Charlotte helping with organizing the summer to winter wardrobe transition and very enthusiastically pretending we are having a snow day. This is how we dressed for a walk around the neighborhood on a warm Indian Summer October day.
For all our winged wonders,
For the birds, the butterflies, the bees,
My friend and Cape Ann artist Mary Rhinelander created these amazingly fun posters. They are printed beautifully as well; you can’t really see from the photos how well done they are. The “Kick Ass” posters are only twenty dollars each. But the truly most generous thing on Mary’s part is that the money goes towards either the Open Door Food Pantry or the ACLU, your choice!
Pick up your #KickAss poster at Alexandra’s Bread, located at 256 Main Street in Gloucester. Purchase more than one and give to a friend!
It’s been approximately six weeks since we were asked to social distance. Tragically, the number of new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are still high in Massachusetts. Yet despite that, I think social distancing is still our best weapon against Coronavirus and that the epidemic would be much worse, unfathomably worse, if we were not.
Don’t you think the word physical distancing more accurately portrays what we are doing? Gratefully, we are are still able to communicate with our friends and loved ones. The people working on the front lines are so much more deeply affected than we who are quarantined safely at home. I don’t only worry constantly about my friends who are nurses and midwives, but am also terrified something will happen to my Mom and Aunt who both live in Florida, terrified because I am not sure how I would be able to hep them if either were struck. And, hardest of all, our daughter is on the west coast.
I think of our predicament more in terms of physical distancing and try to focus on the better aspects of the pandemic (if there is such a thing). For one thing, the country is virtually united in the fight. Nationwide polls show that eighty-five to ninety percent of all Americans, Democrats and Republicans, believe physical distancing and testing are our best defense against this terrible, terrible disease.
Today , as in practically every other day of the pandemic, I am organizing thousands of hours of footage. Every single film clip from years of ongoing projects do not speak to my new computer program. I don’t really mind though because it is providing the opportunity to also pick out the best clips for the Saint Joseph, Piping Plover, and Saint Peter film projects. One at time they have to be converted however, I can do the conversions while simultaneously taking care of our granddaughter and working on Monarch film distribution avenues. Today with Charlotte we are planning to build a super duper deluxe Fort, paint pictures of Plovers and cupcakes (her favorite), draw with my fancy Prismacolor pencils (also her favorite), read a mountain of story books, and make cupcakes. Hopefully, that will take us to nap time <3
What are doing today? Please write and let us know. Thank you!
Liv and Charlotte Brace Cove
So very much missing Saint Joseph Day friends. 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 homes and carpenters 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.
After Thursday’s storm we tried going for a beach walk at Good Harbor, Brace Cove, and Niles before giving up and finding a less windy stroll along Niles Pond. The water was a gorgeous deep ultramarine and even the inner harbor was beautiful with whitecaps.
What is this thing called snow?
The brand new beautiful School Street Sunflower field is not to be missed. With gently rolling hills, abundantly planted rows, and a wide, easy path to stroll (easy enough for a two-year-old to navigate), the 5 acres of sunflowers is a wildflower lover’s dream.
There are picnic tables for those who would like to take lunch, and positioned artfully around the fields are photo props such as tractors and bales of hay, but for the most part, the scene is straight up gorgeous sunflowers (and bees!).
The variety planted blooms in 50 to 60 days from when planted and today is day 61. Only a few flowers have droopy seed-laden heads, or have passed. NOW is the time to go as the blooms will all have expired in another two weeks.
School Street Sunflower Farm
At the corner of Linebrook Road and School Street (for google maps type in – 79 Linebrook Road)
Open 8am to sunset.
The cost is eight dollars during the week, ten dollars on weekends, and the ticket covers a full day. Wristbands are available if you would like to return the same day. Children under five are free.
Thoughtful sayings posted throughout the field ~
“Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace.”
The Cape Ann Museum has a wonderful children’s activity room, perfect for a winter day when its too cold to go to the park. Come on by and enjoy!
Caffe Sicilia is super family friendly, too, with friendly faces, yummy treats, and spacious seating. Charlotte had her first bites of cannoli, and of course, she loved it!
I had an unexpected extra afternoon off with Charlotte so we decided to check out today’s high tide and waves at Good Harbor Beach. In some areas, the tide came up all the way to the edge of the bluff. The waves weren’t high, but the undertow was super, super strong, nonetheless, folks were swimming and surfing in the surprisingly warm water.
Ssshhhing nobody but me, then time for a quick catnap.
While looking for bandanas to make Charlotte, our baby granddaughter-on-the-way, a bandana baby quilt, I came across wonderfully whimsical animal inspired navy and white bandanas at J.Crew. The elephant bandana has little elephant heads in the corners and the whale bandana has an overall pattern that includes fishes, anchors, and a compass rose. The bandanas are printed on an ultra soft, almost batiste-like quality cotton fabric. Recalling that newborns can mostly only see black and white for the first three months, and that the J.Crew designs are so charming, I abandoned the pink idea and went for blue and white. And, a portion of the sale from the bandanas goes to support wildlife foundations.
1) Prewash bandanas, cotton batting, and backing fabric. Press.
2) Stitch together the four bandanas. Bandanas are not a woven design and oftentimes are not printed on the square perfectly. You have to fudge it a little and not be too fussy at this stage.
3) Press the bandana quilt top seams flat. Place the quilt top over cotton quilt batting. Pin or baste the batting in place. Trim batting close to quilt top edge.
4) Place quilt top and batting unit on top of cotton backing. Pin or baste through all three layers to keep in place. Trim to neaten edges.
5) Cut 4 bias strips, in desired width, in backing fabric, the length of each edge, plus two inches. I like to cut my bias strips 2 and 7/8 wide inches for binding a quilt. Fold bias strips in half and press.
6) Stitch one bias strip to the right side of the quilt, along one length. Turn to the wrong side and slip stitch in place. Trim ends of bias binding. Apply same instructions to the opposite length of the quilt.
7) Follow #6 for the two remaining lengths, neatly tucking in the ends.
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FANTASTIC BOOK “HIRE A GHOSTWRITER!”
Check out the elegantly beautiful spread in the summer issue of “North of Boston Weddings,” created by Gail McCarthy and Amy Sweeney, featuring our daughter Liv and son-in-law Matt’s Lighthouse Beach wedding.
Our family’s deepest thanks and appreciation to Gail and Amy–truly a wonderful memento of their special day that we will treasure for always.
Story by Gail McCarthy and Liv, photos by Esther Mathieu.
Can you imagine–sixty five years–truly an inspiration!
June 24th was my mother and father-in-laws 65th wedding anniversary. We’ve been celebrating all week and last night we had a beautiful dinner at Duckworth’s, our family’s go-to place for special occasions (and every other excuse to head to dinner there). Dinner was beautiful in every way, from the exquisite entrees, appetizers, and desserts to the outstanding service provided by Dan and Colleen. Thank you Duckworth Family for making our family’s celebration wonderfully memorable.
Here we are in Cincinnati on May 5th this past spring celebrating my father-in-laws NINETIETH birthday. He and his best friend Steve Marvin, also 90, have been friends since they were babies.
Note the cake decorated with a train scene. My father-in-law has been passionate about trains since he was a toddler, to the extent that he and his friend Bob Richardson founded theColorado Railroad Museum, which is located in Golden Colorado.