I can’t even begin to count how many times I have walked by this sign without bothering to read it. So, the other day, I did. I’m not sure why it never occurred to me that there was an actual bear associated with Bearskin Neck. Felt bad for the bear, but glad to have learned something new.
This is one blog post that I don’t consider myself worthy to write for a couple of different reasons. First of all, with only 15 years of residency in the amazing town of Rockport, I’m still a bit of a newcomer. Secondly, my behind has never had the privilege of sitting in one of the well-worn leather seats that could tell almost 60 years worth of tales. Let alone the iconic horse saddle seat. If scissors could speak. What in the world am I talking about? Well, THE hub of Rockport, of course. Walt Julian’s barber shop.
As new parents, my husband and I made lots of decisions together…and some apart. We agreed together on finding out the sex of our children before they were born. We agreed together on names. I, for example, decided on what the nursery would look like. And my husband, without consultation, decided that naturally their first haircuts would be done by the one-and-only Walt. As if I would have argued.
Even prior to my own children, I can remember MANY an early morning that my husband would creep out of bed at a somewhat insane hour to get a jump on the line at Walt’s. I still laugh about the day that he left at the crack of dawn as I slept on in disbelief. I grew even more incredulous when the phone rang and it was one of his good friends….who had recently moved to Beverly…calling to see if he had already left the house. When I said that he had already been gone for about 15 minutes all I got in return was, “Oh crap. I’m never going to beat that line. Click.”
So, I’m sure most of you know by now, that Walt Julian has closed his barber shop. With almost 60 years of story telling, listening, laughing, trimming, buzzing, shaving, and lollipop giving….he leaves an enormous scrapbook of memories in his wake.
While I’ve only met Walt a handful of times myself…and I am not as rooted in history here in Rockport as many others are…I am thrilled and honored to have photos of Thatcher and Finn in Walt’s care.
Congratulations, Walt, on a respected and iconic career, for creating memories for generations of Cape Ann residents, and, now, on your retirement.
I wonder just how many family scrapbooks contain photos of you! You will be missed!
So, we’re not exactly headed to the beach yet….but, maybe soon.
The Sound of Music at the Rockport Middle School
Rockport Middle School presents :The Sound of Music
Join Watson Adventures at the Museum of Fine Arts and try to solve the murder mystery. 1:00 on Saturday for ages 10 and up.
A crazed killer is on the loose!
And it’s up to you to stop him! The killer has created a scavenger hunt that, when completed, reveals his name, the weapon he used, and where he hid the body in the museum. He sent the hunt to the police and dared them to try to solve it. The police need your help. You’ll get a list of suspects, weapons, and hiding places that are all items in the museum.
By following the trail of clues and answering tricky questions, you’ll narrow the list of suspects, weapons, and places and provide the police with the evidence they need to catch and convict the killer. Can you figure out whodunnit?
No knowledge of the museum or art is necessary, but good reading skills are helpful. Contact us to learn more and find more fun!
Say goodbye to the cold and celebrate the arrival of warmer weather here on the Farm! While we often associate eggs with the Easter Bunny, in many cultures eggs symbolize new life and are tied with the coming of spring. At this event, we celebrate spring, new life on the farm, and the bounty of fresh eggs produced by our hens.
Go on the “Egg-cellent” Quest around the farm and learn about the journey from egg to chicken, collecting Easter eggs at each station to complete the Quest! Enjoy homemade refreshments in our Carriage Barn, visit with the calves, and play games in the stone paddock!
Stop by anytime between 10am -12pm to start your Quest. Please bring a basket of your own to collect the Quest eggs. Note: It is only necessary to register for one ticket per family.
For a more comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid!
If you’ve ever thought about wanting to sky dive….if only it weren’t for that whole jumping out of a plane thing, then do I have the perfect place for you!
We made the short trek to Nashua, NH over the weekend and the boys were psyched to give “indoor sky diving” a try.
