Sunday, August 30, 2009

More adventures making another YouTube video

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that I had goals for the weekend. The biggest one was to sort out and get clothes ready for school, plus buy some new, which ended up being necessary. But it was a good shopping day that began with going to DSW for a pair of shoes, which I found on the sale rack, and ended up with me getting everything I needed, with most of it on sale.

Another goal was to make a video with some of my photos from Maine and since it was raining off and on all afternoon, I finally worked on that and got it done.

I’d like to warn you that I’m not the best movie maker. I had so many photos I wanted to use and I realize now that I should have had a longer song, or even two songs. But live and learn, as this is only the third YouTube video I’ve ever done. The other two are on my sidebar, where this one will end up after leaving it here for today’s post.

Next up is the video for Mt. Desert Island/Acadia Nat’l. Park. Oy.

Have a beautiful day, all. Until later, my friends . . .

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Along the Great Head Trail, Acadia National Park

I know. It’s been two weeks since I returned from my trip to Maine, yet I still speak of it.

As many of you know, the park was in the news lately after Hurricane Bill passed by the island on its way east and out to sea. This past Sunday, 10,000 spectators descended on the park to witness the spectacle of giant powerful waves crashing against the rocky coastline. And tragically, despite repeated warnings from park officials, 20 people were swept out to sea and a 7-year-old girl died. Several people were hospitalized with injuries including broken bones from being slammed into the rocks.

But two weeks before this, things were quiet on Mt. Desert Island. It was a beautiful, if somewhat cloudy summer day. And my husband and I, along with George, our border collie, hiked along the Great Head Trail.

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This is a trail that I highly recommend. It’s not too difficult for the whole family to do and there are wonderful views of the water. You can pick up the trail at the eastern edge of Sand Beach.

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I’ve been hiking on marked trails all my life, yet this is the first time I’ve ever seen the trail marking done in person. See the two rangers with the paint cans in the photo above? 

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The trail markers guide you over the boulders, keeping you going the right way.

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Many people were standing with us at this view point because there was a lobsterman down below, checking his traps. Just to the right is Sand Beach.

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A gorgeous view of Sand Beach awaits hikers. When I’m up here, I always look to the right, over at The Beehive (the big hill) and say to myself, “I am so glad I’m not hiking on The Beehive. Amen.”

That’s a damn tough hike, with steps of stone and sheer drop-offs, handrails of iron drilled into rock that you climb like a ladder . . . it’s not for the feint-of-heart. But I bet it’s rewarding as anything when you’re standing at the top. I can feel it taunting me from here. Or is that just me?

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But this trail, it’s really nice. It’s about a 2 mile loop and rises above Sand Beach’s eastern side, peaking at Great Head, the easternmost point on the island. At the top of Great Head, 145 feet high, there are the remains of a tower that belonged to Louisa Saterlee and was given to her, along with Sand Beach as a gift by her father, J.P. Morgan. The tower had a salon and a tea room as well as an observatory, but it burnt to the ground during the Great Fire of 1947 and was donated to the park shortly afterwards.

You can see a small section of the crumbling remnants in the photo above, where the rangers are holding the paint cans. I would have taken more photos of it, but it wasn’t until I came home that I read about the tower.

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I don’t often come upon workers re-structuring the trails either, and this crew was doing a great job. The trail gets a lot of traffic on it in August, but we parked down in the parking lot on Schooner Head Rd. and picked up the trail down there, where this work was taking place. It was a nice uphill jaunt, with beautiful vistas along the ocean.

I enjoyed having you along for the walk. Hope you have a good weekend. I have several goals to accomplish and am looking forward to getting them done.

Until later, my friends . . .

Friday, August 28, 2009

Snap out of it

I’m glad that autumn is on its way; I’ve always loved the fall. I’m glad, too, that the teachers are back in the building again. I’ve missed so many of them over the summer. School begins for us on Monday and I think we’re ready for the deluge to begin. My school days start and end with frenzy, and there are constant interruptions and multi-tasking like there’s no tomorrow. I used to handle it all with such aplomb, but lately I almost feel out of step.

