Category Archives: Family

Back To School: Then and Now

A great friend from High School shared this with me last night and it made me laugh.  As it is so timely (and funny) I thought it was totally worth sharing with you all.  As a child of the 70s and a harried mom of two young boys…plus a Montessori Elementary Teacher….I can SOOOO relate.

Many of my back to school memories from the 70s indeed include several of the things that are mentioned (god, I loved those thermoses)…and, between you and me, I see a bit of myself in the “today” routine also. :)

http://www.scarymommy.com/back-to-school-the-70s-vs-today/

Back in the 70s and early 80s much of my back-to-school shopping was done at Hill’s in Ipswich and included a trip to Pennyworth’s across the street (was that the name?).

Some of my must-haves from waaaay back then you may ask?

Happy Back-to-School!

 

Friday is your last Chance to “Celebrate Gloucester” in the BIG TENT on the water

If you haven’t yet been to a concert at Cape Ann Marina’s Waterfront Pavilion, now is the time — and if you’ve been to a concert in this gorgeous waterfront venue, you know what I’m talking about.

It’s the perfect summer music experience — ask anybody who was at the packed James Montgomery show last Friday.

Henri Smith

Henri Smith

This Friday (8/29) we’re bringing in the same concert stage and state-of-the-art sound & lights for Henri Smith New Orleans Friends & Flavours to kick off Schooner Festival weekend — get tickets here.

There’s a wonderful parallel between James Montgomery and Henri Smith.  Both bandleaders are major talents, they love to surround themselves with the best players available and both are committed to furthering their musical traditions by nurturing young talent.

Henri is bringing Grammy-winning saxophonist and flautist Amadee Castenell (who appeared in the HBO hit series Treme) along with Berklee professor Herman Hampton and top New England Conservatory trombonist Eric Stilwell — 3 generations of top musicians on the same stage!

And Mile Marker One will have a full bar along with perfect summer food: Lobster Rolls, BBQ Chicken Sandwich, Sausage/Peppers/Onions and of course Clam Chowda!

Don’t let summer pass you by without dancing a second line with Henri and his stellar band at the largest waterfront tent in Gloucester!  Don’t wait until it sells out.  GET TICKETS NOW!

Amadee Castenell

Amadee Castenell

Herman Hampton

Herman Hampton

Amadee Castenell

Eric Stilwell

Eric Stilwell

Guitar Concert by Brendan Evans. Rockport Community House. August 26th @ 7:30pm. 58 Broadway, Rockport MA

Brendan EvansBrendan plays solo concert music from of Spanish and Classical guitar works – bring family and friends! Donations accepted.

Check out Brendan’s site to listen to some of his recordings — this is going to be a fantastic show!

http://www.brendan-evans.com/

7:30pm

Rockport Community House

58 Broadway

Rockport MA

Sell Out Alert: A Few VIP Seats Left for Henri Smith YMCA Benefit on Friday 8/29 @ Cape Ann Marina’s Waterfront Pavilion (the BIG Tent)

JMB-WillieLast Friday’s James Montgomery show jam packed Cape Ann Marina’s Waterfront Pavilion (the BIG tent next to Mile Marker One) and VIP was sold out. The photo on the right shows how close the VIP seats are to the stage.

Wouldn’t you like to be this close to Henri Smith and his band New Orleans Friends & Flavours featuring Grammy-winning sax & flute player Amadee Castenell?

Henri_postcardYou can still get VIP seats (right here), but they won’t last long.  Plus you’ll be supporting Cape Ann YMCA Camp & Teen Services.

Don’t be one of those people who comes at the last minute and then complains that all the best seats are taken.  DO IT NOW!

Here’s a shot of the VIP section from behind the last row of VIP.
VIP Seating

Isn’t this where you want to be on Friday night to kick off the Schooner Festival?

Check out this video of Henri Smith’s sold out Mardi Gras 2013 concert at the Larcom Theatre in Beverly.

 

Get all the Schooner Fest Scoop & Songs tomorrow morning at 9AM on North Shore 104.9 – And Joey, here’s your answer

Daisy Nell (R) and Capt. Stan

“Curtain Up” host Aurelia Nelson

Tomorrow (Sunday) at 9AM Aurelia Nelson Welcomes Schooner Festival Chair Daisy Nell and Capt. Stan on her North Shore 104.9FM Radio show “Curtain Up”.

Daisy & Stan perform 2 songs and will tell you everything you need to know about next weekend’s Schooner Festival, one of our favorite weekends.  Click here for a complete Schooner Festival Schedule.

