Share Four Somethings – July

Something Loved

Meditations in Motion

I absolutely loved the trip my hubby Bill and I took to visit family on Cape Cod over the 4th of July this year.

My sister and brother-in-law live on the Cape for six months each year and always host a blow-out 4th of July party, complete with professional-grade fireworks as the grand finale.

We rented a house 10 minutes away from my sister’s and our youngest son and his kids and our middle son and his wife stayed with us.

I got to see all three of my nieces, their significant others and children, as well as other family members.

We rode bikes, went on sip ‘n strolls, and went quahogging. For those of you who don’t know what a quahog (pronounced co-hog) is, the basket in the photo above is full of them. Here in Pennsylvania, we call them hard-shelled clams.

To gather quahogs, you dig in the mud in the bay with your toes until you touch something hard. Most times what you have found is a rock; occasionally the hard object is a clam. If you find a rock, you throw it back in the bay; if you find a quahog, you place it in the basket. It’s pretty simple. You definitely need a pedicure afterward. Mud and silt from the bay are ground deep under the toenails of the foot used for quahog probing.

The creature on the top of the basket is a whelk. We saved the whelk to show to the kids, then placed him back in the bay. The quahogs, we placed on the grill and ate with bacon and salsa.

Something Said

“Maturity is realizing how many things don’t require your comment.”Rachel Wolchin

Meditations in Motion

Around the middle of the month, Bill and I were once again on the road, this time to Pittsburgh.

We stayed in a B&B recommended by one of Bill’s former co-workers. By the time we arrived at the B&B, I was tired, stressed from driving through congestion on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and very, very hungry.

When we tried to enter the house, the door was locked. I checked the confirmation email on my phone. Yes, the dates were correct and we arrived within the designated hours for check-in.

I had just started to look for a phone number to call, when our host, Ed, unlocked the door for us. We waited in the Victorian parlor while Ed showed another couple to their room.

The parlor was crammed with authentic Victorian-era antiques and kitschy Caribbean nick-knacks, a strange combination. It looked like someone from the 1890s had a time machine to travel to modern-day Jamaica and brought home a boatload of souvenirs.

After a short wait, Ed showed us our room, which was decorated in the same style. Our room was spacious, with a glorious king-sized bed, but only clean-ish. The sink in our bathroom was an antique, but not from the Victorian-era; it was turquoise, with separate faucets for hot and cold water, and rust stains in the bowl.

I grumbled my displeasure.

I wish now I had held my tongue. The B&B turned out to be really fun. Ed was a wonderful host, the other guests were congenial, it was at a perfect location, and the funky decor grew on me.

Apparently, I have not yet achieved enough maturity to know when a comment is not needed.


Something Learned

Meditations in Motion

One of my nieces suffered for years from horrendous debilitating sinus infections, sometimes five or six times annually. She had surgery to correct the problem to no avail.

This year, she told me, her sinus infections were gone. She discovered she is allergic to dairy products, which were triggering the infections, by going on “The Elimination Diet” as a desperate last-resort diagnostic attempt.

I had never heard of The Elimination Diet before, so she enlightened me.

Her husband advocated the diet, but she initially resisted, thinking it was too far out there, too new-age-y. Finally, she agreed to give it a try.

The way it works is this: you begin by eliminating all foods that may be causing a food allergy from your diet for three weeks.

My niece eliminated nuts, corn, soy, dairy, citrus fruits, nightshade vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants), wheat, foods containing gluten, pork, eggs, alcohol, and seafood. After the second week on the diet, she felt much better and the sinus infections went away.

Gradually, she re-introduced individual food groups back into her diet, one-by-one. As soon as she re-introduced dairy products, the sinus problems came back. Conventional allergy testing confirmed she is allergic to milk protein.

My niece now avoids all dairy and is feeling much better, and I learned something new.

Something Read

Meditations in Motion

I was on fire, reading-wise this month. I read seven books in July.

The one I liked best, pictured above, was “Ordinary Grace” by William Kent Krueger (5 stars). It had everything – family drama, a murder mystery, some theology, and a coming-of-age story set in the 1960s. The writing was stellar, the story gripping, and this book caused me to stay up too late several nights in a row until I completed it.

I’m Fine and Neither Are You” by Camille Pagan (4 stars) explores honesty in friendships and marriage. An interesting, well-told story with a worthwhile message.

Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith” by Anne Lamott (4.5 stars) is a typical Anne Lamott essay collection. If you like her writing (I do), you will like this book. My copy is dog-eared and highlighted in many places.

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler” by Kelly Harms (3.5 stars) is a complete female fantasy novel, fluffy, but fun. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t make me think.

The Other Wes Moore” by Wes Moore  (4 stars) is a cautionary tale. An autobiography and biography about two African-American men from Baltimore with the same name and very different fates.

The Secret Wisdom of Nature” by Peter Wohlleben (2.5 stars) was disappointing. This non-fiction book illustrates how removing one species from an ecosystem can cause drastic changes to the environment, a topic which interests me, however, the book was repetitive and just not compelling.

