Saturday, July 31, 2010

Marsh Walk

Yesterday afternoon, we did something we have been meaning to do for the last few years but never got around to doing. We hiked the Fore River Sanctuary trail to Jewell Falls, Portland's only natural waterfall. The preserve encompasses 85 acres and along with the falls is the site of the former Cumberland and Oxford Canal. The two mile, round trip walk(a part of the Portland Trails, system of 30 multi-use trails around the city), took us along pathways and over bridges, where salt and freshwater marshes meet. It is a section of the city that I never explored in my youth or as an adult. I do really wonder how I missed it! On more than one occasion, we had to stop and remind ourselves that we were not in the North Maine Woods, but close to the heart of the state's largest city. It was quite a cool experience and a very green one!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Three Nectarines

I love nectarines on hot July days. By the way, these three are no longer with us in this world. I took care of them. Drip, drip, drip...

This photo reminds me of:
How to Eat a Poem
By Eve Merriam
Don't be polite.
Bite in.
Pick it up with your fingers and lick the juice that
may run down your chin.
It is ready and ripe now, whenever you are.

You do not need a knife or fork or spoon
or plate or napkin or tablecloth.

For there is no core
or stem
or rind
or pit
or seed
or skin
to throw away.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Work Shoes

The Shoes are dead. Long live the Shoes!

, I've taken some liberties here from a bit of French monarch succession history, upon the coronation of Charles VII following the death of his father Charles VI in 1422. Here, though, is my news... I'm so sad to report that my totally, comfortable work shoes(they were like slippers to me), finally bit the dust last week. Yes, they survived six Maine winters. I wore them every single day, I think, since the spring of 2004. How do I remember? It was part of my cruise wear for our sojourn to the Caribbean for a high school graduation present. Now, be careful. I know what you're thinking. Birdman, they still look great and so wearable! And yes, on first glance here they do. However, what the photo belies is that shortly after this was snapped, on a trip to dump crap into the compost pile, I ripped the entire undersole out of one, rendering it dangerous to wear and useless. Boo hoo! But don't fret, I have a new pair that I have been breaking in for the last year.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Peeling Walls

Does this wall appeal to you or does it just peel? It doesn't do much for me. It just SCREAMS out work to do on a hot, humid July day. Lots of scraping it looks like. The good thing is-- it's not my house. But I do like this house, that lies in what we call the Greater Portland area. There is a neat reflection going on here too. It caught my eye right directly. Old houses, ya gotta love 'em, but they'll drive you crazy with the upkeep. Well, at least I do!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Gone Fishing!

Not! I always get a kick out of the sign: "Gone Fishing", when I see it in a window. As if this is the ultimate, when it comes to relaxation. For me, getting up early when the house is still asleep and having a couple of hours to myself, heading off in my truck for a day of doing little and traveling nowhere, or sitting with a good book on a quiet beach somewhere--- these are my ideas of relaxing. Now, I love people and no one has ever accused me of not wanting to be the center of attention, but there are times where I have to just get away from it all. I think we all do. Today will not be one of them. We're off on an 'adventure' Downeast to Belfast. We'll do a restaurant or two, some art galleries, hit a thrift store and probably do some shopping. Oh, and take some pictures. The camera will be at the ready to document the day... my life in a day.

Monday, July 26, 2010


My cell rang. It was a call I couldn't take, because I knew the words that would be uttered forth. While waiting out the morning shower, overlooking the Square and my second cup of joe, my eyes went straight to these flowers on the pavement below. It was a Wednesday, and it was going to be anything, but a day as usual. I knew I'd need these yellows to brighten my morning.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Big O

"Only the Lonely", "Oh, Pretty Woman", "Crying", "In Dreams", "It's Over", "Running Scared" and "Claudette"... the list of my favorite Roy Orbison songs might just go on forever. I remember sitting on Brenda's porch in 1964 and listening to WJAB and their endless string of Beatles and Stone, and then I heard the VOICE. I was hooked! The kid from Vernon, Texas had me and wouldn't let me go. After a storied musical history, he had just experienced a rebirth in 1987 and started recording and traveling with the Traveling Wilburys(Obison, Jeff Lynne of ELO, Tom Petty, George Harrison and Bob Dylan. Talk about a super group!), when he suffered a heart attack and died at his mother's home at the age of 52.
I saw this image on a mailbox in Vermont, and the memories rushed back. I kind of like the debonair mustache too, that has been added to his look here.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