And here’s the definitive answer to Joey’s question about the Lobster Bake (from the Schooner Fest website)

Schooner Festival Lobster Bake

Two years ago, local blogger Capt. Joey of GoodMorningGloucester came up with a great idea!  Joey suggested that, in order to get the Gloucester community involved with the Schooner Festival, a community lobster bake should be held during the Festival.

Recognizing good advice, the Festival Committee held the 1st annual Community Lobster Bake in 2013 and it was a huge success!  Check out GoodMorningGloucester to see just how successful the event was!

The Community Lobster Bake will be held again in 2014 on Saturday, August 30, 4:30pm-7:30pm at Maritime Gloucester on Harbor Loop in downtown Gloucester. Enjoy freshly steamed lobster, corn on the cob, and a Virgilio’s roll– all for $15 per person. Relax with your dinner on the slopes of the Fitz Henry Lane lawn while listening to Old Cold Tater & Friends. Also available for sale: hot dogs, hamburgers, cookies, cold sodas & spring water, beer & wine. Tickets available in advance from Maritime Gloucester or at the event.

Allen Estes and The Souls & Joe Wilkins Band Tonight @ The Harbor Loop Concert 2014 6:30

hl2014 c

 

Allen Estes

 http://www.allenestes.com/allenestes/Souls_Of_The_Sea_(link).html

 

 

Joe Wilkins -Tonight- Playing at the Harbor Loop stage in Gloucester – outdoors! – with Steve Burke on Bass, Dennis Monagle on drums and Scott Noring on percussion. Allen Estes opens the night the Harbor Loop stage in Gloucester

http://www.wilkinsnoise.com/

Joe Wilkins original. One of my favorites…

Lunch Box 101…because some of you have asked.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I LOVE my job teaching, but I’d be a straight up liar if I didn’t admit that I don’t love summer vacation a bit more.  It isn’t that I need a break from the work or from my amazing students….it is that I love the weeks of freedom to play, sleep, take long day trips, or do nothing at all with my boys.  Late mornings, late nights, sand, salt, water….  How can you not love that?

That having been said, typically, after 9 weeks off, I am ready to go back to work.  I miss my students, I miss the consistency of our schedule, I miss chatting with so many amazing coworkers/friends, and I miss using untouched summer regions of my brain.

One of the best parts about back-to-school is back-to-school shopping!  I don’t go crazy over new clothes…and even if I did, my boys would most likely refuse to wear them.    I get giddy about a couple of things though… new sneakers, new fall yucky weather playground (and fall family farm tour) boots, a few new super thin long and short sleeved shirts for layering, and then the gear!

I’ve also written before about how much I loathe packing lunches….however, being a bit obsessive compulsive, it has become kind of a sport for me.  See  here.

To pack “trash-free”, easy, and fun lunches for the boys….the right gear is essential.  So, on that note, yesterday was lunch gear shopping day!  Exciting, I know!  Actually, that’s kind of a lie, because I did most of it online the other night and they had a big bag ready and waiting for us when we got to the Container Store.  But, once there, we finished up shopping and I let the boys have some input in what else they wanted.

While I realize it is not fascinating business, believe it or not, I’ve been asked by several people what type of “stuff” I buy for lunch boxes.  Many people have also mentioned that packing trash-free lunches sounds difficult, but actually, I find it much easier…and, more importantly, cheaper!  One important factor to mention though is that my boys have access to a microwave to heat up left-overs for lunch…so that may make my lunches different from the norm.

So, without further adieu….this is what we bought this year.  (A good tip is to bring your lunch box with you to make sure things will fit inside before you get them home).  Oh my goodness, I sound crazy, don’t I?

IMG_7894 IMG_8139 IMG_8146

1.  Pottery Barn lunch box.  Has held up extremely well, super easy to hand wash….and going into its 2nd school year.  They always have sales and aren’t really much more expensive if you get them at the right time.  I’m a big off-season shopper!

2.  Land’s End water bottle.  Not only does it fit perfectly, hold the perfect amount of water, and encourage the boys to drink more water….with several ice cubes, it also helps keep the lunches cold until lunch time.  But…obviously…you can fill it with milk or juice too,  depending on what you and your child prefer.

3.  Skinny ice packs…I put one of the bottom each morning to help keep lunches cold and safe.  I heard a report last year (somewhere) that someone had gone in and tested kids lunch boxes to see if their food was staying at the right temperature during the day (hence staying safe to be edible) and they discovered that about 90% weren’t.  For whatever that is worth.  I don’t usually get hung up on things like that…but, come on, warm yogurt is also just gross!

