Thursday, March 31, 2016

Various

Got up at 5:30, which is just a little too early, but no prob; that used to be my regular time. Poured my coffee, did the blog, and made up a few more flyers for the yard sale. I left at 7:45 to go feed Sebastian; had breakfast when I got back. I was determined to drive to Oxnard to a few furniture;re stores, hoping to actually see a bureau, rather than have to order unseen on-line. Made it okay, but found nothing I wanted.
After lunch, I went back to El's because I noticed her recyle bin hadn't been emptied. It was supposed to be done yesterday along with the trash bin, so I had left it outside. However, it was still not emptied, so I put it in the fenced patio.
Stopped for some containers and a few things from the 99 cent store. Mary H. had sent another e-mail listing the times for Desi's viewing and funeral. As used to be more common, the former will be Friday (afternoon and evening), the latter on Saturday at St. Theresa's, 10 am. I know it will be jammed, as he was very well known in the area, not only for theatre, but as a very active parishioner. Mary, that sweet person, also sent the name and address of Desi's daughter, so those who want to cane send cards. I will certainly send her a note and one to Mary and Jim, too.
I had enjoyed leftovers from El's Easter dinner for two evenings, but there wasn't any more. I made a large salad, then decided to have the kind of stuff most people put on pasta or rice. Chopped up a big onion, green pepper, and garlic; sauteed that while I browned hamburger. Put it together and boy, it was good. I have enough for today, too.
El called just as I was finishing. They were in Santa Barbara at Greg's mother's. She said Sebastian wouldn't starve before they got home, but I said I'd go over and feed him anyway and I did. Later, El called again and we chatted again. She's going to a brunch today and I'm going to lunch at the Center, then the PT at 4:15.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Diana Out, K.s In

Well, I'm finished with Diana. After being pulled in by four books about her life and death, I've met her and found she's an awful bore. She's childish, poorly educated, and obsessed with looks and sex--not a thoughtful bone in her body, so ho-hum.
Now I've taken up the Kennedys once again (I delve into them every decade or so). At this point, the sterile, bland, cooked-up-in-the-p.r.-department phony "news" is giving way--as far as I can see, anyway--to some actual truths. I'm reading Grace and Power, a long, thick book (just the way I like them) that concerns both Jack and Jackie. I also came across at the library--and this is thoroughly absorbing--the interviews Jackie did with Arthur Schlesinger four months after the assassination: Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life With John F Kennedy. The large container includes the interviews both on disc and transcribed. I'm listening in the car (not sure if I'll read them later) and what a added dimension it brings to that whole era.
Of course, much more exciting than all that are my day-to-day activities--NOT! Yesterday, I got up a little after 6:00, following my usual routine, then went off to feed Sebastian. Did so, then went home, and sent the listing for our big garage sale to the paper. Gave my credit card info and got a receipt. Sent El a copy of that and the flyer I had done. She called from San Luis Obispo, said they were having a nice time, and might be taking a hike later.
I decided to drive to Camarillo and get the garage sale freebies the Ventura Star gives out when people advertise. After my usual misadventures on the road, I got there and back, escaping the 101 once more. I stopped at El's again to bring her trash can inside the fence.
Had lunch, went to Winco, then went back to El's to give kitty his dinner. Got home and received a call from Jeanne Dollard Pointer, who contacts me every few months or so. She's in Florida at the moment and, as ever, we can say anything at all and giggle about this and that. Neither of us is shocked or disgusted by our talk, so it's refreshing.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Desi

Yesterday, I got up very late (for me, that is: 8:30), got my coffee, and wrote the Easter entry on this blog. I then went into Facebook and, after scrolling down a bit, was stunned to see a post from Tonya D.L, that Desi Starr had died Sunday night. I looked on e-mail and found a message from Mary H.:
"...Desi passed away last night. He was at our house for Easter brunch and I knew he hadn't slept much the night before, but he has been having trouble sleeping for several years. He was recently diagnosed with an aneurysm on the aorta near the kidneys and he didn't plan on doing anything about it, so he knew that he had limited time, maybe 5 years, we didn't think it would happen quite so quickly. At some point last night after speaking to his daughter, Sioban, he called 911 with extreme back pain. She said he had to really be in pain to do that and I agree. Around 2:30 she gave us a call crying and asking if we could go to the ED at SOCH because she wouldn't be able to get there in time. Jim did his best, but Desi's heart stopped and he passed away a couple minutes before Jim was able to see him. I know email is not the best way to let you guys know, but it's the most efficient since I do not have most of your phone numbers and lack the will to talk to you at this point in time. I will let you know about funeral arrangements in case you are able to attend..."
I got into acting because of Desi, as I had taken his acting course (which was very casual), then auditioned for some things. Later, he sometimes simply named me for a part (he was petty autocratic, as anyone who knew him will affirm). He directed me in a number of productions and we weren't always of one mind, that's a cinch. But he had founded the Little Egg Theatre Company (LETCO) and was the heart and soul of it. What a loss! Jim and Mary Henry were very close friends with Desi and Jim, an internist, was his doctor. They performed a lot together and of course, we all acted under his direction. Desi was not some mild, saintly old man--he and I had our run-ins over the years--but was an interesting person just because of that. He had been born in Ireland and had acted on Broadway many years ago. We're all incredulous, and so sorrwful, although he was several years over 80.
Aside from the above, I went to WinCo, the library, and a few other places. Fed Sebastian at Ellen's. I called Nancy, who is in the middle of extensive dental procedures (she gets two teeth pulled today), then Joyce. Left her a message and she called me back at 9:20! I tried to convey that that's too late unless a meteor is about to hit, but didn't want to be rude. I'm interested in hearing about Joyce's knee replacement, so we made a date for lunch next week. I'm not sure if we're each others "types," but once we get to know each other better, maybe we'll click.
The wind was incredible yesterday; very wild and leaves, branches, even whole limbs came down all over the place.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter

Very enjoyable Easter Sunday, and what a contrast to when the kids were little.
In those days, we all used to wear our "Easter outfits"--somewhere there are pictures of my daughters and me in outfits I made myself (incredible!) one year--and go to church. We squealed over Easter baskets and played "upper-upper" with the dyed eggs we had had so much fun decorating the day before. I always had a basket for Pat, as he liked coconut eggs. We'd go somewhere after breakfast, maybe to Philly or to take the train in New Hope which, as Ellen reminded me yesterday, "didn't go anywhere." Sometimes, we went down to Ventnor to Mother's or Betty's or even out to eat. It was quite an elaborate holiday that took weeks of planning to make happen.
Yesterday? I got to El's about 1:00 and El presented me with a plant with pretty pink tulips and a lovely card. We went to Oxnard to see 10 Cloverfield Lane. I had known nothing about it and it was--well, peculiar, to say the least, but not being a habitual movie goer, I enjoyed it. We stopped after to see Greg at work, then went home while El whipped up dinner and I sat and talked to her. Did I help? Even a little? Nope. I offered, but she declined my services and fine by me.
Here's a little digression: Several years ago, I was visiting my brother and his wife in Virginia. We had a good dinner that my Sis-in-Law had prepared and after, she got up to clear the table. I asked if I could help and my SIL went in the kitchen, got a piece of paper, and handed it to me. I had a little verse on it to the effect that she did not want me to help, so I could stick it in my--. No, no, it was cordial and light-hearted enough, but for a hostess "fail," seems to me it took the cake. Good grief, just say "no"; I'm not going to twist your arm.
So I happily sat and talked while El did the work. When she was almost finished, we each had a glass of pinot grigio. She made a nice vegan casserole with spinach, cauliflower, chick peas, tomatoes, which she served with sourdough bread, tapas, a veggie plate with hummus, and other goodies. Delicious and I got some to take home. My friend called while we were at the movie, and we called back, but didn't get her. Will catch up today, I hope.
I stayed until the unearthly hour of 8:00, happily going home with a container of the main course. (I'll be back today, as I promised to feed Sebastian while El and Greg take a trip to San Luis Obispo overnight.) I just watched my usual allotment of Forensic Files for an hour, then turned in.
Yes, it was very different from the Easter of years ago, yet maybe more enjoyable. I cherish those long-ago days and wouldn't trade them for anything, but things change and rightly so. Yesterday, we were relaxed and happy and did what we wanted to, rather than following some script written by others.
And now--it's spring!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

