Saturday, April 30, 2016

SCAN And A Bargain

My niece, Joan, called and told me the good news: Her younger son, Jeremy, and his wife, artist Katherine, are going to have a girl baby in October. So good to hear; Joan and her husband, Jim, had been good friends with my friend in New Mexico and her husband; they hike and do outdoorsy things. We were all at Jer and Kat's wedding in upstate New York two years ago--on June 21, the same day I was married. So our extended family, just the direct descendants of my parents, continues to grow.
Showered and washed my hair before going to the SCAN lecture and got there early. Dr. Wording was in the break room and I asked if he was taking any new patients. He said yes, then "stay healthy." (It was only later I thought of saying, "but if all your patients stayed healthy, you'd be out of a job.")
I'm really on the fence about changing doctors, but I like Primary Medical less and less. I had called the office about getting a tetanus booster on Tuesday; I wasn't terribly worried, but I had stabbed myself with the box cutter--very lightly, but it bled--and I was worried it might be contaminated. Of course, the assistant said she'd have to ask Dr. Jennings, then get back to me, but here it is Saturday and I never got a call back. Anyhow, I'm mulling it over and I like Dr. Wording's talk. Unfortunately (for me), I'm sure, just from a few things he's said, that he's pretty right-wing. Of course, his political beliefs, I suppose, shouldn't have any bearing on it--and who the hell knows, maybe Dr. Jennings is to the right of Bush, anyway.
The lecture was on sleep and insomnia and pretty interesting. I knew Carol and Doris wouldn't be there this week and I sat with Dolly, the one whose late husband was a physician. She said they met in college--Northwestern, a good school--and we talked about how we used to smoke and so on. It was over a bit after 4:00 and I went home and changed, chopped up onions, green peppers, and shallots, stir-fried and added ground turkey. Tasty and I have enough left to put in sauce and have over pasta.
Went out after to get garlic, but wanted to listen to my talking book longer, so drove down to Ralph's near Ellen's. It's next to one of the Goodwill stores and they were having a 50 % off sale on furniture. Just out of curiosity, I stopped in and saw a floor lamp for $9.95. This wasn't a torchiere, but it was similar to one I had had in the study in Jersey and had abandoned. I had always liked it and, as I just wanted something to light up that side of the living room, I laboriously carried it to check out. I was told it was $9.95, I said no, it was half off, as I consider it furniture. The manager and I debated and he finally said if he gave it to me for five bucks, it couldn't be returned. "Agreed!" sez I and carried it out for a fiver.
Went next door to Ralph's and on the way home, who did I see but Ellen and Greg right behind me. She drove next to me and I said I'd call to explain, which I did.
Today, I was told I'd see the Tokyo Tot on Skype at about 3:00 my time. Yay, I can't wait!

Friday, April 29, 2016

This 'n' That

Time Warner and I made up, more or less. They called in the morning and here was the problem: My payment had been put on my old account from when I lived on Britten Lane because I had the old account number on my bill pay account. I don't know why it wasn't their responsibility to change it, as they knew I had moved from one apartment to another, but I didn't even ask. They applied the payment to the right place and it's straightened out, which is all I care about.
Got some housework and other computer stuff done. Put my medications in my seven divided pill containers. Ran out of sleep aid and went to Wal-Mart for more. Trader Joe's is in the same shopping center and I went there for garlic. Annoyingly, they had only already peeled, which I would have bought except it was ridiculously expensive, plus a number of them in a large net bag. I like garlic, but use it only every week or so, and that was too much. Went elsewhere and got shallots, instead, plus lettuce, then went to the P.O. to send off yet another envelope to Singapore.
Took myself to the park on Poli (Street) and sat in the sun to soak up the D. However, it's been very windy--maybe the well-known Santa Ana winds--and since the park is high up (hence the lovely view of the Channel Islands), I was almost blown off my chair. Didn't stay as long as I had planned and stopped into the downtown Goodwill just to look around. Made a real find: A wooden container, half-moon shaped, with a lid and a ship motif on the front. It's perfect for storing paper towels and I was pleased to find it.
I foolishly fell for the free offer to upgrade to Microsoft 10 and now I can't get to my Big Fish Games, my pictures, and other things. It tells me I can go back to 7, but I need my password and I've had it so long, I don't remember it. I'm afraid to try to go back, because what if it doesn't work and I'm stranded? Will have to see if El or others can help.
Got a call from Jeanne Dollard Painter last night and we had a nice chat. Her milestone (ugh!) birthday is coming up in a few weeks, mine in December. I'd just as soon skip it.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Gidget and Consignments

Things went along well yesterday, aside from an annoying blip: I was just about to leave for the Wellness Expo at Cypress Point Independent Living when the electricity went off. It was only for a few seconds, but I thought it was Time Warner getting back at me for a late payment. (That's such a boring story I won't go into it.) Anyway, I went to my car and pulled out my cell, called TW and they didn't know why--. At that moment, the phone went dead. Aagh--it's a TracPhone and I had forgotten to buy minutes! Vons Supermarket is near Cypress Point, so I drove there to get a phone card. As I tried to walk in, a clerk told me the electricity had gone out, so nothing was working. Oh-h. Here, I maligned Time Warner unjustly, but I'm sure they're guilty of something.
The wellness thing was the usual: Tables set up to remind one that one is getting older, maybe frail and nutty, and will need caregivers, of which the area seems to abound. I was amused by the fact that there was also a guy there selling grave plots--geez, they don't have to be quite that graphic. Anyway, I picked up the usual giveaways--pens and stuff--and met up with my pals, Carol and Doris.
At 11:00, we went into the great room and heard--believe it or not--the original Gidget, who is now 75-years-old. Her real name is Kathy Kohner (now Zuckerman) and when she was 16, she started surfing in Malibu. She was one of the few females in the sport and she did it, of course, for the same reason we used to go down the Ventnor beach: to meet boys. Her father, a screenwriter, wrote a little book about it, which was picked up by the studio who made the movie starring Sandra Dee. Later, it was turned into the T.V. show with Sally Field as Gidget. I hadn't known it, but Kohner wrote a number of sequel books, such as Gidget in Hawaii, Gidget in New York, and believe it or not, Gidget Goes Parisian. Several of these were turned into B movies, starring various teen actresses, all of whom seem to have disappeared without a trace.
"Gidget" just spoke off the cuff, in a somewhat disjointed way, but that added to the charm. She had brought a number of blowups of herself surfing, on the beach, talking to Sandra Dee, and with her father; these were shown around by others. Anyway, it was quite entertaining and I enjoyed it.
Lunch was served at tables in the courtyard and it was very good. I thought it was genius to skip the buffet and give everyone a covered plastic container with the entire meal in it. That included a turkey wrap (with pesto--yum!), a very tasty salad with walnuts and raisin, and a napkin, knife, fork, spoon, salt, and in sealed plastic. It was an excellent lunch, and much less messy than the usual.
I cut out before the drawing for the room-sized (or whatever it was) T.V., as I hadn't filled out whatever it was you were supposed to. Went directly home to get out of my "going out" clothes and change into summer stuff, as it had gotten quite warm. Went to the library and took back Arthur Schlesinger's and Jackie Kennedy's oral history disks and looked for a bio of A.S. They had none, which didn't surprise me. Picked up one on Sergeant Shriver by his son.
On the way home, I impulsively stopped at One Mo' Time consignment shop. I had had a number of items in my trunk (in bubble wrap and cloth) for some time, but had never gotten around to showing them. This time I did, to the proprietor, a very nice person, nicknamed "Bobbi," maybe 70 or so, with lots of golden curls on her head and, unfortunately, tears in her retina. (We chatted a lot.) Anyway, she skipped a few of my things, but took seven items, including that damn huge picture of boats in Vienna or somewhere. (At the consignment shop in Manahawkin, where I sold a number of things before I left Jersey, the owner specifies what she or he wants for the item, but also is asked to give a lower figure for what they'd take, if a full offer wasn't forthcoming. Incidentally, I sold almost everything in Manahawkin, most but not all at the higher price. At that shop, the split was 60/40, but I just don't remember who got what.)
At One Mo' Time, Bobbi sets the price and it's a 50/50 split, which is fine by me. What's left I'll first see if one of the historic houses wants them; last resort, I'll reluctantly donate to Goodwill.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


