Sunday, December 22, 2013

Almost Christmas, 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013: it's a little after midnight, and I'm in my kitchen, wearing slippers, flannel pajama pants, and an ancient, comfortable, faded red cotton pullover, listening to music (Jason Isbell's excellent Southeastern), sipping a little red wine and making beef stock that I'll use later this week, when I make Julia Child's beef bourguignon for Christmas dinner. Right now, I'm browning about 6 lbs of beef bones in olive oil in an enameled cast iron pot on top of the stove; mostly neck bones, supplemented with some short ribs. When they're a nice deep brown I'll put the pot into a hot oven to finish up the browning process before I add the other ingredients, prior to beginning the long, slow simmer that's essential to producing a decent beef stock.

Looking at the bones as I did the initial browning on the cook top, I found myself thinking this will work, but it would have been better if they'd been chopped or sawed into smaller pieces. Stashed away in one of the uppermost cabinets in my kitchen, there's an awesome, ferocious meat cleaver that I got years ago, in Chicago, when I was a young and tender bride. It's from the well equipped kitchen of a friend's grandmother; I got it when I was invited to walk through the grandmother's beautiful, empty, soon to be sold house in one of the genteel, northern suburbs of Chicago with her granddaughter, who'd been invited to help herself to anything that was left. She didn't want either the meat cleaver or the old fashioned, doctor's beam scale in one of the bathrooms, and told me I was welcome to both. I happily accepted both items and took them home, all excited at both the prospect of being able to weigh myself accurately, and to chopping up bones to make stock.

A few months later that same year, on Thanksgiving night, I produced the ferocious cleaver and proudly handed it to Anthony, my husband, and asked him to use it to chop up the turkey carcass so I could make stock. Anthony picked up the ferocious cleaver, and hefted its weight in his hand, then curled his fingers around the handle and wielded two supremely confident whacks that split not only the turkey, but the not insubstantial cutting board on which it was sitting into 3 well delineated pieces. I laughed so hard I almost peed in my pants, and after that single use, I retired the awesome cleaver. But tonight I was thinking maybe it should have come out of retirement to chop up those beef bones.

Mike flies in from Tucson tomorrow, so I'll have 3 of my 4 little chickadees here to spend Christmas with me. Of course, all of them are now grown, and Ali and Katharina each have children of their own. 2 days until Christmas Eve, when we open our gifts, and I still have so much to do! I haven't wrapped a single present. Each year I swear that next year it will be different; I won't do this again, and yet each year, somehow, when December 22nd rolls around I find myself in the same overcrowded boat, happily but frantically rowing to keep it from going under.

Will it be different when I retire? I'd love to think yes, but I honestly don't know. I just know that I've always loved Christmas, and for whatever reason, scrambling to get everything done in time seems to be an essential part of that.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thoughts on Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving. Saturday I went shopping for pearl onions and sweet potatoes and bought some Yukon golds for mashed potatoes, which are a recent addition to our basic menu, first compiled in 1987 and consisting of turkey (of course) with traditional stuffing and sides of French Salad (recipe from Dola, my father-in-law’s Polish housekeeper); creamed onions (Julia Child); Sweet Potato Puree with Walnuts and Ginger (Craig Claiborne); my niece Carla’s cranberries with Grand Marnier; pumpkin pie and sometimes mincemeat pie for dessert. The past couple of years I’ve also added Ali’s mashed potatoes with Wasabi, although I may try the NY Times mashed potatoes with chives this year, smothered in turkey gravy, which I’ve begun making since I discovered that Williams Sonoma makes a great gravy base, which I use without shame. Some items can be hard to find, so I purchase them ahead of time: the ginger preserves for the sweet potatoes (Keillor makes them, but not everyone stocks them); and the gravy base (W-S has been known to run out). Also, the pearl onions can be elusive, and also outrageously expensive; a lot of stores carry them in tiny10 oz bags that sell for $3.99 each, with the result that one could end up paying more for the pearl onions than for the turkey! The past couple of years, I’ve had luck at Central Marker, where I’ve been able to purchase them in bulk at a reasonable price. That’s what I did yesterday; they were $2.99 per pound, and I bought 2 pounds. It’s a huge amount of work to make that recipe, but everyone loves it, so I always try to prepare a couple of pounds, no matter how many or how few will be sitting at my table.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

50 Years On...

On November 22, 1963, at a little after 1:00 PM, I was sitting in my 9th grade civics class, in junior high in the small college town in Minnesota where I grew up, when the PA system came sputtering on and the principal cleared his throat and announced that there was a report on the radio that President Kennedy had been shot in Texas. I was 14 years old.

