August 16, 2010

Cape Cod: Part 2

When we are on Cape, I must eat lobster.

This lobster roll is from a restaurant called Arnolds. It is a "triple the size at less than double the price" sandwich. I was dying. Look at the giant piece of lobster on the right of the picture. My mouth is watering just looking at it.

My husband calls Arnolds a "license to print money". Lol. They have this killer food, there is always a line out the door for it. They also have a line for ice cream most of the time. Another thing they have is mini golf. The landscaping is out of this world.

My sister and three of the girls played golf while Ron and I split a triple size lobster roll. We just sat there and ate it with a fork. My other niece was taking a nap in our truck. (The sun and surf was really wearing her out!) Anyway, the lobster roll is worth the money. It is $28.99. Lobster was $18.99/lb. There was so much meat on this roll, it had to be a three lb. lobster worth of meat. At least. So, if you were doing all the work cracking and picking and getting that much meat, it would cost you $56.97. Minimally. Ok, off my pitch for the Arnold Triple Lobster Roll. :)

Another stunning sunset. This time at Campground Beach.

Most of time spent on vacation is dictated by the tides. To someone who lives inland, it is a very different way of life. I, for one, find it fascinating. Since my nieces have never been to the ocean before, we wanted to make sure they got to see how far out they can walk when the tide is out. This beach is on the bay side of the cape so the tide is out very far.
We must be able to walk for two miles. My husband goes very far. He and Big V. They see fish and crabs and shells. The crabs hide under the sand and grab you as you walk past. I always wear water shoes. This year shells were hard to find on the beach. All beaches it seemed. But my sister and the girls found a lot of shells on this day.

Another thing I find interesting is the difference in sand coarseness at each beach. This was the sand at Race Point Beach, in Provincetown.
It was very coarse. Every grain was like a tiny rock. I love rocks. Every year I come home with a big zippy bag full. I should have been a geologist. I had a rock collection when I was in 4th grade. I found it in my closet at my parent's house. It was awesome to relive that memory! Lol. I remember friends that wanted some of my rocks. The claws would come out and I would defend my prized possessions.

Which brings me to another side subject. Sorry. Sometimes I do this. 

When I was a kid, my brother Michael was always leaving home. He joined the Air Force. He used to drive peoples cars to other states. He moved to this state and that state. Of course, I cried every time he left. When I was in 6th grade, he went out west with his girlfriend at the time. When he was leaving, he gave me this softball sized rock. He said, "Will you watch this rock for me while I'm gone? I believe it has all kinds of crystals inside. When I come back, we will take it somewhere together and have it cut. Then we each can have a half."

Here it is in his back yard. He sent this to me to show me it was happy. Lol!

I hung on to that rock all this time. He never moved back from Oregon. When he was here this past spring, (see Maple Weekend post), I brought up the rock and the fact that I've been sitting here holding on to the rock and he never came back. He said they have "rock shops" in OR and that I should give it to him and he will have it cut. So, like a fool, I gave it to him. He still has not had it cut and he is coming here in three weeks for my Dad's 80th birthday. So I sent him a text message asking if he needs money to cut the rock and he said that didn't sound too good. Lol!

Okay, back to the Cape. 
This is the inside of Highland Light, a.k.a. Cape Cod Light. It was the first lighthouse in the nation to have a flashing light. Last year I went inside and climbed up. Don't ask me why, but I cannot do the things I used to do. The climb up scared the hell out of me. I started thinking too much about the structure and what the heck was holding up those stairs. By the time I got to the top I was shaking. This year I stayed outside.

It is just as lovely, if not more, from outside. This lighthouse was moved back 450 feet from the cliff in 1996, actually by a firm from good ol' Buffalo. The Cape is always eroding. It is a major concern to all people who live there. I'm concerned about it too. I'm sure most people who just come to visit don't care. They didn't seem to care about much except themselves and their kids. (Sorry, just a little bitter rambling)

The last place we visited on Cape was the Cape Cod Lavender Farm. It was so wonderful. As soon as we stepped out of the truck, that was all we could smell. It just so happens that this farm was recently featured in one of my favorite magazines.
There was a lovely little shed where you could purchase lavender, soap, candles, shower gel.

