Awesome Dogs

Didn’t have any time to update yesterday, between having someone look at a sump pump installation and then a trip into Boston proper to visit some friends of ours named Boomer and Pippa. Awesome dogs. For dinner, a nice take out burger from the Corrib Pub in JP hit the sweet spot, and then I did a quick Target run. So, that’s it in a nutshell. Oh yeah, Boston was crazy yesterday because of the Ukrainian support protests.

Everyday I’m Shovellin’

After two days of shovelling, I’m a little beat. Yesterday I did a bunch of stuff here and this morning very early I got up and headed over to Earth-1 and took care of some of the stuff over there, which was a bit tougher to deal with, both by being in the city and the fact that some of it had hardened up somewhat. But it’s all done, both have been taken care of, and everyone is happy. Sure my back and the shoulders are a little sore, but it’s good for the soul, right? I’ve been relaxing on my heating pad to help with my minor complaints.

Here’s a pic of me looking all mischievous from this afternoon while waiting to pick LD up from the salon. Well, I might look all mischievous but to be honest I just ended up doing a bunch of crossword puzzles while I patiently waited.

After spending most of the week cooking up meals, tonight I decided to order a pizza for take out. I’ve been jonesin for some lately and I figured it would be a little treat for myself.

Thanks for the Share!

Thanks NECN for sharing my post from the other day! I always get a thrill when a news station decides to show off some of my work. People have mentioned seeing some of my stuff on their television!

I drove out to Quincy this afternoon to pick up a bookshelf that some friends of ours wanted to get rid of. It will be used to store, what else, more books, out in the sun room. When I came back home I noticed these huge trucks almost blocking the street. Apparently one of the next door neighbors was having one of their trees removed. Quite a spectacle. Also looks like the car excise tax arrived in the mail today, they never waste any time on getting those out do they?

Just One Memory

Imagine if you will your afterlife. You are taken to a halfway house, and then you are told that you have three days, no more and no less, to take one memory with you as your only memory for your entire afterlife. What would you pick? It is a tough question. I have lots of good memories. But I could only take one. Which would it be? It’s odd, I’m trying to think of some right now and I’m finding it so difficult. I can’t pick just one probably because I’ve been blessed that there have been so many.

It’s always the happy memories we take, haven’t you ever noticed? What does that say about us? Seems like its easier to state the memories you would never want to take with you. I’ve got a bunch of those too, yet those stick out in my mind much more clearly and defined. I have no trouble remembering what those would be and would love to forget. So I am choosing not to take those with me and am leaving those behind. I have no use for them, even though they helped me to see what the good ones are.

Would it be the time I made my Mom so happy and proud, the look and emotion on her face? Would it be a pivotal moment from my childhood? Would it be a memory that taught me a lot about learning and helped discover and make me who I am? Or a time I faced adversity and won? Could it very possibly be seeing the happy smile on the face of my partner? Our memories make us up to who we are, how can I pick just one? One thing I do know is that it has got to be one that made a difference to someone, more than just myself.

What would you choose?

Today’s Moment of Zen

Creating Zen on the beach this morning.

With today having a temperature in the high 60s one would have to take a quick trip to doing something outside, and for me it was a visit to the beach. While there, enjoying the sunshine and listening to the crashing waves, I went ahead and created this zen stone structure by the water and snapped a picture of it, creating my own moment of zen for today. Because stone stacks are built using unaltered stones, they require your full attention on the task of the present moment to find the perfect connection of the stone’s center of gravity to its foundation to balance the next layer. And let me tell you, it wasn’t that easy! The process is meditative; even the simple act of choosing the stones heightens mindfulness, which is what I was after. Hard to believe we’ll be getting up to 9″ inches of snow in a couple of days – the teasing of the nice weather is really getting cruel!

In the afternoon I made a mean spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot, if I do so say myself, plus using that tool makes cooking it up so easy and fast. We were going to eat it tonight after assembling it into a bake but then I decided to try my hand at cooking up some shrimp fried rice with snow peas and carrots, a recipe I had done before, so we’ll have the bake sometime tomorrow. I also noticed it starting to get colder and windier outside so I shut all the windows that were open and the back patio doors, no doubt to Carson’s chagrin. It was great while it lasted but it looks like it back to typical February New England weather…unfortunately.

