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


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 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


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.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Day

Wow, quite a day.
I woke up at 5:00, about an hour earlier than I like, but got up, did my morning routine, then walked Kimball. It was only about 8:00 when I got home, but I decided to skip breakfast. Showered, dressed, made up, and took off for the Council for Seniors meeting at the Adult Center, about a half-hour drive away.
Except we meet on the third, not the second Wednesday of the month--darn! However, I said hello to Beverly and Marie and went home. Ate late, then went to Michael's to get the frame for the picture I'm sending little great-great niece, Cora. Also got some scented pine cones, which I put in the bathroom and living room.
Got a copy of a picture from my brother, Jim. It's dated 1937 and shows my mom, dad, brothers, aunt, Betty and me on the Ventnor beach. My Aunt is there, too, along with two other kids I don't know. I'll call to thank him.
Spent a bunch of time--much too much--on Facebook to read my Clintonesque relatives bemoaning the result of the election. They always seem to give lip service to the idea of democracy and all that the-people-must-be-heard rhetoric, but if it comes out a way they don't like, they howl. Anyway, I directed this to them on my FB page:

Here's a challenge for the neo-libs: quit beating your bosom and search out, say, five people who voted for Trump. Ask them why, then listen to what they have to say. Important: MAKE NO COMMENT, whether orally, by facial expression, or even mentally; simply thank them for their time and input. I'm going to do this, starting today. We might learn something this way.

Followed it myself by e-mailing Judy and Roman K., former neighbors of mine, whom I know are committed Trump fans. I asked them respectfully if they would fill me in on their choice, making it clear that I don't vote in federal elections, so have no axe to grind.
Went to Target for wrapping paper and a card for the baby gift. When I walked back to my place, Suzanne was sitting outside reading and we had a good chat.
Wrote out the card, wrapped the gift, and will send it off to Brooklyn today.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016


Didn't walk, darn it, because I was waiting for the phone guy. He got here about 8:30 and checked wires outside and in; even replaced some inside ones, although he didn't think that was the problem. Anyway, it's now working and I hope that situation prevails. Dave, the AT & T guy, was very nice; he gave me his card and said if any other problem arises, to call him direct.
Took my wash to the laundry room, put it in, then walked over to the office to suggest Ventura Del Sol give AT & T a gate opener. However, Jim and Patti said they weren't here often enough, so okay, no real problem.
I spent a fair amount of time on Facebook, sparring back and forth--mostly in the virtual arena of the mind--with those who are rabidly in favor of this or that sociopath running for office. Presidential elections have become Crazy Time For Crazies and I'm not going to participate.
Went to physical therapy and had a good, if strenuous, session with Tory, whom I like a lot. I'll be going twice a week; must make an appointment for later today.
Went to Michael's, where I found a nice frame for the picture of her great-grandmother I'll send to little Cora. The cashier said the twenty percent off coupon starts today, so I put it back, got a coupon, and will pick it up after the Council on Seniors meeting. Looked at Barnes & Nobles for another present I need to get. Didn't see anything, but will look elsewhere.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Lunch And The Phone Company From Hell

Walked Kimball, then found that--uh, oh--I actually do have more memorabilia in my trunk. I brought it in, but haven't sorted it yet.
Met the other Soaring Spirits at Marie Callender's. Sweet Vera was there, of course, plus Nancy, Carolyn, and Joyce, all of whom I like a lot. About ten others came in, including Chuck, his dog, and Pam. Pam is a substitute teacher and said she had a terrible time because she subbed a seventh-grade class which was studying anatomy. She said they asked embarrassing questions, especially the boys--but of course, that's the stock in trade for seventh-grade boys. Unfortunately, Pam is entirely without the slightest hint of a sense of humor, so I can imagine her reaction. Anyhoo, I had Santa Fe Shrimp Salad, very good and very large--I took half home--and some good conversation.
Went from there to P.O.W. physical therapy and made an appointment for this afternoon. Zipped over to Rolling Oaks Radiology and made a mammogram appointment for next Tuesday. I seemed to be on a roll, so stopped at Quest to see if I could get a 7:00 blood test appointment instead of the 8:00 I already have for Thursday. Nope, nothing open, so I'll just keep the later one.
Now, darned if AT & T isn't again picking up the campaign to ruin my life! Phone rang last evening; it was Gabrielle apologizing for being grouchy on Sunday, but actually, I didn't think she was and told her so. After a few sentences, the phone went dead. I called her back on the cell and we talked. After, I tried to call the cell on the regular phone and it didn't go through. Tried again and it went to somebody else's number! Called the Company From Hell That's About to Buy Time-Warner And Can't Even Keep Its Own Numbers Straight and repair person will be here this morning, I was told. AAgh!

