Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Mix

A semi-pokey day. I took out some of my acting papers, as I now want to work on a lesson plan for each week. Teacher Ellen taught me the importance of these some time ago--you sure don't want long periods of free time for third-graders and I don't want my class to lapse into discussion mode, either. Made applesauce and put it in the slow cooker. Went to Sprouts and got salmon and rock fish; I'll be sprouting myself soon--with fins.
Talked to Betty, who had just gotten back from her weekend reunion in Ocean City--sixty years since she graduated from Misericordia. Said she had a wonderful time.
I was determined to get to Oxnard, as it's just silly to avoid it. I looked on Yahoo Directions for a non-freeway route, found one, and printed it out. However, when I was on the road, I took the (emotional) leap and turned onto the 101. I was proud of myself, but got off too early and got slightly lost trying to find The Collection. Finally did, parked, and went in to Whole Foods to say hello to Greg. Darn, he wasn't there and must have been off, as he often is on Mondays. Okay, I've resolved to do it again today or tomorrow.
Not satisfied with my lack of exercise, I went after lunch to Kimball, and did the walk. When I got home and into my parking place, I met up with Suzanne, who invited to come see her patio flowers. Wow, they're beautiful and I was happy to see most are in planters. Great--I didn't want to have to dig into the hard soil and I won't. Suzanne gave me snippets of rosemary and basil and said I could take cuttings of her gorgeous vine geraniums anytime. What a great neighbor she is.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Ojai and Environs

It turned out to be a good day. Ellen called about 9:00 to say she was free until about 4:00, so did I want to go to Ojai in the afternoon? Sure thing, and she said she'd pick me up at 1:00. I had time to finish my Sunday crossword and to zip over to WinCo, where I picked up a nice piece of halibut and some acorn squash. Went to Sprouts for blackberries, then home to finish up my theatre display stuff. Thinking of a possible future move--very tentatively--I looked up some rental information in Ojai and Oakview, which is a town near Ojai. I got interested in a small house that looked charming, in my price range and with two bedrooms and a bath, and we actually looked at the outside. That's a long shot, though, and I'm not really serious.
We strolled around here and there, with lots of people out on such a beautiful day. Stopped into a little cafe to sit outside on the patio, El with iced tea, I with Chardonnay, and that was nice.
Home at 4:30, I put my acorn squash in the microwave, seeded it, and seasoned the halibut. At that point, though, I realized I hadn't gotten in much exercise, so I jumped in the car and drove to Kimball. I wasn't going to go the whole mile and a half, but by the time I decided that, I was at the point of no return, so I did and I was glad I went the distance.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Various And Not Particularly Interesting

I continued my project of framing and otherwise putting my theatre stuff in order. After a few hours, I went to Goodwill and bought another frame for fifty cents. I just have the program and a picture from Our Town to finish, plus I want to do something with some random flyers and so on for some obscure things I've been in, such as Stockton's "Play in a Day Hurricane Relief" show.
Jim from the office called me to say I had parked in another tenant's spot! I don't know how in the world I did that, but just oblivious, I guess. Jim said the person lives in 607 and I rang his bell and apologized.
Boy, did it warm up. It was a gorgeous day--in the seventies, but with no humidity. I called El to see if I could go over and get the floor fan she had given me. She said sure and was home, so we sat down and had a little visit.
Went to the library and took back the Jackie Kennedy/Schlesinger interviews. They're riveting, but I've already listened to them twice (plus, I've read Schlesinger's journals) and I don't want to slip back into nostalgia for the past. Stopped at Wal-Mart for B12 and apples.
I had a nice piece of rock fish and this time, skipped the salt-based seasoning in favor of Mrs. Dash and smoked paprika. Pan-fried in coconut oil, it was excellent. Went and got a frame--the final frame--at The Dollar Tree to finish up.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

T.O.P.S. And Turkey

Went to T.O.P.S. and was mildly surprised to find I had lost only four tenths of a pound. However, I'm okay with it and chalked it up to my over indulgence on Easter Saturday. Asked Marty at SCAN and I now have eleven sign-ups for my acting course; I wouldn't be surprised it there will be more. In truth, I prefer ten or, at least, an even number, but I can live with whatever and will revise accordingly.
Chatted with Becky, a retired R.N. after, and didn't get breakfast until late, finishing at 11:00. I then spent the hours, right up to lunchtime, assembling my acting career (ahem!) memorabilia. I framed some of the pictures and will display them around the room at SCAN, along with playbills, scripts, and so on. That was absorbing, but I don't like to stay inside that long and after a late lunch (by that time, it was almost 3:00), I drove to town. Parked at the museum and walked to the library. I found that that's a half mile, so adding the walk back makes it--I got it! A mile. That's okay, I guess, but I should be walking more than that and will add more to my day.
Stir-fried ground turkey with onions, peppers, and garlic for dinner, which I didn't eat until after 7:00. Finished up my evening snack of choice--applesauce with berries added--will another batch shortly.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Wash, Phone, And Trout

It was wash day in triplicate: I ran the loaded dishwasher, did a washer full of clothes, and washed my own self. Did that early, as the Caregivers' monthly coffee was at 11:00--.
Only it wasn't. I got there and found I had again (I've done this before) written it on my calendar a week early. Darn it, but I enjoyed chatting for a bit with director Tammy G.
Went from there to WinCo looking for trout, but they won't have any until Monday. Got some strawberries and other goodies. Home, I picked up the phone and--AAGH! Again, no dial tone! Called AT & T, hopping mad, was told somebody would come before 6:00 pm, didn't believe them, and did my usual gnashing of teeth and screaming like a banshee.
Well, it makes me feel better.
Took the clothes to the laundry place and left them while I washed and sliced strawberries, diced onions and green peppers (I have both a mandolin and Chop Wizard), and sliced zucchini. Put the last and chopped onions in the slow cooker, at which point, the phone man came. He picked up the handsets and, wouldn't you know, got a dial tone on all. I explained how this had happened before: didn't work, then did, then didn't, and so on. The real truth is, AT & T is determined to drive me crazy. However, this young man was a really nice guy. He told me to call him directly, if it happens again (oh, it will, fear not). His name is Tommy Trunnell, and he actually gave me his own cell number, which I'm recording here, just in case I can't find it later: (805) 701-9844.
Drove into town and bought some picture frames at the thrift store. These are for my "publicity photos" of the various plays I've been in; I want to put them around the room at SCAN. Stopped at Sprouts on the way back for trout. I thought it was a white fish, but this was red and looked a lot like salmon. I bought it anyway and will see how it is.
El texted me, asking if she could again bring her dinner to my place and eat here, as the agent was bringing somebody in at 5:30. But of course, that would be lovely and it was. I pan-fried the trout with a few seasonings and it was very tasty.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

VCS And So On

I'm coming up from my slough of despond, I'm happy to say.
Went to the VCS meeting at 9:30 at Silvercrest. It went on longer than usual, thanks to Suze'es histrionics, but that was okay. I had asked my Caregiver's "phone friend," Mary A., if she'd like to come to the meeting, as she lives there. She asked that I come up to her apartment after, instead, which I did.
Mary told me she has lost her vision, but when she opened the door and greeted me, it was hard to realize that. I automatically shake hands when I meet someone and I did now; Mary reached out as if she saw it, but maybe that was just an impression. We sat in her small apartment for about twenty minutes and had a nice chat, although she's pretty provincial, I'm afraid. When I mentioned I had a son in Tokyo, she said she would be afraid to go there "because they want to bomb us." I guess she watches TV "news." Mary converted to Mormonism a few years ago and clearly, the church means a lot to her. She has a gorgeous black cat named "Shadow," who watched me suspiciously the whole time I was there.
Stopped at Smart 'n' Final on the way home and picked up chicken thighs. The instant I got in, I turned on the oven and preheated, then sprayed a pan and stuck them in. They were finished in the fifty minutes or so it took me to change and start assembling some of the acting class material. Had a thigh for lunch along with half a spaghetti squash.
I'm sick of my clothes, some of which are now too roomy and was determined to buy new. I won't wear sleeveless or cap sleeves out, but look for long or three-quarter length, which are often hard to find. Penney's and other stores at the mall had nothing I wanted, so I went to Kohl's. Tried on piles and heaps and scads of tops and finally settled on two: a plain shirt-type and a pullover in electric blue. I also tried on five bras and bought three.
Went from there down the beach, took out my chair, and sat happily on the sand for a half hour or so. Just a few other people were there and the wide expanse was beautiful, especially backed by the mountains and with the Pacific roaring nearby. I debated with myself whether to go to the BCNN happy hour at Barrel House 33, but finally decided against it. None of my friends were going and I really don't need another glass of wine. (I already had my weekly limit--two--at the widder dinner.)
On my way home, El called. Realtors are coming through today and she was advised to cover a spot on a corner of her upstairs carpet which Sebastian had damaged. She asked if she could borrow the Samurai warrior figure my Japanese daughter-in-law had given me to hide it. Sure thing and I took it over. She then found that somebody was coming to see the house at 5:30, so she brought over her dinner over here and we dined together--so enjoyable. She's having an open house on Sunday--already, her house is on the market!--and let's hope it sells fast.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Nothing Much

Darn, I slept poorly last night, unusual for me and, wouldn't you know, I have a Council for Seniors meeting this morning.
Yesterday, I stopped at the office after lunch and talked to Patti about the leak and my concern it could happen again. She promised to come over at 3:00 and that was fine by me. Went from there to the mall--about my least favorite place--but I wanted to look for a white top. I thought I might be able to wear a large in regular (not women's) sizes, but tried on a few and they were tight. It's okay, I'll find something eventually.
I looked out in the court yard and was surprised to see it was raining. This, however, was California rain, a kind of slow, wishy-washy, mundane drip, not the roaring downpour you get in Jersey.
Got home and opened a packet I got from my brother, Jim. It had in it copies of a letter my father wrote to my older sister, Gene, in 1943, when she was 19; an account by Gene of her bout with melanoma almost fifty years later; the letter (original) my Uncle Tom sent my father in 1938 when the family farm in Roxborough was being sold; and a curious two-page document by a Dr. Thomas Reddy (1858-1938), director of the Institute of Social Behavior Studios in London, England. This is a two-page paper outlining "Committee Reaction Theory," "Third Party Credibility Theory," and "Bad News 'Believeability Theory." I won't describe it, except to say it's interesting.
I called Jim and we talked about what he had sent. After we hung up, I cried a bit. He seems so much slower and unsure of himself than he ever was. I love him so much and I want to see him again.
Spent a fair amount of time revising my play, Acquisitions, which I've been neglecting lately. So far, so good, but I have a way to go.
I decided I wasn't going to worry about another leak, as it had stopped by the time Javier was there the other day. Went to the office to tell Patti that and she offered to come then, with Javier, to look at it. I agreed, they did, all seems fine, and I'm not going to obsess over it. I think it'll be okay.
Went to Wal-Mart, then to a few supermarkets for this and that. At loose ends and still brooding about my dear brother, I drove to the beach, but they had just re-black topped both places I usually park, so I just drove home.
I hope this is a cheerier day.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Here And There

