2018 Life Logs, Day 346: RISD Tour and Elementary Chorus Concert

2018 Life Logs, Day 346: RISD Tour and Elementary Chorus Concert
Date: Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Weather: Overnight Dusting of Snow, Then Sunny; High 38, Low 22 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today’s tour of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum was a lot of fun. I organized this tour for a small group of Newcomers retired teachers. Good teachers are life long learners and and it is always exciting to watch learning in action. The RISD runs the gambit of Modern and Contemporary New Media to Ancient Greek and Roman. They have the largest Buddha in the United states, Buddha Mahavairocana, circa 1150-1200. And another stunning piece of art was a blown glass chandelier by Dale Chihuly. Chihuly got his MFA at RISD in 1968 and returned to teach there. His blown glass designs are considered to be some of the best in the world and this chandelier was a great example of his work. Something new I learned today was CE and BCE. These abbreviations are used in exactly the same way as AD and BC. Because AD and BC have religious connotations, many these days prefer to use the more modern CE (Common Era) and BCE (Before Common Era). I was unaware of this change and glad to learn that new bit of info. After our tour, we had lunch at Hemenway’s, a Providence restaurant known for fresh local seafood. It is just down the street from the Museum and the lunch there was superb—classy, yet casual with good food, great service, and a convenient location.

Tonight I went to the Falmouth Elementary Chorus Concert at Falmouth High School. Next door neighbor, Joey, gave Ollie a sports jacket that he had outgrown, and Sam helped Ollie get dressed to the hilt for the concert tonight. What a handsome young man! This concert is a special event where the chorus students from all of the elementary schools come together. They arrive an hour before the concert begins to practice together for the first time. During the concert, they then they sing a couple of songs together. Then each school sings another two songs on their own. Jonah is in the East Falmouth Elementary School chorus. East Falmouth is the smallest elementary school in Falmouth, but they have the best representation of students. Their teacher, Mr. Charles, challenges them with singing songs in two parts and they did a great job tonight. It was fun to see Jonah singing next to neighbor Molly during one song and next to Molly’s brother Joey in the other.

2018 Life Logs, Day 345: Busy, Busy Day

2018 Life Logs, Day 345: Busy, Busy Day
Date: Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Weather: Sunny; High 40, Low 24 degrees F
Location: At Home with Heather, Sam, Jonah, & Ollie, East Falmouth, MA

It has been a busy, busy day starting out by getting the Goldpebbles to school this morning. I spent a couple of hours doing household chores and then I was off to a Newcomers luncheon. I then headed home and immediately got an email that the Christmas present I ordered on Amazon for Ziggy was cancelled. The package was too large and just wouldn’t ship from the second party seller. I called them directly but there was nothing they could do. I then scrambled to find an alternative, but before that job was completed, it was time to pick Jonah and Ollie up from school. Heather was in Boston today. She took the bus at 5:15 am for an early meeting, but this meant she was able to get home by late afternoon. Once Heather was home, I headed to Bruce and Jane Woodin’s where I enjoyed a great dinner, beautiful holiday decorations, and the company of good friends. Once home, I returned to the Ziggy Christmas tree issue and think, hope, that I have it solved. I have also been doing the last minute preparations for tomorrow’s field trip to the Rhode Island School of Design Museum. Looking forward to that.

2018 Life Logs, Day 344: Overnight at the Goldstones

2018 Life Logs, Day 344: Overnight at the Goldstones
Date: Monday, December 10, 2018
Weather: Partly Sunny; High 38, Low 23 degrees F
Location: At Home with Heather, Sam, Jonah, & Ollie, East Falmouth, MA

A lot of work got done around the cottage today, but not by me. The landscapers that take care of my landlord’s yard came today and did a full fall clean-up of her yard and mine. Heather and Jed had helped me do part of this work a couple of weeks ago, but there were still tons of leaves. So I was delighted with today surprise visit. Now I just have to get two kayaks off the dock and I’ll be ready for wintry weather.

