Category Archives: Family

The “C” Word Plain Old Sucks

Cancer.

Sadly, I’m not sure how many of us have not been somehow touched by at least one form of this nasty disease, and surely no one needs me to try to wax poetically about how wretched it is.

So, I’ll try to keep this short.

Someone who once meant the world to me lost his battle with cancer back in May.  His fight was sadly, and yet thankfully, all too brief and he was gone, I believe, before many were able to completely wrap their heads around the fact that they may lose him.  I felt his loss in weird ways…and kind of lonely ways.  It had been many years since we were close and, having gone in slightly different directions, I didn’t really have anyone to share my memories of him with after he was gone.  Much of my sadness was actually for the MANY friends and loved ones who were still fiercely close to him and who had to feel the sudden loss of him from their immediate lives….as opposed to a life that they shared a number of years earlier, like mine. I couldn’t help but lay awake at night and hurt for his family, his girlfriend, his teammates, and his incredibly close circle of friends. The thought of his dog not understanding where he was stung me significantly.   But, I missed him too…even though it felt selfish.

But this post isn’t intended to be about me….or even solely about him….it is about everyone who has had cancer detonate their world.  You know what, this post is actually for anyone who hasn’t been rocked by the “c” word also.

This weekend, August 2nd (what would have been his 45th birthday) and August 3rd mark this year’s Pan-Mass Challenge.  The PMC has been raising money for the fight against cancer since 1980 and, in those three plus decades, riders have raised over $400 million.  As they say, “Closer By the Mile” towards a cure.  I have had the honor of photographing the PMC for the Boston Red Sox.  The Red Sox organization has had its own team of riders, Team 9, out riding for a cure for many years. They are also unwavering supporters of Dana-Farber and The Jimmy Fund.  Being witness to such camaraderie during the course of the 2 day ride has been beyond moving.

I have donated, in very modest ways, since 2004.  Not every year, but most years.  Each year, in the hopes of being able to donate more the following year. This year I have sponsored 3 amazing, dedicated, and humble riders.  Three riders who are riding to celebrate loved ones and to be proactive in the fight against this heinous disease.  Three riders who I am incredibly motivated by and proud of.  If you do not know anyone riding this year, you can still donate.

So, if you’ve been thinking that you’d like to be charitable…or more charitable as the case probably is for many of you…there is still time.

The Pan Mass Challenge

 

LOCAL ARTIST PETER TYSVER : TONIGHT!!! THE TRIBUTE EXHIBITION

I happened upon Peter painting a few weeks back near the lily pond on Eastern Avenue, and I just had to stop and see what he was working on. I was stunned at the beauty of his work. This is one of many pieces you can find at the TRIBUTE EXHIBITION at the North Shore Arts Association going on July 30th through August 10th. The big reception is tonight from 6-8pm!! Peter was as kind, and as talented, as you would imagine.  There will be amazing work from many other artists as well. For more info go to    http://www.nsarts.org  NOW GO SUPPORT AND CELEBRATE OUR LOCAL ART STARS!!!!

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Harbor Loop Concert Series 2014 Alek Razdan & The A-Train Orchestra & Mike O’Connell Band

hl2014 ca train poster

Alek Razdan and the A-Train Orchestra

Alek Razdan and the A-Train Orchestra is composed of 20-year-old Alek Razdan on vocals and saxes, his father Rikki Razdan on saxes, Ken Demaine on bass, Dave “Doc” Vincent on drums, and Dan Whalen on guitar. The group is based out of Rockport and Gloucester, MA, and was formed in the summer of 2010.
Alek Razdan and the A-Train Orchestra appear regularly around Cape Ann and the Boston area. They have performed at festivals, night-clubs, and private parties. Playing a unique blend of blues, jump-blues, and swing covers and originals, the group puts on an energetic and extremely danceable show.
The band’s new album, “Alek Razdan and the A-Train Orchestra: Two-Timin'”, was released in January of 2012. The title track, “Two-Timin'”, was the Grammy U award winner of the Indaba Music Master Critique competition,  held in New York City, New York.
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Mike O’Connell and Friends

blues/rock/ originals/ jam band

Mike O’Connell Worcester Born Blues Rocker has been living in Gloucester for 13 yrs

Tomorrow Night Harbor Loop Concerts in Gloucester with Local Natives Jay Aptt, Leo Ciaramitaro and Ben Ferrini play this concert with me,, we did a couple of practices and ready to rip some songs for you,, we have a good set. so come see,, bring your blankets coolers and juice boxes, kids,, Love MO’C

Way to be, Jack Ass!

