My mental health has been hit or miss the last few months. I’m generally a pretty positive person but I get days, like today, when I feel a little down. I haven’t been updating that much because pretty much lately everyday has been more or less of the same, each day just the same as the last, morphed into one blob of time, and it lends itself to me being in kind of a rut. I’m just hanging in there. I do feel blessed to have a very good support network to help get me through, but I am human after all and it’s probably natural to feel this way, the way things currently are. Sooner or later thing are going to change for the better, just going to take some time and I have my good memories like the scene above from this summer from our time on the Cape to help get me through. See? I told you I was a generally positive person.
Feeling a bit cranky today, not really sure why. Just getting tired of everything going on I guess. Starting to get to me.
I grilled some steak tips tonight. That was pretty good. I think my grilling got so much better this year, just improving year after year, but this year since we’ve done so much I’ve had a bunch more practice. Afterwards I burned a fire in the firepit for a while to try to get some zen. I’ve gotten better at managing those too. I think it helped.
The house next door got T.P’d last night – I’m curious as to why. Plus it’s seems rather early in the month for that, no? I suspect one of the teenage girls who lives there is involved.
Last night’s movie watch was “From Straight A’s to XXX” – a Lifetime movie, as I mentioned before, based on the story of Belle Knox. Believe it or not, it was actually pretty good, especially for a Lifetime Movie. My one complaint is that Judd Nelson’s part wasn’t all the big – kind wish he had more to do, but I thought the main actress was pretty good. The ending seemed kind of sudden but it was alright. After that I watched CNN for a couple hours discussing all the craziness surrounding the White House right now. It was bound to happen sooner or later. Idiots.
If you want to cast a vote for me for the cover of the town calendar then head on over here on facebook and like the image. I’m not expecting to get the cover since it’s a winter image but share some love anyway and boost my ego a little bit. The picture shows the luminary night where one night in December the town common is lit with bags that have candles inside them.
People in the lighthouse group seem to really like my lighthouse photos! Finally, some people who can really appreciate my art (LOL). The Nauset one so far has 381 likes, 40 comments and 29 shares. The Pemaquid one really took off with over 500 likes, 55 comments and 195 shares. That one really boggles my mind. I also recently uploaded one I have of Whaleback Light which so far has garnered 104 likes, 7 comments and 7 shares, and I just recently put up one I have at sunset at Scituate Light which is climbing the ranks at 74 likes, 11 comments and 4 shares, not that I’m counting or anything (!). Someone on the group actually messaged me with an interest in purchasing it so I’ve made it available. Fingers crossed!
My new beach chair arrived tonight. I’ll try unpacking it and trying out sometime tomorrow and see how it performs. If I’m satisfied with it, the old Big Boy can finally rest in peace. However I may cut out the Big Boy logo on the carrying back strap and attach it to this new bag as a honorific to a great chair that sadly is no longer available. Had a lot of great beach adventures with that chair, along with other outings. Speaking of beachy things, I did get around to repairing my inner tube with this yellow rope that goes around the perimeter. Not sure if I mentioned that before, it was a few days ago. You know you care.
Tonight I made a chicken sausage, sweet potato and kale soup with some herb butter toast. Not too bad.
I’ve always loved lighthouses, just everything about them, their location, their various looks, their history, the people who lived in the them and tended the light, their bravery. I just think it’s pretty cool. I’m sure many people feel the same way. I’m very lucky to live in new England where there are so many. Boston was home to the very first lighthouse in America after all (and it’s still there!)
I joined a lighthouse of New England group and posted my shot of Nauset Light from this summer. Seems to be getting a lot of traction, hundreds of likes and comments. Makes me feel good but also reinforced the fact to me that I need to focus some of my work toward the proper audiences. Anyways here’s a shot of two of the three sister lighthouses which originally were where the current Nauset Light is. You can read a history of it all here. There’s a nice trail you can walk between the current and former lighthouses. I like the vibe I created for this photo – I feel it looks a little spooky. Will probably do another Cape trip in the fall for a night or two. In somewhat unrelated photography news I submitted a photo for the local town calendar but we’ll see if any thing comes of it. I’ve submitted things before but never really got any traction out of them.
