2023 Life Logs, Day 49: In Vermont

2023 Life Logs, Day 49: In Vermont
Date: Saturday, February 18, 2023
Weather: Cloudy, Some Rain; High 53, Low 13 degrees F
Sunrise and Sunset in East Falmouth: 6:33 am – 5:21 pm (+4 minutes)
Location: At Home at Cinnamon Sticks, West Dover, VT

We all made it! Our AirBnB is called Cinnamon Sticks. It is perfect for the ten of us. I left Falmouth with Shadow just afternoon and we arrived in North Hampton three hours later. I met up with Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco who drove up from New Haven, Connecticut. They spent yesterday afternoon in New York City and left there after 5 pm. They only got as far as New Haven when they decided they were too tired to continue and then traveled on north today. Ziggy and Coco came with me, as Justin and Jo were going to a show in Springfield tonight. Heather and Jed didn’t leave Falmouth until mid-afternoon, so Ziggy and Coco and I unloaded my car that was fully loaded top to bottom, front to back with food. There was barely room for the kids to sit, but we made it. There is snow on the ground here, so Ziggy and Coco played outside in the snow while I fixed dinner. Everything was going great until I turned the oven on. I heard a pop and then saw a wisp of smoke. I turned it off immediately and that stopped the smoke and electrical burning smell, but whatever happened in the oven, blew out the breakers for the heating in the house and for the stove top which is separated from the stove. All of this happened just as Heather and Justin arrived, so there was a flurry of activity to try and reset breakers. Heather was communicating with the owner who was in flight to Singapore. He was very apologetic and once he landed, he was able to help Heather and Jed troubleshoot so that we finally got the stove top working and the heat back on. There was a second set of breakers in the garage we didn’t know about. The oven will need an electrician and we might just have to do without one. I had turned in on to heat hard taco shells. While we were troubleshooting the kitchen stove, Sam started a fire in the wood stove in the living room and we used a cast iron skillet I brought with me to fashion a stove top oven. All is well that ends well. The important thing is that we are all together, and other than the electrical glitch, the house seems perfect for us.

2023 Life Logs, Day 13: Friday the 13th

2023 Life Logs, Day 13: Friday the 13th
Date: Friday, January 13, 2023
Weather: Overcast, Rain and Wind; High 54, Low 36 degrees F
Sunrise and Sunset: 7:08 am & 4:35 pm
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Being superstitious, I did not stray far from home on this Friday the 13th. It was raining hard this morning, so Shadow and I did our walking and playing in the afternoon. I basically spent my whole day working on a puzzle of 99 Beautiful Places on Earth. I see only one of the 99 squares looks very similar to a photo I took on Railay Beach in Thailand in 2008.

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Mine was not photo shopped to make the sand look so light.

I have been to some of the other places, but don’t have similar photos. I started this puzzle a few years ago when my friend Lynne came to visit. But she loves to work jigsaw puzzles and took over and finished it. So, I decided to keep it and work it again someday. I started it a few days ago and even after working on it for much of today, I am still making slow progress. But I will get there.

I’m looking forward to two more days of little activity other than puzzling and reading, and maybe watching a movie. Heather and family headed to Maine with friends this afternoon for the three-day weekend. All I have to do this weekend is feed their cats once a day and water plants for friends who are living it up in Mexico. Another friend is in Hawaii and sending photos each day to share the beauty with friends. Looking at her photos is making me long for those days of sailing the South Pacific on Windbird. Heather and Ollie return from Maine late on Sunday night so Ollie can participate with his class in reciting parts of the “I Have a Dream” speech at the MLK National Holiday Community Breakfast, hosted by No Place for Hate – Falmouth, on Monday morning. Ollie is so proud that he memorized most of the speech and he really wanted to come home to participate. I will attend the breakfast and then maybe Heather, Ollie, and I will have a fun day together. Workmen are going to be installing a heat pump system in their home on Monday and that involves cutting holes in the walls for new heating ducts. Heather might have to check in to make sure things are moving along, but there is no need for Ollie to be in the house. Tuesday I lead the field trip to the Edward M Kennedy Institute in Boston, my Dining-in group meets on Wednesday, and Friday my wine group meets here. I’ll enjoy my two quiet days before the activity ramps up again.

2022 Life Logs, Day 358: The Gift of Snow for Christmas Eve

2022 Life Logs, Day 358: The Gift of Snow for Christmas Eve
Date: Saturday, December 24, 2022
Weather: Cold and Snowy: High 30, Low 20 degrees F
Sunrise and Sunset: 7:08 am & 4:18 pm
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Merry Christmas to all on this Christmas Eve of 2022. This morning Shadow and I awoke to a world covered in a blanket of white snow, albeit a very thin blanket. But as the day progressed, we got more snow–just enough to have a White Christmas, but not enough to cause trouble with driving on the roads. It was just perfect. Tonight, Heather and family came here for a Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes. We cheated and had sushi take-out with the addition of Duxbury and Barnstable oysters and calamari. Sam shucked the oysters with an oyster knife I was given as a gift. The Duxbury oysters were by far the best and enjoyed by all. After dinner, we exchanged ornaments. Heather got gold camels for all of us while in Egypt for COP 27 and I gave glass candy canes to the boys. They looked so real they wanted to lick them! Then we opened a game I bought for us to play. It was Poetry for Neanderthals, a game I played with Justin and family when I visited for Thanksgiving. The Goldstones had played it before at a friend’s house, and we all had a great time playing tonight.

Since both families now play this game, we will have a great time playing against each other when we gather in Vermont in February.

