Thursday, August 31, 2017

Peace Boat

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

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Council and Costuming

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

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


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

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Usual

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

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Back in Town

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

Friday, August 18, 2017

Day of Departure

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

Thursday, August 17, 2017

An Old "Pal"

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wal-Mart and Salinger

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

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


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

Monday, August 14, 2017


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

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Nothing New

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

Saturday, August 12, 2017

T.O.P.S And So On

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

Friday, August 11, 2017

Back to School

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

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Dinner With El

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

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Good News and Nails

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

Widder Lunch and So On

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

Monday, August 07, 2017


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

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Goings On

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

Saturday, August 05, 2017

T.O.P.S. And Chairs

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

Friday, August 04, 2017

Goodbye to Ojai

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

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Ojai And VON'S

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

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

The Usual, Plus Ojai

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

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Diane And Sex

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