Friday, December 2, 2011

December: Oh, what fun! Oh, what fun! Oh, what fun!

31 Dec, Sat: A short walk along the beach to Sharon's Cafe for a huge, hearty breakfast and we're off to visit genealogy cousin Martha L., about an hour's drive, en route to Point Clear, Alabama for New Year's weekend at the Grand Hotel.  Wishing everyone a BEATTY Happy New Year!
Several amateurs and one professional fisherman
30 Dec, Fri: La Mananitas... the sun is now appearing (seems late at 7:07) and another day dawns, but our hotel isn't oriented for winter sunrises, so we see it only by leaning dangerously far over the balcony. Two hour walk along the beach holding hands while leering muscles were covertly working overtime.  The temp of 73 degrees brought out the bikinis and bikini minded.
Sunset Mexico Beach, FL

29 Dec, Thurs: Seven hour drive from Macon on Hwy 91 southwest  past acres of pecan orchards, peanuts and Plains, GA where Jimmy's Hot Dog Stands and stores capitalizing on the name Carter line the roads.  We stopped in Andersonville Civil War Prison where an Overturff ancestor's brother was one of the 13,000 malnourished and ill treated prisoners that perished in the camp.  Prisoners were poorly housed in tents made of pieces of clothing or blankets thrown over sticks in the ground. One stream ran through the 26 acres that gave provided drinking water and water to flush the trench dug latrines.  Many had no shelter at all.  Food had to be purchased.  Speaking of food: don't plan to stop for food in Albany, GA; be certain to eat long before you arrive there.  White's seafood was closed, and we walked into and backed out of Bess' Restaurant fast before fainting from grease fumes.  After crossing into Florida from far southwestern Georgia we turned straight south on Florida 71.   The drive was pleasant, with light traffic, but the scenery wasn't anything special.  Cynthia subsisted on Wasa Crackers with fat free cheese and a protein drink throughout the day until our arrival at Bailey's Crab Shack in Port Joe, FL where she was happily crabby eating a bucket of delicious snow crabs.  Total bill was $28.00 for the twos of us.  Onward to El Governor Hotel (el cheapo) right on the beach and barely above high tide.  The rooms are $69.00 per night.  We splurged for a couple of days despite the damage to the budget.

 28 Dec, Wed: Ron was up until 5am cloning and computering.  He was pleased to have three clones of his beloved, antiquated hard drive.  He slept for only a couple of hours before packing the car early, and leaving "on time" only two days late.  We drove five hours from Columbia, SC to Macon, GA on GA Hwy 88 and were delighted that Cynthia's beautiful grandnieces, Camille and Danielle, could join us for dinner.  They provided us with a marvelous evening and good memories.
Oohh La La, lookie the BEAUTiful girlies

27 Dec: Raining, cloning, hardly working, lunch at Lizard's Thicket to see Susan. 
Great time with Vince, Mary and Dick at Bonefish Grill.
The manager of Bonefish remembered us (who wouldn't?)

26 Dec:   The second Christmas card was delivered a day late, and Ron copied the sentiments from the PERFECT card that Cynthia found:
To my wife, my partner in love, my companion in pleasure, my soul's truest mate through this journey of life:
In your voice I hear it,
In your smile I see it
In your touch I feel it
You are all the things I love.
I've never loved anyone the way I love you.
I've never known anyone so well and still felt there was so much left to discover...
never been able to say, "I love you" and have it mean something beautifully different every time and enjoy vying for those "first I love you" points every day.
I've never known someone I could spend hours with and still long for more time to share...never felt so close to someone in so many ways.
And even though I'll never be able to tell you with words how much you mean to me... I hope you understand that the love I feel for you is more beautiful, more meaningful than words could every say.  Merry Christmas with all my love!  Thank God for Cynthia
(The original card was a big hit with Ron, the replay a big hit for Ron.)

We enjoyed the typical caustic male banter while walking with Jim, Steve, and Dick for miles in the subdivision.  Ron spent the day cloning hard drive; Cynthia wrote until Mary, Vince and Dick joined us for dinner at Ruby Tuesday's. 

25 Dec, Christmas Day, 2011:  Merry Christmas to our family and friends.
Cynthia was SHOCKED to discover that Santa Claus had arrived early in the AM to drop presents under the tree of roses.  (We couldn't even find the chimney at the Hilton Garden Inn, but Santa is too clever.)(Santa's eVile older sister woulda been proud that he finally learned to wrap a presentable present; his mother proud that he recycled previous gift wrap.)  We walked with Dick while Ron tried to remember where he left notes about cloning a hard drive.  Dinner with Dick at Ruth's Chris Steak House.  YUMMY.  

24 Dec, Sat: Early AM departure for Columbia, SC.  (i.e. before noon)  Long pleasant drive across rural South Carolina on U.S. highway 76 followed by dinner at Bonefish Grill  with Dick R upon arrival in Columbia.

21 Dec, Wed:  The seascape is marvelous whether walking the beach or watching from windows.  Enjoying temps in the low to high sixties, sometimes windy, sometimes VERY windy.

Right after the usual breakfast, we walked on the beach to Fort Macon on the east end of the island; 2 hours round trip including the restroom stops. Fascinating to see  former cannon housing and learn that the fort was in use through WWI.   We are seeing several large ships enter the narrows  --- maybe bringing service men home for Christmas???  Bro Dean googled the ships (United States Navy ship 21), they are Marine landing craft.

14 Dec, Wed:  Ron rises early almost daily to work on endless writing projects. Cynthia is writing a new book about three men named James Lea of Caswell County, NC.  We have two remaining weeks for our writing projects. This is a terrific place for writing besides the views and immediacy of the Atlantic Ocean: a restaurant is onsite for breakfast and lunch; two great restaurants are about a mile each way walking the beach at sunset. Plans are to return to NC for further research in March.

11 Dec, Sun: Its beginning to FEEL a lot like Christmas! Oooo! Ouuu Oooo!  A blast of Arctic air routed us from la-la land en route to breakfast.  Dec. fleurs warm our hearts:

10 Dec, Sat: The CD's were mailed, but only after arriving at the PO without the fanny pack and money necessitating a turn-around to the condo and return to the PO.  We walked about 90 minutes - maybe two hours on the beach, plus the walkity to Amos Mosquito's restaurant. Gorgeous sunset.  Jethro... is the aka of tonight's waiter.  The wait staff uses southern nicknames like Sweetie Pie, Sugar Plum, and Cutie Pie.  Now we know Jethro, too.  

9 Dec, Fri:  90 minute walk on the beach plus a thirty to forty minute RT walk to Amos Mosquito's Restaurant for delicious chicken dinner.

8 Dec, Thurs:  We woke up to chilly weather!   We walked: The warmth of the sun made the hour walk on the beach very pleasant despite the strong wind which was an invitation to surfers.  We worked:  Packages are ready to mail, letters and some cards are written.  We played: Ron in the pool and Cynthia in the fitness center's sauna. We ate: The Channel Marker Restaurant was closed for a private party tonight; the kitchen manager recommended Amos Mosquito's quite close to the condo which proved to be outstanding.  The waitress was named "Cutie Pie" and indeed she is a cutie. 

