Yes friends, it’s that time of year again. The time when we dig out the tree and begin decorating things. Our tree went up fairly quickly this year and, I think, came out rather well. I also set up the lighted wreath on the door and set the timers for the various lighted things. We also went looking for a bookcase but ended up coming home with a large terra cotta cute-looking penguin, which LD has named Peng. Carson already had his picture taken with it and may end up on this year’s holiday card. I still need to set up the outdoor reindeers and such but I’m going to wait until later in the week when the temperatures are supposed to be better.
I picked up a new book from a little library we passed on the way back from where we found Peng called Automating Inequality. I’ve heard about this thing before where computer algorithms basically make decisions and tend to penalize certain populations. I’ll give it a go and see how it is.
I had a half a day today so was able to get a bunch of stuff done. We got all our turkey fixings for tomorrow at the turkey farm so that’s going to be real good in my stomach tomorrow. Traffic getting down there in the afternoon wasn’t the greatest, but coming back wasn’t bad at all. We actually arrived there at a good time as most people either got there’s already or hadn’t come yet. Right in a sweet spot.
Also it’s National Jukebox Day so here’s another pic of our juke to celebrate. Haven’t played it that much lately, I think the cat is a little bit scared of it, loudness factor and all. But we’ll turn him into a rock and roller yet.
Went back to the wooden walkway and reshot the area again last weekend as this particular day had different lighting than the previous weekend visit, as it was more cloudy whereas last time had a lot of sun. Lighting differently can make some significant differences in appearance for sure. I plan on entering this shot along with 2 older ones to Duxbury for possible inclusion into their town calendar.
I don’t know if anyone else ever plays any of these puzzle games that I enjoy but here’s a new one: Long Haul Space Flight. I need these things to keep my brain going. Now if only I could get better at remembering things.
Guess who swung by this afternoon? That dude that wanted to draw my picture (again, why?) He gave me the drawing and I brought it home. It sort of looks like a mix between a kid’s drawing and some expressionist art, sort of a mix between an Alvar Cawén work and some 5 year old. It does look like me a little bit though? I’d take a picture of it, but it really needs to be seen in person. On the plus side, the canvas is rather large.
Apparently NECN featured another one of my photos, LD saw it flash up on the tv, by strangely this time I didn’t get notified. They do seem to feature my stuff now and again, I guess they like what I’m doing.
I got a golden ticket in the mail to the local BK, scratch off the card and see what you’ve won kind of deal. The big prize was free BK for the year but this kind only entitles me to a free Croissan’wich, which I got in the mail back at the end of October but expires Friday so I got to use it or lose it soon. Wasn’t that one of the most interesting stories you’ve ever heard me relate to you all?
Attitude is a choice.
Happiness is a choice.
Optimism is a choice.
Kindness is a choice.
Giving is a choice.
Respect is a choice.
Whatever choice you make makes you.
It was such a nice day outside today that after my shift I decided to do a lot of yard work, like mowing/mulching the leaves in the front and back lawns, clearing out the sewer out front from leaf debris (could the next door neighbor even attempt to help with that task one year just once for God’s sake?). I decided to store the grill away for the winter and cleared out the patio and rearranged some of the furniture and the outdoor heater to make maximum use of the space. I had moved the heater temporally due to that crazy rain and wind storm we had last week and I didn’t want it to damage anything or get damaged itself. Toward the end of my tasks though I did somehow manage to twist and tweak my knee a little bit. I’m ok but man, it sucks getting older. I even organized the shed a little bit and put some pots away for the spring – still have more of that to do though.
For lunch I headed down to the local deli and got us a sandwich. I then had to get gas for the car and went on a Dunkins’ run. The weather was really great, I wish everyday could have been like today but alas, I hear it’s back to ass cold tomorrow.
For dinner I cooked up some burgers with a French dip sauce and sides of arugula salad and fresh cut potato French fries. After dinner I proceeded to lay down on my heating pad face up, it’s my nightly ritual these days. LD got these great heating pads last year from Sharper Image and it’s awesome. It has a massager function too but that doesn’t work that well, but the heat this thing gives off is amazing. It has a tendency to make me fall asleep actually but it has this nice soft cover over that I just snuggle into and don’t get burned. Also it has some kind of beads or something inside it that heat up that differentiates it from a regular heating pad. Ok, enough plugging on that.
