2022 Life Logs, Day 332: Taking Care of Business

2022 Life Logs, Day 332: Taking Care of Business
Date: Monday, November 28, 2022
Weather: Sunny Early, Turning Cloudy, Then Sunny PM; High 59, Low 33 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This entire day was spent taking care of business, first mine and then my sister’s. I had an early appointment to have blood work done for an upcoming annual physical exam. Then there was a chiropractor appointment, followed by an appointment with a neurosurgeon to go over the results of my recent MRI. The result of all of this is to keep walking, walking, walking, biking, and add some aerobic exercise to keep the stenosis in my spine from getting worse. And to do one more round of prednisone to reduce swelling. The neurosurgeon tried to talk me into getting a cortisone shot in my lower back, but I talked him into waiting to see how things are after the prednisone. His report states that I am a “good candidate for an L4-5 (lower spine) minimally invasive laminectomy” but I will put that off until I can’t walk! Actually, despite the symptoms I have been having, the recent MRI looked better than the one in 2020. At least that was encouraging.

I spent my evening dealing with medical and financial issues for my sister and found that I am going to have to make a trip to Charlotte before Christmas to deal with things there. More fun!

2022 Life Logs, Day 331: More Yardwork with Ollie and Sam

2022 Life Logs, Day 331: More Yardwork with Ollie and Sam
Date: Sunday, November 27, 2022
Weather: Overcast and Warm, Rain Late; High 56, Low 48 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

More fall yard clean-up was the name of the game today. Late morning, Heather brought Sam and Ollie over to work in Shirley’s yard. Heather stayed and helped for a bit and then went to help Jed with the boat covering project. Jonah stayed home and was on house cleaning duty. I love watching Ollie hauling leaves with his little tractor and Sam is a hero when he pulls the unwanted vines the size of your arm out of the hedges. Heather came back and picked up Ollie to take him home with her to do yardwork there. I kept Sam for another hour to finish up here and when I took him home, I stayed and helped Heather and Ollie bag leaves to bring home with me for my ‘land fill’ project. Heather had raked a lot of leaves into a pile in her front garden area and at one point, Ollie jumped right in and all I could see of him was his face! I drove home with a carload of leaf bags filled to the brim, but I didn’t get a chance to dump them. It was getting dark, so I played ball with Shadow for a bit. Then when I went to get the leaf bags out of the car, it started raining. That job will have to wait until the rain stops. I went inside and was trying to figure out what to fix for dinner when I got a call from Jed inviting me to their house for sushi. Problem solved. Sushi it was for dinner.

2022 Life Logs, Day 330: Yardwork Day with Ollie

2022 Life Logs, Day 330: Yardwork Day with Ollie
Date: Saturday, November 26, 2022
Weather: Partly Cloudy; High 50, Low 41 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Heather and Jed were super busy today delivering Sam and Jonah to soccer practice in Harwich at two different times and in between, working on covering Eider/Ardenna for the winter, and various other projects. They asked if I might be with Ollie and, of course, I said yes. I always love having alone time with any one of the boys. Heather and Jed needed to have bottles recycled and Ollie loves to go to the redemption center to out the bottles into the “crunching” machine. We did that, then we headed to my house with his little tractor, the lawn mower, and the leaf blower. We managed to spend the rest of the day doing yard work and having fun while doing it. It is supposed to rain tomorrow afternoon, so if the rain does hold off until then, we might continue the yardwork in the morning. There are still plenty of leaves that need to be dealt with.

Mark and I covered Windbird in the winters that we lived aboard in Boston and here on the Cape by shrink wrapping the boat with clear plastic. But in order to be able to climb in and out of the boat, we built a structure out of metal conduit pipe. We kept the pipe and today Jed used it to build a structure on top of their boat to hold their canvas cover. I love the idea that something that was used on Windbird is now being passed on to Heather and Jed’s boat.