The principal didn’t say anything about Dallas in that first announcement, and at 14, I pictured Texas as a vast, wild, plain, interspersed with occasional men in cowboy hats riding around on horseback. The father of one of my classmates had been shot in a hunting accident, so I thought perhaps the President had gone hunting there and been injured in a hunting accident. I assumed being shot meant he was wounded, not dead. The word “assassination” never crossed my mind, because that was a word that had only historical or foreign meaning for my classmates and me. Lincoln was assassinated, and in recent memory, Patrice Lumumba had been assassinated, but that was in Africa. Modern American presidents were not assassinated; people didn’t shoot each other in 1960’s America.

In those first couple of minutes, upon hearing that the President had been shot, our social studies teacher, a woman in her 50’s, became hysterical. Immediately after the first announcement everyone had begun talking. Of course this wasn’t allowed, and it contributed to her agitation. I remember her face got very red, and she began to clap her hands in a futile attempt to get our attention, and her voice got very shrill, and she began to shriek, “HEARSAY! This is nothing but HEARSAY! Listen to me; I’m telling you this is only HEARSAY!” She shrieked that over and over and over, but no one was listening. Always a skeptic, and analytical even at 14, I remember thinking the principal wouldn’t have turned on the PA and announced that the President had been shot if he wasn't pretty sure the report was accurate. I sat at my desk and looked at her and I also looked around the classroom. Some of my classmates were laughing nervously, but most just looked shocked. Within 5 minutes, the PA came on again, and the principal cleared his throat again and announced that the President was dead. Our teacher then gave up any attempt at trying to maintain order, and just sat down at her desk and burst into tears. Most of the girls and many of the boys in my class also began to weep. I felt very nervous, but I didn’t cry, because I didn’t want to cry at school.

We were dismissed early. We didn’t own a car, and even if we had owned one, Mom and Dad were both at work, so I walked home as usual. Normally I walked fast, but that day I walked slowly, because I knew that when I got there, I’d be alone. I remember I wished there would be someone at home that I could talk to about this. I was just beginning to realize there were families where, if you were a kid, your parents would talk to you about stuff like this, but that wasn’t my family.

I remember what I was wearing. It was an outfit that I'd sewn for myself in August: a long sleeved, cotton blouse, in a small, dark green paisley print, with a lime green, narrow wale corduroy straight skirt. I wanted to cut a swatch out of the blouse and the skirt,  and put them in an envelope to keep, but I thought Mom might not like it if I did, so I didn't do it, but I wish I had. We had a television set, so when I got home, I watched the TV coverage until Mom got home.

I wanted to go to Washington to see the President’s body lying in state. There was a special fare on the train; I think it was $25.00 round trip, Minnesota to DC. I asked Mom if we could go, but she said no. At 64, I understand all the reasons why she had to say no, but at 14 I didn’t.

On Sunday morning, I was watching TV when Lee Harvey Oswald got shot. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, that I had just watched someone get shot. It was as if everyone was going insane. And in a way, that was accurate, because America changed, in so many ways not for the better, on November 22, 1963.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

I really really really hate T-W cable and here's why...

I asked Boris outright if he was a BOT, and he swore he wasn't, but you read the transcript and see what you think. My observations, which I did NOT make to Boris, are in blue.

Thank you for contacting Time Warner Cable. At the end of our chat you will be given the option of taking a brief survey. My name is Boris. Please give me a moment while I access your account.

Thank you for waiting.



OK, thanks Boris. I've chatted and requested this before.

You are welcome.

I will be glad to help you. (He's not using contractions; I'm thinking BOT).

It's January, and the last Account Alert I received via email from TW Cable was in October.


I'm not receiving paper statements, so this means I have to just remember when my bill is due. I don't think that's really reasonable, do you?

Do you want paper statements at your mailing address? [Duh! No!]

I don't think. [RIGHT! Is that a BOT statement or what?]

