Monday, December 27, 2010

Hot Buttered Rum

Hot Buttered Rum 01

The enterprising gentleman searches for a hot buttered rum recipe on his iphone, locates the rum and some other esoteric bits of kitchen equipment and provides us all with the perfect blizzard antidote!

Hot Buttered Rum 02

Hot Buttered Rum 03

Warm and cozy, we are feeling particularly grateful because the massive storm that has made its way up the coast has delayed their departure for a day!

JCB Photographing a winter wonderland!

JCB makes the ultimate sacrifice for art by going out into the storm with her her blog for some beautiful shots! "No pain, no gain" she said to me as I stayed behind in a warm kitchen with a cuddly dachshund curled up asleep on my lap!

I have been asked about Cooper's reaction when he saw his beloved gentleman. The scene was priceless as the newly weds walked through the door and it went something like this...

Cooper clatters across the front hall floor, all 13 pounds of dachshund prepared to bravely defend his new territory. A roadrunner skid, "it's Joel!!!!" He spins around, runs toward us looking over his shoulder saying "Hey! You have to meet these cool new people" and then, "you know each other?!" It was as if he grasped the perfect symmetry of the situation. A small Christmas miracle!


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The massive blizzard chugging up the east coast has had one happy outcome...JCB and her gentleman have had to delay their departure for a day! It is a winter wonderland outside, blissful least as long as we have power! Little paths have been shoveled for short, four legged friends!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas ~ Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas ~ Happy Holidays with thanks to everyone for their views and comments over the past year. 2010 has been a year of discovery, of new friends, their beautiful blogs and an extraordinary community.

Holiday glimpses shot in morning light. These are the little views through windows and glass with hints of the celebration ahead.

Mainers love to decorate their boats in the "dooryard" and they do it with flair and humor....this is one of my favorites in Blue Hill, Maine.

...and finally, it just wouldn't be Christmas in Maine without some inflatable ornaments to brighten the season!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

For "home before dark"

Someone's going to have a great Christmas!

I think we can forget about the "backpack full of books!" It would seem Cooper has plans for a very Merry Christmas! Please click on the image to view larger and to see the tags.

Longest Night

To Find the Perfect Tree

Clapps Tree Farm, Blue Hill, Maine.


This is the one!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Gentleman's Dog

It's an act of faith to entrust a beloved dog to a new family...with thanks to the gentleman for placing his trust in us and introducing Cooper into our lives. He's already wriggled his way into our hearts!


Just out of his crate, Cooper meets Shiner on neutral territory at Delta's cargo area at Boston's Logan Airport. It takes the uppity shih Tzu 5 seconds to "unfriend" him!

Cooper settling in!

It doesn't take long for Cooper to feel at home. He's very well behaved and a little shadow, interacting at every possible opportunity. Very different from Shiner's zen-like personality which is sort of like having a pet rock with hair.

Cooper, it's cold outside!

Cooper discovers Maine is a lot colder than Michigan. He has already located every heat vent in the house!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Create a Blog" ~ Reflections on blogging for one year

My mother wanted to know what it was about blogging that I found attractive and I said, in part, I enjoyed the challenge of consistently writing posts while trying to keep them which she replied, "that sounds awful." My father, as usual, cut to the chase and said blogging is a form of egotism and in his opinion, everyone else writes for money (although I noticed he did like my Father's Day post.) It wasn't as harsh as it sounds, but it did get me thinking about the past year.

My daughter's blog is an inspiration and I pop in daily to delight in her beautiful photography as well as her links to an outside world not found in rural Maine. For the uninitiated and not particularly computer savvy, the blogger world is an exotic country, a bazaar, if you will, of endless delights one click after another. I was in awe of the technology that made this possible. Many in my generation have not ventured further than work application and email. We are still wary of our privacy even though it no longer exists as we once knew it...some have made the leap to facebook, fewer to blogger and twitter. So here's my confession! In the midst of last year's Christmas rush, my eye happened to land on "create a blog" at the top of JCB's page and, on a whim, I clicked. Many frustrating hours later I had my first clunky little was my "Alice in Wonderland" fall through the rabbit hole moment. I wish I could say a noble vision got me here, but really it was simple curiosity. As for ego? It was pretty much in tatters and I doubt anyone takes this fork in the road with complete confidence.

