A Story From My Youth

A long time ago, when I was just a little girl, I lived in a time when we did not have to worry about letting our kids go out and play.

My Mom would finish feeding us breakfast in the summer and then shoo us outside to play. After my sister, brother and Uncle had taught me to ride my trusty Schwinn Bicycle, I would often take off to go see my little part of the world.

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We lived near a beautiful beach, Surf Drive Beach. I’d grown up there, learning to swim, and becoming aware that no matter what, the Ocean would always be calling my name.

Falmouth 1968Me, about 8 or 9 years old with my kittens.

During the summer months, the trusty Lifeguards would blow their whistles if you ventured off onto the Jetties. But during the offseason, I would ride my bike to the beach and walk out on the Jetties to enjoy the sounds, the smell and the peace of the Sea.

MB Surf DriveMe at Surf Drive Beach. Still, my spiritual home.

I felt so free there. With no creature around except the Seagulls, the Hermit Crabs and the gentle lap of the ocean water against the boulders that shaped the Baby Pool.

I would sit there and turn my face toward the sky, feeling the sun beating down upon my face. I could taste the salt on my lips. For me, this was Heaven on Earth.

I would stay there until I started to feel hungry and then I would ride the five minutes it took me, back to our home. Mom would have sandwiches ready along with Kool-Aid, the popular kiddie drink of the 1960s. Occasionally it would be Hawaiian Punch or milk, but for some reason, Mom was a Kool-Aid gal.

After lunch, we were shown the door again and told to come home when the Bell rang. Mom had a big old Bell she would ring, alerting us that dinner would soon be served.

At times the Ocean would call me, but quite often I would ride my bike around town. I would ride to the Falmouth Harbor and check out the different boats. I would often see the fishermen bringing in their catch. So long ago, when Falmouth still had a big fishing community.

I loved to ride up and down Main Street. I knew most of the local merchants and if I saw them, I would give them a wave.

Sometimes when I would get home for dinner, Mom would tell me that Mrs. So&So had seen me out on my bike.

I loved the feel of the sunshine on my face and the wind in my hair. It was only much later that I realized that I had been given a great gift. I grew up on Cape Cod, in the 1960s before the year-round crowds and it was back when children had so much freedom.

I would arrive at home around 5 o’clock and would hear the bell gong announcing that it was time to come in. My bike would go in the back yard, I would come in, wash up and Mom would have the dinner on our table. Dad was usually there. (He was a Summertime Police Dispatcher, during those months. We brought his supper to him at the Station on a tin pie plate covered with foil.) Also at the table were my sister, Melodie, and brother Dickie. Mom was a great cook, and she varied her meals. My favorite was her Lasagna or American Chop Suey. She also made the very best Boston Baked Beans. Dinner time was family time as we all caught up on our day.

Baths were taken, TV watched and then I would climb into my bed. My sheets felt like cool cream. Soft and comforting.

I never had trouble falling asleep, probably because I never sat down during the entire day. I explored, I enjoyed, and I appreciated all that was around me.

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A little glimpse into what growing up on Cape Cod in the 1960s was like for me.

This & That March 18, 2020

I thought today I would just keep myself busy and everything would be okay. I started the day by continuing to program my computer and eventually I solved the big problem of getting the new machine to talk to our Main Computer, which handles all important things, like Printers.

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Oh my goodness, I worked so hard to remember all that my friend Brad had taught me, and in the end, I think I can say he would be proud of me.

Then I set about cooking. I wanted to get the Corned Beef in the oven on a low heat early. It requires you to just about cook it to death. Unfortunately, when I checked it recently, I’m not sure it’s a score. The vegetables will be okay, but we may have to search for different meat to eat. I’m disappointed.

Meanwhile, I boned a chicken and I am making my own Chicken Stock, and I will make a Cabbage and Chicken Soup. It’s yummy with a mixture of vegetables and it is a low point meal for me.

The stock is coming out well and smells so good. I will let it simmer in the crockpot overnight, then make the soup tomorrow.

I also decided to wash all my kitchen potholders. Why? Well, because I thought they needed it and why not?

