Category Archives: Family


My sweet Mom passed away very recently. She is finally at rest after a very long struggle.

Thank you kind friends that were aware that she was ill, for your thoughtful words and generous kind offers. The last several years were difficult for her but thanks to my amazing sister Kipley, who lives nearby to her in Gainseville, and has been her constant care giver all this time, she was able to find some comfort. Kippi and Mom both contracted Covid last month. Although my Mom was asymptomatic, my sister was extremely sick and they were unable to see each other. Feeling so isolated, she took a turn for the worse. This terrible disease has impacted so very many lives.

My Mom was six months shy of 90 years old. We were so very blessed to have her for as long as we did. I have been looking through boxes and old photo albums. Here are some snapshots from when we were growing up in New York, visits to relatives in Florida, and the last is of my Mom and me on the evening before Alex was born. I remember it very well because I was nine months plus two weeks pregnant and Alex was born the next morning, during a blizzard. Mom had come up from Florida to help with Olivia while we were in the hospital. She hadn’t seen snow in a decade and was delighted!

While we were there in Florida, we visited my Aunt Joy in Venice, who is 94 and was too frail to travel to Gainesville to be with my Mom. We went for a walk on Venice Beach and for the brief half hour there, we were delighted to see Brown Pelicans diving off shore and a mixed flock of Sandwich Terns, Royal Terns, Laughing Gulls, and Sanderlings. Seeing this beautiful collection of wild creatures was somehow reassuring and lifted our spirits.

The holidays can be difficult and I hope challenges you may be facing don’t prevent you from having a blessed day. Thinking of you and wishing you a joyous Thanksgiving.

Elegant Royal Tern



Last night’s induction ceremony into the New England Music Hall of Fame was a tremendous honor for Tom and his Atlantic’s bandmates. Held at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Boston rockers and rock industry media greats were honored, including Lizzie Borden and the Axes, Human Sexual Response, Robin Lane, Donna Summer, Steve Morse, Carter Allen, and Carmelita. I filmed a bit of Lizzie Borden and the Axes set and will post that asap.

DJ Dee Tension introduced the Atlantics. Tom’s song writing partner, bass player, and co-founder of The Atlantics, Bruce Wilkinson, passed away at a young age. Accepting the award in his place was his sister Bev and his nephew. Paul Caruso, the drummer, also passed away at a relatively young age, when he was only 50 years old. Accepting the award in his honor was his wife Susan and sons Christian and Zachary.Fred Pineau, Jeff Hartford, Billy McCarthy, Bev Wilkinson, Reese, Jeff Lock, Susan Caruso, Zachary Caruso, Christian Caruso, Tom Hauck, and Ray Fernandes at the mic.

Digging around online, I was happy to find another video of the Atlantics from back in the day – 


My husband, Tom, is being inducted into the New England Music Hall of Fame tomorrow evening. Tom is one of the co-founders, along with Bruce Wilkinson, of the Atlantics, a 70’s/early 80s power pop punk band. He’s so low key about it. Tom had this band before I met him but still I am super proud of him.

The sold-out awards ceremony is taking place at the beautiful Regent Theatre in Arlington and we’re planning to make a night of it. Photos from back in the day and today. He’s still the same brilliant, funny, kind hearted man I met all those years ago, just wiser, and even smarter.

For Atlantics fans, read more here


A wonderful houseful in August, with our daughter Liv home from LA, our sweet cousin Hannah, and my dear in-laws, Tom’s sister Auntie Amy and Uncle Arnold from Ohio. Already I am missing everyone so much. Whale watch, picnics, shopping, dozens of beach outings, seafood dinners (thank you Cape Ann Lobstermen for the best oysters, lobsters, and swordfish!) and the Barbie movie at the local Gloucester Cinema – everyone had the best time.

Thanks to Liv for many of the photos and video. Liv posts beautiful stories and photos on her Instagram account @livaroundtown, from both Gloucester and LA, and where ever her travels take her.

Think Pink for the Barbie movie

Cape Ann Whale Watch

Name of most favored special bunny – BunBun Chocolate Hauck

Three schooner capture by Liv – is it 2023 or 1923? The Schooners Ardelle and Adventure are in the foreground and I believe the schooner in the background is the Lannon.



The $13.99 Coronation Illustration

My husband asked Charlotte, “Did you see the Coronation on TV?” “No, Bops, what is a coronation,” she responded. He explained briefly, she went to her art table and proceeded to draw this wonderful illustration of the Coronation featuring Queen Camilla, adding many imagined details including a castle with a moat.

