Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th

Happy 4th!!  Yesterday we kicked off the holiday weekend with a delicious lunch along the Swan River in Dennisport at Clancy's Restaurant.  The Swan River is tidal and flows in and out of Nantucket Sound - a very popular place for kayaking.  It was a perfect day and sharing it with LM made it even more special.


 Snowy egret fishing along the river banks while we dined.


Our holiday observance will be quiet, with some visits in the later day to the beach. We'll spend some time cooking together - half the fun is the planning and shopping - and I know I will be reverent about my childhood memories of the 4th.  Growing up on the South Shore of MA, we were lucky to be able to attend the parade in Hingham, and visit lovely family friends, who would welcome us warmly and serve us ice cold ginger ale under the arbor of privet by their fish pond in the garden. We'd be accompanied by our grandfather.  Meanwhile, Nana and Mum would be at home preparing a lovely dinner of poached salmon with dill, boiled new potatoes, fresh peas, and always, strawberry shortcake for dessert.

 Those memories are very close to my heart this year, as I am also filled with gratitude to know that we have new laws enforcing our inalienable rights of freedom to marry the person of our choice.

We are beyond grateful for the freedoms afforded us as citizens of this beautiful country.

Love to all my family and especially my beautiful children and grandchildren, you fill my heart each day with happiness and admiration.

PEACE!!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

To Waterloo

LM and I LOVE being on the road, and even better, exploring new territory.  When the yearning for a visit to my sister, Margaret, came over us, the big question was do we search for a new route or take our tried and true favorite?  Our consensus brought us to Waterloo our very favorite way, and back home on an entirely new route.  On June 2 we left LM's house in Harwich at 3 am, the car perfectly packed with all we needed and then some. Of course there was fishing equipment stowed carefully away, just in case. It was raining heavily when we set out, but my adept partner drove us safely all the way to the Canadian border at Cape Vincent, NY, where we took the little ferry across the St. Lawrence Seaway to Wolfe Island. Before we crossed, though, we took time to drive around Cape Vincent for some of our favorite views of the Seaway and beautiful homes in this sleepy little hamlet. Our drive to that point had taken us through what must be some of the most beautiful farmland in this country.  Miles and miles of working dairy farms, and green fields that go on forever.  (We'd accessed this territory by taking Rte 12 north from Utica off of the NY State Thruway.)  The farmers were busy turning and planting. Most if it seemed to be corn.
 Pulling up to the tollgates at the end of the MA Turnpike.....we love all the trucks....still raining heavily.
 Crossing the Hudson River in the fog.
 We came across this Swiss-like ski resort in northern NY State - outside Watertown....all surrounded by farm land. It was pristine and had many chalets.
 Mennonnite or Amish farms...the clouds were beginning to lift a bit.
 Fields of corn everywhere!
 One of our favorite houses in NY
Countless barns, in all states of repair, were along the way. We love the red ones, of course.
Waiting to drive aboard the Horne's Ferry at Cape Vincent....just holds a handful of cars. As we drove up to get in line for the ferry we realized our car was becoming covered with insects. They looked very similar to mosquitoes but we were told they were not biters.  It was impossible to step outside the car without having your face covered with these pests. When we got over to Wolfe Island they were there, as well. There we ran in to a major ferry delay in getting to Kingston, Ontario. We had to sit in the car, windows closed, for almost 2 hours to get a ferry. It was a huge crowd and we were so relieved to finally board for the second leg of the journey that took us to beautiful Kingston. From there we drove secondary roads west in Prince Edward County, Ontario. It is the most beautiful area with views along the north shore of Lake Ontario, and gorgeous lilacs blooming along the route.  This route takes us on another ferry ride at Glenora, over to Picton.  It feels like being in Ireland to me!
Our destination that day was Wellington and the Lakeside Village Inn. We've stayed at this charming little place several times and always love the peace and beauty after a long day of driving.
Our own sweet porch overlooking Lake Ontario.
The view from our room
Photos before dinner......such lovely memories
The incredibly wonderful LM
Whenever we are in Wellington, breakfast at The Tall Poppy is a must (at the red sign)

Looking outside from inside the Tall Poppy.
Wellington is filled with some very sweet old houses that are lovingly cared for. This is my favorite!!
We walked around after breakfast the next morning and I visited a quilter's studio called "Maggie Mae's" creations. It was lovely talking shop with the proprietor, and I purchased this batik handbag.

Lovely Prince Edward County lilacs.

From here we were off to Waterloo and Margaret's house......to be continued!  Thanks for coming along so far.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

LIFE

Today I have fallen into a blue hole....so sad, and barely enough energy to see to Teddy and get through to this late part of the day.  Loss hit me hard in the soul, and I know it is simply life, and that othe's are dealing with this on an even grander scale, but seeing a dear friend, my age, who is coming to the point where illness has diminished her to 80lbs of skeleton, and disability, has me face to face with the norm of aging. It hurts, and I just cannot define it any further.

