Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Walk at Bell's Neck

In our continuing efforts to walk all the beautiful conservation areas in LM's town, we set out last Saturday and began to explore the huge Bell's Neck area. We feel so fortunate to live in a town which cherishes these lands. Cranberry bogs and in their brilliant burgundy beauty, cover many acres, some still working and others fallow. This bog was a very short distance from where we parked the car to begin walking. We set out along the Cape Cod Rail Trail, a biking and walking path made on the footprint of a railroad system which ran the Cape until the 50's or 60's.

Within a short distance we came to the Herring River....a river which becomes brackish, then salt as it flows out to Nantucket Sound on the south of the Cape. This is the view to the south.
View to the north. We were looking for birds but only found a pair of Canada geese
Shortly after the river, we veered off the bike path to uplands and wandered through the wooded paths for about an hour. Guess who?? The wind was biting......hands in pockets...LOL
The river became a reservoir...
Sunlit trail....we were out there very alone and loved it.
Looking down toward a very marshy area. Spring is visible in a slight reddening of the budding trees.
I loved this hollowed out tree and the brilliant green moss.

As we looked out over the reservoir, we witnessed a black backed gull chasing an osprey. Distinctive cries gave away the chase.
LM spotted this sweet nest in a tree just along the path and right above our eye level. No one was home. Beautiful buds on the branches.

Looking up at the glorious sky!
As we were on the return side, we were alongside a brackish marsh and these phragmites were bending in the wind.

When we returned to the car, we looked at each other and realized we'd not thought of anything but nature and beauty for the entire walk. Our objective was met without a thought, by the power of nature.
We walked the next day, too....more later.
Happy almost weekend. We are having snow tonight.....there is a mystery date this Sunday!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ms G Inside and Out

Her Royal Highness surveying HER kingdom while basking in sunshine. Personal serfs have assured that she has avian jester entertainment. Some dressed in red, some in yellow, black and white.......
Who goes there, she asks.....someone is about to block the view!
Oh, oh, its the papparazzi.........

Perfect concentration interrupted again.........
My life is not easy.......royalty should not be subjected to such annoyances.

Friday, March 25, 2011


For the past two weeks I've been on a kick of eating low-fat cottage cheese with chives....Each morning I make up a little container and have it for lunch with a few chips and a piece of fruit. Each time I take out my kitchen shears to cut the chives (store-bought in winter), I fly back in time to my childhood when Mum and I would go to the back yard with her kitchen shears, and we would cut bunches of chives to use in cooking or salads. We would go down the cellar stairs, and out the back door where abundant chives grew next to the pile where we dumped the ashes from the coal furnace. (These memories are from what we've always called "the old house," where I lived from birth until age 15 - it was on the north side of the farm. "The new house," on the south side of our farm, became home when I was 15). As my memories took me down those stairs again, I also could catch a whiff of the jelly bag which always hung off the banister as the juice of Nana's concord grapes drained into a huge pot, that juice later to be used for the most heavenly jelly, a taste none of us has ever duplicated. Those memories are so precious to me. On the way across the cellar to the back door, we would pass the wringer washing machine where Mum would wash all our clothes, and also where, more than once, her arm got pulled through the wringer. She was one hardy woman. Just sharing my stream of consciousness with you, as it happened on Monday morning this week!
Last week as we continued Spring clean-up at LM's, we were thrilled to see our chive patch thriving.
PS....Debbie, LM loves your thoughts about the donkey barn in HIS back yard. I think 2 donkeys would be great. They are permitted in that area of town as it is zoned live across the street and there are many geese, too. he also says, "dream on girl." LOL

Have a nice weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Birthday and Spring Welcome

Last Saturday we finally celebrated Samantha's 4th birthday!! Alison, Jason and Teddy very graciously held the celebration at their house, and LM, Kristi and I arrived to great shouts of "Nana," from Teddy. As always, Alison had everything in readiness for a fun time to honor our dear Samantha. The dining room table was ready for the princess....
The bunny ears supplied fun for all, as Teddy insisted everyone have a turn.
Before dinner, Samantha helped us decorate the birthday cupcakes I'd brought along.
Teddy wasted no time appropriating someone's cell phone and here he is caught in the act.
Sitting around the table as we finished dinner reminded me so much of my childhood days...lots of laughter, and the antics of the little ones, bringing it forth.
Little did we know that Samantha was not feeling her best, and turns out she has quite a bad ear infection. She managed to have a good time despite it all.

