New website...

Hello readers, I have been trying to figure out how to create a link between this blog site and my new website but unfortunately, have not been able to import one into the other. So, my new blog is found at
Hope to see you there!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

March 19, 2011-- Supermoon...

They claim tonight's full moon will be a super moon event as the moon is the closest it gets to the earth in 18 years. So those of you younger than 18, this will be your first event... I wondered why my dreams last night were more intense than normal and expect I will have the same thing occur tonight.
I leave on Monday for Mérida, Mexico for a week. The Internet access will be sporadic while I am down there, so it's doubtful I will be posting any blogs for that length of time. But, hopefully when I get back on-line after the 28th, I will have new tales of Mexico to relate. I plan to visit some Mayan ruins, go to Progreso and Celestun, both on the Gulf of Mexico, do some archaeological research at the big museum in Mérida for my book, eat some good food and drink some cold beers.
I'll soak up some sun and heat and get to avoid mud season for a week :) Have a good one!

Friday, March 18, 2011

March 18, 2011--Mud season, March madness...

Mud season has arrived in a flash. Two days ago it was snowing and today, cars were bottoming out on the road. We are faced with three options for the next couple of weeks: 1) using the truck and mud running the road when we need to get in and out, usually with the groceries and/or gasoline for the generator, 2) only using the car in the early morning or late at night when the road is somewhat frozen, 3) parking at the top of the hill and walking in 1.5 miles to the house, which requires two sets of shoes--mud boots for the walk and regular shoes for use in the car, around town etc.
It is also March madness and since I live with a huge basketball fan, especially of women's college basketball, the next couple of weeks will find me alone on the computer while one game after another is seen on the television.
I don't mind either situation...they are both signs that spring is definitely on the way, that we have survived the worst of this winter, that the wood did hold out (just barely), that the sap will continue to flow for another couple of weeks.
There are a couple of things I do mind, though: 1) is that my winter's exercise program has not yielded as rapid results as I would like which means I either have to up my efforts even more, cut back on a bit more food once again, or both if I am to make it into the bathing suit I want to wear in HI in June, and 2)suddenly, it feels like winter went by too quickly as I look around at the list of things I wanted to do this winter and still haven't done, like the photos waiting to go into albums.
Oh well, maybe during the long, lazy evenings of summer those will get checked off. In the meantime, I must haul out the mud boots, find the lighter weight jackets, and take the down comforter off the bed.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

March 17, 2011--Happy St. Patrick's Day..

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all my Irish friends and Happy Birthday to my son, Johann, who is 19 today.
Just a quick posting tonight as it has been a long day of waiting at the hospital while my husband had a routine colonoscopy--not the best way to spend this lovely spring day but the sap ran well and I collected about 24 gallons tonight which is a nice start towards a boiling.
It being St. Paddy's Day and all I thought I would list a few of my favorite Irish books, two of which I bought while in Ireland with my dear friend, Dodie. We spent a week traveling in Ireland together, visiting her relatives and staying in bed and breakfasts. We had some hilarious moments while lost in the Barrens and a scary moment when we first arrived, exited the Shannon airport in our rental car and found ourselves going the wrong way in a roundabout. It was up onto the sidewalk in a flash. I remember I quickly sketched a big "L" for "learner" on the cardboard backing of a yellow legal pad and propped it up in the back window which instantly stopped future honking when we went the wrong way.
Now for the books:
The Best of John B. Keane: Collected Humorous Writings
An Old Woman's reflections: The Life of a Blasket Island Storyteller by Peig Sayers
and Whoredom in Kimmage: Irish Women Coming of Age by Rosemary Mahoney
There are others, but they are lost on our numerous bookcases and I'm too weary to look but these three give a good taste of Ireland to any who are curious.
And here's a blessing by St Patrick himself:
"May no demons, no ill, no calamity or terrifying dreams
Disturb our rest, our willing, prompt repose..."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March 16, 2011--Gloomy but better...