PT and So On

Awoke at 6:15, which suits me; I really don't want to stay in bed longer. After breakfast, I looked again in cyber-space for a tall dresser. I have some possibles, but hope I can actually see some "in person," so to speak. Drove to town and went to a few stores. Bought two candles from Kohl's, then started back to my car, about a city block away. Unfortunately, my knee started to hurt more and more until I was holding on to the sides of buildings. A woman asked if I wanted to lean on her arm--yes, I did and she escorted me to my car. I had put the Aspercreme on, but either I didn't use enough or it was wishful thinking that it helped. Once I got home, I had no problem; I assume it's walking on concrete that exacerbates the knee, as I don't seem to have as much pain on the carpet.
El called and we made plans for me to stop there after my PT appointment, then go to the movies at The Collection in Oxnard. Had lunch, showered and washed my hair, then went to my physical therapy appointment.
Diana remembered me from when I was there months ago with the balance problem. She took me in and had me walk toward her, then away from her. She asked about when the knee was painful, what made it worse, when it eased up, and so on. She then had me get up on the table and do certain exercises, which included stretching, flexing, and so on. She also massaged and manipulated the knee and talked about what was going on in there based on the x-ray. I did several of the exercises with her and she said she was pleased at how I was easily able to perform them. She gave me a paper with them illustrated and said I should do ten in the morning and in the afternoon.
It was 4:15 by the time I left and I drove to Ellen's. When I got there, she said she had called me on the cell and left messages--I didn't hear the ring or my purse was elsewhere. Anyway, she asked if I minded going to the movies today instead, as she had some things she wanted to get done. I didn't mind at all; in fact, I preferred going in the afternoon today. I'll go over there at 1:00 and after the movie, we'll have dinner with Gregg at their place.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

An Ad and Aspercreme

Boy, was my knee bothering me yesterday. I called the PT to see if I could get an earlier appointment and yes, I can go in today at 3:15--good. I spent a fair amount of time on the computer (this seems to be a pattern and it may not be a good one) besides light housework. Called the Ventura Star, a rag to which I have a daily subscription, with an eye toward advertising the Garage Sale of the Century, which will be at Ellen's next Saturday. I couldn't believe the cost for a dinky four lines, but at least the young woman to whom I spoke was very pleasant. She commiserated with me, saying the paper was being sold to Gannett.
Hmm...that's the outfit that I think eventually bought The Trenton Times and owns an enormous number of newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations, all or most of which used to be independent. I know The Trenton Times was because I interviewed the last private owner, James Kearny, for American Jewish Life; I still have that article somewhere. One of his antecedents started the paper and members of his family were movers and shakers in central Jersey. I talked to him in his large and beautiful home in Princeton and, as I recall, he was very cordial--plus good-looking and sexy. My article centered on the fact the Washington Post Group had just bought the paper; this was in 1974. I don't think most people realize how hugely the media is controlled by just a few corporate groups.
Went to WinCo and got Aspercreme, along with several other items. Home, I had messages from Betty and Ellen and called them back. Betty and I wished each other Happy Easter. El and I discussed the garage sale, at which she and I will both make thousands. I had e-mailed for her approval the ad I wrote, along with a flyer I made up that I'll post here and there where I can. El also suggested seeing 10 Cloverfield Lane today--there's a showing at 4:50, when I should be out of P.T. Sure thing, sounds good.
I applied the Aspercreme and I think it may have helped. It's a bit early to know yet, though, and there was no sense in putting any on when I got home, as the knee only hurts when I walk, anyway. We'll see.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Down, Then Up

I felt a little down this morning and looking around the apartment, I could see why. I've been careless lately and it was messier than I like it. I always find that somewhat depressing (though not in a clinical sense). I resolved to do something about it, so I emptied all the wastebaskets and took a big bag to the trash enclosure; ran the dishwasher, then put away the clean dishes; removed the bed sheets and took them with other wash to the laundry; paid several bills on-line and sent a check to Vanguard; dusted the flat surfaces; thought about vacuuming (I'll do it another time!); and shifted around some of the things in my closet. I got a real sense of accomplishment and satisfaction from that and what's more, everything looks neat and tidy again, so now I was up.
After lunch, I went to the physical therapist's place and made four appointments. It's too bad the first isn't until next Thursday, but in the meantime, I'm going to take my friend, Pat R.'s advice and try Aspercreme. Several people have told me to ice the knee, but that honestly doesn't seem to help. Snuck into somebody's house to leave on her kitchen table two little Easter gifts for her and her guy.
When I got home, I picked up the mail. My tenant, Eileen, had sent me the "bill" for the furnace--no charge!--and Bill G. sent a bill for the three outdoor lights he replaced--$164, but that includes both labor and fixtures, and I'm sure is fair. Bill lives four doors down from my house in Sunrise Bay. I've known him and Elaine for 13 years and I trust him completely.
Sat down at the computer again after dinner and was pleased to see an e-mail from Aline. I wrote her back and sent her pics of precious Mr. K., whom she calls "our baby." Called her, too, and we talked and talked and talked for more than an hour. I like it here so much and I do have friends, but they can't take Aline's place.
Of course, nobody can take Ellen's place, either, and I'm so happy to be near her. Speaking of whom: She called last night, too, telling me the Easter bunny had left her and Greg some things, and we had a nice chat. I'll see her on Sunday; plans still fluid on what we'll do.

Frustration Two

Well, not really frustrated, but just taken aback. I had decided to go to the writers' group after all and printed out two of my plays in case attendees were expected to bring some of their work. The meeting was listed on the "Peace" web site as from 10 to 12 at Tatiana's Coffee Shop on Main Street. I got there about five of and was greeted by--I guess--Tatiana, a very pleasant young woman. Unfortunately, she said, that the leader of the group had gone to Florida and she didn't think she was coming back. Was the group disbanded? No, she didn't think so, but she thought they met in a different place each week. She was nice enough to ask for my contact info and said she'd give it to one of the members.
Well, that was that and now I had time on my hands before my 1:30 doctor's appointment. No prob, I had a list of a few things I had forgotten to pick up before and I bought them. The only thing I couldn't find anywhere was cream blush; I had read years ago that, when you get older, cream is better than the powder kind.
Got to the doctor's office a bit early and she took me early, too. She said--as I knew, having gotten the report--that I have an arthritic knee. Also, the dexa test revealed some bone deterioration. Well, both of them I expected and assume it comes with the territory--aging, I mean. However, she wants me to get some blood tests to be sure it isn't from some other cause, then see her in June. The colon doctor gave me the same instructions, so I guess I can combine the tests.
As for the knee, doc wrote out a prescription for PT to try first, which is fine by me (and I'm sure my friend in New Mexico will be pleased). I'll try to get over to the PT place tomorrow.
I was delighted to get a call from my brother, Frank. Ellen had already told his daughter, Francine, who had invited up up to Alameda for Easter, that we wouldn't be able to come. Gregg has to work and to be honest, I wouldn't look forward to spending eight hours on the train. However, Frank said he and Marybeth are coming to Ventura for a wedding next month and we can get together then. Happy day--in fact, I had been going to plan a trip up to see them, also. I could, and may still, do that,too.
Niece Carolyn returned my call and we had a nice chat. She'll give me a call when they get back from Alameda and we'll do lunch.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

