Tag Archives: Rockport

LIVE MAVIS STAPLES and the FABULOUS RICK HOLMSTROM BAND at the Shalin Liu

Rockin steady in Rockport with Mavis Staples and her fabulously talented backup trio, the Rick Holmstrom Band.

 

Live Mavis Staples Rockin Rockport at the Shalin Liu with fabulous LA trio Rick Holmstrom Band!

A video posted by Kim Smith (@kimsmithdesigns) on

 

This was a show not to be missed and according to several of the production team members, was one of the best they’ve ever produced at the Shalin Liu. I couldn’t agree more! Rick Holmstrom on guitar, Jeff Turmes, on bass, and Stephen Hodges on drums. Bring back Mavis and the Rick Holmstrom Band-an extraordinary group of talented musicians.

 

 

You can see Mavis, along with her father Pop Staples and siblings, the Staple Singers, come in at around one minute. The song was included in the film The Last Waltz (directed by Martin Scorsese), a documentary about The Band’s last concert. 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Plow Me In!

a9645_007wmMain Street, Rockport, circa 1898. Poole’s Drug Store is on the left, and Rockport’s first school house, circa 1790, is on the right. The team of horses in the background is most likely a wooden wedge-plow or a weighted wooden platform to compress the snow.

Blizzard Valentine’s Dinner

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 As the blizzard started, we walked over to the Emerson Inn for a s
pecial dinner (it’s always special there). I had the pan seared scallops with lentils and wine sauce. It was delicious, but because of what chemo has done to my taste buds, I ate sparingly. The leftovers will make great omelettes at home. It was nice to dress up. The place is not as formal as my outfit indicates.

Janet, my Valentine: She had the Rack of Lamb, rubbed with brown sugar and dijon mustard, served with a Port Wine reduction. She cleaned the plate with a simile on her face. Leftovers: 4 bare lamb bones.

 http://www.emersoninnbythesea.com/

One Last Snow Photo

Photo out my window. There are three cars out there but I can only spot one car antenna. Must be the truck.

Photo out my window. There are three cars out there but I can only spot one car antenna. Must be the truck.

OK, one more, and yes I know about ice dams. Maybe I can sneak my hand out there and turn the grill on high. That might do it.

OK, one more, and yes I know about ice dams. Maybe I can sneak my hand out there and turn the grill on high. That might do it.

Before you know it the planet wobbles the other way and it is 4th of July in Rockport and Rubber Duck is getting soft in the heat from the leftover bonfire.

Before you know it the planet wobbles the other way and it is 4th of July in Rockport and Rubber Duck is getting soft in the heat from the leftover bonfire.

Drifting

SnowDrift5582wmYesterday (2/10/15) after the snow ended, I asked the Pigeon Cove shovelers if they’d seen any drifts as big as ours. No, they thought the drift in front of the garage was the worst. Fortunately, no path or walkway goes thru it. Again, they dug us out and now we have each other’s phone numbers and emails. Heike called to ask if I needed my gallery shoveled out, but I didn’t know the condition of the sidewalk. She works down the street.

 

Pigeon Cove Shovelers

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I physically can’t shovel snow and Janet had shoveler’s fatigue. This morning, I saw three people walking up the street, all carrying shovels. We asked if they were looking for work, and they started clearing our driveway and walkways. These were, in fact, our neighbors Eva Maria (L), Heike (mother of these kids), and Levin (R). They did an outstanding job, speak German (their native language), and I asked them to come back after the next snow storm.

When FRIENDS Have Babies

What do so many of us have in common?  Surely not all of us….but, many of us?

I’m guessing that, like me, many of you spent 30 minutes each week for 10 solid years hanging out with friends.   And, by “friends”, I really mean FRIENDS….as in the television show.

From September 22, 1994 to May 6, 2004 I tuned in for 30 minutes of serious bonding with Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Ross, Chandler, and Joey.  Good times.

Say what you will, but I’m not going to lie, I think we should all consider ourselves lucky if we are able to say that we have friendships in our lives as strong as theirs.   And, yes, I do realize that they were merely television actors…

But, fresh out of college when we first “met” I loved getting to know them.  I loved watching their ups and downs…while laughing, crying, wishing, hoping, wanting, wondering…you name it.  We should all have a “Chandler” or a “Rachel” or a “Ross” or a “Phoebe” that we treasure in our lives.

So, if…like me…you were tuning in during that decade, you may remember when Ross and Rachel had a baby.  An adorable little baby girl named Emma.  But…did you know that Emma was played by not one but two adorable little girls named Cali and Noelle.   AND….that Callie and Noelle have all sorts of Cape Ann roots.

They are the stunning, funny, generous, smart, talented, kind, and polite 13 year old daughters of Geoff Sheldon and Gretchen Carpenter.  While they now live out in California, Geoff hails from Rockport.  And nothing beats 4th of July week when they all usually make their pilgrimage home!

My own warm fuzzies about Geoff began the night I was introduced to him and my future husband on Christmas Eve back in 1998.  Ironically, smack in the middle of the FRIENDS years.  Little did I know when I met Geoff that night that I’d marry the guy he was out celebrating Christmas with….and that he and his beautiful wife would later boast to sharing custody of their daughters with Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer. Well, you know, kind of.  And then there’s “Aunt Heather”.  When Heather isn’t out being amazing on horseback….she can be found in all of her gorgeous glory making Halibut Point Restaurant and even better place to be!

So, how fun to read this article yesterday!