Lili celebrated her birthday with a Doggy Cookie Cake and a new toy. Lili loves her stuffed animal toys so we bought her a new one. A fuzzy little Bunny. She loves it.

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Arnie is feeling better since his tooth extraction and although he isn’t eating crunchy food yet, he is eating and is happy.

Anneliese was thrilled to find snow had fallen this morning and she ran outside with such glee! Yes, I said that we had snow, just a dusting really, on St. Patrick’s Day!

I weighed in a day early and I have lost another 1.2 pounds. Usually, I weigh in on Wednesday at WW Class, but they have been canceled until further notice.

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Fortunately, I have a good scale at home and decided that I will not quit despite the stress I feel right now.

I will not give up!

So, that’s about it from the northern climes. Life is going on, quietly so. But we are blessed as we have managed not to get sick. nock on wood!

Take care, Gentle Readers.

PS: I was able to write this entire post without interruption! How I love this new computer!

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Happy Sixth Birthday Lili!!!

Today our Lili is six years young! Hard to believe it! Time has flown! Our little St. Patrick’s Day Pup will get a special dog food molded cake with five mini dog bones for candles! Bless you, Lili, you really are a gem.

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Lili

We found that Lili would have been great fun in a Circus. She loves to run and jump and run some more. A true whirling dervish! Winter is her favorite time, as she enjoys being able to leap through the snow at full speed. It’s like watching a deer.

Lili is the sweetest girl and has developed a wonderful relationship with our smallest dachshund. The two are devoted to each other and sleep curled up together a great deal of the time at night. Lili is also the Dackel Bodyguard. She goes outside with them and watched should the Bald Eagle, or a stray dog threaten them.

She is amazingly intelligent. She follows commands and has become a retriever. Let me explain. If one of the dachshunds is out and is taking too long, I will say, “Lili, go get Anneliese” and she will run off and herd her back to the door. She seems to love having jobs to do.

Likewise,  my husband has begun going outside to exercise and of course, do some snow shoveling, Lili will go with him. She never leaves his side and keeps a close watch. She is closely attuned to him.

While I am crocheting in the evenings she is either at my feet or in my loveseat next to me. She follows me everywhere I go and she is so loving, at times it brings tears to my eyes.

She is also the most beautiful White Shepherd we have ever had. No kidding. She is nearly completely white, with a fabulous black nose and nails. Her eyes are perfectly brown and her coat is a full, short tight coat, with soft fur.

Her best little friend is a five-year-old girl that is our neighbor’s grandniece. She will stand on their balcony and call “Lili” and Lili happily runs to greet her, pulling up just before she gets to her, so as not to knock her over.
She also loves our two grandchildren who wanted Bolt Dogs for Christmas that looked like Lili a few years back.

Lili rescued me on January 12th last year, when a man broke into my house during the day. He made it to the top of our cellar stairs, but the door was locked and Lili was fiercely barking and was between me and the door. She saved me that day!

So here we are, our darling Lili is six and all grown up and settling down. Knowing she is the last large dog we will have, makes her all the more special to us.

Happy Birthday, Lili!

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The Pandemic

I’ve spent the past week stressing. Finally today I am able to sit back and rest. I do not need to “get” anything to keep my house in order for the next month.

I admit it though, I am weary. Running here and there, up and downstairs, and making lists and checking them, is craziness. I’ve never been in a situation quite like this. I am tired.

Now the 1918-1919 Flu that came through Boston and killed so many there and worldwide always did register with me. My grandfather’s sister was expecting her first baby and the Flu took them both. Katchen was a much-loved sister to Papa and best friend to my grandmother. They both spoke of this as a great tragedy and with much sadness.

And here we are 2020 with this Worldwide Pandemic.

WW (Weight Watchers) have closed down their Classes. They are offering a class on their website once a week. But we’ve been told to weigh in at home and they will open classes once they feel positive that they can do it safely.

I really need to chill out. I need to stop obsessing about this so I can move forward and be productive in the home. I would love to clean closets and go through rooms and de-clutter, but I feel oddly frozen in my seat.

I guess the good news is my new laptop arrives tomorrow and I will be busy setting that up.

