2018 Life Logs, Day 232—Last Day of ‘Vacation’

2018 Life Logs, Day 232—Last Day of ‘Vacation’
Date: Monday, August 20, 2018
Weather: Overcast; High 71, Low 62 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I’ve really enjoyed my ‘vacation’ week, but I look forward to seeing Heather, Jed, and boys when they return from Maine tomorrow. During the past week, I had breakfast with my friend Jane Woodin, I spent a morning exploring parts of the Cape with friend Karen Baranowski, I went sailing on Pooh with the Woodins, and I hosted a kayaking and dinner party for my Newcomers Dining-In group. It was a good week. But it was not without some issues. I spent one whole day dealing with my refrigerator. I thought the problem was fixed until today when it started making noises again. It went on for about an hour and then stopped, but I know I need to empty both the freezer and refrigerator and let it totally defrost as there is still ice build-up around the evaporator fan motor that is located in the freezer area. Hopefully the defrosting job can wait until the weekend. And while I am on the topic of ice build-up, I’ll just mention that tonight I have on long pants and a long-sleeve shirt. The high today was only 71 and right now the temp is 67 degrees F with winds from the north and it feels chilly.

I spent part of my day today dealing with a continuing car problem. Last Wednesday the Malfunction Light came on and another light was flashing. I called Honda and they suggested that I stop driving the car until I could get it in to be checked. Taking the car to Honda means driving to Hyannis and then taking the bus home and I just didn’t have the time or patience for that and was going to deal with it today. I parked the car at Heather and Jed’s and started driving Heather’s Honda. I didn’t mention any of this in my logs as I was having too much fun focusing on the positive. Then on Friday night, Peter Baranowski recommended I call a place called Paul’s Precision Auto in downtown Falmouth. They were closed for Race Weekend, but I left a message. Yesterday I needed to use my Honda Fit to transport chairs back to Heather and Jed’s. I love my little car as it is like having a small truck. When I started the car yesterday, amazingly, the Malfunction Light was no long lit up. So, I drove it home after delivering the chairs. This morning I started the car to go to the gym, and unfortunately, that light was back. I went to the gym and to the chiropractor, and then I drove to Paul’s Precision. Paul checked the system with the computer and it appears the problem is with the transmission. Paul reset the light and sent me back to the place where I had the transmission flushed two weeks ago when I had an oil change. was done. They assured me they put in the right transmission fluid and think the problem might be a bubble in the system. The light did return later in the day, so I will go back in the morning to continue to search for the problem. Sure hope it is just a bubble and not an internal transmission issue.

2018 Life Logs, Day 231—Trading Swiss Chard for Hydrangeas

2018 Life Logs, Day 231—Trading Swiss Chard for Hydrangeas
Date: Sunday, August 19, 2018
Weather: Mostly Cloudy; High 79, Low 65 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was the 45th annual Falmouth Road Race and the cloudy, cool day provided perfect weather for the runners. A University of Michigan student Canada won the men’s race and a woman from Kenya won the women’s race for the third year in a row. The temperature today was only a few degrees less than yesterday, but the wind was coming from the north and that always adds a chill to the air.

I spent my day doing a little gardening, doing a little cooking, and visiting with friend Karen Baranowski. She came over with a bucket full of hydrangeas for me and I had a large vase of Swiss chard for her. I learned the trick of keeping kale, parsley, and Swiss chard in a vase of water to keep it fresh from Jed’s mother, Marti. I love doing it as the bouquets of veggies are just as beautiful as flowers to me. But I must admit that I was very pleased to get the vase of hydrangeas. They are beautiful and make me smile every time I look at them. I have a pot of Thai hot peppers on the front steps that are also decorative and lift my spirits every time I enter my front door. Power to the flowers and veggies!

2018 Life Logs, Day 229—Dinner Party at the Cottage

2018 Life Logs, Day 229—Dinner Party at the Cottage
Date: Friday, August 17, 2018
Weather: Partly Sunny; High 84, Low 74 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The weather cooperated allowing late afternoon kayaking and an outside dinner party without biting insects . . . until after 8 pm. But then I got my first mosquito bite of the season and decided it was time to move inside. Today was a few degrees cooler than yesterday’s 90 degrees, but cramming ten adults in the cottage living room is a challenge space-wise and it felt very hot, even to me who loves hot. But everyone persisted in good spirits and we cooled down with an ice cream desert from Somerset Creamery provided by the Woodins.

The dinner party progressed in stages. We started with a kayaking expedition. Jane Woodin and her daughter Christina went out in the Woodin’s kayaks. Bruce and Midge went out in Midge’s big kayak that I call The Big Banana. It is big and yellow, thus my name. And I launched my little red kayak and raced to catch up with the group. While we were paddling about, the others sat on the lawn and visited. After kayaking, we moved to my side yard where I had set up tables and chairs for the dinner. The lobster dinner was enjoyed by all. I got the lobster at the Green Pond Fish Market located about a half-mile from here. It was convenient, and the lobster was delicious. Not cheap, but well worth it to have one big lobster fest this summer. I bought the corn at yesterday’s Farmer’s Market from Silverbook Farm and it was the best corn I’ve had all summer. Olivia and Terry brought appetizers, as did Peter and Karen. Peter brought fresh quahogs and Karen made a bourbon slush that was appreciated by all. Midge and Bill brought a fabulous caprese salad, so we really had quite a feast. All the members of our Newcomers Dining-in group were here today, plus Jane’s daughter Christina, who lives in California, but is here visiting, and Shirley, my landlord and next door neighbor. It was a fun celebration of summer with good friends. I do love summer and am so grateful to have such good friends.

