2018 Life Logs, Day 282—A Trip to See My Orthopedic Surgeon

2018 Life Logs, Day 282—A Trip to See My Orthopedic Surgeon
Date: Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Weather: Overcast Early, Beautiful Afternoon; High 73, Low 65 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was my day to deal with my left knee issue. I had a 3 pm appointment in Hyannis and somehow this took the whole day. Since I was going to Hyannis, I had made an appointment to get a new passenger side airbag installed since the one I have was recalled. I was also supposed to get a new key fob cut and programmed, but for the second time in a few days, I got there and they still did not have the right key. I had explained what I wanted as graphically as possible, but they ordered only a regular key. I need a replacement for what I call ‘the clicker’ to remotely open and lock doors. I will have to return again for that and now that they say they understand what I need, the cost has gone up to about $275. Losing your keys is an expensive proposition.

I had some time between the car appointment and the knee appointment, so I headed to Whole Foods to do some food shopping. I got to the orthopedic center right on time, but I had to wait an hour and a half to see the doctor. I had a book with me and I enjoyed the reading time. The doctor assures me that the x-rays of my knee don’t match what he sees when I enter the room. He says I look fit and energetic, even though my left knee is beyond bone on bone and he doesn’t understand how I am walking without a cane based on those x-rays. He feels that I am an excellent candidate for surgery and promises that I will be so much happier when I can once again really use that knee. But he is also willing to go along with my attempts to do whatever I can to put off the surgery. I have not been a patient in a hospital for over 50 years and I am not looking forward to being one. But since his surgeries are booked six months out, he is suggesting that if I have a time that I prefer, I should book the surgery and then back out if I decide against it. I really don’t have time to get this done until February and he did say that he has an opening in that month as someone just cancelled. I will work with his scheduler to come up with a date. In the meantime, I got a cortisone shot to help with the pain, scheduled some PT sessions, and met with the technician to help me adjust the brace I have. I stopped wearing it, even though it helps, because it just felt too tight. The technician fixed that problem. So, I will continue to limp along with these supports, work hard at getting back to a scheduled exercise program, and hope for a miracle. The doctor tells me the evidence says this is just not going to happen, but I appreciate his patience in letting me try.

2018 Life Logs, Day 281—Cranberry Harvest and Birthday Lunch

2018 Life Logs, Day 281—Cranberry Harvest and Birthday Lunch
Date: Monday, October 8, 2018
Weather: Overcast; High 66, Low 55 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Once only known as Columbus Day, this day has now also become Indigenous People Day—not as a replacement for Columbus Day, but a different way of celebrating the day. Columbus Day is a national holiday, so there was no school today. Heather and Ollie spent the night again and Ollie and I really did sleep in this morning. Heather got up early and evidently tried to wake me up to tell me she was leaving, but evidently I was snoring happily and totally did not respond to her attempts to wake me. She snuck out to go pick up Sam and start her day of bathroom painting. It was almost 9 am when I woke up and Ollie slept until almost 9:30. When we did get up, we enjoyed our time together and then I took him home via the cranberry bog. Heather had texted that they were harvesting today. Ollie and I watched the harvesting for a bit and he enjoyed taking photos and videos of the process using my phone. When we got home, we found that Jed, Sam, and Jonah were all home from their weekend of camping . . . a bit tired, but all had a good time. I then headed home to get ready for my lunch with friends to celebrate Jane Woodin’s birthday. Midge Frieswyk, Olivia White, and I treated Jane to lunch at one of her favorite downtown restaurants, La Cucina Sul Mare. We all had Shrimp and Scallop Piccatta in a white wine and caper sauce. This is usually served over angel hair pasta, but at Jane’s suggestion, I asked to have this over spinach and everyone else had it over a mix of spinach and pasta. It was delicious and it was delightful to spend a couple of hours in the company of good friends. The fifth member of our little group, Karen Baranowski, couldn’t join us today as she babysits for her son’s children on Monday’s this month. We really missed her and declared to find a way for all of us to be present for the next birthday.

On my way home, I once again drove by the bogs and got to see the next stage. The harvested cranberries had been corralled and almost all had been sucked up into the truck waiting to take them to a processing plant. And the water from the bogs on the right side of the road was being channeled into the bogs on the left side of the highway through an under-road culvert. The fields on that side of the road will probably be harvested tomorrow, but enough cranberries were floating due to the influx of water allowing the ducks to feast. I love watching this colorful process which, for me, has become as much a part of fall as fields of pumpkins.

