2017 Life Logs, Day 226: Active Day

2017 Life Logs, Day 226: Active Day
Date: Monday, August 14, 2017
Weather: Partly Sunny; High 80, Low 65 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Since the Goldstones are in Norway/Sweden on vacation, I am on vacation from my summer ‘job’ as director of Camp Oma. And I attacked this second day of vacation with vigor. It was an active day. I went to my favorite class at the gym at 9:15 am. It went a little longer than usual, so I didn’t get home until 10:40. I made a quick high protein smoothie and headed out the door with my bike to meet Jane Woodin for a bike ride on the Shining Sea Bike Path in West Falmouth. I have often walked this part of the bike path with Jane and Olivia, but have only biked this section once before with my biking buddy, Jane. I love the views of Vineyard Sound from the bike path as it heads to Woods Hole, but I think the stretch we biked today is my very favorite. I know it is Jane’s favorite.

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As you ride along, you are looking out over the Great Sippewissett Marsh leading to Buzzards Bay. It is serene and beautiful.

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After the bike ride, which began and ended at Jane’s house in West Falmouth, she invited me to sit on her deck and have a glass of iced tea before we headed our separate ways. There is a small bird house on one end of the deck and there are three tiny little wrens that wait at the bird house entrance for their momma to return with food. I should have taken a photo of those three little open beaks, so cute, but my camera was in the car and I knew if I went to get it, the little guys would most definitely recede into the back of the nest. So, no photo today. But sitting on the deck drinking tea, talking to Jane, and watching the monarchs and swallowtails was a lovely end to a nice bike ride. I left Bruce and Jane’s and went to Heather and Jed’s to get the mail, check on the garden, and pick the tiny tomatoes that Heather loves to roast and freeze for a taste of summer in mid-winter. Somehow these teeny tiny tomatoes pack a powerful flavor much greater than their size. The yield today after roasting was a little less than a pint, but that will make one meal for them.

I don’t have plans for tomorrow. I’ll just see where the day leads me.

2017 Life Logs, Day 225: Beautiful Day for a Sail

2017 Life Logs, Day 225: Beautiful Day for a Sail
Date: Sunday, August 13, 2017
Weather: Sunny, Wind 10-12 WSE, SW; High 82, Low 62 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

It was a beautiful day for a sail in West Falmouth Harbor with Bruce and Jane Woodin on Pooh. We thought we were going to head out into Buzzards Bay and there was enough wind that we started out with the sail reefed. Our first mission was to give me a complete tour of the harbor. Bruce and Jane have sailed here for over 30 years, so they have the local knowledge. There is the part of the harbor where most of the boats are anchored, there is a part close to the Chapaquoit marsh, and there is another area just before you head outside the breakwall. All of this is navigable at or near high tide as it was today, but there are underwater rocks that you have to know about. Hopefully I will remember all that I was taught today and can convey the knowledge on to Heather and Jed. We all enjoyed a lazy, and sometimes hazy, day on the water. And by the time we completed our harbor sailing and started to head outside, the wind had picked up and there were white caps and a bit of a fog rolling in. So, we decided to just continue sailing about inside. And it was on our second foray back to the marsh area that we found a pair of loons—always a thrill to see. Thank you, Bruce and Jane, for such a delightful day.

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When I got home from the sail, I got a text from Jed saying they had made it to Oslo. He said the train ride from Bergen was beautiful. But no one got a lot of sleep on the plane or the train, so they were settling in for the night. Justin, Ziggy, and Coco also called. They had a surprise they wanted to show me, so we got on Skype video. The surprise was a new pet—a miniature piglet they have named Rabbit. Evidently, they went into a pet store to buy a plant for the fish aquarium and came out with a pig! I told Justin I thought this takes a very special talent. Ziggy and Coco started school last week, so we’ll just call this an end-of-the-first-week-of-school present. They don’t really need another pet, but I must admit that it is adorable. Then after the phone call, I treated to myself to a local feast. A friend gave Bruce clams and since Jane doesn’t like them and he didn’t want to bother fixing them for himself, he gave them to me. Yesterday Heather gave me some green tomatoes and green beans from her garden. So, I had clams, green beans, and fried green tomatoes. And a peach for dessert. Heather also gave me the peach and I didn’t ask where she got it. But it was the best peach I have had in a very long time. Yummy dinner!

