Thursday, December 27, 2012
Shana and I celebrated Christmas Eve with dinner out at the Golden Swan Indian Restaurant in Falmouth. It's always delicious, and after a season of cookies and other rich goodies we are craving something spicy and exotic. We had planned to see a movie after, but the sidewalks roll up early on the Cape and the latest show at all of the movie theaters started at 7:00 pm. We didn't want to rush our festive dinner so we just went on home instead.
Christmas day after opening our fabulous presents we went on over to the House of Dobberteen to join in a family dinner and evening. We had a great time - good company, good food, and lots of family coziness and love. For once the dogs were not cranky and snappy and everyone had a restful and pleasant time.
My haul of Christmas loot was exceptional this year - the Jiffy Steamer that has been on my wish list for years appeared in person at my home (!!!). I've been thinking about sewing again lately and this, combined with my mighty Rowenta iron will make things so easy. I've just put a tailor's ham and seam roll on my wish list to complete my fabulous pressing equipment. Of course these days I seldom wear anything that needs these fabulous pressing skills.
I also scored house socks and warm gloves from one daughter, three skeins of gorgeous bulky alpaca from another, and HOT BOOTIES! As seen on TV! My chronic cold and achy feet are looking forward to using this item. With a giant coffee cup and a new book I am guaranteed a cozy afternoon. I also a received a pretty scarf to add to my cache of classic accessories - Shana got one too so we will be able to swap them and thereby increase the wearables for both of us. A bike basket, chocolates, coffee and hot chocolate, bourbon, cute cocktail napkins, two homegrown avocados and a pair of handmade earrings - the list of treats and treasures is a long one. A lot of cards made their way to our house with kind thoughts from our far away friends and family. We feel so blessed and lucky to have so much, and so many people in our lives that remember us with such generosity and kindness.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
|Looking sad because Shana could not come|
I didn't have to be at work until later in the afternoon, so I decided to take the long way home, or at least the slow way home. The Optimist Cafe is on 6A, the Old King's Highway. 6A goes along the whole northern edge of the Cape, and is the way to go if you want to see antique shops, homes, beaches, and interesting views. With a little extra time to spare it's a much nicer drive than the newer Route 6 (the only highway on the Cape) from which you see miles and miles of trees and only trees. I thought that I might look around and see if there were restaurants and shops I wanted to visit at a later time with Shana. I also thought I might stop at Parnassus Book Service, a treasure trove of used books and one of my favorite places to browse.
This has been my lucky year for drawings. This time I won some beautiful yarn and a pattern booklet which I think came from Vogue Knitting. I won enough silk and wool blend yarn to make a cabled hat, arm warmers, and cowl in a beautiful rose color. I was not sure which drawing I had won and the suspense was fun waiting to see what would arrive.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
I was not planning to see the Falmouth Christmas Parade this year. What I was planning to do was to run into Sage Yarn to pick up the additional needles I needed to complete my fourth and fifth attempts at a hat. I would have stopped at my local, but because that shop is a one woman operation it is closed on Sundays. As I drove towards Falmouth center I noticed that the traffic was thicker than I would have expected on a Sunday off season. When I saw people walking with lawn chairs I knew I was in for it and took a turn to the back roads to find a way to get closer. I optimistically left my car on the side of the road in a no parking area and headed for Sage. I finished my needle shopping quickly and after a quick gossip with the shop assistant I headed out to see what the Falmouth parade offered.
Let's reiterate right off the bat that this is a small town in the off season! That said, they were able to field a high school marching band, the obligatory vet on a motorcycle, and the local dance academy which apparently tutors every little girl in town. The defining unit was the town crier who announced the parade. Very fun, and very short. Thank goodness the downtown area is small because I had to scrounge around looking for where I left the car. You may have noticed that the band has actual warm raincoats. That says all you need to know about the climate of Cape Cod off season!
