Monday, November 23, 2015


Happy Thanksgiving to all.  I'm leaving in the morning for Rhode Island, looking forward to safe travels and a nice visit with my mother and Mark.  I've got myself somewhat organized for the trip but I never really pack until just before leaving--what would we do without traditions?

Our Thanksgiving is really nice, very quiet and sort of private.  We have a turkey (I bought one here and it will have many miles on it before we cook it), mashed potatoes, good stuffing, and Mark insists on having TWO kinds of lima beans--once I told him that I can't get Fordhood limas here, and Liza likes baby limas, so he buys tons of both kinds.  What would we do without traditions?  I make a delicious pumpkin pie using Martha Stewart's old recipe, which has 1/4 tsp of chili powder that makes it delicious.

I had lunch with Julie today and ran some errands in Plattsburgh (my second home).  I got wine and champagne for RI, picked up a prescription, and Julie & I ate at our new-favorite Japanese restaurant.  We have lunch once a week and always went to the Thai restaurant but this Japanese restaurant opened downtown recently so we've changed our routine.

It was cold--but what I'll soon think of as "cool," in the 30's today.  It didn't get above freezing here in Hawkeye but was in the 30's in Plattsburgh.  I got chilled, which sort of upsets me because I really have to adjust to cold, colder, coldest temperatures.  Right now the living room is toasty, with a good fire and the heat on.  I'll leave the heat on while I'm gone and will worry about my house.  I'll turn on the cellar heat, not really necessary but a safety thing.

The Holts are coming tomorrow and will be here exactly as long as I'll be in RI--we'll totally miss seeing each other.  I asked them if they would stack some of my wood, which I hated (REALLY hated) doing, but it seems almost insurmountable at this point for me to do it myself.  If I were more disciplined and in better shape I could do it with no problem, but I just looked at the 4 cords left to be stacked and thought how cold it's going to be and how long it will take me.  Oh I'm just a wuss.

I take the dogs with me and they seem to like being in RI even though they have more fun here at home.  Right now Tess is out on the deck barking non-stop at the woods.  I do wish we could communicate better with our pets, it would be fun to know what they bark at.  It's like high sport to them sometimes.  They went to Plattsburgh with me--I take them in the car whenever I can.  They get excited about "Want to go in the car?" but it's never very exciting for them (by my standards).  They mostly sleep but do get to bark at other cars and people in parking lots.

I hope everyone has a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving, full of whatever pleases us all.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

What will I do when winter comes?

It was in the 30's today and I felt very chilled.  Not good, what will I go when it really gets cold?  It was a cloudy day, slightly damp, and it was just unpleasant.  I did walk to the mailbox but didn't zip my jacket (huh?) so it was cool.  I've had a good fire going all day but I got the living room too hot so now I'm in bare feet, sitting on the couch panting with the dogs.

I was doing pretty well about stacking the wood but slowed way down, so slow that I didn't stack any today.  I did fill a wheelbarrow and bring the wood into the house, at least.  It just wouldn't be a day if I didn't handle wood.

I ran an errand for a friend this morning, going to Jay for something, then I went to the other side of Keeseville to pick up a friend's wheelbarrow.  Boy what a nice wheelbarrow, too.  Bigger than mine and not rusty or broken.  I'll get back to my stacking tomorrow.

I went to Plattsburgh twice this week.  On Weds. I ran a bunch of errands, including buying a turkey to take to RI on Tuesday.  My mother couldn't find one at her local market so I said there MUST be turkeys here, and there certainly are.  Lots of them.  So I got a 12-pounder for the 3 of us to gnaw on.  I'm taking some hubbard squash that Linda gave me before she left, the supplies to make a pumpkin pie, whipped cream and the bird.  My mother and Mark are doing the rest.  We have this Thanksgiving thing down for sure.

Friday I had lunch with Julie in Plattsburgh and did a few more errands (there are ALWAYS errands to run in Plattsburgh).  We had a good time.  Such a good time that we're doing it again on Monday.  Julie still works so I give her lots of encouragement and sympathy.  I feel so lucky to have my life.

I finished the book group book this week--we're reading The nightingale, which is a dreary WWII novel.  It was upsetting to read about concentration camps, I really hate hearing about inhumanity.  I started reading the new John Irving book but it didn't grab me so I picked up something else (which I can't remember).  I have bought several books in print, mostly paperbacks, because I like to switch back & forth from the Kindle to print.  I think my attitude about a book is influenced by the format, not sure just how but I think I have different reactions to Kindle books.