I went to the gym to the Monday pilates class this morning. I have stopped other exercises for now and am no longer riding the stationary bike after last week’s set back. But after today, I’m not sure I can even do pilates. I came home, took a shower, and when putting my clothes on I put all of my weight on the one bad leg, and that did it. Something in the back of my knee snapped and I could hardly walk AGAIN. I think it was putting the weight on that leg, not the pilates that caused the problem, so I think I can keep doing exercises that don’t put weight on that leg. Coincidentally, about that time my knee went out, the orthopedic surgeon’s scheduler called to ask if I was still planning on the February knee replacement. I have been reluctant, but today I gave a resounding YES. I even asked if there was any way to get the surgery done sooner, but the answer was no. After the phone conversation, I started using the heating pad alternately with the ice pack on the back of my knee and that did the trick. I am once again walking, albeit very carefully, and will continue to be careful until I can get this knee replaced.

I spent time working on ordering Christmas presents for Justin and Jo on Amazon and found that to take much longer than expected. Because of some international agreement, things made in certain countries can’t be shipped to Puerto Rico. So I have to go through the ordering process on Amazon in order to find out if what I want can be sent. It is a long, frustrating process when you are ordering a number of small things. That process will continue tomorrow. Not sure where the rest of the day went, but before I knew it, it was time to head to over to Heather’s to go to Sam’s Winter Band Concert. The band director joked last year about this being the world’s shortest concert and he did so again tonight. Can’t believe Sam is in 6th grade and plays the drums in a band! The concert was short and sweet and we were back home in just over an hour. I am spending the night here with Heather and boys as Jed is in England and Heather has to leave at 4:45 am to catch a bus to Boston for an 8 am meeting. I will get the boys off to school in the morning and then resume the Christmas online shopping.

2018 Life Logs, Day 343: Falmouth Christmas Parade

2018 Life Logs, Day 343: Falmouth Christmas Parade
Date: Sunday, December 9, 2018
Weather: Cold and Sunny Day; High 35, Low 26 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was a beautiful day for the Falmouth Christmas Parade, albeit a bit chilly. I delivered the ‘troops’—Sam and Jonah to march with the Falmouth Soccer Team and Heather and Ollie to march with Scout Pack 41—at 11:15 am. I drove on downtown to drop my folding chair and bag of blankets in front of the library and then continued on to find a parking spot. By the time I got back to the library lawn to set up by chair, it was 11:45 am. I then walked across the street to get a hot cup of coffee which took a very long time as everyone else had the same idea. But it wasn’t a problem as the parade that was supposed to begin at noon started out about 20 minutes late today. Not sure why, but I got a text from Heather at 12:20 saying they had just begun to see some movement. I think it was almost 12:40 before those of us on Main Street saw the bell ringer leading the parade. This parade has everything from Chinese dragons to beautiful horses to Scottish pipe bands, plus a variety of floats and bands. Late in the parade, I finally saw the Falmouth Soccer Club heading down the street. Sam was walking with the other players, but Jonah and his good friend Kaiden were behind the others actually playing soccer as they advanced down the street. I few minutes later, the Boy Scouts came into view. Heather and Ollie were marching with Pack 41 and Ollie was one of four or five Scouts pulling a wagon with a snowman on it. Ollie was by far the tiniest Scout pulling that wagon! The parade ended, as always, with Santa. After the parade, we headed to the beach to have a late lunch at the British Beer Company. When we got home, Heather and I decided it was time to decorate the outside of her house with some lights, so we hung some icicle lights from the gutter and decorated the small evergreen close to the house. I then headed home. At about 7 pm, I sat down to have a very tiny dinner as lunch was the main meal today. It was then that I noticed that Heather and boys had left their menorah here after last night’s dinner. I called to see if I should bring it over. Heather and the boys had already scrambled to make a menorah by drilling holes in a cherry board. They lit those eight candles, but Ollie was very sad not having their ‘real’ menorah for the last night of Hanukkah candle lighting. He was very appreciative when I showed up with the ‘real’ menorah and they lit it as well. It was a 16 candle night for the Goldstones!