A Productive 2-22-22

Got a lot of things done yesterday. First, waking up to the fog that lie about was wild in and of itself but I was off to Earth-1 to take care of some business, first and foremost getting an oil change for my baby. I like to go to this place across from Trum Field, they are truly the best. It’s important to find a mechanic shop that you can trust and these guys have never steered me wrong. Also, they are super fast, I was in and out of there in practically no time, an advantage of showing up early in the day for sure. Then it was off to some of the usual errands that I do when I’m orbiting Earth-1. The government issued Covid tests also showed up in the mailbox today instead of by the end of the week as originally predicted. They came in a rather nondescript folded envelope which was a bit strange. I also had to take one of mom’s cats down to the vet to get his nails cut, it just being too difficult to do it herself. When everything was said and done I had spent most of the day there, coming back in the early evening.

The Early Morning and I are Now Friends

A light blanket of snow coats the sandy shore as sun rises

Here’s another shot from yesterday’s sunrise excursion from Namequoit Point, early in the morning. I thought the light dusting of snow blanketing the sand with the sun rising up from the clouds might make a cool looking shot. Morning’s are probably my favorite part of the day, especially early mornings. I used to be a late riser but I’d say over the last 25 years or so I got into the habit of waking up fairly early. Even in the days when I go to rock clubs and listen to the headliners until 2 in the morning, I would still somehow manage to get up by 6 am. Sure I may have been dragging but just staying in bed just wouldn’t do it for me. My body over time just seemed to adapt to it. Even to this day, no matter how late I stay up I can still get up on time early and without the help of any alarm clocks. My body just seems to want to get up early now.

The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour. Then there is least somnolence in us; and for an hour, at least, some part of us awakes which slumbers all the rest of the day and night.”

― Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Another reason why I like the early morning is the stillness of it all. It’s quiet and I can just think and prepare myself for the day, and I don’t need to rush things usually, which is good in my case because nowadays when I rush I tend to forget things that I may need. There’s just something about the quiet serenity of the early morning that I just seem to gravitate toward these days, plus it has the added bonus of making the day seem longer (which could be a plus or minus depending on what one’s doing I suppose). They say nowadays that, young people especially, need to just take a time out, sit with their feelings, allow themselves to listen to their thoughts in quiet contemplation. That’s what early mornings do for me. Maybe my brain doesn’t work the same way as others as I’m able to tune things out when I need to, probably from growing up in a house where one could be surrounded with constant noise, a story for another day, but the mornings do soothe me. The only negative part is that it never seems to last too long and before you know it, the hectic necessity of the day has begun.

I finally got an email early this morning that the government issued COVID tests would be arriving in my mailbox by the end of the week. That took long enough, by this point everything seems to be on the downswing anyways. I also ended up watching a 2 hour special about the Station nightclub fire that happened down in Rhode Island. I thought it was really well done. Sad story that.

A Love Affair to Remember

Stairway to Heaven

I awoke early again to head on down and catch the sunrise as the morning looked to be much clearer than it was yesterday and with a lot less wind. I grabbed a few shots on my cell, the geese and ducks just sitting atop the water gliding by. Walking along the shore there were a couple of wooden stairways, access points for the owners of the properties that lie along the shore. They’re private and you’re not supposed to use them but no one was around and I was respectful and only climbed a couple of them and took a few sunrise shots, one of which is above, which Boston Fox 25 news station shared on their own Insta feed this morning, so thanks guys for that! I’ve included some of the shots on my Insta stories so you can see them there if interested for next 15 hours or so.

Sitting there on the stairs awaiting for the sun to rise really made me think about how fortunate I’ve been in life, and lucky to have finally found a love that is everlasting. Every new day just reinforces it all more and more although with the hectic schedules of life we sometimes neglect to appreciate it. It takes me moments like these to quietly reflect on things, how I arrived here, and just take it all in. I found a quote that pretty much summed it all up and how I was feeling. “The morning bids me to linger a moment before the sun proclaims the day as having arrived. And it is this silent space hewn from a day not yet on its feet that tenderly and at times abruptly positions me to better face the arriving day. And I am utterly amazed that there has never been a single day in the whole of my life where the day showed up without this gift. Rather, it’s that I have too often shown up too hurried to accept the gift.” This trip was a little getaway to celebrate LD (it’s going to be a year of celebrating!) and she needed some getaway time to reset and recharge. I hope she was able to do that with me. We both have a love affair with the ocean and eachother and to be appreciative to be near both whenever we can.

After cleaning and packing up we went to the Sparrow for some last minute things, spent a few minutes on Nauset Beach and watched the waves crash for a while and then headed to Sandwich for lunch right by the Cape Cod Canal before heading back home to Carson. The rest of the day was just hanging out on the sofa and giving that boy all the attention he wanted. He even napped with us. I believe he was truly happy to have us back.

