It’s a Brew-Tea-Ful Day!

Fancy Tea Time!

Reservations finally came through for a little get together at a fancy tea house to help celebrate our anniversary. The food was great! I ended up going with a white tea called the Bartlett Pear which consists of White tea, pear, apple and peach pieces, pear flavor, nutmeg, cinnamon, white cornflowers, peach flavor. I must say it was quite good, very pleased with my choice. We were seated in the cutest little room, very pink and very Marie Antoinette-ish, for my lack of a better description.

There Goes the Sun This Weekend

Osprey nest!
The “Map Chest!”

Not too much sun this weekend, there it goes down below the horizon. I’ve had this shot just laying around for a while, figured I might as well put it up. Also decided to put up this shot again that I took of an Osprey nest, just because it’s pretty cool.

Yesterday was a nice day though, took a trip out to Franklin to pick up a surprise. LD got me a solid wooden chest that is surrounded with an old map of the Earth motif, because of my map making heritage years. Now I just need to decide where to place it in the home and what to actually store in it. It’s not really a chest, although it looks like one, more like a cabinet on stands, rather interesting piece actually. Guess the folks who were getting rid of it are moving to Texas so the less stuff they have to bring with them, the more economically feasible. Their loss, our gain.

Before that though we took a quick trip to the kitchen cabinet place. Pretty cool how you can see a three dimensional rendering of what the update will look like. Looks like this is going to happen!

This morning we couldn’t help noticing one of the bunnies eating some of the phlox we have growing in a pot on the patio. Cute, but destructive little creatures.

Did you ever hear of your former coworkers passing away? Seems to be I’m starting to hear this a little more and more lately. Within in the three years now I’ve heard of two. Sad. They were great people too.

I need to stay up till after midnight tonight to get in on some Lowe’s deal and get my name in there for some free swag. Wish me luck.

Snuggling with Baby Goats at Sunset

Drove out to Salem Connecticut to visit this place that had an opportunity to hang with some baby goats, play and snuggles with them as sunset approached, and as the evening drew out, to put them to bed in their barn. Also live streamed over the Internet so there’s video of us performing these tasks over the wires.

Funny yhing is, although we didn;t know it at the time, the place is actually down the street from an Airbnb we stayed in a couple years back! The barn house that was connected to an alpaca farm. We were astonished at how close it was, not knowing!


Today we thought about checking out another event that we checked out exactly this time last year, but we are just tired and hurting from last night so we’ll be laying low I think! It’s also record Store Day and although we have a real jukebox, there doesn’t really seem to be any new vinyl I’m interested in at the moment. Plus the contractor is supposed to visit today to discuss kitchen stuff.

Easter Love in the Catskill Mountains of New York

Back from a lovely Easter weekend in the Catskills of New York. We got to stay in a pretty cool Airbnb , pretty much a log cabin, with a wood stove fireplace and that is attached to an actual goat sanctuary across the way and they had baby goats, which of course we snuggled! We also got to “paint with goats!” Actually we got to do a lot of things there but one of the highlights was probably LD with a sweet baby goat that fell asleep in her arms for two hours. Pretty amazing to experience. Her name is Alora by the way and she is the cutest. Probably my favorite. Click on the pics for full length versions.

Afterwards we took a little drive over to the old Catskill Game Farm, where LD went to visit as a little kid. It’s abandoned now but we visited anyway. We also passed by the largest garden gnome statue in the world (at least up until 2007) on the way.

I might add more to this post later because there really is a lot more. One cool thing about the place that I forgot to mention earlier is that it was fully stacked but also had this somewhat amazing gameroom in the basement, with Poker, darts, air hockey, basketball, foosball, and even a full length ping pong table. I also spent some time in one of the various hammocks around the property. The place was pretty cool, I would definitely go back, and the drive is not bad at all.

