Friday, July 31, 2015


Movin' in day--yay!
Well, semi-yay: We got some of my stuff in, then went to lunch, then waited for the Time-Warner guy to set up the electronic stuff, then the bed guys to set up--of course, the bed.
Went out to buy this and that, put it in the apartment, then went back to Ellen's and I spent my last night here.  Just too much going on and too complicated--and boring to anyone else--to add much, except:
Ellen and I are going out shortly to look for a car for me to buy.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

All Over Creation

Today, I take possession of my new digs--yay!
As for yesterday, Ellen and I went all over creation--well, all over Ventura--to various thrift stores and other places so I could pull together a few essentials for my apartment.  Lunched Mexican, then jumped into the fray again.  Home, we got some financial stuff done, then I was pleased to see an e-mail from Colony Parc advising me that I could come see the apartment after 3:00.  We zoomed down (up?) there and were taken to my new place.
Funny--I was entirely wrong about the location.  The few times I had driven there earlier to look at the outside, I had thought it partially overlooked a parking area.  That was disappointing, as they aren't very pleasant views.  Happily, I was mistaken. My windows look out over the pool area, a shaded path, and some other nice area.
The apartment itself is pretty nice.  The dining area is anything but spacious, but the living room and bedrooms are adequate.  The two identical baths are fine and the kitchen, though fairly small, is laid out in the "galley"style, very efficient and easy to be in.  Of course, there are all the amenities, including a dishwasher and ice maker.  There are balconies outside the living and guest room and it's bright and cheerful.
All in all, I'm very pleased with my new digs. What I'm not pleased with are the overwhelming--to me, anyway--demands of the financial end.  I just talked to the new insurance guy (for my house) and all the stuff about switching from Allstate has to be run by the mortgage company and so on.  Hope I can put this behind me soon.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Goodbyes, a Bed, and Chinatown

We left at 9:00 for LAX and boy, the traffic was extreme.  Made it by 11:00, though, and met Mike there.  Of course, Vivian rushed into his arms and they had a fine reunion.  We waited, chatting with them, for about an hour, then Ellen and I said goodbye to our darling niece and granddaughter.  Parting was eased a bit by the knowledge that Mike and his whole family will be back in December.
El and I stopped at a restaurant for lunch, then at several mattress stores on the the way home.  After comparing deals, I decided on a double bed at Sit 'n' Sleep and got a good buy on it.  It'll be delivered tomorrow, which is--ta-dah: move-in day!
We stopped at Bed, Bath & Beyond for a mattress cover, then home about 4:00, which seemed so quiet in the absence of vivacious Vivian.  Puttered around until dinner, which consisted of Gregg's fabulous pasta/pesto, left over from our little dinner party on Monday.  El and I watched Rachel Maddow until said chef came in at 7:00 after work; I asked if I could see his DVD of Chinatown, about my favorite movie and, I think, close to perfection of that ilk.
Gregg put it in, then he and Ellen went out for a walk in "Charterville,"* even though it was practically the middle of the night (about 8:30).  I contentedly watched Jack, Faye, and that little rat, Roman Polanski, and the two were back in time to hear those deathless words,"forget it, Jack--it's Chinatown."
*They like to walk in a certain area of Ventura near where Ellen's friend lives.  Her last name if "Charter," so Gregg dubbed it in her honor.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Rolling Along at the Rink

What a neat day!  El, Viv, and I met Carolyn, Finn, and two of his friends at the Roller Plus rink at 1:30 and we all donned skates to whiz around the wood!  Okay, Viv, the boys, and Carolyn did. After an hour or so, Ellen was going to give it a try, but decided against paying the entrance fee and rental. We all had a ball together, although Vivian and the boys--brothers aged 14 and 11--studiously avoided each other, as kids tend to do at that age.
We stayed several hours, during which I was pleased to get a call from Elva B., my longtime friend (of more than 70 years that is; we started and finished at St. James together).  She had known I was planning the cross-country move, but wasn't aware I was already in California.  The two boys' mother picked them up as the rest of us left for El's.
When we got there, Greg was laboring over pots and pan and the kids changed into bathing suits.  I went out to pick up a few things while they went to the pool.  Met them there after, and we sat and chatted for a few, then headed back.
Greg served up a wonderful dinner of salad (cashew dressing) and pasta (pesto sauce, my favorite), accompanied with red wine.  He doesn't put serving bowls on the table, but presents on individual plates, as they do in restaurants.  Both salad and pasta were truly delicious and several of us had second helpings.  By the time we finished, it was after 7:00.
Said goodbye to Carolyn and Finn, Ellen cleaned up, and I went to bed at my (used to be!) usual of 9:00 pm.  Now we're waiting for Ellen to come down and we'll start the long drive to L.A. to meet Mike and put my precious granddaughter on the plane back to Singapore.

