Friday, March 27, 2009

Adventure in Organic Eating

Today, I set off to shop organic at my local grocery store to see if I could tell a difference in taste between the brands that I regularly buy, which contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and the organic brands, which do not.

Here are some of the organic foods that I came home with. Most of them were much higher (up to double in price) than what I normally buy.

This was our first ever totally organic meal tonight.

And the organic southwest black bean soup

I thought it all tasted really good. Especially the $5.00 loaf of organic bread. After we finished eating, my husband asked where the rest of the meal was. He assumed he had only eaten the appetizer. Maybe I should have bought an organic cake mix. Oh well, there's always breakfast, when he will get a taste of the organic cereal that awaits in the cupboard.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Missing The Love

In Memory of Our Bo

1 Year Ago Today

Gone, But Not Forgotten.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Giving Back By Taking Away

Something very small can make a difference.

It can snowball into something larger.

It can become purposeful.

And especially satisfying

When you see the results

Giving Back By Taking Away Will Always Give Back
For Generations to Come
April 22 is Earth Day.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Maine Maple Sunday

The way in.
I don't remember seeing any peppers. But this here is the sugar shack.

"Lady, please get your mitts off my nose."

"Hey! What the heck is going on out there?"

Knock it off I tell you! Just knock it off!!

Chill out Red, we're just fiddling around.

Looking a bit woosie, but satisfied.

What was in that bag anyway?

Well now, that explains a lot.
Pancakes tomorrow . . . Yum!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Noticing Things

It's great to be walking over the rocks along the shore again scouting out sea glass. Near the center is a nice frosty white piece laying just as I found it.

The water was unusually calm for March

A couple more boats appeared back out on their mooring.

Such a serene setting in a busy world.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Picnic in Bar Harbor

We packed a picnic lunch and headed to Bar Harbor to celebrate the first day of Spring. For lunch we had a grilled shrimp salad, fruit, Ritz crackers, Cabot pepper jack cheese, and for dessert, we had brownies with walnuts.

We found a spot at the town pier and to our surprise we were not the only
ones with the same idea,

Well, this little fellow already had his spot.

And all the others were lined up too. Who would have thought
this would be such a popular place to park and eat on March 20?

After we ate, we took a walk along the 100 year old Shore Path.

Coming back through town we stopped at the park overlooking the harbor, before we headed back to the truck.

And of course we saved a few Ritz and cheese for our friend.

It was good to beat the crowds of summer. They don't know what they're missing.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Subtle Message?

Recently I had a request to come up with a subtle way for a wife to encourage her husband to remember to wash his hands before emerging from the bathroom. The idea was to make something that would really grab his attention AND make him think there was something in it for him ...

This was totally HER idea.

Yeah, I know.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Getting Funky With Felted Wool

This is my stash of wool yarn...

and here are my bamboo knitting needles.

I like to knit with wool, because it shrinks when you wash it in hot water and you get a totally different look. The process of shrinking wool is called "felting."
Here are before and after pictures of a couple things I handknit in wool on a larger bamboo needle. In the before pictures you can clearly tell they were knitted. In the after pictures, the stitches are less visible and have a matted and much softer look.

Funky Felted Wool Fish Before....

Funky Wool Felted Fish After....
Funky Handknitted Wool Hat Before.....

Funky Handknitted Wood Hat After.....

And this is the shawl I started today. It will be perfect for wearing on cooler spring days to take the chill off and will be a good way to dress up a pair of jeans, just in case I get to go somewhere fun on a Saturday night!

Or perhaps a visit to a nearby farm on Maine Maple Sunday.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Highlights of the Day

During our walk today I noticed how the setting sun lit up the peeled bits of bark on this lovely river birch.

My sister told me this time of day is what photographers refer to as "the golden hour" and is one of the best times of day for taking pictures. It's perfect for finding sea glass too, for an early tribute to St. Patrick's Day . . .

My other tribute involves the fiddle, but I will spare you a performance for now...

May the luck o' the Irish be with you, and

may you get all your wishes but one, so you always have something to strive for!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I received a package in the mail today from my friend I've known since high school. We talk on the phone every so often, perhaps 4 or 5 times a year, but we've always seemed to have an internal radar when it comes to sensing when it's time to get in touch with each other. And we have that uncanny way of picking up right where we left off, no matter how long of an interval it has been since our last conversation. A few weeks ago my cell phone rang and noticing the area code, I automatically thought it was a call from our grandson who would be asking for his grandpa, and handed the phone to my husband. When he answered, instead of hearing an 8 year old on the other end, a man's voice asked for me by name. When I answered, I immediately recognized the voice of my friend's brother on the other end. A bit of panic caught me for a moment, until he explained that she was in the next room and did not know he was calling. He said he wanted to tell me why he called and then he would hand the phone over to her. He told me she had arrived at his house earlier and my name had come up in their conversation and they spent a few minutes reminiscing about old times. Later, as he walked into the kitchen to make a phone call, he found a piece of cardboard and when he went to pick it up, it had my name and number on the back of it. That was the reason for his call to me he said. He took it as a sign that his sister and I were supposed to talk that night.

As usual, it was good to hear her voice and we talked for a long time. One of the things we discussed was my recent craving for chai tea that I had only recently tasted. Having worked at an Indian restaurant while she was in college, she shared the recipe with me that called for cardamon pods, of which I had never seen. We also talked of diets, sugar and her latest obsession with pistachio cakes, again something I had never seen. We also discussed books, her favorite author and communication from her younger sister and mother who both passed over within the past few years.

This special friend and I were born on the same day, exactly 9 hours apart, 9 states apart, and on the 9th day of the 9th month, in '54. We have always referred to each other as our astrological twin. Perhaps that's the reason for our special way of communication.

Anyway, I thank my lucky stars for her friendship.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Coastal Style Influences

When I came across a set of brass buttons at a flea market one day, an old sepia tone photograph of my father in his Navy uniform suddenly flashed across my mind.

Using some wool felt and a pillow form I was able to come up with this easy nautical accent.

Sometimes it takes a bit longer for inspiration to hit, such as the time our friends over in Blue Hill surprised me with a few bucketfuls of scallop shells. Although I did not immediately know what I was going to do with them, I was excited about the prospect of having such a large stash of them in my possession.

Although I still have plenty of them left, these shells were a quick way to transform my plain craft table into a one of a kind coastal accent piece.

Lately, I have noticed how living near the coast changes the way I think about design. Like these two pieces that were wheel thrown by my husband. Although this was not what he had in mind when he made them, I now refer to them as our Raku Jeanie Bottles.

Just today, I came across this free site that uses words imprinted randomly in images known as "word clouds" Just go to to try it out. Here's the image that was generated for me after I typed in a few random words.

How Very Inspirational!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sign Language

Designed to get attention, these neon colored signs herald the approach of mud season in Maine. When you hear a Mainer say "They posted the roads today." this is what is meant . . .

Around about the same time, while driving, you may notice a few places where you feel the entire road suddenly get yanked out from underneath your tires. There's an explanation for that too . . .

But one of my favorite signs was barely visible just 15 days ago . . .

My very own sign, that tells me I'm getting hungry for lobster!

A most welcome sign in Downeast Maine.