Sunday, July 31, 2016

Various

I'm happy to say I resumed walking at Kimball. I want to keep it up, too.
My friend, Gabrielle, called to ask if I could meet at Starbucks for a coffee or whatever. Sure, I could, and we decided on noon.
I'm not a Starbucks fan--the coffee's okay, sure, but all the stuff is fearfully overpriced and I don't even like it that much--but I didn't mind going there. Gabrielle was shopping at Kohl's, which is in the same shopping center and the shopping center is an easy walk away from my place.
I got a passion fruit iced tea, which I thought barely drinkable, but it didn't cost me anything because I had some left on the two gift cards I had. We talked for an hour or more, poor G. lamenting the fact that her granddaughter, who's 27, still lives with her and won't seem to leave. I still think G. is depressed--in the real sense--and there's something wrong with her foot, which she says was malformed at birth, but nobody realized it. She goes to a naturopath--I refrained from comment--and says that helps.
I had recorded the donated books and good grief, there are 26 of them! After G. and I parted, I went to the post office to see if sending them might be less expensive if I used the "one price for any weight" boxes. However, I was told it would considerably cheaper if I sent them media rate. Okay, I will.
Went to the library after, thinking maybe the "Friends" of same would pick up some or all of the postage. Ha--they don't even have meetings. However, I got the name of the city library director and will see if she has any ideas. I doubt it, though.
Picked up a few items from the store and had chili with cheese and sour cream for dinner. Pretty good. Betty called and we talked. I called my friend, but left a message; I'm not sure if they're still in Jersey or not.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Townehouse and Jeanne

Went to T.O.P.S. in the morning and was surprised to be declared the biggest loser. That's not too impressive, though, as I lost only 1.4 pounds, but hey, I'll take it. I picked from the goodie box a pretty little yellow pitcher which will look nice with a sprig of flowers in it. I was also surprised that Sharon and Lydia had both brought me a number of paperbacks for the prisoners. There must be twenty of them and I started to wonder how much the postage would be. Hmm....
By the time I got home and had breakfast, it was after 10:00, so I decided to skip the Adult Center lunch and just go there and get copies of The Silver Tsunami. Did so, stopping on the way to drop off hairdresser Amanda's tip, which the computer wouldn't accept on Thursday.
Also stopped at the post office to get some info on the least expensive rate for the books. Wow, a bit more than a pound would be more than three bucks, so what will what I send cost? On the way home, I decided I'd ask Carole is the Friends of the Ventura Library might pick up some or all of the cost.
Changed and prettied up a bit to go to The Townehouse. Gave Anne H., the activities director, the newsletter copies, plus a program from when I had my "students" perform after "graduating" from the acting class. She was pleased, then asked if I'd like to see the room on the seventh floor where the show would be. Sure and we went up. It's a large room, big enough for two pianos, which were facing each other, and almost entirely glass from floor to ceiling; the view is spectacular.
After, I attended the wine and music thing. Chatted with some residents and enjoyed the wine and cheese. After, one of the women I had talked to, asked if I'd like to see her apartment,also on the seventh floor. Sure thing, and I accompanied her up on the elevator.
We exchanged names--hers is Betty--and filled each other in. She comes from Connecticut and has Parkinson's (I noticed she uses a walker), but she really doesn't seem very restricted. She has two children and several grandchild, an ordinary family, but her birth family is anything but: She told me she has twelve sisters and four brother--yoicks!
Her apartment, which is actually two studios she had modified with doors between, is just lovely. It's nicely decorated and quite spacious, with two bathrooms and a wonderful deck that stretches all the way across both rooms. I happen to know apartments on the sixth and seventh floors carry an extra charge (besides the basic one for the living space) of four hundred a month, so this must cost a bundle.
Got a call from Jeanne Dollard P. in the evening. I always have to ask where she is--now, it's Lake George, which she and John alternate with Florida and her apartment in Jersey. She also spends time at one of her daughters in Connecticut. Irrepressible Jeanne is much older than I am (ha!), having turned eighty in May, but is fit, healthy, and attractive. She calls every few months or so; says she likes NY, but it's getting a little boring.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Gray Law and the Rent

Went to the program at SCAN conducted by a "gray law" attorney. The session was very informative and the speaker really good. Topics covered included advance directives, wills, and so on, as well as touching on elder abuse and so on. I liked this guy and am thinking about calling him for a consultation.
Called Amanda, my hair stylist (that sounds so grandiose!) to see if she could fit me in either yesterday or today. My hair looked terrible--the color growing out and it was getting shaggy. I was able to get a 3:30 appointment for the hair. She did a pretty good job, although I probably should have had a little more taken off, but it is, of course, a great improvement.
I'm planning to go to the wine and cheese soiree at The Townehouse today. Will stop at the Ventura Adult Center first to get a few copies of the August Silver Tsunami to give Anne H., the activities director at The Townehouse. I was pleased that she had suggested my acting class give a performance at the facility; hope that works out.
Along with the other residents of Colony Parc, I got a notice to the effect that all units would be equipped with washers and dryers. Went to the office with two questions: 1. Where would they be installed in this miniscule apartment and 2. Would there be a rise in rent? Answers: 1. In the second closet on the patio and 2. Oh, pul-lease! Could that be anything but a dumb head query? Of course the rent will go up! By how much? The manager wasn't exactly sure yet, but, she said, figure between seventy and one twenty a month.
Okay, that was easy. I'll be moving to Ventura Del Sol in September.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Picnic and Pool

A good, varied day. Met Sue at the BCCC picnic at Oxnard State Park. Boy, what a beautiful place that is: A very large (acres) swath of greenery, the usual palm trees and other foliage, broad walks and gentle hills sloping down to a wide beach and the lovely Pacific. The food was catered and very good: skewers of grilled vegetable chunks, potato salad, green beans with a bacon dressing, chicken, and delicious roast beef, along with iced tea, lemonade, and cookies.
After we ate, Sue and I walked down to the water, a fair distance, and back, then chatted for a bit. Actually, she delivered a dissertation on seagulls and I mostly listened. She also showed me a letter she had written to the CEO of Community Memorial Hospital, where the cardiologist had kept her waiting for hours. He then let her know how important he was compared to her. I thought the letter was well done, straightforward and not emotional.
We left about 3:00 and I went to the library in town. When I got home, I impulsively changed into my swimsuit and went the short distance to the front pool. It was just delightful and I met a visiting woman from Indiana and her daughter and had a nice conversation. Got a little chilly after an hour or so, so I switched to the hot tub. That made my knee, which has been sore, feel wonderful.
Went home to shower and change. Got a call from Betty, who's back in Jersey. All through the day and up to now, I'm delighted I've had no recurrence of stomach pain--or any other discomfort, for that matter.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Doc, Chicken, and Tummy

