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 07: Winter Wonderland

2022 Life Logs, Day 07: Winter Wonderland
Date: Friday, January 7, 2022
Weather: Snow, Windy in the Afternoon; High Temp 32, Low Temp 17 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It was no surprise to see a snowy world when Shadow and I first got up early this morning as that was the forecast. But it is always a beautiful sight to look out and see a world covered in white. We headed down to the dock to say good morning to the geese and then tried to play ball in the snow. But this snow was wet and heavy. As soon as the tennis ball landed, it was packed with snow and Shadow could hardly pick it up. So, he just shoveled snow with his nose.

It was only 7:20 am when we got up the first time. After playing in the snow, we went back inside to wait for more snow. And we got what we wished for. But by noon it had stopped snowing for a bit and we went for our mile walk through the neighborhood. And later in the afternoon, we went out to play ball just before sunset. As we do most days, we went down by the water. There was one pinkish red cloud in the sky giving the marsh a special glow. It looked like a winter wonderland.

2022 Life Logs, Day 06: A Day of Reflection on January 6

2022 Life Logs, Day 06: A Day of Reflection on January 6
Date: Thursday, January 6, 2022
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Waiting for Snow Overnight; High Temp 43, Low Temp 29 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Depending on where you live in the world and your cultural or religious beliefs, January 6 each year means something a little different. In most Latin American and Caribbean countries this day is celebrated as Three Kings or All Kings Day. Feliz Dia de Reyes! The day is celebrated in honor of the three wise men who have come to be known as Balthasar, Melchior, and Gaspar or Casper. They came from Arabia, from Persia, from India, to bring gifts to the baby Jesus. So, on this day gifts are given and games are played. It is a festive day. Others celebrate January 6 as Epiphany, one of the oldest Christian festivals. According to Wikipedia, “Epiphany, also known as Theophany in Eastern Christian traditions, is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ.” My grandchildren in Puerto Rico celebrate today as All Kings Day and the official end of the holiday season. School does not start again there until next week. I have never really celebrated this day, but after what happened in our Capitol last January 6, I will now observe this day as one of reflection and determination.

This afternoon I attended a Vigil for Democracy on Main Street in Falmouth. It was not well attended, but at least the people there were enthusiastic. Our Representative to Washington, Bill Keating, was present and addressed the group. The message of the Vigil was to remember January 6 by sending our Senators a message to protect our democracy now by passing the two voting rights acts. The other message was that we all need to do our part in making this happen. There are many ways to get involved, but I started small. I researched quotes I might want to put on a sign for future vigils. I’d like to share with you what I found. Please feel free to share with me any favorite quotes on democracy that you might have

“Democracy is not a spectator sport, it’s a participatory event. If we don’t participate in it, it ceases to be a democracy.” This quote is from Michael Moore, an American documentary filmmaker, author, and left-wing activist.

“A healthy democracy requires a decent society; it requires that we are honorable, generous, tolerant, and respectful.” This quote is from Charles W. Pickering, who served as the United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi and, briefly, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, based in New Orleans, Louisiana.

“Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country.
This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.” Thurgood Marshall

I also loved a t-shirt I saw Michelle Obama holding in an ad for Hear Our Voice.
Kindness
PEACE
Equality
LOVE
Inclusion
HOPE
Diversity

2022 Life Logs, Day 05: Drumroll Requested on the Twelfth Day of Christmas

2022 Life Logs, Day 05: Drumroll Requested on the Twelfth Day of Christmas
Date: Wednesday, January 5, 2022
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Rain; High Temp 51, Low Temp 36 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

On this Twelfth Day of Christmas, I request a drumroll by those twelve drummers drumming that are out there somewhere. I was successful in getting the Christmas tree out the door and the holiday decorations stored in basement. I hope you have also been successful in getting the holiday tucked away.

