“Certain houses are so exceptional, so unique, and they affect the lives of so many people, that they are no longer merely houses—places where people live and eat and sleep—but something else altogether. They have become icons. On the idyllic Ocean Avenue that winds out of Kennebunkport’s Dock Square, there stands just such a house.
Built on a tiny neck of land jutting into the ocean, and constructed to appear as though it is growing out of the rocky shore, the summer cottage—known to many as the Stone House—has inspired hyperbole of impressive proportions over the years. Residents and tourists alike have created and perpetuated myths about the house, which many see as the archetype of a coastal Maine residence. Many make the unverifiable claim that the house is the single most photographed and painted house in the state. One popular legend would have us believe the house is the same that appears in silhouette during the opening credits of the late-1960s vampire television soap opera Dark Shadows. And, perhaps stemming from that gothic association, the home is also rumored to be haunted.
But beneath the fog of folklore and hearsay, the Stone House—or Bayberry Cove Cottage as its architect actually named it—is a real home with a real history. And it is inhabited by a real family that has owned and revered it for three generations.” – Maine Home and Design
And to think you can actually rent out this 6 bedroom stone mansion on the Atlantic Ocean in Maine for a measly 17,000 a week! I bet it would be pretty amazing though. Fun Fact: LD has a colleague who grew up in KBP and knows the family and actually has been inside. Uhmmm, can we get some access one of these days!?!?
I never knew I liked goats. Growing up as a kid I would occasionally see them at a zoo but I didn’t really have any contact with them until much later in my adult life. The first goat I can remember really interacting with was one at a petting area inside the Mendon Zoo. I believe it was a drawf goat, those little ones that never get too big. I distinctly remember it also trying to eat LD’s purse that she had at the time, which in a roundabout way got me to thinking that maybe she deserved a new purse that related her professional stature to me and the world and so I got her a Dooney and Burke, but that’s a story in and of itself for some other time.
Then there was Hector. I suppose he was the first goat that you could say I got to know. He was an old goat that lived in NJ at a place called Popcorn Park, sort of a sanctuary for animals that we’re abused or uncared for. He loved to eat popcorn so he would always greedily eat mine when I passed by to see him, which eventually led to him biting the bag that held it, and then my coat sleeve which held the bag, etc., etc.. He was always separated out from the other goats because for some reason he had something wrong with one of his testicles, I don’t remember exactly what it was now, but that was the reason. He had a really long beard too. He was rambunctious but friendly. Sadly he died years later but he’s the goat that I first connected with.
Goat yoga introduced me to the wonder of baby or young goats. Their cuteness and sheer enthusiasm really took hold of me. I’ve been lucky enough to experience it a few times. The first time was at a place in NH which sadly has recently closed it doors but we learned of it I believe through an episode of Chronicle, a local tv news magazine type show. This place might have been one of the first to offer this kind of experience if not THE first. You do yoga while the babies jump around on you and such. Truth be told I don’t do it for any yoga, who cares about that, but more just to interact with the goats. We’ve also had the pleasure of doing it at places in Georgetown, MA, Dartmouth, MA, and at someone’s personal farm in western RI. We even got to snuggle and had the honor of naming two babies in NJ a few years back. They apparently liked our submissions of LaffyTaffy and Lollipop. Laffy would later go on to grow up and have kids of her own.
The Sanctuary we visit often is where you can really get to know these animals, or at least where I did. They are such soulful and smart animals. If you hang around them enough you would definitely see that. And they have such personalities, all specific to each individual creature, and yet, so human like at times. Incredible animals, with a group mentality and social structure all their own. They know love, warmth, are whip-smart and have great memory. They even know what it is and feels like to mourn their fallen friends. I think they remind me of myself sometimes, and not just because of my facial hair, but because we have deep emotion, are intelligent, at times funny and silly, and always loyal and true to ourselves, our families and our friends. And that’s something to admire and try to emulate in all our lives.
