Thursday, June 30, 2011

Talk About Hard Working!

Who would have expected to see James Brown selling noodles? Used to be these embarrassing little side jobs were a secret from the star's core fan base. Once in a while you would hear about it, but you never really saw it, so these Japanese ads were just a rumor. No more! They're on You Tube for all to see.

We closed on our house today at the Barnstable Registry of Deeds, which is the building directly behind the courthouse. Everyone who gave us directions suggests that we turn at the abolitionists. Sure enough, the abolitionists are standing out in the front yard of the courthouse looking appropriately righteous.  Click on the pictures for a closer look at James Otis Jr. and Mercy Otis Warren.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Valuable Tip

My usual strategy when traveling is to wear the heaviest pieces of clothing (shoes, sweaters, jackets) and pack the rest, but if you must pack a jacket in your carry on luggage here's the way to do it. Be advised this video has no sound - please don't adjust your set!

Next week at this time I will be dragging boxes into my new house. I can't wait to see what's in storage! Arguably whatever has been in storage for the last three months except for my deep winter wardrobe and our batterie de cuisine is no longer essential to sustain life, but I would maintain that my flip flop collection is a summer necessity (even though my chiropractor forbids them). Also I have only 3 pairs of earrings and less than one carton of books with me. This is simply insufficient!

 The mortgage lender is still asking for stuff, and my annuity provider is now 2 for 2 in losing my checks. I did not think that annuity checks should all be reissued at least once every month, but maybe I was mistaken? I promised them this week if I did not have my payment by Saturday I would start calling daily beginning Monday morning and tweeting twice a day about how unhappy I am with their company, naming names. This was not sufficient inducement to FedEx my payment, so I guess they are not as concerned as I am. Truly it would not be SUCH a big deal if my mortgage people did not need an image of the check.

The pictures are from the Nauset Marsh Trail where I visited this weekend.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Just Pretend

I ran across this great big liar of a cat and had to share. When I was playing the video Mitzi was all over me trying to get at the other "dog". Roxy never responds to sounds on TV or the computer, but Mitzi falls for it every time.

I started my job at A Major National Retailer this week and so far it is as enjoyable as I thought it would be.  Closing day for our house is just a little over a week away. Shana's office is moving to a location even closer to our house, maybe giving her a commute of only twenty minutes. The rain is back but it's cool every night and no air conditioning is needed. All good!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The view from Cape Cod Light

This weekend we were able to get out for a brief camping trip at the Adventure Bound campground in Truro. The weather forecast wasn't good, but the forecasts for the Cape are nearly always wrong, so we took a chance. We were rewarded for our boldness with a lovely weekend. The campground was perfect, the weather was perfect - a great weekend trip.
Our main focus was to check out a few of the Cape Cod National Seashore beaches on the Outer Cape.  We visited Coast Guard Beach at two different access points, and Head of the Meadow Beach. Not only did we get to hang out on a beautiful  beach but we also got to see seals swimming by!  We also walked around a small part of Wellfleet. Like everything else on The Cape, we got just enough exposure to know that these are places we will return to and did not see nearly as much as we had hoped. The area is just full of interesting things to see and do. Monday while Shana was at work I also checked out a couple of trails at the Cape Cod National Sea Shore Visitor Center (which is quite a nice facility). This is a relatively new national park (1961), beautifully maintained and well used.  It's a real gem. I was able to enjoy if for virtually free because this is the year I got my senior pass. For a one time fee of $10.00 I, and anyone in my car, can get into any of the national parks for free - for life!!  It has already paid for itself.

Shana and I climbed to the top of the Cape Cod (aka Highland) Light, which in addition to the lovely ocean views also looks over the oldest golf course in the nation.  Due to erosion the light is no longer where it used to be - part of the lighthouse tour is a film about moving the lighthouse. Very interesting. Now we want to be sure to see all of the Cape Cod lighthouses. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Two Nebraska Nuclear Plants Partially Submerged by Missouri Floodwaters

While we have been distracted by Anthony Wiener's undercarriage this is something that should be receiving media coverage: Two Nebraska Nuclear Plants Partially Submerged by Missouri Floodwaters | DBKP - Death By 1000 Papercuts - DBKP . More interesting information here. I imagine there are well placed proponents of the nuclear industry who would prefer that we don't know much about this. There is currently a no fly zone above the facility but searching "Fort Calhoun" on MSNBC, ABC, and Fox News do not mention it. Wonder what's going on?

The picture is taken from the shore of Wakeby Pond in Mashpee, no connection to the story - and I am so glad!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Return to Lowell Holly Reservation

With a little time to spare this afternoon I took off for a walk in the woods. I chose to go back to the Lowell Holly Reservation to get a better look at what it has to offer.  My first peek at it was really brief, so I had been looking forward to a longer walk. I took a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a can of tea and set out to enjoy the outdoors.