I think I developed a few muscles yesterday. I was determined to get at least started on all my shifting/changing operation. To that end, I first moved everything off the bookcase in the bedroom. It's incredible how much I had on it. Only the top shelf and parts of the second held books; the rest stored all manner of small electronic components, note paper and greeting cards, a paper cutter, and so on and on. Little by little, I carried all that into the living room, then collapsed the bookcase and leaned it against a wall. Vacuumed where it had been and now came the hard part: getting the new bureau into the same space.
Of course, I took out all five drawers first. It was still too heavy to carry (I could barely lift it), so I inched--or "walked"--it, slowly into the bedroom.
Now I met with an obstacle--literally. The bed and the computer desk form a space maybe 18 inches wide, big enough for me to get through, but not big enough for the bureau. What to do? I finally hit on hoisting the bureau (sans drawers) onto the bed and sliding it over, then carefully guiding it down to the floor.
It worked! I put the drawers back in, then had the delightful task of transferring my clothes to them, from the pipe-and-canvas shelves arrangement in the closet. Took the latter out, put the bookcase in its place, and continued the yet another forever job of putting all the stuff somewhere.
I had had winter hats, scarves, and gloves hanging in the closet in a kind of canvas divided--well, hanging thing. Wha' fo'? I probably will never need them here, but I'm not ready to get rid of them. I hit on the expediant of storing them in my suitcase, which is stored in the closet on the patio. Put my shoes in the hanging thing and that worked out fine. I switched a lot of other items around, too. At that point, I decided to quit for the day. I had had a folding TV table in the closet, plus some books with which I decided to part. Put them in the car and dropped them off at Goodwill.
I'm far from finished. I'm going to have to decide what to do with what's left on practically every flat surface in the place. I also have to somehow get the pipe shelves to El's. I'll try to do it myself, but am not sure if I can. I know she's okay about helping, but I don't want to ask unless I have to.
In a few hours, I'll be off to a "Health Expo," where the original Gidget, now a 75-year-old, is the featured speaker. That strikes me as hilarious. Will we be encouraged to take up surfing? Ha!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Busy, busy, but with domestic stuff.
Did two loads of wash at the laundry place, with the usual back-and-forth routine. I'm so used to it now, it doesn't even faze me. After, I was just about to vacuum (little scraps of things were still on the floor from unpacking the box the other day) when the doorbell rang and darned if it wasn't my new bureau! I tried to persuade the delivery person to wait 'til I opened it to see if it was damaged, but he wouldn't. However, I unpacked without too much problem (I have experience) and it's okay. I very laboriously moved it off and away from the broken-down box and, taking three trips, took box, foam, and paper to the dumpster.
Right now, the bureau is in the dining area, but at least is out of the way. To get it where I want it, I have to move several different things--some to Ellen's, some to other places in the apartment, and so on. It's a big job; I'll start it today, but who knows when I'll finish.
I screwed the drawer pulls in, which is all it needed, as it comes assembled. It sure isn't fancy and is anything but the beautiful antique highboy I got from my Aunt Claire. Unfortunately, that became damaged, so I left it on the curb in Jersey before I moved. I still regret not having it fixed and keeping it, but I just couldn't handle that with everything else going on at the time. My new bureau is just a plain, white-painted wood, utilitarian chest with five drawers to which I won't form any sentimental attachment, but will serve its purpose.
Vacuumed and cleaned up here and there, then went to Michael's and got another over-the-door wreath hanger. I transferred the red wreath I had in the kitchen to my bedroom door, and put the round, rustic wooden thing (that's the official name, "thing") in the kitchen. Looks good.
I e-mailed my new friend, Leatrice (it rhymes with "Beatrice"), then we talked on the phone and made a date for early dinner at Jasmine Thai for Friday, May 6. My New Mexico friend returned my call; I knew she and hubby were taking off with their RV yesterday. Yes, they had just started off when she called. They won't get to Jersey until September, as they have a long list of places to see and things to do in the west, mid west, and middle of the country. What a fabulous adventure they're starting and how I envy them! I'm so happy for her and so proud.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Lunch and a New Friend

I wasn't quite sure I wanted to go to the Golden Girls lunch, but decided that, since I had responded in the affirmative, I would. Got there at the stated time of 12:30 to find Cheryl (the organizer, plus my neighbor at Colony Parc) and several other women. By the time everybody had come, there were 23 of us. I sat next to Gabrielle, whom I've been with before and Isabelle was there--she's also a member of the widder group. As it turned out, I was glad I had come; there was good talk and good food. More important, there was something I've been looking for: a new good friend: Leatrice.
Leatrice is originally from Boston, is vegan (very slender, natch), was divorced twice, has no children, and lives in town. I'd say she's in her early seventies and she has very short, salt and pepper hair. When she heard I"ll be conducting an acting class in the fall at the Adult Center, she expressed great interest in it. She is an occupational therapist and still works two days a week. We walked out together and starting talking--and talked, and talked, and talked. Almost immediately, we realized we liked and understood one another. We exchanged quite a bit about our lives and pasts, not smoothing over anything or covering emotional turmoil. We stood outside talking for a half hour or so, and exchanged phone and e-mail information. I know I want to see her again and she feels the same. Brought up Catholic, she is no longer religious. (I'm not sure how close I could be to someone who is.) However, she follows Buddhism, which is more a philosophy and way of living, I guess. Although she's very articulate and certainly very intelligent, she told me she fears speaking in public and hopes my acting course might help. I hope so, too. I'm going to send her a message now and suggest we get together.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Fashion Show

Quite a day again. Got to Penney's at 9:00 where I met up with Chris, who had agreed to come in an hour early to color my hair. I greatly enjoyed talking to him--young and energetic and full of good cheer. I think he did a better job on my hair than others--anyway, it looks good. Got home, had lunch, changed, and set off for The Avenue a little before 1:00.
Geez, what a disorganized outfit they are. I was told the fashion show was from two to four and had been asked to be there at 1:00. Why? I have no idea, as I just hung around a bit, then went out and looked around the rest of the shopping center. When I went back, a few more models were there (there were seven of us all together), so I chatted with them. I secured a dressing room--they have only four--and asked if my purse could be put in the back somewhere, maybe the employees' break room. It occurred to me that if customers were trying on clothes, I didn't want my purse out. I was assured customers wouldn't be using the rooms during the show--absolutely untrue, as a woman did indeed, come back during the show. However, a salesperson did take it and put it in a locker, so that was okay.
It finally rolled around to 2:00. I was the first one to go out and show off my outfit. It consisted of gray Capris, a turquoise shirt, and a white jacket, with off-white, studded canvas shoes. It made quite a hit with the--very sparse, I'm afraid--audience. I pirouetted around and got a hand of applause, then went back to put on my dressier outfit. This was very nice: white, jeweled-neckline top, black pants, and a terrific blue and white over-blouse. I also wore turquoise and silver earrings and a silver bracelet.
The "fashion show" really didn't last from 2 to 4; I think it was over about quarter of three. I didn't see Ellen there, either, so changed into my own clothes, decided not to buy anything, as it's pricey and, in truth, the only thing I liked enough to buy was the dressy outfit--but where would I ever wear it? Okay, maybe I'll go back another time and get it.
I was getting in my car when El drove up. She had thought the "fashion show" would be on until 4:00, as I had told her, and was sorry to be late, but no biggie. We went back in, as she was looking for something to wear to the Cinco de Mayo festival at school, but didn't find what she wanted and decided to look in a shop in Santa Paula. I went with her to a small shop owned by the parents of one of her math students. The little girl was there--very cute. El found a beautiful blouse, with large and colorful flowers embroidered at the scoop neckline, and bought that.
We went back to her place while she folded laundry, then to the Two Trees Cafe for dinner. We both like the place, although it's very noisy and sometimes, is so crowded, we leave. This was early, though, so we got in with no waiting. Had a nice meal, then El drove me back to get my car.
Today, I meet for lunch the Golden Girls of Ventura County at The Spaghetti Company. After that, I'm going to be glad for some down time!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Bureau Finally Gone