I went to the hairdresser today, the one I love. I began going to her last December and have sent clients her way because she is so wonderful. When I returned home from Maine, I called right away to make an appointment for a cut and color, but the only slot available before the end of August would force me to leave work an hour early, which is something that’s looked down on at my school. It would be different if it were a doctor’s appointment, but a hairdresser appointment? Not so much. I made the appointment anyway, and as the time got closer, I realized I didn’t want to ask to leave work an hour early. So I called and cancelled the color, asking only for the cut. I figured I would just buy a box and do it myself (e-gads). But when she saw me, my hairdresser moved her schedule around and that of her assistant, not because my hair looked awful, but because she knew it needed to be done. I hadn’t been to see her since late May and my hair had really begun to go gray.

What she did was completely unexpected. And so much appreciated.

I’ve been feeling sort of quiet inside lately. I don’t have much to say. If Cher was here, she’d tell me to “SNAP OUT OF IT!” (name that movie)

And I will. Some day. But for now, I’ll just leave you with this, because I can’t write a post and not have a picture. It just isn’t me.

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Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Days Of Our Lives. Or, As The Squash Blossom Turns.

Exactly three weeks ago today, I mentioned in this post [link] that we had some sort of squash plant growing from behind one of the azalea bushes out front.

I guessed at the time that it was a pumpkin, and I’m here to let you know that I was right.

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Oh, so very right.

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And then I found another one.

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And another one. Damn, I haven’t been out here in awhile, I guess. Or I just didn’t notice them because I was always checking the bigger one. They just sort of popped out lately.

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And then, lo and behold, I found this one sitting under the bush. And there were two more behind it!

Altogether we have six pumpkins growing from a random vine that resulted from my husband throwing a handful of seeds one day.

And that, folks, is about as exciting as it gets around here most days.

I like it that way, sometimes.

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Now honestly, where else can you come for titillating photos and stories such as this? You know you love the thrill-a-minute that it is here!

Hoping you can contain yourselves until tomorrow, my friends . . .

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Gratitude Campaign. It’s easier than you think.

Someone sent me this wonderful e-mail today and I wanted to share it with you.

The Gratitude Campaign was started as a way for people to say "thank you" quickly and easily to those who serve our country without even having to approach them. I

It’s not about politics.

It’s about service, and sacrifice.

And it’s about gratitude.

And I, for one, am so grateful to all of them.

Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

PS ~ I left a flower for you on [my other blog] today.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Winner of Giveaway announced

Untitled-1 Thanks to all who participated in my Weekend Giveaway! I used the integer generator at Random.Org to choose the winner, and . . . .

. . . drum roll here . . .

#4, Journey is the winner! She will be getting an 8x12 print of Yellow Boat sent to her. I didn’t realize how popular that single print would be.

Raph also gets a print for being my 300th follower. A 10x10 of Seashell will be headed his way. Please e-mail me at with your mailing addresses.

To those of you who inquired as to how to obtain a print if you didn’t win the contest, they are for sale on my Etsy site. However, this Giveaway wasn’t a ploy for me to sell my work. I just like to give things away from time to time, because it’s fun! Those that visit here regularly know this for a fact.

Unfortunately, I had been remiss at keeping my Etsy site updated. While visiting there this evening, to upload these new ones, I saw that all but 5 of my offerings had been deleted because they had expired. Ah, well. Live and learn. I was thinking of letting it go, anyway . . .

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. . . but they all just flew away on their own.

I’m not sure if this is a moth or a butterfly. I’m thinking butterfly because it was resting with both wings down before I shot this with my zoom lens at the birdbath this afternoon. I love that little curly-que under the chin, don’t you?

Do butterflies have chins?

Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

UPDATE: Thanks, Annie, for telling me that it's a tongue! I knew butterflies don't have chins. Annie also let me know that this is a black swallowtail.

Sunset on Barred Island, Maine (and it’s not too late to enter my Giveaway: see post below)

I used my telephoto lens to capture these photos taken last week while vacationing on Deer Isle, Maine. It’s not my favorite lens by a long-shot (ha! get it?) but it’s serviceable. From the rocks at the beach by our cottage, we were able to see Barred Island, which is only accessible at low tide.

This island was previously owned by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and was donated to the Nature Conservancy by his niece, Carolyn Olmsted, in 1969.

