The latest updates: Here’s a little field mouse we saw while checking out some plants yesterday afternoon. LD ended getting up a Dwarf Hummingbird Mint plant. We swung by the plant place after checking out some mail from her PP office. LD also finally got a new phone, same Samsung S20 FE. That phone really is great value for the money. She’ll like it. The big news of the day is my sister might have cancer of the uterus. Biopsy appointment in a couple weeks to see whatever next steps might be. My mom is still waiting for her results from the lump on her neck. When it rains it pours, as they say. I’m not even sure I should be mentioning those things on here. Just some more items to add onto the worry pile of my life. To keep my mind off things I’m still playing that Headlong Hunt game. I’ve somehow made it to level 35 of 37. Maddeningly good puzzles and provides me with a respite. The creator did a good job on the quality of the puzzles. Just hard enough. I took my car down to my Earth-1 mechanic for an overdue oil change and while there it appears I’ll be needing new brakes soon, so I made an appointment to get that done next Tuesday morning. Ended the day by watching 20/20 and cooking dinner.
A weird thing happened with the new tv yesterday. It appeared to lose the HDMI connection for no apparent reason. Eventually I was able to get it working again by reinserting the cable and reinitializing the setup for the FIOS. Also it strangely seemed like my phone would turn the cable box off even though I wasn’t using the phone. Something I’ll be keeping tabs on moving forward, otherwise everything else has been great so far. I’ve even got my YouTube subs and Tubi and Samsung accounts going. Still need to get Amazon Prime video and HBO Max up, just need to get the deets from LD. This stuff is probably old hat to most people but we were pretty late jumping into the smart tv bandwagon. It is nice to have all these other options besides just regular cable.
LD’s old boss invited us down to RI to see her new house so that’s what going on this afternoon. It’s close to Narragansett so I’m expected to intake some great sea air and grab some lunch by the water.
Here’s a shot from our walk the other day along what’s now called the Nauset Marsh Trail, a 1.3 mile loop essentially that crosses a salt pond (not too ponds around that contain salt water, right?) and passes through a salt marsh, then meanders into a forest of cedar trees and bayberry. We did get bit a couple of times by bugs here but overall it wasn’t too bad. These photos I take never tell you of the bugs!
Back on the home front I harvested more lettuce as somehow it all grew back real quick since I picked it last time just under a week and a half ago. The little rain we have had up here has made the rear lawn rather unkempt so I plan to mow that down tomorrow and do some neatening up in general. I’ll check on all the various gardens we have as well and see what’s next to pop.
Here’s a couple of pics from our little getaway at the cottage. I’ll post more as the days go on. The lighthouse shot was from when we both got up at 4:30 am to catch the sunrise over the cliff across the street. I haven’t processed those pix yet but while we were there we saw the cutest bunnies and actually a toad in the yard (I haven’t seen a toad in the wild in many years, and especially not in a yard!) It was a relaxing little trip and the cottage was just so cute, will definitely stay there again. LD twisted her ankle on the beach (a little tweak) so we had to turn the activities down a little bit but since this trip was all about relaxing it wasn’t a big deal. One place we discovered for meals is a place called Mac’s. Very impressed, probably will be our main go to moving forward and of course as always, we visited the Chocolate Sparrow every day. Before leaving we hiked around the Great Salt Pond which travels through salt marsh and into cedar forests. Later in the day we spotted a young coyote in the marsh grasses over at First Encounter Beach. Basically we didn’t want to leave but we were starting to miss Carson a bit (I know I was) and I think he missed us too. So it’s nice to be back but it was nice to get away too. We will return!
Can’t wait to return to one of our happy places in a few days. To help in my cooking endeavors I purchased a new Calphelon pot, this morning and now that’s a true sign of adulting. I also got around and purchased a new smart tv, not just for the upgraded picture and options, but also so I could stream from my phone or PC directly to it, in true nerd geek fashion. I spent the afternoon setting that up after giving the front lawn a good mow. There’s still some things I need to get running like the voice stuff, using my cell to operate it and select apps, but the basic functionality is good to go.
I was surprised to see the first set of day lilies we planted from the garden lady are starting to bud for blooms. She said that wouldn’t happen until next year. Then again, they are hardy little fellows so I’m not totally surprised. I’ll be interested to see what color they are. I figured they’d just be the boring orange ones but the lady said no, so we’ll see.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that Boston Fox 25 News Station shared the above photo from my Instagram feed. The picture is actually from last summer but I felt like posting something. Boston is supposed to hit close to 90 degrees F today so a dip in that water might be nice right about now. Instead, I’m preparing for my mom’s surgery tomorrow. I took her down to the testing site on Friday and got that all done with. Just the formalities. Later in the day checking over the garden I saw some irises and a species of columbine began blooming. When it’s hot like this watering everything gets to be a bit of a chore, especially with all the stuff we have, but it’s worth it to see everything do well and explode with color everywhere. Speaking of everywhere, there’s pollen everywhere and all over everything. I have been seeing Shiloh all over the yard as well. He is so cute, but he’s getting a little bit bigger and bigger by the day.
