This is acrylic on a 24″x 30″ canvas. I took a photo of Olive in a blueberry field on Christy Hill in Sedgwick ME on an overcast day and thought it would make a good composition, if I made up a horizon and cloudy sky.… Read the rest “Olive On Christy Hill”
Back in 1988, I received my first promotion to become the Postmaster at Camptonville CA. In 2014, I would become the last Postmaster of Camptonville, but that’s another story and another post. This one’s about the failure of musical education in the United States.
I needed a radio for my small rural post office with a good adjustable antenna to pick up stations from the Bay Area. It was June and I went to the local Long’s Drug Store (now, CVS), because they sold consumer electronics at the time. I found a ghetto blaster that looked promising: it had an impressive telescoping antenna, tone controls, headroom, and a cassette player.… Read the rest “The Ghetto Blaster and Classical Music”
Many men wish their handwriting was better and I’m one of them. This primer, How to Improve Penmanship, at The Art of Manliness, “will teach you everything you need to know about improving your cursive penmanship.” At least, that’s their claim. I have this notion that by training my mind, eyes, and hands to improve my penmanship, other skills I’m cultivating will follow. There are indications that writing by hand improves your cognitive abilities, but I’m hoping my art and creative writing will also benefit. We shall see. One specific writing skill I would like to acquire is the draftsman or architectural style of writing.… Read the rest “How to Improve Penmanship | The Art of Manliness”
This past week, I came to the realization that I’m probably not a coffee drinker. I like coffee drinks or drinks made with coffee, but not coffee by itself. My wife Denise roasts beans for us and does a great job. We have electric and hand burr grinders, a french press outfit, pour-over device, an aeropress, and a Cuisinart drip coffee maker. Until recently, we had a Krupps espresso maker. So, there’s no excuse for my not being a true coffee drinker — I have only my own taste buds to blame.
How did I come to this shocking realization? A couple weeks ago, I decided to start drinking my coffee black and enjoy the essence of the bean without admixture or adulteration of the ebony nectar by dairy products and sweeteners.… Read the rest “Confession: I’m Not A Coffee Drinker”
Our family lived in Maine from 1993 – 1997 and the area we lived in was ripe with chance meetings of fate, because so many celebs and power people vacation or retire there. Here’s just one example. More will follow and fans of the old TV comedy, Green Acres, will want to check out this post.
Most people who flew out of our area to the rest of the United States and the world would leave on the 6AM flight out of Bangor International Airport. It was a large plane, flying to Logan International in Boston, where connections were made with the rest of civilization.… Read the rest “Accidental Providence”
I’ve watched boys writhing in the pews and struggling to pay attention for years, as the preacher plows through the text, turning over the soil of the soul. Sometimes the man behind the music stand or pulpit is me.
Other boys get down on their knees, but not to pray. They face a chair with a pencil up and press their noses down close to a piece of paper or a flyer for some church event or a bulletin or a sketch pad, rendering caricatures of superheroes or Transformers or stock cars. Older boys may read an appropriate novel. Some do their homework, while others game away on a device of some kind.… Read the rest “Sermon Notes”
This was something I posted back in 2005 and I thought it might be worthwhile to look back to where we’ve been and see how far we’ve come.
… Read the rest “Retro Posting”
It has long been a dream of mine to redecorate our home in a modern theme, but it looks like that will have to wait for another 5-10 years. In the interim, we have decided upon a retro look and have been scouring thrift stores, garage sales and eBay for furniture and accessories from the same era as the ribbon-cutting on our home, i.e. 1961.
Today, Denise, and I were leaving a disappointing garage sale, when we happened upon a young gentleman (who happpened to be from New Zealand), standing in the driveway of his new home, next to this sectional.
How do I love thee? I love thee for thine funky retro greeting cards that thou dost findeth in thrift stores. Man, I hate trying to write prose in Elizabethan English. Anyway, when we bought our home from Mrs. Brass in 1997, we also took possession of a huge stash of greeting cards from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. That supply ran out a couple of years ago, so Denise scours the thrift stores and eBay to find the finest cards for loved ones. That’s one way Denise demonstrates her affection – by sending folks cool special occasion cards. Here is the one she gave me this year for Valentine’s Day.… Read the rest “Denise: How Do I Love Thee?”
