Wednesday, July 30, 2008
From the party I was on to the home of my son's best friends, John and Monica, who are getting married in two weeks. They have been given a gift of a honeymoon in SW Ireland and I offered to help them map out the driving itinerary, as I did that trip a few years back. It is a magical beautiful place and I am sure it will be the trip of a lifetime for the newlyweds.
Time to get myself to bed.....need to rest up for the next day of angst as I prepare to attend another gala on Friday evening, which is my 65th birthday, and NOT my idea of a celebration. This party will honor the employees of my company who worked on renovations, restoration and additions to the most famous house in Chatham, Hydrangea Walk. LM will attend this party with me and that creates even more angst....just imagine I could make a fool of myself IN FRONT of HIM...the very thought!!! All sorts of things could happen....food in my teeth, my outfit is all wrong, my hair is bad, I will talk in gibberish for all to hear, etc....the whole nine yards of self-doubt. Seriously, I love the owners of this house and it is so beautiful that I am looking forward to seeing it filled with people and the interior decoration complete. My true birthday celebration will wait until Sun when Bob and LM have cooked up some plan. Saturday I will spend with Dad as LM is taking his class on a fishing field trip to the National Seashore outer beaches. He really needs to rest....today he drove to PA, tomorrow he goes to NH and Monday he drove to NJ. Way too much in my book but he seems to love it.
Ms G is nagging me to go to bed.......
One very tired, obedient cat mom, and terribly inept socialite signing off here.....I will try for some pix at the party on Friday.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Knowing we would be up early in the morning to visit the farmers market in preparation for the birthday dinner I would cook for my son Jason on Saturday evening, we were just so happy to be together and asleep early. The dinner, a special request by Jason, was a reprise of a Mediterranean style shrimp and pasta dish which I have been making for years. We accompanied it with a lovely salad made with fresh mixed spicy greens, pears, and dried cranberries and light raspberry vinaigrette. The birthday cake was the very same cake made for years by Jason's dear departed grandmother, Lucille....3 holes chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. A simple eggless cake which harkens back to WWII days of rationing.
It was lovely to have perfect air, light breezes and great company on the deck at Jason's in Sagamore Beach
From left, LM's daughter, Kristi, daughter-in-law, Alison (and baby coming in Dec!!!), Jason, moi, LM...second photo shows Jason's best friend, Mark.
Sting-a-ling enjoys a few brief moments of "outside" time during the party. He had such fun chasing ribbons on the packages.
We fell into sound sleep after the wonderful day and awoke to threatening thunder storms on Sunday. LM's son, John stayed with us on Saturday night so Sunday morning we had a late breakfast together. John was delivered to a friend's and LM and I finally took the time to set up his blog. As we sat in the guest room working on the blog, my sharp eyed and eared love discovered that the cardinal family who live in the privet hedges around my house, have a new nest filled with LOUD babies, and we really loved watching the parent/baby interactions for much of the afternoon. There is such restoration of the soul to be had in watching nature in action....the only noise was the chirping and fluttering.
In preparation for a trip to NJ and NY today, LM had to go early last evening to the Saturn dealer in Hyannis to get the paperwork for the cars to be transferred. We headed in to town together with skies becoming darker and darker and warnings on the radio that violent thunder storms were approaching. We finished the errand just in time to drive over through Hyannisport to Craigville beach. I wish I could have gotten better photos but the storm was swirling wildly around us and we were mesmerized and fascinated as we watched the behavior of the gulls and terns on the beach in front of us. They were all positioned face first into the storm and steadfastly maintained that stance (we got the message!!). As soon as there was a lull, they began to flap their wings to dry off, and then, hilariously, as the storm passed, they began to all walk sideways! A few soared up into the winds of the storm, riding on the thermals. Go figure....neither of us, who spend countless hours along the shore, had ever seen that sideways dance. We couldn't stop laughing.
Also unusual, when the storm first started the water was roiling and at the height of the storm we were fascinated to see the water become flat calm. The heavy seas returned as the sky brightened.
