Merriman Farm

Merriman Farm
8.75 Acres + House and Barn

Davis Road, Harpswell, Maine

Davis Road, Harpswell, Maine
Summers on Harpswell Sound

Kell, Jon and Chris

Kell, Jon and Chris
The Kids

Perfect Touch

Perfect Touch
Merriman Quilt

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Nan and Bobby at Cook's

Nan and Bobby at Cook's
Christmas - 2011

Thursday, October 28, 2010

October Indian Summer

Today is a gorgeous day and already 66 degrees at 10:00 AM.

We took the dogs for a long walk along by the river and there's only one sailboat left in the water. A sure sign of winter coming.

They are digging up Water Street and replacing the old water mains which are in tough shape.

The Newburyport Choral Society has been lots of fun. We rehearse every Monday night for two and a half hours. I am enjoying singing first tenor and glad I still have something to contribute. I have missed the music so much.

My brother and sister-in-law came for a visit and we took a trip to Rockport and Glocester as I had never been there and we heard it was wonderful. It was definitely worth the trip and we had lunch overlooking the most photographed barn in New England.

My sister-in-law has taken up quilting so we took her to a few quilt shops in the area. It didn't have the same appeal to my brother John. I should have found some bird carvers in the area but haven't seen any work as beautiful as his carvings.

I have all the windows open. Nice!

I notice that some other blogs have included pictures and I have to figure out how it's done.

The troublesome neighbor has moved. She is happy in her new place as they are all smokers. Amen to that.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Last Day of Summer

Today will be a glorious last day.

Yesterday I got out my winter shoes - a sure sign that winter is looming in the horizon.

Tha fall fairs will start next week here in Massachusetts and we plan to attend. The Topsfield Fair is a big one and we have never been there.

I am reading a book called "The Joy of NOT Working". Every day I get up and don't have to rush out the door is a gift.

There's a thrift store in Salisbury, the next town to us. It's run by volunteers and the money provides food for all the food pantries in our area.

My plan is to volunteer since we benefit from all their hard work. What an interesting store. It should be fun.

My quilt is nearly finished and I have hopes of learning to use the long arm quilting machine recently discovered in Amesbury. You can rent it by the hour. I'll have to add the backing and the stuffing, have a little practise time and then go for it.

We have a troublesome neighbor who has a drinking problem. Everyone knows you can't reason with a drunk. What to do, to do. Mmmmmm.

Fall is my favorite season in spite of what lurks beyond.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lost Forever

Divorce is never easy. The grown children seem to have a tougher time coming to grips with the split.

It would appear that my son is lost to me forever - therefore my two sweet grandchildren will be lost to me as well.

I am unsure how to process this grief.

It's been eleven years since the big "D". I thought I did the right thing by hanging in there for thirty-three years until the kids were all grown and out of the house. Somehow it's never enough.

Our family is small and my only brothers are still in Canada. My CLS (common-law spouse) has family too far to see often.

How sad to be seventy-one and have to endure such a loss.

It's possible I may have more grandchildren someday; I can only hope.

At what price do we have to pay to make our children happy?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Smell of Fall

We finally have a break from the awful heat this summer.

It's chilly, overcast with a hint of fall in the air.

Tomorrow we'll meet my son Chris for lunch in Manchester. I miss my kids and my grandkids.

My CLS has found some long lost relatives through Ancestry.com. No one can stay lost these days. I am reminded of that every time the phone rings.

We love going to the library here in town. It's a very busy place and I enjoy reading the local paper and finding a new book. Using the library helps keep the clutter to a minimum in our apartment.

I have more books to give away and wonder if they might like the Harry Potter series. I just had to see what they were all about and thoroughly enjoyed them.

It's a good day to bundle up and take the dogs on a long walk. Maybe we'll take them up on the new Clipper Ship Rail Trail. Gator doesn't like other dogs but I keep trying to socialize him.

The President is on vacation in Martha's Vineyard. I've never been there, but have always wanted to go. I'll have to put that on my "bucket list".

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Blahs

What a relief. Low humidity and 67 degrees. It sure has been a long hot summer.

Looking forward to my favorite time of year - fall.

I am starting to throw out "stuff" and reorganizing everything in this small apartment.

I emptied out the little freezer and threw a ton of food out. I have never disciplined myself to date food when I shove it in the freezer. Who the heck knows how old it is. Hopefully we will get rid of the freezer this week, making way for a better spot for the TV.

