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lizziebelle: (sherlock)
I went out last night with some girlfriends, for the first time in ages. I really should do that more often. My typical Saturday night is spent in front of the telly or with my nose in a book.

We started out at the Rail Trail Flatbread Pizza place, which I hadn't been to yet. It's a popular spot, and is credited with beginning the revival of downtown Hudson. We ended up not getting pizza, but instead nibbled on appetizers and sipped lovely craft cocktails and cider. There was much giggling, and two of our lot explaining how to brew hard cider at home to the waitress was very entertaining. I'm pretty sure she's going to give it a try.

We then crossed the street to New City Microcreamery, which is owned by the Rail Trail folks. Instead of getting in line for ice cream, however, we headed to the back and flicked on a light switch by a door. A little door in the wall popped open, a man asked us how many, and then closed again. Then the door opened and we were ushered in, past a black velvet curtain, to an authentic-looking speakeasy. Lots of dark wood, low lighting, and U-shaped booths lined the long, narrow place. We ordered more apps and craft cocktails, and enjoyed the ambiance. I had a frozen grasshopper, half dessert and half cocktail. All delicious.

Untitled

They made it like New City makes their ice cream: with liquid nitrogen. While waiting for the restroom, I watched the bartender make another frozen drink in the KitchenAid mixer; fog billowed out of the bowl while the mixer whirled. It was really cool, both literally and figuratively. Next time, I want to try the frozen Old Fashioned.

Next Saturday, I'm planning to go into Boston for the Women's March. D.C. is not doable for me, but a bunch of local friends are planning to go, so we'll all take the train in together. I want there to be a huge turnout, everywhere there is a March happening. This is historic. We can't let the Nazis get away with it. Yes, IMO it's that dire. The stuff that the GOP is pulling is positively fascist. I cannot understand how anyone could vote for any of them. I truly fear the ending of our Union as we know it.

Before the revolution, however, I'm really looking forward to the season finale of Sherlock. OMG this season has been intense! I will likely go see it again in the theatre this week. Such an amazing show.

How was your weekend?
lizziebelle: (ganesha)
Last weekend was my family reunion. It's always good to see everyone, and this year we had quite a few of the cousins (my generation) attending so we managed to corral all of us and get some pictures.

image

There are (I think) 23 of us, so having 15 all in one place is pretty good.

Actually, one of the folks in the pic is a cousin from Germany, who was visiting with his daughter. So make that 14. Still a pretty good showing.

It was nice to meet Hannes, our German cousin. His mother and mine are first cousins. I'm not sure what that makes us; second cousins? I can never keep that straight.

Back at work on Monday, we had two days of sales meetings. Fortunately, my team didn't have to attend all the modules. It's hard for me to sit through long meetings. I need to get up and stretch, and walk around once in a while! We were supposed to all go to Dairy Queen again, but it was rather gloomy outside so they brought in ice cream & toppings, and we did make-your-own sundaes. That was fun. It was my birthday that day (Tuesday), and one of my coworkers spilled the beans so they all sang to me. That was fun, if slightly embarrassing.

After work, I met a friend at her now former house so she could give me an extra TV they had, since mine had bit the dust a while ago (all I've had to watch since then is a 13" old-fashioned tube set). Well, the darned thing is HUGE, and it was an effort for both of us to get it into the car. There it stayed until today, when my landlord dropped by (for another reason) and nicely helped me carry it upstairs, and waited while I cleared off the bookcase where we put it. Whew. I had to do some rearranging, but I think I've found a good arrangement.

I had to go to Target to pick up an HDMI cable, and after I attached all the cords I turned it on. Great picture, but no sound! That was frustrating. I called the electronics department at Target, but the guy there was little help. So I looked at the back of the cable box, and noticed there was an audio out jack (actually, a pair of them) which matched jacks on the TV. Aha! I think. So I went back to Target (it's only 5 minutes away) and bought an audio cable. It took a couple of tries in different jacks on the back of the TV (there are so many of them!), but now I have sound! And HD picture! And the thing really is huge, I think it's 40". So now I have a bigass television, and I'm watching the opening ceremonies from Rio on demand. Nice. I don't have a remote or a manual, but hey, it was free. I really can't complain.

