Saturday, December 31, 2016

Friday at my Place

For some odd reason, Ellen didn't want to have me get my car after we got back from the party Thursday night; hmm, now why might that be? Dunno. She picked me up in the morning and I drove back from her place then.
I spent hours--it seemed like days--trying to send a picture from the party to my friends. I had taken one of their table and thought they'd like it, but mysteriously, I couldn't find it after I had transferred. Finally gave up, after posting and sharing a lot of pics on Facebook.
I had made a large pot of meatballs and sauce the other day, and froze them, not knowing when they might be used. Set to work defrosting, using both slow cookers and the stove. In the meantime, I tidied up the apartment, as presents, cards, and other items had been strewed all around.
Went out to Smart 'n' Final for salad fixings and a nice bottle of Chianti. Set the table. By the time Mike, Paula, and the girls came about 4:00, things were done. My pal, Patti, returned my call--I wanted to share some things about the party I hadn't put in here--and we had a little virtual visit.
Gave my company the grand tour (takes about three minutes) and they like the place--just right for you, said my daughter-in-law. Later, the other two got here and we sat down for dinner. Considering I still have the very small table--seats four comfortably and there were seven of us--this was a feat. However, the girls sat on the bench my Uncle Frank made, and Mike brought my computer chair in from the bedroom, so no prob.
We had a good dinner, then went over to El's until shortly after Greg got home. Visited with him for a short time, then parted. Nice day and there's only one more for this year.
Okay, come on, 2017, I'm ready for you!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Swelligant!

What a swell party, swell party--
Swelligant, elegant party this is!
And was! I decided to skip the manicure, so called to cancel. Niece Carolyn called to ask if I could bring some family pics of Betty and me; dug some out and packed them up. Showered, dressed, made up, and got over to Ellen's a bit before 11:00 and we took off.
The traffic on the 101, as ever, was slow in spots, but we got to the place in an hour or so. Got blocks away from it, actually, as the parking there is just horrendous. Finally got a spot, and then trekked over, Ellen carrying a huge cake from Royal Bakery here. Mike walked up and took the cake and we got to the building, a nicely old one with Art Deco decor, trudged up the stairs, and we were there.
I was worried about some of my friends, as many aren't too agile, but they were all there already--Carolyn, Nancy, Doris, Sherry, Donna, and Carole, that is, and Suzanne came later. It was so good to see my brothers: Larry, who brought his granddaughter and great-granddaughter from Riverside, and Frank, with his Marybeth. She's sadly depleted now, vague and confused, and in a wheelchair. Their two daughters, Maureen and Francine, with their families, totaled eight, and Betty, her surviving children, spouses, and grandchildren made twelve. Of course, my own seven (offspring, children-in-law, and granddaughters) were there, along with a multitude of others. I'd say there were about 70 people, a great group.
The food was simple and good: six-foot-long subs cut into manageable sandwich sizes, plus a few complementary sides. The bar was well stocked with red and white wine, beer, soda, and bottled water, and all kinds of jokes were made about the "bartenders." They were all my great-nephews and their friends, none over 16, so threats to call the cops were made. The room was decorated nicely, table covers were pretty, and each had a beautiful vase of fresh flowers, with yellow roses, on it. Huge Mylar blow-ups of "8" and "0" floated above the serving table, and gifts accumulated on the gift table. Hundreds of pictures were taken by almost everybody, and there were family group shots of all configurations.
My nephew, Wes, made a short speech referencing Ventnor, the spiritual home of this family. Mike added a bit, mentioning those who were not at the party and never would be again: his dad, Betty's husband, and dear Jay. We cut and served the cake, continued our talk and laughs, and it was so good.
We were there for hours, but finally packed everything up, and most of those outside the family left. Carolyn and Dana invited us back to their place; my brothers and those with them didn't come, as they had to go back, but a big crowd of us did. Here, the Tokyo family Skyped and we were able to see my younger grandson. Nephew Steve showed some neat videos on the TV, one from my older grandson and his boys. Betty and I opened great presents, I had some good talk--on religion, for one, with my niece Francine and her husband, and we continued to indulge in food and wine.
Some vignettes: A man named Allen, a friend of Carolyn's and Dana's, was there, and what a neat guy! He's from England, has an almost undetectable accent, and has just the quick, quirky humor I like. He took a lot of pictures, too. Mike and Paula and the girls asked Wes and his three girls over to their place to swim in the infinity pool and off they went. My neighbor, Suzanne, gave me a pretty necklace and gave Betty a lovely wooden rosary. Niece-in-law Robyn was in charge of the decorations; she had asked a few days ago if I'd wear a tiara, I said no, and she presented me with a glitzy "diamond" bracelet and ring. Actually, I like the bracelet a lot, and will wear it for real. Ellen wouldn't let me drive home from her house, so my car's still there; I'll call her later and she'll pick me up and take me to get it.
I could add a lot more here, but I won't; anyone who has been to big family parties can fill in. It's enough to say it was an occasion I was anticipating with resigned patience--I doubt if anyone yearns to be eighty unless he or she is ninety--but it turned out to be wonderful fun. It also reminded me what a very remarkable extended family I have, so here's another appropriate tune:
Lucky, lucky, lucky me...!




Thursday, December 29, 2016

Great Day in SB

I haven't the time to fully describe yesterday, so will truncate. Had a great visit and will post pictures on Facebook.
What a day! I polished off the first part of it by changing the bed, doing two loads of wash, and running out to Wal-Mart for a few items. Got to Ellen's at 2:30, the others came immediately after, and we set off to see the Singapore Four in Santa Barbara.
It took an hour to get there. We left the 101 and climbed higher and higher up into the hills. Finally got there and found a beautiful house in a truly spectacular setting. The girls were in the infinity pool and below us was a panoramic view stretching miles and miles to the ocean and the Channel Islands beyond. Just breath-taking.
We all got into our suits and joined my granddaughters. Pool was set at 80 degrees and we swam around, then slid into the hot tub--so delicious when the air turned cooler.
After, Mike and Paula served a wonderful meal of steak, swordfish, other fish, shrimp, corn, tiny potatoes, and other yummy stuff, along with wine. We ate on the deck and it was great.
We then adjourned to the living room--huge windows showing the view--and opened presents. Had eggnog (which I love, and it had a stick in it), laughed, talked, and just had a ball. I didn't get home until 10:00 after a fabulous day.
And we haven't even had the big party yet!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Mix

Yesterday was a mix. Started out a lull, not to say a dull day. I wrapped Christmas packages for son and his family and did other Xmas-oriented chores. Something happened--or didn't happen--that upset me, but I don't want to go into it here. Later, it was remedied and all was straightened out.
I bought ground meat and made meatballs with them--about thirty, in fact. Went out to get pasta and sauce and put it together. Now, will I have company anytime soon enough to serve it? Dunno, but will put in the freezer for later, if not.
Got an e-mail announcing the party locale from niece Carolyn. I printed it out and took it next door to Suzanne. She invited me in and we had a good talk. We're getting to know each other better and I'm liking her more and more. I learned that she has a master's degree in public health (undergrad in English, a girl after my own heart), is 68, and works part-time in the health and wellness field at St. John's Hospital. I won't hold the fact that she's a nun against her (JOKE!).
Mike called. They got in from Lake Tahoe and he invited us for dinner today. Sounds good and I'm looking forward to it, of course. El called to ask if I wanted to me at Jasmine Thai for dinner, and yes, sure. We four did so, and it was good, as always.
When I got home, I had a message from Jim D., Betty's old boyfriend from high school and after. Jim is a thorough Trump fan and to the right of Attila the Hun, but I called him back. I'm glad I did, because he had called to tell me that his wife, Louella, has terminal cancer. She's to get surgery early in the new year, although according to Jim, it's incurable. I had met Louella when the couple were in Jersey last year. They were about to drive back to Texas and we had breakfast together in Galloway. She seemed a very sweet-natured and pleasant person; hard to believe she's married to him, who's always been, in my experience, an incredibly bombastic, sophomoric, and pretentious jerk. However, I feel sorry for him; they've been married 58 years.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Day After

We all did our own thing yesterday. In my case, that meant catching up with housework, Christmas shopping, and restocking the larder.
I had very little food in the house, so bought quite a bit at WinCo; in fact, I had to take two trips from the car to the apartment. Also ran the loaded dishwasher, dusted and cleaned a bit, and assembled some of the presents still to give.
Went to Kohl's to exchange some things for others, then to Michael's for decorative items, then to the library, only to find it closed. However, I dropped my two books and CD off in the outdoor receptacle. I'm reading The Rainmaker, an early John Grisham, and am surprised at how much I'm enjoying it. It's about a kid just finishing law school, who gets into all kinds of trouble. If I finish it in time for the party on the 29th, I'll bring it to the birthday party and give it to my nephew, Wes, who's an attorney.
As requested, I went over to El's about 5:00. She has a bad cold and cough, but felt better after sleeping part of the day. We had the last of the leftover turkey dinner, then drove around to look at Christmas lights. She dropped me off about 7:00--fine by me, as I've been rushing through full and active days and have been sleeping like a log.
Mike, Paula, and the girls were to get to Santa Barbara late last night. I hope to hear from them today.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Day, 2016

It was a great Christmas. Got over to Ellen's a bit after 11:00, to find the other three already there. We talked, laughed, exchanged presents, then had a good lunch of turkey dinner leftovers.
Ellen and Greg went on to his mother's in Santa Barbara, and we went to the waterfront. Lots of people there and lots of walking; went on the sand to see the nativity all made of stones. It's funny that my neighbor, Suzanne, had recommended we see it, but she was sure it was made entirely of sand. Not so; clearly, it was all stone. Anyway, it was nice to see, and so were the palm trees and other vegetation.
We walked to Ventura Pier, the longest one in the area, or California, or the country, or the universe--whatever. Anyway, it had been cloudy, but then cleared up. Mike called while we were trying to park--they're still in Lake Tahoe, but are coming in late tonight; I hope to see them soon.
Shortly after we got back to my place, the Tokyo Trio called, little Mr. K. happily showing off his trains and all kinds of other things, including the blanket his auntie made him. We greatly enjoyed talking to him, then we enjoyed a pork loin dinner with some sides I happened to have on the shelf.
El and I will spend the day together today; we both still have some Christmas shopping to do--ha! We're nothing if not procrastinators.
Anyway, I got some nice things, but I don't even care about "things," just being with my children is all that counts.

