Thursday, October 30, 2008


Post-Mortem.....I survived....I appealed to so many people to arrange to have lightening strike me down today but no one complied, so here I am....I stayed 1 hr at the party (see below), and was safely home to my sweet abode by 5:15 girl central here.

Now there is a lovely batch of pumpkin muffins in the oven courtesy of Farmgirl and the house smells so much like Fall. All is right with the world. I used freshly grated nutmeg and ginger in them, as well as raisins and crasins and freshly squeezed OJ as the liquid and I ommitted the pecans because I cannot chew right now. (For the recipe, when you go to the Farmgirl site type in pumpkin muffins in the search box...I tried to do a direct link but it didn't work, besides, you can see her cute picture of the day) Farmgirl is one of my most favorite bloggers, not only for her recipes but she raises the cutest donkeys and beautiful sheep and has amazing cats and dogs. My whole family, LM included, think I am absolutely crazy because I am constantly on that site looking at the donkey photos, especially those of Donkey Doodle Dandy....he makes me swoon, but that's a whole other story. On to the next party....

Here I go again with my social event panic.....this afternoon the company is hosting an employee appreciation Halloween party at a local fun restaurant. I am usually adept at finding some excuse to avoid these things but I just cannot avoid this one. I woke up with that dread feeling in the pit of my stomach and it will live with me all day. Somehow, I will drag myself there, and as usual, I will sneak away much earlier than others with some excuse or another, and find myself saying, "That wasn't as bad as I thought it would be." I don't drink and right now I cannot eat anything but liquid or pureed food so the lure of free food is not even in play.

Oh well, I will survive.
Just musing as I start my day. Yesterday was crazy busy as we continued preparing for the exhibition of our work at the Cape Cod Museum of Art, which opens this weekend. It will be an amazing event and the opening reception is conveniently being held on an evening next week when I will be in a car on the way to Saratoga Springs, NY to visit a very dear friend. Whew....another bullet dodged. I am so bad....and, really, I work with the nicest people in the world. It is just me, who feels like a dolt in all social situations....dry mouth, inability to find one coherent word to utter, knowing for sure that I look and sound awful. Why??? It is so crazy. Oh well, here I am, and the Christmas party looms, too!! But I always survive, what a wry twist of fate. And, just imagine, these amazing people still have moi placed to be the face of the company!!! Ah, the tricks of the mind.
Well, before my crazy gets into higher gear, I better don my "costume" and go do my job for today.
Post mortem later!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Raindrops, Rainbows, Rants and Galettes

Wellness, seems to have come back and it is appreciated more than ever!!

Today was a day of true extremes. The weather has been the most bizarre I have seen in years. The sky has been so dramatic all day. We've had wild downpours, followed by brilliant sunshine, all whipped up by very high winds, and interspersed have been the brightest rainbows. It has been captivating me all day. Tonight as I left work, the clouds and sky were those beautiful golden and pink hues seen in the works of famous artists and most reminding me of the seascapes of Fitz Hugh Lane. It is most unusual for me NOT to have my camera but today was one of those rare days and I am so sorry not to be able to share the evening sky.

This has been a day of high feeling.....a company meeting was scheduled, and in light of the world and local economic crises we were all a bit on edge as we waited to see what the company executives would have to say. True to form, they shared a positive message with us, while acknowledging that no one really knows where this current crisis will end. We received a lot of praise for being part of a team which has positioned the company to be in a good place to survive, although there still may be more necessary adjustments. Recently there have been many changes, layoffs and even the closure of one of our small divisions, but today we were all better able to understand how necessary it all was to insure fiscal positioning. They were able to assure us that we are currently fiscally sound. I can say I walked away with newfound respect and appreciation for the wonderful people I work for and the ways in which they are preparing to move forward. We were all encouraged to not react in these times but to act, and also to come forward and offer any suggestions for ways in which the company can run more efficiently, particularly where clients are involved, we must raise the bar as high as possible regarding our attention to the details of assuring each client a positive experience in designing and building their new home. Best of all, we were all reminded that the offices and minds of all management are always open to talk out issues, ideas, etc. Questions were encouraged and interesting discussion followed. As I left the meeting, I turned to look back on the room full of my co-workers and felt very proud to be a part of the team. This all may sound like pep rally, on the contrary, it was presented in a sincerely caring and sometimes humorous way.

