Tuesday, February 28, 2017

In The Money

I'm skipping all the stuff about when I got up, what I ate, and so on and so forth, and just plunging in:
I pay for most purchases with my debit card, but occasionally with cash and I drop any change I get in a cup when I come in. Every once in a while, I transfer it to a jar and whenever it occurs to me, I cash it in.
Yesterday it occurred to me and I went to my bank--the Bank of America, this branch of which is a sinkhole of incompetence--and was pleased it wasn't at all crowded. Went up the teller and asked where the coin counting machine was and this conversation ensued: "We don't have one." "Then how do you count coins?" "We send them to L.A." "How can I get my coins counted?" "We can send them to L.A. for you, but it will take about ten days." Who-o-a! In tiny Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey, my bank had a coin counting machine that was free for customers to use. Here, they send to Los Angeles--fer cryin' out loud!
I tried across the street at the credit union and yes, they have a coin counter, but I'm not an account holder there and they took ten percent. What is really incredible is that they charge their own customers five percent. You'd think it would be gratis for them.
Anyway, I put my coins in--incidentally, the damn thing kept rejecting and I had to put them back--and I was pleased to see I had forty-three bucks and change. The ten percent came off of that, but still.
Doris called and she, Carole, and I will meet for the movies (Arrival) this afternoon. Went to WinCo for a few items and picked up some nice skinless chicken breasts. In truth, I like the skin, when I oil and season it, best, but mindful of my weight loss resolve, I bought them, roasted them, and had one for dinner. I still prefer dark meat with skin, but it was okay.
Went from there to the library and got a few things. Home for lunch, then out for a drive. El called and said the plumber was coming on Wednesday afternoon to install her new dishwasher and could I be there until she gets back from work? Sure.
When I picked up the mail, I found to my amazement, a check for $55.00 from some kind of class action suit in Jersey. Hey, I don't care what it's from, I'll take it. So that means I'm in the money--almost forty from my change, fifty-five here--wowee!
That a dime will get you a cup of coffee.*
*That's one of my favorite sayings, cynic that I am. Of course, to be anywhere accurate nowadays, it would be "that and a dollar and a half...," but that doesn't have the same ring to it.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Rituals, Relationships, and Residents

I enjoy my Sunday ritual so much, I look forward to it the rest of the week: coffee, computer, and crossword in the morning and I'm set for the day.
After the aforementioned (I just can't help myself!) and breakfast, I went to Barnes & Noble. I still haven't spent any of my gift card from Sherry and I thought they might have Laughing At My Nightmare, by Shane Buchaw. He in his twenties, lives in Pennsy, and has a rare muscle condition. He can do almost nothing for himself and eventually, he won't be able to swallow or breathe and he'll be dead. I'm "friends" with him on Facebook and think he's a neat guy in all kinds of ways.
Didn't find the book at B & N, so I guess I'll have to buy it from Amazon. I then went to Lowe's and bought another succulent dish for Sharon, plus two ferns for myself to put in the new two planters. Drove into town, meaning to go to the library, but remembered the horrible craters at the parking lot entrance and will go today, instead. stopped into several stores and got a few inconsequential items--they must be inconsequential because I can't remember what they are--then home for lunch. Beside a big salad and a dish of homemade apple sauce, I zapped the kale I bought the other day and it was absolutely horrible. I'll try cooking it longer, but after that, kale and I are going to end our relationship, which wasn't very good to begin with.
Went to the east end Goodwill and found a sensational faux fur small rug, which I'll put in front of the hall sink--love it! Also got a large terra cotta pot that looks great on the patio, three small saucers for under the smaller plants, a large one for the big plant, and a bag of flat marbles for anchoring plants. Total cost? Twelve bucks and change.
I saw Suzanne and another resident, Don, chatting outside and I stopped for a bit. Don has lived here ten years, Suzanne fifteen, which always pleases me. Don said he'd like the complex to be made an over-55 one, but I don't. There aren't many children in this part, anyway, but I like to see and hear them now and then. Besides, if that happened, I'd be willing to bet animals would be allowed and that's the one thing that would drive me away. Anyway, I asked Suzanne if I could get some information from her regarding a friend who might need help at home. She invited me in and gave me some leads.
Got an e-mail from Doris asking if I'd like to go to the movies on Tuesday with her, Sherry, and maybe another. I said yes, but will call George from Caregivers to see if he'll come before or after.

Sunday, February 26, 2017


I managed to stay out much of the time on Saturday. Did the back-and-forth wash chore in between breakfast, then went to WinCo for dish detergent and kale. I'm not nuts about kale, but thought I'd give it another try as a salad green, as it's supposed to be packed with nutrients or something.
Home for lunch, then as I was going out again--I want to get some plants for the two containers I bought--El called on the cell. Her new dishwasher had been delivered and she wanted to know when I'd be available to be there when it was installed. I told her almost anytime this coming week, aside from Wednesday morning when I have the BCNN breakfast. She said she was going to work in the patio and did I want to come over in an hour or so? Sure thing, and I did.
First, I went to Lowe's; didn't get any plants for my containers, but saw a darling little dish of succulents and picked one up for Sharon, from T.O.P.S., who's been very nice to me. Darn, I like it so much, I'll keep it and get another for her.
As it turned out, it was so cold--53, I saw on line--that Ellen didn't do any gardening, but we had a nice talk, ranging from one of her students to drug overdoses among older white males to L.A. Housewives. This was accompanied by peach iced tea and a little of the liqueur Cointreau. I had never had it before and I like it, but probably won't run out to buy any. I think it's pretty potent.
Anyway, went home, had a late (for me) dinner (salmon). Played some new Big Fish game on this sublime machine--or diabolic Big Brother horror--then went to bed and slept like a lamb.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Getting Serious