Made pizzas for lunch today using up the remainder of things in the fridge like roasted tomatoes and eggplant that we had made a few days ago. Last night we made a walnut encrusted chicken with honey mustard and a side of roasted broccoli with some bread with melted cheese and butter. Today I’ll probably grill some turkey burgers (had done a couple of those a few days ago as well). We also made apple sauce using the Instant Pot last night with some apples that had been in the fridge for a quite a while. It’s kinda good to get through and use all these items!
Enjoyed some nice quiet time out on the patio this afternoon, reading and I even napped at one point in the deck chair. Been trying to get through a book I purchased a couple of years ago on Giza and the Pyramids by Lehner and Hawass (two quite famous and respected egyptologists). It’s a huge tome with lots of amazing photographs and very many pages. It weighs 6 pounds!
Spent a big part of yesterday down at the beach house, quite possibly our last chance of getting in the ocean. I used my inner tube again and bounced on the waves. The wind was blowing and made it a bit exciting and maybe even a little scary but surprisingly not as cold as you would think – the sun basking away kept us from shivering. Nothing us hardened New Englanders couldn’t handle. The little rope I have on it broke so I want to get a new piece of rope and tie it anew. I bought this tube down at the Cape probably about 10 years are so ago but never used it. It just sat in the garage for, like, 10 years. Finally this year I pulled it out and so far have used it twice and it’s held up great. It really did feel glorious to be riding the waves with the sea spray in my face,.
Speaking of things breaking, my beach chair appears to be on the way out. One of the rods seems to have rusted out so it’s time for a replacement. Unfortunately it appears that this particular chair isn’t being produced anymore so I’m trying to find something comparable because I love that chair.
One the way back home got a call from my mom saying the power to the house is all messed up. Usually something blows out somewhere and the panel needs to be reset. She said she did that though and still no luck and wanted to me to come check so I headed over there last night. When I got there it just didn’t make sense. I reset everything but some outlets just wouldn’t work, while others did. I was wracking my brain over this one. Long story short, EverSource came down this morning to check something and come to find out a tree across the street broke something on the wire in the wind or some such. Strange how it would only affect certain outlets and not others but whatever they replaced fixed it up. Nice thing is we didn’t need an electrician to come out (and we had called because we thought he would be needed) but it wasn’t so we cancelled. Anyways I stayed at Earth-1 over the night but slept like crap so I may be taking a nap later. My mom also placed a ticket with the city to trim some of the branches of this city tree that apparently caused the damage to the electrical gadgetry.
The story behind the photo: Just looking around Brewster and came across the historic Stony Brook Grist Mill, probably one of the first grist mills ever in America, if not THE first. Herring also swim up the brook in this location and you can easily see them when they come to spawn. It’s a lovely scenic area worthy of checking out.
Been doing some rearranging in the house today. LD’s office is temporarily going to be in the sun room which is a big improvement. Also looked at some ovens today because it’s getting to be time to replace the one that’s there as it’s quickly running out of its useful lifespan and it’s time for an upgrade. One that would match the decor better would also be a nice improvement to the kitchen. Still trying to get the right match (dimensions, etc.) Not easy to get just the right combination of factors all lined up! Would’ve maybe liked to get one on the tax-free weekend but it isn’t happening. It’s got to be right so there looks to be more looking around for the time being. Anyways, the new setup in the sun room is a reason to smile.
I’ve also been following the Tufts Covid dashboard. Interesting.
Gametime: SokoDroid has been keeping me busy lately.
Tonight’s movie watch was Lymelife. Kind of a strange movie, but we kind of dug it! I’m giving it a recommendation if you haven’t seen it.
The story behind the photo: This was taken a few weeks ago down at Hardings Beach in Chatham as the sun was setting. A dowitcher kept running back and forth into and from the surf. I was really trying to capture the movement of the waves, their undulating flow was hypnotic to me in a sense that night.
Got my RealID coming finally. This time I made sure to have all my ducks in a row by having more documents than were needed, just in case. Had to wait over an hour in line because one of the machines apparently broke down, so that sucked (going to a AAA location is still better than the RMV in my opinion), but finally getting the thing is good. Glad that’s over with. Now I’ll be able to enter federal buildings as well as get on a airplane after Sept. 2021, not that I plan on ever possibly doing those things, but good to have just in case. Naturally you have to wear your mask and be socially distant as you wait your turn. I wear glasses when I drive so I had to take the eye test (which is really easy – basically just tests to make sure you’re not blind IMO) but they ask if you wear your glasses while driving which means it needs to be checked. (So I thought to myself, if I didn’t wear glasses I wouldn’t need an eye test? And wouldn’t that actually be worse?)
