Saturday, June 27, 2015

Home again

I ended up not taking my laptop up to Maine with me this year. I knew that if I took it, I would be buried in it, editing photos or wasting time online and not spending time with my friends. So I left it home, posted once or twice on Facebook while I was gone, and basically stayed off the grid for the 8 days I was away.

And it was marvelous. We stayed in the coolest place, the weather was perfect (even when it rained), and we ate lobster and all kinds of great food, even finding a new and fantastic restaurant right near our rental.


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The first thing I did was to head up to Cadillac Mountain to be close to my husband. This is the view looking down onto Bar Harbor.


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And this is the view from our rental cottage. I was shocked to find, upon arrival, that the mountains were this close. They looked much further away on the online photos. So this was a great surprise.


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I am fairly certain that this is a broad-winged hawk. The island had several of them and this tree seemed to be their favorite perch as it was the highest.


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Cadillac Mountain in the clouds on a rainy day. We never minded the rain. It was a good excuse to drink sherry by the fire and read a good book.


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My seat by the fireplace.


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A field of daisies taken along Point Road in Hancock.


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George was the happiest I’ve seen him in a long time.


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Our rental cottage. It sits on the rocky ledge at the tip of Ford Island and is the only house on the 3-acre property. It’s owned by a family who runs a lobster pound. The house is accessible by a bridge that runs from the parking area over the water and up and around the length of the island. I’ve got a photo below that shows a section of the walkway with the house on the right, through the trees.

I was going to review the house but this is their last year of renting it out. The owner told my friends that he’s been renting it for 25 years and he’s going to be moving into it. I believe it’s open one more week this summer in late August. It is a fantastic place that I highly recommend. It might be available this fall too, but I’m not sure.

Surfside Cottage

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I ventured out by myself several times, once to visit my friends, Lili & Henri Vansluys who live in nearby Sorrento. I took this photo at the lookout spot along Rte. 1 between Sullivan and Gouldsboro.


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Cool-looking sky at Schoodic Point. Mount Desert Island in the background.


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I had a picnic lunch at Prospect Harbor.


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Prospect Point Lighthouse.

I had hoped to get a few photos so that I could sell them through the gallery and on my etsy site. And I think I may have realized my goal.

It was a vacation worth waiting for. Good to be home, but I wish I was still in Maine ~


Thanks for stopping by today.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Wake up mama, turn your lamp down low

I just finished reading The Scottish Prisoner and was wondering why on earth I was so melancholy. And then I realized that it was because the book was finished and I hadn’t wanted it to end. Earlier this year, I discovered the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I’d heard about it years ago but dismissed it, thinking it it had something to do with that old Highlander TV series and I just wasn’t interested.

This turned out to be a good thing, in the end. I’d shut the internet off to the house (it’s a long story involving my son) and while it was off, I needed something to do and decided reading would be best. So on the advice of a friend, I downloaded Outlander to my Kindle. By the time the book got to Scotland in 1743, I was totally hooked. And then, about two thirds through the first book, I discovered there was an entire TV series on Starz. And so began my obsession. Since February, I’ve read all of the books and, just for kicks the other day, decided to read one of the Lord John Grey books. He was a minor character in the Outlander series, showing up in nearly every book save the first.

Are you asleep yet?

Well, wake up! I promise I’ll stop talking about Outlander. I have some photos to share, all taken with my cell phone.


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I shot this through the window of a charter bus, rented by our school for a faculty trip after the year finished up. We were heading through Amish country to Strasburg Railroad in nearby Pennsylvania.


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We had tickets for lunch in a private dining car and later on, a tour of the mechanical shop.


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The view from my table as the train began to chug along through the countryside.


We were served a lovely meal as the train slowly made its way east . . . then stopped and went back the other way. It was fun and everyone was in high spirits (which might have had only a little to do with the fact that someone brought a couple boxes of wine along). It was not me but I thought it was a good idea.

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The trip was nearly two weeks ago and ever since, I’ve been busy clearing out the old school year and beginning to gear up for the new. People are always surprised that there’s much of anything to do at a school in the summer but there are a million things. And I’ve got a deadline, set by myself, to have so much done by this Thursday. Because on Friday . . .


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I leave for Maine!

Long-time readers of this blog know how much I love coastal Maine and this year, I’ve rented a house with a couple of friends on a small island that’s only accessible by footbridge. My friends have the place for two weeks so are already there. And George is with them. My dog is on vacation without me! Anyway, I plan on taking my laptop and hopefully posting from there. Hope you’ll come back to see the photos.

Thanks for stopping by today ~

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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Hello yet again

I am having a huge issue with Blogger vs. Windows Live Writer. From what I've been able to discover, it's a Microsoft issue and Twitter blew up over it just a few days ago. Until I get it figured it, I'm trying to post directly through Blogger, something I haven't done in years, so bear with me!

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It goes without saying that I haven’t been putting myself out there in blogland lately, but there . . . I’ve said it regardless. I’m not going to apologize but I will admit wholeheartedly that I’ve missed you. I’ve missed your kind words and your visits to this space and I’ve especially missed writing. I really have been busy and I don’t think there was a single weekend, until this one, that I’ve actually been home.

Earlier this month, I was in Massachusettes for my youngest niece’s graduation from Smith College.

It was beautiful. The weather was perfect and spirits were high. And it was such a pleasure being with my family. I’m sure they are still waiting on the photos I took that weekend but I haven’t had much time to work on them. Excuses, excuses.

My computer is running a bit slow and it’s taken me over an hour so far to edit the few photos I took this morning, then to open my blog writing program (Windows Live Writer). I ended up having to shut down once.

