Category Archives: travel

Our month on Cape Cod—day 20

~Thursday~ It was with great pleasure that I hung out both my figurative and literal, respectively, out-of-the-office message at the end of my work day.

Gone fishing sign Gmail O-O-O autoresponse

Bob walked for about an hour-and-a-half today. He visited the miniature golf course as part of the Red Barn collection of shops. Not exactly sure if that rabbit is getting ready to take a dump or get hit with an errant golf ball in a place that’ll really hurt.

Putt-Putt donkey
Putt-Putt goat Putt-Putt rabbit
Putt-Putt pig

And saw potential retirement editing work for me should we decide to retire in this quiet little town.

Dinning Missing 'on'

Speaking of signs, look at the Roger-superscripted-s Barber Shop. I sort of like it. It’s like a portmanteau of an apostrophe and the possessive “s.”

Barber shop Barber shop name
Pets welcome, people tolerated, mannequins abandoned
People & pets sign Mannequin in door window

The art of art. Buoys-as-art seems popular here. That dentist office sign has a lot going on. Is it a dentist office? Is it an art studio? Is it a dentist with her art displayed in the waiting room? Is it the “fine art of cosmetic dentistry?” It seems to be the latter if her website provides any clarity. And with all that said, she’s very accomplished.

Humanity sign Buoy art Fine art of dentistry

One of my favorite people from high school arrived late this afternoon, and we had a wonderful evening eating, catching up, and playing games. Bob made dinner and Kathy provided the homemade Boston Cream Pie for dessert. Bourbon and wine may have been consumed throughout the evening.

Catch Phrase
Dinner Boston Cream Pie

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Our month on Cape Cod—day 19

~Wednesday~ Bob made a grocery shopping run to the Stop & Shop this morning.


We took separate walks again today, with Bob doing his during the work day, and me doing mine after work, which felt a little bit rushed because sunset was at 4:28 today. Thanks, Daylight Saving Time.

Bob walked 3.84 miles to and back from the Cape Cod Bay coast, where he passed this (closed) thrift store and peered into its windows:

Thrift Store Thrift store window 1
Thrift store window 2 Thrift store window close-up

and spent a little time on the shore, where he saw various and sundry things.

A rocky shoreline
Sunset on the bay
A horseshoe crab
And its innards
Horseshoe crab under
Some seaweed
Some seaweed
A crab
A crab

My walk was 1.34 miles, and I captured the signs of several of the little “shopping centers” that are within walking distance of our place.

Seatoller Eastham Common Main Street Mercantile Village Green

I also came upon this strange looking building, which really stood out due to its color. Almost all of the other houses here are that classic Cape Cod gray color that the top part of this one is.

The place was all closed up, with a cinderblock standing in front of the side door. And through the window, you could see stairs, which seemed to be right in front of the window, leading to a second floor.

And two final things—one from my walk and one from Bob’s.

A roadside ghost bike
A sign of kindness

Tomorrow is my last day of work here, and I plan to start early and finish early, as my high school friend is arriving in the late afternoon.


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Our month on Cape Cod—day 18

~Tuesday~ I had no work meetings today, but I did have a 5- to 10-minute impromptu video chat initiated by a colleague who’s good about keeping in touch.


We both took walks today, Bob’s earlier in the day and much longer than mine. I did mine after work, and, no, I didn’t purposely walk a route that would look like an erect penis in the MapMyWalk app. It just happened—like good, morning wood.

Bob’s walk: 2.9 miles
John’s walk: .65 miles

Before I set out on my walk, I checked out the laundry and book exchange building, which Bob has been in several times now, but I hadn’t yet seen.

In checking out the book collection, I saw the book Bob just finished reading (highlighted in red) beside the book he contributed (highlighted in green) to the collection.


This was my first walk just to get some exercise (which I had planned to do every day while we were here since we don’t have access to an elliptical machine, but I haven’t done it), and I went into the US Post Office, which Bob also has been to several times, just to check it out. It’s much bigger than I had imagined.

I also noticed that this building that I thought was a house is actually a bank. Other than the mention of an ATM (and, admittedly, the “Member FDIC” notation, if you know what that is), it’s not at all obvious it’s a bank. Maybe if instead of the “5,” it said “nickel,” or the “5” was paired with “& Dime,” it’d’ve been obvious.


