Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Another Meme!

Here's a little meme that should get a few folks thinking.... I am carrying it on from Jim's blog over atNobody Asked Me and I am modifying it to bring sexism into play. Yes, it is sexist, but hear me out! At this very moment you men, what do you have in your pockets? Pants, coats, shirts, empty them out and list all the items. Ladies, what do you have in your purses? (that's the sexist part). Please do not include any illegal paraphenalia or eh hem... feminine hygiene products/condoms. We all know those are a necessity and something most folks carry concealed. I'm more interested in the odd things that people carry, or don't carry... aren't you? Please feel free to play and leave your answers in the comment section! As for me, here is the list of purse contents... btw my purse is 8-1/2"L x 6"W. (considered small in the purse world).

1.Mega Millions lottery ticket for 12/30/08.

2. A small piece of paper with a Firehouse poem typed on it :" Fire fire said Mrs. McGuire, where where said Mrs. Ohare"...etc.

3. A card that came with a dozen roses from my boyfriend several months ago.

4.A Wendys receipt for lunch today.

5. A 99 Restaurant receipt for dinner on 12/27/08.

6.63 cents.

7.A lighter. I don't smoke, but you never know when you'll need to start a fire!

8. A small flashlight.

9.A small hairbrush.

10.Two pens.

11.A buck knife.

12. Two gift cards for Stop N Shop grocery store. Thanks Mom!

13.A gift card to Yankee candle. I love candles!

14. A debit card.

15. Less than $20 in cash.

16. Leather card case with assorted store/credit/ID/discount/insurance cards and a book of stamps, wrapped w/rubber band.

17. Make-up case: hand lotion, two lipsticks, mascara, chapstick, foundation, toothpick holder, toothpaste, travel toothbrush, tweezers, small mirror.

18. Cell phone.

Phew! No kitchen sink!

Happy New Year 2009!

I'm staying home where it's warm and safe....
If I can keep my eyes open long enough, I'll toast the New Year with Dick Clark!
Best regards for a new year full of love and happiness.

As Promised!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

This has been around for awhile... but it's still a riot!

Major Changes in Just a Few Days

Five days ago....


Not to worry though, more snow predicted for tomorrow! From NOAA....
Tonight: A chance of snow, mainly after 3am. Increasing clouds, with a low around 27. West wind between 8 and 16 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Wednesday: Snow, mainly between 8am and 4pm. The snow could be heavy at times. High near 29. Blustery, with a north wind 8 to 11 mph increasing to between 17 and 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.

Wednesday Night: A chance of snow showers, mainly before 9pm. Cloudy, then gradually becoming partly cloudy, with a low around 12. Wind chill values as low as -6. Blustery, with a northwest wind around 24 mph, with gusts as high as 39 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.


A New (or is it?) Kind Of Treasure Hunting....

Have you heard of Geo Caching?

From Wikipedia:
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called "geocaches" or "caches") anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook and "treasure," usually toys or trinkets of little value. Currently over 800,000 geocaches are registered on various websites devoted to the pastime. Geocaches are currently placed in over 100 countries around the world and on all seven continents, including Antarctica.[1]

Where have I been? I just heard about this today, but apparently this outdoor game has been around since 2000. A co-worker told me about it, explaining that one doesn't just do it to search for the cache. Some of the places that the caches are hidden in are beautiful spots that you have to hike to, and normally wouldn't find unless you were native to that particular region. He and his family have searched for cache's while on vacation and have discovered that the treasure is really the hidden coves, the spectacular overlooks, and memorable vistas.

Again, from Wikipedia:
For the traditional geocache, a geocacher will place a waterproof container, containing a log book (with pen or pencil) and trinkets or some sort of treasures, then note the cache's coordinates. These coordinates, along with other details of the location, are posted on a website. Other geocachers obtain the coordinates from the Internet and seek out the cache using their GPS handheld receivers. The finding geocachers record their exploits in the logbook and online. Geocachers are free to take objects from the cache in exchange for leaving something of similar or higher value, so there is treasure for the next person to find.

From the look of the numbers, this seems to be quite a popular pastime. Hey, anything that gets you off the couch and out in the fresh air can't be all that bad! Hmmmm.... wonder if I can learn how to read a GPS?

