2018 Life Logs, Day 163—Poison Ivy Forest

2018 Life Logs, Day 163—Poison Ivy Forest
Date: Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Weather: Sunny; High 70, Low 57 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was the day that Meghan Hannawalt’s goats came to rid this property of poison ivy . . . or at least give it a go. Last week when Meghan and I walked the property, it looked like a half-day job. Last evening, I decided to walk the property again in preparation of the arrival of the goats today. Whoa! Could it be possible that poison ivy could grow that much in one week? All of a sudden, the poison ivy in the wooded part of my back yard looked puny next to the forest of poison ivy in the wooded area between the house and the river. The original plan was to fence the goats in the backyard wooded area to clear that area and pull out the poison ivy on the path to the river and bring it to the goats to snack on. But when I had Meghan walk with me down to the water when she arrived this afternoon, she was even more surprised than I was. She said to me, “Judy, you have an entire orchard of poison ivy.” The poison ivy in one area was 3-4 feet high and it had climbed the trees and hung down over our heads. There was one poison ivy ‘bush’ that looked like a small tree. Meghan agreed that if I wanted to clear that area, she would have to fence the goats in that area and not worry about the poison ivy in the backyard woods. So that is what she did, but there was so much poison ivy that the goats couldn’t possibly eat it all in one afternoon. For four hours, the four goats munched and Meghan worked without stopping to pull up as much poison ivy as possible. We ended up with piles of it that Meghan will have to come back to pick up. And I decided to hire Meghan and her goat crew for one more afternoon to do the backyard woods this Thursday. They do a spectacular job and it is such a great, environmentally friendly way of getting rid of nasty poison ivy. At the end of the school day, I went to pick up the Goldpebbles so they could meet the goats. After the introductions, the boys headed down to the dock. The wind was fierce today and it had blown all the seaweed in the river right up into our little cove. They thought that was great. Thick as it was, the boys still wanted to go kayaking for the first time this season. I relented and sent Sam out first to see if it was even possible to paddle through the seaweed to get out of the cove. It wasn’t easy, but he was successful. Jonah followed with success, and when Heather arrived, she went out with Ollie. Heather had biked the ten+ miles from Woods Hole, but luckily she had the strong wind on her back so she still had the energy to go out with Ollie. We ended the evening with a taco dinner. Heather and Jed do Taco Tuesday most weeks, so since they were here, I kept the Taco Tuesday theme.

On a different topic . . . finally, between the chiropractor and the physical therapist, progress has been made with the pain in my lower back and hips. I went to the physical therapist this morning and he was very pleased with the progress and will now get back to working on my knee. That is why I was referred to him in the first place. But then when I threw my back out, we had to change the focus. I’m hoping that I can end these appointments by the end of next week as Friday of next week is the last day of school. That means that Camp Oma 2018 begins on the following Monday. And that means that there is just no time for PT appointments. Let the summer fun begin.

2018 Life Logs, Day 162—Sentosa Island Memories

2018 Life Logs, Day 162—Sentosa Island Memories
Date: Monday, June 11, 2018
Weather: Sunny; High 67, Low 49 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Watching television coverage of the Trump-Kim Summit tonight brought back memories of the three weeks that Mark and I spent at the beautiful One 15 Marina on the southern tip of Sentosa Island.

03 Fountain at Entrance

18 Entrance at Night

07 Fountain on the Roof

Singapore is an island, a country, and a city-state all in one. There are a few islands surrounding the main island which are all part of Singapore. Sentosa is one of those and it is just a short public transportation ride from the modern shopping area called Vivo on the main island. The hotel where the Summit is happening is on the southern tip of Sentosa just across the golf course from the resort marina where we stayed. When you come across the bridge from the main island you are greeted by a statue of Merlion,

09 Entering Sentosa Island

14 Merlion Welcomes Us to the Island

half lion, half fish, and the official symbol of Singapore. And as soon as get across the bridge, you can get off the Sentosa Express Monorail and visit the touristy area that is a miniature Disney World. Or you can hop off the Monorail and get a bus that takes you to the southern part of Sentosa which is home to the marina, a few other high end resort hotels, and a couple of golf courses. We had planned to stay in Singapore less than a week, but it ended up to be a great stop with so much to see that we had a hard time pulling ourselves away.

