Thursday, August 30, 2012

What I found on the ground…

Last week when I was wandering around the yard, I found a couple of very cool things.

Look at these leaves that I found.  Don't they look like leaf lace?

And once again this year, we are lucky to have a turkey family roaming around our neighborhood.  They are fun birds to watch.  Rather awkward looking, they ramble through our area mostly in single file.  These days the baby turkeys are almost the same size as the adults that are there to guard and protect  them.  It’s always a hoot when something startles them and they fly up into the trees.  One of them dropped a feather in our front yard.  I picked it up and here it is.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A quick cruise through Boston…

Last Thursday, Greg, Evan and I went into Boston for a Boston Harbor cruise.  Greg saw a deal on Groupon and purchased it.  It was a pretty nice day for a cruise.  A little hot but not too bad.  Here’s what we saw…

This little fixer-upper is sitting in the Harbor near the Federal Courthouse Building.  Not sure what its story is but I think it is picturesque.

While we were waiting to board the boat, I looked up and saw this magnificent sun dog with a jet contrail going through it.

Here we are looking back at the Financial District.  Believe it or not, I use to work as a paralegal in one of those building in another life time.

We cruised through a set of locks to the Charles River of “I love that dirty water” fame.  Here you can see Boston’s bookends, the Prudential Tower on the right and the John Hancock Building on the left.  Tour guides love to talk about how the windows kept popping out of the Hancock Building when it was first built.  That problem has been fixed for quite a while now.

On the way back to the dock, we went by Old Ironsides (USS Constitution).  We didn’t get close enough to get any really good pictures of it but I like looking at all the ropes and pulleys and stuff on its riggings.  Listen to me…I act like I know what all those strings and things are.  I am sure I have the terminology all wrong because I know less than nothing about sailboats and even less about frigates, which is what Old Ironsides is.  A few years back, Greg, my brother Rob and I took a tour of Old Ironsides.  It was very interesting and worthwhile even if I didn’t retain any of the details we learned about her.  So if you’re ever in Boston, you should check it out.  Old Ironsides actually set sail on August 24 this year.  They do that to turn her around so she wears evenly on both sides.  Maybe I should consider doing that for myself.

After a nice lunch at the Barking Crab, we tunneled our way back out of Boston to our home in the countryside.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

New things, opposites and other stuff…

Oh, boy, that week went by in a big fat hurry.  Here we are at Scavenger Hunt Sunday again.  This week’s prompts are school, rule of thirds, side profile, small and motion.  And here’s what I came up with:

School:  This is a picture of the elementary school that my kids attended.  However, when they went there, it looked nothing like this.  Finally after many years of overcrowding and dealing with impossible open-concept classrooms, the town voted to renovate the existing school building.  This has been done in phases and the part to the right in the picture is the old, but remodeled part and to the left is the new part.  The old school was a real mess so I am very happy for the kids who are getting to take advantage of this new school building.  I especially like the use of school bus yellow as a trim color.  Cool!  But because it isn’t completely ready yet, the whole regional system is starting a little late this year.  But lucky me! I can remain blissfully unaware of such things since my kids are 25 and 28 and way past elementary school age.

Rule of Thirds:  One of those standard rules of good picture taking and composition.

Side Profile:  One of the things I love about dogs is the infinite variety in the breeds.  At one point, we lived with a greyhound and a pug together.  Talk about the yin and yang of dogdom.  Sometimes it was hard to imagine that they were the same species.  Our greyhound has been gone a couple of years now and we miss him.  Still, if you photograph a few dogs, it doesn’t take much to show the wide range of types and personalities of dogs.  I think my pics illustrate the point pretty well.  The first is of our neighbor’s dog Max, a Labradoodle, and the second one is of Olive, our pug.

Small:  Barnacles stuck on a pier in Boston Harbor.  Pretty darn small.

Motion:  Here again is Max, the Labradoodle.  Whoever decided that it would be a good idea to put a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle together had a stroke of genius.  But, I think that particular mix means it is hard to keep the dog out of the water.  Max is a real sweetie wet or dry!

Linking to Scavenger Hunt Sunday.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fences for Friday…

Here are a couple fences I found on our ride down to see the sunflowers in Connecticut.  I know, I know.   I need to get out more and get some new material…

Linking to Friday's Fences.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What I saw yesterday…

Yesterday, Greg, Evan, Olive and I went out to look at a house that my friend Donna told me about the night we went out for dinner.  Because I had a couple of Margaritas that night, I got confused about where the house was and my wandering around looking for it got me nowhere.  So I emailed Donna and she gave me the details.
Donna informed me that this house is rather old.   Well, the house is one year younger than me.  Does that make the house old or just mature?  She also said that it hasn’t been lived in for a while.  It would need a bit of work to make it livable.  But Greg and I have been talking about downsizing for a while and the price is right, so we decided that we should at least drive by to see how it looked in person.