Bob made a “Fall River staple” from my childhood for us for dinner tonight. It was “beef chow mein,” as we added ground beef to it along with the sliced celery and chopped onions. Yummy!


It’s time to brace ourselves for the evening (and probably days to come) with some bourbon and champagne on hand (for various outcomes) as Election Day 2020 unfolds.


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Our month on Cape Cod—day 17

~Monday~ Today is the first day of my (short) last week working while we’re here. I’m taking off Friday, all next week while my sister and her husband are here, and the following Monday, which is the day we drive back.

Today I thought about the clocks that we’ll have to adjust the time on when we get home.

There are 12 of them, and these are in addition to the 6 that we have that adjust themselves. Why in the world would 2 people have 18 clocks you wonder, and where in the heck are they all? Good question about why so many, and here’s the inventory:

To be manually adjusted Self-adjusting
  1. Primary bedroom nightstand (digital)
  2. Primary bathroom (digital)
  3. Music/TV room (digital)
  4. Music/TV room (analog)
  5. Living room (analog)
  6. Kitchen radio (digital)
  7. Microwave (digital)
  8. Stove (digital)
  9. Office desk (digital)
  10. Guest bathroom (analog)
  11. Back porch (analog)
  12. Ford Fusion (digital)
  1. John’s Lenovo PC
  2. Bob’s Dell PC
  3. John’s iPhone
  4. Bob’s iPhone
  5. John’s ThinkPad work laptop
  6. Shed radio

Bob did some laundry today, and he took advantage of the little book exchange there to borrow The President’s Lady.


I started on my 62nd book to add to my collection of 2020 books read to date.


Like a lot of people in our country tonight, we’re anxious about what tomorrow will bring, but at least we’ll always remember where we were for Election Day 2020.


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Our month on Cape Cod—day 16

~Sunday~ Bob made breakfast for our guests today—scrambled eggs & sausage. I buttered and lightly pan-toasted some massa—Portuguese sweet bread. We served it all with a side of mimosas.

Before they headed back to Dorchester, Boston, we made the short ride to Nauset Beach so Maggie and Phil could see the beach.

We saw a bunch of birds out a ways on the water, and a seal very close to shore. I hope it was on high alert:

Great white sharks hunt seals in shallow water at this beach.”
Shark lunch!

Sign of the times

And down on the beach, we saw this perplexing sight:

That bird had one broken leg, and it was chowing down on that young buck.


Maggie and Phil headed out from the beach. Back at the house, Bob and I had a relaxing afternoon that included a nap and a game of IRL Scrabble accompanied by happy hour.

For dinner, we had the leftovers of the meal Maggie made and brought yesterday.

In the evening, Bob (re-)watched Airport, and I finished my 61st book of the year, Olive, Again.


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Our month on Cape Cod—day 15

~Saturday~ We had planned to check out the meat raffle to see what it was all about, but when we got to the Eastham Elk’s Lodge, where it’s held, there wasn’t anyone there.

Our next stop was going to be the Eastham Superette to pick up some champagne—in it, or in the attached liquor store—and to see what they actually carry in that little store for future reference. Outside the Superette was this little gem of a sculpture:

“Cape Cod Gothic” – 2016 (Anita & Seymour Codd)
Jamie DaLomba – Metal Sculpture Art; JJ Welding – North Eastham
Also nearby, I cannot lie, was this intimidating street.

and coming out of the store, we noticed that the Eastham Windmill, which we had planned to check out at some point, was right across the street. Also on “the green” near the windmill was a “Memorial Buoy Tree,” which is a tribute to its deceased creator, Eastham native James Filliman, who was “a clammer, a builder, a beach walker and collector, who enjoyed using things he found in nature.” Read Jimmy’s obit, if you’re interested.


Maggie, Bob’s niece—his oldest sister’s daughter—and her partner Phil arrived today from Dorchester, Boston for an overnight visit. Maggie’s a chef for a living, and she brought dinner!

Sweet Potato Cottage Pie: Spicy ground beef with olives and raisins topped with whipped sweet potatoes; Cauliflower: Roasted with browned butter, cilantro, pepitas, and lime; Mixed Greens: Pumpkin spiced-pecans, cranberries, crumbled goat cheese

After dinner and many cocktails, we played a fun game during which we laughed and laughed and laughed:

“What’s something you do that’s irresponsible? was one of our questions, which led to hilarity.
Saving pennies on the penny

Here are some of the words contained in our collective responses. Two of them were kind-of popular:

It was a real fun evening—laughing a lot and learning a lot about each other. And bonus—we got an extra hour of sleep afterward.


