Thursday, June 30, 2016

Touching Base With Friends

Did the Kimball walk, as usual.
Called Doris and we chatted; I'll see her tomorrow at The Townhomes wine and music thing. She mentioned that Carole's birthday is coming up and asked if I'd like to go in with her to take her dinner. Sure thing and we'll set a date later.
Talked to another Carole: Wimberg Cadora, that is, and we settled on me visiting her from the fifth to the seventh, Tuesday to Thursday. I'll take the train to San Juan Capistrano and she'll pick me up there. Should be fun with my young (several years younger than I am, that is, so a mere kid) and slightly-kooky-but-in-a-good-way friend.
Talked to Sue Sailboat and was concerned to hear she had spent the night in the hospital a few days ago. During one of Dr. Wordling's SCAN lectures, we had seen a video on "Heart Attacks in Women" and darned if she didn't seem to have the symptoms. They included pain under her left breast, which she referred to as "angina," but her heart seemed okay. (I'm not sure if that term properly denotes pain from a heart attack only, or not.) She does have to see a cardiologist, so there must be some concern. Sue says she'd like to lose ten pounds, but I don't know from where, as she's certainly not overweight (all that hard physical work on the board is good for the bod). She's tall (now five ten--says she was closer to six feet when younger) and big-boned; she makes me think of the word "statuesque." She's only 69--talk about your kid!
Called El in a tizzy because my computer was acting up. I was able to bring it back to life, though, and she and I chatted. As she's been suggesting, I'm leaning toward getting a laptop.
I'm to meet the Ventura Breeze reporter today at 11:30 at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, so that'll be interesting. Unfortunately, I passed a very restless night; not sure why. Think I'll forego the walk, as I feel draggy.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Quiet

I was restless over Monday night, but finally fell asleep and didn't get up until 8:30. That gave me a good excuse to skip the walk...but I didn't. Although it was after 9:00 when I got going, I went, got my BP checked, and walked the walk. I felt better after that.
Had breakfast, straightened up a bit, then went to get my oil changed. While there, I got a text from niece Carolyn, saying that both the carpet cleaner guy and the plumber would be late and she had to pick Finn up after, so she and Claire wouldn't be able to come and go in the pool after all. That was okay; I texted back no prob on my end and maybe they could make it next week.
Still on the trail of rotisserie chicken, I actually stopped at Vons to ask if they have a rotisserie oven. Nope, which makes me wish Shop-Rite would open here.
I didn't have lunch until after 2:00, then went to Wal-Mart and picked up some very inexpensive tank tops. In the summer, especially, I like to get out of "good" tops when I eat or am doing anything strenuous and wear these. I wouldn't dream of wearing the chintzy ones out anywhere as I greatly dislike exposing my arms (flab? Oh, yeah), plus they look--well, chintzy.
I'm having second thoughts about moving to Ventura Del Sol. Checked Yelp and there were several negative comments. I'm back to square one when it comes to moving, I'm afraid. I guess it's just as well my lease isn't up until September.
It's just incredible that yesterday was my great-grandson's fourteenth birthday. I remember when he was born. And when his Dad was born. And (gulp!) when his grandmother was born. Geez, I'm getting to be an old lady.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Plans

When I lie in bed at night, I sometimes--not always--plan what I want to do the next day. Sometimes I follow through and sometimes not. What I resolved to do on Monday was:
1. Walk the walk at Kimball;
2. Get a shower and wash my hair;
3. Call and change my eye appointment;
4. Call Walter re my tenant continuing in the house;
5. Go to Jessica Spa for a pedicure;
6. Stop in at Vons and ask if they have rotisserie chicken;
7. Stroll around Ventura Del Sol (whence I hope to move) to get a feel for it.
Well, wonders will never cease: I completed all those things. Walter said Eileen and I just have to agree to continue the lease (unless I want to raise the rent, but I don'). The pedicure thing was problematic, believe it or not, to wit: I thought it was taking longer than it ever had before The guy (I hadn't had him previously) massaged my legs with some kind of lavender cream, wrapped them with hot towels, and finessed a few other things until I was there for an hour and a half. Well, he's just slow, I thought, but I was in no hurry. The shock came when I got to the cash register and was told the charge was forty-five dollars! What?! It had always been twenty-two and with a three-buck tip an even twenty-five. In fact, I only had a five and a few ones, so I gave him the five. I was told I had gotten the "deluxe pedicure," and I protested that I had not asked for, or agreed to, that. The manager apologized, then asked me to just pay the twenty-two, so okay.
Stopped to get my oil changed, but there were several in front of me, so a ninety-minute wait. Instead, I made an appointment for today at 1:00. Neice Carolyn called and I invited her and Claire to come use the pool today, which they will. I'll enjoy having them.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Mimosas and Me

A good, fun day. Drove to Kimball and walked the walk. Did this and that after breakfast, then to El's at noon. We went to the Hill Street Cafe again (hope this will be a weekly habit) and I enjoyed the free mimosas. The server brings a full (slim) glass of champagne, along with a little pitcher of orange juice. After a swallow or two of the bubbly, you pour in the O.J., and enjoy. What gets me is that the wait staff comes around often to refill--and the mimosas are free when you order from a certain area of the menu. Last week and yesterday, I got the eggs benedict, which come exactly the way I like them: only slightly jelled whites and barely cooked yolks. (El wrinkled her nose, but to me, they were perfect.)
After, we went to Orchard Lane to look at a house for sale. This is a gated community and we had some difficulty finding the r.e. agent, but finally did. The place isn't bad--nice fireplace, attractive patio and so on--but really, Ellen's present house is nicer. Just for curiosity's sake, we also looked at one around the corner from her and similar, but it was smaller and neither of us liked it very much.
After that, we spent several hours cleaning El's patio. "We?" Okay, she did 99 percent of the work and I kept her company. She washed down the glass-topped table and the chairs, dragged the huge potted plant to the other side, moved all the other plants and another table, then swept and hosed down the concrete part. Anyway, it was a lot of work, but on that lovely day, warm and sunny, but with a nice breeze, we both enjoyed it. Got home about six and realized the Eggs Benedict and Mimosas had satisfied me so much, I didn't want dinner, so I skipped it.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Chicken

