Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Hotel livin' is always fun.
Parties are worth some aggravation.
Home is the best.
We spent the weekend celebrating my cousin Jane's 70th birthday Downeast in Bar Harbor. For everyone, it was a 'destination party'. The driving distance between Portland and Bar Harbor is 175 miles. If you are headed that way by car, you haven't got too many choices. You can tackle Route 1, but summers it's packed with our visitors getting a piece of our 'vacationland' life. VERY slow going in places. You can take the Maine Turnpike all the way to Bangor, cut over to Ellsworth, hit Route 1 and drive a short distance, and you are there. Marchin and Donna traveled this route. They have EasyPass. Elenka, my sister Connie and I took 295 out of the city to Gardiner, and hopped on the turnpike for a very short distance to Augusta. From there it was Route 3 to Belfast, where we jumped on Route 1 and motored along through Bucksport, crossing the Penobscot Narrows Bridge, to Ellsworth and on to Mt. Desert Island and the quintessential Maine summer vista of Bar Harbor. The weekend was great fun with some family members that we don't often see as much as we'd like. Great time! More coming soon.
However, home is very nice too.
Birdman likes home.
You're always safe at home.
Monday, July 27, 2015
There, the secret of my love of mornings is out.
I can't remember the last time I overslept.
Maybe 20 years ago?
I set a radio alarm, but never use it.
My head, you see, is seldom in an early fog.
Sunday, July 26, 2015
How well do you think you know me?
Need some hints?
They are fried.
I have serious 'weakness' for them.
* photo taken under the Casco Bay Bridge
Saturday, July 25, 2015
Place the family silverware.
Set the crystal.
Fold the napkins that special way.
Select just a perfect place on the Maine coast.
A Downeast feast is coming our way with lots of family time.
My cousin, Jane, turns 70 today!
Friday, July 24, 2015
Portland certainly is a port-land.
But Machigonne would have been real unique.
Do you know of another city called Machigonne?
*pronunciation guide: (mash-a-gone)
A while back, the city was searching for a new slogan.
Machigonne Wild! would have worked!
Thursday, July 23, 2015
Swing, batter batter!
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Hope these guys have fun though.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Then, I'm jolted back to reality.
And I remember.
* if it's fun, it ain't work!
Monday, July 20, 2015
Now, that's a 'tweet' I get.
Sunday, July 19, 2015
After the parade, the sitting in stalled traffic wasn't uplifting either.
They say over 100,000 people will view Tall Ships through Monday.
I've done my part.
*Pictured here is The Bowdoin.
Saturday, July 18, 2015
Here we ALL are sitting in the bandstand at Eastern Prom, overlooking Casco Bay. This is the first photograph that actually documented the fact that four did become five. Left to right Mr. Excitement, sister Constance, sister Diane, sister Joanne and brother Martin.
Friday, July 17, 2015
How does one go from being the oldest child in a family to a middle child in one night? Does it happen often? I doubt it. It did to me. About 15 years ago, my youngest sibling gathered the four kids together telling us only that she had some very important information to share. I asked for some hints, but she'd only say that she wanted all of us to hear it at once. What could it be, I thought, an illness? Why did she need all of us assembled together in one room to tell us? I was a bit nervous, and even somewhat confused already before she started her explanation. The story she shared over the next hour and a half was jaw-dropping to say the least. We weren't a 'gang of four' but five. Nine years before I was born, years before Mom had met and married my Dad, she had a baby girl. Her name is Diane. She's also known as Dinnie to those that know her well. She grew up in Portland, lived right along side us almost, but we never knew. Soon after Dad passed in '97, Diane made contact with my Mom's sister, Gloria. As you might imagine, Gloria was confused and even suspicious when Diane made that first call, but after receiving several correspondences with detailed information about our family, including loads of photographs, she was convinced that the information was true. She soon relayed the news to my sister with copies of the letters and photographs. That evening in Marchin's livingroom, when Joanne shared the news, the four of us became five. Diane lives in Florida now. She has three beautiful daughters. I met Dinnie for the first time September 21, 2009, and we have crossed paths on two other occasions. It was a life-changing day for me as you might imagine.