Went to T.O.P.S. and ouch, I gained either four or six pounds, I didn't want to check. Could that possibly be because I've been eating any old thing I want, including ice cream, beer, and so on? Oh, hell, no.
However, I was pleased when all the regulars greeted me warmly and asked where I'd been the last two sessions. I do like this group--maybe because I see them only once a week--and I'll continue to go to the meetings. In addition, I resolve here and now to get serious about losing. Incidentally, our leader, Lolly, always asks those in the group to mention any challenges they have. I said the area under my--well the upper part of my anatomy that used to be perky--gets itchy and a little sore. Others recommended Gold Bond Medicated Power, which I did later and it works fine.
Nothing tempts me to eat more than staying in, especially if I'm sitting most of the time. Therefore, I determined I'd stay out most of the day. I didn't have breakfast until 10:00 and after, I went out to WinCo for salad fixings, then to Wal-Mart for the powder and stuff. Made my salad for lunch, adding some chicken I had in the fridge, then resisted the temptation to have anything else, and drove to town. I parked on Thompson Avenue, then walked to three stores and picked up some plant holders, plus a pretty flowering kale (not the edible kind). By the time I got home, it was close to 5:00 and I was pleased at that.
Betty called and so did Courtney at Caregivers. Finally, my fingerprint report came in (guess I'm not a escaped felon) and George, who also works there, called to ask if he could come to my apartment on Tuesday so I can fill out papers they need. Geesh, this is telephone-calling for which I volunteered because I think it will be interesting; you'd think it was directorship or something. I was a little surprised that he wants to come to my place, but I think it's so they can be sure you don't live in a rat-infested slum or something--don't know for sure.
Speaking of volunteering, I also offered myself to participate in some Alzheimer's clinical trials. Somebody from there called me yesterday, too. Unfortunately, of those listed, the closest is in L.A. and I won't drive there. However, according to the web site, there are three in which participants don't have to go to a site; it's on-line, I guess, and I'll contact those to see if it's feasible for me.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Senior Scams and Other

I'm beginning to wonder if I'm losing it, considering:
Every third Thursday, Caregivers has a coffee, to which they invite their--well, caregivers. Since I've volunteered to be a phone caller, I go and I enjoy them. I had it on my calendar for yesterday at 11:00 am, but completely forgot about it. Darn. I did stop on my way to an event at Cypress Place to ask if my fingerprint report came in. It hasn't yet, so I'm still waiting for an assignment.
Doris had e-mailed me back that she'd like to go to the "Senior Scam" presentation and I met her there. (The public was invited to this.) An acting company that's actually called "Stop Senior Scams" did it, with original skits. I had expected to be somewhat bored, but thought I go to check out the acting company.
Hey, they were really good. I talked to their director before hand--Adrienne Omansky, who has only one arm--and we exchanged cards. Unfortunately, they're from L.A.and I won't think of going that far, unless we're talking Hollywood. Anyway, the ensemble sang part of show and, almost surely, some had appeared in paying gigs. It was great fun, actually, and I'm glad I went.
Went home and changed after, then drove to the library. I took back three books, only one of which I read--I just have too much reading material, with three more I'm partway through. Saw Sharon, from T.O.P.S. and she said everyone had been asking where I was (I skipped the last two meetings, I'm afraid). I told her I'd go today and I will, although I dread the scale. I've been eating everything in sight for weeks, I'm afraid.
Had a message from the Alzheimer's Association when I got home--maybe they somehow knew I had forgotten Caregivers coffee--and I called back. I had indicated interest in Alzheimer's research at one of the many gatherings I attended, and this was in reference. I imagine it's similar to the Brain Research Study at did at Stockton State and it seems feasible, I'll do it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Busy Day

What a day--but a sunshiny one and that makes up for anything. Got to my 10 am manicure appointment early and Diane took me early. I chose a bright red because I thought it looked like spring and Diane did a nice job, as usual.
Home, I showered and dressed, but didn't wash my hair, hoping the shape would stay in for at least a few days. Met Nancy at the Black Angus at 12:30; we both had "golden Margaritas"--it was pineapple--but I was mildly disappointed that they weren't in traditional Margarita glasses, which I find so festive. Actually, I didn't think they were very good, anyway--weak, actually. But we enjoyed lunch and lots of good talk, of course, then parted. It was too early to go to the Strategic Plan meeting, so I went home and did this and that, then set off for the 3:30 meeting at Suze'es office.
Only it wasn't at her office. When I got there, I was told it was at City Hall, all the way in town. Suze had sent an e-mail to meet in "Room 218," not realizing I didn't know that meant City Hall. I know how to get there--it's just above the library (above, as in "beyond," and also literally above, as it's on a rise that overlooks the city). On the way, I had to detour for this and that, so I got there a half hour late for an hour-long meeting.
However, it worked out okay. I learned a bit and I met Denise Sindelar, who is manager of the Community Partnership Division of the Ventura Parks, Recreation & Community Commission (everybody around here has lo-o-ong titles). She's very sharp, savvy, and articulate person, and she greeted me as a colleague. I did manage to say a few things that didn't sound too knuckle-headed and as if I knew what was what, although I don't, but I'll learn. Also present were VACE people Cary (a very tall, slender, pretty brunette who you'd swear made her living as a model), Lori, and Hans.
Sent an e-mail to Doris and Sherry to see if they want to go to a program (public is invited) today at Cypress Point Independent Living. It's on senior scams, in which I have no interest at all, but I just like to get out.