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There is a mile-long trail that leads to the little island which offers great views of Penobscot Bay. At the trail-head, the parking area fills very quickly and only has space enough for 8 vehicles.

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Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the beauty first-hand. Pets are completely off-limits on the trail due to the fragile eco-system, and my husband refused to go if the dog couldn’t go. I was tempted to sneak off and see it myself and am sort of chagrined at not having done so.

The one duck in the photo above is giving quite a show, isn’t he?

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A photographer I met through told me that the best place to get sunsets on Deer Isle is the Burnt Cove area. I was glad about this because I was staying right there! This was taken at the peninsula between Burnt Cove and Crockett Cove, where our cottage was located.

It was so peaceful there.

Also adjacent to our cottage was Crockett Cove Woods, a 98-acre preserve, which was donated to the Nature Conservancy in 1975 by famed artist and self-taught architect, Emily Muir. The spruce and fir forest also does not permit pets on the extensive trail system.

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My Giveaway is on until 6 PM Sunday! See the post below to enter.

Until then, my friends . . .

Friday, August 21, 2009

Giveaway! All weekend!

Just over a year after I began this blog, I noticed that you could put a “google follower” on your blog sidebar. So I did. I had a counter (which I rarely check), but I added a follower icon because everyone else had one.

I can hear my mother now, asking me, “well, if everyone else was jumping off the cliff, would you jump off the cliff too?”

I used to tell her, “Yes, of course I would. It would be a thrill.” Not really. Actually, I would hang my head in shame and tell her that I would never jump off a cliff if everyone was doing it. What I really meant was ‘yes, of course I would!’

On Thursday (or that’s when I noticed it), my google follower list hit the 300 mark, thanks to Raph [link] who has an absolutely charming blog. So to honor Raph, my 300th follower, I am hosting a weekend-long giveaway to celebrate! Here’s how to play along:

Leave a comment telling me which photo you would like to own.

Choose from the following, leaving your choice by clicking on the comment button at the bottom of this blog and following the directions. I will draw the winner at 6 PM on Sunday. Here’s what your choices are:

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YELLOW BOAT (12 X 8 print)

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SEASHELL (10 X 10 print)

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DEER ISLE SHORELINE (12 x 8 print)

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DAISY STILL LIFE (10 x 8 print)

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VIBRANT SUNFLOWER (10 x 9 print)

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PINK BEGONIA (8 x 10 print)

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Rules: Make one choice. Leave a comment with your choice. Blog about the contest and get another chance. To get this chance, return to this post and leave the link to your post. (You must follow these directions to get the second chance).

That’s it! I will announce the winner around 9 pm on Sunday night.

Until later, my friends . . .

More than words

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A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.

~ Diane Arbus

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The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been.

~ Madeleine L’Engle

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The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.

~ Amelia Earhart

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I was just out walking around at dusk and I took these for you.

Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

Thursday, August 20, 2009

He travels well

Last week was one of two big road trips for George this summer, and one thing I notice about this dog is that he does travel quite well.

I’ve also noticed that since my husband’s surgery last October we tend to get out and go more than we did before. I think it’s because we realized again how short life can be and that we need to see the things we want to be able to see while we can.

When we were thinking of getting another border collie after our beloved Ralphie passed away, I was the one who always brought up all the cons rather than the pros of acquiring another pet. But we really lucked out with the dog that eventually became a member of our small family. Especially in the travel department.

All he needs is his little doggie suitcase packed for him and some food and he’s good to go.

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This is not his pillow. It’s my husband’s. I didn’t have the heart to take it away from him when I saw him lying on it. And then I realized that my husband had actually put it there for him.

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Yeah, we definitely lucked out with this dog.

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He’s a keeper for sure.

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I loved reading your comments yesterday! It’s great getting to know you better.

I giggled at a few of them:

What are you looking for?

Love ~ in all the wrong places.

My skinny self.

When you travel, what sort of souvenirs do you tend to bring home?

An extra pound or two.

And I got hungry reading about all your best meals!

From a birthday dinner at a beautiful seafood restaurant, to Daryl, who actually e-mailed me a picture of the best meal she’s had recently, I was actually drooling. I read some of them on a break at work, and actually had to eat my lunch early.

But so many of them also touched my heart.

What are you waiting for?