After we looked it over and talked about it for a little while, we decided this particular house would be a bit too much of a downsize.  So unless we bought the house next door to it too and he lived in one and me in the other, it probably wouldn't work.  We would share custody of the pug Olive, of course.  However, I’m a bit afraid that that would defeat the purpose of downsizing, so I guess it’s back to the drawing board for us.

I like the way the ivy is growing up around the chimney.  I think it's very pretty.
Since we were sort of in the vicinity and it was time for lunch, we went on out to Janine’s Frosty in Ware.  Janine’s is one of the places around here where you can eat outside and take the dog with you.  On the way to Janine’s, we had to go by Breezeland Orchard.  To our great delight, Breezeland was open.  So we just had to stop and see if they had any of their famous Cider Doughnuts.  Yay!  They did.  Greg picked up a half dozen.  I’m not a big fan of doughnuts, but those darn doughnuts are out of the ordinary.

Ummmm, donuts!
We had lunch at Janine’s.

Good advice from the folks at Janine's.
And then took the long way home.

On the way we got behind this guy.  I joked that Granny must have fallen out somewhere along the way but I think he was actually taking the chair to the Salvation Army, which is just around that curve.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday…

I managed to get my camera out this week and use it.  So I have entries for each of the Scavenger Hunt prompts:  forest, morning light, touch, newspaper and coffee or tea.  And here they are.

We live in a very forested area.  Most of the back roads around here look pretty much like this:

I don’t generally get up early, but I did one day this week.

I have an iPod Touch.  I am not altogether happy with it because I really liked my old Nano better and if it hadn’t stopped working, I would have been happy to keep it for another few years if not forever.  Here are my problems with the Touch.  It is too sensitive.  I listen to books all the time and one false move and I have lost my place.  I don’t know how many times I’ve had to listen to a chapter over because I accidentally touched something.  I also don’t like that it is so small.  When it falls to the bottom of my purse, I have a panic attack.  Not just because I am afraid I lost it but because I’m afraid it’s going to be touched and I will lose my place.  Okay, rant over.  On the bright side, I listen to books all the time and this baby has all my music and a number of books on it with room to spare.  That’s sweet!

OK!  I have been corrected by my husband Greg (aka Mr. Know-it-all).  I do not own an iPod Touch.  I own a Nano.  I thought it was an iPod Touch because you have to touch it to get it to do anything and you also have to touch it to mess it up.  I thought "Touch" was an accurate description for it so the name seemed appropriate.     I guess you can tell I'm not an Apple lover. 

I read the newspaper nearly every morning of my life.  Here’s some of the things I read this week.

Coffee.  It has to be coffee, preferably strong, black, organic and fair trade, but it has to be coffee! 

Linking to Ashley Sisk's Scavenger Sunday Hunt. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

What’s in a name?

Last night I had dinner at the Mexicali Grill with three of my girlfriends.  Well,  unfortunately, we are hardly GIRLS anymore, that’s for sure.  But as we were sitting around the table yakking over our Margaritas, it occurred to me that anyone who knew our names (Donna, Judy, Nancy and Barbara) could place us instantaneously in our generation.

  People just aren’t naming their kids those names these days and while I sometimes think that names such as ours will make a comeback when today’s new borns wax nostalgic over their grandmothers, in my experience that hasn’t happened yet.  Of course, it's way too soon to tell.  None of the four of us "girls" is a grandmother much less a great-grandmother.  In my heart, though, I think that most likely our names will go the way of Bertha, Doris, Florence and Lois.

Before our daughter Carrie was born, Greg and I joked that we could make two “old” ladies very happy and name our kid “Lois Lois Lambert Hale” as both of our mothers were named Lois.  Instead, we decided to go with Carrie after Greg’s grandmother who I never met but felt I knew because he spoke of her so fondly.  Our other choices, when we decided to go with a family name (Cora, Georgianna and Beulah), seemed hopelessly old fashioned to us at the time.

Well, that has nothing to do with the photos I am going to post today but the name thing has been circling my brain so I had to get it out.  I am going to reach into my archives and post a few pictures that I took earlier this summer.

  Recently, the weather here has not been conducive to outside picture taking so my camera hasn't gotten the workout it deserves.  We’re definitely in the dog days.  We have gotten a fair amount of rain but it has come to us with little warning in downpours falling violently in sheets causing flash flood warnings and a lot of run off.  Well, it is rain and no matter how it a cloudburst, in sheets, in a downpour or as cats and dogs, we need it.

  After all, what’s in a name?  That which we call rain by any other name would smell as sweet.