7:22 PM July 21

If the sky turns green, run for cover. I don't know if this is true or some old wives' tale. Until this week, I had no first hand experience with a tornado. My son went to school in the Midwest at IU and had his share tornado scares. He related many colorful stories about his run ins with a few, but myself I never had been near one til this past Wednesday. Severe thunderstorms? Had 'em. Hail storms? Had 'em. Hurricanes? Had 'em. Ice storms? Had 'em. Blizzards? Had 'em. But tornadoes? NEVER! Til this past Wednesday, when the southern Maine area near us had three of them within about an hour(Alfred, Limrick and Gorham). On the television, they kept saying, if one approaches go to the cellar, bathtub or if in a vehicle to a ditch and keep low. Well, when the weatherman pointed out, on his radar screen, that the fierce storm was heading right for our road, and the sky turned a funky yellow, the wind and heavy rain picked up, it was time to head downstairs. Long story short, we spent about 40 minutes with a static-tinted radio, flashlights, pillows and no beer. That last item was a mistake that won't happen again. This time, we dodged the bullet, but others nearby weren't so lucky and received severe tree damage. I've seen photos of the sky just about pitch black at 7 PM... if it turned green, I don't ever want to see it. That's as close as I want to be to one of those storms.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Stone Wall

These telephone poles and a stonewall look like the run off forever, but of course it's a bit of an illusion. This scene certainly would provide a good subject for an assignment on perspective, wouldn't it? This wall is not thrown together hastily either. It is elaborately constructed and runs on both sides of the road towards a family apple orchard. The other morning, facing the sun, I sat about mid-wall here and was just enjoying the warm sun on my face.
"Something there is that doesn't love a wall". I remember Frost leading off his MENDING WALL with this line. Could there really be such a person or thing that could detest this rugged, New England icon? I hope not.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

American Cafe

Our destination, for my birthday brunch last week, was here at Bintliff's American Cafe. We had never been here, but many of our friends had and raved about it, especially the brunch. My choice of entree was the Veggie Homefries, and it was more than enough for me. Lots of veggies, lots of homefries and my favorite: 2 eggs, sunnyside topping it all off. We sat outside on the second floor deck. It was just beginning to get warm, but a large tree and a gentle AM breeze made it perfect.
VEGGIE HOMEFRIES Baby spinach, tomato, mushroom, asparagus, onion, red bell pepper, broccoli & zucchini, sautéed & served over 3 potato homefries with Italian cheese blend & two eggs
The inside is quite charming and comfy. You won't be disappointed!

*note to brother- you have my permission to post (inside joke) my breakfast on your Facebook page. hahahaha!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fishermen's Shacks

Overlooking the beach at Willard, these weather-beaten shacks reappear each spring and just beg for some touch-up work. Can they get a witness? Off in the distance the beacon, Spring Point Light, looms.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Shelter from Storm

Waiting out the thunderstorm here at the Square, these travelers wait to load buses to parts unknown in the city and beyond. What might await them? New friendships, discovering exciting 'little corners' of the world or sometimes, maybe, just an item (note to self: Blue Meanie tie) or two picked up at a thrift store. Some might even be planning a sojourn to parts of the 'green wilds' of Vermont. Why not try something new this latter part of July... you might just be surprised where your 'adventure' might take you. Just let it go...

Monday, July 19, 2010

1937 Door

Caught in a thunderstorm, this 1937 something was for sale along side the road heading into the city. There's a new paint job outside, but the inside is pretty rough. Close your eyes and take a whiff, and you're back in '37. Chevy, Ford or Pontiac? Your guess is as good as mine. A restorer of old automobiles will probably recognize the make from the door handle alone.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fog Off!!

Time for a hilarious bumper sticker, on a bike no less. Next to Casco Bay Lines are docked two schooners: the Bagheera and the Wendameen, run by the Portland Schooner Co. I think this bike is owned by one of the Captains. Around these parts, fog can be the arch enemy of someone making a living on the water. Hence the sticker. Am I going sailing today? No chance! Opposite direction! We're heading inland (3 plus hours or so) for a few days with a very friendly 'cat'.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tug Work

Take a look at this scene of the city's working waterfront. It's that age old story, to be successful in an endeavor, even the biggest and strongest often need help from the little guy. It echoes a favorite moralistic tale from childhood: The Little Engine That Could and the famous refrain "I think I can- I think I can". I'm grinning now. Recently, I came across a Far Side comic with a little engine off to the side by a building with the caption: "I thought I could- I thought I could". hahahaha! But that story is for another day. Always try to keep it positive and upbeat, even in trying times.
ps. Happy Birthday to brother-in-law B- today, way over on the 'left coast'. Have a wonderful day my friend! If I was you, I'd take a cool, early morning ride on the bike of yours.