Monday, November 07, 2016

Love Letters

Much as I hate the end of daylight saving time, I do like the fact that it got me up at 6:30, so walked Kimball early, as I prefer. Spent the rest of the morning finishing going through the memorabilia, so now it's in a kind of disorderly order in separate large envelopes, at least.
Lunched, showered, then met Gabrielle at the guest entrance and she drove to Ventura Marina Park (mobile home). This is a very nice, beautifully kept over 55 community right at the harbor. The homes are attractive and nicely landscaped, and would probably go for around 300 thou in Jersey. Here, they sell for $800,000 up and carry a hefty monthly maintenance fee.
Love Letters was very enjoyable. It was performed by Howard Leader and his wife, Nancy, both excellent. I introduced myself to Howard, who's going to be directing a play at the Elite Theatre in Oxnard shortly--I'll see if Sue wants to go. Asked if he'd put me on his newsletter list and he will.
LETCO, as I've mentioned before, had done Love Letters a few years ago, with Frank-Next-Door as Andy, one of the two characters. He was good, but this was better. I hope Gabrielle liked it. She said she did, but it was hard to tell, as she shifted around a lot and yawned a few times. She's an overwhelmingly negative person about--well, just about everything, I'm afraid. However, she has some good points and in small doses, is an okay companion.
Speaking of "letters," I came across a note from Sean Hardman, the grandson of my dear (long deceased) friend, Elaine. He was in Children's Hospital in Philly--he had a rare heart problem that killed him at 14, about thirty years ago--and I had given him a get-well gift. I'll send the note to his mother, with whom I'm still occasionally in touch.
Happily, I've resumed sleeping through the night.

Sunday, November 06, 2016


Walked Kimball.
After breakfast, I tackled some of the last big box of memorabilia I had gotten from Ellen's garage. Went through about half, which was an accomplishment. However, I haven't yet put the pictures and so on in any kind of order. The deed to my Uncle John for the cemetery plot in Holy Sepulchre, dated 1922, might be next to a picture of Joel at two months, along with my wedding announcement in the Atlantic City Press, and Pat's sixty-year-old Florida drivers license. Organizing will come next; at this point, I just want to get them in smaller groups.
Came across a studio portrait of my big sister, Gene (Jean), at the age of three months, so that would have been 1924. Now here's where it gets interesting: Not ten minutes later, the phone rang and it was my niece, Joan, Gene's only daughter (she had five boys), to chat about her brand new first and only, granddaughter, little Cora, who is five days old. Eureka! I didn't tell Joan, but I intend to send the picture (the original and, as far as I know, the only one) as a baby gift to Cora, so she can see her great grandmother, gone these many years. Must get an appropriate frame, too.
Called Sandy S., at Ventura Marina Park clubhouse, to tell her Gabrielle and I would be going to Love Letters there today. She said I could pick up our tickets at her place, right near the entrance. Took a dry run there and it's easy to find.
Gabrielle called to suggest we drive together, which makes sense, so she'll pick me up at 1:15. Went to WinCo and as I was driving back into the complex, I saw a dog. It wasn't wearing a leash and a noticed a young man with it. I asked if he lives here and found he's one of the two residents allowed dogs. We introduced each other; he's Cory and his bow-wow is Dodger.
I also ran into a woman with two pre-teen girls, who were coming back from the pool. I said hello and we also introduced each other. I know the one girl--Claire--lives upstairs with her family, because she's black. Her parents have slight accents, so are probably from another country. Nice family. The other girl and her mother are white and introduced themselves. One of them is Heather, but I can't remember which or the other's name.

