Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Saying Good-Bye

The sisters reunion is coming to a close and already this morning, my host sister, El, and i have said good-bye to two sisters. Now it is almost my turn after what feels like it was all a dream. This has been a beautiful week, with new views around every corner, the sound of such loving familiar voices and a feeling of total calm and happiness.

LM has already sent me the weather report for the country this morning in anticipation of me being in the air for many hours. He guarantees me smooth flights and sunshine, and then a beautiful new moon when I reach Providence at midnight tonight, along with a huge hug and some tears of joy. Home sweet home will be there along with dear Ms. Graysea.

More tomorrow and pictures coming soon.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Not Sleepless in Seattle

Hello from Seattle! What a beautiful and different city. The sisters reunion is going wonderfully and evolving each day into a beautiful time of making memories and sharing memories of our past years.
Today we will take a duck tour of the city. We are surrounded by water and El's house sits on a very high hill in the Alki beach area of West Seattle. The homes are so interesting....so many in the craftsman bungalow style and they have lovely gardens and courtyards. The hills are precipitous and truly a challenge to walk but I was out early this morning and did a nice walk in the fog and I took a few photos of houses and gardens. Out of almost every window there are panoramic views of Puget Sound.

Meanwhile, back on Cape Cod, Ms. G and LM are holding down the fort for me and calling often. I miss them both so much but have a warm and lovely feeling in my heart and anticipate a happy homecoming next Tuesday. There will be lots of pictures to post soon. Hello to everyone!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Sunshiny Sunday

Quickly I will catch up with what has been happening. Not much by the standards of most, but for me, it is life at its best. Today we went to see LM's daughter, Meaghan and celebrate her 24th birthday. We picked up Kristi to bring her along. Unfortunately, Meaghan is not feeling well at all so we just had a brief visit. It was a lovely ride over to West Falmouth on this most beautiful of Cape Cod Days with cool clear air and soft breezes.

Meaghan with the special Tweety Bird birthday card found by her loving Dad, LM (Kristi in the background)Meaghan and her dear cat, Kitty! What a purr machine. A very sweet little cat.
Meaghan ABSOLUTELY THRILLED with her birthday gift of an Audrey Hepburn clutch. She had one several years back and it was stolen and she never thought we could find another, but we did! Last May we were perusing shops in Provincetown and found this treasure and I had it saved for this very day and the smile and surprise was so worth it even though Meggie was feeling really sick today.

I am very very busily preparing for my trip to Seattle. Tonight I will do the remainder of preparation. LM and I just said a very long good-bye while listening to our favorite music channel on XM Radio....the music of the 40's and 50's. So wonderful and dreamy. Very hard saying good-bye these days knowing we will be separated for 8 days come Tuesday morning.
Hugs seem extra tight and long right now.

Yesterday we were supposed to do a car trip to Rhode Island for the Hyannis Nissan dealer but after getting up very early and getting ourselves in to town, the trip was cancelled. LM may do it tomorrow. Oh well, it got the day off to an early start and I was able to do some shopping errands in Hyannis on the sales tax amnesty day, while LM went home and attended to some of his to-do list items.
Ysterday afternoon LM and I joined a very full movie theater audience and thoroughly enjoyed the new release "Vicky Christina Barcelona. A very romantic and erotic comedy set in Spain and starring Javier Bardem, Rebecca Hall (British), Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johannsen and several other lovely to look at people. It is Woody Allen's latest and I think the best! We both loved it and were still talking about the resulting "vibe" today.
The sisters' reunion is now less than 48 hours away and I am feeling the excitement build and a twinge of nervousness about flight arrangements, etc. I am sure it will go fine. Saying good-by to LM will be agonizing....ahhhh, sweet agony, as I know I will come back to his incredibly loving arms.
On to the rest of my packing.....

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Stopping By

This is the LOOK, the LOOK which commands my every move when I am at home and right now the look says, "I want treats and YOU are on that #%&* laptop. Not bad enough I am waiting for treats but you did not come home right after work, you did not give me lap time, and where are you hiding LM?".....I'm in big trouble so this post will have to be brief. Seeing that I am going to Seattle next week for 8 days, I feel compelled to give in to Ms G's whims right now. I really do want to go away with a fairly clean cat mom conscience.

