2018 Life Logs, Day 23—Tai Chi to National Town Hall on Facebook

2018 Life Logs, Day 23—Tai Chi to National Town Hall on Facebook
Date: Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Weather: Stormy with Lots of Rain; High 51, Low 36 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Wow! I just finished watching The Medicare for All National Town Hall live on Facebook from Washington, DC, moderated by Bernie Sanders. As he said tonight and has maintained for y64 ears, “It’s time to make health care a right.” But what I was most impressed with tonight was that using Facebook as the vehicle for this town meeting, there were no commercials, no corporate institutions making demands on what could and what could not be presented. There were three panels, each representing different groups, one medical, one business, and one international. It was an impressive hour and 45 minutes and I applaud Senator Sanders for continuing to bring information to the American public.

My day started with a phone call from Justin and then Tai Chi class. When I explained to Justin that I had to get off the phone to go to Tai Chi, he responded by saying that I seem to spend a lot of time going to the gym. Tai Chi is not the same as exercise at the gym, but it is true that I dedicate a portion of each day to exercise. The addition of Tai Chi is simply adding a piece of calm to my life and it adds learning something new. There are 64 moves in the type of Tai Chi practiced by the group I attend, and I am only on move number 3. It will take a couple of years to learn all 64 moves and then you spend the rest of your life trying to master those moves.

Justin is still playing catch-up trying to complete business projects that were started before Maria hit. He was already paid for some of those projects, so most of the work he is doing now is not bringing in new money. But completing those jobs is what will keep his business afloat. He is working long, long hours, but hopefully he will soon finish off the old jobs and start working on the new. And at least there are jobs. But I know working 18 hours a day is no fun. Jo’s sister and her family are visiting this week from England, so hopefully Justin will be able to take a break and enjoy time with the family.

We had lots of rain here today. Heather was in Boston, but I sent a text offering to go pick up Sam at the bus stop after school. He has to walk about a half mile from there to home and it was pouring. Heather got back to me saying that she was sure Sam would appreciate that, so I picked up Sam and couple of other kids from neighborhood and drove them home. The heavens decided to literally dump on us just about the time their bus arrived, so I was glad that I had made the offer. I had to go to the grocery store anyway, so as long as I was out and about, picking the kids up was no problem. And the bonus was that I got to see Sam’s new drum set that he got for his birthday and he gave me a private concert. As Heather said over the weekend, there is probably a teenage basement band in the making.

I made chicken mineral bone broth today which is all day affair. I totally forgot to pick up the canner and jars when I was at Heather’s this afternoon, so I will have to get those things tomorrow. But the broth is made and will be fine in the refrigerator for a day or so. Tomorrow I hope to finally get my new water filtering system up and running. That was a goal for today, but I just didn’t get there. Thankfully there is always tomorrow!

2018 Life Logs, Day 22—Work Away, Work A Day

2018 Life Logs, Day 22—Work Away, Work A Day
Date: Monday, January 22, 2018
Weather: Overcast with Some Rain; High 39, Low 37 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

It seems like a very long time when I have looked my calendar for the week and saw almost no commitments. But this looks like one of those weeks. I have my daily commitment to early morning classes at the gym, but otherwise, I have a free week. So, I launched my week by attacking some of those little jobs about the house that always seem to be lurking. I rearranged kitchen cabinets and cleaned out parts of my ‘pantry’. Since this is a small apartment with no pantry, when we moved in here I bought an old tv cabinet that serves as my pantry. I didn’t make a huge amount of progress, but I got started. Fantastic! I also did some cooking and some food shopping. Tomorrow I will attempt to be put together my new Big Berkey water filtration system and make chicken mineral broth from the remains of the chicken I roasted today.

2018 Life Logs, Day 21—Happy Birthday, Sam

2018 Life Logs, Day 21—Happy Birthday, Sam
Date: Sunday, January 21, 2018
Weather: Sunny; High 50, Low 29 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Sam turned eleven today and the theme was drums. This year Sam is playing drums in the school band and this morning Heather and Jed unveiled a new drum set-up in the basement. Then this afternoon, my present to Sam to was to take the whole family to New Bedford to see Yamato perform at the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center. Yamato is a percussion ensemble from Japan. They take the ancient art of taiko drumming into the 21st century. We had read that taiko drumming is a physical, as well as a musical experience, but we didn’t really know what to expect. There are nine drummers, some of who also play other classical Japanese instruments with a modern twist. They move and play the drums together as if they are one. Think sitting cross-legged on a bench suspended in the air and leaning back and coming up like doing sit-ups while playing huge drums in front of you, and then leaping in the air, down to the stage to start playing a new set of drums and not missing a beat. For two hours, no words are spoken, but they communicate completely through body language. In addition to be incredibly talented whether playing tiny hand cymbals or gigantic drums, they are funny and they include audience participation—something for everybody. All of us really enjoyed the show, but at intermission we were a bit sad to find out the Patriots were losing to the Jaguars. Then at the end of the show we checked our phones and found out the Patriots pulled out another win. So, we were doubly happy—great show and the Patriots will be in the Superbowl. Woohoo!!! I picked out a sports pub in a bit of a shady part of town for dinner (didn’t understand the location when I chose it), but it turned out to be a great place to watch the Vikings-Eagles first half while enjoying good food with a Portuguese twist. If you saw the opening of this game, you were probably as overwhelmed as we were. A retired Navy officer singing the Star-spangled Banner was spectacular with the back drop of an American flag big enough to cover the entire football field. And then a bald eagle soared across the field. Maybe this happens all the time, but for those of us who watch very little football, this game opener was dramatic. Minnesota got off to a great start, but that was it for them. It will be the Patriots against the Eagles in Super Bowl LII. And to top it all off, it was sunny and warm today with a high temp hitting 50 degrees F, so I went for a two mile walk by the ocean this morning. It was a good day in this part of New England.

