Monday, May 16, 2022

At Sally's

I'm finally in! Too long and involved to explain, so I'll just write briefly about the party last night:

At Duane and Ani's palatial* house in Encinitas, we had a terrific gathering. Besides the host and hostess, plus Sally and me, attendees were Sally's daughter, Teresa, Duane's daughters, Kendra and Jasmine (both in their early twenties and gorgeous), Kendra's boyfriend, Conner, and Ani's Dad, Ray. What a congenial group and what a beautiful setting.

We ate out by the pool--a huge enclosure which includes a guest house (sitting room, bedroom, bath, and doors to two other rooms) and various plantings. Great food, wonderful company, and we had a ball. I'm just going to have to fill this in tomorrow--too busy.

Here's my cousin, Sally:



Sunday, May 15, 2022


Stripped the bed, did a white wash, and re-made. After that, I put in a color wash--now everything I own was washed except what I was wearing. Spent a lot of time selecting clothes and checking my list of what I must take, such as meds, brush, charger, and so on and on. I know I tend to overpack, but I can't seem to help it, plus I always confront myself with questions, such as wondering if I should take light or warm pajamas. I'm taking my laptop for sure; in this modern world, I'd be lost without that and my phone. 

I watered the plants inside and out and scrubbed, roasted, and stored in the freezer the three pounds of potatoes I still had. Took out the trash; I'll do the same this morning before I go. I just hate going on a trip, then coming back to a messy home.

At 3:00, I set off for the market; walked there and got this and that, then bused to the transit center. I thought I'll look for a new mesh laundry container; my old one is just about shot. Looked at Ross, but they didn't have any, so I'll check Target when I get back. If they don't, I'll order on-line from Wal-Mart.

While I waited for the 10 bus, Ellen called to say hello and we confirmed she'll pick me up on Wednesday. I'll see if she wants to go to Jasmine Thai for dinner after.  

Darn, I didn't sleep well. Got up for the usual about 3:00 and only dozed until the alarm went off at 5:30. Okay, maybe I can sleep on the train.

Saturday, May 14, 2022


Took to T.O.P.S. the program I mentioned from MedPage Today and conducted the meeting. Also took my applesauce. Everybody seemed to be interested in the program and liked the applesauce. Incredibly, Sharon brought doughnuts. This is a weight loss group, folks, and Sharon brought doughnuts. That's not some pretend low-cal doughnuts, or rice cakes disguised as doughnuts, or one doughnut for the six of us to share. No, she bought a dozen of regular doughnuts. This is a woman who weighs four pounds less than three hundred, with severe diabetes, and who can't walk across a room without getting short of breath. She brought doughnuts. Nobody ate them there, but did take one or two home. I didn't. As for me, I gained a pound to 130.8 at home and 129.3 at T.O.PS. I want to get back down to my comfort zone, but I'm confident I will. Not, though, if I start eating doughnuts.

Walked to the P.O. to mail the little book to grandson Mr. K. and found it would be $28. I took it home. Trying to decide if I can maybe take pictures and send it that way. We'll see. Bused from there to Wal-Mart and got page protectors for the ancestry booklet I made up for cousin Sally.  Stopped at CVS for cream sherry--I bought two, thinking I'd give one to Sally. But boy, I'm going to have a big suitcase and my laptop; maybe I should just take her out to dinner, instead. I spent the rest of the day making up the booklet. My feeling is that, although Sally was adopted, if the Fiegenschuh (Figenshu) and Bub (Bubb) antecedents hadn't come over from Germany, her mother wouldn't have been born--at least not here--and Sally wouldn't be in our extended family. Tortuous reasoning? Maybe, but I'm sticking to it. 

I just came across this video on YouTube. Sophia is the granddaughter of my friend, Susan, who lives across the street from my house in Sunrise Bay. I guess she's a pretty good drummer, although the goth makeup is startling--but, hey, kids are kids and she's only 16.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Nails, Hair, And Lunch With LaVonne

Went across to the shopping center at 9:30 and got a pedicure at Nails D'Elegance, so my feet feel good. Right after, I stopped in at Great Clips and got a trim. All was accomplished before noon, when I walked to the Hill Street Café for lunch with LaVonne. We sat outside on the patio, which was so pleasant--about 70 and sunny. 

