Wellspring House 16th Annual Women Honoring Women Luncheon

Jan Bell, Ann Margaret Ferrante ©Kim Smith 2014Wellspring Supporters, left to right: Maggie Rosa, Dale Brown, Jan Bell (honoree), Frances Ferrante, and State Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante

Sara Hall Kay O'Rourke Wellspring House ©Kim Smith 2014Kay O’Rourke Introducing Sara Hall

This year Jan Bell, Libby Hayes, and Sara Hall were recognized with the Wellspring Award for their legacies of service. Sara Hall was also the keynote speaker.

Patty Philbrick Gloucester ©Kim Smith 2014Patty Philbrick

There were 700 women attending the luncheon. After listening to the deeply inspiring stories of courage shared by four Wellspring participant speakers, I don’t think there was a dry eye there.

Wellspring’s President and Executive Director Kay O’Rourke writes in the program,”Together we find expression for our passions and talents in this great work we call Wellspring House. Together we bind up the wounded, mend the broken-hearted, house the homeless, and liberate minds through education.”

Melissa Thunberg Briar Forsythe ©Kim Smith 2014

Corporate Sponsor Briar Forsythe, proprietor of Willowdale Estate (right) and Willowdale’s COO Melissa Thunberg

Wellspring House ©Kim Smith 2014Jane Fonzo, Frances Ferrante, and Ann-Margaret Ferrante

Libby Hayes ©Kim Smith 2014Honoree Libby Hayes

Home-Scale Ecological Design Workshop

Alex Sands, who is the husband of GMG super FOB Lidi Sands, is holding a two day workshop on permaculture and ecological design. For all the details, read more from Alex:

I would like to invite you to an upcoming event in which I think that you may be interested. I am co-hosting a two day workshop titled “Learn How to Transform Your Landscape into a Garden of Eden: Home-Scale Ecological Design” on May 24 and June 21.

Permaculture and ecological design are design systems which use principles which facilitate health and abundance in natural ecosystems to enhance human systems. This workshop will look at the principles of permaculture and walk through the steps of the ecological design process. Participants will learn to identify and articulate their goals, assess their site and create conceptual and master plans.

I am co-hosting this event with Kay Cafasso, an extraordinary permaculture educator from Western Massachusetts. The presentation will take place at the Lanesville Community Center on Saturdays, May 24 and June 21 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost for this two day workshop is $150.00. Please see our flyer below.

I hope to see you there!

Thank you,


Annisquam Landcare, Inc.
183 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930
(978) 282-3323

Pc Spring 2014 Workshop

Don’t Miss the Seaside Garden Club’s Plant Auction on Tuesday May 13th

Kate Wilwerth from the Seaside garden Club writes:

Hi Kim – our big auction is coming up on the 13th. Thanks so much for your ongoing support!

The Seaside Garden Club’s Plant Auction will take place on Tuesday, May 13th at the Manchester Community Center. Doors open for a preview at 6:00 pm and the Auction begins promptly at 7:00 pm. Light refreshments will be served. Don’t miss the chance to purchase the garden club’s prized perennials and beautiful one of a kind garden art. Donations from many local businesses will be auctioned off as well plants. Ryan & Wood Distilleries, Neptune’s Harvest, Utopia Farms, Wolf Hill, Marshall’s Farm Stand, Chapman’s Florist, and Sea Meadow Gifts are among the generous businesses that have donated their goods to the auction. Our members have been hard at work dividing their tried and true perennial plants and creating garden art. Support the Seaside Garden Club and come home with great plants and beautiful planters full of flowers that will grace your home with beauty!

Plant donations are welcome. Donations can be dropped off at the Community Center (please leave them outside at side entrance closest to the parking lot) any time on Monday the 12th or Tuesday the 13th. Please dig up generous clumps (the more exotic plant types the better!) you mark with plant name and care instructions. This is the Seaside Garden Club’s only fund raiser and 100% of the proceeds go to fund our terrific programs and community service projects throughout the year.

SGC 2014 Auction Flyer

The Seaside Garden Club meets the second Tuesday of every month, September through June at the Manchester Community Center. Membership is open to all. We already have a great line up of programs for next year. The club will kick off our program next year with a 45 year anniversary celebration, followed by workshops, demonstrations and interesting speakers. Visit our blog at: Seaside Garden Club

Furry Catkins

pussywillow blooms

My favorite botanical sign of spring.

Pussy willow is a name given to many of the smaller species of the genus Salix (willows and sallows) when their furry catkins are young in early spring.

Before the male catkins of these species come into full flower they are covered in fine, greyish fur, leading to a fancied likeness to tiny cats, also known as “pussies”. The catkins appear long before the leaves, and are one of the earliest signs of spring. At other times of year trees of most of these species are usually known by their ordinary names. (Wikipedia)

E.J. Lefavour


Folk Charts Top Artist, ELLIS, Comes to Old Sloop This Friday ~ Marina Evans opens


Check out Ellis’ performance on A Prairie Home Companion last Summer.

Now, you all know Marina Evans, right?  Just in case you don’t, check out this video shot at Shalin Liu.  These two will make for an excellent show.  Don’t miss it.  Get your tix now.