After a short instructional class to learn correct posture and some important hand signals they suited up with jumpsuits, earplugs, googles, elbow and knee pads, and a helmet. It was right about then that I started to think, “Hmmm. Maybe we should have waited a couple of years.” But….”Fearless” and “Fear Not”….also known as Thatcher and Finn, were good to go.
Their first round in the tube was to try to get the hang out of flying with minimal help from the expert. The second go round was quite a trip…with both boys soaring WAY UP HIGH…tandem style.
Sky Venture also has a pretty awesome wave and surf pool, a rock climbing wall, and a massive spinning fish pipe water slide. I highly recommend the day trip and we’ll be going back for sure!
Just a few of the things that caught my eye while out walking Marlin last night. Including “our beach” and bits and pieces of Bearskin Neck….such as one of the most photographed lanterns on Cape Ann. It was nice to be able to hit the streets again without having to battle colossal snow banks. Bring on Spring!
You’ve all probably heard (or read) me wax poetically about my love for our Cape Ann Youth Hockey coaches. Well, here’s your chance to check it out for yourself. If your child has a 2007 or 2008 birthdate, has the appropriate skating experience (see below) and is interested in playing for CAYH’s Travel Mite Program, register now for Mite Madness! The skaters will participate in a skills session with Gloucester High School players while parents have the chance to hear about what the Travel Mites are all about.
Skate & Information Session
- Roger Grillo, the USA Hockey Regional Manager, will discuss the ADM player development model and have an open discussion with parents and other attendees.
- Pre-Registration is required.
- Players must have participated in CAYH Cross-Ice, In House, or Mite Hybrid in 2014-15 (or an equivalent program) to register. Skaters who have participated in Learn to Skate for at least 2 seasons and who have progressed to the “Learn to Play” sections are also candidates are also candidates for this evaluation. Players must have a valid USA hockey number in order to participate in the on ice skate session.
Dear Future Teachers, Instructors, and Coaches of my Sons,
I’d like to take a minute now to thank you for the hours, energy, and love that you will undoubtedly be giving to my children in the future. I know that it is not always an easy job that you have, but it is one that you accepted, however long ago, because you have the best interest of children, and now my children, at heart. Many of you have simply volunteered…and don’t even get paid…and all of you spend a large portion of your personal time thinking about, worrying about, or being excited about things that have to do with the classes you teach, the lessons you give, or the practices that you run.
I know, no matter how much you love what you do, the down side is that your job will sometimes require that you make difficult decisions. I know that those decisions will sometimes even cause you sleepless nights, a heavy heart, and worry, and pain.
I’d like to tell you now…that it is OK. It is OK to not pick my son.
It is OK to not call on him when his hand in raised as high as possible in class, because you have 20 students and they all want to make you happy by knowing the right answer or sharing their thoughts.
I know that even that one silly decision….who to call on?….can be excruciating…each and every time. I know that you make a mental note…and try to call on them all the same amount each week, but it is still so hard to watch their hands fall disappointedly back into their laps.
It is OK, if my son ends up not being able to carry a tune, that he does not receive a solo in the Spring Concert…no matter how much he wants one. You know what? Even if he can sing, but isn’t one of the best, it is still ok. I know that you’ll find other ways to encourage him and make him feel proud. I know that you’ll let him know how important his role in the chorus is.
It is OK, if my son has trouble finding his inner actor, to not pick him for a leading role. He may be crushed for a minute, but I know that you need to do what is right for the other children and the school play. He’ll understand, because he knows that everyone has strengths. We will encourage him to find another way to shine and tell him how important it is to play that small supporting role. The play couldn’t go on if all characters weren’t cast…no matter how big or small. After all.
I image that my son will enjoy working on science fair projects each spring. But, you know what, when it comes time to pick just 5 projects to send to regionals, it is OK to pick others…and not his. His hard work and the pride that he feels when he presents his experiment should be enough for him. And, it will motivate him all that much more the following year. And, trust me, I know how hard it will be for you to pick just 5. I know that you wish someone else could make those decisions.
