Saturday, May 30, 2015

Rebel Computer and Flea Market

My computer is rebelling!  When I got up this morning and turned it on, the screen was black and a message read that there was an error: the hard drive has failed.  It had me click F1--I think--and this and that, but no luck.  I turned it off and left for the flea market at 6:15, without even making the bed; in fact, the house was in some disarray.  Drove to the community center.  I'm now typing this deathless prose at the library, damn it.
Friday evening, I drove to the center to see if I could unload some of my stuff, so I could possibly put more in.  Well, it was a madhouse.  Poor Fran Z., the coordinator, was trying to direct volunteers to set up tables, while a bunch of kids--some kind of program, I guess--were racing around inside and biking around outside.
I did get some stuff in and put in a corner, but didn't feel like adding more.
Back to yesterday:  Hauled the stuff in, including my own two tables, which I then realized were a mistake; the rental ones were bigger and sturdier.  Told Fran I'd like to switch and did, finally setting out my enormous number of items, including a small chest, a number of very large baskets, a blanket rack, a beautiful set of wine glasses, and so.  A guy came up before it even opened at 8 am and bought several records.  As I was putting them in a bag, I knocked over my coffee and got a clock I was selling wet, along with some other things.  Luckily, I was able to sop it all up, and just rearranged, as needed. 
That wasn't the only snafu.  I got a voice message from an agent to the effect somebody wanted to see the house between 12 and 1:00--oh, no  I had rushed out so fast I hadn't made the bed or put  my cup in the dishwasher, etc.  THEN, I accidentally deleted the message!  Frantically called Walter, who called his office, and upshot was, they want to see the house on Monday--happy day!
Anyhow, I made a nice big pile of money and, even better, got rid of a load of stuff I ne longer have to deal with.
Well, I hate this computer, ungrateful wretch that I am, so will sign off.  I hope one of my children can tell me what to do with my own pretty soon.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Thisa and Thata

I fixed my little clock!  Yes, my mechanical engineering deduction skills being so impressive, it occurred to me it might need a new battery.  It did (AA), I changed it, and now it's ticking along (actually, it doesn't tick or make any sound except the alarm's "ting-ting-ting").
Went to Santori's in Galloway for feta and veggies, and to Shop-Rite for other stuff.
I was happy to get a call from the doctor's office to the effect that my mammogram showed no abnormalities.
Although I'll do most of it tomorrow, I packed some of my flea market stuff in the car--boy, there's a lot of stuff.  I may have to take two trips.
The A.C. Press had a momentously stupid editorial, arguing that Jerseyites should be "permitted" to pump their own gas. That annoyed me so much, I sat down and wrote this:
May 28, 2015
Voice of the People
The Press of Atlantic City
1000 W. Washington Ave.
Pleasantville, NJ  08232-7224
Dear Sir or Madam:
Of all the specious, convoluted arguments for a dumb idea, your “pump your own gas” editorial takes the cake.  The writer implies—no, asserts—that “the people who elect them” want legislators to permit self-service stations.  He or she seems to think the ban on pumping your own is outrageously unfair, akin to disallowing due process, maybe.  “Some people already boast that’s what they do…”—gasp!   I guess it won’t be long before the pumper people band together, raid gas stations, and banish those who get paid to pump.  Then they can exercise their human right to leave their cars in any weather, get their hands smelly, and inhale those delectable fumes.  And “the industry…figures the price would drop.…”  Oh, really?  Then how is it, according to and other sites, that the average price for gas in the U.S. is $2.74, but in Jersey, it’s $2.53?  That’s the twelfth cheapest in the fifty states.  I don’t actually believe the writer is in cahoots with “the industry,” but the thought crossed my  mind…
Sent it off and we'll see if it's printed. 
I have no idea why, when I copied the letter from Word, the print is turning out smaller, no only for the letter, but this, too.  Oh, well, I guess the world will go on turning...  

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Malfunction and WW II

Yoicks, what a morning!
I had a mammogram and bone density test scheduled, starting at 7:15 am yesterday, so wrote up a bit of this blog the evening before.  I planned to leave the house at 6:30, which would get me there with time to spare.
Woke up, stretched, and looked at the clock to see--what?  It was 6:15!  Don't know if the alarm malfunctioned or what, but I scrambled up, washed my face, brushed my teeth while I rushed to turn the coffee on, dressed, gulped, and was out the door by twenty-five of.
Just made it to Atlantic Imaging in Galloway, even with going-to-work traffic, school buses, and so on.
I was out of there by 8:00, then met Betty for breakfast on Tilton Road.  Had a good one, said goodbye--she's going to Chicago on Sunday, then California after that--and I took off for Boscov's to return what I had bought last week.  Saw a nice purse--on sale--and bought that, too.
Nothing much but housework and a few errands the rest of the afternoon, until time for Dinner With the Crazies.  Changed, picked up Aline and went to the Chinese restaurant next to the lake.  It was a pretty congenial group and at first, I thought my right-hand neighbor was a great guy. "Billy" told me he's 92 and lives in Beach Haven West.  We had a good talk until, apropos of nothing, he remarked that he had been in the navy during World War II, and for ten years after, and he was sorry all the gooks--meaning the Japanese--hadn't been killed.  When I--rather mildly, for me--expressed disapproval and remarked that I have family in Tokyo, he became furiously angry and ranted loudly about the sins of that country 70 years ago.  Hey, I don't care how old he is, he wasn't senile, and I told him that was f-ing bulls-t and thereafter turned my attention to the rest of the crazies.
Other than that, it was a fun evening.      