We visited our friend, Joan, who was our next-door neighbor when we lived in the village of Sedgwick way back in ’93. She owns one of the oldest, if not the oldest, homes in town. She was getting her wheel all ready for a spinning demonstration at the Blue Hill Fair. It seemed very appropriate to watch her at work in the parlor of the home, near the great brick fireplace and original paneling.… Read the rest “Please Allow Me to Spin a Tale”
Denise may be an efficient office manager at LRR, but she’s also a stylish and sassy one! Just check out all the latest gizmos in her home workstation and you’ll know what I’m talkin’ ’bout. If it’s any indication of what she’s got going on at her pro gig… well, then it’s no wonder that she has proven indispensable to her employer.
Let’s see; we have a bill holder, an address/phone contraption, a stand for her eyeglasses, a pen/pencil holder, battery charger, field guides for bird watching, binoculars and, of course, her name plaque from her former employer, AAA.
You may have noticed that I haven’t blogged about Maine for about a week.… Read the rest “Krazy Kitsch”
Blueberries are native only to North America. Wild Maine blueberries, like Maine lobster, are the best — finest kind. They are small and full of flavor, unlike the larger ones that grow higher off the ground in places like New Jersey, Oregon and Washington. Our friends in Maine will sometimes eat the larger, inferior blueberries from away but that’s an anomaly.
Blueberries are raked and it is difficult and back-breaking work. If you are good at it, you can make a big wad of cash during the season, typically the month of August. In the 90’s, that’s how teenagers in our town earned money to buy a car.… Read the rest “Blueberries”
Before I begin on this post, I have to make an acerbic comment. I just looked at my blog in Explorer and it doesn’t render properly. This is WordPress, for crying out loud. Why doesn’t Explorer play by the rules? I’m actually glad Google has come out with Chrome to compete with Microsoft in the browser battles. I prefer Safari now or Camino, the Mac version of Firefox. There, I said it and I feel much better now.
As we moved south toward Portland, we found this wonderful place in Glen Cove Maine, the Oakland Seashore Motel. The cottages were cute, but we stayed in the motel.… Read the rest “Glen Cove Is Real Maine”
What trip to Maine would be complete without a lobster bake? And, why do they call it a bake, when you boil or steam everything? Well, that and other weighty questions of eternal consequence will have to wait until later. Right now, we’re talking about downeast cuisine.
We headed down to Brooklin to buy some lobsters from John Candage and found them for just over $5 a pound.
We got together with Bruce and Terri, Paul and Mary, Leah and Emma for some lobster, steamers, fresh corn on the cob and, of course, pie. Mary made the best coconut cream pie, with a great whipped topping.… Read the rest “Lobster”
We decided to visit the Penobscot Narrows Bridge near Bucksport and take a trip up to the observatory at the top – 420 feet high, to be exact. Denise and I were vacationing and hunting for investments just about a year ago and happened to visit when the bridge was opened for the first public walk-across and Bridgefest. It was impressive.
While we were waiting, Emma was wishing she had brought her sweater. She did, however, bring a book along. It was one of about 8 she read in our 12 day vacation. Sidebar: Emma has always been a voracious reader.… Read the rest “Getting High In Maine”
I love the library there. The town outgrew the old library, so they built a new one under the park out back, down by the harbor, and connected it to the original. Most of the holdings are in the new addition, while the original library provides a wonderful place to relax and read, as well as some wonderful views of town.
The first photo is of Denise and I in the underground addition, under the skylight that sits in the center of the lawn in the park.… Read the rest “Camden ME”
When you’re in Maine, there are a number of rare treats you’ll want to track down besides the best lobster in the world. Emma and I love two Maine staples, common to the working class downeast; red hot dogs and whoopie pies. The best place to find them in Hancock County are at the Eggemoggin Country Store or, as the natives call it, B&L’s (it was established years ago by Billy and Lorna… but, that’s another story).
Danny makes the best whoopie pies, bar none, anywhere in New England. He also serves up the most righteous cookies and baked goods.… Read the rest “Red Hot Dogs, Whoopie Pies and Maine Male Models”
When we moved to Maine in ’93, our first home was down on Naskeag Point, site of the famous Revolutionary War battle. Denise and Emma’s passion for beach glass was born there. We ran straight down to Naskeag, as soon as we arrived on the Blue Hill Peninsula. Emma wanted to bring home a lobster buoy for a souvenir and immediately found a pink girl’s buoy on the shore. Unfortunately, the buoy she found is still an active, licensed color. It’s never a good idea to mess with someone’s lobster gear, so she left it at the shore. She didn’t find much beach glass this time, but plenty of clam shells.… Read the rest “It's A Buoy!”
