Quite the Handfuls

Yesterday, when sorting through some old stuff, I stumbled upon this Polaroid, which seems like it was taken a lifetime ago. This is from the early Aughts, I think. This picture has quite the backstory, but I’ll let the readers try to piece it together as an exercise. I’m going to have to make some time to look over my other photos from this chapter of my life. There must be a couple more just like this one.

Some things that I want to do coming up in Spring is maybe a mini-golf outing and also a glass blowing class with another couple friends of ours. If they bag though maybe we can go with any other of our friends that may be interested. I also still want to try that axe throwing thing, that’s been on my bucket list for a while now.

This afternoon while I was walking around the flower gardens today, I noticed the daffodils starting to blossom and the tulip leaves starting to emerge. I also observed a snowdrop that I planted a few years ago is now in bloom, a lone soldier braving the cold to reach the sun. I’ll need to do some spring cleaning, get rid of some leaves, and so on, but not yet. I was thinking tonight might be a nice night to light the firepit, but I’ll wait on that as well. It’s nice to know that I won’t have to wait too long to do these things, and maybe even get the grill out a bit early.

Today also happens to be Pi Day (you know, as in 3.14159…) Normally I would celebrate by eating a pizza pie but I’ll probably save that for tomorrow as today I plan on trying my hand at making a mushroom ravioli dish.

Trimming the Bush(es)

I completed a number of tasks today to take advantage of the warmer weather this weekend. That makes sense, with temperatures in the 60s tomorrow and snowfall on Tuesday. Today I even got to talk to a woman who told me she was from Afghanistan and comes by me every now and again so we struck up a short conversation. Anyway, after my shift, I went ahead and decided to attack the insane rose bushes out front. I wanted to drastically reduce the size of those babies. Meanwhile, LD went to urgent care to see about a sore throat she’d been getting. And last night Carson gave us a little scare as a string was coming out of his butt and wouldn’t dislodge but I eventually got it out. Thankfully he’s fine now. That boy needs to stop eating strings! Also, since it’s National Pizza Day, I had to get some tonight. But back to the rose bushes.

I trimmed them way back and also had access to some invasive plants there that I wanted to get rid of for a long time but it was just too difficult to get to. But not today! A couple of hours of hacking and they were gone! Come to find out there was a patch of daffodils under there just trying to breathe. They can get the full sun now! Of course the only negative thing is that where the thorns clipped my fingers every now and then through my gloves, they itch. But that will go away.

Busy Little Beaver

Today I took advantage of the wonderful weather to complete my winterizing duties and prepare for the season. After mowing the front and back lawns, I raked/bagged the leaves, cleaned out the shed and organized it a bit, switched out the tanks for the grill and the outdoor heater, got the grill put away for the season (probably won’t use the grill anymore, but we might use the outdoor heater! ), pulled the remaining flowerbeds from the raised boxes, they were done after the frost, stored away the power washer, brought out the shovels and roof rake for when it snows, put the patio umbrella away and reorganized the basement. Whew! Not sure why I’m telling all this, just proud of my accomplishments I guess.

And Even More Annoying Now

Just when you thought the utility crews closing down every street couldn’t possibly get much worse, they start digging up people’s lawns and driveways to install new piping. In fact, they just notified me that they intend to dig up the driveway here and relocate the gas meter to the front of the house. That should be interesting to say the least, and also quite disruptive. We all want to hear jackhammers and backhoes all day in the driveway, which we found out they want to do on Monday, and then in 2 weeks or so they’ll need to come inside the house to hook up the new pipe to the existing infrastructure which will shut us down for 5 hours or so. I’ll need to go down there and move some of stuff out of the way temporarily for them to have room to maneuver. And, of course, the traffic around here is terrible now that someone had the brilliant notion to do all of the neighboring streets at roughly the same time instead of rotating the schedule around more.

In happier news, I’ve been replacing the screens in the doors with the glass panes in anticipation of colder weather, and getting some stuff put away for the season. The kitchen and adjoining area are all done now, although we do need to get a new wired door bell chime to match the new décor. It was probably time for an update to that old system anyway. Maybe we can get one that has a better sound too. I also want to purchase a saw to take down on more stray tree that sprouted up over time and just grew. I still haven’t pulled out the tubers or addressed the sump battery yet. Maybe I’ll get to to those tomorrow. sometime.