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Flyers and the Farm

Spent most of the morning posting flyers for the big flea market on Saturday.  I put them up at the Little Egg and Stafford libraries, the post office, the break room at K-Mart (long, boring story, so I'll skip it), and on the doors of the community center, where the event will be held.  We have 61 sellers, now let's HOPE we have ten times that many buyers.  If it rains--oh, no, I can't even contemplate such a catastrophe!
Bought a new dish drainer and rack and a few other items.  Home, had lunch and did various until it was time to leave for my friend's. Got up there just minutes before she did, transferred my pickin' equipment to her car, and we drove off.
Got yet more lettuce (I just finished last week's) in the barn, then set out to pick more strawberries and snow peas.  My friend took the former, as the berries are way out in the north forty (or wherever) and I was the pea picker.
I'm afraid not a very effective one, either.  Peas just hide under the bushes and it's terribly difficult to find them because they're the same color and virtually the same shape as the plant.  Besides, the rows where you had to walk were very uneven--bumpy and with weeds and vines, all poised to trip me up.
We were entitled to only a pint, anyway, but I had picked only about ten pods (I'm serious) before my friend, came up, having already picked two quarts of berries.  She took over and quickly and efficiently, filled the small container.
I reflected that I'm considerably less agile and more awkward than I was last summer at the farm.  Makes me sad, resentful, and bewildered all at once.  How could I find so difficult things I did with ease such a short time ago?  Depressing.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Barnes & Nada Plus Lunch

A very pleasant day, notwithstanding a battle with Barnes & Noble regarding the gift card I got for Christmas. Tried to order a book on-line, put the card number in, had to add the pin number, and when I scratched off, the number came with it.  Called and spoke to Mr. Idiot Person, who advised me they couldn't supply the number and I should go to the nearest B & N, which is--oh, only a hundred mile round trip.  I asked to speak to "someone else" (his supervisor), was put on hold, then cut off.  Dialed again and got a semi-idiot, who finally agreed to send me new info via e-mail I could use on-line.  Factoring in the interminable "press this and that" recordings, the ordeal took almost an hour. Geesh! 
But things improved after that: Picked Aline up at 12:30 and we went to Panini Bay for lunch.  Food good, service indifferent.  We then drove to the water right down Green Street and ran into Marge and Fred.  At A.'s request, went to Wal-Mart, then to Gravelling Point--very windy, so lots of white caps and spray.  Naughty girls that we are, we stopped at Jeffreeze for ice cream, but at least got "baby cups." Arrived home close to 5:00.
Ellen called in the evening from Burt's Books in Ojai and we had a good talk, which included a discussion about my house.  She suggested I keep trying for a rental until the end of June and if no go by then, put it on the market.  Will mull that over.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Nothing Much and Pat Tillman

A whole lotta nothin' went on yesterday.  Did several loads of wash and other housework.  Contacted Fran Z. to see  where she advertised the flea market coming up on Saturday.  In the Atlantic City Press and The Packet, she said--aagh!  Those rags have a total readership of about fourteen and where are the flyers that should be all around town?
Well, I didn't actually say that to her, but asked her to send me what she had posted.  She did and it was nothing but print, soliciting vendors.  B-o-r-ring, non-creative, and easy to ignore, so I made up a jazzier one, with catchy words and a colorful picture.  Put it up at the clubhouse and will post it elsewhere on Tuesday.
In truth, I was a bit out of sorts yesterday.  Guess I was more disappointed at the no-show lookers than I had thought.  I lay down on the couch for a nap--always a sign that I'm feeling down--and had some unpleasant--well, what?  Dreams or half-awake reveries? Not sure, but I got up and determined to shake myself out of this. Had a bite to eat, then got in the car and drove to Manahawkin. Took something back to Kohl's and bought toothpaste, a rib eye steak, and four Father's Day cards; by the time I got home, I was feeling chipper again.
Back from Manhattan, Aline called and we'll do something together today.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

No Show and War Crimes

Well, the excitement proved to be a flash in the pan.  Went to the pool opening party with Susan and Walter at 10:00.  We sat with Bessie and Bob F. and had a discussion--a bit tedious and, of course, dominated by the men and me--about computers, computing, and nature versus nurture.  The food was good and the mimosas better, but I was itching to get home and vacuum, which proves worldly wonders will never cease.
Did so, but vacated about 12:45.  Ran errands in Manahawkin, then drove around in a desultory way.  Called Aline, but I think she's still in Manhattan.  I finally came home about 4:00 and didn't see any evidence the lookers had come; I was sure the agent would have left a card or something.
So-o-o, just as I suspected, they had changed their minds. Walter called about 6:00 to say the other realtor said she sent him an e-mail to that effect, but it didn't go through.  Seems the possible people decided not to move to Ocean, after all.
It was disappointing, but I guess the world will go on turning and I remain optimistic.
WIDER:  "...not one person has been held accountable for the war crimes committed based on lies about WMDs, terrorism camps and the doctrine of "pre-emptive war." 
It's this kind of thing that makes me shake with rage.  The unholy monsters and morons who populate the political class duck and weave, and twist and turn, and serve up their falsehoods and weasel words to adoring adherents who swallow it again and again.  Hey, golly gee oh gosh, guess we made a boo-boo when we slaughtered innocents left and right, but we gotta move on, so vote for me anyways and durn tootin' the next time we'll--well, do it all over agin."

Saturday, May 23, 2015

House and a Little Railroad Engineer

A stir of excitement: Walter called to say an agent had contacted him about the house.  His/her clients wanted to see pictures of the outside, so W. came over and took a few of the front and back.
That galvanized me to clean the master bath: washed the rugs, scrubbed the floor (well, I Swiffered it, first dry, then wet), and cleaned the vanity.  Did a fair amount in the kitchen, too, scouring the top of the stove, sweeping and mopping the floor, and generally tidying up.
I'm glad I did, because when I got up just now, I found an e-mail from Walter; the people want to come see the place today, between 1 and 5.  Yoicks!  At ten, I'm going to the pool opening party at the clubhouse (with Susan and the very same Walter, in fact), so I'm glad I spruced up a lot yesterday. Will still vacuum throughout, but I think it looks as good as it ever will.
Had a wonderful virtual visit with Mr. K., in Tokyo, who was his usual charming self.  He's now starting to talk in both languages and, at only twenty months, seems remarkably alert and aware.  I watched him playing with his train set--they hook together magnetically--and he's so adept.  What fun and how I wish I could hold and hug him!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Breakfast and The Farm