Oh, there wasn’t even supposed to be baby goats there. we lucked out on that one. They got some goats in previously and apparently one male somehow slipped through the process and basically ended up impregnating a bunch of the ladies one night. That goat was super busy. But it worked out because baby goats are the best and it ended up being a great surprise and made the experience even better in my opinion.

Currently Reading: Pandora’s Jar: Women in the Greek Myths and The Chaos Machine: The Inside Story of How Social Media Rewired Our Minds and Our World.

Happy Anniversary News!

Happy

Anniversary

to Us!

People say that with age and experience comes wisdom, and with wisdom comes enlightenment. Well, I don’t know how much of it is the truth, but I have grown up and grown with you to realize what love means and what it really means to love someone. Love goes beyond time, age, or even the person, and I have experienced love in its purest form; I feel nothing but gratefulness today. All these years strong with you and more to go, I stand here a happy man thanks to you, and I love you with all my heart.

Our relationship might not be perfect, and certainly has its ups and downs, but our love for each other is still strong and is wonderful all the same, and that’s all anyone could ever ask or hope for. I am truly blessed to have found you. I just want you to know, that when I picture myself happy, it is with you.

In a world where so many things can be uncertain, you are the one thing that I will always be sure of.

Better than I was, more than I am.

I’m so glad to be able to spend this day with you, and all the days with you. The good things in life are better with you. Seriously, you’re amazing! This lowly kid from Somerville hit it big when he met this Jersey Girl!

Happy Anniversary Ladydoc!!

Animal Hang and Shamrock Shakes

Early in the afternoon we decided to take a trip to the Sanctuary to drop off some food for the animals and we ended up staying there for a bit. Had to get in some goat brushing time after all. After hanging there for about an hour or so we headed down to Rhode Island, since it was only a half hour away from where we were, to get some vegan shamrock shakes that I place that we like was having as a March special. Minty green soft serve topped with shopmade whipped cream and gold glitter, and it was delicious!

A Wish for the Ladydoc

Best

Wishes!

Sometimes I wish that we had met sooner,
that the detours along the way could have been fewer.
But then something tells me we found eachother
at just the right place in our lives.
I love being with you,
You're the best thing to ever happen to me,
You're my favorite person in the world.

In you I have found: the perfect partner, the best friend, and the sweetest love that I ever imagined. I’m so happy that life has brought me to you. 

Best birthday wishes to the perfect woman in the world who chose to love an imperfect man like me.

Happy Birthday "Ladydoc!"

We ended up having a lovely dinner at The Capital Grille.. Currently reading: Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks. After that I want to see if I can find the book about Ada Blackjack. Another amazing character from history that time seems to have forgotten about.

Taking Down the Decorations

To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold.

We began taking down the holiday decorations, including the tree, today and last night. I also performed a lot of cleaning and reorganizing. We decluttered, organized, donated food to the community pantry, and even stopped by a little library in Canton where I picked up a new book to read called The New England Grimpendium. It is essentially a guide to macabre attractions in New England. Maybe one day I’ll visit a few. I’ll be reading a book about atrial fibrillation as well.

Just me in January

We’re trying to use the Instant Pot to prepare a very sizable chuck roast for supper. We’ll have to wait and see. I don’t think I’ve ever had chuck roast, but it was included in a butcher block package we received quite some time ago, so we felt we should use it up. Update: it came out pretty good!

My Top Moments of 2022!

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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
  • Passing by an amazing property and then noticing some crazy cottages and their asking prices for essentially a unheated shack
  • 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!

No Growth Comes from Comfort

December Coasts

I saw a quote today that really made me think and it’s the title of today’s post. “No Growth Comes from Comfort” really resonated with me when I saw it. I tend to be a creature that likes to live in it’s comfort zone. But this week I went ahead and did something that may take me out of that, at least for a bit, and growth could definitely come of it. It will be a little bit of time before this thing I’m talking about sees fruition but it could be the start of something pretty good. I kept flipping back and forth about it, but in the end I decided to go for it and put my hat in the ring.

