C

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"I do believe in an everyday sort of magic...the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we're alone." Charles de Lint

Saturday, June 24, 2017

"Partial Enlightenment"

Ha Ha....I loved this  "Story of the Day"  by Brian Andreas.  And the title is great..."Partial Enlightenment." I think every day is full of partial enlightenments...and I'm going to start paying more attention to them.

"The problem with knowing everything's going exactly as it needs to is that when you're not having that much fun it doesn't even do any good to complain."

I'm not going to complain for even a minute about how sore I am from spending the afternoon caulking woodwork cracks at the condo.  It's all good.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Clarke and the Coast

My niece Clarke is visiting and if you've been following along on this blog for a while you know she's had quite a presence here.  Her FEMA Corps team is stationed in Philadelphia right now so she came up on the bus for a long weekend vacation.

Today we spent a good chunk of the day out and about in Maine and took that 20 minute drive to Bug Light Park.




We did a little beach combing at what I call the junk beach.  These are Clarke's treasures all washed, organized, and drying on the patio. Up close some of these rocks are really beautiful!




Do you see my "find" in the picture on the left? I tried to take a shadow selfie with the heart rock in the right spot on my chest....but the sun was so bright I couldn't really see what I was doing.                                                            
 

This was my favorite....it's actually a round rock with heart shape markings. 
You gotta love a day on the coast...with Clarke.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Location

...location location.

Our new location in Portland is really growing on me! Our home/condo choice surprised a lot of people...even us. In a recent post I reflected a bit on things "falling into place"....and that's still how it feels.  There's work to do...but that's OK...we have lots of time. And, there's something about putting a little sweat equity into a home that really makes it yours.

When we sold our house in South Portland we were determined to find another one in the same area.

Portland Head Light
We loved being across the Casco Bay Bridge from Portland...so much to do and see and easy access to the water. But we quickly learned that because of those perks it meant low inventory and high prices....which worked in our favor when selling the last house. Homes we could afford were too small with too much to work to do and selling for way more than they should.

The Bug Light

So we widened our scope and reevaluated our priorities and landed in a condo on the north side of Portland. Portland is really a small city....so anywhere in Portland is close to everywhere. And, we were always open to a condo...it just needed to be right....enough.

We love the idea of the simplicity of a condo while we are part time now...and know we'll appreciate it when we are full time during retirement. Paul made two comments during the process that have resonated with me:
"We've been happy everywhere we've lived."
"There's something nice about people getting together to talk to each other about how to live together".....even if it isn't always easy.




We wanted simple and quiet and we wanted space for hobbies and guests. Truth be told Paul and I are homebodies.....we actually like staying home. And...we're good at taking field trips and going on outings. Acadia National Park is just 3 hours away. Jane's Beach is just 25 minutes away. Bug light Park is just 20 minutes away. Portland Head light is just 25 minutes away. East End Beach and downtown Portland are just 15 minutes away...and the bike path around Back Bay is just 10-12 minutes away.  And...as Paul learned last week roaring rapids on the Presumpscot River are just a mile away. And have I mentioned that there's a pool right across the street? Location Location Location!

I can't believe I'm including this selfie...but this was my inaugural swim tonight....and decided that I didn't really care what I looked like.
It was a lovely night and I had the whole place to myself.




Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Summer

"On this day when the sun spirals its longest dance, we give thanks for the light within and around us." 

This quote came through my Facebook feed and can be found here.

Once again, the window boxes downtown Lexington are just a delight.

Happy first day of summer!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Another 24...

...hours and the rain lily bud is in full bloom. And I'm excited to see a second bud coming tucked in on the left!  Woo Hoo! Don't you love those pointy yellow stamens?

I think Paul was a bit amused when I asked him if he thought anyone else out there washed their marbles today.  He didn't think so.

I've had a large jar of marbles sitting on a side table in the living room in Lexington for years and years....in the exact same spot. The jar was getting a little cloudy looking so I dumped it out and washed everything. I think it's heading to Maine to get re-appreciated on the dining room window ledge.  I'm shopping the house!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Wow!

Only 24 hours later and that little bud has shot right up.  I guess it likes hot weather. I apologize ahead of time because I don't think I can stop myself from obsessing about the rain lilies! Wow!

The gardens and grounds at the assisted living facility where Connie lives are amazing all four seasons. I love driving by this garden going up the driveway watching it mature and bloom. Yesterday I walked back down the hill to take a closer look at the salvia and penstemon...or at least that's what I think it is. Another Wow! In no way does this picture do it justice.

And...it's the June color scheme!





Phillip, the grounds manager is one of Connie's favorite people. He came up to visit her on a recent rainy day...she was pretty excited. I'm glad I was there to capture it!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

I Have a Bud!

