|in the hills above bethel, maine. november, 2010.|
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
joyce and i took a drive up grover hill in bethel. the town and its surroundings are eerily quiet at this time of year between summer and ski season. nothing much going on in this neck of the maine woods. we stopped for a while and looked out over the magestic blue peaks of caribou, haystack, butters, tyler, speckled and lots of other mountains, in the white mountain national forest in maine. over yonder, a few miles in the distance, is evans notch, which is on the new hampshire border. the mountains extend far to the right and left of the photo, offering a great panoramic view. we stood in complete silence - no cars, no birds, no wind, no people. a moment of peaceful meditation up on the hill....
Friday, November 26, 2010
|saltypaws alert and waiting patiently on stockman island, casco bay, maine. october, 2010. photo by denny denham.|
my name is addie saltypaws. i am a labrador retriever. my human, denny, and all the rest of the humans, call me addie, but once you get to know me, you'll see why saltypaws describes me best.
last month, denny and i, and some other humans, were out hunting sea ducks (common eider, longtail, black, surf and white wing) on the ledges at stockman island. what i love most in the whole world, besides running in the yard, riding in the car, and being with my human family, is retrieving. that's what i do; that's what i am, a retriever. remember that. seems obvious, i know, but people forget sometimes, and it's important to this story.
when we motor out to stockman, it is still pitch black outside, and rather nippy. once we get there, denny and his friend, bill green, host of bill green's maine on television (wcsh6), set up 2 strings of 12 decoys each in a "v" formation in the tidal zone beside the ledges. the sun is starting to come up on the horizon. we position ourselves against the rocks to minimize our profile, and wait....and wait some more. i hate waiting. i am quivering from tail to toe in blissful anticipation.
finally (yes!) some eiders fly into view. the guys fire. the ducks drop. i am a shaking mass of dog fur. this always happens to me. it's kind of embarrassing, but i am so excited and happy thinking about when i get the ok from denny to play my retrieve game, the game where i jump in the water, and swim out to bring the ducks in. it feels like it's a game to me, but i have been trained well, over countless hours, by denny, to get even better at what comes naturally. at long last, denny lets me get on with it. all this time, while we waited, i have been in my "heel" position. now he tells me "fetch it up" and with hand signals and whistles directs me to the duck that is the farthest out. i leap into the frigid water lightning fast. to me, the cold sea is heaven. one by one i bring in the ducks. i am so happy. if i were a human, i would be wildly laughing out loud.
|bill green, host of bill green's maine. daybreak on stockman island. photo by denny denham.|
my human takes great care of me. the bond between us is strong. he loves me and i love him. we go everywhere together. the maine woods, the open fields and the salty sea are my home......
note: addie saltypaws is our lille's mother - and also mother of alex's montana, james' harper, christina's ollie, and denny's luc, as seen here.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
anyway, at our home in maine, we have 1 oven, 1 (23.83 pound) domestic vermont turkey, and an indoor table. how boring. the stuffed turkey is about to go in the oven, the apple tart and goodies are baked, the pumpkin-carrot-potato soup is simmering, and the silver is polished and gleaming. the table just needs to be set, potatoes require peeling, and then we are well on our way to making this feast a reality. naturally, there are always all the last minute preparations still to be done: uncorking wine, making gravy, lighting a fire in the fireplace, and so on.
i love AFTER thanksgiving almost as much as turkey day itself. homemade thanksgiving sandwiches (bits of turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy....all piled on crusty bread, which we first discovered at the mom and pop store down the road); home-made turkey soup; and leftover pie...for breakfast! sometimes i think all this food tastes better the next day....
but back to today. i am giving thanks for what i see right here in front of me: a husband, a son, a daughter, a mum, a dad, a turkey, 2 dogs, tons of food, a roof over our heads, and ALSO for the family and friends who are not right here in front of me....you get the idea. this is a day for good food, good conversation and, quite simply, togetherness. let's get to it.....
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
i have heard people say you shouldn't burn pine. what are you supposed to do with it then? can these people possibly be from maine? in fact, you can burn it just fine. it won't mess up your chimney! i throw pine in the fireplace with some hardwoods. the problem with pine, if you're trying to heat your house with it in a woodstove, is that it doesn't give off the amount of heat that hardwoods do, so, like i said, just add some other wood. in a fireplace, pine is fine. mightly fine. my toasty toes say so.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
on the day chinese new year festivities start, sacrifices are offered to the kitchen god. incense, sweets and water and grass (for his horse) are left for him as he leaves earth and goes up to heaven. once in heaven, the kitchen god reports to the jade emperor, the supreme deity of taoism, on what the family has been doing during the year. rewards and punishments are given out by the jade emperor, depending on each family's behavior.
so be good. the kitchen god is watching you.....