The first thing I did when I got there (after missing my turn as I always manage to do) was change my mind about where I wanted to park, and backed the bike rack into an iron post. Big damage. Ouch.  I'll have to see if a welder can fix it, otherwise it will have been a costly little afternoon trip.

The first time I went to the Lowell Holly Reservation I did not really have time to see the hollies.  The reservation features about 250 ilex opaca, which grow naturally only on the New England coast. There has been little alteration of the landscape here in the last 200 years, so here you can see mature holly, birch, and tupelo.  The trails are well maintained, and in spite of today's perfect weather I saw no other visitors.  What I did see was lots of beautiful trees, ferns, moss, and wild iris. The water views were lovely, and the quiet under the trees was magically restoring.

We are now down to less than two weeks until we close on our house. Time to swap "it's taking too long" for "OMG how will I get ready in time" !

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Day at the Farm

I went  to historic Taylor Bray Farm for a fiber festival with some of my stitch and bitch friends. The festival is held as an annual fund raiser to provide some additional money for the operation of this antique farm, which was settled and founded in 1639.  Today they had sheep shearing and herding demos, plus spinning demonstrations from the local spinning guild and vendors of hand spun yarn. Because the weather early this morning was vile, early turnout was sparse, so we had plenty of opportunity to ask questions and see all the demos at close range.

The sheep shearing and herding demos were especially interesting. I've seen these activities on film but never in person (or this close to the action!). There were chickens present, which would have been an additional inducement had I not already planned to go for the pleasure of an afternoon with friends and the possibility of adding a skein of handspun to my stash.

It was just one of the entertainments this weekend provided. Shana and I went out to see Super 8 at the local cinema pub, followed by a nice dinner in downtown Falmouth. I can recommend the movie - a nice take on the classic unlikely hero movie. We also went to Acapulco's Mexican Restaurant in Yarmouth tonight, which I can recommend. Mexican food on The Cape is pretty thin on the ground and generally unpalatable.

Eighteen days until we close on our house, and a good thing too. I start a part time job Wednesday and so far I have been unable to find any of the clothes I have in storage. They seem to be on the bottom of the huge pile of boxes, and I have only one pair of work pants with me.

Friday, June 10, 2011

THIS is What I should Have Played in High School

When I was in high school I was a member of the R. B. Chamberlin marching band.  It was kind of accidental. My boyfriend was in the band, and the band director told me if I was going to be in the band I would have to play something. Because my father would not let me use his old coronet (unfeminine) and there was no money to buy another instrument I chose one which would be supplied by the school. The sousaphone was the easiest to learn, and most importantly, the bass section was seated behind the saxophone section in the band room.  Eventually the seating arrangement was less important and my brother joined the band with the family coronet, but my experiences with the band remain one of the most positive from my high school years.

We have only 20 days to go until we close on our new house. I'm not yet employed, but I believe one prospective employer is checking my references this week (I hope no one says anything mean about me!). Things are falling into place, so although I feel like I am a bit stuck in the provisional life at the moment I can see that this state of affairs won't last forever.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Happy Birthday Prince Rogers Nelson

Prince is now 53 - and he's had hip replacement surgery. I think this puts the passage of time in perspective for those of us who still feel like really old teenagers.

This little video clip is just full of amusing details: the hair, the shoulder pads,  Madonna's "Like a Virgin" getup, and the mention of vinyl. It's a real snapshot of a time we thought was modern and cutting edge. This was the time right before the CD, before the Internet was available to all, before cell phones and digital cameras - sort of the last moment of the predigital world. We had a telex machine in our house, an IBM Selectric typewriter, a cassette deck and a record player. I would not get my first PC until the next year. Our big TV was a console unit. Ronald Reagan was the President of the United States and no one knew he had Alzheimer's Disease.  A lot of things have changed since then!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

In Sandwich for the Afternoon

With a few hours free on Saturday Shana and I jumped in the car for an adventure.  The first adventure involved checking out an upscale appliance store in Falmouth where Shana was hoping to get a look at one of the top of the line Weber grills.  We sold her nice electric smoker and charcoal grill when we left Oklahoma and she's checking out what's available. While she visited with the sales staff there I checked out the high end appliances, including a built in coffee station that will serve you the individual coffee drink of your choice for only $2,350.00 (plus installation, I suspect).  I'm not sure what to think of that! Shana wants a coffee maker - she's tired of the coffee press we've been using for years - and while I am willing to purchase one I don't think this unit will be on the short list of possibilities.

Then we drove up to Sandwich to have a look around.  I had already decided I wanted to tour the Sandwich Glass Museum, and Shana wanted to visit a gourmet food store.  I was hoping to visit one of the many "junk" stores, but I think that may be a pastime for me alone.Once we hopped out of the car I realized I had not brought a jacket (a Massachusetts rule) and I was freezing. We stopped into a local store and I bought a sweatshirt. We stopped at The Brown Jug for some fabulous gourmet goodies to take home,  then off to lunch.

