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.
The Puffin is by far my favorite bird. I just find them fascinating. They are so small and they live in such a harsh environment for most of their lives up in the cold arctic waters. Little fighters.
Just updated the site to the latest version of the software. Most of the changes won’t be noticeable to viewers except one. Images will now wait to load until they’re just about to scroll into view. The technical term is ‘lazy loading.’ Seems legit so far, if anything seems wonky please let me know.
Spent the afternoon at Revere Beach today and met one of LD’s colleague/friend Diane. Went down toward one of the ends and it wasn’t all that busy at all. It was really quite enjoyable. Maybe it’s me, and I don’t think you would think this either, but having airplanes fly over your head and you play and splash in the water is actually pretty damn cool!
In the evening I grilled up some chicken and more shrimp and some zucchini that we had growing. Doing a ton load of grilling this summer. We’ve been getting boxes from Imperfect Foods, which is basically just overstock or possibly some food that doesn’t look perfect but I got to be honest – I can’t tell the difference and most of the stuff looks and tastes fine, pretty good actually. The veggies are huge too.
Mornings are the best time of day – don’t you think. At least I do. It’s by far my favorite part of the day, especially on weekends and in the summer.
I like the quietness, with only the birds singing and the early morning breezes rustling the delicate leaves on the trees. The day isn’t hot yet, the sun still managing to rise up into the sky, all the while watching the silent cottontails sitting still and occasionally nibbling on the dewy grass. Sometimes I’ll use the time to read some chapters of whatever book I want to get into at the time. Other times, it’s spent doing a crossword puzzle, the ink from my pen spilling and spelling out the letters into the blank boxes. My coffee cup steaming next to me.
I spent the afternoon reading and finished the book I’ve been reading, Motherless Brooklyn (the second half is a totally different story than the movie version , really a different story totally. Almost like the movie melded parts of the novel and The Power Broker of which none of that is in the novel. Totally different stories and characters that have no relation to each other! So if you’ve seen the movie, read the book – the story is different.) Now I’m looking for new reading material. Any suggestions – non-fiction only please.
Tonight I grilled up some shrimp, salmon, carrots, and a yellow zucchini squash. Something simple. A nice relaxing and lazy kind of a day.
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.
I just don’t see how kids going back to school in the fall can really be done. I’m just talking about K-12, never mind the university kids, which is a whole another ball of wax. Can they really deep clean every high-touch surface as much as may be needed? Most school buildings are old and the ventilation sucks. Paying the price now for not keeping up infrastructure. Can’t use fans to blow anything around either. Could try to teach outside but how many days aren’t going to be cold or inclement? Again, most places probably won’t have the space – especially in the metro-urban densely populated areas. Kids are going to wear masks all the time? Good luck. Don’t really have the space to social distance. A classroom is going hold, what, like 8 kids per class? Some elementary classes have 25 students. Who is teaching the students that are remote while others are in school? Also, how does this work with upper elementary, middle school and high school students who see multiple teachers for different subjects? Limiting interactions is almost impossible in some buildings, especially with limited bathrooms. Teachers don’t want to be exposed. School nurses cannot work remotely and some have small children or work in Boston hospitals, their hands are full. Group activities are out. What a depressing time to be a kid (adults too for that matter)! Sounds almost like prison. And what about transportation? Going to need a lot more buses or take the kid yourself, there goes the traffic counts. That’s even assuming it won’t affect the job you might have and need to get to or try to do. I’m not even taking into consideration the special-ed kids. School budgets for school needs will now need to be spent on PPE. Plus, there’s nothing coming from the Federal side, a real disgrace in my opinion. The whole thing is just one big mess. Finally, what happens when a teacher or student tests positive? Does the whole class quarantine? What about siblings, do they quarantine as well? What about teachers that have health conditions which deem them high risk? Do they risk it or are they forced into an unpaid leave?
Yes, we all want kids to go to school. They need the classroom, their friends, the social and emotional growth and development and structure that comes what all that. But it has to be safe, and I just don’t see it happening at this time, and that’s going to be very detrimental too. This year needs a do-over!
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.
More info later tonight. I’m off to Brighton for an adventure…
Meanwhile here’s a history of the cute little cottages shown above. I’ve shot them before but for this one I decided to go around the back of them, which I think is an angel that is not seen too often (at least I’ve never seen it). All 22 beachfront cottages are 420 square feet, with two bedrooms, a small kitchen, and a living space with windows facing the water. The cottages are numbers 1 – 12 and 14 – 23 along the beach – no unlucky 13 among them. I want to stay in one someday! (although it might be a little cramped!)
I’m back! Took a jaunt over to the New Balance Factory putlet and got a new pair of much needed sneaks.
Looks like I’m going to have to do some yard cleanup around here tomorrow. Some tree limbs are down and I’ll need to chop them up and put them together so the town can take the yard debris in a couple days. Luckily I had spent time earlier securing most of the little things that could blow away. So far, so good. Keeping fingers crossed for the rest of the night. I was getting really nervous when a gust of 75 mph winds came thru and one of the tress in the yard was really swaying but thankfully it didn’t last very long.