Moving along to rants.....I know I have mentioned here before that LM has a mentally disabled daughter, my dear Kristi. She is on Social Security Disability and for the past 8-9 months she has been receiving dunning and threatening notices, including the intent to jail her, from the Social Security Administration, stating that she owes 10's of thousands of dollars to the government because she has supposedly been earning large amounts of money while collecting SSI. Kristi works 4 hours a week 3 times a month bagging groceries for a very small amount !! No matter how many times LM has met with them, mailed in all the proper hearing request forms, etc, they have not stopped dunning Kristi.....but the really bizarre fact is that during this period of time she has been receiving almost daily threats on paper, she has also received several HUGE checks from the for over $14,000 and then another, just yesterday, for $7,000. The checks are followed by very nasty letters stating that the checks must be returned ASAP or jail is imminent. It is all computer generated forms which would be hard for even a lawyer to understand. No matter what course we have taken to rectify this, the problem persists. Today, LM just about lost it....he picked up Kristi and the new check and went to our state representatives office. They were no help. No one can offer any help. I am so fearful that the stress of this is going to cause him to have another heart attack. Early this evening we found out that the local SS office has decided to meet with LM and Kristi next Thursday. (There have been many meetings before this which ended in promises of a solution) The mountain of paperwork generated by our government in harrassment of this sweet girl is beyond belief....we could heat a small home for a month! Stay tuned.

Anyway, the fact that I am feeling better means that cooking is on my mind. On Sunday, as I cruised around my favorite food blogs, I found this post by Deb of Smitten Kitchen about making a galette and I knew I had to attempt it myself. Tonight was the night and it is heavenly. I used brussels sprouts instead of cabbage, as they are in peak season right now and so yummy, and I used spinach for the greens. To speed things up, I made the dough last night and placed it in the refrigerator until I was ready to roll it out.
I also splurged on fresh herbs and they really made a difference, although, I think the dried herbs would work, too. Best of all, I was able to mush it up enough to eat with my still sore post-operative mouth. A dramatically delicious end to a very dramatic day. I really would love to just cook and bake all the time.....ahhhhh, what a nice dream.
Smitten Kitchen's Cabbage and Mushroom Galette a la Cape Cod. I have cut a nice slice to take to my friend, Nick, at work tomorrow. He is a true foodie and his opinion WILL matter!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happiness and Color Shining Through my Clouds

Meet my beautiful daughter-in-law, Alison! Through my still fuzzy post-surgical fog, I attended a lovely baby shower held for Alison on Saturday and it was well worth the two hour trip! Kristi and I drove up together and she was so excited to present Alison with her specially chosen Winnie the Pooh gifts! The baby, their first, is due December 9 and after yesterday's lovely shower, I would say they are more than ready to welcome my 6th grandchild!
Squirrel's have a quirky humorous significance in our family, so this smile of recognition knew she was about to open a gift from me. This cute squirrel came all the way here from Seattle with me just for this occasion.
My energy waned quickly throughout the day but knowing I would see LM, I was able to make the long drive home. Last night LM and I were on house sitting duty for my boss, so we packed up a few things and headed the short distance to care for our doggie friends, Liza and Sammy. It was a wild night as we had very heavy rains, wind and t-storms, but we were happily together and even managed to stay awake long enough to re-watch "A Fish Called Wanda" for the umpteenth time and it still makes us laugh just as hard. We went to bed with the plan that we would take a drive to Provincetown today, walk the town and enjoy the late fall color on the dunes. My low energy did threaten the plan but we set out anyway and managed to have a really nice day. I was just determined to spend some time outdoors breathing in the beauty of Cape Cod in November. The photos aren't the best but there was a lot of color to be seen everywhere we turned and then we walked Commercial St which was full of its own brand of diverse and wonderful "local" color. After a stop for a cup of lobster bisque at The Lobster Pot, we headed home and I slept in the car....just cannot seem to get my self back yet. My entire head, neck, throat and mouth are throbbing from the surgery and it is compounded by not being able to eat anything but liquids or mush.

I love driving through the stark beauty of the great dunes....

Commercial Street, Provincetown, usually teeming with people, was moderately busy today. Friends who own a shop said they had been doing a brisk business and plan to stay open all winter, while most shops are preparing to close for the season, but we didn't find the usual good sale prices. Surprising! This photo captures the perfect autumn sky, and it was nearly 70 degrees!
So despite all the clouds in my head, the color and healing warmth did shine through and I feel better tonight.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Could This be Baby Theo?

Alas, his "mother and father" claim this is Theo but I am not sure....he has grown so much, and what is with that tail? LM and I are thinking he is part squirrel and we do know this darling creature was found in the wild.....word is that he is quite wild in the house, too....his new siblings Bella and Tigroo are fair game to be pounced upon, chased and otherwise tortured. Ah, kitten fun!! This photo, taken at a RARE still moment, was just the balm I needed to carry me over surgery day.

