Sunday, December 31, 2017

Cruisin' Around

Walked Kimball well bundled up. It was very chilly--middle forties--and stayed that way most of the day.  After breakfast, I sat down to finally write the reference letter (e-mail) to Jackie L. at SCAN for Brenda and Brianne. True, they're working at corporate in L.A., but this will be put in their files and should enhance their records.
Writing, revising, and re-revising took me most of the morning. Finished, but saved as a draft, and went out to buy spinach and stuff.  Boiled up some eggs to add to my salad; after lunch, I printed out my diet regimen, which Betty had requested, and sent it via snail mail to her at Carolyn's.  I'm not sure how--or if--she's going to follow it, but she can give it a shot.
Walked the usual town walk. On my way home, I got a call from Doris to tell me Sherry had given her a Christmas gift for me. I said I'd stop and get it, which I did. It's a pretty tree ornament in the shape of a stocking, with "R" on it. I really like it and was touched.  Called Sherry to thank her and after the New Year, I'll get in touch with these friends and suggest lunch or something. I'll see them on Wednesday, too, at the first BCNN meeting of 2018.
Vera, the leader of Soaring Spirits widder group, put on Facebook that tomorrow, we'll try another restaurant, The Sizzler, rather than Marie Callender's. I responded "YAY! I'll be there."  It's about time--Marie's a tired old gal who never met a processed food she didn't like. This might not be much better, but at least, it's a change. And yes, we'll meet on New Year's Day--why not?
Received from Amazon the gift (baka-something--I'm too lazy to look it up) for grandson, Joel; it's a kind of warm hood that covers the face. It's been so cold in Jersey, I thought he can use it, especially when riding his motorcycle. Sent off the reference letter to SCAN.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Routine, Regimen, and Reagan

The usual routine: Kimball, breakfast, store, lunch, town, home.  I prepared a spaghetti squash, as well as a few other veggies.
Suzanne came to my door to say St. John's has a refrigerator they want to replace and did any of Ellen's student families need it? Texted Carolyn to see, but didn't hear back from her. Later, when I talked to Betty, she told me C. had had a minor eye operation and probably hadn't checked her phone.
I invited Betty to stay over here a night; she'll let me know when, as she still doesn't have a return ticket. Later, she called me back when I was in The Coalition to ask about my diet regimen. When I got home, I revised it with more info and will send to her via snail mail.
Later, El called to ask if I wanted to go to the Reagan Library to see the Titanic exhibit on Tuesday. Yes, sir, I do, and we will. Asked El about the fridge; she doubted if any could use it at this point, as most of those burned out probably had moved in with relatives.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Clunk!

Started out for Kimball at my usual 7:00 and, as I drove out of the complex, heard a loud clunk, then a kind of rhythmic continuation--"clunk, pause, clunk, pause." I was sure it was one of my tires and pulled into the main entrance. Called AAA and Bob Carlson, the guy who had towed my other car, came reasonably quickly. He checked and the tires seemed okay. Looked under the hood--no problem. He then got down on the ground, reached under, and pulled out a large plastic bag. He said it had wrapped around my axle and was strong enough to cause the clunks. Funnily, he told me that wasn't unusual. He asked me to drive a short distance, I did and it was okay.  All this meant I was about forty-five minutes later than usual for my walk, but no prob, I got it in.
The rest of the day: Did a regular load of wash, plus the bathroom rugs.  Dusted and mopped the hard floors. Checked to see if Amtrak had refunded my train fare; it had for the Ventura to Oakland, but not the way back. Called and they will. Paid several bills (on-line) and did some other paper/computer work. Went out to buy onions and peppers. Stopped at Wal-Mart to buy necklace extenders. I had about two pounds of carrots, so I pared and cut them, then cut up some of the persimmons I got from Carolyn's, and they went together nicely. Put that in the slow cooker.
Took my town walk. Texted Ellen to ask if she wanted to see Three Billboards in Ebbings, Missouri. I'm dying to see it, as I heard it was good. She said no, she wasn't anxious to see that. Maybe I'll ask Nancy, although I doubt if that's her thing. If I have to, I'll go by myself, although it's only playing in Camarillo, which is a distance away.
Using my trusty Chop Wizard, I chopped the onions and peppers, sauteed, added ground turkey, and had a tasty stir-fry.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Lots Done

Walked Kimball, greeting my park pals, Irene and Diane, plus several others I see every day. After breakfast, I started in on the many errands and catching-up items I had put off. I won't go into detail, but they included
  -looking on Amazon.Com, to see if they had chargers. They do and I'm getting some. I then
  -stopped at Ralph's to see if my debit card had been turned in. It hadn't, so I went directly to
  -the bank, where I got a temp one; perm will come in the mail within five days. I then went to
  -Wal-Mart, where I returned the chopper El gave me, as I already have the Chop Wizard.  Didn't have the receipt, so received a credit card, which was fine by me, as I immediately bought Neo-Sporin infused Band-Aids and a few other things. (I still have money left on it.) Then it was off to
  -WinCo for scads of goodies: salad fixings, fruit, grilled chicken, eggs, and so on. From there, it was
  -the Cricket store, where I asked if the generic chargers could be used for my phone. I didn't really get a straight answer, but ordered them. I figure if they don't work, I can return them. After that, I
  -used the gift card from Amazon Mike gave me (one dollar for each year I've graced the earth) to order chargers, Oral B replacement heads, and a gift for grandson, Joel. (I still have plenty left on the card.)
That took me to lunch, after which I did the town walk. When I got home, Suzanne invited me in and told me all about her Christmas with her brother and his family. He's a doctor, wife's a teacher, and they have two grown daughters. I shared about my holiday and as ever, enjoyed our talk.
I accomplished a lot, but still have a few thing hanging. I need to make an appointment for a blood test (routine), fill out my 2018 reminder calendar, and write references for Brenda and Brianne of SCAN.  Also, I still haven't received my check from SCAN and I'm beginning to get annoyed--the pikers!  I also have to turn my attention to paying some bills and check that I got my refunds from Amtrack and the Getty trip, both cancelled because of the fires.



Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Day After

Walked Kimball--the full way 'round this time--and had breakfast before getting to Ellen's at about 9:45. We took off for Santa Barbara shortly after, arriving at Carolyn's in forty-five or so.
Steve, Robyn, and Dexter were there, as well as Betty, and we exchanged gifts. I had brought Calvin a rubber pig, which made a huge hit--with him and everybody else. I had wrapped it in tissue paper and he opened it himself, tossing bits of paper all over the floor.  
Calvin just loved that pig! It made a noise--a loud, rude one reminiscent of somebody with a stomach ailment--and he kept grabbing and shaking it, as if he had a live prey.  Claire and Dex took him out the yard and threw it for him to run after.  This lasted for ten minutes or so before Calvin tore poor Mr. Piggy to shreds.
We exchanged some gifts, had some wine and appetizers, chatted and laughed. The L.A. contingent left in a few hours, as Robyn had a bad cold. El and I stayed until about 4:00, then left to meet Greg at his mother's place.  Picked him up and we walked to the Santa Barbara Mission, about a mile away, so we covered two there and back.  I was glad we had, as I missed my town walk.
We strolled around the mission and grounds--a beautiful place--then went to a little Thai restaurant (I had spring rolls, which were very good) for dinner. After, we dropped Greg off after, then drove back to Ojai. El invited me to stay over rather than drive home--by that time, it was almost 9:00--but I didn't have anything with me, so didn't. I had no problem getting back, called El as she had requested to tell her I had arrived safe and sound, and went to bed to sleep deeply.
As much as I enjoy these pleasurable deviations from the norm, I'll be happy to get back to my regular life, I guess because I like it so much.


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

December 25th

It was a delightful Christmas. Quieter than last year, when so much of the family was gathered, but just as enjoyable.
Drove to Kimballl, but I was very early--before 7:00--and since it was Christmas day, the trucks were not moving. There were few people walking and I cut it short; was just uncomfortable at being in the far end of the park when it was more or less deserted.  Home, I did this and that, finished up the last of my salad for lunch, dressed, and took off for Ojai. When I got there, El was in the throes of dinner preparations, with Greg helping, and we chatted while this went on.  Later, I watched parts of A Christmas Carol (the good one with George C. Scott) and they continued in the kitchen.
Ellen didn't get a tree this year, mostly because of the great unpleasantness of the lost/stolen purse, but she had decorated the house beautifully with strings of lit garlands, and so on.  The table was covered with a bright red tablecloth and she had put a big vase of yellow roses on it, with some ornaments around--very tasteful.  Just as tasteful were the Margaritas she and I had as cocktails. Greg made the first, original ones, then El made Skinny Girls.
And dinner was the tasteful-est:  El had cooked a big (fresh, not frozen, and organic) turkey with homemade stuffing, sweet potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, fresh string beans, whole berry cranberry sauce, and gravy, which Greg made, plus copious amounts of Chardonnay.  This was followed by pumpkin pie--natch.  After, they went to the Episcopal (I think) church for the Christmas service (Greg has gotten interested in this), but I begged off. They got home about 10:00, I guess, and we all went to bed.
Christmas day, we opened our presents, received a video call from Mike and the girls (they're in Germany, but leave for Austria tomorrow and after that, Holland and Italy), got a phone call from Tuscon, and generally had a fine time. El made eggs for breakfast, then Gregg went back to Santa Barbara to meet his boy--they were going fishing off the pier. We had leftover turkey and trimmings for lunch--sometimes I think it tastes even better the second day--then went for a drive in the hills.
I left about quarter of four and drove directly to town, determined not to skip my walk. Did the usual, then home, El called and asked me to be at her place at 10 today. We'll drive to Santa Barbara to Carolyn's (Betty is there now); and also meet Greg and possibly, his son, then go back here later in the day.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

UP!!!

