2019 Life Logs, Day 360: Boxing Day

2019 Life Logs, Day 360: Boxing Day
Date: Thursday, December 26, 2019
Weather: Mostly Cloudy; High 49, Low 30 degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I spent Boxing Day doing as little as possible, certainly no shopping. This cold is certainly the worst one I have ever had and it just keeps hanging on. So, Shadow and I spent a great deal of today just resting. I had to do a little cooking and I made a trip to Heather and Jed’s this morning to get my camera that I had forgotten last night. They were still at home trying to get ready to leave for Maine and they didn’t expect to get on the road until early afternoon. Hopefully they made it safely and will have a few days of rest and relaxation while visiting Jed’s mom. My plans are more of the same, days on the couch cuddling Shadow until this cold is gone

2019 Life Logs, Day 359: Merry Christmas

2019 Life Logs, Day 359: Merry Christmas
Date: Wednesday, December 25, 2019
Weather: Mostly Sunny; High 43, Low 32 degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Jed got home from his trip to the veterinarian in Weymouth at 2 am. A decision was made to bring Zuzu home, keep him quiet and in a box separate from the other two guinea pigs for a week and then assess what should be done. It will depend on how much functionality he regains. But he isn’t in pain for now and since the vet was not able to give an absolute prognosis, it seemed best to give him time to see how he does. Ollie is handling this in his Ollie Lama way, Jonah is very sad, but Sam is having the most difficulty. Christmas morning started with Heather giving the boys the update on Zuzu. They said good morning to him and then they came downstairs to enjoy Christmas. Last year Santa granted Jonah’s wish for a snowboard. That was such a success that this year Santa brought snowboards for Sam and Ollie and Jonah got a snow tube. They will be spending three days at a ski resort at the end of the visit in Maine and will get to try out the new equipment. Heather and Jed got Sam high hat cymbals for his new drum set and I got him a cajon which is a wooden rhythm box. Jonah’s presents were soccer related from both Heather and Jed and from me and Ollie got Gravitraxs from Heather and Jed and an Ollie app-controlled robot from me. We all got a chuckle when the boys opened their gifts from Ziggy and Coco. They each got a balaclava animal mask. Sam got a fox, Ollie a Siberian Husky, and Jonah a cat. They should be a big hit on the ski trail! Jo sent me a photo of Coco with the electric ukulele I sent her, and later in the morning Justin sent a photo of Ziggy starting to assemble the Lego Millennium Falcon I sent to him. It was a wonderful Christmas and before dinner we had a Skype video call with Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco and shared some of the excitement with each other.

After lighting the Menorah candles, which as they melted looked like a work of art, we enjoyed a dinner centered around individual Rock Cornish hens, asparagus, and corn-on-the-cob. We then ended our evening by watching the last half of White Christmas. We weren’t sure that we could enjoy it since it was during that movie on Christmas Eve that Zuzu jumped out of Heather’s arms and was nearly fatally injured. But for now, Zuzu is holding his own and we managed to enjoy the movie. When the movie was over, Shadow and I said our farewells and headed home. Tomorrow the Goldstones head to Maine to spend a few days with Jed’s mother and then go snowboarding for three days before heading home. The kids don’t go back to school until Monday, January 6th, so they won’t return until the weekend just prior. I will really miss them, but I have wonderful memories of our Christmas together to keep me going until they return. And I have my cuddly, new best buddy, Mr. Moonshadow.

2019 Life Logs, Day 358: Christmas Eve

2019 Life Logs, Day 358: Christmas Eve
Date: Tuesday, December 24, 2019
Weather: Beautiful Day; High 43, Low 20 degrees
Location: At Home with the Goldstones, East Falmouth, MA

Christmas Eve was going so beautifully. During the afternoon, we all scurried to get the last presents wrapped while Heather baked bread wreaths and we had a Skype video call with Justin, Jo, Coco, and Ziggy to hear about their Christmas preparations in Puerto Rico. Shadow and I packed up to come spend the night with the Goldstones so we would be here super early on Christmas morning. Before dinner, we opened our Christmas Eve gifts. I bought books for the boys and an Edward Gorey puzzle for Heather and Jed. I got a beautiful scallop shell ornament with the outline of Cape Cod cut out in the center. I bought a grassfed prime rib roast from a local farm and we cooked that for dinner. Our timing was off a bit and the roast was a little too rare for everyone except Sam and Jed, but Jed cut off pieces and quickly pan seared them for the rest of us and it was delicious and so tender. Jonah doesn’t eat meat, so we had a Christmas artichoke for him. After dinner, we were watching White Christmas while cuddling the guinea pigs and Shadow on the couch. Then a beautiful day went awry. Heather went to put Ollie’s guinea pig, Zuzu, back in his home when he jumped out of her hands and fell to the floor. At first he couldn’t move and Heather thought he had broken his back. She desperately tried to find a veterinarian that was open on Christmas Eve. Long story short, he had to be taken first to a vet in Bourne across the bridge and then on to Weymouth, closer to Boston. Heather and Ollie took him to Bourne and there they suggested the vet in Weymouth. Jed went to meet up with Heather and Ollie so they could come home and then he went to Weymouth. When Heather and Ollie got home, it was almost 10 pm, so we all went to bed with the hope that morning would bring better news. I didn’t get up to check the time, but sometime during the night I heard Jed return and then I heard Santa arrive just a little later. So, all is well.