After our walk in surprisingly chilly weather, I putzed around, then picked up my pal at our usual 9:15.  Over omelets at John & Sonya's, I asked if she wanted to go to the next Early Bird Dine Around (or whatever it's called now--maybe "Dining with the Crazies") next Wednesday and she did, so that will be fun.  Down to Graveling Point after, of course--the waves were satisfactorily rough--then I dropped A. at the library for work.
Did whatever until about 3:00--at this point, it was raining in earnest--and left for my friend's.  Made it up there, transferred my pickin' stuff to her RV and we set off for Honey Brook Farm.
Geesh, it was a sea of mud!  I had to take it slow and easy and hold onto my friend's arm at times.  Luckily, the lettuce (two varieties) and bok choy were in the barn and we skipped the herbs, which had to be picked.  So did the strawberries, far out in the field; my dear girl volunteered to pick for us both, leaving me safe and dry in the car, reading a very interesting history of Jamesburg and Monroe Township.*
She got back in a half hour or so, dripping and muddy, but cheerily sanguine, carrying two quarts of big, beautiful berries. I popped one in my mouth immediately--it was luscious, although a bit sandy--and we rode happily off.
I refused dinner with thanks and drove home.  The rain was supposed to be over by five, but I guess it hadn't read the forecast, because it poured steadily the whole way.  
No matter, I got home fine and in good spirits.
*My friend and her husband had been given the book by the author, who has written several of these booklets about the histories of Jersey towns. He is the person who accepted my friend's husband's material concerning his own (Norwegian) antecedents, a huge trove.  Incredibly--and regrettably, it seems to me--the Minnesota Historical Society decided against receiving it.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Dinner at the Tuckerton Grill

Went to Kohl's for shoes.  Found a pair I like, but they didn't have my size.  However, they have a service through which you can order an item and have it sent to you home sans cost of postage, which I did.
Saw Judy K. from across the street and impulsively asked about "her" dinner group that meets on Wednesdays.  I had been invited before, but hadn't attended.  She said she'd love to have me come, so I went.
It was early--5:00--and was at the Tuckerton Grille, not a particular favorite of mine, but okay.  There were twelve people there, including Bob, G., whom I had directed--and boy, did he need a lot of it it--in Listen to This! six months ago.  He had his fiance, Barbara Somebody,* with him and I was surprised to hear they had bought a house in Sunrise Bay.
Actually, I had a pretty good time, aside from a snafu with dinner. At this hour, we had early bird specials, of which there was a good selection and which included salad and dessert.  The waitress took our orders--separate checks--and I asked for liver and onions. Chatting away with this group (which totters on the edge of eccentricity and sometimes falls over; one reason I enjoy it), I saw that everyone had received their entrees except me.  What was worse, I didn't get my Corona, either.  Uncharacteristically, I thought I'd be patient, so I waited.  And waited.  And waited.
We were at a long table at the back, far from the entrance and kitchen and it seems the waitress had just vanished.  I finally got up and went into the foyer.  There, I saw the manager and--courteously, not angrily--told him my companions were almost finished dinner and all I had been served was salad.
He was very apologetic and asked if I wanted it now, have it packaged to take home, or wanted any other remedy.  I told him never mind, I didn't want to start dinner now, just bring my Corona and rolls.  He did, I ate and drank and got dessert--all on the house. In fact, he even told me to come in again and he'll stand me for a free dinner.  I doubt if I'll do that, though--seems tacky.
Anyway, it turned out to be quite an enjoyable evening.  
*Barbara, a somewhat shop-worn blonde in her sixties, at least, took a great liking to me, especially after Bob told her about our theatre group.  She said she was Actor's Equity and had appeared here and there, presumably in her long-ago youth.  Asked for my phone number and wants to call me.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Contacts and More Music

A varied and interesting day.  Attended The Breeze meeting at 10:00.  It seems Senior Publishing is going to cut the size of our paper to 24 pages in June, and 16 thereafter.
Frankly, this doesn't bother me.  It often includes too many over-long, ploddingly-written, dull-as-dishwater articles that concentrate on inconsequential crap, anyway, so it's probably a good thing it'll have to be tightened up.
Brother Jim called and it was good to talk to him and Therese.  He asked if I wanted some artifacts from our parents, including their wedding license.  Yes, I do, and he'll send them.
J. and T. are having a bit of difficulty adjusting to the independent (or "assisted," I'm not clear on which) living community in Arlington, where they moved recently.  At least, it's right in town, meaning they can walk to restaurants and shops; I consider that a huge asset.  A lot of such facilities are out in the 'burbs or countryside--picturesque, maybe, but too isolated.  Older people are encouraged to exercise, so it doesn't seem to make sense to live in a place where it's not feasible to walk. Anyway, I had good talks with both of them. I love my brother so much.
Got a call from another old man, of whom I'm fond, my friend, Marge's husband, Fred.  He wanted to ask me questions about the EMT and ambulance situation here in Little Egg and we had a long talk.  I enjoyed it, although the topic is somewhat gloomy.
Puttered around until 5:00, when I picked up Aline.  We both had chili at Mystic Casino (you can't beat that name) and, as we hadn't seen each other for a whole week, happily caught up.  After, we went to my place, where she enjoyed the latest videos of "our baby," as she calls him, precious little K. in Tokyo.
Back at the library at 7:00, we enjoyed a terrific presentation of Broadway tunes by a husband and wife team.  Barb D. sat with us, then Desi came in.  Desi is always trying to stump Aline by describing obscure operas and, so far, she has never fallen. Last night, he described one called Lulu, but Aline immediately, in her modest and self-effacing way, got it right away.  He gets a kick out of all that and so do I.
I chatted with the two singers after and introduced Desi as the founder of the Little Egg Theatre Company.  What a fine fun time we had!
Dropped A. off about 9:00 (practically the middle of the night for me) after making a date for breakfast tomorrow.  I'll also be picking at the farm with my friend tomorrow, but late in the afternoon.    