A Christmas Card to Remember!

(Idea shamelessly stolen from Buck)
My blogfriend Lou sends out beautifully hand painted Christmas cards each year and I have been blessed two years in a row as a lucky recipient! The above is actually last years card that I had framed and keep in my kitchen. The card she sent this year ( of a beautiful fall leaf) was inadvertantly packed away with the other Christmas cards and decorations. So for now, last year's card will be what I share with you, until such time as I get off my lazy butt and retrieve the one she sent this year! (it is as beautiful and as much cherished as last years card)
Lou is an amazing woman, artist, mother, wife, grandmother, rancher, friend, blogger, etc. etc. She has a great sense of humor, and an even greater sense of devotion to her family. I respect her and admire her for all that she does and is. Take a moment to follow the link, read a bit and then say hello...
Thanks again Lou...
your card was absolutely gorgeous!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Message In A Bottle

Just a little distraction on a cold and snowy day.Check out the fun at Oceangram!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Last Plane Flying

Yesterday I found this awesome photo, taken by Ken Middleton. This photo was taken back in March 2008 on the day the powers that be terminated the 102nd Fighter Wing at Otis. The building behind the F15 is where I work.

This photo, also taken by Ken Middleton, is of the Airshow in 2007. This is why I love working where I work!

Even though the 102nd has changed (Airwing relocated, Intelligence division created) the base still remains active with Coast Guard and Army National Guard business. They are still doing touch and go practices with the big boys, and I have to admit, it is a thrill to see the pilots play.... er... take the planes through their paces.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Early In the Morning

Sometimes a walk on the beach is the best thing after a sixteen hour shift. It feels great to fill your lungs with the fresh sea air and I was lucky today... no one else on the beach. The wind was whipping my hair all about, but it didn't matter, when I finally got back into my vehicle I felt relaxed and ready to head for home.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Times must be REALLY tough in Ohio!

I have a rant. It is not going to be an ugly rant. It is going to be a justified rant. I'm mad and I feel helpless to fight this.

Let me explain.

Years ago, I got divorced while living in Ohio. It wasn't a good time in my life. A lot of bills, a great deal of heartache, a big struggle to put my life back in order. It took a few years, but I did just that. I prided myself on paying every bill, even if it meant paying $10 a month to get each one of them paid off. I worked long hours, sacrificed, and never once thought about filing for bankruptcy. I'm not tooting my own horn, just giving you some background to set the stage for the context of this post. Since that time, I have worked very hard to establish a good credit rating; checking my credit report annually for anything that I might have missed, erroneous entries, etc. The report has been fine, nothing on it negative, no past due accounts. All was well, until a letter arrived in my mailbox on Saturday. A letter from the Ohio Attorney Generals Office Revenue Recovery Service. It was a collection letter. It gave general payment information in the body of the letter, then on a second page revealed that the creditor: XXXXX County Clerk of Courts was owed $63.00 plus $0.06 interest plus $7.00 in fees for a total due of $70.06. I had no idea what the charge was for. Honest to God, here is what came next (personal info changed for privacy reasons of course):

CASE ID: 12345
FIRST BILLED: 09/24/2005
LAST BILLED: 08/18/1994
PAID: 0.00

They must have been digging for weeks in the file room to pull this one out!

Now I don't know about you, but I don't keep payment records longer than the required seven years. If I had paid this bill, ( I'm not saying that I did or didn't - who can remember 15 years back?) I wouldn't even have a RECORD OF PAYMENT for something that long ago! So, I followed the only recourse that was provided me; I called them today. After what was a torturously long recorded maze of pressing buttons on the phone (press 1 for yes, 2 for no, 3 if you're an imbecile, 4 to hear paint drying, etc.); a computerized voice read back to me each of my numerical entries as if I were mentally challenged. I'm not sure how, but I finally reached a live person. At least I think she was alive. Her dispassionate response to my questions and deadpan emotionless replies, made me wonder if she were some new computerized robotic answering machine. After I gave her the name of my first cousin one generation removed, my address, my mothers maiden name and if I liked blueberry pancakes, she informed me that the $70.06 was court costs for my divorce. "But", I stammered, "that's over 15 years ago! My attorney was suppose to have taken care of all of that for me!" She didn't even miss a beat, "Our records indicate that it was never paid." I asked her if she could send me a copy of the original bill. Apparently, the letter I received Saturday is all they can provide me. I decided at that point to throw myself off the cliff and told her I'd call her back after I checked my records from 15 years ago! (the ones I don't have). Can anyone tell me why it took them fifteen years to bill me? I wasn't hiding. I lived there for FOUR years after the divorce! If I owed the money, why wasn't it on my credit report? Seriously, the current economic crisis must have the state scurrying around in the basement filing cabinets looking for anything they can pass off as collectible. Oh, let's bill this schmuck for something that went down fifteen freaking years ago... they probably can't prove it was paid!