There was this great bowl filled with buds.

I bought a half a pound! It's pretty light so I got a LOT.
I put a quarter by it so you could see the size of the bag. 
I love lavender. When I was a kid, for some reason, I was frequently nauseasous. I still have no idea why. My mom always had Yardleys lavender water. Her sister would come from London to visit and she brought it with her every time. Mom said it would make me feel better to smell it so she put it on a linen handkerchief and I would breathe in the aroma. It always made me feel better. So now, I am addicted to lavender. I'm not sure what I will do with all of this, but I think everyone will be getting something that smells nice for Christmas! Probably some drawer sachets or the like.

My one last observation about Cape Cod is that they must all know some big secret to growing the most incredible hydrangeas on the planet.
This secret must be on the internet somewhere. I have yet to look. I should have gone to a garden center disguised as a local buying a plant and ask what the secret is. Next time I go, that's what I'm doing. So I too, can have results like this...
My gracious! What is the secret??!!!

I'm so thankful for a great trip to the Cape this year. Even though I didn't learn the hydrangea secret. :)
And, thank God for lobster!!!

August 6, 2010

Cape Cod, Part 1

So, as soon as the 4th was over, I worked two days and then we headed off to Cape Cod. Our neighbors own a cottage that is a duplex. We try to get there every year or every other year when possible. When we go, we rent one side and someone from our family or some friends stay in the other half. This year my sister stayed on the other side and brought two of her granddaughters.

Here is the cottage.

The roses out front.

The dirt road that the cottage is on.

-This is very charming when we first get there. But by the end of the trip, it starts to get on everyone's nerves. The road can get washed out very easily by a good rain. Making for very rough terrain while you are driving. But, no one ever forgets "the road".

This year, my husband and the girls decided that we should go parasailing. I, of course, chickened out. Something was telling me not to. Probably it was my mother. I, on the other hand, was not so good of a mother. I let my two babies do this.
Yes, those are my girls, about 300 feet in the air. I should have gone with them. This is what happened next.

Ok, these are not real scissors. I don't know if the guy thought the girls would see them from up there, but it definately made a funny picture.

In the Cape, each town has their own beaches. If you want to go to them, you must pay. $$ We stay in Eastham so we get their town pass. This covers beaches on the bay side of the cape and some of the fresh water pond beaches. This year we also got a pass for the Cape Cod National Seashore beaches. The beach in this pic is called Marconi.

This was at low tide. On the right in the picture is a tide-dug pond of sorts. The kids were playing in it. It was warmer and calmer than the ocean.

Father and daughter riding the waves.

Here is Marconi beach on a different day.
This time, the tide was very high and rough. The lifeguards would not let anyone swim. I guess there had been some dangerous rip currents for a few days. It was about 88 degrees that day and everyone was just laying there like a bunch of dead fish. People were allowed to surf. But that was it. The girls went and stood at the edge of the water hoping to cool off.

In the end, we had to go to a bay side beach to get into the water and lower our body temperatures. Our fav is Campground Beach. We go there a lot for sunset. I know, I know. Massachusetts is on the East Coast. How can there be sunsets? Well, the bay is large enough that you cannot see the main land of MA. Therefore, there is a western horizon over the water. It probably is one of the few places where you can see a sunrise and a sunset over the water. I have never gotten up to see the sunrise, but, if the cloud cover permits, we go "down for sunset" every day. Another beach we discovered is Thumpertown. This sunset picture was taken there.

Coast Guard Beach is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. This particular evening was very foggy there.

The Coast Guard station.

The girls' matching airbrushed tatoos.

There were loads of surfers in the water that night. I never watched anyone surf before. It was really cool.

We are all thankful for beautiful beaches and sunsets. They both have made lasting memories for myself and my family. Also for our wonderful neighbors who have this place for us to go, and for them not charging a huge price for people to stay there. :)

August 3, 2010

It's here! (from July)

It's finally here!
My sweet and talented Daddy made me a new bench for my kitchen!