Saturday, November 05, 2016


Well, talk about your roller coaster day...
Went to T.O.P.S. and got the good news that I had lost. Stayed for the meeting, so didn't have breakfast until almost 10:00, only an hour and a half before I was to meet Gabrielle for lunch. Oh, well, I had my usual anyway.
Got to Two Trees Cafe a bit early--about 11:20--yet it was still jammed. I can never figure out if that's because it's particularly good, or because there aren't many--or any--other restaurants in the near vicinity.
Gabrielle got there shortly thereafter and we were seated quickly, but it took an age for the server to get to us. No matter; I had a Cobb salad, which was very good and a citrusy-type beer (on tap) that was a lot like Blue Moon. What's weird is that they have a choice of a 16-ounce glass--too much for me--or a 5-ounce. Ordered the latter and got it in juice glass--seriously. Why they don't have something in between is beyond me, but I ordered two, which made a ten-ounce beer and was okay.
Took Gabrielle back to see my place and she oohed and aahed in appreciation. After showing her around, I invited her to sit and chat on the patio for a bit, which we did. She accepted my invitation to see Love Letters tomorrow and we'll enjoy it. Took her back to her car, then sat down at this computer to find--no Internet.
But why, why, why? I think I accidentally loosened a connection or something; in any event, I did this, that, and the other to no avail. Finally gave up and rushed to the library to get on-line and see my e-mail and stuff.
It was almost 3:30 when I left, so I stopped at The Townhomes for the wine and music thing. Sherry came in, then Doris, and we enjoyed the afternoon. Saw Joe La R. after and chatted with him. I was in a much better mood when I left and was determined to tackle the connection problem again.
Lo and behold, when I clicked it again, the thing worked. I'm not even going to delve into why, I'm just glad it did.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Tidying Up

Walked Kimball.
I was busily busy all day tidying up. Changed the paper on the desk, dealt with the slew of mail (bills, etc.) on same, mopped the floor, cleaned both sinks, and generally made the place spiffy. On the KP front, I cut up lettuce and tomatoes for salad, added raisins, and had some for lunch; oiled and seasoned chicken thighs, and had them for dinner. (Well, I cooked them first.)
Used the WD 40 on the sliding glass door track and it broke--not the door, just the can of WD 40. Took it back and got another and that seems okay. Saw a metal filing cabinet in Wal-Mart and impulsively bought it. When I got it to the car, I was unable to remove it from the basket. I realize I could have gotten someone to help me, but then how would I get it to my apartment? It came to forty bucks and I've seen several about that price on-line and with free shipping. I took it right back into the store and got my money back. I'll look further.
I came across a flyer for Love Letters, which is being staged by a local group. LETCO had done this a few years ago--it's a good one, bitter-sweet, but enjoyable. In fact, my next-door neighbor, Frank D., played the male part (there are only two characters, a male and a female), and very well, too. I quickly sent an e-mail to five friends (that's all the friends I have in California, if you exclude relatives) to see if any or all want to go to the matinee on Sunday.
Unfortunately, I haven't slept as well as usual the last two nights. This happens every once in a while, but I should go back to normal soon, I hope.

Thursday, November 03, 2016


Didn't walk, as I had told Nancy I'd meet her at 9:15 at the BCCC meeting. Sue was already there; she had brought the table decorations, including a large cornucopia filled with fall leaves. Doris, Nancy, Sherry and her friend sat with us--a nice group.
The program was just spectacular. It was a woman named "Tatiana," a singer and dancer, who put on one of the best shows I've seen in California. In costume, she sang all kinds of great songs, including Argentina, Memories, Impossible Dream, Music of the Night, Caberet, and others. She's a blonde, very tall and slender, and if she isn't over fifty, I'll eat my sneakers. Incredibly, she added some dance routines, kicking her leg straight up over her head, and finally, at the finale, did an actual split. Good golly, Miss Molly, this lady was FABULOUS!
We all loved it, the place was absolutely silent while she was singing; at the end, we all jumped to our feet and gave her a standing ovation. I was going to buy one of her DVD's, but Sherry beat me to it, and insisted on giving it to me as a gift. I took some of Tatiana's material and will see if Anne Howorth at The Townhomes, might be interested in booking her for the Friday wine and song.
After, Sue, Nancy, and I strolled down the street to the Paradise Pantry for lunch. Had a yummy mozzarella, tomato, and herb half-sandwich and a glass of Sofia beer, which the waitress assured me is similar to Blue Moon. It was, in fact, and I enjoyed it.
Got home and changed, then galvanize myself to re-order and assemble my Dionne stuff, as well as organize better the two closets in the hall--what a feeling of accomplishment that gave me. Ellen had lent me two plastic containers and I found I no longer needed them, so stowed them in my trunk (I tend to use it as a storage place).
Went to Smart 'n' Final, then impulsively called El to see if I could bring back the containers, plus get the last big one (with family memorabilia in it) out of her garage. Sure, although she wasn't home yet. I was still hauling the stuff into my car when she drove in. I stayed just a few minutes, as I had salmon in the car and she was going to wash her hair. Had the salmon for dinner, using the half lemon I had left over and it was good.
Today, I want to tidy up a bit more, as Gabrielle is coming over tomorrow to see my apartment.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Finally A Phone!