I did try to reach the attorney that handled the case for me. He's dead. (God bless you Richard M. You were a kind and understanding soul!)

So, now what? You guessed it.

I'm going to pay it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

It's Not the End of the Road!

Just a quick note to let you know I'm back in the hack...

Headed out to do some much needed socializing and story gathering.... just another Friday night in the big city!

Back later with hopefully something to pique your interest!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I'm out of commish!

I'm sitting here at the local library posting this because my home computer has a "cable" issue. My wonderful brother will be able to fix it, it's just getting him to stop by long enough to do it! In the mean time I want to pass along a very valuable link that I just found out about.

Every hour of every day, hundreds of people need essential human services - they are looking for training, employment, food pantries, help for an aging parent, addiction prevention programs for their teenage children, affordable housing options, support groups and ways of becoming part of their community. 2-1-1 allows people to give help and to get help.

2-1-1 is an easy to remember telephone number that, where available, connects people with important community services and volunteer opportunities. In 2007, 2-1-1 services in the United States answered nearly 10 million calls. The implementation of 2-1-1 is spearheaded by United Ways and information and referral agencies in states and local communities. United Way of America (UWA) and the Alliance for Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) strongly support federal funding so that every American has access to this essential service.

Check out the link.... this is a national program so you can enter your information and then be taken directly to a site specifically for your area.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Time to tighten the belts!

With the economy being what it is, and what looks like rough times ahead of us, it's a good idea to start learning the art of being "frugal". However, if you were lucky enough to have had parents like mine, no lessons are needed! All that is needed are refresher courses! In some cases, minimal frugality has become a way of life, woven into the very essence of us, childhood experiences that devloped into adult behaviors. When I was a young child, (yesterday) my mother and father struggled to "make ends meet". My father was a milkman and worked long hard hours, and my mother worked at home. (She was a house wife, mother, bookkeeper, seamstress, chef, well... you get the picture). I can't say we weren't below the poverty level, but we were sure close. I saw my mother, skrimp, save, recycle, stretch, pinch, substitute, do without, for most of my childhood. I don't think I ever saw her throw ANYTHING out! There were drawers full of used aluminum foil that had been washed and folded to use again. There were butter tubs that were used for anything from cereal bowls to leftover containers to small hardware organizers. There was a drawer for plastic lids, of every imaginable size; empty coffee cans under the sink, out in the garage, down in the basement. Everything was used until it just couldn't be used anymore. Every scrap of cloth was saved, washed, sewn into some sort of quilt, curtain, sofa cover; clothes that had rips and tears were patched, socks with holes were darned. We were able to buy new clothes for school occasionally, but hand-me-downs from older cousins were the norm. My mother used to "stretch the milk" (yes, even the milkman's family had to pay for milk!) by adding Carnation Instant Non-Fat Dry Milk to each gallon that we drank. I used to love the little milk cartons we would get at school with our lunch because it was REAL WHOLE MILK! I have to give my mother credit, she always came up with something for us to eat; even making it seem like we were getting a treat when we occasionlly found the butter and jelly sandwiches in our lunch bag! She would cook a ham, chicken or roast beef on Sunday and then make the leftovers last for days. Hotdogs and beans were served on Saturday's and many times we "fished" for our dinner, when my father had time; weather and tides permitting. Trips to town were consolidated, even before the gas crisis of the 70's. Christmas must have been so stressful for them! My father's hand made wooden doll chair, door stop, and numerous other wooden carvings come to mind when I think of how they managed to make our holidays special. It must of killed them to watch my brother and I pour over the Sears Christmas Wish Book, knowing that they wouldn't be able to give us what we had written on our Santa lists. We were such selfish little children! Later, when my father became ill and unable to work, the money that my mother had managed to save, kept them from total despair.
So, as I sit here clipping coupons and doing my best to follow in some incredible footsteps, I can be thankful that I am in a much better position than my mother and father were all those years ago. I am thankful that I have the knowledge of how to be frugal; although I do not possess the many talents that my mother has, to do what she did. I can't make couch covers, or quilts, but I can stretch a dollar and I do possess the willpower to live within my means. And I also have a drawer of lids, and a few folded up pieces of aluminum foil tucked away.
Thanks Mom.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Its a Muppet Kinda Day

