Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Cards and the Beach

Gawd, it was gorgeous again--temp 70, hardly a breeze, and no humidity at all.
I called Carole and we had a long heart-to-heart. I told her I had gotten in touch with Sue, but I hadn't thought to ask if she was going to the BCCC breakfast tomorrow. We also discussed at length the incident that came up at the Bonaventure on Saturday. She feels the same way I do--about events there and also, the wine and music at The Townhouse. We agreed we were going to cool it. Maybe--but only maybe--we'll go once or twice a year, but certainly not every week at The Townhouse or frequent events at the Bonaventure.
Carole mentioned that the Black Angus has happy hour every Friday, and why didn't we meet there, instead? I think that's a brilliant idea and we decided I'd e-mail the others to tell them I was going to suspend my attendance at the other places and say something like "we'll have to think of something else." Then she can write back about her idea, which I'll enthusiastically second. (Intrigue among the old ladies!)
I had gotten the Singapore sisters little light-up Valentine bracelets and heart-shaped note paper. Went out after lunch for a card to go with them, then went to the P.O. It annoyed me no end that they were regarded as "a package," even though I had gotten the little gifts in the card envelope, so it cost $13.95 for postage.
I had two bracelets left over, because I had forgotten I had already bought some, so decided to send one to Mr. K., in Tokyo. (His parents aren't hung up on gender-identity.) Got a card for him, too, put the bracelet in, and went back to the post office. Incredibly, the postage would have been fifteen bucks! I knew his Dad would be furious that I spent that much for a doodad, so I took it back, bought another card, and will just sent them. Damn, I know he would have liked the bracelet because it lights up. Oh, well...
Went to the library and picked up an audio book by Richard Dawkins, having finished listening to the Amanda Knox one. I didn't get any books, as I've got three out I still haven't read. After, I was at loose ends and actually drove down to the beach. Took my folding chair out of the trunk and sat on the sand for an hour.
What a lovely place! The setting is so different from the broad white beaches in Ventnor, with the boardwalk and almost nothing else added. Here, there are rocky jetties extending out that the waves crash on and, of course, the eternal hills and mountains in the background. The sand is coarse and brown, not like Jersey sand, and normal erosion has formed deep cliffs, so you can access the water only here and there. The ocean itself seems different--more wild, even fierce, with big rollers smashing on the sand. It was heavenly.
Sitting there, I was startled when a young man approached me; he didn't look like a homeless person, but I didn't know. He said, "There's a lot of debris on the beach," and pressed into my hand three sand dollars, then walked away. I was so surprised I said nothing, but I took them home and washed them and they'll make me remember that day and to go back.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Into Town

Some time ago, I determined that I wouldn't stay in if I could possibly avoid it, even when it's not always pleasant to go out. It might be raining or chillier than comfortable, or whatever, but invariably, I go out at least for a time. I try to stay out at least until 4:00. I don't just aimlessly wonder around, but plan to go somewhere. I also make sure to walk, even though I almost always drive someplace first.
Yesterday, it was so gorgeous, I had no problem at all with going out. After my usual Sunday morning routine, a few household chores, and lunch (the rest of the yummy Greek dinner), I decided to drive into town and visit my usual haunts.
It was a beautiful, quintessentially California day--the sun smiling above, temp about 73 with no humidity, blue skies, a light breeze, and happy crowds on Main Street. The restaurants were doing a booming business, as were the little shops, and I strolled into lots of them. I bought myself yet another little flowered box, this in the shape of a heart, and stopped in one of my favorite used book stores, The Calico Cat.
There I found Talk To The Hand, by Lynne Truss, who wrote Eats, Shoots & Leaves on punctuation, one of my pet interests. The subtitle of this one is "The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door." Could I possibly resist such an anti-Pollyannaish, schizoid, maladaptive title? New, it had been $20, but was marked $7.95 used. I offered five bucks, we settled on six, and I'm looking forward to reading it.
I probably walked around two miles total, a good amount. Left Town, got gas, went to Wal-Mart for my omewhateveritis (for acid) and a few other places for little Valentine presents for V. and V. and other this and that. By the time I got home, it was indeed after 4:00--in fact, almost 5:00, which pleased me.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Full Day

What a good, full day. I met Nancy at visitors' parking at 10:30 and drove the two of us to the Bonaventure and our usual front table. Doris came shortly thereafter, reporting that Sherry wasn't coming, as she wasn't feeling well. (No loss, I thought, but I didn't say it.) The piano player was superb, there was a singer who was a dead ringer--vocally, not physically--for a young Sinatra, and the little girl who did hi chi was adorable. The entertainment took a good hour and a half (a little too long, maybe), and after, I spoke to those involved, plus the wife of the piano guy. We exchanged cards and who knows? Maybe we'll cross paths again.
A woman who knows Doris sat with us and I liked her right away--she's a little kooky. Susan is half Chinese, half Filipino, has a Eurasian son who's a biologist, but also works as a--I think she said--"pharmacist in training" at CVS. That seems a peculiar setup, but who am I to question? Susan is a bit over five feet, I guess, very slender, and dresses something like a teenager, but one with money. She looked adorable yesterday. Unfortunately, she has MS, uses a cane, and has some kind of apparatus on her leg.
Lunch was served and I chose pork fried rice (an odd version, no doubt dreamed up by the Hispanic chef, as it contained canned Mandarin orange slices). It was okay, though, and all was well, except when a resident stopped at our table. We thought she just wanted to say hello to Doris, as D. had sat with her when she went to the Bonaventure for Thanksgiving dinner because she "didn't want to be alone."*
However, the woman shocked us by saying to Doris, "You've been here four times since Thanksgiving...you're invaders...we live here and we don't want you..." and more in that vein. We just sat there with our mouths open. When I mildly mentioned that if more residents didn't come in, she'd be paying more, she snapped, "I don't care about that!" I wish I had thought to mention that she should take this up with the Bonaventure administration.
Anyway, it put a damper on the outing and now I'm not sure if I want to go back. They invite us--in fact, Sam, the sales manager, also calls me--but if the residents resent us, maybe it's time to end these excursions. Of course, we're invited because they'd like us to move in, and we enjoy going to the events, but I may just cool it now. Not sure. I'd like to have you-know-who's** opinion on this.
After, I took Nancy to The Bargain Box, the new, nicely done thrift store, and she bought two dolls, which her daughter collects. We drove back to my place and Nancy got her car and left, after a nice day. I'll see her on Wednesday at the BCNN breakfast, as I will Doris and others.
Changed because it warmed up a lot, and got over to Ellen's about 4:30. I said I'd like to go to some place I hadn't been before and she suggested Stephen's, a Greek restaurant in town and that's where we went.
What a find! We each got a "Euro-plate," which came on very large, square plates, and included lamb strips (wonderfully flavorful and tender), salad, dolmas (grape leaves stuffed with rice), pita bread, olives, hummus, sour cream, and other yummy items. We ate our fill, but both had plenty to take home, which I'll have for dinner tonight.
* Of course, I said I wished I had known, as we would have been happy to have her at Ellen's. She said Carole and others had also asked her, but she didn't want to "intrude." Too bad.
** P.M.R., of course.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Gadding About

