Fool me once, shame on you Vineyard… fool me twice…..

Little colored houses in the Vineyard

Little colored houses in the Vineyard

It is not often I give someone or something a second chance; I am damn good at reading people and places. But Martha’s Vineyard – wow you got me!   MV – 2, Me – 0.

The first time was an overnight get away with the ‘man’ as the MV high season was coming to a close. They could not get us off the island fast enough. Plenty happy to take our money, but actually expect the hostess to greet us with a ‘Hello’ at the restaurant, well that was just too much to ask apparently.

We even took the bus tour where the guide pointed out every wall of bushes and trees and what high profile celebrity had their home behind it, which could not be seen, but their have a fantastic landscaper. The bus rolled up into a parking lot for a potty break and my guy leans over and says, hey look it David Letterman. No Iie. A small fact that eluded the guide which goes to support the theory they are just not that interested in having you visit. That was about 6 years ago.

Friends tell me I did not give the island a fair chance, that there is so much to do I just HAVE to go back. Well Goose had never been so why not change up the company AND the time of year.

Only for the fact that she was with me did I have a good time –  but that being said, I could be tied up in an abandon warehouse bathroom, lying on the tile floor with a crazy ass clown on a tricycle who ‘wants to play a game’ and laugh my ass off.

Me and Goose on the high waves of Nantucket Sound

Me and Goose on the high waves of Nantucket Sound

Goose you are a life saver! Martha’s Vineyard… I fart in your general direction. The.End.

Looking to build a birch bark canoe? Who isn’t?

photo by VictoriaG.

photo by VictoriaG.

If I said it once, I said it a million times…. If left to my own devices 300 years ago, I would have easily starved to death and eventually froze to death if I actually did survive.  Who am I kidding, I have the tools constantly surrounding me and still wouldn’t think to slice bread.

To look back as see how people not only lived but thrived and created something from nothing blows me away! Take this small carved sculpture for instance.

One Man's Flute... photo by VictoriaG

One Man’s Flute… photo by VictoriaG

First, I wouldn’t have a sharp object to create it with – that goes without saying even though I actually said it…  I would be just banging rocks together in hopes it would take some sort of shape. But the Mayan and Aztec people (as did other cultures) carved this piece of clay into a shape (animal, diety, etc.) and made a musical instrument. Seriously? Overachiever!

It is called an Ocarina (some of the pieces on display date back over 4,000 years ago!), and it is a type of flute if you will. Depending on where, how many, and the shapes(s) of the hole(s) or slits, would determine the sound, which then would determine in what context it would played. Example: Some ocarinas were made for a parade-type atmosphere and gave the sharp shrill of what we would today call a police-whistle. Others were a soft, mid to low hoot, almost like wind blowing through wooden tubular wind chimes or a lonely call of a bird, simply relaxing you into a trance. We could have sat listening to him play for hours.

Photo by VictoriaG

Ocarinas – Photo by VictoriaG

ocarina

 

We watched a YouTube Video displayed at the Harvard Museum of History, the Latin American scholar José Cuellar played different ocarinas and explain their sounds and beauty. If you search for “breathing life into an ancient instrument” you will see it and others videos that he has made on the subject.

Before we move on, let me ask. Who the heck was on the archaeological dig that found these small clay pieces and decided it was a good idea to blow into them to see if it was a musical instrument? My first guess would have been a nifty little remembrance knick-knack for the one room home; musical instrument, not so much. But I digress.

Moving onto the Native American wing, we find more mind blowing creativity: building a canoe from white birch trees. We are not going to do the bare bones version of carving a canoe from one (hopefully) large tree trunk. These particular natives went full out and pieced them together, soaking and bending the ribs where needed. Again, remember I am barely surviving on the berries I have picked praying they won’t poison me and along comes some smarty-panties native throwing together a mini cruise ship to travel downstream. (sense some jealousy here?!)

how to build a canoe

Lastly, (only for this writing as I was not able to completely view the museum) we leave you with the ledger drawings of the Native Americans. Left not only on cave walls, teepees, and clothing, the Native Americans achieved something the Europeans did not; action drawings. They were even creative enough to show the ‘before and after’ in their photos in way to communicate the actual event. The one major historic lesson I learned from this section – Native Americans, at this juncture in time, had no written language; it was completely verbal (mind blown). No poetry, no stories to read in bed, no sending a letter to the next tribe asking for an extra cup of ground corn at their earliest convenience, nothing. Think how often you write (or these days, type) something down in order to remind yourself (a grocery list, on a calendar, who is picking up the kids and when…etc.) Our trip to the museum was two weeks ago and the simple statement of not having a written language sent me to dig deeper in my own tiny brain and try to understand that way of life. Let’s not get me started on their beautiful regard for life, their songs layered with notes hitting peaks and valleys, their simplicity and the value they gave everything and everyone around them….

Native American Ledger Art

Native American Ledger Art

Mothers come in all shapes, sizes, and species

familyouting

Come near my babies and get bitten! Try me you little brat! Where the hell are YOUR parents!?

