Thursday, May 25, 2017

More A for A

Busy as ever with A for A. I assembled the individual critiques for each member, which I had completed after I observed the first run-through. I'm not sure if I'm going to share them or not, but I might when we meet today for another semi-rehearsal.
Carolyn M. called to ask if we could go over her lines--she has the very shortest part of all, about six lines at the beginning of the "Tootie" sketch and three at the end. Unfortunately, her acting is pretty dismal; in fact, I'd say she's about the worst of the lot. However, she's anxious to do better, so I invited her to come today with the others who will re-rehearse, and I'll work with her.
Wrote out some cues for my welcome and my intro to each playlet. I still have to be sure the room is set up as I want it. Darn, I realized yesterday I had completely forgotten about dress. Usually, I would recommend that all wear black or dark pants and white tops--I simply didn't remember that this time, so shoot me.
Went to the dollar store and got two fancy wine glasses for the When Cooks Confer sketch. I know that's the one the audience will like most, as it's pretty funny.
Called my dear friend, Marge, in Little Egg. Incredibly, with all her problems, she's now broken her arm. I know bones don't heal well when you're over ninety and I feel so bad for her. She said she wishes I could visit and so do I. I'll try to arrange a trip to Jersey one of these days. I hope I can see her before I get that call from Fred I sadly anticipate. And dread.
I called Doris to see if she wanted my friend, Linda, to take her to the show. However, regardless of what our mutual friend, Carole, told me, Doris said she plans to drive herself, as it doesn't get dark until eight or after, anyway. Quite so.
Went to WinCo for salad fixings and later to the library just to get out for awhile. It's been chilly lately--I even had the heat on for a time--and I hope it gets warmer.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


I got over to SCAN by 9:30 and talked to Tony. I was pleased to hear that a large, black, kind of backdrop that was in the corner, can be moved so we can use it as our "stage."
I arranged nine chairs in the back of the room for my cast. When they came in, I asked them to put their scripts on the table. I want them to support their fellow actors and not be looking through through their scripts while others perform. I told them to laugh when appropriate and otherwise pay close attention and was gratified when they did.
As I told them we would, they ran through the whole show without stopping while I took notes on each of their performances. It actually came together better than I thought it would, although I still had to emphasize the importance of speaking more quickly, not dropping their voices at the end of sentences (a lot have a tendency to do that), and to project out to the audience without actually facing them. As for real "acting"--expressing the emotions behind the words--some are okay, some will never "get it."
Anyway, we ran through it a second time and it was marginally better. Several of us are going to meet tomorrow to go over their parts and that's fine by me. Now I have to write my welcome, introductions and windup.
Carole and Sue were going out to lunch after and asked me to join them, which I was pleased to do; first, I went home to get my tangerines. Met them, had a refreshing Chardonnay, and happily ate my citrus while they had calorie-laden lunches. I didn't get home until 3:00, at which time I had a salad and then--very unusually for me--fell asleep on the couch.
Got up refreshed and decided to go to Sprouts. Stepped out the door and found a note from Suzanne, saying she had taken a clipping from my rosemary tree and it isn't dead, after all, but will come back to life. I rang her bell to thank her and will now take care of it better.
Went to Sprouts and Barnes & Noble, then got home, relieved that the show is shaping up fairly well.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Prepping the Show and Applesauce

Spent mucho time on preparing for today's A for A session. I'm going to have the group go through the entire program, then I'll critique and we'll go through it--I hope--at least once more before Friday.
Used my new apple peeler/corer, but had some difficulty with it. I know it's not the device itself that's at fault--it's the operater (that's me). I just don't exactly know if I'm doing it right or not. Oh, well, I'll get the hang of it before long and I made the applesauce, which is yummy, of course.
Drove to town and walked to the library a half-mile away (and back). Asked Branch Manager Lori if I could put up flyer about the show and she said sure. By the time I got back to my neck of the woods, it was almost 4:00. Went to Wal-Mart for a few things, then WinCo. Saw my neighbor, Don, and gave him an invite to the show. Took two more into the office to give Patti and Jim. Rang Suzanne's bell, but she was on a conference call, so she stopped over my place after. She stayed for a half hour visit and we had fun chatting about relatives and others. I told her I had received a bill for $116 from the plumber--darn, I thought Ventura Del Sol would pay it. I'll ask Patti about it, but I won't protest--the apple core/garbage disposal thing was my fault, after all.

Monday, May 22, 2017


After my usual Sunday morning, I went to WinCo to stock up on salad fixings, veggies, and a nice piece of rockfish. Got to know my new apple parer by performing on an apple. Yay--it works! Didn't have time to do more, but will today.
Got to El's at 1:00 and we spent several hours selecting and packing, interspersed with watching various house shows on T.V. Home again about 4:00 and I revised my e-mail to my A for A group. As I advised them, at tomorrow's session, we'll run through the entire show without stopping. I'll make notes, then I hope to add another meeting before the show on Friday.
Sent a separate message to the cast of Hell on Wheels. There are five, the largest group, and the little skit is in rhyming couplets. They all have a tendency to ignore punctuation and stop too abruptly at the end of a line. It needs to flow more smoothly, as it's supposed to be conversation, even if humorous.
Stir-fried ground turkey, onions, peppers, and garlic for dinner and it was good.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Organizing And Apples

I spent several hours in the morning organizing things for the show. Got my copies of the scripts in my binder and looked again at the order of performance I had made up. I'm not entirely happy with it, so may tweak it, but I guess it's okay. I then acted out all parts of all playlets, keeping time to see how long the show will go. I want to do this again to be sure I'm close to its length; must also add time for a welcome from Tony and intros for each from me. In addition, I'll go through to see what props should be used.
Called El to see if she could use me to help in her coming move. She said yes, so I went over about 1:00 and did some minor packing at her direction. Took time out to go over to Goodwill and pick up the small table I had seen Friday. I'm very pleased, as it turned out to be just as I had hoped: perfect for hiding the ugly computer wires in my bedroom. It has a rectangular space on the top, which looks as if it used to hold a tray or something. I'll look around for something that fits into, or fits over it. Back at El's, we continued packing; I left about 3:30, but will go back today to help tackle the garage.
I still haven't put together the peeler I bought. I'm just hopeless with mechanical things and haven't even read the instructions. Actually, it's mostly assembled already, so I just have to add a few component. Must do it soon, as I have several pounds of apples waiting.