Prepared my apples for applesauce in the morning, put it in the slow cooker and left for WinCo. I was out of what are basics for me, that is, salad fixings, cottage cheese, and oranges. I stopped first at the office to see if Patti had uncovered the source of my leak last week, but she was off. I'll get back to her this morning.
When I got back from the store, I found I had forgotten to turn on the slow cooker--damn! However, I did, had lunch, then drove to town.
As I do often, I parked in free parking and made the rounds of the thrift stores. In one, I saw two wooden chairs that would go nicely in my eating area (I have only four now). They were $24 apiece, but I negotiated them down to $30 for both. Not sure if I should get them or not, but might go back.
I also saw an attractive outdoor table with pseudo-stained glass top. Considered it, but it's partly plastic and I decided against it. I don't really need anything else on my small patio, anyway.
Walked up (literally; Main Street in on a slant) to the library and looked over a few things. Sat for awhile reading 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories, a thick, heavy book. I realized I forgot to bring my library card, so walked the half mile or so back to the car (downhill this time) and drove back to get it. Had a very light early dinner--spinach and salad--then showered and changed for the widder dinner, taking my Honey Belle tangerines with me.
"Soaring Spirits" was lightly attended, with only seven of us this time. I ordered my Chardonnay and--because I was a little earlier than I like to be--had another while I ate my tangerines. I was surprised to hear that Chuck and Pam have sold their home and are moving to Arizona. They bought five acres there, but what they'll do with it, I can't imagine. Donna and I talked quietly together--her Dad, Joe, whom I know from The Townehouse, just turned 92. Looking at Donna, it's hard to believe, but she's 59; she's public information officer for Ventura County.
El had left a message, I called her back, and we chatted for a time. She said the house never looked so clean for the photographer, who came yesterday. Maybe, maybe, maybe, Ojai, here she comes!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Sunday

Mindful of my over indulgence on Saturday (food, drink, and cookies), I was determined to get back on my regimen yesterday, and I did. Slept so late I didn't have breakfast until 10:30; after a few chores, I drove into town. Parked in my usual place and walked Main Street.
I walked to what to me is "fountain park," and called Betty to say Happy Easter. We chatted a bit, then I went on my way.
People strolled here and there, but not too many, just enough to make it festive. I went across to the mission where mass was going on, although it was after twelve. I stood in the back a few minutes, then went into the garden next to it. Gee, the plants and flowers are beautiful there. Continued down the street to the library (closed, of course), then crossed the street and walked back. I'd say I covered a mile or so.
Went home for lunch (freshly boiled spinach, leftover stir-fry, and broccoli) and got a text and a phone call and enjoyed them. After I ate, I drove out again, this time to Kimball Park. Until I actually started, I wasn't sure I'd walk the walk, but I did and was glad of it. It was about 4:00 when I completed the mile and a half, so I drove to the beach. Got out and gazed at the gorgeous Pacific for a few minutes, but it was so windy, I didn't stay.
Went home to do a fair amount on the 'puter and have dinner. It occurred to me this is the first time I can remember--in my life, in fact--that I wasn't with family, friends, and/or relatives for Easter. But I was okay with it, content, in fact, and it was a good, winding-down day.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Trump And Extended Family

What a neat day!
Early on, I went to WinCo for spinach and to Sprouts for two pretty plants, one for Ellen, one for Carolyn. Showered, dressed, lunched, and got to El's a little before 2:00. She had a few things to do, then we left for the protest gathering.
My solicitous--or suspicious--daughter thought we had better leave my car at my apartment, rather than have me drive home from her place after the party. Can't imagine why, but I concurred and we dropped it off before continuing to the protest.
It was well-attended, with about 150 to 200 people, I'd say, and it was right at the busiest intersection in town, Victoria and Telephone. El had made a sign with "Impeach Trump Now" on one side and "Trump is a Crook and Liar" on the other. As this protest had a "show us your taxes" theme, that was slightly off the mark, but there were lots of similar just plain against Trump signs. I had lettered "Hands Off Syria" on one side and "War And More War for 'humanitarian reasons' is a crock of..." on the other. There were only a few other signs with a peace emphasis, but I was glad to see them.
El and I talked to a woman who said she was speaking at a "Science Rally" in Ojai on Saturday, which is also Earth Day. I assume this is to combat bible-based anti-evolution ideas, and so on. I'd like to go, and may. We stayed until it was over at 4:00, then drove to Carolyn's.
Got there and we had a ball! Things are always fun with my nieces and nephews, and I greatly enjoyed being with Carolyn, hubby Dana, Finn,16, and Claire, 10, as well her brother, Steve, his Robyn, and their Dexter, 9. Also present were brother Frank's younger daughter, Francine, her husband, Charlie, and their three boys, ranging in age from 15 to 9. Calvin was there, too, of course, but didn't bark or show teeth.
I immediately accepted a glass of Chardonnay and we chatted while waiting for dinner. Dana, who's a good cook, had made two versions of what looked like delicious stir-fry, one with meat, one vegetarian, both full of good vegetables and, presumably, tasty seasonings. They were in two separate large pans, plenty enough for all of us.
I write "looked like" because we never got to eat it. A glass bowl somehow fell off the counter, shattered on the floor, and those in the kitchen (I was in the other room) saw some fly up and land in the pans! After much wringing of hands and some consultation, it was decided we couldn't eat it, and we watched mournfully as Dana scraped all into the garbage.
It was then decided that we'd get In And Out burgers and Francine went around taking orders, a formidable task, especially because all six of the kids and most of the adults had different wants and don't-wants. However, it was finally done and she, El, and a few others went off to pick them up. They got back, we ate, adults at the dining room table, and the kids, I dunno where.
All through the day and the evening, we talked and talked and discussed and joked. I love to be with this crowd and, frankly, especially without my siblings. Yesterday, we freely talked politics, my sibs' and my relationships with our parents (especially regarding my mother), how we regard the state of the country and the world today, and whatever else came into our heads, including passing nods to sex and death. I would find it impossible to discuss freely almost any of these topics with my friends, let alone my siblings. One of the great divides is religion, of course, and those present have liberated themselves from it, as have I. We agreed that we have a remarkable extended family--that is, descendants of James and Helen Byrne, of which there are now more than a hundred.
Of course, all this was fueled by copious amounts of wine, so El was right about leaving my car at my place. We left a bit after 9:00, home close to 10:00, and I even stayed up for a time. Slept until 8:00 and I feel great.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Busy And Enjoyable

Went to T.O.P.S. and saw a sign to the effect that, indeed, director Lety had resigned. Darn--I liked her. Not sure what happened, but my years in human resources tell me there's a back story here.
I asked Brenda in the office how many sign-ups I have for my course and it's up to ten. Gee, ten is really what I prefer for a whole class and there are two weeks to go for sign-ups. If it gets to twenty, I'd be willing to have two classes, but naturally, would expect to be paid for the second one. Otherwise, I'll just have to devise an appropriate agenda for a large class.
It turned out I lost a pound and a half, so I'm close to the next "decade." I started in the hundred and eighties, am now 172, and hope I'll make it to the sixties next time. The meeting dragged on with a complicated explanation of the "food exchange" thing, which I wouldn't dream of following. Didn't get home until 10:30, so didn't have breakfast until late.
Went to Kohl's and got myself a nice blouse, then to Sprouts and got myself some nice rock fish. Home just in time for lunch, then rushed over to the Townehouse for Dr. Woodling's lecture. Doris and Sherry had saved me a seat and it was good to see my friends. Woodling's talk was on nutrition for the elderly and was pretty boring. I had to leave at quarter of three while he was still yammering on, in order to make my hair appointment.
Mary did it (my regular stylist, Amanda, was out) and did a very nice cut--to just under the ears and it curves toward my face. I like it a lot. El called just as I was leaving to see if I wanted to got to Ojai to look at a house. Sure thing, and we did.
Boy, this is a gorgeous area, quintessential California, with flowering plants, cacti, and towering mountains all around. El looked at a place that needs some work and the agent will take her to see another this morning before we go to the protest gathering.
Had the rock fish for dinner after a busy, but very enjoyable day.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Post-Drip And Protest

Maintenance guy Javier came over shortly after 8:00. To his surprise--and mine, you can be sure--there was no evidence of a leak at all. He ran the water in both sides of the double sink, ran the dishwasher, ran the garbage disposal, and--dry as a bone. Geez, what could have caused the water leakage? I went to the office and talked this over with assistant manager Jim. The only thing we could come up with is, it came from the apartment above. It hasn't reoccurred, but I'm uneasy it might.
Took a regular load to the laundry place, then set another washer up with the bathroom mats, lid cover, and tub mat. Had breakfast in the 30 minutes that took, then put the regular in a dryer, and took the bathroom stuff home to dry on the patio.
The dryer takes 45 minutes, so I went to WinCo for a few items; by the time I got back and put the goods away, clothes were finished. Retrieved, folded, and put away, had lunch, then drove into town and went to the library. I took out Arthur Schlesinger's journals for 1956 to 2000, as I'm still in the grip of his conversations with Jackie Kennedy and the political aura of that time. Went to City Hall to pick up some flyers about the "Meet The Press" event coming up. It's sponsored by the Ventura Council for Seniors, of which I'm vice chair, and one of our other members is director of the Parks and Recreation Commission for the city.
I stopped at Cat's Cradle Thrift Store, just to browse and saw a nice, large basket I picked up to buy. However, I walked into the dry goods room (bedspreads, place mats, etc.) and saw another really terrific looking big basket, very rustic, and I loved the look. It held lengths of fabric and technically, wasn't for sale, but I asked the sales person in the front if I could buy it and simply transfer the fabric. Yep, they'd do it and I have a wonderful addition to the living room I got for a song. Hmm...of course, I already have magazines in a large basket in the living room, but I transferred them to the new one and will figure something out for the old.
Went to the fountain park, then to the beach. I thought I'd sit for a half hour or so, but it was so unbelievably windy, I didn't take out my chair.
El called to say she had gotten poster board for the "Trump Taxes" protest tomorrow and did I want half for a sign? Yes, but I'll be emphasizing the Syria slaughter, not the domestic thing, which I think could well be a diversion by the Deep State. We decided we'd attend the Ventura gathering instead of Santa Barbara's, and go to Carolyn's after.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Laundry And A Leak

