lessons learned

or, more about those crabs

While I was in Boston, as one might expect, I used the public restroom. As I was squatting over the john I wondered why it was that I was so unwilling to get close to it, whereas if it was a public john in, say, Portland, I might not be so reluctant.

Scott and I cackled madly later that night… knowing that even though I forgot the crab story, I had headed Grandmother’s wisdom!

I wonder what else is rolling around up in my head from her?

be careful who you call

Had to watch Jaws last night, and did see Big Joe on the docks with the tiger shark. I learned “that’s some bad hat Harry” comes out of this movie. And all sorts of other great lines, most of which I’ve forgotten. Except the one I repeated about 21 times since.

I phoned my brother Paul, using his cell number programed into my phone. He answered. I said “it’s only an island if you look at it from the water“. He said “what?”. I repeated… at least twice. He said “what? what are you talking about?” I said “you know, your favorite movie? Jaws?” He said “um….” And I said, laughing madly, “oh, you’re not my brother Paul are you?”

Ooops! Luckily he also thought it was hilarious. He didn’t seem to remember that I used to call him on occasion and leave messages for Paul, and once got him and he told me I had the wrong cell number. I never took it out of my phone. I usually call Paul on his landline, and clearly I forgot all about this. I deleted the number, and now I just have to figure out what his correct cell number is.

And then I phoned Paul on his landline, repeated the line, and he said “of course it is“.

slippers really don’t last 10 years

Picked up some new ones on my way down to MA… Oooooooh lah lah. My feet are cookin’ baby! Which is great, because it’s butt kicking cold. The old pair is worn through on the bottom, blown out the sides, and not at all cushy. Might make a good mouse nest someplace, but that’s about it.

not being able to smell at the Goodwill can lead to unwanted purchases

That way cool Mexican woven vest? That made it just fine through the wash? It was hanging to dry and DH wondered where the smoke smell was coming from… well, it was the vest. Anybody know how to get that smell out of fabric when a regular wash doesn’t do it?

crabs that jump 12 feet

big joe, a trip to the puzzlemaster, and watch out in the public restrooms

So, I went to Boston yesterday for a late afternoon appointment at Mass General to figure out if my odd symptoms were connected and if so what that might mean. Nobody up here could say much, and I figured I might as well go to the experts. I got to my brother Paul’s, near Haverhill, a little after noon. He drove me to see the doc, but we needed a quick lunch.

I was thinking on the way down about an Italian, like I could never get in NY, PA, or ME, and was Big Joe’s still open? Didn’t say anything to Paul, but leaving his house, he said “what do you think about Big Joe’s?” All I can say is we were destined to go in.


On entering, Joe told us he gets royalties for all photos taken on the premises. OMG, he was still there????? Yep, 90 and still making sandwiches.

Paul immediately saw the Jaws photos and asked Joe about it. I thought Joe played a construction worker that walked past the camera for 0.7 seconds or so, but he says he was all over the movie. This was such a big deal for Paul, because he’s a huge Jaw’s fan. Who knew? And then we heard all about Joe’s boxing, wrestling, and movie career, his $5 million dollars and 100 houses, and how the ex got it all. He even brought out one of the old scrapbooks, just like the reviewer said (see the Big Joe link above).

Paul got a meatball, freshly made that day. I got the Italian, cold cuts sliced on the spot. With chopped tomato, pickles, and hot peppahs, but no onions. OMG, they were so fantabulous. There were no prices on the old menu board, the place was small and cramped, the front area (about 50 square feet?) hasn’t been changed or maybe even cleaned well in, oh, 30 years. But the food prep area was clean, the sandwiches were incredible, and Joe was certainly worth the visit.

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Joe and Paul


This would be Misha Pless at Mass General who was able to definitively tell me that my vision issue is not related to the smell issue. That he suspects it is a congenital thing that was never picked up until recently. Meaning: I was born like this. I have thin optic nerves. But I don’t have glaucoma, I don’t have a hidden brain tumor or encephalomalacia (isn’t that a great word?), and I don’t have MS. If nothing changes, it’s just what it is. And nothing has changed in 2.5 years of knowing about it, so here’s hoping.

