Thinking about tomorrow’s predicted nor’easter, the fourth this month of March, and hoping the old proverb “In like a lion, and out like a lamb” holds true. Many spring ephemerals are already showinging themselves and it won’t be long before the peonies are poking their red tipped heads out from beneath the leaf litter. Happy first day of spring!

Beautiful Fish: Alligator Fish -By Al Bezanson



Nothing whatever is known of the life of the alligator fish except that it is a bottom fish and that it has been repeatedly found in the stomachs of cod, haddock, and halibut although it is not “much thicker or softer than an iron spike.”[18] The Grampus and the Albatross II have trawled it both on pebbly bottom, on sand and broken shells, and on soft mud. So far as known adults never stray into water shoaler than 10 to 15 fathoms, and the deepest record for it, with which we are acquainted, is from 104 fathoms.[19] Its range shows that it is a cold water fish. Its upper temperature limit is about 50°-52°; its lower limit close to the freezing point of salt water. Its breeding habits are unknown. Probably its eggs sink like those of sculpins.

Five to seven inches long when full grown.

From Fishes of the Gulf of Maine by Bigelow and Schroeder (1953) online courtesy of MBL/WHOIhttp://www.gma.org/fogm/A_monopterygius.htm

Must Have For Any True BBQ Fan- Pro Dimpled Meat Cutting Knife

Northeast BBQ

In the past I’ve struggled to get those nice even clean cuts when slicing large cuts of meat.  When watching lots of youtube and instagram videos there was one constant with what the pros were using- a dimpled slicing knife.

Didn’t know it could make such a difference but now that I’ve had one for a couple of months I can say that for $24.99 its probably the best BBQ accesory money I’ve spent all year long.

Here’s the link to the one I got



These cuts are about 3/16 inch thick and sliced perfectly and effortlessly.


Here’s a video from when I cut the last corned beef brisket I made last week into a little thicker slices-

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Sista Felicia’s Kitchen Easter Cookie Gift Sets On Sale Now!

Carrot Patch Cookie Arrangement!

3D Easter Bunny Basket!

Taking orders now – March 26th or while supplies last!

“Carrot Patch” Cookie Arrangements, “3D Edible Easter Bunny Basket” Cookie Arrangements, 3D Bunny & 3D Chick Cookie Sets, “Paint Your Own” Easter Egg”,Traditional Sicilian “Cannateddi” Easter Egg Cookies, and “Sugar Cookie Platter Decorating Kits”

To order please Private message or Email Sistafeliciaskitchen@gmail.com

Sista Felicia’s vanilla based Sugar Cookies are prepared using the very finest ingredients including; fresh eggs, butter and vanilla beans. Each cookie is individually hand rolled for a thick 1/4″ cookie, hand cut, and baked to perfection… in a licensed/certified Home Based Kitchen.

** ***Please note that everything is produced in a facility possibly containing known food allergens, including, but not limited to: eggs, wheat, soy, milk, peanuts and tree nuts, shellfish…

Place your orders now before they sell out!

A Circle of Friends!

Last night was the final night of St. Joseph’s, the final night to gather to celebrate the amazing six weeks that ends with putting the saints to bed for another year. Of course there is still a small altar where candles are lit and prayers are offered all year.

The Novena girls are an extraordinary group of women where ideas and dreams lead to trust, connection, love, friendship, faith and amazing productivity working all together. Teamwork really does make the dream work!

A salute to the team with love!

Doors open for #BerkshireMuseum case John Adams Courthouse

People are streaming in and filling seats like guests at a wedding– proponents of the sale like Berkshire Museum director Van Shields and Trustees are seated together on the left.

Attorneys greet and shake hands like team captains before a big game.

Continue reading “Doors open for #BerkshireMuseum case John Adams Courthouse”

Magnolia Pier

One of my most photographed subjects is the magnolia pier. Seeing it in its current state makes me sad but I know the people involved in the reconstruction will get her back to normal as soon as they can. For those that don’t know the Pier was severely damaged during the last few storms with damaging surf dismantling it making it unsafe .