2018 Life Logs, Day 280—A Day with Heather and Ollie

2018 Life Logs, Day 280—A Day with Heather and Ollie
Date: Sunday, October 7, 2018
Weather: Overcast and Misty; High 70, Low 57 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Jed, Sam, and Jonah are still camping with 5,000 Boy Scouts from all around Massachusetts, so I had a day with Heather and Ollie. Heather’s goal was to get the upstairs bathroom painted, or at least get the primer and one coat of finish paint on. She also wanted to get started on repainting the dining room chairs, so I volunteered for that job. Ollie volunteered to keep us entertained and happy, so this was our plan for today. We had planned to sleep in, but none of us expected that we would all sleep until 9 am. But, in fact, that is what we did! We checked on the fish in the new aquarium, had breakfast, explored my attic to make sure there’s no way for small critters to get in, and then Heather and I watched a short video with Ollie. Afterwards, we set out for Heather’s and got to work. Unfortunately, my job got derailed. Heather’s dining room chairs are each painted a different bright color, and I was to lightly sand them and do a coat of spray paint to freshen them up. But the weather didn’t cooperate. It was supposed to be partly sunny and warm today. It was warm, but it was totally overcast and misty. I got two chairs sanded and then had to abandon that job for today. Instead, I was the support person. I did laundry, fixed lunch, and played some games with Ollie. Then late in the afternoon, I headed home to fix dinner for us while Heather did the last coat of paint on the bathroom ceiling. This bathroom has been torn apart for over a year and a half, so it is very exciting to see that it is finally coming back together. Heather and Ollie came over for dinner and Heather and I watched a movie with Ollie while we ate. They are spending the night again and I love having the company.

2018 Life Logs, Day 279—Soccer, Kayaking, and a New Aquarium

2018 Life Logs, Day 279—Soccer, Kayaking, and a New Aquarium
Date: Saturday, October 6, 2018
Weather: Beautiful Fall Day; High 65, Low 58 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Ollie and I had quite a day. We spent our morning going into town to get the supplies we needed to ‘decorate’ our new 10-gallon aquarium. Ollie chose the aquarium gravel, a castle to add to the aquarium, and picked out the fish we would come back and buy after his soccer game in the afternoon. Then we headed back home to wash the gravel and castle and do the final preparations to the aquarium before adding the fish. I had him watch a couple of YouTube videos about setting up a 10-gallon aquarium and he learned quickly that we could only add a couple of hardy fish today. The advice stated that if the initial two survive the next few weeks as the aquarium finds its balance, then we start adding more fish friends. We barely had time to get the aquarium ready before it was time to head to a 1:30 pm soccer game. Since this is a long four-day weekend for school kids in Falmouth, many kids were not there today. That was really unfortunate as it was the soccer photo day. Not a good choice on the part of the soccer organization, but I guess you live and learn. Ollie’s team had four players and a substitute coach in Jed’s place. Lucky for our team that two kids from another team got the time mixed up for their game and had no team to play with. So they joined Ollie’s team giving them enough players to hit the field and win the game 4-0. After the game, Ollie and I went back to the Falmouth Pet Center and bought the two Platies that he had picked out earlier. Platies look like goldfish, but they are tropical fish needing an aquarium thermometer whereas goldfish are cold water critters. Ollie chose one Platy that was all orange with a slightly lighter yellowish center. The other choice was orange with black markings on its tail. The shop owner explained to Ollie that this is what was once called a Mickey Mouse Platy because the black markings on the tail look like a sideways Mickey Mouse. We looked closer, and sure enough, those markings do like Mickey Mouse, big round ears and all. The owner went on to tell us that our two choices are both female and that they might have live babies at some point, even when male is not in the tank. Interesting. I sure have a lot to learn! We stopped by Karen and Peter Baranowski’s on our way home to pick up some oysters Peter had harvested earlier in the day. Karen has an allergy to shellfish and Peter brought home more that he could eat. So we were the lucky recipients. Ollie and I had already bought Pacific salmon and a few clams for dinner, but the oysters and additional clams Peter gave us made for a seafood feast tonight. When Ollie and I got home, we followed the directions for acclimating our new fish to the aquarium and then putting them in. I am having a little difficulty controlling the water temperature, but I sure hope I now have it right and that our two little Platys will be survivors.

Heather arrived here around 5:30 pm. I thought she had been at a conference on the Outer Cape, but actually she was in Wellesley, near Boston. She had a great two days and was ready for some fun with Ollie. After he introduced her to the aquarium, the two of them went out for a late evening kayak adventure. Then Heather fixed a clam-oyster-salmon feast while I talked to Justin, Ziggy, and Coco on Skype. It was great to connect with them. After our call ended, Heather, Ollie, and I had a fantastic dinner and I most enjoyable evening together. Great day!

