2018 Life Logs, Day 225—For the Love of Google and YouTube

2018 Life Logs, Day 225—For the Love of Google and YouTube
Date: Monday, August 13, 2018
Weather: Overcast with Sprinkles, Gentle Rain Tonight; High 76, Low 70 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This morning, Heather and family left for a week and a half in Maine with Jed’s family, and they did arrive safe and sound. So I am now officially on vacation as well. But my first day of vacation from Camp Oma didn’t’ go exactly as planned. I was up early for a chiropractor appointment followed by a Monday morning class at the gym. Felt so good to exercise. So far, so good, But my plans for the remainder of the day were derailed. I had hoped to spend the rest of the day gardening and building a small brick patio for my grill. But while I was fixing lunch, my refrigerator started making very loud noises. And I mean VERY loud noises. At first I ignored it thinking it was just the stress of the hot weather. But it soon became apparent that it had to be dealt with. I know nothing about refrigerators, but I know this refrigerator is only three years old and shouldn’t be sounding like a jet taking off! So I turned on my computer and literally Googled, “Why is my refrigerator so loud?” My answer instantly appeared. “The evaporator fan motor is located in the freezer compartment and is responsible for pulling air over the evaporator coils when the compressor is running. If your refrigerator is making a loud noise that appears to be coming from the freezer area, a faulty evaporator fan motor could be to blame.” Okay. Then I searched for specific information on the evaporator fan motor in a Frigidaire. There was a link to a YouTube refrigerator repair video on Replacing the Evaporator Fan Motor Kit (Frigidaire Part # 5303918549) and that video showed me how to remove the panel in the back of my freezer. The first thing was to empty the freezer and unplug the refrigerator. Then I followed the directions for loosening two ¼ inch hex head screws anchoring the panel. That required a ¼ inch nut driver. I had no idea what a nut driver was, but I just went down to the basement and looked through Mark’s tools and until I found the tool that looked like the one in the video. I emptied the freezer and loosened the two screws, but I decided to plug the refrigerator back in to see if the noise persisted before removing the whole panel. Amazing. The noise was gone. So, I unplugged it again and tightened the screws. When I plugged it in again, there was still no noise. So, I am assuming that the air intake in the freezer was blocked causing the fan to freeze up. So for now, disaster avoided. I did then get outside for a couple of hours, but the jobs of planting the fall garden and building the brick patio will continue tomorrow.

2018 Life Logs, Day 224—A Day of Visiting

2018 Life Logs, Day 224—A Day of Visiting
Date: Sunday, August 12, 2018
Weather: Mostly Cloudy with Periods of Sunshine; High 81, Low 70 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was a laid-back Sunday that included some visiting. Heather sent a text early that their plans for the day had changed and instead of going there for breakfast, I took my morning smoothie with me and went over to just visit for a bit. Heather and Jed were getting ready to go shopping for a table for their deck and Ollie and Jonah were not interested in going. The Keefe’s next door were headed to Menauhant Beach and Jonah really wanted to go. So, I volunteered to take Jonah and Ollie to the beach while Heather and Jed went shopping. Heather and Jed then picked them up from the beach at 1:30 pm and headed to the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History to meet up with friends and walk out to the beach there. When I got home from the beach, Peter and Karen Baranowski dropped by to visit for a bit. Karen’s Aunt Shirley, who owns the cottage as well as her own house next door, returned on Thursday after being away since May. So, Peter and Karen checked-in with Shirley and her sister Doris and then walked across the driveway to visit with me. When they left, I walked over to visit with Shirley and Doris and spent more than hour just sitting with them on the deck and enjoying their company. Doris will be 100 years-old on October 4 and Shirley just celebrated her 93rd birthday. Although their physical movement is limited, they are both totally mentally alert. As we sat on the deck, we watched the people next door who were cleaning out their boat on the dock, Doris mentioned that yesterday there were college-aged girls on the boat in bathing suits that left little to the imagination. I got a kick out of her comment about how good she used to look in a bathing suit. And she mentioned that she has worn two-piece bathing suits in her lifetime, just not ones that revealed so much! After talking with Shirley and Doris, I spent some time watering my gardens and then I went back to Heather and Jed’s for dinner. Unfortunately, Ollie was so worn out by his overnight at the Keefe’s and visits to two beaches today, that he was fast asleep on the couch. But Heather, Jed, Jonah, and I had a nice dinner on the deck and I left wishing them a wonderful week+ vacation in Maine. They will return next Tuesday or Wednesday, so tomorrow morning I begin my vacation from Camp Oma. I have so many things I want to get done that I just don’t know where to start.