Berkshire Museum court case today – order for oral arguments as follows

John Adams Courthouse Superior Court Boston MA_20180301_© C Ryan (8)_105946 (1)

Courtroom 2 at John Adams Courthouse is quiet now but come noon today the Berkshire Museum deaccession  art case will have it’s next day in court, this time the highest in the Commonwealth.

Attorneys for Parties (The Trustees Berkshire Museum and Massachusetts AGO) vs. Amici (Patti and Hatt groups) will present as follows:

Amici will go first  Tom Patti and Hatt groups, then AGO, and Trustees last. Justice Lowy can decide to allow the patries’ petition, deny it, or reserve and report which means bringing the case back to the full court.

Continue reading “Berkshire Museum court case today – order for oral arguments as follows”

A Little Bit Magical. A Little Bit Scary.

Genetics.  A little bit magical.  A little bit scary.  What our ancestors gave to us and what we give to our descendants is a bit like a dish that gets passed down the family line.  It can get a little bit banged up on its journey down the family line but we think it’s beautiful regardless.  That dish belongs to us.  The stories of our ancestors belong to us too and we share them with many others who experienced similar struggles and joy along the way.

Ancestry recently released a new DNA tool that tracks our DNA to “genetic communities”— many people from an area that share similar DNA and had similar life experiences.  These life experiences often led to migration.  Migration like this became like a worn path you follow through the woods mostly because someone else had already done so ahead of you.  These patterns can give us clues as to how our ancestors ended up in Gloucester, for example.  It may not be as simple as the Potato Famine pushing the Irish across the sea.

Most of my  Irish seem to appear in the Boston/Gloucester area in the 1860s or so and this is what Ancestry has to say about their Irish migration during that time period:

The Great Famine Migration

During the Great Famine, potato blight ruined Ireland’s main source of food. Although the horrors of mass starvation were highest in the southwestern province of Munster, its people felt a deep connection to their native land and culture, and emigrated only as a last resort. If they did not die or enter the infamous workhouse, the poor opted for the short journey to England. Others with a little more money crossed the Atlantic to settle among the poor in urban areas in the United States, with New York the most common destination.

The Irish this might apply to include James Handran, Timothy Ryan, John Bentley, Martin Costello, Julia McDonough.  So far, we think our Irish hail from Galway, Meath, Sligo and Clare (all areas within this Munster region).  GMG Jimmy giggled when he saw that these regions of Ireland were suitable for hiding criminals and rebels.

Our Newfoundlanders include John Edward Handran and Mary Ann Squires.  These people often migrated to Nova Scotia (John Pierce, Phoebe Nickerson ) before settling in the Cape Ann area.  In general, the Canadians came to America a little later than our Irish and this is what Ancestry has to say about that time period for them:

Cod Decline Pushes Newfoundlanders to New England

Overfishing cod caused economic instability on the island. The promise of lucrative jobs meant some Newfoundlanders headed to New England coastal towns, particularly Boston. In America the transplants often found work as fishermen, factory workers, and servants.

And another BINGO!!! It feels darn great to have my research confirmed in this way with pretty maps and dotted lines!

Native filmmaker, local fishermen | Dead in the Water at Cape Ann Cinema tonight

photo: Wittkower filming at sea — with PAUL VITALE, GLOUCESTER

Tonight Cape Ann Cinema TUES. MAR. 20 @ 7:30PM

ed. note reposting:

David Wittkower’s full length documentary about the Gloucester fishing industry, Dead in the Water, was produced by Wittkower,  Linzee Coolidge, John Bell and Angela Sanfilippo. Music is by Paula Cole. LA based filmmaker, Wittkower, returned home to Gloucester, and was surprised by how different the docks were from the same ones he scrambled over as a kid. What happened? Prior local screenings were held at Rockport High School and Cape Ann Museum.

Dead in the Water documentary poster
Dead in the Water – the documentary, poster @GloucesterHouse “Fishermen have survived Nature’s fury at sea. But can they survive the Perfect Storm at home?”

Cape Ann Cinema Dead in Water