2017 Life Logs, Day 224: Goldstones Head to Norway and Sweden

2017 Life Logs, Day 224: Goldstones Head to Norway and Sweden
Date: Saturday, August 12, 2017
Weather: Overcast with Rain; High 73, Low 61 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

At 8:15 pm I got a text from Heather with a photo of her and her seatmates, Ollie and Jonah. They were on the plane waiting for the 8:50 pm take-off. And then I got a text from Jed with a photo of him with his seatmate, Sam. So hopefully they are now on their way to Bergen, Norway. They will arrive there around 10 am tomorrow morning local Bergen time, but that is 3 am our time. Heather and Jed are hoping that the boys will sleep for most of the six hour flight and be ready to go when they arrive. Good plan—just hope it works. When they arrive in Bergen, they will make their way from the airport to the train station, and then head the seven hours across the mountains to Oslo. They will spend two days there before heading across the border to Sweden, the main destination for the two weeks. I drove the Goldstones to the airport in Providence, Rhode Island, and we had hoped to have dinner together in the airport at a tavern located outside security. For some reason that no one could explain to us, it was closed this evening. So, we said our farewells and I headed home. I sure will miss those little rascals, but at the same time I am looking forward to some ‘big girl’ time. I got a call from Bruce and Jane Woodin this morning inviting me to come sailing with them tomorrow. I’m looking forward to that!

2017 Life Logs, Day 223: Miscommunication

2017 Life Logs, Day 223: Miscommunication
Date: Friday, August 11, 2017
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 78, Low 65 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Due to a miscommunication, my plans for the next two weeks have changed. Last Saturday I had a conversation with Heather and Jed about their plans for getting to the airport tomorrow for their flight to Norway and on to Sweden. I learned that they were flying out of Providence, Rhode Island, and not Boston, and would need to get to the airport by 7 o’clock. I assumed AM, but I found out this morning they meant PM. In that original conversation, I offered to take them to the airport with the hopes that I could travel on to Nyack, New York, to visit with friends, Ed and Lynne. Long story short, I arranged that visit, knowing that I would have to head home early on Monday as Ed has chemo that day. It has been a very busy week with no time to talk, so this morning is the first time I have had a chance to talk to Heather or Jed about what time we might leave for the airport in the morning. In talking with Heather, it became evident that we were not leaving for the airport until late afternoon. Lynne is famous for saying, “Make plans, but then life happens.” Well, I made plans, but my stupidity in not understanding the Goldstone flight time changes everything. I’ll still be taking them to the airport, but I will then return home. I’ll now be visiting with Ed and Lynne on August 22 to August 24. I feel terrible that I had them prepare for a visit this weekend, but I look forward to our visit in a week and few days. But I will still take the Goldstones to the airport in Providence and then return home. Camp Oma is on hold for the two weeks they are in Sweden and will start again on Monday, August 28, when they return.

Today was the last day of soccer camp. For this final day, Sam on Team Brazil and Jonah was on Team USA.Ollie designed a t-shirt to cheer on both teams. I think both Sam and Jonah enjoyed this week of soccer, but they will now put soccer on the back burner until the fall season starts. We left the soccer field and came home to my house to celebrate with a ‘make your own personal pizza’ lunch. Then I took the boys home to play. We spent some time working on their summer journals to get them ready to travel to Sweden with them. Boys being boys, they aren’t terribly excited about journaling while on vacation. But some of their drawings capturing summer activities to date are great, so I’m hoping they will capture a few highlights of their time in Norway and Sweden to share when they return. Here are a few of their journal entries from this summer.

2017 Life Logs, Day 222: Getting Ready for Travel and Beach Time

2017 Life Logs, Day 222: Getting Ready for Travel and Beach Time
Date: Thursday, August 10, 2017
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 82, Low 58 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Ollie and I spent our morning getting ready for the Goldstone trip to Sweden. Ollie needed a light weight rain jacket and when I talked with Jed this morning, he expressed the need for another carry-on size bag. When the Goldstones arrive in Bergen, Norway, they will be taking buses and trains to get to Sweden. And once there, they will also be traveling by bus and train. Having luggage they can easily handle will be very important. I took over two large bags I bought to transport things to Justin and Jo in Puerto Rico, but one of those is just too big to handle easily. So, Ollie and I headed to Hyannis this morning to do some shopping. We did a ‘hunt and kill’ trip through Sears. We got an American Tourister spinner rolling bag for $23. I spotted this bag with a special price reduction tag. It said $63.00, so that made it the best bag for the price on the floor. But when I went to buy it, the cashier pointed out that the price tag described a different bag. She called the manager, which took a very long time, but when he came, he was happy to sell the bag to me for the price on the tag. When the cashier rang it up, the total was only $23. I pointed out to her that this price was much cheaper than the price tag indicated, but she said she had to sell it to me for that amount. Fine with me! We then went to the Lands End section at Sears and found a rain jacket for Ollie. He also found a pair of sports pants and a long sleeve shirt that he loved, so we bought that as well, and then headed home. By the time we dropped off the new luggage, it was time to go pick up Sam and Jonah from soccer camp. And the day tumbled on from there. We had lunch at my house and made our way to Stoney Beach in Woods Hole to meet up with the Hennen’s—Jeanne, with sons Cole and Leo. They bought a one-man inflatable kayak yesterday and brought that to the beach. Immediately Sam and Cole took off in the kayak. Leo is a fantastic collector of critters and he spent his afternoon collecting pipefish, a baby pufferfish, and a crab. It was low tide and a great time for snorkeling, so we all did a bit of that as well. Near the end of the afternoon when Jeanne brought the kayak to shore, Ollie asked her if he could take it out. She looked at me and I told her that he was actually an experienced kayaker. But I assured her that I would follow along. Ollie easily handled the kayak and then Jonah wanted a turn and he showed off his skill as well. When Jonah returned, Jeanne decided to go out again and Ollie asked if he could tag along on the back of the kayak. When the boys return from Sweden, we will have to get our two-man inflatable in the water. There has just been no time for any kind of boating this summer. And summer is slipping away. It was almost 7:30 when I finally drove home from the Goldstones and the sun was setting. Just a few weeks ago, sunset was closer to 8:30. Ouch! This summer has passed too quickly.