Friday, July 16, 2010


My heart is heavy today.
These have been a very difficult few days. I do believe, it being the summer, has made it even a bit more challenging for me. If I only could have seen many familiar faces yesterday and today... What'll I miss most? That list would be way too long, but a couple of things come forward--- most of all, that SMILE... ---our wonderful, almost daily, talks about growing up in Portland, around Deering Center--- and our conversations about writing. She was a faithful follower and supporter of my photoblog. I've lost a good and dear friend. There is a hole in my heart.

"The future's uncertain and the end is always near."
Roadhouse Blues
Jim Morrison

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Look, up in the sky. It's a Bird, man, but could very easily have been a Bookman!
Happy Birthday to me
Happy Birthday to me... well, you get the picture.
If Mom did not lie to me, this picture was snapped on Devon Street, my parents first home.
He's a 'big boy' now!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

121 Middle

Here's 121 Middle. It's another of the downtown buildings that I like a lot. I have always thought that living on one of these 4th floors would be great fun. Fabulous afternoon light flooding through via all these floor to ceiling windows, not to mention wonderful views of the Old Port and harbor.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Rowing Shells

At East End Beach, I found these rowing shells stacked in the early morning sunlight. These are designed for open ocean rowing, and I'm sure can handle any mood the waters might throw at them. Yesterday, while at the beach, I saw one far off in the distance, with sunlight sparkling off its fine lines. I thought, such solitary enjoyment on a wondrous, sunny day. Is there loneliness in a 'long distance rower'?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dock Reflection

"There is always a moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in..."
I came across this quote from Graham Greene recently, and it has been on my mind a lot. I guess you can start with- is it really true? Is or was there a exact date or event or time in our lives that ushered in all our tomorrows? Does it come down to a pivotal incident hidden away, in a long ago corner of our worlds, that even we have a hard time deciphering? Or do our days just come forth similar to the tumbling dice at a casino table? And are the sister Fates really at play in our lives? See, one innocent collection of words from a writer, long gone, and I've got some thinking to do.
By the way, this sailboat has sailed!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Blue Umbrella

Sitting in the corner chair, on his window-filled porch, with the curtain flowing almost straight out, and Prince Albert wafting through the air, my Grandfather would often say, "Smells like rain." If he had been on the car ferry, Machiginne II, headed to Peaks this afternoon, he wouldn't have been far from wrong. However, with the city slowing drifting away behind, the dark menacing clouds threatened, shook their fists, but finally meandered away. I couldn't help but hear those lines from Macbeth echoing in my ears,
" is a tale
told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
signifying nothing."
The spotty sun, the remainder of the afternoon, wasn't perfect, but it was good enough for two brothers and their sons to enjoy lunch and music with a city skyline lurking off in the distance.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Pastel Walls

Our last port of call was Old San Juan and although it was very warm)no, HOT), I enjoyed the meandering around the old city streets. I've never been to Cuba, but imagine the buildings and streets to be much like this. There were lots of pastel storefronts and cast iron railings jutting out from second floor windows. One thing that caught my eye was all the blue-tinted cobblestones on the narrow passageways. What's that all about? Well, it was a fabulous 9 day cruise, just chocked full of wonderful memories. Cruising is all about this--unlike back home, when you get up in the morning and scan your day, there is never anything that HAS to be done. Love it and can't wait to to go again.
*By the way, some of you have asked about seeing more shots of our little 'adventure'. If you haven't done so you might want to check out this site-

Friday, July 9, 2010


TS Eliot warned us in his poem "The Naming of Cats"
"The naming of cats is a difficult matter
It isn't just one of your holiday games
You may think at first I'm mad as a hatter
When I tell you a cat must have three different names"
The naming of names is a strange enterprise indeed. I like to think there is a reason for all the 'madness' moms and dads go through picking names for children. In our case, back 24 years ago, what we thought would be easy was anything but. First of all, we didn't want to know the gender, so we complicated our decision by having to compile two lists of names. Our girl list was pretty set in stone, but our column of males was added to and deleted each day it seemed. Long story short(really)-- everything fell into place with the help of the Moody Blues. We were watching the Today Show on a June morning and the band was on. After a song, they interviewed Justin Heywood, the lead singer, and E- and I both looked at each other. Our eyes locked(really)! That was it! The deed was done... well, almost-- we had another little issue, but I'll save that for another day.
Happy Birthday to our 'beautiful boy' Justin.
*ps Last summer, he finally got to see Justin and the boys at Meadowbrook in NH. When they took the stage, and the first chords rang out of "Lovely To See You Again", the biggest smile ran across his face.
The naming of names, a difficult task, but one well worth it!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