I spent my afternoon working on my photo organization ongoing project. I am presently going back through all of my photo folders from 2021. When I got to the time Justin and family spent here during Thanksgiving week, I enjoyed reliving the wonderful family times we had while they were here. When I got to photos of the cat ice cream sandwiches that Ziggy made on their last day here, I remembered that there was still one in the freezer. He asked me to take a picture of it before eating it, so I did just that. I sent him the photo of the ice cream sandwich and a selfie of me devouring it. Yummy!

2022 Life Logs, Day 04: Glorious Sunshine on the Eleventh Day of Christmas

2022 Life Logs, Day 04: Glorious Sunshine on the Eleventh Day of Christmas
Date: Tuesday, January 4, 2022
Weather: Blue Skies and Sunshine; High Temp 30, Low Temp 26 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

This Eleventh Day of Christmas brought sunshine for the first time in days. It was glorious. And at the end of the day, it brought eleven geese a swimming (and one lone duck chasing them), not eleven pipers piping, although the geese sounded as if they were piping just a bit off tune. I picked Ollie up after school this afternoon and sat in the car and read while he played soccer and football on the playground after school. It was just too beautiful to go home and go inside. By the time I got home, the sun was setting so I headed down to the dock with Shadow to play ball in the last light of the day. There they were. On this Eleventh Day of Christmas, there were exactly eleven geese floating in the water by the dock. Their honking let us know they were not pleased that we had joined them, but eventually they settled down making for a very peaceful and beautiful sunset with the new moon looming above us.

Today I finished one of the jigsaw puzzles I have been working one for the past couple of weeks. It is one in a series of puzzles by contemporary folk artist, Eric Dowdle. On his website it is stated that, “Exploring the details he includes in his paintings is an adventure all its own.” Most of his paintings have been made into jigsaw puzzles. The puzzle I completed today was called Italy’s Cinque Terre. It is a scene from one of the five towns along the Ligurian Sea that in 1999 became Italy’s first and smallest National Park and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The scene is of the town of Manarolla where olives and lemons are grown on the hillsides by the sea. On cinqueterre.eu.com, Manarolla is described as follows: “Manarola, built on a high rock 70 metres above sea level, is one of the most charming and romantic of the Cinque Terre villages. The tiny harbor features a boat ramp, picturesque multicoloured houses facing the sea, a tiny piazza with seafood restaurants.” In a photograph it looks just like the beautiful scene I have been trying to piece together.

I work jigsaw puzzles, not because I love it, but because it is supposedly good for my brain. The process exercises both the left and right brain at the same time, improves short-term memory, and improves visual-spacial reasoning. Plus, working a puzzle can relieve stress by helping you enter a meditative state. Win-win, right? Well, not for everyone. It can be a form of torture according to two of my dining-in friends! And yes, I often get frustrated thinking a puzzle is entirely too difficult, but if I persist, it pays off. And with this particular puzzle, when I got frustrated, I simply started researching things in the puzzle that are listed on an accompanying information sheet. I started learning things about Cinque Terre that I did not know. For instance, there are lemon trees in the puzzle and a reference to an Italian poet I had never heard of, Eugenio Montale. I learned that he wrote poems about everyday life. He wrote about the puddles, the lanes, and the lemon trees that describe the landscape along the Ligurian Sea where Manarolla makes it home. I read his poem, Limoni, which he ends by calling lemons the “trumpets of radiance” and it helped me smell the fragrance of lemons as I continued to work the puzzle. I also learned about Via dell’Amore (Trail of Love) shown in the puzzle. The one kilometer path connects to another of the five Cinque Terre towns, Riomaggiore. And then, of course, I had to learn about that town. So, you see, for me working a puzzle is more than putting the pieces together. I will now trade with another dining-in friend and start working on another Dowdle’s scenes, this one from Norway.