No, Boris, I don't want paper statements, because aside from the waste, then every time I sign in, I'll be urged to sign up for a paperless account.

Why am I no longer receiving Account Alerts in my email? My email address is on file and correct.

Are you registered with MyServices?

Yes, but My Services has done nothing but mess up my account insofar as I can tell.

Please login to MyServices.

I'm logged in right now! [Sheesh!]


Now I will help you to register for paperless.

Good luck. I tried that and it says I'm already paperless, which is correct.

I did this last month too.


May I have your email address please.

I know it's not your fault, Boris, but someone's head should roll for this nonsense.

Thank you. [?????]

Let me check that for you.

No problem.


You are welcome. [As opposed to "you're welcome" - definitely a frigging BOT!]

The guy who checked it last month said everything in my account looked fine.

But once again, I was left to pay my bill via vibe.

Thank you for waiting. I appreciate your patience.

My apologies for the delay.

I have checked your account details can see that your email ID is not registered, hence you are not receiving email notification.

What do I need to do to register it?

Please do not worry.

I will update it on system.[As opposed to updating it on THE system - no articles, either - BOT alert!]

I'm not worried, I'm irritated.

Thanks, Boris.

May I have the PIN on the account? The PIN is a 4-digit number that was selected by you and it allows me to authenticate that you are an authorized account user.  The PIN is required before we can share any account information. 

I understand your concern.

You are welcome.

Thank you for positive verification.

Please give me a couple of minutes.


While I update your email ID.

Thank you.

Thank you for your patience.

I am glad to inform you that I have successfully updated your email address as (my correct email addy)

Uh, Boris, that's not an update; that's always been my email address for this account.

You will receive email notification from the next month onwards.

I hope so. I don't see the point in having a website where the customer can't do this themselves. Am I just missing it?

I haven't had problems on any of my other account websites.

Be rest assured you will receive email notification from next month onwards on your email address.["Be rest assured", I'm not assured..]

OK, thanks for your help.

Now it's February and guess what? Tonight, I suddenly remembered that my Time Warner bill is due soon...and it's a good thing I remembered, because it's due Thursday, and ONCE AGAIN, despite Boris's assurances, I haven't received an Account Alert. Tonight I chatted with another BOT calling himself Analyst Henry, who told me he may have to take this "to the next level". 


I'm not holding my breath.
Bottom of Form

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Say What?!?!?!?

My game room is a mess. It's strewn with endless piles of paper: mostly receipts I've printed out for bills I've paid online. Several years ago, when I was still doing most things via snail mail, I began filing all my bills in binders. At the time, I thought it was a great way to stay organized, and perhaps, for a while, it was, but now the binders are out of control, and I need a new system. At work, where I do case management, we went paperless a couple of years ago. That was hard for me at first, because I loved the comfort of being able to pull out a file and look at my notes, but I wasn't given a choice, so I made the plunge. Now I love being paperless at work, and I realized, as I surveyed the mess of papers strewn about my game room, that this is also what I need to do at home.

So I texted Kath: 

"What's a good scanner organizer for receipts etc?"

A little while later I received this response:

"I don't know. Did you ask Alex?"

I usually ask Kath or Mike techie questions of this nature, and Kath knows it, so I thought that was sort of an odd reply, but I responded:

"No but I will"

I then received this reply back:

"I wanted the red bean garbanzo thing for several weeks now"


I replied


To which Kath responded,

"The winter soup you make. It had red beans and garbanzo beans I think. I know I hated the garbanzo beans when I was a kid, but now I realize what they do for the whole thing and I've been craving that soup."

What the???? Then I figured it out, began to smile, and texted her back:

"I'm talking about a MACHINE like you got dad, for RECEIPTS, not RECIPES!"

There was a pause of a couple minutes before she replied:

"Ahhhhhhh...NEAT RECEIPTS! Hahahahahahahahahaha!"

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A small wrinkle...

So I went for my post-op visit this morning, and the cheese grater is off, and to my amazement, I can actually see some things with my left eye, all of which is great, but...there has to be a but...the surgeon prescribed antibiotic eye drops, to be used 4 times a day for 5 days as is standard following eye surgery, but so far, my insurance company is refusing to pay for the antibiotics. Huh? They paid for the frigging surgery, and yesterday they covered the script for pain medication, post surgery, but they don't want to cover post-surgery antibiotics? What kind of sense does that make?