Saturday, May 20, 2017


Another varied day. Went to T.O.P.S. and found--no surprise--I had actually gained a bit: four tenths of a pound. I chalk that up to Mothers' Day and the fact I haven't been walking as much, and it doesn't worry me. Met with Bob after and we went over his role in Hell On Wheels. I know he'll be fine with it. We then fell into talking politics (he's a lefty) and religion (neither of us indulge). His--well, wife in love, I guess you'd say, as he and Michelle aren't married--called and the three of us continued talking politics. We don't agree, as they're neo-libs, but so what? It was a good, vigorous session and Bob invited me to join them for brunch, but since I had a lunch date with Nancy, I said another time.
Didn't get home until after 11:00, so I sort of combined breakfast and lunch by having two pieces of chicken and half an orange. I had just time to slice some summer squash and onions, add garlic and olive oil, and stoke up slow cooker before I left to meet Nancy.
We went to the Paradise Pantry and, as ever, enjoyed ourselves. I had brought my Honey Belles and she ordered the cheese plate. Hmm...I had the wine sampler, which is all I ordered, yet my total bill was over twenty bucks. The sampler was sixteen, there was tax, and I left a tip, but still....
After that, we browsed here and there; Nancy loves broaches (is that still a word?) and bought six of them at three different thrift shops. I didn't get a thing, but enjoyed looking around. Unfortunately, even though she had gotten her regular infusion on Thursday, Nancy got very tired just walking a few blocks. We sat down for a bit, then I walked her to her car.
Went home to check on the squash--it was done and I had a bowl--then took off for the Goodwill near Ellen's, just to get out again. I came across a darling little girl on a bench, made of some material that resembles marble. This is a nice size, about a foot high and I couldn't resist it. I bought it, put it in the patio under the rosazlea, and it looks great. I also saw a small wooden table; I measured it and think it would fit well under my bedroom window to hide wires and things. Maybe I'll go back and buy it today.
Stopped to get paper from Staples, then saw a wine-tasting sign at BevMo nearby--samples for a nickel each. Went in, was given little glasses of Brut and two other nice wines by a very pleasant and knowledgeable sommelier (that's correct; the idiots at SpellCheck don't know how to spell it!), and even learned a bit about them. Next door at Trader Joe's, I was served a sample of a lettuce salad, so that took care of dinner. Gee, if I could figure out where to get samples all over town, I'd never have to cook.
Happily, I slept well last night, so I hope the restless siege is over.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Varied Day

Darn, I haven't been sleeping well the last few nights. Over Tuesday and Wednesday, I woke up for the usual about 4:30, then couldn't get back to sleep. I'm constantly fretting over this show coming up--why didn't I make it for a later date?--and worrying how it will turn out. Gave up trying to go back and got up at 5:00. I always feel better after I have my coffee, but after that and the computer stuff I do, it seemed a long time until breakfast.
However, I revived and set off for the Pierpoint Hotel about 9:30. I had seen an ad that appraisers would be there and I took my coins and paper money. There were only two appraisers and there were about ten people ahead of me. That was no problem, though, as a woman took names at the door and there were chairs to sit on while waiting. Ice water and coffee were provided, too, so although I was there almost an hour, it was pleasant and I enjoyed it.
As I was approaching the entrance, I fell into conversation with a woman staying at the hotel. I was amused when she said she recognized my Jersey accent and she told me she was from Vineland, although she's lived in San Diego for years. We exchanged ages--she insisted she couldn't believe mine and asked me to guess hers. I thought she was probably in her late sixties and told her that, but nope; she was eighty in March. Anyway, it was enjoyable and I gave her my card and asked her to keep in touch.
It turned out I don't have any great treasures. The 1880 quarters are worth only about twenty bucks each, so I decided not to sell them. The appraiser--a really nice guy--and I laughed together about most of my coins--face value, only. There was a half dollar worth a dollar, I took it--whee! a dollar!--and left giggling.
Went from there to the library and got a few things. I'm in the middle of a new bio of Elvis, but I also picked up one of Stephen King's--not a new one--and a small book on Ventura. Stopped to get a binder for Bob's script and some veggies. Once home, I spent several more hours on a program for the show and a few other "Acting for Amateurs" chores.
Nancy had left a message, I called her back, and we made a date for today. We'll meet at Paradise Pantry, have a glass of wine, then shop on Main Street. El sent an e-mail saying her GIANT FANTASTIC MOVING SALE will be June 10. Great; I'll handle the classified because if you put it in the Ventura Star, they'll give you signs and stuff. I have plenty I want to sell, too, and it's such fun to do. Somehow, the idea of getting actual cash money for things I can't use anyway, just thrills me to death.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Around Town

