Thursday, July 20, 2017


Wednesday was a catch-up day and I feel good about that. Left for Kimball at 7:00 and got home a bit before 8:00. Had breakfast, showered, dressed, and was out the door at 9:00 to attend the VCS (Ventura Council for Seniors) meeting. Elections were held and I actually had a challenger: Carol S. presented herself for the position of vice chair. However, after I expressed my willingness to continue, I was retained in the office. Carol actually apologized afterward, but as I told her, of course, there was no need, she had every right to run. Active in disability organizations in the area, Carol had been in a car accident when she was one or two years old and suffered major neurological damage. She is now in her fifties and has regained a lot of physical ability; however, her speech is noticeably affected, as are her facial expressions.
I was pleased to see Doris and Carole there and we made a date to meet next Wednesday to collect coupons for the vegetables and fruit market at the mall. I understand these are handed out to all, whether low income or not, in order to encourage healthful eating. Well, Zeus knows eating healthy is my thing, so it's right down my alley.
I met a woman named Diane there and we talked. I was interested in the fact that she said she had "lost all my money" several years ago and she now lives in some kind of "senior share" arrangement, but has to move soon. She seems intelligent and refined and I'd like to get to know her better. We exchanged cards and I was taken aback to see that hers includes "mindfulness counseling"--ouch. The last thing in the world I want to get into is that kind of touchy-feeling self-hypnosis stuff, but maybe we can be friendly otherwise--we'll see.
As soon as I got home, I changed, then took two large loads of laundry--including four sheets--to the laundry place. Getting them back and forth, and washed, dried, and folded took until about 2:00, with lunch in-between. Ellen called; she has a bone density test today and will stop in this afternoon.
The wash done, I took off for town and was glad to get my second walk in. I sat and read at the library for an hour or so, then walked back. Got gas on the way home--it now seems perfectly normal to pump it myself, so I guess I've turned into a real Californian--after a good day.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

At Ojai and Elsewhere

More good stuff going on. I walked Kimball (Betty opted out), then got home to make breakfast. We dressed and tidied up, then went to the 99 Cent store (lots of things are multiples of 99 cents) and Betty got little presents for her grandchildren. Took her for a bit of a scenic drive after, then we went to Ellen's, arriving at noon, as invited.
Greg was off and had invited a co-worker to see the house and join us for lunch. It was a delicious, perfect mid-summer meal: a salad of arugula, avocado, tomatoes, lightly dressed with vinegar and oil; cold chicken (not lunch meat, but cut from a roast); nicely done deviled eggs; multi-grain bread; chickpea spread; and iced tea and Chardonnay. There was chocolate and peppermint ice cream for dessert--the good kind from O'Connell's--in which I didn't indulge, of course. Greg's co-worker, who is moving to San Francisco shortly, said goodbye, and Greg went to his study to catch up on paper work, then El, Betty, and I drove into town. We strolled down Main Street, then into the leafy park for a bit. Got back to Ellen's and we gathered our things to leave. I drove Betty to Ventura station and got her on the train to Santa Barbara, where Carolyn picked her up.
Got home about 6:00 and went next door to Suzanne's to check on how often I should water her African violets (every two weeks). We had a talk about my concerns regarding some problems of my siblings. Suzanne is going to a retreat at the Mercy mother house, then to a birthday celebration for her 91-year-old aunt. After that, I called brother Frank to ask about Marybeth and we had a good talk. He still sounds slightly disoriented, but better than he did. He told me his license had been renewed, but only for a year.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Extended Family Time

What a very enjoyable day with extended family!
Walked Kimball, went to WinCo for cherries and spinach, then cleaned up a bit at home. Carolyn, Betty, Finn, and Claire came about 1:30 and we all went to the pool. I hardly ever go--it seems more trouble than it's worth--and I don't like to just sit there and bake. But with my company, this was great fun and they loved it. I brought a basket of cherries to the pool area, but Finn got hungry and I suggested he go back to my place, look in the fridge and cabinet, and get whatever he wanted to eat. He did, then came back later.
We stayed about two hours, I guess, came back and had some soda and good talk, then the younger three left. El called and we made a date for Betty and me to go to Ojai at noon to see her house. Betty and I chatted a bit, then went to the widder group dinner. We saw and talked to my friends, all of whom I'm so fond, but Nancy didn't show. She had intended to come and I'll call her to see if she's okay.
As ever, we had a good time with this group. Betty had been with me at a dinner before and many remember her. Didn't get home until after 8:00 and we just watched TV (me) and played IPad games (Betty). Turned it at 9:00.
I had thought Betty would be here for more than a week, but she's actually leaving to go back to the east coast on Saturday. After Ellen's, I'll take her to the train station for her to go back to Carolyn's and from there, to Stephen's and L.A.

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Day On The Lake

Wow, a busy, active day, but great fun. Got up at 6:15 and after coffee and morning ablutions, I got to WinCo by 7:00. In case I was going to meet Betty and Carolyn at Ellen's, I wanted to have provisions on hand. Had breakfast, dressed, and got to Nancy's at 9:30, when she asked me to come. Met her daughter-in-law, Erin, and what a lovely young woman she is. I had already been acquainted with Nancy's son, Richard, also a neat guy.
Erin drove us to Casitas Lake, only about ten minutes away and Rich met us there. We got in the pontoon boat (flat-bottomed and very stable) and sailed (not literally; it has a motor) several miles down the lake. Geez, it was gorgeous--a perfect day, warm and sunny with blue skies, but a light breeze that cooled just enough. We toasted Nancy's birthday (79), then Erin made sandwiches and we devoured them along with Shock Top beer, which I like as much as Blue Moon.
We were out on the lake for several hours and just had a marvelous time. Hove to about 2:30 and I went back to Nancy's for just a few minutes, as I knew she was tired (she has chronic anemia, for which she gets infusions). We said goodbye, but not before Erin gave me ten fresh eggs from their two chickens.
Went from there to El's and visited with her for an hour or so. Carolyn called to say they'd just stick to the original plan, so she'll bring Betty to my place today. On my way home, my niece, Joan, called with some family questions and we talked for a bit.
It occurred to me when I got home that this was was first day in several months--about five, I think--I hadn't walked Kimball. Well, dammit, I wasn't going to slack off now. Changed closthes, jumped in the car and drove there, and got my walk in by 5:30.

Sunday, July 16, 2017


Walked Kimball after a restless night. After breakfast, I decided to take my town walk because I didn't get it on Friday. Did so and found a beautiful wooden tray, with color insets and a small, round table. I bought them for a song, of course, and they look so nice in the apartment.
After lunch, I went to Macy's and got Nancy a gift card. Went from there to Penney's Hair Salon and spent the next several days in the chair...
...well, it seemed that long. I just hate having my hair done--and this was color and cut--it's so tedious. I must say, though, that both color and cut look great. It had been getting much too blonde and scraggly on the ends, so this was a great improvement.
While I was getting combed out, my brother Larry called. He was back in Miami after the service for Jack in Manahawkin. I had to call him back, which I did in the car after my hair ordeal and we had a good talk. He said the service was mobbed--Jack's former students and baseball players, which he coached, came in droves. The service was not religious at all, in keeping with Jack's "fallen away" (as we used to be labeled) status. His ex-wife was there, of course; they were more or less reconciled, at least as joint parents, many years ago. Larry said he had driven past my house in Sunrise Bay and it looks terrific. I was happy to hear that, but not surprised, as Eileen has been a good tenant.
Added a card and a succulent in a little red pitcher to Nancy's gift bag after dinner, then talked to El. She suggested I bring Betty over to the new house on Tuesday. However, she later thought I should meet Carolyn and Betty at her place today, after I leave Nancy's. I'm not sure yet what it will be, but I'm okay with either and she'll call me later.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

T.O.P.S. and Photos

Walked Kimball, then it was off to T.O.P.S. at SCAN. I ran into Marty there and found he doesn't do tutorials on Smart Phones, which I have, but on IPhones and Pads, which are different, so I won't be attending his sessions. Actually, I'm moseying around the phone pretty well and think I can handle it.
At T.O.PS. I got the news that I had lost another 2.8 for a total of 27.8 pounds down. Of course, that was two weeks worth, but I'm satisfied. The meeting dragged on for quite a time, as usual, but we finished by 10:00 and it was home for breakfast. I took a load of wash out right after, then had lunch, then Suzanne stopped in. She asked if I'd like to go to a photo exhibit by her St. John's co-worker at 5:00 and I accepted with pleasure.
Shortly thereafter, Ellen came in order to bring me Greg's old DVD player, which she tried to hook up, but without success. The T.V., for some reason, couldn't "communicate" with the DVD player. I shrugged, as I'm indifferent to it, anyway. El also filled me in on what the attachments to my phone case are and hung a picture for me. She left, I changed, and Suzanne and I went to Panaro Brothers Winery for the photo show.
In truth, I think my son-in-law's pictures are more interesting, but I enjoyed seeing these (seascapes and animals) and especially, to meet Suzanne's colleagues. As I told her, I was taken aback to hear her addressed as "Sister," but of course, she is a nun--I keep forgetting that.
Anyway, it was great fun and the wine was good, too. We got home a bit after 7:00 and I got a message to the effect that son Mike had called, but my phone couldn't get international calls--damn, I didn't realize that. Anyway, I called him back on Skype and we talked, plus I saw my darling granddaughters--Violet, who just turned 9 and Vivian, soon to be 13 and what a beautiful almost-teenager she is. Their mum, Paula, is in Las Vegas, but will be returning home to Singapore soon.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Various And Mundane

I had set the alarm, so got up at my preferred 6:15. Walked, breakfasted, did some chores, then finally turned my attention to potting the two plants I had bought the other day. I even planted the little succulents in the stiletto-heeled shoes I had bought at Goodwill for just that purpose. I can't decide it they look very cute or very stupid.
Went to WinCo for veggies and salmon. Had a big salad for lunch, as usual, then drove to town and walked the second walk. I was please that the book I had requested, another by Robert Wagner, You Must Remember This, had come in, so picked it up. I'm still in my Old Hollywood kick and this is fun to read.
When I got home, Betty called. She wanted to know if she could change her plans and come on Sunday instead of Monday. Actually, that wouldn't be agreeable to me, so I hemmed and hawed. She called back later and said she had gotten back into the original arrangement and will come on Monday.
Larry called to asked if I had called him, but I hadn't. He said he was just leaving the Smithville Inn with a friend of his. Boy, I loved that place; hope I can get there again. Today is the memorial service for Jack--sigh.
I've been having trouble sleeping lately, I'm afraid. I go to sleep easily, get up for the usual about two am, then toss and turn. Hope I can shake this.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