I’m having great fun playing through Katti. I mentioned this game in the last entry. I’ve been able to get to the second set of levels called “The B-Side”. Excellent puzzle game.

In a Thick Pea Fog and Pumpkins

Wow, it was thick as pea soup out there this morning. It all cleared up by about 10 am though and turned out to be a pretty good day. So I used it to get some things done that I’d been dragging my feet on the last couple of days. First,

  • Added some gas to the vehicle, was starting to get a bit too low for my liking.
  • Mowed the front lawn. It’s amazing how fast it grows. Got bit by some bug too which was unfortunate as it itches on my arm. Little f*cker.
  • Finally picked “Roger” the pumpkin off the vine. Proud that we grew this variety of pumpkin called a “Hot Chocolate Pumpkin”. Why is it named Roger? After Roger Moore, who played James Bond after Sean Connery. A Pumpkin we grew previously was named “Sean” in the same vein, so just keeping the line going. I suppose Regina should have been named Timothy after Dalton but I decided on Regina instead as it’s Roger’s “sister”. Not sure if Ruru, another pumpkin starting to form on the same vine, will make it, probably not, but Regina has a shot I think.
  • Helped LD set up her new Gravity Chair. It’s the bomb, now we can both relax the same way in our chairs!
  • Went down and had the propane tank to the gas grill refilled. Grilling season isn’t over yet!
  • Still need to refill the sump pump battery with distilled water, making sure not to douse myself in battery acid. Hopefully I can get to that sometime tomorrow.

Fall Cambridge Bike Ride in the Books


That time of year! It was time for the fall Cambridge bike ride again so I figured I would partake as it turned out to be a beautiful day. If I find other pictures that people had taken of the ride I’ll be sure to put them up and update this posting. There was one guy that we sort of know through the power of the internet that was also there and appeared to be filming it on his mounted GoPro so naturally I sidled up to him and a couple of times pulled in front just to see if I’ll be in his video later. First time I’d ever seen this dude in person – it’s a long story. I couldn’t help noticing some of the bikes these folks had, they looked really nice. Kind of makes me want to buy a new bike, maybe even an E-bike someday. Speaking of E-bikes, there was one guy there that made his own E-bike tricycle which was impressive enough but he also brought along his two pet bunnies that ride with him. Originally they were in the basket in back but at one point he took one out and placed it in front of him as he was riding. They seemed to like it.

Then when I came back to Earth-2 this afternoon I borrowed my mom’s chainsaw (Yes, my mom owns one!) and finally chopped down this tree that was part of the group of awfulness that I cut down a couple of weeks ago. There’s still one more to go but I think I’ll buy a hack saw for that. Chainsaw seems like overkill plus my cables don’t reach that far anyway.

Two Days of Whacking

Thatcher Island Lighthouse rises up from the fog of the morning. Rockport, MA

Haven’t been able to update over the last day or so because I took it upon myself to get rid of some giant rose shrub like monstrosities that had taken over over the years and needed to go. So I hacked away at it when I could and then most of the time was cutting it all up into smaller pieces and getting them into lawn bags. It probably would have went a whole lot faster if these things didn’t have these nasty little thorns all over them. Well, into day two of the project I finally finished. I think that was quite an accomplishment for myself. Oh, there were like 4 bird nests in there as well. Thankfully they were all empty.


Unfortunely it appears my Fitbit Versa 2 has finally died for good. I know it’s just the battery but they don’t support replacing them plus it doesn’t seem worth the hassle. So no0w I have a conundrum. Do I get another Versa 2 (mine did last almost 4 years) and keep my stats and all from all that time OR do I go and get a Galaxy Watch which would integrate with my Samsung cell and such so much better. I think I’m leaning toward the Galaxy but I hate to lose that 8 million plus step count. For the record I burned 3,600 calories and over 412 active minutes yesterday hacking down the shrubs! Maybe that’s what put the Fitbit finally over the edge!

Feeling Zen on a Late September Saturday

Zen rock structures at Rexhame Beach 9/17/23.