Yesterday's bleakness did eventually dissolve into a quiet crying jag while comfortably ensconced in bed, tucked up tight against my husband's slightly sweaty smelling shoulder. The need for fresher air helped pull me out of the hiccupy, raggedy breath stage and into a calmer state of mind. Today has just been gloomy but mainly due to the snow that persisted in falling most of the day instead of the forecasted rain.
The news has not improved, if anything more child abuse cases on the web make me wonder about the sanity of the human race. Are there just too many of us rats in this cage at this point? Do people prey on the young and the helpless when extremely stressed? If that's the case, then I hate to think what the world will be like in another thirty years. I could foreseeably still be around to see what that world is like and the thought does not thrill me if the current state of the world is any indication of that future.
 The evening news is full of increasing fears of a nuclear meltdown in Japan and the potential for one in this country if an earthquake should hit anywhere near one of our plants. We, as a race, have created a monster wearing a mask with nuclear power--the smiling servant serves us well, providing affordable power until something goes wrong and then the mask is removed, revealing the true beastie that it is, one that we really don't know how to tame.
Here's to hoping that tomorrow is better for everyone.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March 15, 2011--Bleakness inside...

Today was a beautiful, warm, sunny day and all I've wanted to do  is cry. I feel such an emptiness, a bleakness inside. I think the daily news of Japan, the relentless pictures and videos that I've seen on the news, through my job, reading tweets and blogs and instant news results is taking its toll on my soul. I can't imagine how the Japanese, forced to live with the horror, are managing to survive.
And, it's not just Japan, but the rising oil and gas prices, the ever so slowly changing economy, the horror stories in the local paper and on the Internet of child abuse, child porn, rapes, and murders of women in foreign lands. I wonder how the sun can shine so brightly, the breeze feel so good on my skin when these atrocities are being committed on a daily and hourly basis. I wonder what has happened to man's basic humanity, how women can turn and abuse their own children... It sickens me to see the headlines of the rising number of child porn cases and abuse in the news. I think, how can anyone hurt a child like that and more importantly,  why would anyone want to hurt a child like that?
I feel such sadness today. My body wants to curl up someplace warm, dark, and safe and cry for all those who can't. It is a powerful urge, primal, as if Mother Earth herself is commanding me to let loose a flood of tears; it's not an option not to cry....

Saturday, March 12, 2011

March 12, 2011--Gloomy outside, colorful inside....

I know painting walls is best done when the weather is dry outside, but since my son, Yule, decided to fix some of the poor mud/tape job that we did years ago in the bathroom, we have reached the stage of having to paint or look at joint compound for the next several days. Since we are all tired of having everything from the bathroom scattered about the rest of the house, we opted to paint despite the rainy, foggy weather.
It's been gloomy outside for days but the bathroom is a cheery lilac/dusty rose purple which reminds me of spring flowers, warmer weather,and better days ahead.
After the devastation in Japan, Hawaii, and along the West coast, it seems a very small triumph to know I can put my bathroom back in order when there are people with no homes at all now...but it will be nice to make some order out of the chaos in this house and to rearrange things in the room so that it works more efficiently.
Since the bathroom is being renewed, I now want to move into other parts of the house that have been unfinished for years. The trouble with owner-built homes  is that you need a place to live so as soon as the basic structure is done, you move into the space you've just built, even if it isn't finished, This results in years going by before some things actually reach the finished stage. I am eager for the snow to melt, so we can use the truck to get flooring and cover up the old floor that sheds splinters at every step and more sheet rock to cover some of the insulation on the ceiling. Then, it will be nice to pick out other bright colors of paint to add to the walls, colors bright enough to dissipate the gloom of any rainy, muddy springs in the future.

Friday, March 11, 2011

March 11, 2011--Earthquakes and tsunamis and heavy rain....

What is happening to the Earth? Today we woke to the news of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, followed by the threat of the tsunami in Hawaii, where my son lives. I immediately turned on the television and the computer to get any and all coverage of the unfolding stories. Watching the videos of the tsunami in Japan only heightened my anxiety for my son in Oahu. I called him twice and finally got a return call about fifteen minutes after my second one to him. He was attempting to sleep in his girlfriend's apartment on the 13th floor of a building near Waikiki and assured me he was safe and he was going back to sleep. So, I watched the water surge forward and suck back like some strange water breathing alien for the next several hours on the live stream video from Hawaii News Now. It was creepy to see the reef get exposed off of Diamond Head, reef that has never been exposed suddenly empty of water. I think it was even more creepy and odd since it was still dark and only parts of the water and reef were visible due to some floodlights a house owner had turned on to shine on the beach. I kept wondering when the mega wave was going to appear on the right side of my computer screen, but am glad that it never happened.
I think about the recent earthquakes in the past couple of years: Haiti, Chile, New Zealand, Japan and wonder where the next one will hit. I think it will be CA, as they are overdue for a big quake and it seems the whole Pacific Rim is active at this point.
I am grateful the damage in HI was relatively small, no lives lost and am sad to see the videos of the destruction in Japan--I wish those people all the best.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

March 10, 2010--Another snowy day...