Teddy with dear family friend, Monica....
Teddy still loves his antique swan rocker and lined himself up to watch Samantha open her gifts.
The "growing like a weed in summer" girl was delighted with the pretty new clothes she received.
The bunny ears were the best fun!
The cupcake tree. YUM! Also, Alison's simply delicious sugar cookies.
Kristi enjoyed every minute.
Love these smiles, despite the poor picture quality.
The next day was sunny and just warm enough to work outside, so John, LM and I were busy, as we continued clean-up from raking all the snowblower-displaced stones back in to the driveway, as John became demo man and took down most of the weather-beaten fencing, and did a lot of heavy raking. LM cleaned up after us and made dump runs. A most productive day. We had fun, especially John, pretending to be the grim reaper with a dangerous looking antique garden tool he found buried in the old shed.
We'd never have gotten this work done without John's help
Looks so much better now
My shoulder is making progress, but now I am a bit under the weather with a sore throat. I'm determined that rest, herbal teas and positive thinking that I will be much better tomorrow.

We have 4-5 inches of snow here this morning.....winter did not receive the memo that Spring has taken over!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Perfect Star

Can you see the perfect star?? I adore clementines and they have been my sunshine on many bleak days this winter. What a delicious treat. Simple, clean, easy to eat and transport.

The weekend is here again and I am still not in top form with my injury. Today I have very little flexion in my shoulder and I'm in a foggy-brain state. Oh, well, I showed up, and this will pass.

Happy weekend to everyone and treat yourself to a delicious clementine and maybe a lovely piece of dark chocolate!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Dealing with pain and impeded motion in my left arm has been the name of my game since my ridiculous fall off LM's bed a week ago Friday. I can hardly lift my left arm and have fairly consistent pain right down to my hand. Taking ibuprofen for pain control, but it is not working all that well. Anything stronger is out of the question. I went for a therapeutic massage last Tuesday and, as happens, the pain worsened after that. I'm hoping it will ease out a bit as the muscles respond to the massage. Yesterday, I did get to my chiropractor and she helped immensely.

All my pain is so inconsequential when weighed against what has happened, and continues to happen, in Japan. It is all so horrific. This living "breathing" planet we inhabit, is wont to big moves now and then, but the ensuing losses are so painful and the ripples affect us all in one way or another. My meditations have been for peace and strength for the survivors in Japan, as they cope and recover.

The weekend was fairly busy and there was lots more cooking. Again, we had oysters, and John and I made bread. Because of my arm/shoulder injury, I was unable to work in the garden in the sunshine on Sunday, but LM and John did a lot of clean-up, and moved the birdfeeder to a new, squirrel-proof location outside a living room window. This will provide prime bird watching for our dear feline.
May the Ides of March be good to you!

We are preparing for Samantha's birthday party on Saturday....this week I will be baking cupcakes to take for the little ones to decorate on Saturday before the party.
Tonight is yoga and that about winds it up from me right now.....

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Rest of the Mystery Date Weekend

Back in 1959, I was a besotted teenager in so many ways....I had my first very serious boyfriend, Teddy, who would become my second husband, and father of my only son (#1 Allan, was father to my 2 girls, and also Teddy's best friend...eeek, I'm a complicated girl). Teddy and I were huge music fans and loved Buddy Holly more than life itself. When Buddy, the Big Bopper, and Richie Valens died in a plane crash in early 1959, not only did the music die, but a part of me, as well. I cried for weeks, and spent the first three days on the floor in my closet and did not come out until I could sob no more. I wrote odes to Buddy all over the walls. His death was a full-fledged tragedy in my life (good thing Elvis came along.) Through the years, I've always loved the music so much and have followed The Crickett's. Saw them on their last tour a few years ago, along with The Everly Brothers. Needless to say I was dancing and singing in the aisles. Thus, when the Buddy Holly Story appeared on the roster of events at a local live theater, I was on the tickets in an instant. Sunday afternoon, LM was packed up in the car and whisked off for a ride....all around in circles, until we arrived at Harwich Junior Theater to see "Buddy." He was completely surprised, and we had 2+ hours of sheer enjoyment. The production is top shelf, and the house was packed. We laughed about the fact that almost all the attendees were our age or older. After the show, we could not stop singing and took a ride to the north side of the Cape to have a delicious early dinner at a favorite place with a beautiful view of the marsh....we were entertained by a great blue heron, soaring, diving down to fish and then rising up again with its huge wings, lit by the sunset. It was a double header mystery tour weekend and a huge success.