We enjoyed looking in the junk shops last weekend. We found a good one over in Salisbury with amazing prices. I don't have room for a thing, but it's a good place to get rid of stuff.

Saturday night we ventured down to Hampton Beach and enjoyed listening to the open air concert on the water. The biggest challenge is to find a parking space. We'll probably go again on Thursday, country and western night.

We have been walking a lot and I have absolutely no pain. It's a wonderful thing!

Holding steady with my weight, but now that the dog days are lifting a little, I want to lose another twenty pounds. That means I'll have to investigate the thrift shops for smaller clothes but I'll worry about that when it happens.

School is starting soon and I used to love to take classes. We might take a ride over to Essex Community College to see what they offer.

Who knows what's around the corner?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dog Days

Glory be, this summer has been the hottest I can ever remember.

I turn off the AC's at night as I can't stand the noise. There is always a breeze here and it's 72 degrees this morning. It was 70 when I got up an hour ago.

The electric bill will be a shocker.

We helped at the Firehouse last night. They had a huge turn-out for a promotion for a product called "Juice +". Sounds like an Amway scheme to me. Hard to believe that folks still get sucked in thinking they're going to hit the big time.

My brother and sister-in-law are planning a visit in October. Horrah! I guess I have to "turn to" and get this place organized. Still too much stuff.

Remember Nan, one room at a time.

Had allergy testing yesterday and am happy I didn't react to anything. What a relief! I was particularly worried about mold.

We had a flood in the kitchen last week. The Nelsons upstairs over us left their facuet on in the kitchen and our kitchen was flooded. No telling what that water is doing up in the ceiling with this God awful heat.

There's a Chamber Music Festival this week at the library. Open rehearsal is from 10 to 1. What an opportunity. I particularly love the cello.

What a wonderful place to live with so much available at no expense.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Home

Our trip to New Brunswick was everything I had hoped for.

Every time I cross the border from Calais, Maine, I remember the poem we learned in high school. "Breathes there the man with soul so dead - who never to himself hath said, ""This is my home, my native land!"" - who's heart hath ne're within him burned, as home his footsteps he hath turned from wandering in a foreign land.

It's hard to think of the states as a "foreign land" but apparently Sarah Palin agrees.

My brother John had his 70th birthday and we celebrated with a wonderful fun party. My older brother Philip came for a visit and we three were together again for probably the last time.

Helena, my best friend of sixty-eight years remains steadfast and loyal. We know each other so well that we that we have an unspoken link that binds us together.

The cottage where we stayed with my cousin Pat and her CLS (common law spouse)was just like Anne of Green Gables house. What a spectacular view of the St. Croix River.

We made a point of going over the new bridge between Calais and St. Stephen. It's pretty amazing that it finally got built after years of haggling between the two countries.

The customs office on the Canadian side looks like a big train station. It's worth seeing. We've been told that the customs on the American side is more like Fort Knox in keeping with terrorists and other unsavory characters who might try to infiltrate the states.

The reunion with my old high school friends was nostalgic. Some are no longer with us and our days are counting down. Familiar faces are lined with age but I see them as they were in 1957 when we had so much to look forward to.

The night before we left, I visited Mum and Dad's grave and said goodbye.

Endings are sad but there's always hope for new beginnings.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hot 'n Humid

Today we went to the Lahey. It's a pretty easy trip and only takes about 40 minutes. I had my fourth fill with the lapband. Apparently the average is about six fills in a year. I am right on track.

I need to focus more. I am so easily detoured. Bad Nan!

Physical Therapy for my back is coming along. I have exercises to do at home. I'll be going twice a week till whenever.

Walking is such a joy with no pain. I can't believe I was able to stand the pain for so many years.

I made a cake for my friend Dorrie's birthday. It's been a few years since I've made a cake. I think it had to do with the pain. I am so positive about so many things now.

My daughter's quilt is coming along and I have 25 blocks all completed. I laid them out in the common room on three long tables and had lots of help from the other residents. It was fun and we came up with a good pattern.

Our music festival in Newburyport was a little damp on Saturday. We stayed until it started raining. No guts! I guess there were a lot of folks who hung in till the bitter end.

The big weekend Homecoming will be the last weekend in July. We're sorry to miss it, but we will be in the Maritimes.

Cooler weather on the horizon.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Franklin Pierce

I felt compelled to pick up a book at the library by Michael F. Holt - Franklin Pierce.

