Saturday, August 1, 2015

Pictures from my new phone

It has been too long. Yes, I know this. But I have been wanting to write and to share my photos with you and I believe it’s high time I did. July is not my favorite month, but August is worse. I am not a summer person – the heat wilts me but I am blessed to have air conditioning.

My phone was due for an upgrade and ever since doing a routine software update a few months ago for my Samsung Galaxy, it had been running weird, half my apps didn’t work, and I kept saying that I was going to just get an iPhone. All of my iPhone friends and all of my sisters have been asking me what was stopping me. I have never been an iPerson is why but after getting my first iPhone last week, I don’t know why not. Because I love it.

I especially love the camera in the iPhone 6 and all of the photos here were taken with it.

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This was the first picture I took with the new phone – of my living room in the early morning light last Saturday. It would have been nice had I vacuumed the rug but I opened up this one in PS and cloned out the chunk of dog hair that was on the rug.

* snort *

No. I really did.

 

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This is my sweet grand-niece, Colleen Elle, who I met last Sunday for the first time.

Lovely lovely little girl.

 

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And this is a dog who was caught trying to pull his shark stuffed animal from the wash pile.

After this was taken and the wash hung on the line, I spent the better part of the day scrubbing my kitchen floor. This is a huge job and one that would have taken me half the time in my younger years. I do try to keep my floor clean, but every couple of years or so, I scrub off all the old finish product and all the dirt that forms in the little crevices. On my hands and needs. And when it’s dry, I apply Pledge Floor Finish. A clean kitchen floor is happiness.

But then so is a good cocktail. A good movie. Jamie Fraser in a kilt. And a number of other assorted things.

 

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My clean kitchen floor.

Because I am just so certain you wanted to see it.

(not)

 

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It rained the other day. I came home from a long workday, angry for some reason or other. I know what the reasons are, but I just don’t want to share them. So I sat and read in my living room (which is not air-conditioned, by the way). I asked my son to put a unit in the window and he never did. It’s in a difficult area to install. After three times, I stopped asking and ended up realizing that I don’t really need it. I am sitting in here now and it is not bad at all even though it’s 88 degrees outside. Plus, not using it really cuts down on the electric bill. Anyway, back to the story which really isn’t even a story.

The sun suddenly came out.

I went outside and saw this picture you see above. Underneath the trees, it looked as if the rain was still gently falling. And I thought it was beautiful.

 

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This is the same scene, after using the Waterlogue app.

"I remember every moment, every second. I’ll never forget when I came out of the church and saw you for the first time. It was as if I stepped outside on a cloudy day, and suddenly the sun came out." - Jamie Fraser, Outlander

Don’t even get me started on Outlander quotes. I am a total geek. One of the file cabinets got stuck at work this week and I pounded on it saying, “Open up, ya wee besom.” I was surprised to hear this come out of my mouth. I hadn’t meant to say it – it just. happened.

 

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And finally, the wee kitty who still has no name. I call him Kitty. Were he mine, I would have named him but he belongs to my son. Kitty comes when he is called. There have been many nights when I have let him out after dinner and before I go to bed, I will call him and he has always come. He is a good cat and very sweet.

I hope your weekend is a good one. I would visit you if you lived closer and had a pool.

ha.

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Sunday, July 5, 2015

Long weekend

It’s been a quiet weekend here at the old manor house on the hill. I was invited to a couple of 4th of July parties but I really just wanted to stay home, although I made a couple of salads to take just in case I changed my mind. Now I have plenty to pack for lunches this week.

I did attend one gathering last Thursday, though. It was a going away party for Beth, a long-time friend and co-worker. She and I became friends when I moved to Maryland in 1996 and our sons met in the 4th grade. She was a substitute teacher at the time and ended up coming to work at our school full-time about 15 years ago. The party was held along Pembrey Beach on the Elk River. I walked out onto the dock at sunset to capture a few photos.

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I tried to photomerge this one and the one below but my program was having nothing to do with it. So I gave up rather than become frustrated. It really was not that important.

 

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The party was nice and it was a good way to say goodbye. Lately I’ve been saying goodbye to some of my favorite co-workers but I have to remember that life is about change. Nothing can stay the same.

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I had the day off on Friday and spent it doing some much-needed chores.

I also had a visitor to the property on Friday evening.

 

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I was walking through the dining room on my way to the kitchen and saw a shape out of the corner of my eye which made me stop. It was a little doe with her nose to the ground. I went back to get my camera and she looked up as I ever-so-quietly opened the door.

 

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And then she bounded away.

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No big plans for the weekend other than getting some chores done, some of which I’m not finished and I keep putting off because I don’t want to do them. I need to get over it, though. They’re outside chores and they involve cutting back masses of vines, a chore that my husband did quite ably. I also have to attack the patio weeds because they are voracious with all the rain we’ve had. I almost want to weed it with my hands but the last time I did that, I had pain for weeks. So this is what getting old feels like!

I bought the ingredients for a spray to combat the weeds (thank you everyone for your suggestions) and plan on using it today if it doesn’t rain again.

 

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This morning, I set up my camp chair and table under the old hickory tree on the front lawn and enjoyed my coffee accompanied by bird song and cool breezes. I had my camera and a pair of binoculars and eventually began to wake up. Sometimes it takes me awhile . . .

George wanted some stick throwing and the cats were exploring as I sipped the delicious brew that began to make me feel more alive. “Thank God for coffee”, I thought, as I reflected on just how lucky I am to be here in this place, watching the bluebirds darting to and fro looking for their breakfast in the tall grass.

 

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Miss Blackie sticks close to home but the younger cat was out and about. He still doesn’t have a name but then, he’s not my cat. He’s my son’s.

My son is the one who should be clearing away the vines. Let’s not even begin that discussion.

 

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I downloaded a book on my Kindle yesterday that’s full of dog tricks, one of which is teaching your pet to put all the toys away into their toybox. When I saw that trick mentioned, I thought “this is the book for me”. George can go and get a toy that he knows by name, but I’ve never been able to figure out how to get him to put all the damn things back into the box and each night before I head up to bed, I’m always putting away his toys. I’ll keep you posted on this trick, as it should be interesting.

Thanks for your kind comments and your visits here. I hope you all are having a nice weekend ~

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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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Sorrento

 

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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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