A Bit of Frustration

Frustrating part-of-the-day! I resolved to go to the Walmart in Oxnard to look for white sheers I had seen in Ventura, but they had only one and I need two. I bravely got on the 101 and got off where Yahoo Directions had told me to--62B--turned left, then left again, as I was supposed to, and--it wasn't there! I found myself in the same loop-type road I was in last week. Drove around for a good 35 minutes, in and out of The Collection and then, turning down a street, there I saw it, right in front of me. Only problem was, it was the other side of the 101. Practically gnashing my teeth, I drove here and there and finally got to the damn place. It was at that point that I remembered this was the Walmart that sells only food--it's a supermarket, dammit! I went into World Market, but saw nothing but mediocre, high-priced junk, probably made on Division Street in Newark.
I left, drove home, had lunch, calmed down, and went to WinCo for provisions, then to the bank for register books, then to the library. While there, Lori, the branch manager, whom I've gotten to know, asked me if I knew where Jim Barrett, the author of the Ma Duncan book, lived. She said her coordinator would like to see if he'd give a talk on the case. I was sure he lived somewhere nearby, but looked it up when I got home. I was mistaken; his web site said he now lives in "northern California and Idaho." I called Lori to tell her and she appreciated it. She indicated that was the end of that idea...
...but why? I suggested she might want to contact him anyway. Maybe he'd spring for the cost of coming here, especially as he has other books to promote. And if not, what harm was done? I always think you should try to achieve or reach or attain something, even if you think it won't work. I do and I figure about 80 percent of the time, it does work.
By that time, my somewhat pissy mood had faded, partly because it was silly to be annoyed over not finding Walmart. Also, I got a lovely and very warm e-mail back from Vickie W., one of my favorite people from Rider. Vickie is the head (not sure of her title) of the security department at Rider and, oh, boy, judging by pictures on the web site, it's gotten to be a large and very professional group. I like Vickie so much and will keep in touch with her and David.
When I got up just now, I found new pictures and videos of Mr. K.--such fun to see him on the train and hear him chattering away. Wish I could just hug and hold him.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Perking Along

Things are perking up. Did my wash and made a big salad for lunch. Called Assurant, my rental insurance, to drop the policy, then AAA, to ask them to write me a policy to start on the same day. The latter (I guess because I have tripe-A car insurance), will charge me exactly half what Assurant does. I would never bother with rental (for possessions) insurance, but it's required here. I think the possibility of my things being stolen or in a fire or something is so remote, it's silly, but oh, well. Fooled around on the computer with this and that. Got a message from cousin John, with pictures of a Mommy Squirrel and her babies; she had appropriated his "engine compartment" for a nesting place. Cute pics. He also sent info on some natural help for arthritis. I'll look at it when I have a chance.
I had written to long-time Rider employees, Kathy B. (50 years) and Vickie W. (30 years), with congrats and got a nice message back from Kathy. Also heard from Dave P., to whom I had finally written back on Sunday. I had found an entry on my blog from April, 2007 about meeting him for lunch after I retired and I included that, which tickled him. What a neat guy.
El called just to say hello and that was nice. She said she, Gregg, and I were invited to my niece's in Alameda for Easter, but Greg has to work. She declined with thanks for all of us, citing that and my knee
Showered and dressed for the widder dinner. It was a fun group last night; about 14 of us. I sat next to Pam and across from Chuck, the newlyweds (January), who met in this very group just six months ago. Vera was on my other side and Susan across from her, so I chatted with those I like a lot in this group. Joyce came in and I talked to her after. She had had knee surgery recently (still uses a cane) and I wanted to ask about her experience. We sat down together and I got some good feedback, some a little off-putting. However, I think Joyce tends to be more a "down" person than up; that is, she seems to look more on the negative than otherwise. However, I enjoyed talking to her and we promised to meet for lunch sometime.
The big news of the evening came with a visit to our table from the manager. He informed us that Yolanda's would be closed for several months in the summer for a complete renovation. We were surprised, as it's a pretty nice place, with murals of Mexican life on the walls and other reasonably authentic touches. However, we were told there were plumbing and other structural "issues." I got the impression the whole place would be leveled and rebuilt.
Not being a devotee of Mexican food, I was indifferent to the news, but where we would meet in all those months is a question. A few suggestions were bandied about, but Vera and Susan will make that decision and I'm sure I'll be happy with any.
Before we left, I announced to the group that I'd be conducting the acting course, starting in September, and several expressed interest. I told them--I believe Hans indicated this--that you don't have to be over fifty to enroll. Pam immediately expressed interest, but I doubt if she'll be able to participate, as she subs in schools and works until 2:30. I had forgotten that the Center closes at 3:00, so I'll have to schedule in the morning.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Ho-Hum

Snooze of a day. I got up early--5:30--and did my usual, then breakfast, then the crossword. Called my friend, Marge, and talked to her for a time. She's had so many physical setbacks in her 89 years and 3 months. The latest is a bad back, which happened when she was told to bend over in a doctor's office. She was too modest (or something) to say, but I assume it was for a rectal specimen. Why the idiot doc didn't have her lie on the table, I don't know. Anyway, she's been suffering ever since. Taking Percoset, but it makes her woozy. She sounded terribly down on the phone and no wonder. She's had a lot to deal with and I think she's just ready to quit. We spoke for only a few minutes, as I didn't want to tire her.
Also called my friend in New Mexico and had a much more agreeable conversation. Being an OT, she interpreted my knee x-ray report, then we chatted about fun matters.
I thought I'd stay in, but got antsy, so left after lunch and went for a drive, then to the 99-cent store for a few minor items. I decided to stop at the Goodwill and buy the lawn chair I had seen on Saturday--well, wouldn't you know, it was gone. I'll buy new, I guess, although I don't need it immediately.
When I got home, I actually took a nap on the couch. I don't really like to do that, but it did help my knee. In fact, the knee doesn't bother me a lot at home--I guess walking on concrete is the problem.
Finally replied to my old pal, Dave Perry, who was our management information systems guy when I was a Rider. He's a Westminster grad (organ), lives in Point Pleasant, and we always had a good rapport, both generally being nay-sayers. Anyway, we've been e-mailing, but I owed him one and sent it off.
So ho-hum, and I was glad when the day was over.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Mishmash

