Thursday, September 29, 2011

Change

Blind Melon

I was craving this song all weekend. I think it was the colorful aspen leaves that made me focus on the word, "CHANGE", which is why I was trying to retrieve the tune in my head. For some reason though, I was thinking it was a Candlebox song and I couldn't quite match up the lyrics with the music in my memory. When we got back to Denver I anchored myself with a google search and in seconds retrieved the video. The song is sadder than I remember but still a great tune none-the-less.


I'm in the mood for some change myself. Vibrant fall colors make change seem inspired. I just dug through my closet and purged clothes to donate and switched out my summer wardrobe for winter wear. I like doing something physical to loosen things up; it makes me feel like I'm inspiring the more ethereal stuff to follow suit.


The universe might be sending messages to me as well. It's been a week of tripping over things, dropping a wooden puzzle on my foot, pinching my fingers - I just can't figure out why. Sometimes I think that is the universe's way of physically trying to connect me to the more ethereal stuff. My mantra lately has been "I'm listening" but if that was really the case I imagine I would be in less physical pain.

I’m trying to wrap my head around my philosophy on life. I’ve always wanted to live a comedy: to nicely wrap things up at the end of the day with a laugh and sigh a restful relief. However life is much messier than that and not so controllable. What we do defines us every day but I think it’s really not actually WHAT we do as much as HOW we do it. Life interjects itself on to the clean white possibility of our fate. We become soiled, used. Some embrace the change. Some lament the change. Some fall down and get back up again and again. But we all move through the cycle.

I imagine the leaves don't regret the loss of summer; they just naturally turn from green to lime to yellow to red. And then, they let go.


And oh as I fade away, they'll all look at me and say,
Hey look at him I'll never live that way
But that's ok their just afraid to change...

When life is hard you have to change

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Enter Irene (part II)

The second half of our trip started when we got off the Ferry in Boston. I saw Frank meandering down the pier enjoying a stroll by the water. That's what I love about the guy, he has such a calming spirit. He took us straight to Andy's childhood home so miss M could meet her Grammy Marcia.


She also got to sit and play with her Uncle Jeff for the first time.


And she met her soon-to-be-official Aunt Alicia.


We went back to Frank's house after that so M could meet Pam. She had set up her son's crib to make M feel at home. We both welcomed the site of our own bed and the promise of a sound sleep.

They both took time to soak in the baby energy.

Hurricane Irene was menacing the east coast and Pam and Frank were preparing the house for anything. I wasn't sure what to expect, this being my first hurricane and all. They battened down the hatches at home and the guys went to pull the boat from Buzzard's Bay. D's heart ached that they couldn't take it out on the water. 


Back at the ranch, miss M was exploring everything she could find. Her one ultimate goal was to connect with one of the three elusive cats that whizzed by every now and again. She never got close enough.


On Sunday morning the power went out at Frank and Pam's house. We had spent most of the time leading up to that listening to the media coverage of the hurricane. We needed a change of pace so we took M to visit a family friend. As wind and rain pummeled the area, we took detours and sometimes had to drive off the road to get around downed trees. Finally we made it to Nancy's house to say hello.


She was also without power but had candles everywhere. Admittedly, M was more taken by the full length mirror than anything else but we enjoyed the visit and even got to reconnect with Alan and M.


The storm kept coming. We stopped by Marcia's to say hi. She had power but a few trees in the backyard had come down. Jeff had been on the phone with Frank when something major happened back at their house. We returned to find their neighbor across the street had lost a 60 foot tree. It was completely uprooted.

Dig D standing next to the roots on the left side of the photo

We decided to get back to their house. Frank, D and I took a walk around the neighborhood. Branches and leaves were strewn everywhere. There were some downed trees and the entire division had no power. Generators buzzed.


Irene added a crazy dimension to the weekend. We wanted to get around more, maybe do some touristy things, but we also didn't want to get caught in a bad spot. The worst place proved to be the one open Dunkin' Donuts in Franklin (I spent 45 minutes in line for four coffees and some donut holes). At least we got to see D's family and share the joy of miss M. Monday we somehow managed to sneak in a quick visit with the always enjoyable Shannons. I hate not having any photos from that part of the trip; they are always so great and uplifting.

The last night brought one final stop at Grammy Marcia's house. M crawled all over the place and was mesmerized by the things one always discovers at their Grammy's house. Marcia was delighted. It was a big day in many ways...


We packed up and said our goodbyes (always too soon). We promised to bring our gal back next Fall when we head out there for Jeff and Alicia's wedding.