2022 Life Logs, Day 03: Back to Normal on the Tenth Day of Christmas

2022 Life Logs, Day 03: Back to Normal on the Tenth Day of Christmas
Date: Monday, January 3, 2022
Weather: Dreary, Cold, Some Snow Flurries; High Temp 32, Low Temp 17 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It’s beginning to feel like winter outside. And inside, it is beginning to feel like the holiday season is coming to an end. At least that is the case here at the cottage. Things are heading back to winter ‘normal’. The holiday vacation I gave myself, the freedom to do nothing, is coming to an end. By Thursday, All Kings Day or Epiphany, now sadly known as January 6, the Christmas tree will be down, all physical evidence of the holiday season will be put away, everyday life will resume. I started in that direction today by getting a little work done. I cleaned and changed the water in the fish aquarium and started my 2021 photo organization project. I did watch the last available episode of Outlander and will start spending more time reading. I will continue working on my jigsaw puzzles throughout the winter, but I won’t obsess over them. I’ll just do a few pieces each day. I never stopped my daily walks with Shadow and those will continue, but tonight was my first night back on my exercise bike since sometime before Christmas.

My car also decided to declare that the ‘party’ is over. When I went out to start the car this afternoon. it would not turn over. Thankfully, Peter Baranowski came over to jump start the car. I think maybe a door wasn’t closed completely and a light must have been on. At least I hope that is all it was. After charging, it started up like normal. A little later, I went to pick Sam and Jonah up to take them to their Monday evening music lessons. A package I ordered from Amazon had arrived. I told Heather to open it as I knew it was KN95 masks for all of us. When she opened them, she declared that they were in colors—red, green, blue, purple, gray, and black. Sam took one look and was as exited as he would have been over a huge Christmas present. He immediately put on a red mask. A sure sign of our times when a teenager is excited over rainbow colored face masks. The small pleasures in life.

Another reminder that the holiday ‘party’ is over came tonight when Heather sent a text saying that a light in the kitchen ceiling was dripping with water from their upstairs shower. With a little sleuth work, they discovered that the drain had disconnected from the drainpipe. Easy enough to fix, but it will require cutting a hole in the kitchen ceiling to get access. Happy 2022!

2022 Life Logs, Day 02: Obsessions on the Ninth Day of Christmas

2022 Life Logs, Day 02: Obsessions on the Ninth Day of Christmas
Date: Sunday, January 2, 2022
Weather: Dreary; High Temp 48, Low Temp 24 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

We have had a string of days with very little sunshine. Today was totally dreary and a good day for me to be obsessed with the two jigsaw puzzles that I am working on and watching the last few episodes of the television series, Outlander. I have so many things I should and want to be doing, but today the puzzles called. I finally got the border done on the family picture puzzle Heather gave me for Christmas and I made good progress on Italy’s Cinque Terra puzzle so I can exchange for another from my dining-in group. And I now have only one more episode of the Outlanders to watch. Tonight the temp will go down to 24 degrees F and it will only warm up one degree tomorrow. It will be a cold one with a good north wind blowing. I will probably spend one more day being obsessed with the puzzles and watching the last episode of the Outlanders, and maybe reading my current book, The Immortal Irishman by Timothy Egan. My goal was to spend a few days doing absolutely nothing and I think after tomorrow I will have accomplished my goal and get on with life. But I must say, I have thoroughly enjoyed this little hiatus in life as usual. And one last note . . . Happy Birthday to my wonderful friend, Helaine Kanegsberg.

2022 Life Logs, Day 01: Happy New Year on the Eighth Day of Christmas

2022 Life Logs, Day 01: Happy New Year on the Eighth Day of Christmas
Date: Saturday, January 1, 2022
Weather: Overcast, Dreary, but Warm; High Temp 53, Low Temp 44 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Here’s wishing you and yours a Healthy and Happy 2022. I brought in the New Year with Olga and her daughter, and we then continued to talk until after 1 pm. It’s been many, many years since I have been out after midnight on New Year’s Eve, but we popped the cork on a bottle of Prosecco at midnight and I stayed a little longer to toast the New Year.