An aside: why do the Olympic opening ceremonies have to be so weird? Who started that trend?

Last night, I got together with friends for a nice cookout-and-cocktails evening, complete with cupcakes for my birthday.

Untitled

My friends are awesome. But they made me take home the leftover cupcakes. I had one for breakfast, because I could.

Oh, and the other night we had a smoke alarm malfunction in the house. Fun times.

So it's been quite the week. I hope I have the spoons for tomorrow's Lammas Faire, which is here in Hudson now.
lizziebelle: (artsy me)
Sorry I haven't been posting much lately, but I have been reading all your posts!

Still not really spring (we had snow again last Monday). Mom was back in the hospital this week, this time with pneumonia, and now she's at a rehab center to make sure she's well enough to go home.

I went to a wedding last weekend, for two awesome friends who deserve all the happiness. That was fun, and it was good to see folks.

Yesterday, I went to Springfield with [livejournal.com profile] sea_dark_wine, [livejournal.com profile] justjanus, and [livejournal.com profile] leenah to check out The Student Prince restaurant. Their specialty is German food, and it was very good. I had spatzle, which had a cheesy sauce and crispy fried onions on top. My mom used to make spatzle with caramelized onions. Everyone's entrees were delicious. I lived near Springfield for ten years and had never been there, mainly because I didn't have the money for frivolous things like dinner out. Hopefully I can go back and try some other things!

After stuffing ourselves, we walked up to the museum quadrangle and admired the Dr. Seuss sculpture garden, and found this awesome metal sculpture of a dragon:

Untitled

It's made with all sorts of random metal objects like flatware, saws, garden fencing, wrenches, and the like. It was fun to identify various things, and it's a very cool sculpture.

We opted not to go into the museums, feeling more like we needed a nap at that point. But it was fun to go there, and it was good to see friends and get out of the house.

Of course, that used up all my ambition for the weekend, and I haven't gone out at all today. It was a good day to catch up on reading.

How was your weekend?
lizziebelle: (artsy me)
Last weekend, it was so bitterly cold that I didn't leave the house at all. This weekend, it was so nice outside I couldn't wait to get out. Friends were feeling similarly, and a bunch of us got together last night to celebrate the fact that the weather hadn't trapped us in our homes for a change. It felt great to be out, and seeing people in the flesh instead of in pixels.

I went for a walk along the river yesterday, where most of the ice has melted.

DSCN8566

more pix )

I wasn't able to capture the cardinals or the chickadees this time. But it was nice to see them; last weekend, which was the Great Bird Count, I hardly saw any birds at all because it was so cold. I'm sure they're as anxious for spring as I am.
lizziebelle: (Captain Jack)
A couple of friends treated me to a day out at King Richard's Faire yesterday. I truly have the most awesome friends! It was a gorgeous October day, and I hadn't been there in years, so I was ready for a fun time. It didn't disappoint!

My favorite act was the bagpipe group, who also had a belly dancer performing with them. Seems an odd combination, but it worked. They were great.



Of course I had to go see the big cat show, even though it was terribly cheesy. Big kitties!



Also, big kitty cubs!



The range and extent of costumes was astounding.



We met other friends there, and had a lovely surprise when they announced their engagement! They'd met at the faire a few years ago, so it was the perfect place to pop the question. One of my friends alerted the queen, and she came over and made a pronouncement congratulating the happy couple. It was great fun.

On the way home, we stopped at a cranberry bog we'd seen being harvested on the way there. It was just after sunset, and the sky was gorgeous.



It was the perfect end to a fabulous day.

Witch City

Sep. 15th, 2014 03:28 pm
lizziebelle: (crow)


Some friends from out of state were in the area over the weekend, and proposed a meet-up in Salem yesterday for the local folks. I'm always up for a trip to Salem; I love the historic architecture and the old seaport vibe. I'm not as keen on the commercialization of the witchcraft angle, surprisingly enough; I find it tacky and distasteful considering the history there. That a place known for killing people for witchcraft would attract modern-day witches is just baffling to me.