Got to the Ventura Council for Seniors meeting a bit after 9:00 and was pleasantly surprised to see Tony from SCAN there. He was with Jacqueline L., from the corporate office in Long Beach, whom I've met before. The meeting was the usual--long on Suze'es histrionics, short on anything interesting. The speaker was an audiologist, who explained being hard of hearing--a snooze fest, I'm afraid. I was able to talk to Suze about my desire to relinquish the "leadership role" for Senior Strategic Services and she agreed it would just be a committee four (including me, but without a head person).
Deb M. had to leave early, so I stopped in her office after lunch. Wow, it's quite a place. She owns a financial advising firm called "The (Blank) Group" and she has a spacious and nicely decorated layout. We talked for fifteen or so and both are satisfied the committee will just meander on and that's fine by us.
Went from there out to stores for this and that, then back home and organized a bit more for the upcoming show. I called Bob B., who's in T.O.P.S. and asked him to step into the Sam role in Hell on Wheels, since I needed another man and he's the only one I know around here. I was happy that he agreed; I e-mailed him a copy of the script and he'll be there for rehearsal on Tuesday.
Did a few things around the house, then went to the BCNN Happy Hour at the Wood Ranch about 4:30. About twenty women were there, I guess, including Terri, who's in my acting class, and others I've met before. I was taken aback to be told the "Happy Hour"--that is, reduced prices--pertained only to food, not drinks. Well, the hell with that: I ordered a Chardonnay and took out my Honey Belle tangerines. As it was, the hugely overpriced wine ranged from 8.75 up to 12:50 and more, which irritated me no end. I did get a glass, but ordered no food.
Actually, I had an enjoyable time chatting with Terri and a few others at my end of the table. Stayed a little more than an hour, then left, saying I had a dinner date. That was a fib--okay, I lied in my teeth--but I wasn't going to sit there and get sloshed. Cooked up my tuna steak--I just sear it and leave it raw inside--and settled in for the night.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Well, rehearsal turned out better than I had expected--about 90 percent good, I'd say. Unfortunately, Margaret (she had been the nutritionist at SCAN) left a message that she had a family emergency and couldn't be there. I know she didn't just blow off the session--she likes it, is good, and is caring for her 92-year-old mother in L.A.
Anyway, that turned out to be eerily providential: I had accidentally assigned Margaret and somebody else the same part. Luckily, I was able to give it to the person who was there, and slip something else into Margaret's assignments.
Anyway, most the performers were fairly good. I did interrupt in order to direct for most of them. A universal failure is timing: the dialogue in humorous playlets should usually be a rapid back-and-forth (but not so much that the words get lost). These inexperienced actors have a tendency to speak too slowly, giving the impression they're reading the lines. Of course, they are reading, but the audience should be able to ignore that. In the "serious" plays, the players need to speak more slowly and in a more contemplative way, adding pauses or glances to the other person, or whatever, depending on the situation. Anyway, this is called "Acting for Amateurs," so I didn't expect Meryl Streep. My big dilemma is that the other man for "Hell on Wheels," which takes place in hell. Larry has dropped out and T.J. will be away, so that leaves Jim, who plays the devil. I'm going to call Bob, who's in my T.O.P.S. group, to see if he'll fill in.
Got there early, of course, and had a long political discussion with Tony, the SCAN director, beforehand, and that was very enjoyable (for him, too, I know). We're on different--I wouldn't exactly call it opposite--sides of the spectrum, that's a cinch. He's a member of what's now being called the War Party, that is, a democrat and he dotes on Clinton. As for me, I find them all despicable; we agreed that money has thoroughly corrupted D.C. and neither of us see change coming anytime soon.
I stayed after with Carole and Luisa to listen and direct theirs, then discussed Sharon's role for a time. Finally left and went directly to WinCo for salad stuff, and so on. Didn't have lunch until after 2:00, then drove off to town to relax in the fountain park, visit Goodwill (found a nice oblong copper container I'll use for the patio), and stop into the library.
I had gotten an e-mail from son in Tokyo to the effect that the kiddies in grandson, Mr. K., class are asked to bring cancelled stamps into nursery school. Presumably, they talk about them and learn about other places. They now have only Japanese ones, so I sent the precious child two cards. When I got home, I ranged Suzanne's bell to ask her to save stamps, if she gets any; I had called to ask Ellen the same. However, we don't get many such stamps anymore, but they said they'd save when they did.
Suzanne asked me in and we chatted for a bit. She then said she was cooking salmon for dinner and would bring me some. I had some raw shrimp and was sauteing that, but ate only half to save room for the salmon. It was delicious and I'll have the rest of the shrimp for lunch today.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Prep Day

I spent virtually the entire day preparing for our first rehearsal this morning. I now have nine left in the class--of the original three men, Larry has dropped out and I have to assume T.J. will be out of town. That leaves Jim. Trying to fit one (or two) men and seven woman into several short plays was an exercise in frustration. I doubled up on some of them, but that could lead to problems in rehearsals. Inga is another problem. I didn't give her a part, as she has indicated she doesn't want to act (so why is she in this class?), but it's okay if she just observes.
Interrupted myself by going out to buy nine binders; I will, of course, add the cost for these on a requisition so SCAN can reimburse me. I still have to go and and get some high-lighters before the group meets. I asked them to bring them today, but who knows who will? I just fervently hope they all show up today.
Had a 3:00 pedicure appointment, so kept that, but didn't get out of there until after 4:00. Ran home to finish up the Acting for Amateurs prep. I didn't have time for dinner, as I went to the widder dinner gathering a bit after 6:00, taking my tangerines with me. Got my usual glass of Chardonnay and greatly enjoyed being there--only six of us this time, but all very congenial.
Slept okay, but got up at 5:00, as I'm worried that I didn't cover all my bases in prep for the class. I'll go over it now.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mummy Day

Got a welcome Mothers' Day call early on and opened the caller's present while we talked. It was a beautiful card and a gift card which I'll make good use of, naturally. Betty called, also, and we wished each other a good one.
As we had planned, I got to Ellen's at 1:00 and we went down to the harbor, as I had asked that, instead of going out for dinner, we could take a harbor cruise. We did that a few years ago and greatly enjoyed it. But at the boat launch, we found there was a huge crowd in front of us waiting to board, so we sensibly decided we'd do it another time. Instead, we took a long walk along the quay, then crossed over to the beach. Sat and talked for an hour or so, then left. Stopped at Ace Hardware to pick up some boxes for El's coming move, then went to her place.
She made us both Margarita--so good and I had more than I should have, maybe--and sat on the sunny patio. El gave me a lovely bunch of purple tulips, plus a 1988 calendar featuring the historic Dudley house, just the kind of thing I love. I opened my gift from the Tokyo Trio, a wonderful framed picture of the three of them, with little Mr. K. looking adorable in his school outfit. A charming handmade card was included, in the shape of a red teapot with a yellow butterfly on it. The front reads "Good May!" and the inside "May you have a happy Mother's Day!" Of course, I'll save this, as I do all the unique cards my daughter-in-law makes.
Mike called while we were there and El and I talked to him, at this point kind of, sorta, a little bit two sheets to the wind (have no idea of the origin of that expression, but I suspect it's a nautical reference). I thanked him for the rozaela plant and, most of all, for my granddaughters.
El then made a yummy salmon dinner, with mixed veggies and baked potatoes, plus rocky road ice cream for dessert. I remarked that it had been more than two months since I had tasted either of the last two, and boy, were they good. And yes, I'm prepared to take my lumps at T.O.P.S. on Friday.
Parted from my dear girl with many thanks, went home, and slept well.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Getting Up And Gymnasts

When I woke at 5:00 for the usual reason, I foolishly stayed up. That meant that by the time I finished my computer stuff, it was only about 7:00, but I was hungry. Had breakfast too early, then was hungry before 1:00.
However, I managed to overcome that by getting absorbed in putting my Christmas decorations in a different place. I had them on the shelf in my clothes closet--which extends almost the full length of the room--but I realized I had two cupboards over the closets in the hall. I had known they were there, but they're so high, I ignored them. With my new step stool, they became easily accessible.
Wow, this was a find! I had most of the stuf in a large out container that wouldn't fit in the spaces, so ran out to the store and bought some smaller ones. I was delighted to free up the space on the clothes closet shelf and transferred some decorative pillows there. I still have room, so will continue moving things around.
After lunch, I went to Bank of Books, a neat used book store in town because Terri S., who's in my acting class, was having a book signing. This was to promote her A Road to Barcelona,/i> which concerns her daughters' gymnastic careers. Went, bought it, and asked her to write a dedication to granddaughter, Vivian, who's also a gymnast. I'll read it first, then send to Viv.
Went a few other places for shrimp and cottage cheese.