I wasn't going to, but impulsively decided to show up at T.O.P.S. anyway. I'm glad I did because I actually lost. I don't remember how much and I'm not too excited about it, as I had gained a fair amount last week. I took my 51-year-old Weight Watchers Cookbook and we had fun looking at all the old--very restricted--recipes. As I remarked when I joined WW all those years ago, I weighed maybe 130--thought I was a tub.
Carolyn, one of the other members, mentioned an estate sale near her house (at "Poinsettia Gardens"--so picturesque), so I went over later in the day. I saw a very nice wicker easy chair which tempted me--it was $50, but I would have negotiated--however, I reluctantly decided against it because I really don't have any place for it. I did buy a pretty box with birds on it for five bucks. I'm a sucker for pretty boxes.
Other than that, I did get lots of pressing things done, including taking back the battery tester and 9 volt battery, which are supposed to be put together, but nobody could get it to work. Went to Target looking for another one, but think I'll just buy one on-line. I finally called Communications Services, as I haven't been able to watch T.V. since Sunday. This isn't too much of a problem, as I've gone to Biography on YouTube. Ellen had suggested I unplug "the box," then plug it in again and the CS person said the same. I did and it works!
Went to the library, took back two books and picked up another. Stopped at WinCo for this and that, then high-tailed it home.
I didn't go to The Townhouse thing; I don't feel like stewing over Sherry's constant talk. Guess I'll see her and Doris today at the Bonaventure's Chinese New Year lunch and let us fervently hope they don't gab during the entertainment. I'm taking Nancy to it and after, I'll promised to introduce her to "The Bargain Box," the spiffy new thrift store in town.
My niece, Carolyn, sent me an e-mail inviting me to a gathering on Sunday at her place. She had attended the "Women's March" in D.C. and this is to "to keep the momentum going" and write postcards to attendees' senators. Hmm...it's a little discouraging that only a handful of people--most of them cyber friends on Facebook--understand my political beliefs and so many assume I'm a democrat. I was taken aback to be invited. I wrote back asking if she'd elaborate on the purpose and we'll see.
I forgot to mention yesterday that Ellen called Thursday night, asking if I was free today. Darn it, no, because of the Bonaventure thing, but we decided I'd stop at her place at 4:00 after my other activities, and we'll do dinner.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Finally Free to Roam

Went to the Caregivers monthly coffee at 11:00. There was a program on Alzheimer's by one of the staff for that organization in Camerillo. I thought I'd be bored, but I actually found it more interesting than Dr. Wordling's presentation last week. It may have been the setting: Instead of being part of a large audience in a large room, we sat around a table with coffee, cookies, crackers, and cheese. Monica, the rep from the association, was good; she more or less talked off the top of her head in a very engaging manner. At one point, she asked if anyone would be interested in being part of a study--I volunteered, as I had already been in a brain research study at Stockton State in Jersey.
Went from there home for lunch and--incredibly--got a call from AT & Terrible (a recording, of course, they don't employ any real people), asking how satisfied I was with their customer service. You can be sure I pressed "1" for everything and also vocalized my displeasure in the comment phase. I was asked if I wanted somebody to call me and I said yes, but so far, I haven't been called. Guess they're afraid to hear what I have to say. That company from hell also sent me an e-mail bill for Direct TV, but guess what? It wasn't installed because I need something to go with it, so that's another hassle with them I'll have to tackle before they put me in debtors' prison.
I never stay home if I can avoid it, so after lunch, I drove into town. Went to a few of my favorite thrift stores, didn't buy in all, but got a tray, frame, and basket for a song--or three songs. I sat for a bit in a kind of "square," with a tiled fountain, greenery, murals, and so on. It was so lovely, the sky a cloudless blue, the sun so bright, I was glad to be where I was.
Stopped at Michael's and got another small stand for some of the ancestor pictures. Went to the hardware store for a 9 volt battery, which is needed for the battery tester. Nancy called right after I got home and I invited her to the Bonaventure Chinese New Year celebration (lunch and music) tomorrow. She'll come here, I'll drive, then take her to the new, spiffy thrift store after. We had a good talk and she asked if I had heard from Sue. I hadn't, but called her right after Nance and I hung up.
Sue is in a better frame of mind than she was. She was worried mainly that Mac's daughter would insist they move to Seattle where she lives (NOBODY in his or her right mind wants to move to Seattle; I don't even want to visit), also that Mac wouldn't hear her out about various topics surrounding his Alzheimer's disease. Happily, the daughter backed down and Mac is listening. Sue said she had come across some of her mother's things--jewelry and crystal--and wants to take them to a consignment shop in Carpetaria, which she's used before. Would I like to go with her? Yes, indeed, and she'll call me when she goes next.
Still haven't decided if I'll go to the wine and music today at The Townhouse--we'll see.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Phone Finally Fixed

Well, the phone is finally fixed, after still more calling and screaming and consigning AT & T to the deepest level of hell.
About 10, "Dave" called to say he was on the grounds and would fix it. I gave him an earful, too, and asked for his supervisor's name (Phil) and number. I made clear I knew it wasn't Dave's or Phil's fault, but I wanted to get to the bottom of it. I finished and fired off a three-page letter to the evil entity itself--they hide out in St. Louis, Missouri--detailing my travail.
While I was waiting the interminably long time between calls and the repair, I went through a slew--several thousand and that's not an exaggeration--of snapshots and chose some to put in the large frame I bought with multiple openings. Now I'll have to pare down what I chose; I want to have at least one picture each of all members of my family Pat and me, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. As for my birth family, not to mention the ancestors, I'll have to think of something else.
Went to the P.O. to mail the complaint letter, then stopped at Goodwill. They were having one of their periodic 50 percent off sales from 5:00 to 9:00, but it was only a bit after 4:00, so I didn't bother to stay.
I was so glad and relieved to have the phone back and considered myself such a holy martyr for what I endured, that I stopped and bought myself a half-gallon of Bryers's Snickers ice cream. No, I know I shouldn't have and I'll eat too much of it--I skip a bowl and eat it directly from the carton. I know, I know, that's stupid and even disgusting, but I deserve a treat and it's better than six martinis, isn't it? (I'm in a silly mood.)
Note: It occurred to me that it was not Thomas Edison, his was the light bulb, so I should have cited Alexander Graham Bell for the phone. My mistake, but I'm not going to bother to correct my previous entry.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Thomas Edison Must Be Spinning In His Grave

What a rotten, lousy, stinker of a day! It was all AT & T, all the time. It's either the most incompetent company in the world or it's run by thugs.
I was told my landline would be made operational at least by 6 pm yesterday and waited in ALL DAY. I called seven or eight times and, counting the times I was put on hold and listened to cockamamie recordings, I wasted hours and hours. I kept being assured they'd be here by six.
They weren't. When I called for the last time at 5:40, I finally got the news that the technician had "put on the ticket" there was a problem he couldn't handle yesterday and he'd have to come back. I was told he had been here at ten am! I was never notified this at the time, not by a knock on the door, a call on my cell, e-mail, carrier pigeon, or any other means. To say I was steaming doesn't even cover my furious response to this.
At one point, I was shuffled over to Susie Mae Beaufort of Hog Jaw Holler--all right, that wasn't her name, but she had a southern accent you could cut with a knife and I could barely understand her. I asked for the complaint department and she gave me a snail mail address; naturally, AT & T wouldn't want to make it easy on the customer, so there is no e-mail place to send it. I had to ask her to repeat, then to spell the words, when she told me it was on "Pie Street" in "Rome." What? It was "Pine Street, in Room 420."
Anyway, I wrote a three-page letter which I'll send when--if--the damn thing is ever fixed. I guess it's now about time to get a smart phone and tell AT & T to go to hell.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Annoyances

