Saturday, June 8, 2019

Trip to Boston

I had to go to Boston for a medical follow-up. Turns out I could have totally skipped it since all it accomplished is that "we will see" in September. I was not planning on another trip.

I once read that the streets of Boston were designed by a civil engineer (he was Italian in the story I read, but let's not perpetuate ethnic stereotypes) who was pondering a city layout as he enjoyed his dinner and a glass of chianti. He was so engrossed in thinking about this project that he jumped up to spread his drafting papers on the table and managed to knock the plate of spaghetti onto the floor. As he looked down on the mess, a tangled sprawl of pasta -- voila! an inspiration was born!
And if you have ever tried to navigate the streets of Boston, you could actually credit this as a true story.

You can buy this stainless steel laser cut image on Etsy:

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I have no affiliation with the site, but other cities are available as well. It's really pretty cool.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Cooking School

Cooking School -- that's where I need to go for remedial instruction.

I mean I seem to be a real cooking slump right now. It's not an aversion to cooking. At least I don't think it is. It may be a lack of attention. Perhaps I need to have a more meditative, mindful attitude toward meal preparation.

I made a quiche yesterday and when I was putting it in the oven, I spilled the custard onto the oven door. I like a custardy quiche so uncooked it is quite liquid.
Well, since the oven was preheated, the egg mixture instantly cooked onto the oven door.

Today, the very next day, I wanted baked potato. For some reason I forgot to give it a good poke with a fork so when I foolishly stuck a fork in it to test doneness --
BAM! Potato explosion.

What a ness!!

Going out to eat tomorrow night sounds like a plan!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019


Well, May is coming to an end. So far we have had rain 21 out of the 28 days. Everything is very green -- it is the Green Mountain State after all. The spring blooms are coming and going in their timely succession so it has been beautiful to look at, but often wet. And often cold. I has the gas heater going tonight and a sweater over my sweatshirt.

I do remember heading out for a Memorial Day weekend camping trip, 1993 as a matter of fact. We went back in the house to get winter jackets because it was snowing. And, yes, we went anyway and it wasn't too, too bad.

Growing up Memorial Day was always a trip to Pennsylvania where my grandparents are buried. We would usually be making the trip at night after my dad got home from work. There was a trip to the florist the next day and then making the rounds of the cemeteries.

At school we would have to memorize the Gettysburg Address and then walk from the school to the village green where there was a memorial. These days it seems forbidden to recognize any kind of holiday in schools. I'm glad I grew up when I did. I know there were plenty of things going on then that were not great, but being a kid was okay.

I have most of my doctor visits out of the way. My eye pressure is good and cataracts will go for at least another six months. My teeth are polished and clean. I did need to have a cavity refilled but it took less than a half hour and the Novocain did not make my face swell up so that was okay. My doctor did some blood tests but was not sure what is up with my white fingernails so if it gets worst I will get a referral to a dermatologist (or perhaps a nutritionist. I distinctly hear my mother's voice warning me to eat more eggs whenever she noticed white spots on my nails. She would be force feeding me eggs if she saw them now!)

My mother did have her opinions. She was actually ahead of her time on a lot of things and more and more I realize she was a lot smarter than people/I gave her credit for.

Saturday, May 18, 2019


I belong to a writers' workshop in Vermont and a private writing group (three writer friends who meet in each other's homes to discuss our writing and offer each other support) and feedback). I also participate in a poetry group when I am in Florida where we discuss our poetry and offer each other support. I consider myself very fortunate to have the people in these groups in my life. Some of them have become true and wonderful friends.

The Writers' Workshops host all kinds of opportunities for writers -- fiction writing, creative non-fiction, song writing, all kinds of groups. I join poetry groups, whether workshopping our own work or discussing the work of known poets. I always learn something. Gotta keep learning!

Today I spent my Saturday in a revision workshop. I know that would not be everyone's cup of tea, but for me it was an excellent way to spend a day. I have ambitions of being a poet when I grow up.
I thought it was interesting that I was the only left handed person in the group of ten today. Just something I noticed.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Quiet Week

My first week back from Florida was extremely stressful and hectic. I was little more than a spectator, but it still left me exhausted.  This second week was needed. I spent time with family and relaxed. I got to a couple of yoga classes, a poetry discussion, and a group meditation. I caught my breath.

The week coming up is all about appointments. I will go to the dentist on Monday, the eye doctor on Wednesday, and my primary care physician on Thursday.