Took a trip to Rexhame Beach yesterday, it was kinda crazy how warm it actually was outside so we wanted to get some sun and fresh sea air. The hurricane was long gone and it pretty much missed us entirely but the waves were still a bit high, though nothing like the day before.

One the way home LD treated us to some Gerard’s turkey sandwich dinners. Yum! Then I watched her at the pool at the gym because she wanted to get some swim time in. They had just finished putting the pool cover over the rooftop in preparation for the colder weather. It basically is like a big tent.

For dinner I grilled up some burgers and a squash that we grew. We learned of a new way to prepare the squash on the grill. Basically just cut it in half lengthwise and grill it flat side down until down. Lot less prep than slicing it into rounds and putting in foil.

In the evening I painted one of my fingernails on each hand. Why? Just to be a little artsy I guess. Keep people thinking. We’ll see if it stays around but in a weird way, I am kind of liking it – it’s so not generally me.

I want to get through a bunch of stuff this week in anticipation of a house guest coming next week for a few days, I definitely want to get more wood for the firepit, do some mowing and some landscaping. I want to try to tackle taking down at least some of this weird rose bushy tree like thing that used to be nice but has overtaken too much and needs to go. I also need to buy some goggles and gloves as I want to tackle refilling the backup battery for the sump pump in the basement. Safety first!

Great Day to Make Some Beautiful Music

Today’s main image is from a bouquet of Poms I got for LD to commemorate her coming home from a two day trip last week as a surprise. I especially like how I set up the shadows to photograph this one, using light and darkness in such a way. The Pom flower is in the same genetic family that includes both chrysanthemums and daisies. We added the dahlia that we grew later to the center of it. There’s a couple more of them outside that I may pick later on and place into another vase just for themselves. Then I’ll dig out the tubers and store them over the winter again. These are the ones that I replant every spring and they just keep going. Pretty cool how that works.

Back in my music playing days

Around lunchtime, I drove over to Beth Israel Needham to dispose of some old medication. Did you know you can just put them in a box in the lobby to get rid of them? Another nice feature is that there’s another box right next to that one where you can dispose of any sharps you have, which I did as well. The last time I was there, I noticed these boxes and made a mental note to return later to get rid of these meds we’ve had lying around for who knows how long. It felt good to finally get rid of them safely.

I also returned some other woman’s meds that we know who wanted to get rid of hers, so I got it all done at once. You used to be able to get rid of them at the police station nearby (but not the sharps), but they got rid of that for some reason.

I am starting to really get sick of all the rain we’ve been having. Can you relate? Speaking of water, have you ever added distilled water to a sump pump battery? I just found out I need to do that to the sump pump battery in the basement as the sensor is going off alerting us to that particular issue.

Oh, in my photo “memories” today this one from a few years ago of me playing piano in front of Bentley College came up, surrounded by some adoring fans. Have to admit that was a pretty good day. Comment if you think you know what song I was actually playing. If you’re right I might send you a little surprise gift.

Burn

Today was the afternoon that I had to go have my dentist filling appointment. I’m happy to say that it was pretty quick and they didn’t even have to numb me up or anything. Just took the drill, carved out some stuff and filled it in with some amalgam of silver. Now I’m back to my regularly scheduled six month checkups, the next which will be in February. What a relief. I knew it wasn’t going to a be a big deal but I’ve always had some anxiety when it comes to going to the dentist. Most be due to my experiences when I was a kid.

On the garden front some things are coming to an end, yet other things are going great guns. For some reason, our marigolds this year really took off. I’ve never seen bushed of them so big. And “Roger”, the pumpkin, is appearing to get a number of younger siblings. We’ll have to wait and see if they all take. We also did pretty good with the squashes this year and have used a couple in our cooking over the summer.

One of Our Best Days on the Cape

Did you ever have a few days were there was so much packed in you couldn’t describe it all successfully?

That’s pretty much what I’m feeling right now. I did head back to Earth-1 on Monday Night to do my work shift on Tuesday morning but by the afternoon I was back. I grilled some burgers with the charcoal grill, we swam and swam. Harding’s Beach on Wednesday afternoon was particularly awesome. The water was warm, the waves were high, and I was having a blast. I think we all ended up staying there from like 1:30 to 6:30.