The saga of the chest of drawers continues. To be very brief: No, UPS didn't come between 9 and noon. I called and was blandly told they had no record of that time, but they work until 4:30--BUT I WON'T BE HOME THEN, I bellowed, then it'll have to be Monday, I was told. AAGH! I went angrily off to the SCAN meeting, stomping past the huge box in the middle of my minuscule living room.
Went to the SCAN thing--Dr. Wooding on Mental Health for Seniors, which was actually pretty interesting. Dr. W.'s delivery is entergetic, his anecdotes so amusing, and his language frequently salty--what could be more entertaining?
Sat with friends Carol, Doris, and Jean, all of whom I'm getting to like more and more. I'll be seeing them on Wednesday at a kind of health fair at Cypress Point Independent Living. I also met a woman named Dolly something and we hit it off right away. I guess women our age--the majority of whom are widows--always exchange what happened to our husbands right away. Dolly's was a doctor, in fact, did his residency 50 or so years ago at Vertura Community Medical where I had my transfusions. He was playing poker when he had an aneurysm, just what carried off Desi. The other players were doctors, too, and they got him to the hospital right away, but not soon enough, I guess. Anyway, I liked Dolly and invited her to come to a widder dinner and/or lunch; will give her the information next week.
It's remarkable the resources offered to senior citizens here. I could probably go to something every day, plus evenings, if I wanted to. However, I'm selective; there's no point in going somewhere just because it's there and I do have a fair amount of other things to do.
Lecture wasn't over until after 4:00, then I went to the supermarket. Started chopping up onions for dinner when the doorbell rang about 6:00. Guess who? The UPS guy, of course, and don't ask me why I was told they only work until 4:30 because I don't care. He loaded up the box, gave me a receipt, and left.
Finally, that's over and now I'm back to square one, waiting for my bureau.

Friday, April 22, 2016

To Frustration and Back

Damn! I was so excited and happy about getting my bureau--really chest of drawers--and I decided to unpack it. This isn't as easy as it sounds. The box was shipped whole, not in pieces, for which I was pleased--clearly, all I had to do was screw on the pulls. However, the box itself was formidable. It was almost as tall as I am and very heavy-duty cardboard. I had to use a box cutter AND long knife, plus rip, tear, pull off, remove foam panels and so on--took me a good 20 minutes and lots of elbow grease. Finally, though, I was able to get the back of the box off. Happy day! I pulled the bureau out a little and--AAGH! Saw a large, ugly gash right on the front top edge!
I had ordered it through Amazon from an outfit named Lang Furniture in Wisconsin. Called Amazon and after this, that, and the other, was told I'd have to re-box and UPS would send it back. But I couldn't repackage it by myself. I called Ellen, who came over after picking up more tape. Happily, she was able to repack it, with just a little help from me. Called UPS and they're supposed to come today between 9 and noon. Oh, and I was promoised a replacement within two weeks. Guess I'll have to continue to put my fine plans for the apartment on hold.
In between all this, I got dressed and went to the Aging Well thing. It was okay--not great--but I saw Suze Montgomery, the mover and shaker of all things senior in Ventura--I'll explain that some day. I had sent her an e-mail telling her I'd like to help in some way on a subcommittee--we'll see after I talk to her.
Lunch was donated by Rotary and consisted of hot dogs and hamburgers, overdone to shoe leather, plus condiments, boxed, truly dreadful "macaroni salad" (pasta slathered with mayo and nothing else), bottled water, and cookies. But so what? If it wasn't gourmet, it was edible (I'm tempted to add "barely"). I saw Carol and Doris from the SCAN gatherings and told them I'd see them at the next one this afternoon.
The two woman I sat with, Donna and Norma, both intend to vote for Trump. The latter lady, especially, seemed to the right of the aforementioned gentleman, and assured me Obama is a Muslim. She proudly announced she gets all her information from Fox News; aside from that organization, God is her guide (it was unclear which she trusts most). Donna seemed more intelligent and was certainly more articulate. She said she's in a little older women's group that meets at The Cave (Ventura Wine Co.) Friday evenings. I'm considering going, but I don't have a lot in common with the two I mentioned, so do I really want to? Not sure, but will decide later.
I am looking forward to the doctor's talk at SCAN this afternoon. The two I met last week, Carol and Doris, seem more simpatico to me. But that's just it: Do I want to restrict myself to those whose ideas and beliefs reflect mine or do I want a variety? We all give lip service to the idea of respecting those different from ourselves, but in actual practice, we really like to hang with those like ourselves. Human nature, I guess.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Lots Going On

Got to the Ventura Council for Seniors meeting at 9:30 and learned I've been named to the organization--I assume as something like member-at-large. I'm not yet sure what, if any, the duties are. The meeting was okay; it moved right along, thanks to the chair (Suze Montgomery) being insistent on starting and ending on time. I appreciate that.
The program was a presentation by the director of 211, a referral resource for Ventura citizens that will direct callers to almost any avenue for help, from senior housing to available transportation to elder abuse, and so on. It was reasonably interesting. New members of the Council were announced, including your truly, and we stood for a round of applause. The meeting was over a little after 11:00. I had toyed with the idea of going to the Center for lunch, but decided to finish up the chicken Ellen had given me at home, instead. Did so, freshened up a bit, then set off for the Ventura Museum.
Met Nancy at the door, we paid our admission, and went in. The program was "On Location: The History of Hollywood in Ventura," by film historian and founder of Bison Archives, Marc Wanamaker. It included slides of old (and newer) movies that were filmed in Ventura County and was great fun to see. I just love this kind of thing and enjoyed it immensely.
It lasted about an hour and a half, then Nancy and I walked down Main Street to the Paradise Pantry for late lunch. We both got "Mini Macs," small portions of macaroni and cheese, livened up with veggies and other ingredients. Nance had a sparkling wine and I an IPA from Montreal, recommended by the server.
We talked and talked, of course, mostly about family, and were there until after 4:00. Said goodbye, got home, picked up my mail, and relaxed.
Today is yet another county-sponsored meeting, this on "Keeping Well," which includes lunch; tomorrow the doctor's lecture (mental health) at SCAN; Saturday, the fashion show; and Sunday, lunch at the Spaghetti Company with Golden Girls of Ventura County. Whew, I'm looking forward to some slow days next week.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Red Letter Day!