Sunday, November 25, 2012
|Patience may be rewarded|
|We did not eat these|
I'm deep into holiday knitting and shopping, with most of my list under control. As usual the knitting is backing up! I've done nearly all of my shopping online this year. There are not a lot of retail outlets on Cape to choose from and no power on earth cold get me into a store on Black Friday to shop, although I did work that day. Despite the lack of door busters, The Major Retailer where I work was quite solidly slammed nearly all day. I was on the floor all day and had a very few minutes when there was no one waiting to be rung up. I am happy to say that I did not have to witness any of the ghastly mayhem that is surfacing on You Tube this week. It's shocking to see the behavior that people think is appropriate and sobering to think that the commodities that inspire this behavior are so far from being essential to sustain life. How will these people behave after the Zombie Apocalypse?
And instead of the ravening hordes of Black Friday - here is a hummingbird snoring:
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
I am thankful for my excellent health, which makes so many other things possible.
I am grateful not to have any physical handicaps.
I am grateful to have three children, and all still living.
I am thankful that all three of my children are in reasonable health.
I am also thankful that all of my children are gainfully employed.
I am lucky to have two beautiful grandchildren.
I am fortunate to have my mother still living and in good health.
It was my good fortune to have two parents at home, which allowed my mother to be an home with us.
`I am grateful that my mother taught me not only to crochet, embroider, knit and sew, but even more valuable: to think that I might be able to make anything I fancied.
I am thankful that I learned early the value of reading for entertainment and knowledge.
I was given the great gift of having all four grandparents nearby through all of my growing up.
I was blessed with a good education.
I have been lucky to have lived both in the country and the city and in several states.
I am lucky to have kept my love of cycling for my whole life.
I am thankful that knitting has brought me to meet so many wonderful women.
I am thankful that from childhood I was exposed to people who taught me the value of democracy and participation in public life.
I am thankful that I was brought up in a union famliy and understand to this day the value of labor unions.
I am blessed to be living in the United States.
I am fortunate to have been able to move to Massachusetts at this time in my life.
I am lucky to able to enjoy the outdoors.
I am so happy to have a paid for and decent car.
I'm glad I learned what good Mexican food tastes like before I moved to Massachusetts (!)
I am thankful to have a wife who loves me after all these years.
I am thankful to have cordial and respectful relationships with my ex husbands and their families.
I am luck enough to have a home of my own and one that I love.
I am among the very lucky who always has enough to eat every single day.
I am so thankful that I am assured of an income (however small!) for life.
I am thankful that my wife is also employed when so many are not.
I have been the lucky owner of a number of very interesting dogs, who have added so much to my life.
I am lucky enough to be able to take a part time job doing something that is fun and pays a little too.
I am grateful for the Internet, through which I am able to keep in daily contact with friends and family members who are not physically nearby.
Of course there are many things that are not on the list. I am lucky indeed to have been born in the place and time and to the family I was. I've had a lot of opportunities in my life and although I have not taken advantage of all of them I am still very well off indeed. Of course I "did not build that" alone, so today I am pleased to be able to feature the people I love most.
Monday, November 12, 2012
Fall continues to be beautiful here on Cape Cod. We made it through Hurricane Sandy and the nor'easter that arrived conveniently the following week with only minor damage done by each. My apologies to those who had large limbs across the road or their cars, of course. My neighbor's tree had a big branch twisted off with each storm; one fell over my side of the fence and one on his. They are just hanging there waiting to be removed. Everyone here on the Cape thinks the nor'easter was much worse than Sandy - two days of strong wind and heavy rain were not much fun, plus it was much colder. The wind speeds from the nor'easter were about the same as Sandy here, and I think there was as much beach erosion with it. From inside my house I felt like I was living on the highway because the wind sounded like trucks going down the road. Poor Roxy almost blew over one morning trying to do her "business". The Cape did not get any snow at all, and I am not at all disappointed. Because I had to secure my deck furniture in advance of the hurricane some of my fall cleanup is done already. I have not had my faucets & irrigation turned off yet. Must do SOON.