Also, on the weekend, was a lot of cuddling with Ms G. Everytime, I sat on the couch, she appeared right by my side. LM avowed that he'd been coaching her all week to be extra nice to me. He's really "gone" if he thinks he can condition a feline mind, but we'll just let him think that for now, as he was just so proud to see her doing his bidding.
There was also a bit of time spent with Sara and Samantha.....we are looking forward to a special birthday party for Samantha in 2 weeks....

Also on Saturday, LM reminded me that he had been given a large bag of freshly harvested oysters and they needed to be prepared and eaten. John was ready and willing to help me, so we launched in to making Oysters Rockefeller! First of all, I'd only once eaten oysters and they were not my favorite, but I was willing to give them another try, after all, they were my Dad's very favorite food. How could I not like them? John did all the shucking and cleaning, and I prepared all the ingredients. It's actually a fairly easy process, once they are shucked.
My great kitchen assistant, preparing to put the oysters in the broiler. They are resting on kosher salt.
The finished Oysters Rockefeller. As you can see, some had already disappeared before I could get the camera. We all agreed that eating these oysters was an euphoric experience. They were so delicious!! and....a few other photos from the weekend....this shot was taken at the Cape Cod Salties' Sweetheart dinner on Friday night. You really had to be there, but this was taken during a skit that two of the guys put on to demonstrate what fisherman talk about while out on the water. It was so hilarious....
Ms G starting her day on Saturday morning.....
Sunday afternoon, Ms G felt that my freshly washed, and dried clothes needed pressing, so before I could hang them, she parked her furry self, and made perfect creases all over my shirts. Don't know what I would do without my sweet personal assistant.
I'm still nursing my shoulder and upper back injury from my fall on Friday night. Tonight I have an appointment for a massage and that should help.
From our little world, that is a little catch-up and I'm wishing you all a nice week as we move toward Spring. Love to all.....

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Mystery Date

LM totally surprised me last night! I arrived at his house and he was already outside waiting for me, dressed in nicely pressed khakis and a crisp oxford-cloth shirt topped by a sweater I gave him as a gift a while back. This is a man who wishes to wear jeans for any and all occasions! He looked so nice and was all, "hurry, we cannot be late." I relinquished the driver's seat of my car, and we were off on the mystery tour. There was some driving around in circles and deep chuckling, but none of my pleas for information were answered.
Within an hour, we were parking at a very elegant restaurant in the center of Hyannis. Hmmmm, I thought, he must be just taking me for a romantic dinner, but we walked in and were quickly led to a room filled with many of LM's longtime friends, and members of his revered and famous fishing club, The Cape Cod Salties (LM is past president 8 times), along with their wives and sweethearts. I was an honored guest as they celebrated Wives and Sweethearts night with a gala dinner. There were all sorts of gifts, and hilarious entertainment, as well as a delicious dinner (mine was sole and shrimp) followed by tiramisu. The company at our table was such fun. We told our love story and I made some very nice new friends. It was a perfect evening. Evidently the club stages this event to honor the partners of its members just before the fishing season starts, as once the fish start running, the guys are rarely home.....I'm lucky to have my guy, who pretty much plans his life around being available to me on the weekends! It was fun being with the group and seeing how respected LM is by his peers, and to hear how pivotal he has been in the growth of the club.
Now my love awaits his mystery tour tomorrow.......he's guessing to no avail. What fun!