On the domestic front, things are mostly business as usual. You may or may not have seen my attempts to draw attention to my photography on my social media sites. Although I don’t want to seem spammy, I do want people to be aware of my work because I do believe that some of it is fairly good. I still have a lot to learn about it all, and I need to work much harder at it. But it is effort, and I do occasionally have a tendency to be lazy.

In a more uplifting tone, today’s main image is from this summer down on the Cape. I do feel I seem to take some of my best work there but perhaps that’s only because the setting is so stunning. I don’t have to add much, if anything. I just to tried to capture a moment in time when we felt free and warm and giddy. A little bit of tranquility for today, I’m sure we could all use some right about now.

Hanging with some Buds

Spent a little time yesterday afternoon at the Sanctuary. They weren’t open but we have a special relationship with the owner so she let us in and could mosey about. It was a bit chilly but not too bad considering. Part of it was a visit in remembrance of LD’s mom, it’s something she wanted to do. A bit of a somber day full of reflection.

Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.”

A. A. MILNE

Christmas Prelude in Kennebunk Weekend Fun

Christmas By the Sea Fireworks in Ogunquit, Maine.

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.

AWD is back!

Well, when I started up the car this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the AWD was back and working normally. I had googled about it yesterday and a bunch of folks said it can be caused by a bunch of things, but one thing you should try is checking the gas cap. So that’s what I did yesterday and the message still showed but this morning it was gone. I suppose it takes a little time for the sensors or whatever to “catch up.” Anyways, I’m pleased about this outcome. Let’s hope it stays this way! I also spent part of the afternoon filling up my tires using this portable USB air compressor I bought awhile ago. It works like a charm and saves me a trip to a air filling station.

I also forgot to mention that we paid a visit to Like No Udder down in Providence RI on Friday night. We hadn’t gotten anything from there since the time of LD’s big party bash. It was delicious. It’s amazing the things they can make all vegan – you would not no the difference, they are that good. So just a plus for those guys. They are going on hiatus till February now so if you can, check them out in the spring.

Watched a beautiful flock of cardinals in the back yard frolicking around this morning. Makes me want to start photographing birds again. I’d never seen so many red birds all together all at once like that before.

Not sure why I’m all over this Amy Robach/TJ Holmes story. Maybe I should get a life? For some reason though I feel drawn to the drama. Now I heard they’ve been put on “hiatus.” I never actually watched their show, I’m just interested in all the media buzz about it, Also RIP to Kirstie Alley.

New Product Alert! For the Love of Sunsets has been added to the store! This one looks really great either as a framed print or a metal print.

I Was a Photo Contest Award Winner

Under the Powder Point Bridge

Today was the Big Day!

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.

The photo that was selected.

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.

I also took a very cool shot of a Xmas tree on a pier at sunset that I’ll be posting tomorrow!

At the reception

Dedication to the Ladydoc

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.

Bettie Page Fanboy and Other Things

Hope you guys all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We had a pretty low key one but that was alright with us. No need to get all stressed out and all that. We kept it pretty intimate between just the two of us and, of course, Carson. The main fixings we all had prepared for us but we did make the LadyDoc’s signature green bean casserole and she also made an baked apple crisp of which I did most of the preparation of ingredients. I think we actually work well together in the kitchen and I even find it a little enjoyable I also finally put the outside grill into storage for the winter marking the end of our outdoor BBQ season..

The Christmas tree, or holiday tree, if you prefer that phrase, was finally put up. We quickly added the lights, decorations, and everything else. By now, we are experts at it. This year, to give it a more classy look, we chose to use only white lights, and also the fact that the usual lights we use seemed to have shit the bed. Why can’t they make any of those that can last? Of course, we also retrieved Peng, a large penguin, from storage that we like to think Carson makes friends with.