T.O.P.S. And Time

Went to T.O.P.S. and found I had lost another 1.2 for a total of 17.4. It's slow, but steady, and that's all right with me.
Chatted with a few people after, including Bobbi R., who's also in BCNN with me. I was surprised to hear her eightieth is coming up next week; I thought she was a lot younger than I am, but no. Bobbi said she had had problems with her heart and has an artificial valve put in. Two of my three brothers have the same.
I talked so long in the parking lot that I didn't get home and start breakfast until 10:30. No prob, though, I held lunch off until 2:00. Went into town, parked, and walked around to a particular thrift store for a particular reason.
Some time ago, I saw in the window of this store a plate on sale for $25.00; it looked a lot like the ones I have at home. This are salad plates, very shallow, that my mother gave me. I actually took one to this store, then asked the very pleasant sales clerk to get the other out of the show case.'s hard to tell, but I think mine may be an imitation. Anyway, I took pictures of both, back and front, and someday when I get around it, will see if mine are worth anything.
Got a lovely rozalea plant--a cross between a rose and an azalea--from Mike, which I put on the patio. Got a package from Tokyo and a thick card from elsewhere and will open those tomorrow.
I've been posting on Facebook pictures of my mother when she was young, probably in her late teens. She was 36 when Betty and I were born, so it's impossible to even imagine what her ideas and ambitions and feelings were then. Time is a thief.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Not Much

Every once in a while, I'd like to drop all the activities in which I'm involved, and just vegetate. However, I know I'd be bored out of my mind in hours, if not minutes, so I don't try it.
Got a call from Debra M., of the Council for Seniors and Senior Strategic Services (of which I'm unfortunately chair) and we talked again about how vague everything is that surrounds these groups. I said I'm going to talk to Suze before or after the VCS meeting on Wednesday about turning over my so-called leadership role to Deb.
Stopped at SCAN to ask Brenda if she knew if the "Chris" on the waiting list was male or female. Turns out he's male, but Brenda and I kind of agreed it was a little late to put somebody in, so I'm going to let it go.
Home, I looked on my e-mail and found I couldn't get in, although I had when I got up at 7:00. Tried this and that and nothing worked, so I went to the library. It turned out I couldn't get in from there, either. Went home and ditto. After a round of calls, I was told in a phone chat with XFINITY that they had lost contact with the Internet. Darn, I thought it was my fault and spent a lot of time on it.
Drove again to Oxnard and stopped to see Greg. Went from there directly to WinCo for supplies, then to Sprouts for berries, which were on sale. Betty called and I was happy to hear her procedure (can't remember what it's called, but it involves a camara down the throat) didn't even have to be done and there's no cause for concern. She was worried about something and I'm glad, of course, it turned out to be a false alarm.
Went to Kohl's after dinner, as I have a 30 percent off card. However, I didn't see a thing I wanted to buy, so left empty handed.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Non-Routine Day

The day started off routinely enough. I took wash to the laundry place, put it in to dry thirty minutes later, then spent the 45 minutes it would take paring and slicing apples.
I had bought of bag of fifteen apples and they happened to be rather small ones, so were a pain to prepare. I kept nicking my knuckle, but finally finished. I always pare directly into the sink so the garbage disposal can whisk it away. I stuffed the skin and cores in, put the cold water on, then pressed the switch--.
AAGH! An absolute geyser shot up from the other side of the double sink, with water, peelings, and seeds all spouting up about three feet! Tried again and the same thing happened. Called the office, Patti came over right away, she did the same, it did the same, and she said she'd have Javier come in. She also told me--courteously, as ever--that apple cores aren't supposed to go in the disposal. I didn't know that, but now I do.
I had several errands to run and when I came back Javier and Jim were here working on the damn thing. It looked as if the clog--my damn apple garbage--was farther in than could be reached, so long story short, a plumber was called and cleared it out, I thanked him profusely, gave him a tip, and that, I fervently hope, is the end of the story.
Then Ellen called with some great news, which I'm not at liberty to divulge, but will eventually. She picked me up and we drove over to Ojai,where we stayed for several hours and, if all goes well, will be an area of importance to her. We didn't leave until after 7:00, then she treated me to dinner and I ordered off a menu for the first time in months. Yummy, yum, I had skewers of shrimp and salmon, plus two glasses of Chardonnay, and enjoyed it so much. I'll probably have to pay the price tomorrow at T.O.P.S. by either gaining or (I hope) maintaining, but I'm reconciled to that.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Class Two

The class went well yesterday, although two people didn't show. One had called SCAN to say she had broken her leg--I'd not so sure--and the other was Jana, surprisingly. Jana is in my T.O.P.S. group and she hadn't responded to the e-mail I sent to the class. Okay, I'll deal with it if she drops out. I announced about the show we'll do on May 26th and everybody seemed pleased about it. However, T.J. who plays the guitar and sings, may be out of town unless he gets a certain gig he wanted.
Boy, this is too bad. I wrote a song a few years back ("Why do you have to be Young?") and was going to incorporate him singing it into the show; in fact, I was going to write a little skit around it, easy enough to do. Well, we'll see.
I spent the first half of the class with the easel and asking for components of a play and of a performance. That went well, then I assigned playlet roles to those who hadn't had them last well: "The Potato Family," and "The Truth, the Embellished Truth, and Nothing Like the Truth." This time, I'd stop them to direct, i.e. to add more gestures, facial expressions, and so on. Most were fairly okay; interestingly, Char, who I think is older than I am, was really good. Carolyn was terrible and so was Larry. I'll be giving them small parts in the show, that's a cinch.
After, T.J. asked me to listen as he played and sang (mostly country), as he wants me to network for him. He's a good guy and I will, especially with Suze and the Council for Seniors crowd. In fact, I intend to bring info on our show to the VCS meeting next week. I showed Tony the flyer I had made up inviting people to the show and he approved it.
By the time I finished listening to T.J., it was almost 1:00. Went home to change and have lunch, then took off for Oxnard to try to straighten out the check thing at La Dolce Vita. Stopped at Whole Foods first, but Greg wasn't there--I forgot he's sometimes off on Tuesdays--then got to Heritage Square after--oh, about 35 minutes being lost. Manager Joe and a hostess were there and I showed them what Bank of America had paid. They couldn't understand it, either, as their receipt said the bill was eleven dollars less. They gave me a copy and I'll take it to BOA today.
Finally got around to pulling together the old Ventnor pictures that have Jack B. in them. He and my brother, Larry have been best friends for more than seventy years now; one of the pics shows them in their First Communion outfits, white ribbons with big bows on their arms. "O lost, and by the wind grieved/Ghost, come back again."

