Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Here are a few hints.
I did a lot in 2013, but here are a few things that I did not do or even attempt------
I did not go on a diet.
I did not take a 'selfie'.
I did not attempt to 'twerk'.
Did not twitter.
Did not use any #birdmans.
Did not watch one episode of "Walking Dead".
Did not go to a movie theater.
Did not buy any iTunes.
Did not wish that I was in any way related to anyone named Kardashian.
Did not get a dog.
Did not eat lamb.
Did not get a tattoo.
... and don't think I'm heading in any of these directions in '14.
Enjoy your night and kiss 2013 Goodbye!
* I did do something though. I continued to post here every day. Haven't missed a day since 12/31/08.
Monday, December 30, 2013
We got 5-6 inches last night. It started about 6 and was all over by midnight. It's the wet, sticky stuff that my snowblower really dislikes, especially the crap that get piled up at the end of my driveway by the town plows. All this snow has got me thinking about the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Notice, I said 'thinking' not getting excited, at all. You might catch me watching a bit of ice hockey, maybe some downhill skiing or toboggan runs, that's going to be the extent of it. Elenka, if past Olympics can be a measuring stick, will constantly have the TV on watching the opening and closing ceremonies, figure skating or anything else that might catch her fancy. My guess is that it will also be the 'white noise' that will fill our family room while she is maneuvering around Pinterest.
Do you plan to watch some?
What might peak your interest?
Women, in tiny snow outfits, don't count.
Sunday, December 29, 2013
I like to ponder situations and environs when they are caught with different looks, feels. Apple trees coated with ice. A comfortable home caught in an ice-lock without power for nine days. That was us in '98. An upheaval on the job that tosses your day up on end at 6:50 AM. An emergency on the road where split-second decisions can sometimes have lives in the balance. Put humans and or nature, for that matter, in a cloak of difference and the results most often bring forth resilience.
Next April, life comes back in this apple grove... stronger.
It always does.
Saturday, December 28, 2013
If you like b-ball, it was a pretty good place to be and out of the frigid temps for a few hours.
Friday, December 27, 2013
It was a day of Bruce's many bottles of wine
Georgette's funny stories and smiles
J- winning at Chronology
Donna's red spiked heels
Bonnie's salad and clementines
Marchin's entertaining us with 'smart ass'
Peter's wide-range of historical trivia
Yelena's French easel's appearance
Paul's humorous interruptions and questions
Christian's calm before heading to NYC
Joanne's wonderfully touching toast
Elenka's amazingly choreographed feast
Birdman taking it all in among great friends
We lingered into the darkness together longer then most years
Call it Christmas 2013
'Twas a special day, amid a room adorned with a sparkling tree dressed with many memorable ornaments reminding us of our past.
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Parts of the state spent Christmas frozen in without power, but we were spared that hardship. The ice came here about two days ago and has stuck around. When you get temperatures, with highs for the day in the teens, that's bound to happen.
I survived my trip to fill the bird feeders yesterday morning, although I did get temporarily impaled by a sprig of a pine needle in my hair.
Otherwise, it was a day of family and friends. Lots of laughter, toasts, memories of Christmases past, and a delicious holiday repast. The 'crowd' seems to increase a bit each year. I say the more the merrier. Elenka, with her task of feeding the masses, is not so sure.
J- gave me a beautiful, gold tie with squirrels artistically rendered in its design.
He knows me.
It's an inside joke.
I HATE squirrels! They actually think I trudge through the deep snow, in frigid temps, just to appease them.
I can tolerate them for a few hours, I guess.
They are very lucky.
If I had a .22, I'd send them on vacation to 'kingdom come'.
I shouldn't say that.
After all, it's Christmas.
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
The BIG guy at Longfellow Square got a little something from Santa too. One Christmas Eve many, many Christmases ago on Stevens Avenue, I really did hear reindeer on the roof and someone banging around in the living room when all was dark and 'not a creature was stirring'.
After many years of hearing about it second hand, we finally made the 10 PM Christmas Eve service at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke last night. It was a late evening, but one filled with incense, pageantry and carols.
Merry Christmas to all!
Of course, I still believe!
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Enjoy this holiday season; however you celebrate.
ps. Santa, I've been a very good boy this year!
Monday, December 23, 2013
Tis' the season.