Frantic, Then Fun

As soon as I had my coffee, I took a load to the laundry room and quartered it in. Ate breakfast in between transferring them to the dryer, folding, and getting back home. Mindful of the fact that the recipe on the smaller Libby's pumpkin makes the filling for a deep dish pie pan and that I had only a regular one, I rushed over to Wal-Mart at about 9:00 to buy one. Plus, of course, I didn't yet have the can itself, or the cream to whip.
What a madhouse! I grabbed a cart and fought my way though, only to discover they had no smaller cans of Libby's, just an off-brand one and--unusual for me--in this particular instance, I decided to skip that and go for what I've used the last fifty years.
Left there empty-handed and with a nervous, if not frantic, feeling I wouldn't be able to find what I needed. Went to Vons, just as crowded, and finally found the pumpkin and heavy cream, then waited in line for ages to pay. Rushed home, put the flour, salt, and sugar together, added the shortening and butter, then the ice water, gathered into a ball, and put it to rest in the fridge. Wrapped the presents I was bringing, rolled out the crust, made the filling, shot the pie into the oven, and let it bake while I showered. At that point, I called El to tell her I wouldn't make it at 2:00, as the pie had to cool. Called Sailboat Sue while I was waiting to wish her Merry Christmas and tell her I have something for her that I'll have to give her after. Pie finally cooled enough to pack it up. I took two trips to the car because of the presents, which I put in a big carrying case, and off I went.
Had a good time talking and laughing--and indulging in Chardonnay--then took a walk along the "river" bed* in unusually cool weather (I borrowed El's jacket).
We waited for Greg to get home about 6:30, then the five of us sat down to a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner. Turkey was the main attraction, plus biscuits and a delicious yam/pecan/marshmallow dish made by the other female guest, home-made cranberry sauce and gravy (some of the best "from scratch" I've ever tasted), fresh string beans, and great stuffing. The pie came out okay, although I think I over baked it a bit, and the cream stayed whipped. All this was accompanied by copious amounts of wine, to be sure, and it was scrumptious. After, the five of us played gin rummy amid lots of gaiety and more wine and stout (ugh! but some like it). I'm not sure what time I got home, but around 10:00; I haven't been out that late in years.
It was great fun and we go back today--El said about 11:00--to exchange gifts and, best of all, be together, always my best Christmas present.
*It's been dry for the past twenty or so years.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Friday

Un-friggin'-believable!
The rain, that is. It rained and rained hard most of the day. That's so unusual here and oh, yes, I know "we need it," but I still hate it, so shoot me.
My neighbor, Suzanne, stopped in to show me (on her phone) a picture of sand sculpture of the Nativity scene on the beach near the pier. She thought my company might like to see it and I was going to take them down there, but it rained so heavily, we didn't get there. Suzanne sat down for fifteen or so and we had a nice chat.
Luckily, I finished my project by about 2:00. Even more luckily, the Tokyo trio finally Skyped me while I was here and we had a nice visit. Little Mr. K. immediately said, "Merry Cwistmas" to me, and I was able to visit with him and his parents. What a precious little boy!
Went to the Cat's Cradle Thrift Store, the best around, I think. I got a wonderful jade plant (which I'll give Sailboat Sue for Christmas); two bags of potpourri, some nesting boxes (I'll put Betty's birthday gift in the smallest and she'll have to open one after another); a tiny Christmas tree pin; three small decorative boxes, and and a pink straw purse for summer. All together, they came to $9.81. Others bought things, too.
Stopped at Vons on the way home for salads, sides, and cookies, and ate at my place. By this time, it was coming down in sheets and we got pretty wet walking from where we parked in my complex to my apartment. No matter, though, we had a good time. Ellen called; unfortunately, she has a bad cold and cough, but we'll still have a good time together.
Visitors left about 7:00 and I went out to use my remote so they could get out the gate. What a pain to live in a gated community--I'd rather take my chances with the serial killers. This is Christmas Eve and I'd better run over to Vons and get pumpkin, as I promised to make dessert for our turkey dinner tonight. I already have the ingredients for the pie crust, plus rolling pin and pan, so I'm okay there.

The Day After

I spent the whole day--except for when I was at Sherry's--getting ready for Christmas. For my "project," I spread everything out on my bed and my sofa, plus more on the kitchen table, and tried to at least get some order into the various components.
Dressed for Sherry's little get-together after a quick lunch, and got over there at the stated time of 1:30. Carole and Doris were already there, and Nancy was just parking. I gave them their cookie tins, along with the "name verse" cards, and they were wowed. Sherry and Doris gave me Christmas cards, saying they would bring my birthday presents to the party on the 29th.
Nancy gave me a birthday present of a gorgeous pink rose she had painted; actually, I was with her when she bought a surround for it. I was stunned--it's absolutely beautiful and I love it; will get a nice frame and hang it up as soon as I can. I'm not absolutely sure it's the original or an excellent copy, and thought it was gauche to ask. Hope it's the former.
We watched some kind of Australian murder mystery, which is a series over there. It was okay, but the idea of inviting people to come watch television at a Christmas gathering seems to me bizarre. Sherry served soda and popcorn--only popcorn. She had alerted us to bring our own if we wanted anything alcoholic, so I did, and had a Blue Moon while I was there. Her house is very large and surely is worth a bundle, but it's also crammed and cluttered with pictures and other objects. Every flat space is taken and it would drive me nuts to live there.
We left about 4:00 and I came home to dive right back into my projects. Can't wait until they're finished!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Birthday

Such a great day yesterday, but I've got another busy one coming up, so will mostly just outline:
Called Betty at 7:00 and we wished each other happy birthday. Got a phone, then Skype call, from Mike and girls in Lake Tahoe. He had sent a wonderful rosemary tree, which arrived on Tuesday night and is now residing on my patio.
Rushed out to Michael's as soon as the store opened to get sparkly alphabet letters. Spent the rest of the morning finishing the "name verse" cards for my four friends. I was about to put them in the envelopes when I was horrified to see there was a typo on Nancy's--AAGH! I had written "she's" in a place that should have had "she." The damn thing was all finished and I considered symbolically marking it "stet" (old newspaper lingo for "let it stand"), but I dismantled, then laboriously did it over. Filled the four cookie tins with cookies from the exchange; happily, there was exactly the right amount, so I didn't have to use the extra foil-wrapped chocolate I had bought.
Stowed the stuff in the fridge, had a quick lunch, jumped in the shower, and was dressed and ready by the time I was picked up. We went over to El's and had a fine time trimming the tree. Well, they trimmed the tree and I watched. El had bought the absolutely best useless device ever: an electric thing that projects beautiful little red and green moving lights onto the walls, the floor, the furniture and any other object--think old-time ballroom device. We all thought it was absolutely magical and took pictures with it, too. I opened my "preliminary gifts" (according to the girls) of chocolate and a slow cooker recipe box, plus those from Tokyo. These proved to be a delightful card, the picture of me drawn by the three-year-old, marked "Nana's face" (blob, with random lines); a small tile of an eggplant (he picked it out); and a lovely framed picture of the family holding photos of the recent-diseased Rolly. I loved them all, of course.
About 6:00, we went to dinner at Lure restaurant in town. It was jammed, but we got seated right away and were served good seafood dinners (swordfish for me). The kiddies had secretly bought four red velvet cupcakes from Royal Bakery in town and asked the waiter to bring them at dessert time. He did, they lit candles, sang the HB song, and we each had one.
After a leisurely meal and much talk, laughter, and plans for later (El suggested we have a big turkey dinner at her place on Christmas Eve; I'll make another pumpkin pie and bring that), we adjourned for home. The others escorted me to my door and we said goodnight.
Hey, being eighty didn't hurt at all!


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Down and Up

An up and down day--or I should say, a down and up day, because it started off with frustrating problems, then improved.
First, my printer refused to scan. No error message or anything else came up, it just didn't scan (or preview) when I wanted it to. I sought help on the Internet, but the person wouldn't give me a cost up front, so I dropped it and decided to deal with it later.
Went to the post office to send the Jersey boys their Christmas present and, of course, there was a long, long line. However, you can use a machine to do it yourself. I went over there and waited while the woman in front of me took her time, then punched in the address and--it said the package would be sent to Manahawkin. What? Darn, I had the wrong zip code. I had to get back in the long line, although a man let me in front of him and the next people after said to go ahead. BTW, when I have to wait and wait in a line, I like to tell my fellow waiters that when I came in, I was 25.
Anyway, finally got to the mail person. He looked up the zip for Bordentown, but then told me there's no "Chester Street" there. AAGH! I not only had the wrong zip, I had the wrong street. Well, I'll cut it short: Called a few people, got the address, went back, and mailed the package.
After that, I went to Kohl's and Michael's and got several presents. Went home to work on the "name verse" cards for my four friends; luckily, I was able to find some plain white, heavy stock, note cards and envelopes, which is just what I wanted. Worked on them at home, but I need some stick-on alphabet letters, too. Went to three stores and none had them. Will have to go back to Michael's tomorrow.
Later, things were looking up: I was able to scan again, plus El called, then came over with others and we had a good family visit. I received a large box from son, Mike, and family for my birthday. It contains a big rosemary plant, which I'll put on the patio, then maybe plant there.
Today is my eightieth birthday. The mind reels.



Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Betty Gone

Betty and I had a good, if quiet, day. I did the wash routine in the morning while she busied herself with games on her phone, and so on. We then went to Mimi's, where Betty treated me to a breakfast of poached eggs, sausage, hash browns, toast, and coffee--yummy yum. We went from there to the post office and she stayed in the car while I went in to mail my (big) grandson's present. Yoicks, the line was composed of at least fifty people, maybe more! I took one look and decided to come back today.
Betty was anxious to go to the 99-cent store, so we went there and she bought lots of great items, including a huge teddy bear for her granddaughter (the store has a number of items that cost more than 99 cents), Christmas wrapping, and all kinds of other goodies.
I then took Betty for a little car tour of town, with some scenic views, of which this area of Ventura abounds. Home, I made lunch, then we busied ourselves with this and that. We sat on the patio, which was warm and sunny, and chatted happily. Betty packed, her daughter Carolyn came to pick her up, then we said goodbye. We'll see each other at the twins' birthday party on the 29th, and I hope she can stay over again after the new year.
Now I have to get serious about buying presents, various projects I'm into, and associated concerns.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Betty Here

Fun times!
Betty, Steve, Robyn, and Dexter blew in about 11:00 and we all settled down to chat, laugh, and catch up with each other. I served them a pretty mediocre lunch of salad and meatballs for sandwiches, along with iced tea. They said goodbye to Mom/Nana and took off. Betty and I then walked to Vons, where I got an Amazon gift card for my grandson and his boys. After, I took her to Goodwill and picked up a few minor items.
Home, Betty did some work on her phone and my computer, then we had dinner. This consisted of the Bistro MD talipia meals El had given me, and they're weren't bad. The same gift-giver called after dinner; she's feeling much better and is glad to have only two more days of work until Christmas vacation. Greg seems to be improving a bit, too, although he still has some pain. Betty's treating me to breakfast this morning.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Bonaventure

Met the gals--Carole, Doris, and Sherry--at the Bonaventure and we were treated(?) to solos by the students of some singing teacher or other. There were six of them and they ranged in age from girls about 12 to two boys about 16 or 17. One of them was not bad, but overall--well, Broadway doesn't await.
Carole presented each of us with a small gift bag, filled with a candy sled--made of two candy canes with wrapped chocolate on top. This would have been fine in itself, but she put in $10 gift cards from See's Candy, too.
Lunch was pretty good and, of course, we had some good talk; didn't leave until after 2:00. I'll see them again, along with Nancy, at Sherry's gathering on Thursday. I bought small tins for each of them and will fill them with cookies from the cookie exchange, which have been in the freezer. I also made up little verses to go with them, each line starting with the letters in their names:

N ever does she quit her knitting,
A nd never is she simply sitting,
N o, she’s paints a lovely scene,
C olors soft and so serene,
Y es, I‘m lucky she’s my pal—
What a friend and what a gal!

And so on for Carole, Doris, and Sherry. I had to fudge a little, such as with the last lines, but I think they'll get a kick out of them. I should probably make up one for Sue, also, although I don't know when I'll see her before Christmas.
Went from the Bonaventure home to change and tidy up the place, then to several stores for various things. Called Carolyn to find out where the party will be, so I can tell my friends. Called Ellen just to say hello and was sorry to hear she has a bad cold.
Betty called; she, Steve, Robyn, and Dexter will be here tomorrow. I'm trying to think of what to give them for lunch. I did just buy salad fixings and I think I'll just cook up some meatballs for meatball sandwiches to go with it.
Darn, I've been having my periodic sleep problems the last few nights. I go to bed, read, fall asleep--then wake about 3:00 am and can't get back. I know it's because I'm stressing about getting Christmas presents bought and sent in time, and I hope to remedy that before too long.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

SCAN And Caregivers

Met with Marsha and--I'M IN!
She said she loves my ideas about acting class for the target group of those over 55. We discussed the project for some time and agreed a start in February or March would be best; she wants to publicize it first. She introduced me to her publicity person (also out of Long Beach), Kathy, and said after Kathy writes the copy, she'd submit it to me in case I want any changes. Marsha also said their method of payment was not student to instructor, but SCAN pays directly. Fine by me, as long as it's a reasonable sum. Naturally, whether this actually flies depends on how many sign up. I told Marsha I'd withdraw if fewer than six signed up.
Talked to Kathy after, I found that her son lives in China, where he's academic director of a school, is married to a Chinese woman, and they just had her first grandchild, so we have lots in common.
I met Doris as I was leaving and she going in (for a focus group). Said I'll see her today at Bonaventure.
Home, I continued one of the projects in which I'm involved, then had lunch and changed for my meeting with Courtney, the program manager at Caregivers. This was an interview, as I decided to volunteer for the "phone friend" program. She asked the usual questions, along with some fun chatting and getting to know each other. I had to fill out a number of forms and will have to contact the sheriff's office to get fingerprinted. I'm looking forward to it in the new year. (Sloppy writing! I'm looking forward to the volunteer job, not getting fingerprinted.)
Home to change again, then went to WinCo for things to fill the larder. Boiled up some pasta and sauced it, then added meatballs from the freezer. I like to make my own and freeze them, but unfortunately, these were just store bought, but okay in a pinch.
Betty called and I invited her to stay overnight tomorrow and she will; she said Steve will drive her here, then she'll probably go up to Carolyn's.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Acting Class, Maybe

AAGH--I almost shot myself in the foot! Or something.
I was wondering why I hadn't heard from Marsha Meyer about my Acting for Amateurs class; I assumed she or somebody at the Ventura location would call to set up an appointment. But yesterday morning, I was just idly going through old messages and came across her e-mail. Reading it over, it seemed to indicate I should call her--said she'd be there on the thirteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth. Darn, it was already the fourteenth. I called as soon as they opened, talked to somebody in the office, then to her assistant, who said she'd tell Marsha. She called back a few hours later to ask if I could come in today at 10:30. Yes, yes, absolutely--I was thrilled I hadn't screwed it up. We'll see what she has to say and if--it's a big if--I want to pursue it after I hear it.
Betty called. She landed in L.A. last night about 1:00 am and her daughter-in-law picked her up. I invited her to come here (on the train) on Sunday; maybe I'll ask if she wants to stay overnight.
For this area, it's been miserably cloudy the past few days. I looked at the weather and saw it was 61 degrees yesterday; it even rained a few--very few--sprinkles when I was coming back from the library. Forecast says it will be cloudy today, too, but sunny tomorrow. But, hey, I shouldn't complain--this computer still shows temps from south Jersey and in Tuckerton, it's 19 degrees.
From my blog of December 20, 2011:
"One more day before I mark three quarters of a century. Am I okay with that? Hell, no."
Geez, I'd be okay with it now!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

"Paperwork"

It's hard to believe, but I spent the entire first part of the day--until almost 2:00!--on what used to be called "paper work." I went through hundreds, if not thousands, of Word documents, read several, and printed out about twenty of them. These include stories, poems, and plays in progress that I realize I can always call them up, but I wanted a lot of them in hard copy.
I also filed a lot of the above, plus other papers, and called IRS to be sure they had my new address. Called Primary Medical to make a next appointment in March; my Quest appointment for blood work is in February. I'm also working on a new project for which I need to pull together this and that, so I spent more time on that.
Finally got sick of staying in--I can't remember the last time I stayed in so long--and went to a few stores. Got three small tins at the 99 cent store, which I'll fill with cookies I got at the cookie exchange, for Carole, Doris, and Sherry, whom I'll see at Sherry's next week. Stopped at Smart 'N' Final for a few things, then went to get gas, but it was jammed, so I'll go today.
I had prepared a small pot roast by pressing minced garlic on it and put it in the slow cooker with mushroom soup. It was excllent--tender and flavorful--when I got home and I ate it all for dinner. I fairly often do this: Simply have one item for dinner, such as meat, broccoli, or a whole butternut squash. It may or may not balance out, but I don't care.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Sailboat Sue

Well, it was another active one. Got up early--5:15--did my Internet stuff, jumped in the shower and got to Michael's at 9 am. Finally, I was able to return the item without waiting in line.
Went from there to my p.t. appointment and finished up about 10:30. Picked up a few items before I changed and met Sue at Brophy Bros. for lunch at noon. After, she invited me to see the marina and boat where she and her husband live and I followed her to Oxnard.
It's a neat place and she has an almost tame duck; she just called and it came swimming over and climbed onto the dock to get the cat food Sue sprinkled around. She then called a gull that also seems to be tame--it swam over and she threw nuggets in the water for it to grab--very cute.
Sue showed me the clubhouse, which she had decorated with the wreaths and swags she had made herself. Then we went to the boat--a fifty footer, also hung with lights and garlands. I managed to get on--barely. Sue is pretty tall, but I'm not and to enter, you have to climb up three high stairs, step over, then go up again to a place on the front. From there, you step down into the interior, but it's a long, long step and I wasn't about to. Instead, I looked inside; I met one of their two cats, a truly evil-looking Tom--pure black with golden eyes. Sue opened a kind of hatch and showed me their bed--I have the idea the "bedroom" consists of simply the bed. It's way below water level and with my mild claustrophobia, I wouldn't last there ten minutes.
As we stood talking on the deck, a dolphin broke water not ten feet from us, and dived up and down several times--much fun to see. Sue also pointed out bright red starfish. I had never seen starfish that color before. Of course, there was vocal sea lions nearby, also. Anyway, it was very interesting, but as for living on a boat, uh-uh, no sir, not me.
Stopped after at Wal-Mart for a few things, then took clothes to the laundry place. As I was coming in between wash and dry, my neighbor, Sister Suzanne, invited me in to see her Christmas decorations, plus the gorgeous cream and pink rose blooming in her garden. I did, admired them, and impulsively invited her to the twinnie party. She said she'd like to come and would respond to Carolyn.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Active

An active and good day. Called Sue, who said she had been about to call to ask me hows about lunch? Sure, and we settled on Brophy Bros. today at noon. Called Carole, who had been concerned about Sue, as she hadn't heard from her, to assure her Sue okay. We talked for fifteen or so. Then called Nancy, who's still holed up with her torn rotator cuff; we talked for a half hour or more. Nance wants to go to the party and we're both hoping they all might want to go on the train.
Had an big phone argument with AT & T, which I won't even go into here, but I think it's resolved. Went out with a list of ten items, including oranges and a gold ribbon for my wreath; remarkably, I was able to get all of them at WinCo, the 99 cent store, and Walmart. Stopped at Michael's to finally, at long last, return the ornament I had gotten Greg. Darn, this time--on a Monday morning, for Pete's sale--the line stretched all the way along the front and down an aisle. This is the fourth time I've left Michael's because of the lines; asked a cashier when it might be less crowded and he said when they open at 9 am, so I intend to go there shortly before p.t. this morning.
Betty called and we chatted about this and that, including her blood test from the Mayo Clinic. El called to ask if I could pick her up a little earlier than 4:30--sure could, and I did. Took her home from school, then to the garage to get her car. We were both pleased that they didn't charge her a dime, although she had had it towed. The tow guy didn't bother to look at the battery, just said it was the starter, but all it needed was a charge (the light had been left on overnight). I guess they didn't charge because they knew it was his error.
El gave me three Bistro MD meals--talipia, as she's not crazy about it. I like it and had one for dinner.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Golden Girls Luncheon

