Friday, September 23, 2016

Week 38 - The Spare Room

This week was full of fits and starts – extra things that I’d committed to do, things that got cancelled or didn’t work out, etc. – but I rolled with the punches and got through it all. I also had some good productivity to balance it all out so the week ended up just fine.

It started on Monday. Anne and I had scheduled a lunch with Kate, who we rarely see her since she no longer swims with us. The plan was to take a pizza to Kate’s office and enjoy catching up. Well Kate had had a bad night and called in sick so Anne and I went to Dempsey’s for half price burger day and had a perfectly pleasant time chatting the lunch hour away. Plus truffle fries – yum!

Tuesday was going to be a busy day. I had scheduled my annual physical and mammogram in Wahoo, which started at 9:00. It was a food day so after enjoying some extra time at home, I grabbed my cranberry walnut cole slaw and headed out. I got to work at 11:00 and started eating at 11:30. I ate WAY too much (hard not to on a food day and this one was particularly good) and before I knew it, it was time to head to the Lied Center where I’d volunteered to be a coach for Husker Dialogues, which was a mandatory program for all incoming freshmen to discuss diversity. There was a half hour allotted for check in but with 370 volunteers and only a handful of people checking in, the lines were long in a room packed with people so hotter than blazes. There was no time for orientation so we took out packets and then went to our seats. The students who sat around us were our group so I had 4 students – 2 who engaged (the 2 “of color” – go figure) and a couple who checked out and barely participated. I did have a helper coach so between the 2 of us, we kept the discussion going. It was WAY long because the chancellor only spoke for 10 of his 25 minutes too. But then those of us coaches sitting in the back rows were told that because so many students had come to the first session, we probably wouldn’t have students for the 2nd session, which in fact came true. So when the chancellor started speaking, I got to duck out the back and so left campus at 7:30 instead of 9:00. Nice. I had volunteered during a weak moment one weekend and then bemoaned having to be on campus so late on a work night so it all worked out.

I spent Wednesday dug into a database, working through lunch because it was too hot to sit outside so what was the point. I was spent by the end of the day so was happy to head to the pool for water aerobics, heading home afterwards, showered and ready for a relaxing night. Thursday was more of the same database but that night I got to go straight home for the first time all week. I had a nice dinner, watched some TV and went to bed early. You would think with such a nice night I’d be all set for Friday but I neglected to set my alarm so didn’t wake up until 6:59, which is more than an hour late. Talk about a rude awakening! I bolted out of bed and was in the car just a few minutes later than normal so salvaged my morning. After a nice lunch with Layton (our last for awhile because he’s headed to Europe) and swimming, I hit HyVee and headed home for the weekend, opting for Guinness and chips for supper, figuring that’d be my last relaxing for a couple of days. The plan for the weekend was to get busy on my spare bedroom.

Now the rest of my house is relatively picked up but the spare room is where I chuck things that don’t have a place – off season clothes and linens mostly but also gifts and various other things. Plus it’s my yarn storage room. It had gotten so bad lately that I’d just stand at the door and pitch things onto the bed, which was piled high with all and sundry. So this was the weekend I planned to clear it out and start the organization. Now I had to run some errands Saturday morning but then planned to stay in for the rest of the weekend. Then I got an email from Lori. One of the Monday Night Knitters, Jan, was having a celebration of life for her son who passed away unexpectedly in Oregon a couple of weeks ago so Lori asked if anyone else was going. It was from 1:00-4:00 in Wahoo so emails flew and we made plans to meet at Andrea’s shop just before 1:00. All this meant I had to get way more presentable than I’d gotten to hit the bank. I got dressed and we met then walked over to the venue, only to wonder why there were no cars. When the door was locked we checked Facebook only to see that we’d messed up the date and it was the next week. Since we were all dressed and out, we decided to have lunch at the bar/restaurant across the street – The Wheel House. None of us had been there before and we were pleasantly surprised by the yummy food. We ate outside on their patio and I got home at 3:00. Now to get busy!