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Did I just wake up and now the entire ballgame has changed? Did someone pull a Rip Van Winkle on me? What's the deal with all the golden ribbon this year? It seems to be everywhere. I must surmise that gold is the new red this year, at least in my travels. Now, if you want it amid wrapping paper, I'll give you that, but on church doors and such? Will you give me back my RED? Well, I guess it has just taken the route of colored lights on trees. Growing up on Stevens Avenue, it was all about those big, fat colored lights strung among the green boughs. These days, it's all about white lights. I see them inside houses all over, as I drive at night. White, white, white! Even our tree, white! I can live with white, though. A tree, surrounded with small lights, makes a warm, enticing and soothing scene. So, I'll give you the lights.
But the gold ribbon?
Someone's going to have to do a bit more selling to win me over.
I wonder what Santa's take on this is?
He's a big 'red' guy.
By the way, ya I've got some time on my hands.
What's it to ya?
Saturday, December 21, 2013
We went to see the Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson last night at Portland Stage with my sister and brother-in-law. I was excited all day, really looking forward to seeing the production. The ads in magazines were glossy and eye-catching. The pictures of the 'queen' in the show was stunningly, beautiful. My review? Don't bother. Pass. Looked to be some terrible meeting of Monty Python and some lopsided fairytale told in 7 stories. Well, at least I could feast my eyes upon the beautiful queen, right. Wrong! She was drab and a very plain-Jane.
Where's Heidi when I need her?
Oh well, the party tonight, at a friend's home has to be better.
If not maybe I can catch a ride back home on the back of his pick-up.
Just for ol' time sake.
Friday, December 20, 2013
The 'mountain comes to Muhammad', so to speak.
After the big day, a game or two at the Expo Holiday Basketball Tournament will probably be on my schedule.
A bit of work too.
Don't want to lose my touch.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
This cemetery is a special place for us. Mom and Dad rest here.
Cemeteries are notable pieces of our lives.
For me, in a strange way, they are extremely rejuvenating.
Fountains of life.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
And good news, he ain't a geek either.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
The feeling was warmth all around.
So this is Christmas...
Monday, December 16, 2013
I like them better filled with water and delicate flowers, then with ice.
I was doing a little cleanup on the porch before the storm yesterday and caught sight of these three. I had forgotten to drain the water from them, and I almost had a small disaster on my hands. Is there such a thing as a little disaster? Anyway, I would not have been a happy man. Little mistakes like this often drive me crazy these days.
I often can handle big screw-ups more easily than the little things.
What's up with that?
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Today should be a guilt free day.
Hide the honey-do list!
Take some images of the 8-14 inches of new snow.
Load the wood stove.
Do a little blogging.
Watch the Patriots. With all the injuries, Jack, I fear the Fish today.
Load the wood stove.
Take in a bit of vacuuming, and help pick up the house (my sister and husband are coming for the holidays).
Listen to some Christmas music.
Throw some snow around the yard with my snowblower.
Load the wood stove.
I hope this is the better part of my day.
News and photos at 11.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
I'm up early this morning. I've got some things to do. I light the tree and go around and put the window lights on for Elenka. She likes that. Next, I'm outside to fill our birdfeeders, a storm report of perhaps 8-14 inches of snow headed our way can do this to a Mainer. I like doing this. The chickadees thank me. Back in the house, Elenka is up and we both settle, she with a cup of tea and some yogurty, concoction that she claims is 'breakfast'. I'm going with a cup of coffee with some eggnog added. While watching some eNews about Chloe Kardashian( why, why, why have we made this stupid family relevant) filing for divorce, I hear Elenka utter these holiday wishes my way.
"Twitter should be shot!"
Ah, now there are some seasonal words of love!
No, I don't send tweets. (Hey, there's even a Twitter Help Center.)
No, I don't Facebook. People of the World should be so happy with this. At this point, you'll find little sympathy here for that 'mutual admiration society'.
No, I don't instagram.
No, I don't do any sexting. Sheesh!
No, I don't Snapchat, Skype or iChat.
No, I don't do FaceTime either... bags are not allowed, I hear.
Is my life complete?
I don't even know what that is suppose to mean.
But I am happy.
I'll be enjoying this bitterly cold and snowy weekend with some pre-holiday spirit.
ps No, I don't Pinterest or Manterest either. I knew you were thinking that.
Friday, December 13, 2013
Quite an explosion!
I do enjoy that 'reality show' on cable, Pawn Stars.
It's the closest I'm going to get to a pawn shop.
I find it hilarious at times.
What a family!
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Pick-up m-bread, froz bl ber, p-butter, wet cat...