Not a very clear picture here but conditions did not warrant much better. You can at least see that they are all facing into the storm. A little entertainment, courtesy of nature here on Cape Cod.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
In my estimation this single hydrangea is the most beautiful I have ever seen, and, upon investigation, found that the coffee shop which is in the background, gives it liberal feeding with coffee grounds, thus supplying the rich source of acid producing the incredible depth of color. Really, the colors are even deeper than these photos show. There are so many shades of blue, purple, pink and green in these flowers that I could have stayed there for a very long time, just taking it all in, but "the rest of the story" below will tell you why I didn't linger very long.
After a night of continuous dreams about the death of my blogger friend, Sher, my day started off much more abruptly than normal. My boss called me at 6 am to say that someone had called him to report an extremely loud screeching noise coming from our office building, and would I run over there to meet him and see if we could figure out the problem....off I went, pre-shower, shorts and a t-shirt (NEVER am I seen outside the house this way! LOL). As I drove the short distance, I could hear the noise as soon as I could see the building. It was the attic fan. Dear boss arrived and within a few minutes we were able to turn it off. The poor neighbors had been enduring that noise for hours. Seeing I was out and about and had the camera, I decided to venture the short distance to the village in the hope that I could photograph the hydrangea before anyone was out and about. As I drove up to the spot and pulled my car in close to the sidewalk, a youngish man, by the curb with his morning coffee, was staring at my car and me, and I thought, oh no, he already knows what a sight I am in the morning get-up. I dared to get out and he came over and told me he was watching my car because as I had slowed, two cardinals had landed on the roof of the car and were having a little set-to, and he was just amazed to see them "riding along" for a few seconds. They flew off into nearby bushes when I got out of the car. Just life in a sleepy fogged in village at 6:30 am. Yes, Chatham is fogged in and very humid. The bright side of it all is the fact that this is not beach weather but is perfect weather for the merchants here. Everyone shops when they cannot go to the beach.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Best of all was the friendship which Sher offered so freely with frequent comments on the blogs of other, as well as answers to comments posted on her blog. Truly, she was a very dear friend to so many she had never met in person, but with whom she transcended into the deepest relationships by way of her computer. Several of her close friends have beautiful tributes and further details of Sher's life on their blogs: her very close friend, Glenna at A Fridge Full of Food and Kalyn at Kalyns Kitchen
There will be tributes and memorials to Sher on Weekend Cat Blogging this week, as well. She leaves behind her husband, Bob, a brother and her beloved MIL, Bunty, as well as her sweet kitten Laura and I am certain many baby squirrels.
The depth of feeling this event has generated is truly amazing. I for one, cannot get it out of my mind, and have Sher's family in my thoughts continuously. What a huge loss they have to absorb. May they be comforted by the love and honor for Sher which is repeatedly circling the globe today via cyberspace.
It is well worth it to explore her blog from the link provided above. There are many many wonderful recipes and stories, as well as photos.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Because Ms. G LOVES bacon beyond reason, I started out by cooking some for all three of us. (She only gets about 3-4 minute bites, and before eating them, they are thoroughly scrutinized and sniffed!) While the bacon sizzled, I mixed up pancakes, inventing as I went along.
Blueberry Lemon Pancakes
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I buy this from a local mill and keep it in the freezer)
2 tbls baking powder
7 or 8 grates of fresh nutmeg
grated rind of 1 small lemon
Mix all of the above together with a whisk
Combine the following:
1 cup 1% milk
1 large egg
1 tbls. vegetable oil
Stir the milk/egg/oil mixture into the dry ingredients.
Heat a skillet coated with veg oil or cooking spray and use about 1/4 cup batter per pancake. After dropping the batter onto the skillet, arrange fresh blueberries on top of the batter. Turn when bubbles begin to form at edges. I like this method of adding the blueberries rather than folding into the batter.
Serve with pure maple syrup.
The rest of the weekend has been pretty nice, too. It was very very hot and humid here but having the AC in the house has been great even if it pained me to turn it on initially. Such a relief not to have that wet feeling clinging to everything I touch.
