Thursday, April 30, 2015
On Saturday, we left Oviedo in a light shower and headed for the coast, but by the time we had settled into our chairs on Cocoa Beach, the sun was peaking through clouds and it had turned hot. Now a 'yellow flag' flying at a lifeguard stand in Florida means moderate hazard. Usually speaking, this is an indication of surf conditions, but this day it meant just a wee bit more. Next to us, near a stretch of boardwalk, was a group of older guys selling woven palms and roses and taking on an 18 pack of Colt 45s. Beer not the gun. The most vocal of the guys kept us smilin' for hours. Here's a few of his profound thoughts (note lots of slurring of words and f-bombs):
"Beer's cheaper at Winn-Dixie. No doubt about it... I like this 100.3 light rock station. But who the heck is this John Tesh though... It's hot. Want a piece of KFC? I got a whole pizza too... in my backpack. Bought it for a couple of f&%*en homeless chicks, but even they didn't want it...hahahaha... It's not that great... Really. Listen to this. Last night there was this crazy broad with a camera photographing the sky. No stars or moon out. She's just snappin' away... at the street lamp. I'm sayin' what are ya doin'? She says takin' pictures. I say no, what are you f*^#ken doing? I'm doing some K2, but I want some of what you're 'doing'. hahahaha... Pictures in black of night with a flash... Last night... Life's amazing! I'm 48. I've got two grand kids... Believe it... I won't see their kids. Won't live that long... Believe it! (starts singing along with radio ) 'You are so beautiful to me. Don'tcha see...' I'm so hot. Hey, can I buy you a beer? Funny story. True though. Last night... I was thinkin' who's my biggest enemy in the whole world? I'm lookin' at my beer bottle. True story. Honest. No, I WON'T Shut up!"
There was more.
He talked non-stop for over 2 hours.
Occasionally, I'd glance over at Elenka.
She'd be smiling.
The guy had an opinion about everything under the sun.
After our visit to the beach, we needed a vacation.
We stopped for a DQ.
After ALL the 'entertainment', I needed a blizzard!
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
We deserved it!
After surviving a winter like we just did a little R&R seemed like a mighty fine idea. So, we just returned from a week amid the sunny and warm weather of central Florida and some of her East Coast beaches. Over the next few days, I'll share some of the sights I encountered. We had never been to Daytona Beach. That can now officially be crossed off our places to visit. It was a day of viewing great looking cars riding the sands, and lots beach sightings ending with some beverages and seafood on a pier.
Three's a charm.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
"Cliche". I like saying it. "Cliche".
What goes around, comes around.
Time will tell.
All's well that ends well.
As old as the hills.
The writing is on the wall.
Haste makes waste.
Fall head over heals.
All that glitters is not gold.
Laughter is the best medicine.
Read between the lines.
In Maine, this photograph is a cliche.
Do you have a favorite cliche?
Monday, April 27, 2015
From time to time, we all need a little 'shine' to light the way home.
Sunday, April 26, 2015
There it's out.
There was a time, like Ponyboy in The Outsiders, that I was a 'Pepsi-fiend'. I really thought I couldn't go a day without one or two. In my pimpsqueak or is it pipsqueak days, Dad would take me to the Friday night Portland Expo basketball doubleheaders. After the games, he'd drag me across the street to Terroni's Market for a bag of chips and a Pepsi-Cola. It was one of my highlites of my 'alone time' with Dad. I loved that! Now, my diet life began with Tab. Remember Tab? Maybe the first diet soda. These days my tastes have changed. Life does that to us. Coffee, iced coffee, iced tea with lemon or a tall glass of cold water are often my drinks of choice these days. Recently, I've even caught myself sampling some of the low-cal fruity drinks at the mini-mart at the top of our road. I do have some guilty pleasures: bottles of Diet Mountain Dew (Do the Dew!) and Diet Dr. Pepper (I'm a Pepper!) have crossed my lips from time to time. Earlier, when I was working the Pepsi machine got plenty of my quarters. It was the only 'game in town' as they say. But I tired of the same old, same old. I begged them to change over to Coke, just for a change. No dice. So I cut WAY back on my soft drink consumption and that turned out to be a very healthy decision for me.
So life moves forward.
Hopefully for the better.
You see, I have some unfinished painting left to do this spring.
I'll probably need a tall, refreshing drink to quench my thirst.