I want you to know now that it is OK if his essay is not submitted to the writing contest. Even though I’m sure he’ll try so hard to be chosen and want so desperately to impress you, sometimes you have to just pick one…and inevitably the other children will feel sad. I know, without a second of doubt, however, that you’ll pull him aside and tell him how much you enjoyed his story. You’ll make him want to write again….because writing is fun…even if your story isn’t picked.
It will always be OK if, when some children’s art work gets selected for the art show, his is not. We will shower him with praise, encourage him to create more, and teach him to congratulate his friends for their creativity and their submissions. His art will always have a special place in our home.
It is also OK, no matter how much he tries, to sometimes make the decision to leave him on the bench. I know that you will take time during the season to help him improve, make him feel valuable, and motivate him to dig deeper. And, because you’ve done such a great job, I know that if the team wins, he will know he has won and played a monumental role in the victory. Even if his role wasn’t as obvious in the final minutes of a game.
I want to thank you again, because I know that it sometimes feels impossible. I know that you became a teacher, an instructor, or a coach for so many wonderful reasons. I know that you had giant aspirations to always be “fair.” I’m also guessing that you never imagined how many times each year, session, or season you would feel burdened by decisions that have no “fair” answer.
I hope that you know you have our support and gratitude and the love and respect of my child. Even if you didn’t pick him. Because…even if you didn’t pick him….you chose him. You chose to teach him, encourage him, support him, love him, challenge him, push him, excite him, and inspire him. Your success, loyalty, or impact can not be judged by one, or even several of those difficult decisions. It is based on the many moments, outside of those decisions, that you made sure to make him know that you are there for him.
I think it is important to tell you….not that you don’t already know….that I don’t expect all parents will feel the same way. And…that I am by no means speaking for them. I am simply telling you how I feel.
Thank you in advance for all that you will surely do….and for those difficult decisions you are forced to make.
Not that it feels that way ;(
Thanks to Paul Morrison you may have already heard about this…but it is totally worth repeating!
We have always loved the school plays at O’Maley and I’m confident that this will be no exception!
Sugar Shack Saturdays @ Appleton Farms
Spring is coming and the sap is running! Experience the time-honored tradition of maple sugaring with Sugar Shack Saturdays at Appleton Farms. Spend the morning or afternoon with us and see how we turn sap into sweet syrup. Start by getting creative with some maple themed crafts in the Appleton Old House. Then get outside and explore our very own sugar shack! Learn how we tap our trees every spring, see the evaporator in action, and even taste some of our syrup! We will end back inside with some delicious snacks, including Appleton Farms cheese and a maple treat, while we read a sugaring story!
Morning Session: 10:30AM-12PM
Afternoon Session: 1:30-3PM
Recommended for ages 8 and under but everyone is welcome! Space is limited. Please contact email@example.com or 978.356.5728 x18 for registration.
This is a little less traditional, but I’ve been meaning to let you know about it for quite some time.
A fantastic on-line computer coding site for kids brought to you by MIT
Check out SCRATCH here!
Scratch is a programming language and an online community where children can program and share interactive media such as stories, games, and animation with people from all over the world. As children create with Scratch, they learn to think creatively, work collaboratively, and reason systematically. Scratch is designed and maintained by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab.
For more listings check out our friends at North Shore Kid
Don’t get me wrong. I grew up at the awesome Ground Round in Danvers where you could watch little film strip movies, play games, and chuck peanut shells and popcorn all over the floor. It was fantastic.
Fast forward, however, to now….and to Halibut Point Restaurant.
I love it there. I’m all for a quick meal and a beer sitting at the bar talking with Jack. I’m also not afraid to dive into the basket of peanuts that is inevitably placed directly in front of me. I do, however, while snacking….place my shells in the extremely convenient glass bowl that is ALWAYS strategically placed in close proximity to the peanuts themselves. What I don’t do is channel my inner 7 year old….and chuck the shells all over the floor.
So, that being the case, I was a little surprised to watch someone eating peanuts and throwing the shells with reckless abandon…this way and that…all over the floor last night (that may be a slight exaggeration).