More Sad News

Slept later again, walked the walk, and got home a bit after 8:00. Nancy called to say her birthday celebration and pontoon ride on Lake Casitas will be on Saturday--fine by me, as I'm getting a cut an color on Saturday. Betty called to say she has arrived in California and is at her son, Steve's, in L.A. She'll come to my place on Monday and stay over a night or two before going on to Santa Barbara to Carolyn's.
While I was doing some household chores, I got a call from brother, Frank, in Alameda. At first, I thought he was calling to tell me Marybeth had died because he broke down and cried. But no, he told me she had been admitted to Mercy Central in Oakland. He said he cries very easily now; my big brother is himself suffering from some kind of dementia--memory problems. While I was talking to him, my doorbell rang. It was the woman from Elder Services, checking to see if I was still being abused or something. (This would be funny except I was in no mood for humor.) I assured her I had gotten my money back and all was well and she left. Frank asked me to call my other two brothers and Betty with the news, and I did. I looked at the web site for Mercy Central and it looks like a well-though-of nursing home.
Called brothers Jim and Larry; latter was about to leave for the airport to get a plane to Jersey and attend Jack B.'s memorial service. For some strange reason, we started talking about Matt Gallagher, with whom Larry and Jack went all through St. James, Holy Spirit, and Villanova. Neither he nor Betty had known Matt died in May until I told them--odd. I found the obit in the AC Press and sent it to them.
Anyway, drove to town for the usual. As I was walking toward the library, somebody called my name. It was my neighbor, Don, and we walked a block or two together. He said he was looking for round sunglasses like the kind John Lennon wore. Why, I can't imagine, but, preoccupied with the news about MaryBeth, I didn't ask and just wished him luck.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


Got up late again, so didn't get home from my walk until almost 8:00. Completed a lot of boring business-type stuff, plus finally finished and sent off to Suz my "Acting for Amateurs" proposal. Cleaned up, had lunch, then called Sue. We had a good chat, but unfortunately, she's in a great deal of pain with what she said are adhesions in her knee. She had a replacement a few years ago and scar tissue has built up.
After lunch, I parked at the library and walked to Mission Park. Called Ellen and was delighted to learn she's having some visitors in two weeks. She asked if I wanted Greg's DVD player, which I do, and she said she'd come over on Friday to install it.
When I got home, I rang Suzanne's bell to return her container (she had given me some fish sauce, which was delicious). We talked for a bit and she asked me to care for her two African violets when she's away next week. Told her I'd be glad to and I hope they survive.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


I'm up, I'm down, I'm up again. Feeling a lot better because of Violet's present, the fact that I dealt with a lot of financial items, and most satisfying of all, I wrote to Suz my proposal for "Acting for Amateurs" at Ventura College. I'll look it over before I send and might tweak it a bit, but it's essentially done and I don't know why I agonized over it so much
I got up pretty late--7:00--so didn't get home from walking Kimball until after 8:00. Spent the time between breakfast and lunch handling the aforementioned, doing wash, then took off for town. Stopped first at Staples to get printer ink and at the 99 Cent store, where I picked up two pretty daisy plants, which I'll put in containers as soon as I feel like doing it. Picked up two pretty daisies to plant in the garden.
Because I had both a book and an audio to return, I parked at the library and walked to Mission Park instead of the reverse. Walked back and spent time doing what I do, then drove home. "Riced" with the Chop Wizard a large cauliflower and had some with dinner.
Hmm...looking over my calendar for the month, I see that July was and is unusually quiet. That's okay for a time; in fact, I'm enjoying the restful hiatus, but I don't want it to extend into August.

Monday, July 10, 2017

A Little Blue And Violet

Walked and did my Sunday routine. Went to WinCo (I go to the supermarket often, as most of what I eat is fresh) and ran into Steve Wu. I know him through the Adult Center where he hangs out. We chatted for a few minute and he said he'd be at the VCS meeting on the nineteenth.
Went home and chopped up the salad fixings for lunch. Ate, then--unusually for me--lay down on the couch for about a half hour. I wasn't tired, just feeling a little blue. I wanted to send a birthday gift to precious little Violet in Singapore, but for various reasons, couldn't seem to find anything I thought appropriate. Also, I have various things to take care of, financial and otherwise, and I just don't feel motivated, so the old guilt thing kicks in.
Got up and tried to shake off my mild depression. Got ready to drive to town and it occurred to me that, rather than putting in my pockets the things I need during my walk, I found a kind of packet lunch holder I've had for years. It works well to hold my glasses, phone, money, and so on, and is much lighter than my purse.
Parked at the usual and considering same, this morning there was a front page article in the Ventura Star to the effect that the museum might close; it's bleeding money. Walked to the library and spent forty-five or so reading (about Prince William and Princess Kate, believe it or not), requested Robert Wagner's book, You Must Remember This, turned in an audio book and got another, then left. By the time I got back to my car, my spirits had risen.
As for Robert Wagner, I'm just finishing his first book, Pieces of My Heart, which I greatly enjoyed. I'm a sucker for old Hollywood and he seems to tell all. It's a cinch these actors jumped in and out of bed with each other to a remarkable extent. Clearly, Wagner was--or is--no slouch at that activity himself. BTW, he is still alive and well at 87 and lives in Aspen, although he maintains a condo in L.A.
Later, I e-mailed Violet's Daddy, son Mike, to ask if an Amazon gift card would be okay for Violet. He responded that she'd love it, so I immediately ordered it. Sweet Violet is nine years old today.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Lost Debit Card

To Kimball at 7:00 and walked the walk. Spent a lot of time on various Internet stuff after breakfast, then drove to town for my second walk.
First, I stopped at the post office to sent a certified letter re house insurance renewal. Used my debit card, then slipped it into my pocket. When I parked in town, as I always do, I put my pocketbook in the trunk and keys, money, library card, phone, and glasses in my pockets. Sat in the park and called Betty just to chat, then continued on to the library. Stayed for a bit reading, then walked back, home for lunch.
Brother Larry called. Jack's memorial service will be on the 14th and of course, Larry will be there. I did a few things around the house, then thought I'd run over to WinCo. They take only cash and debit cards, so I looked in my wallet--uh oh; no debit card. No money, either, so I surmised both card and cash had fallen out of my pocket. The dough amounted to only two bucks, but the debit card is essential. Drove back to the P.O.--no, it wasn't handed in--and to the library and they didn't have it either. Got back in the car and talked into my phone: "O.K., Google, phone number for Bank of Amelia" and several came up immediately. I called to cut off my card and get a new one; I can get a temporary one on Monday at the bank, but what a drag.
Ellen had been bugging me to go back to Cricket to ask how I get my voice messages; I had resisted, as after all, they don't run tutorials. However, I did stop there and they were very good about it. One of them even put on the case, which I had gotten on line. When I got home, I called El to tell her I had taken her advice and gone there.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Jury and BP Two

Good little citizen that I am (ha!), I reported to the Hall of Justice promptly at 8:00 am. There were probably more than a hundred people in my group (number 44) and we filed in and picked up identifying badges. We were addressed by some kind of court clerk, then by a judge, and were told we would have a break at 10 am and at 3 pm, plus lunch from 11:30 to 1:00.
It turned out to be about equal parts interesting and boring. I went outside in the large and nicely appointed courtyard and was close enough to go home for lunch. I passed the time mainly by doing what virtually all the others were: looking at my phone. I'm still not adept, but I'm learning more and more. I called Ellen, then another friend, then Nancy, chatted with a few people, and generally passed the time reasonably okay. Dr. J.'s office called to question me about any dizziness, fatigue, vision problems (I don't have any of these) and to say I should still take my BP medication
'Because I didn't get to Kimball (or T.O.P.S., for that matter), I asked another juror to watch my purse and went around the circular walkway in the courtyard ten times. That certainly didn't come anywhere near my usual three daily miles, but it was something.
I was a tad disappointed I wasn't picked for a case, but it was just as well. We were released at 3:45 and I had every intention of driving to town to at least get my other walk in, but it was so damn hot, I changed my mind. Went to Wal-Mart to check my BP. It read as 98/62, still very low, if you ask me. I found a nice, large plant of succulents at Wal-Mart and bought it for the garden.
I was just chopping up things for dinner when I realized I had left a few things at my doorstep when I got the mail. I saw that Suzanne' door was open and asked her if she had a BP machine. She did--it's even electric and, she said, very accurate. She took my pressure and it was 118/71 with a pulse of 71. I guess that's an improvement. Suzanne herself said she has high blood pressure; ominously, several in her family died of heart ailments. She kindly offered to do mine whenever I wanted--what a happy coincidence that I moved in next door to her!

Friday, July 07, 2017

Jury and BP

I woke up a little late--7:00--so didn't get back from my walk until after 8:00.* I was having a leisurely breakfast when I realized I had forgotten to call the jury duty number. Did so and--yoicks! I was supposed to have reported in at 8:00 am! I rushed out the door, drove to the Hall of Justice (grandiose name) and threw myself on the mercy of the young woman at the window. She was very pleasant and nice and simply said I should report today at 8:00. Whew! I thought they'd throw me in jail or something.
With the Bona equipment, I cleaned the hard floor, then took the area rugs in bath and hall to the laundry. Washed, then put them out on the patio to dry. Tried to prepare half of the huge zucchini Suzanne gave me, but now I think it's not a zucchini. I sliced it and added some garlic and olive oil, then put in the microwave. I found that I should have pared it first, as the skin really doesn't seem edible.
Drove to town and did the walk, then got my beautiful blue baby washed, inside and out. She's so clean, she sparkles. El called when I got home and we had a good talk. On Wednesday, Greg's mother and brother and his family came to see the house and stayed for dinner. El has some large pieces of art work to hang and asked for a phone number for Ryan, the picture hanger who expertly hung my large A.C. pictures.
* The nurse who comes to the park on Tuesdays and Thursdays took my BP and it was again low: 93/64 and 92 (pulse). Nurse advised me to call my doctor's office and ask for my numbers the last two times I was there. I did and the physician's assistant said they had been 118/80 and 64 on June 20 and 114/78 and 89 on March 8. She said they did seem low and suggested I keep track. Since I don't have the apparatus to do so, guess I'll have to use Wal-Mart.

