Friday, March 31, 2017

More Lousy Smarch Weather

The rainy, raw and bleak weather belies the date: we're in lion weather.

It may be boring to blog about weather, but today will be my last day this year to post this.

I took Lola to Oystershell Park today at lunchtime. I chose Oystershell because its trails only have a short area with mud, it's the second closest park to home, if it starts pouring, we're not too far from the car, and it's on the way to Pagano's, and I wanted salmon for dinner.

It was raining lightly when we were there. Luckily it didn't get worse. We walked for about 25 minutes. I told Lola things would be better soon.

On Writing

I think of myself as a writer although I often question it.

Mainly because I don't write enough. I journal most days but more often than not my journal's just a glorified to-do list.

Sometimes I find myself narrating my actions a la James Leer (played by Tobey Maguire) in Wonder Boys. Unlike James, I narrate only to myself, not out loud.

One day last week I was thinking that I was in the shower for a long time. I felt a little guilty because we've been in drought. I remembered the planet Arrakis of the book Dune: no showers there. I then got an idea about a woman who had a weekly water allotment. Later that day I wrote a few sentences.

I kept thinking about the story, wrote a little more. Wednesday I wrote a little more: I now have 478 words. It's not much: a vignette rather than a short story. But I'm happy to be writing something more than a journal again. I have several of these vignettes, partial stories, whatever.

Revisiting these vignettes/stories may help me write more.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Caught in a Downpour

Often when people ask me how much of a pain it is to walk a dog every day, I tell them that there are only a handful of days each year when it's really bad.

Today was one of those days.

It's been rainy, raw and dreary for three consecutive days. Lola is still too scared to walk on sidewalks. I take her out to the lawn for pee breaks, but need to take her to a park for a real walk. Today I planned our walk after my visit to the gym and before meeting my mother for lunch, based on weather forecasts that predicted stronger rains in the afternoon.

As we arrived at Cranbury Park, it was drizzling. I could deal with that. As we progressed along the blue trail, it rained harder; I pulled up my hood on my raincoat. We walked faster, winding our way along. It seemed to take much longer than usual to get to the the connecting trail that leads back to the parking lot.

The rain let up a bit, as we entered the dog field. I considered taking the longer route back. Luckily I didn't, because it started pouring as we hit the final leg of the trail. Back in the car, I cleaned the mud from Lola's legs and tummy with doggie wipes. I dried her as best I could with the towel from my trunk as the windshield de-fogged,

We arrived at my mother's wet and bedraggled. The rain had soaked through my coat, so it was a damp and uncomfortable lunch for me.

Nice to come home for dry clothes, hot chocolate and Lola snuggling.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Remembering Spike

15 years ago today, Spike came to live with us. 

Jeff and I still miss him; he was a big part of our lives for 13 years.

We explored new places such as parks and beaches because of Spike. We found interesting buildings and met neighbors on daily walks. We made many friends with other dog-lovers.

Spike was a great companion on road trips. He traveled up and down the East Coast, from Plymouth, Massachusetts to Stuart, Florida. Spike visited Shea Stadium, Citi Field, a museum, an art gallery, wineries, many stores and countless restaurants. He was a regular at Interlaken Inn, better known than we were.
 
These photos represent just a few of our happy memories.

Spike on the beach in Hobe Sound, Florida.n
 

In the car in Plymouth, Massachusetts

Circling the warning track at Shea Stadium.




Wednesday, March 22, 2017

11 Months with Lola

We welcomed Lola to her new home on April 22. We've had good and bad days: lots of  progress and some regression.

It seems that Lola knows for sure that she belongs here with us, that this is her forever home and we love her.

Lola is a joy. Happy anniversary.



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Hello Spring!

Yesterday was the first day of spring. Here in southwestern Connecticut, it started out cold, but later warmed to spring-like weather. The biggest downside to feeling spring-like is the mounds of snow everywhere. Yesterday at Taylor Farm Lola and I had to negotiate icy puddles, snow, slush and mud. Not much fun.

Today was warmer. I selected Cove Island--thinking it would be less muddy and slushy because of  its paved trails. I made a good choice. There was much less snow at Cove Island than at Taylor Farm. Plus we could actually walk on the beach. All of these elements combined to make it feel spring-like.

Today is Naw-Ruz, Bahai and Persian New Year. I learned more about this holiday in the Sunday New York Times. It's a day of optimism, hyacinths and family. The tradition is to visit relatives in order from oldest to youngest. Each home visited had a haft sin--a display of seven symbolic items meant to bring health, wealth and love. Often the seven would include lentils and gold fish.

I'll have to think about what our seven items would be.

***

Schizophrenic (or Jekyll and Hyde) springs appear to be the new norm. Disclosure: I'm watching the Fredric March version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as I write this. Sad to say, but we've broken the weather.



Saturday, March 18, 2017

RIP Chuck Berry

Turned on my pc and saw the news. 

Other, more knowledgeable people have talked (and will continue to talk) about Chuck Berry's musical genius.

