Retirement is a week filled with Saturdays and Sundays interrupted only occasionally by a holiday.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Wednesday Whatevers

I actually have very little to share today but notice that's not stopping me. I took Mom to the YMCA pool class this morning and then out to lunch. I'd been to the Y without her a few times recently and all of our pool classmates repeatedly asked about her. When one of the elderly members doesn't show up for class, everyone begins to worry which I think is so sweet. Anyway, she was greeted this morning with a great deal of enthusiasm and that made her happy.

In case you haven't been exposed to today's news, the Republican candidates had yet another debate this evening...this one at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Southern California. Thankfully, I managed to avoid any and all of the motorcades I'm sure were cruising through Los Angeles on the way to the Library.

When I got home, the mail had arrived and there was an envelope from our Dept. of Motor Vehicles with my brand new driver's license inside. I've been waiting patiently for it for the last 7 days, anxious to see my new photograph. I had my last license for 15 years (thanks to 2 by-mail renewals) so I walked around with a very young-looking me in my wallet for all those years. What do I think of my new photo? Well...I guess it could be could look like my hideous passport photo. The new photo definitely looks like me although I have this redness in my cheeks which I can't quite figure out. I'm thinking it might be from the security seals and other markings the DMV is using to help stop fraud. Whatever the case, I guess I can live with it for hopefully the next 15 years.

After dinner this evening, my friend JAM called to coordinate our plans for spending tomorrow together. As usual, neither of us could come up with an idea of where to go and what to do since, once again, the weather is not cooperating. No, it's not raining but it's very cold (for sunny L.A.) and neither of us wants to spend much time outdoors. So we've agreed to meet tomorrow and we figure we'll come up with something fun as we're pulling out of the driveway. I'll let you know.

Monday, January 28, 2008

I Need to Be Kneaded

For years now, Rick has been nagging me about going to a spa. He’s always wanted to send me for a day of pampering with massages, facials, oil treatments, wraps and every other supposedly soothing form of body work. I’ve always balked at the idea. I have this problem with body image and the thought of exposing myself to the eyes of a stranger makes me uncomfortable. I’m shy and modest…what can I say?

A few months ago, we were talking outside to our neighbor and the topic of spas came up yet again. When we were finished with our conversation and back in our house, Rick started in on me…spa, spa, spa. I finally decided he was never going to quit his nagging (who says husbands don’t nag) so I decided to relent.

Since I'm the one who always plans our vacations, this time I assigned Rick the task of finding us a spa resort to go to for a few days. Southern Californians are known for their need for personal pampering and health fetishes so he has a myriad of spas to choose from. We’re going as a couple so he too can enjoy the pampering that goes on at one of these resorts. Maybe we’ll even sign up for some couple massages and other therapies…who knows.

The problem is that the decision to go was made months ago and he still hasn't done a thing about choosing a place or making reservations. Every once in a while he'll mention going to a spa but then drops the subject. Maybe he thinks I'll forget that the responsibility for making the arrangements rests solely on his shoulders. Me forget? Never! So all I can say is..."Stay tuned."

Friday, January 25, 2008

Two Things...And Then Some

I was tagged for this "Two Things" meme by Patches over at Claw~less & Ball~less.

Two names you go by... Joan and Miss Joanie (actually only one person calls me this).

Two things you are wearing right now...jeans (that actually fit) and my sage green glasses.

Two things you would want (or have) in a relationship...Trust and a sense of humor (both of which I'm lucky enough to have).

Two of your favorite things to do... read a good mystery and go shopping.

Two things you want very badly at the moment...a decent memory and good vision.

Two pets you have or have had...Nudnik (a black & white kitty in the 1970's) and Sam (a newt).

Two people you think will fill this out...Lynne and Rosemary.

Two things that you did last night...Re-styled my newly cut hair and went to dinner with Rick and JAM.

Two things you ate today...salmon and currants.