Left there and walked home. Since I had been out late the night before and still got up at 5:30, I lay down and took a good nap. Was awakened about 3:30 by a call from Primary Medical. Long story short: I was supposed to have a yearly skin examination (since the lesion on my nose was removed) and Dr. T. has left the practice. I had called to ask for a referral to someone else and the call was to tell me my primary doc wants to see my first. I don't see why, but made a appointment for June 7. Darn, she's on Johnson Drive now, too, which isn't as convenient.

Once I got up, I continued copying family pics and documents on the Figenshu side for Sally. I need to pare it down and also, to figure out a way to present it. I also wrote a note to little grandson, K., and will send it with the book Mike got him--today, I hope. 

T.O.P.S. today and I volunteered to do the program. I found an interesting article on MedPage Today which poses the question "obesity is a major factor in mortality, so why don't insurance companies support treatment?" They do to a point, yes, with covering costs for senior programs, such as "Silver Sneakers." But that's for only a select group and things like bariatric surgery are regarded as cosmetic. I won't read the whole thing to the group, but will mention a few points, then have them read the comments from medical professionals.

Niece Carolyn called and we had a good talk, with a few tears and Ellen called on her way home from school, just to say hello.

Wonders Will Never Cease Department: I've been sleeping well and the newspaper's been at my door for the last several days. Yay!  

Thursday, May 12, 2022

My Cart And Dudley House Doings

Things are looking up! Bereft without my trusty sidekick (my cart), I looked on line to see if they had any. Sure, there are lots of them, but many are too big. I had the smaller one (my big cart I gave to Suzanne) and it was just right for me. Besides, they invariably need assembly and hell, no.

I put the problem to one side and trudged the mile and a half to The Dollar Tree. I wanted to get two sets of plastic or cardboard cups, one to hold the dip I was bringing to the Dudley House covered dish, the other for the homemade applesauce I'll share at T.O.P.S. tomorrow. Right next door is Smart 'n' Final and, while walking there, it occurred to me that a supermarket might have carts. It turned out they do, but they're the large kind, too.

But wait--what was that store over there? Aha--Ace Hardware! I went in, was directed to an area, and there was almost an exact duplicate of the cart I had lost. I bought it on the spot--interestingly, it cost three times as much as my other one had (four years ago), but not nearly as much as those on-line. I happily put in my purse and purchases in it, and walked home, so got three miles in.

I assembled the cheese cubes and dip I was bringing to Dudley House and also the stuff for T.O.P.S. I told Lennie I'd do the program, too, as I got some information from MEDPage on why insurance doesn't cover obesity.

After lunch, I cut up the cheddar and pepper jack, made the dip, and otherwise prepared for the Dudley House covered dish. Showered and washed my hair, called Jim to remind him to pick me up at 6:00. (That wasn't really necessary, but I get anxious.) This will be the third or fourth time Jim will accompany me to this event and we both enjoy it. 

We got there early enough for me to assemble my cheese offering, which I put on the wine table. I greeted lots of old acquaintances there including Director of Docents Lynne, Sherry, Deanna, Jan, and their spouses. I was glad to see Connie, especially when she asked if I might be interested in acting in her suffragette skit, which she's just pulling together. Sure thing and she'll be in touch. The program consisted of Lynne and Connie in late nineteenth century dress, of course, impersonating Mrs. Dudley and a neighbor, talking on vintage phones about current affairs, including Presidents McKinley and Teddy Roosevelt's visits to Dudley House. Lynne on right in the first pic, on left in the second:   

I didn't get home until 9:30 (gasp!) and even stayed up to watch some Better Call Saul, so it was the middle of the night before I got to bed. (Okay, ten-thirty.) I'm meeting LaVonne for lunch today and want to get a pedicure, too, so I may take a nap later. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022


 Another busy day--plus a disaster.  

I've been duplicating some family pictures and documents for cousin Sally and ran out of printer ink , so at 9:00  I headed to Office Depot with my little cart. I intended to walk to Telephone Road, then bus the rest of the way, but walked the whole route, about three miles. Stopped at WinCo first for pumpernickel (my half-German heritage coming out, no doubt), spinach, and spaghetti squash. Took the 11 bus to the transit center and who did I run into there but LaVonne? We chatted until our respective busses came (she was on her way to town) and made a date for lunch tomorrow at the Hill Street Café. Home, I put the stuff away, had lunch, then took off myself for town. 

I headed to the market on the west end, where LaVonne had told me they had produce sales on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Boy, did they: I got three wonderful organic grapefruits, five pounds of potatoes, and ground chicken at bargain prices. I didn't stop anywhere else and after taking the bus to the transit center, got the 10 for home.

