I got some really great gifts this year – the big prize was this giant bean bag that I can lay in (like, my whole body fits inside it – it’s so large). Takes up a good chunk of the room which might be problematic but who cares! Also got some needed clothing, a wonderful photobook of our adventures from 2020 utilizing a lot of the personal photos from the year, a Carson mousepad and a heating pad and bear slippers. The last two I’ve been using for a while already because I got to open those early! The best was watching Carson open his gifts!
For lunch I went ahead and made and prepared some Cranberry Chicken and Herby Pan Stuffing. I’ve discovered that I think shallots are way better than onions. Will do a frozen pizza in the oven tonight.
I had to pick up one of the lighted reindeers out front. The winds knocked him over but overall, the wind didn’t seem to be that big a deal and that was a good thing. It was the only thing that fell out of place.
Today’s movie watch was Elf. (A movie I’ve actually never seen until now), can you believe it?) Last night was National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
Stupid embeds on Instagram don’t work anymore because they changed the API (thanks again Facebook for screwing more things up) so you’ll just need to click this link and watch to see some of my work that made the local news:
Did a little yard work this morning – finishing cleaning up the last of the fallen oak leaves from the yard and by the gutter spouts and other areas such as the patio where they clump up that had been bugging me over the last couple of days. Thankfully this should be the last of it as most of trees back here look pretty bare now. Also did some generous watering of the baby sourwood and pine trees. Really want those to do well. Maybe it’s me but I think the pine is actually growing already, it definitely has little pine cones starting to grow out of it in various places. You need to give them 10-15 gallons of water daily ideally which is a lot but I’m doing what I can. I also planted a garlic clove in a pot in the house just for fun and it’s already got two green sprouts shooting up from the dirt. This one is more of just a fun experiment for myself just to see it grow.
We hit Rexhame Beach in the early afternoon for some exercise, sun and nature time, especially since today is the last nice warmish day especially this late into November. It’s also the best beach for it’s selection of colorful and special looking rocks, at least in my opinion. It’s where I found my heart rock – a one in a billion find if you ask me and I feel very lucky to have found it. It currently sits on the windowsill next to a table where I do my web work.
We collected a bunch more rocks for our collections – a colorful selection of geology to adorn the windowsills.
Finally it was off to cook a turkey – we had defrosted it a little too early and today was the last day it would keep until cooking and so in it went. I basted it every 45 minutes until the bird was done. I think we did a pretty good job, not everyday we cook a whole bird. Needless to say we’ll be eating turkey all week and making various meals out of it. So we’re a little early, NBD!
The story behind the photo: There’s this cemetery just along the Somerville/Arlington line that has these amazing groves of trees that turn red in the fall and I love to photograph there when that happens and so I did and so here’s the result. Also I posted yesterday’s photo of leaves strewn about the Somerville bike path to the Davis Square group on FB and it’s getting a lot of love over there so that makes me feel pretty good. (available).
Things on the the to-do list today:
Went to Home Depot and got some different knobs for the kitchen cabinets. Got singles of three different kinds just to see how they look. I also picked up some kindling and some firewood for the pit even though we have a bunch, just to have on-hand.
Went to CVS to get my mom a birthday card and some Zyrtec for LD. It took me a while to find it as this particular CVS is in the process of rearranging all the aisles in the store (AGAIN!) and so everything is all in different places.
Set up LD’s printer scanner to finally be able to scan documents and wirelessly transmit the output to a shared Windows drive on the laptop.
Take out the goat yoga mats from Wednesday and clean them up (started the process, need to finish that up tomorrow).
Spent a little time at the sanctuary to see if I could get any foliage shots and see the animals. Didn’t have much goat time but did see a lot of chickens and our friend Devon was there too to chat with. She volunteers there all the time and is pretty knowledgeable about all the animals that live there. For some reason the turkey was pretty feisty today and kept following and squabbling at LD the whole time.