4.  Awesome Frego glass and silicone containers for microwaving leftovers.  Glass is safer, right?  The silicone makes them easy to pull out of the microwave….and comes in fun colors to appeal to the kids.  It also cushions them incase they get dropped.  Pasta, quesadillas, mini hamburgers, “breakfast for lunch” like scrambled eggs or waffles, cheese steak, soup, fish, grilled cheese, popcorn shrimp or chicken…..  Whatever.

5.  A sandwich container for the days that I haven’t packed left overs or a “heat up” as the boys call it.  Great for more than sandwiches. My boys ask for things like sushi and ham or turkey roll-ups a lot.

6.  The little red “Cool It” pack on the left is for little snacks and dips.  Mostly veggies and salad dressing.  The second photo shows it better.  Not an every day thing, but fun to pack once in a while.

7.  A little 3 pack of small snack holders for things like pretzels, gold fish, cut up fruit, yogurt covered raisins, pepperoni and cheese, olives, apple sauce, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.  Pretty much, you name it, it can go in there.  These are mostly for Thatcher, my older son, because he needs several snacks throughout the day.  I actually pack him a smaller “snack time” bag and then a larger actual lunch box.  His class has a mid-morning snack and an afternoon snack.  In Finn’s class a different parent is responsible for sending in a healthy and yummy snack for the whole class to enjoy once each month.  So, Finn doesn’t need me to pack extra snacks each day. 

8.  However, even more riveting, is that Finn typically needs some extra fuel so that little “Cereal on the Go” container is for him.  My boys eat breakfast really early and get to school at 7:45 so I can get to my classroom on time.  Finn will have some cereal with milk around 8:30.  I put that little container in his classroom fridge so he can help himself when he gets hungry.  Per his teacher’s request…not because I’m super high maintenance.  :)  Which you most likely won’t believe after reading this post….assuming anyone is still reading.

9.  The clear two-sectioned container usually gets fruit on one side and something else on the other.  Again, pretty much anything goes, and I use that container every day.

10.  And then, there’s the Spork….which is actually a spoon, fork, and fairly dull knife all is one.

If you haven’t fallen asleep yet, congratulations on getting to the end.  All kidding aside, buying larger containers of things like yogurt, apple sauce, and cottage cheese and then filling these small containers each day eliminates A LOT of trash.  Eliminating things like individual cheese sticks, juice boxes, bags of chips, etc. and reusing these small containers instead goes a long way if you consider how many lunches get packed each year.

OK….I’ll hop off my soapbox.  I’m not preaching….just wanted to get more information to those who have asked….and for anyone else who may be interested. Again, our school encourages this, but I also find that I save a lot of money and feel pretty good packing things this way.

Lunch Supplies at the Container Store

House Hunting

A little known secret about me is that I am full blown obsessed with the shows House Hunters and House Hunters International on HGTV.  And then there’s Island Hunters!  Did you know there are actually people out there shopping for islands?!

I’ve been watching them both for years and they never get old…

I LOVE living here…that comes as no surprise…but, I’d be lying if I didn’t find myself watching episodes of couples picking up everything and moving to some beachfront location on some tropical island paradise.  I live vicariously through them for 30 or 60 minutes whenever possible.  Dork, I know.

So, yesterday, upon finding a vulnerable little hermit crab at Cape Hedge Beach who was “between houses,” my boys suggested we conduct our own beachfront version of House Hunters.  We found several shell options for the squishy little guy, placed him and them under a clump of seaweed as much protected from hungry seagulls and bigger crabs as possible, and let him do his thing.

We watched him for a bit, but he was shy so we left him alone to take a look around his potential new residences.  We weren’t sure what he was looking for…striped, solid, beach chic, room to grow, open floor plan, comfy cozy, etc.

When we went back later to check, he was gone.  The boys were thrilled….even though there was no commission to be gained.

House Hunters

House Hunters International

Island Hunters

IMG_7863

Now That’s A Carousel

I am absolutely in love with this carousel!  Boston’s Rose F. Kennedy Greenway is unbelievable in so many ways and the carousel is the cherry on top!  The 14 different critters…all hailing from the fine state of Massachusetts…are whimsical yet gorgeous all at once.  It is a true piece of art!  How wonderful would it be to have a carousel of this caliber here in Gloucester?