From the beginning, I did know there were two things I wanted to do. I had nearly three thousand photographs in my Flicker stream that represented a personal journey. I fell in love the moment I first picked up a digital camera and I wanted to share my discovery. Flickr has been a wonderful resource and I treasure the friends I have made and their invaluable comments. I found blogging enhances and clarifies by fleshing out the whole story behind the images and, in time, my blog became a necessary part of the whole creative process. I've also been blessed with some extraordinary experiences in places that are not fully understood. I've lived with these memories for years and it was time to give a face to the people who populate my past, particularly my beloved Goli. I'm still working out how to do that with every post.

Some thank JCB for opening the window. To my parents (ages 89 and 95!) for the pleasure of a lively debate. I am so grateful for that and to have them in my life. To my son, John, who has the most wonderful way of explaining what I should have learned about computers years ago! To my brother for hours of 'tele-encouragement!' To Peter for everything.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Out and About ~ Searsport, Maine

Early moonrise in Searsport, Maine

The time was inching toward 4:00 p.m. and there was dwindling light as I drove through Searsport, Maine. One wants to hurry home, shut the door against the chill and put the kettle on for a cup of tea. People seldom do...Mainers are accustomed to working on in the dark. It's a pretty little town with a long maritime history and the wonderful Penobscot Marine Museum. Don't blink as you drive through on RT. 1, it too, is worth a closer look.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Trouble with Raw Faith

"Raw Faith" socked in by fog on Maquoit Bay, Brunswick, Maine, 2 June 2010.
Occasionally I go into my Flickr stats just to see who is looking at my photos. There were a large number of views today on a series of images of the "Raw Faith" that I photographed last June. I wrote an earlier blog post on this picturesque old wreck. Now, after following the Flickr link, I find her crew has just been rescued at sea (again!) and, whether or not she can be towed and salvaged one more time, remains to be seen. You can see the story and videos of the rescue here.

Update: 9 December 2010, "Raw Faith Sinks at Sea"

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Out and About ~ Belfast Maine

Always look up! I loved this pattern of utility lines and the retro Santa against the blue sky and scudding clouds.

View of the Passagassawakeag River.

The sun sits low in the sky at 3:00 p.m. creating dramatic shadows and contrasts on the beautiful brick buildings in Belfast. There is nothing quite like November light on a rare sunny day in Maine!

So often, I scoot right past this pretty little town...always in a hurry to be somewhere else, but it is worth a leisurely visit. It is beautiful at any time of the year, you can read more about Belfast, Maine here.

Here's an architectural contrast in today's link from "You Must Remember This."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Droid post!

The first from my phone!

A very old photo of my beloved lab, Smilla, taken with the first mobile phone I ever owned. It is now my buddy icon on Flickr. We lost her two years ago today...and I still miss her.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Little Moments

Taken at a wedding in France.  5 September, 2009

The Watercolorist,  3 May, 2009

Poof! 5 July, 2009

Smoke from the Bar B Que, 23 May, 2010

It would be thrilling to photograph the huge events. Photographs of erupting volcanoes, extreme weather, newsworthy moments and glorious views from mountaintops unfailingly catch my eye and elicit a "wow!" response. The images often make me wistful for a youth with the technology that is now available. But the truth is, my passion lies in the little moments that blur the boundaries and differences between us and unite us in our humanity. If I succeed, the photos are tiny reminders, sprinkled like a handful of dust, across the canvas of our common ground.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

On This Thanksgiving Weekend

A dear friend emailed this prayer/poem by Max Coots on this Thanksgiving weekend. I'd like to share it with you.


Let us give thanks for a bounty of people
For children who are our second planting
and though they grow like weeds
and the wind too soon blows them away,
May they forgive us our cultivation
and remember fondly where their roots are.

Let us give thanks:
For generous friends, with hearts as big as hubbards
and smiles as bright as their blossoms;
For feisty friends as tart as apples;
For continuous friends, who, like scallions and cucumbers,
keep reminding us we've had them;
For crotchety friends, as sour as rhubarb
and as indestructible;
For handsome friends, who are as gorgeous as eggplants
and as elegant as a row of corn,
and the others, as plain as potatoes and so good for you;
For funny friends, who are as silly as Brussels sprouts
and as amusing as Jerusalem artichokes,
and serious friends, as complex as cauliflowers
and as intricate as onions;
For friends as unpretentious as cabbages,
as subtle as summer squash,
as persistent as parsley,
as delightful as dill,
as endless as zucchini,
and who, like parsnips,
can be counted on to see you throughout the winter;
For old friends,
nodding like sunflowers in the evening-time
and young friends coming on as fast as radishes;
For loving friends, who wind around us like tendrils
and hold us, despite our blights, wilts, and witherings;
And finally, for those friends now gone,
like gardens past that have been harvested,
but who fed us in their times
that we might have life thereafter;
For all these we give thanks.