I didn’t have a chance yet to set up the Amazon Echo Dot that LD picked up on Prime Day. It remains to be seen if we end up actually using it or giving it to a relative. Not really into Alexa listening to everything but what can you do? I also still need to hang some new curtain rods that have been laying around for about a week now. Try to get to that tomorrow as well.
I had the weirdest dream last night. I was sitting on a couch with a few other people that I believe were all elementary and high school friends from the neighborhood. Alex and Eddie Van Halen were also on the couch with us and it was like we all grew up with them as they were our school buddies as well. I was on one end of the couch and Eddie was on the other end with two of our friends between us and Alex in the middle. It also seemed like we known them all our lives and that they actually lived with my family in my house as we were growing up. At some point in the dream I was next to Alex and he was telling some story but he was spraying it as he was talking I could feel the droplets fall all over my face and then I was trying to hold my breath and fearing I would get COVID and then I woke up. Told you it was a weird dream.
For dinner I cooked up some Bruschetta Zucchini boats with couscous and Melted Italian Cheeses. You cut the zucs in half and gut the insides so it’s like a boat, roast them, them stuff them with the completed couscous, bruschetta and cheese and then broil it so the cheese melts all over it, Have to say, it was pretty delicious and simple to prepare.
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!
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.
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.
Here’s a fun little game I discovered called Alice. It took me a little bit to solve all the puzzles but they weren’t too bad.
Also, here’s a cooking tip which you might know already: when you’re done roasting some carrots put lemon zest and some juice from a lemon right on top of them as they come out of the oven – the flavor of the carrot and the lemon, I find, go really good together. Now I’m not much of a carrot eater so this was a new discovery for me anyway but if you’ve never done it – give it a shot next time.
Does anyone else’s CNN channel freeze up every so often for a couple of seconds? Seems to be the only station that does it. Pretty annoying.
Visited a Little Library down in JP while doing an appointment and happened to pick up some new books for my reading agenda. Not sure how engaged I will be or if I like them or not but I’m giving them a chance:
Einstein’s Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists by Prof. Richard Wolfson (Cosmic!)
Meanwhile I’m still getting through The Power Broker. Funny how times change – back then, expressways and thruways were all the rage whereas now they are seem as a detriment. It all depends on the time you live in I suppose. Values change.
Also had breakfast at a place called Ula which was pretty good and a hip sort of a place.
Gametime! Currently playing Tasty Jewel. It’s one of those match-3 type games but gets really interesting in the later levels.
I bought a new mailbox to replace the one out front. The door has rusted off it’s hinges and although I could repair it I think it’ll be nice to have a new one. I plan on installing it tomorrow.
I was somewhat saddened to hear that the No Name Restaurant in Boston had closed down after being in business for over 100 years. I had been there a couple of times over the years, but truth be told, I always did find it really hard to get to. Once you got to the area, it literally was on a working pier in the Seaport. They actually did get their seafood directly from down the pier, only a few feet from the place.
I do have one story from there though. I remember going there, don’t remember with who – probably my family, and we were seated next to this woman who had a doll with her which she placed in her own chair at the table and would order for the doll. I think she was a regular and would always order for the doll, even though the doll never took a bite of any of its food. One time the lady’s (what I assume was her) boyfriend arrived and he went along with it all. Strange thing was they arrived separately and left separately too. I always wondered if she lost a child before and used the doll as a replacement. Anyways, that’s my No Name story.
What am I thankful for? It’s pretty simple really.
Each day I am thankful for nights that turned into mornings, friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality and likes that turned into love. May you all have a wonderful time this Thanksgiving, with friends and family. Enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving Day!
Went to the Sanctuary today. Goats hung out with us which was fun. Sadly, the cat we had thoughts of adopting from there was adopted by someone else a few days ago. Maybe it’s for the best at this time though.
Afterwards hit up visit to Trader Joe’s in Foxborough (by where the Pats play) to get some groceries for the week. We’ve already cooked up some mushroom pizzas, ricotta bake, and some mustard glazed chicken.