On a personal note: I've always loved to sing. I remember singing to family and friends as a little girl. The two songs I remember singing are Mack the Knife and Johnny B. Goode.

There are many great Chuck Berry songs. But to this day, I still feel a rush when I hear Johnny B. Goode.

Thank you Chuck for all the musical memories.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy Saint Patrick's Day and Half-Way Day!



I don't know anyone who celebrates today as a religious holiday. Let's face it--at least here in the US-most people just use today as an excuse to drink. We had a few Guinnesses with dinner and are now drinking Irish whiskey. 

Since my family is from northern Ireland, we usually choose Bushmills, as my father suggested. He got me into the habit of noting what Irish whiskies are available in bars. He would have loved bar-hopping in  Boston where many bars had both Bushmills and Jameson.

Today is also Jeff''s and my half-way day. Here's the story of now we discovered  the concept of half-way day.

Frustration Dreaming 8.0

or thereabouts.

In last night's dream, I dropped two plates on the floor while "helping" my sister-in-law serve some guests a salad and a piece of salmon. I offered to replace both.

For the rest of the dream, I was running around looking for replacement plates and trying to find lettuce to make another salad. It was difficult because the house was huge, had two refrigerators plus a display case that would rival Whole Foods.

There was lots of other threads such as me not remembering when Game Night was, and where was someone whose name I can't remember. As usual, the details grow sketchier as I am awake longer.

Unfortunately, I don't feel like much like a champion.


End of the Road

for the Catamounts' season. Yesterday they lost to the Purdue Boilermakers 70 - 80. It was a good game. Vermont led for much of the first half. At half time, they were just a point behind.

Second half didn't go as well. But the Catmounts were in it for the duration and made a valiant effort.

With about two minutes to go in the first half, Kurt jumped to attempt to prevent/block a shot, landed awkwardly, and suffered a torn ACL that will require surgery. A horrible end to a magical season. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Stella--The Aftermath

Ugh. I de-iced my car yesterday and did some shoveling to free it. But we have only one shovel, and it was more important for Jeff to get to work this morning. I should have gone back outside after Jeff finished. Instead I had a drink and made dinner.

My car is one of the few that still has snow behind it. I just spent about 10-15 minutes shoveling. I'll go back outside in another hour or so and do some more work.

***
Round Two: Another few minutes and another few shovelfuls of snow. Not sure I'll make it out to the park today.

***
Round 3: I made more progress, but there were still large slabs of recalcitrant ice and snow underneath my car. I might have made it out, but I envisioned myself getting caught on a slab halfway out of my parking space. The wind was gusty and it was snowing again. 

So here we remain. I didn't really need to go out today, but wanted to do something fun for Lola. She'll have to wait until tomorrow. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Stella!

Can't you hear me yella. 

We've had warning of this storm since the last snowfall on Friday--possibly significant snow. Here in our sliver of the southwest Connecticut coast we lucked out: somewhere between six and 12 inches rather than the 12 to 18 inches expected as of yesterday.

Spring is just around the corner.

Happy Pi Day!

Today is a time to celebrate the magic of pi. There's even a shop for pi-related items.

I forgot about pi day until yesterday. A big blizzard was forecast for today, so I didn't want to go near a grocery store. I stopped at a bakery, but it only did pies on special orders. At least we had a pizza pi (pie.)

We could have been much more creative.

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Weeks That Were

How did I go almost two weeks without posting? I seem to have regressed into my funk, doing only the minimum day-to-day requirements and finding some kind of solace in playing Yahtzee and watching bad TV (e.g. Bravo and Jersey Shore marathons.) I'm not proud to write that.

Last week I decided that I should write a positive post--a list of good things. I never got around to it. Positive things will be at least part of this post. Let's start there.

Vermont men's basketball has completed a sweep of the America East playoffs. They're in the NCAA Tournament. This will be the first time for Kurt, so we're excited for him. It's been a great season: Vermont is undefeated in conference play; Kurt has career totals of 1000 points, 500 rebounds, and 200 three-pointers.

We've had several warm days between several windy, cold ones. Lola and I took long walks at Cranbury, Winslow and Cove Island  Parks. I miss the neighborhood walks that Spike and I took. But park visits with Lola are pretty awesome too. We even went on the yellow trail at Cranbury; Lola's been wanting to walk that trail for weeks.

I returned to the gym last Friday. It wasn't as hard as I expected. A return visit after a break is usually brutal. But I deliberately took it easy. That was the same day Lola and I hiked the yellow trail. I was pretty tired by the climb back up the green trail.

I visited the gym again today. Again, a light workout and later in the day, a long hike at Cranbury.

I finished my tax paperwork and took it to the accountant on February 28th--I think that's a world record for me. We're getting a refund from the federal government but owe Connecticut. We'll be up about $60. Better than owing money, but a bigger refund would have been appreciated.

Watching some spring training baseball. It's giving me hopes for the Mets season and warmer weather.