I started my day with another chiropractor appointment and then I drove across the bridge on a shopping expedition. I have been wearing my gym sneakers to do gardening and really had to buy a new pair. There is a New Balance outlet near Costco, so I headed there, did some food shopping, got a new pair of sneakers, and headed back to the Cape to pick Jonah and Ollie up after school. When I got home, I went for a walk around the property searching out poison ivy. Tomorrow Meghan Hannawalt is coming with her goats who love to eat poison ivy and cat briar, both of which I would like to get rid of before Goldpebbles get out of school and start tromping though the wooded area to the marsh. I’m looking forward to watching the goats rid the property of poison ivy in an environmentally friendly manner. I will pick the Goldpebbles up after school so they can come see the goats winding up their work. Should be a fun day.

2018 Life Logs, Day 161—Flag Day 5K Run

2018 Life Logs, Day 161—Flag Day 5K Run
Date: Sunday, June 10, 2018
Weather: Mostly Cloudy; High 69, Low 52 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The Falmouth Education Foundation’s Flag Day 5K Run was today. The Foundation gives a lot of money to Falmouth schools for various projects, so the Goldstones wanted to show their support by participating in this race which is a huge fund raiser for the Foundation. Heather and Sam have run other races, but this was Jed’s first race in many years. They all had strong finishes and they seemed to enjoy the experience. While they were running, Jonah, Ollie, and I walked across the street to the beach where Jonah and Ollie kicked a soccer ball around. Actually, Ollie did all of the kicking and Jonah did all of the catching, sometimes diving into the sand to keep the ball from going across the goal line. Next door neighbors, Molly and Melissa ran in the race, as well as Sam’s friend Harrison and his dad. When Mark and I flew home from Australia for Sam’s first birthday, I remember taking Sam to swim lessons. Harrison was in the class and they were so tiny. Oh, my. They are no longer babies!

After the race, the Goldstones headed to a Cub Scout picnic and moving up ceremony. Jonah moved up from being a Bear Cub to a Webelo. I went home to do a few things, one of which was to fix dinner for all of us. I delivered dinner to the Goldstones and we did a little pre- and post-dinner celebrating with the Keefe’s next door. I laughed when I heard Heather say this was supposed to be a relatively low-activity weekend. That may be, but there was still plenty of activity. We keep saying we need a weekend to recover from our weekends.

2018 Life Logs, Day 160—Saturday with the Goldstones

2018 Life Logs, Day 160—Saturday with the Goldstones
Date: Saturday, June 9, 2018
Weather: Sunny and Warm; High 76, Low 55 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

As planned, I spent the day at Heather and Jed’s helping with various projects. We got a lot done, but we didn’t get the front door frame sanded and painted. A project for another day. Gardening, doing mountains of laundry, delivering kids to friends’ homes for play dates, shopping for patio furniture, and finally going to the nursery to buy ornamentals for the front yard and getting some of those planted is what we did get done. Then it was time for dinner. I have offered for months to keep the boys so Heather and Jed could go out on a dinner date. And tonight was that night. The boys wanted to stay and eat dinner at home so they could play with the neighbor kids as long as possible. So, I fixed dinner there and then we came here (my house) for a sleep over. When it was time for bedtime stories, Ollie said he would read our favorite book to me. Heather told me his reading ability has just blossomed in the past few weeks. He has been reading Magic Tree House chapter books to her. Therefore, I wasn’t surprised when Ollie picked up the book tonight and read the whole thing to me with no assistance, but I was overwhelmed with pride in this new reading abilities. He is really a good little reader. The boys are in bed fast asleep now, and since I have had my bedtime story read to me, I think I’ll join them.

