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Fall in Provincetown (Part I)


Paul and I had the month of October off (between sits), so we decided to spend more time in P-town before heading south.  We found a perfect little apartment across from Carpe Diem on Johnson Street and rented it without thinking twice. 

My October Office

I loved this spot because to me, it felt like I had stepped back into the land of Anne of Green Gables, but with the Atlantic down the stairs and to the left.  Not to mention Commercial Street.  Thank you, David, for a wonderful month in your home sweet home! 

One thing Paul and I both wanted to do was spend more time exploring the Cape Cod National Seashore.  I fell in love with the Seashore while reading Joan Anderson’s books, and then the book Master of the Sweet Trade by Elizabeth Moisan, after meeting her at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod

The Cape Cod National Seashore was established as a National Park almost fifty years ago.  It is the most pristine stretch of shoreline either of us have ever seen.

"A man can stand here and put all of America behind him." Henry David Thoreau

Cape Cod National Seashore

There are eighteen remaining dune shacks along the Cape Cod National Seashore.  It is a bit of a hike to get to them.  I suggest you leave your shoes at the beginning of the trail (which is all sand) and bring plenty of drinking water.  There is a vehicle tour available if you prefer, but to be fair to all of your senses I say hike it.

Province Lands Dune Shacks

The dune shacks started out as homes for rescuers employed by the U.S. Life-saving Service in the 19th century.  If you are fortunate enough to spend some time here (temporary tenants are chosen by lottery), you will be joining the likes of Eugene O’Neil, Jack Kerouac, e.e. cummings, Norman Mailer and Jackson Pollack. 

Afternoon on the Dunes

Wild Cranberry Bog, Cape Cod National Seashore

Of course, I would love to spend more time here.  There is a bit of controversy surrounding the shacks and their (in my opinion) rightful owners…thankfully they are on the National Register of Historic Places.  If I understand this correctly, this means they cannot be bulldozed.  Dear Powers That Be, please don’t bulldoze any more shacks.  And please don’t take this magical place away from those who have owned and loved these shacks for decades, if not generations.  Thanks. 

Sophie B Hawkins at the Post Office Cafe & Cabaret

Meanwhile, back on Commercial Street…would you believe I had the luck to be in P-town during Women’s Week?  No, I am not a lesbian, but nobody seemed to mind.  There were tons of events going on. 

It was such a pleasure to see Sophie B. Hawkins live.  After the show, I was lucky enough to chat with her a bit, buy a CD, and take pics of others with her.  Yes, I wish I had asked Paul to take a pic of me with her…don’t normally care about that kind of thing but I do LOVE her and now wish I had a pic!

Bold Strokes Authors

Every day during Women’s Week, there were readings and Q&A sessions at Vixen Night Club, followed by book signings at Now Voyager Bookstore and Gallery.  What a great group of women authors!  I purchased a couple of books and look forward to reading them now that we have settled in for the winter here on Signal Mountain (TN).  Thank you, Bold Strokes for putting on this great event!  

Well.  Here I am, once more realizing that I am going on and on.  Apparently one isn’t to go on and on here in Blogsville…something about the waning attention span of the average reader.  That’s fine, because it is just about dinnertime. 

Thank you for hanging out with me….I blog for comments, so feel free to leave one.  As an added bonus, each comment you leave between now and December 1, 2010 enters you into my latest prize drawing : )

A Journey Into Enlightenment (Part II)


Here we are in Tennessee, on our third official sit as a couple (and my fiftieth or so as an individual).  It has been a whirlwind of a fall and we are both looking forward to hunkering down for the winter up on Signal Mountain.

Now that I am finally and fully embracing the wonders of blogging and social media in general, I find that I can be more distracted than ever if I am not careful.  In the past I have had specific job duties, like mixing drinks or selling soaps or entering data…now I am mainly accountable to…me.  Yikes. 

Time to retrain my brain.  Time to walk down a different street!  If I want to make a living online, I need to be super organized and results-driven.  I need goals, and I need to accomplish them.  I can’t simply wait for someone else to tell me what to do, whether it be work related or otherwise.

So, each month I am going to hold myself accountable to not just me, but to all of you as well.  Each month I am going to post a goal (or four).  I know we are almost halfway into November, but I have been working hard on the following and feel the need share now, so here goes:

November Goals:

Blogsville: I am currently working with Lisa Sabin-Wilson (author of WordPress for Dummies) on this blog.  It is being completely restructured in order to be more user friendly and interactive.  You will see the new look this month (can’t wait to show you)!