I might choose a soft drink.
btw In these parts we call it 'soda'.
What do you call it?
Saturday, April 25, 2015
When you construct stonewalls in New England you do it without and adhesive or concrete to hold the rocks together. The post of rocks here looks to be held up by some cement. Even the best of wall builders would have a task upon their hands if they tried to keep these round rocks at the crown from rolling about. We've got a few stonewalls running about up back on property. Not pretty. Just boulders stacked upon boulders. Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done.
Friday, April 24, 2015
Afternoon clouds begin to coverup an early spring day. I stated a while ago that earlier this month we stayed the weekend at The Berry Manor Inn in Rockland. This is the look next door seen through our glass bathroom window. I was struck by what the camera saw against the grey-slate sky. Really, this image doesn't do the scene justice. Nice cupola. Nice weathervane. Both found often in this state near water locations. I've really enjoyed both our visits to this bed and breakfast. One reason why is that the second floor brings forth such vivid memories of our house on Coyle Street. The big windows, the woodwork and all the bedrooms leading from the large second floor landing. Here's an interesting piece of history found in our room. There is a framed 'portrait' (under glass) of a piece of old wallpaper that was actually signed by the paper hanger: E. Heckbert, May 25, 1899 the day he was wallpapering our room. I find it quite amazing that a paper hanger would actually sign his 'work'.
What could I sign?
Maybe a check.
That's about it.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
On Washington Avenue, I was older and in summer almost daily ventured up the stairs in the old, musty smelling barn. Dad stored boxes and boxes of remnants of his WW2 experiences on the floor there. There were uniforms with medals, old newspapers highlighting the end of the war, stacks of old books, discarded furniture and one mighty 'find' for me. Two books of Bill Mauldin cartoons featuring the mud-covered Willie and Joe soldiers.
I thought they were so cool.
Now, if the black crows weren't forever coming through the broken windows, I'd probably still be sitting on the floor.
They scared the heck out of me, flappin' about.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Thank you Elenka for your Mr. Man, as in snow.
With apologies to Harold Arlen (1905-1986) composer of all the songs in The Wizard of Oz (1939 film), I'll just end with this today. A slightly abridged version of this classic: "Ding Dong! The Witch's Dead".
"Ding Dong! The Winter's Dead.
Which old Winter?
The Wicked Winter!
Wake up- sleepy head, rub your eyes,
get out of bed.
Wake up, the Wicked Winter's Dead..."
Are you singing along?
I can't hear you.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
You'll find the small town of St. George, Maine nestled along side the villages of Tenants Harbor and Port Clyde. When we take off on one of our 'adventures', I love to get lost in places I rarely visit. There are just loads of these villages sprinkled along the coast Downeast. Each pretty much has just a few staples: a post office, library, diner/restaurant, fire station, a church or two and some aspect of what you might call a town hall. If you are familiar with the legend of St. George and the Dragon, you'll probably recognize the saint atop his steed seen here. The dragon is off to the side and looks to be in worst condition then the armored saint. Propped on the lawn of the fire station, I'm sure in summer he gets a lot of attention from small tourists and such.
This late winter afternoon, I had to give him his close-up.
I had him all to myself.
Monday, April 20, 2015
I'm thinking July today.
Well, if you are planning on coming to Maine this summer, somewhere in your travels you'll probably be talked into sitting down and sampling a Maine lobster or two. Or perhaps, you've been with us before, and you'll be drawn to renew your love affair with this delicious crustacean. Whichever is the case. Whether it's a fine seafood restaurant or a friend or relative's dining room table, there are a few things to remember. First, if you are spleeny, don't watch them slide into the boiling cauldron. Hot. Hot. Hot. Next, when it hits your plate, have plenty of melted butter ready to apply. Moving right along... Wear the bib. It'll save you the aggravation of removing stains after the repast. Lobsters come in either soft or hard shell depending on the time of year. If you are tackling a hard shell, have some 'tools of the trade' (lobster crackers) at the ready. The best and most meat lies hidden in the claws and tail. Don't give these away. Now, one last important item, know that the delicious meal you are eating was pulled from the deep, briny sea by a busting his back lobsterman on a beat-up boat like the Amy & Sarah.
It doesn't look like much.
But oh, what a meal she brings!
Oh, there's a bit of melted butter dripping off your chin.
