Welcome to The Voyage of Windbird . . . and Beyond.  My name is Judy Handley and I live on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.  For six years of my life, my husband Mark and I sailed around the world.  I documented that story, one day at a time, in this blog that was then just called The Voyage of Windbird.  Those daily logs from 2005 to 2011 tell the story of our circumnavigation.  While sailing, my daily logs were sent via Ham radio to the internet to appear on this blog spot each morning.  My son Justin made that happen, and to this day, I don’t understand the process.  But it was like magic.  I would sit in the cockpit each afternoon around 4 pm and summarize the day’s activities.  During the evening when the conditions were just right for sending radio emails, my husband would send the log.  The next morning my son, my daughter, other members of my family and good friends would read the news and know exactly where in the world we were and what fun we were having.  

After almost 6 years of traveling, we sailed into Woods Hole on Cape Cod.  We continued living aboard for the next five years and I wrote about that, adding ‘and Beyond’ to the title of the blog.  Then shortly before Mark’s death in 2016, we sold our beloved Windbird and my travel logs became land logs.  At this point, I had written a daily account for each and every day for 11 years.  I fully intended to end the blog at that point, but when I wrote that news in a log, I got many responses saying that I really needed to keep posting.  At the same time, I realized that I couldn’t stop writing.  Summarizing each day had become a permanent part of my life and I will probably continue writing until I can no longer.  These postings reflect the ordinary, and sometimes the extraordinary, days in my life and I would like to invite you to join me on my journey.

NOTE: Due to Google upgrading Picasa to Google Photos, many of our old photos are now broken.  We are actively working on fixing this – thanks for your patience!

2022 Life Logs, Day 135: Sunday Gardening

2022 Life Logs, Day 135: Sunday Gardening
Date: Sunday, May 15, 2022
Weather: Partly Cloudy Early, Turning Sunny; High 67, Low 54 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

What I could once accomplish in one day takes multiple days as I grow older. Could I really be moving this slowly? Or maybe I never really accomplished so much. Maybe I just thought I did. I think that, then I face the truth, knowing that I simply move slower than I once did. Today, I spent an entire day getting one of three raised beds ready to plant when I had hoped to get all three done. Just the new normal. But at least I did get one raised bed done. ‘Done’ included removing the chicken wire fencing around the bed, digging out the grass that was growing around the edges, topping off the bed with organic manure and raised bed garden soil, digging that in and then planting lettuce and basil plants I grew from seed, planting arugula and zinnia seeds, replacing the chicken wire fencing, and then putting the drip irrigation lines back in the bed. It is a lot to do in one day, so going forward, I will plan to do only one raised bed a day and be glad that I can do that! One down, two to go.

2022 Life Logs, Day 134: Ollie’s Soccer Game, Women’s March, Gardening

2022 Life Logs, Day 134: Ollie’s Soccer Game, Women’s March, Gardening
Date: Saturday, May 14, 2022
Weather: Misty Overnight, Sunny, Warm Day; High 73, Low 55 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Last night when I took Shadow out before bedtime, I was surprised by the amount of mist in the air. I was wearing a headlamp and there was so much moisture in the air that it looked like it was snowing in the light of the lamp. Then when I took Shadow out this morning, I was greeted by plants with droplets of water left over from the misty night. The baby oak leaves were heavily laden with droplets of water that glistened in the early morning light and the clematis at the corner of the house was bursting with blossoms. I took a few photos, took Shadow for a walk, and then I was off to Ollie’s 9 am soccer game. He played most of the first half as goalie, and then switched to forward in the second half and made the only goal for his team. In fact, I think it was the last goal of the season. Sam’s league has a few more games, but Ollie and Jonah’s next games will be in the fall.

Early afternoon I headed to the Town Greene to attend Falmouth’s Bans Off Our Bodies Women’s March. And I ended my day delivering some plants to Heather’s and checking in with Ollie after his day at the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. He was bummed that he did not win a trophy this year, but his car was a red, white, and blue beauty. Then it was home to do a little garden clean up. Hopefully tomorrow, I will actually get to do little planting.

2022 Life Logs, Day 133: Incredibly Unmotivated

2022 Life Logs, Day 133: Incredibly Unmotivated
Date: Friday, May 13, 2022
Weather: Sunshine in the Afternoon; High 67, Low 55 degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was a repeat of yesterday, weatherwise—a warm, cloudy morning and a sunny afternoon. The north wind is gone for now. And that is all good. But for whatever reason, I am having difficulty getting motivated to do much of anything. Earlier this week, I made a TO DO list with thirty items. Only six of those items were outside chores, but guess where I have spent my time? Yes, outdoors. I am doing a great job of ignoring the inside cleaning jobs. And I have only marked two outdoor chores off the list and am working on a third. Maybe motivation will come my way tomorrow.