Yes, the sisters' reunion is close now. Next Tues evening, August 19th, we will all be together and it is going to be fantastic. El, our hostess, called this evening and we talked a lot about what we will do. She has several nice tours on tap....one a "Duck Tour" of Seattle and another is a boat cruise on Puget Sound. Those work out well because we can all participate. Margaret and El both have MS and cannot do lots of walking but we wanted to be able to do as much as possible together. The first morning we are there will fulfill a dream for me....all together we can visit the University Farmers Market in Seattle. I have longed for years to see it and will be sure to take lots of photos to share here. Other than that we will spend lots of time on Eleanor's porch gazing at Mt. Rainier and walking along the beach in her neighborhood with my nephews. We are all dreaming of making some nice meals together and having some real salmon, Dungeness and King crab. Yes. we do love good food and I am sure it will be a feast.....a feast of love and gratitude at being together.
Meanwhile, I am still preparing for the journey...the weekend with LM lies ahead and we will celebrate his daughter, Meaghan's 24th birthday on Sunday, and eke out some quality alone time for us as we will be apart for a long time. Both of us feel apprehension and keep assuring the other of the daily contact we will have. Ah, love. Sweet.

Now, the LOOK is getting more and more indignant so I must report for duty....which right now will consist of providing freshly drawn water for Ms G, getting into bed, serving her her evening portion of Whiska Lickens and then allow her to get under the covers with lots of patting all the while.....tough duty being a good cat mom but someone has to do it here!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


One year ago tonight, LM and I went on our very first real date. We had known each other for many years but there had never been even a hint of interest beyond friendship, although we both now openly admit to the tremendous attraction we felt through the years!

It has been a happy day of sweet reminiscing and reflecting on the many things we love about this wonderful relationship which continues to grow with us. We have indeed been challenged with health and emotional issues but our love and LM's attitude have seen us through it all just fine!

I am so very, very grateful in so many ways and my faith in love has been restored, I have learned what a true loving touch is and that is my favorite gift I have received in this year. Among others are openness, and honesty, attention to detail and the deep friendship we share.

Off to bed for me with all the memories waiting to dance in my dreams.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Dad, Brother and Sonday

My Dad, even at age 96, has an incredible curiosity about what is going on in the world, and especially what is happening at his old favorite haunts on the South Shore of Massachusetts where he and my Mum raised our large family. Almost everytime I visit him we go on long drives to see his favorite places. When my dear daughter-in-law, Alison, told me recently that one of Mum and Dad's favorite restaurants of years past, Bert's at Plymouth Beach, had re-opened under new management, I just knew I had to arrange to get Dad there, and I wanted to surprise him. Making it even better was that Dad is always on a quest to find a good place for lunch with a water view! Bert's has been reincarnated as Stoneforge Plymouth. Below is the view from our table where we had a delicious lunch yesterday. A surprise for Dad fell in to place nicely and was made even better because my brother, Ev from Balitmore, was "home" for a visit as part of a business trip.

I arranged for Ev to pick up Dad and tell him he was going on a mystery tour. When they arrived at Stoneforge, LM, my son, Jason and wife Alison, and I were there to greet them and Dad was so happy. His first comment was about all the memories we shared there as a family. My grandparents used to take us their as children and we just loved to play on the beach, finding treasures and skipping rocks.

These lovely cosmos lined the walk to the entrance. Hardy critters to survive the salt air!
Jason, me, Ev, Dad, Alison (and baby??)
LM, moi, Ev, Dad and Alison
Alison and Jason - he looks so much like his late father that it is eerie!

A misty but beautiful view across Plymouth harbor to the Gurnet Lighthouse and cliff which marks the harbor entrance. The light is actually at the very tip of Duxbury beach and connects on to Saquish which juts into Plymouth Harbor from the back of the Gurnet cliffs. That beach and Saquish are only accessible by 4-wheel drive vehicles and I have many wonderful memories of times camping there with Jason's father, Teddy when we were first married. We had friends who owned a cottage there and we had an open invitation to stay on their property. Ah, so long ago now. Lots of memories for me yesterday. It was nice to share a lot of it with LM.
Alison and Jason in their hotrod getting ready to head home after a lovely time.

It was a great day. LM and I headed back to the Cape with happy hearts and gratitude for our dear family. On to a new week.

In an aside....today LM had a car swap to do in Maine. On his way back, he stopped for fuel at a station in New Hampshire and as he pulled in to the place, he suddenly realized he was right next to a car driven by no other than my brother, Ev, whom we had been with yesterday! Ev had just stopped for coffee. They were both blown away at the happenstance and got on the phone to exclaim it to me! I love those two men!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Survival of the Socialite and Farmers Market Loot

