2021 Life Logs, Day 8: Another Lost Day

2021 Life Logs, Day 8: Another Lost Day
Date: Friday, January 8, 2021
Weather: Sunny; High 38, Low 28 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was another lost day. I got nothing done, but I totally enjoyed the day. The sun was shining, my house is no longer freezing, and Shadow and I took an extra long walk. I did spend time late in the afternoon working on a project for a friend. But, honestly, that was it for my day. I’m still very distressed about what happened in our nation’s Capital and around the country on Wednesday. I feel like the Wicked Witch of the West has descended upon us and we need to find the Good Witch of the North to help us find the Yellow Brick Road.

2021 Life Logs, Day 7: On Edge

2021 Life Logs, Day 7: On Edge
Date: Thursday, January 7, 2021
Weather: Partly Sunny; High 43, Low 26 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I don’t know about you, but I have been shaken to the core by what happened in our nation’s capital yesterday. I have been on edge all day, almost like I had been personally attacked. I have never been a flag waving American, but I love my country. When our country was attacked on 9-11, I was saddened. But yesterday when I watched our country being attacked from within, it did more than made me sad. It made me mad, it made me sick to my stomach, and I just have not be able to recover today. Maybe tomorrow will be better. But as long as Donald Trump is the President of this country, I don’t think I’ll be able to relax.

I did manage to get up and call Bennett Plumbing & Heating. They sent a young man named Tyler who I met when he came recently to work on Shirley’s furnace next door. My problem was a quick fix. Evidently, someway, somehow, the water supply to the furnace had been shut off. All it needed was a little water and I am no longer freezing. That was a positive thing, but it didn’t really help me feel any better. I walked with Shadow, rode my exercise bike, worked on my jigsaw puzzle, and made it through the day. Tonight I got a little help when I watched The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC. She had Timothy Snyder on her show. He is a professor of history at Yale and the author of On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century. It is a tiny little book jam-packed with wisdom. Snyder is a master of making “bold connections between past and present.” Today he Tweeted out a list of ten truths that we need to face to deal with what he calls Trump’s big lie. He points out that Trump is the originator of this big lie, but he goes on to say that it could never have flourished without his allies on Capitol Hill. If you don’t already own a copy of On Tyranny, you should get a copy. And we all need to read the ten truths copied here and think long and hard about each one.

Timothy Snyder
@TimothyDSnyder
1/10. The claim that Trump won the election is a big lie.

2/10. A big lie changes reality. To believe it, people must disbelieve their senses, distrust their fellow citizens, and live in a world of faith.

3/10. A big lie demands conspiracy thinking, since all who doubt it are seen as traitors.

4/10. A big lie undoes a society, since it divides citizens into believers and unbelievers.

5/10. A big lie destroys democracy, since people who are convinced that nothing is true but the utterances of their leader ignore voting and its results.

6/10. A big lie must bring violence, as it has.

7/10. A big lie can never be told just by one person. Trump is the originator of this big lie, but it could never have flourished without his allies on Capitol Hill.

8/10. Political futures now depend on this big lie. Senators Hawley and Cruz are running for president on the basis of this big lie.

9/10. There is a cure for the big lie. Our elected representatives should tell the truth, without dissimulation, about the results of the 2020 election.

10/10. Politicians who do not tell the simple truth perpetuate the big lie, further an alternative reality, support conspiracy theories, weaken democracy, and foment violence far worse than that of January 6, 2021.

