Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Yeah, there's no photo here. Today was one of those days, and rather than dig up an old photo or take one now, after midnight, I chose not to. My blog, my rules. Maybe I'll do two photos tomorrow ... later today, actually. First, though, there is laundry to start (gis from tonight's best-ever kendo class held some 125 miles away which explains the "after midnight") and a bed to find.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Out + About

A lot of the populace was out and about with me today. The husband, on the other hand, spent his day failing to get rebooked when his flight home from Germany was cancelled due to the airport's not being able to de-ice all the planes that needed it. He may or may not get home tomorrow.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Someone I Love

High on an underachiever's list of life goals: Win the respect and admiration of their dog. I scored big with that one in The Washington Post's Style Invitational humor contest a few years back. I would say it's unconditional love on her part but no, there's food and walks involved in her devotion. I do not delude myself that it's my engaging personality and good looks.

Friday, December 7, 2012


Not very original, but hey, I had a coupon to use and I do like these Reebok socks. I especially like these wild Reebok socks. I would have bought this pack of three even had I not needed stars for today's photo.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

From Where I Live / My Country

A lot of folks where I live don't think it's worth it to learn another language. And, to a certain extent, they are correct. My learning a little Vietnamese will not expand the number of people with whom I can converse very much at all. A Vietnamese person who learns English, on the other hand, broadens their communication horizons almost exponentially. I like a challenge.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Looking Up

I almost did a shot of a dictionary but didn't since this was altogether a more fun shot.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Black & White

I just realized that the photo-a-day list actually says "black + white" which is qualitatively different than the "black & white" I shot. My blog, my rules--I'm sticking with the shot above. I can wear the white gi for either karate or kendo; the black one I can wear only for kendo. Sometimes the black does arouse feelings of ninjaness; usually, it's easier just to grab the all-purpose white and not worry about what it is I'm about to do.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Something I Held

It was my morning mug of coffee or the leash at the time I took today's photo. Yes, I could have used any of the articles of clothing I'd put on, the stuffed animals I'd arranged while making the bed, or perhaps the morning newspapers, but none of those seemed as appropriate as the leash or, as we tell the dog, the tether that protects her from being lifted up by the sky monsters (hot air balloons) she fears.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


While I readily admit that I do at times find knitting frustrating, there is a peace in the rhythm of the needles and the act of creating that nourishes my spirit.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


I know a couple of people who have been doing a photo-a-day challenge. It's not as if I'm posting here every day, but I thought I'd try to challenge for December. Today's subject? 8:00. The photo shows one of my best friends at 8:00 of the a.m. variety. Not much subtlety there, eh?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


This fireworks photo, somewhat resembling strips of foil, bears no real relationship to today. I do need to be thinking fireworks, though, having volunteered to see what I can do about engineering the special effect of a fireworks show in the background of a high school musical to be staged in the spring. This is not the craziest thing I have volunteered to try, just the craziest one lately. As for a relationship between the photo and today, I guess there is one after all.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Who Needs Stonehenge?

We don't, not when we have a mystical bone circle in the basement, carefully arranged by the dog for some as-yet-unknown purpose. So far the only witnessed activity in the circle has been the de-marrowing of the current week's bone offering. If I start hearing drums in the night, I think I'll worry.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Filling a Niche

Curling up, even if in a sculpture on a street in Washington, DC, seems reasonable after making two pumpkin pies, an extra-large batch of cranberry sauce, a batch of oatmeal cookies, not to mention all the cleaning up that goes with all that time in the kitchen. But what the heck, tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and there is much to be thankful for, including having a space in which to curl up.

Monday, November 19, 2012

And They're Off!

I haven't started addressing the family's Christmas cards, but I did manage to get some presents wrapped for some folks who I'm pretty sure put their Christmas tree up over the Thanksgiving holiday. It is always so much fun to choose or make gifts for this family. You know who you are, other awesome-weird-awesomely weird family; you know who you are.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Back with a Flourish

Didja miss me? Yeah, it's been two weeks, and I have no real excuse other than lots of little life demons that required smiting. I hope they're under control again. The flourishes above are actually my first and middle names written in Arabic. Older son and I went to the Roads of Arabia exhibit at the Smithsonian's Sackler Gallery yesterday. It was definitely worth the drive and the day. The calligraphy was especially engaging, and corners of my mind are incubating how I might use it in some art if I can keep the little life demons locked up.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Early to Bloom

Only once have I ever gotten a Christmas cactus to bloom at Christmas. As with most things under Mother Nature's purview, they bloom when they're ready, not before and not after. This year, my Christmas cacti are blooming now. I don't mind. I enjoy their beauty whenever they decide to show it off.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

And in this Corner...

...new spice racks, allowing me to clean out a very messy cabinet, move the teas from another cabinet, and clear cookbooks off the counter in that other one. I also moved several duplicate jars to the basement pantry. A little bit of order can be a very good thing. The plates on the wall belonged to my grandmother; I look forward to handing them down to the sons someday. The wood piece on the left is a cookie press from the Netherlands.