2019 Life Logs, Day 357: Christmas Preparations

2019 Life Logs, Day 357: Christmas Preparations
Date: Monday, December 22, 2019
Weather: Sunny and Warm; High 54, Low 33 degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was unseasonably warm today and that was very helpful as I scurried about doing holiday food shopping. Unfortunately, my cold took a turn for the worse today and that didn’t help. I took time out of the middle of the day to take a nap and then got up and kept going. At 3 pm,


I picked up Sam and Jonah and they came to spend a couple of hours of my house while Heather, Jed, and Ollie went to see Frozen II. Shadow loved having the boys to play with and he holds his own with the soccer ball. While they played, I fixed mushroom, cranberry, and quinoa stuffed acorn squash for dinner. It was going to be dinner time when Heather, Jed, and Ollie returned from the movie, so they were delighted with the dinner invitation. I spent some time wrapping presents tonight, caught up on a little correspondence, and will not head to bed. I have to make one more trip to town for the last food shopping trip in the morning and will then head to Heather and Jed’s to help prepare Christmas Eve dinner. Let the festivities begin!

2019 Life Logs, Day 356: Happy Hanukkah

2019 Life Logs, Day 356: Happy Hanukkah
Date: Sunday, December 22, 2019
Weather: Partly Sunny; High 48, Low 34 degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Yesterday we celebrated solstice and this evening I celebrated the first night of Hanukkah with Heather and family. Earlier in the day, we all went Christmas shopping. The melding of cultures results in an interesting approach to the holiday season. And we seem to do it all and enjoy it. Jed drove Heather and the boys over to my house just after noon. We had a last minute change of plans as Heather and Jed had planned to leave Sam and Jonah with me and they were doing with Ollie to see Frozen II. But when they arrived, the sun was shining and all three boys wanted to spend time playing with Shadow and hanging out down on the dock. It was decided to enjoy the moment, so the movie date was put off until tomorrow afternoon. Jed headed off to do his shopping while the rest of us enjoyed some time outside with Shadow. Then I took Heather and the boys shopping in Mashpee Commons. It was a fun afternoon trying to buy things and keep it a secret from everyone else. But we managed and I think all three boys finalized their Christmas shopping. I dropped Heather and boys at home and headed to downtown Falmouth to pick up a couple of other items. By the time I got home and took Shadow out for a walk, it was time to head to Heather and Jed’s for the first night of Hanukkah festivities. Shadow and I missed the lighting of the menorah, but we ate latkes and leftovers from last night’s solstice celebration and opened the Hanukkah presents I brought. But because I brought presents, Jonah insisted that they give me an early Christmas present first. During our shopping outing, he had bought a Christmas puzzle for me and that was presented to me tonight. I knew Heather wanted a glass and metal spinning tea light holder and I decided to give it to her tonight so they can enjoy it over the next couple of days. She was truly delighted. Evidently, she had ordered the same one for herself but was not sure it was going to arrive in time for Christmas, so getting the one tonight made her very happy.

I had a special present for each boy from Shadow. I can’t divulge the contents as I sent the same thing to Ziggy and Coco in Puerto Rico and they will not open their present until Christmas Eve. But I will say the boys loved the small gift. They also loved the plastic dreidels filled with chocolate gelt. But the hit of the night was the book I bought for the boys but gate to Jed as it needed his dramatic flair to be properly enjoyed by all. It was a book called Meet the Latkes by Michel Silberberg. And Jed’s reading (and Ollie’s additions) did not disappoint. The book is filled with plays on words and middle school humor as it tells the story of Hanukkah and Jed’s reading had us all laughing until we cried. Another delightful evening.

2019 Life Logs, Day 355: Welcome Yule

2019 Life Logs, Day 355: Welcome Yule
Date: Saturday, December 21, 2019
Weather: Mostly Cloudy; High 41, Low 30 degrees
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I spent my day with Jonah and Ollie baking Christmas cookies at my house while Sam stayed home with Heather and Jed. They spent their day preparing to host their solstice celebration for friends beginning at 4 pm. Sam helped Heather make her annual chocolate yule log. When I brought Ollie and Jonah home, Sam was obviously proud of helping to the make the log and Ollie and Jonah were proud of their Christmas cookie contribution for tonight’s celebration to usher out the shortest day of the year. Tonight is the longest night of the year. As winter begins, we start to gain more daylight. And that is something to celebrate. After dropping off Jonah and Ollie, I headed back home to spend some time with Shadow and then returned later in the evening. I missed Jed lighting the fire in the fireplace as friends arrived and Heather reading The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper. But what a beautiful poem and what a beautiful way to usher in winter and the new year. And I must add that as the moment of winter solstice arrived at 11:19 pm, Shadow and I were sitting here watching a Christmas favorite, It’s a Wonderful Life, with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. And now to bed for the longest night.

The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper

So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!!