We did a few things for Small Business Saturday. First we took a ride out to Holliston to this little farm that was doing some kind of SBS event. With a purchase you got to hang with the goats for free so that’s what we did. We also got some amazing catnip there that Carson really seems to enjoy. I don’t know what it is about this particular stuff but I’d never seen him go after catnip like he does when encountering this concoction. They also had this cool light up goat like the reindeers we have but it was a goat and large! Can’t seem to find it anywhere online – would definitely get one if we can find it. After looking around the town a little bit (truth to tell there really isn’t a heck of a lot there) we headed over to Salvage Angel’s pop up event. Salvage Angel is like a place that sells antique and kitschy type stuff but every so often they have other vendors come by and set up tents outside to sell their wares. Got some stuff there too.
After all that we had to pick up some stuff at Target and Wal-Mart. (I know, Small Business Saturday?) The Target pick up was uneventful. You just go into the spot, let them know on the app, and they bring it out to you. The Wal-Mart run was a different story. The same basic concept except they seemed to be overloaded and couldn’t run it effectively. After waiting for long after a half hour we finally bailed and may attempt it another day. There was one point where the Ladydoc in utter frustration yelled out “Where are the workers!?” in typical LD fashion. I thought it was pretty hilarious but she was right and had a right to be annoyed. By this point we were getting hangry so we hit the local deli and got a sandwich to nosh on and some stuff to make for dinner tonight.
Had a great time yesterday. Everything went well, everyone had a good time, and there was enough food for everyone. Carson even said hello and got in on the fun at times.
Today I was tasked with beginning to set up the Xmas stuff. I got the reindeers out of storage and set them up this afternoon. These are the new ones that we got last year to replace the decade ones that we had before. I actually prefer these ones better – seem to be built better. Also brought out Peng, Carson’s Christmas buddy!
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.
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
Carson’s owners were having a hell of a time in getting him to the vet today. The mere suggestion of a vet visit would send Carson hiding under the bed and refusing to come out. Even the sound of the cat carrier would make him bolt for the nearest hiding spot. His owners tried all sorts of tricks, from bribing him with treats to luring him with toys, but nothing seemed to work. They even resorted to trapping him, but Carson proved to be too clever for them, always managing to evade capture. One of his favorite moves was to run under the bed in the bedroom to be in such as spot under it as to be the most difficult to reach from any angle. It was a frustrating ordeal for his owners, who knew that regular vet visits were important for their cat’s health and well-being. In the end, with a little bit of coaxing and fake outs, his owners were able to grab him by the scruff of the neck and place him into the carrier. The boy was upset and confused and gave out the most heart rendering wails which did upset his owners and even the contractor who just happened to be working in the kitchen this day. But when all was said and done, Carson got to his appointment and checked out with a clean bill of health and a shot that he was due. He even got a little mani-pedi while he was there, although he was pretty nervous about it all, which we knew when the tech mentioned that he was sweating through his paws. Carson is happy to be back in his home now and everything is back to normal except now his parents will need to swallow some of the gabapentin he was prescribed but wouldn’t take to calm them down!
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.
I saw the two mourning dove babies still hanging around yesterday. They are getting so big already. They were walking along the sidewalk pecking at things in the grass while what I believe was a parent keeping watch nearby. It’s amazing that they seem pretty self sufficient now but that the parents still keep an eye our for them. Nice to see.
Kitchen remodel is coming along great. A LOT of progress yesterday. Today and possibly tomorrow Ceiling Guy will do his thing!
Ceiling guy is done! Now just waiting for the dust to clear so to speak. And I forgot to mention that today is Carson’s Birthday!
LD also went out and looked at some quartz countertops, I think it’s been narrowed down to the one to get.
Found another site that uses Ai to create images and I had it create this dashing image of Carson. Anyways the site is called Lexica.art and it looks pretty cool. I also found a site that will generate a musical rap for you based on a prmpt you provide. I’m trying to get it to rap out something about LD but I need to work with it a bit more. If it creates something I really like I’ll post it. If you want to try it out for yourself the site is called Uberduck.ai
The plan is on finishing cleaning out the last of the cabinets today as demo starts tomorrow! *gulp!* I want to take before/during/and after pictures.
Currently Reading: Hollywood Ending: Harvey Weinstein and the Culture of Silence. Interesting life story about the dude but more interestingly, to me anyway, is why everyone was so silent about his abhorrent behavior and why for so long.