What else? Watched the end of the Celtics game, flipping between that and Law & Order reruns on We TV. A typical low-key Sunday.
The above picture is one I took along Commonwealth Avenue in Boston a little while back. I always found the look of these two buildings rather cool. Come to find out, the “sisters” have an interesting back story! I still learn something new everyday!
This shot of the lighthouse at Castle Hill in Newport, RI was from a getaway we had a few years ago. I’m putting it up now because I’ve planned another getaway coming up! It’s my usual appreciation getaway that I plan every year although this year it had to be postponed a couple of months due to other factors. This new one will be in a new location that I’ve never been so I’m looking forward to see how it all pans out.
Late this afternoon we went and saw Motherless Brooklyn, a movie starring and directed by Edward Norton – it was pretty good, and featured some big name actors like William DeFoe, Alec Baldwin, and Bruce Willis among others. I’d recommend it if you’re in the mood for a detective story and like some 1950s New York film noir. I had seen the previews and it looked interesting so I said let’s give it a go.
Earlier in the day we had created three dishes as part of lunch/dinner for tonight and also food-prep for the week (the usual routine):
Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash
Baked Scallops with a Parmesan crust; and
Turkey Spaghetti Squash Bake in peppers
The last one was to recreate with a different middle than the mac&cheese we went with last year around this time:
This morning I went to Home Depot to buy some more leaf bags and later raked up some more leaves. Good day to do some work around the house actually. Also been measuring the downstairs windows because we’re going with the same kinds of blinds that we have upstairs now – the Cordless Cellular Shades that are all the rage now. The windows down here are a lot larger so it’s more expensive but it’ll be worth it.
It’s not all fun and games though. Turning back the clock has made this day seem much longer which is great – but getting dark early is a bummer. I worry about LD, my mom, and a bunch of other things too as well these days.
Some friends of ours are opening a gym, so to celebrate them we created these “barbell” appetizers where the weights consist of different fruits for last night’s get together. We also ended up playing some games, including Scattergories (which is fun but hard, although I did learn from tricks from LD’s friend who visited a while back) and something they brought over called Mexican Train which uses dominoes (and I didn’t care for).
Our pumpkin, loving called Sean Connery Jr. because the seeds we planted were from a pumpkin I got the seeds from last year (obtained from same friends mentioned above) and they had named Sean Connery. (The reason why it was named that is a long story that goes back to a previous party outing with them).
We dropped off a bunch of books we had lying around from little libraries and deposited them at a bunch of different little libraries. While there I picked up two new books to read: The Golden King: The World of Tutankhamun (which I know a lot about already as I’m a big ancient Egypt buff – but I do find this book a great introduction to the Boy King) and Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America. Looks interesting so I’ll give it a read and it seems topical to what’s been going on in the news recently.
Well, I jumped on the bandwagon for this one and this afternoon partook in the trying out of an Impossible Whopper at Burger King. I had heard of this thing for about a week now so I was curious to try it myself and see just how it is. And you know what? I actually liked it. It tasted just like a regular whopper to me. It is more expensive and the patty is plant based meat substitute. So I give it a thumbs up. I would get it again.
Sean the Pumpkin Vine is really starting get long – will we get a real pumpkin out of it? Fingers crossed! We did get the flowers already. Also been watching the 90210 reboot. It’s actually not really a reboot, but a story of the actors from the show getting together to do a reboot of the show. Pretty Meta – it’s actually not bad, I find I’m kinda digging it. I never saw the originals anyway.
Got a new puzzle game to rack my brain on: Landfill. I like it, but I do find it challenging.
Hmmm… one thing I’ve noticed with this template is that comments aren’t on the main page posts but inside each individual one, which means if one wanted to leave a comment, they need to click on the title text and then from there a comment can be entered. Not so sure if I like that, but I get so few comments anyway it probably doesn’t matter.
