2020 Life Log, Day 150: Saturday—Not Sure Where It Went

2020 Life Log, Day 150: Saturday—Not Sure Where It Went
Date: Saturday, May 30, 2020
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 71, Low 57 degrees F
Location: At Home in Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This was one of those days that just flew by. I’m really not sure where it went. I went to Heather and Jed’s near noon to deliver a few things and just say hello. Then I came home, had lunch, and worked on setting up the drip irrigation system in my raised beds. I got started on this project last fall, but never completed it. I’ll continue to work on that tomorrow and hope to get things planted as well. I did watch the SpaceX launch this afternoon. That was a great success. And then tonight I watched a movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. It was a nice diversion.

2020 Life Log, Day 149: Saving the Soul of Our Country

2020 Life Log, Day 149: Saving the Soul of Our Country
Date: Friday, May 29, 2020
Weather: Rainy Day; High 67, Low 61 degrees F
Location: At Home in Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

For the past three months we have been living through a time of political upheaval here and around the world, while also living with a world-wide pandemic. It has seemed almost surreal. And in this country, we have had no national leadership to help us through this. We are all doing the best we can and those of us with governors who have risen to the occasion are very grateful for their leadership. But we need a captain at the wheel of the ship. Now we have the protests over the brutal and needless murder of a black man by a police officer. People are angry, and rightly so. We have all watched the video of this police officer kneeling on the neck of man gasping and saying that he can’t breathe. And then when the man became unconscious, the police officer continued kneeling on his neck for another two minutes and 53 seconds. I know more violence does not right the problem, but I understand the frustration of the protestors. George Floyd’s murder is national tragedy. The video of his merciless killing finally makes it crystal clear to everyone that chooses to look that we have a deep and fundamental problem in this country. It is not just one bad police officer. We have got to face racism head on and find our way forward. Again, I say, we need national leadership. But in that void, each of us must come forward and do what we can to erase hatred at the same that that we are trying to survive the ravages of the coronavirus. I hate seeing the images of the protestors and the violence from around the country, but they are doing what they feel they have to do. They are screaming for help. They know we have to find a way to save the soul of this country, one person at a time.

It was a dreary, rainy day here on the Cape. It wasn’t a hard rain, just drizzly, so you could be out and about. It was a grocery shopping day for me. The Goldstones and I have been making it for long periods of time between supermarket outings by having food delivered, but once every couple of weeks it becomes necessary for one of us to go to the supermarket to get things you can’t find elsewhere. I offered to do the shopping today. I left home at 11 and went to their house to get their list. After shopping, I delivered their things, ran a couple of errands, and headed home. When I got home, I saw a notice on my phone that my weekly Misfits delivery had come. But it wasn’t here. I unloaded the car and drove two doors down to the house where my things are continually misdelivered. And there was my box. So, I carried it to the car and headed home again. By the time I got everything put away, fed the puppy, and had a very late lunch, it was almost 4 pm. At 5 pm, I had a Zoom meeting with my wine group and afterwards I checked in with Heather. So goes a day in the time of coronavirus.

2020 Life Log, Day 148: Chain Saw Crew

2020 Life Log, Day 148: Chain Saw Crew
Date: Thursday, May 28, 2020
Weather: Fog Early, Then Partly Sunny; High 75, Low 63 degrees F
Location: At Home in Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I was going to name this log entry ‘Chain Saw Massacre’ as a joke, but it just sounded too violent. But this afternoon Jonah and Jed arrived with a chain saw, clippers that will cut 2-inch branches, and the weed whacker. The first job was to cut up a medium-sized tree that fell across the path that leads from back yard down to the water. I have had to bend down to go under the branches for months, but with my current back issues, it was definitely time to clear the path. My Christmas present to Jed this year was a battery-operated chain saw and it sure did the job today. And it makes very little noise compared to a gas-driven chain saw. Once that path was cleared, we moved to the woods adjacent the raised beds in front yard. I wanted a few small trees cut down so I can plant tomatoes in that area. And getting rid of those trees will also let more sun in.
Jed did this work before and after a work call, but while he was on the call Jonah worked as the clean-up crew, cutting branches off the small trees with the clippers and then carrying the branches to the branch graveyard down over the hill. He also used the lawn mower to cut my side yard. It was a very productive work afternoon and I am very pleased with the extra space and light. Thank you, Jed and Jonah.

I backed off on the exercises for my back today. But then I helped carry branches and did a laundry load in buckets outside. So, my back is feeling the results of these activities tonight. I got a call from Alan and Helaine Kanegsberg tonight. Alan is having a similar problem with his back and wanted to let me know that Tylenol 8 Hr for Arthritis Pain might be something I want try. I hate taking any medication, but I’m going to give this a try tomorrow. I got advice from Alan and then Helaine got on the line seeking information on the best fertilizer to use in her little garden plot. I was able to help her out with that information. I didn’t get the gardening done here today that I had planned. Hopefully tomorrow.

