Okay. Where do I begin? It’s over three weeks since I’ve posted on the blog. But life has a way throwing a bunch of stuff at you in one fell swoop. And as I sit here writing this, I can reflect on all the stuff that’s been going on. So, grab a cup of coffee to keep you from falling asleep if I bore you, or a glass of wine to keep you nice and chill and sit back to a long read.
Ever, or rather these days (Never) the Weight Watcher, I was thrilled to see that Philly Pretzel Factory is once again opened at the airport. I was good though. I didn’t get my usual big bag of Peanut M & M’s!
On August 19th, The Frenchman and I flew the friendly skies to visit Oona, Sam and Owen. Our trip covered Oona’s birthday on the 20th, and a babysitting gig for Owen as Oona and Sam enjoyed an evening out for a wedding. We enjoyed lunch and shopping at Findlay Market in Downtown Cincinnati, some delightful pastries from Le Petit Choux (a play on words no less), more food and I threw any diet progress to the wind.
This place. It’s food heaven. And we bought the greatest steaks!
And for the babysitting–It’s been a moment since I’ve been in charge of an infant. Actually, it’s been a few decades—but who’s counting? Once you change a diaper, you never forget how to change a diaper. It was all good.
Owen!!! He loves to laugh. He loves to eat. He loves to read!
And the fact that Owen is one of the happiest babies in the universe also made our job incredibly easy. I know my daughter had doubts. After all, she is very regimented in her child-rearing. I wasn’t. I was very crunchy-granola and really never had a schedule. But my daughter is the mother, and, as such, I will comply—because if I don’t, I’ll never be asked to babysit again.
I am honestly in awe of my daughter, Oona’s, mothering skills. She is incredible and would easily be able to handle about three or four more!
And while Oona and Sam were away, Vincent and I entertained Owen and were just as entertained by him. He’s at that babble stage—making lots of sounds and quite proud of himself. Everything goes into his mouth and he’s crawling up a storm.
We had such a blast with this little kiddle!!
We had a crawl party where Owen literally crawled around the perimeter of the first floor of the house, while we kept guard of the furniture, electrical outlets, stairways and corners of walls. Let me tell you that little ishkabibble is fast! I was the only exercise I had in a long time.
I can’t get enough of this guy!!
A bottle, a trip upstairs to the nursery, a change of diaper, into his pajamas, three stories later he was wiped out. He fell asleep the second his head hit the pillow. We had the monitor downstairs to keep us posted on how he was sleeping. I received a few texts from Oona and reassured here all was fine.
And when Oona and Sam arrived home, I think they were a bit surprised that everything went so well and Owen was sleeping. The outcome? We’re babysitting at Christmas—actually the day after Christmas, my daughter and son-in-law are going to spend the night in Philly. Owen will be in our charge for the entire night. I can’t wait!
Bye Cincy. Bye Oona and Sam and Owen. See you soon!
All was well. The next day, we flew back home to Philly. The flights—to and from Cincy were filled to capacity. Luckily everyone was compliant with the masks and there was no problem.
I managed to start a book, Where the Crawdads Sing, which had been highly recommended to me. I also finished the book. And what started out to be a promising read, ended up to be a convoluted story with an abrupt ending that had me thinking the author got tired of writing and decided to end the book quickly. This book is going to be a movie. I guarantee it won’t be good.
Everyone had such high praise for this book but I felt it went into too many directions. As much as I loved the main character, Kya, the book just veered into too many subplots. And the ending was just so abrupt.
Life was back to normal. Somewhat. The next day, the annual Flu shots came available. And so, we headed to our local pharmacy to get our shots. It was the usual painless experience. But then, something happened. By evening, I had a huge welt on my arm where the needle was injected. My throat began to swell and my head started to ache—and I’m not one for headaches. By the time I woke up the next morning, I was full-fledged into a head cold that knocked me for a loop.