Well, I tied on my Suzy Homemaker apron again and here's what I accomplished: stripped the bed, remade it, and took the sheets to the laundry place. Vacuumed the carpets, emptied the trash, then used the new Bona system to first, dry (dust) the hard floors, then spray on cleaner and polish. They look good--they aren't shiny, but have a slight sheen, and it cleaned up spots and so on very well.
I texted Ellen to the effect I've had second thoughts about the protest Saturday (Trump's taxes) and thought it would be interesting to go. Since I'm more or less a socialist cum anarchist, (notice how I equivocate), I'm not enthusiastic about the value of such things. However, I think it will be interesting to observe, or even to participate. So we'll go and I'll see what's what, plus enjoy dinner at niece Carolyn's.
Went out after lunch. Parked in town and walked to several stores. I came across a newly-opened plant place called "A Smart Garden," walked in and talked to the owner. She has some wonderful succulents, my new faves, as well as flowering plants. Nice place.
Home about 4:00 and I met Suzanne just going out to the dentist. She asked if I'd be home in about an hour, as she wanted to stop in and give me something. I was, she did (info on Heritage Square in Oxnard), and we had a nice chat.
Sat down for my hour of television after dinner and all was serene--until I got up to put my bowl in the dishwasher. There was a considerable amount of water on the floor and more under the sink. I called Ventura Del Sol's emergency number, got manager Patti, and she and her husband, Larry, came over immediately. They looked under and it seems the garbage disposal is the culprit. Patti brought towels to sop up the water, and two basins to catch any continuing drip; by the time they left, it had stopped. She said she'd have Javier, the maintenance guy, to come over and fix it first thing.
That seemed to be that, except as I was about to go to bed, I noticed the water had made its way to the other side of the cabinet--damn! It was under the covered bench my Uncle Frank had made, which is very precious to me. I managed to slide it over to get some of the water underneath, but will have to take everything out (I have LOTS of pictures, albums, and other ephemeral in it) and make sure it isn't going to ruin the bottom.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Car Again And Trump

Active day. I went to Five Points Car Wash at 10:00--thought I'd be early, but as usual, the place was jammed. However, as we sat waiting outside, I fell into conversation with a nice young man--well, he said he was 45--who said he was a "marketing and branding person" for 805 beer. Hey, I love 805 beer! He used to go to Indonesia to surf and stopped over several times for several days in Singapore. He and his English wife are expecting their first in August; it's a girl and will be named Sienna (AAGH!) or Aida, which I like.
Anyhoo, it passed time enjoyably and when we said goodbye, my little blue beauty was sparkling inside and out. Went from there to Penney's to change the Saturday appointment I had made for a Friday one, as we're going to niece, Carolyn's, that day. Appointment is for a cut--can't wait to get rid of some of this mane.
From there, I drove to the library, thinking I'd see Timothy of the great-grandmother was Grandma Moses story. His wife (as I found out) was there and said he was under the weather. I'll see him again another time. Wife's name is "Way-Way"--at least, that's how it's pronounced. I think it may be spelled "Wye Wye."
Home for lunch, then to Sprouts for rock fish. Took it home to put in the fridge, then went to the beach. Sat happily for a time, then went to one down a bit and looked it over. Nice and I'll be going back.
On the way home, I stopped at WinCo for salad stuff and also got a pound of shrimp. I want to get some of their rainbow trout shortly and I'll try Swai, which I had never heard of before. Fishmonger said it was like catfish, but not as gamy, and you can pan-fry. I'm going to start growing fins soon, as I'm really getting to like fish. I want to get some rainbow trout, too.
El called and we discussed Easter. We may or may not go to Carolyn's early on Saturday, in order to join a "show us your taxes" protest. I'm very ambiguous about this. I'm certainly not a Trump fan, whom I despise; however, I count the Clinton/Obama duo equally repulsive. As for the neo-libs who worship at their shrines--it would take a book to explain my mixed reaction to them. Well, I don't object to going, I think it would be an interesting experience.
Note: This blog is good for something, I guess. I realized I hadn't received acknowledgments for my three submissions to serve on Ventura advisory committees. Couldn't remember when I had turned them in, looked it up (March 20), and e-mailed the city to ask about them.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Car And Ojai

Most of the day was good fun. I got to Rob's Remedies (auto place) early for my 9:00 appointment and Rob drove the car (with me in it) to check for how it handled and sounded. He didn't find any problem with the brakes, as it turned out. He put the car on the lift and explained various things, which went in one ear and out the other, then I left it in his capable hands.
Ellen got there at 9:00, then we picked up Greg, and drove to Ojai. Met the R.E. agent--a very nice woman, born in Ireland--and saw two houses. The first was built the year I was born, 1936--good grief! It had been renovated, but was in dire need of more. A very bad feature is that the living room was an unusually high step up from the kitchen and there were other steps. I'm not sure why it couldn't have all been on one level, but--. The views were gorgeous, of course, but there were a lot of other drawbacks. Incredibly, this place is priced at well over 400k; if it was in Jersey, it would go for maybe a hundred, if it could be unloaded at all.
The second house was nice--great kitchen--but was already under contingency, or whatever it's called. That one, modest though it was, was close to $500,000. Incredibly, those were the only two on the market in Ojai for under that half a mil.
We went to The Hip Vegan for an early lunch. I like their food, but stuck to my practice of simply a glass of Chardonnay and the Honey Belle tangerines I brought with me. Rob called on our way home to say my car was ready. He had done this, that, and the other, and the charge was $99.75, which I thought was reasonable.
El dropped me at Rob's, I got the car, then went home to have my real lunch. After that, I did a few chores, then went to the library to see if I could find Timothy. However, he and the Asian woman weren't there.
Stopped at the AL Assistance thrift store--the classier one--and couldn't resist four beautiful succulent plants. They're in different containers, all very attractive. After I got them home, it was about 4:00 and I intended to go to the beach to sit and relax. However, when I pulled in, I had an annoying incident and exchanged words with a man with a very large dog--naturally, he had no intention of leasing it--and I left.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Perking Up And Grandma Moses

Saturday was a little pokey, but on Sunday, things perked up. Did the usual morning activities, then showered and dressed to go to the Friends of the Library Open House. I thought Carole and Doris would be there, they weren't. The "open house" consisted just of one woman at a table with various giveaways. They did have a cute novelty: They had sheets of paper printed with "I love the Ventura Library because..." and then you filled your reasons in. They asked that we take a picture and post it on social media. I agreed, and the "friend" at the desk took my picture and said she'd e-mail it to me. (She did, and I put it on Facebook.) We were chatting after and, as conversations do, we wandered into our ancestries.
At this point, a man sitting at a table nearby piped up and started telling us about his ethnic background. It seems his grandfather was Jewish--in thirties Germany--and changed his name to "Richdt" or maybe "Ridcht"; the man said his own first name was Timothy. Why is this of any interest at all? Because something happened to the grandfather, I guess in this country, and Timothy said his father was raised by his maternal grandmother--who was the painter of American primitives, Grandma Moses! I don't know if I believe this or not, but I looked her up--so far, I haven't been able to find this out.
Incidentally, when we were about to leave, an Asian woman came up, Timothy's partner. I greet this woman when I go to the library, as she and Timothy are there every day and seem to stay all day. I assumed they were homeless, although I don't know that for sure; they really don't look that scruffy and, pretty clearly, are intelligent. Hmm..interesting...
I went from there and parked on Thompson Street, as I often do, then got my walking in by browsing three thrift stores. I didn't buy anything (usually, I don't), although I'm thinking about a pair of kitchen chairs that would go great with my four Swedish moderns. Not sure if I want to spend the money or not.
Stopped at WinCo, but didn't like their fish, so then to Sprouts for rock fish. However, they had no more--the fish man said it came in on Tuesdays, so I'll stop back tomorrow. Got some swordfish instead and it was very good.
Home about 4:00 and, realizing I had had only a very small salad for lunch, I finished up the left over squash, then waited for 6:00 to have dinner. Ellen called to ask if I wanted to look at a house in Ojai aftrr we leave my car off. Sure, and maybe Gregg will come, too.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Nothing Much

I woke up earlier than I like, about 5:45,* but got up. No matter what time I get up, I don't eat breakfast until at least 8:30. Waited and by that time, I was hungry
Spent a lot of the morning coring, paring, and cutting eight big apples. I had so many they didn't all fit in the larger slow cooker, so I had to use the smaller one, too. I had received my meds in the mail and I set them up in my seven pill holders. It's gratifying to realize that, although I paid $18.40 a month ($220.80 per year) to Humana, the same meds with CVS/caremark are only $17.45 every three months, or $69.80 a year. I ran out of my sleep aid, so went over to Wal-Mart for more. Re-checked my weight-loss record and was chagrined to realize I'm only ten pounds down, not twelve as I had thought. Oh, well, I think I'll be twelve off next time.
Called Betty and we chatted. Called El, then went over to drop off a few things for her and Greg. I stayed for an hour or so to chat. Went to Wal-Mart for paper products, then to the library just to drop off a book, so skipped the main one and went to the branch in West Ventura.
Aside from that, nothing much.
* But today, I just got up at 8:00, later than I want to. Guess I'll have to set the alarm, as 7:00 is my preferred get-up time.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Friday

Went to T.O.P.S. and was the biggest loser with five pounds off. However, since I was up 3.2 last week, I figure that's really only 1.8, but still, it's down and that's the way I want to go.
Checked to see how many sign-ups I have for the acting course and it's up to six. That's fine; ten or twelve is ideal, but it's only the middle of April, so I may get that many. If I have more then fifteen or so (unlikely), I'd want to divide it into two.
Breakfasted not until 10:00, the usual on Fridays, then went to the library to put up a flyer. Next, I did the same at the Adult Center. Saw my pal, Steve, and we had a long chat. Went from there to my usual parking place and walked to a few thrift stores. For some strange reason, I bought an artificial bouquet of flowers in a pot. I'm not positive where I'll put it, but maybe in the bedroom.
Washed and sliced up the zucchini I had bought at Sprouts, added olive oil, lemon pepper, and roasted paprika, and put it in the slow cooker. I then drove to the beach, took out my chair, and sat on the sand, communing with the glorious Pacific for an hour or so.
Home, cooked dinner, then Ellen called to ask me to change my date to have my car looked over, which I did. While we were talking, my niece, Joan, called from Suffern on the cell. Said goodbye to El and talked to Joan for a considerable time.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Chores and Errands