Sunday, April 19, 2015
I sure do.
I was at the Portland Club with Elenka and our families. Now, I know where Judith, Anthony, Marchin, Joanne, Connie, Irv, Joe, Candy, Vera, Lisa, Anna Marie, Patty, Peter, Tom, Charlie, Judy, John, Irene, David, Jennifer, Susan, Lisa, Ron, Joy, Peter, Gina, Steve, our parents, grandparents and many, many other friends and family were. It was a long-awaited, memorable evening. The next morning we were off to Bermuda and the rest of our life together.
But where were you?
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Funny thing about junk.
At one time, junk seemed so valuable.
Time tends to alter, at one time, invaluable sentimental items.
How does sentimental become garage sale fodder so fast?
Time just ain't hours, minutes and days.
There's something else at play here.
Friday, April 17, 2015
The snow is off the deck.
The grill is near firing up.
However, a blanket of white still covers the garden.
Birdhouses are being hung.
Fertilizer being spread.
The lawn tractor is getting a tune-up.
Things are looking up.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
There was a time when I felt I had no limits, but Mom and Dad reined me in. The 'outer' limits probably wouldn't have been my best choice anyway. I remember when I was about 14, Mom asked what my future plans were going to be. I looked at her right in the face and and said, "Make me a bologna sandwich and watch The Price Is Right'. I was pretty naive back then. I guess we all were. Luckily I had a plan and got my act together. Now, I'm sitting back and wondering where does time go. How did I get here so fast. The other day, Elenka asked me to check the expiration date on a bottle of soy sauce in the fridge: 'Best used by March 2016' it read. I just hope my 'date' is quite a few years beyond that. I feel pretty good, but in this world we all know our 'conclusion' could meet up with us at any time.
'Watch those speed limits' I guess is a good mantra to follow. The last time I got a ticket for exceeding the limit was about ten years ago.
Sunday morning 6 AM.
On my way to get the paper and a coffee.
Driving Elenka's Maxima.
65 in a 50.
I blamed it on her.
"Your car is just too darn fast."
Got no sympathy.
I paid the fine.
Mind your limits.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Did you know that owls don't build nests?
Most often, they take over (steal) nests that other birds have built.
Not very nice.
But I'm not going to debate that fact, if I ever come across one face to face.
They will attack!
"Nice nest you've got there."
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
There, I've said it.
Believe it or not, my love affair with seafood began with those nasty, frozen fish sticks on Friday nights on Stevens Avenue. Growing up, at our once a month night out at the The Village Cafe or the Sportsman's Grill (long gone), I always seemed to gravitate towards their fried clams. Let me be brutally honest here. Before The Village closed a few years back, I probably sampled their cuisine hundreds of times, and I can truly say that
their renowned fried clams in batter was the ONLY thing I ever ordered. Kinda sad too, because I heard that their Italian entrees were scrumptious. Friday's menu, in the dorm at college, always featured fish in multiple displays. I loved it. I sampled everything. These days clams, mussels, crabs, lobstah, scallops, shrimp, tuna haddock, salmon and I could go on and on are all welcomed on my plate. And I'm not partial to Fridays anymore. I'll dine on seafood 8 days a week. This boy is not proud. However I do, it's sad to say, monitor my 'fried' intake. I could do better... I'm trying.
Our 'go to take out' used to be the Clam Bake on Pine Point Road.
However, these days Ken's Place, just down the road aways, is where you'll find us.
We always 'hit' it in early May before the influx.
"Make mine fried clams in batter, please"
I LOVE seafood.
Did I tell you that?
Footnote to life: Where did Elenka and I go on our first date?
If you said The Village, take a bow.
What did I have?
If you said fried clams in batter, take another.
Monday, April 13, 2015
It was a great time.
Traveling along the 'blue highways'.
The names were wonderful too.
Names like this never get old.
Just say it.
*don't pronounce the 'L" though.
Sunday, April 12, 2015
I'm drawn to them.
Be it one of the largest sprawling sites in New England or a small one lost on a country road hemmed in with a white picket fence. As you can see by this image, there's still a lot of brown around, but white is fading away. We might get a spring yet. Here's hoping.
Saturday, April 11, 2015
Getting a bit anxious to turn some soil.
And that no chicken sh%t.
Friday, April 10, 2015
It's just like being in a penny candy shop. Where do I start?
