Monday, January 27, 2014

Postcards from Autumn

This fall was a full one (which is part of the reason I've been absent here) and a sweet one with many adventures and days out of doors. Just how we like it.

Ma, Pa, and Patch came for a visit in October and made excessive noisf, so the town put up a sign.

We hiked a mile through the multicolored battlefields, and though it was warm (in the 60s) ...

... sweet southern-blooded Grandpa still froze.

More southern family was enjoyed at the Campbell Thanksmas celebrations.

And we made some new buddy friends who also like to smile sweetly for the camera. (I wonder if Dre will ever be intimidated when he get's older by how cool his sister is.)

I spent one glorious afternoon alone in my mountains, taking in all the fall.

Target was eagerly patronized,

Walmart less so. (Mummzie no like, but ain't they cute??)

 A very nervous Finley the Penguin accompanied his mom to the dentist. (he declined the fluoride treatment)

Leaves were leaped upon,

poses were struck,

doodles designed

snow spotted

cars cruised

scholars were schooled

Shucks, even corny crafts were made!

Autumn is our favorite.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


As you can tell, I'm a little behind... Here's our October highlights!

For Halloween, Dre wanted to be a bug "Ska-woosher." This is his "bave" face for brave deeds.

Instead of a squisher, he was a catcher, and that pleased him too.

Evangeline wanted to be Queen Frostine, so we found a fabulous blue wig. (and yes, my child is made of porcelain. white, white, porcelain.) 


And then photo shoot uhm... fell apart. Literally.

Or did it?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Maine Event (with Joe)

As you know, Adam gave me a fantastic birthday gift this past October, sending me to New England. The first half of the trip was with Meg, as you saw in the post before this one, this post is about the second half. We called our great American roadtrip "The Maine Event," and it was better than we imagined it would be.

To make our roadtrip as authentic as we could, we decided to take only the old route 1 along the coast, following a paper map, driving through, rather than around, all the towns and cities. We started appropriately with burgers at a local diner right off the road.

On the first day, we stopped for coffee and views in Boston. I wore ridiculous Robin Hood boots, and made very good use of my previous Boston visit's souvenir - a clear umbrella, which Joseph declared to be "very Japanese." I thot it was very practical, unlike my boots.

 Everything but this boat seemed the same color on this cloud-covered day.

This picture captures our undaunted spirit on that cold day.

Though dauntless, we popped into a delightful coffee shop while it down-poured outside, where we sampled their java, tea, superb muffins, and an outlandishly large chocolate biscotti slice that was NOT messing around at 16 inches long. (said baked good shown only in part in this photo due to its previously stated outlandish size.) I'm only barely overstating things by saying that I could have offered both of those fine ladies pictured (perhaps the gentleman as well) a bite of the treat while remaining seated at my papered table. 

We liked Boston.

After Boston, we tried to get as far as we could up the coast to Maine before nightfall. We passed plenty of Dunkin Donuts, plenty, but we sampled only the restrooms. Sorry New England, we're southerners, and to us, y'all don't know how to make donuts.... or coffee. We did enjoy very much the fish and chips served us at a damp little shack of the highway. Y'all do know what you're doing with that stuff, in my humble opinion.

Once it was dark, we drove until we found a motel, and shut our eyes. When we opened them the next morning, we discovered that we had landed in a little beach town called Wells where we explored the freezing, foggy beach, and found a WONDERFUL local bakery for breakfast. (No, they didn't have biscotti, which was good, for I fear that the last biscotti, the one that was not messin' around in Boston, had ruined me for any other.)

One of the most fun parts of our trip was driving until we saw something that made us want to stop. Like these trestles. 

We did have a few landmarks we wanted to hit though, like this stormy point at Cape Elisabeth - a place both beautiful and frightening with moody colors, a hidden lighthouse, and roaring breakers. Joe couldn't believe where he was... he did this a lot on the trip. : )

 We had never been anywhere like this before; the sights, sounds, and smells were all strange and exciting. The rocks on the beaches seemed to "bleed" as the salt water rusted the iron ore in them. We spent hours roaming the cliffs, treasure hunting along the beach, and shivering in the damp air. It was perfect.

After the cape had soaked our jeans and set our teeth chattering, we drove the short way into Portland for the BEST buffalo chicken sandwich money can buy (at the uh, something Bear Pub), and more coffee. With Joey, it's always more coffee.

We liked Portland a whole lot too.

Finally, that evening, we made it to our landing spot that we had found in Camden, Maine through We stayed with a total stranger who soon became a dear friend hosting us with extreme generosity. Anita greeted us with bowls of ice cream, told us tales of living in Africa, and even loaned us her canoe one day to paddle the harbor! We soon liked Camden, and her, very much as well.

The first day there, we had hoped to drive up to Acadia National Park, but due to the government shutdown, we had to find something else to do. We were lamenting this to Anita, who brushed away the disappointment with a huff and smiling grey eyes, "Whatever is up there," she said, "we have in miniature here. Trust me, I've been there, and our Megunticook and island have as much to discover as you'd be able to see in a day in Acadia. Pretty much the same views, but you don't have to travel for them."  

So we climbed a mountain, Joe and I are ol' pros at that.

Befriended a boulder.

And after an hour or so, found ourselves looking down on the little glittering harbor and town we had left below.

Of course Joe promptly climbed a tree. (I don't know.)

 After the mountain, we hungrily dined at the sandwich pub overlooking the harbor. When we had asked Anita where to find the ferryboat to Curtis Island she laughed merrily and whispered, "You should just take mine." And so we did. 

I had never "canoedeled" before, so Joey taught me how, and later said I was a natural, right, Joey? (Mount Megunticook overlook that we climbed to, is that rocky, high face behind the harbor there.)

And this... this is a hefty slice of heaven. (also known as Curtis Island)

This is what much of the beach looked like...not much sand, mostly smooth stones and abundant shells... amazing.

After exploring the beach, we walked up a wooden flight of steps that lead to a green, that lead to oh my goodness this. We started running.

Curtis Island was the most magical world I've ever seen; the whole place glowed with color and smelled of balsam and firs. The light keep's house was like something from a fancy magazine about faraway places that real people don't actually live in... except that they did live there. 

As light began to fade, we realized we had to get back to make supper for Anita, so we ran through the twisted wooded path stopping to gasp and snap pictures every 10 yards.

These next three glowing pictures (and every picture featuring me) is brought to you by the photo talents of Joseph P. Also by the Maine Mane. 

 After an evening dining with Anita kinfolk-style by lantern light, we slept like rocks. Another day of clocking at least 5 miles on foot had us whipped. But soon after dawn the next day we were at it again driving back down the coast to see this tall beauty: The Portland Head Light

 See that tiny stone square "frame" down there near the shore?

Yeah, we did too.

Getting closer...

After a half-mile rock scramble, we were rewarded.

Oh, look! Another lighthouse waaaaaay out there.

Told you he did this a lot.

It was only a little hard to return to "normal" life the next day, as I boarded the train headed south, I missed my babies and Huz! But hopefully someday I can return with them and Joe and then it will be truly the best trip ever!