Monday, July 27, 2015


Yesterday was low-key, aside from a dreadful ordeal I had to suffer:  pumping my own gas! All right, Ellen helped--stayed with me every minute--but it was still something I had tried to put out of my mind until my tank read "E."  Guess I'd better get used to it.
I stopped for a few items at various stores while El, Greg, and Vivian went off to Peet's Coffee to meet friends who have a six-year-old daughter interested in gymnastics. They went to a park where Viv demonstrated various flips, dives, and other moves.  I contentedly stayed home reading Hemingway's Chair.  
I'm not a big fiction fan--much prefer bio and history--but this is absorbing.  I'm enjoying the fact that the setting is a small town in England, but a visiting American character lives in Trenton, teaches at a college there (College of New Jersey?  Rider?) and mentions Quakerbridge Mall.
Housemates got home about 3:00, then Ellen and Gregg went for a long walk and back for coffee at Peet's. When they got home, they proposed that we eat at an Indian restaurant in Camarillo, owned by a friend of Gregg's.  We did--I had been there the last time I was here--and it was good once I emphasized little spice for me.
Today, Carolyn and Finn are coming and we'll take the kiddies roller-skating.  El invited them, plus the friends mentioned above for dinner.  Haven't heard back if they'll come.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Various and Chicken

I set my alarm so I could get up in time to say goodbye to Ellen and Vivian, but wouldn't you know, I slept right through it.
Greg left for his morning ritual at Starbucks, then returned to get ready for work. He said Ellen had suggested I should call the car rental place to extend for a week.  Did so, and also called "Al Internet" and arranged for service on the 30th; at least, I'll have my tablet.
Zipped out to Walmart to get other socks and stuff.  I had picked up no-shows and wanted low-cut; Viv--or "Lucia," as she's sometimes known--wanted the former, so I left them for her.
Went to PetSmart and got a permanent lid for kitty food cans; I had thrown away the other one, thinking it was trash.  Home, I prepared lemon pepper chicken thighs for dinner, made a salad for same, sliced cucumbers and put them in vinegar as my mother used to do, then jumped in the shower. Put on my new shorts (long shorts, not the butt-revelation kind) and new top.  I was disappointed in the top, as it's really too long.  Should have gotten a different size.
Fed Sebastian at 5:00.  He gobbled the stuff enthusiastically, then prompted threw up.  Aagh! That's one of the myriad reasons I don't want an animal.  Had to clean it up with napkins, as we were out of paper towels.  Ellen has plenty in the garage, but I tried and tried and couldn't open the door from the patio, so couldn't get in there.
I had used the microwave timer to remind me when to put the chicken in the oven.  Suddenly, it made an odd noise and the microwave fan started by itself.  When I touched the microwave, it was hot!  What the HELL?  I kept pressing "cancel" and it didn't work.  In a panic, I called Ellen, who said they were just disembarking from the boat. She calmed me, told me what to do, and the crises passed. (Later, we realized that I had thought the microwave had a timer, which I set for thirty minutes.  However, it doesn't have a timer, so I must have set an actual cook time for that long--and I didn't have anything in it.)  Anyway, I put the chicken in a 400 degree oven for about 45, turned it once, and it did come out yummy as ever.  
The intrepid twosome got home fine and I served dinner, which they greatly enjoyed.  Mike called on "My Face," or whatever it is, and we all saw and talked to him.  Viv and I watched part of something called The Bee Movie--kinda cute--then we all turned in.  

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Pixels and Stuff

I don't go to the movies more than once a year, if that, but yesterday, Ellen, Vivian, and I saw Pixels, my second in less than a week.  It was actually pretty good and I enjoyed it.
Ellen and Greg were going out to dinner together, so we picked up sushi for Viv and me and had that. It's so refreshing to be with a child who's accepting--even adventurous--about food: Viv loves sushi and other goodies some might think are exotic to the point of in-edibleness.
Called to extend my car rental by a week, then I must start looking for one to buy.  I'm renting a bright blue little Hundai and like it a lot; would buy one in a flash, but we'll see.
Later, Viv's mom, Paula, called and we got to see and talk to her on MySpace via Viv's phone. After Ellen and Gregg left for dinner, I tried to help Viv with math problems her Dad had left, but was unable.  I simply either don't remember or never did know some of the terms now in use.
I set the alarm to get up in time to say goodbye to Ellen and Viv, but fell back asleep, so missed them. Today, they're taking a boat to one of the Channel Islands, where they'll explore, snorkel, and go kayaking.  Yes, yes, it sounds like great fun--thank Zeus I didn't have to go!  

