Thursday, September 24, 2015

Big Time in the Old Town Tonight

It was a full day today, and then the evening was filled with the "Back to School Night" festivities at Teddy's school......great to meet his teacher, see his classroom and hear all the progress he has made
 in the first few weeks of first grade.

We had just returned home and I had come up to my sitting room to relax and check on Facebook, when I saw a post on our Bourne residents page saying that a huge cruise ship was about to pass through the Cape Cod Canal. I went bounding down the stairs (yes, my new knee allows bounding down the stairs!) and scooped up Alison and Teddy and we were off in the car to drive the 1 minute to the Canal banks.  We live near the East end and the ship was visible in the dark, towering above Cape Cod Bay and heading, full steam ahead for the canal. It passed so close to us and was really amazing Teddy was beside himself with excitement.

The moon was so pretty over the water.....


 Alison cuddling Teddy to keep him warm as we waited.

 The Bamoral as it entered the Canal heading West.

 Passing right by us in all her splendor!! All the decks were lined with waving passengers.

 As the beautiful ship passed, ever so quickly, this excited 6 year old pronounced this the very best night of his life so far!!

We dashed back to the car and managed to get to the end of our street as it passed by. We watched as the ship passed under the Sagamore Bridge with what seemed like inches to spare.  WHEW!
Just got this information about the cruise itself.  They are on a 35 day round trip cruise out of Southampton, England. Their first port was in Nova Scotia and tonight they are on their way to Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard. They are making their way to the Bahamas before heading back, with lots of ports in between.
That would be my itinerary of choice, and they have the most beautiful weather, as well. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Special Reunion

I am not always enamored of some forms of social media, but a really wonderful reunion came about through Facebook with three of my classmates from high school, and it was just amazing. Immediately we knew we had to make a plan. Today we met at a lovely waterfront restaurant in Plymouth, and the talk and laughter never stopped for 3 hours!

 Susan and Pat grew up just around the corner from where I was born and we went all through school together. Our parents were close friends, as well, so our history is deep and very meaningful on many levels.  It is amazing to me that we all lost touch right after high school and had to wait 54 years to be re-united. Nonetheless, being together today was so sweet and as our visit went on and on recounting our lives and childhood  memories, I relished closing my eyes and savoring the familiarity of their voices.
 Karen, on my right, didn't live in our neighborhood but our town was so small that we were all friends, so having her with us today was extra special.  

Being retired has brought me the opportunity to reach out and connect with old friends, and it is a treasure!  


Meanwhile, back at the ranch, it has been a busy, busy time. Teddy is now settling in to first grade, and finding his voice, and a bit too much of it at times.....ahem!!!  Anyway, he is loving first grade and this week he began having homework. So far, so good. Tomorrow night is a school open house and we will meet his teacher and hear some of what goes on in his classroom on a daily basis.

I have lots of other things to share, but not as much time as I would like to spend in front of the little screen.  I am very busy with quilting, and the nearly king-sized piece below is awaiting the handsewing of its binding.
 A wedding gift for a dear former co-worker - View 1
 View 2.......many colors.

 I have a crib quilt (below) almost finished, and have been asked to complete another quilt to be exhibited at a log cabin-themed show in the Spring.   

In the middle of it all, I am still going to fitness classes several days a week, and am about to join a yoga class at the senior center next week.  I have had a huge reduction in pain throughout my body and my endurance has become much better.  Another big help has been the addition of sitting on one of those huge exercise balls while I work at the sewing machine.  It really has helped my balance and posture.

Well, time to get myself to bed.........I hope you are all well and enjoying a beautiful fall, as we are.

Love and peace to all.........

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Catching August

Good Morning.....Labor Day weekend is upon us, and I am waking up from the heat wave and my rather busy summer. 

