I regret to say tomorrow’s program “The Fragrant Garden,” in Belmont, has been postponed until further notice. I know that a group of friends from Cape Ann were planning to attend and will let you know when the new date is scheduled. Thank you!

Mixed bouquet of different cultivars of S. vulgaris including Monge, Maiden’s Blush, Common Lilac,, Beauty of Moscow, and President Grevy.

Gloucester Daily Times update on Cape Ann Reads

Look for special group exhibits and readings to be announced later in 2018- “Cape Ann Reads to Hit the Road” by Gail McCarthy, Gloucester Daily Times

This month: come to Gloucester’s City Hall on January 27 for a Cape Ann Reads celebration. Explore early drafts & drawings as well as published children’s picture art and books–all by Cape Ann artists and writers. The Book Store of Gloucester will have a satellite book shop devoted to published picture books right on site.

Gail McCarthy Gloucester Daily Times announcing Bruce J Anderson grant award for Cape Ann Reads January 8 2017

Park views

Here’s a couple more views of my Sunday morning sunrise over at Stage Fort Park.   The black and white image is a reminder to me to always look behind you or change your perspective.   I grabbed it as we were leaving just as a quick handheld snapshot but it became a favorite.   Enjoy the short week ahead!




Our family and friends adore Maitland Mountain Farm pickles and condiments. If you’ve ever sampled any one of their scrumptious veggie products, you know that their pickling recipes are simply beyond compare. We purchase a bunch several times a month from Common Crow. Please read the following note from Andy and send emails to the city officials listed below. A sample email is provided. I just did it and it took all of five minutes. In the subject line I wrote, ‘We Love Maitland Mountain Farms.’ Better yet, go to the meeting tonight if you can and show your support. Thank you!

Dear Farm Friends:

We write today to ask for your help. In fact, we need your help. Many of you know us because you’ve met us at local Farmers’ Markets. Others may have seen our products (like Holly’s Spicy Pickles) in stores or on restaurant menus. But today, the future of our farm, Salem’s only commercial agricultural operation, is in peril. The City has thrown up a roadblock to our continued operation. Without so much as visiting us, the building department has decided that our primary use is NOT agriculture. The state says that as long as we earn $1000 per acre, we meet the requirement. We earn more than that. But some of our municipal officials don’t want to budge on their determination. We don’t know what this means for our future.

There is a public meeting Wednesday January 17 at 6:30pm and we need you to come and show your support. If you can’t make it, PLEASE email the Beth Rennard, Thomas St. Pierre, the City Clerk, and the Mayor to tell them that you value having farmers in your community. Emails are below. Please ask them to work with us rather than against us. We love farming and we love Salem. We want to continue doing what we love in the city that we love. The primary use of our farm IS agricultural. Most farmers live on farms; we are no exception. That’s what we need the city to understand. Thank you for your support.


Meeting: Wednesday January 17 at 6:30pm, City Council Chambers, City Hall, 93 Washington Street.

Sample email (feel free to adapt)

To Whom It May Concern:

The City of Salem is wonderfully diverse in many ways. One aspect of that diversity is the use of land for agriculture. Not many cities, or suburbs for that matter, can claim to be home to a working farm. Salem can make that claim because of Maitland Mountain Farm. I place a very high value on living in a city that knows the immense importance of agriculture not only as a tool for teaching our children about where their food comes from but also for actually producing the food that we eat. I enjoy seeing Maitland Mountain Farms at our Farmer’s Market and seeing their products on Salem’s restaurants’ menus. They are an integral part of what makes this city unique. Please reconsider your position that the primary use of their farmland is anything other than agriculture. Thank you.


Creative Salem
North Shore Wine and Dine Page
Salem Main Streets
Salem Food Tours
Salem Food Digest
The Salem News
The North Shore Sea Lion
Salem Farmers’ Market
Salem No Place for Hate Committee
Kim Driscoll


Wolf Hollow in Ipswich

We visited Wolf Hollow this past Sunday to take in their wolf presentation and meet the occupants.  It so happened that Sunday was the first time their new gift shop/ticket office was open to the public.  Previously, it had been held in the home of the owners.  I’ve never seen what the gift shop in the house looked like, but I feel confident in stating that the new building is an improvement.

Wolf Hollow is open Sundays only through the winter months from 1-3 PM.  It was very busy when we were there.  Honestly I was a little surprised at how many people were there.  Even though the day was sunny, it was only 20 degrees and the hour long program is  held outdoors.  I suggest purchasing your tickets in advance if you are considering a visit as space is limited and interest is high.

