2024 Life Logs, Day 175: The State of Recoveries

2024 Life Logs, Day 175: The State of Recoveries
Date: Sunday, June 23, 2024
Weather: Rain Overnight, Mostly Sunny Day; Temp 76, Low 71 degrees F
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth, MA

I have had two surgeries in the past six months. Recovery from both has gone really well. I can walk with no pain and for that I am so, so grateful. But as I have worked to get back to doing everyday tasks like sweeping the floors, making beds, or standing in the kitchen for long periods of time cooking, my back gets tired really easily. And if I persist, my back aches. A little sit down to rest takes care of the problem, but I fear this just might be the way things are for me in the future. I have talked to Matt, my physical therapist, about this, and he feels that I just need to give things more time and increase the strengthening exercises. I hope he is right, but for now, I am going to have to continue pacing myself, so I don’t stand too long, and limit things like sweeping with a broom and making beds to short periods of time. Tomorrow will be my 6-week PT assessment of my knee recovery. Matt tells me I am definitely ahead of the curve, but there are still so many things that I need to work on. On Friday he had me working on balance and I was very pleased with my progress in that area. Patience and persistence is the name of the game for both my back and my knee. So, the work continues.

Tomorrow Camp Oma begins for this summer. It is both easier and harder now that the boys are older. Sam is working at Corner Cycle four days a week, and on his days off, he is working on his car or the deck. Jonah still doesn’t have a summer job, so we are going to work on that tomorrow. Ollie and I will still do things every day and include Jonah when he is around. After a little job searching tomorrow, we will probably go to the beach for a couple of hours. Finding things that teenagers like to do is challenging. One thing they all still like to do is eat artichokes, so I had them over for an artichoke dinner tonight.

2024 Life Logs, Day 174: House Cleaning, Mingle & Mix, Visit with the Goldstones

2024 Life Logs, Day 174: House Cleaning, Mingle & Mix, Visit with the Goldstones
Date: Saturday, June 22, 2024
Weather: Overcast, Rain Late Day; Temp 74, Low 67 degrees F
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth, MA

Last night’s rain continued on through part of the night. It stopped by morning, but the sun was hidden by clouds today until the rain returned this evening. It was a wash the bed sheets morning mixed in with a little house cleaning/organization along with doing knee exercises and walking with Shadow. The organization part of house cleaning required a trip to Walmart to buy some large plastic bins for storing winter comforters. And while I was out, I drove down to the beach to buy a summer parking sticker. Oh, my. The line was very long as this was the first day you could buy the stickers at the beach. Somehow the day just slipped away and suddenly it was time to fix an appetizer to take to an Encore Mingle & Mix tonight. That was great fun, and I met some new people. One woman had taken an Uber to get there. She is retired from working with the UN and lives in France near Geneva, Switzerland, but comes to her home here in the summer. She has no car when she is here, so I offered to take her home. After dropping her off, I stopped by to say hello to the Goldstones. Jed is in Italy at a conference and Heather spent her day working on replacing deck flooring and learning how to splice lines for the boat. Both jobs were frustrating as she didn’t really have the tools required. Tomorrow she will focus on trying to get sails on the boat, so hopefully the line splicing she did today all works. She had to buy new lines as during winter storage, a little mouse ate through the lines in the mast. While I was there, Ollie demonstrated some of his CrunchLab projects. His most recent projects have been building a drawing machine and a domino catapult, both great fun to play with.

2024 Life Logs, Day 173: Happy Birthday, Jo!

2024 Life Logs, Day 173: Happy Birthday, Jo!
Date: Friday, June 21, 2024
Weather: Mostly Sunny, Warm, Rainstorm Tonight; Temp 80, Low 66 degrees F
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth, MA

Happy Birthday to my daughter-in-law, Jo. Yesterday I saw a Facebook post showing the family headed from Sussex to Devon on the train.
Then today was the first full day of summer and Justin and Jo played a show tonight under a full moon in Totnes. All for Jo’s birthday! She wrote tonight saying she did have a wonderful day. I am not sure I’ll get to see the full moon tonight because of the stormy sky, but it is supposed to stop raining and maybe the clouds will part. It is flowering time here and the plants need the water, so no complaints.

I started my day early by heading to the hospital for an annual mammogram, followed by a PT session. I came home to spend a little time with Shadow and then I was off the Hyannis for an appointment at Hyannis Honda. For the past three weeks, I have not been able to take the key out of the car ignition. I can get it out, but then it is quite a task to get it back in. Justin first noticed this problem while he was here, and it has just gotten worse. I thought it might cost as much as $500 to get a new ignition lock cylinder installed. Was I ever wrong. The cost for the ignition lock cylinder is $1000 and then it will be another $600 for the installation. The trade in value for my car is less than that! I took the estimate and left and really don’t know what I am going to do. I will check around to see if it is possible to buy a used part and find someone to install it. Currently a 2010 Honda Fit that I paid $11,000 for used in 2014 costs $13,000 to $17,000 and more. In the meantime, I will continue to leave the key in the ignition. I sometimes forget and pull it out and it can take 5 minutes or more to get it back in. I am getting better at remembering.