Drip, Drip, Drip

Rain again, which was just as well, as it suited my mood--dark and gloomy.
Why? Because of my continuing suffering at the hands of Experian Credit Bureau; I spent several hours in the morning on calling, arguing, and so on, and got nowhere. Although Experian agrees that my social security number is now correct and they rate my credit (of 805) as "exceptional," the "dispute" label is still on my page on their web site. I've filed a complaint with the U.S. government credit agency, although I'd be willing to bet that'll do me a fat lot of good.
Went to my hair appointment at noon and Amanda did a nice job, as ever. However, I was taken aback to be charge $32--plus of course, I added a 20 percent tip--which I think is ridiculously high. Possibly, I'll look around for a less expensive place.
I called Mayfair and told them to forget the coffee table--since the quote they gave me originally has expired, it's more than forty dollars higher. The hell with it, I'll get it at a furniture store here, although I was hoping to avoid paying to have it delivered. Went to Smart 'n' Final for oranges and onions; otherwise, took a drive just to get out.
Things started looking up later in the day: Nancy called and asked if I was free for lunch today at the Black Angus. I figure if I change my manicure appointment to earlier (I had made it for noon), I could do it, as my VACE meeting is at 3:30. Called Diane at Jessica Nails and she said I could come at ten today. Nancy said B.A. had a special on "golden Margaritas," and boy, that sounds good to me.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Widder Dinner of the Month

More damn rain came down, although there was little wind and it was sporadic.
I vacuumed--my least favorite chore in the universe--and dusted. (I can't imagine where this cleaning frenzy came from; something must be wrong with me.)
Drove to Smart 'n' Final for ground turkey, as I have a yen for it sauteed with onions and garlic; got salad stuff and a few other things. Managed to get a wash in the laundry place and luckily, as I went to and fro, the rain was either just misty or non-existent.
Drove into town and picked up some books for Mr. K., plus a furry throw I couldn't resist. It looks like mink, although considering the modest price, it surely isn't. It was silly of me to buy it, as I have several other throws, but maybe our visitors can use it.
Called to get a hair appointment, which I wanted for tomorrow, but Amanda isn't in until 2:00 and I have a meeting at 3:30, so no. Made it for today at noon instead. Called Diane at Jessica Nails and made an appointment for tomorrow, also at noon. The meeting I'm going to after is to discuss the Ventura Senior Citizens Master Plan and is at the conference room by Suz'es office at VACE.
E-mailed niece Carolyn and nephew Steve to ask if they'd serve as surrogate sibs and come see the Tokyo Trio when they're here. Carolyn and family are going to Colorado, but I hope they don't leave right away; she'll call me shortly.
Went to the widder dinner. A new guy, Jeff, came. He's pretty young--maybe 55 or so--and lost his wife only two months ago. The regulars were there, plus some relative newcomers, including Pam (not Chuck's Pam, but a different one). She's also young*, early fifties, maybe, and very vivacious. She's an environmental lawyer and her husband was a musician who died of an accidental drug overdose. I sat next to, and chatted with "Suzy," who's in real estate, but also writes books. Sounds interesting, but she's actually somewhat of a bore. Titus, as usual, stayed quietly under the table.
Nancy didn't come, but I didn't expect her to, as it was rainy, if not continually rain-ing.
* Yoicks! When did I start referring to those in their fifties as "young people?"

Monday, February 20, 2017

Suzy Homemaker Is Me

Lovely weather part of yesterday--bright, sunny and reasonably warm, although it rained lightly later. Now, at 6:30 am, it's raining again--darn.
Sunday, I bestirred myself to do some of the other vinegar/baking soda tasks, including un-tarnishing several silver serving pieces. You just put a loose ball of aluminum foil in a pan of boiling water and baking soda, and it comes off like magic. It's certainly some kind of chemical reaction, but I got a kick out of it. In the mood, I also Swiffered my hard floors and otherwise cleaned up.
Went to Target for a dish detergent wand. I want to try another piece of vinegar advice: to put half dish detergent and half vinegar in the wand, then when you shower, use it to wipe down the inside of the area. For me, this is particularly pertinent because my shower is part of the tub and has a glass door (so does the one at my house, but that's a walk-in and separate from the tub). It's awkward to clean the combo here--I have to either reach around things or actually get in, which I don't like to do with clothes on. I'll give this a try and hope it works. I want to do a few other domestic chores, also. (How soon will I get bored with this Suzy Homemaker stuff?)
Went to town, thinking I'd stop at the library, but just didn't--too lazy to get out of the car, I guess--and drove back. Stopped at Goodwill and picked up two magazine holders; I had seen a tip on putting various containers in them and it worked well. I put one under the kitchen sink and one under the bathroom one.
I was delighted to hear back from Tokyo son that it's okay to invite his cousins and their families to see them the day after they arrive.
Widder dinner tonight. I hope it stops raining so Nancy can drive in.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Vinegar And The Ocean

It was still raining in the morning, but not as heavily and the wind seemed to have died down. It stopped about noon, I was happy to see.
Spent the morning with vinegar and baking soda; cleaned the toilet (including inside the tank) and the stainless steel double sink, using both products. As I do periodically, I ran the coffee maker through with a cup of vinegar to a carafe of water, then "flushed it" with several carafes of water before I set it up with coffee and fresh water.
After lunch, got gas, then went to Wal-Mart for this and that. I constantly resolve not to go there on weekends--preferably, not to go to any malls, supermarkets, or other stores then, because they're always so crowded. Do I violate my own rule? All the time, I'm afraid.
However, I got what I wanted and escaped with my life. Ellen called to ask if I'd come over about 3:00, as we were going to grade papers. Got there, but she decided we should first go see the ocean. (We never did grade papers.) She first gave me a lovely Valentine card--so sweet and she is so sweet. I don't know how I got so lucky to have such a daughter.
Off to the sea we went and--wow! Huge waves were rolling in, crashing against the jetties, and, whipped by the wind, throwing off great sprays of water. It was wild and so exhilarating to see the ocean after a storm. Somehow, the Atlantic never seemed as fierce, at least not in south Jersey.
We went from there to Wal-Mart, as El needed some things, including a watch. She wanted just a utilitarian one with a leather band to replace her old one, which needed a battery. I decided to take it and, depending on the cost, may get it fixed. I haven't worn a watch since I retired and see the time on my phone, but it might come in handy someday. I got some "perfume cubes" and other stuff I think you put on potpourri, as mine seems to be scent-less somehow.
Back at El's, we had Bistro MD for dinner and, as ever, good talk. She bought a new dishwasher and I said I'd be glad to be at her house to receive the plumber when it's delivered and/or installed. Otherwise, she's have to get it on Saturday and try to have installed at the same time.