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Travelers Return

Another busy and interesting day.  One thing on the computer was a little too interesting, but I'm not going to dwell on that.
Went to WilCo, a supermarket owned by its employees.  I really like it--very much so for that reason and also because their wares are fresh and good AND wonder of wonders, low in cost.  Bought some nice chicken thighs, lemon pepper, salad veggies, and baking potatoes.  I plan to make dinner today, as I knew Ellen wouldn't be home until late and I want to let her take it easy after a strenuous two days in L.A.
Took the Bermudas I had bought the other day back to Kohl's.  They were really nothing special and were over twenty bucks--why do I need them?  Answer: I don't.
Tried to find Walmart again and couldn't.  It's incredible that I had no problem when I was there before, but now they seem to have moved it.  However, I actually was able to get to "downtown" while avoiding the dreaded Freeway, but I didn't park; I'm not sure where the shops I want are located, so I'll go there another day.
Gregg got in a bit after 7:00 and went out right away for a bike ride.  He and I were chatting at the kitchen table when Ellen and Vivian blew in about 9:30.  They had had a wonderful time at the Griffith Observatory and Knott's Berry Farm, notwithstanding the horrific heat and L.A. traffic.  It's now 10 am and nobody's stirring yet but your humble correspondent.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

L.A. for Some

Ellen and Vivian took off for L.A. about 10:00, Gregg went to work and I spent the day on various pressing (finances, etc.),  mundane (washing and straightening up), and enjoyable (buying clothes) activities.  Got a pair of what used to be called Bermudas at Kohl's, then two tops elsewhere; picked up check registers at BOA; and visited Wal-Mart for a few things.  I was amazed and bemused, as always, to see that they sell booze--just strikes me as weird.  However, I overcame the feeling successfully and bought a six-pack of Shock Top, which is beginning to rival Blue Moon in the "favorite beer" category for me.
Saw the storefront headquarters of "The Flying H Theatre Group" and want to attend one of their shows before too long.  I may-or may not--introduce myself (as in the biz)--mebbe yes, mebbe no.
Called El and discovered they were either at a water park or Griffith Observatory; glad they're having a good time.  I washed, dried, and folded Viv's clothes, as well as her bed clothes.  El and I were both pleased to hear that niece Carolyn and her family are available on Monday; we'll all get together then. Gregg is working today, otherwise I would have asked if he'd like to invite his mother out for lunch with just the three of us.  When he got home--after 8:00 last night--we had a nice talk.
Called El again in the evening and she told me they had been caught in a horrible traffic jam and backup--took her two and a half hours to go forty miles.  Hope they'll have a better time today when they go to Knott's Berry Farm.
Random Musing:  One of the many things I like about California is its road system.  In and around Ventura, anyway, they're well marked, plus there are green-arrowed left hand turns AND you're allowed to make U-turns in many places.  I was, however, taken aback that motorists must always watch out for for pedestrians in crosswalks and stop for them.  In Jersey, we tend to just mow them down.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


I reluctantly decided not to join Ellen, Gregg, and Vivian on their excursions yesterday, as I had to continue work on the mountain of business (mostly financial) stuff that necessitates so much time and effort.  Got the cashier's check from BOA, took it to Colony Parc, spent hours on the phone with various time-wasters (changes of address, etc.), and otherwise occupied myself with the mundane.
Talked to Betty, although now my $12.95 Tracfon is giving me problems; it may need a new battery--dunno.  Even for this Jersey born-and-bred, it was very hot.  And humid?  I kept having to wipe the perspiration off the phone.
The three got in after a day at the Santa Barbara zoo and someplace else and we all went to Mary's Secret Garden, a vegan restaurant which Gregg often frequents.  Food was so tasty and fresh, although pretty pricey.
Dropped Gregg off, then we three gals went to get new sneaks for Viv and a new Tracfon for me. Not sure if I'll actually switch or not.
El and Viv are off to LA today to visit Knott's Berry Farm.  They'll stay over and return tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Day

Geez, what a day.  Signed up to have gas and electric (two different companies) in my apartment, then spent the bulk of it on financial matters with BOA, Ocean First, and that champion of chumps, Social Security.  I was simply trying to change my address and ended up spending forty-five minutes on the phone, then another hour at the actual S.S. Ventura office.  There's no point in even going into the whys and wherefores, so I won't.  Finally, all was straightened out, but whew!
Anyhoo, later was better. Ellen and Vivian came home from a play park, then we went to the pool, they to swim, me to watch for a bit.  I offered to make dinner, and zipped to the supermarket to get the fixin's.  I had decided on an old fashioned dinner, the like of which I used to serve my family: hamburgers, baked beans, green salad, and a cold Blue Moon. (Well, the first three, anyway, but only I got the Blue Moon, which went great with it.)  Fried up some onions to put on top and had prepared bacon strips, too, but somebody small and furry escaped my vigilance long enough to get up on the counter and nibble them--aagh!  He wasn't even contrite and his mistress just laughed!  Okay, at least he didn't get to the hamburger--as far as I could see.
It was a good dinner, enjoyed by all.  Greg had worked all day and didn't get home until after 8:00, then Vivian did her arithmetic homework with Ellen's help, and it was hot, hot, hot and humid, but so good to be in California.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Antman and Rain

While Ellen and Greg spent quality time in Ojai, Vivian and I went to the movies and saw AntMan.   I seldom go to the movies and actually, found it fun to see.  I was pleased that I was able to find my way back to Ellen's with no problem.
After Antman, we went to the pool--very refreshing--then played a game of "Vivian guesses flavor of lip balm with eyes closed."  Ellen and Greg got back and we three girls went to the jumping place ("Sky High?") where Vivian bounced and flipped to her heart's content.
To Macaroni Grill afterward for Italian dinners, then home during a rain pour.  In fact, it rained intermittently most of the day, a phenomenon that caused these dry Californians to remark on it with awed surprise.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Car and All