Normally if I’d gotten home at 3:00, I’d have called the day done but not this week. I changed into grubby clothes and started pulling stuff out of the spare room, separating it as I went into yarn, clothes, gifts/stuff and bags. Yes, I have that many book bags. That didn’t take too long so I decided to tackle the two smaller piles immediately – book bags and clothes. I culled the book bags then started slogging through the clothes, making piles – off season things to keep, ironing, donations and things to try on. When I was done with that, I called it good. Since I had no intention of doing anything with yarn this weekend, that just left gifts and miscellaneous stuff for Sunday. I nuked some leftovers for dinner and called it a good day.

I slept late on Sunday and then made a big breakfast and watched CBS Sunday Morning before heading to the piles in the front room. At noon when Lorri stopped in after church, I was still in my nightie and surrounded by even more piles. She invited me to her house for dinner, which meant I had even more time to work. Nice. I got dressed when she left just in case. I had gone through most of the gifts/stuff, leaving just the yarn, which I’d tackle next weekend, when Andrea popped by. I decided to make a pot of tea and take a break. It was perfect and since I hadn’t eaten since breakfast, I needed something. When Drae left, I had just enough time to start moving things to where they belonged, which mostly meant down to the basement but I also loaded the backseat with Goodwill donations to drop Monday. I threw in a single load of clothes while I was down there and then jumped into the shower and headed to Lorri’s. She’d made an eggplant/tomato pie (she’d recommended it to me so that’s why she invited me for dinner), jalapeno poppers with “fooled me” no heat peppers from her garden and mixed greens. It was all delish and then we had an apple dessert with vanilla ice cream. Nice ending to the day, n’est-ce pas?

So all in all, it was a good week. I had some lots of fun social things, volunteered on campus and got my spare room started. And as Mary Poppins said, “Well begun is half done.” I agree. While the weather for the coming week was not going to cooperate for the pile of fall clothes I needed to try on, at least it was a smaller pile and I’ll start trying them on when fall weather arrives, which has to be soon, right? And next weekend will be the yarn fun. Because if you have to spend a chunk of time organizing things, it’s more fun if it’s something you love. I’m actually looking forward to it. Yay!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Week 37 - Short Work Week

Monday was Connie’s last day in Nebraska and she had an appointment in Ashland at 3:00 to get a tattoo. Now there’s a fabulous BBQ restaurant in Ashland, which is a miracle for such a small town, but Rachele is a vegetarian who doesn’t eat vegetables and Parker’s doesn’t have mac and cheese. Since it’s literally the only thing I’ve ever seen Rachele eat (the 6 boxes Connie took out of a grocery bag on Rachele’s kitchen table when she needed the bag didn’t surprise me at all!), we couldn’t eat there so Connie suggested Cheesecake Factory in Omaha, which worked for me. I met them there and we had a lovely lunch. Connie and I shared 2 apps so we’d have room for lemoncello torte (no sharing there) and Rachele had deep fried mac & cheese balls and a tomato flatbread that she took most of the tomatoes off of. Whatever. It was a nice lunch and Connie and I lingered over coffee while Rachele ran to the mall to buy sunglasses. From there we went to an antique mall to kill the time until her appointment, which I did not go to so we said our goodbyes in the parking lot. It had been a fun long weekend.

Since it was Labor Day, the library was closed so Heidi hosted knitting at her house, complete with warm chocolate chip cookies. Yum! My intention was to start reading as soon as I got home because I had an overdrive book checked out – Sunlight Pilgrims – that was expiring on Tuesday but I wasn’t sure what time. But I made the mistake of turning on the TV and got sucked into the final episode of Downton Abbey so didn’t get to bed early. That left me reading until late to finish it, which I did, so I lost some sleep. What the hell, I just had to work on Tuesday. I’d survive.

