2020 Life Logs, Day 155: Fabulous Afternoon at Menauhant Beach

2020 Life Logs, Day 155: Fabulous Afternoon at Menauhant Beach
Date: Thursday, June 4, 2020
Weather: Sunny and Warm; High 79, Low 60 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

What a fabulous afternoon I had at Menauhant Beach with the Goldpebbles. I spent my morning going on a walk with Shadow, visiting the chiropractor, and attending an hour-long Zoom physical therapy work out. After that it was 1 pm, and I headed over to the Goldstones to deliver things that had been left behind after last night’s visit. When I arrived I found that the boys were very interested in going to the beach. It was sunny and the warmest day we have had to date, so I immediately agreed. It took us a bit to gather all of the regular summer beach gear as this was really our first all afternoon outing. Yesterday we made an impromptu beach visit, so we just went. But for a full afternoon, we had to dig out the summer gear. Shovels, buckets, sun screen, swim shirts . . . we packed in my car and headed to my house to drop Shadow off (no dogs allowed on the beach this time of year), grab some lunch for me, get the beach bags with towels, pack some snacks, and get a couple of beach chairs. Sam mentioned that he would love to have a wet suit and I told him to go the closet and get out Granddad’s wet suit. Heather and Justin bought it for him as he had lost so much weight that his old one no longer fit him. I think he only wore it once. Sam was as shocked as I was that it fit him and it made him a very happy kiddo.

?

When we arrived at the beach, we saw the parking lot was pretty full. At first Jonah said there was no way he was going on a beach with that many people. But Sam convinced him that we should park and take a look before making a decision to leave. The beach parking lots have been reduced in half by concrete barriers and I agreed with Sam that it was worth taking a look. Late yesterday when we went to the beach, there were only a few cars and the beach looked basically empty. With a full parking lot today, the beach was manageable. There were small groups of people spaced appropriately, but no one was sitting down close to the water. That is where we always set up ‘camp’. All three boys felt comfortable with that location, so the fun began. All three grabbed their googles and dove in. The water is still chilly, but Sam was warm in his wet suit. Ollie was okay with his swim shirt on, but Jonah, who is always cold anyway, needed his swim shirt that I had put in the wrong bag and left behind. But he was a trooper and spent some time in the water, but more time at the water’s edge digging to the middle of the earth and finding lots of ghost crabs. Sam stayed in the water for quite a long time, but then came ashore to help with the digging. Since he was old enough to hold a shovel, Sam has been a digger. He is bigger now, but he can still dig deep holes in the sand faster than anyone I have ever seen. We were at the beach for two and a half hours and time really flew by. I just sat in the sun, read my book, helped Jonah and Ollie order wet suits on Amazon, and thoroughly enjoyed watching the Goldpebbles play with abandon in the sand and water. Summer has begun.

2020 Life Logs, Day 103: Happy Easter

2020 Life Logs, Day 103: Happy Easter
Date: Sunday, April 12, 2020
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 55 degrees, Low 51 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Easter Sunday didn’t go as planned. Last night I started having head cold symptoms. I know a runny nose is not a symptom of coronavirus, but right now any symptom can be a little scary. As the evening wore on, the runny nose got worse. I went to bed hoping it would be gone in the morning, but it was still with me. I had no fever but did cough twice last night, so I made the decision to once again self-quarantine and not be around the Goldstones until I figure out what is going on. If I exposed them to coronavirus, I could never forgive myself. I felt fine today, but did all the things you need to do just in case you get really sick. I made two different smoothies and put them in the frig and then I made broccoli potato soup and my favorite vegetable soup. I’ll eat some of both and put the rest in the freezer to have food in case I don’t feel like cooking. Then I put on my mask (thanks to my friend Karen Baranowski) and gloves and went over to Heather and Jed’s old house to wash my sheets. You certainly don’t want dirty sheets if you are too sick to get out of bed!

?

To the left of the front door, Heather has a flower garden and this morning it looked like the perfect Easter greeting with yellow daffodils and pink and purple hyacinths. I left the old house and drove over to their new house to take the chicken we were going to fix for Easter dinner since I would not be eating dinner with them. I kept on the mask and gloves and got out of the car while Heather got in to get the chicken and some of the hanging clothes I packed in my car yesterday. Later in the afternoon, I returned so they could unload the rest of the clothes, but again I was in mask and gloves and kept a distance. By this time in the afternoon, I was pretty sure what I have is not a cold but an allergic reaction, but best to err on the side of caution. On Thursday I picked some daffodils and brought them inside to enjoy. I set them on rolling cart right next to where I work on my computer at the dining table. I don’t have an allergy to flowers that I know of, but I do remember having a similar experience when I put some chrysanthemums on the table near my computer a year or so ago. I threw out the daffodils and seem to be getting better.

