Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Just testing. It's the first blog post from the iPhone. Just to see if I could.
I can, and that's kind of neat.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Chauncey Creek

Foggy night at the creek, but the lobsters were fresh, the wine was chilled and most especially the company was good.

All images taken with the iPhone.

Egads and another CFA Award

It's another pea soup kind of day here in Maine--one of many this July. The only positive or redeeming thing to be said about our weather is that the coast of Maine is stunning on a sunny day. It's beautiful on a rainy day and it's wonderful on a foggy day, just so long as one didn't have one's heart set on a sun tan.

Yesterday was a gorgeous summer day on the seacoast--blue skies, breezes full of summer flowers and salt water and temperatures perfectly suited to an afternoon kayaking or sunning on the beach or swinging in a hammock, until the wind turned, late in the day.

The fog rolled in around 6 pm last night, and when it comes, it always comes the same way. It slides silently from the beach, through the pines toward the house, with one quick, cool breeze to warn us that it's coming. It starts as a gradual change of the sky from blue, to lighter blue to white. Then the fog settles into the tops of the trees and moves closer to the house, muting sounds and removing color from the day.

This week's CFA Award goes to the visitor to York Beach who was involved in a beach chair rage incident down to Short Sands last week. Throwing a tantrum and then a beach chair is never necessary after a day at the beach. It's the Way Life Should Be, even if you have to wait for a bit to get into your car.

In the article, the policeman stated that we call folks who come up from Massachusetts and behave poorly "tourists." Don't kid yourself. He was being polite and politic. We call them massholes or goat ropers. But only the ones who behave poorly. We like the rest of you. And should someone from New Hampshire behave poorly, we believe that it's because he or she recently relocated from Massachusetts to NH and hasn't had time to decompress. When someone from New York behaves poorly, we call them Yankees fans.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Baby Lions

Serengeti Plains, Tanzania

My parents are on the Serengeti Plains today, their last day in Africa.

On my last day in Africa in 2001, we came upon six lion cubs, napping and playing in the sun, left alone while their moms were out hunting. (Lions are kind of like some human families....the ladies bring home the bacon and their husbands just hang out and wait to see what's for supper) We watched them and photographed them for about 45 minutes and the cubs remained completely oblivious to our presence. These two went back to sleep about a minute after I took this shot.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Maine Country Club

One bucket to wash. One bucket to rinse. A steel brush for the extra dirty clubs. A towel to dry them off.

Nothin' fancy, but it works.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Only Way To Stay Cool

It is 85 degrees and muggy and let me tell ya, without air conditioning that's pretty uncomfortable. Unless you're in a kayak on a tidal river.....then, I'm told, 85 degrees is quite nice.

A local historic house is now for sale. If you've got a cool $4.4 million dollars in your pocket, historic Cragmere is yours (photo from the Sotheby's listing page).

In 1999, it won a Statewide Preservation Award. We toured the house during a kitchen and bath show four years ago and it's every bit as spectacular as it appears to be in the photo.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Summer Dog

Winston in the Water

Two Great Summah Salad Recipes

Up at Kezar on Friday night we had a fantastic summer menu: grilled steak tips and two light salads, fresh warm bread and sangria. The two salads complimented each other and the steak perfectly.

I contributed nothing to the dinner, but a bit of manual labor and a willingness to clean my plate and empty my glass (a couple of times for both, as I recall). Compliments of my two friends and wonderful cooks, Joan and Doreen, here are the salad recipes(the first I've reprinted exactly as Joan emailed it to me):

Green Salad with Basil, Pear and Parmesan

Use any type of greens that you like. I used a Spring mix and added a bit of curly green lettuce. Add fresh basil leaves--again it is personal preference as to how much basil. I used a whole package--one of those small prepackaged ones from the supermarket.

Add cut up pears --I used bosc pears, but could use anjou or similar ones I would think. I used 2 for the amount of salad I made for the six of us.

Before serving add candied walnuts...I just threw in a couple of handfuls.... (as you can see, with this salad, you can take a lot of liberties.)

Pour dressing over the salad right before serving and add shaved parmesan cheese...whatever looks right.


1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar

1 TBSP sugar (I think I used a little more than that)

1 tsp. Jane's Crazy Salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

2 TBSP Olive oil (I think I used a bit more than 2 TBSPs.

Shake vigorously in a jar.

Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Basil and Cheese
12 oz. medium shells or rigatoni
1 clove garlic
4 oz. Havarti, cut into cubes
1 lb. tomatoes cut into cubes
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
2 Tbs. olive oil or more to taste
1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. fresh pepper
grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and drizzle with olive oil. Set aside.
Rub the inside of a large bowl with the garlic (cut). Add cheese, tomatoes, basil and green onion to bowl and drizzle with olive oil.
Add mixture to pasta, toss to blend then add the grated Parmesan to the top of the salad.

Can be served warm or cold (we had it cold).

Monday, July 23, 2007

Tonight It Was All Good

From AP.com

Jon Lester crowned his courageous comeback with a victory.
The young pitcher, whose rookie season ended suddenly when he was diagnosed with cancer, pitched six innings to win his first game in 11 months and lead the Boston Red Sox over the Cleveland Indians 6-2 on Monday night.

Working to major leaguers while his parents sat on the edge of their seats near Boston's dugout, Lester allowed two runs and five hits to easily handle the Indians, the AL's best team at home.

Kezar Lake Weekend

I spent much of this weekend, sitting in a red Adirondack chair, book in hand, looking at this view. The book is the excellent On Kingdom Mountain by Howard Frank Mosher, a whopping good story, with a whoppingly wonderful heroine, Miss Jane Kinneson, or the Duchess, as she's known by some. It was a perfect beach book and a better choice for a beach with a view of the White Mountains.

When not enjoying this view, we ventured up into the White Mountain National Forest via Rt. 113. Fortunately for us, the road had washed out a few weeks ago during a thunderstorm. The Ranger turned us around, but he was kind enough to point us to Deer Hill Road and told us about a wildlife viewing station on the road. He said if we were lucky, we might spot a moose. At first, it was just this little guy at left, busily moving grasses into his dam. Just as we were about to leave, we spotted momma moose and her baby heading into the bog from the tree line. We watched them graze for about 45 minutes.
Afterwards, we drove back toward Bethel and Sweden and discovered Sally's diner, where we had an excellent corn chowder for lunch.

Dessert was blueberry pie. When we asked if the blueberries were fresh, we were told "the kids picked 'em yesterday in the clearing right across the road." We took the last two pieces to go and then shared them with the golfers when they returned to the camp. It was excellent.

On Saturday morning, I spent the better part of an hour on the screened in porch, looking at Kezar (rhymes with geezer) Lake, listening to the loons and watching hummingbirds, not more than two feet away, fight for a perch at the feeder. They were completely unafraid of me. They were also very loud and quite cantankerous, knocking each other off the feeder, giving each other the whatfor and chasing the interlopers into the brambles.

On Saturday night, we went to Ebenezer Kezer's Pub--a restaurant whose beer list I'd put up against any in all of Maine. I had a terrific Reuben sandwich and fries (watching my weight again) and found the best beer that I've ever tasted, Delirium Tremens. It's a light Belgian beer and as good as anything you'll find in any German beer hall (sorry, oma, but it really is).

Sitting next to us was a family of five. The oldest daughter never spoke during dinner, nor did she put her book down. She was half way through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and when asked admitted that she intended to finish it before she slept.

When we arrived home on Sunday afternoon, my copy of Harry Potter, compliments of Amazon.com was waiting. After I'd finished the entire Sunday NYTimes and a perfectly mixed bloody mary on the back deck, it was a perfect finish to a wonderful weekend.

Red Sox Nation Has Two New Citizens

If you happen to be watching the Red Sox playing the Indians tonight, watch for two cute blonde kids behind the dugout on the 3rd base line. They'll be wearing Red Sox T shirts. One is my 13-year old nephew and the other is his good friend. My nephew has always been a bright boy, but this shocks even me.

My family are all dyed in the wool, life-long Indians fans and my defection to Red Sox Nation has caused no end of dismay and garment rending, and much ridicule from my brother, who once uttered "When will you start rooting for Michigan, you turn coat?" They even considered sending me to a detox program to try to get it out of my system. Poor boy is in for a lot of peer pressure, but being right isn't always easy.

Go Sox, and go get 'em, Jon. It's good to have you back on the mound.

UPDATE: The nephew reports in via text message: Ya! Big papi pointed at me and he and Dice-K threw a ball to me and one to Conner.

It's always good to be a member of Red Sox Nation.

Happy Birthday

My mom turns 70 today. I can't wish her a good day personally so I'm writing her a letter.
I'm going to tell her:
That I hope that when I'm her age, I have enough gitty up and go left in my tank to spend my 70th birthday just like she is, watching elephants in Africa.