I am off to try work this morning. Two days at home is enough....pain is worse today but that is expected post surgery and I know it will pass. If I don't feel well enough, I can come home, but I must try.
A nice early evening walk (Winter is upon Cape Cod....warm clothes were needed on the walk), and some knitting last night and I was in bed sound asleep at 9:30!
Happy Friday!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Post Surgery and Good Luck

I just got news that yesterday afternoon at 2 pm my son had an accident which was nearly of epic proportion, nearly, I say. He was driving a gasoline tanker carrying 9000 gallons of fuel. As he attempted to make a turn after making a marina delivery in a tight neighborhood, the truck jack-knifed and tipped over on a hill in a residential neighborhood very near a hospital. The area was evacuated and Jason (uninjured) had to stay in the cab with his foot on the brake for two hours as they waited for stakes to be placed to secure the truck from moving. Fortunately, not a drop of fuel spilled but the trailer fender missed puncturing the tank by 1/16". WHEW. Needless to say, we are all pretty shaken about what could have been. He has been driving for a long time and this is his first accident.
Oddly enough, I read about this accident in this morning's paper but there was no name of the driver or the company listed. That was the first thing I checked, as I do worry about him hauling gasoline everyday. Glad I didn't know about it yesterday.

On to my recovery:
Hoping the worst is behind me. Surgery was 3 hours and I was aware of what was happening...not fun. LM dropped me off at 10:15 and I expected Bob to pick me up but there was LM when they led me out to the waiting area. Tears of joy!
He brought me home and tucked me in and I slept the rest of the day, that is when I wasn't throwing up....or wretching. That feeling persists along with bleeding.
Just ate my first food in 39 hours....some cooked multi-grain cereal. Could only take in less than 1/4 cup. I am being vigilant about rinsing with the anti-biotic and salt rinses.
Hopefully, my strength will come back today.
Talking is still an effort but that will improve. No bottom teeth makes it tough, too. They will not be back for almost 2 weeks.
Oh well....thank you everyone for all the support. Each minute that passes is toward recovery. The sun is shining and I am hoping to take a little walk this afternoon to get some air.
Ms G is being a very good nurse, if not a bedhog.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Waiting for Tomorrow to be OVER

Time seems to be standing still in anticipation of the surgery tomorrow morning. I had a mini meltdown of frustration tears at lunch time today but it passed and I was able to get back to work and have a pleasant afternoon, even though one of my favorite work friends was let go today. The company has been reorganizing of late and there have been some unsettling changes. The business world is tightening its belt everywhere and the cinch hurts at times.
Everything is in place for tomorrow. I have shopped and have liquid nourishment ready, which I will need for about two weeks. LM is lined up to drive me, and our friend, Bob will gather me up when it is over as LM has a committment. I will be in good hands. Of course when I get home and tucked in to sleep off the anesthesia, I will have my dear Ms G to cuddle and soothe my spirits.

My focus is on several nice events coming up and a trip to Saratoga Springs to visit with a very good friend so I will keep my focus ahead.

Thanks to everyone for all the good wishes and comfort today. I will update you as soon as I can.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Week that Was....Ephemera, etc.