Thursday, July 06, 2017


Walked the walk, did a wash with the usual back and forth, went to WinCo for rock fish, later to Smart 'n' Final for cherries and grapes. Got an email from Lynn, of Dudley House, telling me they have some black skirts and white blouses and I'm welcome to stop in to see if they suit me. She also invited me to do a "shadow tour" on August 6th (it's only open the first Sunday of each month) to get a feel for the spiel, I guess. She sent the book and packet for docents, so I'm looking forward to getting them.
After lunch, I reversed my usual town walk and parked at the library, then walked the opposite way. Stopped into The Coalition and found a nice wooden box, painted yellow, just right to hold the overflow of garden things on the patio. Bought it, left it there, and picked it up after I got my car.
When I got home about 5:00, I found outside my door a big zucchini--I knew who had left it, so rang Suzanne's bell to thank her. I'll prepare it in the slow cooker, I guess, with onion, garlic, and seasonings. I returned the favor by giving her a bowl of the luscious cherries I just bought.
Aside from all that, I took a drive after dinner. I must remember to drop some donations off at Goodwill--should have thought of donating to The Coalition--so I can clear my trunk and finally get my car washed.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

A Visit to Ojai

Walked Kimball, then after breakfast, spent a fair amount of time on the patio/garden. It's really shaping up nicely, but I want to add a few plants.
I wasn't about to go to town to get my second mile in, considering the crowds I knew were gathering for the parade. Instead, I drove back to Kimball after lunch. Rather than take my usual, I went on a different path around the pool and playing fields, and enjoyed it. I was again on the patio when Suzanne came out on hers. She had spent a few days in Pasadena and I glad to see her back. I asked her to come over, she did, and she admired what I had done with the plants and so on. We had a good talk, as ever.
Jumped in the shower, washed my hair, dressed, and left for Ojai about 2:30. I was pleasantly surprised that I seemed to have avoided the heavy traffic, so no prob. When I got to El's, she went over my smart phone and we contacted a few people. I still have a way to go, but I think I'm more comfortable with it. Greg made a delicious dinner featuring his own recipe of tomato sauce over pasta. El made the salad, also very good, and we had fresh ears of corn. After, we took a walk around their neighborhood and what an interesting one it is. No two houses are alike, some are very old, many are newly renovated, some need to be, and overall, it's a good place to live. We saw a number of people who greeted us--very friendly and warm.
I left about 7:00 and got home in good time. A nice, nice day, and I enjoyed it.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Check List

I got up earlier than usual--a little after 5 am. Did the usual computer stuff, then left for Kimball. I was so early, I was home at 7:15. After breakfast, I made up a list of what I wanted to do and wrote it down. Got most of it done, to wit:
Got birthday card for Violet, gift to follow--check.
Stopped at bank for register booklets--check.
Called AT & T to end my landline "service." I was told they'd end it on July 5 and I squawked; she then said she'd back date it--check.
Went to the P.O. to send Violet's card--check.
Went to Marie Calender's to meet my widder group pals for lunch--check. There were only five of us this time, but it was good as ever; they're some of my favorite people. I told them about Jack's death and they reacted with quiet sympathy--check.
Ordered a cover and other accessories for my smart phone on-line--check.
Went to SCAN to sign up for a smart phone course with Marty--check (although he has no opening until the 18th).
Aside from all that, I took my usual museum to library walk. While in town, I found a large, covered picnic basket for six bucks (at The Coalition thrift store). It will be perfect to contain a number of my gardening supplies on the patio.
After dinner, I went up Foothills Road to a church where the Ventura Philatelic Society meets. I have several old stamps--six with Hitler's portrait on them--and wanted to see if they're worth anything.
They're not. However, I met and chatting with some people, including Sheree, who happens to be is the "head of the docents at Dudley House." She was thrilled to hear I had volunteered for being one and I'm sure I'll see more of her later.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Terrible News

The terrible news came via a call from my brother, Larry: Jack Bihlmier died yesterday morning. What a blow to our family, but especially to Larry. He and Jack had been best friends for, incredibly, more than eighty years. They met as toddlers on Newport Avenue in Ventnor, went to St. James and graduated together, did the same at Holy Spirit, joined the military at the same time (Larry, army, Jack, navy), and graduated from Villanova together. We knew Jack was in the hospital and very ill, but--to have him gone. Losing him is like losing a or parent or sibling--you understand that they're gone, but you can't grasp that they're gone forever. Betty called after Larry; he'll fly up from Florida for the funeral and stay with her.
As for my ordinary day: I walked Kimball, then did some chores, then went to Dudley House, which is an historic house here. I wanted to donate some needlepoint, which I gave the woman who seems to run the place. I also filled out a form to be a docent--seems like fun, as you have to dress in costume and impersonate one of the 1890's residents of the house.
Went from there to town and got my other walk in. Sidewalks and stores were jammed, of course, being it was the weekend before the fourth. I enjoy that; it seems so much more festive.
Got my new patio chairs in, thanks to my neighbor, Gil, Dad of adorable six-month-old Ethan. He, Danielle, and baby live across from me and I was grateful he offered to carry them for me. I also met the wife of my upstairs neighbor, Janna (pronounced "Yahnna"; he's from Finland). Her name sounds like "Ayn-ya" and boy, what a gorgeous couple they are. He's about 6'2", blond and handsome, and she's a tall and slender, very pretty brunette.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Jewelry and Cell

Walked Kimball. Put my jewelry in my new armoire--ooh, it looks good! Got to Ellen's a bit before noon; I had thought there'd be a lot of traffic, but except for a short stretch, it was pretty light.
We had our lunches, then El looked at my new smart phone, but couldn't get it to either call or receive; nor was the Internet working on it. She put it on the charger, then we did some yard work. El used her new leaf blower to blow off the yard, while I deadheaded her two rose bushes and watered them. We then left to go to a few shops in town (Ojai, that is). Got back to her place and I left about 4:00 after we made a date for me to spend some time with her and Greg on the fourth.
I drove directly to the Cricket store and was pretty vocal in complaining about the non-service of the phone. However, it was re-programmed (or something) and when I got it home, it worked. Since then, I've been putting in contacts and other stuff and trying to get used to it. I'm actually starting to like it. I'm going to have to start contacting people to tell them my cell number will be my only one. Must call AT & T and tell them what they can do with their landline--ha!

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Busier Day

Walked Kimball, then went to T.O.P.S. Happily, I'm now in the next "decade"--the 150s--and have lost a total of 25 pounds.
The rest of the day was a blur, as so much went on. I won't even go into the ins and outs, except to chronicle my activities:
1. I finally stepped into the twenty-first century and got a smart phone; I'll be able to keep my cell phone number.
2. I looked at outdoor chairs at Target--on sale, half price, for ten bucks. However, I went over to Lowe's and got ones I like better (red seats, white frames) for twice that, but oh, well.
3. Jim, the assistant manager here, was nice enough to carry my wonderful new jewelry armoire from the car to my place. He wouldn't take any money, but said I could pay him with my homemade applesauce.
4. Suzanne's rent has been raised by 80 dollars a month--ouch! She and her fellow nuns have their salary sent to headquarters, then each is given what she needs. (El said it sounds like communism and damned if it doesn't--certainly a kinder, gentler system than capitism). She's looking into Cypress Meadows, which is a lower-income apartment place and very nice, too. She brought me a brochure and info, but I don't qualify financially.
5. Although it was almost 5:00, I drove to town and walked the walk, although the library was closed. Ran into Tony M., of SCAN, who was on his way to meet friends for dinner.
6. Called El and told her all the above news. I'll go over to her place today for lunch and possibly, antique storing or whatever.
Didn't have dinner until after 7:00. I had eaten lunch a tad early while I waited for Jim, yet I wasn't as hungry as I could have been. Keeping busy is the best appetite suppressor for me.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Busy Day

Whew, it turned out to be a pretty busy day. Walked Kimball, of course, then after breakfast, I decided it was about time I cleaned the stove top drip pans. I never had an electric stove before, and was hesitant to pull out the coils. However, I went over to the office, asked Jim,and he said there'd be no problem. He was right. I disassembled the items and put the drip pans--two of which were pretty dirty--to soak in the sink. Later, I scrubbed and scoured them, but one is still soiled; I may just go buy a new one.
In the meantime, I put clothes in the wash, then dryer, and while they were doing their thing, a woman came to the door. Good grief, she was from the Human Services Agency, in reference to the skin scam (which still shows up on my account). She came in, we talked, she expressed disbelief at my age, took information, and will notify the police and others. It was actually a pretty interesting experience, but all I really care about is getting my money back.
I didn't get out to town until 2:00 and when I went to park at the museum, there were signs on the trees that said "no parking," even though plenty of cars were parked there. I didn't realize until later the no parking referred to the fourth of July. Parked in municipal parking nearby, anyway.
Walked to the library and sat down to read a bit about Norman Rockwell. Got interested--I didn't realize he had been married three times--and took out his autobiography. On the way back, I just idly stopped into Goodwill, although I knew the jewelry armoire had been sold--BUT...there it was; it had just been moved to another spot.
Now if I was superstitious, or believed in sprites flitting around invisibly, or that Zeus had an eye out for me, I might think it was Meant To Be, or fate, or whatever. But I don't and I don't, I was just happy to see it.
And yes, I bought it for $54.99 plus tax, so sixty bucks. I had to pull up my car behind the store and their guy put it in for me. I was expecting to be able to take out the drawers to get it to the apartment, but unfortunately, they don't come out. Hmm...I'll have to see if Javier would get his hand truck and accept a tenner, say to move it for me.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Same Old, Tame Old

Walked Kimball. Did a bunch of computer stuff. Wrote out my diet regimen for Dr. J. and dropped it off at the office. There I found Doris and we caught up. We haven't gotten together for too long and I want to remedy that.
Went to see Amanda at Cricket and I think I'm going to finally move into the twenty-first century and get a smart phone. They have a promotion going and cutting out the landline and the Tracphone will actually save me money, anyway. I have to decide by tomorrow, though, to get the promotion.
Went to Sprouts for blueberries and fresh tuna. Drove to town and did the museum to library walk. While there, I dropped into Goodwill and saw a very attractive, wooden jewelry armoire for only fifty-five bucks. It was just what I wanted, so after I went to the library, I got the car into position and put the back seat down. I figured that, once one of the workers put it in, I could take out the drawers to lighten it to get into my apartment. Happily, I went back for it and--
--it was gone! Darn it, somebody had snapped it up, I guess. Oh, well, I'm looking on line for something similar, although most seem to be either mundane or ridiculously expensive.
Talked to El, who said the guy was still there installing the flooring in the master. I'll go over on Saturday.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Usual