The short work week was pretty brutal though. We had consultants in for some software training, which started at 3:30 on Wednesday. That wasn’t so bad and I had a nice drive to Seward after work to pick up Andrea’s fair entries (I do the pickup every year and then hit their farmers market.) All day Thursday and Friday was another matter. We worked through lunch both days (so neither of my friend lunches – Dodie on Thursday and Layton on Friday – happened) and only took potty breaks. I was toasty fried by the end of the day Friday and all that for something I’ll only be backup on. Whatever. They keep paying me, I’ll keep showing up. I hit the pool on Friday, thrilled to have the work week over and a free weekend ahead of me.

What’s not to love about a free weekend? Nothing! I started with a long chat with Carolyn and then got dressed to run errands - the library, supermarket, Dollar General and then BK for a treat lunch. Once I was home with groceries put away and double cheeseburger consumed, it was time to get busy. My desk was piled so high with paper and crap that Andrea had remarked on it when she stopped by so that was step one. I went through everything on the desk and by the time I was done, the top was mostly clear and my recycling bin was half full. I even took the time to test all the AA batteries that were too low for my old camera but still test good so would work in non-electronic items like clocks and flashlights. I have a ton so if anyone needs AA’s, let me know. That felt good to have done and then I used my newly purchased red sauce to put together the rest of the eggplant I’d fried last weekend, which I then enjoyed for dinner. I finished by cleaning up the entire kitchen so I’d be ready to cook up a storm on Sunday.

After the laundry was done and hanging on the line, I started Sunday with a big clear out of the fridge and prepping fruit, after which I drove a big bag of scraps out to Lori’s chickens. Then I started cooking – blackberry peach pie for knitting, 3 bags of peaches for the freezer (for summer pies in the dead of winter – yum!), a quiche (since I was making pie crust and had half and half) and cupcakes for lunch with Kate on Monday. And then I was an adult and cleaned up the kitchen again, recognizing that with the busy Monday and Tuesday nights that I had coming, I wouldn’t have time to prep for the cleaning lady then. I also picked up the entire house so between the clean desk and house, plus the fridge full of food, I was good to go for the next week. That counts as a great weekend in my world. Oh how priorities change, am I right? All good though. : )

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Week 36 - Hanging with Connie

Connie was coming for the weekend so the end of the week was super fun but not much went on early in the week. The highligh was Wednesday when the cleaning lady came and Erica's kids mowed and weed whacked so I got home to everything in apple pie order. Yup, I'm getting old because that was a highlight. Moving on....

Connie was staying with her daughter Rachele in Lincoln so I missed the hanging out that comes when she stays at my house. Rachele was working Friday and Saturday so I had to maximize my just Connie time. On Friday, Connie had lunch with another friend on campus so I cobbled together lunch at my desk (there had been a chance Connie and I would do lunch so I hadn't brought one) and then Connie and I went out for coffee at 1:00. The weather was gorgeous and it was great to be catching up in the sun while drinking Starbuck's. Does life get better? I guess I could have been knitting too. Anyway, I went back to work with plans for Connie to meet me at 5:00 so we could go to water aerobics together. 

Being in the pool with Connie was a blast from the past. She and I started going to water aerobics in spring of 2006, just before she left the university. I kept going, clearly, but she was still there at the start. We had a lot of fun swimming again and she invited me to join her and Rachele for dinner but I declined because as I suspected, Rachele wanted Indian food at The Oven. Now I'm not a huge Indian food fan but am willing to spend $15 on it for the company. But The Oven is more like a $30 meal so I opted out. I'd be spending all day Saturday with Connie so would see her then.

When Connie still lived in Lincoln, we had a Saturday ritual in the summer that I miss SO much. We would start at the farmers market at 8:00 then hit our favorite cafe for breakfast followed by shopping and sometimes a movie. Well, that was our plan for Saturday and I was very excited. Since I was picking Connie up at 8:00, I happily set my alarm (sacrilege!) and was on the road by 7:15. Despite the fact that the market was a shadow of its former self, we still had fun and breakfast at Cook's was delish. We shopped a little bit (neither of us needed anything so it was focused on organic groceries - go figure) and then headed south for Hell or High Water. While it wasn't #1 on my list of movies to see (and lord knows I rarely go anymore), it was entertaining and by the time it was done, it was time to head to Wahoo for dinner. I dropped Connie at Rachele's and made a bee line home.