Amidst all the life experiences of the past year, I have managed to spend a lot of time with friends who've been with me through thick and thin, some since my childhood. Among them, is my friend, Priscilla. We were reunited about 5-6 years ago, when I discovered that she was living in a town very near me. We'd been close friends through parts of grade school and all of high school and beyond, through the years when we both had 3 children, all the same ages and genders in the same order.  We were both married numerous times, and had some very tough times.  Finding each other again, made it seem like we'd never lost touch. We both still love cats, and and have vivid recall of all our silly teen year chatter, boyfriends, etc.  Priscilla's had some major health problems and come through them with the tough and positive spirit she has always maintained, but now she faces leaving the beloved family lakeside cottage she inherited from her parents, and moving to accommodations in her daughter's home in New Hampshire. Last September she had major surgery to remove an aneurism, and  has been recovering at a snail's pace. I've visited her regularly in the hospital and the rehab center where she remained until just 2 months ago.  She cheered me on through my recent knee replacement from her rehab bed, and we had some great laughs, but setback after setback has prevailed. It has come to the point where she cannot be alone.  This move means she must surrender her beloved cat, Pepper, who, right now, has been very busy delighting in having his "Mum" back home after her 6 month absence and care from others.

Priscilla holds in her heart close memories of my parents, both gone, and I am sure that is casting the blue shadow on my heart, too. She's one of the precious few who hold those memories I treasure, and it seems like a countdown to more loss is underway.

 As we caught up on the past several months, while looking out over the lake today, I could feel the choke of grief starting to consume me. I hated that, as I wanted to feel Priscilla's strength, and practical optimism that she is doing the right thing. Due to her physical weakness, we cut our visit short, I promising to return again very soon, and I came directly home in a daze, forgoing all the planned errands of the day, as my body felt like collapsing. 

My friends are all so precious to me, but life will take these relationships where it wants, and, once again, as I have so many times in the past, especially this year, must adapt.  



Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Stopping By

We are back from our delightful trip to Ontario, Canada to visit my sister, Margaret and family, and , I PROMISE, I am working on a post with lots of photos of all the beauty we shared.

Meanwhile, I came home and dove right in to staying on top of Teddy's schedule, and making sure he is happily where supposed he is to be each day.  Kindergarten comes to an end on Monday 1/22 with a half day.  He has had such an incredible year of growth, fun learning, and has most certainly begin to grasp the concept that for many years to come, he will have homework most every night.  Settling in to that rhythm was not an easy task.  He's matured in so many ways and it is a privilege for me to be a major part of this journey with my sweet Teddy. After a summer filled with day camp, he will begin 1st grade, and his teacher has given us a hefty list of things to encourage his readiness.  We're working on table manners, reading, writing through journaling, counting money, +and much more. 
There's lots of fun mixed in, too. We've been working on gardens, and he went to a PBS Kratts event last weekend with his Dad. Seeing The Kratts is his favorite TV show, that was a thrill. Next week Teddy will go with his Mom, Alison, to visit her parents summer home in NH.  That means time on the lake, driving Pepere's golf cart and much more. We're also keeping up with our bird watching and writing down the sightings.  Right here at home, we have a veritable bird show in the back yard all the time, not to mention all the other little critters to spy on.  The resident woodchuck ate all Teddy's vegetable garden.  Oh well, he's fat and happy.

Now that I am feeling so much better, and in command of my new knee, my time has been filled up with fitness sessions, many more chores, and working on quilts, too.  The weekends are spent with my darling, LM, and we've accomplished many things at his house that had been awaiting my strength.  Feels so good!

Well, that is a little catch-up until I finish working on the trip post. Off to get Teddy and go to the library.
Memorial Day weekend found LM teaching Teddy to fish and bait the hook with live worms....they had such fun. T had announced that he had no intention of touching the worms but he got in to it!


Love and peace to all!!


Thursday, April 30, 2015

First Hike

It's been a month since I graced these parts!  Checking in to say hello, just in time to say good-bye to April. Cannot say I will miss the cold and dreary countenance you've draped over beautiful Cape Cod but, I will say thank you for the continued healing of my new knee and an almost welcome to May!

I took my first long and strenuous hike with LM to the beautiful spot above. It is the Monomoy River Conservation area on the border of Harwich and Chatham. Despite the deep chill, we loved being out and I was deeply grateful that my knee carried me along beautifully.

In other news, life with Teddy is pretty busy as we narrow in on the end of the school year and prepare for a busy summer of day camp, once again. He's staying busy with a lot of homework, baseball and swimming, and doing very well. He's a wonderful gift in my life, and his brand of love makes me feel very privileged.