Thanks to Buckfor giving me the idea for my post today!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's Here!

The photos above were taken last week.

Here's today's picture.....


Monday, November 17, 2008

At Last!

Finally, a moment's peace....

In the wee hours of the night, after work is done, daughter is back in the dorm, cat is in for the night, kitchen floor is mopped, trash is out in the can, laundry is folded, bills are paid, tomorrow's to-do-list is made, I sit here with my back to the television. In the semi-darkness of the room, I type and listen to the PBS program about eagles. If I close my eyes for a moment, I can picture how the night sky looked tonight when I got out of the truck to come into the house after work. Sometimes I forget how beautiful the stars look and how crisp and clean the air smells when it's cold outside. Seems like I've been going non-stop for days. Honestly, I think it's because I haven't been alone enough to hear myself think. So now, this is the time for me to relax~ and let the random thoughts fly!

I'm a devote follower of theDaily Coyote blog. Shreve Stockton is a talented writer/photographer. Her story is rather unique and her animals have captured my heart. She, just recently, was featured in People Magazine! I just discovered another blog, accidentally, simply by clicking on a link that appears under "My Favorite Blogs" on another blog I check in on regularly... Sharon is Sharing. The blog I discovered, Sevensto, is written by a wonderful woman who came over from Sweden in 1946 at the age of eighteen. Her stories about her childhood, growing up, later as an immigrant in America, and her life as a physical therapist are fascinating and poignant. She's a "name dropper" as she is first to admit, celebrities and even a president are in the list of names! She also happens to be Shreve's grandmother! Talk about a small blogosphere!

I actually got to go to a Boston Bruins hockey game November 5th, but haven't had time to even write one word about it until now. I hadn't been to an ice hockey game in more than 20 years. It was a great night, we had great seats, it was a great game, and I fell in love with the game all over again!

I also got a chance to spend time with my mother, brother and his wife, when we took a scenic train ride on the Cape Cod Railroad. It was a nice trip, seeing the cranberry bogs, marshes, views of areas that one doesn't usually get from driving the streets.

I had Jimmy Johnson #48 in the last NASCAR pool of the season. The race was this afternoon and Jimmy was favored to win, not only the race but the Chase points as well. I had every hope of coming into some do re mi, but alas, it was not to be. He won the Championship (points leader) but not the race... .

I'm cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year. Not a huge crowd mind you, just five or six people. I am a bit nervous about it, as I haven't cooked a Thanksgiving Dinner in 11 years. (The same length of time I've been back on Cape - ten minutes from Mom and Dad's house). So of course, Mom's been cooking every holiday and I've been sucking it up like a spoiled brat. Well, this year, I don't have to work on Thanksgiving and I thought it would be nice to give her a break. Only it's not REALLY a break because she's still baking pies, making her famous jello fruit salad, bringing rolls, V-8 juice, stuffed dates and lord knows what else. All I have to do is cook the turkey, stuffing, potatoes and a couple of vegetables. Oh and clean the house so it passes inspection. Ha ha.

And of course, I have been following all the news blogs, seeing some things that are very disturbing - an increase in racism, legislation being passed by the state that borders on the unbelievable and well,the general state of the country... and now the change in the bailout plan.

Watch CBS Videos Online
I sure hope they know what they are doing.