Saturday, February 18, 2017


RAIN! AND WIND! Lots of rain and terrific wind! Boy, if I wanted that kind of weather, I'd have stayed in Jersey.
However, I went to the BCNN lunch at the Black Angus. Sat with three other women, Ellen, Joanie, and an obnoxious bore, Patty. The latter actually founded Beach Cities Neighbors and Newcomers, and she's sure to let everybody know it. Incredibly, she acted like some kind of group leader, saying, "Now, we'll introduce each other and tell something about our backgrounds; Rosemary, you're new, so you go first." And so on.
The other two women were pretty nice and the food was good and the Black Angus has Blue Moon, so it was okay. But BCNN continues to be the least favorite of the groups I'm in. I don't mean I don't like it at all, but if I had to give just one up, that would be it.
Took an age to get home, as the school behind the apartment complex must have gotten out early and there were a slew of cars jamming the streets. Did get in, though, and stayed in the rest of the day.
Called Nancy when I got home to talk over the outing. Up in Oakview, she was having just as heavy a storm; she certainly made the right decision not to come down.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Vinegar and Earrings

My tenant, Eileen, had sent me the tax assessment card and I texted her to thank her. She wrote back and I was so sorry to learn that her son, who was only 41, has died. I'm not sure, but I believe that was the only son; she has a daughter, also. I'll send her a note shortly.
Spent a fair amount of time answering and initiating e-mails, some on my acting course and some on Council for Seniors. I "subscribe," as the saying goes, to two "Hometalk" sites, which are kind of DIY things. I enjoy seeing various cute ideas here and there, although some seem more trouble than they're worth. I came across info on what wonderful natural cleaning items vinegar and baking soda are, and I determined to use them for the jobs described. Went out and bought a glass measuring cup, a scrubber, and sundry other things for these great projects. Uh...got home and kind of lost interest. I know I'll do the cleaning stuff one of these days, but just wasn't in the mood.
It occurred to me weeks ago that I'm in a rut when it comes to jewelry. I have a fair amount of it, but aside from my rings (I haven't taken my wedding ring off since June 21, 1958), I tend to wear the same old things, earrings, especially. I wear silver hoop earrings so often people must think they're all I have. So I went to Kohl's and got a pretty pair of Vera Wang--kind of dangling silver leaves. Went to the mall where I rarely go, and got another pair; these are silver hoops, but bigger than I usually wear. I also couldn't resist a gold and silver bracelet, although I have a lot of bracelets--this is so pretty I had to have them. Tried on a few tops, also, but ugh, ugh, and double ugh.
Sue called to say she wouldn't go to lunch today, as a big storm is predicted and, because she and Mac live on a sailboat, she thought she'd better be home. She took Mac to the V.A. on Tuesday for more blood tests. Nothing new on his Alzheimer's.
Ellen called on her way to Santa Barbara to pick Greg up. Roz is out of the hospital and a caregiver has been hired. Hope she works out all right. Told El I'd go over to help her grade papers tomorrow. I wouldn't care if we were shoveling snow off the roof, I just like to be with her.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Council And The Beach

I had to force myself out of bed when the alarm rang at 6:00. It had been a long, strenuous day at the casino and I still hadn't gone over my notes for what I was presenting at the Council for Seniors. Managed to shower, wash my hair, write out some notes on my notes, and get to Silvercrest early.
The meeting went smoothly. I asked for members for the focus committee (to work on revisions to the Senior Services Strategic Plan) and got two. With councilwoman Cheryl H. and secretary Lori, plus me, that makes five and that's enough. Doris and Sherry were at the meeting and I chatted with them after.
Got home, changed (it was a gorgeous day, sunny and warm, so I put on Capris), and drove into town to the library. Took some back, picked up more, then headed to WinCo, as I had run out of a lot of groceries. After returning home (and I had to make three trips from my car to the apartment), I actually drove to the beach and sat for a time--but only about twenty minutes, as it turned much cooler and windier.
Nancy called. Unfortunately, she had read it would rain tomorrow, and she's afraid to drive in it, so our plans for lunch and a movie are probably dashed. We talked a bit and made a very tentative date for Saturday IF it doesn't rain and IF Ellen doesn't need me for something or just wants to hang out.
I e-mailed Carole to ask if she might want to go to the Black Angus for lunch with the "Lunch and a Movie" bunch from BCNN. I'll call Sue and ask her, too. Regardless, I'll probably go myself.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Met Carole at the bus at 9:00 and we got to the Chumash Casino about an hour and a half later. This is located a few miles past Solvany and the scenery along the route--ocean and mountains--is spectacular.
I won a fair amount playing only with the casino's money before lunch, but frittered it away in the afternoon. We met up at 3:30 for Chardonnay in the bar and talked a blue streak then and through the day. (Carole has an interesting, to say the least, background, which would take ten entries just to outline.)
It was a pretty fun day, but much too long. The bus doesn't start back until 5:00, and there was heavy traffic, so we didn't get to Ventura until after 7:00. In the summer, Carole said she'd drive there, so we can leave earlier. Great idea, although I'm not even sure if I'm up for going back in the summer. I really don't like the noise, the flashing lights, the smoke, or frankly, much else about the casino except the Reuben and Stella Artois we had for lunch.
Didn't get the mail until I got home and found a pretty one-of-a-kind Valentine card from the Tokyo Trio, made by the Mommy, of course. Betty had also sent one and I called to thank her.
Anyway, yesterday was a long, long one, I'm glad it's over, and now I have to dress for the Council for Seniors meeting.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Copa Cubana