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

More Stuff

Ran over to SCAN in the morning, just to check with Tony that the twenty-sixth is okay for our show. It is and I later worked up a flyer. I'll announce the show date to the class today--and tell them we're having a show--but will give out flyers later.
I also spent an inordinate amount of time selecting, revising, and otherwise readying scripts, both for the informal class readings and the show. I'll give them to those who didn't get a role last week, due to the attendance mixup. First, though, I plan to go into what constitutes plays and what players.
All that took me past lunch and after that, I had to get out. Went to WinCo because I was low on berries and grapes, got gas, then drove to town. I parked at the fountain square and walked to a few stores. Didn't buy anything, but it was a nice, sunny day to walk around.
Before I went home, I stopped at Smart 'n' Final and picked up chicken thighs. As soon as I got home, I preheated the oven, seasoned them, and put them in. Made a copy of the "Smart Garden" schedule for Suzanne and gave it to her.

Monday, May 08, 2017


After going out a lot last week--not to mention my chronic leaning toward not-so-benign neglect--I realized things were getting messy around the apartment. I was determined to get something concrete accomplished and dry-mopped the hard floors, dusted, then took all the office supplies out of the drawers and put them on the kitchen table to sort and organize.
This sounds easier than it really was. I had tape, rules, stamps, paper clips, rubber bands, magnifying glasses, and the scillions of related items in four different drawers. This included my computer desk, t.v. table, and two side tables in the bedroom. I didn't start until after lunch and it took me several hours to get it done.
After that, I just had to get out and I drove to Office Depot for printer ink, then to the Dollar Tree to check out binders. What I want to do is to have the players use uniform binders for their scripts--maybe I'll change colors for male and female--so there isn't a lot of fumbling and rustling of paper during the performance. I'll submit a bill to SCAN for this, along with the rest of my expenses. I didn't buy them yet, in case some drop out and I have to modify the plays, but I'm prepared to do that.
When I came home, Suzanne invited me in and we sat and talked for a half hour or so. She said she had been to two parties over the weekend--"why, Suzanne, are you hung over?" I asked. Of course not, as she doesn't drink, but she got a kick out of that.
One of the parties was the annual shindig for St. John's (which was founded by the Sisters of Mercy) at the Ronald Reagan Library, where I've been. It was a big deal and Suzanne herself presented one of the awards. She attended with three colleagues of hers, whom she said she'd like me to meet. After I left her place, I walked over to VONS to get TracPhone minutes and blueberries.
I'm continuing to work on the class; tomorrow, I'm going to use the easel. I'll ask the group for components that are usually needed for both plays (script, actors, set, etc.) and players (voice, gestures, facial expressions, etc.). I'll then give out playlet roles to the few who didn't get them last week and this time. I also plan to announce that next week, I'll distribute parts for the show.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Here And There

El had mentioned she and Greg had to be out of the house from 9 am to something, as it was being inspected. She said they might go to Peet's (coffee shop), so I dropped in there myself before I went to town. Found them and had twenty minutes or so of good talk before I left to attend the container gardening lecture.
This was in a flower shop called "The Secret Garden" near the library and about fifty people were there. I loved the talk, with demonstrations, of the owner/horticulturist, and learned some good things about container gardening, which is what I want to do. It took about an hour and a half; after, drove to the library. Picked up a CD on the Boston Marathon tragedy about the two brothers who committed it. This is actually called The Brothers and looks into some of the reasons they may have committed the act. This isn't an excuse for it, but it's important, I think, to try to understand what motivated them to do what they did, rather than simply condemning them as monsters.
Checking my bank account on-line, I saw that I was charged $27.80 for the iced tea and Chardonnay Suzanne and I had last week at La Dolce Vita in Oxnard. What? How could it be that much? I printed it out, then called, and the manager couldn't figure it out, either. He said his records say ten something. I'm going to take in the copy and try to get to the bottom of it.
Had a big salad with chicken for lunch, then went to Lowe's and bought a step stool. Salmon for dinner, along with spinach, and it was tasty. Continued to pull together some of the acting class stuff, which is about equal parts absorbing and a pain in the rear. It's essential, though, to prepare, and once the groundwork is laid, the class practically conducts itself.

Saturday, May 06, 2017


It was a busy day. In fact, looking at my calendar, I see it was a busy week. I went somewhere every day, which is the way I like it.
Yesterday, I went to T.O.P.S., of course; lost another two pounds, which adds up--or down--to 16.5 pounds off so far. Talked to director Tony after and arranged to switch my class to the big room, which will be much better with 14 people. Had just time for breakfast before I left for Ellen's school. Met her in the teachers' lounge for lunch--she had tamales, I brought my tangerines--then accompanied her and her class to the Cinco De Mayo celebration.
I loved seeing this. This year, only the fourth-graders performed, doing a lot of exuberant dances and some songs, directed by one of El's colleagues.. There was a nice gathering of parents there and the day was so festive and the children so beautiful and full of life. Virtually all the children at the school are Hispanic--here, that means of Mexican descent. That's the future, I think, and high time. Europeans have ruled this country for too damn long and their culture has dominated at the point of a gun. Too bad coexistence was never offered in the past to darker skins and black hair; we're lucky they're generally conciliatory.
Said goodbye to Ellen and her precious third-graders and had a late lunch. I had very little in the place, so went to WinCo for all kinds of goodies--cauliflower, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, and more.
Needed printer ink, so went to Office Max. I also wanted to get prices for the supplies I'm using for the class, as Tony told me to submit a reimbursement request, so i started on that. Stopped at SCAN and asked office person Brenda if an easel is available. It is, and I asked to have it set up in the room on Tuesday. Aside from more--much more--organizing and printing for the class, that was it.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Some Meetings And Stuff