Connie had brought a Hutterite chicken from home so that was the main course. Having never roasted a chicken, I goodled a recipe and had it in the oven before Connie arrived. She'd also brought green beans from her friend's garden so I steamed those, cut up the loaf of blue cheese bread we'd bought that morning and then whipped up a hubbard squash casserole with squash from the freezer. It was all delicious and we enjoyed it with wine, chatting for hours. After a quick run for soft serve for dessert, we visited some more before Connie headed back to Rachele's. Rachele was off on Sunday so Connie would be playing with her.

I got busy first thing in the morning in hopes that there might be a dinner option with Connie and/or Rachele. I had the laundry on the line and salted eggplant on every surface in the kitchen when Lorri stopped by after church. After a quick lunch, I got busy frying all the eggplant for my first every eggplant parmesan. I had just put one together when Connie called. Rachele was feeling crappy (allergies) so they'd just been hanging inside all day and Connie was going nuts. I invited them both for dinner but Rachele opted out so Connie came up and we supped on yummy eggplant parm and more blue cheese bread, followed by more chatting. I miss my face time with Connie! But what a nice weekend it had been so far and I'd managed to get my chores done too. And I still had Monday to spend even more time. Old friends, yummy food and a long weekend. Life is good!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Week 35 - My New Normal

Finally I got a normal week. New normal that is with something every night.

Monday – knitting
Tuesday – 600 calorie day and self-PT in the weight room
Wednesday – water aerobics
Thursday – 600 calories and self-PT again
Friday – more swimming

It actually felt great to get back to some routine. The kids were back on campus so it had a whole different vibe and with two afternoons of training, the work week flew. I loved being back in the pool after so long. It was the free week so there were mobs of students trying class out, most of whom we’ll never see again. Hopefully the crowds in the weight room will thin out soon too. At least the self-PT seems to be working. And the weather is cool as often as hot so summer is waning. Yay!

A pretty cool thing did happen this week though. A few months ago, I was at a program at the Sheldon Art Museum on campus where the new director told us that he was looking for ways to get Sheldon's name out there. I suggested that they make some of their art available to download as desktop wallpaper. Good idea, right? Well they actually did it! The director, Wally Mason, kept in touch with me along the way and I got a call from Sheldon's marketing person saying they were available online and they wanted me to be the first to download it and, btw, they wanted to take my pic with my new wallpaper. She snapped 2 pics on her phone and the next day the media blast began. First it went out via email to their friends list then it hit Facebook. At that point, I started getting posts, emails and a stranger approached me when I was thrifting off campus to say she'd seen me on Sheldon's website. Then they mentioned my name on the NPR on Friday morning, and I heard about that too. So I'm calling this my 15 minutes of fame. Pretty cool, huh? Here's the pic.

I had a hair appointment at 8:30 Saturday morning so was up and out. Usually when I’m up and dressed that early, I end up having a productive day but then I got into veg clothes as soon as I got home. That didn’t bode well and talking to Carolyn and then Ginny killed the morning. It was our annual lunch at Chips funded by our fair winning money so I met the knitting gang there at 1:00. We had a yummy lunch and hung out for awhile so I didn't get home until 3:00. I could have gotten something done but just dinked the rest of the afternoon away. At least I finished a pair of socks and the book I’d been reading for months. With Saturday shot, I had high hopes for Sunday.

