Freedom Trail – July 1st

Okay, this isn’t hiking, but… it is well worth the walk! If you have never walked the Freedom Trail in Boston, I highly recommend it! It is s a 2.5-mile-long (4.0 km) path marked with red brick through downtown Boston, that passes by 16 locations significant to the history of the United States – from the Boston Common to the Bunker Hill  Monument in Charlestown.

Along the trail you will find ground markers, graveyards, churches and buildings, and the USS Constitution. Most of the sites are free or suggest donations but the Old South Meeting House, the Old State House, and the Paul Revere House charge admission.

We ended our day with Wicked at the Boston Opera House 😉

Happy trails!

A.

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Summer… where did it go?

So… as usual, it has been forever since the last time I came here and actually posted something… and all of a sudden, summer is over, October is almost over and I posted nothing! Mix of laziness, other things to do and pure ” I don’t feel like it” – no shame in admitting it!

Anyway, we were able to hike a few times (not much), start renovating the kitchen, go on vacation to visit my family in Portugal, so…it was somewhat busy! And we got to enjoy a sunset cruise (back in June) sponsored by the company I work for, and it was pretty cool. It was cold, it was windy, it rained and that made the pictures so much cooler!

 

A.

 

 

Words…

I am a big fan of words… Language is, in my opinion, a beautiful thing! No matter what language(s) you speak, words are magic – they can heal, they can hurt, they can inspire, make you cry, make you laugh… they can tell a story, take you to imaginary places, to places near or far, they can express feelings, opinions… Well, you get my point! That’s why I cringe when I see words being butchered, tortured, murdered right in front of my eyes and ears… and that is why I hate when people use “words” that don’t exist… make up words, short versions of perfectly fine words… now people are always in such a hurry that even words have to be shortened!

“This food is delish” – arrghhh

“This show is my fave” – ahhhhh

“I totes agree with you” – WHAT?

(I won’t even get into text abbreviations… it’s like trying to decipher code)

Anyway… this is just one of the things that really annoys me… Maybe I’ll start writing a weekly post on things that irritate me… What about you? What things do you find annoying?

A.

 

Easter weekend

I grew up in a Catholic family, attended a catholic school during the 4 years of elementary school, went to church, confession, the whole 9 yards, until I was old enough to ask questions and find no answers that satisfied me… So I stopped going to church, I stopped “confessing my sins” to a 3rd party (whatever those were at 10 years old), but that doesn’t mean that I stopped believing. I still have my faith, my believes, they just don’t materialize in the figure of a man who died for us and came back…Anyway, this is not a religious post by any means… Point is, Easter for me was and is just an excuse to get together with family 🙂 (I do miss the fact that in Portugal I had a long weekend, Good Friday is a holiday there).

Did you all enjoy your weekend? Ours was nice and quiet with  gorgeous weather (today was in the 80’s!!! Too bad that in a couple of days it will go back to 40s and 50s… but, that’s Maine for you!) and an attempt to making rag dolls…. This about sums up the weekend 🙂

Happy Easter,

A.

For the love of cats

I am an animal lover! Grew up as a “dog person”, but in my adult life discovered the awesomeness of cats and now I am a proud cat owner.

We currently have 3 cats (Duncan is 5 and has been with us since we adopted him for our local animal shelter when he was a kitten, Arli is 1, also adopted from the animal shelter as a kitten and Momma Cat is 17 and she was my mother-in-law’s) – they are all very different, all have very distinct personalities but they all have a very important characteristic in common “claws”, those sharp little buggers that dig right in your skin….

As much as of a pain in the ass claws can be, they are part of cats. They are much of what makes a cat, a cat… So please, for the love of cats, stop declawing!!! Educate yourself, read, research and see what you are doing to your cat when you decide to amputate him/her – yes, I said it, amputate. This is what happens when you declaw your cat:

what-a-declaw-is

More than removing the claw, you are removing a whole phalanx… If you “declawed” a human, this is what it would look like:

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When you declaw your cat your are taking away his/hers first line of defense, and actually potentially making the cat more aggressive… Without claws, biting will be the next defense of choice! Also, you may be facing a litter box use (or lack of) problem. Litter will hurt on the paws and of course your cat will see the litter box as a painful, unconfortable place, to be avoided… You will also be putting your cat through a lot of pain and at risk of infection.