I guess for someone, stealing is easier than working for it.  And from kids nonetheless. Allow me to explain.

If you’ve browsed any of my previous posts here on GMG, you’ve probably come to know a few things about me.  You probably know that I’m long winded (does that actually apply to writing?) and you’ve probably gotten to “know” my two young boys….and maybe you’ve learned that they love the ocean.  More than loving it, they work hard at being budding little lobstermen, and they’re pretty passionate about it.

If you haven’t seen it yet, maybe this will help paint the picture

Young and Salty

My boys, along with their three great friends…on our friends’ boat, go lobstering typically twice per week all summer long.  With only ten traps, they certainly don’t do it to make money….they do it because they love it.  And, they do it for Lobsterfest!  Once each summer (maybe twice if we’re lucky)… we gather our families and some of our local friends, and we have a feast to end all feasts. More importantly, we have laugh after laugh, in one of the most picturesque towns I know.  It is, without a doubt, one of our favorite evenings of the entire summer.

We check the tide chart….we check our busy summer schedules…and we pick a day.  This summer…that day was Saturday.

The kids feel tremendous pride that their hard work supplies the Stars of the Show:  The Rockport Harbor Lobsters!  They feel tremendous pride that our guests….friends who have watched them grow, learn, laugh, and cry…gather to enjoy a quintessential summer evening and “oooh and ahhhh” over their bounty! They feel tremendous pride in being such a huge part of such a special tradition.

So, maybe you can imagine our shock and dismay to discover that THE lobsters had been stolen from the water on Friday night.  Holding tank and all.  Gone.  As a friend put it, “It’s like losing your uniform the night before the Big Game.”  The night before Lobsterfest.

I get that maybe the thief wasn’t aware that those lobsters had been slowly gathered by a group of dedicated children…and their two amazing dads.  Two dads who take the time to show those kids how to haul and set their gear.  Two dads who, while they love lobstering with the kids, may actually prefer to cast a few rods, set an anchor at the beach, or play a round of golf on a few more occasions, rather than continuously tend to the traps.  Or maybe they wouldn’t rather do those things, either way, that isn’t the point.

The point is, Stealing is wrong…and I’m pissed.

“The children must be crushed!” you may be thinking.  Well, actually, the children don’t know.  Luckily, those two amazing dads also had the wherewithal to not let the children know that someone had stolen their lobsters.  They would have been beyond devastated.  They would have been hurt.  They probably would have been confused.

Those two amazing dads also didn’t want our guests to know that they had to scramble and buy lobsters in the eleventh hour.  They certainly didn’t want any guests to run out and purchase lobsters themselves….not that any of those guests would have minded!  Lucky also is that Cape Ann is the type of community where friends rally for each other.  Lucky also is that, having lived here forever, those two amazing dads have people who were happy to help them and that getting enough lobsters to feed our friends was possible.

So, Lobsterfest was a giant success.  Those little “lobsterkids” are none the wiser and, while we’re still mad, it would take more than a small time thief (Jack Ass) to ruin a wonderful summer evening with such amazing friends.  Still, shame on them.

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Great Wolf Lodge…Pretty Great For Sure

We went way over the bridge this week and took a quick getaway to the brand new Great Wolf Lodge in Fitchburg.  Prior to the onslaught of some heavy duty advertising recently, you may not have heard of the Great Wolf Lodges, but I’d been hoping to get to one of their other locations for quite some time now for a short family vacation.  Last year I was psyched to hear that they were planning on building a lodge here in Massachusetts!

So, they opened in June and we booked during a promo offer back in March.  It did not disappoint.  The boys were psyched and even my husband made it through the 24 hours of Triple F (forced family fun….for those of you not in the know) unscathed….and happy.  We packed a cooler.