Decided to stay in yesterday (well, that lasted until after lunch) to rest my knee. I actually got a fair amount done of things that had been "hanging fire," as the saying goes (must look up where that's from).
In the middle of some paper (computer) work, I got a text, then a call from my tenant, Eileen, who said the furnace had stopped again on Friday. That wasn't good news, but read on: Incredibly, it was just a few weeks ago that I subscribed to a home service contract ($276) that covers the furnace, water heater, and something else. In fact, I just got the first bill--which isn't due until March 26--for it yesterday and I hadn't even paid it yet. Turns out Eileen called them, they came and fixed it, and there was no charge! Wow--great, that's one for our side!
I was pleased when my pal, Pat R., commented yesterday about the possibility of a cortisone shot. I know others who get this, and I hope it's an alternative to surgery.
Got restless, natch, and went out after lunch. Drove to the supermarket near Ellen's, got a few things, then called her to see if I could get some of my boxes from her garage. I kept saying I was going over there and get them out of there and I kept meaning to, but hadn't done it. This time I did, although there are plenty more left. Got a large container with more pictures (groan). These are ones I really cherish, including an original oil of the mountain in Hong Kong (Mike used to live there), the portrait of my grandfather in his Civil War uniform, and a water color of flowers I won years ago in a lottery at my Aunt Claire's assisted living facility (yes, the same aunt who gave me the antique table).
I wish I could say these were the only pictures I have left, but they aren't. There are plenty more and I simply may have to relinquish them, as I have no room for them. I put a large (26" x 32") one on CraigsList. This is an antique picture of an old-fashioned sail boat on what looks like a European beach. I'm trying to post a picture here, but not sure if it'll take. (It didn't.)
I ran into my little friend, Gabby, and we exchanged phone numbers and e-mails. Her little girl was with her and I said, "Hello, Dominique." She responded, but looked a little puzzled. Her mother then told me her name isn't "Dominique," but "Lilac." Unusual, but pretty, and I love lilacs, which I don't think grow here.
For dinner, I had a large sweet potato. That was all I wanted and that was all I ate.


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Good Day in a Good Week

Yesterday topped off a good week. Went to the colon doctor at 8:15 and was told my ulcer is probably healed, so I don't have to continue the iron or, once I finish the bottle, the omeprazole. He wants me to get a blood test, then see him in three months to be sure the anemia is gone. Okay, that was great news.
After that, I went to see Hans, the Senior Center coordinator, who had read my proposal and approved it. He said he'd have to fit me in for the summer session, but I told him I'd sooner start in the fall (September), which was fine by him. He'll send me the paperwork, which will include the fee I'll specify, plus minimum and maximum class size.
Went to the library from there to pick up a book I had requested from within the system, Andrew Morton's Diana, Her True Story. Every once in a while, I get interested in the royal family and lately, it's been Diana. I've read several books about her--some saccharine, others snide--and will continue with this for a time. I often develop interests in certain topics or people, then I want to read about them extensively. After I get my fill, I may never give them another thought. A few years ago, it was Ernest Hemingway and I read loads of bios, reminiscences, memoirs, and so on for months. Suddenly, I had had enough and "dropped" him for years, but that doesn't mean I won't pick him up again.
Went to the post office and again complained that they had no overseas stamps. I was told that the drug store down on Telegraph Road had them. What? Why would a drug store have them and the post office didn't? I just can't fathom the meaning of all this, but the hell with it. Went home and straightened up the apartment--it's starting to shape up nicely, but still has a way to go--and waited for Nancy. She got here at 1:00, and we set off for Brophy Bros. restaurant at the harbor.
What a delightful place to be on a warm, sunny afternoon! It's on the second floor and overlooks the blue water, with boats of all sizes and shapes docked there. Nancy got a seafood medley (I want to order that next time)and ordered a split of Chardonnay. She got the seafood, but the waitress accidentally brought her champagne. Did she complain? Nope,she said she likes that, too, and just drank it. What a contrast to the harpy at Jasmine Thai, who had fits over what was served.
I got the salmon sesame salad, which was good, and a glass of nice 805 beer (named for the area code here). We had a fine time over lunch, then walked down the quay a bit and sat for another hour on a bench chatting. Nancy's husband died just 14 months ago and in June, she and her children will scatter his ashes on various places he loved in southern and northern parts of the state.
Drove home and dropped Nancy at her car. Will see her again on Monday, as we have the widder group dinner at Yolanda's then.
Betty called and we talked for a time. Got a sysnopsis of my knee x-ray from my primary care doc about my knee x-ray and called to make an appointment. I was told she was booked until the end of April and I told the receptionist I wasn't gong to wait that long. She said she'd ask doc if she'd "double book," whatever that means; otherwise, I told her I'd see someone else. Also got some darling cards--Valentine's, St. Patrick's Day, and Easter, from the Tokyo Trio. They had been sent back, unfortunately, because they didn't have the apartment number on them. (I may have neglected to add it when I informed them.) The original cards are just adorable and I'll take a pic for Facebook.
The knee is my major concern now and I need to know what, short of surgery, I can do to improve it, if anything.

Friday, March 18, 2016

A Frame and Thai

In the main, it was a varied and satisfying day, the only negative being my knee, which still hurts. I'll call for a doctor's appointment today.
Spent the morning assembling the paper info on my "acting career," which I had duplicated a few days ago. I had three of each piece and it took several hours to assemble them and fasten them with paper clips. I'll decide later how best to arrange them--whether with tape, staples, or whatever.
After lunch, I took to Aaron's Frames one of my father's large college pictures from Villanova. This is of him and his fellow members of the debating team, a mate to the one of him and his running squad. The glass had separated from the frame and neither Ellen or I could get it back in. I told the salesperson--Joseph--that I knew they framed pictures, but I wanted to keep the original. I just wanted it put back together--and how much would he charge? He said fifty bucks and I gasped in horror. "I'll pay twenty-five," I said. He countered with thirty and I agreed to that. (Geez, I thought, it's a big chain store and there wasn't a soul in it but two sales people, Joseph and anther guy.) He got a phone call and asked me to give him fifteen minutes. Sure, I said, and I went next door and picked up a few items.
When I came back, it was all finished. He had not only reassembled it, but he added wire (which had somehow come off) to the back, so I was pleased. Paid, walked out, and now I'll decide where to hang the two pictures.
I took a dry run to find Brophy Bros., the restaurant at the harbor where Nancy and I will have lunch today. I've been there before and thought sure I could find it, but didn't. Let's hope I have time to try again aftr I see Hans at the Senior Center.
Set off about 4:30 for the "Supper Club" gathering at Jasmine Thai, which is somehow affiliated with the Senior Center; I'm not sure of the connection. There were already several people there, but I didn't know any of them. Soon, others came, so there were about twenty of us. Sweet little Beverly, who works at the Center, fluttered around telling everyone the restaurant wouldn't give us separate checks, so we'd have to bundle them in groups of five, and she hoped everybody had cash. I didn't and said I'd was paying with a debit card, but it all turned out all right because they did, after all, give us separate checks.
As always seems to happen after a certain age, I got acquainted quickly. I talked across the table to a sourpuss named Avonne (not "Yvonne"), who immediately started railing against "the terrorists" who invade other countries. She was not amused when I remarked she must mean the U.S. Happily, more people came in and sat next to, and across from me, and I turned my attention to them. It was much more convivial after that.
Georgia and I had a good chat and her husband, Bill, poured me a sip of his Chang beer (it's Thai), which I liked so much, I ordered a bottle myself. Ron and Kathleen across the table proved to be interesting conversationists, too, and I greatly enjoyed them. Rosalie, her husband, and some others, were fun to be with, too.
At one point, I looked toward the door and who was coming in but Ellen. Greg was working late and she had ordered Thai to go, as she often does, so we chatted until she paid her bill. I ordered the curry dish I had before, as it isn't spicy. Didn't eat it all and the wait person put it in a container, but I forgot it. No problem, there wasn't much left anyway and I don't happen to have any rice to put it on.
Left about 6:30 after a very pleasant outing. I think I'll go with this group next month, too.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Active Day

