Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Embracing the season-my Autumn checklist

It's the most wonderful time of the year! I am speaking of my favorite season Fall. We are in the thick of it now and it is fabulous! It's not quite peak foliage but we are getting there.

Here are my reasons to embrace Fall.

1.  Outdoor dining- Those early Fall days are even better than in Summer. Cooler temps make it more comfortable sitting in the sun and the scene is more colorful. In late Fall, I switch to sitting by fireplaces whenever I can.

2. Old graveyards- I am strangely drawn to old graveyards in the Fall. Maybe it's because most graveyards have fantasticly colorful trees and I just notice them more in Fall. Or perhaps it's the Halloween connection.

We have some very old graveyards in New England and they are definitely worth a visit.
You could even take a historic graveyard or ghost tour. There is a graveyard tour in my hometown in two weeks.

3. An Autumn Walk- What's better than an Autumn walk around your neighborhood?

I love to pick up some colorful leaves and stop to take photos of the prettiest scenes. It's fun to see how people decorate their doorways in Fall. This is my neighbor's barn and my favorite tree in my yard.

4. Hot drink season- Time to switch from lemonade and iced tea to apple cider and hot chocolate or maybe a pumpkin spice latte. Give me a big mug and I can warm my hands on the coolest of days.

5. Autumn events- Halloween parties, bonfires, craft fairs, Harvest dinners. My social calendar fills up more in the Fall than other seasons.

6. Autumn Wardrobe-  I am my most stylish in Fall.  The riding boots and ankle boots, the tweed jackets and cashmere sweaters, colorful scarves and hats. It's fun to play around with colors and cozy fabrics. It's all about layering with unpredictable New England weather. Yesterday it hit 76 degrees and Saturday could hit 38 degrees. Photo from Pinterest.

So there you have it, my reasons for embracing the season. Got anything to add to the list?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Fond Farewell To Summer 2015

On my birthday, June 15th, I shared my Summer Bucket List with you. I knew I would not complete it and from now on I will create it with the caveat that I do not need to finish the list, but it sure would be fun. You can look at that post for the results. I did cross some things off the Summer list but many things were unfinished.

I still had a great Summer. Here are some of the other things I did that I did not blog about.

I put lights in the garden in front of the condo. I think it lends a magical feeling to the front yard.

All of my neighbors think the lights are really cool and the copper color goes well with the color of the house and looks great in daylight.

I had the pleasure of catsitting Leo twice. You know I love a tuxedo cat.

I went antiquing and yard saleing. I did not go to a flea market but I hope to get to one before the end of the season.

I saw many beautiful sunsets in a few New England states.

I attended a fun event at the local zoo. A Wild Affair was a great time with friends and wonderful food and amazing animals.

I finally got to go to the spectacular Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport. I saw an HD broadcast of Helen Mirren in The Audience. It was fantastic! Yes the seats at this venue face the ocean!

Ok, I visited my beloved Rockport 3 times this Summer.

Besides Leo, I got to catsit his brother Forest. Forest is a little more rambunctious.

 I thought Forest was missing in the house one time. Looked all over for him. He was on top of the refrigerator just looking down at me as I called his name. Little rascal.

I consumed my fair share of ice cream. No place was better than the ice cream shop with an oceanview in York, Maine.

I am not a sun worshipper but I do enjoy a nice walk on or by the beach. This is Short Sands Beach in York, Maine.

I saw a strange rainbow. It never fully formed into an arc but it was beautiful nonetheless.

I hit 1,000 followers on Pinterest. Just goes to show you what great taste I have!

I took time to smell the roses and the ocean air and to take in every ocean view I could.

This picture is so odd. There was such a weird cloud cover one evening I just had to stop the car and take a photo. Looked kind of like the world was going to end or we were about to have a massive storm. Luckily nothing happened.

I practiced my nighttime photography with a friend and looked into the heavens for meteor showers, rainbows, planet convergences, constellations and full moons.

It was a great Summer and it is almost over. I bid a fond farewell to Summer 2015 and now it's time to prepare the Autumn Bucket List!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Lantern Festival- Newburyport

One of the items on my Summer 2015 Bucket List was to attend a lantern festival. I was referring to the one held in Jamaica Plain at a pond in a cemetery. For years, I wanted to attend this festival. Sadly, it has been cancelled the last two years.

I was excited to find another lantern festival taking place this weekend in Newburyport, one of my favorite places to visit. A friend and I headed north to Newburyport for this adventure.

Newburyport is beautiful with cobblestones on the sidewalks, historic homes, beautiful harbor views, and plenty of shops and eateries to keep you entertained. We each had a lobster BLT for a late lunch/early dinner.

After dinner, we headed to Greetings by Design to purchase our lanterns and then buy some decorating supplies. The lantern festival is an annual fundraiser for Ovarian Cancer awareness.  Lanterns are floated in a pond in honor of a loved one who has passed. Gena, my friend, told me her mother had died from this disease so I imagine it was particularly poignant for her. I did not know Gena had artistic talent but she drew quite an angel on her lantern in less than perfect circumstances. We were sitting on a park bench in the downtown area and drawing with sharpies.

We walked down to the harbor to get our bearings on the location of the festival and to cool off from the summer heat.