The pharmacist said he'd try to straighten it out, because obviously this isn't right. But he initially said "This could take some time, because we're busy and I don't really know when I'll have time to call them," with the implication, it seemed to me, that it could be tomorrow. I pointed out that the script is for antibiotics, post-eye surgery, that I was actually supposed to have started about 2 hours ago. To his credit, he said, "Ok, I'll call them right now, but obviously I have no control over when they get back to me."

In the meantime, I'm at home, waiting for him to call and tell me it's straightened out and I can come and pick up the drops, but does this make any sense?


It makes perfect sense, when the pharmacy enters the wrong information into the system. I had to go home, log onto my work computer, long onto the HR site, and get contact info for my prescription provider to straighten everything out. The maddening thing is, this has happened to me at this particular Target pharmacy once before. Ugh. But I finally got it all straightened out, and I'm now officially mending.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Shades of Kurt Weill...

I promised to post a pic, and here it is: about 90 minutes post -op, shortly before I took a long, much needed nap!

Last night I got a nice note and good wishes from a new friend, Janine. That meant a lot to me, because she's had this surgery. Her hilarious account of her vitrectomy, posted here, is well worth the read; I promise you'll laugh so hard you'll cry.

The surgery went very well. It was done in an outpatient facility. Anthony drove me there, and stayed with me until it was time for my surgery, when I was taken to a curtained area. There, I answered the usual questions regarding my medical history, allergy history, etc., after which I was instructed to remove everything except my panties and socks (it was cold), and to put on a hospital gown and a cap to cover my hair. I was given a local anesthesia as well as oxygen, and other than some pain at the start of the iv anesthesia, I had no discomfort. When the vitreous was removed from my left eye, I saw (or perhaps had the illusion of seeing) what appeared to be a screen covered with grey squiggles/floaters across my eye; then they were gone. I was under the influence of anesthesia at that point, so I'm not sure what exactly I saw, but I think the surgeon commented on it, or perhaps I imagined all of that. The rest of the time (and it didn't seem to be very long) I was there but not really there; whatever drug I was given was wonderful. Afterward, the surgeon told me he was able to remove all the excess tissue on the fovea in just two swipes, which is why the procedure was so fast.

After the surgery, I was wheeled to a recovery area, where I was given a small bottle of apple juice and some peanut butter crackers. At that point, I hadn't had anything to eat or drink for about 15 hours, so the apple juice and crackers tasted great. In the meantime, a very nice nurse called Katharine to come and pick me up. Before I could be wheeled to her car, Kath had to sign paperwork that she was a "designated responsible adult" who agreed to accept custody of me post op. She got a laugh when she said she wanted a copy of that paperwork! She then drove me to Target to get the script filled for the pain medication: six 50-mg Tramadol tablets, to be taken as needed, with a note that I can request more if I need them. The only wrinkle in the entire procedure was that Target once again managed to mess up filling my script. The result was that instead of taking the 50 minutes they'd initially said it would take, it took almost 2 hours for them to straighten it out, by which time I was getting a headache, my eye was beginning to bother me, and I was really beginning to fade. I was very grateful that Kath was there with me.

When I finally got the Tramadol, she drove me home and dropped me off. I immediately got into a pair of comfortable pajamas and made myself a quick late lunch: a bowl of Trader Joe's organic tomato soup with some gorgonzola crackers on the side and a Mexican Coke. I managed to do all of that pretty well, except for one thing: when I first reached into my pantry to get out the soup, I couldn't pick it up. I tried several times, but each time, although I could see the box of soup, I seemed to be grabbing at air. I have Elfa wire shelves in my pantry, and the soup was on one of the lower shelves; after looking more closely, I realized that the reason I couldn't grab the box is that my hand was on the wrong shelf, because right now, my depth perception is screwed up. I've been very careful when walking, but didn't think about the effect when simply reaching for something. 

After finishing my lunch, I took a Tramadol and immediately fell asleep. Apparently I slept very soundly, because although the ringer was on, I slept through all the phone calls from family and friends, but awoke for a call from the Dominican Republic telling me I need a new burglar alarm. Uh-huh.