Today we are enjoying a warm day, maybe the last warm one this week. After I finished my errands Roxy and I went for a walk at the Lowell Holly Reservation to make the most of the day. We walked about half a mile in and came back. In that time we saw easily half a dozen other groups on the trail, most with dogs. No one wants to miss out on a chance to get out for a walk because no one knows how long the weather will hold. I gave up on Furnace Wars just before the nor'easter came in - I thought we would lose power and with colder temperatures coming in with the storm I wanted to be sure the house was at a reasonable temperature. Also I was going around the house with the hood of my sweatshirt pulled up. I have the thermostat set at 60 degrees, so it's hardly tropical in here.
Looks like Thanksgiving will be a large and well attended meal. I'm looking forward to it, and to enjoying the traditional foods. We'll be frying a turkey again, plus baking a ham. As I look over the menu Shana and Lisa put together I think I can safely forecast a lot of people laying around helplessly after the meal.
Holiday knitting continues apace, with a lot of progress happening. Of course as soon as I finish one project I think of something else I'd like to add to the queue. One of the yarn stores here is going out of business, so I was able to replenish some of my basic stash for a reduced price. I've been knitting mostly from stash for a year, so it was almost an "emergency".
Monday, October 22, 2012
|The Elizabeth Montgomery statue in Salem|
|Pilgrims on the street in Salem|
|Provincetown Street Scene|
|Race Point Beach|
|U. S. Lifesaving Station|
Our day trips around the state have given me the excuse to avoid my fall yard chores, but I can't put it off much longer. Leaves are falling and my perennials are going to sleep. It is clear that winter is coming. The Farmers' Almanac suggests we may have a cold one, and the old wives' tales insist that the huge crop of acorns we have this year means a cold winter. The huge crop of acorns is at the very least attracting the local turkeys to the yard. They were visiting Friday and knocked over my birdbath while they were here.
Monday, October 08, 2012
Life is too short for:
Single ply toilet paper
Cheap bike shorts
Pink hot dogs
Expensive mascara - Maybelline FTW
Wasteful utility bills - put on/take off clothes instead
Mani/Pedis- YMMV, but I can do my own well & don't like to be touched by strangers
Trading in my phone every time a new model comes along
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Here on Cape Cod trash is not such an easy process. Our town has no municipal trash hauling. You can arrange for a private trash service to pick it up for you, but almost everyone chooses the least expensive option takes their own trash to the "transfer station". We call it the dump. All of our trash is trucked off Cape, so towns are very interested in encouraging recycling to reduce this charge. Our transfer station is set up so that you pass the recycle area on your way to the trash building. We have single stream recycling - plastic, glass and paper go in the same bin, with separate bins provided for cardboard and hard plastic. There are barrels where you can put your plastic bags. You can purchaser recycling bins for a nominal fee and lots of people do, but since you are dropping it off yourself you can put in in anything you like. The Department of Public Works sells compost bins for about half of the usual retail price, which encourages composting instead of bringing compostables to the transfer station. Reasonable amounts of yard waste go in a separate area, where you can take as much compost and mulch as you want for free. The amount of compost and mulch I take from the dump pays for my yearly fee! I used to have a bin of yard waste and one of trash every week in Oklahoma. Here I have one 30 gallon trash can every other week.
Recycling alone does not help much if we do not make an effort to use less, to repurpose what we already have and select recycled products where appropriate. Years ago we would do this without question. Used clothing was passed down, cut down, and finally used for small projects and rags until it was used up. Now we send it by the bale to Africa, where is has just about killed local clothing manufacture. Reuse and repurpose does not have to mean dreary - Look at what this metal artist is making from used bicycle parts:
The pictures have nothing to do with the text unless you consider that using less means less land has to be put under production and more can be saved for beauty and refreshment. These pictures were taken at the Ryder Conservation Area in Mashpee MA.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
I have been knitting quite a bit, but nothing much to show for it, at least in the form of finished objects. I've lost a lot of time down the Ravelry rabbit hole (I'm cinderellen over there) trying to match up my stash with new projects. If you've spent much time on Ravelry you know how that kind of research can leave you wandering in the wilderness of beautiful possibility. Looking at patterns makes you wander the Internet looking at yarns suited to that pattern - on and on. I came to my senses just in time to avoid buying both yarn and patterns, but barely.
