"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Serene Saturday

Gorgeous day, with a heady breeze blowing down the Bay.

Here's the tub of flowers that came with me yesterday.

One of my many arrangements: Perennial sweetpeas and other stuff. The position of the boat house flag this morning indicates the direction of the wind.

Unlike now, yesterday the lake surface was calm and flat. See how clear that water is!

The photo is deceiving. You might assume that it's shallow water because the rocks are so visible. And yet it's several feet deep at the edge of our main dock. And at the end of the extended portion, where the steps are, it's over my head. (I'm 5' 5"--exactly.)

Lola, relaxing by the water. She ought to be wearing a pair of groovy wraparound shades.

When the Chap returns from the dump and the supermarket, we're taking our walk. If any of the dogs goes swimming, I'll post photos later.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Change of scene...and temperature

Arrived at the Big Lake this morning, the car heavily laden with three dogs and dozens of roses, as well as perennial sweet peas, lavender, catmint, and daisies to adorn the cottage. And manuscript pages. And food for a weekend of feasting and festivity.

Ruth was squealing for her walk from the moment we got here, so I settled in as fast as I could and took her and Jewel. Lola's old bones can't take the paved portions of the road and I didn't want to lame her again, so she stayed in the house taking a nap in the kitchen.

Because I wore my activity monitor, I now know the distance we cover on our usual route. From the cottage door to the hilltop of the the Point, then up and down the hill where the Minority Leader lives and back to the cottage equals .89 miles. I can also tell you how many strides it is: 2300+. I also know that our walk only burns 80 calories. Doesn't seem fair.

Ruth went swimming from the little beach. Crazy swimming--like she was headed for the west side of the Bay. Jewel didn't swim, exactly, she went in up to her chest. I went in up to my knees--keeping up with Ruth.

She and Jewel found a giant dead fish on the shore and sniffed at it before I managed to pull them away. I wish people wouldn't leave their dead fish lying around. Catch it and release it. Or take it home and eat it (if you aren't afraid of mercury.) But don't leave it around to get bloated and rotten and stinking and flybitten, which only entices curious young dogs.

When we returned home, I put on my gorgeous new swimsuit and went in the Lake. I was the only person in the Bay. The water round our dock is 72 degrees, same as the air temperature. I thought Jewel might come in after me but she just sat on the dock watching me with bewilderment. We all sat there for a while, watching the lake and the ducks and the swallows and the occasional motorboat or sailboat or small plane. I tried to read a book, but I couldn't focus on anything else but the view. Oh, my, it's nice today. Pictures to come later. Right now I'm recharging my camera batteries.

This is a birthday weekend (not mine), and this seemed the best place to celebrate. Our celebrant will arrive in approximately 1 hour, with a carload of Singapore curry noodles from Ping's for tonight's dinner.

Here's the link to that newspaper photo of Carol Channing singing in Representatives Hall.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Grande Finale...featuring a Broadway legend...and a light show

Tuesday, when I attended the penultimate Party Caucus at the State House, was the prelude to the final session of the House of Representatives, which was yesterday. It was also the preview of how extremely uncomfortable an un-air conditioned room can be on a 95-degree day. Luckily, we were there less than 2 hours...which we knew would not be the case on Wednesday.

In addition to being the last day of this session, yesterday was also Hat Day. Members were encouraged to wear their most "darling or daring" hats. And many of us did!

Here's a silly one.

A glamourous one.

A flamingo.

A lobster.

And mine--the gondolier's hat I purchased in Venice. I pinned a couple of Snowdon roses to my dress (I've got a nifty pin with a water reservoir) and was enveloped with their natural rosy perfume.

My ensemble received many gratifying compliments from both sexes, and not a few reminscences of trips to Venice. I wondered which would wilt first, the roses or me. (The roses did.)

After the usual opening of session activities, we had the introduction of guests. The suprise guest turned out to be Carol Channing. She was in town to perform her one-woman show at the Arts Center. She'd visited the State House the previous day, to meet the Governor, and was invited to return for Hat Day.

My photos are lousy--not only do I sit in the back benches, the lighting was very low to keep the room "cool" (more on that in a minute).

She and the two instigators of Hat Day sang "Hello, Johnny" to the tune of you-know-what. (Our Governor's name is John.)

There was a really excellent photo on the front page of today's paper, but I don't think it'll be released to the web till tomorrow.