Well, I headed down to the basement after lunch in search of some yarn for baby booties and was digging in one of my big totes when I smelled something nasty. I dug to the bottom to find a layer of sodden yarn. OMG! The basement flood had been months ago and I had thought the tote, which had a crack in the bottom, was safely above the water. I ended up throwing several skeins right into the trash but I had a bunch of 100% wool from Maine that I decided to try and salvage. I spent a chunk of the afternoon over a sink of hot water, washing hank after hank and hanging it out on the line. It didn’t help that the heat was back. I was dripping with sweat but think I saved most of the yarn. One skein looks a bit off but everything else looks almost good as new. So much for getting anything else done though. I ran to Lorri’s to water then had hotdogs for dinner. Weekend done. At least I saved the yarn. Yee ha!

Week 34 - A New Honda

A new week dawned Monday and I was looking forward to some normal. There was no swimming all week so at least I’d be able to go home right after work. Since I had only been to the pool twice all summer, I guess not swimming was normal.

In an effort to strengthen my leg muscles, I went next door to Love Library and walked the stacks in the basement. It was quiet and level and I got 20 minutes or so in before my leg was screaming so I sat in a quiet corner and knitted for the rest of my lunch hour. Erica’s son Wyatt was coming to mow Monday night during knitting, which meant I had him for two hours if I could find enough for him to do. I decided to have him cut some of the weed trees but my lopper was nowhere to be found. I always hang it from my garden fence and after searching everywhere I could think of, Erica left to pick one up at her rental. Just before she got back, I found my lopper in the trash heap behind my neighbor’s fence. I has clearly been run over. This was clearly the parting gift from the idiot who butchered my yard in May. When Erica had surprised him cutting down my Wahoo trees, he must have been using my lopper and dropped it by the alley, where it got run over and then trashed. Nice. *$(&$(*!&%!(#$*&(

I had my appointment with my new knee doc first thing Tuesday. He spent a good amount of time going over my charts and listening to my story. All told, he said I was in a tough spot. If he replaced my knee now, which he’d be willing to do, I’d need a new one when I was 70. If I wasn’t having pain, it was OK to wait but only if my knee didn’t get more bent that it already is. More bent and it would impact the success of the knee replacement. Sheesh! Of course I’ll be waiting. If I start getting joint pain, I’ll get it done but at least it won’t be anytime soon, good lord willing.

Nora was diagnosed with shingles on Friday so I stopped at her house, which is right near the doctor’s office, to drop off some salsa pork roast for her supper. After work I went to the gym to do my first self-PT. The weight room was full to bursting with newly returned students but I found the machines I needed and got it done. Then it was home to prep for the cleaning lady. Another long day. I was looking forward to a normal day Wednesday and going home to clean house and cooking a nice dinner.

You know that didn’t work out! I walked in the door and my house was hot. I checked the thermostat and it was 80 degrees. The AC was on but the air coming out of the vents wasn’t very cool and when I checked the outside unit, the fan wasn’t running on it. I called my regular HVAC guys but got voice mail. I figured I could make it until morning but after sitting for 5 minutes, I knew that wasn’t going to work. So I called Ed, my frend Donna’s husband, who has bailed me out many a time. He gave me the number of someone in tow4n who would come out that night and he did. In 20 minutes he replaced the faulty part and it was only $124. By 7:00 I was eating dinner in my cooling down house. Not the night I’d planned on but salvaged after all.

Thursday was the first 600 calorie day in my new plan to do 3 600 calorie days per week. I had meant to start Tuesday but was thwarted by moldy cottage cheese and a broken toaster oven so Thursday it was. It went just fine and after hitting the weight room after work for my quick PT, I went home to cook kale and sausage. I survived the first 600 day, which was easy when I knew I could eat regular food the next day. If day one was any indication, this was going to work just fine.

I realized when I got to work Friday that my favorite thermos, which is circa 1960, holds 3 mugs of coffee and has a carry handle all while rocking red plaid, was broken. This was the third thing in a week – my trusty toaster oven, the AC and now my fabulous thermos. Oh well. At least my afternoon training got postponed and then I left early for what truly was my last PT. Cory gave me the OK to keep going on my own but left my case open in case my knee takes a turn for the worst. The skies opened up while I was at PT and the storm brought in gorgeous, cooler weather. I opened the windows and slept like a baby. I had no plans for the weekend and was looking forward to some leisure.

