Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cats in the Mist

The Mystery Cat first appeared on our back deck during a winter storm several years ago. We didn't see him again for quite some time, but almost a year ago, not too long after the dog who used to sleep on the front porch died, Mystery Cat started to appear more regularly. Since the resident cats no longer go outside, we count on Mystery Cat to take care of mice, moles, and other small visitors. The only contact he has allowed so far is eye contact.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Who Would Have Thought It?

If you had told me 35 or even 30 years ago that I would count "mom" as the most challenging and fulfilling job I ever held, I would likely have laughed in your face. Yet here I am, in my 56th year of life, saying exactly that. They're good kids, grown, yes, but still kids at heart. I'd like to think they get at least that much from me.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Yeah, But Can You Fry an Egg?

It's by no means an expensive, high-quality thermometer, but ... Suffice to say it was only 10:30 in the morning when I took this photograph on the shady side of the house. It might really be hot enough out there now, in mid-afternoon, to fry an egg on the right surface, but all things considered, I can do without finding out.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Great Minds Run in the Same Direction?

My stepmother and I independently had the idea of scattering at least a bit of Dad, in the form of his ashes, in Montana on the first anniversary of his death. Dad always spoke fondly of his years in Montana, so I hope he'll be happy resting there. It will also be interesting for me to wrestle with overlaying childhood memories with current appearances. I expect there to be some discrepancies in size.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

You've Got Mail!

That's today's haul minus the two magazines and one letter I'd already set aside for older son. To the far left are coupons, bills, and other things requiring action. To the far right are two magazines and a catalog requiring look- or read-throughs. The middle right pile is destined for recycling. The box of silk ties came from friends in Chicago who were going to send them to Goodwill or the local equivalent until I put in a Facebook yell that I love working with ties. I'm not sure what I'll use these for, but I'm sure I'll come up with something.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

There's Just Something About a Card Catalog

I did not buy another card catalog today, the one available being in noticeably worse shape than the one I already have. It also cost four times as much as the current one did while being only twice as large. There's also the issue of where to put it. If I'm lucky, it will no longer be there the next time I visit my favorite hodge-podge store.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Can Blood Be Straight?

I donated platelets today and got this coupon in return. Not being all that assertive a person, I did not hand it back to them while explaining that I am boycotting Chick-fil-A until they accept that all people are created equal.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Home Is the Sailor

We have an authentic Maine lobster buoy hanging on the front porch, tangible evidence that vacation is over and reality looms on the morrow. Vacations, especially those involving reconnecting with dear friends, nourish the soul, so I hope to make it through this coming week and beyond with a renewed sense of calm.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Back When I Was Young ...

... museums that permitted photography for personal use did not include the comment that "personal use does not include posting of photographs on publicly accessible web sites." That's why I'm not posting any of the amazing, awesome photos from my trip to the amazing, awesome MIT Museum. As for the photo above, it's a pay phone that's also a bit past its youth.

Friday, July 22, 2011

I'm Sorry, But ...

...I did not come to Maine to purchase Virginia peanuts. I do have standards even if many of them are low.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Can You Hear Me Now?

And can you see a face here? I can, but it's probably not the same face you see. The face I see now is not the face I saw when I took the photo, nor is it likely to be the face I see tomorrow. Even one's own perspective changes all too quickly.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

On Jordan Pond

Sometimes, the scenery close in front of you is just as compelling as the broader landscape. I try to look both ways as often as I can.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Eyes Have It

There he stood outside the shop in Southwest Harbor, Maine, with a slightly inquisitive, slightly crazed look in his eyes. It was love at first sight. Had he not been firmly rooted to the ground, we might have run away together. We might be running still. Maybe someday.

Monday, July 18, 2011

On the Road Again ...

You can see the other side of the mug I used this morning here. The cup of coffee shown here got me to the airport in Richmond, Virginia. A cup from Caribou Coffee there got me to Boston, Massachusetts. The third cup came from a Starbucks at a rest area in Maine. I sleep tonight in the cool sea air of Bernard, Maine. It's not the other side of the world, but it's more than good enough for me.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

It Was Free Margarita Night, Too, Yesterday

A mere smidgen of the books at Capitol Hill Books in Washington, DC. This is but a small, small, SMALL part of the second floor; there is also a basement and a ground floor. One must navigate oh so carefully around corners and between shelves because there are books piled everywhere, beside bookcases, atop bookcases, in between wall studs, everywhere. While I came away with two books, I chose not to participate in Free Margarita Night, faced as I was with a several-hour drive home late at night.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The View this Morning

Where is younger son, who claims to have climbed scaffolding to the top of a very historic building on the grounds of the local university, when we have scaffolding, albeit smaller, here at home? It is likely a good thing he's not here. He'd probably offer me lessons in scaffolding, and I'd probably accept them.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Other Mother's Day Present

This is Lady Mixalot, the other Mother's Day present besides the means to a concealed handgun permit. I'd thought about getting one of these for years, but always talked my way out of it under the "I don't really need that" umbrella. I may still not need her, but I absolutely love Lady M's help with such things as bread; whipped cream and meringue; and pie fillings (there's a key lime in the works for Sunday).

