2019 Life Logs, Day 344: Edible Insects

2019 Life Logs, Day 344:  Edible Insects
Date as:  Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Weather:  Periods of Rain; High 61, Low 31 degrees F
Location:  At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The rain continued today, but it was only spotty and not too much.  After yesterday’s buckets of rain, today was a delightful reprieve.  And it was also warm.  So that helped.  But overnight the temp dips below freezing and we might get some early morning snow.  I had my monthly Book Club meeting this morning and I spent the afternoon with the Goldpebbles.  It was an Early Release Day from school and I had signed the boys up to attend an Edible Insects presentation at the public library.

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Sam couldn’t go as he was home sick with a cold/flu (not sure which) from school today.  So neighbor Joey Keefe went with us to the presentation.  Most of the kids attending were middle schooler, the perfect age to add the yuck factor to eating insects.  There was a presentation about the growing industry of producing insects to be used as animal feed, making flour from dried crickets, and selling dried insects as snacks.

When it came time to do some taste testing of dried grasshoppers and mealworms, the boys jumped right in.  It helped that I had promised to take them to the French bakery afterwards for a treat if they tried the dried insects.  But they loved doing it and then making a mad dash for the water fountain in the hall to wash down the crunchy snacks.  Even Jonah gave the meal worms a try.  I was actually more reluctant than the boys, but Ollie brought me a couple of meal worms and I ate them.  Crunchy with a salty taste, but the idea of eating mealworms is instinctively repulsive.  The positive side is that evidently insect products, especially flour made from crickets, pack double the protein of steak, chicken, or salmon.  The insects are farmed and sustainable.  But still the idea of eating crickets or mealworms just is not appealing.  But at least we broadened our horizons this afternoon.  If Chocolate Chirp Cookies and cricket pasta become mainstream, maybe we will be more willing to give them a try.

2019 Life Logs, Day 343: The Sky is Falling

2019 Life Logs, Day 343: The Sky is Falling
Date: Monday, December 9, 2019
Weather: Rainy Day; High 61, Low 51 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

During the evening a warm wind has been blowing and at times the rain has come down in buckets. Earlier it literally felt like the sky is falling. Shadow has never minded going out in the rain and he loves snow, but tonight I have had to literally carry him outside. I guess blustery weather is not his thing. And neither is it mine. We get more rain tomorrow and then the temperature plummets again and we are supposed to get snow on Wednesday morning.

I started my day at a pilates class at the gym and when I got home, Karen Baranowski texted me from next door to ask if she could come over to get out of the cold. She was there to oversee the installation of new Anderson outside doors, but in doing so, she discovered that the heat was not working. So she had to call the heating and air conditioning people to come take care of that. She came over and we had tea and then I invited her to stay for lunch. In the afternoon, I worked on ordering Christmas for Justin, Jo, and the Goldpebbles. And then it was time to go to Jonah’s band concert. Jonah is tiny, but mighty. He is aggressive on the soccer field and in music. He plays the trombone and bass guitar. Both instruments are huge. Tonight he was playing trombone with the 5th grade band and then electric bass guitar with the 5th and 6th grade jazz band. He had to take not only his instruments, but also his amp for tonight’s concert, so Heather pitched in help carry. And he looked so handsome in a white shirt and tie. I had hoped to get good photos of him with his electric bass guitar (which is bright red), but he was sitting behind other students and it just wasn’t possible. But you can always find Jonah by looking for his hair, so I did and I zoomed in and get some photos of his facial expressions as he played. You could hear the bass as the jazz band played and he sounded great. I was able to get some video that I think he will be excited to hear.

Tomorrow is Early Release Day and I am taking the Goldpebbles to an Edible Insects program at the public library. There will be some interested snacks, including sour cream and onion crickets and Mexican spice mealworms. Yuck! I’m with Jonah on this one. No way am I trying these things! But I’ll try to be open minded and give things a fair try. But regardless, it should be fun on a rainy afternoon.

2019 Life Logs, Day 342: Christmas Parade and Jed’s Birthday

2019 Life Logs, Day 342:  Christmas Parade and Jed’s Birthday
Date:  Sunday, December 8, 2019
Weather:  Sunny and Cold; High 45, Low 39 degrees F
Location:  At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The weather gods were kind to us today. 