A kind of laid-back, nothing-much kind of day. I did go to Kimball Park and walk my one and a quarter. I was a little late, about 9:00, so didn't see Doris. It was good, though, and I want to galvanize myself to make it an everyday habit.
Aside from that, I cut up onion, garlic, and tomatoes, and defrosted some meal balls I had made a few weeks ago. However, I wasn't particularly hungry after lunch of the rest of the pork roast, Brussel sprouts, and applesauce, so guess I'll stir fry them all up tonight.
I spent time on the computer, even including Facebook. The girls in the west have posted some lovely pictures. What a time Vivian and Violet are having! Lucky them to have such aunties, not only the one in New Mexico, but the one in Ventura. Can't wait to see them and their Dad.
Went to WinCo for this and that. Got a nice thank you note from Walter. Good, I didn't save the P.O. receipt for the package and wondered if it had gotten there all right. I'll call him on Monday to ask about renewing the lease for my house.
I want to note two peculiar things about California--or this area, maybe:
1. You can't seem to get rotisserie chicken. In the supermarkets--all those I've been to--they sell whole cooked chicken, of course, but they're just roasted, which you might has well do at home. So far, I haven't found any rotisserie chicken, such as they have in Shop-Rite and Acme at home. They just don't seem to have rotisserie ovens, although what comes out of them is SO GOOD.
2. At WinCo, there was a free sample station for Sangria. That's red wine with fruit and stuff in it. I like it a lot and was pleased to get a tiny cup of it--it was tasty, all right. I was surprised to see a sign instructing parents that if they wanted their children to sample it, they had to give permission. I can't imagine that, in Jersey, even "giving permission" would allow children to have booz. As I understand it, parents are not even allow to permit those under-aged to drink at home. Funny.
El called last night and we made a date for lunch at the Hill Street Cafe, then some open houses. She thinks Vons does have rotisserie chicken--I'll check and find out.
P.S. Geez, when the big news of the day is rotisserie chicken, I'd better spice things up a bit!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Breeze

Yes, I made it to T.O.P.S. I was chagrinned that I "maintained," as we say, but that my have been a result of crackers and salsa the night before.
Did this and that until my appointment at the harbor with Shelton Brown, publisher of The Ventura Breeze. We met and he treated me to a raspberry Snapple, then we sat on a patio and talked and talked.
He didn't exactly "interview" me; in fact, he talked more about his background, which was okay with me, as I found it and him interesting. He said he'd have one of his writers contact me by phone or e-mail. Shelton is about my age--maybe a few years younger--and has a--well, a bit of an unkempt appearance. He has wild white hair, quite long, and a bushy white beard. He doesn't look like Santa, though, as he's rail-thin and Jewish. He was wearing something like jeans, but green, and a green tee shirt, both of which have clearly been worn and washed many times.
He's a big talker and filled me in on his background: born in Detroit, brought up in L.A., lives with second wife in midtown, has three children, two grandchildren, and has owned and published the Breeze for ten years. He has absolutely no background in publishing, writing, or anything else remotely connected to the enterprise. In fact, he went to U.C.L.A studying to be an architect; I'm not clear on whether he ever graduated. Anyway, we met for about an hour and I gave him my theatrical resume, plus some other info on me and told him how and why I got to Ventura.
It was a nice interlude and it can't hurt to have my acting class mentioned. I'm looking forward to hearing from the writer, whose name, incredibly (according to Sheldon, her mother gave all her children nicknames), is "Breezy."
Good new, too: Mike wrote to say he and the girls have booked at the Best Western Ventura for their stay here from July 12 to the 16th--YAY!

Friday, June 24, 2016

So On And So Forth

Got a late start to Kimball Park for the walk, but made it about 9:15. Nurse took me BP before I started, but she had left when I got back--no prob, though. Aside from that, I did a bunch of computer, bill-paying chores and some housework.
Went to the eye doctor for my 2:45 appointment. He saw some evidence of beginning macular degeneration and had me make a appointment with his colleague, a retina specialist. Damn, that makes me nervous, but I'll try not to obsess on it until after I see the guy on July 15.
Went home and changed, then to the store for stuff. Doris called; she said she was pretty sure she knew the answer, but wanted to know if I wanted to go to a "Honor Veterans" gathering at Cypress Point. She guessed right--that I couldn't in good conscience for that. (I didn't mention that not only I'd turn it down for moral considerations, but it would bore me to death.) Doris is a good, kind person and sensitive to others' beliefs.
I told her about our visit to The Townhomes and we chatted about that. She asked if she'd see me at the music/wine thing today and I said yes, but forgot I have an appointment with the Ventura Breeze guy at 3:00 at the harbor. Called back to cancel.
I just got up at 8:15 and not yet dressed--darn! Will I rush go to T.O.P.S, which starts at 8:45 or follow my natural inclination of lazy slobism? Tune in tomorrow.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Rent

El and I went to several possible rentals, plus Ventura Townhomes, an independent/assisted living facility. The latter has some wonderful views--on a clear day, you can see the ocean--from the sixth and seventh floors, but you'll pay an extra 400 a month for them. There are also "cottages" in the gardens in the back and they're very attractive. The usual--dining room, hairdresser, gym, medical staff, and so on--are provided and even, incredibly, Mr. Rosen, a tailor. Of all the similar places I've seen around here, this is probably my favorite. However, I have no desire to live there at this point and couldn't afford it, anyway.
We also visited apartment complexes: Pacific Views (very nice, but I'm not crazy about the location) and Ventura Del Sol. El liked this a lot, and I do, too, but there are some negatives. One is the electric stove, another is that the carpeting extends not only to the dining area, but incredibly, into the vanity part of the bathroom (toilet and tub are separate). Also, one would have to provide one's own microwave--odd, but no big deal, really. I loved the storage space and the fact that the bedroom has a regular window, not a sliding glass door. However, since my lease isn't up until September, the whole thing is moot right now, although I want to feel the Colony Parc office manager out about the possibility of moving without a fee.
Re fees: I just got my July rent bill and am again amazed and infuriated that the water and sewer charge is an extra $38 a month. Add that to the $12.80 for trash removal, dollar for pest control (what pests? There are no pests in California except the ones who own apartment complexes), and the one that makes me bang my fist on my head: $3.85 for the company that makes up the bills! These extras vary only very slightly month-to-month, and come to roughly $668 per year, highway robbery by anyone's reckoning. Of course, I pay electric, gas, and cable directly.
Very significantly, at Ventura Del Sol, not only is the actual rent $105 less per month, but the owners pay water, trash, and sewer, bringing the tab down to more than $160 or close to two thou a year. Hey, that should settle it--I'm moving!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

June 21 and July 15

First thing--well, second, after coffee and computer, of course--I drove to Kimball Park to walk my mile and a quarter. This time, the nurse was there and she took my BP before (132/70) and after (144/80). I'm not absolutely sure that's good--that is, whether there's supposed to be such a big jump, but the nurse said it was okay.
Happy day, my tummy seems to have recovered. Had a salad and what was left of the spinach/shallot/carrot dish I had made the other day and had no problem. Went to Ralph's and got a pork loin; ran into Carole F. there and we had a good chat. Home, I put the pork (I could never turn Jewish or Muslim) in the slow cooker with an envelope of Lipton onion and a can of mushroom soup, plus water. When I got home after being out, I had myself some slices of it. Absolutely delish!
Mike sent a beautiful picture of my girl--and her guy--with his two girls at the door of the RV. I love the picture--tried to get it on here, but it didn't work, for some reason, darn it. It seems I have to enable cookies to get pictures on here and I "asked" Microsoft 10, which I hate, hate, hate, and wish to consign to hell, wrote down what it said (three simple steps), but wasn't able to follow.
I was thrilled to get a phone call from the aforementioned girls who are now in Wyoming and will be for six days. Talked to Vivian and Violet, both of whom wished me Happy Anniversary at their Auntie's urging, and heard that they saw buffalo roaming free and were having a fine time. What I would have given to have an adventure like that at their age. Also was told that my dear grandson and his dear sons had gotten an apartment in Bordentown, and will move July 15. That happens to be the same day I moved here last year--auspicious date!
Got a note from the publisher of the Ventura Breeze that he'd like to meet with me and work up a story about my acting "career." I disabused him of the notion that it's a career (I wish) and said it's a fun activity, but I'm okay with a story, as it may be good publicity for the class I'll conduct at the Adult Center.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Tummy and Dinner