Thursday, July 14, 2011


For a long time, I thought that African violets required some sort of magical extra-green thumb to keep them blooming. Uh, no. I got brave one day and bought two then proceeded to water them on and off when I watered my other houseplants (when Big Peace Lily starts to droop, everyone gets watered). The violets did fine. In fact, the violet in the foreground here (to the left of the evil penguin) is one I started from a leaf that got pulled off the violet in the background.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

You Can't Have Everything

Two butterflies and a bee, all partaking of the flowers outside my door. Is it too much to ask for a pristine background without a garden hose running through it and without a messenger bag and sweatshirt hurriedly dropped to the sidewalk so as to chase butterflies? Yes, it is. You can't have everything. (The color of the flowers is washed out, too.) This is probably why I shall never go anywhere in photography. I am not patient enough to plan the shot and shoot the plan.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Cat Who Owns Me

Meet Scully. Nine or ten years ago, her kidneys were failing, working at just 30 percent of what they should have been. The vet told me to take her home and make her comfortable. He still jokes about just how comfortable I've kept her. I can't tell you why she's still here, and neither can the vet. She's just that stubborn.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Ski Machine Is Not a Clothes Rack

I got this Nordic Track ski machine when the sons were in preschool as a way to get some exercise--a 30-minute video for them and 30 minutes of exercise for me. Yes, this is an exercise machine and not a clothes rack. I can't say exactly how many miles I've gone on this machine because there were years I only noted how long I skied not how far. I can say that it is easily in the thousands and that the ball bearings in the ski assembly have been replaced more than once.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The View from the Office Desk

The silk flowers were a gift from the husband on my first day back to my full-time job after maternity leave with older son. I still keep them where I can see them while I work, though by choice and non-necessity I work much less than full-time now and from an office in my home. The artwork beside them was done by one of the Aussie friends I hope to visit next spring.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

And She's Off!

I spend more time than I would like in my car though not as much on a daily basis as I used to. My previous car sported a bumper sticker that proclaimed "If I'm a mother at home, then why am I always in my car?" This got a lot of comments in parking lots, though not quite as many as my current "Republicans for Voldemort" one does.

Friday, July 8, 2011

One of the Banes of My Existence

Interestingly, laundry was the source of my first successful New Year's resolution which, some years ago, was to put the clean laundry away each night before heading to bed. And no matter how many nights I put clean laundry away, there's always more dirty laundry to replace it the next morning.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Watch over Me, He Does

I have a Yoda figure above both of my desks as well as one on the dashboard of my car. No, I am not a Star Wars fanatic. Indeed, the only reason to watch any of the first three "chapters" in the movie series is to see Yoda wield a light saber.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Rainy Days and Wednesdays ...

... sometimes get me down. Other times, they wash away what ails me. As for today, the jury is still out.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Paid by the Hour

I work hourly and have trouble imagining going back to full-time, salaried employment. When I have work to do and do it, I am paid. When I do not have work to do, I do other things. Today, I had some work to do.

Monday, July 4, 2011


I used to give a pint of whole blood every eight weeks. Now I give platelets every two weeks. It's sort of "me time." I curl up under blankets, with hot packs on my shoulders, heart, and in my hand, and enjoy some guilt-free reading time.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Morning After

These are two of the three bottles of wine consumed last night. The women drank wine; the men drank beer. A good time was had by all, though I wonder if the headache I felt all night long was really early-onset hangover. If the labels look shiny here, it's because of the Label Lift adhesive coating them. I remove labels from win bottles and someday will do something with them.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

First Annual Mombat Birthday Shoot

Best day shooting yet. I got the sight zeroed in by myself and then discovered just how boring shooting with a bipod and a scope at 25 yards can be. Next time, I'll shoot at 50 yards. Eventually, I'd like to be able to shoot standing and holding the rifle on my own; from there, it would be nice to be able to use just the rifle's iron sight, not a scope.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jean!

My kids want me to be more of a badass. What more can I say than that the item between the books is a 50-round magazine for Miss Timmi, my second rifle. I never thought I'd be a gun owner, but I am and actually enjoy shooting, but only at targets.