I had to run down to the home improvement store this morning because the ceiling fan remote just didn’t seem to be working anymore. I was hoping it was just the battery and I’m pleased to say that that was what it was. Strangely enough, even though I took the old battery out, the light went on with no power, which was truly weird. I figured that battery maybe just had one last hurrah in it. Anyways, it’s all good to go now.
I decided to remove the glass panes from the doors today and put in the screens, now that the weather is turning warmer, plus Carson likes to look out the screens in the early evening. Speaking of Carson, he helped us out with some bread this morning, which you can see below.
I’ve been charging the string trimmer because I need to trim some areas of the lawns since I had mowed. Plus there’s a bunch of weeds I need to get rid of. I did see a chunky possum in the street this morning, it was so cute. Such a strange looking little creature.
Currently Reading: Figured I would go with a true crime story this time around through the Libby app and decided to go with The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream. A little Victorian Era tale. Also picked up Scrappy Little Thing by Anna Kendrick.
When crocuses begin to emerge from the ground amid the winter’s dead debris, you know spring has finally arrived!
Currently reading: Quantum Care: A Deep Dive into AI for Health Delivery and Research. I won this one on a Goodreads giveaway so I figured I might as well read it, although I don’t remember applying to try to win this one. No matter, I find the subject matter interesting.
I had to go down to the pet store and get Carson another fountain because his finally died. They only had the smart version of the fountain that he likes so I ended up getting that, even though it’s more money and we really don’t need to smart functionality but I felt he couldn’t wait until I could find a dumb one, so here we are. This one does have a nice stainless steel top though while the dumb version was only plastic. Hopefully he’ll dig this one as much as the last one. Other than the stainless top and smart functionality, this fountain is essentially the same as this last one.
Carson “the kitty” is a typical house cat who spends his day lazing around and entertaining his human family. But, even a typical day for a cat like Carson is full of interesting moments and surprises. Carson starts his day early, as soon as the sun rises, usually after a night of his snoring. Like all cats, he is a creature of habits and has his own routine. He stretches his legs, yawns (a lot, I once counted 12 in a row at one time) and looks for his first meal of the day, his crunchies. Unlike other cats he likes to “paw” them out of the bowl before eating them. He does that with his water fountain too.
He wanders around the house until he finds his string toys, which are littered all around the house. After breakfast, Carson takes a stroll checking out everything and anything that’s new or interesting or out of place. He watches birds from the window ledge and his cat trees and takes the occasional nap in a sunny spot. Carson’s human family is busy getting ready to leave the house for the day, so he will spend some time trying to snuggle up in his favorite places in a sunny spot, although he doesn’t really like to be left alone. He overheard his daddy once call it something like separation anxiety. As the day progresses, Carson loses himself in his thoughts and daydreams. He imagines himself chasing mice, and playing with his human guardians. He dozes off and wakes up a while later to stretch his paws and flex his claws on his scratching post. In the afternoon, Carson likes to play a little with his humans. They toss him a toy and he paws at it with glee. He is especially enamored with a catnip laced cloth ice cream cone and his Dr. Pussums pillows, which his momma thoughtfully purchased on getaway trips up north.
He also loves a brushing and purrs contentedly as his humans stroke his fur. He also squawks when he wants something or feels that his very important needs are not being met. Sometimes (oftentimes!) rather loudly. He certainly knows how to get attention and his points across when need be.
Finally, when evening comes, Carson is alert and ready for his dinner, mostly a tuna concoction that his human daddy has to mush up with some water to a consistency that he finds acceptable. And of course some treats! Afterward, he indulges in some more playtime or maybe looking out the front door as evening approaches before settling down for the night. He curls up on his favorite spot, usually next to his human momma on the ottoman and as his eyes slowly close, he knows that tomorrow will bring a new adventure. Carson’s day in the life is full of simple pleasures, routines, and a lot of love. As his human family looks on affectionately, they know that even though Carson does not speak (at least not in English), his quirky habits and charming personality bring them joy and happiness every day.
Thought it would be fun to list what I felt were the top ten moments of my life from 2022!