Winter does not want to let go as the snow continues to fall today and into the night. I know the calendar says it is March 10th, the basketball games and tournaments on television say it's March, the sun now higher in the sky also indicates we are in the third month of the year and rapidly approaching spring, and yet, it continues to snow. Any other year I would be ranting by now, or deeply moody/depressed because of the endless gray and snowy days. This time round it's different and I'm not sure quite why. Maybe because I am a bit less stressed than in previous years as I am not under pressure to meet deadlines for school. Maybe because my new exercise routine started in January is almost to the habit stage; if I miss more than two days, I feel crummy, which is how I used to feel when I did exercise. Maybe it's the momentum of planning trips and house projects for the spring and just feels like this year is so full of energy and potential, that a little bit of snow isn't going to bring me down. I like these days when I can work a full day at the office and then putter in the house and feel like I have accomplished a lot. If it was summer and I spent an hour cleaning out the closet, I'd feel I'd wasted time. All too soon there will be a lot more to do outside. I'm  looking forward to, but am also relishing these last few lazy days before the rush of spring and summer hit. All too soon it will be time to tap trees, start plants in the greenhouse, work the garden beds, rake, mow, etc. etc. and there won't be so much time to just sit with a cup of tea and read by the fire. The more I think about the energy needed for what lies ahead, the more I think winter really isn't a bad season at all.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

March 8, 2011--Two different seasons in the same day...

We woke this morning to a world transformed into glass. Or at least it looked that way as all the trees, ground, cars, and  house were covered in at least a quarter to half inch of ice. When the sun popped above the horizon, the world glistened and sparkled as the light struck every facet of ice and reflected and refracted that light. The birch trees, although bent way over from the weight of the ice, were the most spectacular as the tips of each branch glowed a light pink, giving the whole tree a warm rose tint.
We had to drive to Portland today and took the back roads to Waterville, over Eaton Mt. Everything there was more burdened down than here with many trees drooped over the roadsides. Despite the slippery spots on the roads where water had overflowed the ditches full of snow, the drive was gorgeous. A true fairyland of glass in every direction.
In Portland, it was different though. It was sunny and relatively warm, about 42 degrees and it looks like the area only got rain. We wandered around town without our heavy winter coats and had the windows rolled down for part of the day. Since the sun was out all day, we figured we would arrive home to melted, wet-looking trees. No such luck; everything is still covered with ice here.
So, Portland is enjoying a taste of spring while we are encased in the deep freeze. It doesn't seem quite right since only a 100 miles or so separate the two places. But, that's one of the wonders of living in Maine.

Monday, March 7, 2011

March 7, 2011--A day with no Internet...

Thanks to today's lovely ice storm, we had phone service but no Internet for most of the day. I'm not sure how that actually worked as the Internet comes through the phone lines...we could call out and receive calls but had no access to the web until about 4 pm.
It was a bit annoying, since my job is on-line. No Internet equaled no work today which means a reduced pay check this month.  I thought I'd be able to be productive and work on our taxes until I discovered I needed to read some of the instructions for one of the forms I am filing and the instructions are only on the IRS website, only accessible through the non-existent Internet. So, I nixed that idea and moved on the next one to fill the day.
That turned out to be writing another ten pages in my book, so despite the inconvenience of not having the Internet, it was a productive day. I didn't even notice the sleet and freezing rain coming down as I was so involved in my Mayan story, lost in the jungle, so to speak.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

March 6, 2011--Three hours of sleep...