2017 Life Logs, Day 221: Soccer Superstars and Harbor Seal Pup Release

2017 Life Logs, Day 221: Soccer Superstars and Harbor Seal Pup Release
Date: Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Weather: Sunny Day; High 80, Low 63 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

“Jonah, Jonah, Jonah, Jonah.” This is the chant that Ollie and I heard when we arrived to pick Sam and Jonah up from soccer camp. The chant was coming from all the kids attending soccer camp and we saw Jonah running drills against one of the coaches. Jonah would run with the ball, turn, and kick it toward the goal and then the coach would do this. What we found out was that Jonah had beat everyone’s score today which won him the opportunity to compete with the coach. Sam called it Coaches Choice. You could see how very proud Jonah was, but he was so very careful to not make Sam feel bad. Sam is two years older but in the same camp with Jonah. Sam always plays mid-field is not an aggressive forward like Jonah. But Sam actually handled today’s situation like a superstar and that made me just as proud of him as I was of Jonah. And this morning Ollie announced to me that he is also going to be a soccer superstar. Today he said he wants to be a goalie and I loved the way Jonah worked with him after camp setting up drills to increase his skills. Ollie was in full soccer dress this morning when he went to TD Bank with me. I managed to get my online banking account locked and needed to go in to show ID and get the online account unlocked. This took a while and one of the managers came out of her office with a small rubber ball that looked like a soccer ball and gave it to Ollie. The bright green color matched his shirt and socks exactly. He was thrilled!

After soccer camp, we headed to my place for a little relax time and lunch. We changed into swim wear and then we took off for Scusset Beach which is on the mainland side of the Cape Cod Canal. Our end goal was to be there for a 6:30 pm harbor seal pup release, but I wanted to give the boys a couple of hours to play on the beach beforehand. When we got there, Jonah and Ollie saw a playground and they begged to be able to play there before heading to the beach. That worked out great as Sam was reading a book on a Kindle and was very happy to stay in the car and read while the other two played. Then we headed to the beach where we discovered that no boogie boards or flotation devices of any type were allowed. Not sure why, but it wasn’t really an issue as the water was very cold and boys got in and out very quickly. Jonah found a warm place in the sand to just lay back and relax while Sam and Ollie built a sand castle. And before we knew it, it was time to go get dinner and get back to the beach in time for the seal release by the National Marine Life Center. Heather was driving home from Boston and had sent a text that she was on her way to join us. We left the beach just after 5 o’clock and returned at 5:45, and in that time the tide had gone out so far that the beach was totally transformed. I had left my beach chair with the kids towels and shovels on the beach not realizing that it was the perfect thing to do. When we got back, the yellow tape had been set up to define where we would be allowed to sit and watch the seal release. My chair was in just the right place. So, I unknowingly had saved us a place. Heather arrived and we watched the release together. The three pups being released were rescued this spring after being separated from their mothers and subsequently stranded in three different locations. The Marine Life Center worked to rehabilitate them and had to teach them how to eat fish. They had to start by tube feeding them a milk-based formula and then switched to a fish-based formula. From there they found ways to introduce fish into their diets and it was determined that they are now ready to go back into the wild. Jane Goodseal, Sealiva Earle, and Johnny Appleseal were all very reluctant and by the time we left, they were still being coaxed into the water. We hope they all three finally took the plunge, but it was time for our Goldpebble pups to head down the beach to the jetty on the north side of the canal. Heather went with the boys and I took the gear and headed to the car. I drove to the jetty to offer transportation back to Heather’s car for the ride home. The boys loved their sunset walk on the jetty and were reluctant to leave, but both Heather and myself were exhausted. In addition to her own program this week, Heather has hosted another morning show and made the trip to WGBH in Boston. And she has been doing the interviews for her program for the next three Mondays when she will be out of town. Add to that the wonderful, but at the same time, stressful news that her weekly program will start airing in Boston as soon as she returns from Sweden and you have one stressed momma. But ready or not, the shows will go one and the bags will get packed for Sweden and we will all be on our way in the wee hours of Saturday morning. I will drop the Goldstones at the airport in Providence, RI. They will fly to Sweden and I will head on to Nyack, New York, to spend a couple of days with friends Ed and Lynne. I hope they are ready for an exhausted guest!