Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Hair And S.S.

Walked Kimbell, had breakfast, stripped my bed, took laundry to the place, re-made the bed, did lots of stuff on this computer, went to WinCo for provisions, and then it time for lunch. Got that out of the way, showered, and left for my 2:45 hair appointment.
I had wanted a color and cut, but without enumerating the tedious reasons why, it took Christina SO LONG to do me, I skipped the cut, but still didn't get out of there until after 5:00, for Pete's sake. Possibly, that was because whiffy Christina talks and talks and talks about her ever-so-boring life and while she does, seems to forget I'm a customer. I finally escaped and no, I'll never go back.
Got home, changed, and left for the widder group ("Soaring Spirits," about the most idiotic and saccharine title I've ever heard, but at least it contains alliteration). Got there a bit after 6:00 to find Vera, Susan, and eight others, all widows of a variety of ages from about 45 to--well, yours truly; I'm resigned to "the oldest one" slot, which I occupy in almost any gathering.
Anyway, I bought my usual five tangerines and ordered my usual Chardonnay and enjoyed the usual talk and laughs. Susan has adopted a wolf in Indiana and will be visiting it on the preserve in a few weeks. Donna outfitted a closet in her (large) home for her boyfriend and showed us pictures. Elise lost her husband only a year ago and is worried about her 21-year-old fire fighter son, who can't seem to find a girlfriend. Carolyn, who lives in Ojai, said she'd let me know where her hairdresser works in Ventura.
Of course, all of us have our trials and triumphs and we share with each other openly. I'm very grateful to be in this mixed-age group, unhappy though the circumstances are that brought us together.

Monday, September 18, 2017

MeetUp and Vietnam

Walked Kimball, did the Sunday things, then spent hours (well, it seemed like hours) trying to straighten out the Meetup snafu. I'm not even sure if it's okay yet, but I'm so damn sick of it, I don't care.
After that, I suddenly galvanized myself and cleared out a lot of both my bedroom and hall closets. I removed a bunch of clothes, which are now too big; I'll donate them to either a thrift store or St.John's, where Suzanne works. Moved some things around, so I have more space for this and that. There's still plenty of things I need to do, especially go through the linen closet, which is just jammed.
Lunched, then went to town for the m. to l. walk. Stayed in the latter and read for about an hour. Home, I chopped up several peppers and onions--froze some and stir-fried the rest with ground turkey for dinner.
I saw the first episode of The Vietnam War last night. I thought Burns did a pretty credible job, especially in explaining the tangled history and incredible cruelty toward of the west toward that tiny country. Also, the part about Ho Chi Minh was riveting. Gee, that's funny, he's been portray as practically the devil with horns--a commie, that is--when this country could have so easily have been an ally and helped to free his country from the French. He appealed to the U.S. to do exactly that, but that would have been as likely as Trump reading Proust. Our system, capitalism, and its evil twin, militarism, would never have allow it. Incidentally, I've been to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, and I'd love to go back.

Sunday, September 17, 2017


Ho-hum, a pretty ordinary day. Walked Kimball, then after breakfast, finally used the nice red apples I bought the other day and made applesauce. Spent several hours on flyers for my new Acting for Amateurs class, plus revising and cleaning up some plays. I listed it on Meetup, but that got screwed up and I contacted the outfit. Hope I can edit and modify the listing. I want to send info about the class to the Ventura Star and The Breeze, also. Finished Laughing at my Nightmare and started on a book on hoarding.
After lunch, went to town, as ever, and walked the afternoon walk. Stayed an hour in the library reading about the Charles Starkweather murders and the Andrea Yates (drowned all five of her children) murders. I remember when both of those horrors happened, although the former was in the fifties.
Stopped at Goodwill and bought--A RUBBER CHICKEN! Yes, everyone needs a rubber chicken, especially an 80-year-old woman who lives alone. Okay, I just couldn't resist and I'll probably write a one-acter around it.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Good Day

Turned out to be a petty good (because different from the usual) day.
Got up to find an e-mail from my tenant, telling me she had sent me a text (I didn't get it because she used my old phone number) to let me know the lawn service had dug up the back yard horribly. I immediately called Prime Management (homeowners' association) and was told Meticulous (lawn service) had dug small holes to aerate the grass. They're coming next week to look over those who are complaining and I conveyed this to Eileen. She had also sent pictures to my phone--said she didn't know how to get them to this computer--and yes, it looks messy and chopped up. I assume they'll fix it.
All this was after I walked Kimball, but before I went to T.O.P.S. There, I found I had lost, but only six tenths of a pound, whatever that is. Last week it was only four tenths down and I'm going to modify a bit. I think the problem is that I'm eating too much fruit at night.
I saw Brenda, who said all was fine with my upcoming "Acting for Amateurs." Wow, I'm amazed they didn't squawk over the higher compensation I suggested; it's not quite twice as much as I got before, but almost. (Ha--should have asked for more!)
Anyway, Carole was there and said she was taking Doris to the Black Angus for her birthday and did I want to go? Sure thing, and I met them there at noon. Naturally, I didn't order off the menu, but brought my tangerines and ate them with a nice carafe of Chardonnay.
Doris is going in the hospital next week to yet again have her knee re-done. She'll have rehab after that--I hope this finally fixes her problem, as she has great difficulty walking. Anyway, I had a good time; it was refreshing to be with just the two of them.
Home about 2:00 and had a salad. After that, I actually lay down on the couch and fell asleep until 3:30. That pepped me up and I drove to town and did my usual walk. Slept like a stone last night.

Friday, September 15, 2017

"Nightmare" and Sleep

After the Kimball walk and breakfast, I realized I needed to replenish my veggie supply. Went to WinCo and got broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, acorn squash, zucchini, red and green sweet peppers, and lettuce. Added chicken and blueberries; I already have plums, onions, and apples. Spent the morning preparing my goodies: Used the chop wizard on the cauliflower, cucumber, and chicken and the mandolin on the zucchini; I'm holding the rest in reserve.
I was pleased that the book I ordered, Laughing At My Nightmare, came and I started it during lunch. It's by and about a young man named Shane Burchaw, who's now (I think) 22 and has a very debilitating muscle disease (SMA). He has never walked and, in fact, can do very little for himself. However, he has a great--sometimes bawdy--sense of humor. I'm also "friends" with him on Facebook and enjoy what he writes. I feel I know the whole family (parents, younger brother) and his girlfriend, Sarah.
NOTE: Darn. For the first time in an age, I had trouble sleeping last night. Got up about midnight for the usual, then couldn't get back. I even got up and looked at Facebook--probably not a good idea. Finally dropped off, but I'm a little draggy this morning.

Thursday, September 14, 2017


"Variety is the spice of life." Actually, the correct quote is "Variety is the very spice of life" (William Cowper, 1731-1800) Does that seem to conflict with the consistency thing? Nah, just depends on circumstances, I think.
Walked both walks, natch, and bought yet another sweater at The Coalition. Later, I go some household stuff done. Made an appointment at the hairdresser's for a color and cut--badly needed--on Monday at 3:00. I have dinner with the widder group that evening, a doctor's appointment (routine) the next day, and Council for Seniors the day after that.
Got an e-mail from Japan son to the effect that the four-year-old wants to know about his ancestors. Specifically, he asked for "Helen Byrne's grandmother's" name. H.B. is my mother, of course; her mother's name was Sophie Bub, but I'll have to search out her mother's name. Hmm...I have loads of family ancestry stuff on both sides, but I'm not sure I have that. I do know that Sophie's father--my great-grandfather--was Wilhelm Bub, of Alsace, Lorraine. I'll dig into my info and send him some.
When I was leaving for my second walk, Suzanne came out to ask about my family in Miami. I assured her they had all survived and, to my knowledge, their various properties hadn't been damaged. I refrained from making a snide remark, such as "must have been your prayers that did it." (Stop it, Mimi!)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


"Consistency, thou art a jewel." That's sometimes attributed to Shakespeare (almost everything is) or the Bible (everything else is), but nobody seems to know for sure who wrote it first. Seems to me it's the first rule of effective weight loss.*
Well, I'm nothing if not consistent: I walk the mile and a half around Kimball Park every morning and the same distance from the museum to the library and back every afternoon. Did so yesterday (as I have virtually every day for six months) and it occurred to me I may be in a rut. However, it's working and it sure beats sitting in front of the T.V. Also, I'm out and about among other people and for me, that's better than home alone.
Anyway, I stopped into The Coalition and bought a sweater--dark blue and with a kind of fringed collar. I know it's going to get cooler soon--in fact, I wore a light sweater to the park today--and this was a good buy. On my way back to the car, I sat in the park and called Betty to tell her I do, indeed, remember Mary Kale. We had a nice talk; her three children are coming in tomorrow. According to her, it's because they're worried about her and "want to get to California so they can take care of me." She said they think she's "losing it." I asked, "What do you think?" She said she forgets things now and then, but who doesn't? She has a point there.
Cooked up a yummy fresh tuna steak, along with fresh spinach and--yes, fresh--mushrooms.
*Hmm...but then from that old gasbag, Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Actually, I subscribe to both adages--depending on circumstances.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Usual and El's Birthday

Walked both walks, went to WinCo, and called brother Larry in Jacksonville, to find the electricity was out, but his daughter's house had suffered no damage. Irma, it seems, has moved on, and they'll likely go back to Miami today. I was prompted to call Larry because my friend, Sue, texted me to see how things were there. Nice of her.
After the afternoon walk, and a half hour in the library, I jumped in the shower, washed my hair, and dressed to meet Ellen and Greg at Jasmine Thai.
We had a good dinner and even a better time together. El opened cards and presents, including a picture from her brother and sister-in-law in Tokyo we were sure was of their just-turned-four-year-old. But no, it was a portrait of El's cat, Sebastian! N. must have taken it when they were here a few months ago; we all got a kick out of that.
Betty called just after I got home. She had run into an old classmate of ours from fourth grade, but didn't continue at St. James. I don't remember her at all.
Now I must get busy preparing for my new A. for A. class. Haven't heard back from Brenda, so will contact her within a few days.

