Love to Whaleback Light

Everyday Life, Memories, Reading, Scenic Photography
Sailing off to Whaleback Light

Off to go renew my driver’s license today. I believe I have all the documents required to get my Real ID. I could’ve waited but I figure, eh, why not just get it out of the way. I’m a AAA member so I’m going to a AAA branch to get it done, way way better then waiting at the RMV. This time around you had to make an appointment and the wait is 2 weeks out or so. Well, my time is now arriving so here goes! I’ll let you know how I did when I get back and the whole process and stuff.

I’ve been closely following the Tufts reopening plan developments in my hometown, the campus itself is not far from my family’s home. Lots of residents in the area have serious concerns about their plans on how they would contain the students and their possible behaviors. Personally I don’t see how it’ll last more than a couple weeks maximum before changes happen, if it even gets that far. We’ll see.

Update! I’m back from the AAA but I didn’t get a chance to renew. I had everything but the bills I decided to bring with my info were not within 60 days. It would have been nice to know that ahead of time! It’s my own fault I suppose, when I got all my docs together I just chose the ones I had on hand at the time. So, basically I have to make another appointment. No big deal. I already made an appointment online – you have to keep clicking to try to get in and get a time but I just got one. Two more weeks and I get to this all over again – hopefully next time everything will be in order! What a pain in the ass.

In my down time I’ve taken to re-reading a book I purchased ten or so years ago entitles The Pyramids: The Mystery, Culture, and Science of Egypt’s Great Monuments, I forgot how good this book actually is! The author describes not just the big 3 pyramids, but all of them, along with their significance in religion, science and culture of the time they were built. Really fascinating stuff, but I’m into that. I’ve chosen to reread it mostly because I’m out of new stuff to read at the moment.

The story behind the photo: You may see this picture up top of sailing to Whaleback Light on NECN. I’m honored that they choose to highlight so many of my shots! Well, anything to get the word out helps I suppose! This particular shot was actually taken by me from land zoomed in. I saw this sailboat in the water and in the distance Whaleback Light so I tried to juxtapose the two and this is what I came up with. I also lightened it up considerably from the original snap. I find I prefer ship or boat scenes surrounded by white – just a preference of mine. I wished that the boat would have its blue sails unfurled as that would have looked great, but it was just not to be. Also, I love lighthouses and learning about their history and their keepers and Whaleback Light has a great one.

Song Sparrow Sings of Love

Cape Cod, Everyday Life, Food, Memories, Reading, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
Image of a sparrow perched on a branch surrounded by greenery. The photo is copyrighted 2020 by Mark Bethoney Photography.
Song Sparrow I believe. Fort Hill, Eastham, MA

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!

Image of Charred Tomato and Ricotta, with roasted walnuts, some minced herbs, and topped with a balsamic glaze, all resting on top of toasted sourdough bread.

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.

Visiting Nauset

Cape Cod, Everyday Life, Memories, Reading, Scenic Photography
Nauset Light

Today was another full day. Well, actually slept in for a bit but in the afternoon tooled around Chatham hitting Little Libraries around town. I actually was able to find some good future reading I think, a book on Whitey Bulger and another book written by a Chatham native talking about growing and living there over the decades. Also found an original Winnie the Pooh edition book by Milne which I grabbed for LD. Unfortunately we also learned that one of the eating establishments here had to close due to an employee getting Covid. We had eaten a pizza from there a couple of days ago (take out) but hopefully we’ll be alright. I have no reason to believe that we won’t as I was only in there for a minute and had a mask on and the counter people also did and had gloves etc. and the employee supposedly wasn’t customer facing or handling food so they say. The news mentioned tonight that a bunch of people went to a party a couple of weeks ago, and most of them just happen to work at restaurants in the area. On top of that, although unconfirmed, it may have been one of those Covid parties that kids are having. If that ends up being true then that is truly terrible, putting everyone at risk, and they should all be fired and maybe more. I just don’t get why these kids don’t seem to get the danger of this thing and the fact that they’ll spread it to more vulnerable people.

It looked like rain might be coming in during the late afternoon, but it actually held out as we went down to Skaket and went into the water for a little bit of a swim in the bay. The tide was going out so for quite a ways the water was only up to my knees but that’s okay with me. It was a good time to go since most folks had already left for the day so being socially distant wasn’t any problem.