Finally, after a little drizzle in the morning, the rain stopped and I was able to do the back-and-forth laundry thing. I had put new batteries in the phone receivers, but what came on the screen was that I needed rechargeable batteries. Went out and got them, put them in, and I still get no dial tone. Well, the hell with it--AT & T is coming today and I'll just wait for then.
I went over to Target for this and that, including cute little Valentine bracelets that light up for V. and V. I wanted a battery tester because now I have ten or twelve of the ones I first put in the phone and remote, then changed. I want to see if they're still good. Walmart didn't have one and neither did the closer Target. I went to the one in the mall and they didn't have them either. Finally got one at the hardware store.
I thought Macy's was the worst outfit in the universe, but it has a rival: J.C. Penney. Got home about 5:00, stopped for the mail, and found a letter from Penney's saying my check for $153.79 was returned by my bank. What?! I knew that couldn't happen because I have overdraft protection. Looked on line to check and no, of course, my check wasn't returned. This is the second time I thought I paid the exact same bill and the same thing happened before. I called, screaming my head off and this time, paid via my debit card, which I HOPE will suffice. Damn, I hate these stores.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Rain

Rain, rain all day. And wind. And it was chilly. Ugh, ugh, ugh! But I was amused at my friend, Pat's, comment yesterday when I mentioned the "big storm." Yes, it rained all day and in parts of the southwest, there may have been problems, but here, it was just--rain. In Jersey, it would have rated hardly a nod, but rain is an oddity here and I don't think people trust the sky when it turns wet.
However, intrepid Mimi put on her boots, opened her umbrella and braved it. Went to WinCo for this and that, including some nice cooked roast beef, which I put in a sandwich with the last of the stewed onions. Yummy.
Home I spent a lot of time being frustrated: Took pictures of the shoji screen and mirror I want to sell on Craigslist, went into my account and wrote them up, then tried to transfer the pictures. I CANNOT do it! They simply don't seem to be anywhere in the damn computer. The world of electronics has just turned against me, that's all: My landline is still out, my t.v. remote doesn't work, so the Travel channel is all I get, and now my pictures have gone into cyber-space.
To forget all that, I put my boots on again and drove to the Goodwill, mostly just to get out. Betty called as I was parking to ask about the comment I put on the Holy Spirit Reunion web site (an ad and I wondered why that was tolerated). She's had a bad respiratory infection, but is recovering.
I often browse in thrift stores, but buy only occasionally. This time, I found four wonderful plates, blue and yellow, with the sun, moon, and stars on them; I just had to have them. Bought them and two sort of flowered wallpaper-covered containers with wooden knobs on the lids. So pretty, but how will I use them? Well, I'll think of something.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Hoedown

I bestirred myself early on and vacuumed the carpets, then swiffered the hard floors; changed the sheets. All that took about a half hour. Showered and washed my hair and set off for The Bonaventure and its 12:30 lunch and "hoedown."
Doris got there shortly after I did, then Sherry came, bringing her husband, Pat. She had told me he has Asberger's, but I'm not sure this was actually diagnosed or she simply decided it. I think he probably is within the spectrum--taciturn, seemingly a little spacey, and converses only when somebody asks him a question; he shows little interest in others. However, we talked and I got to know him a bit while Sherry chatted with Doris. After a fairly good lunch, Pat left, and Sherry, Doris, and I went to the separate building on the grounds for the entertainment: country music played by band of five men, close to my age, obviously.
Now I'd rather listen to a toilet flush than country music, except for Hank Williams, of whom, seemingly, the musicians were unaware. However, I suffered through it and even clapped hands in time to the music.
It was difficult, but I restrained myself from strangling Sherry, who talked throughout every single number, just as she and Doris had done during The Townhouse music programs. These are live performers, dammit, and it's not only rude, it's bush league, classless behavior to gab while they're playing. In fact, I now resolve either to avoid such outings with Sherry or to sit elsewhere.
Anyway, it was over in an hour and, although line dancing was being taught in the main building, I split. Went to Michael's to buy two small easels for ancestor pictures, then to Smart 'n' Final for provisions. When I sat down at 8:00 for my daily hour of television, I found it would show only the travel channel. Neither the clicker nor the controls at the screen would change anything--so annoying. Instead, I went to YouTube and watched two Biography shows, one on Jack Nicholson, the other on Gloria Grahame. It then occurred to me that maybe the remote needs a battery--will check shortly.
A big storm was predicted to start last night and continue today and yes, it is raining, but I'm not sure how "big" it is. Hope it doesn't last all day .

Saturday, January 21, 2017

AT & T and Chairs

Couldn't go to T.O.P.S. (not that I was dying to) because I had to wait in for the AT & T person, who was scheduled to come between 9 and 11. Well, naturally, he got here at about two minutes after 11.
It was raining hard--what is it with this sunny California propaganda?--but the guy was very nice: courteous and well-spoken. He didn't have to come in, but tested from my patio and unfortunately, discovered that I can't get Direct TV because the ray from the apparatus doesn't extend here--or something. It turns out I'll have to keep that poor excuse for a company, Communications Services, for the Internet, then get an Apple TV box or something, then I can get Direct TV. Also, I waited until he came to tell him I haven't had a dial tone for two days, but guess what? He doesn't handle phones, I had to call AT & T and was told they can't get somebody out there until Tuesday! Why? Well, they're very busy because of the weather.
The weather?! Fer cryin' out loud, it's not a blizzard, it's rain! Oh, but so what, I still have the cell and that'll have to suffice.
Was antsy to get out, so drove to Michael's. Looked at frames, but then decided I'd wait. Left my umbrella and had to go back after Office Max, where I got a new password book.
Home, I decided to take the plunge and ordered a kitchen table and a coffee table from Wayfair. I've had good luck with Wayfair and I'm counting on these two things being just what I want. I already have four kitchen chairs from The Work Bench in Princeton. We had bought our kitchen table--wood, with tile--and seven, not six, chairs in Swedish modern about forty years ago. I still liked them years later, as they looked good in the Sunrise Bay kitchen. However, I donated the table and three chairs--too bad I didn't keep them--so only the four remained.
I remembered seeing some wooden kitchen chairs at the Goodwill near Ellen's, so drove down there. They were only eight bucks each and are in excellent shape. Almost bought them, but then realized the color may be off. I drove all the way home, carried one of my chairs to the car, drove back, and brought it in the store.
I'm glad I did because unfortunately, my chairs are a lighter pine. I didn't buy the two at Goodwill, but may look on-line for better matching ones.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Lunch at the Cave