Went to the laundry place about 7:15, but it didn't look as if the machines were operating--or something. Could it be they're turned off until after a certain hour? Don't know, but I went back later--had only one load, anyway. Aside from that, I didn't do a lot except financial stuff, organizing files, and similar boring chores. I still don't feel absolutely tiptop, although I haven't had to take any more Pepto Bismol. Actually took a nap--unusual for me--for about an hour on the couch. Got up and felt better. Went to WinCo for a few things. Showered and changed to go to the widder dinner. There were only seven of us this time, as opposed to more than twenty last. That could say something about the food and/or service at Marie Callender's.
Because my stomach was still having some "issues" (if I ever use that word again to describe problems, please shoot me), I just ordered an appetizer of what was billed as an avocado and shrimp stack. Of course, I had a Blue Moon, too. It was an okay gathering or would have been if obnoxious Gayle hadn't done her thing of nonstop and nonsensical talk. Got home a bit after 8:00 and had no further troubles with my tum, aside from--which just dawned on me--not being able cleaning it out.
Just now when I got up, I thought of asking my guru--the Internet--if iron supplements could cause constipation. It seems that they can, and although my last blood test showed no deficiency, I had continued to take them, figuring they wouldn't do any harm. I'll stop them as of today and step up my fiber.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Sunday

I thought Sunday would be a dud, considering I still had an on and off stomach ache. It wasn't as bad as it had been, but was still there. I toasted the bottom half of a white roll (the top had seeds), added cottage cheese and had that and my usual half orange for breakfast. That seemed to sit all right, but I was still tentative about whether I felt better. I thought I'd baby myself for the day and, of all things, did something at 11:30 am I havn't done for years in daylight: turned on the television. What was on was a new show, The Hunt with John Walsh, and it actually seemed interesting. Watched for fifteen minutes, then El called. We discussed the wedding she went to yesterday (and the bride gave her the bouquet), then El asked if I wanted to go to lunch at the Hill Street Cafe. Well, sure! The HSC has FREE mimosas if you order off their brunch menu and I thought champagne and orange juice were just the thing to soothe my tummy. El also suggested I bring my bathing togs, so we could go to the pool.
I got over there about 1:00, but we didn't get to Hill Street Cafe until quarter of 2:00. We found that the free mimosas ended--and, in fact, the restaurant closed--at 2:00, so we quickly ordered. I had delicious eggs Benedict, El a huge tuna salad, and the mimosa was great. The waitress came back several times to add champagne after I had put the O.J. in the glass--fine by me.
After, we stopped at an open house and saw a gorgeous place, the price for which is probably within El's range. The kicker is--as happens so often here--the maintenance fee was almost five hundred a month, more than she pays now. However, I liked it better than she did and she isn't that anxious to move right now, anyway.
We changed and went to one of the pools where Ellen lives (there are four or five of them, only two where I am) and it was delightful. We stayed in for forty-five or so, chatted with other residents and luxuriated in the clear water. When it got a little chilly. we topped it off with a soak in the spa.
Suddenly, I realized my stomach didn't hurt at all; I was incredulous. El and I agreed it was the mimosa that must have done it--ha!
Just half redressed, said goodbye, and left for home.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Symposium and Stomach

It would have been a good day except for an ungood--in fact, double plus ungood*--factor: I woke up with a stomach ache. This is practically unheard of for me; in fact, I honestly don't remember the last time I had one. The cause? Beats me, but it may have been the cherries, followed by raisins and walnuts I ate before going to bed.
Even so, I was determined to follow my planned activities. The "Aging for Women" (sounds like instruction for...) symposium started at the harbor Mariott at 7:30 am. I actually got lost, annoyingly enough, because I took a route I never had before, so I was about fifteen minutes late. Found Carole and Sue looking for me, as they know I'm usually early.
The program consisted of power points and talks by various physicians and included a very nice breakfast spread of bagel, fruit, yogurt, juices, coffee, and so on. All this was provided by Community Medical and usually, would make a big hit with me, but although I had chewed some TUMS, I was still uncomfortable. I didn't have breakfast before I got there, so just had half a bagel with butter.
The presentations were scheduled until noon, but I left when they were winding up, about quarter of. Stomach still hurt and when I got home, I took some Pepto Bismo. That helped for a time, but I had to keep taking doses through the day.
Even so, I wanted to follow my plan to see Open Meeting Closed, an original one act at the Elite Theatre in Oxnard. My acquaintance, Angela DeC., is one of the six women in it, so I drove there and paid my fifteen bucks. It was in the so-called "south side room" of the theatre and was very makeshift. There's a stage of sorts and ordinary--I think kitchen chairs--set out for the sparse audience. (The "north side," which I assume is spiffier, will be staging Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap, one of the most produced plays in history, until the middle of July.) The playwright/director of Open Meeting Closed bounded onto the stage and welcomed the audience, said a few words and on went the show.
Boy, was it bad. To put it kindly, the script stank (the comedy part wasn't funny and the dramatic part wasn't interesting), the set was mediocre (the pretend door kept shaking and wobbling and threatening to fall, although it was supposed to be locked), the actors were lousy (several times, not just once, somebody clearly forgot her lines and there was a deadly silence), and it was a chore to sit there for the whole crappy thing.
I think I can take pride in performing with the Little Egg Theatre Company; we would never have put on something like that. Anyhow, I suffered through it, my stomach still hurting, until it was finally over--the show, not my stomach. I greeted Angela after, said hello to the other actors, then made my getaway.
Went home to change, then to El's to feed Sebastian (she and Greg were at a wedding of one of her colleagues in Santa Barbara). Stopped at Ralph's to get some things I had read on the web were good for a stomach ache, including bananas, applesauce, and white bread. I ate half a banana, but it made me feel worse, not better.
I was able to sleep most of the night, but had to take another dose of Pepto Bismol once. Tummy is quite a bit better now, although I still can feel something just vaguely uncomfortable in that area.
Addendum: Well, goes to show how good my memory is: I put "stomach ache" in the search engine and this blog immediately came up with about ten instances when I had a stomach ache. The other times were never explained either, but went away before long. Hope this one does.
*With apologies to Eric Blair.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Activities