It wasn’t easy coming up with this list and truth be told, with the exception of maybe the top two, any of these could be in any order. I’m sure I’m missing some things as well here and there, but these are the moments that stood out the most to me from the past year. As usual the images I’ve taken during the year helped me to remember and capture some of the moments. You can click on the smaller ones to see a better view. And now without further ado, let’s get right to the list!
Number 10: Visiting Cameron the baby goat on Easter!
Yes, Cameron was born on Easter, and that white goat which you can see in the left hand bottom corner of this photo is Mira, his mother, which is short for Miracle because when she was a baby she almost didn’t make it. She’s turned out to be an amazing mother to her baby – it was fascinating to watch. So Cameron will be a year old come April of next year. Sadly, we learned that his mother passed away since from eating too many turnips of all things.I would like to see how big Cameron has gotten though, maybe in the spring we’ll get a chance to revisit.
Number 9: My Birthday Trip staying at a Treehouse!
I never saw this one coming!
Thanks to LD I got to be hanging in an Airbnb in Dover NH that had an actual treehouse overlooking the scenic Piscataqua River, watching baby robins being fed by their mother in another tree in the back yard, getting clean in the shower that had two showerheads almost opposite each other which was really cool, grabbing burgers at the BRGR Bar in downtown Portsmouth, getting some shots over at the Nubble, hanging out and swimming at Long Sands beach, eating clams at Bob’s and probably some more things that I can’t remember right just now, but the memories that do stand out to me will be with me forever. It was pretty cool watching the sunset over the river from the top of the treehouse. Hey, I grew up in the city, we didn’t have any treehouses! Especially not any as large as this one was.
Number 8: New Glasses for the Win
I finally got a chance to head on over to the eye doctor for some new eyeglasses this year. I’ve had the ones I’ve had for quite a while and I felt it was time for a change, plus I wanted to get progressives since the way my eyes are currently working these days. It was good to see that my eye health in general is pretty optimal, only a stronger prescription for my near sightedness was needed, which is what I suspected and hoped. Like I said, it was time for an updated look! They’re Versace to boot!
Number 7: February Cape Trip / Orleans House
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.
After a relaxing evening with some wonderful clam chowder and a cod dinner from a place we like down here called Mac’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.
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.
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.
Number 6: Lavallette Visit/Yonkers NY
Spent a few days down in Lavallette, NJ at a Airbnb, in fact the same one we stayed in last year at this time. It’s a great location and a pretty good place to hang out. We had a some family stay overnight with us at the beach house and I do think they all had a fun time. We were able to see two sunsets (all three days had gorgeous weather), a full moon one night, and even whales breaching right off the shore. It was quite the sight to see, especially since they were so close to the shoreline. There’s a picture out there of one literally right next to a surfer, like he could touch it with his hand, it was that close. Had some good food (some takeout but we also made some stuff and gobbled that all down over the time stayed). We were able to enjoy the takeout meals while seeing the sunset at the end of a neighboring pier. The following night, we had our guests picked up by driving them to the JBJ rest stop area so that we wouldn’t have to travel all the way back to the Airbnb because we were spending an additional night. There were some amazing pictures taken there of LD belting out the hits with the guests. It was a really fun time!
We had a late checkout the next morning, so we took our time, ate breakfast on the beach at a local coffee house we like called Lava Java, and enjoyed a little more time at the beach as the sun was feeling quite wonderful. As we were about to return to Boston, we decided to take a detour and visit our old friend Chris and his two young girls in Yonkers, New York. There was a park right next door where we could all hang for a bit outside and the kids could play in the meantime. Beautiful looking children too. Quite a whirlwind of a weekend! As LD likes to say #livingalifeIdontneedavacationfrom!
Number 5: Spring Lake “Hut” Stay
Hard to believe that this was even this year, for some reason to me it seems so long ago! We stayed at an Airbnb in the cutest little tiny house (500 square feet!) right by Lake Como in New Jersey. Spent most of the morning getting there but it wasn’t that bad at all. We had dinner with a friend at a place by the shore and then after got to see some amazing sunset that was happening right above our heads.
The next day started out by us getting some bagel sandwiches at a recommended place down the street. We were not disappointed. After that scarf down we headed over to the beach which is within walking distance of where we are staying. Got the chairs and umbrella out, found a spot, and enjoyed the day, splashing in the waves and drying off in the sun, both under the umbrella and later on, out in the full sun of the day and enjoying some fun activities. I guess we ended up having such a good time there that when we got back to the cottage we pretty much unintentionally fell asleep and took a nap. As evening started to roll around we went out for some air and picked up a pizza from a cute little local place which we brought back and ate. This town really is so cute, from it’s little downtown area, to the lake area, and of course it’s seaside beach! This is also when we first experienced the JBJ rest stop.