Today's link from "You Must Remember This."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Orono, Maine
Mainers love inflatable yard decorations! After today, all the turkeys will be replaced with Santas and reindeer!

Wherever you are and wherever you are going, safe travels. May your blessings be counted in the smiles and hugs from loved ones. Happy Thanksgiving from Maine.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tonight's Sunset, 21 November, 2010 #4

Caught this gorgeous sunset in Gouldsboro, Maine on our way home from Lubec this evening!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Veiled ~ Random Memory #22 ~ Iran

Painting on glass ~ Iran 

Random Memory #22 ~ Iran

When Peter and I compare our growing facility with Farsi, we can't help but notice our vocabularies reflect our separate lives in Iran. His is more practical and includes business terms, although he rarely indicates he has the ability. Not surprisingly, mine mirrors the world of women and, of course, the time I spend with Goli who has been my teacher and daily companion.

Goli always wears her chador when she is not in the house and, although she is comfortable in Peter's presence, she scurries downstairs to retrieve the veil if he arrives home unexpectedly. I do not think Amir insists as he is used to women at work in business clothes and I have only felt genuine affection and respect when we see one another. Rather, I think this is Goli's choice, an outward symbol of her faith. Curious, one day I ask her if a woman delivered Essie. "No", she says, "the doctor was a man and I wouldn't let him look at me...he punched me hard. I was unconscious." I am appalled, but Goli is clearly pleased at the memory.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kitchen Nostalgia

Sauce 'n wine
Photo taken by my son, John, November 22, 2007.

Remember the bread machine craze in the eighties? In those days the ungainly baker was a permanent fixture on my kitchen counter. I experimented with dozens of grains and developed my own sourdough starter. A fresh loaf was always available for lunch and dinner...funny shaped loaves with the telltale hole in the bottom from the machine dough paddle. The fragrance of baking bread was wonderful and, before moving to Maine, I made sure to start a loaf whenever the realtors were expected to show up at our door with a prospective buyer. I stopped using my bread machine when our second child left for college and eventually tossed out my sourdough starter, unable to keep it going with a new life, a new town and a busy travel schedule. I still have my machine and it looks pretty clunky compared to the newer versions. The reason I hang on to this old kitchen friend is for the stuffing bread without which Thanksgiving would be impossible to imagine. Here's the recipe for those of you who still have one lurking in the back of your pantry and would like to give it a dust and put back into service for the Holidays.

From Richard W. Langer's  More Recipes for You Bread Machine Bakery

For large and small loaves:

small: 1 cup vegetable broth
large:  1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

small: 2 teaspoons olive oil
large:  1 tablespoon olive oil

small: 1 teaspoon molasses
large:  2 teaspoons molasses

small: 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
large:  3 cups unbleached all purpose flour

small: 1/2 cup uncooked oatmeal (not instant)
large:  3/4 cup uncooked oatmeal

small: 1/2 cup cornmeal
large:  3/4 cup cornmeal

small: 2 tablespoons dried parsley
large:  3 tablespoons dried parsley

small: 1 tablespoon dried onion
large:  4 teaspoons dried onion

small: 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
large:  1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary

small: 1 teaspoon dried sage
large:  1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage

small: 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
large:  1 teaspoon dried thyme

small: 1/2 teaspoon pepper
large:  1 teaspoon pepper

small: 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
large:  1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

small: 1/2 teaspoon salt
large:  1 teaspoon salt

small: 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
large:  2 teaspoons active dry yeast

I bake several loaves ahead of time, cube the bread and keep it in the freezer until needed. Later, you can add all your other favorite ingredients.

Savory Thanksgiving wishes!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Autumn's Gifts ~ October & November

The colorful berries, above, were found clinging to a chain link fence in Bucksport, Maine in late October. The title describes these unexpected beauties perfectly.

November Lupine on Blue Hill Mountain which, somehow, survived strong winds and freezing temperatures.

Yarrow on Blue Hill Mountain with a backdrop of autumn foliage and a glimpse of Blue Hill Bay.

Today's link from "You Must Remember This."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

October Magic Hour

Autumn's vivid colors are now a memory up here in Maine. The last glorious display of our leaves was stripped off the trees by the recent lashing rain and wind that left many without power for days. Peter and I closed the cottage a mere three weeks ago. Our drive home through the back roads and small towns was spectacular as the sun slowly dropped in the sky. We arrived in Bucksport just in time to capture the October magic hour.

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