Franklin Pierce has come to mind so often. Every time I read that there are very few artifacts, letters and so on, I cringe.

About ten years ago, I worked in a manufactured home community. There was a lady who had a mobile home there called "Mrs. Pierce". She was in a nursing home and in her nineties.

Well, she finally passed away and her heirs wanted nothing to do with her little mobile home which was packed solid with boxes and boxes of all kinds of stuff.

The maintenance crew took most everything to the dump with the exception of a few pieces of furniture.

There were boxes and boxes of letters addressed "Dear Frank". Yikes!

I have tried not to think about it as I have this awful gut feeling that history went to the dump that fateful day.

How sad!

Friday, July 2, 2010

July 4th - Fireworks 'n Hot Dogs

What a beautiful day here in Newburyport. Our apartment has the curtains standing out straight with the breeze blowing through one side to the other end of the apartment.

We are so lucky!

The music down on the boardwalk at night has been spectacular. Some young men singing a cappella were the best. The group is called Overboard. Check them out on Overboardvocals.com.

We had two Irish guys a couple of nights ago who did a great job playing guitar and entertaining the residents of a 156' yacht that was docked in Newburyport harbor. That was some boat!

Last night we were happy to listen to a three piece band - guitar, violin and base guitar. The violinist also played the mandolin. They played and sang all the old songs including one of our favorites, Charlie and the MTA. Wonder if he ever returned.

Tonight is Friday night so I imagine we'll have some sort of musical treat awaiting.

Happy Fourth. It will be my first year away from Andover for many years.

It's not easy to make drastic changes in your golden years, but you do what you gotta do.

New adventures await.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

Father's Day was ineventful. We strolled through the flea market in Rowley. By noon it was so hot, the vendors were packing up and heading out.

Lucky for us, we don't have room for the smallest item.

We didn't make it to church being as I can't stop coughing. I will be glad when this sinus infection is over.

On a good health note, I was discharged from the wound clinic last Monday. Amen to that. I will miss the visiting nurses from Beverly and Partners. I certainly got great medical care. They came almost every day for ten weeks.

The boats are almost all in the water here in Newburyport. Whale watches and cruises are leaving daily for outings. Maybe we will get to go this summer.

Tomorrow we are driving to Rhode Island to visit family. It should be a nice day and not so humid.

We continue to walk a lot and it's so wonderful not to have pain. We visit Dr. Banco on Friday.

I'm working on a quilt for Kelley. It's coming along pretty good. It's been thirteen years since I made a quilt and thirteen has always been my lucky number.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Fraser Automotive - Salisbury, MA

I feel better than I have felt in years.

We are enjoying our walks along the boardwalk and I love seeing the boats in the water after a long winter.

It's wonderful to be able to walk completely without pain. I am anxious to start physical therapy at the Anna Jaques Hospital. Maybe in the next week or so I will get the OK. My wound is almost healed and that's what we're waiting for.

Everyone said it couldn't be done!! So to all you "nay sayers" - it can only be done by Nan.

I was determined to get rid of our two old rust bucket cars so I put ads on Craigslist and on Ebay.

We met up with two Nigerian brothers from Boston in the parking lot of CVS and exchanged cash and title for the Izuzu. I told my son Chris, I wouldn't know a fake 100 dollar bill if it bit me in the ass.

I was more than a little nervous about it but we got the cash and went immediately to the bank and deposited it.

Then we were left to figure out how to get rid of a 22 year old car. The Olds was in great shape and will probably go another 50,000 miles, but that's a chance I wasn't willing to take.

We found a wonderful store in Salisbury, MA called Fraser Automotive. What wonderful people. They agreed to take the Olds in trade and gave us a great price on a brand new car.

However, the brand new car is actually 14 years old. It's a 1996 Buick with 25,000 miles on it. It was always in a garage and looks like it was just driven out of the showroom. This car is gorgeous and should "do us out".

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May on the River Merrimack

My apologies for almost missing May.

The positive events in my life are: I can walk without pain and am up to over a mile a day. The pain I was experiencing at night is now pretty much gone. I am not taking medication of any kind. Horrah!

On a "not so good note", the bottom part of my incision has not quite healed yet. There was a pocket in there and it has to heal from the inside out. I go to the wound clinic every Monday and the visiting nurses still come every day to dress the wound. Marv is pretty good at it too.

