2019 Life Logs, Day 252: Doctor Day

2019 Life Logs, Day 252: Doctor Day
Date: Monday, September 9, 2019
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 77, Low 58 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I named this log ‘Doctor Day’ because I spent most of my day in one doctor’s office or another. Starting bright and early, I had my yearly physical exam with my primary care physician. All good news there, so I drove home, took a nap, and got ready for the next appointment. The afternoon doctor appointment was for a procedure that required fasting after midnight and the appointment wasn’t until 2 pm. Thus, the reason for the nap. I didn’t have to think about food or water while I was sleeping! That procedure also required anesthesia, so I had to have a driver. Jane Woodin volunteered to drive me to Hyannis. She went grocery shopping while waiting for me to be ready to go home. Thank you, Jane! When I got home, I ate, and ate, and am now getting ready to eat again. Tomorrow I leave early for a day trip to New Hampshire, so I’m hoping to get to bed early. That seems to be an impossibility for me, but maybe tonight . . .

2019 Life Logs, Day 251: Dining-in with Friends

2019 Life Logs, Day 251: Dining-in with Friends
Date: Sunday, September 8, 2019
Weather: Mostly Sunny and Warmer; High 79, Low 55 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was beautiful and the warmth continued on into the early evening. When my dining-in group friends arrived at 5:30, we decided to have appetizers outside. When we have these dinners, everyone brings something and this evening Terry and Olivia White brought the appetizers, shrimp and cheese and crackers. I was serving lobster salad over a bed or tomatoes and lettuce. Bruce and Jane Woodin brought fabulous corn on the cob, and I had to laugh when I saw Jane was wearing her fall apron to boil the corn. Midge Frieswyk brought amazing bread, but she didn’t bring Bill. They are leaving for a vacation in Europe this Thursday and Bill was home nursing a knee that has been giving him trouble in the hopes that it will be better by departure time. Peter and Karen Baranowski brought cream puffs, enough that everyone could have two, and most everyone did. They were delicious.

While we were together, Olivia kept checking her phone to get updates on the Dallas Cowboys football game. Olivia is passionate about many things in life, but nothing is she more passionate about than football. And when she left, she was going home to watch the Patriots game. So, after everyone left, I decided that I should tune in and watch the Patriots game as well. But when I turned on the TV, there was Ken Burns narrating a special on public television promoting his newest documentary of the history of country music. The special tonight was Live at the Ryman in Nashville and before I could switch channels a young country music star was singing ‘Crazy’, written by Willie Nelson and made famous by Patsy Cline. I was hooked. I didn’t switch the channel to watch the Patriots, but instead watched the rest of the special and then continued watching when it was replayed so that I could the beginning of the program. My first memories of country music were when my oldest brother and his friends would sing Hank Williams songs. Then I remember listening to Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs & The Foggy Mountain Boys on the radio. My father evidently loved them as all I ever remember hearing on the radio was them playing bluegrass and then listening to the Grand Ole Opry. By the time I was in first grade, I hated bluegrass, hated all country music, and certainly didn’t appreciate Minnie Pearl. I was old enough to realize that being from West Virginia, as well as liking country music, was something that many people from other places made fun of. So, I spent years finding a way to leave West Virginia and leave country music behind. It wasn’t until I first heard Willie Nelson and Leon Russell sing “On the Road Again” and John Denver sing “Almost Heaven, West Virginia” that I started to realize that maybe I had made a mistake. As an adult, I have regained a respect for country music and a love and appreciation of the beauty of West Virginia. Ken Burns’ 16-hour documentary covering the history of country music begins airing on PBS next Sunday. I’ll be watching.

2019 Life Logs, Day 250: Tomatoes

2019 Life Logs, Day 250: Tomatoes
Date: Saturday, September 7, 2019
Weather: Windy AM, Clearing PM; High 73, Low 58 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Thankfully, Dorian passed by during the night basically unnoticed and has finally moved on from the US. But it is now moving northeastward across Nova Scotia. Will it ever end? It is one exhausting storm to watch and one devastating storm to so many people. None were hit like the islands in the northern Bahamas and we still don’t know the extent of damage and death there. When I see pictures, it looks like total devastation. The Bahamians I met while sailing there were proud people who loved their country. Not sure how they will rebuild, but I know they will.