I had a revelation about my car – I didn’t have to wait for the Fit to fall apart before buying a new one. People buy new cars all the time! I started emailing the internet sales team at Superior Honda and put down a deposit on a new HR-V. Of course the one I wanted (2 wheel drive and silver) was nowhere to be found but I got an email saying they’d traded for one that was on order and it would be ready to pick up near the end of September. Yay! Cross that off my list.

I had a lovely afternoon Saturday, giving myself permission to sit on my deck and read while enjoying a cup of tea. It was heavenly. Other than minimal laundry, I didn’t get much else done on the weekend. I did manage to drive to Ashland to deliver some food to Amanda and see her new baby, Calder. The weather was gorgeous I enjoyed every minute of it. Fall is on the way and can’t come soon enough for my liking. Classes were starting Monday so that would help it feel more like fall too. Bring it on!

Week 33 - My Bum Shoulder

I didn’t have to be at the airport until 3:00 so you know me, I jam packed the day. I met Deanne at a cafĂ© in Wickford for breakfast so we had a nice chat and then walked around. Of course I hit The Mermaid’s Purl and bought a skein of sock yarn. Just one. I drove back to Carolyn’s to await Cornelia, who would be picking me up for a late lunch and the traditional dump and drive at the airport. We went to Crow’s Nest for lobster rolls. It was another good catch up and then an uneventful flight. The first one anyway – the 2nd flight was delayed a bit so I didn’t walk in my door until 11:00 pm. It was a quick trip but absolutely wonderful.

The alarm was a rude awakening on Tuesday but work was fine and then I got to pick up Gansey, who was freshly spayed, at Becky’s. It was wonderful to have her home and be home. I thoroughly enjoyed my first night at home.

I had PT at 7:00 on Wednesday so despite sleeping well, it was an early morning and a totally messed up routine. At least lunch was taken care of. We were having Bethany’s goodbye lunch at Blue Orchid. She’d only been in my office for a few months but we were all going to miss her a ton. So lunch was yummy but sad. I was still knackered from my trip so went home for streaming and knitting. It was the deadline for state fair entries and I’d given it some thought but couldn’t muster the energy to do them so that didn’t happen. I’ll live.

After only 2 days of relatively normal life, Thursday was time for my shoulder procedure. I left work at 3:00 and thought I was having something akin to acupuncture. Imagine my surprise when he said it was a needle biopsy! It started out OK and I even said it was no worse than getting a steroid injection in my knee and then he hit something that sent a bolt of pain down my arm that would have had my off the table except I was in a super awkward position. The pain was only a few seconds but the adrenaline rush had me a mess. The nurse spent the rest of the procedure, about 10 minutes more, petting my leg and telling me it was almost over. I left with a bandaid as the only evidence that anything had been done. It would be 2 days before the steroids kicked in, 2 weeks before full effect and a month before I’d know if it worked. Sheesh!

Work was fine on Friday and I was leaving early for what I hoped would be my last PT. I talked to Cory about not coming back and asked him to give me exercises to do on my own. He agreed and got me going but after an hour of all things PT, my shoulder was killing me. What should have been an easy round of e-stim had me groaning in pain. Cory took pity on me and hooked my shoulder up to some Game Ready icing. I was covered head to toe with equipment and feeling pretty cranky but I was still knitting. The ice did some good. Damn good thing!

I spent the weekend getting caught up. I had unpacked earlier in the week but except for the dirty clothes, which did make it to the hamper, everything was still on the counters. I got everything put away and then started cooking. I was determined to have a normal week the following week so was happy to end the weekend with the house in order and a fridge full of food for the week. Oh, and the steroids did in fact kick in so my shoulder was feeling much better. All good.

