Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Birds and Vines

Here at my home away from home, this birdhouse is lost among the vines. Inching towards October, these vines are still looking green. In early spring this 'home' is quite active with comings and going about. Crazy me, even in the dead of a winter storm, I enjoy taking a stroll out in this garden. The falling snow and sleet cascading on the vineworks here make quite a racket. Often, my friends on the other side of the glass, when they see me out here in January and February think I'm losing it, but I quite enjoy it. It's so still even with the sleet and snow. The solitude out here is so invigorating to me. What do they say? Peace, love and understanding!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


First, just a bit of history. Portland High School was founded in 1821, and is the second oldest operating high school in the United States.. With over a 1,000 students from 41 countries and speaking 26 languages, this school is pretty unique as far as diversity goes. Here's a different look seen from the backside near Freshman alley.

Monday, September 28, 2009


After yesterday's late September rain attention to the woodpile is due. The stove was on to take the day's cool temperature and dampness out of the kitchen area. We'll hold off on the furnace as long as we can into October. Alas, it's the way of the world around here.
On the family front--- 'Opportunity knocks' at times when we're not even contemplating anything close to a change in life. Good Luck to our dancer niece D-! She's off to Germany to pursue her dream! A few weeks ago, she moved into her new apartment in NYC excited about her new living arrangement without roommates... and now she's off to settle in Europe as part of a team in a new musical production. This chance of a lifetime came out of nowhere. Wow! Ya, gotta go for the 'ring'. This life thing--- it amazes me at every turn!
Love ya D-!

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Road Trip- I first learned about Monhegan in a round about way. In Seventh Grade at Lincoln, I took art with GB, and one of our assignments involved Manana Island, just off of Monhegan and seen in the background here. He read us an article about Ray Eugene Phillips, the Hermit of Manana Island, and asked us to draw a picture of him. Later we hung all the pictures, including a portrait of the hermit. Born in 1892 and educated at the University of Maine, the man led quite an interesting life. Apparently, serving in WW1, and working in NYC for a time in the 20's just didn't inspire him. So he retreated to Manana, built a shack out of anything that washed up, tended a flock of sheep and traveled occasionally to the 'big island' for meager supplies and to see friends. Quite a life... if you can get it. I guess.
*footnote to history--- my art teacher GB, besides trying to teach this 12 year old the finer points drawing and painting... melted down our high school rings and made our gold wedding bands. Designed by E- they are unique, 'one of a kind' and still beautiful!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Road Trip-
Monhegan is an island about 12 nautical miles (22 km) off the coast of Maine. We've ventured out there on three occasions, staying once at the Whispering Yew, and another time the Monhegan House was our base of operations. This last time we took the boat from New Harbor for a day trip. Each time, photography and painting were in our plans for the trip. An excursion to the island, is a adventure back in time. Rain or shine, you're never disappointed on Monhegan.

Friday, September 25, 2009


"The artist's world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep". ~Paul Strand
We're off on a little fall road trip this weekend. Hope to find some interesting moments--- beyond 'my backyard'.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Good Grief! Another late September beach day in Southern Maine? What gives? It just seems like we're getting payback for the miserable June and part of July. I thought I'd post this last summer-like shot of Willard Beach today and think a bit about strange coincidences of the human spirit. As you might remember from previous posts, while growing up, my Mom took us kids to Willard on countless occasions. I know it was one of her favorite locations near home and ocean-site of choice. When I finally met my sister D- on Monday evening, during dinner at the Saltwater Grill, she mentioned in passing that Willard was a beach that she and her family visited often too. It was a favorite of her mom and dad's also. This connection between our families was not lost on anyone at the table. Sometimes our lives work in small, mysterious, yet poignant ways.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Autumn Sun

It's the first full day of fall, but a look at the temps around here wouldn't give you a hint of that. Heading to the 80's today, with still a lot of green everywhere. This home at the corner of Danforth and Vaughn Streets is bathed in late morning sun. There won't be many more days like this for awhile. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rocks in Stream