We saw seven wolves, which have not been raised in the wild so they were easily visible while the trainers were in the enclosure with them.  The viewing area is not particularly expansive but I was able to see what I hoped to see and to get adequate pictures.  The presentation was thorough and kept our attention even though we were seriously shivering.  Tickets are $8.50 for adults and $6.00 seniors/children 3-17 yrs of age.  I think we’ll go again and take some of our favorite children 3-17 years of age.



Scott Memhard, president of Cape Pond Ice Company, at work in the historic building on the Gloucester waterfront.
Photo Credit Jessica Rinaldi, Boston Globe Staff

You know it’s freezing outside when the icehouse — kept at a constant 28 degrees — feels warm.

Inside the venerable ice-making plant, it’s so cold you can see your breath, and stalactites grow off the ceiling. But during the recent extended cold snap, Scott Memhard, president of Cape Pond Ice Company, retreated to the historic building on the Gloucester waterfront to keep warm.

With sub-zero weather, Memhard found his workplace unusually comfortable, even as he had to deal with flooding after the Jan. 4 storm. Tidal water wreaked havoc with the machinery, but after three decades in the ice business, Memhard kept a cool head. Ice is his life — bagged ice, block ice, dry ice, crushed ice, and sculpture ice.

Update: The Search For A Sub $800 Canada Goose Jacket Alternative- North Face Arctic Parka II Cheaper And Discount Code


A reader sent in a cheaper place to buy the Northface Arctic Parka II.  The Northface one also doesn’t have real coyote fur if that’s something you care about.

http://www.backcountry.com has a discount code which you can access here, also free two day shipping.

Here’s the original post-

I can appreciate the finer things in life.  Ugg slippers which we talk about on the Podcast are one of life’s luxuries I’d gladly pay double for because they’re so far better than anything else I’ve ever put on my feet so I completely understand why they are priced the way they are.  The Canada Goose Jacket I can only assume is the same thing.  Only we just don’t have over $800 laying around for a jacket.

Now we got away this past weekend to Montreal.  One of my five favorite cities but also one of the coldest.  People in Montreal are very stylish, very polished, very European.  It’s also cold as fuck up there.  Negative digits routinely this time of year.  We stayed downtown and walked everywhere and wouldn’t you know more women than not and a ton of men were rocking Canada Goose Jackets or Canada Goose Jacket look-a-likes.

So while stuck at the airport for a bit I set out to find an alternative to the Canada Goose Jacket for Kate.  Surely there has to be a company out there that A) makes jackets, B) sees how much Canada Goose is charging for their jackets and C) has set out to make an equally as well performing jacket for way less money.

You can’t tell me that it costs anywhere close to $800 to produce these jackets.  I get that it’s become a total status symbol type thing but there is something to the fad, the comfort and style that can be replicated for far less money.

So I checked around and one alternative is the North Face Arctic Parka II  $298.95 Read the reviews here



Here’s the Canada Goose version which actually gets lower review ratings read the reviews here


(can the patch on the sleeve really be worth $500 more?)

Kate’s going to get the North Face one and we will report back.  Stay tuned!

Approaching Winter Storm Postpones CAS Annual Meeting from Wednesday, January 17 to  Wednesday, January 24

Approaching Winter Storm Postpones CAS Annual Meeting from Wednesday, January 17 to  Wednesday, January 24

Cape Ann Symphony Orchestra, Inc.

Notice of Annual Meeting

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 7:30 pm.

Gloucester House Restaurant

63 Rogers Street, Gloucester, MA




Cape Ann Symphony Board President Thomas Mannle announced the Annual Meeting of Cape Ann Symphony Orchestra, Inc originally scheduled forWednesday, January 17 has been postponed because of the approaching winter storm. The new date for the Annual Meeting of the Cape Ann Symphony Orchestra, Inc. will be  Wednesday, January 24, 2018, at 7:30pm at the Gloucester House Restaurant, 63 Rogers Street, Gloucester, MA. The meeting will be preceded by a cocktail reception at 6:30pm. ($36. per person/ cash bar). It is not necessary to attend the reception in order to attend the Annual Meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to hear reports of the past year’s activity by the Music Director, Treasurer, President, and Manager. The meeting is also convened to elect Directors and Officers for the period from January 20, 2017 through January 19, 2018. For information please contact David Benjamin, Business Manager,978-281-0543.