Monday, September 11, 2017


Walked the walk and did the Sunday morning stuff. Did computer stuff but after, found myself sleepy. I know why: I had stayed up a little later than usual, for one. Also, I usually set the alarm for 6:15, but woke up at 5:30 for--well, I don't want to be indelicate here (ha!) I think that was why I lay down on the couch about 10:00 am and actually dozed off for a bit.
Got up shortly, though, and went out for this and that, including more blueberries (my addiction). After lunch did the m. to l. walk, then stayed to read for a bit. I found a book published in 2014 by a woman who started as a maid in a big English household. She writes how how things were in the thirties and, boy, the book is pretty absorbing. I took it out and will continue.
Yesterday was the anniversary of my number one son and his wife. It still seems almost magical that they found each other and, especially, are the parents of marvelous Mr. K., whose birthday was the day before that (but several years later). Anyway, it's a fine thing. And TODAY is my darling daughter, Ellen's, birthday. Lucky am I and even luckier that I know it.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

This And All That

Walked Kimball. After breakfast, I looked into the SCAN flyers I had made up for last "Acting for Amateurs" course. Will modify and take them to the VCS meeting on Wednesday, the library, and a few other places.
As I promised Carole, I called Sue. It turns out she's been having big problems with her knees. She's already had surgery and there may not be much alternative to having it again, which she doesn't want to do. Anyway, we had a good talk. I was interested to learn that this time of year, thousands of sea lions come up on the California coast and cause lots of problems, especially if you live on a boat, as Sue and Mac do. Sue isn't on Facebook and asked me to look at Almar Marina's page. There's a nice piece on Sue and Mac, as Mac made a manikin out of SVC pipingm which the sea lions take for real and stay away. I copied it and e-mailed here the piece and three pictures. Anyway, I left it at "when you're able, give me a call and we'll get together." Called Carole to report on Sue and said I'd send her the marina write-up, also.
After lunch, I stopped into the office to see the new decor. I'm not a fan of retro fifties style, but this is actually pretty well done. Talked to the assistant manager and learned I won't be hit with a rent increase this year. That's good, but considering I pay more than anybody else with a one-bedroom in this complex, I should hope not.
Did the usual m. to l. thing. Took out Everything Is Illuminated, which got rave reviews a few years ago, but I had never read. It's very different from the usual, but so far, I like it.
I had e-mailed Ellen to ask if I could take her and Greg out for dinner for her birthday, which is tomorrow. She said yes and we'll meet at Jasmine Thai at 5:00--looking forward to it, of course.
Got home about 5:00 and stopped to tell Suzanne that Sharon had finally come back to T.O.P.S. She invited me in and we talked for a half hour or so. Suzanne invited me to a diabetes group presentation on healthful cooking, probably in November. (Part of her job is to organize these things, in addition to other duties.) She's going to a conference in San Diego next Saturday and will be gone until the following Wednesday--busy lady.
After dinner, I was playing my Big Fish game on this device, when I was delighted to get a Skype call from son Mike in Singapore. Talked to him and the girls--now 13 and 9, they're getting so big and so beautiful--and saw their (relatively) new digs. The apartment is elegant, but on the nineteenth floor; great views, but it's a little scary. It was wonderful to hear see them.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Kimball, Lunch, and Mr. K.

Walked Kimball, changed, then sped over to T.O.P.S. I was somewhat surprised, but not upset, to find I had lost only four-tenth of a pound. I hadn't deviated from my usual, although I did skip my second walk on two days. No prob--I'll just chalk it up to a normal variable (whatever the hell that means).
The meeting was the usual combination of interesting exchanges and so-so limping along. Our leader, Lenny, conducted it, then was leaving for China at one o'clock in the morning. Boy, I'd love to go back there myself.
Instead, I did the next best thing: met Nancy for lunch at Mimi's Cafe. I had a coupon for two entrees for the price of one and we just applied it, then split the rest of the cost--(we thought). We had our usual good talk and both had the Cobb (it was named for a person, hence the capital "C") salad and glasses of Chardonnay. We didn't leave until it was almost 3:00 and I drove directly to the museum. Changed into my tennis shoes (formerly "sneakers") and did the walk, read for a bit, then walked back. When I got home, I looked on-line at my checking account and found I had been charged for both lunches. Printed it out, went back to Mimi's, talked to the manager, and it will probably be rectified by BOA in a few days.
Today is the birthday of a precious little boy in Tokyo, my younger grandson, Mr. K. Since his father won't allow either his image or his name to be shown on the Internet (except on "invitation only" Google Plus). I'll just say he looks like both his parents, is bright and exuberant, and today is FOUR YEARS OLD!*
* Well, this is a little anti-climatic: Where he lives, he was four yesterday.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Acting for Amateurs and Boring Books

Walked the walk, did a bunch of paper (computer) work, then stopped into SCAN to discuss the renewal of my contract for Acting for Amateurs.
Yes, indeed, Brenda wants me back, and we went over particulars of my contract. We decided on six sessions (as I had had in Jersey), with a performance at the end and I agreed to admit twelve, instead of ten, participants. She asked for what she called "an invoice," but said it could be in the form of a letter. I sent if off to her a few hours later as an attachment. Notably, I suggested a considerable increase in my compensation, based on the addition of sessions and so on. I'm willing to negotiate, though. I think I'll set up a Meetup page for this; it's fairly inexpensive and might be worthwhile.
Went to town as usual and had to admit I lost my library card. Got a new one with no problem, of course. I try to intersperse in my usual non-fiction reading some fiction here and there and picked up two books by some obscure mystery writer, who won some kind of even more obscure "award." Went from the libarary to Smart 'n' Final (the stupidest name for a supermarket--or anything else--I ever heard) and picked up some yummy fresh tuna steaks and other stuff. Called my brothers and Betty to tell them the news about Larry and the hurricane.
Hey, that sounds like a title: Larry and the Hurricane! Speaking of reading material, the two books I got yesterday bored the hell out of me after the first few pages and I'll take them back today.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

BCNN and Irma

Walked K., had breakfast, then changed and took off for the Beach Cities Neighbors and Newcomers monthly meeting at 9:30. They have a breakfast spread, of which I used to partake, but now just have fruit. Most of the stuff is sweet--muffins and so on--and even when I wasn't losing weight, I didn't eat it; I don't like sweet stuff in the morning.
Met Doris and Sherry there and they oohed and aahed, as we hadn't seen each other for some time. I wore my new straight-leg jeans, my shoe boots, and a white cam with maroon top over it. If I say it myself, I looked good.
The program was a fashion show, with members modeling clothes from Chico in Oxnard. It was only mildly engaging, but at least wasn't too long. Drove home after, did a few things and had lunch, then took off for town again. Did the museum to library walk after sitting in Mission Park and calling brother Larry in Miami.
I don't watch what passes for news on television, so haven't been following the progress of hurricane Irma news or even the northern California fire news. Until somebody mentioned it, I didn't realize Irma was still on her way. I wasn't able to get in touch with Larry and hoped that didn't mean he's been swept out to sea.
He hasn't, I'm happy to report. My niece, Elaine, put on Facebook that he, Helen, and one of their other daughters (they have four, plus two sons) were on their way up to Jacksonville to wait it out at yet another daughter's home.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

My Computer and Father Berrigan

Got lots done and was in a buoyant mood all day.
When I opened the door at 7:15 for my usual Kimball jaunt, I was charmed to find a beautiful little origami swan. It's not the usual kind, but is pure white and kind of pleated--just lovely. I knew Suzanne had left it, along with a copy of Time magazine. I wasn't nearly as charmed by that, but I know she means well.
After breakfast, I cleaned up a bit in preparation for Victor, the computer guy. He got here, as promised, promptly at 10:00. Cleaned up a lot that was slowing the 'puter, but said he was unable to remedy the Word problem. Therefore, he installed a (free) substitute called Office Something. I was fine with that as all my documents are there and I can now add changes. While he was slaving away over the damn thing, I called Nancy and we made a date for lunch on Friday at Mimi's.
As soon as Victor left, I hauled my clothes to the laundry place. Set the timer for thirty minutes and spent that half hour using my trusty Chop Wizard on first, a big cauliflower, then cucumber, then chicken. By the time I finished, I had to put the stuff in the dryer, during which I used up the forty-five minutes it takes to go to the 99 Cent store for a few things. Zipped back home, got my clothes, had lunch (later than usual this time, about 2:15), then left for town.
Went the usual m. to l., then read for an hour.*
It was about 5:00 when I got home and I rang Suzanne's bell to thank her for the swan. She invited me in and we talked for a bit--always a pleasure with her. In fact, I repeated to her the note at the bottom.
Had salmon, fried mushrooms, and Brussels sprouts for dinner; to me, all that is yummy.
BCNN meeting today.
*What I chose was Daniel Berrigan's We Die Before We Live.
A living saint (well, he was living until April of 2016), Father Berrigan has written many books. This one is about his volunteer work at St. Rose Hospital on the hospice ward. What he writes is both spiritual and thoroughly human. I now want to read more by and about him. I do know enough to know that the day he's canonized is the day I'll return to the Church.
Fat chance.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017