Two people you last talked to...Rick and Lynn.

Two things you're doing tomorrow...going shopping for new bedding for my mom and going to church.

Two longest car rides...Driving from New York to California in the late '60's (via the southern route since it was December) and driving from Colorado Springs straight back to L.A. in 1977 when the ski resort closed due to lack of snow.

Two favorite holidays...when you're retired, holidays just don't seem as much fun.

Two favorite beverages...venti non-fat 2 SweetNLow latte and sparkling water (as long as it has no sodium.)

Two people no longer alive who you'd like to talk to - My dad and my maternal Grandfather (whom I'm named after and who died before I was born).

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Shameless Promotion

I live with a very clever man. Through all of our years together, I've always marveled at how quick-witted Rick can be. He'll come up with the funniest and cleverest sayings, stories, quips, puns, and other highly amusing creations at the drop of a hat. Oh sure...some of the time, all you want to do is groan when he's done sharing his latest brilliance but other times all you want to do is laugh out loud.

So what to do with all these wonderful witicisms? You guessed it...let's start a blog! We're looking at our newest blogging creation as a team effort. Rick is in charge of content; I'm in charge of posting and managing the whole thing. So what's the name of our new "baby?" It's called The Witty Wordsmith and you can find it here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Together Wherever We Go

Rick and I live fairly separate lives. Oh, we live in the same house as husband and wife; we drink coffee and read the morning newspaper together; we visit friends and family generally as a couple; we go out to dinner fairly regularly. But our day-to-day lives seem to go down different paths and our time at home is generally spent in separate rooms doing separate things. It's not that we don't get me...we love each other. It's just that we don't have many interests in common, down to what's on TV, so we've found that doing "our own thing" most of the time actually makes our life together quite nice.

So how amazing is it that, for the past three days, Rick and I have played like a married couple. We've gone to the YMCA together twice; we had breakfast at our favorite deli Sunday morning; we went shopping together on Sunday and Monday; and, most surprising, we actually went to the movies together this afternoon.

Now going to the movies is a big deal for us. While we were sitting in the theater waiting for the coming attractions to begin, we finally agreed that the last movie we saw together in a theater was the first "N*tion*l Tre*sure" released in late 2004. So, what did we see today...the second "N*tion*l Tre*sure." Why, after three long years, did we finally decide to see a film on the big screen? The simple answer is that the setting was perfect. It was a rainy day; the movie had been out for quite some time meaning the theater would be empty; and the first showing was at the perfect time...1:00PM. There were exactly 9 people in the theater (including the 2 of us) so we had our little seating area all to ourselves. It was a wonderful experience.

So now we're already talking about which movie we should see next. It's all very exciting...just like dating again. Maybe we'll discover we have more in common than we've thought for the past 25 years.

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Little Linky Love

This link loving in 2008 came from Are We There Yet??.

I have randomly selected 5 of you below to be tagged and I hope that you will similarly publish this post in your blog. You will have to tag 5 other bloggers and just keep adding on to the list. (Do not replace, just keep on adding! Yes we hope it will be a long list!) It’s real easy! Tag others and see your Technorati Authority increase exponentially!

The benefits of Viral Linking:
- One of the fastest ways to see your technorati authority explode!
- Increase your Google PageRank fast
- Attract large volume of new traffic to your site
- Build your community
- Make new friends!

Add your blog url here...The Strategist Notebook/Link Addiction/Ardour of the Heart/ When Life Becomes a Book/The Malaysian Life/ goes under the sun/ Roshidan’s Cyber Station/Sasha says/Arts of Physics/And the legend lives/My View, My Life/ A Simple Life/What Women REALLY Think/Not Much More Than This/Jayedee/Jenn/Beth/ Christie/Marla/Cailin/Simone/FlipFlopMom/Katrina/Gill's Jottings/Work of the Poet/ Wakela/Modern Day Goddess/Livin With Me/Are We There Yet??/The Erstwhile Librarian /You are next...