Meanwhile, we came home after the fun evening, tired and happy....and fairly quickly, I was sound asleep. About 1 am, I got up to visit the bathroom, and upon my return, as I was climbing into bed (LM's bed is VERY high and although I am quite tall, I still have to climb up to get in), my knee slipped and I abruptly fell backwards onto the floor and landed wedged between the bed, a large heavy bookcase, and a lamp. Oh my, I had to struggle mightily to get myself up and back in to bed. LM was so soundly sleeping that he was not really aware of my dilemma. The rest of the night was painful as I have injured my shoulder, arm and neck. What is it they say about the worst accidents happening in the home?? I will not be doing too much work outside today......currently on the agenda is deciding on a place to put the birdfeeder so Ms G has a view. Guess I will direct and not do installation.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Happy Sunny Friday

This just feels like a very happy don't suppose it could be related to the fact that LM has me scheduled for a mystery date, do you??

I am commanded to appear at his house at 5:30 this evening and that is all he's disclosed. He's been grinning like a Cheshire cat and has kept the secret well.

Stay tuned for a report tomorrow! Nervous anticipation is filling me up today. Strange, he chose this weekend, as I have a mystery date planned for him on Sunday. I cannot say what right now as he may be reading so that news will come later, too.

Wishing everyone a beautiful sunny, warming-up-to-Spring weekend. I'll be headed outside tomorrow to look for more signs of growth in the garden. This week has been frigid here. Even John and LM say they want to get outside to begin yard work! John is enticed by the huge brush pile we have to burn. I've always said there is a bit of pyromania in all young men!! LOL LM is going to get the burn permit this week and it will be a combined effort.

I know I haven't mentioned John in awhile...we are doing pretty well, all things considered. LM had a minor meltdown last weekend but he's been so calm through the whole ordeal that I was not surprised to see some cumulative stress come out. I took him by the hand and made him come to the bedroom and lay across the bed with me and admire the beauty of Ms G, stretched out in all her sunlit glory. We just talked it all through, as we patted Ms G, and he seemed much better and resolved to deal head-on with the triggering issue. Basically, John is very respectful, responsive to his Dad's requests, and doing what is expected. We are extremely disappointed with the Community Corrections program!! It had promised all sorts of help, re-training, life skills, counseling, etc. Virtually, he goes to a building each day where he sits with other convicts (most are VERY serious offenders) and is guarded for the duration of the required hours. Some days, they go out and pick up trash along the roadways or clean various locations. That is it! VERY SAD, and a huge waste of taxpayer money, not to mention the cost to LM to drive back and forth each day, including Saturdays.
I'm enjoying the time I spend with John on the weekends. We've been baking bread and making other meals and he is a very willing participant, consumer and learner. No idea yet, when the house arrest will end....most likely in a month or so, but the future is unsure as there are no jobs to be had, never mind for a felon. He wants to go to college but there is no money, no way to get back and forth, etc. No wonder our prisons are overcrowded with recividists. We fully realize it is not the entire responsibility of the prison system to rehabilitate these young people, but one would think some effort could be applied. LM and I feel powerless to some degree as we would just love to hand John the money for college, but cannot do it. So that is a little update. The subject of John consumes a lot of our life right now but we seem to be handling our discussions well, and working through some challenges as they are presented.

The rest of my time has been taken up with sewing, working and, I'll admit, a lot of just plain sitting in silence. I find myself a little disconnected but think that being outdoors will find me with a clearer head. I keep wondering if I've put myself in this limbo state in order to endure.

Today is the anniversary of Dad's passing......I miss him each day, and would just love to share things with him the way I always did. The envisioned chats work for a bit, but I crave the real thing. It makes me evermore grateful for the years I had with my wonderful father.

Back with mystery date news tomorrow!! Love to all......

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Samantha!!

Oh, my sweet Samantha, I cannot believe you are 4 years old today!! This recent picture of you captures your charm completely.......your smile is electric and so contagious, and you are such fun to have around.
I was honored to be there on the day you were born and it was a very happy day for your Mom and Dad....
Have fun today as you celebrate by making pizza and cupcakes....I will see you soon when we have a big birthday celebration. Lots of love from LM, Ms G and Nana!! We love you very much.

P.S. Here's a link to what happened within a day or so after Samantha was born. She and her Mom are a miracle!!
Funny, that post was written when Ms G still lived with me. It was the month that LM and I had our first date. The beginning of such a beautiful relationship, as well as the birth of our dear, Samantha.