Kimballed my Kimball (I'm trying to jazz things up a bit, rather than start with the same thing every day. I don't want to omit the info, though.). After breakfast, I zipped over to WinCo for supplies, mostly veggies.
Called Alameda brother, Frank, who said he was "fair," which I think is an accurate assessment. His physical condition may--or may not--have improved, but he seemed a little more confused than he did. He used to follow the routine of a long walk, then a coffee shop every early morning; sadly, he can no longer do that. Called Virginia brother Jim after that. His Therese answered and we discussed her own "getting on" woes: She has had a neck condition for which she had surgery years ago. It's now worsening and she dreads the idea of having it again. She is an R.N. and knows the routine, I'm afraid. Think I'll call Florida brother, Larry, today, just to touch all brotherly bases.
Dressed for the widder lunch group and joined the gang at noon.
We had a new member: Elise, who lost her husband to cancer less than a year ago. The regulars there were Susan, Gayle, Carolyn, Donna, and me, and I had my usual: the tangerines I had brought myself and a nice glass of Chardonnay. You get a free piece of pie on Mondays--they even give it to me, although I don't order a meal--and I gave mine to Elise.
Went from there directly to town, parked at the museum and walked to the library. Wouldn't you know it was closed for Labor Day. That was all right, though, because I got my walk in. Got home earlier than usual, about 3:00, had a big dish of broccoli, then filled in my new password book. The old one was very messy with cross-outs and notations I don't use anymore.
Computer guy is due today at 10:00. I fervently hope he can get my Word back in shape.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Dudley House

Walked Kimball, had breakfast, did the crossword, and ran out to the store for blueberries. As I was getting in the car, I saw a tall, very thin man shuffling toward me on a walker. I surmised this was the "Ken" Suzanne had mentioned and was trying to help. I introduced myself and we chatted for ten minutes or so.
Ken has cataracts and can see very little. He can no longer drive and, according to Suzanne, is alone in the world. He had been an industrial engineer, never married, and seemingly, has no relatives at all. (That's a situation difficult for me to grasp, as I'm so rich in family, immediate and extended.) Anyway, I hope I can help in some way.
Showered, then dressed for Dudley House. My outfit looks good, but hoo-boy, was it hot with that stuff on. We're having a very uncharacteristic heat wave of 80s and 90s and Dudley House is not, of course, air-conditioned. However, I got there, Lynn and other docent, Connie, came shortly and I actually enjoyed the day. We had a total of nine people in four groups, all of whom were very interested and appreciative. I was simply a greeter, but I tried to incorporate some extra zing into my presentation by introducing myself as Caroline Dudley and giving a few facts about the house. The place is open for tours on the first Sunday of the month from 1 to 4. The three of us were able to chat in between "customers" and it was very enjoyable. I asked docent director Lynn for some brochures, which I'll bring to the VCS meeting this month.
Got home just as Suzanne did and I asked her to take my picture in the docent outfit. I changed and we then sat outside and talked for a half hour or so; always a pleasure to do that. Called Betty after dinner, as yesterday was the fourteenth anniversary of her Jay's death; we had a good, sisterly talk.
For the second day, I didn't get to the town walk, but will resume today.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Good One

An enjoyable day. After walking Kimball and breakfast, I fooled around with my Dudley House costume. Added a black ribbon for around the neck and a gold chain with a fish on it. I'll take one of my fans, of course; I'm going to need it, as Dudley House isn't air-conditioned. This is not, of course, the kind of fan I have going as I type. The one I'll take to Dudley House has a wood frame and is made of old, gauzy material. You fan it out, then wave it back and forth in front of your face to create cooling air. Interesting concept.
Called Ellen, who said she was about to call me, as she wanted to go to Ventura and look for extra sheets at thrift stores. She knows I frequent those establishments and asked for recommendations. I decided on The Bargain Box and Cat's Cradle, both high-end types. She asked if I wanted to get manicure, too--sure thing--and she made appointments at 4:00 at Jessica Nails for both of us.
In the meantime, I ran out to Wal-Mart for a few items, including a birthday card for Mr. K., soon to be four years old. I wanted to send it off yesterday, and the gift (probably from Amazon Japan) will follow. I ran into Doris there and we chatted for a bit. I see her on Wednesday at the BCNN meeting.
El got here at 2:00 and we set off for the stores mentioned above, with a side trip to the post office. She didn't find the sheets she wanted, as she buys only 100 percent cotton and these were blends. She did buy a decorative pillow for her sofa and I bought a rockin' purple kind of sweater shrug. We then went to our nail appointments, after stopping at Wendy's for iced tea. She got gel, I got regular, and we both chose soft pink polish. By the time we left, it was five o'clock, so El dropped me off and we said goodbye.
I was home before I realized I hadn't don't the town walk for the first time in weeks, if not months. I go to Dudley House at 1:00 so probably, I don't do it today, either, but that's okay.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Two Danas and the Townehouse

Busy day. Walked Kimball, then went to T.O.P.S. I was pleased to have lost another 3.8 pounds for a total of 34 off. Also, I'm now in the 140s (148.4), which is nice to know. We have a new member, Robin, who's on dialysis--I'm not sure the reason.
Had breakfast, then changed and tidied up a bit. Carolyn and her friend, Dana, came about 11:30. It's amusing that Carolyn's husband is also named Dana; I was told they refer to him as "Boy Dana" and her as "Girl Dana." We sat and talked for a bit; Dana was Carolyn's across-the-street neighbor for several years when they lived in one section of Santa Barbara; when they moved, Dana said, "I cried for days." She and husband--I assume they don't have children--bought a condo overlooking Grant Park just four months ago. She's 55, but retired and they go to Baja, California for annual, month-long visits. I suggested Jasmine Thai for lunch and we went there. It was good as ever; I had some kind of mild veggie stir-fry and a Singh beer.
After, we went to The Townehouse to visit Dana's mother, who lives there. It's been months since I've been to their Friday wine and music gatherings, but Activities Director Anne remembered me. I also saw Joe LaRocca and we greeted each other happily. Dana's mother has a nice two-bedroom on the seventh floor, with gorgeous views of the ocean. We were introduced, but unfortunately, she was in bed at the time; didn't feel well and she suffers with arthritis.
Carolyn and Dana dropped me off at my place later and I changed again, then drove to town. Damn, it was hot, but I walk on the shady side, so it was bearable. However, when I got to the library, I found it was closed because of the heat. No matter, as the walk is the important thing.
Stopped at WinCo on the way home and got lovely grapes, blueberries, and raspberries.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Nuttin' Much

The nurse--actually, nurses, as there were two of them--were at Kimball and my BP was better: 122/80. That was after my walk, though.
Nothing much going on yesterday except I spent a fair amount of time cleaning the apartment. Walked both walks, of course, and since I got up late, hot as hell. I decided I'd skip the afternoon one if it seemed iffy to walk in the heat. However, it was cooler in town and I walk on the shady side of Main Street, so I was okay with it.
I'm happy to say that "Victor" (Sacco or Sarno, I can't read my own handwriting), the computer guy, called me back and we arranged for him to come on Tuesday. Sounds like a classic nerd, actually.
I was annoyed with myself for sleeping so late--didn't get up until 7:00 and was afraid my little mechanical alarm clock didn't work. I set my phone to alarm mode and both went off as scheduled (6:15) this morning, so that's okay.
T.O.P.S. today, then niece Carolyn and her friend will cover over and we'll go to lunch.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Peace Boat

As usual, I walked Kimball, then sat down to breakfast with the Ventura Star. I was interested to read that Veterans for Peace (I'm friends with them on Facebook) had docked a "peace boat" at Peninsula Park in Oxnard. The article said they'd have tours between 1 and 3 pm and I determined to get there.
Called the computer guy somebody on Nextdoor recommended and left a message to call me back. I hope he does and I hope he can fix Word.
After lunch, I went to Wal-Mart first to get a thin black ribbon to add to my docent costume, then drove to Oxnard. Found the boat and its crew without much trouble and chatted with the captain, Jerry, and mate, Robert. They invited me to a covered dish last evening in Camerillo, but that's a bit far for me to drive in the dark, so I begged off.
Went from there to town for the afternoon sojourn. Sat and read for a bit in the library (incredibly, what I dipped into was a book on the Enron scandal, Conspiracy of Fools). By the time I got back to my car, it was almost 5:00.
When I got home, I saw that Suzanne had her door open, so stopped in to chat. She had told me about an elderly man--"Ken"--who lives here and has been having difficulty of many kinds. He may have had a small stroke and also, can barely see, as he needs cataracts removed. Suzanne took him food shopping, then helped him put the stuff away. She said the apartment is in great disarray and is also pretty dirty. The fact that he lives on the second floor is really problematic, it seems to me, as he's in his middle eighties and uses a walker. I know I've seen him around and asked Suzanne to let me know if I can help. She has a call in to a friend who works in human services, so we hope to get him help.
Haven't heard back from the computer guy. If he doesn't respond today, I'll call somebody else.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Council and Costuming