I have had only lost about three more pounds the last time I went to the Lahey, but I am holding. It's easy to slip and I really need to be more conscious of protein, protein, protein. It's very necessary for healing.

The walks with the dogs along the Merrimack have been wonderful. We watched as the boats went into the water one by one after a long winter. What a pretty sight!

Roger is having his usual Memorial Day get together and we are planning on going as a lot of our old friends will be there. We should never miss an opportunity at our age as you just never know.

I went on a quilting marathon last Friday night and am planning to finish a quilt that Kelley started thirteen years ago. Bless her heart! I am reorganizing my bedroom to make room for my little Singer Featherweight.

My inspiration was a series of books I've been reading by Jennifer Chiaverini. The theme of the series is quilting, but a lot of history about the underground railroad and how quilts were hung on the clotheslines with secret codes on the quilts.

My goal is to finish at least three quilts for Kelley, Jon and Chris. Kelley says, "Be sure and sign them."

Jon had a great birthday party on the 15th. It was wonderful to see my grandkids, Tyler and Julianna and all the family.

The Thompsons who rented our house just love it there. I'll bet they love it even more since the 90 degree weather over the last two days. (Central Air).

I miss our home in Andover, but not the loneliness of being so isolated and having to drive so far to everything.

We are so fortunate to live in such beautiful surroundings. We love Market Square and just sitting and listening to the local musicians giving their mini concerts. Sunday there was a guy playing a harp - Wow!

We took a trip to Ipswitch as I had never been there. What a view from "Little Neck" and "Great Neck". The water is green, like I remember Hawaii on my honeymoon 45 years ago.

Massachuetts has many rural and beautiful areas that are well worth visiting. I am anxious to go to Glocester which is next on my list.

We have made many new friends by going to the church suppers in the area. The volunteering for the Firehouse continues to bring on a network of friends and our next assignment is for the Back Bay Bell Ringers.

More good news is, "Yes, you can live on social security!"

Thursday, April 29, 2010

April Showers Bring May Flowers

The rain has stopped so today we'll continue my mile walk assignment. Yesterday I was chilled to the bone so it was a lazy day.

Recovery from back surgery is a long, slow process. Every day is a day behind me. I am looking forward to walking all over town without pain. So far so good.

I'm reading a series of books about quilting - fiction. It is inspiring me to get out my rotary cutter and get to work. That was always the plan when I retired. I need a refresher course, so am checking that out.

I have material to make three large quilts. I promised Kelley the first one. Will keep you posted.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Midnight Ride

It's 4:00 AM and I'm getting used to being up a good part of the night.

The news is on and in one hour, I'll make a pot of coffee and start the day.

I'm lucky to be able to walk without pain for most of the day. It's evening when the pain hits me. I knew this would be a long recovery and every day is a day behind me.

I dislike taking pain medication, but I couldn't get through this recovery without it.

The visiting nurse is coming today. I'll be calling the doctor to give him an update.

We are enjoying going to the church suppers and it's helped me a lot as I'm not up for cooking. Marv does the laundry and washes the dishes.

We take the dogs on a long river walk every day and I find that I don't have to stop on the benches and rest like I used to.

Gator and Snoopie have been very faithful and concerned and don't leave my side.

The tulips are in bloom and the boats are starting to go into the water along the Merrimack.

We usually go out every day even if it's just to the post office.

Almost time to make the coffee.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tulips and Forsythia

It's been a long haul since April 1st. I will be three weeks post op this coming Thursday. Have an appointment on Tuesday to see Dr. Banco.

I have been sleeping sparodically for six days in the recliner. For some reason I have leg pain at night. It must have something to do with lying down. I am going to increase my walking in the hopes that it will speed up my recovery.

Marv has been so good looking after me, cooking meals, laundry and cleaning the house.

Back surgery is not for the faint of heart. it's something you have to "get through". I am looking forward to walking without pain four months from now.

The kids came to visit last weekend. It was so good to see them. It's hard to be away from family, especially when I am in such a vulnerable state.

Thank you dear friends - for all the wonderful cards. It sure brightens my day.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Thaw

The nor'easter washed a huge amount of garbage up on the beach down at the "Plum". Some of the cottages are sitting precariously on the edge of the dunes. We sold our rakes at our garage sale, otherwise we'd be tempted to start clean-up.

We had some nice sunny days here in Newburyport. We enjoyed going down to the square and just "hanging out".