Walked Kimball, had breakfast, then walked the museum to library route. At the library, I saw Wye-Wye ("Way-Way"), whom I hadn't in awhile. I asked if her friend/companion/husband, Tim, was around, as I wanted to question him about his assertion that his great-grandmother was Grandma Moses. Found him and we chatted, but I'm beginning to wonder if he just made the whole thing up. According to him--and it was hard to get to this, as he speaks in a somewhat disjointed way--his grandmother was a daughter of Grandma Moses and, in fact, his father was raised by G.M. He also said G.M was born in Germany and came here in 1933--huh? According to the Internet, she was born in upstate New York. I understand she wrote an autobiography called My Life's History; I may send for it or look for it in the library, if I continue being interested.
Went from town to the store for two huge and heavy packages of potting soil; had to bring out my rolling cart to get them from the car. I spent more than an hour continuing my re-potting project and still have some to go. Once I finished, I got my bathing suit on and went to the pool. I swam around a bit and cooled off, but didn't stay long. Showered and washed my hair, then went to WinCo for lettuce, cucumbers, and dressing.
Got a call from the "Cricket" phone rep. Some kind of promotion is going on and I stopped there today to possibly finally switch. Gabrielle D. called about 8:00 to discuss an e-mail we got from Cheryl G., saying she was no longer going to host "Golden Girls of Ventura County" because of personal reasons. Neither of us know her very well, but I may call her or respond to her message.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Without a car, I didn't want to give myself an excuse to skip my walk, so after breakfast, I went a mile or so. It was actually pretty interesting, as I had only driven in these neighborhoods before. Spent another agonizing half hour on the phone with Bank of America. This time, I was assured the eighty-nine dollars and change would be restored to my account and I got a claim number. I won't be satisfied until I actually see the credit, though.
Started in on the patio garden, but spent only about an hour on it, as I ran out of potting soil. Wrote to Mr. K. in Tokyo and walked to the post office, about another mile, I think. When I got back, Linda T. had left a message, asking for Greg's last name. It seems he and she went to the same high school in San Merino (but she much earlier) and so did her sister, who thought she might know him. I doubt it, but called her back.
I finally called my three "phone friends." For some reason, I kept putting this off, although I enjoy--mildly--talking to them, especially Corine, the ninety-year-old. I was please to hear her cancer seems to have been cured.
Suzanne rang my bell when she got home from work at 2:30, so she was ready to take me to Rob's Remedies. I then waited and waited for Rob to call. about the car. I finally called him at 3:00. He had gotten the cell number mixed up, it seems, thinking it was an 805 area code, although I had written it down as 908. All kinds of other annoying stuff went on, but the upshot was, I got my little darlin' back at 5:30.
Went directly to WinCo to replenish my supply of fruit, of which I was completely out. Bought peaches, plums, grapes, blueberries, grapes, and a mango--that should hold me for a few days.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Car Gone

When I opened the door to get the paper, I was charmed to see a cup with six little cherry tomatoes in it. I knew they were from Suzanne and, before I left for my walk at Kimball, I put a note on her door. Walked, then did my usual Sunday thing. As I was working on the crossword puzzle, Suzanne rang my bell and we made arrangements for her to take me to Rob's at 7:00 last night. She did and I left my car there; Suzanne will take me back to get it today after she gets out of work.
Went to Wal-Mart for a trowel--I actually bought two, one a light plastic, the other larger, heavier, and made of steel. Today, since I'll be sans car, I intend to finally get my patio garden in shape--then maybe take a dip in the pool.
Took a drive to the beach, but there were already lots of cars there, so I stopped at the Olivas Adobe House historic site. Ellen and I toured the place years ago before I dreamed of moving here and I'm thinking about volunteering to be a docent there. I'm not sure if I want to or if I want to do the same at Dudley House. Anyway, I walked around, went into rooms, and so on and fell into conversation with a woman who worked there. It turns out she lived in N.J.--Maple Shade; it seems as if everyone in Ventura lived in Jersey at one time or another.
I wanted to get my second mile and a half in, so drove to town and did the usual. I ran into Marie M., who said she was going to the Greek Festival in Camarillo. My friend, Sherry, had asked if I wanted to go, but with the lavender one on Saturday, I'm all festivaled out. Had to wait for the library to open, as I got there a bit before one. Picked up an audio book for the car and walked back.
El called and while we were talking, Nancy called on the cell. Called her back and we had a long chat. She said her son, Richard, had bought a "pontoon boat" and she invited me to come with them in a few weeks to celebrate her birthday. That sounds like great fun and I immediately accepted.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Lavender Festival

The Women's Health Symposium at the Marriott started at 7:30 and I got there a few minutes after. Of course, there were the usual handouts and giveaways which I skipped, as I have enough pens, pins, notepads, and other crapola to open a store. Had coffee and a few thin slices of melon--that took care of breakfast. I ran into Carole F. and sat near her.
The morning speakers, all M.D.s, included a "hospitalist" (youngish woman with messy hair wearing what looked like cowboy boots), who acted as emcee; a breast cancer specialist (very well-groomed and articulate female doc); a cardiologist (the only male, and pretty good); and a urologist (Asian woman whose delivery was okay). Since I don't have any of the maladies spotlighted and since I already know most of what I want to about them, I found it pretty dull. After the speakers formed a panel and answered questions from the audience, there was a break at 10:30. Decided not to stay for the afternoon session, but broke for home. There, I found a message from Linda T., who lives in this complex and is in T.O.P.S. with me. She asked if I'd like to go to the Lavender Festival in Ojai, and that struck me as a good idea. We decided to leave at 1:00, then I changed clothes and drove to Kinball to get my walk in.
Met Linda and we went to Ojai. Now I've been to 16,000 "festivals" in my day and as ever, this was all vendors under tents with twenty-five dollar tee shirts and lots of overpriced items (think soap and lotion) made of lavender. We were looking at some things when I heard, "Hey, Mom!" behind me.
It was Ellen and I was so pleased to see her. She had bought some lavender and said she was going to meet Greg at a little luncheonette down the street. We joined them and had lemonade, good on such a hot day. The four of us sat and chatted for a while, then parted.
Linda and I drove home, which took at least twice as long as usual, as she chose the scenic--or something--route, but that was okay. I intended to drive to town for my usual second walk, but it was almost 5:00 and I decided against it; just went to WinCo for Swai.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Looking Up

Hey, things are looking up. Walked Kimball, then went to T.O.P.S. and had a 2.2 loss, for a current total of 24.2 pounds off. I feel good about that and, next week, I expect to be looking at 25, plus being in the next "decade" (150s), so to speak.
The meeting was as formless as ever and I didn't get home until 10:30 for breakfast. Cheryl brought in an empty pint carton of "ice cream"--only 35 calories a serving. That "serving" is, of course, minuscule--about what a ninety-pound model would eat. Also, the ingredients, which Cheryl had never read, listed three different kinds of sugar. Oh, well. I was able to keep my mouth shut and was proud of that.
Met Ellen for lunch at noon and, having eaten so recently, was perfectly satisfied with my four little Honey Belles and a glass of Chardonnay. We had a good time chatting; El is getting settled in more and more, but still has plenty to do. We parted, she to pick up some things at Lowe's and her mummy to town, to do my mile walk. Went to WinCo after to get salad fixings.
Betty called and we talked a bit. I got a lot of bills paid and other financial stuff taken care of. Now I want to pull together a proposal for Suze of the Ventura Department of Aging. Ventura College will run some classes for seniors in the fall and mine, I hope, will be one of them. When Suze mentioned it, I immediately asked if instructors were paid. She seemed a little taken aback, but assured me they are. I'll be damned if I'll do it on a volunteer basis; it's too much work and I put too much into it.
Showered and washed my hair, and will leave soon for the symposium (women's health) I'm going to today, which starts at 7:30 am. No, I'm not going to blow off Kimball, but will do my thing later today.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Usual

Walked the walk. After breakfast, I steeled myself to call Bank of America about the lousy skin company charge and was delighted--after a lot of transfers and talk--to be assured the second, seventy-nine dollar charge would be rescinded or whatever you call it. This will take 48 hours, though, and I won't rest easy until I see it reflected on my bank account.
Speaking of money, I did a lot of catching up with various financial stuff. Called Sears to be sure the scheduled repair for the washer had been cancelled and made a few other calls. Also did two large loads of wash. I was happy to see the mesh bags worked fine for the sheets, so they didn't get entangled. Ellen called to ask if I'd pick up some packages left at her old house by the gate. I went over there and got her mail, but they're not packages, they're just mail. She asked if I could meet for lunch today and yes, indeed, best offer I've had a week.
Went to the P.O. to mail some things, including a card and check for my GREAT-grandson, who will be fifteen next week (how did that happen?). Did the usual town mile, museum to library. One of these days, I'll reverse the route, just for variety.
My mood has improved considerably, although for the first time in months, I had trouble sleeping last night. I actually got up and played some computer games, which is probably not a good idea. I hope it was just a one-night stand.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Busy Again

Another helluva busy day. I called Anchor Appliances shortly after I got up, as it was almost 10 am there. I was told they couldn't get somebody out to look at the washer until the 29th--more than a week later! I skipped that, then called Sears. They'd come out, but it's $159 just to have them walk in the door, with parts and labor over there. I decided I might just as well get a new washer and that's what will delivered Monday.
Got to the Ventura Council for Seniors on time--just--and sat through the fairly mundane meeting, then the director of the Alzheimer's Unlimited, or whatever it was, spoke. A young and attractive blonde, she was about the must inane speaker I've ever endured. Her delivery was on the Kindergarten level, with all kinds of gestures and facial expressions and big smiles with big teeth. Idiotic. She also, of course, talked about Alzheimer's prevention, as if there was any. She listed exercise, eating right, socialization, and brain games, exactly what's recommended for good health in any context. It was a freakin' waste of time.
Went home to get some calls about my wedding anniversary, which was yesterday, including from my niece, Joan, whose mother, my sister, was one of my bridesmaid. Called Rob, who was supposed to fix my brakes today, but found he didn't have it scheduled. Instead, he asked if I could leave it on Sunday and he'd work on it on Monday. Okay, I guess.
Had some lunch, then changed into capris to go to my second meeting of the day, for the Senior Strategic Plan. This was just Suze, Hans, Debra, and me, plus Councilwoman Cheryl H., whom I admire more all the time. Anyway, it was decided we hire a (paid, of course) consultant, if we can get the county to cough up the dough.
Went from there the short distance to town, parked, and walked my walk. Stopped at a few places for various and got home about 5:00. Rang Suzanne's bell, explained about the car and she said she'd take me to pick it up on Monday. I'll still have to get it there on Sunday; guess I'll have to ask someone else.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