And of Course by the end of the day you have to check out the sunsets.

Although the sunsets so far have been a bit on the cloudy side, minus those amazing shots I got from Rock Harbor earlier in the week. The weather down here has simply been spectacular this week. I think it’s the best it’s ever been for us.

This morning I walked around some conservation land.

They had a pretty cool layout there and included this very Zen looking area. There’s just too much for me to process right now so here’s just a few pics from today.

Enjoying a Deep Tissue Massage to Work the Kinks Out

Orange Double Tiger Lily in bloom

I had a deep tissue massage today and it was one of the best I’ve ever had. I am so totally relaxed from it. Props out to Rebecca for treating me so greatly. I went with the deep tissue this time because I felt I needed it and it had been quite a while.

Other things I managed to get around to today were: I returned some grout that I had purchased in error a few weeks back to the Home Depot and used the refund to get a Jersey Mike’s for lunch, handed a donation benefit to a visiting African pastor (long story), I mailed an RSVP letter indicating that we will be attending a ceremony later this year, I changed the air purifier filters, I purchased gas, I went to the bank, I played the Powerball, and I cleared out the basement/gameroom of most of the kitchen things. It was nice to be able to get access to the air hockey table and arcade Ms. Pac machine. I fired them both up to make sure they still worked. The Ms. Pac is the real deal from the 80s, that takes quarters, not a reproduction. Nice to see that even though I was rusty I can still score over 100,000 points. Now, except for a few minor finishing touches, the kitchen is fully functional! Yay!

While walking around the garden, I saw several double tiger lilies blooming beside the ordinary ones. That caught me off guard! I don’t recall adding those. Anyways, I had to take a picture of one!

I decided to grill tonight even though it was pretty warm out. Another night of burgers.

Campus Dreams

Last nights dream…

I was walking with LD along a college campus. It was a mix or where she used to be but had a large campus like Harvard, so somewhat of a mix of the two. We ended up sitting for a while and listening to some kids’ stories since they were about to graduate soon. One girl we focused on ,mostly because we could hear her, and she was regaling all her wild escapades to her friends. After a while we got up and starting walking across the campus because LD needed to get back to work or something. When we eventually get to the the building she needs to go in, I somehow got behind a pillar or something and LD lost sight of me. I recall the stairway out front had a series of platforms with stairs and ramps in parallel a few times. I called out to her and she started looking around. Eventually she found me to say bye for now and now unfortunately the dream is fading from my memory as I’m writing this, but we were going to hug but then LD said something to me and then all the kids were watching us and we ended up kissing in front of the building. Then I woke up with happy tears in my eyes.

The dream had more to it I’m sure, especially at the end but I can’t seem to recall it all now but I wanted to get down what I could. Why? Because I didn’t want to forget it anymore than I already have.

We have so many different varieties of lilies popping up all over the garden this year. It’s quite spectacular!

Yesterday was a crazy day and I spent a good chuck of it over at Earth-1. First I went to get my car inspected by my mechanic. That passed with flying colors, I had no worries about that. Then I took my mom over to Dunkins to grab a coffee. I had to drive her over to the Stop & Shop because she wanted to get a few things using her card but for some reason at the checkout the card wouldn’t take, even though there’s never a problem. While that was happening I decided to play the a Powerball. What the heck, right? We were there for a while but the card just wouldn’t take so we had to abandon that mission for a bit since her other cat had an appointment for its yearly checkup and rabies shot. He ended up getting a clean bill of health, although he is a bit over 20 pounds (he’s a big cat!) and he has some dental issues, but not unusual for a cat of his age. Heading back to Earth-1 I dropped the cat off at the house, releasing him from his pet carrier, and then we proceeded to hit a different Stop and Shop, this time in Medford, to see if the card would work there. No dice there as well, although I was able to purchase a crossword puzzle book. Basically the only one that I like because it’s the only one I found that isn’t too hard or too easy. It’s called Superb Crossword Jumbo y Kappa and comes out monthly. I’ve thought of subscribing to it a million times but never do. Eventually my mom ended up calling the card people and they’re going to send her a new card. It could be that from too many swipes the code has worn off too much. Hopefully that will fix the issue she was having.

painting at the vet’s

Heading back to Earth-2 I got stuck in traffic. Took me about an hour and a half to get back. Typically I can make the trip in 30-45 minutes. I had to pick up some meds for LD on the way so I did that as well. Then I ended up grilling us a couple or burgers for dinner. We ended up not watching tv or anything, just enjoying the silence for a change. Then we passed out in the living room but eventually found our way up to the bed.