Completed some mundane domestic chores, then met Nancy for lunch at The Cave. We both had splits of champagne, which I'm starting to like, and enjoyed a long, long chat fest (where did that idiotic phrase come from?). In fact, we were there for more than two hours. I like The Cave, which is made to look like one on the inside, but it's pretty pricey. We finally parted and I went directly home to actually nap on the sofa for an hour or so. Must have been the champagne.
As for the rest of the day, I spent a lot of time on line. I'm looking for a kitchen/dining area table in wood, preferably pine. I don't want chairs with it, though--invariably, they turn out to be the spindle kind, often with high backs. Seems to me anything that sticks up--that the eye trips on, so to speak--makes a space look smaller, and this is small enough, although bigger than my last. I went into Mayfair, where I've bought before, and bookmarked one. It's a bit more than I wanted to spend, but I've bought from this outfit before my screen (which I now don't need and want to sell), and my bureau and bookcase. Shipping is free, also.
This morning, the AT & T person is scheduled to come; hope I have a working phone by the time I go to bed.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Daily Round

Damn, I discovered I can't get a dial tone on my landline, although all three sets are lit up. Think I'll just wait for the AT & T guy to come tomorrow; still can use the cell.
Got to the Council for Seniors meeting early and chatted with receptionist Beverly and Usually-There-Steve. Sherry and Doris came in soon after and we sat down. The agenda included a vote on whether to elect me vice president and--after a hard-fought campaign--I'm in. Okay, there were no other candidates and I was kind of hand-picked, but hey, I get to sit at the table with the chair, Suz,* and secretary, Lori.
Lots of business went on and I got my first assignment: to get in touch with John Moore, editor of the daily Ventura County Star, and Sheldon Brown, editor of The Breeze , a weekly, and get them to address the Council on getting more local stuff in the papers. Will do. I also volunteered for a few other things--can't quite remember what they are. It was an interesting meeting that finished in an hour, as they all do. One of the many things I like about Suze is that she runs a fairly tight ship; she welcomes all kinds of opinions and comments, but if people go on too long, she skillfully ushers them off stage, so to speak.
Home for lunch, I made myself a grilled cheese sandwich with the Swiss cheese Suzanne had given me and was it good. I had defrosted half of a pot roast (uncooked) and put that in the slow cooker along with vegetable "juice" I had also frozen.
Called Vistaprint on the off-chance they would make good my dissatisfaction with the business cards I ordered, even though the problem was my fault. To my surprise, they will and I should be received new ones shortly, free of charge. Classy company.
Went to the P.O. to mail off the family photos to my cousin's widow in Doylestown, then went go to the mall and tried on a few tops, but I didn't see anything I liked and really don't need clothes, so didn't buy. As I was coming out, my brother Larry from Miami called. He asked if I'd send to Jack B.'s son, Joe, some of the pics with Jack in them as a kid. Sure will. Stopped at The Alliance thrift store and ran into Carolyn, whom I know from T.O.P.S. and we talked for a time. The pot roast turned out tender and tasty; had it for dinner with salad.
* Rhymes with "ooze."

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Varied

Spent most of the morning 1. doing two loads of wash and all that entails and 2. on the phone with A T & T arranging to switch over from Communications Services (in truth, "Non-Communicating Non-Service"). I was happy to be interrupted by a call from my favorite artist, Nancy P., who's in Soaring Spirits, also. In fact, that's where I met her, but she wasn't able to go to Monday dinner, as she lives all the way in Oak View and would have been nervous driving home in the dark. I told her all about Gay Gary and other goings-on in the group. She suggested we meet for lunch tomorrow at The Cave, and I agreed with pleasure.
A T & T told me I had to get permission from the complex to install something or other, so I went over to see Jim and got some kind of slip. I mentioned that fellow-resident Linda had told me Ventura Del Sol was owned by "middle easterners" and he said, no, it's owned by two brothers, one of whom lives in Ventura, the other in Santa Barbara. Well, that's nice to know; I like the idea of just private people being the owners, rather than some big conglomerate in Upper Japip.
Came across some pictures of the Renz family (my aunt married Ed Renz). I'm in touch with my Renz cousin's widow, so e-mailed her to see if she's at the address I had. She wrote back she is and I'll send them to her. Her children and grandchildren might enjoy seeing them.
When I finally finished with "business," I went to Michael's to buy the last two frames for my kiddies' caricatures. Drove from there to the library; I had picked up a bio of James Dean the other day, but started it and found it boring--I don't care if he was gay or not--so took it back and got three others I may or may not enjoy.
Picked up the mail and was glad to see the book Suzanne had given me, sent by Betty's daughter-in-law, Robyn, from L.A. Was also glad to see my new business cards ("Acting for Amateurs," instead of "...Everyone,") until I checked at them and saw the print on the back (listing some of my stage and play writing credits) is so tiny it's almost unreadable. I know this is my fault, but I was able to proof it only on-line and it didn't appear like that. I'll call Vista Print today to see if they'll spring for printing me new ones--might as well try.
I had bought some nice fresh tuna at Smart 'n' Final and for dinner, just seared the outside and lightly cooked the inside. Squeezed one of those wonderful limes that grow a few feet away, and it was scrumptious.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Michael's And A Newcomer

Started out to go to Michael's about 10:30, just as Suzanne was coming out. I told her about Sharon R., who's in my T.O.P.S. group and also in the diabetes support group Suzanne facilitates at St. John's. We commiserated about Sharon's problems: she's grossly overweight (probably is over 300 pounds) and needs a knee operation, but they won't operate until she loses a hundred pounds. Her bad knee makes it very difficult for her to exercise, so it's a vicious cycle.
Got two of the four frames I need from Michael's; these are for my children's caricatures, now incredibly, 46 years old. I have 40 percent off coupons, but the snotty cashier said I could only use one a day. He finally let me use two, but I'll have to go back for the others. What a drag.
Went from there into town and hit a few thrift stores. Got another decorative leaf--this in metal--that I envision will look good on my new coffee table. Of course, I don't have it yet--stopped at Sofas, Etc., but I don't know how I'll be able to get it home.
I had bought chicken thighs and drumsticks and prepared as usual with coconut oil and lemon pepper, then popped them in the oven. I had already had Caesar salad for lunch, so reserved two pieces for today and froze the rest.
Spent a lot of time finally, at long last, finishing up the attendance sheet for Soaring Spirits. Made copies and took them to widder dinner at 6:00. Twelve people were there (it always varies), including a newcomer named Gary, who proved to be a great addition. He's a big, burly guy about sixty, is--I think--some kind of social worker, has an MSW, and lost his husband of 43 years six months ago.
As far as I know, this is the first gay person we've had and he wowed us all. He's about the most open, jovial, fun guy imaginable, the polar opposite of some of our mousy, ready for the grave types (although in truth, we don't have many of those). I had ordered an "appetizer combo," a large pile of string beans, onion rings, chicken "fingers" (I didn't realize chickens had hands, let alone fingers), and mozzarella sticks, all breaded, deep-fried, and--as everything at Marie Callender's is--barely edible. For some mysterious reason, I was served long before everybody else, although I had made it clear I considered this my entree and I invited my companions to help themselves, which many did. Gary reached over Vera and grabbed some onion rings while complaining loudly that he was the new guy, Vera should be concentrating on him exclusively, for that matter, so should the rest of us, and so on. Vera retorted she would have been more attentive, but was afraid his sexual orientation would rub off. Funny! This kind of back and forth went on through the meal and we greatly enjoyed it.
I was curious about how Chuck and Pam would respond. They are fundamentalist Christians with a capital J for Judgmental (last night, Chuck even held forth on the evils of liberalism), but as far as I could see, they seemed unfazed and even joined in the banter now and again.
Anyway, it was a fun night, notwithstanding the lousy food, abysmal service, and mix-up with several orders, and I greatly enjoyed it.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Around Town