Red White and You Contest to Fund Our Fireworks

Melissa Cox shares a link to win a contest sponsored by Destination America to help fund our fireworks display. She writes, “Can you please share this link to a contest to support our wonderful Gloucester Fireworks show on the 3rd of July? You can vote once a day until May 16th.”

Red, White, and You People’s Choice

The “Magic Genius”

I knew this was a slippery slope the moment I opened my mouth.  But, there was no turning back.  Again, weak and vulnerable, and being peppered with questions, I let my guard down.  This time, however, I was surprised to get off the hook…and surprised, dammit, to wish that I wasn’t left alone so quickly.

Once again, this little story comes from a day at the farm.  Last week, we left school and went out to get some mini golf and ice cream gift cards for two of Thatcher’s friends who were having a joint party.  (No, not a “joint” party….that would be wildly inappropriate for boys turning 8!!  Although, those would be some parents that might be a trip to hang with).  I digress.  Anyway, with gift cards in hand, and our own ice creams to boot, we went around back to see the cows (again).

Somehow the question, “Are these cows boys or girls?” came up.  I should have seen the writing on the wall….but my almond joy ice cream was dripping down my arm and a tractor was heading right for us.  The next several questions led to a dissertation on cows.  I explained to them, within the best of my ability, that most of the cows we were seeing were girls…or heifers…and that boy “cows” are actually called bulls.  And that the bulls were kept separate.

Obviously….the next question was “Why are they kept separate?”    Sigh….here it comes.   Well, this is a dairy farm and it is the girl cows who provide the milk…so that they can make gallons of milk that you saw and the ice cream that you’re eating.  They don’t need the bulls for that.  But, they have some bulls around so that they can have more baby cows (like the one we watched being born last year)…some of which grow up to be the next dairy cows.  You see?  Ok, let’s go see the goats.

So….you can see where this is going.  It went down a little something like this….

Finn: Because it takes a daddy cow and a mommy cow to make a baby cow.

Me: That’s right, Finn.

Thatcher: (Because now, thankfully, Finn is suddenly more enthralled with the massive amounts of pee coming from one of the cows…and why there is smoke rising as it pelts the ground) So, how does the daddy cow help make the baby cow?

Me: Oh, that’s a story for another day.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m usually a fan of full disclosure…but, by 5:00…after a full day of getting the boys ready for school, out of the house, into their classrooms and then walking down the hallway to teach in my own classroom all day long, I have already answered approximately 3,741 questions…and I’m tired!!   So, “How are baby cows made?” is going to have to wait until I’m on my A Game.  Whenever the hell that might be.

Unbelievably though, for the first time EVER, the questions stopped.  The silence was down right scary.  It was uncomfortable and unchartered territory.  I knew I should leave it alone, relish in it even, but it was so foreign to me, that I was confused.  I thought about explaining more, but I let the quiet settle in….and I liked it.  After a few seconds, I even allowed myself to think, “Ok….well then…go with it…we’re good.  But just then…just when I thought I was in the clear…the little bugger piped up…and with a sinister little chuckle.

Me: What? What’s so funny?

Thatcher: Well, I just figured it out.

Me:  Figured what out?

Thatcher:  I mean…so… the mother cow has to lug the baby around in her belly…but that’s it.  Its the daddy cow who must be a G.E.N.I.U.S….because he’s the magic one who gets the baby in there in the first place.

And then Finn:  Yup, the daddy cow is the magic genius.

….and then, just like that, they happily ran off to see the goats.  Comfortable with the new found realization that they too will grow up some day to be the geniuses who do all the magic to “get the baby in there” so the mothers can simply lug the babies around.

Efff!  Don’t get me wrong…my husband is a very smart man who amazes me often with the knowledge he can impart on our children.  However, I figured that in regards to freakin’ pregnancy…just maybe, for once, I would be the magic genius.  But, alas, no.  Daddy is both magic and a genius.  And, “getting the baby in there” is an act of genius!  Fanfreakintastic.  My boys are going to be big hits with whatever poor teacher is charged with the task of educating them in a sex ed class years from now.

That’s ok, though.  Both boys have birthdays coming up within the next two months…..and guess who isn’t going to go all Pintrest Genius on their asses the way I normally do?!?!  Kidding…kind of.

And, to all you parents of daughters out there, I promise I will set them straight when the time is right.  Or better yet, I’ll defer to the genius.

 From the album Genius Loves Company…. 0f course

Tuesday May 6th , 2014 Cape Ann Weather…

Marine Forecast …
Tue NW winds 5 to 10 kt. Seas 1 foot or less. A chance of sprinkles.
Tue Night NW winds 5 to 10 kt. Seas 1 foot or less.

Today mostly sunny with temps in the upper 50’s to lower 60’s .. North West winds 10-15mph with a few gusts to 20 mph or so … Tuesday night clear cool temps dropping into the 40’s.. Light North West winds around 5-10 mph ..

Sun And Beach Index ….8
Water Temp 46°
Seas 1ft or less..
Hourly Forecast …

Look Ahead ….