When she departed, we got down to business--in extremely uncomfortable conditions. It was 96 degrees outside. Inside, the ceiling fans were going, there were box fans in the window, the blinds were drawn, the lights were low, but the chamber was an oven. The men were allowed to remove coats and ties. (Not all of them did.) The Sergeant-at-Arms and the doorkeepers and the Speaker's staff and the House nurse were constantly passing out bottles of ice-cold water.

Suffering, we affirmed many committee of conference reports, killed a few of them. We passed the first budget bill before our lunch break--$10.3 billion.

Why so much for this small state? Because the previous majority party had a habit of underfunding. And the current majority party, committed to undoing the damage, also insisted upon truth-in-budgeting.

During the break, I went over to the Legislative Office Building (air-conditioning!) to check email. Then attended the Senate President's Ice Cream Social. Two servings of black raspberry later, I rejoined my colleagues in the Oven to vote on the budget "trailer" bill. And the capital budget. And all the other stuff.

The chamber was worse in the afternoon. Nothing anybody could do. The staff passed around ice packs along with the water. My seat, being so far back, is out of range of ceiling fans and window fans. I was constantly fanning myself with the House calendar, as were all the men in my row.

From time to time, during the lengthier debates, I nipped downstairs to the ladies' room and ran cold water over my arms. My white sandals slipped on and off easily, so occasionally I would take a bottle of cold water, place it on the floor, and rest my bare feet on it!

At one point, I heard one of the guys seated behind me ask the Sergeant-at-Arms, "Do you actually know what the temperature is in here?"

"Eight-six degrees," she said apologetically.

I'm guessing the humidity was 100%.

The last bill of the day was the one we've known from Day 1 that we had to pass: the court-mandated definition of educational adequacy. By that time, the staff and nurse were passing out peanuts, pretzels, cheez-its, to keep up our salt levels. I didn't much want anything salty, but I ate a few.

Most of us survived the ordeal. (I did see one person being wheeled off in a wheelchair).

Session ended sometime after 6 p.m., I think. I'd been in that room since 9 a.m. and was very happy to leave it. The Majority Caucus hosted a celebration--lemonade and cake--I consumed a little of both to sustain me on the drive home. A lot of people were heading for the bar across the street.

The Chap had a meeting, so I knew I'd be dining alone. I wasn't exactly hungry but felt thirsty and weak and light-headed and needed to eat real food. So I grabbed a cold cider and started whipping up a quick omelet. At that very moment, the weather turned--a massive wind and thunder and lightning storm hit the Lodge.

And I really mean hit. Lightning was in the yard. Almost in my house--so close I could hear the snap and sizzle before the boom.

My kitchen was the worst place to be. So I turned off the burner, left my eggs uncracked on the counter, and hurried the dogs downstairs to the windowless hallway. There we sat for about 25 minutes. I could barely see the flash of the lightning, but I heard it. And the thunder. And the torrential rain.

Ruth eventually hid under the kneehole of my desk. Jewel fell asleep at my side. Lola lay near me, stocially. And I sat there, getting hungrier by the minute.

The storm moved on, leaving the house unscathed--I didn't even lose power (plenty of other households did, I later learned). Outside, my roses were bowed but not broken. Except for one tree rose on the deck, blown to the ground where its trunk snapped in half. A complete loss, but I've got another just like it. Rain got into the porch, so I had to mop up the floor.

My omelet turned out perfectly.

I may have a few legislative committee tasks during the hiatus, nothing too arduous. I think the next House session is in January. Perhaps, by then, Representatives Hall will have cooled down to a bearable level.

It's only the first day, but already I'm loving my summer/fall break.

Books to write and read, lakes to enjoy, roses to pick, dogs to play with, friends to see, birds to watch, trips to take.

And plenty of legislative-free blogging ahead!

Rose of the Day: A Bonica rose, growing in the State House Rose Garden, created and maintained by the New Hampshire Rose Society.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ice Cream memories

I'm not the best person to blog about ice cream, because I so rarely consume it. Oh, it's readily available...the Chap, who has a bowl every evening at 10 p.m. keeps the freezer amply stocked. But this is not a habit I've picked up.

For me, eating ice cream falls into three categories...foreign, fellowship, and family.


When travelling, I eat ice cream. I particularly remember indulging in Brussels, Dublin, Florence, Warsaw...and many more.

But perhaps the very best ice cream I've eaten in another country can be obtained in the closest country: Canada.

