Thursday, January 31, 2013

Foggy Walk

It's another foggy morning. This pattern has held for the last day or so. Along with this soupy fog, we have extremely mild temperatures. It's 53º F, as I pound out this page. When the temperatures hit this area on the thermometer, throw in some rain, and melting snow, driving can be like trying to traverse through a curtain of whiteness. I find it in many ways a lot trickier driving then in a heavy snow. Throw in the fact that one of my headlights seems to be a bit off kilter and shooting upwards instead of straight ahead, when the high beam is on, and you've got a recipe for caution. You better slow down. One of J's games on his old Sega System was a car race game. We played it all the time. As you sent cars racing and careening off the racetrack there was a voice that kept repeating, "Take it easy on the car", over and over again. We use to laugh, hysterically as the voice would repeat that refrain. Till this day, it's a running gag in our house, when things are tending to be moving too fast for safety, and a big mistake looms on the horizon. "Take it easy on the car", are words of wisdom when attempting to maneuver through this heavy pea- soup stuff and our daily lives for that matter. Slow down and enjoy the trip. And by the way, the early morning fog is stunning, lighting the roadside views. Take it all in.

We better enjoy this 53 number while we can. It's back into the deep freeze this weekend!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

City Skate

The ice at Deering Oaks, the large  Allen Avenue pond, the small one behind Deering High School---Going on a late afternoon skating adventure at a couple of the large city ponds was always fun. They were packed on the weekends and school vacations, and twilight time was especially stirring. As the shadows began to fall a special excitement would build. The older teens would build small fires to help chase the chill away, and there were invariably lots of new faces to check out, especially among the fairer sex. And sometimes, holding hands in long lines and moving fast provided the ones on the end quite a 'whip' as we went hurtling off towards the darkness. I was young, but not too young to envy the teen couples skating off into the shadows of night. Ah... to have a girlfriend to skate with, at twilight? Maybe the highlight of true winter fun. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Don't get your hopes up. This entry today isn't about Wild Turkey 101 proof bourbon. And I'm not going to ramble on about the  meaning of the idiom 'talking turkey'. Today is all about the bird. No, not that bird. I'm talking the 18-20 wild turkeys that are spending lots of time hanging around our place these last few weeks. They've gotten to parading up the driveway, gallivanting across the back fields, investigating the mess of stray seeds under our birdfeeders and herkey-jerkeying through our back woods. Just ten years ago, I swear, I had never seen a turkey that wasn't spread out across a dining room table in late November. Now, I've got 20 or so rambling up my drive just about everyday. What's the deal with that? This hen was 'shot' through my kitchen window. Just as soon as my shutter clicked, she was running off to get with the others. Safety in numbers, I guess. Enjoy your day today.
Don't be a turkey! 

Monday, January 28, 2013


Do you like a good mystery?
I think we've all lost important stuff we wished we had back. Mine would be a bag of silver dollars that I collected as a kid. From time to time, my grandfather would flip me one. I carried them in a tan, suede pouch that my aunt had sent to me when she was teaching at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. It had a Southwest Indian motif on it, and I was so happy when I finally found a beneficial use for it, holding those special coins. There were about eight of them, and they just made a special, melodious clinking tone when I let them fall from one hand to the other. When we moved in high school, for some reason, I found an old loose floorboard in a third floor bathroom crawlspace and secured the coins there. I'd bring them out from time to time to check them out, but when we moved, I do believe I left them behind, sequestered away. Maybe in 200 years or so some kid will find them, and they'll be worth a lot of 'coin'. Until then, I'll just keep kicking myself. 
Now, there is another possibility that involves a now deceased college best friend, who came to visit just after graduation. That possibility I don't even want to conjure up.
For me, the mystery of these missing coins lingers.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


