Thursday, August 26, 2010

a spot of cheer

I was traipsing up the hill from my morning's kayak-venture when I spotted a dash of bright color on the bank. A quick investigation brought me a sweet surprise! I have chinese lantern plants dotting the undergrowth on the side hill!

Considering the rest of the hill is cursed with the invasive North American Bamboo (may it dry up & die), this little gift of nature brings me joy.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

ocean therapy

We arrived home from a week's vacation yesterday: Cape Cod, Boston, and a dozen points in between.
One of the points in-between was Plymouth Mass. While 60 tourists clicked intently away with cameras pointing toward the famous Plymouth Rock, my viewfinder looked for the sea. As usual.

The dunes were as alluring as they always are & forever will be for me.

The smell of salt and frothy turf, the plaintive scrawks of gulls, and the delicate palette of blue, gray, and brown make me want to jump, run, cry, and quiver with joy all at once. Ask my family. They allow me space to act out, giving me wide berth on the beach.

They call it "Mommy-time".

Perhaps the reason this beach was so wondrously desolate was the aforementioned behavior.

I love the vibe of the wharves.

The silvery-gray curl of the ocean is so beautiful. There are no words to adequately describe it.

It was a much-needed time away from the regular rhythms of home.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


This picture says so much about our vacation. Wind, surf, sand & sky. It was a lovely visit to the sea.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

what I learned from a cookie

Friday night brought me some snappy live jazz followed by a lesson from a cookie.

The kiddos & I met up with some way-cool friends at Maxfield's. Our table was directly in front of the live jazz trio, which was on purpose. We had to be close enough to count Blanche's eyebrow hairs when it was time for her to sing. That girl can really sing.

Oh my did I EVER enjoy that live jazz. I couldn't take my happy eyes off the percussionist. He had a bedazzling array of facial expressions that kept me fully entertained. And then he sang "Georgia" like nobody's biz-natch. Well I just about fell off my chair with glee.

After the show, the kiddos & I went up the street for some snackies: gelato for #1 Daughter & myself and the Chuck Norris Burger for #1 Son. (He actually ordered his dinner by miming a karate move.)

This particular dining establishment has a bad rep in my social circle. Like slow service. And no napkins or silverware without begging. And disappearing waitresses ( in a non-magic show fashion). But we continue to give this place a try because sometimes, when you finally get served, the food is really good. Also, when you live in a smallish community like ours, the choices for dinner after 8 pm are minimal.

And so there we were, waiting to be noticed. And eventually the usual silly stuff unfolded (see previous paragraph). Except this time, the burger was way overcooked and the fries were practically raw in the middle. Plus, they were barely warm. Plus, I used to be a waitress so I know this shouldn't happen.

#1 Son had to leave the table to rustle up our waitress (MIA) and she promised a different kind of fries, as (and I quote) "the hand-cut fries are NEVER cooked all the way through."

Oh. Now we know.

After we were finished and ready to depart, we decided to skip the promised fries and call it a night. With great reluctance but firm resolve, I decided to finally speak to someone about our unfortunately oft-repeated lack of service.

I really tried to be nice about it, but still almost made the lady-manager cry. So after I had my say and bid her a somewhat less-than-heartfelt goodnight, #1 Son lingered behind to purchase a cookie.

"Those butterfly cookies look pretty good," he said as he peered into the bakery case. "I'd like to buy one, please."

Even after the lady insisted he take one at no charge, he stuffed a dollar into the tip jar. Because that's the kind of quality person he is. On our drive home, I asked him how he thought I did.

"I hated complaining to a manager," I insisted. "But it had to be done."

"You did fine," he insisted sincerely. "But I wanted to leave on a good note, so I bought a butterfly cookie."

When I grow up, I want to be like him.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

too pretty to eat

I have no bouquets of flowers to grace my table, but I do have this. Thanks to continued plantings of assorted varieties of lettuce, the gourmet greens keep on coming!

As my great-aunt Elsie used to say when looking over a fancy dessert: "Almost too pretty to eat!"

Thursday, August 05, 2010

July images

It only took one whole year, but we finally hung the porch swing. The large maple tree in the front yard really came in handy for that. So did the thirty bucks of heavy-duty rope we finally bought at Lowes.

#1 Daughter gave this old desk a new life. It was Grandma Janet's childhood desk, then mine. Along the way, it was also #1 Son's -and for a short season it resided in Friend #7's bedroom.

Now, in it's most groovy state, it will keep #1 Daughter company for awhile.

In emptying the photo bucket, I came across cake.
We consume quite a bit of cake around here. For goodness sakes.

One of the most memorable evenings of our summer was John's Hawaiian birthday party. Here is a pic of the new side porch an hour before dinner that night.

The iron railings were installed because we knew it might be a wild party. No sense anyone falling off the new porch while wearing a mumu.

We ate hawaiian pizza for dinner. It was a festive crowd, as you can see...

The table was blaring with island colors!

After dessert, we had the traditional game of Hawaiian croquet.

It involved some kung-fu moves. I don't know why.

No one was injured. It was a great party!