Search This Blog

Friday, March 22, 2019

Friday, Friday [also see post from this morning]

  1. Scrambled one Wellfleet Chicken Coop egg with crumbled feta, so good. Is it possible that it really tasted better than commercial eggs? Enjoyed with two slices crisp bacon, French press coffee made with beans bought on the Cape and half toasted Ezekiel roll w Irish butter.
  2. Rested a little to fight cold.
  3. Had healthy foods from Joyist.
  4. Piled a lot of fresh baby arugula on top of my pizza after it baked.
  5. Ate a few big organic blackberries.
  6. A couple short walks with Sug.
  7. Wrote thank you notes for January birthday gifts. Corresponding by letter with friends and family feels good.
  • Parking meters, $1.25.
  • Joyist, 4:30 p.m., late lunch of avocado toast w radish and greens and 3 large, filling blends [The Greg for Fig; The Luke for P.; and The Greg with "I'm Sick" boost* for me, 10th punch on card, free]; Java Bites for P.; jar of local honey, $41.
  • Gasoline, $20.
  • Kings. I was inspired by a prosciutto-topped pizza I saw in a Lidia Bastianich cookbook I've had for years. Bought dough, 2 four-oz. prosciutto, baby arugula, 2 fresh mozzarella balls [sale], pizza sauce, vegan cheese, mushrooms, organic milk, lox [sale], deli provolone, deli turkey, votive candle for mantel, prepared Indian chicken and rice entree, large onion, bananas, sliced almonds, raisin & nut mix and pricey organic blackberries, $91.35.
DAILY TOTAL: $153.60.
MONEY THOUGHT: It was fun to make pizza toppings. I caramelized onions, sautéed baby Bella mushrooms, squeezed sweet garlic from papery roasted cloves. I like that Figgy made her vegan pie as she likes it, and Dan assembled ours. Plenty of leftovers, too.

Struggling to Keep That Bottled Cape Feeling

Ship in a bottle LINK FROM HERE.
Dad had one of these down on his workbench in Dumont.
I wonder where it went.
I've been home for 16.5 hours [counting overnight sleep] and things are stressful again.

It's 7:57 a.m. I set my iPhone alarm for 6:30 so Punch could proofread her essay on 12 Angry Men. The kids write it online in Google Classroom and then submit it to the teacher by clicking TURN IN. [I'm not sure what happens if kids don't have access to internet.]

Punch sent it last night when I hadn't proofread it with her; grade also based on punctuation, capitalization etc. Then she told me she couldn't go back in and fix it.

That was a fib.

After I got back from event at 9ish, she told me the truth, and we decided to set the alarm so she could get up early and edit.

She would not wake up. I dragged myself out of bed--Dan had done the last two mornings while I was on the Cape--and now Punch stayed under the covers. I went down to make coffee, with my beans from the Hot Chocolate Sparrow. I ate a small pink foil-wrapped chocolate heart, the last two Triscuits, some chocolate chips. Ranging around for quick jolts of energy, no time to make hot cereal. I microwaved two small blueberry muffins for P. I took Sugar out.

I walked up and down the stairs four times. Still no luck. Turned on the bright light in Punchy's bedroom. Pulled her top cover off.

Near my wit's end, I stood outside and repeatedly rang our doorbell, which chimes upstairs, right outside Punchy's door.

This annoyed her but ultimately got her up, yet not until she threw a sneaker my way, cursed and subsequently lost social interactions tonight. [She loves seeing friends for sleepovers, etc.]

On the Cape, I said to Anne, I want to be able to tap into this feeling at home.

So much for the pure air in my lungs, the clean, unspoiled nature, the breeze in the sea grasses. The centering. The peace.

I was back all right, mired in stress. No more screened window open to brisk air, old trees and bird calls.

But I'm happy and relieved to tell you that I pulled myself together and did not lose it.

I reflected and prayed for grace while on the Cape, so as not to lose my temper at home. Grace delivered. 

That is the gift of traveling far from daily life--the gift of perspective. The time and space to contemplate.

I did say several times this morning, Ok, you won't get to fix it, and your grade will be bad, but I guess I was ready to let Punch own that. She is a good student; she cares about her grades and is proud of her successes.

I was downstairs on my laptop on the couch. She sidled up to me at about 8:05, saying, Do you want to fix it?

I had her polish it. Check spelling [change there to their, etc.]. I'm proud of her, and really like what she wrote about 12 Angry Men. [She had started it Wednesday night, with Dan, but it was due today.]

Then I sent her off to the bus stop around the corner. Now that middle school looms in September, we let her walk on her own to the bus sometimes now.

Oh, she also called Figgy--who slept over at her pal's tonight--to ask about wearing Fig's striped shirt to school. Fig said an emphatic no. Punch wore it anyway, though I urged her to take it off.