Went to T.O.P.S. and stayed for the meeting. For the third week in a row, I was the big loser--but I had lost only 1.2 pounds and that'll tell something about the rest of the group. However, I enjoy them and it and if they're not seriously committed--hey, that's their thing and it's none of my business.
Called former neighbor Ray H. to ask if I could send him Walter's present and he and Barb could take it to the party on the 25th. The 25th? Yes, the surprise party for Walter's eightieth. No, the party's tomorrow, Ray told me--aagh! However, no prob, I just addressed it to Walter and he'll get it a few days after the party. Enjoyed catching up with Sunrise Bay doings, anyway.
Home for breakfast, then over to Michael's to look for a box for that very present. I found nothing suitable, but remembered that I had a high, square box at home with "Happy Birthday" sentiments on it. I had had it for years and kept cotton balls in it, but I emptied it, lined it with cushioning, and it was perfect for the present. When I took it to the P.O., I was horrified that the postage was $12.40--good grief, the bookends cost only sixteen bucks! But the hell with it: After ranting and raving, I paid the king's ransom and it's on its way to Jersey.
Went from there to The Townhomes and found Doris already there; Carole didn't show, but we were okay with that. We enjoyed the duo--old guys with hats, one on keyboard, one on guitar--and the appetizers and wine, too, of course.
El had called to ask if I wanted to come over after and share her Bistro, M.D. dinner. Yes, sure, and I got there about 5:00. She came soon after, having had her hair trimmed--it looks great--and her nails, hands and toes polished. She showed me the dress and shoes she got for the wedding she's going to today, and oh, they're beautiful. The dress is black and white with sparkles--subtle ones--at the top in an empire style, with a matching jacket. She got a pretty rose shrug to wear for the daytime wedding (3:00 pm) and will put the matching B/W sparkle top on for the evening reception. It's really a gorgeous outfit.
We had dinner--pork with mustard sauce for me--and enjoyed Margaritas before and with it--yum! Good talk with my daughter, of course--it's always a great pleasure. I promised to feed Sebastian about 5:00 today and she promised to go to Ventura Del Sol with me on Wednesday to give me her take on the apartments.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Thisa and Thata

Got up at my usual, did my thing, then drove over to the park for the Thursday walk. This time, the nurse wasn't in evidence, but no prob, I walked anyway--yes, the whole perimeter of a mile and a quarter. As I finished, I saw Doris; she comes late and walks a half-mile. That sounds puny, but not considering her extreme hip and knee problems. She's already had them "fixed," but they're bothering her again and boy, what determination she has to try to strengthen the muscles around the knees. Doris has to shuffle--and slowly--when she walks, but she does it. Our mutual friend, Sue, had her knee fixed and recommended a doctor at UCLA Medical Center and Doris will contact him. If she isn't a great walker, Doris sure is a champion talker; we chatted for a good 45 minutes, then off I went.
Called Carole Wimberg C., but she was at "work" (volunteers at the front desk in a nursing facility), so I asked her to call me back at 5:00 or so. Showered and changed after breakfast, then met Sue for lunch at Panero. We both had big salads and talked and talked for a long, long time. She's worried about her husband's memory lapses, and he's been tested; no treatment yet. (But in truth, what treatment is there?)
After we parted, I went to Barnes & Noble to try to find a gift for Walter G. Finally hit on metal bookends in the shape of large ampersands; got a card there, too. After, I went to three different stores trying to find a sturdy box to send the damn things in. Finally got a cake box from Wal-Mart. However, it's pretty flimsy, so I'm not sure if it'll be any good--I'll go to Michael's later and see if I can find anything better. Stopped at WinCo for ground turkey to stir-fry with my already-cut-up veggies.
My new friend, Barbara Z., called; I had met her at the Tuscany party and was intrigued when she told me she was going on a cruise out of Singapore. She'll be there from January third to the fifth, so I said I'd send pictures from when I was there and would also ask Mike for recommendations on what to see. She said she's also traveling to Chicago with her son and his family (wife, two kids), so I e-mailed nephew Wes and asked what they might enjoy seeing. He wrote me back immediately and I'll pass the info on to Barbara.
Carole returned my call and we had a long talk, more than an hour, in fact. It was great catching up with her and she invited me to go down for several days to Dana Point, where she lives. Yes, indeed, I'd love to, but it's 135 miles away and I wouldn't dare drive. Will check train schedules and we'll discuss it again.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Stuff

Attended the monthly Council for Seniors meeting at 9:30 and met Doris there. The program was interesting and was presented by four EMTs. Boy, talk about eye candy; they were all tall, toned, and terrifically handsome. (Ah, to be fifty years younger. Okay, sixty.) They split us up into groups of four and taught us how to do "hands only CPR" on a rubbery torso with a foam head. Our guy demonstrated, then we each took a turn. He said it would be easier on the floor, but I knew I'd never be able to get up if I did it there. Two of our group did, the other one and I had the dummy on a chair. How to position your hands and fingers was demonstrated and whew, it isn't nearly as easy as it looks. To be effective, you had to hear a clicking noise when you were rhythmically pushing and it took me several tries and a lot of energy to do it. We were told we should keep it up (in a real situation, that is) for at least a hundred counts a minute and after six minutes is about when, if there's no response, the effort is futile. All I can say is, if anybody collapses near me, they're going to need a lot of luck.
Got home about 11:00 and made a large and varied salad, as well as a slow cooker concoction of frozen spinach, adding fresh carrots and shallots. Let that simmer while I went to try to find rechargable AAA batteries for one of the landline instruments. After visiting three other stores, I finally did at WinCo.
Kept my follow-up appointment art 2:00 with the colonoscopy doc and was pleased to be told my blood work was good, including the hemoglobin count, now 12.7--a little better than 5, I guess. Went from there to the library, as I had gotten an e-mail message that the book I requested was in. However, it wasn't on the "hold" shelf, nor was it anywhere else the librarian could find. She apologized and said I'd now be put first on the list. This is a new book by Clint Hill, the secret service agent who covered Mrs. Kennedy in Dallas. I already read his account of that day; this is a new one covering five presidents. Well, I'll have to wait.
Slept like the dea--uh, a log last night, I'm happy to note, as the night before I tossed and turned and woke up groggy. Via e-mail, I got a message from Facebook that I had missed 90 notifications plus other stuff from "friends," but I don't care, I'm not going back in. I did respond to a private message from Marge's DIL. Also got a PM from Carole Wimberg C., who lives in Dana Point, asking me to get in touch so we can get together. Will do.
Now I'm off to the park to do my mile and a quarter (ugh!), the habit of which I want to resume.*
*An awkward sentence? Yes, Sister Gabriel, but linguistically I believe it is accurate.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Walk and a Movie

