Friday, July 21, 2017

Boston's Duck Boat tour filled up my afternoon today. Asher and his other grandma (Asher refers to her as Nana) and I went to the Science Museum for a few hours until our 3:45 pm tour time on Duck #1 arrived.

Poor Asher was so tired by the time the tour of the city was over that he fell asleep before we even got to the part of the tour where the Duck Boat heads down a ramp and into the Charles River.

Nana and I had to decide whether or not to wake him up! (We did!)

It was long day. But a fun day! I loved spending time with Nana.

I'm at a favorite Air BnB tonight (The Taylor House in Jamaica Plain) since Laura came home from her company's meeting in Vancouver. I wanted the kids to have some private time tonight  and I wanted to have some downtime for myself. I've been getting up every morning around 6:30 am and not going to bed until 11 pm.

Last night I put together the "4momsmommaroo infant rocker" for their new coming baby. I had a wonderful week with Asher and Adam.

Ahhhh. Good night.

I'm going to sleep
knowing Asher's mom is home
and happy to be.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Today is my second to last day taking care of my darling little grandson here in Boston. His mom comes home tomorrow from her week-long trip and my current duties will be over. I will return to simply being his doting Grandma -- not his primary loving caretaker.

When his mom is gone, I take him to his usual daycare and pick him up in the late afternoon. We want to maintain his routine as much as possible.

His dad (my son) goes to work in the morning and comes home in the evening so I get to be with m grandson a few hours in the morning and in the late afternoon by myself. While he was at daycare today, I took care of two beauty issues.

I stopped by the Drybar in Chestnut Hills for the pleasure of getting my hair professionally shampooed and blown dry. Then I headed to a nail salon to repair a chipped nail -- probably due to extra duties of walking the dog four times a day, grooming the dog so he doesn't keep shedding all over my vacuumed floors, keeping up with a busy little toddler, doing housekeeping and laundry, shopping for groceries and preparing the meals.

Today we made Coconut Almond Macaroons. So easy and really delicious. This is the Martha Stewart recipe in my own words:

1 cup sugar
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup slivered raw almonds 
3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Blend egg whites and sugar. Mix in the remaining ingredients.
Place 2 teaspoons of the mixture at a time into mounds on a parchment sheet-lined cookie pan. With wet hands, mold the mounds into pyramid shapes. Cook 20 minutes or until underside of cookie is browned and tops of cookies are slightly browned.

Enjoy! (As we did!)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Today I helped get a hitch for a bike rack installed on Adam's new car. The shop's location was in a less-than-desireable part of town. 

When my GPS announced "You have arrived at your destination," I looked around and didn't see the shop.

I drove around the block twice. Finally I pulled over in front of a church (the safest place to pull over and stop in this area, I figured) and called the shop owner, Ike.

"I've driven down the street twice and I can't find your place," I told him.

"Where are you?" he asked.

"I'm in front of the church on Anselm."

"Oh, you just passed us. We're about 100 yards behind you."

"Is your shop the one with the 12 foot high chain link fence topped with concertina wire, and old tires hanging on the fence and a sign that says, "We straighten bent wheels?"

"Yep. That's it," he said.

He actually turned out to be a great guy. It was a 95 degree day with 92% humidity in Boston today. His waiting room (pictured above) was pleasantly air-conditioned but it appeared his shop area in the back was not.

He kept coming out from the shop area to give me updates. He was mopping sweat from his head and neck with a rag every time he appeared.

In one update, he told me he had four guys (and these are big, burly auto mechanic-types) holding the detached muffler up while some necessary part was being installed onto the car frame.

Twenty minutes and $120 later, the Mazda had a hitch! 

After it was done, I thanked him and gave him money to buy pizzas and cold drinks for everyone for lunch. 

And to think that Adam had actually considered putting the hitch on himself! The instructions said anyone could do it in an hour and a professional could do it in 30 minutes.

Directions can be so misleading!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

My oh my! I see I stopped posting to this blog site in 2012. So much has happened since then. We'll catch up as we go along but today is ... well ... just about today.

To start with, it's my mom's 86th birthday today. Hence the photo! Happy Birthday, Mom!

And secondly, I'm in Boston this week helping Adam take care of 2-1/2 year old Asher while Laura (7-month pregnant with Baby Girl Raff) is in Vancouver at her company retreat. So far, so good.

Except that I let Asher watch a video of Winnie the Pooh on my iPhone yesterday, trying to buy some time entertaining him while I prepared dinner, and when it was time to eat, Asher wasn't having any of it!

"No, Grandma," he told me with determined eyebrow-scrunching, "I am NOT going to eat dinner now. I'm watching a video." (Cue up: pouting, crying, stomping of feet, scowling face)

So I have learned my lesson. No more iPhone videos for this guy for the near future.

Yesterday I bought a "4momsmamaroo" infant swing at Buy Buy Baby that the Babocush will attach to and will "provide hours and hours of tummy-down time to help with baby gas and flat head syndrome." (At least that's the marketing gimmick they're going with.)

The infant swing connects to Bluetooth to play any music you like to come out of the embedded speakers, and its programmable motion features allow it to rock back and forth, swing side to side, or mimic the natural rhythm of a mother swaying and shifting her weight from side-to-side walking or standing in place that seems to soothe all babies.