My west coast medical advisor,* Ellen, met me at the doctor's at 9:45, but we weren't called for some time; Dr. J. did apologize for the wait. After a fair amount of explanation and discussion, she said I should see Dr. Chondta, the colon guy. El thinks I didn't continue to take the medication (like Prilosec) after the first month. I honestly don't remember if I did, but nevertheless, Dr. J. said to resume it, also to take the vitamin D, as my levels are low. In my defense, the reason I stopped the D was because the colon doc said my blood work was fine, but okay, okay, I'll resume it. Speaking of that, Dr. J. wants me to get bloodwork in October and see her in November.
El and I then went directly to CVS to pick up the ulcer stuff and she advised me to take it when I got home, although it's supposed to be taken in the morning. Okay, I did that. Had salad for lunch, then the rest of the cooked pork loin and yes, my stomach hurt a bit later, but Tums took care of it. I saw that you're not supposed to take more than 10 Tums per day, so I won't.
After that, I ran errands: to the post office to send off darling great-grandson Tristan's birthday card and present; to Quest to make an appointment for October (and fasting, drat it!); to Kohl's to take back one pocketbook and buy another.
Called my friend, Sailboat Sue, to see if she was still going to the BCCC picnic today. She'll try,but she's had some medical problems and wasn't sure if she would make it. She gets a stress test on Thursday afternoon, but before that, we're both going to attend a SCAN session called "Life." That's quite a euphemism, as it concerns assisted suicide issues.
I had been defrosting a whole chicken in the refrig and now oiled and seasoned it and popped it in the oven. I knew it would take close to two hours to cook and, although I don't usually do this, I went out to the store while it was in. Had some for dinner--very yummy and I'll probably be eating it for days.
AND--un-friggin'-believable: My stomach gave me no problem at all last night! And that was after I snacked on fruit, cheese crackers, peanuts, and raisins. I slept better than I have been lately, too. Darned if Ellen's nagging about taking the stuff didn't turn out to be right!
*Jersey Medical Advisor also reads this blog. It's nice neither one sends me a bill--uh-oh, hope I didn't give them ideas.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

My Innards

Stomach acted up a bit some time after (truncated, as before) breakfast, but I corralled it with Tums. I started writing down when and what I eat and when--or if--my stomach ache comes back. Maybe that would help the doctor today.
Went to Sears at the mall and took back the tops I had bought the other day--they were a little tight and I didn't like them that much, anyway. Stopped at Target to look at pocketbooks, but I didn't see anything I like better than the one from Kohl's, so thought I'd keep that. Changed my mind later--I think it's too small--so will return and look for another.
Had pork loin from the other night and half an acorn squash for lunch. Recorded that with the time--1:00--and by 5:00, hadn't had any problem with my innards.
Did wash. Funny--it's now seeming perfectly natural and normal to have to put the hamper (it's net) in the cart and pull it to the laundry place, load a washer, then go back to dry, and again to fold and retrieve. It no longer seems much of a chore, which is just as well.
Had shrimp and the other half of the acorn squash for dinner. Later, during my hour of T.V., I had diet soda and a bowl of fruit, then went to bed at 9:30. Woke up with stomach ache two hours later, but took Tums, then slept well.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Pleasant Day

After a rocky start, it turned out to be a very pleasant day. Having hardly slept, then developing another stomach ache, I wasn't even sure I wanted to meet El. I did feel a bit better, but not entirely, after coffee and just a kind of half breakfast--one slice of toast with cottage cheese.
Enjoyed a return call from my friend and had a good talk. They were in Pennsylvania and will hit southern Jersey today. When I asked how many states they've visited so far, the total was eleven--and counting. They're going to be heading back to New Mexico taking the southern route, so that will add more to their itinerary.
Went to El's as planned, but we decided to skip the harbor, which was probably jammed packed, in favor of Hill Street Cafe and its gratis mimosas. I had a crustless quiche and incredibly, after half of that and a mimosa with two refills (these are extremely slender glasses that probably hold no more than three ounces), my tummy felt fine.
After, we decided against swimming, although it was very hot (for here). El suggested we get a movie and we did, the Sally Field one called Hello, My Name is Doris. It was anything but profound, but cute and we enjoyed it.
When the movie was over, El started quizzing me on my stomach problem. She thinks it's a return of the ulcer, but I think it's diverticulosis. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow and we'll discuss with the doc; El said she'd go with me, which is a good idea.
I had no gastric problems until I got home, about 5:30, then the same ache developed. It seems to originate in my middle, then travels to my right breast. Tums seem to help for a time and I did sleep fairly well.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Variety and Sleep

A pretty good getting-things-done day. I walked the walk at Kimball, did some houseworky things after breakfast, and--to an extent--cleaned out some of my one and only closet. Went to the library and picked up my Babe Ruth bio (which seems to me very well done, by the way), then went to AAA, as I was a little unsure about my policy. That was settled quickly and I also gave them my new CALIFORNIA! license number.
Went home and called my friend, Marge. She's out of rehab, but her health is still very fragile. Called Betty and it turns out, there doesn't seem to be a continuing problem. She said they were going to dismiss her yesterday, but she asked to stay another day, presumably because she likes it there.
About 2:30, I called El to ask is she wanted to go to the pool. Yes, she said, and I went to her place. The pool was heavenly and we stayed for an hour or two, then chatted in her patio. We made a date for lunch today, down at the harbor unless it's terribly crowded, then we'll go elsewhere.
Unfortunately, I had a terrible time even getting to sleep last night. I don't think I slept more than an hour, if that. Not sure whether I'll walk or not, I'm so draggy.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Activities