Alex sent a beautiful bouquet of flowers (see pic, above); Mike & Brooke sent good wishes for a speedy recovery, and Chris & Caitlin came by this evening with one of my favorite meals: tortilla soup, chips, & salsa, which I happily devoured. Chris also scooped Ike's litter for me, because bending over would be very bad for my eye right now.

Tomorrow morning I'll go back to the surgeon for my first post-op visit, at which time he'll remove the patch and examine my eye. The skin above my eye is beginning to itch, and I can't scratch it, so I can't wait. I think he'll also provide a script for an ophthalmic antibiotic and perhaps some steroid eye drops. I'm still on PTO tomorrow, but I'm scheduled to work from home for the rest of the week, beginning Wednesday. If I feel well enough to do that, I will, but I'm not going to push it. 

Right now, I'm feeling very glad that I had the surgery, and very grateful that I have a supportive family and friends to help me through this.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Pirates of the Caribbean...NOT!

The first time I went to see a retinal specialist was not a happy experience. For starters, the waiting room smelled like poop (sadly, not because the plumbing was being worked on). Then, when I finally saw the retinal surgeon who had been so highly recommended, I realized he was a septuagenarian, which bothered me; I wanted someone younger, with steadier hands, as a surgeon. Also, he flirted with me, which was annoying and rather bewildering until I realized that, at 60, I was probably his youngest patient by about 20 years. He recommended immediate surgery, and when I demurred, he tsk-tsked, shook his finger at me, and said: "Sooner rather than later, my dear, and by later, I mean no more than 6 months!" 

That was a little over 3 years ago. I have epiretinal membrane, a condition in which scar tissue forms on the macula. The macula is a small oval area in the center of the retina, and in the center of the macula is a cone shaped depression called the fovea. The fovea contains the highest concentration of cone cells, which provide clear central vision. Sometimes, for various reasons, scar tissue forms over the fovea. Most of the time, this is no big deal; an optometrist or ophthalmologist can see it when the eye is dilated, but if it's mild, it doesn't cause a change in vision. However, for some individuals, the tissue grows, eventually wrinkling the macula and distorting central vision. 

That's what happened to me, but I wasn't in any hurry to have the surgery that's the only treatment. It also happened to Spalding Gray, who also wasn't keen on having the surgery (albeit, this was almost 20 years ago). In fact, he wrote a monologue about his search for alternatives to the surgery, that became a movie directed by Stephen Soderbergh, called Gray's Anatomy.  I'd also read, and my ophthalmologist had told me, that sometimes epiretinal membranes spontaneously slough,"although I myself have never actually had a patient to whom that happened," she admitted. 

Still, I had high hopes. 

So I declined surgery, and waited. 

But the membrane didn't spontaneously slough, and the central vision in my left eye got worse, not better. It's a weird disorder, because even though the central vision in my left eye is now so poor that I can no longer read the E at the top of the eye chart, I still have good peripheral vision in that eye, and that, combined with the very good vision that I still have in my right eye, has enabled me to see well enough to drive my car, do my job (reading and writing all day, on two computer monitors), read my Kindle, etc. 

Until recently. The vision in my eyes is now so discrepant that at times I have double vision, and it's easier sometimes to just cover my left eye entirely than to try to figure out what it is I'm looking at. For example, check out the Amsler Grid, below. To use it, cover one of your eyes at a time, and concentrate on the dot in the center. If your eyes are healthy, the lines should all look straight; if they don't, make an appointment for an eye exam. For me, with my right eye, the lines look straight, but with my left eye, they aren't straight at all, and if I look at this with both eyes, there are big blank areas. 

So in December, after having researched docs, I went to see a much younger, board certified, vitreo-retinal surgeon. He was wearing a Santa hat (I'm not kidding - this was shortly before Christmas). After he reviewed the scans of both of my eyes, he told me in no uncertain terms that I need to have a vitrectomy (removal of the vitreous fluid) and membranectomy (removal of layers of unhealthy tissue from the retina) on my left eye ASAP, which, with the holidays, meant January. He said because I'd waited so long and there's now so much tissue covering the fovea, he couldn't promise that the vision in that eye will be restored, only that it won't continue to deteriorate. I think he was being cautious, but I'm fine with that. 