The dogs are great.  Tess is doing very well and is walking without a limp nearly all the time.  They got away from me this morning but I just picked them up in the car and they were happy.  They'll like going to Rhode Island, but they don't get as much exercise there.  My mother has a small pen so they can go outside off the leash at her house, but they can't run much.  Mark and I take them on walks in the park or at the beach but the last time I was there Treasure ran into the road at the park and was nearly hit by a car so SHE'S on a leash now. Treasure is better behaved at the beach than Tess is--Tess feels obligated to greet and visit with anyone else who happens to be there.  Treasure is less interested in people, more interested in eating seaweed and horseshoe crab shells.  Last month I didn't take Tess on our walks because she has her mobility issues.  Not sure what we'll do this time around.  I'll take Liza to the beach (she doesn't need a leash but does have mobility issues)--she likes to look at the ocean.

I like Thanksgiving, it's a very straightforward and easy holiday and it's all about food and feeling good.  We have a nice time together.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Riding in my car

Oh we love riding in the car, all right.  I like seeing them in the mirror.  They like hanging their heads out the window.

I've been good about doing my 3 things every day.  Sometimes the "things" are less strenuous and eventful, but I do three of them.  This week I'm stacking firewood,stacking 3 wheelbarrow loads of firewood in the morning and 3 in the afternoon.  I don't usually stack my own firewood but the people who do it have more complicated schedules this year so it's not getting done.  I have 6 cords to stack and doubt that I'll get it all done before snow flies but I'm doing my best.  I can't do much more than that each day because my back hurts.  whine whine.

I'm also counting calories now.  Boy is that a drag.  When I lost 28 pounds a few (or many) years ago it was with WeightWatchers, but this time I'm trying calorie counting as a method.  My friend Linda is doing WW, we did it at the same time before.  That is a good program, very effective but I feel like trying the calorie thing and saving the money.

The weather has been grand.  We didn't get much snow, just a dusting, and now it's warm and sunny with no wind.  A real treat.

The book sale went well.  I worked 2 1/2 hours, then had an asthma attack and went home.  They could have used my help at the end of the sale, packing unsold books in boxes.  Next time I'll do it differently and hopefully will help in the afternoon too.

I'm feeling good these days--better because I'm actually being productive.  I like my 3-thing days and sometimes, amazingly, I do MORE than 3 things.  Yikes, I'm out of control.  Life is good.  Retirement is extremely good.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Not snowing...yet

Supposed to snow tonight and tomorrow morning, maybe a few inches for us at the "higher elevations."  That's all right, I just got new snow tires in Plattsburgh yesterday, for a mere $856.  Well, that included installation, let's not exaggerate.  I hit a curb the other day and put a big digger in my tire so was going to have to do something about tires.  I hadn't decided whether to get snows or not and this helped me make the decision.  So let's pretend we have enough money for this sort of thing.

I've been doing all right at being productive.  Not great, but maybe better.  I have my new policy of doing 3 things every day and that makes me feel accountable and more structured.  Dishes don't count, making the bed doesn't count, laundry doesn't count.  Bringing in extra firewood DOES count, as does walking to the mailbox or to camp.  Going to town counts, but only as one thing, no matter how many stops I make.  So far today I've been to AuSable, to the post office and grocery store--that counts as 1 thing.  Brought in extra firewood and will walk to the mailbox this afternoon.  There!  Like magic!  Three things.

Tomorrow I'll be in Plattsburgh by 8 to help Bill unpack and sort books for the Historical Association's book sale.  We only have 2 hours to set up because the sale starts at 10, so it will be a hustle, which will be fine.  We used to have a book sale every year at CEF and it was a huge deal, a lot of work and staff time.  We never made much more than $1000 so we decided it wasn't worth it.  Man that was a lot of work.

I have so many household tasks to do, I should be busy all winter with that.  I never did get to the master bedroom, which was to be a priority as soon as I retired.  It's a storage unit right now and I have to dive in and throw out a ton of stuff.  I got the guest bedroom in good shape, and have actually had guests use it.  My bedroom is in fair shape, I've been cleaning it bit by bit.  Mostly cleaning it means getting rid of dog hair, but the other day I put away my summer clothes and got out my winter ones.  I have too many clothes--4 pairs of books, many coats, and many, many pairs of pants.  I need no more clothes.  I wanted to buy a new pair of Sorel boots for this winter, but my old ones are in fine shape so I can't justify the expense.  Rats.

I'm trying to find a used treadmill.  I think this will be my best bet for weight loss and fitness.  I clearly don't feel motivated to do much walking.  When I worked I used the treadmill at CEF, reading while I walked, and that was very successful.  So my goal is to repeat that at home.  All I need is a treadmill.