Okay, so I had covered the two cookie pans with foil and went to cut them into bars or squares only to find it was hard to do properly, as they were sticky. Put both in the fridge and went about my business. In this case, my business was putting out some Christmas decorations--the few I have, that is. Actually, the place doesn't look bad.
Doris called and we had a long talk. She's all recovered from her fainting spell (or whatever it was) and seems to have no ill effects. Then Carole called and we had a long talk, too. She's coming to the party, I'm happy to say, and that makes eight of my friends who said they are; several more still haven't responded.
Got the cookies out and had a horrendous time cutting them. That was because they again became sticky after they warmed. Incidentally, these are really delicious, just a pain to make. Also, I realized I really didn't need to make two recipes, as five dozen is only sixty and one would have done it. So I had a number left over, which I put in the freezer.
Got to China Garden just at two to greet the others. Cheryl, who lives where I used to in Colony Parc, is the organizer and it was good to see her, as well as others. Gabrielle was already there with her usual dark persona, but she did say some good things had happened lately. I saw roast duck on the dinner menu and debated whether to order it. I finally did, as I had loved Peking duck when I was in Beijing.
Unfortunately, this isn't Beijing. It came much overdone and was tough as shoe leather. However, I ate what I could--should have sent it back immediately. Peggy, who sat across from me, had ordered it, too, and said hers was the same. I mentioned it to the server, then sought out the manager and told her. She asked if I wanted something else and I settled for orange chicken to take home, which she gave me free of charge, of course. Anyway, it was annoying, but I should have known better than to order something that would have had to be cooked ahead.
Anyway, aside from that, it was fun. There were 17 of us and each had brought enough in threes, separately wrapped, so we each got 48 cookies of different kinds. I put mine in the freezer until I decide if I'll invite anyone over to eat them.
Got home about 4:30, changed, and went to Goodwill to pick up another decorative tin. El called to say her car is malfunctioning and is in the shop, so asked me to pick her up today at school. No problem, as I have nothing scheduled, just a few errands to do.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Cookies and Christmas Party

A dreary day, weatherwise: heavy, overcast skies that threatened rain all day. I was making the Chocolate Delight Bars to take to the cookie exchange practically all day, too. What a chore! We were supposed to bring five dozen, so I made two batches. Naturally, because I was born under the wrong sign or something, I had to pick a fairly complicated recipe that involves three distinct steps: mixing and molding a kind of crust on the bottom of the pan and baking it; spreading chocolate chips over and back in the oven; beating eggs, melted butter, and finely chopped nuts, pouring that on the top and baking it. I didn't actually double the recipe in the same bowl because sometimes that doesn't work. I made two distinct batches in two different bowls, side by side. Whew! The luncheon isn't until 2:00, so I still haven't cut them into squares, but damn, there'd better be enough. If not, tough.
Got ready and went to Donna's all-day (3 pm to 9) open house Christmas party. I wore my new deep rose-red fluffy scarf, as it exactly matches a top I have. Donna invited only a few of us from the widder group; I invited her to Betty's and my party on the twenty-ninth and was pleased that she accepted. She lives only about a five-minute drive away, but on Petit Avenue, the street from Hell.
Why? Because the main Petit Avenue is bisected by the freeway and you have to take a circuitous route to get from one section to the other. Incredibly, there's a second Petit that doesn't bear any relationship that I could see to the first one. This is where she lives and I finally got there after circling around, then finally driving back to my place to check the address. I got there about 4:30.
Donna, who was widowed early, is about 52, I guess--no kids, but two enormous fluffy Australasian something-or-others dogs. Her house is very impressive--large, nicely laid out, and with beautiful patios and a backyard to die for. It was a little cool and she had a roaring fire in the fire pit outside, as well as one in the great room fireplace. Lots of good food, of course, and enough drinks (booze and plain) to stock a bar.
Anyway, I had a great time; three others from the widder group were there, plus Donna's Dad, my pal Joe, the one who graduated from Rider and is 91. There was a big crowd coming in at various times, ranging in age from, I guess, twenties to--well, yes, nineties.
It was great fun.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Interesting, To Say The Least

Well, it was an interesting--to say the least--day. Took my acting proposal and cover letter to the post office and sent it off to Marsha, of SCAN. Dressed and made up for the Caregiver's Holiday Open House, but stopped at WinCo first for various. Couldn't resist two beautiful red poinsettias which are now gracing the living room. Went home and put everything away, then drove the short distance to Caregivers.
Like last year, there was a great spread of hot and cold appetizers, plus yummy desserts, and--a civilized touch, I say--champagne and wines. Had some of the former with pomegranate in it (so delish!) and watched the short presentation. I think I'll volunteer to be a phone caller; I was told one of the people who would like to be called was Eva Gabor's stand-in--I'd love to talk to her.
From there, I had a little lunch at home, went to The Townehouse, where I was to meet Doris and listen to Dr. Wordling's lecture. There were about 150 in the audience and Doris sat in between Jan, another acquaintance of hers, and me. After Doc had spoken (on normal changes during the aging process) for about fifteen minutes, Doris said she was hot and Jan and I tried to help her take off her sweater. Suddenly, Doris slumped against me with her head thrown back and her eyes open and fixed. I supported her while I threw my arm up and called, "Dr. Wordling, there's a problem here." Doc immediately left the podium and rushed down to us. He spoke to Doris and, after a bit, she responded.
Anyway, 911 was called and the EMTs came in about ten minutes. They did this and that, then bundled Doris onto a gurney and took her off. I met them at the hospital--actually, I got there first--and stayed with her in the emergency area until 5:30 when she was released. Of course, they did all kinds of tests--EKG, chest X-ray, and so on--and it seems to have simply been a fainting episode (she said she had never had one before).
I drove her back to The Townehouse to get her car and she was able to drive the mile or so home.
Although it seems not to have been caused by any serious problem, but it scared the hell out of us for a time. I'm glad she's okay.

Friday, December 09, 2016

More Done

Got a lot accomplished, although not walking at Kimball. I had on my mind the proposal about my acting class that Marsha from SCAN asked me to submit. I had no idea how to write a formal proposal--geez, I had most of the pertinent information in my letter and resume--but looked it up and at least approximated the proper format.
Changed the bedclothes, added a few towels, then trucked them down the path to the laundry place. Cleared up a lot of the stuff I had in the bedroom, namely pictures. I've finally decided I'll have to somehow get rid of the paintings that were my mother's. Only one is an original, of a bowl of flowers, and it's pretty, but it doesn't seem particularly necessary to keep. The other is the "dog awaiting his master's return" one, probably from the twenties. Seeing it was one of my earliest memories of the house on Rosborough Avenue, but I have so much else, it's gotta go. I put them and some others in my trunk until I decide what to do with them.
I put together a Christmas decoration for my front door. On the plain, but attractive grapevine wreath I got at the thrift store, I added a red velvet stocking with a gold "R" (bought after Christmas at BB &B last year for a song) and other decorations on it and put a little stuffed doll (also thrift store; 60 cents) in the stockings and it actually looks pretty nice.
Then I sat down to write the proposal which took several hours. I got most of it finished before my hair appointment at 3:30; hair looks pretty good--I had color and cut. Finished the proposal after dinner and will send a copy to Marsha in Long Beach. Maybe I'll e-mail her one, too--can't decide.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Busy

Another busy one. Unfortunately, it didn't include walking Kimball. I drove there and it was so cold, I just couldn't subject myself to a mile and a half. If I had a warm coat or jacket, I certainly would have, but I don't. One of these days I'll buy one.
After breakfast, I worked up an invitation for the Twin Party and e-mailed it to my friends. So far, three have already responded in the affirmative and I do expect others. Actually, if they all came, it would be seventeen people, just of my friends; however, I doubt if they'll all come.
My older friend, Joyce, e-mailed me back that she was afraid to open the attachment. Since I was going to the library, which is near her place, I told her I'd stop and give her a print one. I did, she invited me in, and we chatted. She also gave me a bag of tangerines that grow on her own tree in her own yard. I'll never get far enough away from Jersey not to be wowed by that.
Got gas, picked up my RX from Wal-Mart (I was amazed it was only twelve bucks), then traveled on to the library. For a change, I picked up two fiction books--both by Lawrence Block. His have continuing characters--a hit man named Keller and a woman who arranges the hits. I know that sounds pretty raunchy, but he writes well and goes into psychological depth, and it's well done.
Stopped at Vons on the way home for more chocolate chips and chopped nuts, as I'll be making two batches of cookies for Monday. If it makes the "required" five dozen, fine; if not, the hell with it, I'm not making more than two batches.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Lots of Running Around

Walked Kimball, then spent most of the rest of the day running errands and straightening out snafus.
Humana sent three letters saying my doctor had refused providing a new RX, so I went to Primary Medical and discovered the original RX was from Jersey. Doc here finally faxed RX to both Humana and pharmacy.
Picked up a little birthday present and card for Greg at Barnes & Noble, then stopped at Bed, Bath & Beyond for microfiber cleaning cloths. I saw these on YouTube and had to have them; I want to use them on the bathroom sink.
Started working on the invitation to Betty's and my joint birthday, but haven't heard from Carolyn which phone or e-mail she wants to use. Got a reply from Marsha Meyer, director at SCAN, about my letter offering my Acting for Amateurs class. She wants to see an outline and further explanation, which I'll have to pull together.
Went to p.t. and, as ever, Tori really gave me a workout. I like it, though, and like her, and I think my balance is improving. I canceled my appointment for Thursday, as I just have too much to do; substituted a date with Amanda to have her color and cut my hair.
Went to Meineke to have my windshield wipers changed--to what purpose, I'm not sure, as it never rains--and called El while I was there. Said I wanted to give Greg his give and she invited me to come over after dinner.
I did so after I had wrapped Greg's gift. At their place, Greg offered me some of his newly made apple/raspberry dessert, something like a crisp, but not as sweet. It was very good and he liked my modest little gift (two Christmas tree ornaments about three inches high, with "diamonds" shaping "G" and "E").
I just finished Augusten Burroughs' new book Lust and Wonder and impulsively wrote my gay friend, Grey, to say hello. Somehow, although he's gay, Jewish, and younger than my older child, we bonded when we were in various shows together. Heh, heh, some of my childhood friends would have the vapors if they knew of our discussions--or sprinkle me with holy water, maybe.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Walking and Widder Dinner

