Friday, August 22, 2014

Museum Window

It's captivating visiting museums. I always find that the galleries are not the only areas with 'art' hanging. It's in the hallways, the cafeterias, the bookstores even the stone entrances. While on our visit to the Museum of Fine Arts, we had lunch in the warm sun in the inner garden. Most of the tables were full, so we found a warm spot sitting on the wall, enjoyed each others company and did some people watching. Seen here is a museum wall, as we moved back in. Besides the Wyeth show, I greatly enjoyed my stroll down the hallway viewing "Over There" a collection of WW1 patriotic posters. It marks the first time they have been on display since 1938. The iconic "I Want You for the US Army" poster showing Uncle Sam, in all his glory, pointing his finger at you is present. Pretty intimidating! 
Visiting galleries like these reinvigorates my camera's eye.
I need that.

*My blogging buddy Jack was there the same day, up from Connecticut. I wish we had crossed paths.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Train 682

This scene clearly shows why we were so happy taking Amtrak to Boston yesterday. The Tobin Bridge was jammed packed at 5 PM. The train was loaded too down in the early morning and back in the evening, and for those who want train travel 'to work' for Maine, this is a positive sign. We headed to Boston yesterday for one of our day adventures. Our main destination was the Museum of Fine Arts and the Jamie Wyeth Retrospective that is available through December 28th. I highly recommend it, if you are going to be in the area this fall. Of the over 100 pieces on display, I especially enjoyed looking at his portraits of John F. Kennedy, Andy Warhol and Rudolph Nureyev, his paintings of all his angry gulls and ravens and of course all his work portraying life on the Maine coast and especially the day to day existence on Monhegan. Later, we took the T(subway) over to the Faneuil Hall Marketplace and then on to two fine chairs overlooking Boston Harbor, accompanied by a couple cooling beverages.
The trip home was easy.
Choo Choo...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Morning Traffic

Early morning traffic makes its way under this infamous bridge above Broadway in South Portland. Running across from Calvary Cemetery, this bridge has 'caught' more 18 wheelers in its grasp then any other bridge around. I guess drivers of the big rigs just think it won't be them this time. It's got to be a scary and jolting experience as your day comes to a grinding, sudden halt here. I can't imagine what that feeling is like, not to mention the embarrassment. Yesterday, under it in my SUV. Today, I'll be coasting over it on Amtrak.
Hopefully, no tractor-trailer ruins my morning.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Shrouded

"Help me, Help me, please"

Some houses actually cry out for a landscaping service. Sure, sometimes I let the front lawn get a bit ahead of me. And yes, I dislike pushing the lawnmower around doing the trim work. Also, there are weeks where I put off weed whacking around the flower beds. Guilty as charged! However, it has never gotten THIS ahead of me. I really hope this house is abandoned. That would at least partially explain why its crept to this state.  From the street, this is the only part of the house that is visible. There are lots of places in the city that really could use a good trimming of bushes and trees. Many beautiful homes are hidden away by unsightly blemishes like this.
From time to time, I have some trimming issues around the homestead.
But it has never gotten to this state.
I'd get my walking papers if it did.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Deck Life

It's really a shame that Maine summers aren't a bit longer. Elenka's sister resides in northern New Jersey, and we've done some preliminary, unofficial calculations and our numbers indicate that Judith's summers last about two weeks longer than ours. And that's just taking a look at May and early June. We're not even taking into consideration the late summer September factor. How do we know we're getting screwed out of summertime weather for sure? Plants! Elenka is into flowers and plants!  She has monitored the growing season and the early season temperatures there and here. In both of these ingredients, we lag year in and year out behind them by about two weeks. In some ways, it's just not fair. It all comes down to those two weeks, oh and the tall trees in the backyard that block the sun rays by 4 PM each afternoon by mid-August. Not fair! Sorry about all the whining this morning. 
On the plus side, our deck was occupied with friends and laughter yesterday. Judith and her husband Anthony from NJ, Donna and Marchin, Yelena and J- and Elenka and I enjoyed an afternoon in the sun and a delicious cookout.
Summer deck life is fading fast around here.
Some things in life are just not fair.
But afternoons like yesterday make up for a lot.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Belties

