Author Archives: Nichole S.

The Not-So-Great Pumpkin Caper

So, this is how we roll in my house.  It may have started when my husband and I were first dating and he instituted the “you pack it, you carry it” rule.  We’d take off for week-long vacations and he would chuck a couple of bathing suits, a tooth brush, a few t-shirts, and a pair of shorts into a carry-on while running out the door on the way to the airport…and I’d pack a large suitcase, a couple of carry-ons, and a camera.  He’d then breeze through the airport while I tugged and lugged.  He’s not completely barbaric.  Eventually he’d help lug and tug….but, certainly not without an “I told you so” and a dissertation on proper packing. By Day #6 of each vacation I would usually have to confess that I hadn’t worn at least 3/4 of what I had packed.

But, I digress.

Pumpkins.   Because I’m the meanest mother in the world, the Pumpkin Diaries went down like this….“Sure boys, you can pick out pumpkins, but you are responsible for carrying them all the way home.”

I’m not completely barbaric. That mandate was in response to the fact that I was already carrying a bag stuffed with 2 water bottles, 2 sweatshirts, a 1/2 eaten carmel apple, a tray of brownies they had won while playing a game downtown, a camera, 2 baseball hats that they simply could not wear, 2 pair of sunglasses that “weren’t the right ones”, and much, much (much) more.  I also told them that we would be getting pumpkins from a farm later.  But…they are fans of instant gratification and had to have pumpkins right then and there.

So, knowing full well that I rarely back down, the boys proceeded to pick out their pumpkins…hence sealing their fate.

Let the games begin.  You can only imagine the eye rolling that took place while I photographed the odyssey home.

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Note to Self: Never Leave Home Without My Camera

I really need to take a lesson from my fellow contributors and never leave home without my camera.  I’m fairly certain, however, that Murphy’s Law dictates that I will only encounter four deer grazing in a field if I am completely unprepared.

So, that having been said, I apologize for the photo quality, but 4 deer in a field in Rockport is a pretty cool grab even if the photo isn’t the best.

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Trick or Treat at Fenway Park!

Well, it ain’t no Rolling Rally Parade, but I’ll take it.

On exactly October 30th, 2004 and October 30th, 2007 I was inside Fenway Park boarding a Duck Boat with the Red Sox ownership to ride in the Rolling Rally World Series Parades. Two of my craziest days ever.

So, while that  won’t be happening this October 30th….at least something fun will be!

The Red Sox have been finding more and more ways to keep Fenway Park fan friendly and to open its gates in lots of new and exciting ways.  Picnics in the Park, chances to run the bases, Frozen Fenway, ice skating open to the public, the Monster Sled sledding course, concerts…and much, much more!

This year they are also hosting Trick or Treating on the warming track and a viewing of Ghost Busters on the big screen.  All for free!  While you don’t have to buy tickets….you do need to reserve them.

To Read More Click Here

Claim Your Free Tickets Here

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Rockport’s Harvest Festival

One of my favorite days in Rockport is coming up this Saturday!  Lots of great music, food, vendors, artisans, and a Seafood Throw Down….plus, adding a beer truck doesn’t hurt either.  T-Wharf will be the place to be from 10-6!  I hope to see you there!

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Read More about Harvest Fest here!

Schedule of Events…check this out for sure!

Einstein.

Every once in a while you’ll hear me say how smart my boys are….and then, one of them will say something like, “Well, obviously that goat is a boy.”

And my bubble is burst.

And…to make matters worse, I’m pretty sure the goat to the far right was teasing him…and the goat in the middle was snickering.

“Did you hear what that kid said?  He thinks Gertrude over here is a boy.”

“LOL”

So much for the Topsfield Fair being a learning experience.

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For the Love of all Things Sandy!

No one loves the beach more than me, but after watching this grotesque monster work its way across the beach, it is going to be a long time before I sit my butt down on that same wet sand again.

Blech!  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I am by no means a wuss….but, I find this little sucker nauseating.  Over reaction, you say? Maybe to you.  But, I think not.  I’ve helped saw the heads off of bluefin tuna without batting an eye, but this slimy, invasive little creatures has the ability to slither places it simply doesn’t belong and it is simply more than I can handle.

I’ll be shopping for next summer’s super high beach chair…ummm…now.

