Where was I? Oh, looking for folks to come to New Haven with me. I found Carol, who is happy to come along for the trip to Ikea and to Pepe's or maybe Lenny and Joe's.
Charmine did offer to cancel an appt and come with me...but it's not necessary. Carol and I, the two invalids, will do just fine.
Friday, Dori and I went kayaking at Glasgo Pond. I LOVE IT THERE! It is quiet, just the right size and there are spots along the way that you can stop to eat, watch birds or take a dip...or all three. We drifted along to the next pond, Doansville Pond, and pulled over by the state tree farm to eat our Subway tuna $5 foot long that we split....we are such cheapskates! We had a bit of a challenge getting her kayak back up on the top of the truck, but it all worked out. It was great spending time with Dori, who just shocked us all (including herself) by marrying Brad, her long-time partner. He is shocked too...they are both shocked and we are all happy for them. I can't wait for her to retire so we can do more things together.
Friday night I made clam chowder for the first time in my life. I used the Julia Child Master Chowder Recipe...and only made two little errors. The only thing I don't agree with about her recipe is she has you drain the excess grease from the salt pork. Carol, my favorite cook, and I agree that this is a cardinal sin. The chowder was tasty, but not as tasty as it would have been had I left the salt pork grease in there.
One thing I had forgotten about was you have to let the chowder cool before you can refridgerate it. I had to sit up until 1:30 am before it was cool enough, and the last half hour I put it in smaller containers and put them out on the table out on the deck to get them to cool down! I was pooped when I dragged myself up those stairs to bed.
Sandy had the chowder and liked it. The salt pork didn't bother her, maybe if I hadn't drained it, she wouldn't have tolerated it so good. Too bad, next time I'm not draining it!
Saturday I didn't feel too good, after all the cooking all night and the kayaking and being out in the sun the day before. I had to lie down after lunch and slept for about an hour. Then I got up and went shopping. I went to Walmart (I've been there a few times lately--now that I can go there again) and then to Kohl's. I bought three pairs of shoes at Kohl's, some Skecher slip-ons, Asics sneakers and a pair of Adidas slides to wear to the beach. I'll take all of these to Sweden. I also got some pjs to wear in Sweden...usually I sleep in underpants and socks. I can't do that when I'm visiting...so...
Shopping rejuvenated me and I was ready to get busy decorating the John Deere when I got home. Sandy had brought it up to the garage with the cart hitched to it. I got out the $35 worth of decorations I had picked up at Ocean State and applied myself. It came out quite nice, if I do say so myself. The other decorations included ribbons I put out on the fence posts out front and flags I put up around the mailbox and the new maple tree in the front yard.
Sunday morning we got up bright and early and got into our Fourth of July outfits. We got over to the parade staging area and were the third vehicle from the rear. We brought Rocky with us, wearing his flag scarf. Sandy drove, wearing her Patriot hat that I bought for her and I rode in the cart behind the tractor, with Rocky on my lap. He was a big hit with the folks.
I think we ended up with about 11 vehicles in the parade...it was the 10th annual tractor parade. Someone tried to get Scott Haney to come, but he didn't appear. Poor Scott Haney, he can't be EVERYWHERE!
We rode around all the streets in the neighborhood this year. We even went down Vandy, which we haven't done before. It was nice...but what shocks me is the number of people who drive by who don't even acknowledge us. Something wrong with those people.
Afterwards I went over to Mary and JJ's for the neighborhood picnic. I stayed for awhile and then had to head out to Janet's for her picnic. It was hot and I was melting.
By the time I got to Janet's I was totally wiped. The heat hit me hard for some reason and it was all I could do to walk up the stairs and into the house. I collapsed on the couch and then forced myself to get up and throw myself in the swimming pool. It was SO COLD!!!! It was wonderful. That rejuvenated me and I sat on the deck in the shade, chatting with Dawn and Barry's grandkids. Later, when I started feeling sick again, I threw myself back into the pool and I was all set.
