Saturday, September 27, 2008

September 27, 2008 The Stirts and Facebook

Mikey is the President of Cape Cod Woodturners. Every year the club hires a professional turner to come to the Cape and do a demonstration for a weekend. This year they hired Al Stirt. He's a little bit of a man, quiet and reserved but with a quick smile. He's tremendously talented and Mike can't wait to see him in action again. They met in Virginia this past June when Mike went to the woodturners symposium in Richmond, VA. Anyway, with the cottage on the hill, and nobody in it this weekend Mike offered it to him and his wife. They accepted and after a few minutes of trying to break into it in the pouring rain I managed to open it back up. Suzanne, Mike's cousin, had all but closed it down for the winter, so I spent a half hour or so turning the gas back on to the stove, lighting pilots, turning the water back on, plugging everything back in, making sure the electric fireplace worked. etc. We had a no name tropical storm blow through yesterday which made the opening that much more eventful. Since they were in town just a few hours before dinner time we invited them to join us. They live in upstate Vermont and don't get to enjoy seafood fresh from the sea very often so we treated them, and us, to a seafood feast. Mike took Dan to Wayne's house to set up for the demo, while I went shopping for everything we would need. We finished our chores right around lunch time and decided we'd meet at Marshland too again. Last time I was there I enjoyed some swordfish tips, rice and butternut squash, and asked Mike to order that for me again since they got there before I did. However they didn't have any so I was forced to pick something else. They had a fried oyster and fish platter which I chose with rice and squash again. It tasted great, the fish was perfect, the oysters succulent. The plate was huge but I couldn't help but eat it all. I left feeling too full.
We went back to the house and started getting ready for the night. I'd picked up 2 lobsters , one for Emmy and the other for Wendy, Al's wife, at the Mashpee Lobster mart, since I was on that side of town, but they wanted $5.99 lbs for steamers and I was sure we could do better at Joes. Mike picked up 4lbs of steamers ($2.99lb) and 3lbs of mussels from Joe's Lobster mart. Joe's is right on the canal, has the best prices around and everything is as fresh as it can be. We also planned Shrimp fettuccine Alfredo, cesear salad, warmed Parisian bread and for dessert baked apples with walnuts, raisins and french vanilla ice cream.
The Stirts arrived right on time, brought with them a quart of fresh Vermont maple syrup and we enjoyed a great dinner. They are a very nice couple and conversation was fun and easy. After dinner Mike took them on a quick tour of the shop before coffee and dessert. We finished the night with a Wii demonstration. Em showed Wendy how guitar hero worked, and although she got booted off stage twice was a good sport. Lots of people are too intimidated to even try it. Next we built Al and Wendy Mii's which was pretty amusing, Wendy and I had a couple of good games of tennis and we finished the evening with a wii fit demonstration. It was 8:30 pm. Mike agreed to pick Al up at 7:30am and we retired for the night.

Which brings us to's 4:24am. I've updated my new facebook account with some recent pictures of the kids and puppies. I was introduced to facebook in a discussion box in my sociology book when studying at the playground on Thursday, and checked it while Danny napped. It's amazing how many people I know there. I quickly contacted 8 or 9 old high school classmates. When you enter data about where you've gone to school, worked, etc it automatically finds other people with the same information. That's how I found Andruis Dilba. Andy (he's Lithuanian) and I went to college together. He was roommates with Chuck and very good friends with an old fiance Craig who I dated during and after college. We spent lots of time together those couple of years and I learned to ski at two Smugglers Notch trips with them. I know that shortly after Craig and I broke up he started dating another girl from the ski trip and eventually they got married and had a son. I think I was in touch with Craig's brother Chris some years ago and he gave me the information. Still I was curious what became of these three guys I knew so well. So I was thrilled when Andy sent me back a message that he was doing great, teaching in Boston and that he was still in touch with both Chuck and Craig who are also doing well. It was nice to catch up a little bit.
Janet who I used to work with at Pickles is also a regular on facebook and I was happy to see pictures of her girls. Janets daughter Paige is the same age as Emily and for quite a while when Em was younger Janet took care of her for me, so she and Paige were pretty close. I think I still have pictures of the two of them in a bubble bath somewhere! I'm also attempting to contact an old friend from High school, named Fiona Bancroft. I think I found her and did send her a message but haven't heard back. If I wasn't already internet obsessed, I am now!

So the reason I was awake at 2:45am is because of a gallbladder attack. I had them on occasion going through high school. Looking back, it's no wonder considering my french fry and suzie Q lunch everyday. I think my mother chalked it up to growing pains and it would eventually subside. I was never taken to the doctor for it as a teenager. It happened again in my 20's, mostly I found, after I'd eaten Burger King and eventually one time it was so bad an lasted so long I finally went to the ER to see what was going on. They called it a gallbladder attack, gave me some meds and sent me home. I was offered the option of surgery to remove it, but at that stage of my life, and still for that matter pride myself on having never had surgery and did what I could to avoid it. I did some research and learned if I avoided fat (apparently Burger King's in particular) I could avoid further problems....and for the most part I have.

I think one of the significant side effects, other then the weight loss, to avoiding so many foods is that now my body is getting used to not having them. I had buttered popcorn while watching Another Cinderella story with Em, TJ and Sarah last Saturday and spent the next couple of hours in the bathroom. There wasn't really that much butter in there, but I guess it was enough because the results were dramatic. Yesterday I had the fried seafood and although it took a while to come on, but by 9:45pm I was in enough pain that I took 4 Advil, which I rarely, if ever do. 3 months ago fried seafood wouldn't have bothered me. I was planning for the most part that this diet change to be temporary, but I'm not sure my body is going to allow it....good thing I like vegetables...alot!

Wendy came down the hill and joined Dan for pancakes, then retreated to finish up some school work. She's a reading teacher and had lesson plans to do. The kids and I took a trip to Hyannis. Em was interested in getting a snake but abruptly changed her mind when she saw a pinkie mouse in one of the snake cages. Next we went to Old Navy. The kids and I are going down to Disney world for two weeks starting the end of February. It occured to me a few days ago that with my weight loss and the time of year I might run into problems finding clothes to wear while I'm there. So I made it my mission to scour the clearance rack for summer clothes. I quickly found several pairs of shorts ranging in size from 2 to 10 and settled on 8's. It's good to have a goal. Once I fit into those shorts I'll know I've met it. Even better was that since they were on clearance I got them for $4.99 each. In the end I bought 3 pairs of shorts, 2 skirts, 4 shirts, and a cardigan...with the sale they were running this weekend I got all of it for $50. Emily also made out well, she spent over $200 but with the sale she saved over $94. She got 4 pairs of pants, a dress and several shirts. We came home to relax, Mike arrived home just as I was walking out the door for work and announced he was on his way to pick up our second ton of pellets. With hurricane Kyle coming up the coast, pouring rain and after a full day of playing videographer for Al Stirt he still had the energy to not only get them but unload them with only Emily's help. As I type he's snoring on the couch next to me.

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