Things had been a little slow since I got back from my trip, but happily, they picked up yesterday. After Kimball and breakfast, I went out for spinach and blueberries, ate lunch, showered, then dressed for the Venura Council for Seniors planning meeting.
This consisted of just Suz, Lori (with yours truly, officers of VCS), and Debra Mansfield. We spent about an hour coming up with ideas for VCS programs and one was--ta dah!--me doing an entertainment spot, probably inprov. This won't happen until 2018, so I have plenty of time to plan.
Went home from there to change, then drove to town. Lynn W. had said I could be the greeter on September 1 (and that's coming right up, folks), then start my full-fledged docent stint in January. I dug out some of my stage accessories, now reduced to just a hat, some gloves and fans, and a few other minor items. That meant I had to find a full costume of--say, the 1890 period.
I looked on-line at "Recollections," which Lynn had recommended. This outfit custom-makes costumes and they're very attractive and quite authentic. They also run about 200 smackers for a dress, seventy-five or so for a blouse. Anybody who knows me knows I'd pay that for a (volunteer) docent job as soon as I'd slide down a White Sands dune like the kids did the other day.
What to do? Of course, I looked at the thrift stores in town. I found a long black skirt with buttons down the front at one and a long-sleeved white blouse at another. If I add a string tie, brooch, and flowered hat, I think it will look Victorian (or Edwardian), so will do for Dudley House.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


Walked Kimball, did the wash routine, called a few black-hearted corporations, such as the Ventura County Star, and went to WinCo for blueberries. I was horrified to find they didn't have any and they probably won't for a few days. What do they expect me to snack on at night, anyway?
I've been e-mailing Lynn W., director of docents at Dudley House (nice alliteration there) and the upshot was that I'll act a "greeter" this Sunday, tag along with tours until the end of the year, then be a full-time docent as of January. Yoicks--I'd better get busy on acquiring my 1890s oufit!
Did some computer work and otherwise occupied myself before lunch. After, I completed walk #2, read for a while in the library, then sat in Mission Park and called Nancy. We had a nice chat and decided we'd meet for lunch next week. Stopped at Sprouts on my way home and, happy day, they had blueberries, although they were outrageously expensive. Bought peaches, too, plus two tiny bottles of Chardonnay, just to have on hand.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Usual

About the usual: Walked Kimball, then settled in with the Sunday crossword after breakfast.
I finally finished unpacking and stored the suitcase in my car trunk. Spent the rest of the morning preparing spaghetti squash and cauliflower--I always like to have plenty of veggies ready in the fridge.
I hadn't really had the time or access to get into Google pictures and yesterday, I did. Indulged myself and spent a lot of time enjoying photos and videos of sweetie-pie Mr. K., in Tokyo. He's getting so big--he'll be four in just a few weeks.
Called Betty, who's having some difficulty with various situations. Talked to niece Carolyn later and we made a date to meet for lunch on Friday. Did the usual m. to l. walk, then stopped at the supermarket for a few items. Bought a nice lot of tomatoes and I'll cut them up, add oil and parsley, and have that as an additional vegetable.
I'm still frustrated with Microsoft Word Starter 2010. Not only would it not let me modify documents yesterday, but now when I click on "recent," older stuff comes up; I have no idea why. Also, it arbitrarily switched to "landscape" orientation and won't go back, even when I specify that. I looked up Geek Squad, but it looks as if it would cost me two hundred bucks for them. I'll see if I can find somebody to rectify things for less. I suspect this version has to be uninstalled and a different one installed, but I'm afraid to try to do it myself, computer nerd that I'm not.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Back in Town

Here I am, back in the Land of the Locusts. Didn't get home on Friday until 7:00 and I had left Ruidoso at 8:30 am. The shuttle was late, for one, plus the freeway was just bumper to bumper seemingly up the entire route. Suzanne was there to pick me up when I got in and when we got home, I immediately rushed out again to buy fruit. Jumped in the shower after that, settled in, and slept well.
Yesterday, I started the day with the Kimball walk--I don't want to give myself a pass on that. Spent a lot of time on what used to be called "paperwork"--now it's computer work, of course. Went to WinCo for fish and produce. After lunch, drove to town and did the museum to library thing. Went from there to Ellen's. We had a nice chat while she worked on laminating and trimming her students' little folders. Had yummy rock fish and good fresh spinach for dinner.
In between, I wrote out an account of my great trip to New Mexico for a few people. For some damn reason, Microsoft Office wouldn't let me save it, so I had to copy and put in the body of the e-mail message. Then, when I got up this morning, I found the computer had "no signal." Turned off, but no luck. Pulled the plug and that seems to have done the trick. But--how frustrating! I hope it'll behave now.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Day of Departure

Walked the walk. Changed my sheets, took them to the laundry place, and added a few other items. After going back and forth to dry and fold, I packed a few more things. Boy, I have enough for a month, I guess, but I'm afraid I always pack heavy. Besides, I have those new clothes I bought (like an idiot, maybe) and I hope I can wear them. Looked through my thousands of picture and found one of a certain couple going to their high school prom. I'll take that with me, along with a few others. Finished up all my bill-paying and other on-line chores, had lunch, then took off for town.
Did the usual. At the library, I sat and read for an hour, this time one I had read before: Dr. Nuland's How We Die. It might seem depressing or frightening to some, but I don't find it so; rather, it was absorbing in a kind of mysterious way.
Got a welcome e-mail from one of brother Frank's daughters, to the effect that he's now home and seems to be recovering well, at least physically, although it's still iffy. Called him twice, but no answer and left messages. I'll try again while I'm away. Brother Jim called, still mystified as to why our cousin is sending us e-mails on a very distance relative. Well, who knows?
Just got up at 5:00, a few minutes ago, and off I'll go to the shuttle shortly.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

An Old "Pal"

Walked Kimball, had breakfast, then spent a considerable amount of time selecting, folding, and packing clothes to take on my trip. I probably have too much--I always pack heavy--and can't decide whether to bring my bathing suit or not. Maybe I will, although I doubt if we'll be swimming.
While I was at this computer, my phone rang. When I answered, a male voice said what I thought was "Hello, slob." I was taken aback; had no idea who it was, but it was my old pal, Jimmy D. He had actually greeted me with"hello, snob," in reference to my correcting the English on one of those moronic "inspirational" quotes he had posted on Facebook (It was from taken from a page pretty obviously written by subnormal third-graders.)
Anyhoo, he wanted Betty's phone number; they had been an item sixty years ago. I gave it to him and he said he was in Jersey, along with "Mollie." His girlfriend? No, his dog, which used to be his wife's, who died six months ago. I had met them for breakfast almost three years ago and here's an overview from my blog of October 22, 2014:

--Jim hasn't changed one iota--not even a smidgen--since he was the teenaged boaster and braggart I knew as a girl. He and wify got to Romanelli's just as I did and we sat down to catch up. She, by the way, is very nice; a little country girl from Minnesota, she's small and thin with a warm manner and sweet smile. We both endured Jim's non-stop yakking: "I play a lot of golf, I was on a golf tour, that's how good I am; my daughter's a multi-millionaire, she adopted a girl from a white trash family, but they have good genes*; other daughter was with Facebook for two years, she's married to a cervical specialist**; we've been to fifty countries, we go on a lot of cruises, we have two coming up soon..." and so on and on. He also whipped out an android so he could show me the inside of his "villa" in Texas. It's decorated in the boring kind of pseudo-southwestern that features too much oak and wrought iron, but I dutifully expressed admiration. My tooth was still sore, so I ordered very soft scrambled eggs. We spent only an hour or so together (they had driven from Texas and were heading back), but before we parted, I handed Jim the fifteen or twenty letters he had written me in 1955 and '56. He seemed a bit aggrieved I didn't want them, but I'm sure Lou will be interested. I assured her we were never a couple; he and my twin were. We hugged goodbye and drove off. It was a pleasant enough interlude, but I barely know the twenty-year-old girl involved and I was anxious to get back to my real life.--
*I can't figure that out, either.
** Have no idea what that is--gynecologist?