The boys and I took the train into the city yesterday and spent 6.5 hours exploring, laughing, and learning between North Station and Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park.  We walked through the Haymarket Farmer’s Market, past the North End, and along the docks of the Boston Harbor Marina to check out some of the crazy “mega yachts”.  We saw the seals at the New England Aquarium, got some lemon slush, and rode the newish “thrill ride”, CODZILLA (and got wet). The boys played in the splash pad on the Greenway, rode the carousel, and fed the pigeons.  We took a horse-drawn carriage ride through the financial district, had a nice outdoor dinner at Ned Divine’s, and then ice cream at The Berry Twist in Faneuil Hall.

My vision for our day in the city involved going at least as far as The Public Gardens, the Frog Pond, and the Swan Boats….but somehow, in the blink of an eye, it was time to catch the 7:40 train outbound to home.  A true testament to the wonder of the Greenway and surrounding areas is that we were able to spend an entire day there and still wish that we had more time.  Next time.

Read more about the Greenway Carousel here

Read more about the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway here

 

Wicked Tuna Hard Merchandise

WAKE UP CAPTAIN!

WAKE UP CAPTAIN!

 The Wicked Tuna’s “Hard Merchandise”

I caught the Hard Merchandise from the TV Show Wicked Tuna unloading a few Bluefin Tuna at the State fish Pier on Sunday Morning. One of the Tv crew members said the shows they’re filming now to November will air in February 2015. So you may get lucky and watch them film on the Gloucester waterfront. The Hard Merchandise has been fishing for years here in Gloucester way before the TV show. They dock at the wharf behind the Madfish Galleries on Rocky Neck. I’m sure all their Fans will enjoy these photo’s. Video’s coming soon.

PAUL

LAST MINUTE BLOCK PARTY UPDATE

What will they think of next?  Circus performers, Dancers, Hula Hoops, Mary Poppins, Reptiles and more invade Main Street tomorrow night for this summer’s second block party — and what an extravaganza it will be (more info here).

Here’s a list of entertainment by stage.

And here’s a list of all the music by time.

Here’s a list of participating restaurants & merchants.  Remember to make reservations if you want to get a table.

And a big map with parking info right here.

Everything you need to enjoy a night on the town in beautiful Gloucester!

A Wealth of Resources for Sure!

For the last few summers I have come out of summer retirement to run a two-week summer session at the Harborlight-Stoneridge Montessori School.  The camp is focused on both Marine Science and Maritime History and the goal is to get the kids out on the water/waterfront as much as possible.  I am fortunate that my boys have that opportunity often and that they are naturally drawn to the ocean and all it has to offer.  That having been said, I know that isn’t true for all children who are growing up in this area.  Most importantly, I wanted to help educate these children on the history of the fishing industry and how important the ocean is to the community’s livelihood and to the creatures that call it home!

This year’s camp was a large success thanks to many local businesses.  I’m happy to be able to fire off a quick post to thank some of those places/individuals.

While one day took us into Boston to explore the New England Aquarium and watch a Journey to the South Pacific IMAX movie, all other days were spent outside experiencing the waterfront hands-on.

Our students spent a couple of days aboard the Sea Station vessel, Endeavour, in Salem Harbor.  This unreal floating classroom afforded us the opportunity to haul lobster traps, observe ocean life in its giant glass holding tank, sink the underwater camera to observe the ocean floor and eel grass beds + observe our discoveries on the giant flatscreen TV, and preform beach landings on Misery Island to go hiking, swimming, and tidal pooling. If you haven’t explored Misery Island, you’re missing out!

Sea Station

We had a fantastic day at the Nahant Marine Science Center where the children were given the opportunity to become scientists while recording their tide pool findings and the properties of the water in small groups.  They also had a wonderful tour of the facilities and the gorgeous property that the science center calls home. The Northeastern graduates/students that took care of our group were fabulous!

Nahant Marine Science Center

One day was spent onboard Cape Ann Whale Watch’s vessel, the Hurricane.  We saw several humpback whales and enjoyed a fantastic trip.  The naturalists, as always, added a wonderful educational component with small group lessons throughout the trip in addition to the narration while observing the whales.

Cape Ann Whale Watch

We greatly enjoyed a morning at Maritime Gloucester and were incredibly pleased with the workshops that Mary Kay had planned for our students…who ranged in age from 1st grade to 8th!  Maritime Gloucester was, as always, a must-do on our excursion list!

Maritime Gloucester

We enjoyed a visit from a wonderful artist named Kathy Abbott, who helped the children learn about caring for our beaches, waterfronts, and oceans while adding the element of art.  Learning about the Angry Ocean Project inspired many of our students to go home and create masterpieces of their own with debris the discovered on local beaches.

