The Beauty of Spring Flowers are Not Far Behind

Everyday Life, Gardening, Memories, Scenic Photography

“I heard a bird sing in the dark of December. A magical thing. And sweet to remember. We are nearer to Spring than we were in September. I heard a bird sing in the dark of December.”

― Oliver Herford

The story behind the photo: A day like today has me wishing for an early spring. This particular photo was shot in someone’s front yard in the spring in Davis Square not too far from Redbones on one of the side streets in the area. I just loved the crocuses defying the season by scrambling up through the dead and fallen leaves of the previous fall and winter.

I applied for my yearly town parking sticker. This year it’s all done remote so I had to scan some docs and now I’m just waiting for approval. Not sure why it can take up to two weeks. Also, I’ve been a resident of the town since forever, can’t they just look it up from any previous year? Whatevs, hopefully it’ll get approved soon. On a similar note, I just received my renewed registration for my car so that’s good. That literally only took 5 minutes to apply and a few days to receive.

A Morning Photoshoot

Everyday Life, GameTime, Gardening, Memories

The calendar folks came down this morning and I did my little photo shoot with me posing by the shot I took that was selected. They were supposed to come on Monday but scheduling and all, so this morning it was done. I imagine I’ll be on their social media and advertising at some point, so I’ll be looking out for that. Then I got back into my everyday clothes because we had the last of the planting to do. We are hurting puppies right now for all the digging and watering and mulching (another trip to Depot!), but finally the last of the tulips, muscari, another rose bush and a Japanese holly are in the ground. The pine tree and sourwoods require a lot of watering so I’ve been out there daily drenching them.

Gametime: Slimoban II. Fun little puzzle game, I remember playing the first one a couple of years back – currently about halfway through – took me a little while to get the hang of it, but I’m digging it now.

Horses Make a Landscape Look Beautiful

Everyday Life, Gardening, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
The author with a horse named Belle
Hanging with Belle.

Finished splitting up various Hosta and Hyacinth and Chives species and planting them all around the perimeter. Looked more into the storing of the tubers I removed yesterday, will probably split them up more and plant those around in the spring.

Took a break midday and visited the sanctuary. Sadly no news on Blossom, might have to assume the worst at this point. Sad. On a happier note, I got to hang with Belle a little bit. “Belle is a fourteen year old Hafflinger horse. The first four years of her life she worked as a plow horse in the Pennsylvania farm country. She was worked hard and because she was so young she developed tendon issues in her fetlocks and was sent to a slaughter house. Belle was then saved by a 14 year old young man who eventually out grew her. Belle has had nine homes in her 14 years of life. She is a very sweet horse and a beautiful addition to the herd.” She’s really a beautiful horse. So smart too.

A large and liquid eye… the swirl of dust around pounding hooves… these, then, are the images that move us.

Earlier this morning I updated the iPad is iPadOS 14.2. Supposedly a bunch more emojis and some bug fixes. I generally use my Android phone which is still sadly rocking Android 6 (they’re on 11 now, I really need that new phone) and runs slow as molasses. The other day I visited my nearest carrier location but they didn’t have the phone I wanted in stock. Could do it online but I’d prefer not to. Well, I still have some time.

Finishing the day off by making dinner consisting of some shrimp rolls, watching a Hunter episode, and watchinh election results.

Fall Cleanup

Everyday Life, Gardening, Memories, Scenic Photography
Dawning of a new day

Spent the morning being busy taking advantage of the nice weather we are currently having. Bagged up about 7 leaf bags full of leaves and lawn cutting, which I also did. I did it mostly to clean up and make the place look nicer but also for the exercise as I was to able to get over 160 zone minutes and climbing (cardio workup) and burning calories, which is good because I plan on eating some lasagna my sister made for me.

Still finishing up planting some leftover chives and hostas that we split up on Tuesday. Hopefully everything will take and this yard will look amazing around the perimeter fences and ultimately less for me to mow and hiding places for bunnies. Also finally dug the tubers and stored them for replanting in spring. Feeling a little sore but feeling good about what I accomplished in a day.