There's an ice cream shop in Montréal. Don't remember the name, but I sort of know where it is. Whenever we're there (most often for the International Féstival de Jazz), it's a must-visit.

My flavour of choice is the passion fruit.


Under certain social conditions I will partake of ice cream. As the legislative session wound down, there were several "ice cream socials" hosted by the leadership. When I discovered black raspberry, I did not hold back. At every social I attended, I ate two servings. Very refreshing

Here's a box of it...before I reached inside.


We made our own ice cream when I was little. My mother had a freezer recipe, simple but satisfying.

But the very best ice cream was created during peach season in Georgia. We'd go with my grandmother to the Farmer's Market, buy a bushel of peaches, take them back to her house--my grandfather having iced and salted their hand-cranked churn--in our absence.

We skinny and energetic kids supplied cheap and enthusiastic labour, and took turns turning the handle--faster, faster, we were so impatient for the magic to happen. Every five minutes we wanted to lift the lid off the canister to see if the stuff was frozen yet.

The taste of it lingers all these years later--that clear note of vanilla, the generous chunks of fresh peach...pure heaven.

Perhaps I'm not an ice cream fanatic as an adult because no other can match what I so enjoyed as a child.

When family members visit from afar, I join in ice cream eating.

Last summer, we took my sister-in-law to Arnie's. I usually order a double dark chocolate.

When the nieces and nephew visit, we serve these tiny cute ice cream cones at home.

Oh, yeah...

Unlike me, my dogs eat ice cream every night. The Chap scoops up a small helping in his fingers and feeds it to Lola and Ruth. Usually I'm the one who feeds Jewel her portion.

At 10:00 p.m., they start "dogging" him. And if, perchance, they're sleeping, the sound of an ice cream box hitting the kitchen counter sends them racing upstairs.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Rosa Mundi

Rose of the Day: Rosa Mundi

It may not seem so, but I really do try not to say every type of rose I cultivate is my "favourite."

I probably have four serious favourites, each a different type or species or hybrid. All roses are not created equal in my opinion, although I love them all--as individuals--or they wouldn't populate my garden.

Rosa gallica versicolor, commonly and popularly known as Rosa Mundi, isn't a casual favourite. I've got a relationship with this rose.

It's a sport of the Rosa gallica officinalis, the Apothecary Rose (a future ROTD), which was used for perfume and medicines and dates from about 1200. Sometime before 1581, it mutated into a bi-colour version of itself, its original red/pink and splashed with paler pink/white. A star was born.

Turning to the ever-reliable Old Rose Adventurer for a description (he supplies many), I found this one most apt: "Flower rose-red, striped and variegated with white, fragrant. Growth vigorous."

Vigorous indeed--mine doubles or triples in size every year--meaning I get two and three times the blooms I had the previous June. What a champion!

Because it struck people as so romantically different, it was labeled "Rosamunde" for Fair Rosamund. Those familiar with English history will know she was the beautiful (tragic) mistress of King Henry II, unfaithful husband of Eleanor of Aquitaine--leading to a rumour/legend that the Queen poisoned her rival. The association of the exquisite lady and the exotic rose is a fanciful; it's unlikely that poor Rosamunde Clifford ever saw it, due to the fact that she died centuries before its supposed debut.

As soon as I found out Rosa Mundi would grow in New England, I planted it. The first bush didn't thrive (oh, the heartbreak!). But its successor is the ever-expansive, outrageously productive, dearly beloved monster whose current crop of blooms illustrates today's post.

Rosa Mundi has an even greater claim to fame in this household: it's featured on the cover art for the first edition of one of my novels. Life imitated art when my heroine's favourite rose became mine--or maybe it was a little bit vice versa. Anyway, I made sure to supply my cover artist with photographs from my garden. He kindly and approprately painted in several of my choices.

The framed painting hangs in my house. I purchased the original--how could I not, it was my own garden preserved on canvas!

The colour reproduction isn't terribly good--today my blinds are drawn over the windows to keep out the scorching sun and if I'd used my flash it would've glared off the paint. But you get the idea.

And don't listen to the gossip about how in rose season the Chap dons a puffy shirt and I put on a pink satin ballgown and we re-enact this scene. (We prefer to wear t-shirts and shorts.)

Here's the painted version of Rosa Mundi close-up. And beside it, another future Rose of the Day.

And here, again, is an actual blossom, photographed this morning. If you compare the painted image to the one below, they're nearly identical!