LM and I are working on plans for a road trip to Canada in the first week of June. We love being on the road so it will be blissful, I am sure.  We will be headed to visit my sister, Margaret and family in Waterloo, Ontario. 

Life is all about adjusting, changing and acceptance these days. Some I like and some I don't, but, I am all about living day to day and seeing the beauty.

Thanks for stopping by.......love and peace!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Winter's Hold

Starting the week off......Woke up to heavy frost and a very cold morning.  There is much to do to prepare for tax filing next week. Very delayed this week because of my surgery and recovery and the extra paperwork involved with retirement and rolling over of 401k's, etc. I have amazed myself that all but one necessary form were at my fingertips and ready to be taken to the preparer next Monday. 

Teddy is happily off to school, and my day is launching with a quick trip to meet LM.....I left my phone charger at his house and he is going to bring it to me shortly. Invariably I leave something there on the weekend, but rarely my chargers. LOL

Today is a very special day in the life of my dear oldest daughter and her husband. This afternoon they will hold a re-dedication ceremony to each other. The ceremony will be held on their favorite beach near their second home on the Bahamian island of Eleuthera.  Although we are not there, we are beaming with happiness for them on this day, to mark their 30 years together. They've carved out a loving and enduring relationship.
A year ago, I took this photo of the beach where the ceremony will be held. We choose to think that cloud is a white dove!! The Atlantic was wild from a distant weather front when I took this photo, and I love to remember how warm and lovely it was that day. Wishing the same for our dear ones this day. They'll be accompanied by dear friends. Hope to have some photos later.

Wishing you all a great week, and wishing us a relief from the grip of winter....
On to preparing a roast chicken for this evening's dinner, and stretching out a little back issue.

Love and peace.........

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Tea Parties, Stair Bowling, and Tug Boats

It is a very dark and dreary, rainy Saturday  morning at LM's house. Ms G is curled in a tight soft ball while we are slowly getting ready to go out for some errands. My kind of morning, and how lovely it is to be back in my usual routine of weekends at LM's house!  My new knee is now sturdy, well settled in place, and my walking has begun to return to normal. For a while there, my legs were tripping over each other, as they adjusted to a completely new gait and both being straight. 

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Granddaughter Samantha's 8th birthday was on March 1, and we finally got to celebrate it with a little tea party last Sunday afternoon. Teddy presided over the festivities, including all the decoration and inventing a new game to be played with his supervision! 

Here is the proud and very efficient party planner!!  Note the ladder....a new house is going up next door, and the ladder provides the perfect perch for observation by our resident "sidewalk" supervisor.
Alison and Sara planned a trip to the "Y" pool before the party. Below, Alison presenting Samantha with a new swim suit. They had a fantastic time at the pool. Teddy making sure his little stuffed owl, Owwy, gets in the photo!


In preparation for his new game, Teddy lined up all his little stuffed animals on the living room windowsill. When the game was about to start, the players were given instructions to pick one animal to be used in "Stair Bowling".......Teddy likes nothing better than organizing events and making sure everyone follows the rules he invents. 
LM picks the little gray squirrel, and Teddy and Samantha launch the game by throwing their animal up the stairs and keeping score by which stair their respective animal settles on. In the morning, T had carefully placed a numbered card on each step.  There was quite a bit of ruckus, for the duration of this grand event, and LM, with his adorable squirrel, emerged the winner. Not quite sure how the other participants took that news, but there appeared to be no riots following the announcement, so everyone happily came to the table for the tea.

Samantha gazing at the cake made by "Nana"
Pouring "tea"
Opening some gifts.....a simple day but one the kids really enjoyed.
My days often take me out to find a place to walk, as I need to exercise my new knee quite a bit. One day last week,  found me in my old stomping grounds near Town Neck in Sandwich.  This poor beach has been ravaged by the storms of this winter. It is mostly rocks now and off to the left of this picture there are homes hanging on the edge.Winter 2015 has taken a heavy toll. Straight ahead is the East end of the Cape Cod Canal at Cape Cod Bay. Just as I pulled up, I could see a tug boat approaching.

I drove around to the canal so I could get this shot of the tug....appearing to be brand new and sleek, passing by the Sandwich Marina. I live just across the canal from this point, and so enjoy being able to hear the horns of the many boats that pass through this area. There is also a train that runs along the canal, and those horns are heard several times a day.  Just some of life's simple pleasures and interesting moments.

Otherwise, I am back to doing a bit of creating....knitting washcloths, and beginning work on a new quilt.  It feels like I am re-making my life, and almost seems a bit wobbly as I realize that I am newly strong and able to do so much more than I have for many years. We shall see where this leads me.....there may be a trip coming to Canada in May, and who knows what other wonderful adventures there will be.

Love to all and may you soon be surrounded by the beauty of Spring flowers!!