Piece Work is the name of the 2013 Portland Museum of Art Biennial. The show is the eighth in a series of juried exhibitions showcasing the work of new or recent work of living artists. This banner, hanging over the entranceway advertising the Biennial, shows a very small piece of the combined work of artists Adriane Herman and Brian Reeves. It's called Dually Noted, and it's composed of what looks to be some 500 or so sticky notes in all shapes, sizes and colors. The installation covers an entire wall as you enter the Great Hall area of the museum, just inside the main doors. The messages that I took the time to peruse ran the gamut from the mundane to the sublime, nothing more or less than I have covering my work area around my desk. I wish they had asked me for a contribution or two of my 'leftovers'.
I have some real doozies.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
I would love to have been looking over the shoulder of William Carlos Williams, in 1923, when he penned this classic. So simple. So complex.
- so much depends
- a red wheel
- glazed with rain
- beside the white
- This former 'red' wheelbarrow of ours is a well traveled device. Mom bought it when she moved into her new house on Bancroft Street in the city. Elenka and I helped her spread loam and seed her front yard. It's not the most rugged of barrows, but it has survived. These days Elenka uses it to transport plants and such around her gardens. That wheel is wobbly, but otherwise it survives, with dents, rust and a couple of holes, in its 'retirement' home.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Bring it on!
Monday, December 9, 2013
This is not a joke.
I think it's mind-boggling.
Years and years and now years later, they are still A, B, C, D.
I say, give these neighborhoods some class.
Give 'em real monikers.
Names they can be proud of.
This continues to be a real head-shaker for me.
Can ya tell?
Sunday, December 8, 2013
We've had good luck there. Last New Years, the tree was still going strong with not a real loss of needles, and with a woodstove cranking most of the month, a drying tree can be a real issue.
So, you have good luck?
Creatures of habit always return to the well; we did.
It sits this morning in the family room loaded with decorations and memories from past Decembers.
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Friday, December 6, 2013
Gotta find a mousetrap too.
Ah, that's another story.
Oh, and I might be firing my two cats also.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Each year the early dusting of snow was a harbinger of another long winter in Maine. Elenka and I came from different places. I filled my winters with Old Maids with brother and sisters, attending high school basketball games at the Expo, hockey games around the kitchen table with pals, meetings of the Skeleton Club, and countless nights of sledding under the stars. Elenka growing up in Parsippany, NJ, on the other hand, filled lots of her hours dancing, with sister Judy, as Fred and Ginger.
I guess that made her time fly by.
I hope it did.
Me? I didn't even know of this dance team until years later.
We both had fun; I guess.
Boys and girls.
We were different.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Once, I delivered all my 75 Press Heralds in about 22 minutes.
I think that record still stands.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Got some ice. Got some rain. Got some serious snow flurries. I had a little trimming, near the kitchen window, to get done, and I got that completed on Saturday. As you can see by this shot, I guess I forgot to get my equipment back into a snug place for the winter. Over the next few days I'll post some photos of what things looked like around here after the early flurries.
For anyone not familiar with me and my relationship with snow, here's a primer.
Yes, it's pretty.
Yes, snow days as a child were very fun.
Snow falling on December 24th. Yes!
Snow cover on the 25th. Yes!
Not that long ago, we got 36 inches in one blizzard.
Monday, December 2, 2013
This ain't a dream.
I've thought of the idea lots of times.
I'd just need a place to hide it for about 7 months.
Of course, with 10 acres or so I might be able to find a place.
Would it be worth it?
To keep an uninspected truck and plow up back in the trees, away from Elenka's eyes.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Today, December 1, is Theme Day across the CityDailyPhoto (citydailyphotoblog) community. Sometimes, I struggle with the theme. Sometimes, it comes right away, although boring. I attempt to search out the theme seen from a different slice of life. Sometimes, I feel I fall short of the mark. At other times I sit back and release a small grin. I always run the theme by Elenka, whether I have a photo in mind or not. I don't like boring. I like to try to get a different slant on the subject. I certainly didn't want any shot of the camera looking out a shop window, if I could help it. I had an idea at the ready for this one. Since I've been stacking and chopping wood for awhile. I was thinking a 'chopping shot' with an alarming cry of-- LOOK-ing OUT!
Then Elenka said, "Hey, just shoot you and the bag, and get it over with."
Here I am 'looking out' at the world.
Playing a bit of hide and seek.
Saturday, November 30, 2013
I like this photograph.
It's not the same as the tree, but...
the bulbs never go out on it.
Friday, November 29, 2013
There is a pull.
I really can't explain it.
Don't provide reasons why or why not.
I've heard them all.