I am having the Cadillac of back surgeries on April 1st. April Fool's! The recovery will be long, but the prospect of living without pain makes it very appealing. I have the best back doctor in Boston, so I am confident that all will go well.

I am very happy that my son and daughter-in-law will have health insurance. It would be a safe bet that the protesters of the health care bill already have health insurance.

We are having our cars inspected this morning. They seem to be in pretty good shape so we will hope for the best.

The goal postop after six weeks is to be walking three to five miles a day. Hot dog! That's something I haven't been able to do for years. I will be able to walk all the way to the Plum.

This is a week for company, a sure sign of a beautiful season ahead. Feel free to stop by anytime.

Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March and spring ahead

There's still an ice cold wind here in Newburyport.

Living so close to the ocean has lots of pros and cons. Mostly pros, especially when it gets warm and we open all the windows. The cross ventilation is wonderful.

I finally had my first "fill" at Lahey. My stomach is now smaller. I haven't had any problems whatsoever. However, it does require some discipline. There's a 48 hour liquid diet after a fill. Tomato soup for breakfast this morning.

Back surgery is looming on the horizon. My appointment is tomorrow. In spite of losing a lot of weight and physical therapy three times a week, it's not enough. All the king's horses and all the king's men.

This is a very scary prospect and a long rehab. However on a good note, I am a great healer and will do better than most. My insurance will cover health care at home and housekeeping as well.

Anna Jaques Hospital has a physical therapy department that doesn't have a "cut-off". This will be perfect for me after the surgery.

We are volunteer ushers at the Firehouse Friday night. It's a "Lite Opera" show of some sort. There's another couple volunteering with us who seem really nice. We have met so many interesting folks, all our age which is great.

We have been "church hopping" and haven't landed yet. We heard about a very lively church in town that used to be a Baptist Church. It's called "Hope Community Church". Wow, we drove by and it's huge. The word is there's lots of young people and children. It's packed to the rafters every week and wonderful music. Stay tuned.

We will probably make a trip to Andover this weekend as our Izuzu is loaded with stuff for storage. We also have a few boxes that we left in our barn in Andover that need to be moved.

After the big storm last week, we drove over to Hampton Beach and saw the aftermath of the fire. An entire block burned flat. It's right next to the Ashworth Hotel. We drove along the ocean and got some great pictures. The waves were huge.

Today is clean and organize day since tomorrow we will be gone in the morning and evening. Dorrie will come down and let the dogs out and maybe visit with them a bit. They love Dorrie. She doubles up on treats.

Marv and I are looking forward to the Damatas and Fugettas visiting this month. What wonderful friends we have. We are so lucky.

Cheerio.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Winter Blahs

We had about six inches of snow yesterday. I'm sure everyone up north of us is happy with new snow on the trails.

Newburyport was a picture book driving to physical therapy. I have to remember to take my camera with me now that I found my battery charger. I am still finding lost things from the window installation fiasco.

We have a very mean neighbor who hates our dogs, hates us and hates herself. Life is too short. Susan, the manager and Marilyn, the owner will take care of her. She will find herself out in the snow if she doesn't knock it off.

I found an article I had saved written by a guy in California. He was a writer for the Los Angeles Times and got caught up in the recession. He was homeless for about seven years. He finally got into senior housing. Apparently they isn't much available in California and the waiting list is very long. It was a very touching story and had a lot to do with our decision to "move on".

I remind myself every day how lucky we are to have a roof over our heads and food on the table.

We are anxious for spring.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hump Day

Hi Everyone,

Big snowstorm today although we are only supposed to get about four inches. We might not have to move our cars to the municipal lot if they don't have to plow.

Physical Therapy is going well. I surprised myself by walking up four flights of stairs. A benefit from the hernia repair.

I bought the cookbook "Recipes for Life After Weight-Loss Surgery". I think it's the only cookbook out there for WLS people. It's quite good and I am discovering ingredients like "Polenta".

Snoopie and Gator are anxious for spring. As soon as it gets a little warmer, we will start taking them with us on our afternoon jaunts.

This is a good day to start a project. I've been framing all the nice pictures we received at Christmas. Guess I can finish that up.

Hunker down by the fire and stay warm.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday News

We are meeting my son Chris today for an early dinner.

It seems that Windham is a half way point for both of us and it's a beautiful, crisp day.

I finally started physical therapy on Friday.