Another party has come and gone with the requisite angst and the usual good time meeting new people and experiencing a new and amazingly beautiful place, all for a wonderful cause. This time the event was held on the waterfront in Osterville at a yacht club and was the 15th annual Joe Cronin Fishing Tournament banquet/auction to benefit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. The amount of money raised was heart warming and the new friends were just so welcoming and fun to be with. LM had been out on the boat all day and was looking very happy and handsome, and dressed for the party when I arrived to attend the evening events. He was invited to be part of this event because one of the boat owners had attended his last "Learn to Fish" class and was most impressed. They did not win the tournament but a great time was had by all and the day was picture perfect. The above photo is, unfortunately, the only one I was able to get at the party. This HUGE flagpole towered above the venue. The sky was very dramatic and soon after this photo, began to darken and there were bolts of lightning dancing around throughout the evening but no storm in our area. I did meet some business contacts and thoroughly enjoyed the evening. Why do I waste time worrying? LM is a dream to be with in social situations and is very solicitous of my needs, comfort, etc and frequently reaches out to touch me and give me loving looks....so. He is a great date!
Anyway, enough of the mush....after the party he had to to pick up his son and get him home and I came home and fell asleep very quickly knowing I wanted to be at the farmers mkt to beat the crowds. It is HIGH summer here and the Cape is about to sink into the sea under the weight of the hordes of visitors and the market was no exception this morning. I waited 20 minutes in line to buy from the Cape Cod Organics farm, but there was a lovely woman in line with me and we enjoyed conversation about other markets and other subjects. I ended up giving her some of the extra bags I had brought along, and later, as I was buying herbs, she found me and gave me a lovely bunch of fennel as a thank you. I was pleasantly surprised when I tasted one of the little fennel buds and my new friend told me how they offer those at the end of a meal in Indian restaurants. It was a delightfully perfect taste of anise/licorice and left a very pleasant feeling in my mouth, much as our little encounter left in my heart.
I was able to get corn, potatoes, purple baby carrots and tomatoes from Cape Cod Organics, and the other items are from various small farms who have tables....shallots, an onion, parsley, summer squash and several peaches and a nectarine from Harvard, MA, blueberries from Blandford, MA, and some sister surprises from my favorite lavender lady who also sells the most beautiful bouquets, too (I will try to take photos of her next week...too crowded today).
There is a delightful man who sells herbs at the market with the able assistance of his two sweet little girls. The mint and the fennel (upper left) are from his table.
It was a really fun morning and I have come home and prepared some things for a dinner I wil make later to share with LM. I've been wanting to make the ricotta stuffed roasted tomatoes which Ree (Pioneer Woman) featured on her cooking blog several weeks ago and they are now awaiting the oven and look so good.
I think I will have a nap now, after all the partying I am exhausted...LOL....and I must be rested when my love arrives. After dinner we will walk through the teeming village and pretend we are tourists. We will end and begin at the ocean...feeding our souls after feeding our bodies. A perfect day.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Smiling Samantha, The Whapper and a Baby Bird Sighting

Last night I had dinner with my daughter, Sara and granddaughter, Samantha. Samantha is so good natured and smiley. We had a great time and if you look closely you can see her cute little radar antennae or, as LM calls them, palm trees , in her hair...I am so very proud of the wonderful mother Sara has become. She has had many, many challenges in her life and is working so hard to climb out of the bad places some of those challenges have taken her to.
Sunday afternoon LM and I were chatting in the TV/guest room and Ms G was most anxious to get into the middle of what we were doing.....when she wants our attention, particularly that of her adored LM, she does all sorts of rolling around gyrations and reaching out with her paws to "whap", thus she has become our "whapper".....she has no claws so this is a safe little game. LM was reaching out to pat her and here she is poised in pre-whap position. It is a very funny interaction and Ms. G will often keep going until she can bite the hand she's been whapping so we having to watch her tail to tell when enough is enough.

Ah, fun and games Ms G style!! I love it when life is that simple....

On to other news, the baby bird of last Friday night has reappeared two days in a row. I cannot get in position to get a photo, but our baby is right now outside the window on a branch and "mummy" cardinal is feeding him. He is fluffing out and it is a very happy sight.

The social whirl continues, just when I thought things were dying down. LM has been invited to participate in the Joe Cronin Fishing Tournament this Friday out of Osterville. He will be a guide on a boat which will be one of almost 100 boats to participate, each with 4 celebrities on board. In the evening there will be a lavish gala which I will attend. I hear it is a wonderful event and a very successful fund raiser for the Jimmy Fund/Dana Farber Cancer Center in Boston. Joe Cronin was a much loved player for the Boston Red Sox and former president of the American Baseball League. Stay tuned for my story of surviving another social event!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Theo Update

Theo is livin' the good life! After a morning full of Spiderman impressions and entertaining his staff, he chooses the perfect place to nap where his lovely colors are set off beautifully and maximum comfort is achieved. True cat style. He's a cutie, and also just received the word from his Dr that his broken leg is healing well. Whew!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Birthday Part 3 - Little Gifts