2018 Life Logs, Day 223—Woods Hole Science Stroll

2018 Life Logs, Day 223—Woods Hole Science Stroll
Date: Saturday, August 11, 2018
Weather: Overcast; High 78, Low 68 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was a delightful surprise. Jed called just before 11 am asking if I would like to go to Woods Hole with him and the boys to check out the Woods Hole Science Stroll. I know this ‘stroll’ has been happening for the past three years, but not sure if it was in existence prior to August of 2015. But none of us has ever attended. I think we all thought that we spend enough time in Woods Hole and wouldn’t’ learn anything new. So wrong. The ‘stroll’ is free and open to the public to give people a chance to learn about the science and engineering that takes place in Woods Hole and every booth we visited was better than the last. Woods Hole Oceanographic, the Marine Biological Lab, the Coast Guard, and NOAA’s Fisheries Division all had fantastic learning opportunities for kids and adults, as well as booths sponsored by other science-related organizations in Falmouth. The WCAI public radio booth was manned by Heather. The boys hung out there for a bit, but then we got a tip from a friend of mine that the Fisheries displays were great, so we headed in that direction. We learned new things about turtles, new things about seals, new things about fish, and new things about the gear that marine scientists wear when they get in the water. The boys loved the Coast Guard displays and boat tours. It was well after 2 pm when we realized that we hadn’t had lunch. We didn’t bring food because the boys were adamant that they would only stay for half an hour. But we stayed until the ‘stroll’ ended at 3 pm and then the boys still wanted to stop at the WHOI Discovery Center to play in the Alvin display. We did take a quick break to get food at the Woods Hole Market where we fed ourselves and the ducks, and then we headed out on the WHOI dock to learn even more. I was fascinated by the displays showing how science monitoring equipment is moored in the middle of the ocean where the bottom is almost three miles down. And the science vessel, the Atlantis, home of Alvin, was on the dock. Alvin was one of the first HOV’s (Human Occupied Vehicles) that started exploring the ocean floor back in the 1960’s. It was been updated at least three times and is still a state-of-the-art research vehicle that travels aboard WHOI’s Atlantis. We didn’t get to tour the Atlantis today, but just being on the dock beside it is exciting. We were some of the last people to leave the dock and we got to see Alvin being tucked away in it’s storage compartment on the deck of the ship. We all definitely plan on attending the Science Stroll next year, arriving early and leaving late. What a great learning opportunity right here in our own backyard.

Tonight, Heather and Jed are attending the Woods Hole Research Center’s Gala while Ollie and Jonah are spending the night next door at the Keefe’s. Tomorrow morning I have been invited over for Sunday Brunch. After that, the Goldstones will meet friends in Hyannis for a Boston Pop’s Concert and then on Monday morning they will head to Maine. So our ‘vacations’ begin on Monday morning. We are all looking forward to just doing nothing, a perfectly fine goal for summer vacation!

2018 Life Logs, Day 222—Books, Trains, Mini-Golf, Beach . . . Fun

2018 Life Logs, Day 222—Books, Trains, Mini-Golf, Beach . . . Fun
Date: Friday, August 10, 2018
Weather: Beautiful Day; High 87, Low 67 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Ollie and Jonah requested a trip to the Cape Cod Inflatable Park today. The weather was perfect but there were commitments at home that caused us to change our plans. After weeks of waiting, the flooring for the upstairs bathroom was scheduled to be installed today and we needed to be home for that. Plus, Jonah’s good friend Luke and his mom were coming to dinner. A trip to the inflatable park is evidently a FULL day, starting early and ending late, so we’ll try for this during the last week of August when Sam is home and can go with us. But the alternative was a mix of activities that made it a fun-filled day. Heather suggested a Book Fest in the backyard before she left for work and Jonah took her up on that, reading book after book in the backyard hammock. Ollie chose to stay inside and play with the train track that had been built earlier in the morning. When the flooring guy came, we found out that he would do part of the work in the morning and then finish the job in the afternoon, so we again adjusted our plans. We were going to spend the whole morning at home and then go to play mini-golf in the afternoon. But we dropped everything and headed there early so we could be home for the flooring guy again at 2 pm. We went to Cataumet Crossing and played mini-golf, visited the arcade where Jonah managed to get six games on Thunder Road for free himself and Ollie, rode in the bumper boats, and batted and pitched baseballs in the mini-cage. And on our way home, we visited Smitty’s for an ice cream treat for the second time this week. After all, it is summer!