The clothes I have left that fit me are not suitable for the treatments. So, off we went to the Dress Barn where I had a gift certificate from Christmas. Found pants and a top that fit for now. I would say it's been at least thirty years since I bought "work-out" clothes.

The PT guys says he can get me in shape so that I won't need back surgery. That's a strong statement, so we'll see how it goes.

We are still looking for someone to play cards with. I heard through the grapevine that people in Haverhill plays 45's. There must be a lot of Canadian descendants there. I'll follow up that lead.

Friday night we should go to temple over in Haverhill. That's a good place to start. That's the only "reformed" temple we could find in the area.

Monday is "fill" day at Lahey. The weather report looks good. Wonder how I'll feel. Will keep you posted.

The cooking is getting wearisome. I think I am going to have to start putting together meals in the morning. By 5:00 PM I would just as soon starve. Today we eat out. Horrah!

The library is open here on Sunday, 1 - 5 PM. Good place to read the papers, then you don't have them laying around to throw out.

Guess it's time to start the day. Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

February - Yeah!

It's always a relief when February rolls around. January means recovery - from the holidays - from moving and from surgery.

We ended up with "stuff" we don't need. I am trying to weed out. The easy part is that if we put anything on the library table, it will disappear. Someone can always use your gidget, gadget or gismo.

We had another volunteer meeting at the Firehouse last night. Met another really nice couple from Rochester. Since Marv has a son in Rochester, there was lots to talk about. Marv volunteered to usher for The Vagina Monologues. That should be interesting. I am going to limit my volunteering to office work until after my back surgery.

Didn't make it to Kennebunk due to the weather. Something to look forward to for February.

I am studying cookbooks looking for recipes for fish which seems to agree with me more than any other protein. I think I'll be using the food chopper a lot. My first "fill" isn't until next week, so I have no idea what to expect.

I have discovered my kitchen is too small to cook in.

Lots of cleaning to do today as the management is inspecting the window installation. I still haven't recovered from that fiasco.

We hope to get lots of visits this summer so put us on your calendar. We love seeing all our old friends.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Plum

The sky over Plum Island was a vivid pink when I got up this morning. It gradually turns to a light pink, then the big orange ball fills my living room with sun.

Gator and Snoopie, the sun worshipers, love sitting in the windows.

It's Sunday and we'll go to church. We may go to IC or we may try a different one.

We met some nice folks for lunch last week. I had no idea what to order, but don't order a salad. It takes too long to eat and it's too much munchy food.

From now on, if we go out, I'll go to a place that still serves breakfast and order two scrambled eggs. Easy to eat and covers the protein I need.

A friend from my class at the Lahey had her surgery. She is doing OK but you just don't know what it's like unless you go through it yourself. It's not easy, but it's doable. It takes about three weeks before you start to feel like your old self.

We went to the movie theater in Salisbury which is only ten minutes from here. We saw Avitar and hope you can all see it. It's quite spectacular.

We decided we'll go to the movies once a week. The matinee at 1:00 PM would work well for us. The 3:00 PM is a little late as we didn't get home until after 6:00 PM.

Every once in awhile I get the nibbles. Nan, the mouse, creeps into my brain and looks for things like nuts, chips, basically anything salty and crunchy.

I pretty much am able to resist by having a little yogurt and going to my closet to throw out more size 18 clothes. I am boxing them up to go to Andover.

I am hoping I can still eat celery but that's an iffy one with the Lapband.

I am planning for spring in March. When I was a kid, the most fun thing about spring was being able to play "glassies" again in the dirt. I still have the marbles that my kids had when they were little. The are antiques now.

I guess we'll have fish tonight. I should try to do something different to make the dish more interesting.

I'll be starting physical therapy this week, so that should be interesting. One of the residents broke my treadmill screwing around with it trying to get it to work. It doesn't work without the key. Marv will have to fix it, what a pain.

So far, not a bad winter. We've only had to move our cars a couple of times. A small price to pay compared to snowblowing two feet of snow.

We are visiting our friend Kim this week in Kennebunk. Sure hope the weather cooperates. Must call my old high school friend Dawne, who also lives in Kennebunk. It would be nice to see her too.

Cousin Pat has rented a cottage for our big reunion this summer in St. Stephen. We are all excited about seeing all our old friends. Apparently, the cottage looks just like the cottage from "On Golden Pond." Sounds really nice. It will be her 50th reunion and my 53rd.

"Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver, the other gold."