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Dreary.  The sun fled, fog rolled in, and I spent most of the day trying on clothes and hating them.
Actually, I don't hate them, it's rolly-polly Roe I don't like.  Guess I've gained back about three-quarters of the 72 pounds I lost last time, dang it.  The punishment, of course, is seeing a nice blouse or sweater on the hanger and realizing it looks horrible on me.
To cut it short: I went to the Kohl's in Manahawkin, then the Kohl's in Atlantic County, then Bosco's, and tried on a total of six thousand outfits, easy.  Bought five tops and may very well return all of them.
Betty called and I suggested I pick up two subs at Acme (it ain't Sacco's or White House, but they have the virtue of being cheap and are already made up) and bring them to her place after Boscov's.
Did so and we had a pleasant time eating them.*  Got home by 7:00 and--oh, I dunno, I may keep some or all of my purchases.  I wish I wore a size 8 again, as I did after the big weight loss a few years ago.
*These are the non-caloric kind.  You just bite, chew, swallow, and repeat to yourself, "They're diet, no calories, just like water" over and over.  Then you make yourself throw up.
(KIDDING, for heaven's sake!)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Music Throughout

It was a musical day.  I drove to the clubhouse a bit after 1:00 to see what I could of Puccini's Tosca, although I knew I couldn't stay the whole time.  The forty minutes or so I saw of it were absorbing.  Set in a spectacular cathedral (I'll have to ask Maryann, who runs "Sunday Musical Arts" where it is), it concerns love, divided love, faithful love, unfaithful love, and love's betrayal.  The usual, in other words.
I wished I could have stayed, but I had to rush off to change, make up, and get to my friend's house by 3:15.  Did so, and with her husband, we went off to see the Capital Singers and Trenton Festival Chamber Orchestra present "Te Deum and other works by Haydn, Hayes, Biebl, and Paulas" at Sacred Heart church.
It was magical.  The parish is the oldest in New Jersey--established in 1814 and the church itself was built in 1889.  It's full of marble and gold, the most elaborate and colorful stained glass, beautifully wrought statues, period light fixtures, all under a soaring vaulted ceiling--wow!
Sacred Heart is what a church ought to be. Don't give me your cold, austere, straight lines and stylized depictions of saints; I say religion belongs in a place where worshipers can imagine the glories of heaven, and at the same time take in the incredibly complex and fascinating history of Catholicism.
That doesn't mean I'm ready to go back to it--I'm happily free of that particular burden--but I can appreciate the beauty of its churches and, of course, its music.    
The program was just wonderful.  It included Haydn's "Representation of Chaos" and "Agnes Dei," plus "Te Deum," written for the Empress Marie Therese.
Fittingly, I think, there's no AC in the church and yes, it was hot as-- well, Jersey in late spring, especially as the place was packed.  But that just seemed the way it should be, a throwback to a more natural--and more innocent, maybe--time.
After, we chatted with Brent, my friend's brother-in-law, who sings with the company, then took off and went back to friend's house for a tasty chicken stir-fry dinner.  Said goodbye, zoomed home, and enjoyed a phone conversation with Ellen when I got in.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

P & P

I was happily surprised by a Skype call from Singapore and got to see my gorgeous granddaughters, daughter-in-law, and--oh, yes, the guy who lives with them.  Violet sang and accompanied herself on the ukulele and Vivian showed me a video of herself doing intricate gymnastic moves and making it look easy.
Got to the Players & Playwrights meeting early, but the rest of the gang--about fifteen regulars--came shortly after.  A long and acrimonious discussion about the June 20 show ensued because it would have been three hours long with all plays included. Finally, it was decided to split the entries and have a second show in August. Both my submissions--one little more than a skit--will be performed in June.
We then rehearsed some of the plays, including mine.  Because Aline was absent, I asked Rachel to play opposite Sondra and she did a credible job.  I was asked to sit in for Sheila, who was sitting in for Dayle--oh, it's just too long and involved to go into--in Jim's play, which as usual, was a plodder and twice as long as it should have been.
We broke up about 4:15 and Louise, Denise, and I went to Ventura's on Shore Road for an early dinner.  We had some good, lively conversation, about Catholicism and Judaism, among other interesting topics. It's funny how I've always been drawn to Jewish people.  P & P itself was founded by congregants of Beth El Synagogue and most of the members--maybe all of them except me--are Jewish.  I've read a lot about Judaism and when Louise, Denise, and I talked about the deaths of family members, I surprised them by knowing what "kaddish" means.
All in all, a good day, made even better when my friend invited me to go with them to hear her brother-in-law sing in The Capital Singers in Trenton this afternoon.  I had planned to go to opera at the clubhouse, but naturally jettisoned that immediately.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Two Drives and a Disability

Sondra sent me her other play, How A Neurotic Survived Cancer, which is, as all hers are, autobiographical.  She just intends to change the male role (her former live-in gentleman friend) to female because the guy she wanted to play it isn't available.
Ho-kay... (Picture me raising an eyebrow whilst drawling that out.)
Went to print it out and discovered I was out of black ink. Jumped in the car and went to Staples to get some.  While in the big city, I also picked up four wine glasses with "Laurita" on them. I like the Laurita Winery a lot and yes, even though I'm anxious to move, I wanted to get these.
Took a long drive, almost to Hammonton, while listening to Newtown, An American Tragedy. This is by Matthew Somebody, and it's thorough, but I don't like the narrator's overly-dramatic reading, which he renders with a kind of breathless haminess. Nevertheless, it's enthralling in a horrifying way, like watching a rabbit being swallowed by a snake.
Simultaneously, I'm reading on the Kindle, Miracle Boy Grows Up: How the Disability Rights Revolution Saved My Sanity, by Ben Mattlin. This guy was born with a muscle-wasting disease and is virtually helpless.  He has never been able to perform any physical task whatever, from blowing his nose to taking care of himself in the bathroom.  But the book isn't directly about triumphing over adversity or "I'm depressed and you would be, too, if you couldn't even press the remote" type of thing.  He's got a terrific writing style and is clearly no dunce (he's a financial adviser and writer), is married and has two children.  How he managed that, I can't even guess. Anyway, I befriended him on Facebook and he wrote me a gracious little note. I'll mention the book on my FB page.
Still restless, I took another drive late in the day and followed a rather remote road to a watery area not far from the Parkway.  It dead ended at swampy land, a wide canal, and just one large building with "No Trespassing" signs here and there. I was about to drive away when an elderly man came from behind a fence.  I waited so I could tell him I was just exploring and we fell into conversation.  His name is Steve Potter, he's 86, lives in New Gretna, and his grandfather had owned the land. Now he keeps an eye on the place for the out-of-town owners, who have their boats there. Interestingly, he used to work at the Ventnor Boatworks.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Teeth and Ears--Ughy, Ugh, Ugh!