My daughter’s life to click into place, so I can get on with mine.

For my husband to return.

A job.

For the talent to become a portrait photographer. (The talent is there, my friend).

Several wrote that they were waiting for pain to go away.

And one of the best non-solicited compliments: (not that I solicit compliments!)

Kate, you could make a party out of four people and thin air.

~ ~ @ ~ ~ @ ~ ~ @ ~ ~ @ ~ ~ @ ~ ~ @ ~ ~

You guys rock! I wish I could visit you all. There needs to be more hours in the day for that, however. So I will just say thank you. Thanks for coming and making this website worthwhile. So many people out there write and share in the blogosphere and I just want to say I appreciate your company here on my little blog.

Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

PS ~ I woke up this morning to a mailbox full of spam. Someone with the handle of ‘disa’ hit my blog with Asian porn on 188 posts dating back to early 2008. I have enabled word verification. Just a warning.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Good morning to you

I’m writing this post early in the morning, which is something I almost never do. In the morning, I have my coffee and get ready for work, leaving the house early. But last night, the power went out during a storm around 7 pm and didn’t come back on until some time in the middle of the night. When I woke up I thought I was going to be late for work because my clock said 6:38. Oh, my!!

Needless to say, I hustled and got ready and then came down for my coffee only to find that I had actually woken up a full half hour early. I think my husband had reset my clock like this as a little joke on me. Luckily for my husband, I have a good sense of hummer.

So this is why I’m doing a post this morning.

Unfortunately, I really have nothing to say.

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Except good morning.

The photo above was morning for me exactly one week ago while vacationing in Maine. My husband woke me at 6 am and we were packed and out the door by 6:45 for our journey from Deer Isle to the next island to the east of us: Mt. Desert Island, home of Acadia National Park. It was raining when we left the cottage, but the skies were beginning to clear by the time we arrived at the park.

Can you imagine hiking across mountain tops with incredible vistas such as this? It’s just something I love to do. And it’s good for you, too.

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1. What are you looking for?

2. What are you waiting for?

3. When you travel, what sort of souvenirs do you tend to bring home for yourself?

4. What did you have for breakfast today?

5. What is the best meal of the past seven days?

Inquiring minds need to know these things.

See you in the comments, my friends . . .

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Squirrels just wanna have fun.

The squirrels in Maine are a vocal group. The ones near our cottage were a pretty russet color with black stripes down their sides. And they almost sound like birds making their chit-chit-chit noises. Every time they make a chit sound, they change position.

Chit. Look down. Chit. Stretch out. Chit. Change position.

And they drove George to distraction.

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This one was actually trying to get the dog’s attention.

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They see each other. George stands at squirrel point.

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But the squirrel doesn’t know what to do other than to chew his tail. And then he ran away, far up the tree, and bounded onto another branch.

George and I went on our way.

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The following afternoon, while my husband was readying the lahbsta pot and I was out front reading on the deck, George heard the distinctive chit-chit-chit. I went inside to get my camera.

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The squirrel was back and making noises like he was trying to get George’s attention.

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He kept chitting and moving and moving and chitting. (Sorry, Blazing Saddles was on the other week and I can still see Madeline Kahn as Lily VonSchtupp doing the “I’m Tired” routine.) But that squirrel ~ he was just too much for me to keep up with the camera.

Finally George got tired of all the antics and laid right down and fell asleep. I put the camera down and kept reading, after telling my husband that I swore that this squirrel is trying to get George to do something. He asked me what I had been drinking.

I continued reading and a short while later, I had noticed that the squirrel was now on the deck! He had crept under the wire that surrounded it and was now sneaking up to where George was napping. I couldn’t pick up the camera for fear of scaring him off or waking the dog. I continued to watch him as he went right up to George’s face! This surprised me and I must have let out a small gasp which woke up the dog. He seemed surprised to see the squirrel standing right there but in a flash, the little bugger had taken off again!

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The second the dog had awakened, I did pick up the camera. And this was the expression on George’s face, as if to say “was that what I thought it was”?

He then jumped up to look for this devil squirrel.

And I went back inside to mix another cocktail.

Thanks for the POMtini recipe, Meg! (I promise. It was only my 2nd one).

Until tomorrow, my friends!