Another "varied and interesting" day, but not necessarily in a good way.
My landline was still dead, so calling those black-hearted rats at AT & T, I used the Tracphone. Looked, and noted it had only 8 minutes on it. Drove to Kimball and did the walk, but on the way home, I kept hearing a kind of subtle bumpy noise. I assumed it was the damn brakes, but hoped it would go away. Went directly to Vons to get phone minutes and saw it was actually my back tire--flat. Called Triple A and happily, the guy came in about 20 minutes. He looked and said there was a nail in it. He put air in, but couldn't say if I could drive it to my doctor's appointment at 9:30 before getting it fixed. Drove to Pep Boys and was told I could make my appointment, so went home and changed and got there on time.
Dr. J. was thrilled at my weight loss, especially in light of my very good blood work. She asked me how I did it and we talked a lot about it. I said I'd drop off a copy of the regimen I devised and follow.
Went from there directly to Pep Boys and was informed after a wait that the tire couldn't be fixed. Therefore, I shelled out $83 for a new one, damnit. That took an age and I called El to say I'd be late. Home, I just quickly changed tops, sliced some hard-boiled eggs into the big salad I had already prepared, and left for Ojai.
Boy, was it hot there. However, Ellen's house was comfortable, although she didn't yet have the AC on. Her place, especially the living room, is shaping up nicely, although there are still a lot of boxes here and there. Two men were putting the new roof on in that 90+ degree heat--wow.
I ate my salad, then El took us on a drive through the tonier parts of Ojai, beautiful with the lush foliage and towering mountains. I left about 3:30 and made my stop at the museum. It was about twenty degrees cooler in Ventura and pretty windy. Walked to the library, sat and read for a while, then walked back.
I had left my phone in my purse in the trunk, got it out and saw I had a text from my tenant, Eileen, to the effect the washer had stopped. I called her and said I'd call Anchor Appliance this morning--damn, just one more thing to handle.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Varied and Interesting

Things are looking up: It turned out to be a varied and interesting day, but with one clinker: My landline is out again.
Walked Kimball, had breakfast, then discovered my damn landline was dead. Called about it, then called Bank of America. I was told I could go to my local bank to get a temporary debit card. Did so and, of course, had to wait a good half hour. It was okay, though, because I got a phone call I enjoyed. Finally was ushered to a desk to talk to G.S., whose title is--get this--"Relationship Manager." Good grief, it sounds as if she's a marriage counselor--stupid.
Anyway, I explained my plight and got a new (temporary) debit card. Will get the perm one in the mail. I was relieved to hear none of my recurring payments have to be modified, as they all come out of my accounts.
After that, I was determined to find Wild Birds Unlimited, a new shop. I had cut a coupon out to the effect that, as a grand opening promotion, they were giving away bird seed and a feeder. Finally found it and it was charming, as were the people in it. The free things were much more substantial than I thought they'd be: a pound of seed and a small, but nice feeder. In the same strip mall, I stopped into a Cricket cell phone place. Talked to the rep and am considering telling both AT & T and Tracfone to go blow and just get one of those. Went from there to town for my extra mile, now simply routine. Stopped at WinCo for fish. In fact, I bought salmon patties, rockfish, and swai. I now have several varieties, most in the freezer. I also found some nice pears, just soft enough, and bought them, too.
Went to the widder dinner. There were only six of us, with one newbie, a woman named Rose, who was widowed only four months ago. I knew Vera's daughter had cut her hand in shop class a week before she graduated high school, but was not aware until last night she had actually amputated her thumb, poor girl. Had a good time with this group, as ever, but skipped my plan to go to the stamp collector meeting after. I will later, to get me old stamps appraised. Several have Hitler's picture on them; presumably, they're from Germany--duh!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Not Neat Day

Saturday was great fun, but Sunday was anything but. At 7:00, as usual, I had finished most of my computer stuff, including putting a Fathers Day tribute on Facebook, and was about to leave for Kimball, when I thought I check my e-mail. I found a message from Bank of America to the effect that my debit card had been charged a total of $176.73 by two skin care companies--WHA-WHA-WHAT!?!
Yes, it had to do with that stupid wrinkle cream, for which I thought I was paying ten bucks and change. Without going into the long, long saga of calling BOA, plus the company, plus all the interminable wait times, plus so on and so forth, I can say I'm not sure if it's resolved or not. I'll pursue it today, also.
Anyway, I walked in a foul mood. Got home and did the Sunday stuff. Had to get out, so I went early to town to get my mile in, arrived at the library at noon, to find it didn't open until 1:00, so went home for lunch.
Called El with my tale of monetary woe and she talked me down--or up--somewhat. Besides, we made a date for me to go over tomorrow, so that's something to look forward to (yeah, yeah, to which to look forward, but that sounds stupid).
Went to Bed Bath & B to try to find a mesh bag to put my sheets in the washer and dryer; by themselves, they seem to tangle up a lot, especially the fitted bottom. Didn't exactly find what I wanted, but got two smaller ones that I hope will serve. Stopped to get veggies and fruit, too, and that was more or less my anything-but-sterling day.

I should probably wait until my anniversary next week (5/21), but why? Here we are; unfortunately, all but three are gone now

Neat Day

Saturday was pretty neat:
After walking Kimball, I went directly to WinCo for veggies and shrimp. Because I eat almost everything fresh, I go to the supermarket a lot, but that's fine by me.
Suzanne rang my bell to say she had called the artist place where we planned to go and their lecturer couldn't make it, so the talk was cancelled. She suggested we go to Camarillo, instead, and she asked me to choose whether to tour the Adolfo (an early settler) house or the small museum. I was fine with either, but chose the museum, as I was at the house a few years ago while I was visiting. Jumped in the shower and dressed--luckily, it wasn't quite as hot as it had been--and we drove the short distance to Camarillo.
This is a thoroughly upscale area and its busy main drag is nicely configured with adobe buildings and so on. We had lunch at a place called "2088" (the street number) and ate outside, which I greatly enjoy. I was able to order off the Happy Hour menu, which meant the Chardonnay was only five bucks and I got a small Caesar salad with it, so I didn't horribly sabotage my diet.
Suzanne and I talked and talked and talked; in fact, we talked all day long and really got to know each other. She is nothing--nothing!--like the nuns I grew up with, let alone the Sisters of Mercy I knew at Holy Spirit. Boy, did we confide in each other and was I surprised, but also gratified and relaxed. She seems not terribly different from infidel me, rather than like my daily communicant twin sister, that's a cinch.
Anyway, we went to a charming little historic museum and learned a lot about Camarillo. Suzanne actually works at St. John's Hospital there and in Oxnard (it was founded and is run by her order) as a counselor. We chatted with the guy there who was the Director of City Planning for Ventura itself. Suzanne also took me to the garden at St. John's, a lovely place, as well as here and there to minor attractions.
We got home about 4:00 and I immediately changed and drove to town so I could add my mile. It was jammed, as ever on a weekend, and I greatly enjoyed it. I sat on a bench to tie my shoe lace and fell in to conversation with two elderly women and a man. I doubt if they were one of the sad homeless, as they had no baggage, but they were a little odd. One of the women kept speculating that I was from English or Scotland "because of your accent" and the other was surprised to hear New Jersey "has an ocean, too." It was fun to talk to them, but off I went back to my car, stopping at Ralph's for swordfish (nobody else carries it around here), then home to my little place.

Saturday, June 17, 2017


Walked Kimball at 7:00 and was surprised to find it was already very warm. Went to T.O.P.S.; lost only a bit, but I know I'll do better next time. It was a fun meeting. I told them about me informing Betty that last week when I had to get my car serviced--I "just ran in and got weighed." She heard it as "just ran in and got laid" and everybody roared. I'm a little surprised I enjoy it so much because it's pretty pokey sometimes. Guess I just like the people there.
After a late breakfast, I stopped at the office to find out where Kimble Plumbing is. I think Jim didn't understand what I was looking for (I want to see if they'll lower the charge) and he directed me to "next to Penney's at the mall." Never found the place isn't there, so I wasted time trying to find it, but oh, well. I'm leaning toward just paying the damn thing, rather than asking them to adjust.
I went on into town and did my usual of park at museum, walk to library.
When I got home, I rang Suzanne's bell and we agreed to leave for Camarillo at 11:30, have lunch there, then go to the lecture on art and healing. She invited me in and we had a nice chat. Betty called; she's now tentatively thinking she'll rent her house out before selling it. I called Ellen to ask on progress on unpacking and it's coming right along.

Friday, June 16, 2017

At Ojai

Walked Kimball a little late, as I didn't get up until 7:00. The nurse was there and took my BP: 107/86, and 92%. I assume that's okay.
Had breakfast, tidied up a little, then drove to Ellen's. I was early--I'm always early--and drove around town a bit. Boy, was it hot: 85 at noon and up to 90 later. Happily, El has central air in her new place and it was so-o-o comfortable.
She's gotten a fair amount done, but there are still lots of unopened boxes around, of course. She showed me around and I ooh and aahed over this and that. She's going to sell her very large armoire; it's a nice piece, but just too big for the house. Sebastian seems to have settled in well after, according to El, being traumatized by the ride over.
Greg left for work, then El and I went to lunch. I had brought one of the luscious avocados--this one at the peak of perfection--Don gave me, plus some tangerines and little bottles of Chardonnay. El got a sandwich, then we went back to her house and the tentative plan was, I'd help her unpack. However, I got very sleepy--it must have been the wine--and lay down on her bed and napped for a bit. Got up about 3:30 and we said goodbye; she was going to rest herself.
I came off Route 33 on Main Street, parked at the museum, and walked to the library, as ever. Ran into Sharon there; she's in my T.O.P.S. group and was also in my Acting for Amateurs group. I'll see her this morning at the meeting.
Walked back, then drove to WinCo for tangerines, spinach, and chicken. Had swai and broccoli for dinner. I got some kind of document for El, called her, and I'll just hold it until I see her again.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Happy Hour With Nancy