So, I ask you… If and when you happen to dine at Halibut Point…do you use the bowl or do you chuck shells on the floor? Be honest.
So, if you’re on Facebook, you may already have learned this yesterday, but for those of you who aren’t…here’s the good news!
Top Dog of Rockport has expanded their awesome hot dogs and clam menu to include burgers!
Burgers! But sliders! Plain, cheese (Hoffman cheddar), cheese and thin sliced caramelized onions and cheese, pickles,lettuce and tomato. All burgers served on a buttered grilled potato roll. Also we have have the option of a special proprietary Top Dog sauce for the Sliders.
Check out Top Dog’s Famous hot dog menu below to get in the mood for Opening Day (around Mid April) and to wet your appetite until the new menu is released!
There’s something pretty phenomenal about walking down Bearskin Neck and grabbing a hot dog and some chili cheese fries on a summer afternoon and sitting by the water’s edge.
The title of this post should be your warning that if you don’t want to hear me gloat….read no further.
Ok. There. We got rid of them. The rest of you can buckle in for a minute…or two.
Joey likes to tell me that the majority of my posts are about drinking….or things related to drinking. One of Joey’s good friends teased me a couple of weeks ago that all I do is write about sushi and my boys eating sushi. Neither of them are far off, I suppose.
So, today I’m going to write about one of my boys…his amazing hockey team championship (which was cause for a few drinks afterwards)…and I’ll even mention that when asked what he wanted to eat for dinner on Friday to gear up for two giant Championship games…he said “sushi.”
Seriously though. I almost can’t even believe how crazy proud I’ve been of Thatcher this hockey season. He’s worked hard, had some amazing games, and had a bit of a slump. He has scored hat tricks, chased the puck, passed the puck, and done his far share of stopping the puck. He has celebrated his teammates’ successes with minimal showboating and he has accepted constructive criticism humbly.
More importantly than just Thatcher…the entire team has grown, learned, improved, and rallied. Equally as fun…many of the parents have laughed, cheered, and bonded. As a family we’ve made some friends this season that we hope we’ll continue to play and cheer with for many, many years to come.
Thatcher started the Learn to Skate program with Cape Ann Youth Hockey when he was just under 3 1/2 years old. He pushed the milk crate, cried a few times, and was soon off and skating. For three full seasons he then participated in the CAYH Cross Ice Program. He learned skills, met some great friends, and grew to love playing more each year. It didn’t take long at all for us to realize that hockey was to continue being a part of our lives for a long, long time.
During those three years I often joked with friends who were parents of slightly older children. “When do they actually start playing games?” I mean, don’t get me wrong, practices, drills, and mini scrimmages were cute and all, but after 4 full years I was ready to cheer during a full-fledged game.
This year….was that year.
This year’s hockey season started waaaay back in October…and ended yesterday. The team started off slowly with a couple of wins, a tie, and then three losses in a row. And then….something happened. Something clicked. And, forgive me….but, the winning started. This amazing little team of 7 and 8 year-olds started to become somewhat unstoppable. To say that it was fun to watch is an insane understatement. PLEASE don’t get me wrong….losses would have been fun to watch too…and I swear I still would have been crazy proud of that little team…but, to watch their success play out weekend after weekend as they hugged, high-fived, laughed, and celebrated gave me giddy goosebumps. I tear up each and every time I watch Thatcher score. Seriously, each and every time. I’m tough on Thatch…I expect a lot of him when it comes to manners, participation, hard work, politeness…pretty much you name it. That having been said, there is something about watching him skate so effortlessly and observing him be a part of a team….while we sit back and watch from afar that leaves me in awe. It is never lost on me, and forgive me for throwing it out there…but it’s a big part of why I’m ridiculously emotional about him right now…that several doctors recommended that I end my pregnancy with Thatcher. There are quiet moments that happen almost daily when I think, Thank God. This weekend, for whatever reason, I thought that every second that I watched him play. Thank God.
I love what he has gained from playing hockey. I adore the player and the teammate that he has become. I am thankful to all of those within the CAYH organization…especially this year’s coaches.
