Tuesday, August 4, 2015

...."Havin' a Heat Wave

We've been having a prolonged stretch of uncomfortable hot and humid days, and I am about at my limit with the coping. They had promised that tomorrow would be the end of it for awhile, and I just heard that we won't have relief until Thursday.  I have a lot, and I mean A LOT of things to do, and everything seems to tax me beyond my patience and physical endurance.   All this is slightly exaggerated, but I am frustrated with trying to sleep, and also the constant hot flashes - 20-30 a day, not to mention the many, many that soak me during the night, disturbing my sleep.  GRRRRRR.

I have numerous sewing projects, particularly a quilt needing to be finished soon, and I can hardly bear to touch the fabric.  Thursday better get here fast, so I can get the borders sewn on and get the project over to the professional quilter for finishing.

Meanwhile, Teddy is going to camp everyday, and loving it, although he does come home very tired.  He's very proud of his canoeing and swimming progress. My birthday was Saturday and when I arrived home on Sunday afternoon, Teddy was in full party-planner gear, and  had my sitting room and the dining room fully decorated, and there was even a lovely bouquet of sunflowers to greet me.  Very sweet.

A very strong thunder storm whipped through our area this morning at about 7:30 and did quite a bit of damage when a microburst touched down. We had no power for about 6 hours.  There were trees, branches and poles down throughout the town and in neighboring areas.  Luckily we had no damage. It was sunny one minute and dark as night the next, and dire warnings to head for the basement, etc. We all stayed calm and it passed very quickly. WHEW.

Tomorrow I am off to meet with some new quilting friends and talk about our favorite subject.  It will be fun to have the input and inspiration.

That's about all the news until I can get myself cooled down and feeling human again. 

Love and peace to all!!




Monday, July 27, 2015

"NANA, QUICK"

At 6:30 this morning, just barely awake, I was in the kitchen preparing my big glass of morning iced tea, when suddenly, Teddy's very loud (outdoor) voice, commanded me to look out the back window to see a HUGE coyote!  What a wonderful sight. We all gathered quietly at the window to watch as he/she sauntered slowly along the high wall, a veritable smorgasbord of chipmunks, woodchucks and other little critters. This was a very healthy coyote specimen.  Teddy's keen observation of nature allowed us this lovely minute of nature. Nice way to start off our week.
 No time for a coyote photo, but this is the wall he covered from one end to the other.

Yesterday, Teddy had been able to observe an osprey in the nest and the mate flying in with a fish.

Often when we are headed out somewhere in the car, he will ask if he can bring an electronic handheld device to play while we drive, and each time we gently tell him no, that we are on a nature observation tour and there is SO MUCH to see in the world. So far he is buying it without much of a fuss!!  He's had some great rewards as nature reveals herself to us in all its amazing ways. May this continue, as, I am loving it, too!

Teddy is about to leave for camp, and I am getting ready to visit my trainer and then come home to do some mending, and get ready to meet a high school classmate for lunch.

Tomorrow will find me on a shopping excursion for school clothes with Sara and Samantha.  Beautiful Samantha is growing faster than we can shop, if you can believe that!

I love my life!!  There is a disclaimer here.....the high humidity has returned and the battle is on, to keep cool and hydrated. 

Happy Monday, and a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me dear son, Teddy's Dad, Jason!

Friday, July 24, 2015

A Quick Hello

Today has been the most beautiful day!  The skies have been so clear, the air very dry, and little breezes to cool.

I had a very busy morning taking Teddy to the bus, then enjoying a perfect session with my trainer, before going home to prepare for lunch with a very dear friend on the Plymouth waterfront.  Plymouth is completely packed with tourists as we near peak of summer, but I was in luck and found the perfect parking spot very near where I needed to be.  My friend, Marie and I could have talked all day! We have such a long history, dating back to the baby days of our children.  Instead we had to finally say good-bye, as I was heading back to the Cape to come to LM's house.  Marie and her husband will be taking a Baltic and Scandinavian cruise throughout much of August, so I suspect next time I see her, we will have so much more to talk about.

My love is in Maine, but on the way home.  Meanwhile, after a little nap, I am preparing to go to the Cultural Center of Cape Cod to see a locally made (filmed on Nantucket) movie, "Peter and John."  As I was driving here this afternoon, I was reflecting on how many fun things I can choose to do in my life now.  It is about a year since my retirement and there has been a lot packed in, I feel better than ever, and am very grateful for this time. 

So now, that is just a little glimpse of my day, and shortly, I will give Ms. G a bye-bye pat and be off to meet another friend at the Art Center to enjoy the movie.   When I get home I will receive a royal LM welcome and our weekend will officially begin. 