I hope that when I'm 70, I'll be as in love with my spouse and he with me, as my parents still are.

I hope that my kids like each other as much and are as close as adults as I am to my sister and brother.

I'll be happy if I can touch just one life and make it better, really better. She has done that thousands of times. She's mentored and encouraged and given hope to so many kids who had no one else to tell them that they mattered and that they could do whatever they dreamed they could do.

And finally, I'll tell her that I love her very much and I hope that she saw a leopard on this trip. They're very rare, and she missed this guy the last time she was there.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


More on this later. For now, suffice it to say that any trip where you can watch a momma moose and her calf graze in a bog for 45 minutes must be deemed highly successful. (as always, click to enlarge)

Friday, July 20, 2007

A Little Slice of Heaven

Kezar Lake, ME
We're heading to western Maine for the weekend. I'll be sitting in a red Adirondack chair and looking at this view while Retired Guy plays in the prestigious Western Maine Open Golf Tournament. The best part of it is that the camp where we stay has no TV and cell phones don't work well up in that neck of the woods (literally the neck of the woods), so we won't have to watch the Sox continue their downward spiral. They've gone from spinning their wheels to full steam reverse. Sheesh.

(the Western Maine Open is actually retired guy and three of his closest friends playing as many golf courses as they possibly can in three days, while their wives swim, play tennis and relax, but it sure sounds important, doesn't it?).

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Folks around here call this cruising. It's a little different than cruising the strip in Miami Beach or that Michael Nesmith song, but it's every bit as good.

With the possible exception of this July, that is. We've had day after day of fog and drizzle and so far, we've only had two days that have reached 80 degrees. Now I hesitate to say this, as some that I know will take it as proof that global warming is a great liberal hoax, but the fact is that it's been a miserable July here in Vacationland USA.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Time Out

I took a time out from my work to read Thomas Friedman's column in todays' New York Times.
Regardless of whether you are For the war or Against the war, support troop withdrawal or think we need to stick it out, I hope you find this as inexcusable as I do:

I can’t imagine how I’d feel if I were the parent of a soldier in Iraq and I had just read that the Iraqi Parliament had decided to go on vacation for August, because, as the White House spokesman, Tony Snow, explained, it’s really hot in Baghdad then — “130 degrees.”

I’ve been in Baghdad in the summer and it is really hot. But you know what? It is a lot hotter when you’re in a U.S. military uniform, carrying a rifle and a backpack, sweltering under a steel helmet and worrying that a bomb can be thrown at you from any direction. One soldier told me he lost six pounds in one day. I’m sure the Iraqi Parliament is air-conditioned.

So let’s get this straight: Iraqi parliamentarians, at least those not already boycotting the Parliament, will be on vacation in August so they can be cool, while young American men and women, and Iraqi Army soldiers, will be fighting in the heat in order to create a proper security environment in which Iraqi politicians can come back in September and continue squabbling while their country burns.

Senators Collins and Snowe--expect a letter from me, posthaste.

Tiger Lillies

Tiger Lillies, Cape Neddick ME (retouched and texturized in Photoshop)

It's been a busy week at the job that pays the mortgage. We present to the new owners tomorrow and those presentations will determine quite a bit about which programs get funded (we're now owned by PE, so ROI is now everything-- if you know what those acronyms stand for you understand--if you don't consider yourself very lucky) and to some extent, who gets big new jobs in the new organization. No pressure here, folks. But I have spent about 60 hours this week building powerpoint decks, double checking financial reports, making sure competitive market overviews are correct and up-to-date, and revising budgets. Yee Haw! Don't you wish you had a fun job like mine? Is it only Wednesday? Can the week get any longer?

The Red Sox are hopelessly mired in some catch-22, tire spinning funk and can't get a fire lit. The offense is offensive (pardon, it's been long week). The Yanks are now only 8 back and closing hard. Julian Tavarez starts tonight, so we'll be viewing our latest obsession, AKA the complete West Wing Series on DVD. I cannot get enough of it. How did I miss this series when it was in Prime Time?

I hope you're all well. I cannot wait for a free minute to visit your blogs and catch up.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Lobster Boat Racing

Relentless Quest, World's Fastest Lobster Boat
Some say that this is the most uniquely Maine event of the whole summer. We only know it's one of the most interesting and fun.

Would You Like to Buy a Lighthouse?