Declawing is illegal in several countries, but unfortunately there are still too many vets performing this inhumane procedure, so it is very important that people stop seeking it.

Trim your cat’s claws regularly; make scratching areas available – buy some sturdy posts, preferably tall enough for your cat to stretch while scratching, or make your own! If your cat is scratching your furniture, take the time to teach him/her not to do so. It may take a little time, but it is the right thing to do – sprinkle some catnip on the posts once a week, use a loud, firm voice whenever he or she starts to scratch the furniture – cats don’t like loud noises!

To learn more about declawing check out the Paw Project.

Remember, a pet is not a toy! When you bring a pet into your home you are responsible for its well being – take the time to bond, to play, to teach, to love!

Adopt, don’t shop!

A.

Today marks a year since my mother-in-law was suddenly taken from us. It was unexpected, shocking and it still feels like a surreal dream… Lynn Arli Morin was a feisty woman, single mother of 3 boys for most of her life, nature and all creatures lover, fan of sun, shorts and bare feet… We will forever miss her laugh, her words of wisdom, and peculiar and awesome Christmas presents, her 6am calls to sign Happy Birthday…

My 1st encounter with death in a significant way was when I was 10 years old. On September 3, 1990 breast cancer won the battle against my mother and took her away. She had been sick for a while and although a lot of what happened during and after that period is pretty blurry in my mind there are certain moments that are pretty vivid in my head…

It is hard to describe what I felt then… it was a mix of “I don’t understand” with “when am I waking up from this nightmare?”… It was sad, and it hurt but it was actually worse years later when I felt her loss even more. It’s been 27 years and it still hurts, in a different way but it hurts all the same and not a day goes by that I don’t talk to my mom or think of her… I went through a few different phases from denial to anger, from sadness to self-pity, from anger again to acceptance (there was really nothing I could do about it). Today I look back and think of it as an inevitable part of life (but one that I had to experience too early), today I’m not mad at god anymore, I still don’t understand it, but I know I wouldn’t be the person that I am if I didn’t go through it…

My mother was a beautiful, calm, reserved human being that loved to sing, that used to sit on the left side of the couch and crochet… My brother has a lot of her traits (singing abilities included), me not so much… I have, from what people tell me, her looks… I can’t really see it, but I like to think that they are right.

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(This is my mother… sometime in the late 60’s, early 70’s)

No matter how old you are, if you are lucky to still have your parents around…cherish them! Call them more, visit them more, tell them you love them more!

Boston

Last month we had to go to Boston, so we decided to stay for the weekend, why not? Boston is one of my favorite cities, 1h30m by train from here (yes, we are big fans of traveling by train if you haven’t noticed it yet 🙂 ) and full of stuff to do and see. A big city that, to me, has the charm of a smaller city, a mix of old and new that I love.

Cabaret was touring so it was a great opportunity to see another musical and, boy, was it worth every penny!! (Again, good seats are the way to go!) The cast was amazing and even though the stage/props and costumes weren’t as glamorous and intricate as Phantom of the Opera, this was another amazing show and the Boston Opera House is a beautiful venue! Worth going if you have a chance! Saturday night we went to see Lewis Black and that was hilarious! I will not get political here, but let’s just say that Mr. Black is not a fan of Trump and that the people next to me didn’t think that his material was as funny as I did…

We stayed at the Boston Park Plaza. A nice hotel with an awesome location where we had stayed before, but this time the experience was not so great… Unfortunately, there was a high school thing going on so the noise, slamming doors and kids running around and screaming ’til the wee hours was ridiculous and the way the hotel handled it (or didn’t handle it) makes me have mixed feelings about going back/recommending the place…

Contrary to any trip, I didn’t take pictures 😦 The weather was really crappy and between the rain and the bitter cold, having to take off my gloves was not an option 😉 We need to go back in the Spring to finally walk the Freedom Trail, so when that happens I promise there will be pictures galore!

Happy trails,

A.