I did, indeed, walk in Kimball Park. Got there a bit before 8:00 and didn't see anywhere to sign up or whatever, so started off. I walked the whole perimeter of the park, which I was SURE was at least three miles, but darn, I seem to always to exaggerate how far I walk, and see later.
When I got back near my car, I saw a small table and chair with a young woman on it. It turned out she's an R.N. and would take my pulse and BP, which she did. (The walk thing is a service of Memorial Community Hospital, where I had my blood transfusions.) She also gave me a card with the BP on it, which I assume I'm to present on Thursday, when I come again. I asked the nurse how far it was and she told me a mile and a quarter. I was a little crestfallen, but if I keep it up, that's not too bad.
Went home and had breakfast, then I hauled my wash to the laundry place. This time I had two full loads, as I had changed my bed, too. Back and forth, forth and back, and it cost me $6.50. While I was folding after, I ran the dishwasher empty with a powder that supposedly helps with the damn hard water. In the meantime, I washed what had been in there by hand and put them to drain. Isn't all that hot news?
I had seen a manufactured home for sale in Country Estates yesterday and impulsively called and asked to be shown it. Did so and it's really, really nice--brand new, three beds, two baths, a marvelous, very large kitchen,and lots and lots of storage space. Drawback is that it's way out in the middle of nowhere and--come to think of it, I don't want to own anyway, so who knows what I was thinking? Talked to El later and we agreed we had already seen this one when she was looking.
Called Sue and we made a date for lunch at Panero for Thursday. Talked to my friend, Doris, and will see her this morning at the Council for Seniors meeting. I also intend to go back to the park on Thursday (hospital-sponsored walks are Tuesdays and Thursdays) and she will, too.
Later, I just impulsively decided to go to the Monday dollar movie at four o'clock at the Regency. Saw Mother's Day, which was left no cliched situation unturned, but was mildly funny in spots. I enjoyed it, anyway, then went home to a yummy dinner of salmon and avocado.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Variety

Went out to get gas and for a few staples. Stopped at the library and a couple of other places. Decided to look at apartments and saw one-bedrooms at Ralston Courtyard (location too busy for me), Cypress Point (living room small), and Ashwood (I'd kill to live there). Problems include the fact that all are fearfully over-priced and there's so little available. Incredibly, NONE of the complexes had a first-floor one-bedroom available.
Ashwood rarely even has a vacancy, not because they're particularly inexpensive, but because they're so desirable. The one I was shown (but it's second floor, which is out for me) had me salivating. As they are in houses, the kitchen and bathroom are spacious, not scaled-down to sailboat size. The living room is twice the size of mine and so is the bedroom. There's lots and lots of storage: drawers, cabinets, closets--you name it, plus well-kept outside areas and to top it off, they don't allow pets! If I could get in there, I'd feel I died and went to heaven. Aside from the fact it's farther from Ellen's, I like it better even than Ventura Del Sol.
My friend called--always a pleasure; they're now in Wyoming and next week, will meet Mike and the girls, possibly in Utah. Betty called and we talked; she's frantically trying to get her house in shape, as she has it rented for the first week in July. Called Marge at Seacrest after contacting Fred to be sure it was okay. He said Marge was always happy to hear from me and she was when I called.
Now it's after 7:00 and shortly, I'll be off to walk in Kimball Park.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Facebook and Tuscany

Well, I made a momentous decision and I'm surprised the world is still turning: I'm taking a break, maybe permanently, from Facebook.
My daily habit for several years has been to get up, pour my coffee, sit down to write my blog, check my e-mail, then turn to Facebook. I put lots of pictures and narratives on my page, stated my opinions, "shared" what others had posted, and generally presented myself as what, I guess, I wanted to be. Or what I wanted people to think I am. Then I'd go to "Home" and peruse others' pages. If I cared about something, I never failed to insert my comment which, naturally, was much more intelligent, better thought out, and more worthy of FB than anyone else's.
And I'm sick of it. It's unhealthy to the mind and toxic to the spirit. Instead of Facebook, I'm going to spend that time in nearby Thille Park, walk briskly every morning, and clear the fog out of my brain.
Aside from all that, in the morning, I made cranberry meatball appetizers, which are always a hit, for the Golden Girls party. I brought them in the small slow cooker, along with toothpicks and a bottle of Chardonnay.
Got there at the stated time of 2:30, and wow, what a place. Tami* is a single woman who works as a hospital administrator. Unless they pay gazillions more than I was aware, I'm not sure how she can afford this house. It's big, for one thing, with what I guess are ten-foot ceilings and includes a lot of marble, mahogany, and other pricey materials, plus is decorated beautifully and very tastefully. The backyard, where we sat, was large enough to easily accommodate the group (there were about twenty of us), at the tables and chairs set up. It's enclosed by high wooden fencing which is painted with oceanside murals and set off by the real palm trees, other foliage, a beautiful water feature, and actual white sand (like Jersey's) that forms a little beach. Having accompanied Ellen on house-hunting (or house-looking-at) jaunts, I know it's got to be worth a mil or so.
Anyway, I had a good time, fueled by plenty of wine, daiquiris, delicious food, and interesting talk. This is the "over fifty" group and most members are considerably younger than I am, but there seems no barrier to intercourse. I chatted with Cheryl, who founded the group and who lives in Colony Parc, and Michelle, who had lived here and who did my income tax. Also had lively discussions and laughs with others in the party, of course, including Isabelle, who is a crossover from the widder group.
The occasion had a vaguely Italian--specifically Tuscany--theme and after a leisurely meal, Under the Tuscan Sun was shown. It suggests the size and layout of the house to record that almost all of us were able to watch it sitting on large, comfortable sofas. I found the movie, released eight years ago, not very engaging, so left after an hour or so of it. Nice event and I enjoyed it.
*I noticed a Paleo diet book on a table and asked Tami about it; she said she's lost 52 pounds on it. She's still very large and probably has another hundred to go, but said she finds it easy to follow. Think I'll look into it and see how different it is from the Mediterranean regime.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Play That Wasn't

I went to WinCo early and stocked up on all kinds of goodies for the Mediterranean diet: lots of salad and stir-fry veggies, blueberries, walnuts, and salmon. El called and asked me to be at her place at 1:15; I ate lunch first, then went over and we zipped up to the Elite Theatre in Oxnard. Ellen's been there before and it's an attractive, Cape Cod-y looking place, right on the canal. We were there to see my friend, Angela D., in the first staging of Open Meeting Closed....
But darn! There was a note on the door to the effect that the opening had been postponed to next Saturday! Grr--the other day, I had looked on the web site to see that it would open on June 11, but hadn't thought to look again.
However, we managed to have an enjoyable day. El wanted to clean her bathrooms and asked if I'd like to hang out and watch t.v. while she did. Well, sure, and she offered different program. She, of course, has Netflix or whatever it is that allows you to look at things already aired. I don't--in fact, I don't even have a working DVD player. I could get one or both, but I don't have much interest in them. That made this a special treat.
We found an Anthony Bourdain (and I've seen and like him a lot) in which he visits his birthplace of--New Jersey! It seems he was born in Fort Lee, but they went to "the shore" often and a fair amount of the show was in Atlantic City. He also went to places in the pine barrens which I know well, including Lucille's Restaurant and the little store in Chatsworth. There were lots of shots of the Atlantic, too, and the beach and boardwalk (in winter), plus a great segment when he ate at The Knife & Fork Inn. Boy, I loved it. It made me--not exactly homesick, as this is my home--but very nostalgic, for sure.
After that, El put on "MeTV," which she thinks I have, too and I enjoyed two Twilight Zones from forty some years ago. I left El still cleaning--yes, I offered to help, but not too enthusiastically, and she declined--after a fun day that may have been more enjoyable than Angela's play.
Note: Ellen had some of the little gifts and cards from her students on the table. I was charmed in particular with this one: "Dear Ms. Molloy, Thank you for teaching me what I didn't know. Love, Mia."