2021 Life Logs, Day 6: Shame Brought Upon Us

2021 Life Logs, Day 6: Shame Brought Upon Us
Date: Wednesday, January 6, 2021
Weather: Partly Sunny; High 39, Low 29 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Heather came over around 3:30 pm to reset my thermostat. When she got out of the van she looked very worried. When I asked what was wrong, she replied by saying nothing was wrong other than that our democracy was being attacked. At first I thought nothing of her statement as Donald Trump does this every day, but then she explained to me what was happening in Washington, DC. I wasn’t surprised since Donald Trump has been promising for weeks that something “wild” would happen on January 6th, but still it was shocking to turn on the television and watch what was happening inside the capitol building. And as I continued to watch, I was even more surprised to see how casually the rioters were despite the police presence. Why weren’t they being arrested? Tonight, normalcy has been restored in the capitol building, but those same people who were rioting today are still out there and who knows what might happen next. There has been no press conference with any of the powers apprising us of the situation. It is quite disturbing. And it is almost as disturbing to see the Senate and House to continue on tonight almost as if nothing has happened today. I know it is good to put on your best face as the rest of world watches, but it seems to me someone needs to be talking about getting Donald Trump out of office immediately. He incited this insurrection with his rhetoric which seems treasonous to me. Telling people re-election was stolen from him is an outright lie and encouraging people to attempt a coup based on that lie should be reason enough to remove him from office. Tonight’s byline in the Washington Post is that today is the day American democracy was brought to the brink. Shameful and sad. The only good news today was that the two Senate positions up for grabs in yesterday’s Georgia run-off election went to the Democrats. Joe Biden will begin his presidency with a 50-50 Senate and Mitch McConnell will no longer to be the Majority Leader. Hallelujah!

Resetting my thermostat has not solved my furnace problem. It is still only 64 degrees in here. So, tomorrow morning I will call in the big guns and hope they can come fix the problem quickly. And despite the political unrest today, I did reach my goal of getting the Christmas tree undecorated and put outside . . . something I always do on the Twelfth Day of Christmas.
The highlight of my day was receiving a family photo from Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco in front of their Christmas tree just before they took it down. Ziggy and Coco woke up with new comforters and fluffy pillows on their beds for Three Kings Day. Jo also sent me a few of her best photos from 2020. I love getting the photos, but can’t wait until I can go visit and see them in person.

2021 Life Logs, Day 5: Living Room Redo

2021 Life Logs, Day 5: Living Room Redo
Date: Tuesday, January 5, 2021
Weather: Rainy All Day; High 37, Low 31 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

As always, one thing leads to another. It was a rainy day and this morning the squirrels and birds that gather in the side yard just outside my front window were driving Shadow crazy, and in turn, he was driving me crazy. I have a love seat that sits right in front of the big window and Shadow gets up on the love seat so he can look out the window. But in the last month or so, he has started scratching at the window when the squirrels are outside. I have not been successful in keeping him from doing this, so today I started thinking about what I could do to keep Shadow away from the window. In other words, dog-proofing. Then I remembered that when I have my shelving for starting plants in front of the window (behind the loveseat), he can’t get to the window. It’s a little early for starting plants, but no harm in bringing the shelving upstairs early. So, off the basement to get the shelving. Because the shelving is more than six feet wide, I disassemble it to get it in and out of the basement. But assembling it requires that I clear the living room floor. I almost took the Christmas tree down a day early to make things easier, but instead I just moved all of the furniture. And while I was moving furniture, I decided to try the longer sofa in front of the shelving and window and put the love seat where the longer sofa was. And as long as I was doing that, I did some cleaning. It was almost 8 pm when I finished and I’m not sure I like the new arrangement. I thought it would give me more room for the exercise bike and make the room look bigger, but it really doesn’t. I’ll take the Christmas tree down tomorrow and live with the new arrangement for a few days before making a final decision. But I did accomplish my mission of keeping Shadow from the window.

Tomorrow my mission is to figure out why I cannot get the temperature in the cottage any higher than 65 degrees. It has been this way for at least the last week, but I just wear a sweater and ignore that I am freezing. Near the end of the time that Heather, Jonah, and Ollie were living here, I asked Heather to program the thermostat so the temp would automatically go down at night and back up in the morning. What I don’t know is whether this is when the problem started. Today I changed the batteries in the thermostat. That didn’t help. I don’t have an extra indoor thermometer, so I took a thermometer out of the aquarium that I know is accurate and put it in a glass of water near the thermostat. After a few hours, it reads 64 degrees to match the thermostat. So, I don’t think the thermostat is the problem. But I am not sure I want to trust myself to reset it, so I have asked Heather to come over to do the reset. If it is still only 64 degrees in here after that, then I will call the heating and air conditioning guys. I don’t mind 68, but 64 is just too cold.

I’m currently watching the Georgia run-off election returns. Sure hope the Dems can pull off a double win so McConnell will no longer be able to keep legislation from coming before the Senate. We’ll probably not know the final results tonight, so maybe I’ll just go to bed and read and check in tomorrow morning.