This is What Baby Emma Looks Like Now

Photo Courtesy of Reddit

Photo Courtesy of Reddit

Also pretty cool is…

The twins made #11 of this Hollywood List:

Top 20 TV Baby Births of All Time

 

 

What to Feed the Robins

American Robin in the Snow ©Kim Smith 2014The robins in our community have several different habits for surviving winter. There are year round resident robins that breed throughout Cape Ann during warmer months and also spend the winter here.  A second group only breeds in our region, then migrates further south during the winter months. A third group, the robins that we see flocking to our shores beginning round about January 28th, are migrating from parts further north. They are very hungrand are looking for berries, fruit, and small fish.

In early spring, robins begin to disperse from flocks. The ground thaws and worms, insects, and snails once again become part of the robin’s diet. Spring, too, is when we begin to hear the beautiful liquid notes of the male robin. He is singing to attract a mate. The robin’s song is one of the of most beloved and it is his music with which we associate the coming of spring.

With several edits and updates since I first wrote the following article, I think you’ll find the information helpful in knowing what to feed and to plant for the robins.

American Robin Sumac ©Kim Smith 2014Flock of American Robins Eating Sumac, Halibut Point Rockport

Food for the American Robin

During the winter months Cape Ann often becomes home to large flocks of robins, and we have had the joy of hosting numerous numbers in our garden. I can’t help but notice their arrival. Their shadows descend, crisscrossing the window light, followed by a wild rumpus in the ‘Dragon Lady’ hollies. This pair of hollies is planted on opposing sides of the garden path, alongside my home office. I have learned to stealthily sneak up to a window, as any sudden activity inside startles birds that are investigating our garden, and they quickly disperse. Dining not only on berries of the ‘Dragon Ladies’, but also the ‘Blue Princess’ Meserve holly and winterberry bushes, I find dozens of noisy, hungry robins.

These winter nomads flock to trees and shrubs that hold their fruit through January and February, feasting on red cedar, American holly, Meserve hollies, chokecherries, crabapples, sumac, and juniper. Robins traveling along the shores of Cape Ann also comb the shoreline for mollusks, and go belly-deep for fish fry. Depleting their food supply, they move onto the next location. Gardens rife with fruiting shrubs and trees make an ideal destination for our migrating friends.

Year round resident robins will call your garden home when provided with trays of chopped fruit and raisins, supplemented with meal worms.

What to Plant for Robins

The garden designed to attract nesting pairs of summer resident robins, as well as flocks of winter travelers, would be comprised of trees and shrubs for nest building, plants that bear fruit and berries that are edible during the summer and fall, and plants that bear fruits that persist through the winter months. Suburban gardens and agricultural areas provide the ideal habitat, with open fields and lawns for foraging insects as well as trees and hedgerows in which to build their nests.

The following plants, suggested with robins in mind, will also attract legions of songbirds and Lepidoptera. The list is comprised primarily of indigenous species with a few non-native, but not invasive, plants included.

Trees for nesting ~ American Holly (Ilex opaca), Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana), Red Maple (Acer rubrum), Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum), Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida).

Summer and autumn fruit bearing trees, shrubs and vines for robins ~ Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), Blackberry (Rubus spp.), Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida), Gray Dogwood (C. racemosa), Red-osier Dogwood (C. sericea), Silky Dogwood (C. amomum), Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis), Apple (Malus pumila), Virginia Rose (Rosa virginiana), Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), Lowbush Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium), Wild Grape (Vitis spp.).

Trees and shrubs with fruits persisting through winter ~ Winterberry (Ilex verticillata), Mountain Ash (Sorbus americana), Crabapple (Malus spp.)Sargent’s Crabapple (Malus sargentii), American Holly (Ilex opaca), Meserve Hollies (Ilex meserveae), Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana), Common Juniper (Juniperus communis), Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra), Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina).

American Robin winter crabapple turdus migratorius, americanus ©kim Smith 2015American Robin Eating Crabapples

I Love Sumac

Worms!

The American Robin and Bird Food

Blizzard Blast: Old Garden Beach, Rockport

Brrrrrrrr.  Here’s some video footage from Old Garden Beach in Rockport along with some pics of the homes nearby. With a break in the snow and the plows slowing down, I ventured to the end of my street.  It is a short walk, but a coooold one today.  Mind you, it was not high tide, so the worst of it is yet to come.

The frozen salt water is beautiful albeit a menace to the ocean front homes. The price you pay, I guess.

Wonky

Kind of a wonky blizzard here in Rockport.

Freezing and SUPER WINDY, but not actually tons of snow….yet.

Our front deck is completely clean…as are our cars.  The snow in the front yard is accumulating in drifts and the snow in the back yard it 1/2 way up the fence so far.  Likewise, it is starting to devour the swing set.

We still have power and cable/internet….but yet the wind is louder than I’ve heard in a while!

Let’s hope the new construction on that breakwater holds!

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Looking Up

I am in love with this building.  From the inside and out.  For so many reasons.

If you haven’t seen a performance at the Shalin Liu, you really need to.

I snapped these quick shots while out for a run the other afternoon.  While my knowledge of architecture is very limited, my fascination for lines, angles, and the nuances of it all is pretty significant.  Little parts of the whole have always been of interest to me, I guess.

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Winter Storm Iola

SnowRkptWM5500 We had a beautiful snowfall in the afternoon, then a rainy-icey mess, and finally heavy snow for a short time. The total accumulation was 3 to 4 inches. Needless to say, I did not venture out into my first snowstorm since being released from medical facilities. The upside is that I can’t shovel or drive (yet).

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