Number 4: Goat-a-Grams Visit
On this day I was able to get a couple of baby goats to visit LD for a continuance of her celebration this year. They were the cutest things, named Speck and Ziggy, brothers as it were. A nice thing that along with all the goat snuggles is that they were going to town on eating all the fallen oak leaves. I think they had as good a time as we did. It was a fun experience and they came right to the house. We also had a couple of guests visit which was also very nice. It was interesting to watch the goat watch one particular guest and watch that same guest watch that particular goat! I would totally do this again. I’m glad the weather held out and didn’t rain. It was a bit windy (the remnants of Hurricane Ian) but nothing us hardly New Englanders couldn’t handle.
Number 3: Summer on the Cape 2022
Some of the fun things we did with a couple of guests we had over for an overnight as well.
Swimming in the outdoor pool in the afternoon to cool off a bit
Getting lunch sandwiches from a local deli
Checking out our favorite spots at Nauset
Heading over to Macs on the Pier in Wellfleet enjoying a dinner on the beach
Heading over to Rock Harbor to catch the last rays of sunset
Grabbing some desserts at the Sparrow as per our usual routine!
Winding down with the charcoal grill doing up S’mores and turkey burgers and washing them down with beers
As always, illuminating conversation!
Falling asleep as midnight approached
Saw some cool whale art installation in Chatham center as well where you could also bid on the artwork. We also got to see a large heron fly over our heads which was really cool.
Hiked the Eddy Trail, probably one of our favorite locations to hike of all time. As an added treat they had the story of The Lorax all laid out along the trail, a page or two every so often along the way. The finale (well, really the half way point since you have to walk back) is ending up upon the cliff face. It just so happened to be high tide, so we got to see various boats floating along the flats. We even got to see a baby bunny along the trail. Of course it was scared but very cute as we said hello and went on our way.
Number 2: Duxbury Photo Awards Ceremony
What an honor!
We got dressed up for this! A while back we had entered some of my photos from Duxbury Beach on over to the Duxbury Beach Reservation Committee and low and behold they actually chose one of the three that we submitted! I was notified that I’d be included in their upcoming calendar why back in the late spring. Imagine my surprise when months later, I was invited by them to participate in a thank you and reception to be held at the Duxbury Bay Maritime School! We arrived and were greeted by the trustees of the Reservation and lead upstairs to the Chart Room where all the winning photographs were on display, printed out and framed around the room! Very cool! After a brief talk and meet and greet with the other folks we all got our gift bags filled with goodies from the Reservation even and got to keep our winning photo, frame and all! They really do look pretty amazing all framed out.
After looking through the gorgeous calendar my shot appears in the month of September. Why did I pick this shot to take? I had just happened to be walking around by the bridge and I saw that most of the water had receded at that time so I wandered underneath. I think at first I was taken with the woodwork underneath the bridge road surface. I thought the texture looked pretty cool, and then the more I looked I thought the ripples in the sand and even the shadows created by the sun underneath was also pretty cool. It’s also something really related to Duxbury Beach as the bridge is a big part of it and I wanted something representative of the area. I also took “regular” beach shots but I felt those could be from any beach, with this, I felt it was something that only exists here and is instantly recognizable to the folks who frequent here.
None of any of this would have been possible without the love and support of the Ladydoc. From getting me here to sharing ideas and looking for opportunities for me. Hell, she even bought me the “real” camera that I used to take these shots way back when! I wanted to give her the credit that she deserves and for making me better in every way. All these shots that I take really couldn’t have happened without her in my life. So thank you LD, from the bottom of my heart.
The Runners Up!