Connecting the dots...
I'm not really up on my cattle history and my animal breeding techniques. So after passing this farm a few times, I had to do some cattle homework. As you might imagine, Galloway cattle get its name from the Galloway region of Scotland. They were first introduced to American soil in 1882. These are Belted Galloways grazing on a farm in Freeport. They are created by breeding the classic Galloway with Dutch Belted cattle. It gets its name from the white stripe around its midriff. Now you are probably wondering, Hey Birdman the stripe is all well and good, but what's the deal with the black dot? I'm about to give you that information. And the answer is... I have no idea where the dot comes from, so there. I could tell you that this cow is the results of breeding the Dutch Belties with the infamous Italian Dots, but that would be a lie.
Be careful, in my formative years I loved 'connecting the dots' in those workbooks.
I could also tell a pretty good lie.
On a Sunday morning, this must be shocking to you.
Dot, dot, dash, dot...

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Latest Score

"I heard the news today, oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grade..."

These, of course, are the opening lines to the Beatles iconic "Day in the Life". I don't know about you, but I certainly made the grade. Like most dailies, that you can still find around, they're a dying breed. In my youth, I use to spread out the Sports section and read almost every line. After listening to the Sox as I fell asleep the previous night in my sweltering bedroom, I was especially drawn to the box score of the game. For anyone who is not familiar in the baseball lingo, the box score is all the individual statistics of the game. It includes the lineup and the complete list of  all players who entered the game to any degree. the the number of times a batter came to the plate and whether he made outs, or hits and whether they were singles, doubles, triples, homeruns, sacrifices etc. It also tells you the exploits of all the pitchers that entered the game, including the number of batters faced, pitches thrown, strikes, and balls. The box score includes a lot more technical stuff that I won't bore you with, but I must say it was of great interest to a twelve year old baseball fan. I still check it today, alas on line. This stubborn guy ain't paying $2.00 a paper at the local newsstand! When I do find the morning news in my hands these days, the Local & State section seems to be the place I gravitate to first. 
Some people might say I've grown up.
I'll leave that to others to decide.
I still check out latest scores.
But I don't live and die with them.
Boy, when I was 12 the Sox were bad.
Those box scores were nasty to peruse.
I'm better now and so are my Sox... although the American League standings wouldn't convince you this morning.
55-66 this August 16th is not pretty.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Ah, Cupcakes

Who doesn't love cupcakes?

Where does the line start?
This morning I'm going to spout maybe a little blasphemy and answer ME. Hey, I've got nothing against desserts. It's just that its not my favorite part of a meal. If we're out to a restaurant, I'll play nice and ask to see the dessert menu, but for the most part, it's just for show. I'll tell you right now, unless there's a blueberry, lemon meringue, apple or some other variety of scrumptious pie ogling back at me, I'm probably going to pass. Not a big cake guy either. I'll partake at a birthday, but for the most part it's about the celebration not the frosting. So, now we get to cupcakes. If I'll pass on cakes, it stands to reason that me and that little 'mouthful of joy' are probably not going to be seen together a lot.
No, I haven't watched the Cupcake Girls on TV.
Would that change my opinion of those little cakes?
I think not.
Now, if Giada De Laurentiiss (Everyday Italian, Giada at Home) on the Cooking Channel takes up cupcakes, I might reconsider.
Hers are the only cooking shows I care to watch.
She wears beautiful dresses too.
Love cupcakes?
Ah... Giada.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Watercolors and More