Good thing I did: It stops right in front of where I live and while I was walking to the gate, my cart hit a snag or something and suddenly came apart. I had to carry my groceries--and they were heavy--and go home. Went out later to get and throw in the recycle bin the remains of my cart--that was the disaster--sob! As soon as I had a chance, I looked up carts on-line. I'll probably have to send for one and what's scary--AAGH!--will have to assemble it myself. Oh well, I'll ask Javier if he'll do it for a tenner. But in the meantime, I'm restricted to stuff I can carry--woe is me.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Floor And Food

Nose to the grindstone day. Okay, I'm exaggerating, but I did get lots of put-off chores done. Started with dust-mopping, then wet-mopping the hard floors; washed the bathroom rugs and cleaned the small one in front of the kitchen sink. 

Also did a fair amount of food prep. After trimming and washing the Brussels sprouts and carrots, I stowed the former in the fridge and dressed the latter with garlic herb marinade, then roasted them in the oven. Cored and chunked the apples, added quartered citrus and cinnamon, then turned them into applesauce, courtesy of the slow cooker. Those last three I do often, so they're no big deal, but the other...

...strawberry sorbet! I just came across a recipe that doesn't involve an ice cream maker, which I don't have and don't want. This is so simple: two pounds of strawberries, washed and quartered, two tablespoons of lemon juice, simple syrup (one cup sugar and three cups water, boil and cool) and that's it. You put them together, then use a food processor (don't have, don't want) or blender (have!), to puree the mixture, then put in the freezer for at least six hours. I had some after dinner and it was DELICIOUS! 

Tomorrow, Jim and I are going to the Dudley House covered dish. I had already bought hard cheese and searched out a recipe for a dip. Found one--happily, I have all the ingredients and will bring that; I may add a bottle of wine.  

I've been searching out and copying family pictures and documents on the maternal side to bring my cousin, Sally. Not sure yet how I'm going to present them--maybe bound in a loose-leaf book?  I'll think of something. 

Monday, May 09, 2022

Mothers' Day

The Access van got me to Ellen's about 11:30--a bit early, but that was okay--and I found Greg in the kitchen cooking up a storm. In another forty-five or so, we three then sat in the lovely side yard and enjoyed his meal. He opened with a wonderful spinach soup, mostly his own creation. I think Greg has a remarkable skill with herbs. He used several in the soup, including cilantro, ginger, garlic, and others, but as ever, the seasoning was very subtle--he never overdoes.  We then had cod, which he dressed with different herbs, capers, and lemon slices (from the tree outside). I hadn't had cod for years and this was just delicious. Here he is serving it up:


El cleaned up the kitchen after Greg had done his magic (his kitchen expertise doesn't seem to extend to that), then he left for work and I helped El change their bed.  We then enjoyed our Margaritas outside and I opened my presents. I got some neat things, including this from the little guy in Japan and his parents (names obscured):


But of course, my real presents are the people who sent them.
The Access Van picked me up about 4:30, but I didn't get home until six, as Lesly, the driver, had several other "guests," as she calls them to pick up and drop off. I never dreamed Ojai was as large--or as impressive and beautiful as it is. I enjoyed the ride up in the hills. 

Home and went over to Von's to pick up the free (because I'm such a good customer, I guess) frozen garlic. They were out of them, natch, so I got a rain check. 

Sunday, May 08, 2022


Called my cousin, Sally in Solano Beach (part of or near San Diego, I'm not sure which) then made my reservations for my visit. 

I was considering going to a concert in which Julie's friend, Margaret, is singing in a concert at Channel Island Cal State. The more I think of it, though, the less enthusiastic I am. It's on June 4 at 7 pm, which means I wouldn't get home until 'way past my bedtime and I have my docent stint the next day. Darn--but I hope to attend another time. 

Jim got here for lunch at his usual 12:30. I kept it simple, just serving one of the Voila! frozen meals I had in the freezer--beef lo mein, which wasn't half bad. Added some nibbles, bread and butter, and red wine for him, of course, and beer for me. Gave him dessert of lemon cake with blueberry slurry and vanilla yogurt. As ever, he gobbled everything up.

Jim always looks at the books I'm reading and we chat about them. I assumed he reads during meals, as I do and was surprised when he said he didn't. Why? Because he eats in the kitchen standing up--good grief!  That seems to confirm what I suspect: that he eats very little and probably skips meals.