I'll never forget Fillinger. He lived for a time in this flatiron building on the right. He lived with his mom here and always complained about the steamy summer nights on Portland Street. "Gawd, I fell asleep last night with my head hanging out the second story window." I had worked at the cemetery for two years pushing a lawnmower the first summer and then running a weed whacker  around the gravestones, the second. Things changed bigtime that third summer. Tom and and I got assigned to help 'that old guy' clean stones, and my summer job scene was never the same. He was seventy plus years old, knew the hidden stories of the city and always had entertaining highlights to get us through the day. He was a recovering alcoholic, who often would regale us with unforgettable, zany narrations featuring his 'history' with the bottle. His hilarious accounts, told with a deadpan expression, were so 'day stopping' memorable, how could anyone forget a character like him. Oh, and the 20+ summer workers all had nicknames. He never, EVER called me by my given name. I don't think he knew it at all and didn't care. I was Rocker, and that was it. The names were, in some cases unapologetic, and often ladened with very politically-incorrect terminology. For him, they were dead-on and truisms. Whether you liked them or not, no one cared. And you best not ask for a 'do-over'. There was Drugboy, Foureyes, the Professor, Glamor, Gummer, Card Shark, Boss, Queer, Rocker, Black Bart, Copper, Porn Star and a bunch of others that would be far too inappropriate to be listed here. How he came up with them, I'll never know. He never felt any need to explain, and after awhile you never asked. As you might imagine, summers there were one wild 8 hour ride. 
And yes, even Elenka got branded too. She was Doris, because as he told me one afternoon waiting for the bus, "Cripes (no, he didn't use this word), you're gonna marry Doris Day someday!"
*Yes, he was invited to our wedding, but true to the mysterious gent, never showed.   

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Bottled Berries

The first snowman I remember making was with a big help from Mom at the Allen Avenue house. My parents rented the top floor, just about across from the old skating pond. She made sure it had all the particulars: a carrot, buttons, rocks for eyes, funny hat, and she even threw a scarf on to protect ol' Frosty from the winter chill. We built him next to the large barn and right below the kitchen window, so I could keep a close eye on him throughout the day. Mom always complained that it took her longer to dress me for the elements then the amount of time that we'd spend outside. She'd fill a birdfeeder and hang it from branches of the pine tree next to the back door, and we'd watch the small birdies come in for 'landings'. To tell you the truth though, building the snowman was fun, the birdfeeder was always entertaining to watch, but the most exciting sight was when I caught sight of a furry creature under the tree filling himself on birdseed dropping and hurried Mom to the window. She screamed out loud in a blood-curdling cry... a rat! She was scared something awful. I was some excited and couldn't wait to tell Dad on the phone what we had 'discovered' under the tree. I had all kinds of adventures growing up, and the memory still serves me pretty well. I mean, how could you forget your first run in with Mr. Rat! 

Friday, January 25, 2013


There are lots of things in life I want to do more of like read, write and delight over more fettuccine alfredo. That last item is a no, no, but I'll leave it here just to 'stir the pot' this frigid morning. It's 2 above zero F outside our back door. As a matter of fact, a full plate of fettuccine would probably go a long ways towards keeping me toasty today. That sounds good to me, but around Elenka that's going to ring hollow, so I better move to another of my favorite topics. Exercise. She likes it. I don't. She does it. I don't. Well, I do it, but it's only in my mind and that, of course, only brings intense laughter and broad smiles to most around me. I know it's important. I know I should do it, but... Oh well, these arm weights will have to wait, because I've got lots to do today, like walking and other things. And besides, tonight might be just a great night to take in some place like the Corner Room and their wonderfully entertaining Italain cuisine. 
Buona salute!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Three Brushes