Last Saturday, the ten acre site, Mill Creek Park in South Portland, was home to the 35th annual Art in the Park festivities. The park itself has been around since 1954 when it was commissioned. The meandering pond has a fountain in the middle, a small bandstand, plenty of wild ducks and this day spaces for 175 artists and vendors. The sun played hide'n' seek with the clouds most of the afternoon, and as you can see there was a brief shower. Amid the hundreds of artists and a few stray raindrops, I did finally meet Rita aka 'Sketchbook Wandering' in the blogosphere. It was so nice to meet her face to face. Overall, it was an artistically enhanced afternoon in the park. Later, I met up with Marchin and Donna, and we walked over to Knightsville and took in the block party featuring  food and music clustered along the storefronts. My evening ended with friends and dinner on the outdoor patio at the Snow Squall.
Viewing art at Mill Creek pond and dining under a dynamic sunset filled my day.
The supermoon kept me company along the drive home.
Could it have been any better?
In my ledger of days, place this one in the plus column. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lunch Break

They call them the lazy, hazy days of summer. Yesterday wasn't lazy or hazy though. It was beautiful. It was a good time to run some errands and meet up with J- for lunch at Crema on Commercial Street. They have a pretty good tuna salad sandwich on delicious homemade bread, and we each sampled one along with an ice coffee. I'm usually here much earlier in the morning and sit right by the window. Yesterday, we found a table at the back of the spacious room and had  great view of afternoon sun showing itself through this large window. Good day to get out and about, because today will all be about heavy rain. I did get to see J's new place. A bit cramped for two, but some might call it cuddly. It reminded me a lot of our first place on Deering Street. They'll really get to know each other this winter! Ah... youth!
Get me a book!
Got to get me a copy of In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette.
Have heard lots of great reviews.
Anybody read it?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mark Time

I really like sundials!
If I remember correctly, I first saw a design on how to build a simple sundial in a seventh grade science textbook with Mr. Walker. BOYS' LIFE, the official magazine of the Boy Scouts, was one of two magazines, the other was SPORTS' ILLUSTRATED, that occupied my early teen years. In it I remember quite a color spread of how to build and read a dial. If it was early afternoon, the sun was out and the gang and I needed the time, we'd draw them in the dirt at homeplate. Our game would end at 2 PM when Leo, Teddy and I had our paper routes to do. Wristwatches? Are you kidding me? But we needed the time. In my last year working at the cemetery, Herbie the foreman, asked me to help the crew build the stone foundation and tower for the cemetery's sundial, in a new section that was opening soon. I was excited! That was pretty cool! 
I stop by often to check it out. 
It still looks great.
And it works!
Have you got the time?
*note: Don't be distracted by the nude in the distance.

* This beauty is found in a field of flowers at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Bridge Habit

Got any nasty habits?
Want to talk about them here?
I'll be your confessor, if you want.
I've got a couple. Elenka probably thinks the number runs a little higher though. Let me share one. If I find a good thing, I keep going back for more. I can devour an entire, gigantic bag of salted potato chips in a sitting. I can treat a jar of peanuts with the same recklessness. I can't help myself! Take a good photo site. If you remember, last winter we found this old railroad tunnel near the Casco Bay Bridge. Since then, I've taken Marchin and a couple of friends to see it. Paulie and I ventured here after a coffee run the other day. He had never seen it either, or for that matter didn't believe it still was around. I proved him wrong, but better still these purple weeds were brightly in boom, against the bridge in the distance. I seem to keep being pulled back to this site. There's something new each visit.
Maybe not as bad as biting my nails...
I'd like to 'kick' that one.
Returning to the same place?
See, you can go 'home' again.
At least for startling colors.
Some habits are not to be broken.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Birthday Wishes

Birthday wishes are  going out this morning---
Monhegan turned 400 years old this past Tuesday. Although it was visited earlier, Captain John Smith is credited in the history books with discovering it in 1614. The island that is found about 12 nautical miles off the mainland has only about 45 year round residents, all dirt roads, a school with eight students from kindergarten through high school, no police but some the most magnificent views of the rugged, rocky coast of Maine. It also offers you a strange concoction of lobstermen, artists and tourists visiting for just the day or the summer. During the summer, the population swells to somewhere over 2,000. Elenka and I have visited here often, but we do prefer taking the boat out in the fall. I like to think that it is an idyllic piece of what we call Maine. There's something about peering out our window in the Monhegan House in the darkness and spying the sweep of the lighthouse's glow at the top of the island that fills me with a comforting feeling about this life we lead.
Sample life's pleasures.
And celebrate the small treasures you pass.
There are a lot of them!