Election Day 2020

Everyday Life, GameTime, Gardening, Memories

Can’t believe the election is this close. Actually maybe I can, since the country seems so divided, but still. Half the population must be garbage for voting for a candidate so utterly unsuitable to be president. All people care about is taxes? Really? What about everything else that needs true leadership, nevermind all the corruption and lies. I never realized that there’s a significant part of this country that just doesn’t want things to change and I find that really sad and distressing. I don’t like leaving the decision to these swing states but still holding out some hope. It’ll be what it’ll be, we’ll get whatever we deserve. The real question is, can we live with it?

Gametime: Magnetic Blocks. I enjoyed this little brainteaser.

We spent the afternoon planting and landscaping the lawn by splitting hostas and digging and planting various plants around the back so that hopefully come spring, things will really be looking good. Seems like a good way to spend today.

Finding My Way to Finding Myself

Everyday Life, Gardening, Memories, Scenic Photography
Stairway to the waves.

“I hope these simple things are what I forever love about life, for then I will be happy no matter where I find myself.”

When I looked at the weekly local paper to see if they had corrected the error in misattributing my photo to someone else last week there was nothing to be seen. Not even a mention. What a rag! I figured as much actually, with the state of journalism these days and all.

I’ve been in the market for a new cell phone. Originally I was thinking the Galaxy S10 but now I’m thinking that maybe the just released S20 FE 5G might be just right for me in price and specs. Not the top of the line but close enough for my needs. We’ll see. Maybe I can get the LadyDoc to get the same too.

I think I’m going to dig up our Dahlia tubers soon and store them over the winter so that we can replant them again in the spring. I looked it up and the process seems quite easy. I found an article here that describes the process and am putting here so I can remember for myself and others. I’ll need to bring in some pots and stuff to the shed as well and get ready for the fall cleanup, my least favorite task of the year. Also I should probably remove the screens from the doors and place in the glass panes for warmth soon, maybe this weekend.

Watched the VP debate last night. Fun when the fly landed, wasn’t it?

Nobody really cares about all that stuff though, right? How about something with a little more substance? Everything’s not hunky-dory right now. I have my doubts, about the world, about myself, about the people I care about, about our futures collectively and personally. I don’t usually talk about it. I keep it inside. It’s hard for me to talk about things, I’ve always been that way. I have recurring dreams that probably is processing anxiety in some way. Not knowing is a real bitch. I know I have people in my life that I can rely on and am blessed and fortunate in so many ways, and I’m surely not the only one feeling this way but that doesn’t make how I feel any easier.

The story behind the photo: This is a shot from a stay at the Cliff House in Cape Neddick, Maine that we visited a couple of years ago. There’s these stairs that they built a few years ago when they did the place over that clamber down the rock face. Once you’re at the bottom though you’re on your own climbing over the shoreline. Maine is one of my favorite places, I like the rocky shores.

Monday Marigolds, So Good to Me

Everyday Life, Gardening, Memories, Scenic Photography
Reddish Marigolds

My own little take on the Mamas and the Papas hit. These marigolds just keep on blooming over on the side of the house towards to entrance-way. Today was kind of a blah day, maybe cause it’s Monday, maybe because things are sort of crap at the moment, I don’t know – just wasn’t feeling it today. It wasn’t all a waste though, did get a new printer set up, and got a couple of errands done. Grilled some plant based burgers and corn…that’s about it. Nothing earth shattering today.

Powerful Ladies

Everyday Life, Gardening, General Website, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
A painted lady butterfly probing some white flowers.
Painted Lady decides to visit

Just spent the morning with a hatchet hewing down all the fallen tree limbs and bagged them up for disposal tomorrow. Good little workout! (must have been how Carrie Nation felt back in the day – the inspiration for this blog name!) I’m not against alcohol (in moderation of course), I had just happened to be reading a biography of the woman at the time I decided to start the website and I couldn’t think of any other name at the time. Plus the thought of a bible-thumping, 6 foot tall old lady all dressed in black coming in with a hatchet smashing things must have been quite a sight. Anyways everything’s back to the way it was pre-storm.