Growing up, I found my share of mischief, but had few real brushes with the law. A few minor traffic violations and the morning after the huge Lewis Lumber Company fire on Bishop Street meeting in the Principal's office with a couple of the city's finest and that was about it for me. Across the street, in the yellow three-decker though, there seemed to be always trouble. Lots of times in the summer, the walls of my bedroom were lit up by the flashing blue lights of a  cop car lugging one of the guys away. Quite a few of the boys often took a trip 'up river' too, to the Correctional Center in Windham for a few months. One thing that caught my eye was that there were always good lookin' girls heading in and out of that building. They seemed mighty fine too. They and their boyfriends were our 'wild ones', and the closest I ever got to real danger.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Sliding on fresh snow was fun, but taking a trip down a hill, when a freezing rain had transformed the slide into sheet of glass, was the best. When we could walk across the deep snow, pretty much without falling through, it was time. One of our prime runs was the big hill at the cemetery. It was long, steep, fast, and of course the track we took had the added obstacles of gravestones to get in your way. The incredibly swift bobsled runs of the Olympics, that we watched on TV, paled in comparison to our treacherous runs, weaving around the granite stones until we reached the end across the frozen pond. Throw in the added dimension of racing down a hill on a moon-lit night, and you probably see that we spent a lot of time making our creative fun. Hey, we had to do something to make those frigid days and nights move by on the calendar. And yes, sometimes we trudged back up the hill a bit bloodied, but that was the price we paid for our dark excitement. Can't talk. Time for one more run!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


"Good weatherman. Nice weatherman. There, there, let me pat you on the head. You've done it again, but we'll forgive you... AGAIN"
Well, our 4-6 inches of snow predicted for this morning  is nowhere in sight. Last evening as I headed out to the Jetport to pick up Elenka, I saw about 47 flakes straggling down. That was about it, I guess. It was on the radar last night, so at least I know those that make these prognostications are not completely crazy. This morning on my iPhone: nothing, nada, zilch, scratch, zero! We get a lot of different weather up here, and it can change quickly. What do they say about it? "Don't like the weather in Maine? Wait a minute." I guess it's true, so I'll cut them some slack this morning. We're going to be getting an Arctic freeze this week. Coldest temperatures so far, and MORE 'snow' is headed our way at the end of the week. Maybe being a snowbird and heading to warmer climes these frigid months is something to think about a little further.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dog Boxes

Every dog needs a home, even when they're on the road. So take a peek at Jerry's, Eden's, Banshee's, Teakie's, Maple's, Lars's, Dary's, and Diesel's home away from home. For me, it's hard not to think of those Jack London novels when I'm walking around sled dogs, in their boxes or yelping and jumping ready for a race. I know for sure I wouldn't be where I am today without Buck and that older woman with her glasses about her neck and that red pen, almost permanently attached to her hand. Kibler! She was the one that gave me an 'out' and permitted me to put Captain Blood (gosh but he looked dashing 'with his rapier brandished high') back into the pile and make another selection. I chose Call of the Wild (I really wanted a dog) without hesitation, and that moment, that book, that woman sent my life, my psyche, my dreams heading in a whole different direction.
It made ALL the difference! 
So, no dog for me, but I have great dreams!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Market

This parking garage used to trumpet the call to the Portland Public Market located next door. The Market has moved to a new, smaller location at the Square, and this garage is still open but on a limited basis. We used to love to stroll through the Market on a lazy Saturday morning or afternoon. Grab the paper, a coffee and a sandwich at anyone of the many food stops. Fresh fish, deli sandwiches made on delicious homemade bread right out of the oven, soups for all tastes and sizes, aromatic pizza slices and exotic cheeses and wines to take home were all part of the draw. It was an unruly cacophony of smells that surprisingly, blended together to create a pleasing, warm atmosphere amid a cold January wind. Alas, about five years ago, it bit the dust, a victim of a struggling economy and exorbitant rent. These symbolic gates strike quite a pose.
All that remains is the sign, calling out a plaintiff plea, signifying nothing. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Dog Girl