Woke up depressed, but later in the afternoon decided to take a walk on the beach and saw this scene, this particular rock just sitting there as is. Figured it make make a good picture. Ups and downs in life. By the afternoon I was feeling much better. It’s not always sun and roses these days but I try to make the best of it and move on. We had a nice late lunch at Sung Harbor before heading back as the sun was beginning to set. Memories to cherish for sure.
And yes, now we have jumped on the Wordle bandwagon. I think the fact that I’ve done thousands of crossword puzzles makes me pretty good at this game.
I got my replacement sprout for the hydroponic garden to replace the one that didn’t take. All the other 5 varieties are growing super fast now, I’m going to have to prune them soon, maybe even eat some!
Ain’t that the truth! Anyways, how about some minutiae time? What’s up? Let’s see. Yesterday I removed the lighted reindeer from the front lawn and stored them away for next season. Been getting caught up on a lot of shows that we’d DVR’d. I’m thinking I want to check out Peacemaker – heard that’s getting a lot of buzz. I made some killer bacon burgers last night. What else? Started rereading The Puzzler’s Dilemma: From the Lighthouse of Alexandria to Monty Hall, a Fresh Look at Classic Conundrums of Logic, Mathematics, and Life, a book I read back in 2012 but it’s been so long I forget it all and I’m looking for something to read…so there’s that. The hydroponics are really growing now. One of the sprouts doesn’t seem to be taking but I’ve done steps to try to rectify that. All of the other sprout strains are doing well.
Woke up to the first snow storm of the year. We got about 13″ in this area but at least it was mostly fluffy. I’ve been going back in forth to the hospital that last couple of days and probably for next few days to visit LD (thankfully it’s not Covid related, but still the sooner she can leave the better – caring thoughts appreciated, things are looking good but I still worry!)
The plow guy came after I was pretty much done so I didn’t need his services this time (my own masculinity remains intact if my back is a little sore – lol). I’ll be on the heating pad tonight! I’m only half kidding – it really isn’t that bad. Just want to get LD home as healthy and as soon as possible.
You may notice that I’ve moved this site over to a https URL instead of the less secure http that I’ve been using. So you may need to update your bookmarks but probably not. I’m not collecting any information from visitors, not doing e-commerce or anything like that, it’s just a prudent thing to do.
I just heard my New Years Eve skating photo from a few days ago was featured on NECN. Pretty cool. For some reason they don’t seem to be notifying anymore, just showing on tv. I wouldn’t have known about it but a woman I used to work with back in my AutoCAD drafting days saw it and commented the news to me.
I just picked up and finished reading Fauci: Expect the Unexpected. Easy read. That’s my first book on 2022. Hopefully I’ll be able to do more reading this year. I was horrified to learn that according to my Goodreads I had only read 5 books in 2021. Is that right? My average is around 25-30 books a year.
Spent a little bit of yesterday checking out the New Year Festivities down in the local town. I think this shot captured the night pretty well. LD helped me direct this shot btw! Ended the night with Starbucks’ hot chocolate, looking at some lights on people’s houses, watching television, eating shrimp cocktail, and just laying low. Strangely yesterday didn’t really feel like any particular special day to me, just seemed like a regular day in the end. Fell asleep on the couch but did wake up in time to see the ball drop in NYC, then right to bed. Been that kind of a year I guess, I think 2022 is going to be the year that we’re going to be back to normal going into the spring. High hopes!
Finally made something onto Boston.com! You can click the image above to see it as well as some other images from other photographers.
I put in my Powerball and Mass Millions tickets. I don’t usually play but when the pot is that high, you have to at least put one in just on the off chance. I’d be more satisfied with the lesser prizes actually.
My knee is still bugging me, definitely think it’s due to the current weather. I rested it a bunch last night and it does feel better, so… progress.
The rest of the day was quite productive. We picked up a free bookcase that someone on a group was giving away, as well as getting supplies and groceries from Target and Wegmans. We needed to rearrange some of the furniture to make room for the new bookcase but it was needed as there’s many books here that needed to be stored properly. We also watched the movie Gotti on Tubi but it is pretty awful.