Note to Pat: I'm about five miles from Ellen, I guess, which is okay because of yesterday, I HAVE A CAR!
Temporarily, that is.  At Ellen's suggestion, I rented one, so I can start learning to get around myself and so I don't feel pressured to buy or lease a permanent one.  It's a Hundai, compact, which is the same size as my Acura, and very easy for me to drive.  While Ellen took Vivian to Target and other stores, I zoomed around myself, trying to find a notary for the letter I sent to Ocean First to close out one of my two accounts there (and deposit at BOA).  However, there seem to be no notaries in the state of California, except for in FedEx, and it closes early on Saturday.
I enjoyed driving around Ventura myself and even stopped into Kohl's and got Vivian three more lip balms in cute containers.  The poor child has only forty-five dollars' worth and for an almost--eleven-year-old, that's deprivation.
Got a call from Colony Parc that I've been approved for the apartment; didn't doubt I would be.  I'm scheduled to move in July 30.
It suddenly started to rain--heavily--in late afternoon. Now they need about two weeks more of steady downpours, I guess.
Made some plans for the coming days and on Wednesday, I get to see my new digs--yay!

Saturday, July 18, 2015


I put a deposit on an apartment at Colony Parc!  It's a two-bedroom on the ground floor and I'm happy with it, having reluctantly acquiesced to my children's insistence that I skip the second floor.   Supplied my financial information to the rep and hope to get an approval.
Ellen, Vivian, and I went to Target, then Subway for lunch, then Von's Supermarket and CVS.  At the various stops, Vivian got forty-five dollars worth of lip balm.  The mind reels, but Mike called from Salt Lake City and seemed to shrug it off.
Later, Ellen took Vivian to "High Jump" or whatever it's called, which features trampolines, climb-walls, bouncy things and all kinds of other stuff that perpetual motion Vivian loves.  Gregg was at work and I stayed home with Sebastian; just relaxed, which I was happy to do.
Called Betty and we had a nice chat.  We laughed--ruefully--how much energy the young people (well, forties and fifties) have and how strange it is to no longer be able to keep up.
Ellen made really delicious fra-he-toes (oh, I know that's not the way to spell it, but SpellCheck is baffled,too), which we had for dinner.  Gregg was working, but came in late and made himself an avocado sandwich (he's a health food advocate).  By the time we were finished, it was after 8:00, so I jumped in the shower, then retired to my bood-waa (that's a joke--I know how to spell boudoir!).  

Friday, July 17, 2015

Two Days

Whew!  The last two days have been a whirlwind--lots of fun and so packed I can't do more than mention a few highlights:
Mike (who was staying at a hotel, Ellen's place being filled to capacity) stopped Wednesday morning before heading back to LAX.  Said goodbye to us and his precious little girl and took off.  I was happy later when he texted that he took an outside look at Colony Parc, and liked it.
Thanks to Gregg's excellent suggestion, we took off in late morning for San Simeon.  Stopped for lunch at San Luis Obispo, where I was delighted that the restaurant had escargot.  Got six of them, gave two to Vivian (she also eats fish eyes) and promptly dropped one, spilling the oil and garlic-laden plate over myself and the tablecloth.  They were good, though.  We stayed in the town long enough for Vivian to contribute to "the bubble game wall," a truly revolting custom, through which chewed gum with, of course, saliva from around the world, cover adjoining walls in an alley--ugh! Then took Vivian to a candy store, where she chose this and that.
Got to Hearst Castle in time for our 3:20 departure up the hill in the bus, me keeping my eyes closed most of the fifteen minutes it took (gorgeous views and sheer drops).  Took the "kitchen and cottages" tour and it was wonderful.  I've been to "The Enchanted Hill" many times and never tire of it.
Had reservations for dinner, went there, then to bed at our motel right on the beach.  The next morning, walked it, admiring the gorgeous ocean, then took off.  Stopped back at San Luis Obisgo, where Vivian went to Tom's Toys and got herself a few things, thanks to her generous Daddy.  We split up for lunch, Gregg to a Hindu(?) place, we three to a more casual one, but met up with our meals at the garden table.
We had contacted niece Carolyn, and she invited us there for a pizza dinner.  We dropped Gregg at his mother's, then went and had a great time with Carolyn, Dana, Finn, and Claire.  Two years apart, Vivian and Claire greatly enjoyed each other's company.  Left there after 9:00 and, still in Santa Barbara, went to Gregg's mother's, where we visited for just fifteen or so--very enjoyable to see her again.
Didn't get back to Ellen's until 11:00 and I was so exhausted, I just fell into bed.   What a few days and so much fun, but now I"m more than ready for some down time.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Mike and Vivian Here--Hurrah! (And the Twin Thing)