YAY!, no?

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Paul in the waiting room, googling Big Joe…. and the view showing I really was in the big city.

It’s such a good thing Paul took me… I could have made it in, but would have missed that easy peasy parking he knew about. No way I could have made it home. I got an ocular migraine while waiting, and it got worse during the exam. It was better by the time we left, but they leave me tired. And everything was fuzzy and hard to see because of all the different drops. Add traffic and bad weather, and it just would not have been a good scene.

stories you learn

Paul, the youngest of us three, and the self acclaimed Golden Child, the baby, the spoiled one… told me that he thought this building used to be a donut shop.
wilmington_supposed site of donut travesty
I didn’t really remember. But he did. Because Grandmother and Grandfather took the two of us there, to get me a glazed donut because they wanted me to try it. He asked for one too. But was told he couldn’t have one. neener neener…. (I’m a meanie, eh?)

crabs that jump 12 feet

I talked with my other brother, Scott, for a while, and told him about the lunch. (Lunch must’ve had 12 pounds of salt and preservatives in it because I drank gallons of water afterwards.)

It was the first time we took the train into Boston by ourselves, to get on the T, to go to Cambridge, probably Central Square. To go to the used record store to spend our hard earned cash. We were in the kitchen, getting ready to go, when Grandmother admonished us to be careful in the public restrooms.

Grandmother: Crabs can jump 12 feet you know.
Mom: Jesus Christ Mama! Kids, don’t listen to anything she’s telling you
Me: giggling
Scott: What are crabs???????
Mom: Never mind…

Apparently I straightened him out on the train.

my new best friend

Shhhh! Don’t tell my girls.

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Daisy, Paul’s boxer, who kept me warm all night!

have been sort of ignoring the blog i guess

yikes, 32 spam comments since I last paid attention in here…

So, yes, there has been knitting, and knitting of a momentous sort. Namely that DH’s birthday sweater was finished and presented to him on the morning of his birthday. I was steam blocking the hem and cuffs while he was in the shower.
He put it on and wore it to work!

And then around noon I saw it, that stitch where I only caught half of the yarn. oops. Will fix it soon… If I can get him out of it,
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Started 12/26, finished 1/20.

lined handspun mittens!

In action two weeks ago,
handspun mitts lined

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From some romney locks that I spun up (and totally muddied the color, but I like the colors of mud). Had about 2.7 inches leftover yarn. The thumbs are a little narrow and long, may re-do them. The mittens were finished around Thanksgiving and then just sat around. The liner was a TOTAL PITA. Will never do them this way again (picked up from the cuff top). I had a hard time keeping similar enough gauge, so I didn’t do thumb liners. They’re overall pretty good, though my thumbs get a little cold!

After all that dark charcoal, and a natural tan alpaca thing I’m working on, I needed some color. So I’ve been looking at this,
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I have wanted to make the circus tent hat for years, and thought it would be fun to do in Bill’s yarn (which is amongst those in that basket), but I wasn’t happy with the color combinations as I knit it up (which I did, 4 times). So maybe it’ll be the top of the world hat. Or maybe something entirely different.

I’m still not sure it isn’t a totally elitist spot

This past year the quarry pit and surrounding woods behind the airport had ski trails made. World class ski trails. Technical difficulty of the Lake Placid trails and nearly those of the Vancouver olympics. Who in Augusta would use these I wondered, about 6 people? And then, Colby College held part of their Winter Carnival here (because their usual place didn’t have enough snow when they booked the place).

Cars were able to drive into the quarry pit (we didn’t),
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There were about FOUR HUNDRED people down there! Cars (and schools) from all over New England (and NY). It was pretty interesting. We watched all of the women’s relay race (2 laps each totalling some 6 km, 3 racers per team), they took a while. Dartmouth won. And we watched the men’s teams take off and go around once. Dartmouth was winning… They were fast!

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The end(s).