Incredible. Beyond belief. Un-friggin' marvelous! Ellen's purse is back!
Did my usual routine, walking Kimball, some computer stuff, a little housework, lunch, then took off for town. Walked the usual, then stayed at the library for 45 or so, continuing the Judy Garland bio, of which I read a few chapters a day.
As I drove home, the Tokyo Trio called--that is, videoed--on my phone. I parked, then saw and talked to the beautiful boy, his Dad and Mom, and it was so good to see them.  While we were "together," so to speak, I got a call from an unfamiliar number.  I waited until our video visit was over, then called it back.  I got Ralph's Supermarket and person asked if I was Ellen Molloy's mother--then proceeded to tell me her purse had been turned in!
Ellen had sent a text saying to please return it to Ralph's or police would be called. I suppose this did the trick because there it was. Called El, but the machine (Tracphone answer thing) was on still, as it had been in the morning. Called Greg and told him, then El called me. I was so glad to be able to tell her her purse was found.
She asked me to see if this and that was there and it all was: sixty-some dollars in cash, her iphone, a $25 Amazon gift card, driver's license, and everything else.
Yay--now this will be a happy Christmas after all!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Down

Well, it was a hell of a day.
Because I had been up from about midnight to 2:00 am, I slept late and didn't get up until 7:30.  Because Ellen had bought a TracPhone, I expected her to call me by then. It got later and later and I got more and more worried. Finally, the phone rang and I pounced on it.  It was Greg asking, "Did Ellen call you?"  Naturally, that was enough to make me entertain just two possibilities: 1. Driving on deserted Route 33, Ellen had gone off into a ravine or 2. Ellen had been kidnapped and was...
I told Greg I was driving over there and I did. On the half-hour trip, I continued to worry and worry. I hoped I'd see her car in her driveway and--
I did. Turns out she hadn't bought the phone card with minutes that you have to for one of those jazzy models. I went to Vons and got one and she put it in; happy day, she can even use her old number.
I left, much relieved and went home to have breakfast at 11:30, but I didn't care.  After, I took a load of clothes to the laundry. While they washed and dried, I tackled the enormous amount of paperwork I had let slide, wrote out some Christmas cards, called Betty, and cleaned up a bit.
Had one of my huge salads for lunch, then went to Trader Joe's and Wal-Mart, a major mistake.  The stores were jammed, parking lot was filled, and so on. However, I got the organic olive oil I wanted (I'm making Rosemary Oil for Greg for Christmas) and a few other items.
Thought I'd at least take my town walk, but when I drove in, it was starting to get dark and I changed my mind. Ellen called and I pulled over to talk. She's using the phone, but there are various things she can't find; she'll probably go on their web site.
When I got home, I made the Rosemary Oil. I had already washed the sprigs and the next step was to heat the oil to simmering (but not smoking) and pour it over. Now it has to sit in a dark place for a few days.
By that time, it was almost 7:00, so I skipped dinner and just had pop corn and fruit at 8:00. I feel so bad for Ellen--what a Christmas present!

Friday, December 22, 2017

INCREDIBLY, EIGHTY-ONE!

Went back to my Kimball walk and felt good doing it. After breakfast, I went to WinCo and stocked up on supplies, mostly fresh produce.  Talked to Betty and to Ellen, it was generally decided Betty and I would get together the day after Christmas. It occurred to me that we're rarely together on our joint birthday, anyway, and we both wanted to be with our own families.
El called and said she and Greg would like to take me to dinner--5:50 at Steven's Greek. Sounded good to me, so I called Nancy to see if we could meet at noon, instead of 1:00, which was fine by her.
Met Nance at The Cave and she presented me with a gift--a lovely pair of purple socks, but not ordinary ones. These have a fancy type of pattern and are also fairly high. I love them and will wear them often. Of course, she made them--she's an expert knitter.
Nancy also treated me to lunch and we had splits of champagne; one each, then we split a split (ha!). We had a fine time talking and laughing, then parted happily.  Drove directly to town and did my afternoon walk; got home about 4:30, then left a half hour later to meet Ellen and Greg.
This was delightful. We had Greek food and, crazy and wild kid that I am, ordered a split of the bubbly here, too. After we ate, I was presented with gifts (slipper and a gift card from El, Anne Bancroft's biography from Greg), plus I opened others. Received two knives, a sharpener, a lovely family portrait of the Tokyo Trio, and an Amazon gift card--one dollar for every year I've lived (can't wait for the C-Note one).
Anyway, the best part was being with Ellen and Greg.  They came in separate cars because Greg's son is in town (Santa Barbara) from Wyoming and he "has custody" the next three days. Paul is over twenty, so what that really meant was that his mother "had him" the other days.
I was pleased when El invited me to stay overnight on Christmas Eve. This is shaping up to be a quiet, but very enjoyable holiday season.
Note: Sadly, Ellen's purse with iphone was stolen last night. She went to a supermarket after we had dinner, was busy transferring her items to the car, realized she had left her purse in the cart, went back, and it was gone. Surveillance video showed a family--with two children!--who clearly took it. Police were called, but I'm afraid it's gone. Talk abut holiday season--what a damned unpleasant thing to happen to her.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Alameda

I'm back and, oddly enough, we had a wonderful time. I'm not going to innumerate all we did--it's just too much, but it included
  Dinner at Frank's our first night, Maureen and Francine and families bringing Mexican food, plus beer. Lots of kiddies running around, which was so nice.
  Dinner at the Pasta Pelican, right on the water in Alameda, which instantly became one of my favorite restaurants.  Stopped at Francine's afterward to see their very large house in Alameda. Francine is in the judicial system and had a conference in San Diego, so we had to say goodbye to her on Monday night.
  Dinner at Maureen's with her terrific guy and their boy and girl. She had a truly lovely house, built I'd say in about 1890, enormously high ceilings, beautiful parquet floors, and original oriental art on the walls. They surprised me with a cake for dessert with "Happy 81st, Mimi" on it--and it was absolutely delish. Sang Happy Birthday and I was so touched.
 Went to see Marybeth in Mercy Center Memory Care and had lunch there. I thought she was gaga, but everybody else remarked on how "good" she was that day. Oh, well...
 Went to San Francisco on the ferry on Tuesday, took a cable car, ate lunch in Chinatown, called Uber to get back to the ferry, then dinner at Maureen's, as above.
  I stayed with Frank, Ellen at Francine's (Maureen's is in Oakland, farther away), but we were together most of the day every day.
  It was so great to have Ellen there. She ferried us here and there, using her phone person directions, and we covered a lot of ground.  I greatly enjoyed spending time with her, too.
We left about 9am yesterday and stopped for lunch at the Apple Farm (a hotel and restaurant) in San Luis Obispo.  Brother Jim called and my friend Nancy and others.  Got home about 5:00, stopped to tell Suzanne I was back, and stayed to chat with her.
  We had great fun most of the time. We sat and talked about out childhoods and so on each evening when it was just the two of us.  But my brother wasn't there.   A very nice elderly man had taken his place and I miss Frank so much.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Smoke Gets In Your--Well, Everything

I actually put on my mask to walk Kimball--lots of smoke in the morning.  Got some Christmas presents (on-line) done and did other stuff on the computer. Packed, then went to WinCo for a few items. After lunch, I did the town walk, again with mask. Not only was a smokier than it had been, but I was startled by the amount of ash on my car.
Suzanne came over when I got home to tell me parts of Santa Barbara were being evacuated. Texted niece Carolyn to see if she and family are in the line of fire (in this case, more than a cliche). Called her later to see and she said fire was five miles away.  I told her Ellen and I were leaving this morning for Alameda and she and family could take my apartment. However, as she pointed out, Ventura is still smokey and ashy; she'd want to go north, natch.
I may not be posting here until we get back. I still haven't figured out how to do that on my phone, but maybe I'll give it a try. Leaving for El's in a few hours.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Goodbye, SCAN

Walked Kimball, came home to change, and went to T.O.P.S. Everybody was surprised to see me, as they had known I had planned to go to Alameda. Was down a tiny bit--about the same as yesterday--and that was okay.  I was horrified to hear that Cheryl, who has been in the group as long as I have, lost her  home in the fire. She had a picture of it, and it was just a smoldering ruin except for the chimney.  The house was way up in the hills--large, expensive homes with beautiful views--and most of her neighbors' homes, burned, too.  Luckily, Cheryl and her husband own a duplex on the beach and they were able to move there. However, they were able to salvage almost nothing.
While we were talking, Carolyn, another member, tried to give Cheryl a twenty dollar bill.  With thanks, she refused to take it and I mentioned the drive for the children--these are poor children--in Ellen's school, many of whom were made homeless in the fire, so Carolyn gave it to me.  So nice of her.
The meeting meandered, as usual. We voted on meeting at the library branch downtown--yes, and we'll pay a buck a week to secure it. We won't meet there, however, until January. SCAN had a buffet lunch as a sendoff, as this was their last day (sob!). I stayed with everybody else for it, but it started at 11:00 o'clock, two hours earlier than I have lunch, so I just chalked it up as breakfast. It wasn't that great, anyway--catered by El Pollo Loco and included tacos. I just had salad and a piece of chicken.
Home, I had lunch at the usual time, then went to town. The smoke seem lighter this time.  Stopped at Kohl's to look for Christmas presents. It was jammed and as I do every damn year, I kicked myself for waiting so long.
Must pack today.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Around and About and Alameda

Oh, boy, what a disappointment, but remedied--see later.
I walked Kimball, then decided to go to SCAN--its last day is today--and weigh myself. I thought I might had gained, but no--I'm at 135.4, which means I'm six-tenths of a pound down.  Big deal, huh, considering it's been a day less than two weeks since I weighed in (I was in Santa Barbara last Friday), but down is down and I'm fine with it.
Had breakfast, stripped the bed, and took the sheets and a mountain of other wash to the place. There was so much, I actually had to use two washers and dryers.  While they were being done, I made salad and cut up a watermelon for later. Assembled a lot of things to take with me to Alameda and was satisfied that I'd be ready.
Only...I was at the 99-Cent store when Amtrak called: Trains are cancelled through Friday. They may be running on Saturday, but at this point, there's no way to tell. Darn!  As soon as I got to the car, I called Frank and niece Maureen; neither answered and I left messages asked them to call me.
After lunch, I took the town walk, still not having heard from bro or niece. Got home and called Maureen again--she hadn't looked at her messages. We talked about it and she said anything I'd like to do would be fine. Since my birthday's next Thursday and of course, I want to be here, we tentatively decided I'd go on January third, as Frank's birthday is the fourth. Called Frank and  he was pleased I'd be there for his birthday, so that's the new plan.
Called Don to tell him he wouldn't be earning his twenty bucks for a few more weeks; called Ellen to tell her and she suggested I come back the following Sunday, when it's easier for  her to pick me up and that's okay by me.
BUT...! El called later to say school won't resume until January. Did I want her to drive to Alameda on Sunday with me and we'd stay until Wednesday?  Great and I called Frank to tell him and left a message for Maureen.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Here And There

Kimball walk okay, but smokier than it had been. Spent a lot of the morning on Christmas presents (on-line method), Christmas cards (just a few), and other seasonal stuff I'm always late with (oops--with which I'm always late).
Went out for tomatoes, Romaine, and various other, had my salad for lunch, fooled around on the computer, then went to Famous Footware and tried on about a dozen pairs of sneaks--or tennis/running/walking/sittin' around shoes, or whatever they 're called. Finally bought one, which feels good, but it's beige, a color I greatly dislike.  They had them in black and navy, which I prefer, but not in my size. Considering I'm 5'3" and wear a 9 1/2, I have big feet. I might take them back and see if Kohl's has anything I like better.
Got an e-mail from Amtrak, confirming my trip from Oakland on the 18th. This made me nervous--why didn't they send one for my outgoing trip? Called and they have both okay, so who knows?
Did the town walk and was pleased to see the library was open. Stopped in and took out a bio of one of my favorite writers, Gore Vidal. I actually wore my mask on my way back to the car, as it was pretty hazy.
Niece Maureen called, just to
Note: I forgot to mention yesterday that Marcelle has no siblings, either, so her closest relatives are cousins. Seems so strange not even to have any nieces or nephews.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Lunch With Marcelle

