Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Blue Dawn

There was low light as I made my way up Congress Street the other morning. Often I have been asked about how this city has changed since the days I rode my bike up and down the streets. The city has exploded. Changes are everywhere I look. Like everything else in the world big changes often begin without notice. If I had to make list of all the ways this town has been altered, I would probably run out of paper before I stopped writing. Parking, like in any city, has always been a big deal. When I saw my first parking garage going up, I said, "They are going to park cars up in the air?" In this photo today, we see two large ones connected by this skyway. These two provide parking for the Maine Medical Center, further up the hill and to the right off of Bramhall Street.
Parking garages eliminate one problem: getting vehicles off the narrow, limited parking streets.
Now, if they could only lower the prices.
Yes, the city has changed a lot, but other things haven't.
I'm still living in a dream world, some days!
And I can get blue.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Four Bells

When it comes to bells, a few things come readily to mind. Growing up in the city, we always had door bells, and a couple were rather musical. Our Stevens Avenue and Coyle Stret bells were both  melodious in their sounds. Certainly the large rooms at 27 Coyle sent echoes ringing throughout the house. I could even hear the ringing way up on the third floor. Out here in the country, there ain't no such thing as a doorbell. Heck, we don't even have a knocker. Well, to be perfectly honest, we have one that's never been hung. I see no need, really. Visitors out here are few and far between, as they say. Now, if I was Navy man I'd know all about bells. They marked a seaman's watch time. Each bell represented a 30 minute watch time. So four bells would mark 2 hours. I think I have that right. Here's something I know I have right. Hemingway's novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls  was a memorable book for me and certainly a prominent placard of my high school's Junior year.
By the way, it 'tolls for thee".



Sunday, September 14, 2014

Allusion

Do you have fun checking out "Magic Eye" books. When I do I often find myself in the shoes of Mr. Pitt on that Seinfeld episode. Mr. Pitt stamps his foot and in frustration, while staring at the photo that Elaine has handed him and says, "I don't see it!" You sort of blur your eyes and try to look right through the mass of colored designs. Unfocus your eyes. And suddenly there it is: the spaceship! It sounds crazy, but it works. I photographed this rock in the center on three days in a row at different times with and without the sun. This is my third attempt. Things are not always as they seem. Sometimes the dirt looks higher than the rocks. At other times, it's the other way around.  It's the 'magic eye' effect. The sun's placement is playing tricks here, forcing thick, harsh shadows at times.
Things are certainly not always as they seem.
Case in point.
The magician's touch.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Yellow Splash

It's sunflower time in the garden!
My crop of sunflowers is small this year. I don't mean in number but in size. Each spring when we buy our seeds, I always get a packet or two of sunflowers. I make sure that one contains 'Monster' seeds. When they bloom they have flowers that measures about 14 inches in diameter. They are quite something to see waving in September breezes. Now that our bountiful daisies have passed, the bright yellow stage is reserved for our sunflowers. The marque reads this morning: "Now Playing- Sunflowers". However, I guess last springtime I must have just reached for the packets of regular size and the colorful orange and reds, because there are no gigantic 'faces' struting their stuff this fall. Oh well... For now the bees are reigning on the faces, and as soon as the October winds hit the birds will have their banquet. Making my way up the snowy path in January in the midst of a snowstorm, I'll hear the icy sound of the precipitation on the dead stalks, knee deep in snow. Come April, they'll be thrown on the burning pile of brush, as the garden readies for another cycle.
Full circle.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Mollycakes

zzzzzzzzzzzzz
Do cats dream?
I wouldn't bet against it.
I've spent a good part of my life studying the life of cats. It all began for me with a kitty named Inky, a tiny black kitten with a few splotches of white. His life, as I recall, was not long but spending time with him began my lifelong interest in felines. When we moved to our homestead in '77, one of our first acts that first week was traveling to the Animal Refuge League and getting us a cat. Wiz served us well for well over twelve years. He was a special one. My study is leaning towards they have to dream. We've had two cats for a quite a few years now. Companionship is always a good thing. Heck, they sleep about 21 hours a day. The other 3 hours or so are filled with eating, hunting, playing, 'doing their busines' and providing comfort. Reading a good book or watching "Project Runway" or "Madmen" with a sleeping cat in your lap is just the best feeling.
Sleeping 21 hours a day.
You betcha they dream.