Went to T.O.P.S. knowing I had gained, but with me, if I keep skipping, I tend not to go back, so I went. I was okay with the fact that I gained only a pound; will try to take it off and more for next week.
After, I talked in the parking lot with a fellow member, Louise H., who lost her (ex) husband last month. We had a long talk and she may walk with me at Kimball, which I want to resume today.
Went to WinCo to stock up, then made a big salad I enjoyed for lunch. It's pretty warm, so I thought I'd go to the pool, but decided I didn't have time before I left for the library, then to the Friday wine and musicale at The Townhomes. Put pork loin in the slow cooker along with my usual "gravy."
Showered, then went to the library to pick up the book I wanted to get yesterday (but didn't have my card). To my annoyance, it was closed "due to the heat." Hey, it was only 76 degrees, what gives? I spoke to a young woman in the parking lot and she said she had complained to the county library director about various problems there. She gave me the director's info and I may add my negative comment to hers.
Went from there to The Townhomes, where I met Carole and Doris. I gave the information from Council on Seniors to the activities director and she asked me to send her more info on classes at the Adult Center. Met two recent residents named Kathy and Lee, a guy. They aren't married or related, in fact, just met yesterday themselve. I liked them both and gave both my card; told Kathy (Barrister? She said her husband had had a construction business) if she e-mailed me, I'd send her information on Beach Cities Neighbors and Newcomers.
When I got home, I had a message from Betty and called her back. She was to leave California yesterday, but didn't. It seems she started bleeding again and is in the hospital in L.A. Nothing has been decided yet as to why and the doc said her platelet count did not indicate it was the Von Wilbrawn (?) problem. I asked her to let me know when she hears anything definite.
Had the pork for dinner and it was excellent. Got an annoying third call from Time Warner; I don't even want to recount the snafus going on there, but the upshot was, I got them to agree to continue my monthly charge at the promotional fee.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Happy Day!

Oh, joy! I thought yesterday would turn out lousy because it started out that way. I had fallen asleep easily, as I always do, and got up for the usual about 3 am. After that, I tossed and turned and rolled around--it was just impossible to go back to sleep. Naturally, I started worrying about this and that, notably that I hadn't gotten my California license yet and I was afraid I'd be nabbed and fined and.... Anyway, I think I fell back to sleep--fitfully--about 6:00, but woke at 7:30 and got up (groan).
After breakfast, I decided to go to the DMV and at least acclimate myself to the building (I've done this before) I had my preliminary papers with me, though, and I found myself marching up to the testing area and asking to take the test.
Now I've been dithering about this for more than the year since I moved here. I just had this terrible premonition that I'd fail, take it again and fail, a third time and fail, and I'd never get my CA license. I was also terribly nervous about taking the road test. I don't know why I felt this way--just an irrational fear, as some people have of black cats or something.
Anyway, I took it and I passed! And I found I didn't have to take a road test! And I got an interim license and was told I'd be sent the permanent one! I couldn't believe it! I was so excited and so happy I almost danced out of there!
So I went looking for handbags. I had bought one the other day at Kohl's, but I'm not sure I like it. Went to Penney's and spent a good hour there looking at one pocketbook after the other. If I liked the configurations--size, pockets, zippers, etc.--I found the colors hideous. I was on the verge of buying one, but decided to look at other stores. Went down to Sears and found nothing (although I did come across a nice top on sale, which I bought). I still want to look around further.
Home, I got a lovely Skype call from Tokyo and enjoyed K., a remarkable cheerful, talkative, inventive child, who pointed out his birthday on the calendar page for September and informed me he was cooking up more calendar pages for his train to eat. Was "with" him and his Dad for quite a while, but said goodbye so they could get ready to go to "Joyful," the park nearby.
After that, I zipped up to the library to pick up a book I had requested (a bio of Babe Ruth). I was chagrinned o realize I had left my wallet on my bed--it's almost never out of my purse--so I couldn't get the book. I was also alarmed to realize my new interim license was in there, too, but got home without incident.
El called; she and Greg had had a nice time in Pismo Beach and she thanked me for feeding Sebastian. I hope to see her soon.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Day

Skipped breakfast at my usual time and got dressed for the Council for Seniors meeting. First went to feed Sebastian--El's is in the opposite direction and I thought I'd be late for the 9:30 meeting, but wasn't.
Doris greeted me when I came in and we sat in the first row. The program was pretty interesting, as one of my fellow board members, Carol L., talked about her disabilities and presented the "Call Me Capable" game, which she invented. It was fun and interesting; here's Carol's web site: http://www.callmecapable.com/ Neither Doris nor I stayed for the $3 lunch, but we'll see each other at The Townhomes tomorrow for the wine/music thing. I volunteered to distribute some flyers there on a senior gathering.
Betty called. She was at Stephen's, as she's going back to Jersey this morning. She said she had spent five hours in the hospital on Tuesday because she thought the polyps that had been cauterized had broken or something. It seems not, but I think they were re-cauterized.
I had seen a piece in The Breeze about a group of people who meet at a restaurant not far from me. People were invited to go and I decided to. I was surprised that there were about twenty people there, all senior citizens. I was asked to introduce myself, did so, and also identified myself as a pacifist. I was pleased that a man said he was, also.
The discussion was, wouldn't you know, one of my least favorite topics, the election. One guy--there's always one who tries to dominate any group--handed out several papers that listed all the reasons why Hillary should be elected. Like him, the group included a number of neo-liberals, awful bores, as well as passionate conservatives. Anyway, it was mildly interesting and, of course, I put in my two cents freely. That included my half-believed theory that the dems and repubs got together to try o figure out how to elect Hillary, even though she's thoroughly despised, so they could go on their merry ways of plundering the country and killing overseas. I know, says some genius, we'll put up an absolute horror of a candidate, so the neo-libs will swallow the lesser evil idea and elect her. The group seems a little dazed at that idea, but were polite.
Anyway, it was okay, but at first, I wasn't sure if I'd go back. However, I was fascinated by a very--very--large woman who came in. She was wearing a flowered shift, jewelery and makeup and had an exceeding blonde Dutch boy bob. The minute I saw her I thought of Lily McBeth and yes, from some of her comments, I believe she's transgender. That makes it more interesting to me and I'd like to get to know her, so will definitely go next week.