7 Dec. Wed: Walking towards Fort Macon:  Lots of seagulls parked on the beach enjoying the warm weather. After dinner at Ruby Tuesday's we returned to walk the beach but the wind was so strong only one of us walked with the wind to his back.  Big Waves!

4 Dec, Sunday:  See the sunrise at Atlantic Beach, NC, below.   A gazillion birds were hovering over the waters.  Sightings from two walks on the beach: Cars, jeeps, a few people, lots of seashells, dead jellyfish, a host of seagulls including a one-legged gull hopping, small birds with tall legs and short legs moving ever so quickly, a dolphin surfacing close to shore, and  a marvelous sky scape.  Ron wrote a grant proposal for the Swedish Colonial Society.  Goal is to accomplish lots of writing: letters, record keeping, research, CD mailings.  Dinner at the Channel Marker was tasty, the waitress friendly, but the asparagus was shiny (OIL!)  She complied with steamed veggies and no oil.  After the dine, wine and another walk, we are back at the computers.  What a surprise to learn Cabernet Sauvignon has 17 gm sugar and far more calories than Chardonnay.  The calorie bank has an overdraft tonight.

3 Dec Sat:  We were on the road by six AM with nary a breakfast place to eat until we arrived in Fenwick at Dirty Harry's.  Nice place, friendly waitress and a humongous omelet.   The early morning departure meant we arrived in Atlantic Beach, NC by 3:30 PM.  The condo is very pleasant - full ocean view - good space and wi-fi.  The beach is close.  The sunset walk on the beach was marvelous watching the pelicans dive bomb for fish along the way.  This is  a perfect place for serious writing and relaxation with a restaurant in-house, an indoor heated swimming pool, fitness center (haven't checked to see the quality), an outdoor pool and that important Wi-Fi.  The bed is comfy, too.  We opened the windows to keep the bedroom cool.

2 Dec Fri:  A late morning followed by packing the car for a lovely drive down the Delmarva peninsula.  Lunch at Jessop's Tavern in New Castle, DE was a delight!  The wait staff wore period colonial clothing. The turkey salad was very good.

1 Dec Thurs: The SCS Archives Committee met at the seminary.  The Ronald S. Beatty Collection was added to the Craig Collection.  See photo of Ron presenting his work to Governor Sally Bridwell, Councillor Herb Rambo, Curator pro tem Beverly Walker, Archivist, The Rev. Dr. Kim-Eric Williams.   The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Forde-Beatty is pictured with Curator Walker  examining a new ForeFather application.  The group lunched at McMenamins Irish Pub. 

Monday, November 7, 2011


29 Nov: The schedule is to meet Kim and John at the Archives at 11pm, work for a bit, then grab lunch and a brew at McMenamis before finishing edits to the Colonial Records volume 6 in the afternoon.

28 Nov: We've enjoyed a lazy Monday back at the Hilton Garden Inn at Fort Washington, PA, a Philadelphia suburb.  We did walk a mile or two after dinner, and it was exceedingly amusing to hear Cynthia say that I, Ron, didn't know how good it feels to be able to walk without pain.

27 Nov, Sun:  It was a challenge for us to get to the church on time, but witnessing the Baptism of John Stockton Rambo at Trinity Old Swedes Church in Swedesboro, NJ was a delightful experience. Cynthia participated in the service and read the Gospel. The six month old was ever watchful and quiet despite having water poured on his head. The reception luncheon at the Riverwinds Restaurant was attended by lots of folks we know from the Swedish Colonial Society. Cynthia had the best seat in the house next to baby John; she thoroughly enjoyed holding him several times.

26 Nov:  Photo above:  Amazing sighting of the Beattys crossing the Delaware!  ON FOOT!  After checking out of the Thomas Bond house, we hiked across the Ben Franklin bridge from downtown Philadelphia to Camden, NJ and returned to dine at the Moshulu.  The views from the bridge were very nice, weather was sunny and warm without unsettling breeziness, and we probably walked nearly five miles altogether.  No one painted OUR portrait but we do have a picture to prove it!  We relocated to a Holiday Inn in Swedesboro, NJ and were treated to the wonderful excitement of a fire alarm !  No mere drill, the lobby was filled with smoke after an exhaust fan in the lady's powder room overheated.

25 Nov:  Ron helped to trim the Christmas tree at the Thomas Bond B and B.  We took the city bus to the Museum of Fine Arts in the afternoon and returned in time for a lovely dinner at Poisatano's Seafood Restaurant. 

24 Nov:  Happy Thanksgiving!  We give thanks for each other and for our friends and family.  What a feast Sally and Nagle provided! The food was fabulous, the hosts were over and above gracious right down to the beautiful calligraphy place cards.  The family was delightful; oh, what fun we had with the M and M twins age seven.  Their mother is quite the story-teller.  OH, what fun!!!

23 Nov: Our stay at the centuries-old Thomas Bond House in downtown Philly is filled with ambiance even though the room was crowded and too warm.  We thoroughly enjoyed breakfast with a social worker who is the epitome of friendly in this city of friendship!  Our hosts however were only able to feed us grapefruit for breakfast despite being forewarned of our diet when our reservations were placed and frequently thereafter.  Here is a view of a colorful tree our bedroom window.

18 Nov: Overnight low was 31 degrees, so Cynthia's diet coke was too cold for her to drink.  We slept well and got to the Lexus dealership early for mom's 50,000 mile beauty & maintenance appointment.  We sneaked off to the Archives in a loaner car whilst mom was kept busy being pampered.

17 Nov: We enjoyed another day of riveting excitement examining Bankston and Lea documents from Caswell and Orange Counties at the State Archives and found lots of goodies.  Earlier we indulged in a pint fat free sorbet despite the frigid temperature of 46 degrees after a night at a Holiday Inn Express since we failed to plan ahead for extra nights at the HGI.  It was way out in the boondocks; they, too, were sold out tonight and through the weekend but amazingly we were able to book the HGI where we have been staying for additional nights through to Sunday morning.

13 Nov, Sun:  Raleigh, NC.  Lazy, lovely morning. Foodified, we phoned folks, worked on E-mail and mailing lists for the marvelous wedding DVD.     Moving along to fitnessification: Cynthia hit the treadmill for fifty minutes; Ron walked to Wal-Mart (2 miles RT) and returned with a dozen red roses, two loaves of Artisan fat free bread and some diet coke (that most vital fluid) delighting the bride.

12 Nov, Sat:  Celebrating our big six month wedding anniversary today, he said, "I love you" first,  and she said, "Happy Anniversary" first!  We both win points.  Back to Yanceyville Library, we hoped to find someone to let us into the Museum for our computers we left yesterday.  JUST as we were ready to leave town, the Museum director answered her phone with a cheery voice to let us know she would be delighted to open the museum. They deserve a nice donation and indeed received one.  Onward to Hillsborough - site of the Battle of Alamance; the  library was open until five; it was dark by the time we wound through traffic to the HGI four miles from the State Archives.  Fixated on food, we thought to save time by eating at the hotel restaurant ... but it was closed for a private function.  We had to "make-do" with the noisy sports bar, but the Mahi-Mahi was fine.