Because it is new…it is spotless.  They definitely pay attention to detail and they definitely cater to family fun.  From the wolf ears that they hand out upon check-in (that families oddly wear during their entire stay…ummm, but not us because we can’t pull off that type of crap off) to the “Have a Wolftastic Day” greeting that they offer even before you can drink a cup of morning coffee, to the door openers who never fail to beat you to the punch and are unbelievably eager to welcome you in and out of every single space with unwavering enthusiasm.  A vacation destination built for kids this is.  Cheesy sure.  But, a good cheesy, if this is the type of vacation that you went ahead and booked for your kids.  I, personally, wouldn’t have had it any other way.  Little Finn feel in love with Violet the Wolf and while Thatcher tried to be too cool for story and song time, I caught him singing along and doing the Wolf Lodge Howl with the best of them!

Our family suite overlooked the main lodge welcome area…which was odd and yet cool all at the same time.  The wrist bands that they give you upon check-in also serve as your room key….which, as a none-purse-carrying type of girl, I LOVED.  You could also just scan your wristband anywhere throughout the lodge and your purchases would simply get charged to your room. Bonus…albeit dangerous I suppose.  For the record…they don’t put those in the kids’ wristbands….that would be silly.

They have six pretty awesome water slides.  Four for kids 42″ and taller and two for anyone over 48″.  One is the the type where they put you in a little booth, count down from 5, and drop the floor out beneath you to propel you straight down into the unknown.  Crazy!  I, for the record, sat that one out. Fortunately, I can blame Finn as he was just a bit too short and someone “had” to stay with him.  My husband and Thatcher braved it eagerly….and loved it.

The lodge also has two water playgrounds, a pretty rad wave pool, a hot tub, a small lazy river, water basketball, an excellent ropes course high up in the air, some little mall-type rides, mini golf, a Magi Quest interactive game to be played throughout your stay, a 6D little movie theater ride, a super fun arcade (and I don’t normally love arcades so that’s saying something), a restaurant, a cafe, a Dunkin’ Donuts, an ice cream joint, a little day spa for the girls, and more!

Pretty cool too is that, while check-in is @ 4:00, they allow you to use the water park beginning at 1:00.  Even more cool is that, while check out is 11:00 a.m., they allow you to use the water park all the way up to closing (9:00 p.m.) that day.  They have lockers and showers so that once you put your luggage in the car you can still enjoy some fun, shower, change, and get ready for the ride home.  That being the case, if you live close enough, one night is a good enough stay.  More than two nights, in my humble opinion, would be too long.

Good, clean, family fun less than two hours from Cape Ann.  I’m guessing that come the long and abyssmal winter months this place will be jammin’!

See the Great Wolf Lodge

 

Aurelia Nelson Gives Chazz Palminteri Sista Felicia’s Cookbook

A Bronx Tale is in my top 10 all time movies, my favorite scene was in the bar when the bikers came in and Chazz delivers the classic line- “Now Youse Can’t Leave.”  You gotta watch the YouTube clip of that scene just below this picture.

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Aurelia Nelson is the host of Curtain Up on North Shore 104.9 and has been hosting the movie nights at The Harbor Walk.  Her show Curtain Up! with Aurelia Nelson airs Sundays 9 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.  You can listen to the last Curtain Up taped July 21 by clicking here

If you need a quick gift idea or would like to treat yourself and your family you can purchase one of Sista Felicia’s Cookbooks here-

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Windhover Performing Arts Center – Quarry Dance – August 1 & 2

WINDHOVER ANNOUNCES “QUARRY DANCE 3”

AT DEEP PIT QUARRY

111 HIGH ST., LANESVILLE, (GLOUCESTER) MA (01930)

ON

FRIDAY, AUGUST 1, 2014 AT 5:30PM

SATURDAY, AUGUST 2, 2014 AT 11:00AM & 5:30PM

FOLLOWING ON THE SUCCESS OF “QUARRY DANCE 2” IN 2013, WINDHOVER HAS INVITED CHOREOGRAPHER DUSAN TYNEK AND HIS COMPANY TO DEVELOP ANOTHER SITE-SPECIFIC QUARRY DANCE THIS SUMMER AT “DEEP PIT QUARRY” IN LANESVILLE TO BE PERFORMED ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 1 AT 5:30 PM AND SATURDAY, AUGUST 2 AT 11:00 AM AND 5:30PM.  THE PERFORMANCES ARE FREE TO THE PUBLIC.  CONTRIBUTIONS ARE WELCOME.