Went to town after lunch, where Betty called to say Jim had called her and was taking her to dinner tonight. Ho, ho, I can't wait to get a report. Walked and stopped to buy a small wallet-type purse; my other is too big and bulky and I don't want to take it on the trip.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wal-Mart and Salinger

At the start of my Kimball walk, I ran into Irene (not literally) and we stopped to chat for a bit. Got my BP done after and it was 98/60, still pretty low, but I feel fine.
Went to Wal-Mart for a few things and happened to see some nice leggings and tops, very inexpensive. Bought several for my trip to NM. Didn't try them on until I got home and found I needed a medium, not a large, so took one back and exchanged it. Took a wash to the wash place; ran the dishwasher; prepared a spaghetti squash; and started pulling together the clothes I'll take on my trip.
Took off for town after that for my second daily walk. At the library, I was delighted that the bio of J.D. Salinger I had requested had come in. After a decades-long hiatus, I'm reading him again. Have finished Raise High the Roofbeams, Carpenter and Seymour, An Introduction. I'm now in the Zooey portion of Franny and Zooey and if there's a more absorbing long short story (or novella), I've never read it. It's so good I never want it to end.
Rang Suzanne's bell at 5:00 when I got home. I wanted to get Don's number and ask if he might take a twenty to drive me to the Sheraton for the shuttle. However, Suzanne offered to do it herself, which was so good of her.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Kimballed first thing, of course. After breakfast, I checked out my ticket to NM, for which I paid already. Drove to the Sheraton Four points on the waterfront to find out about the shuttle. Yes, the Airporter goes from there, but if I left my car, it would cost me another seventy bucks. Called some cab companies to find getting to the Sheraton and back would cost me forty-two dollars! Hell, no, I'll find another way.It's only six miles away, but a bit far to walk.
Called the paper to suspend for a week, stopped at the post office to fill out a "hold" card, and got a call from brother Jim, asking why our cousin, John, kept sending him e-mails about distant cousin, Tony. Well, you got me, but I guess he thought we'd be interested.
Betty called. She's still having pain, plus other unpleasant internal symptoms--things aren't working properly. I hope she calls the doctor back and they try something else. Anyway, she asked for brother Frank's phone number, which is something else that's worrisome. Why? Because she's asked me for it at least three times in the last ten days or so; of course, I gave it to her, but this forgetfulness seems to be increasing.
Did the usual walk in town and when I passed The Coalition Thrift Store, I noticed three women discussing the plate displayed in the window, which is marked $25.00. This is the pattern of which I have six shallow bowls and I had wondered about them before, On a hunch, I asked if they knew something about it. Why, yes, one of them did; she told me the design was called "Indian Tree," and that it was used by several china makers. Looked it up when I got home and found my exact make; it seems they sell for twenty bucks each and I have six, but I'd rather keep the bowls.
Stopped at SCAN on the way home to drop off some reading material our new T.O.P.S. director, Lenny, gave me to read. I skipped over a lot of it--very boring and I have no interest in the conduct of the meetings. I did ask the office assistant, Elissa, if I could come in Thursday morning and weigh myself; she said sure. I just want to use the same scale I have every week since March, and keep track, even though it won't be an "official" recording.

Monday, August 14, 2017


Walking Kimball started a so-so day. Did the usual Sunday thing--breakfast, newspaper, crossword puzzle--then cleaned the coffee maker, but after, it was still only 9:15. Went early into town, although I knew the library dosen't open until 1:00.
Did my second walk, home for lunch, then completed a few household things. Later in the day, I drove to Grant Park, way up in the hills. I had forgotten about this place, although Ellen had taken me there several years ago. It was a little hairy driving up there, but the views on all sides are just unbelievably magnificent. You can see a sweeping views of the whole town, plus the beach, pier, and ocean on one side. On the other, huge mountains, one after another, loom up, all of them wreathed with pure white clouds. It was spectacular and now that I know I can, I'll drive up there again.
Stopped at the library and read Morris Berman for a bit. Based on ominous indications, he believes the empire is crumbling and so do I. Stopped at Wal-Mart on the way home to take my BP. It was 126/70, which is considerably higher than it has been. Not sure why, but oh, well...

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Nothing New

Kimball-walked first, as ever (I'm trying to avoid the "walked Kimball" mantra). After breakfast, the doorbell rang; it was Assistant Manager Jim to tell me I had again parked in my neighbor's space! I was so embarrassed--how could I have done this a second time? Anyway, I immediately moved the damn car, then took off for Wal-Mart.
I was looking for the sleep aids I've been taking for ten years. They had none of that kind. Talked to the pharmacist, who said the idea is, they can make you ga-ga, as they contain benedrill (I know that's not how to spell it), disguised under the name of diph-something . Well, I'm ga-ga enough, but usually, I sleep well. After discussion, he suggested I take allergy meds, which have the same ingredient. I bought some and we'll see how they work.
Lunched, then drove to town via Foothill Road. On my way, a car behind me kept flashing his lights. I pulled over and the guy said my left taillight was out--told me I could get a ticket for that. Nice of him and I went directly to Auto Zone. I bought a light and the manager put it in for me, so I could continue on my way. Parked at the library, walked the usual and back, read for a bit, and came home.
Nothing much else going on and I'm now going to turn my attention to preparing for my trip.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

T.O.P.S And So On

Walked Kimball, changed, then went to T.O.P.S. I was delighted to find I've reached the thirty pounds off mark--happy day! Now I'm looking forward to another milestone: getting into the one forties (I'm at 152.2 now.)
Didn't get breakfast until after 10:00, then drove over to Ojai to get my senior pass for national parks. It was ten dollars, as I had been told. Lenny (Lenore), our new T.O.P.S.leader had said her husband--a retired minister, incidentally--was distributing the passes for the forestry service and they cost twenty dollars apiece. I'm puzzled over this; surely, he isn't surreptitiously charging double to make himself a little something on the side, is he? Or maybe he just got mixed up, I dunno. Left a message for Lenny with the news.
By the time I got back to town, it was almost 1:00. I was hungry, but decided to do my second walk before going home. Did so, and didn't get lunch until 2:00. Just as I was finishing my salad, Suzanne came over.
She said she had a good time in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Indianan--all places that seem as exotic to me as Addis Ababa--and showed me pictures of the retreat house and her aunt's ninetieth birthday. Happily, I didn't kill the African violets and orchid she had entrusted to my care and she brought me a nice bag of cherries as a thank you. We talked for about an hour; what a wonderful neighbor she is and I'm glad to see her back.
As soon as she left, I went out to get lettuce, sweet peppers, and a few other staples. Made ground turkey stir fry for dinner.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Back to School

Walked Kimball,* had breakfast, then went back to school.
Yes, I entered third grade at Olivelands School and assisted the teacher in getting her classroom ready for incoming students (they start next week). I sharpened about sixty pencils--luckily with an electric sharpener--then wrote numbers from one to twenty-six on them with a marker. I opened packets of individual sharpeners, scissors, and erasers and numbered them, too. I helped the teacher with a number of other high-level jobs, such as handing her things to put on the walls.
We brought our lunches and ate there and, actually, I enjoyed it immensely. Left about 2:00 and drove directly to town. Was able to squeeze into a spot at the museum and did my usual walk to the library. Stayed there reading for a bit and got home by 5:00. Rang Suzanne's bell, but she didn't answer. I'll probably see her today and will give back her African violets, which seem to have survived my care.
* BP is still low: after walking, it was 96/60, but with a pulse of 76 (98%), which I understand isn't bad.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Dinner With El

Walked Kimball, natch, then went to the farmers' market at the mall after breakfast. I got green leaf lettuce, Japanese tomatoes and cucumbers (these are very long and thin), regular tomatoes, a round yellow cucumber, limes, and broccoli. Zipped over to WinCo and got some wild-caught, no-color-added salmon. I wanted to make a nice dinner for my guest--ever so elegant Ellen (ha!). It's great to buy directly from the farmers and I still have some of the county-given coupons left.
Got a call from the solar panel company to say they want to send somebody to put "fencing" or something around the panels. Also, they want to send an electrician to check and make sure the electrical wiring is still sound--or something. Once I ascertained there's no charge for either, I acquiesced. Called my tenant, Eileen, to inform her and gave her the number so she can call and set a convenient time. After lunch, I drove to town, but couldn't find a place to park at or near the museum; they were all taken, presumably by fair-goers. No prob, I just reversed my usual procedure.
El got here about 5:30 and we chatted, then sat down to the fish 'n' veggie dinner. Her sewer is still being worked on, but may be finished by today. She enjoyed the meal (I added broccoli and spaghetti squash to the salmon and had mixed fruit for dessert) and so did I--mainly because I was with one of my favorite people. She stayed to watch Rachel Maddox, then went off, but not before asking me to help out a bit at school today. The kids come in a week from today--they always start early here--and she's been preparing her classroom. Sure, I'll be glad to.
Neighbor Suzanne got in late in the day. I saw her car, but she must be exhausted and I'll wait until she knocks on my door.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Good News and Nails

Walked Kimball. The nurse was there and here's my BP before walking: 110/40; after: 116/64. I still think that's too low, but feel fine.
Had breakfast, put wash in, then Ellen called. She asked me to pick her up at Pep Boys at 5:00, then we'll go to Jasmine Thai for dinner. Yes, indeed, I'll be glad to.
I called brother Frank again and was thrilled and overjoyed that he answered. He sounds just like his old self, strong and joking--oh, happy day! Called my sibs with the good news and e-mailed his children. His daughter, Francine, wrote back to confirm that he's improving rapidly. She said he'll probably be in the hospital for a day or two more, then recover fully at Mercy Central where his Marybeth is.
After lunch, I finally went to Jessica Nails for a pedicure. I find it a horrid ordeal, but love the way my toes look after. Drove from there to twon, did my walk, then met El at Pep Boys, picked her up and we went to Jasmine Thai. I ordered off the menu, even had a beer, and boy, was it good.
Back to Pep Boys, where there was an interminable wait for El's car. She had made an appointment for 5:00 on-line, had a confirmation, but somehow, the incompetent boobs there didn't have. It actually took them two and a half hours for an oil change and to rotate her tires. They did, at least, have the grace to give her a coupon for a free oil change next time.
Anyway, got home a bit before 8:00. El will come here for dinner tonight, as the sewer guys have to use that time, also. Think I'll serve some kind of fish, plus veggies--what I ordinarily eat.