For now, Gentle Readers, wash your hands, stay safe and we will get through this.

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Life or Something Like It

Friday was the busiest day of the week for me. I woke to pouring rain and wind. The skies were dark and it did nothing to improve my feeling of Friday the 13th doom!
I’d gotten ready early and had a light breakfast as I really didn’t have much of an appetite. After making Jack some breakfast I headed out. I had a few items left to buy and the Highlander needed gas. So just after 10 o’clock, I was on the road.
Oddly enough, there was not a lot of traffic. I thought maybe people weren’t panicking and not rushing to the stores. Wrong! The parking lots at Bj’s and the grocery stores were full. I had decided to hit the grocery store on the way back, but I did need three things at BJ’s as well as gasoline. BJ’s was crazy busy, and even the gas line was long. People at BJ’s were a little snippy as I could see the tension on their faces.
I’d built in plenty of time, so I got my items (PAM Spray, Table Pepper and of course the gas in the car and a 5-gallon gas tank), and then I headed off to Mandy and Matt’s with some items I got for them this week.
I was able to see the two of them and drop off their things before heading to my Glaucoma doctor’s appointment.
I arrived, tried to keep my distance from other people and wore medical gloves the entire time. I admit I am a germaphobe and right now I am a little bit on edge. I found myself staring at people and listening for a cough or a nose blow!
The good news is, my pressures were down to 19 in each eye. The doctor was very pleased. The drops are working and I will stay on them until I return in June. Then I hope they will still be working and I can stay on them.
I hopped into the car and headed home. I wanted to get some Eggplant and check for Enlightened Ice Cream Bars at Market Basket. I had 8 items and yet the express lane was so jammed I went to a regular checkout. Good thing. I actually beat the Express Checkout by quite a bit.
I got into the car, and headed home, finally. I was talking to my friend Carol from WW and I told her how weary I was feeling. In the last week, I have tried to get all the things I needed in the event that the Virus causes us to become Hermits in our own home. I can safely say I did a great job and we have plenty of food in the fridge, freezer, and pantry to last for well over a month.
It’s after dinner now and I’m getting ready to crawl into bed. I have accomplished all I needed to and we will be just fine.

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The Friday Five

The Friday FiveWell, here we are. Another week has gone by. It was a busy one for sure and also one that had me feeling a bit off-kilter. Here is what’s up.

  1. From Sunday until Wednesday I researched Laptop computers. I knew what I wanted and so I read, searched and planned. I pretty much knew on Tuesday which machine I would order, and on Wednesday afternoon I put the order in and my new baby will arrive! I am so excited!
  2. Of course, Wednesday was also exciting because of my weight loss. It’s amazing how joyous I feel about all my hard work and losing weight is work!
  3. Wednesday Night, President Trump spoke of the Corona Virus and the seriousness of the virus. I thought I was handling things well, but it shook me up. I admit that I worry. I worry about all that I love, be they young, middle-aged or old.  I woke at 5 AM unable to shut off my brain.
  4. I made a list of the last few grocery store things I needed in case we get shut down. Two schools in neighboring towns have shut down due to the Virus. So it is here and one must take precautions.
  5. Today I go to the Glaucoma Specialist, as this is really important. I will bring hand sanitizer and be very careful. I was supposed to stay at my daughter’s home, but have canceled. I need to be home to keep Jack and the pups tended to. I also canceled my Colonoscopy next week because of the possibility of exposure at the VA.

So this is all churning in my head and I am trying very hard not to get carried away. But it’s hard not to. I hope next week is a better one.
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Finally Getting It!

Things have been moving right along for me this week, but the biggest happening was at WW this morning. I was working so hard, hoping this day would come and it did. I lost my first twenty-five pounds!

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I’m actually down 26 pounds now, but when I started to think about losing my weight I would tell myself to take it a day at a time, and only celebrate the big milestones. Twenty-five pounds is a big one.

Now I decided not to reward myself with food. That would be a bad habit to get into. But since I have been abstaining from all alcohol, I decided to enjoy a nice single-malt Scotch. Just one serving.

