2019 Life Logs, Day 316: First Book Club Meeting and First Snow

2019 Life Logs, Day 316: First Book Club Meeting and First Snow
Date: Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Weather: Overcast, Wintry Mix in the Afternoon; High 62, Low 19 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Interesting weather day. This morning was a balmy 62 degrees, by noon the temperature started to drop, and not long after the rain began. It currently just below freezing outside and during the night the temperature will drop below 20 degrees F. And in parts of Falmouth, we had snow this evening. There was none here by the water, but just a mile away at Heather and Jed’s, there was snow.

I spent my late morning at my very first book club meeting ever. I was reluctant to join a book club as I wasn’t interested in having someone dictate what I read, but what I thought, today was a great experience. It is a great group of women with diverse interests and I think we can learn a lot from each other. We all made suggestions for future books and decisions were made that pleased all. Being the first organizational meeting, it went a little longer than expected. I got home just after 1 pm and it was pouring rain. I had planned to come home and get the last of the summer items put in the basement before the deep freeze tonight, but I saw that my neighbor and landlord Shirley was home, so I went over for a visit. She is currently living closer to Boston with her 101-year-old sister Doris but was in Falmouth today for doctor appointments. We had a great visit and by the time I headed back across the driveway, the rain had let up and I got those last summer items into the basement. I then spent a couple of hours doing paperwork. I can be an organization freak at times, and evidently, I was just that this summer. I was so organized that I filed unopened mail that I discovered today. Thankfully there was nothing that was time sensitive.

I spent time this evening talking to friends. Alan Kanegsberg is having his second knee replacement on Thursday, so I called to wish him luck. Actually I talked to Helaine and she relayed my good wishes to Alan. Later I talked to Lynne Kirwin in Michigan. They got 10 inches of snow yesterday and the temps there are in the single digits. Tomorrow is going to be a a freezy day here, but then it warms up a bit again. These wild weather swings can make one dizzy.

2019 Life Logs, Day 315: Veteran’s Day, Lots of Activity

2019 Life Logs, Day 315: Veteran’s Day, Lots of Activity
Date: Monday, November 11, 2019
Weather: Mix of Sun and Clouds; High 65, Low 53 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

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The weather this morning was beautiful and warm for the annual Falmouth Veteran’s Day observance. It begins with a parade where the the Boy Scouts participate, so I always go to see my three handsome grandsons.

Tonight when I looked through the pictures I took, unfortunately I caught Sam with his eyes closed, but he is still handsome! I had to leave the observance early to go back to Touchstone to make a decision on which puppy I want. What a dilemma. I absolutely love the little chocolate and white puppy, but he is hopelessly shy. I also love the bouncing little black and white female that we named Partigirl. But after watching them play together, I chose the black male. He is all black except for a little white on his chin. He is not bouncy like Partigirl, but he is also not shy like Snickerdoodles. I guess I could change my mind, but I have told Sam, Jonah, and Ollie and we are working on a name. Yesterday I suggested that we call him Jetta or Jetti and that led to Jedi and that led to Obi-wan. Obi would be a good name. But this evening, Ollie added Midnight to the list. We have until the weekend to decide, so I’ll keep you posted on that.

I got home from Veteran’s Day observance and puppy visit just in time to greet the technicians from RISE Engineering. I made the appointment to follow up on the energy assessment National Grid did last year. Unfortunately, today’s assessment matched last year’s. The hot water tank powered by natural gas leaks fumes when the furnace is not running to keep the exhaust system warm enough to draw properly. And National Grid will not do the insulation work on the Cottage until this problem is fixed. After they left, I called a heating and air conditioning company that will come next week to see what can be done.

After the technicians left, I made a run to the Hands in Hands Thrift Shop to drop off a carload of things from Heather and Jed’s basement. Later I made another run into town to do some grocery shopping, dropped some old electronics off at Heather’s so she can take it to work with her tomorrow. WCAI is having an electronics collection day and will get rid of the stuff for me. I talked with the boys about the puppy dilemma and told them my decision, went home to have dinner, and then was off to my Mah Jongg lesson. This is happening every Monday night for a few weeks. I’m not sure I really understand the game yet, but the teacher is doing such a good job that I won the game last week and won both games we played tonight. Honestly, it’s not my skill that is winning. It is luck and good coaching.

