Archive | travel

gardner gallery

“Never miss an opportunity to be part of someone else’s adventure.”

I meet up with another bookseller today to take in The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston know the one…the rich lady who went around Europe buying up everything she fancied brought it all home and left it in situ for the rest of time. She was indeed a great patron with excellent taste. Oddly it is a place i have been meaning to see, but hadn’t gotten around to it.

Taken individually every piece is an absolutely gem of artwork, stuffing it all into the rooms of her fabulous Boston Manse makes it all seem rather squalid. It’s all a bit overwhelming and I supposed to really appreciate it all, one must revisit repeatedly. It is closing this week for a 3 month retro fit where they are adding another gallery – which will be a site to see. According to her will everything must be left in place, nothing added nothing replaced, including all the empty spots where the Gardner Heist Artwork used to hang.

Photos aren’t allowed but it seems almost unnecessary as the museum itself releases much imagery including a guidebook to the artwork.

mind the gap

This is my bridge which i have started calling an island…of the entire rail trail project this is the only part that has been bugging me for 3 years..what can we do that won’t uglify it?
and then it hit me…don’t look at it like a bridge..consider it as an island.

So i sketched up a little something something….and today i met with a masonry company and tomorrow with a structural engineer…then i gotta get the historical commission folks to go in on the grant application with me.

If we add a couple of courses of granite blocks to both sides and connect the corners to the railings for the footbridges..we eliminate the need for railings all the way around the island. Then we can lay down cobblestones with a couple of courses of cobblestones sort of ghost remind folks it was a rail road bridge.

Now since i already HAVE a nice little stash of granite blocks…all i need to do is scrounge up some reclaimed cobblestones…then the grant need only cover the mason and engineering labors. Well that’s my plan.

Now lets see if i can pull it off…

trashy girl

So what did you do with your afternoon?   It went from many days of rain to immediate and unrelenting sunshine..

of course i ran away from home and picked trash out of the river.

This is one of my new custom made weapons that’s hose clamps, a poop scoop a piece of plastic canvas and some zip helps with the little bottles that are hard to catch.  hmmm perhaps i need a lacrosse thingy,,

everything’s in motion

Eddie never sits still…..hey it’s not raining for the 1st time i like forever.

no i am not using the iphone, i used it all night ok?  in a very short time i developed a deep and meaningful relationship with it….i think i like it more than i did my exhusband.

I am still setting up just the way i like it…i haven’t found an organizer app that doesn’t suck.  but so far…there is much about it that is unsuck.

BTW the rail trail project is moving swimmingly…i have actually been working on that all morning when i should have been doing work for the folks who pay me.

We met with a BIG mucky muck who was quite impressed that we had gotten so far ahead without any serious support from the local pols.  I am kinda proud of that, we may not have two nickels to rub together but we are going to get a trail without a price tag attached…and the muckity is going to blow the project up big regionally which should attract some attention. See?  doesn’t the world work better when people just DO what i tell em to do?

goose goose duck!

busy day…oh wait that was yesterday…and still it runeth over into today too. I spent yesterday in meetings that centered around linking the Methuen Rail trail with the Salem NH trail which is a bit of a big honking deal…well in certain circles. Today I spent most of the day to find some vendors to buy scrap rail stock…and the rest of it juggling phone calls to pull off an extra pet spay clinic and arrange an accidental on purpose meetup between a railtrail developer and an influential politician – and then on TOP of it all…i finally made contact with someone who not only has goats but uses them to landscape in areas where traditional methods are discouraged – and then i finished off by trapping the last kitten at a particular location.

Somewhere in there i had interminable call from a customer who wanted me to teach them everything i know about book repair over the phone. NOT the first time this has happened..but i gather the customers are starting to tell that i am less than thrilled at this sort of thing. That’s an hour and a half i won’t get back and if i try to back off politely they act all insulted like the 4 or 5 dollars i am going to make from their entire transation is enough to make me just want to spend my entire day walking them through a repair on a book that i know they have no business doing.  but do they listen when i tell them that? no. they practically insist that if i just a FEW more questions then they can go off and make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

I keep telling folks the world would be so much better if people just did what i tell em to do.


rocks in my head

I have had these rocks in my head for a year now.  These are broken up foundation boulders from an old house that was taken down a few years ago.  Now that the rail trail project is due to begin construction within THIS century, I wanted them for trail furniture.  Lucky for me the location is becoming the new home for the credit union and they didn’t need them.  But how does one move a dump truck’s worth of granite boulders?  yeah…me no idea neither…but i found out today the developer is just going to pick em up in his dump truck and drop them where i want them.  yay.

The rocks were weighing heavily on my mind….they were free yes…but until they are in my hands they aren’t really ‘mine’…there is always the slim chance of them being regifted to someone who OWNS their own dump truck. It was a big deal for me…i have a ZERO budget for the rail trail…so anything we need has to be found, given or stolen.  So far i am three for three.

Today was eaten up by rail trail meetings…which is all to the good.  When i am dead and buried there will be a small patch of bike path running up to new hampshire from methuen..probably with my bones crushed into the pavement.







this is my life

It’s not that i don’t have anything to say…personally i think its because i have too much. in order to stave off serious depression i keep myself busy…very busy. when i sit down at the computer it’s a big deal if i have the time for a short facebook status update – writing a blog post seems strenuous activity.

Besides i could be sitting in traffic and think of a great topic and by the time i get home 5 other things will have happened to me that have kicked that idea right outta my skull.