A good, active day. I attended the Ventura Council for Seniors meeting at 9:30 and was introduced to participants as a candidate to join the board. (There were several others who have also applied.) At the April meeting, successful applicants will be announced. All that sounds so impressive, but it isn't. This is just a volunteer group--the chair reports to the (elected) Ventura Commission, which has the real power of yea or nay on questions--but it looks pretty interesting, so if accepted, I'll try it.
The speakers were two people from the police department, one a "civilian," the other a cop. They talked about "NextDoor.com" and explained it as an on-line help for neighbors in particular neighborhoods. Looks intriguing and I think I'll raise the question of whether we could do this in Colony Parc. I don't see why not and it would be a good way to meet neighbors and possibly, to have some kind of neighborhood watch.
Since the meeting was at the Senior Center, I stayed for lunch, sitting with Barbara, Marie, elderly Betty, and two others I've met before. On my way out, I ran into Hans Hormann (yep, that's his name), director of the Center and to whom I had submitted my "Acting for Elders" proposal. I asked if I could meet with him and we settled on tomorrow. That will work out well for me, as I have a follow-up with the colon doctor 8:15 and I'll just go directly to the center. Later, I got an e-mail from Nancy, asking if we could go to lunch on Friday at Brophy Bros., a restaurant we both like down on the harbor. I wrote back I could, as I should be able to finish up with Hors in time to meet her about noon.
Home, I took a few Tylenol for the knee and decided to finally drive to Whole Foods in Oxnard to drop in on Greg. I did so, approaching the 101 with fear and trembling, but didn't have a problem except that I got off on the wrong side. I had to ask directions for The Collection where Whole Foods is, but I made it over there. I was pleased that Greg did a double take when he saw me, then gave me a big hug. We chatted for a bit, I told him about my knee, and he recommended turmeric. I'll consider it after I talk to the doctor about what's going on with it. We said goodbye with another hug and before I left, I bought a big sweet potato and some beautiful oranges.
Went from there to Target in the same complex. This is the biggest one I've ever seen, with a parking garage underneath and escalators to get upstairs. I looked at floor lamps and saw one I actually like--at 69 bucks or so, not bad at all--however, I couldn't get the damn box into my cart, it was so heavy, so I'll have it sent or something.
From there, I headed home--unfortunately, not directly. I got confused about how to get on the 101 north from there, and drove several miles out of my way before I stopped at a barber shop and got directions. Finally made it, and zipped home with no further problem.
I had forgotten my cousin, John, was going to call me at 3:00 and by the time I got home, it was almost 4:00. He had left a message, I called him back immediately, and we had a good, satisfying talk. I couldn't remember how many children our (joint) grandparents had had and he reminded me: ten, although the youngest, William, died shortly after birth. The others lived to adulthood, with Uncle Frank having the longest life span: 95 years.
After talking to John, I hauled out the large package of chicken pieces I had bought on Tuesday, comprised of both drumsticks and thighs. I oiled and seasoned them, separated them into two pans, and popped them in the oven. Ate one of each and have several in the freezer for later.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Stuff

Gathered my wash and went to the laundry place. There I again saw Gabby and we talked for a good twenty minutes. I was surprised to hear she had had her daughter, Dominique, (her only child and she doesn't want more) when she was 33. I know Dominique is seven, so that makes Gabby 40. She looks about 25 to me--but I guess that's because I've gotten so ancient.
Anyway, I went back to dry and fold, of course, then cleaned up the apartment a bit. I padded, wrapped up, and addressed the Rider memorabilia and took that, plus several other pieces of mail to the post office. Went from there to town, but didn't stop, as my knee is still bothering me.
Went home and spent a fair amount of time writing some stuff; not sure if there's any good, aside from one piece.
I had tried to e-mail, then call my cousin, John, to ask something about the family, but my e-mails come back. I called him, but he didn't answer and I left a message. It was his birthday--I wished him a happy--and asked him to get in touch. When I got home, he had e-mailed me (I had the wrong address) and said he'd call today.
I've been using the ice pack on my knee and it does seem to be improving. Hope it continues to do that.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Dexa and X-Ray

Got to Rolling Oaks--I keep wanted to say "Rolling Thunder"--Radiology early, but perused a People magazine for a time. I wasn't very interested, as I didn't know who most of the "stars" were. I noticed, though, that it's written on a fourth grade level. If this is what passes as culture in our beleaguered land, we're doomed.
Got the dexa scan first, then the x-ray; they didn't take long and weren't uncomfortable.*
Drove into town after to go to the library and drop a book off; picked up two more. Right now, I'm into both Bernie Madoff and Princess Diana. I also have the bio of Moss Hart, which I've barely opened. I'm like a kid in a candy store, I guess.
When I got home, I made a large salad. Stir-fried onions, garlic, and hamburger and added some of the "sauce" (mushroom and onion soup) I had left over from the pork loin. I didn't put it on bread, but just ate it with a fork. Damn good if I say so myself and I do. After, I drove to CVS to get ice packs, then took a rather long drive out Foothill Road. It was such a gorgeous day, with flowers coming up everywhere and puffy white clouds teasing the green hills.
I had e-mailed the archivist at Rider to see if he wants the memorabilia I have and he wrote back saying he did and thanking me. I told him I'd donate them and would pay the postage.
Betty called as I was cooking up pasta and we had a nice chat.
*Ironically, when I got up just now (7:45 am), my knee doesn't feel half bad. Maybe it's a miracle cure?

Monday, March 14, 2016

Knee and Pics

Aside from my knee, which has been killing me, Sunday was a good day. Changed my sheets and finally duplicated a lot of play programs, newspaper clippings, and other blurbs of shows I was in and/or directed. I'm going to start getting serious about promoting my acting classes.
My cell phone is still on regular time, as I didn't see anyway to change it--not under settings or anything else--darn. I was also surprised that my computer didn't automatically go to an hour later for DST. However, Ellen came over to hang my pictures, looked at it, and saw my location was in as Baja, California, Mexico. Not sure how that happened.
Anyway, I wanted her to hang just the heavier pictures, especially my Uncle Frank's painting of the farm house in Plymouth Meeting. It had fallen after I put it up on one of those Command hangers, which wasn't meant for a picture that heavy. Anyway, she hammered to nails in the wall and it should certainly hold. She also put up the painting he did of the house from a different angle, in snow. She did the same with two pictures Pat and I had bought years ago in Virginia. The originals depict ornate vases with dried flora from the northeast, one picture showing what would be common in February, Pat's birth month and the other in December, mine. I've always liked them and they look quite attractive and very feminine over my bed. Luckily, Ellen also put them up with nails in the wall--they're right over my pillow.
El said I should put an ice pack on my knee. Didn't have one, so I used frozen peas, which worked well. When she left, I went out to CVS to get a pack, but their parking lot was being repaved and I didn't feel like maneuvering around the tiny area left. I'll get them today. As long as I was in the car, I went to WinCo and got provisions for the week.
I get my knee x-ray and bone density test in a few hours.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Not Much