I got up a little earlier than I like to--about 4:45--but was wide awake. After my usual Sunday routine, I went to Wal-Mart to get an umbrella. Got there shortly after they opened at 7:00, so it wasn't as crowded as usual. Got an umbrella, along with two new pillows and a few other things, and ran into Gabrielle as I was leaving. I had had lunch with her on Saturday, but we stopped to chat, anyway. As I remarked to her, it's amazing how, although I don't have a job or much on my plate re obligations, I seem to be busier as ever, what with this and that.
Went from there to Michael's to get frames for the caricatures of my children, drawn (incredibly!) forty-six years ago by the cartoonist for The Trenton Times. It was at some kind of school fair, I think. I had a 40 percent off coupon, good for only one frame, so I'll probably go back for the others today or tomorrow. Went to WinCo for cottage cheese and subliminal B-12. Dr. Wordling had remarked that the kind you swallow was worthless and you must get the kind that dissolves under your tongue. Rather than look it up--which I may do later--I just substituted the new stuff for the other.
Home, I took the shams off the old pillows and substituted the new. The old were never used, so why? Because they were of different fluffiness, and it always bothered me that they didn't have the same dimensions exactly.* Now they look great and, since the old pillows were never used, I'll donate them to Goodwill.
Coming home for lunch, I saw Suzanne, who asked if I liked Swiss cheese. Sure, and she gave me a big hunk; somebody had given her a large piece of it and it was too much for her. After, I went to the library to return books and get some. I revved up my Kindle, too, as I want to get back to reading from there, also.
Stopped at Goodwill and bought four nice white bowls, then went to Smart 'n' Final for fresh tuna steak, chicken thighs, which I'll oil and season, and raisins and almonds, which are supposed to be good for you.
* Yes, I'm a freakin' obsessive idiot!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Good Day

Jumped in the shower, then rushed out to Michael's to get a frame for the beautiful rose Nancy painted and gave me for my birthday. Got one, then spent a good hour trying to get the picture and mat into it. Problem was that they were just a micro-bit too large. I finally trimmed the mat and backing with scissors and, I'm happy to say, the picture looks great.
Met Gabrielle at noon at the Hill Street Cafe. I was very early, but sat in a booth and got a mimosa, anyway, then ordered from the brunch menu when Gabrielle got there. We had a long, leisurely meal and I asked Gabrielle about her ideas and beliefs on the spiritual side. She said she's had "experiences," which she recounted to me, that make her believe we are all energy and go to energy when we die. I find it interesting to hear what others believe, although invariably, they're unable to substantiate their beliefs with actual evidence. Of course, that's true of those who follow organized religions, also, but I guess that's what "faith" is.
Anyway, we had a good visit, then I went home to do a few things around the house. I had gone to bed late (10 pm) and gotten up early (5:15), so I was sleepy and, very unusual for me, took a nap on the couch.
El came over about 3:00 and--happy day--helped me put the bed together, then hung the pictures I wanted over it. It looks wonderful! She also hung the water color Nancy had painted and given me, as well at the picture of me at age 10, painted long ago by an old lady.
I suggested dinner and we went to a Japanese restaurant in town. It's a tiny place, but well patronized, and the sushi is made to order, of course, so it took a while, but was so good. Real Japanese people work there, not the pretend Japanese you get at the chains in Jersey.
Said goodbye and when I got home, I just loved walking into my bedroom to see the new decor. My apartment isn't finished yet, but it's getting there.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Lots

Lots going on. Went to T.O.P.S. and was annoyed with myself to find I've gained--but only two tenths of a pound, so I wasn't that annoyed. We had a fun meeting, too.
Didn't get home until after 10:00, so had a late breakfast. Betty, who's now home, called and I asked her about the book Suzanne Next Door had given me. She said she had asked her daughter-in-law to send it. Upshot was, Robyn, the DIL, called, and will send tomorrow.
I took clothes to the laundry place and barely got them washed, dried, folded, and put away before I had to get ready for The Townhouse. Stopped at the P.O. first to send Mike's new credit card to him.
I pulled in to The Townhouse, but there were no parking places left in the lot, so I parked on the street. It's quite a jaunt to the facility, which is set back, but it's good for me to walk. At the elevator, I met up with Margaret, who had been the nutritionist at SCAN and who was instrumental in bringing my acting class to Marsha M.'s attention (she's the director from Long Beach, who approved my proposal).
Doris, Sherry, and Jean were already there and had saved us seats. Dr. Wordling's topic this time was Alzheimer's; next month, he'll continue it. I found it mildly interesting, but not riveting, I guess because there's no cure. Also, I frankly have my doubts that 1. people can somehow prevent it by doing crossword puzzles or eating Tasmanian grapes, or something and 2. it can be slowed by certain medications. Seems to me a lot of that could be hearsay or pharm company misrepresentations. I was more interested in chatting with Margaret, who has been going back and forth to L.A. to care for her 92-year-old mother. She's exhausted and we talked as two people do who are both reasonably well educated and share a caregiver role--hers current, mine in the past.
After the lecture, we were "treated" to snacks of peaches in little plastic cups. Now, there are few things I like more than fresh Jersey peaches and few I like less than canned or plasticized peaches, but I accepted a cup and ate most--not sure why. I had told Carole I would take Jean home and I did; she lives not far from Ellen and it was no problem.
Jean is almost--not quite--old enough to be my mother. I think she's 94, but is just remarkably bright, alert, and easy to talk to. We had a good chat, I dropped her off, then drove back to The Townhouse for the wine and music afternoon.
It was a jazz group, all three members certainly over 60 and probably older, and they were really good. I greeted Doris and Sherry, who talked all through the program--so damned rude. I had a glass of Chardonnay and some cheese and crackers. After, I went across the room to greet my pal, Joe. His son, Donna's brother, was there from Boston, and it was nice meeting him.
Later in the evening, Robyn called again to say somebody had told her it was snowing in Ventura, and she wanted to check. I went out to the patio to look and no, thre was nary a flake, so somebody must have been pulling her leg.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Tires

It rained again! This time, though, I was ready for it. I was glad to see I had kept my boots and I wore them most of the day.
Went to the sheriff's office for my 11:00 appointment to get fingerprinted for my volunteer "job." Stopped at WinCo after for several items I had forgotten before, mostly non-food stuff.
Kept my 2:00 appointment at Pep Boys to get new tires. That took about two hours, so I just wandered here and there in the neighborhood; luckily, the rain had stopped. I went into a furniture store--I'm still looking for kitchen and coffee tables--and browsed at a used book shop, then went to Goodwill across the way. I bought a cute carrying bag with "Milano" and a kind of Art Deco (my new fave) woman on it. I think it'll be the right size to take to the casino next time we go. Went to Vons and got four containers of blueberries, which I like as a snack.
Back to Pep Boys, I sat in the waiting room for another 45 or so. That was okay, as I like just watching the passing parade. Got my little blue beauty back, all fixed up with new wheels and drove off. Stopped at Sofas, Etc., and looked again at the coffee table I like. Measured it and I think I might buy it; we'll see.
I took a dry run to Carole's house, as I promised to take her elderly (92) neighbor, Jean, home after Dr. Wordling's talk today.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Lunch with Linda