"Let's see... my to do list today will include: chasing moles, chipmunks, butterflies, birds, stretching, walking on the stonewall, eating whitefish, tuna pate, wrestling with my sister, and nuzzling Birdman. 
Now, that's a full day."
Later-
"So I'm driving into Westbrook in my blue pickup, heading to play some golf with my friend Puff. Got a call on my cell  from Pretty Girl..."
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Book Art

I mentioned that I attended the Book Arts Exhibition at the Glickman Family Library on Monday. The afternoon started with a lecture by Maine artist, printmaker and illustrator, Holly Berry. Her presentation was titled "Building Images: Narrative and Decorative". The exhibition reception followed. The books were all in glass display cases, but you still could get views of all the creative efforts. My photograph shows Elenka's finished work. She designed it as an illustrative look at Joyce Kilmer's poem "Trees", with actual branches reaching from her pages. Collages, sculptures, photographs, dioramas and actual book pages folded in intricate patterns were all a part of the show and on parade around the room. It was a fantastic 'take' on books!
I've known about this book arts class for awhile.
I've even thought about taking the class.
Book building has always intrigued me.
I must admit. The finished projects, held within these glass cases, were a bit intimidating.
Even for me.
I might try it though.

*The postcard announcing this exhibit shows a pair of pink women's shoes constructed from the pages of  a discarded book. 
Pretty cool design.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Afternoon Shadows

We spent Monday afternoon at the opening of the 2014 Book Arts Show on the University of Southern Maine campus. Here we see some long afternoon shadows ruling the groundfloor of the Glickman Family Library. What a beautiful building. It was my first visit there. When I spent evenings on the campus in the late 70's, the library at the time was a dark, drab structure that really tested your skills to get work completed. It has since bit the dust. The upper floors of this building have huge windows that flood reading rooms with loads of sunlight. You can sit there with your books and computer in comfy chairs and look out over our active little city. It's a bright, positive environment that suits the intelligentsia just fine. 
Might be a mighty fine hangout on cold winter days.
Have book; will travel!
Book.
Computer. 
Big sunny windows.
Comfortable seating.
Now, if I can only find a coffee pot...

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Harvest Basket

I don't know about all of you out there who garden, but for us it was probably our best crop of tomatoes ever. I made one wicked good batch of homemade tomato soup last week and we've been 'working on it' since then. Delicious, if I do say so myself. I make it in double batches and plan another this morning. Seems a bit strange, but we've been eating these like candy. I like them pretty simple: sliced with salt, pepper and a little dash of basil flakes. Somedays, I get a bit feisty and throw together some sliced cucumbers, sliced tomatoes and vinegar. 
Now, that's a happy snack or lunch!

*On a side note: Derek Jeter(19 years Yankees), Ann Compton(40 years White House correspondent) and Birdman (41 1/2 years at BEMS) all retiring in the same year?
Now that's a powerful trinity!
I can't help myself!
Hehehehehehehehe!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Marina

It was a beautiful early morning. I had my camera aimed at the boats gently bobbing along the ramps at this local marina. Little did I know at the time that I was being watched from the nest on the pole to the left. I'm going to conjecture that it's an osprey's nest. They are are all around along the water. Give em a post with a platform, and they'll oblige. We have been reminded lately that those photos we take with our cells, or digital photographs we take and load on computers are here forever. They're out there someplace and never go away. Well, at least until I take a sledgehammer to my hard drive!
Technology is scary.
You never know who might be taking a peek at you.
Look at the birdie!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Upright Spans

Going Up!
A couple of weeks ago, I found myself on the Casco Bay Bridge headed towards Portland. I was travelling in 'my little world' and noticed that the cars in front of me were coming to a stop. Glancing off to the left, I discovered the reason. I sat there for about 3 minutes and nothing. No movement. People getting out of their vehicles and walking over the barrier to get a better look was not a good sign. I started wondering. What do they do when the bridge is in an upright position and mechanically frozen? With traffic snaking off in the distance behind me, a u-turn was out of the question. There was no access to the empty lanes across the stone wall. How does the Highway Department handle this dilemma? It happens at least a couple of times a year. They must have a plan, but what it is escapes me, unless the two lanes begins a long backup procedure. Well, this day my panic was soon calmed, when I saw the black stack and white nautical bridge making its way under the upright spans. You see the top of the tanker to the left just over the wall. Within 5 minutes, 'my world' was moving again.
Not all that exciting, but it happened.
Coming Down!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Moth Landing