I’m afraid the writing is on the wall with this laptop. I’ve had it since August 2010 but I’m not going to say anything out loud for fear that it will hear me. I’m like that with machines ~

My niece on her graduation day. I have such high hopes for her future. She graduated with honors and has a great job lined up, a new apartment, and a new life away from her long years of study. So glad for her.
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Last weekend, I visited friends in NJ and then went to a barbecue at Helen & Bob’s. Helen is my husband’s sister. My son (the one who lives in NYC) came down for the weekend and it was so great to see him again.

And look who is getting so big!

Baby M turned two in March and I think it’s time to stop calling her Baby M on this blog. Her name is Maddie and her new bff is my eldest son, who she calls “Unca Matt”.

Blowing bubbles with Unca Matt.

Maddie’s mother. My lovely niece, Kim.

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This morning my alarm went off at 5:48 AM like it was a work day. At first, I was very upset because I was certain that my work week had ended but I guessed that I was wrong. Then I quickly realized it was Saturday but now couldn’t fall back to sleep. So I came downstairs, put on the coffee, and then opened the front door to let in Miss Blackie, who had spent the night camping outside.

And zoom . . . from behind me raced Kitten Kitten. Oh, holy heavens. I’d let my son’s cat outside.

This is the first time the cat has gone outside without being constrained. I think it’s silly, quite frankly. The cat belongs to my youngest son (the one who lives here with me) and I believe he’s afraid that the cat will run up one of the giant trees on the property and not be able to get down. My opinion is that it’s a cat. If they run up a tree, they’ll eventually come down when they get hungry. But my son doesn’t really listen to me.

I fretted for a little bit, especially after the damn thing promptly ran up one of the big trees on the property. I’m not kidding. Then I decided to relax about it and went inside to get the camera. By the time I’d popped on the long lens and came back outside, the cat was making its way back down the tree. All was well.

As you can tell from the photo above, I still haven’t addressed all of the weeds on that are growing between the bricks of the back patio. I have most of it done but the cats preferred to stay on that weedy section of it for this morning’s photo shoot.

* snort *

As you can also see, I still have pansies and johnny jumps in my planters. This is something else I need to address this weekend.

My best buddy.

 Kitty poser.

I finally got the kitty back into the house although he yowled with displeasure at this affront to his freedom.

I really think he can go outside from now on, though. My son is just being over-protective.

 My goal for this weekend: Clearing out this weed garden, putting in my husband’s giant aloe plant tubs and planting shade flowers around it. I have been meaning to do this all month and finally have set some time aside for this task. Wish me luck, ok?

So good to see you again. Thanks for taking the time to visit me here ~

Hello again

I have just written an entire new post using the program I have always used for this blog called Windows Live Writer. Perhaps because I've not posted in so long, my account went stale. I don't freaking now. What I do know is that I've spent a good two hours working on photos on this old laptop and when I went to hit publish, Blogger returned the error to WLW that I am not found. I give up. I have things to do. Just know that I'm still alive.

So exasperating.

Apparently, it is a Microsoft issue and twitter blew up mid-week over it. Thousands of people have been affected. I'm going to try to attempt to write directly into Blogger. Annoying because the reason I use WLW is the freedom I have with my photo size and position. Blogger does not have this.


Monday, April 27, 2015

Another week on the hill

Oh, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? It’s chilly here in Maryland as I write on this Monday evening while watching the news. The local news has been on an extended version due to the looting and rioting going on in Baltimore. It is disgusting and I am finally changing the channel.

Our weather here began taking a turn for the cold over a week ago after several days of quite warm weather that forced all the blooms to burst forth on redbuds, dogwoods, lavender, and spring bulbs. It’s been kind of interesting because all these blooms have stayed lovely and not wilted in the heat.

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The fountain at Logan Square in Philadelphia.

Last weekend, I attended a National Geographic photography workshop that was sponsored by B&H Photo. It was held at the Museum of Art & Sciences in Philadelphia, on Logan Square. The one thing I took from this workshop is that I basically suck as a photographer. But I’m sure that wasn’t the presenter’s intention. It sure as hell isn’t going to stop me taking pictures and editing them using my archaic knowledge that doesn’t include Lightroom and/or advanced methods of photo storage. A lot of what was discussed went over my head and I sat in the front row, taking notes, and wondering at one point if I was the stupidest person in the room. And then someone raised their hand and asked a question and I realized that I was not. Thank God – a kindred spirit, and probably many more who were also in that room but afraid to raise their hand and speak.


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I came out of it with some good advice however, some good tips, and a few things I already knew. Met some friends for lunch (read: drinks) afterward on that warm and beautiful day in Philly.


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I shot this from the back seat of my friend’s car window within the split second that I saw it. I want to go back and find this place again and while I’m there, to find other really old structures like this. Buildings were formed around this tiny old place. Look at the brick and the slates on the roof. It’s got to date from the 1700’s.

Sounds like a photo expedition to me. Could be fun, too.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch . . .


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My best friend sits at the edge of the patio.


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A black-capped chickadee waits its turn at the feeders.


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A robin gathers nesting material.

This was a rare capture for me, and my favorite of all the images here.

I took several of this bird as it came back and forth with different colored grasses but it was this one that had all the right colors, the best bokeh, and that distinctive spotted red breast.


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A white-throated sparrow at my pretty pottery feeder.


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And a mockingbird alights in the dogwood tree.

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A work crew showed up this weekend to take down the old and dilapidated fence line that runs all around the old paddock area in front of the red barn at the edge of the woods. Although I’m glad to see that old fence gone, in a way I’m going to miss it. When we moved here, my husband did his best to shore it back up and he’d erected several bluebird boxes along its length. I am going to miss this.

But things change. And that’s all there is to it.

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

You friend that hasn’t forgotten you ~

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