Wikipedia: "A red letter day (sometimes hyphenated as red-letter day or called scarlet day in academia) is any day of special significance. Its roots are in classical antiquity; for instance, important days are indicated in red in a calendar dating from the Roman Republic (509–27 BC)..."
Hmm...the meaning of that expression seems to have evolved into a good day, rather than simply a memorable one. Well, it was a good day and here's why:
My bureau came! Hooray, it was delivered to my door this afternoon and the huge box is now sitting in the middle of my living room floor. It looks formidable to even open the box, and Zeus knows how it gets put together. I don't have many--read "any"--tools, so may have to borrow them, but I don't care--I'm thrilled to have my bureau, which is key to all the things I want to do in the apartment.
Because I have several social--or semi-social--engagements coming up, I decided to buy myself some clothes. More significantly, I decided not to buy the cheap crap I usually do, but to shell out some real dough for good stuff. Therefore, I went to The Avenue and bought a pair of slacks and three tops. They came to a pretty big piece of change, but I charged it, so it doesn't count. Right now, that is.
While I was there, I noticed a signup sheet on the counter. What's this, I queried. Salesperson said they were having a fashion show on Saturday, would I like to be a model? Well, sure, why not? Then I spent the next hour and a half trying on clothes, plus shoes and jewelry. Each model will wear a dressy and a casual outfit AND they can then buy them for forty percent off. I picked out a few things, but then a young woman who works there named Paula helped me by selecting much nicer ones that look a lot better on me. I know I'm going to buy at least two parts of the dressy outfit--it's terrific, but not SO dressy I'd never wear it. It'll be perfect for widder dinners and other occasions that don't require dressing way up. I also want to get the gray Capri pants and possibly, the white jacket I'll model with it.
I'll probably go bankrupt with what this stuff costs, but hey, I'll be properly clad in the poorhouse.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Green Thumb and Dinner

Went to Green Thumb and bought my six pretty Reigal begonias. Put them in the plant stand and hey, do they look purty. Swept and otherwise cleaned up the patio.
Got a bunch of office work done--paying bills and so on. Bill Galway, my former neighbor, called. He-s's a semi-retired contractor and still runs a small business. He will change furnace filters, clear rain gutters, and do some other kind of maintenance periodically. His fee is $199 a year, which I think is reasonable. He couldn't remember if he had charged me for this year yet and I told him he hadn't. Said I'd send him a check and asked if he'd send a bill, even though he'll get the check first, so I can keep it for income tax purposes. With the boring part over, we had a nice chat and I caught up with doings--if truth be known, nothing much--in my former neighborhood.
Drove to Poli Street Park and sat in my new lawn chair for a half hour or so, in order to built up my vitamin D. Showered and dressed when I got home and went off to the widder dinner at Yolanda's. There were about twenty of us, most of them regulars. Joyce had e-mailed me she was going to go; she did and there were two newbies there, as well. They were Shirley and Kate, both of whom live in Santa Paula. Kate, a hefty lady in her seventies, uses a walker and was originally from the U.K. She was married to an American and has lived here for fifty years. She and Shirley--a somewhat glum person with remarkably vivid red hair--met at the Presbyterian Church. Nice enough, but not exactly my cup of Earl Grey.
Anyway, I enjoyed it, as ever, and it was good to see Joyce again. Got home by 7:30 and found that Chuck, one of our few male members (!), had already posted a picture on Facebook, which I shared.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Begonias and Chicken

I went to The Green Thumb nursery and found some lovely Riegal begonias for my six-plant ironwork stand. They're so pretty--all different colors and I think I'll get a mix. I didn't buy them because it was so crowded, I didn't feel like waiting in line. Will go back today for them.
Got a message when I got home that El had called. Got back to her and she asked if I'd like to come for dinner. Well, yes indeedy do, I do, I said (figuratively speaking), and she said to come about 3:00. In the meantime, I looked at Facebook and saw that my friend in New Mexico now has a page there AND a web site, to wit:
She's the one who makes such unique and beautiful pendents. I have four of them and love wearing them. I'll talk this up--or Internet it up, I guess--among family and friends.
Got to El's while she was upstairs cleaning her bathroom; I helped a bit by changing the water for defrosting the chicken.* She seasoned it, added chopped onions, potatoes, and carrots, and popped it in the oven. We then went to the supermarket (Greg was working late, as he usually does on the weekends) for various. Got back and relaxed on the patio, El with a Margarita, her mum with chilled white wine. Since I'm no longer drinking wine at night, it tasted wonderful; I even had another half glass.
As we sat and talked, I again marveled that I wasn't on vacation, wasn't just visiting, but actually live here. It still seems a happy dream.
Dinner was delicious and I got a nice portion of dark meat (which I prefer) to take home. Said goodbye to my girl and happily rode away. What an enjoyable weekend.
And now--I can look forward to my new bureau-yay!
*That sounds as if the chicken was being defrosted in the bathroom, but no--she was upstairs, the chicken was in the kitchen. Goes to show how careless 'ritin' can trip you up.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Books and Ellen

Drove over to the shopping center at Victoria and Telegraph where the library book sale was going on. Saw Carol, who was pleased I had come. I picked up several books that interested me to a point--but didn't really set my heart racing. Added five scripts from Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Ernest, with an eye toward possibly using some of it my acting class. The books were two bucks a bag and I could have added several more, but there just weren't any I wanted enough to carry home. When I went to pay, I fell into conversation with a very nice woman who suggested I might want to join Friends of the Ventura Library. I took a flyer and might do that; after all, I have experience, as I was a Friend of the Little Egg Harbor Library for years (that and a dime will get you a cup of coffee).
Went home, had lunch, then Ellen called, asking if I'd like to go with her to school. Her students were to do a test on the laptops, and she wanted to get them out of the--sort of--safe they were in and have them ready on the desks. Sure, I would like to go with her.
Drove to her place and we went off. El let me read some of the narratives she had told me about the other day and I got a great charge out of them. The children wrote them out--printed, actually--then typed them on the lap tops. Very different from third grade at St. James, but the basics remain the same.
After that, we drove down (up? sideways? I have no sense of direction) to Santa Paula to look around. It was very warm, surely 80 or above, although here, of course, there's little humidity, so it was enjoyable. Stopped at Starbucks for mango iced tea--very refreshing.
Back at El's, we sat in her patio and chatted for an hour or so, then I said goodbye. I love days like this so much--casual, low-key, and with my daughter.

Saturday, April 16, 2016


Yesterday, I attended a "Physician Lecture" at SCAN Health and Wellness Center.* It's amazing how many of these things are offered to older people here. I like to attend functions like this because I want to meet more people, partly for social reasons and partly to promote my acting course. I sat with the two women--Carol and Doris--I had met at the POLST seminar on Wednesday. The topic was "Managing Dementia" and frankly, I thought I'd be bored, but actually enjoyed it. It ran from 1:30 to 4:00 with a break in the middle.
These are weekly talks by Bruce Woodling, M.D. and his delivery is anything but stuffy. In fact, he sprinkled his talk--not heavily--with four-letter words, which added to my interest. I was amazed to hear he had worked at The Sinatra Center and had actually known Frank. Wow. Dr. Woodling is a big proponent of the Mediterranean diet, which I'm convinced is the healthiest one. Whether I could follow it, eschewing flour and sugar, is the question. I already eat a lot of fresh vegetables and fruit, at least.
I got there early, but Carol and Doris were there already, along with a woman named Jean. I spoke to her during the break and learned she was born in Canada, had started tap-dancing when she was in her sixties, and is now 93. Her husband is 97. Jean certainly has no cognitive impairment at all. Carol volunteers here, there, and everywhere, it seems, and she's a "friend" of the Ventura Library. She said they're having a book sale today and invited me to come, which I probably will.
The SCAN lectures run weekly through June and are free. At the last meetup, the doc treats attendees to a Mediterranean lunch. Think I'll plan to go weekly.
*I have yet to fully understand what SCAN actually is. It's a private enterprise, I know, and it looks as if it's health insurance for older people, but I'm not sure. I'll find out eventually, I guess.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Here And There