Usually she gifts us her drawings but this time she asked, “Would you like my drawing?” I said. “Yes of course.”  She said “It’s $13.99.” I said really?? My five-year-old granddaughter said, “Mimi, I drive a hard bargain.”  

Thinking of the stuffed animal she had seen at Russel Orchards earlier that afternoon that cost $13.99, which I told her “not today,” I said okay to the $13.99 illustration. After all, she had figured out a way to earn the kitten stuffie.


While the scallop boats are still here delivering fresh plump scallops daily to Gloucester, we are making the most of the fabulous quality and terrific prices. At Cape Ann Lobstermen, a two pound tub is only $32.00!!

Several weeks ago I mentioned a scallop and spring risotto yummy dinner that was a big hit with the Family. Friends have asked for the recipe but I don’t usually use a recipe when making risotto. Last night I tried to think about amounts.

I love making risotto and find it utterly relaxing to just stand at the stove and stir, as long as you have all the ingredients chopped, grated, and lined-up ready to go. I am writing this hurriedly so if anything is left out or you have a question, please write and let me know, happy to answer <3

Ingredients –

Do this first – For the vegetable stock, cover with about 8 cups of water – 1 onion quartered, I carrot cut in half, several stalks of celery. Do not add salt. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down, and allow to gently simmer while cooking the risotto

1/4 lb. chopped pancetta or bacon

Olive Oil

I medium onion loosely chopped

About 1 3/4 Cup Arborio rice


Veggies – whatever you like. Last night’s dinner we had fresh fiddleheads from the garden!, also 1/2 zucchini chopped, handful of snowpeas, 2 ears of fresh corn (kernels removed from the cob), and about six stalks of asparagus chopped in 1 inch pieces.

Butter to taste – 2 TBs or more

Romano or parmesan to taste (about 1/2 to 3/4 C.), grated

Render the fat from the pancetta. Remove pancetta from pan and set aside. Leave the fat in the pan.

Add a few  tablespoons of olive oil. Sautee onions until translucent.

Add arborio rice. Turn heat down. Toast rice for a minute or two with the onions, until you hear a crackly sound. Cover rice with Prosecco.

Stir continually throughout. Allow rice to absorb most of the Prosecco. Add about two ladle-fulls of the simmering stock. Allow rice to absorb the stock before adding more.

Continue adding stock and stirring until the rice is almost done, still a tiny bit al dente. Add the veggies and more stock if needed. Add back the pancetta. Cook for a few more minutes until veggies are done, bright green but cooked through.

Take off the heat. Add butter and cheese to taste. While the risotto is resting, pan sear the scallops. Our whiz in the kitchen Alex cooks the scallops 🙂


Serve with extra cheese, salt and pepper to taste.

Cape Ann Lobstermen is located at 111 Main Street in Gloucester








Charlotte and I made cascarones this year; we are starting a new tradition!

Casarones are are empty eggshells that have been colored and typically filled with confetti. You smash them over your friend/loved ones head. They are used around festive occasions in Mexico and increasingly, the US southwest border states.

I thought the idea of it sounded super fun but didn’t like the thought of questionably biodegradable confetti all over the yard. So we filled ours with bird seed! Will let you know how the smashing part goes 🙂

World’s Best Dad!

Playing dolls with your daughter after a super long day at work takes a lot of love. Son Alex (and husband Tom, too) both get my votes for World’s Best Dads <3



Thank you to my darling daughter Liv for capturing ‘that feeling when you like your Mimi’s tiramisu.’ 
Turn on the sound 🙂


Late Friday afternoon I dashed into Main Street Art and Antiques to look for teeny tiny treasures to fill Charlotte’s Advent calendar’s teeny tiny boxes with. While there, a lovely red, green, and cream antique applique quilt caught my eye. The red tulips with green stems, leaves, and flower pots is similar to quilts from the 1930s I think. The stitching is exquisite and there were no tears or holes as far as I could see. Unfortunately, the whole quilt was very badly yellowed. After talking to proprietor Kimberly Cox (David Cox’s daughter), who offered the quilt for a very fair and reasonable price, I decided to take a chance and see if the yellowing and stains could be removed.

It had been a while since I had purchased vintage textiles. On my way home I stopped at Stop and Shop and was in luck with a small box of Oxiclean. The directions are vague but after reading a bunch online and taking advice from the lovely sales girl at Main Street Art and Antiques, I first wet tested a corner of the quilt to make sure the red wasn’t going to bleed everywhere. After half an hour, all clear, with no bleeding! Then filled a large plastic tub with icy cold water and two scoops of Oxiclean. For the next several hours, I stirred the quilt very gently every twenty minutes or so. After three hours, the tub was filled with a deep orangey yellowish water. Drained all, rinsed repeatedly, refilled the tub with cold water and one more scoop of Oxiclean. The water stayed fairly clear and the quilt was beginning to look amazing. I drained the tub again, and being very careful not to let the weight of the quilt pull on its self, to avoid damaging the fabric, I put the quilt in the washing machine. The settings were on delicate cycle, extra rinse, and cold water but with no additional soap added.