11 November, Fri:  The vertical files in the Historical Museum have good Lea records.  We enjoyed visiting with the volunteers so much we forgot our computers in the museum.  OUCH.

10 November, Thurs: Arrived in Yanceyville, NC at two thirty to learn that the courthouse and library will be closed tomorrow on Veterans Day.  Blessings to the volunteer who is going to have the Historical Museum open for half a day tomorrow.  Two free nights stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Burlington, NC

7 November, Tues:
Fall foliage is fading but lovely driving over the river and to the woods to Walter's house.   Pam prepared a heart healthy  - not to mention marvelously delicious meal - we enjoyed tremendously -  amidst lively dinner conversation about the benefits of motorcycle travel without a motorhome.  Walt's fine wine was a continued enjoyment watching an old video "A Happy Christmas" filmed in Cleveland (although it says it was filmed in Indiana) in the seventies about a 1940's boy named Ralphie who wants a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas.  Walt and Pam watch it several times pre Christmas since it was filmed in Cleveland and now has become a museum in an historic district leaving the streets and homes a fond remembrance of times past.  Thank you Pam and Walt!  Your home is a mansion, the twenty acres of woods marvelous and the friendship magnificent!   We gifted Walt and Pam with the "Yes Dear" sign given to us by Nagle and Sally.

Cynthia finished reading The Steve Jobs Story on her iPad; fascinating man - creative genius - and sometimes not such a nice guy.

The drive through Ohio was also delightful enough to want to return for a couple of months. We saw some lovely colors closer to Walters but the richness of the autumn colors is compelling.  Cynthia continues to struggle with poison oak... but is much improved on all other counts.

We arrived in West Virginia  about eight PM - 15 miles to VA hunkered down at a Hampton Inn for the evening. 

6 November, Mon: Fort Wayne, Indiana,  Allen County Public Library: how fun to see a Lincoln genealogy chart on display showing the Todd and Rambo marriage.  Goody Goody - a whole day of research where even the librarian remembers the last visit; he said, "It was four and one half years ago."  Despite rain drops, the short walk through a renovated downtown to the Irish pub for lunch was enjoyable. We tasted... yes... only tasted... Irish soda bread and stew; but neither compared to the Inn at Long Trail.

5 November, Sat: Chicago: Steve and Molly's marvelous wedding ceremony was held at a magnificent Basilica with the reception at the Misericorida Basilica:

 4 November, Friday: A very brief timeline using photos from Sister Carol's farm, the too-much-over-filled storage unit and leaving more stuffs from the too full car, plus a gorgeous sunset en route to Chicago for Steve and Molly's wedding:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

My Goodness, another month already ?? Oct 2

30 Oct 2011, Sunday:  Our breakfast omelets were sadly undersized, but that was perfectly acceptable since we had arranged for a late breakfast with Uncle Lawrence and Margaret at 10am at Schneithorst's in St. Louis and for a late lunch with stepmother Helen at 2pm.  Sister Carol drove down early from Mt. Olive and rode with us.  In the early evening, Ron enjoyed visiting with nephew Eric's family including Chelsea and Halloween-costumed Kyle and Erika.

29 Oct, Sat: Ahh! The luxury of sleeping late!  After another great egg white veggie omelet at I-Hop, we changed hotels because the price of a room at a Hilton Garden Inn includes breakfast prepared by a chef, i.e. egg white veggie omelets for us.  In contrast, most hotels do provide a hot continental breakfast with your choice of fatty, sugary foods that we cannot have - like those wonderful cellophane-wrapped, rubbery scrambled eggs with cheese - bleh!  Cynthia was blessed with a peaceful, quiet afternoon while Ron drove out to Trenton to spend time playing baseball with old friend Don S. and his grandson and another couple of seven-year-old boys.  Ron's scruples and better judgement were overridden by the necessity of "running" after baseballs and "throwing" the runners out at second; not optimal activities for an old fart with a bad knee and a bad shoulder.  Lets' not discuss the number of errant throws.

28 Oct, Fri:  We awoke this morning to the joyous celebration of Cardinal fans whose world turned brilliant red as they celebrated an incredible turn of events last night.  Our lunch with the Stalcups was lovely.  Ron rode with Don to pick up his grandson for a puppet show foregoing the last game of the world series for this precious time with a grandson.  Cynthia visited with Ann. Tonight's World Series victory was spectacular. 

27 Oct, Thursday:   The glorious fall foliage through the Ozarks was so mesmerizing, so tantalizing, so tempting trying to get a good photo from a fast moving car.  The photos cannot capture the kaleidescope of color.  We arrived at the Corner George Inn in Maeystown, Illinois after dark and learned from Ron's friend David that the Cardinals were behind losing the sixth game of the World Series. Woe is folks in all of Missouri, especially everyone in the St. Louis area. 

26 Oct, Wed: We arrived in Mena, Arkansas about three in the afternoon for a brief visit with Cynthia's genealogy Miller cousins - each one nicer than the last - and departed just in time for dinner at the Mena Cafe arriving in Clarksville, AR for an overnight at a Hampton Inn well after dark. 

24 Oct, Mon: We reached Denton, TX too late last night to phone Dorothy B, but we did find her at home this morning and enthusiastically spent the day and evening visiting with her. 

23 Oct, Sun: Good bye to the lake house:

22 Oct, Sat:  First issues of the CD were burned, packaged and in the mail. Old tennis shoes are trashed with photos to prove it.  Recycling reigns in the household. Packing and sorting boxes has consumed the day.  It looks like an all night venture of packing the car for departure to Denton, TX to see Dorothy B before pushing onward and upward to CHI with stops en route to see relatives. We thought it would be good to see our precious two year old who lives with Auntie Carol in Illinois; she reads at a fifth grade level and her math skills are marvelous.  Cynthia baked two loaves of bread today to use up the remainder of the flour. We have enjoyed using the bread bakery machine daily the past two or three weeks.  Son Jon met us at the Yacht Club for a very pleasant dinner.  

18 Oct, Tues:  Answers to complex issues  re: CD formatting were resolved while waiting for Cynthia in the car.  Quiet the mind and the answer appears. We had a lovely lunch before the drive to M.D. Anderson.  

17 Oct, Mon: Quality of life is at an all time high despite not getting as much work done.  Restful sleep is wanting with Saturday's departure deadline  approaching like a bullet train.  Despite Cynthia's cancer and recovery issues, our happiness quotient is off the proverbial charts. Tired tonight!   But the CD is about ready to roll.

13 Oct, Thurs:  The Great Pumpkin (AKA Santa Claus) left, NOT a lump of coal, but instead, a recycled wedding gift wrapped package with a recycled ribbon from the Dali Museum.  Tearing open the paper (carefully so it could be recycled) was the most fun.  Wowie! Zowie!  A MacBook Air!  Plugged in, the thousand page licensing agreement is being read one word at a time.  ONLY an MIT grad would READ that stuff!  Rain Man??

A MacBook Air! 