I forced myself to delve more into the ever-lasting picture problem. Now I followed the plan I devised: I separated the pictures into rough categories. The originals, larger prints, and needlepoint, I packed in a number of large cloth bags and carried them--two by two, as they were heavy--to my car and put them in the trunk. These are the ones I hope the consignment shop will take. The older ones of the family that we had done at a studio thirty years ago (I know it was about that long, because Joel is surely a three-year old), I re-covered with bubble wrap and leaned against the wall in the bedroom. I'm going to ask Ellen if I can again store them in her garage; I don't have room for them now, but just can't relinquish them. The third group are those I think I'm going to be able to hang here. The question is, do I want to? I still have to do some culling, I think. I actually hung a pic of myself in the bathroom. This is in a pretty pink frame and is a photo of my heart. I had had some kind of test several years ago and remarkably, they sent me a picture of my heart after. It even has my name on it--of course, for all I know, they send the same picture to everybody; how could you deny it's yours?
Went to WinCo for this and that. I saw a kind of pizza made on a long roll, that you could just put in the oven. I fall for anything, so of course, I bought it. Cut it in half, baked it, and had it for lunch. It was okay, but not terrific.
I was determined to search out a torchiere lamp, so went to the mall, where I rarely go. Went to Sears and guess what, they don't carry them. I did happen to see a pair a slacks and a top I liked, so bought them. As I was walking to the parking lot, my friend called; she hadn't been in when I called to tell her how much I like the necklace. She said they'll be taking off for their country-wide tour in the RV on the twenty-fifth. What an adventure!
Showered and changed when I got home, then went to my PT appointment. I told Diana that I had omitted the Aleve for the last three days, yet my knee feels fine. Happily, we decided to chalk it up to the exercise.
From there, I went to the library, although it was after 5:00. Took a book back and looked at others, but didn't withdraw. I'm still into the Arthur Schlesinger journal, plus still listening to the interviews with Jackie K., so I'll wait to take anymore out.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

End of Life and Continuing Life

It turned out to be a pretty good day. I called Nancy in the morning to invite her to a program next week at the Ventura Museum called "On Location: The History of Hollywood in Ventura," and she accepted with pleasure. It's from 1:00 to 2:30 and we'll go to lunch after.
At 10:30, I went to a seminar at The Lexington Assisted Living on advanced directives, plus instructions to the doctor at the end of life. I already have an AD, but it's from Jersey and is seven years old. Pat and I did them sometime before he died. I'm pretty sure it's valid here, but I think it would be a good idea for me to get a new one in California. It's funny how casual everybody is about these matters--healthier than in the past, when it seems to me, such a topic was taboo.
After the talk, I joined a tour of the assisted living facility. It's pretty standard, but older than many others I've seen and a bit less spiffy, I guess. The studio rooms were pretty small and the whole place, 25 years old, seemed to be a kind of throwback compared, for instance, to Bonaventure, which is state of the art. However, while the latter has lovely views and grounds, I think I'd prefer a location closer to shops and so on. Well, I'm not ready to move, anyway, but I like to see them.
Of course, the lunch was also a draw--lasagna, salad, and Pepsi, so pretty basic, but we ate on an open porch, which I enjoyed. Met some nice people, including another attendee named Carol, who asked me about myself. When I told her I'd be teaching an acting course, she was very interested. She and her friend invited me to SCAN, which is very near me, for talks and discussion about various topics for elders. That's tomorrow and they said they'd save me a seat at their table. I'm going to bring info on my course; it won't start until September, but I want to get as much interest in it as possible here and there. I announced to at my widder group, of course, (and dinner with them is coming up on Monday) and will hand out flyers a few weeks ahead of registration. If there's anything I've learned from conducting such programs, it's that you have to spread the word yourself, no matter how many "official" documents include it.
I didn't leave until 2:30 and immediately drove to Poli Park to get my 20 minutes of sunshine. I took my new chair out of the trunk, set it up on the grass, and sat. Unfortunately, it was overcast--very unusual for here--and I'm not sure just how much vitamin D filtered through, but I figured I got some.
Home, I took wash to the place, met up with little Gabby again and we chatted. "Gabby" is for her given name "Gabrielle," but it could easily refer to a certain attribute of hers. Yep, she's a talker.
When I picked up my mail, I found the pretty new necklace my friend made and sent me. It's on a dark background and features a wave in shades of blue, plus white. I like it so much and called to tell her so. I know exactly what I want to wear it with, too.
Today, I have my last session with Diana, the PT. BTW, I didn't take the Aleve today and had no trouble with my knee. I'm glad about that, as I'm uneasy about the medication, especially taking it every day. I'll see if symptoms return, in which case I'll resume, but want to wait and see.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Picture Woes

Lots more of the same. Finally have ALL the pictures and framed photos together and, oh, what a problem. There's no way in the world I can hang them all, so I devised a tentative plan: I'll choose some of the better photos (P and N. wedding pics, Mike, Paula, and the girls in the park, and others) to hang here. I'll select others of the family ones, prominently including a number from 30 years ago of the seven of us--Pat and me, our four children, and three-year-old Joel. These I'll store in Ellen's garage, along with a few others, I guess. I'm still dealing with the paintings and will take several to the consignment shop. No nibbles on CraigsList, I'm afraid.
I had some beef bones in the freezer with plenty of meat on them: put them in the crock pot along with jarred gravy and put it to simmer. Changed my sheets and tidied up a bit otherwise.
I'm determined to get more sun (mindful of the D thing, of course), so I went to Target and bought a lawn chair. I'm tentatively planning to go to the park on Poli Street and sit in the sun for twenty minutes a day. I'll bring a book or the Kindle, but if I get tired of reading, I can just look up at a breathtaking view of a huge part of the ocean and, far off, the Channel Islands.
Went for a pedicure about 4:00. It isn't as if I'll be going to a pool or the beach or whatever; I just need my toenails cut and can't do it myself. It's well worth the twenty-five bucks to get it done periodically.
Got home and had the aforementioned beef for dinner--delish. I had written both my sons to ask how things were, as I haven't heard from them for a time. Mike wrote back and said they were on (yet another) vacation--but a "short" one, only 4-5 days at an island resort--they had been in Bangkok last weekend.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Pictures and Pat R.

Well, I worked my little boody off yesterday. At least, it seemed like that to fairly sedentary me.
Finally started delving into the huge number of pictures I have. I trekked back and forth from my car to my door with those left from the garage sale. Put the family photos (I mean the studio portrait ones, not the snapshots, of which I have several thousand) on my bed, the others on the couch. These included some really nice pictures--most of them originals--and other artifacts that I like so much. Trouble is, of course, I like all of them so much. How can I discard the original oil of Victoria Peak in Hong Kong, where Mike used to live? Or the three pretty needle points in oval frames I used to have in my bathroom? Or the charming water color done by a local artist that I won when in a raffle years ago? And dozens of others.
Problem is, I just don't have the wall space for all of it or even a quarter of it.
I decided to bite the bullet and clear out the pictures in Ellen's garage. I knew she was at school, but called Greg to see if it was okay to come over sometime in the afternoon. Sure, he said, and after lunch, off I went. I opened two very large boxes (cardboard), filled with very large, framed pictures. I was able to get them both emptied in my slow, but efficient way: carried them to my car one or two at a time--luckily, still protected with bubble wrap--and put them in my trunk and back seat. I flattened the boxes and put them in, too, so I could discard them at my place.
Did so, then went back and forth, carrying pictures into my living room. I'm not finished: haven't gotten to the truck, yet, but cleared the back seat. Separated them, took snapshots, and listed them on Craig's list. I'm also going to take some to a consignment shop tomorrow. My plan C is to ask the Dudley House if they might want them as donations. Last choice: Goodwill.
El called and we had an interesting talk, partly about the vagaries of third-graders when instructed to write a narrative. It seems they all tend to make it a dialogue, which they'll told explicitly not to do. I love to hear about this kind of thing. El and I will get together over the weekend.
My friend, Pat R., commented on the fact that I was told I'm low on Vitamin D. I sent her the blood report via e-mail, as I have no idea how to interpret it and she wrote back quickly with a clear answer. It's nice to have a medical professional to consult--and she doesn't charge much, either!

