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Kate Stout
Historic Concord, MA — where that proverbial shot was fired
Building a better mousetrap only fools the mouse
Interests: Downsizing; uprooting. Tearing down; building up from scratch. Moving across the driveway. Destruction is the wellspring of creation. But what will we do with all the furniture?
Recent Activity
Sometimes the best thing said is that which is left unspoken. I defer to that tonight. So much to savor — the people I adore most in the world gathered around the dinner table — and only now the time. Forgive me. I am rolling the memories around in my head like a kid who has just popped a lemon drop into his mouth. Can't talk while the flavor lasts. Truffle: that dinner replaying Quote of the day: "Thank you god for most that amazing day." (e.e. cummings) Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2013 at Simply 60
Remember gentlemen's agreements? The honor system? Remember the power of a handshake deal? The honesty-is-the-best-policy ethic? They can seem arcane in our 21st century world of greed and self-interest. But I have a little story to tell. Everything last week went off perfectly — everyone who came to New York to help me celebrate got there without incident and got back home with the same simplicity (and we all know how fraught travel, especially by airplane, can be these days); all tickets for all theater events were where they were supposed to be — no screw ups, no misplaced tickets;... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2013 at Simply 60
In my next life, I will be a meteorologist. Having spent all those years on Nantucket, where the weather is as much a part of one's physical make-up as blood pressure, I cannot shake my obsession with the forecast. And we're not just talking Fahrenheit here any more than I'm referring only to rain versus sun. Weather is - ultimately - a state of mind. You know, weather or not? Today for instance I lived both winter and summer — I bought Christmas cards and I played nine holes of golf. That's because it was 58° here in Concord, sunny... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2013 at Simply 60
You've heard of a walkabout? The Australian/aboriginal expression for a long walk following a heart line into the distance. "He's gone walkabout." The opposite, I am coining today, is layabout. That's what you do after a walkabout — when your feet are pooped and your back aches from prolonged weigh-bearing and your heart needs a rest from all the effort that comes with going where the spirit moves you. So, that's what I did today. Nothing. OK, that's not 100% true but given my A+++ temperament it comes as close as I'm likely to come to nothing without a temperature.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2013 at Simply 60
A fair Saturday begun at the gym with exercises and 24 lengths in the pool. For these I gave myself a gold star and a back ache. Too much swimming with too much gusto after a six month hiatus. Still (and I must whisper this for fear the god of bad backs will seek further revenge) — it was delicious. In the water, I know no disability. Or age. To use a psycho-babble term, I feel empowered. As a Scorpio I come by my affinity with water honestly. So, okay. I overdid it. And didn't know it until I emerged.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2013 at Simply 60
Because Pete and I are 'foodies' mealtime (all three of them) are spent not only enjoying what we're eating but talking about it constantly. Once his daughter Betsy asked me what one food item, if I were stuck on a deserted island, I would consider sufficient. Without thinking I replied definitively, "Lamb." It occurred to me then and it resonates now that that was an unusual reply. Lamb is just what came to mind. I wasn't trying to be either contentious or original. And, more importantly, could I possibly have meant it? It's true I love lamb any way it... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2013 at Simply 60
It is a rare day in June — probably one with a blue moon — when I walk out in the middle of a play. I did so — without the least hesitation — tonight. Sometimes the vicarious embarrassment is simply too much to bear. As someone with a bent for the theater — who has written a tidbit or two for it and directed another tidbit or two — I do not walk out of a performance lightly. On the other hand, as someone who has written etc etc, and directed etc etc, I must ask: how does such... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2013 at Simply 60
This evening I got into a discussion with my brother-in-law Dave about literacy in America. He believed the U.S. is a leader of the pack, with literacy up in the 90th percentile. I, having spent too much time in the South, thought otherwise. So, what did we do? We googled it, of course. And here's what we learned — based on a U.N. survey, the United States boasts a 90% literacy rate — behind many other nations, BTW, including Numero Uno, Cuba. (Go figure.) Sounds like Dave won, no? Well, no. Or not necessarily. Because a) the data was 'self-reported';... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2013 at Simply 60
The ghost of my father rose up to meet me today in the most unexpected and thoroughly cheering way. Thanksgiving is not my favorite holiday. Too much cold food in too little time with kitchen stress in one room and beer-besotted football fiends in another. Today was altogether different. It began with the pace. We hit the ground running. Or I should say walking. Friends invited us to their farm to walk our dogs along the Concord River early this morning. The fog lay across the fields like a lover. All was silent, but for a single Carolina wren. The... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2013 at Simply 60
We have a thief in our house. A food thief. She has four feet, is the color of a Hershey bar — which may explain her food fetish — and a nose with olfactory WiFi. As a joke I said to Pete as we came home this evening, "Let's see if she ate the bread." It turned out to be prescient. This loaf, not an ordinary loaf, was from Pain d'Avignon in Hyannis. I had stuffed it at the back of the kitchen counter for just this reason. Trying to hide it from the dog. Come on?! The dog? What... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2013 at Simply 60