I met my park pals, Irene and Diane, while walking Kimball, so things are pretty much back to normal. It was a beautiful clear, blue-sky, morning at 7:00 am--except for the miles of beige smoke all along the ridges to the north. But that was far away and I easily forgot about it.
After breakfast, I spent the rest of the morning on the computer, including trying to figure out how I'd get Christmas gifts to Singapore Son and family. I e-mailed him asking where they'd be staying in Germany.
Showered, dressed, and left about noon for my lunch date with Marcelle. When I went out, I was taken aback to see a smoky haze. Clearly, the wind had shifted and now we were getting it.
Met Marcelle at the Black Angus and we ordered lunch. I had a Blue Moon, she a red wine--she ordered it by name, so probably knows something about wine.  We then settled in for two hours and learned more about each other.
Marcelle: married, no children, husband retired, lives just above the college.  Her parents emigrated here from Malta, of all places.  I was surprised to hear she's 65; she seems a lot younger to me. I'm not sure if I think she actually looks younger--she does to an extent, I guess, maybe because her blonde hair is almost to her waist--or if it's because of her baby voice and big blue eyes.
I also can't decide if I think she's interesting or a bore. I perked up my ears to hear she and her husband are regular theatre-goers--they go to L.A. regularly--and also, that they had introduced the parents of the Neil Young drummer to each other.  I wasn't going to admit I didn't quite remember who Neil Young is--looked him up later and geez, he's 72, although the drummer's only 30 or so.
We stayed for two hours, then said goodbye, then I drove to town and did my walk. Annoyingly, the library was again closed. There was more smoke in the air than there had been, but it wasn't too bad.
El called before dinner and we had a long talk. I hope to see her before I leave for Alameda on Friday.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

This And That

It looks as if my usual route at Kimball is now open, although there are still lots of trucks and other apparatus in the middle area. There's a temporary fence around all of it. I walked the opposite direction yesterday, but will resume the other today.
Called Ellen and found that school was closed yesterday, but teachers will go in today and, I guess, it will resume for the children tomorrow.
My friend, Sharon, from the widder group, called me to say she hadn't heard if our trip to the Getty was on or not. Later, I got a call from Nancy to say she had been called and it's canceled. Called Sharon to tell her. 
Actually, I'm not upset at that at all. I've got a lot to do before I leave on Friday for Frank's and I'm meeting Marcelle for lunch today, so having Wednesday free is good. The organizers have some sense, unlike those freakin' idiots at BCNN. Called niece Carolyn to see how she and family are doing. They stayed  over at her brother and SIL's after attending the Eagles (they're big fans) and Ram's (boo!) game in L.A.
Got batteries for the flickering candles and put them in the windows. I always like the way they look and you don't have to worry about wires, outlets, or anything else. They have a sensor you position toward the outside and they go on automatically when it gets dark.
Went here and there for fresh blueberries--on sale at Ralph's--90-calorie popcorn, and other fruit. I had seen that rotisserie chicken was on sale at Von's (a place I rarely venture near, as their prices are generally thirty percent higher than elsewhere).  Decided to go over after my town walk and get one as a special treat for dinner. Did so and found they were on sale only for three days, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Damn!
My other complaint is that it's advertised as "rotisserie chicken" and it isn't; it's just plain roasted chicken, as the clerk confirmed--they don't have a rotisserie oven.  I used to love the REAL rotisserie chicken from Shop-Rite and bought it often.  I could just plain roast a chicken myself. I actually went to the customer service person to register my complain and she agreed with me 100 percent. I'm going to e-mail the corporate office and tell them IT ISN'T ROTISSERIE CHICKEN!
Or I may just say the hell with it.





Monday, December 11, 2017

Dudley House And Dinner

Kimball again, where I walked the alternate. However, I noticed that one side of my usual walk is clear, so I'll try that today.
Jumped in the shower before breakfast, then ate and settled down to the crossword (talk about being in a rut!). Made up a big salad for lunch before I dressed for Dudley House, then went off for my ten to noon shift.
I was just a greeter, so sat on the porch and--well, greeted people. It wasn't terribly busy and there was a ferocious wind that several times, blew over a small table, with a poinsettia and a glass jar for donations on it.  Jan, the pres, finally put it elsewhere.
There were a fair number of visitors, but no more than thirty, I think, and this is the last day of the boutique. Enjoyed it pretty much. I asked Jan about the possibility of our T.O.P.S. meeting at Dudley House and she wasn't adverse to the idea. I e-mailed leaders Lolly and Lennie (heh-heh--"leaders Lolly and Lennie"--alteration, I love it!) what she said.
Went for my town walk and was pleased to see almost everything is open, including the library--yay! Sat and read for a while, then stopped at several thrift shops. I've decided to make rosemary olive oil for Gregg for Christmas and I want to find an attractive small decanter to put it in. Will look further.
Home, I sliced strawberries and assembled a fruit salad with them, blueberries, and frozen blackberries. I have a "personal" (small) watermelon, too, but I don't think the flavor is strong enough for the other fruit, do didn't add it.
Went next door to Suzanne's at 5:30 and she served a nice dinner of chicken wrapped in a kind of crust, mashed potatoes, and asparagus.  With the fruit salad I brought--and a nice Cabernet--it was a pretty good meal. We had a good time talking and getting to know each other more.
I'm always taken aback to realize Suzanne is a nun. Too bad she went that way; she would have made a great wife and mother. I wonder if she ever thinks of that.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Recovering

Unbelievable! I  had this whole entry typed, pressed something--not sure what--and it disappeared. Damn!
All right, I'll recap Saturday activities briefly:
Drove to Kimball, as I didn't want to skip any more. Found my usual route blocked, but approximated it in another direction. Reason it was blocked was because a large number of electric company trucks, plus other machinery, other vehicles, and a large tent had been erected there. It must be the staging area for part of the fire battle.
Went to WinCo and other places for various. Ellen called while I was in the parking lot; she and Greg were on their way home, so I hope that's the end of the fire--as it impacts us, anyway.
After lunch, I did the museum to library walk. More stores and restaurants open and more people on the street. Some wore masks, but I didn't feel the need, although it was slightly smokier than where  I live.
Called Nancy before I left to check on things in Oakview. They're okay, but air bad; she said DIL Erin will go back to work today.
Stopped at Don's when I got home to see if he wanted to make twenty bucks by driving me to the train station on Friday. He happily agreed--he's on a very tight budget--and I'm pleased to give it to him instead of Uber.
Just as I finished dinner, Suzanne rang my bell. They had had a holiday luncheon at St. John's and there were leftovers--did I want to come to dinner tonight (Sunday) and share them?  Sure thing, and I said I'd bring dessert. Actually, I had intended to make a fruit compote for the potluck tonight at Dudley House--I'm a greeter this morning--but decided I'd rather eat with Suzanne.
Got a nice, concerned e-mail from Ray and Barbara H., my friends from Sunrise Bay. They were concerned about the fires, of course. I'll write them back now.

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Home

I'm back home!  When I was walking in Santa Barbara, Ellen called and said she'd pick me up, as she wanted to go home and wash her hair. After many thanks to Carolyn and her family, we left about 10:00.  Drove through very dense smoke on the 101 through Carpenteria. It was heavy in parts of Ventura, too, but when we approached where I live, happily, it had cleared quite a lot.
El brought my things in, we said goodbye, then I gathered up all my laundry and went to the place to wash. Chopped Romaine and made myself a big salad with the things I had on hand.
I'm bent on resuming my weight-loss regimen, so drove to town after lunch. Parked at the museum and walked to the library. It was closed, along with almost every other place in town, but that was okay, I walked there and back.
On my way home, Betty called and I pulled over to chat. Stopped at WinCo, as I needed to replenish my veggies; also got my favorite frozen cherries, fresh blueberries, and a few other items.
I rang Suzanne's bell when we got home. Thanked her for keeping me up to date on what was going on in Ventura and caught up with her classes. She has a young women doing her practicum and, although only seven people showed up for her diabetes management class (25 had signed up), she was able to complete the requirement.
A number of people called, e-mailed, pm-ed, and commented on Facebook their concern  about my--and Ellen's safety and I was grateful.
As much as I enjoyed being at Carolyn's, I'm glad to be home. I want to get my life back because--such as it is--it's mine and I like it.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Ellen and Greg picked me up and we got here to Carolyn's in Santa Barbara on Tuesday. Now, late afternoon on Thursday, 12/8, fire still raging. Ellen's house in Ojai is threatened. El and Greg in San Luis Obispo today to celebrate his birthday, which was yesterday. Too much to go into now. Carolyn, Dana, Finn, and Claire couldn't be more welcoming or hospitable, but I am anxious to get home.  Can't put on more right now.

Variety

Walked Kimball, but skipped the town walk; instead, I hauled out my Christmas decorations and put them around. Suzanne got a kick out of the two "motion activated" items I just bought, one a Santa head, one a snowman head. They play the first few bars of "Jingle Bells" when activated. Cute, huh?
The only problem is, they seem not to need motion to play.  They play all the time and it was driving me crazy.
I first put them outside, between Suzanne's and my door--until she apologetically told me she could hear them in her kitchen. I took them in and put them in my bureau drawer--one on each side, with lots of shirts and sweaters in between. Every once in a while, they still played.
Niece Carolyn called and invited me to go to the Caregiver's Christmas gathering on Friday, even though I no longer volunteer for them. I have a lunch and movie date with Nancy, but should be back in time. I called Nance to tell her I wasn't going to the widder group dinner last night. It's at 6:00 and Toastmasters is at 6:30--I just didn't feel like rushing from one to the other.
I couldn't stand it and took them out to my car.  Today, I'm going to throw them away. Geesh!
Finally called a guy to come and fix my computer. He'll be here at 10:30 today and I hope it'll be okay until I decide what kind of laptop I want.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Hill Street Library

