Category Archives: Books

We are Family . . . feeble feeble feeble family!

It is Saturday and beautiful out. The sun is shining. I have been recently diagnosed with a torn meniscus. First doctor called me and said, “surgery, you need surgery!” I went for a second opinion and the doctor said, “no surgery, physical therapy . .  it will take time . . .”

So there you have it — a new word added to my vocabulary — meniscus. I’ve heard the word before but I never paid attention to it. Now it’s become a major part of my vocabulary.

Elevator? Escalator? I have a torn meniscus.” “Taxi, just a few blocks please, I have a torn meniscus!” “Aleve, please, my meniscus is hurting.” “Happy hour, sure … just as long as I’m sitting – – I have a torn . . .

meniscus:  A crescent-shaped fibrocartilaginous structure that only partly divides a joint cavity.

torn:  Past part of tear

tear:  A hole or split in something caused by it having been pulled apart forcefully.

Put it together and what have you got? A big pain in the knee!

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Napping, reading, wobbling around  — not too much but just enough to fall up the stairs and hurt my other knee (not too much, just a little.) And Drew sleeps. All this crazy activity while Thera prepares dinner.

mmmmmmmm

mmmmmmmm

Tomorrow? What’s happening tomorrow? Probably more of the same. Well, almost. I can already hear the buzzing of Thera’s brain, “So this is what they do on a beautiful sunny weekend day? Not for me, I’ve got fill my tomorrow up and get out of here!!!! 

And fill it up she did!

 

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Filed under Books, Family, Food, Health, Long Island Living

Stop me if I’m repeating myself . . .

It seems like everyone around me is repeating the same stories over and over again. So many times I want to cut in and say, “Stop, stop, stop, you told me already!” But I don’t — I listen and realize that even though I heard this already I don’t remember how it ends. It’s like watching “Law and Order” over and over again and each time never quite remembering who did it.

As I write this the “Law and Order BINGE-A-THON” is on TV. Yeah, I remember this one. I remember all of them. I remember, I remember, until I don’t. Sometimes I wonder what’s happening to me. Should I be concerned? Is it an age thing? I can’t even remember the title of the book I just read. Should I be concerned? But then I take a step back and realize that I’ve always been like this. Should I be concerned?

The three of us at the table.

The three of us at the table.

Picture this: Three of us sitting at the table. And Thera, says, “I love the part in the book where … blah, blah, blah.” And I’m sitting there nodding my head thinking, “Really? Did we read the same book? How does she remember the scene in such detail. Yes, there was an old guy and a mountain (nod, nod, nod.) All the while Drew is futzing with the music — And he chimes in, “I love this song. She’s great in concert. Remember? We had great seats and the sound was so clean.” (Nod, nod, nod.) Who is this? Was I at this concert? Drew did mention seats . . . click, cick, click goes my brain — great seats? He didn’t mention food. But still, it could be City Winery. (Nod, nod, nod.)

And the book — let me look it up — “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window,” by Jonas Jonasson recommended by Marcia, marcia, marcia . . . please, stop me if I’m repeating myself.

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What Would Steven Ezra Do?

I’m gasping for air. The accumulation of dust bunnies is horrifying. Every thing I touch is just covered with the stuff — and there is a lot of everything all over the place.

Drew left for Boston on Monday. Before he walked out the door he said, “I’d really like to start exercising, maybe set up the nordic track downstairs but there’s no room down there. It’s a mess.

Okay, okay, I’ll clean it up while you’re gone,” I said to my studly, manly hubly.

I started in the far corner. What do you do with  cassette tapes, old stereo equipment, and piles of magazines — including every Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue for probably the past 10 years. Me? I piled them all up in the corner for Drew to look through. Oh, did I mention the pile of old scratched up record albums?

The carpet is pretty gamey. I don’t know how anyone can exercise on it. I don’t even like to walk barefoot downstairs.

Books are piled high on the floor. A few weeks ago I attempted to clean up the books that were piled in front of the bookcases in the back room. What to do? Bring them downstairs and pile ’em up! I’m thinking that a good way to get rid of some of these books would be to donate 10 books a week. I’d like to mention this to my drew but I know he’ll start to break out in a sweat and get all defensive – – – “why do you go right to my stuff, we don’t have to get rid of anything, even if I never ever touch it or know it exists. Once I see it I know I’ll need it.” (Oh, wait, who is that talking me or he? I think we!!)

Drew likes his books, broken electronics, and old credit card receipts. Ah, ever take a look at his night table?

Here I am babbling. Today Hannah sent me a text, “WRITE IN YOUR BLOG.” So I’m writing. When it comes to cleaning up and throwing things out — Hannah is worse than Drew. So I really don’t want to go into detail about my time spent downstairs.

But what I will share with everyone is what goes through my head every time I tackle a new corner downstairs. Whenever, whatever I touch — I hold it high and shout out loud, “What would Steven Ezra do?

If you know Steven, then you know what he would say: All together now —- “Throw it out, Aunt Vicki!”

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Filed under Books, Empty nesting, Family, Real life

Experts say that it takes 21 days to create a habit

Well, I really thought I had this one wrapped up. But I have proved the experts wrong. After 6 months of writing on my blog every day I am quickly falling apart. Is it the heat? I don’t think so. Am I spending too much time vacuuming? Nope, pretty sure it’s not that. So what has rocked my world so much that I have let this habit of 6 months fall to the wayside?