2022 Life Logs, Day 329: Puerto Rico to Boston to Cape Cod

2022 Life Logs, Day 329: Puerto Rico to Boston to Cape Cod
Date: Friday, November 25, 2022
Weather: Rainy and Cool; High 54, Low 35 degrees F
Location: Back Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Just returned from the ten-day trip to Puerto Rico to visit with my son Justin and his beautiful family. Each day was a new discovery. We enjoyed spending time on their little piece of paradise they call Finca Maravilla. The view of tropical plants that is right in front of you when you sit on the front porch is just beautiful. And the constant parade of animals is always fun to watch . . . Hopi the pony, Rabbit the pig, the five cats, five dogs, and chickens and rabbits. I truly enjoyed Rincon’s beaches and Aguada’s beautiful waterfalls, both just a 10-15 minute drive from home and the walk to the river through the woods close to the farm. We spent time on Rincon’s plaza and enjoyed dinners out–sushi, Brazilian, and Cowboys all American fare. I got to meet some of Ziggy and Coco’s friends and enjoyed a Puerto Rican Festival at their school, Foresta. We all enjoyed Discovery Day in Aguada where Christopher Columbus arrived on November 19, 1493. Everyone in town, including Justin and Coco, rode their horses out of the hills and out onto the beach to celebrate. Then there were the times I just sat on the porch enjoying the view of tropical greenery and at night listening to the call of Puerto Rico’s little frog, the coqui. The Thanksgiving feast was a spectacular culminating event with contributions from all. Ziggy made pies and Coco made a Thanksgiving turkey out of fruit while Jo performed magic in the kitchen.

Thank you, Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco, for all of the wonderful experiences plus the card games and constant bad jokes by Coco and Justin. It was eight days jam-packed with fun and precious family time.

2022 Life Logs, Day 328—Happy Turkey Day

2022 Life Logs, Day 328—Happy Turkey Day
Date: Thursday, November 24, 2022
Weather: Sunny AM, Rain PM, Clearing; High 91, Low 75 degrees F
Location: At Home with JJZ&C, Rincon, Puerto Rico

It was a Happy Turkey Day and I hope each of you had a Happy Thanksgiving as well. Here at Finca Maravilla, there was a flurry of getting food ready during the morning. Jo made her delicious pecan pie with a grain-free crust this morning, while I made a pumpkin pie. With Ziggy’s apple pie, we had a trio of pies. Jo got the turkey in the oven, made broth, mashed potatoes, baked pana (breadfruit), and stuffing. Ziggy and I made Granddad’s cranberry salad yesterday and today I got the Brussels sprouts ready to roast. Then the afternoon, I worked with Coco to make her fruit turkey. It was spectacular.

Before doing the fruit turkey, I made one last attempt at clearing downed branches from Hurricane Fiona and cutting down some of the forest of Caesar weed growing. in various places. It is just now in bloom, and I was hoping to get all of it cut down before the burrs come on in full force. It is a beautiful weed with pink blossoms, but it spreads like wildfire. Jo worked on getting more seeds plants, but neither of us got a huge amount done as it was 91 degrees this afternoon.

Thanksgiving dinner was truly a feast. Before we ate, I suggested that we share something for which we were grateful. Coco blew us all away when she said, with great seriousness, “I am thankful for my fingers . . . because I can always count on them.” She loves a good joke and caught us all by surprise with that one! We ate around 4 in the afternoon and then drove to Steps Beach to watch the sunset. It was not spectacular tonight because it was cloudy, but the trip made for a much needed break between dinner and dessert. We heard from Heather and family while we were out. With the hour difference in time, they were just sitting down to dinner while we were watching the sun go down. So, after we got home and had dessert, we had our Skype call. Coco shared many of her Thanksgiving jokes and the Goldpebbles shared some of theirs. I have a feeling when we get together in Vermont in February, everyone will come with a few jokes to share.

Tonight, we played Poetry for Neanderthals. Fun game. Now it is time to get to bed as Justin as I have to get up at 1:45 am to get me to the airport in Aguadilla for a 4 am flight home. Ouch! Hopefully, I will be able to sleep some on the way home. I have had a wonderful visit and look forward to returning, t this same time next year. It was great that Ziggy and Coco didn’t have school this week so we could visit, and the weather was spectacular. I look forward to coming home to my Shadow and the Goldstones, but I am not looking forward to coming back to cold weather.