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Last Night’s Taste of Cape Ann

As host to the fantastic Taste of Cape Ann, the Cruiseport Gloucester was the place to be last night!

We went….and we tasted.

What a tremendous collection of Cape Ann’s finest purveyors, establishments, and eateries serving up some delicious food, decadent treats, and a choice selection of beverages…all in the name of a fantastic cause.  Can you say, “Win, Win”?  Many excellent raffle items also helped to raise more money and give other local businesses the opportunity to get involved in this tremendous event.

All ticket sales will go towards supporting Cape Ann YMCA Teen Service Trips to New Orleans, Navajo Nation, and Nicaragua.  I’m not sure I can think of a better learning opportunity for our community’s youth than providing them the chance to help communities that are in dire need.  It is worth mentioning that I couldn’t have been more impressed by the students that were in attendance to represent the YMCA last night.  They were enthusiastic, incredibly helpful, and wonderfully polite.  Several times throughout the evening I was asked, “Is there anything I can do for you?” and they were right there to remove plates from tables, tidy the function space, and offer friendly smiles.  Great job, kids!  Way to represent!

Links to articles about their service missions can be found here:
http://www.northshoreymca.org/blog/may-2013/ymca-teens-travel-to-new-orleans-for-annual-servic/

http://www.northshoreymca.org/blog/march-2013/y-teens-first-international-service-trip-to-nicara/

For information on Teen Programming at the Cape Ann YMCA contact Rick Doucette at doucetter@northshoreymca.org or 978-283-0470

Summer is Over, But the Studio is Still Open!

I was a huge fan of late afternoons on the deck of the Studio this summer.  If you ask me, there was nothing better than sitting outside with some friends, having a yummy cocktail, eating sushi, and taking in the beautiful view of Rocky Neck.  Especially if you weren’t in a rush.

Summer is behind us, but when given a 3 hour window to go play this past weekend, we readily headed straight towards the Studio anyway.

The fall menu is out and we ordered some obscene chili and cheese fries, chicken dumplings, and….of course…sushi.  The Kiss the Fish and Red Dragon rolls to be exact.  Pair those with a pumpkin beer with a cinnamon sugar rim and I’m a goner.

True that the deck is gorgeous, but I’m equally as happy hunkering down at the inside bar.  The high ceiling, massive paned window, and wood finishings are totally cozy and comfortable.

They won’t be open much longer, towards the end of November is what I’ve heard rumored, so check out the fall menu soon.  And….maybe give me a call first ;)

The Studio

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Thanks for the Learning Op, Dave Moore!

If you listened to the most recent podcast or read Marty Luster’s post entitled, “Thank You, Dave” then you already know that we were all so happy to receive some postcards, maps, and currency from one of the most faithful and kind FOBs we have…Dave Moore!

Sunday’s Podcast

Marty’s “Thank You, Dave!”

After other contributors took their share of Dave’s gifts, I was lucky enough to secure the rest to bring to my students.  On Monday morning I shared the items with my class.  We admired the gorgeous postcards and were struck by their beauty, we learned a bit about the Won and its worth in comparison to our American dollars, and we studied the tourism maps to learn more about daily life in South Korea.  Dave’s gifts gave me the opportunity to share some maps of Asia with the class, to discuss time zones, and to, of course, revisit how to write “Thank You” notes.

David’s gifts are now on the shelf in our large geography area and many students have sat independently and looked through the cards…several had fun sorting them by natural landscapes, architecture, food, etc.  They have also tried to recreate the scenes found on the Won.

My students were incredibly grateful that someone so far away would think to share items with them and are making the most of the learning opportunity.

Some of you have asked to see some of the postcards so I took the liberty of photographing several….along with some of Dave’s other gifts and the classroom materials that we are now using along with them.

One act of kindness can go a long way.  So, that having been said, Thank You again to Dave and Kim Moore!

More of a Good Thing: Fall Fest @ Mile Marker One

Both Donna and Joey already posted some fantastic photos from this weekend’s Fall Festival at Mile Marker One, but it was such a great event, that more can’t hurt.  Mile Marker One, Marshall’s Farm Stand, and The Bridge pulled off a fantastic afternoon despite some threatening weather.

