2018 Life Logs, Day 289—Plumber, Writing, Laundry, Grandkids

2018 Life Logs, Day 289—Plumber, Writing, Laundry, Grandkids
Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 68, Low 47 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Yep. It was a day of a little of this, a little of that, and not a whole lot of anything. When I had the energy assessment done last week, they found that when I run the kitchen exhaust fan over the stove, there is a leakage of flue gas from the hot water heater in the basement. I was to call a plumber and get him to install a fan of some sort to fix the problem, but when the plumber came, he really didn’t understand the problem. We tried to recreate the situation, but he found no leakage. So, I called the technician that did the assessment and actually got through to him. He explained to the plumber what needed to be done, but the plumber had never heard of doing such a thing and thinks it will not work. He is going to do some research with other plumbers, but he suggests that I offer to remove the kitchen exhaust fan and see if that satisfies the gas company. If weatherization work is going to go forward, the gas company will not proceed if there is any type of flue gas leakage. If removing the kitchen fan idea isn’t going to satisfy the gas company, the plumber suggested I would have to get a different kind of hot water tank and he estimated the cost of that at round $2,000. The hot water tank that is in place looks new and with a $2,000 price tag, the project is just not worth it for me. So we’ll see what happens. But the plumber was able to fix the drain in the bath tub. I have been having to hold down on the drain toggle to drain the tub after a shower. Sometimes I can get the lever in just the right position to drain without holding it, but not most of the time. The plumber thought he was going to have to have replace the entire drain system, but when he got into it, he found he could just replace the toggle. Much cheaper!

All of the above took much more time than I expected, so it was late morning before I got started writing my November presentation. Surely didn’t get as much done as I had hoped, but there’s always tomorrow. While I was sitting at the dining table writing, out of the corner of my eye I saw something fly by the front window. It looked like a Monarch butterfly, but I figured that couldn’t be so. I went to the window, and sure enough, there was a Monarch feeding off the last of the flowers in my deep beds. I took this to mean that there’s still hope for summer-like weather! I had a late lunch and then headed to the laundromat. I had multiple pairs of jeans that needed to be washed. It was a big, heavy load, so I opted for the laundromat where I could do all of the heavy things in one big washing machine. I then took the more delicate things to Heather’s to use her laundry facilities for that load. It was warm enough to paint, so I had hoped to spray paint the two dining room chairs I had sanded for her over a week ago. I got the chairs outside and was ready to do the job, but then I couldn’t find the paint. It was almost time to go pick up Jonah, Ollie, and Jonah’s friend Kaiden, so on I went. On Tuesdays, Sam takes the bus to Woods Hole for his weekly drum lesson. I pick up Jonah and Ollie so Heather and Jed can wait in Woods Hole for Sam to complete his lesson before heading home. While the kids played, I was able to get the chicken mineral broth I made yesterday canned. Always some job waiting to be done.

I’m hoping to get up early tomorrow and go to an 8 am yoga class. I went to one class two years ago and thought it was probably not my thing. But I want to check it out again. Then I’ll head home to keep working on that November presentation.

2018 Life Logs, Day 288—Attached to My Computer

2018 Life Logs, Day 288—Attached to My Computer
Date: Monday, October 15, 2018
Weather: Overcast and Warmer; High 67, Low 47 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today I was attached to my computer and I need to stay that way for a while. I am giving a talk called “Passing It On” on November 10 to the Wayland, Massachusetts, Sailing Association. Mark and I spoke to this group in 2009 while we were sailing around the world and they would now like to hear about the sale of Windbird and the friendship that blossomed with the new owners. The presentation was named “Passing It On” and will focus on the seller/buyer relationship and my voyages with the new owners aboard Windbird. When I agreed to do this in late August, I thought I’d have plenty of time to come up with a presentation, but to this point, I have done nothing. So, I need to get busy and today I did. Of course, I got side-tracked. Seems that happens to me more often than not. When I tried to photos on my computer from 2017, I found that some of them are still on my computer and others have already been saved onto a hard-drive. I started trying to fix that problem, but soon discovered that I have hours and hours of work to do that. So, I gave it up on that and just started writing and searching for photos wherever I can find them. I will continue tomorrow and the next day and hope to have a basic outline of the presentation done by then.