The backsplash guy has been here all week! Mostly because of all the intricate cuts to the glass tiles that he had to do to go around corners and such, He should be finished today. As a final step he’ll be applying the whitest grout that the grout makers make! Looks real good! Getting to the very end of the reno now! Hurray!

Currently reading: Raw Dog: The Naked Truth About Hot Dogs

The Beautiful Moves in Curves

Soft curves, warming shades, organic contours.

Been pretty busy getting down to the last of the kitchen remodel. It’s almost done and looks spectacular! I’ll post a before and after when it’s all done. I think you’ll be amazed by the transformation. I know I was! LD worked hard to get it just right and it shows.

The various lilies in the garden are just now beginning to bloom. Since they were all planted at various dates and in various places, I never really understood how many distinct varieties we actually have. Now that they all appear at the same time, the variety excites me, plus they are so cool to look at.

One benefit of remodeling the kitchen is that I’ve developed some grill master skills. I suppose it’s accurate to say that practice makes perfect. When it’s extremely hot outside or the weather is simply not cooperating, it’s not really that much fun, but then we’ll either have some leftovers or possibly some takeout, but overall, I’m becoming somewhat of a little chef.

Nature’s Own Little Fireworks Display in the Garden

Pretty low key July 4th here today. Glad I got to do all I wanted to do yesterday. I think everyone had a pretty good time. The rain does make for good flower photos though! I noticed these little babies growing over in the corner of the yard and needed to take a closer look. I like how they had all arranged themselves around like they are. I also made a bunch of progress on my reading. The garden is looking spectacular all around. My folks were impressed with our green thumb! We’ve created quite the lush oasis around here! Thankfully by supper time the rains had stopped and I was able to get out there and grill some stuff up.

First Fire Lily of the Season

I was really excited to see this fire lily open up after the rains last night. I love the fire lilies that we have and am always so glad when they decide to show their colors for us. They don’t last too long so we have to catch them when we can. This little guy seemed to bloom a bit early, but I’ll take it!

I want to try Starry soda and some Warheads Sour soda based off the candy, which sounds really disgusting and probably is, but I think I want to try it anyway, at least the Green Apple and Watermelon flavors.

This afternoon was spent checking out paint colors, determining what handles to have for the cabinets, and a bunch of other things that I won;t bore you with at the moment.

Century Old Lilies Bring the Fire!

100 year old bulbs came to life

After work today I decided to do some long overdue work in the garden, especially during a lull when the breeze was blowing and the day felt cool to me, so I thought it would be a good time to get to it. I basically used six mulch bags to surround the bases of all these lilies. Something LD’s been wanting me to do for a while now. It was on my to do list and I finally got it done. These particular lilies were gifted to us from one of LD’s pool buddies who also is in charge of the town’s garden club. Anyways, these lilies are , like, a century old! Nice to see they still have that fire. I hope I still have that kind of fire if I can make it to a century old!

The electrician came by today. We needed to move a couple of the outlets around to accommodate the new countertops in the bar-top area, I was afraid we were going to lose them but he managed to figure out a way to get most of them newly situated.

Location, Location, Location

Latest Work: One of my latest Cape shots has been put up for purchase. I think the notebook would be really cool. The metal print large would look pretty sick too.

Spent the morning weeding out the prarie area a bit, ans then added mulch to the central lily area in the middle of the back yard. I want to do more but then it got a little too warm out for me, so I’m going to wait until later this afternoon once it cools down a bit to maybe try to finish some of the things that I started. I don’t want to overdo it.

I spent some time with LD down at the gym, watching her do her amazing swim routines. It was quite the beautiful day for being in the pool for sure.