Anyhoo, a bunch of us met up at Victoria Station on the wharf and had a nice lunch, then set off to explore. I found people I knew in two different magick shops, which is not at all surprising. We had to take a picture in front of Bunghole Liquors. We wandered to the arts alley and saw a ho-hum exhibit of steampunk art. We went into a tattoo studio/art gallery that had a Doctor Who exhibit, which was fun. We wandered through the old burying ground, the oldest in Salem, which had many wonderful death-head stones.



Right next to it is the memorial to the men & women who were killed in the witch-hunt craze of 1692. I took a picture of Susannah Martin's memorial for a friend who is descended from her.



It's a very somber and sobering place.

After a stop at Salem Beer Works, we went off on our separate ways. It was a lovely afternoon, and it was so good to see my friends again. I really miss them. If any of you are ever in the area, I'd totally be up for taking you to Salem!

good week

May. 25th, 2014 08:48 pm
lizziebelle: (sherlock)


It's been a good week. My friend Jay has been in town, and I've gotten to spend time with him and other friends. I had a spectacular week at work, with eight sales. I got to go home early on Friday, to start my long weekend early. Spring continues to plod forward, in fits and starts. I went to the wildlife refuge today, where the lady's slippers were in bloom all over the place. Unfortunately, the mosquitoes were also out in force, and they find me particularly tasty. Must remember to buy bug spray before going out there again!

A few violas have popped up in the garden, come back from last year, so I transplanted them to one of the window boxes on my deck. In the other one, I planted the basil and parsley my neighbor gave me. I think I'll just put flowers in the other pots; I haven't decided which ones I want yet.

I have one more day off to enjoy, and it promises to be a nice one. And of course, it's Towel Day today. I do miss the wit and wisdom of Douglas Adams.

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools."
-Douglas Adams
lizziebelle: (sherlock)
I had a most fabulous time in New York over the weekend. It was just what I needed to get out of my routine and do something different. And except for a flat tire on the bus on the ride down, it all went swimmingly.

Lots of pictures and rambling about the city... )

Too soon, it was time to head back to Penn Station to catch the bus home. The ride back to Boston was fast and uneventful, and I was full of memories to last until the next time.

Thank you Deanna, thank you Patricia, and thank you New York! I love you all!

weekend

Mar. 24th, 2014 06:56 pm
lizziebelle: (Elvis)

mottled, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

There were lots more skunk cabbage flowers poking out of the ground by the river this weekend. I had some fun with the close-up feature on my camera; I foresee lots of playing with this feature once more things start blooming. Perhaps next year's calendar will be all close-ups.

Saturday night, I went with [livejournal.com profile] sea_dark_wine and [livejournal.com profile] justjanus to see Justin in "Willy Wonka," along with his parents. That was fun. I can't believe Justin is a junior already; it seems like just last year he was using me as a jungle gym and playing "toss the (stuffed) fish." We went to Boston Burger in Davis Square for a bite to eat first, and were entertained by the people at the next table, which consisted of a mother and her two grown daughters. I happened to overhear one of the daughters say to the other, "Now don't take this the wrong way, because you always take things the wrong way" and of course we started eavesdropping, trying to catch more gems like that. If I ever write a story about sisters, I'm totally using that line.

Sunday morning, I was back in Davis Square for brunch at Johnny D's, which J organized then bowed out of due to overdoing it on Saturday. The rest of us had fun anyway, and our mimosas came in parrot glasses.



I had planned to go to [livejournal.com profile] asakiyume's appearance at Annie's Book Stop in Worcester, but when she cancelled due to the flu (I hope you're feeling better!), I decided my weekend was full enough and did a quick grocery run instead. The last few weeks have been busy, and I needed some time to just be a couch potato.

I only need one more sale to make my quota for the month, but my goal is to make four more (at least) so I can make bonus and start planning a trip to NYC. Wish me luck!

lizziebelle: (ganesha)

frozen leaves, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

There was some really excellent ice at the edges of the river yesterday. Very thin, very fragile, and lined like isobars on a map. Leaves and grasses added to the patterns, catching the late-day sun to sparkle in blue and silver.