Life Logs, Day 314: Meeting the Puppies

Life Logs, Day 314: Meeting the Puppies
Date: Sunday, November 10, 2019
Weather: Partly Cloudy; High 57, Low 40 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was ‘meet the puppies’ day. Heather, Sam, Jonah, Ollie, and I took off, all excited, to meet Snickerdoodles and his litter mates. But the meeting did not go as expected. The Touchstone kennel, breeders of Australian Labradoodles, is about 20 minutes from here. The breeder is named Sonja and she met us at the door and then brought Snickernoodles to meet us. Snickerdoodles is the name we had given to the puppy I had chosen online, a male parti, part chocolate and part white. Sonja had warned me that he might be shy with so many people, and that he was. She brought one of her Australian Cobberdog puppies out with him to help break the ice, but it didn’t help. Snickerdoodles also looked very small and as she brought out his litter mates, one by one, it became painfully evident that he was by far the smallest and shyest, but also sooooooo cute. He mostly hid behind my legs while we played with the other puppies and one little female litter mate became the life of the party. We immediately started calling her Partigirl. She is also a parti, part white and part black, cute as button with a bubbly personality . . . but maybe too bubbly for Jonah and Ollie. They like the calmer pups.

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But Sam fell head over heels for her while Ollie and Jonah stayed true to Snickerdoodles. Ugh. I had wanted this to be a special occasion for the boys, especially for Ollie who has wanted a puppy since he was old enough to talk. But it didn’t end up that way. What a dilemma. We had come to meet the one pup I had chosen, Snickerdoodles, but in doing so, we discovered that he has issues we were not aware of beforehand. Now I have to decide if I really want Snickers, or if I want to choose another pup from the litter, or if I want to wait for another litter that might have the just right puppy. Snickers is too shy, Partigirl might be too rambunctious, but there is a third puppy, a little black male, that might be just right. After the visit, I got a message from my friend Detta Porat in New Hampshire. She wanted to know how the visit went. I texted back the dilemma and then she called me with a wealth of information on choosing a pup. Her daughter Sarah got a Golden Retriever a couple of years ago and then Detta and Tom got one. She has had first-hand experience with a shy dog and her advice is to avoid it if possible as sometimes shy pups are picked on by other dogs. Plus, according to my research, they can get aggressive if other dogs or people wander into their space. Detta had so much information to share and she has crates and a puppy play pen I can use. And just talking through the situation with her made me feel so much better. Still there is so much to think about. I will sleep on this and go back to give the little black male a closer look. He was Heather’s favorite and the second favorite for all of the boys. So maybe he is ‘just right’. More research into shy puppies, a second meeting with the little black male, and then the decision.

Life Logs, Day 313: Potty Training

Life Logs, Day 313: Potty Training
Date: Saturday, November 9, 2019
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 43, Low 34 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Getting a puppy is exciting, but it has reduced my free reading time to reading about potty training a puppy. I spent all morning reading the guide for an online class I am taking on this topic and tonight I am back at it again. Interesting life I lead.

I spent my afternoon at Heather’s working in the basement. Ollie joined me this afternoon to help remove some bulky wooden shelves with a rubber mallet and a crow bar. He was an amazing helper. Actually, he did most of the work, so I guess I was the helper. We accomplished our task and had a great time doing it. He is one of the best little workers I have ever seen. He stays on task, thinks of better ways to accomplish the task, makes sure he cleans up afterwards, and never complains about being asked to do more. And in addition to being a great co-worker, he invited me to dinner. I knew he and Heather were having a special night together as Jonah and Sam are both staying over with friends. Ollie had requested artichokes for dinner and luckily for me, Heather had thought ahead and bought artichokes for the three of us.

Tomorrow is the big day when we get to go meet the puppy. We have decided to name him Sir Snickerdoodles, King of The Cottage. And I am sure that he will be. We think we will call him Snickers or maybe Nick. We’ll decide what suits him, once we meet him tomorrow.