It’s really hot today, so pretty much laying low and reading. I’m finally getting into The Last Days of Dogtown. Sort of interesting, but I wonder if these characters are actually going anywhere. I’m halfway through so far., but I am finding it intriguing. We did get a much needed massage earlier, so that felt good and relaxing. I stopped by my mom’s early this morning. The condo being constructed on the right side has carpenters banging away as they’re putting up floors and walls. The soon-to-be condo on the left side however now has a Stop Work notice on the front door – guess someone needs some permits. The house appears to be gutted but I don’t think it’s going to be a total teardown – more like an expansion of what’s currently there. Also, my sister seems to be putting my mom through hell with her attitude, stupid current boyfriend issues, and disregard for authority.
Since it was so hot today we opted to keep it easy and light and create a summer salad. Basically just throwing the following ingredients together: Spinach, chopped nectarines, chopped watermelon (a little one bought at the Cape but not used til now), shrimp (leftover), feta cheese, some pretzel balls, cut up grapes, avocado, and some blueberries topped with a balsamic dressing. It was actually as delicious as it sounds. After eating I must have spent a half hour watering all the various plants we have – but it’s a labor of love!
Finally on the Cape for a week to start a week of summer vacation – it’s been a long time in coming, believe me. The day started off with tying up some work items, taking LD to a chiro appointment, and doing some other quick errands, but then we were off!
The first stop which we like to do is grab lunch in Sandwich at a place called Fisherman’s View – which sits right along the Cape Cod Canal.
I had the beer batted cod sandwich which was very good and LD had a lobster knuckle sandwich which looked and tasted amazing. I give that place two thumbs up – food’s great and has some spectacular views. Like I said, it sits along the canal and abuts the Sandwich Marina and park, which the town did a wonderful job of making look pretty sweet. Worth a visit if you’re ever down that way – it’s also not far from the Dan’l Webster, so if you’re familiar with that part of town you’re almost there.
After a bit more driving we arrived at out destination for the week. It’s in the same complex that we go to almost every year, but this time around we had to choose a different unit due to a friend wanting the use the main unit (long story). We’ve never been over on this side of the complex, but I find that I actually like it – it’s more secluded and it’s actually very cute! So, pleasantly surprised on that note. It also seems a little bigger but that could just be the way it’s laid out.
We decided to hit the grocery store up to get some food, but honestly, mostly snacks for the week. Once that was done we decided to catch some sunset down over by Paine’s Creek – a very scenic spot if you ask me – I got some great shots from there last year as well. However, it was very buggy so I didn’t stay out there too too long. I think I got some good shots though considering. Also, there was a looming cloud blocking the sun a bit toward the end so that made ending a little early a simple decision. However, we weren’t totally done yet – we headed over to Nauset Beach (on the ocean side) as night was approaching to listen to some crashing waves in the darkness. We wrapped it up with a trip to the Chocolate Sparrow and downed some delicious hot chocolates. All in all, a great day for day number one!
Appetizers from today’s lunching excursion. I wanted the large pretzel and the Ladydoc wanted the Shrimp Cocktail. Of course we shared from each others and then proceeded to enjoy our entrées. We wanted to have lunch by the water, so some early thoughts were maybe Gloucester or Scituate, but we thought the traffic may be problematic, so we settled on Quincy. Seems like it was the right decision to me!
I noticed this morning that the first “fire lily” finally opened, after budding for about a week. We planted these, oh it must have been, about 3 or more years ago. I don’t think when we first planted them what they would exactly turn out to be, but to say we are pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. Surrounded by the pale blue hydrangeas as a background also provides a nice touch, although to be honest, that was purely coincidence. Now I’m just waiting for the Star Gazer lilies to bloom out back.
We are finding out that redecorating is a lot of freaking work. I’m leaving most of that to the Ladydoc. Figuring out the rug and placement (it was a sight watching me carry a 10′ rolled up rug throughout the Home Depot I am sure, like a fireman carrying a hose to the fire), and figuring out what artworks and photos to hang. It’s currently sitting rolled up in the sitting room until we can get the rug pad (who knew we needed that?) I’m learning that there’s actually I don’t know about basic home decorating. I suppose it’s just a topic that I never really explored before, or maybe even cared about.