I did make a trip into town in the early afternoon to attend a meeting about wellness programs offered by the Senior Center. I got notice of this on my phone and thought I should check it out. Either I am delusional or all the other people there were at least five to ten years older than me. So nice programs for those in their late 70’s and 80’s, but I’m not ready for their offering just yet! The only other happening is that Heather is back in town. I pick up Ollie and Jonah after school on Tuesdays and stay with them until 5:30 pm when Heather and Jed get home. Hopefully I’ll get to see Heather then. She did report that she had a good weekend in DC but that ‘reentry’ was a bit overwhelming. Upon returning to the Cape, she went straight to a school council meeting and then on to Scouts with Jonah and Ollie. My daughter is one busy woman.

2018 Life Logs, Day 287—Love Those Grandkids

2018 Life Logs, Day 287—Love Those Grandkids
Date: Sunday, October 14, 2018
Weather: Partly Sunny, Still Cool; High 56, Low 47 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I often have Heather, Jed, and boys over for Sunday dinner, so this morning I invited Jed and boys over. Heather is still in DC and won’t be home until tomorrow. At my invite, late this afternoon Jed dropped off Sam, Jonah, and Ollie while he went to the grocery store and the boys and I headed down to the dock. Somehow we managed to mess about in kayaks for almost two hours and really enjoyed our time together. It was high tide, so Sam decided to try and cross the island between our dock the the canal on the other side by pulling his kayak and the Ollie’s kayak which were tied together. Jonah and I watched the process and were pretty amazed that they made it to the canal on the other side of the island. Those Goldpebbles always seem to be able to think up fun adventures and this afternoon was no exception. After Jed and boys left, Justin sent a text asking if I would like to Skype. He wanted me to see the kids using the yoga swing I got Jo for her birthday. He just got it hung this week and the kids are having so much fun with it that I’m not sure Jo has gotten a chance to try it out yet. When we hung up, all I could think was how dull life would be for me without the craziness that comes with grandkids. They fill my life with joy. Love those grandkids.

2018 Life Logs, Day 286—Thinking Ahead

2018 Life Logs, Day 286—Thinking Ahead
Date: Saturday, October 13, 2018
Weather: Overcast, Cool, Intermittent Rain, Clearing Mid-Afternoon; High 52, Low 42 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Exercise, move the fish tank, get hair trimmed, go see a movie, spend some time thinking ahead . . . that was my day. It was the coolest day we’ve had this this fall with a daytime high of 52 degrees F and not a hint of sunshine until after 3 pm. When I sent a text to my friend Lynne Kirwin to check in on how Ed is doing, I mentioned the cool weather but added that I was sure we would have another warm spell. She was not encouraging. She told me to face it, summer is over. True, but I will not give up yet! Exercise was easy and moving the fish tank went more smoothly than I expected. Last week Ollie and I had put the new fish tank on top of a half-height book case, but there were three problems with that. Even with a second board cut and put under the aquarium, in one week quite a sag was developing. The second problem was that the reinforcing board we used was particle board and somehow it was getting damp. The aquarium is definitely not leaking, but dampness and particle board just don’t go together. The third problem is that after setting up the aquarium, Ollie decided that he would like it down lower so he could sometimes put Lego structures in for the fish to play with. For instance, he might want to take out the castle we bought and put in a Lego underwater research vessel with divers, and of course, sharks. The aquarium is now on a shelving unit with a metal frame, so sagging and moisture shouldn’t be an issue. Ollie hasn’t seen the new location, but hopefully it will please him. In the afternoon, I drove into town to get my hair trimmed and to go see a movie. I couldn’t decide which I would rather see—First Man or A Star is Born. I knew one started at 3:15 and the other at 4:15, but couldn’t remember which was which. The hair trim went faster than expected and I arrived at 3:20 in time to see . . . First Man featuring the story of Neil Armstrong, the first man to step on the surface of the moon. I think my favorite movie of all time is The Right Stuff (1983) about the original Mercury 7 astronauts. I have always had a fascination for astronauts and space travel and this movie didn’t disappoint. In between these activities, I spent a good deal of time thinking ahead to my schedule for the winter. I focused on researching dates and times for local events I want to include in my calendar as well as thinking about out-of-town trips I might want o take. I am seriously considering having knee surgery done in late February as the surgeon has a cancellation and can do my surgery on February 25th. I don’t have to make a final decision until I meet with him on January 9, but at this point, I am thinking that I will go ahead with this. I researched flights to Nevis-St. Kitts in mid-January to meet up with Windbird, and I am still trying to find the best time to fly to Nashville to visit with my sister and brother-in-law. My brother-in-law, Joe, seems to have one medical issue right after another, so I’m sure my sister could use a little distraction. Much to think about and do.