Routines and Regina

After the usual--coffee and computer--I drove over to feed Sebastian. Also cleaned his litter box (ugh!), took the paper in, and checked this and that. Didn't have breakfast until after 10:00 and I then did the laundry routine: wash, dry, retrieve and fold. In between, I went to the office to ask about the procedure for moving--or not--and discussed it with Chastity. I had been told the new lease amount was "negotiable," but will have to talk to Jamel, the office manager about it. Lease is up September 21, so I'd have to give them notice a month earlier. Still mulling it over.
I called my Florida bro, Larry, about his and Helen's recent move closer to their daughters. He said they're getting settled in, but there's still a lot to do. At 84 (Larry) and 82, that's a big move. The house they bought isn't that small: three beds, two baths, and they're having a new kitchen and bath installed. They had lived in the other house more than fifty years and, with seven children, it was substantial with five bedrooms, three and a half baths, and a good-sized pool. I talked to Helen, too, who sounds fine although she and Larry both said she "isn't as mobile" as she used to be. I know she's had hip and knee replacements; wish the results had been better.
Went to the library and took some of the snacks that had been left for Mike and the girls at the motel. Asked Lori, the branch manager, if they'd like them for their break room. Yes, she said, and was very appreciative.
Got a call from my friend, Doris, who asked if I'd like to go with her and Carole to a "Vino and Casino" but trip near San Luis Obispo in August. Oh, yes, indeed, I would, and I called the number she gave me immediately. The woman on the other end asked my name, address, phone number, e-mail, date of birth--I thought she'd ask height and weight while she was at it--and only then, casually mentioned that the bus was filled. Damn!Why didn't she tell me that in the first place? However, she put me on the waiting list in case somebody cancels and said I was number one.
I was shocked to see on Facebook that my sister-in-law, Regina, has died. You'd think her children, my husband's nieces and nephews and my children's first cousins, might to let me know personally. The hell with all of them.
All right, after I posted it, Regina's daughter, my husband's niece, sent me a private message on FB saying she had tried to make contact. Seems to me the fact that she had none of my information is telling in itself. Where was she these almost seven years since Pat died?
Stir-fried onions, garlic, and green peppers, added ground meat and had it for din-din, then went over to feed Sebastian. Council on Seniors meeting after that.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Whatta Day

After the lazing around day on Sunday, yesterday made up for it. I was determined to buy and send Vivian's birthday present in time for hr twelfth on the 29th, so after breakfast, I rushed out. Went to two stores and finally settled on some enticing stuff from Bath & Body Works. Had to replenish paper supplies, so stopped at WinCo. Next was Target, as I wanted to get some kind of container for the B & B W gift. No time for lunch because I had to pack the present, then jump in the shower and wash my hair in time for my eye appointment.
That was at 2:45 and I didn't get out of there until well after 4:00. Was I annoyed? Did I voice my displeasure? Not at all, because what I was worried about was a false alarm: I had had what I thought was a routine, baseline appointment a few weeks ago and was horrified when the doc said he thought he saw signs of macular degeneration. Even the optimist, I was sure that meant I would soon lose my vision. I was told to make an appointment with the retina specialist and I did, but wanted it after Mike and the girls were coming in. Since then, I had been very apprehensive, but yesterday, the great news from the retina guy was no, I don't have it. Whew!--which is what I put in the subject line of the e-mail I sent my children to finally inform them of the eye thing.
I just had time to get to the post office before it closed at 5:00. Sent off Vivian's present, horrified at the cost of postage for the very small package: incredibly, it was $22.95. However, I sent it anyway and from now on, the girls will be getting Amazon Singapore gifts. (Little K., in Tokyo, already gets his that way--no postage.)
I had changed pocketbooks and had to stop home to get El's key, as she and Greg had left for Pismo Beach. Did so, then sped to her place to feed Sebastian. By the time I got to the restaurant for the widder dinner, it was well after 6:00 and they were about to order, but there was a place for me. I was pleased to see my friend, Joyce, there and we had good conversation. I hadn't eaten since breakfast and greatly enjoyed my favorite summer meal: a rare hamburger and a Blue Moon.
Didn't get home until 8:00 after a very full day. The catching-up and getting done will continue today, as I must do wash, go to the library, and check on some financial stuff, but that's fine by me.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Two Highlights Only

The two highlights of the day were first, a call from my friend. She and her husband are in his home state of Minnesota ("Land of a Thousand Lakes"), where they visited several of his relatives and picked up a few games of pickle ball. They'll leave for Wisconsin today and continue to make their way east. As ever, I greatly enjoyed hearing from her and hope to visit them in New Mexico, probably in October.
Second high point was meeting Ellen for brunch/lunch at the Hill Street Cafe. This time we sat on the patio in the bright sunshine--very nice, indeed. Although we met at 12:30, I ordered off the breakfast menu, which includes all you can drink Mimosas; El got a taco salad. It was nice, as ever, and we enjoyed it. Ellen and Greg are leaving today for a three-day sojourn in Pismo Beach, so I'll go in and feed Sebastian.
Aside from the aforementioned, nothing much else went on. In fact, I felt a little pokey and dreary, I guess because Mike and the girls have gone. I even napped a bit on the couch, which I consider a dangerous habit to get into, so won't continue.
Eye doc appointment today and widder group dinner tonight.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Gone