*This is an outbuilding near the lighthouse at the top of the island.

*History buffs might want to check it out further here.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monhegan,_Maine  

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Summer Lawn

I'm torn.
Would my Toro riding mower love to run roughshod over this front lawn and do its stuff? You betcha! Then again. There's something that says these wild flowers, rocks and tall weeds need to remain just where they are. The old farmhouse's owners do have a working lawnmower. Evidence shows the area around the house is mowed and nicely taken care of here. You seem to find this a lot as you venture along roads heading to the water Downeast.
On the plus side, less time on the mower working, more time in a hammock in the afternoon.
An August foggy summer morn.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Nasty Sky

The sky was angry that day, my friend.
It's been a strange week. Thunderbumpers have been the course for the week. Lots of thunder, lightening and sunshine throughout the mornings and afternoons. Elenka leaves for week, and this is what I'm dealt? This weather and the 'ta do list' on the fridge have been keeping me company the last few days. Well, sort of... But really, the first thing I did after getting back from the jetport was to take list off the fridge and put it in a drawer. Outta sight outta mind. I'll replace it next week before I pick her up. That list is just too much of a guilt trip to handle.
I'm just happy she doesn't read this blog.
What's that old standard by Billie Holiday? 
"Don't know why there's no sun up in the sky/Stormy weather..."
In more ways then one.
Maybe.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Barn Life

Back in the 70's when we were looking around for a house, a big barn was one of the lures for me. I think one of the reasons was that most of the country capes had some sort of barn attached. Knowing Elenka and I, there was a lot we could do with a barn. Really, the possibilities were endless. In retrospect, with some 30+ years in the rearview mirror, I'm happy we went in another direction and settled for a home without the barn. Thanks to the former owners, we did get a terrific old photo that showed that there once was one on the property. Yes, I'm happy. Well, happy untill I drive by a classic New England farmhouse with one, or I end up at a retirement party given by my friend Kevin and get to enjoy most of the evening listening to the live band and spending time with good ol' friends in one of these. The upkeep on an old house has kept us busy over the years. I can't even imagine a big barn. Ok, yes I can, and I'm shuddering as I type this. 
How would our lives be different?
What would we have done with it?
Knowing us probably something pretty creative.
One thing I do know.
We would have plenty of crap to fill it!
Isn't that running horse weathervane atop it pretty cool?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Rats and Summer Camps

Strange stuff today.
Two things came to my attention recently.
It's all about our friendly rodents and summer camp.
Did you know that rats play? I didn't. I didn't even know that some scientists out there are studying this stuff. I should have realized it, but it escaped me. The whitecoats are checking out their playing, sharing of food and other socializing activities. And yes, they are watching them while they are copulating. Kinda kinky if you ask me.
Topic Two- summer camps. Maine is big business when it comes to kids traveling here to frolic at seemingly hundreds of picturesque camps. Camp Gregory was a summer camp for boys. I begged my parents to let me go, but money was always the obstacle. Heck, if they ever said yes, I would have fainted dead right there on the floor. Never got the opportunity, but I have a sneaky suspicion that I couldn't have done the two weeks on the lake anyway. I was sort of a fraidy cat.
Now, here's a summer camp I could take, I bet.
Last week, Portland hosted its first Beer Camp.
Yes, you heard me... Beer Camp!
Not two weeks.
Just a Friday, Saturday, and a Sunday.
No Swimming!
No Campfires!
No Uniforms!
No Bunkhouses!
Just hundreds and hundreds of microbrews.
Now, that's a summer camp for me!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Some Books