I left home quite early on Saturday and was able to beat the heavy traffic which accumulates every weekend at the bridges. Dad and I had a nice visit and I was able to do a few errands and replenish his pills for him. He seems not to be affected by the heat.
On the way back home, I stopped at my favorite Salvation Army store and found a few nice items of clothing. It is such fun to hunt through and find good quality used clothing for nominal prices.
Finally home around 6 pm, and LM came over shortly after that and we enjoyed a lovely evening walk through the village which is now wall-to-wall people but it is such a fun and happy atmosphere. There was a lovely breeze and we walked through the old village admiring all the gardens and the water....just so happy and loving being together.
It was all pretty low key but happy, happy and not a hint of the depression which had been lurking around my brain in recent weeks. LM and I even had several groundbreaking conversations about things in our relationship which have changed since his heart attack and I felt such gratitude and relief that we could have the openness and loving discourse. It all came to be without any effort on my behalf which is another one of the things which I love and treasure about the man LM personifies....I'm a very lucky woman.
This afternoon I attended a lawn party at the home of a client with whom I have become quite friendly. Being so NOT enamored of social events, and lucky enough to have LM who feels the same way, I allowed him to not attend and went on my own (we shared a laugh about this....he would have gone if I really asked). As often happens, I get all tied in knots about these events and then have a really nice time, meet nice new people, etc. I even stayed until the end!!
Another week ahead......it will be a nice one and the weekend will bring a dinner party, prepared by me at my son's house to celebrate his brithday. I will make one of his favorite meals and his all time favorite chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting.
That's it and I think the blues are chased away!
Friday, July 18, 2008
It's Friday morning and despite the oppressive heat and humidity everyone is in a happy mood at work, including me. LM and I have been postponing our movie date for 3 nights and tonight is finally deemed "the" night. He has been called to work so much which is a good thing....one must roll with the punches when involved with a delightful man who moves cars for a living!
The weekend will be full with a trip to see Dad tomorrow, doing something with Kristi on Saturday night, and time for us during the day Sunday before we attend a lavish cocktail party on the lawn at the home of one of my company's clients here in Chatham. She has actually become a very nice friend to me and I enjoy her company for dinner when she is in town. Her party is an annual event and very lovely. In the next few weeks I have a lot more parties to attend and it is not my favorite thing to do as I have social anxiety. Even though it may appear that I am handling it all very well, I am always in knots inside and try to take my leave as soon as graciously possible, heaving a huge sigh of relieve as I do so. I have no idea why as most of the people are those I know and enjoy. Go figure.....
Anyway, wishing everyone a nice weekend. Ms. G is laying low....flattened out on the bed most of the day and today she gets to cool her tummy well because I had to breakdown and turn on the AC!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
To my friends and family not here in Chatham right now where the hydrangeas are just at their peak of glory, I share Nick's generosity with you!!
Have a great day....mine will be, I know. It is perfect summer weather, the moon is full, AND
LM and I have a date tonight to see the movie, "Chatham", which was filmed here in town last year. It will go in to major release in the future but will be renamed "The Golden Boys" for broader appeal. It was fun to watch the filming process and how they transformed our village
into a scene from the 1800's. We even watched the simulated burning of a local business. The whole town was abuzz when the stars, Bruce Dern, David Carradine and Margot Hemingway, were seen out and about. We will see the movie tonight at the beautiful Cape Cinema in Dennis, the scene of our very first real date almost one year ago!! Truly the most romantic date I have ever had!!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
At six this morning I was determined to take a shower and go to work but soon found I could not even stand in the shower due to shaking and weakness, my head, particularly my forehead and my neck were numb, throwing up ensued and then profuse sweating like I have never known. I was quickly back in bed, my body shaking so that the bed was moving.....that all lasted about 6 hours. Now this evening I am left with slight numbness on one side of my head and a lethargic headachy feeling. Dr. says I will be fine by morning and we will wait a bit and then arrange for me to talk to a prescribing psychiatrist to better assess the correct med for me.