What I have might just be a cold or maybe an allergy to the pollen from the flowers or I guess it could be THE virus none of us wants of speak of. Let’s hope that is not the case. Whatever, it did change my plans for today. I didn’t get to see the Goldpebbles on their morning Easter egg hunt and I didn’t get to have dinner with them, but I did get to see each of them from a safe distance during the day. I had a Skype call with Justin and family and got to watch as Justin sent Ziggy and Coco outside with clues to find another egg. And tonight I talked with my friend Lynne Kirwin in New Zealand. Due to the threat of the virus, she now thinks she won’t be coming home until June. After talking to Lynne, I had a piece of a delicious fruit tart that new neighbors had brought to H & J’s new house as a welcoming gift. It was not only beautiful, it was delicious. So, my Easter was scaled down a bit, but still a good day.

2020 Life Logs, Day 59: Mt. Kilimanjaro

2020 Life Logs, Day 59: Mt. Kilimanjaro
Date: Friday, February 28, 2020
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Still Windy; High 37 degrees, Low 27 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

No, I’m not planning to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, but I recently met someone who is doing the final ascent to the summit tonight. When I got an email this morning announcing that, it piqued my curiosity and I decided to do a little reading about Kilimanjaro climbs. When I made my Voyage of Windbird presentation to the Bourne Newcomers Lunch and Learn Group, Donna Pascarella, the woman in charge of the event, invited her husband and brother to come. The three of them are leaving in September from Chicago to boat down the Mississippi to the Ohio to the Tennessee River and finally through a waterway that will bring them out into the Gulf of Mexico at Mobile, Alabama, and then on down to the Keys. The brother is the one climbing Kilimanjaro with his youngest son. After the presentation, I asked Donna to keep me posted on the Kilimanjaro climb, so this week she has been forwarding texts sent by her brother. I didn’t really expect to get the day by day account, but I have found it very interesting. What surprised me most was that I knew almost nothing about this mountain. I thought maybe it was the highest peak in Africa, but I didn’t know in what country. Google told me, “Renowned as the highest peak in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro boats exclusive jaw-dropping sceneries, treacherous trails, and the infamous Barranco wall.” The piece I was reading went on to say that there are seven different routes to the top. I did not ask which route Donna’s brother was taking, but when he mentioned in a text earlier in the week that they had successfully climbed the Barranco wall, I looked that up. That narrowed the possibilities to four of routes and from my reading it seems the Lemosho route would be the safest bet for a successful climb to the top and it is also supposed to have the most beautiful path. I’ll be interested to find out which route they did take. And I’ll be sure and let you know if they made the summit.

I spent a good deal of today finishing the ‘just for fun’ book I have been reading so that I can do the reading for my next book club meeting. I have ten days to read The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. On the back of the book, the first review written by Oprah says it kept her up at night reading. If I am going to finish it in time for the book club meeting, I think I will need to read into the nights as well. I’ll start tonight.

Every Friday I get an email from one of my health gurus, Dr. Mark Hyman, listing his five best picks of the week. Today one of those was a research report that outlines some preliminary suggestions for dosage levels of ‘nutraceuticals’, defined as pharmaceutical alternatives that I will just call supplements, that in the words of the research summary, “ . . . might be expected to be worthwhile for controlling RNA viruses.” RNA viruses include the flu and coronavirus. I am going to copy the list of these supplements as well as a link to the research report. It can’t hurt to have this information on hand. Some of the things on the list are things many people already take to avoid colds—zinc and elderberry. Copy this link to see the whole research paper or just look at the list of suggested supplements below.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0033062020300372?utm_source=Mark%27s+Picks&utm_campaign=836e435ca8-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_03_29_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3eb7466668-836e435ca8-124384525&mc_cid=836e435ca8&mc_eid=18b3097ac1

Ferulic acid 500-1,000 mg
Lipoic acid 1,200-1,800 mg (in place of ferulic acid)
Spirulina 15 g (or 100 mg PCB)
N-Acetylcysteine 1,200–1,800 mg
Selenium 50-100 mcg
Glucosamine 3,000 mg or more
Zinc 30-50 mg
Yeast Beta-Glucan 250-500 mg
Elderberry 600–1,500 mg

2019 Life Logs, Day 332: Happy Thanksgiving Day

2019 Life Logs, Day 332: Happy Thanksgiving Day
Date: Thursday, November 28, 2019
Weather: Rainy Day; High 55, Low 32 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Here’s hoping you had a Happy Thanksgiving Day! I went to Heather and Jed’s in the early afternoon and other guests arrived at 3:30. We talked, ate oysters and other appetizers, and watched Jed put together a fabulous mushroom wellington to add to the feast as a vegetarian alternative. The dinner was fabulous with turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, roasted veggies, Brussels sprouts slaw, cranberry salad, and the mushroom wellington. And for dessert we had a choice of chocolate pie, pumpkin pie, apple-cranberry pie, or pumpkin cheesecake. I still feel like a stuffed turkey! Everyone enjoyed the dinner, especially Ollie who decided he needed a whole turkey drumstick. And just a bit ago, I got an email from my daughter-in-law Jo in Puerto Rico sharing their Thanksgiving bounty with me. It is so hard to be apart from family and friends on special holidays, but photos sent across the miles really help.