Currently Reading: Two Old Women: An Alaskan Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival. I found this book in a little library down in Orleans while we were dropping off some old book of our own and this one looked intriguing to me and also a pretty easy read.

Staying on Namequoit Point

Sunrises over Namequoit Point

After travelling down this very narrow private dirt trodden road we had arrived at where we would stay for the weekend at a rather luxurious house on Namequoit Point in South Orleans, Cape Cod. It was all very quiet and rather dark in the cold winter night, although you could see the beauty of the stars above without any light pollution. Once inside I was impressed with the rooms, one with a very large television set, and a cute little day bed to go along with the master.

The house on the Point!

After a relaxing evening with some wonderful clam chowder and a cod dinner from a place we like down here called Max’s and a visit to our old standby the Chocolate Sparrow for some hot chocolates I rested up in order to try to get up before sunrise the next day. As the sun was rising, which you could see out the gorgeous picture window opposite the bed, I got to see various birds visit the feeder that was placed just outside. A good selection of black capped chickadees, song sparrows, tufted titmice, mourning doves, and a red squirrel or two, who seemed to have realized that all they could hope for was droppings from the birds above them. Later in the morning we decided to explore down to the Point, past the boathouse with it’s various canoes and kayaks laying outside awaiting the summer days. Although it was a pretty windy day, the sun was shining brightly on the bay and we took a slew of various photos. We walked in the sand all the way out to the tip of the point and have the photos on our phones to prove it. Among the sea gulls and horseshoe crabs that lay on the beach there was a cool looking petrified tree that we photographed ourselves with. I’m kicking myself because while I was packing for trip I had forgot to big my main camera and only remembered it after we were on the road for forty five minutes so I had to make do with my cell, which thankfully does take pretty good pictures and I usually will use just as an adjunct but I’m still angry with myself for forgetting my main equipment.

Just me sitting on a petrified tree

For breakfast we went to a place we hadn’t been to in a while called Jo Mamas (what a name, right?) that does does a really decent breakfast sandwich. I thoroughly enjoyed mine. After some more bit of relaxing I decided to see if I could get any possible sunset shots from the area whilst LD went off to get a much needed massage. The sky started to look a bit ominous though as perhaps it might rain or even have a possible snow squall. As four in the afternoon came by I looked out the window. It looked like the wind had died down considerably which was blowing quite hard for most of the day, but the clouds in the sky were getting heavier and thicker and more gray with each passing moment. It was beginning to look like there wouldn’t be any really cool pink cotton candy sky colors like there were last night. Instead it would look like various shades of puffy white and gray, which can be interesting in it’s own right. The clock said 4:17 and this time as I looked out the picture window I could see that snow had started falling blowing around in the wind. The flakes looked pretty big as they blew sideways from right to left across my view. Sunset was at 5:18 pm, I had decided that I will wait until five pm and then if it’s rather nasty out that I would give up on this particular quest. There will always be another time, plus I’m just not as young as I used to be so I have to be careful and be smart.

Petrified tree in the snow as the tide approaches

Five o’clock had arrived. it was still lightly snowing out and the sky was gray. I knew I wouldn’t get any colorful sunset shots tonight but I thought it might still be cool to see the Point with the snow falling on the sandy beach so I decided to take a quick trip out the back door and down the hill to the beach. Just as I was putting on my jacket I noticed that somehow a red squirrel had managed to somehow get past the blocker and found himself inside the feeder with the seed. Industrious little fellow! I zipped up my jacket, donned my hat, and headed out the back door. When I approached the feeder the squirrel proactively took off like a rocket even though I had no real intention of shooing him away, I just happened to be passing by. Down the hill back I went, past the boat house and onto the spit of a beach and grabbed a couple of shots real quick and called it a night for my photo adventures for the day. I got back just as the sky was turning dark, although it had looked like it was starting to have a pinkish kind of quality to it but I had already decided to stay put. Also by this time I had noticed that the red squirrel had come back and this time I watched him acrobatically jump from the ground, onto the cone that was supposed to keep them away and from there right into the feeder. To the winner goes the spoils!

For dinner LD was kind enough to pick up some take out on her way back from her massage. I had decided to get a juicy cheeseburger and she got a chicken along with a salad and we shared both!

Then it was just a quiet night of more relaxing and enjoying the moments of each other’s company.

