2018 Life Logs, Day 331: Shopping, Then After School with J&O

2018 Life Logs, Day 331: Shopping, Then After School with J&O
Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Weather: Sunny with Sprinkles Here and There; High 49, Low 34 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

My morning started with a routine “tune-up” with my chiropractor, followed by a trip to the town waste management facility that accepts bagged leaves. Since Heather and Jed helped with yard work on Saturday, I have been driving around with seven overly stuffed paper leaf bags in the back of my car. The back seats of my Honda Fit lay down flat giving me a huge space in which to fit a lot of ‘stuff’. The Fit is known to be small on the outside, but BIG on the inside, and I have certainly found that to be true. But the leaf bags took up every inch of space. These bags are about 4 feet high and when Heather stuffs them they are almost too heavy for me to handle. I was determined to get them out of the car, however, so somehow I managed to manhandle them and left the leaf dump with an empty car. I then made an impromptu decision to head off-Cape to return some items I bought on my shopping spree before Thanksgiving. So saying that I went shopping today is not really correct. I went to return things and came home with replacements. Then it was time to pick Jonah and Ollie up from school as Tuesday is my day of the week for pick-up. I always enjoy my time with them and this week I get to pick them up on Thursday and Friday as well. It is the start of the fall public radio pledge drive and Heather works until 7 pm on Thursday and Friday. Jed is working frantically to finish up a grant he is working on before leaving for England on December 8, so I have volunteered to do extra kid duty.

2018 Life Logs, Day 330: Simple Day—Exercise and Laundry

2018 Life Logs, Day 330: Simple Day—Exercise and Laundry
Date: Monday, November 26, 2018
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Rain Late; High 47, Low 42 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Not much to report today. My morning was spent at the gym in a pilates class and using the stationary bike. My afternoon was spent at Heather’s doing my laundry. And I spent my evening listening the first episode of an internet-based health docu-series. Exercise, cleanliness, learning new things—all good for you. Simple day.

2018 Life Logs, Day 329: Grandkids Kayak, Lunch with Jane, Additions to Aquarium

2018 Life Logs, Day 329: Grandkids Kayak, Lunch with Jane, Additions to Aquarium
Date: Sunday, November 25, 2018
Weather: Rain Overnight, Mostly Cloudy Day; High 48, Low 38 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This was a day of many varied activities. Heather, Sam, Jonah, and Ollie were all up early, before me, but at 7:30 am I finally rallied and got up to fix breakfast. We had breakfast together and then Heather left for her Sunday yoga class. The boys and I played a few games together and then they turned to building with Legos. Next, they headed to the basement to re-establish the desks they set up this summer. When Heather returned, they headed outside to help her plant tulips in my side yard, but it didn’t take the boys long to realize that it was comparatively warm today, so they headed down to the dock. We put the kayaks away for the winter yesterday, but two of them came back out this morning. There was a super high tide, the highest I have seen here, and they just had to kayak out over what is normally an island. You could see the top of the grasses today, but you could see no land. Then Jane Wooden arrived for lunch and Heather and the boys headed home. Recently Jane and Bruce vacationed in Mexico for three weeks and were in Vermont with her daughter’s family last week, so we hadn’t had time to just sit and talk for quite some time. We made up for that today and enjoyed our time together. After Jane left, I went to pick up Sam, Jonah, and Ollie. I was taking them to the Falmouth Pet Center to pick out a few new fish for the aquarium, but before we left, Jonah wanted to show me the progress he has made this weekend on his project for the East Falmouth Elementary Craft Fair. His craft this year is making striped votive candles using old crayons to add the color. I was quite impressed with the candles he has made so far. Then we left for the aquarium shop. Ollie and I set up the aquarium seven weeks ago and have spent the last seven weeks trying to get the aquarium balanced. We initially added two platys, Mickie and Goldie, but sadly we lost Goldie this week. To make up for the loss, this evening we added two glass catfish and a eel-like creature called a kuhli loach which is striped like a tiger. It was promptly named Tigger, while the see-through catfish were named Skelly and Skully. We chose new additions that are supposed to be non-aggressive in the hope that they won’t attack our baby platys.