Widder Lunch and So On

Walked Kimball. Called my dear brother, Frank, after breakfast, but he didn't answer. Left a message to the effect I'd call later. I understand he's out of ICU and hope he's recovering.
Called Betty, who was just coming out of the doctor's office. She said she had had bad pain the night before. However, the doctor said he didn't know what was wrong; she seems to have had every test possible. Of course, she's most worried (as am I) that it might be a return of cancer. All the tests are negative, though.
I have a hankering--you might even say a craving (could I be preggers?)--for spaghetti squash, but they had none at WinCo or Von's. Finally found it at Ralph's.
Got to the widder lunch and was pleased to see Donna, who hadn't been there for several months. Why? Well, it seems there's a gentleman friend in the picture now and I'm happy for her. I was surprised to see Chuck and Pam there, too. Although they've moved to Arizona, their (prefab) house isn't ready yet, so they came back for a visit. Nancy was there, of course, and I had a fine time at the end of the table with her, Gayle, and Sharon. I ordered my Chardonnay, brought out my tangerines, and happily joined in the chatter.
Drove directly to town after, getting there about 2:00. Walked to the library and started reading an old favorite of mine: J.D. Salinger and boy, he was a master. I checked out the book, so now I have three going at once, plus the audio book in the car. Typically for me, two are non-fiction, but the other two not.
Got a phone call from a certain ten-year-old to thank me for my card and gift. Can't wait to see him in a few weeks.

Monday, August 07, 2017


An interesting, diverse day. I walked Kimball, did the Sunday thing, then jumped in the shower and dressed to go to the Wicked's Brew. Got there about 11:45 and T.J. was up on a kind of cage/stage playing and singing. I had had breakfast and it was too early for lunch, so I just ordered a mimosa. It came in a tiny glass and was surely 90 percent orange juice, but oh, well. Shortly, a lone person walked in and sat near me. I heard him tell the hostess he was a friend of T.J.'s, name of Chuck, so I introduced myself and we had a good chat. Chuck is also a member of Songmakers, which I surmised is a kind of loose group of players and singers that maybe help each other out with gigs. After about 45 minutes, T.J. took a break and came down to talk to us; he appreciated the fact that I came.
I left shortly after, as I was to be at Dudley House at 1:00 and almost walked out without paying the bill. I probably should have, as I was shocked to see they charged $8.62 for a mediocre and tiny drink. Like a jerk, I added two bucks for the tip--well, it wasn't the waitresses fault--geez, I could have gotten a whole breakfast for that.
Got to Dudley House and Lynn, coordinator of docents, soon appeared with Cherie, president of the Ventura Heritage Society. I was asked to look over some costume pieces in the basement. I did, and selected a blouse, hat, and shawl I think will fit; I'll augment it with a long black skirt, or whatever. I joined Cherie's tour and accompanied a family. Cherie is very good and I loved it myself. Lynn then asked if I'd stay for her tour, so I did. Lynn is not as good a speaker, but was okay. After I completed hers, I said goodbye and promised to be in touch.
Changed and had lunch; by then, it was almost 3:00. Drove to town, parked at the library, and did a reverse walk. Walking back, I noticed that the meeting room at the library had a "Hiroshima Holocaust" talk. Impulsively, I walked in, just in time to hear a councilwoman or somebody talk about undocumented immigrants. I asked a woman if this was about the atomic bombs dropped on Japan and she said yes, but it's a peace group. In truth, it's the same group whose members seem to have a blind spot when it comes to American aggression. I expressed that to this woman--Cindy, but she's surely in her seventies--and she said she'd like to call me. I like you to, I said, and gave her my card. I hope she does, it would be nice to get to know somebody who doesn't think television news is unbiased information.
Anyhoo--stopped for blueberries at WinCo before I got home; had swai and acorn squash for dinner after a good, active day.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Goings On

Walked Kimball, broke my fast, then spent a good portion of the morning paying bills, transferring moolah, and straightening out some not-so-serious items. Went out and bought paper products of this and that. Used my handy Chop Wizard to chop up a cauliflower and had that and salad for lunch. Wrote back to dear Mr. K., my Tokyo Toddler, who sent me a letter. Hmm...he's not really a toddler now, but will be four years old next month.
Drove to town for the usual walk and spent about an hour in the library reading Planet of the Blind, by Stephen Kuusisto, a blind poet and director of student services at a school for the blind in NY. Boy, this is some book--I really felt a kinship with this guy. I was taken aback to see it's almost 20 years old. The author has a blog which invites comments and I sent him one.
I texted Nancy about possibly meeting me at the Wicked's Brew for the brunch with T.J., who's playing today, and was pleased that she texted back she's be there. However, she then called me to explain she thought I meant the regular widder lunch on Monday, and probably will not come today. No prob, although I hope somebody to whom I mentioned it, takes me up on it. If not, I'll just go myself. I'll then go to Dudley House to join the tour for which I've offered myself as a docent in the future.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

T.O.P.S. And Chairs

The usual Friday: walking Kimball, then T.O.P.S. I lost 1.2 pounds this time and, considering various deviations from the norm, I was pleased. I'm looking forward to thirty pounds off next week; ironically, I'm now at 29.4.
Breakfast, then I did a few household chores. Took Jim, the assistant manager here, a bowl of my applesauce; he had moved something for me a few weeks ago. He had refused payment, but knowing I made my own applesauce, jokingly asked for some of my next batch. I took it over and he was appreciative.
Loaded my kitchen chair into the care, then took off for Ojai after lunch. Went to the thrift store where I had seen the two chairs and yes, they're as close to a perfect match as I'm going to get. We bought the kitchen set about 45 years ago at The Workbench in Princeton. They're Swedish modern, in blond wood with rattan seats and have slightly curved backrests. I sold the table before I came to California and took only four chairs, although we had had not six, but seven. I can't recall why we bought the extra one.
Called El, then texted her, but when she called me later, I found she had been in Ventura at the podiatrist. She needs something done to her sewer system and the water will be off part of the time on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday next week. She'll go into school to prepare for the new year, but suggested we could have dinner together on those days. Yes, I'd love to, and we will.
From Ojai, I drove to the library and reversed my usual museum to library walk. Boy, was it hot, but I was fine. I found books by that Michael Connelly the non-serial killer mentioned yesterday and took one out. It's pretty good, actually, and I reserved his newest.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Goodbye to Ojai

It was delightfully cool in Ojai in the morning and I sat outside reading for an hour.
Later, I decided I'd at least approximate my daily Kimball walk; yesterday was the first in almost five months I hadn't done it. Drove into town and walked for a half hour or so. I stopped into the "New 2 You" thrift shop and saw two chairs that I think are identical to mine. I've been waiting to get two more, as I brought only four with me from Jersey, so I asked the owner if she would hold them for me. I'll bring in one of my own chairs today and buy hers if they match. She agreed.
I had parked down the road and when I went to walk back, I noticed a fire hydrant was being flushed and there was a river about three feet across at the curb. I had no intention of wading into it, so I asked a man about to drive out of a body shop if he would just get me across in his car. He said yes and when I got in, I asked , "You're not a serial killer, are you?" He said he wasn't, but they he read a lot of books on crime. I said I do, too, and he asked if I had read any Michael Connelly. I hadn't, but they guy said Connelly is a good friend of his and had dedicated his book, City of Bones, to him, my rescuer (John somebody). You can be sure I'll look in the library to get the book.
Got home and Nancy came at noon. I showed her around Ellen's house to oohs and ahhs and then drove us to Co' Marco, a restaurant I always liked. I actually ordered off the menu--a caprese salad--and we both had a glass of Chardonnay. After a leisurely meal, we went back to El's and I poured us each another. We sat talking until about 3:30, when Ellen and Greg came in. Said goodbye to Nancy, chatted with E. and G. for a time, then gathered up my things and went off.
Since I pass the museum on my way home, I parked and walked the usual. Boy, was it hot; I think 85. By the time I got home, it was almost 6:00 and I just jumped in the shower first thing. That was heavenly and, after a sketchy dinner of shrimp and spinach, I vegged out, was in bed by 9:00, and slept like a stone.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Ojai And VON'S

Walked Kimball, had breakfast,showered and dressed,then packed for my overnight adventure. It's hard to believe I "need" so much for one night, but I did have to take a change of clothes and shoes, plus bedclothes, plus toiletries, plus books, plus food (as I still want to follow my regimen), and so on. Got to the BCNN meeting by 9:30 and sat with Doris and Sherry. Endured a program on service dogs and got to El's by twenty of twelve.
Fed Sebastian and unpacked. Went to VON'S, the only game in town when it comes to supermarkets, got shrimp, and was "served" by a young man who treated me with something just this side of rudeness. (See more or this topic below.) Put the stuff away and had lunch, then locked up and drove to town. I walked around a bit, then noticed a "trolley-bus" stop. I decided to get on.
This went all around Ojai, with just a few people on it and, at one point, it was just the driver (Barry) and me. We had a nice chat as he drove, which I enjoyed along with the tour. Didn't get back to my car until 3:30 or so. Drove back to Ellen's, checked on Sebastian, asleep on the bed and he hadn't moved a whisker, then got on her computer to check my e-mail. I can do this on my phone, too, but it's not as convenient.
Had a little trouble deciding where to sleep last night. It was very warm in the guest room; I know it cools later, but I go to bed early, so decided to hit the couch. I slept for a bit, but "fitfully," as the saying goes, and switched to the guest room, after all. With the fan going, it was fine and I've always liked the nice, soft, queen bed in there.
Got up a little after 6:00, and drove to VON's for coffee. I was annoyed that they hadn't made it yet, and there was a woman in front of me who had four of the largest containers ready. Finally, it was put out by one of the silent, sullen employees VON'S seems to attract, and the woman drained it. It took even longer for the second carafe to be put out, again without the slightest hint of an apology, "good morning," "drop dead" or anything else. I fell into conversation with the woman after me and we agreed on the incredible lack of customer relations skills by VON'S employees. She mentioned that she works there, herself, but in the office. Too bad, as she was very friendly and pleasant. She recommended that I write my complaints on the VON'S web site, which I surely will.
Anyway, aside from all that, I'm having a good time on what feels like a mini-vacation. And hey--it's free! (Aside from Kitty Kare, that is.)

