Lost Day

It’s been a terrible 30 hours, but thanks to Carter for taking care of me. Yesterday we had a fun morning going to brunch and then the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum. Carter had been skeptical that it was worth our time since the Museum of Fine Arts is right across the way and is a fabulous museum, but we did end up loving the Gardener. It was very crowded, but as we waited in lines to get into different rooms I was able to tell Carter about the big art heist from the museum in 1990.

13 works of art were stollen in the middle of the night by two men posing as police. The value of the works stollen is over $500 million dollars. The museum keeps the empty frames up to show where they will go if they are ever recovered. Mrs. Gardener left the museum in her will with the stipulation that everything in it remains exactly where she left it so I don’t think the museum could put other paintings in the place of the stolen ones anyway.

There were two things I loved about the museum, the court yard with beautiful orchids and the birds, both sculptural and live. Gardener had to be quite a pistol. One quote she is famous for is, “Don’t spoil a good story with the truth.” If your name is Isabella you get in the museum for free.

After our time at the museum we went back to Carter’s and it was then that I started to feel bad. I took a little nap and then sadly told her I couldn’t go to dinner with her best friend Olivia. So Carter went without me. I continued to decline feeling like I could die, but it was not until midnight that I was the most violently ill I have ever been. Not wanting Carter to have to deal with it I cleaned up after myself. Thankfully I was able to go back to sleep.

This morning Russ got me an earlier flight and I somehow made it home. It is all a little fuzzy, as I slept on the plane and came home and went right back to sleep and just now woke up feeling much improved.

It was a terrible way to end my shortened visit to Carter in Boston. She was sweet to take care of me, but next time I guess a I should stay in a hotel just in case.

Sick in Boston

Hi Everyone! This is Carter, Dana’s daughter who she is visiting. Somehow my mom began feeling really ill this afternoon, so I am writing this blog. She missed a lovely seafood dinner with my friends. While we missed her, I really do hope she feels better. I was sick last weekend and it was horrible. Luckily she is not alone.

So if you nice people could send her some notes and thoughts of getting better it would be greatly appreciated. Hopefully she is better by tomorrow as she has to fly back to NC.

I’m sure she will update you all soon, once she is better.

Fun and Cold Boston Day

Carter asked me if we could sleep late this morning and I promised her I wouldn’t wake her up as I usually awake so early and then I slept as long as she did. This is quite a miracle I am sure was caused by the almost nine miles I walked yesterday.

We had a full calendar today, but at ten degrees outside we put off leaving the apartment as long as possible. First stop this morning was the Boston Public Market to buy fruits, veg and seafood. With two pound of asparagus for a dollar And a pint or raspberries for ninety-nine cents I was very jealous of Carter’s shopping opportunities.

We returned home to leave the food and went right back out to the Boston Public Library to go for tea. Tea for lunch is our family favorite and the Library is an extraordinary place to visit.

Our tea was lovely. After a month and a half of not having sugar I skipped eating the desserts, but did love the scones. During lunch Carter described a BBC mini series about life in Victorian England. Her description was so enticing we decided to that we would watch it when we got home.

After the tea we visited the map room exhibit. We could have spent all day in that room, but decided we needed to do a little shopping on our way home. So we stoped at the Pru and made a few purchases and walked home to watch “24 Hours in the past”.

The break was a welcome respite but before long it was time for us to head off to Cambridge to a wonderful restaurant Carter picked called Harvest. It was a very full, cold, fun day. I think I will sleep well again tonight. I can’t wait until tomorrow’s adventures that Carter has planned.

Boston Valentines

Happy Valentines Day. I am having an unconventional valentines as I am in Boston visiting Carter. Russ was here earlier in the week and took Carter out to dinner Wednesday night and now she has me for three nights. Russ is back to Durham so we just passed each other.

When Carter came back in January she invited me to come for President’s Weekend and valentines happens to kick the weekend off. Missing Russ, but so excited to be with Carter.

I flew up in time today to go visit Carter at her office at Bain Capital and have lunch in her fancy dining room. I met two of a Carter’s bosses and I was thrilled with what they had to say about her. Everyone couldn’t have been nicer.

Carter introduced me to Hakim from Algeria who checked us in for lunch. He was so sweet and told Carter to take good care of me because mother’s are important and he wishes he could have his mother come visit him at work.

The view from our table at lunch at Bain

After we had finished eating a group of other Co-op coworkers came and sat with us to have their lunch. They are Carter’s squad at work and it was interesting to hear about the kind of work they are doing at Bain.

I am proud that Carter has made friends with all kinds of people at work, not just the bosses, but the support people as well.