Saturday, June 11, 2016

SCAN and Music

After T.O.P.S., I went home to this and that, then readied myself for the SCAN Mediterranean luncheon at 11:30. Met Carole there and she said my friend, Sue (of the Sailboat) has stopped to ask her to tell me her husband's diagnoses had been made and she felt "twenty pounds lighter." I called her in the evening and she confirmed, but said she "couldn't talk now," presumably because Mac was nearby.
Back to the SCAN luncheon: It was good and about what I expected--cubes of grilled chicken, salad, hummus and whole wheat pita bread, honey dew and watermelon. The portions were smaller than what I usually eat, but it was filling. Margaret, the nutritionist, then gave a talk on diet which, in truth, covered the information we've all known for forty years. Few overweight people don't know why they're overweight (oh, I take in too many calories and don't expend enough? I didn't realize that.), but I guess it's helpful to hear it reinforced. Dr. W. then gave the last of his talks, which more or less replicated Margaret's; not terribly stimulating, but okay.
After, I told Doris I was going over to the Ventura Townhouse for music and wine Friday, but she decided against it. Her knee is very bad and her doctor is sending her to UCLA Medical Center for a second opinion, as he said he can try another replacement, but he isn't optimistic. Otherwise, she'll just have to live with it.
At The Townhouse, I enjoyed the piano player/singer and the Chardonnay. Talked to the director and asked if I could call her to arrange a tour, which I will next week. Went home and called Betty for a chat, then called Sue. Told her about The Townhouse musical Fridays and she said she'd like to go with me, so I'll call her for next time.

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Big City

What a wonderful, marvelous, fabulous day! Aside from the fact that the train ran late both going and coming--I'm talking more than an hour late each time, but I'll skip over that--we just had a ball. Met Susan and Pat in the agreed-upon place at L.A. Union Station, then we took the short walk to Olivera Street. I was here years ago with Ellen and it was just right for meeting old friends. Pat, the methodical type, had done research on where to eat and had selected La Golondrina Cafe. This was just perfect: In the middle of a wide area lined with street vendors and their intensely colorful wares and a festive, but not too-large crowd, we sat on a sunny patio and talked and talked and laughed. A couple playing mandarins strolled around--obligatory in L.A., I guess--and we ordered a Margarita (Pat), wine (Susan) and Corona Extra (guess who?). Mexican food isn't a big favorite of mine, but I hit on carnitas, which turned out to be a delicious sort of shredded pork which you're supposed to put in a tortilla, but I much prefered to eat it with a fork, which I did. Marking the fact that this was a major event, I actually had two beers, practically unheard of for me. Susan gave me two cards, on which many of my friends from Sunrise Bay had written notes saying they had missed me and wishing me well--how sweet of her to have arranged that.
It turned out that we sat there talking for three hours! Finally, we noticed that the place which had been crowded with lunch-goers, was filling up with early-dinner patrons, and we left. Pat, who is religious (well, so is Susan), suggested we go to the Cathedral of Los Angeles and we did. It was about a mile walk through a busy city, but we got there at just about five. Usually, it closes then, but we were told there was a graduation that evening, so we were in luck.
I had expected an interesting old Gothic church, but this was finished in 2011 (the earlier cathedral had been burned to the ground by an arsonist), and it was just magnificent. I won't describe it, as that would take an age, except to mention it can surely hold a thousand worshippers, it soars at least seven or eight stories high, contains an huge, gold-leafed altar piece from 1600 Spain (this wasn't the main altar, but simply in a side area), and is so elegantly designed and executed it almost lured be back to Ma Church (but that ain't gonna happen). It also contains some wonderful art, obviously commissioned specifically for this venue; I was intrigued by a huge painting by August Dore and I'm going to look him up. We had to get back to the station after that, as my companions' train was scheduled to leave at 6:40, so with hugs and some tears, we parted...
And now I'm going to suspend this, as I slept late and must go to T.O.P.S.; will resume later.
Okay, it's later. I waited at the station for my train, which was scheduled to leave at 7:15. Good thing they have green spaces on each side of the main building, plus a rose garden and a lovely tiled fountain with koi fish in it, because it kept getting delayed and delayed. Finally boarded, but endured another delay of a half hour until I was able to call Ellen and tell her we were moving. (Finally got back to the Ventura station at 10:30.)
While we waited, a young woman and I struck up a conversation. We sat together (she was on the first leg of a l-o-o-ng journey to Sacramento, which involved several trains and a bus) and had a great conversation. I didn't realize she was Hispanic until her phone rang, she answered and spoke Spanish. She said she was one of nine children and has four of her own, three in college and the youngest in high school. She showed me pictures of her parents' (both still living) fiftieth anniversary, with all eleven in a formal photo. When we exchanged names, she said hers was Chris; that stands for Chrystanth (as far as I can approximate the spelling) which means "chrysanthemum." I mentioned a Japanese dirge I had found years ago that starts "Here she lies where all must come/After days grown wearisome/She that was Chrysanthemum...." To my amazement, she immediately looked it up on her phone and found it. She even found information on The Bibliot, a series of books published in 1911, which is where I had found it years ago. That was fascinating and so was Chris.
Home a bit before 11:00 and had a salad, some cherries, then deep sleep after a--well, see first sentence above.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Here and There

Got up early--at 5:15--and decided to stay up. Got computer stuff done and was all finished with all that 7:00. That's much too early for me to have breakfast, so I drove to the park and walked my walk. When I got home, I had a message from Bob S., who does my sprinklers. He had the other day and discovered some kind of water problem; said it would ordinarily cost $250, but he'd do it for $175. I told him to go ahead and I'd send a check.
My friend, Doris, called and asked if I'd like to go to the Adult Center for lunch; yesterday was one of the twice-monthly lunches when they have a combo. I didn't have plans, so said sure and met her there at 11:30. The music consisted of two old guys, one on keyboard, one on trumpet, playing the old songs, of course, and they were damn good. It turned out they actually play in some local venue for pay, so no wonder.
After we ate, my friend, Marie, asked me to come to her table and critique a tribute to her recently deceased mother, for which a memorial is planned for next week. She said, "because you're a word person, I'd like you to tell me if you have any suggestions." Marie had written it out, but assured me she would just use that as a guide. I read it and told it was beautiful and fine just as it was because it came from the heart. Marie is a dancer and I'm fascinated by that. I've always believed dance is the most exalted of the arts.
Left in time to go home and shower before my hair appointment. That was at 3:00 and I got foils to have some blonde streaks in my heart.* I had neglected to ask the price and almost fainted when I found it was $120. It looks pretty good, though, so I guess it was worth it.
From there, I went to WinCo to get ingredients for the cranberry meatball appetizers I'm bringing to the Golden Girls gathering on Sunday. Hope I can find the house where it's happening. Had a late dinner and prepared as much as I could for my excursion to L.A. to see Susan and Pat today.
* A typo, of course, but I'm letting it stand. Who wouldn't want blonde streaks in her heart!?