Walked Kimball. Spent a lot of the day cutting and chopping a multitude of veggies for salad and stir-fry. (I like to have plenty on hand to cook up when needed.) Went to Wal-Mart for this and that, then to WinCo for same. Did a wash, then some stuff on the computer, then showered and got ready for my happy hour with Nancy.
We met at The Cave at 4:00. This is the restaurant attached to The Wine Company and we've been here before. I brought my tangerines, Nancy order her usual cheese platter, and we both had a very pleasant Chardonnay.
We talked and talked and talked, of course; in fact, we were there until 6:15. Nancy and her late husband, Russ, had traveled a lot. They had spent an entire month driving around France, for instance; how you manage that when you work full-time, I don't know.
We finally left, and I got home to find a message from Debra, she of the Ventura Strategic Plan for Seniors. She asked me to give her some possible dates for a meeting next week and said she'd send out an e-mail to the principals. The fact is, I'm heartily sick of the whole damn thing and would like to withdraw completely from that and even from Ventura Council for Seniors. However, I gave her the 20th and 21st--my anniversary--and I guess she'll pull something together.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Walked Kimball and was home before 8:00. After breakfast, I was in the 99-cent store when El called. She asked if I could come over and get some trash. Well, sure, I'm always happy to see her, I don't care what the occasion.
When I got there, a huge "Two Men and a Truck" truck was there with not two, but several, men dismantling Ellen's house. She and Greg were sitting on the patio and I joined them. I stayed a few hours, feeling slightly melancholy at the end of an era--we had some good times in that house, thought sentimental me. However, I got over it pretty fast.
Sebastian was in the downstairs bathroom and made his displeasure known loudly, but El was able to get him in the carrier with no problem. I said goodbye, garbage bags in my backseat, along with a Shark floor clearer--vacuums both carpet and hard floors--El gave me (she has a newer model) and drove off. I'm invited over for lunch tomorrow and am looking forward to that.
Went directly to WinCo for cold chicken and salmon, then to a store for a "pack" of four small bottles of Chardonnay. I'll bring them to El's, so we can go wherever for lunch (or call out) and if it's a favorite vegan one of theirs, their wine is lousy.
Nancy called with unwelcome news: It seems the Rubicon Theatre has only a few seats left for matinees today and Saturday, and they're not in good spots. (I'm going to Camarillo with Suzanne anyway on Saturday, so wouldn't be available.) I called and got the same news, called Nance back and we reluctantly decided to change our plans for today. She suggested we go to happy hour at The Cave today at 4:00, and I agreed. I'm disappointed about "The Other Mozart," but I guess I'll survive.
Left for town about 3:00, parked at the museum, and walked my usual to the library. Stayed awhile reading--I'm getting like all those old people I used to see in the Little Egg library, who presumably had nothing else to do. I don't care, though, as my aim was to add to my walking total and that's what I did.
Walking back to my car, I stopped at the original Ventura post office. It has very high ceilings and the walls above are decorated with wonderful murals of men at work. A plaque says they were painted in 1936-37 by an artist named Gorden Grant, presumably as part of the WPA. They're fabulous:
I used the Shark on the hard flooring and it works great! Can't wait to try it on the carpet and if it's even half as efficient, I'll jettison my old, clunky Hoover.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


Walked Kimball and for a change, I kept track of the time. I started out at 7:16 and finished at 7:47, so it took me 31 minutes to walk a mile and a half. Not bad, but maybe I can lessen my time somewhat.
Ellen called to ask if I could come to her place at 12:15, so I had an early (for me) lunch and got there then. She had already loaded her car with her large plants in planters, and we did the same with mine. I followed her over to the new house; Greg was already there.
Boy, I like this place. It's "quirky," yes (as El says), but it's a fun and attractive quirky. Of course, the kitchen and both bathrooms are newly done, as is the paint and some of the flooring. It was a gorgeous sunny day and Ojai can get very hot, but the central air made it perfectly comfortable. The house also has ceiling fans in many of the rooms, always a good thing. It's in a nice neighborhood and has some large outdoor spaces, including a kind of extra enclosed patio off the master bedroom.
We did this and that tidying up; of course, there was no furniture there, yet--that will come today. We left about 3:45 and I followed El out as far as Main Street in town. Parked at the museum and walked a bit, but not to the library. At this point, I didn't feel like it, so got home about 4:30. El called to see if Greg could bring over some trash they couldn't fit in their cans--sure, and he did.
Had swai, spinach, and cauliflower for dinner--very tasty.

Monday, June 12, 2017

This And Thatagain

Walked Kimball, natch. After breakfast and my Sunday thing, I went over to WinCo for this and that. Talked to El and found she and Greg were packing.
It occurred to me I'd like to organize the pictures on my PC, as much as possible. Started going through them and--good grief! I had thousands on there, including some I must have just clicked on to view. Others, I don't know how I got them, because they seemingly include virtually all the pictures in Atlantic City High School's 1956 yearbook. I know I had looked up Naomi Steelman, who graduated then, because I did a Sunrise Bay Breeze profile on her and Wayne several years ago. But all the pics on my PC? Weird.
I started organizing them into albums; not many, just "My Family," "Birth Family," "House on Sweetwater," and a few others, but I got so absorbed, after a break for lunch, it was 3:30 before I finished. I just had to get out and I wanted to add to my walk-count, so I drove to town, as usual, parked, and started off to the library. Stayed there reading for a bit, then walked back, so got the mile in.
El called and we talked for almost an hour. We made a date to take her plants to the new house today and I'm looking forward to seeing it again.

Sunday, June 11, 2017


Walked the walk. Spent time on the computer after breakfast, then zipped out to various stores for cauliflower, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and dressing. Had some for lunch, along with chicken, and cut up the cauliflower to slow-cook. Finally bought gardening tools; now I have all the components I need, except some of the actual plants.
I'm friends with Joe B. on Facebook; he's Jack B.'s son and I was alarmed to see that Jack is in Southern Ocean Hospital. I called my brother, Larry, to tell him and we had a good talk. He called me back later to say he had spoken to Jack, who's still in, and learned he had a bowel blockage. It was repaired and, seemingly, he's on the mend. Jack and Larry have been best buddies almost literally from birth. They went all through St. James, Holy Spirit, and Villanova together. In fact, Mrs. B. and Mom were also best friends for seventy or so years.
I had sent away for Pure Obsession wrinkle removal (and eye bag cream), received it and dabbed it on my face. Incredibly, it really does work! I put more on my left cheek than the right and that side is noticeably smoother. I think it kind of plumps up something under the skin. After complaining about it on Facebook, I should apologize, I guess.
Bought Father's Day cards for my two boys, son-in-law, and grandson and mailed the overseas ones.
Went to town and parked at the museum, my usual, then walked to the library to get my other mile in. This is getting to be a regular thing with me and that's good. Didn't get home until after 4:00 and found a letter from my adopted fair city, telling me I wasn't selected for the library commission. Their loss and, to be honest, it's probably just as well. I don't think I want to sit in on boring monthly meetings with politicians, as I can't generally can't stand that ilk.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

A Variety

Walked Kimball, of course, before I started my day. I could have kicked myself for making the car appointment for 9 am, because that meant I couldn't stay for the T.O.P.S. meeting. Did get in and weighed and found I've lost another 2.4--happy day! That means I've passed the twenty pounds off mark; I'm actually at 21.6 down. I then reluctantly Left before the meeting to take the car to Rob's Remedies. I was at his place for an hour while he took off the tires to check the brakes. Yes, they need to be relined or whatever, but it isn't urgent and I'll go back on Thursday, the twenty-second.
El called and we discussed getting rid of her king bed. I called some homeless shelters, but none would take any but twins. Nancy called and I suggested we go to the Rubicon to see The Other Mozart, so we will. Made a date for Wednesday next, as the Brits say.
Doorbell rang and it was my neighbor, Don, with four large, perfect avocados for me. I'm not sure where he got them, but I thanked him enthusiastically. We got to talking and somehow it turned to the military his daughter is in the navy and he was in the army. Without going into detail, I'll just say I expressed some pacifist ideas--Don asked what the word means--and he seemed startled. I doubt if he ever realized people could lean in that direction.
It occurred to me after he left that once in a while, I might consider keeping my mouth shut. Don was raised in a foster home, I think he's somewhat limited intellectually, but he's a good person, and I'm used to discussing--or debating--with others better able to do so. So, after I took clothes to the laundry room, I walked over to his place and apologized. He assured me there was no need, but there was, and I'm glad I did. Don's incredibly big and healthy tomato plants are his pride and joy, and no wonder. I admired them extravagantly and he invited me in to see his furniture. He had gotten it free from the complex because the offices and clubhouse are being redone. That's good.
Went to town, parked at the usual, walked to the library and back. Stopped and bought an addition to my container gardening ambition--I just need gardening tools, then I'll begin. Stopped at Suzanne's when I got home and we stood and chatted. She gave me two small tomatoes from her cherry tomato plant--so sweet and so good. I invited her in and we talked some more, with quite a lot about Don. She's known him for the ten years he's lived here and he hasn't had an easy life.
Seasoned and popped in the oven chicken leg quarters, cut and cook acorn squash, and boiled up a big mess of spinach--a yummy dinner. Went to Sprouts after and got blueberries, my evening snack of choice. Talked again to Ellen.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Coalition and Caregivers

Walked Kimball and was back here before 8:00. Called The Coalition at 9:00, as instructed, and after some back and forth, was told the driver would be at El's between 11:30 and 11:30. I drove over there and he got there promptly.
He was a nice guy--Mike--and he quickly and efficiently loaded everything into his truck. There was so much, it filled one whole side of the garage out to about four feet, but he did it by himself, even the high bookcase. In the meantime, Greg came home and El called from school. It's all finished, I told them, and stayed to sweep up a bit in the garage.
Went home and had lunch. Called my three "phone friends," then did some chores. Went to the library and had just time to get back, change my pedal pushers (or whatever they're called now), run a comb through my hair, and leave for the wine glass decorating at Caregivers.
This was a little get together for volunteers. It was fun--there was also some real wine to add to the festivities--and I decorated two glasses with the stencils and special markers provided. I'm no artist, but they were okay. We were told we could "set" the paint by putting the glasses in a 350 degree over for twenty minutes, then turning it off and letting them sit for ten minutes. I did this as soon as I got home and now they're stored on a high shelf, probably never to see the light of day again.
At 7:00 or so, I suddenly realized I had made a 9:00 with Rob for my car, forgetting T.O.P.S. is at 8:45--darn! Called him and left a message asking if I could make it 10:30, instead. Otherwise, I'll just have to get weighed without staying for the meeting.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017


Walked Kimball. After breakfast, I printed out the picture of Vivian with her MVP award; for some reason, I couldn't send it to Terri (she of A Passage to Barcelona, which I still haven't read). I knew I'd see her at the BCNN meeting.
Called my dear brother, Frank, in Alameda and we had a good virtual visit. His Marybeth is "fair," he said and they now have two aides to come in to help. He also intimated they may have new living arrangements before long--I think he meant an assistant living facility. How I would love to go up to see them.
Went to the BCNN meeting at 10:30; this was later than usual to accommodate the speaker, our mayor, whose schedule was tight. Saved seats from Sue, Doris, and Sherry, who go there shortly after I did.
The mayor's talk was actually pretty good. He had some pointed questions after--over development, water use, and so on--and handled them well. There are no meetings in July or August (not sure about August, but I'll get the minutes on-line), so we won't be gathering again until September. Chatted with my friends and a few others and had coffee. Showed off the pic of Vivian to Terri and others and of course, they oohed and aahed over it.
Sue and I then went to lunch at Stephen's, the Greek restaurant Ellen took me to first. Sue got some kind of sloppy gyro and I, of course, just ordered a glass of Chardonnay and ate my tangerines with it. We had some good talk and Sue showed me her new android phone, which I may get. We started talking about different interests and she highly recommended something called "Peter's Pond." It's from South Africa and you can see "elephants and tigers and all kinds of birds at a watering hole." I started laughing and said my children would love to hear this, as I'm about as much interested in animals as I am in the great molasses flood of 1919. Actually, I'm a lot more interested in that and have read a book about it.
When I got home, I had a message from the doctor's office to call, something that always alarms me. I knew it must be regarding my blood work, and it was, but nothing urgent. I was just told to cut my B12 to three times a week instead of every day. Will do.
Had a hard-boiled egg and broccoli to top off my lunch. Took my currency to the bank, but after a great deal of research and so on, they also said they weren't worth a thing. Okay, I think I'll use them as some kind of decoration or conversation piece.
Went to WinCo for fish and veggies; had fresh tuna steak for dinner.