My new set of USB-C to USB-A cables arrived yesterday all of varying lengths, along with some USB-C to USB-B adapters and a portable battery that can charge the phone either through the cable or wirelessly by plopping the phone on top of it, which I’m finding really cool. I may still buy a MicroSDXC storage card as the phone only comes with the onboard storage but I can add up to 1TB more. The 1TB is pretty expensive right now but the 512GB isn’t too bad. I can wait a bit longer on that, let the prices go down over time. Might be a good birthday gift for me though (my BD isn’t until August).
The story behind the photo: All 22 beachfront cottages are 420 square feet, all similar, 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!) Each cottage also a name, an individual identity, named after 23 different flowers, one for each cottage. I’m not in the area that often but the last time I was I decided to go around the back and that’s where this shot was taken from. I like how the houses seem to go to infinity in this short, almost like a fractal, or a recursive routine!
Here’s a shot from the backyard of what I call the Bunny Family. Could that possibly be Shiloh on the left, and either Mom or Dad on the right? Also, this was before I cleaned up and mowed the back lawn although it seems these rabbits seem to like it in this condition.
Decided the grill up some steaks tonight. Here’s me trying to be the Grillmaster.
Another ‘quick’ shot from the Nauset Light taken a few weeks ago from our little getaway. This was taken as I was coming out of some paths along the shore directly across from this vantage point. This lighthouse is actually very accessible which is nice. I think the brown vegetation also gives this shot kind of a daunting-like vibe. I would be interested in hearing your own thoughts on this, if any of you would care to share. I also posted this photo to a lighthouse lovers facebook group that I frequent and some guy there said he wanted to digitally paint this and send me a copy so I said sure, that would be great. So we’ll see – kinda awesome that I inspired someone to create something off of my own work – that’s pretty cool.
The knuckles on the back of my right hand are all red and dry, almost raw, probably from all the hand washing. One thing I’ve also noticed is that the tips of my fingers seem super sensitive to heat, so like picking up hot things while cooking, like more so then usual. Should I be concerned?
I set aside some time this morning to assemble a new pet carrier for Carson. He has a vet appointment at the end of next week and the carriers we currently have seem to small and just old. Time for an upgrade. I’m apprehensive about how we will get him in there next week as he screams bloody murder if you try to pick him up and he gets panicky scared (we learned this last year), I suspect he has some trauma from wherever he was before to being placed in the shelter where we found him. Poor little guy. Last time he was so scared he literally pooped himself in the old carrier. But it’ll have to be done as he’s due for his yearly checkup.
The condo building next door drama over at Earth-1 continues. The main focal point is the removal of a fence that separates the two properties from each other. As it is now there’s no fence plus they destroyed some of the grass on our property. When last speaking to the fence people over there they said it was only going to go halfway. That would still allow people or animals to go from the community path, behind this new condo, and onto our property unhindered. That was a no go for us. After calls to the city, it seems we may have gotten them to see the light as now we’re told a fence will go all the way across the properties (as it should) and the grass would be replaced. This is due to take place this Saturday afternoon. Hopefully it’ll be acceptable. This condo to begin with is ridiculous. First of all I think it’s too tall (so goodbye sunlight) and from what I can tell the units are very small. Not sure who would pop on this for the money they’re asking for, but I suppose someone will.
Gametime: Been puzzling over Boolean Bloom. I’m currently stuck on Level 8. I mentioned this before, but I love these kind of puzzles to solve.
What a strange weather day. Sun, then snow, then sun and snow at the same time. But that’s not what the photo above is all about. No, that’s from our beach excursion down the Cape almost two weeks ago (has it been that long already???) Like I mentioned before, it was very blustery cold but look at what we saw! Totally worth it. I must say the Cape is one of my favorite places to shoot – there’s just so much beauty there.
Been going through some plant catalogs – trying the decide what to try our hands at this season. Earlier in the day we dropped off some vegetables and fruits for the sanctuary animals. We’ve done it a few times now. A nice contribution.
Ended up getting take out for dinner tonight. Hadn’t done that in a while.
Gametime: Irrlicht Apprentice. Fun little game that took me a couple hours off and on to complete.