Since I was not motivated to actually get anything done, I spent two hours of today driving off-Cape to return an item I had bought (and ended up not needing) for the trip to Puerto Rico. And I went to the nursery and bought bags of organic soil for raised beds to rejuvenate my gardens. That was the extent of my day. But I did receive a video from Heather this evening that made my day. Tonight was a mother-son dance at Ollie’s school. He refused to go because he thought it was silly that just moms and sons were allowed to attend. Why couldn’t dads attend? What about the boys who don’t have mothers? Why couldn’t girls come with their moms? The questions went on, so Heather did not push going. Instead, they had a mom, dad, and son dance at home. Sam and Jonah are on Nantucket camping this weekend, so Ollie had his parents all to himself. And dance, he did. The video Heather sent was a fantastic Ollie solo. He is quite an impressive dancer.

2022 Life Logs, Day 132: Laundry Day

2022 Life Logs, Day 132: Laundry Day
Date: Thursday, May 12, 2022
Weather: Sunshine in the Afternoon; High 69, Low 51degrees F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Overnight we went from a forecast of days in the 50’s and nights in the 40’s for the next week to days in the 60’s and nights in the 50’s. Sunshine was not in the forecast, but we got that this afternoon as well. I LOVE IT! When I got up this morning, I knew it was warmer than it has been as I had kicked off the winter comforter. I thought maybe I had a temp from the Covid booster, but that was not it. The temperature in the cottage had gone up overnight, not down as usual. I decided that it was the day to change the bed sheets and switch out the winter comforter for the lighter, spring comforter. So, I decided to give Shadow a bath and then take the sheets and duvet cover to the laundromat. Tonight I have a clean dog and a clean bed. That was about it for my day.

2022 Life Logs, Day 131: Second Covid Booster Shot

2022 Life Logs, Day 131: Second Covid Booster Shot
Date: Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Weather: Some Rain Overnight, Overcast and Windy; High 55, Low 47 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I had an 11 am appointment at CVS to get my second Covid booster shot today. I stayed with Moderna, which is what I have had from the beginning. Some say to mix it up, but others believe that if you started with Moderna, you should stay with it, as it has proven its effectiveness. I don’t know if it was a reaction to the shot or to this ugly weather, but by 3:30 pm, I literally had to lay down to take a nap. I was exhausted from doing nothing and ached all over. When I got up at 5 pm, I was fine, except for a sore arm. Who knows?

This dreary, cold, windy weather is not my cup of tea. I know I must feel this way every spring, but I feel like it stays colder longer every year. So, I looked back through my logs and the weather history. The historic average temperature in Falmouth on May 11 is 64 for the high and 48 for the low. We are below average today with 55 as the high and 47 as the low. Then I looked back at 2021. It was sunny and windy with a high of 61 and a low of 44. Still below average, but it was a book club day and we met outside on the back deck of one of the members and enjoyed the sunshine and her beautifully landscaped backyard. How about 2020? The name of my log on this day in 2020 was, “Still Wearing My Winter Coat.” Yep. Same as 2022. It was even cooler than today with a high of 54 and low of 41. But at least the sun was shining and the extreme wind we had over the previous weekend was under control. Let’s go back another year to May 11, 2019. I was in Tennessee visiting my sister, but the high in Falmouth was 69 and the low was 48 with 15 knots of SW wind. It was 80 degrees F in Nashville. I went back one more year to 2018. I had just moved into the cottage the end of April and on May 11 that year the high was 73 and the low 45. Five years of weather information is certainly not enough to see any pattern, but I want the spring we had in 2018. Maybe next year.

2022 Life Logs, Day 130: Mah Jongg and Afternoon with J & O

2022 Life Logs, Day 130: Mah Jongg and Afternoon with J & O
Date: Tuesday, May 10, 2022
Weather: Partly Cloudy and Windy; High 55, Low 46 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was another windy day, winds still from the northeast and feeling chilly. I spent my morning inside playing Mah Jongg. Next week will be the last lesson and I will have to decide if I am ready to play with a regular team or take another class. I’m really not a game player, but I force myself to do this because it’s good for my brain! And after Mah Jongg, I came home to get Shadow to take him with me to pick up Ollie and Jonah from school on this Early Release Day. I brought them home with me and Ollie finished cutting Shirley’s lawn. The battery-operated lawn mower is great, but it doesn’t go quite long enough to finish Shirley’s yard without needing to be charged. Then we watched another Marvel movie. The boys want to make sure I get a proper Marvel education.