I only wish you could smell it, too!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sunday on the Little Lake

After church we ate enough at coffee hour to call it lunch. So instead of having a proper lunch at lunchtime we sat on the deck with the Sunday paper.

Then we cruised the Little Lake in our canoe. The perfect way to spend a perfect day. It's sunny, not hot, blue sky almost untouched by cloud. (We're enjoying the pleasant weather we've got now, knowing it'll turn nasty hot in a day or so....)

On our way up the lake, we passed the protruding rock. Sunning on the warm surface was an enormous snapping turtle. From the size, it could easily have been the one that laid her eggs in my garden some years ago. At our approach, the monster lumbered off the rock, hitting the water with a smooth splash, and immediately submerged itself

We paddled on, hugging the shore, greeting and being greeted by the neighbours sitting on their docks or balconies.

At the top of the lake we turned into the wind. The water was choppy.

The Lodge is behind these trees.

You'll have to take my word for it.

We returned to our very flowery property. The wildflower meadow in front of the house is filled with daisies.

A couple of black-eyed Susans have already opened, too. Their big moment comes in July.

Rose of the Day. Banshee

This rose mimics Maiden's Blush. Sent to me in the post as a rooted twig by my mum. This spring I tried to thin out the bushes and prune them back, leaving enough old wood for some bloom. It's a complete masochist, loved the harsh treatment, and has never looked better. Or taller. Taller than me. (I'm exactly 5' 5".)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Homecoming Heartbreak

Left the cottage a bit before noon with all three dogs, leaving the Chap to serve as host to his Vestry, holding their annual Retreat there on the lake all afternoon.

After admiring my insanely blooming rose and perennial gardens, I settled on the porch to catch up my reading--a ton of magazines, newspapers, and a book arrived in the post during my time away from the Lodge.

About an hour ago, Jewel expressed a desire to go down into the yard. It was sunny, bright, and the rugosas looked amazing, so I went down the steps with her to do my own sniffing around. She trotted about and I inhaled roses, until....

we both heard the repeated shrieks of a robin coming from the side of the garage. And then I saw the robin leaping up and down on the garage roof, frantically flapping its wings and crying loudly.

Jewel and I raced to the fence. I climbed partly up the rails until I could spot the massive robin's nest at the electrical junction box--where our robins have laid and hatched and raised their young for many a year.

To my horror, I could also see the bottom two-thirds of an enormous Cooper's hawk, its talons gripping the thick electical cable running to the house.

I couldn't see its head, slightly out of my view. But I knew, beyond doubt, that clutched in the cruel beak was a bird--either the mother robin sitting her clutch of eggs, or the hatchlings (if there were any yet). Or possibly it was feasting on all of them.

I raced to the front of the house. By the time I arrived at the best vantage point, the hawk had flown. The nest was empty and still.

The missing robin's mate had moved to the birch tree, in view of the nest, and perched there, piteously and continuously shrieking.

It is a truly heartbreaking sound. I last heard it several years ago when a windstorm blew a robin's nest--with fledglings--off the lighting fixture in the garage eave to be smashed to bits on the concrete steps below.

Most years, all goes well, and our reliable couple raises two broods. Sometimes, though, misfortune strikes.

I keep reminding myself that nature's way can be painful. That raptors prey upon songbirds, they can't help themselves.

Only last week we'd noticed the robins flying in and out of the expansive, messy, several-years-old nest, high up in the corner of our garage. I'd planned to phone the utility company to remove the nest--they and I felt it should go. But when we saw the activity, proof that family-building was underway, we couldn't bear to take down an active nest.

Now that it's no longer active (shudder), I suppose I'll take the necessary step.

This tragedy made me realise how much I take those robins for granted. Yes, I mark their arrival late each winter or early in the spring in my nature journal. Yes, I watch them feed in the grass around the house and in the gardens. Yes, I've let them nest in a spot hazardous to my own dwelling.

But I never really cherished them as much as their showier friends--the orioles, hummingbirds, tanagers, goldfinches, purple finches, grosbeaks.

Knowing a robin is gone forever, confronted with the sad, solitary robin who suffered that devastating loss, I regret my cavalier attitude.

I've been weeping about this. Hard not to.

Just now, when the Chap rang me from the cottage (he'll be staying overnight), I told him what happened. He feels as badly about I do.

We've lost a friend.

The remaining friend is still out there, audibly grieving in the birch tree.