A mixed chores and errands day. Did the wash in the morning, with the various steps that entails. After all was folded and put away, I went to Sprouts, the new fresh food store in the Barnes & Noble shopping center. They had blackberries for a dollar a pint! Must have been a loss leader and I bought two. Looked for halibut and found it, but it was $12.99 a pound and while I was considering, one of the nice young fishmongers (or minimum wage clerks) pointed out rock fish, caught in the wild Atlantic, and said it was very good. As I've noted before, I'm often an easy sell and I was sold. The store even put a mango lime seasoning on it at no charge. (When I got home, I had to look up how to cook it--pan fry, happily.)
By the time I got home, it was almost 2:00. Had lunch, picked up the mail, and found my meds (excellent--CVS Caremark), plus a wonderful picture of my sibs and me, circa 1940. This was from my dear cousin, Marifran, in Cinncinati. I called her and we had a long, long talk. What a fine, good person she is. Unfortunately, she has cancer on or in her kidney and, after three years of abeyance, it's growing again. My cuz has suffered from asthma all her life and surgery could kill her. No surgery could kill her, too, I'm afraid. She's only 73, has a good husband and one unmarried daughter with no children. Anyway, I love her a lot and I hope she can survive.
After that, I went to the library, my usual haunt, and put up a flyer about my class. After, I drove to a parking place I know and (just because I wanted to get some exercise in), walked to the little park across from the mission. From there, I called my friend, Nancy, who had her gall bladder out on Wednesday, incredibly, as an outpatient. She's doing okay aside from pain resulting from the air in her stomach. Had half the rock fish for dinner, just simply pan frying in coconut oil in my cast-iron skillet. It was delicious, so I have a new item to add to my menus.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

BCNN And Paprika

Got to the BCNN meeting early, as usual. The spread was somewhat sparse and there were a lot of cookies and other sweet stuff, which I dislike in the morning. Just had a large strawberry and some grapes.
The program consisted of the five women in the poetry club reading their "poems." These were--and always are, I've heard this group before--actually run-on memoirs, but just gussied up a bit and called poetry. None of theirs ever rhyme and they're all in the stream-of-consciousness mode which, to be effective, must be done by experts, I think, and these ain't them. I more or less agree with David Frost's remark that "writing poetry without rhyme is like playing tennis without a net." Oh, there are exceptions, such as Whitman and some Sandburg, but they're few and far between and these women, earnest--in fact, somber--as they are, hardly qualify. So it was a huge bore, I'm afraid. I guess I've been spoiled by Yeats and Emily D.
There was a hat contest, too, plus a clothing exchange. Boy, there was some nice stuff, but most were in small sizes. I just picked up a necklace and a scarf. I sat with Doris, Sue, and Sherry--gave her the big Legos, the last of the toys I had gotten for Mr. K., for her grandson. It wasn't over until close to 11:30, so I had a (very) late breakfast. Skipped lunch, then went for my eye appointment, set for 1:45. I didn't get out of there until 3:30, but there seems no problem with my vision and I don't have to see him again for a year.
I had read about how tasty a seasoning smoked paprika is, so I went over to Trader Joe's and got some (I'm an easy sell). I was only 4:30 when I left and I wanted to stay out longer, so I drove over to the park. I surprised myself by Walking Kimbell, the full mile and a half, which I haven't done for months. Felt good and when I got home, it was time to start dinner. I put some of the roasted paprika on my chicken and spaghetti squash, but it didn't seem that great. Next time I have fish, I'll see if it's more effective in cooking.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Here and There

Got a return call at 7:00 am from Rob at Bug Splat (where do they come up with these names?) and I agreed to the $267 yearly charge. Texted my tenant, Eileen, to tell her and I hope that's the end of the ant problem.
I had told Sheena (she's from Ireland), the woman from whom I borrowed the car seat, that I'd return it at 9:00 yesterday. Considering that neither Ellen nor I could get it out of my car, I was hoping she could. However, my tire icon had lit up again, so I knew I needed air and went to Meineke. On impulse, I asked the guy at the desk if he could possibly look at the car seat and darned if he didn't fairly easily undo it. I was so grateful.
Got to Sheena's street, parked, and again had a slight problem finding her house. I knew the address was 5516, but here for some unfathomable reason, house numbers don't follow a logical sequence. Therefore, next to 5516 is 5573 and across the street is 5502. I've seen this several times before in Ventnura and am just at a loss to understand it.
I found her place, though, and she took the car seat. I asked if she'd like to have the toys I got for my grandson while he was here and, with thanks, she took all but the large Legos. Went home and had breakfast, then to SCAN to get a few more flyers. I want to take some to the BCNN meeting this morning.
Continued plowing though the things I've let linger for a while, including going through various papers I've been meaning to look at, most of which are trash, anyway. Wrote a note to N.'s mother for the pretty necklace she gave me and took it to the P.O. Went to WinCo to stock up on salad fixings and picked up spaghetti squash. I wanted blueberries, which are now my snack of choice when I watch T.V. (they substitute for the chips and ice cream I used to eat every night), but they had none and neither did two other stores. Finally found them at Smart 'n' Final.
Went to the beach after lunch and sat for a bit on my chair, but it was very, very windy, and I lasted only about fifteen minutes. From there, I went to the Goodwill near El's and donated the other car seat, plus a CD player I'd had in my trunk for months. I think it works, but it needs a new cable or something and I just never bothered to get it. I picked up a nice lidded box for three bucks; it's woven of straw or reeds or whatever the stuff is called--very rustic, a look I like and I put it on the lower shelf of the occasional table. Do I need it? Sure, like a hole in the head.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Stressy

It was somewhat of a stressful day, as I had a slew of things piled up to take care of. Contacted CVS Caremark for my prescriptions (web site work and phone calls there and to the doctor's office); signed a bunch of forms from Michelle for my taxes, added a check with her fee and sent same; put some mail for Mike in a big envelope and took the last two to the P.O.; received and sent several text messages back and forth with my tenant re the exterminator hire; got in touch with the person who lent me the car seat; plus other stuff I don't even remember. Stopped at SCAN to get more flyers and chatted with Lety, the director and Diana (pronounced "Dee-Anna"), office assistant.
However, I jettisoned all the work--mentally, that is--to join the widder group for lunch. There were only six of us, but as ever, it was a congenial bunch. I stuck to ordering only a glass of Chardonnay and eating the tangerines I brought with me; had lunch at home later.
Went to the library after and asked if they'd put up a flyer on my acting course. Stayed to relax and read a little; however, I didn't take anything out as I'm concentrating on Kaplan's Sinatra book (volume 1), which is gigantically huge. Drove to the museum and parked, then walked to the little square I like to sit for just fifteen or so. By that time, it was after 4:00 and I left.

Semi-Normal

Back to normal--or semi-normal, anyway; I'm missing Mr. K. and his parents.
I had forgotten to turn the alarm off, so it rang at 5:00 am; decided to get up, as I was thoroughly rested. I had coffee, of course, but went out to Lowe's at about 7:00 to get the Bona floor system cleaner, which manager Patti said was recommended for a modest shine. Did the usual Sunday after breakfast things. Went to Smart 'n' Final for coconut oil and tangerines.
Betty called and we had a long, long, sisterly talk. I then cored, pared, and cut up the apples, and put them to slow-cook with a quartered orange and cinnamon. Put carrot chips, onions, and lemon pepper in the smaller slow cooker and did the same. I wasn't sure how the latter would turn out, but it's actually pretty good
Went out after lunch to get a vegetable dish. Ellen gave me one I use a lot for my various veggie concoctions, but my others are either too large, too fancy for every day,or too small. Picked one up at The Dollar Tree, along with an apple corer and salad tongs. (I can't imagine where my other ones are.)
I then went into town. It was pleasantly crowded, but not too much so and I sat for a time in the little park (swatches of green, a huge tree, a beautiful tiled fountain and it's across from the lovely mission church). Walked along Thompson Avenue and into the Watch Tower Inn. Years and years ago--was Mike still in college?--at least twenty, we went to the restaurant here for dinner. I'd love to go again.
Went to a few thrift stores and picked up another glass dish, but really just enjoyed strolling down the street. Got home about 4:00 and as I was pulling in, got a text from niece Carolyn, just back from Colorado. I called her and we had a long--well, aunt-y chat.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Gone

Well, they're gone. I got to Ellen's at the appointed time of 5:55, and we left shortly thereafter. I asked to sit in back next to Mr. K., just so I could see him a little longer. He was sleepy, then dozed off. We got to L.A. in only about an hour, although once we reached the airport, it was about twenty minutes before we got to Delta's terminal 5. K. had to be lifted out of the car seat, but revived and was put down; final pictures were taken, goodbyes said, and off they went. I was rather proud of myself that I didn't cry; in fact, I was okay with it. The title of Thomas Wolfe's You Can't Go Home Again occurred to me. I'm living in one called "You Can't Make Your Children Children Again" and so it must be.
As we had eighteen months ago when I reached California, we stopped for breakfast at the Main Street Cafe in El Segundo. Ellen used to live there and it's a nice small-towny area. I had two scrambled eggs and coffee only; no toast or meat, as I was determined to be back on my dietary regime as of yesterday.
Got to El's in good time and she took the car seat out of her car. This took a lot of time and great effort, as the things, once installed, are very difficult to remove. She then tried to get mine out and had no luck. I'll get somebody at Meineke or somewhere to do it. I took the little boy toys and put them in my trunk, then left while Ellen took a well-deserved nap.
I had intended to do that, also, but kind of got a second wind after I went to WinCo for veggies and stuff. Came home and gathered up the toys here; I put the large number of giant Legos in a plastic bag, consolidated the plastic boxes, and put the books and balls in. I was able to get it all in my trunk after putting my lawn chair in the back seat. I'd like to give the things away to somebody with kids, but if I can't find any, I'll donate them back to the thrift store.
Speaking of--I went to Goodwill for a tall, thin vase to hold the beautiful bunch of daffodils my first born had given me (he gave some to Ellen, too). Found a nice one, bought it, and took it home. Got a text from my tenant with estimates for an exterminator (tiny ants), which I thought was steep. She suggested she get others and I thanked her for that.
Stir-fried onions, celery, and diced carrots, boiled up and dressed my favorite fresh spinach, and had some of that, plus salmon, for dinner. Went for a drive after, just to get out.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

The SCAN flyer:

Friday

After T.O.P.S., I went to El's to pick up the visitors and take them to the 99-cent store. Among other things, Mr. K. got some "super dough," a knockoff of Play Dough, I guess. After lunch at my place, he enjoyed using it and smooshed two together for other colors. Took him to the play area here and, among other momentous events, K. saw some boys who had captured a lizard. (Ugh!)
Went back to Ellen's, hung out, and did this and that. Mr. K. decided the patio should be swept again and proceeded to do the job with the assistance of Daddy. Aunty Ellen got home and we decided to go for pizza for us and Thai food for her. We all went over to the shopping center where the two restaurants are located and ordered, then went back to eat dinner.
Mike, Paula, and Violet Skyped us when we were just about finished and we had a nice virtual visit with them. By that time, it was after 8:00 and I left. Now it's 5:25 am and I'll go to Ellen's shortly for the trip back to LAX. How we'll miss that little guy.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Thursday And T.O.P.S.