Sort of a draggy day. I finally wrote the two letters to the two divisions of New Jersey taxation to change my address. So annoying: You can't do it over the phone or via e-mail; you have to mail it in a letter. Went to the P.O. to mail them and pick up some overseas stamps which they finally, at long last, got in. I was surprised to see they're open until 3:00 on Saturday; in Little Egg, it's only until 1:00.
Went to Walmart and got an extendable curtain rod--I think it's actually a shower rod--to put across my closet opening. I had asked to have the door removed because it encroached on the space of the bedroom, but I plan to put sheers over it. Looked for them, but didn't find what I wanted either there or at Target. I did get some Easter cards for the children at Target. Went to Burlington Co. (used to be "Coat Factory"), but they had nothing and what's more, the store itself is crappy.
E-mailed my children about the earthquake--boy, it's not something I want repeated. I'm on the first floor and I can see the second crashing down on me. (Oh, Mimi, don't be so dramatic.)
Called AAA because I thought they hadn't taken out the monthly charge this month, but they had. I find it annoying that it's slightly different each month--it was explained to me, but I can't recall why--but it can't just be automatically paid. Did a lot of other stuff on the computer.
Drove into town, planning to go to the museum and see when their "Hollywood in Ventura" program is, but traffic on Main Street was diverted because (it looked to me) the high school was having a parade. I didn't bother turning left toward the museum, but went to the right and home instead.
I had put one of the pork loins in the slow cooker with mushroom soup and Lipton Onion and when I got home, it was done. So good I ate half (it was a small one) for early dinner.
Started Dazzler, a thick bio of Moss Hart. I had read his auto-bio, Act One years ago. I'm enjoying this one, as he lived in New Hope, right across the Delaware from where I did (but not at the same time). Also, I was in his comedy, You Can't Take It With You, as Gay Wellington, a drunken actress, so we're practically related.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Little Items and Earthquake

Got lots of piddling little chores and errands done. Filled my weekly medication containers, so I'm set for the next seven weeks. Went to the bank to deposit a check, which I'll transfer electronically to Vanguard as soon as it clears. Stopped at Walmart for the Sominex knockoff sleep aid I've taken every night for ten years. After lunch, I took my car to Pep Boys and had air put in the tires. Went from there to Big Lots to see of they had any decent floor lamps. I didn't see any and the place is a dump, anyway. From there, drove to the library to renew two books and ask where the one I requested might be. Lori was there and didn't see it on my account, but re-ordered it. Stopped at the post office to mail a St. Patrick's Day card to Mr. K. Went from there to the supermarket, as they were having a sale on pork and beef products. I picked up two pork loins and beef neck bones for soup. Kept one loin out, put the other and beef in the freezer.
I think I deserve a medal because I got some of this done while--it was raining! Yes, water came out of the sky for about three hours total, maybe, with stops and starts. In Jersey it would have been hardly worth notice, but here, even I was gratified to see a fairly steady flow part of the time. I took my umbrella and actually opened it now and then.
Geez: I woke up a little after midnight for the usual reason and as I sat on the bed, I felt it shake. Later, I thought I must have--oh, I don't know--somehow jiggled it. Just now, I read there was an earthquake in Ojai, a few miles from here! Aagh--my first earthquake in California!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Knee and the Center

I finally got on the stick and called for an appointment to get my knee x-rayed, plus a bone density scan at Rolling Oaks. I was glad to get it for this Monday, as my knee is really bothering me.
Wrote out a proposal for my acting course to Hans Hormann, director of the Ventura Adult Center. I included a description, a copy of the blurb that Stockton sent out, plus my truncated theatrical resume. Rather than send it, I decided to take it there and partake of the three dollar lunch at the same time.
It turned out that Hans won't be in until Monday, but I left it with the woman on the desk to give him. My friend, Marie, came up and we sat together, along with five others. The food itself was--as it always is--anything but gourmet. This time it was pollack, not a very flavorful fish to begin with and surely frozen since the year one. This was accompanied with brown rice and succotash, so it was bland and beige all the way. There was salad, of course, plus iced tea. Dessert was in the form of a half peach (canned, naturally) with vanilla yogurt. In other words, the meal was nourishing and that's about it.
But so what? If the food is often forgettable there, many of the patrons aren't. I'm lucky in that I get endless enjoyment in meeting people who may be very different from me. Yesterday, I met Dennis, probably in his middle seventies, who is a native of Finland and a neat guy. He had a catering business in Ventura and Santa Barbara, but for some reason (I'm not clear on this), he lost it and now bartends for other caterers. Aside from all that, it was fun to hear him tell about life in Finland--seven months of winter, very cold, and--as night follows day, a high suicide rate. Some others at the table were Penny and Tom, who talked baptist religion earnestly; Carol, who used to teach dancing, but now, I'm afraid, might be dancing with early dementia; and Sergio, a real estate agent born in Italy, who still sounds like the Godfather.
Ate, said goodbye, and zipped down to "regular" downtown. Stopped at the dog and cat charity thrift store just to look around. Saw some pretty paper mache Easter eggs that open; bought two and will put something in them for Ellen and Greg. When I pulled into my parking spot, I ran into my tax preparer, Michelle, who said she had filed my returns. Asked her to come in and I'd give her her check--she did and I did.
Got my mail and saw an envelope from the Ventura Police Department. Oh, damn--don't tell me I got another ticket! No, it was a notice telling me they changed my address. Why I got a copy of this, I didn't know, so I went to the police station and was told it was just to inform me or whatever. I barely listened, as I don't care what they do as long as it doesn't entail a fine.
Barely got home from there when El called to see if she could come over and return something she had borrowed and would I want to go to dinner. Natch, and I suggested Panera Bread, where I had been in Jersey, but not here. It was okay, but really is a lunch place and not very exciting. I had a quinoa salad, El soup and sandwich, and we agreed we probably wouldn't frequent it often, if at all.


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Not a Lot

Not a whole lot going on. For the first time in months, I had sleep problems over Tuesday/Wednesday night: woke up about 3:00 for the usual, but then couldn't get back to sleep before a lot of tossing and turning. Finally did, and got up for good at 6:15, which was okay by me. Last night was better.
I decided not to go the the writers' group in town; may next time, as they meet every Wednesday.
I had bought ground turkey, so added egg and bread crumbs and made meatballs. Browned them, got some spaghetti sauce out of the freezer and cooked the balls through. Went to WinCo after, as well as a few other stores.
I've been trying to ignore it, but now I'm afraid my left knee is clamoring too loudly for attention. It hurts when I walk and takes me several minutes before I can without stiffness and pain. I remembered the doctor had given me an RX to get it x-rayed, but I mislaid the paper. Stopped at her office to get a copy and was pleased to see I could go to Rolling Oaks Radiology nearby; I had thought I had to travel to Camarillo. I went to Rolling Oaks just to be sure they take my insurance--they do--and will make an appointment shortly.
Got home to find my friend in New Mexico had both called and Skyped. Got together with her on Skype and enjoyed a house tour. I love the place--it's so spacious and nicely laid out, and is in a semi-rural area; very inviting. Their furniture they had in Cream Ridge looks great in it, too. I plan to go there in September as soon as they come back from a trip east.
My friend has a little jewelry business and has given Ellen, me, and others some very attractive necklaces She makes them out of clay and fires them in an outdoor microwave. She takes custom orders and yes, gets paid for them. She showed me a nice piece she made for someone in in shades of blue and the approximate shape of New Mexico, with a star at (roughly) the location of their mountain town. Very creative.
Seeing her was the high point of my day.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Catching Up