This young gal was one of the competitors at the sled dog races shown yesterday. She was busily giving her pooch a pre-race pep talk and dare I reveal a smooch on the wet nose, when I passed by. She must have heard me shuffling nearby and turned, and I caught this photo of the truck, complete with all the cages (is that what they call them?), the dogs, sleds and of course the cute musher. Later, I did see her fly by me but never found out how she placed. Speaking of a Dog Girl, the city of Portland used to have a Dog Man. David K. aka Dog Man used to parade his many dogs, 10-15 at a time, through the streets of the city. He seemed to be a quite jovioal gent, laughing and talking to all comers, and in all my meetings on the street with him, his dogs were always quite well behaved, although I never saw a plastic glove or bag for animal wastes. This was many years before this came into vogue; dare I say a status symbol? Many questioned the care he was giving his charges. Finally, the city took him to court. Passed an ordinance, I believe, along the lines of how many canines one could house under a city roof. After this, the sight of DK parading the streets with his dogs pulling him in all sorts of different directions was just something for the rearview mirror. In my lifetime, he was one of the many characters that gave city dwellers a break from their humdrum existence. However, I think the city fathers might have had another 'take' on his contributions to the city. 
Dog Man... RIP. 
Dog Girl... mush on!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Sled Dogs

A couple of Sundays ago I took a ride over to the sled dog races in Westbrook. As soon as I parked the truck and turned off the ignition, I could hear the yelping. Like Heidi Klum ready to walk a runway, these dogs were some excited. Years ago, Elenka and I would often take a yearly trek to Rangley Lake and watch the races there. As I recall, they were the Can-American trials. It was fun to walk among the trucks, filled with caged, barking dogs. As I remember, back then the dogs seemed to be the bigger variety huskies and malamutes. If you know my story, it's about as close as I'll ever get to owning a dog. But hope rings eternal. The other day, my brother's wife told me Marchin wants a puppy! I'll tell you this; if it happens, this will be a SHOCKING development in our family. It'll knock that liar, Lance Armstrong, and that hoaxer, Manti Te'o, right off the sports pages. Hey, there might be hope for me and a dog yet. Time will tell.
By the way, did you like how I worked HK into this piece this morning?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

White on Red

Here we go. It snowed all day yesterday and turned the backyard into a winter wonderland. It also turned the Jetport departures upside down. Elenka was scheduled to fly south to be with her family for a few days, but after repeated delays, that would have caused her to miss her connection at Laguardia, she called, and I ran in and picked her up. Spending a night in a Laguardia lounge, wrapped in a space blanket or a night in her own comfy bed? It was a no brainer. By noon today, she'll be in the land of oranges, and this winter setting will be well in her rear view mirror. Cue the dancing girls. Unwrap the cigars.  Tap the kegs. Turn on the Patriots. It's a batchelor weekend! 
Ah... who am I kidding?!
I'll probably spend it vacuuming!
So let it snow!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Where do books go to die? Is there a library cemetery? To a diehard lover of books this is a delicate subject. What it comes down to is that there's only just so much 'space in the inn'. What to dispose of? Where to dispose? Who makes the call? Is there criteria to follow? Recently at a local library, I picked up a couple of discards that I gave to my brother as 'booby' prize at Christmas. My grandmother would have laughed her head off. I wrapped him a couple of biographies that I found: Knute Rockne and Charles Darwin. This summer he took on a close to 800 page life story of the English naturalist, resigned it out of his town library about 5 times. He read it slowly and carefully. It was tough sledding at times, but he completed it. Another example of the 'plugger' mentality found in our family at times. Don't give up! Never give up! Finish the job. A couple of days after Christmas, his wife texted me a picture of him reading my 'gift'. Will he take on Knute's life? His favorite collegiate football team is Notre Dame. You tell me.
And by the way, I think he'll take good care of both of these books.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

In Progress

She paints.
Upper Congress Street near the top of the Hill can be quite picturesque in winter. A couple of winters ago, we took a walk in a light snow one Saturday morning. I remember the morning, because I took a photograph of a bike stranded in a snowbank nearby. As a matter of fact, we took lots of pictures of a recent snowfall. Here is a little insight into what Elenka is working on at the moment. I enjoy watching her progress through a painting. These days, her French easel is set up in the kitchen near the woodstove and her computer usually has some recent movie, a favorite soap opera or Downton Abbey playing as she paints. You see, it's true, I'm not the only entertainment in her life.

