2021 Life Logs, Day 17:  Football and Goldstones Over for Dinner

2021 Life Logs, Day 17:  Football and Goldstones Over for Dinner
Date:  Sunday, January 17, 2021
Weather:  Partly Sunny and Windy; High 42, Low 37 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This afternoon I watched the Cleveland Browns play the Kansas City Chiefs.  I was cheering for the Browns as my family members have been die-hard Browns fans for over 40 years.  They didn’t win today, but just as it was time for me to get dinner ready, the game got quite interesting.  The Goldstones were coming to dinner and I got so interested in the game that I forgot to make dessert.  But Heather brought a dessert treat, so it worked out fine.  I didn’t have to cook the whole dinner as I bought pulled pork and coleslaw from Wicked N’ Wood.  This is a locally owned, outside business, so I felt good about doing my part to support local businesses and giving myself a break from cooking.  But I did make the buns and mac and cheese to go along with the pulled pork.

The Goldstones arrived and we had a nice dinner together and then watched a movie.  Princess Bride, from the 1980’s, is a favorite of Heather and Jed’s, so we watched that.  I saw it in the late 80’s, but I don’t remember appreciating the humor as much as I did tonight.  It is an irreverent fairy tale and has enough action to keep both kids and adults interested.  I now realize it is one of those movies that you have to watch over and over to really appreciate all of the humor.  Once Heather and family left, I continued my television watching binge.  I watched Sunday night Masterpiece Theatre and then CNN special on Kamala Harris that I had recorded.  I enjoyed learning more about her past and really look forward to her inauguration as the first female Vice President.

2021 Life Logs, Day 16: Rainy Saturday

2021 Life Logs, Day 16: Rainy Saturday
Date: Saturday, January 16, 2021
Weather: Rainy, Clearing a Bit Mid-Afternoon; High 53, Low 34 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Actually, it didn’t rain all day. But overnight and this morning it was very stormy. The rain stopped in the afternoon, but other than a very brief moment when the sun tried to break through, it was a dreary day. I wish I could say I took advantage of the day and got a lot of things done that are on my very long inside ‘to do’ list. But I did not. Instead, I just enjoyed life. I worked on my current jigsaw puzzle. I can spend a half an hour and place very few pieces. But I persist. I rode my exercise bike while watching more depressing footage of the siege on the Capitol last week. I got a text from Heather saying that the Christmas present I got for Sam that just arrived late yesterday was quite a hit with Sam, as well as with Jonah and Ollie.
Since it took almost two months to get two little sets of magnetic sticks and balls, I ordered more today as there are just not enough pieces in the two sets I did order to build more complex things. Sam will get an ‘I Owe You’ for his birthday next week. I went to Heather’s to pick up an Amazon package that was delivered. And I came home and made leaf pie and broccoli potato soup. Somehow, that filled an entire day.

I did take two long walks with Shadow. As soon as the rain stopped, we took our first long walk. It was quite windy and still wet, so I decided to put the sweater on him that Ollie and I bought him for Christmas.
I had never even tried it on him and it is a bit too short in length. I think he looked a little silly, but it did protect him a bit from the wet and the wind. I think I am just not a ‘wear a sweater on your dog’ type of person! While on our second walk, we took time to visit the swans down by the dock and I realized that I didn’t know what kind of swans they are. So, when we got home I did a little research and found that they are Mute Swans, identified by their bright orange bills and a distinctive black knob on their foreheads. The Mute Swan (Cygnus oor) is not native. They are a Eurasian species that was introduced and now breeds in the wild in some areas, the upper reaches of the Eel River being one of those areas.

I also watched the third episode of a new Mark Hyman docu-series called The Longevity Roadmap. Mark Hyman is my health guru. The program I watched today focused on The Functional Medicine Approach to Cancer. Yesterday I watched the Functional Medicine Approach to Heart Disease. I have watched many of Dr. Hyman’s programs in the past, but not so much in the past year or so. I was amazed at the amount of new information that is being discovered through scientific studies and observations by doctors using a functional medical approach to treating their patients, especially regarding the role of insulin resistance. Basically, what they are finding is that a huge percentage of heart disease can be prevented with a few simple habits—staying your ideal body weight, exercising, not smoking, sleeping well, and eating a whole foods, nutrient-dense, plant-rich diet. Those same habits can also help to prevent cancer. So, I’ll keep riding that exercise bike, walking with Shadow, and striving to incorporate more and more veggies in my diet. And since quality sleep is so important, I’d better quit writing and get to bed!