Justin and family in Puerto Rico had high tea for Christmas Eve and lighted the twenty-four candles that they light each year on this day. Ziggy and Coco each got a stuffed animal. They looked like they were having a merry Christmas Eve and we surely had one here. Here’s hoping each of you had the same. Now on to Santa and Christmas Day.

2022 Life Logs, Day 345: Christmas Shopping with Ollie, Dinner and a Movie

2022 Life Logs, Day 345: Christmas Shopping with Ollie, Dinner and a Movie
Date: Sunday, December 11, 2022
Weather: Overcast with Light Drizzle, A Few Snowflakes: High 37, Low 33 degrees F
Sunrise and Sunset: 7:01 am & 4:13 pm
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

We lost 2 more minutes of daylight today. Surely glad winter solstice is next Wednesday.

I picked Jonah up from Joey Keefe’s where he spent the night and delivered him home late morning. Sam’s friend Robert had spent the night with him, and he was still there when I arrived. Both Jonah and Sam were supposed to go camping last night, but it was cold and raining and they opted out. Ollie and Jed did go, and they came home this morning. Shortly after getting Jonaah home, Heather and Jonah took off for an afternoon of Futsol games west of Boston. Jed had to go to work for an hour or so, and Sam was working on waxing his snowboard. Ollie had not slept well and was a bit grumpy, but he went to Highfield Hall with me to tour the mansion in holiday ‘dress’. He wasn’t enthusiastic at first, but then got all excited by the craft ideas on display. He even chose to go to the craft room and start making a Christmas present for ‘a family member’. We then headed downtown and made a stop at the French bakery which livened him up even more. Then we went to Ben and Bill’s Candy Shop for candy decorations for the gingerbread houses, to Michael’s and Walmart to get more craft items, and finally back home. I had planned to do a laundry but forgot to bring it, so I headed home and returned with my bag of dirty clothes. By this time everyone was home, and I ended up staying for pizza for dinner while we watched White Christmas. Sam was so shocked that I would eat pizza that he fell off the sofa. So “unOma” he said. My only defense was that I wanted to watch the movie and not have to go home late and fix dinner. I will survive having pizza once! And it was delicious. Heather and Jed make the best pizza ever. I don’t object to homemade pizza, it is just that I avoid eating anything gluten.

Now I need to go pack and get to bed. I leave here late morning to take Shadow to Heather and Jed’s for the week and then catch the bus to Boston. My flight to Charlotte is not until 3:50, but when you have to coordinate bus times, it takes all day for a two-and-a-half-hour flight. I talked to my sister tonight and am excited to go see her for a few days. Growing up, I always thought of my sister Patsy as Rosemary Clooney in Bing Crosby’s White Christmas movie. In my mind, my sister Margie was the dancer, Vera-Ellen, in that movie. My sister Margie loved nothing more than tap dancing on table tops. I have a Christmas photo of the three of us sisters, circa 1960, when I was thirteen. My sister Patsy was pregnant, but she still wore that Rosemary Clooney page boy hair style. And in the photo, my sister Margie looks like she is ready to hop up and dance. Wonderful memories.

2022 Life Logs, Day 313: Feeling Proud

2022 Life Logs, Day 313: Feeling Proud
Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2022
Weather: Sunny and Cool; High 51, Low 44 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

My day started on a high note. I watched a live stream of Heather moderating a panel at the climate conference in Egypt. I am always in awe of her abilities, but it was a very proud moment for this mom. I watched and kept taking photos of my computer screen to preserve the moment. Tonight, I told the Goldpebbles about their mom leading the panel discussion, explaining that it was just one of probably hundreds of side panel presentations at COP27, but still quite an accomplishment. Jed mentioned that his mom had watched as well and said she had noted that you could always see Heather, no matter how far back the camera zoomed, as she had on her power red jacket. Sam got a laugh out of that as he pointed out it is the same jacket Jonah wore on Halloween as The Joker. I love teenagers!

I also felt so relieved over the election results and felt so proud to be an American. For the most part, so far it seems that most candidates are giving acceptance or concession speeches as in a normal US election prior to 2016. That feeling of normalcy feels so good. We don’t know the final outcome, and some of my favorite candidates from around the country did not win, but it felt to me that democracy won the day. This afternoon I watched Biden’s press conference and felt proud again. I thought he set just the right tone for moving forward.

Monday night of this week I drove Jonah to soccer practice, last night I went on a full moon walk to a beach, and tonight I again drove Jonah to soccer practice. I think I get to stay home tomorrow night. Then on Friday morning, I will head downtown for the Veteran’s Day parade and program as the Goldpebbles will be in the parade. Then I am going to focus on getting ready for my visit to Puerto Rico. I will arrive there next Wednesday, and spend eight days with Justin, Jo, Ziggy, and Coco, before returning home in the wee hours of day after Thanksgiving. I am really looking forward to spending time with Ziggy and Coco, and of course, Justin and Jo.

2022 Life Logs, Day 162: Reunion with My Shadow

2022 Life Logs, Day 162: Reunion with My Shadow
Date: Saturday, June 11, 2022
Weather: Sunny; High 76, Low 60 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Shadow might possibly be ill-behaved, but I sure was so happy to be reunited with him today. I really missed him, and I think he missed me. As soon as I arrived to pick him up, after jumping all over me, he got in the back seat of the car and somehow managed to shut the door behind him. It was obvious he was ready to head home.

I picked up Jonah on the way home so he could cut Shirley’s grass, and while he was doing that, I gathered sailing charts for the northeast. Next weekend Heather and Jed go to Maine for the the survey and sea trials for the sailboat they hope to own soon. If all goes well, the following weekend they will return for the closing and begin sail home. That will happen in stages over a couple of weekends. But sometime in July, there should be a new ‘Goldstone’ sailboat on a mooring in Marion.