Friday, November 2, 2012

On Being Mooned

The camera didn't capture the orange moonbow that my eye could see, but I still like this shot. As it says on one of my favorite mugs, I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world. At the same time, the moon shining here is pretty nice, too.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Matches Made in Where?

I have actually had to explain the "Republicans for Voldemort" sticker to people. I mean really explain it, such as who Harry Potter is and how there were seven books and eight movies and, well, you get the picture. I think "Zombies for Romney" is a good match, don't you? I can tell you where to get the Voldemort sticker but the Zombies one was a gift and a great one for which I am most grateful.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

In the Wee Hours

A photo shot in full daylight seems appropriate to post at 4:00 in the morning. Planes are evidently flying to New England in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, meaning that older son is off on a one-day job interview. I feel for him as he submits application after application. Every job I've ever had I backed into through networking the old-fashioned way. Modern networking, the electronic kind, doesn't seem nearly as efficient.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dodging a Bullet

Frankenstorm. Sandy. Call it what you will; we dodged a bullet from it this week. All the areas schools up to the university level are closed today for the second day in a row due to the power outages that could have happened. I prepared as much or more than I usually prepare for such occurrences, with extra water, extra brewed coffee, anything that could blow removed. I'd like to think those precautions pushed the storm's track away, but it's not nice to take credit away from Mother Nature. It wasn't our turn for devastation this time around, but maybe next time.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Falling Down on the Job

Since blogging is hardly my job, I should be able to survive not posting for a week. I've been trying to get my life in a bit of order not that you could tell it by looking at the chaos that surrounds me. Mostly, I've been trying to turn off the alarm clock and let my body get the sleep it apparently needs. The result is that each day has a couple hours less productive time than it used to, and posting things here, short though they may be, is one of the things that had to give. I'll see if I can do better in the coming week.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Whole Hole

This is a hole one of the sons dug in the woods behind the house over the course of several years. He reinforced the walls quite nicely; he had to, or I would have kept on his case about whether it might cave in on him while he was working. The other son and I went down there the other day to see what we could see, and that would be Mother Nature hard at work decorating the sides of the hole with ivy.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Have a Seat

Mother Nature is working hard to reclaim this chair left at the side of our yard. Mother Nature usually gets what she wants, too. I'd move the chair back into potential use, except that now I'm interested in watching nature work her course.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Seeing Eye to Eye

What? You've never looked a praying mantis in the eye? Neither have I since I held the camera out in front of me, upside down, to get this shot of one. I didn't want to open the gate and scare the little fella away. He had as much reason to be on the porch as I did.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Honey, I'm Home!

Did you miss me? I interrupted my regularly scheduled life for a week in Florida with the two women I'm shown with above. They took a week out of their lives to drive the husband and me around southwest Australia last spring (winter, to them), so I took a week out of mine to drive them around Orlando, Florida. Yes, that's Walt Disney World's Cinderella (the non-possessive form there is not a typo) Castle in the background albeit faintly. It was a grand week, though the Disney part of it greatly colored the two days spent at the parks of Universal Studios. I capped the week with dinner with my stepmother on the second anniversary of my Dad's death; I came home to cool fall temperatures wearing Dad's leather jacket for warmeth in more ways than one. It was a very good week, but it is also very good to be home.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

In my Little Town

This is almost a repeat of an image I've used before; this has some shadow framing that wasn't there on the other shot. I love where I live. It's a good size. Tomorrow, I'm off to a bigger city, Orlando, Florida, where I imagine I will have a rollicking good time with four visitors from Down Under. Still, I will be glad at the end of a week, to return to my little town even if it really is more of a little city than a little town. It's a good size. It fits comfortably.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


No, I did not collect these 3,422 stink bugs; older son did. And while they would make a most handy weapon should someone break into the house, they do not reside on the dining room table other than to be photographed. These little creatures are the champion of pesky. I felt one crawling on my chest last night as I was settling in from a middle-of-the night bathroom run. I flicked it off and did get back to sleep, but still ... not when and where I want to deal with a stink bug!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Back and the Forth

I'm feeling pulled in different directions for a couple of days. There's work to do both for my regular job and my annual gig hawking fiber for a day. There's a trip to prepare for, one on which I leave so early in the morning on the day after the fiber job that packing and other prep needs to be finished well, well in advance. The solution to feeling pulled, I guess, is to be flexible enough to stretch in multiple directions at once without losing one's balance. I'm not sure it's gonna work, but here goes!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Raindrops Keep Fallin'

This is only indirectly a rain photo, but then I seem to be getting to this blog only indirectly this week. Besides catching up from the past trip, there's getting ready for the coming one, not to mention my annual employment stint at the Fall Fiber Festival. I've spent time the last couple of days pricing some really neat yarn that might end up in my stash as payment for my efforts. As for the mention of rain, it is falling outside and showing no signs of stopping before I need to go out in it. I chose the flower photo to help me remember the good side of rain.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

More than a Catnap

Cat supposedly spend something like 80 percent of their time asleep, sometimes asleep like this. I envy.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Signs of the Times

This sign in the Bangor International Airport seems at odds with itself. It informs parents of a rule their children are to follow while at the same time seemingly implying that it is the children who are making the behavioral decisions.
If you know why Delta thought it important to let me know that the plane in which I was flying was completed in our neighbor to the north, please share the why.
Finally, and you thought they didn't serve peanuts on airplanes any longer. When you're done digesting that thought, consider whether peanut allergies are as prevalent in third world countries with much lower hygiene standards than we have here. I'm thinking that they aren't and the lowered hygiene is the reason.