Gracie At It Again

Everyday Life, Gardening, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
Follow the path.

Well, while bringing some groceries in the house this morning, I happened to notice Gracie (the Goddess of the Garden) with a bunch of straw in her mouth out front by the mailbox. You know what that means! Looks like little Gracie might be having some more ‘lil bunz‘! It appears this time she seems to be hanging underneath the lilac bushes out front – not as accessible a spot to watch as the flowerpot on the back deck.

In celebration I decided to add Lil Bunz to the store.

Hot and Cold

Everyday Life, Gardening, Memories, Scenic Photography
The purple hibiscus I planted about a month ago, has started to bloom!

I drove over the a Home Depot in Mansfield this morning and picked up a small freezer that LD purchased for use as backup and will be stored in the basement. She wants to be prepared should things go south in the fall, but I suppose it’s good to have a backup anyway – just to have. It’s really hard to find these on sale, everyone has been scooping them up so a lot of the time they’re sold out.

I finally was able to set up a RMV license renewal time slot at the local AAA. They’ve been pretty booked 2 weeks out all through the summer but now I finally got a placement. Going to go ahead and get the REAL ID stuff done, even though I don’t anticipate flying or entering any federal buildings anytime soon. It would just be nice to get it out of the way I feel. I hope I have all the documents I will need, I think I do but I’m unsure if there are any forms that need to be filled out beforehand. I couldn’t find any on the RMV site. I suppose worst-case-scenario I can always just make another appointment, they’ve delayed the deadline for a while off.

I then went to the propane place and got the gas grill propane tank refilled, as we’ve been grilling quite a bit these days and the gas was dwindling down.

I was pleased to see that the hibiscus are starting to flower. I tried growing some last year but for whatever reason it didn’t survive so I’m hoping this guy does better overall. It’s some light purple variety which I thought was a little unique, they’re usually a darker purple or white from what I’ve seen.

I’ve seen Grace, the mother bunny out on the lawn tonight while I was grilling. I asked her where her baby might be, but no reply. Also what I thought was milkweed in the gardens is actually pokeweed so I’ll be removing those tomorrow – not the same thing.

Keep the Memories

Cape Cod, Everyday Life, Gardening, Memories, Scenic Photography

 “Sometimes even a thousand waves hitting the shore continuously one after the other also can’t erase few footprints on the seashore.”

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.

Bunny Baby Progress

Everyday Life, Gardening, Memories, Wildlife
Baby bunny peeking through the mother’s fur nest in the pot on the deck

One thing before I left was taking this picture of the baby bunny (there’s at least one in there!) peeking through the fur that it’s mother had placed on top of it to hide it and keep it warm. I’m hoping to document the entire early life of these guys with luck.

The bunny, or bunnies, are underneath this clump of fur in the corner of the flowerpot on the deck. Very exciting!

Eastham Love

Cape Cod, Everyday Life, Gardening, Memories, Scenic Photography

Allow me to be a “Promo Ho” for a sec: I got a lot of love on the Eastham shot on the Cape Cod Photographers group, so I decided to add the high resolution version of it to my shop for purchase if anyone’s interested. Also, jigsaw puzzles of my work will be coming soon, which I think is a really cool idea! Check out this particular product here: Eastham Love! And stay tuned for the jigsaw puzzle versions!

Yesterday I forgot to mention that a transformer blew on the street, so we and the neighbors were all without power for a bit. We all streamed out of our houses asking if we all had the same experience, since everyone is home these days. We even got to talk to the neighbor that never has spoken to us in 3 years! She finally introduced herself to us and as we were talking, maybe she’s not such a bad egg after all.