Another full, full day. I picked them up about ten and, at their request, we drove to the shopping center where Trader Joe's is located. Parked, then walked across very, very busy Victoria Avenue to the CVS in the opposite center. That has a very attractive "square"--it's actually kind of a half circle--with stone benches, tables, and chairs, as well as a large and lovely functioning fountain.
P. and N. bought a few things in CVS, then we walked back across to IHOP, a culinary and calorie counters catastrophe, for an early lunch. It was early for me to eat, so I just had a salad; the others ordered more and took some home.
After, we went to Trader Joe's. I hadn't been there for probably a year and was pleasantly surprised that I liked not only the food, but the prices. I think I'll shop there more often. I got salmon, mushrooms, rice, salad makings, and a few other items for dinner, then we went back to my place so I could refrigerate them. Mr. K. played on the jungle gym and I showed P. and N. the large gathering room, then it was back to El's.
We chatted for a bit, while Mr. K. took care of the Blue Train, which was sick from eating too many bananas; these were represented by yellow Lego blocks. At that point, I left, saying I'd be back in an hour. Drove home, made the salad, set the table, got out the pans and dishes I would need, and drove back. Picked up the three and we went to Ellen's school for the book fair and open house. This was a lot of fun and Mr. K., incredibly enough, could do the sums on addition cards--for third-graders.
I drove home first, Ellen taking the others, and Greg met me when I got there.
We had a nice dinner and fun with K., and talked and laughed happily. It was close to 9:00 when they left and I cleaned up, then watched television until the outrageously late hour of 10:00, until I fell into bed and slept until almost 8:00.
Went to T.O.P.S. and, as I knew I would, I had gained--ouch!--three point two pounds. I'll be able to take that off, though, and intend to do so, following the regime I did before. The only--ONLY--reasons I attend T.O.P.S. are because I want to get weighed every week with consistency and because I like the people who go. The organization itself is sappy, I think. Traditionally, I believe, it did not concern itself with how people lost weight, only that the did with the method right for them. But today, Lolly introduced the "exchange" thing, which is modeled on diabetic discipline. I wouldn't dream of following it, as I think it's exactly the kind of thing that might work only with certain people. I have no intention of "exchanging" anything, let alone going to the trouble of recording it. I'm going back to the regime with which I lost twelve pounds in five weeks. It may not work with anyone else, but that's of no concern of mine if it works for me.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Wednesday

And the pace goes on: Yesterday morning, we went to the beach. It was pretty cool and breezy--make that windy--but Mr. K. got some sand play in. After, we drove into town to the Ventura Information (Chamber of Commerce) place, where N. looked for a gift for her mother. Then lunch at my place and the pool and hot tub. I wore my bathing suit, but the first was too cool for me, the second too hot. However, the Tokyo Trio had a fine time in both bodies of water. I texted Ellen to tell her about it and suggested dinner at my place, but she sent back a message that Greg had volunteered to make dinner. Fine by me and I put the chicken and lentil stew back in the fridge.
Home, we all changed back into street clothes, had a sketchy lunch, then took off for El's. She got home about 5:30 and Greg cooked up a delicious linguine with very tasty dressing, cherry tomatoes, and various sides.
Mr. K. was taken upstairs for a bath and bed--he had been up for some time the night before, still jet-lagged, poor little guy--and his parents were surely ready for bed themselves. Anyway, a busy Wednesday and today, probably more of the same.
As for the weight thing: hmm.... When I got home last night, I succumbed to an action I hadn't for many weeks: watching T.V. and over-indulging with this and that. I'm going to get weighed in tomorrow and I'm quite sure I've gained, regardless of activity, but I'll see, then go back to my regime as before.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Partial Catch-Up

Just a quick overview:
Saturday, the day they came in, included a long walk, lots of laughter, and not a little jet lag, of course. Sunday was slightly less hectic, but great fun. We all went to the beach and Mr. K. dug in the sand and rushed around the slides, climber things, and so on, like a little whirlwind. He chatters constantly, laughs and smiles all the time, and is vastly interested in just about everything. He's such a bright little boy: He looked at El's digital clock and correctly said it was "two thirty eight, "although English isn't his first language. Remarkably, he can tell what day of the week some special occasion happened in his life, and knows all his colors, as well as grasping some math concepts Ellen tells us can be for hard for her third-graders. His Tokyo train and rail knowledge is just phenomenal--and this little boy is three and a half!
After the beach, we all went back to El's and had lunch,then walked up to the "ding-ding," that is, the railroad crossing to discuss that. After, I went to the supermarket, then they all came back to my place for dinner. I wish El didn't have to to back to work today, but she does...
Dot, dot, dot.... Here it is, Wednesday morning, and we've been so busy, I haven't had time to come back to this. I'm not even going to attempt to mention everything we've been doing, let alone put it in chronological order, but here are some highlights:
In turns, Ellen, Greg, and I hosted dinner for all seven. It was a fairly tight squeeze in my little place, but much fun. We went into town, to various stores, and took what seemed considerably long walks to me, but are routine to these less sedentary humans. Went to various playgrounds so Mr. K. could work off some of his prodigious energy. We went to the train station and waited until one of the few trains (I think we were told four to seven) trains came in; in Tokyo, there are several hundred a day. Ellen had to resume work on Monday, but we've been together in the evenings. Last night, we got Mexican at Cabo Beach, one of El's favorites. I asked her to order for me and we both had a delicious tostada; must remember that for when the widder group resumes at Yolanda's. By car, we went to town, to the mall, and to various places for lunch. Yesterday, the little prince suggested we eat at the picnic tables on my complex here. We did, bringing out various leftovers and it was a fine idea.
This is probably pretty incoherent, but I just have no time for more, except to say I'm having a wonderful time with my family near and far--how did I get so lucky?


Sunday, March 26, 2017

They're Here!

They're here, it's great, no time for more right now. K. is just adorable, such a ray of sunshine, so bright and happy and full of fun! More later, if I have a chance.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Getting Ready

Went to T.O.P.S. and found I lost another two pounds. We had the usual discussions and I was pleased to see Bobbi was there after a hiatus of about six weeks. She had been in the hospital with pneumonia and still seems tired and draggy. She got the "biggest loser" prize for five pounds, but as she remarked, nobody wants to lose it that way.
Spent the early part of the day cleaning and did the whole place in the time it would have taken me one room at my house. Leaving for my hair appointment, I met Suzanne coming in and sat down to chat with her for a bit. Her sister's coming to visit tomorrow.
Got to Penney's and Amanda. After thinking about it and going back and forth, I decided to just have the color done and wait for a cut. She did a nice job, as usual, but I still dislike sitting for so long--anybody who knows me knows I'm easily bored.
Got out about 3:15 and went directly to WinCo to pick up a few things for when my company's here. After that, I dropped off a book at the library, then went home to prepare some of the veggies and fruit I bought. Cut up about two pounds of Brussels sprouts, chopped some onions and celery, and added seasonings. I may just freeze that, as I'm not sure where we'll be eating in the coming week.
Ellen called and asked if I'd sweep her patio. Sure, no prob, and I bought strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries, so I put them together for a fruit salad I took over to her place. Swept the patio while she cleaned upstairs and was home just a bit after 6:00.
Now it's 5:13 am, I just got up, and before long, I'll see my boy, his girl, and the fabulous Mr. K.--YAY!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Caregivers And Other Stuff

I had sent Susan G., my longtime neighbor and friend in Sunrise Bay, a happy birthday e-mail and got back a nice chatty letter. She said eccentric neighbor, Anne Mary H., had lost her little miniature poodle. A.M. never married and has no living relatives at all; her dogs meant the world to her and, even in the 13 years she lived on our street, she lost three. Since she doesn't use a computer, I sent her a note via regular mail.* Hearing all the news of our street made me nostalgic. I want to go back and visit; hope to do so in the summer.
Took the bath rugs to the laundry house to wash and dry. Today, I'll vacumn and mop the hard floors to complete getting ready for my company, clean the kitchen, then go for my 1:30 cut and color with Amanda.
Considering it didn't owe me anything (one of my mother's favorite sayings), I decided to put my small wooden table on Craigslist under "free." Did so and about ten minutes later, I got a call from "Jesse," who said he wanted the table. However, I was about to leave for Caregivers' monthly coffee, and said I'd call him back. Unfortunately for him, I must have written the number down incorrectly because when I called, it wasn't his. I decided to let the next person in line--"Rose"--have the table.
It was a good group at Caregivers. It happened to be an employee's birthday and there was a lunch spread. I didn't want to refuse, but didn't want to eat the pasta and cookies and so on, either, so I just had a very small amount of kale salad and coffee.
At the meeting, I met two young people: Ruth and Jonathan. Interestingly, my phone friend, Karen, had mentioned that Jonathan, who used to weigh 500 pounds, was going to help her with her "stuff." Clearly, he has some condition or other--neurological? I'm not sure how old he is, but he looks to be in his twenties. He said he's never had a job and he "stayed in" when he was heavy (he's surely lost 300 pounds, judging his appearance now), for two years. My other new acquaintance is Ruth, who is Jonathan's best friend. She said they met in middle school. Ruth signs and said she's hard of hearing, but that wasn't evident at all. Neither of them drive and you usually call Urber; I'm not sure why Ruth doesn't, but she seems perfectly normal except for a few little things. (You can say that about me, too, I guess.)
Anyhow, I asked if they might help me get the table to the entrance, this being a gated community, which is the only thing I dislike about it. I wasn't crazy about the idea of having strangers come to my actual apartment, but I couldn't carry by myself. Ruth and Jonathan readily agreed to help and I took them back to my place. Jonathan, who must be six foot five, at least, easily carried the table to the guest entrance and Ruth and I took the legs. Rose and her boyfriend came for the table and it's finally out of my dining area.
*Funny: I just put "Anne Mary Hayes" in the search engine for this blog and found a remarkably large number of entries elaborating on her and her foibles. Actually, they're pretty entertaining. She was a pain in the rear at times, but I was fond of her--at times.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Mismash