Angry Ocean Project

We headed North to the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, NH where we did a self-guided tour of the exhibits, participated in a 60 minute Whale presentation (the highlight of which was definitely seeing the entire skeleton system of the Fin Whale that washed ashore on Cape Hedge Beach several years ago) and then explored the rocky shore of Ordione State Park with a naturalist who helped the children learn about all of the amazing things they found in the tide pools.  Stunning scenery!

Seacoast Science Center

Captain Steve Douglas, from Cape Ann Harbor Tours, agreed to a custom designed trip on his King Eider.  I really wanted the students to see the waterfront from the water.  I asked Steve to point out the many different types of vessels that call Gloucester Harbor home and to explain the different type of fishing gear that we saw along the way.  I wanted the children to get a feel for the history and the diversity of the fleet.  They also learned about the Cut Bridge and Annisquam River, Cape Pond Ice, the schooners, the state fish pier, the auction house, Capt. Joe and Sons (of course), Ten Pound Island, and so, so much more.

Cape Ann Harbor Tours

And a day that exceeded all expectations was the day that we visited the NOAA offices up at Blackburn Circle.  I was floored with the presentation and hands-on activities that had been prepared for our visit and the number of staff that was able to make themselves available to work with our students.  With several different learning stations, knowledgable staff, a large inflatable whale, an amazing interactive game that helped the children learn about sustainability, and much more, hey truly went above and beyond to help educate our students.  Their efforts were a perfect match for what I was hoping to achieve throughout the summer session.  I can’t thank them enough!

NOAA Gloucester

This summer session served as yet another reminder of the wealth of resources that we have in our area.  How lucky we are to be able to take advantage of such a wide array of fun and educational resources.  I am well aware, that a longer camp session could have visited so many other amazing destinations and that the places I have included are certainly not the only amazing choices that we have.  There’s always next year :)

 

Cem Oslu, Turkish pianist, Concert at Annisquam Village Church – Sunday 8/17/14

Cem Oslu, Turkish pianist,  Concert at Annisquam Village Church – Sunday 8/17/14

Cem+Oslu_portraitWHAT:  Piano classics, and original compositions by Turkish prodigy, Cem Oslu
WHERE:  Annisquam Village Church, 820 Washington Street, Gloucester
WHEN:  Sunday, August 17, 7:30 PM  
TICKETS: At the door only $15 / $10. Students 
INFORMATION:  978.283.6416 or 978.281.0376

Hard on the heels of a brilliant stint as Music Director of the Annisquam Village Players’ production of “Peter Pan,” 21-year-old Turkish pianist Cem Oslu turns his talents to a mostly classical concert at the Annisquam Village Church, Sunday, August 17. Pushing the ivories in another direction is nothing new for this young prodigy. Born in 1992 in Adana, Turkey, Oslu started his music education with piano lessons at age 12.  In only a year, he had won a full scholarship to Bilkent University’s Faculty of Music and Performing Arts where, for five years, he had the opportunity to study with Sanem Berkalp, Hande Dalkilic, Karl-Andreas Kolly, Oxana Yablonskaya, Edna Golandsky and Olga Kern.

In 2009, Oslu was awarded Third Prize in the Kamuran Gundemir Piano Competition, and later that year performed the Grieg Piano Concerto in A Minor with the Bilkent Sypmhonic Orchestra (the Turkish “BSO,” in Ankara), conducted by Isin Metin. He was also invited to perform in the 10th Antalya International Piano Competition and at the Musica Mundi International Chamber Music Festival in Belgium. In 2010, he performed Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.1 with the Bursa Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ahmet Taviloglu. Later that year he was accepted to Vienna Conservatory where he studied for two years.

At Berklee College of Music, Oslu’s concentration has been Film Scoring and Electronic Production & Design.  In 2013 he was awarded First Prize in the MTNA (Music Teacher’s National Association) Compositions Competition on both state and regional levels, and Second Prize at the national level.

Oslu moves to Los Angeles in September, with film work in his sights. Terry Sands, Director of the Annisquam Village Players, says, “Peter Pan might have stayed a boy forever…but Cem Oslu has already hit 21, and we’re going to say ‘We heard him when…’ He’s got a great future ahead of him, and we were lucky to get such a talent for our play. This concert will be cream on the top!”

The concert will include piano music of Bach, Chopin, Schumann, and Scriabin.  Oslu promises to play a bit of Turkish music on the harpsichord (with its buff stop imitating the sound of the oud!), and a composition of his own, as well. The historic Annisquam Village Church is at 820 Washington Street in Gloucester (corner of Washington and Leonard Streets). General admission is at the door only: $15. / Students $10.  One performance: Sunday, August 17.

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