OH JOY!  A present from the Great Pumpkin (AKA Santa)

Spectacular Sunrise 12 Oct 2011 - Lake Conroe, TX
12 Oct, Wed: A spectacular sunrise.  Cooler temps and two inches of rain have have lifted our spirits and those around us.  Rambo CD is progressing. Physical therapy and cortisone shots are working; four more days remaining on antibiotics to treat the staph infection.  Lots of appointments ahead of us next week... important ones like pedicures, manicures, hair -do stuff.  We plan to depart 22 Sept  for CHI for Molly and Steve's wedding (5 Nov) (if we get the all-clear from M.D. Anderson) with stops en route to  cousin Dorothy in Denton, a Miller cousin in Mena, and sister Carol in Illinois.

7 Oct., Fri: 3:00 AM and the two's of us were both awake preparing for the big events of the day:  Over the river and through the woods to recycling center we did go.  This is good news!  The house overfloweth with recycling treasures one of us is very happy to see find a new home.  But, first... we saw the radiologist oncologist at M.D. Anderson.  While not quite so optimistic as the first visit, he said Smooch does not need radiation unless she cannot tolerate the Arimidex.  We had a lovely lunch at the Rotary House at M.D. Anderson before going to the dump, to the dump, to the dump, dump, dump (recycling).  The day continued to be pleasant and very enjoyable even enduring a trip to the Woodlands Shopping Mall.  Smooch had an ulterior motive like buying a Christmas gift in October at the Apple Store.  She was not quite as successful as pulling off the surprise birthday party (the only time anyone has succeeded!).  We tried out the Apple MacBook Air... very light, thin, with the potential of using Virtual Machine software to allow Windows to run on the Mac too.  Somehow we walked out of that store with a package from Santa Claus that will mysteriously appear on the 25th of December, no doubt, in Atlantic Beach, NC.  We shopped two Wal-Marts, a Kroger's, bought gas for 2.96 and had a marvelous dinner at the Yacht Club with her son Jon and friends, Hank and Felicia. 

6 Oct., Thurs: Cleaning day.  Smooch had a lovely, pleasant lunch with her daughters in Cypress and she received updates on grandson Eric's football victory noted in the Houston Chronicle.  See picture above

5 Oct, Wednesday:  It is a stellar day on Lake Conroe.  The sunrise is spectacular, the balmy breeze a blessing and freedom from rotator cuff pain marvelous. Donations (2) of five dollars arrived for the CD! 

2 Oct.:  5:12AM - my beloved Smooch is still asleep. Mass e-mailing to Rambo correspondents sent mere minutes ago.  Yesterday was very much routine: egg white veggie omelets for breakfast, 45 minutes on elliptical machine followed by minimal weight training, dinner at Caddy Shack, and to bed at 8PM.  Friends will be amazed that I cook, even if nothing but omelets.  Thank God that the weather is finally cooling; yesterday the high was about 80, and it was marvelous to work while lounging beside the lake listening to the water lapping on the new-found shore.

1 Oct:  Here we are starting another month.  Thank God for each day, and this morning Cynthia awakened very, VERY thankful that she had slept beautifully pain-free all night.  Beside being thankful to awaken, I was happy to find no pain in my knee today; a couple of days of rest seems to have been extremely beneficial.  Pardon me a moment whilst I venture outside to enjoy the rosy glow on the horizon, and a marvelous glow it is.  Coffee is refilled, previous coffee spill has been sponged and blotted again, so onward towards the next project, a mass genealogy e-mailing announcing that The Rambo Book CD is being created for immediate distribution.
Wonderful to be back in touch with friends from my AT hike in 2008 (trail name Shakedown Cruise).  Here is a photo sent to me by Rail Road King (thanks).

Friday, September 2, 2011

September 2 surgery went well

29 Sep:  Where does the time go?  It flies.!  Wowie, zowie, we just had five minutes of rain, and golly gee, is it ever hot outside.  Smooch Smooch phoned to say she's returning soon, so I'll be driving to the fitness center for the usual 45 minutes of ellipticizing, weights, and sit-um-ups.  The knee seems better for the two days of rest, and the new shoes might not be too tight.  The promise to return e-mails as received failed for a few days, but I'll do better tomorrow - tomorrow - better better.

28 Sep: Cynthia's chronic pain flare up continues to plague.  She tosses & turns all night, sleeping fitfully, then finally falls asleep about daybreak for a couple of hours.  Today she hopes to get a shot of cortisone in her shoulder.  Ice helps, but the physical therapist's manipulations seem to have aggravated more than benefited.

27 Sep: Visiting Dorothy is always such fun, not only is she an inspiration at 95 years old, but she still teaches me useful things like the use of rutin & vitamin A to prevent glaucoma and macular degeneration.
Besides our animated conversations, her house is a visual treasure trove of watercolor.  It is just beyond unfortunate that Cynthia has been experiencing fierce pain from shoulder, hips, and back radiating throughout her body.  The pain killer prescribed for her shoulder is doing nothing to help, and the doctor's office failed to get a prescription for anything more effective to the pharmacy.

I'm slogging my way through the address book, sending links to our wedding photos (see sidebar) or copies of several photos via surface mail.  If I'd been clever, the links to wedding photos would have had a picture attached.  (Maybe I should try again.  Oh, I could do that for non-responders.  Goodie.)
Work on the Rambo genealogy CD continues every morning at 4am.  Version 1 of the CD will be created later this week, and a mass mailing to correspondents will be my next task.  It is always a huge disappointment when a correspondent changes e-addresses without informing me. (Are you listening Mike O'Dea?)  I've decided to offer the CD free to any Rambo descendant who sends me a reasonable biographical sketch of their parents and grandparents.

It remains hot, hot, hot and dry (parched) here in Texas.  Lake Conroe is down about 8 feet, so there is less and less activity on the water.  We have been worried about wildfires in Bastrop and Magnolia which were distant but threatening to friends and ourselves.  We did get one small splash of rain (.7") last week, but many trees are brown instead of green, so wildfires remain a significant threat.

My knee has been aggravated for the last week from daily use of the elliptical machines, but my sense of well-being is bolstered by the 45-minute aerobic workout followed by a quick 20 repetitions of 7 weight-lifting exercises.

25 Sept, Sunday: Wonderful fun to visit with Jon, Lauren & study partner, Samantha, Steven, Samantha & Jacoby.  The food was pretty good too.  Another 6 hours later (at 55 mph and 30 mpg) Pappadeaux in Fort Worth is immediately, conveniently off I-30, and we refilled our tanks.  Arrived at Dorothy's in Denton towards 8pm and stayed up way too late visiting.

22 Sept, Thurs: UP at 1:45 AM to work on the Rambo CD and back abed by 5AM.  Smooch Smooch slept better after beginning work with the physical therapist for torn rotator cuff on Tuesday awakening at seven thirty today --- YET, she fell asleep on the veranda after returning from her PT appointment early afternoon and slept for two hours.