A picture’s worth a thousand words they say, so here are some of the highlights from the past year. 2021 wasn’t totally terrible, and there were some really high points, but 2022 looks to be really special and hopefully will also be better in so many ways. We can hope!
Started off the year with the annual tradition of going to the beach on New Years Day. This was taken in Marshfield.
Same as 1 above.
Took a trip into Boston for something and had some eats from Luke’s Lobsters. On the way I snapped this pic.
“Auggie”, a different looking wild rabbit that appeared only that one time during Inauguration time. Wonder what it’ story was. Didn’t seem like the regular kind of wild rabbits we have here.
A pic along York, Maine
Another pic of the Nubble from a different angle. I liked getting the perspective of the bench in this one, thought it made it stand out a bit differently.
A shot of the Powderhouse in winter
Another edited version of number 6.
A shot of the Powderhouse area rotary and it’s cool sign back in winter.
Nauset Light down at the Cape. This is the first time that I saw that a cottage next door was available for rent which we would later take advantage of, unbeknownst to me at the time.
Another Nauset shot from this time period (possibly March)
Another bunny decided to have it’s children in the pot on the deck, second year in a row – hope we can go for three!
Someone was inspired to paint Nauset based on my photo in number 11. First time that I know of that my art inspired someone else to take it and create something else out of it.
Shiloh the shy bunny. One of the children of Gracie, the bunny depicted in shot 12.
Staying and the Viewpoint Inn in Maine which had these incredible views of the Nubble from it’s back yard area. Want to stay here again.
Me in the car?
Rango, LD’s soul goat, sadly passed away.
An evening stroll one night at Jamaica Pond got us this shot.
That’s me up in Salisbury under the docks after getting my second Covid shot. At that time, we thought that might be all there was to it.
Boardwalk walks up on Plum Island.
Another Salisbury Beach scene.
Staying next door to the Nauset Light in a a cottage was quite a thrill and allowed me to get this wonderful photo as the sun started rising.
My love of Pemaquid payed off when the moderator of a lighthouse group made this the cover photo for the month.
Another hike on the Cape allowed us to capture this little walkway over a marsh.
Visiting LD’s old boss and her husband in RI got us this picture shortly after.
See 15 above for the story.
Two juvenile hawks that we born around the house and kept screaming for weeks.
The house next door to Earth-1 being torn down for more condo development, Sad.
Hanging with baby goats and snuggles in RI.
Staying at a farmhouse with an attached Alpaca farm was quite a different treat. I learned a lot about alpaca husbandry on this trip and the place was actually pretty cool.
Looking at various lotus flowers at a place were we obtained special strains of hostas for planting. Looking forward to see how they produce this coming year.
Cape summer trip. What I feel one of my better shots from the summer trip. Gray’s Boardwalk.
Plum Island again
Lots of trips to Marshfield and got many a lobster roll at a place across the street from where this shot was taken.
Lavellete NJ trip. It became my second favorite place in NJ behind Cape May!
Me and my well endowed pencil. No pencil envy here!
Another beach shot.
Duxbury Beach boardwalk, another favorite beach location for walks and hangs this year.
Staying at an Airbnb in Arundel, Maine.
Under the lights at the Boathouse in Kennebunkport, ME.
On a boat in KBP.
Carson and Peng for the holidays.
More in-depth notes on above:
There were so many beach walks and hangs this year I can’t remember them all. Most of them were either to Duxbury or Marshfield, usually on a weekend day. Just to hang and walk mostly. A couple of times we used our chairs to sit out in the summer or even actually went into the water but many of the trips were just to walk.
The main lighthouses that we hug around this year were at Nubble Light in Maine (always a classic – staying right across from it away from the tourists was also a treat) and Nauset Light in Eastham down on the Cape. It was really cool this year to stay in a cottage right next door to the light and the beach was literally across the street. It also helped that it’s on a private dirt road so there weren’t many people around in that particular area. 10-10 would do again. Plus the place was so cute!
