Sunday, February 19, 2017

Inappropriate Attire

Shuffling through the slushy walkway of our Springfield, Massachusetts motel at dawn, we climbed into the Acadia for a full day of travel to Indiana. As hours and state lines passed, the mounds of snow measured in feet speeding past the window slowly became inches. Filing out of the vehicle for lunch in Snowshoe, Pennsylvania, it was evident that we were inappropriately dressed for the rural restaurant, still sporting paneling from the 1970's and flannel-backed vinyl table cloths hanging unevenly over the dark wood tables. My fashion faux pas was not my missing Mossy Oak accessory, or my Patriots
t-shirt in the middle of Steelers country. It was snow boots in near seventy-degree weather. It does feel good to get out of the snow belt for a bit.

Here is a side note to our lunch visit:
Our friend Bill Batty of Spruce Head once arranged for Jim's Tile Business to pop up at the top of the list when "Strapping Tiler" was searched online. He will be satisfied to know that he was entirely correct. Jim's grip test on the machine in the restaurant lobby gave him the label "Strapping".

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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Adding to the Wall

Rearranginging photographs on the wall is sometimes a need for a bit of change in your life. Other times it's because there has BEEN a bit of change in your life! Can you spot my reason for adding a new photo to the wall? 

The day after Thanksgiving Jubal married Casey in Hawaii after a whirlwind 4-months of dating across the ocean after getting to know one another at her brother's wedding in July. So. Just like that, I am a mother-law.If you are wondering why why you haven't seen this on FB, it's because they wanted to keep it low-key and asked that nothing be posted. Once you've read this, keep me from becoming an outlaw and keep it off FB as well!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Anam Cara

A Medieval keep in New England? 
Who knew? 
Tell and I traveled with the Gillespies to the unusual home of David O'Connor and Paula Salazar in Barrington, N.H.

Would you tent in the woods for two years while building a replica of a 9-10th century castle?
They did, and the result is Castle Anam Cara, a strange mix of Medieval living history and ninja warrior course.

"Lord Duncan" spent significant time outside, immersing us in the everyday activities necessary for survival in the harsh Medieval environment.

I'm fairly certain that today's generation wouldn't need "safe places" and coping mechanisms like coloring, play dough, therapy puppies and bubble blowing if their days were consumed with planting, harvesting, preserving and building, the reward being survival.

Even at 11, performing these activities in the chill of late November gave Tell an understanding and thankfulness of the ease of our lives in this millennium. 

Called inside by "Lady Espringale", we were seated around the banquet table where a slice of bread was given as our plate and we enjoyed simple foods that would have been available in the Medieval times. A well summarised history of the era accompanied the meal.

The highlight of the field trip for all involved was the wearing of armour and wielding of swords. It was an accomplishment that all limbs and toes were accounted for when we left.

Our hosts truly expressed the feel of "Anam Cara"...soul friend, as they presented the complicated and interesting era of Medieval history in a hands on way. I would highly recommend this place.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Up, Up and Oh. Wait.

For quite a few years I have desired to view the lift off of the hot air balloons at the Great Falls Balloon Festival. This year I gathered the family (and little Kingsley) and we made the trip into downtown Lewiston.

Parking was very easy. For a small donation to one of the local sports teams, we could use the Public parking garage just a block from Simard-Payne Memorial Park, site of the launches.

The atmosphere and food had the feel of a fair as we shared fried dough, fries, and free pizza samples. Nolan also indulged in a bacon cheeseburger, his mouth chewing in rhythm to the strains of "cheeseburger in paradise" being belted out into the evening air from across the park.

Where there are crowds of people, I occasionally find myself wondering about them. There are those times when you don't need to wonder. They will tell you about themselves without a word. I think we can safely assume this man was part of Red Sox Nation:

I've seen worse tattoos.

What I haven't seen yet is a hot air balloon launch. The breeze that created such a lovely August evening also caused the grounding of the balloons. At 7 pm we headed home, disappointed that my only balloon viewing was a large woven basket, with two helium-filled spheres, tethered by string, swaying in the background behind it. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016


Between our obsolete furnace in the basement and some Hodgdon prepared lobster, Jim spent last Saturday pulling things apart.

The lobster is long gone but the impact of the furnace dismantling continues. I was able to use the huge space to create an area for crafting. Thank you, Jim!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Back on the Paddle Again

One muggy morning this week, Nicole and I met at the Foreman's who are on their annual trek to visit family in Pennsylvania's Amish country. 

During their excursion last year, I used those two weeks to paint their back porch, build a pallet arch and create some small gardens off their back porch as a surprise 50th birthday gift for Sandy. My gardening project coincided perfectly with the arrival of my parent's and grandparent's new home which necessitated the removal of quite a few of Dad's well established plants and bushes. I was glad to give them a new home on Centre Street. 

You might occasionally find Sandy out singing to her plants but you won't ever find her weeding them so Nicole and I thought this might be something to do during her absence this year. After a couple hours of work, Nicole and I were thrilled to discover that the garden was indeed, still there. 

 I hope Nicole is just as thrilled to discover that my blog is also indeed, still here.

Last week, as she, Jen Hodgdon and I dipped our kayak paddles into the ripples of Duck Puddle Pond, Nicole reminded me that it had been months since I had written anything on my blog. Thank you for the gentle prodding, my friend. I'm back on the paddle again!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Morning Miss

Early morning cross-state travel to the AT? No need for coffee while driving to keep you alert. A trailer wheel guard flying toward you on the highway accomplishes the same thing. Thankfully I was not following our big van too closely and it was a miss. The cause of the mishap was our trailer tire, which was quickly swapped out with the spare. And how many people does that job require?

One James to inflate the spare,

One Greg to apply the spare,

And one big crowd for the heavy looking on.

The incident was merely a bump in the road to our destination near Falls Village, Connecticut. By early afternoon we were on the trail,

and by early evening, with socks drying in trees, fellowship over supper, 

and devotions in the dark, we were settled in at Limestone Shelter. It would be a cold night of sleep to come.

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West Bath, Maine, United States