If you’re wondering about the photo in today’s entry, here’s the quick story behind it. I found this shirt in my closet recently which must have been hanging there for years featuring one of my favorite models of all time, the legendary Bettie Page. I always liked Bettie Page. Nearly 60 years after her modeling heyday—which made her the most-photographed model of the 20th century—Bettie Page continues to fascinate fans worldwide. The so-called Queen of Pinups tied with Einstein at No. 8 on Forbes’ 2013 list of top-earning dead celebrities, and Time named her one of the 100 most influential people on fashion; her impact is so enduring that Madonna, Beyoncé, and Katy Perry borrow style cues from her (they’ve all donned the U-shaped “Bettie bangs”). It’s interesting to note that her fan base is not just men as it was originally. Such an iconic look. she had a pretty interesting life too, and in many ways, a little tragic. There’s no denying her style or signature look. LD thinks this picture of me looks a little trashy, but I don’t know, I personally thought it was actually a pretty good picture of me. What do you guys think?


,
A Bettie Page fanboy

I finally downloaded the Libby app to my phone so I could take out books from the library right from my smartphone now that I signed up for a library card after having a defunct one for years. Not sure how much I will like reading off the small screen. The app itself is pretty cool though. very well thought out and intuitive. I didn’t mind the Kindle I had but I do find something satisfying about having an actual book in my hands to read, Anyways whenever you want a book you usually have to put a hold in for it and then when it gets freed up you can read it for a limited time. I currently have two holds on a couple of books I think I want to read. Empire of Pain about the Sackler dynasty and their peddling of their products which led to the opiate epidemic. The other tome I’m interested in reading is Caste, about the unspoken caste system in America. Looks like that one I’ll be reading first.

Watched a show on Netflix last night called Stutz about Jonah Hill and his therapist. It was actually pretty good, Check it out if you think you might be interested in something like that. I also watched a thing on King Tut on PBS, a two episode presentation about his allies and enemies in honor of his tomb being discovered 100 years ago this month, Everyone loves the boy king. Besides him and the pyramids that’s probably how most people get interested in this sort of thing. For me, it was the pyramids and the enormous structures and intricate artwork. And of course the mystery of it all.

I know this entry is kind of all over the place but that’s the way I roll sometimes. And remember! Mark Bethoney Photography to check out some of my artwork for sale. Might make a good gift for you or someone you care about that digs things New England and likes to look at pretty pictures.

A Summer Like Day in Mid November

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.

Carson and Baby Carson!

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.

Channeling my inner David Bowie?

A Little Update to Appease the Masses

I grilled up some flat iron steaks the other night. Seasoned with just a bit a salt. LD said they came out great, so that’s what we had last night. Tonight I think I’ll grill us up a bit of turkey burgers. I actually prefer beef burgers but she like the turkey so…

I updated the iPad to iPadOS16. One thing I noticed that I really like is the new weather app. I wonder if there’s something similar for Android? I’ve been running Weawow which I found to be pretty good, but I’m digging the way Apple’s version looks and feels.

Updated the website under the hood, Shouldn’t be any issues hopefully, Let me know if you see anything weird though.(Would any of you really do that?)

I’ve been playing around with some design elements, such as this post with a gradient background and and rounded image that cuts the gradient over to the right. What do you think? It looks best on a big screen like a laptop or tablet, on mobile the picture just goes small and doesn’t look as impressive. Hey, I’m learning new things on my own! And speaking of playing around, I decided to play another Powerball ticket. I mean, come on, how could one not with the stakes so high? When I do play I only play one ticket (and only when the jackpot is super high) – all you need is one.

I ordered a new book to read that just came out. Egypt’s Golden Couple: When Akhenaten and Nefertiti Were Gods on Earth. Yeah, King Tut’s parents and they have quite an interesting story that I’m interested to see what these authors take on them are. So look forward to my review on that.