Just finished mowing the lawn (front and back) in between bouts of rainfall (it’s the kind of day that really annoys me, either rain or stay sunny, not this off and on bullcrap). Also dug out the edger and went to town with that too. Now I’m a sweaty mess so I’ll be headed for the shower soon. Just sitting here I can feel the beads of sweat trickle down my head and sides. I was hoping to maybe fire up the grill this afternoon but the skies are getting darker now so I may need to put that on hold until another day. In the meantime I finished Invisible Man (to be honest, I found it to be bit outside my understanding) but am looking forward to starting my next read, The Collected Schizophrenias. We actually know a woman who’s son appears to have this condition so it might be educational for me to learn about it a bit more.
Today’s also the 2nd year anniversary of Angel’s passing (a cat that was really special to us). I’ve written about her before but with the redesign of the site and starting over I’ll have to dig it up and repost and update it at another time. I want to mention that she and her brother are always and will always be in our hearts.
Later in the afternoon, after discovering this little guy in one of the raised boxes, we set about to make dinner for tonight. Earlier I had done up a tofu with pepper, zucchini and spinach dish for LDs lunches, but for tonight’s dinner it was some scallops and salmon done over with some Romano cheese, so as to be slightly cassarole-ish, and then with a side of sauteed broccoli. Not bad.
Today was somewhat of a typical Sunday, finished reading a book I’ve been cranking on (I love reading out back under this patio umbrella I got at Xmas Tree Shop), wrapped up some text on the proposal, pulled out the grill for future summer cooking, and spent some time down at the Sanctuary (Ladydoc has to get her goat brushing time in!). It really is a peaceful place. We managed to hit a Little Library on the way back to return some read books. Crap shoot on what you’ll find – I might read Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. I remember having to read it in high school but that was long ago, back then I didn’t want to read, and I retained practically nothing of it, so it might be good to reacquaint myself. I grabbed it anyways just in case.
One of our Sunday routines these days is the food prep for the week. I actually don’t mind doing the chopping and slicing of all the vegetables and fruits and such. Tonight we made salmon on top of a bed of lettuce from the garden, along with pieces of peach, watermelon, cucumber, tomato, and roasted corn with a balsamic glaze. Pretty easy to make actually, which I put together while also making LD’s go to dish of tofu with red peppers, zucchini and spinach for her lunches. Then after eating I had to go water all the plants, which actually takes quite a bit of time to give them all the attention they require. What can I say? I do it all! (not really). LD supervised while watching endless repeats of Beverly Hills 90210.
I feel Sundays these days pretty much move too fast. Before you know it it’s 8:53 pm and we’ll have to start getting ready for bed in order to get up early enough on Monday so as not to be late and let the realization set in that another week is on the horizon. When you feel the dread of this thought, is when the ‘Sunday Scaries’ set in. I used to get those all the time – then I got comfortable in my place and projects and it wasn’t bad for me. I think that’s why winning this proposal would be so important for me – it would give me a sense of security and allow me to continue to be my own boss. Losing it would mean having to find other stuff to do which possibly might not make me happy. I’ve come to realize I can’t really control what the future holds, so I’ll just do the best I can, put one foot before the other, say a little prayer, and get on with come what may. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself now.
Ugh… good night but probably drank a little too much. Anyways, on with the show. Our friends are in the process of getting out of their current careers and heading for a brand new direction – starting a gym of all things. The current fields they’re in either isn’t doing well in his case, and in her case she’s just fried, burnt out, and done and needs a change. Nice thing is, if it all works out it won’t be all that far from us – same town! Anyways, to celebrate this occasion of ‘graduating’ to the next challenge, LD themed the house party around graduation themes. There’s more to the reasoning but I’ll just leave it at that.
It was a fun night, learned a lot of new things, and had a lot of laughs. We also made some turkey sliders with home cut potato fries and panko chicken, they brought a salad. Nothing too difficult. I think they had a good time.