Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

February 28, 2012

Life and Stuff

Wow the first two months of the year are gone!!!  I'm always kind of sad when that happens, especially when January ends.  I love January.  It seems like the year starts flying by so quickly after the first 2 months end.

Sagan looks much better and is slowly filling out.  He's a happy little guy who still loves playing with his squeak toys and cuddling.  I took him over to my mom's house earlier in the month and she couldn't help but melt when he went over for pets.  He was very good over there and with her, and she didn't even mind when he got up on the couch and snuggled in my lap.  I know he misses having a couch and window to look out of.  He loves that.  Am hoping to get at least a loveseat by April, and possibly the couch that goes with it. That will involve a lot of rearranging in the livingroom....I'm being lobbied hard to move the stereo somewhere else, because it doesn't get used when he's home, and to be honest, when I'm here alone, I like it quiet during the day and the TV is on at night.  So yeah, it's not getting used.  

Speaking of Sandwich, here are a few pics from the day we went to mom's.  This is at one of the cranberry bogs near Spring Hill Beach in E. Sandwich.

An awesome sunset at Shawme Pond.

Driving home to Buzzards Bay.

Canal and Bourne Bridge in the distance.

Buzzards Bay

Full moon that night (2/7/12).

Here's an adorable pic of da Bean, sitting up next to my chair, working the cute to get a snack.  (Note: Since I was asked on Facebook what that red light is, it's the power strip switch for the stereo)

Not too much going on at all with life itself.  Pretty much same ol', same ol', which is fine with me.  Things are happy and peaceful in my little world.  We had some snow that didn't stick, but it was pretty to watch falling that day.  I mostly did crafts and coloured.  Oh yeah, the one sucky thing was that I got my tax return back and I owe quite a bit of cash.  More than I thought, and way more than what I have. So that really sucks.  But my squeeze held me tight and reassured me, as usual.  He's such a good, sweet man.  He works so hard too.

I have looked around for work but alas, I am unqualified for everything that's out there, and most jobs are so far away that it wouldn't make sense to increase fuel costs and put wear and tear on my car, which has over 93,000 miles on it, or start to incur car payments if I get a new used car, which will have to be Jeep-like.  It's almost more cost-effective, in the long run, for me to remain unemployed right now, b/c I have so much flexibility to pick him up and drop him off, without our needing to get a second vehicle.  And I admit, I reeeeally don't want to go back to work yet.  I love being at home for the first time in my life.  Since Kindergarten, I've always had to have a Monday thru Friday schedule.  College was the same, and I went right to work after college. I am enjoying the sweet freedom of sleeping late, doing crafts, taking walks, spending lots of time with my doggies, etc.  I love being domestic.  Getting the house clean and laundry done, stocking the pantry and fridge with my honey's fave things, cooking for him when he gets home, spoiling him rotten when he gets in. 

Oh we had some really great news though!!!  I emailed our landlords that we would love to stay in the house when the Lease is up in June.  I wanted to put it out there early, in case they had intended on not renewing, or putting the place up for sale.  In that case, I would have to start looking for a new rental and start the task of packing what I just unpacked not that long ago. I was on tenterhooks waiting for a reply, and scared to check my email in case the reply wasn't what I'd hoped.  However, to my delight, I got an email back right away saying that they were hoping we'd stay, they were gonna ask us to stay and they weren't going to raise the rent!!  So we are here till at least June, 2013 and that is a huge relief and burden off my shoulders.  I don't even have to think about having to move for over a year.  I expected, and would have accepted, a rent increase but no increase is just too awesome!  I do love this house and Buzzards Bay.  I'd never spent any time in BBay when I grew up in Sandwich....I only ever saw the Rte. 28/Main Street corridor on the way to and from NY, before the Rte. 25 connecting highway was built, bypassing downtown BBay and Wareham, allowing us to get onto I-195 from the Bourne Bridge.  Oh, and we used to bowl here in BBay when we were kids.