Getting our shots was big this year, for me it was a couple of trips up to Amesbury because that’s where I could get an appointment at that time, so we made the best of it by exploring the neighboring sights afterwards like Salisbury Reservation and Plum Island.
It was cool that baby wildlife decided to grace us with their presence, baby bunnies born in a pot for the second year in a row and didn’t mind Carson watching them. I think he was more their protector than an adversary if you can believe that. Baby hawks too, very majestic, but hopefully never found Shiloh and company. Shiloh, the last baby bunny that was scared to leave after all his siblings did. LD was kind enough to put out some water and a lettuce plant for him. The next day, two nibbles off the plant, two little poops, and he was gone to live his adventures. I do admit to having empty nest syndrome every time they leave us.
Staying on an Alpaca farm was pretty cool, in rural Connecticut with family. Learned a lot, also a bit of fly swatting which can be annoying. And got to hang with baby goats which is always a pleasure.
Celebrated my birthday on the Cape. Special times there and stayed in a pretty cool Airbnb called the Osprey Nest because it feels like its up in the trees. Although the place was a little small, it literally had everything you could possibly need. Plus they had this cool booth that I would use in the kitchen area. 10-10 would stay again. I feel I get some of the best pictures I ever take down on the Cape for whatever reason. It’s a beautiful area but there’s something more that I can’t place why.
Our one outing to New Jersey this year was at another BnB (BnB’s were big this year for us – expanding choices) in Lavalette, a cute little beach town. It was a bit downcast and windy while we were there but it was still pretty cool. I enjoyed the area so much that it’s my #2 of my fav places in that state. It just seemed to have it all to me, easy access to whatever you need, a beautiful beach and boardwalk, not really busy at all (and if you want that you could drive to the next down over – Seaside Heights). That particular trip didn’t exactly work out as planned but I enjoyed it.
The last BnB and most recent was in Arundel, Maine. Stayed there because the town of Kennebunkport was doing it’s annual Christmas Prelude. HGTV featured the annual Kennebunkport celebration as the “#2 Christmas Town in America.” Plus we got to meet up with one of LD’s former colleagues and met the dogs Pippa and Boomer, and Boomer left quite an impression! Sailing up and down the Kennebunk River in a lobster boat while sipping coffee brandy on a sunny day was also rather enjoyable.
But as much as we enjoyed the few times away (choose to keep it rather low key due to the virus circulating, and were neurotic about being careful) staying at home was just as much so, whether with firepit outing with friends or just ourselves. Carson was also a really big help in that department as our mutual love him and for eachother kept us all sane.
I know I’m probably forgetting a bunch of stuff but these are the moments that I think were some of the high points, at least for me personally. I’d like to give all my love and thanks to LD for making it all happen and making me feel like the luckiest man alive every year.
Spent the afternoon walking along the beach and trails in Marshfield. Felt we had to get out of the house, get some fresh air, and maybe a little bit of exercise. After doing a little internet research I’ve discovered that all these various benches along the trail are actually dedicated after dogs. I don’t know who Sammy was but I can see that they were much loved by their owners.
Had a nice quiet holiday yesterday. We opened our gifts (and even got a surprise! – Thanks L+D!) and baked cookies and watched some shows and ate meals. Carson made out quite well and I think all his excitement got to him as he ended up sleeping for most of the day after playing with his cat toys. It may not have been the usual holiday that we do (we didn’t see the littles this time around) but you have to make do with the best you can. And of course we missed those we could not share the holiday with.
I awoke to a strange sight outside the house as I was getting ready to get in my car to go to work. There was a rather large package waiting in the driveway which for a second thought might be ours but upon further inspection was not, It appears to be some kind of water filtration device after googling the company name listed on the box and appears to be quite expensive. Anyway the address is nowhere close to ours (the number and street are nothing alike) and upon further investigation I believe it may possibly belong to someone either in another part of town or a different town altogether. Looking up the tracking number I’ve noticed someone put in a ticket to investigate. LD contacted UPS later to tell them about it (UPS is the WORST btw). I’ll just leave it where it is for now and see what happens.