My father’s words always haunt me on New Year’s Day. He said that you will live the rest of the year the way you do on New Year’s Day. Well, I guess I’m going to stay up late, sleep until 10 am, do something for others, cook for hours, and then enjoy a dinner with family. At least that is what I did do today. Once I got home last night, Shadow and I stayed up until 2:30 and slept in until 10. Then I headed to Heather’s to do the animal chores. I was delighted that the kittens had not been able to breech my most recent ‘fort’ around the hydroponic grow system. I fed the kittens, cleaned Zuzu’s cage, and headed home to walk with Shadow. Then I started cooking a traditional New Year’s Day dinner for Heather and family when they returned from Maine this evening. Heather and I had a bit of back and forth communication about the state of their health. Jed, Sam, and Ollie got colds while in Maine and she wasn’t sure they should come over for dinner. Jed has tested negative for Covid and their symptoms are all those of just a nasty cold. So, I made the decision to have them come. There were no hugs or kisses and lots of hand washing. Now I’ll just hope I don’t get this thing. But it was worth the risk to me. I really wanted to spend New Year’s Day with my family.

Yesterday I received a Happy New Year’s message from friend Olivia. She sent a message to everyone in our dining-in group reminding us to make sure we had black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck in the new year. I always have sauerkraut with a dime hidden in it, a German tradition, but I was not aware of the black-eyed pea good luck charm. I researched it online and found that it is southern tradition that started with Black slaves. Black-eyed peas originated in West Africa. Black-eyed peas were also a part of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. I decided that I had to add that to my New Year’s Day repertoire. I served pork roast and sauerkraut (Heather got the dime this year.), Hoppin’ John which is a slightly spicey black-eyed pea dish, cooked kale instead of collard greens, and Ina Garten’s cheesy corn bread. Plus Olivia stopped by to drop off a bit of her curried black-eyed peas, a mix of her Indian heritage and the time she lived down south in Texas. And we finally got to pop Christmas crackers that were missing at our Christmas Day dinner. Life is good.

Despite getting colds, Heather and family had a good time in Maine and had two and half days on the slopes. We all agreed that this has been a wonderful holiday despite the rainy, sometimes dreary weather. It was overcast again today and warm. But colder weather is on the way.

2021 Life Logs, Day 365: Final Countdown on the Seventh Day of Christmas

2021 Life Logs, Day 365: Final Countdown on the Seventh Day of Christmas
Date: Friday, December 31, 2021
Weather: Mostly Cloudy, Some Sunshine in PM; High Temp 45, Low Temp 43 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Tonight is the final countdown to midnight and 2022. Woohoo! So, I am writing this log a little earlier than usual as it will be late when I get home. I am going to my friend Olga’s a little later this evening to make merry and bring in the new year. So let me wish you a Happy New Year a little early. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

This morning I went to Heather’s to do the pet chores. The kittens were especially cute this morning. That is until I found that they had breached my ‘fort’ and had scattered the parts of the hydroponic grow system once again. They are still cute, but persistent and exasperating. I put the system back together and started to head home. I got no further than the front door, however, as a huge Misfits order arrived. Misfits Markets delivers organic groceries to Heather’s and to my house once a week. I get one small box a week, but Heather’s delivery was huge. One of the two boxes was so heavy I couldn’t carry it. I had to roll it into the house and to the kitchen. The order was not supposed to come until tomorrow when Heather and family will arrive home. But it was here today, and I spent a fair bit of time getting it put away. I then came home to have lunch, work a bit on my puzzle, and then it was off to the Quashnet River Trail with Shadow for a New Year’s Eve walk.

I took time to read the information board about the trail and learned that in the 1800’s, the river was dammed and there was a gristmill at the trail head. It burned in 1894 and the beautiful little trout stream was converted into cranberry bogs. The bogs were flooded with salt water during Hurricane Carol in 1954 and the bogs lay fallow for a number of years. Restoration of the river began in the 1970’s and now we have that beautiful little stream and a wonderful system of trails. Today, Shadow and I saw three different sets of fishermen, telling us there must be brook trout in the river. It is catch and release only, so unfortunately you can’t catch and cook.