2019 Life Logs, Days 328: Thinking About the Holidays

2019 Life Logs, Day 328: Thinking About the Holidays
Date: Sunday, November 24, 2019
Weather: Overcast with Rain; High 60, Low 38 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today started with a Skype video call with Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco. It was delightful to see them and catch up on what is happening in their lives. And they got to meet Shadow. He was playing with the big fuzzy ball that Jonah gave him. It is almost as big as him, and the kids enjoyed seeing him at play. At some point in the conversation, Coco was talking about having only two and a half weeks of school after Thanksgiving and that gave me a little jolt. I have been so preoccupied with thinking about getting a puppy and then getting one, that I honestly have not thought about the holidays. So, I spent some of today doing that and then went grocery shopping. And who greeted me at the door of the store but Ollie. He was dressed in his Cub Scout uniform and was passing out donation flyers to shoppers. The flyer was a list of what could be bought while in the store and then given to the Scouts to be donated to the Falmouth Service Center. As Heather noted on her Facebook page, this is one of her favorite days of the year. Watching the young Scouts working so hard to get donations for people who wouldn’t have a turkey for Thanksgiving without their help. Jonah was taking a bathroom break when I arrived, but he returned just as I entered the store. Heather was with Ollie and Jonah and Jed was with Sam at the Service Center receiving and storing all of the donations. Sam said there were so many frozen turkeys donated that the freezers were overflowing. How wonderful! Heather and gang come over for dinner this evening and the boys got their puppy time. Unfortunately, Shadow had been quiet most of the day, so he was a wild one while they were here. But the boys are learning to deal with him when he has too much energy. They take him outside. Of course, it was dark by this time and one boy would run around the perimeter of the house with a flashlight and another would follow with Shadow leading him on his leash. When the boy have too much energy, we often tell them to go outside and run laps around the house. So they are using that same strategy. Fun to watch!

2019 Life Logs, Day 302: New Bedford Historical Tour

2019 Life Logs, Day 302: New Bedford Historical Tour
Date: Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Weather: Overcast with Some Drizzle; High 61, Low 47 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA
The historical tour of New Bedford, Massachusetts, today was so very interesting. Every summer many tourists who drive from New York, Connecticut, or Rhode Island to Cape Cod, pass by New Bedford on the highway, but most don’t stop. I have driven to New Bedford to take the Goldpebbles to the Whaling Museum a few times and I have gone to Zeiterion Theater, but I have never driven through the historic streets. I had no idea they were there. I knew that New Bedford was the whaling capitol of the world in the mid-1800’s, but I knew little else. So today was a true eye opener for me.

We started our day with an hour and half tour of the historic neighborhoods led by Preservation Society guide, Bruce Barnes. He was a wealth of information on types of architecture, on the role of the Quakers in establishing the whaling industry while also offering a safe haven for runaway slaves through the Underground Railroad, and the barons of the textile industry. We saw the home that is now the New Bedford Historical Society. It is an unremarkable structure with a remarkable history. It was once the home of Nathan and Mary “Polly” Johnson, African-American entrepreneurs, who allowed their home to be used as an important stop on the Underground Railroad. Frederick Douglas and his wife Anna lived in the Johnson home at 21 Seventh Street. Abolitionist, William Lloyd Garrison, also lived in this house for a period of time.

Stops were made at the Quaker Friends Meeting House, at the home where “the richest woman in the world” lived in the Gilded Age in the late 1800’s. Henrietta Howland Greene was a shrewd businesswoman and also known as the “witch of Wall Street.”

We saw the home of William Rotch Rodman that was known as the grandest home in New England and visited the the home and gardens of William Rotch, Jr. There were many other stops, but one of our last was at William J. Rotch Gothic Cottage. It is a National Historic Landmark as it was seen as one of the most outstanding examples of American Gothic Revival architecture when it was built. The Quaker Rotch family came to New Bedford from Nantucket and were instrumental in establishing the New Bedford whaling industry.

After our walking tour through the historic district, we walked downtown to the National Park Visitor Center. There we watched the film, The City That Lit the World, learning about the whaling industry. “In January of 1841, a young Herman Melville boarded the whaleship Acushnet, and left the port of New Bedford bound for the distant Pacific Ocean. At 21, Melville was beginning a voyage that he would later drawn on for several novels of seafaring life, including the American classic, Moby-Dick.” Melville spent 18 months on the Acushnet, learning to be a whaler. In Moby-Dick, he wrote of his character Ishmael, “ . . . a whale ship was my Yale College and my Harvard.” After the film, Park Ranger Rufai Shardow, originally from Ghana, gave us a wonderful overview of the role of slavery, the abolitionists and whaling in New Bedford’s history.

We ended our tour by walking across a cobblestone street from the Visitor Center to Freestones City Grill for lunch.Freestones was once one of the 19 banks it took to handle all of the money made in New Bedford from the whaling industry at its peak. Wonderful day. And I will definitely return to New Bedford to learn more.