To say that yesterday was a 'life altering day' for me would not be close to an overstatement. Mom always told me that certain events in life are 'worth the wait', and I'd readily agree with that. It's not often that one gets to mid-life with a close, loving family and suddenly have it grow by one. Lucky us! Throughout the day, the most frequently asked question of me was "Are you nervous?" My reply was always "No, I'm excited." I really was and still am. I thought it was especially poignant, that after meeting at a local hotel, we proceeded to the Fort Allen Park for photos at the bandstand. My 'new' sister, D-, grew up in a home nearby, actually where the Portland House now stands on Eastern Promenade. A wonderful family of four is now five, with lots more nieces and nephews in the wings. How can you beat a last day of summer that brought such an marvelous occurrence.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rough Water, Smooth Water

Today, my wish is for a smooth, glass-like lake surface here. It's a special day for me. I meet a part of my life that I've never seen. She's a part of my past, a part of my 'today' and surely part of my future. Nine years ago, my brother and sisters learned we had a half-sister. Simply put-- today, we'll all be together at last. I'm excited! Stay tuned for the book...?

Sunday, September 20, 2009


It never really was September til, we kids got packed away in the creme Chevy station wagon and were on the road to Cumberland. Terrison's Apple Orchard was the destination. It was always an afternoon of pure, unadulterated fun, racing around the trees and finally finding a 'loaded' one to climb. Most times, it was my brother and me doing the climbing and the tossing, and our sisters at the bottom doing the catching. I do remember a couple of times going there with the baby, Jojo, in Mom's arms walking through the orchard watching all the action. Dad was either filling the bushel wooden box or off at the barn talking to old man Terrison. Did he know everybody? It sure seemed so at the time. Back home, the bushel box was stored in the cool, dark dining room closet and every morning before heading out the door for Lincoln and every afternoon on return a visit to the closet for a tasty Mac, Cortland or Golden delicious, was a part of my routine. Ah, September!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


These small training skiffs are ready to roll at the Portland Yacht Sales marina. While walking along the water here, I spied a huge black and white cat walking along the railroad tracks. He let me walk right up to him, seemed pretty interested in me too, but as soon as the shutter clicked, he took off like fired from a rifle. We're cat people and have had quite a few: Wiz (Wizard), Micky (Mick Jagger), White Sox (white paws), Eclipse ( always have liked the sound of the word), and Nutmeg (liked saying the word and his coloration). Molly (unsinkable? Molly Brown... Titanic) and Sophie (she looks like a Sophie...princess) are with us now. They all have been wonderful family 'friends', have kept us company through long Maine winters and helped keep the 'critter population' down too. We have loved them all!

Friday, September 18, 2009


The sunflowers are alive and well in the garden these days. They face sunshine, rain, the moon and stars with an indomitable spirit. As we enjoy the last flickering days of summer, the 'sun' is always out with these flowers around.
A H ! S U N - F L O W E R

Ah, Sun-flower, weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the Sun,
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller's journey is done:

Where the Youth pined away with desire,

And the pale Virgin shrouded in snow
Arise from the their graves, and aspire
Where my Sun-flower wishes to go.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Afternoon Sun

J- and I took in the movie "The Hurt Locker" recently. Going into it I didn't think I'd really care for it, but I was pleasantly surprised. Quite entertaining, and I hear it's quite true to life. My son says it might be up for an Oscar nominee. After leaving the theater, we headed back to the parking garage to pick up an ID before dinner, and when I turned to leave the building by the back exit, this site met my eyes. It's a back view of buildings on Middle Street. Brick buildings and afternoon sun--- a lethal combination, at least for me. I'm here, enjoying fall sunlight and my dwindling garden.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Yesterday, I spied this on the back walkway. It's true! The season is ready to change around here. We were sitting, enjoying the fading afternoon sun, in our adirondacks nearby and noticed that the huge maple at the end of the driveway was still 'green' at the top. Usually, by the middle of August, we'll begin to see some 'yellow' at the peak, but not this year. The late warm weather has had an effect to at least this big beauty. Don't know where this 'red one' came from, but soon, I know, this tree will 'get busy' with color, and our Maine's blue highways will explode with out of state license plates. It's the way of the world. Ain't no stopping it!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Surf's up! Higgins Beach... Well, no. It's not the Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii, but around here it's just about the best place to hang 10. It WAS back in high school, and by the looks of the weekend activity it still is today. Saturday in the showers and Sunday in the sun found lots boards being carried either on foot or on racks on trucks. Now, I was never a partaker in wave-riding, but from the layman's point of view the waves looked big and active both days. Looked like fun, but I'll pass and leave that 'stuff' to Zack, Bruce John and JoJo.