Monday, January 14, 2013


This scene caught my eye and jarred the memory bank, as I traveled into the city over the weekend. My grandfather's snowshoes always got pulled out in the January snows. I thought it was pretty cool to travel quickly through the deep stuff and leave my buddies cursing me up to their thighs in snow. I discovered them one time on a trip to a dark corner of his cellar, and he told me they were mine. They looked just like these and probably, at one time, belonged to Leonard. I remember when I tried them on the first time. They were huge, and I could make no progress in the snow, so I stayed on our icy driveway and sort of skated around, under Mom's watchful eye. They weren't as popular as they are today. The other morning I saw a family tramping their way along a pathway near USM. They all had metal ones and looked like they were having quite a lot of fun trying to keep up with Dad. Maine winters... you've got to love them!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Bridge Lights

Running alone...
Here we are in Deering Oaks again. This is another view of the stone bridge that was my first blog entry four years ago. I took a walk in the light snow last Sunday morning. I was alone in the entire park, just me and gently falling snow. It reminded me of late night walks and runs between Woodfords and Morrills Corners. Although we had moved to Coyle Street, I still had friends in the old neighborhood who I kept in touch with. It was a long trip in the cold night, but I liked it. I was forever timing myself, from point to point. I guess it was the only time in my life that I truly enjoyed running. Just running against myself. Ah... that reminds me, when I wanted anything in the house on Stevens, I just asked my little sister Joanne to go fetch it for me. I told her that I'd time her. It always worked. When she returned with my book, slippers, banana, I'd just shout out some obscure number. "40 seconds! Good job!" It always worked. They say life is all about timing: good and bad. For me, timing always got me what I wanted, either home on a cold January night fast or that tasty banana. Was I a bad brother? Sometimes, I wonder.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Horse Barn

Surviving a Maine winter can be a long grind. After the holidays, things here slow down in more ways than one. After all the hustle and bustle, you're pretty much in it for the long haul, the 'trip' through January, February and all of March. And don't believe all that stuff you hear about March going out like a lamb either. In this glorious state, early April can be a winter month. One year, as we were readying to vacate the state for the warm climes of Florida, we got 12 inches of the 'beautiful' white stuff. My cures, for the seemingly endless winter season, are many. Stop me when you've heard enough. Projects! Get yourself a few and get busy. I have a creative, big one at work that can make early April come relatively fast. Gym! I hear lots of people go to this place. Sports! Watching the brackets in NCAA basketball unfold is always fun. Writing! I have plans for this. Cooking! Not every weekend mind you but if I get on a binge... Lookout! I made a killer corn chowder this past week. Weekend rides! Elenka and I often take 'creative rides' on weekends to the vast wilds of the state. She, looking for interesting locals and objects to paint and me, attempting to give the ol' Nikon a workout. Classes! I'm always looking for something to get the creative juices flowing. Start a Blog! Nuff said. Ok, I'm gonna stop, because most of you have stopped reading. Well, except for the overly polite among us. Oh, one last remedy... spend some time standing, like these horses, in the warm January sun. It can clear the blues for a few minutes. I'm taking baby steps here!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Three Windows