This morning was spent hanging at the car mechanic’s shop getting an oil change and inspection sticker. Mine was up in May but due to the pandemic we all got a few months extra so I figured I’d get it done now. No sweat. I also noticed this morning that our Balloon Flowers (Platycodon grandiflorus) are starting to bloom now! Yay! Pretty cool how they “balloon” out, hence the name.

I finally beat all 30 levels from Slimoban – the game I mentioned a few days ago – really good game! Oh! We’re going to try out a drive-in tonight, one of those pop-up locations. Should be an experience! I’ll update as to how it went later! Update: The drive-in was fun! Saw E.T. Ahhh, memories. I remember my first drive experience must have been when I was about 10 – the original Freaky Friday was the movie, down at what is now the Meadow Glen in Medford.

Hike and a Return Visitor

Everyday Life, Gardening, Memories, Pets, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
Gazebo, Plum Island MA

Today – woke up late changing plans for the day somewhat. Took a drive over to Winslow to drop off some food for the animals, had intention to pick up a “grill box” that a restaurant is doing a few towns over from there. They put it all together and you place and cook it on your own backyard grill. Unfortunately we discovered too late in time to order so it’ll have to wait for another time to try it out. Instead went for a 1.5 mile hike through one of the town’s trails.

Looks like that bunny is coming around again! Carson just watches!

Tonight’s movie watch was Can’t Buy Me Love from 1987 starring Patrick Dempsey. I was saddened to learn that the lead actress in the film had died about 5 years ago from a drug overdose. I really liked her character in the film – I know the role is not the person, but still, it saddened me.

Rain on my Parade

Everyday Life, Gardening, Memories, Scenic Photography
Fire lily in the rain. This photo is available for purchase.

“The voice of a single raindrop will always make a splash when it has something to say.”

Today is a day where I spent some time just sitting and looking at the garden and being all zen. I also bought a new hose and some other things, as the previous one starting leaking at the spigot and it got annoying. I went all out with this though – contractor strength connection! No more leaks hopefully forever! I also bought a couple more plants and planted them under the hummingbird feeder as I thought it was a little bare there and these plants’ blooms should also attract them as well.

Not sure what was going on here. Carson was watching this rabbit come on the deck (again!) and the bunny just watched Carson. They had a stare down for a good minute or two. Carson has now made ‘friends’ with this bunny, a finch, and possibly a chipmunk as of this afternoon.

Going to try something different tonight and grill a pizza out on the grill tonight. Check back to see how it came out. Also RIP Angel the cat, it’s been three years since you’ve been gone now – forever in our hearts.

Update: The pizza didn’t turn out so great. Oh well. Back to the drawing board on that one.

The Cabin by the Lake

Gardening, Memories, Scenic Photography
The Red Cabin

I can remember as a kid staying in New Hampshire one week by a lake for a vacation with my family. The memory is blurry and I don’t remember why or how we stayed there, but I do remember walking off a dock and falling into the water and scaring myself half to death over it. Luckily I was able to make it back to shore by myself. I had totally forgotten all about that memory until right now. I wonder if that’s partly why I am somewhat averse to going into the water a lot of times, plus I can’t swim. Never learned, never had the desire to. I must have been around 8 years old? Anyways all I can seem to remember is the lake and the sand and the dock.

Nature’s fireworks again (Fire lily surrounded by Hydrangeas)

Guess all that work I’ve been doing to maintain these gardens is paying off – just look at these gorgeous blooms I’ve been waking up to in the morning.


Everyday Life, Gardening, Memories, Wildlife
Grace, the Goddess of the Garden

Here we have Grace (an eastern cottontail rabbit that’s been hanging around – LD named her, I think it’s a her anyway) getting ready to eat some clover flowers. This particular bunny (a youngster we believe) spends all day in the yard and seems rather friendly and not so scared of people, as long as they don’t get too too close.