Jeremy smoked the ribs I had bought for the party with his "new" smoker that he got from this guy for free on Norwich Freecycle. Such a deal! He had looked up recipes on the internet and had practiced on brisket, turkey and chicken during the week. I was proud of him, making his own rub and working so hard on the project. The ribs were very tasty...I asked for two of them and then couldn't finish them, had to wrap them up and take them home...I had the rest for lunch today.
Monday Charmine, Pat, Deanna and Lorraine showed up at 10am and loaded up my kayak on the car and we were off to Glasgo Pond again. They had never been there and I was looking forward to introducing it to them. We did the Subway bit again, packing a lunch. We put in at 11:15 and had a great time paddling around. We found a place to pull in to eat and I went for a dip. Oh...I went for a dip as soon as we got to the pond...jumping in the water right at the launch area. I was really feeling out of it before they got to the house and had to take my 5 hour energy drink just before they arrived. I honestly thought I wasn't going to be able to go kayaking...but the drink kicked in and I was doing better. The dip in the water helped revive me...so I took a few dips in the pond along the way. We spent about two hours plus out there and then pulled out the kayaks and headed home. Just in time too...as we were pulling out, a jet ski went in and then a motor boat towing what looked like a big couch with kids sitting on it went by. Glad we were out of the water by then!
We all came back here and put supper together. We had picked up corn, which I put on the grill. Pat put together a penne pasta salad recipe I had found. It had kalamat olives and tomatoes, basil, garlic, rosemary, and cheese...delish. Everyone ended up getting involved in making this...the kitchen was bustling and lively. I stayed out of it mostly, running the grill with hotdogs and hamburgers and the corn.
We had a great meal, with the great banter and give and take you have when you get a bunch of good friends together. I was exhausted, but loved every minute of it. It was so good to be with them.
Last night I opened my email and read a message from Linda Blake that Mark Simon passed away on Saturday. I couldn't stop crying. I told Sandy and she told me she knew he had been in the hospital, but couldn't tell me because it would be a HIPPA violation. Sandy is very good about this, she never violates confidentiality. She reminded me last night that I had mentioned that I was thinking of him and she (knowing he was in the hospital) had suggested I ask how he was doing...considering that I have this history of thinking about people just before they die.
I can't put into words what knowing Mark has meant to me in my life. I felt such a connection to him, unlike anything I have ever felt with anyone else. I never knew someone who I could understand like I understood him. I could look in his eyes and know what he was saying...or he could type just just one or two letters and I would know what sentence he wanted to say. I could make him laugh and I loved making him laugh. In the past few years I had taken to kissing him on the forehead whenever I saw him, which he totally loved...and so did I. He was EXTRAORDINARY. Not a bad guy, for a Yankee fan. I truly loved him and will always miss him.
Today I'm just taking it easy, doing some housework and laundry, but pacing myself as my coach Pam told me to. Do a chore, watch an episode of Mad Men (from the first season, which I never saw as we didn't have that channel when we lived in Norwich).
I'm almost caught up now on Season One. Last year I watched Season two before the third season started. I'm looking forward to the new season.
Tomorrow I have to venture out into the heat, to take Rocky and Truman to PT up in Colchester. If I get too hot I'll jump in some body of water to cool off...that seems to do the trick lately!
Thursday is the wake for Mark in New London. I'll go down for that. I don't think I'll go to the graveside service on Friday if it's too hot, I can't take it. Saturday we are going to Mohegan Sun to see the national team play the Sun. Big week.
I'll try to write more frequently here...but it gets so mundane. I'll have to spice things up somehow...or I'll start making shit up...yeah...that's the ticket...I'll make shit up!
Oh, I found Ivory Irvin an old Army buddy on Facebook last week and this week I found an old Weiss Market co-worker, Terry Washburn! I love Facebook!