Like I said there were so many things, even in a year when the pandemic is still hanging around, we did get to do a lot of cool things. Here are some more highlights that could have surely been in the top ten but I couldn’t fit them in. But here’s my attempt in a stream of consciousness type format:
As seen in the header image, on New Years Eve of 2022 there was some skating out out front of the town theater, hanging with Lenny at the Yoga studio, Carson coming out of his shell to meet visitors, various trips to the local beaches including Duxbury, Marshfield, and Revere. A cow named Dudley having a birthday party, Kennebunkport prelude this year with fireworks, good eats, and good friends, cleaning out LD’s old office in an adventure I called “Project Extraction.” Visiting our friends’ new house they just bought in Georgetown (we did this just yesterday on NYE), new appliances in the kitchen, a new bathroom in the basement and new flooring in the kitchen and cellar, some of my pix making the local news outlets including Boston.com, attending a couple of concerts this year, Johnny Mathis with/for my mom after being postponed for two years and a Meat Loaf tribute, partaking of food trucks over at a place called the Salvage Angel, a special Xmas Eve dinner from Rosetta’s, growing our garden and starting out with hydroponics, checking out an interactive King Tut exhibit during the summer, biking with a group in Cambridge over the spring, discovering Like No Udder in Providence RI and watching LD become a master swimmer. I also leaned a lot about cooking and grilling this year, making meals almost daily.
I read a bunch of books this year, though not as many as I had hoped. Some of my favorite reads this year however were the following: The Babysitter: My Summers with a Serial Killer, Egypt’s Golden Couple: When Akhenaten and Nefertiti Were Gods on Earth, Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture, Hell’s Half-Acre : The Untold Story of the Benders, America’s First Serial Killer Family ( a read I found in a little library in Chatham down on the Cape this summer), and The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service.
… And now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for!
Number 1: LD’s Very Special Birthday Party Extravaganza!
The party to end all parties and I think everyone who attended had a great time! We were scrambling a little bit as the party start time drew near, with getting tables set up, and picking up the cake, getting a balloon and such, etc. Everyone who said they would attend did and we even had three dogs visit, including Boomer all the way down from Maine, and Lenny, a dog I’ve been wanting to meet for a long time. (My first time meeting Lenny!) He was one solid boy weighing close to over 50 pounds! We played a game that made you meet and talk to people to learn things about them and it actually worked and everyone was into it. Another one of LD’s friends was kind enough to pick up the main entrees from Canton so that was a great help. The camera was all set up for the selfie station and I set up a shared google drive directory so that folks who took one can download their pictures. (I’d add more here but unsure if people would want their images out there so I’m not posting more). The weather was perfect for a party day! We had some pretty great homemade props which I’ll be saving to use for future events.
People also got to see the new basement and bathroom to help us decide on colors by voting. So we had a lot going on, between everyone meeting everyone, eating all the various dishes, watching LD smash her piñata, cutting the cake, playing the games, and having a good time. LD even went out of her way and cooked some gluten free things for some guests who could not partake of the main entrees. All the desserts were a huge hit, from the cake which truly was delicious to the special ice cream sandwiches we got from Providence. As the party was ending (the last guests didn’t leave till around 10 pm!) we saw the SpaceX rocket in the sky although at the time we didn’t know what it was, circled around the fire pit. The main thing was that everyone who came genuinely came to celebrate LD and you could feel the joy. We have to remember that we really are surrounded by wonderful people who care and love LD and I’m very appreciative that I was also able to partake in that.
So all in all I’d have to say it was a great year. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all tea and crumpets, there were things that sucked, like the various hospital visits and stays, and some other setbacks here and there, but overall, it was a year for the record books. And so, with that, here is my wish for you. I want to pause and reflect and send you special magic wishes for a joyful New Year. Wishing you a year of… new beginnings filled with hope and promise… simple pleasures to enjoy and share… beautiful moments to remember always… and peace and happiness in your heart and home. Happy New Year everyone!
Back from a wonderful weekend in Maine during the Christmas Prelude festivities that the town of Kennebunkport puts on. LD got this sweet little Airbnb location right near the center of town so everything was really convenient and accessible to get to. The first night there, which was Friday, we kind of just checked in to the Airbnb and got some takeout and hung with some friends that live in the area. We got to hang with their pups, Boomer and Pippa. Boomer is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever so he’s a pretty big dog. He doesn’t really seem to know that though as his master keeps trying to train him but he has a ways to go. Still, he is a love and LD can’t get enough of him, they have a special connection, Pippa is a Jack Russel and a bit feisty but that’s her personality. I don’t think we got back to the Airbnb until after midnight. For some reason time just seems to fly anytime we are there.