Every day for the last couple of weeks I've been checking my rain lilies for buds. I spotted one today and I couldn't be more excited. It's a little later than last year....it's been an oddly cool spring with just a few freakishly hot days mixed in. 

The foliage seems happy and healthy so we'll see how many blooms I get....this picture below is what I'm hoping for! This photo is actually of my sister LaVonn's pot....she's the one who gave the bulbs to me a few years ago. They originally came from her mother-in-law Rose.



These rain lilies have become one of my favorite plants...they are just a delight! They are dormant in the basement all winter and I put them outside mid May after danger of frost. They actually had to came in and out this year...it was a cold spring.
Here are my previous posts about rain lilies


This photo was taken May 13th when I just started watering them. They seem pretty sad at this point...but they're coming along. 

And....I HAVE A BUD! YAY!



My Father

I wasn't sure my dad was going to be able to walk me down the isle back in 1981...he had a tough year. But he did...and he was so handsome that day. He died later that same year. He was such a good, quiet, hardworking man. Happy Father's Day!


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Passenger Project

I did a little handwork on my June project during the ride back to Lexington today. We've been taking two cars the last few trips to Maine so we could move up things we had stored.  I'm much happier when I'm a passenger....working on a project.


Friday, June 16, 2017

The Mundane

"There is beauty and truth even in the seemingly mundane."
Morgan Harper Nichols

We're at the end of a very quick trip to Portland. Most of the projects I've been working on at the condo aren't glamorous or creative...kind of mundane actually but just as important as the fun ones to come. I'm taking down curtain rods, filling holes, and caulking in preparation for painting. I've learned over the years to appreciate the art of good prep-work....and there's a lot of it. There are dozens of holes and a lot of unsanded patched spots that have been painted over. I'm going to try and fix them....one mundane spot at a time.

I wrote another post called "Voices In My Head" about good prep work. The same voices are always cheering me on!

At some point there will be more pictures....but at this point this is what you get.

Every window had double curtain rods with anchors...this screw had to be hack sawed off because the anchor was stuck.  In come cases the rod had been moved several times so there were twice as many holes as needed. But they are almost all filled and sanded smooth.  Ahhhh





While I was busy with the mundane Paul took a walk in the drizzle (not my first choice) and discovered white water rapids on a walking path along the Presumpscot River just a mile or so away.  I'm looking forward to seeing it in person on one of our next walks. What a treat to find such beauty just a short walk away.


Paul is good at taking pictures of things he knows I'll would if I was there with him. Thanks for the lovely photos Paul!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

In a Good Place

I'm in a good place....and I'm grateful.

http://www.storypeople.com/

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Dogwood Legend

There's a lovely dogwood tree in bloom near the back entrance of our church.  I have fond memories of streets lined with pink and white dogwoods when Paul and I lived in Nashville when we were first married. When they were in bloom it was like a fairy land.









I found this picture online....just how I remember it.








As the legend goes the dogwood tree used to grow straight and tall and was used for Jesus' crucifix. According to the legend God changed the tree so it wouldn't be used for that purpose any more...making it short and twisty. 

Also, according to the legend, God transformed the bloom into a symbolic cross shape with spots of blood on the pointy tips representing the nails and a thorny crown in the center. You can read more about the dogwood tree here:
http://www.atlanticavenuegarden.com/blooming-dogwood-tree/




Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Pinks and Purples

Pretty pinks and purples from yesterday's morning walk.




I made more progress on my pink and purple project. Yes....I switched gears. The pop of large green leaves seemed like the way to go on this one but I'm still going to add some handwork flowers. I think the large plant saved me from starting over on the background. Now it's time for buttons and more handwork. I'm mounting this one so I bound the edges....but I may still wrap the canvas with fabric.


Monday, June 12, 2017

The Colors of June

I love the purple blooms of June....iris, allium, clematis, lupin and so many more. Paul took this picture on Saturday in the Public Garden in Boston.  He knew I loved allium...or sticks and balls as he calls them.

After just enough cleaning and chores today to ease my guilt....I rewarded myself with some crafting time and worked on my June color scheme project. I knew I wanted to create a patchwork background and add the plant and/or floral elements using just embroidery and beads. 
But after I started this little patchwork piece I realized that with all the seaming I might have trouble doing the handwork through all the layers.

So I went back to fusing because there's less bulk.  The picture below is held up to the light....and you see the overlap of fabric....I think it's kind of cool.                                                                                                         


Once I had it fused I added top stitching.  I'm not sure I love it...it may be better a bit simpler. I'll experiment a little with some of the hand stitching that's in my head and make a decision.

I put it aside for today and do what I do best....mull it over.



Sunday, June 11, 2017

Pride

This was Boston Pride weekend and June is Pride month.



I love this Instagram post from 5ftinf....perfect timing.