grumpy_1_and_2We (mostly Ron) took out the window air conditioners.

He also filled up the back of the van with returnables, stowed the crutches and walkers in the attic and installed one of the grab bars.

This was after an 8 am dental appointment.

That was good.

He also bought a pair of hideous beer stein vases.  Bad.

I cleaned up the side of the fence garden that faces the house.

Made killer butternut squash soup.

Very few trick or treaters this year; we gave away only 33 pieces of candy.

Yard Work

Started fall cleanup this weekend.  Worked on the corner garden yesterday and started weeding the herb garden today.

We did the Sunday trifecta: laundry, sheets, transfer station.  Stopped at Polar Cave on the way.

Ron put up the shelf (purchased March 21) at the bakery.

Found a good spot on the Falmouth end of 151 for the Ron Beaty sign.  Ron helped stake it, and it looks great.

Burgers, salad and turnip for supper.

P&B’s 23rd anniversary today!



Flu Shot

After cleaning myself up and tending to my wound, I got a flu shot.  Got gas at Cumby’s and a few needed items at Stop & Shop and CVS.

After lunch, I picked up my meds and drove Alpha to work.  Got an oil change and tire rotation for the truck at HyToy.

Got home in time to make baked fish, biscuits and broccoli for supper.

Charter Schools

Lifting the cap on charter schools – which certainly are public schools – doesn’t affect Cape Cod, but it would mean everything to the families of the 32,000+ students who are on waiting lists for charter schools.

Unlike traditional public schools, charters are accountable for their financial management and academic performance and can be shut down if they fail.

They can opt for more instructional hours than traditional public schools.

They are managed by a Board of Trustees as opposed to a local School Committee.

Their teachers certainly can opt to belong to a union, although most do not, which puts charter school employee job performance expectations, rewards and consequences on a par with those of us who work in the private sector.

As a parent, grandparent and property owner, I see these differences as advantages to students, families and the community as a whole.

Wound Care Center, Errands

Wound Care Center yesterday.

Today, drove Robert to and from work, donated cat food to the Pantry. They were nice enough to let me take bagels and bread.

Picked up CSA share.

Drove Alpha to her bank; did a short shop with her help (cashier thanked her for packing, said “You’re hired!”); drove to Town Hall so she could vote.

Wound dressing supplies arrived today – talk about service!

Ron brought home a pretty bouquet.img_0470

Grilled “manager’s special” chicken, spinach and mashed potatoes for supper.

Six Week Checkup

Dr. Boyle is concerned about the swelling in both legs. I called DVM to see if I should have a higher dose of HCTZ. Need to elevate for longer.

Need to keep the boot on and for the moment, full weight bearing is okay.

Will find out tomorrow if the Wound Center people think more needs to be done. Promised to email the doc with a summary.

I have a prescription for shower bars and a follow-on appointment with Dr. Boyle in two weeks.

After the appointment, we took a spin through Sandwich. Had coffee+ at Cafe Chew, then browsed and purchased at Titcomb’s, after which we stopped briefly at Sandy Neck Beach. Took Old County to Chase Road back to Mashpee. Pretty ride.

We voted at Town Hall – first time Massachusetts has allowed early voting.

Ron cleaned and put the big A/C away.


We’d done a big laundry on Saturday, so we just had sheets and transfer station run for chores.

Made baked haddock for supper. Steamed the beans from the garden and added the tomatoes, cumin and turmeric to the rice and beans for sides.

Not sure why, but we were both slammed, and went to bed early. Outside and heel of foot hurt a lot. Tuesday will be six weeks since the surgery.


img_0453I picked vegetables today.  One cuke is pretty good.  Beans are okay.  Tomatoes are horrible.

Looking forward to have two working feet so that I can do some serious garden cleanup instead of only occasional weeding.

The good news is that the incision is improving, and I’m feeling better.

Lots for the compost, including about half a bunch of celery that I found yesterday in the downstairs frig.

Dried and folded two loads of laundry.

We had a short downpour and then a sun shower.  It was quite pretty, and I tried (but failed) to get a nice photo.

CPC and Affordable Housing

As opposed to HAC:

I’m writing today to thank you for voting against the proposal to provide solar panels and other materials to the Habitat houses on Orchard Road and Quinaquisset Avenue.

I was not happy with the vote at Town Meeting to allocate additional funds to that project. $100,000 in CPC funds for three families makes no sense to me.

For months, I’ve been asking public officials and Habitat of Cape Cod leaders to explain the rationale for directing affordable housing public funds to private home ownership that benefits so few people.

No one yet has given a logical, objective answer.

“Diversity” is often offered as a reason for affordable housing. I live in a mixed race neighborhood of single family homes, Dixon Drive in Mashpee, so I’m guessing that these advocates are talking about something other than ethnic background when they push “diversity” as a goal: but what? No one’s been able to define this.

I understand the need to provide housing assistance to people filling important but lower-paying jobs; for example, Certified Nursing Assistant. I would much prefer to see a program that provides low- or no-interest loans to workers in these fields, and not outright gifts, as Habitat provides.

Habitat is secretive about the criteria they use, so I’m not sure who is lucky enough to be chosen and who is not. I would like to see contribution to the whole community through civic volunteer work, for example, as another criterion for awarding these gifts. As an aside, I would not consider any activity relating to a particular religion or ethnic group as qualifying.

Habitat has no methodology for tracking the future income of people who have received a gift of a home at 25% of full market value. In other words, a Habitat homeowner could become a millionaire, yet remain in a home that has been subsidized by public funds.

In addition, there’s no time limit on ownership. A Habitat homeowner can remain in their subsidized house for their entire lifetime. Requiring that subsidized private homes be turned over to future low income residents makes marginal sense to me. Allowing someone to live there for decades whether or not they continue to qualify does not.

Finally, as you know, Habitat homeowners pay greatly reduced property taxes, about 1/4 of the tax burden that is expected of the rest of us, including people like my husband and me who are elderly but who don’t meet the stringent and in my view, unrealistic, income and asset requirements of existing tax abatement programs.

These homeowners receive the same services we do – more if they have kids in school – but they pay 1/4 of the property taxes that we pay, for the lifetime of their occupancy in that subsidized home. The fact that they have to sell at the original assessed value is meaningless from a financial standpoint. By my calculations, property values would need to appreciate at least 7% a year to provide an equivalent benefit to a private homeowner. In contrast, according to the real estate website Zillow, Mashpee home values increased by only 5.2% over the past year. Zillow predicts they will rise by only 2.7% next year.

Off Cape, Habitat for Humanity has programs similar to HAC’s, in which funds and volunteers are used to rehab existing housing for low-income and disabled people. I’ve asked the local Habitat leadership about this but they reject this, claiming that this type of resource allocation wouldn’t be helpful to “families”, which they believe are being underserved. This strikes me as particularly ironic: I wonder how they’ve managed to ignore the fact that the public schools, which exist exclusively for the benefit of families, account for half or more of any given town’s municipal budget.

I support affordable housing for the elderly, disabled, veterans and workers in low-paying but critical jobs as a matter of social justice. On the other hand, I don’t support the spending of public funds for vague purposes that don’t provide direct benefit to the Town as a whole.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this message, I’ve asked these and other questions of affordable housing “experts” but have not received answers that make sense to me. I would love an opportunity to discuss these concerns with you and any/all of your colleagues, in the hope that you will see merit in my ideas and that my point of view might even influence future decision making concerning affordable housing.