20200311_081622So I am happy and celebrating and feeling very good about what I am accomplishing. Life is very, very, good!

And yes, I did have my Scotch and it was delicious!

This & That March 11, 2020

This will be short and sweet as I am working with a computer that is nearly dead. I have been looking at computers online and tomorrow I will decide and order my computer.

Meanwhile, here is a picture of my grandson and me playing with his birthday gift.

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It’s funny but I never realized how much of a family resemblance there is between us two. It makes me very happy!

That’s it for today!

Corona Virus

So, what are you doing in your little part of the world to prepare for the unlikely event that the Corona Virus comes to your town?

I admit to going out and buying extra canned food products and also paper goods and cleaning supplies. I want to be clean, keep our house as germ-free as I can, but with three dogs and a husband to contend with, it isn’t easy.

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When you hear, over and over again, “wash all surfaces” well it was like a subliminal thought. Suddenly, I just wanted to wash everything. And I just about did. I only have a little left to do tomorrow.

In other parts of the country, shortages abound. Even here in my small town, they were all out of cleaning products with none due in until midweek.

Jack is a bit more concerned and since I have been caring for his feet for a while, I suggested that for now, he should cancel his appointment on Wednesday with the Podiatrist and go in a few weeks when we know what is happening with the Corona Virus.

Now I wait to see what happens with my colonoscopy. Since it is elective, they may postpone it until all of this is over. (One can only hope!)

I have not seen anything like this in my life. Each day it seems like there are more States with cases and more deaths. I am trying not to overreact, but I come from a long line of “over-reacters”  so this is a bit difficult for me.

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The Weekend Wrap March 9, 2020

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I know I often write that the weekend flew by for me, but this weekend it really did! It could be that the time change (Spring forward) did me in. I didn’t think it would make a lot of difference, until Sunday morning when I actually had to be somewhere.

Saturday morning I was up bright and early and I began my work on the laundry. I spent the entire day catching up on blankets, towels, and all the other thinks that Arnie had dripped blood on after his dental. In the end, I think I did about 8 big loads of the stuff. I always say, in life, you are never alone. You always have laundry!

I was so tired on Saturday and I knew that the next day I had a ride down to my daughter’s house and back, as Savi was in a community theater play. She was a chorus member in “Alice in Wonderland”. The kids did a great job. the music was sweet and it brought me back to the days of my youth when I also was in plays.

Traffic both down and back was pretty tricky due to very heavy traffic. On the way down it was Pick-up truck after Pick-up truck, with trailers carrying snowmobiles from the north back to their homes in the south. Apparently, Punxatawney Phil was right and winter is over! Yay!

I got to bring Quinn his birthday gift. Quinn loves to color and create, so I bought him a box full of markers (washable!) and paper, coloring books, and instant paint pictures! The gift was a hit.

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Mandy and I went out for lunch and this has always been my biggest downfall. But yesterday I looked at the menu and ordered grilled chicken with a salad. No dressing! I felt pretty good about my choice. Then last night at home I made some eggplant for my dinner.

Arnie is doing great since his dental and in another few days, we can allow him to eat normal food. Right now everything needs to be mushy.

I have narrowed it down to three laptop computers. One will be my new baby. A friend once told me to always consider getting as much memory for the buck, and one of them fits that bill. It’s just that it is a 17-inch machine and I’m sort of reluctant to go to a larger machine, but then I think 1. My vision is such that a larger screen/font combination would be good and 2. When I travel now I take my tablet and not my laptop and 3. Considering the world health problems, I will not be traveling anytime soon. Especially not on a cruise.

Yesterday when I was at the play, I took out my hand sanitizer to apply and oh my goodness! The smell was so strong you would have thought I’d spilled a bottle of Vodka! My friend, Rachel and I had a good laugh at that.

Upon arriving at home I had three very happy doggies, who greeted me warmly and let me know they wanted their dinner.

The week ahead is not so bad. I do go back for an eye pressure check on Friday and then will be spending the night at Mandy and Matt’s home with the kids.

So as we start the week I wish everyone, a good one and hope you can get outside and enjoy the Spring!.

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