The full moon from my front steps at 6:00 am one morning last week.....could that be why there was so much weird stuff happening????
Ms G tries to climb out the window, wondering why???? There was a downy woodpecker BANGING on the window frame just beyond her nose. She was very busy trying to figure a way to get at that little feathered friend. He visits quite often but I cannot get a photo because of the angle. I am thinking of putting a suet cage in the tree there to stop him from drilling holes in the house!
Crossing the Hudson River in NYC on a glorious Saturday. Our car trip was really fun....went to bed very early Friday night, knowing I had to arise about 4 am to be at LM's house by 5:30 to begin our journey. All went perfectly, although I do not know how he keeps going. He had not returned from his Friday trip to Long Island until nearly 11 pm and only got a few hours sleep. When I arrived at his house in the darkness of Saturday morning, there he was to guide me into the drive to park in an out of the way place, and quickly we were off in his car to Hyannis to pick up the nice Chrysler we were to drive to New Jersey to pick-up a Chevy SUV in Kearny. In honor of the fact that I have no memory of ever driving through NYC, we went that way....neither of us had ever driven in such crazy, dangerous traffic. We saw at least 4 huge and terrible accidents, one in RI which completely closed down Rte 95.
After we picked up the second car in Kearny, NJ, me now following LM in the original car, we headed north, in tandem....keeping attached with our walkie-talkies, we got on the Garden State Parkway, bound for a stop in Ramsey, NJ at the home of the sister of LM's late partner. There we found they have a sweet new kitten, Ms. Maggie. As you can see, LM's great cat karma worked with Maggie. She has beautiful coloring....gray and cream... poor baby was found at about 3 weeks of age under the steps of a local camp and is now dearly loved by Mara and her partner, Chris! After a short visit there, we were on the road again, headed north. More crazy traffic and that made it tough for us trying to stay together and I think a bit stressful for LM as he watched my every move in the rearview mirror, nervous we would become separated. I assured him that I am a very confident and relaxed driver. One of the most beautiful parts of the trip was on the Merritt Parkway northeast across southern CT. The foliage was just amazing and the Parkway seems like it is running through the woods of an old English estate. There are beautiful bridges, many with ornate designs and there is nothing commercial visible from that road, not even homes are to be seen, just deep woods. Again, there were accidents and crazy drivers so we were very vigilant while trying to enjoy the scenery. LM drives long distances almost everyday of the week and he said he has never seen a day like Saturday...not only were there numerous bizarre accidents but road rage, people taking terrible chances and weaving in and out of lanes at very high speeds. We even saw a car overturned against gas tanks at a gas station along Rte 95 in CT. We were very happy to get home. We did make a fun stop at Bishop's Orchards in Guilford, CT and that is where I found this beautiful tree and decided to leave all my stress of the week behind as we walked along, visiting with some llama and goat babies and some beautiful flowers.
Morning glory beauty at Bishop's Orchards
On the road again on the home stretch in CT as the sun was beginning to set. That is LM quite a ways ahead of me. The sun really lit the foliage beautifully. A stormy Chatham scene yesterday morning. An ocean storm has been churning right off our coast for several days and we were captivated by the force of the wind and the wild ocean. The dramatic sky says it all.
Well, that is a little tour of the weekend and here I am on Monday night....bracing myself for the fact that the major oral surgery will be done on Wednesday. I have no idea how it will affect me but the Dr has ordered some heavy painkillers and anti-biotics, and I have LM lined up to take me and bring what is left of me home. I am focusing on staying calm and matter of fact about all of this and when the call came with Wednesday's appointment I was relieved it would be done so quickly.
Stay tuned.......

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Into the Fall

This beautiful tree greeted me as I arrived at my post office one day this week. Already its leaves have begun to fall and the top is now bare, but there is more and more of this same beauty popping up everywhere this week.
Right now it is just after 4 am - LM and I are just about to hit the road for another of our we are off to northern New Jersey. As usual, we are both thrilled to have the opportunity to get paid and to have fun, explore new places and best of all, be together!!
As we head south from our beloved Cape today we literally will be driving into Fall as the areas south of us get their color later than MA. So as I seek the perfect spot to divest myself of the worry over physical challenges brought to me this week, I will look up, and ahead and see nothing but new views, beauty and things of interest which I hope to impart here soon! We will be on the hunt for orchards and fruit this trip, maybe some cider and donuts, too!

Of course, the great purveyor of even more guilt is staring me down as I type so I must go and comfort the adorable little fur person, make her a nest in my bed, leave her a few treats and quietly slip out the door......bad cat Mom!! LOL

Happy weekend!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


In my post about Dad's birthday celebration earlier this week, I left out an event that only a few people even know happened. It caused me some of the deepest pain I have ever felt and the moment has been haunting me ever since. At the back of the photo album I presented to Dad on Sunday, I put four photos of the house where he and my Mother raised all seven of us. In back of this house is the land on which he ran a successful poultry farm, producing hatching eggs, for more than 40 years. When he left this house it was because he could no longer live alone and I know it was a very painful time for him - it was for all of us. When the land and house sold, we all thought the house would be razed and a McMansion would be built in the spot. When a neighbor told us early last summer that the house was being enlarged and renovated and that it was looking very nice, we were all thrilled. Dad has not been by the house since he left in December of 2006. When I told him the news about the renovation, he asked me to take photos. Thus I did.When I showed him the photos on Sunday, my son standing behind me and other family around but not observing closely, Dad blanched and began to cry softly, as did my son. I was so terribly sad to see how painful these photos were for Dad and the pain shadowed the rest of my day and I am still so ashamed of hurting Dad. He never said anything, but did reach out for my hand. He has been profoundly thanking me for the album ever since and has been showing it to everyone so I think the unease which haunts me is coming from being much too sensitive.