My day was totally dedicated to getting those tomatoes turned into marinara sauce. I did it and just put the pot in the refrigerator for the night. Hopefully it will get canned over the next couple of days.

2019 Life Logs, Day 249: Happy Anniversary to Heather and Jed

2019 Life Logs, Day 249: Happy Anniversary to Heather and Jed
Date: Friday, September 6, 2019
Weather: Overcast, Rain Starting Mid-Afternoon; High 70, Low 61 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Happy 16th wedding anniversary to Heather and Jed! I tried to encourage them to go out to dinner or at least stop for Happy Hour on their way home, so I went over to be with the boys after school. But when they got home, we found out they had gone shopping instead. But at least they went shopping to by themselves an anniversary present. Evidently the modern gift for the 16th is silver hollowware, so Heather stretched that a bit to buy the stainless steel risotto pot she has been wanting. It is hollow and the stainless steel looks a little like silver. The important thing is that she and Jed were very happy with their purchase. They left the kitchen shop and stopped to buy wine and they both seemed very pleased with their selections. They were going to have mushroom risotto and good wine for dinner at home with the boys . . . a wonderful family celebration of the occasion.

I spent my day processing the 30 pounds of tomatoes I bought yesterday. The process for making marinara sauce is to first blanch the tomatoes, put them in cool water, and then peel and deseed them. I found my tiny kitchen perfect for this as the stove is right next to the sink. The next step is chopping the onions, celery, and carrots, sauté them, add the spices, and then then put all of the ingredients in the VitaMix. The Goldpebbles won’t eat the sauce if they see a piece of tomato, so the VitaMix takes care of that problem. Hopefully by late morning tomorrow I’ll have the sauce bubbling on the stove and then the canning will take place on Sunday. I have my Dining-in Group coming on Sunday evening, so I did a little getting ready for that today as well. The weather was not inspirational, and we are supposed to have more rain and tropical storm force winds overnight. If we are lucky, it will just be like a good nor’easter and things will clear by the afternoon. I certainly won’t be sad to see Dorian leave the United States. I think we are all exhausted with following the twists and turns of this storm and all of the people affected are still reeling with the damage it has wrought. Thankfully the US was spared the worst, but the news out of the Bahamas is just devastating. After Dorian pays us a visit during the night, it is supposed to make a pass by Nova Scotia and then hopefully out to the sea . . . finally.

2019 Life Logs, Day 248: Out of Focus

2019 Life Logs, Day 248: Out of Focus
Date: Thursday, September 5, 2019
Weather: Partly Sunny and Cooler; High 77, Low 53 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I felt like I was ‘out of focus’ today. I did a little of this and a little of that, but I couldn’t quite get a clear picture of what I needed to do. I was so saddened when I learned of Rich Kole’s death last night and I just couldn’t shake that today. I did go to the Farmer’s Market and Carrie from Peach Tree Farms had 30 pounds of tomatoes for me. So I definitely know what I am doing tomorrow. On Saturday Sam and Jonah have their first soccer games of the fall if weather permits. But it is possible that we will have tropical storm force winds in the wee hours of Saturday morning and lots of rain as Dorian passes by. So soccer games might happen, or they might not. On Sunday the weather clears and I have my Newcomers Dining-in Group coming to dinner. On Monday I have two doctor appointments. So, I’m not going to have to think about what I am doing for a few days. I just have to do what needs to be done.

2019 Life Logs, Day 247: Friends

2019 Life Logs, Day 247: Friends
Date: Wednesday, September 4, 2019
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 86, Low 59 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Lunch today was with friends celebrating Olivia White’s birthday a little more than a month late. Her birthday was the end of July, but she was busy with friends at the time and August just got too busy for all of us. Better late than never. It was wonderful to be together today.

Friendship is a precious thing. And in one day I celebrated life with friends over lunch and then tonight I got word that the husband of one of my best friends from New Hampshire passed away today. I am still in shock over the news. I have often visited with Leslie and Rich in Rye, New Hampshire, and am devastated by the loss of Rich. He was chef extraordinaire, a dedicated and loving husband and father, and the proud grandfather of Luke and Piper. My deepest love is sent to Leslie and daughter Jess and family.