I'm happy to report I'm back at Kimball. Walked the mile and a half and am glad of it.
After breakfast, I took a deep breath and contacted Horizon of NJ to say I was dropping them as of 12/31. Was told I had to send a FAX. Called Humana (RX) and got that dropped. Went to UPS and sent the FAX. The preceding took the entire morning--what a hassle!
Lunched, then drove into town to a few of the thrift stores I like. Got a decorative box for the closet and a basket, but mostly just looked around.
Niece Carolyn called to tell me more plans for Betty's and my joint birthday party. If the guest list isn't too large, it will be at her house; otherwise at a rented place on the beach. We had a long talk after that about various family things. I'll invite the friends I have here and they can respond to her.
Jumped in the shower after that to get ready for the widder group dinner. It was okay, but the service at Marie Callender's (not exactly a high-toned restaurant in the first place) was, as usual, abysmal. There was only one server for twenty-something of us and it took an age to place orders, then get our meals. I know they have Blue Moon on tap, which is my usual, and ordered that--server came back to say they were out of it. That's the second time in the last few months this place has run out of Blue Moon. Either it's a lot more popular than I thought or the bar master doesn't know how to order. I then switched to Shock Top and shortly, server came back to tell me they had run out of that, too. What the--! My third try was a Modelo; this is a Mexican beer that I used to order at Yolanda's and I like it okay. Server brought it and there wasn't even the hint of foam on top. I complained, she asked if I wanted to send it back, but since my meal (mediocre fried shrimp) was in front of me, I decided to drink it.
Anyway, a so-so dinner, but fun with cronies. We had the ornament exchange and I ended up with a candle. Since I won't have my own tree, that was okay, but I could have given an ornament to El. The candle is in a silver holder and when I got home, I discovered it's badly tarnished. Obviously, Pam and Chuck, who brought it, didn't buy something new--pretty tacky and I may just toss it.
It was fun to see everybody, though. I gave Vera the ornament of the white cat tied up in lights, then recited the little verse I had written for the group. It went over well and Vera was touched. I think I'll invite her to the party--I already invited Donna, but will send invitations via e-mail.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Fun On A Sunday

What a fun Sunday! I got to Ellen's at 10:00 and shortly after, we left for Ojai. We had an early lunch at the Hip Vegan--yum! Of course, no meat or meat products, such as cheese, eggs, or dairy products are used, but it was very good. I had a "burger" made, I think, with ground cashews and lots of other things, on a vegan roll and with a good salad. El had an avocado wrap and I intend to try that next time. Avocado, tomato and other veggies were wrapped in what I think is called "nori"; it's very thin--in fact, you can see through it. Greg had a "burrito" made with rice, beans, and so on.
The place itself is very basic, almost spartan, with simple wood tables and chairs; one wall consists of a giant blackboard and menu items are written there. I was intrigued to see "Vietnamese coffee" listed and I just had to ask if it was authentic. The young woman server said yes, but then I explained that I had brought coffee back from Vietnam. It was very good, but some of my friends wouldn't drink it after they found out its rich flavor is achieved by feeding the coffee beans to weasels, then harvesting them when they're--uh, ejected in nature's way. The girl laughed at this, but assured me that wasn't the case with the Hip Vegan's coffee.
After that, we drove to a lovely park. Gregg, who recently has had back problems, rested in a pavilion while El and I took a short walk. Later, we stopped at another park to walk and talk, then went to The Rainbow Bridge, a pricey supermarket where I've been before. I'm always bemused by its name, considering that "crossing the rainbow bridge" is a euphemism for death.
We drove back to El's and Greg went out while I sat with iced tea in the patio and watch Ellen plant two new jasmines in her garden. They look nice and I'm toying with the idea of actually planting something in my patio instead of having pots. However, I'm not that enthusiastic about gardening if it takes a lot of work, so may not.
Today, Mike my youngestchild, is fifty years old. It's incredibly hard for me to grasp that.

Bonaventure Again

Got up a little after 5:00 and had time to make a big salad before I was due at Bonaventure. Got there at 10:00 and found that I was mistaken about the activity: This wasn't the North Pole thing, it was the holiday boutique thing. I bought a few overpriced little goodies, some for presents. Also bought for myself a great fluffy scarf in one of my favorite colors, deep, deep rose. Sherry, Doris, and Carole got there and we browsed around. Lunch--hot dogs, hamburgers, salad, soda, brownies--was served outside. It was a bit windy, but okay. I asked the three if they'd go to Santa Barbara for my birthday party on the 29th. They all enthusiastically said they would, so I'll have them sent invitations, along with Nancy, Sue, Gabrielle, and maybe Joyce and Donna.
After that affair, I went home to change, then to run the multitude of errands that somehow accumulate when my back is turned. I exchanged the sneakers--oh, I forgot, they're called tennis shoes now--I had bought last week for a half size larger. Also bought two pair of fleece-lined tights (although, come to think of it, I haven't wore a skirt for about a year, so when will I wear them?) and got other stuff. I must remember to get new windshield wipers at Meineke and make appointments for the new blood work and doctor's visit.
Gabrielle called in the evening, agonizing over whether to go to the Golden Girls of Ventura next Sunday or not. It's supposed to be a cookie exchange and we're supposed to bring five dozen--gawd! I already have the ingredients for one batch of my chocolate delight bars, but maybe will have to make two (or maybe just cut them smaller). She also wanted to chat, which we did. She's a very "down" type; I think she's chronically depressed, but I try to be patient and friendly and never, never, give her any unsolicited advice. Anyway, she's daunted by the cookie situation and may or may not go to the luncheon next Sunday.
Ojai with El and Greg today.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Holiday Party

Showered and dressed and got to the BCNN Holiday party before 11:00. I was determined not to wear red, so put on my deep purple top with matching jacket in purple and black, along with the necklace I bought several years ago right off the neck of the artist who made it. I was the first of our group to get there and staked out a table for Sue, Nancy, Carole, Doris, Sherry, and me. Two other women sat with us, but they arrived very late.
The party was at the Wedgewood Country Club and was nice enough, if not particularly memorable. Champagne flowed freely and you could add orange juice to it for a mimosa--or not. I had two glasses with and two without. Four glasses might sound like a lot, but of course, they held only a few ounces and I was eating, so just got a slight enjoyable buzz.
The entertainment consisted of a young comedian, a guy named Brian or Something Love. He was okay, but this took place before lunch and we were all hungry at that point. Finally, we ate--buffet was roast beef and the usual sides; carrot cake for dessert, not one of my favorites, but of course, I ate it anyway. After that, the president (can't remember her name) took it on herself to go to the microphone and read selections from two hoary and tedious Christmas tales--the Wales one by Dylan Thomas and the southern one by Truman Capote. Why she couldn't come up with something more original and less tedious than those two, I don't know. Anyway, it was finally over.
The high point for me was from Sue: a shawl--in purple because she knows I like that color--which she knitted and gave me as an early birthday present. She also gave me one of the Christmas balls for which she knits a kind of wrap; she had several with her and let me pick out my own. I chose a pretty red one with gold beads.
It broke up about 3:30 and I went home to change, then to a few places to get a few items, including some Christmas stickers to put on the little card with the verse I wrote. I'll put it in with the ornament for the exchange on Monday.
I had gotten a PM from niece Carolyn inviting Betty and me to ask any of our friends to our joint birthday party on December 29. Called El, who couldn't remember exactly where it will be (in Santa Barbara), but Carolyn will let me know. El was at Greg's mother's house, also in SB and I asked to talk to her ("Roz"). I invited her to the party, and will send an invitation, too. El, Greg, and I made a date to go to Ojai tomorrow for lunch and whatever else.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Mundane Stuff

Ran around a lot, as usual. Just remembered I'm going to a luncheon with the Golden Girls and we're doing a cookie exchange. Still can't find my recipe box and I wanted to make chocolate delight bars, the recipe for which I've had at least forty years. Without much hope, I went on the Internet and yes, there was the recipe. Went to Ralph's supermarket to get the chocolate chips and finely chopped nuts for it; found the chips, but although they had every kind of nut imaginable (some walking around the store) in three different places, none were finely chopped. Found them at Vons.
El called to say she had to take a friend to the hospital for a slipped disc (I think). She'll probably have to go to Santa Barbara today with the friend.
Called JoAnn at California Blue Shield, just to be sure I'm enrolled because I just paid for Jersey Blue Shield, which I'm dropping and I took the automatic recurring payment off my bank account.
Speaking of that lousy financial institution, I stopped there to get twenty bucks worth of quarters for the wash and waited twenty minutes on line. The manager came up to ask if he could help, I complained about the wait--as I have innumerable times before--and several other people online chimed in. Everybody talked about how it's always, no matter what day or time, these long, long waits. I hate BOA like poison, and had considered switching to the credit union in town, but am daunted by the hassle changing my on-line banking.
Went to p.t. at 2:30 and had a pretty strenuous session. I do think it's helping the balance thing and besides, I actually enjoy doing it and like Tori, my therapist. From there, I went directly to the library; took back the Bob Crane book and got a new one by Augusten Burroughs. I've read several of his and he can be outrageous, but I like outrageous sometimes.
Somebody I know (not a relative) just celebrated her twenty-ninth year of sobriety and put that on Facebook. Lots congratulated her, as I did, and she wrote "I guard my sobriety...I know I have another drunk in me, but I may not have another sobriety date." Wow, what a neat way to express that!