So, it has taken a few days for my feelings of being a thoughtless daughter to quiet down. When I got home Sunday night, I even asked LM to just leave and let me have some time alone. I was jumping out of my skin. This morning I woke up and finally felt good. My knee pain has been controlled by the medication (I had an MRI last night and will meet with the surgeon soon), it was a lovely morning and a GREAT hair day - always a barometer for the rest of the day in my world. Things were rolling along beautifully until I began to feel a strange feeling in my mouth in my lower jaw area, where I had nearly $9000. worth of surgery done last year. As soon as I got to work, I called my dentist and he saw me at 1 pm. To cut to the chase, all the work he did last year has failed and I need extensive surgery ASAP to rebuild my lower jaw, remove the last two teeth I have, install two implants and remake a denture. I began to shake all over.....and am still in shock. I've already googled Dr. Kevorkian, and am trying to find a way to get my mind around what is about to happen to me. In late 1999, my teeth all began breaking off and the bones in my face/jaw were discovered to be very brittle. This was the result of radiation for cancer which was done in the early 90's. That began a very long series of surgeries, the last of which was done a little under a year ago and seemed to be completely successful, and finally, I thought, I was done with oral surgery! The price tag on all of it came to $22,000 out of pocket!!! I am still paying a loan on the initial bout. Through the kindness of a family member, I had assistance paying off last year's. Today, I thought my dentist, a very kind man, would cry as he told me what is in store. He said it would cost nearly $10,000 but he would absorb all but $2200 because he feels partly to blame for the failure. He was also very compassionate about the emotional impact this will have on me after all I have been through, and he knows I am facing some imminent surgery on my knee, as well. UGH!!!

Somehow, I must find the fortitude to get through all of this, but I am very uneasy tonight. As much as I try to not spend too much energy worrying about things I cannot control, it just seems this hit has me down for the count. Guilty still about hurting Dad, guilty about burdening those who care and are concerned, guilty about LM especially. He has so much on his mind right now and I do not want to be the cause of more angst for him.

I must put on a happy face, and go about tomorrow as though all is fine.....there was a very bright spot in my day.....LM and I are doing a car run for the local Saturn dealer on Saturday and we get to go to NJ! Another road trip with my will do wonders to lift my spirits, I know. Maybe I can leave my unease somewhere along the road where it will not hurt anyone else. I will look for just the right spot. I know the foliage will be lovely. We already have found a few interesting places we are going to tour and it will be a fun day.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Celebrating 96 Years of Life

Sunday we celebrated my father's 96th birthday and he was delighted to have 3 of his many grandchildren and one great-granddaughter there to help make the celebration very special. As we walked toward Allerton House Assisted Living, where he has happily lived for 1.5 years, there he was, on a picture-perfect Fall day, smiling and ready to welcome us all.
Daughter, Anne, Dad, son, Jason and daughter, Sara with her daughter, Samantha, gathered around the Common room table.
Yours truly presenting the cake and singing happy birthday....After cake we adjourned to the front porch in the beautiful sunshine to help Dad open his cards and gifts.....I am showing him the album and narrative of the sisters' reunion which I put together so he could share all the Seattle fun.

My beloved LM who helped in so many ways to make this day happen.

When the festivities were over, it was time to say good-bye to Anne as she would be headed back to FL. A very bittersweet moment, but I proudly watched her leave and gave thanks for the wonderful visit. Anne has gown into the most amazing woman, mother, wife and daughter.
It was also rare to have all three of my children with me at once...Jason came alone as his very pregnant wife, Alison was feeling low with a cold and bad cough. Sara and her husband, Richie were very busy shepherding their very sweet and outgoing Samantha and it was so nice to see what a great parenting job they are doing. They have had a lot of struggles and right now things seem happy for them. WHEW! Richie has a new job which he likes and they are about to move to a new place which will be better for them all.
There was an undercurrent of worry and stirred emotions at the party as Dad had spent the day before at the nearby ER in terrible pain from a bladder situation. A reminder of his fragility and just how fortunate we are to have him after 96 years. His spirit to rally and his gratitude at having his family around him just touches me to my core. Being around all that love is such a gift.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ms G celebrates Saturday and a Visit from her "Aunt Anne"

Ms. G had a very exciting weekend as she had another of her favorite people in-house and she got lots of extra attention. Her people were rewarded by many of her cute antics. Anne arrived on Friday night and we were all pretty tired and settled in for bed, eagerly anticipating our day together on Saturday. It was just so much fun to share some of my regular routine with my daughter. Below is a tender shot of Ms G waking up next to "her boyfriend"....during the night he had tucked her in under a quilt and she stayed there all night. He stays awake half the night patting her and waking me to tell me how touched he is by her cuddling and purring. VERY SWEET! It reminds me of a loving father staying awake to watch his baby sleep.
After a leisurely breakfast - we could just talk and talk for hours on end....we got ready to go out and about. LM was off to do his own errands for the day and he took this photo in front of my house before he left.
Next we were off to the final Orleans Farmers Market of the season....sob, sob...we got honey, beautiful greens and a few other items. Next up was visiting a number of the projects my company is working on right now. Below is the sun room of a very dramatic new house we designed and are building in N. Chatham. Next photo is the view out to Pleasant Bay from that sunroom. As you can see, it was a glorious day!