The Unsolved Mystery of My Roots

I finally got a chance to watch this PBS show called “Finding Your Roots”. The premise of the show is that they get two celebrities and basically trace down their genealogical tree. On this particular episode they looked at John Leguizamo and Lena Waithe. What struck me as so impressive was far back they were able to trace these people’s roots. In the case of John they were able to go to like the 1400s to the time of the freaking conquistadors and Lena’s went way back too, to early Barbados. It’s also fascinating to see just where their last names originated from.

“You must always know your roots if you are to know how sturdy the tree will grow.”

Zoraida Córdova, A Crash of Fate

It made me wonder a little bit about my own history because basically I only know on my mother’s side up to my great grandparents and of that very little, nothing before them, and on my father’s side I don’t even know his parents having never had any contact with that side, although I’ve heard tales that they may have been lawyers, but nothing about their story or where they came from. So my history is pretty much blank. I guess all those hereditary genes will end with me, a mystery before, an unsolved mystery after. However with my last name there is something about the Lebanon area and of course Bethany, a town near Jerusalem, at the foot of the Mount of Olives, so there’s got to be some middle eastern descent in there somewhere although I am mostly Portuguese on my mother’s side. I would definitely watch this show more moving forward.

Made’s Instagram Page!

George framed in the snow

Imagine my surprise when I was notified that shared my photo on their Instagram feed! Credit where it is due, LD did get me to go out there and take some shots of which this is one, so she deserved some credit as well!

I think most people probably focus on the statue of Washington in the center framed by the two snow covered tree limbs however what no one seems to notice is the couple taking pictures over to the left of the shot which I thought was kind of cool.

The Heart that’s Meant to Love You

Roses for you

I used to hate Valentines Day or least be ambivalent towards it. I was never one of the “beautiful people”. I was somewhat of a nerd growing up. Some might say that I am still (being nerdy is in now of course, I missed that window by about 20 years). I was like Charlie Brown in that I would never get a valentine from anyone unless it was that thing you used to do as a kid in elementary school, but that wasn’t real. It took a while, but somewhere along the way, after much time, a couple of failed relationships, and a lot of just learning to love myself and maturing, that Valentines Day became something I could enjoy. It was all about finally finding that right person, and it took a long time, but like the say, the wait really is worth it. When you find someone that “just fits” it’s pretty incredible. Is it always perfection and sunshine? Of course not. But when it’s right, you learn to work with it, compromise at times, and maybe better yourself and your partner in your thoughts , views and feelings. Someone who thinks more or less the same way that you do, but in a healthy, conductive and sharable way. At least that’s what I believed happened in my particular case. Your flaws are perfect for the heart that’s meant to love you. So whether you like this holiday or not, whether you’re in a healthy relationship or single, just remember your own worth and know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We all want to be loved, we all want that connection. It is out there but like the cliché says, it only reveals itself when you aren’t really looking. The truth is, it’s been inside yourself all along. And once you can find it within yourself, then the person looking for the same will find you. I’m living proof.

A Visit to Boston in the Snow

General Washington in the snow, Boston Public Garden

Oh what a joy waking up to snow falling this morning. Not. At least it looks to be not more than a light coating to maybe an inch. I’ve noticed that the metatarsal in my right foot appears to be hurting me when I put weight on it when I first walk around for a bit. I think I pulled a ligament around there the other day. Joys of aging. It seems to only be most pronounced in the morning when I first get up, after walking around for a bit it’s ok, until I accidently pull the muscle there again and reaggravate it. But enough of my little ailments, not as bad as learning that my sister seems to have some kind of heart racing and high blood pressure issue which is finally starting to get treated. All things considered, this year hasn’t started off too great with various issues around friends and family but I suppose things could be a lot worse and hopefully as spring nears things will improve. and speaking of spring, the other day I saw my first robin of year which I always take as a sign that the warmer weather is just around the corner and I see as a first sign of spring. Yeah, I know that some of these robins stay through the whole year but don’t burst my bubble! When I see that first robin, I take it as spring is getting close.

Later in the day LD had to get some stuff in Beantown so I went along with. Afterwards she cajoled me in to maybe trying to get some pictures while we were in the area, and of course she is always right. So here’s one from today. I took a couple from the Common and the Public Garden which I may add later on as the days go by. Boston is pretty in this kind of light snow blanketing the trees and such. After eating lunch at a local Panera to go, and putting away some groceries, we settled in to watch the Puppy Bowl (neither one of us cares about football).

