Thursday, April 29, 2010

What I did on my Spring Vacation

I don't like to have time on my hands.

Last week was the April School vacation and I worked with the surrounding stones to remodel the bench area dedicated to long time Cedar Point resident Joan Francis. Weeds and hard pan had replaced a purple stone surrounding the bench and I dug it out over the course of four days, replacing it with beach stone and pieces of granite thrown up into the yard over the winter. Two pictures below tell the story.
















A chorus of thanks was sent out last week to the Scituate Fire Department who came over on Wednesday and resolved my ongoing battle with the line on the Tower Flag pole. Using their ladder truck the SFD took a new line up and Julie got this amazing shot as the fireman worked his magic. Yes, that is a slice of the moon over his left shoulder. Haley shot some video on this but I need to edit it before posting. Check back soon for that link.





Two new gardens were installed as the week came to a close. Using a kit from Home Depot I assembled a four by four square in the small courtyard on the ocean side of the kitchen. Julie and Haley picked out some annuals and we added some color to the side of the house that was punished most by the rocks and sea all winter. I also spruced up the perennials on that side with some coreopsis, some hosta, some seedum, and purple sage. On Saturday my sister Lee arrived with a black compost that we used to dress up that perennial garden, the vegetable garden and at the same time creating new bed along side the runway on the harbor side in which I will be trying to grow some sunflowers.















I have this image in my mind of the buoys mixing with these sunflowers to create a new backdrop for our many brides. Seeds for some foxglove, some lupine, and a border sea grass went into the bed under the kitchen window. A climbing rose bush was installed next to the yard arm holding the blue and white Lighthouse sign.

The last chore of the week was to paint the message board. Time and weather had combined to wash out the white border and had yellowed the back to the color of a sorry pumpkin. The trim and the back got a coat of gray stain. The board looks cared for again and is ready to help us tell the story out here. I am researching some lighthouse poems and songs to share and the possibility of a digital photo frame to hold the many images the Society has that capture the evolution of this nearly two hundred year old landmark.

All in all a full and productive week. I lost about 7 pounds, still managed to correct a bunch of papers, watch the Celtics and Red Sox, and never threw out my old back. Our friends Marianne Bullock and Sean McLaughlin visited. I cut the lawn twice. The next vacation is August.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Upgrade


Now you can pin it up!

Thanks are owed to Marshfield teachers Tom Greland and Patti Ryan along with several Marshfield High School students who took an idea of mine and improved upon it tenfold. The idea was to add two cork bulletin boards alongside the glassed in presentation board added last spring. I approached Tom and Patti asking if a cork board could be cut cleanly in their shop; they took the idea and wrapped the beautiful frames you see around the boards. Students chipped in with the stain and sealant coats. John Coscia (faithful brother in law) gave me a hand installing them and we were good to go. John is also going to help out with a rotted board along side a runway window. He is the Master of the Measuring Tape and the Sultan of the Sawsall.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The End of the Stone Age


Whoooh - the sound of relief at last.

The rocks are back on the beach - the stone age is over and families are strolling around the Tower again at ease. Pete Spencer was the low bidder on the job of removing the stone and returning them to the ocean side beach and his crew did an amazing job. They also reset the big pieces of granite that guard the walk way. It is an impressive sight to see. Last Monday Dave Ball and I sat before the Conservation Commission and we given the permissions needed to do the work. With the weather as rainy as it has been until yesterday Pete must have been happy to work someplace that wasn't bogged down in mud. Stone was also pulled away from the runway revealing the foundation for the first time in anyone's memory. There is a small amount of rot revealed as well but nothing that can't be addressed. I am going to use the spot for a garden of some sort - I had hoped to put some flowers over there anyway and now have that much more room and reason to do so. I have this image of a bunch of sun flowers along side the Tower. Another job for April Vacation I guess.



Julie was in a conversation with some neighbors and they shared that their friend, and a regular long distance reader of this blog, has just published a book on hang gliding. Mrs. Doris Tilden was a long time Greenfield Road resident and has transplanted to Hawaii and one of the pleasure of sitting down to write here is that I have heard from her so often. I will be requesting this book on my Kindle and will post the link to it when I find it. And here it is.

I make mistakes here all the time and I have a big one to confess. The line for the flag on the Tower broke in January and I have recounted how I hooked it down and secured it. Yesterday, attempting to run a new rope up, I let go of the splice I had made and bit by bit the rope crept up the Tower. I ran. Taking stairs two at a time I attempted to get to the line from the Lantern room before it ran up to the top. I am sorry to report I did not make it up there in time. Julie reported that as she saw the flag coming down she thought, "Oh that poor man." The Fire Department will have to be called in with their ladder truck to rerope the Tower. I believe I have given this problem more thought than I ever should have. Its like a virus when I get hooked on one of these projects. Success is the only aspirin.

Gardens are beginning and the perennials are peeking through. Seedum, Hydrangea, Hosta, Sage, all are showing some color. I need to check on a gift of some Black Eyed Susans that I placed on the ocean side by the kitchen. I have seeds for Fox Glove and Lupine to put in over there as well. For Julie's vegetable garden I am promised a bunch of tomatoes my sister has started and I got seeds for beans, eggplant, squash, and cucumbers. I turned that spot over yesterday and it is looking very good. At a yard sale today I picked up a pitch fork to help meet the challenge. I do love to get out and watch stuff grow.

We have yet another media blitz to share - this week it is the family newspaper called Kidding Around that will feature our cheery mugs. We were visited by Karen Doyle who could not have been more gracious and I have seen the pictures by the great Jack Foley. You will want to go looking for this article just to see my happy kid.

In a final note before I add in one last picture, the blue and white Lighthouse sign has been restored to its place. It has been a brutal winter for it in the winds of Cedar Point and it carries a few scars as a result. The last storm knocked all four finials off it and carved a stripe in one long board from the chains used to hang it. With the help and guidance of the wonderful gentlemen who man Satuit Hardware I have placed two long bolts in the top with connecting nuts two inches down into the sign. Using turnbuckles I have connected those bolts with the eye hooks in the yard arm and so far so good. I can't fly the flag just now, but the sign is up.