Walked Kimball not once, but twice (see later).  Did the Sunday ritual--the Newsweek crossword may be the only reason I get the paper--and tidied up a bit.  Had just a bite at noon, then went to the grand opening of the Hill Street Library branch.
I wasn't exactly sure where it was in the government complex and first came upon a Democratic Socialist group. I was curious and always anxious to explore alternatives to capitalism, I fell into conversation with a woman who said she was a new member. She talked about universal health care and other domestic needs, but I cut to the chase and asked what her attitude was regarding war. I was surprised when she hemmed and hawed and equivocated about it. I guess either she wasn't aware of the official tenants of the movement  or it isn't one I want to join. Anyway, I thanked her and went on my way to the opening.
Wow, there were hundreds of people there--well, considering free hot dogs were mentioned, no wonder.  I got in to hear various library, county council members, and others talk about what a great thing it is to have a branch of the library in the east end. I agree.
As I was leaving, I ran into Doris and Sherry and we talked for a bit. I'll see them on Wednesday at the BCNN luncheon. I didn't stay for the  hot dogs, but went home and changed. I spent some time on practicing my talk for Toastmasters tonight, then thought about my afternoon walk.
This time, I didn't go into town. I knew I was lucky on Saturday to have found a parking place at the library, but didn't want to try it again. At the same time, I didn't want to give myself a pass altogether, so I drove to Kimball and walked that for the second time.
Stopped at the new Grocery Outlet and got two little watermelons, plus tuna steaks. Now I'm well supplied in the fridge and freezer.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Around Town

Walked the walk with coat and scarf. After breakfast, I went to the 99-Cent store for little this and thats. While there, El called to ask if I wanted to meet her at--the 99-Cent store. Well, sure, I'm already there, but she was still in her night clothes, so I had time to go home, put my things away, then go back.
I had told El I decided not to buy a laptop yet, since this old thing was performing okay. I should never say such a thing out loud, because when I dipped into it, I couldn't get into Office and Word is not letting me do anything and I'm going to get a knife and stab it in the heart--.
Well, no. I called and left a message for Victor, telling him I'd wait for the laptop, but could he come and get me back in Office. Haven't heard back from him yet.
Met El and we looked around for some favors for the little kiddies in her class; she found some and bought them. We then went to Lowe's, where we both got extension cords. Said goodbye after that.
Home  for lunch, then to town. The Main Street festivities were going on, so I reversed my usual, parking at the library and walking to the museum and back. It was fun to walk among the crowds and see all the vendors, and so on.
Stayed in the library reading for a bit--from Ho Chi Mihn, I went to Ava Gardner--then left. Stopped at Suzanne's to return her needle and thread and she invited me in for a chat. She was putting together little gifts for the volunteers at St. John's, where she works. She's worked there more than thirty years, in fact.
Made ground turkey/onion/pepper/garlic for dinner.


Saturday, December 02, 2017

A. For A. Luncheon

Busy, busy day, and it was much fun.
Walked Kimball, changed clothes, and got to T.O.P.S. at 8:45. I was sure I had gained--if not, stayed the same, but no. Happy day, I lost another 2.2, which makes a healthy 45 pounds off. I'm now at 136--yay!
We discussed where we could meet once SCAN closes and several people have looked into possibilities.  I said I'd ask about Dudley House. Later, I e-mailed the person I think is in charge to see if we could meet there, preferably without charge. Haven't heard back yet.
Changed again and got to Marie Callender's at noon. Carole was already there and Carolyn came shortly after.  We went into what they call "The  Library," the shelves of which hold not books, but ceramic tureens and so on.
T.J. had e-mailed that he couldn't make it after all, and Sue had asked if she could bring Mac, who's getting more and more confused and of course, I said of course. John C.did come and, along with the rest of the gang--both Acting for Amateur classes--there were twelve people, just exactly right for the size of the room.
Anyway, we had a great time. Margaret gave me a little box of chocolates and a nice note, Noreen gave me a note of thanks, and others expressed their enjoyment of the class. We ate, drank, talked, and laughed for almost two hours, finally breaking up after 2:00.
I drove directly to the museum. Had brought my sneaks and socks and changed in the parking lot, then took off for the library. Stayed there continuing the Ho Chi Mihn bio, then walked back. Called Nancy and we made a date for Friday to see the new Orient Express; lunch beforehand, natch.


Friday, December 01, 2017

Humor & Drama Toastmasters

After Kimball, I got a fair amount accomplished: Wrote an intro for When Cooks Confer and a short lead-in for the monologue I gave Fern. I called it "Life in Conversation," but later changed it to "A Life On The Phone." I wasn't happy with either, but Fern wanted some kind of intro. I told her she'll develop it as she goes on.
I had forgotten all about bringing a snack for Toastmasters, and didn't feel like going to all the trouble of cranberry meatballs. Didn't want to bring cheese or crackers or anything like that, either, as I'd have to take what wasn't eaten home and I like it too much. Finally hit on tomatoes. I found a mix of red, yellow, and brown cherry tomatoes at WinCo.  I cut them, added fresh parsley, then dressed them with olive oil and vinegar. I regularly put this on my salad instead of plain tomatoes, so I'll take home the leftovers.
I sent my nieces copies of my train reservations and got some other computer work done. I texted Ellen to the effect I don't want to buy a laptop right now. I just feel too rushed and now that my desk top seems no longer to be acting up, I'll stay with that. I did rev up my tablet, but I'm having difficulty getting into this and that; it seems very different from this.
Impulsively, I stopped at Great Cuts before I went home and had my hair cut. Looks okay, I guess, but nothing special.
Got to the Lexington before 6:30 and Fern came shortly after. We went over the play once, I reminded her of a few things, then it was time for the meeting. It went over big--everybody loved it and they laughed a lot. Fern is really pretty good--not only has a good sense of timing, but takes direction well.
Judi, the president, did a piece on her misadventures in cooking when she was a newlywed--very predictable, I'm afraid (underdone company roast, giblets left in turkey, etc.) and her delivery is poor. Raul spoke on growing up in his hometown in Mexico and was much more engaging.  The toastmistress of the evening, whose name I can't remember (she was born in France and I like her a lot) "ran things," more or less.
This is a very casual--to a fault--outfit and last night, only eight people were there. However, it was fun and I like it, maybe better than the other one, "Pointsettia," which is more structured.  I'll deliver my seven- to eight-minute "icebreaker" there on Monday.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Usual

Kimball walked, of course. After breakfast, I did the wash-and-dry routine. Finished, I went to Winco and Wal-Mart for this and that. As I was parking, Debra M. called me to find out if I knew anything about our next VCS meeting. I told her I had only heard from Lori, who asked if all were available today or tomorrow. I'm booked Friday--but guess I could make it today, if early afternoon. However, I don't really want to; the meeting is to suggest speakers for next year, on which I have no particular thoughts.
Heard back from Marcelle that she isn't able to come to lunch on Friday, so I invited her to meet me, and possibly Noreen, for lunch next Wednesday. (I forgot Noreen's T.O.P.S. group is going out for dinner--another senseless action by what's supposed to be aimed at weight-loss.) I think I'll mention to the A. for A. gang I'm meeting Marcelle next week, too, and anyone who wants to join us, may do so.
Got salad fixings and did my usual slice 'n' chop. Did the town walk. At the library, I picked up the book I requested, a bio of Ho Chi Mihn. It's huge, very extensive, and takes a lot of concentration, especially as the savior of Vietnam used a number of names through his life. According to the author, it's believed there were more than fifty. These weren't necessarily aliases to evade being captured (although there were some of those). In Vietnam, children have a certain name at birth, then when they're older another, depending on where they are in life. Or something.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Rut

Talk about being in a rut; yesterday was just more of the same, aside from going to Office Depot to play around on the laptop. I still didn't buy it, but the sale is on until Friday.
I wore my coat to walk Kimball and found the buttons--there are only three--are very loose. Just sew them up, right? Sure, if you have a needle and thread, but if I do, I couldn't find them. Went to the 99 Cent Store to get a little kit and picked up some more reading glasses at the same time, as well as napkins.
The kit came with white, black, navy, and red thread, ten needles, a cloth measuring tape, and a little pair of scissors, all in a small, zippered case. Perfect, right? Wrong. I couldn't get a needle out without dismantling the round thing it was in and the tape was impossible to unwind. That's what I get for going cheap; I'll just go to Wal-Mart and simply get a needle and thread.
Got my train tickets. Now I have to figure out how I'll get to the train station on the fifteenth, when I'll go to Alameda (via Oakland). It will be about 7:00 am and Ellen wasn't enthusiastic about taking me, as it's a work day. I hate to ask Suzanne, as she took me to the hotel to get the shuttle to LAX, then picked me up when I got back. I looked into Uber and Lyfte and think I'll take one of them.
Victor S. called me back finally and said he would transfer my stuff to the laptop and set it up. I'll call him to set a time after I actually buy it.
Did the museum to library walk, of course, and continued the Judy Garland book. I was a little down, I guess. I found out on Facebook that Mike and family are going to Germany for Christmas. It isn't that I mind so much they're not coming here this year, it's just that he didn't bother to tell me before posting it. I feel hurt.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

More Various

Walked the usual (with a warm coat and scarf on!). After breakfast, I actually went over to Office Depot. Looked at a relatively inexpensive laptop, but it has only 4 gigs and a 15-inch screen, so I decided get another with 8 gigs and a 17.5 screen. I also checked for the other things Ellen mentioned and all seems okay. Of course, the price is twice as much as I thought I'd pay, but hell, it's only money. I think I'll get it today.
I've been hearing back from my A. for A. students and most can come to reunion lunch. The one who can't come--said she can't come either day--is no great loss, in my estimation. Sharon and Noreen don't use computers, so I called them and both can come, I'm happy to say.
Several people who have e-mail haven't responded and boy, that kills me. Why would you bother to use electronic devices to communicate if you don't look at them? Stupid. Anyway, I called Char and will call Carolyn, Sue, and Luisa today; the other non-respondent, John, I'll see at Toastmaster Thursday night, so I'll wait until then to tell him, I guess. Stopped at Mimi Callender's and reserved "the library" for Friday for our A. for A. lunch. Most prefer that day and that's when I decided to have it.
My nieces in Alameda both wrote back and said my plan to go up there to see Frank are fine. Now all I have to do is get my train tickets and find some way to get to the station.
Walked the m. to l. walk and dipped into an old, but extensive bio of Judy Garland. This is more to my taste than Mickey Mantle and I'll pick up where I left off today. When I got home, I seasoned and slipped into the oven a lot of chicken thighs. Had one for dinner, put others in the freezer.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Various

I'm typing fast so this damn thing stays up.
Walked Kimball, did the usual Sunday, then went to WinCo early to stock up on basics. Spent most of the morning processing same: chopped cauliflower, green peppers, and onions; sliced and dressed tomatoes; and assembled a big salad.
Sent out a message to my two sets of Acting for Amateurs group, suggesting we meet for lunch, just for fun. ent to town for my usual walk. It was surprisingly cool--probably 60 or so--and, unusually for a Sunday, not many people in town. I sat and read for a time at the library--dipped into a bio of Mickey Mantle, but lost interest after a half hour--then walked back.
Got the computer working after a time and finally called Victor S. His machine was on and he hasn't gotten back to me yet, but I had planned to ask him to fix this. However, El called after dinner and strongly suggested that, since I've been intending to get a laptop, that I go buy one today. She sees no reason to pay Victor to fix this, then soon get another I'll probably ask him to install. After some discussion--and resistance--I've decided she's right.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

More big problems with this computer. Ellen called and urged me to buy a new one tomorrow (Monday). I'm actually writing this Sunday night, I have no way of knowing how long the Internet will last.