DSCN3774

Downriver, three swans glided by, glowing in the golden light.

DSCN3811

I do miss the swans at Heritage Park, with all their antics, but at least I have these beauties to admire now and again, even if they're not as gregarious.

I've had a relaxing few days, with a lovely if small Thanksgiving with good friends and plenty of food. We got together again last night with a slightly different gang, for more food and drink and lots of laughs. I love my friends.

And I still have two days left to get stuff done. This is so much better than my days in retail, when this was the week we all dreaded! We called it "Black Friday" for very different reasons. *g*

lizziebelle: (selfie)
Cheshire

I spent the weekend out in the Berkshires with several friends at a lovely place in Cheshire. I took over 200 photos, only some of which Flickr is letting me see at the moment, and none of which it is letting me post. Why did they have to go and futz with it? Grr!

Anyhoo, my friend Jay, who some of you know, is on break from touring with Wicked, and he wanted to see a bunch of us, so he rented the place in Cheshire. I've never been to that part of Massachusetts, believe it or not. It's about 15 minutes north of Pittsfield, tucked in the hills which are bursting with fall color right now. Holy cow, is it gorgeous! The weather was lovely, with warm sunny days and cool nights perfect for sitting around the fire, which we did. It was wonderful to catch up with folks I hadn't seen in a while, and hang out someplace special with some I see often. We stayed in a converted barn, with nooks all around for sleeping, a central room with a couch and some chairs, a big table with benches, and a kitchen. It was cozy and welcoming. There are a couple of cabins down the hill, and a fire pit where we hung out at night, and down below that a lively stream with a small waterfall. It's a really great place. Next door there is a large cemetery with rolling hills and a terrific view of the surrounding countryside (the pic above was taken there).

Yesterday, we decided to take a field trip to Mount Greylock, which is the tallest point in Massachusetts and only about 20 minutes away. Six of us piled in the minivan and drove up there, where it turned out to be cloudy at the top! Not much of a view, but it was cool to go there, and we got some nice pictures at one of the scenic overlooks on the way back down.

Greylock

We had a nice communal meal last night, and then a concert from Esmerée, who is 14 and scarily mature (and who we've known since she was little). Watch for her, she's amazingly talented and I'm sure will make it big.

It was so nice to get away for a couple of days, and hang out with folks who are like family. Except we don't fight. *g*

outing

May. 5th, 2013 07:33 pm
lizziebelle: (Blue Butterfly)

underpass, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

I joined [livejournal.com profile] urbpan and a few others this morning along the Muddy River in Boston for an urban nature walk, as part of my get-out-and-do-stuff-different initiative. It was the perfect day for it, and it's a lovely park that goes along a street I've traveled many times, 'though I've never explored there before.

Getting there was a challenge, as today was also the huge walk for hunger event that had Commonwealth Ave. blocked off, and no matter how I tried to get around it, I kept hitting police barriers. It was also the first time I tried using Siri for driving directions, and I fear I confused the heck out of her. I ended up backtracking and getting back on Storrow Drive, where I could take an exit that took me over Comm Ave instead of through it. I made it just in time!

We walked up and down the paths along the river, which has several lovely old stone bridges and lots of great old trees. We saw lots of birds, including a Flicker and a Great Blue Heron, and some wildlife, including a muskrat and a couple of turtles.

turtle in the sun

joggers

spring on the river

[livejournal.com profile] asakiyume, you should recognize this:

instant mushrooms. just add water

[livejournal.com profile] urbpan took a branch that looked like the one on the left (above) and put it in the water while we walked. When he retrieved it, the black spots had swollen into the mushrooms you see on the right! That was pretty cool.

It was great to meet another LJ friend in the flesh, especially one whose posts on nature I have enjoyed so much. Yet another reason I'm glad to be back in eastern Mass.

