pro and after all, that's how whatshername (fill in whomever) started, isn't it?    

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Downton Abbey And Dominoes

FAB-U-LOUS!  That's what the Downton Abby presentation was at the library.
Leslie, Barbara, and I walked in and saw that the meeting room was set up with tea party tables: tablecloths, napkins, pretty teacups, interesting centerpieces made by disabled young people, and trays of wonderful baked goods. Beautiful, Edwardian-age-appropriate quilts hung on all the the walls and there were artifacts here and there, including teapots, various tableware (about twenty of them) that were specific to, and absolutely necessary for, serving everything from pickles to fish to lemon slices.
Judith Kratt-Russo was the presenter and what an terrific job she did.  (She asked for a show of hands from those who followed Downton Abby and, if I'm not mistaken, I was the only one in the packed room who didn't.  Actually, I've never seen the show.)
Kratt-Russo's talk was absorbing.  It concentrated on actual history, rather than the television-spawned fictionalized stuff wherein even a higher-quality show misleads viewers into believing they're learning something important. Thanks to Neil Postman, that hit home with me, but may have struck others as unwelcome news.
Anyway, it was great fun and the tea and goodies after were delicious.  Of course, I ate too many of them and that had to serve for dinner.
Second event of the day was dominos at Ray and Barb's.  They and the rest of the regulars, the Ds., Rs., and your humble servant, were there, and we laughed and talked and had a ball--incidentally playing dominoes--until a staggering 11:30 when we finally broke up.
In between all that, I called brother Frank and Betty and, at my suggestion, we agreed to meet at the Philadelphia train station on Thursday.  I'm relieved--really didn't want to drive to Delaware myself and I doubt is Betty's car would make it.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Betty In

Zipped down to Betty's in the middle of the morning and found her surrounded by plastic containers, ready to be taken to the new apartment.  After loading up our cars, we went over there.  It's in "Newport Court," formerly and informally "Coffin Alley."
This is where the Wimbergs--George and George, Junior--had stored stored their caskets.  I understand it hasn't been used for that purpose for years, but of course, the old nomenclature is comfortable.
It's a far from fancy neighborhood.  There's a narrow alley between two houses that leads into an enclosed parking lot, onto which a number of apartment (converted from single homes) front doors open.  Lots of children around, which made it nerve-racking to drive in, but we managed.  We went up a flight of stairs--very steep and only 28 inches across, but carpeted---to the second (and top) floor.
The apartment is small, yes, but seems not at all cramped, as there are plenty of windows, air, and light.  The living room has only an easy chair in it, but at this point, that's all Betty needs.  Kitchen includes all the usual except a microwave, which will be brought with the heavier stuff today, and a table, ditto.  Betty scavenged the easy chair (velour-like upholstery and it swivels--very comfortable) and four chairs from a house some friends are selling.  They also gave her a single bed for the tiny bedroom.  The other bedroom, very small, was fitted out by the last tenant as a nice walk-in closet with clothes and shoe racks.  The whole place, it seems to me, is ideal for Betty, once the gas is turned on and the hot water works.
What she was most excited about, though, is the "garage" (it's actually a warehouse) which opens out to the "courtyard," also. It has lots of stuff in it, but plenty of empty space, which George said she could use.  To indicate its size, I'll just mention that it contains two vintage cars and a pickup truck, as well as a large amount of furniture and other household items and they don't even come close to filling the place.  Betty is going to see if she can transfer her things from her storage place and the pod she's using, which will save her a lot of grief and money, too.  
I went out and brought back lunch for both of us--Betty insisted on treating--and we ate while waiting for the Verizon guy to hook up the T.V.  After, we went back to the other apartment to bring back more ever-present "stuff," pausing long enough to go over an old photo album and other memorabilia.
Got the additional stuff in and we chatted for a bit, then I said goodbye, arriving home about 6:00.  I'm glad to see Betty in the new place, small or not, and I hope things--the insurance settlement, in particular--will progress more rapidly now.

     

Friday, May 02, 2014

SCOSA And Hitler Youth

As planned, picked Aline up at 9:00.  We had a leisurely egg breakfast at Dynasty, then I dropped her off at work in Manahawkin. Picked up my meds at Wal-Mart and about ten pounds of chicken leg quarters--my faves--at Shop-Rite.  Oiled and seasoned, then popped them in a hot oven when I got home and yummy-yum-yum.
Did some housework and got the two wicker chairs onto the porch. I'll ask Susan to help me get the matching love seat out.
Talked to Betty about meeting Frank for lunch next week.  I really don't feature driving, but hope to be able to get public transportation, maybe to Delaware.  Betty doesn't seem to mind driving, but her car is in bad shape; would we make it?  Also told her I'd go down today to help her pack for her move to Coffin Alley.
Asked Judy K. to borrow her folding table for the flea market and will get it the day before.
Received a brochure from the Stockton Center On Successful Aging (SCOSA) about a "festival" for seniors at the college on May 13.  It included a listing of workshops at the college, covering a few months and I was taken aback that mine on employment was not included.  E-mailed the person I had been in touch with, and she assured me this was the "summer/winter" brochure and mine was in the "spring/autumn" one.  What?  Isn't June in the summer?  That doesn't make sense to me.  Plus, I never got an earlier brochure; was it sent out?  I did see information on my workshop on the web site, but still--.  Think I'll ask Anita if flyers will be available at the festival about June sessions.
In any event, I called to sign up to attend on May 13--got a recording from "the arthritis foundation"; the sponsor.  Will call again today.  Think I'll ask Anita if I can bring flyers on my workshop--or if it will be publicized there.
WIDER:  Hitler Youth, anyone?
http://nnomy.org/index.php?option=com_flexicontent&view=items&cid=339:articles&id=641:how-the-military-collects-data-on-millions-of-high-school-students&Itemid=821

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Rain

Rain, rain, go away...
Well, it finally did, but came down in torrents first.  That gave me the incentive--non-incentive--to stay home and I didn't stir outside after our 7 am walk.
Didn't do much, either, aside from making a large salad, dividing the the huge bag of broccoli and setting it to simmer in two different slow cookers.  Did a lot of stuff on the computer, disassembled yet another large scrap book, and read more of Postman.
Dennis and Bill came over to change my furnace filter and California brother Frank called to set up a date for next Thursday. Aline called and I told her I had decided against going to Wal-Mart for my prescriptions, but I'd go today and take her to work.  She suggested we go to breakfast first--capital idea!--so that's where I'll be headed.