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Elenka took a Book Arts workshop at the Stone House in Feeeport last week. It was a long week. It was seven jam packed days from 9-5 and then factor in the one hour ride from our place and back. As I said it was truly a LONG week. But the fruits of her labor for the week were amazing. Pictured here is just a sampling of the  innovative ideas for books she designed and built during the week. I so enjoy looking at and reading alternative styled books. They all seem to combine the aspects of books and sculpture. A nice coming together of sorts. I saw a project in school this year called 'altered books' where the art teacher had eighth graders change the look of a books pages by folding, cutting, painting. It was fantastic! Yes, I know. The out of circulation hard cover books were 'changed'. And yes, I understand that in some eyes a 'cardinal sin' was committed here though. ( Look away it's hideous!) The book was still there. Yet in a different form.
I suggested the following.
Say three Hail Marys and one Our Father.
There, she's off the hook!
She'll get into heaven, I think.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Free Smiles

I wonder who invented smiling. Someone, somewhere, sometime must have said, "Hey, look at this. Look what I can do!" Some people have toothy smiles. Others hide them away. Still for others the lips seem to be a large part of the action. Beards and mustaches attempt to mask the grin, but the smile is too strong an antidote. I've seen them crooked, stiff even some that were mostly gums.
To be perfectly honest. Never seen one I didn't enjoy the look of. All a bit different. All good.
I don't have to tell you. We live in a world of pay, pay, pay! However, some of the best stuff in this big, wide world is free for the taking. We take lots of these freebies for granted.
Smiles are free.
Giving them and getting them.
Bank your smiles!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

8:39 AM Fog

Today, I'm pretending I'm on Twitter or Faceplant... ah, Facebook--Let's see. What was my day like?

Come along with me...
There was a pretty thick fog this morning. I was out and about in it. I dropped Elenka off in Freeport at her Book Arts workshop and headed to Coffee By Design on the ground floor of LL Bean for a couple of hours. I can get 'lost for hours', if the combinations of java, magazines, newspapers and a computer are involved. After a brief trip to check out a couple of photo spots, it was back to Portland and lunch at Crema. I settled for the tuna salad sandwich and an ice coffee and spent some time checking email and my blog. Yikes! I found a free parking space near Bull Moose Music and pulled in. I have some 'parting gifts' left over from my retirement party, and one is a gift certificate here. They have a super-wide selection of music, as you might imagine: CDs, new and pre-owned and classic albums. There are some with seals that have never been broken. I passed on those but did grab a book. I needed a summer read: light and uncomplicated. I grabbed Stephen King's Mr. Mercedes. There's nothing like a good serial killer to liven up a warm summer evening.
I've heard good things about it too.
A retired, fat cop chasing 'one that got away'.
And the price was right... under $20.
Sorry you had to read this, but...
I really wanted to know what that Facebook draw was all about.
I feel really good about myself now.
I told you I was in a fog, right?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Stone Books

The Stone House is the home of the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing affilated with the University of Southern Maine. This past week Elenka has been taking a course there called Book Arts. From last Monday through tomorrow, the week is filled with many different takes on the building of books. Pop-ups, water-based silkscreening, accordion books, print sketching and reduction linocuts, book binding and poetry filled the hours. Elenka has come home each evening excited about her day and so looking forward to the next day's creative agenda.
The building was designed in 1917 by John Calvin Stevens, and along with Wolfe's Neck Farm 600+ acres, was given to the college in two separate gifts. Today, this beautiful building on Harraseeket Bay is up for sale.
Looking for a summer home?
Bring your pocketbook.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Theme Day: Take Away Store

Today, August 1, 2014, is Theme Day across the CityDailyPhotoBlog (cdp) community. The theme this month zeroes in on places to 'take out' food. Since 1976, Don's Lunch van has been parked in downtown Westbrook. It's 1:00 AM in the morning. The bars have closed, and you're heading home. You've got the hunger. Want a couple of loaded, red hot dogs, perhaps a sausage, onion and cheese, or a pulled pork sandwich? You want to drive out of your way and get here. You won't be alone! You won't be disappointed!
Enjoy!