Duxbury Chose Me!

I’ve just received word that one of my photos has been selected as winner for the Duxbury Beach Reservation! In addition to being featured in their 2023 calendar I’ll be getting some prizes. (although now that I think about it, 2023 is a year away, so it’s going to be a while!) Still, this is fantastic news and I’m pleased that the vision I had for this particular photo resonated with the judges!

Thank you for everyone who has supported me in this endeavor!

A “Pizza” My Happiest Memories

Why was I not notified that today of all days was National Pizza Day? How could I let something like that slip by me? It may come as no surprise that Pizza is actually my favorite food and always has been. I can’t remember the first time I ever ate pizza but I guess my earliest pizza memories were probably going to a place called Speedy Pizza in Davis Square back in the day with my grandparents. (It’s no longer there but another pizza place currently sits in it’s space). If I can remember properly, which I usually cannot, I think it was like a Friday night thing, sort of weekly though not always. Later on I remember going out to pizza with them on Fridays down at the old Assembly Square Mall back when it existed and they had a Papa Gino’s in there. I do remember it was usually after a Friday night trip to K-Mart. For some reason this became kind of a treat for me, to go with them, and I mean hey, pizza! As a matter of fact in elementary school, and I suppose even all the way up through high school, when I went the lunch I had was always pizza. Maybe it wasn’t, but that’s all I remember eating. Back then, children’s nutrition wasn’t a big a thing as it is nowadays. Plus that pizza was like the Ellio’s – not that good but provided the required sustenance. Well tonight I plan on making salmon with broccoli and some Delecata Squash Gratin but maybe come this Friday, I’ll go order up a nice large cheesy pie and raise a couple of slices to my grandparents in heaven and Remember When.

The Fix

Today’s watch was How to Fix a Drug Scandal on Netflix, which describes the Massachusetts State Drug Lab Scandal that happened a few years ago. I knew of the story but not the total scope. Pretty interesting. And I’m off to my next book read, Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence.

Kindness Submitted

Carson warmth on a cold Saturday in February

Ended up being a rather productive Saturday as we did a little reorganizing of the home office here and cleaned up a bit. To relax we ended up watching the story of The Tinder Swindler on Netflix. In between all that I happened to notice Carson just hanging around on his cat tree and was lucky enough to grab this picture. Such a handsome, sweet and cute boy. He really saved us during this pandemic.

Making Kindness the Norm. LD found out about this thing where you color this image and then submit it and you get a sticker and maybe some other things if you’re lucky. Seemed like a good thing to do on a crappy weather day. My particular entry is on the left here using colored pencils. You still have time to get your own in if you’re interested and let’s face it, kindness should be the norm in this world of ours. Last night we also binged watched just about every episode of “Unbelievable” on Netflix. It’s really good, definitely recommend.

Think I’m going to attempt to make an Irish Beef Stew tonight. Perhaps I’ll update this entry as to how it all turns out.

What Better Things to Do?

On a day like today, really nasty, icy sleety freeing rain what’s a better thing to do than come up with another website redesign for the ol’ Hatchetation? We’ll see how long I stay with this one. If you have any particular thoughts on this deign please feel free to share them with me. I would be interested in your input. I also went ahead and purchased my resident parking sticker online. Unbelievable that they charge 40 bucks for that nowadays. I can remember when it was a dollar, then it went to 5 (it was at that cost for a while), then 10, then 20, and now 40. I can also remember when you could get them over at a building in Powderhouse Park, but those days are long gone now. I’ve also been starting to get all my tax documents together little by little. Planning to go over that probably by the end of the month. I don’t like to wait too long on things like that, just one part of a somewhat rigid personality trait that I possess. I was feeling pretty accomplished last night as I made this amazing chicken and gnocchi parmesan which actually came out really stellar. It even looked amazing but sadly I neglected to photograph it. Just the way the mozzarella cheese was bubbling was browned ever so slightly on top. Mmmhmmm.

Currently Doing

Update: Currently Playing: Checkpoint – I completed all 26 levels – feeling accomplished!

Currently Watching: Been watching the Secrets of Playboy documentary series on A&E. It’s not bad.

Currently Reading: Fighting Time by Banks and Knapper

Currently Eating: Using the lettuce we’ve grown hydroponically on burgers we made.

Currently Listening: the Jukebox naturally! Another Loaf record has arrived!

Currently Don’t Care: Tom Brady Retiring – enough already.

Looking forward to some really cool stuff coming up real soon so stay tuned for that!