Aura of Life

‎”People do not die for us immediately, but remain bathed in a sort of aura of life which bears no relation to true immortality but through which they continue to occupy our thoughts in the same way as when they were alive. It is as though they were traveling abroad.” ~Marcel Proust

Cold – Really Cold

They are right, January is the coldest month. The Herald warns this morning of wind chills as low as 16 below tonight and tomorrow morning in Boston.

We are getting later sunsets, though; it’s still light around 4:30 in the afternoon.

James and Shane slept over last night, but we didn’t do anything outdoors yesterday. I worked almost the entire day on web stuff.

Positive Memories and a 3-Letter Word

One of the people I follow on Facebook suggested that those of us who have been abused in the past try to build a “mountain” of positive memories.

To start with, positive memories of M-E-N.

This is a lot harder than it seems. When I think about those closest to me, the memories get swamped by feelings that I would rather avoid.

The point is to remember interactions untainted by commerce, with people you know personally, not favorite authors, philosophers or statesmen.

My neighbor John is the first one I can think of. He’s always come to my aid when I needed help and never expected anything in return. In spite of some serious health problems, he’s always uncomplaining with me and he’s never patronizing about the fact that he knows so much more than I do.

My friend Steve Garrity from college is another. I haven’t seen or heard or thought about Steve for years, but he was always kind to me. A Vietnam War vet (in fact, a Marine), Steve was real stand-up guy, bright and with a great sense of humor. I remember a couple of field trips we took with our ecology prof. One time, it was raining so hard, we had to sleep in the prof’s car. We laughed and laughed, and it makes me happy to think of it.

I knew some really nice fellows in Seattle: Mike, who took Peter and I camping once, and the late Gordon Cowan, husband of my friend Chris Cowan. Gordon was a real gentleman’s gentleman, calling his wife “lovey” even in the course of an argument. Gordon was the one who broke the news about my adoptive father’s passing away.

I have good memories of my cousins Paul and Rick, associated with our summer visits to their parents’ house in Plymouth. Paul has a brilliant, acerbic wit. Rick is a retired public school science teacher who is extremely handy and an excellent father, husband and son. It makes me happy to remember morning walks to the donut shop or trips to the ice cream stand, which amazingly is still there.

Not a bad start.

Productive Day

A day or two ago, I asked Ron not to call or email until he decides when and if he’s moving to Mashpee. The cock/tails, the I/me focus and his perpetual dodging about future plans were making me a little crazy; in fact, more than a little.

Today was my first real day of peace since we re-connected last September. And boy oh boy was I on all cylinders – finally.

I played with eBay TurboLister for a while, gave up on it, and downloaded and installed a trial version of Excel 2010 and an eBay plugin.

I fixed the MRS video problem, embedded a new video file on one of the Stove Center sites and proved once and for all that the file is too large to download.

I dropped a DVD off to Redbox; redeemed a fat coupon and bought some expandable folders on sale at Staples; had my flat tire fixed and remounted on the truck; paid the 3 biggest bills of the month; mailed off checks and correspondence; paid the mortgage at BofA; attended a seminar on Tufts Medicare plans; picked up meds at Stop & Shop; had an early light dinner at Pain d’Avignon; got the CT scan order squared away with my doctor’s office; dropped in to see Emma Brennan at Han Dun; and picked up a few things at the Dollar store.

It feels so good to have had a normal day. I could get used to being single again.

Brain Food

Berries: blue, straw, cran, rasp, black

Avocados, carrots, tomatoes, eggplant

Spinach, Kale, Romaine lettuce, brussels sprouts, broccoli

Wild salmon, sardines, herring

Seeds: sunflower, sesame, flax, pumpkin

Nuts: walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil, filberts, almonds, cashews, peanuts


Brown rice

Whole grain bread



Beans: black, lima, pinto kidney, garbanzo, Great Northern, navy, peas, lentils

Cantaloupe, mango, apricot, papaya, oranges, prunes, red grapes, cherries

Green tea

Dark chocolate




Curry spice

It’s Saturday. Really.

Don’t confuse me, James!

James, who has stayed over the last two nights, woke up this morning thinking it was Monday.  In fact, he was positive, so much so that when I told him it was Saturday, he couldn’t believe it: “How is that possible?”

He may have been thrown off by their strange school schedule, a four-day weekend starting with a teacher training day on Friday and ending with MLK day.


First overnight of 2011, James, Tyler and Shane stayed over on Saturday.  It’s been a while since the boys have been here, and they were much quieter this time.  Guess they are growing up!

Fluffles stayed with them all night, first on James’ bed, then Shane’s.

I set them up dormitory style, we have enough mattresses and bedding for 3 guests.

Back to “normal”

Brought Ron to the airport yesterday; traffic was light coming and going.

He called and emailed to let me know that he enjoyed the flight and arrived safely back in Berkeley.

I lined up a tree person, who felled the poor beech tree this morning.  I’m not happy about losing the tree, but it’s amazing how much larger the back yard looks now.

Took care of some banking and correspondence over the last couple of days, including our Christmas deposits to the kids’ 529 accounts.  Signed off on the contract for Capizzi to install new flooring in the bathroom.  Received Greg’s extremely generous wedding gift.

Stopped in to Pondscapes this afternoon and learned how to enter products to their eBay site.