Friday, June 22, 2007


We're expecting arrivals later today: the Chap and Lola will join us.

I worked like a demon yesterday on the project I brought with me. No, not the novel or the nonfiction book. I'm doing some paid consulting for an educational organisation, meaning I must track hours worked and be more productive than I would be if faffing about with my own writing. Progress is good, I expect to finish a solid draft of the report before the man and the third dog turn up.

The girls and I took our Ultimate Walk this morning because 1) I wanted to take the edge off their energy level early, so I could work at the computer undisturbed, and 2) because the weather is supposed to deteriorate as the day wears on, and 3) because I was in that writer's "zone" yesterday and we didn't walk at all, and 4) to spark my apptetite for a pasta dinner.

Again it's blustery and cool and decreasingly sunny. I'm in sweatpants and sweatshirt today, with most of the doors and windows closed. (But not all...round here, that's sacrilege.)

The wind destroyed the spider's fantastic web, but she made another, smaller one in a more sheltered spot. It was intact last time I checked.

For pictures today, I tried to find something that wasn't water, a mountain, or a dog.

This is a bird's-eye view of the lake, a vintage print that hangs on the porch.

It's an original. We've got a framed reproduction of the same iconic print hanging in our downstairs sitting room at the Lodge.

Here's some of the surrounding terrain--the recently reclaimed (not by me) stone pathway that leads down the hillside to the old well on the cliff.

The hill is much, much steeper than this photo indicates!

With my mate's impending arrival, I've upgraded the quality of my personal grooming. Instead of merely relying on a bar of soap, water, and a washcloth, I've used lavender body wash, a comb, and other implements that I dispense with when in hermit mode. And I'll be sure to inform my beloved of these extraordinary efforts...

Janice wondered what locals think about the Amex tv ad, and Ellen's comment about her bathing suit catching fire. Well, I can't speak for others, but I can take a joke. I assume the joke is on her, and she's not really casting aspersions on our lovely lake!

Considering its popularity, this body of water is clean and seemingly healthy in most respects. One of our neighbours is a volunteer water monitor, he goes out in his boat on a regular schedule and takes samples in various parts of the Bay for testing. According to the reports, all is well. We need to keep it that way!

I personally can attest to the clarity of my water--now that the wind has blown the pollen layer away I can see to the bottom of the lake again. All the way from the hilltop cottage, if the light is just right. I have no qualms swimming in it. Or, for that matter, showering in it. The lake supplies all our household water--it's filtered at the pump in the boathouse, so it's cleaner when it enters the cottage.

For drinking and cooking, however, we keep an ample supply of well water or bottled water.

We make every effort to be good stewards of our waterfront. We use biodegradable and no-phosphate everything. We obey the Shoreline Protection Act, maintaining the plant growth and preserving our stately trees (we sometimes have to trim a few branches to allow for a view!)

The rain is coming--I see it on the other side of the bay, looming over the mountain. The wind will push it over to me in no time!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

News from the Lake--Lake in the News

The most recent sunset.

This, the longest day of the year, is a particlarly fine one. Sunshine, blue sky, white clouds--and a fierce, sharp breeze barelling down the Bay. The constant wind makes the surface of the lake wavy like an ocean--lots of whitecaps. Conditions are not conducive to my inaugural swim of the season.

Yesterday afternoon the girls and I took the Ultimate Walk--all the way round the Point and up the hill and back down again. Wish I'd brought along the Activity Monitor I recently won as a doorprize...it would tell me the distance in miles and my heartrate (I think) and calories burned other interesting info. But I left it back at the Lodge, still enwrapped in its packaging.

The big white boat just passed the dock, having visiting its port at the bottom of the Bay.

This lake is currently featured in a current American Express tv commercial. The one with Martin Scorcese. And Ellen Degeneres (among others.) You can watch it here. Here's some info on the Amex Members Project.

Oh, and if you want to learn a lot more (than you probably need to) about my Lake, stop by this site.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

On the Waterfront

Jewel, Ruth and I arrived at the Big Lake late yesterday, just in time for their supper. Mine was delayed because Ruth insisted on going for a walk.... We followed our usual route to the Point, accompanied by a cloud of mosquitoes and the occasional dive-bombing deerfly.

After a warm and busy day--and an energetic walk--I desperately wanted a swim (the water is 68 degrees now). But the layer of yellow pollen floating around the dock deterred me.

Instead of cooling off in the water, I imbibed a refreshingly cold cider on the dock and watched the occasional boat pass up or down our Bay.