Love to all!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Beautiful Local Food and a First Pony Ride

Last week was so busy with Teddy home from camp and Alison taking some days off, so the day after our Hydrangea tour, we ventured up to the MA South Shore to visit the Marshfield Farmers Market.  Because I had my hands very full with purchases, etc, and keeping tabs on Teddy, there are no photos, but take my word for it, that the booths were a feast for the eyes. Teddy was pretty tired but he did perk up enough to enjoy a ride on a beautiful black pony named, Belmont.
 Love the look!

The farm booths were filled with corn, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries and some had early peaches and apples.  The greens were plentiful and we found some with multi-colored beans that have been thoroughly enjoyed.  The corn was very sweet and full, too. Other booths had a wides selection of meats, and were making pizza in a portable stone oven.  A great band was playing and added a very festive feel.  In a large barn there were many craft and baked good tables, and Teddy managed to find a gigantic M & M cookie he couldn't live without.

I would definitely go back again, especially as the amount of produce available picks up over the summer. The prices were reasonable all things considered. I just love buying local food and supporting the farms, and the food tastes so much better than anything available in the stores.


Saturday morning it was just Teddy and me....and a big part of our day was to be baking and making a dinner with the farmer's market loot. While the cold ingredients for my Mum's Blueberry Cake were rising to room temp, we hopped in the car for a trip to Bay End Organic Farm in very nearby Bournedale.  Such a wonderful place and Teddy loves all the fun he can find, as well as the cookies.





Fun things for little ones

Beautiful fields of flowers
More fun on the old Farmall
We've made a note to return soon as this flower field is about to burst wide open with sunflowers and other beauties.


Through this door and into the stand,  we were greeted with the smell of cheddar chive sccones, and an array of beautiful produce. We got kale for smoothies and cucumbers for cooling lunches.

Prettiness all around

Zinnias
Home again and time to make some blueberry cakes with the beautiful local berries we got yesterday.
The finished product cooling beside Teddy's painted pet rocks and a bouquet of wild flowers on the kitchen table.


Blueberry Cake – Eleanor Morse
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, Coat  13” x 9”, bundt pan
or 2 smaller pans (best method) with butter or PAM.

Important to have all ingredients at room temperature

Sift together, set aside:
3 cups Flour
½ tsp. Baking Soda
½ tsp  Salt
1 tsp Cream of Tartar

Cream Together, set aside
1/2 cup Softened Butter
2 cups Sugar
Then add
2  beaten Eggs

Add 1 tsp of Vanilla to 1 cup Milk

Add ¼ cup flour to 1 qt of fresh blueberries and toss carefully (flour prevents berries from sinking to bottom of cake)

Add dry ingredients to butter mixture alternately with milk/vanilla mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. With mixer, blend until ingredients are moistened.

Batter will be stiff…....very carefully fold in blueberry/flour mixture with a spatula;  spoon batter into  prepared pans.  Final step…sprinkle batter with sugar.

Baking time varies from 30 min to 50+ minutes. Check with toothpick often.  Cool completely.  Cake freezes very well.
This recipe came from an old Hood Dairy Company cookbook Mum had saved from the early 1940’s…….


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Ms Graysea Check-in

Our namesake is checking in this morning to say she is very happy to have the heatwave over with for a while!!

She's been exhausted by all the effort she's had to expend keeping cool.....She spent an inordinate amount of time on Sunday staring us down, and she was successful in taking over LM's chair where she could really stretch out.  There was plenty of energy left to beg for Greenies, though, and our baked chicken dinner was a big hit, too!   

Our girl is 14 now, in great health and very playful.  She sends love to all her fans!!


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Another Retirement Adjustment

I'd forgotten just how nice it was, on the very hot and humid summer days, to step into my delightfully air conditioned office each morning. Having said good-bye to that great place almost a year ago now, my current "office" is my home, complete with a very cute 6 year old boss. He even brings me a bouquet with my newspaper in the morning, along with his charming smile.

 
BUT, there is no A/C and that is giving me some uncomfortable days and sleepless nights. I do have the possibility of AC in my bedroom but the noise (even with ear plugs) is too much.

Oh yes, I know I am protesting way too much, but my constant hot flashes compound this matter to the enth degree! Today the sun is behind clouds so there is the slightest relief, but yesterday, I just cried from frustration.  I did get myself to the gym to workout with my trainer and that saved my sanity to some extent.