I have a working landline phone--yay!
Walked Kimball and as I got out of the car, my cell rang; AT & T guy was at my door. I had been told the night before by the AT & T "supervisor" Charles, that I didn't need to be home, as the tech wouldn't come in. Another bald-faced lie.
Anyway, this guy, Rob, was very nice. He worked inside and out and got the phone operational. I bent his ear about my travail with this company from hell and asked who his supervisor was. He assured me it wasn't the super's fault. I said I understood that, but I wanted to start with him because I want to know how this happened. I don't want an apology which, as John Nance Gardner said about the vice presidency, isn't worth a bucket of warm spit. I always thought that was a revolting phrase, but it seems to fit this situatin, damnit.
Anyway, I'll be courteous when I call Phil, but I want answers as to why, when I was told my phone would be connected on Monday, October 24th, it didn't happen until November first, eight days later.
Rob left, I had breakfast, then jumped in the shower. Kept my noon appointment at Penney's Hair Salon for color and Amanda did a nice job. It's not as light as before, which I prefer, and really looks good.
Lunched, then changed for my doctor appointment. Dr. J. gave me a RX for PT and a mammo, plus a flu shot. I like her better than I had; still wonder why she wears high boots all the time--is she a dominatrix or what?
Called Carole and Doris when I got home to tell them the Finally A Phone Facts. I'll see the latter today at the BCNN meeting, but Carole has been sick with a flu-like illness for weeks, so won't go.
Called El about the phone after dinner. Gabrielle called--on the landline!--later and we made a date for lunch on Friday. What a pleasure to talk on a real phone, especially as I'm not paying for it minute by minute, as with the Tracfone.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Wins, Losses, and AT & T

Talk about winning some and losing some: I walked Kimball, which was good and finally, at long last, got my Dionne Quintuplet collection out of the trunk and into chests in the closet. This took several hours, especially gathering up, flattening, and otherwise getting rid of the cardboard boxes (I had sent all to Ellen in eight or ten boxes), but I got it done. It all fits and I even have room left over! Wow!
I also came across, in a box of its own, artifacts such as: my wedding dress, veil, garter, and dried-up bouquet, plus the decoration on the wedding cake and a number of cards; my First Communion veil; cards, pictures, and a disc from our fiftieth anniversary; the guest book, cards, and other items from Pat's funeral. I put these together in a plastic container and stowed that in a corner of the closet.
Another win: My mortgage is going down by more than a hundred a month--yay!--plus I was sent a check for an over-run or something in escrow. As I often say, there's nothing like money to make people happy (cynic Mimi!).
Betty called and we had a nice talk. Went to Wal-Mart for plastic wrap and a few other things. The foregoing were wins, but for otherwise, read on:
My persecution by AT & T continues: When I got back from my walk, manager Patti met me at the car. She said two men from "Affordable Phones" or something were checking my jacks, which was okay. They were nice enough and were here for almost an hour. Finally, Patti came back to tell me there was no problem on the apartment's end, that the AT & T line was at fault.
To recap: This is more or less what I was told last week--several times--and the technician didn't come. On Thursday, I was told he'd come the next day, on Friday, by 6:00, but I was then told "somebody" had called in sick. It's hard to believe, as I screamed at one of the many AT & T-ers I talked to, that the damn company only has one technician. Don't they have any backups?
Back to yesterday morning: Patti called AT& T and was assured the tech would be here by 6:00. By 5:45, he wasn't and I called AT & T again; was told I couldn't really report he didn't come because it wasn't 6:00 yet. Called back at 6:10 to tell them the phone was still off.
At this point, I was screaming at the top of my lungs. Got to a person who said she'd "accelerate this" by referring it to a supervisor, who would call me by 7:00. About quarter of, he did--"Charles"--and said he's have somebody out there today. This is what I've been told over and over, and I have a hair appointment at noon, then a doctor's appointment at 3:15. I was assured I didn't have to be here, but at this point, I wouldn't believe them if they said Hillary is a murderous thug.