A sailboat was enjoying a sunset cruise.

Jewel fears pirates might be aboard.

But great danger lurked very near to us...

a duck!

Last night we slept like logs, until dawn when the terrifying duck and her spouse started up their quacking. Then we heard the young crop of phoebes shrieking incessantly. No sound of a loon...yet. (Back at the Lodge on the Little Lake, we wake to a loon's call every morning.)

The 4-legged inhabitants of the cottage had an early breakfast, then we all went back to sleep.

While making tea just now, I spotted a familiar presence. A huge-normous spider is always positioned near the kitchen window, creating beautiful and intricate webwork.

A very big girl, an entire inch all the way round. She's probably glad to have me in residence: at night, the kitchen light must attract lots of flying insects for her to feed upon.

It's drizzly this morning--I hope we're getting enough rain to sink that dratted pollen layer so I can swim. Weatherman promises sunshine later today.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Gallery of Roses

Tired of looking at roses yet? By the end of this post you will be!

The rose gardens are exploding with flowers. There's about to be a brief hiatus of my Rose of the Day feature, for reasons that will soon become apparent. So today I'm offering a large bouquet of them.

Rose of the Day: White rugosa.

Rose of the Day: Shailers Provence, Gracilis.

I often call this Boursault rose my "favourite," partly because it is so lovely, fragrant and floriferous. And mostly because the giant bushes started as rooted cuttings sent to me by my mother.

Rose of the Day: Rosa canina.

The common dog rose, which grows in hedgerows in the British Isles. Its soft fragrance is reminiscent of apples.

Rose of the Day: Isphahan.

This photo is not at all characteristic because the unfolding bud looks like a hybrid tea or other modern rose. In fact, it will become a blowsy, fluffy blossom, exquisitely scented. A truly ancient rose, which for centuries has been--and still is--used for making perfume in Persia (now Iran).

Rose of the Day: Henry Kelsey.

A hardy Canadian climber, vibrantly red.

Rose of the Day: Autumn Damask, Perpetual Damask, Four Seasons Rose.

The only repeat-blooming rose prior to the introduction of China roses in the late 18th century. Talk about ancient--the rose historians say this rose grew in Biblical times, and was cultivated by the Romans.

Rose of the Day: Rosa alba semiplena

Another very old rose, known in medieval times.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Garden Glory

The wisteria is blooming--for the very first time. I'm inexpressibly joyful...having waited many, many years in hopes that this otherwise thriving specimen would reward my patience.

And here's a former Rose of the Day, the rugosa hybrid Thérese Bugnet.

Rose of the Day: Snowdon

It, too, is a rugosa hybrid, a lovely white one, very nicely scented. It's also prickly as hell, so I must be very careful when taking the flowers.

Tragically, a very severe winter killed the plant to the ground and for several years now it has been in recovery. At long last it has returned to its former glory and is a towering beauty once more.

Like most of my recent Roses of the Day, it was obtained from a rose grower in Maine, unfortunately no longer in business.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Crossing and Re-Crossing the Border

This was the perfect day for our coastal jaunt in Maine.

At our first stop, in Newington (on our side of the border), I successfully found sufficient quantity of my dream fabric for the rocking chair, to augment what I left with the upholsterer, making me very, very happy.

We then carried on to Kennebunk to visit the Tom's of Maine factory store, stocking up on toiletries.

Turning back, we followed Route 1 through Wells and Ogunquit and York. And paused for a photo op at the Nubble Light.

The tide was all the way in at York Beach, the waves were practically washing onto to the road. Lots of happy surfers.

We continued to Kittery, where I raided the Coldwater Creek outlet store and bought two tops.

Crossing the Piscataqua again (had to wait for the drawbridge), we visited an ATM in Portsmouth. Then we drove back into Maine, to eat a late lunch here:

It was a bit too warm for chowdah. So to start, we had onion rings.

Followed by a lobster roll for each of us.

As we dined, this boater passed our table, accompanied by his dogs.

On our way out, we visited the lobsters which had not yet been transformed into lobster rolls.

Headed back to Portsmouth (pausing yet again for the drawbridge--busy day on the river!). Stopped at a supermarket on the way home for a few essentials.

Arrived at Lodge just before the dogs' suppertime.

The hare was already dining on clover in the front yard.

Off to swill hard cider on the porch with the Chap. And watch for egg-laying turtles.