Here’s a pic I took of Faneuil Hall in Boston. Often referred to as “the home of free speech” and the “Cradle of Liberty,” Faneuil Hall hosted America’s first Town Meeting. The Hall’s vital role in revolutionary politics had not been part of its original plans, but it became home to an intricate collection of events that shaped the nation’s history. The 10 foot statue in the foreground is of former mayor Kevin White. I like how this picture turned out overall and I’ve been to the hall many, many times.
Spent most of yesterday at a friend’s house for a pancake breakfast outing on her back deck. As a bonus here boyfriend had a pizzelle iron and made home made pizzelle cookies, which was pretty neat. Then we hung by her firepit and her gazebo until it approached late afternoon. We got home just before nightfall and I ended up watching that Adele special that was on after watching some DVR’d episodes of true crime dramas.
And hey, what do you know, I actually won something for a change. It’s been quite the dry spell until today. I won a gift cert to Assembly Row – gonna head down there sometime this weekend and pick it up. Nice to start winning things again. Let’s hope that kind of luck holds out.
Gametime games that occupied my brain and reflexes for a few: A cute platformer called Sulka (which I finished in about 20 minutes) and a puzzle game called Tres Undos (which for some reason I can’t figure out how to solve level 2 yet).
Visited Duxbury Reservation this afternoon. Then spent some time in Braintree. The reason for the Duxbury visit was to maybe get some photos for an upcoming contest that LD saw advertised and to spend some time outdoors, go for a walk, enjoy the sunshine and get some much needed exercise. At one point I decided to walk under the Powder Point Bridge which we discovered is closed to pedestrians and traffic as it’s apparently been undergoing repairs since mid-August.
LD had some business in Braintree so that was the reason for that visit. I walked around and grabbed some pictures from around the nearby lake (which I may share at a later date). In between the two place visits we hit Gerard’s for a open faced turkey sandwich lunch in Marshfield. We managed to get home just before sunset which was good as a rainstorm was approaching. Didn’t seem to do anything here but did put the Cape on a tornado watch for a few.
I ended up watching some documentary on PBS this early evening about the Boston radio station WBCN – how it started, it’s history, etc. I found it pretty interesting – especially the really early days.
Figured I’d try to give my favorite puffin photo I ever took some more exposure. Would make a great gift for a puffin bird lover – just saying. Support local creators!
I finally got around to digging out the tubers from the garden and bagged them into storage for planting next year. Got to make the most of the weather this week. I even decided to plant some garlic bulbs to go along with the onions I planted last time. We also hung some more icicle lights inside the house – they do provide a nice warm glow to the rooms that they’re hanging in.
Finished watching the 10 weeks of Impeachment: An American Crime Story. I thought it was really well done. The actress who played Coulter was uncanny – like, exact. And yeah, Tripp was one crazy lady. I also finally finished reading about Dewey. It ended up being pretty good after all. I haven’t really read all that much this year – nothing really has caught my eye too much or made me interested enough sadly.
Not anything too exciting to report on lately. I don’t know if it’s the time change or what but I do feel sleepy and it’s only late afternoon as I write this. I did cook some meals, a shrimp dish, a pork dish, and a turkey dish. including a tofu dish. When I make mashed potatoes now I like to add in some mashed parsnips – really does enhance the flavor in my opinion. We did sort of go antiquing for a bit today and went for a walk around Wellesley. Been binge watching season one of The O.C. Anyone remember that show from the early 2000’s? I had never seen it before but LD remembered it. It’s actually not bad – at least this first season. I have a bunch of stuff I want to get done this week and was planning to do a bunch of it today, but I’m not feeling it right now. I need to transplant a tree, maybe bring in some potted plants before they die, deal with the grill, hang up some lights, pull some tubers from the ground, etc. But like I said, I’m just not feeling it at the moment.
Looking down at the ground toward my feet this chilly morning I saw a patch of grass with leaves and frost on it and for some reason I thought it might make for an interesting photo at least, so here are the results of that endeavor. Almost looks like sage in the grass but it couldn’t be that, but does make the photo more compelling I feel. What do you all think about it? Am I out of my mind on this?
Oh boy was it a chilly one this morning. Shock to the system! But I find that if you bundle yourself up properly, it actually isn’t so bad. The photo above is one I took while visiting and staying at the building in the photo in Newport RI. Interesting side note is that the actress Grace Kelly stayed here while filming High Society in the 1950s; the rocky cove she cherished visiting is now named after her. Renowned novelist Thornton Wilder was also a frequent visitor and describes the turret suite as a “magical room” in the autobiographical novel, Theophilus North. I didn’t stay in the turret room (at least not as of yet) but the library suite that I did stay in was really nice. You really can’t go wrong with any of the rooms. I like this location due to it’s rocky shores – makes for great photos I would say.