Other Social Media: You can now find either myself or Caretaking Couple on twitter and Linked In as well as facebook.  I am not sure if I will be adding to or subtracting from this list – I am just going to have fun with each and see where my time is best spent.   Do you have a favorite?  If so, please share.

My Writing: Most of you know that I am taking writing classes and working on a book.  I have eight chapters outlined and three written.  I will finish Chapter Four by the end of the month. How many rough drafts does one woman need to write, anyway?

Health and Fitness:  I am looking into becoming a Beachbody Coach.  There is still a bit of research to do with regards to this.  I am considering Beachbody because I have seen the results in people who are consistent with it, and it is something I can do from anywhere in the US.  And it will hold me accountable!

The goals above are more challenging than I thought they would be but there is nothing else I would rather be doing right now.  Except for maybe going for a bike ride and getting to know the new neighborhood…another benefit of working from “home”.

Thank you for reading this, our 100th blog post here at Caretaking Couple!  As always, I would love to hear from you.  Enlighten me ; ) Just leave a comment on any of my 100 posts between now and December 1 and I will enter your name into a drawing for a special CC gift from Tennessee!

A Journey Into Enlightenment


I have been going through all of my business and personal paperwork in order to get Paula (the new owner of Mountain Girl Organics) whatever I think she may want or need, as well as to continue the process of whittling down in preparation for our next sit (i.e. how will we fit all of it into the 4Runner?). 

While whittling, I found a wrinkled photocopy of a photocopy tucked away in my “Important Papers” file. It was given to me several years ago by someone who knew me well.  I am glad I kept it…

A Journey Into Enlightenment * In Five Short Chapters

Chapter 1:  I walk down a street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I fall in – I am lost – I am hopeless – it isn’t my fault – it takes forever to find my way out. 

Chapter 2:  I walk down the same street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I pretend I don’t see it.  I fall in again – I can’t believe I’m in the same place.  It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter 3:  I walk down the same street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I see it is there.  I still fall in – it is a habit.  My eyes are open – I know where I am – it is my fault – I get out immediately.

Chapter 4:  I walk down the same street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I walk around it.

Chapter 5:  I walk down a different street. 

I have made a lot of progress in the few years since I read this last…even still it is a relevant read, a simple yet effective reminder.  It is time again to make some changes.  Time to walk down a different street. 

OK, we are almost at our next sit (Tennessee)…more about my changes soon! 

Would love to hear from any of you that can relate to this little story – perhaps we can support each other in our changes for the better…

Road Trip 2010 – Ohio


Cedar Falls, Ohio was one of the prettiest places we visited.  This was another quick stop as we raced against time to get back to the Cape.  Sometimes, having a timeline is a bummer!  We were so close to gorges, waterfalls, caves, and forests…it was a shame to leave without seeing what this lovely part of the US is all about. 

OK, I am done sulking now.  Let me show you how pretty it was at The Inn at Cedar Falls

View From the Balcony

The Restaurant and Tavern at the Inn is located in two of the properties 1840’s log cabins…I love log cabins.  Does anyone not love log cabins?

The Restaurant and Tavern

And this little bar reminded me a bit of The Icehouse Cafe in Evergreen, Colorado.  There was just about the same amount of space behind it and barstools in front of it. 

Little Bar, Big on Character

We had a lovely dinner there (check out the menu – it is surprisingly gourmet for being located in what feels like the middle of the woods). 

Then, time enough for some shut-eye in our cozy room, another yummy meal (French toast, homemade granola and fruit, fresh coffee…) in the cabins,  and we were off.

Paul and Rand (McNally) having Breakfast at the Inn

Something about the phone booth just outside of the reception area left me feeling nostalgic.  Wow, how times have changed.  Guess it comes with age…the longing for life as one once knew it.  I know, I know, I am only thirty-seven…but haven’t things changed so much, in such a small amount of time?  Or is it just me being a sentimental fool?

Reminder of Simpler Times

This was to be our last night on the road for a while.  I have finished our “Road Trip 2010” chronicles just in time to embark on our next journey.  We are finishing up a month off between sits here in Provincetown, MA.  It has been a great time…I will post more about that soon.  We head South for TN on Monday.  Not even sure what route we are taking yet, which is all part of the fun… 

On the Road Again

Road Trip 2010 – Missouri


This will be short and sweet, just like our time in St. Louis, Missouri was.  Paul found us an inexpensive room at the Westin.  Not being a hotel chain type of traveler, my hopes were low.  However, this hotel was absolutely wonderful (clean and spacious with a deep bathtub and cool art on the walls)…and check out the view we had from our window!