They're gone--sob!
Mike called about 9:00 to ask that the girls brush their teeth and hair; he was bringing fresh clothes for them to wear. He got here at 10:30, they changed, packed up what they had, and I went out to his rented van to say goodbye. I cried a little when I hugged my son goodbye. Darn, I wish they lived closer, but I'm so glad to had that time together.
The next time I see Vivian, in December, she'll be 12 years old. I think she looks more and more like her pretty mother and she's developed a strong, but perky and fun personality. As for the just-turned-eight, Violet's pretty feisty. She and Vivian fight a lot, but considering the battles I had with my sibs, I'm counting that as normal. Violet, it seems to me, is the picture of my older sister, Gene, and also looks a lot like my niece (Frank's younger daughter), Francine.
After they left, I lay down on the couch. I rarely nap, but I was just wiped out, as I had slept very little. Now I fell into a deep sleep, only to be awakened by a phone call from somebody from The Townhomes, that I pretended to be scouting for my demented sister. Oh, what a tangled web--I finally steered her away, saying my sister is still on the fence. Geez, maybe I'll have to kill her off. Of course, she's fictitious, so I have no qualms about that.
I foolishly ate for lunch the rest of the pork loin, making a hot sandwich with bread and the leftover gravy. I then had some of the leftover salad--all that would have been okay, except I remembered the ice cream in the freezer that we didn't have for dessert. I had too much of that and actually got a reaction; I won't get graphic about it, but I felt better after.
El and I thought we'd both get pedicures, and I went over there, but it's been only a short time since I had one, so I decided not. I chatted with her while her tootsies were prettified, and we decided we'd meet for brunch today at the Hill Street Cafe. I went home after that, then took three books back to the library. I got there after 5:00, so they were closed and I just dropped them off.
Nothing much else went on; I'm just coming down from my high having Mike and the girls here.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Last Day

Yesterday, their last full day in the states: Mike called to say he was picking up the girls at Carolyn's, then they'd probably go to the beach. Did I want to meet them there? I decided not to, as they were coming for dinner and I wanted to get a few things. Mike said they'd come here in the late afternoon.
I changed the bed, then took the bedclothes and other things to the laundry room, just barely eking out enough quarters. Came back and went to WinCo to get dinner things. I decided on a peppercorn pork loin, a green salad, and a fruit salad; bought bananas, watermelon, and blueberries for the latter.
Ellen had gone to the beach with the other three and she got here about 4:00. They had to take back boogie boards Mike had rented and do a few other things, so came later. Mike called Paula on FaceTime and we all chatted with her. We were shown Snickerdoodle and Malibu and I was introduced to Liz, the new helper/housekeeper/Nanny.
After, We sat down to dinner, then Mike said if I didn't have dessert that the girls would like to go to Yogurtland. Well, I had--ice cream--but I didn't mind. (El went home, but said she'd call me today and we'll get pedicures.) Mike, the girls and I went to Yogurtland and got all kinds of frozen yogurt and toppings; it was good, but I felt a little queasy after.
We then went across to the shopping center to Barnes & Noble and Vivian and Violet--both readers, I'm happy to say--got several books for the long trip back to Singapore. Back at my place, Mike directed their teeth-brushing and so on, then he left, and I took a shower while the girls were occupied with their phones. Vivian and I played cards--good old "Go Fish"--but Violet declined in favor of something on her phone. It was after ten before we all went to bed; V. and V. in my double bed, I on the couch. They fell asleep instantly, but I tossed and turned. I kept waking up, even though the couch is comfortable and at one point, heard voices--no, not in my head. My neighbor, Laurie, with whom I gotten friendly, was talking to the security person, in an ordinary, daytime voice. No prob? It was 1:30 am! But ho-hum, I'm up now and the little girlies are lolling in bed behind me and I'm glad they're here.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Great Day

What a day! El picked me up at 11:15 and we drove to Mike's motel. He and the girls were ready--almost--and we all piled in his rented RV and drove to Santa Barbara. We went to a beach in Goleta, the neighboring town, and strolled around a bit, on and off the concrete "walk." Mike had made reservations at a beachside restaurant called, coincidentally, "Beachside," and we went to lunch there.
Boy, was it nice. We sat on the outside deck along with lots of others enjoying the sun and I had mai-mai, plus a twenty-ounce beer. Very yummy. We were there more than an hour, then went down to the beach. Mike and the girls had worn their suits, but El and I not, so we got our feet wet. We were to met niece Carolyn and her Finn and Claire at the Hendry Beach a few miles away, so we went there after. We knew the kids were in camp until 4:30, so they wouldn't be there until later, but that was okay.
Mike, Vivian, and Violet expended an enormous amount of energy in swimming, taking waves in, walking the beach, running around, and generally shedding calories a a dog sheds fleas. El assisted, but lucky Mimi had her chair and mostly enjoyed placidly watching the fun. Speaking of dogs, half of this beach was "on leash," the other half "off leash." No need to explain, I guess, except to say there were loose dogs galore on the latter--ugh!
Carolyn and the kids got there, but it was after 5:00 and had started to get a bit chilly, so we all left shortly thereafter. Went to Carolyn's and I gave Betty some flowers I had bought, to congratulate her on her successful (and no problems found) colonoscopy that day. She and I chatted for a bit, Dana came in from work, and we five adults enjoyed catching up with each other. (The girls had disappeared into Claire's room, all three deliriously happy to see their second cousins again.)
We ordered Mexican food and sat out in the patio to enjoy it. Calvin, the Dutch shepherd (similar to a German one, but I think, more attractive, if you like dogs, which I don't) joined in throughout our visit, playing ball with Ellen, then tearing to shreds a stuffed dog, which was rather horrifying, but added to the hilarity.
After dinner, Carolyn and Ellen took the kiddies to a playground to work off more of their incredible energy, then to feed carrots to some neighboring horses, while Mike, Betty, and I chatted. They didn't get back until late, then all three little girls clamored to sleep over and long-suffering Carolyn agreed. Since Claire leaves for camp at 9:00, Mike will pick up V. and V., then come back here. I'm not sure what we'll do, but possibly go to the pool at my place, then maybe sleep over here. I didn't get home until almost 11:00, unbelievably, but it was such a fun day, I didn't care. On Saturday, my dear boy and his darling girls leave for L.A. to start the long trip home to Singapore--sob!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Fun

Busy, busy, and a mostly fun day. A quick synopsis: Chatted with Betty early on; she's at Carolyn's in Santa Barbara and will have her colonoscopy today. Mike and the girls got here in the morning and after I had shown them around the apartment (took about three seconds), they wanted to go to a playground, so we took them to Thille Park. This is within walking distance, so we did, and met Ellen there. Stayed while they played, then went to lunch. After that, El and I both went home to put on our bathing suits, then met the other three at their motel, and we all repaired to the beach.
It's quite beautiful--the whole coast of California looks like a movie set--but there were a fair number of stones and the land sloped, so it was a little difficult for me. However, the water was fairly warm and the kids and Mike swam and boogie-boarded in it for several hours, El and I just getting our feet wet. We didn't leave until after 5:00.
Back at El's, we stayed at her pool and hot tub, which felt great until about 7:00, then had Domino's for dinner and the girls played "Portal." Had Domino's for dinner, then Mike dropped me off at home about 8:30. El will pick me up today at 11:30 and we'll go to their motel, then to Carolyn's in Santa Barbara.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Three from Singapore