Teddy had a great summer of YMCA day camp, which, despite the heat, he loved, and he grew so much.  Now, with his hair turned beautifully blonde, he has returned to school, and is already loving 1st grade. He's matured a lot in the last several months, and he did a great job keeping a journal about his summer, at the same time, improving writing and sentence formation skills.  We did lots of bird watching, and nature walks, and he has had some fun times learning to fish with his Dad and LM.

Cooking has become his new passion, so we've spent time in the kitchen working on basics.  He's an attentive student and has some very creative ideas, including his attempting scientific experiments with baking supplies.....he's also become a GREAT FAN of Rachel Ray and  Cupcake Wars. 
In the middle of August Jason, Alison and Teddy went on a camping trip and really had fun with hikes, canoeing, kayaking and fishing.  I think it was a welcome break for them as a family, as their regular  schedules are very full and demanding. 

Meanwhile, I have kept up with my fitness classes, and sewing, as well as my wonderful weekends with LM and Ms G.  All pretty routine now, and I find myself happier and happier in retirement life. There is a little bit of longing for more community, and perhaps a way to market some of my quilts, but I am mulling it and feeling more and more grateful for the wonderful privilege I have of living with my son and family, during this time.

Once in awhile, LM asks me to work with him in his work moving cars for dealers. He travels all over the northeast and LOVES it. Two weeks ago, I went with him on a trip to northern, Maine and we had a great time.  It did rain torrentially for part of the drive, but we managed well and enjoyed some lovely scenery.
 I may or may not have eaten this delectable blueberry filled doughnut along the way. Only in Maine could I have this divine indulgence.
 The home of said doughnuts....Oh, my!!
 A lovely rest stop along the way where we stopped for a little picnic on the way up.....lunch at 10:30 am as we had left home at 4:30 am.
 A little look at my view as we drove along.....we had quite a few hours of rain both coming and going, but the sunshine in between  gave us some relief. It was in the 90' hot!
My intrepid driver at the picnic spot.  

After picking up a new GMC SUV at our destination, it was my turn to drive and follow LM all the way home....I am a fairly fearless and calm driver, and that fact was certainly challenged, but we had a very successful journey back with a few side trips off the highways to break-up the stress of Friday afternoon summer driving in ME, NH and MA.  We stopped  on the way back and had a classic Maine dinner of lobster pie, followed by blueberry pie, at The Maine Diner, again in Wells.  That fortified us for the rest of the trip through Friday evening rush hour traffic through Boston, in driving rain and thunder storms.  Amazingly enough, we managed to stay together and make it home to Cape Cod unscathed.  We really did have fun, and I got paid for the day, too!  We  were home and in bed by 11 pm.

Several weeks ago, dear friend, Barbara, commissioned me to make an crib quilt to give a new grandchild coming in January.  She requested it be abstract/organic/sunflower/earthy theme. I invited Barbara to come over, and we went through my fabrics, and she chose all the above to be included, and to have them framed with brown.  The back will be yellow with a tiny paw print design, and the binding will be a repeat of the brown.  The front, as you see, is complete, and now it awaits a trip to the professional quilter.  It was fun to do, and, at the same time, I cut enough squares to make a larger bed quilt with the same design.  

Next up for sewing is to make the "Purple Rain" quilt from Jane Brocket's book, "The Gentle Art of Quiltmaking."  I have been collecting a few purple fabrics through the years and have a special box saved for this will actually be two quilts, as one will be in "cool" shades, and the other, "warm"
Otherwise these days, I have been spending as much time as I can helping two friends who need a little extra support right now.  My friend, Priscilla, about whom I wrote previously, has decided not to move away to live with her daughter in NH.  She has signed up for senior housing in the next town to me, is hoping to move within a year. She remains compromised as to strength, so I try to help out as much as I can.  She's an inspiration to me in her endurance, patience and conviction to stay in the town she loves as long as possible.  Community has been somewhat elusive during my working years, and something, I am slowly cultivating again!  

Hoping you've all had a wonderful summer!! 

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


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

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…….