We lunched at The Belfry Inn.  This inn is in a remodeled church, and is a beautiful restaurant.  I have not seen the rooms, but their website suggests that the conversion was as beautifully done in the rooms.  Our lunches were delicious. We ate out in the garden, as I just didn't feel that my shorts and sweatshirt went well with the white tablecloth atmosphere of the interior.  We were attended by a beautiful cat who in the tradition of cats forced his attentions on Shana because she has less than no interest in cats. He actually jumped into Shana's lap.

Then down the pretty  street we walked to the Glass Museum.  One wing of the museum is labeled "Spite Barn" - I didn't find out why, but Shana says this is what we should label our shed and anyone who does not talk nice shall be banished to the Spite Barn. The museum itself is rather small and quite nice to visit.  Shana took herself off to see a film about Sandwich history while I examined all of the exhibits.  The displays are nearly all glassware that was made at the Sandwich Glass Factory,  nicely assorted and labeled in rather small and digestible cases.  There are some interactive displays, and live glass blowing demonstrations every hour.  I saw lots of lovely things - many that I'm sure my great grandparents may have owned.  It's quite likely that they did have some Sandwich glass, because the Sandwich glass factory was one of the largest in the country until the end of the 1800's.

On the way back we stopped at The Spotted Cod to browse their beautiful selection of gifts and home accents.  It's a teeny tiny store, but jammed floor to ceiling with lovely things and objects of beauty and desire.

We'll be back to Sandwich often - it's only a few miles from our house (25 days til close) and there is a lot to see and do there.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

The Same, Except Different

Because we are in a quiet open wooded area here in Menahaunt and most people have areas of informal shrubbery as part of their landscaping we see loads of bunnies.  I thought they could be youngsters because of their size and their mottled coats, but it turns out they are something else entirely. These are the New England Cottontail, a rather rare rabbit, and the only native New England rabbit. You'll find more about them here and here. They are considered a vulnerable species, due to a shortage of suitable habitat. It always surprises me to find that species I see loads of are in fact rare, and that I just happen to be in one of the few places where they are plentiful.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

The Table

When Shana and I bought our house on Flamingo we did not have anything like enough furniture to fill it.  We "borrowed' quite a few pieces from her dad that he still had from his marriage to Shana's mother.  One of the items was "The Table". With its gilded dolphin feet and inlayed top it is a beautiful piece of furniture; it's also probably 5' in diameter.  In our large living room on Flamingo it was a dramatic centerpiece.  When we moved to 60th street we no longer had room for it and returned it to Shana's dad.

When Shana started talking to her mother about our moving to The Cape we became aware that her mother did not want her ex husband to have this table, and that she thought it was absolutely vital to her happiness that we reclaim this piece of furniture. So now we have it in our storage unit with the rest of our few bits furniture. I was hoping it would accidentally get left on the truck! Our new living room is 173 square ft in area.  The Table is probably about 20sq ft in area.  The living room is the largest room in the house, including the basement.  I am having anxiety attacks over this giant object, which in addition to being huge is too heavy to enjoy moving around to try it out all over the place.  I believe it will be taking up residence in the Rumpus where it will not quite crowd out Shana's Man-Chair! It's just another example of my obsessive brooding over which objects and furniture will make the cut in our new (small) space. I can't know until we move how things will fit and look, so it's just an anxiety provoking activity.

Pictures are my project room (featuring home inspector), the living room with realtors, and the rumpus of our new house taken during our home inspection. These are examples of the sort of spaces I'm thinking about decorating. I know not too many people will be interested in my project room, but I am really excited about it because it's going to be a place where work in progress can stay out until it is finished! The workbench is staying with the house and will be tool and supply central. Bicycles will also live in this room.

We're fine after the rash or tornadoes that tore across western Massachusetts - the severe weather was quite far from us.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The Sea

ten things i have learned about the sea from lorenzo fonda on Vimeo.

I spent most of my life in the middle of the country very far from the sea; I never saw a body of water larger than Lake Erie until after my 21st birthday. I learned to love the smell of the sea and the beach later, when I started vacationing in Marco, but never began to understand life at the shore until recently. Now that I am living on The Cape I am beginning to understand what it is to live on the water. I pay attention to the tides when I plan for my dog walks on the beach; I clean up the clam shells the gulls dropped in the yard before I cut the grass. The wind coming up Bourne's Pond has the uninterrupted force that the prairie winds brought in Oklahoma, but with the added corrosive force of the salt air.  When I am finally moved into my new house I will not be living on the water, but in the middle of The Cape you are never very far from it, and never far enough away to be away from its influence.