When you're a 40 something single mother of a teen with lots of ambition, you find yourself in all kinds of interesting adventures and situations. Come back to laugh at us any time you feel the need, heaven knows where we'll be doing what next. Here you can expect a few words, a lot of images and hopefully ideas on what you can do for your next adventure.

If you're looking for something specific that we've done or a place that we've been, use the Search Box feature to search our blog.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Twisters in town

Things like this just don't happen here in Maine, let alone in your back yard. To say that I was scared out of my mind is a complete understatement. To top it off, Monkey was still with his father and was dropped off at exactly 7:00, they drove just to the north of the toronado and just about lost the windshield. This was right after I sent a text and called repeatedly to get them to stay where they were. At least he made it home safe!

WMTW - Channel 8 News, Portland Maine

POSTED: 8:16 am EDT July 22, 2010 / UPDATED: 12:43 pm EDT July 23, 2010

GORHAM, Maine -- The National Weather Service confirmed Thursday afternoon that tornadoes touched down in Limerick, Alfred and a third tore through Buxton, Gorham and Westbrook on Wednesday.

John Jensenius, a meteorologist at the NWS, said a twister hit Foss Road in Limerick on Wednesday evening. Jensenius told News 8 that the tornado had winds of 90 mph, making it an EF 1.

The second twister had winds of 90 mph, and was on the ground for 12 minutes and traveled 5.5 miles from Buxton to the Gorham-Westbrook town line.

The third touched down in Alfred and was also an EF 1 twister.

The National Weather Service said Maine averages two EF 1 tornadoes per year.

In all, there were three tornado warnings in Maine on Wednesday. Many residents in the town of Gorham believe a twister touched down there too, but that has not been confirmed yet.

News 8 WMTW reporter Steve Minich said dozens of trees were uprooted in Gorham and landed on homes and cars.

Power has been restored to everyone who lost it during the storm.
The X is my neighborhood, the red trail is the path of the toronado, starting left and moving right. Webster Rd is in Buxton / Finn Parker Rd is in Gorham.

I'm going to apologize up front for the sound in this footage,  you can tell I was more than a little nervous! And so was the monkey.

Taken around 6:45, just as things were starting to get a little hairy

And this one around 6:50 - from what I can gather, the toronado was touching down 1/2 mile down the road at this time.

This video, taken just after 7:00, shows the skies as the first storm passed

And this one around 8:00, when all was said and done. Phew!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Another round of Bluebird Babes & Funky skies

It won't be long now and I'll have more flashes of blue in the backyard! How exciting, my first double!

The skies were really creepy as the storm passed just to the south of us right around sunset last night.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A little Field Study

Oohhh, how can you deny that face. These are actually a few weeks old now, taken around the fourth of July. I was out unsuccessfully chasing butterflies with my camera when the Monkey pointed out how pretty the flowers around the house were. Leave it to a child's mind to snap reality back into place.


Yucky Japanese Beetle

Semican Oats - I can't believe they made it. Immediately after being sown, the field was alive with White-Throated Sparrows. It's nice to see a few seeds made it!

Some wheat still grows in the field, three years after the original harvest.

I wish he could stay young forever.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A short visit to Crescent Beach State Park on a very hot evening

89 degrees at 5:30 in the evening. That's how this blog sort of begins.

The forecast was for 90 degrees on Saturday, and we easily hit that mark during the day. We woke up bright and early and had our bag packed to go to Sebago beach first thing this morning. We picked up the Bubster and squeaked through the town of Sebago just before they had their ceremonial parade to start Sebago Days and were in line to enter the park by 9:15. At 9:30 we were claiming our real estate on an already packed beach. We spent the day there playing in the sand and the waves (it was windy so the rollers were coming in sometimes 2 feet high!) and left around 2:30. I dropped the boys off at Bubster's house to play in the pool and they returned back to my care around 5:00. The house was too hot with no way to immediately remedy the situation and I looked at the temperature. 89 degrees - yes, I said it again. We piled in the car and headed to Crescent Beach State Park in Cape Elizabeth.

When we arrived it was 6:00 and although the parking lot was pretty much empty, there were still alot of people on the beach. It was cooler there with a nice sea breeze, and boys being boys they pretty much jumped right into the cool Atlantic ocean. There have been issues just to the South at the Old Orchard beaches with rip tides, with more rescues counted than I can count on one hand and one death within the past week - I was happy to see that the waters off Crescent were calm amid the rolling waves crashing the shoreline. We walked the beach for a little bit, then the boys settled in the freshwater stream that works it's way through the sand and empties into the ocean and I sat back and watched the show. We stayed until the park rangers were starting to make their rounds and we regretfully made our way back to stuffy Buxton. As I type, it's still 81 degrees. Ugh - time to hit the shelter of my air-conditioned bedroom.

Our next beach day has been decided. Crescent, look out - here we come.

You just can't keep boys out of the water

I think it's cold, but we should just do it anyway....

Female Common Eiders and their young hang toward the shoreline

A Common Tern finds himself a snack

The boys find a freshwater pool to hang in. Looks like a sauna to me.....

A Great Black-Backed Gull found himself a snack of a more human kind.

Sea Roses in bloom

Ahh, they almost look fake!

Bittersweet, prepared for the fall

Honeysuckle berries, somehow unscathed by berry-eating birds!

Down on the boardwalk.....

The boys play in the freshwater eddy

Rinse off gents! It's time to go....

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Squirrely politics

And as your leader, I promise to make sure you will never be hungry and food will remain readily available from the feeders at all times. I will keep the backyard a safe place to raise your young ones and promise to bring an end to the cold war with 'The House' and it's inhabitants, including the dog. I can introduce jobs, such as feeder demolishing and hole chewing to put a stop to the unemployment rates. I will provide a stimulus incentive of acorns this fall. Lastly, I will introduce a new bill that will provide extra stuffing for your leaf houses this winter so no squirrel will be left in the cold.