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Various Doings

I am absolutely bound and determined to get to the end of going through and organizing family memorabilia. I finally finished the second to last container and now have just one to go. These are already semi-organized; now I just have to find a place to store them.
So I spend the better part of the morning doing that. I then remembered I had promised Vera I would set up a better sign-up sheet and so on for Soaring Spirits (or, as I call it, the widder group), and I switched to that. I'm still not finished, as it's more complicated than I thought it would be.
Put it all aside to meet Nancy for a lobster and steak lunch at The Black Angus. It was okay, but of course the lobster was frozen and I wouldn't be surprised if the meat was, too. Neither were particularly tender, but they were okay and Nancy and I, of course, chatted away. We'll both be at the BCCC holiday lunch at the Wedgewood Country Club tomorrow, as will all my friends except Gabrielle. She, I'll see the Sunday after next at the luncheon with Golden Girls of Ventura County.
Also coming up is the Bonaventure this Saturday--it's some kind of holiday program plus lunch--where I'll meet Doris. Then there's Dr. Woodling's talk at The Townhouse on Friday, after which I may or may not stay for the wine and music. Finally, Donna is having a private party on the tenth at her home--open house from 3:00 on.
I was toying with the idea of going to the museum for a TEDMED speaker series today, but I just got up at 7:15 and it starts at 8:00, so I won't.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

This and That

I got up at 12:30 for the usual, then couldn't get back to sleep for what seemed hours. So I just got up at quarter after eight--darn!
Yesterday, I had p.t. at 11:00. Tory gave me two new exercises--ugh!--but I'll do them. Of course, she also had me do various other strengthening maneuvers. I like her alot, so I try to do my best with following her instructions. Stopped at WinCo for a few items and at Bed, Bath & Beyond to return the curtain rod I found I can't use with the verticals.
Lunched, then I took my clothes to the laundry place. After I retreived, folded, and put the, away, I hopped in the car and drove to the library. (Just as I suspected I'd be, I'm already uninterested in Audrey, so I took her bio back without opening it.) I had been notified that the book I requested, the historian Chalmers Johnson's The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic had come in and I was glad to pick it up. Johnson died a few years ago, a great blow to pacifist intercourse. Also picked up Christopher Reeve's Still Me, which I've read before, but like. Reeve grew up in Princeton and, as the world knows, suffered a riding accident that left him a quadriplegic. Maybe I'm interested because I lived near and had an office in Princeton, so I'm familiar with the area. Also, my cousin had the same injury after a car accident.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Doctor and So On

Didn't walk because I had a 8:45 doctor's appointment. This was just to go over blood work, most of which is good, but darn it, Doc doesn't like my blood sugar level. I forgot to ask her what it is; if I'm not mistaken, 120 used to be the level that one was called diabetic, then it was lowered to 110. Anyway, I have to get another blood test, just for that, I understand. Also, I stopped taking vitamin D, but she said my D is down, also B12, so I should take those. What a drag. I hate going to doctors because they seem to always come up with one negative thing after another. However, I mentioned about when BP was low and she said it was no problem.
Breakfast, then went to take a jacket back--too small, I'm afraid--and to pick up salad dressing and paper products. I had taken part of a beef roast out of the freezer and put it in the fridge overnight. Now I rubbed it with garlic and put it in the crock pot. Pared and cut two red potatoes, chunked some onions, and combined the three with mushroom and onion soup. Made a big salad and had it for lunch.
Nancy e-mailed, asking me to call her, as she had mislaid my new number. I did and we had a long talk about the movies we both love and the stars we like--or did when they were alive and in their younger days (Audrey herself, Jack Nicholson, Natalie Wood, Cary Grant, and so on). Nancy owns B. at T.'s, plus lots of others, which she watches often on the DVD, sometimes for several hours. I don't have a player and don't want one; I can't imagine sitting inside watching movies in this glorious climate--or any other climate. Anyway, she asked if I could go to The Black Angus tomorrow, as they again have their sirloin (or some other steak) and lobster special. Sounds good and that's what we'll do.
I got some financial stuff in shape, including writing out a check for a co-pay for Primary Medical. Stopped at their office on the way into town and dropped it off, then proceeded on to the library.
As often happens, I got interested in Audrey Hepburn after the movie and picked up her bio. I'll read it--or part of it--before I lose interest, which could be any time. I'm still into the Bob Crane (Hogan's Heroes) book written by his son, which is newly published; I find it absorbing--mildly absorbing, anyway.
Had the pot roast and sides for dinner and all was yummy.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Breakfast at Tiffany's

I didn't even attempt Kimball, considering how cold and windy it was. Occupied myself with this and that, half-hoping Sherry would call to cancel. She did call to cancel, but lunch only, saying she's had a bit of tummy trouble. That was fine by me and I said I'd pick her up at 1:15, which I did.
We got there with no problem, entered the movie theatre, and saw fifty-five year-old Breakfast at Tiffany's.
Aside from Mickey Rooney's offensive comic portrayal of the Japanese artist, I greatly enjoyed it and so did Sherry. Katherine Hepburn was simply a beautiful young woman and George Peppard suitably handsome and suave. Actually, I had never seen the movie before--somehow missed it when it came out--and I was enchanted.
Of course, suspension of disbelief was absolutely necessary for a variety of reasons. One was "Holly Golightly's" accent. We find out in the middle that she was born and bred in the south, yet she speaks in kind of quasi-British, hybrid continental tones that's anything but cornpone. She's also barely making it financially (and the movie dances around the idea that her income is from prostitution) yet she has a wardrobe you'd kill for, perfectly executed makeup, hair, and nails, and her apartment is in a brownstone building that, even in those days, must have been affordable only for the relatively well-off.
I understand that Truman Capote, who wrote the story on which it was based, was furious at the movie, in which the ending is changed for one thing. I found the story on-line--the whole thing is there for the taking--and read a few pages. Yes, indeed, it's a different thing entirely; maybe I'll finish it later.
Dropped Sherry off and called El, who came over shortly after I got home. She hung several pictures for me and--happy day!--moved my new chest to where I wanted it, back next to the desk and in front of the wires. Slowly, slowly, my snug little place is shaping up.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Memorabilia and Other

Well, I didn't even attempt to walk yesterday, it was so chilly. If I was back in Jersey, of course I would have stopped for Susan and gone, but I had warm outerwear then and I don't now. It was cool enough so I had the heat on overnight and for most of the day. It actually started to rain in the afternoon; that's so infrequent here, it almost seems a crime against nature.
However, I had plenty to do with the continuing forever job of getting pictures and other memorabilia in order. I'm now not at all sure I can fit it all in the two filing cabinet drawers I had reserved for them, but I have an alternate plan for the spillover.
I took a break long enough to go to Smart 'n' Final and get oranges and other produce. Once home, I seeded, sliced, and roasted the two delicato squash (squashes?) I bought at Trader Joe's. Also cut up a big onion, sauteed it with sliced mushrooms and garlic in coconut oil, and put the result in the freezer. I have some ground beef in there, too, so next week, will combine them and cook it up for dinner.
Betty called and told me more about her trip to Cuba sixty years ago. Fascinating and the pictures Wes put on Facebook are wonderfully historic.
El called; she wasn't able to get here yesterday, but asked me to call her after Sherry and I see Breakfast at Tiffany's. She'll come over after to hang some pictures and help me move my new chest.

The Weather and Ornaments

Went to Kimball, but again was driven back by weather conditions.
Ha! You'd think it was a blizzard or something here in southern California, but it was just chilly and very windy. I walked a bit up the path to the clubhouse, but just looked around and didn't stay.
I was determined not to be a Black Friday shopper, but stopped on the way home at Wal-Mart (it was before 8:00, so not crowded) to pick up a birthday card for Mike*. Happened to see a light jacket, liked it, and bought that, too.
Had breakfast, then wrapped Mike's gift and took it to the P.O. Later, I drove into town and stopped at a thrift store I often check out. I don't usually find anything I want, but yesterday, I came across a light chest of drawers, which will be perfect to put my printer on. Cost? $8.99. Also picked up a few small Christmas decorations, including an ornament for our widder group exchange, a ceramic cat entangled in Christmas lights. When I got home, I composed and typed out a little poem to go with the ornament.
I had meant to save for dinner the turkey and sides El had sent home with me, but couldn't resist them for lunch. Yummy. Spent time taking copy paper and other computer-related items out of the grey plastic drawers and into the new chest. El should be here today, I hope, and will help me get the stuff transferred over. Slowly, slowly, slowly, my snug little apartment is shaping up.
*Mike, my youngest, is turning 50 on December 5. How in the world did that happen?

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving

Didn't walk, although I could have. I got up at what's now my usual: 5:15. Thought I'd put the ingredients together for the pie crust, but hey, guess what? I didn't have any flour. Went to Vons on the next block and got some.
Combined the ingredients for the crust, then put it in the fridge, as instructed. Did a few household chores, then got the dough out and rolled in; put it in the pie pan, combined the pumpkin filling ingredients (luckily, my cinnamon, ginger, and cloves were all still potent), poured it in, and put in the oven. Roughly an hour later, I took it out and boy, did it smell good.
Left it cooling on the rack while I showered and washed my hair, then dressed and assembled all the pie, whipping cream, vanilla, and so on, and high-tailed it to Els's, arriving about 2:00.
Greg had thought it was better not to expose his mother to Ellen's cold, so went from work to Santa Barbara. He called to check in while El and I polished off a bottle of pinot grigio--the good stuff and boy, what a difference from the cheap stuff!--and discussed politics, extra-terrestrials, and so on. It's so much fun, and so absorbing, to talk to her not as mother and daughter, but as two friends do.
Anyway, the turkey and sides were delicious and I got plenty to take home. Left about 6:00 after a fairly quiet, but so enjoyable Thanksgiving. Yes, I have plenty to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

A Variety

Walked Kimball. Spent an inordinate amount of time choosing and sending out e-cards for Thanksgiving. This is the first year I didn't buy and send, at least to the children, but I just forgot about it. It was kind of fun sending the electronic kinds.
Went to Vons for shortening and unsalted butter for the pie crust, plus whipping cream for the topping. This is so easy to make--even with a whisk, but especially with a hand mixer, I don't know why people settle for the ersatz stuff.
Got a communication from the bank to the effect that my tenant (who sends the rent check directly to my account) had put the correct amount in numbers, but had written it out as six hundred dollars less. I know from my long-ago days at the Ventnor City National Bank, that if there's a difference, they use the amount written out. I know this was an accident, so I'll send Eileen a copy and a letter of explanation, then she'll send me the extra.
Oh, good grief! That last sentence is a good example of old-lady thinking. Correction: I'll scan the letter and send it as an attachment to Eileen, along with an explanation.
Worked on the play for a few hours. I'm trying to solve a knotty problem that needs fixing, but I think I'm getting it. There's nothing so absorbing to me as writing; damned hard work, but more satisfying than anything else when I get it right.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Busy

Busy day. I skipped Kimball because my p.t. appointment was for 8:00 am. Got there and was really put through my paces. Tory (or Cory or Laurie--I just cannot remember her name) had me on "the reformer," which looks like a medieval torture machine. This, in various configurations of my body, is to strengthen my leg muscles. It was hard work, but I got a real sense of accomplishment after.
Home for breakfast, then I changed the bed clothes. A few days ago, I bought a new pillow and I put that on. I'm not sure I'm going to like it--I like flat, not puffy ones--but I'll try it.
Took two full loads to the laundry place and put them in. While they washed, then dried, I sorted some more of what seems to be my bottomless supply of family pictures and memorabilia. I had made some headway, then it was lunchtime, then time for the Blue Shield of California person to come. I met her at the visitors' entrance and we walked back.
I liked her a lot, as I did Joanne. Speaking of the latter, she was being discharged from the hospital yesterday. I had assumed she had had a car accident, but no, it was a freak accident at a home. She had told me she had a client before me and that's where she was when she fell down the second step of a sunken living room. Besides a sprained wrist, she suffered a serious concussion; in fact, she has some cognizant problems. For a time, she couldn't remember her name, the year, and other things. However, Nicolette said they were told she should recover before long. Let's hope.
I signed the papers, then walked Nicolette to her car. Because I can't stand to stay in all day, I jumped in the car and drove to the library. Had a pleasant time among the books, took two back and one out. Zipped into Five Points and got my little blue beauty washed.
El called after dinner to say she had a cold and we may or may not got to Greg's mother for Thanksgiving dinner. Whatever they decide is all right with me; I'll still make the pie.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Filing and Dinner