Enjoy your day.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Motored Back to Montclair 

  • Before we left Cape, Hot Chocolate Sparrow, chicken salad on wheat, small paleo muffin, great Sparrow postcard and latte, plus $1 jar tip, $16.78.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts, bottle of water and cup of ice, $2.01 + $1 jar tip, $3.01.
  • Gasoline, chipping in, $8.
  • Uber. Punch forgot and thought I was picking her up today--so she didn’t board the schoolbus. Within 10 minutes of walking in the door after drive from Cape, I got a call from the school office. Dan had also gotten booked last minute to work at a family’s Purim party in NYC tonite and needed the car 4 p.m., so I had to Uber to school and back. The driver waited while we stopped at QuikCheck for provisions. $25.80 plus $2 tip, $27.80.
  • QuikCheck, organic whole milk, almond milk, milkshake and sub for Punch, $18.78.
  • Ticket to chef Lidia Bastianich’s book [memoir] signing in Montclair tonite, $17.
  • Since Dan had our car, our sitter, who came to watch Punch, generously let me use hers to get to Lidia event. So I filled the tank [it wasn’t empty], plus $1 cash tip since attendant pumped my gas in pouring rain [NJ not self-serve], $20.54.
DAILY TOTAL: $111.91.
Will update other figures tomorrow. Tired from long trip home.
Ok here is update:
MONEY THOUGHT: My sitter/friend, Elaine, is so good and generous. She is here every Tuesday afternoon and other days and nights as needed, and she works for other families, too. She watches Punch, does dishes and laundry, sweeps, brings pepperoni for Sug and to make pepperoni eggs for Punch. She brings white bread and American cheese to make a kid-friendly grilled cheese. [We generally have wheat bread and Cheddar.] She is like family to us. Elaine watched Punch starting when she was an infant. She watched Figgy starting around age 4. She lets us use her car if we occasionally have to--and when we were carless for months, she let me use it once a week for an evening class while she minded Punch. So I like to fill the gas tank.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Top 10: Navigating the Cape in March

Look how pretty. I drove from Eastham to Highland Light in North Truro with Dad and young Figgy
when it was being moved back from the eroding coast. Anne and I
saw it in the dark tonight, with the supermoon hanging close and bright. PHOTO LINK.
I'm getting sick, but Anne packed Tylenol. I don't like getting sick up here--especially since we only have three days/two nights. I also don’t want to give my friend the unwanted gift of a cold.

We leave our cottage on Bayberry Lane tomorrow by 8:30 a.m. I guess I shouldn't be surprised to feel feverish, since at Punchy's bday sleepover Saturday night, one of the girls had chills and shivers, a sore throat and a fever of 101. Her Dad had to come get her.

Anyway, we had a great day and had nice treats and saw so much beauty:
  1. Sunbird in Orleans for breakfast....Anne had been there, but I never had...I liked the coconut milk steamer with turmeric and ginger. I've heard a lot about golden milk, but this was my first taste.
  2. Another thrift shop....Anne loves thrift shops....I got 3 books.
  3. Very short walk on bike path, just because we were near it.
  4. Hot Chocolate pal is true to her Frozen Mocha Sparrow...I got a pound of single origin Ethiopian beans for my French press; a gift for Sis; and a bag of pink-foil-wrapped dark chocolate hearts for my girls. I want to get Dan something.
  5. Best.lobster.roll.ever at Mac's Seafood on Route 6 in Eastham. Six ounces of tender meat picked from the shell, served warm, on buttered brioche roll with lemon wedge to squeeze. SOOOO good. I asked the young man who made it about the popularity of the classic mayo-style vs this buttery lobster roll and he said the mayo one is much more popular here. Not for me!
  6. The Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary! Peace, nature, fresh air, birdsong, pine-needle-strewn paths, large turtles basking in the sun. Plump turkeys hogging at the bird feeders. Our whole ritual of checking in at the desk as proud members, quickly scanning the gift shop inventory, looking for wildlife on the trails.
  7. A Truro bay beach where you climb up the sandy bluff and then down, and can see the hook of the Cape narrowing and extending right to Provincetown, Pilgrim Tower and all. #amazing perspective
  8. Farm stand outside a house on our drive dozen Wellfleet eggs [shells are pale blue, brown and white], $7. Wood box to pay by honor system. I look forward to eating the eggs at home.
  9. Tonight, the supermoon...brighter and closer....we drove to see it at Highland Light, the old lighthouse, and also at Long Nook Beach...pretty moonlight shimmering on the water...
  10. We love this cottage, such a great price in March of $94 per night, but would cost a lot in season, since Truro is high on the desired list....We only paid $140 each for total stay, including $60 cleaning fee and $31.99 service fee. The cottage has everything, from tea bags to clean towels....I opened my bedroom window to breathe the air through the screen.
  • Sunbird, delicious bacon and egg breakfast sandwich and $1 jar tip, $9.56.
  • Sunbird, ginger-turmeric steamer to go, $4.82 and $1.18 jar tip, $6.
  • Thrift shop, 3 books, $3.
  • Hot Chocolate Sparrow, coffee beans plus gifts for Sis and girls, about $33.50.
  • Cottage Street Bakery, Monster Bar [oats, PB, choc chips--small portion] plus $1 jar tip, $4.05. 
  • Mac's Seafood, lobster roll, $22.99, and container of excellent kale salad, $27.38 plus $1 jar tip, $28.38.
  • Dozen Cape Cod eggs from farm stand, $7.
  • My half of fee for two nights in cottage, $140.
DAILY TOTAL: $231.49.
MONEY THOUGHT: Nature is free, and a top lobster roll is priceless. Splurge. Yum. [They have 4 or 6 oz. version; I got the larger one.] Renting a house or hotel costs money, but going off-season is great.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Letter from the Cape

Dear [fill in name--Dan, Sis, Moey, Figgy, Punch, etc.]--

Hope all is well back home.