I went vegetarian tonight and cooked up a white bean and swiss chard stew along with some parmesan garlic bread. Now swiss chard is not normally something as part of my repertoire but this actually came out pretty good!
Finally a fun night out in Boston! Down by the seaport! Meeting up with a friend and having a dinner by the water! (same friend we hung out with in Kennebunkport a little while ago. She lives in both places). In an igloo which was warm, ventilated, spacious, and fun! Would def. recommend and do again. It was cold outside though but nothing a New Englanders like us couldn’t handle (the eggnog cocktail warmed me up pretty good as well – as evidenced in pics #1 and 3 above – must have had something to do with the peanut butter whiskey). It did throw me for a little bit of a loop! Yeah, I was feeling pretty good by this point. The food was also quite tasty, I happened to go with the pumpkin ravioli and I really enjoyed it. The seaport is a really cool area now. Totally fun night!
Visited the sanctuary yesterday and even though they’re closed on Sundays the owner lets us walk around and stuff because we’ve been so supportive over the years, I imagine. I got to brush Sparkle pictured here which is a gentle goat that I don’t get to brush very often, but for whatever reason, this day she wanted some, so I obliged. She was wearing a red coat to keep her warm.
I had a weird dream last night which was an amalgam from school days to writing reports to me being in a chemistry lab in the 90s. I had to get this report done and I remember I stayed up all night, and also that I was mad at my cowriters for not contributing anything. For some reason I tried to finish it by writing it up in the hallways of the chemistry lab that I worked in in the 90s. Not sure why I was lying on a cart and trying to get the font right for the very long report title. Then I went to turn it in in a mixture of a classroom from my 5th grade and a conference room from the 90s over at Acorn park. Also strange was Hilary Clinton was there and was the professor, but all the desks were pushed back so that most of the room was open. I think the dream brought up feelings of pressures from having to get reports done but also career choices that, for good or bad, lead me to where I am at the moment. Part of me felt sad about it, but just a part. Figured I’d write this down before it fades from my memory.
How about that shocker on “And Just Like That?” Didn’t see that coming! Decided to watch it last night since it had just premiered. Good thing we did because the spoilers from it are all over the net now. It’s not generally my type of show, I’d rather watch Stabler’s show (which this season has thus far been amazing), but with so much hype you have to check it out. They definitely made a mark to start things off.
My hometown is doing their tours of the houses all decked out in lights for the holidays again, so I figured I’d share one of my favorites from last year. Not sure if we’ll take a spin around the neighborhood this time around, but there is an art installation that I do want to check out soon.
Some of my best pictures are up for sale on various media. If you’d like to support my work you can visit this link, and I would be greatly appreciative. Lots of Cape, Lighthouse, and even some animals to choose from.
Hanging with Boomer (a really big dog!) at Em and her dad’s place
Playing piano at the Breakwater (any requests?)
Together on a trip down the Kennebunk River
Sipping coffee brandy on the lobster boat tooling up and down the river.
Enjoyed the hospitality of Em and her dad and hanging out while meeting Boomer and Pippa, dining at two great restaurants, our Airbnb stay in Arundel, the sandwiches and coffee at a Taste of Paris, checking out the sunset at Cape Porpoise, hopping on a real lobster boat and exploring the river, and getting some gifts for Christmas.
Yes friends, it’s that time of year again. The time when we dig out the tree and begin decorating things. Our tree went up fairly quickly this year and, I think, came out rather well. I also set up the lighted wreath on the door and set the timers for the various lighted things. We also went looking for a bookcase but ended up coming home with a large terra cotta cute-looking penguin, which LD has named Peng. Carson already had his picture taken with it and may end up on this year’s holiday card. I still need to set up the outdoor reindeers and such but I’m going to wait until later in the week when the temperatures are supposed to be better.