Is it possible to go from oldest to a middle child in a snap of a finger?
I'm living proof.
And I love it!
Thursday, July 16, 2015
I wonder if there's a senior discount on top of the 99¢?
Now, THAT would be a deal.
Is it sad that I'm concerned about discounts like this?
Thank Heaven for 7-11?
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Because so many have requested it.
The first EVER glimpse and photograph of yours truly, Birdman, in all his glory. Yes, because at one time I was the oldest child, but now a middle child (it's a long, yet wonderful story), and thanks to Kodak getting the low-cost Brownie camera into the hands of so many consumers, I have a Baby Book just chock full of glamor shots of good old, lovable me. Hundreds of them. Me with stupid expressions. Me with Mom and Dad. Me with relatives. Me with early friends. Lots of images of me at and with my loving grandparents.
ENJOY my day!
Yes, we're going to a party party
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Days of bliss are days to savor. So we'll relish every hour.
Oh my gosh!
Out my kitchen window, right now, a woodchuck is a nibblin'.
It's the first one I've seen all summer.
Gotta go drag out my Havahart trap, I guess.
"Not in my garden!"
"Come to daddy! You crazy varmint."
Perfection, I guess, doesn't have a whole lot of staying power.
Monday, July 13, 2015
"Too bad you missed the party, It was Wicked Pissah."
"Love the purple hair. Wicked Pissah."
"Your silver Harley out front? Fast? Wicked Pissah!"
"That a '57 Chevy? Love your custom paint job. It's Pissah!"
Well, you get the idea. Heading Downeast and you want to fit in among us natives seamlessly? You've gotta know the lingo, as Mom used to say. Put 'wicked' in front of thousands of words like good, cold, rainy, smart or old for example, and you can really start to fit in. "Gosh, you're wicked smaarrrt!"
I enjoy learning about dialects featured around the various regions of our country. So, if you ever want to confound the neighbors try using one of Maine's favorite expression. It's maybe my favorite. It just encapsulates it all in 2 just simple words! Place it after anything that you feel is really, unbelievably good. Anything! And don't be afraid to shorten' it up a bit. Maybe, you're in a hurry.
"Birdman, thanks for sharing this bit of the Downeast dialect with us."
*Got an expression unique to your part of the world?
Sunday, July 12, 2015
Whether it's Monhegan, Little Diamond or a pretty populated hunk of land like Peaks, it's a bit
contrary. And that's in a good way. At least to my way of thinking it is. Even for a visitor just staying for the day or the evening, it seems the minute your feet hit land you can feel it. As a matter of fact, I always start getting a different vibe as soon as I find myself a seat on the boat or ferry. I look around and notice the items my fellow travelers have packed for the trip. Their clothes and mannerisms seem to set them apart from other voyagers like me. I'm in it for a few hours. They are in it for the long haul. Approximately 850 make it their year round dwelling on Peaks Island. As you might imagine, this number just explodes in the summer season. But even someone like me, who's there for just a few hours, life is at a different pace. Time didn't forget the place, but there seems to be no real sense of time other then the boat back to the mainland schedule. I listen; I watch; I look at the year-round 'natives' and think of none other than my old, dear friend Alfred E. Neuman who graces the cover every month of one of my all time favorite magazines, Mad.
His philosophy of life works perfectly out here on an island.
"What, me worry?"
By the way, it's 5 o'clock somewhere.
Ah, island life.
Saturday, July 11, 2015
A warm summer breeze was my companion.
Nights like this are what draw visitors to our state.
Forget about our winters.
It was a perfect summer night.
Friday, July 10, 2015
While we were waiting to be seated, this gal was on her cell. What a marvelous dress with matching headscarf and an attractive rope bracelet. I've mentioned before that I'm pulled to notice large or multiple chains and bands around the wrists of women. Heck, men for that matter. She had a classy walk too, when she eventually strolled past us.
Ya, I notice jewelry and ....stuff.