After a delightful party evening, and not one bit of anxiety, YEAH, we returned home a bit later than usual for me, and this non-drinking woman, was weaving a bit after 1.5 glasses of delicious red wine. As I reached for the iron railing to go up the two little steps to my house, my hand touched something soft and when I looked down, this is what I saw (sans the hand at first, of course):
This tiny baby bird was perched on the railing under a bit of cedar branch.
We were totally fascinated to be this close to a sweet little baby. We could hardly resist a little pat as is evidenced by my dear man's actions above. We quickly got the photo and left our new little friend to perch in peace. When checked a while later the bird appeared to be sound asleep. Of course, we could not get this sweet little thing off our minds and I was up several times in the night to check....finally at 5 am the baby was gone....hopefully he awoke refreshed and began flying. My house is surrounded by dense vegetation, mainly privet hedge, cedars and holly trees, as well as some azaleas and hydrangeas, and the whole area has been very noisy of late with the sound of baby birds. We have been observing one nest full of cardinal babies. This was most likely a fledgling from one of those nests. We derive so much from the observance of nature and this was such a lovely almost ending to my birthday.....LM presented me with not one, but three great cards, a "sweet" gift and a two year subscription to Vanity Fair which we enjoy reading together....I really do still love the feeling of media in my hand, whether it be a book, newspaper or magazine.
The day ended perfectly as LM and I fell asleep embraced. Heaven.
Ms G on the other hand was busy eating the flowers I brought home from the office!!! Life is good for us all....on to more celebrations today and tomorrow....with Dad today and with some surprise dinner hosted by LM and Bob tomorrow. WOW!

B-Day Part 2

What a great day....it was supposed to be foggy and dark and the sun shone beautifully....I got to work to find this lovely array of flowers and cards....as you can see we have a cat theme going here....they know me way too well. The basket of flowers is from the company principals and had a lovely note attached .

The collection and the wishes grew as the day went on, and my darling, LM sent me sweet e-mails with great graphics all day long!
The evening would be the party at Hydrangea Walk and the usual social dread stayed mainly in check as many co-workers and friends would be there, as well as LM by my side.
Taken before the restored original shutters were re-installed, this is where we attended the party:

Approaching the back terrace and gardens....spa in the distance

The front last night....too dark.....
Party scene....back terrace...very lovely!

Side terrace with pathway leading to the spa
The spa area with beautiful sunset viewing wall and all new trees and landscaping....an amazing transformation.
LM and electrical contractor, Roger discuss the installation of the spa....all trees in the back are newly planted for owners privacy.
Now, this is where I could live very nicely, thank you....bathroom and adjacent dressing room/master bedroom walk-in closet, are bigger than my house! Loved the rubber ducky! In the view is the rear garden with the old hydrangeas from the front, reborn.
The rear garden, once again showing the old hydrangeas. This is the view from the terrace at sunset. There is a lovely pond beyond the garden.
We had a grand tour of the inside and decided we really loved the lived in and not too fussy design and decor. They have some lovely colorful art from Antiqua with which they have matched some art glass in primary colors. Very, very nice!

The party continued......I had some red wine....and LM and I were so so happy. After stopping by Bob's for LM's overnight things, we returned home to a little surprise.

A Lovely Birthday Part 1

I affectionately call the beautiful quilt on my bed this day "the love quilt". It was made as a very special gift to me by my very talented sister, Margaret, of Waterloo, Ontario. Back in the mid-90's when it became clear to me that I did not have time or space to continue quilting, I gave Margaret my entire stash of quilting fabric. Within a very short span of time, she created this work of art for me with many of the fabrics I had collected through the years. It is bound with the same fabric we used to bind the 50th wedding anniversary quilt for my parents in 1992. When Margaret presented me with this amazing gift her only request was that the quilt be used, and that I always allow cats to sleep on it! Easily done in my world as is evidenced below. Ms G loves this quilt.
I love getting up very early in the morning, well.....that is unless LM is here but that is another story. Ahem....anyway, my birthday began early and with some fun and games, Ms G style....there is nothing she loves more than to be made in to the bed.....right under the fitted sheet. She howls and carries on under there and manages to propel herself around as this moving lump begging me to pound on her through the quilt. She's been doing this since she was a kitten and it is quite hilarious to hear her. Eventually she works her way out after a few minutes of play, then she wants me to chase her around the house.

Then she waits for treats!!

That was the happy start to my birthday yesterday......Next there was a lovely birthday call from my dear daughter, Anne, wishing me a great day! Only the beginning of a wonderful day!

Stay tuned.........