To wrap up we headed over to Nauset Beach and then Nauset Light. This is actually a famous Cape landmark and is the lighthouse depicted on those Cape Cod chip bags if you didn’t know. I did not know however that it is the most photographed lighthouse on the Cape. I walked around the light trying to get a specific angle that I don’t think most people shoot from – trying for something a little unique.

There were actually a lot of seals playing in the surf here tonight and we watched their heads bop up and down into the water for a while, floating and darting beneath the waves as the sun was setting, bathing the sky in blue and pink colors.

Plum Island Overnight

Everyday Life, Memories, Reading, Scenic Photography
The view outside our patio abutting the beaches of Plum Island.

Spent part of the weekend on the coast of Plum Island up in Newburyport. A quaint little coastal New England town. While there we visited some sights, including a Richdale’s which literally sells 25 cent hot dogs, which we did not partake in because it sounds gross. I’m not sure how they can even do that and make a profit. Also grabbed some hot chocolates at a place inside The Tannery where their main thing is making Whoopie Pies.

The best part was the evening where after dinner (at a place called Seaglass over in Salisbury – the next town over and where I had this amazing dish of Lobster Scampi) where we just chilled and had the fireplace going. Although after a while it got too hot and we had to open the door to the beach to cool off the room. Felt good to just decompress from everything while listening to the waves of the ocean crash against the shore throughout the night.

Today we took of bunch of shots around as well as in Gloucester on the way back (stopped there for lunch, and yes I did lobster again this time with a lobster BLT). I’ll probably post some other shots from the trip as the week goes on.

Currently Reading: Your Song Changed My Life and Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World (both little library picks we found while exploring Newburyport!)

“Ula” Momento

Everyday Life, Food, GameTime, Reading

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!)
  • Misogynies by Joan Smith (review)
  • Talking as Fast as I can by Lauren Graham (my celebrity crush!)

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.

Looking Ahead

Baby Robins, Cape Cod, Everyday Life, Memories, Reading, Scenic Photography
Looking ahead.

2019 wasn’t the worst year ever, but certainly wasn’t the best for me either. I think 2020 is probably going to be a bit of a test as well, especially at the beginning, but hopefully over time things will improve.

Anyways let’s look at the bright spots. Here are some of the highlights that I can remember from 2019, in no particular order:

Losing Oreo but gaining Carson.

Visiting Blue in Newburyport in a snowstorm.

Nice beach views!

Seeing Damone perform live again. Kris Kristofferson too with/for my mom.

Baby Robins! It was a thrill every day to see how they would progress, from eggs, too little alien looking things, to growing feather, and finally saying goodbye. Their mother was amazing in her care of them.

Scoring free tickets to see Jack Nicholson in the Shining at the Somerville Theatre.

Mother’s Day Cruise aboard the Beauport Liner in Gloucester.

Scenes along the Gloucester harbor.

Remodeling the bedroom, scoring a free bike on one of the Buy Nothing Facebook groups.

Large Condo apartments being built on either side of Earth-1 property, squeezing a rose between two thorns. Ridiculous!

Michelle coming to visit and doing Alpaca Yoga with her.

Gardening game going strong, and growing “Sean”, our first pumpkin.

Going away to the Cape for a week, getting some good photos, but having to be in a different unit than usual next to the “murderers.” Not really – they were just really quiet and not sure where the rest of their party disappeared to.

Cape sunsets are the best.

Having a short stay on the Jersey shore, in an historic BnB but narrowly avoiding what could have been a massive storm!

The storm moving in!

Trying another bout of baby goat yoga at a place in Georgetown. Will definitely visit again but also will probably hit our go to place in NH as it seems their babies are really small and cute.

Waquesset Inn overnight stay.

the patio.

New website design after the old system could no longer be supported.

Boston views as always:

Finally some books I read thus far in 2019:

Books I read in 2019. Bad Blood, Maybe you should talk to Someone, and Still Alice being favorites.

Sunday Status

Everyday Life, Memories, Reading
Holiday scene on some property in Waltham. We dug the spinning carousel.

Transplanted my little ‘Ellwoodii’ European Tree into a bigger pot. It’s amazing how fast it dries out so I have to keep making sure the soil is moist. Also just bought an amaryllis that is almost ready to bloom. I also checked up on the bird feeder out back and noticed the usual collection of cardinals, blue jays, wrens, sparrows, woodpeckers, chickadees, finches and juncos all grabbing a snack or two.

