Sunday, January 9, 2022

01.09.2022 A winter wonderland

 There was no snow for Christmas or New Year's celebrations but we did finally get a delightful snowstorm this weekend. The first real snow of the season is always special. I do enjoy the blanket of white on the ground and do not mind shoveling this one time. My thoughts are that I have proven each year that I can shovel snow, why do I need to keep doing it over and over again with each snow storm! I am always grateful for each winter day when I do not have to shovel!

I made an attempt to get to work early in the morning. Leaving before the crack of dawn - or even before there is any thought of dawn, I made my way slowly to town. The roads were not plowed and traffic was moving at the racing speed of 5 mph. Given that I have quite the distance, I knew I would never make it to the office on time. So I decided to take the next exit and go back after being on the road for almost two hours. Just them my brakes seized as they were caked with ice so it was good to head back after clearing some ice blocks. Never good to smell burning brake rubber!

Back home I left the boys out again and they loved it. Because it was snowing hard, I did dress them up in their puffer vests and sweaters. For the last two years I put long legged pajamas on Fionnegan and Gunnarr hoping it would reduce the snow bunnies on their legs. That never seemed to work as they were always slipping out of the outfit, even when it was under a sweater and vest. So I saved myself the trouble of dressing them in an outfit which they do not like.

They played, I shoveled. They sniffed out a mouse or mole and were furiously digging in the snow. But Shorty kept an eye on me while I was shoveling at the gate. Last year he did a runner and I think he was looking for another opportunity to visit the neighbors. Fool me once......

All in all I shoveled three times to make sure the driveway and porches were under control while it snowed. And my buddies kept me good company, especially Shorty. For a dog from Yap in the tropics, he thrives in the cold and snowy weather.

The next day I cleared the roof - I am trying to minimize ice dams on the front as the ice coats the windows and it is a concern that there will be leaks or worse. We can hear the ice moving down the roof. One year there was a leak under the window frame and when I came home from work I found Fionnegan and Gunnarr on their dog beds surrounded by water. Floating doggies! Can't let that happen again. Fortunately, they were still dry. 

Even though it is raining now, better to keep things cleared before the freeze. High boots, warm gloves and a long roof rake will do the trick. Most of the time, the following day is bright with sunshine, so it makes it pleasant to be outside even when working!

In the early hours of the snowstorm I also cleared the hemlocks from snow with a broom and released the boughs from the ground. It doesn't take much snow for the boughs to be buried in snow and if it is cold enough for the duration of the winter, they stayed buried unless they break. Even though the dogs love running under the branches, I
need to keep them cleared as much as possible. The only time to clear them is early - before they are buried. 

Cannot forget to clear the bird feeders!

Fionnegan all covered in snow. Time to come back inside the house and get warm.

Shorty loves making his trails in the fresh snow. He makes the trails for Fionnegan and Gunnarr as he does have longer legs!

Gunnarr always comes back first to be next to me. He was having a great time!

While life is rather mundane, and I do hesitate to post a blog with no real excitement for my readers, I do enjoy sharing our day to day life adventures.  The Christmas trees are still up, we still turn on the electric/battery candles at night for ambience and we enjoy the lights on the house at night (does make it easier for the boys at night).  And yes, they are still taunted by the deer. Found fresh deer tracks just by the back gate and fresh deer dropping inside the gate!  Oh Bucky Deerburger - do be careful. 

And if you want to see what Shorty is doing these days, from his point of view, check out his blog:

I hope you all are safe and warm and healthy. The covid pandemic still impacts our lives - two years and going strong. We thought this would only last a few months. How wrong we were. But follow the guidelines for safe distancing and wear a mask when with crowds and do receive your vaccines and booster. Do what you can to stay safe and healthy. And enjoy each time as it comes. That is all we can do.

Until next time...................

Eventually they all look at the camera!

I realize those are napkins, but they look so cute as bandanas!

Sunday, January 2, 2022

01.01.2022 HAPPY NEW YEAR

 May you and your family have a very healthy and safe and Happy New Year.  Let's ring in a new year that makes us joyous and peaceful.  May we all know the peace and comfort of a new beginning.

And may God bless you all.
Happy New Year!

From my family to yours!

Friday, December 31, 2021

12.31.2021 In Remembrance of a Dear Friend

 It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I write this blog about Mikey - a great person and humanitarian.

Mike died on 12/26/2021 following complications of treatment for bile duct cancer.

I have known Mike for over 20 years from the Cottage Park Yacht Club. He was always a silver haired fox!  Mike was kind, generous, and had a very engaging personality. His wife Betsy is also a very special person and I am very fortunate to have known both.

Mike was a great sailor and had a Rhodes 19 named Red Dog. He was so very excited for me when I bought Mimi, my Rhodes 19. He sailed her with me from Crystal Cove to CPYC on her maiden voyage. We quickly realized she had a leak - a leaky "O" ring and he had her hoisted out of the water and helped me replace the part. At the end of the sailing season, he either helped me deliver her back to Crystal Cove, or he grabbed one of his buddies and took her over there for me. I have no idea what I will do without him to bounce a few questions or ask for some advice on sailing techniques. He was always happy to help. What a man.

In addition to being an accomplished sailor, he had many accomplishments. His best was serving as a volunteer "kitchen boy" at Camp Fatima in Gilmarton Ironworks NH. He had done that for 55 years. Amazing.

Today was his funeral Mass and burial. The Church was full, and it was the most beautiful Mass I have attended. It was a high Mass, complete with organ music, a soloist, and lots of incense. I always thought Christmas time would be nice for a wedding, it also is a nice time for a funeral with all of the decorations and lights! I am sure Mike would agree.