2021 Life Logs, Day 15: Where to From Here

2021 Life Logs, Day 15: Where to From Here
Date: Friday, January 15, 2021
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 46, Low 34 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

If I am still reeling from last week’s attack on our democracy, how must Joe Biden feel? He is doing a great job of trying to lay out a path to get us out of all of our current crises—the pandemic, the collapsing economy, and the attack on our democracy. To say that it is overwhelming doesn’t quite do it. Where to from here? I guess we just proceed by putting one foot in front of the other and hope we don’t find ourselves at a standstill, or worse yet, moving backwards. I have faith that we will make it, but it is going to take monumental strength to lead this nation forward. And it is going to take a cooperative effort on both sides of the aisle. But first we have to survive the next few days leading up to the inauguration of Biden and Harris. I constantly find myself holding my breath. It would be so helpful if the Republicans could collectively put this thing to rest by issuing a unanimous statement of the truth. That the November election was a free and fair election with no fraud. But the likelihood of that happening is nil. My daughter-in-law Jo sent me a link to a 10-minute video that I would like to share. It is by Matthew Cooke. If you are like me, you have never heard of him, but he is a successful director of documentaries. The video is titled, “Wake-Up Call for Republicans.” I will insert the link here, but in case it doesn’t work, to give you a flavor of what he is trying to get across, he ends by saying, “For the former Republican Party who called themselves patriots. This is your wake-up call. Your nightmare of a brainwashed, radical, anti-American movement trying to destroy the country . . . was you.” Ouch. Here’s the link. https://www.instagram.com/tv/CKE44CxAIoQ/

2021 Life Logs, Day 14: Celebrations the Covid Way

2021 Life Logs, Day 14: Celebrations the Covid Way
Date: Thursday, January 14, 2021
Weather: Mostly Cloudy; High 47, Low 34 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

There is a lot of negative in our lives these days, but it is heartening to know that we can set that aside for short periods and enjoy celebrations in a new way, the Covid way.
Today was friend Terry White’s 80th birthday and the 1 pm celebration was organized by a member of our Dining-in Group. It was a car parade which, when it was first proposed, I thought was a rather silly idea for adults. But I have to admit that it was wonderful. Thank you, Midge, for organizing this. There were about ten cars that arrived in a gathering area, some with helium balloons that I also poo pooed and still do, others with banners, and at the appointed time, we all drove through Olivia and Terry’s u-shaped driveway. They had been alerted to come outside to the driveway and we went through, each car stopping to give birthday wishes to Terry, wearing masks of course.. It only took a few minutes, but you could feel the warmth and friendship that was exchanged. Happy 80th birthday to Terry!

I started my morning by attending a monthly Falmouth Newcomers meeting on Zoom. The speaker today was Terry and Olivia’s daughter, Sheri. She is the Lead Systems Engineer for the Ocean Observatories Initiative at WHOI (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution). This means that she goes out on the research vessel Neil Armstrong a few times each year to maintain arrays of moorings and autonomous vehicles in the North Atlantic, the North Pacific, and off the coast of New England. These moorings gather scientific data used by my many scientific institutions. It was a really interesting presentation, and the timing was perfect as Sheri was able to wish her dad a happy birthday while giving her presentation. The only other highlight of the day was taking Jonah and Ollie to the skatepark after school. When I went to pick Ollie up today, I took Shadow with me. So when I dropped Ollie off, Sam wanted to know if he could take Shadow for a run—Sam on his skateboard and Shadow pulling. Shadow has had his harness on since Monday’s run without it, so I told Sam to give it a go. All went well. And then Jonah and Ollie wanted to go to the skatepark.
I haven’t been there for a while and I enjoyed watching the boys. Even though the weather was mild, Shadow and I stayed in the car and watched from there. Some of the other parents don’t wear masks, so staying in the car is safer for me.