With Susan in Cape May, Slug-a-bed Mimi gave herself permission to "sleep in," as the moronic expression goes.  I didn't get up until 6:30 and enjoyed the snooze fest.
I decided to skip breakfast until after my teeth-cleaning, but that never came to pass. When I got to McDentist, the receptionist and I discovered my new insurance doesn't cover dental.  Hey, you'd think I'd be upset, but no--I felt I got a reprieve.  Went home to breakfast, had my usual, then decided to drive to the cemetery, where I haven't visited lately.
Once off the Parkway, though, I changed my mind and continued on Route 9.  It occurred to me that sister Betty might clear my clogged ear, so I drove down to her place, but she wasn't home.  I called and found she had taken Muckie for a esophagus-scope and were at Northfield Diner for lunch.  Joined them there, we ate, then we took Muckie to get cigarettes at Wawa.  Dropped her at home, then went on to Betty's, where she performed the procedure on my ear.
Ew-w-w, it entailed peroxide and a syringe, quite horrible, but I survived it and it actually did help.  We sat on her porch for awhile after, then George Wimberg came over to chat for a bit.
After he left, I said my goodbyes and many thanks, then drove home in a good mood.  I had barely walked in when Sondra M. called to ask if I'd be in another of her plays for the June show. Yes, indeedy, sez I, and found I'll play a lesbian, quite a change for me and it sounds intriguing.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Breakfast and Lunch

Nice day, although the arm and leg are still sore and I have a bump and probably a bruise on my hip.  I don't see any point in trying to see it, but I can feel it.  Arm has improved a lot, leg not so much.
We walked, but Susan still feels lousy. She said she was planning to tell Walter to go the Cape May without her--not much fun, that.   But later--and happily, I hope--Walter sent me an e-mail with the two of them at a restaurant with glasses of wine.  Caption was "Made It!" so they got there.  Should be back Friday and I hope Susan is well enough to enjoy it.
Picked up Aline at 8:00, more than an hour earlier than our usual. She had to get the 9:30 bus to Toms River, as she'll again be traveling to Manhattan, this time for five days.  We went to Dynasty for poached eggs and good talk, then I dropped her at the bus stop.
I was home long enough to put in a wash, and sweep and mop the kitchen floor, then left for Italian Gourmet.  Met Betty--we were both early--and had a fine, sisterly lunch and talk.  Started home, but went up to Manahawkin instead and got a few things at Shop-Rite.
Today, I have to go to the guys (two brothers) I call "McDentist" and get my semi-annual teeth cleaning.  Damn, I hate going; why for we have to have teeth, anyway?  I would have substituted some kind of grinding apparatus, if only I had been consulted during the creation process.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


I've always loved Ethel Merman and that big, brassy voice: "Everything's Comin' Up Roses For You and For Me!"
Well, it was for me yesterday, but with a bit of a jolt and a glitch. Walked our usual, although Susan still isn't feeling well (intestinal problems and everybody knows what that euphemism means) and looks alarmingly drawn and pale.
Anyway, we walked, I changed, then opened the garage door preparing to drive to the clubhouse to meet up with the rest of "The Sparklers."  In my usual rapid and ungraceful way, I charged around the car to get in the driver's seat, tripped on the "lip" that separates the garage from the driveway, and fell heavily on my right side.  On concrete.
As my friend, an occupational therapist, had advised some time ago, I didn't immediately try to jump up.  I lay there to assess the damage; my leg was scraped, but I knew that was minor.  My shoulder hurt a bit, but it was my arm that had taken the brunt of the fall. It was sore, but moved easily, and the ache didn't intensify with movement, so I assumed it wasn't broken.
The problem was getting up.  I tried kneeling, but it hurt the scraped knee.  Finally, I noticed nearby the foam pad I use for gardening and was able to inch over to it, put it under my sore knee, and crawl to a nearby chair to help myself up.  I was relieved that the damage didn't seem too bad, so got in the car and drove to the clubhouse for the meeting.    
It was short and we then drove to Long Beach Island for lunch. The others were going afterward to a ceramic place to paint pieces or whatever, but I begged off, as my friend was coming after work.  In truth, I probably could have gone, but that kind of thing bores me to tears.
Driving home, my arm felt okay when it was resting at my side, but when I moved it, it hurt.  When I got in, I actually lay down on the couch and napped for a half hour.
My friend came in, changed, and--oh, joy--quickly and neatly planted the flowers, of which there were more than a dozen.  It would have taken me hours to do it and, of course, I'd be found collapsed on the sidewalk because once down, I can't get up.
Anyway, good, good, good.  Today, I'll breakfast with Aline, lunch with Betty, and be happy the flowers are in.  I'll dream of California, which seems to be getting closer and closer, and look forward to decorating my own little apartment and starting my new life with optimism and vim.  It's comin' up roses, all right.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Blue Funk