Dudley House Boutique

Walked Kimball and, after breakfast, finally got my pedicure. I fell into conversation with my--pedicurist?--a very personable young man who is, of course, Vietnamese, but was brought up in South Carolina. We talked about Ho Chi Mihn, the man we were made to believe was practically the devil with horns, but who was truly a visionary and a great leader. Went from there to pick up salad fixings.
I realized I would probably not be able to fit in my town walk after lunch, so went beforehand and was pleased that I did. I finished Elizabeth Edwards' final book before she died, Resilience, and boy, what a loss to the country.
Showered and dressed in my docent outfit for Dudley House. No sooner did I walk in and see Lynn than she said I didn't have to dress, I could just wear whatever I wanted. Of course, she neglected to tell me that--damn, she's a kook. However, I was the greeter and I think it was appropriate that I be dressed. It was just as well, anyway, as it got chilly by 6:00.
Dudley House was beautifully decorated for the boutique, and filled with wonderful, mostly handmade Christmas items. I couldn't resist a kind of wine decanter with lights inside, which I bought from Kathy, the creator. By the time I got home, I was a little tired and just had shrimp and salad for dinner.
This computer continues to fill me with annoyance. Try as I might, I can't get the resolution back to normal. I sent Tokyo son an e-mail, asking if he could do the team viewer thing and fix it. Haven't heard back from him yet.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Fern And This Damn Computer

El made me bacon and eggs for breakfast--another treat--then she, Greg, and I went for a walk. I was glad of that, as for the first time in months, I had necessarily skipped Kimball at seven am.
I left about 1:00, had just a bowl of fruit for lunch, then went to Fern's at 2:00, bringing several scripts with me. We decided on When Cooks Confer and one of the monologues I had written. Rehearsed them until about 4:00, when I left. We'll do them on November 30, at the Humor and Drama Toastmasters.
Fern is actually pretty good. She said she'd like to be in one of my classes and I hope that might eventually happen. I think she's at least my age; she said her husband is seven years older than she is and is beginning dementia. His German ancestor were one of the first settlers in Ventura. Bouchard street and several other areas and buildings are named for him. Fern showed me a large, lavishly-illustrated book that chronicles the family history. Interestingly, the original Bouchard married young in Germany, came here, wife died years later, and he went back to Germany to choose another bride. He was seventy-two, she was twenty-one. He had two more children with her, both born when he was in his eighties--gawd!
Note: Well, I didn't call Victor yesterday when I should have because this thing seemed to be working okay. However, the resolution suddenly increased in size and when I looked up how to fix it, I get advice that doesn't seem to come up here. Also, I was told to right click on it, but after telling me to dod this and that, it brings up dire warnings about not being able to get back to normal,or whatever. I'm definitely calling Victor.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Thanksgiving

This will be very short,as I slept over at Ellen's and can't get into her computer she'
Asleep will try again laters

Well, that was incoherent. Now it's 5:00 pm and I'm home. My computer is working--after a fashion--but now the damn resolution has changed and it's big print. I'll call Victor Sarno shortly.
Had a nice Thanksgiving. I got over to Ellen's early--about 3:00--and we left for Santa Barbara an hour so later. Went to Greg's mother's, where we met her (Roz) and her grandson, Anthony. We then repaired to Harry's for dinner.
I eschewed the turkey and got spaghetti and meatballs. Why not? I've had turkey in the last seven months, but not pasta, which I like better, anyway. We had a nice time; low-key, but enjoyable. Went back to Roz's for a bit, then back to Ojai. We had a few more glasses of wine--well, I did--and I slept over, very comfortably, as I always liked her nice, soft guest bed.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Ordinary Enough Day

Now it's 9:30, practically the middle of the afternoon for me, and my computer's finally up. Hope it continues.
Walked Kimball, where I ran into my park pal, Irene, and we stopped and chatted a bit. I think I've discovered why this machine (or almost-human Machiavellian monster) wouldn't work yesterday. I think the plug isn't tight enough in the outlet. I'll be aware of that and we'll see. (Later: that wasn't it.)
Called Noreen to ask if she'd read the secretary part in the "Tootie Van Loonie" play, if Fern and I decide to do it. She agreed with pleasure, so I'll see her on the thirtieth. After breakfast, I actually sat down to type up the beginning of a horror story I had started roughly twenty years ago. Modifying as I went along, I was so absorbed in it, it was almost lunchtime before I finished the first chapter. Had lunch, then took off to town.
Boy, was it hot--in the middle eighties, at least. While I was at the library, El called. She asked me to be at her place about 3:30, which I will. Said it was ninety-something in Ojai. On my way home, I stopped at Five Points to get my--well, I used to say my little blue beauty, but now what? Okay, my gorgeous gold glory--washed. Zipped home and happy day, my license plates came in the mail. Their easy to remember, too: 8ATL555. The letters can easily stand for "Atlantic" and the 555--well, one number removed from "666," the devil's I.D., so that's all to the good.
Ha--that last may have occurred to me because I resumed typing my horror story.
Stir-fried up my occasional go-to dinner: chopped onions and peppers (I actually forgot the galic) and ground turkey. Yummy-yum, if I say so myself.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Late

AAGH! I'm late with this entry because when I got up at 5:00, the computer refused to connect. Too long and involved to explain how I got it back up, but I think--I hope--I know what this is happening. If it happens again and I can't remedy it, I'm going to call my computer guy, Victor, and have him fix it. In truth, I'd like to get a laptop; I hope to do that soon.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Walked my walk, then actually stayed in until lunchtime, looking up, honing and revising, and reading a slew of plays, short stories, and reminiscences I had written anywhere from last week (two monologues) and in 1994 (an unfinished kind of supernatural mystery). I acting out all parts of several of my longer plays, including The Pukey, which I'd love to see staged, but not in readers theatre.
After lunch, I took off for town and did my m. to l. walk. Stayed in the library for an hour or so, reading Elizabeth Edwards' last book, a slim one. Boy, this hits you right in the gut; I had to conceal the tears in my eyes. The title, Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life's Adversities, suggests one of those dreary self-help books ("faith will make you whole"), yet it's anything but. I can't wait to read the second half today. I know she died seven years ago and I actually feel grieved about that.
Had the leftovers from my little dinner party and boy, were they good, especially the roasted Brussels sprouts El made.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Leisure And Sheep

The day seemed so leisurely, since I wasn't preparing for a show or a dinner. After Kimball, I stripped the bed and gathered up the sheets and everything else needing to be washed, and took them to the laundry. Did other little chores and the place looks nice and tidy. Went to WinCo for various and home to chop cucumbers and chicken. Made a huge salad (I already had Romaine and tomatoes), half of which I had for lunch.
After, I took off for town, glad to resume my museum to library walk. I stopped in front of the mission to call Nancy and see if she was going to the widder dinner. She wasn't and I was vacillating about it--not sure I wanted to go or not.
I decided to, after all, and I enjoyed it. Talked a lot to Pam (an attorney I have pegged for my nephew, who's now divorced) and Anna, who looks--seriously--about thirty, but is fifty-four and has five grandchildren. There were nine of us, including two newcomers; one lost her husband only a year ago on Thanksgiving Day. Vera talked about our December dinner, which is on Monday, the fourth. It's to be the "wear an ugly Christmas sweater (nope) and an ornament exchange."* Wouldn't you know that's at 6:00 the same day as Poinsettia Toastmasters at 7:00 and I'm to give my maiden speech? Oh, well,l'll just flit from one to another.
Aside from that, a low-key day.
* It's wearisome how imitative people are. Wouldn't you think Vera could come up with something more imaginative, instead of those two done-to-death cliches? It reminds me of a book that made a big stir years ago--not the content (anti-communism), but the title: A Nation of Sheep.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Dinner Party

Walked Kimball, did my Sunday thing, but once again, skipped my afternoon walk. I'm comfortable with that, though; I know I'll resume after the excitement is over.
I wet mopped the floor after preparing as much as I could for dinner. Put together the marinade for the salmon; cut, chopped, and sliced the fruit for dessert; took out the tablecloth and napkins from the linen closet; assembled the serving dishes and spoons; and otherwise prepared.
Happily, I was interrupted by phone calls: My brother, Jim, called, thinking he had talked to Betty on Saturday--just got it a little confused. I also talked to my sister-in-law, Terese; she's going through some tough physical problems herself. Betty then called and we had a good, sisterly talk. After, I called Frank and told him I'd be up in early December.
I'm grieving for Frank. When he first answers, he sounds so lively and upbeat, as he always did--full of exuberance. Then he starts talking about impossible ambitions: he's going to drive again, he's going to buy a--I'm not quite sure what he meant, but some kind of car. His children don't give him any chance to decide anything himself, and so on. I don't argue with him, let alone say it's for his own good. I just say, "boy, Frank, that's a bitch, isn't it?" and let him complain. Where did my confident, assured brother go? I can't believe he won't be back.
Anyway, my little dinner party was a great success. The salmon made a hit, Suzanne brought over-roasted potatoes, Ellen both Brussels sprouts (also roasted) and some fresh peas she shelled herself. We had good, adult conversation--nobody mentioned television or the cute little things their grandchild did. (Understandable, since I was the only one with such creatures.) All three of them are, or were, teachers: third grade, high school, and college, so had plenty to talk about. Suzanne had only water, El just a small amount of Chardonnay, and Jim and I polished off the bottle Carole gave me, plus some of another I opened (of course, he stayed longer).
Suzanne left with thanks, El, that sweet girl, cleaned up, then left about 8:30. Jim stayed until a bit after 9:00; we talked and talked, ranging over philosophy, religion, and the strictures on adjunct faculty. I found out he was an only child, born and brought up in San Franciso, and thinks he's seventy-six. Not sure? No, and he doesn't seem to celebrate his birthday, which is on April 29.
Anyway, I walked him back to the entrance, then polished off more of the dessert--mixed fruit--and went happily to bed.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Prepping

Walked Kimball, then plunged into my day. After breakfast, I took the bathroom rugs and tub mat to the laundry place and washed them. I don't put them in the dryer, but just spread them on patio chairs to dry. Put all my acting stuff away--unfortunately, not very systematically, but just kind of helter-skelter. Dry-mopped the floor, cleaned the bathroom and some of the kitchen, and did a few other chores.
It then occurred to me that I wanted to send the "Nana Mix" (Chex mix with a twist, which Mom always made around Christmas) to the guys in Jersey and I wanted it there for Thanksgiving. I had always made it in the microwave, but mine is too small, so I had to do it in the oven. What a chore! It takes a full hour that way and you have to stir it every fifteen minutes. The post office closes at 3:00 on Saturdays and I had no wrapping paper. At one point, after oven and stirring, I put half in the microwave in a bowl. Set it for three minutes and--it's a good thing I opened in two, because smoke came pouring out. I guess it was too long for only a portion, or whatever. I had to throw most of that part away, made another batch, set it to cool, rushed over to CVS for brown paper, and finally got to the post office to mail it.
Went to WinCo after for salmon portions; I'll serve it baked with a simple marinade. They had none, so I had to go to Ralph's. I was going to make a berry cobbler, but I decided I just wasn't going to go that far (I used to) and bought bananas, grapes, blackberries, raspberries, watermelon, apples, and dried cranberries. Will make a simple mixed fruit dessert, instead. My niece, Carolyn, called and we had a good chat.
I still have to wet mop the floor, clean a little more here and there, and vacuum before I start on the food, but that should be no problem.
Note: I forgot to mention that my dear brother, Jim, called me on Friday,just to say hello. He sounded good, especially for 91; said he and Therese were at McDonald's for dinner--AAGH! How did he manage to live past ninety?