2021 Life Logs, Day 13: Impeachment Twice

2021 Life Logs, Day 13: Impeachment Twice
Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Weather: Partly Sunny; High 41, Low 33 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

History was made today when a president of this country was impeached for the second time, the first time this has happened in the history of this nation. The real tragedy is that this second impeachment is for inciting insurrection against his own country. That seems surreal when I write it. I never in my wildest dreams I would see such a lawless US President. But he did incite insurrection right before our very eyes and now needs to pay the price. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of the impeachment process and it appears it will have to continue in the Senate after the inauguration of Joe Biden next week. Trump will only be stripped of his right to run for office again if he is found guilty in the Senate. I don’t know about you, but I do not want to see this man be able to even run for dog catcher in the future. So, we have to live through more days of this. It has to be done, but no one knows how it will impact the beginning of the Biden administration. Biden’s cabinet needs to be approved and we so desperately need our new president to focus on this virus and take steps to get things in better control. And that is just number one on a long list of emergency measures that need to be dealt with. Hopefully the Senate can walk and chew gum at the same time, and if they can, here’s hoping we the Democrats don’t encounter obstructionist moves by the Republicans.

I promised myself that I would do nothing today other than watch the impeachment proceedings and I pretty much kept my promise. I did pick Ollie up after school and took him home and I did take Shadow for a long walk and then gave him a bath. That was it for today.

2021 Life Logs, Day 12: Shadow is Fine

2021 Life Logs, Day 12: Shadow is Fine
Date: Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Weather: Sunny; High 42, Low 27 Degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Last night was long and scary, but Shadow seems to be fine today. Thank you to all who contacted me directly to check on Shadow. The doctor finally called at 1:30 am to say that the x-rays did not show any obstruction in his throat and that the constant hard swallowing and drooling had subsided. I went to pick him up and he was a very happy puppy. The young man that brought him out to me just said, “He certainly is energetic.” Yep. The doctor did see a shadowy area in the esophagus and asked a pathologist to examine the x-rays today. I did get a call saying it was nothing. The doctor thinks Shadow’s problem was a severe attack of esophagitis and she is treating him with ten days of Omeprazole, more commonly known as Prilosec. I can think of at least four things that happened yesterday that might have contributed to this. So maybe it was just a perfect storm and I will avoid those things in the future. Once he threw up his dinner, he continuously kept swallowing hard. I had an attack like this the morning Heather and I flew back from my brother-in-law’s memorial service in the summer of 2019. That was also scary and I was given the same prescription. So Shadow is on the mend and I do hope we can avoid any incidents like this in the future. I certainly don’t want to have another scare like that and I’m not sure I can afford one. The hours at the veterinary hospital were extremely expensive.

I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night and today was extremely busy. I had a 10:15 am chiropractor appointment and was ‘graduated’. Evidently my alignment looks better than it ever has. So I am to keep walking, riding the exercise bike, and doing my morning stretching exercises. It’s working. As soon as I got home, I had to get on Zoom for my monthly book club meeting. This month’s book was News of the World that has been turned into a movie starring Tom Hanks. It comes out on Xfinity On-Demand in a few days and I am anxious to watch it. I cannot imagine Tom Hanks as Captain Jefferson Kidd. As soon as the book club ended, it was time for me to go pick up Ollie. Today was an early release day and he wanted to come do some work at my house. But before heading to the cottage to work, we went to Mahoney’s Garden Center. I wanted Ollie to pick out some house plants for a project at his house and I wanted him to see the koi (Japanese carp) in their indoor water garden. Mark and I used to take him there when he a wee little thing, but I’m not sure how many times he has been there in the past four years. We had a great time at Mahoney’s and then headed to the cottage and attacked the list of twelve things I had for him to do. Among those twelve things, we finally got the kayaks covered with a tarp for the winter and finished getting the bean towers and tomato cages put away. He did all but three things on the list which we will save for our next workday. I then took Ollie home and got back just in time for a public policy discussion group on Zoom. It was a good day, but I am exhausted. So, the plan is to head to bed a little early tonight and vow to spend the day relaxing tomorrow. Or, if not relaxing, at least watching the impeachment proceedings while riding my exercise bike.