Ferinstance…yesterday i get up at 6am, clean the house and feed people (i have roommates, see above) at 7:00 i load the back of the truck with implements of destruction to do some trash pick up on the rail trail, at 7:30 i do a little constructive vandalism but ‘confiscating’ an old abandoned newspaper dispensing unit from a streetcorner to secret into the big pile of trash. At 8AM i meetup with a tiny crew from the rail trail to pickup a few hundred pounds of trash

10AM I chat up some of the local abutters and find they have 2 mama kittens with litters under their house. So i postpone another city trash pickup chore.

11:00 made myself presentable to meet some friends at noon, picked up the recharged battery for the boat trolling motor (another trash collection tool) drove around collecting traps to tackle the kitten problem.

12pm I meet some friends at the MARIAB book and Paper fair in Wilmington where I bought a vintage Book mending library supply catalog for a fair price as well as a copy of Improbable Warriors : Women Scientists and the U. S. Navy in World War II.

3pm Set traps for kittens, caught 2 out of three. Kept checking and rebaiting the traps until it started to rain.

5pm gave up trying to trap in the rain, came home and started processing emails.

6:pm Did laundry and packed orders to ship on Monday

7:pm settled in for a protracted struggle with Paypal regarding the Animal Rescue Merrimack Valley’s account and why it doesn’t like MY particular computer. Seriously we need donations…click here

I can’t remember much after this….i think i fell asleep in front of the tv.
Today was much like yesterday, cept i did make it to adoptions with 2 cats and a 1 eyed corgi. Which technically belongs to Animal Control but she’s staying with me because big dogs make her nervous…or rather I already have one one-eyed dog what another?

So far Today i haven’t accomplished as much, I did managed to update the Rail Trail Blog and facebook, as well as the Animal Rescue Merrimack Valley blog and facebook status. I am going to try to at least post a picture a day..i know that i TAKE a picture a day…i am trying to use my cellphone more, and i have added this blog to the email list.

I picked up as yet a third part time job with the Rail Trail developer so with a tiny bit of extra cash coming in every week I am hoping to buy a new laptop or at least afford a dataplan for my phone so I can post from the field…so that when i am sitting in traffic with the interesting thing to say I can at least post it before I forget it. Let hope…

Anyone want a corgi?

mixed bag

Christmas is a mixed bag. Literally…tumbled in with all the good wishes, generosity and self indulgences are horrible things that make you go cold in the intestines. After 32 years of driving, I hit another car with my car…I drive a big ugly red faded to pink pickup…lacking only the stereotypical gun rack..and to be fair I had been backing up on an icy driveway and technically SLID into the fender of what can only be described as a ‘toy car’ the kind fashionable with new car buyers as a compromised between a REAL car and a moped. The irony is that I had spread all the leftover salt/sand from 2009 and was heading out to dig up another 300 pounds when I slid into my tenant’s unoccupied vehicle. I guess that is what car insurance is actually FOR, needless to say, my truck suffered not at all, the accident may have actually scraped away some of the exposed rust.

On the bright side, I did finally hang up the Christmas decorations for the tenants as well as supplied a bowl or two of candy, the carnival glass candy bowl left by my ersatz grandmother which I usually put out is missing, I suspect that a tenant’s guest may have walked out the door with it last year and I didn’t notice. This year I used a couple of lead glass pieces left from my mother – perhaps this is the ideal way to divest myself or dustible items.

As I sit here wallowing in bottomless self satisfaction at how i have managed to skate through another year without being discovered as a pre-teen masquerading as an adult, one of the few local restaurants has burned to the ground, ruining the holiday for not just the owners, the employees and the patrons but for the city as a whole. Everytime an independent restaurant dies a strip mall gains a Dennys.


Okay so am feeling a little overextended today.  24 hours ago I was assembling red cross cots for the emergency shelter put up in the Grammar School gymnasium.  Early this year I signed up for Community Emergency Response Team, i dunno, it just seemed like a good idea at the time.  Most of the time whenever some part of the town loses heat or gets flooded out – I am sitting up here on my hill quite safe, warm and bored as usual.  Last night about 900 homes lost their gas heat and we were called us out ‘just in case’.  Afterwards I grabbed a few hours sleep and at 7:30 headed off to a spay/neuter clinic until about 6:30pm, when i meet up with a couple of people to put the finishing touches on the Methuen Rail Trail Alliance’s 501(c)(3) filing with the powers that be. In between all this I managed to feed the flying circus and keep some semblance of normal life.(semblance is my word for the week – it means specious appearance, specious you have to look up for yourself.)  I must look like hell my eyes are at half mast regardless of my chemical consumption.  I  got my green CERT lanyard last night with my official ID badge, unfortunately is carries a picture of a woman with two chins and gray streaked hair.  I’m gonna have to get them to correct that someday.

neck deep in the Spicket River

Not a really ‘great’ shot, but seriously not bad for sticking my camera lens through a fence. I was getting a good look at part of the Spicket River I haven’t been in yet. When the water was lower you could see a shitload of oil drums, tires and all sorts of crap. That is really a shame, it is a really nice and peaceful river. If you look you can see a little bit of a weir damn right above the Broadway bridge. I used to be worried about putting the boat in near a damn…but usually the current isn’t much of an impediment.  there’s also a bunch of dead trees in it, and a lot of trash on the edges.  I am hoping that after the March flooding a lot of that will wash away.  The river is a little self cleaning in that regard.

I am trying to round up some local yokels who may give a damn about the river…but alas, there’s just me and a guy over the border.  But hey give me some time, I have only been at this a few months.  It’s taken over 2 years to get anywhere with the Rail Trail project.

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