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.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Fresh Maine Shrimp - the season comes to an early end

Here in the state of Maine, fishermen are normally allowed to catch shrimp from December 1 through April 15. These delicious pink-bodied crustaceans are harvested by local fisherman with nets, and their annual tonnage is set by the government. Typically one could buy them from street vendors – a truck on the side of the road that brought them fresh from the boat and sold them in bulk – whole – to earnest buyers who stocked up on them for the coming year. They made for a cheap meal that would feed the entire family over and over again. I can remember my father bringing them home and my mother spending back-breaking hours cleaning them while we snuck them from the pile to cook with butter in a frying pan over the stove. The cats would go wild with the smell and thoughts of the smaller ones, too little to peel, that they could eat whole. They would claw at our all of pant legs, trying to figure out who held the jackpot.

My ex husband, who works on the waterfront, assisted with continuing the tradition by bringing home pounds and pounds of shrimp at a discounted price and we would spend hours of our own peeling and freezing the pink bodies to support the habit throughout the summer.

Apparently the roadside vendors have been squashed for the most part. I’ve had to scrounge around to find them at a decent price. Last year, as well as with this season, has abruptly been brought to an end due to the tonnage being met much earlier than expectation. I’m used to purchasing them at my leisure, when I have the time to peel them without distraction. I bought my first customary 10 pounds Sunday the 19th and cleaned them up in record time. The season for 2011 will end on the 28th of February – thanks Department of Marine Resources – now I have to scramble with the horrific winds and Marine advisories to find another 10 pounds before the season closes. Evidently there are so many shrimp that the fishermen have met their quota a month and a half early. Hooray for the shrimp stock, obviously they are breeding like crazy. Poor me, I need to scramble to keep the tradition alive.

For more information on the Maine shrimp landings, you are more than welcome to visit the State of Maine website here: http://www.maine.gov/dmr/rm/shrimp/2011landings.htm

10 pounds of uncleaned Shrimp

Equals 7 cups of cleaned shrimp, and a massive backache. A labor of love, to say the least.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Common Redpolls - a Buxton Backyard first

A flock of Common Redpolls have arrived in the back yard and so far, refused to leave. They appreciate my feeders, and I appreciate their happy little faces and cranberry red hats as they come to the back porch in droves. I hope you enjoy as much as I have been! :)

A handsome male shows off his bright red cap and rosy chest

They love my flat feeders

Yo! Babe! Whatchu lookin' at?

"Look at all those birds - I can't even get in for my favorite red nut thingies."
"And they've just about wiped this feeder out!"

"If you can't beat em', join em'!"

"Goodness! They sure can clean things out for such small birds!"

"Small? I'm not small!"

"Umm, I hate to be a bother, but can you please refill that feeder up there? Thanks!"

Friday, February 25, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

An early February storm

I know, I haven't been around. Life is so busy lately! :) All good though. These are pictures from a storm that occurred here overnight on February 7 / 8th - this is what we saw when we woke up that morning........

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Just before the storm

You almost can't get anry about more snow when the skies are as beautiful as this....

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Groundhog day storm

Phew, I'm happy to still be alive - I seriously thought this storm would be the one to wipe out all of humanity. Well, the way the weather peeps were talking it would. Granted, some states got slammed and others coated with ice but hello? It's winter everywhere, right? Not just in Maine? Aren't these things supposed to happen?

I'll start with Monday night. Everyone was buzzing about the big storm coming that was going to hit Maine on Wednesday. I wasn't feeling well - my bones ached and my stomach hurt and I was running a fever - the whole time thinking 'oh great, here comes the storm of the century and I'm going to get the flu'. When I woke Tuesday morning I realized what the issue was. My arthritis - which is degenerative - was acting up. I have it in my back in three places, in my hips, knees and fingers. One spot in my back is #3 (right below the base of my skull) and when that one swells I get migraines. I woke up with one of those migraines. I haven't had issues in many many years and I knew that this storm would be a good one just based on the splintering pain my joints were providing me. It was just a matter of waiting until the storm actually hit. Monkey was showing symptoms of the stomach bug including a fever so I decided we would hunker down and wait for all hell to break loose. We had a 'pre-storm' that dropped about 4" here during the day, Eddie came and plowed us out and Monkey felt well enough to shovel. I pulled it together and set up a shepard's pie and baked some beans in the slow cooker in case we lost the power at some point. School sent out their cancellation around 6:00 Tuesday night, evidently they were taking this storm seriously.

Wednesday morning I woke and knew immediately that it was snowing without looking out the window. I felt great again! Yes, it was snowing like crazy. I received a call at 6:30 am from work, they were cancelling for the day. I'm not sure in the 12 years I've worked there if they've ever actually closed for the whole day. I'm pretty sure our two day total was around 12", maybe 14" at the most. Eric plowed us out in the morning, Eddie in the afternoon. Monkey and I shoveled the rest and we even cleaned the roof (I swear there's 24"+ where I can't reach!) and put new runs in the snowtube park. It was a great snow day!

Heading out to shovel bright and early this morning

One of the million times monkey swiped off the back porch

Juncos looking for a handout and reprive from the snow

This is how it looked here for most of the day

Empty and snowbound feeders

The plowed up snow is dwarfing my car

Whadder you lookin at?

The Red Breasted Nuthatch decided she was hungry enough to come to the suet next to the house

American Tree Sparrows don't care how close to the house they get!


My neighbor shoveling off her roof. Lots - o - snow

Monkey finally got his wish to rake the roof

And realized what hard work it was. I got to finish

Still so much snow on the roof, but we raked it back pretty far

The road. Kudos to my plow guy, he did a great job of keeping the roads clear today

That is one tall snowbank.


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