Stripped the bed and took the sheets to the laundry place, along with a few other items. Put clean bedding on for me; I plan to put the better stuff on when my company gets here.
I thought I'd better call my three "phone friends," as I may not get a chance next week. I picked up the phone and--no dial tone! AAGH! This is just what happened before! I called the damn "help" number on the cell, heard the recording, then suddenly the home phone rang. It's been operational since then, but who knows for how long. I hate, hate, hate AT & T with a passion.
Talked to phone friends Karen, Mary, and Coreen and it was pleasant. After, I went to the library and picked up a few things. Got an e-mail from Carole apologizing for why she left the movie; wrote back and said there was no need and that I understood.
I went down the beach and was startled to see there was heavy machinery and a huge pipe on the ground. I knew they were dredging downbeach (as we used to say), but didn't realize they'd come to where I usually sit; hope it's back to normal soon. However, it was very windy anyway--I almost lost my hat, so I found a sheltered spot behind some beach grasses and sat there reading my paper for 45 minutes or so.
Went from there to Ralphs, then the 99-Cent store for a few items. As I try to do, I stayed out until 4:30 and didn't eat until my scheduled 6:00. Took a drive after that, showered, played my game, watched my hour of T.V., and that was it.

Manchester By The Sea

It rained the entire day, annoyingly enough, but I went to the movies with Doris and Carole (for a time; see later). It was "Tuesday dollar day" at the Regency and even though we can afford to pay the usual, there's a kind of satisfaction in getting such a bargain.
We saw Manchester By The Sea and, boy, it blew me away. I hadn't realized the star, Casey Affleck, had won Best Actor and wasn't even aware of the movie. In fact, I was hardly aware of Casey Affleck. Because I never watch what passes for news--that's "news"--on T.V. and because I don't go to many movies, I often remain ignorant of things about which most people are savvy.
Anyway, this is just a terrific movie; I laughed and cried--mostly cried--along with Doris, although she had seen it before. As for Carole, after one of the tears-invoking scenes early on, she got up, excused herself, and left. I thought she was going to the restroom, but Doris explained that Carole can't stand sad movies. Interesting and too bad that she missed truly good acting, but knowing Carole's background, I understood.
After, we sat in Doris' car and I showed her disks with the interviews Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. conducted with Jackie Kennedy in 1964. I explained why I wouldn't want to see Jackie, the movie and I think she understood without having her feelings hurt. I hope so, as I like Doris, who has had some hard things to deal with, including her husband's suicide at 42.
Didn't get home until after 4:00 and went out immediately to get ground turkey, so I could vary my chicken/seafood regime a bit. I cut up onions and peppers, added garlic and mushrooms, then stir-fried and had that for dinner. Tasted great.
I hope, hope, hope the rain doesn't continue today, as I think it's the day of Ellen's class field trip. We'll see.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Jackie and Marie

Various errands completed. Finished my applications for the three different city commissions and dropped them off at city hall. The library's only a few blocks away and I went there next. Got Jackie Kennedy's extensive interviews with Arthur Schlesinger, which are enthralling. They're on CDs and I've listened to them before. When I see Doris today, I want to--gently, gently--mention that to her, as she was sure I'd be anxious to see Jackie, the movie. Why, no, I wasn't and I'm not.
Such truly living history is readily available on both disks and in print, along with innumerable books, videos, and so on, so why anybody would want to see some actress mouthing the words and ideas of a script writer and director is beyond me. These interviews were conducted in 1964, only a year after the assassination and are rightly called "oral history." What fascinates me are not only what she says--and some of it, especially JFK's attitude toward contemporary politicians, is startling--but the immediacy of it. The interviews were conducted in her home and you can hear her light a cigarette, then take a first deep drag (you can't mistake that sound if you were ever a smoker). You get the rattle of a tea cup, a child's voice, and traffic in the background. Once in a while, you hear birds sing, so maybe they were outside or near an open window during sometimes of the sessions.
Compare that to what is called "docudrama," a bastard word and a bastard idea. I love documentaries and I love drama, but smushed together? They stink. What's frightening is that so many take what they see and hear as gospel.
Okay, tirade over. Suzanne is back from Arizona; she went to a Sisters of Mercy planning meeting and also visited her brother and his family there. It was a long trip and she was going to take a nap, but first came over to see my coffee table. I'm so pleased to have her for a next-door neighbor.
I decided to post a notice about my small wooden table in the laundry room, which has bulletin boards. I had it for sale for $10 on Craigslist and Nextdoor Regatta, but no takers, so I advertised it as free.W
Walked over to Vons and got a cantaloupe. Went to dinner with the widder group at 6:00 and had just a glass of wine and some tangerines I had taken. I enjoyed chatting with my friends and was pleased I hadn't succumbed to ordering Marie Callender's food--mediocre, but tempting.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sunday

The Sunday thing was enjoyable as ever, especially as I completed the large Newsweek crossword with no omissions. After, it became a chopping, paring, preparing day. I made applesauce--with its attendant culinary chores--plus a large salad with tomato, pepper, and cucumber. Also, I hard-boiled four eggs and chopped two onions and a green pepper and put them in the refrig to stir-fry today.
I didn't have lunch until 2:00, as Betty called and we had a long chat. Had only the salad with a hard-boiled egg then and I was hungry later, but distracted myself by driving to Valentine Road to see if I can find CHIP, so I can get the car seat installed. I know it's there somewhere, but I allowed myself to be diverted by the cemetery, as I've always liked them. However, this one is a little too new and fancy for me--I keep forgetting how much older the east coast is. Dropped into Goodwill and just bought a wine holder made with a kind of woven straw. Looks good and next time I give somebody a bottle, I'll use it.
I had almost forgotten I was going to apply for some advisory positions (unpaid) on the City Commission; spent several hours filling out the applications, which ae individual, which seems nutty to me. I decided on Parks and Recreation, the library system, and the harbor port. Suz urged me to go for the last, but I'm not sure if that makes sense, as I know nothing about boats, docks, or for that matter, harbors. Well, I'll submit them we'll see what happens.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Clothes and CHIP

I used to avoid doing wash on weekends, thinking of working people had only days. However, that seems to be no problem--or else everybody stays dirty; I did a load yesterday and only one other machine was in use.
Carole and Doris had told me the library was having their book sale at Vons from 9 to noon, so I went over there after I finished the clothes. I asked for them, but they had left; I'll be seeing them on Tuesday when we have a movie date, anyway. I bought four books, which I may never get around to reading, as I have an overabundance of reading material as it is.
Later went to Smart 'n' Final for my new addiction: fresh spinach. I bought a 40 ounce bag, took it home and boiled up, put the yummy dressing on and had it with the rest of the poke for lunch.
El called to ask if I'd bring the car seats over so she could install them and I said I would at 3:00, which I did. She tried (while I watched) and seems to have gotten one into her car, but it may not be properly installed. She said some fire departments will do it, but when she called, she was told they don't here, but the California Highway Patrol (CHIP) does; she called there, but they weren't open. (Presumably, they respond to 911, though.) I said I'd take my car to them tomorrow and find out how late they're open to see if Ellen can get hers checked.
Left about 4:00 and immediately put the chicken thighs I had bought in the oven. (I much prefer dark meat to white, which always seems tough and relatively tasteless to me.) I always roast with the skin on, then remove it when I eat; much more flavorful that way, and I'm not concerned with the fat at all.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

T.O.P.S. and Tuna

Went to T.O.P.S. and was the biggest loser again with three more pounds off. We learned that Lolly, our leader, has to relinquish to office because she had been doing it for ten years or so. So silly that there are term limits, as it's voluntary and doesn't seem the entail much. After, a few people asked me to take over, but I don't know if I want to bother. We'll see.
After the usual late breakfast--it was almost 11:00 when I finished--I did a fair amount of computer stuff and by the time I finished, it was 1:00 and I had lunch. Went to Quest to make an appointment for June and was told I had to call, instead. Drove into town to the library, forgetting it was St. Patrick's Day. The parking lot was completely filled, most likely with lunch-goers to Dargan's, the only Irish restaurant in the area, to my knowledge. I like the place myself, but of course, it was jammed yesterday. On the way home, I stopped at Cemetery Park and sat and read my book for awhile.
I decided to drive to the branch location in East Ventura, and did. I actually forgot just how to get there, so it took me some time wandering in the area, but I finally found it. However, it was closed--not sure why, as it was Friday--I just dropped off the book I had finished.
On the way home, I stopped at Goodwill and found a black leather chair I immediately snapped up. It's not an easy chair, but more like a slender occasional chair and it fits perfectly next to the front door. Looks great and I'm so glad I found it. Cost? Marked down to $3.00. The reason it was so cheap is because it's missing three of the four covered buttons forming its tufts. I think I can find replacements at a fabric shop; otherwise, I'll just re-donate it.
Stopped at Vons and got poke, a Hawaiian staple, consisting of raw tuna with a few seeds and spices. It's eaten cold and I like it a lot; there seems to be a sudden interest in it around here lately.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Good Day