Around And About, As Usual

Walked Kimball in what passes for rain here--a very fine mist that barely moistened my hair.
I decided to finally exchange all the foreign currency I have. Found a place in town that does that, took my bills and coins from various parts of Europe and Asia, and was told they don't do coins and my bills were all too old and no longer in use. What? But did they lose their value in the country of origin, too? Yes. Puzzling over that, I left and will see if BOA will do it.
I was called for jury duty, so decided to take my response to the Hall of Justice, which is only about a mile from me. Turned it in to a very courteous woman and she explained I call the Friday before, and so on. I found it interesting that in Jersey, you can be excused from duty if you're over 75, but there's no such exemption in California. (However, if you have a physical problem of some kind at any age, you can be.)
Went from there home and followed up on Ellen's request that a charity to pick up her items come before Monday. Got the Coalition for Harmony in the Home; they'll come Thursday, when El will still be in school, but I'll go over to receive them. The Coalition runs one of my favorite thrift stores, so that's a nice coincidence. Speaking of which, I stopped at one of my other favorites, the Bargain Box; couldn't resist buying two more succulents in attractive containers.
I'm giving El a house-cleaning as a new home gift and called Molly Maids to arrange to have them come next Monday, the day before her furniture comes. Talked to her and we got all the stuff arranged. Called Rob to change my Monday car check-up to Friday and also told Suzanne I wouldn't need her to pick me up on Thursday, after all. Whew-- lots of comings, goings, and complicated arrangements going on!
Late in the day, I went to the library and sat and read for a while. I'm listening to an audio book on divers who found a WWII German U-Boat off the coast of New Jersey (Brielle) and dived to the Andrea Doria. Intrigued, I took out a book about the latter. I'm also reading Linwood Barclay's Broken Promises; that's fiction, which I don't read a lot, but this is good. Stopped at Sprouts for tuna steak, which I'll have tonight. Cut up my small cauliflower and put it in the slow cooker; it was so good, I ate the whole thing for dinner with rock fish.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Widder Lunch

Got up earlier than usual and was at Kimball Park for my walk at 7:00 am. After breakfast, I finished up the box I had prepared for the beautiful and unique cards made by my daughter-in-law over the years. Showered and dressed for the widder lunch at Marie Calender's, but stopped first for a manicure. I wanted a spring-y color, but what I picked is the exact shade of Fleer's Double Bubble gum! Oh, well, I think it's kind of cute, in a teeny-bopper way.
There were seven of us at lunch, including my pal, Nancy. Vera couldn't come, as she was caring for her daughter in high school who, horribly enough, had an accident with the electric saw in shop class and cut off all or part of a finger--I didn't get the whole story yet. Of course, I took my tangerines, rather than order off the menu, and enjoyed my glass of Chardonnay. We had a fine time, as ever, and Nancy and I made a date to go to the movies on Friday. I understand that Yolanda's, where we used to meet and is being renovated, will be finished soon. We may switch our gatherings back to there or alternate. I don't really care one way or the other, but will go to either.
When I got home, I packed up the 37 vinyl records Ellen had left in my care and went to Grady's Record Shop. Had to wait around for a a half-hour while he examined them, but he offered me a price for them and I took it. Will give the dough to El, of course.
Went from there to town and stopped in my usual. Picked up a table mirror with silver trim. Should go well in my bedroom, either on the table or bureau. Had the swordfish for dinner and it was delish.

Monday, June 05, 2017

In Town and Trash

Walked Kimball. (I had skipped on Saturday because of the garage sale, but of course, I could easily have walked later in the day, but didn't.)
Did my usual Sunday thing, then set out for town under cloudy skies. Luckily, as often happens here, it cleared up later. I parked at the museum and, walking past the Clock Tower Inn, I noticed broken glass on the sidewalk. I stepped in to suggest somebody clear it up and could not find a single soul. I walked through the lobby, past the desk, into the atrium, and beyond that--nobody. I immediately entertained a powerful image of The Overlook, that haunted place in TheShining, expecting Jack Nicholson to charge out with a knife any minute.
Continued on my way and walked the half mile to the library. Forgot it didn't open until 1:00 on Sunday and it was before noon, but that was okay. I stopped and browsed in a few places, then went back. Stopped into the Clock Tower again and finally found somebody there. I showed her the broken glass and she said the county has people who would take care of that; she was surprised they hadn't come yet.
Fer cryin' out loud! If I had had a broom and pan, I would have done it! Why couldn't she just go to housekeeping, get the stuff, and occupy herself? Zeus knows she didn't have a helluva lot to do in her job...
...if it was her job. Maybe she had murdered the real employee and was... Oh, no, I don't think she'd have the initiative.
Anyway, I continued to my car. Stopped on the way home at the Cat's Cradle Thrift Store to look for containers and found two nice ones--plus it was a fifty percent off day, so got them for a song.
Home for lunch, then off again to replenish my B-12. Saw an estate sale sign, so stopped and got a pretty mosaic container. I chatted with the estate sale people and remarked how sad and pathetic it was to see a couple's possessions up for sale. However, I was told they were in good health, didn't have children, and decided to move to a retirement home, where they're doing well. That was good to hear.
Went to Ralph's because I have a yen for swordfish. Got some, as well as rockfish, which I put in the freezer, and three kinds of squash. El called, then came over to unload several bags and a box of trash.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Garage Sale

Up at 6:15, did a bit on this machine, drank coffee, packed my breakfast and lunch, and got to Ellen's by 7:30. I had been worried that there wouldn't be a lot of other garage salers, but there were several on another street in the complex and we opened at 8:00.
As usually happens, the bulk of the buyers came early--from about opening to noon or so. I had only a small number of items and no big-ticket ones; I had sold or otherwise got rid of most of my stuff before I left Jersey and jettisoned more when I moved to Ventura Del Sol. However, I did pretty well, Ellen even better, and what was left will go to ARC (Association of Retarded Citizens) for its thrift store in Oxnard.
What didn't sell of my stuff were three pretty needlepoint pictures in oval frames of roses that look antique, although they may not be. I had them hanging in my house in Sunrise Bay for years, but just have no room for them here. Along with one or two other things, I'm going to see if historic Dudley House might want them as donations; if not, I give them to one of the nicer thrift stores.
I brought my shoji screen and was disappointed to get no takers most of the day. I couldn't bring myself to give it away, so thought I'd try selling it on Craig's List. However, while we were packing up, a woman came in, offered me close to what I had priced it, which I agreed to instantly, and off she went with it. Yay! Not only did I not have to cart it home again (and I have to fold down both back seats to get it in the car), but I got money for it--close to what I paid 18 months ago.
I helped El a bit after, then took off. She and I had exchanged a few things our selves--gratis, of course--and I went home to put what I got away. I figured up what I actually cleared, and it was sixty-seven dollars. No fortune, but it's a nice piece of change and it was fun; the best part was being with Ellen. Also, of course, I got rid of stuff I don't need. I then took off to WinCo for provisions.
Later, I met Suzanne on my way to empty the trash. She had been to an artists' colony in Camarillo and we made a tentative date to go to a lecture there on the seventeenth. I also asked if she's be so kind as to accompany to Rob's Remedies when I get my car checked.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Short Entry

This will be very short because I just got up, am due over at Ellen's shortly, and have a few more things to get in the car.
Went to T.O.P.S. and I'm down another pound for 19 off. I was a tad disappointed it wasn't more, but hey, down is down. The rest of the day was practically all garage sale. I gathered together the stuff I want to sell today, loaded up the car and drove to Ellen's. She was busy with paperwork and phone calls with the mortgage company, turning off and on electricity, cable, and so on, she asked me to pick up some garage sale items. I got signs and price stickers, and so on. The two of us then spent the day--I didn't get home until 7:00--going through stuff, tidying up the garage, arranging and pricing. Let's hope there's a mob there today.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Blood And The Commission

It was a morning of unforeseen events and obstacles:
I kept my 7:30 blood test appointment (routine) and was out of there by quarter of eight. Quest is right on Kimball and I drove straight to the park and walked the walk. I had forgotten somebody is there on Tuesdays and Thursdays to take BP and oxygen and I had mine done. I got 120/70 and 97 whatever, which I think is okay. I said hello to another walker and when I got back to my car, she asked if I would jump hers. Sure thing, and we did. Drove off and found that the usual left-hand turn onto Telegraph Road was blocked by workers from the electric co.; had to go around.
Once home, I put in my toast. I noticed it seemed to be taking longer than usual. Yoicks! No wonder, because the toast came up charred to black. I took it out and prepared to put another in when the smoke alarm went off. Called Patti, she said she'd send Javier over, but it stopped by itself in a minute.
Ate, showered, and washed my hair, thinking all along of a plot for a play: character is due somewhere, but all kinds of happenings make her late. Would she avoid a hold-up or getting in a train that crashes, or...? Conversely, would being late make her come in the middle of the hold-up or in...?
None of that happened to me.
I was early for my appointment with the Harbor Commission. Chatted with a woman who was also being interviewed and found she had been some kind of executive director of something to do with boats--or something. I had debated with myself whether to withdraw, as it was Suze who really wanted me to get on the commission. However, I see no reason why I should run interference for Suze and the upshot was:
The council members were very pleasant, but early on, I confessed I wasn't really a good candidate for the harbor thing (although I do know Sue, who lives on a boat). I didn't even realize the same people would also be interviewing for the library and parks commissions. I confessed the park thing was really about the unleashed dogs on my part; the one I want most is for the library. We talked about that, I made my case, and I hope I get chosen.
Home for lunch, then put a wash in. Back and forth with that, then I drove back to town and actually--bought a belt! It's been years since I've worn a belt and it just gave me a lift. Walked here and there for a bit, then home to a dinner of salmon, spinach, and acorn squash. After, I hauled out a lot of stuff for the garage sale at Ellen's tomorrow. Also assembled, photographed, and posted on Craig's List the 37 old records she has--vinyl and they include the Beatles, John Denver, Culture Club, and many others. Added the garage sale itself.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