I walked Kimball; it was a little cool, but I wore slacks and it was pleasant.
I decided to change my health insurance to Blue Shield of California and called rep Joanne to tell her. She said she had an appointment that should be over by 11:00 and she could come after. I agreed that was fine. However, I waited and waited. Finally got a call from the company to say Joanne had been in an accident and was in the hospital. I was so sorry to hear that, although I was told she was recovering. Person said someone named Nicolette (I keep thinking her name is Nicorette) could come at 2:00. I said fine, put it on my calendar, but no sooner hung us then I realized I had written it for tomorrow (Wednesday), but couldn't be sure if she said that or today. Tried to call back and, incredibly, kept getting a busy signal. Oh, well, will try again shortly.
Went to Bed, Bath & Beyond and got a spring curtain rod; not sure it will fit over the verticals in my bedroom, but I'll try.
Other than that, I spent several hours continuing my organizing chore for the filing cabinet. Now, I'm going through the multitude of pictures, letters, newspaper clippings, and so on to try to get them in shape to file. Sometimes, I wish I had been left on a doorstep.
Showered and changed for the monthly widder dinner. There were only seven of us there, but that made for a good, convivial group. Before others got there, Donna asked Carolyn and me for our e-mail addresses, as she's going to invite us to a Christmas party. Great, and I'll go. I ordered stroganoff, but took most home and will have it for lunch. I volunteered to make up a membership info on Word, since it doesn't make sense for each of us to write all our information on a sheet every time we meet.
Have a p.t. appointment at 8:00 today.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Standing With Standing Rock

I dressed warmly, drove to Kimball, and walked my walk. I was glad after.
Breakfasted, showered, then dressed again warmly, and made my way to the courthouse at the county complex. Got there a few minutes before noon, but there were already a number of people gathered. I hadn't make a sign, but a young woman was kind enough to tell me she had several and she gave me one of hers. It said, "Water is Life," and I held it the whole time I was there. I took it home and intend to put it in my window.
We lined the sidewalk where Telephone and Victoria Roads come together, the busiest corner in town. Most of us held signs and we were elated when passing cars--and there was very heavy traffic--blew their horns in solidarity. We flashed them the peace sign and yelled happily.
About 1:00, we gathered around a bricked circular area with memorials and flag poles and listened to an elder of the Apache tribe tell about the struggle against the pipeline. A young woman in native American costume moved around the circle with a stone bowl containing something burning with sacred smoke. We all gestured to bring the smoke toward us. Six Indians from different tribes, dressed in beautiful traditional garments and headdresses, did several energetic native dances, accompanied by a drummer. I was amazed to see that one dancer was surely my age or older--a man, very small and thin--and he danced as vigorously as the others. After, we went back to the sidewalk to wave our signs. We cleared a space for some of the dancers, so those in cars could see them. It was so gratifying to hear the many horns signaling us.
My Facebook friend, Jake Donaldson and I had planned to meet there and we did. He's very good-looking: fairly tall, slender, with heavy dark hair. I was surprised to see how young he looks, considering he's been in practice (family physician) for seven years. We had a good talk, then separated and moved around the crowd. My legs were starting to bother me a lot, as I had been on my feet for two and a half hours. Jake and I found each other again and I told him I was leaving (the demonstration was scheduled for noon to 4:00, but I couldn't last that long without sitting down). We said goodbye and I went off.
Stopped at Wal-Mart to buy a pie pan and rolling pin, then went home and gratefully put my slippers on. Thawed some frozen shrimp for dinner and had just that, plus grapes.
A fine day, and I'm glad I stood with Standing Rock.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Busy And Productive

Well, I tried.
To walk Kimball, that is. Got up at 5:45 and finished my usual by 7:00. I had noticed there was something odd about the weather, but it didn't fully register until I got out of the car at the park: It was chilly! It must have been 45 or cooler and there was a brisk wind. I got right back in and went home. I'm a wimp and now, I'm just not used to such weather. I actually turned the heat on when I got back. A few hours later, though, it warmed up nicely and I turned it off.
I was going to call Betty after breakfast, but she beat me to it and we had a good chat. Sherry called to say she'd like to go to the showing of Breakfast at Tiffany's next Sunday, with lunch. I re-sent the invitation to the rest of my friends, so maybe others will go, also.
Spent the rest of the morning completing my filing chores, sweeping and swiffering the floors, and generally straightening up. Joanne from Blue Shield of California, came about 2:00 and laid out the plan. I'm definitely going to switch. Yes, it's an HMO, so I have to use "their" doctors (it just happens that my primary is one of theirs, anyway), but I've never understood what the problem with that is. I don't want my doctor as a buddy, or a kindly father figure, or a surrogate son. Assuming a modicum of fellow feeling, any competent doctor is fine by me.
The big draw is, of course, financial. The premium for Blue Shield of California is $0 per year, as opposed to the $2131 I pay now. Yes, there are co-pays, but they're minimal: $5 and $10. Co-pay for hospital stays are high: $320 a day, for five days, but nothing thereafter. The rest of the information was agreeable and I'll go with it. I'll switch my automatic payments to my savings account and that's all to the good.
Called El to see if she could stop in and look at my printer. She did and did this and that, I did this and that, and happy day, it works.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

T.O.P.S. and Other Stuff

Got up at 6:00, but didn't walk because I had to assemble the deviled eggs for the T.O.P.S. covered dish. I stuffed them with Greek yogurt combined with some of the yolks, plus various additions, such as salsa, guacamole, and tapenade. Arranged them on lettuce leaves on two square, segmented trays I have and took off.
I didn't think I could eat much that early, but the spread was so delish, I managed. Entrees included corn casserole, tiny quiches, lettuce rollups, sliced turkey, various greens, and much more. There were also dessert dishes, such as cranberry fluff pudding, pumpkin mousse, mixed fruit, and so on. Was it low-cal? Well, they were supposed to me and mine was, but I'm not sure about a lot of the others. Anyway, we had a good, convivial time.
Left about 10 and pulled in to have Patti Manager come up to tell me my filing cabinet had some. I had told them not to come until after 12:00, but they ignored that--just as well. Patti sent maintenance person Javier over and he was kind enough to remove the cabinet from the packing crate, take it inside, and even put it in the closet where I wanted it. I tried to give him something, but he refused to take it. What a nice guy.
Anyway, it was a bitch trying to get the handles on. Little tiny screws held them on and it was just impossible to get them in, partly because I didn't have a Phillips screwdriver. Went over to Wal-Mart to get that, plus hanging file folders and a few other things. Also took my BP, which is still low--108/73. Not sure why.
I spent several hours digging out papers, labelling the files, and putting them away. I am just delighted with it and will probably use only the top two drawers for paper. That way, I hope to put much of my memorabilia in the bottom two--yay!
I finished up about 3:30 and was about to go to the library when Mike called on Skype. Adorable Violet was there, plus Snickerdoodle and Malibu, the kitties. It was 7:30 am there and Paula was still sleeping; the nanny/maid was bustling around. Vivian was at a swim meet, but wasn't scheduled until later, when Mike would go. That night, he and Violet were going to a "sock hop" for daddies and daughters that her Girl Scout troop was having. We had a nice virtual visit and I'm looking forward to seeing them next month.
I changed all the ink in my printer and now it won't work and comes up with an error message. Tried all kinds of things and it still doesn't work. Darn! I appealed to Facebook friends and hope somebody comes up with a solution.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Lots of Here and There

Walked Kimball, had breakfast, then dived into my extensive to do-list. That included calling A.T. & T. to trash them about sending me a bill for $105.70. Wouldn't you know, they charged me for service from October 21, when it supposed to be turned on, instead the actual date? Plus, they managed to overlook the day-long problem when I had no service. After a great deal of shouting (on my part) and oily apologies (from the rep), I was told they'd give me a "courtesy discount" for my inconvenience of $80, so I have to pay only $25. This is a lot less than it really should be, as the bill included installation and so on, but hey, I'll take it gladly. (BTW, this blog comes in handy not only for keeping track of one's health, but in situations like this. I recorded my phone problems, so was able to refer back easily.)
Called TD Auto, where I have my car loan. For some reason, although they have my correct address online, they sent me a bill with the old one. Straightened that out, but not without an inordinate amount of time on the phone.
Hard-boiled a dozen eggs in preparation for the T.O.P.S. covered dish this morning. I'll complete making the lower calorie devilled eggs before I leave. Made a few other calls, then jumped in the car to:
-take the two-drawer cabinet back to Target
-get Greek yogurt at WinCo for stuffing the eggs
-buy a desk calendar for 2017
-stop at the post office to see how much a certain gift will cost to send; not too bad
-get gas
-go to Staples for a full array of printer ink, which set me back--guess...
YES! $83, which is just about what I saved from A.T.& T. I think that's very funny.
Or maybe it's a sick joke.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Active and Varied