I had annoying exchanges with Bank of America, first on the phone, then in person at the Ventura branch. There's no point in elaborating except to note that, along with AT & T, they constitute the scum of the earth, corporate division.
Home, I pared, cored, and cut up apples for you-know-what, diced onions and green peppers for a stir-fry today, and sliced the pint of strawberries to have with the applesauce for my single snack time.
Got calls from Debra M. about our planning meeting for Ventura Council for Seniors (VCS) and the confusion that always seems to surround the things in which Suze is involved. I told her I wanted to defer to her for the "leadership role," which Suze had bestowed on me. However, I didn't get a chance to express that because this meeting was on an entirely different topic than we had thought. Luckily, it wasn't the regular one, so only Deb, Suze, Hans, Lori and I were present. We got some things hashed out, but I'm not sure to what purpose or where the damn thing is going.
I went directly from there to the Caregivers' volunteer recognition gathering at Foothills Christian High School. A number of the students there volunteer to help needy old folks under the auspices of Caregivers. It was okay, with veggie appetizers (I had a few carrot sticks) and a lovely big cake donated by Royal Bakery. I'll remember them forever, as the cake I picked up for Christmas the year before last cost fifty bucks. It was only one layer, too. I was pleased to see Tony from SCAN there and told him I'd like my class to meet in the big room. Also, we'll talk today after T.O.P.S. about the show.
Betty called while I was at the last affair and I called her back when I got home. By the time we hung up, it was after six, so I skipped the salmon I was going to cook and just had spaghetti squash. Ellen called. I'm going to the Cinco DeMayo celebration at her school tomorrow and she invited me to come for lunch first in the teachers' lounge, which I will. I'll take my own, though.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

BCNN And Other

Went to the BCNN breakfast at 9:30. Carole saved me a seat, and we were with Doris and Sherry, too. I saw Terri, who's in my class. She's having a book signing on May 13 which I guess I'll have to go to unless I can squirm out of it. I already looked up her book on Amazon and it's just not my thing: very religious in a kind of simple-minded, fundamentalist style.
The speaker yesterday wasn't my thing, either. In a nutshell, her talk was on how having a good attitude will make you live longer. She tended to wave her hands around and most sentences had an implied !!!! after them, as if she were a fifteen-year-old girl describing her prom date. She cited all kinds of "studies" that support her hypothesis, but I'd like to see them myself. Guess I'm just an old cynic.
Good thing I had had breakfast, as this time, they had no fruit on the brunch table, only sweet, mostly store-bought, stuff. The president actually mentioned the lack, so I hope next time, somebody will provide it. Okay, I could sign up and do it myself, but I'm not going to.
Had a good chat with Carole, who likes the class, I'm happy to say. Also got a sweet e-mail from Sue (she had to take Mac to the VA to have his cataracts removed, so wasn't at the meeting). She also said she liked the class, so that was nice.
Went to Lowe's to get a metal dowel thing for my sliding glass door, so it can't be opened even if the lock is broken. However, it's too short, and I didn't see a longer one. I need a 43-inch; hope I can find it.
Went from there to the best thrift store in town and couldn't resist yet another little succulent. This one is in a pretty oriental container in blue and white. Hit the library after that and read for awhile.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Acting for Amateurs

Well, it was quite a day. I got to SCAN fearfully early, of course--I'm notorious for being early. I wanted to put my framed picture (of yours truly on stage in my various productions) around the room and did so, but not before I found (nobody had told me this before) that the WE bowlers were in there from 9:30 to 10:30. My class starts at 10:30 and when I mentioned this to director Tony, he said he would have them out by 10:25. Great...
...except that "Paul," who proudly told me he's 86* and started the virtual bowling thing, plopped himself down while I was setting up the room. He went on and on about how he was a Hoosier boy and had the lead in his class play (in 1845, no doubt), and blah, blah, blah. I interjected a "really" and "is that so?" an "ah" and a "ha" now and then, and I guess that satisfied him. I got the message that he had organized the Wi bowling thing and was waiting for the other players; however, they never showed up. When it got near 10:30 and I looked at the clock, he asked if he could "address your group" to interest them in Wi Bowling. I said, "No, I'm not agreeable to that at all, absolutely not." He argued a bit, but finally left. Annoying as hell.
My class started coming in, all 14 of them on time. Wait--fourteen? I had told SCAN to cap it at twelve (which is two more than I prefer), so what's with 14? The snafu was so complicated I just don't want to go into it, but the upshot was, I kept the two extras. That meant, of course, that I had to modify my agenda to an extent, and will have to for the other sessions, but I can handle it.
The class went very, very well. I started off with just a bit of personal history, then a few nitty-gritty items: turn off your cell, please be on time, and so on. I sent around a sign-up sheet for e-mail address and gave each my card with my info on it. I then started with improv. I had each pick out a folded slip from my little red box, read it to themselves, then hand to me and I read it aloud. At that point, they had one minute to react the situation. Most did pretty well and they enjoyed it a lot. I then gave out four short humorous plays, three of which I wrote myself. I assigned parts and they read, some better than others, of course. Next week, I'll start emphasizing the importance of gestures, pauses, facial expressions, interjections, and more.
Actually, the hour flew past. After, I took Margaret (who had been the nutritionist at SCAN for many years and is in the class) to pick up her car at Toyota. I then went back and talked to Tony about the class size problem, but agreed simply to modify and work with it. We also talked about doing a show for friends and family after the course--yes, sure, I want to--and that was good.
Anyway, that was it. I'm happy with the class composition--I have three men--and the extra two I'll just have to work with. Incidentally, one of the men, Jim, came to me after and said he had a problem being interesting when he talks to his classes. He teaches philosophy at Ventura College and indeed, comes across as dull as dishwater with a monotone. I'm going to work with him and I'm looking forward to that.
Did all kinds of chores and errands the rest of the day, but the class was the high point. Even with all the problems, I love doing it and am looking forward to next week.
*Why in the hell people think reaching a certain age is some kind of achievement is beyond me. Also, I hate generalizations about people, so will observe that some--only some--older men (yes, men in particular) seem to think anything they say is amusing and/or intelligent. I suppose this is because they were brought up in an era where the male dominated, they were mummy's favorite, and they never got over it. Of course, like Paul, if somebody's a bore and a jerk at 16, he'll almost surely be a bore and a jerk at 86.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Widder Lunch