As the Cape Ann Mite Hybrid team went undefeated from November 16th, all through December, past January, into February, and unbelievably all the way to the end of the season this March, I saw changes in Thatcher that crept up on me and caught me off guard. While I was so eager for him to play those “real” games….I wasn’t prepared for how grown-up he’d seem out there on the ice….not needing me for a second. Like all parents, I’m an integral part of every other single aspect of Thatcher’s life. But hockey…is all him….and his teammates and coaches (one of which happens to be my husband).
So, the regular season wrapped up with Cape Ann in 1st place. With a first round bye, the play-offs only consisted of two make-it-or-break-it games for this little engine that could.
A 6-0 Shutout Win for rockstar goalie Luke Holmes (coined Luuuuuke-There-It-Is) by his teammates…who probably don’t even know that song…solidified the team’s journey to the Championship game yesterday at the Haverhill Valley Forum.
I am by no means a sports reporter so I won’t try to regale you with the details, but let’s just say that the game started with Cape Ann down 0-3 pretty quick into the first period and, wrong or not, dread started to creep into my spine. While we did eventually settle in and start to score, there was never a time during the game…and until maybe the very last minute….that there was any relief.
A final score of 8-7 led to some tears, an explosion of cheers, some tackling of a goalie who had another phenomenal game, and some deep, deep sighs of relief. Would it have been ok if they lost? Of course. Would be still have celebrated a tremendous season? You betcha. But… Am I secretly, almost ashamedly, beyond proud of those little skaters because of their Championship Season? I’d be lying if I said “no”.
I laugh even as I write this…because he’s 7 and it was a Mite Championship…but, I just can’t help myself but to feel so proud. I have taught students who are now playing college sports on scholarship, I have friends whose children are winning State Championships, I even graduated with a classmate whose son plays in the NBA. I rode in two World Series Rolling Rally Parades and stood on the field with all of the members of the winning Red Sox teams game after game. Gosh knows all of their parents felt proud. But yet…right now…while my little champion carries on, I can’t imagine how a parent could ever feel more proud.
Congratulations Cape Ann Mite Hybrids and Valley League Champions! You should all be incredibly, incredibly proud.
Only…I would never use wine. Some Baileys, Amaretto, or Kahlua? Now we’re talking.
Pick #1 Think Spring!
The Boston Flower and Garden Show
The Boston Flower & Garden Show will return to the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston on Wednesday, March 11 through Sunday, March 15, 2015 with the theme “Season of Enchantment”. Our gardens are places of magical metamorphosis. They’re the stage on which Mother Nature reveals her most wow-worthy wonders; where a talented designer can cast a spell over a dull patch transforming it into a colorful and lively oasis. And it’s where a little toil mixed with a few tiny seeds can conjure a breathtaking bounty for our vases and plates.
To make your visit even better, especially with little ones, download the Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s Family Discovery Guide!
You can do that by following the link here: Mass Hort @ the Flower Show
Suessical The Musical!
The Neverland Theatre always does a great job with their performances.
Children’s Museum of New Hampshire
While thinking of indoor venues that I have not mentioned yet and that may not be as well known as typical local weekend excursions, I remembered how much fun we had the two times that we ventured to The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, Dover.
While checking out their website be certain to find the calendar that shows what special events are being offered each weekend.
The youngest Schrafft, 5 year old Finn, finished up his 3rd hockey season the other day. Thatcher’s team is in the play-offs and will finish up, one way or the other, this weekend.
While there will surely end up being some summer sessions or hockey camps in their near future, for now, the early morning wake-up calls are almost over.
I used to wake up at 5:45 to rally the troops and get myself to work and the boys to their respective classrooms, but lately I’ve been pushing it to a bit after 6:00. Try as I may to convince myself to go to bed just once before 11:00 pm, I can’t seem to do so. I love my boys…but, I also cherish my quiet late night hours alone.
So, while school days are always a bit of a whirlwind with a dash of crazy thrown in, when we miraculously get through to Saturday unscathed, the weekend early morning hockey practices usually do me in.