I ended up finally removing the door screens and replacing them with the glass panes this afternoon. Ah, another sign of the changing seasons. Bummer. I don’t like the cold weather, but that’s New England for you. Instead I would rather relive this scene I captured on Sunday when it was unseasonably warm. I also went ahead and removed the outside hoses and shut off their respective water valves. As it turned out we didn’t really need to water things much this year as we basically got too much rain over the last few months.
Yesterday afternoon we headed out for another beach trip since the weather was so nice, especially after 5 consecutive days of no sun and one of the days producing a nor’easter which produced a lot of wind damage around the area. We took a walk along the shore and came into this rocky outcrop where a bunch of birds like to have lunch apparently as I saw many gulls eating clams and crabs and we saw this little birds scurrying about. I originally thought they were piping plovers because they were white and pretty tiny, but after looking them up in my bird book, it appears they were just little sanderlings. Still pretty cute though!
In the early evening we set up shop in front of the house with candles, the candy we had all placed in goodie bags the day before and a skull on the table while we sat in chairs behind. LD dressed up as a witch and me as a, well, I’m not sure what I was but I did have a boa. There were a bunch of kids, the high point being between 5 and 7 pm. At close to 7 it started to rain with a think may have cut things short a little early but I think it was all pretty much over by then anyway, so it worked out pretty well. A kid who got some candy recognized me from my time being out and about in the neighborhood and gave me some props, which was nice.
This morning LD had an appointment at Faulkner so I tagged along for the hour or so. Afterwards we headed to JP and got some breakfast an Ula café. We hadn’t been there in quite a while. Got it to go and had a nice breakfast! In the late afternoon I decided to mow the lawns – not so much to cut the grass because that wasn’t really necessary but more to suck up and mulch a bunch of the fallen leaves. Fall clean up season is starting up. Finally I used up the last of the propane in the gas grill to cook up some steak tips and marinated chicken for dinner. Stuff we had to use up before it goes bad and all.
Met a new dog on shift today. Her name was Lucy and she is just 4 months old but wants to become a therapy dog when she gets older. You wouldn’t believe the number of times people will walk up to me and just start talking, but it’s cool. I get to meet all these local people and I get to be more social. There’s also this younger woman that comes by and always tries to joke with me (and I’m thinking in my head, uhmmm, okay….)
I had a weird dream last night where I saw my grandparents. I rarely seem to have dreams about them. Anyways in this dream I’m with my grandmother in the house I grew up in and were just hanging out and heading into another room. My grandfather is in the other room, with no shirt on, old, and looking like he was going to hit my grandmother with a stick or something. But he stops himself in time. He looks like I remember him toward the end of his life. He appears to be a little demented which I think he was becoming toward the end of his life. I step into the room and he looks like he’s going to hit me with the stick but in an instant there seems to be some recognition of me as his eyes widen, smiles, and appears to come out of the demented state. Then he falls backwards flat on his back and whacks his head solidly on the floor and looks knocked out. I ask my grandmother if we should do something but she says no, it happens all the time and he’ll be fine, seemingly not really caring in the least. He then gets up like nothing happens and heads over to a table that somehow appeared in the room. I look at him, bare-chested and all and tell him that I am worried about him. He tells me he’s ok and there’s nothing to worry about. I must have placed my eyes downward for a second because when I looked back up at him he was young, like when he was in his early twenties that I had seen in old photographs. I tell him again I’m worried about him but he just smiles, and says everything’s ok and then he starts wise cracking, like I imagine he did when he was that age. I then woke up out of the dream with some tears rolling down my face. What this dream could mean I have no idea, but I felt it was worthy of writing down because it was weird, it was of my grandparents, and it made me feel something. So I want to remember it.
Might add more to this post later tonight.. check back ..
It was crazy windy out there today. Lots of power outages around but we luckily seemed to be unscathed. Out on shift early this morning I could see other workers trying to fix things and get life back to normal. I didn’t notice until later that actually the house across the street had an uprooted tree leaning against it. The afternoon was a lot less windy but more rainy witch made my day somewhat miserable to out in the elements but you have to take the good with the bad, right?