Again skipped my walk, but this time I had an excuse: I was due at the Council for Seniors meeting at 9:30. Had breakfast first and got there a little early.
I was surprised to be asked (by chair Suze Montgomery) if I would take over the vice president's spot, as John (Somebody) has had to resign for health reasons. I agreed and will take office in January. My friends Doris and Sherry were there and we sat together.
The meeting was pretty good, as it included new info from the county government. Program was by a young woman from Caregivers; she was recruiting volunteers to visit the elderly, and so on. One of these days, I may volunteer, but not quite yet. I remember niece Carolyn had invited me to an open house Caregivers had given last December. Carolyn is a grant writer, who does work for them and the other woman at the meeting said she knows her.
After, I chatted a lot with a new member who's in "the arts"--I think he teaches children. Also met and talked to Suze'es husband ("John?"), who is in the Ojai acting company and is quite a talker. And egomaniac, I'm afraid.
I went directly from there to the movie theatre where I met Nancy for the 12 noon showing of Sully. Considering my fear of flying, I wasn't sure that was a good idea, but actually, I loved it. Tom Hanks was his usual excellent self and I was impressed by the concept and the writing of the movie. Those components of a movie are often overlooked by the audience, but this was superb in both areas.
We got out at 2:00 and we went right over to the Black Angus. Got teriyaki sirloin and a 16-ounce Shock Top (next best to Blue Moon), plus sides. Had a fine time talking and talking; Nancy and I are now very comfortable with each other and I consider her a good friend.
Didn't get home until close to 4:00 and, as usual, was dismayed that the sun was already waning. Ran out to try to get printer ink--went to Wal-Mart, but they didn't have what I want--I'll have to go to Office Max or somewhere today.
Speaking of Office Max/Office Depot, they've now made my Worst Companies To Deal With In The Universe List. Went online to order a filing cabinet and was pleased to see there was a $25 off coupon. Hey, great the cabinet would now cost $125 and change, instead of $150. Filled out all my info, got to the "place your order" page and could find no way to apply the coupon. I called the number and was on the phone for a good half-hour trying to straighten it out. There's no sense in recording details, except to say I think I finally got it straightened out and the cabinet should be delivered tomorrow.
I was delighted to get a call from my dear friend, Aline B., just before 9:00 last night (her time: midnight!). We had a fine talk for about an hour and caught up with each other's goings and doings. Aline is an opera devotee and introduced me to it, in fact. She travels to Manhattan about twice a month, as she did last weekend. It was great hearing from her.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Here And There

Bad Mimi didn't walk yesterday. Well, I walked, but not the circumference of Kimball. My mammogram appointment was at 10:30 and I got up a little late and by the time I...
All right, I just didn't feel like it. Went to my appointment, then to WinCo for romaine and tomatoes; made a big salad and had some for lunch. Went to Wal-Mart to see if I could find a drapery rod thin enough to fit under the valence of the verticals in the bedroom. Couldn't, so I'll have to re-think my idea to darken the room.
I thought about putting the two-drawer filing cabinet--which is still in my back seat--on a table in the closet, but have now decided to take it back and get a four-drawer. I looked online and found one I think I'll get; it costs three times as much of the other, but it should be more satisfactory. Called El to tell her that. I hope I can get the larger one delivered free of charge.
Got a call from my niece, Carolyn, and we had a good talk. Also was called by Blue Shield of California and finally decided I'd let the rep come here. I'm not at all shore it'll be to my advantage to switch plans, but I might as well find out.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Sailboat Sue

A varied day. I walked Kimball, had breakfast, changed the bedclothes, did the washy-dry-ie thing, then sat down for lunch.
After, went to the library to pick up Huxley's Brave New World and some essays about him. Stopped at Target to get the filing cabinet I was planning to buy. I remembered it was upstairs in the office supplies section and went to the escalator, but--
--there was no escalator because I was in the wrong Target. I had driven right past the mall and to the other Target on Main Street! Darn. Drove back and got the filing cabinet. One of the employees put it in the back seat and, as we had decided, I called El and left a message so she could get it into my apartment (it's only a two-drawer, but is pretty heavy). I had hardly hung up when my friend, Sue, called to say she had been the hospital since Saturday, but had been released and she had no way to get home. Her husband, Mac, couldn't pick her up because he was sick (besides, he's in the early stages of Alzheimers). Of course, I told her I'd be glad to get her and left immediately for Community Memorial.
What a hassle trying to park, but I finally got a valet in the garage and went up to her room. They hadn't gotten her papers together yet, so we sat and talked for a half hour or so. She had had some internal problems--to be delicate about it--including bleeding, but it seems not to have been diagnosed as anything in particular. We went down to the lobby to find my car parked right out front--great, but where were the keys? No prob, the front desk had them and we took off.
Sue lives in Oxnard, right next to Ventura and we got to her boat slip with no problem. Mac came out; I've never seen anyone who looks more like Santa Claus with his snow white hair and long white beard, except that Mac is slender. Said goodbye and off I went.
When I parked in my spot, my upstairs neighbor came in. We introduced each other--his name is Bernard and he's from Kenya. I told him I had met his wife and two little girls the other day, and was surprised when he told me they lived a few streets away. Presumably, he and Lillian are separated or divorced. Anyway, it was nice to meet more of my neighbors.
It turns out that Brave New World is just as boring as I remember it, I'm afraid, and I'll be skipping around in it. What a contrast to my new fav, Bill Bryson, whose Shakespeare/The World as Stage was enthralling, as all his books are. I just finished it and took back.
Nancy responded to my suggestion that we see Sully today, saying she couldn't, but how did tomorrow look? Looks fine and we'll go to the noon showing, then have a late lunch.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Blue Nails

Walked Kimball, plus followed my usual pleasant Sunday routine. Cleaned up a bit, then went to WinCo for provisions (you'd think I lived in a cabin in the forest). Called El, who was in Ojai with Greg and, since she said she was making a mani-pedi appointment, I asked her to make one for me, as I've been meaning to get a pedicure. Showered, then we met there ("Jessica Spa") and had an enjoyable chat while our tootsies were beautified.
For the first time in my life, I had my toe nails painted something other than red or pink; I chose deep blue. Why? Because it matches my bathing suit and at the pool is the only time I ever show my nails. (I have no sandals, but hope one day to buy some.) Anyway, my feet look a bit as if they're developing gangare, but it's kind of cute.
We chatted about Thanksgiving, for one, and will not go out for it again this year. We talked later and will go to Greg's mother's new house in Santa Barbara, bringing the dinner components. I said I'd make the pumpkin pie and cranberry relish. Of course, I'll do anything else, too, if needed.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Up

Whee, I'm out of my slump. As mentioned, I got up at 6:00, did my usual, then left to walk Kimball. After breakfast, returned Florida brother Larry's call of Friday. We had a nice talk; he said Helen was sitting next to him with color on her hair which daughter Karen had applied, then went out to get hamburgers! Funny. Right after, Betty called and we chatted. She's coming out on December 14 and will stay until the middle of January. Did this and that, then showered, washed my hair, and dressed for the affair at The Bonaventure. I can never remember if it's an assisted living or an independent living place. I've been there often and most the residents seem pretty independent, but I think it's AL. This was lunch and "a travel program." Someone from there had called to invite me--I realize they'd like me to move in--as they do fairly often.
As we had planned, I met Doris there at 12:30 and we sat down for lunch. There were several choices and we both had sausage with peppers and onions, a vegetable medley, and mashed sweet potatoes, along with salad and coffee. Really good and we greatly enjoyed it. I was surprised that Doris and I, as far as I could see, were the only guests.
After, there was ice cream in the activity room, then a video (the travel part) about those who came here on the Mayflower. Very interesting, actually, and it showed the part that native Americans contributed. It was just long enough and made for a very enjoyable day.
Before we left, I noticed a big mock-up of a check on an easel in the entrance foyer. It was a check for a thousand dollars made out to "resident," with the notation "referral" on the bottom. Hmm...maybe that's not a bad idea for attracting clients. What do you think, Faithful Reader?

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Down and UP

Sort of a down day.
Went to T.O.P.S. and found I had gained a pound. The meeting was okay, though, plus I finally decided on what I'll bring for the potluck next week: devilled eggs. I'm going to skip the yolks (or most of them), use light mayo and things like salsa, guacamole, olives, pesto, and so on to stuff the hard-boiled whites. That should bring them down in calories.
I didn't walk, I'm afraid. Had a hard time sleeping Thursday night: Went to bed at my usual, read for a half hour as usual, then fell asleep. But--I woke up at 2:00 am, then couldn't get back to sleep. I think I dozed off and on, but finally got up at 5:00, still tired.
I put a pork loin in the slow cooker with mushroom and onion soups and prepared a butternut squash, which I had for lunch. Spent an unfortunate length of time on Facebook, which I sometimes wish didn't exist.
Went to Trader Joe's, then Vons to get the eggs, light mayo, and etc. (see above) for next week. Hard-boiled four eggs, so I can experiment with them. Had some of the pork for dinner and it was excellent.
I don't know why, but most of the day, I felt out of sorts and at odds with the world. I hope this blue mood lifts.
Note: Okay, things are looking up: Slept through the night and just got up at 6:00, and feel much better. That's what a good night's sleep will do for me.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Quest and Phone Calls

Ugh--I read this over later and realize there are a number of typos. I'm not going to bother to fix it, but will just mention that Andrea was a the park, not Quest.
woke again at 5:00, but knowing I could have coffee (black) before my 8:00 blood-letting, I was okay with. Did the computer stuff, then took off for Quest. Hardly had to wait and no prob, but then I was asked for a--well, a sample of one of my bodily fluids (I'm so coy I can hardly stand myself!) I hadn't realized I needed to provide one, so asked to take the vial with me.
I now consider myself a candidate for sainthood because, instead of going home and back again, I drove down Kimball to the park and did my walk. I then went back to Quest and was able to--uh, do what was needed. Andrea, from Community Hospital's Healthaware was there and took my pressure. I was surprised and a little alarmed that she remarked it was unusually low--96/70. I have the record of when she took it other days and it ranged from the one twenties and one thirties at the top to seventies, eighties, and nineties on the bottom.Af
After breakfast, I made a salad for lunch, then went to the library. Stopped at Wal-Mart to use their BP machine. The first number was up to 117--can't remember the second. I hope that's okay and will check it today again.
Got an e-mail from my dear friend, Marge, asking for my phone number. I sent it, then called her and we had a warm talk. She says she doesn't get out much, but she sounded strongly and a bit more cheery than she had. Margie will be 90 next month.
I then called another nonagenarian I love, my brother, Jim. Thanked him for the picture of us on the beach in 1937 and caught up with his and Therese's doings. Jim is just a few weeks younger than Marge.
Speaking of phone calls: My phone rang at 8:30 pm, which surprised me, as hardly anyone calls me that late. It was Jimmy Downes*, who--I thought--had sent me a PM on FB (these damn initials!) that I had "missed his call." After talking to him, I have the impression he didn't know that information would appear, but I guess all these things are connected or something. Anyway, we chatted for fifteen or so and that was okay.
I was pleased to get responses re my questioning of why people voted for Trump from Trish O'N. and her husband, Al. What they say may or may not be logical or consistent--neither are the reasons for voting for Clinton, as a rule--but I think it's important to know. I have sent the request to three other people whom I know voted for him, and hope they'll respond as well.
*Jim was my sister, Betty's, longtime boyfriend at HSHS and later. He graduated in '55, the year after us; lives in Texas.