Another adventurous outing for Goose and me – to the Zoo! Not just any zoo mind you, the one we would visit year after year when she was growing up (by now we should get a freebie); Roger Williams Zoo in Providence RI.

Whenever we get together we narrate the situation between us and then laugh our butts off.

I am waiting for my audience

I am waiting for my audience

showoff1

It’s about time humans! NOW I can show off!

We have always loved it there for it size, variety of species from around the world, cleanliness, and allowing families and children of all backgrounds to visit by keeping the price very affordable.

In the past the zoo seemed to grow just a little every year adding more exhibits and upgrading those that were already there. The petting zoo is now a walk-in type where children can pet, feed and groom the mini goats. Walk through Africa, South America, and different parts of Asia.  We even took advantage of the few volunteer booths that informed us of elephant poop, their teeth and how they grow and the anteater’s claws and snout – sometimes the little things are so interesting!

I have to be honest, we originally went to the booth because the women behind the tables were alone and looked as though they thought no one was interested in what they had to say. Well, we made sure to bring them some ‘business’ staying and asking questions until other visitors saw there was something going on, and well, our job was done.

flossingtime

Flossing time

lunchtime

What the hell is grass doing in the air??

Victoria's Hungry

FEED ME

 Always an adventure, always a great time, always enjoying our time together as mother/daughter, best friends, and partners-in-crime.

It’s All About the Latitude

latitude

All About Latitude

It occurred to us on this particular trip that we may travel to Montreal more than we think, as the border guard asked, “are you bringing any gifts to family members?” (we had never been asked that one before…). That being said, this was the first time we had the chance to stop and take the latitude photo.

It never ceases to amaze me that the midpoint between the North Pole and equator was only a mile outside the Canadian border. Good thing this is was not a question on a game show for a million dollars, I would have easily said someplace around Virginia (currently breaking out the map…) I mean come on, I cannot be the only person that is surprised by this information (help me out dear readers!)

drinkswithpoutine

The actual mission of this trip had two motives: two days of rest and relaxation and to find and devour at least two of the the 30 flavors of poutine at La Banquise – both were completed I am very happy to say.

We are poutine obsessed and proud of it. With fierce determination, we walked the 45 minutes and with rationalizing the calories that we had burned off, we ordered drinks too (we were parched don’t judge..)

So many poutine combinations…. so little time…. we will be back… sooner than later…

Food Porn (that's what the kids call it, rights?)

You are missing from me….

I miss you

I miss you

When I read this post from my friends FB page, it hit me, hit me hard actually. I can’t put a finger on it, but the literal translation from French seems to be so much more accurate when your heart is broken from missing someone…..

I just had to share.

Mother Mary was in labor for almost a month?

nativitysceneWill someone please tell me why the nativity scenes are now placed at the beginning of the month? I am talking full blown Mary, Joseph, 3 Kings and baby Jesus! And at the churches no less! They are the ones telling us the story, they know the timeline, WTH…I have a meltdown every time I have passed a church this month.

I am not a very religious person, but I do know the story; loosely stated…Mary and Joseph are escaping their land to keep their child safe (excellent parenting skills), no hotels or Motels 6 available in the town they land in, so they settle for a barn and bam (with no pain killers whatsoever), the Baby is born and we now celebrate the event on December 25 (See? Not a month of labor, not a few weeks, it is the plain and simple giving birth deal we still have today).

Growing up in a very Catholic family, we were not allowed to display the crèche too early, and there was NO WAY my mother would have allowed baby Jesus to be placed in the makeshift cradle before the 25th. No.way.

So why all of a sudden have the churches decided to place a full nativity so early? Someone please explain. I still have lots of presents to buy and will inevitably pass several churches. I don’t have time to go to jail because I am being arrested for trespassing in what would look like a crazed Baby-stealing incident only to have every intention to replace him on his actual birth date (and not a moment sooner).

And for that matter, the wise men don’t show up until January 6!!

Make the madness stop PLEASE!

The Ho-Ho-Ho-liday Meltdown

Key West Turkey

Key West Turkey

Thanksgiving = thrown into a cement mixer with larger boulders, add desert dry turkey, brain-dead family members that even a zombie would pass up, set mixer on high, pour, and be instantly ready for Christmas shopping… sound familiar?

My holiday has been quiet thus far; simple dinner with my dad, daughter and her boyfriend, (my hot guy was busy saving the town)…after all it’s about the people you care about not forced family fun (for me anyway).

After this somewhat restful holiday, how could it be that I would sit up in bed as though I had been given a defibrillation? The thought of Christmas shopping had set in. What to buy and who to buy for is as difficult as trigonometry or calculus for me (pretty much adding and subtraction puts me over the edge who am I kidding?!).

  1. Make a list of recipients
  2. Cut out half of those people because, seriously, I feel guilty about not buying them a gift, not because I really like them
  3. Make a list of ‘others’ who won’t receive gifts (and then cut that list down to 12) and mail card with lots of glitter, just to be annoying.

