Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Here are some pieces I made especially to use at Thanksgiving this year which I was hosting for the first time in many years.  A couple of serving bowls and a big platter.

 And here's a vase I made back in September but hadn't gotten around to glazing yet.

And here are the results.  The platter obviously cracked rather severely.  C'est la vie.  The others came out pretty nicely though.  I love the firebrick red and the others are all done in celadon froth.

And here we are all hard at work preparing dinner.  Justin mashing potatoes, Linda and Glen making gravy, me getting the ham out of the crockpot, and Rick carving the turkey.  Donnie's sitting back there supervising, I guess.
Paul, Linda, Jared, Chris, Justin, Glen, me, Rick, Donnie, and Cece. Bill took the photo. 
Me and sister, Linda.
Buttering my delicious yeast roll that Cece made.

The beautiful 24 pound turkey.

Brother Bill and Paul preparing the deviled eggs.
In all we had 11 people at the table.  We had invited our friend Robert Pangman but unfortunately he declined.  We played a few rousing games of Party Pictionary after dinner - always a fun time.   

Friday, November 2, 2012

November morning at camp

I woke to a soft fall morning on the stream; muted reds and yellows, a warm blue sky filled with wispy clouds; ground almost fully obscured by fallen leaves.  Slept soundly from 10:30 last night till 9:30 this morning.  I really needed a good night sleep after the conference yesterday that I’ve been planning since April.  Big success.  And a fun night out in Hallowell: dinner with Mary Sampson at Hatties while Katie serenaded us with some mellow tunes and then drinks and dancing at the grand reopening of Higher Grounds with Lisa, Tammy, Jen, Ellen, David, and Sue as Stevie and friends belted out the blues. 

I filled all the bird and squirrel feeders a little earlier this morning.  It always takes them a while to discover the food so I beat on my djembe to let them know I was here and sure enough, they arrived with haste.  I see a couple of red squirrels, some nuthatch and chickadees.  I’m sure the blue jays and woodpeckers will be along soon.  And of course, the ubiquitous crows. Not a huge variety this time of year, but once a food source is discovered they tend to hang around pretty regularly till it’s gone.  I spotted Edmund out exploring in the marsh this morning and was relieved because I hadn't seen him in several weeks.  An eagle soared out over the stream this morning too.  Thanks for visiting, Mom.  

Took this photo last weekend as the fog lifted slowly on a Saturday morning.

This guy was out in front of the camp paddling and fly fishing

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Lowell Celebrates Kerouac, October 2012

Had a good time this weekend at Lowell Celebrates Kerouac.  Went down on Thursday for a performance by Ann Waldman which was just terrific!  Then, as always, had a great time on the Pubs of Lowell tour, led by Roger Brunelle and Mike Wurm.  Below is a photo of David Amram taken at Cappy's which was the last stop on the tour.

Me with David Amram at Cappy's Copper Kettle in Lowell, MA
Friday morning we had a late breakfast at the hotel restaurant and then headed over to Jack's grave in a light rain.  

Click here to see a video of my reading this year.

Our next activity was a reading of random pieces of Jack's writing held at the hotel where we were staying and then a fabulous dinner at Ricardo's and a walk over to the Merrimack Repertory Theater for a showing of a play Jack wrote back in 1957.

Richard, Michelle, Tess, Jason, Rick, me, John, and Kurt.  We first met on the FB Kerouac
page and it was nice to put real people to the names.  

Saturday morning we went to a "Commemorative at the Commemorative" before heading north to Portland for a Poetry, Poverty and Blues event sponsored by the organization I work for, Maine Equal Justice Partners.  

Just chillin' at home on this drizzly Sunday, writing and enjoying a cozy fire in the fireplace.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

I came across these photos of my old bedroom at Highland Avenue in Gardiner from back in 2003.  I'd forgotten what a nice room it was.  It's the only time I've ever decorated a room exactly as I wanted it.  I love the pinks, reds, and greens.  

The sitting area where you could watch tv, read, or just hang in the big comfy chair.
The curtains were actually shower curtain that I had altered to fit my doors and windows. 

White chenille bedspread.  You could turn the tv so as to see it from bed too.  
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Monday, September 3, 2012

Mugs for Cindy and Grace

I'd been meaning to give Cindy and Grace some pottery so took these mugs up to them when I visited this past weekend.

Chain of Ponds, Labor Day Weekend, 2012

I realized I hadn't seen Grace or Cindy all summer so got up early Friday morning and headed to Stratton.  I arrived around 10 a.m. and visited with them at Grace's apartment for a bit and then we decided to take a drive down to The Narrows on Chain of Ponds.  With the help of Cindy's new boyfriend, Ron, we got Grace and her wheelchair into my Subaru and drove about a mile down a very rough dirt road.  I was shocked to see someone had hauled a little 15 foot camper trailer in there.  I really can't imagine how as there are some major rocks and washouts that you just can't avoid.