My ignorance will be on display today. What do you call this flying bug? I call this a moth. Is it? I have no idea. I'm not completely up to date on my moth scholarship. Some might call this a miller. If the flying moth-like bug had tan, creme colored wings Mom called them millers. I'm pretty lax when it comes to my bug hierarchy too. I'll go out on a limb here (bugs do that) and say that moths, caterpillars and butterflies are related in some way. Some sort of extended family. You know, the moth being that quirky uncle who always showed up late on Thanksgiving a bit disheveled and little inebriated. I do enjoy the stories on "Moth Radio Hour", but I have a pretty good idea the two (bugs and tese stories) are not related. And yes, it's true. Someone better get to cleaning out this birdhouse. Looks like a mouse or two have been 'playing house' here.
I'm all over the place this morning.
Anyone up on their bug knowledge today?
Moth?
Miller? 
Or maybe something else?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Bamboo bees

I'll try not to sound too much like Jerry Seinfeld this morning but, "What's the deal with bamboo?" For us, it does two things rather effectively around the homestead. It forms a great buffer between our backyard deck area and the the street that passes in front of the house. It is a magnificent muffler of road traffic sounds. Come winter, it dies off leaving nothing but the stiff rotted poles. Each spring it has a rebirth and comes back thick and as strong as ever. Don't fight it. Nothing kills it. Not even dog urine and that, I hear, kills everything. The other thing that bamboo does is attract bees rather well. It flowers in mid-August, and like clockwork the bushes are buzzing come Labor Day weekend. The bees must wear tiny bee wristwatches that have the August calendar attached. It is amazing how they return. This summer, on many of the blogs I check, I heard refrains about the diminishing numbers of bees and butterflies. Well, I'm not a scientist; however, I have played one of TV--- one of the "Doctors of Love" around Valentines' Day on a cable access channel (honest!), and this wouldn't be a very scientific poll, but based on my bamboo bee visits this summer, the population of the flying pollinators are doing just fine, thank you. 
I saw no decrease in their numbers
They covered the white flowers.
And yes, they make quite a racket with all that buzzin'.
There, that's my gift to science for September! 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Yellow Explosion

As summer wanes, our garden wall is experiencing an explosion of yellow daisies. They show up every late August but never so overwhelming as this year. They look striking in both bright sunlight and foggy morning tones. And as you can see here, clearly I have some work to do to upright this birdhouse. It, among others, weathers harsh Maine winters. Of course it does; it's an 'outhouse'. Get it? Terrible pun. I know it late in the season, but I have a new birdhouse to hang today. I painted it gold to make it a bit unique and to celebrate my first summer of 'freedom' from the workday. When I finish this piece, I plan to do the hanging.
Looking forward to Joanne and Bruce winging it from the West today.
As always, they have much planned.
Two weeks of Maine fall weather coming their way?
Tomorrow, their first day here, it'll be in the 90's, hot and humid.
How did that happen?
I'm not complaining.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

His Trees


His Dad, His Trees
The trees were free, a gift, you see. 
A humble birth put into earth.
His father’s gift, he gave these
so in our hands and on our knees, 
we dug the soil with tender care, 
while breathing in the springtime air. 
Two tiny trees, so young so lone, 
now stretch their roots in their new home. 
His dad, he checked on these young lives, 
sending prayers that they survive. 
Many years have come and gone, 
these babes have grown toward sky beyond. 
Majestic, tall and strong are they, 
dancing in this earth’s ballet. 
Life must  be just like these trees, 
swaying, bending in the breeze. 
His Dad has left us here alone,
his saplings stayed, with us homegrown
Thank you Don, these trees alive,
can give us strength to live and thrive.
Within our lives, so rooted here,
these trees, to you, our hearts endear.
By Elenka

* A couple of notes are needed here. Elenka wrote this poem to use for her BookArts project. The BOYS in the botton photo are saplings no more: Zack, Stephen, Adam and Justin. The tree in the picture was planted on an Easter Sunday around 1979. Dad got it as a gift at Maine Savings Bank. It now stretches 40+ feet tall.
*The poem speaks of the trees but the boys are there too, 'majestic, tall and strong'.
* Back photo: Moms and Dads still watching over their small 'trees'.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cupolas

Cupolas for sale!
 If you live in New England and have a big ol' barn, you really need a cupola to top off the building with a weathervane. They really give it a good look. Be careful though. A buddy of mine is a part time house painter. Once he was helping out a friend roofing and painting an old barn. At one point in his day, he was up at peak dabbing some paint to the wooden dome, when he upset a few thousand hornets peacefully, nesting in the cupola. Needless to say, he made a rapid retreat down the roof to his ladder, but not before the hornets had left their mark and messaged him that the pinnacle of this barn was their domain. He returned later in the fall and uneventfully finished throwing some paint on the cupola.
There's moral here somewhere. 
Some seemingly easy jobs can leave a sting?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Theme Day: Rust and Ruins

