Climbing Mountains

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography
Not a recent picture.

Finally got around the removing all the remaining holiday lights from the front of the house this afternoon. I’ve been somewhat of a hibernation mode lately as there hasn’t been anything really new to blog on about in my personal life at the moment. It’ll change eventually but for now, quiet times for me. There’s enough going on in the national scene right now anyway. Here’s a pic from a trip up to the White Mountains of New Hampshire back in 2013, back when we could do outings like that.

Boston Visit

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography
Sailboat lit up against the Longfellow Bridge backdrop.

Had to take a ride into Boston last night to pick up something. While there stopped by the Esplanade to grab a few pics and then headed over to Luke’s Lobsters for takeout over on Exeter Street. I must say the lobster rolls and lobster mac and cheese were quite tasty! Been so long since we’ve even done a takeout. Knocked me out early as I feel asleep on the beanbag and didn’t wake up until 1 in the morning.

Boston was a ghost town by the way. So strange to see the area so deserted of people.

Today was much more social as in the early afternoon we had some folks over for a socially distanced firepit outing and then in the late afternoon a Zoom session with our friends that somehow lasted 4 hours!

First Day of the Year

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography
New Year's Day 2021 at the beach.

“Yesterday we stood at the edge of the earth, dipped our toes in with abandon, and invited the universe to provide us with our next lesson.”

-Ladydoc 1/1/2021
Sloth on Zoom

Yesterday we took a trip out to the beach to get some air and reflect on the new year ahead. Fresh start. I picked up a really smooth rock and am using it as a worry stone. This is also the beach where I found that cool heart shaped rock last summer. Also this morning we had breakfast with two sloths. (virtually). The zoo had this Zoom meeting thing where you could learn about the sloths and such. It was basically aimed at children but I enjoyed it too.


Tried watching the Godfather II yesterday afternoon. I don’t know maybe it’s me, but I found it kind of boring. Only watched about 1/4 of it – Unfortunely it was being DVR’d and took up too much space and erased all my season 7 of Hunter that I didn’t get to see yet (only season I haven’t caught yet – pretty much saw all the other episodes now) so I have to re-record them the next time they air on Z-Living. Just so happens that they’re running them now so that works out.

Winter Solstice Meditation

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography
Solstice Meditation

Spent some time tonight engaging in Winter Solstice Meditation. I recommend you do the same. After the day I had today it was needed. Actually it wasn’t all that bad – in fact it ended up pretty well.

We made a new recipe last night too – a turkey meatball sauce utilizing a spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot. Believe it or not it actually tastes pretty amazing!

Illuminations 2020

Art, Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography
Somerville residents homes all lit up. This one has a working Ferris wheel on the porch over to the right by the Santa head!

Took a ride tonight around Somerville to check out some of the homes decked out for the holidays. Here are some of them that we visited. Very impressive displays! Perfect weather for checking them out tonight!

Hiking to King Philip’s Cave

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography, Things that make me go Hmmm

King Phillip’s Cave is a cave in Norton, Massachusetts near Lake Winnecunnett.

The cave is so named because Metacomet, the Wampanoag sachem also known as “King Phillip”, is said to have hid here near the end of King Philip’s War before meeting his death in the Great Misery Swamp in Bristol, RI.

We happened to be in the area so we checked it out. Very cool rock formations. I think I need to read up on Philip a bit more, sounds like he got a pretty raw deal. I wouldn’t really call it a cave though, more like two boulders that crisscrossed on top of one another and provided a gap beneath them.

We also checked out a quick hike over in Taunton at a place called Boyden Wildlife Area. This area is beautiful and quite scenic with some nice overhangs overlooking a nearby river that parallels it. Definitely going back to this location again.

Getting in the Grill

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography
Shot from Scituate Light from the camera roll.

Decided to pull the BBQ back into the shed for winter storage this morning. It wasn’t too cold out and I wanted to do it before it got too cold. Getting it across the expanse of lawn, off the lip of the patio, and lifting it into the shed is a bit much for me by myself but somehow I always manage to do it and today was no exception. It’s true it could stay out all year round but I pride myself on keeping it looking and working like new so that’s why I do it. Folks have come over in the past and wondered if it was a new grill and we say No, it’s around 10 years old, that’s how nice I keep it.