I picked up a new book from a little library we passed on the way back from where we found Peng called Automating Inequality. I’ve heard about this thing before where computer algorithms basically make decisions and tend to penalize certain populations. I’ll give it a go and see how it is.
Each day I am thankful for nights that turned into mornings, friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality and likes that turned into love. I know its going to be hard but may you all have a wonderful time this Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving Day!
Check out this Green Bean Casserole we made this afternoon to go with:
Went back to the wooden walkway and reshot the area again last weekend as this particular day had different lighting than the previous weekend visit, as it was more cloudy whereas last time had a lot of sun. Lighting differently can make some significant differences in appearance for sure. I plan on entering this shot along with 2 older ones to Duxbury for possible inclusion into their town calendar.
I don’t know if anyone else ever plays any of these puzzle games that I enjoy but here’s a new one: Long Haul Space Flight. I need these things to keep my brain going. Now if only I could get better at remembering things.
Guess who swung by this afternoon? That dude that wanted to draw my picture (again, why?) He gave me the drawing and I brought it home. It sort of looks like a mix between a kid’s drawing and some expressionist art, sort of a mix between an Alvar Cawén work and some 5 year old. It does look like me a little bit though? I’d take a picture of it, but it really needs to be seen in person. On the plus side, the canvas is rather large.
Apparently NECN featured another one of my photos, LD saw it flash up on the tv, by strangely this time I didn’t get notified. They do seem to feature my stuff now and again, I guess they like what I’m doing.
I got a golden ticket in the mail to the local BK, scratch off the card and see what you’ve won kind of deal. The big prize was free BK for the year but this kind only entitles me to a free Croissan’wich, which I got in the mail back at the end of October but expires Friday so I got to use it or lose it soon. Wasn’t that one of the most interesting stories you’ve ever heard me relate to you all?
Here’s a pic I took of Faneuil Hall in Boston. Often referred to as “the home of free speech” and the “Cradle of Liberty,” Faneuil Hall hosted America’s first Town Meeting. The Hall’s vital role in revolutionary politics had not been part of its original plans, but it became home to an intricate collection of events that shaped the nation’s history. The 10 foot statue in the foreground is of former mayor Kevin White. I like how this picture turned out overall and I’ve been to the hall many, many times.
Spent most of yesterday at a friend’s house for a pancake breakfast outing on her back deck. As a bonus here boyfriend had a pizzelle iron and made home made pizzelle cookies, which was pretty neat. Then we hung by her firepit and her gazebo until it approached late afternoon. We got home just before nightfall and I ended up watching that Adele special that was on after watching some DVR’d episodes of true crime dramas.
And hey, what do you know, I actually won something for a change. It’s been quite the dry spell until today. I won a gift cert to Assembly Row – gonna head down there sometime this weekend and pick it up. Nice to start winning things again. Let’s hope that kind of luck holds out.
Gametime games that occupied my brain and reflexes for a few: A cute platformer called Sulka (which I finished in about 20 minutes) and a puzzle game called Tres Undos (which for some reason I can’t figure out how to solve level 2 yet).
Visited Duxbury Reservation this afternoon. Then spent some time in Braintree. The reason for the Duxbury visit was to maybe get some photos for an upcoming contest that LD saw advertised and to spend some time outdoors, go for a walk, enjoy the sunshine and get some much needed exercise. At one point I decided to walk under the Powder Point Bridge which we discovered is closed to pedestrians and traffic as it’s apparently been undergoing repairs since mid-August.
LD had some business in Braintree so that was the reason for that visit. I walked around and grabbed some pictures from around the nearby lake (which I may share at a later date). In between the two place visits we hit Gerard’s for a open faced turkey sandwich lunch in Marshfield. We managed to get home just before sunset which was good as a rainstorm was approaching. Didn’t seem to do anything here but did put the Cape on a tornado watch for a few.
I ended up watching some documentary on PBS this early evening about the Boston radio station WBCN – how it started, it’s history, etc. I found it pretty interesting – especially the really early days.