Surprise, surprise!

I ate that whole serving (side order) of fried clams on Saturday, as well as a good sized garden salad, skipping any dinner that night (as well as skipping any breakfast earlier in the day), and on Sunday morning, against my better judgment, I did step on the scale and lo and behold – I had lost a pound!

Maybe I’ve stumbled onto a new diet – the Fried Clam & Salad Diet!  Wouldn’t that be heavenly?  At least to us clam-lovers.

Just to be sure it wasn’t a scale fluke or something, I weighed in again this morning and that pound is still gone.  Score one for the Bexter.

Now, today my friend, Mary, is taking me out to lunch for my birthday.  So here I go all over again.  She had planned to go up to this little shop near our house and maybe get a stuffed pita sandwich.  But the more I thought about it, the more I want something other than bread (pita or otherwise) since bread is one of those things I’ve eliminated from my diet.  The next thing I’ve had a craving for is clam chowdah!  Natch!  I love me some New England Clam Chowdah.  So I plan to ask Mary if it’s alright with her if we go down to the Barnacle restaurant in Marblehead (it sits right smack on the edge of the harbor and we will have a grand view of the ocean, not to mention Paul’s lobster boat which is moored right off there).  They serve really good chowder there and I don’t think that will break the bank, either.  It does contain potatoes, which also is an ingredient I have eliminated, but just for today, I’ll splurge (again!).  


[The front view of The Barnacle ]


[The view of Marblehead Harbor from The Barnacle]

  Here’s a review of the Barnacle written by a patron:

We have been going to the Barnacle for over 12 years and enjoy it as much as we did the first time we were there. The staff are always friendly; the view, whether it is a cold winter’s day or a warm summer night, is exuberating and the fried shrimp or whatever the fish special happens to be is our favorite. To top it off, take a walk up through Fort Sewall for an unbelievable view and a great place to just sit back and watch the boats return to their harbor. Off season you usually have no wait but during the peak summer months take a walk while you wait for your table. Enjoy!

If you think my whole life revolves around food, you are right.  That’s why I’m always thinking about being thinner and not having much luck.  Let’s just hope this late-in-life attempt at slimming down again will work, although I don’t know why it should — none of the other hundreds of attempts have worked!

Anyway, I’m off now.  After this birthday is truly over and done with (as of this afternoon) I will be back on schedule with the low-carb, high fiber way of eating again.  I should have done this months ago because it will be getting hot here soon and summertime clothes are so much more revealing than wintertime ones!




Mon Anniversaire

I’ve stopped being 58 and began being 59 today.

I figure I’ve got 10 more years in me.

I just hope I can retire, and live long enough to enjoy it a little.

Today, I am going to do something foolish, something that I know I should not do, but since it’s MY day, I’m throwing caution to the wind and going to do it anyway.

I’m going out to lunch with my dear family and I’m going to order fried clams.

And after I’ve satisfied this craving I’ve had for fried clams for ever so long now, I’m going back on my diet and hopefully this little indiscretion will be just a blip on the radar of my life.

I thought about ordering a nice healthy and non-fattening piece of fish.  But I get that here at home any time I want it.  Fried New England clams I do NOT get any old time, so this is THE DAY!

I think I’ll skip the scale tomorrow morning.

My Birthday Lunch!

Happy as a Clam!


Making a little progress, here and there


[click on thumbnails to enlarge] 


My hill, off in the distance from our house, is changing daily.  The contractors have blasted and moved dirt and rocks daily for most of the winter, really only pausing in their progress for a handful of days during the few snow-days we had this past winter.  I am not seeing any structures yet, but I see a constantly changing horizon, with the mound of earth looking more and more like Roseberry Topping in Yorkshire every day.  It’s been fun watching it change so often, and as long as I don’t have to see structures on it, I’m happy.  A few times, the blasting they’ve done has made our house shake, but otherwise they are not bothering us too much.

Just thought I’d update you on the progress of the hill.

~ ~ ~

In other news, springtime jobs are progressing also here at Crow Cottage.


dcp_3968.jpg  dcp_3969.jpg  dcp_3970.jpg


Paul tried to go out lobstering this morning but, alas, the nor’easter we recently had played havoc with the ocean, and it’s still not calm enough for a day of lobstering.  He retrieved four of his traps on the beach that had washed up ashore, with fairly minimal damage, and today he will set about trying to repair them and get them back into working order to be deposited into the ocean again. 

I love it when he finally gets back to work after the winter hiatus.  He hates to be cooped up in the house, and he can start getting a paycheck once again! Always a good thing that – getting paid!

~ ~ ~  

Back to work for me.  It’s been a very busy time for me lately, so not much time leftover for chatting here.  I’m hoping to grab a week’s holiday maybe in July, if things pan out.  Oh, that would be nice.

Cheerios and happy Friday,



The Boston Marathon Fly-By

It’s that time of year again.  Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts.  The day 20,000 men and women crowd into the streets from Hopkinton to Boston to run a road race, called the Boston Marathon. 

Over the years, I’ve either had this day “off” from work, or I haven’t.  Mostly, for some reason, I haven’t.  I’d always wished I did in those cases because I used to be a jogger myself – back in the day before my body took a left turn and went south on me – so I always wanted to watch the Boston Marathon, but never could. 

Then I got my present job and, since I work at home at my own speed, I can make it so I have the time free on Monday morning to do just that. 

And just because we are having a wild and wooly Nor’Easter here in the Boston area, doesn’t mean I’ll have to miss the marathon!

Oh no!  They are running it anyway! 