Busch Stadium from our Westin Window

We basically had time enough wander around town a bit, eat and sleep (the Cardinals had an away game, alas).  Our wanderings led us to a tap house and wine bar named bridge.  I ordered me a pear cider and we shared a cheese board.  If you love cheese (and beer, and wine, and cider, and spirits), then you will be impressed with the selection here.  I had to order the Sage Derby (Great Britain, Buttery with a slight herbiness) in honor of Paul, of course. 

bridge tap house and wine bar

Before and after dinner, we hung out in Citygarden for a bit, which is a really cool urban oasis (aka park) in downtown St. Louis.  The weather was nice and the park was packed with happy people.  Wish every city had something like this…

Pinocchio at Citygarden

Citygarden fountain at night


Another thing that struck me about St. Louis was the architecture.  This is one of the most impressive looking post offices I have come across…

St. Louis Post Office

Of course most people go directly to the Gateway Arch upon arrival in St. Louis and I am a bit bummed we didn’t make it there.  If you have been, please tell us what you thought of it.  I got a nice all-around vibe from St. Louis; the people were friendly, the food was good, and the bed was comfy…what more could a girl ask for while “just passing through”?

Road Trip 2010 – Kansas


Road Trip 2010 was a blast – we hit twenty-five states altogether!  Paul woke me up at the crack of dawn for our journey back to the Cape (he knew it would take me a full day to say goodbye to everyone in Colorado, otherwise).  ***HUGE thanks to our friends for putting us up (and putting up with us) … can’t wait to return the favor ’cause we miss you already!*** 

Coffee Stop at the Kirby House in Abilene

As I near the end of our Road Trip 2010 posts (only Missouri and Ohio to go) I realize how alive I feel while on the road and/or writing about the road.  Some connections get me to thinking about stuff I don’t otherwise contemplate.  Take fate, for instance.  We were just passing through Abilene, Kansas and decided to grab a cuppa at Kirby HouseWhat a beautiful place, by the way (I’m a sucker for old Victorians – this one was built in 1885). 

I got to chatting with a woman named Bette seated next to us at the coffee bar (she had a lovely charm bracelet on), and come to find out she is fond of Evergreen, Colorado as well.  In fact, she co-wrote Colorado Cravings, Recipes and Romance with Gail Riley, the owner of The Highland Haven Creekside Inn…which just happens to be one of the best places to stay in the universe, let alone Colorado.  I bought Colorado Cravings from Evergreen Crafters when it first came out.  It has already been sent to the site of our next sit – that is how much I love this book.

Later that same day Bette and I saw each other AGAIN at a Cracker Barrel down the road-a-ways.  I couldn’t believe it at the time; looking back I do.  We had another nice chat while Paul took a business call outside.  Bette, it was a true pleasure to meet you.  You said some things I needed to hear.  Please, let’s keep in touch!  By the way, everyone, Bette’s full name is Bette Milleson James.  She is a writer of poetry and prose.  And she highly recommends the Chocolate Bread Pudding recipe found in Colorado Cravings.

We stopped in Topeka for the night because “time was getting on” according to Paul.  He randomly called up The Woodward and spoke to the proprietress, Elizabeth Taylor.  I am thrilled to say she had a room for us – who would have thought that one of our favorite places to stay ever would be in Topeka, Kansas?   Don’t you just love pleasant surprises?

The Woodward Inn, Topeka

This proprietress is amazing.  Elizabeth doesn’t just run an Inn; she has basically bought all of the properties on the block and renovated them, slowly and surely transforming the area from ramshackle and crime infested to one of the prettiest neighborhoods in America.   She sat and chatted with us over peach tea and chocolate cake that evening, telling us stories about her home and business for almost twenty years now.  Oh.  And she has Polish Pottery available for sale.  I love Polish Pottery.

Polish Pottery (and Paul) at the Woodward Inn

A wedding was to take place in the chapel that weekend.  Yes, the Woodward Inn has a chapel.  Actually, it is a library, but it felt like a chapel (with books) to me…it gave me goose bumps.  In a good way. 

The Chapel at the Woodward Inn

“The open 2 1/2 story library in this home is designed after the King Henry VIII Library at Hampton Hall in London with imported timbers and stones from England” (see the website link above for more).  If you are a bibliophile, you owe it to yourself to research the history of The Woodward.  You may just find yourself on a pilgrimage. 

View from the second story...

It really bothers me when I am unable to capture the beauty of a place with my little camera.  I will be upgrading soon – promise.  I suppose a photography class wouldn’t hurt, either.  Anyway.  There is something magical to me about The Woodward.  Love at first site.  Do you know what I mean? 

If so, please tell us about a place that has captivated you.  My favorite part of blogging is hearing from you, my reader…I mean readers!

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