Luckily Ping caught us right before we left. She stopped by with M to say hello quickly. One last great Aunt for miss M to meet and then the trip was complete.


Well technically the trip wasn't complete until we stopped in the North end (on the way to the airport) for Regina Pizza but I have no photos of that so I will end with Ping and M and miss M.

Friday, September 23, 2011

PF20


This week I achieved star status in my roasted chicken attempts thanks to the keen insight of Thomas Keller and a cast iron skillet.

I have to admit, this meal was fantastic (even if it was just a little roasted chicken). The only thing I would do differently next time is not to prepare it while overseeing the craziness of an 11 month old and 22 month old cruising the house (stairs, dog bowl, toilet paper, and motorcycle included).

I'm kicking myself for not taping the bubbly, crackling juices when it came out of the oven and never have I EVER had a more perfect potato... in my life.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Speaking of Lobster

I've been neglecting this blog like a visit to the dentist. It's not that I don't want to go, just that I'm not sure I'm committed to the work that needs to be done (buh dum dum - did I really just start off a post that way?! Yeah I think I did - must be all the Muppet Show reruns I'm watching - BTW check out this skit from Season1, Ep 1).

In any case, I have been wanting to write about our trip back east for a few weeks now. We had fun visiting and introducing miss M to D's family. She had a great time though a menacing Hurricane stood in the way.

Travel was good considering we were working with a ten month old who just learned the taste of sweet sweet freedom in the form of crawling and cruising. We wondered how we would make it through a 3.5 hour flight but were lucky enough to get a row to ourselves. Some nap time on the middle seat freed me up to watch a cheesy in-flight movie while D worked and all was good in the world (though we heard there was an earthquake in Manhattan and Colorado while we were up in the air). Upon arriving in B-town at 4:15, we busted it to get on the 5:30 Ferry to P-town and couldn't believe our luck when we made it to the Pier with plenty of time to spare. We were on our way to the Cape and couldn't be happier.

With the help of Alan and M, we carved out a few sunny days pre-Irene. It was so fun to experience Provincetown - the cute artistic shops, the tourists, and of course, the food. Alan and M were wonderful to share their space with us so we could enjoy it all. They took us around to their favorite haunts starting with a quick trip to catch the sunset Tuesday night after they retrieved us from the Pier.


The next day we got up and tried to find some proper Portuguese pastries. Then we went to a lighthouse (so east coast). Can you believe they moved this whole lighthouse due to coastal erosion? Can you believe the whole building was originally where that green patch of grass is now.


I have to add some texture...

Miss M got to play with cousin M to her hearts content; not that we had to twist M's arm or anything. They both took to each other like peas and carrots. M will be a great babysitter when she comes out here for college (fingers crossed).


I managed to squeeze in a tiny run to town; one of the best ways to "tour" a place. With my music playing, I had a few sweet moments catching sights I would otherwise never have seen. I peeked in on backyards that were so quaintly decorated with flowers and trees and Adirondack chairs. I imagined late afternoon happy hours and the bugs buzzing at night - what a beautiful life these people must have. I stopped to look at a little art display of pieces with a box below it for people to drop their cash in and then take the piece. I enjoyed the animals carved in to shutters and the texture of shingles covering most of the houses (quite possibly one of my favorite treatments the east coast offers).


I looped back to meet D, miss M, Alan, and M on the beach.


Maddie played in the sand and got in to the ocean for the first time. She loved it. All of it.

Playing in it.
How it felt.
How it tasted.
The water.
The seaweed. (eh not so much...)

One day Alan and M took us on a whale watching tour to the Stellwagon Bank National Sanctuary. It's something they usually do when they visit the Cape. I was excited to see the whales and took some Dramamine so the whole time I didn't feel green. It was a great day with sightings of tales, humpbacks, and birds, as well as a whale who swam next to the boat for a while - by far the best part of a fun morning. M took to the water like a champ. She clearly has stronger sea legs than me; everyday I wonder if she's more like her dad than me.



Each night we went to a new restaurant - all with their own great flair. D and I both choose seafood; delightfully fresh and getting our fill of memories for when we got back in Denver. The last night, Alan took us to Ciro and Sal's. It was a cute little cavernous spot. It was tight and felt aged and, like a lot of places in Boston. The setting sold me and they food followed suit. We walked around to some of the galleries after that and people watched some of the nightlife down. I cursed my short gams and ached for the legs of more than one of the hot drag queens (it kills me when a man has sexier legs than me...and in a more feminine way) - I only wish we took in a show.



The next morning we tried for more pastries and then took the ferry back to Boston.


Part II to come...