I'm torn... at least today.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Hope everyone has maneuvered around and are where they need to be today. This year, we are staying put here in Maine. We'll be sitting down for a mighty repast later this afternoon with family and friends here in southern Maine. And I can promise you a few things. I won't be breaking down any doors doing any 'black Friday' shopping. I won't be doing any 'hunting' for anything other than white turkey meat and all the fixings on the table. I won't be stacking wood. It's done! I will be sampling every type of pie that makes it to the table. I will be glancing at TV for a hint the Macy parade. I will be watching football. I'll be cheering for the Lions, Raiders and Steelers.
I will burp.
I'll hope to say excuse me though.
Don't go crazy!
Enjoy the day!
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Sister Delores, on that back step, ringing that big bell, meant it was time to 'freeze in place' and move to our grade lines, when the second bell sounded.
It was a simple time.
Ding, dong, ding, dong!
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
It was said as a joke.
I was asked yesterday what I was planning on bringing to our Thanksgiving dinner with friends. Squash? Turnip? Pecan pie? Some stuffed cream cheese celery?
I said I'd really like to bring Heidi Klum, but I said I'd settle on two six packs and a pecan pie. Well, in reality, I'm bringing the 'sixers'. I'll leave the pie to Elenka. She does pie very well! As a matter of fact, there isn't much in the kitchen she doesn't excel at Turkey time or not.
What do I do well in the kitchen area? I'm thinking hard on this one. Want me to be brutally honest?
There, that's about it.
Well, let me be real here.
After I've visited the nut dishes sprinkled around the room, sampled the cream cheese stuffed celery, I'll settle on eating some yellow squash that's smothered in butter. You see, after the bird, I'll vote for the squash.
Does anyone have Heidi's cell number?
Monday, November 25, 2013
Don't want to take any chances.
Trying to get work done in snow ain't fun.
Gobble, gobble, gobble.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
It's still not clear at all to me, and the event is over 50 years removed. For the last week or so our airways have been bombarded with the JFK retrospective. It's getting a bit hard to take. The politics of the time, Honey Fitz, PT 109, the Walter Cronkite broadcast, Dealey Plaza, Oswald, Jack Ruby, the pink dress, summers at the Hyannis complex, John-John and Caroline running around the Oval Office and, of course, all the conspiracy theories. Enough already.
This is what I know. It was sometime after noon on November 22 of my Sophomore year, and I was in the library at Cheverus High looking for a book, when an announcement came on the PA system. The Principal said the President's motorcade had been shot at in Dallas, and news reports were saying that President Kennedy had been hit. We were told to say a prayer and that school was being dismissed early. I remember thinking- what is happening? As I did each day, I walked the entire length of Read Street, about a mile in length, totally confused, alone and wishing that it was all a nightmare. At the top of Read, I dreaded my cut across to Arbor Street, because I knew I'd have to pass the fire station and that flag flying atop it. I had this sick, in the pit of my stomach feeling, of what was in store for me. As soon as I could, I searched out for the flag. And there was depressingly, limp at half staff and my wishing, wondering and hoping was over. I walked in the house, and I heard the distant hum of the TV. Mom, in tears, met me in the kitchen and filled me in on the latest out of Dallas. She told me life would never be the same. And she was right again. The guys met that night, shooting baskets, playing 'Horse' in our driveway and going over the events of the day. We talked about a lot including the upcoming high school basketball season, but what we had lived through that afternoon was foremost on our minds. I fell asleep after midnight, listening to my radio and staring at the flickering light on my ceiling, trying to make sense of a senseless event. The weekend was spent mostly glued to our black and white in the living room. Yes, I saw Ruby shoot Oswald on live TV, our President lying in state, and the ever-somber news broadcasts over and over. Monday was the funeral and a day off from school. There was no excitement there. I took it all in, maybe 12-15 hours. The rider-less horse, the haunting sound of the clip-clop of the horse's hooves on pavement, the ever-strong, black-clad dignified, stoic Jackie and John-John's salute.
It was a weekend that changed us all in ways we can't even begin to comprehend.
That 50 years have passed from that afternoon is mind-boggling to me.
I lived through it.
Even now 50 years removed, the replay is difficult to watch.
Still out of focus---
Life moves forward though.
But some memories are still tough to take.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Sometimes, when you just have to slow the entire mechanism down a bit, 'baby steps' ain't a bad way to start.
Friday, November 22, 2013
My grandfather has been gone an amazing 53 years this past summer. I still remember walking into the living room on Stevens Avenue and seeing my Mom, grandmother and aunts all in tears. Probably, the first bit of information that I ever received in my life that I just couldn't process.