Sagieboo continues to push the boundaries by stealing chairs or snoozing on the bed during the day.  He wouldn't dare do this when my love is home, but when he's on the road, Sagan likes to sit in the Man of the House's chair.  He was all curled up but then sat up when I went to take his picture.  Doofus.

So of course what's good for the gander is good for the goose, and now Pepper decided to sit in Uncle Daddy's chair too.  Dontcha love the "Go-ahead-make-my-day-I-dare-you-to-kick-me-off" expression?  

This one sums up the relationship between brother and sister.  He was grunting happily and squeaking a toy, which was freshly repaired that morning, oblivious to her exasperated stare.  

My boys having a snuggle moment one lazy Sunday.  I'm so pleased that they continue to bond.  Sagan hides from the ever present paparazzi.

We continued to have great weather for the most part.  Sunny and clear, but chilly.  Certainly mild by New England standards. I had to run up to town hall to drop off my voter registration, so decided to finally check out this vista point along the Canal.

I was eager to see what I could only assume would be a lovely, three mile, sweeping view from the Bourne Bridge to the Railroad Bridge, so I braved the icy cold wind and headed up the path.

And it is a lovely view.  Too bad it's almost completely obstructed by power lines, poles and several trees!!  I was so shocked that all that money was spent on benches, a little table and covered viewing area, so that you could look at lines.

Facing toward the Railroad Bridge is even worse.  What were they thinking?  HELLO!  No matter what you do, you cannot get a decent photo from this 'vista point'.  The lines are unavoidable.  Oh, and as a side note, look at where the vista point railing is, on the far right edge.  That shows you how far I was leaning out, attempting to get a halfway decent picture.  The shorter power pole top that is blocking the right side of the bridge actually completely blocks the bridge if you aren't leaning halfway over the rail!!!  I can only guess that further views of the Canal are obstructed when the trees are in bloom as well.  

I'm struggling with Project 365.  It's way harder than I thought it would be to shoot one picture every day.  Sometimes I shoot 5 or 6 that are decent enough for a week's worth of daily photos, but that's not the spirit of the project.  It's supposed to be shot and posted the same day.  I admit I've cheated a couple times and posted pics not shot that same day.  Everyone that started doing 365 with me in early January is having the same problem too.  

For the most part, February was a month of crafts, which is always good.   Gotta start thinking about building that fence in the back yard too.  Sagan will turn 7 on March 11th, and there's a party for Russell's grandmother's 90th birthday coming up too.  Am already considering some recipes for something to bring.  And his birthday as well.  Would love to take some more day trips but the rising gas prices are, again, making me think twice about venturing too far.  I expect I'll be making a trip up to Eastham and P-Town fairly soon though.  Or should I say 'down to' since that area is known as the Lower Cape, even though it curves upward.  Never got that at all.  The Sandwich/Bourne/Falmouth/Mashpee area is called the Upper Cape.  Go figure.  Hopefully March will continue with mild weather, peace and calm cause that's what we like!

Happy Leap Year and I leave you with one more picture of the kids, which I have titled:

"Archie & Edith"

February 26, 2012

Mass Maritime

This region is the perfect location for a maritime school.  If you want to be a merchant marine, this is the school to attend.  I'd never been to the campus before and now I live really close so I decided to check it out. 

I see this ship coming and going in the Canal All. The. Time.

This bumpersticker cracked me up.  Take that Skankees fans!!!

Training Ship Kennedy.  This vessel has an interesting background, which you can read about HERE.  

Bourne and Railroad Bridges.  I never saw these from this angle before.

Merchant Marine Memorial

Football stadium.  To be honest, I didn't even know they had a team....they are, apparently, called The Buccaneers. Who knew?

Western end of the Canal.

After I left the main part of campus, I drove around and was surprised to find this little beach.

This is the closest I've ever been to a spinning windmill, this size.  It made an interesting sound that's kind of hard to describe.  These are being built all over the place now, and plans include a large and extremely controversial windfarm out in Nantucket Sound, off Hyannisport and Osterville.  