After a nice tour, some more errands and visiting some shops in Chatham Village, we came home to prepare a nice dinner together. LM was soon with us again and we had a delicious meal of all local food - locally caught flounder, and potatoes and greens from Barnstable. While we were eating Ms G was in one of her favorite chairs watching us intently, and she also did a fair share of rolling around on the floor and playing with LM while we were eating. When she wants his attention, she reaches up and softly taps his arm.
Finally, the day ended with the event Anne said must be part of our visit: we all watched the Sex and the City movie, while we ate tiny bites of treats from the local French bakery. As you can see, Ms G was very happy to have Aunt Anne to cuddle with while we watched the movie. We all loved it and tears were shed! LOL I had never seen the series until a few months ago when Anne and a friend at work insisted I had to watch it, but I was told I could not see the movie until Anne was here to share it. I followed orders and it was such fun to share the movie, and LM never said a word about what shallow women we are!!!
PS. The quilt Anne is laying on is one I made many years ago as I was recovering from cancer surgery. It makes me feel really happy and grateful to still be able to look at it and enjoy it everyday on the guest room bed.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


There has been much written here through the last several years about finding solace and renewal in nature, and as we pass through these "difficult" and uncertain financial times, I find myself reaching out more than ever to observe nature at work and I am trying to follow the lead of my feathered friends and to count on the turn of the tide. Reacting in panic will not work for me or for anyone. After all, there is nothing I can do to change what is happening around me, I can only control my own immediate world, make some minor changes to pare down spending, and be positive in my thinking. I took these pictures last Sunday and the Great Blue Heron on his tall perch (used to measure the high water marks at Jack Knife Cove - part of Pleasant Bay- on the Harwich/Chatham town line) was going on with life, being resourceful and patiently fishing for his dinner, hanging out in a beautiful place. I really believe the country's financial system is reacting to some very bad decisions and it needed to right itself....yes, it will be a painful readjustment but it is necessary. Hopefully, this will encourage people to vote for change.

The other photo was taken from Whalers Wharf in the center of Provincetown looking out across the harbor to Wood End Light. It was a dark and rainy afternoon and there were the cormorants keeping a close eye on the water for a chance to dive for their dinner. I'm thinking that I need to follow their example, focus on what is necessary for survival amidst the beauty we share.

An excerpt from Dylan Thomas' "Poem in October" which I think is appropriate.

And I rose
In a rainy Autumn
And walked abroad in showers of all my days
High tide and the heron dived when I took the road over the border

.......and talking about reactions, last night I took the first dose of Mobic which my doctor prescribed for my knee pain. This morning I woke at 5 and realized that I was scratching and I was COVERED in huge red welts!! Drug reaction, but a surprise as I took this same drug years ago and it never bothered me at all. The welts have persisted all day and I am still a mess. I've spoken with the doctor and she will give me something else to try. The kicker is that overnight, all the pain and weakness was gone. I felt like I could have run a marathon today, well, maybe walked a few miles!
Tomorrow I will finally be with my beautiful daughter!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

This afternoon, my dear daughter, Anne, and her husband, David will be arriving in MA from their home in FL for a week to soak up "home" in New England. I cannot wait to be with Anne and we have carved out one entire day just for us to be together, savor the Fall on Cape Cod, cook together and just be mother and daughter and best of friends. Making more wonderful memories and sharing our bond. There will be a lot of other events sprinkled in....Friday she will get together with my other daughter, Sara and their two half-sisters, Missy and Sharyn to have a family photo taken for their Dad as a Christmas gift. After that, Anne will meet LM, my son and his wife and myself for a dinner out, then she will come back to my house to stay with me for two nights!!
Glorious weather is on tap and I cannot wait. On Sunday we will celebrate my Dad's 96th birthday and there will be quite a crowd of us at his home to share a cake and present him with some gifts.

While Anne is catching up with all her MA family, her husband, David will be doing his annual climb up Mt. Washington in NH with a large group of friends from his high school years. It is an annual event dubbed "Mountain Studs". There may be a glitch in the plan this year as the MIL of one is dying of cancer. Hopefully, they will be able to go forward with their plans.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Knee News

Today I finally got myself to my physician to discuss the awful pain and weakness in my left knee which have been worsening rapidly of late. I am now unable to walk very far and have to be extremely careful upon arising to avoid falling.
In 2006 I had a total knee replacement on my right knee and it has been wonderful. I was convinced that my left knee would need a total replacement as well. It is a tough surgery and recovery but I would do it in a flash if I could but financially I cannot now afford to take 7-8 weeks off from work without pay. I only have 1 week of sick time available to me. Thus, when I found out today that there is a slim chance I could get away with simpler surgery it was a relief. It seems I have a nasty big spur in the left knee and it is attacking my quadricep muscles. THAT is why I have such awful pain and weakness. I will be having an MRI and a visit with the surgeon soon to find out if the simpler procedure is an option. Here's hoping!! For the time being, it is recommended that I not exercise and be very aware of resting my knee. Not good news for me.