(This is actually the July 15 entry--jumped the gun in posting.)
Wednesday: Got some business stuff done (BOA, etc.) on-line and in person, then Ellen and I met Gregg for lunch.  G. suggested we take Vivian to San Simeon and Hearst Castle today, and yes indeedy, that's what we'll do.  In the afternoon, he went to work and Ellen cleaned up while I took a richly  undeserved nap. Mike and Vivian didn't blow in in until after 4:00, as they had all kinds of hold-ups and traffic jams coming from LAX, but no matter, they were there and we were so happy to see them.
Vivian is a almost-eleven-year-old dynamo and perpetual motion machine, but so precious and adorable, she's enchanting.  She had a whole list of things she wanted to do, including lots of shopping and Knott's Berry Farm and we'll try to do as much as possible.
Went to a Mexican restaurant for dinner, then Mike decided to go to his hotel and turn in after his long, long trip from Singapore.  Ellen and Vivian went to to pool/hot tub, but I begged off.  It was already after 8:00 and I was bushed.  
NOTE: This is kinda eerie:
and from this blog, entry January 27, 2015:
At the store, I had an odd experience:  I saw a woman who looked just like me.  Now, I'm sure there are other women who look like me (especially in Ireland; I favor the paternal side), and maybe elsewhere, too, but I've never seen anyone with so striking a resemblance.  I actually followed her around a bit and finally, wanting to see her more closely, I approached her, excused myself and said, "Are you Marilyn's mother?"  "No," she said, rather curtly, and I apologized and moved on.  I'm thinking about a possible play with a theme like this, as I've always been fascinated by the doppelganger idea.  Later, when my friend came over, I told her about this and we mused over the idea that it wasn't me sitting there talking to her, but the woman in Acme. 


Quick overview of yesterday: Saw several apartments, fell in love with one, but my children are adamant against it because it's on the second floor.  It's also a bit over my price range, but maybe I can get around that.  We looked at over places, some okay, some ugh, but it was only our first day, so we'll look more.
G. made us a delicious dinner: First, we toasted my arrival in champagne, then had a salad with a delicious cashew-based dressing, then the main course: perfectly done halibut on a bed of rice, with a saffron and raisin sauce.  It was yummy. G. may follow some recipes, but most he seems to adapt, modify, and improve.  He records the final meticulously and, I'm sure, invents some recipes himself.
We weren't finished until just about 8:00 so, as a good guest should, I left the two of them to clean up, took a shower and washed my hair, and was in beddy-by at 9 pm.
Mike and Vivian come in from Singapore today--yay!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Palm Tree Country

When I opened my eyes this morning, I saw a glorious sight: One tall, majestic pine tree soaring to the sky. "I'm here," I thought, "I'M HERE!"
To regress: Flights weren't as bad as I thought they'd be.  Slept at my friend's on Friday; had and great fun at the lake with great-grandsons on Saturday, then had Lisa, Rob, and Lindsay for dinner,  That was my last night in Jersey, but I was too tired to philosophize over it.
Weather in Ventura is wonderful: warm-about 85,I guess--but with little humidity, it doesn't fee dense and horrible, but soft and comfortable. Got in about 8, left coast time, and was whisked away by Ellen;  we stopped to eat, then I got home to my own room and bath at her place (oh, joy!).  Fell into it shortly and had the best sleep I've had in ages.
I guess this entry is a bit disjointed, but I just can't help it.  Still settling in and have a lot to do today,so want to close.  More later, maybe--or not.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Last Days in Sunrise Bay

Well, here I am on Friday, July 10--my last day in Sunrise Bay, Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey.  Hardly slept as the damn new fire detector kept chirping.  However, Walter came over and fixed it somehow.  C.O. guy came later, said all was well, and Walter can pick up the certificate on Monday.
Ray came about 9:00, as I had asked him to, and we loaded his van with stuff for the thrift store. Dropped it off and what a load off my mind.  Later, I practically fille dmy car with junk and took it to the recycle center to dump. An even bigger load off my mind.  Went to the office at the clubhouse and got pool badges and so on for Eileen.
Called Jack Bihlmier to say goodbye and was concerned to hear form his son, Joe, that Jack's in the hospital (SOCH).  It seems he was dizzy and light-headed; they don't seem to know why.  Also called Claire E., who was sorry to hear I'm leaving and we chatted.
Called Horizon and was very pleasantly surprised--amazed and incredulous, in fact--to discover it was a breeze to change addresses and that the premium would remain the same.  Still haven't heard back from Allstate, though, about the tenant insurance or whatever it is.
Said I wanted to take my own car to the Dockside luncheon in my honor and got there at noon.  There were seven there, all friends of long-standing.  They gave me some lovely presents, including a book of postcards with some postcard stamps.  Now I must write them and I will.  We parted with many warm hugs and some tears--I get very emotional at times like this and so do they--and I drove to Bekins.  Couldn't find anyone there, called and was told I don't pay until the stuff gets to California.  Fine by me.
Now I'm in the library and still have more to do on the computer, so I'll close.  Above is only the bare bones of what I did today and if I live through it all, I'll be surprised.
Oh, BTW: yesterday (Thursday), Susan and Walter took me to Uncle Will's on Long Beach Island for breakfast and July K. took me to Mystic Casino for lunch.  In between, I know I worked my rear off with this and that, but I can't even remember what.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Whatta Day