I’m sitting in a very comfortable motel room in Wolfeboro New Hampshire, which I’m sure you know was the first resort town in the United States. We found a wonderful little place on the lake, where Emma and Denise are relaxing in a gazebo, on the lawn, watching some kids being delightedly dragged and tossed about the lake on some big rubber boat by their irresponsible parents.
We finished some takeout for lunch and two pints of hand-packed Morrissey Ice Cream, followed by a nap. Now, I’m ready to get down to some serious Bible study, following this post.
Ever since our first trip to New England, Denise and I have trained our eyes to detect each and every dairy bar along the road, in search of the best soft serve and homemade or local dairy’s hard ice cream.… Read the rest “Dairy Bar!”
This is the cape we made an offer on, sight unseen. It’s a quaint little home, built in the 50s, out in the Sunshine area of Deer Isle Maine. The owners thought our offer of $90k was way too low (starting at $139k and lowered to $125k when we got interested). They countered high, so we waited to see it.
The property is beautiful, near some nice ledge and it is a short distance from the Eggemoggin Reach and swimming, as well as the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. We had hoped to make it a vacation home and rental for students / faculty / boaters.… Read the rest “The One That Got Away”
So, we met some new friends in Sedgwick Me — Joanne and Doug. They told us that Pushcart Press, the world’s smallest bookstore, is in the building at the back of what was once Donny and Eleanor’s garage and auto dealership. We stopped by to check it out. The Pushcart Prize is a prestigious literary project, pioneered by Bill Henderson over 30 years ago. As it turns out, Mr. Henderson is now a resident of Sedgwick, where I once served as Postmaster and our family wintered for a year before moving up to Blue Hill. From the PP website:
… Read the rest “The World’s Smallest Bookstore”
The Pushcart Prize – Best of the Small Presses series, published every year since 1976, is the most honored literary project in America.
I’m sure you’ve all been wondering why the blog posts have dried up. In fact, I’m just sitting down to answer the backlog of thousands of email messages. We are winding up our trip to Maine and are finally relaxing on the shore of Allamoosook Lake. Emma is in a canoe, Denise is sitting in her Adirondack chair with a needlepoint and I’m doing what I like to do to unwind… writing. So, here are a few shots of the view from the lodge and a preview of posts to come.
There is a very picturesque island out in front of the lodge and it appears to have a camp with a dock out into the lake.… Read the rest “Blog Clog Resolved”
Hey, kids! Let’s have a sock hop at the Salisbury’s pad! I bought each one of these albums at the same yard sale for 25¢ apiece — much less than the original owners paid. They threw in the album stand for free! The entire display goes well with our entertainment center, don’t you think?
Bo had the Box Tops album, when he was in the sixth grade. The Fontaine Sisters and Herman’s Hermits were before our time.… Read the rest “Krazy Kitsch”
I’d like to introduce a new feature to our tens of thousands of readers. Krazy Kitsch serves to provide you with a virtual tour of our Home on Piety Hill, which Denise is transforming into a varitable museum of off beat, kitcshy kollectibles and questionable art, furniture, kitchen utensils and, well, just about everything else. Now, mind you, some items will not actually be kitschy at all, but we’ll use that as a sort of catch-all label for just about anything we think is cool. Here’s a good definition of kitsch from Wikipedia:
… Read the rest “Krazy Kitsch”
A term of German or Yiddish origin that has been used to categorize art that is considered an inferior, tasteless copy of an existing style.
Denise also bought a brand new Landcruiser FJ40, which I loved to drive and she snapped this photo, as we drove by the 76 station at the corner of Painter Avenue and Lambert Road in Whittier.
In the Spring of 1974, after Denise graduated from Sierra High School, we drove north to pick up Denise’s brother at UC Davis and brought him home. We stopped in one of our favorite destinations from our desert days, Virginia City NV, and I took this photo of Denise.… Read the rest “Young Love”
This is Denise about one year after we were married on this day, July 10, 1976. Yes, that’s 32 years of marital bliss (not 31, Sam). This photo was actually taken the day before Sam was born on September 5, 1977. I remember this day – It was hot, I took time off work for the birth and we went to walk around the Mission San Juan Capistrano and I caught Denise in front of this big, beautiful Bouganville.
Happy Anniversary Denise!… Read the rest “One Year Later”