Down to about 5 actual gifts to be wrapped…seemingly doable.

The parent: At this point, dad is just two eyeballs and a hat, looking through a mound of 85 years’ worth of gifts consisting of sweaters, shirts, turtlenecks, ties, socks, slippers, puzzle pieces, and smells like Old Spice. (I happen to love Old Spice so that’s the upside)

The daughter: The last two years I have been successful with tickets to shows (Kathy Griffin = HILARIOUS!) but actually opening a gift is a tough one. Clothes? Jewlery? Shoes? Meh. I keep scouring the ‘net for inspiration.  She is always happy and thankful for the smallest thing, especially spending time together, which is why I like to put every neuron into a good gift. As you have seen we do activities year round, bigger trips a la Canada, St. Martin, and cruises, indoor skydiving, glass blowing, schooner sailing, etc. so coming up with gifts because it’s a holiday is much more difficult-the pressure is on. She asks for a pony at every opportunity, but a pony would be bigger than her car (so no room), take up all the room in the apartment (still no room), and would be forced to live on Ramen noodles and blue cheese pasta (that’s just priming the poor thing for the glue factory).

The hot boyfriend: God help me please. I have tried everything and it’s never right. It is not that he is ungrateful; I know he appreciates my time and effort; it is just a poor choice of gifts on my part. For his birthday last year I purchased an airplane lesson, complete with flying time in this cool little prop plane for two. Although he is quick to show friends the pictures, it took 8 months and lots of nagging to make the reservation, so it loses something in the gift.  A few years ago I bought him an automatic starter for his truck; I returned it because the installation would cause too much interior damage of sorts. Clothes and gift certificates typically don’t get worn or used… he doesn’t have any hobbies… I am at a loss.  And I don’t want any lame-o ideas of a ‘coupon book good for hugs, kisses, date night, or massage by yours truly’….put some effort into it please.

Any and all suggestions from my readers will be paid in gummy bears if you can help me not have a HO-HO-HO-liday meltdown (gummy bears will be paid in virtual thanks only).

Small, Medium, or Large?

'I see a long ocean voyage in your future....'

Courtesy of Jantoo.com

Goose and I went to see a Medium today. Now, you may have already clicked off because you don’t believe in that sort of thing, but mind you, I am no heretic, I do believe in a God. It just so happens I also believe that when we pass we never really leave this place.

My daughter and I used to watch an awesome show back in the early 90’s; Beakman’s World. If you haven’t seen it-you must-because it rocks. It’s a science show, somewhat like Bill Nye the Science Guy, only 10 x’s cooler and funnier. Beakman is a mad scientist that does experiments, the Rat (dude in a rat suit) and his spunky side kick Josie have one liners fly back and forth while watching experiments. Anyway, one thing that he said that has stuck with me these many years; everything goes somewhere. That is to say everything changes form, it never disappears! You can break down any piece of matter and you will still have something left, whether you can see it or not (think tiny atoms).

That being said, scientifically, when we die we become food for other animals and plants and so goes the circle of life, but what about the energy that comes from within? It must go someplace right?

Well I think so anyway and I also think there are those people that can see/hear them, much like not seeing high frequency waves without the right pair of glasses (put them on and voila, there they are). So certain people have these glasses on all the time while most of us don’t.

So I write this particular blog, not only to share with whoever cares to read how on the mark the medium was today, but to keep this writing as a sort of memento for myself for years to come.

Walking into the room, I was not allowed to say anything nor allowed to agree or disagree with any statements she made throughout the session. She was there simply to relay the conversation from ‘others in the room’ and the symbols they were giving her and the rest was up to me. But this wasn’t the type of – ‘do you have a relative that begins with the letter J’ type of thing, or ‘you will be going on a trip soon’ – no… she was very specific.

The funniest thing is the majority of the conversation right from the moment I sat down was all about my boyfriend’s mum. The medium started talking about a woman, what she looked like, how she acted etc. and then stated specific places; Downtown Boston on the Swan boats, Brighton, Castle Island, Nantaskit Beach, and the Cape. Ok. This has nothing to do with my mum and our family. Growing up, we spend NO time in the Boston area. To me, Boston was some far away land where I needed a passport and an overnight bag. Throughout the years, my boyfriend had described many of his mum’s favorite places (and these were some of them) so I knew she had come to visit.

On the other hand, the medium said stuff specifically about my mum, painting, how much she loved to dance, the stars, cinnamon bread that she used to make, spoons, our trips to Mt. Wachusett with my daughter was at a very young age, watching fireworks from the baseball field… I am sure there is more to hear and maybe she will share it at a later date.

Another thought occurred to me too, the fact that I dream about my mum every night, not in a spooky way, she is there just as she would be in my life on a daily basis, just like she never left, same type of conversations and whatnot. I guess she knew that and wanted to give Mrs. R sometime in the spot light knowing I would share with my boyfriend’s family with hope she could talk to them directly.

I bet my mum will have more to tell me tonight… while I sleep…from the other side of the conversation….