Saturday, November 18, 2017

"A Little Taste of Theatre"

Walked Kimball, tossed the salad I had made Thursday, then took off for T.O.P.S. I didn't think I'd lose this time, considering how often I skipped my town walk, but I did: only 1.2 pounds, but I'll take it. I'm now at 138.2 and feeling good.
We had the potluck, with plenty of food-I-won't eat because it's not what I eat. I had my own salad and a little of a sweet potato/kale dish and a very slim slice of Carole's quiche. This didn't even make a nod to the healthy food, but it was good.
Carole surprised me by giving me a bottle of Coppola Chardonnay. Yes, the director has his own brand. Anyway, I was delighted and will serve it on Sunday when I have Jim, Suzanne, and Ellen for dinner.
Rushed home from there to pack up all the gear for the show. Changed--and I must say I looked good in black and white, and got to SCAN by 2:30. Happily, the class that had met there was just leaving, so Brianne, Brenda, and I set up the place. My players started coming in by 2:45 and by 3:00, they were all there except John, my fill-in.
We had a fair number of people in the audience, which pleased me, and the players did well.
I was especially happy with Sharon, who seemed to have finally learned timing. She did a very good job in the comedic "Help Wanted--Not!" I wasn't nearly as pleased with somebody else, who is a very tiresome show-off. She seems to need constant attention for one reason or another and she's a royal pain in the ass. Char was good a lot of the time, although uneven and Noreen was one of the best of all those I've taught. Jim has improved mightily and John was adequate in his very small role. Unfortunately, M. continues to be exactly as inadequate as when she started. She's such a sweet person, so very likable, and her stated aim to to join Actors Equity. In fact, she asked me for some ideas on attaining that. I gave her the same three-page letter I've given many others who have told me they want to act, but I fear it just isn't in the cards. In every role, dramatic or comic, she voices the same unvarying tone, which is sweet, soft, and exceedingly boring.
However, the show went well. Got home about 5:00 and rang Suzanne's doorbell. She invited me in and we had a nice talk. Later, El called and asked what she could bring tomorrow. I said a vegetable of some kind; Suzanne's bringing a potato dish, and I'll serve baked salmon. If I have time, maybe I'll make applesauce. I do what to make a dessert--wouldn't dream of buying it.
When I got up this morning, the computer was out. Unplugged and re-plugged and finally got it working. It's terrible how dependent I am on it.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Rush, Rush, Rush

Whew, what a day.
Walked Kimball, had breakfast, and was over at SCAN by 9:00. (Great consternation from all those I saw about SCAN's closing.) Sharon was already there, in the "kitchen" (all but a stove) and while we chatted, she injected herself with insulin. Brianne said she'd help me set up the room for dress rehearsal, but by the time she finished whatever duties, I had done most of it.
The others came in, as instructed, at 10, except for Noreen, who doesn't use a computer and had thought rehearsal was called for 10:30. She also forgot her scripts, so I had to lend her mine. Also, John didn't show, but I had forgotten he said he couldn't be there yesterday.
Rehearsal went fairly well--"fairly" being the operative word. Of course, the more rehearsals, the better the performance, and we really had little time. However, it was okay; I noticed improvement in most of them. I had them run through the plays twice, then we broke up at noon. I went directly from there to Fed Ex and sent off the package to Singapore. That took a good half hour for various reasons and it was past my lunch time when I got home. Just ate salad and spinach, then tackled the minor revision of Impostor, as the two players and I had slightly different versions. (My fault: I had changed the first page to accommodate Sharon's difficulty in getting up and down and got mixed up doing it.)
Went to WinCo for lettuce, tomatoes, and other fixings, as I'm bringing a salad today for the potluck at T.O.P.S. While I was there, my niece called about various family/genealogy items. I had to cut her short because it was close to 5:00 and I still had things to get ready for Toastmasters. Before I got my purchases rung up, Judi from Toastmasters called to say the person who was to do improv was ill, so would I fill in? Geez, I had enough on my plate, but I agreed to fill in--luckily, I already had topics prepared, as I always start off my acting classes that way. Got home just in time for dinner, which was sketchy: I had leftovers of chicken and spinach, then took off for Humor & Drama Toastmasters.
This proved to be pretty engaging, although a tad peculiar. (Someday I'll elaborate on that, but not now.) There were only eight people there and the program included Fern reading to us about the first Thanksgiving. She actually had us gather 'round in a circle, like the little ones she used to teach. However, it wasn't bad. Raul was Toastmaster for the night--very nice guy; still has an accent, but he's not defensive about it. Edith, who's from the Netherlands and has a strong accent herself, then spoke on her trip to Vegas with Fern, who had participated in a divisional Toastmasters contest.
Refreshments followed, then my improv, which went over big. Poor Noreen got one that always throws people and couldn't talk on it for the whole minutes, but no prob.
Got home at 9:00, had some fruit, and then beddy-bye.
Today: SHOWTIME!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Full Day

Walked Kimball, getting there and home early, so I was finished my shower and starting breakfast by 8:00. Dressed and went to the VCS (Ventura Council for Seniors). I was amazed that Suze hadn't known SCAN was closing--she and Lori were stunned. There was a great deal of discussion and consternation about it and Suze repeated her mantra that we need another senior center in Ventura. She asked people to sign a kind of petition (but not to put it on the ballot) supporting it. I opened my big mouth and mentioned how often people are set up with petitions at Wal-Mart; I could do that myself. Oh, damn, that was greeted with thanks and appreciation, so I gotta do it.
Went from there home to change and then to get some more stuff about Toastmasters written out.
A large box came for Mike and Paula, this one with a twenties' tux in it. Had lunch and on my way to the hairdressers', I took it to Fed Ex to get prices (I'm also gong to have them wrap it). Oh, a mere nothing, ranging from $332 if they want it Monday, to $255 if they can wait until Wednesday. After I got back from the hairdressers (just got color), I was writing this up in an e-mail to Mike, when there was a knock on the door. It was the third item, a headpiece, so today--after rehearsal and before Toastmasters--I'll take it back to Fed Ex and have it sent off.
I still had some things to clear up for rehearsal--including writing my intros--and did that before dinner. After rehearsal today, I'll write up the "warm-up interviews" I said I'd do for Toastmasters tonight, take Mike's box to FedEx, and go to WinCo to get ingredients for what I'll bring to T.O.P.S. tomorrow. This is for the annual potluck "breakfast"--or whatever it is. We still meet at 8:45, yet there's this big spread with items anything but low-calorie. No wonder I seem to be the only one in the group who's consistently losing weight. Speaking of T.O.P.S., I have no idea where we'll meet now that SCAN is closing.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

SCAN News And Lunch

Walked Kimball and saw my two park acquaintances, Irene and Diane, and gave them invites to the performance. Home, I wrote and sent a message about tomorrow--dress rehearsal--to my players. Sharon, one of the two players who don't use the Internet, called to ask some quesitons and I gave her the lowdown. Guess I'll call the other, Noreen, today. Spent a lot more time on A. for A. stuff, such as calling the two skeltons "Bad" and "Badder," which I typed out in large red letters. They'll grace the desk for the Hell playlet.
Before my lunch date with Nancy at Red Lobster, I was pleased to find an easy way to get to Oxnard without using the 101. While I was driving there, my friend Doris called and I pulled over. I was stunned when she told me SCAN is closing--last day is December 15. Wow! However, now that I think of it, I shouldn't have been surprised. It takes a lot of dough to run a place like that and their actual business is insurance; their corporate office is in Long Beach. That's a blow for Doris. She spends a lot of time there and participates in all kinds of activities. Oh, well, c'est la vie.
Met Nance at 1:00 and we gorged on scampi, plus Mediterranean, and took some home, too. The only problem was, the containers leaked--or else I didn't have them closed right--and just about ruined my white sweater. As soon as I got home, I put it in the sink with detergent, but I doubt if it's going to come out. Oh, well, it's one of many.
Got to town about 3:30, walked my walk, read for a bit, then walked back and was home at 5:00. I found a package at my door, presumably one of the ones Mike had sent to me and asked me to send to Singapore. This is a sequinned top for Paula and, so far, is the only one that's come. They'll be attending some parties shortly and I guess their gigantic stuffed closets don't have enough in them (only enough to outfit the entire population of Ventura).