Took my mom to her appointment to talk with the surgeon regarding her hand troubles and the results from that test she had done in Malden a week ago. Decided to get the Carpel Tunnel Bilateral surgery – both hands – one on May 3rd, the second on the 17th, so I’ll be nervous on those days. Have to get up really early too because it’s scheduled for 6 am both times down in Cambridge. She also needs to get a Covid test a few days before each even though she’s been fully vaccinated – procedure and all. While she was in there getting all her details I took a walk around Assembly down by the river and over past the old boat club on the Mystic just trying to waste time. – but I found it a little boring. Tried taking some cell shots but nothing really caught my eye – you know me! It’s got to be just right!
After that was all done pretty much just hung around for the afternoon enjoying the unseasonably warm day today. Hit Porter Square briefly to run an errand and took a trip through my old haunt, Davis, just to see what it looked it, Seems some places were already building outdoor dining spaces in anticipation of the spring season. Needless to say it doesn’t make driving through there any more enjoyable than it ever was. Came back to Earth-2 just before the setting sun – traffic kind of sucked on the way back, took double the time it usually takes – reminding me of a time when we all commuted and realized how much time we actually lost waiting in that crap. I suppose we’ll eventually get back to that somewhat anyways but I’m not looking forward to it.
I bought some flowers the other day for the vase on the counter (and LD). We like to look at them and I felt the room needed a pop of color. Until we can start growing our own I might do this a few more times as the old ones fade.
I think NECN might use this picture in this entry that was taken by me last week down on the Cape. Usually when they feature me on their Insta I sometimes see it on the television. I’m grateful that folks think my pictures of worth of being featured! This was taken on LD’s birthday when we went down to Skaket to catch the sunset. The picture doesn’t really do that day justice – it had one of the most spectacular sunsets I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot of sunsets! I also saw this dog playing in the water so I thought that might make a good focal point. It truly was a beautiful sunset but it was so blustery cold that day, but we stuck it out and were rewarded. Of course afterwards LD pretty much had to lie in front of the fireplace for a couple of hours to warm up. Must still be working on getting her New England hardiness up. 🙂 It was cool to see snow on the beach with the sand too.
Lastly, a late addition, I found some information on that grave I saw in Malden a few weeks ago about that man that lived to 92 years of age during the 1600s, which I thought was pretty amazing. I read about who he was and his life here. Addtionally, when Ralph Shepard was born on 3 June 1603, in Limehouse St Anne, Middlesex, England, his father, Isaac M Shepard, was 32 and his mother, Jonie Hardman, was 19. He married Thankslord Perkins on 21 May 1632, in London, England. They were the parents of at least 5 sons and 3 daughters. He lived in Rehoboth, Bristol, Massachusetts Bay Colony, British Colonial America in 1644 and Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts Bay Colony, British Colonial America in 1666. He died on 20 August 1693, in Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts Bay Colony, British Colonial America, at the age of 90, and was buried in Bell Rock Cemetery, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts Bay Colony, British Colonial America.
Thankslord is a woman’s name you just don’t see anymore.
The story behind the photo: I’ve always likes this particular location, mostly because it’s an angle of the Nauset Light that I don’t think is photographed to often if at all. This particular spot is a bit out of the main public’s way so I think that might be why but I really like having the gate in front showing like this. I’ve shot this location before last summer but I thought maybe I’d revisit it now just to see how it looks at this time of year. This shot actually features a neighbor’s gate belonging to a rental property next door, which might be a really cool place to stay for a bit – been looking into it, although I wonder if having the lighthouse beacon spin around all night would be annoying? Guess it depends where the beds are set up – either way it would still be a cool place to stay and it’s real close to the water, plus it looks cute and surprisingly not expensive. I posted this shot to my Instagram account and the actual owners of the property commented that they liked and appreciated the shot and started following me!
Had a fun outing this afternoon! Good times – was nice to get a little social interaction for a change and seeing folks I hadn’t seen in a long time.
Back from a one night overstay on the Cape at a place LD researched incessantly and felt safe at in Brewster, which it was – need to put this on our places of locations that we like and will go back to. Had lunch take out from the Dan’l Webster in Sandwich first before arriving (not the first choice but it worked out). Saw an amazing sunset at Skaket although the wind chill was killer, but so worth it. Have a lot of shots to go through still. Relaxing night after by the fireplace. Hot Chocs from the Sparrow. Next day breakfast take out from the Hole in One which I brought back to the suite. Nauset Beach in the afternoon scoping more photo spots and shots and hiking the Eddy Trail again to the cliffs. Photos to come.
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.