Martha Thinks

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ladies Who Brunch

Well, the Lord works in mysterious ways. Hmmm. How could he have possibly known that at this very moment in time, this very instant in my life, I would need a great, uplifting surprise. Well because he worked through my friends, that's why! Today I had a surprise brunch thrown for me by my friend Pam. Ah, so tricky, she. Since we all turn 50 this year I thought we were going out to brunch for her birthday. She turned the whole thing around, planned a party for me so when I walked in and saw a table full of friends, I was jaw-droppingly speechless.
Back in the day of the Del Fuegos, 100 person house parties, a different concert every night and eating whatever food the gals brought home from their second jobs in catering companies; we lived together. The apartment was on the second floor and was a revolving door of boyfriends, gal pals and never-ending stories from the night before. We came and went and came and went from job to job and yet there was always a friendly face at the end of the day (or crack of dawn) to share company and a friendly ear.
9 ladies and a guy! Thank you Patty, Kathy, Jane, Donna, Lisa, Pam, Lorraine, Linda and Paul for a wonderful birthday celebration. It is only through the photographs and stories that we can even believe how many years we have all known each other. You have been the salt and pepper to my stew, the sugar in my cookie batter. Here's to many more stories that make us laugh until we cry.
A picture perfect day on the Boston waterfront.
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Sunday, August 29, 2010

mommy's shoes

Not sure when he'll outgrow this, but I find it completely endearing that whatever shoes I leave under the computer that we share; he finds a way to snuggle on his feet.
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And Away We Go...

Pack it up, move it on out! We are headed to the Great State of Maine for our 13th annual week in Kennebunkport. 3 cars, 5 kids, 4 adults, beach chairs, coolers, towels, sheets, blender, popcorn popper, sun screen, shampoo, you get the idea!
This year Rich's sister, Jill her husband Ric and two kids, Kyle and Devin joined us. Jill helps load the groceries into the ahead of time for 10 people was a bit of a chore, but easier than running out all week for odds and ends.
First night s'mores. What's better, I ask you?
We rented a house big enough for us all and then some. Plenty of corners in this wonderful place to retreat with a good book, and big tables for family meals and games.
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Aunt Jill, cousin Kyle and Carter enjoying a light moment over pancakes.
And we all jumped right in to the fabulosity of Maine lobster, steamers and corn. A great family reunion.
As the weather started to gray, there were building competitions...
and walks on the beach. We figured the bad weather wouldn't last too long. Hah. Make plans and God laughs.
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It reminded me of my all-time favorite children's video, "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day". and the rain
and once it did, it did not stop for 4 days. All summer, nary a drop. Our vacation week, a good old-fashioned Nor'Easter barreling it's way up the Maine coast. The older boys trying to stay dry. Hard to amuse teenagers in the rain.
So off we went to eat at the York Beach classic, The Goldenrod, the stalwart of York Beach.
And so happy was I to see the taffy-making machines whirring away giving us something to look at. My friend thought perhaps I was making up a story that the process is totally mesmerizing; the rolling of the taffy, the removal of the taffy, the insertion of the taffy in the roller machine which goes from wide to narrow pushing the little one-inch pieces of taffy down to be cut off and wrapped up in a piece of paper - getting neatly dumped in a bin.
But after 20 minutes or so she had to agree with me. It was a wonderful and fun way for the kids to spend some time on this blustery afternoon.
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Wet, soggy, 4 days worth of rain. Damp upon damp. What do to?
To the arcades we went! Skee-ball anyone?

A wet and lonely boardwalk. The kind of sideways rain that makes your umbrella blow inside out!
As George Costanza said: "The sea was angry that day, my friends." A pounding surf, indeed. A little thrilling, actually.
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And then on Thursday, something I thought I recognized as the sun. We had some excitement when Taylor Swift was in Kennebunkport to premiere her video "Mine" to the local crowd. All the trucks and catering tents and guys in black led us to believe something very exciting was going on!

She filmed it at various spots around Cape Porpoise and Kennebunkport, Maine. It was shown live on CMT (Country Music Television) and she was right here on the magnificent grounds of St. Ann's Episcopal Church on Ocean Ave. in K'port. If you are ever in the area, don't miss paying a visit. Picnickers welcome.
Back to the beach for some, well, Cheez-its and lemonade. Doesn't the background look fake?
My friend Cindy and I took in a tour of The Wedding Cake House. Beautiful gothic spires and cutwork trim show off this fancy showplace. The house has only been open for a tour one other time in the past 20 years so it was fun to get to take a peek inside.
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the closest thing to heaven

the great state of Maine.
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Best purchase this summer!