Until recently my husband worked early Saturday morning…which left me to get both boys into their hockey gear bright and early to get to the rink for 8:00 and 9:00 practices. Actually, now on a travel team, Thatcher’s early Saturday practices have turned into earlier Sunday morning games.
While both boys are now experts on getting into their gear…they still need a fire lit under their butts to do so. It wasn’t nearly as pretty for the first few seasons, however. It was always a mad rush…they both needed help with everything….they needed snacks to eat while the other one was on the ice…and even books, matchbox cars, and a bag of tricks to use as hush money to get through back-to-back practices. It was downright ugly for quite a while. Might I mention that I am not…never have been…and never will be…a morning person.
I was laughing the other day when Thatcher reminded me about the “Hockey Dinosaur.”
There must have been many, many consecutive Saturdays, that I teetered on the edge of sanity while trying to get them out the door.
I believe my mantra became something like, “If you think I want to be up at the crack of dawn, you’re wrong, so please just get dressed” or “If you don’t want to get into your gear, and you don’t want to skate, I certainly won’t mind not getting up at the crack of dawn, boys!” or “If you think I got up at the crack of dawn yet again to beg you both to get off the couch and into your gear, you are crazy.” You get the gist. All very proud parenting moments.
So, one day, while I was no doubt stomping around like a mad woman, I heard Thatcher quietly say to Finn, “Mom sure is mad about the crackadon. I don’t even know that type of dinosaur.”
So, for a while, stomping around like a Crackadon became my way of getting them ready for everything…school, hockey, soccer, etc. Somewhere along the way, the Crackadon left us and the boys started to become a bit more self-motivated. I won’t be surprised if however, years from now, a couple of giant crackadons visit my grown-up sons and their future families. And we can all laugh about it again.
Silly us. A friend and I thought that we could share one serving of the Franklin’s unbelievable Seafood Mac & Cheese!
And, while we probably could have, because it is a good size and super rich…it is simply too yummy to share. So, we ordered a second.
For the record, the Sangria wasn’t too bad either.
I stumbled upon this photo the other day from my freshman year of college.
I’m still laughing. Before you ask, that’s me in the orange. Laughing harder.
Keeping in mind that the photo was taken in the early fall of 1989 in Virginia…and that the staggering 9 pair of matching Keds were not mandatory, nor should they be considered a clue…anyone have a guess as to where this group of girls was headed?
I will give you one little hint. It would soon after become impossible to attend the event that we attended ever again. Another hint….while the first hint may sound tragic…it certainly is not. In fact, most of us are a tad bit embarrassed that we went in the first place.
And…still laughing. If you have a guess, please comment. I’ll comment with the answer this evening. I’m sure you’ll all be on the edge of your seats.
Ok, this will be short and sweet, I promise.
But….winter has to officially end now because I.AM.DONE.
Would you like to know what just sent me over the edge?
We live in flip flops for the majority of the spring…certainly the summer…and even a good part of the fall. Which, I am sure you are all onboard enough to realize, equals little to no socks in the laundry!
I hit my threshold this morning. An average week, thanks to normal days, six “hockeys”, a couple of runs, some changes of wardrobe due to stepping in boot puddles by the front or back door, cold feet at night, etc. can easily add up to 40 paris of socks each week. Shoot me.
I actually look forward to the occasional lost sock…because that means I can throw the widowed match away.
I was so proud of myself…what seems like forever ago…just before this ridiculous onslaught of snow began to assault us all. You see, I had just started running again and was on a bit of a roll. I was in a groove, sticking with it, and looking forward to it most afternoons.
And then….the roads became unrunnable.
Or so I thought.
As the snow drifts and mountains began to grow out of control, and the sidewalks became all but nonexistent, I actually started to see other people out running. Yikes. I began to think evidently I am weaker and less disciplined than I thought. Shame on me.
….but then, just when the self-doubt started to grow the size of the insurmountable snow banks, I saw this news clip.
I’ll ride it out just a little bit longer, thank you very much.