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

The Usual, Plus Ojai

Walked Kimball. Did the wash/dry, back-and-forth thing. It's funny how it now seems perfectly natural and not at all onerous to take my laundry down a path and put quarters in machines. Goes to show, it's all what you're used to, I guess.
Went to WinCo for veggies, to the 99-cent store for sponges, and made a few other stops. I finally made applesauce with the five apples I bought the other day. Whipped up a salad and so on. Corresponded back and forth with a few people on text and e-mail. My cousin, Diana, asked if I had an electronic version of my grandfather's (her great-) barbershop. Couldn't find it, so scanned one I have framed and put it on Facebook for her.
After lunch, drove to town for my m. to l. walk. Cooked up my din-din of swai (fish) and spinach, then took off for Ojai to feed Sebastian. As instructed, I also cleaned his poopy box. I noticed it was nice and cool in there and texted El to ask about that; I didn't think she'd want to keep the AC on for only the cat. However, she did, and said it was timed to 78 degrees, which is reasonable, I think.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Diane And Sex

Walked Kimball, had breakfast, then quickly dusted and mopped to prepare for my luncheon guest. It occurred to me how much better--for me, anyway--it is to have a modest-sized apartment, rather than a house. It's so easy to clean up, and so fast.
Picked Diane up at noon and we went back to my place. We had a good time together; she's interesting and different from most of the people I know. She's had more than one face lift and looks a lot younger than 75. She's going to move to Vegas, as her son--who is, incidentally, a stuntman--has a friend with an Airbub house. She has applied at Silvercrest and hopes to get in within a year or so, although there's a long waiting list. I think it's funny that she was open about why she divorced her husband--"not enough sex," she said,"I wanted it twice a day and he wasn't willing." Yoicks, most men would jump at that, methinks. (However, they had enough sex to have two sons, both of whom live in California.)
Diane stayed until after 3:00; I took her home, then drove directly to the museum and did my usual walk. When I got home, I cleaned up the rest of the kitchen. Betty called to tell me she had finally seen her doctor. She goes to mass every morning, then to breakfast with other regular churchgoers. She decided to have an English muffin, did, and got terrible pains in her stomach again. Doc saw her right away, she had a test, and it seems to be a cyst. She was told to follow a liquid diet--no solids at all--and will see him again in a few days.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Catching Up

It was a catching up day and not a bad one. After reconciling myself to going back to the routine, I actually enjoyed it in a minor way. Got on the computer, walked Kimball, did the crossword, plus a few chores. Drove to town and walked the usual. Stopped at Vons on the way home, so had a late lunch.
I called my new friend, Diane (the one who had the eight-bedroom house in San Francisco and lost all her money) and invited her for lunch today. She was pleased to accept and I'll pick her up and bring her here.
Got an e-mail from Nancy, asking if we could get together today, too. Called her and, since I'm busy today and she is on Tuesday or Wednesday, we decided to meet on Thursday at Ellen's, then go somewhere for lunch.
Went to WinCo for shrimp, wine, and a few fruits. I'll serve Diane a sturdy salad (not your wimpy lettuce and tomato, either), plus shrimp, then make a fruit salad for dessert.
Betty called and, of course, we both hope brother Frank will improve with time. He's out of intensive care, so that's good news. I absolutely refuse to be pessimistic about his condition. I firmly believe he'll slowly get better, physically and mentally, and until I know differently, I'm going to go with that.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Last Day This Time

Last day--this time--for some of my family to be together, but it was a good one. When I got home from walking Kimball, I was texted that going to the beach was the intention and we decided to meet at 1:30 at the marina. That gave me time to go to WinCo for fruit and do some other errands. Drove to town after lunch, stopping at the library, then to the marina. Good grief, it was impossible to find a parking place anywhere near--the area was just jammed. Text come in: Let's go to the harbor, instead. We did and the same situation prevailed. We should have realized that those places would be packed--after it, it's the same as on Absecon Island on a summer weekend.
Another text: Let's go to the pool at your place, and that's where we went.
I put on my suit, but the others just put their feet in the water. We had an enjoyable. low-key, time. Cousin Carolyn was contacted and invited to meet us at El's in Ojai. The girls went to buy food, I changed and brought my salad, and we all met at Ojai.
Had a pulled-together, but good dinner, then took a walk through the neighborhood. Said goodbye about 8:30. I'll be back on Tuesday, as I'm staying over for two nights while El and Greg are vacationing in San Luis Obispo.

Saturday, July 29, 2017


(Darn, the Internet disconnect happened again today, Saturday! I got it running, but not until after I had walked Kimball and had breakfast. I tried something else, and hope it's the answer.)
Friday: Got home after 9:00 last night after a great day. I just don't have the time or inclination to write much, but I walked Kimball; went to T.O.PS. to find I lost another 1.4 pounds, for a total of 28 pounds and change off; breakfasted, showered, dressed, and took off for Ojai. The others came shortly and the five of us drove to the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens
We had a fairly strenuous, but wonderfully invigorating hike up/down, way/way/up, down and sideways, including over a creek, the passage for which consisted entirely of rocks. With one companion on each side, I managed to get over it, but it was dicey.
We then stopped in the botanical library, a lovely place like a sanctuary. We were charmed to find that side-by-side, there were books on the flora in New Jersey and New Mexico; well, they were in alphabetical order, that's why. I checked my phone while we were there and found my brother, Jim, had left a message. Called him back and we had a nice talk. He wanted to know if I had any new news on Frank and I told him what Francine had said.
From there, we went to Greg's mother's place. Greg went to pick up his brother at the airport while we chatted with her. Greg and bro came in and we visited for a time. The five of us then said goodbye and went off to the Paradise Cafe for dinner; sat on the patio and had a lovely time.
By the time we got back to Ojai, it was close to 9:00, but I drove home anyway. Stayed up for a bit with cherries and blueberries, then went to bed and slept until after 7:00--shockingly late for me, but I didn't care.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Ventura and Unpleasant News

Walked Kimball and even got my town walk in before the kids (ha!) came after lunch. We enjoyed chatting and I showed them two pictures painted by my Uncle Frank, plus one that had hung in my childhood home. I was hoping they might want to have one or more of them, but they may have decided against, which is fine by me. I'd love a family member to have them but if my own children don't take them, I'll see if their cousins might. We made plans to go to Santa Barbara today, so we'll join up in Ojai in early afternoon.
We then all went to Wal-Mart for this, that, and the other. We parted about 4:30 and I was about to go off to WinCo for fresh fish, when my phone rang. It was Betty, telling me that our brother, Frank, is in the hospital in ICU. It may be that he took too much medication for blood pressure; his BP had dropped alarmingly. When I got home, I called his daughter, Francine, who said he also had became incoherent (he does have some memory loss), but now seems to be improving. He'll be in the hospital at least over the weekend, she said, and on Monday, they'll decide what to do next.
Boy, this is a blow, on all kind of levels. Not only was his wife, Marybeth, who's getting less and less coherent, admitted to Mercy Central two weeks or so ago, but now this. Darn, darn, darn.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Around Ojai and Meditation Mountain

This damn machine broke down again! I re-booted and so on, but no luck. Went out and walked Kimball and when I got back, I was able to get in, but ouch!
Anyway, we had a high time yesterday--figuratively and literally. First, I met Carole at 9:00 am at the mall. We both got these vouchers that the country promotes--meaning 24 bucks worth we can "spend" at the farmers market at the mall. This is NOT a low-income benefit, but simply for seniors--as a reward, I guess, for living so long.
Anyway, Carole and I loaded up with all kinds of produce (exactly what I eat most of). Some, I never even heard of: lemon cucumbers, for instance, and Japanese tomatoes. They were wonderful.
Just as we were leaving, El called and suggested I come over, which I did, directly from there. We gathered, then went to the Kristimundi Center, a spiritual retreat place up in the hills. We wandered the garden and talked for a long time with the overseer, Carol Wade, who tends to the plants. She's very knowledgeable about their medicinal uses. I've been there before and like the philosophy espoused.
From there, back to El's for a sketchy lunch, to which I contributed some of my veggies. From there, we went to Bart's Books, famous in this area, and stayed reading for a bit, plus buying a few books. We then drove to one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen in my life, Meditation Mountain. The views here are just spectacular and we were there for about two hours. There's a meditation building, a small store, and areas where people can sit and just--well, meditate, I guess. We walked out to the "viewpoint" and I just gasped at the magnificent panorama. My companions sat, then lay down on the grass, while I sat on a bench nearby. I had picked up a lovely paper parasol, which are put there for people to use, then return, free of charge.
Anyway, it was wonderful. We left as the sun was setting and I decided not to join them for dinner this time--don't like to drive in the dark and I hadn't brought any overnight stuff. Went home, took a lovely shower, ate my lovely fruit, then had a lovely sleep.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Taking The High Road