2018 Life Logs, Day 328: Calling in the Troops

2018 Life Logs, Day 328: Calling in the Troops
Date: Saturday, November 24, 2018
Weather: Partly Sunny and Warmer; High 50, Low 45 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I spent some time last night going through the calendar of activities between now and Christmas and realized that it was time to get a couple of jobs done that I can’t do alone. So I called in the troops, my troops being Heather and Jed. Heather is heading into Pledge Drive and Jed has two more weeks at home before he heads to England for a week. And when he gets back it will be the week before Christmas with a myriad of activities on the calendar. Today seemed like the day to get the jobs done. Getting my gutters cleaned out and getting the kayaks under cover for the winter were the two jobs that I needed done as I can’t do them by myself. With my recent record of falls, climbing a ladder to clean the gutters just didn’t seem like a good idea. And my two-man inflatable kayak is just too heavy for me to handle without help. So, I sent an email to Heather and Jed asking if they could come help me sometime today. Heather sent a text and Jed called this morning to say they would be over sometime after lunch. I really hated to take their precious time, but I was very grateful that they could come. Heather dismantled the inflatable and got it into the basement with Sam’s help while Jed cleaned the gutters. Then Heather went out to the street to do leaf clean-up along the property line. The boys spent some time down on the dock and then came up to help. But as we filled the big, paper leaf bags, they got another idea. They made a fort out of the bagged leaves and threw pine cones at each other until way after dark. And Heather, Jed, and I were all still outside raking and bagging leaves in the dark as well. Of course, ‘way after dark’ isn’t all that late these days, but we finally decided it was time to stop and get dinner. I made meat balls today, so I invited them to stay for a spaghetti and meatballs dinner. That led to boys asking if they could spend the night. And then Ollie wanted Heather to stay as well. Jed has a cold and isn’t feeling great, so Heather took him home and came back for the sleep over at Oma’s. And I will certainly sleep better knowing those jobs are done. Thank you, thank you, to Heather and Jed!

2018 Life Logs, Day 327: Thanksgiving Recovery Day

2018 Life Logs, Day 327: Thanksgiving Recovery Day
Date: Friday, November 23, 2018
Weather: Sunny and Chilly; High 32, Low 26 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

No Black Friday shopping for me. I took the day to come down from the high of a fabulous Thanksgiving. I started with the exercises prescribed for my knee by the physical therapist. It takes me at least half an hour to do those and they need to be a part of my daily routine. Then I did the 20-minute combination of weight bearing, high intensity training, and mind and body exercises I do when I don’t have a class at the gym. Then I headed to town to go to the gym to use the recumbent bike. The physical therapist recommended I extend the time on the bike, so I took a book to read while pedaling. On the way home, I stopped at the Falmouth Pet Center. This is the wonderful local pet store that has been so helpful in setting up the aquarium. I discovered last night that one of the two Platys that Ollie and I bought about 6 weeks ago was dead. Her name was Goldie and I was hoping I could buy another one that looks like her so I wouldn’t have to tell Ollie the bad news. But the Platys were only half the size of Goldie, so I’ll have to break the news to Ollie. He knew this was a possibility when setting up a new aquarium, but that doesn’t make it any easier. At least for now, we have a lot of baby Platys and we still have Mickie, Goldie’s partner.

When I got home, I took an hour to work on the impossible 1,000 piece puzzle I have been ignoring because it is such a hard one. I made a little progress and enjoyed it, so I will dedicate another hour tomorrow. I can’t work on it in the evenings because there is just not enough light. I guess I should work on that problem. The phone rang and it was my friend Linda Stuart calling from New Zealand. Linda and her husband Mike are biking around the world and are currently biking through the North Island of New Zealand. We didn’t talk long as they had an internet connection that kept dropping, but it was so wonderful to hear Linda’s voice. I also talked to my sister in Tennessee to see how her Thanksgiving with her family went. In addition to my niece that lives close-by, her other daughter, son-in-law, and the two grandchildren are there visiting. They had a nice Thanksgiving, but unfortunately my brother-in-law is dealing with another infection. Hopefully this one won’t send him back to the hospital. After that call, I sat down at my computer and before I knew it, it was dark outside. I watched an hour-long health-related video, went through emails that I have ignored for the past few days, and did a little work on organizing photos. I stopped to fix dinner and have continued computer work this evening. So not a hugely productive day, but a relaxing day doing what I like to do.