21 Sept, Wed:  A strange "plane" that looks like a kite or an ultralight plane that also skims across the water landed across the lake.  The craft behind the kite plane may have been taking photos.  It had the appearance of a tall antenna rising out of the craft.  The sand bar evidenced in the photo is the result of lake depth dropping eight feet since Houston is piping drinking water from it.  The lake house on the tip of Bentwater Island is the home of Baird's Bakery owners, I think.

19 Sept. Mon: And the rains came with a marvelous display of lighting in the wee hours of the morning.  It will take at least two years for the lake to regain the water loss.  See photo below of the blue heron standing on the new "beach" that was created when the water level of the lake dropped 8 feet; this is the view from the kitchen window.  A couple of duckies were nearby appearing to be doing a mating dance.  He was showing off for her by bobbing up and diving down in the water like a silly goof.

Photos instead of words today:  1.) Ron at the hospital doing a puzzle.  2.) Blue Heron   3.) Ron is hardly working in the kitchen cooking this morning's omelets.

18 Sept. Sunday. RAIN. Beautiful bountiful rain.  Maybe five to ten minutes?  Cool temps along with gentle rain made morning veranda time quite marvelous.  We both have aches and pains... Smooch Smooch is icing sore muscles: hip, knee and rotator cuff anxiously awaiting an appt with a physical therapist next week.  She is industriously doing Sudoku intermittently with a Beatty YDNA study.

Interesting to learn that genetically Ron is a Little/Lytle (paternity).  This means that a Little/Lytle  had a NPE with a Beattie//Beatty//mother who maintained her surname (female Scots did that!).  This likely occurred between the 14th through the 16th centuries in Dumfriesshire/Eskdale Scotland.  The earlier origins of the Littles may have been Celtic first mixed with Flemish who went Viking around as well as the Scandihoovians.  By 1005 AD they were on the border between Scotland and England crossing back and forth - mixing with many other nationalities which appear in YDNA subclade test results.  The early origin of the Littles may have been Celtic first mixed with Flemish who went Viking around as well as the Scandihoovians.  During the 14th through the 16th centuries the Beatties and Littles are noted historically as part of the Borders Reivers (robbers).  I think they were victims.  Ron's YDNA is called the Scots Modal.

The Plantations era ushered in a migration wave from Scotland to Ulster, Ireland followed by another wave called the Undertakers.  Both terms can be googled in Scots or Ulster history along with Orangemen.  Numerous  Beatties/Beattys and Littles  participated in those migrations.  The earliest documentation for John Beatty - progenitor of the Beatty clan in SE Iowa is early in the 18th century.  John's son, Benjamin Beatty was the immigrant.  Enough history for tonight. Time for dinner at Pappadeaux.

12 Sept. Mon: Waiting. Interminable anxiety. Apprehension.
3:30 PM: Riiiinnnngggggg!  Hello??   
This is M.D. Anderson's oncology department.   
Don't breathe.   
I have your full pathology reportClear margins: they "got it all!"  No cancer in the three lymph nodes removed!  Tumor is grade 1 meaning unlikely recurrence: lazy little thing.
Sigh!  Whew!  Breathe!  
See you tomorrow and Wednesday for your appointments with the oncologist and surgeon regarding radiation."
30 seconds pass...1 2 3 4.... ,etc.,
A joyful noise is heard in all the land (Ps. 66.1) and especially in our hearts!
A joyful heart doeth good like medicine (Prov. 17:22)

11 Sept. Sun: A good day for reflection on this day ten years ago.  Today brings its own troubles: 176 Texas wildfires have burned thousands of acres with the closest (2)  fifteen miles away.  1600 homes destroyed throughout the state. Thousands evacuated.  The temperatures escalate to record highs of 103 again the next few days with no rain forecast.  Houston is draining Lake Conroe to use for drinking water; the canals are drying up.  Sand bars protrude above water level - beaches appear under the boat ramps where water was once eight feet higher.  Few boats are on the lake because it is too shallow - or because it is impossible to download from the boat slips.    But - we did have a lovely time with Bill and Merry S. from Waller and Hank, Felicia and Katy from the lake community, plus son Jon at the Walden Yacht Club brunch.  Guess who ate dessert!  Well - Texas carrot cake has no comparisons.  Smooch and friend Katy in the photo.  We await that full pathology report... hopefully tomorrow!

6 Sept. Tues: The week that was has been mighty quiet and restful; good news today from the oncologist who is confident that the surgery was successful in "getting it all" with great optimism that it is not aggressive, unlikely to recur in that breast or the other one that has a large benign mass.   Brachytherapy radiation is likely  - next Wednesday.  And the good news is that she will not have to take Tamoxifen or any of the other hormone suppressors.  Whew!   Everyone has on happy faces!

2 September 2011:  The surgery went well.  Dr. Akay was very pleased and cheerful afterward; she was confident that they removed the entire 5-mm tumor.  Cynthia's expression was "Did you see the truck that hit me?"  The right breast is very colorful now, a brilliant green on the underside.  I'm up early again, typing until the sun comes up to provide enough light to thread my mending needle.
The mended clothes look mighty spiffy!  We left the Rotary House International after lunch, stopping at Wal-Mart for foodstuffs, arriving home right after the florist delivered a lovely bouquet from Cynthia's sister.   We have lots of questions about the surgery, but we won't know the answers until the pathology report is available in ten days or so.   The report will provide directives for treatment beyond the surgery: radiation or chemo or both?  Rate of recurrence?  And that dreaded hormonal therapy that suppresses all estrogen in the body,  

1 Sep:  We were awake for half an hour before the wake up call at 6am, the start of a long day.  No breakfast before surgery, and we reported at the 4th-floor outpatient surgery desk at 7:15.  We were sent to the 6th floor for vitals, etc. (which included coffee and jigsaw puzzle for me).  Back on the 4th floor, Cynthia changed into the cute hospital gowns and was carted off to the pin-cushion lab which inserted a needle to bracket the cancer.  She came out with an interesting shape due to the protective cup taped over the surgical site.  Then we waited interminably for the surgeon to finish an earlier surgery; (I felt sorry for that earlier patient - and certainly hope that her surgery was successful).  A cast of thousands had been hired for the nursing staff and physicians, and every one of them asked Cynthia for her name & phone number.  We had seen one anesthesiologist earlier, but a different one came to put her under.  My beloved smooch was disoriented in a few seconds and out in a very few more - at 11:30.  So I returned to the 6th-floor coffee and jigsaw puzzles to wait for the pager to summon me - which it did at 3pm after we had finished one surprisingly difficult puzzle.  Dr. Akay reassured me that Cynthia was fine and that I'd be allowed to see her in recovery when she awakened.  Cynthia was not even close to coherent or awake when I saw her, but she was in pain until the nurse hooked up a pain-killer to the iv.  Unfortunately the pain-killer put her back to sleep and the monitor kept screaming for her to breathe.  The nurse hooked up an oxygen nose-piece as the final accessory to the cute post-op hospital outfit.  Cynthia was soon alert, so the professional wheelchair pusher guided us to the pharmacy and propelled Cynthia to the Sky-Bridge.  I took over the wheeling from there to the Rotary House hotel restaurant where I shared my salmon with Cynthia and she shared her fruit plate with me.  They do a marvelous job in that restaurant; it was even better than Pappadeaux.  After dinner the pain-meds wore off, so Cynthia's dessert was a tiny tablet -- that put her to sleep in fifteen minutes.  With no jigsaw in sight, I pulled out needle and thread and commenced mending a couple of shirts.  After Cynthia awakened at 8:30 and took another pain-pill, I returned to the fitness center for 45-minutes on the tread mill, hoping that the exercise would again allow me longer periods of sleep throughout the night.  Goodnight.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

August in Texas = 100 + degrees day after day. vegetation dying for lack of water.