Walked Kimball, then did this and that until it was time to go to Ellen's about 4:00. She had called to say they were at the pool and I met them there.
It was such fun to be with Mike and the girls again! Vivian, not quite 12, is so full of pep and verve--and sass--she seems years older at times and a pouty child at others. Violet, who was 8 two days ago, is bright, articulate, and can hold her own in the sister-rivalry department. Plus, they both get prettier by the day, says their perfectly objective grandmother.
I hadn't worn my suit because I had just showered and washed my hair; El wore hers, but only sat at the steps, as she didn't want to get her freshly done hair wet either. The other three swam, splashed, and cavorted and I had great fun watching.
We headed back to El's in an hour or so. Her dishwasher wasn't working--suddenly stopped draining--so we had dinner on disposables; regardless of the dishwasher, that's a good idea, especially in summer, I think. We were all hungry and it was so good. It included El's wholemade guacamole with blue chips, salad, baked beans, corn on the cob, and as requested, I went out to Vons and got a roasted chicken.
After, we played LOGO, a game I gave El and Greg for Christmas. Simply enough, it entails players having to name the brand using certain slogans and pictures. It was a lot of fun in that company, although some of the questions seemed a bit obscure.
Violet opened some late birthday presents from Ellen and me, then we made plans for the visitors to come to my place this morning. I'm not quite sure when--Mike: "When we get up." (he loves to be mysterious)--so guess I'll skip the Kimball walk today.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Variety

Walked the Kimball. As I was leaving for the park, I was surprised to see boxes and a moving person at my neighbor's door. I had met Laurie, but had spoken to her only now and then. Her apartment is exactly like mine, but reversed, so is very small.
Laurie came out and told me she was moving to L.A., where she had gotten a job in the publicity department of--somewhere. She's nice enough, but had allowed her patio to become a mess. I wished her good luck, and was glad I hadn't pursued my complaint about the patio. I hope the new person is okay--since the apartment is so small, assume it will be only one person.
Scrubbed the oven parts and cleaned up a bit otherwise, watered the flowers, which are thriving in the California sun and went to various places to see if I could find Beyond Burgers. These are vegan, but supposed to be as close to beef in taste and texture as can be. Couldn't find them, so I'll see if Whole Foods has them. Bought Aleve, wipes for my dozen glasses, and other stuff.
Ellen called to say Mike had told her their plans for today: Plane will arrive at L.A. at 11:45. He'll rent a car, then drive here and check into the hotel. El invited them (and me, of course) for dinner, so I'll go over her place about 4:30. Unfortunately, Gregg probably won't be there, as his son didn't leave for the north as he was going to, but probably will tomorrow, so Greg's went up to Santa Barbara.
Ran out to Michael's to get Violet, the big eight-year-old, a gift and card. I wonder if we should have a cake, although she had one on her actual birthday at Uncle Andy's in Denver. I'll see what El thinks.

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Usual

Did the Kimball walk (yes, I'm keeping track here), then home for breakfast and crossword puzzle. After lunch, I called Ellen, who told me she was continuing her work on the patio. I invited myself over and found her strenuously leveling the ground so she could transfer the pavers. She had gone to Lowe's for weed blocker and sand beforehand--what a job! I mostly sat and kibitzed, but did deadhead her ivy geraniums. The place is shaping up, all right, but there's quite a bit to go.
Went home to cut up onions and peppers, added garlic, then ground turkey, stir-fried it up, put spaghetti sauce in and boiled some elbow macaroni. It made a yummy dinner and there's plenty left for another day.
Betty called. She's now in L.A. at her son, Steve's, and will be getting her colonoscopy on Thursday in Santa Barbara. She'll be here for a few weeks--not sure how long exactly--while her house is rented and beyond.
Went to stores to get new reading glasses, lemon pepper seasoning, and a few other things. Called my friend, Aline, as her birthday is today. She wasn't in, so will call her again today.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Nothing Much

I didn't sleep well, darn it, but got up at 6:30. Did the Kimball walk at 8:00 and was home a little before 9:00. I'm glad I went at that time because just as I was in the end stage, several hundred runners were starting out on the same path (I had forgotten a run was scheduled.) I wouldn't want to be in their way and wouldn't want to slow them up.
Breakfast, then various other, then I went to the store and got cut-up chicken and other eatables, including salad fixin's. Made a large one and had part for lunch. Oiled and seasoned the chicken parts and roasted them in two large containers. Had a thigh and a drumstick for dinner and froze the rest in meal portions.
Called Gabrielle and chatted for a bit. Doris called and I told her I had gone to the wine/music thing after all; we talked for some time. I called Nancy to ask how the scattering of her husband's ashes had gone; her daughter and son accompanied her to Arizona for the ritual last month.
Drove over to Ventura Del Sol, still in a quandary about whether I want to move there or not. Aside from all that and stops at various stores, not much went on.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Back Home

Boy, I slept like a stone after my trip and got up feeling great at 7:30. Did my usual early morning, then went to the T.O.P.S. meeting. I lost just a fraction of a pound this time, but I was okay with that.
The meeting, however, turned out to be tiresome. Lolly, the leader, is a very ineffectual one. She's a sweet person--sort of reminds me of a minister's wife from Upper Armpit, Idaho--but Colleen, the crazy one, brought up the recent Dallas shooting and prompted a discussion, which Lolly just helplessly accepted. When people started chiming in, I got up and left. No matter what anyone thinks about Dallas, black lives, white lives, Easter bunnies, or any damn else thing that has nothing to do with losing weight, I wasn't going to pretend it was appropriate in that venue.
Went home, had breakfast, did some housework, then went out to buy salad stuff. I had added my half orange to breakfast and neither that nor the salad I had yesterday affected my stomach, I'm glad to record.
Drove to town and went to several stores. I didn't buy anything, but I enjoyed walking around on a warm, but not humid day, with a nice number of people on the street. Stopped at Five Points and got my car washed--it looks gorgeous, like a bright blue little jewel--and was passing The Townhomes at 3:30. I knew that was when the Friday wine and music program started, and I impulsively turned in and sat in my usual chair by the door.
I was joined by a nice couple named Mavis and Flager (it's Swedish, I think), she with a walker, he with an oddly-shaped head, and we chatted, drank wine together, and enjoyed the piano player/singer. When I got home, I immediately did the laundry routine. Had sausages for dinner, took a drive, and ended a pleasant day.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Dana Point