A pretty strenuous day. I took the triple trip (I love alliteration) to the laundry house and once I got the clothes sloshing in the washer, drove over to feed Sebastian. Once back, I transferred stuff to the dryer, had breakfast, then went back to fold and retrieve.
Nancy called to beg off going to the casino with Carole and me today--just had too much going on. We had a long talk--she and Betty are the only two I talk to for long periods by phone--and she asked if I was available on Friday. Yes, and we made a tentative date.
Drove into town, browsed in a few places, and picked up a cute little plastic dog for Mr. K., that "walks," barks, and plays music. By the time I got home, it was after 1:00 and I wanted lunch, so I switched my 2:00 manicure appointment to 3:00. Ate, showered, and got to Jessica's Nails on time. I picked a bright red this time (I had salmon last time) and it came out looking nice. Rushed over to Kohl's to see if I could find some nice earrings--I seem to wear the same silver hoops all the time and I'm sick of them. Didn't see any I wanted, so I left.
Got home and picked up the mail. Received a nice note and--I guess it's a New Year's card, one of those DIY efforts with your own photos. This was from Julie, daughter of my neighbor and longtime walking partner, Susan. She and I developed a strong rapport when I used to be invited to Susan's family gatherings at Sunrise Bay. Also got a Valentine card from Betty. I send them only to the kids and this year, I even skipped Joel, Jr., and Tristan.
Dressed and drove to Copa Cubana at the harbor to meet Sue and Carole and their respective spouses, Mac and Vane (name is English). We had a pretty good dinner, if you like Cuban food, which I don't much, but the paella was okay. We were right next to the loud, LOUD six-piece band, but luckily, they didn't start until we were finished dinner. We left about 7:15 and I was home twenty minutes later.
Today--the Chumash Casino.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Not Much

Really didn't do much of anything productive. Spent my usual Sunday morning, which takes several hours. About 11:00, Ellen called to say she and Greg were on their way to Santa Barbara, as Roz, Greg's mother, was having problems breathing. She had refused to go to the hospital initially, but Greg's brother, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic, called and persuaded her. This had happened almost exactly a year ago, when I went with them to take her in. El asked if I'd go over and feed Sebastian last evening and this morning and of course, I agreed. I asked her to update me later, and she did.
Oiled and seasoned some chicken thighs, roasted them, and had one for lunch. Went to Vons for a few things. Stopped at Wal-Mart to get wall strips for two light pictures of the Tokyo Trio I wanted to hang. Did so and they look good. Finally found makeup sponges at CVS.
El called back to tell me Roz was admitted and that she and Greg planned to stay over at Roz'es. Ellen is off today, for some reason.
I went over and fed Sebastian, who didn't seem particularly concerned when I came in. Home, I heard back from Suz on e-mail. She likes my ideas for the presentation (about the Strategic Plan) on Tuesday. Put new ink in the copier and didn't do much else.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Looking Up

Well, I'm cautiously optimistic that things are looking up.
I got up at 6:00, so that was good, but I felt tense and worried, considering my schedule and the fact that I was still having phone problems. True, I was free over the weekend, as Nancy's son is sick and hadn't been able to replace her battery, so she had to postpone our Hill Street Cafe jaunt. However, I had committed to dinner on Monday with Sue and Carole at the new Copa Cubana at Ventura Harbor and to be eligible for one of ten free dinners, I had to text the place a certain formula. On Tuesday, Carole, Nancy and I are going to the casino--9 am until about 6:00--and I had a lot I wanted or needed to do: text that thing, get my hair trimmed, get a manicure, buy ink, contact Catherine's to make sure they had my SS number, and most important and time-consuming of all, I had to prepare for the Council for Seniors meeting on Wednesday morning.
Now that last was no simple thing. Suz had asked me, if Ventura Councilwoman Cheryl couldn't be there, to take over for her and introduce the audience to our restructuring the county's Senior Services Strategic Plan. I was to ask for volunteers to be members of a focus group--a quasi-official committee, I guess you'd call it--as well as briefly explain the Plan as it is now. I wasn't sure what Suz wanted--she often flits from one subject to another--I don't like to do this kind of thing off the top of my head, anyway. I wrote out a short piece and e-mailed it to Suz, to see if that's what she had in mind. It took a while, because I first had to familiarize myself with it.
As for the text thing, I called the owner to ask about it and his mailbox was full. Jumped in the car and drove there, found him, and he said he'd make an exception for me (he already had for Sue, as she doesn't text).
Called the nail place and got an appointment for Monday, went to the library, stopped at Smart 'n' Final and Vons for grapes and bread and managed to sandwich in calls to Catherine's and A.T.& T. billing, as they had the nerve to charge me the full amount for last month.
Upshot of that was they reduced the bill by about half--more than they actually had to--and best of all, a guy named Todd came and the phone might be fixed. I emphasize "might be" because he said he had changed all the wires outside, so if it happens again, it means the problem is either 1.) with the apartment complex wiring or 2.) with my phone. Ellen had given me them (she uses only her Smartphone) and they're pretty old. Todd suggested I buy an inexpensive phone from CVS or whatever and, if it happens again, plug it in. If it's affected also, it has to be the internal wiring; if not, it's my phones and I'll replace them. Finally, at long last, I got somebody to give me a straight answer about this.
Anyway, all the things I was worried about getting done are either finished or scheduled. I feel much better.
Note: This is a pretty long one, as I use the blog as my friend, Pat, does: to keep track of what I did when and so on.
Additional Note: I wrote that yesterday, February 11, would have been my husband, Pat's, 87th birthday. WRONG! He was born in 1931, so it would have been his 86th.