 30 Aug, Tues: We plan to stay at the Rotary House Hotel connected to MD Anderson for the prep work tomorrow, surgery on Thursday and return home on the 2nd.  Son Jon will oversee house cleaning, etc. in our absence.

 29 Aug, Mon: Amazing to see seven deer (four fawns and three does) in the early morning hours as we returned home from the walk to the fitness center.  We hardly worked today... and prepared for the trip to the hospital tomorrow night.  After running errands we enjoyed a great dinner at Pappadeaux followed by a shopping spree at Borders Bookstore during its close out sale. 

28 Aug, Sun: Another 107 degree day is forecast for SE Texas. We are sitting outside on the veranda gobbling up egg-white veggie omelets while enjoying the magnificent lake sparkling with sunlight.  Ron's culinary skills shine, too! He even does the dishes, not because this is a fun job, but because he thinks one of us wastes water.  Harrummph!   More from later in the day: 2:30 PM, the temp reached 106.3 but "feels like 112."   The temp forecast of  below 100 continues to be pushed back further in the week with reports that this El Nina drought situation could last for another year.  It has rained .3 two or three times since last October. YUK!   This evening we completed a 45 minute workout at the fitness center after a very lazy day; Ron is working on the Rambo CD; Cynthia is doing data entry for two new manuscripts.  

23 Aug, Tues:  Sunrise at the lake house was a marvelous red ball of fire. No surprise to read today's forecast of sunshine with no rain and triple digit temperatures continuing to break records for driest and highest year to date.  The lake is down 5 feet. Houston is now drawing water from our lake.  We pray for rain ... but not the mini-storm/tornado that came through Friday night at son Jon's house two miles away; it blew a huge limb across the hood of his car and left 1000 people without electricity for a few hours.  Lucky us'ns: no storm here.  Granddaughter Lauren is taking a break from Rush at TX A&M to spend the day.

Our Wandering was rudely interrupted by a diagnosis of breast cancer for my beloved Cynthia.  The cancer is only 5mm and not aggressive; surgery is scheduled for September 1, probably followed by a course of radiation and then estrogen suppression.

  My plan for these months is to recount earlier adventures in greater detail, like the day Cynthia was lost on the Appalachian Trail.
22 Aug: Awoke at 3:10 and figured out which files of my Rambo genealogy are most current.  Unfortunate that my old Dell computer died, followed soon after by the Medion jump drive I used as the primary backup.  Everyone in the profession knows that you need at least two (2) backups of anything critical.  The big excitement for the day was finding on-line a copy of the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography containing Early Swedish Records" which was a source Beverly Rambo used without giving correct bibliographic details.  Cynthia and I again walked to the fitness center at 6am for my 15-minutes on the elliptical machine.  My knee continues to complain as it has for six weeks now.  I rinsed recycling, did the dishes, cleaned the kitchen, and straightened up my messes throughout the house.  It is nice to have a relaxed day without a defined agenda.

21 Aug, Sunday: We drove to the fitness center in the afternoon and spent 45 minutes on the machines, then we went to the Magnolia Diner for an early dinner of flattened chicken, and to Walmart for foodstuffs, potting soil, and a multi-colored bouquet for Cynthia.

20 Aug: Awake at 3:30.  Today we discovered at the terminus of our 45-minute walk that the fitness center doesn't open until 8:00am Saturday and 10am Sunday; not a big disappointment since we were able to return home while the sunshine was still moderate.  Most of today I spent figuring out which files are on which jump drives in order to determine the most likely most recent files to resume working on the Rambo CD.

Yesterday was quite peaceful and pleasant beginning with our 6am-7:30 walk to the fitness center for 15 minutes on the elliptical machine. Speaking of peaceful and pleasant, the entire drive on the Natchez Trace Parkway at 45 mph was magnificently relaxing.  At 45 mph, the cruise control netted us 36 mpg.  The Natchez Trace is a National Parkway similar to the Blue Ridge Parkway, so it is maintained and patrolled by the National Park Service.  Both roads are two-lane limited-access roadways off limits for commercial traffic and trucks.  Traffic was next to none except near Tupelo and Jackson, so the entire trip was stress free.  Beware that the entire route is rural, so gasoline, food and accommodation may be unavailable for 50 miles.  The Char restaurant in Jackson was excellent, and Cynthia was enchanted by the luxurious Fairview Inn which was rated the best inn in North America in 2001 by Conde Naste magazine.  Cynthia found it in the directory of the Select Registry of Inns.

19 Aug: Awake at 4 am again to work on stuffs.  Hopefully Cynthia will sleep longer this morning [nope].  We are at the lake house near Houston for the duration of Cynthia's breast cancer surgery & treatment - prayers gratefully accepted.  The day was restful after our 6am walk to the fitness center for a 15 minute workout on the elliptical machine.  Smooch smooch got her nails pedicured and manicured; she is happy.  We enjoyed a pleasant dinner (pear salad & trout) at the Caddy Shack with her son Jon.

18 Aug: Up at 4am, Cynthia arose at 5am, and we walked 45 minutes to the fitness center starting at 5:55am.  After 15 minutes on the elliptical machine, we returned and were caught by sunrise at 7:12am.  It had been pleasantly warm albeit a bit muggy, but the early sunshine turned things hot.  Forecast high was 103.  At noon we drove in light traffic to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center for a discussion with Dr. Lee about the need for estrogen suppression for Cynthia's particular cancer.   (Fooey.)

17 Aug, Wed: UP UP and AWAY to MD Anderson Hospital for a grueling, exhausting day with the surgeon and other staff  - donated blood for Cynthia's pending surgery on 1 Sept for breast cancer diagnosed the first week in August.  It is a small cancer and caught early.  All will be well!

16 Aug, Tues: Jasper Texas lacks lots of amenities including a fine dining restaurant or even one for breakfast besides the usual fat city stuff. Post breakfast - the drive to our lake house took two hours. We arrived shortly after lunch.

15 Aug, Monday:  A couple of Rambos were discovered in some old books in the library of the Fairview Inn.  The drive through Natchez was hardly remarkable but the drive to Jasper, Texas continued the pleasant experience of travel from New England. It is a truism: Jasper Texas is not a tourist attraction.  The trailer park city lacks lots of amenities including a fine dining restaurant or even one for breakfast besides the usual fat city stuff.  But - we arrived about 8 PM to find lodging at a nice Holiday Inn Express where we were upgraded to a suite all of 94.50 big bucks.