However you decide to celebrate tonight, have fun but be safe. Again, Happy New Year.

2021 Life Logs, Day 364: Eve of the Last Day of 2021 on the Sixth Day of Christmas

2021 Life Logs, Day 364: Eve of the Last Day of 2021 on the Sixth Day of Christmas
Date: Thursday, December 30, 2021
Weather: Overcast, Misty Rain in the Late PM; High Temp 45, Low Temp 42 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

Only one more day in 2021 as this sixth day of Christmas comes to an end. There’s old Irish tradition of opening your door at midnight on the New Year’s Eve to let the old year old and welcome in the new year. I’ve never done that, but I think I will tomorrow night. 2021 has been a tumultuous year for our country and world, so I will gladly usher it out the door and welcome 2022.

I’m continuing my quest to do as little as possible. I continue to work on my puzzle making on a tad of progress. Today I did a wee bit of house cleaning, walked the dog, and started tidying up my photos from 2021. That will continue tomorrow and maybe into the new year. And I had a wonderful phone conversation with my friend Lynne in New Zealand tonight. It was already her New Year’s Eve so we both wished for a happy, healthy 2022. She hopes to come home to Michigan to visit with family this summer and fall and is planning to come spend some time here on Cape Cod with me and my Shadow. The first of many things to look forward to in the new year.

It was almost noon by the time I got around to checking my email. The first one I opened was from Woodwell Climate Research Center and there was a recommendation to watch Earth Emergency, a PBS documentary. For some reason I didn’t receive my December guide from WGBH, so I turned on the TV and gave a voice command for Earth Emergency. It was 12:02 pm when I did this, and it came up that the program was airing on WGHB at 12 noon. I tuned in. Albeit a bit depressing, it is absolutely a “must see.” It airs again at noon on Saturday, January 1 on WGBH. If you don’t get WGBH, check your local PBS station. If at all possible, you should tune in.

Good news—The kittens are back in my good graces. They were not able to breech the new ‘fort’ I built around the hydroponic garden last night. They still won’t let me hold them, but they will let me pet them. I know they miss the Goldpebbles and will be happy when they return on Saturday.

2021 Life Logs, Day 363: Naughty Kittens on the Fifth Day of Christmas

2021 Life Logs, Day 363: Naughty Kittens on the Fifth Day of Christmas
Date: Wednesday, December 29, 2021
Weather: A Little Rain Overnight, Cloudy; High Temp 42, Low Temp 36 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

My day started with a trip to Heather and Jed’s to feed their pets. Well, the kittens, Leo and Mel were naughty overnight. Yesterday they had toppled the ‘fort’ that Heather and Sam had built to keep them away from the hydroponic indoor garden I got for Heather for Christmas. They had breeched wall of the fort (a laundry basket) and taken out a couple of the seed pods to play with along with the plastic caps that keep the moisture in. When I went in today, I immediately went upstairs to check on the little garden. This time they had totally toppled the entire ‘fort’ and taken out at least half of the seed pods and used them as play toys. They had scattered the parts all over the place. I gathered the parts and put things back together. I found that two of the seed pods are starting to sprout despite the disturbances which is exciting. I went to the basement to get some plastic bins to reinforce the ‘fort’ and when I went tonight to feed, my ‘fort’ was still in place. But since you need to get to the indoor garden to refill the water storage container, I will need to build a surrounding that is not quite so hard for humans to get into, but still sturdy enough to keep kittens out.

For the remainder of the day, I did a good job today of doing almost nothing. I worked on my puzzle, started watching Season 5 of the Outlander, walked with the dog, and did a little cooking. I was supposed to go to a wine group gathering, but I have cancelled all indoor group gatherings for now. It just seems unwise with the Omicron variant out there. I ordered some K95 masks as the health gurus are saying cloth masks do little to protect anyone from Omicron. K95 or surgical masks are necessary now.