Saturday, February 11, 2017


I spent most of the morning and an hour and fifteen of the afternoon in trying to get my phone fixed AND in disputing a credit report.
Repeated what's getting to be the usual hassle with AT & T: long waits, disconnections, and bland indifference by the reps. In addition, I endured at least three calls each to the company (Wayfair), the credit company, a bank, and who knows, Santa Claus, I discovered that a place where I have a credit card (Catherine's) provided my SS number incorrectly by one digit. Since my credit score is 805 (same as my area code), you'd think they'd be happy to get my business, but no, I guess not. I don't want to go into detail, I'll just say it was an ordeal.
Took a break from all that to attend Dr. Woodling's lecture at The Townehouse. I realize why I keep calling him "Dr. Wordling"--because he's so wordy and he's getting more and more boring. His topic was "memory" and as he always does, he roamed all over the map. If there's any one nugget of information in his talks that I haven't heard before--or haven't known since I was ten--I haven't found it yet. (Okay, he revealed the info about putting B12 under the tongue, but that was it.)
Doris had saved me a seat and I sat with her and Sherry. On my other side was Jean Shelton, the one old enough to be my mother, and I enjoyed talking to her. I accompanied her to her daughter's car and recognized her as somebody who had been on our last casino trip.
It was raining--again--as I drove home. Funny, it's almost never the hard, driving rain you get in Jersey. This, as usual, was kind of a slow drip.
Called Nancy after dinner and we had a long talk. Her car's battery died on Thursday and her son has been sick, so wasn't able to get a new one. That means we won't be going to the Hill Street Cafe today and probably not tomorrow, either. I invited her to go to the casino with Carole and me on Tuesday, and she accepted with pleasure.
This would have been my husband's eighty-seventh birthday.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Tall Ships and More Trouble With The Phone

It would have been a good day if AT & Terrible didn't decide to resume persecuting me.
Went to Ralph's and got makings for a slow cooker potato casserole--Idahos, peppers, onions, yellow squash and spices. I made it up when I got home, using the mandolin to slice. Boy, it made enough for about fifteen people, it looked like. I used both slow cookers, then dressed and left to meet Carole and Sue at the harbor.
The ships were very impressive and we took pictures of them, but we couldn't board, as a grade school class was on a field trip on them. That was okay with me, as I've toured such ships in Virginia and Massachusetts and when you've seen one...
Sue wanted to introduce us to The 805 bar and restaurant, formerly "The Dive," and that's where we went. It was mostly Cuban food and I had empanadas, ground beef in a flaky crust--very good. The owner came over to tell us he's opening a new restaurant next door, The Copa Cubana ("specializing in authentic Cuban cusine") and ten dinners would be free. We decided on the spot to go and entered the "contest" via test for the free dinners, which involves . I took Sue home, as Mac, her husband, had the car. I did so, then veered off the the library.
When I got home, I checked the potato dishes and they were both finished. Knocked on Suzanne's door, as I knew she had AT & T and I wanted to ask her about it. However, her involvement with them is just for Internet and T.V.; she uses a smart phone. We chatted a bit, then I stepped back into my place. Betty called just then and we had no sooner said hello than my phone went dead.
AAGH! I called her back on the cell phone and after we talked, I went through the same horrible routine of calling, being put on hold for interminable times, then being told they'd come on Monday. When I squawked about this, I was switched to repair and told the wait would be three minutes. By the clock, I waited 14, then hung us.
What's horribly confusing is that now the lack of a dial tone is sporadic--sometimes I have one and sometimes I don't. Also, when I use my cell to call, it doesn't ring at all. I give up.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Suz and Cheryl

Got to the blood place at 6:40, which was twenty minutes early, but they took me in about five minutes. Home for breakfast, then putzed around (one of my husband's favorite sayings), which includedSwiffering the hard floors and doing stuff on the computer.
Finally connected with brother Jim and we chatted on family matters--benign ones--for a time. Also got a call from Sue, who invited me to lunch and to see the tall sips in Ventura Habor, which we'll do today. Showered and changed after lunch to get to Suz'es office at 1:30.
Suz Montgomery, whose mouthful of a title is executive director and resource coordinator of Ventura Adult and Continuing Education, is a mover and shaker in Ventura. Virtually everybody knows her; she's the one who appointed me vice chair (not vice president) of the Council for Seniors.
We had a good session. Cheryl Heitmann ., who was just re-elected to City Council*, joined us and we went over the "Senior Citizens Strategic Plan." Cheryl is a good friend of Suz'es (I can't help it, she uses "Suz," pronounced to rhyme with "ooze" and I don't know how else to make it possessive) and I like and admire her a lot.
We added a fair amount that we'd like to see happen for senior citizens (odious expression), which in this context is defined as 50 or over. Damn, that makes all four of my children seniors. My contribution included a dating service--well, why not?
Cheryl rushed off to another obligation after an hour, but I stayed until 4:00. Suz is a big talker and full of exuberant life. She's 69, looks maybe ten years younger, and has had cancer three times, the last two years ago. She's gone through chemo often and lost her hair several times. It's grown back and she wears it very short, which is a great look on her. She dresses just exactly the way I would if I had her figure (slim, of course): lots of black and white, a little red thrown in and there, vibrant green notes sometimes. She was widowed, then remarried and as we chatted, referred to "my dead husband" and "my live husband."
When I got home, I wanted to look something up and found the keyboard didn't type. AAGH! Oh, no! A catastrophe! I scooped the damn thing up, put it in a cloth bag, and rushed off to Office Max. The kid at the cash register turned it over, found the battery case--I didn't realize it had batteries--which he showed me, I drove over to WinCo, bought some AAAs, put them in, and it works--yay!
* She's been on the Council since 2011 and has been mayor of Ventura. That office is appointed from within the Council; not sure if it's on a rotating basis.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Here and There