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I waited and was patient. I knew what I wanted. I knew what I could spend. I trolled the "outdoor furniture" section of craigslist for a month. So many nice things that 'could' work, but not perfect. And then, voila, there it was. Fulfilling everything on my wish list. Around $100, white wrought iron, armless chairs and small enough so that it didn't gobble up all the room on the deck.

It has turned into the breakfast, lunch and dinner spot, leaving the big table on the deck out back feeling like the girl who wasn't asked to the dance. It's just that this cute little table is right outside the kitchen and the table out back (yes we are spoiled and yes I love outdoor spaces) under the pergola is down 4 steps and well, we're lazy.

Thursday in the Park with...

"We haven't crossed the swan boats off of our summer list yet", I announced this morning. So around noon off we went to check out the Boston Public Gardens. $2.75 for adults, $1.75 for kids, it is the best bargain in this wonderful city.

We came across a performance artist who was still as a statue until someone put a dollar in her jar, then she blew them kisses.

These girls were just getting up from a picnic on the lawn. Green hair, Hello Kitty handbag, adorable dress. I want it all. This is what I think I really look like, well in my mind's eye anyway. My 50th birthday is coming up. THIS point I think I have permission to do whatever the heck I want so perhaps there will be a funky hair color or flouncy dress in store...

We ate lunch at the Lily Pond Cafe right across from the Frog Pond. Well done, Boston. I haven't been to this area in a while and it is perfect in every way. The pond offers children a wonderful spray fountain to run around under. There are restrooms and places to change out of swimmies. The food is affordable and the little tables and planters are so very Paris. If the goal was to have a respite in the middle of the city, mission accomplished. I felt like I was going to trip right over Gisele and baby Benjamin.
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No humidity for the first day in 3 months. A picture perfect day. I may have bored my children with stories of "how mom used to walk this path every day when she worked nearby in her roaring 20's" but they acted interested at least! It is the most wonderful and restful place. People seem happy in this beautiful, enchanted garden that seems stopped in time. It is not hard to imagine women pushing baby buggies 100 years ago enjoying the same shady paths.

The artistry of the gardeners is not lost on me. What a joy, such expression, such pride in work. Exquisite beauty and arrangement of color around every corner. Note to self for next year...try this! Awesome!

Ronan and Carter on the Boston Public Garden bridge. It's been fun spending time with these boys this summer.

With the weeping willows watching over, a swan awaits the next ride.
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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cube Me!

Oh boy, this is a dream come true for a certain 16 year old in my house. The Rubik's Cube National Championships held this weekend at MIT. For the past 3 years he has had a large obsession with the "cube". He learned how to solve the 3x3 by watching a youtube video one second at a time over and over again until he could do it - and do it quickly. He soon moved on to the 4x4 and had been given vast array of all things Rubik every Christmas.

We brought him both Saturday and Sunday. The auditorium was hushed and cool and relaxing. No one ever spoke loudly. No one shouted or yelled or cheered. All that could be heard was the quiet click-twist-click-twist motion of both the competitors and the audience members who kept their hands in motion with their own cubes. The "rounds" were subdued and a quiet call was made for each group to begin.
It was oddly meditative. I kept checking on Carter thinking..."you like this?"..."ok, you love this!" Such a grin on his face. The holy grail for Rubik's fans aficionados. There were many categories of competitions...pyraminx, 3x3, 4x4, 5x5, 6x6, 7x7, blindfolded and one-handed. Is it wrong to admit I brought my book and read for a while? No one cared. The focus was entirely on the stage.
This was in the lobby. This is what a $1,000 worth of Rubix Cubes look like. Some of the kids were in middle school or younger and they had their collections spread out and just spun the colors to their hearts' content. There were vendors selling the big daddy cubes and "Lubix Cube"...something to make it spin faster. The host told the audience at one point that they were going to try to move things along on Sunday afternoon because "people had planes to catch". Of course they did ; )

This was a National Championship after all. An auditorium full of folks a lot smarter than me! But not better, right? Got some good mom points today. Lucky for us, we were just a short ride from home.
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