About five years or so ago, I grew sick of my ugly kitchen table and so I put it out in the screen porch, never to return. It was banished. In it's place I put a nice wicker and wrought iron setee I had out in the porch. It had a matching coffee table. I put pillows on it that had covers I changed with the seasons. So, now I've grown sick of having a setee in the kitchen and I want a table again. BUT, my Dad likes sitting on something comfy in the kitchen. So I figured a good compromise would be a bench like this with a cushion and lots of pillows to sit on at the table.

My Dad brought this over in time for the family picnic (I have it at my house every 4th of July). But, I was not able to make anything comfy to put on it before the big party. You see, I had given the original setee to my niece, Wendy and we then moved our all-weather wicker into the kitchen (due to the continued banishment of the ugly table). Well, on Father's Day, my husband moved it back outside so there was a big gaping emptiness in the kitchen. It looked like we couldn't afford funiture for the  room. So, my Dad to the rescue! I'm just like him. Things need to be a certain way.

The party preparations got underway.

The decorations hung in the kitchen with care.

The pool towels rolled up and placed over there.

The guests all arrived, dropped their stuff everywhere.

We ended the night with a dazzling affair.

Thank God for Freedom!
And Dads!

August 2, 2010

P.S. More June

Ok, I know it seemed as though June should be over, but I thought of some more things I forgot to mention.

First, when I was looking at the cherry tree picture, I remembered about strawberries. This is the second year we had a bad growing season for strawberries.

When I was a kid, my Mom and I would go strawberry picking after school was out. She would make the best jam. I wanted to make the same memory with my girls, but we haven't been able to go strawberry pickin' in two years. I haven't made strawberry jam in two years. So, I was hoping to freeze cherries and make strawberry jam or some kind of chutney from cherries and I have been denied. I was thinking maybe I need to find a different strawberry field to go to. I've been trying to keep tradition by going to the place my mom went.
That's ok. There are more fruits that will be coming out this summer.

I realized I forgot to post a picture of the jewelry I made with the estate sale carnelians I bought.

Here's how my set came out. I receive compliments on it every time I wear it. people love it. I wish I had more of them so I could make more. I also would like one more carnelian to make a ring. But alas, I am fresh out.

I also said I was going to try something with my parent's old cameras.
I was trying to take a picture with my camera thru the viewfinder of the old camera. I don't really know how people do that. I've seen some really great pictures taken that way. My camera would not focus. HaHa! It looks like I took a picture of the TV. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to keep trying.

Another thing that I love, love, love to do is decorate my house. I decorate for living, with funiture, fabrics, paint colors. But I also decorate for the seasons. I think I picked this up from my mother. She always had her collections, glassware, teacups, and milk glass placed very artistically around the house on furniture my father made. Now, I am doing the same thing.

My summer passion is seashells. For as long as I have lived in this house, I have pulled out my seashells every June to decorate for the summer. I have shells I've purchased, shells I've found, shells that have been given to me, shells other people have found.

Once we started going to Cape Cod, I began collecting sea glass. One beach in particular gives me a piece of glass every time I go there and look. Be it morning, afternoon, sunset, high tide, low tide, any kind of tide.
I keep it all in this jar. This doesn't include this year's haul. Plus I found something else that was very interesting. But I'll show that to you later.

These shells were my mother's. She brought them from England. She found them on a beach that I can't remember the name of. I love how tiny they all are.

You will be hard pressed to find a room in my house that does not have some shells in it. They are everywhere. Starfish are quite interesting to me. I've heard that if you put them back into salt water, they will come back to life. I don't know if that is true, but I will tell you that it was sooooo humid here last week that one of my starfish started to soften up and I could move its rays. Now it's in a different position than it was the week before. Very interesting.

I am so thankful for all the beautiful things I have. I was looking at all the pictures I took of things that interest me or that I blogged about. And I am really blessed to have all of it. Plus the camera! That is quite a special thing to own. I love taking pictures so much, it really makes me happy. Something I inherited from my Momma. :)