Now, add/tag 5 of your friend's blogs…
Lynn @ A Tired Mama
Renee@ fefyfomanna
Patti @ Late Bloomer Boomer
Lynne @ Lynne's Little Corner of the World
Michele @ The Rocky Mountain Retreat

Thursday, January 17, 2008

When All Else Fails...Go Shopping

JAM and I decided today to have a Retired Girls Day out but trying to decide what to do took us quite a while. We went through a list JAM had compiled of interesting places to visit around town but many involved outdoor activity and it was just too darn windy today to attempt anything outside. So, after much time sitting on her sofa dithering, we finally agreed to go shopping. Yes...I know...not very creative.

Anyway, we ended up at one of our local malls and visited N*rdstr*m and M*cy's. Rick's sisters gave me a gift card for N*rdstr*m at Christmas and lucky me found two pair of jeans which fit perfectly and, most importantly, were on sale so I still have money left on my gift card for my next visit. Yeah! JAM found a great pair of black sandals which I might just have to order myself (with my narrow width, they almost never have my size in stock).

Then we went over to M*cy's. We wandered around but didn't have much luck...maybe we just were too tired by then to rummage through the sale racks. While we were walking around, however, JAM pointed out the following sign:

Now, pardon me, but did someone have an "oops" moment when creating this sign? What made this even more amusing was the fact that, on the other side of the entrance to the furniture department, there was the very same sign with the very same mis-spelling. I'm thinking that, if either of us ever need a part-time job, proofreader comes to mind.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Another Tuesday in Paradise

Poor seems it's now his turn to have the "Virus That Won't Die." For several days, he's had an annoying sore throat that won't go away and he's not been a happy camper. Men can be such babies.

Anxious that he might have something serious (why is it men always think they have something dreadful), he made an appointment today with his doctor just to make sure it's not evil strep throat. It turns out just to be a mild throat virus (surprise) and we all know there's little that can be done other than be patient and wait. The doctor gave Rick a list of at-home treatments mostly to ease the raspiness and irritation.

So when I came home from work this afternoon, here's what I found:

There's nothing scarier than coming home after a long day of work and finding your husband doing a poor job of hiding. What's he really doing? He's inhaling steam from a microwaved cup of water. Such a good boy following his doctor's orders.

On a happier note, I just got off the phone with my good friend, known on my blog as "Joey's Grandmother." It turns out her #3 daughter is pregnant for the first time and is due at the end of August. So soon she'll be more than just Joey's Grandma. I guess this means I'd better start thinking of a new pseudonym for her. Now that will be a happy chore.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Meatless Sunday

Well, our refrigerator is once again devoid of any meat products. Last night, Rick and I finished the leftover prime rib and sides so now it's no more meat for a while...thank goodness. I'm not sure my poor digestive tract could take any more surprises. Oh wait...Super Bowl Sunday is less than a month away and you know what that hearty with manly types of foods. Sigh...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Once In A While Doesn't Hurt

It's a beautifully warm sunny day outside but I'm still here in my pajamas trying to wake up.

We had a late night yesterday going out to dinner for my friend JAM's birthday. Her daughter was kind enough to take a few of us out to a well-known steakhouse in Beverly Hills. It's the kind of place you might see famous celebrities and last night was no different. Just after being seated at our table, who should walk in but Terry Bradshaw and Jimmie Johnson. Now I may not know a whole lot about football but I had no problem recognizing these two. There may have been other famous folk there but the place was so dark (and the noise level so high) that we weren't able to see or hear much past our table.

Back to dinner. Now I'm not a red meat eater due to health issues. On occasion, however, I will break that rule if it's worth risking a little for a really good cut of meat. Such was the case last night. The menu was filled with all sorts of choices and I decided to overlook the chicken and fish dishes. When at a meat!!!