Anyway, we had some pleasant talk and he left a bit before 3:00. I immediately got my cart and walked to The Market to get in at least get a mile and a half. Got carrots, Brussel sprouts, tomatoes, and a few other things and bused home.

Called the Access Van, which will take me over to Ellen's, then take me home. It will be low-key, just the two of us, as Greg is working, but as ever when I'm with my girl, it will be so good.


Saturday, May 07, 2022

Back And Lovin' It!

Back in the swing! My older son, Patrick, in Tokyo, guided me to get back here to "Mimi's Musings" and I hope I never stray again.

As for yesterday: T.O.P.S. dragged on, thanks to Sharon's incessive need for attention: This time, she brought a picture of herself when she was about twenty and went on and on about her grandson, daughter, baby great-grandsons, and the price of tea in China (another old saw--I can't help myself!). We did have a new member, Beverly, who seems very nice. Julie picked me up and took me home, as Lora's visiting in Dallas. My weight: at home, down .06 to 127.8; at T.O.P.S, down .06 to 128.8.

Didn't get breakfast until 10:30, after which I tried to find a solution to my Fire Stick problem on-line. No dice, so I bused to Target and talked to somebody in Electronics. She gave me some advice, but of course, by the time I got home, I could barely remember it and couldn't have following it, anyway.  Stopped at a Japanese place in the mall and had a quick mini-lunch of California rolls, then bought  some Mandarins. 

Called Ellen and she spent almost an hour walking me through possible solutions via Facetime. They didn't work, so I was going to call somebody to come in and remedy the situation (but see later--oh, happy day). The good news: I followed son Patrick's suggestions re this blog and--oh, yeah!--got back in, able to post here in "Mimi's Musings." Called cousin Sally to say my visit to her in San Diego is on. Must look up train times and so on. 

Over to Von's before dinner for crackers, yogurt, and beer; also picked up some hard cheese. Jim and I are going to the Dudley House covered dish on Wednesday and I'll just cut the cheese in chunks, insert toothpicks, maybe fancy them up a bit, and take them as appetizers.  

Later, El called on her way home and said she'd stop in to look at the TV program. She did, clicked and maneuvered around with all four remotes and--EUREKA!--she got it back! So good to see and so good to have a daughter with that kind of know-how. 

Called Jim to invite him to lunch today, so things are back on--no, I'm not going to write "on an even keel"--okay, things are now perkin' along the way I like them.

Friday, May 06, 2022

From April, with a note from May

Actually, this is my entry from April 21, weeks ago. Finally, at long last, I'm back (I hope permanently) into my original blog. Entries from then until today can be found at the bog, "Here In California." 

Walked to the post office to mail a package to Jersey and when I came out, I ran into my former friend, Gail. When I say "former," I simply mean we fell out of touch with each other. She's the one I met on the bus to Santa Barbara and who lives with her ex-husband, whom she married and divorced three times. Anyway, she was on her bike and we chatted for ten minutes or so.  Her daughter had had a serious health problem, but recovered. I told her I'd give her a call and we'd meet for lunch. I will, but I'm also award that Gail is 1. the most negative person I've every met (even more than Jim, if that's possible) and 2. she treats me like some fragile old lady who's barely holding on the life.  Oh, well, I like to go to lunch, so will call her.

After we parted, I took the 6 to Telephone Road, then the 11 to Bed, Bath & Beyond. I had looked on their web site and saw they had the old-time glass juicer, so I wanted to get it and start juicing my beautiful lemons. They didn't have it, but of course, they had a three-times more expensive one for seventeen bucks, which I was not about to pay. Took another two buses home, mad at B, B & B for not having it and mad at myself for not calling first. However, I later found it on-line at Wal-Mart, ordered and paid for it on-line, and was assured I can pick it  up after 11:00 today. If that works out, I'll be amazed--and thrilled.

Ellen came about 2:00 and I was pleased that Greg came with her. We loaded up her car with my valuable (😄 ) donation items and El and I drove to Goodwill while Greg read and napped on my couch. Got my receipt tax purposed, then we stopped in the store to see if I could find a glass juicer there, but didn't and drove back. The three of us then sat and enjoyed a chat about aging and obsessing about it, among other cheery items. It was so good to be with both of them.

I had a big phone fight with Target on the phone and told them I'd never set foot in their store again. However, that was all histrionics, so I probably will, but their "Red Card" web site is the pits. 


At Sally's

I'm finally in! Too long and involved to explain, so I'll just write briefly about the party last night: At Duane and Ani's pala...