Tomorrow, I am scheduled to go to Boston for a long-awaited reunion with my aunts, and sure hope the promised cooler, dryer air arrives by  morning.

From this heat addled doting Nana, I wish you love. peace and coolness!!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Hydrangea Festival Week at Heritage Museum and Gardens

As we launch another week here, and I attempt to survive the very high temperatures and humidity, let me take you back to last Thursday, a most perfect breezy 70 degree day.  One I would clone, given the powers.

Serendipity was in play when  DIL, Alison, decided to take a few days off and keep Teddy home from camp for a week!!  We arranged to have Samantha join us, and this merry band of four set out on a glorious, clear, dry day to explore Heritage Museum and Gardens in Sandwich. We didn't realize, until our arrival, that we had chosen the week when the hydrangeas and day lilies are at their peak. I can only try here, to convey a little of the astounding beauty that we encountered.  Heritage has such broad appeal as a destination, and Teddy has been coming here since he was 18 months, always loving Hidden Hollow, a huge outdoor, interactive with nature, play space. Of course, riding on the 1903 carousel is a huge hit, too. There was nothing like the glee of seeing the cousins rolling down hills on the beautiful lawns, sniffing flowers, sighting birds, and walking in a wooded labyrinth. We walked for hours, with surprises around each corner. We began by touring their famous Round Shaker barn which is filled with amazing antique cars.
As we bought our tickets, Teddy and Samantha posed by the entrance gardens.
Of all the hydrangeas of infinite hues, I still love these huge whites the best. As a child, my grandparents lived next door to us in a very old farm house, set behind a tall privet hedge. As you drove into the drive between the privet, there were huge white hydrangea bushes on either side, as a welcome.
The heritage Gift Shop and ticket office are almost invisible behind a lush welcome garden.
Approaching the round barn
The car collection is displayed on two floors of the barn.
Gary Cooper's Duesenberg
The gleaming front grille and hood ornament are amazing, and those massive headlamps!
My favorite!

Volvo P1800
There is only one of the cars you are allowed to touch, and you can bet you know who made a beeline to get to it....they had a great time, and Samantha did a fine job of telling Teddy how to drive.


This great old firetruck was just in front of the kids.
With Nana in the backseat, I could observe that Teddy didn't trust Samantha to steer on her own.


 This 1950 Ford is similar to one owned by my grandfather.
A wonderful Land Rover and the kids loved seeing photos of this type of car being used on Safari, complete with lions riding on the top.
A great display of old license plates from all the states.

It is probably about time to suggest you pour yourself a nice tall iced tea or coffee, and sit awhile, as this post is really long, but the displays of flowers were truly too beautiful not to capture, or at least try. Heritage was founded by the Lilly family who've had a very long presence on Cape Cod. This estate became home to their world renowned collection of trees, lilies, rhododendrons (at peak in May and June), and now of hydrangeas.  There are frequent exhibits found throughout the park, and this summer there is a fascinating collection of differing shelters, hidden so to be found when you least expect. The kids loved looking for them. Also, another beautiful barn houses an exhibit of work by three Wyeth family members, N.C, Andrew and Jamie.
So, off we go through the beauty!
Daylilies of every kind
The gristmill garden (whoops, no photo of the grist mill)
Red coneflowers, really stood out here.


Teddy, Alison and Samantha in the Gristmill Garden

There were a few lingering rhododendrons and some late azaleas

There were many of these glorious pines and I apologize for not having the name. They gleam in the sun and offer delightful shade.






The main daylily garden you just "visited" above, leads up to this pond-lily garden and waterfall.  There were white, pink, yellow and red pond lilies in full bloom.
As we continued our walk, headed to Hidden Hollow for the kids, and the hydrangea garden for me, a certain someone got a little anxious and couldn't resist picking a beautiful fern frond. He knew the minute he saw my face that he had stepped over the line.....oh, well.
One of the hidden shelters


Walking along a path, near the heather gardens, I looked down and saw this lovely, lacy branch.
Paths to wander on amidst the trees.
They were having such a fun time.....
At last, the hydrangea garden - there were tours everywhere


So many colors


From my seat on a bench...








Still on their way to Hidden Hollow, they found another of the shelters
and I found the Wyeth exhibit!! Alas, no photos.
The 1903 carousel. The kids rode on it 4 times!!

Back to walking and on our way back to the entrance...many more lilies and other hidden gardens



My camera battery gave out just after this photo, and I must say, IT IS MY FAVORITE.  So happy to share this with you all, and I wish you an opportunity to see Heritage someday!  It is only 2 miles or so from us, and we are able to visit often..such a wonderful gift from the Lilly family.