2021 Life Logs, Day 3: Walk to Trotting Park with the Goldpebbles

2021 Life Logs, Day 3: Walk to Trotting Park with the Goldpebbles
Date: Sunday, January 3, 2021
Weather: Overcast; High 40, Low 36 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

The highlight of my day was a walk following the powerlines from near Heather and Jed’s to Trotting Park with Shadow and the Goldpebbles. Trotting Park is the location of the Little League baseball field, the Skatepark, and the town soccer fields. We walked part of he way there yesterday but had to turn around and head home as the sun was setting. Today we left earlier and took flashlights, just in case. The walk starts out by a pond and then heads into the woods. As we entered the woods, we noticed a red-tailed hawk high in the trees watching our progress. Once you emerge from the woods, you are walking along a mowed area under the powerlines and this path takes you to Trotting Park. Sam has made this walk with Jed, but Ollie and Jonah had never done it. The powerline trail ends overlooking the town Little League baseball field. Once there we headed across a mossy meadow leading to the parking lot for the Skatepark and the soccer fields. The boys wanted to check out a stand of bamboo near the soccer fields and then we headed home.  The boys made one rest top to play with Shadow.  He loves these walks with the boys, so I hope we will be able to do often this winter on the weekends, and after school in the spring when the sundown is later.

Tonight I wanted to watch 60 Minutes. I turned on the TV and went to the CBS channel a little before 7:30 pm, the time Google told me the program begins. There was a football game on, so I checked to see much longer they had to play. Less than five minutes. Then I saw that the Tennessee Titans were playing. This team’s home base is Nashville and I know my niece Janet loves the Titans. So, I decided to watch. What an exciting 5 minutes of play. The Titans ended up winning over Houston with a last second field goal. The ball actually hit the goal post, causing everyone’s heart to stop, and then it bounced in for the score.

2021 Life Logs, Day 2: Walking, Then More Walking

2021 Life Logs, Day 2: Walking, Then More Walking
Date: Saturday, January 2, 2021
Weather: Partly Sunny, Windy; High 48, Low 31 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I basically walked this day away. I took a couple of walks with Shadow this morning and then came inside and worked on my jigsaw puzzle for a bit. I didn’t get very far when I got a text from Heather asking if I would like to bring my computer over so she could help me figure out how to get Google to get rid of deleted emails rather than archiving them, filling up my allotted storage space. I went over and Heather quickly figured out how to fix this and I headed home. But once I got here, I realized I had left my mouse on her dining room table. Mid-afternoon, I headed back over to get it and I took Shadow with me.
The Goldpebbles were in the backyard playing, so Shadow and I went to see them. The boys and I decided to take Shadow for a walk around the two ponds that are across the street from their house. The neighbor across from them welcomes them to walk through her side yard to get to the walkway around the first pond. We stopped on the bridge to admire the swans and for Sam and Jonah to smother Shadow with love. Then the boys decided to be adventuresome and we did quite an explore. There is a trail through the woods that takes you to the second pond and then on to a powerline trail. Yesterday the boys hid a geocache on the powerline trail and they wanted me to see where that is located. Shadow helped me find it and then on we went. We were deciding to go even further when I checked my phone and saw it was 4 o’clock. We didn’t have a flashlight with us, so we decided we should head home to make sure we got there before sundown. On the way home, we saw Heather and Jed in the distance. They had come to meet up with us and get in their daily walk in before dark. Then we walked all around their neighborhood when we got back off the trail. Lots of walking. Sam and Shadow were having a great time and Sam asked if Shadow and I could stay for dinner to have Korean meatballs and stir-fried Bok Choy. Sounded good to me, so he went home with me to feed Shadow and then we came back for dinner. This was Shadow’s first time in months being inside their house. He immediately found a pair of socks. When he decides to play keep away, it is almost impossible to get whatever he has in his mouth away from him. But we persisted and retrieved the socks. After that he was fairly well behaved for a bit, then he decided to try and eat an ornament from their Christmas tree. It was not a perfect visit, but we all survived a couple of hours. Hopefully, if we do this more often, we can teach him to be a gracious guest. I really enjoyed the dinner, but I left right afterwards so Shadow couldn’t get into more trouble. He has been fast asleep since we got home. I think we finally wore him out. But just as I am writing this, I see he is stirring. Time for trip outside before bed.