The funeral Mass was concelebrated by his brother Father Tim and three other priests. I don't know his brother could do it. It was a really emotional service.

The organ at St. John the Evangelist Church in Winthrop, MA. The soloist had a beautiful voice and fitting for the occasion.

A prayer service at the burial site in Medford. Father Tim is wearing the white cassock.

It would not be an Irish funeral without the bagpipes.

Mike had a great sense of humor. These letters were inserted into the service booklet.

I'll find a few of my pictures with Mike on Red Dog and post later. 

God Bless you Mike and may you rest in eternal peace. You will be sorely missed. I miss you already as I type through my tears. And may God keep a close eye on Betsy, your loving wife, and keep her safe and healthy.


Saturday, December 25, 2021

12.25.2021 Christmas photographs

 For pictures of Fionnegan and Gunnarr and Shorty opening their Christmas presents, please visit Shorty's blog. There are lots of pictures of them in their super dog capes and opening presents of treats!

Is that your Dog?

Merry Christmas!!!!!


...... from my family to yours. May you all enjoy the blessings of this holy season. May you enjoy good health and be safe.

Christmas Eve is truly my favorite night of the year. It is magical. I enjoy attending Christmas Mass and the anticipation of a peaceful Christmas Day.

The boys had a very exciting morning with lots of presents from their Auntie Diane. It must have taken hours for her to wrap all of those little gifts - which they had fun unwrapping. Once I get a chance to edit photographs will share a few pictures with you.


A gate is placed around the tree as it is real and it fragrant. 

What we all should do after opening Christmas presents and having a few early morning treats - take a nap!

Merry Christmas.

Until next time...............

Sunday, December 19, 2021

12/19/2021 Back Bay Bell Ringers


12.19.2021  Back Bay Bell Ringers

This was quite the afternoon. Had gone to Rockport, a lovely town on Cape Ann and a favorite of mine - as well as probably a million people over the course of a summer. But winter is a particularly nice time to visit as it is not crowded, and I can always find my favorite parking spot.

The reason for this visit was to hear the Back Bay Bell Ringers, a handbell ensemble based in Boston. They perform Christmas music at several local venues and this was a great opportunity to hear them.  They were performing at the Shalin Liu auditorium in Rockport, a very small but beautiful auditorium with a magnificent view of the sea. (see for more information). 

We had great seats - balcony near the center. At times it was a tough decision - watch the performers or watch the seagulls and terns and ducks flying past the window. It was a little mesmerizing to listen to the Christmas music and watch the waves roll into the shore. A beautiful Sunday afternoon, indeed. I really enjoyed the talented musicians and learned something new and exciting about bell ringing - different types of bells and instruments.  The brass bells are made in Pennsylvania and the aluminum bells (lighter weight) are made in London. 

Shalin Liu Auditorium. Everyone had to show proof of covid vaccinations and masks were mandatory. 

The iconic barn with lobster buoys and a Christmas wreath.

A flock of seagulls and a copy of ducks floating on the water. I like to watch the diving ducks - the water is cold and they do not stay under long!

It was relaxing to visit this little town on the water. It was a bit windy but not too cold and the sun was shining which takes off some of the chill.

We are all getting busy for Christmas. The real tree is in the living room and protected so my boys don't get any ideas. And we have an artificial tree upstairs because I like the lights at night, and I did a little decorating outside with some blue and white lights on a small tree and the handrails of the porches. Looks nice at night. Also did some baking today and we will watch our favorite Tom Brady play football later tonight. It snowed yesterday so we are all in the Christmas spirit!

A floral arrangement that included a white (carnations) doggy that look just like two of mine!

Hope you all are well and healthy and that you will enjoy this very special Christmas season.

Until next time......

My big helpers in the kitchen - Shorty and Fionnegan and Gunnarr. All tails are a wagging!









Thursday, November 25, 2021

11.25.2021 Happy Thanksgiving.

 Autumn has been busy with activities to compensate for the heat and rain of the summer. But now it is time to put away the kayak and bicycle and prepare for winter. It is cold outside!

The last kayak trip of the season - reasonably warm with sunshine and a cool breeze. No leaves, few birds and no turtles sunning on the logs. Which begs the question - where do the turtles go in the winter? Was able to store the kayak and remove the car roof rack without freezing my fingers this year - even though it was done very late in the season!

Football has been great - Patriots doing quite well with a rookie quarterback. But I do miss our Tom Brady. Still cheer for him even though he plays for Tamp Bay. Went to the Tampa Bay - Patriot game and cheered for everyone. It will be hard to cheer against TB12.

Now the attention turns towards the holidays. The "twins" Fionnegan and Gunnarr had their holiday grooming appointment at the doggie spa while Shorty and I ran through the woods. What fun it is with him - he stops less often to sniff and mark and spends more time running. He often looks back to see if I am keeping up with him and we run until those short legs of his are exhausted!


Shorty on his magic carpet. I was taking pictures of the twins before the haircut and Shorty came up to me and nudged me on my back - he wanted a picture, too!

Post haircut. They come home exhausted for their day at the spa. And they sleep very well at noght!

And yes, Shorty was brushed and loose hairs trimmed, whether he liked it or not! It is shedding season.

And today we prepare for a Thanksgiving feast! The boys are excited and so am I. The house smells so fresh from the lilies and the white orchids add a very special touch. 

May you and your families all enjoy a lovely Thanksgiving Day and weekend. Remember to give thanks for all of our blessings and for our friends and family.

Happy Thanksgiving - from my family to yours.

Until next time.....................