Well the cat is snoring, I'm getting sleepy so I'll take my leave of you now...
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Wish and a Prayer on Veterans Day

Sunday, November 9th: The elderly man stood by the front door of the grocery store. When I saw him, I immediately was reminded of my father. He was wearing a VFW hat and he had a bunch of little silk flowers with tags on them to hand out to those who put money in his cup. As I was approaching the door, I watched the few folks ahead of me, stopping to drop some change in the cup. I overheard one woman speaking to him say, "My dad was in the Korean War", he nodded and thanked her for her contribution. My friend and I rummaged through our pockets looking for a one dollar bill. Neither one of us could find one so I walked on by him, with the intent of giving him something on the way out. And then something happened. I stopped dead in my tracks. I reached into my purse, turned and put what money I had with me, into that man's cup. It didn't matter to me how much it was. I felt the need to give what I had; just as he had given what he had, and much, much more, all those years ago, when he served our country. He looked at me, and said, "Thank you for your generous gift". Do you know what I said? I didn't say a word. I couldn't even look him in the eye. I turned and walked away from him and into the store. How could what little I had given him, even come close to repaying him for what he had done for me and for our country?
I am a member of a group called Soldiers Angels. (There is a link on my right side bar to their website.) This is the time of year when I and my co-workers get involved with their Christmas Card drive. Please take a moment to visit their site, and consider volunteering some of your time. Even if you can't give alot, even if it's just words of encouragement, hope, and caring; you will have made a dent in the huge debt that we owe our servicemen and women.
I never told my father how proud I was of him. I never thanked him for his service to our country. We used to talk often, about his days as a Navy enlisted man. I don't think he would have known how to respond to being thanked. He never looked at what he did as anything special. To him, he was just 'doing his duty'. He explained it to me once like this; "There is a price to pay for freedom. Each one of us is responsible to do our part to make sure that all of us can continue to enjoy living in a free society." Thanks Dad. And thanks to all who serve and have served. May God Bless You.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Big Bad Wolfs Blog: The Bear resurgent...

Big Bad Wolfs Blog: The Bear resurgent... Take a moment to read about why I'm having nightmares.... let's just hope our new President can grow a set and step up to the plate. Yet, we still have 45 more days with someone at the helm who already has a HUGE set.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Voted and I Hope You Did Too!

Thank goodness I live in a country that allows me to have a voice.

Thank goodness I live in a country that gives me a choice.

Thank goodness I live in a country where life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is my right.

Thank goodness I live in a country where people feel that freedom is worth the fight.

Thank goodness I live in a country where I can vote and have a say.

Thank goodness I live in a country called the U.S.A.!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's a Darn Shame!

I've had to turn on the comment moderation for this blog .... and I'm sure you won't be surprised why...

yes of course....

It's those nasty spammers again! So please bear with me, I do check my blog daily, even if I can't post daily...

and to all my TRUE readers; I appreciate your comments very, very much!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Got this via Email today....


The following 'speech' was written recently by an ordinary Maine-iac [a resident of the People's Republic of Maine ]. While satirical in nature, all satire must have a basis in fact to be effective. This is an excellent piece by a person who does not write for a living.

The speech George W. Bush might give:

Normally, I start these things out by saying 'My Fellow Americans.' Not doing it this time. If the polls are any indication, I don't know who more than half of you are anymore. I do know something terrible has happened, and th at you're really not fellow Americans any longer.

I'll cut right to the chase here: I quit. Now before anyone gets all in a lather about me quitting to avoid impeachment, or to avoid prosecution or something, let me assure you: There's been no breaking of laws or impeachable offenses in this office.

The reason I'm quitting is simple. I'm fed up with you people. I'm fed up because you have no understanding of what's really going on in the world. Or of what's going on in this once-great nation of ours. And the majority of you are too damned lazy to do your homework and figure it out.

Let's start local. You've been sold a bill of goods by politicians and the news media.

Meanwhile, all you can do is whine about gas prices, and most of you are too damn stupid to realize that gas prices are high because there's increased demand in other parts of the world, and because a small handful of noisy idiots are more worried about polar bears and beachfront property than your economic security.

We face real threats in the world. Don't give me this 'blood for oil' thing. If I were trading blood for oil I would've already seized Iraq 's oil fields and let the rest of the country go to hell. And don't give me this 'Bush Lied...People Died' crap either. If I were the liar you morons take me for, I could've easily had chemical weapons planted in Iraq so they could be 'discovered.' Instead, I owned up to the fact that the intelligence was faulty.