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Our month on Cape Cod—day 14

~Friday~ I took a vacation day today, like I’m doing every Friday while we’re here.

We drove to Sandwich, MA to check out the Sandwich Glass Museum. We arrived right on the (11:00) hour, which is when the glass-blowing demonstrations start, so we joined one just a couple of minutes into it.

The gentleman made 2 pieces while we watched, the first was a small vase, and the second was a small pitcher.

After his demonstration, we walked around the museum, which was much bigger than it looked like from the outside.

I dream of Jeannie houses
Festive glass

I really liked these fish-themed pieces:

And 2 other favorites of mine:

Crucifix candlesticks
Blown trick tumbler

If you’re interested, you can see lots more in this public Facebook photo album.


After the museum, but before we left Sandwich to head back to Eastham, we stopped at the Bob O’Malley’s Whaleback Restaurant, and oh what a treat it was. The place looked much smaller than it did in the pictures on the web, and there were only 2 cars in the lot when we arrived, which we didn’t take as a good sign.

But inside, it was a quaint little place, and Beth invited us to eat in, since there was no one else in there. And she was so nice, and of course, very mask-cautious putting it on whenever she came to our table.

We ordered one seafood platter to share and each a stuffed quahog. It was all so delicious!


Once back in Eastham, we stopped at the Stop & Shop grocery store to pick up just a few things in anticipation of guests we’re having tomorrow and Sunday. Bob’s niece, Maggie and her partner Phil, who live just outside Boston are going to visit us for the weekend.


At home we played a game of IRL Scrabble, with which enjoyed some hot tea to take off the chill. It was pretty cold, windy, and rainy out there today.

We finished off the eggnog with some eggnog martinis for happy hour tonight, and had a light dinner, since we had such a filling lunch.

I’m declaring my second Friday vacation day here a success.


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Our month on Cape Cod—day 13

~Thursday~ It was my “virtual Friday” and the highlight of my work day was listening to the finalists of the We Are Red Hat Week Open Mic event. Such incredible talent across this great company of ours:

A baton twirler—complete with 2 fire-burning batons—skillfully avoided catching any of her hair, body parts, or clothing on fire; a ballcap-wearing, fisherman-looking guy singing a song from a Broadway musical; and a whirling-Dervish-like dancer to Bollywood music were among my favorites.


The chair I’m using as a desk chair is, well, let’s just say it’s not very comfortable. In addition to the back support cushion, I’m up to 2 pillows on the seat to make it comfortable enough to spend 8 hours on.

I did a Google search on “office furniture rental desk chairs” and actually found a place that rents a pretty decent chair for $37 for a month. But then, I calculated that I really only have 4 more work days here (Mon – Thu of next week), and I might take Thursday off. The following week (11/7 – 11/11), and the Monday (11/16) after, I’m on vacation, so I’m just going to make it work for another 3 or 4 days.


Bob made a walking trip to the post office to mail some postcards, where he came across this “Stamposaurus” project —”a collection box for cancelled stamps was set up for school children for art projects and for stamp collecting for all ages”—that’s been going on for 30 years. You can learn more by clicking on the “How the journey began…” photo.

He also took note of the Eastham Public Libraries Activities board, and stopped by the General Store where they’re really getting to know him.


There is a 100% chance of rain, pretty much all day tomorrow, so we looked for something we can do indoors. We’ve settled on, temporarily at least, visiting The Sandwich Glass Museum in, well, Sandwich, MA, some time tomorrow.

I’ve made a note of a few restaurants near the museum in which we can stop for a sandwich in Sandwich. Two leading contenders are: Bob O’Malley’s Whaleback Restaurant and Bobby Byrnes. (Hmmm, I see a theme here with these restaurant names. Do you, Bob?)


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Our month on Cape Cod—day 12

~Wednesday~ We’re getting excited about my sister and her husband coming up in a week-and-a-half, and she and I had a discussion last night about a couple of things.

She’s going to bring some food when they drive up, and she asked if I was still dieting. To which I responded with: “This is our ‘snack corner’ of the counter. Does this look like I’m still dieting?” ☺

The reality is that I am eating this junk, but I’m also practicing portion control when doing so. There was a time when I would eat a whole bag or container without giving it a second (or first) thought.