Friday, November 19, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
yikes, that was kind of serious, so here's a thought that's a little lighter. i know i could walk into the room with a brown goldsmiths diamond tiara on my head (now that is silly, and not such a little thing, and does judy even sell tiaras?), and if i asked ed how he liked it, he would say that's nice, dear. but first i would have to get him to look up from his iphone or ipad, or whatever, and get him to notice that i had diamonds on my head! (i am being a bit unfair with this quick example; ed oftentimes notices lots of little things, even before i do, with his keen photographer's eye.)
when i was a teenager, my parents planted a whole row of new bushes in the yard - forsithia, rose of sharon, lilac. they asked me how i liked the new plants. what? where? ha, i could have fallen into those bushes and not noticed they were new. a teenage girl, generally speaking, does not look at landscaping. she looks at boys and clothes, and boys. at that time, what was important to my parents was not necessarily important to me.
today, of course, i notice plants and gardens, whether i am here in maine or elsewhere. it is what i like, what interests me, what grabs my attention. what about you? what grabs your attention? what do you look at, look for, look forward to, dream about, see? do you ever take the time to notice the little things outside your usual sphere of activity, things which are not necessarily something you normally would look at and focus on?
Friday, November 12, 2010
black eyed susan seeds
acorn shell with water
in order for fairies to notice a meal left for them as they fly around in the garden and woods, and also for them to be able to dine properly, the food should be served in an appealing, natural setting. for example, a good place for fairies to eat is on a lovely bed of moss, a large fallen tree, or, in this case, a nice, flat stone of pink speckled maine granite. do you think a fairy will fly by and see that brunch is ready?
happy weekend kiddos!
note: a delightful book about fairy gardens is maureen heffernan's fairy houses of the maine coast.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
maine cottage colorbook. it has great ideas and suggestions for color. aargh! these were my thoughts a few weeks ago: which colors am i going to choose? ok, i said to myself, i will go with shades of blue for two rooms. the rest of the paint i need will be bright white. hmmm...but the clay, bark and moss shades are so inviting...whatever! blues and bright white win! more about color and home renovation next week....
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
the sun broke through the gray, cloud-filled sky just as jon and shannon's wedding ceremony was about to start on the sunday river covered bridge in newry, maine. forget that the weather was a bit chilly. all 100 of us on the bridge were quite cozy as we snuggled up in our specially made fleece blankets embroidered with fall leaves, pumpkins, and the wedding date.
imagine the beauty of the scene: the guests are seated on the old 1872 covered bridge spanning the rushing sunday river, and in that moment, before the bride walks down the bridge's wooden planks from one end to the other, there is a hush. the sun suddenly sparkles, and the sweet music of icy mountain water playing over the ancient stones and earth below us fills the air. we are in nature's cathedral listening to nature's song -so simple, so stunningly peaceful, so quietly calling forth the presence of god in this age of unrelenting noise. the wilderness in newry can truly refresh the soul....
Thursday, November 4, 2010
sitting framed on a shelf in the kitchen is a list of names. you can see some of the list above. the old devil. the shire horse. the seven stars. the blue cow. boot and shoe. the black horse. white house. the grapes. the names go on and on. what are these names? where did these names come from?
here is another list of names. can you guess what these names are? the peach tart. the pop eye. 5 orange potatoes. whiskey marie. the best life ever. pants with names. not enough mud. the blue yak. the time crook. slugs in the refrigerator. lobster and swan. skybluesea. the gentlebear....
give up? the first list shows pub names in great britain. one time when we were traveling in the north of england, i wrote down all the names of the pubs we encountered as we were driving. and no, we didn't enjoy a pint in every one of them (just some of them), but we were tempted.
the other list is blog names. i follow a couple of these blogs. to be honest, what gets me looking at something is, in fact, that oftentimes i am lured by the name. i love names. how do people come up with names? how do people finally decide on what, to them, will be the perfect name, be it person, pet, pub or blog?