Finally got my class agenda, notes, and schedule in shape, after working several more hours on it. Went to the widder lunch and, as ever, greatly enjoyed it. A newcomer, Sharon, who lives in Thousand Oaks, had noted on MeetUp that she would attend and I was very much interested in meeting her. That's because she indicated she's also a member of the Humanist Society and I want to explore that. As it turned out, we hit it off right away. I sat next to her and we got to know each other; maybe she'll become a friend.
Speaking of friends, Nancy was there and I was delighted to see her. Her daughter is still visiting, but didn't come with her. Nancy mentioned that there's a house for sale across the street from her in Oakview. I looked it up later on Zillow, but it's really small. I saw another in that neighborhood and e-mailed it to Ellen, although she's probably already seen it.
Had my usual (when on my regimen) glass of Chardonnay and ate my tangerines with it. Dear Donna was there, as well as Carolyn, Gayle, and Vera, all of whom I like a lot. Oh, that's right, Chuck and Pam were, too. They'll be leaving for Arizona, where they're moving in "two weeks and three days," according to Chuck, one of the most humorless, deadly dull people I've ever met. He's tall, well built, and quite good-looking, but there seems nothing else there. Inside, that is.
Spent the rest of the day on various activities, such as grocery shopping and paying bills. Talk about dull! In two hours, I'll leave for SCAN to set up the room for "Acting for Amateurs" and start my theatre career on the west coast. I hope all goes well.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Nothing Of Note

Sunday was mostly just chores, errands, and prep for the acting class. Betty called and we had a long talk. El called and ditto. Went to the library, saw my friend, Marie M., and we chatted. Sat in the fountain park--I'm not sure why, but neither fountain was operating-and called Nancy. Yes, more talky, talk, talk. I'll see her at the widder lunch today. Got some walk in on Main Street.
Went to WinCo for supplies, including zucchini and when I got home, sliced same, added onions, garlic, olive oil, and seasonings, and put it in the slow cooker. Turned out pretty good and I had it with my salmon for dinner.
I was annoyed that, for some reason, I couldn't get into my xfinity e-mail. Kept getting an error message. Even tried at the library's p.c., but no luck. Finally, I changed my password and got in.
Aside from all all that everyday stuff, nothing of note went on.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Heritage Square

It was a thoroughly enjoyable day. Picked up a few items at various stores in the morning, showered, had lunch, then set off with Suzanne at 1:25.
We got to Oxnard, a place I had turned my nose up at (my mother's phrase; of course, it should be "at which I turned up my nose"--sorry, I can't help myself!) and, I found out yesterday, I had maligned unjustly. Suzanne drove me through lovely parts of town, then we ended up at Heritage Square for a charming presentation.
Heritage square is an area where, with a federal grant, the city moved a number of large old houses from throughout the city, added beautiful landscaping, a brick walkway, and it became a tourist attraction. There are about ten houses, each big and beautiful, and each built in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century in a different ethnic style.
The presentation on "Hollywood in Oxnard: the 1920s" was so entertaining. It included some power point pics and was delivered by a docent dressed in flapper style. I love that kind of thing and this was terrific. It ended with a little nod to Roaring Twenties fashions for women. After, we took a kind of mini-tour, just of the outside of the area, conducted by a woman dressed in much earlier fashion--hoop skirt, bonnet, and so on, maybe from about 1870. That was fun and I want to go back when the tour includes the insides of the buildings.
We then sat on a porch at the La Doce Vita restaurant, Suzanne with iced tea, me with Chardonnay, and talked and talked. Suzanne filled me in on some of the history of the Mercy order, which I found fascinating. Driving home, she pointed out what are called "Mercy homes"--houses for low-income people bought and maintained by the order. I was really impressed; hadn't known the order did such a thing.
It was a fab day and we didn't get home until almost 5:00, at which point Ellen called for a certain reason. I went over there and as always, it was so good to be with her. Didn't leave until after my dinner time, but I wasn't hungry, so just had half of a spaghetti squash and later, my usual applesauce and berries.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

T.O.P.S. And Tomatoes

As I was walking to my car to go to T.O.P.S., I met Nunny (not nutty) neighbor, Suzanne, who asked if I wanted to go the Heritage Square in Oxnard today. I had forgotten about it, but sure, that sounds nice, and I'm looking forward to it. She suggested we start out at 1:25, which is a good time for me, as I'll have lunch first.
AT T.O.P.S., I found I had lost another 2.2 pounds. That was exciting because it brings me down--just barely--to what I call "the next decade," i.e., the one sixties. After the meeting, Michelle and I talked for some time in the parking lot. I like her and her--well, I don't think they're married, but her partner, I guess--Bob, although he didn't come. When I asked why, Michelle said because he's gained weight. Boy, do I know that feeling.
We talked so long it was almost 11:00 before I had breakfast. After that, I continued to prepare for my acting course: Filled out name tags for my students, prepared an introductory talk for myself, pulled up a lot of my own plays, skits, revised and assembled the improve topics, and so on.
Later, I drove into town. Stopped at the library and picked up two books of short plays. Later, I skimmed over them at home, but none of them are appropriate for my group, and I like to stick to my own stuff most of the time, anyway. Went to the square, thinking I'd walk a bit from there, however, it was very windy and I just didn't feel like it. Drove home on the road next to the beach and stopped at the harbor, but just for a few minutes.
When I got back, I ran into Don, a neighbor to whom Suzanne had introduced me. I mentioned I had heard he was an expert gardener. He asked if I wanted to see his tomato plants, and I walked over to his patio with him.
Wow, these look terrific! He bought four very large blue plastic tubs from Lowe's (they're usually used for household or beach stuff), added gravel for drainage, a certain mix of soil, Miracle-Gro, and ground up banana peels (for potassium), put in the plants, and added metal frames for them to grow on. I think he'll have such a bumper crop in a short time, he could supply the whole apartment complex. Of course, I expressed great admiration--sincerely--for his hard word and ingenuity.
Don is a kind of simple type, I'd say--if any human beings are simple--quiet, earnest, and somewhat humorless. He's in his sixties, very slim, and seems much younger, I guess because he's so mild and may be a bit limited. Anyway, he's a very nice man and when I asked what in the world he would do when all those tomatoes come to fruition, he said he planned to give some to Suzanne and me.
El called coming back from school and we chatted happily.