Looked over a few little libraries in the afternoon in Waltham, since we happened to be in the area doing other stuff. Picked up a book called Status Update from inside one of them. Might be a good read although probably a little dated by this point. Also cooked up some homemade chicken soup and chili using the Instant Pot. That thing really is a wonder.

In the downtime I ended up binge watching the last few episodes of Watchmen and I’ve since changed my mind on it – it was pretty mind blowing.

Barbells, Sean Jr., and Books

Everyday Life, Food, Gardening, Reading
“Barbell” appetizers!

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).

Sean Connery Jr. – getting bigger every day!

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.

Rainy Saturday

Everyday Life, Reading

Swung by Earth-1 this morning to take care of some stuff. While I was paying a bill, I headed into the bookstore next store and picked up a copy of a new book, The Known, The Secret, the Forgotten: A Memoir by Joan Wheelis. It’s even an autographed copy. I had this one on my Goodreads for a while, it sounded pretty good so I decided to give it a shot – so that’s my current reading assignment.

It is ridiculously difficult to get around Somerville with all the construction going on . I literally could not get to where I wanted to due to Beacon Street being closed, so I had to go to Porter Square instead (by way of Harvard Sq.) – which is how I ended up at the bookstore.

Friday

Reading, Scenic Photography
Sail on…

Well, it’s been a productive Fri-yay so far (see what I did there?) I finally got myself down to the barber shop and got my hair cut. And speaking of cutting, when I came back I decided to take on the front and back lawns and cut those down too – including edging and some weeding. I think it looks pretty good.

I’ve started to read a new book: Dawn of the Code War: America’s Battle Against Russia, China, and the Rising Global Cyber Threat. Pretty scary stuff. Recommended reading by me.

Some More Varied Wildlife Shots

Cape Cod, Memories, Reading, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
A collection of Cormorants
Osprey and Laughing Gull
Seals playing in front of Chatham Light
Monarch

These were all taken on July 14, 2019. Today was a “rest day” so far. A little shopping, a nice breakfast at the Hole In One, a place we like, and just being chill for the most part. Today we hit some little libraries in Orleans – I found a novel called The Last Days of Dogtown that I might read since it takes place in old Gloucester. Historical fiction type stuff I think. LD is reading a book I found as well by Jennie Garth of 90210 fame. Oh Gawd. I’m almost done with Future Crimes – it’s pretty good but a little dense. Basically anything is hackable including all technologies moving forward.

So far, we’ve really scored with the weather this week with everyday basically being sunny and clear, although a bit hot at times -normal for mid-July though!

Not sure what we’re doing tonight yet – probably a dinner somewhere and more sunset locations.

Downtown

Reading, Scenic Photography
Downtown Boston
Downtown Boston

I really like how this pic turned out – a classic view of Downtown Boston looking toward the theater district.

Currently Reading: Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable, and What We Can Do About It – another pick from a Little Library. If you’re looking for a good one, I found this book, and also one on New England Inns (although not updated since 1985) in the one located at Kidder Avenue – I noticed a lot of good stuff in there but could only carry these two on my bike home. On a totally unrelated note, I want to catch the latest HBO documentary on Michelle Carter, the chick who kept texting her boyfriend to commit suicide.

Fire Lily Poppa

Everyday Life, Food, Memories, Reading, Scenic Photography
Fire Lily 2019
Fire Lily 2019

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.

What is this little guy doing in the Raised Box!?

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.

Uhmmm…what?

Bicycling, GameTime, Reading

Well back from the bike ride! Some observations though, who put this ride together? I realized that there didn’t seem to be any theme to this ride. And also, who picked the route? It happened to go up to the highest hill in town – so steep I had to walk my bike up. Now I remember why I like the Cambridge ones better. Speaking of the bike, it performed great, so I’m very happy with that. Well anyway, there were photos taken – maybe I’ll be in one looking all haggard. We’ll see.

Currently on the reading docket: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed. I’ve heard some good things about this book – hoping it’ll be an interesting read.

Also, not a weekend goes by that we don’t take a visit to Home Depot of Lowes for something. In the meantime if you’re looking for a good game try Blackened. It’s sort of like Sokoban but different. It took me a while to solve all the levels but I found them enjoyable.