This afternoon, I went to the dollar store and bought some more flower bulbs, and also planted some morning glory & moonflower seeds. More flowers!

lizziebelle: (ganesha)

in bloom, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

Ended what was probably the most bizarre week ever over at L's yesterday evening, with friends, food, and cocktails on a warm spring night, celebrating the end of the saga in Boston and Watertown with great tunes and dancing on the porch. Gosh, I love my friends. What a relief. I am so glad they took him alive; I was afraid it would end with suicide-by-cop. I hope we find out why this happened, and that they don't mess it up.

After waking up far too early this morning, I actually took a nap. I really needed that. Acted like a slug for a bit more, then walked up to the library to get a couple DVDs (season 1 of The Wild Wild West (!) and The Avengers) and marveled at the leaves and flowers bursting out all over. I talked gardening with my next-door neighbor, and have the windows open. It is finally, gloriously spring. And tomorrow I'm going plant shopping at Seven Arrows Herb Farm with [livejournal.com profile] sea_dark_wine.

Aaaaahhhhhhhhh.

hallelujah

Oct. 15th, 2011 09:33 pm
lizziebelle: (sherlock)

autumn river, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

The water has finally gone down enough that I was able to walk along the river path, for the first time since before Irene. I missed it so!

The woods were beautiful today )



It was very windy, but beautiful. I saw at least a dozen turkey vultures; they must be getting ready to migrate.

On the walk down to the park, I ran into an old friend whom I haven't seen in a long time. It was really good to see her and reconnect. Funny how choosing a certain route will make connections you wouldn't have otherwise; I had chosen that way at the last moment, and she was on that road, coming from a tag sale. I was just thinking about her recently, too, wondering where she was and what she was doing now. It was great to see she is doing well.

hallelujah

Oct. 15th, 2011 09:33 pm
lizziebelle: (sherlock)

autumn river, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

The water has finally gone down enough that I was able to walk along the river path, for the first time since before Irene. I missed it so!

The woods were beautiful today )



It was very windy, but beautiful. I saw at least a dozen turkey vultures; they must be getting ready to migrate.

On the walk down to the park, I ran into an old friend whom I haven't seen in a long time. It was really good to see her and reconnect. Funny how choosing a certain route will make connections you wouldn't have otherwise; I had chosen that way at the last moment, and she was on that road, coming from a tag sale. I was just thinking about her recently, too, wondering where she was and what she was doing now. It was great to see she is doing well.

lizziebelle: (Default)

hawthorn blossoms, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

I went on a lovely picnic and ramble through Stanley Park and the wildlife sanctuary today with [livejournal.com profile] sea_dark_wine and [livejournal.com profile] justjanus this afternoon. It was not as hot as yesterday, and there was a pleasant breeze. Everything was green green green, and lots of things were flowering, including the hawthorn tree. It has tons of blossoms this year! Much more than the past few seasons.

Also, )



I got to introduce my friends to the geese and swan, and show them some of my favorite places. Our friend the muscovy duck seems to be MIA, though; I haven't seen him for a couple of weeks.

They've torn down the cool pavilion at the park, which bums me out. My favorite fountain is still not turned on. But the park looks great otherwise, and it was a nice day to spend there with good friends.

Anyone else who'd like the guided tour, just let me know! Come on out to Westfield, it's not as far as you think. Well, if you live in Massachusetts, anyway. *g*

lizziebelle: (Default)

hawthorn blossoms, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

I went on a lovely picnic and ramble through Stanley Park and the wildlife sanctuary today with [livejournal.com profile] sea_dark_wine and [livejournal.com profile] justjanus this afternoon. It was not as hot as yesterday, and there was a pleasant breeze. Everything was green green green, and lots of things were flowering, including the hawthorn tree. It has tons of blossoms this year! Much more than the past few seasons.

Also, )



I got to introduce my friends to the geese and swan, and show them some of my favorite places. Our friend the muscovy duck seems to be MIA, though; I haven't seen him for a couple of weeks.

They've torn down the cool pavilion at the park, which bums me out. My favorite fountain is still not turned on. But the park looks great otherwise, and it was a nice day to spend there with good friends.