This And That And Nothing Much

Walked Kimball, although it was downright chilly. I should have put my sweat shirt on, but didn't think of it and walked anyway.
Got an e-mail from Marsha, director of the Health & Wellness Center at SCAN, asking that I submit an invoice for my stipend. Worked one up and added my expenses of another thirty some bucks to cover black printer ink and the binders I bought for the players.
Went to the 99-cent store for a few items and to WinCo for salad fixings. I added cans of kidney and black beans, figuring they were good additions for protein. With chicken, it always makes a nice lunch. Had a nice chat with the fishmonger (I'm hankering for swordfish and he should get some in this week) and introduced me to a fish called "swai." He said it was something like catfish, but without the unpleasant aftertaste. I haven't had catfish for years and I don't remember any unpleasant aftertaste, but I bought the swai.
Drove to town and the library to replace the audio book I had gotten--didn't like it--with another. This one is about two divers who discover a WWII German U-Boat sunk off the coast of New Jersey and lost for sixty or so years. Also got something by Linwood Barclay called Broken Promises. I don't read a lot of fiction, but this is pretty good.
From there, I went to the beach. I haven't been there for months--it's been chilly, for one, and I've been busy, for two. I got my chair out of the trunk and sat and read for almost an hour. It was heavenly, what with the sun and the sparking ocean and the sound of the waves.
Got a message from Sue confirming our date on Wednesday next for BCNN and lunch. She also asked if she could have a copy of her scripts. Hmm...I don't really like having them out there, but since she swore she wouldn't circulate them or tell anyone else, I agreed.
Seasoned the swai with Mrs. Dash and pan-fried it for dinner. Delicious and I'll add that to my seafood selections.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Various Some More

Walked Kimball. Spent some time on household chores, then drove into town. I was chagrined to find that the planter I had seen in one of the thrift stores on Monday, and wanted, but didn't want to pay as much as they were asking, and was told it would be forty percent off yesterday, so went back to buy it, but it wasn't there, so presumably, somebody beat me to it. (Hey, I could make this whole entry one sentence!)
Well, I can live without it. Parked in the place I usually do and put my books in a carryall to take the trek to the library. It's funny--and gratifying--that the half mile that seemed so long a few weeks ago, now was just the equivalent of a short stroll. When I got there, though, I found I had forgotten my reading glasses, so just dropped off the books and walked back.
I knew I'd pass Five Points Auto Wash on my way home and stopped there to finally get my little blue beauty spruced up. It was jammed, as usual, but I didn't care--sat in the sun and watched the passing parade.
Big salad for lunch, then went over to Ellen's. I hauled out the stored items that had been there since I moved to the west coast, mostly framed pictures. Using the same space, I exchanged them for some garage sale items I had stored in my trunk; I'll take more over tomorrow.
I remembered that El had mentioned her flowers needed dead-heading, so while I was there, I did some of that. Sentimental me, I took some cuttings of her ivy geraniums and another flower to plant in my patio (assuming they survive, never a certainty with me). Went back to the library and got out an audio book and another. Stayed there for a half hour to read a bit, then drove off.
Suzanne stopped over to say she had seen flames on the hillside behind up, but I knew that was a controlled burn (there were signs) and told her. We visited a bit; I knew she had been away over the weekend and she said she had been at a celebration for a sister--well, fellow sister--who was celebrating seventy years in the order--wow. Suzanne also kindly gave me a large container for the plants I intend to buy. Nice neighbor.
El called and reminded me she had asked if I not leave anything in the garage until Friday. Oops--I had forgotten, so will just concentrate on digging things out and getting them packed in my car for now.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Here and There

Walked Kimball under a cloudy sky and cool breeze. After breakfast, I put on my chef's hat and chopped (using my handy Chop Wizard) a large onion and two big sweet peppers. Put them in a container to stir-fry later with ground turkey. I then took out my apple peeler, corer, and slicer and did five big apples. I'm getting better at it and there's no question it's faster and less work than doing it all by hand.
I'm determined to spruce up my patio, so went to Lowe's and got potting soil, Miracle-Gro, and gardening gloves. At Bed, Bath & B., got a food cover for the microwave--I noticed a slit in my other one--and a new toilet brush. I had bought one last week at Wal-Mart and was annoyed to find it scratched the bowl. Threw it out.
Composed an e-mail to Marsha M., director of SCAN Health & Wellness Center (although she works out of Long Beach). In it, I expressed my appreciation of her staff in Ventura, telling her they couldn't have been more helpful and supportive during my "Acting for Amateurs" stint. Did some other business-type stuff on the Internet, then took off for town. The library was closed, but I parked and got my walk in. Stopped at one of the thrift stores and bought a large, very attractive garden container. It looks like stoneware or something, but I think it's actually papier mache,* so I'll have to keep it away from the rain, I guess.
After dinner, El called and we discussed the garage sale and so on. Now I must get serious about gathering things to sell.
* They don't know how to spell it, I guess just because it's French. It's a mixture of paper and glue, idiots!

Monday, May 29, 2017


While I was walking Kimball, Betty called to see how the show went. I called her back and reported it went well--better than I had expected. We talked for a half hour or so. After that, I sent congratulatory and "thank you" e-mails to my cast.
After my Sunday morning routine, I dived into a project I didn't know would take so long: categorizing the dozens of unique and wonderfully creative cards from my darling Japanese daughter-in-law has made and sent me. She is an artist--a real artist--and that's obvious. I wish I could show all her beautiful and intricate constructions, which I've been privileged to get for the past eight years. Anyway, it took several hours and I still haven't really completed it. I want to make stronger separations in the container they're in, so bought some poster board and will make them from that after I measure and cut.
It was almost 2:00 before I finished what's described above. I then rearranged some of the bedroom; I think I'll sell a few of the things I unearthed. Drove to Goodwill and picked up this and that, then home and walked over to Vons. I'd like to get the bumpy orange thing I bought at Sprouts a few days ago. It's something like a cross between an orange and something else, but it's not a tangelo. Vons didn't have one, so I'll go to Sprouts.
Happily, I slept well and got up refreshed this morning.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Day After The Day

I've really been neglecting a lot lately, being so involved with A for A. Yesterday, I started making up for it. I put all the myriad paperwork for the course away, stowing it in flat cartons on my closet shelf. Tidied up the rest of the bedroom and want to start deciding what I'll sell at the garage sale next Saturday.
I'm okay with losing the pound and a bit more a week I've been doing, but I know I can increase that--I'm shooting for two--if I go back to my walking regime. Okay, Mimi, start back at Kimball, and I did. Because I was so revved up after the show and late dinner, I didn't get to bed until about 10:00, so didn't wake up until 7:45, later than I prefer. By the time I walked the walk at Kimball and had breakfast, it was after 10:00.
Nancy called to ask how the show went and we had a nice chat. Sharon called just after, to mention I had said she could keep her script, but then I took it with me. No, no, I said, you can keep the binder, but I don't want my copywrited work out and around, which she understood and accepted.
Went to WinCo and got myself broccoli, apples, Romaine, cauliflower, sweet peppers, onions, and four boxes of delectable blueberries, which are getting to be my new addiction. I was pleased to get a call from big brother, Jim, and chatted with him for twenty minutes next to the cantaloupe bins.
Got home and made up a big salad for lunch, then cut up the cauliflower. Added olive oil, non-salt seasoning, and Parmesan cheese, and set it to simmer in the smaller slow cooker. I was determined to add to my walking total, so drove to town and parked in my usual on Thompson Street.
Walked to the library and and ran into Marie M. there; chatted with her for a bit, then sat and read. Walking back to the car, I stopped in a few stores. I almost bought a stone rabbit for the patio, but came to my senses in time. Main Street was crowded with people, dogs, street musicians, and a general air of holiday, which I greatly enjoyed.
Cooked up my salmon and had that and the slow cooker cauliflower for dinner. I slept pretty well, although with some restlessness, and got up at 6:30, which was good.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

"A Little Taste of Theatre"

Oh, boy, what a day. From the horrifying realization that I didn't have Internet access to the rushing to get ready for T.O.P.S., to leaving that gathering early in order to go home and have breakfast, then get to the hairdressers by 11:00--WOW!
Amanda did a good job on my color, but I was a little disappointed with the styling. I decided not to have it trimmed this time, but think I'll try another hairdresser; much as I like A. as a person, I don't think she's anything special as a sylist. Plus, she just raised her prices and it's getting pretty steep. We'll see.
Got home and had two pieces of chicken for lunch, then realized I have very little food in the fridge. Didn't have time to go out for more, but I did run over to SCAN to check on preparations for the show. I told Elissa and Brenda how I wanted the room arranged, helped with a few things, then left to Jessica Nails for a manicure. It was jammed--I should have known--but I was taken quickly and was out of there in less than an hour. Honed my intros, made up and dressed, and was back at SCAN by 5:00.
The room looked great! Everything was in place on SCAN's end and I busied myself taping show names to a table (so none of the players would be leafing through his or her parts), and tweaked a few other things, but generally, it was perfect.
I had asked Elissa to put "reserved" on the players'chairs in the back, and she made up printed "Reserved for the Talent" sheets on them; on my chair, she put "Reserved for the Director"--so cool!
The show itself turned out terrific. I guess about twenty-five people came--fewer than I had hoped, but enough to hearten the players--including my girl, Ellen, and my next-door neighbor, Suzanne. I gave a short intro, then introduced each of the playlets. I was amazed and gratified at the rapt attention of the audience--they loved it, paying close attention to the serious plays and laughing at the humorous ones. The players had improved with rehearsal, but being ultra-critical, I thought some still dragged their words, others spoke too quickly, emphasized the wrong words, or didn't react to situations. But Ellen assured me they had performed very well; clearly, the rest of the audience thought so, too. The only snag was--as I learned from Ellen--the programs weren't passed out until we were halfway into the show. However, compared to what could have happened, this was fairly minor.
After, I praised each player (sincerely to most, because overall, they did pretty well, but maybe here and there, a tad insincerely) and they all clambered to know if I was going to do another course. Am I? Dunno, and certainly not until fall, if I do. Also, I'd certainly re-design it, unless I restrict it to new people. We'll see--right now, I want to forget about it and turn my attention to other things.
El and I went out for a late dinner after. We had headed to Two Trees, but it was jammed and we went to Kyoto Sushi around the corner. I had albacore sushi--so delicious, as I had eaten nothing but a plain piece of bread since a light lunch--and a heavenly glass of Chardonnay.
Whew, it was over and I went home to sleep the sleep of the just.