Gawd, what a day!  I spent most of it driving here and there on urgent errands, such as getting more Tracphone minutes, receiving Walter, who brought over a fire extinguisher and carbon monoxide monitor, and zooming to Manahawkin to take Comcast's equipment back.  Called Eileen, my tenant, to see if she could come over today; later, changed it to Thursday, much better for me and, she said, for her.  Anyway, all this crapola took almost the whole day until I left for a goodbye dinner party about 4:15.
Now things started looking up:  My twinnie, Betty, Helen C., Mary H., and Muckie D. treated me at Outback.  I had steak, which was pretty good and a Blue Moon, which was excellent as ever.  We had a good time together; these three are probably Betty's besties, and I've known them for a lotta years myself.  I'll miss them, just as I'll miss a lot of others, but I must be about my new life.
Stopped at the cemetery on the way home--but to what purpose?  I don't really think Pat's "there" in any true sense of the word, but even so, I felt just a tiny pang of shame that I was leaving him in Jersey.  Silly, but there it is.
Back in Little Egg a bit before 8:00 and I stopped at the library for the third time.  Can't get along without the computer, that's a cinch.  I no sooner sat down when my friend called to ask if I wanted to go to the lake on Saturday with the darling boys, my great-grandsons.  Yay!  I was hoping I'd get another chance to be with them, so I'm looking forward to that.
The above was on Tuesday; following on Wednesday.
This was a rough one.  Went to Ocean First to get a cashier's check to deposit at Bank of America, but was advised to wait to see if all automatic payments were over first--or something.  Took the escrow check to Bank of America and opened that account.  Also deposited the check from Betty (for the dining room set) in my checking account there.  Had trouble understanding how to switch automatic payments to B of A, so will see if my son-in-law can help.
Called Humana (drug insurance) just to change my address and was put through the most horrendous, idiotic, and stupid phone call, first with a person (sort of), then with a recording.  This went on for almost an hour--beyond belief.
In the meantime, my friend was cleaning the refrig and later, she and I slaved away cleaning the rest of the house.  The C.O. guy came and said I need new fire detectors; friend went and got them and put one in, but wasn't able to do the other three.  I called Bill to see if he would or if he can give me Matt's number. 
And hey, a lot of other lees-than-pleasant things went on, I just don't feel like recording them.
I'm now at the Stafford Library--just thought I'd vary the formula from Little Egg. 

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Back at the You Know Where...

Here I am back at the library at 10:21 on Tuesday.
Because my friend's huge roll of bubble wrap (for which she paid 25 bucks) was gone, I stopped at Bekins about 8 am.  The guys who moved me were all there, but they swore up and down they didn't take it.  My friend called later and when I told her that, she figured they must have used it to wrap my stuff, not knowing it wasn't theirs.  They also taped and took away her box of other packing material.  After I leave here, I'm going to the Bekins office to see if I can get something back for it.
Walter came to put a fire extinguisher under my sink and plug a carbon monoxide detector in the wall.  I can't imagine how I lived there for 13 years without either--let alone the multitude decades I survived without them before.
Betty called to ask me to call her when the movers got there and left.  Times were 9:27 to 10:01.  Geez, they were so efficient I think I should have had them instead of Bekins.  Now I have no furniture whatever except my bed (and my buyers will pick that up on Friday) and the two stools in the kitchen and office chair, which I intend to leave.
Must get into my bank account and other things to change addresses.  May come back to virtual "here" later in the day. 

Monday, July 06, 2015

Moving Day Continues

This is the third post of the day--ha, ha!  I'm now at the Tuckerton Library at 8:18pm; Little Egg branch isn't open Monday evenings.  I'm hanging out here this late because I want to get home just in time to take a shower, then go to bed at my usual 9:00.  I figure I can have my wine and read my Kindle (still on Barbara Sinatra's bio), then be able to fall asleep.  But I'm leaving--back tomorrow, not sure what

Movers Came

Second post of the day (Monday, 7/6).  Movers came and cleared me out, more or less.  I'm bereft of my computer, so here I am at the library.  Thought I could use the tablet, but it looks like not.  Phone also out, although I still have Comcast until Friday--don't know why and will call them on my cell.  I'll be checking mail and writing in my blog at the library, but probably in a sketchy way.
My friend did a wonderful job of everything; I never, never could have moved without her help, of course.  The movers were nice guys, but they rewarded her by taking her twenty-five dollar roll of bubble-wrap.  She called Bekins and they were out on another job, so I'll go over there tomorrow.  They also overlooked a box in the garage, which I'll see if I can take over, also.
Tomorrow, Betty's movers come to take all the rest of the furniture, except for my bed, which goes on Friday. 