And the answer is: My iPhone. Who needs a computer when I can check my emails and download a million apps to get me through the days of my life? Last week I downloaded wordpress.com because I thought I would like to post from my iPhone. So I downloaded the app and I attempt to sign in to my the sommertimes.wordpress.com account. I need my password. And, as usual, I don’t remember it so I have a temporary one sent to my Gmail. And then I sign in to the account on my iPhone — not so easy to type a whole post. But the most annoying part is that when I go back to my computer I am logged out of my account. So, once again, I have to request a new password. Why make it easy on myself? I always choose a password I am sure I will remember. Yeah, right!

Finished The Psychopath Test the other day.  So I’m pretty sure I’m not a psychopath. Oh wait a minute, according to the book — if you are reading the book and think that you might be a psychopath then you aren’t one. But what does it mean when you know you’re not a psychopath. Started reading A Tree Grows In Brooklyn for the second time. The first time was on the plane to Seattle sniffing bathroom fumes from my last row seat. My back room at home smells so much better. I was able to get through a few chapters and then I received an email from my library — the book I requested is ready for pickup. I am now ready Bossypants by Tina Fey. It’s gonna be a quick funny read.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit – Aristotle

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“You’re a little off today,”

HE says this morning after biting into a bit of undercooked egg white. Just one bite mind you — HE doesn’t like yucky egg whites.  I offered to toss his undercooked eggs in the trash and cook up a new batch but HE said no. It’s not a big deal. But then HE took a bite of the other egg and, yet again, a bit of yucky egg white. If it wasn’t a big deal I don’t know why HE had to even mention it twice. HE ate every bit of food on his plate. I think I even saw him licking the plate when I turned to pour a cup of coffee.

I was distraught. I try very hard to make the perfect eggs every time. It’s hard for ME because I can only eat cremated eggs. Anything less and my stomach is a mess for the day. But this isn’t about the eggs. It’s about something more serious than a bunch of cooked ovum. It’s about my world.

“Yes, I feel a bit off this morning,” ME says. And I know why. My world has shifted. I have an iphone and all of a sudden life is different. Now when I get a one word text message that answered a question I asked 5 hours ago, I no longer have to go back to the sent text screen to find out what I asked earlier. I’ve downloaded a bunch of apps already. I can’t wait to use my Kayak flight status app tomorrow to check Hannah’s flight. I can check my email all day long, make a reservation on Open Table, look up a recipe on Cook’s Illustrated, and read a book anywhere, any time!

Of course now I need more friends. My iphone is sitting across the table from me and it is so silent.

My life is changing. I don’t have to go home to check my email. I can do it on the street, in a store, even in a park!

Ah, what’s that sound outside? It’s the mailman –Gotta run!

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Filed under Books, Everyday Woman, Food, Long Island Living, Real life, Travel

Acute Clutter Brain

Drew was turning off the TV just as I was waking from my nap on the couch late last night — and that’s when I saw it. Well, some of it. Was it a dream? No, I think Drew saw it too but it meant nothing to him. I started screaming, “Wait, I need to see . . .” Oops, too late, TV off.

So I did what I always do, I googled it. Here is an excerpt from the Amazon Kindle commercial: She says, “But you can’t fold down a page when you want to save your place.”  He says, “My kindle does that for me.”  “But you don’t get the rewarding feeling of actually folding down a page,” says she

Didn’t Carol mention how she missed folding down pages. I don’t like to fold down pages and luckily for all my books, I have lots of concert ticket stubs around the house to mark any pages I might want to refer back to. But what I really do is note the page number and put it safely away somewhere in my brain to be retrieved when called upon. Unfortunately, my brain is a little congested with bits of facts and dates, things to remember, and things to do right now. I have been diagnosed with Acute Clutter Brain (ACB).

MedicineNet.com defines acute as an illness that is of short duration, rapidly progressive, and in need of urgent care. But that doesn’t sound right. I don’t think I am in need of urgent care and I’m not sure if this is rapidly progressive. Hmm, I just don’t remember.

You know, maybe I’ve got it all wrong. Yes, I think I know now what the doctor said! He said, “You have a cute clutter brain.” Yup, sure of it now. But regardless if it is cute or not — it is still cluttered.

Think I’ll go look online for a Border’s coupon and order myself a BOOK — Moonwalking With Einstein. It’s on my list. It will help me organize the clutter in my brain without throwing anything away. Is it still clutter if it is neatly stored away and easily retrievable?

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“So dogs are, you know, their noses are so valuable to us . . .”

So I think I need to backtrack to Thursday, May 26th, in the not so late afternoon: I’m leaving Atlantic Nursery in Freeport, heading to Home Depot, and listening to NPR. The guest that day was John Bradshaw, the author of  Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You A Better Friend to Your Pet (a new behavior guidebook.) The topic was The New Science of Understanding Dog Behavior.

Sounds  interesting. I was thinking that I would buy his book if I had a dog. It might also make a nice gift. It sounded like a good book. I haven’t leafed through it yet so I’m not sure. I put it on my list of books to check out the next time I am in the bookstore.

So why am I mentioning this? Because of that image in my head — an image I just quite can’t shake. It’s a bit creepy. It was something he said. He was talking and, if I remember correctly, he was talking about training dogs for the military.

I would actually much rather have a dog ahead of me than another human being because it’s another set of senses — and particularly the olfactory sense. These dogs are trained to find and then indicate all manners of things. In that particular instance, it would presumably be explosives and ammunitions and guns and so on.”

He spoke of how conservationists are now using dogs to monitor the population of very rare animals. And then he said it, “So dogs are, you know, their noses are so valuable to us . . .” And there you have it. An image in my head that I cannot erase: A cute wet, juicy dog nose on a platter, maybe with a sprig of mint to be served as a delicacy. Creepy, huh?!?

Help me . . .

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