The Unstoppable Ruth Bader Ginsburg” by Antonia Felix (1.5 stars) was the most dissatisfying book of the month. A coffee table book, the writing consists mostly of the texts of speeches given for or about RBG. I was hoping for more insight and analysis.

I am linking up with Heather Gerwing for her “Four Somethings”. Thanks, Heather, for giving the opportunity to think and write about four such compelling topics.

Also linking up with Shank You Very Much for Global Blogging, Esme Salon for Senior Salon, Random-osity for The Good, The Random, The Fun, and My Random Musings for Anything Goes.


  1. As a child, we went every summer to Fairhaven, Massachusetts, to visit family. They were close to the beach, and my grandfather would always go clamming and quohoging. Delicious memories all around! Thanks, too, Laurie, for the book recommendations. I’m always adding good reads to my wish list.

    Liked by 2 people

    • My sister lives in Pocasset, near Bourne. They have a house on the beach that was originally my brother-in-law’s grandfather’s. I’m always looking for book recommendations too! You are welcome.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Glad to know there are more out there like me – I have some growing up to do! 🙂 My niece used to have terrible infections – nosebleeds, coughing blood, headaches – it was terrible!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The beach where I go every day is full of “quahogs”” (in italian “vongole”). But I have a problem, I don’t like the taste and the smell of the seafood and … this is not my only fault.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My Heart Goes Out To Your Niece For Enduring All Those Useless Medical Procedures. I Witness This In My Practice About Once A Year. I Have Two Separate Nutritionist That I Recommend Folks To While I Work With Their Lymphatic System. Avoid Surgery At All Cost. Pun Intended. I Also See This In Carpel Tunnel.

    Anyway, Enough About That. Fabulous Post And Would Enjoy Some Photos Of That Victorian Home. I Appreciate All Of Those Little Knick Knacks. Have A Wonderful Weekend Coming Up!!


    Liked by 1 person

  4. This quote, oh boy. “Maturity is realizing how many things don’t require your comment.” Excellent! I just received a text from a friend who I’m really needing to measure my words with. Praying now before I text her back. Great timing; thanks, Laurie! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 7 books? Wow!

    The book I reviewed a few months back was an elimination diet. There are all sorts of elimination diets, with varying degrees of things you eliminate. Luckily I don’t think I’m really allergic to anything. But it’s still not a bad thing to do.

    I think you can cut yourself some slack when your tired! We all get grumbly when we’re tired.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read a lot this month because of several long car rides. My grandsons get grouchy when they are tired and/or hungry. I always know when I need to get them something to eat ASAP! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Your trip sounds great, and I have never heard of quahogs so I learned something new here today! I’ve also had a few times this month when I’ve been aware that I need to hold my tongue, so I like the quote you shared, and Ordinary Grace sounds good too!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve heard a lot about sinus issues and dairies, glad to hear your niece has worked it out and hope she doesn’t suffer any more. Sounds like a good month of family fun, I love clams but let somewhere else do the hard work of digging for them

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well I learned something new with the clamdigging and “The Elimination Diet” Laurie and the reading agenda sounds enjoyable, not to mention ambitious. I think I mentioned to you that reading is just one of the things I miss the most and will look forward to doing again once I am retired.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am enjoying reading now that I am retired, Linda. When I was a teacher, I had not time to read during the school year, but in the slower summer months, I did find time to read. It’s one of my greatest pleasures.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was an avid reader too Laurie so I hope to get back to it again. I’ve been so swamped at work lately that I am late even getting here to read at WordPress. My parents never watched a lot of TV but preferred to read so I ended up being like them even when I was very young. They subscribed to “National Geographic” for decades and when they decided to donate them to the library, the library clerk said they didn’t want them as no one ever asked for them. That amazed me – I always read it and watched the specials. Jacques Cousteau and Wild Kingdom too.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I visited Cape Cod and loved it. Glad to hear your niece found the source of her allergy. I’ll add Ordinary Grace to my TBR list. I read five books in July (I Know Why A Caged Bird Sings, A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Kite Runner, Love in the Time of Cholera, and Little Beach Street Bakery). The first three have a lot of human suffering. All five books show human resilience and love, and all have hopeful or happy ending. #senisal

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have been visiting Cape Cod since I was a kid and my sister and her in-laws had a cottage there. It’s a beautiful place! I hope you enjoy Ordinary Grace. I have read the first 4 of those books and really liked all of them – especially the Gabriel Garcia Marquez one. I will have to look up that last one.


  10. Laurie, I love this quote, “Maturity is realizing how many things don’t require your comment.” – Rachel Wolchin LOL SO VERY TRUE!!!

    I used to have those debilitating sinus infections semi-annually until my doctor said, “I think you have allergies.” Once I got on a regiment of allergy meds (just in the spring and fall) no more problems with allergies, sinus infections, bronchitis… It’s been WONDERFUL now for several years! Who would have thought? I just thought I was getting colds and they were turning into sinus infections and bronchitis. I never would have put two and two together and realized it was really allergies. I guess that’s what we have doctors for. Thankful!

    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

    Liked by 1 person

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