Now talk about the REAL 'take away'
Let's talk math!
Let's talk Subtraction!
At this point, if you are not a baseball fanatic, you better just move on. Pass GO and collect your $200.
Hang the black, velvet, mourning bunting. Why? It's ONLY August 1st, and my Red Sox are dead in the water. World Series Champs in 2013! Dead last this morning! Why you say again? Easy. John Lester GONE! John Lackey GONE! Johnny Gomes GONE! Stephen Drew GONE! Andrew Miller GONE! Jake Peavy GONE! 
WHAT the heck just happened???????
Whew!
This happened almost all in one 'black' Thursday.
Pray for me!
This is going to be a long August and September for me without baseball.
Go Patriots!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Roots

The largest of majestic trees have their beginnings in simple spots. They look innocent enough, but if you've ever tried to remove a small tree or bush, I don't have to tell you that roots run deep. What looks to be a quick job can run you hours. They can wear quite a disguise too. These pictured look dead, but are very much alive and kicking. I'm not a big genealogy guy. I haven't ever done any research on my family tree. Others in the family have done some preliminary research, and I've taken a glancing look. I know where my family roots lie. My grandparents, on my mother's side, traveled from Prince Edward Island in the early 1900s. My Dad's grandparents can be traced to Spital in Ireland. My brother, Marchin, has been to both places and has met family members in Canada and spent time in pubs in Spital.
I'm intrigued by both places.
Perhaps someday visits.
Do you have interest in geneology?
What's the draw?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Treeline and Marsh

This scenic taken in western Maine last week reminds me of the painter Bob Ross (1942-1995) who used to be everywhere on PBS in the 80s. He and his 'magic white' were easy to find on a cold winter Saturday afternoon. I use to sit there and marvel, as his wide brush would attack the canvas and make a line of evergreens, almost magically, flash into view. When the camera was doing an up-close shot of his hand and brush just dabbing the canvas with greens and tinted yellows, I'd say ok this time they are not going to be looking like trees. When the camera pulled back, viola! There the treeline was majestic-like.
He made painting look so easy.
How'd he do that?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Water Water

This is sort of a cryptic image I took last week on our sojourn to western Maine. We stopped in Grafton Township, near Bethel at Screw Auger Falls. Sometimes, when I travel, I come across names that I just love to say Screw Auger... Got to love it. It's a  small waterfall complex coming off the Bear River. The total drop of the falls from top to bottom is 43 feet, with the tallest single drop of 18 feet at the gorge. These falls are quite close to the Route 26. Pull into the parking lot, walk about 25 yards and you are there at the top of the gorge. It's one of the most scenic spots, especially during the fall when the trees are exploding in color. Old Speck Mountain is close by. Many summers ago, Elenka and I spent a July 4th weekend backpacking the arduous climb. 
If you love humidity, black flies and bears, you should have been with us. 

*This is a photo of granite, being washed-over with the falls' runoff.
To me, it sort of looks like I'm peering into either a microscope or perhaps a telescope. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Bear

Snakes, pumas and bears. Oh my!

This is a great rock in the water, near the shoreline at Bear Pond in South Waterford. It's one of my favorite spots to drive by here in western Maine. If I had a boat, this would be a neat place for an out of the way camp. If you squint your eyes a bit , it sort of gives, at least me, the feeling of a bear. Speaking of bears and other creatures of the wild. Have you seen that new reality show, "Naked and Afraid"? Here's the premise: they take two survivalists, one male, one female, place them in the wilds of Argentina, Nicaragua or some other remote environment, take away their clothes, and we watch them attempt to survive for 21 days. They blur the vital areas, but I still found it a bit difficult to watch at times. Basically, it's 60 minutes of dirty faces, mud, shivering, animals, tears and butt cracks. Oh, I almost forgot. It seems to rain constantly. Temperatures in the 60s during the day, 50s at night and lots and lots of rain. Their diet? Grubs, snails, worms, snakes and some plants. 
This is not my idea of a fun 3 week vacation.
I'd settle for a quiet week on this pond.
No butt cracks, please.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Duff's or Don's