It wasn't the best of days.  For some reason, I was restless and unhappy.  I felt alone, unloved, and unappreciated.  Now I know in my mind that isn't true, but it was my heart that gave me trouble.
Walked with Susan, then did a few household chores. Bob S. was supposed to come and finish clearing out the sprinkler heads, but he didn't and I didn't care.  I was in what used to be called "a blue funk," brooding over incidents from the past that upset or saddened me.
After I had a sketchy lunch, I couldn't stay in the house anymore.  I jumped in the car and drove 'way down Route 9 past Barnegat. Turned toward the canal--ocean water always soothes me--and just drove around here and there.  Stopped at the Shop-Rite in Waretown, but it was hard to find things, so I then went to the Manahawkin one.  Among other items, I got five begonias; now I have about fifteen plants that have to be put in the ground--ugh! Well, my friend is coming today to help.
I bought an already-cooked turkey thigh and cut into it when I got home--it was tough as shoe leather! Damn, I wasn't paying six bucks for something I'd throw away (only in situations like this, would I ever want a dog.), so I drove right back to Shop-Rite and got my money back.  That's an eighteen-mile round trip, but by the time I was home, my mood had lifted, so it was worth it.
Aline called and I also talked to Sondra M., asking her to send me as an attachment her play that I'm going to be in.  I got it and will rehearse a bit before the Players & Playwrights meeting on Saturday.
Another thing that gladdened me were my Mothers Day gifts from Tokyo.  The card--made by my daughter-in-law, of course, is simple, but I love the words inside: "5-10-15-20 hugs for you for Mothers Day."  It's signed in an elegant scrawl by my precious grandson, just-turned-twenty-months-old K.  With it was a wonderful picture of the little family in ceremonial dress.  My son, P., is properly solemn in gray, his wife, N., just gorgeous in her white and gold kimono, and the little prince, dressed in his tiny robes, smiling, exuberant, and incredibly beautiful.  P. won't allow his son's picture or name to be anywhere on the Internet, or I'd include the picture here.
Bob is supposed to (again) come this morning, then I have a Sparklers' meeting at 11:00, lunch after, and my friend at 4:00 for planting.  I had intended to get as much of the latter done beforehand, but it's going to be tight.
Just put the trash and saw the sprinklers had functioned. It's a beautiful spring day and things are looking up, I'm relieved to reveal.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mothers Day

A low-key, but pleasant Mothers Day.  Betty and I arrived at the Vincentown Diner about about 2:15, and my friend and husband came shortly thereafter. There was a sign saying parking was only for customers, so we drove a few miles away to Smithville Park (no connection to the Smithville Inn in Galloway) and left them there.
Got to Lisa's to be greeted by her family, Rob, Lindsey, and Luc, her parents, Dale and Betz, and two church lady friends of theirs. My friend gave Betty, Lisa, Betz, and me beautiful bracelets from a the little shop in Allentown.  I had bought two bunches of pink carnations and had prepared four vases; gave my friend and the other attending mothers those.
It was a delicious spring meal, composed of a variety of salads: chicken (with grapes, apples, and yogurt--very good), broccoli, bean, and my marinated cherry tomato, which went over big.  They don't serve alcohol--not sure if that's a church stricture, as they're Moravian--but there was iced tea and other drinks. Desserts included Boston cream pie, cookies, and a yummy pineapple upside down cake.
We ate, then sat and talked on the very pleasant side porch.  Left about 5:30, picked up our cars, and I got home about forty-five later.  Enjoyed a Skype call from Ellen and I thanked her for the Kohl's gift card she had sent me.
So I heard from all my children, which is the only thing that matters about Mothers Day.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Weeds and Things

As aforementioned, I slept late and didn't walk.  Got up at my leisure and lingered over coffee and the Atlantic City Press, as I do every morning.  To that, I added part of the NYTimes, always thinking I'll finish it later, but then Sunday's edition comes and I still have part of Friday's, and...well.
Made the marinated cherry tomato salad, using both red and yellow tomatoes.  In fact, I made a double recipe--maybe too much, but I'm not sure how many will be at Lisa's today.  It took a fair amount of time, but it's now blending its flavors in the fridge.  I ate some and boy, it's good--has pesto in it, which is always yummy.
Did my usual chores, then went out and pulled weeds.  Put the plants I had gotten the other day out.  I really want to plant them in the ground, but find it so hard to get up after kneeling.
I simply had to get away after that, so I took a drive to Barnegat and back.  Didn't feel like going into any store or even getting out, so didn't.
Left a bag of food out for the mail carrior--they have their annual drive on--but didn't get mail.  Later, when my much-loved littlebabyboy-san Skyped me from Tokyo, I was told I had been sent one of his Mommy's wonderful and unique handmade Mother's Day cards. I was disappointed because it didn't arrive yet; hope it didn't get lost.  Got an Amazon gift card from Mike and a card from Ellen, which I'll open today.
I'm not a big fan of all these commercialized holidays; I don't need gifts or anything else to remind me of the best things in my life.  I heard from, or will be with, all of them this weekend.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Shop-Rite, Dominoes, and Nazi Germany