Monday, September 14, 2009


We had a wonderful Sunday. The sun broke through about 9 AM and stayed around all day. It was a day with the family at a cottage at Higgins Beach. My sister and her husband are here from Oregon and staying there. Lots of their friends showed up to sail and surf. They were coming and going most of the day. We just sat back and took in the 'sights and sounds'. And, of course, I sampled the bar-b-cue and fixings. Wonderful day with friends.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


The 2nd Annual Picnic Music+Arts Festival at Lincoln Park was held in the drizzle yesterday from 11 AM to 6 PM. It included lots of crafts, jewelry, homemade items and surprisingly lots of people. Even with the precipitation, the mostly young crowd milled their way from tent to tent. Although the rain eliminated most of the picnicking activities, smiles and lots of laughter were abundant among the the attendees, and after all, isn't that what festivals are all about?

Saturday, September 12, 2009


It's Lighthouse Day along Maine's rugged coast. Pemaquid Point Light is one of my favorites lights in our state. A few weeks ago, we had an evening picnic along the water's edge here in Bristol, Maine. This picturesque beauty is located at the entrance to Muscongus Bay and John Bay. On a showery Saturday, around here, it might not be a bad way to spend an afternoon. It's too early in the season to watch college football, anyway. Why not 'light' up your day!

Friday, September 11, 2009


There was a time when you had to 'fight' railroad tracks and cobblestones along Commercial Street, weaving, sliding, bumping. Those days are long gone for the most part around the city, except for Boothby Square. These days beer trucks, laundry vendors, food distributors and their ilk are what you attempt to maneuver around. They get to park in the the center of the wide thoroughfare. Here's my query this morning: with all the great Portland microbrews around, what's this NY State beer truck doing 'obstructing' the middle of Commercial? Just 'the way of the world', I guess.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


"Watercolor is a swim in the metaphysics of life... a mirror of one's own character. Let it be unpredictable and colorful." (Anonymous)

I don't know if I'd go that far; matter of fact, I don't think I even know what this means... completely. Just read an interesting article in the August issue of DownEast while at the doctor's office yesterday. It highlights, Monhegan watercolorist, Leo Brooks, who took up painting at 60... "Art as Afterlife". Quite interesting, especially if one has been thinking of completely changing 'lanes in life'. Worth a read.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First Light

Seen from the Fort Allen Park bandstand, the tranquil harbor lies dormant awaiting the busy traffic of the day.
And it is a BIG day... 9/9/09
The Beatles entire catalogue of Remasters is released today.

Please Please Me

With the Beatles

A Hard Day’s Night

Beatles for Sale


Rubber Soul


Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Magical Mystery Tour

The Beatles
(The White Album)
Abbey Road

Let It Be

Past Masters

Yellow Submarine
I'll make this purchase, but probably not today. Yeah, yeah, yeah!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Chevy Truck

This beat-up Chevy pick-up was parked near Bayside last week. It caught my eye, because back in the old neighborhood Mr. M- always was tinkering in his garage restoring some sleek Lincoln or Caddy. Out in the field behind his house, he had an old abandoned car of the same make that he was constantly pulling parts off and dragging them into the garage. If he was in a good mood, he'd let us kids come watch him work. I think he just like to show-off a bit. At one time he had a real fine pickup similar to this one. It was jet black, and he kept it immaculate; giving it a wax job every Saturday. I'm always impressed and even a bit envious of those classic car owners at car shows. Varooooooom!