It was kind of scary listening to the wind howl last night while I was lying in bed in the wee hours of the morning. Some of the plant stands outside had tipped over and the cover to the firepit was blown off, but otherwise everything else looked to be fine, seeing as I had made preparations to lock things down.
All my stuff arrived today, the grill cover, the patio cover, my new headset, my gloves. We put the covers on their respective devices since it looks like rain for the next few days. We also got caught up on some gardening chores, like weeding and mulching and planting some more bulbs before the rains come. We also lopped some errant rose bush leaves that had been extending out into the driveway. LD also got a flu shot this afternoon. Also I was pretty proud of myself tonight with the dinner I concocted: Roasted chicken with a rosemary gravy long with sides of roasted broccoli, mashed potatoes, and a cranberry and apple chutney.
What do you think about my big pencil? It’s quite the handful, believe you me.
One neat thing I did around the house yesterday afternoon was to hang a thing to put our keys on by the door. It had these indentations on the back on where you would put the screws in the wall. I learned a new trick how to hang things like this. You get a piece of tape and stick it to the back of what you want to hang and mark on the tape the locations of where the screwheads or whatever would go and mark them on the tape. Then remove the tape from the object and stick it to the wall where you want to hang the item. Drill your holes where you placed the marks on the tape. Then remove the tape and hang your item. So much easier than having to measure out and keep trying to look behind the thing.
As I was finishing up my shift today, a gentleman wearing a hat pulled over and came over to me and stated that he was an artist and drew various people around town. He even showed me some of his work. I suppose they were ok, but this guy was no Picasso. Anyways he asked if he could take my picture so that he could draw me, I guess, I mean I am rather adorable and cute, right? I obliged and let him take his shots. We’ll see what comes out of this one. I would have never believed all the weird stuff that I see these days out in the field.
I spent the afternoon assembling the patio heater out in the back yard. The directions said it should take an hour or so but it took me a little while longer. Although I was initially hesitant about assembling it after seeing all the various parts and hardwire, once I got down to brass tacks and started working my way through the instructions, it actually wasn’t so bad. All that’s left to do now is attach the propane and give her a test run. I’ll attempt to get that done tomorrow between shifts. The whole thing itself is actually quite tall at around 87.5 inches. Then I went ahead and mowed the back yard, giving me another ~6,000 steps according to my Fitbit, so it’s a bit of a workout.
I went ahead and added two more of my designs over at the shop. One recent, the other a little bit older. Check those out if you are interested.
Anyways it ended up being a rather productive day for myself.
Last night I made a shrimp and white bean sauté and tonight I made some pan roasted cod. On a seafood kick this week.
Spent the long weekend in Lavalette, NJ in a very cute beach house only steps from the ocean, so that was pretty amazing. The weather was a little rainy off and on, but mostly off, just windy and cloudy. It made for some pretty spectacular waves. I don’t know if the waves are like that there all the time, but like I said, it was pretty wild to watch the height and power of them. Another thing I like about Lavalette is that everything is right there. The main boulevard is right there and there’s lots of options, which is why Lavalette has quickly become my 2nd favorite place in Jersey now (Cape May being Number 1). The weekend didn’t go entirely as was planned but we made the best of it and we really enjoyed ourselves. I would definitely stay there again. (You can see some of the sights on my Insta stories before they disappear).
While I was there I also was able to pick up a new book to read from a little library that was located at a local coffeehouse that we checked out. The place was Lava Java, and the book is Dewey: The Small Town Library Cat Who Changed the World. We’ll see how the book is but the coffee place was pretty good. We also frequented a place called Lenny’s for take out dinners. Have to say their pasta dinners were really good. So plugs out to those places – check them out if you’re ever down there. Also got to watch some Netflix while we were there in the evenings, a thing on Britney, some killer documentaries, and something about LSD and the stories from celebrities who’ve done it from time to time.
Meanwhile back at the home front I need to start assembling that patio heater this week, and fill up the propane for the outside grill.
Smile! The heater and tank have arrived for the patio finally! I’ll start assembling it after the long weekend. In between I’ve been doing a bunch of errands and other little things that had to happen, visiting HQ, the bank, working my shift etc. For some reason PayPal decided to gift me 5 bucks. Not sure why but I’ll take it.
I’m a little concerned about our pine tree out back, as he appears to be browning its needles. I think it’s probably due to all the wet weather we had this season. Hopefully things will dry out and he’ll be able to survive. He does appear to be growing new things at the nodes and he did produce a new pinecone, so fingers crossed.