14 Aug, Sunday:  Breakfast at the IHOP in Tupelo deserves an honorable mention because of Betty, the delightful waitress.  The 45 MPH drive on the Trace Parkway has been most pleasant with lots of compelling history to discover.  We arrived at a Select Registry Inn in Jackson, MS at dinner time: The Fairview Inn -built in 1908 - a wonderful old mansion elegantly appointed.  After dinner at Char's (good food) we toured the Inn and formal gardens. 

13 Aug, Saturday evening: Tupelo, MS.  The Old Trace has a fascinating history.  So, too, the mysterious death of Meriweather Lewis that is being researched anew with surprising discoveries since the book was published, "The Death of Meriweather Lewis" and the History Channel Series a year or so ago.  We stopped at the burial site and marker.  Imagine a guy compellingly honest and ethical - Governor of the LA Purchase - en route to Washington, D.C. to finalize edits to his journals - found shot with two different guns (his), money gone but expensive guns remaining, with a report of suicide coming from his servant Neely who lied about his whereabouts.  We enjoyed the fitness center at the Hampton Inn.

12 Aug:  Oops, sudden change of plans.  We spent the night at the Oaks (Select Registry) in Christiansburg, VA and are en route towards the Natchez Trace this afternoon.

Our Wandering throughout August, September, and October and Wondering where serendipity will blow us next --- was rudely interrupted by a diagnosis of breast cancer for my beloved Cynthia.  The cancer is only 5mm and not aggressive, but it is one that "requires" estrogen suppression.
... i.e Cynthia's planning & organization skills are now at rest while Ron's spontaneous peripatetic lifestyle resumes ascendancy.  We are looking for a cool (temperature) lakeside/oceanside view with a nice 5-mile hike just outside the front door - - (all suggestions welcomed and appreciated.  The winning suggestion will receive a huge Public ThankYou on this blog.)

5 Aug:  Oh Boy, oh boy, ohboy, Smooch returns this afternoon, and I already got the biggest job done: reservations for hotel = Hilton Garden Inn in Burlington (amazingly less expensive than other Boston area accommodation).

4 Aug: Dinner with Drew & BD, Mike & Irja & Robert, Rick & Sherry, Beanie & Ed, and Ed & Anna was marvelous.  Ed is certainly the proud papa; Anna is a delight and is delighted with her YMCA camp job although South Carolina heat and humidity are exhausting. It was wonderful to see Irja's improved mobility, but distressing to remember that Robert had Lyme disease and now has a cold.  Everyone else was too far away for my limited hearing.  The Pasta Loft in Milton served excellent food (and the Thursday lobster special was a big hit).  Drew, BD, and I got lots done earlier in the day once BD started whipping us into activity.  Now I'm gonna take a break and read another chapter of her newest library borrowing, Stuff.

3 Aug:  Drew and Ron flew to Portsmouth, ME and Nashua, NH already by noon; flying is certainly a speedy way to enjoy the scenery  Maybe I should encourage Smooch Smooch to resume her pilot's training. Personally I'd rather ride than fly because flying looks like too much work, but I could enjoy co-piloting and sightseeing.  I do miss my Smooch Smooch but have been busy visiting friends hither, thither and yon.  (Richard; Bob & Rachel; Dave, Kris, Kelsey, & Shayna; Beanie & Ed; Ed & Mary; Mike & Irja; Drew & BD)

2 Aug, Tues:  "Where is Ron now?" -- wonder no longer. Thanks to Greg Gowdy's prodding, Ron has a contribution to forthcoming MIT newsletter:


Ron Beatty has married a wonderful, beautiful, talented, and intelligent woman.  Anyone who knows Ron will be amazed at any and all of that.  Cynthia is an over-achiever who planned, orchestrated and executed a magnificent wedding at Old Swedes Church in Philadelphia.  Ron held up his end of the deal repeating frequently "Yes Dear" (as was mentioned at the reception).  

"The wedding of Ron Beatty and Cynthia Forde was unique, in that it was obviously planned by Cynthia for the maximum benefit of the attendees.  Most weddings are planned for the two that wed.  It is their special day and of course we all were there to honor Cynthia and Ron at this momentous day in their lives.  But this wedding has allowed us from MIT and Ron's friends that knew him in Boston to renew our friendships as we celebrate Ron and Cynthia's wedding.  And I am certain that my comments are applicable to all Ron and Cynthia's friends and families," said Walter Maurer. (Ron: this is a direct quote from Walter by email today)

 12 May 2011 Ron Beatty  and the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Vold  Forde,a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America , were married in a 17th Century Swedish Colonial ceremony at Gloria Dei “Old Swedes” Church in Philadelphia .  Ron and Cynthia, eleventh cousins, are descendants of a founding father of the congregation, Peter Gunnarson Rambo, who emigrated to “New Sweden” in 1640 and died three years before the building was consecrated in 1702.

MIT alumni in attendance, besides Walter and Pamela M__., were Rick and Sherry H__, Jerry and Cathy S__, Greg and Donna G__, Larry W__, Dave E__, Hans and Audrey P__,  Eric and Jean C__, Jan and Dorothy W__, Ed M__, Carlton S__, Bob and Rachel W__, Drew and Barbara Deane G__, Ed M__ and the Hon. Mary G__, and Mike L__ and Irja L__.  Most of those alumni appear in the "Wedding photos" (sidebar link ->).

Ron was shocked and awed by his bride when she took the microphone and announced that this was really just a surprise birthday party for Ron.  He reciprocated later during the reception by stripping to the waist to reveal the SMOOCH tattooed on his chest by a mischievous 11th cousin. (Thankyou Sharon and Marissa, you imp.)

After a honeymoon to Ireland and a cruise of the UK the newlyweds returned to Philadelphia to for a few weeks to continue archiving the Craig Collection for the Swedish Colonial Society where they were honored as "Fellows"  Ron has published five volumes of the Rambo Family Tree documenting the descendants of Peter Gunnarson Rambo and his wife, Britta Mattsdotter.  The newlyweds continued a honeymoon travel to cooler weather hiking in the mountains of Vermont. Tom S__ and his delightful wife, Kim, flew to Rutland for for a marvelous evening.

The guy in clown clothing is Ron; the Magnificent beauty beside the clown is my Beloved Smooch Smooch.

Hey Wall, Irja, Thanks for the laptop battery latch repair and the salmon dinner.  Irja, seeing your improved health and mobility was a marvelous balm.  Coffee on your porch was marvelously relaxing and promoted meditation and the realization of total contentment.  Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Smooch: July

31 July, Sun:  Hardly Working: edits continue on the Swedish Manuscript for Kim-Eric.  Herding kitties occupied the AM (they are not accustomed to the joys of outdoor life having lived indoors in Portland, OR for many years).  The "round-up crew" went skinny dipping in the pond of Beanie and Eddie's VT farm house. 

In the meantime and in-between time, Smooch Smooch is enjoying the sunny south with Rachel.

30 July, Sat:  NO COFFEE: Woe  - oh Woe.  A bare cupboard sans caffeine requires a trip to the big city.  Eddie watered the apple tree in the front yard while Ron watered the apple tree in the back yard smooching away on the phone.