2018 Life Logs, Day 278—Ollie Overnight

2018 Life Logs, Day 278—Ollie Overnight
Date: Friday, October 5, 2018
Weather: Partly Sunny, Very Windy; High 62, Low 45 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The north winds did indeed blow in cooler weather for today and for tonight, but it looks like it will again start warming just a bit tomorrow. But when I say cooler, it was not really chilly. I didn’t really need a jacket, so no real weather complaints. I tried a new class at the gym this morning that was a bit challenging, but I made it through. There was a lot of work with weights, lots of push-ups, pull-ups, and other strengthening exercises. It is a special class only available for the month of October, so I will probably return each Friday and tough it out. After class, I checked in with Heather and Jed. They were trying to get Sam and Jonah all packed for their weekend camping trip and Heather was getting ready to leave for her trip to the Outer Cape. There was nothing I could do to help, so I headed home and assembled a new wooden storage unit I bought yesterday. I know assembling these things should be easy, but I always struggle. It took me way too long, but I got it done. Then I worked on getting the aquarium filled with water and ready for fish that Ollie and I will buy tomorrow. Ollie arrived at 5:30 pm, ready to spend the night. Jed and Jonah brought him over and Ollie and Jonah immediately headed to the dock. It has been ages since they have been here and they decided they needed to collect all of the seaweed floating on the water and pile it on the dock. They called it their seaweed farm and they really enjoy just messing about on the dock. Jed took a look at my aquarium set-up and pointed out that 10 gallons of water on the top of a short bookcase with chipboard shelves is going to cause that shelf to bow drastically. I should have known better, but I just didn’t think about it. Jed and I came up with a plan to add another board that sits on top of the bookshelf uprights and that will hopefully help distribute the weight. While the seaweed farmers were busy down on the dock, Jed helped me cut the additional shelf, but had to leave it to Ollie and to get it in place. Jonah has to leave for camp at 5:30 am, so he needed to head home with Jonah to have dinner and get to bed. Ollie and I emptied most of the water from the aquarium into buckets and together managed to lift the aquarium and get the additional shelf in place. Hopefully this will work. Ollie and I had a delightful evening together and are looking forward to more seaweed farming, soccer, fish acquisition, and who knows what else tomorrow. One activity that I am going to focus on is this seaweed farming idea. I am going to check with the local feed and seed tomorrow morning to see if they have straw. If so, I am going to actually compost the seaweed. Evidently if you do multiple layers of 4 inches of straw topped with 2 inches of seaweed, you end up with great compost. I have an empty compost bin and hope to give this a try.

2018 Life Logs, Day 277—Out and About All Day

2018 Life Logs, Day 277—Out and About All Day
Date: Thursday, October 4, 2018
Weather: Partly Sunny; High 69, Low 57 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I was out and about all day today. I went to the gym for a 9:15 am class, then on the h annual appointment with my dermatologist. All is well there. And then I was of to Hyannis to do something I should have taken care of two years ago. My car was bought in both my name and Mark’s, and I needed to go to Motor Vehicles to get the title in only my name. It was not as straight forward as I had thought, but actually the staff there was extremely helpful and helped me get the job done. Then I headed to Hyannis Honda to get a new key fob. I stupidly lost my keys in a field of milkweed a couple of weeks ago. I was getting milkweed for the Monarch caterpillars and somehow my keys fell out of my pocket and feel into the tall grass. I searched and searched and didn’t find them, but luckily had an extra key in the glove compartment. I thought I could survive without the remote key fob, but it is just too frustrating. Unfortunately, even though I had called ahead, Hyannis Honda did not actually have the replacement fob for my car. So, it has been ordered and I will return next Tuesday to get the key cut and the fob programmed. While there they told me I needed to get a new passenger seat air bag as the one I have has been recalled. They will do that on Tuesday as well. I then returned to Falmouth and ran a few errands. By the time I stopped by Heather’s on my way home, it was almost time for dinner. I wanted to check in to get my ‘marching orders’ for the next few days. Heather is out of town tomorrow and Saturday and Jed, Jonah, and Sam are out of town on Saturday, Sunday, returning on Monday. Ollie will be with me tomorrow night and all day Saturday until Heather returns. We worked out all of those details and then I headed home. Not an exciting day, but productive.

We have had a run of lovely fall days with moderate temps and enough sunshine to make me happy. But tonight the NNE winds blow in at 15 to 25 miles per hour. This will cool things down considerably for tomorrow and especially tomorrow night when the temp will dip into the 40’s for the first time since last spring. Saturday will also be a bit cool, but on Sunday the winds shift back to the SW and our beautiful, mild fall weather will return. So we will plow through tomorrow and look forward to warmer days starting on Saturday.