I placed the hummingbird feeder back out which had been gathering dust for a year or two now. I also moved it from it’s previous location. It was closer to the patio but I’ve now moved it into the back garden area where it’s more “secluded” and surrounded by natural nectar producing plants. I did this to make them feel safer and should provide me with a better view of actually seeing them. I remember earlier in the year just sitting on the back deck and this thing hovered in front of me with a buzzing sound. It took me a moment to register that it was a hummingbird in front of me! Of course, by the time I realized that, it took off – but it is pretty wild how they fly and hover and move in such varied ways, for a bird. So hopefully, I’ll get to see some more often.

Rando thoughts: Found an old copy of my Watchmen graphic novel from the ’80s. Think I’ll reread that. Setting up a new microwave. Got a simple outdoor inflatable pool yesterday, probably set that up this weekend. Still working on assembling the sideboard – it’s more complicated than I thought, with it’s Ikea-like directions and many parts. Hitting Home Depot to get a new hose and maybe some grilling accouterments, Speaking of grilling, I grilled last night and we ate by the firepit – I’ve become rather adept at it now – I actually prefer the hickory smell rather than the actual fire itself, although there is something meditative about just watching it burn – plus the smoke keeps the bugs away.

I spent the afternoon mowing the lawns, I like to keep it looking pretty, or at least, neat. Went to Volante’s this afternoon and ended up picking up a dwarf rose of sharon and a foxglove, which I planted in the patio area. Then hit another place down the road for a couple of hanging plants also for the patio area. Holy shit, gardening is a lot of work!

Tonight’s movie watch was Crash. Interesting flick – lots of well known actors too.

Early Lily

Everyday Life, Gardening, Memories, Scenic Photography
First Fire Lily of the season.

How pleased was I to see this first fire lily be open! I take another shot once more have opened but this is the first one. You can sort of see the hydrangeas and roses and clematis vine (can you spot it?) that surround it.

We were admiring a neighbor’s garden on our midday walk around the neighborhood, and so we got to talking and he gave us some great pointers about plants and the various critters and a little about himself. One thing about these quarantine days is we’ve really gotten to know the folks who live on the street in a way that we never have before. Very cool.

Container Gardens

Everyday Life, Gardening, Memories
Gardening update

“It is a golden maxim to cultivate the garden for the nose, and the eyes will take care of themselves.”

― Robert Louis Stevenson

The petunias are in full bloom, the various species of Dahlia are starting to bud and bloom, tomatoes are starting to form on their vines, zucchini and eggplant are forming and everything else is so far so good. The clematis vine is crawling all over the hydrangeas, which is kinda cool looking and the various pots out front and full of different flowers all in bloom as well. I deadheaded some of the dianthus so that new blooms will form. I also picked up a new Celosia today with yellow, red and purple blooms. Someday I may try my hand at growing wisteria to cover the front fences – I bet that would look pretty cool but for now I want to go out later and get a new Hibiscus to replace the dead one out back. The Rose Campions have really started to spread themselves, one is even in the lawn out back which I left alone to see how it’d fare (it’s in bloom now too). LD doesn’t like them but I think they’re cool and I like how the spread and make more of themselves. They almost look florescent to me with their reds against the light green of their stems. Makes me think to get some more or something similar to take up any bare areas out back and to cut out the weeds from getting some space. I cut back all the spent blooms from the butterfly bush out front – hopefully it’ll have all new blooms in a few. The various lilies are starting to bud – the fire lilies always looks spectacular and I can’t wait for them to open, but the star gazers on the patio and the old regular lilies in the back are also getting ready to pop. The pumpkin and butternut squashes so far are still growing their leaves out. The salvia are keeping the bees busy with pollinating tasks.

Home Life

Everyday Life, Gardening, Memories
Home Life.

I signed up a few days ago to attend a Zoom meeting about backyard birds. It was really good actually. I had already known most of the stuff but I did learn a couple of new things. It’s made me want to get back into birding. We’ve intentionally planted things that attract birds, bees, and butterflies but I think I might want to build a nest box for some species that may want to visit. Then spent the night binge watching old episodes (Season 1 and 2) of Grey’s Anatomy – what’s happened to me?