Paul just went down to the harbour to check on his lobster boat.  It’s always a crapshoot as to whether or not your boat will be where you left it in a storm such as the one we’re having.  He’s good about keeping his ropes and lines nice and strong and up-to-date, but back in 1993, when we had what they called a “No Name” storm (mostly rain and wind like this one), he went down on a Sunday morning to find his (previous) lobster boat gone.  Oh he found it later, in bits and pieces all over the local beaches, even some of it over in Salem Harbour. 

That was why he bought his current boat, “Bollocks!”.  To replace the “Sunshine” he lost in that storm.

Yikes.  A wind gust just swept thru and the house shook!

Anyway, Paul just called from the harbour – his boat is fine. 


He also told me that a tree out in our back garden was blown down.  Not a huge tree and not any other damage, but one he really liked for its pretty leaves in the fall.  Actually, it was a 3-neighbor tree.  It was right on the corner of 3 properties, and none of us knew whose tree it really was.  Over the years, one neighbor had been pruning it back – the part overhanging her yard, and the other neighbor had done the same, so the only branch left overhanging a garden was our third of the tree… which is now down.

Paul will have a little clean-up duty to do later on.

I asked Paul, when he let the dogs out front earlier this morning to do their business to be careful, especially with Emmallee, not to let them go flying off into the wind.  Dogs aren’t that big (some of them, anyway) and I’ve seen Nor’Easters pick people up right off their feet (my brother, in fact) so I have no doubts that a free-roaming dog in the front garden might do the same.

But they are back safe and sound, sitting here on the bed in my office, drying off, settling in.

I got all my Monday work done over the weekend, too, so now I’m going down to get my cuppa, turn on the TV and wait for the start of the Big Race.

More power to them.  I hope no one blows away!



Oh sure, I go away for a week…

I’m away from blogging for a week and boom, things change!  Where is my “dashboard” at the top of my page?  It’s gone!  (For those of you who do not use WordPress, nevermind, it’s an inside thing), but I came on today just for a minute and find things have changed.  I think I got a notice somewhere while I was looking around that said WordPress was temporarily down, but I can’t find that anymore, and I’m wondering why I don’t have the “dashboard” at the top of my page any longer. 

Are any of you WordPress users out there having this problem? 

I wonder if, when my computer did an automatic update recently, something got deleted (? cookies-related ?).

Anyway, I have work to do and don’t have time to fiddle with this.  I wish if they were going to change something, they’d let us know about it.


An up to the minute, blow-by-blow status on the doctor’s visit

I guess it all boils down to living by the numbers.

When your cholesterol numbers are higher than the “averages,” they wring their hands and put you on meds.  Then with time, your numbers creep back down (hopefully) and you are in their good graces once again. 

Unless your blood pressure numbers are too high.

Then they wring their hands, look scornfully at you from behind their big wooden desk, and lower the boom that they want to put you on a blood pressure-reducing medication.

For someone who didn’t visit the doctor in 15 years and swore she never would, I am slowly but surely getting sucked into their system.  I’m just hoping that what I’m agreeing to do will eventually bring me out on the healthier side of this medical mumbo-jumbo tunnel.

I suppose that since both of my parents had high blood pressure and had to take antihypertensive meds, it was just a matter of time before I would, too.   You just never think of yourself as that unhealthy, even though the scales tell you otherwise.

The fun is over.

At least the fun with food is over.  I must obey.  I must adjust.  I must give up those bad carbs and, with a stiff upper lip, stand up straight, eat my veggies with no butter, no salt, no sugar, no nuttin’ good… and like it. 

I’m trying to give up caffeine, too, but that’s tricky.  I’d rather not develop the caffeine-withdrawal headache that always accompanies this type of weaning process, so my nurse practitioner suggested I just have a half-cup of coffee (or tea) in the mornings instead of my usual ONE LOUSY CUP per day.  I don’t know HOW those who drink multiple cups of caffeine can even be alive.  I drink one cup a day and that has to go!  I don’t smoke (never have), don’t drink (used to but stopped in 1981 totally and completely), and my little one cup of coffee or tea a day has to go, now.

Where is the justice of it all?

And bread.

Oh, this will be the hard one to do.  I love bread.  I love potatoes, also, and both ALSO must go. Not to mention all added salt, and just about anything that can be called a “processed food” must go.

I realize there are bazillions of good, upstanding, compliant citizens of the world who are doing all the right things that their primary care physicians tell them to do, and I applaud them for it.  It must be nice to feel good every day, to have normal blood pressure coursing through your veins and arteries, to be able to buy normal sized clothing and look and feel good.  I am being pulled kicking and screaming into your world, and I just pray it works.  To be normal, is all I ask. 

Normal cholesterol numbers.

Normal blood pressure readings.

Normal body weight.

Normal aches and pains (not debilitating arthritic pain).

That’s all I ask out of life anymore.


If my doctors/nurses can give me that, with the help of some drugs and especially a lot willpower on my part, I guess I’ll be a happy camper. 



A Goat-bye for Patches


Everyone say

I’ll bet very few people are lucky enough to have a “boss” like I have.  “E”  is a one-in-a-million woman.  She lives on a mountain in New Hampshire, and she has goats, along with other pets. 

She had four goats for a long while.  They were all scheduled to be destroyed and she saved them from their fate, and raised them in her back yard.  They are spectacular animals.  I had never met pet goats before I went up to visit her on a company picnic one year.  A year or two ago, one of the goats passed away, and that was very sad, indeed. 

Just this past week, she lost another of her goats, “Patches”, and this is in loving memory of Patches. 

I only met Patches on a few occasions, but E. talks about them all the time when I see her at work.  It’s a hard life, too, keeping goats in the cold climate of a mountain in New Hampshire – when the snow comes, it’s a lot of work.  But she does it all cheerfully because she has a heart as big as the sky. 

We’ll miss you, Patches. 

 With love,