Thursday, July 9, 2015
We throw that word all over the place these days. I'm guilty of it too. Many times over. Best clams. Best sunset. Best game. Best restaurant. To my thinking I should probably use it only about ten times--- Ever. One however is easy. Justin is the BEST. For me his birth was one of my BEST days. In my mind I pretty much have a photograph of every part of the day. The wakeup. The call to the doctor. My tuna sandwich. The drive. The stop for donuts (yes, it happened! 2 chocolate coconut). Maine Medical Center. The room. The nurses. The doctor. The vital sign chart. The walks. The popsicles. The walks. The TV. Looking out the windows. The Fore River. The walks. Eating my sandwiches. The breathing. The room. The nurses. The doctor. Elenka. The breathing. The pushing. The coaching. 8:17 PM. The birth. It's a boy! Justin. The tears. The happiness. The family phone calls. The room. The blue hat. The blueberry pie. The happiness. The walking to the car. In the darkness. By myself. The ride home. Alone. The excitement. I couldn't sleep. The excitement. The happiness.
Happy Birthday Justin.
*Here he is on Mount Katahdin in Maine. One of my favorite photos of him.
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Umbrellas were in style.
For them, not me.
Sitting on the porch with the screen door open, amid a strong afternoon shower, that's a cool down for me.
That, I can take.
That, and the ribs on the grill.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
What's your favorite morning beverage?
Don't tell me Tang either.
We're not out in Space today.
Well, at least I'm not.
Monday, July 6, 2015
Well, throw in a little pelting rain, a dash of a gale and fire away through a pretty wet windshield and voila! You have a whole new way to capture your world. You perhaps have used the software Photoshop. I'm using the my newest inspiration. It's called Weathershop. If you haven't guessed, shot from behind the steering wheel, that's a park bench to the right in the foreground, a row of bushes and a couple of signs. In the distance, that's Casco Bay and a small three masted schooner bobbing about in the driving rain.
I kind of like this effect.
How about you?
Better on this side of the glass, however, than out there among the elements.
Don't you agree?
Using a timer, I could have only added to this rainy composition.
Sunday, July 5, 2015
One of the best I've seen.
And for ZERO dollars.
What a deal!
*ps I want his orange guitar!
Saturday, July 4, 2015
This photograph was taken last week in a bit of an early morning gale at Fort Allen Park on the Eastern Prom, overlooking Casco Bay. Want to enjoy an ice coffee perusing the Portland Press Herald or just be alone with your thoughts, this is the place. Seen here is the masthead of the USS Portland, a cruiser commissioned in 1933. It was the only US ship to see action in all four aircraft battles in the Pacific: Coral Sea, Midway, Eastern Solomons and Santa Cruz islands in 1942. The ship was heavily damaged at Guadalcanal in November of that year.
Today we're heading to Bonnie and Paul's annual 4th of July soiree. We're bringing the biggest watermelon we can find. Then this evening we're off to the concert series "Summer in the Park" in Freeport. The Mavericks are on the bill. I'm in the mood for a little country music with a Latin twist.
How about you?
Second best part?
Enjoy this Saturday whatever you are doing.
Friday, July 3, 2015
However, I'm not holding my breath on this one.
It still has the air of a 'work in progress'.
I'm waiting for this jungle cat to disappear first.
Hopefully, things will take an upswing soon.
Today is July 3.