While Rick ordered the Chef's Cut Ribeye Chop (a 33 oz. ribeye steak), three of us ordered the prime rib. When our dishes were delivered to the table, we all nearly fainted. The piece of meat on the plate was huge...I mean really, really huge. The three us realized we should have ordered just one and split it. Not caring how gauche it looked, I immediately whipped out my cell phone camera and took a photo.

Trust me...the photo doesn't do it justice and I had a hard time getting the entire piece of meat in one shot...that's how large it was!!! Mind you...the prime rib was not the only thing to eat. We'd all ordered huge salads to start and then Rick and I shared two side dishes (creamed spinach and wasabi mashed potatoes). Everything was yummy but who can finish such large portions?!?!?

So this morning there are several packages of leftovers in my refrigerator. I ate only a small portion of the prime rib last night so there's a huge piece of meat plus we took home most of our two side dishes. Guess what we're having for dinner after church this evening.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hands Up!

Living in an urban environment can be so exciting. This afternoon I went over to my sister's house and took Mom out for lunch. With all of our illnesses lately, I hadn't seen her in a while and I thought it would be a nice treat for her.

After we finished and I dropped her off at Lynn's, I took the freeway home. While I was driving in the fast lane, I looked back and saw a police cruiser coming up behind me with lights flashing. Then I heard the blaring siren and immediately pulled over to let him by. I lost sight of him as we approached the steep winding grade separating two valleys.

About half way up the grade, traffic suddenly slowed and cars began to merge left. I thought it might be an accident. Wrong! Instead, there was a panel truck, with the driver's door open, on the shoulder of the freeway and two police cruisers behind it. And where were the two police officers? They were standing to the back and side of the truck with their guns drawn and pointed directly at the driver. Yikes! All I could think of as I slowly made my way past the excitement was "Please don't shoot."

When I finally made it through the bottleneck and looked in my rear view mirror, the driver was standing up outside the truck with both hands raised. Whew...another bad guy nabbed! Let's hear it for the good guys!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

In by 8, Out by 5

This will be short...I'm exhausted. Today I attended an all-day Library committee meeting at work (that little part-time job, remember) and now all I want to do is crawl into bed, pull the covers up over my eyes, and find myself in DreamLand. I humbly tip my hat to all those individuals who work 8-hour-days, five days a week. I salute you. Mind you, that was me once upon a time ago but I have obviously lost my stamina since retiring. Yawn!

Monday, January 7, 2008

An Untimely Chocolate "Chip"

And here I thought my family's bad health luck was finally over. Hah! Today I went to my little part-time Library staff trainer job to prepare for an all-day meeting tomorrow. After missing two committee meetings in December, I spoke to the committee chairperson this morning and promised I'd be at the meeting tomorrow no matter what. Oops...I should have known I was tempting fate.

On my way home from work early this afternoon, I bit into a soft piece of chocolate (trust me, it was soft) and I suddenly found myself chomping on something that felt like a small piece of gravel. When I took a look, I realized it was part of a tooth and my tongue immediately identified it as a small piece from the back of one of my lower front teeth. Damn!

Thank goodness for cell phones. I called Rick at home and asked him to call our dentist to see if I could drive directly to his office to have him look at it. Sure enough, the dentist could take me so I hustled on over there and waited until he could squeeze me in. The verdict...the chip wasn't too bad and he decided the best course of action would be to put in a small filling which he did without too much effort.

The bottom line...the filling may or may not stay put over a period of time. Apparently this type of filling can fall out due to the constant use of a person's front teeth to bite...just ask Lynn. The good news is all I need it to do is stay in place for two days...that's right, two whole days. It just needs to stay put tomorrow so I can go to my meeting and then on Wednesday since I'm scheduled to go with a friend to Disneyland. Hey...we all have our priorities.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

A Fine Dine

I am so full. During church this evening, Rick whispered to me that he wanted to try a new restaurant in our neighborhood. Always one for a new dining experience, I eagerly shook my head up and down. Good thing I did.