We parked at the shoreline and got Grace into her wheelchair and enjoyed a nice picnic in the sun.  Grace was using the Subaru as a shield from the wind but eventually made her way down next to the water.

Grace and Cindy

This Great Blue Heron watched us from the opposite shore

Ron and Cindy

I love this section of Maine - everywhere you look there are mountains and water.
We also drove down to the Natanis Campground to see if there were any sites to rent this weekend, thinking Rick and I might come up and spend a few days.  However, they were sold out of waterfront sites.  After a few other scenic stops we returned to Grace's and I headed home.  I decided to stop and visit Christopher in Farmington for a little bit and arrived home about 6ish.

Rick and I drove over to the Emporium in Readfield to see Rick Dosedlo and Logan play but the place was packed so we drove into Augusta and had dinner at The Gin Mill.  It was our first time there and we really enjoyed it.  Jim Carey and Sa Rah were playing music and the place was pretty quiet but we enjoyed the food and the music.  The next morning we slept in till 9ish and then decided we'd jump in the car and take the kayaks and head out.  We weren't sure exactly where we were going but were loosely thinking of checking out the scenery at Height of the Land and maybe ending up back at Chain of Ponds, which is just what we did.

Height of Land - Route 17 - this definitely doesn't do the view justice. 

We drove up to Weld and then took the dirt access road for Tumbledown Mountain over to Coos Canyon to get to Route 17.  We stopped briefly at Height of Land and then drove up to the overlook for Rangeley Lake and ate sandwiches.  We drove into Rangeley and walked around the waterfront, took a drive through town and then headed up towards Stratton.  We couldn't reach Cindy when we got to town so we went up to Natanis Campground and parked the car there and paddled the kayaks for a few hours on the ponds.

Me with the Bigelow Peaks behind me


Rick in the waning sun
We loaded the kayaks back up and made a pit stop at the Maine DOT lot on Route 27 in hopes of seeing a moose but no luck.  We also made a quick stop at the so-called moose quarry on Route 16 but again, no moose to be seen, though there was certainly a large audience waiting in hopes.  We then went over to the Stratton Plaza for beer and burgers and met up with Ron and Cindy, as well as my cousin Dennis and watched some fireworks the locals were shooting off.  There were rooms available at The Tranquillity Lodge in Stratton but given the weather prediction of cloudy and rain for Sunday we decided to go ahead and drive home and arrived just before midnight.  It was another very enjoyable spontaneous trip.  

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A batter bowl I made for my sister, Linda.  Done in firebrick red.  

Here it is in the raw.  It's the one on the left.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Moosehead August 2012

It was my last weekend of vacation and we decided to load the kayaks onto the car and head up towards Moosehead Lake.  We didn't have any definite plans but figured we'd be able to find a room and a place to paddle.  We arrived in Greenville about noontime and had lunch at a cool little restaurant right on the water called The Black Frog.  It has a very entertaining menu:   check it out.  We then called to see if we could get on the Katahdin Steamboat cruise but it was sold out so we browsed through a few shops in town and then booked a room at a nice little motel right on the water.  We decided not to put in there and headed out to Lily Bay State Park where we did about a 3 hour paddle around the islands.  

Crystal (me) kayaking.

Nice view of Mt. Kineo I presume.

Stopped on one of the little islands and played in the water for a bit.

This sign was on the island; it said "Hi!" 

A couple of baby loons.

View from our motel room - Chalet Moosehead Lakefront Motel. 

We got back into town and decided to go out to the local marsh where people say you're likely to see moose.  We stayed for about an hour but so no signs of moose so went into town and ate dinner at The Stress Free Moose.  Turned in fairly early and had breakfast the next morning at Kelly's Landing.  We then decided to head over to Moxie Falls by way of a 16 mile dirt road that connects to The Forks area.  I think we saw just one other car the whole drive over.

16 mile dirt road between Greenville Junction and Moxie Falls

Us at Moxie Falls

Rick playing on the rocks at Moxie Falls

Moxie Falls

I liked this tree root

The hike into Moxie Falls is only about a mile and pretty level.  We stopped at the picnic area at The Forks and watched the river for a while.  I'd love to paddle that section some time as it looks pretty gentle through there and for quite a ways down.  I'm not sure just how, but the Dead River and the Kennebec River come together there.  

We arrived home before dark and it didn't take Karma long to reestablish himself in Rick's lap.  

Thursday, August 2, 2012


A gift for Sarah H who interned with us for the last year.  

I like going to a friend's house and seeing a piece of pottery that I gave them.  I usually recognize it as mine but really have no memory of it till that moment.

One of the things I like about this piece is the handle.  It was very easy to make; I was able to cut several of them out of a small slab and they mould so nicely to the side of the cup.  No pulling required.  And it fits nicely in your hand.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Kitchen Redo

Before - dark cupboards, octagonal island

After - new island; overhead cupboards gone!

And my favorite new addition - open shelving unit for all my pottery.