29 July, Fri:  Drove to Battleboro, VT to spend a few days with Eddie and Beanie - meeting them at a restaurant in town.  They have quite a lovely farmhouse complete with a greenhouse.   The well cared for yard & garden, brook & bridge, are oh so  charming.

27 July, Wed: Talk, talk talk ... with Dave E. until four AM!  
 26 July, Tues: Dinner and marvelous evening with Bob and Rachel W. 
25 July, Mon:  Dinner with Richard
24 July, Sun: Reached Kennebunkport, Maine in time for an outdoor lunch at Mabel's Lobster Shack -- highly recommended by one of the guests at the B&B in Montpelier -- deservedly so.  Smooch Smooch spotted a cute couple across the veranda who had also stayed at Harraseeket Inn last night; we enjoyed "cross the table's" talk about Cynthia's vacation in Vietnam.  From there we set sail for Boston Logan Airport so Smooch Smooch could catch a flight to Texas for a few days with her children.  Ron is left alone without adult supervision!

Ron waked with Richard and Jasper (who is mighty protective and territorial about his Master!  Richard has walked Fresh Pond about the same time every day for seven years or more photographing the same location - day after day after day.  He makes money playing like this!  Richard discussed eating MEAT!  OMG! MEAT?

23 July, Sat:  Breakfast at Betsy's was delightfully delicious before departure towards the Harraseeket Inn at Freeport, ME; the drive through the southern portion of the northeast kingdom (NE Vermont) had marvelous vistas in the vicinity of Mt. Washington.  AWESOME!   Lunch at Arthur's Diner in Johnsonbury (don't do it),  the screaming toddlers were NOT Ok.  How frustrating that parents will not remove the noisy tots.

We stopped in a pull off near a corn field to access les hommes des toilettes; one of us was shaving while en route to and from the corn field.   About twenty miles distance further down the road l'Homme started searching for the razor, but it was not where he thought it should be.  Being a brilliant techie, he retraced his steps in his mind until he had an AHA moment -- and boogied back to the corn field certain that he must have placed it on the roof of the car -- being the convenient shelf that it is -- and perhaps fell off the car driving away.  It did indeed==  In the middle of the highway.  Intact.  As he walked to retrieve it, an oncoming car swerved across the center lane and smashed the razor.  Oh well.  We arrived at the lovely Harraseeket Inn in Freeport about five PM - both of us'ns right rotator cuffs worth cussin' about.

22 July, Friday: Packed up - we departed The Inn at Long Trail after one last lunch of Irish soda bread and nursing torn rotator cuffs on the right shoulder.  Ron has been doing trail maintenance for weeks, but the last week using the ax took its toll.  We drove northeast on Hwy 100 winding through marvelous views reaching Montpelier about five  PM.  A stop at the Visitor's Center proved fruitful: the congenial attendant sent us to Betsy's B and B.  We went to bed very early after a lovely dinner at Kismet (a throwback to the 60's). 

Photos on Picasa:

19 July: Tom (MIT roomate and alum) and Kim S. flew to Rutland for the most marvelous evening.  What a special guy - she is a delightful personality!
 18 July: Back to the Inn at Long Trail for four days
17 July: moving Beanie and Eddie - dinner at J. T. Buckley's - fabulous food
16 July: Brattleboro, VT - Hickory Ridge Home B&B - Historic house built in 1808 - fascinating.  Cynthia's birthday celebration
15 July: Cynthia Tripped on a root in the trail and fell flat!  Her left calf is a beautiful black and blue!
14 July: Hiking and trail maintenance have filled our days!

10 July 2011:

Natalie and Jack -Hikers from Hawaii

Kiddo (Shayla), Friend from Burlington, Crimson Tide, EuLe
7 July, Thurs:  Southside and Pam met us at Lovers Lane west of Londonderry en route to his resumption of his Northbound AT trek to Katahdin, Maine.  Our GPS found Lovers Lane despite the missing sign (imagine people stealing a sign for Lovers Lane).  We arrived about the same time and had a quick breakfast before saying good-bye to Pam with plans to hike for awhile with Southside.  It was a nice hike if that had been the end of the story, but, it turned into an eight hour nightmare.  The short of the story is that after hiking with Southside for two hours plus up the mountain we turned back.  Ron stopped at Stile Summit ( BIGROCK) to roll up a soggy sleeping bag someone dumped alongside the trail.  Cynthia said she would continue hiking back to the car, but she became confused and turned northbound instead of southbound.  WRONG WAY SMOOCH SMOOCH!  After 2.5 hours of increasing concern that she was going the wrong direction, she started re-tracing her footsteps, blowing her emergency whistle LOUD and LONG and OFTEN!  Onward she trekked believing she was the only person alive on the mountain this late in the day.   A father and two sons heard the whistle and turned back to locate her; they phoned Ron  who did not answer so they left a vox mail message.  Trekking on - she encountered a German man with a patch over one eye who told her Ron was planning to call Search and Rescue: he was WORRIED!    Trekking ON and ON she met a lovely young woman who was calling, "Cynthia, Cynthia, Cynthia!" and delighted to discover she had indeed found Cynthia.  She tried to send Ron text messages and a phone call but did not reach him.   She turned back too trek with Cynthia for a ways to make sure she was OK.    Cynthia also tried texting and phoning to no avail.  Now Cynthia's phone battery was nearly dead.   Finally, she reached the BIGROCK and panicked for the trail had NO marking southbound.  It was as though this was a dead end to the trail.  She ate, drank some water and decided to hunker down until a rescue ... maybe in the morning??????   About fifteen minutes later, another northbound hiker approached and showed her the southbound trail over and below a huge boulder.   Clambering over the boulder - down the trail she trekked ON.  And then.   AHHH.  TEARS of JOY! Ron had hiked up to that summit FOUR TIMES searching for her.  The happy couple -in -love was delirious with joy at being reunited.  He called 911 to report that the lost hiker was INDEED FOUND. A four hour hike turned into an eight hour hike by the time they reached their car.  Do you know where one can buy a retractable leash for an independent woman??????
Southside and Pam

6 July, Wed: NOT More of the same.  We hiked the Long Trail to the junction of the AT and followed the AT loop back to Route Four - - with lots of ups and downs with one mile up up up hill to the Inn once we reached Route Four.  Nearly seven hours of hiking and exhausted we went to bed mighty early.

5 July, Tues: And MORE of the SAME!  
4 July, Mon: More of the same.
3 July, Sun:  Another long hike and trail maintenance.  The Irish Soda Bread at the Inn at Long Trail is very low fat.  108 calories per slice. YUM.

2 July, Sat:  We hiked the Long Trail to the Meadow and enjoyed seeing the fruits of the trail maintenance.   JOY!   This is good.    This is very good! 

1 July, Fri:Up Up and Away to Glens Falls, NY for lab tests (the closest LabCorps location) and into a marvelous day following a humongous egg white breakfast to end the fasting for the tests.  The drive through along the charming scenic route through the Adirondacks was a delight for the eyes.  The ferry crossing at Essex to Burlington was also a treat - but even more so was the delicious meal at Jenny's Inn and Restaurant - oh happy chance.