My PCP is retiring at the end of this month and moving out of state to be closer to her grandchildren. I am happy for her but not at all excited about having to find a new doctor. One of the minor annoyances of aging -- doctors retire. So now do I look for someone young and starting out or someone who is very experienced and might retire in what remains of my life time? Perhaps I am just overthinking things? (Ha! Not that I ever do that.)

My eye doctor is annoying: Your eyes are very healthy; see you in two years. Your eyes are very healthy but you have that little wrinkle in your retina; see you in one year. Your eyes are very healthy but we're getting close to talking about cataracts and your pressure is up; see you in six months. I focus on the healthy part but the six month thing does bother me.

My doctor's appointment is because my fingernails are turning white. It's disconcerting, one, and Dr. W.W. Web has nothing good to say about it, two. Of course I can also hear my mother's voice telling me I need to eat more protein. I felt foolish calling the office to say I might be in liver failure because my fingernails are turning white (it could be a vitamin thing) but the intake worker didn't laugh or tell me to stay off the internet. He just gave me an appointment. At least I will get to say good-bye to my doctor. She will be missed.
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Monday, May 6, 2019


I got back to Vermont. It was gray and rainy. Even the daffodils seemed depressed by the run of rainy weather.

But the next day was much nicer and those tender green buds that will soon be leaves made an appearance.  The grass is an emerald green that makes me just want to walk through it with bare feet. The soggy wet soil keeps from actually doing that. There are buds on rhododendrons and crab apple trees. Very soon there will be lovely blooms of pink and white.  I will take a short walk to the nursery across the street from the development where my condo is located and plan my mini garden for my deck.

I had several containers of plants in Florida.  Usually I give them away at the end of season.  This year I planted most of them (except the herbs that I know will not make it through a summer in Florida) in my little yard. Most of the plants this year were succulents. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, will survive. Will be interesting to see if I remember since I forgot to take pictures.

It was Green UP weekend here. Individuals and groups go out and clean up the trash that accumulates along the roadsides. It goes into bright green trash bags and then is picked up by town crews. Take a ride today because the pristine views will not last. Whatever makes some people think it's perfectly okay to toss coffee cups, beer cans or wine bottles out their windows is beyond me, but there you have it.

One of my favorite scenarios from a book is in Carl Hiassen's Sick Puppy. The main character is cruising along behind a guy in a convertible. Some trash flies out of the convertible and the m.c. is so outraged he follows the car to a restaurant where it is parked with top still down. The main character gets a garage truck (I've forgotten just how he manages that) and dumps the contents into the convertible. I've gotta read that book again.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Another Window

Joe, the Cranky Old Man, recently wrote a piece entitled "Window." It told a story of a brush with near disaster that turned out okay by some miracle. If I may quote, his conclusion was:

So, all you young parents, the reason your own parents don’t think you are capable of successfully raising a child is they know from experience that if you let your guard down for a second, stuff happens.  They fear you may not be competent, because they probably know the fact that you are alive to be a parent at all is a matter of their own dumb luck.  
Dumb Luck must be my secret middle name. Many miracles have occurred and my children should be far more thankful to a higher power than I suspect they are.

For example (and I may have shared this story before):

My son was about a year old -- still in diapers, walking, but not totally verbal. We were visiting my first husband's  parents who lived in an upstairs apartment of an older house. I had cooked a big breakfast of bacon and eggs. My mother in law went to work and the rest of us went into the living room to watch morning news and drink the second cups of coffee. At some point I went back into the kitchen and discovered it filling with smoke. Apparently I had not turned off the gas burner completely (I'd only ever used an electric stove before) and the frying pan was aflame.

My father in law's impulse was to grab the flaming pan and run through the kitchen and a hallway and then down a flight of stairs. Fortunately my husband stopped him and clamped a lid on the pan to extinguish the fire. My FIL turned his efforts to throwing open all the windows. It was in the spring and he had taken off all the storm windows but had not put up all the screens.

The phone rang.

It was the nurse who cared for the women across the street. She was wheeling her patient out onto their sun porch when she noticed something concerning. "Do yo know that there is a baby running around on your porch roof?" she asked my father in law. He started screaming. Maybe continued screaming, it was a long time ago.

My husband very calmly went to the dining room window and said, "Hey, Kevin, come here." And Kevin did and we closed the windows.

Three miracles that day alone -- the house didn't burn down, my father in law did not die of a heart attack (although he did pour himself an after-breakfast drink), and my son did not run off the edge of a roof.

I have sometimes wondered why it is that we seem to have a tendency to move onto new relationships and yet still end up with the same personality in the new person.  Ability to stay calm, think clearly, and solve a problem -- probably more than a good thing I gravitate towards those qualities in significant others.