2018 Life Logs, Day 159—Free and Easy Day

2018 Life Logs, Day 159—Free and Easy Day
Date: Friday, June 8, 2018
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 69, Low 55 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Life has been moving pretty fast recently, but today there was only one thing that really had to be done (getting new tires). So I just relaxed into a free and easy day. Heather and Jed both had to leave home earlier than usual, so I went over to take Jonah and Ollie to school. Then I went back to Heather’s to plant some flowers we started from seed. I got that done, while also pitching in to help out with laundry. With three little boys, there is always tons of laundry to be done and I don’t mind helping out when I am there. So I folded and folded and folded and put away, put away, put away. I got a text from Heather giving me an update from her early morning doctor appointment. She had a routine tetanus shot the other day and had a reaction to it. She can hardly lift her arm and went to the doctor this morning to get an assessment. He thinks the shot went into the bursar and inflamed it. So, hopefully the problem is short-term bursitis. I was relieved to hear that the doctor was ruling out various adverse reactions that are much more serious. She’ll follow the doctor’s advice and hopefully have full use of her arm back in a few days. It was almost time for lunch by the time I got home. I fixed lunch, puttered around in the front yard, and then headed to my appointment to have two new tires put on the car. I was told that it could take almost two hours because they were working me in between previous set appointments. So, two hours and four tires later, I was on my way home. They convinced me that all of my tires were well worn with very little tread plus cracks in the rubber. Mark and I bought the used Honda Fit in the spring of 2014 and I have put more than 40,000 miles on car since then. The back tires looked newer, but it was one of those that blew out yesterday and they found cracks in the rubber in the other one. So I debated, but finally agreed to just have all the tires replaced. Since I drive those grandkids around all summer, I certainly wouldn’t want to take chances with iffy tires. On my way home, I stopped by Heather’s to drop off a cucumber trellis that arrived today. And I was delighted to see that both Heather and Jed were also having a laid-back early evening. We sat together on the deck having Friday ‘happy hour’ together while enjoying the warmer weather. It is rare that we have time to relax together like that. Delightful.

Tomorrow is a work day at the Goldstones and I have volunteered to come help. There are various home improvement projects that we will tackle. Hopefully we’ll have a productive day.

2018 Life Logs, Day 158—Shredded Tire

2018 Life Logs, Day 158—Shredded Tire
Date: Thursday, June 7, 2018
Weather: Sunny, but Still Cool; High 65, Low 51 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Mid-afternoon, I drove to Bruce and Jane Woodin’s to pick up some fencing they were donating to my front yard gardening project. On the way, I started hearing a very loud noise that seemed to be associated with the rotation of the tires on the passenger side of the car. I thought maybe I had picked up a stick that was rubbing against tires. Thankfully, I arrived at Bruce and Jane’s intact, but when I checked the tires on the passenger side, I saw a totally deflated, shredded back passenger side tire. Lucky for me I arrived safely and there doesn’t seem to be any permanent damage. I called AAA to come change the tire as neither Bruce, nor I, need any more strain on our backs right now. And the bonus was that while waiting, I got to visit with Jane. I had intended to pick up the fencing and leave immediately, but Jane was awake and ready for a visitor. She got home on Tuesday night and had a pretty good day yesterday. But this morning, the severe pain caused by the pool of blood in her abdominal cavity resurfaced with a vengeance. She slept most of the day, but woke up about the time I arrived and we had a good visit. While there, I also got to take a peak at the robin’s nest just outside their dining room window. Bruce said there were only two eggs yesterday, but today there were three. As I came close to the window the mother flew off the nest. I shouldn’t have come so close, but I did get a quick peek at those three bright blue eggs. Just before I left, I got a text from Heather inviting me to dinner, so after a quick stop at home, I went to have dinner with the Goldstones.

Between a physical therapy appointment and my visit with Bruce and Jane, I finished planting in the garden. I took photos, although there’s not much to look at right now. Seeds I planted last week have sprouted, but all of the other seeds were planted just yesterday. Today’s photos serve as the ‘before’ part of the garden story. As the weeks progress, I’ll post photos of the progress. Tonight I had great phone conversations with friend Lynne Kirwin in New York and my sister in Tennessee. Both reported on how hot it has been. Not here! I’m loving the sunshine this week, but ‘hot’ does not describe the current weather on Cape Cod.