Another fairly enjoyable day. I went to Pep Boys intending to get new tires, but was told it would take about two and a half hours, so I made an appointment for 2:00 today, instead. I guess it will take that much time today, too, but I think I'll get on a bus or walk somewhere.
Washed my hair and changed, then went to Macaroni Grille. I got there about 20 minutes early for our 1:00 lunch date and wouldn't you know, Linda was about fifteen minutes late. She apologized, saying she had gotten a call she couldn't cut short. Well, okay, once in a while that happens.
We went in and when Linda heard I was going to order a beer, she giggled and said, "Oh, alcohol. Well, then I guess it's okay for me to have a glass of wine." I was puzzled at that remark, but she said some people might disapprove. Why she would care is beyond me, but oh, well.
We ordered, ate, and then sat there for, incredibly, more than two hours. Linda actually had two glasses of wine--the house wine, which I've had and recommended--while she talked and talked and talked and...
I can't figure out if I like her or not. I guess okay, but I was brought up short at her religiosity (Protestant), the fact that she was in the military, and most of all, her belief that CVS and Ventura Del Sol are both owned by "middle easterners," who are bent on changing "our American way of life." I'm just not sure what she bases this on, but I'm intrigued enough to research it.
Anyway, believe it or not, I was fairly--or maybe, faintly--interested in various things she talked about and the more she drank, the more she talked. She's been married four times (three divorces and a windowhood) and has a disabled 54-year-daughter (German measles when she was pregnant), as well as two other children and a granddaughter whom she raised; I'm not exactly sure why.
There was much, much more, but I finally mentioned an (invented) appointment and we left. I doubt very much if we'll see much of each other--she just isn't my type, but then my other friends here aren't exactly, either. Maybe there are no "my types"--dunno.
And yet...Doris called and we chatted about the casino trip and mutual friend, Sue. Maybe Doris isn't exactly "my type," either, but I like her a lot and the same goes for Carole and Nancy. I guess as long as you have some sense of commonality, friendship can thrive.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Casino!

This was a day that was a day! I got to the Burlington Company (only about two miles away) about 8:30 and Carole and Nancy came soon after. Bus got there promptly at 9:00 and we paid our $25 and boarded. We had a scare: Nancy was getting on in front of me when she slipped and fell backward. I was able to sort of hold her up from the back and the driver extended his hand, so she able to right herself, but it could have been bad. It took about two hours to get to the Chumash Casino, through Santa Barbara, Carpetaria, and Solvang, but it went quickly as we talked.
We were given (electronically) $30 when we got off the bus and when I checked to see how much I had left with that and from the trip in October, I was told I had $109. You can't cash this in, but have to use it to play the slots, but whatever you win from that, you keep. And boy, did I keep winning!
We met up at 12:30 for lunch, then separated again and played until 3:30. By the end of the day, I had won $174.36, all of it casino money--wowee! I had brought eighty of my own, but didn't use a penny of it. Carole, Nancy, and I met again at 3:30 at the bar, we each ordered a glass of Chardonnay, then chatted away until it was time to go back to the bus. As scheduled, that came at 5:00, we boarded, and drove back in rain. It was just about 7:00 when I walked in the door.
We all agreed this had been great fun and we want to do it again in a few months.
Found an e-mail from friend Pat R., to the effect that Little People, Big World was on tonight. I had forgotten, so was glad she told me; tuned in and enjoyed the only "reality" (none of them even approximate reality, kids) shows I ever watched. Thanks, Pat.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

This and That

Chilly, drizzly, dark and dreary--geez, I could have stayed in Jersey for that kind of thing--however, I didn't let it keep me from my appointed rounds.
I had gotten a private message from Jeanne Dollard Painter, saying she thought I had probably heard about Teddy Mooney's death. I hadn't, so called her. Teddy died of cancer on Saturday, I'm sorry to say--another HSHS '54 grad gone. Pat R. e-mailed me about Teddy's death, also.
Jeanne herself broke her ankle in October--a bad one, as she had to have surgery and has two screws and a something else in there. She is recovering, though. I called Betty about Teddy, who said Muckie has told her. Betty was still in California, but was leaving today. I hope she goes to the doctor as soon as possible to get to the bottom of her gastrointestinal problems.
After my usual morning routine, I put broccoli florets in the slow cooker, along with some oil and seasonings, then took off for Sears Automotive. After a lot of back and forth, the upshot was I could get two tires made for my car for $300.01 or four tires that weren't, but are still okay for it, $475, because one is "free." Highway robbery, of course, and I wasn't about to shell out almost five hundred bucks. I only need two, anyway, as they'll rotate them, so why go that route?
I noticed a sign that said Sears would match any lower price from elsewhere, so I went to Pep Boys. I showed them what Sears had written out, and they gave me a price of $261 for the two--forty bucks cheaper. I may or may not visit another place or two, but think I'll just go to Pep Boys. Presumably, Sears would do it for the same price, but why should I patronize them after having to run all over town?
Stopped at the office and confessed to Jim I had appropriated a lime and he said I was welcome to take them. When people leave Ventura DelSol, he said, the gardeners remove what's in their patios and if it's any good, replant it on the ground. A good system, I say.
Jim goes to T.O.P.S. (but a different group than the one I'm in), and has lost 61 pounds; more significantly, he's kept it off for many years. He told me he's a night eater, too, and has shredded wheat with Silk almond milk. I immediately went to Smart ' n' Final and got those two things--will see if I can eat that instead of the more caloric stuff.
Called Linda T. (the one who lives in this complex) and we made a date for lunch on Wednesday. She suggested the Macaroni Grille, which is one of my favorites, so I was delighted to accept.
Went on-line to order new business cards for my acting course. I made slight modifications, including the name, now "Acting for Amateurs," and my current phone number.

Monday, January 09, 2017

A Really Awful Exhibit

It turned out to be a fairly interesting day. Ran the dishwasher and did other household chores (exciting stuff, yes?). Went on Craigslist, as I'm in the market for both a wooden kitchen table and a coffee table. I contacted somebody with the latter in which I might be interested (it's new, not used), but for various reasons, decided against it.
Went to Sofas, Etc. and saw one I might consider, as it's the right size and price is okay, but it has a glass top and I don't know if I like that--seems dangerous, maybe. Stopped at Target, but they had nothing I'd buy. I thought I might as well look as some of the pricier, gently used stores downtown and drove there. Looked in a lot of stores, but really didn't see anything that caught my eye.
I had parked at the museum lot and stumbled on its grand re-opening, so wandered in (they weren't charging yesterday). Lots of people there and I just looked at this and that, then went into an exhibit called--weirdly, I thought--"Really Awful People." It turned out to be models of, and short vignettes about, various historic figures, such as Herod, the Borgia family, Hitler--in other words, notorious murderers. I was stunned to see that the last figure--depicted bare to the waist and brandishing a sword over his head--was Vladimir Putin! The plaque with the figure is pure U.S. propaganda, presumably never questioned by the "artist" and those who approved this travesty. In the comment book and in a note at the desk, I expressed my strong disapproval--and disgust--at this demonizing of Russia in order to launch the World War III our psychotic "leaders" are determined to foster.
Drove off mulling this over and went to Smart 'n' Final for a few things. Ran into Gabrielle and we talked for twenty minutes or so; made a date for lunch on Saturday at the Hill Street Cafe.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Maddening Macy's