After the bathroom flooring was completed, we headed to Menauhant Beach to meet Jed. We met Heather there yesterday and showed off the new swimming skills, so Jed rode his bike home from Woods Hole and met us there today for a repeat performance. The boys swam, dove, and snorkeled, showing daddy the underwater critters they first discovered yesterday. We all snorkeled and saw baby sea robins, boxfish of some sort that the boys are calling pufferfish, baby dogfish, and other unidentified fish. Today only Ollie rode his bike home with daddy as Jonah wanted to ride home with me in the car to get ready for the arrival of his friend Luke. The Goldstones head to Maine on Monday morning for a week plus of vacation. And that means a vacation from Camp Oma for me as well. I’ll miss my little summer buddies, but I look forward to time to catch up with friends and do whatever adults do in the summer.

2018 Life Logs, Day 221—Rained Out

2018 Life Logs, Day 221—Rained Out
Date: Thursday, August 9, 2018
Weather: Rainy AM, Partly Sunny PM; High 86, Low 67 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Our last day of swim lessons was rained out. Actually, the heavens seemed to open just a few minutes before Jonah’s lesson was to begin. We were on the way to beach when it started pouring and become apparent that there would not be lessons. But we drove on to the beach to in hopes of a break in the rain when Jonah and Ollie could get out and go find Jacqueline to thank her for being a great swim instructor. When we got to the beach, all of the life guards were in the parking lot trying to get to their cars to get out of the rain. Jacqueline was right there, so the boys got to thank her and she had Munchkins for them as a treat. When we got home, I let the boys have some TV screen time and then they played the day away. Heather had mentioned in the morning that she would be riding her bike home from Woods Hole today and would love to meet the boys at the beach in the late afternoon. Both Ollie and Jonah were very excited to meet momma at the beach. At Heather’s suggestions, we took their bikes and they rode home with her. But not before really enjoying some swim time with momma. She was quite impressed with their progress this summer. And rightly so. They are both swimming like fish, doing flips in the water, and diving down with snorkel masks to explore the sea bottom. Today Jonah kept saying he saw baby pufferfish and sea robins. When he said he saw a flounder, Ollie said, “I don’t think I believe you.” But Jonah was right. Heather dove down with him and confirmed the sightings. Great fun.

I stayed at Heather and Jed’s for dinner and we had our first fried green tomatoes of the season. As always, they were delicious. And we had our first taste of Pop’s Pickles made by Oma. The recipe for these pickles comes from Jed’s grandfather. Ollie loves them, so I made them with some of the excess of cucumbers I have growing in the garden right now. Heather made zucchini bread, also compliments of the garden. And when I left to head home, she was packing green beans from the garden into canning jars to make dilly beans. ‘Tis the season.

2018 Life Logs, Day 220—44 Years Ago Today

2018 Life Logs, Day 220—44 Years Ago Today
Date: Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Weather: Sunny and Hot; High 87, Low 73 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

In catching up on the news tonight, I was reminded that 44 years ago today Richard Nixon resigned as President. And that led to the memory of what Mark and I were doing on that day. We were setting the ridge pole in place on the log cabin we were building in northern Idaho. We had built up the logs on either end of the cabin and the ridge pole is the main beam that holds the whole thing together. In this case, that beam was 37-feet above ground level and we had no ladder. The only way to get the beam up there was to drive railroad spikes into trees and to use those spikes to climb up. We had no electricity, but even back then we were news junkies and had a battery-operated radio. We had heard that the Nixon was going to resign, so we had the radio sitting at the base of one of threes blasting the resignation speech just as we set the ridge pole. There must be some significance to this, but I am not sure exactly what that is. But I will say that we had quite a celebration that evening. I am inserting a photo, not very clear, of that moment. You probably can’t see it, but Mark is straddling that ridge pole at the far end.

Jonah, Ollie, and I had a great time at the beach this morning. While Jonah had his class, Ollie challenged Dorothy, a very proficient nine-year-old swimmer, to race him to the jetty. The beauty of a six-year-old is that they have no concept that there is anything in the world that they can’t do. So he swam as hard as he could and made it to the jetty and back. Then he and Dorothy spent the next hour doing acrobatics in the water—handstands, back flips, front flips, and something Ollie calls a 180 twist. After his class, Jonah joined them and they all had a great time. Then Jonah and Ollie played in the sand, digging tunnels for another hour. When we got home, we had a water battle using the Water Blasters (like water canons). We didn’t need showers afterwards, as all salt water was washed away. I think we were all exhausted by that time, so we had lunch and the boys spent the afternoon in front of the fan in the living room drawing fancy cars. With Sam’s absence, Jonah and Ollie are spending a lot more time playing together. Nice to watch.

When Heather got home, she headed to the garden to harvest the day’s bounty. She asked me what plans I have for next week when they are in Maine on vacation. I replied that I had no plans, but then I thought about that and realized that I a huge list of things I hope to accomplish. I will also be spending a bit of time reconnecting with friends. I have been out of the loop since the end of June and will take time to join in on a few gatherings during the week.