Look up!
I do this from time to time and wonder...
Some people live in the strangest of places. I've always thought these lofts above Exchange Street would be oh, so comfortable and offer such interesting views on the world going on below. I bet they are kind of small but with interesting nooks and crannies all about. Probably warm too. All that hot air, from lawyers' offices below, rises to the fourth floor, you know. I'm probably just dreamin'. At twilight, these inhabitants probably just stare off to the west and wonder what living in a nearly 200 year old farmhouse is all about. My nephew lives in a condo across the Hudson from NYC. He watches the city light up each night. I bet it gets passe after awhile though. Some people move a lot. Is it because they are never satisfied and just can't find that comfortable existence? Might it be the nomad spirit of adventure within?  Others settle and don't move at all. What's that all about anyway. I guess it all comes down to finding your place, making it yours in your own unique way and enjoying the days as they go by. Live life! Don't cower!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Painted Steps

Here on Portland Street, at the foot of an entrance to an apartment, there looks to have been a 'painting' accident. When I came across it, it was dry and seemed to have been there for awhile. My 7th grade art teacher, Mr. B-, would not have been pleased. His room was the cleanest art space I have ever witnessed, and I've been in a few. He and his room were both pretty tidy. We usually lose track of our early teachers, but this guy and I crossed tracks again about 15 years later when he cast our wedding bands. Elenka designed our rings, and Gary melted down our high school rings, added some gold and Viola! We had our rings. All told, I think it cost us about $28 for some extra gold. One of the best deals I ever got. And I got a wife thrown in too! 
Oh, I'll pay for that last comment.  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Winter Leaf

Beauty and havoc, all on a morning stroll.
Walking in an early morning snow, you can come across a surprise or two. Until Sunday morning, I don't think I had ever seen a car accident take place live. I've always come across them after the fact, when it seems everyone is 'rubber-necking' for a closer look. Whether on the highway or in the city, it slows traffic to a crawl and often the those traveling by are more upset by the lost time then the occupants of the cars worried about damage incurred. Sunday, I happened to be approaching Franklin Street Arterial and looking straight ahead, when I  saw the Cooper run the stop sign. The driver had to be preoccupied with something, because they were the only vehicles in the vicinity. The sound of the impact wasn't too loud, but both cars suffered major damage and seemed to me undriveable. By the time I got to the intersection, one driver was out and about on her cell, and the other was moving around inside his car. Another walker nearby was already calling 911 to report the collision, so I kept walking. I don't think the light snow falling was a contributing factor at all. Just another case of driver inattention, I guess. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ice Tortoise

Along the river, nearby Westbrook held their first Winter West Festival over the weekend. Early Sunday, I stopped by to see how the snow sculpting of Saturday had made out. My expertise growing up centered around building forts and igloos and not attempting anything as elaborate as this reptile. One of our favorite places to construct our snow forts was the Canal Bank parking lot, after the plows had piled the snow high. Soon, with shovels in hand, we guys attacked the mountain of snow and ice, creating elaborate passageways and creative entrances and exits greatly suited for snowball attacks from others in the neighborhood. It was great fun in winter in Maine.

*By the way, this ice tortoise looks to have suffered some sort of dental fatigue over the weekend. Me, I had a strange Friday afternoon, suffering a freak accident. I strained or sprained my left wrist lifting weights at the gym with my personal trainer. Believe it? No? Well, would you believed I was attempting to unscrew a thermos bottle top? Never felt a thing until 2 AM Saturday, when I awoke in agony with the feeling that my wrist had been run over by an 18 wheeler. It's not a lot better right now. Typing this has been no easy task. A little sympathy might be in order. Ha!   

Monday, January 7, 2013

Lantern Lit

The day is done; lantern lit. 
The masses have asked. I have responded. Here is our lantern lit last night. As you can see, the sun and warmth of the day took the frosty appearance away. Here, it shimmers in twilight. As it got darker, it became even more dynamic, but to tell you the truth, I think I prefer the frosty look of yesterday. Don't get me wrong, these days I'll take warmth over cold anytime, but I just like the aspect and feel of the previous image. Stay warm.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Lantern Out