The weird thing is that I’ve never had a bad reaction to any flu shot I’ve received. I was wondering that perhaps because this was my first time receiving the shot after passing the age of 65, and the dosage is stronger for those of us over the age of 65, maybe it was too much for me. Then my husband reminded me that we were in a plane and I could have caught a really bad cold on either of the flights. Both theories make sense so it was either one or the other.
It was so bad that Chloraseptic was my fashion accessory. BTW, that stuff is still as vile as it was back in the day!
Then I lost my voice. Now, at this point, my nose was chock-full of gunk. I had a night nosebleed, actually two of them, so I was afraid to blow my nose. And when I did go back to blowing my nose, I was astonished at the amount of gunk that was exiting my nostrils. Not to mention the amount of phlegm that was coming up from my throat. And as disgusting as it seems, all I could think of was how many WW points are in phlegm and mucus. Yes. I’m that person.
This was pretty-much how I was stuffing my nose!
My co-workers were concerned too. Not really about me but you know they were wondering if it was just a cold—if you catch my drift. Add to the fact that my son Roman was coming to visit at the end of the week for a few days then leaving Philly to head to LA to visit my oldest son, Jake.
Easy instructions. Easy to use. Timely results. I was pleased with my negative results!
With no time to spare, I called my husband and asked him if he could arrange for me to get tested again for Covid. He did one better. He purchased an at-home Covid test and drove it to my office. Surprisingly, working in the Healthcare genre for a company that doesn’t supply us with testing, my at-home Covid test was now an in-office Covid Test—that my husband paid for.
I took the test, waited the fifteen minutes and the results were negative—which I kind of figured they would be. All was well.
Roman arrived on Friday. And we enjoyed our time together. I cooked. We ate. We went out to a great dinner downtown Phoenixville to celebrate Roman’s birthday and I ate and ate and ate more. Our restaurant of choice was Avlos, a relatively new Greek restaurant and we will be back. Oh Yes. We will be back! With no regard to the fact that I am supposed to be losing weight.
We started with appetizers and let me tell you, this was, hands down the best Pita bread any of us had ever had. This Dakos with Barley, Feta and Tomato was off the charts…
But my personal showstopper was the Octopus in a fava bean puree. I could eat this every night.
Vincent loved his lamb chops and said they were cooked to perfection.
Roman wouldn’t stop raving about the Bronzini he had…
And my grilled beef patties were absolutely flavorful!
A delightful evening was had. Outdoor dining. Great company and great food!
I think the greatest birthday gift I gave to my son was the loss of my voice. It seemed everyone was filled with glee at the fact I would open my mouth and nothing would come out. In fact, I actually took a sick day that Monday!
Now, get this. Roman left early Wednesday morning. That was September 1st. He ended up taking the train to the airport and made it in time to no line at the TSA and his flight scheduled for 10:55 AM left for LA on time. Unless you are living under a rock, you know that Hurricane Ida was traveling through various parts of the country. Philadelphia, in particular. My son got on one of the last flights to leave Philly that day. Within hours of his departure, the rains came. Quite frankly, it was more than rain. By the time I left the office, it was a deluge.
While at work the day Roman left, I had the flight tracker window opened on my work computer. I literally followed his flight. What mom doesn’t do that?
Luckily for me, my husband had the foresight to drive me to work that day and pick me up. Had I been alone, I don’t know what would have happened. Roads were closed. Flights were cancelled. Shopping centers were flooded. Ida wreaked havoc and caused death and destruction. It was a shock to the system to drive through puddles that were more akin to lakes. We were seemingly detoured on every road leading to our home. The normally 15-minute drive took over an hour. Our internet service was shut down but were lucky to have power.
Downtown Phoenixville after the rain. I didn’t take this pic nor did I take the one below. It truly was horrific. Restaurants and shops are flooded. It sucks.
This is a route we take regularly. In one afternoon the damage was done!
The next two days getting to and from work was challenging due to the local road closures. I hate highway driving simply because of the aggressive drivers on the road. And I had to take the highway.
