Monday, December 31, 2012

On the Very Last Day of the Year

We are covered in white...glorious white.  Notice my tiny greenhouse right there, all tucked in for winter.  

Day before yesterday, it snowed and snowed, and then we got a little more.  

No pictures of this, but at one point I called shotgun to ride along with Henri.  It was the first time I had ever been inside a truck while it rammed a 4 ft. snow bank.   For that I was not prepared.  Surprisingly (to me), after the initial jolt I found it rather exhilarating.  Who knew!

A feathered friend we met during today's walk.  

Here is the street view of how winter changed up my kitchen window box.  Getting dark...time to go inside.

My shop, Frenchman's Bay Tea Co., is officially closed for the season.  This is how it looked last night at sunset.

We decided to let the snow pile up over there.  For now, it will serve as a dreamy white winter wonderland, where the focus of my many thoughts and dreams for it will await in anticipation of a spring reopening!  Wishing everyone a safe and very blessed New Year!   

And for some reason before I go to bed tonight as I look out my window, I want to end the year with this quote from John Irving's The Cider House Rules.

  "Goodnight all you Princes of Maine, all you Kings of New England."  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

December in Maine

As this Christmas Day comes to a close I realize how very blessed we are to be surrounded by so much beauty, and wanted to share some pictures I have taken during our walks this month.    

Just a short post to let you know I'm still around even though my posts are few and far in between.  I hope this day finds you feeling well loved and nurtured.  Sending out Merry Christmas Wishes to you from our little corner of the world.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Memories

It's the first Halloween without my Simon and I am remembering so many good times with him throughout our 36 years together.  Halloween was always such a fun night for us and we always dressed up and entertained anyone who came to our door for candy.

Simon could hold a pose long enough to make many a person think he was just a prop, and then when he finally moved he would join in with the laughter and shrieks that ensued!  

I don't know if we will ever end up with another sweet creature to share our life with, but my mind is now open after reading a recent post that was in our town's monthly newsletter.  Here it is below:

A Pet's Last Will

Before humans die, they write their will:  give their home and all they have to those they leave behind.  If my paws could do the same, this is what I would do.

To a poor and lonely stray I'd give:  my happy home, my bowl and cozy bed, soft pillows and all my toys, the lap which I loved so much and the hand that stroked my fur, and the sweet voice that spoke my name.  I would will to the sad, scared shelter dog the place I had in my human's loving heart, of which there seemed no bounds.  So when I die, please do not say, "I will never have a pet again, for the loss and pain is more than I can stand."  Instead, go find an unloved dog, one whose life has held no joy or hope and give my place to him.

This is the only thing I can give . . . the love I leave behind.  


Happy Halloween everyone.  And to all you little gobblins out there stay safe and bring home lots of candy!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Focusing on My Distractions

Here's a photo that Henri took that I recently found on my camera.  I thought it was so simple and sweet and  for me it was a reminder of something I have not done in a long time.  While I am still sleeping, my dear husband has his own routine of sitting quietly by the window enjoying his first cup of coffee.  More and more I find myself distracted by Pinterest as I sip my coffee.  Looking at this photo I realized I needed to start giving equal time into finding inspiration from nature as well.  

Armed with our bicycles and camera we headed over to one of the carriage trails in Acadia National Park on a brisk yet sunny morning.  It had been a while since we rode our bikes and of course we ended up having to walk them up many of the long grades there.   I always sympathize whenever I see the horses pulling the carriages up these steep grades.

The shot below was Henri's idea and I had never tried this before, although I had always wanted to.  I used my bicycle seat to balance my camera while using a low speed setting on my camera to try to slow down the flow of the water.  He always has the ability to keep me focused, even though I may grumble and continue to be too distracted.

After a while though, it was me slowing down to catch a shot of this glistening web.  

And then one to capture the colors of this scenic vista along the trail. 

We enjoyed a bit of hiking too in the early morning mist.  

Being able to capture some pictures again for this blog helps keep me focused.  I thank you for bearing with me despite my long absence in between posts.  You all are the best! 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Frenchmans Bay Tea Co.

Sometimes real life holds many more surprises for us than perhaps what our imaginations could even conjure up to write about.  I thought it time to reveal to you the reason for my long absence on this blog.  It's because  of what I am announcing over on my other blog frenchmans bay tea co.  I hope you pay me a visit to find out.  It's also the reason why I have not been able to connect lately with so many of my blog friends that I adore.  Please bear with me as I slowly get back in touch with all of you!

Please click HERE to find out just what we have been up to now!  Thank you so much my friends.  

Friday, June 29, 2012

Finding Comfort

You all have helped me so much to find comfort after the loss of my beloved parrot Simon with your many comments, correspondence and words of encouragement.   Thank you so much for that.  And, for your patience with me finding my way back into blog land again.  I am way overdue to visit with each of you again and I plan to remedy that in the days to come.  

Until recently, it had been a long while since I last picked up my camera.  So long in fact, that my tulips were still in bloom.   Back when it was early spring.  

And I had yet to plant my white geraniums in my cherub flower pots that reside at the entrance of my tiny greenhouse.

The day that I actually picked up my camera again, this is one of the first photos I took.  It was not until I got home and saw this photo that I realized what this gull was up to.  It was a lucky shot indeed.  Like a gift to remind me of the simple beauty in everyday events that are always unfolding all around us.