This is a fine lantern hanging near our rear door. Shining a light is something I try to do from time to time. Often success is found; however, I'm not ashamed to say that there are days when I just can't get a light. The results are frosty and snow-covered after repeated tries. This lantern, when lit, is inviting and captivating and certainly helps travelers maneuver towards the door and refuge from a biting cold wind. In life, when I struggle to light it, many times I'll go to the window and contemplate it swinging slightly in a winter breeze. It's on my mind a lot. I want it lit. Maybe tomorrow, I'll say.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Hill Snow

This image was taken last week in the snow, looking down the Mellen Street hill, past Sacred Heart Church. Today, the twin-spired church serves the West End, Parkside and the Spanish community of the city. It's claim to fame in my life centered around its 6:15 AM Mass on Sundays. Dad had it all figured out, you know. In his world, if he got us up at 5, and drove us hurriedly around, delivering the heavy Sunday papers, he could get our Sunday church obligation out of the way, grab something to eat, and still have us at Riverside Golf Course ready to caddy at 7 AM sharp. Dads were like that... ya, they were. Well, at least ours was.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy

No, don't panic! My post today is not going to find me going on and on and on about my 'love' of The Buckinghams (not really, at all). Remember them? "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy", "Kind of a Drag", Hey Baby( They're Playing Our Song)", "Don't You Care", "Susan". These are just a few of their hits. What am I doing? I said it would not be about these guys from Chicago. Now, here's the true story. Mercy Hospital is where yours truly took his first breaths. I actually still have a plaque around someplace with my itty bitty footprints embedded at the top, along with a picture of the hospital. 
In fact, I do believe the Press Herald's big headline that July day was BIRDMAN LIVES!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Blue Pitcher

It sits on our kitchen windowsill catching the morning rays of sun. The rays are needed too, because it's 1º F right now outside that window. Big time brrrrrr out there today. I mentioned in September that we stopped by the Mustard House, an old cape converted into a gift shop, and this blue pitcher caught my eye. It stands just 5 inches high, but I liked and grabbed it. During my many visits in the winter to my grandparents' house, I'd sit in the big, overstuffed chair by the window and watch the people slide down the big hill across the street on their sleds. It was fascinating; it captured my attention for hours, as kids and grownups maneuvered their way to the bottom. I was too small to try it myself, so I sat and watched mesmerized. I had company too. On her front windowsill, Nana had a small, glass swan with a swooping neck. It contained some sort of liquid in its base that would ride up the neck and change colors to tell the weather outside. When cold and storming weather was forecast, the neck would turn a subtle blue. It was intriguing to me that a lil' blue swan could beat the weatherman at his game.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Horse Farm

I call this the horse farm on outer Stroudwater Street heading into the city. I have no real idea what a horse farm is or if there is any such thing in Maine. I know one thing for a fact though. There are horses housed in that barn. I've seen them all year long, as I drive by on this stretch of road. In the winter, it's a lot of fun traveling by and seeing them dancing, prancing and galloping across a field of white, and if it happens to snowing... well, my! If you told me Robert Frost wrote "The Runaway", while parked here for a spell, I'd believe you. Now, I'm not a big horse guy, but it always brings a grin of satisfaction in winter, when I see them playing in this field. As we travel down this road called life, aren't some of the simplest things the most pleasure-packed? They are for me.
'Sakes, it's only weather.'

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I Resolve

Did you make resolutions last night? I did. I really don't know why though, because I, like many others, break them within two weeks. However, when I set my mind to something, I can get a lot accomplished. I'm just better off starting in March or April sometime. There's not a lot of pressure then. So here are my latest can't miss resolutions for the upcoming year:
1. Gain 20 pounds!
2. Smoke a pack of Camels a day!
3. Fire my personal trainer!
4. Get myself into more stressful situations!
5. Get in debt!
6. Drive myself to drink!
7. Leave my desk just the way it is!
8. Eat more fried foods!
9. Spend all my money!
10. Barricade myself in my fortress. See no one!

Can I keep them all? Stay tuned!