Monday, April 11, 2016


I got some things done that would bore the hell out of anyone else, but pleases me no end. For one, I finally, at long last, got an over-the-door wreath hanger. It's amazing what time and effort it took to track one down, and darned it they didn't have them practically across the street at Michael's in the Barnes & Noble Shopping Center. Plus, after all these months, I discovered which switch on the bedroom wall operates the bedside lamp. Believe it or not, I was very pleased over that.
Went to CVS for the vitamin D capsules and talked to the pharmacist about why mine is low. Also, Quest Diagnostics had sent the address of its web site and I found that a vitamin D deficiency can be related to age and also osteoporosis. Well, I'll take them and see what happens.
Rearranged some of my closet. Now I have my holiday decorations on the top shelf, one small box for each holiday. What a difference from what I used to keep in the garage: shelf after shelf and so many large container filled with Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving decorations, not to mention spring, fall, and winter items that, yes, for years, I got out and put away every year. It used to take me hours, if not days, to decorate for Christmas; now I have one small container of about four items and glory be--I'm glad! I don't want to be bogged down in that kind of activity any more.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Rain and Vitamin D

We actually got a pretty good rain for a half hour or so, after drizzle.
Went back and forth to various places for various items. Cut up onions, sweet peppers, and garlic for one of my favorite stir-fries, which I'll combine with hamburger for dinner tonight. Brother Frank called and said he's decided not to come to this area next week after all. He and Marybeth were invited to a wedding on the beach and what with the long, long trip here, plus the stress and strain of Marybeth's frailties, it's just too much. I understand, but was sorry to hear it.
Got a letter from my primary to the effect my vitamin D is low; she wants me to take 1000 U everyday. Why would this be? Don't know, but the letter directed me to an informative web site. I'll check.
Ran the dishwasher, tidied up here and there, bought longer sheers to replace the 63 inch ones for the closet. My friend e-mailed that her wares are now in a small store in the town where she lives in New Mexico. She sent me pictures of her setup and it looks properly rustic. I called her, as Polly has asked if she had a web site. She said not yet, but soon.
Also talked to El. She and Greg had gone up to Santa Barbara yesterday, as his brother and family were in town.
Not much else going on.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Wash and WinCo

After my busy social schedule of the last week, I was just as glad to turn my attention to homely things. Took two loads of wash to the laundry facility, as ever waiting in between wash and dry. Put cut-up cauliflower and chicken broth in the slow cooker, added shredded cheddar on top and had that--just that--for dinner.
Betty called and we hashed over the L.A. visit. I got a few financial items done: called TD Auto to see if I could change the due date for the auto loan. There's no problem, but it would be more convenient to have it come in after I receive my rent money. I want to try to get my recurring payments in line so I don't have to check and see if I can cover. Wouldn't you know, there's somewhat of a hassle to change it. They have to send me a form and I have to sign it, then send it back--what a drag.
Finally, at long last, I ordered a chest of drawers on-line. It still bugs me that I can't see it "in person," so to speak first, but I don't want to travel far away to do that. Now I want to get that floor lamp I've been wanting for the living room.
Went to WinCo for this and that and I did it in the rain! Yes, it drizzled a bit and, I understand, we're supposed to get more over the weekend. On the east coast, of course, this much rain would barely be noticed, but here? It's a major event.
Carolyn texted me to tell me her friend had died. Such a shame, but it was good she got to see him on Thursday.
I wondered why I was yawning at 6:00 pm, then remembered I had gotten up at my usual 7:00 am, but hadn't gone to bed until midnight. Now I'm back on track.

A Day in L.A.

Went to the big city yesterday. Niece Carolyn picked me up at 1:00 and we drove to L.A. She had asked if I minded stopping elsewhere before we met Dave and Polly and of course, I was happy to. Unfortunately, where we went was to the UCLA Hospital. A dear college friend of Carolyn's, only 52, had been taken off life support and she wanted to see him one last time.
The traffic and parking situation in L.A. is just incredible. We drove around and around for blocks and were about to drive into a lot with signage that said the fee was ten dollars for each 30 minutes--damn! However, we got a spot on the street that we honestly thought was available...
We were greeted by a friend of Carolyn's and Phil's and they went upstairs while I went to the cafeteria and had a salmon lunch. I went in the gift shop after, then was content to sit in the lobby and watch the passing scene. Carolyn came down, glad she had been able to say goodbye to her friend, and we went off to the car...
To find a ticket for $64 on the windshield--damn! There was a sign that said you could park there at certain hours and certain days and I guess we both misinterpreted it. Anyway, great wailing and gnashing of teeth from both of us, but off we went.
Carolyn has a GPS on her phone, of course, but Greg had told us Obama was in town; some streets would be blocked and there's be fearful traffic on others. He showed C. a different route, but what with one thing and another, we got somewhat lost. The Hilton where Dave and Polly were staying, was only 12 miles away, but it took us a good hour to get there.
We finally did, and went up to the lounge on the 16th floor to where D. and P. were having wine. We were poured some Chardonnay, got some nibbles from the spread, and settled in to catch up. Steve came in after that, having dropped Dexter off with Robyn; this was about 5:00 and he said he had been on the road since 2:30.
Of course, after that, great conversation ensued, everybody catching up with everyone else. Polly brought up the idea of a family reunion--in New Zealand, where her daughter lives (that'll never happen) and we found that Dave and she would be at his new assignment (for the foreign service) in Guatemala in two weeks. After an hour or more, we went to the restaurant downstairs and had dinner. I wasn't at all hungry, so just had an appetizer and a German ale.
By this time, it was well after 9:00 and Dave and Polly had to get up at 4:30 for their 6:00 am flight back east, so we said goodbye. We drove home with no problem and much lighter traffic and I got in about 10:30, very late for me. Washed off my makeup, read a bit, and slept soundly--or, as what often comes to mind, "slept the sleep of the just."

