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”
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!”
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”
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”
Did I ever tell you that Denise can make excellent tamales and carnitas? ¿No? Well, then… About the time Denise and I started getting serious, she worked at a deli and meat market, owned by Jess (Mexican) and Julianne (Polish). So, while I was off surfing every single day during the summer of 1974 (I couldn’t get a job, because I wouldn’t cut my hair — Idiot), Denise (Anglo) learned how to make carnitas, tamales, tortillas, menudo, peirogi, golumki and fresh/smoked kielbasa. Yes, she was always good in the kitchen, but this experience turned her into a serious culinarian.
Denise is not threatened by others, with more sophisticated or advanced skills.… Read the rest “Carnitas!”
Emma just completed her first semester at Sacramento State University with a Big Four Point Oh! She’s pursuing a degree in design — leaning toward architecture. This was confirmed to Emma on her latest visit to Chicago, the birthplace of the modern skyscraper, as well as home to the Prairie School and Frank Lloyd Wright.
Emma’s strength, I think, is in photography. She has always had a good eye for an interesting composition and Photoshop is the logical extension for the skills she learned in the dark room years ago. Here we see two Photoshop projects and the final example is a graphic design assignment using Adobe InDesign.… Read the rest “Emma Is On Her Way”
Well, it’s official! Camille is pregnant, Sean is glowing and the Bailey and Salisbury families, here and across The Pond, are very excited.… Read the rest “Will Bo and Denise Be Grandparents Next Year?”
Okay, I can finally announce it! Camille has just been promoted to manager and she “broke the record for the quickest promotion” to manager in her firm’s history. There’s no CPA following her name, but that’s a mere formality.
What some may not know is that Camille developed many of her management skills as a young girl in her home, neighborhood and school under the able mentorship of her mother.… Read the rest “Camille Doing What She Does Best”
On Tuesday, Denise and I said farewell to New York and flew out of La Guardia at 4PM. By 1 AM, we were back in Nevada City and I arrived at work in Camptonville by 7:30 AM on Tuesday. What a great time to be alive and who can deny that the United States is one of the best places on the planet to live?
The last morning in Brooklyn, we decided to take a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. It was chilly. On the Manhattan side, we looked around and thought we would see if anything piqued our interest. If so, we’d just take a train back to our apartment.… Read the rest “Farewell NYC”
Yes, it’s true. Denise and I have other children. Besides our children in the US, we have two more families in Uganda. I met their fathers on my first trip there in 2000. Since that time, we have kept in touch and helped them with tuition for their education. In Uganda, education is valued very highly and private school can be a real advantage.
Shammah is about 10 years old and, though we have never met, she loves us dearly and we love her. She is the oldest and has three little brothers. Her letters and photographs portray her as a smart, confident and patient young lady.… Read the rest “A Letter From Our Daughter”
Write Fink! has been blogging about old VWs and it conjured up a few memories of — believe it or not — young romance. When I met Denise (she was 17 and I was 18), she had a blue 1966 Volkswagen Beetle much like the one in the photo. Technically, it was Brian, Denise, and Diane’s VW, but when Brian was off to school Denise had seniority and it would eventually be handed down to Diane. My heart still thumps when I think of Denise, long blonde hair blowing through the window, leaning into a turn, cranking the wheel with her left hand, while down-shifting with her right, and depressing the clutch with her Dr.… Read the rest “Denny’s VW”
Last weekend Denise and I were invited by Camille to join her in choosing her wedding dress. It’s one of those joys of parenthood, which may only come along now and again in a lifetime. Camille looked at a number of dresses before narrowing down the choices to three. My favorite was the Rene´ Zellweger design, but Camille thought it unflattering (I pulled the photo). Anyway, I attempted to get upstairs where the action was, but got shooed away by the fitters because, evidently, there were a bunch of scantily clad young ladies and they didn’t want some old guy hanging around.… Read the rest “Wedding Bells”
Here we are outside Emma’s apartment in Carrboro. She is all settled in and is acclimating to southern living. Chapel Hill and Franklin St. are only about a mile down the road and she is within walking distance of a great little restaurant that specializes in health food: grits, bisquits, red hots and fatback.
After the apartment was moved in and decorated, Emma found it a bit gloomy so she hung a few strings of lights and voila! The place is quite comfortable with reasonable rent, utilities paid, cable and high speed internet are included. Emma, like her mother, can sure shop for a bargain!… Read the rest “Emma's New Life”
We’re on the road in North Carolina, visiting Emma and sampling a little bit of Carolina barbecue.
bar·be·cue Pronunciation Key (bärb-ky) n.
1. A grill, pit, or outdoor fireplace for roasting meat.
2. A whole animal carcass or section thereof roasted or broiled over an open fire or on a spit.
3. A social gathering, usually held outdoors, at which food is cooked over an open flame.
The term itself comes from Haiti: “1657, from Amer.Sp. barbacoa, from Arawakan (Haiti) barbakoa “framework of sticks,” the raised wooden structure the Indians used to either sleep on or cure meat. Originally “meal of roasted meat or fish,” modern popular noun sense of “grill for cooking over an open fire” is 1931.”
Emma’s friend Jumon insisted that, if we want some Carolina barbecue, we should start with the best: Bullock’s in Durham NC.… Read the rest “Mmmmm. Seared Animal Flesh — My Favorite!”
Camille is in North Carolina visiting Emma. She just sent this photo from her phone. It’s a pretty good likeness. Camille says NC reminds her a bit of England and bit of Maine.… Read the rest “North Carolina Camille”
Today marks 29 years of marital bliss for Denise and I. This is a fitting weekend for the celebration. We will be spending it with Camille, Emma, and our wonderful friends, doing the kinds of things we love to do — it’s been a very busy weekend and will be, right up until our heads hit the pillow tonight.
I had to work yesterday and, as I was driving home down the Old Downieville Highway, with my sunroof open and Eric Whitacre playing, I was reflecting upon how blessed I am and the fact that all sorts of wonderful things have come my way in unexpected or unusual ways.… Read the rest “29 Years Of Marital Bliss”