Partly annoying, partly enjoyable, this-and-that day.  Drove to Shop-Rite directly after breakfast and was pleasantly surprised that the crowds were sparse, even though it was Friday.  Got all the ingredients for the tomato salad, and added cottage cheese and yogurt in a separate bag. After ten-mile trip home, I unloaded and found I was missing the latter. Went to look the phone number up and was told there was no Internet connection.
Darn it all!  It's this kind of thing that throws me into a tizzy.  I regard my computer as a kind of mysterious, other-worldly demi-god, whose favors I must earn.  Clearly, I had somehow angered it. Tried crawling under the desk and pressing wires here and there, but it remained silent and unforgiving.
Just to clear my head, I drove back to Shop-Rite, went to the help desk, and found that nobody had turned in the bag.  There was one compensating factor: I was told by the pleasant young woman rep to replace the items at no charge.  Thanks, Shop-Rite.
Home, I gave up trying to placate this monster and called my friend, asking her to come after work to see if she could remedy things. She did, she couldn't, but she called Comcast, was instructed to check the modem and, yes, that was where a wire was loose.  She plugged it back in and all was well.  Whew!
I had picked up two large bunches of pink carnations at Produce Junction the other day, and now I got some pretty vases at the thrift store.  I plan to give little flower gifts to all the mothers (four, by my count) at Lisa's tomorrow.
Stir-fried me up a ground turkey/garlic/onion dinner, had that, then showered and dressed for the domino gathering at 7:00. Usually, the D.'s host this, but the H's did this time and, besides from the four of them and me, the R.'s were there.  We live in a row on the sunny side of the street* and have been doing this for years, so it's all very convenient and convivial.  It was great fun, as ever, and as ever, brought home to me how good it is to live here.
And how much I'll miss it when I leave.
Didn't get back in my door until after 11:00 and skipped my usual evening ritual to go right to bed.  Slept until after 7:00, having told Susan I wouldn't walk today.
WIDER:  I put this on Facebook with a note saying it's often facile to compare present-day U.S. with Nazi Germany, but here, it's hard to avoid:
* Literally and figuratively.

Friday, May 08, 2015

FELS Luncheon

Left for the Friends of Lifelong Learning at Stockton (don't know where the "E" comes in) luncheon at 10:30 and got there--the Crab Trap in Somers Point--very early.  No matter, though, as I ran into another woman and we strolled to the bay behind the restaurant and chatted.
I was pleased to see my pal, Louise, when I walked in and we caught up with each other.  Was introduced to two of her friends; oddly enough, both named Stella.  I wasn't able to go to the P & P meeting last month, but I understand we're rehearsing for the June production (much too grandiose a phrase!) at the upcoming meeting.  Okay, I'll be there.
Saw Meryl B. who, unfortunately, said she can't attend the next two months.  She was one of the two characters in my play, Impostor, so I'll have to assign somebody else.
I had a crab cake with sides, a Shock Top (can't tell it from Blue Moon), and some interesting conversations with the women at my table.  The speaker was Dan Shelton, the meteorologist who has a column in the Press of A.C. every day. Seemed a nice enough guy and his talk--bland and forgettable--had the virtue of being short.
After, I stopped at Betty's to see if she wanted to go with me to visit Dee, the one who owns our childhood home on Rosborough Avenue.  She did and we had a nice visit over pie and tea.
On the way home, I stopped at an absolutely mobbed Produce Junction and got a gorgeous hanging begonia, plus flowers for the three other mothers I'll see on Sunday.
All in all, a good one, and I was pleasantly tired--not exhausted, but just tired enough to enjoy relaxing when I got home.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Chores, Errands, and the Warrior Cop

Just a chore and errand day.  Did a wash, tidied up a bit, went to Shop-Rite for various, to Kohl's to return shoes, and to Acme for lettuce and stuff.
Betty called, asking for particulars on Mother's Day.  Later, my friend called to give me some.  Must firm up where we'll meet before we get to the site.
Otherwise, fooled around on the 'puter and...can't even remember what else, but somehow the day advanced to evening, then night.
NOTE:  Recently, when I copy texts from elsewhere, it comes out smaller than my own type, as below.  If anyone knows how to remedy this, I'd appreciate getting instruction in a comment.
WIDER:  Hardly a bastion of the far left, The Wall Street Journal published the following in an article called "Warrior Cop."  Yes, we should be afraid.  Very afraid.     
"Since the 1960s, in response to a range of perceived threats, law-enforcement agencies across the U.S., at every level of government, have been blurring the line between police officer and soldier. Driven by martial rhetoric and the availability of military-style equipment—from bayonets and M-16 rifles to armored personnel carriers—American police forces have often adopted a mind-set previously reserved for the battlefield."
Here's the link:

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

End of the Lull

Hey, the dull lull is over.  After our walk, I did a lot of household chores, then jumped in the shower, washed my hair, and went over to Sunset Nails for a pedicure.
Oh, my ritzy tootsies look so grand!  And they feel good, too. Home for just an hour, then back next door to the nail place to get my hair cut--drastically--and colored darker.
I know a lot of women just love getting meds and peds and having their hair operated on, but I'm not one of them.  I squirm getting my nails done and to me, the hair thing is the very definition of boredom.  Yesterday, I thought I'd never get out of there, but it was worth it.
I was sick of the bag lady bob, and didn't like how blonde it had gotten.  I had Tracie do it in medium brown (it will lighten up more in the sun) and cut it quite short.  Looks wonderfully good, although I'm reconciled to knowing that after a few days, it will look only medium good, as I'm hopeless with hair.
Home, I fired up the fry pan and made myself a pork chop for lunch/dinner. Put in a wash, changed, and got to the library to meet Aline for the "Dancing Warriors" program.
This was such a treat.  Two men from the Balam Dance Theatre performed, one (Toshinori Hamada) doing traditional martial arts dances with great precision.  The other, Carlos Pirtante, presented Balinese, eighteenth century English, and Spanish (matador) dances in spectacular costume.  Aline and I both loved it.  I consider dance King of the Arts and this was beautiful and fascinating beyond description.
After, we went to Jeffreeze for ice cream, topping off a fine day.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015


A lull day and a dull day.  Went to Acme, made an appointment for a cut and color, chopped a huge cauliflower and combined it with Parmesan cheese and bacon bits in the slow cooker.  Stopped at the library to donate magazines and firm up our plans for tomorrow with Aline.  Swept and vacuumed.  Watered plants.  Took a drive after dinner (which consisted of the cauliflower) just to get the heck out of the house.  Talk about ho-hum!

