Wednesday, October 31, 2018

10.31.18 Happy Halloween

All of the ghosts and goblins are out on the streets tonight.  Town center was packed with little munchkins all dressed up in outfits ranging from princess costumes to scary monsters. There is a big party in town center so the kids go trick or treating there rather than along the roads. Much safer approach but I do miss seeing kids at the door in all kinds of outfits with their bags open in anticipation of candy treats. Do not give kids apples or raisons, this is not the night for healthy foods!

My boys have no interest in dressing up but they did get a chance to run around the yard and look at the neighbors decorations. Sometimes when the wind blows and the ghost sways in the wind they all bark at it. O, Halloween. And we are fortunate that the weather has warmed up and we are not freezing tonight.

Boston also had a big parade today to celebrate the Boston Red Sox victory as the World series champions for baseball. So much activity for the kids today. I wonder how many missed school to attend the parade? These are days to be enjoyed for you never know when we will have another team win a sports championship.

Auntie Diane is quite the artist and she sent us one of her own card creations. She is quite talented.

We can never forget Auntie Paula and the crafted bags and cards she send the boys for all of the holidays. This is the bag she made them last year that held many yummy treats - dog treats that is!

We were out late into the evening as I finished up some yard work, so the boys have uncombed hair. We will pretend this is their scary Halloween outfits. I have to take advantage of the warm and dry weather to continue with yard clean-up. It had been so cold and rainy that I was not able to get much done over the weekend. So we put on all of the outdoor lights and get a few chores done close to the house.

Here is Shorty. He is doing very well. He is a good companion and gets along well with Fionnegan and Gunnarr.

Here is little Fionnegan, my Prince.

And here is little Gunnarr, such a happy dog but a bit camera shy. Yes, he had been digging during yard clean-up. And that means a bath is in his immediate future!

We had one beautiful day last week with clear blue skies and great Fall colors. This tree is along the Charles River in Boston.

Bumble bees hard at work devouring as much nectar as possible before winter arrives.

This is almost the end of the season for any more blooms. We  had a heavy frost and ice last night - signs that we will need to get snow shovels and salt ready for the winter!

Need to end. Shorty is barking at the door, the neighbor is all dressed up in a frightful costume! Happy Halloween everyone!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

10/14/18. Marina weekend, Deer Island, Crabapple tree

Well, it was one busy weekend. It was a busy professional work day on Saturday. That leaves Sunday for all of those things I would do on Saturday. It was Marina weekend at CPYC, and everyone who has a boat at a slip are required to help. I have my Mimi at a mooring, but I like to help and do whatever small thing I can do to help. This means I usually sweep with the broom. But there were no chores I could do this time, so I helped a friend with his boat and generally just chatted.  Marina weekend is a bit sobering. It really is the official end of our sailing season. It is the last day of launch service for the Windjammer, most of the boats have left their slips or moorings and many of the structures are dismantled. And it was cold today with a strong wind, another reminder that winter is on the way.

I was about as much help at marina weekend  as these two seagulls sitting on the dock! The blue skies did not last long. Before we were finished, the front had changed to low clouds and strong winds.

The awnings were taken down and put away for the winter. Here is Mike, a former Commodore, calling in all helpers to a pizza lunch. These blue skies dis not last long.

When I was finished at CPYC, I went to visit Mimi at Crystal Cove Marina. Good thing I went as her plug was still in place and she had not completely drained. I also found out that the "O" ring in her plug was cracked. Need to remember to replace it for next summer's sailing season. She also needs her "bottom" painted, so lots of work to do on her. Now is a good time to start saving those sail bucks!

Since I was sans pups and free, I decided to take a hike around Deer Island. If the boys knew they would be so upset I did not bring them along with me. When Fionnegan and Gunnarr were puppies I brought them to Deer Island every Sunday morning. We had great times on the trails as well as on the drummonds watching the action in the harbor. I brought Shorty here once, shortly after he arrived in Boston. I thought he might miss the sea since he spent most of his life walking around the lagoon with me. But he was very much disinterested, so I never brought him back. He does not ride so well and I can only take so much barking in the car.

Here is Mimi, all shrink wrapped and ready for her winter rest. She has a little rust in her keel, easy enough to repair.

Sea views from Deer Island. This is a great place to walk. The views are gorgeous and unsurpassed. When I sail, my goal is to always go past the end of Deer Island. The city of Boston is in the background.

This is one of our favorite views. I would bring Fionn and Gunnarr up here and we would have a picnic and watch the boats. They never went far from me so I would let them run around a bit. Then we all would take a nap on the blanket. Usually both would get tired part way back to the car, so I ended up carrying them on my shoulders. Looks like I have been reminiscing a bit! You can see how quickly the sky is changing from the blue skies to all now cloud covered in just a very short time.

In the center of the photograph is a large ocean liner. A bit of a dreary beginning of their ocean voyage.

A few fall flowers dot the pathways.

The Boston Harbor was not always so clean and it took a lot of work and politicking to get it to the great recreational body of water it is today.