I've gone for walks with friends in Keene Valley twice this week.  Once was with Julie, we walked our dogs and had a good time.  Monday I walked with another friend but our walk ended up being a 3-mile trek.  Yikes.  My feel hurt after that.  Treasure went along, on a leash the whole time, and was well behaved but bored, I think.  The dogs ran off the other day when I was walking back from camp and I found them way down the road at a friend's empty camp.  BAD DOGS.  I've been very conscientious when getting them out of the car, one is always on a leash, but I didn't think quickly enough to do that coming home the other day.  ratpigs.

There's not much going on in the neighborhood.  Friends are having some work done on their camp and asked me to check on progress there.  I haven't been down there yet, feel a bit awkward "checking" on things, as the contractors are friends of mine.  It's quiet and there's no traffic, although there is someone in the bog several times each week.

The dogs think it's time to eat.  They think that a lot.  I used to feed them twice a day but since retiring I feed them a small lunch every day.  I got up at 2 this morning, fed them a tiny bit then, gave them breakfast when it got light, and now they think they should get lunch.  That will make 4 meals in one day, a bit extreme, no?

Friday, November 06, 2015

Beautiful weather now going away

It's been a wonderful week for weather, lots of 60-degree days.  I've been walking to the mailbox most days, taking both dogs along.  Tess likes to run in the beginning but walks so slooooowly coming home.  I always have to have one on a leash--on Sunday they ran off and were sighted more than a mile away on the hardtop.  BAD DOGS.  Neighbors let me know they were out and about but I couldn't find them for a while.  I never did find Treasure, she found me at Pat & Jim's.  I was really upset, I can't stand the thought of having them on the hardtop.  So every day when we get the paper, or go to town, or go anywhere, one of the has to wear a leash when we get out of the car.  BAD DOGS.

I'm trying not to do so much traveling but there always seems to be something going on elsewhere.  Monday I went to AuSable and opened a checking account at the bank there.  That took forever because the bank manager has 3 Labs and wanted to tell me alllll about her breeding program for them.  Well, I started the conversation.

Tuesday I went to Burlington for my annual mammogram.  It was an uneventful trip but I had a grand time at Barnes & Noble, buying used books for me and Christmas presents for other people.  Oh I love to spend money.  I've never had anything show in mammograms so I'm assuming all will be fine.

Wednesday I went to Plattsburgh and had lunch with Julie.  We ate at a new Japanese restaurant downtown, a radical departure from our usual Thai lunch uptown.  It was good.  We always have good visits, and I'm always happy to be reminded that retired life is wonderful.

I have planted some of the daffodil bulbs Linda left with me but still have more to plant.  There were 200 of them, most of which have been doled out to others, but I was left at least 50 to plant myself.  So I plant a few here and there every now & then.  Still have some to plant but not too many.  I'd like to have them line the driveway but the digging will be harder there so I may give up on that.

Yesterday I went to my favorite farmstand in Peru, had a grand time picking out apples from the dozen or so bins of different kinds there, for 75 cents a pound.  I got some other produce and took the scenic way home, through the neighborhood we lived in when I first moved here.  It was a nice drive through pretty countryside.

Tomorrow I'll go to the dump (it IS Saturday) then on to Julie's to help her plant some of the daffodil bulbs she ended up with.  I think we'll go for a walk after that but we're both having asthma problems so it will be a slow walk on level ground.  The wet and moldy leaves exacerbate my asthma but I'm trying to be conscientious about using my inhalers to keep it under control.  I don't like to use the steroid inhaler but that's good for prevention.  cough cough wheeze wheeze.

The weather is changing back to November-like days.  It's supposed to be in the 40's tomorrow with nice warm sun.  Should be pleasant.  I went to camp the other day to take some things down and pick up the photo album I keep there.  I'd like to lock the gate but have to communicate with the new neighbor before doing so, telling him the combination and notifying him. 

I'll be doing 3 things every day, but walking to the mailbox and knitting don't count toward that.  I need to get myself better organized and more productive.  I bought supplies to paint the bathroom floor so that's one project I need to get going on.  I like painted floors, and the floor there right now looks awful, the finish is worn off.

Dogs are just fine in spite of the limits placed on them.  As long as there's food in their bowls and biscuits in the pantry they don't seem to care about much else.  Tess is strong and moves well, taking her anti-inflammatory med every day.  Treasure is needy, always wants attention, but is a sweet, sweet dog.

I voted this week--there were a lot of local candidates to vote for so that was good.  I always get nervous when I vote, convinced I'll do it wrong, or vote for the wrong candidates.  This time I got it right (whew!) but not all of my candidates won.  Most did, though.