I've had about three hours of sleep since Saturday morning at 5:30, which is not even my normal time to wake up but 6:30 or 6:45 am.
Yule needed a ride to Portland last night to catch the 3:15 am bus to Boston leading to his 6:10 am flight from Boston to Phoenix to Honolulu. Instead of going to bed last night around 9:00 pm  and getting up at 12:00 am like my smart husband, I stayed up with Yule to visit. After all, it was his last night here, why waste it sleeping? So we chatted on the couch and watched a vampire/werewolf movie, called (something,) Rise of the Lycans.
Fortunately I didn't drive home because by 4:30, somewhere around Augusta, I had terrible trouble keeping my eyes open. I kept drifting off, only to jerk them open again a few seconds/minutes later. I struggled to stay awake though as the roads were so wet, so filled with huge puddles of muddy water trapped on the road by the big banks of snow on either side, that I wanted to help navigate, chat with Jeff, so he would stay awake and keep us on the road.
We finally slid into the  icy parking area by the house about 5 am and went immediately to bed, only to wake at 8:30 am when the cats began to meow for breakfast.
Today, the house feels empty, like a vacuum sucked all the energy out of it. Yule has gone back to HI (to return next winter perhaps?), Johann has gone back to school in Calais and Finn is up in Jackman. We are the only two stumbling around in the very empty house now, weary, a bit weepy, lethargic from the lack of sleep and the endless rain pouring down outside. It will take a couple of days to reestablish an equilibrium here as the past two weeks have been in high gear with three teenage boys in, out, and about.
We will move back into our own routines, following the patterns we've set for ourselves of work, play, etc. and that's okay. It gives us energy for when any or all of the boys are here again. Too bad it can't be next week!

Friday, March 4, 2011

March 4, 2011--A restless itch setting in...

A restless itch is setting in and lately I have had more and more trouble sitting at my desk for 6 hours, working for the on-line company that hired me last June.
It might be because the sun is higher in the sky. It's been too damn cold and windy recently to feel like March or spring, but the sun has been extremely bright, probably because it's reflecting off the ten foot snow banks oustide my window.
Or, it might be because my son, Yule, has been here from Hawaii for the past two weeks and talks constantly of his life on the island. He describes all the wonderful beaches, the good food, the warm and friendly people and I inwardly groan as I turn back to the monotony of the task at hand.
Or it might be the new travel magazine, Afar, that arrived today, full of wonderful looking and sounding exotic places. The pictures are bright and full of color, unlike the constant white, gray, green and blue out my window. The text is engaging and makes me want to continue reading, long past my allotted time to do so.
Or it might be because I haven't had time to work on my book for almost a week, what with work and my son being here, so the characters are fairly shouting at me to come back and pay attention to them.
Whatever the case, this itch is moving beyond a mental/stress kind of thing and into the realm of real, physical pain. I want to scratch but don't know where to start as it really isn't a physical thing at all but a restlessness born of this long winter, a lack of funds to travel, the relentless cold and myriad other things so minuscule as to go unnoticed when alone but combined together make a huge ache.
The solution? I'm not sure...turning down an invitation to watch basketball with the neighbors so I can write is a start, though. We'll see how I feel in a couple of hours.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March 2, 2011--Blankness...

My mind is blank right now and I'm not sure why. Maybe the two glasses of wine at dinner, or the overly dominant conversation by one of the dinner guests tonight...I wound up sitting back and just listening to the conversations ebb and flow around me at the table. On my left side, a swiftly moving conversation that batted back and forth between two people and jumped from topic to topic to topic, all somewhat male driven in that sex, girls, guns, sex, girls, motors and did I mention sex and girls were the common themes. On my right side, a slower moving conversation of health issues and concerns, doctors to see, doctors not to see, tests, herbs, tinctures and teas to take for some common ailments.
I felt no real need to jump into any of it, preferring to remain a silent witness to the flow of it all.
And yet, I didn't feel left out, and don't think anyone thought less of me for not interjecting more frequently.
It's through listening that writers can learn the most sometimes and I  know someday I will create a character who spouts off boldly about his many conquests and triumphs as well as a character who is concerned with the welfare of others and using his/her own example of health issues to help shed light on those around him/her.
So, not only was the food delicious--roasted grouse, whipped potatoes, baked squash, green beans, sweet corn, stuffing, baked beans, cranberry-ginger relish with banana cream pie and an Italian pastry for dessert, but I have added some tidbits of conversation to my files to pull out at some point for a future story. I'd say it was a good evening.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March 1, 2011-- Rabbit, rabbit...

Just a quick note to wish you all rabbit, rabbit for good luck for the month of March--today is my 3rd wedding anniversary....married for three, together for eight (so far) :0  Best to you all.