The restaurant serves Argentine cuisine and all I can say is "yummy!" We started with bread and two incredible dips. Then we ordered two different chicken dishes (each came with two sides) along with an order of two was spinach, the other was cheese and onion. I forgot to take a photo of them (in our haste to gobble them down) so here's a generic one of what they looked like.

Although the chicken dishes were tasty and healthy, I could have just as easily made a meal of a few more empanadas with a side salad. I've found my Argentinean bliss.

So now we've discovered yet another restaurant to add to our growing list. The best things about this's only a few blocks from our house and it does take-out as well. Oh boy, empanadas whenever I want!

Friday, January 4, 2008

A License to Eat

This morning, Rick is complaining he has a sore throat and the sniffles and is insisting I'm the cause. No way!!! I cover my mouth when I sneeze; I turn away when I feel one coming on; I wash my hands constantly; I eat using utensils set aside just for me; I spend most of my time in a separate room of the house. I am not the cause...honest!

For me, the worst part of being sick is that I have this desire to eat everything in the house. When I got on the scale this morning, I let out a resounding shriek and now I'm depressed. You know that old saying "Feed a cold, starve a fever" (or is it "Starve a cold, feed a fever?") Well, I believe that, when you're sick, you have a license to feed and feed and feed and keep feeding. So I have a question for you.

When you're sick with a cold or fever, do you find yourself eating or does food just not interest you?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

I Haf a Cold In Dah Nose

What is going on here? December was stomach flu month for my family and now I'm starting January off with a terrible head cold. I woke up yesterday with an itchy nose and, as the day progressed, it began to drip and I began to sneeze. Then last night I nearly drowned in a sea of mucus. Cough, cough, wheeze, wheeze...hand me a tissue.

So where did I get this? I just got off the phone with a friend who has had all the same symptoms since Monday. Oh...and did I mention we went out to dinner and to the theatre with her and her husband on Sunday? So at least I know where this plague originated and I won't have to blame any family members. Now I'm trying very hard not to breathe on Rick and spread the "joy" around.

My plans for the end of this week and all weekend have obviously changed. I guess I'll try and take it easy during the next few days. This shouldn't be a problem since the weather forecast here is for three successive rain storms beginning tonight and lasting into next Monday. I have a few errands to run today and then I'll come home, cuddle up on the sofa with my new plush throw and read the latest Sue Grafton book. Oh...and, of course, the box of tissues will be right by my side. Achoo!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Is it 2008 Yet?

I wouldn't know. Last night, we went out for an early dinner (garlic chicken and mashed potatoes, yum), came home and watched a DVD movie, and then Rick announced it was time to go to bed (at 10:00PM). So we toodled off to bed (without sipping our phony champagne first), turned off the light and then listened for quite some time to the fierce winds before actually going to sleep. Somehow we managed to miss watching the ball go down in Times Square this year...sigh. This morning I've poured myself a cup of coffee and retrieved the newspaper from our driveway but have yet to read it so I still haven't seen anything that actually declares it to be 2008 but I'm thinking it must be the new year.

I'm up early this morning so I can bake a Butterscotch Pumpkin Cake to take to our friends' New Year's Day brunch later today. They live fairly close to Pasadena and we will need to take a freeway that skirts the area of the Rose Bowl so I'm sure we'll run into lots of traffic. I will try and watch the Rose Parade on TV although each year I seem to be less and less interested. I should point out that many, many, many years ago Lynn, Ina and I actually were amongst the crazy people who sleep out overnight on the sidewalks of Pasadena to get a curbside view of the parade. It was the coldest night of the year and all I can remember is standing in a very long line at a gas station to use the one restroom in the area. I think the floats were beautiful but, to be honest, I really don't remember much...I think I've banished that "adventure" from my brain.

Anyway, I hope you have a fun-filled New Year's Day and that 2008 turns out to be a terrific year for you all.