Monday, January 18, 2010

January Snow

We are having a snowstorm, but only expect a couple of inches. I imagine they got some serious snow in Andover.

I had two beautiful days for my trip to Andover over the weekend. It was wonderful to see all my kids and especially sweet to see my precious grandchildren.

They were all going ice fishing and snowmobiling on the bays when I left. Kelley didn't think it was a good idea for me to overdo at this point after my surgery.

I am feeling so well that I find myself looking into the refrigerator like a dog after a bone. I got out all my old books and am studying "Atkins for Life". Because of my food allergies, this is a good book for me.

I have to start a serious exercise program as I am seeing the back doctor March 5th. I waiver back and forth about having the back surgery after so many years. (about twenty). I just want to be able to tramp around town without pain. There are no guarantees.

We're going to try the meal program for seniors over at the Methodist church. The menu looks great and less expensive than buying groceries. Also I wouldn't have to cook and wash all those dishes. Will keep you posted on how this goes.

Sunday we went to Mass at Immaculate Conception church here in Newburyport. What a beautiful church and it was packed to the hilt. Mass is at 11:30, perfect for us or anyone who doesn't want to get up too early on Sunday.

We are slowly settling into the community.

January will be over before you know it. It's always nice to look forward to spring.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Week 3 - Post Surgery

I am starting to look at food the way my dog, Gator, looks at food.

This is not good.

However, on a good note, I am feeling well enough to be hungry again.

Big surprise at my doctor's appointment on Monday. My hernia was so huge, part of my stomach was in my chest. I am thinking that may be the reason I have been so out of breath.

Am going to try some stairs as a test.

The volunteers Christmas party at the Firehouse was well worth attending. We met some interesting folks who were new to Newburyport - like ourselves. One couple, the husband is from the Bronx. Lots to talk about.

I am having a mild fish, Talapia, for dinner tonight. It's just the right size, all individually wrapped. Just stick it in the oven with a little lemon juice on top.

The squash goes well with the fish and maybe a little mashed potato.

We are adjusting to apartment life and have started to get rid of things we don't need.

Maybe we'll take a trip to Andover this weekend. I do get a little homesick from time to time.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Firehouse

Yesterday we met with the House Manager and seven other volunteers for The Firehouse Theater in Newburyport.

It's an interesting little theater - very reminiscent of the old Proctor Theater in Andover, NH.

I imagine we'll get a few calls as we live in town and are retired. They have several children's programs during the day in addition to all the evening programs scheduled. It will be fun to see the little kids - I miss them.

Last night I had some thin potatoes and some squash. It sure tasted good. The healing is on-going. Every day is a slight improvement.

Today I think I'll try to get on the treadmill. It will be a struggle for me to complete thirty minutes a day, but I'll give it my best shot. It will probably take me a few weeks to work up to maybe twenty minutes.

I would have loved to go to Andover today, but the weather is very "iffy". I miss my grandkids.

I am determined to learn to cook again. I have to make food more interesting. This is a huge challenge.

I won't be using Julia's cookbook.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Back to the Grind

It snowed for three days last weekend.

We spent a lot of time moving our cars off the street and putting them in a municipal lot. Our friend Dorrie was in the hospital, so we moved her car as well.

The creamed soups have lost their allure and I caved today and had a scrambled egg and some strained squash. It sure tasted good.

The healing seems to be going well. I have a group meeting tomorrow at Lahey. I will be famous as everyone else is still waiting for their surgery. Do I do "Show and tell?"

I will have to be careful not to scare anyone. This procedure is definitely not for the faint of heart.

We are purging - again. We took a bag of towels over to a Vet's office in Salisbury, MA. Turns out the Vet is from Newfoundland. A fellow Canadian works for me. We will be transferring our records from Salisbury, NH to Salisbury, MA.

The Thompsons seem to be enjoying our house in Andover. (The other Andover, I always say.) It's so good to know the house isn't empty that everyone is so happy on the Bay Road.

I miss the beautiful view, but not the snow blowing and the shoveling.

Our apartment building is beautifully kept up and very clean. The laundry room has worked out well. We bought a little cart for carrying laundry up to the second floor. An elevator is a wonderful thing.

Have to get up early tomorrow for the trek south. Lahey Clinic is huge. The parking can be expensive, so we have to think of a way to solve that. The Burlington Mall is right across the street, so that works.

Did I really hear more snow this weekend? Yikes!