So how does Captain Jack Sparrow fit into all of this? Discussing recovery, the surgeon mentioned that I'll have to wear a patch over my eye for a couple of days and nights, "to protect your eye, in case you bump it". I have a good imagination, and I love Johnny Depp, so I immediately pictured a sexy, black velvet eye patch, of the type that Jack Sparrow (or someone he fancied), might wear.

Ha! That's not it at all. I've looked into this, and we're talking Industrial Eye Patch: an eye patch so big and sturdy, that it'll protect the whole left side of my head, should it come to that, which apparently is prudent, because I'll have no depth perception, and might easily walk hard into a cupboard door, or tumble down a flight of stairs, but by God, if I do, my eye will be protected! Think cheese grater or colander, placed over a kitchen sponge and taped to my face with clear packing tape...attractive, I know!

Which is part of the reason I'll be working from home for all of next week.

I promise to post pics...eventually. But I don't delude myself that Captain Jack Sparrow would fancy me.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Things I Did Today - 06 January 2013

1. I took down the tree, and dragged it out to the curb. It was a lot easier taking it down than putting it up, but I have to admit I'll miss it. It was still so fresh and fragrant! I swear this tree was fresher when I was taking it down on January 6 than most of the trees we ever purchased at lots in Chicago.
2. I organized the cords of lights, so all of them are wound up neatly in a box for next Christmas, and I repacked all the ornaments.
3. In the living room, I rolled up the dhurries and put them away, and rolled out the sisal again.
4. I made a quick trip to IKEA, where I picked up some Skubbs drawer organizers.
5. I organized the drawers in the chest in the front hall, using some of the Skubbs.
6. I made a quick trip to Trader Joe's. I went there for the first time on Friday, and I think I'm becoming addicted to the goat cheese pizza.

New Year's Resolutions and Henry Ford...

It's January 5, and I've been thinking of things I want to do, mostly goals I want to achieve, this coming year. They're not exactly New Year's resolutions, but New Year's is as good a time as any to think about making positive changes, so every year recently, in late December and early January, I've found myself doing this. The idea of making New Year's resolutions, once popular, has fallen into disrepute, but I agree with Henry Ford, who supposedly said: "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

Last year, one of the things on my list was simply the vague notion that I wanted to get in better shape. I didn't even start to work on that goal until March, but in December, I completed my first half-marathon. There's power, at least for me, in writing things down. This started accidentally, because one hot July afternoon several years ago, I sat down and wrote out a list of things I needed to have done around the house. I think I was having some intermittent garage door problems, and decided to make a list of various other things that needed to be done. Along with the mundane, I included some major projects, e.g., having the pool removed. The list was a journal entry, and after writing it, I wrote a lot of other entries and forgot about it, but a couple of years later, browsing through that journal, I came across that list again and to my surprise, I realized that I'd taken care of almost everything on it, including having the pool removed. 

This was interesting to me, because I hadn't consciously thought about it; in fact, I'd completely forgotten that I'd written it. It got me thinking that maybe, writing a list of things one wants to do can be more powerful than we realize. Since then, I've made a number of similar lists. When I do it, I always do it the same way I wrote that first list: I write things down off the top of my head, whether or not they seem realistic: for example, when I wrote that I wanted to have the pool removed, I didn't have the money to do it, but that didn't stop me from putting it on the list.

Yesterday I read an article in the NYTimes on Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert's research on looking ahead, called "The End of History Illusion", which suggests that all of us consistently underestimate the changes ahead of us. I don't know how my idea of making lists of things to be done melds with that, but I guess in 10 years I might find out.

In the meantime, it's time for me to stop writing this post and start making a new list.

Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

What I Did Today - 02 January 2013

I can't believe it's 2013. I haven't written in so long, and I miss it, so, for my own pleasure, I'm going to start writing again, but I'm starting small. So here's what I did today:

1. Drove to FW, to work (of course).
2. Went to the grocery store after work, then came home and unpacked everything and tidied up the kitchen. I washed a couple of beautiful Bartlett pears and some gorgeous tomatoes, and put them out on the counter to finish ripening and put everything else away.
3. Fed Ike.
4. Suited up and went out into the cold evening intending to walk 3 miles, but the cold was so invigorating that I ended up walking 5.3 miles, at a respectable pace, and I felt terrific when I finished.
5. Had a hot shower (I really love hot showers) and shampooed my hair.
6. Did a load of laundry.