For What It's Worth

I am told that my current feeling that I will never advance past the green belt I have worn for more than two years now is perfectly normal and happens at some point to everyone who continues in Myo Sim karate. I have also been told by an instructor that I will likely never progress beyond my current second degree black belt status in Myo Sim kendo. As a result, I have been thinking about which of the two I enjoy more figuring that if I'm not going to advance in either, I should concentrate on the one I like best. As the bumper sticker that now decorates the back of my car attests, that's kendo. There's just something about swords and knowing how to use them.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Homeward Bound

This evening I will float through the air homeward. It has been a good visit. Thanks to wonderful hosts and an idyllic location, I feel more refreshed than I have in a long, long time. What it says on the T-shirt I don't have--life is good.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

All Good Things Must Come to an End

This seemed an appropriate shot for my last full day here. It has been a good trip though, as always, it will be good to get home. There is a feel to New England as well as to being on the water that I wish I could bottle and keep for dosing as needed to regain perspective. I'll have to work on that.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Birth of a Boat

Some people buy their husbands boats. That's the easy way out. I this morning retrieved the first piece (actually, two pieces, since I picked up another after this one) of what could one day be a very nice boat for the husband in my life.

Steve + Don = This Photo

No Words Needed

This Morning on Duck Cove

This was the view from the window this morning. Today's agenda is open, the lobster boat sail we thought of taking being fully booked probably by passengers from the several cruise ships we saw docked at Bar Harbor yesterday. There are worse things in life, though, than being in a beautiful location with long-time and cherished friends.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Signs of Fall

Yesterday was the first day of fall. What says "fall" more than cider ... in Maine.

All Aboard!

We took a train ride today after church and ice cream for lunch (mine was Maine maple walnut). Along the way we saw multiple dogs being walked, a beaver dam, birds' nests, and more tan a bit of fall foliage. We also performed a wye turn, which you are welcome to look up in Wikipedia for a complete description. Hey! That's what we did thanks to our smart aleck phones.

Out of the Mist

Having learned a bit about how the photos move between SD card, phone, and tablet, the photo above is the one I want to use, not the first one I could randomly get to load. We hiked in the mist yesterday; this was our view of the harbor below as we descended. While the yacht in the background might be nice to have, I think I'd rather have the blue sailboat in the foreground.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sticky Logic

If the gods had wanted me to know what I was doing, they would have made it evident. This photo is not from today's hike which was in fog and drizzle and which featured an incredible garden. Hiking was followed by lobster spaghetti carbonara for dinner, with good wine, good company, and much laughter. Life as I know it is pretty darn good right now.

Hocus Focus

Once again there is magic involved to which I am not privy. Photos do not want to move from memory card to blog via the tablet, yet some seem to have made their way to the smart Alec phone and, from there, to the blog. This is a view from our hike the day before yesterday. We are hiking again this afternoon. What magic will the photos from that hike wield?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Here, There Be Dragons

It's just wood, really, but if you look closely, there's a dragon hiding in plain view. Remember: Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

A Rosehip by Any Other Name

This is a rosehip bud. There were more interesting photos I could have put up from yesterday, but this one worked. Easy is good when one is on holiday and trying to keep it as stress-free as possible.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

And now, the Eagle

There may have been magic involved; there was certainly confusion. However it transpired (sumo wrestlers using iPads as iPhones may also have been responsible), above is a photo of this morning's bald eagle.

And so, this Post Has No Eagle

This post should be accompanied by a photo of the bald eagle that was breakfasting in the cove behind the house in which I am visiting. Unfortunately, Betsy the tablet and I are disagreeing on how said photo should be uploaded. Trust me. There was a bald eagle, and I do have a photo to prove it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

After the Bluster ...

... comes a crisp, clean world ready to be explored. Whether today's blustery morning will segue into a crisp, clean afternoon remains to be seen, but for now I shall be hopeful. In the meantime, there is bread being kneaded by Lady Mixalot, and a wee bit of tweaking remains on the felted wallet I finished over the weekend. Life blusters on, not by, but on.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tripping and Falling

I actually took this photo in August before fall should have been in the air. The day after tomorrow, I fly to Maine, where fall will be even more in season. It will not be the trip that was planned, but that is not a bad thing. Dealing with the unplanned is good practice for life.