While Carter stayed and finished her work day I walked to her apartment and ran errands for her. She had four packages, which needed to be returned. Two to the UPS store, one to a store in the Prudential center and one to Fed-ex. Did I say it was twenty degrees here? So I walked 16,600 steps today, all outdoors. I better have burned off a lot of calories doing these errands.

We walked to our favorite HoJoKo for dinner and now I am snuggled into the sofa bed we got for Carter’s apartment in a September and are watching a movie. At last I am getting a chance to enjoy all the furniture I put together. It will be a fun weekend of pampering Carter.

Congratulations to Shelayne

I finally got to celebrate my friend Shelayne’s birthday today with a little lunch. She was in Australia visiting her latest and fourth grandchild over her real birthday. At last she has a granddaughter, but she’s not keeping count. I am certain she will be having more grandchildren before she is done and boys or girls make no difference to her.

I am most happy to say congratulations to her as she was recently elected to the board of the Food Bank. She has been a fabulous supporter and did good work as a volunteer on the development committee. It didn’t take long for the powers that be at the Food Bank to recognize her expert board skills as she has served so many great organizations over the years.

Shelayne never stops giving to the community and I am especially thankful for all she does for educational causes and social services ensuring the next generation is better off than the previous.

So Hooray for Shelayne, a new granddaughter and more good works. You are an inspiration and the best looking grandmother around.

A Good Grandmother Moment

My mother is a very accomplished artist. She has been painting since I was a child and her body of work is extensive. I can imagine she has done well over 20,000 works in her life time. She sells everything she can, but because she paints so much there is always more.

My house is full of her art, most of which I have had to purchase from her, but I am happy to do so since it is her work. So many of my friends have her work and I forget about them until I turn the corner in someone’s house and encounter one of her paintings.

Her style changes often, which is wonderful for her so she doesn’t get bored painting the same way, but it does mean that if there is a painting I love I better buy it fast because you never know how long one style period is going to last.

Carter is all about original art in her apartment. No tapestries, or posters for her. Recently my mother posted an oil painting of “Harrods’ Sale” on her Facebook page. Carter was immediately drawn to it. She commented to my mother that it was her favorite. Carter asked me if I thought her grandmother would give her a discount. I told her the standard family discount, 10%.

Carter was not sure she could afford the painting, but then it became a moot point because someone else bought it. Carter was dismayed, knowing that she missed her chance.

Carter got the best surprise two days ago. The first buyer returned the painting because it did not fit in the room she wanted it for. In a very generous grandmother moment my mother texted Carter and told her that she could buy the painting at a 96% discount. Woo Hoo for Carter.

I texted my mother that she had made Carter so happy. Not mentioning the greatly reduced price. My mother texted back, “I am like Maggie Thatcher in that I think everyone should pay something.”

Next time I want a painting I am going to ask Carter to see if she can buy at the Carter price rather than my price. Oh, it’s nice to be the only grandchild.

Not Much Gardening, But Best Garden Club Program

Today my Garden Club had our monthly meeting. The program was provided by our own club member, Pam Harris. She gave us a fabulous talk about her six year circumnavigation of the globe on a sail boat with just her husband and her cat.

I have known for a long time about Pam and Joe’s six year trip sailing around the world, but I never really thought about what committing to such a trip really meant. Before her talk it seemed like a difficult thing to do, but now, after hearing the details first hand, I know it was an extraordinary effort.

Pam described two storms they sailed through. One where the boat surfed on swells they estimated were at least 30 feet through the night. And by surfing I mean the boat goes up the thirty foot swell and then crashes down the other side. The second storm where their sixty foot boat was struck by lightening during a thousand mile passage between New Zealand and Figi, taking out all their electronics, including the auto pilot, radar, navigation equipment and communications equipment except a ham radio. They had to sail for three days through the squall taking two hour shifts each holding the wheel and keeping the boat on track using just their compass, while the rain pounded on them.

I wanted to cry just listening to it. I could not imagine what that feels like out in the middle of the ocean with no one to help.

Of course Pam shared some of the stories of the interesting people they met when they were on land. She showed us beautiful photos of their smiling faces. We did see some gorgeous island flora and fauna which qualified her talk as a garden club program.

I asked her what she brought with her that she discovered was a waste of space. “Hair spray” was her answer. After listening to the storm sailing stories we got a big laugh out of the thought of hairspray.

I walked away very impressed that she made this trip with just her husband and cat, but I knew that I have no desire to ever do that. I am so glad Russ did not hear her talk because he probably would feel the opposite of me and would want to start sailing now. Thank goodness we can’t afford it.