Below is a shot from Nubble I discovered I took from last year. Figured I’d share it because it looks kinda cool.

Serenity Now!

Well, I forgot to mention yesterday another thing going on over at Earth-1. Contractors are ripping down the old industrial laundry building behind my mom’s house. What a giant mess that is! They’re making space for, what else, some new condos. I saw the skeleton of the stairway exposed that led from the front door up to the old iron pressers on the 2nd floor. I remember going up and down those stairs many, many times when I was a wee lad bringing those ironed shirts down from there and across the street to the dry cleaning operation, which is now gone and also replaced by a condo. Interestingly as a side note, before it was a dry cleaner building, it used to be a Dairy Queen and I can remember being 4, 5, or 7 and my aunt coming over and giving me a dollar to go get an ice cream from there back in the day. Eventually the prices started the climb and I’d still get the dollar, but my aunt didn’t seem to realize that a buck didn’t buy as much as it used to. I appreciated the gesture though!

Some of the tiger lilies are staring to bloom in the garden, What an explosion of color! I need to do some more weeding around that area though. It’s on my to-do list! Also can hear another baby hawk squawking all day long again! You might remember from last year, all the adventures I had in dealing with those creatures!

Busy day at the mansion here today. The new countertops are installed and what a day it was seeing how the process goes. They look super awesome and they even got the muted veins to match the slabs where they cut Amazing. It’s really going to look sick once the backsplash tiles LD selected go in. Anyways, every day it’s something happening! The plumber is set to come tomorrow to get the new sink up and running and get the dishwasher all back online and integrated into the new cabinetry.

Happy First Day of Summah!

Happy Summah (Boston pronunciation of summer) Solstice

Today was a busy day, and this entire week has been quite busy. I went and brought back every countertop sample we had looked at to the various outlets that deal with that sort of thing. Surprisingly, the actual countertops will be installed on Friday. Now that’s service! It helps to know people and have connections, for sure! The new ceiling fan is installed, and the dishwasher is almost ready to use, thanks to the electrician who visited today. There was a slight blip when he had to cut some power and the internet went out but it was back up fairly quickly. Just unfortunate timing for some of us. The new cabinets look great with the crown molding covering their tops. Since the job began, I have been snapping a few photos every day so that we can track its development. What a fantastic transformation this is becoming!

I went ahead and replaced one the outdoor lights by the door since it hadn’t lit up in while. At first we thought it might be an electrical issue, but a new bulb appears to have solved the problem. I also planted some potatoes in a raised bed, an experiment for now.

Additionally, today marks the official beginning of summer, my favorite season of all! I mean, how else could I get such amazing images from the Cape, like this one I’ve added here, without the arrival of summer? Pluses: beach, no jackets, late sunsets. Minuses: bugs, sunburn, annoying next door neighbors kids’ pool parties.

Currently Watching: Crack Addicts. A show about people visiting this chiropractor and she cracks their backs and such. The sound though! urgg!

A Happy Father’s Day

In front of a New England classic

Today I was jonesin for a little bit of Kelly’s Roast Beef out in Revere Beach, so LD was kind enough to get us there today. I also wore my Carson sweatshirt which was a gift from last year but I wear it only on special occasions because it is so special. It’s actually a hoodie, with the face of Carson on the front and the text “Carson’s Dad” all hand stitched from a photo that LD sent to a woman in the Ukraine who made it. Truly a one of a kind! It took a long time to arrive but I’m amazed it came at all seeing as there is a war going on over there! I enjoyed my roast beef sandwich loaded with cheese and sauce, but I did switch hoodies when it came to eat on the beach because I would not want to get the Carson hoodie damaged in any way!

The other night we had some friends over for an impromptu BBQ and fire pit night. We ended up just getting takeout from a great Greek food place in town and then did the S’mores thing. It was supposed to happen on Saturday but the weather looked to be crappy so it all got moved up to Friday night and it was wonderful. We did need all of Saturday to basically recuperate from it all though. Being social can take a lot out of a person!

LD got these cool little firefly lights for the garden that are solar powered. They’re cute, purely decorative but I’m mentioning them because they’re pretty neat and it’s fun to look out the window when it’s dark out and see them lit up.