The next day we got breakfast done the street at a little coffee shop and then headed over to some crafty fair thing. They did have some amazing looking gingerbread houses in one of the shops. In the evening we hit a restaurant and checked out some things, like the various lighted trees in Cape Porpoise as well as KBP and did a bit more shopping and browsing. Before that though we drove to Ogunquit to see some fireworks – perhaps that town wanted to get in on what KBP was doing. The weather was great all weekend except that it was a bit on the chilly side.
On Sunday we checked out some Dog parade they were having. Pippa was supposed to be in but bailed at the last minute because it was a bit too cold, plus she’s feisty, like I mentioned before. For lunch LD had somehow managed to reserve a fish shack at this restaurant called Batson River Brewing and Distilling. It was quite an experience. We liked it. And I have to say the food on this trip was really good. Every place that we went was great. I took a ton of pictures of which here is a sampling. Truth to tell I simply cannot remember every single thing that we did!
Driving home on Sunday night kind of sucked because we got stuck in the falling snow so getting home was slow but we made it safe and sound and that’s what’s important.
In other small news:
Gametime: Sophie the Slug. A fun little sliding game I’ve been playing with lately. I also borrowed a new book from my Libby App entitled “The Babysitter: My Summers with a Serial Killer” about the story of Tony Costa. It’s a pretty good read as I am enjoying it. I learned a fascinating tidbit while reading the early chapters of this book in that he actually lived two streets up from where I grew up. Pretty wild.
We went to the beach yesterday! In a strange turn of events, the temp today was close to 70 plus degrees and sunny so we had to take advantage of it.
What we didn’t realize until later is that I guess it’s been a while since we’ve walked along sand because when we came back we were all tired and hurting.
Although the tiredness could be due to the open faced turkey sandwiches we got from Gerald’s in Marshfield. Yes, they were delicious and we signed up for their individual turkey dinner for Thanksgiving in a couple weeks. Did that last year and it worked out really well for us.
The rest of the evening was pretty much just laying low, although we do have more stuff to do. We’ll try to cram it in today as we’re having guests later tonight visiting for a few.
Check out this cutest pick of Carson, photo credit courtesy of LD yesterday morning. He doesn’t usually sit next to his doppelganger but for whatever reason he did this time.
I got a chance to hang out with Lenny again! This time over at the yoga/healing arts studio that he’s been hanging out in on the weekends, talk about a lucky dog! His guardians were busy for part of the afternoon so I said I’d look after him for a bit. We had a good time together. I like Lenny – he’s my buddy! Anyways that was probably the best highlight for today.
The kitchen flooring has finally arrived. Pretty soon the kitchen will new floors and a couple of new appliances to go with – this place is really shaping up this year!
Oh, I forgot to mention something that happened the other day. It must have been around 6 pm or so and then I heard the doorbell ring and a pounding on the front door. I thought it was the stupid neighbor kid again saying that his ball flew over into the back yard and wanted to get it. However, when I got up and answered the door, a policeman with papers in his hand was there. Immediately in the back of my head, due no doubt to all the cop shows I’ve watched over the years, I thought, “Are they going to serve us papers or something?” However, come to find out, someone had reported their packages missing from their doorstep in the neighborhood and he was wondering if I saw anything, which I did not. He then went on to other houses in the neighborhood and tried to get as much information as he could. Anyways, it was quite a sight to see the guy all in the whole regalia and all on the front steps.
Ended with a massages tonight. – probably hadn’t had one in like, over a year, so I was definitely due. Tried out a new person, and it was pretty good, I would go back to her again. Now it’s off the watch some tv and settle in for the night. Have another busy day tomorrow!
The picture says it all. More later? Since today was a rainy day finally I got off to finishing The Gift of Rumi: Experiencing the Wisdom of the Sufi Master. Now I’m off to read Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture so as you can see my reading tastes are quite varied!
I happened to notice a post in a Facebook group that I am a member of about a missing cat in the neighborhood that was loose around and to my mind looked a lot like the next door neighbor’s cat. So I went around the corner to this other neighbor who are the parents of the father who is the owner of the cat. We call him the Grandfather. Anyways, yes he did say the cat was missing. He was assigned to watch that cat as apparently the next door neighbors are away on vacation in Europe somewhere. He said the cat was upstairs in their house but that he escaped by literally clawing his way through the second floor screen and jumping off the roof, down a tree and into the lawn below. I believe this is true because he showed me the screen that was ripped which can be seen from the street.