Life is good.  I wish I were more productive.  I've been knitting every day, which keeps me from doing chores.  Well, some think knitting is being productive, but that's not the kind of production I NEED to be working on.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Dark night

Wow, welcome Standard Time--it's pitch black at 6 p.m.  We've had very bright moonlight for the past several nights so it seems strange to have it so dark.  I prefer light in the early morning so this time of year is good for me.  The weather is great and it's predicted that the week will be warm (60's) and sunny, so YAY.  I'll maybe, just maybe, plant those damn daffodil bulbs.

The dogs raised hell with me today.  This morning they ran off after I went for the paper, and they were gone for hours.  I got a call from the woman whose camp is next to Linda's, way far down the road, telling me that she had seen the dogs at her camp, then her granddaughter saw them on the hardtop after that, not near my road.  I drove all over looking for them and was frantic.  I finally found Tess walking down the hardtop to my road, then Treasure showed up at Pat & Jim's while I was there.  Honestly!  I just can't have this.  It's leash time, that's for sure.  Right now they're passed out cold and snoring.

I've been knitting a lot, something constructive to do while I watch endless hours of television.  I guess some people will get knitted treasures for Christmas.  Maybe.  I can't knit sweaters, they just never turn out well.  Maybe I'll give sweaters one more try, though, and knit myself a vest.  I can't do armpits at all, have tried several times but the armpit holes are always too small and tight.  But as I say, maybe I'll try one more time.

I'm reading a good book by Gail Tsukiyama, something about a thousand blossoms.  It's about two Japanese brothers during and after WWII and is a good read but very long.  I'm plugging along and need to finish it so I can start the book group book: The nightingale, by Kristen Hannah.  Another WWII book.

Yesterday I went to the movies with Lin & Ralph.  We saw Bridge of Spies, which was good but long.  Tom Hanks is really wonderful and so talented.  We went out for dinner after the film, a very festive evening.  Every year Lin & I swear we're going to go to the movies regularly but somehow it never happens.  Maybe now.

Tuesday I have to go to Burlington for a mammogram, no big deal but oh boy!  Burlington!  Trader Joe's!  Barnes & Noble!  Spend money!  Hopefully I'll think about Christmas presents while I'm over there.  I've started getting presents for Mark and Liza, but just the standard gifts we exchange, nothing exciting or interesting.  Mark likes white sweatshirts and white t-shirts so I always give him those.  Both Liza and Mark are hard to find gifts for--we all have pretty much everything we need.  Which I suppose is a good thing, isn't it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Even less color now

All that's left now are the golds of the tamaracks and the ever-darkening beeches.  It was a beautiful day, felt warm even though it was only in the 40's.  The sun was warm and there was no wind.  Did I take advantage of this?  Sort of.  I did a few outdoor chores; got my deck cleared and ready for winter, put the lawn mower away, dumped my flower pots, did laundry and cleaned the bedroom.  Man oh man do those dogs ever throw a lot of hair.  I swept under the bed (how embarrassing) and put away some of my summer clothes.  I haven't completely unpacked from my RI trip.  What am I waiting for?  My next trip?

I had a nice weekend, slightly productive.  I did get rid of my old television, dropped it off at Julie's house on Sat.  We had book group on Sunday night, hosted by me.  I got the house in pretty good shape--well, the 3 rooms people would see.  We had book group Sunday night, though we're down to 3 pretty much for winter.  I made a meatloaf that wasn't very good.  I thought I made good meatloaf but this one pretty much sucked.  I've been nibbling on the leftovers without enthusiasm.

Tomorrow I go to the dump with 2 garbage bags from camp--I closed both main camp and the boat house on the weekend, yay.  I keep hearing "Why is it your responsibility to close camp?" and there's no good answer for that.  Because no one else will do it, I guess.  It doesn't really take that long.  Anyway, after the dump I may go to the Historical Museum to see if I want to resume volunteering there this winter.  I took the summer off, and as Bill pointed out, summer has passed.  I'm not sure I want to do anything there and won't decide that until tomorrow morning.  I'll have lunch with Julie then come home.  Thursday is Pat's birthday and we'll have dinner in Plattsburgh at the seafood restaurant.  A big crowd, I'm sure.  Friday I'll have lunch in Plattsburgh with Barb.  It's supposed to be warm on Thursday so maybe I'll dig some holes and plant the bulbs Linda left behind.  She bought 200 daffodils on sale and we've doled out a bunch of them to various people but I have a ton of them to plant here.  I don't know where I'll put them all but I need to refresh my daffodil crop, it seems to be fading instead of spreading.

Not really much going on, just life in Hawkeye.  I'm happy.