Anyone else who'd like the guided tour, just let me know! Come on out to Westfield, it's not as far as you think. Well, if you live in Massachusetts, anyway. *g*

I heart NY

May. 1st, 2011 12:09 pm
lizziebelle: (Default)

view from the park, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

I got back near midnight last night from the Big Apple. We had a fabulous time, logged many miles, saw wonderful things and people, and had perfect weather. And of course took lots of pictures.

lots of pictures )



We had drinks and dinner with my cousin Deanna Friday night, which was fabulous. We started out in the lounge atop our hotel, which is on the 48th floor and revolves so you can see the entire NY skyline. Also, it was sunset, so it was especially spectacular. We then went out for food, and I had my first fried pickles. If you're thinking, "Ew," I say, don't knock 'em until you've tried 'em.

Yesterday afternoon, after we'd retrieved our bags from the hotel, we met my cousin David a few blocks from Penn Station and had supper with him in a place called Mustang Sally's. I had my first Cuban sandwich, which also features pickles (but not of the fried variety). It was fun catching up with him, and sharing stories about our parents (his mom was my dad's sister). I really have neat cousins, and as I told S, there are 48 more of them. Yes, really. First cousins. And only half of them are Catholic. ;)

So I got to see cousins from both sides of the family, shared great times and created great memories with a good friend, and got reacquainted with a great city. I can't believe it's been so long since I've been there, and it's only three hours away. Yes, I am ashamed. I can't wait to go back.



ETA: I would be remiss if I didn't mention that this whole trip was S's idea, and she took up the tab for everything else. I'm truly grateful to have such a wonderful friend, and I'm sorry I haven't mentioned enough how much she's done for me. I am so blessed in my friends. :)

looking down the atrium

I heart NY

May. 1st, 2011 12:09 pm
lizziebelle: (Default)

view from the park, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

I got back near midnight last night from the Big Apple. We had a fabulous time, logged many miles, saw wonderful things and people, and had perfect weather. And of course took lots of pictures.

lots of pictures )



We had drinks and dinner with my cousin Deanna Friday night, which was fabulous. We started out in the lounge atop our hotel, which is on the 48th floor and revolves so you can see the entire NY skyline. Also, it was sunset, so it was especially spectacular. We then went out for food, and I had my first fried pickles. If you're thinking, "Ew," I say, don't knock 'em until you've tried 'em.

Yesterday afternoon, after we'd retrieved our bags from the hotel, we met my cousin David a few blocks from Penn Station and had supper with him in a place called Mustang Sally's. I had my first Cuban sandwich, which also features pickles (but not of the fried variety). It was fun catching up with him, and sharing stories about our parents (his mom was my dad's sister). I really have neat cousins, and as I told S, there are 48 more of them. Yes, really. First cousins. And only half of them are Catholic. ;)

So I got to see cousins from both sides of the family, shared great times and created great memories with a good friend, and got reacquainted with a great city. I can't believe it's been so long since I've been there, and it's only three hours away. Yes, I am ashamed. I can't wait to go back.



ETA: I would be remiss if I didn't mention that this whole trip was S's idea, and she took up the tab for everything else. I'm truly grateful to have such a wonderful friend, and I'm sorry I haven't mentioned enough how much she's done for me. I am so blessed in my friends. :)

looking down the atrium

thankful

Apr. 22nd, 2011 06:32 pm
lizziebelle: (Blue Butterfly)

first blossom, originally uploaded by Lizzie~Belle.

I'm not sure exactly what kind of flower this is; it's some sort of weeping fruit tree (apple? cherry?), and it's just starting to bloom. In a couple of days, it will be lovely indeed. If it's sunny on Monday, maybe I'll walk over there again and get a picture.

It's going to be a rainy weekend, so I don't expect to get to do much exploring. I'm just thankful that the worst-case scenario didn't happen, and I can breathe. And sleep. And, possibly, eat. Someday, I might be able to talk about it. Right now, it's too tender to touch. My knees have barely stopped shaking.

Now, I can look forward to my trip to NYC next weekend. I thank the gods every day for wonderful friends who take care of me.

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