Meanwhile it was a lovely day with clear dry air and it felt good to sleep some and blot out how I feel.
Talked with daughter, Anne, at length tonight and it was wonderful to hear about their trip to their house on Eleuthera and to hear the latest on my grandsons and Mr. Theo....who had to go back to the vet today for another cast as he loosened the first one. He's a wild man.
Thank you everyone for the kind and supportive e-mails. They all contain messages which are getting me over this time which I am coming to realize and accept as a life process....perhaps some delayed grief, perhaps just facing some facts. I am sure I have mentioned before that my grandfather's last words to me were,"Don't fight life, dear"...time I listened to his advice and turn my energy to true appreciaton and gratitude for all I do have.
Monday, July 14, 2008
My Florida daughter has returned home after a few weeks at their home on Eleuthera in the Bahamas
This morning she sent me this photo of impy Theo helping to sort the mail. It sounds like he is not the least bit hindered by his cast to repair the broken leg which happened while "Mummy and Daddy" were away. I do believe he is saved by his cuteness.
Saw the Dr today and will begin a two week trial of Cymbalta to help with my symptoms. I am very apprehensive but have agreed, after a long consultation, that it is necessary to start somewhere.
The first few weeks can be very dicey and I have been warned and will need to ask people to observe and react if necessary.
Of course, today I felt fairly even. The visit with the Dr was emotional....she is wonderful and supportive. I feel like I need to write about this here. Soon I hope my posts will have a much more upbeat nature.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
After a little early dinner, we drove over to my son's house to check on his cat and took ourselves to the Cape Cod Canal service road and had a lovely walk enjoying the early evening light, chatting with fishermen, and just delighting in each other. All the angst which had been plaguing me during the week seemed to ebb and we both felt a gentle tiredness and could not wait to get home to drift off to sleep within touch of each other. We slept very late this morning until dear Ms. G decided enough was enough and began giving us gentle taps on our faces and hands.
Today was easy.....a leisurely breakfast, a visit with Bob and look see at the garden at LM's house and then an early dinner of wonderful local fish. All very simple, and LM and I just had the easiest and most loving interactions.....balm for us both.
Even the air of the entire weekend has been just perfect summer air....not humid, nice gentle breezes and so comfortable. The privet hedge is blooming outside my windows and filling the house with its delightful scent.
Tomorrow I see my Doctor to discuss treatment for mild depression and anxiety. I am not sure what to say. It is just like having perfect hair on the day you are scheduled to have it cut!! I do need to address my emotional state, though, as it has been a roller coaster ride lately and feels dangerous at times. Weekends like this make me happy to be alive again and restore my appreciation for all I have.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Huge stands of these lovelies are everywhere right now, as well.
I come back to this little neighborhood often and a previous post featured roses and "the Rose Cottage" in this same spot.....roses are fading now and I am awaiting the next "show at "Rose Cottage"....the hollyhocks, which will bloom in early August.
The walk was lovely, the village teaming with visitors and locals alike, as Friday night is Band Concert night. It's all very festive with families pulling their wagons of chairs and blankets, along with coolers and babies, to set up their spot and enjoy the Chatham Town Band performance, a mainstay of summer on Cape Cod. The shops are all open very late as business is brisk after the concert.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
We had no idea what sort of car we were picking up and LM was excited beyond belief to find he would be driving a Chevy SSR customized collectible pick-up truck. It had a Corvette engine and was such fun. At this point we were now driving separate cars, me following along in a Honda as we headed south to drive through the Adirondacks. I wish I could have taken photos but we were on precipitous winding roads and it just didn't happen. We climbed and descended our way along toward Saratoga and Nan's house. The forests, the moutains, the charming old towns, many with architecture unique to the area, lakes and rivers, all bringing us to our church the place where are souls find renewal, nature at its FINEST. We had walkie-talkies so we were continually talking back and forth and exclaiming at all we saw. My favorite thing was the strong balsam scent rising from the forest as the sun hit the trees. I had the sun roof and all the windows open so I could immerse myself. At one point the road was bordered by a lake,more than a mile long, on our right which was high on a mountain with very twisty roads and there were white birch trees everywhere, lighting the woods. We loved Saranac Lake and its old resort town, and the town of Keene in the Keene Valley, which appears to be a favorite spot of trout fisherman as it is home to the Ausable River. LM says that is mecca for trout afficionados.....he would know. Keene has many beautiful B & B's, built in that unique Adirondack lodge style and set back on dirt roads in the woods.