Macy's has to be the most annoying entity in the universe and it's no wonder they're having to close a lot of their stores. I'll probably never walk in there again, because--well, read on:
I had gotten a generous gift card for the place and went yesterday to look for a bed set (spread, skirt, shams, etc.). Found a nice one with bright flowers and took it to the register. It turned out the gift card was $20 short, but no prob, I thought I'd just put that on my Macy's charge. Salesclerk asked for I.D., as well, and I gave her my driver's license, the info on which she slo-o-wly punched in. However, it was then discovered the credit card was invalid because I hadn't used it in so long.
I don't know why I didn't just pay the extra in cash, but I let myself be persuaded to apply for a new card. I then had to show my I.D. and after that, to go on the screen to answer questions (S.S number? income? do you floss everyday? when did you first have sex?) and so on. I then had to actually talk on the phone to some disembodied voice in Upper Japip or somewhere, and answer incredibly intrusive questions. Such as? Such as which age category is Ellen Molloy in (16 to 20, 20 to 40, and so on)? It didn't occur to me until later that it's disgustingly creepy that this lousy corporation should know Ellen is my daughter. Anyway, after a lot more of this, I took my purchase and left. How did we get to a place where commercialism rules us this way?
Aside from all that, I went here and there for eye brow pencil, lemon pepper, and stuff, then to Arnold's for a frame for the rose Nancy painted me. They're having a "buy one, get one for a penny," but I only want one. I'll go back and ask if I can have one at half price, which is what the first promotion amounts to.
Went to Barnes & Noble and finally got the gift card thing straightened out. Called Sherry to tell her and she was very cavalier about the forty bucks on a card she thought was depleted. We talked a bit and as she invariably does, she displayed constant self-aggrandizement. The more I have contact with her, the more I think she's full of that stinky stuff.
I called the woman who was at T.O.P.S. and who lives in the complex here--Linda T.--and we had a nice chat. She comes across as very well-spoken and intelligent and I liked her right away. I'll said I'd call her on Monday and we'll make a date to get together.
Oiled and seasoned four chicken thighs, put them in the oven, and had one for dinner--other three went in the freezer.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Busy Friday

Good grief, I just got up at 8:30! Guess because I was so active yesterday, but that's a good thing.
Here's how it went: I didn't walk, I'm afraid, once I got the paper and felt how cold it was. Started gathering some of the Christmas stuff until it was time to leave for T.O.P.S. at 8:30. I hadn't been there for several weeks; there was just too much going on, considering my birthday, Christmas, the party, and so on. Got on the scale and found I've gained four pounds.
Actually, I wasn't too upset at this. I knew I had gained some and I had been in the habit of wearing the same thing every weigh-in: shorts and a light blouse. This time, though, it was chilly, I had wool slacks on and a long-sleeved pullover. So I have a baseline and that's okay.
Everybody welcomed me back and it was nice to be with them. During the meeting, I was told that someone who also lives in Vntura Del Sol had joined. Leader Lolly passed out copies of the roster, with her info on it, so I'll call her. Her last name is "Tanner," which is the same as that of my friend, Doris, so I called her to see if they're related. Unlikely, she said, but she was going to call me. Did I get the latest copy of Ventura magazine? Yes, but I hadn't looked at it. Doris told me to turn to page 23; when I did, I saw "Acting for Amateurs" listed as beginning in March!
I had no idea the director, Hans, was going to re-list it, as he hadn't notified me. However, after my first surprise, I thought, "well, why not?" I would do the SCAN one on Saturdays and there's no reason I couldn't have two classes. So, we'll see what happens.
I spent a lot of time trying to find the book of poems Suzanne gave me, and couldn't. In desperation, I called Carolyn, who said it had been left at her house, and she gav it to Betty to give me the other day. However, she forgot and I called to ask her to send it.
I had seven very large onions and I cut them up, used the mandolin to slice them, added olive oil and garlic, and put it in the slow cooker. Left it on a few hours and it looks good, although I haven't tasted it yet. Got a lot of that pesky financial stuff done, including calls to Penney's (I had forgotten to pay my credit card last time, but I persuaded them to drop the $35 late fee) and A.T. & T. (I don't owe that at all, but got info on switching all to them), and a few others.
I heard it might rain again over the next few days, so took my dark clothes to the laundry. In between back and forth, I stored the Xmas stuff, dry-Swiffered the floors, and took the trash to the--well, the trash receptacle.
Went to the library to take a boring CD back and pick up one that looked more interesting. Went to Smart 'n' Final and got salmon, chicken, grapes, and a few other things. As I pulled into my spot, I remembered that a few steps from the path is a lime tree and I--yes, I picked myself a beautiful lime, and had it with my salmon for dinner. I must say, there's nothing like stolen goods to perk up your fish--.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Various

Blub, blub, it was raining again when I got up, so no walk yesterday, either.
However, it cleared in a few hours and I was able to get at least the whites and lights to the laundry building. Took my few--but more than I thought--Christmas decorations down and will store them as soon as I got a larger container. They seem to have multiplied since the holiday.
Nancy called and we had a long, long talk. She asked if Tuesday was okay to go to the Chumash Casino via bus. Perfect, and it's good for Carole, too, so that's what we'll do. Betty called to say she wouldn't go back to the east coast tomorrow as scheduled, but would stay in California until her knee heals.
Went to Wal-Mart for a few things, then stopped to browse in a new thrift shop that opened. This is a pricey one, with a lot of great stuff; I didn't buy, though. Went to Barnes & Noble and discovered that the gift card Sherry thought was depleted, actually has forty bucks on it--yoicks! I certainly want to give it back to her, but I'm not absolutely sure somebody else at the party didn't give it to me. I e-mailed those whose gifts I didn't know, and asked them to let me know.
Called Ellen, then stopped over to get a bigger container for my Christmas stuff.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

BCNN and Mimi's

I had set the alarm for 7:00 and got up then, although was tempted to go back to bed. However, I didn't, washed, had my coffee, dressed, and got to the BCNN meeting by 9:30...
...in the pouring rain! Yes, it was raining--geez, it was like Jersey, so annoying--but I had found my umbrella, so braved the storm. Nancy, Carole, and Sherry were already there and had saved me a seat. I was taken aback to hear from Nancy that she had tried to join, but was told since she lives in Oakview (near Ojai) and it's not a beach city, that she couldn't. Later, though, she talked to the membership chair and they allowed her to join.
It was announced that we'll no longer meet at the museum because they raised the fee for the room from $300 per session to $450. Instead, the officers have gotten the Knights of Columbus, which is nearby and actually has more parking, always a concern in southern Cal.
Nancy, Carole, and I then went to Mimi's for lunch--or rather, breakfast for them, as they both had fried eggs. I wasn't at all hungry, having eaten sweet stuff, which I don't like during the day, but for some reason, almost all the food at the buffet consists of muffins, brownies, and similar fare. I just had a side of herbed potatoes (hash brown type) and a mimosa, which was yummy.
We were there for almost two hours talking, mostly about our former and present husbands (Carole and Nancy have been married twice and three times respectively), but finally left, with rain still falling. I drove home immediately and stayed in the rest of the day. (Guess that shows I'm getting to be a real west coaster.)
Betty called to say she had had a sudden problem with her knee. Steve took her to an walk-in emergency place, where they ex-rayed it. Could be either ligaments and cartilage or whatever, I guess. Anyway, it doesn't hurt at all except when she walks.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Santa Barbara