It was my first brush with death.
I think of that man often.
Mostly, when I see scenes like this.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
However, when I stop and think about it, I don't make a lot of monumental moves. Here are a few to think about this morning. Same home since 1977. Been at the same job, same building for coming up on 41 years. Somewhere in the late Sixties while attending college, those British punks, the Beatles, took on moustaches. I thought they looked pretty cool. So I tried one. Then a magical moment took place in my life.
While at a local watering hole, a young lady approached me and said, "Oh my God, you look like McCartney!"
Game. Set. Point!
It was over!
I've had one pretty much since that night and for sure have not shaved the upper lip since 1974. Few changes here. I do like routines. I like to think I ponder long and hard on major decisions, like house and job, but 'stache?
File this one under just another example of the powerful pull of women!
Am I alone here?
Anyone ever done something like this for a member of the opposite sex?
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
It's an apple caper, if you will.
My question: how the heck did this half-eaten apple ever get to the top of this birdhouse.
Some early responders were:
Madge said, "a crow or raven."
TexWisGirl commented, "squirrel?"
Jack(the jester) replied, "You put it there. Fess up."
Come on. Get creative. I think I know the culprit but... make me smile.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Elenka is not so impressed!
In her mind just another piece of crap for one of my many junk drawers that I refuse to clean.
Lots of things make me smile throughout my day.
These whimsical shoes do.
And a new tiny race car spinning, mightily off the kitchen table headed for a life of doom does.
Fun, fun, fun!
ps. Yes, I checked last night, and I still have all of these dental trinkets and much MORE.
Monday, November 18, 2013
Does tidiness haunt me daily?
I guess you haven't seen my desk at work.
As Elenks might mutter, "I guess you haven't ventured to his many junk drawers scattered about the house".
Let me 'leaf' you with this thought this morning.
I rather hate leaves come November.
They makes for messy work.
And I never have cared for the leaf- snow dichotomy.
My theory here: outta sight, outta mind.
Let it snow!
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Saturday, November 16, 2013
I enjoy the smells in these buildings, but not the creeping up of pricing.
Greenhouses: I've learned my lesson about glass houses!
Friday, November 15, 2013
The kid, inside of me, holds tight to the sights and sounds of those late fall evenings.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Want a different way to start your day? How about trying a chai glazed, bacon and cheddar, dark chocolate ginger, strawberry glazed, chocolate & sea salt, glazed sweet potato, mocha glazed, roasted pistachio, pomegranate or a tart cherry? Well, these are all donuts that can be purchased at the Holy Donut. The shop on Park Avenue has been open for about a year now, and customers are lining up for their early morning fix. By the way, all their donuts are made with a mashed potatoes mixture. My donut of choice, regardless of where I am shopping, is the venerable chocolate coconut. Last Friday, I sampled one of these at the Holy Donut.
It reminded me of a decorated cupcake.
It was fine, delicious.
Let's move on.
A Bacon and Cheddar?
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Things are not always what they seem.
At first glance, this might look like a watercolor. It did to me. However, on closer examination, you'll probably pickup on the fact that it's just some black ink on newsprint. The color is just what is on the newspaper page behind. It just showed up one day on the easel in the kitchen-- a bit of J's work.
I'm quite guilty of shooting from the hip at times. The results, many times, are not flattering. Often a ring of apologies follow and some sort of inner statement to myself that that will never happen again. Guess what? I usually can't help myself, and sure enough, I find myself talking without thinking again.
Sometimes, if I've committed a large, social faux pas, I'll get some 'constructive criticism' from a close and personal friend.
... and that's a good thing.
You see, when it comes to figuring me out, it's often a puzzle.
But at least, I think, the pieces are all there.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Come over here.
Listen, I survived Halloween, because this nerdy kid's parents took me inside to look out the window on the 31st. I guess they had a fear that I might end up splattered across the street out front. It would probably have brought the kid to tears. Now that the festivities are over, they leave me out every, freezing night and all day for that matter. And I do feel that I'm starting to sag from the inside out. This morning, I thought I saw and smelled a bit of stomach rot. It was black, and to tell you the truth, it wasn't pretty! It's been two weeks, and it really doesn't look like I'm heading for any pumpkin pie nearby. So, will someone please pick me up and just heave me?
Cripes! Please put me out of my misery.
I don't want to end up rotting on this kid's doorstep.
It would be the epitome of embarrassment!"