Had a great relaxing Sunday. Went down to the Fairhaven beach house again and swam in the bay at low tide this time. I find it so much better, you avoid all the rocks at the shoreline and once past that it’s smooth sailing all the way out with a perfect slow incline and you can go out quite a ways before you’re up to your neck – similar to Skaket but not as flat as that. Plus there were some waves which was awesome. Not enough yo bowl you over or anything, but felt just right to me. The best part though is that no one else is there so it’s like you have to whole ocean to yourself. Truly magical and feel so blessed and lucky to have the opportunity be able to experience it. Beautiful this time of year with all the hibiscus plants everywhere in full bloom also. Our friend has done a really spectacular job with her property and deserves full props.
Afterwards we went to the Adirondack chair place and ended up getting two cute teal ones that they just happened to be on sale and wanted to get rid of. We left them at the beach house since they wouldn’t fit in the car as it currently is so we’ll have to go back to pick them up, which is perfect, because that means we’ll get to go down there again! Hehehe!
We had a couple of Little Libraries while in the area. I didn’t fins anything good but I was able to unload just about all the remainder of the books we wanted to get rid of. We left a couple of locations still on the list for next time to check out.
Coming home we were wiped out, after swimming and being in the sun all day (it was only supposed to be a morning stay, but as usual, time flew and didn’t leave until late afternoon/early evening). I cooked up some Juicy Lucy Cheddar burgers for LD and I as she was too tired so I took the lead on this one. I daresay I did pretty good on this one! To finish out the night I watched two new episodes of Autopsy.
I think tonight I’m going to have to bring some stuff in from the back deck for safekeeping. We have a storm coming our way and I don’t want anything that could fly away, flying away in the winds. Oh, and I lied about making those cocktails, the last two days I was going to but ended up just being too tired, shooting for tonight though!
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.
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.
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.
The story behind the photo: Not sure if I ever posted this one before from a time I explored Monomoy Island off the coast of Chatham. Got really lucky to catch this scene! As the boat neared the spit I happened the catch this instant of a mom and her cub sharing a moment. It didn’t last long for sure. Just after this all these other seals showed up and alit on the spit as well and I’ve uploaded that picture previously. I actually have a lot of pics from that day, but this has to be one of the best, to my mind. I wish I had had a better camera when I took this but it still came out pretty good. Apparently foggy cloudy days might be the best time to see them? I don’t remember if the tide was coming in or out but as I recall this was quite a ways out from shore. I should see if I can dig out the GPS data I took that day.
It was very hot today, the car thermometer read 105 degrees at one point when I needed to run an errand this afternoon. Later in the evening, I spent a good 30-45 minutes watering all the various plants outside in the garden. Keeping up this stuff is a lot of work, but I find it rewarding.
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.
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.
I’ll fill this entry in better later on but today ended up being a pretty full day. Started off the day with a hike in Kenrick Woods. We then spent afternoon in Chatham where I walked the Lighthouse Trail which basically is just along the shoreline (my favorite spot – the water and sand are so pristine and clear! Pictures forthcoming) and then connected up and explored a little bit of Morris Island, where unfortunately LD obtained a pretty big bug bite. Ended the early evening with a trip over to Linnell Landing where I took some more sunset shots.
Back on the Cape now, lunch in Sandwich by the canal, taking sunset photos at Harding’s Beach in Chatham (there was also some kind of modeling shoot going on there with two photogs in a woman in a bikini taking shots in the water, maybe for swimwear modelling?) and take out pizza tonight from a place called The Talkative Pig since we were near the location of that establishment.
This morning we walked the Kenrick Woods for a little bit.
This is one of the baby bunnies that were born on the back deck in a flowerpot of Dianthus. I’ve currently nicknamed this little guy ‘Lil Buns’ but maybe Diane or Diana would be a better name? Open to suggestions! We were pleased that we were able to get to see him/her. We’ve had baby bunnies in the yard before but never so close and in a flowerpot on the back deck of all places!
Every so often Mom would come up and rearrange her fur in the pot and it was then that I knew we had something special happening. It’s mother, who’ve we named Gracie (full name – Gracie, the Goddess of the Garden. Source: Ladydoc), was seen hanging around the lawn as well. This little creature is sooo cute and I’m so glad that Gracie felt so safe as to give birth to it in our flowerpots. Luckily it can actually hide under the pots that are on coasters and I assume Gracie comes up to feed it occasionally.
This morning we hiked around Mill’s Pond, saw a seal there. Then over to Fort Hill and hiked that, noticed a lot of different birds and butterflies which was cool – I also hiked the Red Maple Swamp (and I may do that again) which comes out of the woods in front of Capt. Penniman’s House.
Looks like they did the place over. Unfortunately the whale bones to the entrance have been removed, but I photographed them in 2014.