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Okay Day

Got up a bit after 6:00, a little earlier than I have been. Just as well, as Betty called about 7:00. Spent most of the morning on the crap I deal with so often: paperwork and computer work. I sent an e-mail to five of my friends--in truth, I have only five friends here--to see if any or all of them might want to go to the museum on Monday evening. They're having a talk and exhibit called "I Shot Hollywood" by a well-know photographer and his pictures of celebs.
Went out to get cards for the family birthday and anniversaries coming up--besides Father's Day, there are three birthdays and an anniversary in June. Impulsively, I stopped at Ventura Del Sol to look at apartments. Saw two one-bedroom that are--get this: not only considerably larger than mine, but that rent for LESS. It's a good area, too, across from orchards and closer to Ellen's. What's more, it doesn't allow animals and has storage that had me practically salivating. The apartments differ in only one respect: The carpeting in one extends into the eating area (as mine does here), the other has had plank flooring installed. I certainly much prefer that, but not $125 a month worth, which is what the difference is.
The apartments aren't absolutely perfect, as they have electric stoves and I wasn't nuts about the view out some of the windows, but considering the other advantages, I could live with that stuff. Went home and had lunch, then thought I'd drove to the Saticoy branch of the library.
I somehow got in the wrong lane, then took a wrong road, and found myself lost. Had to stop in a place to ask directions and was told I was in a town called El Rio--I had never even heard of it before. However, it was only nine miles to Santa Paula and I got back fairly easily; anyway, it was light out, so I wasn't worried.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Widder Lunch

Went to the bank to deposit the mysterious $64 check Primary Medical had sent me. (I assume it's legit and didn't bother to call.) Went from there to the widder lunch at Marie Callender's, right down the street.
There was a big crowd yesterday; in fact, when I got there (a little late), we were being moved into a larger room. There must have 25 of us, at least, including most of the regulars. This is the first time we've met here, rather than at Yolanda's, which is being renovated. I sat next to my friend, Nancy, and across from Chris, who volunteers at the Adult Center. She and I had a nice chat; I learned that her husband was 37 when he died of a heart attack four years ago. There was no warning of any kind and he left Chris, a four-year-old daughter and a one-year-old son. Ouch.
Chris said she had just moved to a three-bedroom apartment at Todd Ranch and that she works only part-time, but will not work in the summer while the kids are out of school. Presumably, she's financially secure. She said that her little girl, Dominique, now nine, was going to be collecting for "Comfort Camp," a camp for children who had lost a parent or other family member. When I found it it was at the Urban Cafe, which is right across Telephone Road from me, I said I'd stop over.
Nancy, Joyce, and I sat talking long after the others had left, but we finally broke up. I went directly to WinCo after, then to the library. Stopped at the Urbane Cafe and talked to Chris and her adorable children, Dominique, 9, and Donte, 5 (their father was French). I didn't get home until almost 6:00, chopped and stir-fried my favorite dish, and settled in for the night.

Monday, June 06, 2016

A Bike and a Bite

Did my Sunday rituals, then thought I'd run up to Staples before I was due at Ellen's at noon. Did so, got a little notebook, then started back in plenty of time. However, I took Telegraph Road and there was a long, long delay. I thought it was because of the big weekend flea market they have on the Ventura College campus, but I sat and sat, then saw there was an accident up ahead. Finally got there, but was a half hour late, almost unheard of for chronically early me. However, neither of us was in a rush, so we laughed about it.
El showed me her spiffy new bike; she and Greg had taken a ride together that morning. It's just beautiful in seafoam, very light, but well equipped. I was intrigued by the basket; it's the same color as the bike and is removable--great idea! I took a few pictures of her on the bike, then we set off for Oxnard.
Greg had given me a gift card for the Yard House Restaurant and we went there. I got Ahi the way I like it: more or less raw except for searing on the outside. It came on a delicious salad; really good. I was delighted that they had Blue Moon on draft and, of course, ordered that, too. Yum and yum-yum.
We talked and laughed and laughed and talked--so good to be with Ellen. I asked if her if she'd like to go to the Elite Theatre this Saturday; my "friend" (sort of) Anna D. is appearing in Open Meeting Closed . El took me up on it and also agreed to take me back and forth to the train station on Thursday.
After, we stopped over at Whole Foods to say hello to Greg, then drove back to Ventura to a specialty shoe store, where El got the shoes she likes for school.
We sat for a bit on her patio with iced tea, then said goodbye.
Delicious day with my darling daughter.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Here and There

I called the gardener guy Pat and Julie highly recommended, Wesley Shourt (the "u" must throw everybody for a loop), left a message and he called me back promptly. Said he'd go over to the house to look, did so, and called back to give me an price. I think it's reasonable, so I decided to skip trying to get anybody else and told him to go ahead. He said he'd be there on Monday, so I sent him a check for the full amount and texted Eileen to let her know.
Did still more paper work--never ends, it seems--and went to the library after lunch. From there, I picked up a few things at the new Smart 'N' Final supermarket (silly name, it seems to me). When I left the store, I saw a woman outside holding a sign about "lost job, no money, please help"--the usual here, I'm afraid. Her young son, maybe 10 or 11--was with her. I shook my head when she looked at me and hurried to my car. But after I put the groceries in, I took a few bucks out of my wallet and went back to give it to her. I asked if she could get to county services, but she didn't understand; neither she nor the son spoke English. I asked a guy who worked there where it was, and he told me, but of course, it was Saturday, so was closed. I knew nothing else to do, so I wished her luck and left.
But I can't stop thinking about her. Where can she go? Who will help? What's to be done? My friend had called while I was in the store and I called her back in the car. We talked about the woman and her boy, but of course, there seems no solution, considering there are thousands more--hurting and homeless, that is, not solutions.
My friend and her husband are now at Pike's Peak. Intrepid as they are, they didn't quite make it to the top; they were driving and friend said the sheer drops were just too scary. Gee, if they were leery of it--properly so--I would have been screaming my head off.
Anyway, we had a nice talk. They'll leave tomorrow for the Rocky Mountain Forest Park, where they'll pick up my granddaughters, Vivian and Violet, and host them for a week. Should be great fun and I wish I could join them.
Ellen called when I got home and we made a date for today to hang out. We plan to go to the Yardhouse Restaurant in Oxnard for lunch; I still have a gift card her fiancee gave me and I'd like to use it. Should be fun.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