The cool weather has really arrived here and tonight I had to face the fact that I needed to buy some new turtlenecks. With one shabby black one left from 3 years ago it was time so I headed out to Macy's and got several colors at a reasonable price. Eerily, I swear I was the only person in the store. The financial crisis? Dancing with the Stars? The debate? I don't know, but it was a strange feeling. I took LM's daughter, Kristi along and she loved it....she was able to buy herself a new DVD with her birthday money.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Kristi's Birthday and Aliens Afoot

Today was a picture perfect day in Chatham and I was up early to put the finishing touches on the preparation for Kristi's birthday celebration. Still feeling quite a bit under the weather with terrible pain and weakness in my left leg, but I managed to get through the day. The pain is beginning to really wear me down and I have a full day of walking ahead of me tomorrow when I visit a dear friend in Provincetown.
Anyway, here are a few shots taken throughout the day. We got down to the village in time to see the Budweiser Clydesdales and their very cute dalmation, parade through town. We followed that with a drive around to see some of the current projects being built by the company I work for, and to take some pictures near the ocean, and also to give the company a tour of my office.

I must say that Ms G was a purrfect hostess today.....event though she seems a bit peeved in this photo and seemed to be complaining about aliens afoot, she was quite social and playful with everyone, and she got loads of pats and play time with her dear LM.
Proud Dad and daughter on her 40th!
The table set for dinner

Can you tell I was smiling at LM....his foot in the corner tells it all.

Jason, Kristi, Alison (with my new grandchild), Moi, on the church lawn in the village waiting for the Clydesdales to parade by. A perfectly beautiful Fall day and there were thousands lined up for the parade.
The beautiful horses and the very cute dog

Proud Daddy presents the cake to Kristi....oh, and it was a totally pink strawberry cake! As many aphasics are, Kristi is fixated on colors and she is VERY definite about which colors are "good" and which colors are NOT. Everytime she sees me she gives me a grade from A+ - F- reflecting her feeling about what color I am wearing....yesterday it was B+ for navy blue but F- for the gray sweater is all pretty funny but I do notice that I try to wear colors which please her. Thus the strawberry cake....stawberries in the cake itself, filling made with fresh berries, and the totally strawberry frosting. She LOVED it. Of course, green is her MOST favorite after pink thus the green wishes on the cake. I just made the recipe up so no recipe to pass along. It was really delicious, though.

Out go the candles. I hope her every wish comes true...she is a dear person to me!

Sadly, LM just left to take Kristi home and we will not have any more time together this weekend. It is OK. Tomorrow he has to address a large group about the pending angler registry legislation. He has not been home at all this week and has so much to do. To be honest, I am in such pain that I am better off here with a DVD to watch.
Parting was tearful and LM whispered in my ear that we must carve out time just for us. SOON. WE WILL! Our love is so precious. In a phone call after he dropped Kristi off at home, he said he was brought back to center and missing me terribly when he realized just how good it felt when I touched the nape of his neck at sometime during the day today. We've both said since the beginning of our love that touch is our favorite thing and when we are too far from each other it is is quite conspicuous in its absence. He always has a way of saying things like that to remind me of exactly why I love him so much.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Old Village Roses

When I first moved to Chatham in 2000, this house was abandoned and boarded up. It was really sad spot in the Old Village which is full of lovingly maintained examples of very early-Chatham architecture. Weeds grew tall and the house was becoming shrouded with overgrown shrubs. Along came a family with foresight who painstakingly restored this beautiful house, lifting it and making a new foundation, then carefully bringing new life to brighten this prominent corner on the way to the Lighthouse. A lively young family appears to enjoy this place now as a summer retreat. They have planted very conservative gardens, seemingly to replicate what gardens of yesteryear might look like, and to allow play areas. I love it that there are always roses late into the fall. They do seem to love the sea air and become rejuvenated in the Fall.....seems to apply to me, too. Sending some along to all of you today. It is a glorious crystal clear morning.
Off to the lighthouse and then work!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ms G Report, etc

Ms. G has made great progress in the last few days and I am happy to report that she is just about her old self and, with the exception of "extreme stress" because her keeper HAD to use the vacuum cleaner tonight, she is playful, loving and eating well.