After this most enjoyable break and walk, it was time to head home for some much needed chores. In particular, my beautiful crabapple tree needed to be cut down. I hated to do this but had no choice. Last winter we had four hemlocks broken from the snows and their heavy branches landed on the crabapple tree. Well that pressure and momentum made her lean from the ground up onto a large shrub right in front of the glass windows in the house. The tree had grown larger than the roof of the atrium and I was now concerned that with another heavy, wet snowstorm, the tree would break through the glass windows. So I did buy my very first chain saw (thank you Mrs EK for the suggestion to go to Harbor Freights - they were wonderful) and sawed it down. I even cleared the ground about two inches deep to cut it below ground level. Sawing down was the easy part, because I had to drag it over the hill to the brush pile. I did cut it up in easy to manage pieces but made many trips back and forth. Fionn, Gunnarr and Shorty watched carefully, not sure what to make of the buzzing of the chain saw. Actually I kept them in the atrium while I was operating the chain saw. I cannot watch them and me at the same time! I am not certain I will be able to plant another flowering tree in the yard, but will wait until next Spring and see how things develop yard wise. Now that I have a chain saw, I do have my eye on this old decrepit apple tree that I always wanted cut down. In the 25 years that I have lived in this house, it bloomed profusely only once. It has survived all of these winters and heavy snows without so much as a broken branch but it is not realty healthy. Next year...….

Here are a few branches of the crabapple tree. I kept a few branches upright for the birds that may enjoy the fruit, although those little apples are really, really bitter.

Fionnegan, Gunnarr and Shorty are enjoying running and playing in the gardens.

And I am enjoying the last roses of my gardens!

Chores done, we need to get ready for the Patriots game! And the Red Sox are in the playoffs, too. So a lot of sports to watch tonight.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

10.07.18 Mimì getting ready for a long winter

It is always sad to deliver my little girl Mimì to the marina in preparation for winter storage.  The day was overcast and coo, there was barely a breeze and it was time to take Mimi to Crystal Cove. Mike from CPYC secured her to the starboard side of his Blue Blazer and off we went. Another sailing season over far too soon. Sometimes I think I should live somewhere farther south where the sailing season is a bit longer. It seems I no longer get into a sailing routine when the cold winds come from the North and it is time to call it a summer. I am not a cold weather "frostbite" sailor. Some find it exhilarating, but I know I would be freezing!

In preparation for the transport to CC, I parked at the marina then walked to CPYC. It was a beautiful walk along the harbor. And every day I try to get in my steps, so this was a very pleasant way to exercise.

Boston skyline. Mimì is the little sailboat with the blue cover.

Mimì is off the mooring. Let's hope the mooring lines are easy to pick up next summer! 

Here she is secured to Blue Blazer for the ride to CC. That's Mike behind the wheel. He gave me a go at it and I steered Blue Blazer around the inside harbor as he prepared the lines for transport. It was fun!

Good-bye Cottage Park!

Getting closer to CC marina. The marina is full as very few boats have been drydocked. We always hope for good boating weather for Columbus Day weekend, but this year it was dreary. Boats will be coming out soon for the winter.

Here she is, safely delivered. Tied up in the lane next to the crane, ready to be lifted out of the water and secured on her trailer. Need to return once she is out to make sure the plug is out and the water has drained. We had heavy rains recently and she had a lot of water that I pumped out before we left the mooring.

Mimì is a good looking sailboat. She is not a racing boat but she does a fine day sail in the Boston Harbor and she is a quiet respite for a little rest and escape from the daily grind.

Sails gone. Boom removed. Totally cleaned out.

This is the crane used to lift the boats out of the water.

Boston skyline, now sans Mimì. It does look a little empty without her!

Sailing season over, we turn our attention to the gardens and of course, football. It has been warm with no frost yet, so the tropical plants are still outside and many of the flowering plants are still green. My roses are in bloom and I have a few more tomatoes ripening on the vine. I did plant over 150 tulip bulbs under the watchful eyes of Fionnegan, Gunnarr and Shorty. When I work outside they stay up with me and do not nap, and I am noticing Shorty is becoming a home body! Who would have thought he would want to stay inside the house rather than sit outside! But none of them want to be alone so only a little coaxing was needed to get them from the front yard to the back yard via the atrium.

Here they are all together on a bench. Doesn't last long as the little ones quickly jump off to chase froggies.

And now Shorty has the bench to himself, one of his favorite perches! He is one happy doggie.

We were outside for six hours, a long time for them not to nap. After a very late lunch (or early supper if you prefer) they all were sound asleep. The boys do tend to move around a bit when sleeping. Football is on tv and Shorty is nice and comfy.

Fionnegan is exhausted. He jumped off my lap when we were reading a book and he scraped his lip on the deck. Twice. Apparently he must chase the squirrels along with his brothers. He is mending well and his scrape will heal without incident (I hope!). It appears he has forgotten all about it.

Gunnarr too is exhausted. He was out cold after his lunch and busy day! He is sound asleep on his pillow.

Shorty moved to his dog bed after a while. Maybe he just wanted to be closer to the action of the football game! Shortly after he arrived here last year he snitched all of the stuffed animals that you see here from Fionn and Gunnarr's beds and put them in his bed. He also used to take my socks and shoes and put them here. But he would sleep on a nearby mat rather than his bed. It took a long time for him to make room for himself in his own bed.

And so it was a very busy Fall weekend for all of us. I do hope my readers are doing well. I also am sharing a picture of our friends from Yap - Theo, Honora, Reina and Tommy. They are getting big and I hope to visit them all before they cannot remember me! They are as cute as buttons! They are being home schooled by their Mom Heidi, who really must have her hands full with this brood and their friends. I will be forever grateful to them for their help in getting Shorty to Boston. So is he!