The Day the Movers Come

This is it:  The movers are coming in a few hours and the first phase of my five-day moving process will start.  It's going to be tough surviving without my computer, but at least I'll have the tablet and the Kindle, plus I can go to the library.
Spent most of yesterday in the packing mode, with all kinds of snafus and problems, most resolved, though, thanks to my friend.
Now people are coming out of the woodwork, wanting to take me to breakfast, lunch, and dinner--literally.  I'm meeting Betty, Muckie, and Helen tomorrow evening at Outback; Susan and Walter are taking me to "Uncle Will's," a legendary breakfast place on LBI on Thursday; and Judy and Roman are taking me to lunch the same day.  On Friday, a group of Sunrise Bay friends are taking me to lunch at Dockside.  I love to go out to eat, but I wish it was spread out a bit more widely.
My friend came about 1:00 and we got a lot more done--more of the same, of course, what we've been doing for the past several months. Drove to Shop-Rite after dinner (really, just to get out of the house), then home without stopping anywhere else.

Sunday, July 05, 2015


Still working away at that forever job, I got a fair amount of things packed.  Sent Anne Mary a thank you e-mail and got a phone call of acknowledgment in return.
My bed buyer, Katie S. and her partner, Erin, came at noon and were delighted with it.  They paid me and will be back Friday to pick it up.  I was interested to get Katie's card and find she's administrator of residential services for the New Jersey Institute for Disabilities in Edison.  They're a nice young couple and I'm glad they can use the bed.
At 4:00, I strolled the three doors down to the H.'s for the Fourth of July party.  As was true at their last Super Bowl party, I noticed that attendance has dwindled over the years. There used to be twenty-five or more people present; last night, besides the hosts, there were only eleven.
No matter, I had an okay time in a subdued way.  Food and drink were good, of course, and I was grateful there was no forced singing of anthems or (literal or symbolic) waving of flags.  The conversation, though, wasn't terribly stimulating and eventually turned to that most tiresome of topics, television programs, in this case, those on HGTV.
If I happen to run into Property Brothers (I don't plan ahead for T.V.), I'll watch it, mostly because of those eye-candy twins. However, I don't consider it--or any other program I can think of--a topic for discussion among grownups.  Seems to me T.V. is on a par with something like a hot bath--simply relaxation with little significance.  You don't discuss the temperature of the water or quality of the soap after you towel off, do you?
The party broke up about 8:00 and I was embraced and wished well by all. Hey, they're good people in the main and I'm glad I lived here as long as I did.  But now I'm chomping at the bit to start my new life and I'm not looking back.  

Saturday, July 04, 2015

A Breakfast and a Viewing

Anne Mary H., one of my more eccentric neighbors, took Susan and me to breakfast at Dockside, where she goes virtually every morning.  The experience was  pretty evenly balanced between pleasantly cordial and "get me outa here before I go nuts myself," but that's the usual with Miss H.
However, I was touched when Anne Mary presented me with a gift card to Trader Joe's, which has no store anywhere near here, but does, of course, in California.  That was truly thoughtful and may have made up for hearing about her brushes with death (they're constant) for the ninety-fifth time, plus evidence that she's unique in every way--every good and enviable way, that is.  
We parted and I ran errands until it was time for my hairdresser appointment.  Got color and a trim from Tracie.  I'm not crazy about her work, but there was no point in worrying about it, as I won't be going there again.  She wrote out my "formula," so I can give it the next hairdresser.
Went home and changed, then to the viewing for Lou G.  When he was well--not raddled with dementia, that is--he was a good guy. Maxwell's was packed and I greeted Josephine, the new widow, and chatted with a number of friends, many of whom expressed regret that I'm leaving.  As is often true at these gathering, the mood was more celebratory--in a subdued way--than somber, maybe because the attendees are relieved their numbers haven't been called yet.
Stopped at Pat's Automotive to see if he was actually interested buying my car.  I overlooked what I paid for it and he asked me to come back with a possible price.  Will do.
My friend called.  I told her it wasn't necessary for her to come today, but she will tomorrow and, of course, Monday when the movers are here.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Dark Day and the Romanovs