2024 Life Logs, Day 172: Summer Solstice

2024 Life Logs, Day 172: Summer Solstice
Date: Thursday, June 20, 2024
Weather: Another Gorgeous Day; Temp 73, Low 66 degrees F
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth, MA

At 4:51 pm EST this afternoon, summer officially arrived, making today the longest day of the year. That is the good news. The bad news is that the amount daylight each day diminishes until starting tomorrow until winter equinox in December. For that reason, the winter equinox, not summer solstice, is my favorite day of the year as the daylight starts increasing. But for now, I will just celebrate the beginning of summer and enjoy the daylight hours as long as they last.

I was in Encore meetings all day today. I got home just in time to play outside with Shadow for a few minutes, change into my all white attire, and head to the annual Wear All White summer solstice event hosted my Eileen and Billy Sullivan, members of my wine group.

Everyone really wears all white, and we celebrate the official coming of summer.

On my way home, I stopped by to see Heather, Jed, and the boys to see what have been up to this week. Jonah has been away with a friend and Sam has started his summer work schedule at Corner Cycle. Ollie has been ‘hiding’ in this room for the past two days after getting a badly sunburned back on his afternoon beach celebration on the final day of school on Tuesday. Jed leaves for a conference in Italy tomorrow, so Heather will be a single working mom for the next week. I have to go to Hyannis tomorrow for an afternoon appointment, but I will check in with the boys when I get back to Falmouth. We will figure out how I can be helpful next week while Jed is gone. Camp Oma is very different these days since two of the boys are old enough to be on their own. But I will still be doing things with Ollie on most days, and add Jonah and Sam when they are available.

2024 Life Logs, Day 171: Encore Installation Luncheon on Juneteenth

2024 Life Logs, Day 171: Encore Installation Luncheon on Juneteenth
Date: Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Weather: Gorgeous Day; Temp 74, Low 66 degrees F
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth, MA

On the third Wednesday of June each year, Encore has its Installation Luncheon where the board members for the coming year are sworn in. That happened today at what is known as the Poppy Tent, a summer ‘tent’ beachfront venue attached to the Popponesset Inn in New Seabury. On a gorgeous day like today, if you have to spend time inside, I can’t think of a more beautiful place to spend a couple of hours. The luncheon was lovely. It marks the end of the Encore 2023-2024 year and the beginning of the next year. As co-presidents, Christina Brodie and I spent the hour prior to the luncheon and the three hours afterwards in meetings with members of the 2024-2025 board. We have a full day of meetings tomorrow and then the bulk of the meetings will be completed. We can then relax into summer feeling prepared for the next year.

I was in charge of the meeting today and wanted to honor Juneteenth in some way. So, I used Ollie’s Juneteenth poster quote from Coretta Scott King in my opening remarks. I included it in last Saturday’s log, but I am going to repeat it here. Every time I read it, I realize how true it is. “Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won. You earn it and win it in every generation.” It is the responsibility of each of us to do what we can to continue the struggle for freedom for all people on this earth.

When I got home in the late afternoon, I got a chance to read my emails from today. There was a message from Woodwell Climate Research Center announcing the passing yesterday of 95-year-old Dr. George M. Woodwell. for whom the center is named. Heather came to Woodwell four years ago to help lead the name change from Woods Hole Climate Research Center to honor the founder. I never met George Woodwell, but he is a Woods Hole legend and beloved in the climate change world. “George’s scientific inquiries hit on the biggest environmental issues of the late twentieth century, including DDT, nuclear radiation, and finally, what was, at the time, known as “the carbon dioxide problem.” His testimony at the first Congressional hearing on climate change in 1986 was prescient, and remarkable for the issues he brought forth there—the threat of permafrost thaw, the importance of forests—that have been enduring pillars of climate science, including our work at Woodwell Climate Research Center.” Heather heads up communications for Woodwell, so her day was spent focused on George Woodwell.

2024 Life Logs, Day 170: Vegan Lunch Bunch and Dining-In

2024 Life Logs, Day 170: Vegan Lunch Bunch and Dining-In
Date: Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Weather: Sunny; Temp 72, Low 66 degrees F
Location: At Home on Lakeview Avenue, Falmouth, MA

I guess you could say I ate my way through this day. First, I met with my Vegan Lunch Bunch and had a fabulous lunch and great conversations. Bob and Carol Ann Cronon hosted today and, in addition to preparing the main entrée, Carol Ann gave us a tour of her native plant gardens and shared tips on products they use to minimize plastic packaging. I love being a part of this group as I always come away with new, healthy recipes and ideas for healthy living. It was after 4 pm when I left the Cronin’s and hurried home to get an appetizer ready for my 6 pm Dining-In group. I arrived at what I thought was 5 minutes early but quickly realized that I was late. The time had changed from 6 pm to 5:30 pm, but I hadn’t updated my calendar. The appetizer was a little late, but better late than never. Again, we had a fabulous meal.

My day started at the dermatologist’s office. Last week I noticed a spot on my arm that had changed color, so I made the first appointment I could to get it checked. I was fearful that is melanoma, but I was assured that it is not. I was so grateful to hear that and I promised myself to be better about using sunscreen.

The next two days are even busier than today. I am feeling terribly guilty leaving Shadow alone so much, but he is hanging in there. I did come home to play outside with him between activities today and I started the day with a nice long walk with him before the dermatology appointment.