Shameless plug, if you want to purchase some of my photo artwork just click this link in time for the holidays and browse around. Hell, even just get a little magnet or somesuch as a stocking stuffer if you like. Every little bit helps. Bookmark and check back now and then, I add new stuff every so often. Please share the link with others if you think they would be interested as well.

Other than running a couple of errands to CVS, the bank, and a quick side trip to Wellesley to pick up some stuff, that’s pretty much it for today. A quiet night in watching television…again.

Feeling Down but Still Blessed

Cape Cod, Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography
Payne’s Creek this summer.

My mental health has been hit or miss the last few months. I’m generally a pretty positive person but I get days, like today, when I feel a little down. I haven’t been updating that much because pretty much lately everyday has been more or less of the same, each day just the same as the last, morphed into one blob of time, and it lends itself to me being in kind of a rut. I’m just hanging in there. I do feel blessed to have a very good support network to help get me through, but I am human after all and it’s probably natural to feel this way, the way things currently are. Sooner or later thing are going to change for the better, just going to take some time and I have my good memories like the scene above from this summer from our time on the Cape to help get me through. See? I told you I was a generally positive person.

Wonky Cell Phone Status

General Website, Memories, Scenic Photography
Guess where? Another photo from the archives.

Just updated the site to the latest version of the CMS. You shouldn’t notice any differences, it’s more just stuff I can use to configure my site better or in different ways if I so choose.

My phone started doing some weird crap today. While I was trying to make a call I could never get a dial tone. I swear this thing is on the way out. I still haven’t popped on the new cell yet but it’s becoming more and more apparent that I probably can’t wait too much longer. Hopefully just enough to last throughout the rest of this awful year. It’s not even worth a trade in anymore as they only give five bucks for it.

Work on our holiday card for the year has been completed and will be going out shortly, so if you’re on our mailing list expect to see it in your mailbox within the next couple of weeks.

Early Morning Wake Up Call

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography
Red house in the snow, Bolton MA

Woke up this morning to the sound of jackhammers and other street equipment as the town decided to rip out a part of the next door neighbor’s driveway, for what purpose I still haven’t figured out.

A caricature of yours truly.

Found another new cute little library in Somerville today. It looked like a little house with glass doors ion both sides which was pretty neat. It’s right by Powderhouse Circle if you’re familiar with the area if you want to check it out yourself. I placed a book I had already read in there but didn’t take any out since there weren’t any in there that interested me.

A Quiet Time for Reflections

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
Stalking the Great Blue Heron. Love these birds.

Mist rises from the creek —

early morning — a great

blue heron stands still.

A Little bit of haiku for today

I thought this was still a cool picture so I’m posting it again with some minor different editing from last time, a little more natural. Not been a bit of a whole lot happening over the last couple of days. Took a brief jaunt to a beach yesterday but it was pretty cold so didn’t stay too long. Was basically a potato today and didn’t do a whole lot.

Stay Wild, Friends

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
Mini horses by the stream.

Feeling a bit accomplished today. Last night I created a list of everything that I wanted to get through today and I’m pleased to say that I accomplished most of them. I watered the trees (and discovered that the two out front that we placed lights on are white spruce trees), went for a lunch time walk, took a trip to the ATM, did a load of laundry, watched a couple of early season 1 episodes of Hunter (those are so ridiculous and don’t follow the next 6 seasons – they changed it up after season 1, and after watching some of these I’d say that was a very smart move).

I also wanted to grill some burgers today so I did that just a little after 1 pm, when the sun was sparking and it felt the warmest of the entire day.

One thing that I forgot about doing all these lights is when one goes out. I needed to replace a couple already for the icicle lights in the sunroom but now I noticed tonight one of the reindeer is totally out, which is weird because he was totally fine last night. Guess I’ll try to take a alook at it tomorrow.

I got LD’s 8mm from the basement that must have been her dad’s or grandfather’s up and running and we watched some of whatever the heck was on those reels. All still in working condition and with the original box! We got to see her dad when he was 12 swimming in Florida with his family before there was an Interstate at a place called Cypress Gardens and her mom with a big bouffant hairdo with her dad years later for their prom! LD appreciated me figuring it out and working the machine. 🙂 I was happy to do it, I’ve been getting into old tech lately.

Getting Over the Hump

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography
Trying to get over the hump, in more ways than one.

Finished replacing all the knobs on the kitchen cabinets. Pretty good makeover – funny how just a little touch like that can make it look like thousands for just a fraction of the cost. Rest of the day was more or less just trying thinking about to hang it there, just doing things around the house after the torrential rains stopped.