Tonight I talked with my good friends Ed and Lynne Kirwin in Nyack, New York. Today was their 23rd wedding anniversary and Lynne sent me their wedding photo in a text. It is a beautiful picture of them. Ed and Lynne met in 1993 and soon after meeting decided to sail around the world. They left California in 1994 and ended their first cruising season in New Zealand. Lynne had sailed to New Zealand 20 years prior with her first husband and ended up getting citizenship and living there until she returned home in the 1990’s and met Ed. I had never heard the story of their New Zealand wedding until tonight. What a wonderful 23 years they have had together. Happy Anniversary, Ed and Lynne!

2018 Life Logs, Day 342: All About Christmas Trees

2018 Life Logs, Day 342: All About Christmas Trees
Date: Saturday, December 8, 2018
Weather: Beautiful, Sunny Day, But Cold; High 30, Low 15 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was all about Christmas trees. I went to get mine this morning and with the help of a new, very stable stand, I was able to get it up all by myself. Last year I struggled and Heather had to help me. But now I know it is really all about the stand. I have the lights and garland on the tree, but still have to put on the ornaments. I got a call from Justin from a beach in Puerto Rico. Justin and family were camping on the beach with friends. He sent me a photo and it looked delightful. So I sent a photo back to him to say hello to the tropical Handley-Hunt family.

I then went to Heather and Jed’s to watch as they decorated their tree. Sam was busy setting up his train under the tree while Heather, Jonah, and Ollie put on the ornaments. Jed was upstairs packing for his trip to England, but when he came downstairs to get something, he and Heather opened their ornament from me. In the late afternoon, Heather and boys took Jed to the bus station and then came to the cottage for an artichoke dinner. After dinner, we headed downtown for the lighting of the Falmouth Green. The ‘tree’ is just lights so it can be very tall and it looms high above the Green. There is always music and carol singing, playing on the train, visiting with Santa and his reindeer, and playing with friends. Tomorrow is the Christmas parade. I think I will be watching alone as Heather will be in the parade with Ollie and his Cub Scout Pack, Sam will be marching with his Scout Pack, and Jonah will be marching with the Falmouth Soccer Club. Let the holidays begin!

2018 Life Logs, Day 341: Happy Birthday to Jed (1 day early)

2018 Life Logs, Day 341: Happy Birthday to Jed (1 day early)
Date: Friday, December 7, 2018
Weather: Sunny; High 40, Low 18 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Jed’s birthday is tomorrow but he leaves mid-afternoon to fly to England for 5 days, so we celebrated this evening. For dinner Heather made a version of classic North African shakshuka (eggs baked in tomato-pepper sauce). Tonight’s version, a New York Times recipe, substituted an onion-garlic-Swiss chard sauté for the tomato mix and then nested eggs in the mixture, steam-poaching them. This was topped with avocado, parsley, and goat cheese and it was very yummy. The boys were going to have none of this, so they had scrambled eggs with the various toppings. After dinner, Jed opened his presents. His first gift was a new folding chair to take to sports events. And while sitting in that, he opened his Yeti pajamas, a mittened-snow scraper which Jonah was very enthusiastic about, new LL Bean slippers, and a New England Revolutions Holiday Package. The Revs area a Boston-based professional soccer team and Jed gets to take 4 people to six different games during the Rev season. The package came with a toboggan and winter scarf, so he was dressed for the season while opening his presents. Happy birthday, Jed!

My day consisted of shopping—Christmas shopping, food shopping, and shopping for a new Christmas tree base. It was sunny today which made 40 degrees feel just a bit warmer, but tonight the thermometer dips to 17 degrees F. Freezing!