I took two pictures. I didn’t like how the first one came out and the 2nd one wasn’t too swift either but everyone knows that nobody looks good in these ID photos. Why is that?
Not much to say, just reading, hanging out, taking it easy, playing around with some older photos, a little bit of cooking. Gardening has started to take a back seat as things are starting to end off now.
I kind of like this one. This is a closeup of a painting I saw as I was getting ready to leave the island of Nantucket a few years back. It caught my eye just the way the strokes and dabs made the boats and I love the reflections.
Saw this little guy on a hike a couple of weeks ago and he was singing up a storm. Seemed pretty friendly too! I think it’s a Song Sparrow. Did you know that they learn to sing by imitating their fathers? And that by the time a young male is a few months old, will have formed the basis for his own courtship tune? I believe that is what I was hearing from this little guy!
This morning I went ahead and cooked up a new dish for us to have a little brunch: Charred Tomato and Ricotta, with roasted walnuts, some minced herbs, and topped with a balsamic glaze, all resting on top of toasted sourdough bread. Have to say, it wasn’t bad!
I’m currently reading Motherless Brooklyn. Come to find out LD had it on her bookshelf from way back! I really like it. It’s different then the movie in so far as I love the way it delves into the mind of the main character and his Tourette’s Syndrome. Also the time period is the 1980s whereas the movie is the 1950s. Also, I’ve yet to see the Power Broker in the novel. Perhaps that was only in the movie? Either way, this book is really great, two thumbs up from me. The movie could never solve the most common problem with any adaptation: The internal cannot be made external.
More info later tonight. I’m off to Brighton for an adventure…
Meanwhile here’s a history of the cute little cottages shown above. I’ve shot them before but for this one I decided to go around the back of them, which I think is an angel that is not seen too often (at least I’ve never seen it). All 22 beachfront cottages are 420 square feet, with two bedrooms, a small kitchen, and a living space with windows facing the water. The cottages are numbers 1 – 12 and 14 – 23 along the beach – no unlucky 13 among them. I want to stay in one someday! (although it might be a little cramped!)
I’m back! Took a jaunt over to the New Balance Factory putlet and got a new pair of much needed sneaks.
Looks like I’m going to have to do some yard cleanup around here tomorrow. Some tree limbs are down and I’ll need to chop them up and put them together so the town can take the yard debris in a couple days. Luckily I had spent time earlier securing most of the little things that could blow away. So far, so good. Keeping fingers crossed for the rest of the night. I was getting really nervous when a gust of 75 mph winds came thru and one of the tress in the yard was really swaying but thankfully it didn’t last very long.
Still in a Cape Cod mood so tonight I’m brewing up some Pineapple Coolers. I think the little guy above might approve. Here’s the recipe:
4 cups Pineapple Chunks, chilled
1.5 cups ice
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup rum
Combine all in a blender and blend until smooth. Add more ice for thicker frozen cocktail. More mixture into glasses and garnish with a pineapple round, lime wedge, and sprig of mint.
We got a lot of things today! Got rid of a lot of old books that were on the bookcase in the den and deposited them in a couple of Little Libraries about town, moved the new freezer into the unfinished part of the basement (after cleaning it up and making some room/neater) and other miscellaneous things. Planning to cook some steaks on the grill for tonight’s dinner after which I will imbibe on the Pineapple Coolers.
The story behind the photo: Not sure if I ever posted this one before from a time I explored Monomoy Island off the coast of Chatham. Got really lucky to catch this scene! As the boat neared the spit I happened the catch this instant of a mom and her cub sharing a moment. It didn’t last long for sure. Just after this all these other seals showed up and alit on the spit as well and I’ve uploaded that picture previously. I actually have a lot of pics from that day, but this has to be one of the best, to my mind. I wish I had had a better camera when I took this but it still came out pretty good. Apparently foggy cloudy days might be the best time to see them? I don’t remember if the tide was coming in or out but as I recall this was quite a ways out from shore. I should see if I can dig out the GPS data I took that day.
It was very hot today, the car thermometer read 105 degrees at one point when I needed to run an errand this afternoon. Later in the evening, I spent a good 30-45 minutes watering all the various plants outside in the garden. Keeping up this stuff is a lot of work, but I find it rewarding.