I was lucky in that I was able to get a load washed, dried, and folded before the rain. It wasn't heavy, just a drizzle, but I didn't want to get the stuff wet.
I was amazed to get a letter from Penney's to the effect that they were rescinding my credit card because of the mix up over my December bill. I don't care much about the credit card, but I didn't want it to lower my credit rating, which is excellent. After explaining and being on hold and so on, they capitulated and said they'd reinstate it; also, it won't tarnish my credit rating.
Heard from those in the Far East that they'd been here the last week in March--yay! Brother Jim called, but I missed it as, for some reason, he persists in calling my cell. Often, I don't even have it with me or it's in the other room and I don't hear it. Will call him today.
Went to the libary and picked up a few items (even though I haven't finished all of the last batch).
Aside from that, I did a lot of computer stuff. This afternoon, I'll meet with Council for Seniors chair and director of the county VACE, Suz M., to plan strategy; I'm a little vague about that. She e-mailed a proposed letter for the editors we're inviting to address a meeting and--gee, it's pretty lame: has some typos and is written in an awkward style. I revised it and will--gently--suggest the changes is she seems receptive.
Must close, as I have a (routine) blood test at 7:00.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Lunch Bunch

The widder lunch was yesterday and Nancy had planned to go. Unfortunately, she e-mailed me to say there was rain and fog in Oakview, which she didn't want to drive in, and I don't blame her. I e-mailed her back and she then called to say she thought the weather had improved, so she had gotten dressed, but it was socked in again, so darn--she wasn't able to go.
I got there--to Marie Callendar's--at noon. Nine of us attended if you include the one who stays under the table (Titus, Chuck's dog). There was a new woman, who said she's been widowed only a month, and we all welcomed her. I was pleased to see my friend, Joyce, come in, too. She's preparing for her permanent move to Colorado in April and is, of course, caught up with getting rid of things.
Had the Santa Fe salad, which was okay, if not great, and my usual Blue Moon schooner. Chatted with Susan, who is going to Cuba on a "People to People" excursion in April. Boy, I'm green with envy--I'd go in a heartbeat if I could.
Went home after and changed, then drove into town and looked for some additional items for Mr. K. Didn't find anything, but was glad to walk a mile or two. When I got home, I called Nancy to tell her how it went and we confirmed our date for lunch and mimosas on Saturday. She suggested we see a movie after, and she'll look up the one about the female black scientist people keep telling me I'll like.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Toenails and Templeton Rye

El had e-mailed that she wanted to get a pedicure yesterday, so I called to make appointments for both of us at 3:00. Went to WinCo to pick up that missing cottage cheese and a few other things.
While I was having lunch, Jim D. called from Texas to tell me that his wife, Lu, had died: she had been diagnosed with cancer only three months ago. I met Lu only once, when she and Jim were visiting in Jersey just before I left for California. We met for breakfast in Galloway on their way back to Texas and I gave him the letters he had sent me sixty some years ago. I thought Lu was a sweet person--very quiet, unlike her husband.
Jim said he didn't have Betty's number, but when I asked if he wanted it, he said he'd rather I called her. I did and during our conversation she said Jim had told her he married Lu because he knew that she, Betty, wouldn't marry him (HUH?).
El and I had our pedicures and I enjoyed our short time together, as ever. She went home to straighten her hair (my daughters are weird--I'd kill for the hair they have, thanks to their father) and I went home to prepare for dinner at Suzanne's.
That turned out to be very enjoyable. She served potato soup (made to order at Von's, she said, and it was superb), and a kale and cranberry salad, with just some hard cheese and Italian bread in addition. It was not at all elaborate, but everything was just delicious and, happy day, she uncorked a nice Merlot with it. We had baked apples for dessert--a lovely meal.
We talked and talked. I heard all about her Templeton, Iowa childhood, including the fact that her grandfather had been a bootlegger during prohibition. He got three months in jail, but was friends with the sheriff and was let out for special occasions, such as picnics and holidays. He and his cronies distilled "Templeton rye" and there's a book called Gentlemen Bootleggers that tells the story. Suzanne also showed me a personal book her relative had compiled for her fiftieth anniversary in the Sisters of Mercey, showing some of her in her habit. However, she never wore the old-fashioned kind that I grew up with, but a shorter version with a more revealing (of her hair) veil.
Anyway, I greatly enjoyed getting to know her better and think we'll be good friends.

Sunday, February 05, 2017


'Twas a pretty slow day. I spent a lot of time on still more picture handling. I had bought a four opening frame, for which I searched out, trimmed, then mounted, pictures of my four children in caps and gowns when they graduated from college.
Pared and cored the Golden Delicious apples, added spices, and put them in the crock pot with the pork loin. Went out after lunch, meaning to stroll around town, but it was so jammed and there were no open parking places, so I drove away. Stopped at a store and got a teddy bear and little book for K.; I want to have some toys and things for him.
Stopped at Smart 'n' Final, meaning to get mostly cottage cheese and oranges. Bought several other things and forgot the cottage cheese--darn!
One of the good things about living alone is being able to eat dinner whenever you want. When I got home, the pork and apples smelled so good, I checked to see if they were cooked. They were, and at 3:00 o'clock, I ate--delish! Hey, you can eat at three a.m., if you want.
Went out after just for a drive and that was pretty much my day--the interesting parts, that is (HA!).

Saturday, February 04, 2017


As I was leaving to meet Sue at SCAN, Suzanne next door came out and we chatted. We agreed we wanted to see more of each other--she works part-time and I'm out a lot--so we'll pursue that (and see later).
Met Sue and we put some of my possible consignment stuff in her red cruiser and sped off to Carpenteria. (It's only about fifteen miles away on the Pacific Coast Highway.) It was rainy and misty, which half-hid the hills and made them mysteriously interesting. Got to Peggy's Hidden Treasures in good time and Sue introduced me to the owners, Wendy, and her husband, whose name I don't remember.
What nice people they are and what a terrific shop it is. It's very tastefully laid out, with the goods--jewelry, antiques, and other collectibles--in showcases and white shelves. It's all of top quality and while Sue showed Wendy what she had brought, I browsed. I saw a necklace with purple stones that I would kill for--well, I would have to, to be able to afford the price tag.
After Sue's business was finished, I brought my stuff in, mostly pictures. I was surprised when Wendy gently turned down the needlepoint pictures, in oval frames, but she said people just don't want them up anymore. She did take a picture of hand-painted flowers, as well as a primitive cloth piece I bought years ago from a professor at Rider who knew poor women in Columbia who made them. I had also brought some coins and the husband examined them while we went to eat.
Sue asked for a recommendation for lunch and Wendy mentioned a place nearby. On the way home, Sue took me to see the "oil spill," which, it seems, leaks out of the ground, but where we drove in was restricted or something. We arrived back at SCAN about 2:30, and parted.
I went immediately to the Bonaventure and saw Mary and Sam, manager and sales manager. I made clear there was no animosity on my part, but that they should know their resident--or maybe several residents--resented outsiders' presence at events. I was honest about the fact that I would almost surely never move there. I suggested they may want to bring this up in residents' meetings. Anyway, I think they appreciated that I was up front about it.
Stopped at Smart 'n' Final on the way home to pick up apples and a pork loin. I have a recipe with them for the crock pot and may make it today.
I found a note from Suzanne on my door when I got home, inviting me to dinner on Sunday. I knocked on her door and accepted the invitation with thanks.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Pictures, But Not From An Institution*