The city of Gloucester provided some pretty awesome vehicles including Fire Engine 3, a police Hummer, an ATV, and even a Coast Guard Vessel.  That’s pretty much all my boys needed to make a day of it, but the pony rides, face painting, bouncy houses, awesome vendors, pretty yummy Bloody Marys, gelato, the Sam Adams Brewery Oktoberfest Beer Hoisting Competition (what?), and some pretty sweet alpacas made it all that much more fun.  And…that was by no means all that the event had to offer.

A true collaboration of forces to pull off yet another fantastic family event here in our great city.  Thanks to all!  Put this one on your calendar for next year for sure.

 

Team Spirit

On this otherwise cold and dreary Saturday morning, a beautiful view came into sight from across the soccer field.

The Peabody Thunder U12 Team is making a wonderful statement by donning pink socks for the month of October in support of Breast Cancer Awareness.

Good job, boys!  I hope that your season is as fantastic as you are!

 

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Why Can’t We Be Friends?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

One of my best friends in the entire world has a penis.

I could stop this post there and assume you know what I’m getting at…but, for fear you’ll misinterpret my meaning, I’ll go on.

One of my very best friends is a boy.

That may not seem blog worthy to you, but as of late I’ve been wondering how many others out there have a best friend of the opposite sex.

This friend and I have been close for almost 20 years and he means the world to me.  I’m not going to lie, in the very beginning we toyed with the idea of being more than friends, but never much did.

One night, a few years into our friendship, we were out together on Christmas Eve and he introduced me to the man who is now my husband of 13 years and the father to our two sons.

My friend is still an amazing friend and I treasure his presence in my life in ways that are kind of hard to explain.  I know he’d do anything for me and he’s brutally honest in ways that are totally refreshing.  He’s one of the most generous people people I’ve ever met…and the laughing that comes when we’re together is priceless to me.  Really, truly, priceless.

He goes away for long periods of time for work and we go months (or even longer) without seeing each other, but when he comes home I’m beyond thrilled to see him.  Through the years he’s had a fair share of long term relationships….and I’ve met them all.  Some embraced me as his good friend, sometimes realizing that befriending me was as a hall pass of sorts….some didn’t quite understand and never much liked me.  Bygones.

My husband is supportive (well, maybe tolerant is a better adjective) because I think he really understands that this friendship is something that I need and cherish…even if I can’t so eloquently explain why.  But, I am well aware, it is a luxury that he is tolerant as most others raise an eyebrow and find it more than a bit strange.

Sometimes I understand why others find it strange….sometimes I don’t.  To be blunt, the fact that he has a penis doesn’t mean I’m going to see it any more than the fact that my girlfriends having boobies and a vagina means that I’m going to be seeing those.  I have plenty of girlfriends whose private parts I’ve certainly never seen.  Right?

So, I ask you, can men and women just be friends?  When Harry Met Sally tells us “no”, but I think “yes”.

Comment please if you do indeed (or ever have had) a good friend of the opposite sex and take the poll to add your opinion.

Amongst Friends

I’m so sad that our own Joey C. must have snuck off to the bathroom just before I snapped this pic.   He was commiserating with these fellow Jeter fans about the end of an era, but needed to excuse himself to get composed after some tears were shed.

On another note, Tasty Burgers are indeed T.A.S.T.Y.   I had the Gorgonzola Burger (fantastic) and a super yummy Whale’s Tale from Nantucket’s own Cisco Brewery.  Ok….maybe 2 Whale’s Tales.

So, baseball is over for another 188 days….or a mere 142 if you start counting back from when pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training…and Jeter is gone. BUT…Tasty Burger is still there, and if you haven’t been there for some indulgent grub, you’re missing out a bit.

Tasty Burger

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A Respite to the Rivalry

It was quite possibly one of the strangest last days of Red Sox baseball I’ve ever witnessed.  It was indeed a pleasure to bear witness to Derek Jeter’s last game of major league baseball today within the walls of Fenway Park.  The ball park was teaming with #2 Yankees shirts, pin stripes, and New York fans.  It was almost difficult to remember that we were actually there to wrap up a Boston season and wish them well as we begin to dream of a better 2015.

In true Red Sox fashion, the organization planned an impressive send off to the beloved Yankees #2 and it is one of “those” days that will be written down in the well read history books that make the Red Sox, well, the Red Sox.

GMG Represents

Closing Day at Fenway…….

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