As ever during the holiday season, activities continued apace.*
I walked Kimball, then came home and made Betty a fried egg breakfast. Steve and Dex came about noon and stayed to chat for thirty or so, then off they went. Betty will stay over with them until Friday, when her plane leaves.
Tidied up and had lunch, after which Ellen and Greg came to pick me up. We drove to Santa Barbara, dropped Greg off at Chaucer's Books, got gas, picked him up again, and went to his mother's new condo on State Street.
This is such a great place for Roz. If I wanted to live in SB (and had the seven- or eight-hundred thou price tag), it would be great for me, too. It's on the ground floor in a very attractive, Spanish adobe style; two beds, bath and a half, tiled kitchen, master suite with built-ins, and lovely garden patio--nice location, too.
We visited for a short time, then drove up in the hills to Mike's and Paula's. The view was still spectacular--virtually the whole of Santa Barbara, plus a big swatch of the ocean--and the house beautiful. We had brought our suits, but considering the very cool weather, only El and the girls went in. (The pool was set at 90 degrees and the hot tub warmer than that, but you have to eventually get out.) Mike joined them for a bit, then turned his attention to dinner. Paula was occupied much of the time with packing to leave, but sat down often to talk.
About 5:00, Mike took Vivian to meet her cuz, Claire, at Claire's gymnastic practice while live wire Violet entertained us. That eight-year-old has a vivid imagination, remarkable command of language, and a wonderfully engaging personality. While she and Ellen frolicked in the pool, Greg and I chatted.
Mike came back and busied himself with dinner prep. When El got out of the pool, she made the salad, and so on. Niece Carolyn came in, bringing Vivian and Claire, and we talked until dinnertime, which was surf and turf, plus mixed veggies, all on the grill, and delicious.
After a leisurely dinner and good talk, we said goodbye to Carolyn and Claire (who goes back to school today); by the time, it was 9:30, past my usual bedtime, but I didn't care. We stayed another half hour while El and Greg cleaned up the kitchen, then said goodbye, always a difficult time for me. Mike and family will leave SB today, stay over in L.A., then fly back to Singapore on Thursday. Darn.
Got home and went right to bed. By that time, it was 11:00, but I set the alarm for 7:00, so got about my usual hours of sleep. Must get ready for the BCNN breakfast meeting now.
* I think that's from Samuel Johnson's memoirs--I'm a sucker for two-hundred-year-old phrases.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Dinner for Three

Walked Kimball. Had breakfast, then tidied up the place until Betty and Carolyn got here about 10:30. Said goodbye to Carolyn, then chatted until time to go the the Soaring Spirits lunch at noon.
That was fun and Betty enjoyed it a lot. There were only eight of us there, but we had a good time. Went afterward to the 99 cent store, then to Wal-Mart for this and that. Betty wanted to watch the Rose Bowl when we got home and we had some difficulty in getting ESPN until I knocked on Suzanne's (next) door, and she told us what channel. wanted to get a birthday card sent, so went to the post office while Betty watched, but it was closed--I forgot it was New Year's Day "observed." No problem, it should get to Jersey by Saturday.
I had invited Suzanne to come at 6:00, but the game was still going on, so I knocked on her door and asked if I could just let her know when it was over. It finally was--at 6:30--and I went to get her.
I had made a salad earlier, set the table, and put the meatballs and sauce in the slow cooker, so I just had to boil up a pot of water and put the spaghetti in. Did so, we sat down and had a fun time. Betty and Suzanne hit if off immediately and we talked and laughed until 8:00, when Suzanne left.
Cleaned up, watched some T.V., then went to bed after an enjoyable day.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Activities

I walked the walk!
Okay, I admit I had stopped walking Kimball, but it's a new year and I'm turning over a new leaf. Walked this morning and will do so every day from now on.
Got several calls, including from Sherry, who informed me she had given me the wrong Barnes & Noble gift card--she thinks a depleted one, as she found the other in her purse. Well, I'll check it out, then see her on Wednesday at the BCNN thing.
Spent time making a verse for Sailboat Sue, then putting in a handmade card. I think I'll give her the succulent plant I got at Cat's Cradle. Called my dear friend, Marge, who turned 90 the day after Christmas, and was delighted that she's actually doing somewhat better than she had. Betty called; she'll stay over tonight after we go to the widder lunch. I invited Suzanne to come for dinner here, too. Went to WinCo for this and that.
Mike, still in San Diego, e-mailed, inviting us to come to their place up in the hills, for early dinner tomorrow.; they leave for Singapore on Wednesday. Ellen, Greg, and I will do that, but the others are leaving today.
Arrived at El's at 5:00. She and Greg served a delicious vegan dinner. El had made soup--tomato based, with carrots, potatoes, and other veggies--and Greg an excellent cabbage kind of stir-fry. The five of us greatly enjoyed it, along with Riesling, pinot grigio, and dark German beer.
Sat and chatted after, of course, then headed home.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

So Long to 2016

Got a fair number of errands and chores done. It rained--so annoying--but at least I found my umbrella.
Called Betty, who will come for the widder lunch tomorrow, stay over with me, then continue on to her son's in L.A. for the trip home. I'm thinking of asking Suzanne next door if she'd like to come over for dinner with us. I have meatballs and sauce left over and will get get more spaghetti, add a salad and Chianti, and we're in business.
Called brother Larry to thank him for coming to the party and the gift; he called me back from the airport. He'll be back in Miami now. Called brother Frank for ditto, but he wasn't home. Marybeth answered and said she'll tell him I called, but I'm not sure if she'll remember. Completing the trilogy, I called dear brother Jim, in Virginia, and we had a good talk. The thought of my world without him is overwhelmingly sorrowful to me. I must think of something he'll really like for his ninety-first in February.
Went to the supermarket for pantry items and the library for mental supplies. Got a message from my cousin, Sally, in San Diego--darn, called her back with a message, then she called me back. I was sorry to hear she had fractured her hip shortly before Thanksgiving. Had surgery and it seems to be healing. Sal is just fifteen days younger than my brother, Frank; both will be 82 in January. She was very athletic--ran marathons until she was in her seventies--and is determined to get her strength back.
Talked to friend Nancy, who had greatly enjoyed the party, and we had a long chat. I'll see her and my other friends who were there on Wednesday at the BCNN breakfast.
El called to invite me to dinner today and that will be fun. Mike and Paula left for San Diego to see her father, but will be back tomorrow or Tuesay, I think. They leave to go back to Singapore on Wednesday--sob!
Did some financial stuff, which is now a pleasure, since I'm rolling in dough--ha! Okay, these things are relative, but considering the lower rent and health insurance, I really do have plenty for my needs and I'm happy with it. Good thing, as I desperately need new tires.
When I was driving back from the bank, I saw a glorious rainbow arcing across the sky. A sign? An omen? No, I don't think so, but nevertheless, it lifted my spirits on the last day of 2016.