Early on, I got both Kimball and town walks in. Good thing, because after I got to Ellen's about 2:00, the four of us took off for Santa Barbara. However, it was the wrong road; it was unbelievably high and the scenery was magnificent. We got to an elevation of 5,000 feet and the panorama of huge mountain after mountain was magnificent. However, it wasn't the road to Santa Barbara. After we were told by another traveler it would take us to the Sequoias, we turned back, as we were getting low on gas. Actually, we laughed over it, speculating on being lost in the wilderness, and had a fun time. However, I wouldn't want to take that road again.
We sat for a bit in El's yard, drinking wine, then walked to an Italian restaurant and ate outside on the patio. I left about 7:00 after a delightful day. Stopped on the way home for blueberries, cherries, peaches, and grapes. More going on today; no time for more of this now.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Back To Life

After coming back from the library, I tried this pesky machine and it worked. I wonder if I was just impatient and didn't give it time to re-up, or whatever. In any event, I'm back on line--happy day.
After using the computer at the library, I walked down to the Ventura Inn. This is the residence for lower income seniors and I was pleasantly surprised at how attractive the lobby is. Ran into my acquaintance, Marie M., in the lobby. She introduced me to the manager and I asked for an application for Diane.
Walked back to the library and read for a bit. For the first time in several weeks, I didn't complete my second walk, but drove home. There, lo and behold, my computer worked. It may have been I didn't wait long enough for it to reboot. Impatient Mimi!
I had boiled the eggs earlier and now mashed and added to yolks for the devil part, lined serving dishes with lettuce, and put them in the fridge. Did this and that around the apartment, then showered, washed my hair, changed, and took off for Ojai.
We had a fine time at dinner with some of my favorite people in the world, and ate, talked, and laughed with plenty of pleasure and plenty of wine. It was almost 8:00 before I left and getting dark, in which I don't like to drive, but I'll see them again today--yay!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Computer Out!

AAGH! My computer's down! Unplugged and replugged several times and it's still out. Now I'm at the library on-line and it's very awkward, to say the least. Hope I can remedy matters soon.
Sunday: Got up early and was walking Kimball by 7:30. After breakfast, I went to WinCo and went nuts in the fruit and veggie department. I brought (more!) blueberries, plums, and apples, as well as Romaine, two kinds of tomatoes, cucumber, and spaghetti squash. Also got the grilled chicken I put in salad and a few other items. When I got home, I prepared all, going nuts with my Chop Wizard chopper, doing in succession some of the salad stuff and chicken, plus broccoli I already had. I also chopped the five onions on the counter, put them in a container, and stored in the freezer for later use. It's part of my diet regimen to always have the refrig full of fresh foods that I eat, and this should last me a few days.
After lunch (chopped salad, what else?), I drove to town for my usual walk. On the way, El called to invite me for dinner tonight. Yes, indeed, I'll be glad to go.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Usual

Incredibly, I didn't get up until 8:00 yesterday. Not sure why I slept so late, but I felt fine. After coffee, blog, and so on, walked Kimball and after breakfast, paper, and crossword, spent a lot of time on various and sundry. Packed up the book for Vivian and took off to the P.O. about 11:00. I was horrified to be told the postage to Singapore was twenty-two dollars! The book itself was only twenty-one, but oh, hell, I sent it anyway. I put in a note telling Viv how much I love her and mentioning she'll also be getting a gift card from her Nana.
Drove to town and as I started down Main Street, I noticed that the mission (still a functioning church) was open. Peered in and saw a wedding in progress. I went in, sat in the back pew, and watched for a half hour or so. The ceremony was in Spanish, but I enjoyed it anyway. I left during communion and continued on my way.
Tried to stop at the Ventura Inn, which is where my friend, Marie M., lives. However, a resident told me the front desk person wasn't there on weekends, so I'll go back on Monday. The Inn, which I assume had been a hotel, is for lower income single people and, if I'm not mistaken, consists of studio apartments only. Actually, it's a rather attractive place, judging from the outside and what I saw of the lobby. I'll get information about it tomorrow for my new friend, Diane.
Read for a bit at the library (David Niven's bio), then walked back. Home, I had my large salad with chicken for lunch, then went to a few stores. Bought myself a bra and some office stuff. Got an e-mail from Carole, reminding me we're meeting on Wednesday morning at the mall.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Here And There

Walked Kimball, then went to T.O.P.S. I was surprised and pleased to find I had lost another 2.8 pounds for a total of 27.8 and a weight of 155.6 (those tenths of pounds are urgent). Considering my sandwich and wine on the boat and the fact Betty was here, I was resigned to not losing, so was glad. Another thing I lost, I'm afraid, is the little notebook in which I've been recording all the weight stuff. However, using T.O.P.S. official info, I was able to figure I started at 183. Okay, lookin' good.
The meeting was rollicking, as they tend to be, Lolly being anything but the leader type. In August, my pal, Lenny (for Lenore) takes over and I hope it will be a bit more to the point.
Didn't get home for breakfast until 10:30, the usual on Fridays. By the time I finished, did some computer work, paid bills, and tidied up, it was almost noon. Went to WinCo to replenish supplies, then spent time chopping veggies and chicken for salad and stir fry. After lunch, I called my new friend, Diane, and told her I'd go over to her place and give her the application for (fixed income) Cypress Point. Did so, she offered me iced tea and we talked for more than an hour.
Diane is an interesting person and incredibly, also a pacifist, one of the few around here, it seems. She goes to the Unitarian Church (or "church") and is a mindFUNism instructor. Yeah, I think it's nuts, but I like her. She had an eight-bedroom house in San Francisco, and opened a bed and bath, but lost it, along with her first husband. I'm not sure exactly why, but I suspect bankruptcy for the former. She moved to Costa Rico, then Mexico, then various other places in South America, then Albuquerque, NM in the states. Moved here only four months ago, presumably because one of her two sons lives in Agoura Hills, not far away.
We met at the condo where we lives--it's very attractive, but I was taken aback when she told me she simply rents a room there. She wants to move, as the owner, an elderly woman, has become "fault-finding." Diane herself is 75, which I was amazed to hear; as I told her, she doesn't look over sixty. She laughed and said she's "had work," I guess a face lift. She's has a nice figure--slender, but not bony, and is quite attractive. She does have neuropathy and uses a cane. Anyway, I like her a lot and asked her to give me a call next week and I'll pick her up for lunch.
After I left Diane's, I went directly to Barnes & Noble to get my soon-to-be-a-teenager (is it possible?) granddaughter, Vivian, a card. I'll send her a gift card from Amazon shortly, but I'm also sending her Terri S.'s book A Road to Barcelona. Stopped at Sprout's for blueberries and by that time, it was almost 5:00.
I knew the library closes at 5:00 on Fridays, but I did my usual museum to library walk. Didn't get home until almost 6:00 and had flounder for dinner. Called Betty to ask how her side is (she's been having pain) and she said she thinks better. She leaves to go back to Jersey today.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The V.A.

Walked Kimball early. Incredibly enough, I later went to the V.A. Services office. The speaker at the VCS meeting on Wednesday had mentioned "survivors' benefits," to the effect that some widows of veterans were entitled to a thousand a month. Thought I might as well look into it, so I dug up Pat's discharge papers and a few other documents and took myself off.
I learned from the receptionist that I could make an appointment to talk to someone, but the earliest would be in September. However, he gave me a paper listing when representatives would be at other sites and the one in Ventura was yesterday from 1 to 4. He told me to go at 12:30 at the latest, as there was usually a long wait. I did just that--in fact, got there about noon, so I had a long wait.
I was told to wait outside in the atrium, which was very pleasant. Fell into conversation with a woman whose husband had died only three weeks ago and who said the people at Social Security couldn't tell her how much she'd be receiving in those benefits. She was called in and I started talking to a guy who was trying "for the fourth time" to get full disability instead of partial. Others came in, then I was finally called at about 1:15.
The rep was very pleasant, but I was with him for about five minutes. He told me immediately that assets can't total more than eighty dollars (total assets!). Also, there's a complicated formula concerning income, but it seems to boil down to you can't have more than something like 8,000 dollars annually! What? How can anybody live on twice that, let alone--? I said thank you and goodbye.
Oh, well, it was an experience. Went home, had lunch, then El came over, bringing her Subway sandwich. I gave her a glass of iced tea, we sat and chatted while she ate, then she made a few adjustments to my phone. She left, I drove to town and did the walk.

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.