Looks like the little bunny left as I no longer see him around. Sad. I did notice he ate all the Kale that was growing before he left, but I’m okay with that. That little growing body needs lots of Iron! Good luck little guy! Come visit once in a while!
Currently reading a book on Chatham by a native that lived his whole life there into his 80s. So interesting to read about how it looked to him as a boy and the retellings from his father and grandfather, and who related to them the times from their parents and grandparents. Amazing how much a place can change in a hundred years time or so. I bet a lot of it would be unrecognizable to those folks now – not sure if they would approve. I couldn’t add it to my Goodreads because it’s some local publication and isn’t in the database, although it does have an ISBN number.
All this beach time the last few days has made me want to paint a beach scene on a seashell. I will attempt to do that tomorrow. Maybe a coastal scene with a sailboat and lighthouse (if I can even fit that all on there and hope it doesn’t come out looking like ass). We’ll see. Got the idea from seeing some done by somebody on a revisit to the Eddy trail hike we did one more time yesterday, this time at low tide, so I could see the change over the flats. I’d have to say that it had become my favorite hiking trail on the Cape. Amazing how completely different a place can look – very unique place that only exists right there and no where else on the planet.
I want to make some Pineapple Cooler cocktails, I have all the ingredients except for coconut milk. Unrelated, I also need to find a place where I can buy some Chocolate Snakeweed that I want to plant in the garden as it’s a good at attracting pollinators. I’ve been uprooting the milkweed that has a tendency to grow around here but am thinking I might leave them alone this time as their blooms attract Monarch Butterflies supposedly.
I know this is sort of a rambling entry. Just trying to get some ideas down out of my head. Finally I’ve added the Linnell Landing shot at sunset to the store.
Today was another full day. Well, actually slept in for a bit but in the afternoon tooled around Chatham hitting Little Libraries around town. I actually was able to find some good future reading I think, a book on Whitey Bulger and another book written by a Chatham native talking about growing and living there over the decades. Also found an original Winnie the Pooh edition book by Milne which I grabbed for LD. Unfortunately we also learned that one of the eating establishments here had to close due to an employee getting Covid. We had eaten a pizza from there a couple of days ago (take out) but hopefully we’ll be alright. I have no reason to believe that we won’t as I was only in there for a minute and had a mask on and the counter people also did and had gloves etc. and the employee supposedly wasn’t customer facing or handling food so they say. The news mentioned tonight that a bunch of people went to a party a couple of weeks ago, and most of them just happen to work at restaurants in the area. On top of that, although unconfirmed, it may have been one of those Covid parties that kids are having. If that ends up being true then that is truly terrible, putting everyone at risk, and they should all be fired and maybe more. I just don’t get why these kids don’t seem to get the danger of this thing and the fact that they’ll spread it to more vulnerable people.
It looked like rain might be coming in during the late afternoon, but it actually held out as we went down to Skaket and went into the water for a little bit of a swim in the bay. The tide was going out so for quite a ways the water was only up to my knees but that’s okay with me. It was a good time to go since most folks had already left for the day so being socially distant wasn’t any problem.
To wrap up we headed over to Nauset Beach and then Nauset Light. This is actually a famous Cape landmark and is the lighthouse depicted on those Cape Cod chip bags if you didn’t know. I did not know however that it is the most photographed lighthouse on the Cape. I walked around the light trying to get a specific angle that I don’t think most people shoot from – trying for something a little unique.
There were actually a lot of seals playing in the surf here tonight and we watched their heads bop up and down into the water for a while, floating and darting beneath the waves as the sun was setting, bathing the sky in blue and pink colors.
I’ll fill this entry in better later on but today ended up being a pretty full day. Started off the day with a hike in Kenrick Woods. We then spent afternoon in Chatham where I walked the Lighthouse Trail which basically is just along the shoreline (my favorite spot – the water and sand are so pristine and clear! Pictures forthcoming) and then connected up and explored a little bit of Morris Island, where unfortunately LD obtained a pretty big bug bite. Ended the early evening with a trip over to Linnell Landing where I took some more sunset shots.
Back on the Cape now, lunch in Sandwich by the canal, taking sunset photos at Harding’s Beach in Chatham (there was also some kind of modeling shoot going on there with two photogs in a woman in a bikini taking shots in the water, maybe for swimwear modelling?) and take out pizza tonight from a place called The Talkative Pig since we were near the location of that establishment.
This morning we walked the Kenrick Woods for a little bit.