Thursday, April 07, 2016

You Never Know

Talk about the mysterious you-never-know-what's-coming side of life: Yesterday when I got up, I felt a bit out of sorts; couldn't decide whether to go to the BCNN breakfast or not. Nancy wasn't able to go and I didn't know anyone else who might be interested--did I really want to go alone? However, I got dressed, made up, grabbed the hat I had bought at Goodwill for two bucks (this was the "wear a spring hat" meeting) and went out the door. I was game, but not too enthusiastic.
Got there to see the usual room full; there are about 300 members (all women) and about 150 come every month. Got coffee and a few nibbles and looked around to find an empty place. Saw one, asked if I could sit and Awas cordially invited to do just that.
These are round tables and to my right Sat next to a woman I've met before; she's the member who will help people with the electronic stuff. She had on a straw hat bedecked with old floppy disks, other small components, with a little string of (lit) lights wound around the brim--very cute. I chatted with her for a bit, then turned to my left.
The woman on that side, Diane, was wearing a jacket with "Heritage Square" patches on it. I asked about it and she said she was a docent for that historic house in Oxnard. I remarked that my daughter and I had visited the Dudley House on Sunday. I described the little skit the docents had presented (impersonating early owners of the home) and mentioned that I'd like to look into the possibilities there, as I act myself. At that, Diane said she was sure the organizer at Heritage Square would like to hear from me. She whipped out a piece of paper and asked for my contact information, then gave me the organizer's name. Hey, neat, and I'm looking forward to hearing from her.
I had a great time chatting with Diane, who incidentally, said they had presented a musical for which she had written the dialogue, called From the Gilded Age to the Broadway Stage. Hey, my kinda gal!
The program itself was pretty blah: "poetry." Yes, yes, I know I'm the critical type, but I love poetry. This, not so much. The presenters read the original poems, all but one of which was free-form. Now, it may be bitchy to write it, but my belief is, if you're going to write non-rhyming poetry, make it prose instead. I agree with Robert Frost, who said writing poetry that doesn't rhyme is like playing tennis without the net. Anyway, it was tedious, but I sat through it.
Being so buoyed up, I decided to go from there to the Ventura Center. Since it was Wednesday, I thought I'd say hello to Chris, whom I met at the widder group; she volunteers there. Went, got my ticket--the second to last Beverly said and while I was standing there, somebody got the last one. Went into the dining room, saw Chuck and sat down with him, as which point, I noticed an elderly woman to whom Beverley was talking. The lady seemed forlorn when Bev told her there were no more tickets. Bev left, but the poor lady still stood there sadly. Well, I'm a pushover--I gave her my ticket.
Walked out and to the desk to tell Bev who told me the woman has Alzheimer's, she comes in all the time, and usually takes salad, then falls asleep in it. Hans, the director, came out and said the same. I apologized and they were nice about it, but gee--doesn't anyone take care of the poor soul?
I wasn't that hungry anyway, so went to the library and got a book recording Arthur Schlessinger's journal, seemingly from the year one. Went home, made a big salad for lunch, then rode to Ellen's to get some of my stuff out of her garage. While I was there, Gregg came in and kindly carried the heavier boxes to my car.
Got an e-mail from Carolyn. Happy day, she'll pick me up at noon and we'll go up to LA to see David and Polly--yay!

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

At The Harbor

My friend, Nancy P., called about 10:00 and we had a good talk for a half hour or so. She's still avoiding the going-out-to-eat circuit, but at least the worst of the dental work is almost over. She said she had finished another water color, which she was sending to a friend in Germany.
Went to my PT appointment at 11:00 and learned how to walk again, which I seem to have been doing ass-backward the past few years. In fact, Diana and I practiced (push off with toes, land on heel) inside, then walked around the block of buildings on that glorious sunny day. I was out earlier than I thought I'd be, so ran several errands before driving to Brophy Brothers at the harbor.
I was a little early--I had asked Joyce if we could meet at 1:00--so sat and absorbed the sun for a bit. She drove up, we went in, and sat down on the porch overlooking the water. Now, one on one, we got to know each other better.
Joyce, whom I met though the widder group, is close to my age and has lived in southern Cal all her life. She had been a travel agent in her working life, had two chldren, divorced, married again to a guy with two kids, and he died three years ago. She had had knee surgery five months ago and still walks with a cane, but seems to be doing well.
Our talk ranged all over the map and included--my conversations almost always do--lots about family. Joyce is an only child, a station in life I can barely grasp. When I was a kid, of course, as one of six and a twin to boot, I wanted to be an only child. They didn't have to share, either toys or parents. Now, considering my gigantic, far-flung, and ever-fascinating family, I realize how lucky I am.
Anyway, we shared some good talk, including about her knee--I wanted to get her history on that--our late husbands and other topics. Joyce is a member of Toastmasters and recently delivered a talk on Afghanistan; I found that interesting. After a leisurely lunch, we said our goodbyes and "keep in touch" requests, then drove off.
Driving away, I absentmindedly turned at the wrong road and took the one to Oxnard, but that was okay. I found Victoria Avenue and took that to Telegraph and the post office to drop off my friend's baptismal certificate and Singapore son's mail. Went from there to the library to return a book on the White House decor. I forgot I might go to the BCNN breakfast shortly, so could dropp it off while I'm in town, but no prob.
In the evening, I called my former next-door neighbor and good friend, Frank D., to commiserate over Desi's death. Frank and Desi had been close friends and, in fact, Frank introduced me to Desi, which is how I got into acting. We talked for a bit and I caught up on goings-on at Sunrise Bay--funny, my former life seems simultaneously just a short time ago and years and years back.
I finally received a response from the outfit to which I submitted three five-minute plays. It was just to tell me that had been received--they got 700 entries! I don't really expect mine to be selected, but hey, nothing ventured, nothing you-know-what. I haven't yet gotten an acknowledgement from the Santa Paula Theatre concerning my submission of three one-acters for their "Backstage Theatre."

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Lunch and Stuff

A nicely full day, which included fun and getting a lot done that I had kind of let slide. Wrote a note of sympathy to Desi's daughter and another to Jim and Mary H., who had been like family to him. Jim was his doctor and the three of them sang together in church, performed for LETCO, and vacationed together often, both in this country and Europe. His death will leave a deep hole in their lives.
Put some stuff for Mike and my tenant in envelopes to take to the P.O. Stopped at the bank first to make a deposit, then at Quest Diagnostics about 11:00 to see if I had to fast for an upcoming blood test. No? Then could I have it done then? Yes, and I did--one more thing off my list.
Headed toward Yolanda's for the widder lunch a litle early, so went to a nearby store for lettuce, sweet peppers, and several other items. At Yolanda's, I joined the rest of the gang in the back room. There were about twelve of us, and a very convivial group it was. Enjoyed it greatly and we'll meet again for dinner in two weeks.
Took my leftovers home, put them and my supermarket stuff in the fridge, and went off to the library. I asked about the book I had requested months ago and Mary, a very nice librarian, and I discussed the pitfalls of non-inter library loans. I was amazed to hear that the library has to pay up to forty dollars if a book isn't in its system. Just incredible, and I'd be willing to bet that isn't so in Jersey.
When I got home, I called my friend, Joyce, whom I'm meeting for lunch today down at the harbor. I hadn't realized my PT appointment was at 11:00, and I asked Joyce if we could postpone our noon date to 1:00. No problem with that.
I was pleased to get a call from my friend in New Mexico and we had a good long talk. She asked if I had her birth or baptismal certificates, as they're going to be starting a four month, cross-country trip in two weeks and think they'll hit Canada, too. I think I gave her her birth certificate years ago, but I had her baptismal; scanned it, and will send the hard copy today.

Monday, April 04, 2016

P and P

A placid, but pleasant day. Followed my usual Sunday routine (crossword, etc.), responded to messages, filed away receipts and so on. Cleared out a bit of my one and only closet. Ellen came about 1:15 and hung the sheers across the closet door. They don't look bad, but I'm annoyed with myself for getting 63-inch lengths. They leave a gap of about a foot at the bottom; think I'll donate these and get longer ones.
We then went to the Dudley House, an historic place a few miles away. They have docent-guided tours and yesterday, they added a kind of skit, i.e., an exchange between two woman impersonating and dressed as, nineteenth century Dudleys. It looked like fun and I'm thinking of exploring how one gets to be a docent. I'm not sure if they're regulars; they seemed to have acting experience, which is all to the good for me.
That took about an hour, as it was very crowded, then I went with El to get her car washed.
The last two times I had my car washed, they did a lousy job--these were cheap places at gas stations, where you pay four or six bucks and stay in the car while it does a--well, a lousy job just on the outside. Where we went yesterday was to Five Points and it took almost an hour. For one thing, it was extremely crowded and for another, they're very thorough and clean inside and out. Next time, I'm definitely getting my car washed there.
Anyway, we sat outside and in fact, it was nice to sit in the warm sun and talk. We covered lots of topics, such as home decor, why she likes her Honda, how much the car cleaners get paid--less than the minimum wage, I understand, as they supposedly get tips. They're all Mexican, of course; everybody around here who's relegated to shit work is Mexican. And so it goes.
Got home to see a message from niece Carolyn. I had asked if she would be able to go on the train to meet Dave and Polly in LA and she said she would if she could find someone to take little Claire to gymnastics. If she's successful, we'll go and she'll drive. Hope we can do it that way; if not, I'm contemplating the train.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Garage Sale