The plumber came over late this afternoon, I was expecting him at some point although not really today. Anyways, he put in some new line that will go right into the new oven. Speaking of which, the appliances are supposed to get delivered tomorrow morning early, so that’ll be some fun.

A Little Sparkle to Brighten the Day

Hanging in the horse barn!

This afternoon we took a little ride over to the Sanctuary. We actually had not been there in quite a while. It was nice to visit with our animal friends for a while, and of course, the various goats! Other than that, it was another low key day. Afterwards I pretty just wanted to veg in front of the tv so that’s what I did. However, I plan to be much more productive tomorrow running errands, replacing the screens to glass panes in the doors because it’s starting to get colder now, and a bunch of other little things.

Oh, one cool thing that I was able to figure out yesterday morning, is streaming from the phone straight to the tv, so we were able to watch an educational medical conference that LD was interested in, right on the tv instead of looking at the little phone screen or computer screen, and we didn’t have to huddle over a little screen to watch it.

Fresh Check on Your Mental Health

Today is Fresh Check day, essentially a day to check in on your mental health so I thought I’d represent by wearing a Fresh Check shirt that I was able to obtain a while back from one of their events. It’s really for college kids but really everyone should stay on top of their mental health.

I will say that the logo though, seriously reminds me of Facebook. Maybe not the best choice since the little ‘f’ which a circle around it is pretty much facebook’s domain.

Damn, it was downright frosty this morning as I headed out to work. I knew it was going to be that way when I noticed the frost on the windshield, first time I’ve seen that since last winter! Luckily the day warmed up rather quickly and, in fact, this weekend they are saying we are going to be in the 70s. Hope that’s true!

Look at these Mugs! Hanging with Lenny!

The return of Lenny!

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!

Lavallette Visit Year 2

Beach days in Lavalette, NJ

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. Maybe I’ll add some more pictures from this trip at a later time but these are some good ones for now. I’m a bit tired!

We had a late checkout in the 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 the weekend! Then the long ride back home last night. I had to get back because I had CPR training down at HQ this morning so I didn’t want to miss that. Needless to say I am certified once again.

An Appearance of the Goat-a-Gram

Goat-a-Grams for the Ladydoc

Yesterday 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. 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.

Little Speck and I hanging out

IF anyone in the area is interested in doing this sort of experience, hit me up and I can provide you with the details on how to get it all set up for yourself.

Meeting Cindy Brady

The story behind the photo: A few years ago, we went to the Fluffernutter Festival in my hometown of Somerville, MA. It’s a yearly celebration now honoring the invention of the product Fluffernutter, which was invented by a door to door salesman in town, Eventually he sold it to the company that still makes it today with their factory in Lynn but originally it all started right here. Anyways, this one particular year they somehow got Susan Olsen to come down and check it out, How could I not go? I grew up watching the Brady Bunch. I would get out from school and go home and put on Channel 56 which reran them everyday. I think it was a couple of cartoons, and then the Bradys and then the Monkees – amazing how TV has shaped me. In fact, I believe everything about life can be explained in various Brady Bunch episodes but that’s a discussion for another time. (Perhaps one day I will write a thesis about it but I digress.) Anyways, she was amazing. Kind of makes me want to meet the rest of the “Bradys”. As a side note, Florence Henderson visited the local hospital here a few years back and had I known this at the time I probably would have met Mrs. Brady, but it was sadly not to be. Also Peter Brady has visited Dedham a few times at Kings in Legacy Place so there was a possibility of seeing him as well. We missed Jan once in NYC, she apparently was downstairs from a restaurant we were frequenting at at the time but another miss. I figure Greg and Marcia would be the hardest to get to meet. I have no desire to meet Bobby (sorry!)

Meeting “Cindy Brady”

Party a Smashing Success! Plus Lenny!

Finally got to meet Lenny!

The party was a great success 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. 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 promise to set up a shared google drive directory so that folks who took one can download their pictures. 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.

Now that we’ve cleaned everything up we are taking a well deserved nap!