Closing with my usual Haiku ...

A trip to Boston
comes with a special delight 
more time with Asher.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Make Yourself at Home, Girls!

Greetings to all who have come to our blog site this holiday season 2012. If we had all the time in the world we would have updated our site since July. I'm embarrassed that it's been so long.Where does the time go?

To get you to where we are now:

I had elective carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand two weeks ago. I'm healing. I'm also tapering my steroids since my adrenal tumor surgery and am  close to being done with them -- just waiting for the remaining adrenal glad to kick in and do its job. It has not been easy. Lots of aches and pains and fatigue. She's heading to Kentucky to visit with her mom and brother for the Christmas week.

Gil gets up in the dark each morning to go to the YMCA to swim laps. It helps to set his metabolism for the day, burns the calories and gets him on the road to work early enough to beat the commuter traffic. He's on call many of the days this holiday season which is appropriate since we were in Hawaii last year for the week.

Adam just turned 30 and left LA today to head to Sun Valley with Laura for his 30th celebration. After that, he and Laura head to Boston to celebrate the holiday with her family. Then they head to Chicago for a friend's wedding over New Year's. Laura will head back to LA for her job, and Adam will come to Michigan for a week to visit with us.

To the best of my knowledge, Evan will spend the holiday working at the hospital. He may have other plans but he hasn't shared them with us.

Marika will visit friends in Michigan during the holidays and take a crew to Chicago to meet up with Adam and Laura to ring in the New Year.

The pups are filled with high energy these days and would gladly accept our attentions 24/7 if we would oblige them. They have a wonderfully landscaped three acres to run on and seem very happy. Sedona is still a puppy at 8 months of age but is very dependable and trustworthy.

All for now. Hope your holidays find you in good health, good spirits and good company.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hello all. Our new puppy is nine weeks old. Her name is Sedona. No special association with her name. We just liked the sound of it. And she looks like a Sedona! (She's waving!)

Willow has taken to her beautifully and I believe Jamie would have endorsed Sedona as the perfect companion for wily Willow.

Our summer is half way through. Days are getting shorter. Still, it's light until nearly 10 pm every night in Michigan. I had to put black out shades on our windows in the bedroom to keep the light out at night.

Adam and Evan both started their intern year last month. They're learning how to put all their academic knowledge and basic clinical skills to the test. I remember so well as a nurse having to work closely with the new interns each year. It was always fun to have a new group of fresh doctors to orient and educate and admire.

Marika, Adam and Laura went camping in Yosemite for a week in June. Then Laura returned to work, and Adam and Marika headed up the California coast for a week of day trips.

They went to Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Napa Valley and Tahoe.

Then Adam returned to LA and Marika went to visit college friends in Santa Barbara for a long weekend.

All the while Evan was in Paris and Greece. (We have a family that loves to travel.) 

Gil and I stayed home -- and all we got were postcards from our adventurous kids!

Marika is in Traverse City again for the month of July at Horseshows by the Bay. She is working and competing so will have a wonderful month before she starts medical school on August 6th.

I am slowly recovering from my adrenal surgery. It sure has been difficult to taper the steroids I'm taking while waiting for my remaining adrenal gland to kick in. In fact, I haven't made any progress in that department at all except for some minor weight loss. My endocrinologist asks for patience as it has taken others up to two years to get back to a normal state.

Gil is doing well. Studying for an Echo Board exam. Enjoying having a new puppy. And making headway paying off the kids' college loans! He's been making some wonderful vegetarian meals for us. I wish I could claim that the vegetables were from my garden but I only have herbs and tomatoes this year. So the Farmer's Market will have to suffice.

Puppies test patience
Give unconditional love
What more does one need?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Our Beloved Jamie's Passing

Jamie, our 13-year old border collie

Our new pup, as yet unnamed  

How to begin this blog entry? We lost our beloved 13-year old border collie, Jamie, this past week.

We came home from a late evening Radiohead concert and found her unable to get up to greet us as she had always done. She was responsive but not her usual self.

I slept on the kitchen floor with her that entire night.

The next morning we took her to the vet.

She had been treated for a leukemia diagnosis for the past six months but we didn't think this was her current acute health issue. She was absolutely fine when we left for the concert six hours earlier.

At any rate, we had to make the difficult decision the next morning at the vet's to put her down. She wasn't in distress. She wasn't in pain. Her acute episode -- a bleed into her abdominal cavity confirmed on X-ray -- let us know that she was not going to recover.

We miss her terribly. Willow, our 2-year old border collie, misses her terribly. Our hearts are broken.

We thought that the only way to help heal the holes in our hearts was to find another border collie to bestow our love on. For our own healing and for Willow's healing. To honor Jamie's contributions to our family.

We found a border collie breeder in Western Michigan and made the trip over the weekend to pick out a female pup from the litter. We chose this frisky little thing pictured above from the three females available.'

Yes, it's bittersweet to lose one companion while making plans to bring another one home.

Jamie is not being "replaced" -- because she is irreplaceable.

(Our next blog entry will share our experiences with bringing a new puppy home and our puppy naming adventure.)


Haley and Jamie
Two of our border collies
Frolic in Heaven.