So lately, I have gotten back into the habit of picture taking.  And Henri and I have been going fishing too.

Although I may not divulge our favorite fishing hole, I will tell you it is a lake somewhere in Acadia National Park.  It has been a very healing experience for me there.

And at the end of the day we even end up with something good for dinner.

They are called brook trout and they are very tasty.  Here's a closer picture of our catch.

In case you wonder, it was me that scored the largest catch of the day.  In fact, I even caught the smallest one you see right there too. Said another way, Henri caught the one in the middle.  I suppose I could have just told you that to begin with.  But either way, it makes for a fine looking trio...don't you think?  


It sure feels good to be back posting again.  Thank you all for bearing with me and for all your support in my continued healing.  

Thursday, May 24, 2012


My sweet parrot Simon passed away early this morning.  I will miss that boy even more than I am able to express in words.  I am so grateful for the many years that he was in my life.

I brought him home with me in September 1976 when I was just 22 years old.  I had wandered into a local pet store and was casually walking by a cage he was sitting on top of when he suddenly grabbed at my shirt and climbed up onto my shoulder.  The pet store employees were all upset and nervous as they were trying to figure out how to safely remove him.  He apparently didn't like the guys, and it was the guys that were afraid of him.     The next day I went into my local credit union to ask for a loan of $500 to take him home with me.  As you can imagine, the loan officer didn't think she heard me quite right and dropped her pen on the desk when I repeated my request.  The next day she called and told me to come pick up my check.  I immediately called the pet store and asked if they still had the bird named "Buddy," and if so, would they do me a favor and start calling him Simon as I was on my way to pick him up.

Me and Simon during our younger years.  

Goodbye my sweet bud.  Thank you for all the love you gave me.  I know you're with Grandpa right now eating peanuts out of his hand once again.  You know my love for you will never end.   

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Romance of the Sea

Whether you call them Windjammers, Clipper Ships, or Schooners,  these classic 19th century sailing vessels are what I find myself more and more drawn to lately.   This is a shot I took last May of the 4-masted schooner known as the Margaret Todd that sails out of Bar Harbor, Maine.  

Since then I have managed to find a few items that have turned my interest into a minor passion for them.  For the record, I've only been sailing one time and I don't prefer it, but I just love the romance the image of these ships conjure up for me.  Here's a scrimshaw brooch that I found at a local thrift store.

My fabric with a repeat of this iconic image in blue was perhaps what started my interest to begin with.   It's not that I intentionally went out looking for these things, but rather they unexpectedly starting appearing before me.  And I started taking them home with me.

I was pretty smitten when I came across this sealing wax stamp.

Can you imagine the romance of letting a candle drip over the envelope of a handwritten letter to your love?

Here, I just used glue gun sealing wax to make them.  They are such fun to use, I may even include them on my bills.

Then, a couple of Sundays ago we were out with friends and stopped by an Antique Mall in Searsport, where we found an authentic ship's wheel.  Here it is on my mantel.

Although I didn't need much convincing, when our friend Danny pointed out the places on the outer spokes that were worn from where the becket lines were tied during a storm to keep the helm secure, I knew this bad boy was coming home with me.

It was also his opinion judging by the patina of the wood that this wheel must have spent some time at the bottom of the ocean, much like my barnacled bottles that I have displayed alongside my new treasure.

It's interesting how our collections are often influenced by the world that can be seen right outside our window.  I feel so lucky to be able to live by the ocean.  It was always a dream of mine and now a reality that I truly savor.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Still Life

I took this picture back in January and never posted it because it just didn't seem to fit in with any of my other pictures in my posts.  Until today.

While I was in town today picking up a few groceries I had planned to pick up some more tulips for my kitchen.  However, when I got there and saw the available selection they were a little rough looking.  Then my eye caught the sight of some roses.

A small colorful bouquet for the same price as the tulips.  Can you believe just a little over $5?!  

I couldn't resist trying to photograph them in the fading light of our bedroom.  First on our French settee and then in front of our favorite marine painting of a night seascape.  It is particularly dark in there because our bedroom is painted black, a Sherwin-Williams color called sealskin.  We get teased for having a "boudoir" look in there, so you can chuckle if you want to, we're used to it.

I like how they look inside my silver plate teapot.  The lid to the teapot is broken, so it works out really well as a vase.

I normally like to buy roses in all one color, but I think this is my new favorite.  I like the drama of them against the dark background.  

Plus the colors go so well with the sunsets we often find around here.  And most importantly I was finally able to show you the drama that a local mussel dragger silhouetted against a January sunset can have too.  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

March in Maine

March is windy. 

The extra light at the end of the day is most appreciated by all.  

Here's what the moon looked like a couple days ago during our walk.  Even though I know it's a full one tonight, I think it's very beautiful at this stage too.     

While driving along the shore we noticed this lobster boat and we stopped to capture a few shots.

Even though we were far away, we were spotted.  It's also very lonely here this time of year before the summer people return.

 Taken today in Sorrento Harbor on our way back from the post office.

It was 57 degrees here today and I didn't want to miss the opportunity to mention it in contrast to the snowstorm we just had this past Monday.  March is surprising like that.