Tomorrow, I get my second Covid booster shot. I will start my day with a broccoli sprout smoothie. There is evidence that when you combine a broccoli sprout shake with a flu vaccine, you can amplify the vaccine’s ability to boost your immune system. The sulforaphane in broccoli is the natural chemical that boosts the immune system, and the amount of sulforaphane in the baby broccoli sprouts gives you a twenty-fold boost over mature broccoli. So, I had broccoli for dinner and will have the broccoli sprout shake in the morning, and then have more broccoli sprouts in a salad for lunch tomorrow. I hope to get the best possible boost from my booster shot!

2022 Life Logs, Day 129: NE Wind Still Roaring

2022 Life Logs, Day 129: NE Wind Still Roaring
Date: Monday, May 9, 2022
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, NE Wind 15-25; High 54, Low 43 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Watching the tree limbs sway side to side and lunge forward and backward all at the same time, is enough to make one feel seasick. And the wind causing this chaos is not settling down. It is ramping up. Tomorrow the NE winds will blow 20 to 30 miles an hour. According to WeatherUnderground, Wednesday the wind will begin to stabilize, and by Thursday the winds will still to be from the NE but blowing less than 10 miles an hour. Whew! Just going for a walk will no longer be challenging. And I am looking forward to Friday when the winds will have calmed down and clocked to the SE and overnight going into Saturday should move on to the SW. No matter what the air temp, south winds will feel warmer.

I had an annual appointment with my gynecologist this morning and came home to fight the wind to walk with Shadow. I then spent time making a ‘to do’ list of 30 housekeeping and gardening things that need to be done as soon as possible. Then I started working on the gardening list. Shadow and I spent the afternoon outside transplanting tomato seedings into larger containers and setting up felt planting bags to receive Brussels sprouts seedings. I have been hardening them off outside for a week now, so it was time to plant them.

Tomorrow I have a morning Mah Jongg lesson and then it is a school Early Release Day. I will pick Ollie and Jonah up at 12:30 pm and we shall see where the afternoon leads us.

2022 Life Logs, Day 128: Happy Mother’s Day

2022 Life Logs, Day 128: Happy Mother’s Day
Date: Sunday, May 8, 2022
Weather: Mostly Sunny, Very Windy; High 53, Low 43 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, but most especially to my daughter Heather and my daughter-in-law Jo. Not only are they my daughters, they are the mothers of my fabulous grandchildren. I talked to Justin today and he assured me Jo was having a great Mother’s Day. And I was with Heather today and I know ‘she, me, and we’, all had a wonderful day.

Just after 8 am this morning, Heather, Jed, Sam, Jonah, Ollie, and I headed to Cambridge. Our first stop was Harvard’s Museum of Natural History. The street parking was free on Sunday, the museum was free until noon, and it was a sunny day. What more could one ask for? Warmth!!! The wind was blowing a steady 20 miles an hour from the northeast, and even with the sun, it was chilly. It was a perfect morning for wandering through a museum. We started our exploration of the museum in the earth and planetary science gallery that is filled with rare rock and mineral specimens. It was difficult to find a favorite as all the specimens were so interesting, but all of us were taken with a large fossilized ammonite shell. Now extinct, ammonite shells looked like nautilus shells, but are thought to have been more closely related to squids, octopuses, and cuttlefishes. Evidently during fossilization, this ammonite shell was “chemically transformed into an iridescent material called ammolite, which is aragonite.” It was spectacular.

Next, we visited the glass flowers exhibition. From 1886 to 1936, a father and son team from Czechoslovakia produced 4,300 glass models representing 780 plant species. The plants look so real that it is hard to believe they are made of glass. Heather loved the banana blossom. Ollie was trying to find all the items listed in a museum scavenger hunt. One of those items was listed as a ‘piranha’ plant which was a Malayan pitcher plant. Again, spectacular.

By this time, Sam was chomping at the bit to go see what he called the dead animal exhibits. There are fossils of animals, stuffed life-sized animals, sea creatures, forest creatures, animals from all around the world, beetles, birds . . . all creatures great and small. Jonah loved the huge python while Sam was partial to the tigers. Heather loved a painting of deep-sea tube worms and Ollie loved it all. Jed particularly loved the sea creatures done in glass. Years before the Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka were commissioned by Harvard to make the now famous Glass Flowers, they had made lifelike models of marine animals and many of those are on display in the museum. I fell in love with the little curly octopus done in glass.