2018 Life Logs, Day 228—Afternoon Sail on Pooh

2018 Life Logs, Day 228—Afternoon Sail on Pooh
Date: Thursday, August 16, 2018
Weather: Sunny and Hot; High 90, Low 68 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Thank you, Bruce and Jane Woodin, for the wonderful afternoon sailing about in Pooh. Jane’s daughter, Christine, is visiting from California, and she joined us. It was a windy afternoon that kept Bruce busy at the tiller, but he kept her steady and we all enjoyed the sail. Tomorrow will be a busy day getting ready for the kayaking and dinner party I am hosting beginning in the late afternoon. I’m looking forward to that.

I’ll close with a remembrance of Aretha Franklin. In 1973, I was teaching high school in Cleveland, Ohio. Aretha and Donny Hathaway were performing in an intimate setting at Case Western Reserve University and a friend had tickets. It was a wonderful evening in a small room with a grand piano and about 30 students. Both Aretha and Donny played the piano, and the combination of Aretha’s soul-filled voice and Donny Hathaway’s mellow touch made for an evening that I’ll never forget. Aretha will always be the Queen of Soul.

2018 Life Logs, Day 227—Exploring New Places

2018 Life Logs, Day 227—Exploring New Places
Date: Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Weather: Another Beautiful Day; High 82, Low 71 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Karen Baranowski started vacationing on the Cape over 35 years ago. Her husband, Peter, vacationed here with family from the time he was a little boy. Three years ago they decided to move here permanently in retirement and they brought with them years of knowledge of great places to explore. This morning Karen picked me up to take me on a little explore. Earlier she tried to tell me about all their special haunts, but when I looked very confused, she decided it was better to do a show and tell rather than just tell. I am a visual learner! Our first stop was a little roadside park that I have driven past many times. It is a public playground attached to a public water park. It is tiny, but a great stop to cool down on the way to or from other activities. Our second stop was at the Sandwich State Fish Hatchery which has been operating for more than a hundred years. They breed and feed the local trout—Rainbow, Tiger, Brown, and Brook—and then stock all the local ponds. It costs nothing to walk around and look through the netting at the trout in all stages of development. The netting covers the holding tanks to keep birds of prey from catching the trout before they can be released. There is fish food to buy and you can feed the fish through the netting causing quite a fish frenzy. From the Sandwich Fish Hatchery, we drove to the Sandwich Boardwalk. This is a very long boardwalk which winds through the marsh, over inlet areas, and out to the beach at the east end of the Cape Cod Canal where it enters the Cape Cod Bay. Or you can jump from the bridge and ride the tide out to sea. Beautiful area. Karen also showed me the various access points to the bike path that runs along the canal and pointed out all the good places to eat in the area.

From Sandwich, we went west to Bourne where we drove across a mile-long manmade causeway to Mashnee Island. It was an island until 1939 when a dredging operation was launched to straighten out the Cape Cod Canal to make it easier for barges to navigate. There are beaches on both side of the causeway and there are very few people who use the beaches because you aren’t allowed to park on the causeway. But Karen showed me where to park and then walk or ride a bike out to the beaches. From Mashnee, we headed south to the Little Bay Conservation Area. For those of you familiar with the Cape, this is just south of Monument Beach. The Conservation Area has wonderful walking trails and access to Monk’s Cove. This is a truly beautiful, protected spot for swimming and snorkeling. Plus, it has great kayak access. What a gem. I can’t wait to go there with the Goldpebbles.

Tomorrow afternoon I’m going sailing on Pooh with Bruce and Jane Woodin and after that adventure, I’ll spend my time preparing for a Friday dinner party that I am hosting here at the cottage. My Newcomers Dining-In Group arrives at 4 pm for late afternoon kayaking, followed by an outdoor lobster dinner. At this point, it looks like the rain will hold off until the early hours of Saturday morning so that we can enjoy our evening under the stars. Sure hope that forecast doesn’t change.

2018 Life Logs, Day 226—Recycling Bricks

2018 Life Logs, Day 226—Recycling Bricks
Date: Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Weather: Beautiful Day; High 85, Low 70 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

My day started with a lovely breakfast date with Jane Woodin at the Village Café in West Falmouth. We sat at a picnic table outside and it was delightful—good food and good company. Jane has recovered from her earlier health issues and she looks great. It was so nice to catch up on what has been happening in both of our lives during this busy summer. When I got home, I did some gardening work and then I spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening recycling old bricks. I used a hand cart to get old bricks sitting on a side deck at Shirley’s over to my side yard to use them to lay a small brick patio to be the home of my grill and few other things. There were enough bricks to keep going, so I built a brick patio on the other side of the back steps for my trash and recycling cans. I could only move about 15 bricks at a time and they were heavy. I remembered to take a ‘before’ photo when I first started the job, but I forgot until after dark to take the ‘after’ photo. I am exhausted tonight, but I feel good about getting this job done. It has been on my to do list all summer and now it is done. Yeah! And at the end of the day, I went to Heather and Jed’s to feed the guinea pigs. While I was there, I walked down to the garden to check on things and returned with squash, tomatoes, and kale. And then I hit the jackpot when I checked the blackberries. There were so many ripe berries and I enjoyed a berry feast.

I will be spending most of tomorrow with Karen Baranowski. She is going to take me a tour of some of her favorite places on the Cape that are fun for children. Before moving to the Cape in retirement, she and Peter and their children spent their summer vacations in a rental home just down the street from here. Now that they live here and their children are grown and have their own families, they share all their favorite places with grandchildren. I’m looking forward to the tour.