Tuesday, 7/5: El took me to the station and I arrived in San Juan Capistrano at 1:30. Went to a nearby restaurant and ordered lunch, as Carole had texted that she'd be a little late. She came in shortly later, though, and we shared the meal.
On the way to her place, Carole showed me around Dana Point, where she lives: extraordinarily beautiful scenery--soaring cliffs, swaying palms, and of course, the majestic and glistening Pacific. Combined with those, there are large and pricey--millions, I mean--homes.
Later, we had a bite, then put on our suits and walked down to view the water. It was a little chilly, so we didn't go in, but went back to bask in the hot tub.
Wednesday, 7/6: We caught the tail end of mass at a church lovely in itself and overlooking such loveliness of nature, it almost made me nostalgic for my Holy Girl past. Not quite, though. After, we joined six of Carole's lady friends for breakfast; lots of references to the deity, but their piety was not offensive and they were warm and welcoming to me. We went from there almost immediately to lunch with Father Jack, my sister-in-law, Marybeth's cousin. Met at a pizza place and had a pleasant enough time. From there, we rushed to Carole's book club meeting, which I found very interesting. It seems that a member of the club named Pat Maloney, a psychologist, had written a book called Whiz-Dom. Unfortunately, he died a few weeks ago at 89. From the discussion, I got the impression he was a very interesting guy--wish I could have known him.
We called my brother Frank to tell him about our lunch with Father Jack, then Carole called her brother, George, and we both chatted with him. Carole called my sister, Betty, to tell her she was giving me a flash drive for her that contains an "interview" Carole conducted with Betty after Hurricane Sandy. Betty's coming to the this area on Saturday, and I'll see her, of course, so I'll give it to her then.
Back at Carole's, we changed into suits and treked to the beach. This necessitated a fairly long distance on a concrete walk, then steps going down at least the equivalent of six stories, then traversing a kind of sweeping incline of concrete covered in sand. By the time we got to the water, my calves were screaming for mercy and they still hurt. The water wasn't terribly cold--about 69--and Carole dived right in. I wish I could have, but I was apprehensive about my balance and just splashed around and got my feet wet. We stayed a good 45 minutes, but finally left to go home and shower. Dressed, then went out to dinner. Carole got free fried fish from a little joint about to close, then suggested we share a hamburger at "Jimmy's Famous." We did, and each had a beer and good talk.
Thursday, 6/7: Carole had to go to work (volunteer) so dropped me off at the SJC station early. She said I could then visit the little shops and local sights. I was fine with going early, but had no desire to visit the little this and that. We said goodbye with hugs and I was happy to catch the 10:45 train, which got me in just after 2:00. El picked me up and we went for lunch, then to the farmers market at Kimball, which is held every Thursday. I bought some homemade marmalade and a plum, El strawberries, then we went to her place. Viewed her patio, which is shaping up beautiful, with the addition of two trellises, transplanted jasmine, and shifted pavers. She took me home after and much as I enjoyed my trip, I sighed with relief.
No place like it, all right.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Dinner at El's

Walked the usual. Had toast and cottage cheese. Changed the bed and took sheets, plus other clothes to the laundry. Partially packed. Had broccoli (cooked, of course) and a hard-boiled egg for lunch. No cramps all day--yay! Spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon packing. I was determined to restrict myself to the smaller suitcase, but I still have a few things to fit in and I may not make it. Darn. Showered and washed my hair, then zipped over to Ellen's at 3:00.
The new fence, not painted, looks great and she has further plans for the patio. We discussed them, then sat outside on a gorgeous day with iced tea. Later, we sipped Margaritas and I watched while she made a real, old-fashioned dinner: hamburgers, corn on the cob, baked beans, and watermelon--very tasty. (I had a small slice of watermelon and was pleased there was no reaction from my tum.)
Gregg came in and made a broccoli dish with miso, which was good, too. I had brought a six-pack of Blue Moon and he and I had that with dinner. The two of us then watched a saved Parts Unknown in which Anthony Bourdain traveled to Iran, while El cleaned up (I should be ashamed). I left a bit after 7:00 and was in bed two hours after that.
I'll be leaving in a few hours to catch the train to San Juan Capistrano, where Carole W. will pick me up. Not sure if I'll post again until Thursday, when I get back, or Friday.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Around Town

Bopped around town all day. Awoke at 7:30, so was able to take the Kimball walk an hour later. (Computer stuff with coffee always comes first.) Home for breakfast, I dared to add five stewed prunes to my usual whole wheat toast and cottage cheese and darned if I didn't get the stomach cramps again! From now on, I'm going to carefully monitor how my stomach reacts to whatever I eat.
Took off for Penney's after and discovered they were having big sales. I bought a very nice bathing suit, skirted, of course, and two crocheted-type tops (one electric blue, one bright rosy red). I'll take both of them to Carole Wimberg's.
Went home for lunch and mulled over what to eat. I looked in the cupboard and found a can of beefaroni--can't imagine why I ever bought it--opened and ate it. Glory be, I didn't have even a twinge after that.
My friend, Doris T. called and asked if we could meet so I could give back the card for Carole F. which I had signed. Sure; in fact, I was a little puzzled that she asked me to take it home to sign. Anyway, we met at Vons.
Went to another store to get a beach coverup. Darn, I want one that opens in the front and has sleeves and had a hard time finding one. Finally did, but I'm not sure if I want to keep it or not--it looks a lot like a bathrobe.
Went to Trader Joe's and got a pretty plant for Ellen in honor of the new fence she just had installed in her patio and painted herself. Stopped at Goodwill after and found a nice wooden--but reasonably light--magazine rack, which I picked up for a buck fifty.
I'm adding here, just for my own info, that I had a sketchy dinner of a tuna sandwich: whole wheat, mayo, and tuna in water. No internal repercussions at all.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Skype and the Pool