We arrived at the pond in plenty of time with trash bags as seats and smelling like bug spray. We sat on a hill for the best vantage point. There were kids, dogs, parents, photographers, picnickers, you name it. Everyone was out on this beautiful night, the last hurrah of Summer.

Someone couldn't wait and set theirs off before dusk. It was beautiful and I eagerly anticipated the full illumination.

The sunset was gorgeous. I watched for a sign on this special night, maybe some clouds that looked like angel's wings or a heart but nothing. I still found the beauty in it.

This is the time of night that gets difficult to photograph. I did not want to bring my tripod so I settled for less than perfect images.

At first just a few lanterns were lit and they were floating so gently across the pond. The lantern lighters wore glow light necklaces so we could see them.

I found more success photographing people who were illuminated by the lanterns.

Some of the lanterns looked like stars if they were not completely opened to form a square. They were made of foil and vellum paper.

We saw more and more lanterns placed in the water and it was pure magic. We heard chimes through the microphone and music. It was calming and so peaceful. You did not need to speak but just watch and wait for the lanterns to float by.

                      The later arrivals had their lanterns lit and added to the magic.

Favorite pets were honored by children.

The lanterns were taken by the current and floated clear across the pond to the other side where we were sitting.

Later in the evening, it became a log jam and volunteers pushed the lanterns out of the grasses on the banks of the pond.
I was hoping to read some of the messages but it was too difficult.

At the end of the pond we saw lily pads and the lanterns were riding on them. Spectacular!
This evening was so visually stunning and thought provoking as I remembered my Mom who passed away this year. I also thought about friends and other family members whom I had lost in previous years. It was a beautiful memorial to them all.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Percy No!

Does this cat look remorseful to you? Well, he better be remorseful. He's on the timeout bench for the second time in a week. Yes, Mr. Percy has been very naughty. He is like a bull in a china shop, full speed ahead all the time and wrecking anything in his path.

Yesterday he knocked a table and the cable box on it to the floor. Crash, bang. Luckily he was ok but the cable box not so much.

The cable is out now. I chatted with Verizon twice and I spent a long time trying to figure out the problem. The first time it took the guy 20 minutes to look up my account. He had my name, address, phone number and back up number and still could not find my account. Eventually the online chat timed out and I got disconnected.

The second time the guy was competent. He found my account right away and we ran a series of tests on the system. Still no signal. I am going to have find my original remote for my TV. I only use the Verizon one so I am sure it is going to take me a while to find the original one from 2008. Yikes!

And here he is giving me that I am the boss here and you better get used to it look. He's on the timeout bench here because he ate some of my food.

So here's the story.  I was eating some very delicious ravioli for dinner. Spinach and scallion that I bought at the Farmer's Market. I was thinking I should give myself another helping so I put two more in my bowl.  I was watching TV and about to eat the two I had left when I heard a loud crash in the kitchen.

Percy was sleeping like this on the cable box in the living room.  I ran into the kitchen and the trash had fallen over. Either I overloaded it or another kitty was trying to find something good. I was there for only a second. When I came back, I saw Percy sitting in the hallway licking his chops.

Oh no! I went back to the ravioli bowl and the two raviolis were intact. I wanted to eat them but I figured Percy had licked them so I threw them out. Actually if he had eaten the scallions he probably would have been sick. Cats can't have onions. Their systems can't break down an onion.

Anyway, he is just fine. He's used up two of his nine lives in a week.
Right now, he is sleeping on my feet and lightly snoring. How do I know he is snoring? Because the house is so quiet you can hear a pin drop! There is no TV, so no noise.
He better help me find my old remote.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Amazing ACRO-CATS

When my friends said they were going to an Acro-Cats show and they asked me to join them I was not sure about it.  I don't even go to the circus. I don't like to see animals perform but I know my friends are such animal lovers that chances are they checked it out and it would be fine.
I knew we were in for a fun night when I saw the Acro-Cat mobile. I had my friends pose with the vehicle.  We were pumped to see the cats.
Well the cats did not disappoint. The white kitty, Tuna, was the star of the show and he had quite the catitude. He was multi talented and he loved to hear his name shouted out from the audience. We were encouraged to yell Tuna, Tuna throughout the show.

The trainer, Samantha, was amazing. She even trained a groundhog to play a gong.

Samantha was quite a star herself. She has trained many animals and she also said she has found homes for 162 cats. All the cats in the show live with her and she explained that is why she is still single. I can relate!


As I said, Tuna was very talented. He played drums, rang a bell, pushed the switch for the applause sign and had many more talents.

This kitty was very sweet and she played the piano. I could not believe how focused she was.

Here's an action shot of Tuna playing the drums. Actually he looks like he is rowing.

If I had to pick a favorite it would have to be Jax.  I think he looks like a combination of Oscar and Percy.

Just look at that face. He is too adorable!

After the show we were allowed up on stage to meet the kitties. Some of them were very friendly, some were posers, others we were told to keep our distance from.
I think I have a few recruits for the acrocats.  Maybe Percy. I think he can channel his energy more constructively.

Yes, all my kitties definitely have acrocat potential. But can they be trained?

Send me an application. I have 3 new recruits with resumes and photos all ready.


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