I've been reading a fair amount lately too. What's on my nightstand now is The Night Circus. I have not finished it yet but I am willing to recommend it. The images it brings to life in my mind are magical - a combination of the writing style and the inventiveness of the author. It has the feeling of a dream. Magical Realism is one of my favorite categories, one which is nnot easy to do well. This book is enchanting.
To contribute to the general craziness of the presidential campaign Randy Newman has put out a little ditty that sums up some of the GOP hopes quite neatly:
Sunday, September 09, 2012
|Our Neighborhood Turkeys|
|Oak Bluffs Harbor|
|Gay Head Cliffs|
Monday, September 03, 2012
Saturday, September 01, 2012
|Dunes at Sandy Neck|
|Sandy Neck Beach|
|Beach Access at White Crest|
Friday, August 24, 2012
This weekend is the weekend of the Hotter n Hell 100 in Wichta Falls Texas, I went for 5 years - 2 100K rides, 2 100 mile rides, and one memorable crash at about 30 miles.
Over the years this ride has meant to me friendship, achievement, and celebration. I always battled the heat and distance, but nothing could replace that magical and thrilling starting line where 10,000 riders hit the road. A lot of things have changed in my life. I always ride alone these days, but I still wish I was in Wichita Falls this weekend.
Monday, August 20, 2012
The beginning of the evening was a Keystone Cops sort of event. On the way out the door I reminded Shana to get the tickets, which had been mailed to us weeks ago. They were nowhere to be found, probably because they were "in a safe place". After running around the house sweating and pulling out our hair we stopped at the grocery store where our bank has a branch to get extra cash to buy fresh tickets but our bank is not open Sunday evening. I could not use an ATM because I have no idea where the card is for that account. I purchased our tickets by phone on our way to Hyannis. We were meeting a friend in Hyannis for dinner before the show, but until we left home we were not sure where we were going to go. The address we gave our friend for the restaurant we chose was wrong. When we did find the restaurant we found that we needed reservations unless we wanted to sit at a traditional Japanese table, which had legs about a foot long. We were to sit on the floor. Shana and I tried it with rather hilarious results, but in spite of being fairly flexible our friend just could not do it. We got back in our cars and proceeded to another restaurant for Indian food. Our dinner was delicious, but the large amounts of fresh garlic in my order left me wishing I had a mint, or 200 mints.
Shana and I stopped at the ladies' room before going into the tent, but she did not know I had gone in. When she did not see me when she came out she thought I had gone to my seat. When I came out she was nowhere to be found. At last we got together and went to our new seats to watch the opening act. At the break we went over to the section where our original seats were languishing without us and settled in near our friend watch the main event, only about 6 rows from the stage.
k. d. lang was WONDERFUL. Her voice is impeccable, and in the intimacy of this small venue her joy in performing and connection to her band was clear to see. She sang some of her old favorites, and some songs I was less familiar with and every song sounded wonderful and fresh. I had wondered if singing Constant Craving and Hallelujah over many years would make them seem dull and rote to her, but her delivery rather suggested that there is always something new and thrilling to be discovered in these songs. The band was excellent, and the devotion of the crew to the comfort of k. d. and the band was wonderful to see.
I'm not much of a concert-goer. Large venues and big crowds really leave me cold. I do like a smaller venue, and to see such an artist in such an intimate setting was a wonderful treat. One more item in the favor of this venue - too often live music in a smaller venue is too amplified to be enjoyed. It is too loud to be understood and I find myself more exhausted than uplifted. This was not the case here. The volume and clarity of the sound was perfect, and the lighting simple and effective. We will absolutely be making plans to see more concerts at the Cape Cod Melody tent in the future.
Sadly my pictures are not good, but I was only hoping to give an idea of how the tent looks up close and on the inside before and during a performance.