Speaking of the vacuum cleaner, my energy level has been pretty high this week and in another burst this evening, I moved the living room furniture yet again. I just love re-arranging things and having a fresh look. Tonight's move was inspired by the fact that I needed to place my dining table so it could be opened fully, as we are having a very special birthday dinner here on Saturday. LM's daughter, Kristi, is turning 40! We will start off the festivities by attending a parade in the village which will feature the Budweiser Clydesdale's. A cool sunny day is promised and I am sure it will be lots of fun.
Part of my evening "entertainment" tonight was ironing all the table linens for Saturday and my very special company who will arrive next dear daughter, Anne, is coming from Fl for Columbus Day weekend! I find so much pleasure in ironing....yes, I know, many would say I am crazy, but there is a peace and reward in seeing the finished project. NPR kept me company while I worked, although I confess to turning it off when politics come on. Diversion, please, I say!

Work was really crazy today. There are a lot of changes and we are very, very busy. Our company president sent around a nice e-mail assuring us all as we pass through these difficult times and praising us all, as a team, for all the effort which has gone in to building the business we have now which, hopefully, will carry us over the current financial crisis we are in. He encouraged us all to remain positive, as opposed to wasting energy worrying.
Good advice no matter what one faces.

Taking a Chance on Love

Back in the early Spring of this year, my talented architect friend and co-worker, Jeff (shown below with my beloved LM), was chatting with me one day about his disappointment and frustration with the dating world and how he had thought he'd met someone just right but then she suddenly dropped out of his life after a fairly short time. I listened and empathized from my vantage point of having been through many relationships, and I promised him that as long as he remained positive and open, someone worthy would come along. That was on a Thursday.Meanwhile, the following night, I had a date to meet a group of women friends for dinner and to attend a musical performance at a local Cultural Center. At dinner, I sat across from Laurie, whom I had met when I took a class for women living single last Fall. Ironically, I had signed up for that class a month before LM and I took our friendship to another level and began dating, but I decided to go through with my commitment to the class anyway. Laurie is 37, and a teacher at the same school where I worked for many years before moving to Chatham, and also where I met LM 20+ years ago. So, that night at dinner, Laurie and I decided to share a bottle of Reisling, and we began talking about her disillusionment with dating. Suddenly, I recalled the conversation I'd had with Jeff the day before and my mind started spinning....I ran all I knew about Laurie through my mind, weighed it against what I knew about Jeff, and knew instinctively that I MUST introduce these two. Never having played matchmaker before, I was very apprehensive, but my intuition told me this was right. As the evening went on, I began to tell Laurie about Jeff and she was very interested, asking lots and lots of questions. By the end of the evening she'd given me her dating profile location on the internet, saying Jeff could look and see what he thinks, and when I got to work on Monday, I shared the info with Jeff. He was really open and said he would look at her site. His reaction was very favorable, they e-mailed a bit and then talked on the phone. Before they could have a date in person, Jeff seriously injured his achilles tendon and was sidelined for quite some time. Laurie tells me now that she thought he was trying to beg off, using the injury as an excuse. I tried very hard to stay neutral, step back and let things happen the way they were meant to be, but the glow on Jeff's face everyday was too much - they were talking on the phone and getting to know each other. He could not contain his joy and had to share it with me. As soon as was humanly possible they had their first date and I think I can safely say it was love at first sight. Jeff's face told the whole story the first time I saw him after that date. I was in tears. Many months later, they are deliriously happy and are having the times of their lives. They both love the outdoors, hiking with their dogs, camping and boating. They have even bought a boat together! Their families have met, and things could not be happier for this "perfect couple", Jeff and Laurie:

Last Saturday night they treated LM and I to a lovely dinner and a bottle of Reisling to thank me and to celebrate their love. I was tearful with joy the whole evening. You just never know where life will take you, why, etc. This was one time, I knew I was in the right place at the right time and I listened to my intuition, just as my mother had told me I should do! I understand that LM and I will be front row and center at their wedding when it takes place!
Oh, and recently Jeff acquired the sweetest black and white long-haired Border Collie...Windy. She is so precious and has made a huge hit with Laurie's dog, Gracie. I think they have the start of a happy little family.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Seattle Smiles

Midweek levity, here.....
Some funny photos from the Seattle sisters' reunion.....out and about the town.Funky chicken in a W. Seattle bookstore
A Jeep adorned with a permanently affixed brass dragon of sorts.....parked near the Experience Music Project.
Nephews, Ian and John having a great time at the Experience Music Project Dining room.....some of the best food of the trip was to be had here....cheesy/garlic french fries will live in my memory for a LONG time, and on my hips, too, but they were WELL worth it.
Sign found at the Cupcake Cafe in W. Seattle

The Fremont Troll....quite a guy....he lives under a highway bridge in the Fremont section of Seattle....he is clutching a Volkswagon Beetle.

There were so many wonderful moments on the many laughs, so many meaningful conversations. I love my sisters so much!!!