Although I didn't get up until 7:30, I walked at Kimball. I was delighted to see Google video and pictures from Tokyo of precious little K. Was also taken aback, but amused, to get an e-mail from older son (K.'s daddy), thanking me for the anniversary card I had sent. I was glad they had gotten it in time for the big day on July 2 until I read further and was informed that their anniversary is on September 10--ha! Don't know how I got that so wrong.
I had been told said son would Skype about 2:00 my time, and I waited in. While I did, I got a call from the western wanderers, my friend and my granddaughters. Had a good chat with all three of them and am looking forward so much to seeing the girls and their Dad on the twelfth.
Ellen called to ask if I wanted to go to the pool, either at her place or mine. Sure, and she said she'd come here. In the meantime, the Tokyo contingent Skyped and we were both able to talk with son, P., daughter-in-law N., and that darling dynamo, little (or not so) K. Talking incredibly well for a two-and-three-quarter-year-old, he told us his train's birthday was on September 17, pronouncing "one" and "seven" in English and showing it on the calendar. At this point, he speaks mostly Japanese, but adds some English and, according to his Dad, sometimes mixes the two in a sentence. Anyway, it was great fun to see and hear him.
After, El and I went to the pool in the middle of the complex, bypassing the one toward the front--lots of noisy kids in there. The water was nice, but it got a little too cool to stay in long--or even stay at the pool--so we lasted only an hour or so. It was fun, though, and El invited me over for the fourth; Greg only works until 5:00, so the three of us will have dinner together. I bought some Blue Moon, which I'll take over, as Greg may enjoy some, too.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Here and There

Didn't walk, as I had to be at SCAN for the T.O.P.S. meeting at 8:45. I was weighed by Crazy Colleen and was pleased to find I'm 3.4 pounds down. However, I wasn't the big weekly loser because Bob lost four. Somebody brought a guest who was visiting from Arizona. She was wearing a bright red tee shirt emblazoned with "Support Our Troops" ("our" in caps underlined just so nobody thought it meant Ugandan troops or something) and silhouettes of soldiers against the ol' red, white, and blue. Okay, that's not unusual, but what bemused me was the fact that she was also carrying a denim purse covered in peace signs. I was tempted to ask her about the juxtaposition, but refrained.
Director Steve, the stuffed shirt personified, came in to announce a new SCAN course conducted by someone skilled in--wait for it--"Healing Vibrations." Steve told us that vibrations, performed or directed by a skilled practitioner, can cure all kinds of physical ills and also make one calm and self-assured He said there was "research" that supported it. I almost, but not quite, challenged him, but kept quiet. Later, I looked it up and found that the vibration idea has been around for more than a hundred years and is, of course, utter and complete hogwash. Yet Steve's announcement was met with some interest--or at least, respectful attention--by the group. Geez,is there no end to the gullibility of the American public? What ever happened to pyramids? Crystals? Auras? All of those and dozens more were touted as "scientific" healers and helps. Here's a good website on the history of vibrations: http://skepdic.com/vibrationalmedicine.html.
Did a lot of paper (computer) work, then met Doris at The Townhomes for music and wine Friday. A guy played guitar and sang the oldies, including, I was pleased to hear, some Hank Williams. It was enjoyable, as ever. Doris brought a card she asked me to sign for Carole, as we're going to take her out for her birthday shortly.
Went from there directly to Ellen's to see the new fence in the patio she had installed to hide the trash receptacles. It looks good and she was preparing to paint it as I arrived. I contributed by watching her work whilst drinking a glass of iced tea, stayed for an hour or so, then departed.
In the evening, I was surprised to get a call from Gabrielle, from whom I hadn't heard for a month or more. We talked for a long time, mainly about her family "issues," which are formidable. She also has a problem with her foot, dislikes her job, and it seems to me, may be clinically depressed. I'll keep in touch with her.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Interview and My House

I did, as it turned out, skip my walk after a wakeful night. Had breakfast late and left out my usual half orange; just had the toast with cottage cheese. I think my occasional stomach aches are exacerbated by fresh fruits and vegetables. When I eat them--and I had been accustomed to a large salad at lunch almost every day--I get cramps. When I have meat, cooked veggies, and pasta, I don't. Okay, okay, if my diagnoses and treatment doesn't work, I'll mention it to the doctor. I have an appointment in a few weeks.
Met Jill, the reporter, at the coffee shop. As it happens, she's an R.N. and, although she's 69, still works part time at the county hospital. I can't remember in what capacity now, but she said her favorite was always the emergency room. However, she transferred, as she thinks the ER is a younger person's field.
Jill is--pretty clearly to this writer--not an experienced reporter. She doesn't get paid for her stuff, so I guess it's sort of a hobby. I had provided her with a resume and a short list of other pertinent information; she said she had read it, but didn't pose many questions that stemmed from the material. Aside from the trite and obvious: "What brought you to California?" "What do you like about the theatre?," she let me fill in a lot. At one point, I said, "I've been murdered three times--shot, stabbed, and suffocated." I remarked that that might make a good, grab-your-attention lead, but I'm not sure she picked up on it. I don't have very high hopes for this article, but if it promotes my class, I'll be satisfied.
We discovered that we both know Carole F.; she's in Jill's book club and I know her from various things we've attended (Carole's the one who hates her husband). Jill told me she's a fifth-generation Californian, has never been to Jersey and knows nothing about it. Hmm... Anyway, we sat and talked for an hour and it was pleasant enough. I'll be interested in seeing what she writes up.
Went directly from there to the library and picked up a few more books, including Being Mortal, another by Dr. Atul Gawande. I just finished his Complications and boy, if he's as good a surgeon as he is a writer, he can operate on me anytime.
Joel, Jr. called to thank me for his birthday/graduation gift. What a good kid he's turned out to be. El also called; she just had a new partial fence put in her patio--to replace the old, which fell--and we discussed it. I'll go over to see it soon. I heard back from my tenant, Eileen, that yes, she'll be delighted to continue the present lease. Good; I think we both lucked out when we found each other.