Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Yet another rainy day in June

I have a book lent to me by my co-worker, Deb. She says it may be the best book she's ever read, which is an amazing endorsement for a book. It's overcast and drizzly today, and what is the best thing in the world to do on a day like this, but to sit next to the fireplace with a cup of tea and a good book. So even though the rain has been relentless since my vacation started, here I am, enjoying this drizzly day alone at camp, having savored this book for this very moment, sitting by the fireplace with my freshly brewed cup of tea (in my favorite recently finished perfect tea cup), and about to start this wonderful book. I'm really excited.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Another Rainy Day in June

Woke up to a dark stormy morning which turned into yet another day of steady rain. NitPickers got cancelled out of their outdoor gig at The Village Inn Tavern. Rick treated us to homemade pizza and this sourdough bread which has been smelling delicious baking for the last hour.

You'll see it setting on a tray I just got out of the kiln yesterday. It actually started out to be a wall placque but when it turned up at the edges during the firing process, we decided it would make a lovely tray. I used it to take cookies to Dale and Maria's last night too.

My first actual vacation day will be tomorrow - Monday. The first of five weeks off. It's supposed to rain, like it has for the last several weeks. I think I saw that we had six days of sun so far in June. And it's the 28th already. You can probably tell from my post that I'm not feeling very inspired today. Been reading mediocre books and repeatedly falling asleep while watching episodes of Fringe.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hammock Swing

I really like these hammock swings my son brought back from Nicaragua several years ago. He went there on mission trips with his junior and senior high school class from Chop Point. Chop Point is a kids camp in the summer and they run a school the rest of the year with about 100 students from kindergarten through twelth grade. There were six students in Jared's graduating class. No room to disappear between the cracks, something Jared liked to do. They have a sister camp in a small village in Nicaragua that serves the kids who live at the local dump. Great eye opener for the kids, on both sides I guess, and a chance to make a meaningful contribution.
We discovered Chop Point by accident during a very special trip down the Kennebec River. My late husband and I always loved boating on the river. We spent a lot of time kayaking it, and spent time on my brother's 30 ft cabin cruiser, sometimes sleeping on deck, waking up to the stillness of the morning, with just the other early risers like heron, eagles, fish, sometimes seals.
After Dan died, the boys and I decided we should scatter some of his ashes in the river. So Bill brought his boat to Gardiner and we headed downriver. We stopped to scatter them at Merrymeeting Bay - where the Kennebec and Androscoggin Rivers converge to run to the sea. Afterwards as we were talking, we noticed the school/camp onshore. Jared had been having difficulty at the public school (when your father's dieing it's difficult to concentrate on school work but the school just didn't get it) and we'd been considering other options. So it seemed kind of serrendipitious that we saw the school at that time, and sure enough when we looked into it, it was exactly what Jared needed. It was a Christian school and that kind of turned us off at first, but it wasn't rabid Christian and the people there were very intelligent and caring. Christianity had been important to Dan so maybe he sent us there to find it.
So anyway, Jared brought these hammock swings - made by the locals I believe - back from his first trip to Nicaragua. They're much better than a full hammock because they hold your head up, making it easy to read, write, drink, or just veg. And you give it a little kick once in a while to keep yourself swinging. Nice place to spend a sunny afternoon.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Thanks, Baby!

Sent to me by my Sweetie today to brighten my (very messy) office, and my day!
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Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Loon Series

I went out for a paddle on Saturday to see what was new on the stream and found these loons building their nest. With my 12x camera I was able to stay back far enough so as not to bother them, and watch for a while. They would stick their heads underwater and pull up some weeds, and pile them on the small mound sticking up out of the marsh. I love that they're nesting so close to camp that we can hear them clearly throughout the night. In fact, Rick was able to observe them at their nest, using binoculars, standing at the shoreline. There were a lot of power boats out yesterday afternoon and I hope they're staying far enough away. In the past we almost never saw power boats on the Cobb but yesterday there must have been five different boats speeding up and down the stream.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

We had a nice weekend at camp. I spent Wednesday night solo, worked on Thursday, and Rick joined me for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. Had the MEJP crowd out for a get together Friday night. Chris and Bobbie put their canoe in and I tagged along in my kayak for a short paddle. Lots of good food and conversation and lots of fun with Ana and Ben’s two year old daughter, Ilsa.

Rick and I went into Hallowell and Wine afterwards for a poetry reading. I was inspired to learn that anyone can in fact write poetry and it doesn’t even have to be very good to get up and read it in front of people. hmmmm

Did some kayaking on the stream Saturday. The damsel flies were hatching in the thousands. They would fly all around me while paddling through the reeds and lilly pads, some lighting in my hair and hitching a ride.

A flying squirrel and a friendly raccoon visited us while we were sitting at the campfire Saturday night. I saw the biggest turtle I’d ever seen out there on Sunday. There was a little turtle – maybe 10 – 12 inches – sitting on the log by the shore and this big turtle sticks his head up beside him. His head was as big as the whole of the other turtle! The little guy looked so silly, sitting there on his belly with his head and all four legs outstretched, trying to absorb every little smidgen of sunshine possible. He took off rather quickly when that big head popped up next to him. The shell on the big guy was probably two and a half or 3 feet across. I got a photo of him but I don’t think it does him justice.

Monday, June 1, 2009

After two hours spent glazing pots Thursday night I met Eddie and Betty for dinner at Hattie's, a brief stop at The Higher Grounds, and home early. The rain on Friday kept me inside most of the day cleaning house and finishing the book I started last Friday. It was a fun read, though nothing very momentous or insightful. Just a nice story. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah.

Saturday we got up EARLY - like 5 a.m. - and headed up to Holden, Maine - next to Bangor - to attend a workshop on Howling with the Wolves. Actually, there was no howling involved, much to my disappointment. However, we did learn about the history of wolves and coyote and learn how to use the equipment to record any howls we might hear. Rick and I are scheduled to head out into the North Maine Woods July 13th and 14th, to howl and hopefully hear and record some wolf/coyote responses.

Sunday we slept late, did all our newspaper puzzles, had a quick lunch at The Depot, stopped at the Gardiner house to water flowers and do a little surprise maintenance, and then a brief stop at camp. The handyman got our hot water heater fixed (note to self: always fill the hot water tank with water BEFORE plugging it in). Not a big deal going without hot water at camp but it certainly makes it easier to wash dishes and it's nice to be able to take a shower. In fact, now maybe we can stay there during the week, even while I'm still working.

My vacation starts June 25th and goes through August 3rd! I really do love my job, but I'm counting the days till vacation starts. It will be a fun filled vacation this year, starting with a week at a cottage overlooking the ocean at Popham Beach, then our trip to the North Maine Woods to howl with the wolves, a 3 day long bluegrass festival, a few days to hang at the lakehouse or camp, and then an eight day trip to California. We'll fly into San Francisco, spend 3 days there, drive down the coast to LA, stopping in Monterey or the Big Sur area for the night, and then spending a few days with Rick's son Jason around LA or Huntington Beach. I've never been to the west coast, so I'm really looking foward to seeing the sights, as well as getting the chance to visit with Jason. I'm also hoping to connect with my friend Penney whom I haven't seen in 30 years. I recently found her on FaceBook and discovered she's living near San Francisco.