From New England covered bridges in autumn, large sailing vessels tossed upon seas, celebrity faces, interstellar images, iconic sports photos, classic album covers like the Beatles and Pink Floyd, famous art reproductions, pictures of old TV shows, animals domestic and exotic, fancy race cars to candy wrappers and on and on and on. Name the subject and you can find jigsaw puzzles on the topic. I guess they are still pretty big today. Back a ways, Mom always had one set up in the den that she worked on, and on school snow days, she always seemed to want to get one up and running. She and her friends would pass them around. I never saw the draw the way she did. Her cousin Beverly, in Florida, did them constantly and would have them laminated and hung throughout her house. I thought that rather strange.
Puzzling to say the least.
"Get the edges done first", Mom would say.
To me, they always seemed a bit overwhelming.
The cover screamed at me.
However, I was always good getting those last ten pieces in their places.
Now, that was fun.
Thursday, April 9, 2015
Someone chuckled last week when I mentioned that in Maine April is a winter month. Well, all I can say is what do you call it when on April 9 you wake to 3 inches of wet, disgusting snow?
I say, "C'mon, Man!"
Want to understand why they call it the cruelest month of the twelve? Take a long look at what I'm dealing with this morning. I know what did it. Yesterday, with plenty of brown grass peeking stems for me to see, I went out and foolishly bought two bags of fertilizer for the lawn.
There! I cursed myself. That'll teach me not to be too over-confident.
Maybe is was that 'snowy' owl's fault. Can I lay some blame there?
Light drizzle is falling now.
Today's 'deposit' won't last too long.
Off in the distance, I hear Elvis.
"Don't Be Cruel".
Just a couple of questions left then.
Do you want cheese on your burger?
How many hotdogs?
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
It's a plane.
No, it's a bird.
Of course, it's a snowy owl! Now because millions who read this blog wanted to see it. Ta Da! After all the winter weather this year did you think we might be trying to track down a summer owl of sorts? As related yesterday, we had just about given up our quest for a sighting at Biddeford Pool, when heading out along a road traversing the marsh with a few summer beach houses, we spotted it atop a house. Pretty cool. We had it all to ourselves for about 10 minutes. Over the last 4-5 years, there's been a bit of invasion of these birds in Maine. Increasing populations and a lack of food has driven them south in the winter. I read recently that they have even been spotted as far south as Georgia and Florida in recent years. This one was probably searching the nearby marsh area for rodents, small mammals or sea birds.
My work is done here.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Our breakfasts, each morning, were wonderful and set us up for our days.
Want some relaxed luxury in DownEast Maine?
May I recommend the Berry Manor Inn and its 'elegance and grandeur of the Victorian era'.
Innkeepers Cheryl and Mike and Room 2 will treat you right!
Monday, April 6, 2015
I had a couple of gloves growing up. This was one of them, an early version, a Wilson Al Kaline autographed infielder's mit. Later, somewhere in Little League I got another. It was much more yellow in color, and I think it was a Jimmy Piersall (still holds a Sox record for 6 hits in a 9 inning game) outfield model. He played centerfield for the Red Sox back in the 50's with Williams and Jackie Jensen on either side and was a certifiable nut case. Whoooops. I shouldn't use that term these days, but if you've ever seen his life story "Fear Strikes Out" starring Anthony Perkins you'd know what I was talking about. Side note here: Marchin and I got his autograph for real at our local A&P grocery store one afternoon. He was a spokesperson for Cain's Mayonnaise, if you can believe it. He was sort of a baseball folk hero of mine. I loved how he displayed reckless abandon while patrolling center. He must have been good. He achieved two Gold Glove Awards. If you know anything about baseball and the Sox, right about now you're probably saying something along the lines of Piersall? Is he crazy? Birdman, not Piersall, that is. Growing up, I had my favorites who I followed. And for the most part they were of the eclectic and obscure sort.
Don't get me going on Dalton Jones.
Sox open today against the Phillies.
Let's hope they are straightened out and ready to play.
2012 Last Place... long summer.
2013 World Series Champs!
2014 Last Place... long summer.
Get the picture?
In his autobiography, Piersall commented, "Probably the best thing that ever happened to me was going nuts. Who ever heard of Jimmy Piersall, until that happened?"