Historic Whaleback is available to certain types of agencies/groups for free.
more on the history of Whaleback here (as well as the requirements for those wishing to run the lighthouse)...and you might notice that the article is written by a certain blog buddy.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Child Endangerment, Ohio Style

You can just see my 13-year old nephew hitting the water behind his sister's inner tube. His dad, who was driving the boat, estimates that the tube was going about 60 mph when Robby biffed (the boat was going 35 and Robby was on a whip--what the kids call The Double Whip of Doom). He came up laughing and got right back on the tube. I proudly point out that Robby biffed six times on this particular day, Maggie never did. You go girl.

More random vacation postings as I have time to sort through photos and memories.

Broccoli Slaw

Tonight's menu features burgers on the grill and I'm bored with all my usual burger side dishes.
You know the summer stand-bys: macaroni salad, potato salad, corn on the cob, green salad.....
So tonight, I'm trying an old Cincinnati standby (my sister-in-law's recipe):


  • 1 pound broccoli slaw (sold in a bag in the produce department)
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 packages beef Ramen noodles
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • cayenne pepper (a few shakes)


In a large bowl, combine broccoli slaw, sunflower seeds, and chopped onions. Make dressing from the seasoning packets from the 2 packages beef Ramen noodles and pour dressing over salad; crumble the Ramen noodles and serve on top of each serving.

Breaking News In York Beach

No matter how frequently bias in reporting is discovered, it still makes me catch my breath and often causes a bit of stomping about the house and in extreme cases, some pontificating to the Retired Guy (who always listens patiently) about incompetence in journalism. I hate to call out an alumnus of my esteemed institution but in the interest in fair and balanced reporting and to protect the image of our little village, I must do so.

If you happen(ed) to be watching Robin & Company on Headline News this morning, you probably saw this story reported on. A twelve-year old boy is arrested by the York Police for stealing a 25 cent bubble gum cigar from a candy store in York Beach.

As a rule, we try to avoid the madness of York Beach (tourist trap--it screams) from about June 15 until October 1 and the interview on CNN with Peggy Fennelly (Headline News got her name wrong) did nothing to make us change our mind. She looked grumpy and vindictive. We were upset that she made such a mountain out of a 25 cent cigar. Why make such a big deal of it? Sheesh, we thought.

At the end of the report, CNN does mention that Fennelly is trying to get the charges dropped because the young man wrote a letter of apology, but it's a quick sentence at the end, provided without context or more detail. Then I got to wondering why such a story would make national morning news at a time when more and more Republican Senators are urging us to change our Iraq strategy, Bush has ordered his counsel to snub Congress, wildfires are burning up the West......this is news? There must be more to it all. So I investigated a bit more.

The editorial (linked above) in the Portsmouth Herald provides a very different take on the situation. It says that Fennelly might be the best friend this young boy ever had for caring enough to teach him such a valuable lesson. You might not agree with the editorial but at least you've got enough information on the situation to form a better opinion. It provides context, additional information and balanced information. Based on the the letter of apology that the boy wrote, I rather agree with the editorial:

"Dear Mrs. Fennelly,

"I am very sorry about what happend in the candy shop today and I will never do any thing like this again for the rest of my life. I am dissapointed in my-self and my parents are also dissapointed and supprised at my actions. As my father said on the phone this is very unlike me. Also for the next few weeks I will have to give my allowance to charity and do extra chores around the house as punnishment. I will remember this for the rest of my life. As I have said before I am very very sorry and I have been taught a very valuable lesson and hope you can forgive me for all the trouble I have caused you."

Much Warmer Northeast Has Extreme Consequences

The Union of Concerned Scientists have released preliminary results from a two year study on climate change and the news is dire for the Northeast. Winters would be on average 8 to 12 degrees higher by the end of the century, and summers 6 to 14 degrees higher. This means change for the economy and industries that create the unique character of the region:

  • The skiing industry would go out of business, except for western Maine resorts.
  • Lobstering south of Maine would cease to exist as will cod fisheries
  • Maple syrup production in Vermont will end
  • Fall foliage will no longer dazzle
  • Apple orchards will die out
  • Boston, New York and Atlantic City would be regularly flooded
  • Songbirds will disappear (see, I told you it was dire)
The good news, according to the report is that a low-emission alternative is achievable and would leave the Northeast with a similar climate.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Look What Just Washed Up in York

A blue, albino lobster. How rare are blue lobsters? About 1 in 2,000,000.
If you'd like to see this guy, stop into Maude Hutchins. They're not going to make him into a lobster roll anytime soon. They've decided to keep him in the tank for a while

Pea Soup

While the rest of the lower 48 work through the heat wave, we've been in a perpetual state of fog. Old timers tell me the fog used to be a June event and by July, it was clear and sunny. This year, it's a little mixed up; June was warm, clear and glorious. July is damp, cool and foggy. We even considered building a fire on Monday night, but decided we'd not build a fire in July unless it snowed!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Early Adopter Blues.....