Lookit 'em go!!!  VRROOOOOM!!!!

I scared the seagulls.  Or, 'dump ducks', as they are known out here.  This reminds me of the lyrics to the Grateful Dead song  Cassidy:  "Flight of the seabirds, scattered like lost words, wheel to the storm and fly..."

They didn't go far.

The beachcombing wasn't that good, mostly shattered shells.  This is actually a shellfishing area for people with the town license to harvest them.  My dad used to go *quahogging somewhere in this area when I was a kid and it might have been to this beach, or one nearby.
*(pronunciation:  'CO-hogging', not 'kwa-hogging').

I look forward to another walk here when the weather warms up!  

February 24, 2012

"Heart" Rock Cafe' and Melted Crayons

You all know me, I'll try anything once.  Craftwise.  (Get your sordid little minds out of the gutter!)

I found a cute idea on Pinterest, where you paint rocks with hearts on them, then leave them places for people to find.  Lord knows I have a neverending supply of free beach rocks, and hey! My paints hadn't dried out either!

Three of the four essentials in my life:  Laptop computer, fuzzy friend-slash-supervisor and crafts.  (The 4th essential was on the road that day).

Painting the rocks was easy and fun.  Took a couple hours one night to do the tops and sides, and an hour the next morning to do the bottoms.  I discovered that I absolutely cannot freehand paint a heart to save my life.   I even tried using my very fine tipped paint-pens, that you hold like a pen or pencil.  Every attempt looked like a blob.  So, I Plan B'ed it, and dug out some small heart stickers to use instead.  I actually like the way they look with the sticker instead of a painted heart.  Then I sealed them with a clear spray varnish.  These were just prototypes, just to see how they'd come out.  I like them...they are simple and cheap to make, and cute.  I will, however, apply extra glue to the backs of the stickers next time because the sealant kind of messed with the sticker adhesive, making it not stick, so that took another hour of time, slipping dots of glue under all the edges that refused to adhere to the rock.   

I left some in a few public places in Buzzards Bay and the parking lot of the Evil Empire in Wareham.  I don't know if people took them or not. 

The next project I just HAD to try was Melted Crayon Art, yet another idea from Pinterest.  The instructions are wicked easy; again a great and inexpensive project to do with kids.  Pick the crayon colours you want to use and hot glue them to a piece of canvas.  I used 2 of each colour, so you need at least 2 boxes of the 64-size crayons.  

Glue them in whatever colour pattern you like.  I went with rainbow for this project, but any colour combo can be used.  They are glued opposite to the direction you want the art to look when completed.  

Next I put the towel down on the bathroom floor, flipped the canvas over, and began to melt the wax with  my blow dryer, on high heat.  You can control which way the drips go.  Some colours also melt faster than others for some reason, and I am bummed that the wax melted under the paper wrapping too, staining it.  Still, the drippies look pretty!  I may give the greens another shot of heat because they didn't melt as much as the others.

Here's one in greens, blues and purples.  These have far less damage to the labels and I melted them longer too, but I accidentally splattered the green area w/ some blue wax.

Another idea involved melting broken crayons together to make one big Multicolour Super Crayon.  Well, I don't have any that were broken, but I did have a box that had mostly dull crayons so I used those.  It took awhile to slit the paper off them.  Then cut up the sticks into pieces.

I used paper liners in my muffin tin (with a little bit of water in the side not being used).  Mixed and scooped the bits into the tin.

Put the oven on 240*.  Some directions I've seen seem to use a melting range of 225* to 250* so I sort of split the difference.

I took them out of the oven once they were liquified.  I was a little dismayed at how much the tops had blended.

I let them cool on the counter for a few minutes, then put the tin in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.  They shrunk a tiny bit once frozen.  These are upside down and the paper wrappers.

Mixture showing tops and bottoms.  They look like psychedelic Reeses cups!  One broke because it hadn't melted all the way.