T.O.P.S. And A Tummy Ache

Went to T.O.P.S. and again was the biggest loser--but I lost only a pound and a half! Some of these gals (and one guy, Bob) don't seem terribly intense about losing, but so what? They're fun to be with and I enjoy it. My friend, Gabrielle, came and was welcomed by the group. After, she and I went the Hill Street Cafe nearby for breakfast and I had scrambled eggs, sausage, and fruit (I skipped the toast). That was a lot higher in calories that my usual, but I was okay with it, as I figured I wouldn't be hungry for lunch, which I wasn't.
Got home and rushed to the laundry place, put in my wash, then read the paper until it was time to put it in the dryer. That takes a while, and in the meantime, I called Barb H., one of my former neighbors, to ask who she and Ray use for gardening. Only themselves, so I'll call Frank D. and Pat H. I did have a nice talk with her; they had just gotten back from a week in Mexico.
Once I got the clothes out, I was barely in time for Dr. Wordling's lecture, but got there and settled in next to Doris, Carole, and Sue.
Doc delivered the second half of his End of Life lecture and it was a good one. I'm not nuts about his quasi-political (rightest) opinions, which he throws in occasionally, but do like his style otherwise. This was the last in the series--next Friday, we go at 11:00 and he treats us to a "Mediterranean" lunch. I think that's the one I'm following now: no sugar, no flour. In my case, it shold be "no added sugar," because I do eat some fruit and "sort of no flour," as I have one slice of whole-grained bread a day.
We got out a bit after 4:00 and I went directly to WinCo for veggies and such. While there, I started developing a stomach ache. Thought I just had to rid my tummy of its contents (although I hadn't eaten since 10:30) but when I got home, that didn't seem to help. I thought maybe my Capri pants (I have four pair in different colors) might be too tight around the waist, so removed them, along with my top. Still felt miserable, so crawled into bed about 6:00 and slept until 8:00. When I got up, I felt much better. Watched my hour of T.V. with a slice of meat loaf, went to bed, and slept soundly. I don't know what that could have been, but I hope it doesn't return.
Just now, I called my old friends in Sunrise Bay, Pat H. and Julie L., both of whom use a particular gardener, whom they say is experienced, reliable, and reasonable, just what I want. Also called Frank D. and left a message, as I'd like to get more than one estimate.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Meatloaf and Memory

Spent the morning changing the bed and on other domestic chores, plus dealing with bills. Kept my 1:30 appointment with Quest and got the blood drawn (for the colon guy if I remember correctly). Anna D. called and after rambling on seemingly forever about her various enterprises--she owns a house in Ft. Lauderdale she's having renovated so she can rent it; she's appearing at the Elite Theatre in Oxnard in a few weeks; she's blah, blah, blah--she got down to cases: She desperately needs money and called to see if I know of any part-time jobs she could fill. Well, hardly. However, I told her if one popped up, I'd keep her in mind. Betty called and while we were talking, Mookie came in, as they had a lunch date. I was put on speaker and enjoyed talking to her, too.
After lunch, I finally made the lower-calorie meatloaf for which I had cut the recipe out of the paper. This is made with ground turkey, salsa, garlic, breadcrumbs, and parsley. Popped it in the oven and had an early dinner of that, plus sweet potatoes. A lot of faux dishes are terrible--I'd rather not eat them at all--but the meatloaf was delicious--moist, but not falling apart, and very flavorful. I'll have more of it today and maybe freeze what's left.
At 6:00, I went to a dementia seminar at Bonaventure (a memory care facility). The speaker was the medical director of a home care outfit. He was personable and I learned a few things, but not much. He presented the usual: the various items that have been suspected of causing it, such as aluminium; the converse, i.e., things that have had their vogue in treating it, notably turmeric and other herbs; and recommendations for healthy living (exercise, mind games, etc). The latter is what made me raise my hand and ask if all that isn't mere speculation that may or may not have any bearing on the disease. Is there any hard-and-fast evidence that this does any good, or is it more of a "it may not help, but can't hurt" type of wishful thinking? Doc equivocated a bit, but admitted there isn't much that's absolute when it comes to--say, Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. Certainly, nothing has worked in preventing it. Also (this is my two cents), maybe some medications might slow its progress, but how can that be measured, since--as he emphasized--no two cases are exactly alike?
Anyway, skeptical though I am, I found it mildly interesting. Didn't get home until after 8:00, so got my shower late, but slept well.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

BCCC and Other Outings

I got to the Beach Cities Neighbors and Newcomers monthly breakfast early so I could save a table for Doris, Carole, and Sue. Doris came right after and we chose a nice round one in the middle, the better to see and hear the speaker, one of the best they've had, seems to me.
Sheila Lowe is a well-known handwriting analyst, expert witness, and novelist, who lives in Ventura. Her books all have titles like Written in Blood, Poison Pen, and Last Writes. In a a highly interesting talk, she showed the leading presidential candidates' handwriting, and characterized them; did the same for historical figures. She also told a personal story: Her daughter and the daughter's boyfriend gave her their handwriting to analyze and what she saw in the boyfriend's was violence and anger; he was a law enforcement officer with the agency now called Homeland Security. Sheila begged the daughter to end the relationship, but she was ignored. In 2000, when the daughter was 27, the boyfriend shot her to death, then killed himself. Believe me, the audience of 200 or so hung on her every word. She mentioned a book signing in Ventura on August 9 and Doris, Carole, and I immediately decided to go. I'll mention it to Sue, also.
After the meeting, I went up to tell Sheila how much I enjoyed her topic and picked up one of the flyers on the table. It listed a domestic violence vigil to be held at 5:30 at the County Government Center near me and I decided to go.
As I often do after BCCC breakfasts I drove to the nearby Ventura Adult Center for lunch. Sat with Marie, Penny, Steve, and Noel; I was pleased to have them say they missed me (I go only a few times a month) and had an enjoyable time. Went home and changed, did this and that, then went to the County Center.
The vigil was held outdoors in a large grassy area; there were maybe a hundred people there. I saw Sheila right away and we had a nice talk. I said my friend and I will go to her book signing and she asked me to send her an e-mail so she can give me more info. I didn't get home until almost 8:00 and found a call from Angela D., who's with the Flying W Theatre Group and whom I had met months ago when I first moved here. Called her back and left a message.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Chores and Stuff

After a slow one on Monday, I geared up yesterday. Did regular wash, plus the bathroom rugs, and cleaned the bathroom thoroughly before putting them back. Washed the kitchen floor and dusted here and there. After lunch, went to Ralph's for food items. Called Bob S. to tell him I'd send a check for him to turn the sprinkler systems on; sent my tenant, Eileen, a note to that effect. Stopped at Quest to make an appointment for my next blood test; luckily, I don't have to fast, so will go on Thursday at 1:30.
Went to Bank of Aggravation just to get quarters and was annoyed to find myself in a line for twenty minutes. I can't understand why this happens all the time. I complained to the teller, but of course, she has nothing to do with it. Went next door to Ventura Credit Union and got information; I'd rather patronize a credit union, anyway. However, because I do virtually all my banking on-like, it's such a tremendous hassle to change banks, I may stay with BOA.
Marge's DIL had sent me the info that Marge is now in Seacrest Rehab (where Pat had been several times) only a short distance from her home. She suggested I call and I did. Marge sounded very frail and said she had had a bad day, so I said I'd call in a few days. I hope she rallies.