  Sorry, Shakespeare.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Barn in Griswold, CT…

I’m posting a photo of a barn I took in Griswold, Connecticut, when Greg and I went down to check out the sunflowers.  The barn is beautiful and all but the sunflowers were spectacular so I am going to post another pic of the sunflowers.  After all, who doesn’t love sunflowers?

Here's the same picture in color.  This is the one I'm using on my Facebook page right now.  I like this particular picture better in black and white though.

Linking to Bluff Area Daily’s Barn Charm.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fences for Friday…

Here are a couple of fences I came across on our recent trip out to Ohio…

I have no idea where we were when I took these photos.  It was a whirlwind trip to celebrate Greg's brother Jeff and his wife Lisa's 25th anniversary.  We sped out to the Akron area from Massachusetts in one day and back in one day.  Whew!  But the kids went with us so the driving was not so bad.  And there's something kind of nice about being cooped up with the kids for 12 hours straight.  We play games and talk.  So what if we are all adults??  We have fun.  And I am a firm believer in looking out the window while you are tooling along.  You never know what you might see.

Linking to Friday's Fences.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The things I saw…

It was a beautiful day here in Massachusetts yesterday…not too hot or humid.  Greg had to go over to a town a few towns away from ours to run an errand so I went with him.  Here are some of the things I saw along the way:

The sky was full of cirrus clouds.  At one point I noticed that there was a cloud that was kind of red in the middle of a bunch of regular white clouds so I took a picture of it.  What causes this, I have no idea but it’s kind of cool, I think.  It was red for a while.  Then it turned blue.  Then it just went back to being an ordinary cloud.  Do you see it there?  It's three lines down.  I guess it just wanted to assert itself for a little while.

The traffic was horrendous.  We thought we would save time if we got on the highway but this is what we encountered once it was too late to get off.  It turns out there was a rather serious accident up ahead on the other side of the Turnpike.  I guess it was that age-old gawk factor that had us backed up.  I hope everyone involved in the accident is okay.

For a while, we were behind a truck from Madbury, New Hampshire.  I think that is a funny name for a town – Madbury.  I looked on line but couldn’t find an explanation for the name.  It made me wonder if, when they named the town, they also considered the names Happybury and Sanebury and those names were voted down by the folks at their town meeting because they wanted the town to have a certain kind of reputation.  Probably not, but it’s kind of fun to think about.  Anyhow, I highlighted in green the fact that this business’s phone number is 593-EGGS and below the letters (EGGS) they also put the numbers (3447.)  I appreciate that.  If I ever had to call Siegel Egg Co., I would be very glad that they put the numbers there and I wouldn’t have to translate EGGS into numbers.  One  of my bugaboos.

On our way home, we went by the Pigmobile for Carl’s Oxford Diner.  I ate at Carl’s Oxford Diner once a few years ago.  They make one heck of a breakfast in there but, believe me, the Pigmobile is an apt symbol for the place.  One of the YELP reviews I read of this place states:  “if you order keilbasa and eggs you will get an ENTIRE Keilbasa!”  Well, that’s true.  And if you order bacon, you get practically a whole pig.   So if you are hungry, I would recommend Carl’s Oxford Diner but be prepared to wait in line to get in.  Apparently, there are a lot of hungry people in these parts.  And, oh yeah, the bus doesn't pick people up and take them to Carl's Oxford Diner.  It's just there for show.

That’s what I saw yesterday.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Drive by shootings: Dual purpose barn…

I’ve seen many barns with advertisements on them.  But I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one advertising an indoor water park.  This one is somewhere near Erie, Pennsylvania.

Linking to Bluff Area Daily's Barn Charm.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

It’s actually a different Queen Anne…

I just finished a book that I am going to recommend to anyone out there who likes historical novels.  The book is Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel and it is the story of Henry VIII from the viewpoint of Thomas Cromwell.  I liked this book very much and am looking forward to reading the next installment Bringing up the Bodies.  The first book Wolf Hall takes you through the machinations it took to get Henry married off to Anne Boleyn in 1533 but drops you before he drops her…and of course, before her head drops as well.

Well, it’s just a coincidence that I have always thought that Queen Anne’s Lace was named after Anne Boleyn.  I guess that’s because she was always the most famous Queen Anne that I had ever heard of.  But on doing some research, I found that Anne Boleyn is not mentioned at all in relation to Queen Anne’s Lace but some think it was Anne (1574 - 1619), the first Stuart Queen Anne, who was brought over from Denmark at fourteen years of age to be a Queen to King James of Scotland.  Others argue it was Anne (1665 - 1714), the daughter of William and Mary, and the last monarch in the Stuart line.”  Both apparently were expert tatters and lace makers.
Well, regardless of which Anne is involved, it seems to me that we have more Queen Anne’s Lace around these parts this summer than I can ever remember.  It is a beautiful flower and it deserves to be treated like royalty now and then.

Heading out for a long weekend.  See you all next week.