The garage sale was a great success! Well, a moderate success, but still lots of fun.
I had set the alarm for 6:30, as the sale was advertised to start at 8:00, but darned if I didn't wake up at 5:00. Got up anyway and did the usual. Had breakfast at 7:00, then set off for Ellen's. Got there a few minutes before 8:00 and there were three women waiting for the garage door to open. It did just as I got out of the car, thanks to Ellen and the sale was on.
El had several large items, including a bike, a leather (or vinyl) office chair, and a puffy double-bed cover. My stuff was smaller, but did include a large and heavy wooden magazine rack (why I ever bought that, I can't imagine), the large picture that used to hang over the armoire (Spellcheck doesn't recognize that either--idiots!) in the living room (why did I ever have it carted out here?), and some clothes I've outgrown. I also brought several original, framed paintings, only one of which sold. I'll see if the woman at the consignment shop might take them. We both had all kinds of other stuff, too, a lot of which sold. I'm always amazed at what people will buy. It was slightly cool--for here, that is--maybe about 65, but we were busy and didn't feel it. At one point, El came out with snacks for the two of us: delicious sesame crackers and two dips. I like the roasted tomato hummus, but my favorite is tapas (really just ground-up olives).
As ever, selling can be a lot of fun. I like the feeling of something I no longer need or want being used by someone who does. Enjoyed talking to people and occasionally, haggling over a price. And, of course, I greatly enjoy pocketing the dough. Yesterday, I also got a kick out of hearing El conversing at some length in Spanish with a couple (and yes, they bought).
Our ad had run in the paper that morning and El had put up signs at the corner and the driveway. She also advertised on Craig's List; she got an message on her phone from somebody who asked if he/she could take what was left after the sale. This was a pretty common practice in Jersey--years ago, people would be offered a certain sum, often twenty bucks, for what was left, but that seems to have changed on both coasts. Now it's "I'll help you pack up and take what's left." We decided we'd take the person (a woman) up on it, but removed some things, such as my paintings, which I didn't want to give away.
Cherise arrived in a pickup truck with a man--husband, boyfriend, SO, or whomever--and they both proved to be friendly and pleasant. They loaded up the stuff, thanked us profusely, and drove off. I put what I was keeping back in my car and El and I both admired how neat and empty (well, emptier) the garage looks. I exchanged some of my bills for her quarters (I always need them for the wash) and we said goodbye after making a date for today to tour the Dudley House, an historic mansion near here.
The bottom line: I made $120 or thereabouts, with which I'm pleased. Even better, I got rid of a whole lot of stuff which was taking up space not only in my apartment, but in my consciousness. I don't want either to be cluttered, so am well satisfied with our day.
Got home to find an e-mail from my friend in New Mexico, who makes jewelry. She had given me three at different times for gifts and I wear them often. She had also had "set up" at a flea market and sold several of her necklace creations (made of clay). She included a picture and when I saw her display, I wrote to tell her I had to have a particular one: round with a blue and white wave on it. She wrote back today and said she'd send me it, but insisted she won't take money from me. (And here I am, flush with what I made at the sale!)
Got an e-mail from nephew, David, for us Californians, saying he and Polly are staying overnight on Thursday in L.A. on their trip back from New Zealand. Might any of us southern Cal relaives be able to meet for a drink or whatever? I'd love to and am going to see if I can take a train.
Betty called with various and we talked for a bit. I e-mailed Aline to tell her my friend, Pat, would see the very Madame Butterfly she'd attend. It's funny how remote the east coast seems to me, whether Ventnor or Little Egg. Guess I'm really settled into my new life after eight months.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

The Day Of

Spent the morning gathering things up for the garage sale. Packed the car, talked to Ellen, and stopped at the bank to get ones and bills. Got to El's about 2:00 and we prepared her garage. Well, she prepared, doing most of the work, and I kept her company; I did set up my own things, of course. Aside from a few clothes, I had artwork--prints and originals--a handful of kitchen items (I should have brought more), and various bric-a-brac (I just wanted to get that word* in). I no sooner got there than I saw an attractive, wrought iron plant stand that's perfect for my patio. Of course, El gave it to me, along with several pots. Later, when I unloaded my stuff, I gave her a nice set of towels, barely used.
I still have plenty I could get rid of--and I will get rid of--but I'll have to continue culling. Considering what I've already banished, it's mind-boggling what's left. It's amazing how much a good-sized house absorbs without seeming overly done--and how little it takes for a small apartment to look cramped and crappy with a tenth of the stuff. Anyway, I'm hopeful we'll get a good turn out and sell it all.
It took about five hours to complete the job, but it got set up and we rewarded ourselves by going out to dinner. Went to the Spaghetti Factory in town and got--spaghetti, mine with garlic and oil, El's tomato sauce and meatballs. Went back to her place and El gave me quite a lot of food from her freezer and pantry. as she's starting a certain diet shortly and wanted it out of the house.
*I looked it up and "bric-a-brac" is derived from the French "bric," meaning "confusion"--apt enough! Wouldn't you know, those illiterate techies at SpellCheck don't recognize it.

Friday, April 01, 2016

This And All That

Nicely busy day. I was determined to get my crummy car washed and, after showering and dressing, did so. Boy, I hate staying in it during the procedure; I keep seeing grisly headlines, such as "Car Wash Apparatus Malfunctions, Crushes Elderly Woman." However, it didn't happen (this time, anyway) and intact, I went to lunch at the Senior Center.
I didn't see Marie when I got there, so sat down at a table (they're all round, which is a much more convivial setup) with a rather peculiar woman and three men. The woman said not one single word throughout, but the three men and I got into interesting discussions about the Internet, various colleges, and Asia. The guy from Finland, whom I've eaten with before, and the lawyer who has been in Singapore, were especially interesting, but so was the other. I got the impression that the woman (I've met her, but of course, didn't remember her name) doesn't use the computer and I felt a little bad that she was totally ignored while we talked. I must chat her up during another visit. Anyway, it was good adult conversation that didn't touch on television at all, thank Zeus.
I had prepared some flyers for the garage sale, posted two on bulletin boards at the center, and handed them out to patrons. In another room, I saw my friend, Marie, working on a jigsaw puzzle with a guy and I chatted with her for a bit. She asked if bus service goes near El's (it does, but you have to walk about a mile after you get off), so she may come to the sale.
Stopped at Wal-Mart after for Chrystal Light and twine. Home, I took my wash, in hamper and cart, to the laundry room; it came to two loads, but both fit in the dryer.
Tonya posted on Facebook Desi's obit and I also saw it in the AC Press. I thought it was poorly written--very unimaginative and the picture showed him as a private in the US Army sixty years ago. That was silly, if you ask me; I happen to know Desi has any number of good recent pictures taken. He wasn't a bad-looking man, with thick white hair and goatee and I've seen many excellent photos of him. I wrote something for the on-line guest book with the obit (I was the second one after Jim Henry), but to my great annoyance, it didn't show up at first, so I wrote another. Damn, now they both appeared. It looks stupid and there seems no way to get hold of that department at the Press.
Called El to see if she might want to go to dinner, but she was going to be busy with something, so I'll see her today when we start setting up for the big garage sale.
My PT appointment was at 4:45 and it was a good one. I like Diana more and more and she started asking about my acting background (I mentioned last week I would teach a course at the Center). I related some stage anecdotes while she massaged my leg and we had a good session.
My knee feels very much better, as I told Diana. I'd like to attribute the improvement to the exercises she gave me, but it may very well be the Aleve.