As my short travel log continues, our third port of call was St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. It was our favorite day on the trip. We took an excursion to Sapphire Beach on the northeast side of the island, and it made our day. The views were picturesque and postcard perfect. The sky was big, the sand cool and the water the most luscious aqua-marine. We found a palm tree, got our complimentary beach loungers and drinks and were close to paradise, for sure. I had to chuckle though. Nigel, our guide at the beach from Wales, said the water was 78°, and that was quite cool. I asked him if he had ever been swimming in Maine in July. He stated no, and I just had to smile!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


If this ain't paradise, it might be close. Our second port of call was St. Maarten in the Caribbean. The first beautiful beach you meet runs just to the right along Great Bay here in Philipsburg. It was HOT! Now a bit o' trivia-- it's the smallest island in the world ever to have been partitioned between two different nations, St. Martin/St. Maarten has been shared by the French and the Dutch in a spirit of neighborly cooperation and mutual friendship for almost 350 years. We stopped nearby, at an open-air restaurant, for a fish sandwich and something to quench the thirst. Later, we spent the rest of the afternoon doing some shopping and just sittin' in the shade watching the world go by. For me, exactly what a vacation is all about-- doing next to nothing! By the way, can you really beat a 99¢ Red Stripe? I think not!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Red Telephones

Make the call... He's BACK!
After a gorgeous 9 day 'adventure' aboard the Explorer of the Seas to the Caribbean, to celebrate 35 years of 'wedded bliss', I've returned to the real world. Bear with me a few days as I 'escape' back over the last week or so and share some images. Here's one from Hamilton, Bermuda that you'd be hard pressed to duplicate back in the States. In this day of being swamped with cell phones everywhere we look, one of these, let along four, is hard to find.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Farmers Table

The Farmers Table is a restaurant with a sort of unique design to it: note the rounded inside eating area, the outside seating that stretches to Commercial Street and the deck lurking above with the orange umbrellas. Can't speak for the weekday, but most Sunday mornings this is a hustling bustling place.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day

Happy July 4th!
Down near Newbury Street, I caught site of this patriotic window and the sailing ship nearby. I bet this window will be a great viewing spot for the fireworks tonight at 9 PM.
Ooh! Ahh! Ooh! Ahh!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Quaker Meeting

The Quaker Meeting House out Riverton way is an interesting building, with a not too pleasant memory. Back when I was playing Little League, at the field just around the corner, one night we heard fire engines as our game ended. There was quite a commotion, and it seemed to be coming from the gravel pit behind this building. As we rode home, I could seen police car lights eerily lighting up the twilight. The next morning, Dad told us a young boy digging in the sand pit died when it caved in on him. Often, when I'm driving by this 'meeting place', I'll look to the right on 302, and recall a sad memory.

Portland Trails

Yesterday afternoon, we did something that we have been meaning to do for a few years now. We walked the Fore River trail to Jewett Falls, about 2 miles round trip.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Kitty Gargoyles

Standing guard alongside this old building are these two kitty gargoyles. I just had to chuckle when I saw them waiting in the sun. Fido, keep your distance!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Faux Theme: Pie

Since I wasn't around when the theme for Theme Day 7/1/10/ was released, I'm declaring my own theme: Pie! Here's a photo of my favorite summer pie(you're not listening blueberry, are you?)... Strawberry-Rhubarb. It was my Father's Day gift from my 'better half'. She's a GREAT cook and can make just about anything scrumptious! Here's the recipe:
Combine 1 1/2 c sugar
3Tbsp quick cookin tapioca
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg.
1lb. rhubarb, 1/2'' pieces(3cups)
1 cup sliced-fresh strawberries
Mix to coat fruit
Let stand 20 minutes.
Prepare crust(single), Line pie plate.
Fill with fruit
400 degrees 35/40 min.
Crumb topping!
1/6 cup sugar
Half of a 3/4 cup flour
3Tbsp butter
cut in til crumbly.
Bon Appetite!!!