Contrary to the forecast, the high temperature climbed out 30’s, the sun shone brightly all through the parade, and there was very little wind.   All of these things made for great weather for the Christmas Parade.  After our freezing experience downtown last night for the lighting of the town Christmas tree, the Goldstones and I were delighted with the weather. Karen Baranowski and I went to watch the parade as Peter was riding on the Newcomers float, Heather and Jonah were marching with the Falmouth Soccer Club, Jed and Ollie were marching with the Cub Scouts, and Sam was marching with the Lawrence Middle School Band playing snare drum.  I know I’m just a bit biased, but I must say that the middle school band sounded great, especially the drummers!  As always, there were Clydesdale horses, old and new fire engines, the Aleppo Shrine clowns, various bands, representatives from many local clubs and activities, some on floats and some just marching in the parade, and of course, Santa Claus.  I had thought about taking Shadow with me to the parade, but then I realized that he is just too young and untrained to be in a crowd of people of very loud noises.  Good choice because it really was loud, especially the fire engines.  I think I would have had a very frightened little puppy.  I’ll slowly introduce him to the community sights and sounds and then maybe he can go with me next year.

After the parade, I hurried home to spend time with Shadow before taking him with me to Heather and Jed’s for a pizza party to celebrate Jed’s birthday.  When we arrived, the boys really enjoyed playing outside with Shadow and then everyone came in to get showers to get ready for the school week.  Heather and Jed were out front decorating with Christmas lights.  Heather came in to prepare dinner.  And once all the boys were showered.  Jed opened his presents and the boys each opened a present for me while the pizzas were baking.  They all needed new pajamas, so I got holiday Hannah Anderson pajamas for Ollie and Jonah and a pair of green camping pajamas for Sam.  Rather than wait until Christmas to give them to them, I thought they should have them now to enjoy during the holiday season.  They all immediately donned their new apparel and let me take photos of them in front of their beautiful Christmas tree.  Then we ate pizza and birthday cake.  During dinner, Ollie announced that he lost a loose front tooth today during the parade.  Just another indication of how fast the Goldpebbles are growing up.  It was a nice evening together celebrating Jed’s birthday.  Happy Birthday, Jed!

2019 Life Logs, Day 341:  O Christmas Tree

2019 Life Logs, Day 341:  O Christmas Tree
Date:  Saturday, December 7, 2019
Weather:  Sunny and Cold; High 46, Low 21 degrees F
Location:  At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree . . . Today was Christmas tree day.  Shadow and I got our tree this morning and when I got it out of the car, Shadow immediately attacked it.  But in the house, it is sitting up on a box, out of the reach of puppy attacks.  I have the lights and lace trim on it, but not the ornaments.  That will happen tomorrow.  I spent time talking on the phone with Justin and then finalizing the purchase of gifts for Ziggy and Coco.  Tomorrow I hope to get Justin and Jo’s presents ordered so that I don’t have to worry about them not getting there on time.  This evening I went over to Heather and Jed’s to go with them for the 7 pm lighting of the town Christmas tree on the Green. 

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They got their tree today as well and when I arrived it was fully decorated and beautiful.  It was cold on the Green tonight. The temp was in the 30’s but due to humidity, it felt like 21 degrees F.  Brrrrr.  But the boys enjoyed listening to the town band play Christmas songs.  Sam and Jonah found friends to hang out with, but Ollie was wide-eyed with Christmas amazement and was not going to stop watching the band until the end.  Jonah left and then returned to listen to White Christmas with Heather.  She loves the song and so does he, so they hugged and sang together.  When we arrived, Santa walked by walked by where we were standing and again Ollie’s eyes got as big as saucers.  Before we left the Green, even though he was freezing, Ollie walked to see his favorite decoration on the Green, Santa and his reindeer, with Rudolph leading the pack.  Tomorrow is the Christmas Parade and it is going to be a cold one.  All of the Goldstones are in the parade this year, so I am going with Karen Baranowski as Peter is also in the parade.