Hanging with Tucker

Everyday Life, Goat Love, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
City boy meets country.

Started the day off with cooking some sides to go with our early turkey preps. I prepared the squashes, apples, and parsnips for roasting and baking. The apples were for the apple crisp desert. After that was done we headed to Home Depot to pick up some more knobs for the cabinets and some xmas icicle lights which we plan on putting up later in the week.

After that we did some sanctuary time where Tucker came over to me and we got to bond a little bit. LD hung with a cat that just wouldn’t leaver her side and the goats, as per usual. We also picked up some new calendars while we were there sales of them help support the animals, a yearly thing we’ve been doing since they started it in 2018.

Finished off the evening doing a Zoom gathering with the nephews and niece and made gratitude turkeys, a craft where you cut out shapes and form a turkey. On the feathers you write something you are grateful for. That was fun and actually went pretty well. After that I cooked up some shrimp before it went bad to use in a scampi for tonight (don’t worry – not done with the turkey dishes just yet) and just relaxed into Sunday night.

Here’s some more pictures from the weekend:

Making the Most of a Day

Everyday Life, Food, Memories, Scenic Photography
I followed my heart and it lead me to the beach.

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:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CH3gQggHHs5/

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.

The aforementioned heart shaped rock find of my lifetime.

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!

Missing the Teenage Years

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography
Scituate Light in the sun.

Well I ended up purchasing that bulb anyway, figured what the hell, should arrive by next week sometime so then I’ll be able to continue to maybe catch some more glimpses of my very young self. For some reason I can’t seem to find many photographs of me as a youngster although I know they exist somewhere. You won’t find many photos of me in my teenage years however because back then I never wanted to be in any photos and would always shun away from them. Then one day my attitude changed on all that when I realized I should capture moments from my own history for remembrances. Taking photos is much easier nowadays as well.

Me and Me

Ended the day by cooking some filet mignon steaks and some marinated chicken outside on the grill while catching up on some DVR’d shows.

A Cold Day for Old Things

Everyday Life, Memories, Reading, Scenic Photography
Gooseberry Island (click for larger version – it’s worth it)

Looking through some older photos I took this year and played around with this one from the time we visited Gooseberry a couple of months ago. Sometime in the future I would like to just spend the day there exploring all the terrain and rocky shoreline. Maybe next spring.

General consensus is that this particular 8mm bulb I’m looking for does still exist, but the vendors I found that carry it want a hundred bucks for it. Not sure if I’d be willing to spend that much for such a little bulb, but then I think to myself, can I put a price on watching the memories? I know there’s places that will convert the old film to transfer to CDs and other media and whatnot, but like some old codger I’ve come to actually like to putter with these old technologies. I mean, all the songs in our jukebox times ten can all fit on a tiny microchip, but there’s just something about the couple hundred pounds of mechanical behemoth that appeals to me.

I feel it was really too cold to do much of anything today dealing with the outside. I’ve started reading a book on the iPad that LD got through the library so that’s my current read: Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man by Mary Trump. Nice family and childhood, no wonder the guy’s whacked. Also would someone please tell him the train has already left the station. Pul-eeeze!

“The Year’s Last Loveliest Smile”

Everyday Life, Memories, Scenic Photography, Wildlife
A lone heron sits watch between the autumn trees.

You never know what you’re going to find, or what’s going to find you. After going to Wellesley to pick up some things, we ended up taking a side street that paralleled a waterway. LD headed down the street which ended basically in someone’s driveway, but as we turned around she caught sight of this heron just hanging around. So I jumped out and took a few snaps, and this is what we saw. Must be pretty nice to live at a location where scenes like this are basically at the end of your driveway! On the way back we also discovered a forest in Natick and went for a hike where we saw some majestic pine trees and a nesting swan couple. The pine trees made us think of what our little guy we planted could turn into someday decades from now, quite impressive to be sure. We also collected some leaves from the ground because for some reason these looked like some of the biggest maple leaves we have ever seen, and they were this cool green and yellow color. We’re flattening them out now. We were also feeling pretty accomplished after climbing up a somewhat large hill but the view looking down from above was worth it. We never knew a place of this majesty is just a block from a Route 9 intersection. Going to have to go back there and explore it some more in the future. Also there was hardly anyone there today which was also nice.

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.