Monday, May 04, 2015

Gypsy and Generals

Stopped at Target to pick up a few things, then met Christine at Barnegat High School for Gypsy.
It was long--three hours, plus intermission--and the storyline was a little trite, but it was good.  Several of the players had been in Arsenic and Old Lace with me, including the two stars, Stacey S. and Neil G.  Besides them, I knew Lou Monaco, who had directed A. and O.L., his daughter, Lindsay, and Edward, a dancer.
Didn't get home until 6:00, but it was a good, show-bizzy day. Damn, when is LETCO ever going back into production?
Walter e-mailed to the effect that he got a call about my house rental, but reception was poor and the people said they'd call back. They may or may not have, as he had another call from an agent who may be representing the same people. So far, zero lookers.
Enjoyed our Sunday night Skype call with Ellen, who's looking forward to the end of the school year.
WIDER: There isn't a whole lot scarier than this scenario: Military dictating policy to civilians.  As mentioned in the article, this nut case “is a good example of what happens when the division between a military and the civilians who in a democratic society should control that military breaks down.”  What's incredible is that Breedlove (incredibly farcical name for this guy) has a Facebook page.  You couldn't make this stuff up...

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Carpet Dents and Tea

Repeated my mop kitchen floor/vacuum carpets routine, and added added clean bathroom.  Asked my pal and loyal companion, Miss Internet, how to get furniture impressions out of the carpet.  She advised ice cubes in the dents and it seems to work.
Semi-excitement: As I was about to leave for the Asian Tea Ceremony at the library, I saw a woman coming around from my side yard.  Greeted her and we chatted.  She seemed very nice, explained she had lived in Holly Lake nearby (large, expensive homes), moved to Cranford, hates it, and wants to move back to Little Egg.  I told her it was a over-55 community and she indicated she made the age requirement (blonde, slender, rather attractive, in her late fifties, I'd guess).  Anyway, she had written down Walter's info and I hope she gets in touch with him.
The Asian Tea Ceremony was conducted by a Caucasian woman; reasonably interesting, but I couldn't hear or see her well.  I sat with Norma and Marilyn, acquaintances of mine, and met an interesting woman there with her daughter-in-law. Henrietta Magrave (love the name) said she has lived in Little Egg for eighty-five years.  I expressed surprise she's that old, as she looks younger than I do (not hard, I'm afraid).  She then said she had moved here when she was six!  Yoicks, she was 91!
Went from there to Barnegat to see if I could find the high school, where Gypsy will be.  Did, it was easy, and I'll meet Christine there today.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Lunch and My Darlings

A fine, good day, albeit colder than a well-digger's ass in the Klondike, as my late husband used to intone.  Windy, too.
Left for Produce Junction about 10:00 after seeing my darling little girls, and Daddy and Mommy in Singapore.  Bought myself some pretty flowers, including mums, petunias, Gerber daisies, and a lovely Arthurian(?) for inside.  Also picked up broccoli, sweet potatoes, and onions.
Met Betty for lunch at The Spot, near Product Junction, and had a fun time.  I told her about the call from our dear niece, and she was happy for me.  Said goodbye after a leisurely one and sped home.
Had a message from Chris, saying she would, indeed, meet me at Barnegat High School on Sunday to see our fictional nephew, Neil G., in Gypsy; called her back to confirm.
Called Dee G., owner of my childhood home, to discuss her new plan to sell.  She was delighted to hear from me and I promised to stop in to see her on Thursday after the FELS luncheon in Somers Point.
Assembled dinner for my friend and me: swordfish cooked in coconut oil, which I was using for the first time; lemon quarters to squeeze on it; sweet potatoes, to which I added sliced oranges and cinnamon; broccoli and sliced tomatoes. All in all, pretty good.
Friend arrived about 5:45, practically frozen by some kind of outdoor "charity walk" at the school where she works.  We ate, she changed to get ready for her hike, and rushed off.
I had no sooner  cleaned up the kitchen then bouncing baby boy from Japan called on Skype.  He ate his breakfast (tofu and some kind of greens) while I interacted with him, then I had the privilege of seeing him play with various objects, including a train brochure, toy cars, and a big sketch book.
Lovely, lovely, lovely be able to see and talk to all my darlings in Asia!

Friday, May 01, 2015

Christine, the Duggars, and Skype

Met Christine, my opposite number in Arsenic, at Element and we had a good, convivial dinner. She has some personal "issues" (excuse it, please), as we all do, but is dealing with them bravely.  I invited her to go with me to see Gypsy on Sunday and she said she would, if her husband hasn't made other plans.
Didn't get  home until almost 9:00 and, as Susan isn't walking today, decided I'd sleep late.  Poured myself a glass of Chardonnay and settled down in front of the television to watch a favorite (in an eerie, can-hardly-believe-it way) show, 19 Kids and Counting.
Why it's my favorite is, I'd be willing to bet, not the same as why it's a lot of other people's favorite. I find it consistently bizarre, riddled with contradictions, and, in a obscure way, elitist and un-Christlike.  But I'll save an explanation for another day and simply comment on the following:
I was amazed--but maybe I shouldn't have been--that Derrick wore a tee shirt with "Israel Defense Force" on it.  Come to think of it, his and Jill's new baby is named "Israel."  Seemed odd, but of course, it isn't.  It's perfectly in keeping with the throwback nature of the show and the family.
Fundamentalist Christians? They is it. And don't those who adhere to that tradition, including some nut jobs in Congress, believe in things such as The Rapture and the second coming?  Here's the explanation and it's a pip:
I wonder what would happen if a Duggar wanted to marry a Jew. Somehow, I think all you-know-what would break loose.  Anyhoo, I'm fascinated by the show and its themes.  More on this another time.
Susan had an early doctor appointment, so I decided to sleep in myself, but was awakened by a call from Mike, wondering why my Skype wasn't on.  Asked him to give me fifteen, got up, dressed and coffeed myself, then we had a wonderful visit via Skype, the mother's boon.  Adorable Violet informed me her seventh was coming up, precious Vivian put in a brief appearance, and I had a good "face time" (I'm succumbing to these tacky colloquialisms!) visit with Mike and his beautiful Paula.  He explained what the capital gains tax means--oh-h-h--so I guess it is better to rent first, sell later, if possible.