2019 Life Logs, Day 340: Shopping and Laundry

2019 Life Logs, Day 340: Shopping and Laundry
Date: Friday, December 6, 2019
Weather: Cloudy, Wind Late; High 50, Low 25 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Yesterday was a do-nothing day and today was the opposite. I needed to go off Cape to do some shopping and it ended up twice as long as I had estimated. Sam needs blue sweatpants and a bright red sweatshirt to wear in Sunday’s Holiday Parade. I thought I could be helpful by picking those items up while I was shopping for other things. And I thought it would be an easy task. Not so. I first went to Target and was sure they would the items, but they had nothing. TJ Max, JC Penny’s, and the LL Bean Outlet also had nothing. Old Navy had something that might work in a pinch, but the red was maroon and the pants were a light blue, not dark blue. I stopped at Marshall’s in Mashpee on my way home, and they did have something that will work. By the time I got to Mashpee I was getting worried about Shadow, so I quickly bought what they had at Marshall’s and headed home. The information I have been reading about puppies all says that you should not leave a puppy in a crate for more than hour at a time. If you are going to be gone longer than that, the puppy should be in an exercise pen. So today I left him in the ex pen. He seemed fine when I got home, but like Wednesday when I was gone for four hours, the stress seems to give him tummy problems. Thankfully he bounces back quickly. After lunch, Shadow and I headed to Heather and Jed’s to do some laundry and we stayed there until Sam got home so he could try on the clothes I had bought for him. I wanted to make sure he is all set for the parade. The red top I got for him was not a sweatshirt, but he loved it. And the blue sweatpants had Puma written repeated in white like a stripe up the sides, but he loved the way they fit and thought they would be perfect. I just hope both will be warm enough with a few layers underneath as he will be marching with the band for over two hours.
Then tonight while Shadow sat beside me and played with his chewy toys, I worked on grandkid Christmas shopping online. Justin sent the lists for Coco and Ziggy this evening, and it is definitely time to have things sent to Puerto Rico.

We have had days hovering around 50 degrees this week, but tonight a northeast wind is blowing in cold weather. If the forecast is correct, we won’t get out of the 30’s during the day this weekend. Tomorrow is Christmas tree day. Shadow and I will head to Mashpee early to get our tree and Heather and family will be getting their tree tomorrow as well. Tomorrow evening we will all have dinner together and then go downtown for the lighting of the town Christmas tree on the Green. ‘Tis the season.

Updates: Friend Lynne Kirwin arrived safely in New Zealand last weekend. She is settling in and bought a car today. Helaine Kanegsberg called this afternoon to report that the physical therapist was pleased with Alan’s knee replacement recovery. He had his second knee replaced about three weeks ago and things have not gone as smoothly as the first replacement. But it looks like he is now on the right path. My ‘biking around the world’ friends, Linda and Mike Stuart flew to Naples, Florida this week. They will be there through January and I hope to fly down for a couple of days mid-January to visit. It has been much too long since we have seen each other. And finally, Shadow had a ‘no potty in the house’ day. Hurray! But I just noticed that while I have been writing, he has been chewing on the edge of the carpet. So tomorrow will also be ‘remove the area rugs’ day. It is just too hard to watch him every moment, so puppy-proofing seems the way to go.

2019 Life Logs, Day 339: Do Nothing Day

2019 Life Logs, Day 339: Do Nothing Day
Date: Thursday, December 5, 2019
Weather: Sunny; High 48, Low 27 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I did it. I managed to have a day where I really did almost nothing. And I enjoyed it. Part of this do nothing day was imposed by the puppy. I think leaving Shadow for so many hours yesterday really stressed him and this morning he wouldn’t eat and just could not wake up. He slept all morning and then mid-afternoon he woke up and ate a little bit. I took him for short walks and spent a lot of time just letting him sleep beside me, and finally this evening he perked up, ate a normal dinner, and played all evening. I realize now that he is just too young to leave in crate for so many hours. The one thing I did do today was read more about the best ways of dealing with puppies and I learned that if you are going to leave a puppy the age of Shadow for more than hour they need to be in an exercise pen with water available, not in a small crate. I have the ex pen and will start using that for longer confinement periods. Live and learn. And thankfully puppies are very forgiving. Tomorrow is another day free of meetings or appointments, so I can spend more time with Shadow. Everyone keeps reminding me that I call him a her, but he is a he. I have always had female dogs, so this is quite an adjustment for me to think of a dog as a he. Bear with me. Eventually I’ll get it.