Each of us truly enjoyed the museum visit, but as noon approached, we knew we had to move on. Sam had a soccer game at 1:30 pm in Cambridge but needed to be there by 12:45 pm for warm-up. And we were all in need of lunch. Jed found a bakery with sandwiches close to the field, and it was a great find. Each of us got something different, and each of us loved our choice. Sam ate on the way to the soccer field, but the rest of us had a little picnic beside the fields. The two teams were well matched, and both played a good game which ended in a 1-1 tie. As Heather noted, there was just enough drama to make it an exciting game to watch. And Sam played one of the best games I have seen him play. We were all freezing by the time the game ended, so we went on a search for coffee and hot chocolate before heading back to the Cape. We also made a stop at IKEA and picked up Cambodian take-out for dinner at Stir Crazy.

All in all, I was away from home for twelve hours today. I would never have left Shadow that long, but it was made possible due to the help of good friends Karen and Peter Baranowski. Peter has Covid, but is on the mend, so last night I sent a text to Karen asking her if she could come over and take Shadow out for a pee break mid-day today. I did not know that she had tested positive for Covid yesterday until this morning. When I found out, I sent another text telling her that under no circumstances was she to come over to deal with Shadow. But, of course, she and Peter came anyway and that allowed us to stay take our time coming home. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Peter and Karen.

2022 Life Logs, Day 127: Does Not Feel Like May

2022 Life Logs, Day 127: Does Not Feel Like May
Date: Saturday, May 7, 2022
Weather: Cloudy, Cold and Windy; High 50, Low 44 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It’s that northeast wind that is making it feel so cold and it promises to be with us through Wednesday. It certainly does not feel like May, but I guess we just have to pretend it does and continue on. I put on my winter coat and took Shadow for his walk this morning. Then at 1:00 pm, I put that winter coat on again and went to Jonah’s soccer game. Ollie’s early morning game was cancelled due to the overnight rain, but Jonah was playing on turf, so I soggy field was not a problem. Besides, the wind had dried everything by afternoon. Jonah played his normal offense position during the first half of the game but was needed as goalie for the second half. He is just not big enough to be a goalie, but he did a great job. Goalies don’t run up and down the field to keep warm, however, and he was frozen by the end of the game. Ollie came home with me after the soccer game to cut Shirley’s grass. It was so high he said he felt like he was cutting hay like he has seen his Uncle Johnnie do in Maine!

Tomorrow morning, we are off to Boston/Cambridge. Sam has a 1:30 pm game in Cambridge, and I have been invited to come along. For a Mother’s Day celebration, we are going to Harvard’s Museum of Natural History and then out to lunch before Sam’s game. Since it is just too cold to enjoy doing yard work on Mother’s Day, we will just have to enjoy the beautiful glass flowers inside at the museum.

2022 Life Logs, Day 126: Mostly Cloudy, Rainy Friday

2022 Life Logs, Day 126: Mostly Cloudy, Rainy Friday
Date: Friday, May 6, 2022
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Rainy; High 62, Low 47 F
Location: At Home in the Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Today was spent thinking about gardening, buying organic garden soil to top up raised beds and fill big black felt bags that will have Brussels sprouts and tomatoes growing in them, researching things to do in the Charlottesville, Virginia area the first week of June with Ziggy and Coco, renting a car that I thought I had already rented for that trip, changing appointments during that week, researching composting toilets for sailboats, checking out Eider (on paper and on the internet), another Cape Dory 36 Heather is checking out that is located in Brooklin, Maine, and making dog food. Poor Shadow. He really struggles with gastrointestinal issues. The recent food that had been working for him is no longer available on Cape Cod, at least for now, due to supply chain issues, and my substitute last week made his issues worse. I have ordered a trial of Farmers’ Dog food, but that won’t arrive until next week and who knows if it will work. So, I made a ground beef, sweet potato, kale, and quinoa mix for him tonight and he LOVED it. Now I just have to wait and see if his system loves it. What I made is very much like Farmers’ Dog food, so if it works, I can make some and buy some to give myself a break or for when I am out of town. One thing I have discovered in all of this is that the dry kibble I have been giving him might be the culprit. I eliminated that two days ago and he is so much better already.
The weather was not inspiring today. There were moments this morning when the sun tried to shine through the clouds, but those moments were few and short-lived. At least I got a lot of indoor things done and did a lot of thinking about what I will do when the weather is sunny and warm.