We received a royal welcome at Nan's about 8 that evening. It had been a long day of driving and her sweet new home was a haven for us! After staying up quite late to catch-up, and sharing some delicious food with a glass of wine, we were asleep quickly!
The next morning found us ready to tour Saratoga Springs but not before we enjoyed some time on the deck and a lovely breakfast featuring a cherry popover baked fresh by Nan. Yum. Recipe from Real Simple Mgazine. Just key in Dried Cherry Popover. Tried to do a link but failed at the moment.
Above is the entrance to the famous Saratoga Springs race track which we drove by on our tour. Nan took us to so many interesting places and I cannot wait to go back to spend more time. She made sure we got to visit three of the famous springs which feature healing waters for which the area is famous. We visited the famous Roosevelt Spa which is the most beautiful old building housing the famous mineral baths. My next trip will feature a visit there for a spa bath and massage! We walked around a bit in downtown Saratoga and actually did a little shopping for gifts for LM's children. There are many, many fascinating and interesting boutiques and galleries everywhere. The city has parks, many filled with sculpture , and is a haven for the arts. We did get to drive through the famous artists' retreat, Yaddo, a high point for me and a place of immense beauty. There are elaborate gardens there but we didn't get that far. Next time, I hope. Many famous writers and artists have retreated to Yaddo for fellowship and inspiration throughout the years. The next to last stop was to visit Nan's Dad and see her childhood home and it was as lovely as she is....we sat for awhile on a lovely covered porch by their pool and watched woodpeckers feeding as we gazed out over the lovely fields to the woods. A very peaceful place. All too quickly it was time to say good-bye and I choked back tears for many miles as I realized just how much Nan's friendship means to me. How fortuitous that I now work with a woman who has family in that area and we will plan a trip back to Saratoga in the Fall so I can spend more time. Just before we left the area we shared a lovely seafood lunch and recapped our trip... another road trip interlude of feeling so in love, and happy to be together. I have never loved anyone the way I love LM and the way he loves and looks out for me is a precious gift.
Depression and anxiety still clutched me as we were immersed in all this beauty, love and happiness. It is so odd to feel so happy in so many ways put still be filled with anxiety and underlying sadness. My mind runs rampant with questions and a constant dowsing for WHY do I feel this way. Sure I have had very prolonged stress - recovery from domestic abuse trauma, an elderly parent, but I really think the bottom line is fear of not being able to work and the ensuing financial crisis. Monday my therapist asserted that I must see my doctor and discuss medication. I have made an appointment for next week. Who knows....short of a major windfall of money, I see no answer for the threat of homelessness and poverty which faces me. It is beyond crippling when I allow myself to face the fact that when I can no longer work, or if I should lose my job, I will be in dire straits. Today I felt no sadness at all. Some anxiety. Meanwhile, I am trying to get through each day. Keeping busy, smiling at work and I spent a lovely evening with my daughter, SIL and granddaughter last night. The baby is really so animated now and hearing her say "Nana" was so sweet. She is now waving "bye-bye" and blowing kisses and she had a great time playing peek-a-boo with LM.
So that is the latest from Cape Cod where we are now inundated with tourists and one could never tell that the economy is lagging. Statistics say that the merchants had a fantastic 4th weekend! Here's hoping it continues and that we are on the upswing.
We have a big celebration coming at work on Friday as the long awaited book about the company has been published. It has been a privilege to take part in the making of that book and the principals are honoring all of us with a party.