Thursday, July 2, 2015
The book titled Now I've Seen Everything has thousands and thousands and thousands of pages. It has been in bookstores since the beginning of time. Everybody's copy has a few different entries depending on your experiences, but if you turn to page 772 in mine, you'll probably find this interesting entry. "Colorama Books". If you have ever been wandering through TV channels at about 2 AM, you might have come across a commercial for adult coloring books. That's right, adult coloring books. And no, it's NOT that kind of coloring book. For your investment of about $25, you get a book of 45 'wonderful detailed patterns' to color. Of course, that doesn't cover your special colored pencils, crayons or pens. The complexity goes from beginner to the expert level. I'm not kidding here. The books are advertised as offering hours of stress relief and creative fun. You can color cat pictures, mandalas, garden scenes, spaceships, and even fruit. I'm not kidding here. The thematic books take you back to that act that we all loved as children. Coloring. Santa always brought us a new one in our stocking hung by the chimney each December 25th. My, I did love that waxy smell of new crayons, but I digress. Now, when you complete your 'artistic endeavor' you can give it as a gift to a friend or better still, you can frame it and hang it about your home. I'm not kidding here. Here's my suggestion: If you need to relieve some pressure, some tension in your everyday living, might I suggest forget grabbing your Crayolas and just find a bench in the warm sun or pop in some nice soothing music depending on your tastes and kick back.
It works for me.
It'll work for you too.
And save you a little cash.
I don't know if it will rid insomnia though.
Besides, I color outside the lines anyway.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
You see. My friend Donna has done it.
Joanne, my sister, is doing it now.
What have they been up to? Burying a perfectly good saint, that's what. And they're not the only ones. If you've got a house to sell, get your hands on a statue of St. Joseph and bury him upside down. Lots of Catholics, Christians and even non-believers with properties to sell are into this bit of superstition. So where did it all begin? One story says, the tradition stretches back to the 1500s and St. Teresa of Avila. She founded an order of Carmelite nuns. At one time, the nuns were searching for a piece of property for another convent. To help in their quest, St. Teresa asked the nuns to bury blessed medals of St. Joseph around the property. Soon land had been found for the convent.
Do you believe it? Heck, in this housing market, it's probably not a bad thing to take a chance on. Yes, Donna sold her house quite a few years ago. Joanne's is still on the market in Oregon, so I wish her well.
Now, to the 'hardest working man in real estate'---
St. Joseph, do your thing!
*("Bury me in plastic, please. Your friend St. Joseph")
Marchin, my brother in real estate, how many do this?
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Need a calming place?
They say a walk along a labyrinth might just be the cure. I'm not so sure, but if you are really miserable 'any port in a storm' may help. Well, at least for 15 minutes. Seen here is a 5-circuit medieval labyrinth that is a permanent installation on the UNE campus, just off of Stevens Avenue. Parts of Pine Grove and Evergreen cemeteries can be seen in the distance behind the white fence. The spot is nestled under tall pines. The natural pine needles form the pathways of this maze. If meditation is due, large slabs of granite form benches to rest and sooth the spirit and soul. A word of caution, at this point, might be apropos. I've heard tell that people have had to be rescued from complex corn mazes in the Midwest. I don't know how stress relieving getting 'lost' in one of those would be.
That experience might increase my stress level.
"Serenity now; insanity later."
Not a bad mantra for some.
'Keep on the sunnyside'.
Monday, June 29, 2015
The Art Gallery on the University of New England campus off of Stevens Avenue is called 'the little jewel' by some, but I just call it the Cube. My Dad once told me that a guy named John Calvin Stevens (1855-1940) built a lot of homes in the city, but at the time the man with three names meant nothing to me. After college, I read a bit more about him and found out that he really wasn't a builder, but an architect who designed over 1,000 buildings in the state of Maine. He was a major innovator in the Shingle Style and Colonial Revival style in America. His designed houses in Portland are quite attractive in their exterior, and it's not really a challenge to spot one if you know there is one on the street you are travelling. They are quite distinctive. A close family to us, the B's, owned one on Craigie Street, and I was in it quite a few times. An amazing home. So much wood. So much light. So many windows. So many nooks and crannies. I loved stopping over and seeing the Mr. and Mrs. and their home. There's a lot I didn't know about this architect though. The biggest was that besides designing homes, libraries and churches he made time to paint. I did not know this. This past week, we visited the Cube where about 60 of his landscape paintings are on display. Most Sundays in the early 1900's found JCS and a group of fellow painters painting 'en plein air' in Delano Park near his home in Cape Elizabeth.
I was pulled to his winter scenes most of all.
He designed parts of the city.
And he 'painted the town' too.