Apple just (sort of) announced the plans for the new iPod. Sounds like it will have iPhone functionality but in a (just a guess at this point) Nano case.....

Apple Inc. (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) plans to launch a cheaper version of the iPhone in the fourth quarter that could be based on the ultra-slim iPod Nano music player, according to a JP Morgan report.

Kevin Chang, a JP Morgan analyst based in Taiwan, cited people in the supply channel he did not name and an application with the U.S Patent and Trademark office for his report dated July 8.

Apple filed a patent application document dated July 5 that refers to a multifunctional handheld device with a circular touch pad control, similar to the Nano's scroll wheel.

I Work For A Company That Has No Name

Posting is still lite, as the 'job that pays the mortgage' is taking a HUGE amount of time. In addition to the usual return from vacation bustle, we've got a LOT going on with our recent transition.

The sale of the company was completed on Thursday July 5th (I like to be on vacation during these times--harder to fire me). Our former CEO and Senior VP of Sales are no longer with us. The gentleman who hired me to the company is the new Senior VP of Sales and the new CEO is the CEO who was in place when I joined the company nine years ago (that's all good--and would appear to be good for me).

There's a whole lot of really fun behind the scenes politics that went on with those changes, but in an effort to not get Dooced, I won't talk about that stuff here. For various copyright and trademark reasons, we have no new name. It will take another three weeks to finalize the new company name.

We will be merging two huge divisions into one and there will be redundancies. Worst case scenario, it appears that I'll be employed until at least November. I've told my boss that I will not relocate back to Cincinnati for any reason, and that might cost me a job. We'll just have to see. But I'm ok with the risk, as I'm now a Maine girl. I wake up to views that look like this:
We love our life here and we've decided that job or no job, we're staying.

In the meantime, if anyone wants to hire a middle aged editorial manager living in southern Maine, I'm polishing up the resume: I have managed up to 17 direct reports at a time; I manage budgets of more than $30 million and can create and manage a book P&L that is profitable; I can performance manage personnel with the best of them; I can develop manuscript, plan writing schedules, craft market research and run author planning meetings; I have extensive experience at negotiating contracts and royalty rates and I can terminate book contracts without getting sued.....Readers of this blog know that I'm a horrible proof-reader.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Sorry for the Light Posting...

.....but I've been busy playing with my new iPhone all day. It's every bit as good as they all said it was.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Water World

My brother can still make a good cut on a water ski....but he's never been able to cut a rug.

Life Is Good

Enjoying the sunset....

Carnival of Ice Cream

What a wonderful carnival, full of all of the good things in life: passion and memories, the Buckeye State and a bit of wine. Do we need anything else to live a refined and fullfilling life? I think not.

Lori, the Smoky Mountain Family Historian, remembers a very lucky (and very smart) dog from Holmes County Ohio.

Terry offers a very heartfelt ode to homemade sherbet, er, sorry purple passion and to southern beauties.

The Blue State Blogger made the most of a night off for the Red Sox, by partaking of some ice cream and some wine. Red Sox? Ice Cream? Wine? Check. Check. And Check. That makes us kindred spirits if not cosmic twins.

Foreign, Fellowship and Family are the keys to ice cream for Margaret. Her husband, Chap and their three girls make ice cream a wonderful nightly ritual.

UPDATE: Amy visited Strawberry Alley for a scoop of French Vanilla in a waffle cone--and writes so well of it, she almost convinced me that I would like vanilla ;)

For those of you who have more ice cream posts send them along. I'll continue to update the Carnival.

Oh, and thanks for letting me host this month. I've had the honor of meeting two new bloggers, Lori and Terry, and I'm looking forward to visiting their blogs often and soon.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Hey Y'All

We're home. We had a lovely time of making homemade ice cream, watching the sunsets, and most especially torturing the children:

Don't worry. Everyone lived. More adventures from Ohio tomorrow as tonight is set aside for unpacking, looking at the garden, watching the Sox and petting the cats.