Let's get this out in the open right off the bat. My eyesight is a bit off these days. At 50 mph, I thought for sure this was 'Don's Dog House'. I did a u-turn and circled back, only for come face to face with Duff's.
'Don's doghouse'? Did I spend time there?
Hey, I lived there. I did 'hard time' there.
Let's see: I wasn't home at 2 PM to do papers somedays, was late after the 'cow bell' sounded at 9PM, received grades not up to his specifications in JHS and HS, 'roped' my brother to the my sister's rocking chair (gosh, I loved that cowboy life style), didn't learn those multiplication tables fast enough, the driveway wasn't shoveled when he got home, got in BIG trouble witb Sister Deloras (his aunt), the Principal of my elementary school, made many and ANY excuses and on, and on and on.... Dad ran a tight ship along with his black belt, and I sometimes felt that I was a bit character in my own 'caine mutiny'. As happens many times, when I hit my adult years things changed. Oh ya, I married Elenka, and my status in his eyes changed.
Best buddies.
A Dog House?
$8,500.00?
Buy it?
Guy, I LIVED it!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Dwalin

My sister Joanne, in Oregon, always remembers my birthday with interesting gifts. Often she sends me books we've talked about in the past, or she's brought my attention to in preceding months. Last year, she sent me me glass jar holding a small sculpture of a firefly. It sits here on our porch now on a windowsill. I think it's very cool. Funny story. I digress. About a month ago, I couldn't sleep one night and wandered out in to the kitchen at about 2 AM. When I got there, I noticed the ceiling and kitchen had this strange blue-green glow. At first it confused me. I thought perhaps it was coming from the moon or even a vehicle parked in the driveway. Neither of these assumptions were correct. On further examination, I realized that it was in fact a single firefly lighting up my world. I stared at it for a minute or so, winking at me. It was a little treat. After a sip of iced tea, I was back to bed. Strange. I won't ever forget this encounter. 
The package this July held this little guy. These days he's been put to work to earn his keep. His job? To watch over our garden at night and attempt to keep the invading deer at bay.
They do so enjoy my lettuce!
This gnome reminds me of one of Bilbo Baggin's pals.
I always liked the name Dwalin.
I shall call him that!
Dwalin, get busy and keep those pests away!

Friday, July 25, 2014

64Bentley

Yesterday, Elenka and Birdman set off on one of their great 'day adventures'. Got your GPS handy? We headed to Standish to North Sebago, Naples, to Bridgton, Waterford, North Waterford, onto to Lynchville, Bethel, passing through Newry, and Grafton Notch, passing into New Hampshire onto Errol, Milan, Berlin, Cascade, Gorham,  Shelburne, back into Maine at Gilead, Locke Mills, on to  Woodstock, Paris, to Norway, Oxford, Poland, Casco, back to Naples then back to North Sebago, Standish and our driveway. All in all, it was a 5 hour trip to an area of Maine and New Hampshire that we have been away from for quite awhile. It was nice to get back.We saw lots of sights along the way. Mostly trees! There is one heck of a lot of woods up there. We had lunch along the Androscoggin River. Who knew it stretched that far up into the wilds of the Granite State.
And now a few answers----
No, we didn't see any moose.
I did see a few hawks... no eagles
Stopped at a store that sold rifles, wood stoves, jewelry, huge safes and loads of other stuff that one needs to sustain life away from the rest of the world. Life is different up here!
I had a loaded tuna sub for lunch.
Yes, I drove all the way.
I wish! This 1964 Bentley is not ours.
Of course, we had a wonderful day together!


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wooden Rhino

The "Blakie" Langlais estate has been left to Colby College in conjunction with the Kohler Foundation, that is cataloging, restoring, repairing and conserving his art. Many of his whimsical sculptures are scattered about his 80 acres of overgrown fields and woods in Cushing. Soon in 2014, the estate's sculpture park will be open for public viewing. Colby College in Waterville will be showing a large collection of his work opening this coming fall. Traveling around the state, his 'creatures' seem to pop up just about any place. I do believe this rhino used to 'live' on the USM campus in Gorham. Right now, the Portland Committee on Public Art is searching for an indoor home for his 10 foot standing bear. I hear there are well in excess of 3,000 pieces of his wooden art. Most are a bit larger than life, similar to this one, however there are many in miniature that could sit nicely on a tabletop.
Where did the man get his inspiration?
His father was a carpenter.