Today, September 1, 2014 is Theme Day across the citydailyphotoblog(cdp) community. This rusted Ford is just sitting here in the warm August sun continuing to rot away. Its contents has been gutted, and this old coupe will not be rolling down Route 1 anytime soon if ever again. What year is it? I have no idea. If Marchin was with me, he'd get to the rear lights. He says the year of the vehicle can always be found near the lights in back. We came across an old VW bus right out of the Sixties, a while back, and sure enough he found the year 1961. Kerouac would have loved it. I have to be careful believing Marchin though.
He makes things up.
Some claim that it's a family trait.
That's still up for debate, if you ask me.
Ford.
Quality is Job 1.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Fixer Upper

Roof.
Septic.
Well water.
Electrical wiring.
Structural work.
And that's just for starters.
Got some time on your hands? Not afraid of some intense, hard work? How about some cash hidden away under a mattress? Just received a substantial inheritance that you don't know where to invest? You might do a lot worse than investing it in this place. You could turn it into a showplace, or a small rustic get-a-way along Route 1. Maybe you've been thinking about those retirement years and the idea of opening a little shop to lure the tourists making a beeline for Camden or Rockland. This just might be the place.
I've already done it.
You get your hands dirty this time.
I'll just dream.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Movie Mural













Fall's nearly here. Winter will soon be on our doorstep. Life in this neighborhood will soon be 'frozen'. Why can't September be a summer month? Oh well. Each September, Elenka hangs a piece of art outside her classroom. The poster shows a scene from a recent movie and has a theme connected to some positive aspect that students will be working on in the coming year. It's best explained in her words,"My school 'movie mural' is done. Based on the movie FROZEN and the song "Let It Go". 'Howls' is a school thing which means 'Habits of Work and Learning', something the kids get graded on. Specifically Respect, Responsibility and Perseverance. My 23rd year of doing movie murals. 7'7"x 4'6" in size."

To think that this project of hers all started with 'You Are Never "Home Alone" at KMS' in 1991.
Rumor has it this will be her final display.
Time will tell.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Window Breeze

True confessions.
 I'm a big smell guy. I always have been, I guess. Elenka first brought this lure of my olfactory sense to my attention. 
"Do you have to smell everything?"
I really never knew I did it, and I don't go out of my way to sample everything. To tell you the truth, I'm not really sure if I do or not. Elenka probably has tabulated a good list. Now, I don't think I'm OCD. It's not a fear, a worry, an apprehension. It provides me with no anxiety or compulsion. I'm not a hoarder, a re-checker or a compulsive washer of my hands. I do admit though that this AM I have smelled my glass of orange juice, cup of coffee, my cat, the inside of my baseball cap and a pillow on the couch. While on a walk to check out a parade of seventeen wild turkeys through the backyard, I did detour to the laundry on the line for a whiff. Ah... Very nice. A couple of days ago, I was cleaning out my workbench drawers. I hosed them out and left them to dry in the sun. When I returned, I just couldn't resist. I drew in a long scent. The pine pounded together many moons ago by my grandfather still smelled strong. Yesterday morning, I didn't even have to travel to the garage or the garden to get my 'fix'. When I walked into the bedroom these curtains were almost out straight with a strong morning breeze. That flow of wind was so aromatic and invigorating! I stretched my arms wide side to side and even my shirt was stirring. For a split second I was on the bow of the Titanic. "I'm the king of the world..."
Ok, I'm back to reality now.
Thanks for allowing me this sensual detour. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Storm Damage

This is from about two weeks back. The evening I picked Elenka at the Jetport, we had a whopper of a storm. Driving there was pretty slow going. The rain seemed to be coming down in a wall of water all the way in. Driving back home, the sky was a constant panorama of lightening  daggers and flashes. There was wind, but it didn't seem anything out of the ordinary for a summer thunderstorm. I was wrong. On a trip up to the garden the next morning to gather some cucumbers and tomatoes, I was surprised to find most of the corn lying sideways. This is what it looked like. Not pretty. Oh well, last summer we were a bit overwhelmed with our crop of maize. So, this spring, remembering that harvest, I planted a lot less, about 5 rows. Given this and the storm, I'll probably pay the price. Gardening is always an interesting trip. As that great SNL philosopher, Roseanna Roseannadanna (Gilda Radner) might say, "Storms, woodchucks, deer attacks, pestilence, rainy summers... It's always something!"
Portland got about 6.5 inches of rain that night.
Don't even mention the landing in that mess to Elenka.
It's something she wants to forget.
"Please put your seats in the upright position."
... and hang on!