It was a dark, rainy, gloomy day--all in keeping with the mood I developed.
Started off by going over to tell Susan I wasn't going to walk because I wanted to rest my knee.  However, I didn't really rest it.
After listing my bed for sale on Craigslist, then Facebook (Tuckerton Flea Market), I talked to Betty a few times--she's having worse problems than I am--and called Marge to see if I could come over later to say goodbye.
Drove to the post office--by that time in drizzly rain--to mail off two more boxes to Ellen's.  I don't even remember what the hell was in them--probably nothing very useful.
From there, I drove to Pat's Automotive, as he was one of those who said he'd like to buy my car when I go. The place was open, lights on and so on, but I couldn't find anyone, so left.  Drove to Lowe's for more tape, the consignment shop to pick up what didn't sell, and to the recycle center to be told they don't take household cleaners.  I'll have to go to Manahawkin, but don't know where.
Back to Pat's and I still couldn't raise anybody, so I went home.
It was after 2:00 by then and I was hungry.  Had a message from somebody who wanted to buy my bed.  Called her back and told her I had to be paid first, so she'll bring the money on Saturday.
Doorbell rang when I was on the phone with my friend.  It was Crazy Bob and Barbara, who also wanted the bed.  Already sold, I said, and not feeling very neighborly, I didn't invite them in.  It was raining and I didn't want to mess up the house even more.
Went to see Marge and we had a stimulating visit.  She's terribly frail now, but seemed in good spirits.  As I told her, she's one of the few people with whom I can actually discuss topics like religion and nationalism without running into the stone wall of knee-jerk belief (Aline is the other, of course).  I like her husband, Fred, too. We embraced and smiled and I thanked them for being such good friends.  I know I'll never see them again and I wish it wasn't like that.
The other downer of the day came when Walter e-mailed me to the effect that the tenant's  move-in date was the 15th, not the 10th.  I had wanted the later date in the first place, but had understood it was the tenth, so arranged everything around the date.  I even got a plane ticket for the 12th.  Hey, I'll probably just let the house be idle for the extra days.  I was down in the dumps about it, but the hell with that, I'm just going to follow my original plan.
Got the lease agreement, and forwarded to my financial advisers; I haven't looked at it yet.
Literary Note:  For years, I've been fascinated with the doomed Romanovs.  Am listening to a joint bio of the four daughters and have been watching documentaries about the family on YouTube. In the past, I've read a lot about that era; always thought Kerensky was a fascinating man.  Hey, what if he had prevailed and Lenin (even more fascinating) and the Bolsheviks hadn't? And suppose the Czar and his ilk had been a tad less positive they were the centers of the universe?  And imagine the peasants had been allowed lives slightly more exalted than those of their pigs?  Would the revolution have occurred?  Possibly, but I think it would have been different in significant ways.        

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Lots More

Picked up Aline and we went to breakfast at Dockside, then of course, to view the water.  This will be the last time in a long, long while I'll see her, but we've already vowed that she'll visit me in California, probably next summer.
My friend, back from New Mexico, came at noon, and we worked all day.  Sort, pack, throw away.  Sort, pack, throw away. Sort...
The garage had me worried, but we whittled that problem down considerably.  Along with other items, we loaded my beautiful and cherished Christmas collection into her SUV, and she'll drop them at a thrift store.  Boy, did that cause a pang.  But I just had too, too much and had to relinquish.
We continued on, my friend tackling the kitchen and I my closet.  I decided to separated clothes into three areas:  The things I hung in the portable wardrobe, which I won't see until August; those I'll send ahead to Ellen's, so I'll have them when I get there; and those I'll take with me on the plane.  That was a job.
We worked until after 4:00, by which point, I was exhausted and my friend was just warming up.  She left, but will be back on Sunday and, of course, Monday, which is THE DAY the movers come.
They'll move all but my king-sized bed, which I'm not taking.  I listed it on Craigslist and hope I get a buyer.  Also looked up airline tickets; after talking to Ellen, I think I'll go on Saturday, the 11th or Sunday, 12.
Took my 1940's magazines--mostly Life--to the clubhouse and put on sign on them:  "Take one and stop back in time--FREE, compliments of (my name)."  Ran into a few friends and chatted a bit.
Oh, yes, they're generally pleasant, agreeable people and I'll miss some of them a bit, but mildly.  My life here is drawing down and I'm looking forward to the next one.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015


All kinds of things, some not so good.  Drove the hundred-mile round trip to the farm and got lots of veggies in the barn. Attempted to pick string beans, but the paths between rows were precarious and I stopped.  Dropped off her portion to my friend's house (she was still in New Mexico until last night) and drove home to try to get somebody to move the furniture I'm giving and selling Betty. No luck, plus my moving company called to say they have only the 8th--Monday!--and the 11th open.  The latter is out, so it'll have to be in just a few more days.  That also means I'll have to tell Susan the luncheon she and my other friends had planned for me for Monday can't happen--at least not on that day.
To complicate matters further, I have to pick up my unsold stuff from the consignment shop on Thursday, have a hair appointment and must go to a viewing on Friday, and the fourth of July party at Ray and Barbara's is on Saturday.
More complications:  My knee still isn't right, although it seems somewhat better than yesterday.  I hope it improves.
Met Betty and her friends for early dinner at Carabba's near Boscov's to celebrate Helen Crawford's birthday.  It was pleasant enough; I've known these ladies for a while and many came to my performances, for which I was always pleased.
Ellen called and we discussed the happy fact that gorgeous granddaughter Vivian is coming to visit her for two weeks this month.  Her dad will fly over from Singapore with her, then drive her to Ventura from LAX.  I'm thrilled about this, as it will be great fun to be with both, plus Greg.
The big snag and heavy worry is that Betty hasn't found anyone to move the dining room set and sofa.  We're both trying and I'm frantic about it.