Week 32 - A Quick Trip

So the early week was a blur of fiscal year end at work and prepping for RI at home, which included getting Gansey ready to drop back at Becky’s so she could be spayed while I was gone. I did that before work on Wednesday, when I also worked late so it was a long day. I went home to throw clothes in a suitcase and was on the road to the airport at 5:00 a.m. on Thursday. But when the plane touched down in Rhode Island, it made the long days all worth it.  

I had done almost no planning for what to do while there but I did arrange to have dinner with Auntie Margaret on Thursday night. With the afternoon free, Carolyn and I decided to bake cookies so we whipped out a double batch that afternoon and headed to the Crow’s Nest for an early dinner of fried belly clams with my family. Aunt Margaret forgot her hearing aids and I couldn’t exactly yell in a crowded restaurant so I’m not sure what she got out of the meal. Like Carolyn said, she’s 94 so I have to cut her some slack. It was good to see her, as always. 

Friday was the only day with a plan and it was jam packed. Carolyn and I drove down to pick John up then headed to Ikea in Stoughton. The annual Ikea trek is always fun and I bought tons of stocking stuffers and gifts, as usual. Since Stoughton is a restaurant dessert, we headed back to Providence for a yummy lunch at The Salted Slate in Wayland Square. From there we headed back to East Greenwich to pick up Marianne and drive to The Newport Yacht Club for drinks on the deck. It was a gorgeous day with gorgeous views and the Menard clan was fully represented – John’s aunts, uncle and mom. It was fun and after we dropped Marianne back home (she’s pushing 80 and didn’t have the energy for dinner), John followed us to Carolyn’s where we had a nice dinner of spinach pies from Don’s Pizza. Yum! 

The only other plan for my entire trip was Saturday night at Bob’s, when I would be buying take out so no one had to stress about cooking. So with the day free, we had a leisurely morning at home, complete with scrambled eggs (Carolyn makes the best eggs, bar none) and then we headed out for some shopping. We had to pick up a few things at the market to go with the pizza we’d be ordering and then we hit the new Job Lot in East Greenwich. After offloading everything, we had a bit more time at home before heading to Bob’s. Michele, Rob and the kids were there as well as John, Bob (duh! It’s his house) and Daisy (his daughter.) After starting with vodka laced Del’s lemonade, we had a lovely, low key dinner of pizza, chicken wings and had assorted ice cream novelties, Carolyn’s idea, for dessert. It rained briefly but Bob’s table is completely covered so we didn’t feel a drop. We talked for hours and hours. Nice. 

Since Sharyn is stuck in Attleboro and still not driving, Carolyn and I went up there on Sunday and had a fun morning of shopping at the Christmas Tree Shop and Five Below then had lunch at Panera. From there we drove the full length of Rhode Island (all 39 miles) to East Beach, picking John up on the way.  

Now East Beach is by far the best beach in RI but it’s a hidden gem that few people know about. The problem with it is the tiny parking lot so you have to get there either early or late to get a spot or they turn you away. We planned accordingly and got there at 3:30 but still had to wait 15 minutes. As a car left, they let one in. It was worth the wait because it’s gorgeous and never crowded. I had bought a clip on umbrella that morning so happily sat in the shade with a towel over my legs knitting in the sun. John and I went swimming right before we left, which was also fun. If John hadn’t had to be back at his mom’s by 6:00, I could have stayed on the beach until sunset. We had the best time and it made me want to rent a beach house there next summer.  

After the best shower ever (there’s no better shower than after a day being at the beach), we ended the day with fresh swordfish and sweet corn. This was the only meal we cooked the entire time and since I was leaving the next day, it would stay that way. But YUM! It was a lovely end to a lovely day and I was sad to be heading home. But a short RI trip in the summer is better than none at all and I have no right to complain about the quick trip since I’d been to Scotland for 2 weeks this summer. Oh to have unlimited vacation time! I guess that’s called retirement. Just ten more years. : )