2018 Life Logs, Day 326: Thanksgiving Feast and Full Moon

2018 Life Logs, Day 326: Thanksgiving Feast and Full Moon
Date: Thursday, November 22, 2018
Weather: Sunny and Cold; High 27, Low 13 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was a beautiful, sunny Thanksgiving Day, but it was chilly. The high today was supposed to be only 21 degrees F, feeling like 0 degrees with the wind chill. It was windy, but WeatherUnderground tells me the high temp was actually 27. It was forecast to be the coldest Thanksgiving Day on the Cape in over a century, but despite the cold, it was a wonderful Thanksgiving. I started my day with a little exercise and a drive over to Heather’s to deliver the turkey roasting pan. When I got there, Heather was serving ‘turkey pancakes’ (pancakes shaped like turkeys)—so reminiscent of her father. Mark made artfully designed pancakes, but Heather has perfected the art. I was delivering the roasting pan early as we had discussed cooking the turkey first thing and then letting it ‘rest’ while we went for a walk in the woods. But shortly after I got back home, Heather called to say the plans were being switched. We were going to walk first and then come home and roast the turkey. So, I put the brace on my left leg to protect the knee I hurt on Halloween night, dressed warmly, and headed out. I was a little hesitant about the walk, but I really wanted to do it and I thought I would be fine. We got on the trail and the boys, who were ahead of Heather, Jed, and I, yelled to tell us there were wild turkeys ahead. I was trying to be so careful, not wanting another fall, but the turkeys caught my attention and I tripped on a rock and went flying. This time it was my good knee that hit the ground first. I got up and thought everything was fine, but not fine enough for Heather to let me continue the walk. She insisted on walking me back to the van. I really wanted to go on, but I knew she was right. Walking on uneven ground in the woods with layers of fallen leaves and only one knee in good working condition was obviously not a good idea. I let her walk me part way back and then insisted she get back with the gang. I drove H & J’s van to Peterson Farm to meet them when they completed the explore and waited for them there. Peterson Farm is town owned land where a local veterinarian kept sheep and a llama for 20 years. Two years ago she moved to western Massachusetts and took her sheep and llama with her, leaving Peterson Farm with no animals. But this past spring, two scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic signed an agreement with the city to keep grazing sheep on the land. Today, I was delighted to see sheep in the pasture once again. Walking VERY carefully, I got out of the van and walked down to where the sheep were sitting in the sunshine. I watched them for a bit, but the wind was wicked and I returned to the van to wait for the Goldstones. I knew they were dressed for the weather, but it really was bone chilling in the wind. When they returned, everyone reported that they had a nice walk without getting too cold. But Ollie kept reminding us to be careful by saying repeatedly, “You know, this is frost bite weather.”

When we got home from the walk, it was time to put the turkey in the oven and to have a grazing-style lunch. We had a Skype video call with Justin and family in Puerto Rico and marveled at the difference in our attire. It was so hot in Puerto Rico that Justin had no shirt on! But other than that, we were all doing the same things to prepare for the Thanksgiving feast. Our preparations took a little longer than we expected. But then, isn’t that always the way on Thanksgiving Day? When all was said and done, however, we truly had a feast. At the head of the table was Mr. Turkey which had been prepared, stuffed, and faithfully basted all afternoon by Heather. This was one of the turkeys ‘earned’ by Sam and Jonah at the Boy Scout turkey shoot a couple of weeks ago. Since both boys won a turkey, we kept one and the other was donated to the Falmouth Service Center. In addition to Mr. Turkey, we had Pacific wild salmon baked with Jed’s special sauce that both Sam and Ollie love. Heather set a very festive table and we started the feast with local clams as an appetizer, followed by a green lettuce salad. Then, in addition to the turkey (which was one of the best I have ever had—very moist) and the salmon, we had traditional bread stuffing, broccoli with hollandaise sauce prepared by Sam, and the cranberry salad that has been a tradition in our family since the first Thanksgiving I had with Mark in 1973. Dessert for the adults was Heather’s ‘spirited’ pumpkin pie with dark rum providing the ‘spirits’ and gingerbread and chocolate brownies in fall leaf shapes with ‘acorns’ for the boys. Ollie had half of his gingerbread and then declared that he had to have some pumpkin pie as well. Sam and Jonah won’t touch it, but Ollie agrees with Heather, Jed, and I that it just isn’t Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie.

When I walked out the door to come home the Thanksgiving full moon looming above. There hasn’t been a full moon on Thanksgiving Day since 1920, so it is a rarity. And due to the clear sky here tonight it was spectacular. Seeing it was a beautiful way to end a wonderful, wonderful Thanksgiving Day.