Good grief, I spent virtually the entire day on a project! A few months ago, I had bought a large frame--five feet by three feet--with 21 openings for snapshots. I decided to reserve it for only my immediate family--children, grandchildren, great-grands, and their spouses.
Trying to find and sometimes copy the right number for each and the right size and the right orientation (horizontal or vertical) was an incredible chore. In the middle of the first part of my ordeal, I realized I didn't have photo paper. Went to Office Max to get some. I picked up the least expensive 8' x 10" for $9.99, which was also two for the price of one. Foolishly, I chose a packet of smaller ones, and saw after I opened them that 1.) I already have that size and 2.) I don't know how to have my printer use the smaller ones, anyway. I had torn the damn things open, so couldn't take them back, but went to Staples to get more larger ones. I told the guy there I didn't know how to feed in the smaller ones (although that was the size I wanted) and he said he'd show me how. "What kind of printer do you have," he asked. "Hewlett Packer," I said, and he showed me how to do it.
When I got home, I saw that my printer is a Canon and I still couldn't feed in the smaller size. Rushed out to Wal-Mart, got more, then spent another several more hours putting the damn thing together. I worked on it from 9:30 to almost 5:00!
But hey, it looks really nice.
Got an e-mail from Carole to the effect that she can't go to Carpentaria today, as one of her (two) dogs is very sick and she doesn't trust her husband to take proper care of its medications. Sherry also messaged (when did that get to be a verb?) me, asking about the Bonaventure misadventure (ha!), and I filled her in.
*Couldn't resist! Pictures From An Institution was a comedic novel published in 1954 on the machinations behind the scenes of faculty and others at a large U.S. university. Fiction, but it struck a bell at Rider--faculty are a breed apart, that's a cinch.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

BCNN Meeting and Other Stuff

I got to the Knights of Columbus hall almost an hour early--wanted to be sure I could get a parking spot. Doris drove in just as I did, and we went in.
The hall isn't bad. It's not as new as the museum, I guess, but it seems somehow more intimate and--well, I don't know, I guess "homey" is the word. Anyway, I was told that, unlike at the museum, they set up the tables and even provided blue tablecloths.
Sue and Carole got there shortly after, as did Sherry and Sue's friend, Ida. The program was by the director of the Maritime Museum in Oxnard (I've been there) and was well done. We all agreed we'd like to go before too long. Carole will go with Sue and me to the consignment shop in Carpetaria tomorrow; I must look for things I want to consign. We also talked about another casino excursion, possibly next week.
It was only 11:00 when the meeting was over and we had had coffee and a light breakfast; in my case, just half a bagel with cream cheese and some fruit. I dislike sweet things early in the day and most of what is usually brought are muffins, and even cookies and brownies. Nevertheless, when Sue suggested lunch, I was in. I mentioned Stephen's, the Greek restaurant, and that's where we went, but just Sue, her friend, Ida, and me. Sue and I had sausage on gyros--I was surprised that she knew what some of the menu items listed in Greek were, until she said she had waitressed years ago in a Greek restaurant.
We parted at 12:30 and I went home to do the laundry thing. I had neglected it too long and had a large load, but got it done reasonably quickly. Betty called to tell me that Westminster was moving to the main campus in Lawrenceville--hmm, too bad.
Went to WinCo for this and that, then to the library to drop off a few things. I'm still listening to the scientist, Richard Dawkins, who's speaking on biological topics. I'm surprising myself that I enjoy it, although I don't understand some of the terms.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Hair, Nails, and Happy News

I got to my noon hair appointment early, but no prob, as Amanda came in shortly thereafter.
I like the way Amanda colors and cuts; what's more, I like Amanda. We have a good time, talking easily together, and having a few laughs, too. I greatly dislike having my hair done--never did like it, as I get antsy just sitting there that long. It makes it bearable to have a compatible stylist doing the deed, which I have in Amanda and I appreciate it.
Went home for lunch, then to Jessica Nails for a manicure. All the employees there are Vietnamese. In fact, all the employees at the nail place I went to in Jersey are Vietnamese, too. Maybe all the hairdressers in the country--on the face of the earth, even--are Vietnamese. In any event, since I've been to Vietnam, I like talking to them. Yesterday, I had a lovely woman--fiftyish, I guess--named Diane. I'm going to ask for her when I make an appointment for a pedicure (another event I greatly dislike).
After, I went to The Avenue, which was having a big sale. Their clothes are very pricey, it seems to me, but when you're over a certain size, I think they're just tops. Anyway, I got a spiffy jacket (black with silver buttons and trim), a long shirt (sort of silky, with silver trim), and a red and black top. Altogether, they came to only forty-five bucks. Considering how good they look, that was a bargain.
When I got home, I checked my e-mail and was thrilled to see a message from the Tokyo Trio--they're coming to visit! Oh, happy day, they should be here for a week in March and I'll get to see the adorable three-year-old, plus my dear oldest his dear wife--yay!