Vote for me, Red E. Squirrel. Thank you.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Book Review time! Nine Mile Bridge by Helen Hamlin

Here's something I bet you didn't know about me... I love books. So much, I've decided that when I finish a book - which isn't once a week and certainly not once a year, I'm going to let you know what I thought of it.

I've created a new page to keep track of the books I enjoy so I can share with you - it's called The Book Nook. Take a peek!

I've recently fallen in love with books written locally and for the most part published by Islandport Press. Located right around the corner from me in Yarmouth, Maine I believe that I am helping the economy around me by buying books that were written and printed practically in my back yard.

Nine Mile Bridge was written by Helen Hamlin and originally published by W.W. Norton & Company Incorporated in 1945. Islandport Press re-published in 2005 with edits and again in 2006 with a few more.

The book is about Helen in her younger years and how she spent three of them living deep in the Maine woods, first as a teacher and then as a wife to a fish and game warden. The title comes from the last location she lived, on the St. John River near Nine Mile Bridge.

One has to remember the timing of the story - in the  late 1930's to early 1940's - it's funny to hear her talk about clothing style, community dances and crank phones, Sears and Robuck catalogs and ordering items through the mail, running out of batteries and not being able to stay in touch with the world. The way they lived - hunting, fishing, trapping - from the land, is unheard of now. It's nice to stroll down memory lane.

Ironically, my grandfather was a registered Maine Guide and I can remember the tales he told of fishing and hunting for monster fish and game. I used to think he drank too much vodka, but this book helped put things into perspective (sorry Grampie!). They discuss catching their limit in Brook trout in minutes and catching lunker Togue in lakes untouched by most men at that time.

I also truly enjoyed her sense of humor when talking about the French-Canadians that they encountered on a regular basis. She expertly wrote exactly as they would sound (and trust me, I've known alot of French-Canadians in my time!):

            "Jees Crise, Curlee, dat damned dog she's not hugly. De busted ting he's eat Fred
             Mullen's pants. Crise hi laff. Fred Mullen she run like de hell. Got no pant behind!"

When I finished, I was in awe that Helen and Curlee didn't kill each other or go crazy with cabin fever. To spend a winter in Maine with alot of snow is bad enough now, back then with no electricity and five to six foot snowdrifts and not even a passable road to get out if needed? Oh man, I would hurt someone. :)

The book is a smart and funny read and I anticipate this will not be my only run-through. Click this link to enter Islandport's Nine Mile Bridge page, complete with a little story behind the book and some rave reviews.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

My molecular entities are threatening to become molten

Five chubby Renees, standing in a row
The sun started shining and what do you suppose?
One chubby Renee said 'Phew, it's hot!'
And disappeared completely 'cause she melted on the spot!

I feel much like Frosty the Snowman must have that fateful day that he melted away. "Gee, it sure is hot!" keeps running through my mind. Eventually, if the weather continues, all that will be left of me is a puddle and some clothes. Did you know that an object that has melted completely is considered "molten"?

Let me assure you that although it appears as though I'm complaining as you read this, I'm really just whining through my fingertips as they rattle across the keyboard. Two weeks of high heat and humidity with another week of it ahead of us and I'm thinking that a foot of snow is sounding pretty good right now. Polar opposite to last February when I was wishing that the vista was green and not white. I suppose that just proves that I appreciate Fall the most. I was watching the oscillating fan wave back and forth and figured I needed to do something intelligent before my brain melted. Here I sit <>

Maybe I'll just go shopping.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The dog days of summer

It's been ungodly hot here, for days in the 90's with high humidity. Makes it hard to do much of anything - let alone an adventure, so we've been laying low. We did hit Sebago State Park last weekend, only to have a woman pretty much place her beach chair in my lap. I have a ton of patience, until someone encroaches my personal space. It was fun regardless, I really do like it there. Since a report came out where a nearby beach on the lake was loaded with ecoli, I do believe it's time to switch from the warming fresh waters over to the fridgid Atlantic seawater. I like rolling in the surf anyway, and I hear that the ocean temp has now reached 63 degrees! Whoo! Here are pics from what is probably one of our last trips to Sebago for the season....

Mr. Cool

Never too old to dig in the sand

Monkey's new body board. He found it on the beach a week earlier, turned it into the lost and found and it wasn't relcaimed..... so it's his and is he ever proud

Our beach space - CLAIMED

At 10:30 am.... to our left

and to our right....

Monkey relaxing

Too cold to stay in, too hot to come out. That's when it's time to just go home. ♥

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Almost independence day, for Chickadee babies

The time is getting close for the last of my Chickadee families to fledge the nest. With the past three days pushing 90 degrees and the end of the high heat and humidity lasting until Sunday from what I hear, I can't imagine what it would be like to have warm feathered bodies in a little nestbox. Luckily, this one is in the shade. I also can't imagine being the feeder of those hungry little critters!

Mrs. B and her four little eggs must be having a time of it as well, she doesn't have alot of sitting time lately. If nothing else, she's probably doing alot of fanning to keep them cool!

June 26th - such sweet sleepy little babies!

Fuzzy and still cute.... feed me!

July 1st - look at the pin feathers! And this one's eye is wide open...

Mr. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird takes a break

I'm impressed, they never sit still long enough to get a picture, let alone two!

How's it going in there? An air conditioner? Where am I going to come up with the money for that?

Mmphtmsfmt :) It's a good thing the Red Squirrels are cute.


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