2020 Life Log, Day 147: Fighting the Pain

2020 Life Log, Day 147: Fighting the Pain
Date: Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Weather: Sun, Sandwiched Between Fog, Early and Late; High 72, Low 59 degrees F
Location: At Home in Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I spent more of my day than I’d like fighting the pain in my butt. There’s no nice way to say that, so I’m just putting it out there. Something in my spine is sitting on a nerve that results in pain in my lower hip area. As I move, the pain moves from one side to the other, and is sometimes intense and sometimes not. The major problem is that the pain is getting worse instead of better. I had a physical therapy session this afternoon and did quite an aggressive work out. Afterwards, things went downhill. The back extension press ups that the therapist thinks are going to solve my problem seems to be aggravating the situation. I am going to consult with my chiropractor tomorrow morning and make a decision on what to do next. I have lived with this problem for six weeks now, but today was the first day that walking was problematic. Maybe things just have to get worse before they get better, but I’m thinking maybe taking a day off the exercises to see what happens might be a good idea.

While I was having my Zoom PT session this afternoon, I missed the drama happening next door. After my session, I got a call from Shirley next door explaining the reason for the fire rescue vehicle that had been in the drive-way. I said, “What fire rescue vehicle?” While I was on the floor doing the exercises under the direction of the physical therapist, Doris, the 101-year-old auntie next door, fell in the bathroom which resulted in a nasty cut on her head. Shirley, the 94-year-old auntie called 911 and they came and took Doris to the hospital. I missed the whole thing and Shadow didn’t even bark. These ladies are called the ‘aunties’ because they are the aunts of my good friend Karen Baranowski. Shirley had tried to call Karen, but she couldn’t reach her. I have not been visiting next door during this coronavirus time, but I decided that I needed to go over to check on Shirley and make sure she was okay. She was fine, but she really appreciated having me check on her. I texted Karen while I was there and soon got a call back from her and she headed immediately to the hospital to check on Doris. A couple of hours later, Karen and Peter brought Doris home. They had to put in 9 staples to close the cut, but otherwise, she seems to be fine.

I also missed another visitor this morning, and again, Shadow didn’t bark . . . which is a good thing because I try to keep her from barking. But it means I don’t know when someone has come to my door. Someone from the public library delivered a book I had put on hold back in March just before the lockdown. They are now delivering books to your doorstep. Fantastic. Otherwise, I spent my day working on gardening and I plan to continue with that tomorrow.

I end with a moment of silence for the 100,000 plus Americans we have lost to COVID-19. We knew this day was coming, but it is sobering to know that we have reached that number and that there are still people out there not social distancing, not wearing a mask, not doing their part to make sure they are doing everything they can to keep the number of deaths as low as possible.

2020 Life Log, Day 146: A Little Bit of Outside Work

2020 Life Log, Day 146: A Little Bit of Outside Work
Date: Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Weather: Fog Early, Then Mostly Sunny and Warm; High 69, Low 55 degrees F
Location: At Home in Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I spent my day slowly doing a few outdoor chores while letting chicken bone broth burble on the kitchen stove. I say ‘slowly’ because I have to constantly be aware of my back and make sure I am not doing anything to make it worse. The PT sessions continue, but I am not convinced that we are on the right track. Things seem to be getting worse, not better. But at least I am able to function. I brought seedlings that I have been growing under grow lights inside to the outside to harden off before planting and I brought the tomato and bean towers out of the basement to get ready for planting those things later this week. I filled a big round planted with garden soil and planted a zucchini seedling in that. And I cleaned my grill which ended up to be a bigger job than I thought. That was about it for today. Otherwise, Shadow and I walked and played and just enjoyed the beautiful weather.

2020 Life Log, Day 145: Memorial Day

2020 Life Log, Day 145: Memorial Day
Date: Monday, May 25, 2020
Weather: Cloudy Early, Some Late Afternoon Sunshine; High 60, Low 54 degrees F
Location: At Home in Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I do hope each of you had a nice, safe Memorial Day Weekend. But saying ‘Happy Memorial Day’ just doesn’t seem like the thing to say. This weekend, as we honored those who gave their lives for this country, we are also mourning the lives of almost 100,000 Americans who have died in just the last three months of coronavirus. It is truly overwhelming, and certainly not happy. But it is very important in these time that all find ways to safely enjoy life and I hope you found that this weekend.

This weekend was not a good one for my back. Because of the pain, I stopped doing the press ups prescribed by my physical therapist, and things went downhill from there. I met on Zoom with the PT this morning and he had me slowly work back into the press ups/back extensions. It did hurt, but it felt better after I finished than it did before I started. So, he put me back on doing those press-ups every 2 hours, no matter what. We figured out that the probable reason I was having excessive pain over the weekend was because I am no longer taking the prednisone. It was masking the pain. The inflammation is still there, but we will now tackle it with exercises, not drugs. And in taking daily notes, my best days are my most active days. Sitting to watch a movie or standing in the kitchen for a couple of hours are NOT good for my back. But helping to launch and bring in kayaks, as well as some careful gardening and walking seems to keep the pain at bay. Busy seems to be better for this back.

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This afternoon Heather took Sam to a friend’s house to work on an obstacle course and I picked up Jonah and Ollie and brought them to my house so Jed could continue working on the flooring without interruptions. On the way to my house, we stopped at Smitty’s Ice Cream to pick up a container of their homemade chocolate ice cream and came home to have an ice cream party before heading to the dock to kayak. J & O really enjoyed going out in the two-man kayak together and it was great fun to watch them coordinate their rowing to turn, go forward, and even backwards. There was a mother duck and her babies that followed them back to the dock and they announced that they had seen a mother swan with six babies when they rowed out to Osprey Island. All wonderful signs of spring.