A good, good day. Went to SCAN at 10:30 to attend the reception for the new director, Letitia Alverez. Boy, what an improvement over the last, Stuffed Shirt Steve! "Lety" was so welcoming, personable, and altogether nice to know, I was charmed. There was quite a spread: sandwiches, soda, a huge chocolate cake, and cookies, but since I'm determined not to eat away from home for at least a time, I skipped.
It was great that Marsha M., the big gun from Long Beach, was there. She greeted me with a handshake and a hug and asked if I could meet with her a little later to discuss my acting class. Sure thing, and after mingling a bit--my friends, Carole and Doris, were there--we sat down together.
We discussed the course (for 55 and over), with my recommendations for when (10:30 for four consecutive Tuesdays in May) and which room I'd prefer. That took me a while because SCAN is a large building, but there are offices upstairs and the health and wellness area on the first floor is limited. It consists of one very large room and two much smaller ones, as well as a sort of medium one and that's what I chose. If I have only ten or dozen people, it's adequate, but if more, probably isn't. It does have a whiteboard, so that will be useful.
We then got down to money (attendance will be free, but SCAN will pay me directly). Marsha asked me what I was looking and I named a figure about half again higher than what I got at Stockton State. She agreed to that and I was pleased, but a little surprised. The Stockton course was ten sessions of an hour and a half each and this will be four of an hour each; that's exactly half the amount of time. However, considering that was a few years and there's inflation and so on and so forth, I think it's pretty reasonable. Anyway, I'm elated about it and SCAN is going to start running notices and ads shortly.
Another win was with Suz in the afternoon. I had asked her to see me and went over to her office at 2:00. I laid out what I was concerned about; beside some other questions, I told her I need direction on what, exactly, my duties as vice chair of the Ventura Council for Seniors actually are. I made clear that I wasn't agreeable to taking on a lot of (unpaid) work and she assured me I'll be in an advisory capacity only. Okay, fine by me, and I told her I was agreeable to submitted an application to serve on one of the city commissions, which is entirely separate.
I always enjoy Suz, one of the most voluble, energetic people I've ever met. She has a vocabulary like a drunken sailor, a trait I find intensely attractive, for some reason. Guess I'm tired of sweet little old ladies who think "heck!" is a naughty epitaph.
Anyway, we came to a real meeting of the minds, and I left much reassured. Changed again when I got home and went down the beach. Took my folding chair and sat just looking at the waves and listening to the surf. However, a chill wind was blowing in from China--or wherever--and I stayed only a half hour or so.
Note: I got up late (almost 8:00) and my computer had a problem, so I'm late posting this. Must run off to T.O.P.S. now.)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

VCS and Furniture

Went to the Ventura Council for Seniors meeting at 9:30 and it was reasonably interesting. I met Suz outside, as we were both early, and told her I'd like to meet with her privately this afternoon. I want to talk to her about getting some direction for my duties as vice chair. Also, she wants me to get on one of the county commissions and I'm interested, but need to know more about it.
Got home, changed, had lunch, and shortly thereafter, Handyman Hugh called. I had to go out to let him through the gate and then direct him to a visitor's parking place--the usual pain. Anyway, he first put the new kitchen table together and I'm delighted! I was afraid the color wouldn't match my chairs, but it's perfect: both are honey oak and even the styles, although they're not the same (Swedish modern and--I think--early American) go beautifully together. He then assembled the large and heavy coffee table--it's gorgeous! He hung several pictures for me, doing a great job, and even fixed my vertical blind.
I was charmed by the fact that Hugh quoted scripture now and again to illustrate whatever point he was making. I'm just delighted with everything he did--and to top it off, his charge was very reasonable. I wrote in a recommendation to Nextdoor Regatta (a kind of Internet neighborhood hot line), titling it "A Rave Review for Handyman Hugh!"
Hugh was here until after 4:00. When he left, I vacuumed (there were some little bits of Styrofoam on the floor) and rearranged a few things. I then drove to the beach and sat for about ten minutes before the very brisk wind made me leave. It was such a thrill to come home to my spiffy new living/dining room!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Swiffering And The Fog

With DST, I'm getting up at 7:30, a little later than I like, but okay.
Went to WinCo on a quest for seafood and spent a lot of time mulling over whether to get more shrimp or not. Not. What about salmon or other fish I don't eat often and have never made myself, such as cod and talipia? No to them, too, so I didn't get any. I do have another nice tuna steak in the freezer and I'll go to another store for fresh fish.
Preparing for Handyman Hugh's visit this afternoon, I moved the table and chairs, cleared the bathroom, and swiffered--first dry, then wet--all the hard floors. They're nice and clean, but I still want to find out how to give them a shine.
Got an e-mail from Sue to the effect that she got a smartphone, but now must learn how to use it. I sent back congrats.
I finished my indignant letter to Experian and took that and a forward to Mike to the P.O. After, I drove to the beach.
Wow. You couldn't see the ocean at all, let alone the mountainous area all along the shore, which is usually very evident. The fog hid all of it, but it was mysteriously alluring and I sat down on a log. I stayed almost an hour and, while I was there, the fog slowly lifted and everything reappeared. It was so nice to see--I love to go down there and when precious little Mr. K. is here, I'll take him and his parents.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

This, That, and Tax

Got quite a bit done. Spent time cleaning--which never takes long--and rearranging the bookcase in my bedroom. Heard back from "Hugh the Handyman," who will come tomorrow. Also heard from my tax gal, Michelle, that I needed to provide some other documents. Sent them to her electronically, so I hope they're what she was missing.
I decided to respond to Experian, with which I'm having a dispute about my credit report, even though it's seems to have been resolved. Considering the damn company itself called my rating "exceptional," they have a lotta nerve. I did other bookkeeping-like stuff, too.
After lunch, I decided to clear my head by going to the beach. It was warm and sunny, as it has been, and I drove toward my usual place so I could sit and listen to the ocean and soak up the sun--but no-o-o-: Just as happens to Absecon Island, inland was sunny, but the beach area was covered with a layer of fog. I sat for a half hour or so, anyway, even though it was chilly, and I enjoyed it. It's always so hard to believe the northeast is having a blizzard while I'm wearing shorts.
For dinner, I sauteed (in coconut oil) onion, peppers, and mushrooms--forgot the garlic--and added shrimp; along with half a spaghetti squash, it was a yummy dinner.
Just opened my e-mail and found that Michelle has completed my tax return. I'm getting something back from the great state of California and a nice piece of change from the U.S. of A. I'm so humbly grateful...ha!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Loose Ends

It was one of those loose end kind of days. I heard back from another handy person somebody recommended and I'm going to go with him, I think. The other fellow was very nice, too, but charged considerably more, as there were two of them. Besides, the guy I chose is named "Hugh," which was my husband, Pat's, actual first name, so that's significant, I'm sure. NOT! Anyway, I hired him and he'll come Wednesday to do the deed.
Got an e-mail from Michelle, my accountant, that I hadn't included some documents in my tax papers. Darn, I hope I can find them without a hassle.
Went into town, which was just jammed, but I stopped at a few thrift stores to see if I could find a stroller. No luck, but I bought a box of Christmas cards and some folding boxes. Also went to Wal-Mart and got a thing that melts scented wax and smells good. Am I nuts? Yes, and I'm taking it back today.
I started reading the book by the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the Columbine High School killers. It's harrowing and I found myself crying several times. Horror beyond belief for this poor soul.
I don't know why, but I've always been fascinated by murder. How can people do it? I don't mean those who are borderline retarded or have been abused themselves or for whom there's some possible "reason." It's the ones from stable, middle-class homes who plan and execute murder who puzzle me. Maybe it helps them to see it as a solution to whatever because we're taught from babyhood that certain forms of killing other humans are acceptable, i.e. abortion, execution by the state, and the big one, which isn't just permitted, but celebrated: "It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets." (Voltaire)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Around and About

Got the names and numbers of three handymen via recommendations from neighbors on Nextdoor Regatta. Talked to one and left a message for another. The one I spoke to seemed very nice; said the charge was fifty an hour (for two people), with a minimum of two hours. I'll go for that, but will wait for the other to call.
Went to Sheena's, the Irish woman who's lending us the car seat. She absolutely refused to take anything for it; I'll give her a little gift card or something when I bring it back.
Before I even got home, it occurred to me that it would be good to have two car seats, as we'd be using both Ellen's and my cars. I remembered another nice person who responded about the car seat; she's located in Window Wizards. I drove there and it turns out she and her husband own the window store. She said her granddaughter had outgrown the car seat and she told me not to bring it back, but to give it to someone who can use it. She also refused to take anything but my thanks.
Went home for lunch, then to the library. I took back Bill Bryson's CD on Shakespeare and took out his CD on returning to America after twenty years in the U.K. He's one of my favorites. Betty had left a message on the cell when I came out of the library (I often leave my phone in the car) and I drove to the park across from the mission to call her back. How nice to be talking while hearing the fountain and seeing people strolling in the glorious sunshine.
I try to stay out at least until 5:00 nowadays and I don't have dinner until 6:00, so I went to Smart 'n' Final for shrimp and a cucumber. Now I want to work on borrowing or renting a stroller for Mr. K.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

T.O.P.S. And Tables

Went to T.O.P.S. and lost another two pounds. I'm satisfied with that; if I lose two a week, that will be good.
Didn't have breakfast until after 10, then made some phone calls, including to two of my Caregiver Phone Friends. Mary, the blind one, told me about the lunch excursion on which her friends took her and Coreen mentioned her birthday is next Wednesday. She'll be 90.
Zipped over to Staples and got a three-hole-punch. I had had one for years, but scuttled it when I left Jersey. I do like to keep "official" stuff in loose leaf books, and I made one up for Council for Seniors, so needed the punch.
I had just a salad for lunch, with a hard-boiled egg for protein, then had to rush to get to Dr. Woodling's 1:30 lecture at The Townehouse. Doris had said she wasn't going, but Sherry was there and I sat with her. As usual, Woodling was equal parts fairly interesting and totally boring; his talk yesterday was on Medicare.
Went from there directly to my tax accountant, Michelle's. She lives right across from Cemetery Park, where I have the dog problem. However, I think I'll just drop the whole complaint thing--the hell with it. Gave Michelle my information and some documents and she'll be in touch. Got gas after and didn't get home until well after 4:00. When I walked in, I found in the middle of the living room, my new kitchen table in a huge box. It's right next to the big box with the new coffee table in it; now I'll look for somebody to put them together. Called Ellen and left a message asking for the number of her handyman. Called Jim in the office to thank him for putting it in and he told me the wrong apartment number was on it--103, which was my number in Colony Park--geez, everything's a hassle! I called Wayfair and had them change it.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Crapola