2018 Life Logs, Day 285—Energy and Geopolitics

2018 Life Logs, Day 285—Energy and Geopolitics
Date: Friday, October 12, 2018
Weather: Heavy Rain AM, Cloudy to Clearing PM; High 64, Low 45 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Tonight was the second Falmouth Forum of 2018-2019 season. Each month the Forum presents a speaker sponsored by the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole and the general public is invited to attend. In addition to the general public, the audience is filled with scientists from the Woods Hole community making the Q&A most interesting. Tonight’s topic was Energy and Geopolitics presented by Ambassador Richard Morningstar. I attended along with Terry and Olivia White. Ambassador Morningstar is not a scientist. He is a lawyer that has served in various government positions, the last being as Ambassador to Azerbaijan from 2012 to 2014. He was also the Ambassador to the European Union during the Clinton administration. Tonight’s presentation included his reflections on the various ways he has seen geographic location affect politics and the way both affect the decisions various governments make on energy policies. And, of course, those decisions guide the way we are facing climate change. I was most interested in the various ways the world’s largest energy companies are, in some cases, leading the way, in the absence of leadership by governments. Unfortunately, this sounds to me like the blind leading the blind.

I spent the very rainy morning out running around. I had an early morning routine mammogram, went to the grocery store, and then came home and did some cooking. Focusing on food led me to watch a few videos from a digital docu-series on the Healing Power of Food. And that led to more food preparation. In between cooking and watching the videos, I texted back and forth with Heather whose flight from Providence, RI to Washington, DC was delayed due to weather. She arrived in a sunny DC this afternoon. She is attending a conference for science writers and will be home on Monday, so Jed is a single parent this weekend. I’ll see him at Ollie’s soccer game tomorrow afternoon and see what I can do to help out. The weather here improved this afternoon, but when I walked out the door this evening to go to Woods Hole, I had to come right back in and grab a polar fleece jacket. I was wearing a light-weight sweater, but even though the temperature was in the 50’s, but it felt really chilly to me. Fall is finally really here.

2018 Life Logs, Day 284—Busy from Start to Finish

2018 Life Logs, Day 284—Busy from Start to Finish
Date: Thursday, October 11, 2018
Weather: Overcast, Late Afternoon Rain; High 77, Low 61 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This was a busy day from start to finish. At 8:30 am, representatives from National Grid came to do an energy assessment of the cottage. It was a two-and-a-half-hour affair and I was very impressed with their thoroughness and with what they offer to do to fix issues at very little cost to the consumer. The cottage mostly needs more insulation and some other tweaks here and there that would cost almost $5,000. But they supply the materials and do the work, and the cost to me would be less than $500. Sounds like a good deal to me. But before I can take them up on their deal, there is an issue with the hot water heater that needs to be addressed. My landlord, Shirley, has already said she will pay for that, so I just need to get a plumber here. Easier said than done! During the afternoon I attended a Newcomers Technology Tips class. Today’s topic was photo editing and I knew most of what was presented, but I learned how to edit photos on my phone which I have never done before. These classes are offered once a month and I will definitely return for next month’s class on making photo books. I have done this multiple times and have been happy with my results. But the process is always frustrating as I just do it by the seat of my pants, not really understanding the right way to do things. The instructor of this class is really good and it’s free. The class consisted of whole group teaching to one-on-tutoring to participants helping each other. Great resource. Then I ended my day by attending the monthly Newcomers General Meeting. This meeting usually takes place during the morning, but for some reason the October meeting is held at night. The speaker tonight was what you would call an “old salt” who has spent his life as a captain of ships, tugs, and ferries. He was involved in the design and building of some of the ferries that travel between Woods Hole and Martha’s Vineyard and it was most interesting to learn what is involved in building and maintaining those ferries.

We had rain in the late afternoon, lots of it, and then it became misty. And it warm with temps in the 70’s. But that is going to change. From tomorrow all through next week, the forecast is for high temperatures in the low 60’s and 50’s and lows in the 50’s and 40’s. Ugh. I have been loving the warm weather. Hopefully there is more of it to come after next week.