Sunday, April 5, 2015
Most of my images are taken with a Nikon camera not a cell. But I have weaknesses too. Last evening we had dinner at In Good Company on the road. Most days and nights when I'm out on the town, I'm not luggin' the big camera. I'm not one who likes to photograph my food either. I picture my friends and guests and pieces of the interesting eating environment. Last evening Elenka dined on some kind of green salad, raisins, warm blue cheese, and crostini. She also had a side of deviled eggs. The entree was delicious, but what caught my eye was what was in my line of sight over her shoulder in the doorway. That's it. That's all. Well, the arm, the plant, the lights, the handle the entrance, the yellow. Oh yes, and all the murmuring of conversations about the room. Delightful. Me? Sure. I had some sort of scallops on a plate of stringed squash and a sprinkling of green beans. Delicious also.
Happy Easter to all!
Hope to bite off the 'head of a chocolate bunny' soon!
Keep all jelly beans away from me too!
Especially the black ones.
Later, 'annie's mom' is doing the Easter ham.
Later still, I will be settling in to view episode one of the FINAL season of MadMen.
Now, that'll be a day.
I'll be beat.
Saturday, April 4, 2015
Hey, it was a long winter around here. Things disappear. Others appear after the snow lifts. I came across these down on Commercial Street. All I can say is it must have been a 'hard night's night'. Spring is a time for new beginnings. New starts. Lose weight. New relationships. Start running. Take classes. Join a gym. New car. Go on a cruise. Buy a house. Often, what we come across on a whim can change our lives forever... or at least head us in a new direction that bodes well for one down the road.
So Cinderella, get yourself a whole new you!
I'd start with a new pair of shoes, Cindy.
"I can call you Cindy, right?"
Friday, April 3, 2015
Searching for customers...
These retro-looking metal kitchen tables seem cast right out of the 50's and look at home amid the wifi and cell technology of today. A perfect blend? Not so fast. That might be part of this place's downfall. The Merry Table Creperie, a small bistro, on Wharf Street was a lonely place when we visited on a cool fall afternoon. This gent was the sole inhabitant of the restaurant besides us, and he was in no real hurry to order any food. Lost in a texting frenzy. Later, a couple of gentlemen cozied up to the bar and ordered martinis, but that was about it. I do believe the establishment has closed over the killer winter and based on our experience, I'm not surprised. Opening restaurants is a tough business. You've got to put fannies at these tables. I checked it out online. Each of these vintage-like tables go for about $400. There were about 15 scattered about. The chairs cost about $250 per. At 3-4 per table that adds up.
In my retirement, I don't plan to open a little, cute 'hole-in-the-wall diner near the water.
Making it in the food service world is pretty competitive and cut-throat.
I'll leave that aggravation to someone else.
I'll visit, but not attempt to run.
Nice walls though.
Thursday, April 2, 2015
For the last couple of years, Elenka has made her late winter calendar move a bit quicker by occupying herself with 'bird watching' in Iowa. No, you don't have to go back and read that last sentence over. You heard me right. Bird watching. Iowa. Eagle nest viewing to be more specific. The Decorah Eagles webcam. Have you heard of it? I must admit. It is quite mesmerizing to watch. As of this morning there are two baby eaglets born last week wiggling around in the nest and one last egg awaiting a 'piping'. So why are we looking at a photo of the Portland International Jetport this morning? Well, you see she's had so much fun tracking the eagles over the last few years that this winter she added a Great Horned Owl cam on Skidaway Island, Georgia to her rapt viewing repertoire. I must admit she got me hooked on that owl cam thing. The two baby owlets were a riot goofing around, flapping their wings and 'branching out'. But why the Jetport? Well, there have been snowy owl sighting there and in an area near Biddeford Pool to the south.
So tomorrow morning we are heading off on a snowy owl hunt. I'll be chauffeuring, and she'll be manning the binoculars.
Ha! While the rest of her family is enjoying an Easter in sunny, hot Florida (86 today), we'll be out chasing snowy owls in 40 degree weather and the chance of rain.
What's wrong with this picture?
A hunting we will go...
The things I do.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
And now a bit of music to go with the hat:
Check out Lucinda Williams new CD,"Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone".
This gal can write!
Also: my buddy Dwight Yoakam's new one hits stores April 15th, "Second-Hand Heart".
They'll both be playing in my truck soon.