Another thing we talked about is that there are essentially 2 primary bedrooms on the first floor—with a trade-off situation. One has a TV in it, but its bathroom is smaller, with only 1 sink. The other one doesn’t have a TV in it, but its bathroom is bigger, with 2 sinks.

We asked them if they have a preference, because we don’t care. We’ve been in the one with the TV, but we haven’t watched it at all, and won’t. (We don’t have a TV in our bedroom at home.)

They chose the one with the TV in it, so Bob spent some time today moving us from one room to the other. These are the “after” pictures:

Bedroom with the TV, but a smaller bathroom
(it’s ready for Vivian & Jeff)
Bedroom with no TV, but a bigger bathroom
(we’ve moved into it)

We check our home cam each day just to make sure we’re not missing anything. We told our neighbor to feel free to park in our driveway so that it looks like someone’s coming and going there during our month away. It always makes us smile when we see their car there.

Bob always checks to see if he’d be mowing the lawn or how many leaves he’d be raking if we were there.

I always check to see if our across-the-street neighbor is still parked on their lawn at their front door.

I had a late/early meeting with a colleague of mine who works in Australia—7 -8 a.m. (tomorrow) her time, 5 – 6 p.m. (today) my time, so there was a slight delay to the start of our happy hour today.

Tomorrow’s my “virtual Friday” leading into my long weekend.


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Our month on Cape Cod—day 11

~Tuesday~ Each year in the last week of October, we celebrate “We Are Red Hat Week” at work, which consists of a lot of activities you can opt into. Today, I participated in:

We were matched up with 5 other Red Hatters we didn’t know, from around the company, and after introducing ourselves to each other (i.e., name, team, and time with Red Hat), we answered 7 ice breaker questions. Here they are with my answers:

1. What’s your favorite part of your job?

Editing the Command Line Heroes transcripts; editing webinar titles, abstracts, and speaker bios; and editing the Red Hat Summit session titles and abstracts.

2. What’s something you love about your work at Red Hat?

Getting Red Hat Rewards and my fun, creative, and smart team.

3. What’s the most special item on your desk or in your travel bag? If you have the item, show it on the video, if desired. Briefly share why it is special, or why you like to keep it with you at your desk or when you travel.

I have a 2-picture frame of my sister receiving her doctorate’s degree and the acknowledgments page of her dissertation, which includes a thanks to me for inspiring her research.

4. What is one of your workday morning rituals? Whether it’s working out, meditating, spending time with your children or pets, do you have something you regularly like to do before you start your work day?

I’m not a morning person, so all I do before starting my workday is shower and have breakfast. I do have an after-work ritual of doing the USA Today Crossword Puzzle online with my husband. (It’s an everyday ritual; we do it on the weekends, too.)

5. What has been one of your biggest challenges during the pandemic? Little or big, what’s something you’ve been challenged by during these strange times?

Not being able to meet my friends out at a local bar on Friday nights, which we did very routinely.

6. What’s something you would never want to change at Red Hat? As we grow, change is inevitable. But, what’s something about our culture, our norms, etc. that you feel is so special that you would never want to see changed? Why?

When we’re working in the Red Hat Tower building, free bagel Wednesdays in the cafeteria. Why? Because I love both bagels and free.

7. How do you describe life at Red Hat to your family and friends? Working for the world’s largest open source software company can be unique. When people ask what it’s like to work at Red Hat, what are some of the things you describe?

I usually talk about the flexible work hours, feeling like I’m seen and heard there, how great my team is, and how much I enjoy doing work that I love.

I really enjoyed meeting the people in our group and hearing all of their answers to these questions.


Bob went on a couple of walks today, the first included a stop by the nearby post office to mail some postcards and a greeting card. There are still plenty of flowers in bloom here.

On his second outing, he saw these 2 vehicles that surprised us because we’ve passed a roadside sign, several times now, that says “John Martin” on it, and we’d both assumed—for some odd reason—that the person was a realtor. But as it turns out, he owns a local excavating company.

One rather bizarre sign Bob came across was this:

Although we’ve never heard of them, meat raffles are definitely a thing. We might just participate in this one on Saturday if when we get there, it looks like it’s being managed safely with regards to the pandemic.

Snarky aside: Not exactly sure what that orange with the bone shoved up its hind end is doing in the picture, but whatever. 😉

Have you ever attended, or even heard of, a meat raffle? If so, do tell.


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