Life Logs, Day 312: Field Trip to Edward Gorey House

Life Logs, Day 312: Field Trip to Edward Gorey House
Date: Friday, November 8, 2019
Weather: Sunny, Windy, Cold; High 49, Low 25 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

At 8 Strawberry Lane on the Yarmouthport Common is a 200 year-old sea captain’s home. It was purchased in 1979 by eccentric American author, illustrator, playwright, and set and costume designer, Edward Gorey.He was known for his “arch humor and gothic sensibility” and lived and worked out of the house in Yarmouthport until his death in 2000. After his death, the house became a museum that is dedicated to sharing Gorey’s life and work with the public. And today the Newcomer’s Teacher Group toured the home. I have to admit that I had never heard of Edward Gorey, but when I went to pick up Sam this morning and take him to his before-school Environmental Club meeting, I got a complete overview. When I told Sam where I was going today, he beamed and started telling me everything he knew about Gorey and his work. And he knew a lot. His art class studied Gorey at the beginning of the school year and after a great deal of detail, Sam summarized by saying, “Basically, his work was ‘gorey’. No pun intended.” Sam also told me that Gorey’s illustration were all black and white drawings, that his writing was nonsensical, that he was a man of habit that ate the same thing at the same restaurant every day, and that he had at least 17 cats. Sam also told me about Gorey’s alphabet book where 26 children meet their untimely deaths. He gave me a very concise and accurate pre-tour in the 10 minutes it took us to drive from home to school. Well done, Sam! But still, I was taken back a bit when at the start of the tour there were the legs of doll peaking out from under a rug. That was George from The Gashlycrumb Tinies book. “G is for GEORGE smothered under the rug.” But then I realized why Sam was so taken with Gorey. The alphabet book appeals to middle school humor the way Dr. Seuss books appeal to very young children. Gorey was quite accomplished. He won a Tony Award for his Broadway production of Dracula, did the animated drawings that were used to introduce Masterpiece Theatre’s Mystery! series, and wrote more than a hundred books. After the tour, we had a great lunch at Oliver’s and Plank’s Tavern.

When I got home from the field trip, I went to work rearranging the small bedroom that Ollie claims to make room for a puppy play area. We are all going to meet the puppy on Sunday and and I think I will be bringing him home next weekend. Lots to do and learn to get ready! And as the temperature continued to plunge during the day, it reminded me that I needed to get the storm windows for the big windows in the living room in place. I went to the basement to get them, but came up empty handed. I can’t find them anywhere. Heather and boys came over to help me look, but they couldn’t find them either. Where or where did I put them? We gave up the search and went out to dinner. No cooking today!

Life Logs, Day 311: Shopping Day

Life Logs, Day 311: Shopping Day
Date: Thursday, November 7, 2019
Weather: Overcast, Rain Late; High 64, Low 32 degrees F
Location: Back Home at The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

After I got the Pebbles off to school this morning, I headed off on a hunt and kill shopping trip. I wanted to get a few items from IKEA that I will need for the puppy, I wanted to check the New Balance Outlet which is almost next door to IKEA for a pair of sneakers for serious walks/hiking, and as long as I was in the neighborhood, I planned to stop by Costco. I did all of that and then I needed to get to a Trader Joe’s. I was in charge of dinner for the Goldpebbles tonight and they requested chicken nuggets from Trader Joe’s, the only ones they will eat. I Googled for a Trader Joe’s near me and found that if I drove home via Route 3, there was a Trader Joe’s about a mile from one of the exits just north of Plymouth in a town called Hanover. I got there, found the chicken nuggets, and found friend Jane Woodin who was also shopping there. At Costco, I had seen two other Falmouth friends. Lots of people must have had the same shopping idea for today. Missions accomplished, I headed home, did a few more garden jobs and then headed to Heather’s to relieve the after-school sitter and fix dinner. All three boys were totally cooperative on task both this morning and this evening. Sam and Ollie helped me find the shut-off valves in the basement for the outside faucets and they got the water shut off in anticipation of freezing weather. Tonight is supposed to reach 32 degrees F, but tomorrow night is supposed to dip into the 20’s. I think we are ready now.

Tomorrow I am going on a Newcomer’s Teacher Group field trip, but first I will head back to Heather’s to pick Sam up at 7 am and deliver him to school for an Environmental Club meeting. He is working on trying to get solar panels on the school. I am so proud of him for the way he is assuming leadership roles at school and in Scouts. Go, Sam!