2018 Life Logs, Day 20—Sam’s Birthday Weekend

2018 Life Logs, Day 20—Sam’s Birthday Weekend
Date: Saturday, January 20, 2018
Weather: Warmer with South Winds; High 45, Low 31 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Oh, my. They grow up so quickly. My oldest grandchild, Samuel Ellery Goldstone, will be 11 years old tomorrow. I have a hard time believing it has been 11 years since Mark and I flew home from New Zealand for his birth. But it has been 11 years and Sam is growing up. I went to Heather’s late morning to help with some birthday projects. Sam’s party with friends was tonight, but he will get his birthday present from mom and dad tomorrow. He doesn’t know it, but he is getting a full drum set. So today the basement needed to be cleaned out to make a space for drumming. I made a run to take things to the swap shop at the city dump and to take cardboard to be recycled. Jed had to drive off Cape to get the drum set and then he had to go to work in Woods Hole, so I returned to help Heather clean out the basement. I had a dresser that belonged to my family stored in the basement room where the drums need to go, so I got that in my car, along with boxes and bags of more things that need to be donated. By 3 pm, we had the basement looking better than I have seen it for a long time, so I took off with my carload to go to the donation bins and then home to unload. It was then time to return to pick up Jonah and Ollie to take them to dinner. Sam’s request for a party this year was to have four good friends come for dinner out and then an overnight. He requested that little brothers not be a part of the dinner and not be in the same for the overnight. Fair enough. So, I was to take Jonah and Ollie to dinner. Sam requested that he and his friends go to the British Beer Company and yesterday he told me he thought I should take Jonah and Ollie to the same place, just not the same table. Growing pains. You love your brothers and want them close by, just not too close! Fair enough. Jonah and Ollie agreed with the plan, so we all went to dinner at the same place and had two completely separate experiences. You can make reservations for six or more, but not for three. So, when we arrived, Sam and crew had a table in the main restaurant, but it was going to be a thirty-minute wait for Jonah, Ollie, and myself unless we wanted to eat at one of the high tables in the bar. At first Jonah didn’t like that idea, but when we went in and sat at the table to wait, he decided it was a great idea. We could watch all the games on the tv’s and we had quite an interesting dinner conversation about football. Even Ollie was quite knowledgeable about football teams and we all discussed who we like and who we don’t and why. It was a fun evening and after a quick run on the beach (across the street from the BBC), we returned home for the opening of presents and birthday cake. We all got a kick out of one of Sam’s presents, a book called A Manual to Manhood, touting how to cook a perfect steak, change a tire, impress a girl, and 97 other skills you need to survive! Like his dad, angel food cake is Sam’s favorite, drizzled with chocolate, so that was the birthday fare.

Tomorrow, Sam’s actual birthday, will be a continuation of the festivities. My gift this year is an ‘experience’—tickets for all of us to attend a performance of a Japanese drumming troupe called Yamato. After Sam’s friend leave tomorrow morning, he will get his drum set gift and then mid-afternoon we will head off-Cape for the Yamato drumming experience.

Amidst the birthday celebrations, I watch with disbelief at our government shutdown. I support the Democrats in their insistence on a clear and free deal for DACA, but I just don’t understand why this couldn’t have been settled before now. And I applaud those who turned out for the women’s marches around the country today. My heart was with all those who gathered in Cambridge. I stayed up very late last night watching what was happening in the Senate chamber leading up to the midnight shutdown of the government. You could see, but not hear, what was happening on the floor, and I could see clearly that our Massachusetts senator, Elizabeth Warren, was in the fight to the end. So proud to have such a strong female senator representing Massachusetts. And Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Maggie Hassen of New Hampshire were right there with Elizabeth Warren.

2018 Life Logs, Day 19—Swedish Dinner with Friends

2018 Life Logs, Day 19—Swedish Dinner with Friends
Date: Friday, January 19, 2018
Weather: Another Sunny Day; High 34, Low 30 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Studio, Falmouth, MA

Our Newcomers Dining In group met tonight at the home of Karen and Peter Baranowski. Karen inherited her Swedish cooking expertise from her grandmother and we were the lucky recipients of a wonderful dinner tonight. We started with appetizers provided by Bruce and Jane Woodin and Terry and Olivia White. Bruce and Jane brought a fabulous baked brie with blueberries in a golden crust. We pretended the blueberries were lingonberries to make it Swedish. Olivia and Terry brought baked cheddar cheese and olive balls, not Swedish but delicious. Then Karen and Peter served the main meal of koldomar (Swedish meat stuffed cabbage), köttbullar (Swedish meatballs) in a wonderful yogurt and fresh chives cream, raggmunk (Swedish potato pancakes) with more of the yogurt and chives cream, and fresh applesauce brought by Midge and Bill Frieswyk. The dinner was spectacular. I provided the Swedish Tea Ring as dessert. I think we all left stuffed and happy. We won’t meet again until late March, but I will look forward to the friendship and culinary delights.