A catching up day. I took my wash to the laundry place, which was occupied, too, by a young neighbor. I've seen this young woman before, but had never spoken to her. She apologized for using three of the four washers and I assured her I had only one load. We then fell into conversation and I got to know her.
Gabrielle ("Gabby") has a very slight accent--almost not there at all--that for some reason, I pegged as Slavic. But no, she later said, she was of Mexican descent; she's lived here since she was a child. She's about to get a divorce from a controlling man (says that's how Mexican men are) and has a 9-year-old daughter who has lupus. I'm not sure if that's serious, but I think it is. She also has a cute little white puff-ball of a doggy--one of the few I think are cute, that is. Anyway, we talked and talked and I learned that she had had to have radiation for "something" in her breast, so is on sick leave, but works for the county in some office or other. As with everyone else in these parts, when she heard I was from Jersey, she said she knew somebody from there, too. We talked so long that my wash finished--it takes 31 minutes--and I was able to put it in the dryer while I was still there. It's nice to get to know others here in Colony Parc and now I know five: my accountant, Michelle; the founder of Golden Girls of Ventura, Cheryl; now Gabby, her daughter, and her little pup.
After lunch, I wanted to get out--if I can avoid it, I never spend a full day inside, nor did I in Jersey--and drove into town. Went to the Goodwill and saw a large ceramic pot I thought I'd pick up for the patio. However, it was just an impulse and I've resolved not to buy anything that's just to look at, and/or that I can't use right away. I have enough I'm still trying to get rid of without adding more.
Saw that there's a writer's group that meets at a coffee shop this morning. I'm toying with the idea of going--maybe. They meet every Wednesday at the same coffee shop, so I may defer it.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Lunch and "Spotlight"

Gee, I'm enjoying a string of good days. Met my widder group (there were only six yesterday) at Yolanda's for lunch and greatly enjoyed it. Co-founders Vera and Susan, both widowed in their early thirties, asked to be my Facebook friends, which pleased me. Susan said she was having an "old movie with wine" party (has something to do with Turner Classics) and would I like to come? Well, sure, just let me know when. Gayle the Gabber was there, but was less obnoxious than usual, I thought. It occurred to me that, while I greatly enjoy being with those in my own age group, I need to interact regularly with younger people. It introduces me to new perspectives and keeps me less dogmatic--I hope.
We talked about all kinds of things, not dwelling on our spouses' deaths, although that certainly isn't a taboo subject. I had a Caesar wrap-something with chicken; I just asked Susan what she was ordering and said I'd have the same. Very tasty, although I doubt if it's Mexican, which is fine by me; took half home for dinner. Also had Modesco--well, it started with "Mod"--a Mexican beer, served with lime as Corona is, and that was good, too. After, I drove into town, and took advantage of Geezer Monday (they don't call it that) when tickets are only $5.50 and saw Spotlight.
Hey, that was one hell of a good movie. I was riveted the entire time. I thought the acting was superb and the script excellent. Of course, the topic is a well known one, the circumstances being both horribly tragic and infuriating in the extreme. Really an excellent movie. I understand the church lost some adherents when they learned of this sad history, but that doesn't make sense. I was taught in parochial school that if a belief or conviction is valid, it shouldn't be denied simply because of the failings of some of its representatives. Seems to me that makes sense, so if one embraces a belief, even if it doesn't stand up to hard evidence, the integrity of those who lead it shouldn't be a factor one way or the other.
Stopped at the library after (it's only a half block away) to return some stuff and get an audio book for the car. Don't like it, though, so will for a better one when I go back.
Got an e-mail from Nancy and called her. She wasn't able to make the lunch, as her allergies were acting up. She has to go today to Oxnard to have a consultation with the dental surgeon, as she needs some (gruesome--I should know) work done in her mouth. We talked for a bit and decided to meet up next week for lunch.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Gone!

They're gone, they're gone--YAY!!
Not who, but what: my antique table, the too-big-for-the-room easy chair I was dying to get rid of, AND my jewel box for which I have no space, either.
I called "Bill," the guy who wanted the jewel box and we agreed to meet at the bank. Did so, I handed over the box and he handed me a twenty. Fair enough, easy money and better, it was out of my hair.
Carolyn and Dana came with their SUV shortly after and carefully carried out and loaded in my Aunt Claire's mother's beautiful mahogany table which was brought over by boat from Ireland 120 years ago. They followed me to Ellen's, who had prepared a place in the living room. It looked great, as it's a much larger area than mine. We three then drove back to my place and they carried out the chair I gave them. That was a lot lighter and easier to handle than the table.
After, my dear niece and her wonderful husband stayed for a half hour to chat--always such a pleasure--then we said goodbye. I immediately called El and asked if she was available for dinner. She was, and I went back over there. She had moved the table from one side of the room to the other and it looks gorgeous under the double windows. I took over some table runners, one I had bought in Thailand, one in Singapore, and the third at Pier One or some other non-exotic place. She selected the Thai one and it looks great on the table.
We then went to Two Trees Cafe and had a casual dinner--burgers and beer for me, the same, but iced tea for her. Of course, the best part was talking and laughing together. Home about 7:30--almost the witching hour for me--after a pleasant and productive day.
When I was chatting with Carolyn and Dana, she asked if I liked it here and, surprised, I said "I love it!" And I do.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Tax and My Jewel Box

Assembled and e-mailed the thrift store info to Michelle. She wrote back thanking me and saying she could file the fed and state (California) returns electronically, but had to send the Jersey one by mail. I'm getting a refund, happily, although not as much as I did last time, presumably because I now have rental income. I'm even getting a refund from my adopted state for some reason, but it's a wash with Jersey. Michelle's fee was very fair, I think, certainly better than I would have paid the ones who advertise. All this took longer than one might think, as I also cleaned up a bit more financial stuff.
El had texted me on Friday to see if Carolyn and Dana were coming yesterday for the chair. Called Carolyn, but she said it was raining there and could they come tomorrow (which is now today, Sunday) about two? Fine by me, fine by Ellen and I hope the rain stays away.
Fooled around a bit on the computer, had lunch, then drove into town. Dropped a book (about the Kitty Genovese murder, which I had finished) off, then picked up one on Princess Diana by her secretary and one by Barbara E., who wrote Nickel and Dimed. I read that years ago; it's a chronicle on how the lower-middle and lower classes (geez--talk about snob talk!) are systematically screwed by the whore politicians and the system they set up for the purpose. Anyway, this one is called Living With A Wild God, A Nonbeliever's Search For The Truth About Everything. Sounds intriguing to this fellow-traveler.
For the first time in an age, I had a sandwich for lunch. I usually eat bread only at breakfast (one slice with cottage cheese) and have salad and other items for lunch. It tasted good, but I don't want to get in the habit.
Went to WinCo and got lots of things I like, still enjoying buying new instead of the eating down thing.
Wonder of wonders, I got a call in the evening from a guy who wants to buy my jewel box. I had put it on Craigs List weeks ago and since nobody bit, I was going to sell it at Ellen's yard sale. I told the guy (who said he collects boxes) I can meet him at the bank this afternoon.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Taxes