LD had seen the cat wondering around in the yard but by the time the Grandfather and I had gotten there he was gone again. We thought his name was Buddy because we had heard the father call him that, but when I asked the Grandfather he said that the cat’s name was actually Spaghetti. I have a tendency to still call it Buddy however.
Anyways we were off to the beach and couldn’t spend all day looking for this cat, but LD and I stayed active on social media, and other folks on the FB group would comment that they saw him in their yard and whatnot. Long story short, Spaghetti was eventually found and returned back to the family. A happy ending is always nice. Truth is I felt kind of bad about Spaghetti. I wouldn’t want him getting hurt or anything. I mean, there’s been hawks, there’s cars, other animals that could hurt the little guy, et cetera. Seems like he was having the time of his life however, chasing things and basking in the sun of other people’s property.
As I previously mentioned, we had been jonesing for a beach trip so after dealing with the Spaghetti fiasco for a little bit we were off to wade in some waves. After chomping down on a sandwich from a local deli we travelled down Route 3 and decided to hit Duxbury. I thought maybe with the weather being so good and it also being a Saturday that the place might be packed but actually it was pretty light, which to me was perfect as I’m not really one for big crowds, especially on the beach.
Anyways, we went into the water, jumping the waves and having a good time. Afterwards I went to dry off in the sun in my beach chair and apparently fell asleep. Sea air always had that effect on me since I was young. There’s just something about it that really puts me to sleep. Unfortunately when I woke up a bit later I had a bit of a stiff neck, but what can you do? We did get to see a seagull take off with someone’s chip bag, poke into it, and eat it’s contents. It was too far away for us to do anything about it and in a way it was a little humorous to watch. And we saw a monarch butterfly on the beach as well.
We finished off the day trip with a visit to the Green Harbor Lobster Pound and chowed down. I got the clam plate and LD got a lobster roll. This being our first visit there of the season.
When we got back home I noticed Spaghetti was back outside again on this leash contraption that the neighbor’s set up? I mean, really? REALLY? But at least he is safe and hopefully someone is watching him a bit closer this time. I feel like we did our part and had a nice enjoyable day.
Ended up watching the semi-finals of the National Spelling Bee on television last night. I was surprised at how poorly I did playing along but then again, most of the words they have to spell are not used everyday. In fact, some of those words I’ve never used in my entire life! May check in tonight and catch the finals.
The tubers I planted a few weeks ago that I had stored in a bag in the cellar over the winter are starting to sprout again. Amazing how that works. Also with all the rain we’ve gotten over the last day or so, the lawn needs another mowing already.
I took a ride down to the Tactical store to see if my work equipment was in since we ordered it over a month and a half ago but it’s still on back order. Guess there really is something to those support chain issues the news always talks about. Speaking of work, next week I have my annual CPR training. Boy, that time went fast.
Tried to get a few shots of Carson playing. Here’s one I thought was pretty good.
I had a great time at the dinner last night. I did not expect to be there for as long as I did. It’s cool to be part of a team where all the team members do generally care about you and eachother. If you know where to look on social media sites like FB and Twitter you might even see a group picture of all of us that was taken! I’ll leave that up as an exercise for you readers to discover. Was I afraid of catching Covid in such a setting, haven’t been going to such a thing in over two years? Well, truth be told I did a little bit, but I weighed the risks and who would be attending and the venue and I decided to go, figuring the risk would be pretty small, but not zero. Knowing me the way that I do, and who was going to be there leads me to think I’ll be alright.
Carson’s water fountain crapped the bed the other night, so we had to run out and get a new one for the boy. He really does seem to like the ones where the water trickles out of a spout. We ended up going with the Catit and he seems to like it. It’s cute, looks like a cat, and has some pretty neat features. I’m linking to it here in case I ever have to remember where to get the filters it requires and any updates. The IoT version looked cool but I considered that overkill and too much money. We went with the basic one.
Speaking of updates, I’ve noticed the key fob to my car’s alarm is acting a little weird. I think the battery is starting to die out. Luckily replacing it is just a matter of popping it open and putting in a new one. I’ve already gone ahead and ordered a battery and that should be arriving in a couple of days. It’s basically like a watch battery, only slightly larger – pretty common size by the looks of it. Probably could have just got one at CVS or Home Depot but I was lazy and ordered it on Amazon.