Roast Beef and Chicken

I finally went to two restaurants that I’ve been hearing about for years.

Sam LaGrassa’s is a lunch spot near my office.









A few coworkers and I went for lunch at 11:30, because there is not a lot of seating and the place is packed at lunchtime. The number of sandwich options is mind boggling. I ordered a roast beef sandwich on a cheese roll. It was really good. Simple but good. Having technical difficulties uploading the photo of the sandwich…

Cutty’s is a sandwich shop in my town. Once a month on a Sunday, the shop offers a fried chicken sandwich.







I’ve heard of lines forming for this lovely chicken sandwich, which does run out. Allen and I arrived by noon. There was a line, but it moved pretty swiftly. Within 30 minutes, we were seated with our honey mustard chicken sandwiches. It doesn’t look like much, but, wow. It is tasty. Chicken was cooked perfectly, honey mustard was delicious, and the bun was great.







As we waited, we looked at the regular menu. Everything looked scrumptious. Might be time to become a regular…


A Is for Aloe and Apple

So aloe vera juice is a thing. I had read about it months ago somewhere and didn’t give it another thought until I saw it on the shelf at Trader Joe’s. I bought a bottle and tried it the other day.

I found it to be kind of weird. Like drinking a flower…but a weird flower. I could only drink half of the bottle in one sitting. I’ll see if my impression changes after the second half.









I was in Wegmans the other day (my version of mecca) and noticed an apple called “La Piñata” in the produce department. That’s a fun apple, I thought. I should try one!

It was another shall we say odd experience (for my taste buds anyway, I must stress). It was fine overall, but it was a little too tangy/tart for my liking. I’ll stick to Golden Delicious and Galas.


Sea Turtles

I visited a friend in West Palm Beach, FL, last month, and we went to the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, an animal hospital for injured sea turtles.

The turtles were massive and adorable. Many of them were there because they had gotten tangled in boat equipment or been attacked by sharks. We saw one turtle being moved from the hospital to a tank.














There was a museum section that featured information about the sea turtles. I had no idea that only one out of thousands of sea turtle babies make it to adulthood.

This is a super-cool nonprofit and I’m so glad that I was able to visit it.


Gloria and Dan

I saw two 20th-century icons speak recently: Gloria Steinem and Dan Rather.

Gloria was a keynote speaker at the opening night of the Massachusetts Conference for Women. I hadn’t  attended the conference before, so the opening night was a good overview of the event. The exhibit hall was impressive: areas for career resources, nonprofits, female business owners selling their products, and multiple authors available for book signings. There were other keynote speakers that evening as well, but my friend and I only tuned in for Gloria.

I wish I could pass on some nuggets of her wisdom, but since my dad’s sudden death, most of my day-to-day thoughts and memories are crowded out by my thoughts and memories of him. I do recall that she was fierce, real, and optimistic.









Dan is touring with his recently published book with Elliot Kirschner, What Unites Us. Again, I don’t remember a word he said, but he was also fierce, real, and optimistic. I saw him speak on the one-month anniversary of my dad’s passing, and I fell asleep that night wishing that I could tell my dad all about it, since he was a fan of 60 Minutes.







I’m trying to get back in the saddle regarding the birthday list, but I’m taking it slow and will give myself an extra month or two to complete it. Bear with me, dear readers.



My birthday list has been derailed because my life has been derailed.

On December 11, I found out that my dad died. No warning whatsoever. He had a heart attack in bed.

I’m thankful that he passed quickly and painlessly (I hope anyway) but sometimes I think the magnitude of shock and grief might kill me, too.

He lived in the house that I grew up in, a seven-hour drive from where I live. I immediately flew home and spent a week with my brother, who lives in the same town as my dad. My dad left no will and no paperwork in order, so much of the week was spent scrambling trying to figure out his accounts. We only paused for brief moments of grieving, where we would cry over the fact that he would never walk through my brother’s door unannounced like Kramer on Seinfeld, as he did on almost a daily basis…or cry as we shuffled through his house and came across a picture of him and my brother’s daughter that he had tacked up on the wall…or found cards that we had sent him years ago.

We made multiple visits to the funeral home in town, having to make decisions about the burial, the memorial service, the memorial cards, the cremains. We have no idea what my dad wanted, but we think he’d be happy with what we chose. I had to write his obituary, which was one of the most surreal moments of my entire life. How do you sum up a person’s life in a few paragraphs?

I’ve been experiencing the first four stages of grief like it’s my full-time job. One minute I’m looking through photos for the memorial service slideshow and I feel completely numb. The next minute I’m running errands and every time I pass an elderly man, I think, “Why does he get to live and my dad doesn’t?” Sometimes I start to go down the road of, “What if I had called him [a few days before he died], heard that he was very sick, and begged him to go to a doctor?” (He had either a bad cold or the flu before he died, which can increase the risk of heart attacks.) I’ve had moments where I’ve thought that I couldn’t go on.

I look to my friends who have already lost parents as inspiration. With time, the wounds will heal somewhat and I will live a “normal life” again. One day in the future, when I think about my dad, I’ll crack a smile instead of break down in uncontrollable sobs. I wait for that day.





Previous Older Entries

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

40 things to do on the birthday list!

BirthdayJune 1st, 2015

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.