Quarry_backs Quarry_high lifts  (NOTE SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING SEATING, PARKING AND TRANSPORTATION BELOW.)

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Take Yourself Out to the Ball Game (and maybe bring the family)

Absolutely… spending a day at Fenway Park is one of the best ways to enjoy a day here in the Boston area, but, let’s be honest, it is not always that easy to score tickets that are affordable.  And…if you have young children, you can’t guarantee they’ll care much about the game.  I’ve seen more grumpy moms and dads grudgingly leave the ballpark because their young child was “done.”  OR….you spend a gazillion dollars on ice cream, popcorn, peanuts, cotton candy, big foam fingers, Wallys, inflatable bats, and other souvenirs as tokens of hush money….all to no avail.  3rd inning…out the door.

I’ll never recover from a day a few years ago when I brought Thatcher onto the field with me pre game to take photos of the players warming up.  He was a super cute 4 year old at the time and was wearing a “Pedroia” shirt. We walked past the dugout and Kevin Youkilis started to raz Thatch for not wearing his # instead. Within a minute Thatcher had the attention of Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, and Josh Beckett.  They were all chatting him up and joking with him and I couldn’t have been happier.  Thatch?….you may ask.  Over the moon?…you may assume. Well, not exactly. After a minute of tolerating the attention, he turned to me and said, “Can we go back to our seats before Finn eats all the popcorn?”  Alrightly then.  Bye guys.

So, while my boys are now old enough to love Red Sox games, and they get through a whole 9 innings or more with only a little bit of bribing, it is still something that we can really only pull off a couple of times each summer.

The solution??   Three words.  Minor League Games!   My boys are almost just as happy to head to the Lowell Spinners, the Pawtucket Red Sox (PawSox), and, hopefully soon, the Portland Sea Dogs.  The venues are incredibly family friendly, affordable, and FUN.  The children get much closer access to the players and can often times score themselves a run around the bases, an autograph opportunity, or a chance to catch something chucked into the stands in between innings.

I, just a moment ago, received an email from the Spinners reminding me of the Family Sleepover.  Come on….talk about fun for kids!   You go to the game, head back to the car for a minute, grab your tent and gear, set up shop, watch a movie on the scoreboard, and spend the night sleeping on the field.

If you have a budding baseball fan in the family and haven’t taken advantage of the minor league teams in our area, you’re missing out.  I highly recommend looking into tickets….and, might I add, there really isn’t bad seat in any of those houses!

Play Ball my friends!

Family Sleep Over at the Lowell Spinners

The Lowell Spinners

The Pawtucket Red Sox

The Portland Sea Dogs

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While There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Beach….

Yesterday, during a miraculous 30 minute session of sitting still at the beach, I fired off this short little post about Beach Pros and Cons….as I was contemplating which beach is “best” for my boys (ummm….and me).

http://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/2014/07/22/does-size-really-matter/

So, today, I invite you to participate in this little summer poll

 

Please comment with additional answers if you’d like as it is impossible to adequately include all kinds of beach experiences!

 

 

 

On The Waterfront — a new TV show premieres Tuesday 7/22 on Cape Ann TV

From Cape Ann TV’s Lisa Smith:

On the Waterfront is a brand new, original production from Cape Ann TV. The show takes an in-depth look at the Cape Ann ecosystem, highlighting the people and businesses that rely on the ocean for survival. The premiere episode features the lifecycle of the clam. Shep Means, a clammer from Essex and Gloucester hosts the show. Join Shep as he goes digging on the clam flats and the beach, stops by Essex Shellfish to weigh them up, then visits Intershell to see them shucked and packaged, and finally to Woodman’s to fry them and eat them.

Air times on TV are:

Tuesday, July 22 at 7:30 pm

Wednesday, July 23 at 9:00 am and 8:00 pm

Friday., July 25 at 11:30 am and 8:30 pm

Saturday, July 26 at 9:00 pm

Sunday, July 27 at 9:30 am and 11:00 pm

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