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kids Play

"Hey, how was your summer?"
"Love that new haircut"
"Decided to add some facial hair?"
"Did you sell your house?"
"Shaved your head? That's a new look."
"What a bike trip! I followed you for awhile."
"When did you get back?"
"Can ya help my Sox?"
"You're pregnant? So cool."
"Those blonde streaks work."
"How did the new camp work out? Kids love it?"
"Finally got to the top of Katahdin, huh?"
"How was the cruise?"
"Did you work all summer?"
"Love your new place."
"Get to the St. Louis Arch?"
"Are you done this year?"
"So funny, seeing you at Logan."
"How many pounds did you lose?"

See, adults play too.




Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dory

We set sail on new adventures daily. Most days they are pretty simple. Safe, calm even monotonous. At other times, the trips we embark on are groundbreaking for us and somewhat treacherous. Whether they are well-planned in advance and thought out or thrust upon us in the heat of the moment, in the long run most often they are good for mind and soul. Some days our exploits are joyful and filled with tears of happiness. At other times, our steps are laden with pain. We feel stymied and unable to make a move in any direction. Whether standing with our face cresting in the brightest of suns or wallowing in the pits of darkness, we soon realize that life moves on with us aboard. Mom often reiterated a simplistic message to her children that helps me on dark days.
 "Everything happens for the best"
Sometimes it takes a bit rationalizing and reflection, but on most adventures, it's a pretty good sextant to lead me.
Get aboard.
Enjoy your trip.
Afterall, it's all you've got.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Day ONE

... without me.
Alexis, Hossein, Donna will miss you so much. Never will be the same... for me.
Enjoy life.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bridge Over...

This is a picturesque bridge somewhere near Harpswell. It has no historical significance, that I know of, other than it will prevent you from getting wet if you walk or drive over it. Back in high school my friend Tom, and I got to watching this WW2 movie, "The Bridge Over the River Kwai" (Academy Award for Best Picture 1954). Tom, as I remember, loved anything Sinatra and books or movies on war and cigarettes. I liked books. Let's leave it at that. Of course I had to learn to like them. In high school, we had a summer reading list of 8 books we had to read. Others complained, but I kind of looked forward to the challenge of completing them over the 8 weeks. Books and I got sucked together over those four years. I hardly left the house without a paperback stuffed in my back bluejeans' pocket. Ah... those high school years. We watched the movie downstairs at his house. I was a bit bored with it to tell you the truth, but I just had to wait out the ending to see if that bridge was going to get blown sky high. Best part of that movie? Oh, you know it if you've seen it. The theme song that they whistled through the movie.
Even now, if I ever want to immediately give myself goosebumps, I whistle that song.
Heck, I'm tappin' my foot right now!
btw The tune is aka "The Colonel Bogey March".
Written back in 1914, it was made famous later by the incomparably Mitch Miller.
Dare ya to listen to it a couple of times and not start the whistle and the toe tappin'.
Betcha can't! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB8F8g1-4Uw

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Flowered Rock

Even in difficult times, success is possible. 

These plants prove it here. Is it possible for life to come from solid granite? Can something actually take life here? There's a large hunk of symbolism here. Ever been faced with a seemingly insurmountable job or project? We probably all have.  One, for me, jumps into my head. I was taking an American Lit class in college, and I had to read Moby Dick in four days. No, I didn't go buy a copy of Cliff Notes on the novel. No, I didn't skip hundreds of pages detailing the butchering of whales and the securing of whale oil. No, I didn't scheme about skipping class and taking the test at another time. On a Thursday afternoon I opened the book, after dividing the thousand pages into four equal sections. My weekend was over! I read and read and read. I completed my task, as I remember, after midnight on Monday morning, the day of the test. Why didn't I take one of the easy routes that many in the lecture hall did? Really don't know, other than I really wanted to see what all the fuss about this classic was all about. It was probably the first time that real stubbornness raised its ugly head in my world. I do believe that my collegiate endeavor took a turn for the better that weekend. 
This weekend I'll be doing some significant goofing off.
That weekend, in western New York, I didn't.
I still remember that weekend.
I think I always will.
When plants burst from rock. 

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.