Monday, September 7, 2009


An early fall morning finds the sun throwing shadows at the falls. Just before the Stroudwater River empties into the Fore River near the Tate House, this small, yet picturesque scene can be found. One 0f my first memories of this place was when Grampa took me fishing. We parked along the old airport road and fished off the bridge. It was a fun, sunny afternoon, I remember. I had always wanted to try fishing and time spent with this guy was special to me. He had better luck then I did, but I did hook an old black boot. Honest! He got a good laugh out of that. During the winter, our family, on one of our 'rides', often stopped at the frozen river and watched men cut ice here. There was even an old ice house off to the left in this photo. With four kids to entertain, car rides were always a part of our weekends!

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Yesterday morning, the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's Explorer of the Seas (3,114 passengers) dwarfed vessels around it, as it made its way up the harbor to the International Marine Terminal. We were up early and on the Eastern Prom by 7 AM(a Saturday? Don't ask!). It slowly crept in through the distant sea fog and docked at about 8:45. We left the truck at the Prom, walked down one of the Portland Trails walkways to the jogging and bike path below and made our way to the Terminal. It was a beautiful morning, and the ship looked majestic against the early, blue-slate sky. Why see this ship? Five summers ago, we sailed the Caribbean aboard the Explorer's sister ship the Voyager of the Seas. What a wonderful time we had. GREAT memories!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Sea Around Us

This afternoon, we're off to the beach! To the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom to be exact to take in the 'end of summer' concert by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. We've seen them many times, and SSJ and the boys always put on a great show, bringing that Jersey Shore sound north. They love playing this venue every summer, and by the end of the evening it shows. What I love about the concerts is, besides their setlist of 'hits', they are constantly throwing in the 'surprises' like:"Hanky Panky", "Twisting the Night Away", "Under the Boardwalk", "Doo Wah Diddy", and River Deep/ Mountain High". Here's a peek into me. I love Dusty Springfield! Three summers ago, my brother and I went to the show and stood 15 feet from center stage. The band kicked off the night with a rockin' version of her hit "I Only Want To Be With You". I couldn't believe it! What a start! What a night! Have a super, satisfying Saturday! I know I going to have one!

ps. Oh, did I tell you I married a Jersey Girl? Don't know if that has anything to do with my love of this music.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Rock Beach

Took a quick day trip down to Perkins' Cove recently and walked along Marginal Way. There are a couple of places with actual water access that are called 'beaches'. They are basically all rocks, with no sand recognizable to the human eye. What you are looking at here is the entire 'beach' population on this August afternoon. However, near the end of our walk, there are picturesque views of Ogunquit Beach off in the distance. This afternoon the beach there was packed! It got up to 85 inland around here today; A real end of summer day for us. One thing about an August in Maine-- summer ends very abruptly, often with no warning. So we try to enjoy every single warm afternoon. Why? It's a long time til May.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


The old Chestnut Street Church dates back to before the Civil War. Architect, Charles Alexander, was quite popular in Portland in the 1850s and 1860s, but because of the great fire in the city, this is his only surviving piece of work. Today, the church has reopened as a restaurant called GRACE. I haven't eaten there myself, but I have a friend who has 'broken bread' within the walls, and she said, "I'm not a religious person, but I did feel a little strange eating dinner on the altar". She went on to say that the restaurant was quite beautiful inside, but that the entrees were a bit overpriced but delicious. I've seen photographs of the inside, and I must say the architecture is quite stunning. I guess you could say that eating here is truly a 'religious experience'!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Street Music

Be creative!
"There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly." Buckminster Fuller
The Portland monthly Art Walk always brings out the best in people. The sidewalks are full of interesting people in good spirits and lots of COLORFUL sights. This cool cat is around Congress most Friday nights. Love those sneakers most of all.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Theme Day: BIG

Today, September 1, is Theme Day in the CityDailyPhotoBlog community around the world. So what REALLY is Freeport, Maine's claim to fame? Is it, as many believe, L.L. Bean? How about the Desert of Maine(heard about this?)? Some residents of the town might side with the Big Indian on Rt. 1. Since the 60's, when it first made its appearance, many have called it the BFI. That's affectionately the Big Freeport Indian. While for others, the the F stands for something else all together. But since this is a family show... However, in the parlance of the day--- the Big Native American might better fit the bill. Regardless, it certainly fits the adjective BIG, alright!