We love Russell Orchards throughout the seasons, not only for their wonderful array of fresh fruit, including peaches, strawberries, raspberries, plums. pears, and an infinite variety of apples, but because they have the sweetest farm animals. Ruth and Rosie have to be the cutest pair of goats, but it it Thunder and Cloud, Russell Orchards resident pair of black and white sheep that have won Charlotte’s heart.
Little Lulu is also a top contender for cuteness (on the rare occasions we see her up and about).
Apple picking at Russell Orchards is at the top of our list of fun things to do in autumn.
Russell Orchards is located at 143 Argilla Road in Ipswich. They are open from 9am to 6pm, Tuesday through Sunday. For more information, go here.
At the top of my husband Tom’s birthday wish list was a schooner ride aboard the Thomas Lannon. His birthday is still a week away so we had a pre-bday celebration last night. My kids and I treated and we met our friends Jade and Will, and their adorable kids, for the Schooner Challenge.
Although not much of challenge with super calm seas, it was a gorgeous night to be sailing around the harbor with family, friends and the wonderful Captain Heath Ellis and his topnotch crew. Former Lannon Captain Tom Ellis was aboard, making the sail even more perfect.
The night could not have been more magical and I think my husband is super pleased. What a way to start off the 37th Annual Gloucester Schooner Festival weekend and husband’s birthday week!!
So very much missing Saint Joseph Day friends. The following post is from last year, the first St. Joseph Day not shared with friends and family due to the global pandemic. Hopefully, 2021 is the last.
Viva San Giuseppe! March 19, 2020
I think it’s especially difficult for senior friends who look forward each year to ten days with loved ones. I sure missed seeing my “granny” that I’ve come to love while celebrating and honoring St. Joesph at the Groppo home.
Here’s a happy St. Joe story for you – When my husband and I were looking for a home to purchase in Gloucester we were in a terrible bind. We had to be out of rental home suddenly and unexpectedly. I found what seemed like our dream home but then learned It had sold only days earlier. We heard the woman had perhaps purchased the house without the intention to live in it. We approached her and she said yes she would consider selling it to us, but then over the course of the next month, she raised the price three times. The house was wreck, a true fixer-upper, but still it had great bones and I was in love with it.
My friend Claudia gave me a Saint Joseph necklace with the instructions to pray to Saint Joseph and to bury the necklace in the ground of our dream house. Patron Saint of Sicily, of homes, carpenters, artists, and all workers, she said it would bring us luck.
All that time ago, and this beautiful old house has provided us with 24 years of joyous memories, and a place to call home. Happy Saint Joseph Day friends <3
The photos are in no particular order and also include a few snapshots from Ann Margaret Ferrante and Maria Cannova’s beautiful Saint Joseph altars. Click on the first photo to view slide show.
Creating joy during the 2020 holiday season hasn’t been as simple as in previous years. Despite all, I am grateful for so much, but most especially for my loving family, and, too, that our very elderly relatives –my husband Tom’s parents , my Mom, and Auntie Joy– have not been struck down by the virus.
I am especially thankful for Tom, who always puts his family first in every way imaginable way. He has been our anchor during the past ten months. Last night we celebrated our anniversary. Usually we would go out to celebrate but instead, Alex and Liv made a wonderfully fun delicious surprise dinner. My favorite is lobster, so they prepared that for the first course. Tender, sweet, and cooked to perfection. One of Tom’s favorite dinners is Alex’s Bolognese sauce, accompanied by Danielle’s pasta. That, along with a super deluxe bottle of Lambrusco from Savour, and a loaf of Virgilio’s bread made extra delicious with buttery garlic, well it was heavenly. The best fun and most memorable anniversary ever <3
Photos by Liv
Best Christmas <3
Wishing all my Friends a peaceful Winter Solstice <3 Today marks the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year. Tragedy after tragedy every day fills our lives but there is hope and light. Praying 2021 will bring peace, compassion, and the best of health to all.
Since Thanksgiving, Charlotte has been back with us full time. Even if one tried, it’s nearly impossible to be sad living with a three year old. She’s at the tender, magical age of wonderment, accompanied by innumerable questions, all the while daily conquering new challenges.Saturday was her very first time sledding. She sped down the hill countless times with her Dad (our son Alex), and TiTi (daughter Liv) and loved every minute.
The following day, Sunday, Charlotte only wanted to sled down on her own and insisted on carrying her sled to the top of the hill without adult assistance.
Day three, and she was fearlessly snowboarding with her Dad. I think we have another natural born athlete in the family <3