Continued my income tax crap-gathering, still brooding over not being able to find my 2014 return. As a last resort, I thought to look under the bed (in an apartment this size, that's a good source for storage). Found a box labelled "past tax returns" and happily hauled it out. Found it contained from 2000 to 2009 and that was it--damn! It was the same box I had already examined and put under there a few days ago!
Thought I might as well see if there was anything else under, so got a broom and pushed them out. Happy day--there was a similar box with 2014 and other returns--finally.
Anyhoo, after a bit more picking and choosing what to take, I went up to Michelle's at 3:00. Met her ex, with whom she's obviously friendly (they have a grown daughter together), who was just leaving, then we settled down to paying Uncle Sam. There were a few things I didn't have, notably my many donations to thrift stores. Michelle said the rule is to ascertain how much the stuff would have cost new, then you can declare 10 percent of that. She told me to provide the names and addresses of the thrift stores, along with an estimate. I researched out the info last night--had to call my friend in New Mexico to ask where she took some of my stuff--and will e-mail to Michelle.
I was happy to be interrupted by a web cam call from that little boy so far away. He and Daddy were on the roof waiting for Uncle D. and family to visit. K. was lively as ever, chattering away and discussing the colors of different trains, which he identifies by number. I was sorry to hear that K.'s grandfather has to go in the hospital for a serious operation. I wish him well.
Betty called and we talked a bit. For some reason, she's having a continuing problem with her crawl space: She said that Dave--once her bosom buddy, now the devil incarnate--put the insulation in upside down. She then hired somebody else and the floor's still cold, so she thinks he did it wrong. She's now going to hire George Wimberg's teenaged grandson (??) to crawl under and look at it. Okay..moving right along...

Friday, March 04, 2016

Ponzi and Pizza

Spent the morning digging out and categorizing income tax info. After lunch, I continued, but then realized I'm not seeing the accountant until 3:00 today, so I could defer some. Shortly, I'll finish up, I hope.
I know it's not good for me to be so sedentary--I need to walk, the more the better. Otherwise, I find it hard to sleep well, for one thing. Drove to the supermarket for a few items and purposely walked around the store for about fifteen minutes, then took my stuff home.
Decided to go to the library, although it was after 5:00 by then. They're open until 8:00 from Monday to Thursday and until 7:00 Friday and Saturday; yes, they open on Sunday, too, until 5:00, which I appreciate. Chatted with Lori, the branch manager, who now recognizes me, then browsed the books. Got a bio of Moss Hart (years ago, I read his auto- and I wanted to get a different perspective). Also picked up The Wizard of Lies, a very thick book and no wonder: It's a full account of Bernie Madoff and his Ponzi scheme. When the news broke, I was fascinated by it--not sure why, although I guess it was the mystery of how he got so many astute, intelligent clients to fall for it for so long. Started reading and I'm already fascinated. I know nothing about high finance and sure as Hell don't deal in it, but this is also about people and it's enthralling.
I finally ate the last "meal" in my freezer, a pepperoni pizza. It was so-so, to put it kindly. Aside from veggies and ice pops and the lemon pepper chicken I added recently, that was it for eating down.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Yesterday was the Beach Cities Newcomers and Neighbors monthly coffee gathering--really breakfast--to which I invited Nancy. Met her at the door and she got a temporary name sticker. The breakfast was good, as ever, and included both sweet and savory, plus fruit, tea, and of course, coffee. After that, there was a short meeting, "happy birthday" singing to March babies, and some other announcements.
The speaker was a psychologist and her topic was the trite old "Aging Gracefully" thing, with the cheery advice everybody over 50--or over 10--has heard a million times: Pay attention to your inner self, exercise, take courses, paint or play golf or garden, read, volunteer, and on and on and on and on. Annoyingly, this woman simply talked, enlarding her blather with cliches galore. If there are been some visuals it might not have been quite so tedious. Anyway, we suffered through it. I'm not sure why people seem to accept this kind of thing as if it's New and Interesting. It isn't and wasn't.
They have had some speakers who were N. and I., especially the vegan chef who went to collage, then opened her own catering service after her husband left her penniless. At the time, she was suffering from stage 2 cancer and had two children under 5. Hey, talk about triumphing over a lousy deal in life--that gal was great (it helped that she was an excellent speaker). Nancy has decided to join the group--the only one of the many I'm now in that charges dues, yet it's the one which I probably enjoy least. That's not to say that I don't enjoy it at all, though, so I guess I'll sign up again.
After that, we went directly to the Ventura Center, where we got our three-buck lunch and I introduced Nancy around. Modest though this place is, and somewhat eccentric though some of the patrons are, I like it a lot. We sat with Barbara and a friend of hers new to the Center, plus a man whose name I didn't catch. I didn't see Marie, who came in later; she had been doggy-sitting for her daughter's pooch.
She mentioned that she had seen Spotlight on Monday; darn, I wish she had thought to call me. However, I looked on line and saw that it will still be there next Monday. That's perfect because I have the widder group lunch at noon and there's a 1:45 showing.
When I got home, I called niece Carolyn and she said she thought she and Dana could pick up the chair on Saturday. I asked is they would mind taking the antique table to Ellen's, who has decided to put it in her present house. Of course, she said they would--can't wait to get both chair and table out of here.
Went out to get wire to put the wreath back up on my front door. I'm so inept with things like that--I hope it holds. So far it has, but I wish I could say the same for the picture with frame I switched from one wall to another. It looked great over the settee, but an hour later, I heard a bump/thump as it fell. Called El, who said she'd put it back up for me.
Marking the end of my "eating down" routine, I Went to WinCo for several pounds of chicken thighs, which I oiled, seasoned(with lemon pepper), and baked. Had two for dinner and yum, they were delightful. I let the others cool a bit, then wrapped them for the freezer and the future.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Here and There

Busily busy. Stripped my bed and took sheets and other wash to the laundry place; filled two machines. Went home to re-do bed and finish the crossword puzzle, then back twice, of course, to put in dryer and retrieve clothes. It's now getting to seem perfectly normal and natural to have to leave my apartment to do my wash. After all, I don't have to slosh them in the river.
Finally connected with my friend in New Mexico, who called me back from Roswell. Did she see any aliens? Not this time. She said they were there to do some shopping--Mike was at The Home Depot--and they had taken the motorcycle, her on the back--aagh! And it's seventy-five miles--double aagh! These crazy kids on Social Security and their biker molls!
Got a message from my cousin, Diana, to the effect that Shirley Figenshu has died. She was my cousin, Bud's, second wife, and was 91. She and Bud, a widower, had met when he went to buy furniture at the up-scale shop where she worked. I guess he was in his fifties, she maybe 45 or so. (Shirley was Jewish, which some of the family remarked upon, but not in any derogatory way, just as an interesting aspect of our new cuz.) She sold him stuff, they chatted, he stopped in again--and the rest is history. They married and had a beautiful love affair for many years until Bud died. Called Betty to tell her.
Did some housework before lunch; showered and washed hair before getting color. Yes, I know that's silly, so shoot me.
When I got to Penney's for my 2:00 appointment, I discovered there had been a mix-up and the person who was supposed to color my hair didn't actually start until 3:00--did I want to wait for Chris or have someone else? Well, I sure as hell wasn't going to wait, and I got Amanda. She did color just the way I wanted it and besides, was fun to talk to. In fact, I always have to wait for 35 minutes or so for the color to set, and instead of strolling away, she plopped herself in the chair next to me and we had a great conversation. I really HATE going to the hair dresser, especially for color, I find it so boring, but this wasn't. Hair looks good, too, and I'll ask for her next time.
Zipped up to the library after to return some books, then went to CVS for the OME, etc. refill. Ellen called in the evening and we had a good long talk--always a pleasure.
All in all, a satisfying day.