Anne and I left Montclair at 10 a.m. and we were sitting in the Hot Chocolate Sparrow in Orleans by 3 p.m., very pleased with ourselves. I don't know if I have ever gotten to the Cape in five hours or less, not even before motherhood or traveling with ragtag Sug. Left to my own devices, I often take 7 hours. Today, only swift breaks for gas, restroom, drive-thru DD coffee.

The Cape air is beautiful, clean and crisp, the moon and clouds like moving art.

Most restaurants are closed, since it's March--rest time for fans of fried clams and swirled vanilla cones. The traffic is light. The roadside farmstands are padlocked. But the ladies at the Hot Chocolate Sparrow are still dipping caramels in vats of tempered chocolate and making Easter treats, too; you can watch through the glass window.

We ate for the first time at CShore, on Route 6 East in Wellfleet. My meal was so good--cheese grits, wilted greens and day boat scallops. Anne loved her risotto with butternut squash, caramelized onions, local cranberries and chicken.

We have never stayed in Truro before, but Anne found a great cottage on Airbnb at a reasonable rate [$94 per night for two nights, plus cleaning fees and taxes]. No rigorous cleaning for us before we hit the road Thursday. Now that's relaxing!

See you soon. Love you. 

Love, Alice [or Mom, Mim or Ali]

I want to rest. I only slept 4 hours last night because I couldn't drift off until 2 a.m. [was it the large black tea at Starbucks at 9 p.m. that did it?] and rose at 6 for the 7 a.m. support group meeting I like.

My throat is scratchy and I don't want to get sick.

Good night to you.

I haven't tracked spending since Friday, so I'm going to lump together my spends from Saturday, Sunday, Monday and today as best I can.
  • Saturday, nostalgic, iconic Serendipity in NYC, memorable birthday lunch and desserts for Punch, four girlfriends, me and Dan. With tip, $270.93. [And that's with kids sharing pasta entrees and Dan only having a green salad for lunch. Fortunately, he found street parking, two hours for just $10. I was tempted to buy five little glittery Beanie Babies at the shop that is part of the restaurant, about $7.50 each, for party favors. But mindful of this tracking and the amount of junk these kids all have already, I #resisted. I think they will hold on to the memory. I also cooked pasta and chicken nuggets instead of calling out for pizza at 9 p.m. during sleepover.]
  • Sunday, Kings for items including organic ground turkey, organic milk, 2 large cans San Marzano tomatoes, butter, corned beef on rye, ice cream, pasta, 2 green carnations [one each for Fig and Punch], frozen waffles, veggie burgers, vegan pizza, paper towels, 2 containers mushrooms, 5 containers fresh berries, four of them to bring to party, bday card, cash back for sweet teen's bday gift, $165.03.
  • Monday, parking at meters, $2.50.
  • Sugar vet appt to follow up on eye infection, get eye drops and monthly heart worm pills, $160.
  • Joyist, the Luke with "I'm Sick" boost added, two small bowls, one acai for Punch and one chia pudding for Figgy, $19.
  • Gasoline, Montclair, $20.
  • Starbucks, venti hot tea, $2.83.
  • Today, gasoline, Cape trip, Anne's car, $20.
  • Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru, small coffees, $4.04.
  • Hot Chocolate Sparrow, turkey panini, small bag potato chips, iced coffee and $1 jar tip, $13.
  • Thrift shop, shirt and sweater, $8.50.
  • Thrift shop, beautiful books about Ireland and Bobbi Brown beauty book, $5.
  • Eastham Superette for groceries and Cape note cards, $36.84.
  • Seeing four wild turkeys Anne noticed on roadside, $0.
  • Delicious Wellfleet dinner, counting tip and hot tea, $43.
MONEY THOUGHT: Traveling costs more than staying put. Gasoline, meals etc. etc. These 3 days/2 nights on the Cape with my dear friend and fellow Cape lover are such a gift. So glad our husbands could watch the girls. Anne & I hope to come back after school year ends with Nik, now 17, and Punch, now 12--and I hope Fig can join us here on our family vacation in early August. Again my March numbers are high because of birthday party, vet and trip to my beloved Cape!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Cape Cod, Here We Come

My friend Anne and I leave for two-night girls trip tomorrow. Will catch up. [Kim D and Liz, thanks for the notes.]