The quilt washed and dried beautifully. The applique and quilt stitches are phenomenally tiny. I am so glad I took a chance with this exquisite quilt from Main Street Art and Antiques!

Thank you to my darling daughter Liv who took the snapshots and video with her new iPhone14 camera. See more from Liv on Instagram here.

This is our first Christmas with a white cotton duck slipcover and I am having so much fun changing it up for different seasonal looks. Our former sofa upholstery I absolutely loved but was 20 plus years old and somewhat limiting in choice of coordinating fabrics. The quilt goes beautifully with the red, green, and cream Colefax and Fowler block print fabrics that I made new pillows from (thank you Zimmans!) and our new winter red and white striped cotton rug from Annie Selke. The rug is wonderfully textured and cozy on the feet! Last night I made some new Christmas stockings to hang around the house with remnants from the pillows. A sort of French-Indian-American blend of fabrics and I think our little music/living room is feeling very hygge 🙂

Main Street Art and Antiques is located at 124 Main Street, Gloucester.


Friday 11am – 5:00pm

Saturday 9am – 5pm

Sunday 11am – 4pm

Kimberly Cox shares that her Dad, David, is often in the shop on Wednesdays if you want to pop in and say hello <3

There are holiday and home treasures to be had at all our local Cape Ann shops. I’ve only touched on a very few here and with Christmas just around the corner and our daughter home from LA, I don’t think I’ll have time to write more. Enjoy the lights, the coziness, the friendly proprietors and staff and have fun shopping local!

Holy and Ivy #kittens

The kitten’s names, befitting early Christmas gifts. Charlotte chose the names after one of her favorite books, The Story of Holly and Ivy (by author Rumor Godden). Her second choice was Sparkle Rainbow and Glitter Rainbow so we are delighted we landed where we did.

Any suggestions on how to keep kittens from climbing a Christmas tree would be much appreciated 🙂

Ivy, left and Holly, right

Making holiday dreams come true

After the loss of our beloveds, Cosmos the cat, and Rosie the terrier, its been almost unimaginable to think about getting another pet. But this drawing of Charlotte’s really pulled at my heart strings. If she could have anything in the world, she wished for a cat.

Charlotte knew Cosmos in the last few years of his life, and adored him, despite the sweetly 21 plus year decrepit grumpy old man cat that he had become. Cosmos and Rosie came to us when our Liv and Alex were very young. My kids were so sweet and loving to Rosie and Cosmos. Why else do we have pets but to nurture another being and to fill our homes with love and delight.

Hopefully, we will be surprising Charlotte tonight with not one, but two, new family members!


Driving in the car with Charlotte while we sing and converse, there is never a dull moment. On a recent trip to Russell Orchards traveling along Rt. 133 in Essex –

Me – Look at that beautiful field of goldenrod honey.

Charlotte – Monarchs must live there Mimi (normal tone of voice). Then she shouts, Monarchs livin’ the dream in the goldenrod patch!

Kid’s brains are endlessly making wonderful connections. She learned that expression from her Bops (my husband Tom), I think. He is always saying thing like “we live in paradise,”, or “we’re living the dream.” It was just funny thinking about Monarchs in the context of living the dream in a field of wildflowers, but of course they are 🙂


Wishing dear friends and readers Happy Easter, Happy Passover, and a Joy-filled Spring 

Beauty everywhere you turn in these first few weeks of spring – the return of songbirds, shorebirds, and Osprey, blossoming trees, beach bunnies, and garden helpers.

Beach bunny, Piping Plovers courting, neighbor Melissa’s flowering plum tree, Charlotte, Osprey, Killdeer eggs, Piping Plover eggs, Cedar Waxwings courting, and male Eastern Bluebird wing waving


How Charlotte dressed herself to come help in the garden <3


Happy Girl in the snow with World’s Best Dad <3 – recent tube fun photos.



Four feet, thigh high snow drifts, and still falling. Stay safe friends <3


Holiday wreath made from supplies purchased at Wolf Hill still holding up!


Because all Christmas elves wear their purple princess crown when helping decorate the house for the holidays. Not seen in the photo are the much beloved gold glitter sparkle ballet slippers.


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.

Artichoke flowers


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!!