When I realized yesterday was my only one free all week, I determined to buckle down and get some crapola out of the way. Made a list and accomplished this much:
--Gathered and categorized my income tax receipts, called my accountant, and will drop the stuff off today. This took me virtually the whole morning.
--Partially unpacked the coffee table and got some of the the cardboard corners to the trash. This isn't as easy as it sounds, as the outer packing is so thick and heavy, it's more like wood than cardboard. The table's still in the main package.
--Did a wash with the usual back and forth.
--Made applesauce in the slow cooker. This is a tedious job, what with coring, paring, and slicing six large apples, but it's just wonderful to come home and smell that marvelous aroma. I don't allow myself sugar during my present regime, so I don't add any to this, but it's sweet enough with just a little lemon juice and cinnamon.
--Prepared a large spaghetti squash I had. (After I buy spaghetti squash, I often think I don't like it that much, so why do I...?)
--Drove to WinCo for various.
--Went to Vons for Tracfone minutes.
--Took a dry run to my accountant, Michelle's, new apartment--easy peasy.
--Sat on the beach for about a half hour, just gazing at the beautiful Pacific. (This wasn't on my list, but I slipped it in.)
--Made up the "exercise sheet" for T.O.P.S., which I had volunteered to do.
The things on the list I didn't get done, but will shortly, are a number of phone calls and following up with Marsha at SCAN re my acting class.
Anyway, it was a gorgeous day--probably 75 at least--and I'm glad to have put a lot of this stuff to bed.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Doc And Table

Had an 8:30 doctor's appointment, just routine. All seems well, although the doc says I'm pre-diabetic. I hope that will fade as I lose weight. You always have to get weighed immediately after you walk into the inner sanctum and I saw I had lost another pound or so. Of course, I have no idea whether the T.O.P.S. scale will reflect that tomorrow.
I went right from there to the Goodwill, as it was a 50 % off day. Got six saucers for under plants, plus a nice, large, round wall clock that looks antique, but isn't. Total cost for all: five bucks.
I had eaten breakfast early for me. Although I get up between 6 and 7, I like to defer it until 8:30, at least. Eating earlier, I get hungry for lunch too early. However, I distracted myself by calling one of my "ladies on the list"--Karen, the one who's six years younger than I am--and we enjoyed talking to each other.
My dear brother, Larry, called to say he had bought a new car and in clearing out his old one, had come across a box of letters I had sent him when I moved. These are to my husband, Pat, and are sixty or more years old. Larry and I talked for some time. I asked after his Helen, and found his answer concerning. He said Helen doesn't go out--at all--and sleeps most of the day. This is a drastic change from her busy, bustling way of life of a few years ago. She doesn't complain (she never did), but sleeping all the time isn't normal. She does have a heart condition and is under a doctor's care. Also, their son-in-law is a physician and four of their daughters are R.N.s, so I guess they have it covered.
Had lunch of my usual big salad; also defrosted some of the curried lentil stew I had made and frozen the other day. After that, mindful of my determination to get out, I drove to the library, then to Poli Park. Even though, yes, there were loose dogs, I took my chair out of the trunk and sat for a time enjoying the gorgeous ocean/Channel Islands view. After that, I went to the beach and just gazed for a bit, but it was getting a bit chilly, so I left.
When I got home, my coffee table was at my door! Wow, it looks gigantic, at least in the box and I don't know how I'll get it put together. I guess I'll have to open it before I see if I'll have to hire someone.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

VCS Focus Group Meeting

As I have a habit of whining now and then: "I don't know why I'm not skinny as a rail!" That's because I've been running around so much and yesterday was no exception.
I needed olive oil and paper towels, so went to several stores in the morning. I also realized I was out of Romaine, so drove to Smart 'n' Final for it and a few other items. Stopped at Target to take back the drapery rod I had bought the other day. Made a big salad when I got home and had that and chicken for lunch.
Washed and dressed and got to Suze'es office for the 2:00 focus group meeting for the Ventura Strategic Plan for Seniors. There were only four of us: Suze and Lori, the regulars who actually have paying jobs there (Suz is the director of aging), Debra Mansfield, who owns the Lynd Counseling Group, and me. Marilyn Peake, the other member, wasn't able to attend; at the last minute, there was a family emergency and she had to drive her parents to LAX.
The meeting--as lots of these things tend to do--more or less meandered all over the place. Debra became very vocal about nursing homes; it seems both here parents were in one and there were problems. She made a rather impassioned speech for better assistance for seniors--.
Hmm...that really had nothing to do with the project at hand, which was to look over the current Strategic Plan for Seniors. We did go over it and discussed, but since an outside consultant is going to be hired, I frankly am not sure why we met. I learned something interesting, though: When we were finished, I mentioned my frustration over Cemetery Park, which seems to be taken over by unleashed dogs. Suze has remarkable knowledge of seemingly EVERY aspect of Ventura and the park is no exception. She told me it indeed had been a cemetery and 1900 people are buried there. All the monuments have been removed, however, and benches put in.
Anyway, the meeting did keep me out of the apartment for several hours. After, I drove directly to the park and yes, same old thing. I actually took a few pictures of the crowd--of people and dogs--although what good that will do, I don't know.

Lunch and Lots O' Dogs

I busied myself with chores in the morning, then showered, washed my hair, and dressed for the widder lunch. I waited a bit before I went, as I didn't want to get there at noon and order lunch. My plan is to avoid eating out, especially at a place like Marie Callender's. (Since I won't eat sugar or fried or processed foods, there's not much, if anything, for me to eat there.) So-o-o, I purposely got there late--about 12:45, had one glass of Chardonnay, and enjoyed chatting with my friends; I didn't miss eating at all.
Went to WinCo after and by the time I got home, it was 2:30. Had a large salad with chicken for lunch, which was fine and really, all I wanted. Drove to town after that, to the library and on the way home, noted that Poli Park (it's real name is Cemetery Park, I don't quite know why), which has a breath-taking view of the ocean and Channel Islands, was again teeming with unleashed dogs. I parked on the street and observed for a few minutes; I counted four large animals, along with three or four smaller ones, all racing around the park. As I watched, another man drove up, jumped out of his car, released a large dog to join his pals. Cute, right? Oh, yeah, cute like Cujo.
Damn! I had called Animal Control before about this, which was like whistling into the wind, and I called again. I was told they "patrol" the parks--really? Once a month at midnight, or what? Think I'll mention this to Suz at the VCS meeting today and see what can be done.

Monday, March 06, 2017

New Drapes

Whew, quite a day. Ellen called to suggest I get the drapes and hardware I wanted for my bedroom and I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond. Finally, after much digging, I found two side panels (which is what I wanted) in a dark red. Not sure what the material is, but it's heavy. They're room-darkening, but for now, I indifferent about that, as I've had no problem sleeping. I just wanted the tiny side opening in the blinds covered.
B B & B cost an arm and a leg, and I decided to look also in Target. Did and found a nice rod that didn't need to be screwed in--it had a kind of spring mechanism. Bought it, had lunch, then took all to Ellen's at 2:00. While she dusted and so on, I ironed the drapes, which were very creased. We then took off in separate cars for my place.
Wouldn't you know, the rods I had bought didn't fit, as the end of the window is very near the wall. El needed a few things in BB & B and we got better rods and finials there.
Back to put them up, which took several hours because Ellen had to remove the valances, which are part of the vertical blinds; otherwise, the drapes wouldn't--well, drape properly. What a job! And I was having fits and conniptions about it, while Ellen calmly tried this and that, and finally, after a great deal of work, got the rods up and the drapes on. The window looks great and really finishes off the room beautifully--yay!

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Lentils And More

This and that, here and there day. I found a neat site with healthy recipes and chose two dishes that looked yummy--curried lentils and boiled spinach. I went to three different supermarkets looking for orange lentils, but just as they never heard of pumpernickel, orange lentils is--are--from outer space to west coast philistines. I finally bought the ugly old gray ones.
The boiled spinach may sound like something out of the Dreary Day Orphanage, but it's very good: fresh spinach boiled quickly and dressed with olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. Along with a bowl of my dump soup, I had half for lunch.
The lentil was more problematic, as it includes lots of other veggies, including kale. The instructions were to cook it on the stove, adding things at various times. However, I didn't start until I got home at 3:30 and I didn't feel like getting fancy, so just put it all (except the cilantro, which goes in later) in the slow cooker.
In between my culinary chores, I drove to town, thinking I'd go to the library and maybe a few stores. Ha! It was a gorgeous day and a Saturday, so the place was jammed. I didn't even park, just drove there and back.
Stopped at My Favorite Store (inside joke) and picked up another little book for Mr. K., plus some candle holders I need like another ten pounds. Then, wonder of wonders, I found a brand new, cast iron, preseasoned iron skillet, still in its packaging, $4.99. Thanks to my friend, Pat, I've been alerted that I need iron, and I think this is one way to get some.
Called El to hear that her new dishwasher has been installed. She'll also get a water softener (or a service for it), as we have very hard water here. I'm lucky in that where I live has a water softener. At Colony Parc, my tableware always had hard water spots.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

T.O.P.S. And Lion

Wow--went to T.O.P.S. and found I had lost 5.4 pounds!
Of course, that was my first week of Getting Serious and I'm savvy enough about weight loss to know a lot of it is water, but still--it gave me a lift. I was "the biggest loser," which meant I got to chose from the goody box. However, there wasn't much I wanted in there, so I chose some Christmas cheese knives with little gnomes on them. I'll drop them off at the thrift store next time I go.
T.O.P.S. itself is getting less and less relevant. I'm afraid the word "focus," is foreign to leader Lolly; yesterday, there were long, long digressions into various medical conditions, Bob's trip to Oregon, and Sharon's father-in-law's desire to end his 93-year-old life. My little gift to Sharon did go over big. Also, Louisa found the giveaway shoes didn't fit her, so asked if I wanted them. I did and they're a spiffy red casual pair.
Home for breakfast, then I called Coreen, the artist phone friend who's 89 and has cancer. She had a year of chemo; now it has spread to her bowel and she's on radiation. We had a nice talk and I said I'd call her on Monday, as I will my other "friends" of that genre.
Met Nancy at the movie in town at 1:30. We saw Lion, a wonderfully absorbing story--we both loved it. Went to Happy Hour at Dargan's Irish Restaurant right after and stayed talking until almost 5:30. I had a glass and a half of Chardonnay and Nancy had a salmon cake appetizer, along with the same to drink. I explained to her that I wasn't actually hungry, so didn't want to order--or eat--anything. Too often, I would just to be sociable or because it was expected, but now that I'm getting serious about losing, I reject that idea.
Didn't get home until 6:00 and I just had a big bowl of dump soup for dinner, along with the rest of my homemade applesauce. Sketchy meal, but it worked for me.