Friday, April 28, 2017

More Goings On

Still busy with a ton of stuff. Suze called me about 8:00 (am) in response, I assumed, to my problem with the Senior Services thing. However, we really didn't talk about that; instead, she said she wanted me to ask the Ventura Star editor a certain question. This would be at the "Meet The Press" event that we of the Ventura Council for Seniors was sponsoring. I wasn't thrilled about that, but said I had to know what it was and we'd talk when I got there.
That was about 9:15 and the question was concerning the small article about the event in "Community Briefs." The headline was "Lunch to Feature Media Panel." Suze--and her husband, John, who writes the VCS publicity--were annoyed that lunch was given such a plug, instead of the topic of the meeting.
Personally, I thought that was silly; I told Suze I'd express something about it, but I wasn't going to be combative or belligerent. When I finally had the microphone (the affair was televised), I voiced fairly mild disappointment to editor Whats-Her-Name that the headline trivialized the meeting. She assured me it wasn't intended and apologized and who in the hell cares, anyway?
The meeting dragged on much too long, it seemed to me, thanks to Tim Gallagher's moderating style, which was a bit pokey (Tim is the former editor of The Star.) The other two panelists were from weeklies: The VC Reporter, The Breeze, and Condor Call , the Sierra Club rag, edited and mostly written by--guess who?--Suze's husband, John.
My friends, Carole, Doris, and Sherry came (I'm pleased Carole will be in my course and Sherry won't be). They had the lunch, but I didn't, as I don't want to eat things out just yet. Besides, it was hot dogs, hamburgers, and cole slaw, none of which I eat on my regimen. I did pick up a bottle of water and sat and talked for a bit.
Went directly to SCAN to find Marsha and new director Tony there by themselves (it was about noon, so others were at lunch). I told them I wanted to cap the course with those I had--twelve--and they readily agreed. Tony seems a good guy, who has a masters in some kind of administration, but is also a physical trainer or something.
Zipped home to change and have a late lunch, then out to Ralph's for tilipia, salmon, and raw shrimp, which was on sale. I'm still eating a lot of fish--can hardly believe I like it so much. Put it in the fridge, then drove into town and sat in the fountain park for a bit. As I was pulling into my parking space, El called and we had a good talk; things are looking up all around.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Lots Going On

Gathered up the clothes, including bed clothes, and took them to the laundry place--back and forth, forth and back, but they were finished by 10:00. I was working on aspects of "Acting for Amateurs" when I was disconcerted to get a phone call from Debra Mansfield, asking when I would call the next meeting for revision of the Senior Services Strategic Plan.
Damn! I had actually forgotten all about that thing and wish I had never accepted the "leadership role" (as Suze called it). I told Debra I'd talk to Suze, whom I called and left a message. I've really lost any interest I ever had in it, as it seems an exercise in futility and is real work, but a volunteer thing. Selfish pig that I am, I want to get paid if I'm doing actual work. This morning, I'm due at our big "Meet the Press" shindig for the Ventura Council for Seniors, which includes lunch, and I'm going to corner Suze after that.
Grumpily, I went to SCAN to check out how many sign-ups I have. There were eleven, including two men. I prefer an even number, and I got that (see later). When I walked into SCAN, I was pleased to see Margaret, who had been the nutritionist there, and was very pleased to discover she signed up for my course. Marsha Meyer, the "big boss," I guess (director of health and wellness, from Long Beach) was there, too, along with some other SCAN people. I think they were having a intro party for the new director, Tony Somebody. I got a copy of my sign-up sheet from Marsha, then went to WinCo for paper towels and stuff.
The rest of the time until lunch I spent organizing some of the material I'll include in the course. I also wrote a few new skits and revised some playlets, incorporating male roles into them. After that, I had had enough and took off for the mall. Tried on a few unmentionables--uh, undergarments--uh, brassieres--okay, bras, but nothing seemed to fit right and I decided to wait until I can get into the next size. Stopped at Wal-Mart for lens cleaners and took my blood pressure there. It's 102/71 and my pulse is 78. I was told that was good, but I hope it isn't too low.
I then bravely pulled onto 101 and drove to Oxnard--ta-dah! At Whole Foods, Greg and I greeted each other with a hug and had a nice chat. He's such a neat guy, even if he--like all men, it seems to me--has some little peccadillos that may be exasperating.
Didn't get home until a bit after 4:00, which is how I like it. Called Sue just to see how she was doing and found she had signed up for my course right after I had been at SCAN. Great--that makes twelve and I fervently hope no more sign up. In fact, I think I'll stop there today and see about closing the course and making up a waiting list.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Caregivers And Et Cetera

As promised, I went to Caregivers at 10:00 to help put "wafers" on brochures for mailing. These are just round stickers to keep the stuff together, but the P.O. specifies they must be in certain places, two per item. I was pleased to see Jonathan there and met two new people: Roseann, who has volunteered for years and Adrianna, a high school girl who is liaison with other kids her age. Director Tammy and Volunteer Coordinator Courtney were both there, also, everybody busily sticking on wafers. A woman from a hospice agency came in for a meeting, as did a man from Ventura Memorial. They were there to discuss a "partnership" with Caregivers and I was surprised that Tammy invited them to sit down and put wafers on while they held their meeting. They did and it was interesting, especially as it was held right there.
I stayed until almost 1:00, then left and went to WinCo for shrimp and salad fixings. Went home and had a big salad with chicken for lunch. Drove into town, parked, and made the rounds of my usual thrift stores. I always walk past a garden place and I saw they're having a "container plantings" seminar on May 6. I put it on my calendar because I want to learn more about it and start at least a rudimentary garden on the patio.
To that end, I found a beautiful blue, large ceramic container in one of the thrift stores. Bought it for five bucks, along with a lovely large plate I just couldn't resist. Saw in the window a "Regency" plate priced at twenty-five bucks. I have no intention of buying it, but asked to examine it--I have six plates very much like it. Hmm, wonder if they're also worth something.
I had the trout for dinner, embellishing it with fresh rosemary and smoked paprika. This time, I pan-fried it with olive oil, rather than coconut oil; I might switch to that, at least for a time, as I thought it tasted even more flavorful. Walked over to VONS for paper towels, but had forgotten my VONS card, plus Bounty was almost six bucks, which I just refuse to pay for paper towels. Will get some tomorrow at one of the other markets.
Darn, I again had trouble sleeping. I always fall asleep easily, then have to get up (last night at 2:30), then find it difficult to go back. Hope it doesn't last.

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


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.