Let me remind you that the rest of the world thought Saddam had the goods, same as me. Let me also remind you that regime change in Iraq was official US policy before I came into office. Some guy named 'Clinton' established that policy. Bet you didn't know that, did you?

Now some of you morons want to be led by a junior senator with no understanding of foreign policy or economics, and this nitwit says we should attack Pakistan, a nuclear ally. And then he wants to go to Iran and make peace with a terrorist who says he's going to destroy us. While he's doing that, he wants to give Iraq to al Qaeda, Afghanistan to the Taliban, Israel to the Palestinians, and your money to the IRS so the government can give welfare to illegal aliens, who he will make into citizens, so they can vote to re-elect him. He also thinks it's okay for Iran to have nuclear weapons, and we should stop our foreign aid to Israel . Did you sleep through high school?

You idiots need to understand that we face a unique enemy. Back during the cold war, there were two major competing political and economic models squaring off. We won that war, but we did so because fundamentally, the Communists wanted to survive, just as we do. We were simply able to out spend and out-tech them.

That's not the case this time. The soldiers of our new enemy don't care if they survive. In fact, they want to die. That'd be fine, as long as they weren't also committed to taking as many of you with them as they can. But they are. They want to kill you, and the bastards are all over the globe.

You should be grateful that they haven't gotten any more of us here in the United States since September 11. But you're not. That's because you've got no idea how hard a small number of intelligence, military, law enforcement, and homeland security people have worked to make sure of that. When this whole mess started, I warned you that this would be a long and difficult fight. I'm disappointed how many of you people think a long and difficult fight amounts to a single season of 'Survivor.'

Instead, you've grown impatient. You're incapable of seeing things through the long lens of history, the way our enemies do. You think that wars should last a few months, a few years, tops.

Making matters worse, you actively support those who help the enemy. Every time you buy the New York Times, every time you send a donation to a cut-and-run Democrat's political campaign, well, dang it, you might just as well FedEx a grenade launcher to a Jihadist. It amounts to the same thing.

In this day and age, it's easy enough to find the truth. It's all over the Internet. It just isn't on the pages of the New York Times, USA Today, or on NBC News. But even if it were, I doubt you'd be any smarter. Most of you would rather watch American Idol or Dancing with Stars.

I could say more about your expectations that the government will always be there to bail you out, even if you're too stupid to leave a city that's below sea level and has a hurricane approaching.

I could say more about your insane belief that government, not your own wallet, is where the money comes from. But I've come to the conclusion that were I to do so, it would sail right over your heads.

So I quit. I'm going back to Crawford . I've got an energy-efficient house down there ( Al Gore could only dream) and the capability to be fully self-sufficient for years. No one ever heard of Crawford before I got elected, and as soon as I'm done here pretty much no one will ever hear of it again. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to die of old age before the last pillars of America fall.

Oh, and by the way, Cheney's quitting too. That means Pelosi is your new President. You asked for it. Watch what she does carefully, because I still have a glimmer of hope that there are just enough of you remaining who are smart enough to turn this thing around in 2008.

So that's it. God bless what's left of America.
Some of you know what I mean. The rest of you, kiss off.

P.S. - You might want to start learning Farsi, and buy a Koran.

The REAL story Of The Afghan War

I recommend reading this post to get a true picture of what's happening in Afghanistan. (The now, not-so-forgotten-war). Not only does this blogger tell it like it is, he also points the finger at the media for it's lack of credulous journalism...

Take a moment or two to find out what it's REALLY all about. From someone who has been there. Bill and Bob's Excellent Afghan Adventure -
Waxing Kipling