Theories abound about why female dogs, spayed or otherwise, hump. The prevailing wisdom says it's about establishing dominance in the pack. Other takes on the problem include: a greater level of testosterone in spayed female dogs, a state of excitement and so arousal, even obsessive/compulsive behavior. The pet professor (petprofessor.com) has a more expansive view of this naughty behavior, to whit: "Researchers are tossing the whole dominance theory and rank reduction stuff to the wind. The most recent thought is that humping is simply a social behavior/motor pattern that dogs have. All it means is that the dog is excited... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2013 at Simply 60
Back in Concord, I took Cajun for a long walk in the woods along the Assabet River this afternoon. In a steady drizzle. No big surprise there. It's November in New England. What is a surprise is the prodigious number of acorns this fall. There are so many of them I can actually hear the plopplopplop of them falling into the river as we meander down the old railway bed. Headgear is required to prevent concussion. Furthermore, it is like walking on marbles. Never have I seen so many — or perhaps I should say, never have I fishtailed on... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2013 at Simply 60
If practice makes perfect and doctors practice medicine then does it follow they are perfect? One thing I seem to be getting (regrettably) too practiced at — and not in the search for perfection — is surgery. With Friday's exploration into my sinus cavities that will make five surgeries in the last six years. Today at my pre-op appointment I joked with the nurse practitioner that I was trying for one a year. It was immediately clear the medical profession may work toward perfection but at the expense of senses of humor. My joke landed at my feet with a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2013 at Simply 60
...oh what a beautiful day. Too true. And a record-breaker in these parts. Thermometer hit 69°. Positively balmy. Who would imagine a day in December being a sunbathing opportunity in New England? Would be an occasion to make sun tea? As it happened both were possible. And I was reminded of my years in New York City when the first warm day every spring brought people out like cockroaches after cake crumbs. Sprawled on every grassy surface, ringing the fountain outside the Plaza, picnicking on every step, stoop and wall available, heads turned toward the blue blue sky like starved... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2013 at Simply 60
There is a knife in my right eye, coursing down my cheek and ending in numbness at the corner of my mouth. The anesthesia wear-off and hospital administered drugs lasted about 36 hours. That was then, this is now. I write one-eyed. Truffle: My snout is too sore to root for one today. Quote of the day: "So, shoot me." (unknown) Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2013 at Simply 60
It wasn't how Sunday morning was supposed to go. Pancakes, real maple syrup and the NYTimes crossword puzzle in front of the fire — that's the drill. That's how it was supposed to go. Instead I spent it in the Beth Israel Hospital emergency room. I figured I was not going to fart around with my vision. The eye pain was as bad this morning as it had been the night before, so I called the doc and landed myself in the ER. For seven hours. Here's what I learned: 1) I have a pocket of air trapped behind my... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2013 at Simply 60
...the birthday itself, that is - is to hit the ground running, surround yourself with good company and playplayplay until the clock strikes midnight. I counted a dozen (12!) food stops - or 2.5 times the recommended five small meals a day. We began with breakfast, took in a food ( accounting for nine of the 12 mini meals) and cultural walking tour of Greenwich Village for three+ hours midday; after, we broke off from the gents so the girls could get a foot massage and manicure — hence the crimson tips to my fingers (this morning, having never awakened... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2013 at Simply 60
Some people long to go back to school, others can't imagine anything worse. I'm in the former category and so usually in the minority, like wishing as I do, to be a teenager again. Today Cajun — she is the chocolate lab leading the pack in the above photo — went to Gemini Dogs to be evaluated for agility training. I was sure she would fail basic obedience. Not because she isn't obedient and not because she doesn't know the meaning of the commands. She is and she does. But her nose often wins out over self-control and she is,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2013 at Simply 60
Where is our best paw put, in these dog daze of summer? Forward? Backward? How 'bout under the copper beech, waiting for a breeze? We are still visiting the hospital once a week. People ask what our job is and I always say: "To make people smile." And look, I... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2013 at TherapyDog
WBZ interview Cajun may be vacationing on Nantucket for awhile yet, but our noble leader made the local public radio discussing the importance of therapy dog work. Listen in. Mercedes is Cajun's mentor... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2013 at TherapyDog
... or fun. What's a dog to do with nine recalcitrant teenage girls? Even in the best of circumstances, they can cut you into pieces with the selectivity of their responses — Yes. No. I don't know. "Would you like to meet my dog?" "I don't know." Then a vigorous... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2013 at TherapyDog
Have you ever had the feeling where you've come is where you belong? Yesterday we visited a ramshackle house in Arlington, one in which the occupants are in constant lockdown. I had the feeling, as Cajun and I mounted the steps to the porch, that I was Scout, Atticus Finch's... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2013 at TherapyDog
Ah the nation within the nation. Chet. Our hero! Kate Stout Sent from my iPhone
Toggle Commented Apr 16, 2013 on A 'real' dog story at TherapyDog
We paid our first visit to a Hospice this afternoon. An old house converted into a nine-bed facility. By the time I left, I couldn't help thinking: lucky nine. This may seem counterintuitive but there's nothing any of us can do about death, so a warm send off isn't all... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2013 at TherapyDog
Thanks for sharing that. We can not be reminded enough how much a simple visit means to the house/homebound. With or without a canine pal.
Toggle Commented Apr 4, 2013 on Only connect at TherapyDog