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Where’d You Go, Nap?

Like the cicadas that sleep for up to eighteen years at a time, Can I Take A Nap? enjoyed a little hiatus, but it was no hibernation.   Since May,  I watched one of my spawn walk as a doctor (and into tax-paying employment), and I walked my first half marathon.  Let the record proudly show:  my time for thirteen miles was four hours and thirty-five minutes, without a potty break (a surprising stat, but in retrospect maybe not a good one).  I also became an unwitting tester of mosquito-repelling soap, when I received (unsolicited) a few bars in the post.  To this day, nobody can explain how or why.  The whole Napping Family took a little jaunt up to Maine and ate succulent lobster for every meal.  In between,  I performed all the other routine tasks that pay the bills and make civilized life possible at Casa de Nap.  Now it’s freakin’ August, with the long-shadowed, Back-To-School shopping, dog days of Summer ahead.

It’s good to let the top down and take a breath from time to time.  Looking in the rear-view mirror, this time last summer I was recovering from the surprise of a thyroid cancer diagnosis and preparing myself for RI treatment. Recently I read about the National Cancer Institute’s push to reclassify some tumors/nodules as “indolent lesions of epithelial origin,” or the more nap-friendly acronym, IDLE.    I’m not one who likes to second guess the decisions of the past, but this new position makes me wonder if my nodules and surgery were both over-diagnosis and over-treatment?  Or was I proactively heading off cancer at the pass?   Is it better to over-treat when the odds of a good outcome are high or watch and wait over time with increasing anxiety?  I’ll never empirically know the answer, but I do know I feel good and grateful for every day.

So thanks for checking in these last fallow months, my plans are to bring some short fiction to the blog along with the random ramblings.   Now turn over so you don’t get sunburn and re-apply your sunscreen.

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State O Maine! and Post #60

G-man, Jenna and I were lucky enough to escape the brutal heat wave that gripped the East coast this week with an escape to Maine and New Hampshire.  Drum roll for stats, please…..

1. 20 lobsters consumed by the 3 of us in various forms — lobstah roll, lazy-style in a pie with breadcrumbs, and the old-school, cave-man style complete with plastic bib.

2. First meeting of a centenarian.  The 2010 estimate of people who have lived to the age of 100 in the USA is @71,ooo, but this was the first time I ever had the honor of dining with a gentleman who has been watching the strange goings-on of the last century.  This is an active man — vigorous of both body and mind.  He brought the house down with his pithy comment that our host (his son) had the most uncomfortable chairs — it had taken 100 years but he was sure the chair he occupied hurt his wise-ass the most.  Happy birthday , Dr. K!

3. A murder of crows, but only seen in pairs.  Every time we head to Maine I am so hopeful that I’ll get to see a live moose cross the road.  To date, the only moose I’ve seen are the stuffed ones in the local stores or restaurants.  (yes — you too can dine with stuffed wild animals — see #5 below)  However, as I ride shotgun I peer closely into the brush — quite a feat when we’re cruising at 65 MPH — hoping to catch a glimpse of this reclusive beast.  What I actually see are lots of crows by the road side taking their job as clean-up crew very seriously.  In keeping with the spirit of New England, where nothing goes to waste, these birds do an exemplary job cleaning up road-kill.  But crows are very smart and they seem to work as a team — one watching while the other snacks (or moves the snack to a safer spot.)  I also hear that they can count and recognize human faces — especially ones they don’t like.  I give them my respect for helping to keep America beautiful although they can be kinda loud.

4.  We had the full complement of Political Science majors on this trip, and what could be better than riding out a hot day in a really cool museum?  The Maine State Museum in the capital city of Augusta gets my vote as the best cultural bang for your $2.00.  Ask Jenna about the industry of ice harvesting…. better yet, ask her about the “Curiosities” room with the exhibit of moose heads locked in Mortal Combat.  It seems that back in 1995 the state of Maine confiscated a “rack” of moose antlers a hunter had “separated” from the bodies of two moose who apparently died of natural causes(?) after locking their antlers together, presumably in a fight over territory or a female moose.  The state then had a taxidermist “flesh out” the moose heads and put them on display.  Which leads us to ponder Darwin’s theory of Survival of the Fittest:  maybe the reason I can never spot a moose is because the smart ones know both how to hide and how NOT to kill each other.

5. The Clambake. If you are looking for batter-dipped, fried goodness in the form of clams, scallops, and shrimp with a lobster thrown on top, this is the place.  But the best part is the dining room…. wide open bay views, pine paneling and an absolutely amazing assortment of taxidermy.  Bring the kids (and those friends of yours who behave like kids) — they will be mesmerized!  Below is a shot of the most dramatic tableau — surely a battle to the death over the last clam belly.

Your Dinner Here
DID YOU EAT MY CLAM STRIPS??!!

6.  This post is a milestone of sorts — number 60!  So again, thank you, elite Nappy followers for the encouraging comments and bountiful visits.