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fall in Full Bloom

Marsh Grasses - October 2008 - Sandy Neck

Fall Colors - October 2008 - Sandy Neck

Looking out over the marsh - October 2008 - Sandy Neck

The Harvest

My grandfather, was a cranberry bog owner. He was also a talented finish carpenter, but that's another story. When I was a kid, Grandpa owned several cranberry bogs on the Cape and in Mattapoissett. All year long, he would work endless hours, weeding, watering, and worrying about his bogs. Picking machinery needed to be fixed? He fixed it. Pumps that didn't pump? He fixed them. He built sheds to house the materials needed, he layed irrigation pipes, he got up at 3 am to turn on the bog sprinklers when frost threatened to destroy his crop. He spent countless hours bent over pulling weeds in the hot sun. (I remember how the back of his neck looked like leather!) He very rarely sprayed his bog with pesticides. (Remember, DDT was still okay to use back then!) One of his bogs, sat down in the holler, behind my Mom and Dad's house. As time passed, he eventually sold most of his bogs. By 1973 the bog behind my house was the only one he owned. As kids, we were very much a part of the harvesting process. Grandpa always "dry-picked" his bogs. Instead of flooding the bog, he ued a machine called the Furford Picker. The picker scoops the berries off the vines, carries them up a little elevator to a burlap sack, and fills the sack. (I can still smell the burlap! He used to keep all the sacks in the little shed at the edge of the bog and whenever he would open up the door to the shack, you were immediately hit in the face with the odors of burlap and motor oil.) A full sack generally weighs 40-50 pounds. He would then bring the sacks to the edge of the bog and put them in a pile, where my brother would load it into a wheel barrow and bring to the hopper.

The Furford Picker - shamelessly stolen from google -

The sacks are then poured into the hopper. The hopper is a contraption that allows separation of berries from any vines that got pulled into the sacks in the picking process. We used to stand at the hopper and pick any berries that didn't come loose of the vines and drop them down through a wire mesh, into a wooden box that held the "cleaned" berries.

It's that time of year again, when folks start using the cranberries in their recipies... fall, harvest, pumpkins, scarecrows.... I often think of those days when as a kid, I couldn't wait to be done with cranberry picking so I could get back to the business of riding bikes and playing with my friends. Now, well, I wouldn't mind one more harvest with Grandma, Grandpa, Mom, Dad, Aunt Carol, Uncle Allan, Aunt Mary, Uncle Bill, my brother Rick, and all the assorted cousins....

Saturday, October 18, 2008


This video of Robin Williams portraying the flag is a MUST see!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Just for You Bud! ("Buck")

The Budweiser Clydesdale Horses were in town last week, and of course, I had
to drop in and pay them a visit. I had seen them on my tour of the Bud plant in St.Louis several years ago. Just as they were then, they are now.... majestic creatures!

Please note this fine handsome boy's name.... surely named after the famous Beer Conniseur and Cigar Smoker "Buck" from Portales NM in a clear cut case of trying to change his tastes from foreign to domestic

This fella was just back from a shampoo and sponge bath...what a life!

I can't take credit for this photo... wish I could! HT to Cape Cod Times/Merrily Lunsford for catching this guy in a perfect pose!

Not your Average Fall Sunset

I want to hunker down in my flannels and wrap myself in a warm fleece blanket, hot cup of cocoa and a good book.

Fire in the fireplace, crackling and bright.

The smell of apple pie baking in the oven... cinnamon and spices... mmmmm.

No... no.... I want to walk the beach, toes in the warm sand!

Blue sky through the green leaves above my head!

Warm breeze brushing by me in my hammock!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Now just an "Apple" pickin moment!

What a glorious day for apple picking in New England! We headed up north, to Bolton, MA to visit the Berlin Orchards... a tradition this time of year.

Plenty of apples on the trees this year... Berlin Orchards boasts 15 different varieties!

The orchard is located only minutes from I-495 but you'd never know it! Nothing beats being in the "sticks" or out in the "boondocks"!

This is the wagon they use for the hayrides! This fellow has been there for years, and we always wait to ride in his wagon because he has a special talent....

Rows and rows of apple trees, as far as you can see...

all loaded with beautiful Macouns, Mutsus,Courtlands and Macintosh apples...

The folks that own the orchard, make sure you know "HOW" to pick an apple, so you don't damage the trees!

After you've read the instructions, you make your way over to the farm stand to pick up either a 1/2 bushel or whole bushel bag to take with you...

You can also buy pumpkins while you're there....they have quite a few to choose from!

For the kids, there are "kids"....

and a lamb or two....

Just for fun, you can braid this guys tail...

and listen to the Berlin Orchard Country Scarecrow Band!

Now, all I have to do is dig out Grandma's Apple Pie recipie....