Friday, January 30, 2009

Hasta la Vista, Baby 2009 edition

Um, another rum runner? Sure, why not.

Tomorrow, we leave for The Bungalows resort in Puerto Plata, DR. I look forward to a daily schedule of breakfast, beach, lunch, poolside reading, workout, cocktail hour, dinner, live music. It's a grind, but I've been getting ready for weeks.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

John's Visit

Brother John made his annual mid-January trek up from Silver Spring this past weekend. He looked great--about 25 pounds lighter than the last time I saw him. He arrived on Saturday, and after his Grammy visit and a nap, drove up to Beverly to see the house and sample some North Shore seafood.

We took him to The Village Restaurant in Essex. I'd given Mark Ricci, the owner, a heads-up that we'd be bringing in a true clam aficionado, and Mark was ready.

We started with the chowder, which really is startlingly flavorful. John pronounced it "spectacular" before moving on to the fried clam appetizer. The clams at The Village, like the nearby Clam Box and Woodman's, are lightly breaded and cooked in lard--hard on the arteries but wonderful on the taste buds. Another slam dunk.

John had liked the chowder so much that he returned to it for his main dish, a huge crockful this time. I had haddock, and Kathy had a dinner salad. For dessert, we had the white chocolate bread pudding. I had to nix following that with chocolate lava cake. Enough is enough.

On Sunday, despite considerable snow, the non-Florida members of the family gathered at Belmont Street. Erin hosted John, Marc, Paula, Matt, Christine, Kathy, me, and the three great-grandchildren. Evan got to hang out with his second cousins, Megan and Joseph. Cuisine was provided by Great Chow, with crab rangoon a particularly hot item.

On Monday, John and I went to Queen Anne together. John made his expectations abundantly clear to the staff. The Grammy wasn't very responsive during the visit, very much like I'd seen her during her November hospitalization.

We went back to John's hotel and worked out in the exercise club, then headed for the Alumni, where we each downed a bar pizza and a few beers. Cousin Jack (aka "Whitey" at the Alumni) was uncharacteristically not in attendance.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Grammy Report 1/15/09

The Grammy was unaware that it was her birthday when I arrived on Thursday. I found her asleep in her wheelchair in the activities room. Back in her room, she became excited when she realized I'd brought rum cake, but I had to spoon it into her mouth for her. She did grasp the humor in the cat-themed birthday card I'd brought.

I had a lengthy conversation with the nurses at the station. They were a bit embarrassed at not knowing it was Mum's birthday. She is off of all meds except eyedrops. She had been accepted for hospice service, and I have the name of the hospice and the assigned nurse.

The main concern seems to be her eating, so I am going to see if the hospice can provide a health aide to help her eat her main meal each day.

John arrives for three days of visits today.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Cure for Winter

It's 11 degrees out at the moment, and the high tomorrow is predicted to be 6. However, there is relief in sight--in 16 days we head for warm sand and surf in the Caribbean. Our destination is The Bungalows in the Dominican Republic, according to Tripadvisor the #1 resort in the Puerto Plata area.

Somehow Kathy has finagled a comp'd bungalow on the beach, with ocean views and two bedrooms. We'll be joined by Joan the sunworshipper and Boss, who will be reprising his "El Congrejo" persona. The resort is all-inclusive, so once again Boss and I will be trying to eat and drink our money's worth by noon.

Each year the winter getaway seems less like a luxury and more like a necessity. There was a time when I enjoyed riding a high-speed quad to the top of Wildcat, but those days are gone. Give me sand, salt, and surf.

Photograph from Tripadvisor

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The blog is dead. Long live the blog.

Below is the last entry in my long-time public blog, "Brininess and Volubility". "Kilty's Wake" is the private, family-oriented blog that I'll be maintaining in its place.

Thank you, and Goodnight

The time has come to bring this journal to an end.

It began on AOL as "Trickle of Semi-consciousness" in April, 2003. It migrated to Blogspot in November of 2005 as "Single Man Writing", and evolved into "Brininess and Volubility" as the course of my life changed. Much to my amusement, it made a minor internet celebrity out of my mother, who never touched a computer in her life.

Now I find that it has become somewhat repetitive and is on the way to becoming stale. I think a private, family-oriented photo-blog suits me better as I embrace grandfatherhood and approach the age of sixty. I would like to acknowledge the loyal band of readers who have paid heed to my words. You are not many, but you are kind.

I leave you with some Irish reggae from my boys from Galway.