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Eye And Routine

When I got up, my eye still felt fine. Walked Kimball, then called Miramar (the eye docs) and got an appointment for 3:00. I did this and that on the computer and went to WinCo and a few other places, lunched, then to see the ophthalmologist.
He said he could see the scratch (scratch? I thought of it as a CRATER, with blood pouring out of it), but that it was healing well and to keep putting the ointment in for a few days. Happy day, I'm so relieved. Called El to tell her the good news.
Went from there directly to town and did my usual walk, glad to be back in my routine. Home about 5:00 and ran into Don. We talked--mostly about Ken, our former neighbor, whom Don (and Suzanne) helped to move into Lexington Assisted Living. We talked for a half hour or so, then I went in to have delicious ahi for dinner. They were frozen and usually I buy fresh fish, but these were so good. They're seared on the outside and raw in the middle, meant as appetizers, but I had them as my main dish--so good.
Got several e-mails from Toastmasters officers. Judi A. asked me to speak on November 20th, but hell no, that's the day after my dinner party and all the other stuff going on. I wrote back that I'll speak at the next meeting on December 4.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Eye And Ellen

For the first time in months--I'm not even sure how long--I walked neither Kimball nor town.
No Kimball because I went to the emergency room about 7:00 am. I had slept soundly all night, but my eye felt about the same. Drove in, gave all my info to the clerk, was sent into the nurse, and--started having second thoughts. I asked if they had an ophthalmologist on staff in that section, and naturally, they didn't. Well, damn, I didn't want some resident treating me eye, plus it occurred to me I probably should have called the doctor first. I told the nurse that and she agreed to delete all my current info, and it was done. Called my eye doc's office and talked to Dr. C., who agreed it wasn't a good idea to go to the E.R. I told him I found it impossible to tape my eye, but he said to try or to at least keep it closed after putting in the ointment. He also prescribed an antibiotic "just in case."
By the time I got home, it was almost 9:00 and I decided it was best not to walk Kimball. Had breakfast, read the paper, and eye was about the same. I went to CVS to get the RX, packed my already-prepared lunch salad, then left for Ellen's at noon.
We ate outside under her pergola, which was heavenly. I remarked that if we were in Jersey, we'd be fighting off the yellow jackets and green heads as soon as we sat down. El hadn't known about my eye and asked if I wanted her to put the medications in and tape it. Yes, and after we ate, she did. She then put on NetFlix (or whatever it is) Hidden Figures, which I hadn't seen and thought was pretty good. Greg had taken the day off and came out to chat with us, then went to mow the lawn. I kept the tape on all through the movie, then took it off to drive home and glory be, the eye felt much better.
Unfortunately, although I no longer feel the "something in my eye," I'm now experiencing some focus problem, something like "seeing double." I'm going to call Miramar and go in today.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Saturday

Did the usual, then did what I do every day, and topped that off with nothing new. Am I in a rut? Why, yes, but it's one of my own making.
I did go to WinCo for all kinds of veg goodies. Came home to make two days worth of salad, pare and chop cucumbers, cut up tomatoes and add oil and vinegar (I like these in salad instead of plain) and hard boil five eggs, as I had no chicken for the salad and protein at every meal is my habit. I got some raw shrimp, as well as a swai filet, plus onions and peppers, which I'll prepare and freeze shortly.
Took my town walk, of course, and boy, was Main Street jammed. There was an art show/sale going on in the little Mission Park, as well as all kinds of street happenings. I always like to be walking through on busy weekend days, then I'm glad to be back to staid weekdays.
I'm still reading McGreevey's Confession and still wondering whether he or his debatable gay lover is telling the truth: a torrid affair or sexual Harassment? Not sure, but I'm interested.
Suggested to Ellen we go to the olive oil place in Ojai today. However, she wasn't enthusiastic and neither am I. She suggested we walk on Shelf Road, which winds around a high hill and from which you can look down on the town. We used to do this years ago, before I ever dreamed I'd live in the area, and I'm looking forward to it. I'll bring my lunch to her place and we'll eat first.
While I was putting on my sunglasses, I had my car keys in my hand and poked my eye. It feels as if there's something in it, and I later called the eye doctors at Miramar. The one I talked to said to get an ointment, then tape the eye shut. Went to CVS and that brand name wasn't there, but the pharmacist there said another was the same thing. Bought that and "paper tape," but couldn't bring myself to tape my eye. Put the ointment in and went to bed early. Slept all night, but the eye doesn't feel much different.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Here And There

Got up early again, just before 5:00 and I have to nip this in the bud. Walked Kimball and again had breakfast early.
I spent almost the whole morning revising the two monologues I wrote for Fern. Darn, they're pretty good--I'm not sure I want to give them to her, but oh, well. They're under copyright, of course. I always inform my class of this; I don't want them shared.
Ran out to the 99 Cent Store for napkins and saw they were actually giving away Halloween leftovers. I picked up two small skeletons to dress the set (ha!) for "Hell On Wheels." I'll have them on a table holding signs that say "BAD" and "BADDER."
After lunch, I took my regular museum to library walk. I knew the library was closed for "Veterans Day." It was formerly Armistice Day, of course, but why should a country engaged in aggression in seven different counties want to commemorate peace? Now, sadly, few remember--or care about, I guess--the original meaning. SCAN was closed, also; it seemed odd not to get weighed (I can just heard Betty saying, "Get laid?" Inside joke.)
Stopped at Wal-Mart and took my BP. It remains low at 93/61, but I seem to be doing fine. Called El when I got home and we discussed plans for Thanksgiving. I also asked her to dinner on the 19th, when I'm having Jim and Suzanne, since doofy Don won't come. It would be nice if Greg could, too, but he has to work. We discussed getting together on Sunday, too. She suggested the holiday house tour on Sunday, but it costs a whopping forty-five bucks. I'll try to think of something else.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Potluck

Darn, I got up before the alarm went off at 6:00 yesterday--an hour an a half earlier, in fact. However, I decided to get up, did my thing, got to Kimball early and home early, so I had breakfast before 8:00. I've been thinking about the monologues I promised Fern and a topic occurred to me. I spent the morning on a first draft, and modified later. Had to get out, so I went to Ralph's, where I found the minced onion; also got salmon and blueberries. I drove to the Goodwill near where Ellen used to live and dropped off some donations. Saw the new supermarket that just opened in the same shopping center and went in to browse. It didn't seem as good as WinCo to me. Home, I had lunch, then made the cranberry meatballs to bring to the potluck at Dudley House. This entails adding other ingredients to ground beef, rolling small, then popping them in the oven for a half hour. After that, they're simmered in the slow cooker with the cranberry sauce, chili sauce, and a few other things.
For the first time in months, I made the conscious decision to skip my afternoon walk. I just couldn't fit it in with the above, as the potluck was at 6:30. Showered, packed up my slow cooker, and took off.
I was early enough to help set up at Dudley House. Gatherings are held in the basement, which is roomy and has a full kitchen. We moved tables around, added chairs, and otherwise laid things out. I guess about forty people were there; I met most and it was great fun. This group isn't restricted to senior citizens, but as far as I could see, only two were within shouting distance of sixty. I sat with Lynne, director of docents, and two woman named Carol and Cathy who I'll bet are pushing ninety. However, they were animated and fun.
Lynne gave me my official name plate (it's made of light metal, with a picture of the house on it). I had brought flyers about our performance on the 17th and gave them out. (I wouldn't dream of relying on SCAN to publicize, run as it is by two young women who seem clueless about p.r.) I saw that several people had brought wine--my kind of folks!--and had the equivalent (in plastic) of two glasses of Chardonnay. A local historian named Richard Senate spoke on "Hollywood in Ventura County" and was very entertaining. I was pleased that my meatballs were all snapped up (I always put toothpicks by the pot to get them out) and several people told me how much they liked them.
I was charmed that Bob Dudley attended. He's the great-grandson (or maybe great-great) of Benjamin Dudley, the patriarch who built the house. I chatted with him for a few minutes; he said he hadn't lived in the house, but on a ranch up in the hills, where he was born. He must be at least ninety and he still lives there
The evening was great and I'm glad to be part of Dudley House.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Transfers And Governor McGreevy

I finally got an off day. After Kimball and breakfast, I did a load of wash and at long last, got the car-to-closet transfers made. In a way, I had used my old car for storage, especially to keep my big suitcase (with a smaller one inside) in the trunk, which I don't want to do with the new one. The transfer entailed rolling it to the apartment and replacing it in the trunk with this and that I want to keep there. I had to move the big vacuum from the hall closet to the room-length closet, put the Shark where that had been, add the suitcase, and--well, lots of moving around.
In between washing, drying, and folding, I looked up monologues for Fern, of Toastmasters. I'm not sure why I agreed to do this; she could herself, and maybe I'll just e-mail her the web sites. She wants some that go on for five to seven minutes, but that's about twice or more as long as they (audition monologues, anyway) last. While I was thinking about this, I decided to write one. It's not bad and maybe I'll save it for my next Acting for Amateurs class, if I'm ever gaga enough to do it again. (I always think this way when a performance is coming up. Later, I forget the harried part and remember how much I enjoy it.)
I was out of lettuce, so went to WinCo for that and also the ingredients for the cranberry meatballs I'm going to make for the Dudley House potluck this evening. For some weird reason, I couldn't find minced onion at three different stores, so maybe I'll just get an onion and mince it myself. Found the chili sauce at WinCo, but it was Korean and I wasn't sure that's what was specified. Bought it at Smart 'n' Final, instead.
Ran into Don outside and we chatted. I told him I was hurt that he turned down my dinner invitation and he assured me it was only because he eats certain things and won't touch others. He does get to be tedious at times--lacks the social graces and just seems limited, but I'll just accept that.
Of all things, I've gotten re-interested in Jim McGreevy, the former NJ governor. I had read his book, Fall To Grace (what hotshot editor dreamed up the title?) years ago and when I stopped at the library yesterday, found his other one, The Confession, and started it. It details his affair with his Israeli aide, Golan Cipel, and includes lots about his Irish RC background. I looked up Cipel and read about his lawsuit against McGreevy. Interestingly, I also found his blog, in which he categorically denies any affair with McGreevy, saying he was sexually assaulted by same.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

And The Beat Goes On...

Still buzzing around here and there. After walking Kimball, showering, and breakfast, I prepared for the class. Pulled together the wigs, jewelry, hats, and so on, along with my notebooks and got to SCAN at 9:45. Happily, I found the room set up. Brianna showed me the screen/partition I wanted to use as a kind of backstage area and--forget it. It's in more than a hundred pieces--damn that Tony! He's the one who, for some unknown reason, took it apart and there's nobody who can reassemble it. After discussion with Briana and Brenda, I gave up about it--reluctantly--and will have to have the be-wigged players come in from another room.
Class went pretty well. There are still lacks in some areas; I want to see more energy, especially from one person. Another is a real pain in the butt. She's the one who had me re-type in larger print her parts; yesterday, she came in with her scripts in an entirely different binder. I wanted to have the binders--I bought them, all the same, in green--uniform, but she says it "hurts her arm." What the--! Okay, that's a battle I don't want take on.
The others are doing pretty well. Noreen, in particular, is a happy surprise. John C., the new guy, came in and he's very good; only complaint I have about him is that he rushes a bit. Wouldn't you know, I keep telling the others to pick up the pace and I have to tone him down a bit. After we ran through all the playlets, we went into the other room and people who were wearing them picked out wigs, hats, and other things. Noreen startled me (and maybe everybody else) by pulling off what I had thought was her natural hair, to reveal very sparse white strands. I'm having her be a Lolita type, with a blond wig, flowery hat, and kind of lace shawl. Marcelle said she had a wig at home and she'd bring that. I was very pleased that Jim brought in a black fedora and Sharon volunteered to make horns for it, as Jim plays the devil.
We didn't get out of there until almost 1:00 and by that time, I was ready for lunch and to put all this behind me for a few days. I'll write up my notes and send individual e-mails telling my players, first what they did well and then--as diplomatically as possible--what needs to be improved. I'm like a broken record with this: "pick up the pace, react to the other actors, don't let your voice drop..." and so on and on.
After I got home, I stopped at Don's to invite him for dinner with Suzanne, Jim, and me on the 19th. I was taken aback when he declined. Said he just wasn't very social and he was self-conscious with new people. He invited me in and we talked for fifteen or so, but he doesn't want to come to dinner. Well, okay. I don't know any other men, so maybe I'll invite Noreen.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Toastmasters