The sun is shining but the roads are still closed!
By Friday things were improving. And Friday was our Wedding Anniversary. Vincent surprised me at work with the most beautiful bouquet of flowers. It was a nice start to this holiday weekend.
I’m still admiring these flowers. In full bloom they are absolutely spectacular!
Okay so back to Ida. Thursday, at work, we had no lights but the computers were working. On Friday morning, the lights and computers were working—then around 10 AM, everything went blank. The computers shut off. The lights went off. The AC went off. It was awful. It was the outcome of PECO working in the area. And that is how I started Labor Day Weekend.
Those crazy Gucci’s. Dysfunctional and juicy!
So, I went home and started another book: The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour and Greed. I didn’t finish it but am nearing the end. This is a great book. It’s so juicy! The Gucci family was crazy!!!! I’m not giving anything away except that this true story is also quite interesting. It’s going to be a movie. I’ll bet the movie is going to be fantastic! Lady Gaga and Al Pacino are in it.
At 8:15 we arrived at the beach to this…
..and the sun made an appearance about an hour later. It was a great day!
The water was wonderfully warm–but then again, it always warms up in September!
On Saturday, we took our last beach visit of the season to Stone Harbor. The day started out cloudy and turned into a spectacularly sunny and clear one. The water was warmer than the air so it was just the perfect way to end the official summer season! Despite the fact I wore sunscreen and had my head buried in my Gucci book, I still managed to get a red face.
Even with sunscreen, I got a red face!
Then we came home and ate. And I made Pina Coladas. More wasted calories.
On Sunday I went for a well-needed manicure and pedicure. But the greatest thing was the nail place I go to reopened its wax room and I was able to get the first professional lip wax since the lockdown. I tell you, those at-home wax strips are nothing compared to having a professional wax that lady mustache from your upper lip! Man, I feel like a woman again!
Mani. Pedi. Lip Wax. Is there anything better?
After my spa morning, a strange thought popped into my head. The thought was regarding our refrigerator. It was neglected. Seriously neglected. My bright idea was to clean out the fridge as soon as I arrived home—after stopping off to purchase cleaning products and sponges.
More than elbow grease was used to get this thing spankin’ clean! It took me three hours. I’m not kidding. Three. Hours.
I took every item out of the fridge. I unassembled drawers and shelves. I scrubbed them, dried them and spent about an hour figuring out how to get them placed back into the spots they were in. I found cranberry sauce that I made last November. Did you know that homemade cranberry sauce doesn’t last the ten months it was in the fridge? It was moldy and gross. That cranberry sauce wasn’t the only forgotten foodstuff in there. I think I may have had some diy raisins that used to be either grapes or prunes. It’s a good thing I wore rubber gloves while scrubbing because my hands still look nice!
Now it’s Monday. The last day of Labor Day Weekend. 2021. The days are getting shorter. The mornings and evenings are cooler with still-hot 9 to 5 days. The outside lighting is changing. It’s becoming brighter and less subdued. The trees are showing the first signs that autumn is on the way. Some of the green leaves are yellowing. Some are turning brown.
I don’t know what’s worse. Pumpkin spice or those cinnamon-scented brooms and pine cones. Autumn at its worst!
And after Labor Day, I’ll still wear white if I want to. I’ll slowly be transitioning my summer clothing to more appropriate cooler-weather clothing—or at least what manages to fit. I’m telling you; I didn’t lose the weight I wanted to.
Touch of transition. I wore this shirtwaist dress and shoes as opposed to sandals to work on Friday. I’ll miss my easy summer shifts!
But with the shorter days and cooler weather also brings on more of a schedule for me. It’s easier for me to write more regularly on the blog and it’s easier for me to have more of a routine for weight loss. I dunno. It just seems like everything falls apart in the summer. It might be because it’s more of a casual and relaxed time. Longer and lazy days. Nights of sitting outside. And while I really do hate to see summer leave, I’m welcoming that time of year when my life is more routine.