Busy as ever. Walked Kimball and so on, then met the widder group at noon. I was pleased that Nancy came and I gave her the info on the Dudley House Christmas boutique, starting the weekend after Thanksgiving. We had a good time, as ever, and I even ordered off the menu--getting adventurous, I am. I had a shrimp taco, but told them to hold the tortillas and just had the shrimp and greens.
Went from there directly to town, as I wasn't going to let a third day go by without my m. to l. walk. Stayed for a bit reading some New Yorker articles from the sixties in a new book.
Got home and printed out some invites to the performance. Took them to Toastmasters (the Poinsettia chapter)*, which was held in Fern's house. She's a longtime member and, in fact, is in three different Toastmasters chapters. She must be at least my age, maybe older, and her house is very large and nicely appointed. We had the meeting in a big separate area, all screened in, and with a big bar and other appointments.
I got there early, in order to fill out an application for the Humor and Drama chapter and Fern and I chatted. She asked if she and I could do one of my playlets as our "assignments" for Toastmasters. I agreed and I'll bring Impostor and When Cooks Confer over to her place shortly, so we can go over them and decide which is best to present.
The meeting was fun. John and Noreen were both there and, of course, I'll see them today at Acting for Amateurs. In fact, I still need to pull together some of the wigs and other costume parts I'm taking. We'll have a regular rehearsal in the big room, then go to the other to decide on costuming.
We all had a ball at Toastmasters, which included a neat routine prescribed by Cece, who served as "Table Talk" master. She paired us together and we were told we had to devise a one-minute routine, with each person saying only one word. She paired me with Rachel, who had mentioned earlier that she lost her phone. We went in a corner to decide what we'd do and I suggested we hit off that. She liked the idea and her word being "mine," my word "no." Of course, we pretended I had stolen her phone and went through various histrionics about it. I must say it made a hit and I liked the idea so much I asked Cece if I could use it in a future class. She readily agreed.
Didn't get home until 8:30 and was up another hour, dirty stay-out that I am.
*I add the name because I actually get confused about which chapter--Poinsettia or Humor & Drama--I'm to attend. Many of the same people are in both, as I am now.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Dudley House

Heaven forfend! For the second day in a row, I didn't walk in town. However, I think my activities made up for that.
Of course, I walked Kimball. Came home to do my Sunday crossword; usually, I don't get a few clues (and I don't obsess over it--I have other things to obsess over), but this time, I got them all. I spent a fair amount of time assembling salad ingredients: sliced lettuce, chopped chicken, quartered tomatoes and dressed them with oil and vinegar to add. I was annoyed with myself that I accidentally bought zucchini, thinking they were cucumbers. Looked here, there, and everywhere for the template for the invitation to the performance, finally found it, and modified to fit the upcoming performance. I had about half of the salad for lunch, then got ready for my docent duties at Dudley House.
If I say it myself, I looked pretty good. Wore the same long black skirt, white blouse, and straw hat I had before (when I was just a greeter), and set off much too early. Waited around the property until Lynn came. Two other docents, Sherry and Karla, who are mother and daughter, came and it was fun getting to know them. Although I had never acted as tour guide before and hadn't had any actual training (just some written material), I did well. I guess I'm a quick study, as I had to glance at the material only a few times. Anyway, it was pretty much back to back with people coming in. At the end of the day, we had had forty in various family groups, including several with children. Most were good, although one pair of sisters--I'd say maybe 4 and 5--were little hellions, grabbing things and running here and there. Why their mother would ever take them to an historic house tour is beyond me.
Considering Lynn's persona--crazed house mother--I'm surprised the day went fairly smoothly. However, at one point, I had finished the porch and the dining/sitting room, and was halfway through my spiel in the parlor for one group, when she rushed in with an entire family--parents and three daughters. It made no sense to me that she didn't wait and have me start over. I did enjoy it, though, and will attend the potluck for docents on Thursday.
It's funny: I have a lot of stamina and don't tire easily, but at the end of the day, I was pooped, which is why I skipped the town walk. I'll resume my usual routine today. Also have widder lunch at noon and Toastmasters this evening.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Fun Day

Rain had been predicted, but as ever, it didn't materialize and it was gorgeous--sunny and clear blue skies all the way.
I picked Nancy up at the Black Angus and drove to Marina Mobile Home Park. That sounds to this east coaster like maybe what we used to call a "trailer park"; ticky-tacky little places for those who can't afford a "regular" house. Ha! This is southern California, so these roomy, nicely-kept manufactured homes go for 800K and up.
Sandy B., a woman I know from T.O.P.S., lives there and told the group about a boutique going on yesterday. Sandy is an artist and since my pal, Nancy, also paints, I asked if she'd like to go. The boutique was mostly paintings, ornaments, and other items, all hand-made and all priced to appeal to deep pockets. Sandy had some nice works displayed, but they were all over a hundred and frankly, they weren't that good. Since I still haven't found a space for my Uncle Frank's paintings, I have no room for more, anyway. Nancy and I both bought some unique and original hand-designed cards and some decorative stamps. It seems the mother of one of the residents had recently died and she was pretty creative. These were modestly priced, as the woman's mother had rooms full.
We went from there to lunch just down the harbor road, to a restaurant Nancy's suggested, the Rhumba Line (I assume the name refers to some kind of nautical rope or something, but I'm too lazy to look it up). It's right on the water and a great place--especially because they serve "bottomless" mimosas. After discussion, the waitress was nice enough to fill the glass halfway with champagne, but to put the orange juice in little carafes on the side, so we could add as much--or as little--as we wanted. Yummy, yummy, I love champagne.
After lunch (I had Caesar salad, Nancy a brunch plate), lots of good talk, and plenty of bubbly, off we went. I dropped Nance at the Black Angus, then drove directly to Ellen's to show off my car. She likes it a lot and immediately showed me how to get the windshield wiper fluid to work (anybody but me would have to be showed, I'm afraid). She also tried and tried to get the Blue Tooth to work. She said hers was very difficult too, but this one had her stumped after about of hour of trying everything. Finally, she called Enterprise and found my little inexpensive Fiesta isn't equipped with it. I could buy one for seventy-five bucks and pay to have it installed, but it'll be a cold day in Havana before that happens.
Left El to work on report cards and drove home. On the way she called to be sure I had taken the hand brake off; I had, since I never use it and only my children think I should. Betty also called. Chatted with her for a bit (after parking at the museum), then drove home to salmon and spaghetti squash.


Saturday, November 04, 2017

Still Plenty Going On

As is my habit (I don't know why I always fall for these archaic English structures), I sat down here to write in this bog, check my mail, and go onto Facebook before I left for Kimball at 7:00. I was delighted to get a message back from John C., saying he would "love" to be in Hell On Wheels--yay!
Ran into my park friends, Irene and Diane, at Kimball. They oohed and aahed over my pretty little car and we stopped to chat for fifteen or so. Once home, I had to rush to change and get to T.O.P.S., but there was more good news there: I lost another 2.4 pounds, for a total of 42.78 pounds, plus--TA DAH!--I'm now in the one-thirties. Well, just barely, at 139.4, but hey, I'll take it.
Just as I pulled into my parking spot afterwards, I got a call from Bob S., of Sunrise Bay, saying he had had to repair some wires for the sprinkler system that he thinks Meticulous, the lawn service, somehow cut. I didn't get a chance to call Meticulous (I assume they'll pay Bob's fee) until later and by that time, it was closed. Will get to them on Monday.
Stripped the bed and took two large loads of wash to the laundry place; I not only used two washers, I used two dryers. While they were doing their thing, I sent John a return message and attached the playlet. After lunch, I called him and he came over. We met in our all-purpose room--very handy, as my place was in some disarray and I didn't feel like clearing it out just then. I know John is going to be perfect in the (very small) part, as he's articulate and intelligent, plus some kind of officer in Toastmasters. After that, I headed to the bank to deposit the check from AAA, then stopped at the supermarket, which meant I didn't get to the museum until almost 4:00--late for me, but no matter.
On my way to the library, I went in the four thrift stores I pass, still looking for a small scale for Ellen's science class--no luck today, either. While I was at Goodwill, Nancy called and we firmed up our plans to go to a boutique, then lunch today. After that, I'll go to El's to show her the car.
Stopped at Smart 'n' Final for grapes, berries, and olive oil, so didn't get in until almost 6:00.
Now I have to find some time to do my homework for Dudley House, as I haven't even glanced at the docent material. I said I'd take the porch, living room, and dining room and there's a lot to know about them.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Lunch With Jim

Walked the walk, drove over to Enterprise to pick up my clicker, showered, and set off to meet Jim at the harbor.
I had suggested Brophy Bros, where you sit overlooking the water with boats going in and out--I always liked it there. We were both early, Jim with his ugly little dog--okay, not ugly, but no beauty, either--whose name is Mollie (or Molly). The pooch sported a "Service Dog" sweater or vest or whatever it is. It kills me that Jim is as conservative as you can get, constantly railing against those who have ruined our great nation, shamed our glorious heritage, and besmirched...etc. Yet here he is, taking a fleabag into a restaurant as if he might drop dead at any minute unless Mollie--unless Mollie does what? Administers mouth to mouth resuscitation? Splints his broken leg? Alerts passers-by of Jim's need for a band-aid? There's nothing wrong with Jim, but he thinks he's hot stuff because he takes his doggie to lunch.
However, we had a passably good time. He needed to tell about his wife, Lou's, death, less than a year ago and I listened intently. That was fine and I understand his grief. It's when he starts his constant self-aggrandizement that being with him gets tedious. If I hear one more time that his daughter made six million dollars when she was with--can't remember, but some software company--I'm going to stick a fork in his eye. Other than that and his tendency to keep the conversation on himself--typically of such self-absorbed people, he showed little interest in my life--it was okay. He insisted on paying for lunch and I acquiesced without embarrassment. I realize he drove 175 miles to see me and some of the traffic must have been horrendous. Anyway, after lunch and a Corona each, I walked him to his car and we hugged goodbye. Somehow, Jim seems more to be pitied than disliked.
Went directly from there to WinCo to stock up on veggies and fish, then to another market for fruit. Came home and changed into sneakers for my town walk, but received a call from AAA to the effect my check was available and I could pick it up. Did so, then did the museum to library thing.
When I got home, I called Betty to report on the afternoon with Jim and she agreed he's a bit pathetic. He had invited us each to come see him in Texas, but I don't think that's in the cards for me anytime soon.
Or anytime.