Let’s see what the remainder of the month will bring. I am ready to, once again, get back to healthier eating!
And that’s what I’ve been up to! It’s been a wild summer. I must admit I’m ready for the more routine schedule that the cool weather has to offer!
So how was your end-of-summer?
Whirlwind alert – this wasn’t anywhere near as long as I thought it would be (at least, it didn’t SEEM long), and I really enjoyed all of your adventures and was glad to see you back! Plus, you are one of the few people I know who dislike pumpkin spice as much as I do, even though I love fall and all other things autumnal. In California, or at least in my part, the end of summer is still smoky, and I yearn for crisp October days when the breathing is easy . . .
Hi Marsha. I swear this summer has been absolutely crazy. We did a lot but yet, our beach time was limited due to rainy weekend weather. Autumn is so complicated for me. I do love a crisp cool day but I’m not a fan of Indian Summer (are we even allowed to use that term anymore–or is it politically incorrect?) simply because it’s just hot weather that lingers. I hate to see summer leave but yet, I’m kind of over it. Don’t even get me started on Pumpkin Spice. I cannot understand why anyone likes it–the taste is so artificial. And now PS is so popular that it is a sign of Fall–I say bring back the scent of burning leaves–it’s better! XOXOXOXO
Aww dat baby!! He is soooo cute! Hope he can Skype! Must be hard to be far away from him…I’ve been away from my ishkabibbles for three weeks and missing them, so will be happy to see them next week<3 I normally dislike Fall… don’t get the pumpkin spice thing🤮and I can’t with the short days, dark mornings..but this year there is a litter of babies arriving within weeks. One for us plus twins for our DIL’s Mom ( so she actually gets three grandchildren over a few weeks!!) It is easier to get the weight under control in the fall I think, cool weather means less lethargy and lots of nice fruit & veg in the markets helps too. In Canada we do Thanksgiving in early October so that will be a bump in the road. I love the cottage but ++drinks with friends, dinners out, too many bakery runs and the endless seafood, plus here I dress pretty loosely ie slovenly ( especially after the ass end of Ida whipped around the Atlantic…torrential rain, winds…so hanging around the house, sitting on our butts eating, drinking, reading, being gassed by the dog etc. or as my 24 yr old son says ‘old people conserving energy’!!) God is a joker…at 42 he gave me a mouthy kid but at 62 he made me a gramma!! At 66 I am gramma x 3 ( the 24 is NOT the father…he has a 30yr old brother:)
Sorry that Ida got you as well and apparently Larry is heading up the coast next week. September is not the pleasant month it used to be!!
Dat baby is everything! He’s ridiculously happy and loves Vincent! Ugh. Why are so many people obsessed with Pumpkin Spice? I think they are crazy. But congratulations all around for expecting more babiesssssssss! They keep us young!
Your Thanksgiving is coming up rather soon. Geez–October will be here before you know it! And I can’t with another hurricane. I truly hope Larry dies out before he reaches land. Roads are STILL closed. It’s crazy the amount of damage we have! Ahhhhh September is the Monday of the Year!! XOXOXOXO
It must be in the air, I cleaned my refrigerator this weekend as well. It’s time to transition I guess.
Glad you were able to spend time with your grandson. Made me laugh that your daughter checked in with you to see how things were going. Guess some things never change!
Cathe. Can you believe it? My daughter checking in on me. Does she not realize I had three babies??? LOL!!! There is definitely something about a clean fridge! XOXOXOXO
Cathe, what a fun ending to your summer! I would guess the highlight was seeing that beautiful grandbaby!
I am so glad to find someone who feels the same as I do about “When the Crawdads Sing”. With all the hype, it was a total disappointment for me! It really was as if the author became bored with her own storyline!😄
It is fun seeing you start putting together your fall outfits. As much as I hate to see summer go, I do look forward to boots and sweater fashion season!